Science.gov

Sample records for activities means functions

  1. [Characteristics of the functional coupling of cerebral cortical neurons in cats and the signal meaning of the stimulus (the hypothesis of the information switching of conditioned reflex activity)].

    PubMed

    Komissarov, V I

    1988-01-01

    In chronic experiments on cats interrelations were studied between impulse activity of neurones of various auditory cortical zones and associative area under the action of defensive, alimentary or differential acoustic signals. It was found that shifts of the impulse activity of neurones in the studied cortical zones and correlation dependence between them appearing in the given conditions, were of a selective character and were connected with signal meaning of acoustic signals. Neurophysiological mechanisms are discussed of the revealed reorganization of the composition of functional relations of neurones of the cortical representation of the conditioned stimulus analyzer.

  2. Assigning functional meaning to digital circuits

    SciTech Connect

    Eckmann, S.T.; Chisholm, G.H.

    1997-07-01

    During computer-aided design, the problem of how to determine the logical function of a digital circuit arises in many contexts. For example, assigning functional meaning to a circuit is a fundamental operation in both reverse engineering and implementation validation. This report describes such a determination by discussing how a higher-level functional representation is constructed from a detailed circuit description (i.e., a gate-level netlist, which is a list of logic gates and their interconnections). The approach used involves transforming parts of the netlist into a functional representation and then manipulating this representation. Two types of functional representations are described: (1) a mathematical representation based on the logical operators ``exor`` and ``and`` and (2) a directed acyclic graph representation based on binary decision trees. Each representation provides a canonical form of the logical function being implemented (i.e., a form that is independent of implementation details). Such forms, however, have a well-known problem associated with the ordering of inputs: for each order, a unique form exists. A solution to this problem is given for both representations. Experimental results that demonstrate the use of these representations in the process of assigning functional meaning to a circuit are provided. The report also identifies and discusses issues critical to the performance required of this fundamental operation.

  3. Purpose and Meaning in Highly Active Seniors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penick, Jeffrey M.; Fallshore, Marte

    2005-01-01

    The authors investigated the sources of meaning for active seniors. Results indicated that seniors who were most active were relatively high in a wide range of sources of meaning as well as in life satisfaction in general. The importance of meaning and purpose in relation to counseling with older adults is discussed.

  4. The meaning of health: understanding functional limitations.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A; Ware, J E; Brook, R H

    1977-11-01

    Results of psychometric studies of 14 questionnaire items commonly used to define chronic functional limitations due to poor health are reported. Self-administered questionnaires were used to gather data from 1,209 persons 14 years of age and older. Data were used to study: scalability of items; test-retest reliability of alternate forms of scales; validity of scales in relation to 13 health status variables and age; and precision of scales in detecting differences in health. Three scales pertaining to chronic limitations in mobility, physical activity, and social role activity functions satisfied the criteria of scalogram analysis. Four-month test-retest reliability estimates for alternate forms were very high. Strong associations (some curvilinear) were observed among functional limitation scales, and between these scales and survey measures of physical abilities, general health perceptions, health worry/concern, chronic disease conditions, and age. Measures of physical abilities and functional limitations appeared to define opposite ends of a function-dysfunction continuum. Statistical modeling of precision indicates that, due to the skewed distribution of scores, large sample sizes would be required to detect differences in functional limitations in studies using only a posttest.

  5. Active causation and the origin of meaning.

    PubMed

    van Hateren, J H

    2015-02-01

    Purpose and meaning are necessary concepts for understanding mind and culture, but appear to be absent from the physical world and are not part of the explanatory framework of the natural sciences. Understanding how meaning (in the broad sense of the term) could arise from a physical world has proven to be a tough problem. The basic scheme of Darwinian evolution produces adaptations that only represent apparent ("as if") goals and meaning. Here I use evolutionary models to show that a slight, evolvable extension of the basic scheme is sufficient to produce genuine goals. The extension, targeted modulation of mutation rate, is known to be generally present in biological cells and gives rise to two phenomena that are absent from the non-living world: intrinsic meaning and the ability to initiate goal-directed chains of causation (active causation). The extended scheme accomplishes this by utilizing randomness modulated by a feedback loop that is itself regulated by evolutionary pressure. The mechanism can be extended to behavioural variability as well and thus shows how freedom of behaviour is possible. A further extension to communication suggests that the active exchange of intrinsic meaning between organisms may be the origin of consciousness, which in combination with active causation can provide a physical basis for the phenomenon of free will. PMID:25056914

  6. [Functioning biological activity of mean mineralized sodium bicarbonate in water from the "Pitoniakówka" source in Szczawnica, designed for health resort potable cures].

    PubMed

    Drobnik, M; Latour, T

    2001-01-01

    In the experiments on animals the biological activity of the water from its intake "Pitoniakówka" (outflow B + C + D + G) in Szczawnica has been determined. The basic investigations were carried out on rats whom in the course of 24 days the investigated water was being administered to drink ad libitum or by probe in a single daily dose of 10.7 ml/kg of body weight. It has been ascertained that the water caused a statistically significant increase of the concentration of sodium and a fall of the levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium, total cholesterol, the HDL fraction of cholesterol, total lipids in the blood serum, also of hematocrit, hemoglobin and erythrocytes. The investigated water inhibited the motor activity of the small intestine of the rabbit, caused increased urination and increased water turnover in the organism. A long-lasting application of the investigated water may lead to the genesis of metabolic acidosis. There was not observed any cholagonic and any chologenic activity of the investigated water in guinea pigs or any effect of that water on the elements of the carbohydrate metabolism, the protein metabolism or on the peripheral blood smear in rats. PMID:11452742

  7. 20 CFR 416.910 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 416....910 Meaning of substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity means work that— (a) Involves doing significant and productive physical or mental duties; and (b) Is done (or intended) for...

  8. 20 CFR 416.910 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 416....910 Meaning of substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity means work that— (a) Involves doing significant and productive physical or mental duties; and (b) Is done (or intended) for...

  9. Identifying Diverse Means for Assessing Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Dana J.; Pearson, Phil

    2012-01-01

    Physical inactivity is of concern for the majority of age groups within the United States. Limited engagement in physical activity (PA) has been linked with an increased risk for a host of health problems, including but not limited to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Benefits of PA are widely documented and accepted yet many people, especially…

  10. Taxonomies, Folksonomies, and Semantics: Establishing Functional Meaning in Navigational Structures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bacha, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    This article argues for the establishment of a usability process that incorporates the study of "words" and "word phrases." It demonstrates how semantically mapping a navigational taxonomy can help the developers of digital environments establish a more focused sense of functional meaning for the users of their digital designs.

  11. ON THE APPROXIMATION OF PERIODIC FUNCTIONS BY (C, α) MEANS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lekishvili, M. M.

    1984-02-01

    This paper considers the problem of obtaining the principal term in the deviations of periodic functions in the space L_p(-π, π), 1≤ p≤&infty;, from their Cesàro means of arbitrary order.Bibliography: 7 titles.

  12. Analytic Beyond-Mean-Field BEC Wave Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Martin; Laing, W. Blake; Watson, Deborah K.; Loeser, John G.

    2006-05-01

    We present analytic N-body beyond-mean-field wave functions for Bose-Einstein condensates. This extends our previous beyond-mean-field energy calculations to the substantially more difficult problem of determining correlated N-body wave functions for a confined system. The tools used to achieve this have been carefully chosen to maximize the use of symmetry and minimize the dependence on numerical computation. We handle the huge number of interactions when N is large (˜N^2/2 two-body interactions) by bringing together three theoretical methods. These are dimensional perturbation theory, the FG method of Wilson et al, and the group theory of the symmetric group. The wave function is then used to derive the density profile of a condensate in a cylindrical trap.This method makes no assumptions regarding the form or strength of the interactions and is applicable to both small-N and large-N systems.

  13. Summarising censored survival data using the mean residual life function.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Iglesias, Alberto; Newell, John; Scarrott, Carl; Hinde, John

    2015-05-20

    The mean residual life function provides a clear and simple summary of the effect of a treatment or a risk factor in units of time, avoiding hazard ratios or probability scales, which require careful interpretation. Estimation of the mean residual life is complicated by the upper tail of the survival distribution not being observed as, for example, patients may still be alive at the end of the follow-up period. Various approaches have been developed to estimate the mean residual life in the presence of such right censoring. In this work, a novel semi-parametric method that combines existing non-parametric methods and an extreme value tail model is presented, where the limited sample information in the tail (prior to study termination) is used to estimate the upper tail behaviour. This approach will be demonstrated with simulated and real-life examples.

  14. Mean dyadic Green's function for a two layer random medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuniga, M. A.

    1981-01-01

    The mean dyadic Green's function for a two-layer random medium with arbitrary three-dimensional correlation functions has been obtained with the zeroth-order solution to the Dyson equation by applying the nonlinear approximation. The propagation of the coherent wave in the random medium is similar to that in an anisotropic medium with different propagation constants for the characteristic transverse electric and transverse magnetic polarizations. In the limit of a laminar structure, two propagation constants for each polarization are found to exist.

  15. Phonological Activation of Word Meanings in Grade 5 Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jared, Debra; Ashby, Jane; Agauas, Stephen J.; Levy, Betty Ann

    2016-01-01

    Three experiments examined the role of phonology in the activation of word meanings in Grade 5 students. In Experiment 1, homophone and spelling control errors were embedded in a story context and participants performed a proofreading task as they read for meaning. For both good and poor readers, more homophone errors went undetected than spelling…

  16. Do community-weighted mean functional traits reflect optimal strategies?

    PubMed

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María

    2016-03-30

    The notion that relationships between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits (i.e. plot-level trait values weighted by species abundances) and environmental conditions reflect selection towards locally optimal phenotypes is challenged by the large amount of interspecific trait variation typically found within ecological communities. Reconciling these contrasting patterns is a key to advancing predictive theories of functional community ecology. We combined data on geographical distributions and three traits (wood density, leaf mass per area and maximum height) of 173 tree species in Puerto Rico. We tested the hypothesis that species are more likely to occur where their trait values are more similar to the local CWM trait values (the'CWM-optimality' hypothesis) by comparing species occurrence patterns (as a proxy for fitness) with the functional composition of forest plots across a precipitation gradient. While 70% of the species supported CWM-optimality for at least one trait, nearly 25% significantly opposed it for at least one trait, thereby contributing to local functional diversity. The majority (85%) of species that opposed CWM-optimality did so only for one trait and few species opposed CWM-optimality in multivariate trait space. Our study suggests that constraints to local functional variation act more strongly on multivariate phenotypes than on univariate traits.

  17. Do community-weighted mean functional traits reflect optimal strategies?

    PubMed

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María

    2016-03-30

    The notion that relationships between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits (i.e. plot-level trait values weighted by species abundances) and environmental conditions reflect selection towards locally optimal phenotypes is challenged by the large amount of interspecific trait variation typically found within ecological communities. Reconciling these contrasting patterns is a key to advancing predictive theories of functional community ecology. We combined data on geographical distributions and three traits (wood density, leaf mass per area and maximum height) of 173 tree species in Puerto Rico. We tested the hypothesis that species are more likely to occur where their trait values are more similar to the local CWM trait values (the'CWM-optimality' hypothesis) by comparing species occurrence patterns (as a proxy for fitness) with the functional composition of forest plots across a precipitation gradient. While 70% of the species supported CWM-optimality for at least one trait, nearly 25% significantly opposed it for at least one trait, thereby contributing to local functional diversity. The majority (85%) of species that opposed CWM-optimality did so only for one trait and few species opposed CWM-optimality in multivariate trait space. Our study suggests that constraints to local functional variation act more strongly on multivariate phenotypes than on univariate traits. PMID:27030412

  18. Density Functional Plus Dynamical Mean Field Theory of Correlated Oxides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millis, Andrew

    2015-03-01

    The density functional plus dynamical mean field method is outlined and a few recent successes including applications to spin crossover molecules, oxide superlattices and metal-insulator transitions in bulk transition metals are outlined. Insights from the method into the essential role played by lattice distortions (both rotations and bond length changes) in determining the phase diagrams of correlated materials are presented. The key theoretical issue of the double counting correction is outlined, different approaches are compared, and a connection to the energy level differences between strongly and weakly correlated orbitals is presented. Charge transfer across oxide interfaces shown to depend crucially on the double counting correction, suggesting that experiments on oxide superlattices may provide insights into this important problem. Future directions are discussed. This work is performed in collaboration with Jia Chen, Hung Dang, Hyowon Park and Chris Marianetti. This research supported by the DOE Office of Science, Grant ER 046169.

  19. 46 CFR 112.35-7 - Activating means.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Activating means. 112.35-7 Section 112.35-7 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND POWER SYSTEMS Manually Controlled Emergency Systems Having a Storage Battery or a Diesel Engine or...

  20. 46 CFR 112.35-7 - Activating means.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Activating means. 112.35-7 Section 112.35-7 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND POWER SYSTEMS Manually Controlled Emergency Systems Having a Storage Battery or a Diesel Engine or...

  1. 46 CFR 112.35-7 - Activating means.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Activating means. 112.35-7 Section 112.35-7 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND POWER SYSTEMS Manually Controlled Emergency Systems Having a Storage Battery or a Diesel Engine or...

  2. 46 CFR 112.35-7 - Activating means.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Activating means. 112.35-7 Section 112.35-7 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND POWER SYSTEMS Manually Controlled Emergency Systems Having a Storage Battery or a Diesel Engine or...

  3. 46 CFR 112.35-7 - Activating means.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Activating means. 112.35-7 Section 112.35-7 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND POWER SYSTEMS Manually Controlled Emergency Systems Having a Storage Battery or a Diesel Engine or...

  4. 20 CFR 404.1510 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 404.1510 Section 404.1510 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Definition of Disability §...

  5. 20 CFR 404.1510 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 404.1510 Section 404.1510 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Definition of Disability §...

  6. 20 CFR 404.1510 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 404.1510 Section 404.1510 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Definition of Disability §...

  7. 20 CFR 404.1510 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 404.1510 Section 404.1510 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Definition of Disability §...

  8. 20 CFR 404.1510 - Meaning of substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Meaning of substantial gainful activity. 404.1510 Section 404.1510 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Definition of Disability §...

  9. The Meaning of Adventurous Activities for "Women in the Outdoors"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boniface, Maggie

    2006-01-01

    Adventurous activities are growing in popularity as a form of leisure and recreation, yet many non-participants find it difficult to understand what motivates people to seek out situations in which there is an element of danger and risk. This research examines the meanings of long-term participation in outdoor adventure for women working in…

  10. Meaning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harteveld, Casper

    The second world to be considered concerns Meaning. In contrast to Reality and Play, this world relates to the people, disciplines, and domains that are focused on creating a certain value. For example, if this value is about providing students knowledge about physics, it involves teachers, the learning sciences, and the domains education and physics. This level goes into the aspects and criteria that designers need to take into account from this perspective. The first aspect seems obvious when we talk of “games with a serious purpose.” They have a purpose and this needs to be elaborated on, for example in terms of what “learning objectives” it attempts to achieve. The subsequent aspect is not about what is being pursued but how. To attain a value, designers have to think about a strategy that they employ. In my case this concerned looking at the learning paradigms that have come into existence in the past century and see what they have to tell us about learning. This way, their principles can be translated into a game environment. This translation involves making the strategy concrete. Or, in other words, operationalizing the plan. This is the third aspect. In this level, I will further specifically explain how I derived requirements from each of the learning paradigms, like reflection and exploration, and how they can possibly be related to games. The fourth and final aspect is the context in which the game is going to be used. It matters who uses the game and when, where, and how the game is going to be used. When designers have looked at these aspects, they have developed a “value proposal” and the worth of it may be judged by criteria, like motivation, relevance, and transfer. But before I get to this, I first go into how we human beings are meaning creators and what role assumptions, knowledge, and ambiguity have in this. I will illustrate this with some silly jokes about doctors and Mickey Mouse, and with an illusion.

  11. The meaning of perineal activity to women: an inner sphinx.

    PubMed

    Burton, A

    1996-01-01

    This paper is an inquiry into the close association of anal and genital functions in women and the background and meaning of that association. Excerpts from the analyses of two women with sexual and intellectual inhibitions illustrate aspects of erotic life deriving from anal-phase development, and the unconscious fantasy of an inner, erotic, and powerful "organ." Along with the lifting of their inhibitions, both analysands achieved integration of anal-sadistic and incorporative wishes with vaginal receptivity. Female anatomy and physiology are so arranged that the action of perineal and sphincter musculature also stimulates the genital. This fosters overlapping mental representations of vagina and rectum which in turn affect body image and unconscious fantasy in women. The experience of perineal contraction acquires complex psychic meanings with both libidinal and aggressive charge. The libidinal aspect is the largely covert erotic sensation that informs the mental representation of the genital and is destined to be integrated into female sexuality. The aggressive component may present as an unconscious fantasy of possessing an inner, powerful, and dangerous organ--a focus for conflict between anal-sadistic wishes and early elements of the superego. PMID:9170065

  12. Deep Neural Networks with Multistate Activation Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Chenghao; Xu, Yanyan; Ke, Dengfeng; Su, Kaile

    2015-01-01

    We propose multistate activation functions (MSAFs) for deep neural networks (DNNs). These MSAFs are new kinds of activation functions which are capable of representing more than two states, including the N-order MSAFs and the symmetrical MSAF. DNNs with these MSAFs can be trained via conventional Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) as well as mean-normalised SGD. We also discuss how these MSAFs perform when used to resolve classification problems. Experimental results on the TIMIT corpus reveal that, on speech recognition tasks, DNNs with MSAFs perform better than the conventional DNNs, getting a relative improvement of 5.60% on phoneme error rates. Further experiments also reveal that mean-normalised SGD facilitates the training processes of DNNs with MSAFs, especially when being with large training sets. The models can also be directly trained without pretraining when the training set is sufficiently large, which results in a considerable relative improvement of 5.82% on word error rates. PMID:26448739

  13. Activated processes and Inherent Structure dynamics of finite-size mean-field models for glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisanti, A.; Ritort, F.

    2000-12-01

    We investigate the Inherent Structure (IS) dynamics of mean-field finite-size spin-glass models whose high-temperature dynamics is described in the thermodynamic limit by the schematic Mode Coupling Theory for supercooled liquids. Near the threshold energy the dynamics is ruled by activated processes which induce a logarithmic slow relaxation. We show the presence of aging in both the IS correlation and integrated response functions and check the validity of the one-step replica symmetry breaking scenario in the presence of activated processes. Our work shows: 1) the violation of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem can be computed from the configurational entropy obtained in the Stillinger and Weber approach, 2) the intermediate time regime (log (t) ~ N) in mean-field theory automatically includes activated processes opening the way to analytically investigate activated processes by computing corrections beyond mean field.

  14. Computational Effective Fault Detection by Means of Signature Functions

    PubMed Central

    Baranski, Przemyslaw; Pietrzak, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    The paper presents a computationally effective method for fault detection. A system’s responses are measured under healthy and ill conditions. These signals are used to calculate so-called signature functions that create a signal space. The current system’s response is projected into this space. The signal location in this space easily allows to determine the fault. No classifier such as a neural network, hidden Markov models, etc. is required. The advantage of this proposed method is its efficiency, as computing projections amount to calculating dot products. Therefore, this method is suitable for real-time embedded systems due to its simplicity and undemanding processing capabilities which permit the use of low-cost hardware and allow rapid implementation. The approach performs well for systems that can be considered linear and stationary. The communication presents an application, whereby an industrial process of moulding is supervised. The machine is composed of forms (dies) whose alignment must be precisely set and maintained during the work. Typically, the process is stopped periodically to manually control the alignment. The applied algorithm allows on-line monitoring of the device by analysing the acceleration signal from a sensor mounted on a die. This enables to detect failures at an early stage thus prolonging the machine’s life. PMID:26949942

  15. 20 CFR 416.972 - What we mean by substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... work activity that involves doing significant physical or mental activities. Your work may be... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false What we mean by substantial gainful activity... Activity § 416.972 What we mean by substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is...

  16. Physical Activity Stories: Assessing the "Meaning Standard" in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Tyler G.

    2016-01-01

    The presence of the "meaning standard" in both national and state content standards suggests that professionals consider it an important outcome of a quality physical education program. However, only 10 percent of states require an assessment to examine whether students achieve this standard. The purpose of this article is to introduce…

  17. Activation of Conventional Meaning during the Processing of Figurative Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Nigel; Katz, Albert

    Two studies investigated the processing of familiar and unfamiliar figurative language. Subjects read paragraphs containing figurative sentences (proverbs in study 1 and metaphors in study 2) or literal controls; later subjects were given a cued recall test designed to test their memory for contextually inappropriate meanings (a literal cue for a…

  18. Pupils' Cognitive Activity Stimulation by Means of Physical Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nekhoroshkov, Anatolij V.

    2016-01-01

    The article presents the research results of the physical activity influence on the intellectual performance of high school students. The methods of experiments and standardized observation were used. The efficiency of the cognitive activity was assessed by "Proof test" technique of B. Burdon. Within the experimental class, the program…

  19. Functionalized active-nucleus complex sensor

    DOEpatents

    Pines, Alexander; Wemmer, David E.; Spence, Megan; Rubin, Seth

    2003-11-25

    A functionalized active-nucleus complex sensor that selectively associates with one or more target species, and a method for assaying and screening for one or a plurality of target species utilizing one or a plurality of functionalized active-nucleus complexes with at least two of the functionalized active-nucleus complexes having an attraction affinity to different corresponding target species. The functionalized active-nucleus complex has an active-nucleus and a targeting carrier. The method involves functionalizing an active-nucleus, for each functionalized active-nucleus complex, by incorporating the active-nucleus into a macromolucular or molecular complex that is capable of binding one of the target species and then bringing the macromolecular or molecular complexes into contact with the target species and detecting the occurrence of or change in a nuclear magnetic resonance signal from each of the active-nuclei in each of the functionalized active-nucleus complexes.

  20. Optical activity of transparent polymer layers characterized by spectral means

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosutchi, Andreea Irina; Dimitriu, Dan Gheorghe; Zelinschi, Carmen Beatrice; Breaban, Iuliana; Dorohoi, Dana Ortansa

    2015-06-01

    The method based on the channeled spectrum, validated for inorganic optical active layers, is used now to determine the optical activity of some transparent polymer solutions in different solvents. The circular birefringence, the dispersion parameter and the specific rotation were estimated in the visible range by using the measurements of wavelengths in the channeled spectra of Hydroxypropyl cellulose in water, methanol and acetic acid. The experiments showed the specific rotation dependence on the polymer concentration and also on the solvent nature. The decrease of the specific rotation in the visible range with the increase in wavelength was evidenced. The method has some advantages as the rapidity of the experiments and the large spectral range in which it can be applied. One disadvantage is the fact that the channeled spectrum does not allow to establish the rotation sense of the electric field intensity.

  1. Transparent selective illumination means suitable for use in optically activated electrical switches and optically activated electrical switches constructed using same

    DOEpatents

    Wilcox, R.B.

    1991-09-10

    A planar transparent light conducting means and an improved optically activated electrical switch made using the novel light conducting means are disclosed. The light conducting means further comprise light scattering means on one or more opposite planar surfaces thereof to transmit light from the light conducting means into adjacent media and reflective means on other surfaces of the light conducting means not containing the light scattering means. The optically activated electrical switch comprises at least two stacked photoconductive wafers, each having electrodes formed on both surfaces thereof, and separated by the planar transparent light conducting means. The light scattering means on the light conducting means face surfaces of the wafers not covered by the electrodes to transmit light from the light conducting means into the photoconductive wafers to uniformly illuminate and activate the switch. 11 figures.

  2. Transparent selective illumination means suitable for use in optically activated electrical switches and optically activated electrical switches constructed using same

    DOEpatents

    Wilcox, Russell B.

    1991-01-01

    A planar transparent light conducting means and an improved optically activated electrical switch made using the novel light conducting means are disclosed. The light conducting means further comprise light scattering means on one or more opposite planar surfaces thereof to transmit light from the light conducting means into adjacent media and reflective means on other surfaces of the light conducting means not containing the light scattering means. The optically activated electrical switch comprises at least two stacked photoconductive wafers, each having electrodes formed on both surfaces thereof, and separated by the planar transparent light conducting means. The light scattering means on the light conducting means face surfaces of the wafers not covered by the electrodes to transmit light from the light conducting means into the photoconductive wafers to uniformly illuminate and activate the switch.

  3. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Dominique; Albouy, Camille; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-05-19

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists. PMID:27114571

  4. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Dominique; Albouy, Camille; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-05-19

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists.

  5. Thermally activated retainer means utilizing shape memory alloy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grimaldi, Margaret E. (Inventor); Hartz, Leslie S. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    A retainer member suitable for retaining a gap filler placed in gaps between adjacent tile members is presented. One edge of the retainer member may be attached to the gap filler and another edge may be provided with a plurality of tab members which in an intermediate position do not interfere with placement or removal of the gap filler between tile members. The retainer member may be fabricated from a shape memory alloy which when heated to a specified memory temperature will thermally activate the tab members to predetermined memory positions engaging the tile members to retain the gap filler in the gap. This invention has particular application to the thermal tiles on space vehicles such as the Space Shuttle Orbiter.

  6. Time-Dependent Green's Functions Description of One-Dimensional Nuclear Mean-Field Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Rios, Arnau; Danielewicz, Pawel; Barker, Brent

    2009-05-07

    The time-dependent Green's functions formalism provides a consistent description of the time evolution of quantum many-body systems, either in the mean-field approximation or in more sophisticated correlated approaches. We describe an attempt to apply this formalism to the mean-field dynamics of symmetric reactions for one-dimensional nuclear slabs. We pay particular attention to the off-diagonal elements of the Green's functions in real space representation. Their importance is quantified by means of an elimination scheme based on a super-operator cut-off field and their relevance for the global time evolution is assessed. The Wigner function and its structure in the mean-field approximation is also discussed.

  7. Failure of further learning: activities, structure, and meaning.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Catherine O; Morris, Peter E; Reid, Barbara; Aghdassi, Roya; Naven, Claire E

    2015-02-01

    Previous research has shown that little benefit is achieved through spaced study and recall of text passages after the first recall attempt, an effect that we term the failure-of-further-learning. We hypothesized that the effect occurs because a situation model of the text's gist is formed when the text is first comprehended and is consolidated when recalled; it dominates later recall after verbatim memories of more recent study episodes have been lost. Experiments 1 and 2 attempted to circumvent the effect by varying the activities of participants and requiring interactive exploration. In both experiments, recall after four, weekly sessions showed little benefit beyond performance on the first recall. Experiment 3 interfered with the formation of an immediate situation model by introducing passages that were hard to comprehend without a title. Performance improved substantially across four sessions when titles were not supplied, but the standard effect was replicated when titles were given. Experiment 4 made verbatim memories available by incorporating all re-presentations and tests into one session; as predicted, recall improved over successive tests.

  8. Towards a nonequilibrium Green's function description of nuclear reactions: One-dimensional mean-field dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Rios, Arnau; Barker, Brent; Buchler, Mark; Danielewicz, Pawel

    2011-05-15

    Research Highlights: > Dynamics of central nuclear reactions. > Nonequilibrium Green's functions and Kadanoff-Baym formalism. > Adiabatic switching on of interactions. > Mean-field time evolution of nuclear slabs. > Off-diagonal spatial structure of a collision density matrix. - Abstract: Nonequilibrium Green's function methods allow for an intrinsically consistent description of the evolution of quantal many-body body systems, with inclusion of different types of correlations. In this paper, we focus on the practical developments needed to build a Green's function methodology for nuclear reactions. We start out by considering symmetric collisions of slabs in one dimension within the mean-field approximation. We concentrate on two issues of importance for actual reaction simulations. First, the preparation of the initial state within the same methodology as for the reaction dynamics is demonstrated by an adiabatic switching on of the mean-field interaction, which leads to the mean-field ground state. Second, the importance of the Green's function matrix-elements far away from the spatial diagonal is analyzed by a suitable suppression process that does not significantly affect the evolution of the elements close to the diagonal. The relative lack of importance of the far-away elements is tied to system expansion. We also examine the evolution of the Wigner function and verify quantitatively that erasing of the off-diagonal elements corresponds to averaging out of the momentum-space details in the Wigner function.

  9. Mean square displacement evaluation by elastic neutron scattering self-distribution function.

    PubMed

    Magazù, Salvatore; Maisano, Giacomo; Migliardo, Federica; Benedetto, Antonio

    2008-06-01

    In the present work an operational recipe for the mean square displacement (MSD) determination, highlighting the connection between elastic incoherent neutron scattering (EINS) intensity profiles and the associated self-distribution function, is presented. The determination of the thermal behavior of the total MSD and of its partial contributions is tested on EINS data collected by the backscattering spectrometer IN13 (ILL, Grenoble) on a model system such as PolyEthylene Glycol with a mean molecular weight of 400 Dalton (PEG 400).

  10. Shift and Mean Algorithm for Functional Imaging with High Spatio-Temporal Resolution.

    PubMed

    Rama, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    Understanding neuronal physiology requires to record electrical activity in many small and remote compartments such as dendrites, axon or dendritic spines. To do so, electrophysiology has long been the tool of choice, as it allows recording very subtle and fast changes in electrical activity. However, electrophysiological measurements are mostly limited to large neuronal compartments such as the neuronal soma. To overcome these limitations, optical methods have been developed, allowing the monitoring of changes in fluorescence of fluorescent reporter dyes inserted into the neuron, with a spatial resolution theoretically only limited by the dye wavelength and optical devices. However, the temporal and spatial resolutive power of functional fluorescence imaging of live neurons is often limited by a necessary trade-off between image resolution, signal to noise ratio (SNR) and speed of acquisition. Here, I propose to use a Super-Resolution Shift and Mean (S&M) algorithm previously used in image computing to improve the SNR, time sampling and spatial resolution of acquired fluorescent signals. I demonstrate the benefits of this methodology using two examples: voltage imaging of action potentials (APs) in soma and dendrites of CA3 pyramidal cells and calcium imaging in the dendritic shaft and spines of CA3 pyramidal cells. I show that this algorithm allows the recording of a broad area at low speed in order to achieve a high SNR, and then pick the signal in any small compartment and resample it at high speed. This method allows preserving both the SNR and the temporal resolution of the signal, while acquiring the original images at high spatial resolution.

  11. Shift and Mean Algorithm for Functional Imaging with High Spatio-Temporal Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Rama, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    Understanding neuronal physiology requires to record electrical activity in many small and remote compartments such as dendrites, axon or dendritic spines. To do so, electrophysiology has long been the tool of choice, as it allows recording very subtle and fast changes in electrical activity. However, electrophysiological measurements are mostly limited to large neuronal compartments such as the neuronal soma. To overcome these limitations, optical methods have been developed, allowing the monitoring of changes in fluorescence of fluorescent reporter dyes inserted into the neuron, with a spatial resolution theoretically only limited by the dye wavelength and optical devices. However, the temporal and spatial resolutive power of functional fluorescence imaging of live neurons is often limited by a necessary trade-off between image resolution, signal to noise ratio (SNR) and speed of acquisition. Here, I propose to use a Super-Resolution Shift and Mean (S&M) algorithm previously used in image computing to improve the SNR, time sampling and spatial resolution of acquired fluorescent signals. I demonstrate the benefits of this methodology using two examples: voltage imaging of action potentials (APs) in soma and dendrites of CA3 pyramidal cells and calcium imaging in the dendritic shaft and spines of CA3 pyramidal cells. I show that this algorithm allows the recording of a broad area at low speed in order to achieve a high SNR, and then pick the signal in any small compartment and resample it at high speed. This method allows preserving both the SNR and the temporal resolution of the signal, while acquiring the original images at high spatial resolution. PMID:26635526

  12. Constructing Knowledge about the Trigonometric Functions and Their Geometric Meaning on the Unit Circle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altman, Renana; Kidron, Ivy

    2016-01-01

    Processes of knowledge construction are investigated. A learner is constructing knowledge about the trigonometric functions and their geometric meaning on the unit circle. The analysis is based on the dynamically nested epistemic action model for abstraction in context. Different tasks are offered to the learner. In his effort to perform the…

  13. Language Visibility, Functionality and Meaning across Various Timespace Scales in Brussels' Multilingual Landscapes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandenbroucke, Mieke

    2015-01-01

    This paper addresses the complex multilingual linguistic landscapes (LLs) of three strategically-chosen areas in global city Brussels by examining how language displays on public signage in these areas are used for different purposes, functions or intentions. The focus will be on meaning-construction in the post-Fordist globalised era as shaped by…

  14. Mean-field approximation for spacing distribution functions in classical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, Diego Luis; Pimpinelli, Alberto; Einstein, T. L.

    2012-01-01

    We propose a mean-field method to calculate approximately the spacing distribution functions p(n)(s) in one-dimensional classical many-particle systems. We compare our method with two other commonly used methods, the independent interval approximation and the extended Wigner surmise. In our mean-field approach, p(n)(s) is calculated from a set of Langevin equations, which are decoupled by using a mean-field approximation. We find that in spite of its simplicity, the mean-field approximation provides good results in several systems. We offer many examples illustrating that the three previously mentioned methods give a reasonable description of the statistical behavior of the system. The physical interpretation of each method is also discussed.

  15. A flexible model for the mean and variance functions, with application to medical cost data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jinsong; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Daowen; Shih, Ya-Chen T

    2013-10-30

    Medical cost data are often skewed to the right and heteroscedastic, having a nonlinear relation with covariates. To tackle these issues, we consider an extension to generalized linear models by assuming nonlinear associations of covariates in the mean function and allowing the variance to be an unknown but smooth function of the mean. We make no further assumption on the distributional form. The unknown functions are described by penalized splines, and the estimation is carried out using nonparametric quasi-likelihood. Simulation studies show the flexibility and advantages of our approach. We apply the model to the annual medical costs of heart failure patients in the clinical data repository at the University of Virginia Hospital System.

  16. Connecting mean field models of neural activity to EEG and fMRI data.

    PubMed

    Bojak, Ingo; Oostendorp, Thom F; Reid, Andrew T; Kötter, Rolf

    2010-06-01

    Progress in functional neuroimaging of the brain increasingly relies on the integration of data from complementary imaging modalities in order to improve spatiotemporal resolution and interpretability. However, the usefulness of merely statistical combinations is limited, since neural signal sources differ between modalities and are related non-trivially. We demonstrate here that a mean field model of brain activity can simultaneously predict EEG and fMRI BOLD with proper signal generation and expression. Simulations are shown using a realistic head model based on structural MRI, which includes both dense short-range background connectivity and long-range specific connectivity between brain regions. The distribution of modeled neural masses is comparable to the spatial resolution of fMRI BOLD, and the temporal resolution of the modeled dynamics, importantly including activity conduction, matches the fastest known EEG phenomena. The creation of a cortical mean field model with anatomically sound geometry, extensive connectivity, and proper signal expression is an important first step towards the model-based integration of multimodal neuroimages.

  17. Cardiovascular function following reduced aerobic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raven, P. B.; Welch-O'Connor, R. M.; Shi, X.; Blomqvist, C. G. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a sustained reduction of physical activity (deconditioning) would alter the cardiovascular regulatory function. METHODS: Nineteen young, healthy volunteers participated in physical deconditioning for a period of 8 wk. Before (pre) and following (post) physical deconditioning, the responses of heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP, measured by Finapres), central venous pressure (CVP), stroke volume (SV, Doppler), and forearm blood flow (FBF, plethysmography) were determined during lower body negative pressure (LBNP). The carotid baroreflex (CBR) function was assessed using a train of pulsatile neck pressure (NP) and suction, and the aortic baroreflex control of HR was assessed during steady-state phenylephrine (PE) infusion superimposed by LBNP and NP to counteract the PE increased CVP and carotid sinus pressure, respectively. RESULTS: Active physical deconditioning significantly decreased maximal oxygen uptake (-7%) and LBNP tolerance (-13%) without a change in baseline hemodynamics. Plasma volume (-3% at P = 0.135), determined by Evans Blue dilution, and blood volume (-4% at P = 0.107) were not significantly altered. During LBNP -20 to -50 torr, there was a significantly greater drop of SV per unit decrease in CVP in the post- (14.7 +/- 1.6%/mm Hg) than predeconditioning (11.2 +/- 0.7%/mm Hg) test accompanied by a greater tachycardia. Deconditioning increased the aortic baroreflex sensitivity (pre vs post: -0.61 +/- 0.12 vs -0.84 +/- 0.14 bpm.mm-1 Hg, P = 0.009) and the slope of forearm vascular resistance (calculated from [MAP-CVP]/FBF) to CVP (-2.75 +/- 0.26 vs -4.94 +/- 0.97 PRU/mm Hg, P = 0.086). However, neither the CBR-HR (-0.28 +/- 0.03 VS -0.39 +/- 0.10 bpm.mm-1 Hg) nor the CBR-MAP (-0.37 +/- 0.16 vs -0.25 +/- 0.07 mm Hg/mm Hg) gains were statistically different between pre- and postdeconditioning. CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that the functional modification of the cardiac pressure

  18. Activation Energies and Potentials of Mean Force for Water Cluster Evaporation

    SciTech Connect

    Kathmann, Shawn M.; Palmer, Bruce J.; Schenter, Gregory K.; Garrett, Bruce C.

    2008-02-11

    Activation energies for water cluster evaporation are of interest in many areas of chemical physics. We present the first computation of activation energies for small waters clusters using the formalism of Dynamical Nucleation Theory (DNT). To this end, individual evaporation rate constants are computed for water clusters (H2O)i, where i = 2 to 10 for temperatures ranging from 243 to 333K. These calculations employ a parallel sampling technique utilizing the Global Arrays Toolkit developed at PNNL. The resulting evaporation rate constants for each cluster are then fit to Arrhenius equations to obtain activation energies. We discuss DNT evaporation rate constants and their relation to potentials of mean force, activation energies, and how to account for non-separability of the reaction coordinate in the reactant state partition function. This work was supported by the PNNL Computational Science and Engineering LDRD Program and the Chemical and Material Sciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Department of Energy. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy.

  19. [Mean elimination time of the impulse radiotracer (131I-hippurate) as a marker of renal function].

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, M

    1990-01-01

    A possibility of assessment of renal excretory function using mean time of the impulse tracer (131I-hippurate) dose elimination has been shown on the basis of theoretical analysis of hippurate kinetics. Such an index was calculated during classic hippurate renography from time/activity curve over precordium. Other traces and different regions of monitoring might also be employed. The mean time of tracer elimination obtained in this manner only indirectly reflects the hippurate clearance, yet can be easily achieved. Moreover, this entity is not influenced by errors related to quantitative measurements of radioactivity and to hypothetical assumptions, which are common for more sophisticated isotope clearance methods. The enlisted characteristics seem to predispose the proposed method of renal function evaluation for application in screening isotope tests. PMID:2135901

  20. Active matter beyond mean-field: Ring-kinetic theory for self-propelled particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Yen-Liang; Ihle, Thomas

    2015-02-01

    Recently, Hanke et al. [Phys. Rev. E 88, 052309 (2013), 10.1103/PhysRevE.88.052309] showed that mean-field kinetic theory fails to describe collective motion in soft active colloids and that correlations must not be neglected. Correlation effects are also expected to be essential in systems of biofilaments driven by molecular motors and in swarms of midges. To obtain correlations in an active matter system from first principles, we derive a ring-kinetic theory for Vicsek-style models of self-propelled agents from the exact N -particle evolution equation in phase space. The theory goes beyond mean-field and does not rely on Boltzmann's approximation of molecular chaos. It can handle precollisional correlations and cluster formation, which are both important to understand the phase transition to collective motion. We propose a diagrammatic technique to perform a small-density expansion of the collision operator and derive the first two equations of the Bogoliubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon (BBGKY) hierarchy. An algorithm is presented that numerically solves the evolution equation for the two-particle correlations on a lattice. Agent-based simulations are performed and informative quantities such as orientational and density correlation functions are compared with those obtained by ring-kinetic theory. Excellent quantitative agreement between simulations and theory is found at not-too-small noises and mean free paths. This shows that there are parameter ranges in Vicsek-like models where the correlated closure of the BBGKY hierarchy gives correct and nontrivial results. We calculate the dependence of the orientational correlations on distance in the disordered phase and find that it seems to be consistent with a power law with an exponent around -1.8 , followed by an exponential decay. General limitations of the kinetic theory and its numerical solution are discussed.

  1. Active matter beyond mean-field: ring-kinetic theory for self-propelled particles.

    PubMed

    Chou, Yen-Liang; Ihle, Thomas

    2015-02-01

    Recently, Hanke et al. [Phys. Rev. E 88, 052309 (2013)] showed that mean-field kinetic theory fails to describe collective motion in soft active colloids and that correlations must not be neglected. Correlation effects are also expected to be essential in systems of biofilaments driven by molecular motors and in swarms of midges. To obtain correlations in an active matter system from first principles, we derive a ring-kinetic theory for Vicsek-style models of self-propelled agents from the exact N-particle evolution equation in phase space. The theory goes beyond mean-field and does not rely on Boltzmann's approximation of molecular chaos. It can handle precollisional correlations and cluster formation, which are both important to understand the phase transition to collective motion. We propose a diagrammatic technique to perform a small-density expansion of the collision operator and derive the first two equations of the Bogoliubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon (BBGKY) hierarchy. An algorithm is presented that numerically solves the evolution equation for the two-particle correlations on a lattice. Agent-based simulations are performed and informative quantities such as orientational and density correlation functions are compared with those obtained by ring-kinetic theory. Excellent quantitative agreement between simulations and theory is found at not-too-small noises and mean free paths. This shows that there are parameter ranges in Vicsek-like models where the correlated closure of the BBGKY hierarchy gives correct and nontrivial results. We calculate the dependence of the orientational correlations on distance in the disordered phase and find that it seems to be consistent with a power law with an exponent around -1.8, followed by an exponential decay. General limitations of the kinetic theory and its numerical solution are discussed.

  2. Obstacles to activity pacing: assessment, relationship to activity and functioning.

    PubMed

    Cane, Douglas; McCarthy, Mary; Mazmanian, Dwight

    2016-07-01

    Activity pacing is frequently included among the strategies provided to individuals with chronic pain to manage pain and improve functioning. Individuals with chronic pain may, however, limit their use of activity pacing because they perceive significant obstacles to its use. This study describes the development of a measure to assess obstacles to activity pacing and examines the relationship of this measure to activity patterns and functioning. A sample of 637 individuals with chronic pain completed items describing potential obstacles to activity pacing as part of their pretreatment assessment. Item analyses were used to construct a 14-item measure of obstacles to activity pacing. A subset of these individuals completed the measure again after completion of a group treatment program. The resulting measure demonstrated excellent internal consistency and was minimally affected by social desirability. Correlations with measures of activity and psychosocial functioning provided initial construct validity for the measure. Sex differences were found with women initially identifying more obstacles to activity pacing. Fewer obstacles were identified by both men and women after treatment, and these changes were related to modest changes in activity patterns and functioning. The present results identify a number of obstacles that may limit the use of activity pacing by individuals with chronic pain. Treatment may result in a decrease in the number of obstacles identified, and this change is related to changes in the individual's activity pattern and psychosocial functioning. PMID:26963845

  3. [Neuropsychological evaluation of the executive functions by means of virtual reality].

    PubMed

    Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-05-16

    Executive functions include a wide range of self regulatory functions that allow control, organization and coordination of other cognitive functions, emotional responses and behaviours. The traditional approach to evaluate these functions, by means of paper and pencil neuropsychological tests, shows a greater than expected performance within the normal range for patients whose daily life difficulties would predict an inferior performance. These discrepancies suggest that classical neuropsychological tests may not adequately reproduce the complexity and dynamic nature of real life situations. Latest developments in the field of virtual reality offer interesting options for the neuropsychological assessment of many cognitive processes. Virtual reality reproduces three-dimensional environments with which the patient interacts in a dynamic way, with a sense of immersion in the environment similar to the presence and exposure to a real environment. Furthermore, the presentation of these stimuli, as well as distractors and other variables, may be controlled in a systematic way. Moreover, more consistent and precise answers may be obtained, and an in-depth analysis of them is possible. The present review shows current problems in neuropsychological evaluation of executive functions and latest advances in the consecution of higher preciseness and validity of the evaluation by means of new technologies and virtual reality, with special mention to some developments performed in Spain.

  4. Student Constructions of "Active Citizenship": What Does Participation Mean to Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Kerry J.

    2007-01-01

    "Active citizenship" is currently a popular term in citizenship education policy discourse. Despite this policy interest, there is no agreement about the meaning of "active citizenship". This article draws on data from the IEA Civic Education Study to explore how students themselves construct "active citizenship". The results show that students…

  5. Time-odd mean fields in covariant density functional theory: Rotating systems

    SciTech Connect

    Afanasjev, A. V.; Abusara, H.

    2010-09-15

    Time-odd mean fields (nuclear magnetism) and their impact on physical observables in rotating nuclei are studied in the framework of covariant density functional theory (CDFT). It is shown that they have profound effect on the dynamic and kinematic moments of inertia. Particle number, configuration, and rotational frequency dependencies of their impact on the moments of inertia have been analyzed in a systematic way. Nuclear magnetism can also considerably modify the band crossing features such as crossing frequencies and the properties of the kinematic and dynamic moments of inertia in the band crossing region. The impact of time-odd mean fields on the moments of inertia in the regions away from band crossing only weakly depends on the relativistic mean-field parametrization, reflecting good localization of the properties of time-odd mean fields in CDFT. The moments of inertia of normal-deformed nuclei considerably deviate from the rigid-body value. On the contrary, superdeformed and hyperdeformed nuclei have the moments of inertia which are close to rigid-body value. The structure of the currents in rotating frame, their microscopic origin, and the relations to the moments of inertia have been systematically analyzed. The phenomenon of signature separation in odd-odd nuclei, induced by time-odd mean fields, has been analyzed in detail.

  6. Distinction between the literal and intended meanings of sentences: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of metaphor and sarcasm.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Hitoshi T; Saito, Daisuke N; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Harada, Tokiko; Seki, Ayumi; Ohno, Kousaku; Koeda, Tatsuya; Sadato, Norihiro

    2012-05-01

    To comprehend figurative utterances such as metaphor or sarcasm, a listener must both judge the literal meaning of the statement and infer the speaker's intended meaning (mentalizing; Amodio and Frith, 2006). To delineate the neural substrates of pragmatic comprehension, we conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with 20 normal adult volunteers. Participants read short stories followed by a target sentence. Depending on the context provided by the preceding stories, the target sentences were classified as follows: (1) metaphor versus literally coherent; (2) metaphor versus literally incoherent; (3) sarcasm versus literally coherent; and (4) sarcasm versus literally incoherent. For each task pair, we directly compared the activations evoked by the same target sentences in the different contexts. The contrast images were incorporated into a 2 (metaphor and sarcasm)×2 (literal coherency and incoherency) design. Metaphor-specific activation was found in the head of the caudate, which might be involved in associating statements with potential meanings, and restricting sentence meanings within a set of possible candidates for what the speaker intended. Sarcasm-specific activation was found in the left amygdala, which is an important component of the neural substrates of social behavior. Conjunction analysis revealed that both metaphor and sarcasm activated the anterior rostral medial frontal cortex (arMFC), which is a key node of mentalizing. A distinct literal coherency effect was found in the orbital MFC, which is thought to be involved in monitoring. These mesial frontal areas are jointly involved in monitoring literal coherency and mentalizing within social contexts in order to comprehend the pragmatic meanings of utterances.

  7. Empirical likelihood based detection procedure for change point in mean residual life functions under random censorship.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ying-Ju; Ning, Wei; Gupta, Arjun K

    2016-05-01

    The mean residual life (MRL) function is one of the basic parameters of interest in survival analysis that describes the expected remaining time of an individual after a certain age. The study of changes in the MRL function is practical and interesting because it may help us to identify some factors such as age and gender that may influence the remaining lifetimes of patients after receiving a certain surgery. In this paper, we propose a detection procedure based on the empirical likelihood for the changes in MRL functions with right censored data. Two real examples are also given: Veterans' administration lung cancer study and Stanford heart transplant to illustrate the detecting procedure. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Empirical likelihood based detection procedure for change point in mean residual life functions under random censorship.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ying-Ju; Ning, Wei; Gupta, Arjun K

    2016-05-01

    The mean residual life (MRL) function is one of the basic parameters of interest in survival analysis that describes the expected remaining time of an individual after a certain age. The study of changes in the MRL function is practical and interesting because it may help us to identify some factors such as age and gender that may influence the remaining lifetimes of patients after receiving a certain surgery. In this paper, we propose a detection procedure based on the empirical likelihood for the changes in MRL functions with right censored data. Two real examples are also given: Veterans' administration lung cancer study and Stanford heart transplant to illustrate the detecting procedure. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26936529

  9. No associations exist between mean platelet volume or platelet distribution width and thyroid function in Chinese

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Xiaojun; Meng, Zhaowei; Liu, Ming; Zhu, Mei; He, Qing; Zhang, Qing; Liu, Li; Song, Kun; Jia, Qiyu; Jia, Qiang; Li, Xue; Tan, Jian; Zheng, Wei; Wang, Renfei; Liu, Na; Hu, Tianpeng

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Mean platelet volume (MPV) and platelet distribution width (PDW) are morphometric indices of size distribution and variability of platelet. We aimed to explore the associations between MPV or PDW and thyroid function in a large Chinese cohort. This was a cross-sectional study with a recruitment of 13,622 self-reported healthy Chinese (8424 males, 5198 females). Clinical data of the participants comprised of anthropometric measurements, hepatic function, renal function, serum levels of lipid, glucose, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, platelet, MPV, PDW, and thyroid hormones. Database was sorted by sex, and the associations between MPV or PDW and thyroid function were analyzed by quartiles of MPV or PDW. Levels of MPV and PDW were compared in different thyroid function subgroups by 1-way analysis of variance and independent sample's t test. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve was adopted to determine diagnostic values of MPV and PDW for thyroid dysfunction. Crude and adjusted odds ratios of MPV and PDW for thyroid dysfunction with 95% confidence intervals were analyzed by binary logistic regression models. MPV, PDW, and thyroid stimulation hormone were significantly higher in females than in males. Females showed significantly higher incidence of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism than males. However, there were no significant differences of MPV and PDW among different thyroid function subgroups in both sexes, and no obvious correlations were revealed between MPV or PDW and thyroid function. From ROC analysis, we demonstrated no diagnostic values of MPV and PDW for thyroid dysfunction. From binary logistic regression models, no risks of different MPV and PDW quartiles were identified for thyroid dysfunction in both sexes. We could not show any association between MPV or PDW and thyroid function. Prospective studies with better defined risk groups should be performed in the future for further verification and validation. PMID

  10. Event mean concentration and first flush effect from different drainage systems and functional areas during storms.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hai-Qin; Liu, Yan; Wang, Hong-Wu; Gao, Xue-Long; Ma, Lu-Ming

    2016-03-01

    This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of the event mean concentration (EMC) and first flush effect (FFE) during typical rainfall events in outfalls from different drainage systems and functional areas. Stormwater outfall quality data were collected from five outfalls throughout Fuzhou City (China) during 2011-2012. Samples were analyzed for water quality parameters, such as COD, NH3-N, TP, and SS. Analysis of values indicated that the order of the event mean concentrations (EMCs) in outfalls was intercepting combined system > direct emission combined system > separated system. Most of the rainfall events showed the FFE in all outfalls. The order of strength of the FFE was residential area of direct emission combined system > commercial area of separated system > residential area of intercepting combined system > office area of separated system > residential area of separated system. Results will serve as guide in managing water quality to reduce pollution from drainage systems. PMID:26564194

  11. Constructing knowledge about the trigonometric functions and their geometric meaning on the unit circle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altman, Renana; Kidron, Ivy

    2016-10-01

    Processes of knowledge construction are investigated. A learner is constructing knowledge about the trigonometric functions and their geometric meaning on the unit circle. The analysis is based on the dynamically nested epistemic action model for abstraction in context. Different tasks are offered to the learner. In his effort to perform the different tasks, he has the opportunity to understand the process used to create unit circle representations of trigonometric expressions. The theoretical framework of abstraction in context is used to analyse the evolution of the learner's construction of knowledge in the transition from 'triangle' trigonometry to 'circle' trigonometry.

  12. Contractile Function During Angiotensin-II Activation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Min; Prosser, Benjamin L.; Bamboye, Moradeke A.; Gondim, Antonio N.S.; Santos, Celio X.; Martin, Daniel; Ghigo, Alessandra; Perino, Alessia; Brewer, Alison C.; Ward, Christopher W.; Hirsch, Emilio; Lederer, W. Jonathan; Shah, Ajay M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Renin-angiotensin system activation is a feature of many cardiovascular conditions. Activity of myocardial reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 2 (NADPH oxidase 2 or Nox2) is enhanced by angiotensin II (Ang II) and contributes to increased hypertrophy, fibrosis, and adverse remodeling. Recent studies found that Nox2-mediated reactive oxygen species production modulates physiological cardiomyocyte function. Objectives This study sought to investigate the effects of cardiomyocyte Nox2 on contractile function during increased Ang II activation. Methods We generated a cardiomyocyte-targeted Nox2-transgenic mouse model and studied the effects of in vivo and ex vivo Ang II stimulation, as well as chronic aortic banding. Results Chronic subpressor Ang II infusion induced greater cardiac hypertrophy in transgenic than wild-type mice but unexpectedly enhanced contractile function. Acute Ang II treatment also enhanced contractile function in transgenic hearts in vivo and transgenic cardiomyocytes ex vivo. Ang II–stimulated Nox2 activity increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ uptake in transgenic mice, increased the Ca2+ transient and contractile amplitude, and accelerated cardiomyocyte contraction and relaxation. Elevated Nox2 activity increased phospholamban phosphorylation in both hearts and cardiomyocytes, related to inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 activity. In a model of aortic banding–induced chronic pressure overload, heart function was similarly depressed in transgenic and wild-type mice. Conclusions We identified a novel mechanism in which Nox2 modulates cardiomyocyte SR Ca2+ uptake and contractile function through redox-regulated changes in phospholamban phosphorylation. This mechanism can drive increased contractility in the short term in disease states characterized by enhanced renin-angiotensin system activation. PMID:26184620

  13. Functional activity monitoring from wearable sensor data.

    PubMed

    Nawab, S Hamid; Roy, Serge H; De Luca, Carlo J

    2004-01-01

    A novel approach is presented for the interpretation and use of EMG and accelerometer data to monitor, identify, and categorize functional motor activities in individuals whose movements are unscripted, unrestrained, and take place in the "real world". Our proposed solution provides a novel and practical way of conceptualizing physical activities that facilitates the deployment of modern signal processing and interpretation techniques to carry out activity monitoring. A hierarchical approach is adopted that is based upon: 1) blackboard and rule-based technology from artificial intelligence to support a process in which coarse-grained activity partitioning forms the context for finer-grained activity partitioning; 2) neural network technology to support initial activity classification; and 3) integrated processing and understanding of signals (IPUS) technology for revising the initial classifications to account for the high degrees of anticipated signal variability and overlap during freeform activity. PMID:17271844

  14. Listening to Puns Elicits the Co-Activation of Alternative Homophone Meanings during Language Production.

    PubMed

    Rose, Sebastian Benjamin; Spalek, Katharina; Rahman, Rasha Abdel

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that lexical-semantic activation spread during language production can be dynamically shaped by contextual factors. In this study we investigated whether semantic processing modes can also affect lexical-semantic activation during word production. Specifically, we tested whether the processing of linguistic ambiguities, presented in the form of puns, has an influence on the co-activation of unrelated meanings of homophones in a subsequent language production task. In a picture-word interference paradigm with word distractors that were semantically related or unrelated to the non-depicted meanings of homophones we found facilitation induced by related words only when participants listened to puns before object naming, but not when they heard jokes with unambiguous linguistic stimuli. This finding suggests that a semantic processing mode of ambiguity perception can induce the co-activation of alternative homophone meanings during speech planning. PMID:26114942

  15. Listening to Puns Elicits the Co-Activation of Alternative Homophone Meanings during Language Production.

    PubMed

    Rose, Sebastian Benjamin; Spalek, Katharina; Rahman, Rasha Abdel

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that lexical-semantic activation spread during language production can be dynamically shaped by contextual factors. In this study we investigated whether semantic processing modes can also affect lexical-semantic activation during word production. Specifically, we tested whether the processing of linguistic ambiguities, presented in the form of puns, has an influence on the co-activation of unrelated meanings of homophones in a subsequent language production task. In a picture-word interference paradigm with word distractors that were semantically related or unrelated to the non-depicted meanings of homophones we found facilitation induced by related words only when participants listened to puns before object naming, but not when they heard jokes with unambiguous linguistic stimuli. This finding suggests that a semantic processing mode of ambiguity perception can induce the co-activation of alternative homophone meanings during speech planning.

  16. Mean ionic activity coefficients in aqueous NaCl solutions from molecular dynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Mester, Zoltan; Panagiotopoulos, Athanassios Z.

    2015-01-28

    The mean ionic activity coefficients of aqueous NaCl solutions of varying concentrations at 298.15 K and 1 bar have been obtained from molecular dynamics simulations by gradually turning on the interactions of an ion pair inserted into the solution. Several common non-polarizable water and ion models have been used in the simulations. Gibbs-Duhem equation calculations of the thermodynamic activity of water are used to confirm the thermodynamic consistency of the mean ionic activity coefficients. While the majority of model combinations predict the correct trends in mean ionic activity coefficients, they overestimate their values at high salt concentrations. The solubility predictions also suffer from inaccuracies, with all models underpredicting the experimental values, some by large factors. These results point to the need for further ion and water model development.

  17. Listening to Puns Elicits the Co-Activation of Alternative Homophone Meanings during Language Production

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Sebastian Benjamin; Spalek, Katharina; Rahman, Rasha Abdel

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that lexical-semantic activation spread during language production can be dynamically shaped by contextual factors. In this study we investigated whether semantic processing modes can also affect lexical-semantic activation during word production. Specifically, we tested whether the processing of linguistic ambiguities, presented in the form of puns, has an influence on the co-activation of unrelated meanings of homophones in a subsequent language production task. In a picture-word interference paradigm with word distractors that were semantically related or unrelated to the non-depicted meanings of homophones we found facilitation induced by related words only when participants listened to puns before object naming, but not when they heard jokes with unambiguous linguistic stimuli. This finding suggests that a semantic processing mode of ambiguity perception can induce the co-activation of alternative homophone meanings during speech planning. PMID:26114942

  18. Experimental evaluation of leaky least-mean-square algorithms for active noise reduction in communication headsets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cartes, David A.; Ray, Laura R.; Collier, Robert D.

    2002-04-01

    An adaptive leaky normalized least-mean-square (NLMS) algorithm has been developed to optimize stability and performance of active noise cancellation systems. The research addresses LMS filter performance issues related to insufficient excitation, nonstationary noise fields, and time-varying signal-to-noise ratio. The adaptive leaky NLMS algorithm is based on a Lyapunov tuning approach in which three candidate algorithms, each of which is a function of the instantaneous measured reference input, measurement noise variance, and filter length, are shown to provide varying degrees of tradeoff between stability and noise reduction performance. Each algorithm is evaluated experimentally for reduction of low frequency noise in communication headsets, and stability and noise reduction performance are compared with that of traditional NLMS and fixed-leakage NLMS algorithms. Acoustic measurements are made in a specially designed acoustic test cell which is based on the original work of Ryan et al. [``Enclosure for low frequency assessment of active noise reducing circumaural headsets and hearing protection,'' Can. Acoust. 21, 19-20 (1993)] and which provides a highly controlled and uniform acoustic environment. The stability and performance of the active noise reduction system, including a prototype communication headset, are investigated for a variety of noise sources ranging from stationary tonal noise to highly nonstationary measured F-16 aircraft noise over a 20 dB dynamic range. Results demonstrate significant improvements in stability of Lyapunov-tuned LMS algorithms over traditional leaky or nonleaky normalized algorithms, while providing noise reduction performance equivalent to that of the NLMS algorithm for idealized noise fields.

  19. Determination of correlation functions of turbulent velocity and sound speed fluctuations by means of ultrasonic technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreeva, Tatiana A.; Durgin, William W.

    2011-12-01

    An experimental study of the propagation of high-frequency acoustic waves through grid-generated turbulence by means of an ultrasound technique is discussed. Experimental data were obtained for ultrasonic wave propagation downstream of heated and non-heated grids in a wind tunnel. A semi-analytical acoustic propagation model that allows the determination of the spatial correlation functions of the flow field is developed based on the classical flowmeter equation and the statistics of the travel time of acoustic waves traveling through the kinematic and thermal turbulence. The basic flowmeter equation is reconsidered in order to take into account sound speed fluctuations and turbulent velocity fluctuations. It allows deriving an integral equation that relates the correlation functions of travel time, sound speed fluctuations and turbulent velocity fluctuations. Experimentally measured travel time statistics of data with and without grid heating are approximated by an exponential function and used to analytically solve the integral equation. The reconstructed correlation functions of the turbulent velocity and sound speed fluctuations are presented. The power spectral density of the turbulent velocity and sound speed fluctuations are calculated.

  20. From effective field theories to effective density functionals in and beyond the mean field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasso, M.; Lacroix, D.; van Kolck, U.

    2016-06-01

    Since the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics, nuclear theory has evolved along two main directions. On the one hand, the energy-density functional (EDF) theory was established, which presently encompasses (by enlarging the EDF framework) all the mean-field and beyond-mean-field theories based on energy functionals produced by effective phenomenological interactions. Highly sophisticated structure and reaction models are currently available for the treatment of medium-mass and heavy nuclei. On the other hand, effective field theories (EFTs) have rendered possible the formulation of QCD as a low-energy hadronic theory. Ab initio methods have recently achieved remarkable success in the application of EFT or EFT-inspired potentials to structure analyses of light nuclei. Different but complementary competences have been developed during the past few decades in the EDF and EFT communities. Bridges and connections have in some cases been identified and constructed. We review here some of the developments that have been performed within the EDF theory and the EFT during recent years, with some emphasis on analogies and connections that may one day provide a unified picture of the two theories. Illustrations are given for infinite matter and finite nuclei.

  1. From effective field theories to effective density functionals in and beyond the mean field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasso, M.; Lacroix, D.; van Kolck, U.

    2016-06-01

    Since the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics, nuclear theory has evolved along two main directions. On the one hand, the energy–density functional (EDF) theory was established, which presently encompasses (by enlarging the EDF framework) all the mean-field and beyond-mean-field theories based on energy functionals produced by effective phenomenological interactions. Highly sophisticated structure and reaction models are currently available for the treatment of medium-mass and heavy nuclei. On the other hand, effective field theories (EFTs) have rendered possible the formulation of QCD as a low-energy hadronic theory. Ab initio methods have recently achieved remarkable success in the application of EFT or EFT-inspired potentials to structure analyses of light nuclei. Different but complementary competences have been developed during the past few decades in the EDF and EFT communities. Bridges and connections have in some cases been identified and constructed. We review here some of the developments that have been performed within the EDF theory and the EFT during recent years, with some emphasis on analogies and connections that may one day provide a unified picture of the two theories. Illustrations are given for infinite matter and finite nuclei.

  2. Physical activity as leisure: the meaning of physical activity for the health and well-being of adolescent women.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Fiona; Magnusson, Josetine

    2007-01-01

    Globally, low participation in physical activity by adolescent young women is a major health concern. While the barriers to activity for this group are well documented, little is known about the views and experiences of nonathlete, but active, young women. In order to gain an understanding of young women's lived experiences of the relationship between physical activity as leisure and health, data were collected through focus groups. Active nonathlete young women in the United Kingdom attached significant meaning to physical activity as a space for leisure, and used it to enhance their health and well-being.

  3. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Gayeung; Lee, Jiyun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-01-01

    Dairy Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a candidate non-lactic acid probiotic. However, little information is available on the effect of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of P. freudenreichii-dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that P. freudenreichii significantly (p < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50, a standard food for the worm. Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that P. freudenreichii retards ageing. Moreover, P. freudenreichii increased resistance against a human pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, through the activation of skn-1, which is involved in pathogen resistance in C. elegans. Furthermore, P. freudenreichii-fed daf-16, jnk-1, skn-1 or daf-7 loss-of-function mutants showed an extended mean lifespan compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. However, the increase in lifespan was not observed in pmk-1, sek-1, mek-1, dbl-1, daf-12 or daf-2 mutants, which suggests potential roles for these genes in P. freudenreichii-induced longevity in C. elegans. In conclusion, P. freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system. PMID:27531646

  4. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Gayeung; Lee, Jiyun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-08-17

    Dairy Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a candidate non-lactic acid probiotic. However, little information is available on the effect of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of P. freudenreichii-dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that P. freudenreichii significantly (p < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50, a standard food for the worm. Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that P. freudenreichii retards ageing. Moreover, P. freudenreichii increased resistance against a human pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, through the activation of skn-1, which is involved in pathogen resistance in C. elegans. Furthermore, P. freudenreichii-fed daf-16, jnk-1, skn-1 or daf-7 loss-of-function mutants showed an extended mean lifespan compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. However, the increase in lifespan was not observed in pmk-1, sek-1, mek-1, dbl-1, daf-12 or daf-2 mutants, which suggests potential roles for these genes in P. freudenreichii-induced longevity in C. elegans. In conclusion, P. freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system.

  5. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Gayeung; Lee, Jiyun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-01-01

    Dairy Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a candidate non-lactic acid probiotic. However, little information is available on the effect of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of P. freudenreichii-dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that P. freudenreichii significantly (p < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50, a standard food for the worm. Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that P. freudenreichii retards ageing. Moreover, P. freudenreichii increased resistance against a human pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, through the activation of skn-1, which is involved in pathogen resistance in C. elegans. Furthermore, P. freudenreichii-fed daf-16, jnk-1, skn-1 or daf-7 loss-of-function mutants showed an extended mean lifespan compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. However, the increase in lifespan was not observed in pmk-1, sek-1, mek-1, dbl-1, daf-12 or daf-2 mutants, which suggests potential roles for these genes in P. freudenreichii-induced longevity in C. elegans. In conclusion, P. freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system. PMID:27531646

  6. Integrating Communication Skills into Functional Routines & Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stremel, Kathleen

    This training module on integrating communication skills into functional routines and activities is from the Mississippi Early Education Program for Children with Multiple Disabilities, a program designed to train Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part H service coordinators and service providers to use family centered strategies. The…

  7. Opiates and cerebral functional activity in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Trusk, T.C.

    1986-01-01

    Cerebral activity was measured using the free-fatty acid (1-/sup 14/C) octanoate as a fast functional tracer in conscious, unrestrained rats 5 minutes after intravenous injection of heroin, cocaine or saline vehicle. Regional changes of octanoate labeling density in the autoradiograms relative to saline-injected animals were used to determine the functional activity effects of each drug. Heroin and cocaine each produced a distinctive pattern of activity increases and suppression throughout the rat brain. Similar regional changes induced by both drugs were found in limbic brain regions implicated in drug reinforcement. Labeled octanoate autoradiography was used to measure the cerebral functional response to a tone that had previously been paired to heroin injections. Rats were trained in groups of three consisting of one heroin self-administration animal, and two animals receiving yoked infusion of heroin or saline. A tone was paired with each infusion during training. Behavioral experiments in similarly trained rats demonstrated that these training conditions impart secondary reinforcing properties to the tone in animals previously self-administering heroin, while the tone remains behaviorally neutral in yoked-infusion rats. Cerebral functional activity was measured during presentation of the tone without drug infusion. Octanoate labeling density changed in fifteen brain areas in response to the tone previously paired to heroin without response contingency. Labeling density was significantly modified in sixteen regions as a result of previously pairing the tone to response-contingent heroin infusions.

  8. State-of-the-art of beyond mean field theories with nuclear density functionals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egido, J. Luis

    2016-07-01

    We present an overview of different beyond mean field theories (BMFTs) based on the generator coordinate method (GCM) and the recovery of symmetries used in many body nuclear physics with effective forces. In a first step a short reminder of the Hartree–Fock–Bogoliubov (HFB) theory is given. A general discussion of the shortcomings of any mean field approximation (MFA), stemming either from the lack of the elementary symmetries (like particle number and angular momentum) or the absence of fluctuations around the mean values, is presented. The recovery of the symmetries spontaneously broken in the HFB approach, in particular the angular momentum, is necessary, among others, to describe excited states and transitions. Particle number projection is also needed to guarantee the right number of protons and neutrons. Furthermore a projection before the variation prevents the pairing collapse in the weak pairing regime. A whole chapter is devoted to illustrate with examples the convenience of recovering symmetries and the differences between the projection before and after the variation. The lack of fluctuations around the average values of the MFA is a big shortcoming inherent to this approach. To build in correlations in BMFT one selects the relevant degrees of freedom of the atomic nucleus. In the low energy part of the spectrum these are the quadrupole, octupole and the pairing vibrations as well as the single particle degrees of freedom. In the GCM the operators representing these degrees of freedom are used as coordinates to generate, by the constrained (projected) HFB theory, a collective subspace. The highly correlated GCM wave function is finally written as a linear combination of a projected basis of this space. The variation of the coefficients of the linear combination leads to the Hill–Wheeler equation. The flexibility of the GCM Ansatz allows to describe a whole palette of physical situations by conveniently choosing the generator coordinates. We

  9. State-of-the-art of beyond mean field theories with nuclear density functionals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egido, J. Luis

    2016-07-01

    We present an overview of different beyond mean field theories (BMFTs) based on the generator coordinate method (GCM) and the recovery of symmetries used in many body nuclear physics with effective forces. In a first step a short reminder of the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) theory is given. A general discussion of the shortcomings of any mean field approximation (MFA), stemming either from the lack of the elementary symmetries (like particle number and angular momentum) or the absence of fluctuations around the mean values, is presented. The recovery of the symmetries spontaneously broken in the HFB approach, in particular the angular momentum, is necessary, among others, to describe excited states and transitions. Particle number projection is also needed to guarantee the right number of protons and neutrons. Furthermore a projection before the variation prevents the pairing collapse in the weak pairing regime. A whole chapter is devoted to illustrate with examples the convenience of recovering symmetries and the differences between the projection before and after the variation. The lack of fluctuations around the average values of the MFA is a big shortcoming inherent to this approach. To build in correlations in BMFT one selects the relevant degrees of freedom of the atomic nucleus. In the low energy part of the spectrum these are the quadrupole, octupole and the pairing vibrations as well as the single particle degrees of freedom. In the GCM the operators representing these degrees of freedom are used as coordinates to generate, by the constrained (projected) HFB theory, a collective subspace. The highly correlated GCM wave function is finally written as a linear combination of a projected basis of this space. The variation of the coefficients of the linear combination leads to the Hill-Wheeler equation. The flexibility of the GCM Ansatz allows to describe a whole palette of physical situations by conveniently choosing the generator coordinates. We discuss the

  10. The influence of mean heart rate on measures of heart rate variability as markers of autonomic function: a model study.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Hung-Wen; Wang, Ti-Ho; Huang, Lu-Chou; Tso, Han-Wen; Kao, Tsair

    2003-07-01

    Some studies have demonstrated that the assessments of autonomic activities from the alterations of heart rate variations (HRVs) after autonomic blockade and during exercise of high intensity by the spectral analysis of HRV seemed inconsistent with actual situation. The inconsistency is probably caused by the contributions of fluctuating magnitudes and mean levels of autonomic activities on HRV having not been clarified. The alterations of HRV after autonomic blockade and during exercise of high intensity using a mathematical model were simulated. The autonomic activity in normal condition was assumed first according to some experimental evidence. Then autonomic activities after sympathetic blockade, vagal blockade and during exercise of high intensity were appropriately adjusted accordingly. The HRVs in response to these given autonomic activities were simulated. We found that the effect on HRV influenced by the mean level of autonomic activity is helpful to explain alterations of HRV in these conditions. After vagal blockade, a largely reduced low frequency (LF) power could be caused by the reduced mean heartbeat interval induced by a decreased mean level of vagal activity. Increased low and high frequency powers after sympathetic blockade could be caused by the increased mean heartbeat interval induced by a decreased mean level of sympathetic activity. A decreased LF power during exercise of high intensity, in addition to the withdrawal of vagal activity, could also be caused by the decreased mean heartbeat interval induced by an increased mean level of sympathetic activity.

  11. Mean-field density functional theory of a three-phase contact line.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chang-You; Widom, Michael; Sekerka, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    A three-phase contact line in a three-phase fluid system is modeled by a mean-field density functional theory. We use a variational approach to find the Euler-Lagrange equations. Analytic solutions are obtained in the two-phase regions at large distances from the contact line. We employ a triangular grid and use a successive overrelaxation method to find numerical solutions in the entire domain for the special case of equal interfacial tensions for the two-phase interfaces. We use the Kerins-Boiteux formula to obtain a line tension associated with the contact line. This line tension turns out to be negative. We associate line adsorption with the change of line tension as the governing potentials change.

  12. Heave control of amphibious hovercraft by means of an active-fan system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christopher, P. A. T.; Man, K. F.; Osbourn, E. W.; Cheng, Y. N.

    This paper describes the development of a heave control system for amphibious hovercraft, the central element in the system being an axial flow, lift-fan whose blade angles are continuously varied by means of feedback signals from a pressure transducer located in the front end of the hovercraft cushion and from an accelerometer measuring the heave acceleration. Transfer functions associated with the cushion dynamics were obtained by means of parameter identification using coefficient-plane models in which the coefficients were estimated by means of a nonlinear optimization algorithm. Results from experiments, conducted on the Cranfield, Whirling-Arm facility, have shown that the system provides a rapid and effective means of controlling the heave acceleration and, in addition, produces a valuable reduction in craft drag whilst traversing waves.

  13. Purification and partial characterization of poliovirus protease 2A by means of a functional assay.

    PubMed Central

    König, H; Rosenwirth, B

    1988-01-01

    The purification of poliovirus protease 2A from infected cells by a functional assay is described. A small synthetic peptide was cleaved specifically by an esterase present in poliovirus-infected cells. Since the enzyme proved extremely unstable in crude extracts a rapid and efficient purification procedure had to be developed. By treatment with different detergents followed by high-speed centrifugation, the esterase activity was separated from inactivating cellular enzymes and was solubilized. Purification to more than 90% homogeneity could be achieved by a single chromatography step, namely, by gel filtration through Superose 12 under fast-protein liquid chromatography conditions. The esterase activity was associated with a protein of 17,000 daltons and copurified with poliovirus protein 2A. Furthermore, antibodies to 2A specifically precipitated the esterase activity. Thus, the esterase was identified as poliovirus protease 2A. Inhibition studies with known protease inhibitors revealed that 2A is probably a sulfhydryl protease. Of the metal ions tested, only zinc exerted significant inhibitory effects. The esterase activity was optimal near neutral pH and had an extremely short half-life at physiological temperatures. Images PMID:2831385

  14. Evaluation of Cognitive Function of Children with Developmental Disabilities by means of Button-Press Task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakazono, Shogo; Kobori, Satoshi

    The button-press task means that the subject observes a moving target and presses a button to stop it when the target enters a specified area on a computer display. Subjects perform normal task, suppressed task and delayed task. In the suppressed task, the moving target disappears at some point during the trial. In the delayed task, there is some lag time between the time of pressing button and of stopping target. In these tasks, subjects estimate the movement of the target, and press the button considering his/her own reaction time. In our previous study, we showed that cognitive and motor function was able to be evaluated by these tasks. In this study, we examined error data of children with developmental disabilities to evaluate the cognitive function, and investigated the learning processes. Moreover, we discussed the developmental stages by comparing the children with disabilities to normal control children, and we clarified the behavior characteristics of children with developmental disabilities. Asa result, it was shown that our evaluation method and system for the button-press task were effective to evaluate cognitive ability of children with developmental disabilities.

  15. Sport and Physical Activity in a High Security Spanish Prison: An Ethnographic Study of Multiple Meanings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martos-Garcia, Daniel; Devis-Devis, Jose; Sparkes, Andrew C.

    2009-01-01

    Drawing on data generated by a two-year ethnographic study in a high security Spanish prison, this article explores the multiple meanings given to the social practices of sport and physical activity. We provide details of the following key themes that emerged from the analysis: (a) escaping time; (b) perceived therapeutic benefits; (c) social…

  16. Expressive Morality in a Collaborative Learning Activity: A Case Study in the Creation of Moral Meaning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Bill; Buzzelli, Cary A.

    2002-01-01

    Considers the way moral meanings are created, Expressed, and negotiated in the actions and words of participants as they engage in a collaborative science activity. Offers an analysis of two excerpts from a video recording of a third grade classroom in which two students work with each other and with a visiting teacher on an experiment that…

  17. 29 CFR 780.405 - Exemption is direct and does not mean activities are agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Exemption is direct and does not mean activities are agriculture. 780.405 Section 780.405 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR STATEMENTS OF GENERAL POLICY OR INTERPRETATION NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO REGULATIONS EXEMPTIONS APPLICABLE TO...

  18. 20 CFR 404.1572 - What we mean by substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false What we mean by substantial gainful activity. 404.1572 Section 404.1572 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Substantial...

  19. 20 CFR 404.1572 - What we mean by substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false What we mean by substantial gainful activity. 404.1572 Section 404.1572 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Substantial...

  20. 20 CFR 404.1572 - What we mean by substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false What we mean by substantial gainful activity. 404.1572 Section 404.1572 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Substantial...

  1. 20 CFR 404.1572 - What we mean by substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false What we mean by substantial gainful activity. 404.1572 Section 404.1572 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Substantial...

  2. 20 CFR 404.1572 - What we mean by substantial gainful activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false What we mean by substantial gainful activity. 404.1572 Section 404.1572 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Determining Disability and Blindness Substantial...

  3. Meanings Ascribed to Four Craft Activities before and after Extensive Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katz, Noomi; Cohen, Esther

    1991-01-01

    A study to compare the meanings ascribed by 35 occupational therapy students to puppetry, woodworking, weaving, and ceramics revealed significant differences before and after learning, especially for puppetry. Significant differences were found across activities, mainly between weaving and the other crafts. (JOW)

  4. Informational Complexity and Functional Activity of RNA Structures

    PubMed Central

    Carothers, James M.; Oestreich, Stephanie C.; Davis, Jonathan H.

    2004-01-01

    Very little is known about the distribution of functional DNA, RNA, and protein molecules in sequence space. The question of how the number and complexity of distinct solutions to a particular biochemical problem varies with activity is an important aspect of this general problem. Here we present a comparison of the structures and activities of eleven distinct GTP-binding RNAs (aptamers). By experimentally measuring the amount of information required to specify each optimal binding structure, we show that defining a structure capable of 10-fold tighter binding requires approximately 10 additional bits of information. This increase in information content is equivalent to specifying the identity of five additional nucleotide positions and corresponds to an ∼1000-fold decrease in abundance in a sample of random sequences. We observe a similar relationship between structural complexity and activity in a comparison of two catalytic RNAs (ribozyme ligases), raising the possibility of a general relationship between the complexity of RNA structures and their functional activity. Describing how information varies with activity in other heteropolymers, both biological and synthetic, may lead to an objective means of comparing their functional properties. This approach could be useful in predicting the functional utility of novel heteropolymers. PMID:15099096

  5. Dosimetry in single lung cells by means of microautoradiographic activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Kraus, W

    1976-09-01

    After inhalation of compounds containing promethium-147 in the lungs of mice most of the activity is deposited in the form of local concentrations (hotspots). By means of a special quantitative microautoradiographic method using stripping film ORWO K 105, measurements of the activity of single hotspots of about 10(-14) Ci are possible. A microphotometer with a variable measuring diaphragm is used for the determination of the density profile of the autoradiographic image in order to get hotspot depth within the biological specimen. To determine hotspot activity it is necessary to calibrate the film with a Pm-147 plane source. The systematic and random errors of the method are discussed in detail, giving a total error of +/- 21% (SD) for one hotspot activity measurement. A few examples of biological results obtained by the method are given. Simple models are used to calculate doses absorbed in macrophage and alveolar cell nuclei from the measured activities.

  6. Brain activity modeling in general anesthesia: Enhancing local mean-field models using a slow adaptive firing rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molaee-Ardekani, B.; Senhadji, L.; Shamsollahi, M. B.; Vosoughi-Vahdat, B.; Wodey, E.

    2007-10-01

    In this paper, an enhanced local mean-field model that is suitable for simulating the electroencephalogram (EEG) in different depths of anesthesia is presented. The main building elements of the model (e.g., excitatory and inhibitory populations) are taken from Steyn-Ross [M. L. Steyn-Ross , Phys. Rev. E 64, 011917 (2001), D. A. Steyn-Ross , Phys. Rev. E 64, 011918 (2001)] and Bojak and Liley [I. Bojak and D. T. Liley, Phys. Rev. E 71, 041902 (2005)] mean-field models and a new slow ionic mechanism is included in the main model. Generally, in mean-field models, some sigmoid-shape functions determine firing rates of neural populations according to their mean membrane potentials. In the enhanced model, the sigmoid function corresponding to excitatory population is redefined to be also a function of the slow ionic mechanism. This modification adapts the firing rate of neural populations to slow ionic activities of the brain. When an anesthetic drug is administered, the slow mechanism may induce neural cells to alternate between two levels of activity referred to as up and down states. Basically, the frequency of up-down switching is in the delta band (0-4Hz) and this is the main reason behind high amplitude, low frequency fluctuations of EEG signals in anesthesia. Our analyses show that the enhanced model may have different working states driven by anesthetic drug concentration. The model is settled in the up state in the waking period, it may switch to up and down states in moderate anesthesia while in deep anesthesia it remains in the down state.

  7. Mass predictions of the relativistic mean-field model with the radial basis function approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, J. S.; Wang, N. Y.; Wang, Z. Y.; Niu, Z. M.; Niu, Y. F.; Sun, B.

    2014-07-01

    The radial basis function (RBF) is a powerful tool to improve mass predictions of nuclear models. By combining the RBF approach with the relativistic mean-field (RMF) model, the systematic deviations between mass predictions of the RMF model and the experimental data are eliminated to a large extent and the resulting rms deviation is reduced from 2.217 to 0.488 MeV. Furthermore, it is found that the RBF approach has a relatively reliable extrapolative power along the distance from the β-stability line except for a large uncertainty around the region at magic number. From the deduced neutron separation energies, we found that the description of the nuclear shell structure and shape transition is also significantly improved by the RBF approach, thus improving agreement with the solar r-process abundances before A =130 and speeding up the r-matter flow. Therefore, a shorter irradiation time is enough to reproduce the solar r-process abundance distribution for the improved RMF mass model, which is closer to the irradiation time for those sophisticated mass models.

  8. Repeatability of gait data using a functional hip joint centre and a mean helical knee axis.

    PubMed

    Besier, Thor F; Sturnieks, Daina L; Alderson, Jacque A; Lloyd, David G

    2003-08-01

    Repeatability of traditional kinematic and kinetic models is affected by the ability to accurately locate anatomical landmarks (ALs) to define joint centres and anatomical coordinate systems. Numerical methods that define joint centres and axes of rotation independent of ALs may also improve the repeatability of kinematic and kinetic data. The purpose of this paper was to compare the repeatability of gait data obtained from two models, one based on ALs (AL model), and the other incorporating a functional method to define hip joint centres and a mean helical axis to define knee joint flexion/extension axes (FUN model). A foot calibration rig was also developed to define the foot segment independent of ALs. The FUN model produced slightly more repeatable hip and knee joint kinematic and kinetic data than the AL model, with the advantage of not having to accurately locate ALs. Repeatability of the models was similar comparing within-tester sessions to between-tester sessions. The FUN model may also produce more repeatable data than the AL model in subject populations where location of ALs is difficult. The foot calibration rig employed in both the AL and FUN model provided an easy alternative to define the foot segment and obtain repeatable data, without accurately locating ALs on the foot.

  9. Role of PDZ Proteins in Regulating Trafficking, Signaling, and Function of GPCRs: Means, Motif, and Opportunity

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Guillermo; von Zastrow, Mark; Friedman, Peter A.

    2016-01-01

    PDZ proteins, named for the common structural domain shared by the postsynaptic density protein (PSD95), Drosophila disc large tumor suppressor (DlgA), and zonula occludens-1 protein (ZO-1), constitute a family of 200–300 recognized members. These cytoplasmic adapter proteins are capable of assembling a variety of membrane-associated proteins and signaling molecules in short-lived functional units. Here, we review PDZ proteins that participate in the regulation of signaling, trafficking, and function of G protein-coupled receptors. Salient structural features of PDZ proteins that allow them to recognize targeted GPCRs are considered. Scaffolding proteins harboring PDZ domains may contain single or multiple PDZ modules and may also include other protein–protein interaction modules. PDZ proteins may impact receptor signaling by diverse mechanisms that include retaining the receptor at the cell membrane, thereby increasing the duration of ligand binding, as well as importantly influencing GPCR internalization, trafficking, recycling, and intracellular sorting. PDZ proteins are also capable of modifying the assembled complex of accessory proteins such as β-arrestins that themselves regulate GPCR signaling. Additionally, PDZ proteins may modulate GPCR signaling by altering the G protein to which the receptor binds, or affect other regulatory proteins that impact GTPase activity, protein kinase A, phospholipase C, or modify downstream signaling events. Small molecules targeting the PDZ protein-GPCR interaction are being developed and may become important and selective drug candidates. PMID:21907913

  10. Functional Stability of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1

    PubMed Central

    Kuru, Pinar; Toksoy Oner, Ebru; Agirbasli, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is the main inhibitor of plasminogen activators, such as tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA), and a major regulator of the fibrinolytic system. PAI-1 plays a pivotal role in acute thrombotic events such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and myocardial infarction (MI). The biological effects of PAI-1 extend far beyond thrombosis including its critical role in fibrotic disorders, atherosclerosis, renal and pulmonary fibrosis, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. The conversion of PAI-1 from the active to the latent conformation appears to be unique among serpins in that it occurs spontaneously at a relatively rapid rate. Latency transition is believed to represent a regulatory mechanism, reducing the risk of thrombosis from a prolonged antifibrinolytic action of PAI-1. Thus, relying solely on plasma concentrations of PAI-1 without assessing its function may be misleading in interpreting the role of PAI-1 in many complex diseases. Environmental conditions, interaction with other proteins, mutations, and glycosylation are the main factors that have a significant impact on the stability of the PAI-1 structure. This review provides an overview on the current knowledge on PAI-1 especially importance of PAI-1 level and stability and highlights the potential use of PAI-1 inhibitors for treating cardiovascular disease. PMID:25386620

  11. Sustained meaning activation for polysemous but not homonymous words: evidence from EEG.

    PubMed

    MacGregor, Lucy J; Bouwsema, Jennifer; Klepousniotou, Ekaterini

    2015-02-01

    Theoretical linguistic accounts of lexical ambiguity distinguish between homonymy, where words that share a lexical form have unrelated meanings, and polysemy, where the meanings are related. The present study explored the psychological reality of this theoretical assumption by asking whether there is evidence that homonyms and polysemes are represented and processed differently in the brain. We investigated the time-course of meaning activation of different types of ambiguous words using EEG. Homonyms and polysemes were each further subdivided into two: unbalanced homonyms (e.g., "coach") and balanced homonyms (e.g., "match"); metaphorical polysemes (e.g., "mouth") and metonymic polysemes (e.g., "rabbit"). These four types of ambiguous words were presented as primes in a visual single-word priming delayed lexical decision task employing a long ISI (750 ms). Targets were related to one of the meanings of the primes, or were unrelated. ERPs formed relative to the target onset indicated that the theoretical distinction between homonymy and polysemy was reflected in the N400 brain response. For targets following homonymous primes (both unbalanced and balanced), no effects survived at this long ISI indicating that both meanings of the prime had already decayed. On the other hand, for polysemous primes (both metaphorical and metonymic), activation was observed for both dominant and subordinate senses. The observed processing differences between homonymy and polysemy provide evidence in support of differential neuro-cognitive representations for the two types of ambiguity. We argue that the polysemous senses act collaboratively to strengthen the representation, facilitating maintenance, while the competitive nature of homonymous meanings leads to decay. PMID:25576909

  12. To What Extent Is Mean EMG Frequency during Gait a Reflection of Functional Muscle Strength in Children with Cerebral Palsy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Gestel, L.; Wambacq, H.; Aertbelien, E.; Meyns, P.; Bruyninckx, H.; Bar-On, L.; Molenaers, G.; De Cock, P.; Desloovere, K.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the current paper was to analyze the potential of the mean EMG frequency, recorded during 3D gait analysis (3DGA), for the evaluation of functional muscle strength in children with cerebral palsy (CP). As walking velocity is known to also influence EMG frequency, it was investigated to which extent the mean EMG frequency is a reflection…

  13. Electroencephalographic cartography. II. By means of statistical group studies-activation by visual attention.

    PubMed

    Etevenon, P; Tortrat, D; Benkelfat, C

    1985-01-01

    10 male volunteers, right-handers, mean age 30.4 years, were recorded in four successive sequences: under 'eyes closed' conditions, right and then left hemisphere, followed by an 'eyes open' situation with visual attention fixed on a cartoon, right and then left hemisphere recordings. Each EEG recording was made simultaneously over 16 EEG channels for each hemisphere, according to a protocol previously described as well as Fourier analysis and EEG mapping on a minicomputer (HP 5451 C, HP 1000). Each EEG recording was stored on a cartography data base, and 90 maps could be drawn from 10 spectral parameters applied to the raw EEG and 5 frequency bands. Permutation paired Fisher tests were applied to three main EEG parameters: mean centroid frequencies, RMS amplitudes in microvolts and relative (%) amplitudes. Activation of EEG in the 'eyes open' situation during visual fixation was found compared to the 'eyes closed' situation: decreasing dominant EEG frequency and low delta and theta mean frequencies, no change in a mean alpha frequency; increasing fast mean beta frequencies, together with a major decrease in theta, alpha, beta 1 amplitudes, and a concomitant increase in raw EEG, delta and beta 2 amplitudes. Finally, the percent alpha amplitude was decreased when other percent amplitudes were increased in delta, theta, beta 1 and beta 2 frequency bands. A symmetry between hemispheres was observed in the 'eyes closed' situation. Averaged EEG maps between subjects illustrate these findings, especially relative (%) alpha amplitude maps and also maps of coefficients of resonance of the alpha rhythm.

  14. Source water partitioning as a means of characterizing hydrologic function in mangroves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drexler, J.Z.; De Carlo, E. W.

    2002-01-01

    Mangrove ecosystems rely on seawater, rain-derived flow, and groundwater for hydrologic sustenance, flushing, and inflow of nutrients and sediments. The relative contribution of these source waters and their variability through time and space can provide key information concerning the hydrologic function of ecosystems. We used hydrologic tracers to partition source waters and trace their movements in the Enipoas stream, a river-dominated mangrove ecosystem on the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and in the Yela watershed, an interior mangrove ecosystem on the island of Kosrae, FSM. The Enipoas site was characterized as a salt wedge estuary whose source water contributions alternated between predominantly seawater and rain-derived flow, depending on the tide. The source waters in the interior Yela site were also predominantly seawater and rain-derived flow, however the relative contribution of each was much more stable. The mean groundwater contribution was 5% (SD = 5.5) for the Enipoas site and 20% (SD = 11.0) for the Yela site. Although a small contributor to flow, groundwater was a steady source of freshwater for both systems. Hydrologic linkages between mangroves and adjacent ecosystems were demonstrated by the temporal and spatial distribution of source waters. The 0.8 km Enipoas estuary, with its highly dynamic bi-directional flows, transported source waters along a hydrologic continuum comprised of coral reef, mangroves, and palm forest. In the interior mangroves of the Yela watershed, the presence of rain-derived flow and groundwater demonstrated a hydraulic connection between the mangroves and an upstream freshwater swamp. Interior mangroves with such linkages avoid stresses such as desiccation and heightened salinity, and thus are more productive than those with little or no freshwater flows.

  15. Resolution Effects on the Mean Square Displacement as Obtained by the Self-Distribution-Function Procedure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetto, A.; Magazù, S.; Migliardo, F.; Mondelli, C.; Gonzalez, M. A.

    2012-02-01

    In the present contribution, a procedure for molecular motion characterization based on the evaluation of the Mean Square Displacement (MSD), through the Self-Distribution Function (SDF), is presented. It is shown how MSD, which represents an important observable for the characterization of dynamical properties, can be decomposed into different partial contributions associated to system dynamical processes within a specific spatial scale. It is also shown how the SDF procedure allows us to evaluate both total MSD and partial MSDs through total and partial SDFs. As a result, total MSD is the weighed sum of partial MSDs in which the weights are obtained by the fitting procedure of measured Elastic Incoherent Neutron Scattering (EINS) intensity. We apply SDF procedure to data collected,by IN13, IN10 and IN4 spectrometers (Institute Laue Langevin), on aqueous mixtures of two homologous disaccharides (sucrose and trehalose) and on dry and hydrated (H2O and D2O) lysozyme with and without disaccharides. It emerges that the hydrogen bond imposed network of the water-trehalose mixture appears to be stronger with respect to that of the water-sucrose mixture. This result can justify the higher bioprotectant effectiveness of trehalose. Furthermore, it emerges that partial MSDs of sucrose and trehalose are equivalent in the low Q domain (0÷1.7) Å-1 whereas they are different in the high Q domain (1.7÷4) Å-1. This suggests that the higher structure sensitivity of sucrose should be related to the small spatial observation windows. Moreover, the role of the instrumental resolution in EINS is considered. The nature of the dynamical transition is highlighted and it is shown that it occurs when the system relaxation time becomes shorter than the instrumental energy time. Finally, the bioprotectants effect on protein dynamics and the amplitude of vibrations in lysozyme are presented.

  16. Monitoring of brain function by means of evoked potentials in cerebral aneurysm surgery.

    PubMed

    Ducati, A; Landi, A; Cenzato, M; Fava, E; Rampini, P; Giovanelli, M; Villani, R

    1988-01-01

    Deliberate arterial hypotension is currently used to operate upon cerebral aneurysms. However, it is not ascertained whether this practice is really safe for all patients, especially those presenting with preoperative vasospasm. 50 patients, requiring surgical treatment for cerebral aneurysm, have been submitted, during surgery, to the recording of Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs) on median nerve stimulation. This technique allows the functional evaluation of neural pathways mediating the somatosensory stimuli and of primary somatosensory cortex; it is known that a decrease of cerebral perfusion may affect the SEP waveforms in terms of reduced subcortical conduction velocity (i.e., increased central conduction time, CCT) and of reduced cortical response amplitude. These changes may be apparent before a permanent neurological damage is produced. Preoperative SEP recording demonstrated a prolonged CCT, possibly related to vasospasm, in 9 patients, a normal clinical evaluation notwithstanding (grade I and II). During intraoperative deliberate hypotension, a SEP change has always been produced. No postoperative damage has been observed, however, as long as the CCT did not exceed 9 msec for 10 minutes (maximum normal CCT value is 6.7 msec) and as the cortical response had been visible throughout the whole surgical procedure. The critical value of CCT has been reached at a mean arterial pressure (MAP) lower than 60 Torr in patients with a normal preoperative SEP recording; at the opposite, in patients presenting with a prolonged preoperative CCT, the value of 9 msec was arrived at with a MAP value that is generally accepted as safe for all patients (75 Torr).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  17. 23 CFR Appendix A to Part 772 - National Reference Energy Mean Emission Levels as a Function of Speed

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false National Reference Energy Mean Emission Levels as a Function of Speed A Appendix A to Part 772 Highways FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... Function of Speed EC14OC91.013...

  18. Test bed with force-measuring crank for static and dynamic investigations on cycling by means of functional electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Gföhler, M; Angeli, T; Eberharter, T; Lugner, P; Mayr, W; Hofer, C

    2001-06-01

    Cycling by means of functional electrical stimulation (FES) is an attractive training method for individuals with paraplegia. The physiological benefits of FES are combined with the psychological incentive of independent locomotion. In addition, cycling has the advantage in that the generated muscle forces are converted into drive power with relatively high efficiency compared to other means of locomotion, e.g., walking. For the design of an appropriate cycling device and the development of optimal stimulation patterns, it has to be investigated how the geometry for FES cycling, influenced by individual parameters of the FES-generated drive torques and the magnitude of variations among subjects with paraplegia, can be optimized. This study shows the design of a freely adjustable test bed with additional motor drive which allows static and dynamic measurements of force components and drive torque at the crank. Furthermore, the influence of geometry and various individual parameters on FES pedaling can be tested for each subject individually. A pedal path realized by a three-bar linkage that was optimized according to preliminary simulations further increases leg cycling efficiency. Safety precautions avoid injuries in case of excessive forces, e.g., spasms. Test results illustrate the application of the test bed and measurement routines. A test series with four paraplegic test persons showed that the presented static and dynamic measurement routines allow to provide optimal stimulation patterns for individual paraplegic subjects. While pedaling with these optimal stimulation patterns only negligible negative active drive torques, due to active muscle forces, were applied to the crank and sufficient drive power was generated to power a cycle independently.

  19. Test bed with force-measuring crank for static and dynamic investigations on cycling by means of functional electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Gföhler, M; Angeli, T; Eberharter, T; Lugner, P; Mayr, W; Hofer, C

    2001-06-01

    Cycling by means of functional electrical stimulation (FES) is an attractive training method for individuals with paraplegia. The physiological benefits of FES are combined with the psychological incentive of independent locomotion. In addition, cycling has the advantage in that the generated muscle forces are converted into drive power with relatively high efficiency compared to other means of locomotion, e.g., walking. For the design of an appropriate cycling device and the development of optimal stimulation patterns, it has to be investigated how the geometry for FES cycling, influenced by individual parameters of the FES-generated drive torques and the magnitude of variations among subjects with paraplegia, can be optimized. This study shows the design of a freely adjustable test bed with additional motor drive which allows static and dynamic measurements of force components and drive torque at the crank. Furthermore, the influence of geometry and various individual parameters on FES pedaling can be tested for each subject individually. A pedal path realized by a three-bar linkage that was optimized according to preliminary simulations further increases leg cycling efficiency. Safety precautions avoid injuries in case of excessive forces, e.g., spasms. Test results illustrate the application of the test bed and measurement routines. A test series with four paraplegic test persons showed that the presented static and dynamic measurement routines allow to provide optimal stimulation patterns for individual paraplegic subjects. While pedaling with these optimal stimulation patterns only negligible negative active drive torques, due to active muscle forces, were applied to the crank and sufficient drive power was generated to power a cycle independently. PMID:11474970

  20. Evaluation of hydrotreatment as a means of reducing biological activity of synfuel related materials

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, T.W.; Dumont, J.N.; Rao, T.K.; Guerin, M.R.; Ma, C.Y.; Epler, J.L.

    1982-12-01

    Raw and hydrotreated product liquids from process demonstration units of experimental ''H-coal'' and ''solvent-refined coal'' processes were examined for acute toxicity monitored as population growth impairment of Tetrahymena exposed to aqueous extracts and for mutagenic activity monitored as revertants of Salmonella exposed to metabolically activated chemical class fractions. With both systems, deleterious effects are generally reduced as the severity of hydrotreatment is increased. The major exception appears to be with the low severity hydrotreated H-coal distillate where mutagenicity in the polyaromatic fraction is slightly enhanced over that of the raw distillate. However, medium to high severity hydrotreatment appears to be an effective means of reducing biological activity monitored presumably by reducing aromaticity and heteroatom content.

  1. Radical scavenging activity of antioxidants evaluated by means of electrogenerated HO radical.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Raquel; Geraldo, Dulce; Bento, Fátima

    2014-11-01

    A method is proposed and tested concerning the characterization of antioxidants by means of their reaction with electrogenerated HO radicals in galvanostatic assays with simultaneous O2 evolution, using a Pt anode fairly oxidized. The consumption of a set of species with antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid (AA), caffeic acid (CA), gallic acid (GA) and trolox (T), is described by a first order kinetics. The rate of the processes is limited by the kinetics of reaction with HO radicals and by the kinetics of charge transfer. Information regarding the scavenger activity of antioxidants is obtained by the relative value of the rate constant of the reaction between antioxidants and HO radicals, k(AO,HO)/k(O2). The number of HO radicals scavenged per molecule of antioxidant is also estimated and ranged from 260 (ascorbic acid) to 500 (gallic acid). The method is applied successfully in the characterization of the scavenger activity of ascorbic acid in a green-tea based beverage.

  2. Simulations of mean ionic activity coefficients and solubilities in aqueous electrolyte solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagiotopoulos, Athanassios

    Aqueous electrolyte solutions play an important role in industrial, geochemical and biological applications. The mean ionic activity coefficients quantify the deviation of salt chemical potential from ideal solution behavior; experimental measurements are available for many salts over broad ranges of concentration and temperature, but there have been practically no prior simulation results, because if sampling difficulties for explicit-solvent electrolyte solutions. We have developed a new approach for determination of activity coefficients of aqueous electrolytes. Common fixed-point-charge models for water and ions are unable to reproduce simultaneously activity coefficients and solubilities. Polarizable models perform better, but still predict an incorrect temperature dependence of these properties. Work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Science.

  3. Evaluation of multisensory stimuli--dimensions of meaning and electrical brain activity.

    PubMed

    Hiessl, Anna K; Skrandies, Wolfgang

    2013-06-01

    The semantic differential technique is used to statistically define connotative dimensions of meaning. The brain depends on these dimensions to process words. Earlier studies demonstrated that stimuli of the different semantic classes led to differences in neuronal processing. We investigated the influence of connotative meaning on multisensory processing (food words strongly related to odor, taste, vision or somatosensory texture). A group of 795 subjects rated 197 food words on the basis of 11 pairs of adjectives with opposite meanings. Factor analysis revealed three dimensions (Evaluation, Potency and Texture). Words with high positive or negative scores, and low scores on the other dimensions, were used as stimuli in an ERP experiment. EEG was recorded in 40 healthy adults from 30 channels and averaged according to semantic stimulus class. Component latency, global field power and topography were influenced by semantic meaning. These experiments determined that very early effects at 107 ms after stimulus presentation where latency and GFP were affected by stimulus class. When mapped topographically, different stimulus classes led to different scalp topography of evoked brain activity in sagittal direction already at an early state of processing (around 107 ms). The extent of lateralization of potential fields' centers of gravity was influenced by stimulus class around 304 ms. In summary, semantic dimensions influence neuronal processing of words related to multisensory perception. Such effects suggest a rapid and complex way of processing multisensory stimuli. PMID:23583966

  4. A time to search: finding the meaning of variable activation energy.

    PubMed

    Vyazovkin, Sergey

    2016-07-28

    This review deals with the phenomenon of variable activation energy frequently observed when studying the kinetics in the liquid or solid phase. This phenomenon commonly manifests itself through nonlinear Arrhenius plots or dependencies of the activation energy on conversion computed by isoconversional methods. Variable activation energy signifies a multi-step process and has a meaning of a collective parameter linked to the activation energies of individual steps. It is demonstrated that by using appropriate models of the processes, the link can be established in algebraic form. This allows one to analyze experimentally observed dependencies of the activation energy in a quantitative fashion and, as a result, to obtain activation energies of individual steps, to evaluate and predict other important parameters of the process, and generally to gain deeper kinetic and mechanistic insights. This review provides multiple examples of such analysis as applied to the processes of crosslinking polymerization, crystallization and melting of polymers, gelation, and solid-solid morphological and glass transitions. The use of appropriate computational techniques is discussed as well.

  5. Dynamical mean-field theory and weakly non-linear analysis for the phase separation of active Brownian particles.

    PubMed

    Speck, Thomas; Menzel, Andreas M; Bialké, Julian; Löwen, Hartmut

    2015-06-14

    Recently, we have derived an effective Cahn-Hilliard equation for the phase separation dynamics of active Brownian particles by performing a weakly non-linear analysis of the effective hydrodynamic equations for density and polarization [Speck et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 218304 (2014)]. Here, we develop and explore this strategy in more detail and show explicitly how to get to such a large-scale, mean-field description starting from the microscopic dynamics. The effective free energy emerging from this approach has the form of a conventional Ginzburg-Landau function. On the coarsest scale, our results thus agree with the mapping of active phase separation onto that of passive fluids with attractive interactions through a global effective free energy (motility-induced phase transition). Particular attention is paid to the square-gradient term necessary for the phase separation kinetics. We finally discuss results from numerical simulations corroborating the analytical results.

  6. Dynamical mean-field theory and weakly non-linear analysis for the phase separation of active Brownian particles

    SciTech Connect

    Speck, Thomas; Menzel, Andreas M.; Bialké, Julian; Löwen, Hartmut

    2015-06-14

    Recently, we have derived an effective Cahn-Hilliard equation for the phase separation dynamics of active Brownian particles by performing a weakly non-linear analysis of the effective hydrodynamic equations for density and polarization [Speck et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 218304 (2014)]. Here, we develop and explore this strategy in more detail and show explicitly how to get to such a large-scale, mean-field description starting from the microscopic dynamics. The effective free energy emerging from this approach has the form of a conventional Ginzburg-Landau function. On the coarsest scale, our results thus agree with the mapping of active phase separation onto that of passive fluids with attractive interactions through a global effective free energy (motility-induced phase transition). Particular attention is paid to the square-gradient term necessary for the phase separation kinetics. We finally discuss results from numerical simulations corroborating the analytical results.

  7. Dynamical mean-field theory and weakly non-linear analysis for the phase separation of active Brownian particles.

    PubMed

    Speck, Thomas; Menzel, Andreas M; Bialké, Julian; Löwen, Hartmut

    2015-06-14

    Recently, we have derived an effective Cahn-Hilliard equation for the phase separation dynamics of active Brownian particles by performing a weakly non-linear analysis of the effective hydrodynamic equations for density and polarization [Speck et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 218304 (2014)]. Here, we develop and explore this strategy in more detail and show explicitly how to get to such a large-scale, mean-field description starting from the microscopic dynamics. The effective free energy emerging from this approach has the form of a conventional Ginzburg-Landau function. On the coarsest scale, our results thus agree with the mapping of active phase separation onto that of passive fluids with attractive interactions through a global effective free energy (motility-induced phase transition). Particular attention is paid to the square-gradient term necessary for the phase separation kinetics. We finally discuss results from numerical simulations corroborating the analytical results. PMID:26071703

  8. Dynamical mean-field theory and weakly non-linear analysis for the phase separation of active Brownian particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speck, Thomas; Menzel, Andreas M.; Bialké, Julian; Löwen, Hartmut

    2015-06-01

    Recently, we have derived an effective Cahn-Hilliard equation for the phase separation dynamics of active Brownian particles by performing a weakly non-linear analysis of the effective hydrodynamic equations for density and polarization [Speck et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 218304 (2014)]. Here, we develop and explore this strategy in more detail and show explicitly how to get to such a large-scale, mean-field description starting from the microscopic dynamics. The effective free energy emerging from this approach has the form of a conventional Ginzburg-Landau function. On the coarsest scale, our results thus agree with the mapping of active phase separation onto that of passive fluids with attractive interactions through a global effective free energy (motility-induced phase transition). Particular attention is paid to the square-gradient term necessary for the phase separation kinetics. We finally discuss results from numerical simulations corroborating the analytical results.

  9. Application of k-means and Gaussian mixture model for classification of seismic activities in Istanbul

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuyuk, H. S.; Yildirim, E.; Dogan, E.; Horasan, G.

    2012-08-01

    Two unsupervised pattern recognition algorithms, k-means, and Gaussian mixture model (GMM) analyses have been applied to classify seismic events in the vicinity of Istanbul. Earthquakes, which are occurring at different seismicity rates and extensions of the Thrace-Eskisehir Fault Zone and the North Anatolian Fault (NAF), Turkey, are being contaminated by quarries operated around Istanbul. We have used two time variant parameters, complexity, the ratio of integrated powers of the velocity seismogram, and S/P amplitude ratio as classifiers by using waveforms of 179 events (1.8 < M < 3.0). We have compared two algorithms with classical multivariate linear/quadratic discriminant analyses. The total accuracies of the models for GMM, k-means, linear discriminant function (LDF), and quadratic discriminant function (QDF) are 96.1%, 95.0%, 96.1%, 96.6%, respectively. The performances of models are discussed for earthquakes and quarry blasts separately. All methods clustered the seismic events acceptably where QDF slightly gave better improvements compared to others. We have found that unsupervised clustering algorithms, for which no a-prior target information is available, display a similar discriminatory power as supervised methods of discriminant analysis.

  10. Phagocytic cell function in active brucellosis.

    PubMed Central

    Ocon, P; Reguera, J M; Morata, P; Juarez, C; Alonso, A; Colmenero, J D

    1994-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed phagocytic cell function in 51 patients with active brucellosis and its relationship with different clinical, serological, and evolutionary variables. A control group was made up of 30 blood donors of similar geographic extraction, age, and sex, with no previous history of brucellosis or known exposure ot the infection or specific antibodies. The investigations were carried out at the time of diagnosis, at the conclusion of treatment, and after 6 months of follow-up. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte adherence and nitroblue tetrazolium reduction in response to Brucella antigen were significantly increased in the patients at the time of diagnosis with respect to the control group. In contrast, chemotaxis in response to Brucella antigen and phagocytosis were significantly reduced in the patients with respect to the control group. The alterations in phagocytic cell function were greater in patients with bacteremia, with focal forms of the disease, or with a longer diagnostic delay. Most of these initial alterations tended to normalize with treatment, indicating their transient character. PMID:8112863

  11. Approximate formulas for the mean dry size and the size-class fractions of cloud condensation nuclei as a function of supersaturation

    SciTech Connect

    Rivera-Carpio, C.A.; Novakov, T.

    1995-12-31

    Approximate formulas are presented for the mean dry size and the submicron and Aitken-size fractions of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) as function of supersaturation. The expressions allow to estimate these CCN size-related characteristics, at the supersaturation levels reached during cloud formation, from aerosol size distribution and activation parametric data. The proposed formulas are derived based on approximations inferred from the very good agreement observed between measured and predicted slopes of CCN supersaturation activation spectra. Their application to the problem of assessing the physico-chemical characteristics of CCN-active aerosol particles in marine and continental air masses is illustrated.

  12. A weighted mean shift, normalized cuts initialized color gradient based geodesic active contour model: applications to histopathology image segmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jun; Janowczyk, Andrew; Chandran, Sharat; Madabhushi, Anant

    2010-03-01

    While geodesic active contours (GAC) have become very popular tools for image segmentation, they are sensitive to model initialization. In order to get an accurate segmentation, the model typically needs to be initialized very close to the true object boundary. Apart from accuracy, automated initialization of the objects of interest is an important pre-requisite to being able to run the active contour model on very large images (such as those found in digitized histopathology). A second limitation of GAC model is that the edge detector function is based on gray scale gradients; color images typically being converted to gray scale prior to computing the gradient. For color images, however, the gray scale gradient results in broken edges and weak boundaries, since the other channels are not exploited for the gradient determination. In this paper we present a new geodesic active contour model that is driven by an accurate and rapid object initialization scheme-weighted mean shift normalized cuts (WNCut). WNCut draws its strength from the integration of two powerful segmentation strategies-mean shift clustering and normalized cuts. WNCut involves first defining a color swatch (typically a few pixels) from the object of interest. A multi-scale mean shift coupled normalized cuts algorithm then rapidly yields an initial accurate detection of all objects in the scene corresponding to the colors in the swatch. This detection result provides the initial boundary for GAC model. The edge-detector function of the GAC model employs a local structure tensor based color gradient, obtained by calculating the local min/max variations contributed from each color channel (e.g. R,G,B or H,S,V). Our color gradient based edge-detector function results in more prominent boundaries compared to classical gray scale gradient based function. We evaluate segmentation results of our new WNCut initialized color gradient based GAC (WNCut-CGAC) model against a popular region-based model (Chan

  13. Volunteering as a means to an equal end? The impact of a social justice function on intention to volunteer.

    PubMed

    Jiranek, Patrick; Kals, Elisabeth; Humm, Julia Sophia; Strubel, Isabel Theresia; Wehner, Theo

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we combined components of the theory of planned behavior and the functional approach to predict the social sector volunteering intention of nonvolunteers (N = 513). Moreover, we added a new other-oriented "social justice function" to the Volunteer Functions Inventory of Clary and colleagues (1998), which contains mainly self-oriented functions. We distinguished the social justice function from the other five measured volunteer functions in confirmatory factor analysis, and showed its incremental validity in predicting intention to volunteer beyond established constructs such as self-efficacy, subjective norm, and the five volunteer functions. This study suggests that emphasizing potential social justice improvements by means of volunteering may attract new volunteers.

  14. Volunteering as a means to an equal end? The impact of a social justice function on intention to volunteer.

    PubMed

    Jiranek, Patrick; Kals, Elisabeth; Humm, Julia Sophia; Strubel, Isabel Theresia; Wehner, Theo

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we combined components of the theory of planned behavior and the functional approach to predict the social sector volunteering intention of nonvolunteers (N = 513). Moreover, we added a new other-oriented "social justice function" to the Volunteer Functions Inventory of Clary and colleagues (1998), which contains mainly self-oriented functions. We distinguished the social justice function from the other five measured volunteer functions in confirmatory factor analysis, and showed its incremental validity in predicting intention to volunteer beyond established constructs such as self-efficacy, subjective norm, and the five volunteer functions. This study suggests that emphasizing potential social justice improvements by means of volunteering may attract new volunteers. PMID:24003581

  15. What Does a Graphical Representation Mean for Students at the Beginning of Function Teaching?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yavuz, Ilyas

    2010-01-01

    This study examines how students in the early stages of learning about the concept of functions, describe a curve and, in particular, evaluate the appropriateness of their argument about the representation of a function. Students are offered a message game which is related to a curve drawn on a coordinate system, representing an "imaginary…

  16. Non-destructive testing of composite materials by means of active thermography-based tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lizaranzu, Miguel; Lario, Alberto; Chiminelli, Agustín; Amenabar, Ibán

    2015-07-01

    Infrared analysis tools are nowadays widely used for the non-destructive testing of components made up in composite materials, belonging to many different industrial sectors. Being a non-contact method, its capability for the inspection of large areas in short periods of time justifies the great number of works and technical studies that can be found in this field. The growing interest in the technique is also supported by the development, during recent years, of increasingly powerful equipment and data analysis tools. In order to establish a base of knowledge to assist defect identification in real components inspections, the design and manufacturing of inspection samples including controlled defects, is a frequently used strategy. This paper deals with the analysis, by means of transient active thermography, of a set of inspection patterns made out of different composite materials and configurations that can be found in the wind turbine blade manufacturing industry. The design and manufacturing of these patterns are described, including different types of representative defects, stack configurations and composite manufacturing techniques. Reference samples are then inspected by means of active thermography analysis tools and the results obtained are discussed.

  17. Elastic incoherent neutron scattering on systems of biophysical interest: mean square displacement evaluation from self-distribution function.

    PubMed

    Magazù, Salvatore; Maisano, Giacomo; Migliardo, Federica; Benedetto, Antonio

    2008-07-31

    In the present work an operational recipe for the mean square displacement (MSD) determination, highlighting the connection between the self-distribution function and average statistical values, is presented. The determination of the MSD and of its contributions associated with different mechanisms, together with their thermal behavior, is performed by evaluating the self-distribution function derived by elastic incoherent neutron scattering (EINS). The approach is tested on EINS data collected by the backscattering spectrometer IN13 (ILL, Grenoble, France) on two model systems such as dry myoglobin in trehalose and poly(ethylene glycol) with mean molecular weight M(w) = 400 (PEG 400).

  18. Weak Coordination as a Powerful Means for Developing Broadly Useful C–H Functionalization Reactions

    PubMed Central

    Engle, Keary M.; Mei, Tian-Sheng; Wasa, Masayuki

    2011-01-01

    Conspectus Reactions that convert carbon–hydrogen (C–H) bonds into carbon–carbon (C–C) or carbon–heteroatom (C–Y) bonds are attractive tools for organic chemists, potentially expediting the synthesis of target molecules through new disconnections in retrosynthetic analysis. Despite extensive inorganic and organometallic study of the insertion of homogeneous metal species into unactivated C–H bonds, practical applications of this technology in organic chemistry are still rare. Only in the past decade have metal-catalyzed C–H functionalization reactions become more widely utilized in organic synthesis. Research in the area of homogeneous transition metal–catalyzed C–H functionalization can be broadly grouped into two subfields. They reflect different approaches and goals and thus have different challenges and opportunities. One approach involves reactions of completely unfunctionalized aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, which we refer to as “first functionalization.” Here the substrates are nonpolar and hydrophobic and thus interact very weakly with polar metal species. To overcome this weak affinity and drive metal-mediated C–H cleavage, chemists often use hydrocarbon substrates in large excess (for example, as solvent). Because highly reactive metal species are needed in first functionalization, controlling the chemoselectivity to avoid over-functionalization is often difficult. Additionally, because both substrates and products are comparatively low-value chemicals, developing cost-effective catalysts with exceptionally high turnover numbers that are competitive with alternatives (including heterogeneous catalysts) is challenging. Although an exciting field, first functionalization is beyond the scope of this Account. The second subfield of C–H functionalization involves substrates containing one or more pre-existing functional groups, termed “further functionalization.” One advantage of this approach is that the existing

  19. Meaning-Based Scoring: A Systemic Functional Linguistics Model for Automated Test Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gleason, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Communicative approaches to language teaching that emphasize the importance of speaking (e.g., task-based language teaching) require innovative and evidence-based means of assessing oral language. Nonetheless, research has yet to produce an adequate assessment model for oral language (Chun 2006; Downey et al. 2008). Limited by automatic speech…

  20. Analytical determination of coupled bending-torsion vibrations of cantilever beams by means of station functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mendelson, Alexander; Gendler, Selwyn

    1951-01-01

    A method based on the concept of station functions is presented for calculating the modes and the frequencies of nonuniform cantilever beams vibrating in torsion, bending, and coupled bending-torsion motion. The method combines some of the advantages of the Rayleigh-Ritz and Stodola methods, in that a continuous loading function for the beam is used, with the advantages of the influence-coefficient method, in that the continuous loading function is obtained in terms of the displacements of a finite number of stations along the beam.

  1. Revitalizing the patent system to incentivize pharmaceutical innovation: the potential of claims with means-plus-function clauses.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wanli Lily

    2013-02-01

    The pharmaceutical industry relies on innovation. However, many innovative firms are cutting their research and development investments and seeing their new product pipelines dry up, due in part to a lack of sufficient patent protection. This Note identifies two major factors that have caused this inadequacy in patent protection. First, pharmaceutical patents are challenged early and often by generic manufacturers, as encouraged by the 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act. Second, the scope of pharmaceutical-patents is sometimes unduly restrained due to limited application of the doctrine of equivalents. Consequently, pharmaceutical patents, especially drug-product patents, are easily designed around and cannot offer the protection necessary for innovative firms to recoup their developmental costs. This Note argues for a wider application of means-plus-function clauses in pharmaceutical patents as a potential cure for this problem. Means-plus-function claims, although authorized by Congress in the 1952 Patent Act, have not been explored much in the pharmaceutical context. This Note argues that this claiming strategy is not only appropriate but also particularly effective for pharmaceutical patents. Means-plus-function claims would give drug-product patents adequate scope even with the limited use of the doctrine of equivalents and thus would provide the protection necessary for innovative firms to withstand frequent attacks by generic manufacturers. Finally, this Note examines issues anticipated with applying means-plus-function claims to pharmaceutical patents and proposes possible solutions.

  2. Computing the partition function, ensemble averages, and density of states for lattice spin systems by sampling the mean

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, Dirk

    2013-10-01

    An algorithm to approximately calculate the partition function (and subsequently ensemble averages) and density of states of lattice spin systems through non-Monte-Carlo random sampling is developed. This algorithm (called the sampling-the-mean algorithm) can be applied to models where the up or down spins at lattice nodes interact to change the spin states of other lattice nodes, especially non-Ising-like models with long-range interactions such as the biological model considered here. Because it is based on the Central Limit Theorem of probability, the sampling-the-mean algorithm also gives estimates of the error in the partition function, ensemble averages, and density of states. Easily implemented parallelization strategies and error minimizing sampling strategies are discussed. The sampling-the-mean method works especially well for relatively small systems, systems with a density of energy states that contains sharp spikes or oscillations, or systems with little a priori knowledge of the density of states.

  3. The application of density functional theory and the generalized mean spherical approximation to double layers containing strongly coupled ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boda, Dezso; Henderson, Douglas; Teran, Luis Mier y.; Sokolowski, Stefan

    2002-11-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) is the most successful simple theory for ions near an electrode (the double layer). However, most previous applications of DFT have been for ions that are relatively weakly coupled. Interesting effects have been found in simulations for ions that are strongly coupled. Specifically, drying of the electrode with a resultant large increase in the magnitude of the adsorption is observed. Further, the capacitance decreases with increasing coupling. The DFT formalism requires the direct correlation function of the bulk electrolyte as input. If the bulk electrolyte is treated by means of the mean spherical approximation (MSA), DFT fails to account for these phenomena. However, if the bulk electrolyte is treated by means of a generalized MSA, partial success results. The electrolyte dries the electrode but the lowering of the capacitance is predicted only weakly. Further refinements are necessary for full success.

  4. Negotiated meanings of disability simulations in an adapted physical activity course: learning from student reflections.

    PubMed

    Leo, Jennifer; Goodwin, Donna

    2014-04-01

    Disability simulations have been used as a pedagogical tool to simulate the functional and cultural experiences of disability. Despite their widespread application, disagreement about their ethical use, value, and efficacy persists. The purpose of this study was to understand how postsecondary kinesiology students experienced participation in disability simulations. An interpretative phenomenological approach guided the study's collection of journal entries and clarifying one-on-one interviews with four female undergraduate students enrolled in a required adapted physical activity course. The data were analyzed thematically and interpreted using the conceptual framework of situated learning. Three themes transpired: unnerving visibility, negotiating environments differently, and tomorrow I'll be fine. The students described emotional responses to the use of wheelchairs as disability artifacts, developed awareness of environmental barriers to culturally and socially normative activities, and moderated their discomfort with the knowledge they could end the simulation at any time.

  5. Relativistic Energy Density Functionals: beyond mean-field description of exotic structures

    SciTech Connect

    Vretenar, D.; Niksic, T.; Ring, P.; Lalazissis, G. A.

    2009-01-28

    The framework of relativistic energy density functionals is extended to include correlations related to the restoration of broken symmetries and to fluctuations of collective variables. The generator coordinate method is used to perform configuration mixing of angular-momentum and particle-number projected relativistic wave functions. This approach enables a quantitative description of the evolution of shell-structure, deformation and shape coexistence phenomena in nuclei with soft potential energy surfaces, and singular properties of excitation spectra and transition rates at critical points of quantum shape phase transitions.

  6. One-dimensional potential of mean force underestimates activation barrier for transport across flexible lipid membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopelevich, Dmitry I.

    2013-10-01

    Transport of a fullerene-like nanoparticle across a lipid bilayer is investigated by coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Potentials of mean force (PMF) acting on the nanoparticle in a flexible bilayer suspended in water and a bilayer restrained to a flat surface are computed by constrained MD simulations. The rate of the nanoparticle transport into the bilayer interior is predicted using one-dimensional Langevin models based on these PMFs. The predictions are compared with the transport rates obtained from a series of direct (unconstrained) MD simulations of the solute transport into the flexible bilayer. It is observed that the PMF acting on the solute in the flexible membrane underestimates the transport rate by more than an order of magnitude while the PMF acting on the solute in the restrained membrane yields an accurate estimate of the activation energy for transport into the flexible membrane. This paradox is explained by a coexistence of metastable membrane configurations for a range of the solute positions inside and near the flexible membrane. This leads to a significant reduction of the contribution of the transition state to the mean force acting on the solute. Restraining the membrane shape ensures that there is only one stable membrane configuration corresponding to each solute position and thus the transition state is adequately represented in the PMF. This mechanism is quite general and thus this phenomenon is expected to occur in a wide range of interfacial systems. A simple model for the free energy landscape of the coupled solute-membrane system is proposed and validated. This model explicitly accounts for effects of the membrane deformations on the solute transport and yields an accurate prediction of the activation energy for the solute transport.

  7. The Relationship Between Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Platelet Activity as Measured by Mean Platelet Volume

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Binita; Sha, Daohang; Xie, Dawei; Mohler, Emile R.; Berger, Jeffrey S.

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The association between platelet activity, diabetes, and glucometabolic control is uncertain. We aim to investigate mean platelet volume (MPV), a marker of platelet size and platelet activity, with the prevalence of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and degree of glycemic control. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This is a retrospective analysis of 13,021 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004. Prevalence of diabetes was defined as nonfasting glucose >200 mg/dL, fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, or treatment with hypoglycemic agents. Presence of metabolic syndrome was determined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III definition. Odds ratios and 95% CIs were estimated by logistic regression. RESULTS MPV was significantly higher in subjects with diabetes (8.20 vs. 8.06 femtoliter [fL], P < 0.01) but not in subjects with metabolic syndrome (8.09 vs. 8.07 fL, P = 0.24). For the metabolic syndrome components, MPV was significantly higher in abdominal obesity (P = 0.03) and low HDL (P = 0.04), and not different in high blood pressure (P = 0.07), abnormal glucose metabolism (P = 0.71), or hypertriglyceridemia (P = 0.46). There was a significant correlation between MPV and glucose (P < 0.0001) and between MPV and hemoglobin A1c (P < 0.0001) in subjects with diabetes. These correlations were no longer significant in those without diabetes. The adjusted odds of diabetes rose with increasing MPV levels and were most pronounced in subjects with MPV levels exceeding the 90th percentile (≥9.31 fL). The association between MPV and diabetes was most apparent in those with the poorest glucose control. CONCLUSIONS Mean platelet volume is strongly and independently associated with the presence and severity of diabetes. PMID:22410814

  8. Sex Differences in Mental Ability: A Proposed Means to Link Them to Brain Structure and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Wendy; Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Recent work with the 42 mental ability tests administered to participants of the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) has suggested that there are important dimensions of mental ability that function independently of "g". Two of these dimensions, rotation-verbal and focus-diffusion, appear to involve trade-offs: greater residual rotation…

  9. Evaluation of a Digital Library by Means of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Kano Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garibay, Cecilia; Gutierrez, Humberto; Figueroa, Arturo

    2010-01-01

    This paper proposes utilizing a combination of the Quality Function Deployment (QFD)-Kano model as a useful tool to evaluate service quality. The digital library of the University of Guadalajara (Mexico) is presented as a case study. Data to feed the QFD-Kano model was gathered by an online questionnaire that was made available to users on the…

  10. High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder: Utility and Meaning for Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz Calzada, Luisa; Pistrang, Nancy; Mandy, William P. L.

    2012-01-01

    We used framework analysis to investigate the utility of pervasive developmental disorder diagnoses, interviewing young people (aged 9-16 years) with high-functioning autistic disorder (AD) and Asperger's disorder (AsD), and their parents. Twenty two participants from ten families described both gains and costs resulting from diagnosis. Perceived…

  11. The cumulative overlap distribution function in spin glasses: mean field vs. three dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yllanes, David; Billoire, Alain; Maiorano, Andrea; Marinari, Enzo; Martin-Mayor, Victor

    2015-03-01

    We use a sample-dependent analysis, based on medians and quantiles, to analyze the behavior of the overlap probability distribution in spin glasses. Using analytical and numerical mean-field results for the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model, as well as data from toy models, we show that this approach is an effective tool to distinguish the low-temperature behavior of replica symmmetry breaking systems from that expected in the droplet picture. An application of the method to the three-dimensional Edwards-Anderson models shows agreement with the replica symmetry breaking predictions. Supported by ERC Grant No. 247328 and from MINECO (Spain), Contract No. FIS2012-35719-C02.

  12. Linearised and non-linearised isotherm models optimization analysis by error functions and statistical means.

    PubMed

    Subramanyam, Busetty; Das, Ashutosh

    2014-01-01

    In adsorption study, to describe sorption process and evaluation of best-fitting isotherm model is a key analysis to investigate the theoretical hypothesis. Hence, numerous statistically analysis have been extensively used to estimate validity of the experimental equilibrium adsorption values with the predicted equilibrium values. Several statistical error analysis were carried out. In the present study, the following statistical analysis were carried out to evaluate the adsorption isotherm model fitness, like the Pearson correlation, the coefficient of determination and the Chi-square test, have been used. The ANOVA test was carried out for evaluating significance of various error functions and also coefficient of dispersion were evaluated for linearised and non-linearised models. The adsorption of phenol onto natural soil (Local name Kalathur soil) was carried out, in batch mode at 30 ± 20 C. For estimating the isotherm parameters, to get a holistic view of the analysis the models were compared between linear and non-linear isotherm models. The result reveled that, among above mentioned error functions and statistical functions were designed to determine the best fitting isotherm. PMID:25018878

  13. High-throughput monitoring of major cell functions by means of lensfree video microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kesavan, S. Vinjimore; Momey, F.; Cioni, O.; David-Watine, B.; Dubrulle, N.; Shorte, S.; Sulpice, E.; Freida, D.; Chalmond, B.; Dinten, J. M.; Gidrol, X.; Allier, C.

    2014-08-01

    Quantification of basic cell functions is a preliminary step to understand complex cellular mechanisms, for e.g., to test compatibility of biomaterials, to assess the effectiveness of drugs and siRNAs, and to control cell behavior. However, commonly used quantification methods are label-dependent, and end-point assays. As an alternative, using our lensfree video microscopy platform to perform high-throughput real-time monitoring of cell culture, we introduce specifically devised metrics that are capable of non-invasive quantification of cell functions such as cell-substrate adhesion, cell spreading, cell division, cell division orientation and cell death. Unlike existing methods, our platform and associated metrics embrace entire population of thousands of cells whilst monitoring the fate of every single cell within the population. This results in a high content description of cell functions that typically contains 25,000 - 900,000 measurements per experiment depending on cell density and period of observation. As proof of concept, we monitored cell-substrate adhesion and spreading kinetics of human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs) and primary human fibroblasts, we determined the cell division orientation of hMSCs, and we observed the effect of transfection of siCellDeath (siRNA known to induce cell death) on hMSCs and human Osteo Sarcoma (U2OS) Cells.

  14. [Biodiversity and Function Analyses of BIOLAK Activated Sludge Metagenome].

    PubMed

    Tian, Mei; Liu, Han-hu; Shen, Xin; Zhao, Fang-qing; Chen, Shuai; Yao, Yong-jia

    2015-05-01

    The BIOLAK is a multi-stage activated sludge process, which has been successfully promoted worldwide. However, the biological community and function of the BIOLAK activated sludge ( the core component in the process) have not been reported so far. In this study, taking Lianyungang Dapu Industrial Zone WWTP as an example, a large-scale metagenomic data (428 588 high-quality DNA sequences) of the BIOLAK activated sludge were obtained by means of a new generation of high-throughput sequencing technology. Amazing biodiversity was revealed in the BIOLAK activated sludge, which included 47 phyla, 872 genera and 1351 species. There were 33 phyla identified in the Bacteria domain (289 933 sequences). Proteohacteria was the most abundant phylum (62.54%), followed by Bacteroidetes (11.29%), Nitrospirae ( 5. 65%) and Planctomycetes (4.79%), suggesting that these groups played a key role in the BIOLAK wastewater treatment system. Among the 748 bacterial genera, Nitrospira (5.60%) was the most prevalent genus, which was a key group in the nitrogen cycle. Followed by Gemmatimonas (2.45%), which was an important genus in the biological phosphorus removal process. In Archaea domain (1019 sequences), three phyla and 39 genera were detected. In Eukaryota domain (1055 sequences), 60 genera and 10 phyla were identified, among which Ciliophora was the largest phylum (257 sequences). Meanwhile, 448 viral sequences were detected in the BIOLAK sludge metagenome, which were dominated by bacteriophages. The proportions of nitrogen, aromatic compounds and phosphorus metabolism in the BIOLAK sludge were 2.50%, 2.28% and 1.56%, respectively, which were higher than those in the sludge of United States and Australia. Among four processes of nitrogen metabolism, denitrification-related genes were most abundant (80.81%), followed by ammonification (12.78%), nitrification,(4.38%) and nitrogen fixation (2.04%). In conclusion, the BIOLAK activated sludge had amazing biodiversity, meanwhile

  15. Mean platelet volume as an inflammation marker in active pulmonary tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The mean platelet volume (MPV) reflects the size of platelets. It has been shown to be inversely correlated with level of the inflammation in some chronic inflammatory diseases. This prospective study aims to show the usability of MPV as an inflammation marker in patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) by comparison with healthy controls. In addition, its relationships with other inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) as well as with the radiological extent of disease were examined. Methods This study included 82 patients with active PTB and 95 healthy subjects (control group). Whole blood counts, CRP level, and ESR were compared between the two groups. In the PTB group, the relationships between the radiological extent of disease and the MPV and other inflammation markers were investigated. Results The MPV was 7.74 ± 1.33/μL in the PTB group and 8.20 ± 1.13/μL in the control group (p = 0.005). The blood platelet count, CRP level, and ESR were significantly higher in the active PTB group than in the control group (p < 0.0001). In the PTB group, CRP levels (r = 0.26, p = 0.003) and ESR (r = 0.39, p = 0.003), but not MPV (p = 0.80), were significantly correlated with the radiologic extent of the disease. Conclusions The MPV was lower in patients with PTB than in healthy controls, however, the difference was limited. The MPV does not reflect the severity of the disease. The use of MPV as an inflammation marker and a negative acute-phase reactant in PTB does not seem to be reliable. PMID:24581084

  16. A new approach of watermarking technique by means multichannel wavelet functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agreste, Santa; Puccio, Luigia

    2012-12-01

    The digital piracy involving images, music, movies, books, and so on, is a legal problem that has not found a solution. Therefore it becomes crucial to create and to develop methods and numerical algorithms in order to solve the copyright problems. In this paper we focus the attention on a new approach of watermarking technique applied to digital color images. Our aim is to describe the realized watermarking algorithm based on multichannel wavelet functions with multiplicity r = 3, called MCWM 1.0. We report a large experimentation and some important numerical results in order to show the robustness of the proposed algorithm to geometrical attacks.

  17. Functional human liver preservation and recovery by means of subnormothermic machine perfusion.

    PubMed

    Bruinsma, Bote G; Avruch, James H; Weeder, Pepijn D; Sridharan, Gautham V; Uygun, Basak E; Karimian, Negin G; Porte, Robert J; Markmann, James F; Yeh, Heidi; Uygun, Korkut

    2015-04-27

    There is currently a severe shortage of liver grafts available for transplantation. Novel organ preservation techniques are needed to expand the pool of donor livers. Machine perfusion of donor liver grafts is an alternative to traditional cold storage of livers and holds much promise as a modality to expand the donor organ pool. We have recently described the potential benefit of subnormothermic machine perfusion of human livers. Machine perfused livers showed improving function and restoration of tissue ATP levels. Additionally, machine perfusion of liver grafts at subnormothermic temperatures allows for objective assessment of the functionality and suitability of a liver for transplantation. In these ways a great many livers that were previously discarded due to their suboptimal quality can be rescued via the restorative effects of machine perfusion and utilized for transplantation. Here we describe this technique of subnormothermic machine perfusion in detail. Human liver grafts allocated for research are perfused via the hepatic artery and portal vein with an acellular oxygenated perfusate at 21 °C.

  18. [Coping with functional disability among the elderly by means of religious beliefs].

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Wagner Jorge; Giacomin, Karla Cristina; Pereira, Josiane Katherine; Firmo, Josélia de Oliveira Araújo

    2013-08-01

    The way people deal with the stress of life is known as the process of coping or confrontation. We speak of religious coping when a person uses religious belief and behavior to facilitate problem solving, to prevent or alleviate stressful negative emotional consequences, notable among which is functional disability. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of religion as a strategy for coping with disability among the elderly. A qualitative approach, consisting of an observational ethnographic study was employed, the sample for which included 57 elderly individuals from Bambuí, Minas Gerais. The model of signs, significances and actions was used in collecting and analyzing data. The religiosity of the elderly respondents suggested that their religious beliefs and traditions help explain and address the suffering experienced by them in the presence or imminence of functional disability. Religious coping reinforces the fatalism existing in the religious belief that mirrors the inevitability of old age with disability as an accepted and natural social code, but also helps to minimize the social responsibility for the care of the elderly and reveals the disbelief in existing public health services.

  19. Voltage Induced Buckling Instability, a Means for Advanced Functionality within Soft Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavakol, Behrouz; Beauchamp, Sarah E.; Chawan, Aschvin; Holmes, Douglas P.

    2015-03-01

    Instabilities within structures composed of soft materials may provide advanced functionality. We use the buckling of thin dielectric plates for pumping fluids and controlling the flow rate within microchannels. When exposed to an electric field, a confined dielectric plate buckles out of the plane, and this buckling can stop or enhance the flow rate of surrounding media. Compliant or grease electrodes have conventionally been used to aid in voltage application to both sides of the dielectric film. Here we introduce fluid electrodes, which make this mechanism embeddable into micro devices, enable the buckling at lower voltages, and significantly enhance the rate of deformation. We show that this mechanism can function as a microvalve to control the flow rate, or as a micropump to enhance the flow rate. We also examine buckled shapes of the dielectric film using a scaled-up version with fluid electrodes. These reversible, voltage-induced buckling instabilities can potentially be used in variety of different applications to control or enhance fluid flow in micro devices.

  20. Ways of increasing muscular activity by means of isometric muscular exertion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kovalik, A. V.

    1980-01-01

    The effect of isometric muscular exertion on the human body was investigated by having subjects perform basic movements in a sitting position in the conventional manner with additional muscle tension at 50% maximum force and at maximum force. The pulse, arterial pressure, skin temperature, respiratory rate, minute respiratory volume and electrical activity of the muscles involved were all measured. Performance of the exercises with maximum muscular exertion for 20 sec and without movement resulted in the greatest shifts in these indices; in the conventional manner substantial changes did not occur; and with isometric muscular exertion with 50% maximum force with and without movement, optimal functional shifts resulted. The latter is recommended for use in industrial exercises for the prevention of hypodynamia. Ten exercises are suggested.

  1. Optimization of the activated sludge anoxic reactor configuration as a means to control nutrient removal kinetically.

    PubMed

    Plósz, Benedek Gy

    2007-04-01

    Factors influencing the determination of optimum reactor configuration for activated sludge denitrification are investigated in this paper. A kinetic optimization method is presented to evaluate optimal pre- and post-denitrification bioreactor stages. Applying the method developed, simulation studies were carried out to investigate the impacts of the ratio of the influent readily biodegradable and slowly biodegradable substrates and the oxygen entering the denitrification zones on the optimal anoxic reactor configuration. In addition, the paper describes the effects of the slowly biodegradable substrate on the denitrification efficiency using external substrate dosing, and it demonstrates kinetic considerations concerning the hydrolysis process. It has been shown that as a function of the biodegradable substrate composition, the stage system design with three optimized reactor compartments can effectively increase reaction rates in the denitrification zones, and can provide flexibility for varying operation conditions. PMID:17321565

  2. {alpha}-decay hindrance factors: A probe of mean-field wave functions

    SciTech Connect

    Karlgren, D.; Liotta, R.J.; Wyss, R.; Huyse, M.; Vel, K. van de; Duppen, P. van

    2006-06-15

    A simple model to calculate {alpha}-decay hindrance factors (HF) with special emphasis on the shape coexistence in the Pb-Po region is presented. Using deformation values obtained from potential energy surface (PES) calculations as the only input, hindrance factors for the {alpha} decay of Rn and Po isotopes are calculated. The fair agreement between experimental and theoretical hindrance factors suggest that the wave function obtained from the energy minima of the PES calculations contains an important part of the correlations that play a role for the {alpha} decay. The model is applicable to shape coexistence in the Po and Pb region when minima are well defined. The calculated HF that emerge from these calculations render a different interpretation than the commonly assumed n-particle n-hole picture of the intruder states in the Pb region.

  3. In vitro functional screening as a means to identify new plasticizers devoid of reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Annie; Jones, Steven; Issop, Leeyah; Erythropel, Hanno C; Papadopoulos, Vassilios; Culty, Martine

    2016-10-01

    Plasticizers are indispensable additives providing flexibility and malleability to plastics. Among them, several phthalates, including di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), have emerged as endocrine disruptors, leading to their restriction in consumer products and creating a need for new, safer plasticizers. The goal of this project was to use in vitro functional screening tools to select novel non-toxic plasticizers suitable for further in vivo evaluation. A panel of novel compounds with satisfactory plasticizer properties and biodegradability were tested, along with several commercial plasticizers, such as diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH®). MEHP, the monoester metabolite of DEHP was also included as reference compound. Because phthalates target mainly testicular function, including androgen production and spermatogenesis, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig and C18-4 spermatogonial cell lines as surrogates to examine cell survival, proliferation, steroidogenesis and mitochondrial integrity. The most promising compounds were further assessed on organ cultures of rat fetal and neonatal testes, corresponding to sensitive developmental windows. Dose-response studies revealed the toxicity of most maleates and fumarates, while identifying several dibenzoate and succinate plasticizers as innocuous on Leydig and germ cells. Interestingly, DINCH®, a plasticizer marketed as a safe alternative to phthalates, exerted a biphasic effect on steroid production in MA-10 and fetal Leydig cells. MEHP was the only plasticizer inducing the formation of multinucleated germ cells (MNG) in organ culture. Overall, organ cultures corroborated the cell line data, identifying one dibenzoate and one succinate as the most promising candidates. The adoption of such collaborative approaches for developing new chemicals should help prevent the development of compounds potentially harmful to human health.

  4. In vitro functional screening as a means to identify new plasticizers devoid of reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Annie; Jones, Steven; Issop, Leeyah; Erythropel, Hanno C; Papadopoulos, Vassilios; Culty, Martine

    2016-10-01

    Plasticizers are indispensable additives providing flexibility and malleability to plastics. Among them, several phthalates, including di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), have emerged as endocrine disruptors, leading to their restriction in consumer products and creating a need for new, safer plasticizers. The goal of this project was to use in vitro functional screening tools to select novel non-toxic plasticizers suitable for further in vivo evaluation. A panel of novel compounds with satisfactory plasticizer properties and biodegradability were tested, along with several commercial plasticizers, such as diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH®). MEHP, the monoester metabolite of DEHP was also included as reference compound. Because phthalates target mainly testicular function, including androgen production and spermatogenesis, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig and C18-4 spermatogonial cell lines as surrogates to examine cell survival, proliferation, steroidogenesis and mitochondrial integrity. The most promising compounds were further assessed on organ cultures of rat fetal and neonatal testes, corresponding to sensitive developmental windows. Dose-response studies revealed the toxicity of most maleates and fumarates, while identifying several dibenzoate and succinate plasticizers as innocuous on Leydig and germ cells. Interestingly, DINCH®, a plasticizer marketed as a safe alternative to phthalates, exerted a biphasic effect on steroid production in MA-10 and fetal Leydig cells. MEHP was the only plasticizer inducing the formation of multinucleated germ cells (MNG) in organ culture. Overall, organ cultures corroborated the cell line data, identifying one dibenzoate and one succinate as the most promising candidates. The adoption of such collaborative approaches for developing new chemicals should help prevent the development of compounds potentially harmful to human health. PMID:27423704

  5. Logistic regression by means of evolutionary radial basis function neural networks.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Pedro Antonio; Hervas-Martinez, César; Martinez-Estudillo, Francisco J

    2011-02-01

    This paper proposes a hybrid multilogistic methodology, named logistic regression using initial and radial basis function (RBF) covariates. The process for obtaining the coefficients is carried out in three steps. First, an evolutionary programming (EP) algorithm is applied, in order to produce an RBF neural network (RBFNN) with a reduced number of RBF transformations and the simplest structure possible. Then, the initial attribute space (or, as commonly known as in logistic regression literature, the covariate space) is transformed by adding the nonlinear transformations of the input variables given by the RBFs of the best individual in the final generation. Finally, a maximum likelihood optimization method determines the coefficients associated with a multilogistic regression model built in this augmented covariate space. In this final step, two different multilogistic regression algorithms are applied: one considers all initial and RBF covariates (multilogistic initial-RBF regression) and the other one incrementally constructs the model and applies cross validation, resulting in an automatic covariate selection [simplelogistic initial-RBF regression (SLIRBF)]. Both methods include a regularization parameter, which has been also optimized. The methodology proposed is tested using 18 benchmark classification problems from well-known machine learning problems and two real agronomical problems. The results are compared with the corresponding multilogistic regression methods applied to the initial covariate space, to the RBFNNs obtained by the EP algorithm, and to other probabilistic classifiers, including different RBFNN design methods [e.g., relaxed variable kernel density estimation, support vector machines, a sparse classifier (sparse multinomial logistic regression)] and a procedure similar to SLIRBF but using product unit basis functions. The SLIRBF models are found to be competitive when compared with the corresponding multilogistic regression methods and the

  6. Preparation of functionalized cotton fabrics by means of melatonin loaded β-cyclodextrin nanosponges.

    PubMed

    Mihailiasa, Manuela; Caldera, Fabrizio; Li, Jiemeng; Peila, Roberta; Ferri, Ada; Trotta, Francesco

    2016-05-20

    Biofunctional textiles are a new category of advanced materials which combine conventional textiles with advanced drug delivery systems to obtain fabrics able to release active principles through skin. The work presents the synthesis of hyper cross-linked β-cyclodextrins nanosponges with the carbonyl group acting as bridge between cyclodextrin molecules. The result of the synthesis is a 3-D porous structure, where melatonin molecules have been complexed. The complex has been characterized by elemental analysis, DSC, SEM, XRD and FT-IR spectroscopy and the results confirm that melatonin interacts with the synthesized nanosponge at molecular level. Melatonin loaded nanosponges have been dispersed on cotton fibres, which have proved to be a suitable substrate for durable nanosponge adsorption. The in vitro release tests from the funtionalized fabrics have shown a zero order kinetics, which is typical of a reservoir diffusion controlled system.

  7. Preparation of functionalized cotton fabrics by means of melatonin loaded β-cyclodextrin nanosponges.

    PubMed

    Mihailiasa, Manuela; Caldera, Fabrizio; Li, Jiemeng; Peila, Roberta; Ferri, Ada; Trotta, Francesco

    2016-05-20

    Biofunctional textiles are a new category of advanced materials which combine conventional textiles with advanced drug delivery systems to obtain fabrics able to release active principles through skin. The work presents the synthesis of hyper cross-linked β-cyclodextrins nanosponges with the carbonyl group acting as bridge between cyclodextrin molecules. The result of the synthesis is a 3-D porous structure, where melatonin molecules have been complexed. The complex has been characterized by elemental analysis, DSC, SEM, XRD and FT-IR spectroscopy and the results confirm that melatonin interacts with the synthesized nanosponge at molecular level. Melatonin loaded nanosponges have been dispersed on cotton fibres, which have proved to be a suitable substrate for durable nanosponge adsorption. The in vitro release tests from the funtionalized fabrics have shown a zero order kinetics, which is typical of a reservoir diffusion controlled system. PMID:26917369

  8. Hybrid modeling in biochemical systems theory by means of functional petri nets.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jialiang; Voit, Eberhard

    2009-02-01

    Many biological systems are genuinely hybrids consisting of interacting discrete and continuous components and processes that often operate at different time scales. It is therefore desirable to create modeling frameworks capable of combining differently structured processes and permitting their analysis over multiple time horizons. During the past 40 years, Biochemical Systems Theory (BST) has been a very successful approach to elucidating metabolic, gene regulatory, and signaling systems. However, its foundation in ordinary differential equations has precluded BST from directly addressing problems containing switches, delays, and stochastic effects. In this study, we extend BST to hybrid modeling within the framework of Hybrid Functional Petri Nets (HFPN). First, we show how the canonical GMA and S-system models in BST can be directly implemented in a standard Petri Net framework. In a second step we demonstrate how to account for different types of time delays as well as for discrete, stochastic, and switching effects. Using representative test cases, we validate the hybrid modeling approach through comparative analyses and simulations with other approaches and highlight the feasibility, quality, and efficiency of the hybrid method.

  9. Functional imaging of living Paramecium by means of confocal and two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaspro, Alberto; Fronte, Paola; Raimondo, Marco; Fato, Marco; DeLeo, Gianluca; Beltrame, Francesco; Cannone, Fabio; Chirico, Giberto; Ramoino, Paola

    2002-05-01

    Confocal and Two-photon excitation laser scanning microscopy allow gathering three-dimensional and temporal information from biological systems exploiting fluorescence labeling and autofluorescence properties. In this work we study biological events linked to functionality in Paramecium primaurelia. The internalization of material in ciliated one-celled organisms (protozoa) occurs via different mechanisms, even if most of nutrients, particulate or not, is taken up by food vacuoles formed at the bottom of the oral cavity. The endocytosis of small-sized molecules occurs at the parasomal sacs, located next the ciliar basal bodies. Vital fluorescent dyes (BSA-FITC, WGA-FITC, dextran-Texas Red, cholesteryl-Bodipy) and autofluorescence were used to study formation, movement, and fusion of vesicles during endocytosis and phagocytosis of Paramecium primaurelia. By immobilizing living cells pulsed with food vacuole and endosome markers at successive times after chasing in unlabeled medium, the intracellular movement and fusion of food vacuoles and of endosomes were visualized. A temporal analysis of fluorescence images and the false-color technique were used. Starting from time series or 3D data sets composite images were generated by associating with each originally acquired image a different color corresponding to each sampling point in time and along the z-axis. Second Harmonic Generation Imaging attempts are also outlined.

  10. [The São Carlos Hospital School: assessment of its functioning by means of user satisfaction].

    PubMed

    Ricci, Natalia Aquaroni; Wanderley, Fábio da Silva; de Oliveira, Marilda Siriani; Rebelatto, José Rubens

    2011-01-01

    This research assessed the satisfaction of the users of São Carlos Hospital School in its first six months of functioning. A sample of 137 users was grouped according to the service used: hospital admittance, home care, emergency medical assistance, spontaneous emergency and shelter. Inferential statistics were realized by Chi-Square and Fischer Exact tests. The majority of users were women and aged 18 to 45 years-old. The users were "very satisfied" (46.2%) with attendance agility and with the team (52.6%). A number of 59.2% of the users were very satisfied with the hospital and 68.8% considered the service better than expected. Less "clarity concerning health" was reported for shelter regarding hospital admittance and home care (p<0.05). Users under hospital admittance presented greater satisfaction and better expectation compared to acceptance and emergency medical assistance (p<0.05). User profile characteristics as "skin color" and "health plan" presented statistical differences regarding general satisfaction. The study showed that the adoption of a humanized model of assistance in healthcare as the proposal of this Hospital resulted in user satisfaction. PMID:21503460

  11. Bio-grout based on microbially induced sand solidification by means of asparaginase activity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mengmeng; Fu, Qing-Long; Zhang, Qiuzhuo; Achal, Varenyam; Kawasaki, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    Bio-grout, a new ground improvement method, has been recently developed to improve the mechanical properties, decrease the permeability of porous materials, reinforce or repair cementitious materials and modify the properties of soil or sand. Bio-grout production depends on microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), which is driven mainly by an enzyme, urease. However, urease-based MICP process produces excessive ammonia, in addition to secondary pollution generated by urea that is used as substrate in it. In the present study, we reported asparaginase-based MICP process for sand bio-grout development using Bacillus megaterium, and results were also compared with urease-based bio-grouts. The asparaginase activity led to significantly less ammonia production compared to urease without compromising with desired properties of a novel grout. The UCS of bio-grout was obtained at 980 kPa, while the permeability was decreased substantially. The mineralogical composition of precipitated substance was identified as calcite using XRD and the crystal morphology was observed under SEM. The mass percentage of calcite in bio-grout was calculated by thermogravimetric analysis and XCT verified calcite precipitation in it. The results confirmed that biocalcification by means of bacterial asparaginase is a potential solution for geotechnical problems. The asparaginase-based MICP process could be of wider acceptance in future. PMID:26525435

  12. Bio-grout based on microbially induced sand solidification by means of asparaginase activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Mengmeng; Fu, Qing-Long; Zhang, Qiuzhuo; Achal, Varenyam; Kawasaki, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    Bio-grout, a new ground improvement method, has been recently developed to improve the mechanical properties, decrease the permeability of porous materials, reinforce or repair cementitious materials and modify the properties of soil or sand. Bio-grout production depends on microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), which is driven mainly by an enzyme, urease. However, urease-based MICP process produces excessive ammonia, in addition to secondary pollution generated by urea that is used as substrate in it. In the present study, we reported asparaginase-based MICP process for sand bio-grout development using Bacillus megaterium, and results were also compared with urease-based bio-grouts. The asparaginase activity led to significantly less ammonia production compared to urease without compromising with desired properties of a novel grout. The UCS of bio-grout was obtained at 980 kPa, while the permeability was decreased substantially. The mineralogical composition of precipitated substance was identified as calcite using XRD and the crystal morphology was observed under SEM. The mass percentage of calcite in bio-grout was calculated by thermogravimetric analysis and XCT verified calcite precipitation in it. The results confirmed that biocalcification by means of bacterial asparaginase is a potential solution for geotechnical problems. The asparaginase-based MICP process could be of wider acceptance in future. PMID:26525435

  13. Disentangling the influences of mean body size and size structure on ecosystem functioning: an example of nutrient recycling by a non-native crayfish.

    PubMed

    Fritschie, Keith J; Olden, Julian D

    2016-01-01

    Body size is a fundamental functional trait that can be used to forecast individuals' responses to environmental change and their contribution to ecosystem functioning. However, information on the mean and variation of size distributions often confound one another when relating body size to aggregate functioning. Given that size-based metrics are used as indicators of ecosystem status, it is important to identify the specific aspects of size distributions that mediate ecosystem functioning. Our goal was to simultaneously account for the mean, variance, and shape of size distributions when relating body size to aggregate ecosystem functioning. We take advantage of habitat-specific differences in size distributions to estimate nutrient recycling by a non-native crayfish using mean-field and variance-incorporating approaches. Crayfishes often substantially influence ecosystem functioning through their omnivorous role in aquatic food webs. As predicted from Jensen's inequality, considering only the mean body size of crayfish overestimated aggregate effects on ecosystem functioning. This bias declined with mean body size such that mean-field and variance-incorporating estimates of ecosystem functioning were similar for samples at mean body sizes >7.5 g. At low mean body size, mean-field bias in ecosystem functioning mismatch predictions from Jensen's inequality, likely because of the increasing skewness of the size distribution. Our findings support the prediction that variance around the mean can alter the relationship between body size and ecosystem functioning, especially at low mean body size. However, methods to account for mean-field bias performed poorly in samples with highly skewed distributions, indicating that changes in the shape of the distribution, in addition to the variance, may confound mean-based estimates of ecosystem functioning. Given that many biological functions scale allometrically, explicitly defining and experimentally or statistically

  14. Disentangling the influences of mean body size and size structure on ecosystem functioning: an example of nutrient recycling by a non-native crayfish.

    PubMed

    Fritschie, Keith J; Olden, Julian D

    2016-01-01

    Body size is a fundamental functional trait that can be used to forecast individuals' responses to environmental change and their contribution to ecosystem functioning. However, information on the mean and variation of size distributions often confound one another when relating body size to aggregate functioning. Given that size-based metrics are used as indicators of ecosystem status, it is important to identify the specific aspects of size distributions that mediate ecosystem functioning. Our goal was to simultaneously account for the mean, variance, and shape of size distributions when relating body size to aggregate ecosystem functioning. We take advantage of habitat-specific differences in size distributions to estimate nutrient recycling by a non-native crayfish using mean-field and variance-incorporating approaches. Crayfishes often substantially influence ecosystem functioning through their omnivorous role in aquatic food webs. As predicted from Jensen's inequality, considering only the mean body size of crayfish overestimated aggregate effects on ecosystem functioning. This bias declined with mean body size such that mean-field and variance-incorporating estimates of ecosystem functioning were similar for samples at mean body sizes >7.5 g. At low mean body size, mean-field bias in ecosystem functioning mismatch predictions from Jensen's inequality, likely because of the increasing skewness of the size distribution. Our findings support the prediction that variance around the mean can alter the relationship between body size and ecosystem functioning, especially at low mean body size. However, methods to account for mean-field bias performed poorly in samples with highly skewed distributions, indicating that changes in the shape of the distribution, in addition to the variance, may confound mean-based estimates of ecosystem functioning. Given that many biological functions scale allometrically, explicitly defining and experimentally or statistically

  15. Self-consistent Green's function embedding for advanced electronic structure methods based on a dynamical mean-field concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chibani, Wael; Ren, Xinguo; Scheffler, Matthias; Rinke, Patrick

    2016-04-01

    We present an embedding scheme for periodic systems that facilitates the treatment of the physically important part (here a unit cell or a supercell) with advanced electronic structure methods, that are computationally too expensive for periodic systems. The rest of the periodic system is treated with computationally less demanding approaches, e.g., Kohn-Sham density-functional theory, in a self-consistent manner. Our scheme is based on the concept of dynamical mean-field theory formulated in terms of Green's functions. Our real-space dynamical mean-field embedding scheme features two nested Dyson equations, one for the embedded cluster and another for the periodic surrounding. The total energy is computed from the resulting Green's functions. The performance of our scheme is demonstrated by treating the embedded region with hybrid functionals and many-body perturbation theory in the GW approach for simple bulk systems. The total energy and the density of states converge rapidly with respect to the computational parameters and approach their bulk limit with increasing cluster (i.e., computational supercell) size.

  16. Surface reactivity of Ge[111] for organic functionalization by means of a radical-initiated reaction: A DFT study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubio-Pereda, Pamela; Takeuchi, Noboru

    2016-08-01

    The study of interfacial chemistry at semiconductor surfaces has become an important area of research. Functionalities such as molecular recognition, biocompatibility of surfaces, and molecular computing, could be achieved by the combinations of organic chemistry with the semiconductor technology. One way to accomplish this goal is by means of organic functionalization of semiconductor surfaces such as the bulk-terminated germanium surfaces, more specifically the Ge[111]. In this work, we theoretically study, by applying density functional theory, the surface reactivity of the bulk-terminated Ge[111] surface for organic functionalization by means of a radical-initiated reaction of unsaturated molecules such as acetylene, ethylene and styrene with a hydrogen vacancy on a previously hydrogen-terminated Ge[111] surface. Results derived from this work are compared with those obtained in our previous calculations on the germanene surface, following the same chemical route. Our calculations show an accumulation of electronic charge at the H-vacancy having as a result electron pairing due to strong lattice-electron coupling and therefore a diminished surface reactivity. Calculation of the transition states for acetylene and ethylene indicates that the surface reactivity of the hydrogen-terminated Ge[111] surface is less promising than its two-dimensional analogue, the hydrogen-terminated germanene.

  17. Function of streptokinase fragments in plasminogen activation.

    PubMed Central

    Shi, G Y; Chang, B I; Chen, S M; Wu, D H; Wu, H L

    1994-01-01

    Several peptide fragments of streptokinase (SK) were prepared by incubating SK with immobilized human plasmin (hPlm) and purified by h.p.l.c. with a reverse-phase phenyl column. The N-terminal sequences, amino acid compositions and molecular masses of these peptide fragments were determined. The SK peptide fragment of 36 kDa consisting of Ser60-Lys387 (SK-p), was the only peptide fragment that could be tightly bound to immobilized hPlm. Another three large SK peptide fragments, SK-m, SK-n and SK-o, with molecular masses of 7 kDa, 18 kDa and 30 kDa, and consisting of Ile1-Lys59, Glu148-Lys333, Ser60-Lys333 respectively, were also obtained from the supernatant of the reaction mixture. The purified SK-p had high affinity with hPlm and could activate human plasminogen (hPlg) with a kPlg one-sixth that of the native SK. SK-o had low affinity with hPlm and could also activate hPlg, although the catalytic constant was less than 1% of the native SK. SK-n, as well as SK-m, which is the N-terminal 59 amino acid peptide of the native SK, had no activator activity. However, SK-m could enhance the activator activity of both SK-o and SK-p and increase their second-order rate constants by two- and six-fold respectively. It was concluded from these studies that (1) SK-o, the Ser60-Lys333 peptide of SK, was essential for minimal SK activator activity, (2) the C-terminal peptide of SK-p, Ala334-Lys387, was essential for high affinity with hPlm, and (3) the N-terminal 59-amino-acid peptide was important in maintaining the proper conformation of SK to have its full activator activity. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:7998939

  18. Structure activity relationships: their function in biological prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, T.W.

    1982-01-01

    Quantitative structure activity relationships provide a means of ranking or predicting biological effects based on chemical structure. For each compound used to formulate a structure activity model two kinds of quantitative information are required: (1) biological activity and (2) molecular properties. Molecular properties are of three types: (1) molecular shape, (2) physiochemical parameters, and (3) abstract quantitations of molecular structure. Currently the two best descriptors are the hydrophobic parameter, log 1-octanol/water partition coefficient (log P), and the /sup 1/X/sup v/(one-chi-v) molecular connectivity index. Biological responses can be divided into three main categories: (1) non-specific effects due to membrane perturbation, (2) non-specific effects due to interaction with functional groups of proteins, and (3) specific effects due to interaction with receptors. Twenty-six synthetic fossil fuel-related nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds were examined to determine the quantitative correlation between log P and /sup 1/X/sup v/ and population growth impairment of Tetrahymena pyriformis. Nitro-containing compounds are the most active, followed by amino-containing compounds and azaarenes. Within each analog series activity increases with alkyl substitution and ring addition. The planar model log BR = 0.5564 log P + 0.3000 /sup 1/X/sup v/ -2.0138 was determined using mono-nitrogen substituted compounds. Attempts to extrapolate this model to dinitrogen-containing molecules were, for the most part, unsuccessful because of a change in mode of action from membrane perturbation to uncoupling of oxidative phosphoralation.

  19. Comparison of the mean quality factors for astronauts calculated using the Q-functions proposed by ICRP, ICRU, and NASA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, T.; Endo, A.; Niita, K.

    2013-07-01

    For the estimation of the radiation risk for astronauts, not only the organ absorbed doses but also their mean quality factors must be evaluated. Three functions have been proposed by different organizations for expressing the radiation quality, including the Q(L), Q(y), and QNASA(Z, E) relationships as defined in International Committee of Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 60, International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) Report 40, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) TP-2011-216155, respectively. The Q(L) relationship is the most simple and widely used for space dosimetry, but the use of the latter two functions enables consideration of the difference in the track structure of various charged particles during the risk estimation. Therefore, we calculated the mean quality factors in organs and tissues in ICRP/ICRU reference voxel phantoms for the isotropic exposure to various mono-energetic particles using the three Q-functions. The Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System PHITS was employed to simulate the particle motions inside the phantoms. The effective dose equivalents and the phantom-averaged effective quality factors for the astronauts were then estimated from the calculated mean quality factors multiplied by the fluence-to-dose conversion coefficients and cosmic-ray fluxes inside a spacecraft. It was found from the calculations that QNASA generally gives the largest values for the phantom-averaged effective quality factors among the three Q-functions for neutron, proton, and lighter-ion irradiation, whereas Q(L) provides the largest values for heavier-ion irradiation. Overall, the introduction of QNASA instead of Q(L) or Q(y) in astronaut dosimetry results in the increase the effective dose equivalents because the majority of the doses are composed of the contributions from protons and neutrons, although this tendency may change by the calculation conditions.

  20. Functional renormalization-group approaches, one-particle (irreducible) reducible with respect to local Green’s functions, with dynamical mean-field theory as a starting point

    SciTech Connect

    Katanin, A. A.

    2015-06-15

    We consider formulations of the functional renormalization-group (fRG) flow for correlated electronic systems with the dynamical mean-field theory as a starting point. We classify the corresponding renormalization-group schemes into those neglecting one-particle irreducible six-point vertices (with respect to the local Green’s functions) and neglecting one-particle reducible six-point vertices. The former class is represented by the recently introduced DMF{sup 2}RG approach [31], but also by the scale-dependent generalization of the one-particle irreducible representation (with respect to local Green’s functions, 1PI-LGF) of the generating functional [20]. The second class is represented by the fRG flow within the dual fermion approach [16, 32]. We compare formulations of the fRG approach in each of these cases and suggest their further application to study 2D systems within the Hubbard model.

  1. Cross-Language Phonological Activation of Meaning: Evidence from Category Verification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friesen, Deanna C.; Jared, Debra

    2012-01-01

    The study investigated phonological processing in bilingual reading for meaning. English-French and French-English bilinguals performed a category verification task in either their first or second language. Interlingual homophones (words that share phonology across languages but not orthography or meaning) and single language control words served…

  2. Constructive feedforward neural networks using hermite polynomial activation functions.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liying; Khorasani, K

    2005-07-01

    In this paper, a constructive one-hidden-layer network is introduced where each hidden unit employs a polynomial function for its activation function that is different from other units. Specifically, both a structure level as well as a function level adaptation methodologies are utilized in constructing the network. The functional level adaptation scheme ensures that the "growing" or constructive network has different activation functions for each neuron such that the network may be able to capture the underlying input-output map more effectively. The activation functions considered consist of orthonormal Hermite polynomials. It is shown through extensive simulations that the proposed network yields improved performance when compared to networks having identical sigmoidal activation functions.

  3. Time delays and capability of elderly to activate speaker function for continuous telephone CPR

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Telephone-CPR (T-CPR) can increase rate of bystander CPR as well as CPR quality. Instructions for T-CPR were developed when most callers used a land line. Telephones today are often wireless and can be brought to the patient. They often have speaker function which further allows the rescuer to receive instructions while performing CPR. We wanted to measure adult lay people’s ability to activate the speaker function on their own mobile phone. Methods Elderly lay people, previously trained in CPR, were contacted by telephone. Participants with speaker function experience were asked to activate this without further instructions, while participants with no experience were given instructions on how to activate it. Participants were divided in three groups; Group 1: Can activate the speaker function without instruction, Group 2: Can activate the speaker function with instruction, and Group 3: Unable to activate the speaker function. Time to activation for group 1 and 2 was compared using Mann-Whitney U-test. Results Seventy-two elderly lay people, mean age 68 ± 6 years participated in the study. Thirty-five (35)% of the participants were able to activate the speaker function without instructions, 29% with instructions and 36% were unable to activate the speaker function. The median time to activate the speaker function was 8s and 93s, with and without instructions, respectively (p < 0.01). Conclusion One-third of the elderly could activate speaker function quickly, and two-third either used a long time or could not activate the function. PMID:23676015

  4. The Relationship between Active Viewing of Different Television Content Types and Individual Perception of a Mean World.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rouner, Donna

    A study tested the validity of two active TV viewing constructs that predicted the effects of content and degree of active viewing on a television viewer's perception of a mean world. Random digit dialing produced interviews with 163 subjects who were asked separate questions about their prime time and daytime viewing to determine their level of…

  5. Assessment of Sensitivity and Compression of Outer Hair Cell Amplifiers by Means of Dpoae O-Functions in Humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oswald, J.; Klein, A.; Janssen, T.

    2003-02-01

    A new method for assessing sensitivity and compression of outer hair cell amplifiers by means of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) I/O-functions in humans was evaluated. Extrapolated DPOAE I/O functions from patients with sensory hearing loss and neonates were used to estimate hearing threshold objectively. There was a strong positive correlation between estimated and behavioral threshold in the sensory hearing loss ears below 45-dB hearing loss. Above 45-dB hearing loss there was a negative correlation due to tinnitus ears which had high emission levels despite the hearing loss. This was also true for the slope of the DPOAE I/O-function. Applying the same method to the neonates data revealed a slight hearing loss at high frequencies within the early postnatal period. Slope of the DPOAE I/O-functions was not increased excluding sensory hearing loss. Follow up measurments 4 weeks later revealed normalisation indicating transistory sound conductive disturbancies. The findings suggest extrapolated DPOAE I/O-functions to be a valuable clinical tool for differentiating middle-ear and cochlear pathologies and estimating quantitatively loss of sensitivity and compression of outer hair cell amplifiers.

  6. Improved quasiparticle wave functions and mean field for G0W0 calculations: Initialization with the COHSEX operator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Manish; Deslippe, Jack; Samsonidze, Georgy; Cohen, Marvin L.; Chelikowsky, James R.; Louie, Steven G.

    2014-09-01

    The GW approximation to the electron self-energy has become a standard method for ab initio calculation of excited-state properties of condensed-matter systems. In many calculations, the GW self-energy operator, Σ, is taken to be diagonal in the density functional theory (DFT) Kohn-Sham basis within the G0W0 scheme. However, there are known situations in which this diagonal G0W0 approximation starting from DFT is inadequate. We present two schemes to resolve such problems. The first, which we called sc -COHSEX+GW, involves construction of an improved mean field using the static limit of GW, known as COHSEX (Coulomb hole and screened exchange), which is significantly simpler to treat than GW. In this scheme, frequency-dependent self energy Σ (ω), is constructed and taken to be diagonal in the COHSEX orbitals after the system is solved self-consistently within this formalism. The second method is called off diagonal-COHSEX GW (od -COHSEX+GW). In this method, one does not self-consistently change the mean-field starting point but diagonalizes the COHSEX Hamiltonian within the Kohn-Sham basis to obtain quasiparticle wave functions and uses the resulting orbitals to construct the GW Σ in the diagonal form. We apply both methods to a molecular system, silane, and to two bulk systems, Si and Ge under pressure. For silane, both methods give good quasiparticle wave functions and energies. Both methods give good band gaps for bulk silicon and maintain good agreement with experiment. Further, the sc -COHSEX+GW method solves the qualitatively incorrect DFT mean-field starting point (having a band overlap) in bulk Ge under pressure.

  7. Usage Of New Activation Function In Neuro-Symbolic Integration

    SciTech Connect

    Sathasivam, Saratha

    2010-12-23

    New activation function is examined for its ability to accelerate the performance of doing logic programming in Hopfield network. This method has a higher capacity and upgrades the neuro symbolic integration. Computer simulations are carried out to validate the effectiveness of the new activation function. Empirical results obtained support our theory.

  8. Usage Of New Activation Function In Neuro-Symbolic Integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathasivam, Saratha

    2010-12-01

    New activation function is examined for its ability to accelerate the performance of doing logic programming in Hopfield network. This method has a higher capacity and upgrades the neuro symbolic integration. Computer simulations are carried out to validate the effectiveness of the new activation function. Empirical results obtained support our theory.

  9. Somatotopic arrangement of thermal sensory regions in the healthy human spinal cord determined by means of spinal cord functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Stroman, Patrick W; Bosma, Rachael L; Tsyben, Anastasia

    2012-09-01

    Previous functional MRI studies of normal sensory function in the human spinal cord, including right-to-left symmetry of activity, have been influenced by order effects between repeated studies. In this study, we apply thermal sensory stimulation to four dermatomes within each functional MRI time-series acquisition. Each of the four dermatomes receives a unique stimulation paradigm, such that the four paradigms form a linearly independent set, enabling detection of each individual stimulus response. Functional MRI data are shown spanning the cervical spinal cord and brainstem in 10 healthy volunteers. Results of general linear model analysis demonstrate consistent patterns of activity within the spinal cord segments corresponding to each dermatome, and a high degree of symmetry between right-side and left-side stimulation. Connectivity analyses also demonstrate consistent areas of activity and connectivity between spinal cord and brainstem regions corresponding to known anatomy. However, right-side and left-side responses are not at precisely the same rostral-caudal positions, but are offset by several millimeters, with left-side responses consistently more caudal than right-side responses. The results confirm that distinct responses to multiple interleaved sensory stimuli can be distinguished, enabling studies of sensory responses within the spinal cord without the confounding effects of comparing sequential studies.

  10. The origin of the initial mass function and its dependence on the mean Jeans mass in molecular clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bate, Matthew R.; Bonnell, Ian A.

    2005-02-01

    We investigate the dependence of stellar properties on the mean thermal Jeans mass in molecular clouds. We compare the results from the two largest hydrodynamical simulations of star formation to resolve the fragmentation process down to the opacity limit, the first of which was reported by Bate, Bonnell & Bromm. The initial conditions of the two calculations are identical except for the radii of the clouds, which are chosen so that the mean densities and mean thermal Jeans masses of the clouds differ by factors of 9 and 3, respectively. We find that the denser cloud, with the lower mean thermal Jeans mass, produces a higher proportion of brown dwarfs and has a lower characteristic (median) mass of the stars and brown dwarfs. This dependence of the initial mass function (IMF) on the density of the cloud may explain the observation that the Taurus star-forming region appears to be deficient in brown dwarfs when compared with the Orion Trapezium cluster. The new calculation also produces wide binaries (separations >20 au), one of which is a wide binary brown dwarf system. Based on the hydrodynamical calculations, we develop a simple accretion/ejection model for the origin of the IMF. In the model, all stars and brown dwarfs begin with the same mass (set by the opacity limit for fragmentation) and grow in mass until their accretion is terminated stochastically by their ejection from the cloud through dynamically interactions. The model predicts that the main variation of the IMF in different star-forming environments should be in the location of the peak (due to variations in the mean thermal Jeans mass of the cloud) and in the substellar regime. However, the slope of the IMF at high masses may depend on the dispersion in the accretion rates of protostars.

  11. Functional Testing and Characterisation of ISFETs on Wafer Level by Means of a Micro-droplet Cell#

    PubMed Central

    Poghossian, Arshak; Schumacher, Kerstin; Kloock, Joachim P.; Rosenkranz, Christian; Schultze, Joachim W.; Müller-Veggian, Mattea; Schöning, Michael J.

    2006-01-01

    A wafer-level functionality testing and characterisation system for ISFETs (ion-sensitive field-effect transistor) is realised by means of integration of a specifically designed capillary electrochemical micro-droplet cell into a commercial wafer prober-station. The developed system allows the identification and selection of “good” ISFETs at the earliest stage and to avoid expensive bonding, encapsulation and packaging processes for non-functioning ISFETs and thus, to decrease costs, which are wasted for bad dies. The developed system is also feasible for wafer-level characterisation of ISFETs in terms of sensitivity, hysteresis and response time. Additionally, the system might be also utilised for wafer-level testing of further electrochemical sensors.

  12. 20 CFR 641.864 - What functions and activities constitute programmatic activity costs?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... programmatic activity costs? 641.864 Section 641.864 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION... Requirements § 641.864 What functions and activities constitute programmatic activity costs? Programmatic activity costs include, but are not limited to, the costs of the following functions: (a) Participant...

  13. New approaches to enhance active steering system functionalities: preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serarslan, Benan

    2014-09-01

    An important development of the steering systems in general is active steering systems like active front steering and steer-by-wire systems. In this paper the current functional possibilities in application of active steering systems are explored. A new approach and additional functionalities are presented that can be implemented to the active steering systems without additional hardware such as new sensors and electronic control units. Commercial active steering systems are controlling the steering angle depending on the driving situation only. This paper introduce methods for enhancing active steering system functionalities depending not only on the driving situation but also vehicle parameters like vehicle mass, tyre and road condition. In this regard, adaptation of the steering ratio as a function of above mentioned vehicle parameters is presented with examples. With some selected vehicle parameter changes, the reduction of the undesired influences on vehicle dynamics of these parameter changes has been demonstrated theoretically with simulations and with real-time driving measurements.

  14. Previewing Pictures: A Means of Activating Prior Knowledge in Content Area Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchholz, Tom

    1990-01-01

    Discusses the importance prior knowledge plays in learning in the content areas. Discusses previewing pictures as a prereading activity and presents a picture analysis activity which can be used to activate prior knowledge to use as a foundation for good bridge building. (MG)

  15. Comparing the Effectiveness of Traditional and Active Learning Methods in Business Statistics: Convergence to the Mean

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weltman, David; Whiteside, Mary

    2010-01-01

    This research shows that active learning is not universally effective and, in fact, may inhibit learning for certain types of students. The results of this study show that as increased levels of active learning are utilized, student test scores decrease for those with a high grade point average. In contrast, test scores increase as active learning…

  16. Global study of beyond-mean-field correlation energies in covariant energy density functional theory using a collective Hamiltonian method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, K. Q.; Li, Z. X.; Li, Z. P.; Yao, J. M.; Meng, J.

    2015-02-01

    We report the first global study of dynamic correlation energies (DCEs) associated with rotational motion and quadrupole shape vibrational motion in a covariant energy density functional (CEDF) for 575 even-even nuclei with proton numbers ranging from Z =8 to Z =108 by solving a five-dimensional collective Hamiltonian, the collective parameters of which are determined from triaxial relativistic mean field plus BCS calculation using the PC-PK1 force. After taking into account these beyond mean-field DCEs, the root-mean-square (rms) deviation with respect to nuclear masses is reduced significantly down to 1.14 MeV, which is smaller than those of other successful CEDFs: NL3* (2.96 MeV), DD-ME2 (2.39 MeV), DD -ME δ (2.29 MeV), and DD-PC1 (2.01 MeV). Moreover, the rms deviation for two-nucleon separation energies is reduced by ˜34 % in comparison with the cranking prescription.

  17. Constraints of recreational sport participation: measurement invariance and latent mean differences across sex and physical activity status.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing Dong; Chung, Pak Kwong; Chen, Wing Ping

    2014-10-01

    The purpose of the current study was to (a) examine the measurement invariance of the Constraint Scale of Sport Participation across sex and physical activity status among the undergraduate students (N = 630) in Hong Kong and (b) compare the latent mean differences across groups. Measurement invariance of the Constraint Scale of Sport Participation across sex of and physical activity status of the participants was examined first. With receiving support on the measurement invariance across groups, latent mean differences of the scores across groups were examined. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the configural, metric, scalar, and structural invariance of the scale was supported across groups. The results of latent mean differences suggested that the women reported significantly higher constraints on time, partner, psychology, knowledge, and interest than the men. The physically inactive participants reported significantly higher scores on all constraints except for accessibility than the physically active participants.

  18. Constraints of recreational sport participation: measurement invariance and latent mean differences across sex and physical activity status.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing Dong; Chung, Pak Kwong; Chen, Wing Ping

    2014-10-01

    The purpose of the current study was to (a) examine the measurement invariance of the Constraint Scale of Sport Participation across sex and physical activity status among the undergraduate students (N = 630) in Hong Kong and (b) compare the latent mean differences across groups. Measurement invariance of the Constraint Scale of Sport Participation across sex of and physical activity status of the participants was examined first. With receiving support on the measurement invariance across groups, latent mean differences of the scores across groups were examined. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the configural, metric, scalar, and structural invariance of the scale was supported across groups. The results of latent mean differences suggested that the women reported significantly higher constraints on time, partner, psychology, knowledge, and interest than the men. The physically inactive participants reported significantly higher scores on all constraints except for accessibility than the physically active participants. PMID:25310228

  19. Integrating Map Algebra and Statistical Modeling for Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Monthly Mean Daily Incident Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) over a Complex Terrain

    PubMed Central

    Evrendilek, Fatih

    2007-01-01

    This study aims at quantifying spatio-temporal dynamics of monthly mean daily incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) over a vast and complex terrain such as Turkey. The spatial interpolation method of universal kriging, and the combination of multiple linear regression (MLR) models and map algebra techniques were implemented to generate surface maps of PAR with a grid resolution of 500 × 500 m as a function of five geographical and 14 climatic variables. Performance of the geostatistical and MLR models was compared using mean prediction error (MPE), root-mean-square prediction error (RMSPE), average standard prediction error (ASE), mean standardized prediction error (MSPE), root-mean-square standardized prediction error (RMSSPE), and adjusted coefficient of determination (R2adj.). The best-fit MLR- and universal kriging-generated models of monthly mean daily PAR were validated against an independent 37-year observed dataset of 35 climate stations derived from 160 stations across Turkey by the Jackknifing method. The spatial variability patterns of monthly mean daily incident PAR were more accurately reflected in the surface maps created by the MLR-based models than in those created by the universal kriging method, in particular, for spring (May) and autumn (November). The MLR-based spatial interpolation algorithms of PAR described in this study indicated the significance of the multifactor approach to understanding and mapping spatio-temporal dynamics of PAR for a complex terrain over meso-scales.

  20. Event-related potential evidence for the early activation of literal meaning during comprehension of conventional lexical metaphors.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Zhang, John X

    2012-07-01

    Among different types of metaphors, lexical metaphors are special in that they have been highly lexicalized and often suggested to be processed like non-metaphorical words. The present study examined two types of Chinese metaphorical words which are conceptualized through body parts. One has both a metaphorical meaning and a literal meaning actively in use, with the former dominant over the latter, referred to as the Met+Lit words. The other has only metaphorical meaning, referred to as Met-only words. In two experiments, lexical metaphor words were presented following a body-related picture and participants judged whether the picture and word were semantically related (Experiment 1) or made lexical decision on the word ignoring the picture (Experiment 2). The N400 ERP responses showed a clear semantic priming effect for the Met+Lit words compared with the non-ambiguous neutral words, with latencies comparable to that in Met-only words in both experiments. The results were interpreted to indicate that the literal meaning as a subordinate meaning was activated during the early comprehension of conventional lexical metaphors, supporting the notion of dual access to metaphorical meaning and literal meaning in metaphor processing.

  1. A direct measurement of the mean occupation function of quasars: Breaking degeneracies between halo occupation distribution models

    SciTech Connect

    Chatterjee, Suchetana; Nguyen, My L.; Myers, Adam D.; Zheng, Zheng

    2013-12-20

    Recent work on quasar clustering suggests a degeneracy in the halo occupation distribution constrained from two-point correlation functions. To break this degeneracy, we make the first empirical measurement of the mean occupation function (MOF) of quasars at z ∼ 0.2 by matching quasar positions with groups and clusters identified in the MaxBCG sample. We fit two models to the MOF, a power law and a four-parameter model. The number distribution of quasars in host halos is close to Poisson, and the slopes of the MOF obtained from our best-fit models (for the power-law case) favor an MOF that monotonically increases with halo mass. The best-fit slopes are 0.53 ± 0.04 and 1.03 ± 1.12 for the power-law model and the four-parameter model, respectively. We measure the radial distribution of quasars within dark matter halos and find it to be adequately described by a power law with a slope –2.3 ± 0.4. We measure the conditional luminosity function (CLF) of quasars and show that there is no evidence that quasar luminosity depends on host halo mass, similar to the inferences drawn from clustering measurements. We also measure the conditional black hole mass function (CMF) of our quasars. Although the results are consistent with no dependence on halo mass, we observe a slight indication of downsizing of the black hole mass function. The lack of halo mass dependence in the CLF and CMF shows that quasars residing in galaxy clusters have characteristic luminosity and black hole mass scales.

  2. Approximation of functions in variable-exponent Lebesgue and Sobolev spaces by de la Vallée-Poussin means

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharapudinov, I. I.

    2016-07-01

    We consider the space Lp(\\cdot)2π formed by 2π-periodic real measurable functions f for which the integral \\displaystyle\\int-ππ\\vert f(x)\\vertp(x) dx exists and is finite, where p(x), 1≤ p(x), is a 2π-periodic measurable function (a variable exponent). If p(x)≤ \\overline p<∞, then the space Lp(\\cdot)2π can be endowed with the structure of Banach space with the norm \\displaystyle \\Vert f\\Vert p(\\cdot)=\\inf\\biggl\\α>0:\\int-ππ\\biggl\\vert\\frac{f(x)}{α\\biggr\\vertp(x) dx≤1\\biggr\\}. In the space Lp(\\cdot)2π we distinguish a subspace Wr,p(\\cdot)2π of Sobolev type. We investigate the approximation properties of the de la Vallée-Poussin means for trigonometric Fourier sums for functions in the space Wr,p(\\cdot)2π. In particular, we prove that if the variable exponent p=p(x) satisfies the Dini-Lipschitz condition \\vert p(x)-p(y)\\vert\\ln\\frac{2π}{\\vert x-y\\vert}≤ c and if f\\in Wr,p(\\cdot)2π, then the de la Vallée-Poussin means V_m^n(f)=V_m^n(f,x) with n≤ am satisfy \\displaystyle \\Vert f-V_m^n(f)\\Vert p(\\cdot)≤ \\frac{c_r(p,a)}{n^r}Ω\\biggl(f(r), \\frac1n\\biggr)p(\\cdot), where Ω(g,δ)p(\\cdot) is a modulus of continuity of the function g\\in Lp(\\cdot)2π defined in terms of the Steklov functions. It is proved that if 1, r≥1, f\\in Wr,p(\\cdot)2π and the Dini-Lipschitz condition holds, then \\displaystyle \\vert f(x)-V_m^n(f,x)\\vert≤\\frac{c_r(p)}{m+1}\\sumk=nn+m\\frac{E_k(f(r))p(\\cdot)}{(k+1)r-{{1/{p(x)}}}}, where E_k(g)p(\\cdot) stands for the best approximation to g\\in Lp(\\cdot)2π by trigonometric polynomials of order k. Bibliography: 19 titles.

  3. Embodied Semiotic Activities and Their Role in the Construction of Mathematical Meaning of Motion Graphs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botzer, Galit; Yerushalmy, Michal

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the relation between bodily actions, artifact-mediated activities, and semiotic processes that students experience while producing and interpreting graphs of two-dimensional motion in the plane. We designed a technology-based setting that enabled students to engage in embodied semiotic activities and experience two modes of…

  4. Clarifying the Meaning of Extracurricular Activity: A Literature Review of Definitions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartkus, Kenneth R.; Nemelka, Blake; Nemelka, Mark; Gardner, Phil

    2012-01-01

    Participation in extracurricular activities has long been recognized as having important benefits for business students, including the development of competencies relevant to future career success. Unfortunately, a review of the literature suggests that what constitutes an extracurricular activity remains ambiguous and unclear as no…

  5. Research in Activity: An Analysis of Speed Bumps as Mediational Means

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witte, Stephen P.; Haas, Christina

    2005-01-01

    This article traces the historical and conceptual development of what is known as activity theory, from Vygotsky and Luria, to A. N. Leontev, to Engestrm, in order to illustrate what I see as two problems with the activity theoretic approach, especially as manifest in the work of Leontev and Engestrm: what I call the boundary and/or focus problem…

  6. Tuning the activity of Pt alloy electrocatalysts by means of the lanthanide contraction.

    PubMed

    Escudero-Escribano, María; Malacrida, Paolo; Hansen, Martin H; Vej-Hansen, Ulrik G; Velázquez-Palenzuela, Amado; Tripkovic, Vladimir; Schiøtz, Jakob; Rossmeisl, Jan; Stephens, Ifan E L; Chorkendorff, Ib

    2016-04-01

    The high platinum loadings required to compensate for the slow kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) impede the widespread uptake of low-temperature fuel cells in automotive vehicles. We have studied the ORR on eight platinum (Pt)-lanthanide and Pt-alkaline earth electrodes, Pt5M, where M is lanthanum, cerium, samarium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, thulium, or calcium. The materials are among the most active polycrystalline Pt-based catalysts reported, presenting activity enhancement by a factor of 3 to 6 over Pt. The active phase consists of a Pt overlayer formed by acid leaching. The ORR activity versus the bulk lattice parameter follows a high peaked "volcano" relation. We demonstrate how the lanthanide contraction can be used to control strain effects and tune the activity, stability, and reactivity of these materials. PMID:27034369

  7. Tuning the activity of Pt alloy electrocatalysts by means of the lanthanide contraction.

    PubMed

    Escudero-Escribano, María; Malacrida, Paolo; Hansen, Martin H; Vej-Hansen, Ulrik G; Velázquez-Palenzuela, Amado; Tripkovic, Vladimir; Schiøtz, Jakob; Rossmeisl, Jan; Stephens, Ifan E L; Chorkendorff, Ib

    2016-04-01

    The high platinum loadings required to compensate for the slow kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) impede the widespread uptake of low-temperature fuel cells in automotive vehicles. We have studied the ORR on eight platinum (Pt)-lanthanide and Pt-alkaline earth electrodes, Pt5M, where M is lanthanum, cerium, samarium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, thulium, or calcium. The materials are among the most active polycrystalline Pt-based catalysts reported, presenting activity enhancement by a factor of 3 to 6 over Pt. The active phase consists of a Pt overlayer formed by acid leaching. The ORR activity versus the bulk lattice parameter follows a high peaked "volcano" relation. We demonstrate how the lanthanide contraction can be used to control strain effects and tune the activity, stability, and reactivity of these materials.

  8. Students' Understanding of the Concept of Vertex of Quadratic Functions in Relation to Their Personal Meaning of the Concept of Vertex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childers, Annie Burns; Vidakovic, Draga

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores sixty-six students' personal meaning and interpretation of the vertex of a quadratic function in relation to their understanding of quadratic functions in two different representations, algebraic and word problem. Several categories emerged from students' personal meaning of the vertex including vertex as maximum or…

  9. Measurements of neutrons at JET by means of the activation methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopowicz, R.; Bienkowska, B.; Drozdowicz, K.; Jednorog, S.; Kowalska-Strzeciwilk, E.; Murari, A.; Popovichev, S.; Pytel, K.; Scholz, M.; Szydlowski, A.; Syme, B.; Tracz, G.; JET-EFDA Contributors

    2011-05-01

    The neutron diagnostics in tokamaks like Joint European Torus (JET) are essential in estimating fusion power. The neutron activation method, supported by neutron transport calculations, is particularly useful for the evaluation of the total neutron yield from a single plasma discharge. This paper presents the results of activation experiments and calculations carried out for JET plasmas, from the selection of the activation materials to their irradiations in the neutron field of JET discharges. Neutron transport calculations were performed, leading to activation coefficients for new materials. The results of the calculations were used to design new composite samples to obtain information on both the yield and the neutron spectrum. The neutron measurements using these new activation materials were performed during the last JET experimental campaigns. The results are compared with neutron transport calculations. Additionally, application of the cadmium difference method allows revelation of the part of thermal neutrons near the tokamak first wall. The advantages of new activation materials and benchmarking the activation method against neutron transport calculations are also discussed.

  10. Low level activity determination by means of gamma spectrometry with respect to the natural background fluctuation.

    PubMed

    Dragounová, Lenka; Rulík, Petr

    2013-11-01

    The determination of low level activities of natural radionuclides from the uranium and thorium series by gamma-spectrometry faces the problem of proper natural background subtraction. Background fluctuation can cause differences in activity determination. Also the minimum detectable activity (MDA) of natural and artificial radionuclides can be influenced by background fluctuation. In this paper, results of the background fluctuation of shielded HPGe detectors with relative efficiency of 50-150% are presented together with the assessment of its influence on the determination of natural and artificial radionuclides.

  11. Antimicrobial Activity of Serbian Propolis Evaluated by Means of MIC, HPTLC, Bioautography and Chemometrics

    PubMed Central

    Trifković, Jelena; Berić, Tanja; Vovk, Irena; Milojković-Opsenica, Dušanka; Stanković, Slaviša

    2016-01-01

    New information has come to light about the biological activity of propolis and the quality of natural products which requires a rapid and reliable assessment method such as High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) fingerprinting. This study investigates chromatographic and chemometric approaches for determining the antimicrobial activity of propolis of Serbian origin against various bacterial species. A linear multivariate calibration technique, using Partial Least Squares, was used to extract the relevant information from the chromatographic fingerprints, i.e. to indicate peaks which represent phenolic compounds that are potentially responsible for the antimicrobial capacity of the samples. In addition, direct bioautography was performed to localize the antibacterial activity on chromatograms. The biological activity of the propolis samples against various bacterial species was determined by a minimum inhibitory concentration assay, confirming their affiliation with the European poplar type of propolis and revealing the existence of two types (blue and orange) according to botanical origin. The strongest antibacterial activity was exhibited by sample 26 against Staphylococcus aureus, with a MIC value of 0.5 mg/mL, and Listeria monocytogenes, with a MIC as low as 0.1 mg/mL, which was also the lowest effective concentration observed in our study. Generally, the orange type of propolis shows higher antimicrobial activity compared to the blue type. PLS modelling was performed on the HPTLC data set and the resulting models might qualitatively indicate compounds that play an important role in the activity exhibited by the propolis samples. The most relevant peaks influencing the antimicrobial activity of propolis against all bacterial strains were phenolic compounds at RF values of 0.37, 0.40, 0.45, 0.51, 0.60 and 0.70. The knowledge gained through this study could be important for attributing the antimicrobial activity of propolis to specific chemical

  12. Cosmogenic Radiocarbon as a Means of Studying Solar Activity in the Past

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocharov, G. E.; Ogurtsov, M. G.; Tsereteli, S. L.

    2003-12-01

    A series of yearly data on the concentration of radioactive carbon 14C in tree rings measured at the Tbilisi State University in 1983-1986 and covering the time interval 1600-1940 is statistically analyzed. We find evidence for a 22-year cyclicity in the intensity of Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) during the Maunder minimum of the solar activity (1645-1715), testifying that the solar dynamo mechanism continued to operate during this epoch. Variations of Δ14C on timescales of tens and hundreds of years correlate well with the corresponding variations of the GCR intensity and solar activity, making radiocarbon a reliable source of information on long-timescale variations of solar activity in the past. Short-timescale (<30 years) fluctuations of Δ14C may be appreciably distorted by time variations not associated directly with solar activity; probable origins of this distortion are discussed.

  13. Quantifying forearm muscle activity during wrist and finger movements by means of multi-channel electromyography.

    PubMed

    Gazzoni, Marco; Celadon, Nicolò; Mastrapasqua, Davide; Paleari, Marco; Margaria, Valentina; Ariano, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    The study of hand and finger movement is an important topic with applications in prosthetics, rehabilitation, and ergonomics. Surface electromyography (sEMG) is the gold standard for the analysis of muscle activation. Previous studies investigated the optimal electrode number and positioning on the forearm to obtain information representative of muscle activation and robust to movements. However, the sEMG spatial distribution on the forearm during hand and finger movements and its changes due to different hand positions has never been quantified. The aim of this work is to quantify 1) the spatial localization of surface EMG activity of distinct forearm muscles during dynamic free movements of wrist and single fingers and 2) the effect of hand position on sEMG activity distribution. The subjects performed cyclic dynamic tasks involving the wrist and the fingers. The wrist tasks and the hand opening/closing task were performed with the hand in prone and neutral positions. A sensorized glove was used for kinematics recording. sEMG signals were acquired from the forearm muscles using a grid of 112 electrodes integrated into a stretchable textile sleeve. The areas of sEMG activity have been identified by a segmentation technique after a data dimensionality reduction step based on Non Negative Matrix Factorization applied to the EMG envelopes. The results show that 1) it is possible to identify distinct areas of sEMG activity on the forearm for different fingers; 2) hand position influences sEMG activity level and spatial distribution. This work gives new quantitative information about sEMG activity distribution on the forearm in healthy subjects and provides a basis for future works on the identification of optimal electrode configuration for sEMG based control of prostheses, exoskeletons, or orthoses. An example of use of this information for the optimization of the detection system for the estimation of joint kinematics from sEMG is reported.

  14. The Meanings of Outdoor Physical Activity for Parentally Bereaved Young People in the United Kingdom: Insights from an Ethnographic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Joanne; Sparkes, Andrew C.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to explore the meanings of outdoor physical activity in the natural environment for parentally-bereaved young people. It draws on data generated from a two-year ethnographic study that focused on the experiences of those involved with the Rocky Centre, a childhood bereavement service in the UK. Data was collected via…

  15. A Second Chance: Meanings of Body Weight, Diet, and Physical Activity to Women Who Have Experienced Cancer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maley, Mary; Warren, Barbour S.; Devine, Carol M.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To understand the meanings of diet, physical activity, and body weight in the context of women's cancer experiences. Design: Grounded theory using 15 qualitative interviews and 3 focus groups. Setting: Grassroots community cancer organizations in the northeastern United States. Participants: Thirty-six white women cancer survivors; 86%…

  16. Activating the Meaning of a Word Facilitates the Integration of Orthography: Evidence from Spelling Exercises in Beginning Spellers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilte, Maartje; Reitsma, Pieter

    2011-01-01

    The present study examines the effect of activating the connection between meaning and phonology in spelling exercises in second-grade spellers (n=41; 8 years and 3 months). In computer-based exercises in a within-subject design, semantic and neutral descriptions were contrasted and provided either before the process of spelling or in feedback.…

  17. Controlled fabrication of advanced functional structures on the nanoscale by means of electron beam-induced processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Sebastian W.; Foucher, Johann; Penzkofer, Christian; Irmer, Bernd

    2013-05-01

    The controlled deposition of materials by means of electron beam induced processing (EBIP) is a well-established patterning method, which allows for the fabrication of nanostructures with high spatial resolution in a highly precise and flexible manner. Applications range from the production of ultrathin coatings and nanoscaled conductivity probes to super sharp atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips, to name but a few. The latter are typically deposited at the very end of silicon or silicon-nitride tips, which are fabricated with MEMS technologies. EBIP therefore provides the unique ability to converge MEMS to NEMS in a highly controllable way, and thus represents an encouraging opportunity to refine or even develop further MEMS-based features with advanced functionality and applicability. In this paper, we will present and discuss exemplary application solutions, where we successfully applied EBIP to overcome dimensional and/or functional limitations. We therefore show the fabrication stability and accuracy of "T-like-shaped" AFM tips made from high density, diamond-like carbon (HDC/DLC) for the investigation of undercut structures on the base of CDR30-EBD tips. Such aggressive CD-AFM tip dimensions are mandatory to fulfill ITRS requirements for the inspection of sub-28nm nodes, but are unattainable with state-of-art Si-based MEMS technologies today. In addition to that, we demonstrate the ability of EBIP to realize field enhancement in sensor applications and the fabrication of cold field emitters (CFE). For example: applying the EBIP approach allows for the production of CFEs, which are characterized by considerably enhanced imaging resolution compared to standard thermal field emitters and stable operation properties at room temperature without the need for periodic cathode flashing - unlike typical CFEs. Based on these examples, we outline the strong capabilities of the EBIP approach to further downscale functional structures in order to meet future demands in the

  18. Age effect on the antioxidant activity of Daphnia magna (Anomopoda: Daphniidae): does younger mean more sensitivity?

    PubMed

    Alberto, Arzate-Cárdenas Mario; Rocío, Ortiz-Butrón; Fernando, Martínez-Jerónimo

    2011-07-01

    It has been accepted that for most species newborns and senescent organisms are more sensitive than other ages to environmental stressors. Nevertheless, it must be considered that there are several biochemical and physiological compensatory processes which are not expressed with the same magnitude during the whole life cycle. With this aim, Daphnia magna individuals of different age were exposed to hexavalent chromium, Cr (VI), at two different sublethal concentrations (0.032 and 0.0064 mg l(-1)), and the activity of some antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were evaluated during most of the life cycle of this cladoceran. The antioxidant enzymatic activity showed an inverse relationship with respect to age. The activity of CAT, GR and GPx were increased in the two treated groups, at all life stages tested. On the other hand, the activity of SOD decreased in the same groups. Both, increase and decrease in the antioxidant enzymatic activities, showed significant differences with respect to the control group, being higher for the 0.032 mg l(-1) group. The Cr (VI) LC50 was also estimated for these age groups, finding statistical differences among them. Even though adults exhibited higher responses, these enzymatic activity changes should not be interpreted as higher sensitivity, since the daphnids acute chromium toxicity followed a different pattern, with increasing LC50 values according to age.

  19. Engagement in Play Activities as a Means for Youth in Detention to Acquire Life Skills.

    PubMed

    Shea, Chi-Kwan; Siu, Andrew M H

    2016-09-01

    This study describes how occupational therapists in a community-based programme, Occupational Therapy Training Program (OTTP), use play activities to facilitate the acquisition of life skills by youth in detention. This pilot study explored the extent of engagement of male and female inmates aged 14 to 18 years old in structured play activities on topics such as interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, cultural celebrations and the transition to community. Retrospective analysis of data collected from surveys using the Engagement in OTTP Activities Questionnaire (EOAQ), completed by youth participants at the end of each group session, was used to measure the extent of occupational engagement. Worksheets and artworks produced by OTTP participants during those group sessions were also analysed. The participants reported very high engagement in OTTP. Engagement scores for male participants were higher than those for female participants, and male and female participants had higher engagement scores for different activities. Over 90% of the worksheets and artworks were found to be complete and relevant to the topic of the session. Play activities could be an appropriate way for occupational therapists to encourage youth in detention to acquire life skills. Demographic information and the actual number of participants are unknown because of how the existing data were collected. Future studies examining the potential gender-related preferences for specific topics deserve further investigation as well as research comparing the youth's engagement in OTTP interventions using play activities to other group interventions. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. Three-dimensional ventricular activation imaging by means of equivalent current source modeling and estimation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Z; Liu, C; He, B

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a novel electrocardiographic inverse approach for imaging the 3-D ventricular activation sequence based on the modeling and estimation of the equivalent current density throughout the entire myocardial volume. The spatio-temporal coherence of the ventricular excitation process is utilized to derive the activation time from the estimated time course of the equivalent current density. At each time instant during the period of ventricular activation, the distributed equivalent current density is noninvasively estimated from body surface potential maps (BSPM) using a weighted minimum norm approach with a spatio-temporal regularization strategy based on the singular value decomposition of the BSPMs. The activation time at any given location within the ventricular myocardium is determined as the time point with the maximum local current density estimate. Computer simulation has been performed to evaluate the capability of this approach to image the 3-D ventricular activation sequence initiated from a single pacing site in a physiologically realistic cellular automaton heart model. The simulation results demonstrate that the simulated "true" activation sequence can be accurately reconstructed with an average correlation coefficient of 0.90, relative error of 0.19, and the origin of ventricular excitation can be localized with an average localization error of 5.5 mm for 12 different pacing sites distributed throughout the ventricles.

  1. Single-proton resonant states and the isospin dependence investigated by Green’s function relativistic mean field theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, T. T.; Niu, Z. M.; Zhang, S. Q.

    2016-08-01

    The relativistic mean field theory formulated with Green’s function method (RMF-GF) is applied to investigate single-proton resonant states and isospin dependence. The calculated energies and widths for the single-proton resonant states in {}120{{Sn}} are in good agreement with previous investigations. The single-proton resonant states of the Sn isotopes and the N = 82 isotones are systematically studied and it is shown that the calculated energies and widths decrease monotonically with the increase of neutron number while increase monotonically with the increase of proton number. To further examine the evolutions of the single-proton resonant states, their dependence on the depth, radius and diffuseness of nuclear potential is investigated with the help of an analytic Woods-Saxon potential, and it is found that the increase of radius plays the most important role in the cross phenomenon appearing in the single-proton resonant states of the Sn isotopes.

  2. Electron inelastic mean free path theory and density functional theory resolving discrepancies for low-energy electrons in copper.

    PubMed

    Chantler, C T; Bourke, J D

    2014-02-01

    We develop the many-pole dielectric theory of UV plasmon interactions and electron energy losses, and couple our advances with recent developments of Kohn-Sham density functional theory to address observed discrepancies between high-precision measurements and tabulated data for electron inelastic mean free paths (IMFPs). Recent publications have demonstrated that a five standard error difference exists between longstanding theoretical calculations and measurements of electron IMFPs for elemental solids at energies below 120 eV, a critical region for analysis of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), and related technologies. Our implementation of improved optical loss spectra and a physical treatment of second-order excitation lifetimes resolves this problem in copper for the first time for energies in excess of 80 eV and substantially improves agreement for lower energy electrons.

  3. Brain activation to negative stimuli mediates a relationship between adolescent marijuana use and later emotional functioning.

    PubMed

    Heitzeg, Mary M; Cope, Lora M; Martz, Meghan E; Hardee, Jillian E; Zucker, Robert A

    2015-12-01

    This work investigated the impact of heavy marijuana use during adolescence on emotional functioning, as well as the brain functional mediators of this effect. Participants (n=40) were recruited from the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS). Data on marijuana use were collected prospectively beginning in childhood as part of the MLS. Participants were classified as heavy marijuana users (n=20) or controls with minimal marijuana use. Two facets of emotional functioning-negative emotionality and resiliency (a self-regulatory mechanism)-were assessed as part of the MLS at three time points: mean age 13.4, mean age 19.6, and mean age 23.1. Functional neuroimaging data during an emotion-arousal word task were collected at mean age 20.2. Negative emotionality decreased and resiliency increased across the three time points in controls but not heavy marijuana users. Compared with controls, heavy marijuana users had less activation to negative words in temporal, prefrontal, and occipital cortices, insula, and amygdala. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to negative words mediated an association between marijuana group and later negative emotionality. Activation of the cuneus/lingual gyrus mediated an association between marijuana group and later resiliency. Results support growing evidence that heavy marijuana use during adolescence affects later emotional outcomes. PMID:26403581

  4. Acceleration of reverse analysis method using hyperbolic activation function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pwasong, Augustine; Sathasivam, Saratha

    2015-10-01

    Hyperbolic activation function is examined for its ability to accelerate the performance of doing data mining by using a technique named as Reverse Analysis method. In this paper, we describe how Hopfield network perform better with hyperbolic activation function and able to induce logical rules from large database by using reverse analysis method: given the values of the connections of a network, we can hope to know what logical rules are entrenched in the database. We limit our analysis to Horn clauses.

  5. Active control of crossflow-induced transition by means of in-line pneumatic actuator orifices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohse, J.; Barth, H. P.; Nitsche, W.

    2016-08-01

    The possibility of a pneumatic actuator system for controlling the crossflow vortex-induced laminar breakdown is investigated by means of hot-wire measurements. Steady blowing or suction through a spanwise row of periodically arranged orifices initiates a system of longitudinal vortices which reduces the amplitude of the most amplified stationary crossflow vortices. Thus, the onset of high-frequency secondary instability and the following laminar-turbulent transition was shifted farther downstream. All experiments were conducted at the redesigned DLR swept flat plate experiment in the open test section of the 1 m wind tunnel at the DLR in Göttingen.

  6. Derivation of dielectric function and inelastic mean free path from photoelectron energy-loss spectra of amorphous carbon surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, Denis; Godet, Christian

    2016-11-01

    Photoelectron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (PEELS) is a highly valuable non destructive tool in applied surface science because it gives access to both chemical composition and electronic properties of surfaces, including the near-surface dielectric function. An algorithm is proposed for real materials to make full use of experimental X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS). To illustrate the capabilities and limitations of this algorithm, the near-surface dielectric function ε(ℏω) of a wide range of amorphous carbon (a-C) thin films is derived from energy losses measured in XPS, using a dielectric response theory which relates ε(ℏω) and the bulk plasmon (BP) loss distribution. Self-consistent separation of bulk vs surface plasmon excitations, deconvolution of multiple BP losses and evaluation of Bethe-Born sensitivity factors for bulk and surface loss distributions are crucial to obtain several material parameters: (1) energy loss function for BP excitation, (2) dielectric function of the near-surface material (3-5 nm depth sensitivity), (3) inelastic mean free path, λP (E0), for plasmon excitation, (4) surface excitation parameter, (5) effective number NEFF of valence electrons participating in the plasma oscillation. This photoelectron energy loss spectra analysis has been applied to a-C and a-C:H films grown by physical and chemical methods with a wide range of (sp3/sp2 + sp3) hybridization, optical gap and average plasmon energy values. Different methods are assessed to accurately remove the photoemission peak tail at low loss energy (0-10 eV) due to many-body interactions during the photo-ionization process. The σ + π plasmon excitation represents the main energy-loss channel in a-C; as the C atom density decreases, λP (970 eV) increases from 1.22 nm to 1.6 nm, assuming a cutoff plasmon wavenumber given by a free electron model. The π-π* and σ-σ* transitions observed in the retrieved dielectric function are discussed as a function of the average (sp3/sp

  7. STUDENT ACTIVITIES STAFF FUNCTIONS--SUM AND SUBSTANCE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MARINE, JAMES

    THIS STUDY WAS DESIGNED TO ASSESS (1) THE CURRENT STATUS OF STUDENT ACTIVITIES (S.A.) WORK, (2) THE PERSONS ASSUMING MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE S.A. FUNCTION AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS, BACKGROUND, AND GOALS, (3) THE FUNCTIONS OF PERSONS WHO TAKE LEADERSHIP FOR S.A. PROGRAMS, AND (4) THE TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS IN S.A. COPIES OF A FIVE-PAGE…

  8. SWAN - Detection of explosives by means of fast neutron activation analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gierlik, M.; Borsuk, S.; Guzik, Z.; Iwanowska, J.; Kaźmierczak, Ł.; Korolczuk, S.; Kozłowski, T.; Krakowski, T.; Marcinkowski, R.; Swiderski, L.; Szeptycka, M.; Szewiński, J.; Urban, A.

    2016-10-01

    In this work we report on SWAN, the experimental, portable device for explosives detection. The device was created as part of the EU Structural Funds Project "Accelerators & Detectors" (POIG.01.01.02-14-012/08-00), with the goal to increase beneficiary's expertise and competencies in the field of neutron activation analysis. Previous experiences and budged limitations lead toward a less advanced design based on fast neutron interactions and unsophisticated data analysis with the emphasis on the latest gamma detection and spectrometry solutions. The final device has been designed as a portable, fast neutron activation analyzer, with the software optimized for detection of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. SWAN's performance in the role of explosives detector is elaborated in this paper. We demonstrate that the unique features offered by neutron activation analysis might not be impressive enough when confronted with practical demands and expectations of a generic homeland security customer.

  9. Mission activities planning for a Hermes mission by means of AI-technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pape, U.; Hajen, G.; Schielow, N.; Mitschdoerfer, P.; Allard, F.

    1993-01-01

    Mission Activities Planning is a complex task to be performed by mission control centers. AI technology can offer attractive solutions to the planning problem. This paper presents the use of a new AI-based Mission Planning System for crew activity planning. Based on a HERMES servicing mission to the COLUMBUS Man Tended Free Flyer (MTFF) with complex time and resource constraints, approximately 2000 activities with 50 different resources have been generated, processed, and planned with parametric variation of operationally sensitive parameters. The architecture, as well as the performance of the mission planning system, is discussed. An outlook to future planning scenarios, the requirements, and how a system like MARS can fulfill those requirements is given.

  10. Measuring the activities of higher organisms in activated sludge by means of mechanical shearing pretreatment and oxygen uptake rate.

    PubMed

    Hao, Xiaodi; Wang, Qilin; Cao, Yali; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M

    2010-07-01

    A pretreatment method was developed to assess the activities of higher organisms. The method is based on mechanical shearing to damage the large cells of the protozoan and metazoan community in activated sludge. The procedure was confirmed through experimentation to be effective in determining the activities of higher organisms by comparing oxygen uptake rates (OURs) before and after the higher organisms were eradicated. Shearing led to disintegration of flocs, which could be effectively reconstituted by centrifugation. The reconstitution of the sludge flocs was essential since otherwise the activity of the floc mass would be too high due to lack of diffusion limitation. Mechanical shearing had no influence on the morphology, quantity and specific activity of yeasts, and it was inferred that bacteria smaller than yeasts in size would also not be influenced by the applied shearing procedure. Moreover, the effect of filamentous organisms on the measured activities of higher organisms was experimentally demonstrated and analyzed, and determined to be so weak that it could be ignored. Based on these tests, five typical activated sludge processes were selected to measure the contribution of higher organisms to the original OUR. The measured activities of higher organisms ranged from 9.4 to 25.0% of the original OURs.

  11. False memory for idiomatic expressions in younger and older adults: evidence for indirect activation of figurative meanings

    PubMed Central

    Coane, Jennifer H.; Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Claudia; Stillman, Chelsea M.; Corriveau, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Idiomatic expressions can be interpreted literally or figuratively. These two meanings are often processed in parallel or very rapidly, as evidenced by online measures of idiomatic processing. Because in many cases the figurative meaning cannot be derived from the component lexical elements and because of the speed with which this meaning is accessed, it is assumed such meanings are stored in semantic memory. In the present study, we examined how literal equivalents and intact idiomatic expressions are stored in memory and whether episodic memory traces interact or interfere with semantic-level representations and vice versa. To examine age-invariance, younger and older adults studied lists of idioms and literal equivalents. On a recognition test, some studied items were presented in the alternative form (e.g., if the idiom was studied, its literal equivalent was tested). False alarms to these critical items suggested that studying literal equivalents activates the idiom from which they are derived, presumably due to spreading activation in lexical/semantic networks, and results in high rates of errors. Importantly, however, the converse (false alarms to literal equivalents after studying the idiom) were significantly lower, suggesting an advantage in storage for idioms. The results are consistent with idiom processing models that suggest obligatory access to figurative meanings and that this access can also occur indirectly, through literal equivalents. PMID:25101030

  12. Electronic Learning Courses as a Means to Activate Students' Independent Work in Studying Physics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shurygin, Viktor Yurjevich; Krasnova, Lyubov Alekseevna

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there are special requirements to the system of higher education, focused not only on imparting knowledge to students, but also on the formation of the continuous need for independent self-education, self-creative approach to getting knowledge throughout their active life. In this regard, the role of students' independent work with its…

  13. Activities for Strengthening the Meaning of Democracy for Elementary School Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeager, Elizabeth Anne; Silva, Diane Yendol

    2002-01-01

    Presents instructional activities for classroom teachers to use in educating students about democracy and offers a definition of democracy. Includes information on how to teach about democracy, democratic deliberation, the issues of fairness and justice, social responsibility, and the history of democracy. (CMK)

  14. Wireless Laptops as Means for Promoting Active Learning in Large Lecture Halls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barak, Miri; Lipson, Alberta; Lerman, Steven

    2006-01-01

    This paper reports on a study that examined the use of wireless laptops for promoting active learning in lecture halls. The study examined students' behavior in class and their perceptions of the new learning environment throughout three consecutive semesters. An online survey revealed that students have highly positive perceptions about the use…

  15. Cross-Linguistic Activation in Bilingual Sentence Processing: The Role of Word Class Meaning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baten, Kristof; Hofman, Fabrice; Loeys, Tom

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates how categorial (word class) semantics influences cross-linguistic interactions when reading in L2. Previous homograph studies paid little attention to the possible influence of different word classes in the stimulus material on cross-linguistic activation. The present study examines the word recognition performance of…

  16. Motivation within Role-Playing as a Means to Intensify College Students' Educational Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burenkova, Olga Mikhailovna; Arkhipova, Irina Vladimirovna; Semenov, Sergei Aleksandrovich; Samarenkina, Saniya Zakirzyanovna

    2015-01-01

    This article covers college students' educational activity issues while studying a foreign language; analyzes special aspects of motivation introduction, their specific features. It also defines role and structure of role-playing. The authors come to the conclusion that introduction of role-playing in an educational process will bring it closer to…

  17. Web-enabled Conversational Interactions as a Means to Improve Cognitive Functions: Results of a 6-Week Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Hiroko H.; Zhu, Jian; Mattek, Nora; Bowman, Molly; Ybarra, Oscar; Wild, Katherine; Loewenstein, David A.; Kaye, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Increasing social interaction could be a promising intervention for improving cognitive function. We examined the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial to assess whether conversation-based cognitive stimulation, through personal computers, webcams, and a user-friendly interactive Internet interface had high adherence and a positive effect on cognitive functions among older adults without dementia. METHODS Daily 30 minute face-to-face communications were conducted over a 6-week trial period in the intervention group. The control group had only a weekly telephone interview. Cognitive status of normal and MCI subjects was operationally defined as Global Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) = 0 and 0.5, respectively. Age, sex, education, Mini-Mental State Exam and CDR score were balancing factors in randomization. Subjects were recruited using mass-mailing invitations. Pre-post differences in cognitive test scores and loneliness scores were compared between control and intervention groups using linear regression models. RESULTS Eighty-three subjects participated (intervention: n=41, control: n=42). Their mean (std) age was 80.5 (6.8) years. Adherence to the protocol was high; there was no dropout and mean % of days completed out of the targeted trial days among the intervention group was 89% (range: 77%–100%). Among the cognitively intact participants, the intervention group improved more than the control group on a semantic fluency test (p=0.003) at the post-trial assessment and a phonemic fluency test (p=0.004) at the 18th week assessments. Among those with MCI, a trend (p=0.04) of improved psychomotor speed was observed in the intervention group. DISCUSSION Daily conversations via user-friendly Internet communication programs demonstrated high adherence. Among cognitively intact, the intervention group showed greater improvement in tests of language-based executive functions. Increasing daily social contacts through communication technologies could

  18. Relationships among solar activity SEP occurrence frequency, and solar energetic particle event distribution function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nymmik, Rikho

    The solar cycle 20-22 direct spacecraft measurement results are used to analyze the occurrence frequency and distribution function of solar energetic particle (SEP) events as dependent on solar activity. The analysis has shown that • the mean occurrence frequency of the SEP events with ≥30 MeV proton fluence sizes exceeding 106 is proportional to sunspot number, • the SEP event proton distribution functions for periods of different solar activity levels can be described to be power-law functions whose spectral form (spectral indices and cutoff values) are the same. The above results permit the following conclusions: a) to within statistical deviations, the total number of SEP events observed during any given time interval is proportional to the sum of mean-yearly sunspot numbers; b) large SEP events can occur to within quite a definite probability even during solar minima.

  19. Effects of Physical (In)activity on Platelet Function

    PubMed Central

    Heber, Stefan; Volf, Ivo

    2015-01-01

    As platelet activation is closely related to the liberation of growth factors and inflammatory mediators, platelets play a central role in the development of CVD. Virtually all cardiovascular risk factors favor platelet hyperreactivity and, accordingly, also physical (in)activity affects platelet function. Within this paper, we will summarize and discuss the current knowledge on the impact of acute and habitual exercise on platelet function. Although there are apparent discrepancies regarding the reported effects of acute, strenuous exercise on platelet activation, a deeper analysis of the available literature reveals that the applied exercise intensity and the subjects' cardiorespiratory fitness represent critical determinants for the observed effects. Consideration of these factors leads to the summary that (i) acute, strenuous exercise can lead to platelet activation, (ii) regular physical activity and/or physical fitness diminish or prevent platelet activation in response to acute exercise, and (iii) habitual physical activity and/or physical fitness also favorably modulate platelet function at physical rest. Notably, these effects of exercise on platelet function show obvious similarities to the well-recognized relation between exercise and the risk for cardiovascular events where vigorous exercise transiently increases the risk for myocardial infarction and a physically active lifestyle dramatically reduces cardiovascular mortality. PMID:26557653

  20. Early subtropical forest growth is driven by community mean trait values and functional diversity rather than the abiotic environment

    PubMed Central

    Kröber, Wenzel; Li, Ying; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Schmid, Bernhard; Schmidt, Karsten; Scholten, Thomas; Seidler, Gunnar; von Oheimb, Goddert; Welk, Erik; Wirth, Christian; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-01-01

    While functional diversity (FD) has been shown to be positively related to a number of ecosystem functions including biomass production, it may have a much less pronounced effect than that of environmental factors or species-specific properties. Leaf and wood traits can be considered particularly relevant to tree growth, as they reflect a trade-off between resources invested into growth and persistence. Our study focussed on the degree to which early forest growth was driven by FD, the environment (11 variables characterizing abiotic habitat conditions), and community-weighted mean (CWM) values of species traits in the context of a large-scale tree diversity experiment (BEF-China). Growth rates of trees with respect to crown diameter were aggregated across 231 plots (hosting between one and 23 tree species) and related to environmental variables, FD, and CWM, the latter two of which were based on 41 plant functional traits. The effects of each of the three predictor groups were analyzed separately by mixed model optimization and jointly by variance partitioning. Numerous single traits predicted plot-level tree growth, both in the models based on CWMs and FD, but none of the environmental variables was able to predict tree growth. In the best models, environment and FD explained only 4 and 31% of variation in crown growth rates, respectively, while CWM trait values explained 42%. In total, the best models accounted for 51% of crown growth. The marginal role of the selected environmental variables was unexpected, given the high topographic heterogeneity and large size of the experiment, as was the significant impact of FD, demonstrating that positive diversity effects already occur during the early stages in tree plantations. PMID:26380685

  1. Early subtropical forest growth is driven by community mean trait values and functional diversity rather than the abiotic environment.

    PubMed

    Kröber, Wenzel; Li, Ying; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Schmid, Bernhard; Schmidt, Karsten; Scholten, Thomas; Seidler, Gunnar; von Oheimb, Goddert; Welk, Erik; Wirth, Christian; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-09-01

    While functional diversity (FD) has been shown to be positively related to a number of ecosystem functions including biomass production, it may have a much less pronounced effect than that of environmental factors or species-specific properties. Leaf and wood traits can be considered particularly relevant to tree growth, as they reflect a trade-off between resources invested into growth and persistence. Our study focussed on the degree to which early forest growth was driven by FD, the environment (11 variables characterizing abiotic habitat conditions), and community-weighted mean (CWM) values of species traits in the context of a large-scale tree diversity experiment (BEF-China). Growth rates of trees with respect to crown diameter were aggregated across 231 plots (hosting between one and 23 tree species) and related to environmental variables, FD, and CWM, the latter two of which were based on 41 plant functional traits. The effects of each of the three predictor groups were analyzed separately by mixed model optimization and jointly by variance partitioning. Numerous single traits predicted plot-level tree growth, both in the models based on CWMs and FD, but none of the environmental variables was able to predict tree growth. In the best models, environment and FD explained only 4 and 31% of variation in crown growth rates, respectively, while CWM trait values explained 42%. In total, the best models accounted for 51% of crown growth. The marginal role of the selected environmental variables was unexpected, given the high topographic heterogeneity and large size of the experiment, as was the significant impact of FD, demonstrating that positive diversity effects already occur during the early stages in tree plantations. PMID:26380685

  2. Low frequency steady-state brain responses modulate large scale functional networks in a frequency-specific means.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Feng; Long, Zhiliang; Cui, Qian; Liu, Feng; Jing, Xiu-Juan; Chen, Heng; Guo, Xiao-Nan; Yan, Jin H; Chen, Hua-Fu

    2016-01-01

    Neural oscillations are essential for brain functions. Research has suggested that the frequency of neural oscillations is lower for more integrative and remote communications. In this vein, some resting-state studies have suggested that large scale networks function in the very low frequency range (<1 Hz). However, it is difficult to determine the frequency characteristics of brain networks because both resting-state studies and conventional frequency tagging approaches cannot simultaneously capture multiple large scale networks in controllable cognitive activities. In this preliminary study, we aimed to examine whether large scale networks can be modulated by task-induced low frequency steady-state brain responses (lfSSBRs) in a frequency-specific pattern. In a revised attention network test, the lfSSBRs were evoked in the triple network system and sensory-motor system, indicating that large scale networks can be modulated in a frequency tagging way. Furthermore, the inter- and intranetwork synchronizations as well as coherence were increased at the fundamental frequency and the first harmonic rather than at other frequency bands, indicating a frequency-specific modulation of information communication. However, there was no difference among attention conditions, indicating that lfSSBRs modulate the general attention state much stronger than distinguishing attention conditions. This study provides insights into the advantage and mechanism of lfSSBRs. More importantly, it paves a new way to investigate frequency-specific large scale brain activities. PMID:26512872

  3. Low frequency steady-state brain responses modulate large scale functional networks in a frequency-specific means.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Feng; Long, Zhiliang; Cui, Qian; Liu, Feng; Jing, Xiu-Juan; Chen, Heng; Guo, Xiao-Nan; Yan, Jin H; Chen, Hua-Fu

    2016-01-01

    Neural oscillations are essential for brain functions. Research has suggested that the frequency of neural oscillations is lower for more integrative and remote communications. In this vein, some resting-state studies have suggested that large scale networks function in the very low frequency range (<1 Hz). However, it is difficult to determine the frequency characteristics of brain networks because both resting-state studies and conventional frequency tagging approaches cannot simultaneously capture multiple large scale networks in controllable cognitive activities. In this preliminary study, we aimed to examine whether large scale networks can be modulated by task-induced low frequency steady-state brain responses (lfSSBRs) in a frequency-specific pattern. In a revised attention network test, the lfSSBRs were evoked in the triple network system and sensory-motor system, indicating that large scale networks can be modulated in a frequency tagging way. Furthermore, the inter- and intranetwork synchronizations as well as coherence were increased at the fundamental frequency and the first harmonic rather than at other frequency bands, indicating a frequency-specific modulation of information communication. However, there was no difference among attention conditions, indicating that lfSSBRs modulate the general attention state much stronger than distinguishing attention conditions. This study provides insights into the advantage and mechanism of lfSSBRs. More importantly, it paves a new way to investigate frequency-specific large scale brain activities.

  4. A current type PWM rectifier with active damping function

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, Yukihiko; Kataoka, Teruo

    1995-12-31

    A new control method for current type PWM rectifiers which can provide active damping function is presented. This damping function is effective only on the harmonic components of ac input current selectively. Thus steady state waveform distortion and transient oscillation of the input current are reduced by the active damping effects. The active damping function can be realized by feed-back control of an LC filter connected to the ac side of the rectifier, and it does not require any additional components in the main circuits, permitting a simple circuit configuration. The control system of the proposed PWM rectifier is analyzed by using a simple block diagram developed in the present paper. From the analytical results, the influence of the circuit parameters and control delay on the active damping effects and the stability of the operation is clarified to establish the design method. To confirm the effectiveness of the active damping function, some results of basic experiments are included. As an example of application of the active damping function, the proposed rectifier is applied to reduce the harmonic currents generated by conventional rectifiers operating in parallel with the proposed rectifier. Some experimental results in this application are also included.

  5. A current-type PWM rectifier with active damping function

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, Yukihiko; Kataoka, Teruo

    1996-05-01

    A new control method for current-type pulse-width modulation (PWM) rectifiers which can provide active damping function is presented. This damping function is effective only on the harmonic components of ac input current selectively. Thus steady-state waveform distortion and transient oscillation of the input current are reduced by the active damping effects. The active damping function can be realized by feedback control of an LC filter connected to the ac side of the rectifier, and it does not require any additional components in the main circuits, permitting a simple circuit configuration. The control system of the proposed PWM rectifier is analyzed by using a simple block diagram developed in the present paper. From the analytical results, the influence of the circuit parameters and control delay on the active damping effects and the stability of the operation are clarified to establish the design method. To confirm the effectiveness of the active damping function, some results of basic experiments are included. As an example of application of the active damping function, the proposed rectifier is applied to reduce the harmonic currents generated by conventional rectifiers operating in parallel with the proposed rectifier. Some experimental results in this application are also included.

  6. Engineered Nanostructures of Antigen Provide an Effective Means for Regulating Mast Cell Activation

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Zhao; Weng, I-Chun; Li, Jie-Ren; Chen, Huan-Yuan; Liu, Fu-Tong; Liu, Gang-yu

    2011-01-01

    Nanostructures containing 2,4-Dinitrophenyl (DNP) as antigen were designed and produced to investigate antibody-mediated activation of mast cells. The design consists of nanogrids of DNP termini inlaid in alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Using scanning probe-based nanografting, nanometer precision was attained for designed geometry, size and periodicity. Rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells exhibited high sensitivity to the geometry and local environment of DNP presented on these nanostructures. The impact included cellular adherence, spreading, membrane morphology, cytoskeleton structure, and activation. The highest level of spreading and activation was induced by nanogrids of 17 nm line width and 40 nm periodicity, with DNP haptens 1.4 nm above the surroundings. The high efficacy is attributed to two main factors. First, DNP sites in the nanostructure are highly accessible by anti-DNP-IgE during recognition. Second, the arrangement or geometry of DNP termini in nanostructures promotes clustering of FcεRI receptors that are pre-linked to IgE. The clustering effectively initiates Lyn-mediated signaling cascades, ultimately leading to the degranulation of RBL cells. This work demonstrates an important concept, that nanostructures of ligands provide new and effective cues for directing cellular signaling processes. PMID:21999491

  7. A 12-Week Vigorous Exercise Protocol in a Healthy Group of Persons over 65: Study of Physical Function by means of the Senior Fitness Test.

    PubMed

    Todde, Francesco; Melis, Franco; Mura, Roberto; Pau, Massimiliano; Fois, Francesco; Magnani, Sara; Ibba, Gianfranco; Crisafulli, Antonio; Tocco, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 -9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 -15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 -8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.

  8. A 12-Week Vigorous Exercise Protocol in a Healthy Group of Persons over 65: Study of Physical Function by means of the Senior Fitness Test.

    PubMed

    Todde, Francesco; Melis, Franco; Mura, Roberto; Pau, Massimiliano; Fois, Francesco; Magnani, Sara; Ibba, Gianfranco; Crisafulli, Antonio; Tocco, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 -9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 -15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 -8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults. PMID:27243035

  9. A 12-Week Vigorous Exercise Protocol in a Healthy Group of Persons over 65: Study of Physical Function by means of the Senior Fitness Test

    PubMed Central

    Todde, Francesco; Melis, Franco; Mura, Roberto; Pau, Massimiliano; Fois, Francesco; Magnani, Sara; Ibba, Gianfranco; Crisafulli, Antonio; Tocco, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults. PMID:27243035

  10. Determination of fungal activity in modified wood by means of micro-calorimetry and determination of total esterase activity

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Pradeep; Dyckmans, Jens; Militz, Holger

    2008-01-01

    Beech and pine wood blocks were treated with 1,3-dimethylol-4,5-dihydroxyethylen urea (DMDHEU) to increasing weight percent gains (WPG). The resistance of the treated specimens against Trametes versicolor and Coniophora puteana, determined as mass loss, increased with increasing WPG of DMDHEU. Metabolic activity of the fungi in the wood blocks was assessed as total esterase activity (TEA) based on the hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate and as heat or energy production determined by isothermal micro-calorimetry. Both methods revealed that the fungal activity was related with the WPG and the mass loss caused by the fungi. Still, fungal activity was detected even in wood blocks of the highest WPG and showed that the treatment was not toxic to the fungi. Energy production showed a higher consistency with the mass loss after decay than TEA; higher mass loss was more stringently reflected by higher heat production rate. Heat production did not proceed linearly, possibly due to the inhibition of fungal activity by an excess of carbon dioxide. PMID:18542949

  11. Activity concentrations and mean annual effective dose of foodstuffs on the island of Tenerife, Spain.

    PubMed

    Hernández, F; Hernández-Armas, J; Catalán, A; Fernández-Aldecoa, J C; Landeras, M I

    2004-01-01

    A total of 26 different food types and 12 elaborated diets were analysed by low-level gamma spectrometry to measure their content of 238U(234Th), 228Ra(228Ac), 226Ra(214Pb), 210Pb, 137Cs and 40K. The concentrations of these radionuclides measured in some imported foodstuffs were compared with those measured in some locally produced ones. Moreover, the concentrations found in the analysed foodstuffs and composite diets were compared with the data available in literature from other locations, such as Egypt, Brazil, Poland and Hong Kong. 40K contributed highest to the daily dose produced by the intake of comestibles. The largest 40K concentrations were measured in the chickpeas and beans with 380 +/- 30 and 380 +/- 20 Bq kg(-1) fresh weights, respectively. The artificial radionuclide 137Cs was measured only above detection limits in the potatoes and sweet potatoes. A mean annual effective dose of 362 microSv with a standard deviation of 110 microSv was calculated from the composite diets.

  12. Accurate means of detecting and characterizing abnormal patterns of ventricular activation by phase image analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Botvinick, E.H.; Frais, M.A.; Shosa, D.W.; O'Connell, J.W.; Pacheco-Alvarez, J.A.; Scheinman, M.; Hattner, R.S.; Morady, F.; Faulkner, D.B.

    1982-08-01

    The ability of scintigraphic phase image analysis to characterize patterns of abnormal ventricular activation was investigated. The pattern of phase distribution and sequential phase changes over both right and left ventricular regions of interest were evaluated in 16 patients with normal electrical activation and wall motion and compared with those in 8 patients with an artificial pacemaker and 4 patients with sinus rhythm with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and delta waves. Normally, the site of earliest phase angle was seen at the base of the interventricular septum, with sequential change affecting the body of the septum and the cardiac apex and then spreading laterally to involve the body of both ventricles. The site of earliest phase angle was located at the apex of the right ventricle in seven patients with a right ventricular endocardial pacemaker and on the lateral left ventricular wall in one patient with a left ventricular epicardial pacemaker. In each case the site corresponded exactly to the position of the pacing electrode as seen on posteroanterior and left lateral chest X-ray films, and sequential phase changes spread from the initial focus to affect both ventricles. In each of the patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, the site of earliest ventricular phase angle was located, and it corresponded exactly to the site of the bypass tract as determined by endocardial mapping. In this way, four bypass pathways, two posterior left paraseptal, one left lateral and one right lateral, were correctly localized scintigraphically. On the basis of the sequence of mechanical contraction, phase image analysis provides an accurate noninvasive method of detecting abnormal foci of ventricular activation.

  13. Two Words, One Meaning: Evidence of Automatic Co-Activation of Translation Equivalents

    PubMed Central

    Dimitropoulou, Maria; Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni; Carreiras, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    Research on the processing of translations offers important insights on how bilinguals negotiate the representation of words from two languages in one mind and one brain. Evidence so far has shown that translation equivalents effectively activate each other as well as their shared concept even when translations lack of any formal overlap (i.e., non-cognates) and even when one of them is presented subliminally, namely under masked priming conditions. In the lexical decision studies testing masked translation priming effects with unbalanced bilinguals a remarkably stable pattern emerges: larger effects in the dominant (L1) to the non-dominant (L2) translation direction, than vice versa. Interestingly, this asymmetry vanishes when simultaneous and balanced bilinguals are tested, suggesting that the linguistic profile of the bilinguals could be determining the pattern of cross-language lexico-semantic activation across the L2 learning trajectory. The present study aims to detect whether L2 proficiency is the critical variable rendering the otherwise asymmetric cross-language activation of translations obtained in the lexical decision task into symmetric. Non-cognate masked translation priming effects were examined with three groups of Greek (L1)–English (L2) unbalanced bilinguals, differing exclusively at their level of L2 proficiency. Although increased L2 proficiency led to improved overall L2 performance, masked translation priming effects were virtually identical across the three groups, yielding in all cases significant but asymmetric effects (i.e., larger effects in the L1 → L2 than in the L2 → L1 translation direction). These findings show that proficiency does not modulate masked translation priming effects at intermediate levels, and that a native-like level of L2 proficiency is needed for symmetric effects to emerge. They furthermore, pose important constraints on the operation of the mechanisms underlying the development of cross

  14. The analysis of solar activity features by means of the BASIS digital imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerotti, M.; Lampi, L.; Furlani, S.; Zlobec, P.

    CCD-based digital imaging systems are powerful tools for the analysis of solar activity features in real-time or as post-processing. Despite the actual sensor-limited resolutions of low-cost systems, interesting projects can be carried out such as, for instance, the tracing of photospheric motions, in principle also in automatic mode. With regard to that BASIS, a digital imaging system for the sun operated at Trieste, will be briefly described. Possible applications as mentioned above will be discussed with emphasis on photospheric and chromospheric patterns.

  15. Ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films functionalized with therapeutically active collagen networks.

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, H.; Chen, M.; Bruno, P.; Lam, R.; Robinson, E.; Gruen, D.; Ho, D.; Materials Science Division; Northwestern Univ.

    2009-01-01

    The fabrication of biologically amenable interfaces in medicine bridges translational technologies with their surrounding biological environment. Functionalized nanomaterials catalyze this coalescence through the creation of biomimetic and active substrates upon which a spectrum of therapeutic elements can be delivered to adherent cells to address biomolecular processes in cancer, inflammation, etc. Here, we demonstrate the robust functionalization of ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) with type I collagen and dexamethasone (Dex), an anti-inflammatory drug, to fabricate a hybrid therapeutically active substrate for localized drug delivery. UNCD oxidation coupled with a pH-mediated collagen adsorption process generated a comprehensive interface between the two materials, and subsequent Dex integration, activity, and elution were confirmed through inflammatory gene expression assays. These studies confer a translational relevance to the biofunctionalized UNCD in its role as an active therapeutic network for potent regulation of cellular activity toward applications in nanomedicine.

  16. Geometrical modulation transfer function for different pixel active area shapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadid-Pecht, Orly

    2000-04-01

    In this work we consider the effect of the pixel active area geometrical shape on the modulation transfer function (MTF) of an image sensor. When designing a CMOS Active Pixel Sensor, or a CCD or CID sensor for this matter, the active area of the pixel would have a certain geometrical shape which might not cover the whole pixel area. To improve the device performance, it is important to understand the effect this has on the pixel sensitivity and on the resulting MTF. We perform a theoretical analysis of the MTF for the active area shape and derive explicit formulas for the transfer function for pixel arrays with a square, a rectangular and an L shaped active area (most commonly used), and generalize for any connected active area shape. Preliminary experimental results of subpixel scanning sensitivity maps and the corresponding MTFs have also bee obtained, which confirm the theoretical derivations. Both the simulation results and the MTF calculated from the point spread function measurements of the actual pixel arrays show that the active area shape contributes significantly to the behavior of the overall MTF. The results also indicate that for any potential pixel active area shape, the effect of its diversion from the square pixel could be calculated, so that tradeoff between the conflicting requirements, such as SNR and MTF, could be compared per each pixel design for better overall sensor performance.

  17. Pain as a reward: changing the meaning of pain from negative to positive co-activates opioid and cannabinoid systems.

    PubMed

    Benedetti, Fabrizio; Thoen, Wilma; Blanchard, Catherine; Vighetti, Sergio; Arduino, Claudia

    2013-03-01

    Pain is a negative emotional experience that is modulated by a variety of psychological factors through different inhibitory systems. For example, endogenous opioids and cannabinoids have been found to be involved in stress and placebo analgesia. Here we show that when the meaning of the pain experience is changed from negative to positive through verbal suggestions, the opioid and cannabinoid systems are co-activated and these, in turn, increase pain tolerance. We induced ischemic arm pain in healthy volunteers, who had to tolerate the pain as long as possible. One group was informed about the aversive nature of the task, as done in any pain study. Conversely, a second group was told that the ischemia would be beneficial to the muscles, thus emphasizing the usefulness of the pain endurance task. We found that in the second group pain tolerance was significantly higher compared to the first one, and that this effect was partially blocked by the opioid antagonist naltrexone alone and by the cannabinoid antagonist rimonabant alone. However, the combined administration of naltrexone and rimonabant antagonized the increased tolerance completely. Our results indicate that a positive approach to pain reduces the global pain experience through the co-activation of the opioid and cannabinoid systems. These findings may have a profound impact on clinical practice. For example, postoperative pain, which means healing, can be perceived as less unpleasant than cancer pain, which means death. Therefore, the behavioral and/or pharmacological manipulation of the meaning of pain can represent an effective approach to pain management.

  18. Berberine Improves Kidney Function in Diabetic Mice via AMPK Activation

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Long; Sun, Li-Na; Nie, Hui-Bin; Wang, Xue-Ling; Guan, Guang-Ju

    2014-01-01

    Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Effective therapies to prevent the development of this disease are required. Berberine (BBR) has several preventive effects on diabetes and its complications. However, the molecular mechanism of BBR on kidney function in diabetes is not well defined. Here, we reported that activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is required for BBR-induced improvement of kidney function in vivo. AMPK phosphorylation and activity, productions of reactive oxygen species (ROS), kidney function including serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine clearance (Ccr), and urinary protein excretion, morphology of glomerulus were determined in vitro or in vivo. Exposure of cultured human glomerulus mesangial cells (HGMCs) to BBR time- or dose-dependently activates AMPK by increasing the thr172 phosphorylation and its activities. Inhibition of LKB1 by siRNA or mutant abolished BBR-induced AMPK activation. Incubation of cells with high glucose (HG, 30 mM) markedly induced the oxidative stress of HGMCs, which were abolished by 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside, AMPK gene overexpression or BBR. Importantly, the effects induced by BBR were bypassed by AMPK siRNA transfection in HG-treated HGMCs. In animal studies, streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemia dramatically promoted glomerulosclerosis and impaired kidney function by increasing serum BUN, urinary protein excretion, and decreasing Ccr, as well as increased oxidative stress. Administration of BBR remarkably improved kidney function in wildtype mice but not in AMPKα2-deficient mice. We conclude that AMPK activation is required for BBR to improve kidney function in diabetic mice. PMID:25409232

  19. Determination of seven noble metals in standard rock samples by means of thermal neutron activation analysis.

    PubMed

    Ayabe, M; Hirao, Y; Kimura, K

    1980-10-01

    Ruthenium, silver, rhenium, osmium, iridium, platinum and gold in standard rock samples from Geological Survey of Japan (JB-1, JB-2, JG-1 and JA-1) were determined by thermal neutron activation method with a systematic chemical separation. U.S. Geological Survey standard rocks (BCR-1 and G-2) were also analyzed to obtain an information about the accuracy and precision on the method. Generally agreement of our results with previous values for BCR-1 and G-2 was excellent. The noble metal contents in the igneous rocks from Japanese region were approximately comparable to those in the corresponding rocks from the continental region, and showed a tendency to decrease with increasing silica contents, with weak interrelations to other major elements.

  20. Estimation of the outer-sphere contribution to the activation volume for electron exchange reactions using the mean spherical approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Hideo D.; Swaddle, Thomas W.

    1996-01-01

    The outer-sphere contribution to the volume of activation of homogeneous electron exchange reactions is estimated for selected solvents on the basis of the mean spherical approximation (MSA), and the calculated values are compared with those estimated by the Strank-Hush-Marcus (SHM) theory and with activation volumes obtained experimentally for the electron exchange reaction between tris(hexafluoroacetylacetonato)ruthenium(III) and -(II) in acetone, acetonitrile, methanol and chloroform. The MSA treatment, which recognizes the molecular nature of the solvent, does not improve significantly upon the continuous-dielectric SHM theory, which represents the experimental data adequately for the more polar solvents.

  1. Measurement and Modeling of Mean Activity Coefficients of NaCl in an Aqueous Mixed Electrolyte Solution Containing Glycine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheikholeslami, Paniz; Dehghani, M. R.; Safahieh, Tina

    2016-08-01

    An electrochemical cell with two ion-selective electrodes (Na+ glass) and (Cl- solid state) was used to measure the mean ionic activity coefficient of NaCl in an aqueous mixture containing NaCl, glycine, and NaNO3 at 308.15 K. The experiments were conducted at fixed molality of NaNO3 (0.1 m) and various molalities of glycine (0-1 m) and NaCl (up to 0.8 m). The experimental data were modeled using a modified version of the Pitzer equation. Finally the activity coefficient ratio of glycine was determined based on the Maxwell equation.

  2. Investigation of potential effects of cellular phones on human auditory function by means of distortion product otoacoustic emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janssen, Thomas; Boege, Paul; von Mikusch-Buchberg, Jutta; Raczek, Johannes

    2005-03-01

    Outer hair cells (OHC) are thought to act like piezoelectric transducers that amplify low sounds and hence enable the ear's exquisite sensitivity. Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) reflect OHC function. The present study investigated potential effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) cellular phones on OHCs by means of DPOAEs. DPOAE measurements were performed during exposure, i.e., between consecutive GSM signal pulses, and during sham exposure (no EMF) in 28 normally hearing subjects at tone frequencies around 4 kHz. For a reliable DPOAE measurement, a 900-MHz GSM-like signal was used where transmission pause was increased from 4.034 ms (GSM standard) to 24.204 ms. Peak transmitter power was set to 20 W, corresponding to a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.1 W/kg. No significant change in the DPOAE level in response to the EMF exposure was found. However, when undesired side effects on DPOAEs were compensated, in some subjects an extremely small EMF-exposure-correlated change in the DPOAE level (<1 dB) was observed. In view of the very large dynamic range of hearing in humans (120 dB), it is suggested that this observation is physiologically irrelevant. .

  3. Physical Activity as a Function of Women's Health.

    PubMed

    Đukanović, Nina; Mašić, Zoran; Kostovski, Žarko; Širić, Vesna; Blažević, Stipe

    2015-07-01

    Physical activity means any form of body movement that is associated with certain metabolic demands. At the same time, physical activity is one of the most important steps in the maintenance, protection and improvement of health. There is strong evidence to suggest that higher levels of physical activity are associated with numerous preventive effects and therapeutic effects in the treatment of many diseases. Although they account for a larger portion of the population, physical inactivity is more often registered in women, which can be attributed to a variety of reasons--ranging from anatomical and physiological to the socio-psychological. The present paper discusses some of the most important benefits associated with physical activity in women, to encourage their greater participation in various forms of physical activity.

  4. Rev-RRE Functional Activity Differs Substantially Among Primary HIV-1 Isolates.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Patrick E; Tebit, Denis M; Rekosh, David; Hammarskjold, Marie-Louise

    2016-09-01

    The HIV-1 replication cycle requires the nucleocytoplasmic export of intron-containing viral RNAs, a process that is ordinarily restricted. HIV overcomes this by means of the viral Rev protein, which binds to an RNA secondary structure called the Rev response element (RRE) present in all unspliced or incompletely spliced viral RNA transcripts. The resulting mRNP complex is exported through interaction with cellular factors. The Rev-RRE binding interaction is increasingly understood to display remarkable structural plasticity, but little is known about how Rev-RRE sequence differences affect functional activity. To study this issue, we utilized a lentiviral vector assay in which vector titer is dependent on the activity of selected Rev-RRE pairs. We found that Rev-RRE functional activity varies significantly (up to 24-fold) between naturally occurring viral isolates. The activity differences of the Rev-RRE cognate pairs track closely with Rev, but not with RRE activity. This variation in Rev activity is not correlated with differences in Rev steady state protein levels. These data suggest that Rev sequence differences drive substantial variation in Rev-RRE functional activity between patients. Such variation may play a role in viral adaptation to different immune milieus within and between patients and may be significant in the establishment of latency. The identification of differences in Rev-RRE functional activity in naturally occurring isolates may also permit more efficient production of lentiviral vectors. PMID:27147495

  5. Swell activated chloride channel function in human neutrophils

    SciTech Connect

    Salmon, Michael D.; Ahluwalia, Jatinder

    2009-04-17

    Non-excitable cells such as neutrophil granulocytes are the archetypal inflammatory immune cell involved in critical functions of the innate immune system. The electron current generated (I{sub e}) by the neutrophil NADPH oxidase is electrogenic and rapidly depolarises the membrane potential. For continuous function of the NADPH oxidase, I{sub e} has to be balanced to preserve electroneutrality, if not; sufficient depolarisation would prevent electrons from leaving the cell and neutrophil function would be abrogated. Subsequently, the depolarisation generated by the neutrophil NADPH oxidase I{sub e} must be counteracted by ion transport. The finding that depolarisation required counter-ions to compensate electron transport was followed by the observation that chloride channels activated by swell can counteract the NADPH oxidase membrane depolarisation. In this mini review, we discuss the research findings that revealed the essential role of swell activated chloride channels in human neutrophil function.

  6. Dipeptides Increase Functional Activity of Human Skin Fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Malinin, V V; Durnova, A O; Polyakova, V O; Kvetnoi, I M

    2015-05-01

    We analyzed the effect of dipeptide Glu-Trp and isovaleroyl-Glu-Trp in concentrations of 0.2, 2 and 20 μg/ml and Actovegin preparation on functional activity of human skin fibroblasts. Dipeptides, especially Glu-Trp, produce a stimulating effect on human skin fibroblasts and their effect is equivalent to that of Actovegin. Dipeptides stimulate cell renewal processes by activating synthesis of Ki-67 and reducing expression of caspase-9 and enhance antioxidant function of the cells by stimulating the expression of Hsp-90 and inducible NO-synthase. These findings suggest that dipeptides are promising candidates for preparations stimulating reparative processes.

  7. Model of local temperature changes in brain upon functional activation.

    PubMed

    Collins, Christopher M; Smith, Michael B; Turner, Robert

    2004-12-01

    Experimental results for changes in brain temperature during functional activation show large variations. It is, therefore, desirable to develop a careful numerical model for such changes. Here, a three-dimensional model of temperature in the human head using the bioheat equation, which includes effects of metabolism, perfusion, and thermal conduction, is employed to examine potential temperature changes due to functional activation in brain. It is found that, depending on location in brain and corresponding baseline temperature relative to blood temperature, temperature may increase or decrease on activation and concomitant increases in perfusion and rate of metabolism. Changes in perfusion are generally seen to have a greater effect on temperature than are changes in metabolism, and hence active brain is predicted to approach blood temperature from its initial temperature. All calculated changes in temperature for reasonable physiological parameters have magnitudes <0.12 degrees C and are well within the range reported in recent experimental studies involving human subjects.

  8. Inward spread of activation in frog muscle fibres investigated by means of high-speed microcinematography

    PubMed Central

    Sugi, H.

    1974-01-01

    1. Single fast muscle fibres of the frog were locally activated by applying current pulses to a pipette whose tip was in contact with the fibre surface, and the resulting local contractions were recorded with a high-speed ciné-camera at 1000-3000 frames/sec. 2. In some but not all of the fibres examined, a moderate membrane depolarization of 20-30 mV initiated a phasic type of local contraction, which showed a definite threshold and relaxed spontaneously while the depolarization still continued. 3. The phasic contraction was sometimes followed by a smaller steady contraction, which lasted as long as the depolarization went on and was regarded to be indentical with the graded type of local contraction. 4. With pipettes of 20-40 μm diameter, the phasic contraction was first initiated at the depolarized fibre surface, and spread to some extent inwards with a velocity of 0·7-2 cm/sec at 18-26° C. The velocity of inward spread of contraction had a Q10 of about 2·3. 5. With larger pipettes of more than 50-60 μm diameter, the phasic response was first initiated at the inner part definitely distant from the fibre surface, and the extent of contraction was greater at this part than at the superficial part during the course of the response. Furthermore, with depolarizations of nearly the threshold value, the steady contraction following the phasic one was seen only at the inner part, suggesting the reversal of the gradient of depolarization along the T tubules. 6. The phasic contraction spread inwards or transversely with a considerable decrement. The response spreading across the whole diameter of the fibre could be observed only in some cases. 7. The phasic response was not always sensitive to tetrodotoxin or to the removal of external sodium ions. 8. These results not only give information about the nature of the regenerative mechanism within the T system, but also suggest that the organization of the T tubule network is such that the electrotonic depolarization

  9. Improvement of the functional properties of nanostructured Ti-Ni shape memory alloys by means of thermomechanical processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreitcberg, Alena

    dominate the texture contributions, and therefore, there is no real alternative to having nanocrystalline Ti-Ni alloys, if one needs to maximize the Ti-Ni alloys functional properties. Since the creation of such a microstructure requires the use of severe cold deformation techniques and neither of these techniques can be completely exempt from defects, it was deemed necessary to compare the damage tolerance of nanocrystalline Ti-Ni alloys to that of their nanosubgrained and mixed nanocrystalline/nanosubgrained counterparts. With this objective in mind, a detailed analysis of interrelations between the level of the CR/WR-induced damage (edge microcrack size and concentration) and the fatigue life of Ti- Ni SMAs was carried out. It was shown that nanocrystalline structure provides higher tolerance to small-crack propagation than nanosubgrained or mixed nanocrystalline/ nanosubgrained structures, and that low-temperature deformability of these alloys has to be improved to benefit from the property-enhancement potential of nanocrystalline structure. To broaden our knowledge in the field of Ti-Ni alloy deformability, the strain-rate sensitivity of these alloys was studied. Different microstructures, varying from the coarse- to ultrafinegrained, were created by means of equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) and subjected to strain-rate sensitivity testing. As a result, the material with ultrafine-grained microstructure demonstrated an improved deformability as compared to the coarse-grained structure, at any deformation temperature. Moreover, it was determined that the smaller the grain size, the lower the temperature and the higher the strain-rate at which superplasticity occurs. Based on the results obtained, combined thermomechanical processing (ECAP at elevated temperatures followed by CR) was proposed and validated in terms of structural refinement with reduced level of processing-induced defects. Scientific contributions. This thesis contributes to the advancement of

  10. Dim ultraviolet light as a means of deterring activity by the Hawaiian hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus semotus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Cryan, Paul M.; Dalton, David C.; Wolf, Sandy; Johnson, Jessica A.; Todd, Christopher M.; Bonaccorso, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    Widespread bat fatalities at industrial wind turbines are a conservation issue with the potential to inhibit efficient use of an abundant source of energy. Bat fatalities can be reduced by altering turbine operations, but such curtailment decreases turbine efficiency. If additional ways of reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines were available such tradeoffs might not be needed. Based on the facts that bats perceive distant objects primarily through vision and can see in very dim lighting conditions, and the possibility that bats might interact with turbines after approaching them as they would trees, we propose a novel method of reducing bat activity at wind turbines: illumination of the structure with dim light. As a first step toward assessing this approach, we illuminated trees with dim flickering ultraviolet (UV) light in areas frequented by Hawaiian hoary bats Lasiurus cinereus semotus, an endangered subspecies affected by wind turbines. We used a repeated-measures design to quantify bat activity near trees with acoustic detectors and thermal video cameras in the presence and absence of UV illumination, while concurrently monitoring insect numbers. Results indicate that dim UV reduces bat activity despite an increase in insect numbers. Experimental treatment did not completely inhibit bat activity near trees, nor did all measures of bat activity show statistically significant differences due to high variance in bat activity among sites. However, the observed decreases in bat activity with dim UV illumination justify further testing of this method as a means to reduce bat fatalities at wind turbines.

  11. Neural progenitor cells regulate microglia functions and activity.

    PubMed

    Mosher, Kira I; Andres, Robert H; Fukuhara, Takeshi; Bieri, Gregor; Hasegawa-Moriyama, Maiko; He, Yingbo; Guzman, Raphael; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2012-11-01

    We found mouse neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to have a secretory protein profile distinct from other brain cells and to modulate microglial activation, proliferation and phagocytosis. NPC-derived vascular endothelial growth factor was necessary and sufficient to exert at least some of these effects in mice. Thus, neural precursor cells may not only be shaped by microglia, but also regulate microglia functions and activity.

  12. Functional modifications of macrophage activity after sublethal irradiation. [Toxoplasma gondii

    SciTech Connect

    Swartz, R.P.

    1982-01-01

    The modifications of macrophage activity following sublethal irradiation, both in vivo and in vitro, were studied using spreading and C3b-receptor-mediated ingestion assays. Nonelicited peritoneal washout cells were examined for changes in activity and selected population characteristics. The cells from irradiated mice were from a resident peritoneal population and not immigrating cells. The macrophage population showed enhanced activity early with a refractory period (24-48) when the macrophages were unresponsive to stimulation by irradiated lymphocytes. The enhanced activity was inversely dose dependent on macrophage. The lymphocytes showed a regulatory function(s) on the time post irradiation at which they were examined. Early lymphocytes exhibited the ability to enhance the activity of normal macrophages while lymphocytes removed 24 hours post irradiation could suppress the activity of already activated macrophages. The effect(s) of the various lymphocyte populations were reproduced with cell-free supernatants which was indicative of the production of lymphokines. Separation on nylon wool columns indicated that the activity resided primarily in the T-cell population of lymphocytes. In vitro irradiation indicated that stimulation of the lymphocytes is macrophage dependent. Additional work indicated that sublethally irradiated macrophages did not inhibit replication of the coccidian protozoon Toxoplasma gondii although they did show increased phagocytosis. Examination of the serum from whole body irradiated mice showed the presence of a postirradiation substance which enhanced the phagocytosis of normal macrophages. It was not present in the serum of normal mice and was not endotoxin.

  13. Functional MRI of neuronal activation in epilepsy patients with malformations of cortical development.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Simona; Bartha, Robert; Parrent, Andrew G; Steven, David A; Diosy, David; Burneo, Jorge G

    2015-10-01

    Malformations of cortical development are disturbances in brain formation that arise from abnormalities affecting the processes of cortical development. Surgical treatment of intractable epilepsy in patients with malformations of cortical development requires localization of both epileptogenic and eloquent cortices. Functional magnetic resonance imaging has been shown to detect the reorganization of activation patterns in such patients. The purpose of this study was to determine whether functional reorganization of the primary sensory and motor cortices occurs in patients with epileptogenic malformations of cortical development. Functional MRI data were obtained for 11 patients (four male, seven female) with a mean age of 36 years (range 18-55 years). The mean age at epilepsy onset was 23 years (range 3-55 years). Twelve healthy controls (six male, six female) with mean age of 33 years (range 28-51 years) were also recruited for comparison. High resolution anatomical MRI was used to confirm the presence and the location of the malformation. All imaging experiments were performed using a 3.0T Siemens Tim Trio whole body MRI. Each subject performed four block-paradigm fMRI experiments to study motor and sensory activation for each hand. A total of 132 image sets were collected for each paradigm over 5.5min (2.5s per image). Each paradigm consisted of seven stimulus periods lasting 30s (12 images) and stimulus onset of 30, 90, 150, 210 and 270s. Functional data were obtained from all eligible patients and compared to those of controls. Reorganization and reduction in function in the motor and sensory areas were observed in patients with cortical dysplasia. Patients with polymicrogyria did not present with significant functional reorganization and patients with heterotopias and coexisting polymicrogyria and/or cortical dysplasia had variable patterns of activation. In summary, this study showed evidence of functional reorganization of sensory and motor cortices in

  14. Melatonin and Steroid Hormones Activate Intermembrane CU,ZN-Superoxide Dismutase by Means of Mitochondrial Cytochrome P450

    PubMed Central

    IÑARREA, Pedro; CASANOVA, Alvaro; ALAVA, Maria Angeles; ITURRALDE, María; CADENAS, Enrique

    2011-01-01

    Melatonin and steroid hormones are cytochrome P450 (CYP or P450; EC 1.14.14.1) substrates that have antioxidant properties and mitochondrial protective activities. IMS (Mitochondrial intermembrane space) SOD1 (Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase) is activated following oxidative modification of its critical thiol moieties by superoxide anion (O2.− ). This study was aimed at investigating the potential association between the hormonal protective antioxidant actions in mitochondria and regulation of IMS SOD1 activity. Melatonin, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, and vitamin D induced a sustained activation over time of SOD1 in intact mitochondria showing a bell-shaped enzyme activation dose-response with a threshold at 50 nM and a maximum effect at 1 μM concentration. Enzyme activation was not affected by furafylline, but it was inhibited by omeprazole, ketoconazole, and tiron, thereby supporting the occurrence of a mitochondrial P450 activity and O2.− requirements. Mitochondrial P450–dependent activation of IMS SOD1 prevented O2.− -induced loss of aconitase activity in intact mitochondria respiring at state 3 respiration. Optimal protection of aconitase activity was observed at 0.1 μM P450 substrate concentration evidencing a likely oxidative effect on the mitochondrial matrix by higher substrate concentrations. Likewise, enzyme activation mediated by mitochondrial P450 activity delayed CaCl2-induced loss of trans-membrane potential, and decreased cytochrome c release. Omeprazole and ketoconazole abrogated both protecting mitochondrial functions promoted by melatonin and steroid hormones. PMID:21397009

  15. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease. PMID:25823869

  16. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function.

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease.

  17. [Significance of the functional activity of antibodies in influenza immunity].

    PubMed

    Naĭkhin, A N; Artem'eva, S A; Bosak, L V; Katorgina, L G

    1995-01-01

    A simple and inexpensive test for mass examination of the functional activity of serum antibodies was developed. The test is based on a kinetic serologic reaction that reflects the time course of changes in antibody titers depending on the time of contact of the tested material with antigen. The curves of serum kinetic titration were processed on a computer by the special programme. As a result, an integral factor, an antibody functional activity index (AFAI) was calculated for each serum sample under study. The titers and AFAI were determined in more than 2,000 healthy persons, patients with influenza A and B, and those immunized with different influenza vaccines. The persons having similar antibody titers were demonstrated to greatly differ in AFAI. The functional activity of antibodies is a more precise marker of protection from influenza than the routine quantitative characteristics of antibodies, i.e. titers. The high baseline AFAI decreased the severity of influenza infection. Live influenza vaccines stimulated the production of antibodies having higher AFAI than inactivated ones. The live influenza strains (candidates for vaccine ones) significantly differed in their ability to stimulate the production of antibodies having a high functional activity.

  18. Temperature-dependent solubilities and mean ionic activity coefficients of alkali halides in water from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mester, Zoltan; Panagiotopoulos, Athanassios Z.

    2015-07-01

    The mean ionic activity coefficients of aqueous KCl, NaF, NaI, and NaCl solutions of varying concentrations have been obtained from molecular dynamics simulations following a recently developed methodology based on gradual insertions of salt molecules [Z. Mester and A. Z. Panagiotopoulos, J. Chem. Phys. 142, 044507 (2015)]. The non-polarizable ion models of Weerasinghe and Smith [J. Chem. Phys. 119, 11342 (2003)], Gee et al. [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 7, 1369 (2011)], Reiser et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044504 (2014)], and Joung and Cheatham [J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 9020 (2008)] were used along with the extended simple point charge (SPC/E) water model [Berendsen et al., J. Phys. Chem. 91, 6269 (1987)] in the simulations. In addition to the chemical potentials in solution used to obtain the activity coefficients, we also calculated the chemical potentials of salt crystals and used them to obtain the solubility of these alkali halide models in SPC/E water. The models of Weerasinghe and Smith [J. Chem. Phys. 119, 11342 (2003)] and Gee et al. [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 7, 1369 (2011)] provide excellent predictions of the mean ionic activity coefficients at 298.15 K and 1 bar, but significantly underpredict or overpredict the solubilities. The other two models generally predicted the mean ionic activity coefficients only qualitatively. With the exception of NaF for which the solubility is significantly overpredicted, the model of Joung and Cheatham predicts salt solubilities that are approximately 40%-60% of the experimental values. The models of Reiser et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044504 (2014)] make good predictions for the NaCl and NaI solubilities, but significantly underpredict the solubilities for KCl and NaF. We also tested the transferability of the models to temperatures much higher than were used to parametrize them by performing simulations for NaCl at 373.15 K and 1 bar, and at 473.15 K and 15.5 bar. All models overpredict the drop in the values of mean ionic

  19. Heated Proteins are Still Active in a Functionalized Nanoporous Support

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Baowei; Qi, Wen N.; Li, Xiaolin; Lei, Chenghong; Liu, Jun

    2013-07-08

    We report that even under the heated condition, the conformation and activity of a protein can be hoarded in a functionalized nanoporous support via non-covalent interaction, although the hoarded protein was not exhibiting the full protein activity, the protein released subsequently still maintained its native conformation and activity. Glucose oxidase (GOX) was spontaneously and largely entrapped in aminopropyl-functionalized mesoporous silica (NH2-FMS) at 20 oC via a dominant electrostatic interaction. Although FMS-GOX displayed 45% activity of the free enzyme in solution, the GOX released from FMS exhibited its 100% activity prior to the entrapment. Surprisingly, the released GOX from FMS still maintained 89% of its initial activity prior to the entrapment after FMS-GOX was incubated at 60 oC for 1 h prior to release, while the free GOX in solution lost nearly all activity under the same incubation. Intrinsic fluorescence emission of GOX and native electrophoresis demonstrated that the heating resulted in significant conformational changes and oligomeric structures of the free GOX, but FMS efficiently maintained the thermal stability of GOX therein and resisted the thermal denaturation and oligomeric aggregation.

  20. Functional constituents of the active site of human neutrophil collagenase.

    PubMed

    Mookhtiar, K A; Wang, F; Van Wart, H E

    1986-05-01

    A series of chemical modification reactions has been carried out to identify functional constituents of the active site of human neutrophil collagenase. The enzyme is reversibly inhibited by the transition metal chelating agent 1,10-phenanthroline, and inhibition is fully reversed by zinc. Removal of weakly bound metal ions by gel filtration inactivates collagenase, and activity is fully restored on immediate readdition of calcium. The enzyme is unaffected by reagents that modify serine, cysteine, and arginine residues. However, reaction with the carboxyl reagents cyclohexylmorpholinocarbodiimide and Woodward's Reagent K lowers the activity of the enzyme substantially. Acetylimidazole inactivates the enzyme, but activity is completely restored on addition of hydroxylamine. The enzyme is also inactivated by tetranitromethane, indicating that it contains an essential tyrosine residue. Acylation of collagenase with diethyl pyrocarbonate, diketene, acetic anhydride, or trinitrobenzenesulfonate inactivates the enzyme, and activity is not restored on addition of hydroxylamine, indicating the presence of an essential lysine residue.

  1. Radiomic Texture Analysis Mapping Predicts Areas of True Functional MRI Activity.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Islam; Kotrotsou, Aikaterini; Bakhtiari, Ali Shojaee; Thomas, Ginu A; Weinberg, Jeffrey S; Kumar, Ashok J; Sawaya, Raymond; Luedi, Markus M; Zinn, Pascal O; Colen, Rivka R

    2016-01-01

    Individual analysis of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans requires user-adjustment of the statistical threshold in order to maximize true functional activity and eliminate false positives. In this study, we propose a novel technique that uses radiomic texture analysis (TA) features associated with heterogeneity to predict areas of true functional activity. Scans of 15 right-handed healthy volunteers were analyzed using SPM8. The resulting functional maps were thresholded to optimize visualization of language areas, resulting in 116 regions of interests (ROIs). A board-certified neuroradiologist classified different ROIs into Expected (E) and Non-Expected (NE) based on their anatomical locations. TA was performed using the mean Echo-Planner Imaging (EPI) volume, and 20 rotation-invariant texture features were obtained for each ROI. Using forward stepwise logistic regression, we built a predictive model that discriminated between E and NE areas of functional activity, with a cross-validation AUC and success rate of 79.84% and 80.19% respectively (specificity/sensitivity of 78.34%/82.61%). This study found that radiomic TA of fMRI scans may allow for determination of areas of true functional activity, and thus eliminate clinician bias. PMID:27151623

  2. Radiomic Texture Analysis Mapping Predicts Areas of True Functional MRI Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Islam; Kotrotsou, Aikaterini; Bakhtiari, Ali Shojaee; Thomas, Ginu A.; Weinberg, Jeffrey S.; Kumar, Ashok J.; Sawaya, Raymond; Luedi, Markus M.; Zinn, Pascal O.; Colen, Rivka R.

    2016-01-01

    Individual analysis of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans requires user-adjustment of the statistical threshold in order to maximize true functional activity and eliminate false positives. In this study, we propose a novel technique that uses radiomic texture analysis (TA) features associated with heterogeneity to predict areas of true functional activity. Scans of 15 right-handed healthy volunteers were analyzed using SPM8. The resulting functional maps were thresholded to optimize visualization of language areas, resulting in 116 regions of interests (ROIs). A board-certified neuroradiologist classified different ROIs into Expected (E) and Non-Expected (NE) based on their anatomical locations. TA was performed using the mean Echo-Planner Imaging (EPI) volume, and 20 rotation-invariant texture features were obtained for each ROI. Using forward stepwise logistic regression, we built a predictive model that discriminated between E and NE areas of functional activity, with a cross-validation AUC and success rate of 79.84% and 80.19% respectively (specificity/sensitivity of 78.34%/82.61%). This study found that radiomic TA of fMRI scans may allow for determination of areas of true functional activity, and thus eliminate clinician bias. PMID:27151623

  3. A reason to stay healthy: The role of meaning in life in relation to physical activity and healthy eating among adolescents.

    PubMed

    Brassai, László; Piko, Bettina F; Steger, Michael F

    2015-05-01

    The present longitudinal study investigated the incremental contribution of meaning in life to sustaining health-promoting behaviors, after controlling for well-being and health values among East-European adolescents (N = 456). Time 1 responses on presence of meaning, search for meaning, well-being, and health values were used to predict levels of healthy eating and physical activity 13 months later. All independent variables significantly predicted engagement in healthy eating and physical activity. Presence of meaning and search for meaning were the most robust predictors, and the interaction of them predicted additional variance in healthy eating among boys and physical activity among girls.

  4. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 activation improves endothelial function.

    PubMed

    Fraga-Silva, Rodrigo A; Costa-Fraga, Fabiana P; Murça, Tatiane M; Moraes, Patrícia L; Martins Lima, Augusto; Lautner, Roberto Q; Castro, Carlos H; Soares, Célia Maria A; Borges, Clayton L; Nadu, Ana Paula; Oliveira, Marilene L; Shenoy, Vinayak; Katovich, Michael J; Santos, Robson A S; Raizada, Mohan K; Ferreira, Anderson J

    2013-06-01

    Diminished release and function of endothelium-derived nitric oxide coupled with increases in reactive oxygen species production is critical in endothelial dysfunction. Recent evidences have shown that activation of the protective axis of the renin-angiotensin system composed by angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, angiotensin-(1-7), and Mas receptor promotes many beneficial vascular effects. This has led us to postulate that activation of intrinsic angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 would improve endothelial function by decreasing the reactive oxygen species production. In the present study, we tested 1-[[2-(dimetilamino)etil]amino]-4-(hidroximetil)-7-[[(4-metilfenil)sulfonil]oxi]-9H-xantona-9 (XNT), a small molecule angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 activator, on endothelial function to validate this hypothesis. In vivo treatment with XNT (1 mg/kg per day for 4 weeks) improved the endothelial function of spontaneously hypertensive rats and of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats when evaluated through the vasorelaxant responses to acetylcholine/sodium nitroprusside. Acute in vitro incubation with XNT caused endothelial-dependent vasorelaxation in aortic rings of rats. This vasorelaxation effect was attenuated by the Mas antagonist D-pro7-Ang-(1-7), and it was reduced in Mas knockout mice. These effects were associated with reduction in reactive oxygen species production. In addition, Ang II-induced reactive oxygen species production in human aortic endothelial cells was attenuated by preincubation with XNT. These results showed that chronic XNT administration improves the endothelial function of hypertensive and diabetic rat vessels by attenuation of the oxidative stress. Moreover, XNT elicits an endothelial-dependent vasorelaxation response, which was mediated by Mas. Thus, this study indicated that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 activation promotes beneficial effects on the endothelial function and it is a potential target for treating cardiovascular disease.

  5. Abacus giving the variation of the mean pressure of an aviation engine as a function of its speed of rotation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margoulis, W

    1921-01-01

    Comparing the results of the calculations for computing the mean pressure of an aviation engine for any number of revolutions, with those of experiment, the writer, by numerous examples, shows the perfect agreement between them. This report will show that, by means of a special abacus, an engineer can instantly plot the characteristics of an engine.

  6. Situated meaning-making of the human body: a study of elementary school children's reasons in two different activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, Mattias; Jakobson, Britt

    2014-03-01

    In this text we compare children's expressions in drawings to their statements during interviews, for the purpose of understanding how different situations afford children to make meaning. In specific we study how two different activities interact and afford children to make meaning differently about the human body. The analytic attention is drawn to the meaning-making the children made as they in pairs were asked to explain the body drawings that they did prior to the interviews. Meaning-making was studied by using a practical epistemology analysis, an analysis facilitating understanding of how relations are established in a developing conversation, and more generally providing understanding from a child perspective. The results indicate that several reasons are at hand for children in the two different situations; namely, social, artistic, practical, empirical and memory reasons are identified. Social reasons refer to statements belonging to the social context and items that were described as inappropriate to express. Artistic reasons were interpreted from aesthetic judgements, referring to the artistic quality of the drawing. Practical reasons were given in situations where children expressed, for example, that the space limited their opportunities to draw. Empirical reasons are built on children's statements referring to picture items that are identified by pointing or touching their own body. Memory reasons are involved in all the situations where children explained items were previously omitted, because the body part had been temporarily forgotten. Furthermore, we suggest that children interpret situational aspects and make judgements concerning the relevance of their different reasons. By these means we hope to facilitate children's understanding of interview questions and also to improve researchers' understanding of children's ability to grasp relevant details prior to their response (or participation).

  7. The effect of ageing on platelet function and fibrinolytic activity.

    PubMed

    Gleerup, G; Winther, K

    1995-08-01

    Twelve healthy male volunteers, mean age twenty-five, range twenty-one to thirty years, and 12 healthy middle-aged male volunteers mean age fifty-eight, range forty-four to seventy-two years, were tested regarding platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate and fibrinolytic activity, estimated as euglobulin clot lysis time (ECLT), tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), and the fast-acting inhibitor against t-PA normally referred to as (PAI-1). Platelet aggregation increased significantly in the middle-aged group as compared with the young, as shown by a decrease in ADP thresholds for irreversible aggregation (P < 0.01). In healthy young volunteers, vigorous cycling exercise by itself caused platelet aggregability to decrease (P < 0.05). Such changes were not observed in the elderly. Fibrinolytic activity decreased significantly in the middle-aged group as shown by a prolongation of the ECLT (P < 0.01) and PAI-1, although not significantly, increased by approximately 100%, whereas t-PA significantly increased in the middle-aged group (P < 0.01). The present results suggest that increasing age is associated with not only increased platelet aggregability but also decreased fibrinolytic activity.

  8. Physical Activity and Cognitive Function in Older Adults: The Mediating Effect of Depressive Symptoms.

    PubMed

    Vance, David E; Marson, Daniel C; Triebel, Kristen L; Ball, Karlene K; Wadley, Virginia G; Cody, Shameka L

    2016-01-01

    Depressive symptoms and social networks may influence the relationship between physical activity and cognition. Using structural equation modeling, depressive symptoms and social networks were examined as mediators between physical activity and cognition in community-dwelling older adults (N = 122), with a range of cognitive abilities (e.g., normal, mild cognitive impairment). The model included age, physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleeping, social networks, depressive symptoms, and cognitive function. A path was observed between physical activity, depressive symptoms, and cognition; specifically, those who were more physically active experienced less depression and better cognitive functioning. No relationship between social networks and cognition was found. This model fits the data well (goodness-of-fit index = .93, adjusted goodness-of-fit index = .90, root mean square error of approximation = .06). Results suggest that physical activity may mitigate depressive symptoms, with beneficial effects on cognitive functioning in both those with and without mild cognitive impairment. Suggestions for managing depression and improving cognitive functioning are provided. PMID:27224681

  9. Motivational activation: a unifying hypothesis of orexin/hypocretin function.

    PubMed

    Mahler, Stephen V; Moorman, David E; Smith, Rachel J; James, Morgan H; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2014-10-01

    Orexins (hypocretins) are two peptides (orexin A and B) produced from the pre-pro-orexin precursor and expressed in a limited region of dorsolateral hypothalamus. Orexins were originally thought to specifically mediate feeding and promote wakefulness, but it is now clear that they participate in a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes under select circumstances. Orexins primarily mediate behavior under situations of high motivational relevance, such as during physiological need states, exposure to threats or reward opportunities. We hypothesize that many behavioral functions of orexins (including regulation of sleep/wake cycling) reflect a fundamentally integrated function for orexins in translating motivational activation into organized suites of psychological and physiological processes supporting adaptive behaviors. We also discuss how numerous forms of neural heterogeneity modulate this function, allowing orexin neurons to organize diverse, adaptive responses in a variety of motivationally relevant situations. Thus, the involvement of orexins in diverse behaviors may reflect a common underlying function for this peptide system.

  10. Motivational activation: a unifying hypothesis of orexin/hypocretin function

    PubMed Central

    Mahler, Stephen V; Moorman, David E; Smith, Rachel J; James, Morgan H; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Orexins (hypocretins) are two peptides (orexin A and B) produced from the pre-pro-orexin precursor and expressed in a limited region of dorsolateral hypothalamus. Orexins were originally thought to specifically mediate feeding and promote wakefulness, but it is now clear that they participate in a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes under select circumstances. Orexins primarily mediate behavior under situations of high motivational relevance, such as during physiological need states, exposure to threats or reward opportunities. We hypothesize that many behavioral functions of orexins (including regulation of sleep/wake cycling) reflect a fundamentally integrated function for orexins in translating motivational activation into organized suites of psychological and physiological processes supporting adaptive behaviors. We also discuss how numerous forms of neural heterogeneity modulate this function, allowing orexin neurons to organize diverse, adaptive responses in a variety of motivationally relevant situations. Thus, the involvement of orexins in diverse behaviors may reflect a common underlying function for this peptide system. PMID:25254979

  11. A Combined sEMG and Accelerometer System for Monitoring Functional Activity in Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Serge H.; Cheng, M. Samuel; Chang, Shey-Sheen; Moore, John; De Luca, Gianluca; Nawab, S. Hamid; De Luca, Carlo J.

    2010-01-01

    Remote monitoring of physical activity using body-worn sensors provides an alternative to assessment of functional independence by subjective, paper-based questionnaires. This study investigated the classification accuracy of a combined surface electromyographic (sEMG) and accelerometer (ACC) sensor system for monitoring activities of daily living in patients with stroke. sEMG and ACC data (eight channels each) were recorded from 10 hemiparetic patients while they carried out a sequence of 11 activities of daily living (identification tasks), and 10 activities used to evaluate misclassification errors (nonidentification tasks). The sEMG and ACC sensor data were analyzed using a multilayered neural network and an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system to identify the minimal sensor configuration needed to accurately classify the identification tasks, with a minimal number of misclassifications from the nonidentification tasks. The results demonstrated that the highest sensitivity and specificity for the identification tasks was achieved using a subset of four ACC sensors and adjacent sEMG sensors located on both upper arms, one forearm, and one thigh, respectively. This configuration resulted in a mean sensitivity of 95.0%, and a mean specificity of 99.7% for the identification tasks, and a mean misclassification error of <10% for the nonidentification tasks. The findings support the feasibility of a hybrid sEMG and ACC wearable sensor system for automatic recognition of motor tasks used to assess functional independence in patients with stroke. PMID:20051332

  12. Self-assembly of active colloidal molecules with dynamic function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soto, Rodrigo; Golestanian, Ramin

    Catalytically active colloids maintain non-equilibrium conditions in which they produce and deplete chemicals at their surface. While individual colloids that are symmetrically coated do not exhibit dynamical activity, the concentration fields resulting from their chemical activity decay as 1/r and produce gradients that attract or repel other colloids depending on their surface chemistry and ambient variables. This results in a non-equilibrium analogue of ionic systems, but with the remarkable novel feature of action-reaction symmetry breaking. In dilute conditions these active colloids join up to form molecules via generalized ionic bonds. Colloids are found to join up to form self-assembled molecules that could be inert or have spontaneous activity in the form of net translational velocity and spin depending on their symmetry properties and their constituents. As the interactions do not satisfy detailed-balance, it is possible to achieve structures with time dependent functionality. We study a molecule that adopts spontaneous oscillations and another that exhibits a run-and-tumble dynamics similar to bacteria. Our study shows that catalytically active colloids could be used for designing self-assembled structures that posses dynamical functionalities.

  13. Immunomodulation of phloretin by impairing dendritic cell activation and function.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chi-Chen; Chu, Ching-Liang; Ng, Chin-Sheng; Lin, Ching-Yen; Chen, Der-Yuan; Pan, I-Hong; Huang, Kao-Jean

    2014-05-01

    Dietary compounds in fruits and vegetables have been shown to exert many biological activities. In addition to antioxidant effects, a number of flavonoids are able to modulate inflammatory responses. Here, we demonstrated that phloretin (PT), a natural dihydrochalcone found in many fruits, suppressed the activation and function of mouse dendritic cells (DCs). Phloretin disturbed the multiple intracellular signaling pathways in DCs induced by the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS), including ROS, MAPKs (ERK, JNK, p38 MAPK), and NF-κB, and thereby reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Phloretin also effectively suppressed the activation of DCs treated with different dosages of LPS or various TLR agonists. The LPS-induced DC maturation was attenuated by phloretin because the expression levels of the MHC class II and the co-stimulatory molecules were down-regulated, which then inhibited the LPS-stimulating DCs and the subsequent naïve T cell activation in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. Moreover, in vivo administration of phloretin suppressed the phenotypic maturation of the LPS-challenged splenic DCs and decreased the IFN-γ production from the activated CD4 T cells. Thus, we suggest that phloretin may potentially be an immunomodulator by impairing the activation and function of DCs and phloretin-contained fruits may be helpful in the improvement of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. PMID:24651121

  14. Mott Multiferroics and Ferroelectric Metals from Dynamical Mean-Field Theory combined with Density-Functional Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capone, Massimo

    2015-03-01

    Multiferroic materials, in which ferroelectricity and long-range magnetic ordering coexist, are natural candidates for applications. In this perspective, the most promising compounds are those in which the two phenomena do not simply coexist, but they influence each other through a magnetoelectric coupling. We present different applications of Density Functional Theory combined with Dynamical Mean-Field Theory in which electron-electron correlation effects are crucial in the stabilization of multiferroic behavior and in the magnetoelectric coupling. Within this wide family we can distinguish different cases. In Sr0.5Ba0.5MnO3 the multiferroic behavior is associated with a Mott insulating state in which the Mn half-filled t2g orbitals are responsible of the magnetic properties and the value of the polarization is strongly affected by the magnetic state. LiOsO3 shares the same electronic configuration with half-filled Os t2g orbitals. Despite this configuration enhances the effect of electron-electron interactions, the material remains metallic and represents a peculiar ferroelectric metal. We propose however how to turn this non-magnetic polar metal into a multiferroic through the design of a superlattice, which increases the degree of correlation, leading to Mott localization of the Os orbitals. In completely different systems, such as organic crystals like (TMTTF)2-X, strong correlations can lead to multiferroicity in organic crystals such as (TMTTF)2-X, where charge ordering promotes a polarization which is favored by an antiferromagnetic ordering. We finally discuss how strong correlations can play a major role away from half-filling when the Hund's coupling is sizable in compounds with a nominal valence of, e.g., two electrons in the three t2g orbitals. Such ``Hund's metals'' are correlated despite being far from Mott localization. This physical regime can be a fertile ground to obtain other ferroelectric metals. This work is supported by ERC/FP7 through the

  15. Chemical Signaling and Functional Activation in Colloidosome-Based Protocells.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shiyong; Li, Mei; Dong, Faqin; Wang, Shengjie; Tian, Liangfei; Mann, Stephen

    2016-04-13

    An aqueous-based microcompartmentalized model involving the integration of partially hydrophobic Fe(III)-rich montmorillonite (FeM) clay particles as structural and catalytic building blocks for colloidosome membrane assembly, self-directed membrane remodeling, and signal-induced protocell communication is described. The clay colloidosomes exhibit size- and charge-selective permeability, and show dual catalytic functions involving spatially confined enzyme-mediated dephosphorylation and peroxidase-like membrane activity. The latter is used for the colloidosome-mediated synthesis and assembly of a temperature-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)(PNIPAM)/clay-integrated hybrid membrane. In situ PNIPAM elaboration of the membrane is coupled to a glucose oxidase (GOx)-mediated signaling pathway to establish a primitive model of chemical communication and functional activation within a synthetic "protocell community" comprising a mixed population of GOx-containing silica colloidosomes and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)-containing FeM-clay colloidosomes. Triggering the enzyme reaction in the silica colloidosomes gives a hydrogen peroxide signal that induces polymer wall formation in a coexistent population of the FeM-clay colloidosomes, which in turn generates self-regulated membrane-gated ALP-activity within the clay microcompartments. The emergence of new functionalities in inorganic colloidosomes via chemical communication between different protocell populations provides a first step toward the realization of interacting communities of synthetic functional microcompartments. PMID:26923794

  16. Function and biotechnology of extremophilic enzymes in low water activity

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Enzymes from extremophilic microorganisms usually catalyze chemical reactions in non-standard conditions. Such conditions promote aggregation, precipitation, and denaturation, reducing the activity of most non-extremophilic enzymes, frequently due to the absence of sufficient hydration. Some extremophilic enzymes maintain a tight hydration shell and remain active in solution even when liquid water is limiting, e.g. in the presence of high ionic concentrations, or at cold temperature when water is close to the freezing point. Extremophilic enzymes are able to compete for hydration via alterations especially to their surface through greater surface charges and increased molecular motion. These properties have enabled some extremophilic enzymes to function in the presence of non-aqueous organic solvents, with potential for design of useful catalysts. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge of extremophilic enzymes functioning in high salinity and cold temperatures, focusing on their strategy for function at low water activity. We discuss how the understanding of extremophilic enzyme function is leading to the design of a new generation of enzyme catalysts and their applications to biotechnology. PMID:22480329

  17. Function and biotechnology of extremophilic enzymes in low water activity.

    PubMed

    Karan, Ram; Capes, Melinda D; Dassarma, Shiladitya

    2012-02-02

    Enzymes from extremophilic microorganisms usually catalyze chemical reactions in non-standard conditions. Such conditions promote aggregation, precipitation, and denaturation, reducing the activity of most non-extremophilic enzymes, frequently due to the absence of sufficient hydration. Some extremophilic enzymes maintain a tight hydration shell and remain active in solution even when liquid water is limiting, e.g. in the presence of high ionic concentrations, or at cold temperature when water is close to the freezing point. Extremophilic enzymes are able to compete for hydration via alterations especially to their surface through greater surface charges and increased molecular motion. These properties have enabled some extremophilic enzymes to function in the presence of non-aqueous organic solvents, with potential for design of useful catalysts. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge of extremophilic enzymes functioning in high salinity and cold temperatures, focusing on their strategy for function at low water activity. We discuss how the understanding of extremophilic enzyme function is leading to the design of a new generation of enzyme catalysts and their applications to biotechnology.

  18. Scapular Muscle-Activation Ratios in Patients With Shoulder Injuries During Functional Shoulder Exercises

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Chad R.; Bliven, Kellie C. Huxel; Valier, Alison R. Snyder

    2014-01-01

    Context: Alterations in scapular muscle activation, which are common with glenohumeral (GH) injuries, affect stability and function. Rehabilitation aims to reestablish activation between muscles for stability by progressing to whole-body movements. Objective: To determine scapular muscle-activation ratios and individual muscle activity (upper trapezius [UT], middle trapezius [MT], lower trapezius [LT], serratus anterior [SA]) differences between participants with GH injuries and healthy control participants during functional rehabilitation exercises. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Thirty-nine participants who had GH injuries (n = 20; age = 23.6 ± 3.2 years, height = 170.7 ± 11.5 cm, mass = 74.7 ± 13.1 kg) or were healthy (n = 19; age = 24.4 ± 3.3 years, height = 173.6 ± 8.6 cm, mass = 74.7 ± 14.8 kg) were tested. Intervention(s): Clinical examination confirmed each participant's classification as GH injury or healthy control. Participants performed 4 exercises (bow and arrow, external rotation with scapular squeeze, lawnmower, robbery) over 3 seconds with no load while muscle activity was recorded. Main Outcome Measure(s): We used surface electromyography to measure UT, MT, LT, and SA muscle activity. Scapular muscle-activation ratios (UT:MT, UT:LT, and UT:SA) were calculated (normalized mean electromyography of the UT divided by normalized mean electromyography of the MT, LT, and SA). Exercise × group analyses of variance with repeated measures were conducted. Results: No group differences for activation ratios or individual muscle activation amplitude were found (P > .05). Similar UT:MT and UT:LT activation ratios during bow-and-arrow and robbery exercises were seen (P > .05); both had greater activation than external-rotation-with-scapular-squeeze and lawnmower exercises (P < .05). The bow-and-arrow exercise elicited the highest activation from the UT, MT, and LT muscles; SA activation was greatest

  19. XIAP reverses various functional activities of FRNK in endothelial cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ahn, Sunyoung; Kim, Hyun Jeong; Chi, Sung-Gil; Park, Heonyong

    2012-03-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer FRNK domain is recruited into focal adhesion (FA), controlling endothelial cell adhesion. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer XIAP binds the FRNK domain of FAK. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer XIAP inhibits recruitment of FRNK into Fas and FRNK-promoted cell adhesion. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer XIAP plays a key role in vascular functions of FRNK or FRNK domain-mediated vascular functions of FAK. -- Abstract: In endothelial cells, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) regulates cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, and shear-stimulated activation of MAPK. We recently found that FAK is recruited into focal adhesion (FA) sites through interactions with XIAP (X-chromosome linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein) and activated by Src kinase in response to shear stress. In this study, we examined which domain(s) of FAK is(are) important for various vascular functions such as FA recruiting, XIAP-binding and shear stress-stimulated ERK activation. Through a series of experiments, we determined that the FRNK domain is recruited into FA sites and promotes endothelial cell adhesion. Interestingly, XIAP knockdown was shown to reduce FA recruitment of FRNK and the cell adhesive effect of FRNK. In addition, we found that XIAP interacts with FRNK, suggesting cross-talk between XIAP and FRNK. We also demonstrated that FRNK inhibits endothelial cell migration and shear-stimulated ERK activation. These inhibitory effects of FRNK were reversed by XIAP knockdown. Taken together, we can conclude that XIAP plays a key role in vascular functions of FRNK or FRNK domain-mediated vascular functions of FAK.

  20. EGFR regulates macrophage activation and function in bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Hardbower, Dana M; Singh, Kshipra; Asim, Mohammad; Verriere, Thomas G; Olivares-Villagómez, Danyvid; Barry, Daniel P; Allaman, Margaret M; Washington, M Kay; Peek, Richard M; Piazuelo, M Blanca; Wilson, Keith T

    2016-09-01

    EGFR signaling regulates macrophage function, but its role in bacterial infection has not been investigated. Here, we assessed the role of macrophage EGFR signaling during infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen that causes persistent inflammation and gastric cancer. EGFR was phosphorylated in murine and human macrophages during H. pylori infection. In human gastric tissues, elevated levels of phosphorylated EGFR were observed throughout the histologic cascade from gastritis to carcinoma. Deleting Egfr in myeloid cells attenuated gastritis and increased H. pylori burden in infected mice. EGFR deficiency also led to a global defect in macrophage activation that was associated with decreased cytokine, chemokine, and NO production. We observed similar alterations in macrophage activation and disease phenotype in the Citrobacter rodentium model of murine infectious colitis. Mechanistically, EGFR signaling activated NF-κB and MAPK1/3 pathways to induce cytokine production and macrophage activation. Although deletion of Egfr had no effect on DC function, EGFR-deficient macrophages displayed impaired Th1 and Th17 adaptive immune responses to H. pylori, which contributed to decreased chronic inflammation in infected mice. Together, these results indicate that EGFR signaling is central to macrophage function in response to enteric bacterial pathogens and is a potential therapeutic target for infection-induced inflammation and associated carcinogenesis.

  1. EGFR regulates macrophage activation and function in bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Hardbower, Dana M; Singh, Kshipra; Asim, Mohammad; Verriere, Thomas G; Olivares-Villagómez, Danyvid; Barry, Daniel P; Allaman, Margaret M; Washington, M Kay; Peek, Richard M; Piazuelo, M Blanca; Wilson, Keith T

    2016-09-01

    EGFR signaling regulates macrophage function, but its role in bacterial infection has not been investigated. Here, we assessed the role of macrophage EGFR signaling during infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen that causes persistent inflammation and gastric cancer. EGFR was phosphorylated in murine and human macrophages during H. pylori infection. In human gastric tissues, elevated levels of phosphorylated EGFR were observed throughout the histologic cascade from gastritis to carcinoma. Deleting Egfr in myeloid cells attenuated gastritis and increased H. pylori burden in infected mice. EGFR deficiency also led to a global defect in macrophage activation that was associated with decreased cytokine, chemokine, and NO production. We observed similar alterations in macrophage activation and disease phenotype in the Citrobacter rodentium model of murine infectious colitis. Mechanistically, EGFR signaling activated NF-κB and MAPK1/3 pathways to induce cytokine production and macrophage activation. Although deletion of Egfr had no effect on DC function, EGFR-deficient macrophages displayed impaired Th1 and Th17 adaptive immune responses to H. pylori, which contributed to decreased chronic inflammation in infected mice. Together, these results indicate that EGFR signaling is central to macrophage function in response to enteric bacterial pathogens and is a potential therapeutic target for infection-induced inflammation and associated carcinogenesis. PMID:27482886

  2. Knowledge About Sounds-Context-Specific Meaning Differently Activates Cortical Hemispheres, Auditory Cortical Fields, and Layers in House Mice.

    PubMed

    Geissler, Diana B; Schmidt, H Sabine; Ehret, Günter

    2016-01-01

    Activation of the auditory cortex (AC) by a given sound pattern is plastic, depending, in largely unknown ways, on the physiological state and the behavioral context of the receiving animal and on the receiver's experience with the sounds. Such plasticity can be inferred when house mouse mothers respond maternally to pup ultrasounds right after parturition and naïve females have to learn to respond. Here we use c-FOS immunocytochemistry to quantify highly activated neurons in the AC fields and layers of seven groups of mothers and naïve females who have different knowledge about and are differently motivated to respond to acoustic models of pup ultrasounds of different behavioral significance. Profiles of FOS-positive cells in the AC primary fields (AI, AAF), the ultrasonic field (UF), the secondary field (AII), and the dorsoposterior field (DP) suggest that activation reflects in AI, AAF, and UF the integration of sound properties with animal state-dependent factors, in the higher-order field AII the news value of a given sound in the behavioral context, and in the higher-order field DP the level of maternal motivation and, by left-hemisphere activation advantage, the recognition of the meaning of sounds in the given context. Anesthesia reduced activation in all fields, especially in cortical layers 2/3. Thus, plasticity in the AC is field-specific preparing different output of AC fields in the process of perception, recognition and responding to communication sounds. Further, the activation profiles of the auditory cortical fields suggest the differentiation between brains hormonally primed to know (mothers) and brains which acquired knowledge via implicit learning (naïve females). In this way, auditory cortical activation discriminates between instinctive (mothers) and learned (naïve females) cognition.

  3. Knowledge About Sounds—Context-Specific Meaning Differently Activates Cortical Hemispheres, Auditory Cortical Fields, and Layers in House Mice

    PubMed Central

    Geissler, Diana B.; Schmidt, H. Sabine; Ehret, Günter

    2016-01-01

    Activation of the auditory cortex (AC) by a given sound pattern is plastic, depending, in largely unknown ways, on the physiological state and the behavioral context of the receiving animal and on the receiver's experience with the sounds. Such plasticity can be inferred when house mouse mothers respond maternally to pup ultrasounds right after parturition and naïve females have to learn to respond. Here we use c-FOS immunocytochemistry to quantify highly activated neurons in the AC fields and layers of seven groups of mothers and naïve females who have different knowledge about and are differently motivated to respond to acoustic models of pup ultrasounds of different behavioral significance. Profiles of FOS-positive cells in the AC primary fields (AI, AAF), the ultrasonic field (UF), the secondary field (AII), and the dorsoposterior field (DP) suggest that activation reflects in AI, AAF, and UF the integration of sound properties with animal state-dependent factors, in the higher-order field AII the news value of a given sound in the behavioral context, and in the higher-order field DP the level of maternal motivation and, by left-hemisphere activation advantage, the recognition of the meaning of sounds in the given context. Anesthesia reduced activation in all fields, especially in cortical layers 2/3. Thus, plasticity in the AC is field-specific preparing different output of AC fields in the process of perception, recognition and responding to communication sounds. Further, the activation profiles of the auditory cortical fields suggest the differentiation between brains hormonally primed to know (mothers) and brains which acquired knowledge via implicit learning (naïve females). In this way, auditory cortical activation discriminates between instinctive (mothers) and learned (naïve females) cognition. PMID:27013959

  4. "Now I know I can make a difference": Generativity and activity engagement as predictors of meaning making in adolescents and emerging adults.

    PubMed

    Lawford, Heather L; Ramey, Heather L

    2015-10-01

    This study examined generativity (concern for future generations as a legacy of the self) and activity engagement as predictors of meaning making in young people's personal accounts of their key activity experiences. We elicited stories regarding events within participants' "most engaging activity," self-reports on generativity, and behavioral participation and psychological engagement in activities in 2 separate samples: an emerging adult sample and an adolescent sample. The stories were coded for meaning making, defined as degree of insight into individuals' understanding of themselves or the world (McLean & Pratt, 2006). Psychological engagement, but not behavioral participation, was positively associated with meaning making. Moreover, generativity was significantly and positively related to psychological engagement, and predicted meaning making, even after controlling for psychological engagement. Findings suggest that different types of activities can offer a potential context for fostering early generativity and meaning making, and that generativity in adolescence and emerging adulthood is related to the development of insight and meaning making. PMID:26214225

  5. I see/hear what you mean: semantic activation in visual word recognition depends on perceptual attention.

    PubMed

    Connell, Louise; Lynott, Dermot

    2014-04-01

    How does the meaning of a word affect how quickly we can recognize it? Accounts of visual word recognition allow semantic information to facilitate performance but have neglected the role of modality-specific perceptual attention in activating meaning. We predicted that modality-specific semantic information would differentially facilitate lexical decision and reading aloud, depending on how perceptual attention is implicitly directed by each task. Large-scale regression analyses showed the perceptual modalities involved in representing a word's referent concept influence how easily that word is recognized. Both lexical decision and reading-aloud tasks direct attention toward vision, and are faster and more accurate for strongly visual words. Reading aloud additionally directs attention toward audition and is faster and more accurate for strongly auditory words. Furthermore, the overall semantic effects are as large for reading aloud as lexical decision and are separable from age-of-acquisition effects. These findings suggest that implicitly directing perceptual attention toward a particular modality facilitates representing modality-specific perceptual information in the meaning of a word, which in turn contributes to the lexical decision or reading-aloud response.

  6. Active Acetylcholinesterase Immobilization on a Functionalized Silicon Surface.

    PubMed

    Khaldi, K; Sam, S; Gouget-Laemmel, A C; Henry de Villeneuve, C; Moraillon, A; Ozanam, F; Yang, J; Kermad, A; Ghellai, N; Gabouze, N

    2015-08-01

    In this work, we studied the attachment of active acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme on a silicon substrate as a potential biomarker for the detection of organophosphorous (OP) pesticides. A multistep functionalization strategy was developed on a crystalline silicon surface: a carboxylic acid-terminated monolayer was grafted onto a hydrogen-terminated silicon surface by photochemical hydrosilylation, and then AChE was covalently attached through amide bonds using an activation EDC/NHS process. Each step of the modification was quantitatively characterized by ex-situ Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated-total-reflection geometry (ATR-FTIR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The kinetics of enzyme immobilization was investigated using in situ real-time infrared spectroscopy. The enzymatic activity of immobilized acetylcholinesterase enzymes was determined with a colorimetric test. The surface concentration of active AChE was estimated to be Γ = 1.72 × 10(10) cm(-2).

  7. Pressure is not a state function for generic active fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solon, A. P.; Fily, Y.; Baskaran, A.; Cates, M. E.; Kafri, Y.; Kardar, M.; Tailleur, J.

    2015-08-01

    Pressure is the mechanical force per unit area that a confined system exerts on its container. In thermal equilibrium, it depends only on bulk properties--such as density and temperature--through an equation of state. Here we show that in a wide class of active systems the pressure depends on the precise interactions between the active particles and the confining walls. In general, therefore, active fluids have no equation of state. Their mechanical pressure exhibits anomalous properties that defy the familiar thermodynamic reasoning that holds in equilibrium. The pressure remains a function of state, however, in some specific and well-studied active models that tacitly restrict the character of the particle-wall and/or particle-particle interactions.

  8. Review: Production and functionality of active peptides from milk.

    PubMed

    Muro Urista, C; Álvarez Fernández, R; Riera Rodriguez, F; Arana Cuenca, A; Téllez Jurado, A

    2011-08-01

    In recent years, research on the production of active peptides obtained from milk and their potential functionality has grown, to a great extent. Bioactive peptides have been defined as specific protein fragments that have a positive impact on body functions or conditions, and they may ultimately have an influence on health. Individual proteins of casein or milk-derived products such as cheese and yogurt have been used as a protein source to study the isolation and activity of peptides with several applications. Currently, the milk whey waste obtained in the production of cheese also represents a protein source from which active peptides could be isolated with potential industrial applications. The active properties of milk peptides and the results found with regard to their physiological effects have led to the classification of peptides as belonging to the group of ingredients of protein nature, appropriate for use in functional foods or pharmaceutical formulations. In this study, the main peptides obtained from milk protein and the past research studies about its production and biological activities will be explained. Second, an analysis will be made on the methods to determinate the biological activities, the separation of bioactive peptides and its structure identification. All of these form the base required to obtain synthetic peptides. Finally, we explain the experimental animal and human trials done in the past years. Nevertheless, more research is required on the design and implementation of equipment for the industrial production and separation of peptides. In addition, different authors suggest that more emphasis should therefore be given to preclinical studies, proving that results are consistent and that effects are demonstrated repeatedly by several research human groups.

  9. Muscle metabolic function and free-living physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Gary R; Larson-Meyer, D Enette; Sirikul, Bovorn; Newcomer, Bradley R

    2006-11-01

    We have previously shown that muscle metabolic function measured during exercise is related to exercise performance and subsequent 1-yr weight gain. Because it is well established that physical activity is important in weight maintenance, we examined muscle function relationships with free-living energy expenditure and physical activity. Subjects were 71 premenopausal black and white women. Muscle metabolism was evaluated by (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy during 90-s isometric plantar flexion contractions (45% maximum). Free-living energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labeled water, activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) was calculated as 0.9 x TEE - sleeping energy expenditure from room calorimetry, and free-living physical activity (ARTE) was calculated by dividing AEE by energy cost of standard physical activities. At the end of exercise, anaerobic glycolytic rate (ANGLY) and muscle concentration of phosphomonoesters (PME) were negatively related to TEE, AEE, and ARTE (P < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that both PME (partial r = -0.29, <0.02) and ANGLY (partial r = -0.24, P < 0.04) were independently related to ARTE. PME, primarily glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate, was significantly related to ratings of perceived exertion (r = 0.21, P < or = 0.05) during a maximal treadmill test. PME was not related to ARTE after inclusion of RPE in the multiple regression model, suggesting that PME may be obtaining its relationship with ARTE through an increased perception of effort during physical activity. In conclusion, physically inactive individuals tend to be more dependent on anaerobic glycolysis during exercise while relying on a glycolytic pathway that may not be functioning optimally. PMID:16825516

  10. Muscle metabolic function and free-living physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Gary R; Larson-Meyer, D Enette; Sirikul, Bovorn; Newcomer, Bradley R

    2006-11-01

    We have previously shown that muscle metabolic function measured during exercise is related to exercise performance and subsequent 1-yr weight gain. Because it is well established that physical activity is important in weight maintenance, we examined muscle function relationships with free-living energy expenditure and physical activity. Subjects were 71 premenopausal black and white women. Muscle metabolism was evaluated by (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy during 90-s isometric plantar flexion contractions (45% maximum). Free-living energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labeled water, activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) was calculated as 0.9 x TEE - sleeping energy expenditure from room calorimetry, and free-living physical activity (ARTE) was calculated by dividing AEE by energy cost of standard physical activities. At the end of exercise, anaerobic glycolytic rate (ANGLY) and muscle concentration of phosphomonoesters (PME) were negatively related to TEE, AEE, and ARTE (P < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that both PME (partial r = -0.29, <0.02) and ANGLY (partial r = -0.24, P < 0.04) were independently related to ARTE. PME, primarily glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate, was significantly related to ratings of perceived exertion (r = 0.21, P < or = 0.05) during a maximal treadmill test. PME was not related to ARTE after inclusion of RPE in the multiple regression model, suggesting that PME may be obtaining its relationship with ARTE through an increased perception of effort during physical activity. In conclusion, physically inactive individuals tend to be more dependent on anaerobic glycolysis during exercise while relying on a glycolytic pathway that may not be functioning optimally.

  11. 20 CFR 641.864 - What functions and activities constitute programmatic activity costs?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... program, except that no amounts provided under the grant may be used to pay the cost of pension benefits... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false What functions and activities constitute programmatic activity costs? 641.864 Section 641.864 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING...

  12. 20 CFR 641.864 - What functions and activities constitute programmatic activity costs?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... program, except that no amounts provided under the grant may be used to pay the cost of pension benefits... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false What functions and activities constitute programmatic activity costs? 641.864 Section 641.864 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING...

  13. Sexual function in Moroccan women with rheumatoid arthritis and its relationship with disease activity.

    PubMed

    Hari, Asmae; Rostom, Samira; Lahlou, Racha; Bahiri, Rachid; Hajjaj-Hassouni, Najia

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate sexual function in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using an auto-questionnaire Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and study its correlation with disease activity. Sixty patients with RA and 40 healthy controls were included in this exploratory study. Sociodemographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics were assessed. The disease activity was assessed by auto-questionnaires Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (RAPID3) and Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index 5 (RADAI5) judged by 28 DAS ESR. Sexual function was assessed by an auto-questionnaire specific for female sexuality: FSFI during the last 4 weeks. The definition of sexual dysfunction was considered by FSFI score less than or equal to 26.5. The mean age of RA patients and controls was 45.95 ± 9.3 and 45.01 ± 9.2, respectively. According to FSFI, the percentage of FSD in women with RA was significantly higher than that in the control group. All dimensions of sexuality were affected (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction) except pain. The multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that the swollen joints and the RADAI5 were the independent variables of disease activity associated with sexual dysfunction in women with RA. This study suggests that sexual dysfunction among women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is found when a targeted questionnaire is used to identify it and that the increased disease activity has a negative effect of sexual function. PMID:25677567

  14. FUNCTION FOLLOWS FORM: ACTIVATION OF SHAPE & FUNCTION FEATURES DURING OBJECT IDENTIFICATION

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Eiling; Huffstetler, Stacy; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2011-01-01

    Most theories of semantic memory characterize knowledge of a given object as comprising a set of semantic features. But how does conceptual activation of these features proceed during object identification? We present the results of a pair of experiments that demonstrate that object recognition is a dynamically unfolding process in which function follows form. We used eye movements to explore whether activating one object’s concept leads to the activation of others that share perceptual (shape) or abstract (function) features. Participants viewed four-picture displays and clicked on the picture corresponding to a heard word. In critical trials, the conceptual representation of one of the objects in the display was similar in shape or function (i.e., its purpose) to the heard word. Importantly, this similarity was not apparent in the visual depictions (e.g., for the target “frisbee,” the shape-related object was a triangular slice of pizza – a shape that a frisbee cannot take); preferential fixations on the related object were therefore attributable to overlap of the conceptual representations on the relevant features. We observed relatedness effects for both shape and function, but shape effects occurred earlier than function effects. We discuss the implications of these findings for current accounts of the representation of semantic memory. PMID:21417543

  15. Polyhexamethylene biguanide functionalized cationic silver nanoparticles for enhanced antimicrobial activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashraf, Sumaira; Akhtar, Nasrin; Ghauri, Muhammad Afzal; Rajoka, Muhammad Ibrahim; Khalid, Zafar M.; Hussain, Irshad

    2012-05-01

    Polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), a broad spectrum disinfectant against many pathogens, was used as a stabilizing ligand for the synthesis of fairly uniform silver nanoparticles. The particles formed were characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy, FTIR, dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic mobility, and TEM to measure their morphology and surface chemistry. PHMB-functionalized silver nanoparticles were then evaluated for their antimicrobial activity against a gram-negative bacterial strain, Escherichia coli. These silver nanoparticles were found to have about 100 times higher bacteriostatic and bactericidal activities, compared to the previous reports, due to the combined antibacterial effect of silver nanoparticles and PHMB. In addition to other applications, PHMB-functionalized silver nanoparticles would be extremely useful in textile industry due to the strong interaction of PHMB with cellulose fabrics.

  16. Functions of AMP-activated protein kinase in adipose tissue

    PubMed Central

    Daval, Marie; Foufelle, Fabienne; Ferré, Pascal

    2006-01-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in cellular energy homeostasis. Its functions have been extensively studied in muscles and liver. AMPK stimulates pathways which increase energy production (glucose transport, fatty acid oxidation) and switches off pathways which consume energy (lipogenesis, protein synthesis, gluconeogenesis). This has led to the concept that AMPK has an interesting pharmaceutical potential in situations of insulin resistance and it is indeed the target of existing drugs and hormones which improve insulin sensitivity. Adipose tissue is a key player in energy metabolism through the release of substrates and hormones involved in metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Activation of AMPK in adipose tissue can be achieved through situations such as fasting and exercise. Leptin and adiponectin as well as hypoglycaemic drugs are activators of adipose tissue AMPK. This activation probably involves changes in the AMP/ATP ratio and the upstream kinase LKB1. When activated, AMPK limits fatty acid efflux from adipocytes and favours local fatty acid oxidation. Since fatty acids have a key role in insulin resistance, especially in muscles, activating AMPK in adipose tissue might be found to be beneficial in insulin-resistant states, particularly as AMPK activation also reduces cytokine secretion in adipocytes. PMID:16709632

  17. Statement--fundamental concepts of occupational therapy: occupation, purposeful activity, and function.

    PubMed

    Hinojosa, J; Kramer, P

    1997-01-01

    Deriving from the philosophical basis of the profession, occupation is the core concept of the profession of occupational therapy. However, in the occupational therapy literature, the term occupation is used in a variety of ways. Occupation, a collection of activities that people use to fill their time and give life meaning, is organized around roles or in terms of activities of daily living, work and productive activities, or pleasure, for survival, for necessity, and for their personal meaning. It is the individualized, unique combination of activities that comprises an individual's occupations. Purposeful activities have been described in many different ways: as something all people engage in; as tools or media that therapists use to enhance or facilitate performance; and vehicles for bringing about change. Purposeful activities are seen as part of the process of occupational therapy. Purposeful activities are subset of occupations in that they are goal directed and serve as a major tool in the process of occupational therapy. The term function, viewed as the ability to perform activities required in one's occupations has become increasingly important to society in describing the performance or change in individuals. This societal shift in ideas has prompted the concept of function, viewed as a product, to become more important than the process of bringing about change. Occupational therapy practitioners typically have viewed the process as being just as important as the product. When working to improve function, occupational therapy practitioners use purposeful activities that are meaningful to the person in relation to his or her occupational history, preferences, personal goals, and needs. Occupational therapy practitioners need to keep the individual's occupations in the forefront of their thoughts when using any purposeful activity and to plan interventions toward improving the individual's ability to function within his or her occupations. In the interest

  18. Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice

    PubMed Central

    Haroon, Fahad; Händel, Ulrike; Angenstein, Frank; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutzmann, Peter; Lison, Holger; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Schlüter, Dirk; Budinger, Eike

    2012-01-01

    Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host. PMID:22530040

  19. Comparative studies of brain activation with MEG and functional MRI

    SciTech Connect

    George, J.S.; Aine, C.J.; Sanders, J.A.; Lewine, J.D.; Caprihan, A.

    1993-12-31

    The past two years have witnessed the emergence of MRI as a functional imaging methodology. Initial demonstrations involved the injection of a paramagnetic contrast agent and required ultrafast echo planar imaging capability to adequately resolve the passage of the injected bolus. By measuring the local reduction in image intensity due to magnetic susceptibility, it was possible to calculate blood volume, which changes as a function of neural activation. Later developments have exploited endogenous contrast mechanisms to monitor changes in blood volume or in venous blood oxygen content. Recently, we and others have demonstrated that it is possible to make such measurements in a clinical imager, suggesting that the large installed base of such machines might be utilized for functional imaging. Although it is likely that functional MRI (fMRI) will subsume some of the clinical and basic neuroscience applications now touted for MEG, it is also clear that these techniques offer different largely complementary, capabilities. At the very least, it is useful to compare and cross-validate the activation maps produced by these techniques. Such studies will be valuable as a check on results of neuromagnetic distributed current reconstructions and will allow better characterization of the relationship between neurophysiological activation and associated hemodynamic changes. A more exciting prospect is the development of analyses that combine information from the two modalities to produce a better description of underlying neural activity than is possible with either technique in isolation. In this paper we describe some results from initial comparative studies and outline several techniques that can be used to treat MEG and fMRI data within a unified computational framework.

  20. Ecological Assessment of Autonomy in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living in Dementia Patients by the Means of an Automatic Video Monitoring System.

    PubMed

    König, Alexandra; Crispim-Junior, Carlos Fernando; Covella, Alvaro Gomez Uria; Bremond, Francois; Derreumaux, Alexandre; Bensadoun, Gregory; David, Renaud; Verhey, Frans; Aalten, Pauline; Robert, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the assessment of autonomy and functional ability involves clinical rating scales. However, scales are often limited in their ability to provide objective and sensitive information. By contrast, information and communication technologies may overcome these limitations by capturing more fully functional as well as cognitive disturbances associated with Alzheimer disease (AD). We investigated the quantitative assessment of autonomy in dementia patients based not only on gait analysis but also on the participant performance on instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) automatically recognized by a video event monitoring system (EMS). Three groups of participants (healthy controls, mild cognitive impairment, and AD patients) had to carry out a standardized scenario consisting of physical tasks (single and dual task) and several IADL such as preparing a pillbox or making a phone call while being recorded. After, video sensor data were processed by an EMS that automatically extracts kinematic parameters of the participants' gait and recognizes their carried out activities. These parameters were then used for the assessment of the participants' performance levels, here referred as autonomy. Autonomy assessment was approached as classification task using artificial intelligence methods that takes as input the parameters extracted by the EMS, here referred as behavioral profile. Activities were accurately recognized by the EMS with high precision. The most accurately recognized activities were "prepare medication" with 93% and "using phone" with 89% precision. The diagnostic group classifier obtained a precision of 73.46% when combining the analyses of physical tasks with IADL. In a further analysis, the created autonomy group classifier which obtained a precision of 83.67% when combining physical tasks and IADL. Results suggest that it is possible to quantitatively assess IADL functioning supported by an EMS and that even based on the extracted data the

  1. Ecological Assessment of Autonomy in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living in Dementia Patients by the Means of an Automatic Video Monitoring System

    PubMed Central

    König, Alexandra; Crispim-Junior, Carlos Fernando; Covella, Alvaro Gomez Uria; Bremond, Francois; Derreumaux, Alexandre; Bensadoun, Gregory; David, Renaud; Verhey, Frans; Aalten, Pauline; Robert, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the assessment of autonomy and functional ability involves clinical rating scales. However, scales are often limited in their ability to provide objective and sensitive information. By contrast, information and communication technologies may overcome these limitations by capturing more fully functional as well as cognitive disturbances associated with Alzheimer disease (AD). We investigated the quantitative assessment of autonomy in dementia patients based not only on gait analysis but also on the participant performance on instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) automatically recognized by a video event monitoring system (EMS). Three groups of participants (healthy controls, mild cognitive impairment, and AD patients) had to carry out a standardized scenario consisting of physical tasks (single and dual task) and several IADL such as preparing a pillbox or making a phone call while being recorded. After, video sensor data were processed by an EMS that automatically extracts kinematic parameters of the participants’ gait and recognizes their carried out activities. These parameters were then used for the assessment of the participants’ performance levels, here referred as autonomy. Autonomy assessment was approached as classification task using artificial intelligence methods that takes as input the parameters extracted by the EMS, here referred as behavioral profile. Activities were accurately recognized by the EMS with high precision. The most accurately recognized activities were “prepare medication” with 93% and “using phone” with 89% precision. The diagnostic group classifier obtained a precision of 73.46% when combining the analyses of physical tasks with IADL. In a further analysis, the created autonomy group classifier which obtained a precision of 83.67% when combining physical tasks and IADL. Results suggest that it is possible to quantitatively assess IADL functioning supported by an EMS and that even based on the extracted

  2. Studies of higher nervous activity in functional phychoses.

    PubMed

    Astrup, C

    1975-01-01

    Psychiatric illnesses can be conceived of as experiments of nature, providing a variety of pathopsychological mechanisms which may elucidate normal psychological processes. Clinically the reactive psychoses are predominantly psychogenic reaction types. They present disturbances of higher nervous activity, similar to those of the neuroses. The unconditional reflex activity is practically as in normal controls, and the most outstanding finding was the large effect of psychodynamic complex structures. This is a physiological parallel to the clinical manifestations with great concern over experienced mental trauma. In the manic-depressive psychoses the most characteristic feature is a marked disturbance of unconditional reflex activity. This factor may be an important physiological mechanism underlying the more biological than psychodynamic reaction type and partly explain the changes of mood and associated interferences with sleep, body weight, sexual activity, aggression and other instinctual and vegetative functions. Schizophrenic psychoses also present changes of unconditional reflex activity, predominantly in the direction of inhibition of response. In addition there are severe dissociations within and between the three levels of unconditional reflexes and the two signaling systems. It is suggested that schizophrenia represents a functional maladaptation, which can be explained from the principles of autokinesis and schizokinesis established by Gantt in animal experiments. Prognostic models based on experimentally established impairment of performances were shown to predict long-term risks of schizophrenic defects just as well as models based on constellations of clinical symptoms. I would predict that psychophysiology and experimental psychology will become increasingly more important for establishing diagnosis and prognosis in the functional psychoses. The data of this article point toward a basis for a prophylactic psychiatry. PMID:1236657

  3. Age-related decrease in physical activity and functional fitness among elderly men and women

    PubMed Central

    Milanović, Zoran; Pantelić, Saša; Trajković, Nebojša; Sporiš, Goran; Kostić, Radmila; James, Nic

    2013-01-01

    Aim To determine differences in physical activity level and functional fitness between young elderly (60–69 years) and old elderly (70–80 years) people with the hypothesis that an age-related decline would be found. Methods A total of 1288 participants’ level of physical activity was evaluated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire: 594 were male (mean ± standard deviation: body height 175.62 ± 9.78 cm; body weight 82.26 ± 31.33 kg) and 694 female (mean ± standard deviation: body height 165.17 ± 23.12 cm; body weight 69.74 ± 12.44 kg). Functional fitness was also estimated using the Senior Fitness Test: back scratch, chair sit and reach, 8-foot up and go, chair stand up for 30 seconds, arm curl, and 2-minute step test. Results Significant differences (P < 0.05) were found for all Senior Fitness tests between young elderly (60–69 years) and old elderly (70–80) men. Similar results were found for the women, except no significant differences were found for the chair sit and reach and the 2-minute step test. From the viewpoint of energy consumption estimated by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, moderate physical activity is dominant. In addition, with aging, among men and women older than 60 years, the value of the Metabolic Equivalent of Task in total physical activity significantly reduces (P < 0.05). Conclusions This study found that the reduction in physical activity level and functional fitness was equal for both men and women and was due to the aging process. These differences between young and old elderly people were due to the reduction of muscle strength in both upper and lower limbs and changes in body-fat percentage, flexibility, agility, and endurance. PMID:23723694

  4. Validation of Cut-Points for Evaluating the Intensity of Physical Activity with Accelerometry-Based Mean Amplitude Deviation (MAD)

    PubMed Central

    Vähä-Ypyä, Henri; Vasankari, Tommi; Mänttäri, Ari; Vuorimaa, Timo

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Our recent study of three accelerometer brands in various ambulatory activities showed that the mean amplitude deviation (MAD) of the resultant acceleration signal performed best in separating different intensity levels and provided excellent agreement between the three devices. The objective of this study was to derive a regression model that estimates oxygen consumption (VO2) from MAD values and validate the MAD-based cut-points for light, moderate and vigorous locomotion against VO2 within a wide range of speeds. Methods 29 participants performed a pace-conducted non-stop test on a 200 m long indoor track. The initial speed was 0.6 m/s and it was increased by 0.4 m/s every 2.5 minutes until volitional exhaustion. The participants could freely decide whether they preferred to walk or run. During the test they carried a hip-mounted tri-axial accelerometer and mobile metabolic analyzer. The MAD was calculated from the raw acceleration data and compared to directly measured incident VO2. Cut-point between light and moderate activity was set to 3.0 metabolic equivalent (MET, 1 MET = 3.5 ml · kg-1 · min-1) and between moderate and vigorous activity to 6.0 MET as per standard use. Results The MAD and VO2 showed a very strong association. Within individuals, the range of r values was from 0.927 to 0.991 providing the mean r = 0.969. The optimal MAD cut-point for 3.0 MET was 91 mg (milligravity) and 414 mg for 6.0 MET. Conclusion The present study showed that the MAD is a valid method in terms of the VO2 within a wide range of ambulatory activities from slow walking to fast running. Being a device-independent trait, the MAD facilitates directly comparable, accurate results on the intensity of physical activity with all accelerometers providing tri-axial raw data. PMID:26292225

  5. Jungle honey enhances immune function and antitumor activity.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Miki; Kobayashi, Kengo; Hirono, Yuriko; Miyagawa, Mayuko; Ishida, Takahiro; Ejiogu, Emenike C; Sawai, Masaharu; Pinkerton, Kent E; Takeuchi, Minoru

    2011-01-01

    Jungle honey (JH) is collected from timber and blossom by wild honey bees that live in the tropical forest of Nigeria. JH is used as a traditional medicine for colds, skin inflammation and burn wounds as well as general health care. However, the effects of JH on immune functions are not clearly known. Therefore, we investigated the effects of JH on immune functions and antitumor activity in mice. Female C57BL/6 mice were injected with JH (1 mg/mouse/day, seven times intra-peritoneal). After seven injections, peritoneal cells (PC) were obtained. Antitumor activity was assessed by growth of Lewis Lung Carcinoma/2 (LL/2) cells. PC numbers were increased in JH-injected mice compared to control mice. In Dot Plot analysis by FACS, a new cell population appeared in JH-injected mice. The percent of Gr-1 surface antigen and the intensity of Gr-1 antigen expression of PC were increased in JH-injected mice. The new cell population was neutrophils. JH possessed chemotactic activity for neutrophils. Tumor incidence and weight were decreased in JH-injected mice. The ratio of reactive oxygen species (ROS) producing cells was increased in JH-injected mice. The effective component in JH was fractionized by gel filtration using HPLC and had an approximate molecular weight (MW) of 261. These results suggest that neutrophils induced by JH possess potent antitumor activity mediated by ROS and the effective immune component of JH is substrate of MW 261. PMID:19141489

  6. Platelet Serotonin Transporter Function Predicts Default-Mode Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kasess, Christian H.; Meyer, Bernhard M.; Hofmaier, Tina; Diers, Kersten; Bartova, Lucie; Pail, Gerald; Huf, Wolfgang; Uzelac, Zeljko; Hartinger, Beate; Kalcher, Klaudius; Perkmann, Thomas; Haslacher, Helmuth; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Kasper, Siegfried; Freissmuth, Michael; Windischberger, Christian; Willeit, Matthäus; Lanzenberger, Rupert; Esterbauer, Harald; Brocke, Burkhard; Moser, Ewald; Sitte, Harald H.; Pezawas, Lukas

    2014-01-01

    Background The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is abundantly expressed in humans by the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4 and removes serotonin (5-HT) from extracellular space. A blood-brain relationship between platelet and synaptosomal 5-HT reuptake has been suggested, but it is unknown today, if platelet 5-HT uptake can predict neural activation of human brain networks that are known to be under serotonergic influence. Methods A functional magnetic resonance study was performed in 48 healthy subjects and maximal 5-HT uptake velocity (Vmax) was assessed in blood platelets. We used a mixed-effects multilevel analysis technique (MEMA) to test for linear relationships between whole-brain, blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activity and platelet Vmax. Results The present study demonstrates that increases in platelet Vmax significantly predict default-mode network (DMN) suppression in healthy subjects independent of genetic variation within SLC6A4. Furthermore, functional connectivity analyses indicate that platelet Vmax is related to global DMN activation and not intrinsic DMN connectivity. Conclusion This study provides evidence that platelet Vmax predicts global DMN activation changes in healthy subjects. Given previous reports on platelet-synaptosomal Vmax coupling, results further suggest an important role of neuronal 5-HT reuptake in DMN regulation. PMID:24667541

  7. The impact of chromospheric activity on observed initial mass functions

    SciTech Connect

    Stassun, Keivan G.; Scholz, Aleks; Dupuy, Trent J.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2014-12-01

    Using recently established empirical calibrations for the impact of chromospheric activity on the radii, effective temperatures, and estimated masses of active low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, we reassess the shape of the initial mass function (IMF) across the stellar/substellar boundary in the Upper Sco star-forming region (age ∼ 5-10 Myr). We adjust the observed effective temperatures to warmer values using the observed strength of the chromospheric Hα emission, and redetermine the estimated masses of objects using pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks in the H-R diagram. The effect of the activity-adjusted temperatures is to shift the objects to higher masses by 3%-100%. While the slope of the resulting IMF at substellar masses is not strongly changed, the peak of the IMF does shift from ≈0.06 to ≈0.11 M {sub ☉}. Moreover, for objects with masses ≲ 0.2 M {sub ☉}, the ratio of brown dwarfs to stars changes from ∼80% to ∼33%. These results suggest that activity corrections are essential for studies of the substellar mass function, if the masses are estimated from spectral types or from effective temperatures.

  8. Determination of the metabolically active fraction of benthic foraminifera by means of Fluorescent in situ Hybridization (FISH)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borrelli, C.; Sabbatini, A.; Luna, G. M.; Morigi, C.; Danovaro, R.; Negri, A.

    2010-10-01

    Benthic foraminifera are an important component of the marine living biota, but protocols for investigating their viability and metabolism are still extremely limited. Classical studies on benthic foraminifera have been based on direct counting under light microscopy. Typically these organisms are stained with Rose Bengal, which binds proteins and other macromolecules, but this approach does not allow discriminating between viable and recently dead organisms. The fluorescent in situ hybridization technique (FISH) represents a potentially useful approach identifying living cells with active metabolism cells. In this work, we tested for the first time the suitability of the FISH technique based on fluorescent probes targeting the 18S rRNA, to detect these live benthic protists. The protocol was applied on the genus Ammonia, on the Miliolidae group and an attempt was made also with agglutinated species (i.e., Leptohalysis scottii and Eggerella scabra). In addition microscopic analysis of the cytoplasm colour, presence of pigments and, sometimes, those of pseudopodial activity where conducted. The results of the present study indicate that FISH targeted only live and metabolically active foraminifera. These results allowed to identify as "live", cells improperly classified as "dead" by means of the classical technique (Type I error) and vice versa to identify as dead the foraminifera without rRNA, but stained using Rose Bengal (Type II error). In addition, the comparative FISH analysis of starved and actively growing cells demonstrated that individuals with active metabolism were stained more intensively than starved cells. This finding supports the hypothesis that the physiological status of cells can be directly related with the intensity of the fluorescent signal emitted by the fluorescent probe. We conclude that the use of molecular approaches could represent a key tool for acquiring crucial information on living foraminifera specimens and for investigating their

  9. Electrical activity patterns and the functional maturation of the neocortex.

    PubMed

    Kilb, Werner; Kirischuk, Sergei; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2011-11-01

    At the earliest developmental stages, sensory neocortical areas in various species reveal distinct patterns of spontaneous neuronal network activity. These activity patterns either propagate over large neocortical areas or synchronize local neuronal ensembles. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicate that these spontaneous activity patterns are generated from neuronal networks in the cerebral cortex, in subcortical structures or in the sensory periphery (retina, cochlea, whiskers). At early stages spontaneous periphery-driven and also sensory evoked activity is relayed to the developing cerebral cortex via the thalamus and the neocortical subplate, which amplifies the afferent sensory input. These early local and large-scale neuronal activity patterns influence a variety of developmental processes during corticogenesis, such as neurogenesis, apoptosis, neuronal migration, differentiation and network formation. The experimental data also indicate that disturbances in early neuronal patterns may have an impact on the development of cortical layers, columns and networks. In this article we review our current knowledge on the origin of early electrical activity patterns in neocortical sensory areas and their functional implications on shaping developing cortical networks.

  10. Attributing activity space as risky and safe: The social dimension to the meaning of place for urban adolescents.

    PubMed

    Mason, Michael J

    2010-09-01

    The social dimension of urban adolescents' interpretation of their activity space was investigated by examining reasons for attributing place as risky and safe, and analyzing these reasons by social network quality. Activity space and social network data were collected on 301 teens presenting for routine medical check-ups. SPSS Text Analysis for Surveys performed linguistic analyses on open-ended survey responses, applying concept derivation, concept inclusion, semantic networks, and co-occurrence rules. Results produced 13 categories of reasons for locations attributed as risky and safe. Categories were then transformed into dichotomous variables and analyzed with chi-square tests by social network quality. Results indicated two categories of reasons for locations attributed as risky: alcohol and drugs and Illegal activity, which were dependent upon social network quality. Two categories of reasons for locations attributed as safe, namely protective place and Neighborhood, were also dependent upon social network quality. These findings assert that adolescents' social networks influence their interpretations of risk and safety, highlighting a social dimension to the meaning of place.

  11. Minimization of the mean square velocity response of dynamic structures using an active-passive dynamic vibration absorber.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Y L; Wong, W O; Cheng, L

    2012-07-01

    An optimal design of a hybrid vibration absorber (HVA) with a displacement and a velocity feedback for minimizing the velocity response of the structure based on the H(2) optimization criterion is proposed. The objective of the optimal design is to reduce the total vibration energy of the vibrating structure under wideband excitation, i.e., the total area under the velocity response spectrum is minimized in this criterion. One of the inherent limitations of the traditional passive vibration absorber is that its vibration suppression is low if the mass ratio between the absorber mass and the mass of the primary structure is low. The active element of the proposed HVA helps further reduce the vibration of the controlled structure, and it can provide very good vibration absorption performance even at a low mass ratio. Both the passive and active elements are optimized together for the minimization of the mean square velocity of the primary system as well as the active force required in the HVA. The proposed HVA was tested on single degree-of-freedom (SDOF) and continuous vibrating structures and compared to the traditional passive vibration absorber.

  12. Activity determination of (227)Ac and (223)Ra by means of liquid scintillation counting and determination of nuclear decay data.

    PubMed

    Kossert, Karsten; Bokeloh, Karen; Dersch, Rainer; Nähle, Ole

    2014-10-23

    The activity concentrations of solutions containing (227)Ac and (223)Ra in equilibrium with their progenies, respectively, were measured by means of liquid scintillation counting. The counting efficiencies were determined with the aid of a free parameter model. The corresponding calculations comprise the computation of several alpha, beta and beta/gamma branches. For short-lived progenies like (215)Po the counting efficiency depends on the counter dead time. Measurements were made in custom-built triple-to-double coincidence ratio (TDCR) systems and various dead-time adjustments were used. In addition, two commercial counters were used to apply the CIEMAT/NIST efficiency tracing technique using (3)H as a tracer. For the (227)Ac solution, the overall relative standard uncertainty of the activity concentration was found to be 0.93%. The dominant uncertainty components are assigned to the efficiency computation of the low-energy beta transitions of (227)Ac. We have identified a need for improved (227)Ac decay data to achieve a significant reduction in the overall uncertainty. In the case of (223)Ra, the activity concentrations were determined with relative standard uncertainties below 0.3%. Hence, PTB is prepared to provide calibration services for (223)Ra, which is an isotope of increasing interest in nuclear medicine. The TDCR measurements were also used to determine the half-life of (223)Ra. The decay was followed for about 58 days and a half-life T1/2=11.4362(50)d was obtained.

  13. Using fMRI non-local means denoising to uncover activation in sub-cortical structures at 1.5 T for guided HARDI tractography

    PubMed Central

    Bernier, Michaël; Chamberland, Maxime; Houde, Jean-Christophe; Descoteaux, Maxime; Whittingstall, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, there has been ever-increasing interest in combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) for better understanding the link between cortical activity and connectivity, respectively. However, it is challenging to detect and validate fMRI activity in key sub-cortical areas such as the thalamus, given that they are prone to susceptibility artifacts due to the partial volume effects (PVE) of surrounding tissues (GM/WM interface). This is especially true on relatively low-field clinical MR systems (e.g., 1.5 T). We propose to overcome this limitation by using a spatial denoising technique used in structural MRI and more recently in diffusion MRI called non-local means (NLM) denoising, which uses a patch-based approach to suppress the noise locally. To test this, we measured fMRI in 20 healthy subjects performing three block-based tasks : eyes-open closed (EOC) and left/right finger tapping (FTL, FTR). Overall, we found that NLM yielded more thalamic activity compared to traditional denoising methods. In order to validate our pipeline, we also investigated known structural connectivity going through the thalamus using HARDI tractography: the optic radiations, related to the EOC task, and the cortico-spinal tract (CST) for FTL and FTR. To do so, we reconstructed the tracts using functionally based thalamic and cortical ROIs to initiates seeds of tractography in a two-level coarse-to-fine fashion. We applied this method at the single subject level, which allowed us to see the structural connections underlying fMRI thalamic activity. In summary, we propose a new fMRI processing pipeline which uses a recent spatial denoising technique (NLM) to successfully detect sub-cortical activity which was validated using an advanced dMRI seeding strategy in single subjects at 1.5 T. PMID:25309391

  14. Transfer Function between EEG and BOLD Signals of Epileptic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Leite, Marco; Leal, Alberto; Figueiredo, Patrícia

    2013-01-01

    Simultaneous electroencephalogram (EEG)-functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) recordings have seen growing application in the evaluation of epilepsy, namely in the characterization of brain networks related to epileptic activity. In EEG-correlated fMRI studies, epileptic events are usually described as boxcar signals based on the timing information retrieved from the EEG, and subsequently convolved with a hemodynamic response function to model the associated Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) changes. Although more flexible approaches may allow a higher degree of complexity for the hemodynamics, the issue of how to model these dynamics based on the EEG remains an open question. In this work, a new methodology for the integration of simultaneous EEG-fMRI data in epilepsy is proposed, which incorporates a transfer function from the EEG to the BOLD signal. Independent component analysis of the EEG is performed, and a number of metrics expressing different models of the EEG-BOLD transfer function are extracted from the resulting time courses. These metrics are then used to predict the fMRI data and to identify brain areas associated with the EEG epileptic activity. The methodology was tested on both ictal and interictal EEG-fMRI recordings from one patient with a hypothalamic hamartoma. When compared to the conventional analysis approach, plausible, consistent, and more significant activations were obtained. Importantly, frequency-weighted EEG metrics yielded superior results than those weighted solely on the EEG power, which comes in agreement with previous literature. Reproducibility, specificity, and sensitivity should be addressed in an extended group of patients in order to further validate the proposed methodology and generalize the presented proof of concept. PMID:23355832

  15. Functional expression of a fragment of human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase by means of the baculovirus expression vector system, and kinetic investigation of the purified recombinant enzyme.

    PubMed

    Knecht, W; Bergjohann, U; Gonski, S; Kirschbaum, B; Löffler, M

    1996-08-15

    Human mitochondrial dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (the fourth enzyme of pyrimidine de novo synthesis) has been overproduced by means of a recombinant baculovirus that contained the human cDNA fragment for this protein. After virus infection and protein expression in Trichoplusia ni cells (BTI-Tn-5B1-4), the subcellular distribution of the recombinant dihydroorotate dehydrogenase was determined by two distinct enzyme-activity assays and by Western blot analysis with anti-(dihydroorotate dehydrogenase) Ig. The targeting of the recombinant protein to the mitochondria of the insect cells was verified. The activity of the recombinant enzyme in the mitochondria of infected cells was about 740-fold above the level of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase in human liver mitochondria. In a three-step procedure, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase was purified to a specific activity of greater than 50 U/mg. Size-exclusion chromatography showed a molecular mass of 42 kDa and confirmed the existence of the fully active enzyme as a monomeric species. Fluorimetric cofactor analysis revealed the presence of FMN in recombinant dihydroorotate dehydrogenase. By kinetics analysis, Km values for dihydroorotate and ubiquinone-50 were found to be 4 microM and 9.9 microM, respectively, while Km values for dihydroorotate and decylubiquinone were 9.4 microM and 13.7 microM, respectively. The applied expression system will allow preparation of large quantities of the enzyme for structure and function studies. Purified recombinant human dihytdroorotate dehydrogenase was tested for its sensitivity to a reported inhibitor A77 1726 (2-hydroxyethyliden-cyanoacetic acid 4-trifluoromethyl anilide), which is the active metabolite of the isoxazole derivative leflunomide [5-methyl-N-(4-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-4-isoxazole carboximide]. An IC50 value of 1 microM was determined for A77 1726. Detailed kinetics experiments revealed uncompetitive inhibition with respect to dihydroorotate (Kiu = 0.94 microM) and non

  16. Insilico studies of organosulfur-functional active compounds in garlic.

    PubMed

    Singh, Yogendra P; Singh, Ram A

    2010-01-01

    Garlic has been used medicinally since antiquity because of its antimicrobial activity, anticancer activity, antioxidant activity, ability to reduce cardiovascular diseases, improving immune functions, and antidiabetic activities and also in reducing cardiovascular diseases and improving immune functions. Recent studies identify that the wide variety of medicinal functions are attributed to the sulfur compounds present in garlic. Epidemiological observations and laboratory studies in animal models have also showed anticarcinogenic potential of organosulfur compounds of garlic. In this study, in silico analysis of organosulfur compounds is reported using the methods of theoretical chemistry to elucidate the molecular properties of garlic as it is more time and cost efficient, reduces the number of wet experiments, and offers the possibility of replacing some animal tests with suitable in silico models. The analysis of molecular descriptors defined by Lipinski has been done. The solubility of drug in water has been determined as it is of useful importance in the process of drug discovery from molecular design to pharmaceutical formulation and biopharmacy. All toxicities associated with candidate drug have been calculated. P-Glycoprotein expressed in normal tissues as a cause of drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics has been examined. Drug-plasma protein binding and volume of distribution have also been calculated. To avoid rejection of drugs, it is becoming more important to determine pK(a), absorption, polar surface area, and other physiochemical properties associated with a drug, before synthetic work is undertaken. The present in silico study is aimed at examining these compounds of garlic to evaluate its possible efficacy and toxicity under conditions of actual use in humans. PMID:20641079

  17. Functional response and population dynamics for fighting predator, based on activity distribution.

    PubMed

    Garay, József; Varga, Zoltán; Gámez, Manuel; Cabello, Tomás

    2015-03-01

    The classical Holling type II functional response, describing the per capita predation as a function of prey density, was modified by Beddington and de Angelis to include interference of predators that increases with predator density and decreases the number of killed prey. In the present paper we further generalize the Beddington-de Angelis functional response, considering that all predator activities (searching and handling prey, fight and recovery) have time duration, the probabilities of predator activities depend on the encounter probabilities, and hence on the prey and predator abundance, too. Under these conditions, the aim of the study is to introduce a functional response for fighting the predator and to analyse the corresponding dynamics, when predator-predator-prey encounters also occur. From this general approach, the Holling type functional responses can also be obtained as particular cases. In terms of the activity distribution, we give biologically interpretable sufficient conditions for stable coexistence. We consider two-individual (predator-prey) and three-individual (predator-predator-prey) encounters. In the three-individual encounter model there is a relatively higher fighting rate and a lower killing rate. Using numerical simulation, we surprisingly found that when the intrinsic prey growth rate and the conversion rate are small enough, the equilibrium predator abundance is higher in the three-individual encounter case. The above means that, when the equilibrium abundance of the predator is small, coexistence appears first in the three-individual encounter model.

  18. Cost-effectiveness of investing in sidewalks as a means of increasing physical activity: a RESIDE modelling study

    PubMed Central

    Veerman, J Lennert; Zapata-Diomedi, Belen; Gunn, Lucy; McCormack, Gavin R; Cobiac, Linda J; Mantilla Herrera, Ana Maria; Giles-Corti, Billie; Shiell, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Background Studies consistently find that supportive neighbourhood built environments increase physical activity by encouraging walking and cycling. However, evidence on the cost-effectiveness of investing in built environment interventions as a means of promoting physical activity is lacking. In this study, we assess the cost-effectiveness of increasing sidewalk availability as one means of encouraging walking. Methods Using data from the RESIDE study in Perth, Australia, we modelled the cost impact and change in health-adjusted life years (HALYs) of installing additional sidewalks in established neighbourhoods. Estimates of the relationship between sidewalk availability and walking were taken from a previous study. Multistate life table models were used to estimate HALYs associated with changes in walking frequency and duration. Sensitivity analyses were used to explore the impact of variations in population density, discount rates, sidewalk costs and the inclusion of unrelated healthcare costs in added life years. Results Installing and maintaining an additional 10 km of sidewalk in an average neighbourhood with 19 000 adult residents was estimated to cost A$4.2 million over 30 years and gain 24 HALYs over the lifetime of an average neighbourhood adult resident population. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was A$176 000/HALY. However, sensitivity results indicated that increasing population densities improves cost-effectiveness. Conclusions In low-density cities such as in Australia, installing sidewalks in established neighbourhoods as a single intervention is unlikely to cost-effectively improve health. Sidewalks must be considered alongside other complementary elements of walkability, such as density, land use mix and street connectivity. Population density is particularly important because at higher densities, more residents are exposed and this improves the cost-effectiveness. Health gain is one of many benefits of enhancing neighbourhood

  19. Aspartame degradation as a function of "water activity".

    PubMed

    Bell, L N; Labuza, T P

    1991-01-01

    The incorporation of aspartame into an increasing number of foods necessitates evaluation of its degradation kinetics as a function of "water activity" (aw). The kinetics of degradation were followed in model systems as a function of initial pH, temperature, and aw. An increase in aw, for each 0.1 units in the 0.3 to 0.7 range, resulted in about a 30-80% increase in degradation rate, which then decreased only slowly up to dilute solution. The presence of oil increased the degradation rate at high aw, but glucose had no effect on the rate of aspartame loss. The activation energies for loss ranged from 25 to 20 kcal/mole, decreasing as aw increased, as expected. The rates as a function of pH showed that the actual pH of the water in the condensed phase, based on the Bronsted relationship, may be very different than the initial pH. This caused a shift in the pH at which the fastest rate of degradation occurred, as aw increased.

  20. [The gaze and functional hemispheric activation in normal subjects].

    PubMed

    Gallois, P; Hautecoeur, P; Ovelacq, E; Gras, P; Dereux, J F

    1985-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine whether the study of lateral and vertical conjugated eye movement could serve as an indicator of the functional hemispheric activation. Questions of vocabulary, calculation, logic (V.C.L.) and visuo-spatial instructions, as well as music-listening (V.S.M.), were proposed to 60 control subjects (21 men, 39 women). They were divided in 4 groups of 15 according to their laterality (complete right handed, incomplete right handed, ambidextrous, left handed). Eye movements were recorded using a video system. Deviations of the eyes towards the right and left, upwards and downwards, as well as episodes of staring were noted. Concerning V.C.L. questions, there was a significant correlation between conjugated lateral eye movements and the contralateral hemisphere activation. The study of vertical eye movements revealed a correlation only in complete right-handed and left-handed subjects: deviation upwards during the left hemisphere activation, and downwards during the right hemisphere activation. This pattern of response was no longer found during V.S.M. questions which, in the 4 groups, evoked staring episodes in 56 to 72 per cent of the cases. The negative emotional stimuli (emotional words, non verbal stimuli, stressful situations) evoked preferentially, but independently of laterality, deviations towards the left and downwards in favor of the right hemisphere activation. This method of observation of eye movements seems therefore of significant interest in Neuropsychology, provided that methodologic rules are rigorously respected.

  1. Biological function of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID).

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ritu; DiMenna, Lauren J; Chaudhuri, Jayanta; Evans, Todd

    2014-01-01

    Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID) is an essential regulator of B cell diversification, but its full range of action has until recently been an enigma. Based on homology, it was originally proposed to be an RNA-editing enzyme, but so far, no RNA substrates are known. Rather, it functions by deaminating cytidine, and in this manner, coupled with base-excision repair or mismatch repair machinery, it is a natural mutator. This allows it to play a central role in adaptive immunity, whereby it initiates the processes of class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation to help generate a diverse and high-affinity repertoire of immunoglobulin isotypes. More recently, it has been appreciated that methylated cytidine, already known as a key epigenetic mark on DNA controlling gene expression, can also be a target for AID modification. Coupled with repair machinery, this can facilitate the active removal of methylated DNA. This activity can impact the process of cellular reprogramming, including transition of a somatic cell to pluripotency, which requires major reshuffling of epigenetic memory. Thus, seemingly disparate roles for AID in controlling immune diversity and epigenetic memory have a common mechanistic basis. However, the very activity that is so useful for B cell diversity and cellular reprogramming is dangerous for the integrity of the genome. Thus, AID expression and activity is tightly regulated, and deregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. Here, we review the range of AID functions with a focus on its mechanisms of action and regulation. Major questions remain to be answered concerning how and when AID is targeted to specific loci and how this impacts development and disease.

  2. Site-Selective Recording of Spontaneous Activity from Cultured Small Neuronal Circuits by Means of Spray-Patterning and a Mobile Microelectrode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriguchi, Hiroyuki; Tamai, Nobuhiro; Takayama, Yuzo; Kurashima, Toshiaki; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    In order to precisely grasp the self-organization process of functional neuronal circuits from individual immature neurons, electrical activity of neuronal circuits should be continuously recorded with their well-defined inner structures and boundary conditions. Standing on this viewpoint, we have developed a series of practical experimental methods for the non-invasive recording of electrical activity from cultured small neuronal circuits by combining a simple micropatterning method of cultured neurons and a site-selective extracellular recording method. The micropatterning was demonstrated with a commercially available spray, and thousands of small neuronal circuits were formed in a 35-mm polystyrene dish by spraying PDL (poly-D-lysine) solution onto the BSA (bovine serum albumin)-coated culture surface. These small neuronal circuits consisted of several neurons and kept well-patterned for more than two weeks. The site-selective recording was demonstrated by means of a handmade mobile microelectrode, and spontaneous firings were detected at multiple recording sites in a small neuronal circuit. This series of experimental methods can be directly applicable to the investigation into the developmental process of the morphology and the functions of various electrically excitable multicellular organisms.

  3. Altered resting-state functional activity in posttraumatic stress disorder: A quantitative meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ting; Liu, Jia; Zhang, Junran; Zhan, Wang; Li, Lei; Wu, Min; Huang, Hua; Zhu, Hongyan; Kemp, Graham J.; Gong, Qiyong

    2016-01-01

    Many functional neuroimaging studies have reported differential patterns of spontaneous brain activity in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the findings are inconsistent and have not so far been quantitatively reviewed. The present study set out to determine consistent, specific regional brain activity alterations in PTSD, using the Effect Size Signed Differential Mapping technique to conduct a quantitative meta-analysis of resting-state functional neuroimaging studies of PTSD that used either a non-trauma (NTC) or a trauma-exposed (TEC) comparison control group. Fifteen functional neuroimaging studies were included, comparing 286 PTSDs, 203 TECs and 155 NTCs. Compared with NTC, PTSD patients showed hyperactivity in the right anterior insula and bilateral cerebellum, and hypoactivity in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC); compared with TEC, PTSD showed hyperactivity in the ventral mPFC. The pooled meta-analysis showed hypoactivity in the posterior insula, superior temporal, and Heschl’s gyrus in PTSD. Additionally, subgroup meta-analysis (non-medicated subjects vs. NTC) identified abnormal activation in the prefrontal-limbic system. In meta-regression analyses, mean illness duration was positively associated with activity in the right cerebellum (PTSD vs. NTC), and illness severity was negatively associated with activity in the right lingual gyrus (PTSD vs. TEC). PMID:27251865

  4. Comparison of K-Means Clustering with Linear Probability Model, Linear Discriminant Function, and Logistic Regression for Predicting Two-Group Membership.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    So, Tak-Shing Harry; Peng, Chao-Ying Joanne

    This study compared the accuracy of predicting two-group membership obtained from K-means clustering with those derived from linear probability modeling, linear discriminant function, and logistic regression under various data properties. Multivariate normally distributed populations were simulated based on combinations of population proportions,…

  5. Power and Type I Error of the Mean and Covariance Structure Analysis Model for Detecting Differential Item Functioning in Graded Response Items

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez-Roma, Vicente; Hernandez, Ana; Gomez-Benito, Juana

    2006-01-01

    In this simulation study, we investigate the power and Type I error rate of a procedure based on the mean and covariance structure analysis (MACS) model in detecting differential item functioning (DIF) of graded response items with five response categories. The following factors were manipulated: type of DIF (uniform and non-uniform), DIF…

  6. Acoustic and Perceptual Measurement of Expressive Prosody in High-Functioning Autism: Increased Pitch Range and What it Means to Listeners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nadig, Aparna; Shaw, Holly

    2012-01-01

    Are there consistent markers of atypical prosody in speakers with high functioning autism (HFA) compared to typically-developing speakers? We examined: (1) acoustic measurements of pitch range, mean pitch and speech rate in conversation, (2) perceptual ratings of conversation for these features and overall prosody, and (3) acoustic measurements of…

  7. Functional activity of mitochondria in cultured neural precursor cells.

    PubMed

    Plotnikov, E Yu; Marei, M V; Podgornyi, O V; Aleksandrova, M A; Zorov, D B; Sukhikh, G T

    2006-01-01

    We studied mitochondrial transmembrane potential of neural precursor cells forming neurospheres in culture. Uneven energization of mitochondria in neurosphere cells was detected. Heterogeneity of cells by the mitochondrial potential increased with neurosphere enlargement during culturing. Decrease in the mitochondrial potential in the central cells in large spheres, presumably caused by insufficient diffusion of oxygen and nutrients, can provoke their damage and death. Population of cells with high mitochondrial potential responded to addition of the nuclear dye by a decrease in mitochondrial potential, which can indicate functioning of ABCG2 complex in these cells, characteristic of undifferentiated stem cells. These data will help to create optimum conditions for culturing of neural stem cells for the maintenance of their maximum functional and proliferative activity. PMID:16929986

  8. Direct activation and anti-repression functions of GAL4-VP16 use distinct molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, J G; Chambon, P

    1995-01-01

    In order to determine whether the molecular mechanisms used for direct activation by GAL4-VP16 are the same as those used for anti-repression, we have employed monoclonal antibodies specific for the VP16 activation domain. In the absence of added repressors, GAL4-VP16 was able to stimulate transcription from a template containing GAL4-binding sites, and the antibodies raised against the VP16 activation domain failed to inhibit this direct activation. GAL4-VP16 also was able to prevent histone H1-mediated repression by a mechanism that was strongly dependent on the presence of specific GAL4-binding elements in the promoter. However, in contrast to the assays conducted in the absence of repressors, the antibodies were strong inhibitors of GAL4-VP16-activated transcription in the presence of histone H1. Thus the binding of the antibodies distinguished between the direct activation and anti-repression functions of GAL4-VP16, indicating that these functions operate through distinct molecular mechanisms. The anti-repression-specific mechanism that is inhibitable by the antibodies acted at an early stage of preinitiation complex formation. Deletions of individual subdomains of the VP16 activation domain demonstrated that there was not a discrete subdomain responsible for the anti-repression function of GAL4-VP16. Thus, the inhibitory effect of the antibodies appeared to be due to the location of the epitope within the activator protein rather than to some inherent biochemical property of that region of the protein that is required specifically for anti-repression. The inhibitory effect of the antibodies also ruled out the possibility that steric exclusion of repressor proteins from the promoter was the sole means of anti-repression by the transcriptional activator. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:8554536

  9. Synthesis and psychotropic activity of functionally substituted diaziridines and bisdiaziridines

    SciTech Connect

    Kostyanovskii, R.G.; Shustov, G.V.; Nabiev, O.G.; Denisenko, S.N.; Sukhanova, S.A.; Lavretskaya, E.F.

    1987-04-01

    The authors examine the psychotropic activity of diaziridines which differ considerable in their structures and the C- and N-substituents. Diaziridines are monoamine oxidase inhibitors in the brain and, thus, are potential antidepressants. The acute toxicities and some pharmacological effects of diaziridines are shown. Mice were used in the experiments. The bisdiaziridines obtained differ in their /sup 1/H and /sup 13/C NMR spectra. The effect is presented of functionally substituted diaziridines on the effects of reserpine, 5-hydroxytryptophan, tryptamine, corazole, and apomorphine hypothermia.

  10. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals

    PubMed Central

    Nocerino, Nunzia; Fulgione, Andrea; Iannaccone, Marco; Tomasetta, Laura; Ianniello, Flora; Martora, Francesca; Lelli, Marco; Roveri, Norberto; Capuano, Federico; Capparelli, Rosanna

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics is a general public health problem. Progress in developing new molecules with antimicrobial properties has been made. In this study, we evaluated the biological activity of a hybrid nanocomposite composed of synthetic biomimetic hydroxyapatite surface-functionalized by lactoferrin (LF-HA). We evaluated the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of LF-HA and found that the composite was active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and that it modulated proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses and enhanced antioxidant properties as compared with LF alone. These results indicate the possibility of using LF-HA as an antimicrobial system and biomimetic hydroxyapatite as a candidate for innovative biomedical applications. PMID:24623976

  11. Active membrane having uniform physico-chemically functionalized ion channels

    DOEpatents

    Gerald, II, Rex E; Ruscic, Katarina J; Sears, Devin N; Smith, Luis J; Klingler, Robert J; Rathke, Jerome W

    2012-09-24

    The present invention relates to a physicochemically-active porous membrane for electrochemical cells that purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. One dimension of the pore surface has a macroscopic length (1 nm-1000 .mu.m) and is directed parallel to the direction of an electric field, which is produced between the cathode and the anode electrodes of an electrochemical cell. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.

  12. Hemodynamic responses to functional activation accessed by optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Songlin; Li, Pengcheng; Yang, Yuanyuan; Lv, Xiaohua; Luo, Qingming

    2006-01-01

    A multi-wavelength light-emitting diode (LED) and laser diode (LD) based optical imaging system was developed to visualize the changes in cerebral blood flow, oxygenation following functional activation simultaneously in rodent cortex. The 2-D blood flow image was accessed by laser speckle contrast imaging, and the spectroscopic imaging of intrinsic signal was used for the calculation of oxyhemoglobin (HbO), deoxyhemoglobin (Hb) and total hemoglobin (HbT) concentration. The combination of spectroscopic imaging and laser speckle contrast imaging provides the capability to simultaneously investigate the spatial and temporal blood flow and hemoglobin concentration changes with high resolution, which may lead to a better understanding of the coupling between neuronal activation and vascular responses. The optical imaging system been built is compact and convenient to investigators. And it is reliable to acquire raw data. In present study, the hemodynamic responses to cortical spreading depression (CSD) in parietal cortex of ~-chloralose/urethan anesthetized rats were demonstrated.

  13. Family Functioning in Asian Families Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Capabilities and Positive Meanings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xue, J.; Ooh, J.; Magiati, I.

    2014-01-01

    Background: There has been increasing interest in exploring the factors contributing to successful adaptation and family functioning in ethnically and culturally diverse families who raise children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), in order to inform more appropriate strength-based family support services. This pilot study used the Family…

  14. Functional Curriculum Development: A Means of Retaining Nomadic Fulbe Cultural Identity. Contribution of Education to Cultural Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ezeomah, Chimah

    To develop a functional curriculum for Nigeria's nomadic Fulbe tribespeople it is necessary to understand the cultural setting. The myths of the Fulbe, such as the story of herdsman Sile Sajo's encounter with the deity Kumen, provide insight into the culture. The story reflects the society's agricultural base, identifies personal characteristics…

  15. Versatile method for AFM-tip functionalization with biomolecules: fishing a ligand by means of an in situ click reaction.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rakesh; Ramakrishna, Shivaprakash N; Naik, Vikrant V; Chu, Zonglin; Drew, Michael E; Spencer, Nicholas D; Yamakoshi, Yoko

    2015-04-21

    A facile and universal method for the functionalization of an AFM tip has been developed for chemical force spectroscopy (CFS) studies of intermolecular interactions of biomolecules. A click reaction between tripod-acetylene and an azide-linker-ligand molecule was successfully carried out on the AFM tip surface and used for the CFS study of ligand-receptor interactions.

  16. Mean individual muscle activities and ratios of total muscle activities in a selective muscle strengthening experiment: the effects of lower limb muscle activity based on mediolateral slope angles during a one-leg stance

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-Yeol

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to provide basic data for research on selective muscle strengthening by identifying mean muscle activities and calculating muscle ratios for use in developing strengthening methods. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-one healthy volunteers were included in this study. Muscle activity was measured during a one-leg stance under 6 conditions of slope angle: 0°, 5°, 10°, 15°, 20°, and 25°. The data used in the analysis were root mean square and % total muscle activity values. [Results] There were significant differences in the root mean square of the gluteus medius, the hamstring, and the medial gastrocnemius muscles. There were significant differences in % total muscle activity of the medial gastrocnemius. [Conclusion] Future studies aimed at developing selective muscle strengthening methods are likely to yield more effective results by using muscle activity ratios based on electromyography data. PMID:27799690

  17. Diesel-Enriched Particulate Matter Functionally Activates Human Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Michael; Karp, Matthew; Killedar, Smruti; Bauer, Stephen M.; Guo, Jia; Williams, D'Ann; Breysse, Patrick; Georas, Steve N.; Williams, Marc A.

    2007-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies have associated exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) with exacerbations of asthma. It is unknown how different sources of PM affect innate immunity. We sought to determine how car- and diesel exhaust–derived PM affects dendritic cell (DC) activation. DC development was modeled using CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors. Airborne PM was collected from exhaust plenums of Fort McHenry Tunnel providing car-enriched particles (CEP) and diesel-enriched particles (DEP). DC were stimulated for 48 hours with CEP, DEP, CD40-ligand, or lipopolysaccharide. DC activation was assessed by flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and standard culture techniques. DEP increased uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran (a model antigen) by DC. Diesel particles enhanced cell-surface expression of co-stimulatory molecules (e.g., CD40 [P < 0.01] and MHC class II [P < 0.01]). By contrast, CEP poorly affected antigen uptake and expression of cell surface molecules, and did not greatly affect cytokine secretion by DC. However, DEP increased production of TNF, IL-6, and IFN-γ (P < 0.01), IL-12 (P < 0.05), and vascular endothelial growth factor (P < 0.001). In co-stimulation assays of PM-exposed DC and alloreactive CD4+ T cells, both CEP and DEP directed a Th2-like pattern of cytokine production (e.g., enhanced IL-13 and IL-18 and suppressed IFN-γ production). CD4+ T cells were not functionally activated on exposure to either DEP or CEP. Car- and diesel-enriched particles exert a differential effect on DC activation. Our data support the hypothesis that DEP (and to a lesser extent CEP) regulate important functional aspects of human DC, supporting an adjuvant role for this material. PMID:17630318

  18. Endothelial RIG-I activation impairs endothelial function

    SciTech Connect

    Asdonk, Tobias; Nickenig, Georg; Zimmer, Sebastian

    2012-03-30

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer RIG-I activation impairs endothelial function in vivo. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer RIG-I activation alters HCAEC biology in vitro. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer EPC function is affected by RIG-I stimulation in vitro. -- Abstract: Background: Endothelial dysfunction is a crucial part of the chronic inflammatory atherosclerotic process and is mediated by innate and acquired immune mechanisms. Recent studies suggest that pattern recognition receptors (PRR) specialized in immunorecognition of nucleic acids may play an important role in endothelial biology in a proatherogenic manner. Here, we analyzed the impact of endothelial retinoic acid inducible gene I (RIG-I) activation upon vascular endothelial biology. Methods and results: Wild type mice were injected intravenously with 32.5 {mu}g of the RIG-ligand 3pRNA (RNA with triphosphate at the 5 Prime end) or polyA control every other day for 7 days. In 3pRNA-treated mice, endothelium-depended vasodilation was significantly impaired, vascular oxidative stress significantly increased and circulating endothelial microparticle (EMP) numbers significantly elevated compared to controls. To gain further insight in RIG-I dependent endothelial biology, cultured human coronary endothelial cells (HCAEC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) were stimulated in vitro with 3pRNA. Both cells types express RIG-I and react with receptor upregulation upon stimulation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation is enhanced in both cell types, whereas apoptosis and proliferation is not significantly affected in HCAEC. Importantly, HCAEC release significant amounts of proinflammatory cytokines in response to RIG-I stimulation. Conclusion: This study shows that activation of the cytoplasmatic nucleic acid receptor RIG-I leads to endothelial dysfunction. RIG-I induced endothelial damage could therefore be an important pathway in atherogenesis.

  19. Dual Function of Phosphoubiquitin in E3 Activation of Parkin.

    PubMed

    Walinda, Erik; Morimoto, Daichi; Sugase, Kenji; Shirakawa, Masahiro

    2016-08-01

    Mutations in the gene encoding parkin, an auto-inhibited E3 ubiquitin ligase that functions in the clearance of damaged mitochondria, are the most common cause of autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinsonism. The mechanism regulating parkin activation remains poorly understood. Here we show, by using isothermal titration calorimetry, solution NMR, and fluorescence spectroscopy, that parkin can bind ubiquitin and phosphomimetic ubiquitin by recognizing the canonical hydrophobic patch and C terminus of ubiquitin. The affinity of parkin for both phosphomimetic and unmodified ubiquitin is markedly enhanced upon removal of the ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain of parkin. This suggests that the agonistic binding of ubiquitin to parkin in trans is counterbalanced by the antagonistic activity of the parkin UBL domain in cis Intriguingly, UBL binding is enthalpy-driven, whereas ubiquitin binding is driven by an increase in the total entropy of the system. These thermodynamic differences are explained by different chemistry in the ubiquitin- and UBL-binding pockets of parkin and, as shown by molecular dynamics simulations, are not a consequence of changes in protein conformational entropy. Indeed, comparison of conformational fluctuations reveals that the RING1-IBR element becomes considerably more rigid upon complex formation. A model of parkin activation is proposed in which E2∼Ub binding triggers large scale diffusional motion of the RING2 domain toward the ubiquitin-stabilized RING1-IBR assembly to complete formation of the active parkin-E2∼Ub transfer complex. Thus, ubiquitin plays a dual role in parkin activation by competing with the inhibitory UBL domain and stabilizing the active form of parkin. PMID:27284007

  20. Moonlighting transcriptional activation function of a fungal sulfur metabolism enzyme.

    PubMed

    Levati, Elisabetta; Sartini, Sara; Bolchi, Angelo; Ottonello, Simone; Montanini, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Moonlighting proteins, including metabolic enzymes acting as transcription factors (TF), are present in a variety of organisms but have not been described in higher fungi so far. In a previous genome-wide analysis of the TF repertoire of the plant-symbiotic fungus Tuber melanosporum, we identified various enzymes, including the sulfur-assimilation enzyme phosphoadenosine-phosphosulfate reductase (PAPS-red), as potential transcriptional activators. A functional analysis performed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, now demonstrates that a specific variant of this enzyme, PAPS-red A, localizes to the nucleus and is capable of transcriptional activation. TF moonlighting, which is not present in the other enzyme variant (PAPS-red B) encoded by the T. melanosporum genome, relies on a transplantable C-terminal polypeptide containing an alternating hydrophobic/hydrophilic amino acid motif. A similar moonlighting activity was demonstrated for six additional proteins, suggesting that multitasking is a relatively frequent event. PAPS-red A is sulfur-state-responsive and highly expressed, especially in fruitbodies, and likely acts as a recruiter of transcription components involved in S-metabolism gene network activation. PAPS-red B, instead, is expressed at low levels and localizes to a highly methylated and silenced region of the genome, hinting at an evolutionary mechanism based on gene duplication, followed by epigenetic silencing of this non-moonlighting gene variant. PMID:27121330

  1. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children's EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children's motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children's emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to "catch up" with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  2. Activities and Programs That Improve Children’s Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children’s EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children’s motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children’s emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to “catch up” with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  3. Antihelminthic niclosamide modulates dendritic cells activation and function.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chieh-Shan; Li, Yi-Rong; Chen, Jeremy J W; Chen, Ying-Che; Chu, Chiang-Liang; Pan, I-Hong; Wu, Yu-Shan; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) link the sensing of the environment by the innate immune system to the initiation of adaptive immune responses. Accordingly, DCs are considered to be a major target in the development of immunomodulating compounds. In this study, the effect of niclosamide, a Food and Drug Administration-approved antihelminthic drug, on the activation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine bone marrow-derived DCs was examined. Our experimental results show that niclosamide reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression of LPS-activated DCs. In addition, niclosamide also affected the expression of MHC and costimulatory molecules and influenced the ability of the cells to take up antigens. Therefore, in mixed cell cultures composed of syngeneic OVA-specific T cells and DCs, niclosamide-treated DCs showed a decreased ability to stimulate T cell proliferation and IFN-γ production. Furthermore, intravenous injection of niclosamide also attenuated contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in mice during sensitization with 2,4-dinitro-1-fluorobenzene. Blocking the LPS-induced activation of MAPK-ERK, JNK and NF-κB may contribute to the inhibitory effect of niclosamide on DC activation. Collectively, our findings suggest that niclosamide can manipulate the function of DCs. These results provide new insight into the immunopharmacological role of niclosamide and suggest that it may be useful for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders or DC-mediated autoimmune diseases. PMID:24561310

  4. Dextromethorphan Inhibits Activations and Functions in Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Der-Yuan; Song, Pei-Shan; Hong, Jau-Shyong; Chu, Ching-Liang; Pan, I-Horng; Chen, Yi-Ming; Lin, Ching-Hsiung; Lin, Sheng-Hao; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in connecting innate and adaptive immunity. Thus, DCs have been regarded as a major target for the development of immunomodulators. In this study, we examined the effect of dextromethorphan (DXM), a common cough suppressant with a high safety profile, on the activation and function of DCs. In the presence of DXM, the LPS-induced expression of the costimulatory molecules in murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was significantly suppressed. In addition, DXM treatment reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines in maturing BMDCs that were activated by LPS. Therefore, DXM abrogated the ability of LPS-stimulated DCs to induce Ag-specific T-cell activation, as determined by their decreased proliferation and IFN-γ secretion in mixed leukocyte cultures. Moreover, the inhibition of LPS-induced MAPK activation and NF-κB translocation may contribute to the suppressive effect of DXM on BMDCs. Remarkably, DXM decreased the LPS-induced surface expression of CD80, CD83, and HLA-DR and the secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). These findings provide a new insight into the impact of DXM treatment on DCs and suggest that DXM has the potential to be used in treating DC-related acute and chronic diseases. PMID:23781253

  5. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children's EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children's motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children's emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to "catch up" with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities.

  6. Dextromethorphan inhibits activations and functions in dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Der-Yuan; Song, Pei-Shan; Hong, Jau-Shyong; Chu, Ching-Liang; Pan, I-Horng; Chen, Yi-Ming; Lin, Ching-Hsiung; Lin, Sheng-Hao; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in connecting innate and adaptive immunity. Thus, DCs have been regarded as a major target for the development of immunomodulators. In this study, we examined the effect of dextromethorphan (DXM), a common cough suppressant with a high safety profile, on the activation and function of DCs. In the presence of DXM, the LPS-induced expression of the costimulatory molecules in murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was significantly suppressed. In addition, DXM treatment reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines in maturing BMDCs that were activated by LPS. Therefore, DXM abrogated the ability of LPS-stimulated DCs to induce Ag-specific T-cell activation, as determined by their decreased proliferation and IFN- γ secretion in mixed leukocyte cultures. Moreover, the inhibition of LPS-induced MAPK activation and NF- κ B translocation may contribute to the suppressive effect of DXM on BMDCs. Remarkably, DXM decreased the LPS-induced surface expression of CD80, CD83, and HLA-DR and the secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). These findings provide a new insight into the impact of DXM treatment on DCs and suggest that DXM has the potential to be used in treating DC-related acute and chronic diseases. PMID:23781253

  7. Predicting activity approach based on new atoms similarity kernel function.

    PubMed

    Abu El-Atta, Ahmed H; Moussa, M I; Hassanien, Aboul Ella

    2015-07-01

    Drug design is a high cost and long term process. To reduce time and costs for drugs discoveries, new techniques are needed. Chemoinformatics field implements the informational techniques and computer science like machine learning and graph theory to discover the chemical compounds properties, such as toxicity or biological activity. This is done through analyzing their molecular structure (molecular graph). To overcome this problem there is an increasing need for algorithms to analyze and classify graph data to predict the activity of molecules. Kernels methods provide a powerful framework which combines machine learning with graph theory techniques. These kernels methods have led to impressive performance results in many several chemoinformatics problems like biological activity prediction. This paper presents a new approach based on kernel functions to solve activity prediction problem for chemical compounds. First we encode all atoms depending on their neighbors then we use these codes to find a relationship between those atoms each other. Then we use relation between different atoms to find similarity between chemical compounds. The proposed approach was compared with many other classification methods and the results show competitive accuracy with these methods.

  8. Moonlighting transcriptional activation function of a fungal sulfur metabolism enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Levati, Elisabetta; Sartini, Sara; Bolchi, Angelo; Ottonello, Simone; Montanini, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Moonlighting proteins, including metabolic enzymes acting as transcription factors (TF), are present in a variety of organisms but have not been described in higher fungi so far. In a previous genome-wide analysis of the TF repertoire of the plant-symbiotic fungus Tuber melanosporum, we identified various enzymes, including the sulfur-assimilation enzyme phosphoadenosine-phosphosulfate reductase (PAPS-red), as potential transcriptional activators. A functional analysis performed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, now demonstrates that a specific variant of this enzyme, PAPS-red A, localizes to the nucleus and is capable of transcriptional activation. TF moonlighting, which is not present in the other enzyme variant (PAPS-red B) encoded by the T. melanosporum genome, relies on a transplantable C-terminal polypeptide containing an alternating hydrophobic/hydrophilic amino acid motif. A similar moonlighting activity was demonstrated for six additional proteins, suggesting that multitasking is a relatively frequent event. PAPS-red A is sulfur-state-responsive and highly expressed, especially in fruitbodies, and likely acts as a recruiter of transcription components involved in S-metabolism gene network activation. PAPS-red B, instead, is expressed at low levels and localizes to a highly methylated and silenced region of the genome, hinting at an evolutionary mechanism based on gene duplication, followed by epigenetic silencing of this non-moonlighting gene variant. PMID:27121330

  9. Experimental determination of water activity for binary aqueous cerium(III) ionic solutions: application to an assessment of the predictive capability of the binding mean spherical approximation model.

    PubMed

    Ruas, Alexandre; Simonin, Jean-Pierre; Turq, Pierre; Moisy, Philippe

    2005-12-01

    This work is aimed at a description of the thermodynamic properties of actinide salt solutions at high concentration. The predictive capability of the binding mean spherical approximation (BIMSA) theory to describe the thermodynamic properties of electrolytes is assessed in the case of aqueous solutions of lanthanide(III) nitrate and chloride salts. Osmotic coefficients of cerium(III) nitrate and chloride were calculated from other lanthanide(III) salts properties. In parallel, concentrated binary solutions of cerium nitrate were prepared in order to measure experimentally its water activity and density as a function of concentration, at 25 degrees C. Water activities of several binary solutions of cerium chloride were also measured to check existing data on this salt. Then, the properties of cerium chloride and cerium nitrate solutions were compared within the BIMSA model. Osmotic coefficient values for promethium nitrate and promethium chloride given by this theory are proposed. Finally, water activity measurements were made to examine the fact that the ternary system Ce(NO3)3/HNO3/H2O and the quaternary system Ce(NO3)3/HNO3/N2H5NO3/H2O may be regarded as "simple solutions" (in the sense of Zdanovskii and Mikulin).

  10. Identifying functional subdivisions in the human brain using meta-analytic activation modeling-based parcellation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yong; Fan, Lingzhong; Chu, Congying; Zhuo, Junjie; Wang, Jiaojian; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-01-01

    Parcellation of the human brain into fine-grained units by grouping voxels into distinct clusters has been an effective approach for delineating specific brain regions and their subregions. Published neuroimaging studies employing coordinate-based meta-analyses have shown that the activation foci and their corresponding behavioral categories may contain useful information about the anatomical-functional organization of brain regions. Inspired by these developments, we proposed a new parcellation scheme called meta-analytic activation modeling-based parcellation (MAMP) that uses meta-analytically obtained information. The raw meta data, including the experiments and the reported activation coordinates related to a brain region of interest, were acquired from the Brainmap database. Using this data, we first obtained the "modeled activation" pattern by modeling the voxel-wise activation probability given spatial uncertainty for each experiment that featured at least one focus within the region of interest. Then, we processed these "modeled activation" patterns across the experiments with a K-means clustering algorithm to group the voxels into different subregions. In order to verify the reliability of the method, we employed our method to parcellate the amygdala and the left Brodmann area 44 (BA44). The parcellation results were quite consistent with previous cytoarchitectonic and in vivo neuroimaging findings. Therefore, the MAMP proposed in the current study could be a useful complement to other methods for uncovering the functional organization of the human brain.

  11. Running wheel activity restores MPTP-induced functional deficits.

    PubMed

    Fredriksson, Anders; Stigsdotter, Ingels Maria; Hurtig, Anders; Ewalds-Kvist, Béatrice; Archer, Trevor

    2011-03-01

    -Dopa tests. Running wheel activity attenuated markedly the loss of dopamine due to repeated administrations of MPTP. BDNF protein level in the parietal cortex was elevated by the MPTP insult and increased further by physical exercise. Physical running wheel exercise alleviated both the functional and biomarker expressions of MPTP-induced parkinsonism.

  12. Brain Activity Associated with Translation between Graphical and Symbolic Representations of Functions in Generally Gifted and Excelling in Mathematics Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waisman, Ilana; Leikin, Mark; Shaul, Shelley; Leikin, Roza

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we examine the impact and the interplay of general giftedness (G) and excellence in mathematics (EM) on high school students' mathematical performance associated with translations from graphical to symbolic representations of functions, as reflected in cortical electrical activity (by means of ERP--event-related…

  13. Guanosine may increase absence epileptic activity by means of A2A adenosine receptors in Wistar Albino Glaxo Rijswijk rats.

    PubMed

    Lakatos, Renáta Krisztina; Dobolyi, Árpád; Todorov, Mihail Ivilinov; Kékesi, Katalin A; Juhász, Gábor; Aleksza, Magdolna; Kovács, Zsolt

    2016-06-01

    The non-adenosine nucleoside guanosine (Guo) was demonstrated to decrease quinolinic acid(QA)-induced seizures, spontaneously emerged absence epileptic seizures and lipopolysaccharide(LPS)-evoked induction of absence epileptic seizures suggesting its antiepileptic potential. It was also described previously that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 20 and 50mg/kg Guo decreased the number of spike-wave discharges (SWDs) in a well investigated model of human absence epilepsy, the Wistar Albino Glaxo Rijswijk (WAG/Rij) rats during 4th (20mg/kg Guo) and 3rd as well as 4th (50mg/kg Guo) measuring hours. Guanosine can potentially decrease SWD number by means of its putative receptors but absence epileptic activity changing effects of Guo by means of increased extracellular adenosine (Ado) cannot be excluded. An increase in the dose of i.p. injected Guo is limited by its low solubility in saline, therefore, we addressed in the present study whether higher doses of Guo, diluted in sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution, have more potent antiepileptic effect in WAG/Rij rats. We confirmed that i.p. 50mg/kg Guo decreased but, surprisingly, i.p. 100mg/kg Guo enhanced the number of SWDs in WAG/Rij rats. Combined i.p. injection of a non-selective Ado receptor antagonist theophylline (5mg/kg) or a selective Ado A2A receptor (A2AR) antagonist SCH 58261 (7-(2-phenylethyl)-5-amino-2-(2-furyl)-pyrazolo-[4,3-e]-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-c]pyrimidine) (1mg/kg) and a cyclooxygenase 1 and 2/COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitor indomethacin (10mg/kg) with 100mg/kg Guo decreased the SWD number compared to i.p. 100mg/kg Guo alone. The results suggest that i.p. 100mg/kg Guo can increase SWD number by means of the adenosinergic system. PMID:27154620

  14. Structural aspects of calcium-release activated calcium channel function

    PubMed Central

    Stathopulos, Peter B; Ikura, Mitsuhiko

    2013-01-01

    Store-operated calcium (Ca2+) entry is the process by which molecules located on the endo/sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/SR) respond to decreased luminal Ca2+ levels by signaling Ca2+ release activated Ca2+ channels (CRAC) channels to open on the plasma membrane (PM). This activation of PM CRAC channels provides a sustained cytosolic Ca2+ elevation associated with myriad physiological processes. The identities of the molecules which mediate SOCE include stromal interaction molecules (STIMs), functioning as the ER/SR luminal Ca2+ sensors, and Orai proteins, forming the PM CRAC channels. This review examines the current available high-resolution structural information on these CRAC molecular components with particular focus on the solution structures of the luminal STIM Ca2+ sensing domains, the crystal structures of cytosolic STIM fragments, a closed Orai hexameric crystal structure and a structure of an Orai1 N-terminal fragment in complex with calmodulin. The accessible structural data are discussed in terms of potential mechanisms of action and cohesiveness with functional observations. PMID:24213636

  15. "Now I Know I Can Make a Difference": Generativity and Activity Engagement as Predictors of Meaning Making in Adolescents and Emerging Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawford, Heather L.; Ramey, Heather L.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined generativity (concern for future generations as a legacy of the self) and activity engagement as predictors of meaning making in young people's personal accounts of their key activity experiences. We elicited stories regarding events within participants' "most engaging activity," self-reports on generativity, and…

  16. Active chemisorption sites in functionalized ionic liquids for carbon capture.

    PubMed

    Cui, Guokai; Wang, Jianji; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-07-25

    Development of novel technologies for the efficient and reversible capture of CO2 is highly desired. In the last decade, CO2 capture using ionic liquids has attracted intensive attention from both academia and industry, and has been recognized as a very promising technology. Recently, a new approach has been developed for highly efficient capture of CO2 by site-containing ionic liquids through chemical interaction. This perspective review focuses on the recent advances in the chemical absorption of CO2 using site-containing ionic liquids, such as amino-based ionic liquids, azolate ionic liquids, phenolate ionic liquids, dual-functionalized ionic liquids, pyridine-containing ionic liquids and so on. Other site-containing liquid absorbents such as amine-based solutions, switchable solvents, and functionalized ionic liquid-amine blends are also investigated. Strategies have been discussed for how to activate the existent reactive sites and develop novel reactive sites by physical and chemical methods to enhance CO2 absorption capacity and reduce absorption enthalpy. The carbon capture mechanisms of these site-containing liquid absorbents are also presented. Particular attention has been paid to the latest progress in CO2 capture in multiple-site interactions by amino-free anion-functionalized ionic liquids. In the last section, future directions and prospects for carbon capture by site-containing ionic liquids are outlined.

  17. Active chemisorption sites in functionalized ionic liquids for carbon capture.

    PubMed

    Cui, Guokai; Wang, Jianji; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-07-25

    Development of novel technologies for the efficient and reversible capture of CO2 is highly desired. In the last decade, CO2 capture using ionic liquids has attracted intensive attention from both academia and industry, and has been recognized as a very promising technology. Recently, a new approach has been developed for highly efficient capture of CO2 by site-containing ionic liquids through chemical interaction. This perspective review focuses on the recent advances in the chemical absorption of CO2 using site-containing ionic liquids, such as amino-based ionic liquids, azolate ionic liquids, phenolate ionic liquids, dual-functionalized ionic liquids, pyridine-containing ionic liquids and so on. Other site-containing liquid absorbents such as amine-based solutions, switchable solvents, and functionalized ionic liquid-amine blends are also investigated. Strategies have been discussed for how to activate the existent reactive sites and develop novel reactive sites by physical and chemical methods to enhance CO2 absorption capacity and reduce absorption enthalpy. The carbon capture mechanisms of these site-containing liquid absorbents are also presented. Particular attention has been paid to the latest progress in CO2 capture in multiple-site interactions by amino-free anion-functionalized ionic liquids. In the last section, future directions and prospects for carbon capture by site-containing ionic liquids are outlined. PMID:27243042

  18. Cortical activity and functional hyperconnectivity by simultaneous EEG recordings from interacting couples of professional pilots.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, L; Toppi, J; Borghini, G; Vecchiato, G; He, E J; Roy, A; Cincotti, F; Salinari, S; Mattia, D; He, B; Babiloni, F

    2012-01-01

    Controlling an aircraft during a flight is a compelling condition, which requires a strict and well coded interaction between the crew. The interaction level between the Captain and the First Officer changes during the flight, ranging from a maximum (during takeoff and landing, as well as in case of a failure of the instrumentation or other emergency situations) to a minimum during quiet mid-flight. In this study, our aim is to investigate the neural correlates of different kinds and levels of interaction between couples of professional crew members by means of the innovative technique called brain hyperscanning, i.e. the simultaneous recording of the hemodynamic or neuroelectrical activity of different human subjects involved in interaction tasks. This approach allows the observation and modeling of the neural signature specifically dependent on the interaction between subjects, and, even more interestingly, of the functional links existing between the brain activities of the subjects interacting together. In this EEG hyperscanning study, different phases of a flight were reproduced in a professional flight simulator, which allowed, on one side, to reproduce the ecological setting of a real flight, and, on the other, to keep under control the different levels of interaction induced in the crew by means of systematic and simulated failures of the aircraft instrumentation. Results of the procedure of linear inverse estimation, together with functional hyperconnectivity estimated by means of Partial Directed Coherence, showed a dense network of connections between the activity in the two brains in the takeoff and landing phases, when the cooperation between the crew is maximal, while conversely no significant links were shown during the phases in which the activity of the two pilots was independent.

  19. Estimation of spatiotemporal neural activity using radial basis function networks.

    PubMed

    Anderson, R W; Das, S; Keller, E L

    1998-12-01

    We report a method using radial basis function (RBF) networks to estimate the time evolution of population activity in topologically organized neural structures from single-neuron recordings. This is an important problem in neuroscience research, as such estimates may provide insights into systems-level function of these structures. Since single-unit neural data tends to be unevenly sampled and highly variable under similar behavioral conditions, obtaining such estimates is a difficult task. In particular, a class of cells in the superior colliculus called buildup neurons can have very narrow regions of saccade vectors for which they discharge at high rates but very large surround regions over which they discharge at low, but not zero, levels. Estimating the dynamic movement fields for these cells for two spatial dimensions at closely spaced timed intervals is a difficult problem, and no general method has been described that can be applied to all buildup cells. Estimation of individual collicular cells' spatiotemporal movement fields is a prerequisite for obtaining reliable two-dimensional estimates of the population activity on the collicular motor map during saccades. Therefore, we have developed several computational-geometry-based algorithms that regularize the data before computing a surface estimation using RBF networks. The method is then expanded to the problem of estimating simultaneous spatiotemporal activity occurring across the superior colliculus during a single movement (the inverse problem). In principle, this methodology could be applied to any neural structure with a regular, two-dimensional organization, provided a sufficient spatial distribution of sampled neurons is available.

  20. Screened exchange dynamical mean-field theory and its relation to density functional theory: SrVO3 and SrTiO3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Roekeghem, Ambroise; Biermann, Silke

    2014-12-01

    We present the first application of a recently proposed electronic-structure scheme to transition metal oxides: screened exchange dynamical mean-field theory includes non-local exchange beyond the local density approximation and dynamical correlations beyond standard dynamical mean-field theory. Our results for the spectral function of SrVO3 are in agreement with the available experimental data, including photoemission spectroscopy and thermodynamics. Finally, the 3d0 compound SrTiO3 serves as a test case to illustrate how the theory reduces to the band structure of standard electronic-structure techniques for weakly correlated compounds.

  1. Preparation of functionalized and metal-impregnated activated carbon by a single-step activation method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dastgheib, Seyed A.; Ren, Jianli; Rostam-Abadi, Massoud; Chang, Ramsay

    2014-01-01

    A rapid method to prepare functionalized and metal-impregnated activated carbon from coal is described in this paper. A mixture of ferric chloride and a sub-bituminous coal was used to demonstrate simultaneous coal activation, chlorine functionalization, and iron/iron oxides impregnation in the resulting porous carbon products. The FeCl3 concentration in the mixture, the method to prepare the FeCl3-coal mixture (solid mixing or liquid impregnation), and activation atmosphere and temperature impacted the surface area and porosity development, Cl functionalization, and iron species impregnation and dispersion in the carbon products. Samples activated in nitrogen or a simulated flue gas at 600 or 1000 °C for 1-2 min had surface areas up to ∼800 m2/g, bulk iron contents up to 18 wt%, and surface chlorine contents up to 27 wt%. Potential catalytic and adsorption application of the carbon materials was explored in catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO) of phenol and adsorption of ionic mercury from aqueous solutions. Results indicated that impregnated activated carbons outperformed their non-impregnated counterparts in both the CWAO and adsorption tests.

  2. Study to investigate and evaluate means of optimizing the Ku-band communication function for the space shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon, M. K.; Udalov, S.; Huth, G. K.

    1976-01-01

    The forward link of the overall Ku-band communication system consists of the ground- TDRS-orbiter communication path. Because the last segment of the link is directed towards a relatively low orbiting shuttle, a PN code is used to reduce the spectral density. A method is presented for incorporating code acquisition and tracking functions into the orbiter's Ku-band receiver. Optimization of a three channel multiplexing technique is described. The importance of Costas loop parameters to provide false lock immunity for the receiver, and the advantage of using a sinusoidal subcarrier waveform, rather than square wave, are discussed.

  3. Functional consequences of caspase activation in cardiac myocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Communal, Catherine; Sumandea, Marius; de Tombe, Pieter; Narula, Jagat; Solaro, R. John; Hajjar, Roger J.

    2002-04-01

    Cardiomyocyte apoptosis is present in many cardiac disease states, including heart failure and ischemic heart disease. Apoptosis is associated with the activation of caspases that mediate the cleavage of vital and structural proteins. However, the functional contribution of apoptosis to these conditions is not known. Furthermore, in cardiac myocytes, apoptosis may not be complete, allowing the cells to persist for a prolonged period within the myocardium. Therefore, we examined whether caspase-3 cleaved cardiac myofibrillar proteins and, if so, whether it affects contractile function. The effects of caspase-3 were studied in vitro on individual components of the cardiac myofilament including -actin, -actinin, myosin heavy chain, myosin light chain 1/2, tropomyosin, cardiac troponins (T, I, C), and the trimeric troponin complex. Exposure of the myofibrillar protein (listed above) to caspase-3 for 4 h resulted in the cleavage of -actin and -actinin, but not myosin heavy chain, myosin light chain 1/2, and tropomyosin, into three fragments (30, 20, and 15 kDa) and one major fragment (45 kDa), respectively. When cTnT, cTnI, and cTnC were incubated individually with caspase-3, there was no detectable cleavage. However, when the recombinant troponin complex was exposed to caspase-3, cTnT was cleaved, resulting in fragments of 25 kDa. Furthermore, rat cardiac myofilaments exposed to caspase-3 exhibited similar patterns of myofibrillar protein cleavage. Treatment with the caspase inhibitor DEVD-CHO or z-VAD-fmk abolished the cleavage. Myofilaments, isolated from adult rat ventricular myocytes after induction of apoptotic pathway by using -adrenergic stimulation, displayed a similar pattern of actin and TnT cleavage. Exposure of skinned fiber to caspase-3 decreased maximal Ca2+-activated force and myofibrillar ATPase activity. Our results indicate that caspase-3 cleaved myofibrillar proteins, resulting in an impaired force/Ca2+ relationship and myofibrillar ATPase activity

  4. Functional role of lipid rafts in CD20 activity?

    PubMed

    Janas, Eva; Priest, Richard; Malhotra, Rajneesh

    2005-01-01

    CD20 is a B-lymphocyte-specific integral membrane protein, implicated in the regulation of transmembrane calcium conductance, cell-cycle progression and B-lymphocyte proliferation. CD20 is proposed to function as a SOCC (store-operated calcium channel). SOCCs are activated by receptor-stimulated calcium depletion of intracellular stores. Sustained calcium conductivity across the plasma membrane mediated by SOCC activity is required for long-term calcium-dependent processes, such as transcriptional control and gene expression. Cross-linking of CD20 by antibodies (e.g. Rituxan) has been reported to induce a rapid redistribution of CD20 into specialized microdomains at the plasma membrane, known as lipid rafts. Recruitment of CD20 into lipid rafts and its homo-oligomerization are suggested to be crucial for CD20 activity and regulation. This review outlines recent biochemical studies characterizing the role of CD20 in calcium signalling in B-lymphocytes and evaluates an engagement of lipid rafts in the regulation of CD20-mediated calcium conductivity.

  5. Fumigant activity of the Psidium guajava var. pomifera (Myrtaceae) essential oil in Drosophila melanogaster by means of oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Pinho, Antonio Ivanildo; Wallau, Gabriel Luz; Nunes, Mauro Eugenio Medina; Leite, Nadghia Figueiredo; Tintino, Saulo Relison; da Cruz, Litiele Cezar; da Cunha, Francisco Assis Bezerra; da Costa, José Galberto Martins; Douglas Melo Coutinho, Henrique; Posser, Thais; Franco, Jeferson Luis

    2014-01-01

    The guava fruit, Psidium guajava var. pomifera (Myrtaceae family), is a native plant from South America. Its leaves and fruits are widely used in popular medicine in tropical and subtropical countries. Drosophila melanogaster has been used as one of the main model organisms in genetic studies since the 1900s. The extensive knowledge about this species makes it one of the most suitable organisms to study many aspects of toxic compound effects. Due to the lack of studies on the effects of the bioactive compounds present in the P. guajava var. pomifera essential oil, we performed a phytochemical characterization by CG-MS and evaluated the toxicity induced by the essential oil in the D. melanogaster insect model. In order to understand the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity, changes on the Nrf2 signaling as well as hallmarks of oxidative stress response were followed in the exposed flies. Our results showed that exposure of insects to the P. guajava oil increased mortality and locomotor deficits in parallel with an oxidative stress response signaling. Therefore, it suggested a bioinsecticidal activity for P. guajava volatile compounds by means of oxidative stress. Further studies are ongoing to identify which oil compounds are responsible for such effect. PMID:25478063

  6. Fumigant activity of the Psidium guajava var. pomifera (Myrtaceae) essential oil in Drosophila melanogaster by means of oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Pinho, Antonio Ivanildo; Wallau, Gabriel Luz; Nunes, Mauro Eugenio Medina; Leite, Nadghia Figueiredo; Tintino, Saulo Relison; da Cruz, Litiele Cezar; da Cunha, Francisco Assis Bezerra; da Costa, José Galberto Martins; Douglas Melo Coutinho, Henrique; Posser, Thais; Franco, Jeferson Luis

    2014-01-01

    The guava fruit, Psidium guajava var. pomifera (Myrtaceae family), is a native plant from South America. Its leaves and fruits are widely used in popular medicine in tropical and subtropical countries. Drosophila melanogaster has been used as one of the main model organisms in genetic studies since the 1900s. The extensive knowledge about this species makes it one of the most suitable organisms to study many aspects of toxic compound effects. Due to the lack of studies on the effects of the bioactive compounds present in the P. guajava var. pomifera essential oil, we performed a phytochemical characterization by CG-MS and evaluated the toxicity induced by the essential oil in the D. melanogaster insect model. In order to understand the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity, changes on the Nrf2 signaling as well as hallmarks of oxidative stress response were followed in the exposed flies. Our results showed that exposure of insects to the P. guajava oil increased mortality and locomotor deficits in parallel with an oxidative stress response signaling. Therefore, it suggested a bioinsecticidal activity for P. guajava volatile compounds by means of oxidative stress. Further studies are ongoing to identify which oil compounds are responsible for such effect.

  7. Fumigant Activity of the Psidium guajava Var. Pomifera (Myrtaceae) Essential Oil in Drosophila melanogaster by Means of Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Pinho, Antonio Ivanildo; Wallau, Gabriel Luz; Nunes, Mauro Eugenio Medina; Leite, Nadghia Figueiredo; Tintino, Saulo Relison; da Cruz, Litiele Cezar; da Cunha, Francisco Assis Bezerra; da Costa, José Galberto Martins; Douglas Melo Coutinho, Henrique; Posser, Thais

    2014-01-01

    The guava fruit, Psidium guajava var. pomifera (Myrtaceae family), is a native plant from South America. Its leaves and fruits are widely used in popular medicine in tropical and subtropical countries. Drosophila melanogaster has been used as one of the main model organisms in genetic studies since the 1900s. The extensive knowledge about this species makes it one of the most suitable organisms to study many aspects of toxic compound effects. Due to the lack of studies on the effects of the bioactive compounds present in the P. guajava var. pomifera essential oil, we performed a phytochemical characterization by CG-MS and evaluated the toxicity induced by the essential oil in the D. melanogaster insect model. In order to understand the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity, changes on the Nrf2 signaling as well as hallmarks of oxidative stress response were followed in the exposed flies. Our results showed that exposure of insects to the P. guajava oil increased mortality and locomotor deficits in parallel with an oxidative stress response signaling. Therefore, it suggested a bioinsecticidal activity for P. guajava volatile compounds by means of oxidative stress. Further studies are ongoing to identify which oil compounds are responsible for such effect. PMID:25478063

  8. Versatile method for AFM-tip functionalization with biomolecules: fishing a ligand by means of an in situ click reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Rakesh; Ramakrishna, Shivaprakash N.; Naik, Vikrant V.; Chu, Zonglin; Drew, Michael E.; Spencer, Nicholas D.; Yamakoshi, Yoko

    2015-04-01

    A facile and universal method for the functionalization of an AFM tip has been developed for chemical force spectroscopy (CFS) studies of intermolecular interactions of biomolecules. A click reaction between tripod-acetylene and an azide-linker-ligand molecule was successfully carried out on the AFM tip surface and used for the CFS study of ligand-receptor interactions.A facile and universal method for the functionalization of an AFM tip has been developed for chemical force spectroscopy (CFS) studies of intermolecular interactions of biomolecules. A click reaction between tripod-acetylene and an azide-linker-ligand molecule was successfully carried out on the AFM tip surface and used for the CFS study of ligand-receptor interactions. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental details with synthesis and characterization of compounds. Procedures for modifications of Au surfaces and AFM tips. AFM images and full PM-IRRAS spectra of modified surfaces. Detailed procedure for QCM measurement. A table showing ligand-receptor interaction probability. NMR, IR and MS charts. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr01495f

  9. Viscosity contribution to the impurity resistivity of metals by means of the current-density functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazarov, Vladimir U.; Vignale, Giovanni

    2008-03-01

    Within the time-dependent density functional theory formalism we relate the impurity resistivity ρ of a metal to the friction coefficient Q of the metal for the same impurity moving with the infinitesimally small velocity, i.e., ρ=niQ / ne^2 ,1), where ni and ne are the concentrations of the randomly distributed impurities and the valence electrons, respectively. While Eq.(1) occurs trivial within the single-particle theory with the scattering at the statically screened impurities, its general validity within the many-body theory with the dynamical exchange and correlation included presents a progress. We utilize results [1,2] on Q of the electron liquid to put the electron-electron scattering contribution into the terms of the viscosity coefficients [3]. Calculations of the residual resistivity of aluminum as a function of the atomic number of the impurity are performed, improving the agreement with experiment compared to the single- particle theory [4]. [1].V. U. Nazarov, J. M. Pitarke, C. S. Kim, and Y. Takada, Phys. Rev. B 71, 121106(R) (2005). [2].V. U. Nazarov, J. M. Pitarke, Y. Takada, G. Vignale, and Y.-C. Chang, Phys. Rev. B 76, 205103 (2007). [3].G. Vignale, C. A. Ullrich, and S. Conti, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 4878 (1997). [4].M. J. Puska and R. M. Nieminen, Phys. Rev. B 27, 6121 (1983).

  10. Covalent functionalization of reduced graphene oxide with porphyrin by means of diazonium chemistry for nonlinear optical performance

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Aijian; Yu, Wang; Huang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Feng; Song, Jingbao; Song, Yinglin; Long, Lingliang; Cifuentes, Marie P.; Humphrey, Mark G.; Zhang, Long; Shao, Jianda; Zhang, Chi

    2016-01-01

    Reduced graphene oxide (RGO)-porphyrin (TPP) nanohybrids (RGO-TPP 1 and RGO-TPP 2) were prepared by two synthetic routes that involve functionalization of the RGO using diazonium salts. The microscopic structures, morphology, photophysical properties and nonlinear optical performance of the resultant RGO-TPP nanohybrids were investigated. The covalent bonding of the porphyrin-functionalized-RGO nanohybrid materials was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. Attachment of the porphyrin units to the surface of the RGO by diazotization significantly improves the solubility and ease of processing of these RGO-based nanohybrid materials. Ultraviolet/visible absorption and steady-state fluorescence studies indicate considerable π-π interactions and effective photo-induced electron and/or energy transfer between the porphyrin moieties and the extended π-system of RGO. The nonlinear optical properties of RGO-TPP 1 and RGO-TPP 2 were investigated by open-aperture Z-scan measurements at 532 nm with both 4 ns and 21 ps laser pulses, the results showing that the chemical nanohybrids exhibit improved nonlinear optical properties compared to those of the benchmark material C60, and the constituent RGO or porphyrins. PMID:27011265

  11. Situated Meaning-Making of the Human Body: A Study of Elementary School Children's Reasons in Two Different Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lundin, Mattias; Jakobson, Britt

    2014-01-01

    In this text we compare children's expressions in drawings to their statements during interviews, for the purpose of understanding how different situations afford children to make meaning. In specific we study how two different activities interact and afford children to make meaning differently about the human body. The analytic attention is…

  12. 7alpha-Hydroxypregnenolone acts as a neuronal activator to stimulate locomotor activity of breeding newts by means of the dopaminergic system.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, Masahiro; Ukena, Kazuyoshi; Baulieu, Etienne-Emile; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2004-12-01

    It is becoming clear that steroids can be synthesized de novo by the brain and other nervous systems. Such steroids are called neurosteroids, and de novo neurosteroidogenesis from cholesterol is a conserved property of vertebrate brains. In this study, we show that the newt brain actively produces 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone, a previously undescribed amphibian neurosteroid that stimulates locomotor activity. 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone was identified as a most abundant amphibian neurosteroid in the newt brain by using biochemical techniques combined with HPLC, TLC, and GC-MS analyses. The production of 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone in the diencephalon and rhombencephalon was higher than that in the telencephalon and peripheral steroidogenic glands. In addition, 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis in the brain showed marked changes during the annual breeding cycle, with a maximal level in the spring breeding period when locomotor activity of the newt increases. Behavioral analysis of newts in the nonbreeding period demonstrated that administration of this previously undescribed amphibian neurosteroid acutely increased locomotor activity. In vitro analysis further revealed that 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone treatment resulted in a dose-dependent increase in the release of dopamine from cultured brain tissue of nonbreeding newts. The effect of this neurosteroid on locomotion also was abolished by dopamine D(2)-like receptor antagonists. These results indicate that 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone acts as a neuronal activator to stimulate locomotor activity of breeding newts through the dopaminergic system. This study demonstrates a physiological function of 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone that has not been described previously in any vertebrate class. This study also provides findings on the regulatory mechanism of locomotor activity from a unique standpoint.

  13. Osteoinductive activity of insulin-functionalized cell culture surfaces obtained using diazonium chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikulska, Anna; Filipowska, Joanna; Osyczka, Anna; Nowakowska, Maria; Szczubiałka, Krzysztof

    2014-12-01

    Polymeric surfaces suitable for cell culture (DR/Pec) were constructed from diazoresin (DR) and pectin (Pec) in a form of ultrathin films using the layer-by-layer (LbL) technique. The surfaces were functionalized with insulin using diazonium chemistry. Such functionalized surfaces were used to culture human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to assess their suitability for bone tissue engineering and regeneration. The activity of insulin immobilized on the surfaces (DR/Pec/Ins) was compared to that of insulin dissolved in the culture medium. Human MSC grown on insulin-immobilized DR/Pec surfaces displayed increased proliferation and higher osteogenic activity. The latter was determined by means of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, which increases at early stages of osteoblasts differentiation. Insulin dissolved in the culture medium did not stimulate cell proliferation and its osteogenic activity was significantly lower. Addition of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) to the culture medium further increased ALP activity in hMSCs indicating additive osteogenic action of immobilized insulin and rhBMP-2

  14. Synthesis of ZnPc functional layer on QCM biosensor with polystyrene interlayer by means of evaporation techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santjojo, D. J. Djoko H.; Irawan, Yudy S.; Robiandi, Fadli

    2016-03-01

    A ZnPc functional layer has been successfully synthesized on QCM biosensor with polystyrene interlayer. Two evaporation techniques were utilized to deposit the ZnPc on the polystyrene interlayer i.e. liquid evaporation technique and solid evaporation technique. Deposition parameters of each technique affect the thickness and microstructure of layer. Islands structures were produced by liquid evaporation, while fibrous structure was produced by solid evaporation technique.The islands grown from 1,00% ZnPc consist of platelets arranged vertically to the surface. The islands consisting pillars of crystal was obtained from 1,25% ZnPc, while the 1,50% ZnPc produces islands consisting granules. The structures might be related to the composition of the crystals. The fibrous structures are controlled by evaporation rate of the ZnPc.

  15. Enhanced functionality for donor-acceptor oligothiophenes by means of inclusion of BODIPY: synthesis, electrochemistry, photophysics, and model chemistry.

    PubMed

    Collado, Daniel; Casado, Juan; Rodríguez González, Sandra; López Navarrete, Juan T; Suau, Rafael; Perez-Inestrosa, Ezequiel; Pappenfus, Ted M; Raposo, M Manuela M

    2011-01-10

    We have synthesized several new push-pull oligothiophenes based on the boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) moiety as the electron acceptor and the more well-known oligothiophenes substituted with N,N-dialkylamino functions to enhance their electron-donor ability. A complete characterization of the electronic properties has been carried out; it consists of their photophysical, electrochemical, and vibrational properties. The compounds have been studied after chemical treatment with acids and after oxidation. In this regard, they can be termed as NIR dyes and amphoteric redox electroactive molecules. We have described the presence of dual fluorescence in these molecules and fluorescence quenching either by energy transfer or, in the push-pull molecules, by electron exchange. The combination of electrochemical and proton reversibility along with the interesting optical properties of the new species offer an interesting platform for sensor and material applications.

  16. The Serra de Tramuntana World Heritage Site (Mallorca, Spain). Landslide activity valuation by means of Persistent Scatterers Interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateos, Rosa Maria; Bianchini, Silvia; Herrera, Gerardo; Garcia, Inmaculada; Sanabria, Margarita

    2016-04-01

    < -5mm/yr) and seven of them with a potential to produce moderate damage (VSLOPE < -10mm/yr). One of the largest landslides in the range is the Bàlitx landslide (50 million m3 in volume), located on the steep coastal side (Mateos et al., 2013b). Within the landslide body, Roman cistern and old terrace walls have been identified. Numerous geomorphological features identified in its displaced mass (cracks, shallow slides and rockfalls) reveal that the landslide has not yet reached a state of equilibrium. Additionally, field observations determine that the northeastern sector of Bàlitx shows major activity signs. DInSAR results reveal that the rate of movement for the Bàlitx landslide is extremely low (- 5mm /yr on average) that could be interpreted as the residual displacement of the deep-seated rockslide. A major activity has also been detected in the northeastern sector of Bàlitx with the PSI technique, where velocities rates are slightly over -5 mm/yr. The outcomes of this work reveal the usefulness of landslide activity maps for environmental planning activities in cultural heritage sites. References: Bianchini S, Herrera G, Mateos RM, Notti D, García-Moreno I, Mora O, Moretti S (2013). Landslide Activity Maps Generation by means of Persistent Scattered Interferometry. Remote Sensing 5:6198-6222. Mateos R.M., García-Moreno I., Herrera G., Mulas J (2013) a. Damage caused by recent mass-movements in Majorca (Spain), a region with a high risk due to tourism. Landslide Science and Practice. Claudio Margottini, Paolo Canuti and Kyoji Sassa (Editors). Volume 7: Social and Economic Impact and Policies. 105-113. Mateos RM, Rodríguez-Peces M, Azañón JM, Rodríguez-Fernández FJ, Roldán FJ, García-Moreno I, Gelabert B, García-Mayordomo J (2013)b. El deslizamiento de Bàlitx (Mallorca) y su posible origen sísmico. Procesos activos desde el Pleistoceno superior. Boletín Geológico y Minero, 124 (1): 41-61

  17. The Serra de Tramuntana World Heritage Site (Mallorca, Spain). Landslide activity valuation by means of Persistent Scatterers Interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateos, Rosa Maria; Bianchini, Silvia; Herrera, Gerardo; Garcia, Inmaculada; Sanabria, Margarita

    2016-04-01

    < ‑5mm/yr) and seven of them with a potential to produce moderate damage (VSLOPE < ‑10mm/yr). One of the largest landslides in the range is the Bàlitx landslide (50 million m3 in volume), located on the steep coastal side (Mateos et al., 2013b). Within the landslide body, Roman cistern and old terrace walls have been identified. Numerous geomorphological features identified in its displaced mass (cracks, shallow slides and rockfalls) reveal that the landslide has not yet reached a state of equilibrium. Additionally, field observations determine that the northeastern sector of Bàlitx shows major activity signs. DInSAR results reveal that the rate of movement for the Bàlitx landslide is extremely low (- 5mm /yr on average) that could be interpreted as the residual displacement of the deep-seated rockslide. A major activity has also been detected in the northeastern sector of Bàlitx with the PSI technique, where velocities rates are slightly over -5 mm/yr. The outcomes of this work reveal the usefulness of landslide activity maps for environmental planning activities in cultural heritage sites. References: Bianchini S, Herrera G, Mateos RM, Notti D, García-Moreno I, Mora O, Moretti S (2013). Landslide Activity Maps Generation by means of Persistent Scattered Interferometry. Remote Sensing 5:6198-6222. Mateos R.M., García-Moreno I., Herrera G., Mulas J (2013) a. Damage caused by recent mass-movements in Majorca (Spain), a region with a high risk due to tourism. Landslide Science and Practice. Claudio Margottini, Paolo Canuti and Kyoji Sassa (Editors). Volume 7: Social and Economic Impact and Policies. 105-113. Mateos RM, Rodríguez-Peces M, Azañón JM, Rodríguez-Fernández FJ, Roldán FJ, García-Moreno I, Gelabert B, García-Mayordomo J (2013)b. El deslizamiento de Bàlitx (Mallorca) y su posible origen sísmico. Procesos activos desde el Pleistoceno superior. Boletín Geológico y Minero, 124 (1): 41-61

  18. Design Features for Linguistically-Mediated Meaning Construction: The Relative Roles of the Linguistic and Conceptual Systems in Subserving the Ideational Function of Language

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Vyvyan

    2016-01-01

    Recent research in language and cognitive science proposes that the linguistic system evolved to provide an “executive” control system on the evolutionarily more ancient conceptual system (e.g., Barsalou et al., 2008; Evans, 2009, 2015a,b; Bergen, 2012). In short, the claim is that embodied representations in the linguistic system interface with non-linguistic representations in the conceptual system, facilitating rich meanings, or simulations, enabling linguistically mediated communication. In this paper I build on these proposals by examining the nature of what I identify as design features for this control system. In particular, I address how the ideational function of language—our ability to deploy linguistic symbols to convey meanings of great complexity—is facilitated. The central proposal of this paper is as follows. The linguistic system of any given language user, of any given linguistic system—spoken or signed—facilitates access to knowledge representation—concepts—in the conceptual system, which subserves this ideational function. In the most general terms, the human meaning-making capacity is underpinned by two distinct, although tightly coupled representational systems: the conceptual system and the linguistic system. Each system contributes to meaning construction in qualitatively distinct ways. This leads to the first design feature: given that the two systems are representational—they are populated by semantic representations—the nature and function of the representations are qualitatively different. This proposed design feature I term the bifurcation in semantic representation. After all, it stands to reason that if a linguistic system has a different function, vis-à-vis the conceptual system, which is of far greater evolutionary antiquity, then the semantic representations will be complementary, and as such, qualitatively different, reflecting the functional distinctions of the two systems, in collectively giving rise to

  19. Design Features for Linguistically-Mediated Meaning Construction: The Relative Roles of the Linguistic and Conceptual Systems in Subserving the Ideational Function of Language.

    PubMed

    Evans, Vyvyan

    2016-01-01

    Recent research in language and cognitive science proposes that the linguistic system evolved to provide an "executive" control system on the evolutionarily more ancient conceptual system (e.g., Barsalou et al., 2008; Evans, 2009, 2015a,b; Bergen, 2012). In short, the claim is that embodied representations in the linguistic system interface with non-linguistic representations in the conceptual system, facilitating rich meanings, or simulations, enabling linguistically mediated communication. In this paper I build on these proposals by examining the nature of what I identify as design features for this control system. In particular, I address how the ideational function of language-our ability to deploy linguistic symbols to convey meanings of great complexity-is facilitated. The central proposal of this paper is as follows. The linguistic system of any given language user, of any given linguistic system-spoken or signed-facilitates access to knowledge representation-concepts-in the conceptual system, which subserves this ideational function. In the most general terms, the human meaning-making capacity is underpinned by two distinct, although tightly coupled representational systems: the conceptual system and the linguistic system. Each system contributes to meaning construction in qualitatively distinct ways. This leads to the first design feature: given that the two systems are representational-they are populated by semantic representations-the nature and function of the representations are qualitatively different. This proposed design feature I term the bifurcation in semantic representation. After all, it stands to reason that if a linguistic system has a different function, vis-à-vis the conceptual system, which is of far greater evolutionary antiquity, then the semantic representations will be complementary, and as such, qualitatively different, reflecting the functional distinctions of the two systems, in collectively giving rise to meaning. I consider the

  20. Design Features for Linguistically-Mediated Meaning Construction: The Relative Roles of the Linguistic and Conceptual Systems in Subserving the Ideational Function of Language.

    PubMed

    Evans, Vyvyan

    2016-01-01

    Recent research in language and cognitive science proposes that the linguistic system evolved to provide an "executive" control system on the evolutionarily more ancient conceptual system (e.g., Barsalou et al., 2008; Evans, 2009, 2015a,b; Bergen, 2012). In short, the claim is that embodied representations in the linguistic system interface with non-linguistic representations in the conceptual system, facilitating rich meanings, or simulations, enabling linguistically mediated communication. In this paper I build on these proposals by examining the nature of what I identify as design features for this control system. In particular, I address how the ideational function of language-our ability to deploy linguistic symbols to convey meanings of great complexity-is facilitated. The central proposal of this paper is as follows. The linguistic system of any given language user, of any given linguistic system-spoken or signed-facilitates access to knowledge representation-concepts-in the conceptual system, which subserves this ideational function. In the most general terms, the human meaning-making capacity is underpinned by two distinct, although tightly coupled representational systems: the conceptual system and the linguistic system. Each system contributes to meaning construction in qualitatively distinct ways. This leads to the first design feature: given that the two systems are representational-they are populated by semantic representations-the nature and function of the representations are qualitatively different. This proposed design feature I term the bifurcation in semantic representation. After all, it stands to reason that if a linguistic system has a different function, vis-à-vis the conceptual system, which is of far greater evolutionary antiquity, then the semantic representations will be complementary, and as such, qualitatively different, reflecting the functional distinctions of the two systems, in collectively giving rise to meaning. I consider the

  1. A comparison of mean parotid gland dose with measures of parotid gland function after radiotherapy for head-and-neck cancer: Implications for future trials

    SciTech Connect

    Roesink, Judith M. . E-mail: J.M.Roesink@azu.nl; Schipper, Maria; Busschers, Wim; Raaijmakers, Cornelis P.J.; Terhaard, Chris H.J.

    2005-11-15

    Purpose: To determine the most adequate parameter to measure the consequences of reducing the parotid gland dose. Methods and Materials: One hundred eight patients treated with radiotherapy for various malignancies of the head and neck were prospectively evaluated using three methods. Parotid gland function was objectively determined by measuring stimulated parotid flow using Lashley cups and scintigraphy. To assess xerostomia-related quality of life, the head-and-neck cancer module European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ (Quality of Life Questionnaire) H and N35 was used. Measurements took place before radiotherapy and 6 weeks and 12 months after the completion of radiotherapy. Complication was defined for each method using cutoff values. The correlation between these complications and the mean parotid gland dose was investigated to find the best measure for parotid gland function. Results: For both flow and scintigraphy data, the best definition for objective parotid gland toxicity seemed to be reduction of stimulated parotid flow to {<=}25% of the preradiotherapy flow. Of all the subjective variables, only the single item dry mouth 6 weeks after radiotherapy was found to be significant. The best correlation with the mean parotid gland dose was found for the stimulated flow measurements. The predictive ability was the highest for the time point 1 year after radiotherapy. Subjective findings did not correlate with the mean parotid dose. Conclusions: Stimulated flow measurements using Lashley cups, with a complication defined as flow {<=}25% of the preradiotherapy output, correlated best with the mean parotid gland dose. When reduction of the mean dose to the parotid gland is intended, the stimulated flow measurement is the best method for evaluating parotid gland function.

  2. Metabolically active functional food ingredients for weight control.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, E M R; Mela, D J

    2006-02-01

    The scale of the obesity epidemic creates a pressing consumer need as well as an enormous business opportunity for successful development and marketing of food products with added benefits for weight control. A number of proposed functional food ingredients have been shown to act post-absorptively to influence substrate utilization or thermogenesis. Characteristics and supporting data on conjugated linoleic acid, diglycerides, medium-chain triglycerides, green tea, ephedrine, caffeine, capsaicin and calcium, are reviewed here, giving examples of how these could act to alter energy expenditure or appetite control. Consideration is also given to other factors, in addition to efficacy, which must be satisfied to get such ingredients into foods. We conclude that, for each of the safe, putatively metabolically active agents, there remain gaps in clinical evidence or knowledge of mechanisms, which need to be addressed in order to specify the dietary conditions and food product compositions where these ingredients could be of most benefit for weight control. PMID:16436103

  3. What are antibiotics? Archaic functions for modern activities.

    PubMed

    Davies, J

    1990-08-01

    Secondary metabolites are proposed to have played important roles in the evolution of the reactions of living forms on earth, in effecting and modulating reactions during biochemical evolution by chemical and structural interaction with 'receptor' sites in primitive macromolecular templates. For example, in the evolution of the translation system, as the polymerizing reactions became more complex and proteins became involved, the low molecular-weight effectors were functionally replaced by polypeptides, but retained their ability to interact with receptor sites in nucleic acids and proteins. Many of these low molecular-weight effectors now play a different role, that of antagonists, by interacting with the original receptor sites in macromolecular structures; this explains their contemporary activity as antibiotics.

  4. Bipartite functions of the CREB co-activators selectively direct alternative splicing or transcriptional activation.

    PubMed

    Amelio, Antonio L; Caputi, Massimo; Conkright, Michael D

    2009-09-16

    The CREB regulated transcription co-activators (CRTCs) regulate many biological processes by integrating and converting environmental inputs into transcriptional responses. Although the mechanisms by which CRTCs sense cellular signals are characterized, little is known regarding how CRTCs contribute to the regulation of cAMP inducible genes. Here we show that these dynamic regulators, unlike other co-activators, independently direct either pre-mRNA splice-site selection or transcriptional activation depending on the cell type or promoter context. Moreover, in other scenarios, the CRTC co-activators coordinately regulate transcription and splicing. Mutational analyses showed that CRTCs possess distinct functional domains responsible for regulating either pre-mRNA splicing or transcriptional activation. Interestingly, the CRTC1-MAML2 oncoprotein lacks the splicing domain and is incapable of altering splice-site selection despite robustly activating transcription. The differential usage of these distinct domains allows CRTCs to selectively mediate multiple facets of gene regulation, indicating that co-activators are not solely restricted to coordinating alternative splicing with increase in transcriptional activity.

  5. Sympathetic activation and nitric oxide function in early hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Okamoto, Luis E.; Diedrich, André; Choi, Leena; Robertson, David; Farley, Ginnie; Paranjape, Sachin; Biaggioni, Italo

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if tonic restrain of blood pressure by nitric oxide (NO) is impaired early in the development of hypertension. Impaired NO function is thought to contribute to hypertension, but it is not clear if this is explained by direct effects of NO on vascular tone or indirect modulation of sympathetic activity. We determined the blood pressure effect of NO synthase inhibition with Nω-monomethyl-l-arginine (l-NMMA) during autonomic blockade with trimethaphan to eliminate baroreflex buffering and NO modulation of autonomic tone. In this setting, impaired NO modulation of vascular tone would be reflected as a blunted pressor response to l-NMMA. We enrolled a total of 66 subjects (39 ± 1.3 yr old, 30 females), 20 normotensives, 20 prehypertensives (blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg), 17 hypertensives, and 9 smokers (included as “positive” controls of impaired NO function). Trimethaphan normalized blood pressure in hypertensives, suggesting increased sympathetic tone contributing to hypertension. In contrast, l-NMMA produced similar increases in systolic blood pressure in normal, prehypertensive, and hypertensive subjects (31 ± 2, 32 ± 2, and 30 ± 3 mmHg, respectively), whereas the response of smokers was blunted (16 ± 5 mmHg, P = 0.012). Our results suggest that sympathetic activity plays a role in hypertension. NO tonically restrains blood pressure by ∼30 mmHg, but we found no evidence of impaired modulation by NO of vascular tone contributing to the early development of hypertension. If NO deficiency contributes to hypertension, it is likely to be through its modulation of the autonomic nervous system, which was excluded in this study. PMID:22287587

  6. Formation of Kokumi-Enhancing γ-Glutamyl Dipeptides in Parmesan Cheese by Means of γ-Glutamyltransferase Activity and Stable Isotope Double-Labeling Studies.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Hedda; Behr, Jürgen; Ehrmann, Matthias A; Vogel, Rudi F; Hofmann, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    Recently, γ-glutamyl dipeptides (γ-GPs) were found to be responsible for the attractive kokumi flavor of Parmesan cheese (PC). Quantitation of γ-GPs and their parent amino acids in 13-, 24-, and 30-month ripened PC samples by LC-MS/MS and stable isotope dilution analysis (SIDA), in-cheese (13)C-labeling studies, followed by analysis of the γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity revealed γ-GPs to be generated most efficiently after 24 months of ripening by a GGT-catalyzed transfer of the γ-glutamyl moiety of L-glutamine onto various acceptor amino acids released upon casein proteolysis. Following the identification of milk as a potential GGT source in PC, the functionality of the milk's GGT to generate the target γ-GPs was validated by stable isotope double-labeling (SIDL) experiments. Therefore, raw and heat-treated milk samples were incubated with L-glutamine-[U-(13)C] and acceptor amino acids (X) and the hetero- (γ-Glu-[(13)C5]-X) and homotranspeptidation products (γ-Glu-Gln-[(13)C10]) were quantitated by LC-MS/MS-SIDA using γ-Glu-Ala-[(13)C3] as the internal standard. High GGT activity to generate the γ-GPs and preference for L-phenylalanine and L-methionine as acceptor amino acids were found in raw milk and milk samples heat-treated for 10 min up to a maximum of 65 °C. In comparison, GGT activity and SIDL studies performed with inoculated Lactobacillus strains, including Lactobacillus harbinensis and Lactobacillus casei identified in PC by means of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, did not show any significant GGT activity and unequivocally demonstrated unpasteurized cow's milk, rather than microorganisms, as a key factor in γ-glutamyl dipeptide generation in Parmesan cheese.

  7. Formation of Kokumi-Enhancing γ-Glutamyl Dipeptides in Parmesan Cheese by Means of γ-Glutamyltransferase Activity and Stable Isotope Double-Labeling Studies.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Hedda; Behr, Jürgen; Ehrmann, Matthias A; Vogel, Rudi F; Hofmann, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    Recently, γ-glutamyl dipeptides (γ-GPs) were found to be responsible for the attractive kokumi flavor of Parmesan cheese (PC). Quantitation of γ-GPs and their parent amino acids in 13-, 24-, and 30-month ripened PC samples by LC-MS/MS and stable isotope dilution analysis (SIDA), in-cheese (13)C-labeling studies, followed by analysis of the γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity revealed γ-GPs to be generated most efficiently after 24 months of ripening by a GGT-catalyzed transfer of the γ-glutamyl moiety of L-glutamine onto various acceptor amino acids released upon casein proteolysis. Following the identification of milk as a potential GGT source in PC, the functionality of the milk's GGT to generate the target γ-GPs was validated by stable isotope double-labeling (SIDL) experiments. Therefore, raw and heat-treated milk samples were incubated with L-glutamine-[U-(13)C] and acceptor amino acids (X) and the hetero- (γ-Glu-[(13)C5]-X) and homotranspeptidation products (γ-Glu-Gln-[(13)C10]) were quantitated by LC-MS/MS-SIDA using γ-Glu-Ala-[(13)C3] as the internal standard. High GGT activity to generate the γ-GPs and preference for L-phenylalanine and L-methionine as acceptor amino acids were found in raw milk and milk samples heat-treated for 10 min up to a maximum of 65 °C. In comparison, GGT activity and SIDL studies performed with inoculated Lactobacillus strains, including Lactobacillus harbinensis and Lactobacillus casei identified in PC by means of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, did not show any significant GGT activity and unequivocally demonstrated unpasteurized cow's milk, rather than microorganisms, as a key factor in γ-glutamyl dipeptide generation in Parmesan cheese. PMID:26866784

  8. Functional, biophysical, and structural bases for antibacterial activity of tigecycline.

    PubMed

    Olson, Matthew W; Ruzin, Alexey; Feyfant, Eric; Rush, Thomas S; O'Connell, John; Bradford, Patricia A

    2006-06-01

    Tigecycline is a novel glycylcycline antibiotic that possesses broad-spectrum activity against many clinically relevant species of bacterial pathogens. The mechanism of action of tigecycline was delineated using functional, biophysical, and molecular modeling experiments in this study. Functional assays showed that tigecycline specifically inhibits bacterial protein synthesis with potency 3- and 20-fold greater than that of minocycline and tetracycline, respectively. Biophysical analyses demonstrated that isolated ribosomes bind tigecycline, minocycline, and tetracycline with dissociation constant values of 10(-8), 10(-7), and >10(-6) M, respectively. A molecular model of tigecycline bound to the ribosome was generated with the aid of a 3.40-angstrom resolution X-ray diffraction structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit from Thermus thermophilus. This model places tigecycline in the A site of the 30S subunit and involves substantial interactions with residues of H34 of the ribosomal subunit. These interactions were not observed in a model of tetracycline binding. Modeling data were consistent with the biochemical and biophysical data generated in this and other recent studies and suggested that tigecycline binds to bacterial ribosomes in a novel way that allows it to overcome tetracycline resistance due to ribosomal protection.

  9. Active plasma resonance spectroscopy: a functional analytic description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapke, M.; Oberrath, J.; Mussenbrock, T.; Brinkmann, R. P.

    2013-04-01

    The term ‘active plasma resonance spectroscopy’ denotes a class of diagnostic methods which employ the ability of plasmas to resonate on or near the plasma frequency. The basic idea dates back to the early days of discharge physics: a signal in the GHz range is coupled to the plasma via an electrical probe; the spectral response is recorded, and then evaluated with a mathematical model to obtain information on the electron density and other plasma parameters. In recent years, the concept has found renewed interest as a basis of industry compatible plasma diagnostics. This paper analyzes the diagnostic technique in terms of a general description based on functional analytic (or Hilbert Space) methods which hold for arbitrary probe geometries. It is shown that the response function of the plasma-probe system can be expressed as a matrix element of the resolvent of an appropriately defined dynamical operator. A specialization of the formalism to a symmetric probe design is given, as well as an interpretation in terms of a lumped circuit model consisting of series resonance circuits. We present ideas for an optimized probe design based on geometric and electrical symmetry.

  10. Sexual Function, Activity, and Satisfaction among Women Receiving Maintenance Hemodialysis

    PubMed Central

    Mor, Maria K.; Sevick, Mary Ann; Shields, Anne Marie; Green, Jamie A.; Palevsky, Paul M.; Arnold, Robert M.; Fine, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background and objectives Past studies that demonstrated that sexual dysfunction is common among women receiving chronic hemodialysis did not distinguish sexual dysfunction/difficulty from sexual inactivity. This study sought to differentiate these in order to elucidate the prevalence of true “sexual dysfunction” in this population. Design, setting, participants, & measurements As part of a clinical trial of symptom management strategies in patients receiving chronic hemodialysis, female sexual function was prospectively assessed monthly for 6 months and quarterly thereafter using the Female Sexual Function Index, to which questions were added differentiating sexual dysfunction/difficulty from sexual inactivity. Beginning in month 7, patients were asked three questions about sexual activity, difficulty, and satisfaction monthly. Results Of the women enrolled in the clinical trial,125 participants completed 1721 assessments between 2009 and 2011. Scores on 574 of 643 (89%) quarterly Female Sexual Function Index assessments were consistent with sexual dysfunction, due largely to sexual inactivity, which was reported on 525 (82%) quarterly assessments. When reported (n=1663), the most frequently described reasons for sexual inactivity were lack of interest in sex (n=715; 43%) and lack of a partner (n=647; 39%), but rarely sexual difficulty (n=36; 2%). When reported (n=1582), women were moderately to very satisfied with their sexual life on 1020 (64%) assessments and on 513 of 671 (76%) assessments in which lack of interest was cited as a reason for sexual inactivity. Women indicated an interest in learning about the causes of and treatment for sexual dysfunction on just 5% of all assessments. Conclusions Although many women receiving chronic hemodialysis are sexually inactive, few describe sexual difficulty. Most, including those with a lack of interest in sex, are satisfied with their sexual life and few wish to learn about treatment options. These

  11. Label-free photoelectrochemical detection of double-stranded HIV DNA by means of a metallointercalator-functionalized electrogenerated polymer.

    PubMed

    Haddache, Fatima; Le Goff, Alan; Reuillard, Bertrand; Gorgy, Karine; Gondran, Chantal; Spinelli, Nicolas; Defrancq, Eric; Cosnier, Serge

    2014-11-17

    The design of photoactive functionalized electrodes for the sensitive transduction of double-stranded DNA hybridization is reported. Multifunctional complex [Ru(bpy-pyrrole)2 (dppn)](2+) (bpy-pyrrole=4-methyl-4'-butylpyrrole-2,2'-bipyridine, dppn=benzo[i]dipyrido[3,2-a:2',3'-c]phenazine) exhibiting photosensitive, DNA-intercalating, and electropolymerizable properties was synthesized and characterized. The pyrrole groups undergo oxidative electropolymerization on planar electrodes forming a metallopolymer layer on the electrode. Thanks to the photoelectrochemical and intercalating properties of the immobilized Ru(II) complex, the binding of a double-stranded HIV DNA target was photoelectrochemically detected on planar electrodes. Photocurrent generation through visible irradiation was correlated to the interaction between double-stranded DNA and the metallointercalator polymer. These interactions were well fitted by using a Langmuir isotherm, which allowed a dissociation constant of 2×10(6)  L mol(-1) to be estimated. The low detection limit of 1 fmol L(-1) and sensitivity of 0.01 units per decade demonstrate excellent suitability of these modified electrodes for detection of duplex DNA.

  12. The Meaning of Meaning, Etc.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nilsen, Don L. F.

    This paper attempts to dispel a number of misconceptions about the nature of meaning, namely that: (1) synonyms are words that have the same meanings, (2) antonyms are words that have opposite meanings, (3) homonyms are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings, (4) converses are antonyms rather than synonyms, (5)…

  13. Relationship between physical activity and function in elderly patients discharged after surgical treatment for gastrointestinal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Hara, Tsuyoshi; Kubo, Akira

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to observe changes in physical activity (PA) from before surgery to after discharge among elderly patients with gastrointestinal cancer and to examine the relationships between PA, function, and physique after discharge in these patients. [Subjects and Methods] The study participants were 18 elderly patients who underwent surgical treatment for gastrointestinal cancer [10 males and 8 females, aged 71.4 ± 4.2 years (mean ± SD)]. We evaluated patients’ PA, function, and physique before surgery and after discharge. Calorie consumption as calculated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short version was measured for PA. Isometric knee extension force (IKEF), the timed up and go test (TUGT), and the 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) were measured for function. The body mass index (BMI) was calculated for physique. [Results] Significant declines in PA and BMI were observed after discharge among the study participants. In addition, a significant correlation between PA and IKEF was observed in the discharge phase. [Conclusion] These results suggest that PA after discharge is significantly less than that before surgery and related to the functioning of the lower extremities in the same period in elderly patients who undergo surgical treatment for gastrointestinal cancer. PMID:26504327

  14. Physical activity, functional capacity, and step variability during walking in people with lower-limb amputation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Suh-Jen; Winston, Katie D; Mitchell, Jill; Girlinghouse, Jacob; Crochet, Karleigh

    2014-01-01

    Physical activity is important for general health. For an individual with amputation to sustain physical activity, certain functional capacity might be needed. Gait variability is related to the incidence of falls. This study explored the relationship between physical activity and a few common performance measures (six-minute walk test, step length variability, step width variability, and comfortable walking speed) in individuals with unilateral lower-limb amputation. Twenty individuals completed the study (age: 50±11yrs). Twelve of them had transtibial amputation, seven had transfemoral amputation, and one had through-knee amputation. Gait data was collected by the GaitRite instrumented walkway while participants performed a 3-min comfortable walking trial followed by a six-minute walk test. Physical activity was indicated by the mean of 7-day step counts via a pedometer. Gait variability was calculated by the coefficient of variation. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted between physical activity level and the 4 performance measures. Significance level was set at 0.05. Physical activity correlates strongly to comfortable walking speed (r=0.76), six-minute walk distance (r=0.67), and correlates fairly to step width variability (r=0.44). On the contrary, physical activity is inversely related to step length variability of the prosthetic leg (r=-0.46) and of the sound leg (r=-0.47). Having better functional capacity and lateral stability might enable an individual with lower-limb amputation to engage in a higher physical activity level, or vise versa. However, our conclusions are only preliminary as limited by the small sample size. PMID:24731451

  15. Physical activity, functional capacity, and step variability during walking in people with lower-limb amputation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Suh-Jen; Winston, Katie D; Mitchell, Jill; Girlinghouse, Jacob; Crochet, Karleigh

    2014-01-01

    Physical activity is important for general health. For an individual with amputation to sustain physical activity, certain functional capacity might be needed. Gait variability is related to the incidence of falls. This study explored the relationship between physical activity and a few common performance measures (six-minute walk test, step length variability, step width variability, and comfortable walking speed) in individuals with unilateral lower-limb amputation. Twenty individuals completed the study (age: 50±11yrs). Twelve of them had transtibial amputation, seven had transfemoral amputation, and one had through-knee amputation. Gait data was collected by the GaitRite instrumented walkway while participants performed a 3-min comfortable walking trial followed by a six-minute walk test. Physical activity was indicated by the mean of 7-day step counts via a pedometer. Gait variability was calculated by the coefficient of variation. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted between physical activity level and the 4 performance measures. Significance level was set at 0.05. Physical activity correlates strongly to comfortable walking speed (r=0.76), six-minute walk distance (r=0.67), and correlates fairly to step width variability (r=0.44). On the contrary, physical activity is inversely related to step length variability of the prosthetic leg (r=-0.46) and of the sound leg (r=-0.47). Having better functional capacity and lateral stability might enable an individual with lower-limb amputation to engage in a higher physical activity level, or vise versa. However, our conclusions are only preliminary as limited by the small sample size.

  16. Functional differences between junctional and extrajunctional adrenergic receptor activation in mammalian ventricle

    PubMed Central

    Ajijola, Olujimi A.; Vaseghi, Marmar; Zhou, Wei; Yamakawa, Kentaro; Benharash, Peyman; Hadaya, Joseph; Lux, Robert L.; Mahajan, Aman

    2013-01-01

    Increased cardiac sympathetic activation worsens dispersion of repolarization and is proarrhythmic. The functional differences between intrinsic nerve stimulation and adrenergic receptor activation remain incompletely understood. This study was undertaken to determine the functional differences between efferent cardiac sympathetic nerve stimulation and direct adrenergic receptor activation in porcine ventricles. Female Yorkshire pigs (n = 13) underwent surgical exposure of the heart and stellate ganglia. A 56-electrode sock was placed over the ventricles to record epicardial electrograms. Animals underwent bilateral sympathetic stimulation (BSS) (n = 8) or norepinephrine (NE) administration (n = 5). Activation recovery intervals (ARIs) were measured at each electrode before and during BSS or NE. The degree of ARI shortening during BSS or NE administration was used as a measure of functional nerve or adrenergic receptor density. During BSS, ARI shortening was nonuniform across the epicardium (F value 9.62, P = 0.003), with ARI shortening greatest in the mid-basal lateral right ventricle and least in the midposterior left ventricle (LV) (mean normalized values: 0.9 ± 0.08 vs. 0.56 ± 0.08; P = 0.03). NE administration resulted in greater ARI shortening in the LV apex than basal segments [0.91 ± 0.04 vs. 0.63 ± 0.05 (averaged basal segments); P = 0.003]. Dispersion of ARIs increased in 50% and 60% of the subjects undergoing BSS and NE, respectively, but decreased in the others. There is nonuniform response to cardiac sympathetic activation of both porcine ventricles, which is not fully explained by adrenergic receptor density. Different pools of adrenergic receptors may mediate the cardiac electrophysiological effects of efferent sympathetic nerve activity and circulating catecholamines. PMID:23241324

  17. Associations of Monitor-Assessed Activity with Performance-Based Physical Function

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Natasha; Daly, Robin M.; Winkler, Elisabeth A. H.; Gardiner, Paul A.; Eakin, Elizabeth G.; Owen, Neville; Dunstan, David W.; Healy, Genevieve N.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the cross-sectional associations of monitor-derived measures of sedentary time and physical activity with performance-based physical function in healthy Australian adults. Data from 602 participants (mean age 58.1±10.0 years; 58% female) from the 2011/12 wave of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab3) study were analyzed. The thigh-worn activPAL3™ monitor (7-days continuous wear) was used to derive time during waking hours spent: sitting/reclining; standing; and, stepping (overall, and separately as light [<3 METs] and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA; ≥3 METs]), and number of sit-stand transitions. Associations of these (in hours/day, or 15 transitions/day) with physical function measures (8ft Timed Up and Go [TUG-8; log-transformed seconds] and Knee Extensor Strength [KES; kg]) were tested via linear regression, adjusting for confounders. Interactions by sex and age-category (<45; 45–54; 55–64; ≥65 years) were tested. In all participants, KES was significantly (p<0.05) associated with stepping and MVPA stepping only; none of the activity measures were associated with TUG-8. However, subgroup analysis revealed that in older adults (≥65 years), TUG-8 was associated with stepping and MVPA stepping (both p<0.05). All associations with sitting time, standing, sit-stand transition and sex interactions were not statistically significant. In summary, sitting time was not significantly associated with impaired muscle strength or gait/mobility in Australian adults aged 36–80 years, but light- to moderate activity (stepping) was positively associated with muscle strength, and gait/mobility in older adults aged ≥65 years. The direction of causation is not known and remains important to investigate considering the high prevalence of both poor function and limited activity in older age. PMID:27073888

  18. Associations of Monitor-Assessed Activity with Performance-Based Physical Function.

    PubMed

    Reid, Natasha; Daly, Robin M; Winkler, Elisabeth A H; Gardiner, Paul A; Eakin, Elizabeth G; Owen, Neville; Dunstan, David W; Healy, Genevieve N

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the cross-sectional associations of monitor-derived measures of sedentary time and physical activity with performance-based physical function in healthy Australian adults. Data from 602 participants (mean age 58.1±10.0 years; 58% female) from the 2011/12 wave of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab3) study were analyzed. The thigh-worn activPAL3™ monitor (7-days continuous wear) was used to derive time during waking hours spent: sitting/reclining; standing; and, stepping (overall, and separately as light [<3 METs] and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA; ≥3 METs]), and number of sit-stand transitions. Associations of these (in hours/day, or 15 transitions/day) with physical function measures (8ft Timed Up and Go [TUG-8; log-transformed seconds] and Knee Extensor Strength [KES; kg]) were tested via linear regression, adjusting for confounders. Interactions by sex and age-category (<45; 45-54; 55-64; ≥65 years) were tested. In all participants, KES was significantly (p<0.05) associated with stepping and MVPA stepping only; none of the activity measures were associated with TUG-8. However, subgroup analysis revealed that in older adults (≥65 years), TUG-8 was associated with stepping and MVPA stepping (both p<0.05). All associations with sitting time, standing, sit-stand transition and sex interactions were not statistically significant. In summary, sitting time was not significantly associated with impaired muscle strength or gait/mobility in Australian adults aged 36-80 years, but light- to moderate activity (stepping) was positively associated with muscle strength, and gait/mobility in older adults aged ≥65 years. The direction of causation is not known and remains important to investigate considering the high prevalence of both poor function and limited activity in older age. PMID:27073888

  19. Active galactic nuclei at z ˜ 1.5 - II. Black hole mass estimation by means of broad emission lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mejía-Restrepo, J. E.; Trakhtenbrot, B.; Lira, P.; Netzer, H.; Capellupo, D. M.

    2016-07-01

    This is the second in a series of papers aiming to test how the mass (MBH), accretion rate (Ṁ) and spin (a*) of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) determine the observed properties of type I active galactic nuclei (AGN). Our project utilizes a sample of 39 unobscured AGN at z ≃ 1.55 observed by Very Large Telescope/X-Shooter, selected to map a large range in MBH and L/LEdd and covers the most prominent UV-optical (broad) emission lines, including Hα, Hβ, Mg II λ2798 and C IV λ1549. This paper focuses on single-epoch, `virial' MBH determinations from broad emission lines and examines the implications of different continuum modelling approaches in line width measurements. We find that using a local power-law continuum instead of a physically motivated thin disc continuum leads to only slight underestimation of the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) of the lines and the associated MBH(FWHM). However, the line dispersion σline and associated MBH(σline) are strongly affected by the continuum placement and provides less reliable mass estimates than FWHM-based methods. Our analysis shows that Hα, Hβ and Mg II can be safely used for virial MBH estimation. The C IV line, on the other hand, is not reliable in the majority of the cases; this may indicate that the gas emitting this line is not virialized. While Hα and Hβ show very similar line widths, the mean FWHM(Mg II) is about 30 per cent narrower than FWHM(Hβ). We confirm several recent suggestions to improve the accuracy in C IV-based mass estimates, relying on other UV emission lines. Such improvements do not reduce the scatter between C IV-based and Balmer-line-based mass estimates.

  20. NK cell activating receptor ligand expression in lymphangioleiomyomatosis is associated with lung function decline

    PubMed Central

    Osterburg, Andrew R.; Nelson, Rebecca L.; Yaniv, Benyamin Z.; Foot, Rachel; Donica, Walter R.F.; Nashu, Madison A.; Liu, Huan; Wikenheiser-Brokamp, Kathryn A.; Moss, Joel; McCormack, Francis X.; Borchers, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare lung disease of women that leads to progressive cyst formation and accelerated loss of pulmonary function. Neoplastic smooth muscle cells from an unknown source metastasize to the lung and drive destructive remodeling. Given the role of NK cells in immune surveillance, we postulated that NK cell activating receptors and their cognate ligands are involved in LAM pathogenesis. We found that ligands for the NKG2D activating receptor UL-16 binding protein 2 (ULBP2) and ULBP3 are localized in cystic LAM lesions and pulmonary nodules. We found elevated soluble serum ULBP2 (mean = 575 pg/ml ± 142) in 50 of 100 subjects and ULBP3 in 30 of 100 (mean = 8,300 pg/ml ± 1,515) subjects. LAM patients had fewer circulating NKG2D+ NK cells and decreased NKG2D surface expression. Lung function decline was associated with soluble NKG2D ligand (sNKG2DL) detection. The greatest rate of decline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1, –124 ± 30 ml/year) in the 48 months after enrollment (NHLBI LAM Registry) occurred in patients expressing both ULBP2 and ULBP3, whereas patients with undetectable sNKG2DL levels had the lowest rate of FEV1 decline (–32.7 ± 10 ml/year). These data suggest a role for NK cells, sNKG2DL, and the innate immune system in LAM pathogenesis. PMID:27734028

  1. Adjusting the light in the limit conditions of consciousness by the means of ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) and of subordinated systems

    PubMed Central

    Aliu, Octavian Florin

    2014-01-01

    Background: In our activity in the Ambulance Service of Bucharest Municipality during March 2002 – March 2003 we studied a casuistry of patients who had fallen in a coma of varying degrees. To aid better understanding of coma, the concept of “pre-coma stage” or “diencephalic 0 stage” was introduced. This concept complements the Arseni classification already used in medical practice, because some doctors alternatively use the term of “inaugural coma” for the same condition that we call diencephalic “0 stage”. In the median hypothalamus and on the retino-hypothalamic path (SCN - AN) optical waves are transmitted, probably in the near infrared spectral range (800–1000 nm) in what we term the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS). These waves would constitute a means of transmitting information via the ARAS about the infradian biorhythm of coordination (frequencies below 1 cycle/28 hours), essential for the modulation and pre-processing of the consciousness and wakefulness, a fact which has already been demonstrated in animals. Methods: The current work is based on observations made on a group of 51 patients with the precoma and coma conditions, and on a thorough study of the specialized (especially Romanian) literature. Also, we used validated scientific proof of torture in conditions of lack of light. Results: We found a perfect interpenetration between the ARAS and the following two complementary subsystems: 1. The hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus, that has the role of coordinating the periodicity of some biological functions depending on the circadian rhythm; and 2. The main photoperiodic organ, the pineal gland (epiphysis), which together with the ARAS has a role in the photoperiodicity modulation of some biological functions during the state of vigilance. PMID:25071308

  2. Functional significance of complex fluctuations in brain activity: from resting state to cognitive neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    Papo, David

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral studies have shown that human cognition is characterized by properties such as temporal scale invariance, heavy-tailed non-Gaussian distributions, and long-range correlations at long time scales, suggesting models of how (non observable) components of cognition interact. On the other hand, results from functional neuroimaging studies show that complex scaling and intermittency may be generic spatio-temporal properties of the brain at rest. Somehow surprisingly, though, hardly ever have the neural correlates of cognition been studied at time scales comparable to those at which cognition shows scaling properties. Here, we analyze the meanings of scaling properties and the significance of their task-related modulations for cognitive neuroscience. It is proposed that cognitive processes can be framed in terms of complex generic properties of brain activity at rest and, ultimately, of functional equations, limiting distributions, symmetries, and possibly universality classes characterizing them. PMID:24966818

  3. The varied functions of aluminium-activated malate transporters-much more than aluminium resistance.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Antony J; Baker, Alison; Muench, Stephen P

    2016-06-15

    The ALMT (aluminium-activated malate transporter) family comprises a functionally diverse but structurally similar group of ion channels. They are found ubiquitously in plant species, expressed throughout different tissues, and located in either the plasma membrane or tonoplast. The first family member identified was TaALMT1, discovered in wheat root tips, which was found to be involved in aluminium resistance by means of malate exudation into the soil. However, since this discovery other family members have been shown to have many other functions such as roles in stomatal opening, general anionic homoeostasis, and in economically valuable traits such as fruit flavour. Recent evidence has also shown that ALMT proteins can act as key molecular actors in GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) signalling, the first evidence that GABA can act as a signal transducer in plants. PMID:27284052

  4. Estimation of Evapotranspiration as a function of Photosynthetic Active Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wesley, E.; Migliaccio, K.; Judge, J.

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this research project is to more accurately measure the water balance and energy movements to properly allocate water resources at the Snapper Creek Site in Miami-Dade County, FL, by quantifying and estimating evapotranspiration (ET). ET is generally estimated using weather based equations, this project focused on estimating ET as a function of Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR). The project objectives were first to compose a function of PAR and calculated coefficients that can accurately estimate daily ET values with the least amount of variables used in its estimation equation, and second, to compare the newly identified ET estimation PAR function to TURC estimations, in comparison to our actual Eddy Covariance (EC) ET data and determine the differences in ET values. PAR, volumetric water content (VWC), and temperature (T) data were quality checked and used in developing singular and multiple variable regression models fit with SigmaPlot software. Fifteen different ET estimation equations were evaluated against EC ET and TURC estimated ET using R2 and slope factors. The selected equation that best estimated EC ET was cross validated using a 5 month data set; its daily and monthly ET values and sums were compared against the commonly used TURC equation. Using a multiple variable regression model, an equation with three variables (i.e., VWC, T, and PAR) was identified that best fit EC ET daily data. However, a regression was also found that used only PAR and provided ET predictions of similar accuracy. The PAR based regression model predicted daily EC ET more accurately than the traditional TURC method. Using only PAR to estimate ET reduces the input variables as compared to using the TURC model which requires T and solar radiation. Thus, not only is the PAR approach more accurate but also more cost effective. The PAR-based ET estimation equation derived in this study may be over fit considering only 5 months of data were used to produce the PAR

  5. Hydralazine administration activates sympathetic preganglionic neurons whose activity mobilizes glucose and increases cardiovascular function.

    PubMed

    Parker, Lindsay M; Damanhuri, Hanafi A; Fletcher, Sophie P S; Goodchild, Ann K

    2015-04-16

    Hypotensive drugs have been used to identify central neurons that mediate compensatory baroreceptor reflex responses. Such drugs also increase blood glucose. Our aim was to identify the neurochemical phenotypes of sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPN) and adrenal chromaffin cells activated following hydralazine (HDZ; 10mg/kg) administration in rats, and utilize this and SPN target organ destination to ascribe their function as cardiovascular or glucose regulating. Blood glucose was measured and adrenal chromaffin cell activation was assessed using c-Fos immunoreactivity (-ir) and phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, respectively. The activation and neurochemical phenotype of SPN innervating the adrenal glands and celiac ganglia were determined using the retrograde tracer cholera toxin B subunit, in combination with in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Blood glucose was elevated at multiple time points following HDZ administration but little evidence of chromaffin cell activation was seen suggesting non-adrenal mechanisms contribute to the sustained hyperglycemia. 16±0.1% of T4-T11 SPN contained c-Fos and of these: 24.3±1.4% projected to adrenal glands and 29±5.5% projected to celiac ganglia with the rest innervating other targets. 62.8±1.4% of SPN innervating adrenal glands were activated and 29.9±3.3% expressed PPE mRNA whereas 53.2±8.6% of SPN innervating celiac ganglia were activated and 31.2±8.8% expressed PPE mRNA. CART-ir SPN innervating each target were also activated and did not co-express PPE mRNA. Neurochemical coding reveals that HDZ administration activates both PPE+SPN, whose activity increase glucose mobilization causing hyperglycemia, as well as CART+SPN whose activity drive vasomotor responses mediated by baroreceptor unloading to raise vascular tone and heart rate.

  6. Inhibition of water activated by far infrared functional ceramics on proliferation of hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dongmei; Liang, Jinsheng; Ding, Yan; Meng, Junping; Zhang, Guangchuan

    2014-05-01

    Rare earth (RE)/tourmaline composite materials prepared by the precipitation method are added to the ceramic raw materials at a certain percentage and sintered into RE functional ceramics with high far infrared emission features. Then the far infrared functional ceramics are used to interact with water. The influence of the ceramics on the physical parameters of water is investigated, and the effect of the activated water on the growth of Bel-7402 hepatoma cells cultured in vitro is further studied. The results indicate that, compared with the raw water, the water activated by the ceramics can inhibit the proliferation of hepatoma cells, with statistical probability P < 0.01, which means that the effect is significant. It can be explained that the water activated by the ceramics has a higher concentration of H+, which decreases the potential difference across the cell membrane to release the apoptosis inducing factor (AIF). After entering the cells, the activated water stimulates the mitochondria to produce immune substances that lead tumor cells to apoptosis. PMID:24734643

  7. Inhibition of water activated by far infrared functional ceramics on proliferation of hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dongmei; Liang, Jinsheng; Ding, Yan; Meng, Junping; Zhang, Guangchuan

    2014-05-01

    Rare earth (RE)/tourmaline composite materials prepared by the precipitation method are added to the ceramic raw materials at a certain percentage and sintered into RE functional ceramics with high far infrared emission features. Then the far infrared functional ceramics are used to interact with water. The influence of the ceramics on the physical parameters of water is investigated, and the effect of the activated water on the growth of Bel-7402 hepatoma cells cultured in vitro is further studied. The results indicate that, compared with the raw water, the water activated by the ceramics can inhibit the proliferation of hepatoma cells, with statistical probability P < 0.01, which means that the effect is significant. It can be explained that the water activated by the ceramics has a higher concentration of H+, which decreases the potential difference across the cell membrane to release the apoptosis inducing factor (AIF). After entering the cells, the activated water stimulates the mitochondria to produce immune substances that lead tumor cells to apoptosis.

  8. Computer-aided measurement of liver volumes in CT by means of geodesic active contour segmentation coupled with level-set algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Suzuki, Kenji; Kohlbrenner, Ryan; Epstein, Mark L.; Obajuluwa, Ademola M.; Xu Jianwu; Hori, Masatoshi

    2010-05-15

    Purpose: Computerized liver extraction from hepatic CT images is challenging because the liver often abuts other organs of a similar density. The purpose of this study was to develop a computer-aided measurement of liver volumes in hepatic CT. Methods: The authors developed a computerized liver extraction scheme based on geodesic active contour segmentation coupled with level-set contour evolution. First, an anisotropic diffusion filter was applied to portal-venous-phase CT images for noise reduction while preserving the liver structure, followed by a scale-specific gradient magnitude filter to enhance the liver boundaries. Then, a nonlinear grayscale converter enhanced the contrast of the liver parenchyma. By using the liver-parenchyma-enhanced image as a speed function, a fast-marching level-set algorithm generated an initial contour that roughly estimated the liver shape. A geodesic active contour segmentation algorithm coupled with level-set contour evolution refined the initial contour to define the liver boundaries more precisely. The liver volume was then calculated using these refined boundaries. Hepatic CT scans of 15 prospective liver donors were obtained under a liver transplant protocol with a multidetector CT system. The liver volumes extracted by the computerized scheme were compared to those traced manually by a radiologist, used as ''gold standard.''Results: The mean liver volume obtained with our scheme was 1504 cc, whereas the mean gold standard manual volume was 1457 cc, resulting in a mean absolute difference of 105 cc (7.2%). The computer-estimated liver volumetrics agreed excellently with the gold-standard manual volumetrics (intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.95) with no statistically significant difference (F=0.77; p(F{<=}f)=0.32). The average accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and percent volume error were 98.4%, 91.1%, 99.1%, and 7.2%, respectively. Computerized CT liver volumetry would require substantially less completion time

  9. Performance of Density Functionals for Activation Energies of Zr-Mediated Reactions.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yuanyuan; Chen, Hui

    2013-11-12

    Coupled cluster CCSD(T) calculations with core-valence correlation and complete basis set (CBS) limit extrapolation are used to benchmark the performance of commonly used density functionals in computing energy barriers for Zr-mediated reactions involving zirconocene species. These reactions include (a) insertions of the Zr-H bond of Cp2Zr(H)Cl into C═C, C≡C, and C═O bonds and (b) C-H activations by Zr═N bond in Cp2Zr═NH. The best performing functionals are M06-L, M06, and M06-2X in the M06 series, all having mean unsigned deviations (MUD) less than 2 kcal/mol. The worst performing functional is OLYP, with a distinctly large MUD of more than 10 kcal/mol. Considering also the trends in barrier heights and the systematic barrier height deviation, our best recommended functional is M06-2X. In this work, DFT empirical dispersion correction (DFT-D3) is found to improve the performance of barrier height values for most functionals (especially of OLYP and B3LYP). With DFT empirical dispersion correction, we also recommend M06-2X for reaction barrier calculations of Zr-mediated reactions.

  10. Motor programme activating therapy influences adaptive brain functions in multiple sclerosis: clinical and MRI study.

    PubMed

    Rasova, Kamila; Prochazkova, Marie; Tintera, Jaroslav; Ibrahim, Ibrahim; Zimova, Denisa; Stetkarova, Ivana

    2015-03-01

    There is still little scientific evidence for the efficacy of neurofacilitation approaches and their possible influence on brain plasticity and adaptability. In this study, the outcome of a new kind of neurofacilitation approach, motor programme activating therapy (MPAT), was evaluated on the basis of a set of clinical functions and with MRI. Eighteen patients were examined four times with standardized clinical tests and diffusion tensor imaging to monitor changes without therapy, immediately after therapy and 1 month after therapy. Moreover, the strength of effective connectivity was analysed before and after therapy. Patients underwent a 1-h session of MPAT twice a week for 2 months. The data were analysed by nonparametric tests of association and were subsequently statistically evaluated. The therapy led to significant improvement in clinical functions, significant increment of fractional anisotropy and significant decrement of mean diffusivity, and decrement of effective connectivity at supplementary motor areas was observed immediately after the therapy. Changes in clinical functions and diffusion tensor images persisted 1 month after completing the programme. No statistically significant changes in clinical functions and no differences in MRI-diffusion tensor images were observed without physiotherapy. Positive immediate and long-term effects of MPAT on clinical and brain functions, as well as brain microstructure, were confirmed.

  11. Functionally active ganglioneuroma with increased plasma and urinary catecholamines and positive iodine 131-meta-iodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy

    SciTech Connect

    Clerico, A.; Jenkner, A.; Castello, M.A.; Ciofetta, G.; Lucarelli, C.; Codini, M. )

    1991-01-01

    Ganglioneuromas are usually considered not to be functionally active. Studies of their catecholamine excretory pattern and of their imaging by means of the adrenergic tracing agent 131-I-MIBG have been therefore sparse. We report on a case of secretory ganglioneuroma, as demonstrated by the increased urinary excretion of the catecholamine metabolites HVA and VMA, increased plasma dopamine and epinephrine levels, and positive 131-I-MIBG scintigraphy. We must therefore be aware that a functionally active tumor is not necessarily a neuroblastoma, and that the diagnosis should be biopsy proven.

  12. Development of Pupils' Transfer Skills by Means of Hands On Activities with Artisan Materials in Natural Sciences Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ciascai, Liliana; Chicinas, Luminita

    2008-01-01

    Hands on activities with artisan materials used in order to realize different practical devices helpful in learning process are one of the most frequently used activity in science classes. Usually, the main strength of these activities are: a deeper learning, an increased motivation of pupils for actively learning and development of practical…

  13. In vivo metabolite profiling as a means to identify uncharacterized lipase function: recent success stories within the alpha beta hydrolase domain (ABHD) enzyme family.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Gwynneth; Brown, Amanda L; Brown, J Mark

    2014-08-01

    Genome sequencing efforts have identified many uncharacterized lipase/esterase enzymes that have potential to be drug targets for metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. However, sequence information and associated structural predictions provide only a loose framework for linking enzyme function to disease risk. We are now confronted with the challenge of functionally annotating a large number of uncharacterized lipases, with the goal of generating new therapies for metabolic diseases. This daunting challenge involves gathering not only sequence-driven predictions, but also more importantly structural, biochemical (substrates and products), and physiological data. At the center of such drug discovery efforts are accurately identifying physiologically relevant substrates and products of individual lipases, and determining whether newly identified substrates/products can modulate disease in appropriate preclinical animal model systems. This review describes the importance of coupling in vivo metabolite profiling to in vitro enzymology as a powerful means to assign lipase function in disease specific contexts using animal models. In particular, we highlight recent examples using this multidisciplinary approach to functionally annotate genes within the α/β hydrolase fold domain (ABHD) family of enzymes. These new discoveries within the ABHD enzyme family serve as powerful examples of linking novel lipase function to human disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Tools to study lipid functions.

  14. Mastering tricyclic ring systems for desirable functional cannabinoid activity

    PubMed Central

    Petrov, Ravil R.; Knight, Lindsay; Chen, Shao-Rui; Wager-Miller, Jim; McDaniel, Steven W.; Diaz, Fanny; Barth, Francis; Pan, Hui-Lin; Mackie, Ken; Cavasotto, Claudio N.; Diaz, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    There is growing interest in using cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonists for the treatment of neuropathic pain and other indications. In continuation of our ongoing program aiming for the development of new small molecule cannabinoid ligands, we have synthesized a novel series of carbazole and γ-carboline derivatives. The affinities of the newly synthesized compounds were determined by a competitive radioligand displacement assay for human CB2 cannabinoid receptor and rat CB1 cannabinoid receptor. Functional activity and selectivity at human CB1 and CB2 receptors were characterized using receptor internalization and [35S]GTP-γ-S assays. The structure-activity relationship and optimization studies of the carbazole series have led to the discovery of a non-selective CB1 and CB2 agonist, compound 4. Our subsequent research efforts to increase CB2 selectivity of this lead compound have led to the discovery of CB2 selective compound 64, which robustly internalized CB2 receptors. Compound 64 had potent inhibitory effects on pain hypersensitivity in a rat model of neuropathic pain. Other potent and CB2 receptor–selective compounds, including compounds 63 and 68, and a selective CB1 agonist, compound 74 were also discovered. In addition, we identified the CB2 ligand 35 which failed to promote CB2 receptor internalization and inhibited compound CP55,940-induced CB2 internalization despite a high CB2 receptor affinity. The present study provides novel tricyclic series as a starting point for further investigations of CB2 pharmacology and pain treatment. PMID:24125850

  15. Prediction of phase behavior of nanoconfined Lennard-Jones fluids with density functional theory based on the first-order mean spherical approximation.

    PubMed

    Mi, Jianguo; Tang, Yiping; Zhong, Chongli; Li, Yi-Gui

    2006-04-14

    The recently proposed first-order mean spherical approximation (FMSA) [Y. Tang, J. Chem. Phys. 121, 10605 (2004)] for inhomogeneous fluids is extended to study the phase behavior of nanoconfined Lennard-Jones fluids, which is consistent with the phase equilibria calculation of the corresponding bulk fluid. With a combination of fundamental measure theory, FMSA provides Helmholtz free energy and direct correlation function to formulate density functional theory, which implementation is as easy as the mean-field theory. Following previous success in predicting density profiles inside slit pores, this work is focused specially on the vapor-liquid equilibrium of the Lennard-Jones fluids inside these pores. It is found that outside the critical region FMSA predicts well the equilibrium diagram of slit pores with the sizes of 5.0, 7.5, and 10 molecular diameters by comparing with available computer simulation data. As a quantitative method, FMSA can be treated as an extension from its bulk calculation, while the mean-field theory is only qualitative, as its bulk version.

  16. Genetically enhancing mitochondrial antioxidant activity improves muscle function in aging.

    PubMed

    Umanskaya, Alisa; Santulli, Gaetano; Xie, Wenjun; Andersson, Daniel C; Reiken, Steven R; Marks, Andrew R

    2014-10-21

    Age-related skeletal muscle dysfunction is a leading cause of morbidity that affects up to half the population aged 80 or greater. Here we tested the effects of increased mitochondrial antioxidant activity on age-dependent skeletal muscle dysfunction using transgenic mice with targeted overexpression of the human catalase gene to mitochondria (MCat mice). Aged MCat mice exhibited improved voluntary exercise, increased skeletal muscle specific force and tetanic Ca(2+) transients, decreased intracellular Ca(2+) leak and increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) load compared with age-matched wild type (WT) littermates. Furthermore, ryanodine receptor 1 (the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release channel required for skeletal muscle contraction; RyR1) from aged MCat mice was less oxidized, depleted of the channel stabilizing subunit, calstabin1, and displayed increased single channel open probability (Po). Overall, these data indicate a direct role for mitochondrial free radicals in promoting the pathological intracellular Ca(2+) leak that underlies age-dependent loss of skeletal muscle function. This study harbors implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies, including mitochondria-targeted antioxidants for treatment of mitochondrial myopathies and other healthspan-limiting disorders. PMID:25288763

  17. Functional Activation of the Flagellar Type III Secretion Export Apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Andrew M.; Calvo, Rebecca A.; Kearns, Daniel B.

    2015-01-01

    Flagella are assembled sequentially from the inside-out with morphogenetic checkpoints that enforce the temporal order of subunit addition. Here we show that flagellar basal bodies fail to proceed to hook assembly at high frequency in the absence of the monotopic protein SwrB of Bacillus subtilis. Genetic suppressor analysis indicates that SwrB activates the flagellar type III secretion export apparatus by the membrane protein FliP. Furthermore, mutants defective in the flagellar C-ring phenocopy the absence of SwrB for reduced hook frequency and C-ring defects may be bypassed either by SwrB overexpression or by a gain-of-function allele in the polymerization domain of FliG. We conclude that SwrB enhances the probability that the flagellar basal body adopts a conformation proficient for secretion to ensure that rod and hook subunits are not secreted in the absence of a suitable platform on which to polymerize. PMID:26244495

  18. Functional characterization of alpha-synuclein protein with antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Cheol; Moon, Jeong Chan; Shin, Su Young; Son, Hyosuk; Jung, Young Jun; Kim, Nam-Hong; Kim, Young-Min; Jang, Mi-Kyeong; Lee, Jung Ro

    2016-09-16

    Alpha-synuclein (α-Syn), a small (14 kDa) protein associated with Parkinson's disease, is abundant in human neural tissues. α-Syn plays an important role in maintaining a supply of synaptic vesicles in presynaptic terminals; however, the mechanism by which it performs this function are not well understood. In addition, there is a correlation between α-Syn over-expression and upregulation of an innate immune response. Given the growing body of literature surrounding antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the brain, and the similarities between α-Syn and a previously characterized AMP, Amyloid-β, we set out to investigate if α-Syn shares AMP-like properties. Here we demonstrate that α-Syn exhibits antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, we demonstrate a role for α-Syn in inhibiting various pathogenic fungal strains such as Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizoctonia solani. We also analyzed localizations of recombinant α-Syn protein in E. coli and Candida albicans. These results suggest that in addition to α-Syn's role in neurotransmitter release, it appears to be a natural AMP. PMID:27520375

  19. Means and the Mean Value Theorem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merikoski, Jorma K.; Halmetoja, Markku; Tossavainen, Timo

    2009-01-01

    Let I be a real interval. We call a continuous function [mu] : I x I [right arrow] [Bold R] a proper mean if it is symmetric, reflexive, homogeneous, monotonic and internal. Let f : I [right arrow] [Bold R} be a differentiable and strictly convex or strictly concave function. If a, b [image omitted] I with a [not equal to] b, then there exists a…

  20. Abnormal activation of the motor cortical network in idiopathic scoliosis demonstrated by functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Domenech, Julio; García-Martí, G; Martí-Bonmatí, L; Barrios, C; Tormos, J M; Pascual-Leone, A

    2011-07-01

    The aetiology of idiopathic scoliosis (IS) remains unknown, but there is growing support for the possibility of an underlying neurological disorder. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can characterize the abnormal activation of the sensorimotor brain network in movement disorders and could provide further insights into the neuropathogenesis of IS. Twenty subjects were included in the study; 10 adolescents with IS (mean age of 15.2, 8 girls and 2 boys) and 10 age-matched healthy controls. The average Cobb angle of the primary curve in the IS patients was 35° (range 27°-55°). All participants underwent a block-design fMRI experiment in a 1.5-Tesla MRI scanner to explore cortical activation following a simple motor task. Rest periods alternated with activation periods during which participants were required to open and close their hand at an internally paced rate of approximately 1 Hz. Data were analyzed with Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM5) including age, sex and laterality as nuisance variables to minimise the presence of bias in the results. Compared to controls, IS patients showed significant increases in blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) activity in contralateral supplementary motor area when performing the motor task with either hand. No significant differences were observed when testing between groups in the functional activation in the primary motor cortex, premotor cortex and somatosensory cortex. Additionally, the IS group showed a greater interhemispheric asymmetry index than the control group (0.30 vs. 0.13, p < 0.001). This study demonstrates an abnormal pattern of brain activation in secondary motor areas during movement execution in patients with IS. These findings support the hypothesis that a sensorimotor integration disorder underlies the pathogenesis of IS.

  1. Computerized Pedagogical Agents as an Educational Means for Developing Physical Self-Efficacy and Encouraging Activity in Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Melissa; Tenenbaum, Gerson

    2010-01-01

    Physical activity participation rates in the United States have been in steady decline for the last 25 years, so much so that 60% of youth ages 9-13 years get no physical activity outside of school. This state of inactivity indicates that promoting participation in physical activity at a young age is of importance. For the present study, a…

  2. Fluorescence-activated sorting of rat hepatocytes based on their mixed function oxidase activities towards diethoxyfluorescein.

    PubMed Central

    White, I N; Green, M L; Legg, R F

    1987-01-01

    The formation of ethoxyfluorescein and fluorescein from diethoxyfluorescein by isolated rat hepatocytes has been used as a basis for separating such cells dependent on their mixed function oxidase activities by fluorescence-activated flow cytometry. Five equal fractions defined by computer-generated regions were isolated. Non-viable cells with low fluorescence (region 1) represented 10-15% of the population, while the remainder with higher mixed function oxidase activities (regions 2-5), were greater than 95% viable by Trypan Blue exclusion. In region 1, 30% of the viable cells were binucleate, 67% diploid while in region 5, 13% were binucleate and 69% tetraploid. At 3 h after sorting, following attachment to glass coverslips, exposure of cells to methyl methanesulphonate, retrorsine or norethindrone resulted in unscheduled DNA synthesis which was 2-fold higher in the tetraploid-rich region 5, while aflatoxin B1, benzo[a]pyrene or 2-acetylaminofluorene caused a 5-fold increase in unscheduled DNA synthesis in these cells, relative to the diploid-rich hepatocytes in region 2. Images Fig. 4. PMID:3689348

  3. AMP-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASE ACTIVATION AS A STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Ming-Hui; Wu, Yong

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY 1. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a serine/threonine protein kinase involved in the regulation of cellular and organismal metabolism. AMPK has a heterotrimeric structure, consisting of a catalytic α-subunit and regulatory β- and γ-subunits, each of which has two or more isoforms that are differentially expressed in various tissues and that arise from distinct genes. The AMPK system acts as a sensor of cellular energy status that is conserved in all eukaryotic cells. In addition, AMPK is activated by physiological stimuli and oxidants. 2. The importance of AMPK in cardiovascular functions is best demonstrated by recent studies showing that widely used drugs, including statins, metformin and rosiglitazone, execute cardiovascular protective effects at least partly through the activation of AMPK. As a consequence, AMPK has been proposed as a candidate target for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of both Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome owing to its central role in the regulation of energy balance; it may also have a role in weight control. 3. In the present brief review, we summarize the recent progress of AMPK signalling and regulation focusing on vascular endothelial cells. We further hypothesize that AMPK is a dual sensor for energy and redox status within a cell and AMPK may be a therapeutic target for protecting vascular endothelial function. PMID:18177481

  4. Effect of Monophasic Pulsed Current on Heel Pain and Functional Activities caused by Plantar Fasciitis

    PubMed Central

    Alotaibi, Abdullah K.; Petrofsky, Jerrold S.; Daher, Noha S.; Lohman, Everett; Laymon, Michael; Syed, Hasan M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a soft tissue disorder considered to be one of the most common causes of inferior heel pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of monophasic pulsed current (MPC) and MPC coupled with plantar fascia-specific stretching exercises (SE) on the treatment of PF. Material/Methods Forty-four participants (22 women and 22 men, with a mean age of 49 years) diagnosed with PF were randomly assigned to receive MPC (n=22) or MPC coupled with plantar fascia-specific SE (n=22). Prior to and after 4 weeks of treatment, participants underwent baseline evaluation; heel pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS), heel tenderness threshold was quantified using a handheld pressure algometer (PA), and functional activities level was assessed using the Activities of Daily Living subscale of the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (ADL/FAAM). Results Heel pain scores showed a significant reduction in both groups compared to baseline VAS scores (P<0.001). Heel tenderness improved significantly in both groups compared with baseline PA scores (P<0.001). Functional activity level improved significantly in both groups compared with baseline (ADL/FAAM) scores (P<0.001). However, no significant differences existed between the 2 treatment groups in all post-intervention outcome measures. Conclusions This trial showed that MPC is useful in treating inferior heel symptoms caused by PF. PMID:25791231

  5. Seismic Vulnerability Evaluations Within The Structural And Functional Survey Activities Of The COM Bases In Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Zuccaro, G.; Cacace, F.; Albanese, V.; Mercuri, C.; Papa, F.; Pizza, A. G.; Sergio, S.; Severino, M.

    2008-07-08

    The paper describes technical and functional surveys on COM buildings (Mixed Operative Centre). This activity started since 2005, with the contribution of both Italian Civil Protection Department and the Regions involved. The project aims to evaluate the efficiency of COM buildings, checking not only structural, architectonic and functional characteristics but also paying attention to surrounding real estate vulnerability, road network, railways, harbours, airports, area morphological and hydro-geological characteristics, hazardous activities, etc. The first survey was performed in eastern Sicily, before the European Civil Protection Exercise 'EUROSOT 2005'. Then, since 2006, a new survey campaign started in Abruzzo, Molise, Calabria and Puglia Regions. The more important issue of the activity was the vulnerability assessment. So this paper deals with a more refined vulnerability evaluation technique by means of the SAVE methodology, developed in the 1st task of SAVE project within the GNDT-DPC programme 2000-2002 (Zuccaro, 2005); the SAVE methodology has been already successfully employed in previous studies (i.e. school buildings intervention programme at national scale; list of strategic public buildings in Campania, Sicilia and Basilicata). In this paper, data elaborated by SAVE methodology are compared with expert evaluations derived from the direct inspections on COM buildings. This represents a useful exercise for the improvement either of the survey forms or of the methodology for the quick assessment of the vulnerability.

  6. Estimation of protein function using template-based alignment of enzyme active sites

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The accumulation of protein structural data occurs more rapidly than it can be characterized by traditional laboratory means. This has motivated widespread efforts to predict enzyme function computationally. The most useful/accurate strategies employed to date are based on the detection of motifs in novel structures that correspond to a specific function. Functional residues are critical components of predictively useful motifs. We have implemented a novel method, to complement current approaches, which detects motifs solely on the basis of distance restraints between catalytic residues. Results ProMOL is a plugin for the PyMOL molecular graphics environment that can be used to create active site motifs for enzymes. A library of 181 active site motifs has been created with ProMOL, based on definitions published in the Catalytic Site Atlas (CSA). Searches with ProMOL produce better than 50% useful Enzyme Commission (EC) class suggestions for level 1 searches in EC classes 1, 4 and 5, and produce some useful results for other classes. 261 additional motifs automatically translated from Jonathan Barker’s JESS motif set [Bioinformatics 19:1644–1649, 2003] and a set of NMR motifs is under development. Alignments are evaluated by visual superposition, Levenshtein distance and root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) and are reasonably consistent with related search methods. Conclusion The ProMOL plugin for PyMOL provides ready access to template-based local alignments. Recent improvements to ProMOL, including the expanded motif library, RMSD calculations and output selection formatting, have greatly increased the program’s usability and speed, and have improved the way that the results are presented. PMID:24669788

  7. Altered Hub Functioning and Compensatory Activations in the Connectome: A Meta-Analysis of Functional Neuroimaging Studies in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Crossley, Nicolas A.; Mechelli, Andrea; Ginestet, Cedric; Rubinov, Mikail; Bullmore, Edward T.; McGuire, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Background: Functional neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia have identified abnormal activations in many brain regions. In an effort to interpret these findings from a network perspective, we carried out a meta-analysis of this literature, mapping anatomical locations of under- and over-activation to the topology of a normative human functional connectome. Methods: We included 314 task-based functional neuroimaging studies including more than 5000 patients with schizophrenia and over 5000 controls. Coordinates of significant under- or over-activations in patients relative to controls were mapped to nodes of a normative connectome defined by a prior meta-analysis of 1641 functional neuroimaging studies of task-related activation in healthy volunteers. Results: Under-activations and over-activations were reported in a wide diversity of brain regions. Both under- and over-activations were significantly more likely to be located in hub nodes that constitute the “rich club” or core of the normative connectome. In a subset of 121 studies that reported both under- and over-activations in the same patients, we found that, in network terms, these abnormalities were located in close topological proximity to each other. Under-activation in a peripheral node was more frequently associated specifically with over-activation of core nodes than with over-activation of another peripheral node. Conclusions: Although schizophrenia is associated with altered brain functional activation in a wide variety of regions, abnormal responses are concentrated in hubs of the normative connectome. Task-specific under-activation in schizophrenia is accompanied by over-activation of topologically central, less functionally specialized network nodes, which may represent a compensatory response. PMID:26472684

  8. Fetal Functional Brain Age Assessed from Universal Developmental Indices Obtained from Neuro-Vegetative Activity Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Hoyer, Dirk; Tetschke, Florian; Jaekel, Susan; Nowack, Samuel; Witte, Otto W.; Schleußner, Ekkehard; Schneider, Uwe

    2013-01-01

    Fetal brain development involves the development of the neuro-vegetative (autonomic) control that is mediated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Disturbances of the fetal brain development have implications for diseases in later postnatal life. In that context, the fetal functional brain age can be altered. Universal principles of developmental biology applied to patterns of autonomic control may allow a functional age assessment. The work aims at the development of a fetal autonomic brain age score (fABAS) based on heart rate patterns. We analysed n = 113 recordings in quiet sleep, n = 286 in active sleep, and n = 29 in active awakeness from normals. We estimated fABAS from magnetocardiographic recordings (21.4–40.3 weeks of gestation) preclassified in quiet sleep (n = 113, 63 females) and active sleep (n = 286, 145 females) state by cross-validated multivariate linear regression models in a cross-sectional study. According to universal system developmental principles, we included indices that address increasing fluctuation range, increasing complexity, and pattern formation (skewness, power spectral ratio VLF/LF, pNN5). The resulting models constituted fABAS. fABAS explained 66/63% (coefficient of determination R2 of training and validation set) of the variance by age in quiet, while 51/50% in active sleep. By means of a logistic regression model using fluctuation range and fetal age, quiet and active sleep were automatically reclassified (94.3/93.1% correct classifications). We did not find relevant gender differences. We conclude that functional brain age can be assessed based on universal developmental indices obtained from autonomic control patterns. fABAS reflect normal complex functional brain maturation. The presented normative data are supplemented by an explorative study of 19 fetuses compromised by intrauterine growth restriction. We observed a shift in the state distribution towards active awakeness. The lower WGA dependent f

  9. Improved Prefrontal Activity and Chewing Performance as Function of Wearing Denture in Partially Edentulous Elderly Individuals: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Kamiya, Kazunobu; Narita, Noriyuki; Iwaki, Sunao

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of wearing a denture on prefrontal activity during chewing performance. We specifically examined that activity in 12 elderly edentulous subjects [63.1±6.1 years old (mean ± SD)] and 12 young healthy controls (22.1±2.3 years old) using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in order to evaluate the quality of prefrontal functionality during chewing performance under the conditions of wearing a denture and tooth loss, and then compared the findings with those of young healthy controls. fNIRS and electromyography were used simultaneously to detect prefrontal and masticatory muscle activities during chewing, while occlusal force and masticatory score were also examined by use of a food intake questionnaire. A significant increase in prefrontal activity was observed during chewing while wearing a denture, which was accompanied by increased masticatory muscle activity, occlusal force, and masticatory score, as compared with the tooth loss condition. Prefrontal activation during chewing while wearing a denture in the elderly subjects was not much different from that in the young controls. In contrast, tooth loss in the elderly group resulted in marked prefrontal deactivation, accompanied by decreased masticatory muscle activity, occlusal force, and masticatory score, as compared with the young controls. We concluded that intrinsic prefrontal activation during chewing with a denture may prevent prefrontal depression induced by tooth loss in elderly edentulous patients. PMID:27362255

  10. Improved Prefrontal Activity and Chewing Performance as Function of Wearing Denture in Partially Edentulous Elderly Individuals: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Kazunobu; Narita, Noriyuki; Iwaki, Sunao

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of wearing a denture on prefrontal activity during chewing performance. We specifically examined that activity in 12 elderly edentulous subjects [63.1±6.1 years old (mean ± SD)] and 12 young healthy controls (22.1±2.3 years old) using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in order to evaluate the quality of prefrontal functionality during chewing performance under the conditions of wearing a denture and tooth loss, and then compared the findings with those of young healthy controls. fNIRS and electromyography were used simultaneously to detect prefrontal and masticatory muscle activities during chewing, while occlusal force and masticatory score were also examined by use of a food intake questionnaire. A significant increase in prefrontal activity was observed during chewing while wearing a denture, which was accompanied by increased masticatory muscle activity, occlusal force, and masticatory score, as compared with the tooth loss condition. Prefrontal activation during chewing while wearing a denture in the elderly subjects was not much different from that in the young controls. In contrast, tooth loss in the elderly group resulted in marked prefrontal deactivation, accompanied by decreased masticatory muscle activity, occlusal force, and masticatory score, as compared with the young controls. We concluded that intrinsic prefrontal activation during chewing with a denture may prevent prefrontal depression induced by tooth loss in elderly edentulous patients. PMID:27362255

  11. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; Setubal, João C; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S; Dawe, Adam S; Ghazy, Mohamed A; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M; Lehvaslaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A C; Jankovic, Boris R; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  12. Configuration mixing of angular-momentum-projected triaxial relativistic mean-field wave functions. II. Microscopic analysis of low-lying states in magnesium isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Yao, J. M.; Mei, H.; Chen, H.; Meng, J.; Ring, P.; Vretenar, D.

    2011-01-15

    The recently developed structure model that uses the generator coordinate method to perform configuration mixing of angular-momentum projected wave functions, generated by constrained self-consistent relativistic mean-field calculations for triaxial shapes (3DAMP+GCM), is applied in a systematic study of ground states and low-energy collective states in the even-even magnesium isotopes {sup 20-40}Mg. Results obtained using a relativistic point-coupling nucleon-nucleon effective interaction in the particle-hole channel and a density-independent {delta} interaction in the pairing channel are compared to data and with previous axial 1DAMP+GCM calculations, both with a relativistic density functional and the nonrelativistic Gogny force. The effects of the inclusion of triaxial degrees of freedom on the low-energy spectra and E2 transitions of magnesium isotopes are examined.

  13. Knee functions and a return to sports activity in competitive athletes following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Y; Shirai, Y; Narita, T; Mori, A; Kobayashi, K

    2000-06-01

    We investigated knee functions and a return to sports in 50 competitive athlete patients treated with arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using double-looped STG augmented by woven polyester at a 1-year follow-up. There were 25 males and 25 females with a mean age of 24.3 years (range: 19-39 years). The majority of preinjury sports were basketball, volleyball and soccer. Athletic rehabilitation including agility training and sports-specific training was started at 12 weeks. Fourty patients (80%) was rated as normal or nearly normal on the assessment of International Knee Documentation Commitee postoperatively. Fourty-eight patients (96%) obtained full range of motion, and the mean quadriceps muscle strength of the injured side was 91.3%of that of the uninjured side. As for a return to sports, 46 patients (92%) were able to do fully competitive sports at a mean of 8.1 postoperative months. These results suggest that arthroscopic reconstruction using augmented double-looped STG allows early athletic rehabilitation, and lead satisfactory outcome as well as a reliable and early return to preinjury level of sport activity for the majority of the competitive athlete patients.

  14. [Functional asymmetry of the neocortex electrical activity during food conditioning in dogs].

    PubMed

    Preobrazhenskaia, L A

    2000-01-01

    Four dogs were trained to perform a conditioned alimentary response to a sound stimulus. The EEG was recorded from six pairs of chronically implanted neocortical electrodes. The EEG spectra and coherence functions between the neighboring derivations of each of the hemispheres were analyzed in the theta, alpha, beta 1 and beta 2 frequency ranges. At the first stages of conditioning, the percent of cases increased when the highest mean values of EEG frequency were localized in the left hemisphere. Later on the percent of cases, when the mean coherence values in the left hemisphere were higher than in the right hemisphere, also increased. At the stage of conditioned response stabilization, this asymmetry either disappeared or the right hemisphere became more active than the left one. The spatial localization of the maximal values of the EEG frequency was different for different frequency ranges. The highest values in the beta 1 range were more frequently registered in the posterior cortical regions and in the beta 2 range they were revealed, predominantly, in the anterior areas. The maximal values of coherence dominated in the anterior regions and their spatial distribution was similar for different frequencies. Thus, the initial stages of conditioning are accompanied by activation of the left hemisphere.

  15. Incorporating ecosystem function concept in environmental planning and decision making by means of multi-criteria evaluation: the case-study of Kalloni, Lesbos, Greece.

    PubMed

    Oikonomou, Vera; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Troumbis, Andreas Y

    2011-01-01

    Nature provides life-support services which do not merely constitute the basis for ecosystem integrity but also benefit human societies. The importance of such multiple outputs is often ignored or underestimated in environmental planning and decision making. The economic valuation of ecosystem functions or services has been widely used to make these benefits economically visible and thus address this deficiency. Alternatively, the relative importance of the components of ecosystem value can be identified and compared by means of multi-criteria evaluation. Hereupon, this article proposes a conceptual framework that couples ecosystem function analysis, multi criteria evaluation and social research methodologies for introducing an ecosystem function-based planning and management approach. The framework consists of five steps providing the structure of a participative decision making process which is then tested and ratified, by applying the discrete multi-criteria method NAIADE, in the Kalloni Natura 2000 site, on Lesbos, Greece. Three scenarios were developed and evaluated with regard to their impacts on the different types of ecosystem functions and the social actors' value judgements. A conflict analysis permitted the better elaboration of the different views, outlining the coalitions formed in the local community and shaping the way towards reaching a consensus.

  16. Incorporating Ecosystem Function Concept in Environmental Planning and Decision Making by Means of Multi-Criteria Evaluation: The Case-Study of Kalloni, Lesbos, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oikonomou, Vera; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G.; Troumbis, Andreas Y.

    2011-01-01

    Nature provides life-support services which do not merely constitute the basis for ecosystem integrity but also benefit human societies. The importance of such multiple outputs is often ignored or underestimated in environmental planning and decision making. The economic valuation of ecosystem functions or services has been widely used to make these benefits economically visible and thus address this deficiency. Alternatively, the relative importance of the components of ecosystem value can be identified and compared by means of multi-criteria evaluation. Hereupon, this article proposes a conceptual framework that couples ecosystem function analysis, multi criteria evaluation and social research methodologies for introducing an ecosystem function-based planning and management approach. The framework consists of five steps providing the structure of a participative decision making process which is then tested and ratified, by applying the discrete multi-criteria method NAIADE, in the Kalloni Natura 2000 site, on Lesbos, Greece. Three scenarios were developed and evaluated with regard to their impacts on the different types of ecosystem functions and the social actors' value judgements. A conflict analysis permitted the better elaboration of the different views, outlining the coalitions formed in the local community and shaping the way towards reaching a consensus.

  17. Incorporating ecosystem function concept in environmental planning and decision making by means of multi-criteria evaluation: the case-study of Kalloni, Lesbos, Greece.

    PubMed

    Oikonomou, Vera; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Troumbis, Andreas Y

    2011-01-01

    Nature provides life-support services which do not merely constitute the basis for ecosystem integrity but also benefit human societies. The importance of such multiple outputs is often ignored or underestimated in environmental planning and decision making. The economic valuation of ecosystem functions or services has been widely used to make these benefits economically visible and thus address this deficiency. Alternatively, the relative importance of the components of ecosystem value can be identified and compared by means of multi-criteria evaluation. Hereupon, this article proposes a conceptual framework that couples ecosystem function analysis, multi criteria evaluation and social research methodologies for introducing an ecosystem function-based planning and management approach. The framework consists of five steps providing the structure of a participative decision making process which is then tested and ratified, by applying the discrete multi-criteria method NAIADE, in the Kalloni Natura 2000 site, on Lesbos, Greece. Three scenarios were developed and evaluated with regard to their impacts on the different types of ecosystem functions and the social actors' value judgements. A conflict analysis permitted the better elaboration of the different views, outlining the coalitions formed in the local community and shaping the way towards reaching a consensus. PMID:20953785

  18. Correcting for Blood Arrival Time in Global Mean Regression Enhances Functional Connectivity Analysis of Resting State fMRI-BOLD Signals

    PubMed Central

    Erdoğan, Sinem B.; Tong, Yunjie; Hocke, Lia M.; Lindsey, Kimberly P.; deB Frederick, Blaise

    2016-01-01

    Resting state functional connectivity analysis is a widely used method for mapping intrinsic functional organization of the brain. Global signal regression (GSR) is commonly employed for removing systemic global variance from resting state BOLD-fMRI data; however, recent studies have demonstrated that GSR may introduce spurious negative correlations within and between functional networks, calling into question the meaning of anticorrelations reported between some networks. In the present study, we propose that global signal from resting state fMRI is composed primarily of systemic low frequency oscillations (sLFOs) that propagate with cerebral blood circulation throughout the brain. We introduce a novel systemic noise removal strategy for resting state fMRI data, “dynamic global signal regression” (dGSR), which applies a voxel-specific optimal time delay to the global signal prior to regression from voxel-wise time series. We test our hypothesis on two functional systems that are suggested to be intrinsically organized into anticorrelated networks: the default mode network (DMN) and task positive network (TPN). We evaluate the efficacy of dGSR and compare its performance with the conventional “static” global regression (sGSR) method in terms of (i) explaining systemic variance in the data and (ii) enhancing specificity and sensitivity of functional connectivity measures. dGSR increases the amount of BOLD signal variance being modeled and removed relative to sGSR while reducing spurious negative correlations introduced in reference regions by sGSR, and attenuating inflated positive connectivity measures. We conclude that incorporating time delay information for sLFOs into global noise removal strategies is of crucial importance for optimal noise removal from resting state functional connectivity maps. PMID:27445751

  19. Mean-field density functional theory of a nanoconfined classical, three-dimensional Heisenberg fluid. I. The role of molecular anchoring.

    PubMed

    Cattes, Stefanie M; Gubbins, Keith E; Schoen, Martin

    2016-05-21

    In this work, we employ classical density functional theory (DFT) to investigate for the first time equilibrium properties of a Heisenberg fluid confined to nanoscopic slit pores of variable width. Within DFT pair correlations are treated at modified mean-field level. We consider three types of walls: hard ones, where the fluid-wall potential becomes infinite upon molecular contact but vanishes otherwise, and hard walls with superimposed short-range attraction with and without explicit orientation dependence. To model the distance dependence of the attractions, we employ a Yukawa potential. The orientation dependence is realized through anchoring of molecules at the substrates, i.e., an energetic discrimination of specific molecular orientations. If the walls are hard or attractive without specific anchoring, the results are "quasi-bulk"-like in that they can be linked to a confinement-induced reduction of the bulk mean field. In these cases, the precise nature of the walls is completely irrelevant at coexistence. Only for specific anchoring nontrivial features arise, because then the fluid-wall interaction potential affects the orientation distribution function in a nontrivial way and thus appears explicitly in the Euler-Lagrange equations to be solved for minima of the grand potential of coexisting phases. PMID:27208962

  20. Mean-field density functional theory of a nanoconfined classical, three-dimensional Heisenberg fluid. I. The role of molecular anchoring.

    PubMed

    Cattes, Stefanie M; Gubbins, Keith E; Schoen, Martin

    2016-05-21

    In this work, we employ classical density functional theory (DFT) to investigate for the first time equilibrium properties of a Heisenberg fluid confined to nanoscopic slit pores of variable width. Within DFT pair correlations are treated at modified mean-field level. We consider three types of walls: hard ones, where the fluid-wall potential becomes infinite upon molecular contact but vanishes otherwise, and hard walls with superimposed short-range attraction with and without explicit orientation dependence. To model the distance dependence of the attractions, we employ a Yukawa potential. The orientation dependence is realized through anchoring of molecules at the substrates, i.e., an energetic discrimination of specific molecular orientations. If the walls are hard or attractive without specific anchoring, the results are "quasi-bulk"-like in that they can be linked to a confinement-induced reduction of the bulk mean field. In these cases, the precise nature of the walls is completely irrelevant at coexistence. Only for specific anchoring nontrivial features arise, because then the fluid-wall interaction potential affects the orientation distribution function in a nontrivial way and thus appears explicitly in the Euler-Lagrange equations to be solved for minima of the grand potential of coexisting phases.

  1. Mean-field density functional theory of a nanoconfined classical, three-dimensional Heisenberg fluid. I. The role of molecular anchoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cattes, Stefanie M.; Gubbins, Keith E.; Schoen, Martin

    2016-05-01

    In this work, we employ classical density functional theory (DFT) to investigate for the first time equilibrium properties of a Heisenberg fluid confined to nanoscopic slit pores of variable width. Within DFT pair correlations are treated at modified mean-field level. We consider three types of walls: hard ones, where the fluid-wall potential becomes infinite upon molecular contact but vanishes otherwise, and hard walls with superimposed short-range attraction with and without explicit orientation dependence. To model the distance dependence of the attractions, we employ a Yukawa potential. The orientation dependence is realized through anchoring of molecules at the substrates, i.e., an energetic discrimination of specific molecular orientations. If the walls are hard or attractive without specific anchoring, the results are "quasi-bulk"-like in that they can be linked to a confinement-induced reduction of the bulk mean field. In these cases, the precise nature of the walls is completely irrelevant at coexistence. Only for specific anchoring nontrivial features arise, because then the fluid-wall interaction potential affects the orientation distribution function in a nontrivial way and thus appears explicitly in the Euler-Lagrange equations to be solved for minima of the grand potential of coexisting phases.

  2. Understanding the Meaning African-American Men Give to Their Student Leadership Involvement and Engagement Activities in College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Karl A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore and gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences and perceptions of African-American (A-A) men who are persisting in college and who demonstrate participation in co-curricular activities defined as student leadership involvement and engagement activities (SLIEA). The…

  3. Huzzah Means Hooray: Activities from the Days of Damsels, Jesters, and Blackbirds in a Pie. First Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Laurie

    Written for juveniles, this book presents information and activities aimed at increasing student understanding of the life experiences of Europeans during the Middle Ages. Student activities are organized by the following categories: (1) "Medieval--What's That?" presents background information; (2) "Lets Dress Up!" examines clothing styles, armor,…

  4. Making Meaning of Everyday Practices: Parents' Attitudes toward Children's Extracurricular Activities in the United States and in Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kremer-Sadlik, Tamar; Izquierdo, Carolina; Fatigante, Marilena

    2010-01-01

    This article focuses on children's engagement in extracurricular activities from the perspective of middle-class parents in Rome, Italy, and Los Angeles, California. Analysis of parents' accounts captured in interviews and ethnographic fieldwork reveals that both sets of parents perceive activities as important for children's success. Yet Roman…

  5. University Oversight of Professors' Teaching Activities: A Professor's Academic Freedom Does Not Mean Freedom from Institutional Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fossey, Richard

    2007-01-01

    This article reviews federal case law that address a college instructor's right to academic freedom over classroom activities. This review shows that the federal courts have defined a college instructor's academic freedom rights narrowly in terms of the instructor's classroom activities. Institutions have a great deal of latitude to regulate an…

  6. High-throughput functional comparison of promoter and enhancer activities.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thomas A; Jones, Richard D; Snavely, Andrew R; Pfenning, Andreas R; Kirchner, Rory; Hemberg, Martin; Gray, Jesse M

    2016-08-01

    Promoters initiate RNA synthesis, and enhancers stimulate promoter activity. Whether promoter and enhancer activities are encoded distinctly in DNA sequences is unknown. We measured the enhancer and promoter activities of thousands of DNA fragments transduced into mouse neurons. We focused on genomic loci bound by the neuronal activity-regulated coactivator CREBBP, and we measured enhancer and promoter activities both before and after neuronal activation. We find that the same sequences typically encode both enhancer and promoter activities. However, gene promoters generate more promoter activity than distal enhancers, despite generating similar enhancer activity. Surprisingly, the greater promoter activity of gene promoters is not due to conventional core promoter elements or splicing signals. Instead, we find that particular transcription factor binding motifs are intrinsically biased toward the generation of promoter activity, whereas others are not. Although the specific biases we observe may be dependent on experimental or cellular context, our results suggest that gene promoters are distinguished from distal enhancers by specific complements of transcriptional activators. PMID:27311442

  7. Self-shielding effects in neutron spectra measurements for neutron capture therapy by means of activation foils.

    PubMed

    Pytel, Krzysztof; Józefowicz, Krystyna; Pytel, Beatrycze; Koziel, Alina

    2004-01-01

    The design and optimisation of a neutron beam for neutron capture therapy (NCT) is accompanied by the neutron spectra measurements at the target position. The method of activation detectors was applied for the neutron spectra measurements. Epithermal neutron energy region imposes the resonance structure of activation cross sections resulting in strong self-shielding effects. The neutron self-shielding correction factor was calculated using a simple analytical model of a single absorption event. Such a procedure has been applied to individual cross sections from pointwise ENDF/B-VI library and new corrected activation cross sections were introduced to a spectra unfolding algorithm. The method has been verified experimentally both for isotropic and for parallel neutron beams. Two sets of diluted and non-diluted activation foils covered with cadmium were irradiated in the neutron field. The comparison of activation rates of diluted and non-diluted foils has demonstrated the correctness of the applied self-shielding model.

  8. Protumorigenic Activity of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 Through an Antiapoptotic Function

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is a protease inhibitor but is paradoxically associated with poor outcomes in cancer patients. However, the mechanisms of its effects on tumor cells have not been explored. Methods Endogenous PAI-1 in human tumor cell lines (HT-1080, A549, HCT-116, and MDA-MB-231) was suppressed by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and PAI-039, a small molecule inhibitor of PAI-1, and the effects on apoptosis were examined. Tumorigenicity of PAI-1 knockdown (KD) tumor cells was examined in immunodeficient PAI-1 wild-type and knockout (KO) mice (9–15 per group), and event-free survival was analyzed by the Kaplan–Meier method. The effect of PAI-1 suppression on HT-1080 xenotransplanted tumors was evaluated for cell proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of PAI-1 in the four tumor cell lines increased spontaneous apoptosis (mean fold increase relative to control: HT-1080, siRNA#1, mean = 4.0, 95% CI = 2.6 to 5.3, P < .001; siRNA#2, mean = 2.6, 95% CI = 2.4 to 2.9, P < .001, Student t test), which was blocked in the presence of recombinant PAI-1, a caspase-8 inhibitor, or Fas/FasL neutralizing antibodies and was partially attenuated by a plasmin inhibitor-aprotinin. PAI-1 KO mice implanted with PAI-1 KD HT-1080 cells had decreased tumorigenesis and prolonged survival compared with control mice (P = .002, log-rank test), and their tumors exhibited decreased cell proliferation and angiogenesis and increased apoptosis. Furthermore, five of 15 PAI-1 KO mice implanted with PAI-1 KD HT-1080 cells never developed tumors. Conclusions These data suggest that PAI-1 exerts a protective effect against tumor cell apoptosis by a mechanism that, in part, involves plasmin activation and inhibition of Fas/Fas-L-mediated apoptosis and may be a promising therapeutic target. PMID:22984202

  9. Is excessive online usage a function of medium or activity? An empirical pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Mark D.; Szabo, Attila

    2014-01-01

    Aims: The purpose of the study was to seek a better insight into whether the online medium or the online activity was more important in relation to excessive online use. It is not clear whether those people who spend excessive amounts of time on the Internet are engaged in general Internet or whether excessive Internet use is linked to specific activities. Methods: Perceived changes in Internet use habits as function of hypothetical accessibility of favorite sites were investigated in young adults. University students (n = 130, mean age = 20.6 years) who had (on average) spent over 20 hours a week on the Internet for at least nine years completed a survey. The most favored online activities and expected quality of life without Internet access were also investigated. Results: Findings revealed that social networking was by far the most popular online activity, and that lack of access to their preferred online activities would drop by 65% (as measured by perceived Internet usage). Approximately one in six participants (16%) claimed they would not even switch on the computer if access to their favorite online activities were unavailable. In relation to a hypothetical question about the quality of life without Internet access, the responses were normally distributed (rather than skewed). Conclusions: These results show that time spent with Internet activity is not random and/or generalized, but appears more focused. Attraction or addiction on Internet to one or more specific behavior(s) may be a better way forward in the quest for better understanding excessive human behavior in the online environment. PMID:25215216

  10. Effects of exercise pressor reflex activation on carotid baroreflex function during exercise in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, K. M.; Fadel, P. J.; Stromstad, M.; Ide, K.; Smith, S. A.; Querry, R. G.; Raven, P. B.; Secher, N. H.

    2001-01-01

    1. This investigation was designed to determine the contribution of the exercise pressor reflex to the resetting of the carotid baroreflex during exercise. 2. Ten subjects performed 3.5 min of static one-legged exercise (20 % maximal voluntary contraction) and 7 min dynamic cycling (20 % maximal oxygen uptake) under two conditions: control (no intervention) and with the application of medical anti-shock (MAS) trousers inflated to 100 mmHg (to activate the exercise pressor reflex). Carotid baroreflex function was determined at rest and during exercise using a rapid neck pressure/neck suction technique. 3. During exercise, the application of MAS trousers (MAS condition) increased mean arterial pressure (MAP), plasma noradrenaline concentration (dynamic exercise only) and perceived exertion (dynamic exercise only) when compared to control (P < 0.05). No effect of the MAS condition was evident at rest. The MAS condition had no effect on heart rate (HR), plasma lactate and adrenaline concentrations or oxygen uptake at rest and during exercise. The carotid baroreflex stimulus-response curve was reset upward on the response arm and rightward to a higher operating pressure by control exercise without alterations in gain. Activation of the exercise pressor reflex by MAS trousers further reset carotid baroreflex control of MAP, as indicated by the upward and rightward relocation of the curve. However, carotid baroreflex control of HR was only shifted rightward to higher operating pressures by MAS trousers. The sensitivity of the carotid baroreflex was unaltered by exercise pressor reflex activation. 4. These findings suggest that during dynamic and static exercise the exercise pressor reflex is capable of actively resetting carotid baroreflex control of mean arterial pressure; however, it would appear only to modulate carotid baroreflex control of heart rate.

  11. Intonational meaning.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, prosodic studies have focused on the study of intonational form and the study of intonational meaning has been relatively neglected. Similarly, the fields of semantics and pragmatics have paid little attention to the pragmatic uses of intonation. As a result, there is no firm agreement within the linguistic community on how to integrate the analysis of intonational meaning across languages into a unified prosodic, semantic, and pragmatic approach. This article provides an overview of the literature on intonational meaning, describing the recent advances made in the fields of prosody, semantics/pragmatics, and syntax. Several theoretical approaches to explaining the semantics and pragmatics of intonation are presented. A common feature to most frameworks is that intonation (1) should be regarded as an integral part of linguistic grammar; and (2) typically encodes meanings related to the modal aspect of propositions. However, features such as compositionality, duality of structure, and context-dependency are still hotly debated issues. These features will be discussed from different theoretical perspectives, and we will identify potential advances related to the full integration of intonational meaning into dynamic and multidimensional models of meaning.

  12. Intonational meaning.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, prosodic studies have focused on the study of intonational form and the study of intonational meaning has been relatively neglected. Similarly, the fields of semantics and pragmatics have paid little attention to the pragmatic uses of intonation. As a result, there is no firm agreement within the linguistic community on how to integrate the analysis of intonational meaning across languages into a unified prosodic, semantic, and pragmatic approach. This article provides an overview of the literature on intonational meaning, describing the recent advances made in the fields of prosody, semantics/pragmatics, and syntax. Several theoretical approaches to explaining the semantics and pragmatics of intonation are presented. A common feature to most frameworks is that intonation (1) should be regarded as an integral part of linguistic grammar; and (2) typically encodes meanings related to the modal aspect of propositions. However, features such as compositionality, duality of structure, and context-dependency are still hotly debated issues. These features will be discussed from different theoretical perspectives, and we will identify potential advances related to the full integration of intonational meaning into dynamic and multidimensional models of meaning. PMID:26263426

  13. Extending the Functionality of Behavioural Change-Point Analysis with k-Means Clustering: A Case Study with the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jingjing; Dennis, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    We present a simple framework for classifying mutually exclusive behavioural states within the geospatial lifelines of animals. This method involves use of three sequentially applied statistical procedures: (1) behavioural change point analysis to partition movement trajectories into discrete bouts of same-state behaviours, based on abrupt changes in the spatio-temporal autocorrelation structure of movement parameters; (2) hierarchical multivariate cluster analysis to determine the number of different behavioural states; and (3) k-means clustering to classify inferred bouts of same-state location observations into behavioural modes. We demonstrate application of the method by analysing synthetic trajectories of known ‘artificial behaviours’ comprised of different correlated random walks, as well as real foraging trajectories of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) obtained by global-positioning-system telemetry. Our results show that the modelling procedure correctly classified 92.5% of all individual location observations in the synthetic trajectories, demonstrating reasonable ability to successfully discriminate behavioural modes. Most individual little penguins were found to exhibit three unique behavioural states (resting, commuting/active searching, area-restricted foraging), with variation in the timing and locations of observations apparently related to ambient light, bathymetry, and proximity to coastlines and river mouths. Addition of k-means clustering extends the utility of behavioural change point analysis, by providing a simple means through which the behaviours inferred for the location observations comprising individual movement trajectories can be objectively classified. PMID:25922935

  14. Extending the Functionality of Behavioural Change-Point Analysis with k-Means Clustering: A Case Study with the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingjing; O'Reilly, Kathleen M; Perry, George L W; Taylor, Graeme A; Dennis, Todd E

    2015-01-01

    We present a simple framework for classifying mutually exclusive behavioural states within the geospatial lifelines of animals. This method involves use of three sequentially applied statistical procedures: (1) behavioural change point analysis to partition movement trajectories into discrete bouts of same-state behaviours, based on abrupt changes in the spatio-temporal autocorrelation structure of movement parameters; (2) hierarchical multivariate cluster analysis to determine the number of different behavioural states; and (3) k-means clustering to classify inferred bouts of same-state location observations into behavioural modes. We demonstrate application of the method by analysing synthetic trajectories of known 'artificial behaviours' comprised of different correlated random walks, as well as real foraging trajectories of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) obtained by global-positioning-system telemetry. Our results show that the modelling procedure correctly classified 92.5% of all individual location observations in the synthetic trajectories, demonstrating reasonable ability to successfully discriminate behavioural modes. Most individual little penguins were found to exhibit three unique behavioural states (resting, commuting/active searching, area-restricted foraging), with variation in the timing and locations of observations apparently related to ambient light, bathymetry, and proximity to coastlines and river mouths. Addition of k-means clustering extends the utility of behavioural change point analysis, by providing a simple means through which the behaviours inferred for the location observations comprising individual movement trajectories can be objectively classified.

  15. 20 CFR 667.220 - What Workforce Investment Act title I functions and activities constitute the costs of...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... cash management functions; (ii) Procurement and purchasing functions; (iii) Property management functions; (iv) Personnel management functions; (v) Payroll functions; (vi) Coordinating the resolution of... functions and activities constitute the costs of administration subject to the administrative cost...

  16. Effects of Classroom Animal-Assisted Activities on Social Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    McKenzie, Samantha J.; McCune, Sandra; Slaughter, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objective: The objective of this study was to implement and evaluate a classroom-based Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) program on social functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Design: This was a multisite, control-to-intervention design study. Settings/location: The study was conducted in 41 classrooms in 15 schools in Brisbane, Australia. Subjects: Sixty-four (64) 5- to 12-year-old children diagnosed with ASD comprised the study group. Intervention: The AAA program consisted of 8 weeks of animal exposure in the school classroom in addition to 16 20-minute animal-interaction sessions. Outcome measures: Teacher- and parent-reported child behavior and social functioning were assessed through standardized instruments at three time points: upon study entry (Time 1), after an 8-week waiting period during the week prior to the AAA program (Time 2), and during the week following the 8-week AAA program (Time 3). Results: Significant improvements were identified in social functioning, including increases in social approach behaviors and social skills, and decreases in social withdrawal behaviors, from before to after the AAA program, but not during the waitlist period. Over half of parents also reported that participants demonstrated an increased interest in attending school during the program. Conclusions: Results demonstrate the feasibility and potential efficacy of a new classroom-based Animal-Assisted Activities model, which may provide a relatively simple and cost-effective means of helping educators and families to improve the social functioning of children with ASD. PMID:24156772

  17. Role of solvent permittivity in estimation of electrolyte activity coefficients for systems with ion pairing on the basis of the mean spherical approximation. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Tikanen, A.C.; Fawcett, R.R.

    1996-10-01

    Mean ionic activity coefficient for aqueous solutions of CdCl2, CuCl2, MgCl2, Na2SO4 and CdSO4, systems for which dielectric relaxation data have recently been obtained, can be estimated accurately on the basis of a modified version of the mean spherical approximation (MSA) for electrolyte solutions with consideration of ion pairing. The modification makes use of the actual solution permittivity rather than the permittivity of the pure solvent. Reasonable ion pairing association constants, Kas, have been determined by fitting the theoretically determined mean ionic activity coefficients to experimentally measured values in the range of concentration for which the dielectric permittivity data exist using one additional adjustable parameter, namely, the restricted diameter for all species involved.

  18. Method for Determining the Activation Energy Distribution Function of Complex Reactions by Sieving and Thermogravimetric Measurements.

    PubMed

    Bufalo, Gennaro; Ambrosone, Luigi

    2016-01-14

    A method for studying the kinetics of thermal degradation of complex compounds is suggested. Although the method is applicable to any matrix whose grain size can be measured, herein we focus our investigation on thermogravimetric analysis, under a nitrogen atmosphere, of ground soft wheat and ground maize. The thermogravimetric curves reveal that there are two well-distinct jumps of mass loss. They correspond to volatilization, which is in the temperature range 298-433 K, and decomposition regions go from 450 to 1073 K. Thermal degradation is schematized as a reaction in the solid state whose kinetics is analyzed separately in each of the two regions. By means of a sieving analysis different size fractions of the material are separated and studied. A quasi-Newton fitting algorithm is used to obtain the grain size distribution as best fit to experimental data. The individual fractions are thermogravimetrically analyzed for deriving the functional relationship between activation energy of the degradation reactions and the particle size. Such functional relationship turns out to be crucial to evaluate the moments of the activation energy distribution, which is unknown in terms of the distribution calculated by sieve analysis. From the knowledge of moments one can reconstruct the reaction conversion. The method is applied first to the volatilization region, then to the decomposition region. The comparison with the experimental data reveals that the method reproduces the experimental conversion with an accuracy of 5-10% in the volatilization region and of 3-5% in the decomposition region.

  19. Assessing upper extremity motor function in practice of virtual activities of daily living.

    PubMed

    Adams, Richard J; Lichter, Matthew D; Krepkovich, Eileen T; Ellington, Allison; White, Marga; Diamond, Paul T

    2015-03-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the criterion validity of measures of upper extremity (UE) motor function derived during practice of virtual activities of daily living (ADLs). Fourteen hemiparetic stroke patients employed a Virtual Occupational Therapy Assistant (VOTA), consisting of a high-fidelity virtual world and a Kinect™ sensor, in four sessions of approximately one hour in duration. An unscented Kalman Filter-based human motion tracking algorithm estimated UE joint kinematics in real-time during performance of virtual ADL activities, enabling both animation of the user's avatar and automated generation of metrics related to speed and smoothness of motion. These metrics, aggregated over discrete sub-task elements during performance of virtual ADLs, were compared to scores from an established assessment of UE motor performance, the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT). Spearman's rank correlation analysis indicates a moderate correlation between VOTA-derived metrics and the time-based WMFT assessments, supporting the criterion validity of VOTA measures as a means of tracking patient progress during an UE rehabilitation program that includes practice of virtual ADLs.

  20. Assessing upper extremity motor function in practice of virtual activities of daily living.

    PubMed

    Adams, Richard J; Lichter, Matthew D; Krepkovich, Eileen T; Ellington, Allison; White, Marga; Diamond, Paul T

    2015-03-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the criterion validity of measures of upper extremity (UE) motor function derived during practice of virtual activities of daily living (ADLs). Fourteen hemiparetic stroke patients employed a Virtual Occupational Therapy Assistant (VOTA), consisting of a high-fidelity virtual world and a Kinect™ sensor, in four sessions of approximately one hour in duration. An unscented Kalman Filter-based human motion tracking algorithm estimated UE joint kinematics in real-time during performance of virtual ADL activities, enabling both animation of the user's avatar and automated generation of metrics related to speed and smoothness of motion. These metrics, aggregated over discrete sub-task elements during performance of virtual ADLs, were compared to scores from an established assessment of UE motor performance, the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT). Spearman's rank correlation analysis indicates a moderate correlation between VOTA-derived metrics and the time-based WMFT assessments, supporting the criterion validity of VOTA measures as a means of tracking patient progress during an UE rehabilitation program that includes practice of virtual ADLs. PMID:25265612

  1. Correction: Towards the rationalization of catalytic activity values by means of local hyper-softness on the catalytic site: a criticism about the use of net electric charges.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Araya, Jorge Ignacio; Grand, André; Glossman-Mitnik, Daniel

    2016-01-28

    Correction for 'Towards the rationalization of catalytic activity values by means of local hyper-softness on the catalytic site: a criticism about the use of net electric charges' by Jorge Ignacio Martínez-Araya et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c5cp03822g.

  2. Correction: Towards the rationalization of catalytic activity values by means of local hyper-softness on the catalytic site: a criticism about the use of net electric charges.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Araya, Jorge Ignacio; Grand, André; Glossman-Mitnik, Daniel

    2016-01-28

    Correction for 'Towards the rationalization of catalytic activity values by means of local hyper-softness on the catalytic site: a criticism about the use of net electric charges' by Jorge Ignacio Martínez-Araya et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c5cp03822g. PMID:26524565

  3. The Contribution of Executive Functions to Participation in School Activities of Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zingerevich, Chaya; Patricia D., LaVesser

    2009-01-01

    This study describes the contribution of executive functions to participation in school activities of children diagnosed with ASD ages 6-9 years while controlling for sensory processing. Twenty-four children, ages 73-112 months (S.D. = 11.4), diagnosed with high functioning ASD were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Their teachers…

  4. Optochemical Activation of Kinase Function in Live Cells

    PubMed Central

    Karginov, Andrei V.; Hahn, Klaus M.; Deiters, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Summary Manipulation of protein kinase activity is widely used to dissect signaling pathways controlling physiological and pathological processes. Common methods often cannot provide the desired spatial and temporal resolution in control of kinase activity. Regulation of kinase activity by photocaged kinase inhibitors has been successfully used to achieve tight temporal and local control, but inhibitors are limited to inactivation of kinases, and often do not provide the desired specificity. Here we report detailed methods for light-mediated activation of kinases in living cells using engineered rapamycin-regulated kinases (RapR-kinases) in conjunction with a photocaged analog of rapamycin. PMID:24718793

  5. 24 CFR 4100.1 - Functions and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... and amenities, and improve the neighborhood's image and the functioning of its real estate market are... bodies providing financing. (B) The Owner Rehab Housing program assists low to moderate income...

  6. 24 CFR 4100.1 - Functions and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... and amenities, and improve the neighborhood's image and the functioning of its real estate market are... bodies providing financing. (B) The Owner Rehab Housing program assists low to moderate income...

  7. 24 CFR 4100.1 - Functions and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... and amenities, and improve the neighborhood's image and the functioning of its real estate market are... bodies providing financing. (B) The Owner Rehab Housing program assists low to moderate income...

  8. Investigation of Antioxidant Activity of Pomegranate Juices by Means of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance and UV-Vis Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Kozik, Violetta; Jarzembek, Krystyna; Jędrzejowska, Agnieszka; Bąk, Andrzej; Polak, Justyna; Bartoszek, Mariola; Pytlakowska, Katarzyna

    2015-01-01

    Pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum L.) is a source of numerous phenolic compounds, and it contains flavonoids such as anthocyanins, anthocyanidins, cyanidins, catechins and other complexes of flavonoids, ellagitannins, and hydrolyzed tannins. Pomegranate juice shows antioxidant, antiproliferative, and anti-atherosclerotic properties. The antioxidant capacity (TEAC) of the pomegranate juices was measured using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH•) as a source of free radicals, and the total phenolic (TP) content was measured using UV-Vis spectroscopy. All the examined pomegranate juices exhibited relatively high antioxidant properties. The TEAC values determined by means of EPR spectroscopy using Trolox (TE) as a free radical scavenger were in the range of 463.12 to 1911.91 μmol TE/100 mL juice. The TP content measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu method, using gallic acid (GA) as a free radical scavenger, widely varied in the investigated pomegranate juice samples and ranged from 1673.62 to 5263.87 mg GA/1 L juice. The strongest antioxidant properties were observed with the fresh pomegranate juices obtained from the fruits originating from Israel, Lebanon, and Azerbaijan. Correlation analysis of numerical data obtained by means of EPR spectroscopy (TEAC) and UV-Vis spectroscopy (TP) gave correlation coefficient (r)=0.90 and determination coefficient (r2)=0.81 (P<0.05).

  9. Results of a workshop concerning impacts of various activities on the functions of bottomland hardwoods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roelle, James E.; Auble, Gregor T.; Hamilton, David B.; Horak, Gerald C.; Johnson, Richard L.; Segelquist, Charles A.

    1987-01-01

    Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulatory responsibilities related to the discharge of dredged or fill material into the Nation’s waters. In addition to its advisory role in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' permit program, EPA has a number of specific authorities, including formulation of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines, use of Section 404(c) to prohibit disposal at particular sites, and enforcement actions for unauthorized discharges. A number of recent court cases focus on the geographic scope of Section 404 jurisdiction in potential bottomland hardwood (BLH) wetlands and the nature of landclearing activities in these areas that require a permit under Section 404. Accordingly, EPA needs to establish the scientific basis for implementing its responsibilities under Section 404 in bottomland hardwoods. EPA is approaching this task through a series of workshops designed to provide current scientific information on bottomland hardwoods and to organize that information in a manner pertinent to key policy questions. The first two workshops in the series were originally conceived as technically oriented meetings that would provide the information necessary to develop policy options at the third workshop. More specifically, the first workshop was designed to examine a zonation concept as a means of characterizing different BLH communities and describing variations in their functions along a soil moisture gradient. The second workshop was perceived as an attempt to evaluate the impacts of various activities on those functions. However, one conclusion of the first workshop, which was held in December 1984 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, was that the zonation approach does not describe the variability in the functions performed by BLH ecosystems sufficiently well to allow its use as the sole basis for developing a regulatory framework. That is, factors other than zone were considered critical for an effective

  10. The Meaning of Non-Work Activities to Smalltown-Non Metropolitan Residents of the Piedmont Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Payne, Barbara P.

    Part of a larger study of recreation and leisure patterns of adults in the Piedmont Region, this report focused on the activities of small town and non-metropolitan residents. The Piedmont Region was defined as counties where the western/northern boundary is fixed by the Appalachian Mountains and the eastern/southern boundary by the coastal plains…

  11. Social Interaction and Cooperative Activities: Drawing Plans as a Means of Increasing Engagement for Children with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peters, Brenda; Forlin, Chris; McInerney, Dennis; Maclean, Rupert

    2013-01-01

    A substantial amount of learning in schools takes place within social contexts and class-based group activities; however, social learning situations, communication and social cognition development for children with ASD can be a challenge for the children and their teachers. This paper explores what happens when children with ASD draw…

  12. Disordered Semantic Activation in Disorganized Discourse in Schizophrenia: A New Pragma-Linguistic Tool for Structure and Meaning Reconstruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hella, Pertti; Niemi, Jussi; Hintikka, Jukka; Otsa, Lidia; Tirkkonen, Jani-Matti; Koponen, Hannu

    2013-01-01

    Background: Disorganized speech, manifested as derailment, tangentiality, incoherence and loss of goal, occurs commonly in schizophrenia. Studies of language processing have demonstrated that semantic activation in schizophrenia is often disordered and, moreover, the ability to use contextual cues is impaired. Aims: To reconstruct the origins and…

  13. Technical Note: Determination of the metabolically active fraction of benthic foraminifera by means of Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borrelli, C.; Sabbatini, A.; Luna, G. M.; Nardelli, M. P.; Sbaffi, T.; Morigi, C.; Danovaro, R.; Negri, A.

    2011-08-01

    Benthic foraminifera are an important component of the marine biota, but protocols for investigating their viability and metabolism are still extremely limited. Classical studies on benthic foraminifera have been based on direct counting under light microscopy. Typically, these organisms are stained with Rose Bengal, which binds proteins and other macromolecules, but does not allow discrimination between viable and recently dead organisms. The fluorescent in situ hybridization technique (FISH) represents a new and useful approach to identify living cells possessing an active metabolism. Our work is the first test of the suitability of the FISH technique, based on fluorescent probes targeting the 18S rRNA, to detect live benthic foraminifera. The protocol was applied on Ammonia group and Miliolids, as well as on agglutinated polythalamous (i.e., Leptohalysis scottii and Eggerella scabra) and soft-shelled monothalamous (i.e., Psammophaga sp. and saccamminid morphotypes) taxa. The results from FISH analyses were compared with those obtained, on the same specimens assayed with FISH, from microscopic analysis of the cytoplasm colour, presence of pigments and pseudopodial activity. Our results indicate that FISH targets only metabolically active foraminifera, and allows discerning from low to high cellular activity, validating the hypothesis that the intensity of the fluorescent signal emitted by the probe is dependent upon the physiological status of cells. These findings support the usefulness of this molecular approach as a key tool for obtaining information on the physiology of living foraminifera, both in field and experimental settings.

  14. Learning about Modes in Atomic Force Microscopy by Means of Hands-On Activities Based on a Simple Apparatus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phuapaiboon, Unchada; Panijpan, Bhinyo; Osotchan, Tanakorn

    2009-01-01

    This study was conducted to examine the results of using a low-cost hands-on setup in combination with accompanying activities to promote understanding of the contact mode of atomic force microscopy (AFM). This contact mode setup enabled learners to study how AFM works by hand scanning using probing cantilevers with different characteristics on…

  15. Normal Weight with Central Obesity, Physical Activity, and Functional Decline: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Batsis, John A.; Zbehlik, Alicia J.; Scherer, Emily A.; Barre, Laura K.; Bartels, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES To identify the risks of the combination of normal body mass index (BMI) and central obesity (normal weight and central obesity (NWCO)) on physical activity and function. DESIGN Longitudinal Osteoarthritis Initiative Study. SETTING Community based. PARTICIPANTS Adults aged 60 and older at risk of osteoarthritis (N= 2,210; mean age 68, range 67.1–69.0) were grouped according to BMI (normal 18.5–24.9 kg/m2, overweight 25.0–29.9 kg/m2, obese ≥30.0 kg/m2). High waist circumference (WC) was defined as greater than 88 cm for women and greater than 102 cm for men. Subjects were subcategorized according to WC (five categories). Subjects with normal BMI and a large WC were considered to have NWCO (n=280, 12.7%). MEASUREMENTS Six-year changes in the Physical Component Summary of the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short Form Survey (PCS), Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), and Late-Life Function and Disability Index (LL-FDI) were examined. The association between BMI and WC over 6 years was assessed (reference normal BMI, normal WC). Stratified analyses were performed according to age (60–69; ≥70). RESULTS Physical component scores, PASE, and LL-FDI declined with time. Mean PASE scores at 6 years differed between the NWCO group and the group with normal BMI and WC (117.7 vs 141.5), but rate of change from baseline to 6 years was not significantly different (p=.35). In adjusted models, those with NWCO had greater decline in PCS over time, particularly those aged 70 and older than those with normal BMI and WC (time interaction β=–0.37, 95% confidence interval=–0.68 to –0.06). CONCLUSION NWCO in older adults at risk of osteoarthritis may be a risk factor for declining function and physical activity, particularly in those aged 70 and older, suggesting the value of targeting those with NWCO who would otherwise be labeled as low risk. PMID:26173812

  16. A new theoretical approach to the functional meaning of sleep and dreaming in humans based on the maintenance of 'predictive psychic homeostasis'.

    PubMed

    Agnati, Luigi F; Barlow, Peter W; Baluška, František; Tonin, Paolo; Guescini, Michele; Leo, Giuseppina; Fuxe, Kjell

    2011-11-01

    Different theories have been put forward during the last decade to explain the functional meaning of sleep and dreaming in humans. In the present paper, a new theory is presented which, while taking advantage of these earlier theories, introduces the following new and original aspects:   • Circadian rhythms relevant to various organs of the body affect the reciprocal interactions which operate to maintain constancy of the internal milieu and thereby also affect the sleep/wakefulness cycle. Particular attention is given to the constancy of natraemia and osmolarity and to the permissive role that the evolution of renal function has had for the evolution of the central nervous system and its integrative actions. • The resetting of neuro-endocrine controls at the onset of wakefulness leads to the acquisition of new information and its integration within previously stored memories. This point is dealt with in relation to Moore-Ede's proposal for the existence of a 'predictive homeostasis'. • The concept of 'psychic homeostasis' is introduced and is considered as one of the most important states since it is aimed at the well-being, or eudemonia, of the human psyche. Sleep and dreaming in humans are discussed as important functions for the maintenance of a newly proposed composite state: that of 'predictive psychic homeostasis'. On the basis of these assumptions, and in accordance with the available neurobiological data, the present paper puts forward the novel hypothesis that sleep and dreaming play important functions in humans by compensating for psychic allostatic overloads. Hence, both consolatory dreams and disturbing nightmares can be part of the vis medicatrix naturae, the natural healing power, in this case, the state of eudemonia.

  17. Building an Understanding of Functions: A Series of Activities for Pre-Calculus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carducci, Olivia M.

    2008-01-01

    Building block toys can be used to illustrate various concepts connected with functions including graphs and rates of change of linear and exponential functions, piecewise functions, and composition of functions. Five brief activities suitable for a pre-calculus course are described.

  18. How Physically Active Are People with Stroke in Physiotherapy Sessions Aimed at Improving Motor Function? A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Gurpreet; English, Coralie; Hillier, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Background. Targeted physical activity drives functional recovery after stroke. This review aimed to determine the amount of time stroke survivors spend physically active during physiotherapy sessions. Summary of Review. A systematic search was conducted to identify published studies that investigated the use of time by people with stroke during physiotherapy sessions. Seven studies were included; six observational and one randomised controlled trial. People with stroke were found to be physically active for an average of 60 percent of their physiotherapy session duration. The most common activities practiced in a physiotherapy session were walking, sitting, and standing with a mean (SD) practice time of 8.7 (4.3), 4.5 (4.0), and 8.3 (2.6) minutes, respectively. Conclusion. People with stroke were found to spend less than two-thirds of their physiotherapy sessions duration engaged in physical activity. In light of dosage studies, practice time may be insufficient to drive optimal motor recovery. PMID:22567542

  19. The associations of objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time with cognitive functions in school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Syväoja, Heidi J; Tammelin, Tuija H; Ahonen, Timo; Kankaanpää, Anna; Kantomaa, Marko T

    2014-01-01

    Low levels of physical activity among children have raised concerns over the effects of a physically inactive lifestyle, not only on physical health but also on cognitive prerequisites of learning. This study examined how objectively measured and self-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with cognitive functions in school-aged children. The study population consisted of 224 children from five schools in the Jyväskylä school district in Finland (mean age 12.2 years; 56% girls), who participated in the study in the spring of 2011. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured objectively for seven consecutive days using the ActiGraph GT1M/GT3X accelerometer. Self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and screen time were evaluated with the questions used in the "WHO Health Behavior in School-aged Children" study. Cognitive functions including visual memory, executive functions and attention were evaluated with a computerized Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery by using five different tests. Structural equation modeling was applied to examine how objectively measured and self-reported MVPA and sedentary behavior were associated with cognitive functions. High levels of objectively measured MVPA were associated with good performance in the reaction time test. High levels of objectively measured sedentary time were associated with good performance in the sustained attention test. Objectively measured MVPA and sedentary time were not associated with other measures of cognitive functions. High amount of self-reported computer/video game play was associated with weaker performance in working memory test, whereas high amount of computer use was associated with weaker performance in test measuring shifting and flexibility of attention. Self-reported physical activity and total screen time were not associated with any measures of cognitive functions. The results of the present study propose that physical

  20. The Associations of Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time with Cognitive Functions in School-Aged Children

    PubMed Central

    Syväoja, Heidi J.; Tammelin, Tuija H.; Ahonen, Timo; Kankaanpää, Anna; Kantomaa, Marko T.

    2014-01-01

    Low levels of physical activity among children have raised concerns over the effects of a physically inactive lifestyle, not only on physical health but also on cognitive prerequisites of learning. This study examined how objectively measured and self-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with cognitive functions in school-aged children. The study population consisted of 224 children from five schools in the Jyväskylä school district in Finland (mean age 12.2 years; 56% girls), who participated in the study in the spring of 2011. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured objectively for seven consecutive days using the ActiGraph GT1M/GT3X accelerometer. Self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and screen time were evaluated with the questions used in the “WHO Health Behavior in School-aged Children” study. Cognitive functions including visual memory, executive functions and attention were evaluated with a computerized Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery by using five different tests. Structural equation modeling was applied to examine how objectively measured and self-reported MVPA and sedentary behavior were associated with cognitive functions. High levels of objectively measured MVPA were associated with good performance in the reaction time test. High levels of objectively measured sedentary time were associated with good performance in the sustained attention test. Objectively measured MVPA and sedentary time were not associated with other measures of cognitive functions. High amount of self-reported computer/video game play was associated with weaker performance in working memory test, whereas high amount of computer use was associated with weaker performance in test measuring shifting and flexibility of attention. Self-reported physical activity and total screen time were not associated with any measures of cognitive functions. The results of the present study propose that physical