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Sample records for activity measurements revealed

  1. Frequency specific interactions of MEG resting state activity within and across brain networks as revealed by the multivariate interaction measure.

    PubMed

    Marzetti, L; Della Penna, S; Snyder, A Z; Pizzella, V; Nolte, G; de Pasquale, F; Romani, G L; Corbetta, M

    2013-10-01

    Resting state networks (RSNs) are sets of brain regions exhibiting temporally coherent activity fluctuations in the absence of imposed task structure. RSNs have been extensively studied with fMRI in the infra-slow frequency range (nominally <10(-1)Hz). The topography of fMRI RSNs reflects stationary temporal correlation over minutes. However, neuronal communication occurs on a much faster time scale, at frequencies nominally in the range of 10(0)-10(2)Hz. We examined phase-shifted interactions in the delta (2-3.5 Hz), theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) frequency bands of resting-state source space MEG signals. These analyses were conducted between nodes of the dorsal attention network (DAN), one of the most robust RSNs, and between the DAN and other networks. Phase shifted interactions were mapped by the multivariate interaction measure (MIM), a measure of true interaction constructed from the maximization of imaginary coherency in the virtual channels comprised of voxel signals in source space. Non-zero-phase interactions occurred between homologous left and right hemisphere regions of the DAN in the delta and alpha frequency bands. Even stronger non-zero-phase interactions were detected between networks. Visual regions bilaterally showed phase-shifted interactions in the alpha band with regions of the DAN. Bilateral somatomotor regions interacted with DAN nodes in the beta band. These results demonstrate the existence of consistent, frequency specific phase-shifted interactions on a millisecond time scale between cortical regions within RSN as well as across RSNs. PMID:23631996

  2. Measurement of multisite oxidation kinetics reveals an active site conformational change in Spo0F as a result of protein oxidation.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Joshua S; Sullivan, Daniel M; Cavanagh, John; Tomer, Kenneth B

    2006-05-23

    When most proteins undergo oxidative damage, they yield a variety of products containing oxidative damage at a large number of sites, most of which are modified substoichiometrically. The resulting complex mixture of products is not amenable to high-resolution structural analyses. The previous methods of structural analysis have relied upon either very generalized structural analyses such as circular dichroism or the creation of a battery of mutants to try to isolate single-residue damage effects. We present a methodology using mass spectrometry to measure the kinetics of oxidation at many sites simultaneously. Previous studies have shown that these kinetics are determined by the chemical nature of the damage site and by the accessibility of that site to the radical. By measuring deviations in the rate of oxidation from the expected pseudo-zero-order kinetics, we can detect and characterize local structural changes due to the oxidative damage. We demonstrate the application of this new technique to the Spo0F protein, a regulator of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Circular dichroism studies suggest a partial loss of helical structure of Spo0F as a result of oxidative damage. We report that oxidation causes a three-stage conformational change in Spo0F. Furthermore, we find the dramatic structural changes affect only the region surrounding the active site, while the remainder of the structure remains relatively unperturbed. Finally, we are able to determine that the specific oxidation event that triggers the conformational change at the active site of Spo0F occurs at Met81, a partially conserved methionine in the CheY superfamily.

  3. Measuring Substantial Reductions in Activity

    PubMed Central

    Schafer, Charles; Evans, Meredyth; Jason, Leonard A.; So, Suzanna; Brown, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The case definitions for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) each include a disability criterion requiring substantial reductions in activity in order to meet diagnostic criteria. Difficulties have been encountered in defining and operationalizing the substantial reduction disability criterion within these various illness definitions. The present study sought to relate measures of past and current activities in several domains including the SF-36, an objective measure of activity (e.g. actigraphy), a self-reported quality of life scale, and measures of symptom severity. Results of the study revealed that current work activities had the highest number of significant associations with domains such as the SF-36 subscales, actigraphy, and symptom scores. As an example, higher self-reported levels of current work activity were associated with better health. This suggests that current work related activities may provide a useful domain for helping operationalize the construct of substantial reductions in activity. PMID:25584524

  4. Measurement of enzyme activity.

    PubMed

    Harris, T K; Keshwani, M M

    2009-01-01

    To study and understand the nature of living cells, scientists have continually employed traditional biochemical techniques aimed to fractionate and characterize a designated network of macromolecular components required to carry out a particular cellular function. At the most rudimentary level, cellular functions ultimately entail rapid chemical transformations that otherwise would not occur in the physiological environment of the cell. The term enzyme is used to singularly designate a macromolecular gene product that specifically and greatly enhances the rate of a chemical transformation. Purification and characterization of individual and collective groups of enzymes has been and will remain essential toward advancement of the molecular biological sciences; and developing and utilizing enzyme reaction assays is central to this mission. First, basic kinetic principles are described for understanding chemical reaction rates and the catalytic effects of enzymes on such rates. Then, a number of methods are described for measuring enzyme-catalyzed reaction rates, which mainly differ with regard to techniques used to detect and quantify concentration changes of given reactants or products. Finally, short commentary is given toward formulation of reaction mixtures used to measure enzyme activity. Whereas a comprehensive treatment of enzymatic reaction assays is not within the scope of this chapter, the very core principles that are presented should enable new researchers to better understand the logic and utility of any given enzymatic assay that becomes of interest.

  5. Deuterium reveals the dynamics of notch activation.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kopan

    2011-04-13

    Notch activation requires unfolding of a juxtamembrane negative regulatory domain (NRR). Tiyanont et al. (2011) analyzed the dynamics of NRR unfolding in the presence of EGTA. As predicted from the crystal structure and deletion analyses, the lin-Notch repeats unfold first, facilitating access by ADAM proteases. Surprisingly, the heterodimerization domain remains stable.

  6. Measurement of Physical Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dishman, Rod K.; Washburn, Richard A.; Schoeller, Dale A.

    2001-01-01

    Valid assessment of physical activity must be unobtrusive, practical to administer, and specific about physical activity type, frequency, duration, and intensity. Assessment methods can be categorized according to whether they provide direct or indirect (e.g., self-report) observation of physical activity, body motion, physiological response…

  7. Shocking Detail of Superstar's Activity Revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-10-01

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has imaged Eta Carinae and revealed a hot inner core around this mysterious superstar. The new X-ray observation shows three distinct structures: an outer, horseshoe shaped ring about two light years in diameter, a hot inner core about 3 light months in diameter, and a hot central source less than a light month in diameter which may contain the superstar. All three structures are thought to represent shock waves produced by matter rushing away from the superstar at supersonic speeds. The temperature of the shock-heated gas ranges from 60 million degrees Celsius in the central regions to 3 million degrees Celsius on the outer structure. An earlier image of Eta Carinae by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed two spectacular bubbles of gas expanding in opposite directions away from a central bright region at speeds in excess of a million miles per hour. The inner region visible in the Chandra image has never been resolved before, and appears to be associated with a central disk of high velocity gas rushing out at much higher speeds perpendicular to the bipolar optical nebula. "It is not what I expected," said Dr. Fred Seward of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "I expected to see a strong point source with a little diffuse emission cloud around it. Instead, we see just the opposite- a bright cloud of diffuse emission, and much less radiation from the center." "The Chandra image contains some puzzles for existing ideas of how a star can produce such hot and intense X-rays," agreed Prof. Kris Davidson of the University of Minnesota. "In the most popular theory, X-rays are made by colliding gas streams from two stars so close together that they'd look like a point source to us. But what happens to gas streams that escape to farther distances? The extended hot stuff in the middle of the new image gives demanding new conditions for any theory to meet." Eta Carinae is one of the most enigmatic and intriguing objects in our

  8. Nonclassical light revealed by the joint statistics of simultaneous measurements.

    PubMed

    Luis, Alfredo

    2016-04-15

    Nonclassicality cannot be a single-observable property, since the statistics of any quantum observable is compatible with classical physics. We develop a general procedure to reveal nonclassical behavior of light states from the joint statistics arising in the practical measurement of multiple observables. Beside embracing previous approaches, this protocol can disclose nonclassical features for standard examples of classical-like behavior, such as SU(2) and Glauber coherent states. When combined with other criteria, this would imply that every light state is nonclassical.

  9. ACTIVITIES: Centimeter and Millimeter Measurements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolster, L. Carey

    1974-01-01

    An activity is suggested which will give junior high school students practice in estimating and measuring in centimeters and millimeters. Three worksheets are given, one of which is a model for making a metric caliper. (LS)

  10. Radioactive waste reality as revealed by neutron measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, F.J.

    1995-12-31

    To comprehend certain aspects of the contents of a radioactive waste container is not a trivial matter, especially if one is not allowed to open the container and peer inside. One of the suite of tools available to a practioner in the art of nondestructive assay is based upon neutron measurements. Neutrons, both naturally occuring and induced, are penertrating radiations that can be detected external to the waste container. The practioner should be skilled in applying the proper technique(s) to selected waste types. Available techniques include active and passive neutron measurements, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The waste material itself can compromise the assay results by occluding a portion of the mass of fissile material present, or by multiplying the number of neutrons produced by a spontaneously fissioning mass. This paper will discuss the difficult, but albeit necessary marriage, between radiioactive waste types and alternative neutron measurement techniques.

  11. Carbohydrate active enzymes revealed in Coptotermes formosanus transcriptome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A normalized cDNA library of Coptotermes formosanus was constructed using mixed RNA isolated from workers, soldiers, nymphs and alates of both sexes. Sequencing of this library generated 131,637 EST and 25,939 unigenes were assembled. Carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) revealed in this library we...

  12. Topological structure dynamics revealing collective evolution in active nematics

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xia-qing; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2013-01-01

    Topological defects frequently emerge in active matter like bacterial colonies, cytoskeleton extracts on substrates, self-propelled granular or colloidal layers and so on, but their dynamical properties and the relations to large-scale organization and fluctuations in these active systems are seldom touched. Here we reveal, through a simple model for active nematics using self-driven hard elliptic rods, that the excitation, annihilation and transportation of topological defects differ markedly from those in non-active media. These dynamical processes exhibit strong irreversibility in active nematics in the absence of detailed balance. Moreover, topological defects are the key factors in organizing large-scale dynamic structures and collective flows, resulting in multi-spatial temporal effects. These findings allow us to control the self-organization of active matter through topological structures. PMID:24346733

  13. Drought sensitivity of Amazonian carbon balance revealed by atmospheric measurements.

    PubMed

    Gatti, L V; Gloor, M; Miller, J B; Doughty, C E; Malhi, Y; Domingues, L G; Basso, L S; Martinewski, A; Correia, C S C; Borges, V F; Freitas, S; Braz, R; Anderson, L O; Rocha, H; Grace, J; Phillips, O L; Lloyd, J

    2014-02-01

    Feedbacks between land carbon pools and climate provide one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our predictions of global climate. Estimates of the sensitivity of the terrestrial carbon budget to climate anomalies in the tropics and the identification of the mechanisms responsible for feedback effects remain uncertain. The Amazon basin stores a vast amount of carbon, and has experienced increasingly higher temperatures and more frequent floods and droughts over the past two decades. Here we report seasonal and annual carbon balances across the Amazon basin, based on carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide measurements for the anomalously dry and wet years 2010 and 2011, respectively. We find that the Amazon basin lost 0.48 ± 0.18 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C yr(-1)) during the dry year but was carbon neutral (0.06 ± 0.1 Pg C yr(-1)) during the wet year. Taking into account carbon losses from fire by using carbon monoxide measurements, we derived the basin net biome exchange (that is, the carbon flux between the non-burned forest and the atmosphere) revealing that during the dry year, vegetation was carbon neutral. During the wet year, vegetation was a net carbon sink of 0.25 ± 0.14 Pg C yr(-1), which is roughly consistent with the mean long-term intact-forest biomass sink of 0.39 ± 0.10 Pg C yr(-1) previously estimated from forest censuses. Observations from Amazonian forest plots suggest the suppression of photosynthesis during drought as the primary cause for the 2010 sink neutralization. Overall, our results suggest that moisture has an important role in determining the Amazonian carbon balance. If the recent trend of increasing precipitation extremes persists, the Amazon may become an increasing carbon source as a result of both emissions from fires and the suppression of net biome exchange by drought.

  14. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

    Brahmbhatt, Hetal; Uehling, David; Al-awar, Rima; Leber, Brian; Andrews, David

    2016-01-01

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. PMID:26916338

  15. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  16. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins.

    PubMed

    Lin, Charles Y; Erkek, Serap; Tong, Yiai; Yin, Linlin; Federation, Alexander J; Zapatka, Marc; Haldipur, Parthiv; Kawauchi, Daisuke; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Worst, Barbara C; Ju, Bensheng; Orr, Brent A; Zeid, Rhamy; Polaski, Donald R; Segura-Wang, Maia; Waszak, Sebastian M; Jones, David T W; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Buchhalter, Ivo; Sieber, Laura; Johann, Pascal; Chavez, Lukas; Gröschel, Stefan; Ryzhova, Marina; Korshunov, Andrey; Chen, Wenbiao; Chizhikov, Victor V; Millen, Kathleen J; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Lehrach, Hans; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Eils, Roland; Lichter, Peter; Korbel, Jan O; Pfister, Stefan M; Bradner, James E; Northcott, Paul A

    2016-02-01

    Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Here, using H3K27ac and BRD4 chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-seq, that is responsible for subgroup divergence, and implicates candidate cells of origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins.

  17. Active Mars Revealed through HiRISE DTMs and Orthoimages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattson, Sarah; McEwen, Alfred S.; Bridges, Nathan; Byrne, Shane; Chojnacki, Matthew; Daubar, Ingrid; Dundas, Colin; Russell, Patrick

    2014-11-01

    Before the arrival of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), the amount of surface activity on Mars was not well known. HiRISE repeat imaging (often at ~30 cm/pixel), combined with the ability to take stereo images and generate high resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) reveals the many types of surface processes that are currently active on Mars. Examples of active processes on Mars studied with HiRISE data include aeolian activity [Bridges et al., 2012, Nature 485; Chojnacki et al., 2014, Icarus 232], Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) [McEwen et al., 2011, Science 333; 2014, Nature Geoscience 7], active gullies [Dundas et al., 2012, Icarus 220], polar processes [Hansen et al., 2011, Science 331; Portyankina et al. 2013, AGU], new impacts [Byrne et al., 2009, Science 325; Daubar et al., 2013, Icarus 225; Dundas et al., 2014, JGR 119], and north polar scarp avalanches [Russell et al., 2008, GRL 35, 2014, LPSC]. These studies utilize images from multiple Mars years and seasons. We generate animated gifs with sequences of orthorectified images to analyze temporal changes (see http://www.uahirise.org/sim/). HiRISE DTMs and orthoimages can be used to quantitatively map and record changes in geospatial software. More than 200 DTMs and 400 orthoimages are available through the Planetary Data System (see http://uahirise.org/dtm). Three-band color (blue-green, red, and near infrared) orthoimages are also available in many cases. The ability to monitor the surface of Mars at high spatial and temporal resolution provides insight into seasonal and annual changes, further increasing our understanding of Mars as an active planet.

  18. Lyin' eyes: ocular-motor measures of reading reveal deception.

    PubMed

    Cook, Anne E; Hacker, Douglas J; Webb, Andrea K; Osher, Dahvyn; Kristjansson, Sean D; Woltz, Dan J; Kircher, John C

    2012-09-01

    Our goal was to evaluate an alternative to current methods for detecting deception in security screening contexts. We evaluated a new cognitive-based test of deception that measured participants' ocular-motor responses (pupil responses and reading behaviors) while they read and responded to statements on a computerized questionnaire. In Experiment 1, participants from a university community were randomly assigned to either a "guilty" group that committed one of two mock crimes or an "innocent" group that only learned about the crime. Participants then reported for testing, where they completed the computer-administered questionnaire that addressed their possible involvement in the crimes. Experiment 2 also manipulated participants' incentive to pass the test and difficulty of statements on the test. In both experiments, guilty participants had increased pupil responses to statements answered deceptively; however, they spent less time fixating on, reading, and rereading those statements than statements answered truthfully. These ocular-motor measures were optimally weighted in a discrimination function that correctly classified 85% of participants as either guilty or innocent. Findings from Experiment 2 indicated that group discrimination was improved with greater incentives to pass the test and the use of statements with simple syntax. The present findings suggest that two cognitive processes are involved in deception-vigilance and strategy-and that these processes are reflected in different ocular-motor measures. The ocular-motor test reported here represents a new approach to detecting deception that may fill an important need in security screening contexts.

  19. Lyin’ Eyes: Ocular-motor Measures of Reading Reveal Deception

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Anne E.; Hacker, Douglas J.; Webb, Andrea K.; Osher, Dahvyn; Kristjansson, Sean; Woltz, Dan J.; Kircher, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Our goal was to evaluate an alternative to current methods for detecting deception in security screening contexts. We evaluated a new cognitive-based test of deception that measured participants’ ocular-motor responses (pupil responses and reading behaviors) while they read and responded to statements on a computerized questionnaire. In Experiment 1, participants from a university community were randomly assigned to either a “guilty” group that committed one of two mock crimes or an “innocent” group that only learned about the crime. Participants then reported for testing, where they completed the computer-administered questionnaire that addressed their possible involvement in the crimes. Experiment 2 also manipulated participants’ incentive to pass the test and difficulty of statements on the test. In both experiments, guilty participants had increased pupil responses to statements answered deceptively; however, they spent less time fixating on, reading, and re-reading those statements than statements answered truthfully. These ocular-motor measures were optimally weighted in a discrimination function that correctly classified 85% of participants as either guilty or innocent. Findings from Experiment 2 indicated that group discrimination was improved with greater incentives to pass the test and the use of statements with simple syntax. The present findings suggest that two cognitive processes are involved in deception -- vigilance and strategy -- and that these processes are reflected in different ocular-motor measures. The ocular-motor test reported here represents a new approach to detecting deception that may fill an important need in security screening contexts. PMID:22545928

  20. Partial radiogenic heat model for Earth revealed by geoneutrino measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamland Collaboration; Gando, A.; Gando, Y.; Ichimura, K.; Ikeda, H.; Inoue, K.; Kibe, Y.; Kishimoto, Y.; Koga, M.; Minekawa, Y.; Mitsui, T.; Morikawa, T.; Nagai, N.; Nakajima, K.; Nakamura, K.; Narita, K.; Shimizu, I.; Shimizu, Y.; Shirai, J.; Suekane, F.; Suzuki, A.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, N.; Takemoto, Y.; Tamae, K.; Watanabe, H.; Xu, B. D.; Yabumoto, H.; Yoshida, H.; Yoshida, S.; Enomoto, S.; Kozlov, A.; Murayama, H.; Grant, C.; Keefer, G.; Piepke, A.; Banks, T. I.; Bloxham, T.; Detwiler, J. A.; Freedman, S. J.; Fujikawa, B. K.; Han, K.; Kadel, R.; O'Donnell, T.; Steiner, H. M.; Dwyer, D. A.; McKeown, R. D.; Zhang, C.; Berger, B. E.; Lane, C. E.; Maricic, J.; Miletic, T.; Batygov, M.; Learned, J. G.; Matsuno, S.; Sakai, M.; Horton-Smith, G. A.; Downum, K. E.; Gratta, G.; Tolich, K.; Efremenko, Y.; Perevozchikov, O.; Karwowski, H. J.; Markoff, D. M.; Tornow, W.; Heeger, K. M.; Decowski, M. P.

    2011-09-01

    The Earth has cooled since its formation, yet the decay of radiogenic isotopes, and in particular uranium, thorium and potassium, in the planet's interior provides a continuing heat source. The current total heat flux from the Earth to space is 44.2+/-1.0TW, but the relative contributions from residual primordial heat and radiogenic decay remain uncertain. However, radiogenic decay can be estimated from the flux of geoneutrinos, electrically neutral particles that are emitted during radioactive decay and can pass through the Earth virtually unaffected. Here we combine precise measurements of the geoneutrino flux from the Kamioka Liquid-Scintillator Antineutrino Detector, Japan, with existing measurements from the Borexino detector, Italy. We find that decay of uranium-238 and thorium-232 together contribute TW to Earth's heat flux. The neutrinos emitted from the decay of potassium-40 are below the limits of detection in our experiments, but are known to contribute 4TW. Taken together, our observations indicate that heat from radioactive decay contributes about half of Earth's total heat flux. We therefore conclude that Earth's primordial heat supply has not yet been exhausted.

  1. CoRoT Reveals a Magnetic Activity Cycle in a Sun-Like Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Rafael A.; Mathur, Savita; Salabert, David; Ballot, Jérôme; Régulo, Clara; Metcalfe, Travis S.; Baglin, Annie

    2010-08-01

    The 11-year activity cycle of the Sun is a consequence of a dynamo process occurring beneath its surface. We analyzed photometric data obtained by the CoRoT space mission, showing solarlike oscillations in the star HD49933, for signatures of stellar magnetic activity. Asteroseismic measurements of global changes in the oscillation frequencies and mode amplitudes reveal a modulation of at least 120 days, with the minimum frequency shift corresponding to maximum amplitude as in the Sun. These observations are evidence of a stellar magnetic activity cycle taking place beneath the surface of HD49933 and provide constraints for stellar dynamo models under conditions different from those of the Sun.

  2. Cassava root membrane proteome reveals activities during storage root maturation.

    PubMed

    Naconsie, Maliwan; Lertpanyasampatha, Manassawe; Viboonjun, Unchera; Netrphan, Supatcharee; Kuwano, Masayoshi; Ogasawara, Naotake; Narangajavana, Jarunya

    2016-01-01

    Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the most important crops of Thailand. Its storage roots are used as food, feed, starch production, and be the important source for biofuel and biodegradable plastic production. Despite the importance of cassava storage roots, little is known about the mechanisms involved in their formation. This present study has focused on comparison of the expression profiles of cassava root proteome at various developmental stages using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS. Based on an anatomical study using Toluidine Blue, the secondary growth was confirmed to be essential during the development of cassava storage root. To investigate biochemical processes occurring during storage root maturation, soluble and membrane proteins were isolated from storage roots harvested from 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old cassava plants. The proteins with differential expression pattern were analysed and identified to be associated with 8 functional groups: protein folding and degradation, energy, metabolism, secondary metabolism, stress response, transport facilitation, cytoskeleton, and unclassified function. The expression profiling of membrane proteins revealed the proteins involved in protein folding and degradation, energy, and cell structure were highly expressed during early stages of development. Integration of these data along with the information available in genome and transcriptome databases is critical to expand knowledge obtained solely from the field of proteomics. Possible role of identified proteins were discussed in relation with the activities during storage root maturation in cassava.

  3. Disease Activity Measures in Paediatric Rheumatic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Luca, Nadia J.; Feldman, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    Disease activity refers to potentially reversible aspects of a disease. Measurement of disease activity in paediatric rheumatic diseases is a critical component of patient care and clinical research. Disease activity measures are developed systematically, often involving consensus methods. To be useful, a disease activity measure must be feasible, valid, and interpretable. There are several challenges in quantifying disease activity in paediatric rheumatology; namely, the conditions are multidimensional, the level of activity must be valuated in the context of treatment being received, there is no gold standard for disease activity, and it is often difficult to incorporate the patient's perspective of their disease activity. To date, core sets of response variables are defined for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus, and juvenile dermatomyositis, as well as definitions for improvement in response to therapy. Several specific absolute disease activity measures also exist for each condition. Further work is required to determine the optimal disease activity measures in paediatric rheumatology. PMID:24089617

  4. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGlynn, Shawn E.; Chadwick, Grayson L.; Kempes, Christopher P.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2015-10-01

    Multicellular assemblages of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, and the proximity afforded by aggregation is thought to permit intercellular metabolic coupling that can accommodate otherwise unfavourable reactions. Consortia of methane-oxidizing archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria are a well-known environmental example of microbial co-aggregation; however, the coupling mechanisms between these paired organisms is not well understood, despite the attention given them because of the global significance of anaerobic methane oxidation. Here we examined the influence of interspecies spatial positioning as it relates to biosynthetic activity within structurally diverse uncultured methane-oxidizing consortia by measuring stable isotope incorporation for individual archaeal and bacterial cells to constrain their potential metabolic interactions. In contrast to conventional models of syntrophy based on the passage of molecular intermediates, cellular activities were found to be independent of both species intermixing and distance between syntrophic partners within consortia. A generalized model of electric conductivity between co-associated archaea and bacteria best fit the empirical data. Combined with the detection of large multi-haem cytochromes in the genomes of methanotrophic archaea and the demonstration of redox-dependent staining of the matrix between cells in consortia, these results provide evidence for syntrophic coupling through direct electron transfer.

  5. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia.

    PubMed

    McGlynn, Shawn E; Chadwick, Grayson L; Kempes, Christopher P; Orphan, Victoria J

    2015-10-22

    Multicellular assemblages of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, and the proximity afforded by aggregation is thought to permit intercellular metabolic coupling that can accommodate otherwise unfavourable reactions. Consortia of methane-oxidizing archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria are a well-known environmental example of microbial co-aggregation; however, the coupling mechanisms between these paired organisms is not well understood, despite the attention given them because of the global significance of anaerobic methane oxidation. Here we examined the influence of interspecies spatial positioning as it relates to biosynthetic activity within structurally diverse uncultured methane-oxidizing consortia by measuring stable isotope incorporation for individual archaeal and bacterial cells to constrain their potential metabolic interactions. In contrast to conventional models of syntrophy based on the passage of molecular intermediates, cellular activities were found to be independent of both species intermixing and distance between syntrophic partners within consortia. A generalized model of electric conductivity between co-associated archaea and bacteria best fit the empirical data. Combined with the detection of large multi-haem cytochromes in the genomes of methanotrophic archaea and the demonstration of redox-dependent staining of the matrix between cells in consortia, these results provide evidence for syntrophic coupling through direct electron transfer. PMID:26375009

  6. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the “hot-spot” within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design. PMID:27298067

  7. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-06-01

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the “hot-spot” within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design.

  8. Activities on Facebook Reveal the Depressive State of Users

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Jinah

    2013-01-01

    Background As online social media have become prominent, much effort has been spent on identifying users with depressive symptoms in order to aim at early diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention by using various online social media. In this paper, we focused on Facebook to discern any correlations between the platform’s features and users’ depressive symptoms. This work may be helpful in trying to reach and detect large numbers of depressed individuals more easily. Objective Our goal was to develop a Web application and identify depressive symptom–related features from users of Facebook, a popular social networking platform. Methods 55 Facebook users (male=40, female=15, mean age 24.43, SD 3.90) were recruited through advertisement fliers distributed to students in a large university in Korea. Using EmotionDiary, the Facebook application we developed, we evaluated depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. We also provided tips and facts about depression to participants and measured their responses using EmotionDiary. To identify the Facebook features related to depression, correlation analyses were performed between CES-D and participants’ responses to tips and facts or Facebook social features. Last, we interviewed depressed participants (CES-D≥25) to assess their depressive symptoms by a psychiatrist. Results Facebook activities had predictive power in distinguishing depressed and nondepressed individuals. Participants’ response to tips and facts, which can be explained by the number of app tips viewed and app points, had a positive correlation (P=.04 for both cases), whereas the number of friends and location tags had a negative correlation with the CES-D scale (P=.08 and P=.045 respectively). Furthermore, in finding group differences in Facebook social activities, app tips viewed and app points resulted in significant differences (P=.01 and P=.03 respectively) between probably depressed and

  9. Activation energy measurements of cheese

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperature sweeps of cheeses using small amplitude oscillatory shear tests produced values for activation energy of flow (Ea) between 30 and 44 deg C. Soft goat cheese and Queso Fresco, which are high-moisture cheeses and do not flow when heated, exhibited Ea values between 30 and 60 kJ/mol. The ...

  10. Cohesin's role as an active chromatin domain anchorage revealed.

    PubMed

    Feig, Christine; Odom, Duncan T

    2013-12-11

    Cohesin is a conserved protein complex indispensible for proper cell division, because it secures sister-chromatid cohesion following DNA replication until segregation is required at the onset of anaphase. Recent studies have revealed functions beyond this, showing that cohesin binds to interphase chromatin regulating gene expression at select loci via long-range chromosomal interactions. In this issue of The EMBO Journal, Sofueva et al (2013) use a combination of chromatin conformation capture methods, classical FISH imaging, and loss-of-function studies to elegantly demonstrate how cohesin controls the 3D architectural organization of the genome.

  11. Census of cytosolic aminopeptidase activity reveals two novel cytosolic aminopeptidases.

    PubMed

    Akkad, Nadja; Schatz, Mark; Dengjel, Jörn; Tenzer, Stefan; Schild, Hansjörg

    2012-11-01

    Activation of CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells is crucial for the adaptive immune response against viral infections and the control of malignant transformed cells. Together with activation of costimulatory molecules like CD3 and CD28, CD8(+) T cells need activation of their unique T cell receptor via recognition of foreign peptide epitopes in combination with major histocompatibility complexes class I on the cell surface of professional antigen-presenting cells. Presentation of pathogen-associated proteins is the result of a complex proteolytic process. It starts with the breakdown of proteins by a cytosolic endopeptidase, the proteasome, and is continued by subsequent N-terminal trimming events in the cytosol and/or the endoplasmic reticulum. Analysis of the proteolytic aminopeptidase activity in the former cellular compartment showed that the cytosol harbors a multitude of aminopeptidases that have singular specificities, but on the other hand also show redundancy in the trimming of N-terminal residues. The observed pattern of the overall trimming in the cytosol is reflected by the activity of the four identified aminopeptidases, and the administration of protease inhibitors made it possible to assign specificity of cleaving of proteinogenic amino acids to one or more identified aminopeptidase. The only exception was the cleavage of aspartic acid, which is performed by one yet unidentified enzyme.

  12. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J; Adams, David J; Leung, Hing Y

    2016-07-19

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition. PMID:27357679

  13. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G.; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J.; Adams, David J.; Leung, Hing Y.

    2016-01-01

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition. PMID:27357679

  14. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J; Adams, David J; Leung, Hing Y

    2016-07-19

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition.

  15. Revealing Student Blogging Activities Using RSS Feeds and LMS Logs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derntl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Blogs are an easy-to-use, free alternative to classic means of computer-mediated communication. Moreover, they are authentically aligned with web activity patterns of today's students. The body of studies on integrating and implementing blogs in various educational settings has grown rapidly recently; however, it is often difficult to distill…

  16. CoRoT reveals a magnetic activity cycle in a Sun-like star.

    PubMed

    García, Rafael A; Mathur, Savita; Salabert, David; Ballot, Jérôme; Régulo, Clara; Metcalfe, Travis S; Baglin, Annie

    2010-08-27

    The 11-year activity cycle of the Sun is a consequence of a dynamo process occurring beneath its surface. We analyzed photometric data obtained by the CoRoT space mission, showing solarlike oscillations in the star HD49933, for signatures of stellar magnetic activity. Asteroseismic measurements of global changes in the oscillation frequencies and mode amplitudes reveal a modulation of at least 120 days, with the minimum frequency shift corresponding to maximum amplitude as in the Sun. These observations are evidence of a stellar magnetic activity cycle taking place beneath the surface of HD49933 and provide constraints for stellar dynamo models under conditions different from those of the Sun. PMID:20798310

  17. The Retrocausal Nature of Quantum Measurement Revealed by Partial and Weak Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Elitzur, Avshalom C.; Cohen, Eliahu

    2011-11-29

    Quantum measurement is sometimes more effective when its result is not definite. Partial measurement turns the initial superposition not into a certain state but to a greater probability for it, enabling probing the quantum state in cases where complete measurement makes the noncommuting variables inaccessible. It also enables full quantum erasure that, unlike prevailing method, can be carried out even on recorded results. Aharonov's weak measurement is another method of imprecisely measuring quantum variables, outsmarting the uncertainty principle in even subtler ways. Happily, the two methods complement and corroborate one another in several interesting ways. We gedankenly apply these measurements to the EPR case. A pair of entangled particles undergoes more than one pair of partial and weak measurements, which, unlike complete measurements, leave them partially correlated. Their erasure is then shown to be as nonlocal as measurement itself. Surprisingly, the temporal relations between such measurements in the EPR setting do not follow the temporal sequence perceived by an external observer. For each particle, the measurements performed on the other operate as if they occurred (with signs reversed) in its own past, and in reversed order. This fully accords with Cramer's transactional interpretation and Aharonov's two state-vector formalism.

  18. Youth Physical Activity Resource Use and Activity Measured by Accelerometry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maslow, Andra L.; Colabianchi, Natalie

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: To examine whether use of physical activity resources (e.g., parks) was associated with daily physical activity measured by accelerometry. Methods: One hundred eleven adolescents completed a travel diary with concurrent accelerometry. The main exposure was self-reported use of a physical activity resource (none /1 resources). The main…

  19. Metaproteomic analysis reveals microbial metabolic activities in the deep ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Xie, Zhang-Xian; Zhang, Shu-Feng; Wang, Ming-Hua; Zhang, Hao; Kong, Ling-Fen; Lin, Lin

    2016-04-01

    The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth and holds many and varied microbial life forms. However, little is known about their metabolic activities in the deep ocean. Here, we characterized protein profiles of particulate (>0.22 μm) and dissolved (between 10 kDa and 0.22 μm) fractions collected from the deep South China Sea using a shotgun proteomic approach. SAR324, Alteromonadales and SAR11 were the most abundant groups, while Prasinophyte contributed most to eukaryotes and cyanophage to viruses. The dominant heterotrophic activity was evidenced by the abundant transporters (33%). Proteins participating in nitrification, methanogenesis, methyltrophy and CO2 fixation were detected. Notably, the predominance of unique cellular proteins in dissolved fraction suggested the presence of membrane structures. Moreover, the detection of translation proteins related to phytoplankton indicated that other process rather than sinking particles might be the downward export of living cells. Our study implied that novel extracellular activities and the interaction of deep water with its overlying water could be crucial to the microbial world of deep sea.

  20. Metatranscriptomics reveals overall active bacterial composition in caries lesions

    PubMed Central

    Simón-Soro, Aurea; Guillen-Navarro, Miriam; Mira, Alex

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying the microbial species in caries lesions is instrumental to determine the etiology of dental caries. However, a significant proportion of bacteria in carious lesions have not been cultured, and the use of molecular methods has been limited to DNA-based approaches, which detect both active and inactive or dead microorganisms. Objective To identify the RNA-based, metabolically active bacterial composition of caries lesions at different stages of disease progression in order to provide a list of potential etiological agents of tooth decay. Design Non-cavitated enamel caries lesions (n=15) and dentin caries lesions samples (n=12) were collected from 13 individuals. RNA was extracted and cDNA was constructed, which was used to amplify the 16S rRNA gene. The resulting 780 bp polymerase chain reaction products were pyrosequenced using Titanium-plus chemistry, and the sequences obtained were used to determine the bacterial composition. Results A mean of 4,900 sequences of the 16S rRNA gene with an average read length of 661 bp was obtained per sample, giving a comprehensive view of the active bacterial communities in caries lesions. Estimates of bacterial diversity indicate that the microbiota of cavities is highly complex, each sample containing between 70 and 400 metabolically active species. The composition of these bacterial consortia varied among individuals and between caries lesions of the same individuals. In addition, enamel and dentin lesions had a different bacterial makeup. Lactobacilli were found almost exclusively in dentin cavities. Streptococci accounted for 40% of the total active community in enamel caries, and 20% in dentin caries. However, Streptococcus mutans represented only 0.02–0.73% of the total bacterial community. Conclusions The data indicate that the etiology of dental caries is tissue dependent and that the disease has a clear polymicrobial origin. The low proportion of mutans streptococci detected confirms that they

  1. Oscillatory Brain Activity Reveals Linguistic Prints in the Quantity Code

    PubMed Central

    Salillas, Elena; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Number representations change through education, although it is currently unclear whether and how language could impact the magnitude representation that we share with other species. The most prominent view is that language does not play any role in modulating the core numeric representation involved in the contrast of quantities. Nevertheless, possible cultural hints on the numerical magnitude representation are currently on discussion focus. In fact, the acquisition of number words provides linguistic input that the quantity system may not ignore. Bilingualism offers a window to the study of this question, especially in bilinguals where the two number wording systems imply also two different numerical systems, such as in Basque-Spanish bilinguals. The present study evidences linguistic prints in the core number representational system through the analysis of EEG oscillatory activity during a simple number comparison task. Gamma band synchronization appears when Basque-Spanish bilinguals compare pairs of Arabic numbers linked through the Basque base-20 wording system, but it does not if the pairs are related through the base-10 system. Crucially, this gamma activity, originated in a left fronto-parietal network, only appears in bilinguals who learned math in Basque and not in equivalent proficiency bilinguals who learned math in Spanish. Thus, this neural index reflected in gamma band synchrony appears to be triggered by early learning experience with the base-20 numerical associations in Basque number words. PMID:25875210

  2. Oscillatory brain activity reveals linguistic prints in the quantity code.

    PubMed

    Salillas, Elena; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Number representations change through education, although it is currently unclear whether and how language could impact the magnitude representation that we share with other species. The most prominent view is that language does not play any role in modulating the core numeric representation involved in the contrast of quantities. Nevertheless, possible cultural hints on the numerical magnitude representation are currently on discussion focus. In fact, the acquisition of number words provides linguistic input that the quantity system may not ignore. Bilingualism offers a window to the study of this question, especially in bilinguals where the two number wording systems imply also two different numerical systems, such as in Basque-Spanish bilinguals. The present study evidences linguistic prints in the core number representational system through the analysis of EEG oscillatory activity during a simple number comparison task. Gamma band synchronization appears when Basque-Spanish bilinguals compare pairs of Arabic numbers linked through the Basque base-20 wording system, but it does not if the pairs are related through the base-10 system. Crucially, this gamma activity, originated in a left fronto-parietal network, only appears in bilinguals who learned math in Basque and not in equivalent proficiency bilinguals who learned math in Spanish. Thus, this neural index reflected in gamma band synchrony appears to be triggered by early learning experience with the base-20 numerical associations in Basque number words.

  3. Metatranscriptomic Analysis of Groundwater Reveals an Active Anammox Bacterial Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewell, T. N. M.; Karaoz, U.; Thomas, B. C.; Banfield, J. F.; Brodie, E.; Williams, K. H.; Beller, H. R.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater is a major natural resource, yet little is known about the contribution of microbial anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) activity to subsurface nitrogen cycling. During anammox, energy is generated as ammonium is oxidized under anaerobic conditions to dinitrogen gas, using nitrite as the final electron acceptor. This process is a global sink for fixed nitrogen. Only a narrow range of monophyletic bacteria within the Planctomycetes carries out anammox, and the full extent of their metabolism, and subsequent impact on nitrogen cycling and microbial community structure, is still unknown. Here, we employ a metatranscriptomic analysis on enriched mRNA to identify the abundance and activity of a population of anammox bacteria within an aquifer at Rifle, CO. Planktonic biomass was collected over a two-month period after injection of up to 1.5 mM nitrate. Illumina-generated sequences were mapped to a phylogenetically binned Rifle metagenome database. We identified transcripts for genes with high protein sequence identities (81-98%) to those of anammox strain KSU-1 and to two of the five anammox bacteria genera, Brocadia and Kuenenia, suggesting an active, if not diverse, anammox population. Many of the most abundant anammox transcripts mapped to a single scaffold, indicative of a single dominant anammox species. Transcripts of the genes necessary for the anammox pathway were present, including an ammonium transporter (amtB), nitrite/formate transporter, nitrite reductase (nirK), and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzoB). The form of nitrite reductase encoded by anammox is species-dependent, and we only identified nirK, with no evidence of anammox nirS. In addition to the anammox pathway we saw evidence of the anammox bacterial dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium pathway (narH, putative nrfA, and nrfB), which provides an alternate means of generating substrates for anammox from nitrate, rather than relying on an external pool. Transcripts for hydroxylamine

  4. Hidden Stages of Cognition Revealed in Patterns of Brain Activation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John R; Pyke, Aryn A; Fincham, Jon M

    2016-09-01

    To advance cognitive theory, researchers must be able to parse the performance of a task into its significant mental stages. In this article, we describe a new method that uses functional MRI brain activation to identify when participants are engaged in different cognitive stages on individual trials. The method combines multivoxel pattern analysis to identify cognitive stages and hidden semi-Markov models to identify their durations. This method, applied to a problem-solving task, identified four distinct stages: encoding, planning, solving, and responding. We examined whether these stages corresponded to their ascribed functions by testing whether they are affected by appropriate factors. Planning-stage duration increased as the method for solving the problem became less obvious, whereas solving-stage duration increased as the number of calculations to produce the answer increased. Responding-stage duration increased with the difficulty of the motor actions required to produce the answer. PMID:27440808

  5. Multimodal and Multi-tissue Measures of Connectivity Revealed by Joint Independent Component Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Josef; Caprihan, Arvind; Calhoun, Vince D.; Jung, Rex E.; Heileman, Gregory L.

    2009-01-01

    The human brain functions as an efficient system where signals arising from gray matter are transported via white matter tracts to other regions of the brain to facilitate human behavior. However, with a few exceptions, functional and structural neuroimaging data are typically optimized to maximize the quantification of signals arising from a single source. For example, functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is typically used as an index of gray matter functioning whereas diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is typically used to determine white matter properties. While it is likely that these signals arising from different tissue sources contain complementary information, the signal processing algorithms necessary for the fusion of neuroimaging data across imaging modalities are still in a nascent stage. In the current paper we present a data-driven method for combining measures of functional connectivity arising from gray matter sources (FMRI resting state data) with different measures of white matter connectivity (DTI). Specifically, a joint independent component analysis (J-ICA) was used to combine these measures of functional connectivity following intensive signal processing and feature extraction within each of the individual modalities. Our results indicate that one of the most predominantly used measures of functional connectivity (activity in the default mode network) is highly dependent on the integrity of white matter connections between the two hemispheres (corpus callosum) and within the cingulate bundles. Importantly, the discovery of this complex relationship of connectivity was entirely facilitated by the signal processing and fusion techniques presented herein and could not have been revealed through separate analyses of both data types as is typically performed in the majority of neuroimaging experiments. We conclude by discussing future applications of this technique to other areas of neuroimaging and examining potential limitations of the

  6. Measuring Homework Completion in Behavioral Activation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busch, Andrew M.; Uebelacker, Lisa A.; Kalibatseva, Zornitsa; Miller, Ivan W.

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and validate an observer-based coding system for the characterization and completion of homework assignments during Behavioral Activation (BA). Existing measures of homework completion are generally unsophisticated, and there is no current measure of homework completion designed to capture the particularities…

  7. Active cell mechanics: Measurement and theory.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Wylie W; Fodor, Étienne; Betz, Timo

    2015-11-01

    Living cells are active mechanical systems that are able to generate forces. Their structure and shape are primarily determined by biopolymer filaments and molecular motors that form the cytoskeleton. Active force generation requires constant consumption of energy to maintain the nonequilibrium activity to drive organization and transport processes necessary for their function. To understand this activity it is necessary to develop new approaches to probe the underlying physical processes. Active cell mechanics incorporates active molecular-scale force generation into the traditional framework of mechanics of materials. This review highlights recent experimental and theoretical developments towards understanding active cell mechanics. We focus primarily on intracellular mechanical measurements and theoretical advances utilizing the Langevin framework. These developing approaches allow a quantitative understanding of nonequilibrium mechanical activity in living cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mechanobiology.

  8. Measuring the Built Environment for Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Brownson, Ross C.; Hoehner, Christine M.; Day, Kristen; Forsyth, Ann; Sallis, James F.

    2009-01-01

    Physical inactivity is one of the most important public health issues in the U.S. and internationally. Increasingly, links are being identified between various elements of the physical—or built—environment and physical activity. To understand the impact of the built environment on physical activity, the development of high-quality measures is essential. Three categories of built environment data are being used: (1) perceived measures obtained by telephone interview or self-administered questionnaires; (2) observational measures obtained using systematic observational methods (audits); and (3) archival data sets that are often layered and analyzed with GIS. This review provides a critical assessment of these three types of built-environment measures relevant to the study of physical activity. Among perceived measures, 19 questionnaires were reviewed, ranging in length from 7 to 68 questions. Twenty audit tools were reviewed that cover community environments (i.e., neighborhoods, cities), parks, and trails. For GIS-derived measures, more than 50 studies were reviewed. A large degree of variability was found in the operationalization of common GIS measures, which include population density, land-use mix, access to recreational facilities, and street pattern. This first comprehensive examination of built-environment measures demonstrates considerable progress over the past decade, showing diverse environmental variables available that use multiple modes of assessment. Most can be considered first-generation measures, so further development is needed. In particular, further research is needed to improve the technical quality of measures, understand the relevance to various population groups, and understand the utility of measures for science and public health. PMID:19285216

  9. Nanoscale electrochemical patterning reveals the active sites for catechol oxidation at graphite surfaces.

    PubMed

    Patel, Anisha N; McKelvey, Kim; Unwin, Patrick R

    2012-12-19

    Graphite-based electrodes (graphite, graphene, and nanotubes) are used widely in electrochemistry, and there is a long-standing view that graphite step edges are needed to catalyze many reactions, with the basal surface considered to be inert. In the present work, this model was tested directly for the first time using scanning electrochemical cell microscopy reactive patterning and shown to be incorrect. For the electro-oxidation of dopamine as a model process, the reaction rate was measured at high spatial resolution across a surface of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite. Oxidation products left behind in a pattern defined by the scanned electrochemical cell served as surface-site markers, allowing the electrochemical activity to be correlated directly with the graphite structure on the nanoscale. This process produced tens of thousands of electrochemical measurements at different locations across the basal surface, unambiguously revealing it to be highly electrochemically active, with step edges providing no enhanced activity. This new model of graphite electrodes has significant implications for the design of carbon-based biosensors, and the results are additionally important for understanding electrochemical processes on related sp(2)-hybridized materials such as pristine graphene and nanotubes.

  10. Comparison of Estimated and Measured Muscle Activity During Inclined Walking.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Nathalie; Schwameder, Hermann

    2016-04-01

    While inclined walking is a frequent daily activity, muscle forces during this activity have rarely been examined. Musculoskeletal models are commonly used to estimate internal forces in healthy populations, but these require a priori validation. The aim of this study was to compare estimated muscle activity using a musculoskeletal model with measured EMG data during inclined walking. Ten healthy male participants walked at different inclinations of 0°, ± 6°, ± 12°, and ± 18° on a ramp equipped with 2 force plates. Kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity of the musculus (m.) biceps femoris, m. rectus femoris, m. vastus lateralis, m. tibialis anterior, and m. gastrocnemius lateralis were recorded. Agreement between estimated and measured muscle activity was determined via correlation coefficients, mean absolute errors, and trend analysis. Correlation coefficients between estimated and measured muscle activity for approximately 69% of the conditions were above 0.7. Mean absolute errors were rather high with only approximately 38% being ≤ 30%. Trend analysis revealed similar estimated and measured muscle activities for all muscles and tasks (uphill and downhill walking), except m. tibialis anterior during uphill walking. This model can be used for further analysis in similar groups of participants.

  11. Measure of Legionella penumophila activity in situ

    SciTech Connect

    Fliermans, C.B.; Soracco, R.J.; Pope, D.H.

    1981-01-01

    Detection of Legionella pneumophila by serogroup-specific fluorescent antibodies was combined with a tetrazolium dye (INT) to measure electron transport activity. The biological uptake and reduction of the INT dye was studied in pure cultures and in natural water samples with respect to temperature. Uptake was complete within 60 min. Controls inhibited with formaldehyde demonstrated little activity. Both the in vitro and in situ determinations suggested that the electron transport system of Legionella was active over a temperature range of 25 to 60/sup 0/C.

  12. Measure of Legionella pneumophila activity in situ

    SciTech Connect

    Fliermans, C.B.; Soracco, R.J.; Pope, D.H.

    1981-01-01

    Detection of Legionella pneumophila by serogroup-specific fluorescent antibodies was combined with a tetrazolium dye (INT) to measure electron transport activity. The biological uptake and reduction of the INT dye was studied in pure cultures and in natural water samples with respect to temperature. Uptake was complete within 60 minutes. Controls inhibited with formaldehyde demonstrated little activity. Both the in vitro and in situ determinations suggested that the electron transport system of Legionella was active over a temperature range of 25/sup 0/ to 60/sup 0/C.

  13. Measuring cholinesterase activity in human saliva.

    PubMed

    Claus Henn, Birgit; McMaster, Suzanne; Padilla, Stephanie

    2006-10-01

    To assess the potential for using saliva in pesticide biomonitoring, the consistency of cholinesterase activity in human saliva collected over time was examined. In this pilot study, saliva was collected from 20 healthy adults once per week for 5 consecutive weeks using 2 different collection methods: a disposable plastic pipette, and a cotton-wool roll. A brief questionnaire was conducted each week to document changes in exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors for the duration of the sampling. To measure cholinesterase activity, an existing radiometric method was modified to make it suitable for human saliva. Using this method, cholinesterase activity was measurable in saliva, and duplicate samples showed reliable repeatability. Activity in both collection methods ranged from 3 to 265 nmol/h/ml saliva (mean = 52 +/- 37 [SD] nmol/h/ml saliva). For some individuals, enzyme activity was consistent over the five sampling weeks; for others, activity was highly variable. Coefficients of variation (CVs) were calculated to assess variability, and mean CVs were the same for both collection methods (about 35%). Adjusting for protein concentration in the pipette-collected samples did not change results. Both collection methods worked well for collecting between 1 and 3 ml saliva, but at the majority of visits (86%), participants preferred the cotton-wool roll. Results from this study suggest that saliva may be a useful indicator of potential neurotoxic effects from exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides, but that factors affecting variability should be explored further.

  14. Activity measurements of radon from construction materials.

    PubMed

    Fior, L; Nicolosi Corrêa, J; Paschuk, S A; Denyak, V V; Schelin, H R; Soreanu Pecequilo, B R; Kappke, J

    2012-07-01

    This work presents the results of radon concentration measurements of construction materials used in the Brazilian industry, such as clay (red) bricks and concrete blocks. The measurements focused on the detection of indoor radon activity during different construction stages and the analysis of radionuclides present in the construction materials. For this purpose, sealed chambers with internal dimensions of approximately 60×60×60 cm3 were built within a protected and isolated laboratory environment, and stable air humidity and temperature levels were maintained. These chambers were also used for radon emanation reduction tests. The chambers were built in four major stages: (1) assembly of the walls using clay (red) bricks, concrete blocks, and mortar; (2) installation of plaster; (3) finishing of wall surface using lime; and (4) insulation of wall surface and finishing using paint. Radon measurements were performed using polycarbonate etched track detectors. By comparing the three layers applied to the masonry walls, it was concluded that only the last step (wall painting using acrylic varnish) reduced the radon emanation, by a factor of approximately 2. Samples of the construction materials (clay bricks and concrete blocks) were ground, homogenized, and subjected to gamma-ray spectrometry analysis to evaluate the activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K. The values for the index of the activity concentration (I), radium equivalent activity (Raeq), and external hazard index (Hext) showed that these construction materials could be used without restrictions or concern about the equivalent dose limit (1 mSv/year).

  15. A chimeric prokaryotic pentameric ligand–gated channel reveals distinct pathways of activation

    PubMed Central

    Schmandt, Nicolaus; Velisetty, Phanindra; Chalamalasetti, Sreevatsa V.; Stein, Richard A.; Bonner, Ross; Talley, Lauren; Parker, Mark D.; Mchaourab, Hassane S.; Yee, Vivien C.; Lodowski, David T.

    2015-01-01

    Recent high resolution structures of several pentameric ligand–gated ion channels have provided unprecedented details of their molecular architecture. However, the conformational dynamics and structural rearrangements that underlie gating and allosteric modulation remain poorly understood. We used a combination of electrophysiology, double electron–electron resonance (DEER) spectroscopy, and x-ray crystallography to investigate activation mechanisms in a novel functional chimera with the extracellular domain (ECD) of amine-gated Erwinia chrysanthemi ligand–gated ion channel, which is activated by primary amines, and the transmembrane domain of Gloeobacter violaceus ligand–gated ion channel, which is activated by protons. We found that the chimera was independently gated by primary amines and by protons. The crystal structure of the chimera in its resting state, at pH 7.0 and in the absence of primary amines, revealed a closed-pore conformation and an ECD that is twisted with respect to the transmembrane region. Amine- and pH-induced conformational changes measured by DEER spectroscopy showed that the chimera exhibits a dual mode of gating that preserves the distinct conformational changes of the parent channels. Collectively, our findings shed light on both conserved and divergent features of gating mechanisms in this class of channels, and will facilitate the design of better allosteric modulators. PMID:26415570

  16. Dynamic Allostery of the Catabolite Activator Protein Revealed by Interatomic Forces.

    PubMed

    Louet, Maxime; Seifert, Christian; Hensen, Ulf; Gräter, Frauke

    2015-08-01

    The Catabolite Activator Protein (CAP) is a showcase example for entropic allostery. For full activation and DNA binding, the homodimeric protein requires the binding of two cyclic AMP (cAMP) molecules in an anti-cooperative manner, the source of which appears to be largely of entropic nature according to previous experimental studies. We here study at atomic detail the allosteric regulation of CAP with Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We recover the experimentally observed entropic penalty for the second cAMP binding event with our recently developed force covariance entropy estimator and reveal allosteric communication pathways with Force Distribution Analyses (FDA). Our observations show that CAP binding results in characteristic changes in the interaction pathways connecting the two cAMP allosteric binding sites with each other, as well as with the DNA binding domains. We identified crucial relays in the mostly symmetric allosteric activation network, and suggest point mutants to test this mechanism. Our study suggests inter-residue forces, as opposed to coordinates, as a highly sensitive measure for structural adaptations that, even though minute, can very effectively propagate allosteric signals. PMID:26244893

  17. Measuring segregation: an activity space approach.

    PubMed

    Wong, David W S; Shaw, Shih-Lung

    2011-06-01

    While the literature clearly acknowledges that individuals may experience different levels of segregation across their various socio-geographical spaces, most measures of segregation are intended to be used in the residential space. Using spatially aggregated data to evaluate segregation in the residential space has been the norm and thus individual's segregation experiences in other socio-geographical spaces are often de-emphasized or ignored. This paper attempts to provide a more comprehensive approach in evaluating segregation beyond the residential space. The entire activity spaces of individuals are taken into account with individuals serving as the building blocks of the analysis. The measurement principle is based upon the exposure dimension of segregation. The proposed measure reflects the exposure of individuals of a referenced group in a neighborhood to the populations of other groups that are found within the activity spaces of individuals in the referenced group. Using the travel diary data collected from the tri-county area in southeast Florida and the imputed racial-ethnic data, this paper demonstrates how the proposed segregation measurement approach goes beyond just measuring population distribution patterns in the residential space and can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of segregation by considering various socio-geographical spaces.

  18. Measuring segregation: an activity space approach

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Shih-Lung

    2010-01-01

    While the literature clearly acknowledges that individuals may experience different levels of segregation across their various socio-geographical spaces, most measures of segregation are intended to be used in the residential space. Using spatially aggregated data to evaluate segregation in the residential space has been the norm and thus individual’s segregation experiences in other socio-geographical spaces are often de-emphasized or ignored. This paper attempts to provide a more comprehensive approach in evaluating segregation beyond the residential space. The entire activity spaces of individuals are taken into account with individuals serving as the building blocks of the analysis. The measurement principle is based upon the exposure dimension of segregation. The proposed measure reflects the exposure of individuals of a referenced group in a neighborhood to the populations of other groups that are found within the activity spaces of individuals in the referenced group. Using the travel diary data collected from the tri-county area in southeast Florida and the imputed racial–ethnic data, this paper demonstrates how the proposed segregation measurement approach goes beyond just measuring population distribution patterns in the residential space and can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of segregation by considering various socio-geographical spaces. PMID:21643546

  19. Partial pressure measurements with an active spectrometer

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, N.H.; Jensen, T.H.; Colchin, R.J.; Maingi, R.; Wade, M.R.; Finkenthal, D.F.; Naumenko, N.; Tugarinov, S.

    1998-07-01

    Partial pressure neutral ga measurements have been made using a commercial Penning gauge in conjunction with an active spectrometer. In prior work utilizing bandpass filters and conventional spectrometers, trace concentrations of the hydrogen isotopes H, D, T and of the noble gases He, Ne and Ar were determined from characteristic spectral lines in the light emitted by the neutral species of these elements. For all the elements mentioned, the sensitivity was limited by spectral contamination from a pervasive background of molecular hydrogen radiation. The active spectrometer overcomes this limitations by means of a digital lock-in method and correlation with reference spectra. Preliminary measurements of an admixture containing a trace amount of neon in deuterium show better than a factor of 20 improvement in sensitivity over conventional techniques. This can be further improved by correlating the relative intensities of multiple lines to sets of reference spectra.

  20. Measuring psychological engagement in youth activity involvement.

    PubMed

    Ramey, Heather L; Rose-Krasnor, Linda; Busseri, Michael A; Gadbois, Shannon; Bowker, Anne; Findlay, Leanne

    2015-12-01

    Although psychological engagement (e.g., enjoyment, concentration) may be critical in fostering positive outcomes of youth activity participation, too few studies have been conducted to establish its role in development. Furthermore, an established measurement tool is lacking. In the current study, we evaluated a brief engagement measure with two Canadian samples of youth (Sample 1, N = 290, mean age = 16.9 years, 62% female; Sample 2, N = 1827, mean age = 13.1 years, 54% female). We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis with structural equation modeling to examine the hypothesized structure of the model. We also assessed the measure's validity by testing relations between engagement and both perceived outcomes and positive features of activity settings. Psychological engagement was best captured by three latent cognitive, affective, and relational/spiritual factors and a second-order latent factor. Also, as anticipated, psychological engagement was associated with features of the activity setting and perceived impact.

  1. Seismic measurements to reveal short-term variations in the elastic properties of the Earth crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccinini, Davide; Zaccarelli, Lucia; Pastori, Marina; Margheriti, Lucia; Pio Lucente, Francesco; De Gori, Pasquale; Faenza, Licia; Soldati, Gaia

    2013-04-01

    Since the late the late '60s-early '70s era seismologists started developed theories that included variations of the elastic property of the Earth crust and the state of stress and its evolution crust prior to the occurrence of a large earthquake. Among the others the theory of the dilatancy (Scholz et al., 1973): when a rock is subject to stress, the rock grains are shifted generating micro-cracks, thus the rock itself increases its volume. Inside the fractured rock, fluid saturation and pore pressure play an important role in earthquake nucleation, by modulating the effective stress. Thus measuring the variations of wave speed and of anisotropic parameter in time can be highly informative on how the stress leading to a major fault failure builds up. In 80s and 90s such kind of research on earthquake precursor slowed down and the priority was given to seismic hazard and ground motions studies, which are very important since these are the basis for the building codes in many countries. Today we have dense and sophisticated seismic networks to measure wave-fields characteristics: we archive continuous waveform data recorded at three components broad-band seismometers, we almost routinely obtain high resolution earthquake locations. Therefore we are ready to start to systematically look at seismic-wave propagation properties to possibly reveal short-term variations in the elastic properties of the Earth crust. One seismological quantity which, since the '70s, is recognized to be diagnostic of the level of fracturation and/or of the pore pressure in the rock, hence of its state of stress, is the ratio between the compressional (P-wave) and the shear (S-wave) seismic velocities, the Vp/Vs (Nur, 1972; Kisslinger and Engdahl, 1973). Variations of this ratio have been recently observed and measured during the preparatory phase of a major earthquake (Lucente et al. 2010). In active fault areas and volcanoes, tectonic stress variation influences fracture field orientation

  2. Neutron and proton activation measurements from Skylab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fishman, G. J.

    1974-01-01

    Radioactivity induced by high-energy protons and secondary neutrons (from nuclear interactions) in various samples returned from different locations in Skylab was measured directly by gamma-ray spectroscopy measurements of decay gamma rays from the samples. Incident fluxes were derived from the activation measurements, using known nuclear cross-section. Neutron and proton flux values were found to range from 0.2 to 5 particles/sq cm-sec, depending on the energy range and location in Skylab. The thermal neutron flux was less than 0.07 neutrons/sq cm-sec. The results are useful for data analysis and planning of future high-energy astronomy experiments.

  3. Noninvasive ambulatory measurement system of cardiac activity.

    PubMed

    Pino, Esteban J; Chavez, Javier A P; Aqueveque, Pablo

    2015-08-01

    This work implements a noninvasive system that measures the movements caused by cardiac activity. It uses unobtrusive Electro-Mechanical Films (EMFi) on the seat and on the backrest of a regular chair. The system detects ballistocardiogram (BCG) and respiration movements. Real data was obtained from 54 volunteers. 19 of them were measured in the laboratory and 35 in a hospital waiting room. Using a BIOPAC acquisition system, the ECG was measured simultaneously to the BCG for comparison. Wavelet Transform (WT) is a better option than Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) for signal extraction and produces higher effective measurement time. In the laboratory, the best results are obtained on the seat. The correlation index was 0.9800 and the Bland-Altman limits of agreement were 0.7136 ± 4.3673 [BPM]. In the hospital waiting room, the best results are also from the seat sensor. The correlation index was 0.9840, and the limits of agreement were 0.4386 ± 3.5884 [BPM]. The system is able to measure BCG in an unobtrusive way and determine the cardiac frequency with high precision. It is simple to use, which means the system can easily be used in non-standard settings: resting in a chair or couch, at the gym, schools or in a hospital waiting room, as shown. PMID:26738057

  4. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of syntax information in Chinese verb processing.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yuan; Wu, Qiuyan; Wang, Jin; Feng, Liping; Xiao, Qing

    2016-09-19

    By taking advantage of the semantic-syntactic characteristics of Chinese verbs, the current study examined the brain activity of automatic activation of syntactic features at the single word level. Both syntactic (transitivity) and semantic (integrity) features of the verb were manipulated. Event-related potentials were measured while subjects performed lexical decision tasks on visually presented verbs at the single word level. The results showed that there was a significant transitivity effect in both lateral and midline areas for the 150-200ms time window (N200 effect), indicating the retrieval of the syntactic feature. There was also a significant syntactic-semantic interaction at the late stage of verb processing (N400 effect) in the midline central-parietal region, reflecting syntactic influences on semantic processing. These findings suggest that transitivity is an integral part of the mental representation of Chinese verbs and such information can be retrieved at the early stage of single verb processing and can influence subsequent semantic integration. These results also reveal the special features of Chinese language processing. PMID:27466021

  5. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of syntax information in Chinese verb processing.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yuan; Wu, Qiuyan; Wang, Jin; Feng, Liping; Xiao, Qing

    2016-09-19

    By taking advantage of the semantic-syntactic characteristics of Chinese verbs, the current study examined the brain activity of automatic activation of syntactic features at the single word level. Both syntactic (transitivity) and semantic (integrity) features of the verb were manipulated. Event-related potentials were measured while subjects performed lexical decision tasks on visually presented verbs at the single word level. The results showed that there was a significant transitivity effect in both lateral and midline areas for the 150-200ms time window (N200 effect), indicating the retrieval of the syntactic feature. There was also a significant syntactic-semantic interaction at the late stage of verb processing (N400 effect) in the midline central-parietal region, reflecting syntactic influences on semantic processing. These findings suggest that transitivity is an integral part of the mental representation of Chinese verbs and such information can be retrieved at the early stage of single verb processing and can influence subsequent semantic integration. These results also reveal the special features of Chinese language processing.

  6. Voltage-Sensitive Dyes And Imaging Techniques Reveal New Patterns Of Electrical Activity In Heart Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, Guy

    1988-04-01

    Voltage-sensitive dyes bind to the plasms membrane of excitable cells (ie., muscle or nerve cells) and exhibit fluorescence and/or absorption changes that vary linearly with changes in transmembrane electrical potential. These potentiometric optical probes can be used to measure local changes in transmembrane potential by monitoring optical signals from dye molecules bound to the surface membrane. Consequently, when excitable cells are stained with such a dye and are stimulated to fire an electrical impulse (ie., an action potential (AP)), the changes in dye fluorescence have the characteristic shape and time course of APs recorded with an intracellular micro-electrode. Potentiometric dyes in conjuction with imaging techniques can now be used to visualize complex patterns and propagation of electrical activity. With photodiode arrays on video imaging techniques, patterns of biological electrical activity can be obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution which could not be obtained by conventional micro-electrodes. These methods reveal new details and offer powerful approaches to study fundamental problem in cardiac electrophysiology, communication in nerve networks, and the organization of cortical neurons.

  7. Photocatalytic Active Radiation Measurements and Use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Bruce A.; Underwood, Lauren W.

    2011-01-01

    Photocatalytic materials are being used to purify air, to kill microbes, and to keep surfaces clean. A wide variety of materials are being developed, many of which have different abilities to absorb various wavelengths of light. Material variability, combined with both spectral illumination intensity and spectral distribution variability, will produce a wide range of performance results. The proposed technology estimates photocatalytic active radiation (PcAR), a unit of radiation that normalizes the amount of light based on its spectral distribution and on the ability of the material to absorb that radiation. Photocatalytic reactions depend upon the number of electron-hole pairs generated at the photocatalytic surface. The number of electron-hole pairs produced depends on the number of photons per unit area per second striking the surface that can be absorbed and whose energy exceeds the bandgap of the photocatalytic material. A convenient parameter to describe the number of useful photons is the number of moles of photons striking the surface per unit area per second. The unit of micro-einsteins (or micromoles) of photons per m2 per sec is commonly used for photochemical and photoelectric-like phenomena. This type of parameter is used in photochemistry, such as in the conversion of light energy for photosynthesis. Photosynthetic response correlates with the number of photons rather than by energy because, in this photochemical process, each molecule is activated by the absorption of one photon. In photosynthesis, the number of photons absorbed in the 400 700 nm spectral range is estimated and is referred to as photosynthetic active radiation (PAR). PAR is defined in terms of the photosynthetic photon flux density measured in micro-einsteins of photons per m2 per sec. PcAR is an equivalent, similarly modeled parameter that has been defined for the photocatalytic processes. Two methods to measure the PcAR level are being proposed. In the first method, a calibrated

  8. Experimental entanglement activation from discord in a programmable quantum measurement.

    PubMed

    Adesso, Gerardo; D'Ambrosio, Vincenzo; Nagali, Eleonora; Piani, Marco; Sciarrino, Fabio

    2014-04-11

    In quantum mechanics, observing is not a passive act. Consider a system of two quantum particles A and B: if a measurement apparatus M is used to make an observation on B, the overall state of the system AB will typically be altered. When this happens, no matter which local measurement is performed, the two objects A and B are revealed to possess peculiar correlations known as quantum discord. Here, we demonstrate experimentally that the very act of local observation gives rise to an activation protocol which converts discord into distillable entanglement, a stronger and more useful form of quantum correlations, between the apparatus M and the composite system AB. We adopt a flexible two-photon setup to realize a three-qubit system (A, B, M) with programmable degrees of initial correlations, measurement interaction, and characterization processes. Our experiment demonstrates the fundamental mechanism underpinning the ubiquitous act of observing the quantum world and establishes the potential of discord in entanglement generation.

  9. Cryo-EM structure of the activated NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome reveals nucleated polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liman; Chen, Shuobing; Ruan, Jianbin; Wu, Jiayi; Tong, Alexander B.; Yin, Qian; Li, Yang; David, Liron; Lu, Alvin; Wang, Wei Li; Marks, Carolyn; Ouyang, Qi; Zhang, Xinzheng; Mao, Youdong; Wu, Hao

    2015-01-01

    The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) bind conserved bacterial ligands, such as the bacterial rod protein PrgJ, and recruit NLR family CARD-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) as the inflammasome adapter to activate innate immunity. We found that the PrgJ-NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome is assembled into multisubunit disk-like structures through a unidirectional adenosine triphosphatase polymerization, primed with a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 per disk. Cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction at subnanometer resolution revealed a ~90° hinge rotation accompanying NLRC4 activation. Unlike in the related heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome, in which each subunit needs to be conformationally activated by its ligand before assembly, a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 initiates NLRC4 polymerization in a domino-like reaction to promote the disk assembly. These insights reveal the mechanism of signal amplification in NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasomes. PMID:26449474

  10. Cryo-EM structure of the activated NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome reveals nucleated polymerization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liman; Chen, Shuobing; Ruan, Jianbin; Wu, Jiayi; Tong, Alexander B; Yin, Qian; Li, Yang; David, Liron; Lu, Alvin; Wang, Wei Li; Marks, Carolyn; Ouyang, Qi; Zhang, Xinzheng; Mao, Youdong; Wu, Hao

    2015-10-23

    The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) bind conserved bacterial ligands, such as the bacterial rod protein PrgJ, and recruit NLR family CARD-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) as the inflammasome adapter to activate innate immunity. We found that the PrgJ-NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome is assembled into multisubunit disk-like structures through a unidirectional adenosine triphosphatase polymerization, primed with a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 per disk. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction at subnanometer resolution revealed a ~90° hinge rotation accompanying NLRC4 activation. Unlike in the related heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome, in which each subunit needs to be conformationally activated by its ligand before assembly, a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 initiates NLRC4 polymerization in a domino-like reaction to promote the disk assembly. These insights reveal the mechanism of signal amplification in NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasomes. PMID:26449474

  11. Patterns of Activity Revealed by a Time Lag Analysis of a Model Active Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradshaw, Stephen; Viall, Nicholeen

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the global activity patterns predicted from a model active region heated by distributions of nanoflares that have a range of average frequencies. The activity patterns are manifested in time lag maps of narrow-band instrument channel pairs. We combine an extrapolated magnetic skeleton with hydrodynamic and forward modeling codes to create a model active region, and apply the time lag method to synthetic observations. Our aim is to recover some typical properties and patterns of activity observed in active regions. Our key findings are: 1. Cooling dominates the time lag signature and the time lags between the channel pairs are generally consistent with observed values. 2. Shorter coronal loops in the core cool more quickly than longer loops at the periphery. 3. All channel pairs show zero time lag when the line-of-sight passes through coronal loop foot-points. 4. There is strong evidence that plasma must be re-energized on a time scale comparable to the cooling timescale to reproduce the observed coronal activity, but it is likely that a relatively broad spectrum of heating frequencies operates across active regions. 5. Due to their highly dynamic nature, we find nanoflare trains produce zero time lags along entire flux tubes in our model active region that are seen between the same channel pairs in observed active regions.

  12. A Genetic Strategy to Measure Circulating Drosophila Insulin Reveals Genes Regulating Insulin Production and Secretion

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sangbin; Alfa, Ronald W.; Topper, Sydni M.; Kim, Grace E. S.; Kockel, Lutz; Kim, Seung K.

    2014-01-01

    Insulin is a major regulator of metabolism in metazoans, including the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) suggest a genetic basis for reductions of both insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, phenotypes commonly observed in humans with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To identify molecular functions of genes linked to T2DM risk, we developed a genetic tool to measure insulin-like peptide 2 (Ilp2) levels in Drosophila, a model organism with superb experimental genetics. Our system permitted sensitive quantification of circulating Ilp2, including measures of Ilp2 dynamics during fasting and re-feeding, and demonstration of adaptive Ilp2 secretion in response to insulin receptor haploinsufficiency. Tissue specific dissection of this reduced insulin signaling phenotype revealed a critical role for insulin signaling in specific peripheral tissues. Knockdown of the Drosophila orthologues of human T2DM risk genes, including GLIS3 and BCL11A, revealed roles of these Drosophila genes in Ilp2 production or secretion. Discovery of Drosophila mechanisms and regulators controlling in vivo insulin dynamics should accelerate functional dissection of diabetes genetics. PMID:25101872

  13. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Diverse Activators of Constitutive Activated Receptor (CAR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of conditions that activate CAR in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful in understanding their impact on CAR-dependent liver tumor induction. A gene signature dependent on CAR activation was identified by comparing the transcript pr...

  14. Compositional variability across Mercury's surface revealed by MESSENGER measurements of variations in thermal neutron count rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peplowski, P. N.; Lawrence, D. J.; Goldsten, J. O.; Nittler, L. R.; Solomon, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Measurements by MESSENGER's Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS) have revealed variations in the flux of thermal neutrons across Mercury's northern hemisphere. These variations are interpreted to originate from spatial variations in surface elemental composition. In particular, the measurements are sensitive to the near-surface abundances of elements that absorb thermal neutrons, including major rock-forming elements such as Fe and Ti, minor elements such as Mn and Cl, and rare-earth elements such as Gd and Sm. We have constructed a map of thermal neutron variability across the surface and compared it with known variations in elemental composition and with the distribution of geologic units. Development of the map included the derivation of the macroscopic thermal neutron absorption cross section across the surface, a quantity whose value and variability provides useful constraints on the formation and geochemical evolution of Mercury's crust. Finally, by combining the thermal neutron measurements with previously reported elemental measurements from the GRNS and MESSENGER's X-Ray Spectrometer, we have derived constraints on the abundances of neutron-absorbing elements, including previously unreported limits for some minor and rare-earth elements.

  15. Transcriptomic Sequencing Reveals a Set of Unique Genes Activated by Butyrate-Induced Histone Modification.

    PubMed

    Li, Cong-Jun; Li, Robert W; Baldwin, Ransom L; Blomberg, Le Ann; Wu, Sitao; Li, Weizhong

    2016-01-01

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes in the bovine epithelial cells using RNA sequencing technology, a set of unique genes that are activated only after butyrate treatment were revealed. A complementary bioinformatics analysis of the functional category, pathway, and integrated network, using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, indicated that these genes activated by butyrate treatment are related to major cellular functions, including cell morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results offered insight into the butyrate-induced transcriptomic changes and will accelerate our discerning of the molecular fundamentals of epigenomic regulation. PMID:26819550

  16. Transcriptomic Sequencing Reveals a Set of Unique Genes Activated by Butyrate-Induced Histone Modification

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cong-Jun; Li, Robert W.; Baldwin, Ransom L.; Blomberg, Le Ann; Wu, Sitao; Li, Weizhong

    2016-01-01

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes in the bovine epithelial cells using RNA sequencing technology, a set of unique genes that are activated only after butyrate treatment were revealed. A complementary bioinformatics analysis of the functional category, pathway, and integrated network, using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, indicated that these genes activated by butyrate treatment are related to major cellular functions, including cell morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results offered insight into the butyrate-induced transcriptomic changes and will accelerate our discerning of the molecular fundamentals of epigenomic regulation. PMID:26819550

  17. Fibrinogen adsorption mechanisms at the gold substrate revealed by QCM-D measurements and RSA modeling.

    PubMed

    Kubiak, Katarzyna; Adamczyk, Zbigniew; Cieśla, Michał

    2016-03-01

    Adsorption kinetics of fibrinogen at a gold substrate at various pHs was thoroughly studied using the QCM-D method. The experimental were interpreted in terms of theoretical calculations performed according to the random sequential adsorption model (RSA). In this way, the hydration functions and water factors of fibrinogen monolayers were quantitatively evaluated at various pHs. It was revealed that for the lower range of fibrinogen coverage the hydration function were considerably lower than previously obtained for the silica sensor [33]. The lower hydration of fibrinogen monolayers on the gold sensor was attributed to its higher roughness. However, for higher fibrinogen coverage the hydration functions for both sensors became identical exhibiting an universal behavior. By using the hydration functions, the fibrinogen adsorption/desorption runs derived from QCM-D measurements were converted to the Γd vs. the time relationships. This allowed to precisely determine the maximum coverage that varied between 1.6mgm(-2) at pH 3.5 and 4.5mgm(-2) at pH 7.4 (for ionic strength of 0.15M). These results agree with theoretical eRSA modeling and previous experimental data derived by using ellipsometry, OWLS and TIRF. Various fibrinogen adsorption mechanisms were revealed by exploiting the maximum coverage data. These results allow one to develop a method for preparing fibrinogen monolayers of well-controlled coverage and molecule orientation.

  18. Nuclear RNA-seq of single neurons reveals molecular signatures of activation

    PubMed Central

    Lacar, Benjamin; Linker, Sara B.; Jaeger, Baptiste N.; Krishnaswami, Suguna; Barron, Jerika; Kelder, Martijn; Parylak, Sarah; Paquola, Apuã; Venepally, Pratap; Novotny, Mark; O'Connor, Carolyn; Fitzpatrick, Conor; Erwin, Jennifer; Hsu, Jonathan Y.; Husband, David; McConnell, Michael J.; Lasken, Roger; Gage, Fred H.

    2016-01-01

    Single-cell sequencing methods have emerged as powerful tools for identification of heterogeneous cell types within defined brain regions. Application of single-cell techniques to study the transcriptome of activated neurons can offer insight into molecular dynamics associated with differential neuronal responses to a given experience. Through evaluation of common whole-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) methods, here we show that snRNA-seq faithfully recapitulates transcriptional patterns associated with experience-driven induction of activity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) such as Fos, Arc and Egr1. SnRNA-seq of mouse dentate granule cells reveals large-scale changes in the activated neuronal transcriptome after brief novel environment exposure, including induction of MAPK pathway genes. In addition, we observe a continuum of activation states, revealing a pseudotemporal pattern of activation from gene expression alone. In summary, snRNA-seq of activated neurons enables the examination of gene expression beyond IEGs, allowing for novel insights into neuronal activation patterns in vivo. PMID:27090946

  19. Nuclear RNA-seq of single neurons reveals molecular signatures of activation.

    PubMed

    Lacar, Benjamin; Linker, Sara B; Jaeger, Baptiste N; Krishnaswami, Suguna; Barron, Jerika; Kelder, Martijn; Parylak, Sarah; Paquola, Apuã; Venepally, Pratap; Novotny, Mark; O'Connor, Carolyn; Fitzpatrick, Conor; Erwin, Jennifer; Hsu, Jonathan Y; Husband, David; McConnell, Michael J; Lasken, Roger; Gage, Fred H

    2016-01-01

    Single-cell sequencing methods have emerged as powerful tools for identification of heterogeneous cell types within defined brain regions. Application of single-cell techniques to study the transcriptome of activated neurons can offer insight into molecular dynamics associated with differential neuronal responses to a given experience. Through evaluation of common whole-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) methods, here we show that snRNA-seq faithfully recapitulates transcriptional patterns associated with experience-driven induction of activity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) such as Fos, Arc and Egr1. SnRNA-seq of mouse dentate granule cells reveals large-scale changes in the activated neuronal transcriptome after brief novel environment exposure, including induction of MAPK pathway genes. In addition, we observe a continuum of activation states, revealing a pseudotemporal pattern of activation from gene expression alone. In summary, snRNA-seq of activated neurons enables the examination of gene expression beyond IEGs, allowing for novel insights into neuronal activation patterns in vivo. PMID:27090946

  20. Small business activity does not measure entrepreneurship.

    PubMed

    Henrekson, Magnus; Sanandaji, Tino

    2014-02-01

    Entrepreneurship policy mainly aims to promote innovative Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. However, the rate of entrepreneurship is commonly proxied using quantity-based metrics, such as small business activity, the self-employment rate, or the number of startups. We argue that those metrics give rise to misleading inferences regarding high-impact Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. To unambiguously identify high-impact entrepreneurs we focus on self-made billionaires (in US dollars) who appear on Forbes Magazine's list and who became wealthy by founding new firms. We identify 996 such billionaire entrepreneurs in 50 countries in 1996-2010, a systematic cross-country study of billionaire entrepreneurs. The rate of billionaire entrepreneurs correlates negatively with self-employment, small business ownership, and firm startup rates. Countries with higher income, higher trust, lower taxes, more venture capital investment, and lower regulatory burdens have higher billionaire entrepreneurship rates but less self-employment. Despite its limitations, the number of billionaire entrepreneurs appears to be a plausible cross-country measure of Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. PMID:24449873

  1. Small business activity does not measure entrepreneurship

    PubMed Central

    Henrekson, Magnus; Sanandaji, Tino

    2014-01-01

    Entrepreneurship policy mainly aims to promote innovative Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. However, the rate of entrepreneurship is commonly proxied using quantity-based metrics, such as small business activity, the self-employment rate, or the number of startups. We argue that those metrics give rise to misleading inferences regarding high-impact Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. To unambiguously identify high-impact entrepreneurs we focus on self-made billionaires (in US dollars) who appear on Forbes Magazine’s list and who became wealthy by founding new firms. We identify 996 such billionaire entrepreneurs in 50 countries in 1996–2010, a systematic cross-country study of billionaire entrepreneurs. The rate of billionaire entrepreneurs correlates negatively with self-employment, small business ownership, and firm startup rates. Countries with higher income, higher trust, lower taxes, more venture capital investment, and lower regulatory burdens have higher billionaire entrepreneurship rates but less self-employment. Despite its limitations, the number of billionaire entrepreneurs appears to be a plausible cross-country measure of Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. PMID:24449873

  2. Small business activity does not measure entrepreneurship.

    PubMed

    Henrekson, Magnus; Sanandaji, Tino

    2014-02-01

    Entrepreneurship policy mainly aims to promote innovative Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. However, the rate of entrepreneurship is commonly proxied using quantity-based metrics, such as small business activity, the self-employment rate, or the number of startups. We argue that those metrics give rise to misleading inferences regarding high-impact Schumpeterian entrepreneurship. To unambiguously identify high-impact entrepreneurs we focus on self-made billionaires (in US dollars) who appear on Forbes Magazine's list and who became wealthy by founding new firms. We identify 996 such billionaire entrepreneurs in 50 countries in 1996-2010, a systematic cross-country study of billionaire entrepreneurs. The rate of billionaire entrepreneurs correlates negatively with self-employment, small business ownership, and firm startup rates. Countries with higher income, higher trust, lower taxes, more venture capital investment, and lower regulatory burdens have higher billionaire entrepreneurship rates but less self-employment. Despite its limitations, the number of billionaire entrepreneurs appears to be a plausible cross-country measure of Schumpeterian entrepreneurship.

  3. Functional Screening of Hydrolytic Activities Reveals an Extremely Thermostable Cellulase from a Deep-Sea Archaeon

    PubMed Central

    Leis, Benedikt; Heinze, Simon; Angelov, Angel; Pham, Vu Thuy Trang; Thürmer, Andrea; Jebbar, Mohamed; Golyshin, Peter N.; Streit, Wolfgang R.; Daniel, Rolf; Liebl, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Extreme habitats serve as a source of enzymes that are active under extreme conditions and are candidates for industrial applications. In this work, six large-insert mixed genomic libraries were screened for hydrolase activities in a broad temperature range (8–70°C). Among a variety of hydrolytic activities, one fosmid clone, derived from a library of pooled isolates of hyperthermophilic archaea from deep sea vents, displayed hydrolytic activity on carboxymethyl cellulose substrate plates at 70°C but not at lower temperatures. Sequence analysis of the fosmid insert revealed a gene encoding a novel glycoside hydrolase family 12 (GHF12) endo-1,4-β-glucanase, termed Cel12E. The enzyme shares 45% sequence identity with a protein from the archaeon Thermococcus sp. AM4 and displays a unique multidomain architecture. Biochemical characterization of Cel12E revealed a remarkably thermostable protein, which appears to be of archaeal origin. The enzyme displayed maximum activity at 92°C and was active on a variety of linear 1,4-β-glucans like carboxymethyl cellulose, β-glucan, lichenan, and phosphoric acid swollen cellulose. The protein is able to bind to various insoluble β-glucans. Product pattern analysis indicated that Cel12E is an endo-cleaving β-glucanase. Cel12E expands the toolbox of hyperthermostable archaeal cellulases with biotechnological potential. PMID:26191525

  4. New Aspects of Photocurrent Generation at Graphene pn Junctions Revealed by Ultrafast Optical Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aivazian, Grant; Sun, Dong; Jones, Aaron; Ross, Jason; Yao, Wang; Cobden, David; Xu, Xiaodong

    2012-02-01

    The remarkable electrical and optical properties of graphene make it a promising material for new optoelectronic applications. However, one important, but so far unexplored, property is the role of hot carriers in charge and energy transport at graphene interfaces. Here we investigate the photocurrent (PC) dynamics at a tunable graphene pn junction using ultrafast scanning PC microscopy. Pump-probe measurements show a temperature dependent relaxation time of photogenerated carriers that increases from 1.5ps at 290K to 4ps at 20K; while the amplitude of the PC is independent of the lattice temperature. These observations imply that it is hot carriers, not phonons, which dominate ultrafast energy transport. Gate dependent measurements show many interesting features such as pump induced saturation, enhancement, and sign reversal of probe generated PC. These observations reveal that the underlying PC mechanism is a combination of the thermoelectric and built-in electric field effects. Our results enhance the understanding of non-equilibrium electron dynamics, electron-electron interactions, and electron-phonon interactions in graphene. They also determine fundamental limits on ultrafast device operation speeds (˜500 GHz) for graphene-based photodetectors.

  5. Discoveries from Revisiting Apollo Direct Active Measurements of Lunar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Brian

    2010-05-01

    New missions to the moon being developed by China, Japan, India, USA, Russia and Europe and possibilities of human missions about 2020 face the reality that 6 Apollo expeditions did not totally manage or mitigate effects of easily-mobilised and very "sticky" lunar dust on humans and hardware. Laboratory and theoretical modelling cannot reliably simulate the complex lunar environments that affect dynamical movements of lunar dust. The only direct active measurements of lunar dust during Apollo were made by matchbox-sized minimalist Dust Detector Experiments (DDEs) deployed to transmit some 30 million digital measurements from Apollo 11, 12, 14 and 15. These were misplaced or relatively ignored until 2009, when a self-funded suite of discoveries (O'Brien Geophys. Research Letters FIX 6 May 2099) revealed unexpected properties of lunar dust, such as the adhesive force being stronger as illumination increased. We give the first reports of contrasting effects, contamination or cleansing, from rocket exhausts of Apollo 11, 12, 14 and 15 Lunar Modules leaving the moon. We further strengthen the importance of collateral dust inadvertently splashed on Apollo hardware by human activities. Dust management designs and mission plans require optimum use of such in situ measurements, extended by laboratory simulations and theoretical modelling.

  6. Targeted massively parallel sequencing of angiosarcomas reveals frequent activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway

    PubMed Central

    Murali, Rajmohan; Chandramohan, Raghu; Möller, Inga; Scholz, Simone L.; Berger, Michael; Huberman, Kety; Viale, Agnes; Pirun, Mono; Socci, Nicholas D.; Bouvier, Nancy; Bauer, Sebastian; Artl, Monika; Schilling, Bastian; Schimming, Tobias; Sucker, Antje; Schwindenhammer, Benjamin; Grabellus, Florian; Speicher, Michael R.; Schaller, Jörg; Hillen, Uwe; Schadendorf, Dirk; Mentzel, Thomas; Cheng, Donavan T.; Wiesner, Thomas; Griewank, Klaus G.

    2015-01-01

    Angiosarcomas are rare malignant mesenchymal tumors of endothelial differentiation. The clinical behavior is usually aggressive and the prognosis for patients with advanced disease is poor with no effective therapies. The genetic bases of these tumors have been partially revealed in recent studies reporting genetic alterations such as amplifications of MYC (primarily in radiation-associated angiosarcomas), inactivating mutations in PTPRB and R707Q hotspot mutations of PLCG1. Here, we performed a comprehensive genomic analysis of 34 angiosarcomas using a clinically-approved, hybridization-based targeted next-generation sequencing assay for 341 well-established oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Over half of the angiosarcomas (n = 18, 53%) harbored genetic alterations affecting the MAPK pathway, involving mutations in KRAS, HRAS, NRAS, BRAF, MAPK1 and NF1, or amplifications in MAPK1/CRKL, CRAF or BRAF. The most frequently detected genetic aberrations were mutations in TP53 in 12 tumors (35%) and losses of CDKN2A in 9 tumors (26%). MYC amplifications were generally mutually exclusive of TP53 alterations and CDKN2A loss and were identified in 8 tumors (24%), most of which (n = 7, 88%) arose post-irradiation. Previously reported mutations in PTPRB (n = 10, 29%) and one (3%) PLCG1 R707Q mutation were also identified. Our results demonstrate that angiosarcomas are a genetically heterogeneous group of tumors, harboring a wide range of genetic alterations. The high frequency of genetic events affecting the MAPK pathway suggests that targeted therapies inhibiting MAPK signaling may be promising therapeutic avenues in patients with advanced angiosarcomas. PMID:26440310

  7. High-throughput Protease Activity Cytometry Reveals Dose-dependent Heterogeneity in PMA-mediated ADAM17 Activation†

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Lidan; Claas, Allison M.; Sarkar, Aniruddh; Lauffenburger, Douglas A.; Han, Jongyoon

    2015-01-01

    As key components of autocrine signaling, pericellular proteases, A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinases (ADAMs) in particular, are known to impact the microenvironment of individual cells and have significant implications in various pathological situations including cancer, inflammatory and vascular diseases.1-3 There is great incentive to develop a high-throughput platform for single-cell measurement of pericellular protease activity, as it is essential for studying the heterogeneity of protease response and the corresponding cell behavioral consequences. In this work, we developed a microfluidic platform to simultaneously monitor protease activity of many single cells in a time-dependent manner. This platform isolates individual microwells rapidly on demand and thus allows single-cell activity measurement of both cell-surface and secreted proteases by confining individual cells with diffusive FRET-based substrates. With this platform, we observed dose-dependent heterogeneous protease activation of HepG2 cells treated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). To study the temporal behavior of PMA-induced protease response, we monitored the pericellular protease activity of the same single cells during three different time periods and revealed the diversity in the dynamic patterns of single-cell protease activity profile upon PMA stimulation. The unique temporal information of single-cell protease response can help unveil the complicated functional role of pericellular proteases. PMID:25832727

  8. Dynamical Network of HIV-1 Protease Mutants Reveals the Mechanism of Drug Resistance and Unhindered Activity.

    PubMed

    Appadurai, Rajeswari; Senapati, Sanjib

    2016-03-15

    HIV-1 protease variants resist drugs by active and non-active-site mutations. The active-site mutations, which are the primary or first set of mutations, hamper the stability of the enzyme and resist the drugs minimally. As a result, secondary mutations that not only increase protein stability for unhindered catalytic activity but also resist drugs very effectively arise. While the mechanism of drug resistance of the active-site mutations is through modulating the active-site pocket volume, the mechanism of drug resistance of the non-active-site mutations is unclear. Moreover, how these allosteric mutations, which are 8-21 Å distant, communicate to the active site for drug efflux is completely unexplored. Results from molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the primary mechanism of drug resistance of the secondary mutations involves opening of the flexible protease flaps. Results from both residue- and community-based network analyses reveal that this precise action of protease is accomplished by the presence of robust communication paths between the mutational sites and the functionally relevant regions: active site and flaps. While the communication is more direct in the wild type, it traverses across multiple intermediate residues in mutants, leading to weak signaling and unregulated motions of flaps. The global integrity of the protease network is, however, maintained through the neighboring residues, which exhibit high degrees of conservation, consistent with clinical data and mutagenesis studies. PMID:26892689

  9. Calcification and measurements of net proton and oxygen flux reveal subcellular domains in Acetabularia acetabulum.

    PubMed

    Serikawa, K A; Porterfield, D M; Smith, P J; Mandoli, D F

    2000-09-01

    Vegetative adults of Acetabularia acetabulum (L.) Silva were studied as a model system for subcellular patterning in plants, and a description of several phenotypic and physiological characteristics that reveal patterns of subcellular differentiation in this unicellular macroalga was undertaken. Initially, calcification patterns were studied. Under favorable conditions, the rhizoid and most of the stalk calcified. Only the apical 10-20% of the stalk and a small region adjacent to the rhizoid remained uncalcified. Calcification in algae has been reported to result from a biologically mediated local increase in alkalinity. To test this model extracellular pH and extracellular hydrogen ion gradients were examined with ion-selective, self-referencing, electrodes. In the light, A. acetabulum displayed a general pattern of extracellular alkalinity around the entire alga, although in some individuals the region near the rhizoid and the rhizoid itself displayed extracellular acidity. Acetabularia acetabulum also displayed net hydrogen ion influx at the rhizoid and the apical half of the stalk, variable flux in the lower part of the stalk, and net hydrogen ion efflux at the base of the stalk next to the rhizoid. The lack of complete correlation between external pH patterns and calcification suggests that other factors contribute to the control of calcification in this alga. To examine whether net hydrogen ion flux patterns correlated with photosynthetic or respiration patterns, oxygen flux was measured along the stalk using self-referencing O2 electrodes. Photosynthetic oxygen evolution occurred at comparable levels throughout the stalk, with less evolution in the rhizoid. Respiration mainly occurred near and in the rhizoid, with less O2 consumption occurring more apically along the stalk. Our studies of calcification patterns, net hydrogen ion flux and O2 flux revealed several overlapping patterns of subcellular differentiation in A. acetabulum.

  10. Early activation of Broca's area in grammar processing as revealed by the syntactic mismatch negativity and distributed source analysis.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Jeff; Mejias, Sandrine; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne; Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Shtyrov, Yury; Van der Lely, Heather K J

    2014-01-01

    Though activation of Broca's region in the combinatorial processing of symbols (language, music) has been revealed by neurometabolic studies, most previous neurophysiological research found the earliest grammar indices in the temporal cortex, with inferior-frontal generators becoming active at relatively late stages. We use the attention- and task-free syntactic mismatch negativity (sMMN) event-related potential (ERP) to measure rapid and automatic sensitivity of the human brain to grammatical information in participants' native language (French). Further, sources underlying the MMN were estimated by applying the Parametrical Empirical Bayesian (PEB) approach, with the Multiple Sparse Priors (MSP) technique. Results showed reliable grammar-related activation focused on Broca's region already in the 150-190 ms time window, providing robust documentation of its involvement in the first stages of syntactic processing. PMID:24279717

  11. Early activation of Broca's area in grammar processing as revealed by the syntactic mismatch negativity and distributed source analysis.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Jeff; Mejias, Sandrine; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne; Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Shtyrov, Yury; Van der Lely, Heather K J

    2014-01-01

    Though activation of Broca's region in the combinatorial processing of symbols (language, music) has been revealed by neurometabolic studies, most previous neurophysiological research found the earliest grammar indices in the temporal cortex, with inferior-frontal generators becoming active at relatively late stages. We use the attention- and task-free syntactic mismatch negativity (sMMN) event-related potential (ERP) to measure rapid and automatic sensitivity of the human brain to grammatical information in participants' native language (French). Further, sources underlying the MMN were estimated by applying the Parametrical Empirical Bayesian (PEB) approach, with the Multiple Sparse Priors (MSP) technique. Results showed reliable grammar-related activation focused on Broca's region already in the 150-190 ms time window, providing robust documentation of its involvement in the first stages of syntactic processing.

  12. Magnetoencephalography reveals early activation of V4 in grapheme-color synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Brang, D; Hubbard, E M; Coulson, S; Huang, M; Ramachandran, V S

    2010-10-15

    Grapheme-color synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which letters and numbers (graphemes) consistently evoke particular colors (e.g. A may be experienced as red). The cross-activation theory proposes that synesthesia arises as a result of cross-activation between posterior temporal grapheme areas (PTGA) and color processing area V4, while the disinhibited feedback theory proposes that synesthesia arises from disinhibition of pre-existing feedback connections. Here we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to test whether V4 and PTGA activate nearly simultaneously, as predicted by the cross-activation theory, or whether V4 activation occurs only after the initial stages of grapheme processing, as predicted by the disinhibited feedback theory. Using our high-resolution MEG source imaging technique (VESTAL), PTGA and V4 regions of interest (ROIs) were separately defined, and activity in response to the presentation of achromatic graphemes was measured. Activation levels in PTGA did not significantly differ between synesthetes and controls (suggesting similar grapheme processing mechanisms), whereas activation in V4 was significantly greater in synesthetes. In synesthetes, PTGA activation exceeded baseline levels beginning 105-109ms, and V4 activation did so 5ms later, suggesting nearly simultaneous activation of these areas. Results are discussed in the context of an updated version of the cross-activation model, the cascaded cross-tuning model of grapheme-color synesthesia.

  13. Methods to Measure Physical Activity Behaviors in Health Education Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzhugh, Eugene C.

    2015-01-01

    Regular physical activity (PA) is an important concept to measure in health education research. The health education researcher might need to measure physical activity because it is the primary measure of interest, or PA might be a confounding measure that needs to be controlled for in statistical analysis. The purpose of this commentary is to…

  14. Characterisation of Drosophila CMP-sialic acid synthetase activity reveals unusual enzymatic properties

    PubMed Central

    Mertsalov, Ilya B.; Novikov, Boris N.; Scott, Hilary; Dangott, Lawrence; Panin, Vladislav M.

    2016-01-01

    CMP-sialic acid synthetase (CSAS) is a key enzyme of the sialylation pathway. CSAS produces the activated sugar donor, CMP-sialic acid, which serves as a substrate for sialyltransferases to modify glycan termini with sialic acid. Unlike other animal CMP-Sia synthetases that normally localize in the nucleus, Drosophila melanogaster CSAS (DmCSAS) localizes in the cell secretory compartment, predominantly in the Golgi, which suggests that this enzyme has properties distinct from those of its vertebrate counterparts. To test this hypothesis, we purified recombinant DmCSAS and characterised its activity in vitro. Our experiments revealed several unique features of this enzyme. DmCSAS displays specificity for N-acetylneuraminic acid as a substrate, shows preference for lower pH and can function with a broad range of metal cofactors. When tested at a pH corresponding to the Golgi compartment, the enzyme showed significant activity with several metal cations, including Zn2+, Fe2+, Co2+ and Mn2+, while the activity with Mg2+ was found to be low. Protein sequence analysis and site-specific mutagenesis identified an aspartic acid residue that is necessary for enzymatic activity and predicted to be involved in coordinating a metal cofactor. DmCSAS enzymatic activity was found to be essential in vivo for rescuing the phenotype of DmCSAS mutants. Finally, our experiments revealed a steep dependence of the enzymatic activity on temperature. Taken together, our results indicate that DmCSAS underwent evolutionary adaptation to pH and ionic environment different from that of counterpart synthetases in vertebrates. Our data also suggest that environmental temperatures can regulate Drosophila sialylation, thus modulating neural transmission. PMID:27114558

  15. Single molecule analysis reveals reversible and irreversible steps during spliceosome activation

    PubMed Central

    Hoskins, Aaron A; Rodgers, Margaret L; Friedman, Larry J; Gelles, Jeff; Moore, Melissa J

    2016-01-01

    The spliceosome is a complex machine composed of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and accessory proteins that excises introns from pre-mRNAs. After assembly the spliceosome is activated for catalysis by rearrangement of subunits to form an active site. How this rearrangement is coordinated is not well-understood. During activation, U4 must be released to allow U6 conformational change, while Prp19 complex (NTC) recruitment is essential for stabilizing the active site. We used multi-wavelength colocalization single molecule spectroscopy to directly observe the key events in Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosome activation. Following binding of the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP, the spliceosome either reverses assembly by discarding tri-snRNP or proceeds to activation by irreversible U4 loss. The major pathway for NTC recruitment occurs after U4 release. ATP stimulates both the competing U4 release and tri-snRNP discard processes. The data reveal the activation mechanism and show that overall splicing efficiency may be maintained through repeated rounds of disassembly and tri-snRNP reassociation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14166.001 PMID:27244240

  16. Crystal structure of an avian influenza polymerase PA[subscript N] reveals an endonuclease active site

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Puwei; Bartlam, Mark; Lou, Zhiyong; Chen, Shoudeng; Zhou, Jie; He, Xiaojing; Lv, Zongyang; Ge, Ruowen; Li, Xuemei; Deng, Tao; Fodor, Ervin; Rao, Zihe; Liu, Yingfang

    2009-11-10

    The heterotrimeric influenza virus polymerase, containing the PA, PB1 and PB2 proteins, catalyses viral RNA replication and transcription in the nucleus of infected cells. PB1 holds the polymerase active site and reportedly harbours endonuclease activity, whereas PB2 is responsible for cap binding. The PA amino terminus is understood to be the major functional part of the PA protein and has been implicated in several roles, including endonuclease and protease activities as well as viral RNA/complementary RNA promoter binding. Here we report the 2.2 angstrom (A) crystal structure of the N-terminal 197 residues of PA, termed PA(N), from an avian influenza H5N1 virus. The PA(N) structure has an alpha/beta architecture and reveals a bound magnesium ion coordinated by a motif similar to the (P)DX(N)(D/E)XK motif characteristic of many endonucleases. Structural comparisons and mutagenesis analysis of the motif identified in PA(N) provide further evidence that PA(N) holds an endonuclease active site. Furthermore, functional analysis with in vivo ribonucleoprotein reconstitution and direct in vitro endonuclease assays strongly suggest that PA(N) holds the endonuclease active site and has critical roles in endonuclease activity of the influenza virus polymerase, rather than PB1. The high conservation of this endonuclease active site among influenza strains indicates that PA(N) is an important target for the design of new anti-influenza therapeutics.

  17. Ductile strain rates measurements reveal continental crust long-term deformation modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutonnet, E.; Leloup, P. H.; Sassier, C.; Gardien, V.; Ricard, Y.

    2012-04-01

    .5 x10-18 and 4.3 x10-13 s-1. Strain rates of natural quartz ribbons deformation under mid-crustal conditions appear better approximated by the QRS method if using Hirth (J. Earth Sciences, 2001) power flow law and the Shimizu piezometer. Most other combinations underestimate the strain rate. Applying the QRS method to major continental shear zones, we can quantify across-strike local strain rate variations and document where deformation localizes. For example, nine quartz ribbons sampled across the ASRR shear zone provided strain rates progressively increasing from the south-western border to the north-eastern border, from 2.5 x10-15 to 1.34 x10-12 s-1. The north-eastern border of the ASRR shear zone has been interpreted as the paleo-center of the shear zone, exhumed in the footwall of the active normal Red River fault. We conclude that strain localized at the paleo-center of the shear zone, as inferred by most of numerical models of shear zones deformation. Summation of the local strain rates yield global strain rates compatible with the fault rate deduced from geological constraints. This opens the way to extensive strain rate measurements, quantification of deformation localization and direct comparison with numerical models for continental lithosphere rheology and strain localisation.

  18. Latent luciferase activity in the fruit fly revealed by a synthetic luciferin

    PubMed Central

    Mofford, David M.; Reddy, Gadarla Randheer; Miller, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    Beetle luciferases are thought to have evolved from fatty acyl-CoA synthetases present in all insects. Both classes of enzymes activate fatty acids with ATP to form acyl-adenylate intermediates, but only luciferases can activate and oxidize d-luciferin to emit light. Here we show that the Drosophila fatty acyl-CoA synthetase CG6178, which cannot use d-luciferin as a substrate, is able to catalyze light emission from the synthetic luciferin analog CycLuc2. Bioluminescence can be detected from the purified protein, live Drosophila Schneider 2 cells, and from mammalian cells transfected with CG6178. Thus, the nonluminescent fruit fly possesses an inherent capacity for bioluminescence that is only revealed upon treatment with a xenobiotic molecule. This result expands the scope of bioluminescence and demonstrates that the introduction of a new substrate can unmask latent enzymatic activity that differs significantly from an enzyme’s normal function without requiring mutation. PMID:24616520

  19. A biosensor for the protease TACE reveals actin damage induced TACE activation

    PubMed Central

    Chapnick, Douglas A.; Bunker, Eric; Liu, Xuedong

    2016-01-01

    Ligand shedding has gained increased attention as a major posttranslational modification mechanism used by cells to respond to diverse environmental conditions. The TACEadam17 protease is a critical mediator of such ligand shedding, regulating the maturation and release of an impressive range of extracellular substrates that drive diverse cellular responses. Exactly how this protease is itself activated remains unclear, in part due to the lack of available tools to measure TACE activity with temporal and spatial resolution in live cells. We have developed a FRET based biosensor for TACE activity (TSen), which is capable of reporting TACE activation kinetics in live cells with a high degree of specificity. TSen was used in combination with chemical biology to probe the dependence of various means of TACE activation on p38 and Erk kinase activities, as well as to identify a novel connection between actin cytoskeletal disruption and TACE activation. Such cytoskeletal disruption leads to rapid and robust TACE activation in some cell types and accumulation of TACE at the plasma membrane, allowing for increased cleavage of endogenous substrates. Our study highlights both the versatility of TSen as a tool to understand the mechanisms of TACE activation in live cells and the importance of actin cytoskeletal integrity as a modulator of TACE activity. PMID:25714465

  20. Interspecies activity correlations reveal functional correspondence between monkey and human brain areas.

    PubMed

    Mantini, Dante; Hasson, Uri; Betti, Viviana; Perrucci, Mauro G; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio; Orban, Guy A; Vanduffel, Wim

    2012-02-05

    Evolution-driven functional changes in the primate brain are typically assessed by aligning monkey and human activation maps using cortical surface expansion models. These models use putative homologous areas as registration landmarks, assuming they are functionally correspondent. For cases in which functional changes have occurred in an area, this assumption prohibits to reveal whether other areas may have assumed lost functions. Here we describe a method to examine functional correspondences across species. Without making spatial assumptions, we assessed similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we revealed regions for which functional processing has shifted to topologically divergent locations during evolution. We conclude that substantial evolution-driven functional reorganizations have occurred, not always consistent with cortical expansion processes. This framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models.

  1. Metabolomics reveal 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine production by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Haruya; Goto, Tsuyoshi; Yamazaki, Yota; Kamakari, Kosuke; Hirata, Mariko; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Shibata, Daisuke; Nakata, Rieko; Inoue, Hiroyasu; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Kawada, Teruo

    2015-02-01

    PPARα is well known as a master regulator of lipid metabolism. PPARα activation enhances fatty acid oxidation and decreases the levels of circulating and cellular lipids in obese diabetic patients. Although PPARα target genes are widely known, little is known about the alteration of plasma and liver metabolites during PPARα activation. Here, we report that metabolome analysis-implicated upregulation of many plasma lysoGP species during bezafibrate (PPARα agonist) treatment. In particular, 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine [LPC(16:0)] is increased by bezafibrate treatment in both plasma and liver. In mouse primary hepatocytes, the secretion of LPC(16:0) increased on PPARα activation, and this effect was attenuated by PPARα antagonist treatment. We demonstrated that Pla2g7 gene expression levels in the murine hepatocytes were increased by PPARα activation, and the secretion of LPC(16:0) was suppressed by Pla2g7 siRNA treatment. Interestingly, LPC(16:0) activates PPARα and induces the expression of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes. Furthermore, we showed that LPC(16:0) has the ability to recover glucose uptake in adipocytes induced insulin resistance. These results reveal that LPC(16:0) is induced by PPARα activation in hepatocytes; LPC(16:0) contributes to the upregulation of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes and the recovery of glucose uptake in insulin-resistant adipocytes. PMID:25510248

  2. Measurement of optical activity of honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Gutiérrez, Mauricio; Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Salgado-Verduzco, Marco Antonio; Ibarra-Torres, Juan Carlos

    2016-03-01

    Optical activity of some substances, such as chiral molecules, often exhibits circular birefringence. Circular birefringence causes rotation of the vibration plane of the plane polarized light as it passes through the substance. In this work we present optical characterization of honey as function of the optical activity when it is placed in a polariscope that consists of a light source and properly arranged polarizing elements.

  3. Measurement of myeloid cell immune suppressive activity.

    PubMed

    Dolcetti, Luigi; Peranzoni, Elisa; Bronte, Vincenzo

    2010-11-01

    This unit presents simple methods to assess the immunosuppressive properties of immunoregulatory cells of myeloid origin, such as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), both in vitro and in vivo. These methods are general and could be adapted to test the impact of different suppressive populations on T cell activation, proliferation, and cytotoxic activity; moreover they could be useful to assess the influence exerted on immune suppressive pathways by genetic modifications, chemical inhibitors, and drugs.

  4. PARTICULATE EMISSION MEASUREMENTS FROM CONTROLLED CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report summarized the results of field testing of the effectiveness of control measures for sources of fugitive particulate emissions found at construction sites. The effectiveness of watering temporary, unpaved travel surfaces on emissions of particulate matter with aerodyna...

  5. Relationship between balance and physical activity measured by an activity monitor in elderly COPD patients

    PubMed Central

    Iwakura, Masahiro; Okura, Kazuki; Shibata, Kazuyuki; Kawagoshi, Atsuyoshi; Sugawara, Keiyu; Takahashi, Hitomi; Shioya, Takanobu

    2016-01-01

    Background Little is known regarding the relationship between balance impairments and physical activity in COPD. There has been no study investigating the relationship between balance and objectively measured physical activity. Here we investigated the association between balance and physical activity measured by an activity monitor in elderly COPD patients. Materials and methods Twenty-two outpatients with COPD (mean age, 72±7 years; forced expiratory volume in 1 second, 53%±21% predicted) and 13 age-matched healthy control subjects (mean age, 72±6 years) participated in the study. We assessed all 35 subjects’ balance (one-leg standing test [OLST] times, Short Physical Performance Battery total scores, standing balance test scores, 4 m gait speed, and five-times sit-to-stand test [5STST]) and physical activity (daily steps and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day [MV-PA]). Possible confounders were assessed in the COPD group. The between-group differences in balance test scores and physical activity were analyzed. A correlation analysis and multivariate regression analysis were conducted in the COPD group. Results The COPD patients exhibited significant reductions in OLST times (P=0.033), Short Physical Performance Battery scores (P=0.013), 4 m gait speed (P<0.001), five-times sit-to-stand times (P=0.002), daily steps (P=0.003), and MV-PA (P=0.022) compared to the controls; the exception was the standing balance test scores. The correlation and multivariate regression analyses revealed significant independent associations between OLST times and daily steps (P<0.001) and between OLST times and MV-PA (P=0.014) in the COPD group after adjusting for possible confounding factors. Conclusion Impairments in balance and reductions in physical activity were observed in the COPD group. Deficits in balance are independently associated with physical inactivity. PMID:27445470

  6. Concentration-Discharge Patterns Revealed from High Resolution Nitrate Measurements in Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boland, S. J.; Basu, N. B.

    2012-12-01

    Riverine export of nutrients is a major component of nutrient cycles, particularly with respect to nitrogen; ~ 25 percent of terrestrially applied nitrogen (N) is removed via riverine export. Understanding the patterns in N export during a storm event is critical for developing a conceptual model of the dominant processes and pathways of N transformation, and designing appropriate management strategies to mitigate N pollution in streams and receiving water bodies. Most studies however, are limited by the lack of high-resolution water quality data to elucidate these pathways and mechanisms. We explored concentration-discharge relationships using high-resolution (15 minute) discharge (Q) and nitrate concentration (C) data (measured using an in-situ Nitratax Sonde) at multiple nested scales (from 151.3 km2 to 8900 km2) in two watersheds in Iowa: Clear Creek Watershed and the Raccoon River watershed. Three distinct regimes of nitrate transport were revealed: (1) a linear regime in which C increases with increasing Q, (2) a saturation regime in which C remains constant against increasing Q, and (3) a dilution regime in which concentration decreases as Q increases. The tight clustering of the data along these patterns is indicative of emergent behavior in such human-dominated systems. All three regimes were apparent in the Raccoon River Watershed, while only the saturation and dilution regimes were apparent in the Clear Creek Watershed. We hypothesize that surface flow is dominant in the Clear Creek Watershed leading to a saturation/dilution regimes, while subsurface flow is dominant in the more heavily tile-drained Raccoon River Watershed, leading to the occurrence of all three regimes. A parsimonious model was developed to test the hypothesis and develop C-Q patterns as a function of the partitioning of flow through the different pathways.

  7. PCNA immunoreactivity revealing normal proliferative activity in the brain of adult Lampetra planeri (Bloch, 1784).

    PubMed

    Margotta, Vito; Caronti, Brunella; Colombari, Paolo Tito; Castiglia, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    It is now well known that the Teleosts among Osteichthyes, Urodele and Anuran Amphibians, Lacertilian Reptiles possess encephalic natural proliferative activities even into adulthood, as demonstrated by a great number of researches performed both under normal and various experimental conditions. Few years ago we have undertaken in adult heterothermic vertebrates a reappraisal on spontaneous cerebral proliferative events involving some organisms (Podarcis sicula, Triturus carnifex, Rana esculenta, Carassius carassius) representative of these vertebrates and belonging to the same or phylogenetically similar species used by previous researchers in studies having the same object. In our investigations, these performances were revealed by a proliferative immunocytochemical marker, the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA). At this point of our study in the scenario emerging from findings a missing piece is represented by Petromyzontidae. To fill up this gap in the present investigation, using our usual test, we have paid attention to adult specimens of Lampetra planeri. The obtained immunostaining panorama has revealed the presence of a considerable number of spontaneous proliferative activities. These events might differ in quantity, in various encephalic districts. PCNA-labelled cells appeared scattered in the cranial portion of olfactory bulbs, while the PCNA expression has been observed steadily localized with a distinctly continous distribution in cells interposed among the ependymal epithelium which lines the cavities of the proximal portion of the olfactory region and of the cerebral ventricles. DNA synthesis activity has been also found in cells scattered in the telencephalic, diencephalic, mesencephalic and medulla oblongata periventricular grey. This immunoreactivity was not revealable in the cerebellum. Our findings are discussed in the light of bibliographic news.

  8. Analysis of Polymorphic Residues Reveals Distinct Enzymatic and Cytotoxic Activities of the Streptococcus pyogenes NAD+ Glycohydrolase*

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekaran, Sukantha; Ghosh, Joydeep; Port, Gary C.; Koh, Eun-ik; Caparon, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    The Streptococcus pyogenes NAD+ glycohydrolase (SPN) is secreted from the bacterial cell and translocated into the host cell cytosol where it contributes to cell death. Recent studies suggest that SPN is evolving and has diverged into NAD+ glycohydrolase-inactive variants that correlate with tissue tropism. However, the role of SPN in both cytotoxicity and niche selection are unknown. To gain insight into the forces driving the adaptation of SPN, a detailed comparison of representative glycohydrolase activity-proficient and -deficient variants was conducted. Of a total 454 amino acids, the activity-deficient variants differed at only nine highly conserved positions. Exchanging residues between variants revealed that no one single residue could account for the inability of the deficient variants to cleave the glycosidic bond of β-NAD+ into nicotinamide and ADP-ribose; rather, reciprocal changes at 3 specific residues were required to both abolish activity of the proficient version and restore full activity to the deficient variant. Changing any combination of 1 or 2 residues resulted in intermediate activity. However, a change to any 1 residue resulted in a significant decrease in enzyme efficiency. A similar pattern involving multiple residues was observed for comparison with a second highly conserved activity-deficient variant class. Remarkably, despite differences in glycohydrolase activity, all versions of SPN were equally cytotoxic to cultured epithelial cells. These data indicate that the glycohydrolase activity of SPN may not be the only contribution the toxin has to the pathogenesis of S. pyogenes and that both versions of SPN play an important role during infection. PMID:23689507

  9. Cofactor bypass variants reveal a conformational control mechanism governing cell wall polymerase activity.

    PubMed

    Markovski, Monica; Bohrhunter, Jessica L; Lupoli, Tania J; Uehara, Tsuyoshi; Walker, Suzanne; Kahne, Daniel E; Bernhardt, Thomas G

    2016-04-26

    To fortify their cytoplasmic membrane and protect it from osmotic rupture, most bacteria surround themselves with a peptidoglycan (PG) exoskeleton synthesized by the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). As their name implies, these proteins are the targets of penicillin and related antibiotics. We and others have shown that the PG synthases PBP1b and PBP1a of Escherichia coli require the outer membrane lipoproteins LpoA and LpoB, respectively, for their in vivo function. Although it has been demonstrated that LpoB activates the PG polymerization activity of PBP1b in vitro, the mechanism of activation and its physiological relevance have remained unclear. We therefore selected for variants of PBP1b (PBP1b*) that bypass the LpoB requirement for in vivo function, reasoning that they would shed light on LpoB function and its activation mechanism. Several of these PBP1b variants were isolated and displayed elevated polymerization activity in vitro, indicating that the activation of glycan polymer growth is indeed one of the relevant functions of LpoB in vivo. Moreover, the location of amino acid substitutions causing the bypass phenotype on the PBP1b structure support a model in which polymerization activation proceeds via the induction of a conformational change in PBP1b initiated by LpoB binding to its UB2H domain, followed by its transmission to the glycosyl transferase active site. Finally, phenotypic analysis of strains carrying a PBP1b* variant revealed that the PBP1b-LpoB complex is most likely not providing an important physical link between the inner and outer membranes at the division site, as has been previously proposed. PMID:27071112

  10. Measuring Physical Activity in the Elderly: Some Implications for Nutrition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shephard, Roy J.

    1990-01-01

    Measurement of physical activity patterns is discussed in terms of data obtained by attitude assessment, activity questionnaires, personal monitoring devices, and fitness assessment. Problems of each technique are described. Application of activity measures to the estimation of total dietary needs is discussed. (SK)

  11. 12 CFR 1806.201 - Measuring and reporting Qualified Activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Measuring and reporting Qualified Activities..., DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY BANK ENTERPRISE AWARD PROGRAM Awards § 1806.201 Measuring and reporting Qualified... applicable BEA NOFA for current limitations on Qualified Activities. (e) Measuring the Value of...

  12. Active sensing associated with spatial learning reveals memory-based attention in an electric fish.

    PubMed

    Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard

    2016-05-01

    Active sensing behaviors reveal what an animal is attending to and how it changes with learning. Gymnotus sp, a gymnotiform weakly electric fish, generates an electric organ discharge (EOD) as discrete pulses to actively sense its surroundings. We monitored freely behaving gymnotid fish in a large dark "maze" and extracted their trajectories and EOD pulse pattern and rate while they learned to find food with electrically detectable landmarks as cues. After training, they more rapidly found food using shorter, more stereotyped trajectories and spent more time near the food location. We observed three forms of active sensing: sustained high EOD rates per unit distance (sampling density), transient large increases in EOD rate (E-scans) and stereotyped scanning movements (B-scans) were initially strong at landmarks and food, but, after learning, intensified only at the food location. During probe (no food) trials, after learning, the fish's search area and intense active sampling was still centered on the missing food location, but now also increased near landmarks. We hypothesize that active sensing is a behavioral manifestation of attention and essential for spatial learning; the fish use spatial memory of landmarks and path integration to reach the expected food location and confine their attention to this region. PMID:26961107

  13. Active-Site Monovalent Cations Revealed in a 1.55 Å Resolution Hammerhead Ribozyme Structure

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael; Schultz, Eric P.; Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.

    2013-01-01

    We have obtained a 1.55 Å crystal structure of a hammerhead ribozyme derived from Schistosoma mansoni in conditions that permit detailed observations of Na+ ion binding in the ribozyme's active site. At least two such Na+ ions are observed. The first Na+ ion binds to the N7 of G10.1 and the adjacent A9 phosphate in a manner identical to that previously observed for divalent cations. A second Na+ ion binds to the Hoogsteen face of G12, the general base in the hammerhead cleavage reaction, thereby potentially dissipating the negative charge of the catalytically active enolate form of the nucleotide base. A potential but more ambiguous third site bridges the A9 and scissile phosphates in a manner consistent with previous predictions. Hammerhead ribozymes have been observed to be active in the presence of high concentrations of monovalent cations, including Na+, but the mechanism by which monovalent cations substitute for divalent cations in hammerhead catalysis remains unclear. Our results enable us to suggest that Na+ directly and specifically substitutes for divalent cations in the hammerhead active site. The detailed geometry of the pre-catalytic active site complex is also revealed with a new level of precision, thanks to the quality of the electron density maps obtained from what is currently the highest resolution ribozyme structure in the protein data bank. PMID:23711504

  14. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-09-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction.

  15. A chromatin activity based chemoproteomic approach reveals a transcriptional repressome for gene-specific silencing

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Cui; Yu, Yanbao; Liu, Feng; Wei, Xin; Wrobel, John A.; Gunawardena, Harsha P.; Zhou, Li; Jin, Jian; Chen, Xian

    2015-01-01

    Immune cells develop endotoxin tolerance (ET) after prolonged stimulation. ET increases the level of a repression mark H3K9me2 in the transcriptional-silent chromatin specifically associated with pro-inflammatory genes. However, it is not clear what proteins are functionally involved in this process. Here we show that a novel chromatin activity based chemoproteomic (ChaC) approach can dissect the functional chromatin protein complexes that regulate ET-associated inflammation. Using UNC0638 that binds the enzymatically active H3K9-specific methyltransferase G9a/GLP, ChaC reveals that G9a is constitutively active at a G9a-dependent mega-dalton repressome in primary endotoxin-tolerant macrophages. G9a/GLP broadly impacts the ET-specific reprogramming of the histone code landscape, chromatin remodeling, and the activities of select transcription factors. We discover that the G9a-dependent epigenetic environment promotes the transcriptional repression activity of c-Myc for gene-specific co-regulation of chronic inflammation. ChaC may be also applicable to dissect other functional protein complexes in the context of phenotypic chromatin architectures. PMID:25502336

  16. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-01-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction. PMID:27641076

  17. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-01-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction. PMID:27641076

  18. Equilibrium physics breakdown reveals the active nature of red blood cell flickering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turlier, Herve; Fedosov, Dmitry; Auth, Thorsten; Gov, Nir S.; Sykes, Cecile; Joanny, Jean-Francois; Gompper, Gerhard; Betz, Timo

    2015-03-01

    Red blood cell membrane flickering stimulated an abundant biological, biophysical and biochemical literature over the past 50 years. While the phenomenon has been interpreted as thermal fluctuations of the cell membrane, recent results suggest the involvement of metabolic processes. However, to date there is no direct and conclusive evidence that an active force drives membrane flickering. By comparing membrane undulations and active microrheology measurements on single human erythrocytes, we show that flickering is partly driven by an active metabolic process, as it does not satisfy the equilibrium fluctuation-dissipation relation on timescales slower than 100ms. Analytical and numerical models of the red blood cell reproduce experimental results. The analytical model assumes that membrane activity results from reversible binding of the elastic spectrin network to the lipid bilayer and predicts active fluctuations to increase with local curvature and extensional prestress in the cytoskeleton. Our mean-field calculation shows that the strength and kinetics of the binding activity regulates thereupon both passive and active mechanical properties of the red blood cell. Numerical simulations explore other possible origins of active forces on the membrane and predict coherent timescales for the molecular underlying metabolic processes.

  19. MEASURING CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN HUMAN SALIVA

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the potential for using saliva in pesticide biomonitoring, the consistency of cholinesterase activity in human saliva collected over time was examined. In this pilot study, saliva was collected from 20 healthy adults once per week for 5 consecutive weeks using 2 differe...

  20. MEASURING CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN HUMAN SALIVA.

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the potential for using saliva in pesticide biomonitoring, the consistency of cholinesterase activity in human saliva collected over time was examined. In this pilot study, saliva was collected from 20 healthy adults once per week for 5 consecutive weeks using 2 differe...

  1. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways.

    PubMed

    Kohlhoff, Kai J; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R; Konerding, David E; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B; Pande, Vijay S

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design. PMID:24345941

  2. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways.

    PubMed

    Kohlhoff, Kai J; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R; Konerding, David E; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B; Pande, Vijay S

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design.

  3. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohlhoff, Kai J.; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R.; Konerding, David E.; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design.

  4. Active microwave measurement of soil water content

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ulaby, F. T.; Cihlar, J.; Moore, R. K.

    1974-01-01

    Measurements of radar backscatter from bare soil at 4.7, 5.9, and 7.1 GHz for incident angles of 0-70 deg have been analyzed to determine sensitivity to soil moisture. Because the effective depth of penetration of the radar signal is only about one skin depth, the observed signals were correlated with the moisture in a skin depth as characterized by the attenuation coefficient (reciprocal of skin depth). Since the attenuation coefficient is a monotonically increasing function of moisture density, it may also be used as a measure of moisture content over the distance involved, which varies with frequency and moisture content. The measurements show an approximately linear increase in scattering with attenuation coefficient of the soil at angles within 10 deg of vertical and all frequencies. At 4.7 GHz this increase continues relatively large out to 70 deg incidence, but by 7.1 GHz the sensitivity is much less even at 20 deg and practically gone at 50 deg.

  5. Towards Fast In-line Measurement of Water Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, J.; Andreasen, M. B.; Pedersen, M.; Rasmussen, M. K.

    2015-03-01

    Water activity is widely used as a key parameter in controlling the quality of food and feed products, among others. For determining the water activity, the material is sampled from the manufacturing process and measured in the laboratory with water activity analyzers. The sampling procedure can lead to non-representative measurements, the measurement process is time consuming, and much of the produced material may be wasted before the measurement results are available. To reduce waste and to be able to optimize production processes, industry requires in-line measurement of relevant quality determining parameters, hereunder the water activity. In cooperation with a manufacturer of systems for automatic in-line sampling and measurement of moisture, density, and the size of items, a project was defined to also enable the manufacturer's existing products to perform automatic measurement of the water activity in a sample. The aim was to develop a measurement system with the ability to operate in an industrial environment, which in the end would increase the measurement speed significantly and minimize the problems related to the handling of samples. In the paper the selection and characterization of the sensors, the design of a measurement chamber, and various issues of modeling and methods to reduce measurement time are discussed. The paper also presents water activity measurements obtained from food and feed products with the system, and shows that reliable results can be obtained in a few minutes with a proper design of the measurement chamber and selection of a model.

  6. Microfluidic Investigation Reveals Distinct Roles for Actin Cytoskeleton and Myosin II Activity in Capillary Leukocyte Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Gabriele, Sylvain; Benoliel, Anne-Marie; Bongrand, Pierre; Théodoly, Olivier

    2009-01-01

    Circulating leukocyte sequestration in pulmonary capillaries is arguably the initiating event of lung injury in acute respiratory distress syndrome. We present a microfluidic investigation of the roles of actin organization and myosin II activity during the different stages of leukocyte trafficking through narrow capillaries (entry, transit and shape relaxation) using specific drugs (latrunculin A, jasplakinolide, and blebbistatin). The deformation rate during entry reveals that cell stiffness depends strongly on F-actin organization and hardly on myosin II activity, supporting a microfilament role in leukocyte sequestration. In the transit stage, cell friction is influenced by stiffness, demonstrating that the actin network is not completely broken after a forced entry into a capillary. Conversely, membrane unfolding was independent of leukocyte stiffness. The surface area of sequestered leukocytes increased by up to 160% in the absence of myosin II activity, showing the major role of molecular motors in microvilli wrinkling and zipping. Finally, cell shape relaxation was largely independent of both actin organization and myosin II activity, whereas a deformed state was required for normal trafficking through capillary segments. PMID:19450501

  7. Rapid ester biosynthesis screening reveals a high activity alcohol-O-acyltransferase (AATase) from tomato fruit.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jyun-Liang; Zhu, Jie; Wheeldon, Ian

    2016-05-01

    Ethyl and acetate esters are naturally produced in various yeasts, plants, and bacteria. The biosynthetic pathways that produce these esters share a common reaction step, the condensation of acetyl/acyl-CoA with an alcohol by alcohol-O-acetyl/acyltransferase (AATase). Recent metabolic engineering efforts exploit AATase activity to produce fatty acid ethyl esters as potential diesel fuel replacements as well as short- and medium-chain volatile esters as fragrance and flavor compounds. These efforts have been limited by the lack of a rapid screen to quantify ester biosynthesis. Enzyme engineering efforts have also been limited by the lack of a high throughput screen for AATase activity. Here, we developed a high throughput assay for AATase activity and used this assay to discover a high activity AATase from tomato fruit, Solanum lycopersicum (Atf-S.l). Atf1-S.l exhibited broad specificity towards acyl-CoAs with chain length from C4 to C10 and was specific towards 1-pentanol. The AATase screen also revealed new acyl-CoA substrate specificities for Atf1, Atf2, Eht1, and Eeb1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Atf-C.m from melon fruit, Cucumis melo, thus increasing the pool of characterized AATases that can be used in ester biosynthesis of ester-based fragrance and flavor compounds as well as fatty acid ethyl ester biofuels. PMID:26814045

  8. Protrusion force microscopy reveals oscillatory force generation and mechanosensing activity of human macrophage podosomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labernadie, Anna; Bouissou, Anaïs; Delobelle, Patrick; Balor, Stéphanie; Voituriez, Raphael; Proag, Amsha; Fourquaux, Isabelle; Thibault, Christophe; Vieu, Christophe; Poincloux, Renaud; Charrière, Guillaume M.; Maridonneau-Parini, Isabelle

    2014-11-01

    Podosomes are adhesion structures formed in monocyte-derived cells. They are F-actin-rich columns perpendicular to the substrate surrounded by a ring of integrins. Here, to measure podosome protrusive forces, we designed an innovative experimental setup named protrusion force microscopy (PFM), which consists in measuring by atomic force microscopy the deformation induced by living cells onto a compliant Formvar sheet. By quantifying the heights of protrusions made by podosomes onto Formvar sheets, we estimate that a single podosome generates a protrusion force that increases with the stiffness of the substratum, which is a hallmark of mechanosensing activity. We show that the protrusive force generated at podosomes oscillates with a constant period and requires combined actomyosin contraction and actin polymerization. Finally, we elaborate a model to explain the mechanical and oscillatory activities of podosomes. Thus, PFM shows that podosomes are mechanosensing cell structures exerting a protrusive force.

  9. Protrusion force microscopy reveals oscillatory force generation and mechanosensing activity of human macrophage podosomes.

    PubMed

    Labernadie, Anna; Bouissou, Anaïs; Delobelle, Patrick; Balor, Stéphanie; Voituriez, Raphael; Proag, Amsha; Fourquaux, Isabelle; Thibault, Christophe; Vieu, Christophe; Poincloux, Renaud; Charrière, Guillaume M; Maridonneau-Parini, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    Podosomes are adhesion structures formed in monocyte-derived cells. They are F-actin-rich columns perpendicular to the substrate surrounded by a ring of integrins. Here, to measure podosome protrusive forces, we designed an innovative experimental setup named protrusion force microscopy (PFM), which consists in measuring by atomic force microscopy the deformation induced by living cells onto a compliant Formvar sheet. By quantifying the heights of protrusions made by podosomes onto Formvar sheets, we estimate that a single podosome generates a protrusion force that increases with the stiffness of the substratum, which is a hallmark of mechanosensing activity. We show that the protrusive force generated at podosomes oscillates with a constant period and requires combined actomyosin contraction and actin polymerization. Finally, we elaborate a model to explain the mechanical and oscillatory activities of podosomes. Thus, PFM shows that podosomes are mechanosensing cell structures exerting a protrusive force. PMID:25385672

  10. Characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab (Scylla olivacea) revealed phenoloxidase activity.

    PubMed

    Mangkalanan, Seksan; Sanguanrat, Piyachat; Utairangsri, Tanatchaporn; Sritunyalucksana, Kallaya; Krittanai, Chartchai

    2014-05-01

    This study focused on an isolation and characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab, Scylla olivacea. Isolation of specific cell types of hemocytes from crab hemolymph was accomplished by using 60% Percoll density gradient centrifugation. Four separated bands of the hemocytes were successfully obtained. Characterization of these isolated hemocytes by light microscope using trypan blue-rose bengal staining, rose bengal-hematoxilin staining, and phase contrast revealed four distinct types of hemocyte cells. Using their specific morphology and granularity, they were identified as hyaline cell (HC), small granular cell (SGC), large granular cell (LGC) and mixed granular cell (MGC). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed more details on specific cell size, size of cytoplasmic granule, and nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio, and confirmed the classification. Relative abundance of these cells types in the hemolymph of an adult crab were 15.50±8.22% for HC, 55.50±7.15% for SGC, 13.50±5.28% for LGC, and 15.50±3.50% for MGC. Proteomic analysis of protein expression for each specific cell types by two-dimensional electrophoresis identified two highly abundant proteins, prophenoloxidase (ProPO) and peroxinectin in LGC. Determination of phenoloxidase (PO) activity in each isolated cell types using in vitro and in situ chemical assays confirmed the presence of PO activity only in LGC. Based on an increased PO activity of crab hemolymph during the course of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) infection, these results suggest that prophenoloxidase pathway was employed for host defense mechanism against WSSV and it may link to the role of large granular hemocyte.

  11. Gas-driven lava lake fluctuations at Erta 'Ale volcano (Ethiopia) revealed by MODIS measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vergniolle, Sylvie; Bouche, Emmanuella

    2016-09-01

    The long-lived lava lake of Erta 'Ale volcano (Ethiopia) is remotely monitored by moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometers (MODIS) installed on satellites. The Normalised Thermal Index (NTI) (Wright et al. Remote Sens Environ 82:135-155 2002) is shown to be proportional to the volume of the lava lake based on visual observations. The lava lake's variable level can be plausibly related to a stable foam, i.e. a mixture composed of densely packed non-coalescing bubbles in suspension within a liquid. This foam is trapped at the top of the magma reservoir, and its thickness changes in response to the gas flux feeding the foam being successively turned on and off. The temporal evolution of the foam thickness, and the resulting variation of the volume of the lava lake, is calculated numerically by assuming that the gas flux feeding the foam, initially constant and homogeneous since December 9, 2002, is suddenly stopped on December 13, 2002 and not restarted before May 2003. The best fit between the theoretical foam thickness and the level of the lava lake deduced from the NTI provides an estimate of both the reservoir radius, 155-170 m, and the gas flux feeding the foam, 5.5×10-3-7.2×10-3 m 3 s -1 when existing. This is in agreement with previous estimates from acoustic measurements (Bouche et al. Earth Planet Sci Lett 295:37-48 2010). The very good agreement between the theoretical foam thickness and that deduced from MODIS data shows for the first time the existence of a regime based on the behaviour of a stable foam, whose spreading towards the conduit ("wide" conduit condition), can explain the long-lived activity. Our predictive model, which links the gas flux at the vent to the foam spreading, could potentially be used on any volcano with a long-lived activity. The underlying gas flux and the horizontal surface area of the magma reservoir can then be deduced by combining modelling to continuous measurements of gas flux. The lava lake, when high, often shows

  12. Activity Patterns of Free-Ranging Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) Revealed by Accelerometry

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Michelle A.; Whisson, Desley A.; Holland, Greg J.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of koala activity patterns is important for measuring the behavioral response of this species to environmental change, but to date has been limited by the logistical challenges of traditional field methodologies. We addressed this knowledge gap by using tri-axial accelerometer data loggers attached to VHF radio collars to examine activity patterns of adult male and female koalas in a high-density population at Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia. Data were obtained from 27 adult koalas over two 7-d periods during the breeding season: 12 in the early-breeding season in November 2010, and 15 in the late-breeding season in January 2011. Multiple 15 minute observation blocks on each animal were used for validation of activity patterns determined from the accelerometer data loggers. Accelerometry was effective in distinguishing between inactive (sleeping, resting) and active (grooming, feeding and moving) behaviors. Koalas were more active during the early-breeding season with a higher index of movement (overall dynamic body acceleration [ODBA]) for both males and females. Koalas showed a distinct temporal pattern of behavior, with most activity occurring from mid-afternoon to early morning. Accelerometry has potential for examining fine-scale behavior of a wide range of arboreal and terrestrial species. PMID:24224050

  13. Active mechanics in living oocytes reveal molecular-scale force kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Wylie; Fodor, Etienne; Almonacid, Maria; Bussonnier, Matthias; Verlhac, Marie-Helene; Gov, Nir; Visco, Paolo; van Wijland, Frederic; Betz, Timo

    Unlike traditional materials, living cells actively generate forces at the molecular scale that change their structure and mechanical properties. This nonequilibrium activity is essential for cellular function, and drives processes such as cell division. Single molecule studies have uncovered the detailed force kinetics of isolated motor proteins in-vitro, however their behavior in-vivo has been elusive due to the complex environment inside the cell. Here, we quantify active forces and intracellular mechanics in living oocytes using in-vivo optical trapping and laser interferometry of endogenous vesicles. We integrate an experimental and theoretical framework to connect mesoscopic measurements of nonequilibrium properties to the underlying molecular- scale force kinetics. Our results show that force generation by myosin-V drives the cytoplasmic-skeleton out-of-equilibrium (at frequencies below 300 Hz) and actively softens the environment. In vivo myosin-V activity generates a force of F ~ 0 . 4 pN, with a power-stroke of length Δx ~ 20 nm and duration τ ~ 300 μs, that drives vesicle motion at vv ~ 320 nm/s. This framework is widely applicable to characterize living cells and other soft active materials.

  14. Transcriptomic Analysis of Musca domestica to Reveal Key Genes of the Prophenoloxidase-Activating System.

    PubMed

    Li, Dianxiang; Liang, Yongli; Wang, Xianwei; Wang, Lei; Qi, Mei; Yu, Yang; Luan, Yuanyuan

    2015-09-01

    The proPO system regulates melanization in arthropods. However, the genes that are involved in the proPO system in housefly Musca domestica remain unclear. Thus, this study analyzed the combined transcriptome obtained from M. domestica larvae, pupae, and adults that were either normal or bacteria-challenged by an Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus mixture. A total of 54,821,138 clean reads (4.93 Gb) were yielded by Illumina sequencing, which were de novo assembled into 89,842 unigenes. Of the 89,842 unigenes, based on a similarity search with known genes in other insects, 24 putative genes related to the proPO system were identified. Eight of the identified genes encoded for peptidoglycan recognition receptors, two encoded for prophenoloxidases, three encoded for prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes, and 11 encoded for serine proteinase inhibitors. The expression levels of these identified genes were investigated by qRT-PCR assay, which were consistent with expected activation process of the proPO system, and their activation functions were confirmed by the measurement of phenoloxidase activity in bacteria-infected larvae after proPO antibody blockage, suggesting these candidate genes might have potentially different roles in the activation of proPO system. Collectively, this study has provided the comprehensive transcriptomic data of an insect and some fundamental basis toward achieving understanding of the activation mechanisms and immune functions of the proPO system in M. domestica.

  15. Transcriptomic Analysis of Musca domestica to Reveal Key Genes of the Prophenoloxidase-Activating System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianxiang; Liang, Yongli; Wang, Xianwei; Wang, Lei; Qi, Mei; Yu, Yang; Luan, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    The proPO system regulates melanization in arthropods. However, the genes that are involved in the proPO system in housefly Musca domestica remain unclear. Thus, this study analyzed the combined transcriptome obtained from M. domestica larvae, pupae, and adults that were either normal or bacteria-challenged by an Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus mixture. A total of 54,821,138 clean reads (4.93 Gb) were yielded by Illumina sequencing, which were de novo assembled into 89,842 unigenes. Of the 89,842 unigenes, based on a similarity search with known genes in other insects, 24 putative genes related to the proPO system were identified. Eight of the identified genes encoded for peptidoglycan recognition receptors, two encoded for prophenoloxidases, three encoded for prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes, and 11 encoded for serine proteinase inhibitors. The expression levels of these identified genes were investigated by qRT-PCR assay, which were consistent with expected activation process of the proPO system, and their activation functions were confirmed by the measurement of phenoloxidase activity in bacteria-infected larvae after proPO antibody blockage, suggesting these candidate genes might have potentially different roles in the activation of proPO system. Collectively, this study has provided the comprehensive transcriptomic data of an insect and some fundamental basis toward achieving understanding of the activation mechanisms and immune functions of the proPO system in M. domestica. PMID:26156588

  16. Neutron Yield Measurements via Aluminum Activation

    SciTech Connect

    1999-12-08

    Neutron activation of aluminum may occur by several neutron capture reactions. Four such reactions are described here: {sup 27}Al + n = {sup 28}Al, {sup 27}Al(n,{alpha}){sup 24}Na, {sup 27}Al(n, 2n){sup 26}Al and {sup 27}Al(n,p){sup 27}Mg. The radioactive nuclei {sup 28}Al, {sup 24}Na, and {sup 27}Mg, which are produced via the {sup 27}Al + n = {sup 28}Al, {sup 27}Al(n,{alpha}){sup 24}Na and {sup 27}Al(n,p){sup 27}Mg neutron reactions, beta decay to excited states of {sup 28}Si, {sup 24}Mg and {sup 27}Al respectively. These excited states then emit gamma rays as the nuclei de-excite to their respective ground states.

  17. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals activation of mucosal innate immune signaling pathways during cholera.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Crystal N; LaRocque, Regina C; Uddin, Taher; Krastins, Bryan; Mayo-Smith, Leslie M; Sarracino, David; Karlsson, Elinor K; Rahman, Atiqur; Shirin, Tahmina; Bhuiyan, Taufiqur R; Chowdhury, Fahima; Khan, Ashraful Islam; Ryan, Edward T; Calderwood, Stephen B; Qadri, Firdausi; Harris, Jason B

    2015-03-01

    Vibrio cholerae O1 is a major cause of acute watery diarrhea in over 50 countries. Evidence suggests that V. cholerae O1 may activate inflammatory pathways, and a recent study of a Bangladeshi population showed that variants in innate immune genes play a role in mediating susceptibility to cholera. We analyzed human proteins present in the small intestine of patients infected with V. cholerae O1 to characterize the host response to this pathogen. We collected duodenal biopsy specimens from patients with acute cholera after stabilization and again 30 days after initial presentation. Peptides extracted from biopsy specimens were sequenced and quantified using label-free mass spectrometry and SEQUEST. Twenty-seven host proteins were differentially abundant between the acute and convalescent stages of infection; the majority of these have known roles in innate defense, cytokine production, and apoptosis. Immunostaining confirmed that two proteins, WARS and S100A8, were more abundant in lamina propria cells during the acute stage of cholera. Analysis of the differentially abundant proteins revealed the activation of key regulators of inflammation by the innate immune system, including Toll-like receptor 4, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and caspase-dependent inflammasomes. Interleukin-12β (IL-12β) was a regulator of several proteins that were activated during cholera, and we confirmed that IL-12β was produced by lymphocytes recovered from duodenal biopsy specimens of cholera patients. Our study shows that a broad inflammatory response is generated in the gut early after onset of cholera, which may be critical in the development of long-term mucosal immunity against V. cholerae O1.

  18. Lost for emotion words: What motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, Rachel L.; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view ‘emotion actions’ as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed. PMID:25278250

  19. Lost for emotion words: what motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory.

    PubMed

    Moseley, Rachel L; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view 'emotion actions' as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed.

  20. Zebrafish reporter lines reveal in vivo signaling pathway activities involved in pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Schiavone, Marco; Rampazzo, Elena; Casari, Alessandro; Battilana, Giusy; Persano, Luca; Moro, Enrico; Liu, Shu; Leach, Steve D; Tiso, Natascia; Argenton, Francesco

    2014-07-01

    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, one of the worst malignancies of the exocrine pancreas, is a solid tumor with increasing incidence and mortality in industrialized countries. This condition is usually driven by oncogenic KRAS point mutations and evolves into a highly aggressive metastatic carcinoma due to secondary gene mutations and unbalanced expression of genes involved in the specific signaling pathways. To examine in vivo the effects of KRAS(G12D) during pancreatic cancer progression and time correlation with cancer signaling pathway activities, we have generated a zebrafish model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in which eGFP-KRAS(G12D) expression was specifically driven to the pancreatic tissue by using the GAL4/UAS conditional expression system. Outcrossing the inducible oncogenic KRAS(G12D) line with transgenic zebrafish reporters, harboring specific signaling responsive elements of transcriptional effectors, we were able to follow TGFβ, Notch, Bmp and Shh activities during tumor development. Zebrafish transgenic lines expressing eGFP-KRAS(G12D) showed normal exocrine pancreas development until 3 weeks post fertilization (wpf). From 4 to 24 wpf we observed several degrees of acinar lesions, characterized by an increase in mesenchymal cells and mixed acinar/ductal features, followed by progressive bowel and liver infiltrations and, finally, highly aggressive carcinoma. Moreover, live imaging analysis of the exocrine pancreatic tissue revealed an increasing number of KRAS-positive cells and progressive activation of TGFβ and Notch pathways. Increase in TGFβ, following KRAS(G12D) activation, was confirmed in a concomitant model of medulloblastoma (MDB). Notch and Shh signaling activities during tumor onset were different between MDB and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, indicating a tissue-specific regulation of cell signaling pathways. Moreover, our results show that a living model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma joined with cell signaling reporters is a suitable tool for

  1. Multimodal imaging reveals temporal and spatial microglia and matrix metalloproteinase activity after experimental stroke

    PubMed Central

    Zinnhardt, Bastian; Viel, Thomas; Wachsmuth, Lydia; Vrachimis, Alexis; Wagner, Stefan; Breyholz, Hans-Jörg; Faust, Andreas; Hermann, Sven; Kopka, Klaus; Faber, Cornelius; Dollé, Frédéric; Pappata, Sabina; Planas, Anna M; Tavitian, Bertrand; Schäfers, Michael; Sorokin, Lydia M; Kuhlmann, Michael T; Jacobs, Andreas H

    2015-01-01

    Stroke is the most common cause of death and disability from neurologic disease in humans. Activation of microglia and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is involved in positively and negatively affecting stroke outcome. Novel, noninvasive, multimodal imaging methods visualizing microglial and MMP alterations were employed. The spatio-temporal dynamics of these parameters were studied in relation to blood flow changes. Micro positron emission tomography (μPET) using [18F]BR-351 showed MMP activity within the first days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo), followed by increased [18F]DPA-714 uptake as a marker for microglia activation with a maximum at 14 days after tMCAo. The inflammatory response was spatially located in the infarct core and in adjacent (penumbral) tissue. For the first time, multimodal imaging based on PET, single photon emission computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed insight into the spatio-temporal distribution of critical parameters of poststroke inflammation. This allows further evaluation of novel treatment paradigms targeting the postischemic inflammation. PMID:26126867

  2. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection.

    PubMed

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; Dimarzio, Charles A

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  3. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  4. Community Lenses Revealing the Role of Sociocultural Environment on Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Belon, Ana Paula; Nieuwendyk, Laura M.; Vallianatos, Helen; Nykiforuk, Candace I. J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To identify perceptions of how sociocultural environment enabled and hindered physical activity (PA) participation. Design Community-based participatory research. Setting Two semirural and two urban communities located in Alberta, Canada. Participants Thirty-five people (74.3% females, 71.4% aged 25–64 years) across the four communities. Method PhotoVoice activities occurred over 3 months during the spring of 2009. Participants were asked to document perceived environmental attributes that might foster or inhibit PA in their community. Photographs and narratives were shared in one-on-one interviews. Line-by-line coding of the transcripts was independently conducted by two researchers using an inductive approach. Codes were arranged into themes and subthemes, which were then organized into the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) framework. Results Six main themes (accompanied by subthemes) emerged: sociocultural aesthetics, safety, social involvement, PA motivation, cultural ideas of recreation, and car culture. Representative quotes and photographs illustrate enablers and obstacles identified by participants. Conclusion This PhotoVoice study revealed how aspects of participants’ sociocultural environments shaped their decisions to be physically active. Providing more PA resources is only one step in the promotion of supportive environments. Strategies should also account for the beautification and maintenance of communities, increasing feelings of safety, enhancement of social support among community members, popularization of PA, and mitigating car culture, among others. PMID:25973966

  5. Activity in human visual and parietal cortex reveals object-based attention in working memory.

    PubMed

    Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph

    2015-02-25

    Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception.

  6. Dynamic exometabolome analysis reveals active metabolic pathways in non-replicating mycobacteria.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Michael; Kuehne, Andreas; Boshoff, Helena I; Barry, Clifton E; Zamboni, Nicola; Sauer, Uwe

    2015-11-01

    An organism's metabolic activity leaves an extracellular footprint and dynamic changes in this exometabolome inform about nutrient uptake, waste disposal and signalling activities. Using non-targeted mass spectrometry, we report exometabolome dynamics of hypoxia-induced, non-replicating mycobacteria that are thought to play a role in latent tuberculosis. Despite evidence of active metabolism, little is known about the mechanisms enabling obligate aerobic mycobacteria to cope with hypoxia, resulting in long-term survival and increased chemotherapeutic tolerance. The dynamics of 379 extracellular compounds of Mycobacterium smegmatis were deconvoluted with a genome-scale metabolic reaction-pair network to generate hypotheses about intracellular pathway usage. Time-resolved (13) C-tracing and mutant experiments then demonstrated a crucial, energy-generating role of asparagine utilization and non-generic usage of the glyoxylate shunt for hypoxic fitness. Experiments with M. bovis and M. tuberculosis revealed the general relevance of asparagine fermentation and a variable contribution of the glyoxylate shunt to non-replicative, hypoxic survival between the three species.

  7. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Micro Economic Activities in Rome Reveals Patterns of Mixed-Use Urban Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fiasconaro, Alessandro; Strano, Emanuele; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Porta, Sergio; Latora, Vito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and non trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas. PMID:26982028

  8. Interaction of Rio1 Kinase with Toyocamycin Reveals a Conformational Switch That Controls Oligomeric State and Catalytic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kiburu, Irene N.; LaRonde-LeBlanc, Nicole

    2012-01-01

    Rio1 kinase is an essential ribosome-processing factor required for proper maturation of 40 S ribosomal subunit. Although its structure is known, several questions regarding its functional remain to be addressed. We report that both Archaeoglobus fulgidus and human Rio1 bind more tightly to an adenosine analog, toyocamycin, than to ATP. Toyocamycin has antibiotic, antiviral and cytotoxic properties, and is known to inhibit ribosome biogenesis, specifically the maturation of 40 S. We determined the X-ray crystal structure of toyocamycin bound to Rio1 at 2.0 Å and demonstrated that toyocamycin binds in the ATP binding pocket of the protein. Despite this, measured steady state kinetics were inconsistent with strict competitive inhibition by toyocamycin. In analyzing this interaction, we discovered that Rio1 is capable of accessing multiple distinct oligomeric states and that toyocamycin may inhibit Rio1 by stabilizing a less catalytically active oligomer. We also present evidence of substrate inhibition by high concentrations of ATP for both archaeal and human Rio1. Oligomeric state studies show both proteins access a higher order oligomeric state in the presence of ATP. The study revealed that autophosphorylation by Rio1 reduces oligomer formation and promotes monomerization, resulting in the most active species. Taken together, these results suggest the activity of Rio1 may be modulated by regulating its oligomerization properties in a conserved mechanism, identifies the first ribosome processing target of toyocamycin and presents the first small molecule inhibitor of Rio1 kinase activity. PMID:22629386

  9. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Micro Economic Activities in Rome Reveals Patterns of Mixed-Use Urban Evolution.

    PubMed

    Fiasconaro, Alessandro; Strano, Emanuele; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Porta, Sergio; Latora, Vito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and non trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas. PMID:26982028

  10. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Micro Economic Activities in Rome Reveals Patterns of Mixed-Use Urban Evolution.

    PubMed

    Fiasconaro, Alessandro; Strano, Emanuele; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Porta, Sergio; Latora, Vito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and non trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas.

  11. Interaction of Rio1 Kinase with Toyocamycin Reveals a Conformational Switch That Controls Oligomeric State and Catalytic Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Kiburu, Irene N.; LaRonde-LeBlanc, Nicole

    2012-10-10

    Rio1 kinase is an essential ribosome-processing factor required for proper maturation of 40 S ribosomal subunit. Although its structure is known, several questions regarding its functional remain to be addressed. We report that both Archaeoglobus fulgidus and human Rio1 bind more tightly to an adenosine analog, toyocamycin, than to ATP. Toyocamycin has antibiotic, antiviral and cytotoxic properties, and is known to inhibit ribosome biogenesis, specifically the maturation of 40 S. We determined the X-ray crystal structure of toyocamycin bound to Rio1 at 2.0 {angstrom} and demonstrated that toyocamycin binds in the ATP binding pocket of the protein. Despite this, measured steady state kinetics were inconsistent with strict competitive inhibition by toyocamycin. In analyzing this interaction, we discovered that Rio1 is capable of accessing multiple distinct oligomeric states and that toyocamycin may inhibit Rio1 by stabilizing a less catalytically active oligomer. We also present evidence of substrate inhibition by high concentrations of ATP for both archaeal and human Rio1. Oligomeric state studies show both proteins access a higher order oligomeric state in the presence of ATP. The study revealed that autophosphorylation by Rio1 reduces oligomer formation and promotes monomerization, resulting in the most active species. Taken together, these results suggest the activity of Rio1 may be modulated by regulating its oligomerization properties in a conserved mechanism, identifies the first ribosome processing target of toyocamycin and presents the first small molecule inhibitor of Rio1 kinase activity.

  12. Quantifying ant activity using vibration measurements.

    PubMed

    Oberst, Sebastian; Baro, Enrique Nava; Lai, Joseph C S; Evans, Theodore A

    2014-01-01

    Ant behaviour is of great interest due to their sociality. Ant behaviour is typically observed visually, however there are many circumstances where visual observation is not possible. It may be possible to assess ant behaviour using vibration signals produced by their physical movement. We demonstrate through a series of bioassays with different stimuli that the level of activity of meat ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus) can be quantified using vibrations, corresponding to observations with video. We found that ants exposed to physical shaking produced the highest average vibration amplitudes followed by ants with stones to drag, then ants with neighbours, illuminated ants and ants in darkness. In addition, we devised a novel method based on wavelet decomposition to separate the vibration signal owing to the initial ant behaviour from the substrate response, which will allow signals recorded from different substrates to be compared directly. Our results indicate the potential to use vibration signals to classify some ant behaviours in situations where visual observation could be difficult.

  13. 454 Pyrosequencing reveals bacterial diversity of activated sludge from 14 sewage treatment plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tong; Shao, Ming-Fei; Ye, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Activated sludge (AS) contains highly complex microbial communities. In this study, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing was applied to investigate the bacterial communities of AS samples from 14 sewage treatment plants of Asia (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore), and North America (Canada and the United States). A total of 259 K effective sequences of 16S rRNA gene V4 region were obtained from these AS samples. These sequences revealed huge amount of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in AS, that is, 1183–3567 OTUs in a sludge sample, at 3% cutoff level and sequencing depth of 16 489 sequences. Clear geographical differences among the AS samples from Asia and North America were revealed by (1) cluster analyses based on abundances of OTUs or the genus/family/order assigned by Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) and (2) the principal coordinate analyses based on OTUs abundances, RDP taxa abundances and UniFrac of OTUs and their distances. In addition to certain unique bacterial populations in each AS sample, some genera were dominant, and core populations shared by multiple samples, including two commonly reported genera of Zoogloea and Dechloromonas, three genera not frequently reported (i.e., Prosthecobacter, Caldilinea and Tricoccus) and three genera not well described so far (i.e., Gp4 and Gp6 in Acidobacteria and Subdivision3 genera incertae sedis of Verrucomicrobia). Pyrosequencing analyses of multiple AS samples in this study also revealed the minority populations that are hard to be explored by traditional molecular methods and showed that a large proportion of sequences could not be assigned to taxonomic affiliations even at the phylum/class levels. PMID:22170428

  14. The elastase-PK101 structure: Mechanism of an ultrasensitive activity-based probe revealed

    SciTech Connect

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; Drag, Marcin; Riedl, Stefan J.

    2015-01-22

    Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) plays a central role in neutrophil host defense, but its broad specificity makes HNE a difficult target for both inhibitor and probe development. Recently, we identified the unnatural amino acid containing activity-based probe PK101, which exhibits astounding sensitivity and selectivity for HNE, yet completely lacks mechanistic explanation for its unique characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structure of the HNE-PK101 complex which not only reveals the basis for PK101 ultrasensitivity but also uncovers so far unrecognized HNE features. Strikingly, the Nle(O-Bzl) function in the P4 position of PK101 reveals and leverages an “exo-pocket” on HNE as a critical factor for selectivity. Furthermore, the PK101 P3 position harbors a methionine dioxide function, which mimics a post-translationally oxidized methionine residue and forms a critical hydrogen bond to the backbone amide of Gly219 of HNE. Gly219 resides in a Gly–Gly motif that is unique to HNE, yet compulsory for this interaction. Consequently, this feature enables HNE to accommodate substrates that have undergone methionine oxidation, which constitutes a hallmark post-translational modification of neutrophil signaling.

  15. The elastase-PK101 structure: Mechanism of an ultrasensitive activity-based probe revealed

    DOE PAGES

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; Drag, Marcin; Riedl, Stefan J.

    2015-01-22

    Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) plays a central role in neutrophil host defense, but its broad specificity makes HNE a difficult target for both inhibitor and probe development. Recently, we identified the unnatural amino acid containing activity-based probe PK101, which exhibits astounding sensitivity and selectivity for HNE, yet completely lacks mechanistic explanation for its unique characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structure of the HNE-PK101 complex which not only reveals the basis for PK101 ultrasensitivity but also uncovers so far unrecognized HNE features. Strikingly, the Nle(O-Bzl) function in the P4 position of PK101 reveals and leverages an “exo-pocket” on HNE asmore » a critical factor for selectivity. Furthermore, the PK101 P3 position harbors a methionine dioxide function, which mimics a post-translationally oxidized methionine residue and forms a critical hydrogen bond to the backbone amide of Gly219 of HNE. Gly219 resides in a Gly–Gly motif that is unique to HNE, yet compulsory for this interaction. Consequently, this feature enables HNE to accommodate substrates that have undergone methionine oxidation, which constitutes a hallmark post-translational modification of neutrophil signaling.« less

  16. 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.

  17. A contrast agent recognizing activated platelets reveals murine cerebral malaria pathology undetectable by conventional MRI

    PubMed Central

    von zur Muhlen, Constantin; Sibson, Nicola R.; Peter, Karlheinz; Campbell, Sandra J.; Wilainam, Panop; Grau, Georges E.; Bode, Christoph; Choudhury, Robin P.; Anthony, Daniel C.

    2008-01-01

    Human and murine cerebral malaria are associated with elevated levels of cytokines in the brain and adherence of platelets to the microvasculature. Here we demonstrated that the accumulation of platelets in the brain microvasculature can be detected with MRI, using what we believe to be a novel contrast agent, at a time when the pathology is undetectable by conventional MRI. Ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on activated platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptors were detected in the brains of malaria-infected mice 6 days after inoculation with Plasmodium berghei using microparticles of iron oxide (MPIOs) conjugated to a single-chain antibody specific for the LIBS (LIBS-MPIO). No binding of the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent was detected in uninfected animals. A combination of LIBS-MPIO MRI, confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, but not IL-1β or lymphotoxin-α (LT-α), induced adherence of platelets to cerebrovascular endothelium. Peak platelet adhesion was found 12 h after TNF-α injection and was readily detected with LIBS-MPIO contrast-enhanced MRI. Temporal studies revealed that the level of MPIO-induced contrast was proportional to the number of platelets bound. Thus, the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent enabled noninvasive detection of otherwise undetectable cerebral pathology by in vivo MRI before the appearance of clinical disease, highlighting the potential of targeted contrast agents for diagnostic, mechanistic, and therapeutic studies. PMID:18274670

  18. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A. Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-07-01

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms.

  19. Structures of Cas9 Endonucleases Reveal RNA-Mediated Conformational Activation

    PubMed Central

    Jinek, Martin; Jiang, Fuguo; Taylor, David W.; Sternberg, Samuel H.; Kaya, Emine; Ma, Enbo; Anders, Carolin; Hauer, Michael; Zhou, Kaihong; Lin, Steven; Kaplan, Matias; Iavarone, Anthony T.; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Nogales, Eva; Doudna, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Type II CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)–Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems use an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease, Cas9, to generate double-strand breaks in invasive DNA during an adaptive bacterial immune response. Cas9 has been harnessed as a powerful tool for genome editing and gene regulation in many eukaryotic organisms. We report 2.6 and 2.2 angstrom resolution crystal structures of two major Cas9 enzyme subtypes, revealing the structural core shared by all Cas9 family members. The architectures of Cas9 enzymes define nucleic acid binding clefts, and single-particle electron microscopy reconstructions show that the two structural lobes harboring these clefts undergo guide RNA–induced reorientation to form a central channel where DNA substrates are bound. The observation that extensive structural rearrangements occur before target DNA duplex binding implicates guide RNA loading as a key step in Cas9 activation. PMID:24505130

  20. Electromagnetic Measurements in an Active Oilfield Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schramm, K. A.; Aldridge, D. F.; Bartel, L. C.; Knox, H. A.; Weiss, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    An important issue in oilfield development pertains to mapping and monitoring of the fracture distributions (either natural or man-made) controlling subsurface fluid flow. Although microseismic monitoring and analysis have been used for this purpose for several decades, there remain several ambiguities and uncertainties with this approach. We are investigating a novel electromagnetic (EM) technique for detecting and mapping hydraulic fractures in a petroleum reservoir by injecting an electrically conductive contrast agent into an open fracture. The fracture is subsequently illuminated by a strong EM field radiated by a large engineered antenna. Specifically, a grounded electric current source is applied directly to the steel casing of the borehole, either at/near the wellhead or at a deep downhole point. Transient multicomponent EM signals (both electric and magnetic) scattered by the conductivity contrast are then recorded by a surface receiver array. We are presently utilizing advanced 3D numerical modeling algorithms to accurately simulate fracture responses, both before and after insertion of the conductive contrast agent. Model results compare favorably with EM field data recently acquired in a Permian Basin oilfield. However, extraction of the very-low-amplitude fracture signatures from noisy data requires effective noise suppression strategies such as long stacking times, rejection of outliers, and careful treatment of natural magnetotelluric fields. Dealing with the ever-present "episodic EM noise" typical in an active oilfield environment (associated with drilling, pumping, machinery, traffic, etc.) constitutes an ongoing problem. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  1. A Measurement Activity to Encourage Exploration of Calculus Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGuffey, William

    2015-01-01

    This article describes an activity that incorporates measurement in order to lead students to discover and explore fundamental concepts of calculus. Students are provided with an experientially real starting point involving measurement and are encouraged to engage in mathematical discussions in a low-stakes environment. I describe the activity as…

  2. The structure of Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase reveals a novel redox switch that regulates its activities

    SciTech Connect

    Chitnumsub, Penchit Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar; Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee; Pornthanakasem, Wichai; Chaiyen, Pimchai; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree

    2014-06-01

    The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme.

  3. Complex Regulation Pattern of IRF3 Activation Revealed by a Novel Dimerization Reporter System.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zining; Ji, Jingyun; Peng, Di; Ma, Feng; Cheng, Genhong; Qin, F Xiao-Feng

    2016-05-15

    Induction of type I IFN (IFN-I) is essential for host antiviral immune responses. However, IFN-I also plays divergent roles in antibacterial immunity, persistent viral infections, autoimmune diseases, and tumorigenesis. IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) is the master transcription factor that controls IFN-I production via phosphorylation-dependent dimerization in most cell types in response to viral infections and various innate stimuli by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). To monitor the dynamic process of IRF3 activation, we developed a novel IRF3 dimerization reporter based on bimolecular luminescence complementation (BiLC) techniques, termed the IRF3-BiLC reporter. Robust induction of luciferase activity of the IRF3-BiLC reporter was observed upon viral infection and PAMP stimulation with a broad dynamic range. Knockout of TANK-binding kinase 1, the critical upstream kinase of IRF3, as well as the mutation of serine 386, the essential phosphorylation site of IRF3, completely abolished the luciferase activity of IRF3-BiLC reporter, confirming the authenticity of IRF3 activation. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the IRF3-BiLC reporter is a highly specific, reliable, and sensitive system to measure IRF3 activity. Using this reporter system, we further observed that the temporal pattern and magnitude of IRF3 activation induced by various PAMPs are highly complex with distinct cell type-specific characteristics, and IRF3 dimerization is a direct regulatory node for IFN-α/β receptor-mediated feed-forward regulation and crosstalk with other pathways. Therefore, the IRF3-BiLC reporter has multiple potential applications, including mechanistic studies as well as the identification of novel compounds that can modulate IRF3 activation. PMID:27045107

  4. Twin Knudsen Cell Configuration for Activity Measurements by Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobson, N. S.

    1996-01-01

    A twin Knudsen cell apparatus for alloy activity measurements by mass spectrometry is described. Two Knudsen cells - one containing an alloy and one containing a pure component - are mounted on a single flange and translated into the sampling region via a motorized x-y table. Mixing of the molecular beams from the cells is minimized by a novel system of shutters. Activity measurements were taken on two well-characterized alloys to verify the operation of the system. Silver activity measurements are reported for Ag-Cu alloys and aluminum activity measurements are reported for Fe-Al alloys. The temperature dependence of activity for a 0.474 mol fraction Al-Fe alloy gives a partial molar heat of aluminum. Measurements taken with the twin cell show good agreement with literature values for these alloys.

  5. Activating Mutations of the TRPML1 Channel Revealed by Proline-scanning Mutagenesis*

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Xian-ping; Wang, Xiang; Shen, Dongbiao; Chen, Su; Liu, Meiling; Wang, Yanbin; Mills, Eric; Cheng, Xiping; Delling, Markus; Xu, Haoxing

    2009-01-01

    The mucolipin TRP (TRPML) proteins are a family of endolysosomal cation channels with genetically established importance in humans and rodent. Mutations of human TRPML1 cause type IV mucolipidosis, a devastating pediatric neurodegenerative disease. Our recent electrophysiological studies revealed that, although a TRPML1-mediated current can only be recorded in late endosome and lysosome (LEL) using the lysosome patch clamp technique, a proline substitution in TRPML1 (TRPML1V432P) results in a large whole cell current. Thus, it remains unknown whether the large TRPML1V432P-mediated current results from an increased surface expression (trafficking), elevated channel activity (gating), or both. Here we performed systemic Pro substitutions in a region previously implicated in the gating of various 6 transmembrane cation channels. We found that several Pro substitutions displayed gain-of-function (GOF) constitutive activities at both the plasma membrane (PM) and endolysosomal membranes. Although wild-type TRPML1 and non-GOF Pro substitutions localized exclusively in LEL and were barely detectable in the PM, the GOF mutations with high constitutive activities were not restricted to LEL compartments, and most significantly, exhibited significant surface expression. Because lysosomal exocytosis is Ca2+-dependent, constitutive Ca2+ permeability due to Pro substitutions may have resulted in stimulus-independent intralysosomal Ca2+ release, hence the surface expression and whole cell current of TRPML1. Indeed, surface staining of lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (Lamp-1) was dramatically increased in cells expressing GOF TRPML1 channels. We conclude that TRPML1 is an inwardly rectifying, proton-impermeable, Ca2+ and Fe2+/Mn2+ dually permeable cation channel that may be gated by unidentified cellular mechanisms through a conformational change in the cytoplasmic face of the transmembrane 5 (TM5). Furthermore, activation of TRPML1 in LEL may lead to the appearance of TRPML

  6. Active methanotrophs in two contrasting North American peatland ecosystems revealed using DNA-SIP.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Varun; Smemo, Kurt A; Yavitt, Joseph B; Basiliko, Nathan

    2012-02-01

    The active methanotroph community was investigated in two contrasting North American peatlands, a nutrient-rich sedge fen and nutrient-poor Sphagnum bog using in vitro incubations and (13)C-DNA stable-isotope probing (SIP) to measure methane (CH(4)) oxidation rates and label active microbes followed by fingerprinting and sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rDNA and methane monooxygenase (pmoA and mmoX) genes. Rates of CH(4) oxidation were slightly, but significantly, faster in the bog and methanotrophs belonged to the class Alphaproteobacteria and were similar to other methanotrophs of the genera Methylocystis, Methylosinus, and Methylocapsa or Methylocella detected in, or isolated from, European bogs. The fen had a greater phylogenetic diversity of organisms that had assimilated (13)C, including methanotrophs from both the Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria classes and other potentially non-methanotrophic organisms that were similar to bacteria detected in a UK and Finnish fen. Based on similarities between bacteria in our sites and those in Europe, including Russia, we conclude that site physicochemical characteristics rather than biogeography controlled the phylogenetic diversity of active methanotrophs and that differences in phylogenetic diversity between the bog and fen did not relate to measured CH(4) oxidation rates. A single crenarchaeon in the bog site appeared to be assimilating (13)C in 16S rDNA; however, its phylogenetic similarity to other CO(2)-utilizing archaea probably indicates that this organism is not directly involved in CH(4) oxidation in peat.

  7. Differences in Fidelity of Implementation Measures: What Videos and Surveys Reveal about Algebra Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durkin, Kelley; Pollack, Courtney; Star, Jon R.; Rittle-Johnson, Bethany

    2012-01-01

    The current paper investigated the following research questions regarding measures of fidelity: (1) Is there a significant relationship between two different measures of fidelity of implementation: a survey of instructional practices and coded videos of classroom lessons? Does the strength of this relationship differ between treatment and control…

  8. Measuring MAP kinase activity in immune complex assays.

    PubMed

    Cherkasova, Vera A

    2006-11-01

    I present an overview of published methods for measuring mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase activity on endogenous associated substrates, exogenously added substrates as well as determination of activation loop phosphorylation as a read-out of kinase activity in vivo. Detailed procedures for these assays are given for two MAP kinases (MAPKs) Fus3 and Kss1 and compared with other published protocols, including the protocols for Hog1 and Mpk1 MAPKs. Measuring kinase activity in immune complex assays can serve as an approach for identification of potential substrates of protein kinases as well as for detecting other kinase-associated proteins. PMID:16890454

  9. Active Learning: The Importance of Developing a Comprehensive Measure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Rodney; Palmer, Stuart; Hagel, Pauline

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on an investigation into the validity of a widely used scale for measuring the extent to which higher education students employ active learning strategies. The scale is the active learning scale in the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement. This scale is based on the Active and Collaborative Learning scale of the National…

  10. Quantitative Proteomics Reveals the Induction of Mitophagy in Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-activated (TNFα) Macrophages*

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Christina; English, Luc; Boulais, Jonathan; Chemali, Magali; Caron-Lizotte, Olivier; Desjardins, Michel; Thibault, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Macrophages play an important role in innate and adaptive immunity as professional phagocytes capable of internalizing and degrading pathogens to derive antigens for presentation to T cells. They also produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) that mediate local and systemic responses and direct the development of adaptive immunity. The present work describes the use of label-free quantitative proteomics to profile the dynamic changes of proteins from resting and TNF-α-activated mouse macrophages. These analyses revealed that TNF-α activation of macrophages led to the down-regulation of mitochondrial proteins and the differential regulation of several proteins involved in vesicle trafficking and immune response. Importantly, we found that the down-regulation of mitochondria proteins occurred through mitophagy and was specific to TNF-α, as other cytokines such as IL-1β and IFN-γ had no effect on mitochondria degradation. Furthermore, using a novel antigen presentation system, we observed that the induction of mitophagy by TNF-α enabled the processing and presentation of mitochondrial antigens at the cell surface by MHC class I molecules. These findings highlight an unsuspected role of TNF-α in mitophagy and expanded our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for MHC presentation of self-antigens. PMID:23674617

  11. Plasmid metagenome reveals high levels of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic elements in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tong; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Ye, Lin

    2011-01-01

    The overuse or misuse of antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the public health in the world. Sewage treatment plants (STPs) are considered as important reservoirs for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and activated sludge characterized with high microbial density and diversity facilitates ARG horizontal gene transfer (HGT) via mobile genetic elements (MGEs). However, little is known regarding the pool of ARGs and MGEs in sludge microbiome. In this study, the transposon aided capture (TRACA) system was employed to isolate novel plasmids from activated sludge of one STP in Hong Kong, China. We also used Illumina Hiseq 2000 high-throughput sequencing and metagenomics analysis to investigate the plasmid metagenome. Two novel plasmids were acquired from the sludge microbiome by using TRACA system and one novel plasmid was identified through metagenomics analysis. Our results revealed high levels of various ARGs as well as MGEs for HGT, including integrons, transposons and plasmids. The application of the TRACA system to isolate novel plasmids from the environmental metagenome, coupled with subsequent high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic analysis, highlighted the prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in microbial community of STPs.

  12. High-throughput mutagenesis reveals functional determinants for DNA targeting by activation-induced deaminase

    PubMed Central

    Gajula, Kiran S.; Huwe, Peter J.; Mo, Charlie Y.; Crawford, Daniel J.; Stivers, James T.; Radhakrishnan, Ravi; Kohli, Rahul M.

    2014-01-01

    Antibody maturation is a critical immune process governed by the enzyme activation-induced deaminase (AID), a member of the AID/APOBEC DNA deaminase family. AID/APOBEC deaminases preferentially target cytosine within distinct preferred sequence motifs in DNA, with specificity largely conferred by a small 9–11 residue protein loop that differs among family members. Here, we aimed to determine the key functional characteristics of this protein loop in AID and to thereby inform our understanding of the mode of DNA engagement. To this end, we developed a methodology (Sat-Sel-Seq) that couples saturation mutagenesis at each position across the targeting loop, with iterative functional selection and next-generation sequencing. This high-throughput mutational analysis revealed dominant characteristics for residues within the loop and additionally yielded enzymatic variants that enhance deaminase activity. To rationalize these functional requirements, we performed molecular dynamics simulations that suggest that AID and its hyperactive variants can engage DNA in multiple specific modes. These findings align with AID's competing requirements for specificity and flexibility to efficiently drive antibody maturation. Beyond insights into the AID-DNA interface, our Sat-Sel-Seq approach also serves to further expand the repertoire of techniques for deep positional scanning and may find general utility for high-throughput analysis of protein function. PMID:25064858

  13. Context Differences Reveal Insulator and Activator Functions of a Su(Hw) Binding Region

    PubMed Central

    Wehling, Misty D.; Geyer, Pamela K.

    2008-01-01

    Insulators are DNA elements that divide chromosomes into independent transcriptional domains. The Drosophila genome contains hundreds of binding sites for the Suppressor of Hairy-wing [Su(Hw)] insulator protein, corresponding to locations of the retroviral gypsy insulator and non-gypsy binding regions (BRs). The first non-gypsy BR identified, 1A-2, resides in cytological region 1A. Using a quantitative transgene system, we show that 1A-2 is a composite insulator containing enhancer blocking and facilitator elements. We discovered that 1A-2 separates the yellow (y) gene from a previously unannotated, non-coding RNA gene, named yar for y-achaete (ac) intergenic RNA. The role of 1A-2 was elucidated using homologous recombination to excise these sequences from the natural location, representing the first deletion of any Su(Hw) BR in the genome. Loss of 1A-2 reduced yar RNA accumulation, without affecting mRNA levels from the neighboring y and ac genes. These data indicate that within the 1A region, 1A-2 acts an activator of yar transcription. Taken together, these studies reveal that the properties of 1A-2 are context-dependent, as this element has both insulator and enhancer activities. These findings imply that the function of non-gypsy Su(Hw) BRs depends on the genomic environment, predicting that Su(Hw) BRs represent a diverse collection of genomic regulatory elements. PMID:18704163

  14. Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

    PubMed Central

    Mobberley, J. M.; Khodadad, C. L. M.; Visscher, P. T.; Reid, R. P.; Hagan, P.; Foster, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems. PMID:26213359

  15. Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, J. M.; Khodadad, C. L. M.; Visscher, P. T.; Reid, R. P.; Hagan, P.; Foster, J. S.

    2015-07-01

    Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems.

  16. Recent tectonic activity on Mercury revealed by small thrust fault scarps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Daud, Katie; Banks, Maria E.; Selvans, Michelle M.; Chapman, Clark R.; Ernst, Carolyn M.

    2016-10-01

    Large tectonic landforms on the surface of Mercury, consistent with significant contraction of the planet, were revealed by the flybys of Mariner 10 in the mid-1970s. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission confirmed that the planet's past 4 billion years of tectonic history have been dominated by contraction expressed by lobate fault scarps that are hundreds of kilometres long. Here we report the discovery of small thrust fault scarps in images from the low-altitude campaign at the end of the MESSENGER mission that are orders of magnitude smaller than the large-scale lobate scarps. These small scarps have tens of metres of relief, are only kilometres in length and are comparable in scale to small young scarps on the Moon. Their small-scale, pristine appearance, crosscutting of impact craters and association with small graben all indicate an age of less than 50 Myr. We propose that these scarps are the smallest members of a continuum in scale of thrust fault scarps on Mercury. The young age of the small scarps, along with evidence for recent activity on large-scale scarps, suggests that Mercury is tectonically active today and implies a prolonged slow cooling of the planet's interior.

  17. Using regression to measure holistic face processing reveals a strong link with face recognition ability.

    PubMed

    DeGutis, Joseph; Wilmer, Jeremy; Mercado, Rogelio J; Cohan, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Although holistic processing is thought to underlie normal face recognition ability, widely discrepant reports have recently emerged about this link in an individual differences context. Progress in this domain may have been impeded by the widespread use of subtraction scores, which lack validity due to their contamination with control condition variance. Regressing, rather than subtracting, a control condition from a condition of interest corrects this validity problem by statistically removing all control condition variance, thereby producing a specific measure that is uncorrelated with the control measure. Using 43 participants, we measured the relationships amongst the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) and two holistic processing measures, the composite task (CT) and the part-whole task (PW). For the holistic processing measures (CT and PW), we contrasted the results for regressing vs. subtracting the control conditions (parts for PW; misaligned congruency effect for CT) from the conditions of interest (wholes for PW; aligned congruency effect for CT). The regression-based holistic processing measures correlated with each other and with CFMT, supporting the idea of a unitary holistic processing mechanism that is involved in skilled face recognition. Subtraction scores yielded weaker correlations, especially for the PW. Together, the regression-based holistic processing measures predicted more than twice the amount of variance in CFMT (R(2)=.21) than their respective subtraction measures (R(2)=.10). We conclude that holistic processing is robustly linked to skilled face recognition. In addition to confirming this theoretically significant link, these results provide a case in point for the inappropriateness of subtraction scores when requiring a specific individual differences measure that removes the variance of a control task.

  18. Radiation inactivation analysis of influenza virus reveals different target sizes for fusion, leakage, and neuraminidase activities

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, S.; Jung, C.Y.; Takahashi, M.; Lenard, J.

    1986-10-07

    The size of the functional units responsible for several activities carried out by the influenza virus envelope glycoproteins was determined by radiation inactivation analysis. Neuraminidase activity, which resides in the glycoprotein NA, was inactivated exponentially with an increasing radiation dose, yielding a target size of 94 +/- 5 kilodaltons (kDa), in reasonable agreement with that of the disulfide-bonded dimer (120 kDa). All the other activities studied are properties of the HA glycoprotein and were normalized to the known molecular weight of the neuraminidase dimer. Virus-induced fusion activity was measured by two phospholipid dilution assays: relief of energy transfer between N-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)dipalmitoyl-L-alpha- phosphatidylethanolamine (N-NBD-PE) and N-(lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl)-dioleoyl-L-alpha-phosphatidylethanolamine (N-Rh-PE) in target liposomes and relief of self-quenching of N-Rh-PE in target liposomes. Radiation inactivation of fusion activity proceeded exponentially with radiation dose, yielding normalized target sizes of 68 +/- 6 kDa by assay i and 70 +/- 4 kDa by assay ii. These values are close to the molecular weight of a single disulfide-bonded (HA1 + HA2) unit (75 kDa), the monomer of the HA trimer. A single monomer is thus inactivated by each radiation event, and each monomer (or some part of it) constitutes a minimal functional unit capable of mediating fusion. Virus-induced leakage of calcein from target liposomes and virus-induced leakage of hemoglobin from erythrocytes (hemolysis) both showed more complex inactivation behavior: a pronounced shoulder was present in both inactivation curves, followed by a steep drop in activity at higher radiation levels.

  19. Rapid caspase-3 activation during apoptosis revealed using fluorescence-resonance energy transfer

    PubMed Central

    Tyas, Lorraine; Brophy, Victoria A.; Pope, Andrew; Rivett, A. Jennifer; Tavaré, Jeremy M.

    2000-01-01

    Caspase-3 is a crucial component of the apoptotic machinery in many cell types. Here, we report the timescale of caspase-3 activation in single living cells undergoing apoptosis. This was achieved by measuring the extent of fluorescence resonance energy transfer within a recombinant substrate containing cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) linked by a short peptide possessing the caspase-3 cleavage sequence, DEVD, to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP; i.e. CFP–DEVD–YFP). We demonstrate that, once initiated, the activation of caspase-3 is a very rapid process, taking 5 min or less to reach completion. Furthermore, this process occurs almost simultaneously with a depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential. These events occur just prior to the characteristic morphological changes associated with apoptosis. Our results clearly demonstrate that, once initiated, the commitment of cells to apoptosis is a remarkably rapid event when visualized at the single cell level. PMID:11256610

  20. Resin {sup 90}Y microsphere activity measurements for liver brachytherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Dezarn, William A.; Kennedy, Andrew S.

    2007-06-15

    The measurement of the radioactivity administered to the patient is one of the major components of {sup 90}Y microsphere liver brachytherapy. The activity of {sup 90}Y microspheres in a glass delivery vial was measured in a dose calibrator. The calibration value to use for {sup 90}Y in the dose calibrator was verified using an activity calibration standard provided by the microsphere manufacturer. This method allowed for the determination of a consistent, reproducible local activity standard. Additional measurements were made to determine some of the factors that could affect activity measurement. The axial response of the dose calibrator was determined by the ratio of activity measurements at the bottom and center of the dose calibrator. The axial response was 0.964 for a glass shipping vial, 1.001 for a glass V-vial, and 0.988 for a polycarbonate V-vial. Comparisons between activity measurements in the dose calibrator and those using a radiation survey meter were found to agree within 10%. It was determined that the dose calibrator method was superior to the survey meter method because the former allowed better defined measurement geometry and traceability of the activity standard back to the manufacturer. Part of the preparation of resin {sup 90}Y microspheres for patient delivery is to draw out a predetermined activity from a shipping vial and place it into a V-vial for delivery to the patient. If the drawn activity was placed in a glass V-vial, the activity measured in the dose calibrator with a glass V-vial was 4% higher than the drawn activity from the shipping vial standard. If the drawn activity was placed in a polycarbonate V-vial, the activity measured in the dose calibrator with a polycarbonate V-vial activity was 20% higher than the drawn activity from the shipping vial standard. Careful characterization of the local activity measurement standard is recommended instead of simply accepting the calibration value of the dose calibrator manufacturer.

  1. Glycan structure of Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor as revealed by mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Borges, Chad R; Rehder, Douglas S

    2016-09-15

    Disagreement exists regarding the O-glycan structure attached to human vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Previously reported evidence indicated that the O-glycan of the Gc1S allele product is the linear core 1 NeuNAc-Gal-GalNAc-Thr trisaccharide. Here, glycan structural evidence is provided from glycan linkage analysis and over 30 serial glycosidase-digestion experiments which were followed by analysis of the intact protein by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results demonstrate that the O-glycan from the Gc1F protein is the same linear trisaccharide found on the Gc1S protein and that the hexose residue is galactose. In addition, the putative anti-cancer derivative of DBP known as Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF, which is formed by the combined action of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase upon DBP) was analyzed intact by ESI-MS, revealing that the activating E. coli β-galactosidase cleaves nothing from the protein-leaving the glycan structure of active GcMAF as a Gal-GalNAc-Thr disaccharide, regardless of the order in which β-galactosidase and neuraminidase are applied. Moreover, glycosidase digestion results show that α-N-Acetylgalactosamindase (nagalase) lacks endoglycosidic function and only cleaves the DBP O-glycan once it has been trimmed down to a GalNAc-Thr monosaccharide-precluding the possibility of this enzyme removing the O-glycan trisaccharide from cancer-patient DBP in vivo.

  2. Interspecies insertion polymorphism analysis reveals recent activity of transposable elements in extant coelacanths.

    PubMed

    Naville, Magali; Chalopin, Domitille; Volff, Jean-Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Coelacanths are lobe-finned fish represented by two extant species, Latimeria chalumnae in South Africa and Comoros and L. menadoensis in Indonesia. Due to their intermediate phylogenetic position between ray-finned fish and tetrapods in the vertebrate lineage, they are of great interest from an evolutionary point of view. In addition, extant specimens look similar to 300 million-year-old fossils; because of their apparent slowly evolving morphology, coelacanths have been often described as « living fossils ». As an underlying cause of such a morphological stasis, several authors have proposed a slow evolution of the coelacanth genome. Accordingly, sequencing of the L. chalumnae genome has revealed a globally low substitution rate for protein-coding regions compared to other vertebrates. However, genome and gene evolution can also be influenced by transposable elements, which form a major and dynamic part of vertebrate genomes through their ability to move, duplicate and recombine. In this work, we have searched for evidence of transposition activity in coelacanth genomes through the comparative analysis of orthologous genomic regions from both Latimeria species. Comparison of 5.7 Mb (0.2%) of the L. chalumnae genome with orthologous Bacterial Artificial Chromosome clones from L. menadoensis allowed the identification of 27 species-specific transposable element insertions, with a strong relative contribution of CR1 non-LTR retrotransposons. Species-specific homologous recombination between the long terminal repeats of a new coelacanth endogenous retrovirus was also detected. Our analysis suggests that transposon activity is responsible for at least 0.6% of genome divergence between both Latimeria species. Taken together, this study demonstrates that coelacanth genomes are not evolutionary inert: they contain recently active transposable elements, which have significantly contributed to post-speciation genome divergence in Latimeria.

  3. Electrocorticography reveals the temporal dynamics of posterior parietal cortical activity during recognition memory decisions.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Alex; Hutchinson, J Benjamin; Uncapher, Melina R; Chen, Janice; LaRocque, Karen F; Foster, Brett L; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Parvizi, Josef; Wagner, Anthony D

    2015-09-01

    Theories of the neurobiology of episodic memory predominantly focus on the contributions of medial temporal lobe structures, based on extensive lesion, electrophysiological, and imaging evidence. Against this backdrop, functional neuroimaging data have unexpectedly implicated left posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in episodic retrieval, revealing distinct activation patterns in PPC subregions as humans make memory-related decisions. To date, theorizing about the functional contributions of PPC has been hampered by the absence of information about the temporal dynamics of PPC activity as retrieval unfolds. Here, we leveraged electrocorticography to examine the temporal profile of high gamma power (HGP) in dorsal PPC subregions as participants made old/new recognition memory decisions. A double dissociation in memory-related HGP was observed, with activity in left intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and left superior parietal lobule (SPL) differing in time and sign for recognized old items (Hits) and correctly rejected novel items (CRs). Specifically, HGP in left IPS increased for Hits 300-700 ms poststimulus onset, and decayed to baseline ∼200 ms preresponse. By contrast, HGP in left SPL increased for CRs early after stimulus onset (200-300 ms) and late in the memory decision (from 700 ms to response). These memory-related effects were unique to left PPC, as they were not observed in right PPC. Finally, memory-related HGP in left IPS and SPL was sufficiently reliable to enable brain-based decoding of the participant's memory state at the single-trial level, using multivariate pattern classification. Collectively, these data provide insights into left PPC temporal dynamics as humans make recognition memory decisions. PMID:26283375

  4. Glycan structure of Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor as revealed by mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Borges, Chad R; Rehder, Douglas S

    2016-09-15

    Disagreement exists regarding the O-glycan structure attached to human vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Previously reported evidence indicated that the O-glycan of the Gc1S allele product is the linear core 1 NeuNAc-Gal-GalNAc-Thr trisaccharide. Here, glycan structural evidence is provided from glycan linkage analysis and over 30 serial glycosidase-digestion experiments which were followed by analysis of the intact protein by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results demonstrate that the O-glycan from the Gc1F protein is the same linear trisaccharide found on the Gc1S protein and that the hexose residue is galactose. In addition, the putative anti-cancer derivative of DBP known as Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF, which is formed by the combined action of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase upon DBP) was analyzed intact by ESI-MS, revealing that the activating E. coli β-galactosidase cleaves nothing from the protein-leaving the glycan structure of active GcMAF as a Gal-GalNAc-Thr disaccharide, regardless of the order in which β-galactosidase and neuraminidase are applied. Moreover, glycosidase digestion results show that α-N-Acetylgalactosamindase (nagalase) lacks endoglycosidic function and only cleaves the DBP O-glycan once it has been trimmed down to a GalNAc-Thr monosaccharide-precluding the possibility of this enzyme removing the O-glycan trisaccharide from cancer-patient DBP in vivo. PMID:27503803

  5. Characterization of the Biocontrol Activity of Pseudomonas fluorescens Strain X Reveals Novel Genes Regulated by Glucose

    PubMed Central

    Kremmydas, Gerasimos F.; Tampakaki, Anastasia P.; Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios G.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strain X, a bacterial isolate from the rhizosphere of bean seedlings, has the ability to suppress damping-off caused by the oomycete Pythium ultimum. To determine the genes controlling the biocontrol activity of strain X, transposon mutagenesis, sequencing and complementation was performed. Results indicate that, biocontrol ability of this isolate is attributed to gcd gene encoding glucose dehydrogenase, genes encoding its co-enzyme pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), and two genes (sup5 and sup6) which seem to be organized in a putative operon. This operon (named supX) consists of five genes, one of which encodes a non-ribosomal peptide synthase. A unique binding site for a GntR-type transcriptional factor is localized upstream of the supX putative operon. Synteny comparison of the genes in supX revealed that they are common in the genus Pseudomonas, but with a low degree of similarity. supX shows high similarity only to the mangotoxin operon of Ps. syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that transcription of supX is strongly reduced in the gcd and PQQ-minus mutants of Ps. fluorescens strain X. On the contrary, transcription of supX in the wild type is enhanced by glucose and transcription levels that appear to be higher during the stationary phase. Gcd, which uses PQQ as a cofactor, catalyses the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid, which controls the activity of the GntR family of transcriptional factors. The genes in the supX putative operon have not been implicated before in the biocontrol of plant pathogens by pseudomonads. They are involved in the biosynthesis of an antimicrobial compound by Ps. fluorescens strain X and their transcription is controlled by glucose, possibly through the activity of a GntR-type transcriptional factor binding upstream of this putative operon. PMID:23596526

  6. Characterization of the biocontrol activity of pseudomonas fluorescens strain X reveals novel genes regulated by glucose.

    PubMed

    Kremmydas, Gerasimos F; Tampakaki, Anastasia P; Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios G

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strain X, a bacterial isolate from the rhizosphere of bean seedlings, has the ability to suppress damping-off caused by the oomycete Pythium ultimum. To determine the genes controlling the biocontrol activity of strain X, transposon mutagenesis, sequencing and complementation was performed. Results indicate that, biocontrol ability of this isolate is attributed to gcd gene encoding glucose dehydrogenase, genes encoding its co-enzyme pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), and two genes (sup5 and sup6) which seem to be organized in a putative operon. This operon (named supX) consists of five genes, one of which encodes a non-ribosomal peptide synthase. A unique binding site for a GntR-type transcriptional factor is localized upstream of the supX putative operon. Synteny comparison of the genes in supX revealed that they are common in the genus Pseudomonas, but with a low degree of similarity. supX shows high similarity only to the mangotoxin operon of Ps. syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that transcription of supX is strongly reduced in the gcd and PQQ-minus mutants of Ps. fluorescens strain X. On the contrary, transcription of supX in the wild type is enhanced by glucose and transcription levels that appear to be higher during the stationary phase. Gcd, which uses PQQ as a cofactor, catalyses the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid, which controls the activity of the GntR family of transcriptional factors. The genes in the supX putative operon have not been implicated before in the biocontrol of plant pathogens by pseudomonads. They are involved in the biosynthesis of an antimicrobial compound by Ps. fluorescens strain X and their transcription is controlled by glucose, possibly through the activity of a GntR-type transcriptional factor binding upstream of this putative operon.

  7. The measurement of physical activity in young children.

    PubMed

    Noland, M; Danner, F; DeWalt, K; McFadden, M; Kotchen, J M

    1990-06-01

    Two studies were conducted to determine the validity of various measures of physical activity in young children. In Study 1, 21 preschool children were utilized to explore how well measures of children's activity obtained from parents, teachers, and the children predicted observed behavior at school and in the home. Study 2 (n = 51 preschool children) focused on the predictive validity of the Caltrac motion sensor. In both studies, detailed minute-by-minute ratings of children's activity in Study 1 were generally ineffective in predicting observed physical activity. Children's activity preferences, however, were significantly related to the proportion of high intensity physical activity performed. In Study 2, there was a significant relationship (r = .86, p less than .0001) between Caltrac readings and observed physical activity. This correlation was similar for boys and girls, normal and overweight children, and younger and older children. These findings suggest that the Caltrac monitor may provide a valid index of individual differences in physical activity in young children.

  8. Crystal Structures of a Multidrug-Resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Protease Reveal an Expanded Active-Site Cavity

    SciTech Connect

    Logsdon, Bradley C.; Vickrey, John F.; Martin, Philip; Proteasa, Gheorghe; Koepke, Jay I.; Terlecky, Stanley R.; Wawrzak, Zdzislaw; Winters, Mark A.; Merigan, Thomas C.; Kovari, Ladislau C.

    2010-03-08

    The goal of this study was to use X-ray crystallography to investigate the structural basis of resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitors. We overexpressed, purified, and crystallized a multidrug-resistant (MDR) HIV-1 protease enzyme derived from a patient failing on several protease inhibitor-containing regimens. This HIV-1 variant contained codon mutations at positions 10, 36, 46, 54, 63, 71, 82, 84, and 90 that confer drug resistance to protease inhibitors. The 1.8-{angstrom} crystal structure of this MDR patient isolate reveals an expanded active-site cavity. The active-site expansion includes position 82 and 84 mutations due to the alterations in the amino acid side chains from longer to shorter (e.g., V82A and I84V). The MDR isolate 769 protease 'flaps' stay open wider, and the difference in the flap tip distances in the MDR 769 variant is 12 {angstrom}. The MDR 769 protease crystal complexes with lopinavir and DMP450 reveal completely different binding modes. The network of interactions between the ligands and the MDR 769 protease is completely different from that seen with the wild-type protease-ligand complexes. The water molecule-forming hydrogen bonds bridging between the two flaps and either the substrate or the peptide-based inhibitor are lacking in the MDR 769 clinical isolate. The S1, S1', S3, and S3' pockets show expansion and conformational change. Surface plasmon resonance measurements with the MDR 769 protease indicate higher k{sub off} rates, resulting in a change of binding affinity. Surface plasmon resonance measurements provide k{sub on} and k{sub off} data (K{sub d} = k{sub off}/k{sub on}) to measure binding of the multidrug-resistant protease to various ligands. This MDR 769 protease represents a new antiviral target, presenting the possibility of designing novel inhibitors with activity against the open and expanded protease forms.

  9. Charged fusion product loss measurements using nuclear activation

    SciTech Connect

    Bonheure, G.; Hult, M.; Gonzalez de Orduna, R.; Wieslander, E.; Arnold, D.; Dombrowski, H.; Laubenstein, M.; Murari, A.; Collaboration: JET-EFDA Contributors

    2010-10-15

    In ITER, {alpha} particle loss measurements will be required in order to understand the alpha particle physics. Techniques capable of operating in a fusion reactor environment need further development. Recent experimental studies on JET demonstrated the potential of nuclear activation to measure the flux of escaping MeV ions. New results from MeV ion induced activation of metallic, ceramic, and crystal samples placed near the plasma edge are reported. Activation products were measured as function of orientation with respect to the magnetic field as well as function of the distance to the plasma. Sample activity was measured using ultralow-level gamma-ray spectrometry. Distribution of 14.68 MeV fusion proton induced activation products is strongly anisotropic in agreement with simulations and falls off sharply with increasing distance to the plasma. Prospects for using the technique in ITER are discussed.

  10. Extensive hydrothermal activity revealed by multi-tracer survey in the Wallis and Futuna region (SW Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konn, C.; Fourré, E.; Jean-Baptiste, P.; Donval, J. P.; Guyader, V.; Birot, D.; Alix, A. S.; Gaillot, A.; Perez, F.; Dapoigny, A.; Pelleter, E.; Resing, J. A.; Charlou, J. L.; Fouquet, Y.

    2016-10-01

    The study area is close to the Wallis and Futuna Islands in the French EEZ. It exists on the western boundary of the fastest tectonic area in the world at the junction of the Lau and North-Fiji basins. At this place, the unstable back-arc accommodates the plate motion in three ways: (i) the north Fiji transform fault, (ii) numerous unstable spreading ridges, and (iii) large areas of recent volcanic activity. This instability creates bountiful opportunity for hydrothermal discharge to occur. Based on geochemical (CH4, TDM, 3He) and geophysical (nephelometry) tracer surveys: (1) no hydrothermal activity could be found on the Futuna Spreading Centre (FSC) which sets the western limit of hydrothermal activity; (2) four distinct hydrothermal active areas were identified: Kulo Lasi Caldera, Amanaki Volcano, Fatu Kapa and Tasi Tulo areas; (3) extensive and diverse hydrothermal manifestations were observed and especially a 2D distribution of the sources. At Kulo Lasi, our data and especially tracer ratios (CH4/3He 50×106 and CH4/TDM 4.5) reveal a transient CH4 input, with elevated levels of CH4 measured in 2010, that had vanished in 2011, most likely caused by an eruptive magmatic event. By contrast at Amanaki, vertical tracer profiles and tracer ratios point to typical seawater/basalt interactions. Fatu Kapa is characterised by a substantial spatial variability of the hydrothermal water column anomalies, most likely due to widespread focused and diffuse hydrothermal discharge in the area. In the Tasi Tulo zone, the hydrothermal signal is characterised by a total lack of turbidity, although other tracer anomalies are in the same range as in nearby Fatu Kapa. The background data set revealed the presence of a Mn and 3He chronic plume due to the extensive and cumulative venting over the entire area. To that respect, we believe that the joined domain composed of our active area and the nearby active area discovered in the East by Lupton et al. (2012) highly contribute to the

  11. Multitaxon activity profiling reveals differential microbial response to reduced seawater pH and oil pollution.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Cleary, Daniel F R; Costa, Rodrigo; Ferreira, Marina; Polónia, Ana R M; Silva, Artur M S; Simões, Mário M Q; Oliveira, Vanessa; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-09-01

    There is growing concern that predicted changes to global ocean chemistry will interact with anthropogenic pollution to significantly alter marine microbial composition and function. However, knowledge of the compounding effects of climate change stressors and anthropogenic pollution is limited. Here, we used 16S and 18S rRNA (cDNA)-based activity profiling to investigate the differential responses of selected microbial taxa to ocean acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that a lower relative abundance of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade) due to an adverse effect of seawater acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination (reduced pH-oil treatment) may be coupled to changes in sediment archaeal communities. In particular, we observed a pronounced compositional shift and marked reduction in the prevalence of otherwise abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the archaeal Marine Benthic Group B and Marine Hydrothermal Vent Group (MHVG) in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Conversely, the abundance of several putative hydrocarbonoclastic fungal OTUs was higher in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Sediment hydrocarbon profiling, furthermore, revealed higher concentrations of several alkanes in the reduced pH-oil treatment, corroborating the functional implications of the structural changes to microbial community composition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of the response of a complex microbial community to the interaction between reduced pH and anthropogenic pollution. In future acidified marine environments, oil hydrocarbon contamination may alter the typical mixotrophic and k-/r-strategist composition of surface sediment microbiomes towards a more heterotrophic state with lower doubling rates, thereby impairing the ability of the ecosystem to recover from acute oil contamination events.

  12. Multitaxon activity profiling reveals differential microbial response to reduced seawater pH and oil pollution.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Cleary, Daniel F R; Costa, Rodrigo; Ferreira, Marina; Polónia, Ana R M; Silva, Artur M S; Simões, Mário M Q; Oliveira, Vanessa; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-09-01

    There is growing concern that predicted changes to global ocean chemistry will interact with anthropogenic pollution to significantly alter marine microbial composition and function. However, knowledge of the compounding effects of climate change stressors and anthropogenic pollution is limited. Here, we used 16S and 18S rRNA (cDNA)-based activity profiling to investigate the differential responses of selected microbial taxa to ocean acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that a lower relative abundance of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade) due to an adverse effect of seawater acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination (reduced pH-oil treatment) may be coupled to changes in sediment archaeal communities. In particular, we observed a pronounced compositional shift and marked reduction in the prevalence of otherwise abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the archaeal Marine Benthic Group B and Marine Hydrothermal Vent Group (MHVG) in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Conversely, the abundance of several putative hydrocarbonoclastic fungal OTUs was higher in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Sediment hydrocarbon profiling, furthermore, revealed higher concentrations of several alkanes in the reduced pH-oil treatment, corroborating the functional implications of the structural changes to microbial community composition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of the response of a complex microbial community to the interaction between reduced pH and anthropogenic pollution. In future acidified marine environments, oil hydrocarbon contamination may alter the typical mixotrophic and k-/r-strategist composition of surface sediment microbiomes towards a more heterotrophic state with lower doubling rates, thereby impairing the ability of the ecosystem to recover from acute oil contamination events. PMID:27480881

  13. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and single cell genomics reveal functional response of active Oceanospirillales to Gulf oil spill

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Borglin, Sharon; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Dubinsky, Eric A.; Fortney, Julian L.; Han, James; Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Hultman, Jenni; Lamendella, Regina; Mackelprang, Rachel; Malfatti, Stephanie; Tom, Lauren M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Woyke, Tanja; Zhou, Jizhong; Rubin, Edward M.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2012-06-12

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume that caused a shift in the indigenous microbial community composition with unknown ecological consequences. Early in the spill history, a bloom of uncultured, thus uncharacterized, members of the Oceanospirillales was previously detected, but their role in oil disposition was unknown. Here our aim was to determine the functional role of the Oceanospirillales and other active members of the indigenous microbial community using deep sequencing of community DNA and RNA, as well as single-cell genomics. Shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing revealed that genes for motility, chemotaxis and aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation were significantly enriched and expressed in the hydrocarbon plume samples compared with uncontaminated seawater collected from plume depth. In contrast, although genes coding for degradation of more recalcitrant compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were identified in the metagenomes, they were expressed at low levels, or not at all based on analysis of the metatranscriptomes. Isolation and sequencing of two Oceanospirillales single cells revealed that both cells possessed genes coding for n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. Specifically, the near-complete pathway for cyclohexane oxidation in the Oceanospirillales single cells was elucidated and supported by both metagenome and metatranscriptome data. The draft genome also included genes for chemotaxis, motility and nutrient acquisition strategies that were also identified in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes. These data point towards a rapid response of members of the Oceanospirillales to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the deep sea.

  14. Quantitative measures to reveal coordinated cytoskeleton-nucleus reorganization during in vitro invasion of cancer cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvir, Liron; Nissim, Ronen; Alvarez-Elizondo, Martha B.; Weihs, Daphne

    2015-04-01

    Metastasis formation is a major cause of mortality in cancer patients and includes tumor cell relocation to distant organs. A metastatic cell invades through other cells and extracellular matrix by biochemical attachment and mechanical force application. Force is used to move on or through a 2- or 3-dimensional (3D) environment, respectively, or to penetrate a 2D substrate. We have previously shown that even when a gel substrate is impenetrable, metastatic breast cancer cells can still indent it by applying force. Cells typically apply force through the acto-myosin network, which is mechanically connected to the nucleus. We develop a 3D image-analysis to reveal relative locations of the cell elements, and show that as cells apply force to the gel, a coordinated process occurs that involves cytoskeletal remodeling and repositioning of the nucleus. Our approach shows that the actin and microtubules reorganize in the cell, bringing the actin to the leading edge of the cell. In parallel, the nucleus is transported behind the actin, likely by the cytoskeleton, into the indentation dimple formed in the gel. The nucleus volume below the gel surface correlates with indentation depth, when metastatic breast cancer cells indent gels deeply. However, the nucleus always remains above the gel in benign cells, even when small indentations are observed. Determining mechanical processes during metastatic cell invasion can reveal how cells disseminate in the body and can uncover targets for diagnosis and treatment.

  15. Length and activity of the root apical meristem revealed in vivo by infrared imaging

    PubMed Central

    Bizet, François; Hummel, Irène; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how cell division and cell elongation influence organ growth and development is a long-standing issue in plant biology. In plant roots, most of the cell divisions occur in a short and specialized region, the root apical meristem (RAM). Although RAM activity has been suggested to be of high importance to understand how roots grow and how the cell cycle is regulated, few experimental and numeric data are currently available. The characterization of the RAM is difficult and essentially based upon cell length measurements through destructive and time-consuming microscopy approaches. Here, a new non-invasive method is described that couples infrared light imaging and kinematic analyses and that allows in vivo measurements of the RAM length. This study provides a detailed description of the RAM activity, especially in terms of cell flux and cell division rate. We focused on roots of hydroponic grown poplars and confirmed our method on maize roots. How the RAM affects root growth rate is studied by taking advantage of the high inter-individual variability of poplar root growth. An osmotic stress was applied and did not significantly affect the RAM length, highlighting its homeostasis in short to middle-term responses. The methodology described here simplifies a lot experimental procedures, allows an increase in the number of individuals that can be taken into account in experiments, and means new experiments can be formulated that allow temporal monitoring of the RAM length. PMID:25540436

  16. Measurements of substrate oxidation using (13)CO 2-breath testing reveals shifts in fuel mix during starvation.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D; Pollock, Erik D

    2013-12-01

    Most fasting animals are believed to sequentially switch from predominantly utilizing one metabolic substrate to another from carbohydrates, to lipids, then to proteins. The timing of these physiological transitions has been estimated using measures of substrate oxidation including changes in respiratory exchange ratios, blood metabolites, nitrogen excretion, or enzyme activities in tissues. Here, we demonstrate how (13)CO2-breath testing can be used to partition among the oxidation of distinct nutrient pools in the body (i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) that have become artificially enriched in (13)C. Seventy-two Swiss Webster mice were raised to adulthood on diets supplemented with (13)C-1-L-leucine, (13)C-1-palmitic acid, (13)C-1-D-glucose, or no tracer. Mice were then fasted for 72 h during which [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], δ(13)C of exhaled CO2, body temperature, body mass, and blood metabolites (i.e., glucose, ketone bodies, and triacylglycerols) were measured. The fasting mice exhibited reductions in body mass (29 %), body temperature (3.3 °C), minimum observed metabolic rates (24 %), and respiratory exchange ratio (0.18), as well as significant changes in blood metabolites; but these responses were not particularly indicative of changes in oxidative fuel mixture. Measurements of endogenous nutrient oxidation by way of (13)CO2-breath testing revealed a decrease in the rate of oxidation of carbohydrates from 61 to 10 % of the total energy expenditure during the first 6 h without food. This response was mirrored by a coincidental increase in rate of endogenous lipid oxidation from 18 to 64 %. A transient peak in carbohydrate oxidation occurred between 8 and 14 h, presumably during increased glycogen mobilization. A well-defined period of protein sparing between 8 and 12 h was observed where endogenous protein oxidation accounted for as little as 8 % of the total energy expenditure. Thereafter, protein oxidation continually

  17. Comparison of (90)Y activity measurements in nuclear medicine in Germany.

    PubMed

    Kossert, Karsten; Bokeloh, Karen; Ehlers, Marion; Nähle, Ole; Scheibe, Olaf; Schwarz, Uwe; Thieme, Klaus

    2016-03-01

    In 2014, PTB and the company Eckert & Ziegler organized a national comparison exercise to determine the activity of a (90)Y solution. One aim of the comparison was to assess the measurement capability of hospitals and medical practices in Germany. P6-type vials were filled with aliquots of a radioactive (90)Y solution and then sent to 19 participants who were asked to measure the activity in the ampoules as well as in their own standard geometry using syringes. Most of the submitted results have a deviation of less than ±10% from the PTB reference activity when measured in the P6-type vials. The spread is somewhat larger when measured in a syringe geometry. The comparison revealed that some participants have difficulties in applying decay corrections and only a few participants were capable of estimating realistic measurement uncertainties. PMID:26597654

  18. Nucleotide pocket thermodynamics measured by EPR reveal how energy partitioning relates myosin speed to efficiency.

    PubMed

    Purcell, Thomas J; Naber, Nariman; Franks-Skiba, Kathy; Dunn, Alexander R; Eldred, Catherine C; Berger, Christopher L; Málnási-Csizmadia, András; Spudich, James A; Swank, Douglas M; Pate, Edward; Cooke, Roger

    2011-03-18

    We have used spin-labeled ADP to investigate the dynamics of the nucleotide-binding pocket in a series of myosins, which have a range of velocities. Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that the pocket is in equilibrium between open and closed conformations. In the absence of actin, the closed conformation is favored. When myosin binds actin, the open conformation becomes more favored, facilitating nucleotide release. We found that faster myosins favor a more closed pocket in the actomyosin•ADP state, with smaller values of ΔH(0) and ΔS(0), even though these myosins release ADP at a faster rate. A model involving a partitioning of free energy between work-generating steps prior to rate-limiting ADP release explains both the unexpected correlation between velocity and opening of the pocket and the observation that fast myosins are less efficient than slow myosins.

  19. Clumpy tori around type II active galactic nuclei as revealed by X-ray fluorescent lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiren; Liu, Yuan; Li, Xiaobo; Xu, Weiwei; Gou, Lijun; Cheng, Cheng

    2016-06-01

    The reflection spectrum of a torus around an active galactic nucleus (AGN) is characterized by X-ray fluorescent lines, which are most prominent for type II AGNs. A clumpy torus allows photons reflected from the back-side of the torus to leak through the front regions that are free of obscuration. The observed X-ray fluorescent lines are therefore sensitive to the clumpiness of the torus. We analysed a sample of type II AGNs observed with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS), and measured the fluxes for the Si Kα and Fe Kα lines. The measured Fe Kα/Si Kα ratios, spanning a range between 5 and 60, are far smaller than the ratios predicted from simulations of smooth tori, indicating that the tori of the studied sources have clumpy distributions rather than smooth ones. We compared the measured Fe Kα/Si Kα ratios with simulation results of clumpy tori. The Circinus galaxy has a Fe Kα/Si Kα ratio of ˜60, which is close to the simulation results for N = 5, where N is the average number of clumps along the line of sight. The Fe Kα/Si Kα ratios of the other sources are all below the simulation results for N = 2. Overall, this shows that the non-Fe fluorescent lines in the soft X-ray band are a potentially powerful probe of the clumpiness of tori around AGNs.

  20. Your Mind Wanders Weakly, Your Mind Wanders Deeply: Objective Measures Reveal Mindless Reading at Different Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schad, Daniel J.; Nuthmann, Antje; Engbert, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    Time Factors (Learning);When the mind wanders, attention turns away from the external environment and cognitive processing is decoupled from perceptual information. Mind wandering is usually treated as a dichotomy (dichotomy-hypothesis), and is often measured using self-reports. Here, we propose the levels of inattention hypothesis, which…

  1. Ice nucleus activity measurements of solid rocket motor exhaust particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, V. W. (Compiler)

    1986-01-01

    The ice Nucleus activity of exhaust particles generated from combustion of Space Shuttle propellant in small rocket motors has been measured. The activity at -20 C was substantially lower than that of aerosols generated by unpressurized combustion of propellant samples in previous studies. The activity decays rapidly with time and is decreased further in the presence of moist air. These tests corroborate the low effectivity ice nucleus measurement results obtained in the exhaust ground cloud of the Space Shuttle. Such low ice nucleus activity implies that Space Shuttle induced inadvertent weather modification via an ice phase process is extremely unlikely.

  2. Ultrasound reveals negligible cocontraction during isometric plantar flexion and dorsiflexion despite the presence of antagonist electromyographic activity.

    PubMed

    Raiteri, Brent J; Cresswell, Andrew G; Lichtwark, Glen A

    2015-05-15

    Because of the approximate linear relationship between muscle force and muscle activity, muscle forces are often estimated during maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) from torque and surface electromyography (sEMG) measurements. However, sEMG recordings from a target muscle may contain cross-talk originating from nearby muscles, which could lead to erroneous force estimates. Here we used ultrasound imaging to measure in vivo muscle fascicle length (Lf) changes and sEMG to measure muscle activity of the tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, lateral gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles during ramp MVICs in plantar and dorsiflexion directions (n = 8). After correcting longitudinal Lf changes for ankle rotation, the antagonist Lf at peak antagonist root-mean-square (RMS) amplitude were significantly longer than the agonist Lf at this sEMG-matched level. On average, Lf shortened from resting length by 1.29 to 2.90 mm when muscles acted as agonists and lengthened from resting length by 0.43 to 1.16 mm when muscles acted as antagonists (depending on the muscle of interest). The lack of fascicle shortening when muscles acted as antagonists indicates that cocontraction was likely to be negligible, despite cocontraction as determined by sEMG of between 7 and 23% MVIC across all muscles. Different interelectrode distances (IEDs) over the plantar flexors revealed significantly higher antagonist RMS amplitudes for the 4-cm IEDs compared with the 2-cm IEDs, which further indicates that cross-talk was present. Consequently, investigators should be wary about performing agonist torque corrections for isometric plantar flexion and dorsiflexion based on the antagonist sEMG trace and predicted antagonist moment.

  3. A Link between ORC-Origin Binding Mechanisms and Origin Activation Time Revealed in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Hoggard, Timothy; Shor, Erika; Müller, Carolin A.; Nieduszynski, Conrad A.; Fox, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic DNA replication origins are selected in G1-phase when the origin recognition complex (ORC) binds chromosomal positions and triggers molecular events culminating in the initiation of DNA replication (a.k.a. origin firing) during S-phase. Each chromosome uses multiple origins for its duplication, and each origin fires at a characteristic time during S-phase, creating a cell-type specific genome replication pattern relevant to differentiation and genome stability. It is unclear whether ORC-origin interactions are relevant to origin activation time. We applied a novel genome-wide strategy to classify origins in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on the types of molecular interactions used for ORC-origin binding. Specifically, origins were classified as DNA-dependent when the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo could be explained by the affinity of ORC for origin DNA in vitro, and, conversely, as ‘chromatin-dependent’ when the ORC-DNA interaction in vitro was insufficient to explain the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo. These two origin classes differed in terms of nucleosome architecture and dependence on origin-flanking sequences in plasmid replication assays, consistent with local features of chromatin promoting ORC binding at ‘chromatin-dependent’ origins. Finally, the ‘chromatin-dependent’ class was enriched for origins that fire early in S-phase, while the DNA-dependent class was enriched for later firing origins. Conversely, the latest firing origins showed a positive association with the ORC-origin DNA paradigm for normal levels of ORC binding, whereas the earliest firing origins did not. These data reveal a novel association between ORC-origin binding mechanisms and the regulation of origin activation time. PMID:24068963

  4. Active Uplift At The Taiwan Belt Front Revealed By River Profiles:the Hsiaomei Anticline Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, R.-F.; Angelier, J.; Hu, J.-C.; Deffontaines, B.; Tsai, H.

    A river profile may reveal tectonic deformation through comparison with a smoothed theoretical function based on simple assumptions, provided that its relationships with the erosion-accumulation phenomena have been deciphered. The Taiwan orogeny re- sults from the collision between the Luzon volcanic arc of the Philippine Sea plate and the Chinese continental margin of the Eurasian plate. As an active collision zone between the Luzon arc and the China continental margin, the Taiwan mountain belt, particularly its south-central part, is undergoing strong crustal shortening and rapid uplift. In the central part of the island, rock uplift rates are matched by erosion rates calculated from sediment yields and exhumation rates. In the foothills of southwestern Taiwan we focus on the longitudinal profiles of twelve rivers near Chiayi area. Based on the fit with mathematical functions, we characterize a significant positive anomaly in terms of shape, amplitude and location. River data from 1/5,000 topographic maps were used to define a set of parameters related to the classical exponential equation of the longitudinal profiles. We obtained an accepted fit for a set of 5-7 parameters of the polynomial exponent, that is, a degree 4-6. The anomaly is spatially consistent and does not show correlation with variations in erosional-depositional phenomena, including variations in lithology of the rock formations. The anomaly thus reflects tectonic uplift, in good agreement with other sources of information, including the GPS data that indicate active E-W shortening of about 1 cm/yr in this area. The posi- tive anomaly detected in ten river profiles diminishes and vanishes in the northernmost and southernmost river profiles. It reflects continuing folding and uplift within an ellip- tic area elongated N-S, which corresponds to the present-day growth of the Hsiaomei anticline at the front of Taiwan belt.

  5. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

  6. Integrated Experimental and Model-based Analysis Reveals the Spatial Aspects of EGFR Activation Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Shankaran, Harish; Zhang, Yi; Chrisler, William B.; Ewald, Jonathan A.; Wiley, H. S.; Resat, Haluk

    2012-10-02

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) belongs to the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and controls a diverse set of cellular responses relevant to development and tumorigenesis. ErbB activation is a complex process involving receptor-ligand binding, receptor dimerization, phosphorylation, and trafficking (internalization, recycling and degradation), which together dictate the spatio-temporal distribution of active receptors within the cell. The ability to predict this distribution, and elucidation of the factors regulating it, would help to establish a mechanistic link between ErbB expression levels and the cellular response. Towards this end, we constructed mathematical models for deconvolving the contributions of receptor dimerization and phosphorylation to EGFR activation, and to examine the dependence of these processes on sub-cellular location. We collected experimental datasets for EGFR activation dynamics in human mammary epithelial cells, with the specific goal of model parameterization, and used the data to estimate parameters for several alternate models. Model-based analysis indicated that: 1) signal termination via receptor dephosphorylation in late endosomes, prior to degradation, is an important component of the response, 2) less than 40% of the receptors in the cell are phosphorylated at any given time, even at saturating ligand doses, and 3) receptor dephosphorylation rates at the cell surface and early endosomes are comparable. We validated the last finding by measuring EGFR dephosphorylation rates at various times following ligand addition both in whole cells, and in endosomes using ELISAs and fluorescent imaging. Overall, our results provide important information on how EGFR phosphorylation levels are regulated within cells. Further, the mathematical model described here can be extended to determine receptor dimer abundances in cells co-expressing various levels of ErbB receptors. This study demonstrates that an iterative cycle of

  7. Active Trans-Plasma Membrane Water Cycling in Yeast Is Revealed by NMR

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yajie; Poirier-Quinot, Marie; Springer, Charles S.; Balschi, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Plasma membrane water transport is a crucial cellular phenomenon. Net water movement in response to an osmotic gradient changes cell volume. Steady-state exchange of water molecules, with no net flux or volume change, occurs by passive diffusion through the phospholipid bilayer and passage through membrane proteins. The hypothesis is tested that plasma membrane water exchange also correlates with ATP-driven membrane transport activity in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Longitudinal 1H2O NMR relaxation time constant (T1) values were measured in yeast suspensions containing extracellular relaxation reagent. Two-site-exchange analysis quantified the reversible exchange kinetics as the mean intracellular water lifetime (τi), where τi−1 is the pseudo-first-order rate constant for water efflux. To modulate cellular ATP, yeast suspensions were bubbled with 95%O2/5%CO2 (O2) or 95%N2/5%CO2 (N2). ATP was high during O2, and τi−1 was 3.1 s−1 at 25°C. After changing to N2, ATP decreased and τi−1 was 1.8 s−1. The principal active yeast ion transport protein is the plasma membrane H+-ATPase. Studies using the H+-ATPase inhibitor ebselen or a yeast genetic strain with reduced H+-ATPase found reduced τi−1, notwithstanding high ATP. Steady-state water exchange correlates with H+-ATPase activity. At volume steady state, water is cycling across the plasma membrane in response to metabolic transport activity. PMID:22261073

  8. Ribosome•RelA structures reveal the mechanism of stringent response activation

    PubMed Central

    Loveland, Anna B; Bah, Eugene; Madireddy, Rohini; Zhang, Ying; Brilot, Axel F; Grigorieff, Nikolaus; Korostelev, Andrei A

    2016-01-01

    Stringent response is a conserved bacterial stress response underlying virulence and antibiotic resistance. RelA/SpoT-homolog proteins synthesize transcriptional modulators (p)ppGpp, allowing bacteria to adapt to stress. RelA is activated during amino-acid starvation, when cognate deacyl-tRNA binds to the ribosomal A (aminoacyl-tRNA) site. We report four cryo-EM structures of E. coli RelA bound to the 70S ribosome, in the absence and presence of deacyl-tRNA accommodating in the 30S A site. The boomerang-shaped RelA with a wingspan of more than 100 Å wraps around the A/R (30S A-site/RelA-bound) tRNA. The CCA end of the A/R tRNA pins the central TGS domain against the 30S subunit, presenting the (p)ppGpp-synthetase domain near the 30S spur. The ribosome and A/R tRNA are captured in three conformations, revealing hitherto elusive states of tRNA engagement with the ribosomal decoding center. Decoding-center rearrangements are coupled with the step-wise 30S-subunit 'closure', providing insights into the dynamics of high-fidelity tRNA decoding. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17029.001 PMID:27434674

  9. Detailed investigation of the microbial community in foaming activated sludge reveals novel foam formers

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, T.

    2015-01-01

    Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS. PMID:25560234

  10. Revealing microbial functional activities in the Red Sea sponge Stylissa carteri by metatranscriptomics.

    PubMed

    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Seridi, Loqmane; Ryu, Taewoo; Voolstra, Christian R; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute

    2014-12-01

    Sponges are important components of marine benthic environments and are associated with microbial symbionts that carry out ecologically relevant functions. Stylissa carteri is an abundant, low-microbial abundance species in the Red Sea. We aimed to achieve the functional and taxonomic characterization of the most actively expressed prokaryotic genes in S. carteri. Prokaryotic mRNA was enriched from sponge total RNA, sequenced using Illumina HiSeq technology and annotated using the metagenomics Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology (MG-RAST) pipeline. We detected high expression of archaeal ammonia oxidation and photosynthetic carbon fixation by members of the genus Synechococcus. Functions related to stress response and membrane transporters were among the most highly expressed by S. carteri symbionts. Unexpectedly, gene functions related to methylotrophy were highly expressed by gammaproteobacterial symbionts. The presence of seawater-derived microbes is indicated by the phylogenetic proximity of organic carbon transporters to orthologues of members from the SAR11 clade. In summary, we revealed the most expressed functions of the S. carteri-associated microbial community and linked them to the dominant taxonomic members of the microbiome. This work demonstrates the applicability of metatranscriptomics to explore poorly characterized symbiotic consortia and expands our knowledge of the ecologically relevant functions carried out by coral reef sponge symbionts.

  11. Pluripotent stem cells reveal erythroid-specific activities of the GATA1 N-terminus

    PubMed Central

    Byrska-Bishop, Marta; VanDorn, Daniel; Campbell, Amy E.; Betensky, Marisol; Arca, Philip R.; Yao, Yu; Gadue, Paul; Costa, Fernando F.; Nemiroff, Richard L.; Blobel, Gerd A.; French, Deborah L.; Hardison, Ross C.; Weiss, Mitchell J.; Chou, Stella T.

    2015-01-01

    Germline GATA1 mutations that result in the production of an amino-truncated protein termed GATA1s (where s indicates short) cause congenital hypoplastic anemia. In patients with trisomy 21, similar somatic GATA1s-producing mutations promote transient myeloproliferative disease and acute megakaryoblastic leukemia. Here, we demonstrate that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with GATA1-truncating mutations exhibit impaired erythroid potential, but enhanced megakaryopoiesis and myelopoiesis, recapitulating the major phenotypes of the associated diseases. Similarly, in developmentally arrested GATA1-deficient murine megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors derived from murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), expression of GATA1s promoted megakaryopoiesis, but not erythropoiesis. Transcriptome analysis revealed a selective deficiency in the ability of GATA1s to activate erythroid-specific genes within populations of hematopoietic progenitors. Although its DNA-binding domain was intact, chromatin immunoprecipitation studies showed that GATA1s binding at specific erythroid regulatory regions was impaired, while binding at many nonerythroid sites, including megakaryocytic and myeloid target genes, was normal. Together, these observations indicate that lineage-specific GATA1 cofactor associations are essential for normal chromatin occupancy and provide mechanistic insights into how GATA1s mutations cause human disease. More broadly, our studies underscore the value of ESCs and iPSCs to recapitulate and study disease phenotypes. PMID:25621499

  12. ACTIVE LONGITUDES REVEALED BY LARGE-SCALE AND LONG-LIVED CORONAL STREAMERS

    SciTech Connect

    Li Jing

    2011-07-10

    We use time-series ultraviolet full sun images to construct limb-synoptic maps of the Sun. On these maps, large-scale, long-lived coronal streamers appear as repetitive sinusoid-like arcs projected over the polar regions. They are caused by high altitude plasma produced from sunspot-rich regions at latitudes generally far from the poles. The non-uniform longitudinal distribution of these streamers reveals four longitudinal zones at the surface of the Sun from which sunspots erupt preferentially over the 5 year observing interval (2006 January to 2011 April). Spots in these zones (or clusters) have individual lifetimes short compared to the lifetimes of the coronal features which they sustain, and they erupt at different times. The four sunspot clusters contain >75% of all numbered sunspots in this period. They occupy two distinct longitudinal zones separated by {approx}180{sup 0} and each spanning {approx}100{sup 0} in longitude. The rotation rates of the spot clusters are {approx}5% faster than the rates at both the surface and the bottom of the convection zone. While no convincing theoretical framework exists to interpret the sunspot clusters in the longitude-time space, their persistent and nonuniform distribution indicates long-lived, azimuthal structures beneath the surface, and are compatible with the existence of previously reported active longitudes on the Sun.

  13. The anti-obesity drug orlistat reveals anti-viral activity.

    PubMed

    Ammer, Elisabeth; Nietzsche, Sandor; Rien, Christian; Kühnl, Alexander; Mader, Theresa; Heller, Regine; Sauerbrei, Andreas; Henke, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    The administration of drugs to inhibit metabolic pathways not only reduces the risk of obesity-induced diseases in humans but may also hamper the replication of different viral pathogens. In order to investigate the value of the US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-obesity drug orlistat in view of its anti-viral activity against different human-pathogenic viruses, several anti-viral studies, electron microscopy analyses as well as fatty acid uptake experiments were performed. The results indicate that administrations of non-cytotoxic concentrations of orlistat reduced the replication of coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) in different cell types significantly. Moreover, orlistat revealed cell protective effects and modified the formation of multi-layered structures in CVB3-infected cells, which are necessary for viral replication. Lowering fatty acid uptake from the extracellular environment by phloretin administrations had only marginal impact on CVB3 replication. Finally, orlistat reduced also the replication of varicella-zoster virus moderately but had no significant influence on the replication of influenza A viruses. The data support further experiments into the value of orlistat as an inhibitor of the fatty acid synthase to develop new anti-viral compounds, which are based on the modulation of cellular metabolic pathways.

  14. Metagenomic analysis reveals the prevalence of biodegradation genes for organic pollutants in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Fang, Hua; Cai, Lin; Yu, Yunlong; Zhang, Tong

    2013-02-01

    The abundance, diversity, and distribution of biodegradation genes (BDGs) and phenol degradation genes (PDGs) in activated sludge (AS) from two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) at different sampling times were assessed by metagenomic analysis using a total of 15 datasets derived from Illumina high-throughput sequencing and BLAST comparisons to BDGs and PDGs databases. The results showed that the abundance (0.015-0.030%) and diversity of BDGs in AS varied with the WWTP and the sampling times. The p450 and pmo genes were the most abundant genes in the BDGs and PDGs subgroups, respectively. MG-RAST analysis revealed that 87 detected bacterial genera potentially capable of degrading pollutants were mostly affiliated with Proteobacteria (59.8%), Bacteroidetes (17.2%), and Actinobacteria (9.2%). Mycobacterium, belonging to Actinobacteria, was found to be the most abundant genus (23.4%). This method could be used to monitor an AS's biodegradation ability for organic pollutants and to evaluate its wastewater treatment efficiency.

  15. Multimodular biosensors reveal a novel platform for activation of G proteins by growth factor receptors

    PubMed Central

    Midde, Krishna K.; Aznar, Nicolas; Laederich, Melanie B.; Ma, Gary S.; Kunkel, Maya T.; Newton, Alexandra C.; Ghosh, Pradipta

    2015-01-01

    Environmental cues are transmitted to the interior of the cell via a complex network of signaling hubs. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and trimeric G proteins are two such major signaling hubs in eukaryotes. Conventionally, canonical signal transduction via trimeric G proteins is thought to be triggered exclusively by G protein-coupled receptors. Here we used molecular engineering to develop modular fluorescent biosensors that exploit the remarkable specificity of bimolecular recognition, i.e., of both G proteins and RTKs, and reveal the workings of a novel platform for activation of G proteins by RTKs in single living cells. Comprised of the unique modular makeup of guanidine exchange factor Gα-interacting vesicle-associated protein (GIV)/girdin, a guanidine exchange factor that links G proteins to a variety of RTKs, these biosensors provide direct evidence that RTK–GIV–Gαi ternary complexes are formed in living cells and that Gαi is transactivated within minutes after growth factor stimulation at the plasma membrane. Thus, GIV-derived biosensors provide a versatile strategy for visualizing, monitoring, and manipulating the dynamic association of Gαi with RTKs for noncanonical transactivation of G proteins in cells and illuminate a fundamental signaling event regulated by GIV during diverse cellular processes and pathophysiologic states. PMID:25713130

  16. Multimodular biosensors reveal a novel platform for activation of G proteins by growth factor receptors.

    PubMed

    Midde, Krishna K; Aznar, Nicolas; Laederich, Melanie B; Ma, Gary S; Kunkel, Maya T; Newton, Alexandra C; Ghosh, Pradipta

    2015-03-01

    Environmental cues are transmitted to the interior of the cell via a complex network of signaling hubs. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and trimeric G proteins are two such major signaling hubs in eukaryotes. Conventionally, canonical signal transduction via trimeric G proteins is thought to be triggered exclusively by G protein-coupled receptors. Here we used molecular engineering to develop modular fluorescent biosensors that exploit the remarkable specificity of bimolecular recognition, i.e., of both G proteins and RTKs, and reveal the workings of a novel platform for activation of G proteins by RTKs in single living cells. Comprised of the unique modular makeup of guanidine exchange factor Gα-interacting vesicle-associated protein (GIV)/girdin, a guanidine exchange factor that links G proteins to a variety of RTKs, these biosensors provide direct evidence that RTK-GIV-Gαi ternary complexes are formed in living cells and that Gαi is transactivated within minutes after growth factor stimulation at the plasma membrane. Thus, GIV-derived biosensors provide a versatile strategy for visualizing, monitoring, and manipulating the dynamic association of Gαi with RTKs for noncanonical transactivation of G proteins in cells and illuminate a fundamental signaling event regulated by GIV during diverse cellular processes and pathophysiologic states.

  17. Detailed investigation of the microbial community in foaming activated sludge reveals novel foam formers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, T.

    2015-01-01

    Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS.

  18. Revealing a new activity of the human Dicer DUF283 domain in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kurzynska-Kokorniak, Anna; Pokornowska, Maria; Koralewska, Natalia; Hoffmann, Weronika; Bienkowska-Szewczyk, Krystyna; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The ribonuclease Dicer is a multidomain enzyme that plays a fundamental role in the biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs (srRNAs), which control gene expression by targeting complementary transcripts and inducing their cleavage or repressing their translation. Recent studies of Dicer's domains have permitted to propose their roles in srRNA biogenesis. For all of Dicer's domains except one, called DUF283 (domain of unknown function), their involvement in RNA substrate recognition, binding or cleavage has been postulated. For DUF283, the interaction with Dicer's protein partners has been the only function suggested thus far. In this report, we demonstrate that the isolated DUF283 domain from human Dicer is capable of binding single-stranded nucleic acids in vitro. We also show that DUF283 can act as a nucleic acid annealer that accelerates base-pairing between complementary RNA/DNA molecules in vitro. We further demonstrate an annealing activity of full length human Dicer. The overall results suggest that Dicer, presumably through its DUF283 domain, might facilitate hybridization between short RNAs and their targets. The presented findings reveal the complex nature of Dicer, whose functions may extend beyond the biogenesis of srRNAs. PMID:27045313

  19. Metabolomics Reveals that Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation by Environmental Chemicals Induces Systemic Metabolic Dysfunction in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Limin; Hatzakis, Emmanuel; Nichols, Robert G.; Hao, Ruixin; Correll, Jared; Smith, Philip B.; Chiaro, Christopher R.; Perdew, Gary H.; Patterson, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds poses a significant health risk for human health. Developing a better understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is likely to improve the reliability of risk assessment. In this study, the AHR-dependent metabolic response of mice exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) were assessed using global 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics and targeted metabolic profiling of extracts obtained from serum and liver. 1H NMR analyses revealed that TCDF exposure suppressed gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, stimulated lipogenesis, and triggered inflammatory gene expression in an Ahr-dependent manner. Targeted analyses using gas chromatography mass spectrometry showed TCDF treatment altered the ratio of unsaturated/saturated fatty acids. Consistent with this observation, an increase in hepatic expression of stearoyl coenzyme A desaturase 1 was also observed. In addition, TCDF exposure resulted in inhibition of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis manifested by down-regulation of acetyl-CoA, malonyl-CoA and palmitoyl-CoA metabolites and related mRNA levels. In contrast, no significant changes in the levels of glucose and lipid were observed in serum and liver obtained from Ahr-null mice following TCDF treatment, thus strongly supporting the important role of the AHR in mediating the metabolic effects seen following TCDF exposure. PMID:26023891

  20. Biochemical measurements in Alzheimer's disease reveal a necessity for improved neuroimaging techniques to study metabolism.

    PubMed Central

    Najlerahim, A; Bowen, D M

    1988-01-01

    A series of Alzheimer's disease and control brains were dissected to determine the extent of atrophy (based on total protein content) and loss of choline acetyltransferase activity in the cerebral cortex from the entire surface of the diseased brains. The distribution of intensity of pathology so determined is strikingly similar to the degree of hypometabolism as shown by positron emission tomography. It is argued that the hypometabolism can be explained (at least in part) by focal areas of atrophy. PMID:3390157

  1. Geochemistry of the lunar highlands as revealed by measurements of thermal neutrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peplowski, Patrick N.; Beck, Andrew W.; Lawrence, David J.

    2016-03-01

    Thermal neutron emissions from the lunar surface provide a direct measure of bulk elemental composition that can be used to constrain the chemical properties of near-surface (depth <1 m) lunar materials. We present a new calibration of the Lunar Prospector thermal neutron map, providing a direct link between measured count rates and bulk elemental composition. The data are used to examine the chemical and mineralogical composition of the lunar surface, with an emphasis on constraining the plagioclase concentration across the highlands. We observe that the regions of lowest neutron absorption, which correspond to estimated plagioclase concentrations of >85%, are generally associated with large impact basins and are colocated with clusters of nearly pure plagioclase identified with spectral reflectance data.

  2. Gas Nonideality at One Atmosphere Revealed through Speed of Sound Measurements and Heat Capacity Determinations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halpern, Arthur M.; Liu, Allen

    2008-01-01

    Using an easy-to-make cylindrical resonator, students can measure the speed of sound in a gas, u, with sufficiently high precision (by locating standing-wave Lissajous patterns on an oscilloscope) to observe real gas properties at one atmosphere and 300 K. For CO[subscript 2] and SF[subscript 6], u is found to be 268.83 and 135.25 m s[superscript…

  3. Eigencentrality based on dissimilarity measures reveals central nodes in complex networks

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Socorro, A. J.; Herrera-Almarza, G. C.; González-Díaz, L. A.

    2015-01-01

    One of the most important problems in complex network’s theory is the location of the entities that are essential or have a main role within the network. For this purpose, the use of dissimilarity measures (specific to theory of classification and data mining) to enrich the centrality measures in complex networks is proposed. The centrality method used is the eigencentrality which is based on the heuristic that the centrality of a node depends on how central are the nodes in the immediate neighbourhood (like rich get richer phenomenon). This can be described by an eigenvalues problem, however the information of the neighbourhood and the connections between neighbours is not taken in account, neglecting their relevance when is one evaluates the centrality/importance/influence of a node. The contribution calculated by the dissimilarity measure is parameter independent, making the proposed method is also parameter independent. Finally, we perform a comparative study of our method versus other methods reported in the literature, obtaining more accurate and less expensive computational results in most cases. PMID:26603652

  4. Impedance spectroscopy of micro-Droplets reveals activation of Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channels in Hypotonic Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebrahimi, Aida; Alam, Muhammad A.

    Rapid detection of bacterial pathogens is of great importance in healthcare, food safety, environmental monitoring, and homeland security. Most bacterial detection platforms rely on binary fission (i.e. cell growth) to reach a threshold cell population that can be resolved by the sensing method. Since cell division depends on the bacteria type, the detection time of such methods can vary from hours to days. In contrast, in this work, we show that bacteria cells can be detected within minutes by relying on activation of specific protein channels, i.e. mechanosensitive channels (MS channels). When cells are exposed to hypotonic solutions, MS channels allow efflux of solutes to the external solution which leads to release the excessive membrane tension. Release of the cytoplasmic solutes, in turn, results in increase of the electrical conductance measured by droplet-based impedance sensing. The approach can be an effective technique for fast, pre-screening of bacterial contamination at ultra-low concentration.

  5. Inferring brain-computational mechanisms with models of activity measurements

    PubMed Central

    Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2016-01-01

    High-resolution functional imaging is providing increasingly rich measurements of brain activity in animals and humans. A major challenge is to leverage such data to gain insight into the brain's computational mechanisms. The first step is to define candidate brain-computational models (BCMs) that can perform the behavioural task in question. We would then like to infer which of the candidate BCMs best accounts for measured brain-activity data. Here we describe a method that complements each BCM by a measurement model (MM), which simulates the way the brain-activity measurements reflect neuronal activity (e.g. local averaging in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) voxels or sparse sampling in array recordings). The resulting generative model (BCM-MM) produces simulated measurements. To avoid having to fit the MM to predict each individual measurement channel of the brain-activity data, we compare the measured and predicted data at the level of summary statistics. We describe a novel particular implementation of this approach, called probabilistic representational similarity analysis (pRSA) with MMs, which uses representational dissimilarity matrices (RDMs) as the summary statistics. We validate this method by simulations of fMRI measurements (locally averaging voxels) based on a deep convolutional neural network for visual object recognition. Results indicate that the way the measurements sample the activity patterns strongly affects the apparent representational dissimilarities. However, modelling of the measurement process can account for these effects, and different BCMs remain distinguishable even under substantial noise. The pRSA method enables us to perform Bayesian inference on the set of BCMs and to recognize the data-generating model in each case. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’. PMID:27574316

  6. Inferring brain-computational mechanisms with models of activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2016-10-01

    High-resolution functional imaging is providing increasingly rich measurements of brain activity in animals and humans. A major challenge is to leverage such data to gain insight into the brain's computational mechanisms. The first step is to define candidate brain-computational models (BCMs) that can perform the behavioural task in question. We would then like to infer which of the candidate BCMs best accounts for measured brain-activity data. Here we describe a method that complements each BCM by a measurement model (MM), which simulates the way the brain-activity measurements reflect neuronal activity (e.g. local averaging in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) voxels or sparse sampling in array recordings). The resulting generative model (BCM-MM) produces simulated measurements. To avoid having to fit the MM to predict each individual measurement channel of the brain-activity data, we compare the measured and predicted data at the level of summary statistics. We describe a novel particular implementation of this approach, called probabilistic representational similarity analysis (pRSA) with MMs, which uses representational dissimilarity matrices (RDMs) as the summary statistics. We validate this method by simulations of fMRI measurements (locally averaging voxels) based on a deep convolutional neural network for visual object recognition. Results indicate that the way the measurements sample the activity patterns strongly affects the apparent representational dissimilarities. However, modelling of the measurement process can account for these effects, and different BCMs remain distinguishable even under substantial noise. The pRSA method enables us to perform Bayesian inference on the set of BCMs and to recognize the data-generating model in each case.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'.

  7. Inferring brain-computational mechanisms with models of activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2016-10-01

    High-resolution functional imaging is providing increasingly rich measurements of brain activity in animals and humans. A major challenge is to leverage such data to gain insight into the brain's computational mechanisms. The first step is to define candidate brain-computational models (BCMs) that can perform the behavioural task in question. We would then like to infer which of the candidate BCMs best accounts for measured brain-activity data. Here we describe a method that complements each BCM by a measurement model (MM), which simulates the way the brain-activity measurements reflect neuronal activity (e.g. local averaging in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) voxels or sparse sampling in array recordings). The resulting generative model (BCM-MM) produces simulated measurements. To avoid having to fit the MM to predict each individual measurement channel of the brain-activity data, we compare the measured and predicted data at the level of summary statistics. We describe a novel particular implementation of this approach, called probabilistic representational similarity analysis (pRSA) with MMs, which uses representational dissimilarity matrices (RDMs) as the summary statistics. We validate this method by simulations of fMRI measurements (locally averaging voxels) based on a deep convolutional neural network for visual object recognition. Results indicate that the way the measurements sample the activity patterns strongly affects the apparent representational dissimilarities. However, modelling of the measurement process can account for these effects, and different BCMs remain distinguishable even under substantial noise. The pRSA method enables us to perform Bayesian inference on the set of BCMs and to recognize the data-generating model in each case.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574316

  8. Repeated sampling reveals differential variability in measures of species richness and community composition in planktonic protists.

    PubMed

    Dolan, John R; Stoeck, Thorsten

    2011-12-01

    Diversity metrics and descriptors of protistan community structure were calculated from 12 samples of 10 l each collected from the Bay of Villefranche in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Variability of the sampling was on scales of minutes and meters. The individual samples were compared with each other and compared with a pooled data set from the total volume of 120 l, considered as the 'true' community. We focused on a single group of planktonic protists, tintinnids, a coherent functional and phylogenetic group in which morpho-species identifications by light microscopy are unambiguous. Tintinnid abundance in the samples ranged from 217 to 321 cells of 16-21 species with the number of rare species in a sample (< 1% of abundance) positively related to species richness of the sample. Rarefaction estimates of total species richness in the 12 samples ranged from 21 ± 3.5 to 37 ± 3.6 compared with the 34 species of the pooled data set. The measures of similarity reflected the differences between samples in both the numbers and identities of the least abundant or rare species. The species abundance distribution using pooled data was best fit by a log-series or geometric distribution; eight species accounted for about 90% of total cells and most species, the remaining 22 out of 34, were 'rare' (concentration < 1% of total cells). Among the samples, 5 were best fit by a geometric model, 1 by a log-series distribution, 2 by a log-normal or log-series model, and 4 could not be clearly assigned a particular distribution. Our results suggest that single sample estimates of species richness are relatively robust compared with measures of taxonomic similarity and species abundance distribution. When measuring differences among populations sample variability should be considered.

  9. Metaproteogenomics reveals the soil microbial communities active in nutrient cycling processes under different tree species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiblinger, Katharina Maria; Masse, Jacynthe; Zühlke, Daniela; Riedel, Katharina; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Prescott, Cindy E.; Grayston, Sue

    2016-04-01

    Tree species exert strong effects on microbial communities in litter and soil and may alter rates of soil processes fundamental to nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes (Prescott and Grayston 2013). However, the influence of tree species on decomposition processes are still contradictory and poorly understood. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant influences on soil processes is important for our ability to predict ecosystem response to altered global/environmental conditions. In order to link microbial community structure and function to forest-floor nutrient cycling processes, we sampled forest floors under western redcedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) grown in nutrient-poor sites in common garden experiments on Vancouver island (Canada). We measured forest-floor total N, total C, initial NH4+ and NO3‑ concentrations, DOC, Cmic and Nmic. Gross rates of ammonification and NH4+ consumption were measured using the 15N pool-dilution method. Organic carbon quality was assessed through FTIR analyses. Microbial community structure was analysed by a metaproteogenomic approach using 16S and ITS amplification and sequencing with MiSeq platform. Proteins were extracted and peptides characterized via LC-MS/MS on a Velos Orbitrap to assess the active microbial community. Different microbial communities were active under the three tree species and variation in process rates were observed and will be discussed. This research provides new insights on microbial processes during organic matter decomposition. The metaproteogenomic approach enables us to investigate these changes with respect to possible effects on soil C-storage at even finer taxonomic resolution.

  10. Metaproteogenomics reveals the soil microbial communities active in nutrient cycling processes under different tree species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiblinger, Katharina Maria; Masse, Jacynthe; Zühlke, Daniela; Riedel, Katharina; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Prescott, Cindy E.; Grayston, Sue

    2016-04-01

    Tree species exert strong effects on microbial communities in litter and soil and may alter rates of soil processes fundamental to nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes (Prescott and Grayston 2013). However, the influence of tree species on decomposition processes are still contradictory and poorly understood. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant influences on soil processes is important for our ability to predict ecosystem response to altered global/environmental conditions. In order to link microbial community structure and function to forest-floor nutrient cycling processes, we sampled forest floors under western redcedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) grown in nutrient-poor sites in common garden experiments on Vancouver island (Canada). We measured forest-floor total N, total C, initial NH4+ and NO3- concentrations, DOC, Cmic and Nmic. Gross rates of ammonification and NH4+ consumption were measured using the 15N pool-dilution method. Organic carbon quality was assessed through FTIR analyses. Microbial community structure was analysed by a metaproteogenomic approach using 16S and ITS amplification and sequencing with MiSeq platform. Proteins were extracted and peptides characterized via LC-MS/MS on a Velos Orbitrap to assess the active microbial community. Different microbial communities were active under the three tree species and variation in process rates were observed and will be discussed. This research provides new insights on microbial processes during organic matter decomposition. The metaproteogenomic approach enables us to investigate these changes with respect to possible effects on soil C-storage at even finer taxonomic resolution.

  11. One-neutron removal measurement reveals 24O as a new doubly magic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Kanungo, R; Nociforo, C; Prochazka, A; Aumann, T; Boutin, D; Cortina-Gil, D; Davids, B; Diakaki, M; Farinon, F; Geissel, H; Gernhäuser, R; Gerl, J; Janik, R; Jonson, B; Kindler, B; Knöbel, R; Krücken, R; Lantz, M; Lenske, H; Litvinov, Y; Lommel, B; Mahata, K; Maierbeck, P; Musumarra, A; Nilsson, T; Otsuka, T; Perro, C; Scheidenberger, C; Sitar, B; Strmen, P; Sun, B; Szarka, I; Tanihata, I; Utsuno, Y; Weick, H; Winkler, M

    2009-04-17

    The first measurement of the momentum distribution for one-neutron removal from (24)O at 920A MeV performed at GSI, Darmstadt is reported. The observed distribution has a width (FWHM) of 99 +/- 4 MeV/c in the projectile rest frame and a one-neutron removal cross section of 63 +/- 7 mb. The results are well explained with a nearly pure 2s_{1/2} neutron spectroscopic factor of 1.74 +/- 0.19 within the eikonal model. This large s-wave probability shows a spherical shell closure thereby confirming earlier suggestions that (24)O is a new doubly magic nucleus.

  12. One-neutron removal measurement reveals 24O as a new doubly magic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Kanungo, R; Nociforo, C; Prochazka, A; Aumann, T; Boutin, D; Cortina-Gil, D; Davids, B; Diakaki, M; Farinon, F; Geissel, H; Gernhäuser, R; Gerl, J; Janik, R; Jonson, B; Kindler, B; Knöbel, R; Krücken, R; Lantz, M; Lenske, H; Litvinov, Y; Lommel, B; Mahata, K; Maierbeck, P; Musumarra, A; Nilsson, T; Otsuka, T; Perro, C; Scheidenberger, C; Sitar, B; Strmen, P; Sun, B; Szarka, I; Tanihata, I; Utsuno, Y; Weick, H; Winkler, M

    2009-04-17

    The first measurement of the momentum distribution for one-neutron removal from (24)O at 920A MeV performed at GSI, Darmstadt is reported. The observed distribution has a width (FWHM) of 99 +/- 4 MeV/c in the projectile rest frame and a one-neutron removal cross section of 63 +/- 7 mb. The results are well explained with a nearly pure 2s_{1/2} neutron spectroscopic factor of 1.74 +/- 0.19 within the eikonal model. This large s-wave probability shows a spherical shell closure thereby confirming earlier suggestions that (24)O is a new doubly magic nucleus. PMID:19518623

  13. Near scale-free dynamics in neural population activity of waking/sleeping rats revealed by multiscale analysis.

    PubMed

    Safonov, Leonid A; Isomura, Yoshikazu; Kang, Siu; Struzik, Zbigniew R; Fukai, Tomoki; Câteau, Hideyuki

    2010-09-28

    A neuron embedded in an intact brain, unlike an isolated neuron, participates in network activity at various spatial resolutions. Such multiple scale spatial dynamics is potentially reflected in multiple time scales of temporal dynamics. We identify such multiple dynamical time scales of the inter-spike interval (ISI) fluctuations of neurons of waking/sleeping rats by means of multiscale analysis. The time scale of large non-Gaussianity in the ISI fluctuations, measured with the Castaing method, ranges up to several minutes, markedly escaping the low-pass filtering characteristics of neurons. A comparison between neural activity during waking and sleeping reveals that non-Gaussianity is stronger during waking than sleeping throughout the entire range of scales observed. We find a remarkable property of near scale independence of the magnitude correlations as the primary cause of persistent non-Gaussianity. Such scale-invariance of correlations is characteristic of multiplicative cascade processes and raises the possibility of the existence of a scale independent memory preserving mechanism.

  14. Transcriptomes reveal alterations in gravity impact circadian clocks and activate mechanotransduction pathways with adaptation through epigenetic change.

    PubMed

    Casey, Theresa; Patel, Osman V; Plaut, Karen

    2015-04-01

    Few studies have investigated the impact of alterations in gravity on mammalian transcriptomes. Here, we describe the impact of spaceflight on mammary transcriptome of late pregnant rats and the effect of hypergravity exposure on mammary, liver, and adipose transcriptomes in late pregnancy and at the onset of lactation. RNA was isolated from mammary collected on pregnancy day 20 from rats exposed to spaceflight from days 11 to 20 of gestation. To measure the impact of hypergravity on mammary, liver, and adipose transcriptomes we isolated RNA from tissues collected on P20 and lactation day 1 from rats exposed to hypergravity beginning on pregnancy day 9. Gene expression was measured with Affymetrix GeneChips. Microarray analysis of variance revealed alterations in gravity affected the expression of genes that regulate circadian clocks and activate mechanotransduction pathways. Changes in these systems may explain global gene expression changes in immune response, metabolism, and cell proliferation. Expression of genes that modify chromatin structure and methylation was affected, suggesting adaptation to gravity alterations may proceed through epigenetic change. Altered gravity experiments offer insights into the role of forces omnipresent on Earth that shape genomes in heritable ways. Our study is the first to analyze the impact of alterations in gravity on transcriptomes of pregnant and lactating mammals. Findings provide insight into systems that sense gravity and the way in which they affect phenotype, as well as the possibility of sustaining life beyond Earth's orbit. PMID:25649141

  15. Atomic force microscopy measurements reveal multiple bonds between Helicobacter pylori blood group antigen binding adhesin and Lewis b ligand.

    PubMed

    Parreira, P; Shi, Q; Magalhaes, A; Reis, C A; Bugaytsova, J; Borén, T; Leckband, D; Martins, M C L

    2014-12-01

    The strength of binding between the Helicobacter pylori blood group antigen-binding adhesin (BabA) and its cognate glycan receptor, the Lewis b blood group antigen (Le(b)), was measured by means of atomic force microscopy. High-resolution measurements of rupture forces between single receptor-ligand pairs were performed between the purified BabA and immobilized Le(b) structures on self-assembled monolayers. Dynamic force spectroscopy revealed two similar but statistically different bond populations. These findings suggest that the BabA may form different adhesive attachments to the gastric mucosa in ways that enhance the efficiency and stability of bacterial adhesion.

  16. Atmospheric CO2 measurements reveal strong drought sensitivity of Amazonian carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. B.; Gatti, L.; Gloor, M.; Doughty, C.; Malhi, Y.; Domingues, L. G.; Basso, L. S.; Martinewski, A.; Correia, C.; Borges, V.; Freitas, S. R.; Braz, R.; Anderson, L.; Rocha, H.; Grace, J.; Phillips, O.; Lloyd, J.

    2013-12-01

    Potential feedbacks between land carbon pools and climate are one of the largest sources of uncertainty for predicting future global climate, but estimates of their sensitivity to climate anomalies in the tropics and determination of underlying mechanisms are either incomplete or strongly model-based. Amazonia alone stores ~150-200 Pg of labile carbon, and has experienced an increasing trend in temperature and extreme floods and droughts over the last two decades. Here we report the first Amazon Basin-wide seasonal and annual carbon balances based on tropospheric greenhouse gas sampling, during an anomalously dry and a wet year, 2010 and 2011, providing the first whole-system assessment of sensitivity to such conditions. During 2010, the Amazon Basin lost 0.5×0.2 PgCyr-1 while in 2011 it was approximately carbon neutral (0.06×0.1 PgCyr-1). Carbon loss via fire was 0.5×0.1 PgCyr-1 in 2010 and 0.3×0.1 PgCyr-1 in 2011, as derived from Basin-wide carbon monoxide (CO) enhancements. Subtracting fire emissions from total carbon flux to derive Basin net biome exchange (NBE) reveals that in 2010 the non-fire regions of the Basin were carbon neutral; in 2011 they were a net carbon sink of -0.3×0.1 PgC yr-1, roughly consistent with a three-decade long intact-forest biomass sink of ~ -0.5×0.3 PgCyr-1 estimated from forest censuses. Altogether, our results suggest that if the recent trend of precipitation extremes persists, the Amazon region may become an increasing carbon source as a result of both emissions from fires and suppression of NBE by drought.

  17. Water revealed as molecular mirror when measuring low concentrations of sugar with near infrared light.

    PubMed

    Bázár, György; Kovacs, Zoltan; Tanaka, Mariko; Furukawa, Akane; Nagai, Airi; Osawa, Manami; Itakura, Yukari; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Tsenkova, Roumiana

    2015-10-01

    Near infrared spectroscopy is an overtone spectroscopy regarded as a quick and non-destructive method that provides analytical solutions for components that represent approximately 1% or more of the total mass of the investigated composite samples. Aquaphotomics offers the possibility for disentanglement of information remaining hidden in the spectra when conventional data evaluation methods are used, since this concept utilizes changes of the water structure induced by the measured solute as specific molecular vibrations at water bands. Here, near infrared technique and aquaphotomics are applied for non-destructive identification and quantification of mono- and di-saccharide solutes at 100-0.02 mM concentration that is accepted as unachievable with near infrared spectroscopy. The results presented in this study support the aquaphotomics' water molecular mirror concept that explores spectral changes related to water molecular rearrangements caused by minute changes of the solutes in the aqueous systems. The method provides quick and accurate alternative for classical analytical measurements of saccharides even at millimolar concentration levels.

  18. Torque measurements reveal sequence-specific cooperative transitions in supercoiled DNA

    PubMed Central

    Oberstrass, Florian C.; Fernandes, Louis E.; Bryant, Zev

    2012-01-01

    B-DNA becomes unstable under superhelical stress and is able to adopt a wide range of alternative conformations including strand-separated DNA and Z-DNA. Localized sequence-dependent structural transitions are important for the regulation of biological processes such as DNA replication and transcription. To directly probe the effect of sequence on structural transitions driven by torque, we have measured the torsional response of a panel of DNA sequences using single molecule assays that employ nanosphere rotational probes to achieve high torque resolution. The responses of Z-forming d(pGpC)n sequences match our predictions based on a theoretical treatment of cooperative transitions in helical polymers. “Bubble” templates containing 50–100 bp mismatch regions show cooperative structural transitions similar to B-DNA, although less torque is required to disrupt strand–strand interactions. Our mechanical measurements, including direct characterization of the torsional rigidity of strand-separated DNA, establish a framework for quantitative predictions of the complex torsional response of arbitrary sequences in their biological context. PMID:22474350

  19. Extended carrier lifetimes and diffusion in hybrid perovskites revealed by Hall effect and photoconductivity measurements

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y.; Yi, H. T.; Wu, X.; Haroldson, R.; Gartstein, Y. N.; Rodionov, Y. I.; Tikhonov, K. S.; Zakhidov, A.; Zhu, X. -Y.; Podzorov, V.

    2016-01-01

    Impressive performance of hybrid perovskite solar cells reported in recent years still awaits a comprehensive understanding of its microscopic origins. In this work, the intrinsic Hall mobility and photocarrier recombination coefficient are directly measured in these materials in steady-state transport studies. The results show that electron-hole recombination and carrier trapping rates in hybrid perovskites are very low. The bimolecular recombination coefficient (10−11 to 10−10 cm3 s−1) is found to be on par with that in the best direct-band inorganic semiconductors, even though the intrinsic Hall mobility in hybrid perovskites is considerably lower (up to 60 cm2 V−1 s−1). Measured here, steady-state carrier lifetimes (of up to 3 ms) and diffusion lengths (as long as 650 μm) are significantly longer than those in high-purity crystalline inorganic semiconductors. We suggest that these experimental findings are consistent with the polaronic nature of charge carriers, resulting from an interaction of charges with methylammonium dipoles. PMID:27477058

  20. Carbon-depleted outer core revealed by sound velocity measurements of liquid iron–carbon alloy

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Yoichi; Imada, Saori; Hirose, Kei; Komabayashi, Tetsuya; Ozawa, Haruka; Tateno, Shigehiko; Tsutsui, Satoshi; Kuwayama, Yasuhiro; Baron, Alfred Q. R.

    2015-01-01

    The relative abundance of light elements in the Earth's core has long been controversial. Recently, the presence of carbon in the core has been emphasized, because the density and sound velocities of the inner core may be consistent with solid Fe7C3. Here we report the longitudinal wave velocity of liquid Fe84C16 up to 70 GPa based on inelastic X-ray scattering measurements. We find the velocity to be substantially slower than that of solid iron and Fe3C and to be faster than that of liquid iron. The thermodynamic equation of state for liquid Fe84C16 is also obtained from the velocity data combined with previous density measurements at 1 bar. The longitudinal velocity of the outer core, about 4% faster than that of liquid iron, is consistent with the presence of 4–5 at.% carbon. However, that amount of carbon is too small to account for the outer core density deficit, suggesting that carbon cannot be a predominant light element in the core. PMID:26596912

  1. Measurement on isolated lithium iron phosphate particles reveals heterogeneity in material properties distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snowden, Michael E.; Dayeh, Malak; Payne, Nicholas A.; Gervais, Simon; Mauzeroll, Janine; Schougaard, Steen B.

    2016-09-01

    We present herein localized galvanostatic and potentiodynamic measurements on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) particles, using the combination of a scanning micropipette contact method (SMCM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The proposed technique allows small substrate areas (∼10 μm in diameter) decorated with LFP particles to be probed within a lithium electrolyte solution in organic carbonate solvents (0.1 M LiClO4 in propylene carbonate in the present study). SEM images of the scanned area allow the correlation of each electrochemical response to the number, and volume of the probed particles. Under favorable conditions, single particles are found within the measurement areas, thus enabling the determination of single particle properties in an anaerobic environment without the additional complications arising from the presence of binders and electronically conductive fillers. The ability to analyze a material with complementary experimental techniques at the single particle level should create new opportunities for fundamental studies and for the quality control of granular materials.

  2. Extended carrier lifetimes and diffusion in hybrid perovskites revealed by Hall effect and photoconductivity measurements

    DOE PAGES

    Chen, Y.; Yi, H. T.; Wu, X.; Haroldson, R.; Gartstein, Y. N.; Rodionov, Y. I.; Tikhonov, K. S.; Zakhidov, A.; Zhu, X. -Y.; Podzorov, V.

    2016-08-01

    Impressive performance of hybrid perovskite solar cells reported in recent years still awaits a comprehensive understanding of its microscopic origins. In this work, the intrinsic Hall mobility and photocarrier recombination coefficient are directly measured in these materials in steady-state transport studies. The results show that electron-hole recombination and carrier trapping rates in hybrid perovskites are very low. The bimolecular recombination coefficient (10–11 to 10–10 cm3 s–1) is found to be on par with that in the best direct-band inorganic semiconductors, even though the intrinsic Hall mobility in hybrid perovskites is considerably lower (up to 60 cm2 V–1 s–1). Measured here,more » steady-state carrier lifetimes (of up to 3 ms) and diffusion lengths (as long as 650 μm) are significantly longer than those in high-purity crystalline inorganic semiconductors. As a result, we suggest that these experimental findings are consistent with the polaronic nature of charge carriers, resulting from an interaction of charges with methylammonium dipoles.« less

  3. Inertial range physics of solar wind turbulence as revealed by 3 second plasma measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podesta, J. J.

    2006-10-01

    The 3DP instrument on-board the Wind spacecraft provides the highest time resolution plasma measurements currently available with a time resolution of 3 seconds. This instrument enables almost the entire inertial range to be probed using both velocity and magnetic field data although the dissipation range of the velocity fluctuations is still beyond reach. Analysis of power spectra and structure functions have shown that while the magnetic energy spectrum of the solar wind is a power law with an exponent near 5/3, the velocity or kinetic energy spectrum often exhibits an exponent near 3/2. Another important discovery is that the Elsasser ratio, the ratio of energy in the two Elsasser fields, approaches unity at the smallest measurable scales. Thus, as the energy and cross-helicity cascade through the inertial range the fluctuations in the two Elsasser fields evolve toward a state of equipartition, a process called dynamic mixing as opposed to dynamic alignment. These and other results that are improving our knowledge of solar wind turbulence shall be discussed.

  4. Extended carrier lifetimes and diffusion in hybrid perovskites revealed by Hall effect and photoconductivity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Y.; Yi, H. T.; Wu, X.; Haroldson, R.; Gartstein, Y. N.; Rodionov, Y. I.; Tikhonov, K. S.; Zakhidov, A.; Zhu, X.-Y.; Podzorov, V.

    2016-08-01

    Impressive performance of hybrid perovskite solar cells reported in recent years still awaits a comprehensive understanding of its microscopic origins. In this work, the intrinsic Hall mobility and photocarrier recombination coefficient are directly measured in these materials in steady-state transport studies. The results show that electron-hole recombination and carrier trapping rates in hybrid perovskites are very low. The bimolecular recombination coefficient (10-11 to 10-10 cm3 s-1) is found to be on par with that in the best direct-band inorganic semiconductors, even though the intrinsic Hall mobility in hybrid perovskites is considerably lower (up to 60 cm2 V-1 s-1). Measured here, steady-state carrier lifetimes (of up to 3 ms) and diffusion lengths (as long as 650 μm) are significantly longer than those in high-purity crystalline inorganic semiconductors. We suggest that these experimental findings are consistent with the polaronic nature of charge carriers, resulting from an interaction of charges with methylammonium dipoles.

  5. Extended carrier lifetimes and diffusion in hybrid perovskites revealed by Hall effect and photoconductivity measurements.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y; Yi, H T; Wu, X; Haroldson, R; Gartstein, Y N; Rodionov, Y I; Tikhonov, K S; Zakhidov, A; Zhu, X-Y; Podzorov, V

    2016-01-01

    Impressive performance of hybrid perovskite solar cells reported in recent years still awaits a comprehensive understanding of its microscopic origins. In this work, the intrinsic Hall mobility and photocarrier recombination coefficient are directly measured in these materials in steady-state transport studies. The results show that electron-hole recombination and carrier trapping rates in hybrid perovskites are very low. The bimolecular recombination coefficient (10(-11) to 10(-10) cm(3) s(-1)) is found to be on par with that in the best direct-band inorganic semiconductors, even though the intrinsic Hall mobility in hybrid perovskites is considerably lower (up to 60 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1)). Measured here, steady-state carrier lifetimes (of up to 3 ms) and diffusion lengths (as long as 650 μm) are significantly longer than those in high-purity crystalline inorganic semiconductors. We suggest that these experimental findings are consistent with the polaronic nature of charge carriers, resulting from an interaction of charges with methylammonium dipoles. PMID:27477058

  6. A Simple and Accurate Method for Measuring Enzyme Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yip, Din-Yan

    1997-01-01

    Presents methods commonly used for investigating enzyme activity using catalase and presents a new method for measuring catalase activity that is more reliable and accurate. Provides results that are readily reproduced and quantified. Can also be used for investigations of enzyme properties such as the effects of temperature, pH, inhibitors,…

  7. Earthworm Biomass Measurement: A Science Activity for Middle School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haskett, Jonathan; Levine, Elissa; Carey, Pauline B.; Niepold III, Frank

    2000-01-01

    Describes an activity on biomass measurement which, in this case, is the weight of a group of living things in a given area. The earthworm activity gives students a greater understanding of ecology, practical math applications, and the scientific method. (ASK)

  8. Seasonality in Children's Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beighle, Aaron; Alderman, Brandon; Morgan, Charles F.; Le Masurier, Guy

    2008-01-01

    Seasonality appears to have an impact on children's physical activity levels, but equivocal findings demand more study in this area. With the increased use of pedometers in both research and practice, collecting descriptive data in various seasons to examine the impact of seasonality on pedometer-measured physical activity among children is…

  9. Leaf Phenology of Amazonian Canopy Trees as Revealed by Spectral and Physiochemical Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavana-Bryant, C.; Gerard, F. F.; Malhi, Y.; Enquist, B. J.; Asner, G. P.

    2013-12-01

    The phenological dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems reflect the response of the Earth's biosphere to inter- and intra-annual dynamics of climatic and hydrological regimes. Some Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (GDVMs) have predicted that by 2050 the Amazon rainforest will begin to dieback (Cox et al. 2000, Nature) or that the ecosystem will become unsustainable (Salazar et al. 2007, GRL). One major component in DGVMs is the simulation of vegetation phenology, however, modelers are challenged with the estimation of tropical phenology which is highly complex. Current modeled phenology is based on observations of temperate vegetation and accurate representation of tropical phenology is long overdue. Remote sensing (RS) data are a key tool in monitoring vegetation dynamics at regional and global scales. Of the many RS techniques available, time-series analysis of vegetation indices (VIs) has become the most common approach in monitoring vegetation phenology (Samanta et al. 2010, GRL; Bradley et al. 2011, GCB). Our research focuses on investigating the influence that age related variation in the spectral reflectance and physiochemical properties of leaves may have on VIs of tropical canopies. In order to do this, we collected a unique leaf and canopy phenological dataset at two different Amazonian sites: Inselberg, French Guyana (FG) and Tambopata, Peru (PE). Hyperspectral reflectance measurements were collected from 4,102 individual leaves sampled to represent different leaf ages and vertical canopy positions (top, mid and low canopy) from 20 different canopy tree species (8 in FG and 12 in PE). These leaf spectra were complemented with 1) leaf physical measurements: fresh and dry weight, area and thickness, LMA and LWC and 2) leaf chemical measurements: %N, %C, %P, C:N and d13C. Canopy level observations included top-of-canopy reflectance measurements obtained using a multispectral 16-band radiometer, leaf demography (tot. number and age distribution) and branch

  10. Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief tectonically active setting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallen, Sean F; Clark, Marin K; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2014-01-01

    We present quantitative estimates of near-surface rock strength relevant to landscape evolution and landslide hazard assessment for 15 geologic map units of the Longmen Shan, China. Strength estimates are derived from a novel method that inverts earthquake peak ground acceleration models and coseismic landslide inventories to obtain material proper- ties and landslide thickness. Aggregate rock strength is determined by prescribing a friction angle of 30° and solving for effective cohesion. Effective cohesion ranges are from 70 kPa to 107 kPa for 15 geologic map units, and are approximately an order of magnitude less than typical laboratory measurements, probably because laboratory tests on hand-sized specimens do not incorporate the effects of heterogeneity and fracturing that likely control near-surface strength at the hillslope scale. We find that strength among the geologic map units studied varies by less than a factor of two. However, increased weakening of units with proximity to the range front, where precipitation and active fault density are the greatest, suggests that cli- matic and tectonic factors overwhelm lithologic differences in rock strength in this high-relief tectonically active setting.

  11. A Systematic Analysis Reveals Heterogeneous Changes in the Endocytic Activities of Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Elkin, Sarah R.; Bendris, Nawal; Reis, Carlos R.; Zhou, Yunyun; Xie, Yang; Huffman, Kenneth E.; Minna, John D.; Schmid, Sandra L.

    2016-01-01

    Metastasis is a multistep process requiring cancer cell signaling, invasion, migration, survival, and proliferation. These processes require dynamic modulation of cell surface proteins by endocytosis. Given this functional connection, it has been suggested that endocytosis is dysregulated in cancer. To test this, we developed In-Cell ELISA assays to measure three different endocytic pathways: clathrin-mediated endocytosis, caveolae-mediated endocytosis, and clathrin-independent endocytosis and compared these activities using two different syngeneic models for normal and oncogene-transformed human lung epithelial cells. We found that all endocytic activities were reduced in the transformed versus normal counterparts. However, when we screened 29 independently isolated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to determine whether these changes were systematic, we observed significant heterogeneity. Nonetheless, using hierarchical clustering based on their combined endocytic properties, we identified two phenotypically distinct clusters of NSCLCs. One co-clustered with mutations in KRAS, a mesenchymal phenotype, increased invasion through collagen and decreased growth in soft agar, whereas the second was enriched in cells with an epithelial phenotype. Interestingly, the two clusters also differed significantly in clathrin-independent internalization and surface expression of CD44 and CD59. Taken together, our results suggest that endocytotic alterations in cancer cells that affect cell surface expression of critical molecules have a significant influence on cancer-relevant phenotypes, with potential implications for interventions to control cancer by modulating endocytic dynamics. PMID:26359453

  12. Measurement of action spectra of light-activated processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Justin; Zvyagin, Andrei V.; Heckenberg, Norman R.; Upcroft, Jacqui; Upcroft, Peter; Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Halina H.

    2006-01-01

    We report on a new experimental technique suitable for measurement of light-activated processes, such as fluorophore transport. The usefulness of this technique is derived from its capacity to decouple the imaging and activation processes, allowing fluorescent imaging of fluorophore transport at a convenient activation wavelength. We demonstrate the efficiency of this new technique in determination of the action spectrum of the light mediated transport of rhodamine 123 into the parasitic protozoan Giardia duodenalis.

  13. Polyethylene glycol and divalent salt-induced DNA reentrant condensation revealed by single molecule measurements.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chao; Jia, Jun-Li; Ran, Shi-Yong

    2015-05-21

    In this study, we investigated the DNA condensation induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG) with different molecular weights (PEG 600 and PEG 6000) in the presence of NaCl or MgCl2 by using magnetic tweezers (MT) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The MT measurements show that with increasing NaCl concentration, the critical condensation force in the PEG 600-DNA or PEG 6000-DNA system increased approximately linearly. PEG 6000 solution has a larger critical force than PEG 600 solution at a given NaCl concentration. In comparison, a parabolic trend of the critical condensation force was observed with increasing MgCl2 concentration, indicating that DNA undergoes a reentrant condensation. The AFM results show that the morphologies of the compacted DNA-PEG complexes depended on the salt concentration and were consistent with the MT results.

  14. One-Neutron Removal Measurement Reveals {sup 24}O as a New Doubly Magic Nucleus

    SciTech Connect

    Kanungo, R.; Perro, C.; Nociforo, C.; Aumann, T.; Geissel, H.; Gerl, J.; Kindler, B.; Litvinov, Y.; Lommel, B.; Mahata, K.; Scheidenberger, C.; Sun, B.; Weick, H.; Winkler, M.; Prochazka, A.; Farinon, F.; Knoebel, R.; Boutin, D.; Lenske, H.; Cortina-Gil, D.

    2009-04-17

    The first measurement of the momentum distribution for one-neutron removal from {sup 24}O at 920A MeV performed at GSI, Darmstadt is reported. The observed distribution has a width (FWHM) of 99{+-}4 MeV/c in the projectile rest frame and a one-neutron removal cross section of 63{+-}7 mb. The results are well explained with a nearly pure 2s{sub 1/2} neutron spectroscopic factor of 1.74{+-}0.19 within the eikonal model. This large s-wave probability shows a spherical shell closure thereby confirming earlier suggestions that {sup 24}O is a new doubly magic nucleus.

  15. Planetary science. Low-altitude magnetic field measurements by MESSENGER reveal Mercury's ancient crustal field.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Catherine L; Phillips, Roger J; Purucker, Michael E; Anderson, Brian J; Byrne, Paul K; Denevi, Brett W; Feinberg, Joshua M; Hauck, Steven A; Head, James W; Korth, Haje; James, Peter B; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A; Philpott, Lydia C; Siegler, Matthew A; Tsyganenko, Nikolai A; Solomon, Sean C

    2015-05-22

    Magnetized rocks can record the history of the magnetic field of a planet, a key constraint for understanding its evolution. From orbital vector magnetic field measurements of Mercury taken by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft at altitudes below 150 kilometers, we have detected remanent magnetization in Mercury's crust. We infer a lower bound on the average age of magnetization of 3.7 to 3.9 billion years. Our findings indicate that a global magnetic field driven by dynamo processes in the fluid outer core operated early in Mercury's history. Ancient field strengths that range from those similar to Mercury's present dipole field to Earth-like values are consistent with the magnetic field observations and with the low iron content of Mercury's crust inferred from MESSENGER elemental composition data. PMID:25953822

  16. Planetary science. Low-altitude magnetic field measurements by MESSENGER reveal Mercury's ancient crustal field.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Catherine L; Phillips, Roger J; Purucker, Michael E; Anderson, Brian J; Byrne, Paul K; Denevi, Brett W; Feinberg, Joshua M; Hauck, Steven A; Head, James W; Korth, Haje; James, Peter B; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A; Philpott, Lydia C; Siegler, Matthew A; Tsyganenko, Nikolai A; Solomon, Sean C

    2015-05-22

    Magnetized rocks can record the history of the magnetic field of a planet, a key constraint for understanding its evolution. From orbital vector magnetic field measurements of Mercury taken by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft at altitudes below 150 kilometers, we have detected remanent magnetization in Mercury's crust. We infer a lower bound on the average age of magnetization of 3.7 to 3.9 billion years. Our findings indicate that a global magnetic field driven by dynamo processes in the fluid outer core operated early in Mercury's history. Ancient field strengths that range from those similar to Mercury's present dipole field to Earth-like values are consistent with the magnetic field observations and with the low iron content of Mercury's crust inferred from MESSENGER elemental composition data.

  17. Characteristics of global precipitable water in ENSO events revealed by COSMIC measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, Wen-Hsin; Huang, Ching-Yuang; Ho, Shu-Peng; Kuo, Ying-Hwa; Zhou, Xin-Jia

    2013-08-01

    Precipitable water (PW) retrievals from FORMOSAT-3/Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) measurements were analyzed and compared with those derived from Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observation System (AMSR-E) during the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events from 2007 to 2011. For the three ENSO events in 2007-2011, monthly mean binned COSMIC PW results are in a very high correlation (up to 0.98) with those of SSM/I and AMSR-E over the ocean, generally with root-mean-square differences less than 4 mm. PW retrievals from the three satellites are also of similar latitudinal variations. However, the PW is slightly underestimated by GPS RO, in particular, in the tropical regions. This underestimate may be caused partially by the fact that not all RO measurements can reach the surface. Inter-satellite PW anomaly comparisons for the winter months in the ENSO events, with respect to those during the neutral (non-ENSO) months, show consistent ENSO signals with major PW anomaly near the central Pacific in the warm event and near the Indonesian region and east of Australia in the two cold events. However, the 2007/2008 La Niña is somewhat less correlated for COSMIC with AMSR-E and SSM/I. For the stronger 2010/2011 La Niña, their PW anomalies are in higher correlations of about 0.8.

  18. Development of the Patient Activation Measure for mental health.

    PubMed

    Green, Carla A; Perrin, Nancy A; Polen, Michael R; Leo, Michael C; Hibbard, Judith H; Tusler, Martin

    2010-07-01

    Our objective was to adapt the physical health Patient Activation Measure (PAM) for use among people with mental health conditions (PAM-MH). Data came from three studies among people with chronic mental health conditions and were combined in Rasch analyses. The PAM-MH's psychometric properties equal those of the original 13-item PAM. Test-retest reliability and concurrent validity were good, and the PAM-MH showed sensitivity to change. The PAM-MH appears to be a reliable and valid measure of patient activation among individuals with mental health problems. It appears to have potential for use in assessing change in activation. PMID:19728074

  19. Analysis of initial in-plant active neutron multiplicity measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Ensslin, N.; Krick, M.S.; Harker, W.C.

    1993-08-01

    This paper analyzes initial in-plant measurements made by active neutron multiplicity counting, a new technique currently under development for the assay of bulk uranium containing kilograms of {sup 235}U. The measurements were made at Savannah River and Y-12 using active well coincidence counters and prototype multiplicity electronics and software from Los Alamos. For one of the sets of highly enriched uranium samples measured to data, we improved the assay accuracy by an order-of-magnitude by adding the multiplicity analysis to the conventional coincidence analysis. This paper summarizes our results and describes areas where further work is needed.

  20. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Aquifer Samples Reveals Unexpected Metabolic Lifestyles Relevant to Active Biogeochemical Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beller, H. R.; Jewell, T. N. M.; Karaoz, U.; Banfield, J. F.; Brodie, E.; Williams, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    Modern molecular ecology techniques are revealing the metabolic potential of uncultivated microorganisms, but there is still much to be learned about the actual biogeochemical roles of microbes that have cultivated relatives. Here, we present metatranscriptomic and metagenomic data from a field study that provides evidence of coupled redox processes that have not been documented in cultivated relatives and, indeed, represent strains with metabolic traits that are novel with respect to closely related isolates. The data come from omics analysis of groundwater samples collected during an experiment in which nitrate (a native electron acceptor) was injected into a perennially suboxic aquifer in Rifle (CO). Transcriptional data indicated that just two groups of chemolithoautotrophic bacteria accounted for a very large portion (~80%) of overall community gene expression: (1) members of the Fe(II)-oxidizing Gallionellaceae family and (2) strains of the S-oxidizing species, Sulfurimonas denitrificans. Metabolic lifestyles for Gallionellaceae strains that were novel compared to cultivated representatives included nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidation and S oxidation. Evidence for these metabolisms included highly correlated temporal expression in binned data of nitrate reductase (e.g., narGHI) genes (which have never been reported in Gallionellaceae genomes) and Fe(II) oxidation genes (e.g., mtoA) or S oxidation genes (e.g., dsrE, aprA). Of the two most active strains of S. denitrificans, only one showed strong expression of S oxidation genes, whereas the other was apparently using an unexpected (as-yet unidentified) primary electron donor. Transcriptional data added considerable interpretive value to this study, as (1) metagenomic data would not have highlighted these organisms, which had a disproportionately large role in community metabolism relative to their populations, and (2) co-expression of coupled pathway genes could not be predicted based solely on metagenomic data.

  1. Transcriptional Analysis of a Dehalococcoides-Containing Microbial Consortium Reveals Prophage Activation

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Alison S.; Hug, Laura A.; Mo, Kaiguo; Radford, Devon R.; Maxwell, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    Chlorinated solvents are among the most prevalent groundwater contaminants in the industrialized world. Biodegradation with Dehalococcoides-containing mixed cultures is an effective remediation technology. To elucidate transcribed genes in a Dehalococcoides-containing mixed culture, a shotgun metagenome microarray was created and used to investigate gene transcription during vinyl chloride (VC) dechlorination and during starvation (no chlorinated compounds) by a microbial enrichment culture called KB-1. In both treatment conditions, methanol was amended as an electron donor. Subsequently, spots were sequenced that contained the genes most differentially transcribed between the VC-degrading and methanol-only conditions, as well as spots with the highest intensities. Sequencing revealed that during VC degradation Dehalococcoides genes involved in transcription, translation, metabolic energy generation, and amino acid and lipid metabolism and transport were overrepresented in the transcripts compared to the average Dehalococcoides genome. KB-1 rdhA14 (vcrA) was the only reductive dehalogenase homologous (RDH) gene with higher transcript levels during VC degradation, while multiple RDH genes had higher transcript levels in the absence of VC. Numerous hypothetical genes from Dehalococcoides also had higher transcript levels in methanol-only treatments, indicating that many uncharacterized proteins are involved in cell maintenance in the absence of chlorinated substrates. In addition, microarray results prompted biological experiments confirming that electron acceptor limiting conditions activated a Dehalococcoides prophage. Transcripts from Spirochaetes, Chloroflexi, Geobacter, and methanogens demonstrate the importance of non-Dehalococcoides organisms to the culture, and sequencing of identified shotgun clones of interest provided information for follow-on targeted studies. PMID:22179237

  2. Transcriptional analysis of a Dehalococcoides-containing microbial consortium reveals prophage activation.

    PubMed

    Waller, Alison S; Hug, Laura A; Mo, Kaiguo; Radford, Devon R; Maxwell, Karen L; Edwards, Elizabeth A

    2012-02-01

    Chlorinated solvents are among the most prevalent groundwater contaminants in the industrialized world. Biodegradation with Dehalococcoides-containing mixed cultures is an effective remediation technology. To elucidate transcribed genes in a Dehalococcoides-containing mixed culture, a shotgun metagenome microarray was created and used to investigate gene transcription during vinyl chloride (VC) dechlorination and during starvation (no chlorinated compounds) by a microbial enrichment culture called KB-1. In both treatment conditions, methanol was amended as an electron donor. Subsequently, spots were sequenced that contained the genes most differentially transcribed between the VC-degrading and methanol-only conditions, as well as spots with the highest intensities. Sequencing revealed that during VC degradation Dehalococcoides genes involved in transcription, translation, metabolic energy generation, and amino acid and lipid metabolism and transport were overrepresented in the transcripts compared to the average Dehalococcoides genome. KB-1 rdhA14 (vcrA) was the only reductive dehalogenase homologous (RDH) gene with higher transcript levels during VC degradation, while multiple RDH genes had higher transcript levels in the absence of VC. Numerous hypothetical genes from Dehalococcoides also had higher transcript levels in methanol-only treatments, indicating that many uncharacterized proteins are involved in cell maintenance in the absence of chlorinated substrates. In addition, microarray results prompted biological experiments confirming that electron acceptor limiting conditions activated a Dehalococcoides prophage. Transcripts from Spirochaetes, Chloroflexi, Geobacter, and methanogens demonstrate the importance of non-Dehalococcoides organisms to the culture, and sequencing of identified shotgun clones of interest provided information for follow-on targeted studies.

  3. Multichannel detrended fluctuation analysis reveals synchronized patterns of spontaneous spinal activity in anesthetized cats.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Erika E; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A; Jiménez, Ismael; Rudomín, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this study we present a multichannel version of the detrended fluctuation analysis method (mDFA) to analyze the correlation dynamics of spontaneous spinal activity (SSA) from time series analysis. This method together with the classical detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were used to find out whether the SSA recorded in one or several segments in the spinal cord of the anesthetized cat occurs either in a random or in an organized manner. Our results are consistent with a non-random organization of the sets of neurons involved in the generation of spontaneous cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) recorded either from one lumbar segment (DFA-α mean = 1.04[Formula: see text]0.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA-α mean = 1.01[Formula: see text]0.06), where α = 0.5 indicates randomness while α = 0.5 indicates long-term correlations. To test the sensitivity of the mDFA method we also examined the effects of small spinal lesions aimed to partially interrupt connectivity between neighboring lumbosacral segments. We found that the synchronization and correlation between the CDPs recorded from the L5 and L6 segments in both sides of the spinal cord were reduced when a lesion comprising the left dorsal quadrant was performed between the segments L5 and L6 (mDFA-[Formula: see text] = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA-α = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA-α = 0.924). In contrast

  4. Multichannel detrended fluctuation analysis reveals synchronized patterns of spontaneous spinal activity in anesthetized cats.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Erika E; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A; Jiménez, Ismael; Rudomín, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this study we present a multichannel version of the detrended fluctuation analysis method (mDFA) to analyze the correlation dynamics of spontaneous spinal activity (SSA) from time series analysis. This method together with the classical detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were used to find out whether the SSA recorded in one or several segments in the spinal cord of the anesthetized cat occurs either in a random or in an organized manner. Our results are consistent with a non-random organization of the sets of neurons involved in the generation of spontaneous cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) recorded either from one lumbar segment (DFA-α mean = 1.04[Formula: see text]0.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA-α mean = 1.01[Formula: see text]0.06), where α = 0.5 indicates randomness while α = 0.5 indicates long-term correlations. To test the sensitivity of the mDFA method we also examined the effects of small spinal lesions aimed to partially interrupt connectivity between neighboring lumbosacral segments. We found that the synchronization and correlation between the CDPs recorded from the L5 and L6 segments in both sides of the spinal cord were reduced when a lesion comprising the left dorsal quadrant was performed between the segments L5 and L6 (mDFA-[Formula: see text] = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA-α = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA-α = 0.924). In contrast

  5. MCG measurement in the environment of active magnetic shield.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, K; Kato, K; Kobayashi, K; Igarashi, A; Sato, T; Haga, A; Kasai, N

    2004-01-01

    MCG (Magnetocardiography) measurement by a SQUID gradiometer was attempted with only active magnetic shielding (active shielding). A three-axis-canceling-coil active shielding system, where three 16-10-16 turns-coil sets were put in the orthogonal directions, produces a homogeneous magnetic field in a considerable volume surrounding the center. Fluxgate sensors were used as the reference sensors of the system. The system can reduce environmental magnetic noise at low frequencies of less than a few Hz, at 50 Hz and at 150 Hz. Reducing such disturbances stabilizes biomagnetic measurement conditions for SQUIDs in the absence of magnetically shielded rooms (MSR). After filtering and averaging the measured MCG data by a first-order SQUID gradiometer with only the active shielding during the daytime, the QRS complex and T wave was clearly presented. PMID:16012640

  6. Measurement of actinides and strontium-90 in high activity waste

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, S.L. III; Nelson, M.R.

    1994-08-01

    The reliable measurement of trace radionuclides in high activity waste is important to support waste processing activities at SRS (F and H Area Waste Tanks, Extended Sludge Processing (ESP) and In-Tank precipitation (ITP) processing). Separation techniques are needed to remove high levels of gamma activity and alpha/beta interferences prior to analytical measurement. Using new extraction chromatographic resins from EiChrom Industries, Inc., the SRS Central Laboratory has developed new high speed separation methods that enable measurement of neptunium, thorium, uranium, plutonium, americium and strontium-90 in high activity waste solutions. Small particle size resin and applied vacuum are used to reduce analysis times and enhance column performance. Extraction chromatographic resins are easy to use and eliminate the generation of contaminated liquid organic waste.

  7. Solar irradiance measurements - Minimum through maximum solar activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, R. B., III; Gibson, M. A.; Shivakumar, N.; Wilson, R.; Kyle, H. L.; Mecherikunnel, A. T.

    1991-01-01

    The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) and the NOAA-9 spacecraft solar monitors were used to measure the total solar irradiance during the period October 1984 to December 1989. Decreasing trends in the irradiance measurements were observed as sunspot activity decreased to minimum levels in 1986; after 1986, increasing trends were observed as sunspot activity increased. The magnitude of the irradiance variability was found to be approximately 0.1 percent between sunspot minimum and maximum (late 1989). When compared with the 1984 to 1989 indices of solar magnetic activity, the irradiance trends appear to be in phase with the 11-year sunspot cycle. Both irradiance series yielded 1,365/sq Wm as the mean value of the solar irradiance, normalized to the mean earth/sun distance. The monitors are electrical substitution, active-cavity radiometers with estimated measurement precisions and accuracies of less than 0.02 and 0.2 percent, respectively.

  8. Force measurements on natural membrane nanovesicles reveal a composition-independent, high Young's modulus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calò, Annalisa; Reguera, David; Oncins, Gerard; Persuy, Marie-Annick; Sanz, Guenhaël; Lobasso, Simona; Corcelli, Angela; Pajot-Augy, Edith; Gomila, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical properties of nano-sized vesicles made up of natural membranes are crucial to the development of stable, biocompatible nanocontainers with enhanced functional, recognition and sensing capabilities. Here we measure and compare the mechanical properties of plasma and inner membrane nanovesicles ~80 nm in diameter obtained from disrupted yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. We provide evidence of a highly deformable behaviour for these vesicles, able to support repeated wall-to-wall compressions without irreversible deformations, accompanied by a noticeably high Young's modulus (~300 MPa) compared to that obtained for reconstituted artificial liposomes of similar size and approaching that of some virus particles. Surprisingly enough, the results are approximately similar for plasma and inner membrane nanovesicles, in spite of their different lipid compositions, especially on what concerns the ergosterol content. These results point towards an important structural role of membrane proteins in the mechanical response of natural membrane vesicles and open the perspective to their potential use as robust nanocontainers for bioapplications.Mechanical properties of nano-sized vesicles made up of natural membranes are crucial to the development of stable, biocompatible nanocontainers with enhanced functional, recognition and sensing capabilities. Here we measure and compare the mechanical properties of plasma and inner membrane nanovesicles ~80 nm in diameter obtained from disrupted yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. We provide evidence of a highly deformable behaviour for these vesicles, able to support repeated wall-to-wall compressions without irreversible deformations, accompanied by a noticeably high Young's modulus (~300 MPa) compared to that obtained for reconstituted artificial liposomes of similar size and approaching that of some virus particles. Surprisingly enough, the results are approximately similar for plasma and inner membrane nanovesicles, in

  9. In situ measures of foraging success and prey encounter reveal marine habitat-dependent search strategies.

    PubMed

    Thums, Michele; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Hindelli, Mark A

    2011-06-01

    Predators are thought to reduce travel speed and increase turning rate in areas where resources are relatively more abundant, a behavior termed "area-restricted search." However, evidence for this is rare, and few empirical data exist for large predators. Animals exhibiting foraging site fidelity could also be spatially aware of suitable feeding areas based on prior experience; changes in movement patterns might therefore arise from the anticipation of higher prey density. We tested the hypothesis that regions of area-restricted search were associated with a higher number of daily speed spikes (a proxy for potential prey encounter rate) and foraging success in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), a species exhibiting both area-restricted searches and high interannual foraging site fidelity. We used onshore morphological measurements and diving data from archival tags deployed during winter foraging trips. Foraging success was inferred from in situ changes in relative lipid content derived from measured changes in buoyancy, and first-passage time analysis was used to identify area-restricted search behavior. Seals exhibited relatively direct southerly movement on average, with intensive search behavior predominantly located at the distal end of tracks. The probability of being in search mode was positively related to changes in relative lipid content; thus, intensively searched areas were associated with the highest foraging success. However, there was high foraging success during the outward transit even though seals moved through quickly without slowing down and increasing turning rate to exploit these areas. In addition, the probability of being in search mode was negatively related to the number of daily speed spikes. These results suggest that movement patterns represent a response to prior expectation of the location of predictable and profitable resources. Shelf habitat was 4-9 times more profitable than the other habitats, emphasizing the importance

  10. Microvascular pressure measurement reveals a coronary vascular waterfall in arterioles larger than 110 microm.

    PubMed

    Versluis, J P; Heslinga, J W; Sipkema, P; Westerhof, N

    2001-11-01

    Pressure-flow relationships at the entrance of the coronary circulation in the diastolic myocardium exhibit a zero-flow pressure intercept (P(int)). We tested whether this intercept is the same throughout the vascular bed. Microvascular pressure-flow relationships were therefore measured in vessels of various sizes of the maximally dilated vasculature of perfused unstimulated papillary muscle using the servo-null technique. From these relationships, P(int) were calculated with nonlinear regression. The P(int) at the level of the septal artery (diameter, 150-250 microm) was 23.2 +/- 4.4 cmH2O (n = 12). In arterioles with a diameter range between 24 and 110 microm, P(int) was 1.7 +/- 0.5 cmH2O (n = 6, P < 0.01), significantly lower than in the septal artery but significantly higher than zero, and not dependent on vessel size. In venules with the same diameters, P(int) was 1.1 +/- 1.1 cmH2O (n = 4), which was not different from zero. We conclude that, in the dilated vascular bed of the papillary muscle, two vascular waterfalls are found. The first waterfall is located in arterioles between 150 and 110 microm. The second waterfall is probably located in the small postcapillary venules. PMID:11668051

  11. Gel-expanded to gel-condensed transition in neurofilament networks revealed by direct force measurements.

    PubMed

    Beck, Roy; Deek, Joanna; Jones, Jayna B; Safinya, Cyrus R

    2010-01-01

    Neurofilaments (NF)--the principal cytoskeletal constituent of myelinated axons in vertebrates--consist of three molecular-weight subunit proteins NF-L (low), NF-M (medium) and NF-H (high), assembled to form mature filaments with protruding unstructured C-terminus side arms. Liquid-crystal gel networks of side-arm-mediated neurofilament assemblies have a key role in the mechanical stability of neuronal processes. Disruptions of the neurofilament network, owing to neurofilament over-accumulation or incorrect side-arm interactions, are a hallmark of motor-neuron diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Using synchrotron X-ray scattering, we report on a direct measurement of forces in reconstituted neurofilament gels under osmotic pressure (P). With increasing pressure near physiological salt and average phosphorylation conditions, NF-LMH, comprising the three subunits near in vivo composition, or NF-LH gels, undergo for P > P(c) approximately 10 kPa, an abrupt non-reversible gel-expanded to gel-condensed transition. The transition indicates side-arm-mediated attractions between neurofilaments consistent with an electrostatic model of interpenetrating chains. In contrast, NF-LM gels remain in a collapsed state for P < P(c) and transition to the gel-condensed state at P > P(c). These findings, which delineate the distinct roles of NF-M and NF-H in regulating neurofilament interactions, shed light on possible mechanisms for disruptions of optimal mechanical network properties. PMID:19915555

  12. Nematic quantum criticality in FeSe1-x Sx revealed by elastoresistance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosoi, Suguru; Matsuura, Kohei; Wang, Hao; Ishida, Kousuke; Mizukami, Yuta; Watashige, Tatsuya; Kasahara, Shigeru; Matsuda, Yuji; Shibauchi, Takasada

    Electronic nematicity and its connection to the high-temperature superconductivity is one of the central issues in iron-based superconductors. Among them, FeSe is unique in that it exhibits a tetragonal-to-orthorhombic structural transition but no antiferromagnetic order, which enables us to study the nematicity without the effect of magnetism. Here we report on elastoresistance measurements in FeSe1- x Sx evidencing a nonmagnetic nematic quantum critical point near x ~ 0.2. When the Se site is substituted by the isovalent S, the structural transition temperature is reduced gradually and it vanishes above x ~ 0.2. From the changes in in-plane resistivity induced by anisotropic strain, we evaluate the nematic susceptibility which shows Curie-Weiss-like temperature dependence. We find that with increasing x the Weiss temperature changes its sign indicating a quantum critical point, while there is no sign of antiferromagnetism for all samples. The superconducting transition temperature does not show a significant change with S concentration, suggesting that the nonmagnetic nematic quantum criticality does not help to enhance superconductivity in this system.

  13. Fluorescence measurements reveal stoichiometry of K+ channels formed by modulatory and delayed rectifier alpha-subunits.

    PubMed

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel; Soto, Florentina; Stocker, Martin

    2005-04-26

    Modulatory alpha-subunits, which comprise one-fourth of all voltagegated K(+) channel (Kv) alpha-subunits, do not assemble into homomeric channels, but selectively associate with delayed rectifier Kv2 subunits to form heteromeric channels of unknown stoichiometry. Their distinct expression patterns and unique functional properties have made these channels candidate molecular correlates for a broad set of native K(+) currents. Here, we combine FRET and electrophysiological measurements to determine the stoichiometry and geometry of heteromeric channels composed of the delayed rectifier Kv2.1 subunit and the modulatory Kv9.3 alpha-subunit. Kv channel alpha-subunits were fused with GFP variants, and heteromerization of different combinations of tagged and untagged alpha-subunits was studied. FRET, evaluated by acceptor photobleaching, was only observed upon formation of functional channels. Our results, obtained from two independent experimental paradigms, suggest the formation of heteromeric Kv2.1/Kv9.3 channels of fixed stoichiometry consisting of three Kv2.1 subunits and one Kv9.3 subunit. Strikingly, despite this uneven stoichiometry, we find that heteromeric Kv2.1/Kv9.3 channels maintain a pseudosymmetric arrangement of subunits around the central pore. PMID:15827117

  14. Fluorescence measurements reveal stoichiometry of K+ channels formed by modulatory and delayed rectifier α-subunits

    PubMed Central

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel; Soto, Florentina; Stocker, Martin

    2005-01-01

    Modulatory α-subunits, which comprise one-fourth of all voltagegated K+ channel (Kv) α-subunits, do not assemble into homomeric channels, but selectively associate with delayed rectifier Kv2 subunits to form heteromeric channels of unknown stoichiometry. Their distinct expression patterns and unique functional properties have made these channels candidate molecular correlates for a broad set of native K+ currents. Here, we combine FRET and electrophysiological measurements to determine the stoichiometry and geometry of heteromeric channels composed of the delayed rectifier Kv2.1 subunit and the modulatory Kv9.3 α-subunit. Kv channel α-subunits were fused with GFP variants, and heteromerization of different combinations of tagged and untagged α-subunits was studied. FRET, evaluated by acceptor photobleaching, was only observed upon formation of functional channels. Our results, obtained from two independent experimental paradigms, suggest the formation of heteromeric Kv2.1/Kv9.3 channels of fixed stoichiometry consisting of three Kv2.1 subunits and one Kv9.3 subunit. Strikingly, despite this uneven stoichiometry, we find that heteromeric Kv2.1/Kv9.3 channels maintain a pseudosymmetric arrangement of subunits around the central pore. PMID:15827117

  15. Microvascular pressure measurement reveals a coronary vascular waterfall in arterioles larger than 110 microm.

    PubMed

    Versluis, J P; Heslinga, J W; Sipkema, P; Westerhof, N

    2001-11-01

    Pressure-flow relationships at the entrance of the coronary circulation in the diastolic myocardium exhibit a zero-flow pressure intercept (P(int)). We tested whether this intercept is the same throughout the vascular bed. Microvascular pressure-flow relationships were therefore measured in vessels of various sizes of the maximally dilated vasculature of perfused unstimulated papillary muscle using the servo-null technique. From these relationships, P(int) were calculated with nonlinear regression. The P(int) at the level of the septal artery (diameter, 150-250 microm) was 23.2 +/- 4.4 cmH2O (n = 12). In arterioles with a diameter range between 24 and 110 microm, P(int) was 1.7 +/- 0.5 cmH2O (n = 6, P < 0.01), significantly lower than in the septal artery but significantly higher than zero, and not dependent on vessel size. In venules with the same diameters, P(int) was 1.1 +/- 1.1 cmH2O (n = 4), which was not different from zero. We conclude that, in the dilated vascular bed of the papillary muscle, two vascular waterfalls are found. The first waterfall is located in arterioles between 150 and 110 microm. The second waterfall is probably located in the small postcapillary venules.

  16. SANS measurements of semiflexible xyloglucan polysaccharide chains in water reveal their self-avoiding statistics.

    PubMed

    Muller, François; Manet, Sabine; Jean, Bruno; Chambat, Gérard; Boué, François; Heux, Laurent; Cousin, Fabrice

    2011-09-12

    We explored the behavior and the characteristics of xyloglucan polysaccharide chains extracted from tamarind seeds in aqueous media. The initial solubilization is achieved by using a 0.01 M NaOH solution. The absence of compact aggregates in the solution and the average molecular mass of the individual chains were unambiguously demonstrated by size exclusion chromatography with multi-angle light scattering detection. The composition and the stability of the solution were quantitatively checked over weeks by using liquid state nuclear magnetic resonance with DMSO as internal standard. The conformational characteristics of the chains were measured using nondestructive small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The unambiguous determination of the Flory exponent (ν = 0.588) by SANS enabled us to directly prove that xyloglucan chains in water behave like semiflexible worm-like chains with excluded volume statistics (good solvent), contrary to most of the neutral water-soluble polymer chains that rather exhibit Gaussian statistics (θ-solvent). In addition to the Flory exponent, the persistence length l(p) and the cross section of the chains were also determined by SANS with utmost precision, with values of 80 and of 7 Å, respectively, which provides a complete description of the conformational characteristics of XG chains at all relevant length scales.

  17. SANS measurements of semiflexible xyloglucan polysaccharide chains in water reveal their self-avoiding statistics.

    PubMed

    Muller, François; Manet, Sabine; Jean, Bruno; Chambat, Gérard; Boué, François; Heux, Laurent; Cousin, Fabrice

    2011-09-12

    We explored the behavior and the characteristics of xyloglucan polysaccharide chains extracted from tamarind seeds in aqueous media. The initial solubilization is achieved by using a 0.01 M NaOH solution. The absence of compact aggregates in the solution and the average molecular mass of the individual chains were unambiguously demonstrated by size exclusion chromatography with multi-angle light scattering detection. The composition and the stability of the solution were quantitatively checked over weeks by using liquid state nuclear magnetic resonance with DMSO as internal standard. The conformational characteristics of the chains were measured using nondestructive small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The unambiguous determination of the Flory exponent (ν = 0.588) by SANS enabled us to directly prove that xyloglucan chains in water behave like semiflexible worm-like chains with excluded volume statistics (good solvent), contrary to most of the neutral water-soluble polymer chains that rather exhibit Gaussian statistics (θ-solvent). In addition to the Flory exponent, the persistence length l(p) and the cross section of the chains were also determined by SANS with utmost precision, with values of 80 and of 7 Å, respectively, which provides a complete description of the conformational characteristics of XG chains at all relevant length scales. PMID:21806009

  18. Gel-expanded to gel-condensed transition in neurofilament networks revealed by direct force measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, Roy; Deek, Joanna; Jones, Jayna B.; Safinya, Cyrus R.

    2010-01-01

    Neurofilaments (NF)-the principal cytoskeletal constituent of myelinated axons in vertebrates-consist of three molecular-weight subunit proteins NF-L (low), NF-M (medium) and NF-H (high), assembled to form mature filaments with protruding unstructured C-terminus side arms. Liquid-crystal gel networks of side-arm-mediated neurofilament assemblies have a key role in the mechanical stability of neuronal processes. Disruptions of the neurofilament network, owing to neurofilament over-accumulation or incorrect side-arm interactions, are a hallmark of motor-neuron diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Using synchrotron X-ray scattering, we report on a direct measurement of forces in reconstituted neurofilament gels under osmotic pressure (P). With increasing pressure near physiological salt and average phosphorylation conditions, NF-LMH, comprising the three subunits near in vivo composition, or NF-LH gels, undergo for P>Pc~10kPa, an abrupt non-reversible gel-expanded to gel-condensed transition. The transition indicates side-arm-mediated attractions between neurofilaments consistent with an electrostatic model of interpenetrating chains. In contrast, NF-LM gels remain in a collapsed state for PPc. These findings, which delineate the distinct roles of NF-M and NF-H in regulating neurofilament interactions, shed light on possible mechanisms for disruptions of optimal mechanical network properties.

  19. Airborne methane remote measurements reveal heavy-tail flux distribution in Four Corners region

    PubMed Central

    Thorpe, Andrew K.; Thompson, David R.; Hulley, Glynn; Kort, Eric Adam; Vance, Nick; Borchardt, Jakob; Krings, Thomas; Gerilowski, Konstantin; Sweeney, Colm; Conley, Stephen; Bue, Brian D.; Aubrey, Andrew D.; Hook, Simon; Green, Robert O.

    2016-01-01

    Methane (CH4) impacts climate as the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and air quality by influencing tropospheric ozone levels. Space-based observations have identified the Four Corners region in the Southwest United States as an area of large CH4 enhancements. We conducted an airborne campaign in Four Corners during April 2015 with the next-generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (near-infrared) and Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (thermal infrared) imaging spectrometers to better understand the source of methane by measuring methane plumes at 1- to 3-m spatial resolution. Our analysis detected more than 250 individual methane plumes from fossil fuel harvesting, processing, and distributing infrastructures, spanning an emission range from the detection limit ∼ 2 kg/h to 5 kg/h through ∼ 5,000 kg/h. Observed sources include gas processing facilities, storage tanks, pipeline leaks, and well pads, as well as a coal mine venting shaft. Overall, plume enhancements and inferred fluxes follow a lognormal distribution, with the top 10% emitters contributing 49 to 66% to the inferred total point source flux of 0.23 Tg/y to 0.39 Tg/y. With the observed confirmation of a lognormal emission distribution, this airborne observing strategy and its ability to locate previously unknown point sources in real time provides an efficient and effective method to identify and mitigate major emissions contributors over a wide geographic area. With improved instrumentation, this capability scales to spaceborne applications [Thompson DR, et al. (2016) Geophys Res Lett 43(12):6571–6578]. Further illustration of this potential is demonstrated with two detected, confirmed, and repaired pipeline leaks during the campaign. PMID:27528660

  20. Airborne methane remote measurements reveal heavy-tail flux distribution in Four Corners region.

    PubMed

    Frankenberg, Christian; Thorpe, Andrew K; Thompson, David R; Hulley, Glynn; Kort, Eric Adam; Vance, Nick; Borchardt, Jakob; Krings, Thomas; Gerilowski, Konstantin; Sweeney, Colm; Conley, Stephen; Bue, Brian D; Aubrey, Andrew D; Hook, Simon; Green, Robert O

    2016-08-30

    Methane (CH4) impacts climate as the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and air quality by influencing tropospheric ozone levels. Space-based observations have identified the Four Corners region in the Southwest United States as an area of large CH4 enhancements. We conducted an airborne campaign in Four Corners during April 2015 with the next-generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (near-infrared) and Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (thermal infrared) imaging spectrometers to better understand the source of methane by measuring methane plumes at 1- to 3-m spatial resolution. Our analysis detected more than 250 individual methane plumes from fossil fuel harvesting, processing, and distributing infrastructures, spanning an emission range from the detection limit [Formula: see text] 2 kg/h to 5 kg/h through [Formula: see text] 5,000 kg/h. Observed sources include gas processing facilities, storage tanks, pipeline leaks, and well pads, as well as a coal mine venting shaft. Overall, plume enhancements and inferred fluxes follow a lognormal distribution, with the top 10% emitters contributing 49 to 66% to the inferred total point source flux of 0.23 Tg/y to 0.39 Tg/y. With the observed confirmation of a lognormal emission distribution, this airborne observing strategy and its ability to locate previously unknown point sources in real time provides an efficient and effective method to identify and mitigate major emissions contributors over a wide geographic area. With improved instrumentation, this capability scales to spaceborne applications [Thompson DR, et al. (2016) Geophys Res Lett 43(12):6571-6578]. Further illustration of this potential is demonstrated with two detected, confirmed, and repaired pipeline leaks during the campaign. PMID:27528660

  1. Microelectrode measurements of the activity distribution in nitrifying bacterial aggregates

    SciTech Connect

    Beer, D. de; Heuval, J.C. van den; Ottengraf, S.P.P. )

    1993-02-01

    Environmental problems caused by strongly increased ammonium emission by intensive agricultural and industrial activities, wastewater and waste gas purification plants are being redesigned. Since the growth rates and biomass yields of nitrifying organisms are low, their application in continuous-flow processes requires efficient retention of biomass, and development of bacterial aggregates with good settling properties is needed. In this study microelectrodes were used to study the activity distribution of bacterial aggregates in a biological fluidized-bed nitrification reactor with an external aerator. Measurements of ammonium, oxygen, nitrate, and pH were made. Results included the following: biomass yield was close to expected; the active nitrifying zone was limited to the outer 100 to 120 [mu]m of the aggregates; distribution of activity was determined by the penetration depth of oxygen during aggregate development; measurements of activity required the use of ammonium or nitrate microelectrodes, not oxygen microelectrodes alone. 32 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. Altered Spontaneous Activity in Patients with Persistent Somatoform Pain Disorder Revealed by Regional Homogeneity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tianming; Zhao, Zhiyong; Yan, Chao; Lu, Jing; Li, Xuzhou; Tang, Chaozheng; Fan, Mingxia; Luo, Yanli

    2016-01-01

    Persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD) is a mental disorder un-associated with any somatic injury and can cause severe somatosensory and emotional impairments in patients. However, so far, the neuro-pathophysiological mechanism of the functional impairments in PSPD is still unclear. The present study assesses the difference in regional spontaneous activity between PSPD and healthy controls (HC) during a resting state, in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD. Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were obtained from 13 PSPD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched HC subjects in this study. Kendall's coefficient of concordance was used to measure regional homogeneity (ReHo), and a two-sample t-test was subsequently performed to investigate the ReHo difference between PSPD and HC. Additionally, the correlations between the mean ReHo of each survived area and the clinical assessments were further analyzed. Compared with the HC group, patients with PSPD exhibited decreased ReHo in the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex, posterior cerebellum, and occipital lobe, while increased ReHo in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and default mode network (including the medial PFC, right inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and left supramarginal gyrus). In addition, significant positive correlations were found between the mean ReHo of both right IPL and left supramarginal gyrus and participants' Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) scores, and between the mean ReHo of the left middle frontal gyrus and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores. Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity in specific brain regions during a resting state may be associated with the dysfunctions in pain, memory and emotional processing commonly observed in patients with PSPD. These findings help us to understand the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD and suggest that the ReHo metric could be used as a clinical marker for PSPD. PMID:26977802

  3. Altered Spontaneous Activity in Patients with Persistent Somatoform Pain Disorder Revealed by Regional Homogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Chao; Lu, Jing; Li, Xuzhou; Tang, Chaozheng; Fan, Mingxia; Luo, Yanli

    2016-01-01

    Persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD) is a mental disorder un-associated with any somatic injury and can cause severe somatosensory and emotional impairments in patients. However, so far, the neuro-pathophysiological mechanism of the functional impairments in PSPD is still unclear. The present study assesses the difference in regional spontaneous activity between PSPD and healthy controls (HC) during a resting state, in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD. Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were obtained from 13 PSPD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched HC subjects in this study. Kendall’s coefficient of concordance was used to measure regional homogeneity (ReHo), and a two-sample t-test was subsequently performed to investigate the ReHo difference between PSPD and HC. Additionally, the correlations between the mean ReHo of each survived area and the clinical assessments were further analyzed. Compared with the HC group, patients with PSPD exhibited decreased ReHo in the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex, posterior cerebellum, and occipital lobe, while increased ReHo in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and default mode network (including the medial PFC, right inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and left supramarginal gyrus). In addition, significant positive correlations were found between the mean ReHo of both right IPL and left supramarginal gyrus and participants’ Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) scores, and between the mean ReHo of the left middle frontal gyrus and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores. Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity in specific brain regions during a resting state may be associated with the dysfunctions in pain, memory and emotional processing commonly observed in patients with PSPD. These findings help us to understand the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD and suggest that the ReHo metric could be used as a clinical marker for PSPD. PMID:26977802

  4. Advanced Active-Magnetic-Bearing Thrust-Measurement System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imlach, Joseph; Kasarda, Mary; Blumber, Eric

    2008-01-01

    An advanced thrust-measurement system utilizes active magnetic bearings to both (1) levitate a floating frame in all six degrees of freedom and (2) measure the levitation forces between the floating frame and a grounded frame. This system was developed for original use in measuring the thrust exerted by a rocket engine mounted on the floating frame, but can just as well be used in other force-measurement applications. This system offers several advantages over prior thrust-measurement systems based on mechanical support by flexures and/or load cells: The system includes multiple active magnetic bearings for each degree of freedom, so that by selective use of one, some, or all of these bearings, it is possible to test a given article over a wide force range in the same fixture, eliminating the need to transfer the article to different test fixtures to obtain the benefit of full-scale accuracy of different force-measurement devices for different force ranges. Like other active magnetic bearings, the active magnetic bearings of this system include closed-loop control subsystems, through which the stiffness and damping characteristics of the magnetic bearings can be modified electronically. The design of the system minimizes or eliminates cross-axis force-measurement errors. The active magnetic bearings are configured to provide support against movement along all three orthogonal Cartesian axes, and such that the support along a given axis does not produce force along any other axis. Moreover, by eliminating the need for such mechanical connections as flexures used in prior thrust-measurement systems, magnetic levitation of the floating frame eliminates what would otherwise be major sources of cross-axis forces and the associated measurement errors. Overall, relative to prior mechanical-support thrust-measurement systems, this system offers greater versatility for adaptation to a variety of test conditions and requirements. The basic idea of most prior active

  5. Assessing Built Environment Walkability using Activity-Space Summary Measures

    PubMed Central

    Tribby, Calvin P.; Miller, Harvey J.; Brown, Barbara B.; Werner, Carol M.; Smith, Ken R.

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing emphasis on active transportation, such as walking, in transportation planning as a sustainable form of mobility and in public health as a means of achieving recommended physical activity and better health outcomes. A research focus is the influence of the built environment on walking, with the ultimate goal of identifying environmental modifications that invite more walking. However, assessments of the built environment for walkability are typically at a spatially disaggregate level (such as street blocks) or at a spatially aggregate level (such as census block groups). A key issue is determining the spatial units for walkability measures so that they reflect potential walking behavior. This paper develops methods for assessing walkability within individual activity spaces: the geographic region accessible to an individual during a given walking trip. We first estimate street network-based activity spaces using the shortest path between known trip starting/ending points and a travel time budget that reflects potential alternative paths. Based on objective walkability measures of the street blocks, we use three summary measures for walkability within activity spaces: i) the average walkability score across block segments (representing the general level of walkability in the activity space); ii) the standard deviation (representing the walkability variation), and; iii) the network autocorrelation (representing the spatial coherence of the walkability pattern). We assess the method using data from an empirical study of built environment walkability and walking behavior in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. We visualize and map these activity space summary measures to compare walkability among individuals’ trips within their neighborhoods. We also compare summary measures for activity spaces versus census block groups, with the result that they agree less than half of the time. PMID:27213027

  6. Structure of recombinant Leishmania donovani pteridine reductase reveals a disordered active site

    PubMed Central

    Barrack, Keri L.; Tulloch, Lindsay B.; Burke, Lynsey-Ann; Fyfe, Paul K.; Hunter, William N.

    2011-01-01

    Pteridine reductase (PTR1) is a potential target for drug development against parasitic Trypanosoma and Leishmania species, protozoa that are responsible for a range of serious diseases found in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. As part of a structure-based approach to inhibitor development, specifically targeting Leishmania species, well ordered crystals of L. donovani PTR1 were sought to support the characterization of complexes formed with inhibitors. An efficient system for recombinant protein production was prepared and the enzyme was purified and crystallized in an orthorhombic form with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. Diffraction data were measured to 2.5 Å resolution and the structure was solved by molecular replacement. However, a sulfate occupies a phosphate-binding site used by NADPH and occludes cofactor binding. The nicotinamide moiety is a critical component of the active site and without it this part of the structure is disordered. The crystal form obtained under these conditions is therefore unsuitable for the characterization of inhibitor complexes. PMID:21206018

  7. Actinomycin D binding mode reveals the basis for its potent HIV-1 and cancer activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramanathan, Thayaparan; Vladescu, Ioana D.; McCauley, Micah J.; Rouzina, Ioulia; Williams, Mark C.

    2011-03-01

    Actinomycin D (ActD) is one of the most studied antibiotics, which has been used as an anti-cancer agent and also shown to inhibit HIV reverse transcription. Initial studies with ActD established that it intercalates double stranded DNA (dsDNA). However, recent studies have shown that ActD binds with even higher affinity to single stranded DNA (ssDNA). In our studies we use optical tweezers to stretch and hold single dsDNA molecule at constant force in the presence of varying ActD concentrations until the binding reaches equilibrium. The change in dsDNA length upon ActD binding measured as a function of time yields the rate of binding in addition to the equilibrium lengthening of DNA. The results suggest extremely slow kinetics, on the order of several minutes and 0.52 +/- 0.06 μ M binding affinity. Holding DNA at constant force while stretching and relaxing suggests that ActD binds to two single strands that are close to each other rather than to pure dsDNA or ssDNA. This suggests that biological activity of ActD that contributes towards the inhibition of cellular replication is due to its ability to bind at DNA bubbles during RNA transcription, thereby stalling the transcription process.

  8. Prefrontal activation during two Japanese Stroop tasks revealed with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yukina; Sumitani, Satsuki; Hosokawa, Mai; Ohmori, Tetsuro

    2015-01-01

    The Stroop task is sometimes used in psychiatric research to elicit prefrontal activity, which presumably reflects cognitive functioning. Although there are two Stroop tasks (Kana script and Kanji script) in Japan, it is unclear whether these tasks elicit the same hemoglobin changes. Moreover, it is unclear whether psychological conditions or characteristics influence hemoglobin changes in the Japanese Stroop task. The aim of this study was to clarify whether hemoglobin changes elicited by the two Japanese Stroop tasks accurately reflected cognitive functioning. Hemoglobin changes were measured with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in 100 healthy Japanese participants performing two Japanese Stroop tasks. The Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Maudsley Obsessive Compulsive Inventory (MOCI) were administered to participants to identify psychological conditions or personality characteristics. Compared with the Kanji task, the Kana task produced a greater Stroop effect and a larger increase in oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration. Moreover there were no significant correlations between oxy-Hb concentration and BDI, STAI-trait, STAI-state, or MOCI scores. Therefore we found that a participant's psychological conditions or characteristics did not influence the hemodynamic changes during either task. These data suggest the Kana Stroop task is more useful than the Kanji Stroop task for NIRS studies in psychiatric research.

  9. Measure for Measure: What Combining Diverse Measures Reveals about Children's Understanding of the Equal Sign as An Indicator of Mathematical Equality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Percival; Rittle-Johnson, Bethany; McEldoon, Katherine; Taylor, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of the equal sign as an indicator of mathematical equality is foundational to children's mathematical development and serves as a key link between arithmetic and algebra. The current findings reaffirmed a past finding that diverse items can be integrated onto a single scale, revealed the wide variability in children's knowledge of the…

  10. Viscous roots of active seismogenic faults revealed by geologic slip rate variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, P. A.; Scholz, C. H.; Roberts, G.; Faure Walker, J.; Steer, P.

    2013-12-01

    Viscous flow at depth contributes to elastic strain accumulation along seismogenic faults during both post-seismic and inter-seismic phases of the earthquake cycle. Evaluating the importance of this contribution is hampered by uncertainties regarding (i) the extent to which viscous deformation occurs in shear zones or by distributed flow within the crust and/or upper mantle, and (ii) the value of the exponent, n, in the flow law that relates strain rate to applied stress. Geodetic data, rock deformation experiments, and field observations of exhumed (inactive) faults provide strong evidence for non-linear viscous flow but may not fully capture the long term, in situ behaviour of active fault zones. Here we demonstrate that strain rates derived from Holocene offsets on seismogenic normal faults in the actively uplifting and extending central and southern Italian Apennines may be used to address this issue. The measured strain rates, averaged over a time scale of 104 years, exhibit a well-defined power-law dependence on topographic elevation with a power-law exponent ≈ 3.0 (2.7 - 3.4 at 95% CI; 2.3 - 4.0 at 99% CI). Contemporary seismicity indicates that the upper crust in this area is at the threshold for frictional failure within an extensional stress field and therefore differential stress is directly proportional to elevation. Our data thus imply a relationship between strain rate and stress that is consistent with non-linear viscous flow, with n ≈ 3, but because the measurements are derived from slip along major crustal faults they do not represent deformation of a continuum. We know that, down-dip of the seismogenic part of active faults, cataclasis, hydrous alteration, and shear heating all contribute to grain size reduction and material weakening. These processes initiate localisation at the frictional-viscous transition and the development of mylonitic shear zones within the viscous regime. Furthermore, in quartzo-feldspathic crust, mylonites form a

  11. PCNA immunoreactivity revealing normal proliferative activity in the brain of an adult Elasmobranch, Torpedo marmorata.

    PubMed

    Margotta, Vito

    2007-01-01

    The brain of adult heterothermic vertebrates can be already provided of quiescent cells, scattered ("matrix cells") and/or clustered ("matrix areas"). These typical cells, in some regions located at or near ventricular surfaces and at peri-ependymal layers, in other territories populating their framework, maintain some embryonic properties and are responsible of normal or variously experimentally induced proliferative activities. On these topics there are a great number of reports concerning Teleostean Osteichthyes, Urodele and Anuran Amphibians, Lacertilian Reptiles. At the contrary, only few are the contributions regarding the Petromyzontidae. Involving an immunocytochemical marker, the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA), revealing proliferative events, in the last years we have undertaken a reappraisal focused on these encephalic performances in normal adult poikilothermal vertebrates. To provide a valid comparison between our results and the literature data, our choice of the specimens was based on the desire to employ organisms belonging to the same or phylogenetically close species used by previous Authors in similar studies. In our immunocytochemical panorama there is a substantial agreement between our contributions and bibliographic references concerning natural encephalic proliferative phenomena in these vertebrates. At this point of our study, the last missing piece was represented by the Chondrichthyes about which the literature data are lacking. In order to fill this gap, the aim of the present research is to investigate, involving the same PCNA test, whether proliferative events also persist in the brain of adult cartilaginous fishes. The immunostaining images obtained in the Elasmo branch Torpedo marmorata, well-known for the emission of high electrical discharges, exhibit undifferentiated cells in relationship with the ependymal epithelium lining the cavities of all cerebral districts; some other neuroblasts are scattered in the mesencephalic

  12. Microbial metabolic activity in soil as measured by dehydrogenase determinations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Casida, L. E., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    The dehydrogenase technique for measuring the metabolic activity of microorganisms in soil was modified to use a 6-h, 37 C incubation with either glucose or yeast extract as the electron-donating substrate. The rate of formazan production remained constant during this time interval, and cellular multiplication apparently did not occur. The technique was used to follow changes in the overall metabolic activities of microorganisms in soil undergoing incubation with a limiting concentration of added nutrient. The sequence of events was similar to that obtained by using the Warburg respirometer to measure O2 consumption. However, the major peaks of activity occurred earlier with the respirometer. This possibly is due to the lack of atmospheric CO2 during the O2 consumption measurements.

  13. Novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based reporter reveals differential calcineurin activation in neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Bazzazi, Hojjat; Sang, Lingjie; Dick, Ivy E; Joshi-Mukherjee, Rosy; Yang, Wanjun; Yue, David T

    2015-09-01

    Novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based genetically encoded reporters of calcineurin are constructed by fusing the two subunits of calcineurin with P2A-based linkers retaining the expected native conformation of calcineurin. Calcineurin reporters display robust responses to calcium transients in HEK293 cells. The sensor responses are correlated with NFATc1 translocation dynamics in HEK293 cells. The sensors are uniformly distributed in neonatal myocytes and respond efficiently to single electrically evoked calcium transients and show cumulative activation at frequencies of 0.5 and 1 Hz. In adult myocytes, the calcineurin sensors appear to be localized to the cardiac z-lines, and respond to cumulative calcium transients at frequencies of 0.5 and 1 Hz. The phosphatase calcineurin is a central component of many calcium signalling pathways, relaying calcium signals from the plasma membrane to the nucleus. It has critical functions in a multitude of systems, including immune, cardiac and neuronal. Given the widespread importance of calcineurin in both normal and pathological conditions, new tools that elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of calcineurin activity would be invaluable. Here we develop two separate genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based sensors of calcineurin activation, DuoCaN and UniCaN. Both sensors showcase a large dynamic range and rapid response kinetics, differing primarily in the linker structure between the FRET pairs. Both sensors were calibrated in HEK293 cells and their responses correlated well with NFAT translocation to the nucleus, validating the biological relevance of the sensor readout. The sensors were subsequently expressed in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes and acutely isolated adult guinea pig ventricular myocytes. Both sensors demonstrated robust responses in myocytes and revealed kinetic differences in calcineurin activation during changes in pacing rate for neonatal versus adult myocytes

  14. Novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based reporter reveals differential calcineurin activation in neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Bazzazi, Hojjat; Sang, Lingjie; Dick, Ivy E; Joshi-Mukherjee, Rosy; Yang, Wanjun; Yue, David T

    2015-09-01

    Novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based genetically encoded reporters of calcineurin are constructed by fusing the two subunits of calcineurin with P2A-based linkers retaining the expected native conformation of calcineurin. Calcineurin reporters display robust responses to calcium transients in HEK293 cells. The sensor responses are correlated with NFATc1 translocation dynamics in HEK293 cells. The sensors are uniformly distributed in neonatal myocytes and respond efficiently to single electrically evoked calcium transients and show cumulative activation at frequencies of 0.5 and 1 Hz. In adult myocytes, the calcineurin sensors appear to be localized to the cardiac z-lines, and respond to cumulative calcium transients at frequencies of 0.5 and 1 Hz. The phosphatase calcineurin is a central component of many calcium signalling pathways, relaying calcium signals from the plasma membrane to the nucleus. It has critical functions in a multitude of systems, including immune, cardiac and neuronal. Given the widespread importance of calcineurin in both normal and pathological conditions, new tools that elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of calcineurin activity would be invaluable. Here we develop two separate genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based sensors of calcineurin activation, DuoCaN and UniCaN. Both sensors showcase a large dynamic range and rapid response kinetics, differing primarily in the linker structure between the FRET pairs. Both sensors were calibrated in HEK293 cells and their responses correlated well with NFAT translocation to the nucleus, validating the biological relevance of the sensor readout. The sensors were subsequently expressed in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes and acutely isolated adult guinea pig ventricular myocytes. Both sensors demonstrated robust responses in myocytes and revealed kinetic differences in calcineurin activation during changes in pacing rate for neonatal versus adult myocytes

  15. An Alternative Measure of Solar Activity from Detailed Sunspot Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muraközy, J.; Baranyi, T.; Ludmány, A.

    2016-05-01

    The sunspot number is analyzed by using detailed sunspot data, including aspects of observability, sunspot sizes, and proper identification of sunspot groups as discrete entities of solar activity. The tests show that in addition to the subjective factors there are also objective causes of the ambiguities in the series of sunspot numbers. To introduce an alternative solar-activity measure, the physical meaning of the sunspot number has to be reconsidered. It contains two components whose numbers are governed by different physical mechanisms and this is one source of the ambiguity. This article suggests an activity index, which is the amount of emerged magnetic flux. The only long-term proxy measure is the detailed sunspot-area dataset with proper calibration to the magnetic flux. The Debrecen sunspot databases provide an appropriate source for the establishment of the suggested activity index.

  16. First fusion proton measurements in TEXTOR plasmas using activation technique

    SciTech Connect

    Bonheure, G.; Wassenhove, G. Van; Mlynar, J.; Hult, M.; Gonzalez de Orduna, R.; Lutter, G.; Vermaercke, P.; Huber, A.; Schweer, B.; Esser, G.; Biel, W.

    2012-10-15

    MeV particle loss measurements from fusion plasmas, in particular alpha particles, remain difficult in large fusion devices and further R and D is needed for ITER. This paper describes the first attempt to measure 3 MeV escaping fusion protons emitted from TEXTOR tokamak plasmas using activation technique. This technique was successfully demonstrated, initially, in 2006 on the JET tokamak. An ion camera equipped with a collimator and several types of activation detectors was installed inside the TEXTOR vacuum vessel to perform these measurements. After irradiation, the detectors were analyzed using ultra low level gamma-ray spectrometry at the HADES underground laboratory. 3 MeV escaping fusion protons were detected in larger number -{approx}6 times more - compared to earlier measurements using this technique on JET. Another major progress was the reduction of the cooling time by a factor of 50, which made possible to detect radionuclides with half-life of less than 90 min.

  17. The inner jet of an active galactic nucleus as revealed by a radio-to-gamma-ray outburst.

    PubMed

    Marscher, Alan P; Jorstad, Svetlana G; D'Arcangelo, Francesca D; Smith, Paul S; Williams, G Grant; Larionov, Valeri M; Oh, Haruki; Olmstead, Alice R; Aller, Margo F; Aller, Hugh D; McHardy, Ian M; Lähteenmäki, Anne; Tornikoski, Merja; Valtaoja, Esko; Hagen-Thorn, Vladimir A; Kopatskaya, Eugenia N; Gear, Walter K; Tosti, Gino; Kurtanidze, Omar; Nikolashvili, Maria; Sigua, Lorand; Miller, H Richard; Ryle, Wesley T

    2008-04-24

    Blazars are the most extreme active galactic nuclei. They possess oppositely directed plasma jets emanating at near light speeds from accreting supermassive black holes. According to theoretical models, such jets are propelled by magnetic fields twisted by differential rotation of the black hole's accretion disk or inertial-frame-dragging ergosphere. The flow velocity increases outward along the jet in an acceleration and collimation zone containing a coiled magnetic field. Detailed observations of outbursts of electromagnetic radiation, for which blazars are famous, can potentially probe the zone. It has hitherto not been possible to either specify the location of the outbursts or verify the general picture of jet formation. Here we report sequences of high-resolution radio images and optical polarization measurements of the blazar BL Lacertae. The data reveal a bright feature in the jet that causes a double flare of radiation from optical frequencies to TeV gamma-ray energies, as well as a delayed outburst at radio wavelengths. We conclude that the event starts in a region with a helical magnetic field that we identify with the acceleration and collimation zone predicted by the theories. The feature brightens again when it crosses a standing shock wave corresponding to the bright 'core' seen on the images.

  18. Photospheric Magnetic Diffusion by Measuring Moments of Active Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engell, Alexander; Longcope, D.

    2013-07-01

    Photospheric magnetic surface diffusion is an important constraint for the solar dynamo. The HMI Active Region Patches (HARPs) program automatically identify all magnetic regions above a certain flux. In our study we measure the moments of ARs that are no longer actively emerging and can thereby give us good statistical constraints on photospheric diffusion. We also present the diffusion properties as a function of latitude, flux density, and single polarity (leading or following) within each HARP.

  19. The influence of thoron on instruments measuring radon activity concentration.

    PubMed

    Michielsen, N; Bondiguel, S

    2015-11-01

    Thoron, the isotope 220 of radon, is a radionuclide whose concentration may influence the measurement of the activity concentration of (222)Rn in the air. If in the case of continuous and active sampling measuring instruments, using a pump for example, the influence of thoron on radon measurement is obvious and is taken into account in the apparatus, it is often assumed that in the case of a passive sampling, by diffusion through a filter for example, this thoron influence is negligible. This is due to the very short radioactive half-life of thoron, 55.6 s (3.82 d for (222)Rn), and the assumption that the diffusion time of thoron in the detection chamber is long enough beside that of the thoron half-life. The objective of this study is to check whether this assumption is true or not for different kinds of commercial electronic apparatus used to measure radon activity concentration from soil to dwellings. First of all, the devices were calibrated in activity concentration of radon, and then they were exposed to a controlled thoron atmosphere. The experiments concerning the thoron aimed to investigate the sensitivity to thoron in the radon measuring mode of the apparatus. Results of these experiments show that all devices have a very quick answer to thoron atmosphere, even though the sensitivities vary from one instrument to another. Results clearly show that this influence on radon measurement due to the thoron is observed also after the exposition because of the decay of (212)Pb and its progenies. In conclusion, the sensitivity to thoron in the radon measuring mode depends strongly on the type of instruments. The results of the present investigation show that for some apparatus, the influence of thoron cannot be disregarded especially when measuring radon in soil.

  20. Using experienced activity spaces to measure foodscape exposure.

    PubMed

    Kestens, Yan; Lebel, Alexandre; Daniel, Mark; Thériault, Marius; Pampalon, Robert

    2010-11-01

    Researchers are increasingly interested in understanding how food environments influence eating behavior and weight-related health outcomes. Little is known about the dose-response relationship between foodscapes and behavior or weight, with measures of food exposure having mainly focused on fixed anchor points including residential neighborhoods, schools, or workplaces. Recent calls have been made to extend the consideration of environmental influences beyond local neighborhoods and also to shift away from place-based, to people-based, measures of exposure. This report presents analyses of novel activity-space measures of exposure to foodscapes, combining travel survey data with food store locations in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. The resulting individual activity-space experienced foodscape exposure measures differ from traditional residential-based measures, and show variations by age and income levels. Furthermore, these activity-space exposure measures once modeled, can be used as predictors of health outcomes. Hence, travel surveys can be used to estimate environmental exposure for health survey participants.

  1. Revealing the Functional States in the Active Site of BLUF Photoreceptors from Electrochromic Shift Calculations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Photoexcitation with blue light of the flavin chromophore in BLUF photoreceptors induces a switch into a metastable signaling state that is characterized by a red-shifted absorption maximum. The red shift is due to a rearrangement in the hydrogen bond pattern around Gln63 located in the immediate proximity of the isoalloxazine ring system of the chromophore. There is a long-lasting controversy between two structural models, named Q63A and Q63J in the literature, on the local conformation of the residues Gln63 and Tyr21 in the dark state of the photoreceptor. As regards the mechanistic details of the light-activation mechanism, rotation of Gln63 is opposed by tautomerism in the Q63A and Q63J models, respectively. We provide a structure-based simulation of electrochromic shifts of the flavin chromophore in the wild type and in various site-directed mutants. The excellent overall agreement between experimental and computed data allows us to evaluate the two structural models. Compelling evidence is obtained that the Q63A model is incorrect, whereas the Q63J is fully consistent with the present computations. Finally, we confirm independently that a keto–enol tautomerization of the glutamine at position 63, which was proposed as molecular mechanism for the transition between the dark and the light-adapted state, explains the measured 10 to 15 nm red shift in flavin absorption between these two states of the protein. We believe that the accurateness of our results provides evidence that the BLUF photoreceptors absorption is fine-tuned through electrostatic interactions between the chromophore and the protein matrix, and finally that the simplicity of our theoretical model is advantageous as regards easy reproducibility and further extensions. PMID:25153778

  2. Measuring emotion in advertising research: prefrontal brain activity.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, Richard B; Nield, Geoffrey E

    2012-01-01

    With the current interest in the role of emotion in advertising and advertising research, there has been an increasing interest in the use of various brain activity measures to access nonverbal emotional responses. One such approach relies on measuring the difference between left and right hemisphere prefrontal cortical activity to assess like and dislike. This approach is based on electroencephalography (EEG) and neuroimaging work, suggesting that the approach/withdrawal (frequently but not always associated with like/dislike) dimension of emotion is indicated by the balance of activity between the left and right prefrontal cortex. Much of this work was initiated by Richard Davidson in the early 1990s. An early study by Davidson et al. measured brain electrical activity to assess patterns of activation during the experience of happiness and disgust. The authors reported that disgust was found to be associated with increased right-sided activation in the frontal and anterior temporal regions compared with happiness. In contrast, happiness was found to be accompanied by left-sided activation in the anterior temporal region compared with disgust. Early reports suggested that frontal laterality indexes motivational valence with positive emotions (happy, like) associated with left greater than the right frontal activity and vice versa. Although these findings appear to be consistent with personality traits (e.g., optimism pessimism), state changes in frontal laterality appears to index approach withdraw rather than emotional valence. Interestingly, the behavioral and motivational correlates of prefrontal asymmetric activity are not restricted to humans or even primates but have been observed in numerous species such as birds and fish (see [4]). Henceforth, we use the term motivational valence (MV) rather than the more cumbersome term approach withdraw. PMID:22678836

  3. Selective activation of SHP2 activity by cisplatin revealed by a novel chemical probe-based assay

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Chun-Chen; Chu, Chi-Yuan; Lin, Jing-Jer; Lo, Lee-Chiang

    2010-01-01

    Src homology-2 (SH2) domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) is known to participate in several different signaling pathways to mediate cell growth, survival, migration, and differentiation. However, due to the lack of proper analytical tools, it is unclear whether the phosphatase activity of SHP2 is activated in most studies. We have previously developed an activity-based probe LCL2 that formed covalent linkage with catalytically active protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Here, by combining LCL2 with a SHP2 specific antibody, we established an assay system that enables the direct monitoring of SHP2 activity upon cisplatin treatment of cancer cells. The protocol is advantageous over conventional colorimetric or in-gel PTP assays as it is specific and does not require the use of radioisotope reagents. Using this assay, we found SHP2 activity was selectively activated by cisplatin. Moreover, the activation of SHP2 appeared to be specific for cisplatin as other DNA damage agents failed to activate the activity. Although the role of SHP2 activation by cisplatin treatments is still unclear to us, our results provide the first direct evidence for the activation of SHP2 during cisplatin treatments. More importantly, the concept of using activity-based probe in conjunction with target-specific antibodies could be extended to other enzyme classes.

  4. Measuring the Enzyme Activity of Arabidopsis Deubiquitylating Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Kalinowska, Kamila; Nagel, Marie-Kristin; Isono, Erika

    2016-01-01

    Deubiquitylating enzymes, or DUBs, are important regulators of ubiquitin homeostasis and substrate stability, though the molecular mechanisms of most of the DUBs in plants are not yet understood. As different ubiquitin chain types are implicated in different biological pathways, it is important to analyze the enzyme characteristic for studying a DUB. Quantitative analysis of DUB activity is also important to determine enzyme kinetics and the influence of DUB binding proteins on the enzyme activity. Here, we show methods to analyze DUB activity using immunodetection, Coomassie Brilliant Blue staining, and fluorescence measurement that can be useful for understanding the basic characteristic of DUBs.

  5. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-09-01

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute 207Pb/206Pb isochron age (4,450+/-50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ~3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS.

  6. The effect of different inter-pad distances on the determination of active drag using the Measuring Active Drag system.

    PubMed

    Schreven, S; Toussaint, H M; Smeets, J B J; Beek, P J

    2013-07-26

    The Measuring Active Drag (MAD) system was developed to determine active drag in swimming by measuring the push-off force exerted at fixed pads placed below the waterline. The imposed inter-pad distance, which to date has been kept constant while using the MAD system, could affect the active drag because it requires the use of different stroke frequencies. The aim of the present study was therefore to determine the effect of inter-pad distance on active drag at a given speed. In particular, drag-velocity curves at three different inter-pad distances (1.25m, 1.35m and 1.45m) were determined using the MAD system for eleven competitive swimmers. Variation of 16% in inter-pad distance (14% change in stroke frequency) revealed no significant difference in calculated active drag between different inter-pad distances and a low (<5%) average coefficient of variation over different inter-pad distances was found. In addition, inter-test reliability, which was determined for the two 1.35m conditions only, was high (ICC>0.90) for measurements on two consecutive days. The results suggest that it may not be necessary to adapt the inter-pad distance of the MAD system based on anthropometric characteristics of the subject or the velocity-related stroke length in free swimming. PMID:23791187

  7. The effect of different inter-pad distances on the determination of active drag using the Measuring Active Drag system.

    PubMed

    Schreven, S; Toussaint, H M; Smeets, J B J; Beek, P J

    2013-07-26

    The Measuring Active Drag (MAD) system was developed to determine active drag in swimming by measuring the push-off force exerted at fixed pads placed below the waterline. The imposed inter-pad distance, which to date has been kept constant while using the MAD system, could affect the active drag because it requires the use of different stroke frequencies. The aim of the present study was therefore to determine the effect of inter-pad distance on active drag at a given speed. In particular, drag-velocity curves at three different inter-pad distances (1.25m, 1.35m and 1.45m) were determined using the MAD system for eleven competitive swimmers. Variation of 16% in inter-pad distance (14% change in stroke frequency) revealed no significant difference in calculated active drag between different inter-pad distances and a low (<5%) average coefficient of variation over different inter-pad distances was found. In addition, inter-test reliability, which was determined for the two 1.35m conditions only, was high (ICC>0.90) for measurements on two consecutive days. The results suggest that it may not be necessary to adapt the inter-pad distance of the MAD system based on anthropometric characteristics of the subject or the velocity-related stroke length in free swimming.

  8. A Self-Report Measure of Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siegel, Donald

    2005-01-01

    There are multiple approaches to measuring physical activity. Among these are direct observation, electronic monitoring, direct and indirect calorimetry, and self-report instruments. Self-report instruments are the most practical and cost effective option for use with a large group. In a study by Motl, Dishman, Dowda, and Pate (2004), two groups…

  9. Exploring Patient Activation in the Clinic: Measurement from Three Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ledford, Christy J. W.; Ledford, Christopher C.; Childress, Marc A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective. To further conceptualize and operationalize patient activation (PA), using measures from patient, physician, and researcher perspectives. Data Source/Study Setting. Multimethod observation in 2010 within a family medicine clinic. Study Design. Part of an intervention with 130 patients with type 2 diabetes, this observational study…

  10. 12 CFR 1806.201 - Measuring and reporting Qualified Activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... applicable BEA NOFA for current limitations on Qualified Activities. (e) Measuring the Value of Qualified... NOFA, the Fund will assess the value of: (1) Equity Investments, Equity-Like Loans, loans, grants and... the Baseline Period or the Assessment Period, as applicable, the Fund will assess the value of...

  11. Measurement for Work. Teaching Guide and Sample Learning Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Angel, Margo; Bolton, Chris

    This document is intended to help Australian technical and further education instructors in New South Wales (TAFE NSW) identify teaching principles and learning activities that they can use to help adult learners master the mathematics processes, knowledge, and skills needed to perform basic measurement tasks in today's workplace. The materials…

  12. Alanine-Scanning Mutational Analysis of Durancin GL Reveals Residues Important for Its Antimicrobial Activity.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xingrong; Chen, Xinquan; Du, Lihui; Wu, Xueyou; Liu, Fang; Yuan, Jian

    2015-07-22

    Durancin GL is a novel class IIa bacteriocin with 43 residues produced by Enterococcus durans 41D. This bacteriocin demonstrates narrow inhibition spectrum and potent antimicrobial activity against several Listeria monocytogenes strains, including nisin-resistant L. monocytogenes NR30. A systematic alanine-scanning mutational analysis with site-directed mutagenesis was performed to analyze durancin GL residues important for antimicrobial activity and specificity. Results showed that three mutations lost their antimicrobial activity, ten mutations demonstrated a decreased effect on the activity, and seven mutations exhibited relatively high activity. With regard to inhibitory spectrum, four mutants demonstrated a narrower antimicrobial spectrum than wild-type durancin GL. Another four mutants displayed a broader target cell spectrum and increased potency relative to wild-type durancin GL. These findings broaden our understanding of durancin GL residues important for its antimicrobial activity and contribute to future rational design of variants with increased potency.

  13. Alanine-Scanning Mutational Analysis of Durancin GL Reveals Residues Important for Its Antimicrobial Activity.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xingrong; Chen, Xinquan; Du, Lihui; Wu, Xueyou; Liu, Fang; Yuan, Jian

    2015-07-22

    Durancin GL is a novel class IIa bacteriocin with 43 residues produced by Enterococcus durans 41D. This bacteriocin demonstrates narrow inhibition spectrum and potent antimicrobial activity against several Listeria monocytogenes strains, including nisin-resistant L. monocytogenes NR30. A systematic alanine-scanning mutational analysis with site-directed mutagenesis was performed to analyze durancin GL residues important for antimicrobial activity and specificity. Results showed that three mutations lost their antimicrobial activity, ten mutations demonstrated a decreased effect on the activity, and seven mutations exhibited relatively high activity. With regard to inhibitory spectrum, four mutants demonstrated a narrower antimicrobial spectrum than wild-type durancin GL. Another four mutants displayed a broader target cell spectrum and increased potency relative to wild-type durancin GL. These findings broaden our understanding of durancin GL residues important for its antimicrobial activity and contribute to future rational design of variants with increased potency. PMID:26168032

  14. A FRET biosensor reveals spatiotemporal activation and functions of aurora kinase A in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Bertolin, Giulia; Sizaire, Florian; Herbomel, Gaëtan; Reboutier, David; Prigent, Claude; Tramier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Overexpression of AURKA is a major hallmark of epithelial cancers. It encodes the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase aurora A, which is activated at metaphase and is required for cell cycle progression; assessing its activation in living cells is mandatory for next-generation drug design. We describe here a Förster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor detecting the conformational changes of aurora kinase A induced by its autophosphorylation on Thr288. The biosensor functionally replaces the endogenous kinase in cells and allows the activation of the kinase to be followed throughout the cell cycle. Inhibiting the catalytic activity of the kinase prevents the conformational changes of the biosensor. Using this approach, we discover that aurora kinase A activates during G1 to regulate the stability of microtubules in cooperation with TPX2 and CEP192. These results demonstrate that the aurora kinase A biosensor is a powerful tool to identify new regulatory pathways controlling aurora kinase A activation. PMID:27624869

  15. A FRET biosensor reveals spatiotemporal activation and functions of aurora kinase A in living cells.

    PubMed

    Bertolin, Giulia; Sizaire, Florian; Herbomel, Gaëtan; Reboutier, David; Prigent, Claude; Tramier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Overexpression of AURKA is a major hallmark of epithelial cancers. It encodes the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase aurora A, which is activated at metaphase and is required for cell cycle progression; assessing its activation in living cells is mandatory for next-generation drug design. We describe here a Förster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor detecting the conformational changes of aurora kinase A induced by its autophosphorylation on Thr288. The biosensor functionally replaces the endogenous kinase in cells and allows the activation of the kinase to be followed throughout the cell cycle. Inhibiting the catalytic activity of the kinase prevents the conformational changes of the biosensor. Using this approach, we discover that aurora kinase A activates during G1 to regulate the stability of microtubules in cooperation with TPX2 and CEP192. These results demonstrate that the aurora kinase A biosensor is a powerful tool to identify new regulatory pathways controlling aurora kinase A activation. PMID:27624869

  16. Measurement of microbial biomass and activity in landfill soils.

    SciTech Connect

    Bogner, J. E.; Miller, R. M.; Spokas, K.; Environmental Research

    1995-01-01

    Two complementary techniques, which have been widely used to provide a general measure of microbial biomass or microbial activity in natural soils, were evaluated for their applicability to soils from the Mallard North and Mallard Lake Landfills, DuPage County, Illinois, U.S.A. Included were: (1) a potassium sulphate extraction technique with quantification of organic carbon for measurement of microbial biomass; and (2) an arginine ammonification technique for microbial activity. Four profiles consisting of replaced soils were sampled for this study; units included topsoil (mixed mollisol A and B horizons), compacted clay cover (local calcareous Wisconsinan age glacial till), and mixed soil/refuse samples. Internally consistent results across the four profiles and good correlations with other independent indicators of microbial activity (moisture, organic matter content, nitrogen, and phosphorus) suggest that, even though these techniques were developed mainly for natural mineral soils, they are also applicable to disturbed landfill soils.

  17. Triton burnup measurements in KSTAR using a neutron activation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Jungmin; Cheon, MunSeong; Kim, Jun Young; Rhee, T.; Kim, Junghee; Shi, Yue-Jiang; Isobe, M.; Ogawa, K.; Chung, Kyoung-Jae; Hwang, Y. S.

    2016-11-01

    Measurements of the time-integrated triton burnup for deuterium plasma in Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) have been performed following the simultaneous detection of the d-d and d-t neutrons. The d-d neutrons were measured using a 3He proportional counter, fission chamber, and activated indium sample, whereas the d-t neutrons were detected using activated silicon and copper samples. The triton burnup ratio from KSTAR discharges is found to be in the range 0.01%-0.50% depending on the plasma conditions. The measured burnup ratio is compared with the prompt loss fraction of tritons calculated with the Lorentz orbit code and the classical slowing-down time. The burnup ratio is found to increase as plasma current and classical slowing-down time increase.

  18. Characterization of AhR agonists reveals antagonistic activity in European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs.

    PubMed

    Muusse, Martine; Christensen, Guttorm; Gomes, Tânia; Kočan, Anton; Langford, Katherine; Tollefsen, Knut Erik; Vaňková, Lenka; Thomas, Kevin V

    2015-05-01

    European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs from two Norwegian islands, Musvær in the south east and Reiaren in Northern Norway, were screened for dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like and selected non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and subjected to non-target analysis to try to identify the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists, responsible for elevated levels measured using the dioxin responsive chemically activated luciferase expression (DR-CALUX) assay. Eggs from Musvær contained chemically calculated toxic equivalent (WHO TEQ) levels of between 109 and 483 pg TEQ/g lw, and between 82 and 337 pg TEQ/g lw was determined in eggs from Reiaren. In particular PCB126 contributed highly to the total TEQ (69-82%). In 19 of the 23 samples the calculated WHO TEQ was higher than the TEQCALUX. Using CALUX specific relative effect potencies (REPs), the levels were lower at between 77 and 292 pg/g lw in eggs from Musvær and between 55 and 223 pg/g lw in eggs from Reiaren, which was higher than the TEQCALUX in 16 of the 23 samples. However, the means of the REP values and the TEQCALUX were not significantly different. This suggests the presence of compounds that can elicit antagonist effects, with a low binding affinity to the AhR. Non-target analysis identified the presence of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) (quantified at 9.6-185 pg/g lw) but neither this compound nor high concentrations of PCB126 and non-dioxin-like PCBs could explain the differences between the calculated TEQ or REP values and the TEQCALUX. Even though, for most AhR agonists, the sensitivity of herring gulls is not known, the reported levels can be considered to represent a risk for biological effects in the developing embryo, compared to LC50 values in chicken embryos. For human consumers of herring gull eggs, these eggs contain TEQ levels up to four times higher than the maximum tolerable weekly intake.

  19. An implicit measure of olfactory performance for non-human primates reveals aversive and pleasant odor conditioning.

    PubMed

    Livneh, Uri; Paz, Rony

    2010-09-30

    We have little understanding of how odorants are processed in neural networks of the primate brain. Because chemo-stimuli are harder to control than physical stimuli (e.g. vision, audition), such research was limited by the temporal resolution, accuracy, and reliability of olfactometers (odor producing machines). Recent advances were able to create olfactometers that overcome these limitations, allowing their use together with neuroimaging techniques in humans. From the behavioral point of view, olfaction research requires a behavioral measure that can be used to quantify olfactory performance. This becomes a real problem when working with animals, where, unlike humans, explicit measures are harder to obtain. Furthermore, because odorants are powerful primitive reinforcers, such implicit measures can be beneficial to use in learning paradigms. Here we describe an olfactometer suitable for use in non-human primates, and an end-port design that allows the accurate measure of real-time respiratory modulations that are elicited in response to odor presentation. We demonstrate that this implicit measure is differentially modulated when experiencing pleasant or aversive odors. We then present an experimental paradigm in which monkeys learn to associate tones with odors, and show that the time delay from the conditioned stimuli to the next breath can be used to measure learning and memory expression in this paradigm. Using this construct, we reveal olfactory performance during acquisition and extinction of odor conditioning. These techniques can be used in electrophysiological recordings from relevant brain areas to shed light on neural networks involved in odor processing and reinforcement-learning.

  20. Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 reporter mice reveal receptor activation sites in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Mari; Tucker, Ana E.; Tran, Jennifer; Bergner, Jennifer B.; Turner, Ewa M.; Proia, Richard L.

    2014-01-01

    Activation of the GPCR sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P1) by sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates key physiological processes. S1P1 activation also has been implicated in pathologic processes, including autoimmunity and inflammation; however, the in vivo sites of S1P1 activation under normal and disease conditions are unclear. Here, we describe the development of a mouse model that allows in vivo evaluation of S1P1 activation. These mice, known as S1P1 GFP signaling mice, produce a S1P1 fusion protein containing a transcription factor linked by a protease cleavage site at the C terminus as well as a β-arrestin/protease fusion protein. Activated S1P1 recruits the β-arrestin/protease, resulting in the release of the transcription factor, which stimulates the expression of a GFP reporter gene. Under normal conditions, S1P1 was activated in endothelial cells of lymphoid tissues and in cells in the marginal zone of the spleen, while administration of an S1P1 agonist promoted S1P1 activation in endothelial cells and hepatocytes. In S1P1 GFP signaling mice, LPS-mediated systemic inflammation activated S1P1 in endothelial cells and hepatocytes via hematopoietically derived S1P. These data demonstrate that S1P1 GFP signaling mice can be used to evaluate S1P1 activation and S1P1-active compounds in vivo. Furthermore, this strategy could be potentially applied to any GPCR to identify sites of receptor activation during normal physiology and disease. PMID:24667638

  1. A direct measurement of strontium-89 activity in bone metastases.

    PubMed

    Ben-Josef, E; Maughan, R L; Vasan, S; Porter, A T

    1995-06-01

    The total absorbed dose after systemic administration of 89Sr has been determined by measuring directly its activity in bone metastases. Autoradiography was performed on sections of bones obtained from patients treated with 89Sr to study the pattern of deposition. Discs of 5 and 8 mm diameter were cut from metastatic sites and normal bone. The beta-ray activity was determined with a scintillation counter, which was calibrated using similar bovine cancellous bone discs, onto which a known activity of 89Sr was transferred by pipette. From the activity measured, the initial activity (at the time of 89Sr administration) was calculated. The absorbed dose was estimated using the methodology described in NCRP Report No. 58. The estimated initial activity of 89Sr in the bone metastases varied from 2.3 to 240 MBq kg-1, with a mean value of 31 +/- 27 MBq kg-1. The total absorbed dose ranged from 1.3 to 64 Gy, with a mean of 18 +/- 16 Gy. The average total dose to normal bone sites was 1.1 +/- 0.4 Gy. The metastases to normal bone dose ratio in individual samples varied from 8 +/- 4 to 40 +/- 25. These estimates are in agreement with those obtained previously by indirect methods. PMID:7675358

  2. Activity profiling of vacuolar processing enzymes reveals a role for VPE during oomycete infection.

    PubMed

    Misas-Villamil, Johana C; Toenges, Gerrit; Kolodziejek, Izabella; Sadaghiani, Amir M; Kaschani, Farnusch; Colby, Thomas; Bogyo, Matthew; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2013-02-01

    Vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) are important cysteine proteases that are implicated in the maturation of seed storage proteins, and programmed cell death during plant-microbe interactions and development. Here, we introduce a specific, cell-permeable, activity-based probe for VPEs. This probe is highly specific for all four Arabidopsis VPEs, and labeling is activity-dependent, as illustrated by sensitivity for inhibitors, pH and reducing agents. We show that the probe can be used for in vivo imaging and displays multiple active isoforms of VPEs in various tissues and in both monocot and dicot plant species. Thus, VPE activity profiling is a robust, simple and powerful tool for plant research for a wide range of applications. Using VPE activity profiling, we discovered that VPE activity is increased during infection with the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa). The enhanced VPE activity is host-derived and EDS1-independent. Sporulation of Hpa is reduced on vpe mutant plants, demonstrating a role for VPE during compatible interactions that is presumably independent of programmed cell death. Our data indicate that, as an obligate biotroph, Hpa takes advantage of increased VPE activity in the host, e.g. to mediate protein turnover and nutrient release.

  3. Satellite chlorophyll fluorescence measurements reveal large-scale decoupling of photosynthesis and greenness dynamics in boreal evergreen forests.

    PubMed

    Walther, Sophia; Voigt, Maximilian; Thum, Tea; Gonsamo, Alemu; Zhang, Yongguang; Köhler, Philipp; Jung, Martin; Varlagin, Andrej; Guanter, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Mid-to-high latitude forests play an important role in the terrestrial carbon cycle, but the representation of photosynthesis in boreal forests by current modelling and observational methods is still challenging. In particular, the applicability of existing satellite-based proxies of greenness to indicate photosynthetic activity is hindered by small annual changes in green biomass of the often evergreen tree population and by the confounding effects of background materials such as snow. As an alternative, satellite measurements of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) can be used as a direct proxy of photosynthetic activity. In this study, the start and end of the photosynthetically active season of the main boreal forests are analysed using spaceborne SIF measurements retrieved from the GOME-2 instrument and compared to that of green biomass, proxied by vegetation indices including the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) derived from MODIS data. We find that photosynthesis and greenness show a similar seasonality in deciduous forests. In high-latitude evergreen needleleaf forests, however, the length of the photosynthetically active period indicated by SIF is up to 6 weeks longer than the green biomass changing period proxied by EVI, with SIF showing a start-of-season of approximately 1 month earlier than EVI. On average, the photosynthetic spring recovery as signalled by SIF occurs as soon as air temperatures exceed the freezing point (2-3 °C) and when the snow on the ground has not yet completely melted. These findings are supported by model data of gross primary production and a number of other studies which evaluated in situ observations of CO2 fluxes, meteorology and the physiological state of the needles. Our results demonstrate the sensitivity of space-based SIF measurements to light-use efficiency of boreal forests and their potential for an unbiased detection of photosynthetic activity even under the challenging conditions interposed by evergreen

  4. Satellite chlorophyll fluorescence measurements reveal large-scale decoupling of photosynthesis and greenness dynamics in boreal evergreen forests.

    PubMed

    Walther, Sophia; Voigt, Maximilian; Thum, Tea; Gonsamo, Alemu; Zhang, Yongguang; Köhler, Philipp; Jung, Martin; Varlagin, Andrej; Guanter, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Mid-to-high latitude forests play an important role in the terrestrial carbon cycle, but the representation of photosynthesis in boreal forests by current modelling and observational methods is still challenging. In particular, the applicability of existing satellite-based proxies of greenness to indicate photosynthetic activity is hindered by small annual changes in green biomass of the often evergreen tree population and by the confounding effects of background materials such as snow. As an alternative, satellite measurements of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) can be used as a direct proxy of photosynthetic activity. In this study, the start and end of the photosynthetically active season of the main boreal forests are analysed using spaceborne SIF measurements retrieved from the GOME-2 instrument and compared to that of green biomass, proxied by vegetation indices including the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) derived from MODIS data. We find that photosynthesis and greenness show a similar seasonality in deciduous forests. In high-latitude evergreen needleleaf forests, however, the length of the photosynthetically active period indicated by SIF is up to 6 weeks longer than the green biomass changing period proxied by EVI, with SIF showing a start-of-season of approximately 1 month earlier than EVI. On average, the photosynthetic spring recovery as signalled by SIF occurs as soon as air temperatures exceed the freezing point (2-3 °C) and when the snow on the ground has not yet completely melted. These findings are supported by model data of gross primary production and a number of other studies which evaluated in situ observations of CO2 fluxes, meteorology and the physiological state of the needles. Our results demonstrate the sensitivity of space-based SIF measurements to light-use efficiency of boreal forests and their potential for an unbiased detection of photosynthetic activity even under the challenging conditions interposed by evergreen

  5. Functional Mapping of Protein Kinase A Reveals Its Importance in Adult Schistosoma mansoni Motor Activity

    PubMed Central

    de Saram, Paulu S. R.; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J.; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M.; Walker, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and ‘smart’ anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology

  6. Functional mapping of protein kinase A reveals its importance in adult Schistosoma mansoni motor activity.

    PubMed

    de Saram, Paulu S R; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M; Walker, Anthony J

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and 'smart' anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology.

  7. Thermodynamic Activity Measurements with Knudsen Cell Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Copland, Evan H.; Jacobson, Nathan S.

    2001-01-01

    Coupling the Knudsen effusion method with mass spectrometry has proven to be one of the most useful experimental techniques for studying the equilibrium between condensed phases and complex vapors. The Knudsen effusion method involves placing a condensed sample in a Knudsen cell, a small "enclosure", that is uniformly heated and held until equilibrium is attained between the condensed and vapor phases. The vapor is continuously sampled by effusion through a small orifice in the cell. A molecular beam is formed from the effusing vapor and directed into a mass spectrometer for identification and pressure measurement of the species in the vapor phase. Knudsen cell mass spectrometry (KCMS) has been used for nearly fifty years now and continues to be a leading technique for obtaining thermodynamic data. Indeed, much of the well-established vapor specie data in the JANAF tables has been obtained from this technique. This is due to the extreme versatility of the technique. All classes of materials can be studied and all constituents of the vapor phase can be measured over a wide range of pressures (approximately 10(exp -4) to 10(exp -11) bar) and temperatures (500-2800 K). The ability to selectively measure different vapor species makes KCMS a very powerful tool for the measurement of component activities in metallic and ceramic solutions. Today several groups are applying KCMS to measure thermodynamic functions in multicomponent metallic and ceramic systems. Thermodynamic functions, especially component activities, are extremely important in the development of CALPHAD (Calculation of Phase Diagrams) type thermodynamic descriptions. These descriptions, in turn, are useful for modeling materials processing and predicting reactions such as oxide formation and fiber/matrix interactions. The leading experimental methods for measuring activities are the Galvanic cell or electro-motive force (EMF) technique and the KCMS technique. Each has specific advantages, depending on

  8. High resolution Hall measurements across the VO2 metal-insulator transition reveal impact of spatial phase separation

    PubMed Central

    Yamin, Tony; Strelniker, Yakov M.; Sharoni, Amos

    2016-01-01

    Many strongly correlated transition metal oxides exhibit a metal-insulator transition (MIT), the manipulation of which is essential for their application as active device elements. However, such manipulation is hindered by lack of microscopic understanding of mechanisms involved in these transitions. A prototypical example is VO2, where previous studies indicated that the MIT resistance change correlate with changes in carrier density and mobility. We studied the MIT using Hall measurements with unprecedented resolution and accuracy, simultaneously with resistance measurements. Contrast to prior reports, we find that the MIT is not correlated with a change in mobility, but rather, is a macroscopic manifestation of the spatial phase separation which accompanies the MIT. Our results demonstrate that, surprisingly, properties of the nano-scale spatially-separated metallic and semiconducting domains actually retain their bulk properties. This study highlights the importance of taking into account local fluctuations and correlations when interpreting transport measurements in highly correlated systems. PMID:26783076

  9. High resolution Hall measurements across the VO2 metal-insulator transition reveal impact of spatial phase separation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamin, Tony; Strelniker, Yakov M.; Sharoni, Amos

    2016-01-01

    Many strongly correlated transition metal oxides exhibit a metal-insulator transition (MIT), the manipulation of which is essential for their application as active device elements. However, such manipulation is hindered by lack of microscopic understanding of mechanisms involved in these transitions. A prototypical example is VO2, where previous studies indicated that the MIT resistance change correlate with changes in carrier density and mobility. We studied the MIT using Hall measurements with unprecedented resolution and accuracy, simultaneously with resistance measurements. Contrast to prior reports, we find that the MIT is not correlated with a change in mobility, but rather, is a macroscopic manifestation of the spatial phase separation which accompanies the MIT. Our results demonstrate that, surprisingly, properties of the nano-scale spatially-separated metallic and semiconducting domains actually retain their bulk properties. This study highlights the importance of taking into account local fluctuations and correlations when interpreting transport measurements in highly correlated systems.

  10. High resolution Hall measurements across the VO2 metal-insulator transition reveal impact of spatial phase separation.

    PubMed

    Yamin, Tony; Strelniker, Yakov M; Sharoni, Amos

    2016-01-01

    Many strongly correlated transition metal oxides exhibit a metal-insulator transition (MIT), the manipulation of which is essential for their application as active device elements. However, such manipulation is hindered by lack of microscopic understanding of mechanisms involved in these transitions. A prototypical example is VO2, where previous studies indicated that the MIT resistance change correlate with changes in carrier density and mobility. We studied the MIT using Hall measurements with unprecedented resolution and accuracy, simultaneously with resistance measurements. Contrast to prior reports, we find that the MIT is not correlated with a change in mobility, but rather, is a macroscopic manifestation of the spatial phase separation which accompanies the MIT. Our results demonstrate that, surprisingly, properties of the nano-scale spatially-separated metallic and semiconducting domains actually retain their bulk properties. This study highlights the importance of taking into account local fluctuations and correlations when interpreting transport measurements in highly correlated systems. PMID:26783076

  11. Measurements of the PLT and PDX device activation

    SciTech Connect

    Stavely, J.; Barnes, C.W.; Chrien, R.E.; Strachan, J.D.

    1981-09-01

    Measurements of the activation levels around the PLT and PDX tokamaks have been made using a Ge(Li) gamma spectrometer and a Geiger counter. The activation results from radiation induced in the plasma by 14 MeV neutrons from the d(t,n)..cap alpha.. fusion reaction, 14.7 MeV protons from the d(/sup 3/He,p)..cap alpha.. fusion reaction, 10 ..-->.. 20 MeV hard x-rays from runaway electron induced bremmstrahlung, and 2.5 MeV neutrons from the d(d,n)/sup 3/He fusion reaction. The magnitude of the activation is compared to that predicted for PDX on the basis of one-dimensional activation codes.

  12. Equilibrium physics breakdown reveals the active nature of red blood cell flickering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turlier, H.; Fedosov, D. A.; Audoly, B.; Auth, T.; Gov, N. S.; Sykes, C.; Joanny, J.-F.; Gompper, G.; Betz, T.

    2016-05-01

    Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are seen to flicker under optical microscopy, a phenomenon initially described as thermal fluctuations of the cell membrane. But recent studies have suggested the involvement of non-equilibrium processes, without definitively ruling out equilibrium interpretations. Using active and passive microrheology to directly compare the membrane response and fluctuations on single erythrocytes, we report here a violation of the fluctuation-dissipation relation, which is a direct demonstration of the non-equilibrium nature of flickering. With an analytical model of the composite erythrocyte membrane and realistic stochastic simulations, we show that several molecular mechanisms may explain the active fluctuations, and we predict their kinetics. We demonstrate that tangential metabolic activity in the network formed by spectrin, a cytoskeletal protein, can generate curvature-mediated active membrane motions. We also show that other active membrane processes represented by direct normal force dipoles may explain the observed membrane activity. Our findings provide solid experimental and theoretical frameworks for future investigations of the origin and function of active motion in cells.

  13. Resting state cerebral blood flow and objective motor activity reveal basal ganglia dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Walther, Sebastian; Federspiel, Andrea; Horn, Helge; Razavi, Nadja; Wiest, Roland; Dierks, Thomas; Strik, Werner; Müller, Thomas Jörg

    2011-05-31

    Reduced motor activity has been reported in schizophrenia and was associated with subtype, psychopathology and medication. Still, little is known about the neurobiology of motor retardation. To identify neural correlates of motor activity, resting state cerebral blood flow (CBF) was correlated with objective motor activity of the same day. Participants comprised 11 schizophrenia patients and 14 controls who underwent magnetic resonance imaging with arterial spin labeling and wrist actigraphy. Patients had reduced activity levels and reduced perfusion of the left parahippocampal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right thalamus, and right prefrontal cortex. In controls, but not in schizophrenia, CBF was correlated with activity in the right thalamic ventral anterior (VA) nucleus, a key module within basal ganglia-cortical motor circuits. In contrast, only in schizophrenia patients positive correlations of CBF and motor activity were found in bilateral prefrontal areas and in the right rostral cingulate motor area (rCMA). Grey matter volume correlated with motor activity only in the left posterior cingulate cortex of the patients. The findings suggest that basal ganglia motor control is impaired in schizophrenia. In addition, CBF of cortical areas critical for motor control was associated with volitional motor behavior, which may be a compensatory mechanism for basal ganglia dysfunction.

  14. Knockin of Cre Gene at Ins2 Locus Reveals No Cre Activity in Mouse Hypothalamic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ling; Gao, Lin; Wang, Kejia; Ma, Xianhua; Chang, Xusheng; Shi, Jian-Hui; Zhang, Ye; Yin, Kai; Liu, Zhimin; Shi, Yuguang; Xie, Zhifang; Zhang, Weiping J.

    2016-01-01

    The recombination efficiency and cell specificity of Cre driver lines are critical for exploring pancreatic β cell biology with the Cre/LoxP approach. Some commonly used Cre lines are based on the short Ins2 promoter fragment and show recombination activity in hypothalamic neurons; however, whether this stems from endogenous Ins2 promoter activity remains controversial. In this study, we generated Ins2-Cre knockin mice with a targeted insertion of IRES-Cre at the Ins2 locus and demonstrated with a cell lineage tracing study that the Ins2 gene is not transcriptionally active in the hypothalamus. The Ins2-Cre driver line displayed robust Cre expression and activity in pancreatic β cells without significant alterations in insulin expression. In the brain, Cre activity was mainly restricted to the choroid plexus, without significant recombination detected in the hippocampus or hypothalamus by the LacZ or fluorescent tdTomato reporters. Furthermore, Ins2-Cre mice exhibited normal glucose tolerance and insulin secretion upon glucose stimulation in vivo. In conclusion, this Ins2-Cre driver line allowed high-fidelity detection of endogenous Ins2 promoter activity in vivo, and the negative activity in the hypothalamus demonstrated that this system is a promising alternative tool for studying β cell biology. PMID:26830324

  15. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute 207Pb/206Pb isochron age (4,450±50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ∼3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS. PMID:27682449

  16. Measuring In Vitro ATPase Activity for Enzymatic Characterization.

    PubMed

    Rule, Chelsea S; Patrick, Marcella; Sandkvist, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Adenosine triphosphate-hydrolyzing enzymes, or ATPases, play a critical role in a diverse array of cellular functions. These dynamic proteins can generate energy for mechanical work, such as protein trafficking and degradation, solute transport, and cellular movements. The protocol described here is a basic assay for measuring the in vitro activity of purified ATPases for functional characterization. Proteins hydrolyze ATP in a reaction that results in inorganic phosphate release, and the amount of phosphate liberated is then quantitated using a colorimetric assay. This highly adaptable protocol can be adjusted to measure ATPase activity in kinetic or endpoint assays. A representative protocol is provided here based on the activity and requirements of EpsE, the AAA+ ATPase involved in Type II Secretion in the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The amount of purified protein needed to measure activity, length of the assay and the timing and number of sampling intervals, buffer and salt composition, temperature, co-factors, stimulants (if any), etc. may vary from those described here, and thus some optimization may be necessary. This protocol provides a basic framework for characterizing ATPases and can be performed quickly and easily adjusted as necessary. PMID:27584824

  17. Single-Molecule Nanocatalysis Reveals Catalytic Activation Energy of Single Nanocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tao; Zhang, Yuwei; Xu, Weilin

    2016-09-28

    By monitoring the temperature-dependent catalytic activity of single Au nanocatalysts for a fluorogenic reaction, we derive the activation energies via multiple methods for two sequential catalytic steps (product formation and dissociation) on single nanocatalysts. The wide distributions of activation energies across multiple individual nanocatalysts indicate a huge static heterogeneity among the individual nanocatalysts. The compensation effect and isokinetic relationship of catalytic reactions are observed at the single particle level. This study exemplifies another function of single-molecule nanocatalysis and improves our understanding of heterogeneous catalysis.

  18. The crystal structure of the cysteine protease Xylellain from Xylella fastidiosa reveals an intriguing activation mechanism.

    PubMed

    Leite, Ney Ribeiro; Faro, Aline Regis; Dotta, Maria Amélia Oliva; Faim, Livia Maria; Gianotti, Andreia; Silva, Flavio Henrique; Oliva, Glaucius; Thiemann, Otavio Henrique

    2013-02-14

    Xylella fastidiosa is responsible for a wide range of economically important plant diseases. We report here the crystal structure and kinetic data of Xylellain, the first cysteine protease characterized from the genome of the pathogenic X. fastidiosa strain 9a5c. Xylellain has a papain-family fold, and part of the N-terminal sequence blocks the enzyme active site, thereby mediating protein activity. One novel feature identified in the structure is the presence of a ribonucleotide bound outside the active site. We show that this ribonucleotide plays an important regulatory role in Xylellain enzyme kinetics, possibly functioning as a physiological mediator.

  19. Spores of most common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Grothe, H.

    2013-06-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to show ice nucleation (IN) activity. In this study the respective IN activity was tested in oil emulsion in the immersion freezing mode. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. For the first time, not only common moulds, but also edible mushrooms (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) were investigated, as they contribute massively to the total amount of fungal spores in the atmosphere. Only Fusarium avenaceum showed freezing events at low subzero-temperatures, while the other investigated fungal spores showed no significant IN activity. Furthermore, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during cultivation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  20. Clonidine as a sensitizing agent in the forced swimming test for revealing antidepressant activity.

    PubMed

    Bourin, M; Colombel, M C; Malinge, M; Bradwejn, J

    1991-11-01

    The forced swimming test (FST) in mice has failed to predict antidepressant activity for drugs having beta adrenoreceptor agonist activity and for serotonin uptake inhibitors. We investigated the potential for clonidine to render the FST sensitive to antidepressants by using a behaviorally inactive dose of this agent (0.1 mg/kg). All antidepressants studied (tricyclics, 5-HT uptake inhibitors, iprindole, mianserin, viloxazine, trazodone) showed either activity at lower doses or activity at previously inactive doses. The effect appeared specific because it did not appear with drugs other than antidepressants (diazepam, chlorpromazine, sulpiride, atropine), except for amphetamine and apomorphine which have a strong effect on the dopaminergic system. The use of behaviorally subactive doses of clonidine may thus provide an important means of increasing the sensitivity of the forced swimming test.

  1. Ultrafast energy transfer in LHC-II revealed by three-pulse photon echo peak shift measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, R.; Krueger, B.P.; Scholes, G.D.; Yang, M.; Yom, J.; Mets, L.; Fleming, G.R.

    2000-04-06

    The authors report the results of three-pulse photon echo peak shift (3PEPS) measurements on the light-harvesting complex II (LHC-II) of the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Experiments were performed at two different excitation wavelengths, 670 and 650 nm, corresponding to Chl-a and Chl-b excitation, respectively. The 3PEPS data are analyzed using a new theory that incorporates the effect of energy transfer on third-order response functions. The theoretical model separates energy transfer dynamics from the solvation dynamics arising from coupling of the electronic transitions to the protein environment. The protein fluctuations can be described by an ultrafast solvation on a sub-100 fs time scale and a long time correlation (static disorder). Decay of the 670 nm peak shift reveals spectral equilibration time scales for Chl-a molecules that range from 300 fs to 6 ps and agree well with other experiments. 3PEPS data at 650 nm (Chl-b excitation) reveal rapid Chl-b to Chl-b energy transfer (<1 ps), which suggests excitation hopping between a pair of Chls-b, and slow energy transfer from these Chls-b to Chls-a. Also, a 60 cm{sup {minus}1} oscillatory mode is observed for Chl-b which is attributed to the first observation of coherent nuclear dynamics in LHC-II. Calculating the energy transfer dynamics based on recently proposed assignments of chromophores by solving the master equation reveals Chl-b intra- and interband energy transfer dynamics that are in qualitative agreement with the simulation model of the peak shift data.

  2. Structure of Escherichia coli tyrosine Kinase Etk Reveals a Novel Activation Mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Lee,D.; Zheng, J.; She, Y.; Jia, Z.

    2008-01-01

    While protein tyrosine (Tyr) kinases (PTKs) have been extensively characterized in eukaryotes, far less is known about their emerging counterparts in prokaryotes. The inner-membrane Wzc/Etk protein belongs to the bacterial PTK family, which has an important function in regulating the polymerization and transport of virulence-determining capsular polysaccharide (CPS). The kinase uses a unique two-step activation process involving intra-phosphorylation of a Tyr residue, although the molecular mechanism remains unknown. Herein, we report the first crystal structure of a bacterial PTK, the C-terminal kinase domain of Escherichia coli Tyr kinase (Etk) at 2.5-Angstroms resolution. The fold of the Etk kinase domain differs markedly from that of eukaryotic PTKs. Based on the observed structure and supporting mass spectrometric evidence of Etk, a unique activation mechanism is proposed that involves the phosphorylated Tyr residue, Y574, at the active site and its specific interaction with a previously unidentified key Arg residue, R614, to unblock the active site. Both in vitro kinase activity and in vivo antibiotics resistance studies using structure-guided mutants further support the novel activation mechanism.

  3. An in vitro screening with emerging contaminants reveals inhibition of carboxylesterase activity in aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) form part of the new generation of pollutants present in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Although environmental concentrations of these bioactive substances are low, they cause sublethal effects (e.g., enzyme inhibition) in non-target organisms. However, little is known on metabolism of PPCPs by non-mammal species. Herein, an in vitro enzyme trial was performed to explore sensitivity of carboxylesterase (CE) activity of aquatic organisms to fourteen PPCPs. The esterase activity was determined in the liver of Mediterranean freshwater fish (Barbus meridionalis and Squalius laietanus), coastal marine fish (Dicentrarchus labrax and Solea solea), middle-slope fish (Trachyrhynchus scabrus), deep-sea fish (Alepocephalus rostratus and Cataetix laticeps), and in the digestive gland of a decapod crustacean (Aristeus antennatus). Results showed that 100μM of the lipid regulators simvastatin and fenofibrate significantly inhibited (30-80% of controls) the CE activity of all target species. Among the personal care products, nonylphenol and triclosan were strong esterase inhibitors in most species (36-68% of controls). Comparison with literature data suggests that fish CE activity is as sensitive to inhibition by some PPCPs as that of mammals, although their basal activity levels are lower than in mammals. Pending further studies on the interaction between PPCPs and CE activity, we postulate that this enzyme may act as a molecular sink for certain PPCPs in a comparable way than that described for the organophosphorus pesticides. PMID:26562051

  4. Dynamic BRG1 Recruitment during T Helper Differentiation and Activation Reveals Distal Regulatory Elements▿§

    PubMed Central

    De, Supriyo; Wurster, Andrea L.; Precht, Patricia; Wood, William H.; Becker, Kevin G.; Pazin, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    T helper cell differentiation and activation require specific transcriptional programs accompanied by changes in chromatin structure. However, little is known about the chromatin remodeling enzymes responsible. We performed genome-wide analysis to determine the general principles of BRG1 binding, followed by analysis of specific genes to determine whether these general rules were typical of key T cell genes. We found that binding of the remodeling protein BRG1 was programmed by both lineage and activation signals. BRG1 binding positively correlated with gene activity at protein-coding and microRNA (miRNA) genes. BRG1 binding was found at promoters and distal regions, including both novel and previously validated distal regulatory elements. Distal BRG1 binding correlated with expression, and novel distal sites in the Gata3 locus possessed enhancer-like activity, suggesting a general role for BRG1 in long-distance gene regulation. BRG1 recruitment to distal sites in Gata3 was impaired in cells lacking STAT6, a transcription factor that regulates lineage-specific genes. Together, these findings suggest that BRG1 interprets both differentiation and activation signals and plays a causal role in gene regulation, chromatin structure, and cell fate. Our findings suggest that BRG1 binding is a useful marker for identifying active cis-regulatory regions in protein-coding and miRNA genes. PMID:21262765

  5. Dynamic BRG1 recruitment during T helper differentiation and activation reveals distal regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    De, Supriyo; Wurster, Andrea L; Precht, Patricia; Wood, William H; Becker, Kevin G; Pazin, Michael J

    2011-04-01

    T helper cell differentiation and activation require specific transcriptional programs accompanied by changes in chromatin structure. However, little is known about the chromatin remodeling enzymes responsible. We performed genome-wide analysis to determine the general principles of BRG1 binding, followed by analysis of specific genes to determine whether these general rules were typical of key T cell genes. We found that binding of the remodeling protein BRG1 was programmed by both lineage and activation signals. BRG1 binding positively correlated with gene activity at protein-coding and microRNA (miRNA) genes. BRG1 binding was found at promoters and distal regions, including both novel and previously validated distal regulatory elements. Distal BRG1 binding correlated with expression, and novel distal sites in the Gata3 locus possessed enhancer-like activity, suggesting a general role for BRG1 in long-distance gene regulation. BRG1 recruitment to distal sites in Gata3 was impaired in cells lacking STAT6, a transcription factor that regulates lineage-specific genes. Together, these findings suggest that BRG1 interprets both differentiation and activation signals and plays a causal role in gene regulation, chromatin structure, and cell fate. Our findings suggest that BRG1 binding is a useful marker for identifying active cis-regulatory regions in protein-coding and miRNA genes.

  6. An in vitro screening with emerging contaminants reveals inhibition of carboxylesterase activity in aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) form part of the new generation of pollutants present in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Although environmental concentrations of these bioactive substances are low, they cause sublethal effects (e.g., enzyme inhibition) in non-target organisms. However, little is known on metabolism of PPCPs by non-mammal species. Herein, an in vitro enzyme trial was performed to explore sensitivity of carboxylesterase (CE) activity of aquatic organisms to fourteen PPCPs. The esterase activity was determined in the liver of Mediterranean freshwater fish (Barbus meridionalis and Squalius laietanus), coastal marine fish (Dicentrarchus labrax and Solea solea), middle-slope fish (Trachyrhynchus scabrus), deep-sea fish (Alepocephalus rostratus and Cataetix laticeps), and in the digestive gland of a decapod crustacean (Aristeus antennatus). Results showed that 100μM of the lipid regulators simvastatin and fenofibrate significantly inhibited (30-80% of controls) the CE activity of all target species. Among the personal care products, nonylphenol and triclosan were strong esterase inhibitors in most species (36-68% of controls). Comparison with literature data suggests that fish CE activity is as sensitive to inhibition by some PPCPs as that of mammals, although their basal activity levels are lower than in mammals. Pending further studies on the interaction between PPCPs and CE activity, we postulate that this enzyme may act as a molecular sink for certain PPCPs in a comparable way than that described for the organophosphorus pesticides.

  7. Measuring thermal budgets of active volcanoes by satellite remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaze, L.; Francis, P. W.; Rothery, D. A.

    1989-01-01

    Thematic Mapper measurements of the total radiant energy flux Q at Lascar volcano in north Chile for December 1984 are reported. The results are consistent with the earlier suggestion that a lava lake is the source of a reported thermal budget anomaly, and with values for 1985-1986 that are much lower, suggesting that fumarolic activity was then a more likely heat source. The results show that satellite remote sensing may be used to monitor the activity of a volcano quantitatively, in a way not possible by conventional ground studies, and may provide a method for predicting eruptions.

  8. Revealing the surface and bulk regimes of isothermal graphene growth on Ni with in situ kinetic measurements and modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Puretzky, Alexander A; Merkulov, Igor A; Rouleau, Christopher M; Eres, Gyula; Geohegan, David B

    2014-01-01

    In situ optical diagnostics are used to reveal the isothermal nucleation and growth mechanisms of graphene on Ni across a wide temperature range (560 C < T < 840 C) by chemical vapor deposition from single, sub-second pulses of acetylene. An abrupt, two-orders of magnitude change in growth times (~ 100s to 1s) is revealed at T = 680 C. Below and above this temperature, similar sigmoidal kinetics are measured and attributed to autocatalytic growth reactions but by two different mechanisms, surface assembly and dissolution/precipitation, respectively. These data are used to develop a simple and general kinetic model for graphene growth that includes the nucleation phase and includes the effects of carbon solubility in metals, describes delayed nucleation, and allows the interpretation of the competition between surface and bulk growth modes. The sharp transition in growth kinetics at T = 680 C is explained by a change in defect site density required for nucleation due to a transition in the carbon-induced mobility of the Ni surface. The easily-implemented optical reflectivity diagnostics and the simple kinetic model described here allow a pathway to optimize the growth of graphene on metals with arbitrary carbon solubility.

  9. Environmental Measurements Laboratory fiscal year 1998: Accomplishments and technical activities

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, M.D.

    1999-01-01

    The Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) is government-owned, government-operated, and programmatically under the DOE Office of Environmental Management. The Laboratory is administered by the Chicago Operations Office. EML provides program management, technical assistance and data quality assurance for measurements of radiation and radioactivity relating to environmental restoration, global nuclear nonproliferation, and other priority issues for the Department of Energy, as well as for other government, national, and international organizations. This report presents the technical activities and accomplishments of EML for Fiscal Year 1998.

  10. Device for measuring oxygen activity in liquid sodium

    DOEpatents

    Roy, P.; Young, R.S.

    1973-12-01

    A composite ceramic electrolyte in a configuration (such as a closed end tube or a plate) suitable to separate liquid sodium from a reference electrode with a high impedance voltmeter connected to measure EMF between the sodium and the reference electrode as a measure of oxygen activity in the sodium is described. The composite electrolyte consists of zirconiacalcia with a bonded layer of thoria-yttria. The device is used with a gaseous reference electrode on the zirconia-calcia side and liquid sodium on the thoria-yttria side of the electrolyte. (Official Gazette)

  11. Revealing the hidden faults in the SE flank of Mt. Etna using radon in-soil gas measurement.

    PubMed

    Johnová, K; Thinová, L; Giammanco, S

    2014-07-01

    Although there are many methods for investigating tectonic structures, many faults remain hidden, and they can endanger the life and property of people living along them. The slopes of volcanoes are covered with such hidden faults, near which strong earthquakes and gas releases can appear. Revealing hidden faults can therefore contribute significantly to the protection of people living in volcanic areas. In the study, seven different techniques were used for making measurements of in-soil radon concentrations in order to search for hidden faults on the SE flank of the Mt. Etna volcano. These reported methods had previously been proved to be useful tools for investigating fault structures. The main aim of the experiment presented here was to evaluate the usability of these methods in the geological conditions of the Mt. Etna region, and to find the best place for continual radon monitoring using a permanent station in the near future. PMID:24729558

  12. In-Plane Electronic Anisotropy of Underdoped ___122___ Fe-Arsenide Superconductors Revealed by Measurements of Detwinned Single Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, Ian Randal

    2012-05-08

    The parent phases of the Fe-arsenide superconductors harbor an antiferromagnetic ground state. Significantly, the Neel transition is either preceded or accompanied by a structural transition that breaks the four fold symmetry of the high-temperature lattice. Borrowing language from the field of soft condensed matter physics, this broken discrete rotational symmetry is widely referred to as an Ising nematic phase transition. Understanding the origin of this effect is a key component of a complete theoretical description of the occurrence of superconductivity in this family of compounds, motivating both theoretical and experimental investigation of the nematic transition and the associated in-plane anisotropy. Here we review recent experimental progress in determining the intrinsic in-plane electronic anisotropy as revealed by resistivity, reflectivity and ARPES measurements of detwinned single crystals of underdoped Fe arsenide superconductors in the '122' family of compounds.

  13. Revealing the hidden faults in the SE flank of Mt. Etna using radon in-soil gas measurement.

    PubMed

    Johnová, K; Thinová, L; Giammanco, S

    2014-07-01

    Although there are many methods for investigating tectonic structures, many faults remain hidden, and they can endanger the life and property of people living along them. The slopes of volcanoes are covered with such hidden faults, near which strong earthquakes and gas releases can appear. Revealing hidden faults can therefore contribute significantly to the protection of people living in volcanic areas. In the study, seven different techniques were used for making measurements of in-soil radon concentrations in order to search for hidden faults on the SE flank of the Mt. Etna volcano. These reported methods had previously been proved to be useful tools for investigating fault structures. The main aim of the experiment presented here was to evaluate the usability of these methods in the geological conditions of the Mt. Etna region, and to find the best place for continual radon monitoring using a permanent station in the near future.

  14. Mutational and Structural Analyses of Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus Man5B Reveal Novel Active Site Residues for Family 5 Glycoside Hydrolases

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yejun; Burnett, Alanna; Nagasawa, Naoko; Mackie, Roderick I.; Nakamura, Haruki; Morikawa, Kosuke; Cann, Isaac

    2013-01-01

    CpMan5B is a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 enzyme exhibiting both β-1,4-mannosidic and β-1,4-glucosidic cleavage activities. To provide insight into the amino acid residues that contribute to catalysis and substrate specificity, we solved the structure of CpMan5B at 1.6 Å resolution. The structure revealed several active site residues (Y12, N92 and R196) in CpMan5B that are not present in the active sites of other structurally resolved GH5 enzymes. Residue R196 in GH5 enzymes is thought to be strictly conserved as a histidine that participates in an electron relay network with the catalytic glutamates, but we show that an arginine fulfills a functionally equivalent role and is found at this position in every enzyme in subfamily GH5_36, which includes CpMan5B. Residue N92 is required for full enzymatic activity and forms a novel bridge over the active site that is absent in other family 5 structures. Our data also reveal a role of Y12 in establishing the substrate preference for CpMan5B. Using these molecular determinants as a probe allowed us to identify Man5D from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii as a mannanase with minor endo-glucanase activity. PMID:24278284

  15. How community environment shapes physical activity: perceptions revealed through the PhotoVoice method.

    PubMed

    Belon, Ana Paula; Nieuwendyk, Laura M; Vallianatos, Helen; Nykiforuk, Candace I J

    2014-09-01

    A growing body of evidence shows that community environment plays an important role in individuals' physical activity engagement. However, while attributes of the physical environment are widely investigated, sociocultural, political, and economic aspects of the environment are often neglected. This article helps to fill these knowledge gaps by providing a more comprehensive understanding of multiple dimensions of the community environment relative to physical activity. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore how people's experiences and perceptions of their community environments affect their abilities to engage in physical activity. A PhotoVoice method was used to identify barriers to and opportunities for physical activity among residents in four communities in the province of Alberta, Canada, in 2009. After taking pictures, the thirty-five participants shared their perceptions of those opportunities and barriers in their community environments during individual interviews. Using the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) framework, themes emerging from these photo-elicited interviews were organized in four environment types: physical, sociocultural, economic, and political. The data show that themes linked to the physical (56.6%) and sociocultural (31.4%) environments were discussed more frequently than the themes of the economic (5.9%) and political (6.1%) environments. Participants identified nuanced barriers and opportunities for physical activity, which are illustrated by their quotes and photographs. The findings suggest that a myriad of factors from physical, sociocultural, economic, and political environments influence people's abilities to be physically active in their communities. Therefore, adoption of a broad, ecological perspective is needed to address the barriers and build upon the opportunities described by participants to make communities more healthy and active.

  16. Representing Microbial Dormancy in Soil Decomposition Models Improves Model Performance and Reveals Key Ecosystem Controls on Microbial Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Y.; Yang, J.; Zhuang, Q.; Wang, G.; Liu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change and subsequent responses of plant and microbial communities and nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and strategy may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to microbial physiology and community changes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. In this study, we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of dormancy at six temperate forest sites with observed soil efflux ranged from 4 to 10 years across different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to all temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere (25-50°N) to investigate spatial controls on microbial and soil C dynamics. Both models captured the observed soil heterotrophic respiration (RH), yet no-dormancy model consistently exhibited large seasonal amplitude and overestimation in microbial biomass. Spatially, the total RH from temperate forests based on dormancy model amounts to 6.88PgC/yr, and 7.99PgC/yr based on no-dormancy model. However, no-dormancy model notably overestimated the ratio of microbial biomass to SOC. Spatial correlation analysis revealed key controls of soil C:N ratio on the active proportion of microbial biomass, whereas local dormancy is primarily controlled by soil moisture and temperature, indicating scale-dependent environmental and biotic controls on microbial and SOC dynamics. These developments should provide essential support to modeling future soil carbon dynamics and enhance the avenue for collaboration between empirical soil experiment and modeling in the sense that more microbial physiological measurements are needed to better constrain and evaluate the models.

  17. FRET analysis using sperm-activating peptides tagged with fluorescent proteins reveals that ligand-binding sites exist as clusters.

    PubMed

    Arcos-Hernández, César; Romero, Francisco; Sánchez-Guevara, Yoloxochitl; Beltrán, Carmen; Nishigaki, Takuya

    2016-02-01

    Long-range cellular communication between the sperm and egg is critical for external fertilization. Sperm-activating peptides (SAPs) are diffusible components of the outer layer of eggs in echinoderms, and function as chemoattractants for spermatozoa. The decapeptide named speract is the best-characterized sea urchin SAP. Biochemical and physiological actions of speract have been studied with purified or chemically synthesized peptides. In this work, we prepared recombinant speract fused to a fluorescent protein (FP; FP-speract) using three color variants: a cyan (eCFP), a yellow (mVenus) and a large Stokes shift yellow (mAmetrine) FP. Although these fluorescence tags are 20 times larger than speract, competitive binding experiments using mAmetrine-speract revealed that this FP-speract has binding affinity to the receptor that is comparable (7.6-fold less) to that of non-labeled speract. Indeed, 10 nmol l(-1) eCFP-speract induces physiological sperm responses such as membrane potential changes and increases in intracellular pH and Ca(2+) concentrations similar to those triggered by 10 nmol l(-1) speract. Furthermore, FP-speract maintains its fluorescence upon binding to its receptor. Using this property, we performed fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements with eCFP-speract and mVenus-speract as probes and obtained a positive FRET signal upon binding to the receptor, which suggests that the speract receptor exists as an oligomer, at least as a dimer, or alternatively that a single speract receptor protein possesses multiple binding sites. This property could partially account for the positive and/or negative cooperative binding of speract to the receptor.

  18. Genetically encoded pH-indicators reveal activity-dependent cytosolic acidification of Drosophila motor nerve termini in vivo.

    PubMed

    Rossano, Adam J; Chouhan, Amit K; Macleod, Gregory T

    2013-04-01

    All biochemical processes, including those underlying synaptic function and plasticity, are pH sensitive. Cytosolic pH (pH(cyto)) shifts are known to accompany nerve activity in situ, but technological limitations have prevented characterization of such shifts in vivo. Genetically encoded pH-indicators (GEpHIs) allow for tissue-specific in vivo measurement of pH. We expressed three different GEpHIs in the cytosol of Drosophila larval motor neurons and observed substantial presynaptic acidification in nerve termini during nerve stimulation in situ. SuperEcliptic pHluorin was the most useful GEpHI for studying pH(cyto) shifts in this model system. We determined the resting pH of the nerve terminal cytosol to be 7.30 ± 0.02, and observed a decrease of 0.16 ± 0.01 pH units when the axon was stimulated at 40 Hz for 4 s. Realkalinization occurred upon cessation of stimulation with a time course of 20.54 ± 1.05 s (τ). The chemical pH-indicator 2,7-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein corroborated these changes in pH(cyto). Bicarbonate-derived buffering did not contribute to buffering of acid loads from short (≤ 4 s) trains of action potentials but did buffer slow (~60 s) acid loads. The magnitude of cytosolic acid transients correlated with cytosolic Ca(2+) increase upon stimulation, and partial inhibition of the plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase, a Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger, attenuated pH(cyto) shifts. Repeated stimulus trains mimicking motor patterns generated greater cytosolic acidification (~0.30 pH units). Imaging through the cuticle of intact larvae revealed spontaneous pH(cyto) shifts in presynaptic termini in vivo, similar to those seen in situ during fictive locomotion, indicating that presynaptic pH(cyto) shifts cannot be dismissed as artifacts of ex vivo preparations.

  19. The Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment: A Measure of Engagement in Personally Valued Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eakman, Aaron M.; Carlson, Mike E.; Clark, Florence A.

    2010-01-01

    The Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment (MAPA), a recently developed 28-item tool designed to measure the meaningfulness of activity, was tested in a sample of 154 older adults. The MAPA evidenced a sufficient level of internal consistency and test-retest reliability and correlated as theoretically predicted with the Life Satisfaction…

  20. Measurements of Myosin-II Motor Activity During Cytokinesis in Fission Yeast.

    PubMed

    Tang, Qing; Pollard, Luther W; Lord, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Fission yeast myosin-II (Myo2p) represents the critical actin-based motor protein that drives actomyosin ring assembly and constriction during cytokinesis. We detail three different methods to measure Myo2p motor function. Actin-activated ATPases provide a readout of actomyosin ATPase motor activity in a bulk assay; actin filament motility assays reveal the speed and efficiency of myosin-driven actin filament gliding (when motors are anchored); myosin-bead motility assays reveal the speed and efficiency of myosin ensembles traveling along actin filaments (when actin is anchored). Collectively, these methods allow us to combine the standard in vivo approaches common to fission yeast with in vitro biochemical methods to learn more about the mechanistic action of myosin-II during cytokinesis.

  1. Structural interpretation of activity cliffs revealed by systematic analysis of structure-activity relationships in analog series.

    PubMed

    Sisay, Mihiret T; Peltason, Lisa; Bajorath, Jürgen

    2009-10-01

    Discontinuity in structure-activity relationships (SARs) is caused by so-called activity cliffs and represents one of the major caveats in SAR modeling and lead optimization. At activity cliffs, small structural modifications of compounds lead to substantial differences in potency that are essentially unpredictable using quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methods. In order to better understand SAR discontinuity at the molecular level of detail, we have analyzed different compound series in combinatorial analog graphs and determined substitution patterns that introduce activity cliffs of varying magnitude. So identified SAR determinants were then analyzed on the basis of complex crystal structures to enable a structural interpretation of SAR discontinuity and underlying activity cliffs. In some instances, SAR discontinuity detected within analog series could be well rationalized on the basis of structural data, whereas in others a structural explanation was not possible. This reflects the intrinsic complexity of small molecule SARs and suggests that the analysis of short-range receptor-ligand interactions seen in X-ray structures is insufficient to comprehensively account for SAR discontinuity. However, in other cases, SAR information extracted from ligands was incomplete but could be deduced taking X-ray data into account. Thus, taken together, these findings illustrate the complementarity of ligand-based SAR analysis and structural information. PMID:19761254

  2. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions. PMID:26386518

  3. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions.

  4. Small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering reveal conformational changes in rhodopsin activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Utsab R.; Bhowmik, Debsindhu; Perera, Suchitrhanga M. C. D.; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey V.; Graziono, Vito; Pingali, Sai Venkatesh; Heller, William T.; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael F.; Chu, Xiang-Qiang

    2015-03-01

    Understanding G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation plays a crucial role in the development of novel improved molecular drugs. During photo-activation, the retinal chromophore of the visual GPCR rhodopsin isomerizes from 11-cis to all-trans conformation, yielding an equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. The principal goals of this work are to address whether the activation of rhodopsin leads to a single state or a conformational ensemble, and how protein organizational structure changes with detergent environment in solution. We use both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques to answer the above questions. For the first time we observe the change in protein conformational ensemble upon photo-activation by SANS with contrast variation, which enables the separate study of the protein structure within the detergent assembly. In addition, SAXS study of protein structure within detergent assembly suggests that the detergent molecules form a belt of monolayer (micelle) around protein with different geometrical shapes to keep the protein in folded state.

  5. Recent and episodic volcanic and glacial activity on Mars revealed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera.

    PubMed

    Neukum, G; Jaumann, R; Hoffmann, H; Hauber, E; Head, J W; Basilevsky, A T; Ivanov, B A; Werner, S C; van Gasselt, S; Murray, J B; McCord, T

    2004-12-23

    The large-area coverage at a resolution of 10-20 metres per pixel in colour and three dimensions with the High Resolution Stereo Camera Experiment on the European Space Agency Mars Express Mission has made it possible to study the time-stratigraphic relationships of volcanic and glacial structures in unprecedented detail and give insight into the geological evolution of Mars. Here we show that calderas on five major volcanoes on Mars have undergone repeated activation and resurfacing during the last 20 per cent of martian history, with phases of activity as young as two million years, suggesting that the volcanoes are potentially still active today. Glacial deposits at the base of the Olympus Mons escarpment show evidence for repeated phases of activity as recently as about four million years ago. Morphological evidence is found that snow and ice deposition on the Olympus construct at elevations of more than 7,000 metres led to episodes of glacial activity at this height. Even now, water ice protected by an insulating layer of dust may be present at high altitudes on Olympus Mons.

  6. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    SciTech Connect

    Wernimont, Amy K; Artz, Jennifer D.; Jr, Patrick Finerty; Lin, Yu-Hui; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2010-09-21

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites and comprise a calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK)-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal-transduction pathways.

  7. Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals active site elements that control stereoselectivity.

    PubMed

    Stavrinides, Anna; Tatsis, Evangelos C; Caputi, Lorenzo; Foureau, Emilien; Stevenson, Clare E M; Lawson, David M; Courdavault, Vincent; O'Connor, Sarah E

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce an enormous array of biologically active metabolites, often with stereochemical variations on the same molecular scaffold. These changes in stereochemistry dramatically impact biological activity. Notably, the stereoisomers of the heteroyohimbine alkaloids show diverse pharmacological activities. We reported a medium chain dehydrogenase/reductase (MDR) from Catharanthus roseus that catalyses formation of a heteroyohimbine isomer. Here we report the discovery of additional heteroyohimbine synthases (HYSs), one of which produces a mixture of diastereomers. The crystal structures for three HYSs have been solved, providing insight into the mechanism of reactivity and stereoselectivity, with mutation of one loop transforming product specificity. Localization and gene silencing experiments provide a basis for understanding the function of these enzymes in vivo. This work sets the stage to explore how MDRs evolved to generate structural and biological diversity in specialized plant metabolism and opens the possibility for metabolic engineering of new compounds based on this scaffold. PMID:27418042

  8. Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals active site elements that control stereoselectivity

    PubMed Central

    Stavrinides, Anna; Tatsis, Evangelos C.; Caputi, Lorenzo; Foureau, Emilien; Stevenson, Clare E. M.; Lawson, David M.; Courdavault, Vincent; O'Connor, Sarah E.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce an enormous array of biologically active metabolites, often with stereochemical variations on the same molecular scaffold. These changes in stereochemistry dramatically impact biological activity. Notably, the stereoisomers of the heteroyohimbine alkaloids show diverse pharmacological activities. We reported a medium chain dehydrogenase/reductase (MDR) from Catharanthus roseus that catalyses formation of a heteroyohimbine isomer. Here we report the discovery of additional heteroyohimbine synthases (HYSs), one of which produces a mixture of diastereomers. The crystal structures for three HYSs have been solved, providing insight into the mechanism of reactivity and stereoselectivity, with mutation of one loop transforming product specificity. Localization and gene silencing experiments provide a basis for understanding the function of these enzymes in vivo. This work sets the stage to explore how MDRs evolved to generate structural and biological diversity in specialized plant metabolism and opens the possibility for metabolic engineering of new compounds based on this scaffold. PMID:27418042

  9. Structural basis for PPAR partial or full activation revealed by a novel ligand binding mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capelli, Davide; Cerchia, Carmen; Montanari, Roberta; Loiodice, Fulvio; Tortorella, Paolo; Laghezza, Antonio; Cervoni, Laura; Pochetti, Giorgio; Lavecchia, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed PPARγ full agonists, is considered the major challenge for the pharmaceutical companies. Here we present a structure-based virtual screening approach that let us identify a novel PPAR pan-agonist with a very attractive activity profile and its crystal structure in the complex with PPARα and PPARγ, respectively. In PPARα this ligand occupies a new pocket whose filling is allowed by the ligand-induced switching of the F273 side chain from a closed to an open conformation. The comparison between this pocket and the corresponding cavity in PPARγ provides a rationale for the different activation of the ligand towards PPARα and PPARγ, suggesting a novel basis for ligand design.

  10. Brain Activation of Negative Feedback in Rule Acquisition Revealed in a Segmented Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Cao, Bihua; Cai, Xueli; Gao, Heming; Li, Fuhong

    2015-01-01

    The present study is to investigate the brain activation associated with the informative value of negative feedback in rule acquisition. In each trial of a segmented Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, participants were provided with three reference cards and one target card, and were asked to match one of three reference cards to the target card based on a classification rule. Participants received feedback after each match. Participants would acquire the rule after one negative feedback (1-NF condition) or two successive negative feedbacks (2-NF condition). The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results indicated that lateral prefrontal-to-parietal cortices were more active in the 2-NF condition than in the 1-NF condition. The activation in the right lateral prefrontal cortex and left posterior parietal cortex increased gradually with the amount of negative feedback. These results demonstrate that the informative value of negative feedback in rule acquisition might be modulated by the lateral prefronto-parietal loop. PMID:26469519

  11. High-Throughput Sequencing Reveals Circulating miRNAs as Potential Biomarkers for Measuring Puberty Onset in Chicken (Gallus gallus)

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yijun; Li, Guohui; Qu, Liang; Zhang, Huiyong; Wang, Kehua; Zou, Jianmin; Liu, Honglin

    2016-01-01

    There are still no highly sensitive and unique biomarkers for measurement of puberty onset. Circulating miRNAs have been shown to be promising biomarkers for diagnosis of various diseases. To identify circulating miRNAs that could be served as biomarkers for measuring chicken (Gallus gallus) puberty onset, the Solexa deep sequencing was performed to analyze the miRNA expression profiles in serum and plasma of hens from two different pubertal stages, before puberty onset (BO) and after puberty onset (AO). 197 conserved and 19 novel miRNAs (reads > 10) were identified as serum/plasma-expressed miRNAs in the chicken. The common miRNA amounts and their expression changes from BO to AO between serum and plasma were very similar, indicating the different treatments to generate serum and plasma had quite small influence on the miRNAs. 130 conserved serum-miRNAs were showed to be differentially expressed (reads > 10, P < 0.05) from BO to AO, with 68 up-regulated and 62 down-regulated. 4829 putative genes were predicted as the targets of the 40 most differentially expressed miRNAs (|log2(fold-change)|>1.0, P < 0.01). Functional analysis revealed several pathways that were associated with puberty onset. Further quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) test found that a seven-miRNA panel, including miR-29c, miR-375, miR-215, miR-217, miR-19b, miR-133a and let-7a, had great potentials to serve as novel biomarkers for measuring puberty onset in chicken. Due to highly conserved nature of miRNAs, the findings could provide cues for measurement of puberty onset in other animals as well as humans. PMID:27149515

  12. Revealing the activation pathway for TMEM16A chloride channels from macroscopic currents and kinetic models.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Vite, Juan A; Cruz-Rangel, Silvia; De Jesús-Pérez, José J; Figueroa, Iván A Aréchiga; Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A; Pérez-Cornejo, Patricia; Hartzell, H Criss; Arreola, Jorge

    2016-07-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1), the pore-forming subunit of calcium-activated chloride channels, regulates several physiological and pathophysiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac and neuronal excitability, salivary secretion, tumour growth and cancer progression. Gating of TMEM16A is complex because it involves the interplay between increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), membrane depolarization, extracellular Cl(-) or permeant anions and intracellular protons. Our goal here was to understand how these variables regulate TMEM16A gating and to explain four observations. (a) TMEM16A is activated by voltage in the absence of intracellular Ca(2+). (b) The Cl(-) conductance is decreased after reducing extracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)]o). (c) ICl is regulated by physiological concentrations of [Cl(-)]o. (d) In cells dialyzed with 0.2 μM [Ca(2+)]i, Cl(-) has a bimodal effect: at [Cl(-)]o <30 mM TMEM16A current activates with a monoexponential time course, but above 30 mM, [Cl(-)]o ICl activation displays fast and slow kinetics. To explain the contribution of Vm, Ca(2+) and Cl(-) to gating, we developed a 12-state Markov chain model. This model explains TMEM16A activation as a sequential, direct, and Vm-dependent binding of two Ca(2+) ions coupled to a Vm-dependent binding of an external Cl(-) ion, with Vm-dependent transitions between states. Our model predicts that extracellular Cl(-) does not alter the apparent Ca(2+) affinity of TMEM16A, which we corroborated experimentally. Rather, extracellular Cl(-) acts by stabilizing the open configuration induced by Ca(2+) and by contributing to the Vm dependence of activation. PMID:27138167

  13. Revealing the activation pathway for TMEM16A chloride channels from macroscopic currents and kinetic models.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Vite, Juan A; Cruz-Rangel, Silvia; De Jesús-Pérez, José J; Figueroa, Iván A Aréchiga; Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A; Pérez-Cornejo, Patricia; Hartzell, H Criss; Arreola, Jorge

    2016-07-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1), the pore-forming subunit of calcium-activated chloride channels, regulates several physiological and pathophysiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac and neuronal excitability, salivary secretion, tumour growth and cancer progression. Gating of TMEM16A is complex because it involves the interplay between increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), membrane depolarization, extracellular Cl(-) or permeant anions and intracellular protons. Our goal here was to understand how these variables regulate TMEM16A gating and to explain four observations. (a) TMEM16A is activated by voltage in the absence of intracellular Ca(2+). (b) The Cl(-) conductance is decreased after reducing extracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)]o). (c) ICl is regulated by physiological concentrations of [Cl(-)]o. (d) In cells dialyzed with 0.2 μM [Ca(2+)]i, Cl(-) has a bimodal effect: at [Cl(-)]o <30 mM TMEM16A current activates with a monoexponential time course, but above 30 mM, [Cl(-)]o ICl activation displays fast and slow kinetics. To explain the contribution of Vm, Ca(2+) and Cl(-) to gating, we developed a 12-state Markov chain model. This model explains TMEM16A activation as a sequential, direct, and Vm-dependent binding of two Ca(2+) ions coupled to a Vm-dependent binding of an external Cl(-) ion, with Vm-dependent transitions between states. Our model predicts that extracellular Cl(-) does not alter the apparent Ca(2+) affinity of TMEM16A, which we corroborated experimentally. Rather, extracellular Cl(-) acts by stabilizing the open configuration induced by Ca(2+) and by contributing to the Vm dependence of activation.

  14. Determination of the physiological 2:2 TLR5:flagellin activation stoichiometry revealed by the activity of a fusion receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Ivičak-Kocjan, Karolina; Panter, Gabriela; Benčina, Mojca; Jerala, Roman

    2013-05-24

    Highlights: •The chimeric protein fusing flagellin to the TLR5 ectodomain is constitutively active. •Mutation P736H within the BB-loop of TLR5 TIR domain renders the receptor inactive. •The R90D mutation in flagellin inactivated autoactivation of the chimeric protein. •The 2:2 stoichiometry of the TLR5:flagellin complex is physiologically relevant. -- Abstract: Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) recognizes flagellin of most flagellated bacteria, enabling activation of the MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. The recently published crystal structure of a truncated zebrafish TLR5 ectodomain in complex with an inactive flagellin fragment indicated binding of two flagellin molecules to a TLR5 homodimer, however this complex did not dimerize in solution. In the present study, we aimed to determine the physiological stoichiometry of TLR5:flagellin activation by the use of a chimeric protein composed of an active flagellin fragment linked to the N-terminus of human TLR5 (SF-TLR5). This construct was constitutively active. Inactivation by the R90D mutation within flagellin demonstrated that autoactivation of the chimeric protein depended solely on the specific interaction between TLR5 and flagellin. Addition of wild-type hTLR5 substantially lowered autoactivation of SF-TLR5 in a concentration dependent manner, an effect which was reversible by the addition of exogenous Salmonella typhimurium flagellin, indicating the biological activity of a TLR5:flagellin complex with a 2:2 stoichiometry. These results, in addition to the combinations of inactive P736H mutation within the BB-loop of the TIR domain of TLR5 and SF-TLR5, further confirm the mechanism of TLR5 activation.

  15. Correlation between pedometer and the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire on physical activity measurement in office workers

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study aimed to examine the correlation of physical activity levels assessed by pedometer and those by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) in a population of office workers. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 320 office workers. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to each office worker by hand. Physical activity level was objectively assessed by a pedometer for 7 consecutive days and subjectively assessed by the GPAQ. Based on the pedometer and GPAQ outcomes, participants were classified into 3 groups: inactive, moderately active, and highly active. Results No correlation in the physical activity level assessed by the pedometer and GPAQ was found (rs = .08, P = 0.15). When considering the pedometer as the criterion for comparison, 65.3% of participants had underestimated their physical activity level using the GPAQ, whereas 9.3% of participants overestimated their physical activity level. Conclusions Physical activity level in office workers assessed by a subjective measure was greatly different from assessed by an objective tool. Consequently, research on physical activity level, especially in those with sedentary lifestyle, should consider using an objective measure to ensure that it closely reflects a person’s physical activity level. PMID:24886593

  16. Antioxidative activity of lactobacilli measured by oxygen radical absorbance capacity.

    PubMed

    Saide, J A O; Gilliland, S E

    2005-04-01

    The reducing ability and antioxidative activity of some species of Lactobacillus were compared under in vitro conditions. Cultures of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. lactis, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus casei were grown at 37 degrees C in de Man, Rogosa, Sharpe (MRS) broth supplemented with 0.5% 2,3,5 triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) to evaluate reducing activity. Reduced TTC was extracted from the cultures with acetone, and the intensity of the red color measured colorimetrically at 485 nm was an indication of reducing activity. The lactobacilli varied significantly in relative ability to reduce TTC when grown in MRS broth for 15 h. The relative amounts of growth as indicated by pH values at 18 h appeared to influence the amount of reduction. Antioxidative activity was evaluated by the ability of the whole cells or the cell-free extracts from cultures to protect a protein from being attacked by free radicals. These analyses were performed using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity method. All cultures tested exhibited some degree of antioxidative activity. Among the treatments, the cell-free extracts from cells grown in MRS broth exhibited significantly higher values than did whole cells. There was no apparent relationship between the reducing and antioxidative activities of the cultures evaluated. The results from this study show that these cultures can provide a source of dietary antioxidants. Furthermore, selection of cultures that produce antioxidants as starters could provide yet another health or nutritional benefit from cultured or culture-containing dairy products.

  17. Active spectroscopic measurements using the ITER diagnostic system

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D. M.; Counsell, G.; Johnson, D.; Vasu, P.; Zvonkov, A.

    2010-10-15

    Active (beam-based) spectroscopic measurements are intended to provide a number of crucial parameters for the ITER device being built in Cadarache, France. These measurements include the determination of impurity ion temperatures, absolute densities, and velocity profiles, as well as the determination of the plasma current density profile. Because ITER will be the first experiment to study long timescale ({approx}1 h) fusion burn plasmas, of particular interest is the ability to study the profile of the thermalized helium ash resulting from the slowing down and confinement of the fusion alphas. These measurements will utilize both the 1 MeV heating neutral beams and a dedicated 100 keV hydrogen diagnostic neutral beam. A number of separate instruments are being designed and built by several of the ITER partners to meet the different spectroscopic measurement needs and to provide the maximum physics information. In this paper, we describe the planned measurements, the intended diagnostic ensemble, and we will discuss specific physics and engineering challenges for these measurements in ITER.

  18. Active transmission isolation/rotor loads measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kenigsberg, I. J.; Defelice, J. J.

    1973-01-01

    Modifications were incorporated into a helicopter active transmission isolation system to provide the capability of utilizing the system as a rotor force measuring device. These included; (1) isolator redesign to improve operation and minimize friction, (2) installation of pressure transducers in each isolator, and (3) load cells in series with each torque restraint link. Full scale vibration tests performed during this study on a CH-53A helicopter airframe verified that these modifications do not degrade the systems wide band isolation characteristics. Bench tests performed on each isolator unit indicated that steady and transient loads can be measured to within 1 percent of applied load. Individual isolator vibratory load measurement accuracy was determined to be 4 percent. Load measurement accuracy was found to be independent of variations in all basic isolator operating characteristics. Full scale system load calibration tests on the CH-53A airframe established the feasibility of simultaneously providing wide band vibration isolation and accurate measurement of rotor loads. Principal rotor loads (lift, propulsive force, and torque) were measured to within 2 percent of applied load.

  19. Active spectroscopic measurements using the ITER diagnostic system.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D M; Counsell, G; Johnson, D; Vasu, P; Zvonkov, A

    2010-10-01

    Active (beam-based) spectroscopic measurements are intended to provide a number of crucial parameters for the ITER device being built in Cadarache, France. These measurements include the determination of impurity ion temperatures, absolute densities, and velocity profiles, as well as the determination of the plasma current density profile. Because ITER will be the first experiment to study long timescale (∼1 h) fusion burn plasmas, of particular interest is the ability to study the profile of the thermalized helium ash resulting from the slowing down and confinement of the fusion alphas. These measurements will utilize both the 1 MeV heating neutral beams and a dedicated 100 keV hydrogen diagnostic neutral beam. A number of separate instruments are being designed and built by several of the ITER partners to meet the different spectroscopic measurement needs and to provide the maximum physics information. In this paper, we describe the planned measurements, the intended diagnostic ensemble, and we will discuss specific physics and engineering challenges for these measurements in ITER.

  20. Ensemble Activation of G-Protein -Coupled Receptors Revealed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Xiang-Qiang; Perera, Suchithranga; Shrestha, Utsab; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Rhodopsin is a G-protein -coupled receptor (GPCR) involved in visual light perception and occurs naturally in a membrane lipid environment. Rhodopsin photoactivation yields cis-trans isomerization of retinal giving equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. Does photoactivation lead to a single Meta-II conformation, or do substates exist as described by an ensemble-activation mechanism (EAM)? We use small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to investigate conformational changes in rhodopsin-detergent and rhodopsin-lipid complexes upon photoactivation. Meta-I state is stabilized in CHAPS-solubilized rhodopsin, while Meta-II is trapped in DDM-solubilized rhodopsin. SANS data are acquired from 80% D2O solutions and at contrast-matching points for both DDM and CHAPS samples. Our experiments demonstrate that for detergent-solubilized rhodopsin, SANS with contrast variation can detect structural differences between the rhodopsin dark-state, Meta-I, Meta-II, and ligand-free opsin states. Dark-state rhodopsin has more conformational flexibility in DDM micelles compared to CHAPS, which is consistent with an ensemble of activated Meta-II states. Furthermore, time-resolved SANS enables study of the time-dependent structural transitions between Meta-I and Meta-II, which is crucial to understanding the ensemble-based activation.

  1. Reconstituted B cell receptor signaling reveals carbohydrate-dependent mode of activation

    PubMed Central

    Villar, Rina F.; Patel, Jinal; Weaver, Grant C.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; Wheatley, Adam K.; Yassine, Hadi M.; Costello, Catherine E.; Chandler, Kevin B.; McTamney, Patrick. M.; Nabel, Gary J.; McDermott, Adrian B.; Mascola, John R.; Carr, Steven A.; Lingwood, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Activation of immune cells (but not B cells) with lectins is widely known. We used the structurally defined interaction between influenza hemagglutinin (HA) and its cell surface receptor sialic acid (SA) to identify a B cell receptor (BCR) activation modality that proceeded through non-cognate interactions with antigen. Using a new approach to reconstitute antigen-receptor interactions in a human reporter B cell line, we found that sequence-defined BCRs from the human germline repertoire could be triggered by both complementarity to influenza HA and a separate mode of signaling that relied on multivalent ligation of BCR sialyl-oligosaccharide. The latter suggested a new mechanism for priming naïve B cell responses and manifested as the induction of SA-dependent pan-activation by peripheral blood B cells. BCR crosslinking in the absence of complementarity is a superantigen effect induced by some microbial products to subvert production of antigen-specific immune responses. B cell superantigen activity through affinity for BCR carbohydrate is discussed. PMID:27796362

  2. Vector analysis of ecoenzyme activities reveal constraints on coupled C, N and P dynamics

    EPA Science Inventory

    We developed a quantitative method for estimating resource allocation strategies of microbial communities based on the proportional activities of four, key extracellular enzymes, 1,4-ß-glucosidase (BG), leucine amino-peptidase (LAP), 1,4-ß-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG...

  3. How Force Might Activate Talin's Vinculin Binding Sites: SMD Reveals a Structural Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Hytönen, Vesa P; Vogel, Viola

    2008-01-01

    Upon cell adhesion, talin physically couples the cytoskeleton via integrins to the extracellular matrix, and subsequent vinculin recruitment is enhanced by locally applied tensile force. Since the vinculin binding (VB) sites are buried in the talin rod under equilibrium conditions, the structural mechanism of how vinculin binding to talin is force-activated remains unknown. Taken together with experimental data, a biphasic vinculin binding model, as derived from steered molecular dynamics, provides high resolution structural insights how tensile mechanical force applied to the talin rod fragment (residues 486–889 constituting helices H1–H12) might activate the VB sites. Fragmentation of the rod into three helix subbundles is prerequisite to the sequential exposure of VB helices to water. Finally, unfolding of a VB helix into a completely stretched polypeptide might inhibit further binding of vinculin. The first events in fracturing the H1–H12 rods of talin1 and talin2 in subbundles are similar. The proposed force-activated α-helix swapping mechanism by which vinculin binding sites in talin rods are exposed works distinctly different from that of other force-activated bonds, including catch bonds. PMID:18282082

  4. Beyond Rhyme or Reason: ERPs Reveal Task-Specific Activation of Orthography on Spoken Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pattamadilok, Chotiga; Perre, Laetitia; Ziegler, Johannes C.

    2011-01-01

    Metaphonological tasks, such as rhyme judgment, have been the primary tool for the investigation of the effects of orthographic knowledge on spoken language. However, it has been recently argued that the orthography effect in rhyme judgment does not reflect the automatic activation of orthographic codes but rather stems from sophisticated response…

  5. Transcriptomic sequencing reveals a set of unique genes activated by butyrate-induced histone modification

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs). Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes induced by butyrate in the bovine epithelial cell using deep RNA-sequencing technology (RNA-seq), a set of unique gen...

  6. Single molecule microscopy reveals mechanistic insight into RNA polymerase II preinitiation complex assembly and transcriptional activity

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Abigail E.; Kugel, Jennifer F.; Goodrich, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is a complex process that requires general transcription factors and Pol II to assemble on DNA into preinitiation complexes that can begin RNA synthesis upon binding of NTPs (nucleoside triphosphate). The pathways by which preinitiation complexes form, and how this impacts transcriptional activity are not completely clear. To address these issues, we developed a single molecule system using TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscopy and purified human transcription factors, which allows us to visualize transcriptional activity at individual template molecules. We see that stable interactions between polymerase II (Pol II) and a heteroduplex DNA template do not depend on general transcription factors; however, transcriptional activity is highly dependent upon TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF. We also found that subsets of general transcription factors and Pol II can form stable complexes that are precursors for functional transcription complexes upon addition of the remaining factors and DNA. Ultimately we found that Pol II, TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF can form a quaternary complex in the absence of promoter DNA, indicating that a stable network of interactions exists between these proteins independent of promoter DNA. Single molecule studies can be used to learn how different modes of preinitiation complex assembly impact transcriptional activity. PMID:27112574

  7. Fractal analysis reveals subclasses of neurons and suggests an explanation of their spontaneous activity.

    PubMed

    Favela, Luis H; Coey, Charles A; Griff, Edwin R; Richardson, Michael J

    2016-07-28

    The present work used fractal time series analysis (detrended fluctuation analysis; DFA) to examine the spontaneous activity of single neurons in an anesthetized animal model, specifically, the mitral cells in the rat main olfactory bulb. DFA bolstered previous research in suggesting two subclasses of mitral cells. Although there was no difference in the fractal scaling of the interspike interval series at the shorter timescales, there was a significant difference at longer timescales. Neurons in Group B exhibited fractal, power-law scaled interspike intervals, whereas neurons in Group A exhibited random variation. These results raise questions about the role of these different cells within the olfactory bulb and potential explanations of their dynamics. Specifically, self-organized criticality has been proposed as an explanation of fractal scaling in many natural systems, including neural systems. However, this theory is based on certain assumptions that do not clearly hold in the case of spontaneous neural activity, which likely reflects intrinsic cell dynamics rather than activity driven by external stimulation. Moreover, it is unclear how self-organized criticality might account for the random dynamics observed in Group A, and how these random dynamics might serve some functional role when embedded in the typical activity of the olfactory bulb. These theoretical considerations provide direction for additional experimental work. PMID:27189719

  8. Structures of Down syndrome kinases, DYRKs, reveal mechanisms of kinase activation and substrate recognition.

    PubMed

    Soundararajan, Meera; Roos, Annette K; Savitsky, Pavel; Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Kettenbach, Arminja N; Olsen, Jesper V; Gerber, Scott A; Eswaran, Jeyanthy; Knapp, Stefan; Elkins, Jonathan M

    2013-06-01

    Dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) play key roles in brain development, regulation of splicing, and apoptosis, and are potential drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. We present crystal structures of one representative member of each DYRK subfamily: DYRK1A with an ATP-mimetic inhibitor and consensus peptide, and DYRK2 including NAPA and DH (DYRK homology) box regions. The current activation model suggests that DYRKs are Ser/Thr kinases that only autophosphorylate the second tyrosine of the activation loop YxY motif during protein translation. The structures explain the roles of this tyrosine and of the DH box in DYRK activation and provide a structural model for DYRK substrate recognition. Phosphorylation of a library of naturally occurring peptides identified substrate motifs that lack proline in the P+1 position, suggesting that DYRK1A is not a strictly proline-directed kinase. Our data also show that DYRK1A wild-type and Y321F mutant retain tyrosine autophosphorylation activity. PMID:23665168

  9. Structures of Down Syndrome Kinases, DYRKs, Reveal Mechanisms of Kinase Activation and Substrate Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Soundararajan, Meera; Roos, Annette K.; Savitsky, Pavel; Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Kettenbach, Arminja N.; Olsen, Jesper V.; Gerber, Scott A.; Eswaran, Jeyanthy; Knapp, Stefan; Elkins, Jonathan M.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) play key roles in brain development, regulation of splicing, and apoptosis, and are potential drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. We present crystal structures of one representative member of each DYRK subfamily: DYRK1A with an ATP-mimetic inhibitor and consensus peptide, and DYRK2 including NAPA and DH (DYRK homology) box regions. The current activation model suggests that DYRKs are Ser/Thr kinases that only autophosphorylate the second tyrosine of the activation loop YxY motif during protein translation. The structures explain the roles of this tyrosine and of the DH box in DYRK activation and provide a structural model for DYRK substrate recognition. Phosphorylation of a library of naturally occurring peptides identified substrate motifs that lack proline in the P+1 position, suggesting that DYRK1A is not a strictly proline-directed kinase. Our data also show that DYRK1A wild-type and Y321F mutant retain tyrosine autophosphorylation activity. PMID:23665168

  10. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that activated monocytes contribute to neuronal injury in SIV neuroAIDS

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Kenneth; Westmoreland, Susan; Greco, Jane; Ratai, Eva; Lentz, Margaret; Kim, Woong-Ki; Fuller, Robert A.; Kim, John P.; Autissier, Patrick; Sehgal, Prahbat K.; Schinazi, Raymond F.; Bischofberger, Norbert; Piatak, Michael; Lifson, Jeffrey D.; Masliah, Eliezer; González, R. Gilberto

    2005-01-01

    Difficulties in understanding the mechanisms of HIV neuropathogenesis include the inability to study dynamic processes of infection, cumulative effects of the virus, and contributing host immune responses. We used 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy and studied monocyte activation and progression of CNS neuronal injury in a CD8 lymphocyte depletion model of neuroAIDS in SIV-infected rhesus macaque monkeys. We found early, consistent neuronal injury coincident with viremia and SIV infection/activation of monocyte subsets and sought to define the role of plasma virus and monocytes in contributing to CNS disease. Antiretroviral therapy with essentially non–CNS-penetrating agents resulted in slightly decreased levels of plasma virus, a significant reduction in the number of activated and infected monocytes, and rapid, near-complete reversal of neuronal injury. Robust macrophage accumulation and productive virus replication were found in brains of infected and CD8 lymphocyte–depleted animals, but no detectable virus and few scattered infiltrating macrophages were observed in CD8 lymphocyte–depleted animals compared with animals not receiving antiretroviruses that were sacrificed at the same time after infection. These results underscore the role of activated monocytes and monocyte infection outside of the brain in driving CNS disease. PMID:16110325

  11. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, John X

    2012-03-01

    With tasks involving action concept comprehension, many fMRI studies have reported brain activations in sensori-motor regions specific to effectors of the referent action. There is relatively less evidence whether such activations reflect early semantic access or late conceptual re-processing. Here we recorded event-related potentials when participants recognized noun-verb pairs. For Congruent pairs, the verb was the one most commonly associated with the noun (e.g., football-kick). Compared with a control condition, verbs in Congruent pairs showed priming effects in the time windows of 100-150 ms and 210-260 ms. Such activation seems to be specific to body part but not other aspects of the action as similar priming effect was also found when the noun and verb involved different actions though sharing the same body part (e.g., football-jump), documenting for the first time the early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension. PMID:22306088

  12. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, John X

    2012-03-01

    With tasks involving action concept comprehension, many fMRI studies have reported brain activations in sensori-motor regions specific to effectors of the referent action. There is relatively less evidence whether such activations reflect early semantic access or late conceptual re-processing. Here we recorded event-related potentials when participants recognized noun-verb pairs. For Congruent pairs, the verb was the one most commonly associated with the noun (e.g., football-kick). Compared with a control condition, verbs in Congruent pairs showed priming effects in the time windows of 100-150 ms and 210-260 ms. Such activation seems to be specific to body part but not other aspects of the action as similar priming effect was also found when the noun and verb involved different actions though sharing the same body part (e.g., football-jump), documenting for the first time the early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

  13. Emission measure distribution for diffuse regions in solar active regions

    SciTech Connect

    Subramanian, Srividya; Tripathi, Durgesh; Klimchuk, James A.; Mason, Helen E.

    2014-11-01

    Our knowledge of the diffuse emission that encompasses active regions is very limited. In this paper we investigate two off-limb active regions, namely, AR 10939 and AR 10961, to probe the underlying heating mechanisms. For this purpose, we have used spectral observations from Hinode/EIS and employed the emission measure (EM) technique to obtain the thermal structure of these diffuse regions. Our results show that the characteristic EM distributions of the diffuse emission regions peak at log T = 6.25 and the coolward slopes are in the range 1.4-3.3. This suggests that both low- as well as high-frequency nanoflare heating events are at work. Our results provide additional constraints on the properties of these diffuse emission regions and their contribution to the background/foreground when active region cores are observed on-disk.

  14. Methods of measuring Protein Disulfide Isomerase activity: a critical overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Monica; Laurindo, Francisco; Fernandes, Denise

    2014-09-01

    Protein disulfide isomerase is an essential redox chaperone from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and is responsible for correct disulfide bond formation in nascent proteins. PDI is also found in other cellular locations in the cell, particularly the cell surface. Overall, PDI contributes to ER and global cell redox homeostasis and signaling. The knowledge about PDI structure and function progressed substantially based on in vitro studies using recombinant PDI and chimeric proteins. In these experimental scenarios, PDI reductase and chaperone activities are readily approachable. In contrast, assays to measure PDI isomerase activity, the hallmark of PDI family, are more complex. Assessment of PDI roles in cells and tissues mainly relies on gain- or loss-of-function studies. However, there is limited information regarding correlation of experimental readouts with the distinct types of PDI activities. In this mini-review, we evaluate the main methods described for measuring the different kinds of PDI activity: thiol reductase, thiol oxidase, thiol isomerase and chaperone. We emphasize the need to use appropriate controls and the role of critical interferents (e.g., detergent, presence of reducing agents). We also discuss the translation of results from in vitro studies with purified recombinant PDI to cellular and tissue samples, with critical comments on the interpretation of results.

  15. Calculating Capstone Depleted Uranium Aerosol Concentrations from Beta Activity Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Szrom, Fran; Falo, Gerald A.; Parkhurst, MaryAnn; Whicker, Jeffrey J.; Alberth, David P.

    2009-03-01

    Beta activity measurements were used as surrogate measurements of uranium mass in aerosol samples collected during the field testing phase of the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study. These aerosol samples generated by the perforation of armored combat vehicles were used to characterize the depleted uranium (DU) source term for the subsequent human health risk assessment (HHRA) of Capstone aerosols. Establishing a calibration curve between beta activity measurements and uranium mass measurements is straightforward if the uranium isotopes are in equilibrium with their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny. For DU samples collected during the Capstone study, it was determined that the equilibrium between the uranium isotopes and their immediate short lived, beta-emitting progeny had been disrupted when penetrators had perforated target vehicles. Adjustments were made to account for the disrupted equilibrium and for wall losses in the aerosol samplers. Correction factors for the disrupted equilibrium ranged from 0.16 to 1, and the wall loss correction factors ranged from 1 to 1.92.

  16. Measurement of active drag during crawl arm stroke swimming.

    PubMed

    Hollander, A P; De Groot, G; van Ingen Schenau, G J; Toussaint, H M; De Best, H; Peeters, W; Meulemans, A; Schreurs, A W

    1986-01-01

    In order to measure active drag during front crawl swimming a system has been designed, built and tested. A tube (23 m long) with grips is fixed under the water surface and the swimmer crawls on this. At one end of the tube, a force transducer is attached to the wall of the swimming pool. It measures the momentary effective propulsive forces of the hands. During the measurements the subjects' legs are fixed together and supported by a buoy. After filtering and digitizing the electrical force signal, the mean propulsive force over one lane at constant speeds (ranging from about 1 to 2 m s-1) was calculated. The regression equation of the force on the speed turned out to be almost quadratic. At a mean speed of 1.55 m s-1 the mean force was 66.3 N. The accuracy of this force measured on one subject at different days was 4.1 N. The observed force, which is equal to the mean drag force, fits remarkably well with passive drag force values as well as with values calculated for propulsive forces during actual swimming reported in the literature. The use of the system does not interfere to any large extent with normal front crawl swimming; this conclusion is based on results of observations of film by skilled swim coaches. It was concluded that the system provides a good method of studying active drag and its relation to anthropometric variables and swimming technique.

  17. Image analysis to measure activity index of animals.

    PubMed

    Bloemen, H; Aerts, J M; Berckmans, D; Goedseels, V

    1997-05-01

    The objective of the study was to present a method to quantify the behavioural response of animals to their micro-environment by using a camera system and a digitiser board. An algorithm was developed for analysing images and calculating activity, occupied zone and boundary of the animals. The developed method was tested on 3 different applications and animals. In the first application, the behavioural responses of broiler chickens to their thermal environment was measured. In the second application behavioural responses of pigs to their thermal environment were measured. In the third application, the response of water fleas to a chromium pollution was measured using the developed technique. Based on the experimental results, it can be concluded that the developed image analysis technique can be employed to quantify the behavioural responses of the tested animals to their micro-environment, in an easy and accurate way.

  18. Multichannel brain recordings in behaving Drosophila reveal oscillatory activity and local coherence in response to sensory stimulation and circuit activation

    PubMed Central

    Paulk, Angelique C.; Zhou, Yanqiong; Stratton, Peter; Liu, Li

    2013-01-01

    Neural networks in vertebrates exhibit endogenous oscillations that have been associated with functions ranging from sensory processing to locomotion. It remains unclear whether oscillations may play a similar role in the insect brain. We describe a novel “whole brain” readout for Drosophila melanogaster using a simple multichannel recording preparation to study electrical activity across the brain of flies exposed to different sensory stimuli. We recorded local field potential (LFP) activity from >2,000 registered recording sites across the fly brain in >200 wild-type and transgenic animals to uncover specific LFP frequency bands that correlate with: 1) brain region; 2) sensory modality (olfactory, visual, or mechanosensory); and 3) activity in specific neural circuits. We found endogenous and stimulus-specific oscillations throughout the fly brain. Central (higher-order) brain regions exhibited sensory modality-specific increases in power within narrow frequency bands. Conversely, in sensory brain regions such as the optic or antennal lobes, LFP coherence, rather than power, best defined sensory responses across modalities. By transiently activating specific circuits via expression of TrpA1, we found that several circuits in the fly brain modulate LFP power and coherence across brain regions and frequency domains. However, activation of a neuromodulatory octopaminergic circuit specifically increased neuronal coherence in the optic lobes during visual stimulation while decreasing coherence in central brain regions. Our multichannel recording and brain registration approach provides an effective way to track activity simultaneously across the fly brain in vivo, allowing investigation of functional roles for oscillations in processing sensory stimuli and modulating behavior. PMID:23864378

  19. Structure of inorganic pyrophosphatase from Staphylococcus aureus reveals conformational flexibility of the active site.

    PubMed

    Gajadeera, Chathurada S; Zhang, Xinyi; Wei, Yinan; Tsodikov, Oleg V

    2015-02-01

    Cytoplasmic inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPiase) is an enzyme essential for survival of organisms, from bacteria to human. PPiases are divided into two structurally distinct families: family I PPiases are Mg(2+)-dependent and present in most archaea, eukaryotes and prokaryotes, whereas the relatively less understood family II PPiases are Mn(2+)-dependent and present only in some archaea, bacteria and primitive eukaryotes. Staphylococcus aureus (SA), a dangerous pathogen and a frequent cause of hospital infections, contains a family II PPiase (PpaC), which is an attractive potential target for development of novel antibacterial agents. We determined a crystal structure of SA PpaC in complex with catalytic Mn(2+) at 2.1Å resolution. The active site contains two catalytic Mn(2+) binding sites, each half-occupied, reconciling the previously observed 1:1 Mn(2+):enzyme stoichiometry with the presence of two divalent metal ion sites in the apo-enzyme. Unexpectedly, despite the absence of the substrate or products in the active site, the two domains of SA PpaC form a closed active site, a conformation observed in structures of other family II PPiases only in complex with substrate or product mimics. A region spanning residues 295-298, which contains a conserved substrate binding RKK motif, is flipped out of the active site, an unprecedented conformation for a PPiase. Because the mutant of Arg295 to an alanine is devoid of activity, this loop likely undergoes an induced-fit conformational change upon substrate binding and product dissociation. This closed conformation of SA PPiase may serve as an attractive target for rational design of inhibitors of this enzyme. PMID:25576794

  20. Flexibility in Anaerobic Metabolism as Revealed in a Mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Lacking Hydrogenase Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Dubini, A.; Mus, F.; Seibert, M.; Grossman, A. R.; Posewitz, M. C.

    2009-03-13

    The green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has a network of fermentation pathways that become active when cells acclimate to anoxia. Hydrogenase activity is an important component of this metabolism, and we have compared metabolic and regulatory responses that accompany anaerobiosis in wild-type C. reinhardtii cells and a null mutant strain for the HYDEF gene (hydEF-1 mutant), which encodes an [FeFe] hydrogenase maturation protein. This mutant has no hydrogenase activity and exhibits elevated accumulation of succinate and diminished production of CO2 relative to the parental strain during dark, anaerobic metabolism. In the absence of hydrogenase activity, increased succinate accumulation suggests that the cells activate alternative pathways for pyruvate metabolism, which contribute to NAD(P)H reoxidation, and continued glycolysis and fermentation in the absence of O2. Fermentative succinate production potentially proceeds via the formation of malate, and increases in the abundance of mRNAs encoding two malateforming enzymes, pyruvate carboxylase and malic enzyme, are observed in the mutant relative to the parental strain following transfer of cells from oxic to anoxic conditions. Although C. reinhardtii has a single gene encoding pyruvate carboxylase, it has six genes encoding putative malic enzymes. Only one of the malic enzyme genes, MME4, shows a dramatic increase in expression (mRNA abundance) in the hydEF-1 mutant during anaerobiosis. Furthermore, there are marked increases in transcripts encoding fumarase and fumarate reductase, enzymes putatively required to convert malate to succinate. These results illustrate the marked metabolic flexibility of C. reinhardtii and contribute to the development of an informed model of anaerobic metabolism in this and potentially other algae.

  1. An Activation Force-based Affinity Measure for Analyzing Complex Networks

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jun; Guo, Hanliang; Wang, Zhanyi

    2011-01-01

    Affinity measure is a key factor that determines the quality of the analysis of a complex network. Here, we introduce a type of statistics, activation forces, to weight the links of a complex network and thereby develop a desired affinity measure. We show that the approach is superior in facilitating the analysis through experiments on a large-scale word network and a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network consisting of ∼5,000 human proteins. The experiment on the word network verifies that the measured word affinities are highly consistent with human knowledge. Further, the experiment on the PPI network verifies the measure and presents a general method for the identification of functionally similar proteins based on PPIs. Most strikingly, we find an affinity network that compactly connects the cancer-associated proteins to each other, which may reveal novel information for cancer study; this includes likely protein interactions and key proteins in cancer-related signal transduction pathways. PMID:22355630

  2. Time Series Measurements of Diffuse Hydrothermal Flow at the ASHES Vent Field Reveal Tidally Modulated Heat and Volume Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittelstaedt, E. L.; Fornari, D. J.; Crone, T. J.

    2015-12-01

    Existing time-series measurements of temperature and velocity of diffuse hydrothermal fluids exhibit variability over a range of periods from seconds to days. Frequency analysis of these measurements reveals differences between studies and field locations including nearly white spectra, as well as spectra with peaks at tidal and inertial periods. Based upon these results, previous authors have suggested several processes that may control diffuse flow rates, including tidally induced currents and 'tidal pumping', and have also suggested that there are no systematic controls. To further investigate the processes that control variability in diffuse flow, we use data from a new, deep-sea camera and temperature measurement system, the Diffuse Effluent Measurement System (DEMS), deployed during the July, 2014 cruise of the R/V Atlantis. The DEMS was deployed with DSV Alvin above a fracture network at the Phoenix vent within the ASHES vent field (Axial Seamount, 1541 mbsl). The system collected 20 seconds of imagery at 20 Hz and 24 seconds of temperature measurements at 1 Hz each hour over the period between July 22 and August 2nd. Velocities of the upwelling fluids were calculated using Diffuse Fluid Velocimetry (DFV; Mittelstaedt et al., 2010). DFV is a cross correlation technique that tracks moving index of refraction anomalies (i.e., hot parcels of fluid) through time. Over the ~12 day deployment, median flow rates ranged from 0.5 cm/s to 6 cm/s and mean fluid temperature anomalies from 0°C up to ~6.5°C, yielding an average heat flux density of 0.23 MW/m2. Spectral analysis of both the measured temperatures and calculated velocities yield a peak in normalized power at the semi-diurnal lunar period (M2, 12.4hrs), but no other spectral peaks above the 95% confidence level. Here, we present these results and discuss their implications for the tidal current and tidal pressure models of diffuse flow variability at the ASHES vent field.

  3. Measuring Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) Activity in Children

    PubMed Central

    van Eijsden, Manon; Gemke, Reinoud J. B. J.; Vrijkotte, Tanja G. M.; de Geus, Eco J.

    2013-01-01

    The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls mainly automatic bodily functions that are engaged in homeostasis, like heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration and renal function. The ANS has two main branches: the sympathetic nervous system, preparing the human body for action in times of danger and stress, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the resting state of the body. ANS activity can be measured invasively, for instance by radiotracer techniques or microelectrode recording from superficial nerves, or it can be measured non-invasively by using changes in an organ's response as a proxy for changes in ANS activity, for instance of the sweat glands or the heart. Invasive measurements have the highest validity but are very poorly feasible in large scale samples where non-invasive measures are the preferred approach. Autonomic effects on the heart can be reliably quantified by the recording of the electrocardiogram (ECG) in combination with the impedance cardiogram (ICG), which reflects the changes in thorax impedance in response to respiration and the ejection of blood from the ventricle into the aorta. From the respiration and ECG signals, respiratory sinus arrhythmia can be extracted as a measure of cardiac parasympathetic control. From the ECG and the left ventricular ejection signals, the preejection period can be extracted as a measure of cardiac sympathetic control. ECG and ICG recording is mostly done in laboratory settings. However, having the subjects report to a laboratory greatly reduces ecological validity, is not always doable in large scale epidemiological studies, and can be intimidating for young children. An ambulatory device for ECG and ICG simultaneously resolves these three problems. Here, we present a study design for a minimally invasive and rapid assessment of cardiac autonomic control in children, using a validated ambulatory device 1-5, the VU University Ambulatory Monitoring System (VU

  4. Fractionation of a herbal antidiarrheal medicine reveals eugenol as an inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl- channel TMEM16A.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zhen; Namkung, Wan; Ko, Eun A; Park, Jinhong; Tradtrantip, Lukmanee; Verkman, A S

    2012-01-01

    The Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel TMEM16A is involved in epithelial fluid secretion, smooth muscle contraction and neurosensory signaling. We identified a Thai herbal antidiarrheal formulation that inhibited TMEM16A Cl(-) conductance. C18-reversed-phase HPLC fractionation of the herbal formulation revealed >98% of TMEM16A inhibition activity in one out of approximately 20 distinct peaks. The purified, active compound was identified as eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), the major component of clove oil. Eugenol fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl(-) conductance with single-site IC(50)~150 µM. Eugenol inhibition of TMEM16A in interstitial cells of Cajal produced strong inhibition of intestinal contraction in mouse ileal segments. TMEM16A Cl(-) channel inhibition adds to the list of eugenol molecular targets and may account for some of its biological activities. PMID:22666439

  5. Fractionation of a Herbal Antidiarrheal Medicine Reveals Eugenol as an Inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channel TMEM16A

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Zhen; Namkung, Wan; Ko, Eun A.; Park, Jinhong; Tradtrantip, Lukmanee; Verkman, A. S.

    2012-01-01

    The Ca2+-activated Cl− channel TMEM16A is involved in epithelial fluid secretion, smooth muscle contraction and neurosensory signaling. We identified a Thai herbal antidiarrheal formulation that inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance. C18-reversed-phase HPLC fractionation of the herbal formulation revealed >98% of TMEM16A inhibition activity in one out of approximately 20 distinct peaks. The purified, active compound was identified as eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), the major component of clove oil. Eugenol fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance with single-site IC50∼150 µM. Eugenol inhibition of TMEM16A in interstitial cells of Cajal produced strong inhibition of intestinal contraction in mouse ileal segments. TMEM16A Cl− channel inhibition adds to the list of eugenol molecular targets and may account for some of its biological activities. PMID:22666439

  6. Characterization of purified human Bact spliceosomal complexes reveals compositional and morphological changes during spliceosome activation and first step catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Bessonov, Sergey; Anokhina, Maria; Krasauskas, Andrius; Golas, Monika M.; Sander, Bjoern; Will, Cindy L.; Urlaub, Henning; Stark, Holger; Lührmann, Reinhard

    2010-01-01

    To better understand the compositional and structural dynamics of the human spliceosome during its activation, we set out to isolate spliceosomal complexes formed after precatalytic B but prior to catalytically active C complexes. By shortening the polypyrimidine tract of the PM5 pre-mRNA, which lacks a 3′ splice site and 3′ exon, we stalled spliceosome assembly at the activation stage. We subsequently affinity purified human Bact complexes under the same conditions previously used to isolate B and C complexes, and analyzed their protein composition by mass spectrometry. A comparison of the protein composition of these complexes allowed a fine dissection of compositional changes during the B to Bact and Bact to C transitions, and comparisons with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bact complex revealed that the compositional dynamics of the spliceosome during activation are largely conserved between lower and higher eukaryotes. Human SF3b155 and CDC5L were shown to be phosphorylated specifically during the B to Bact and Bact to C transition, respectively, suggesting these modifications function at these stages of splicing. The two-dimensional structure of the human Bact complex was determined by electron microscopy, and a comparison with the B complex revealed that the morphology of the human spliceosome changes significantly during its activation. The overall architecture of the human and S. cerevisiae Bact complex is similar, suggesting that many of the higher order interactions among spliceosomal components, as well as their dynamics, are also largely conserved. PMID:20980672

  7. Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) as revealed by Ferrybox measurements in 2007-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikas, Villu; Lips, Urmas

    2016-07-01

    Ferrybox measurements have been carried out between Tallinn and Helsinki in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) on a regular basis since 1997. The system measures autonomously water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a fluorescence and turbidity and takes water samples for further analyses at a predefined time interval. We aimed to show how the Ferrybox technology could be used to study the coastal upwelling events in the Gulf of Finland. Based on the introduced upwelling index and related criteria, 33 coastal upwelling events were identified in May-September 2007-2013. The number of events, as well as the frequency of their occurrence and intensity expressed as a sum of daily average temperature deviations in the 20 km wide coastal area, were almost equal near the northern and southern coasts. Nevertheless, the wind impulse, which was needed to generate upwelling events of similar intensity, differed between the northern and southern coastal areas. It is suggested that the general thermohaline structure adapted to the prevailing forcing and the estuarine character of the basin weaken the upwelling created by the westerly to southwesterly (up-estuary) winds and strengthen the upwelling created by the easterly to northeasterly (down-estuary) winds. Two types of upwelling events were identified - one characterized by a strong temperature front and the other revealing gradual decrease in temperature from the open sea to the coastal area, with maximum temperature deviation close to the shore.

  8. Negative differential mobility for negative carriers as revealed by space charge measurements on crosslinked polyethylene insulated model cables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teyssedre, G.; Vu, T. T. N.; Laurent, C.

    2015-12-01

    Among features observed in polyethylene materials under relatively high field, space charge packets, consisting in a pulse of net charge that remains in the form of a pulse as it crosses the insulation, are repeatedly observed but without complete theory explaining their formation and propagation. Positive charge packets are more often reported, and the models based on negative differential mobility(NDM) for the transport of holes could account for some charge packets phenomenology. Conversely, NDM for electrons transport has never been reported so far. The present contribution reports space charge measurements by pulsed electroacoustic method on miniature cables that are model of HVDC cables. The measurements were realized at room temperature or with a temperature gradient of 10 °C through the insulation under DC fields on the order 30-60 kV/mm. Space charge results reveal systematic occurrence of a negative front of charges generated at the inner electrode that moves toward the outer electrode at the beginning of the polarization step. It is observed that the transit time of the front of negative charge increases, and therefore the mobility decreases, with the applied voltage. Further, the estimated mobility, in the range 10-14-10-13 m2 V-1 s-1 for the present results, increases when the temperature increases for the same condition of applied voltage. The features substantiate the hypothesis of negative differential mobility used for modelling space charge packets.

  9. Color-Doppler sonographic tissue perfusion measurements reveal significantly diminished renal cortical perfusion in kidneys with vesicoureteral reflux.

    PubMed

    Scholbach, T M; Sachse, C

    2016-01-01

    Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and its sequelae may lead to reduced renal perfusion and loss of renal function. Methods to describe and monitor tissue perfusion are needed. We investigated dynamic tissue perfusion measurement (DTPM) with the PixelFlux-software to measure microvascular changes in the renal cortex in 35 children with VUR and 28 healthy children. DTPM of defined horizontal slices of the renal cortex was carried out. A kidney was assigned to the "low grade reflux"-group if the reflux grade of the voiding cystourethrogram was 1 to 3 and to the "high grade reflux"-group if the reflux grade was 4 to 5. Kidneys with VUR showed a significantly reduced cortical perfusion. Compared to healthy kidneys, this decline reached in low and high grade refluxes within the proximal 50% of the cortex: 3% and 12 %, in the distal 50% of the cortex: 21% and 44 % and in the most distal 20 % of the cortex 41% and 44%. DTPM reveals a perfusion loss in kidneys depending on the degree of VUR, which is most pronounced in the peripheral cortex. Thus, DTPM offers the tool to evaluate microvascular perfusion, to help planning treatment decisions in children with VUR.

  10. 10Be surface exposure dating reveals strong active deformation in the central Andean backarc interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Morabito, Ezequiel; Terrizzano, Carla; Zech, Roland; Willett, Sean; Yamin, Marcela; Haghipour, Negar; Wuethrich, Lorenz; Christl, Marcus; María Cortes, José; Ramos, Victor

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the deformation associated with active thrust wedges is essential to evaluate seismic hazard. How is active faulting distributed throughout the wedge, and how much deformation is taken up by individual structures? We address these questions for our study region, the central Andean backarc of Argentina. We combined a structural and geomorphological approach with surface exposure dating (10Be) of alluvial fans and strath terraces in two key localities at ~32° S: the Cerro Salinas, located in the active orogenic front of the Precordillera, and the Barreal block in the interior of the Andean mountain range. We analysed 22 surface samples and 6 depth profiles. At the thrust front, the oldest terrace (T1) yields an age of 100-130 ka, the intermediate terrace (T2) between 40-95 ka, and the youngest terrace (T3) an age of ~20 ka. In the Andean interior, T1´ dates to 117-146 ka, T2´ to ~70 ka, and T3´ to ~20 ka, all calculations assuming negligible erosion and using the scaling scheme for spallation based on Lal 1991, Stone 2000. Vertical slip rates of fault offsets are 0.3-0.5 mm/yr and of 0.6-1.2 mm/yr at the thrust front and in the Andean interior, respectively. Our results highlight: i) fault activity related to the growth of the Andean orogenic wedge is not only limited to a narrow thrust front zone. Internal structures have been active during the last 150 ka, ii) deformation rates in the Andean interior are comparable or even higher that those estimated and reported along the emerging thrust front, iii) distribution of active faulting seems to account for unsteady state conditions, and iv) seismic hazards may be more relevant in the internal parts of the Andean orogen than assumed so far. References Lal, D., 1991: Cosmic ray labeling of erosion surfaces: In situ nuclide production rates and erosion models. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 104: 424-439. Stone, J.O., 2000: Air pressure and cosmogenic isotope production. Journal of Geophysical

  11. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Genetic and Chemical Activators ofPeroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor alpha (PPARalpha)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of chemical, diet and genetic perturbations that activate PPARalpha in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful to identify the factors that may contribute to PPARalpha-dependent liver tumors. A gene signature dependent on PPARalpha ac...

  12. Radon-222 activity flux measurement using activated charcoal canisters: revisiting the methodology.

    PubMed

    Alharbi, Sami H; Akber, Riaz A

    2014-03-01

    The measurement of radon ((222)Rn) activity flux using activated charcoal canisters was examined to investigate the distribution of the adsorbed (222)Rn in the charcoal bed and the relationship between (222)Rn activity flux and exposure time. The activity flux of (222)Rn from five sources of varying strengths was measured for exposure times of one, two, three, five, seven, 10, and 14 days. The distribution of the adsorbed (222)Rn in the charcoal bed was obtained by dividing the bed into six layers and counting each layer separately after the exposure. (222)Rn activity decreased in the layers that were away from the exposed surface. Nevertheless, the results demonstrated that only a small correction might be required in the actual application of charcoal canisters for activity flux measurement, where calibration standards were often prepared by the uniform mixing of radium ((226)Ra) in the matrix. This was because the diffusion of (222)Rn in the charcoal bed and the detection efficiency as a function of the charcoal depth tended to counterbalance each other. The influence of exposure time on the measured (222)Rn activity flux was observed in two situations of the canister exposure layout: (a) canister sealed to an open bed of the material and (b) canister sealed over a jar containing the material. The measured (222)Rn activity flux decreased as the exposure time increased. The change in the former situation was significant with an exponential decrease as the exposure time increased. In the latter case, lesser reduction was noticed in the observed activity flux with respect to exposure time. This reduction might have been related to certain factors, such as absorption site saturation or the back diffusion of (222)Rn gas occurring at the canister-soil interface.

  13. Measurement of PIP3 Levels Reveals an Unexpected Role for p110β in Early Adaptive Responses to p110α-Specific Inhibitors in Luminal Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Carlotta; Ebi, Hiromichi; Martini, Miriam; Beausoleil, Sean A.; Faber, Anthony C.; Jakubik, Charles T.; Huang, Alan; Wang, Youzhen; Nishtala, Madhuri; Hall, Ben; Rikova, Klarisa; Zhao, Jean; Hirsch, Emilio; Benes, Cyril H.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY BYL719, which selectively inhibits the alpha isoform of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunit (p110α), is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors, especially luminal breast cancers with PIK3CA mutations and/or HER2 amplification. This study reveals that, even among these sensitive cancers, the initial efficacy of p110α inhibition is mitigated by rapid re-accumulation of the PI3K product PIP3 produced by the p110β isoform. Importantly, the reactivation of PI3K mediated by p110β does not invariably restore AKT phosphorylation, demonstrating the limitations of using phospho-AKT as a surrogate to measure PI3K activation. Consistently, we show that the addition of the p110β inhibitor to BYL719 prevents the PIP3 rebound and induces greater antitumor efficacy in HER2-amplified and PIK3CA mutant cancers. PMID:25544637

  14. Synthesis of Isomeric Phosphoubiquitin Chains Reveals that Phosphorylation Controls Deubiquitinase Activity and Specificity.

    PubMed

    Huguenin-Dezot, Nicolas; De Cesare, Virginia; Peltier, Julien; Knebel, Axel; Kristaryianto, Yosua Adi; Rogerson, Daniel T; Kulathu, Yogesh; Trost, Matthias; Chin, Jason W

    2016-07-26

    Ubiquitin is post-translationally modified by phosphorylation at several sites, but the consequences of these modifications are largely unknown. Here, we synthesize multi-milligram quantities of ubiquitin phosphorylated at serine 20, serine 57, and serine 65 via genetic code expansion. We use these phosphoubiquitins for the enzymatic assembly of 20 isomeric phosphoubiquitin dimers, with different sites of isopeptide linkage and/or phosphorylation. We discover that phosphorylation of serine 20 on ubiquitin converts UBE3C from a dual-specificity E3 ligase into a ligase that primarily synthesizes K48 chains. We profile the activity of 31 deubiquitinases on the isomeric phosphoubiquitin dimers in 837 reactions, and we discover that phosphorylation at distinct sites in ubiquitin can activate or repress cleavage of a particular linkage by deubiquitinases and that phosphorylation at a single site in ubiquitin can control the specificity of deubiquitinases for distinct ubiquitin linkages. PMID:27425610

  15. Revealing the Origin of Activity in Nitrogen-Doped Nanocarbons towards Electrocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyuan; Kan, Yuhe; Huang, Rui; Zhang, Bingsen; Wang, Bolun; Wu, Kuang-Hsu; Lin, Yangming; Sun, Xiaoyan; Li, Qingfeng; Centi, Gabriele; Su, Dangsheng

    2016-05-23

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are functionalized with nitrogen atoms for reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2 ). The investigation explores the origin of the catalyst's activity and the role of nitrogen chemical states therein. The catalysts show excellent performances, with about 90 % current efficiency for CO formation and stability over 60 hours. The Tafel analyses and density functional theory calculations suggest that the reduction of CO2 proceeds through an initial rate-determining transfer of one electron to CO2 , which leads to the formation of carbon dioxide radical anion (CO2 (.-) ). The initial reduction barrier is too high on pristine CNTs, resulting in a very high overpotentials at which the hydrogen evolution reaction dominates over CO2 reduction. The doped nitrogen atoms stabilize the radical anion, thereby lowering the initial reduction barrier and improving the intrinsic activity. The most efficient nitrogen chemical state for this reaction is quaternary nitrogen, followed by pyridinic and pyrrolic nitrogen.

  16. Genome sequence of Wickerhamomyces anomalus DSM 6766 reveals genetic basis of biotechnologically important antimicrobial activities.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jessica; Rupp, Oliver; Trost, Eva; Jaenicke, Sebastian; Passoth, Volkmar; Goesmann, Alexander; Tauch, Andreas; Brinkrolf, Karina

    2012-05-01

    The ascomycetous yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus (formerly Pichia anomala and Hansenula anomala) exhibits antimicrobial activities and flavoring features that are responsible for its frequent association with food, beverage and feed products. However, limited information on the genetic background of this yeast and its multiple capabilities are currently available. Here, we present the draft genome sequence of the neotype strain W. anomalus DSM 6766. On the basis of pyrosequencing, a de novo assembly of this strain resulted in a draft genome sequence with a total size of 25.47 Mbp. An automatic annotation using RAPYD generated 11 512 protein-coding sequences. This annotation provided the basis to analyse metabolic capabilities, phylogenetic relationships, as well as biotechnologically important features and yielded novel candidate genes of W. anomalus DSM 6766 coding for proteins participating in antimicrobial activities. PMID:22292503

  17. Stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanoma imaging for dermatologists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Lian, Christine; Ma, Jie; Yu, Jingyi; Gu, Zetong; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2014-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in a mouse hair and a formalin fixed mouse melanoma were compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) images and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM) images, all of which were acquired at an excitation wavelength of 920 nm, to further prove the effectiveness of SMPAF in detecting melanin. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection to MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF can be a promising technology to enable melanoma imaging for dermatologists.

  18. Genetic dissection of the phospholipid hydroperoxidase activity of yeast gpx3 reveals its functional importance.

    PubMed

    Avery, Angela M; Willetts, Sylvia A; Avery, Simon V

    2004-11-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae expresses multiple phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx)-like proteins in the absence of a classical glutathione peroxidase (cGPx), providing a unique system for dissecting the roles of these enzymes in vivo. The Gpx3 (Orp1/PHGpx3) protein transduces the hydroperoxide signal to the transcription factor Yap1, a function that could account for most GPX-dependent phenotypes. To test this hypothesis and ascertain what functions of Gpx3 can be shared by cGPx-like enzymes, we constructed a novel cGPx-like yeast enzyme, cGpx3. We confirmed that the "gap" sequences conserved among cGPxs but absent from aligned PHGPx sequences are the principal cause of the structural and functional differences of these enzymes. Peroxidase activity against a cGPx substrate was high in the cGpx3 construct, which was multimeric and had a peroxidase catalytic mechanism distinct from Gpx3; but cGpx3 was defective for phospholipid hydroperoxidase and signaling activities. cGpx3 did not complement the sensitivity to lipid peroxidation of a gpxDelta mutant, and the resistance to lipid peroxidation conferred by Gpx3 was independent of Yap1, establishing a functional role for Gpx3 phospholipid hydroperoxidase activity. Using the comparison between cGpx3 and Gpx3 in conjunction with other constructs to probe lipid peroxidation as a toxicity mechanism, we also ascertained that lipid peroxidation-dependent processes are a principal cause of cellular cadmium toxicity. The results demonstrate that phospholipid hydroperoxidase and Yap1-mediated signaling activities of Gpx3 have independent functional roles, although both functions depend on the absence of cGPx-like subunit interaction sites, and the results resolve more clearly the potential drivers of the differential selective evolution of GPx-like enzymes. PMID:15337745

  19. Conformational study reveals amino acid residues essential for hemagglutinating and anti-proliferative activities of Clematis montana lectin.

    PubMed

    Lu, Bangmin; Zhang, Bin; Qi, Wei; Zhu, Yanan; Zhao, Yan; Zhou, Nan; Sun, Rong; Bao, Jinku; Wu, Chuanfang

    2014-11-01

    Clematis montana lectin (CML), a novel mannose-binding lectin purified from C. montana Buch.-Ham stem (Ranunculaceae), has been proved to have hemagglutinating activity in rabbit erythrocytes and apoptosis-inducing activity in tumor cells. However, the biochemical properties of CML have not revealed and its structural information still needs to be elucidated. In this study, it was found that CML possessed quite good thermostability and alkaline resistance, and its hemagglutinating activity was bivalent metal cation dependent. In addition, hemagglutination test and fluorescence spectroscopy proved that GuHCl, urea, and sodium dodecyl sulfate could change the conformation of CML and further caused the loss of hemagglutination activity. Moreover, the changes of fluorescence spectrum indicated that the tryptophan (Trp) microenvironment conversion might be related to the conformation and bioactivities of CML. In addition, it was also found that Trp residues, arginine (Arg) residues, and sulfhydryl were important for the hemagglutinating activity of CML, but only Trp was proved to be crucial for the CML conformation. Furthermore, the Trp, Arg, and sulfhydryl-modified CML exhibited 97.17%, 76.99%, and 49.64% loss of its anti-proliferative activity, respectively, which was consistent with the alterations of its hemagglutinating activity. Given these findings, Trp residues on the surface of CML are essential for the active center to form substrate-accessible conformation and suitable environment for carbohydrate binding. PMID:25239139

  20. Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus nucleoprotein reveals endonuclease activity in bunyaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yu; Wang, Wenming; Ji, Wei; Deng, Maping; Sun, Yuna; Zhou, Honggang; Yang, Cheng; Deng, Fei; Wang, Hualin; Hu, Zhihong; Lou, Zhiyong; Rao, Zihe

    2012-01-01

    Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), a virus with high mortality in humans, is a member of the genus Nairovirus in the family Bunyaviridae, and is a causative agent of severe hemorrhagic fever (HF). It is classified as a biosafety level 4 pathogen and a potential bioterrorism agent due to its aerosol infectivity and its ability to cause HF outbreaks with high case fatality (∼30%). However, little is known about the structural features and function of nucleoproteins (NPs) in the Bunyaviridae, especially in CCHFV. Here we report a 2.3-Å resolution crystal structure of the CCHFV nucleoprotein. The protein has a racket-shaped overall structure with distinct “head” and “stalk” domains and differs significantly with NPs reported so far from other negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. Furthermore, CCHFV NP shows a distinct metal-dependent DNA-specific endonuclease activity. Single residue mutations in the predicted active site resulted in a significant reduction in the observed endonuclease activity. Our results present a new folding mechanism and function for a negative-strand RNA virus nucleoprotein, extend our structural insight into bunyavirus NPs, and provide a potential target for antiviral drug development to treat CCHFV infection. PMID:22421137

  1. A new autocatalytic activation mechanism for cysteine proteases revealed by Prevotella intermedia interpain A

    PubMed Central

    Mallorquí-Fernández, Noemí; Manandhar, Surya P.; Mallorquí-Fernández, Goretti; Usón, Isabel; Wawrzonek, Katarzyna; Kantyka, Tomasz; Solà, Maria; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Enghild, Jan J.; Potempa, Jan; Gomis-Rüth, F.Xavier

    2009-01-01

    Prevotella intermedia is a major periodontopathogen contributing to human gingivitis and periodontitis. Such pathogens release proteases as virulence factors that cause deterrence of host defences and tissue destruction. A new cysteine protease from the cysteine-histidine-dyad class, interpain A, was studied in its zymogenic and its self-processed mature form. The latter consists of a bivalved moiety made up by two subdomains. In the structure of a catalytic cysteine-to-alanine zymogen variant, the right subdomain interacts with an unusual prodomain, thus contributing to latency. Unlike the catalytic cysteine residue, already in its competent conformation in the zymogen, the catalytic histidine is swung out from its active conformation and trapped in a cage shaped by a backing helix, a zymogenic hairpin and a latency flap in the zymogen. Dramatic rearrangement of up to 20Å of these elements triggered by a tryptophan switch occurs during activation and accounts for a new activation mechanism for proteolytic enzymes. These findings can be extrapolated to related potentially pathogenic cysteine proteases such as Streprococcus pyogenes SpeB and Porphyromonas gingivalis periodontain. PMID:17993455

  2. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  3. Structure of Human Acid Sphingomyelinase Reveals the Role of the Saposin Domain in Activating Substrate Hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zi-Jian; Huang, Jingjing; Poda, Gennady; Pomès, Régis; Privé, Gilbert G

    2016-07-31

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is a lysosomal phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to produce ceramide and phosphocholine. While other lysosomal sphingolipid hydrolases require a saposin activator protein for full activity, the ASM polypeptide incorporates a built-in N-terminal saposin domain and does not require an external activator protein. Here, we report the crystal structure of human ASM and describe the organization of the three main regions of the enzyme: the N-terminal saposin domain, the proline-rich connector, and the catalytic domain. The saposin domain is tightly associated along an edge of the large, bowl-shaped catalytic domain and adopts an open form that exposes a hydrophobic concave surface approximately 30Å from the catalytic center. The calculated electrostatic potential of the enzyme is electropositive at the acidic pH of the lysosome, consistent with the strict requirement for the presence of acidic lipids in target membranes. Docking studies indicate that sphingomyelin binds with the ceramide-phosphate group positioned at the binuclear zinc center and molecular dynamic simulations indicate that the intrinsic flexibility of the saposin domain is important for monomer-dimer exchange and for membrane interactions. Overall, ASM uses a combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions to cause local disruptions of target bilayers in order to bring the lipid headgroup to the catalytic center in a membrane-bound reaction. PMID:27349982

  4. Analysis of protein phosphorylation in nerve terminal reveals extensive changes in active zone proteins upon exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Kohansal-Nodehi, Mahdokht; Chua, John JE; Urlaub, Henning; Jahn, Reinhard; Czernik, Dominika

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter release is mediated by the fast, calcium-triggered fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane, followed by endocytosis and recycling of the membrane of synaptic vesicles. While many of the proteins governing these processes are known, their regulation is only beginning to be understood. Here we have applied quantitative phosphoproteomics to identify changes in phosphorylation status of presynaptic proteins in resting and stimulated nerve terminals isolated from the brains of Wistar rats. Using rigorous quantification, we identified 252 phosphosites that are either up- or downregulated upon triggering calcium-dependent exocytosis. Particularly pronounced were regulated changes of phosphosites within protein constituents of the presynaptic active zone, including bassoon, piccolo, and RIM1. Additionally, we have mapped kinases and phosphatases that are activated upon stimulation. Overall, our study provides a snapshot of phosphorylation changes associated with presynaptic activity and provides a foundation for further functional analysis of key phosphosites involved in presynaptic plasticity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14530.001 PMID:27115346

  5. Spores of many common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity in oil immersion freezing experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Grothe, H.

    2013-12-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to act as ice nuclei. In this study the ice nucleation (IN) activity of spores harvested from 29 fungal strains belonging to 21 different species was tested in the immersion freezing mode by microscopic observation of water-in-oil emulsions. Spores of 8 of these strains were also investigated in a microdroplet freezing array instrument. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. Besides common molds (Ascomycota), some representatives of the widespread group of mushrooms (Basidiomycota) were also investigated. Fusarium avenaceum was the only sample showing IN activity at relatively high temperatures (about 264 K), while the other investigated fungal spores showed no freezing above 248 K. Many of the samples indeed froze at homogeneous ice nucleation temperatures (about 237 K). In combination with other studies, this suggests that only a limited number of species may act as atmospheric ice nuclei. This would be analogous to what is already known for the bacterial ice nuclei. Apart from that, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during their cultivation. This was in order to test if the exposure to a cold environment encourages the expression of ice nuclei during growth as a way of adaptation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  6. Retinal orientation and interactions in rhodopsin reveal a two-stage trigger mechanism for activation

    PubMed Central

    Kimata, Naoki; Pope, Andreyah; Eilers, Markus; Opefi, Chikwado A.; Ziliox, Martine; Hirshfeld, Amiram; Zaitseva, Ekaterina; Vogel, Reiner; Sheves, Mordechai; Reeves, Philip J.; Smith, Steven O.

    2016-01-01

    The 11-cis retinal chromophore is tightly packed within the interior of the visual receptor rhodopsin and isomerizes to the all-trans configuration following absorption of light. The mechanism by which this isomerization event drives the outward rotation of transmembrane helix H6, a hallmark of activated G protein-coupled receptors, is not well established. To address this question, we use solid-state NMR and FTIR spectroscopy to define the orientation and interactions of the retinal chromophore in the active metarhodopsin II intermediate. Here we show that isomerization of the 11-cis retinal chromophore generates strong steric interactions between its β-ionone ring and transmembrane helices H5 and H6, while deprotonation of its protonated Schiff's base triggers the rearrangement of the hydrogen-bonding network involving residues on H6 and within the second extracellular loop. We integrate these observations with previous structural and functional studies to propose a two-stage mechanism for rhodopsin activation. PMID:27585742

  7. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Cockburn, Darrell; Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Lewińska, Anna; Abou Hachem, Maher; Svensson, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) have been used to study auxiliary binding sites. These techniques are complementary as AE allows monitoring of binding to soluble polysaccharides, IPP to insoluble polysaccharides and SPR to oligosaccharides. Here we show that these methods are useful not only for analyzing known binding sites, but also for identifying new ones, even without structural data available. We further verify the chosen assays discriminate between known SBS/CBM containing enzymes and negative controls. Altogether 35 enzymes are screened for the presence of SBSs or CBMs and several novel binding sites are identified, including the first SBS ever reported in a cellulase. This work demonstrates that combinations of these methods can be used as a part of routine enzyme characterization to identify new binding sites and advance the study of SBSs and CBMs, allowing them to be detected in the absence of structural data. PMID:27504624

  8. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanisms of Allosteric Activation of Hsp90 by Designed Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Vettoretti, Gerolamo; Moroni, Elisabetta; Sattin, Sara; Tao, Jiahui; Agard, David A.; Bernardi, Anna; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Controlling biochemical pathways through chemically designed modulators may provide novel opportunities to develop therapeutic drugs and chemical tools. The underlying challenge is to design new molecular entities able to act as allosteric chemical switches that selectively turn on/off functions by modulating the conformational dynamics of their target protein. We examine the origins of the stimulation of ATPase and closure kinetics in the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by allosteric modulators through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analysis of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, we focus on the cross-talk between allosteric ligands and protein conformations and its effect on the dynamic properties of the chaperone’s active state. We examine the impact of different allosteric modulators on the stability, structural and internal dynamics properties of Hsp90 closed state. A critical aspect of this study is the development of a quantitative model that correlates Hsp90 activation to the presence of a certain compound, making use of information on the dynamic adaptation of protein conformations to the presence of the ligand, which allows to capture conformational states relevant in the activation process. We discuss the implications of considering the conformational dialogue between allosteric ligands and protein conformations for the design of new functional modulators. PMID:27032695

  9. Structure of Human Acid Sphingomyelinase Reveals the Role of the Saposin Domain in Activating Substrate Hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zi-Jian; Huang, Jingjing; Poda, Gennady; Pomès, Régis; Privé, Gilbert G

    2016-07-31

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is a lysosomal phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to produce ceramide and phosphocholine. While other lysosomal sphingolipid hydrolases require a saposin activator protein for full activity, the ASM polypeptide incorporates a built-in N-terminal saposin domain and does not require an external activator protein. Here, we report the crystal structure of human ASM and describe the organization of the three main regions of the enzyme: the N-terminal saposin domain, the proline-rich connector, and the catalytic domain. The saposin domain is tightly associated along an edge of the large, bowl-shaped catalytic domain and adopts an open form that exposes a hydrophobic concave surface approximately 30Å from the catalytic center. The calculated electrostatic potential of the enzyme is electropositive at the acidic pH of the lysosome, consistent with the strict requirement for the presence of acidic lipids in target membranes. Docking studies indicate that sphingomyelin binds with the ceramide-phosphate group positioned at the binuclear zinc center and molecular dynamic simulations indicate that the intrinsic flexibility of the saposin domain is important for monomer-dimer exchange and for membrane interactions. Overall, ASM uses a combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions to cause local disruptions of target bilayers in order to bring the lipid headgroup to the catalytic center in a membrane-bound reaction.

  10. Polycomb repressive complex 2 structure with inhibitor reveals a mechanism of activation and drug resistance

    PubMed Central

    Brooun, Alexei; Gajiwala, Ketan S.; Deng, Ya-Li; Liu, Wei; Bolaños, Ben; Bingham, Patrick; He, You-Ai; Diehl, Wade; Grable, Nicole; Kung, Pei-Pei; Sutton, Scott; Maegley, Karen A.; Yu, Xiu; Stewart, Al E.

    2016-01-01

    Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) mediates gene silencing through chromatin reorganization by methylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27). Overexpression of the complex and point mutations in the individual subunits of PRC2 have been shown to contribute to tumorigenesis. Several inhibitors of the PRC2 activity have shown efficacy in EZH2-mutated lymphomas and are currently in clinical development, although the molecular basis of inhibitor recognition remains unknown. Here we report the crystal structures of the inhibitor-bound wild-type and Y641N PRC2. The structures illuminate an important role played by a stretch of 17 residues in the N-terminal region of EZH2, we call the activation loop, in the stimulation of the enzyme activity, inhibitor recognition and the potential development of the mutation-mediated drug resistance. The work presented here provides new avenues for the design and development of next-generation PRC2 inhibitors through establishment of a structure-based drug design platform. PMID:27122193

  11. Retinal orientation and interactions in rhodopsin reveal a two-stage trigger mechanism for activation.

    PubMed

    Kimata, Naoki; Pope, Andreyah; Eilers, Markus; Opefi, Chikwado A; Ziliox, Martine; Hirshfeld, Amiram; Zaitseva, Ekaterina; Vogel, Reiner; Sheves, Mordechai; Reeves, Philip J; Smith, Steven O

    2016-01-01

    The 11-cis retinal chromophore is tightly packed within the interior of the visual receptor rhodopsin and isomerizes to the all-trans configuration following absorption of light. The mechanism by which this isomerization event drives the outward rotation of transmembrane helix H6, a hallmark of activated G protein-coupled receptors, is not well established. To address this question, we use solid-state NMR and FTIR spectroscopy to define the orientation and interactions of the retinal chromophore in the active metarhodopsin II intermediate. Here we show that isomerization of the 11-cis retinal chromophore generates strong steric interactions between its β-ionone ring and transmembrane helices H5 and H6, while deprotonation of its protonated Schiff's base triggers the rearrangement of the hydrogen-bonding network involving residues on H6 and within the second extracellular loop. We integrate these observations with previous structural and functional studies to propose a two-stage mechanism for rhodopsin activation. PMID:27585742

  12. Familial autoinflammation with neutrophilic dermatosis reveals a regulatory mechanism of pyrin activation.

    PubMed

    Masters, Seth L; Lagou, Vasiliki; Jéru, Isabelle; Baker, Paul J; Van Eyck, Lien; Parry, David A; Lawless, Dylan; De Nardo, Dominic; Garcia-Perez, Josselyn E; Dagley, Laura F; Holley, Caroline L; Dooley, James; Moghaddas, Fiona; Pasciuto, Emanuela; Jeandel, Pierre-Yves; Sciot, Raf; Lyras, Dena; Webb, Andrew I; Nicholson, Sandra E; De Somer, Lien; van Nieuwenhove, Erika; Ruuth-Praz, Julia; Copin, Bruno; Cochet, Emmanuelle; Medlej-Hashim, Myrna; Megarbane, Andre; Schroder, Kate; Savic, Sinisa; Goris, An; Amselem, Serge; Wouters, Carine; Liston, Adrian

    2016-03-30

    Pyrin responds to pathogen signals and loss of cellular homeostasis by forming an inflammasome complex that drives the cleavage and secretion of interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Mutations in the B30.2/SPRY domain cause pathogen-independent activation of pyrin and are responsible for the autoinflammatory disease familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). We studied a family with a dominantly inherited autoinflammatory disease, distinct from FMF, characterized by childhood-onset recurrent episodes of neutrophilic dermatosis, fever, elevated acute-phase reactants, arthralgia, and myalgia/myositis. The disease was caused by a mutation in MEFV, the gene encoding pyrin (S242R). The mutation results in the loss of a 14-3-3 binding motif at phosphorylated S242, which was not perturbed by FMF mutations in the B30.2/SPRY domain. However, loss of both S242 phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding was observed for bacterial effectors that activate the pyrin inflammasome, such as Clostridium difficile toxin B (TcdB). The S242R mutation thus recapitulated the effect of pathogen sensing, triggering inflammasome activation and IL-1β production. Successful therapy targeting IL-1β has been initiated in one patient, resolving pyrin-associated autoinflammation with neutrophilic dermatosis. This disease provides evidence that a guard-like mechanism of pyrin regulation, originally identified for Nod-like receptors in plant innate immunity, also exists in humans.

  13. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Lewińska, Anna; Abou Hachem, Maher; Svensson, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) have been used to study auxiliary binding sites. These techniques are complementary as AE allows monitoring of binding to soluble polysaccharides, IPP to insoluble polysaccharides and SPR to oligosaccharides. Here we show that these methods are useful not only for analyzing known binding sites, but also for identifying new ones, even without structural data available. We further verify the chosen assays discriminate between known SBS/CBM containing enzymes and negative controls. Altogether 35 enzymes are screened for the presence of SBSs or CBMs and several novel binding sites are identified, including the first SBS ever reported in a cellulase. This work demonstrates that combinations of these methods can be used as a part of routine enzyme characterization to identify new binding sites and advance the study of SBSs and CBMs, allowing them to be detected in the absence of structural data. PMID:27504624

  14. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M. Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; de Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P.; Gutiérrez, Pedro J.; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F.; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M.; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J.; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  15. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface. PMID:26135448

  16. Acetohydroxyacid synthase activity and transcripts profiling reveal tissue-specific regulation of ahas genes in sunflower.

    PubMed

    Ochogavía, Ana C; Breccia, Gabriela; Vega, Tatiana; Felitti, Silvina A; Picardi, Liliana A; Nestares, Graciela

    2014-07-01

    Acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) is the target site of several herbicides and catalyses the first step in the biosynthesis of branched chain amino acid. Three genes coding for AHAS catalytic subunit (ahas1, ahas2 and ahas3) have been reported for sunflower. The aim of this work was to study the expression pattern of ahas genes family and AHAS activity in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Different organs (leaves, hypocotyls, roots, flowers and embryos) were evaluated at several developmental stages. The transcriptional profile was studied through RT-qPCR. The highest expression for ahas1 was shown in leaves, where all the induced and natural gene mutations conferring herbicide resistance were found. The maximal expression of ahas2 and ahas3 occurred in immature flowers and embryos. The highest AHAS activity was found in leaves and immature embryos. Correlation analysis among ahas gene expression and AHAS activity was discussed. Our results show that differences in ahas genes expression are tissue-specific and temporally regulated. Moreover, the conservation of multiple AHAS isoforms in sunflower seems to result from different expression requirements controlled by tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms at different developmental stages. PMID:24908515

  17. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanisms of Allosteric Activation of Hsp90 by Designed Ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vettoretti, Gerolamo; Moroni, Elisabetta; Sattin, Sara; Tao, Jiahui; Agard, David A.; Bernardi, Anna; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-04-01

    Controlling biochemical pathways through chemically designed modulators may provide novel opportunities to develop therapeutic drugs and chemical tools. The underlying challenge is to design new molecular entities able to act as allosteric chemical switches that selectively turn on/off functions by modulating the conformational dynamics of their target protein. We examine the origins of the stimulation of ATPase and closure kinetics in the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by allosteric modulators through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analysis of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, we focus on the cross-talk between allosteric ligands and protein conformations and its effect on the dynamic properties of the chaperone’s active state. We examine the impact of different allosteric modulators on the stability, structural and internal dynamics properties of Hsp90 closed state. A critical aspect of this study is the development of a quantitative model that correlates Hsp90 activation to the presence of a certain compound, making use of information on the dynamic adaptation of protein conformations to the presence of the ligand, which allows to capture conformational states relevant in the activation process. We discuss the implications of considering the conformational dialogue between allosteric ligands and protein conformations for the design of new functional modulators.

  18. A Sleeping Beauty screen reveals NF-kB activation in CLL mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Zanesi, Nicola; Balatti, Veronica; Riordan, Jesse; Burch, Aaron; Rizzotto, Lara; Palamarchuk, Alexey; Cascione, Luciano; Lagana, Alessandro; Dupuy, Adam J.; Croce, Carlo M.

    2013-01-01

    TCL1 oncogene is overexpressed in aggressive form of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and its dysregulation in mouse B cells causes a CD5-positive leukemia similar to the aggressive form of human CLLs. To identify oncogenes that cooperate with Tcl1, we performed genetic screen in Eμ−TCL1 mice using Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated mutagenesis. Analysis of transposon common insertion sites identified 7 genes activated by transposon insertions. Overexpression of these genes in mouse CLL was confirmed by real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Interestingly, the main known function of 4 of 7 genes (Nfkb1, Tab2, Map3K14, and Nfkbid) is participation in or activation of the nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) pathway. In addition, activation of the NF-kB is 1 of main functions of Akt2, also identified in the screen. These findings demonstrate cooperation of Tcl1 and the NF-kB pathway in the pathogenesis of aggressive CLL. Identification cooperating cancer genes will result in the development of combinatorial therapies to treat CLL. PMID:23591791

  19. Structural basis for PPAR partial or full activation revealed by a novel ligand binding mode

    PubMed Central

    Capelli, Davide; Cerchia, Carmen; Montanari, Roberta; Loiodice, Fulvio; Tortorella, Paolo; Laghezza, Antonio; Cervoni, Laura; Pochetti, Giorgio; Lavecchia, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed PPARγ full agonists, is considered the major challenge for the pharmaceutical companies. Here we present a structure-based virtual screening approach that let us identify a novel PPAR pan-agonist with a very attractive activity profile and its crystal structure in the complex with PPARα and PPARγ, respectively. In PPARα this ligand occupies a new pocket whose filling is allowed by the ligand-induced switching of the F273 side chain from a closed to an open conformation. The comparison between this pocket and the corresponding cavity in PPARγ provides a rationale for the different activation of the ligand towards PPARα and PPARγ, suggesting a novel basis for ligand design. PMID:27708429

  20. A Sleeping Beauty screen reveals NF-kB activation in CLL mouse model.

    PubMed

    Zanesi, Nicola; Balatti, Veronica; Riordan, Jesse; Burch, Aaron; Rizzotto, Lara; Palamarchuk, Alexey; Cascione, Luciano; Lagana, Alessandro; Dupuy, Adam J; Croce, Carlo M; Pekarsky, Yuri

    2013-05-23

    TCL1 oncogene is overexpressed in aggressive form of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and its dysregulation in mouse B cells causes a CD5-positive leukemia similar to the aggressive form of human CLLs. To identify oncogenes that cooperate with Tcl1, we performed genetic screen in Eμ-TCL1 mice using Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated mutagenesis. Analysis of transposon common insertion sites identified 7 genes activated by transposon insertions. Overexpression of these genes in mouse CLL was confirmed by real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Interestingly, the main known function of 4 of 7 genes (Nfkb1, Tab2, Map3K14, and Nfkbid) is participation in or activation of the nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) pathway. In addition, activation of the NF-kB is 1 of main functions of Akt2, also identified in the screen. These findings demonstrate cooperation of Tcl1 and the NF-kB pathway in the pathogenesis of aggressive CLL. Identification cooperating cancer genes will result in the development of combinatorial therapies to treat CLL. PMID:23591791

  1. Active faults in the deformation zone off Noto Peninsula, Japan, revealed by high- resolution seismic profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, T.; Okamura, Y.; Murakami, F.; Kimura, H.; Ikehara, K.

    2008-12-01

    Recently, a lot of earthquakes occur in Japan. The deformation zone which many faults and folds have concentrated exists on the Japan Sea side of Japan. The 2007 Noto Hanto Earthquake (MJMA 6.9) and 2007 Chuetsu-oki Earthquake (MJMA 6.8) were caused by activity of parts of faults in this deformation zone. The Noto Hanto Earthquake occurred on 25 March, 2007 under the northwestern coast of Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. This earthquake is located in Quaternary deformation zone that is continued from northern margin of Noto Peninsula to southeast direction (Okamura, 2007a). National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) carried out high-resolution seismic survey using Boomer and 12 channels short streamer cable in the northern part off Noto Peninsula, in order to clarify distribution and activities of active faults in the deformation zone. A twelve channels short streamer cable with 2.5 meter channel spacing developed by AIST and private corporation is designed to get high resolution seismic profiles in shallow sea area. The multi-channel system is possible to equip on a small fishing boat, because the data acquisition system is based on PC and the length of the cable is short and easy to handle. Moreover, because the channel spacing is short, this cable is very effective for a high- resolution seismic profiling survey in the shallow sea, and seismic data obtained by multi-channel cable can be improved by velocity analysis and CDP stack. In the northern part off Noto Peninsula, seismic profiles depicting geologic structure up to 100 meters deep under sea floor were obtained. The most remarkable reflection surface recognized in the seismic profiles is erosion surface at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In the western part, sediments about 30 meters (40 msec) thick cover the erosional surface that is distributed under the shelf shallower than 100m in depth and the sediments thin toward offshore and east. Flexures like deformation in

  2. Measurements of Microbial Community Activities in Individual Soil Macroaggregates

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Vanessa L.; Bilskis, Christina L.; Fansler, Sarah J.; McCue, Lee Ann; Smith, Jeff L.; Konopka, Allan

    2012-05-01

    The functional potential of single soil aggregates may provide insights into the localized distribution of microbial activities better than traditional assays conducted on bulk quantities of soil. Thus, we scaled down enzyme assays for {beta}-glucosidase, N-acetyl-{beta}-D-glucosaminidase, lipase, and leucine aminopeptidase to measure of the enzyme potential of individual aggregates (250-1000 {mu}m diameter). Across all enzymes, the smallest aggregates had the greatest activity and the range of enzyme activities observed in all aggregates supports the hypothesis that functional potential in soil may be distributed in a patchy fashion. Paired analyses of ATP as a surrogate for active microbial biomass and {beta}-glucosidase on the same aggregates suggest the presence of both extracellular {beta}-glucosidase functioning in aggregates with no detectable ATP and also of relatively active microbial communities (high ATP) that have low {beta}-glucosidase potentials. Studying function at a scale more consistent with microbial habitat presents greater opportunity to link microbial community structure to microbial community function.

  3. Information Technology Measurement and Testing Activities at NIST

    PubMed Central

    Hogan, Michael D.; Carnahan, Lisa J.; Carpenter, Robert J.; Flater, David W.; Fowler, James E.; Frechette, Simon P.; Gray, Martha M.; Johnson, L. Arnold; McCabe, R. Michael; Montgomery, Douglas; Radack, Shirley M.; Rosenthal, Robert; Shakarji, Craig M.

    2001-01-01

    Our high technology society continues to rely more and more upon sophisticated measurements, technical standards, and associated testing activities. This was true for the industrial society of the 20th century and remains true for the information society of the 21st century. Over the last half of the 20th century, information technology (IT) has been a powerful agent of change in almost every sector of the economy. The complexity and rapidly changing nature of IT have presented unique technical challenges to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and to the scientific measurement community in developing a sound measurement and testing infrastructure for IT. This measurement and testing infrastructure for the important non-physical and non-chemical properties associated with complex IT systems is still in an early stage of development. This paper explains key terms and concepts of IT metrology, briefly reviews the history of the National Bureau of Standards/National Institute of Standards and Technology (NBS/NIST) in the field of IT, and reviews NIST’s current capabilities and work in measurement and testing for IT. It concludes with a look at what is likely to occur in the field of IT over the next ten years and what metrology roles NIST is likely to play. PMID:27500026

  4. Measurement bias in activation-recovery intervals from unipolar electrograms

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Ben; Taggart, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The activation-recovery interval (ARI) calculated from unipolar electrograms is regularly used as a convenient surrogate measure of local cardiac action potential durations (APD). This method enables important research bridging between computational studies and in vitro and in vivo human studies. The Wyatt method is well established as a theoretically sound method for calculating ARIs; however, some studies have observed that it is prone to a bias error in measurement when applied to positive T waves. This article demonstrates that recent theoretical and computational studies supporting the use of the Wyatt method are likely to have underestimated the extent of this bias in many practical experimental recording scenarios. This work addresses these situations and explains the measurement bias by adapting existing theoretical expressions of the electrogram to represent practical experimental recording configurations. A new analytic expression for the electrogram's local component is derived, which identifies the source of measurement bias for positive T waves. A computer implementation of the new analytic model confirms our hypothesis that the bias is systematically dependent on the electrode configuration. These results provide an aid to electrogram interpretation in general, and this work's outcomes are used to make recommendations on how to minimize measurement error. PMID:25398981

  5. Motif module map reveals enforcement of aging by continual NF-kappaB activity.

    PubMed

    Adler, Adam S; Sinha, Saurabh; Kawahara, Tiara L A; Zhang, Jennifer Y; Segal, Eran; Chang, Howard Y

    2007-12-15

    Aging is characterized by specific alterations in gene expression, but their underlying mechanisms and functional consequences are not well understood. Here we develop a systematic approach to identify combinatorial cis-regulatory motifs that drive age-dependent gene expression across different tissues and organisms. Integrated analysis of 365 microarrays spanning nine tissue types predicted fourteen motifs as major regulators of age-dependent gene expression in human and mouse. The motif most strongly associated with aging was that of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Inducible genetic blockade of NF-kappaB for 2 wk in the epidermis of chronologically aged mice reverted the tissue characteristics and global gene expression programs to those of young mice. Age-specific NF-kappaB blockade and orthogonal cell cycle interventions revealed that NF-kappaB controls cell cycle exit and gene expression signature of aging in parallel but not sequential pathways. These results identify a conserved network of regulatory pathways underlying mammalian aging and show that NF-kappaB is continually required to enforce many features of aging in a tissue-specific manner.

  6. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time. PMID:23803848

  7. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time.

  8. Native Electrophoresis-Coupled Activity Assays Reveal Catalytically-Active Protein Aggregates of Escherichia coli β-Glucuronidase

    PubMed Central

    Burchett, Gina G.; Folsom, Charles G.; Lane, Kimberly T.

    2015-01-01

    β-glucuronidase is found as a functional homotetramer in a variety of organisms, including humans and other animals, as well as a number of bacteria. This enzyme is important in these organisms, catalyzing the hydrolytic removal of a glucuronide moiety from substrate molecules. This process serves to break down sugar conjugates in animals and provide sugars for metabolism in bacteria. While β-glucuronidase is primarily found as a homotetramer, previous studies have indicated that the human form of the protein is also catalytically active as a dimer. Here we present evidence for not only an active dimer of the E. coli form of the protein, but also for several larger active complexes, including an octomer and a 16-mer. Additionally, we propose a model for the structures of these large complexes, based on computationally-derived molecular modeling studies. These structures may have application in the study of human disease, as several diseases have been associated with the aggregation of proteins. PMID:26121040

  9. Widely Used Pesticides with Previously Unknown Endocrine Activity Revealed as in Vitro Antiandrogens

    PubMed Central

    Orton, Frances; Rosivatz, Erika; Scholze, Martin; Kortenkamp, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Background Evidence suggests that there is widespread decline in male reproductive health and that antiandrogenic pollutants may play a significant role. There is also a clear disparity between pesticide exposure and data on endocrine disruption, with most of the published literature focused on pesticides that are no longer registered for use in developed countries. Objective We used estimated human exposure data to select pesticides to test for antiandrogenic activity, focusing on highest use pesticides. Methods We used European databases to select 134 candidate pesticides based on highest exposure, followed by a filtering step according to known or predicted receptor-mediated antiandrogenic potency, based on a previously published quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) model. In total, 37 pesticides were tested for in vitro androgen receptor (AR) antagonism. Of these, 14 were previously reported to be AR antagonists (“active”), 4 were predicted AR antagonists using the QSAR, 6 were predicted to not be AR antagonists (“inactive”), and 13 had unknown activity, which were “out of domain” and therefore could not be classified with the QSAR (“unknown”). Results All 14 pesticides with previous evidence of AR antagonism were confirmed as antiandrogenic in our assay, and 9 previously untested pesticides were identified as antiandrogenic (dimethomorph, fenhexamid, quinoxyfen, cyprodinil, λ-cyhalothrin, pyrimethanil, fludioxonil, azinphos-methyl, pirimiphos-methyl). In addition, we classified 7 compounds as androgenic. Conclusions Due to estimated antiandrogenic potency, current use, estimated exposure, and lack of previous data, we strongly recommend that dimethomorph, fludioxonil, fenhexamid, imazalil, ortho-phenylphenol, and pirimiphos-methyl be tested for antiandrogenic effects in vivo. The lack of human biomonitoring data for environmentally relevant pesticides presents a barrier to current risk assessment of pesticides on humans. PMID

  10. Structure of the nisin leader peptidase NisP revealing a C-terminal autocleavage activity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yueyang; Li, Xin; Li, Ruiqing; Li, Shanshan; Ni, Hongqian; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haijin; Zhou, Weihong; Saris, Per E J; Yang, Wen; Qiao, Mingqiang; Rao, Zihe

    2014-06-01

    Nisin is a widely used antibacterial lantibiotic polypeptide produced by Lactococcus lactis. NisP belongs to the subtilase family and functions in the last step of nisin maturation as the leader-peptide peptidase. Deletion of the nisP gene in LAC71 results in the production of a non-active precursor peptide with the leader peptide unremoved. Here, the 1.1 Å resolution crystal structure of NisP is reported. The structure shows similarity to other subtilases, which can bind varying numbers of Ca atoms. However, no calcium was found in this NisP structure, and the predicted calcium-chelating residues were placed so as to not allow NisP to bind a calcium ion in this conformation. Interestingly, a short peptide corresponding to its own 635-647 sequence was found to bind to the active site of NisP. Biochemical assays and native mass-spectrometric analysis confirmed that NisP possesses an auto-cleavage site between residues Arg647 and Ser648. Further, it was shown that NisP mutated at the auto-cleavage site (R647P/S648P) had full catalytic activity for nisin leader-peptide cleavage, although the C-terminal region of NisP was no longer cleaved. Expressing this mutant in L. lactis LAC71 did not affect the production of nisin but did decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria, suggesting the biological significance of the C-terminal auto-cleavage of NisP. PMID:24914961

  11. A channelopathy mechanism revealed by direct calmodulin activation of TrpV4

    PubMed Central

    Loukin, Stephen H.; Teng, Jinfeng; Kung, Ching

    2015-01-01

    Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) regulates varieties of ion channels, including Transient Receptor Potential vanilloid subtype 4 (TrpV4). It has previously been proposed that internal Ca2+ increases TrpV4 activity through Ca2+-CaM binding to a C-terminal Ca2+-CaM binding domain (CBD). We confirmed this model by directly presenting Ca2+-CaM protein to membrane patches excised from TrpV4-expressing oocytes. Over 50 TRPV4 mutations are now known to cause heritable skeletal dysplasia (SD) and other diseases in human. We have previously examined 14 SD alleles and found them to all have gain-of-function effects, with the gain of constitutive open probability paralleling disease severity. Among the 14 SD alleles examined, E797K and P799L are located immediate upstream of the CBD. They not only have increase basal activity, but, unlike the wild-type or other SD-mutant channels examined, they were greatly reduced in their response to Ca2+-CaM. Deleting a 10-residue upstream peptide (Δ795–804) that covers the two SD mutant sites resulted in strong constitutive activity and the complete lack of Ca2+-CaM response. We propose that the region immediately upstream of CBD is an autoinhibitory domain that maintains the closed state through electrostatic interactions, and adjacent detachable Ca2+-CaM binding to CBD sterically interferes with this autoinhibition. This work further supports the notion that TrpV4 mutations cause SD by constitutive leakage. However, the closed conformation is likely destabilized by various mutations by different mechanisms, including the permanent removal of an autoinhibition documented here. PMID:26170305

  12. Molecular genetics of blood-fleshed peach reveals activation of anthocyanin biosynthesis by NAC transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Hui; Lin-Wang, Kui; Wang, Huiliang; Gu, Chao; Dare, Andrew P; Espley, Richard V; He, Huaping; Allan, Andrew C; Han, Yuepeng

    2015-04-01

    Anthocyanin pigmentation is an important consumer trait in peach (Prunus persica). In this study, the genetic basis of the blood-flesh trait was investigated using the cultivar Dahongpao, which shows high levels of cyanidin-3-glucoside in the mesocarp. Elevation of anthocyanin levels in the flesh was correlated with the expression of an R2R3 MYB transcription factor, PpMYB10.1. However, PpMYB10.1 did not co-segregate with the blood-flesh trait. The blood-flesh trait was mapped to a 200-kb interval on peach linkage group (LG) 5. Within this interval, a gene encoding a NAC domain transcription factor (TF) was found to be highly up-regulated in blood-fleshed peaches when compared with non-red-fleshed peaches. This NAC TF, designated blood (BL), acts as a heterodimer with PpNAC1 which shows high levels of expression in fruit at late developmental stages. We show that the heterodimer of BL and PpNAC1 can activate the transcription of PpMYB10.1, resulting in anthocyanin pigmentation in tobacco. Furthermore, silencing the BL gene reduces anthocyanin pigmentation in blood-fleshed peaches. The transactivation activity of the BL-PpNAC1 heterodimer is repressed by a SQUAMOSA promoter-binding protein-like TF, PpSPL1. Low levels of PpMYB10.1 expression in fruit at early developmental stages is probably attributable to lower levels of expression of PpNAC1 plus the presence of high levels of repressors such as PpSPL1. We present a mechanism whereby BL is the key gene for the blood-flesh trait in peach via its activation of PpMYB10.1 in maturing fruit. Partner TFs such as basic helix-loop-helix proteins and NAC1 are required, as is the removal of transcriptional repressors.

  13. Structure of the nisin leader peptidase NisP revealing a C-terminal autocleavage activity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yueyang; Li, Xin; Li, Ruiqing; Li, Shanshan; Ni, Hongqian; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haijin; Zhou, Weihong; Saris, Per E J; Yang, Wen; Qiao, Mingqiang; Rao, Zihe

    2014-06-01

    Nisin is a widely used antibacterial lantibiotic polypeptide produced by Lactococcus lactis. NisP belongs to the subtilase family and functions in the last step of nisin maturation as the leader-peptide peptidase. Deletion of the nisP gene in LAC71 results in the production of a non-active precursor peptide with the leader peptide unremoved. Here, the 1.1 Å resolution crystal structure of NisP is reported. The structure shows similarity to other subtilases, which can bind varying numbers of Ca atoms. However, no calcium was found in this NisP structure, and the predicted calcium-chelating residues were placed so as to not allow NisP to bind a calcium ion in this conformation. Interestingly, a short peptide corresponding to its own 635-647 sequence was found to bind to the active site of NisP. Biochemical assays and native mass-spectrometric analysis confirmed that NisP possesses an auto-cleavage site between residues Arg647 and Ser648. Further, it was shown that NisP mutated at the auto-cleavage site (R647P/S648P) had full catalytic activity for nisin leader-peptide cleavage, although the C-terminal region of NisP was no longer cleaved. Expressing this mutant in L. lactis LAC71 did not affect the production of nisin but did decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria, suggesting the biological significance of the C-terminal auto-cleavage of NisP.

  14. A genome scale overexpression screen to reveal drug activity in human cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Target identification is a critical step in the lengthy and expensive process of drug development. Here, we describe a genome-wide screening platform that uses systematic overexpression of pooled human ORFs to understand drug mode-of-action and resistance mechanisms. We first calibrated our screen with the well-characterized drug methotrexate. We then identified new genes involved in the bioactivity of diverse drugs including antineoplastic agents and biologically active molecules. Finally, we focused on the transcription factor RHOXF2 whose overexpression conferred resistance to DNA damaging agents. This approach represents an orthogonal method for functional screening and, to our knowledge, has never been reported before. PMID:24944581

  15. The asymmetry of (-)α-pinene as revealed from its raman optical activity spectrum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peijie; Fang, Yan; Wu, Guozhen

    2013-10-01

    An algorithm is employed to retrieve the differential bond polarizabilities of the C-C bonds from the Raman optical activity (ROA) spectrum of (-)α-pinene. (-)α-pinene possesses two asymmetric centers (carbon atoms) and a local mirror symmetry. These differential bond polarizabilities show the characteristics of the asymmetry around the asymmetric carbons with respect to the mirror reflection. This analysis is accompanied along with the ROA mode signatures and the calculated β(G ')(2) and β(A)(2) which show the ROA coupling mechanisms involving the electric/magnetic dipoles and the electric dipole/quadrupole, respectively.

  16. Directed random walks and constraint programming reveal active pathways in hepatocyte growth factor signaling.

    PubMed

    Kittas, Aristotelis; Delobelle, Aurélien; Schmitt, Sabrina; Breuhahn, Kai; Guziolowski, Carito; Grabe, Niels

    2016-01-01

    An effective means to analyze mRNA expression data is to take advantage of established knowledge from pathway databases, using methods such as pathway-enrichment analyses. However, pathway databases are not case-specific and expression data could be used to infer gene-regulation patterns in the context of specific pathways. In addition, canonical pathways may not always describe the signaling mechanisms properly, because interactions can frequently occur between genes in different pathways. Relatively few methods have been proposed to date for generating and analyzing such networks, preserving the causality between gene interactions and reasoning over the qualitative logic of regulatory effects. We present an algorithm (MCWalk) integrated with a logic programming approach, to discover subgraphs in large-scale signaling networks by random walks in a fully automated pipeline. As an exemplary application, we uncover the signal transduction mechanisms in a gene interaction network describing hepatocyte growth factor-stimulated cell migration and proliferation from gene-expression measured with microarray and RT-qPCR using in-house perturbation experiments in a keratinocyte-fibroblast co-culture. The resulting subgraphs illustrate possible associations of hepatocyte growth factor receptor c-Met nodes, differentially expressed genes and cellular states. Using perturbation experiments and Answer Set programming, we are able to select those which are more consistent with the experimental data. We discover key regulator nodes by measuring the frequency with which they are traversed when connecting signaling between receptors and significantly regulated genes and predict their expression-shift consistently with the measured data. The Java implementation of MCWalk is publicly available under the MIT license at: https://bitbucket.org/akittas/biosubg.

  17. Passive, integrated measurement of indoor radon using activated carbon.

    PubMed

    George, A C

    1984-04-01

    Activated carbon canisters were tested to determine their adsorption and retention characteristics for radon. Our tests conducted indoors under typical conditions of temperature and relative humidity indicate that simple, inexpensive and maintenance-free passive devices containing 150-200 g of activated carbon can measure radon conveniently and adequately. The amount of radon absorbed in the collector is determined by counting the gamma rays from the decay products of radon. The lower limit of detection for radon is 0.2 pCi/l. for an exposure of 72 hr. Greater sensitivity can be obtained with larger counting systems and devices containing carbon with more surface area. Tests in a residential building and in a test chamber indicate that the measured radon in the canister is proportional to the mean concentration of radon during the period of exposure when correction for relative humidity is made. For practical situations encountered indoors, the device yields results accurate to within +/- 20%. Results from field measurements indicate that the use of the device is feasible.

  18. Mercury mass measurement in fluorescent lamps via neutron activation analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viererbl, L.; Vinš, M.; Lahodová, Z.; Fuksa, A.; Kučera, J.; Koleška, M.; Voljanskij, A.

    2015-11-01

    Mercury is an essential component of fluorescent lamps. Not all fluorescent lamps are recycled, resulting in contamination of the environment with toxic mercury, making measurement of the mercury mass used in fluorescent lamps important. Mercury mass measurement of lamps via instrumental neutron activation analysis (NAA) was tested under various conditions in the LVR-15 research reactor. Fluorescent lamps were irradiated in different positions in vertical irradiation channels and a horizontal channel in neutron fields with total fluence rates from 3×108 cm-2 s-1 to 1014 cm-2 s-1. The 202Hg(n,γ)203Hg nuclear reaction was used for mercury mass evaluation. Activities of 203Hg and others induced radionuclides were measured via gamma spectrometry with an HPGe detector at various times after irradiation. Standards containing an Hg2Cl2 compound were used to determine mercury mass. Problems arise from the presence of elements with a large effective cross section in luminescent material (europium, antimony and gadolinium) and glass (boron). The paper describes optimization of the NAA procedure in the LVR-15 research reactor with particular attention to influence of neutron self-absorption in fluorescent lamps.

  19. Calibrating a novel multi-sensor physical activity measurement system

    PubMed Central

    John, D; Liu, S; Sasaki, J E; Howe, C A; Staudenmayer, J; Gao, R X; Freedson, P S

    2011-01-01

    Advancing the field of physical activity (PA) monitoring requires the development of innovative multi-sensor measurement systems that are feasible in the free-living environment. The use of novel analytical techniques to combine and process these multiple sensor signals is equally important. This paper, describes a novel multi-sensor ‘Integrated PA Measurement System’ (IMS), the lab-based methodology used to calibrate the IMS, techniques used to predict multiple variables from the sensor signals, and proposes design changes to improve the feasibility of deploying the IMS in the free-living environment. The IMS consists of hip and wrist acceleration sensors, two piezoelectric respiration sensors on the torso, and an ultraviolet radiation sensor to obtain contextual information (indoors vs. outdoors) of PA. During lab-based calibration of the IMS, data were collected on participants performing a PA routine consisting of seven different ambulatory and free-living activities while wearing a portable metabolic unit (criterion measure) and the IMS. Data analyses on the first 50 adult participants are presented. These analyses were used to determine if the IMS can be used to predict the variables of interest. Finally, physical modifications for the IMS that could enhance feasibility of free-living use are proposed and refinement of the prediction techniques is discussed. PMID:21813941

  20. Structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin reveals a putative mechanism of conformational activation for protease entrapment

    SciTech Connect

    Fyfe, Cameron D.; Grinter, Rhys; Josts, Inokentijs; Mosbahi, Khedidja; Roszak, Aleksander W.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Wall, Daniel M.; Burchmore, Richard J. S.; Byron, Olwyn; Walker, Daniel

    2015-06-30

    The X-ray structure of protease-cleaved E. coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. Bacterial α-2-macroglobulins have been suggested to function in defence as broad-spectrum inhibitors of host proteases that breach the outer membrane. Here, the X-ray structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. In this competitive mechanism, protease cleavage of the bait-region domain results in the untethering of an intrinsically disordered region of this domain which disrupts native interdomain interactions that maintain E. coli α-2-macroglobulin in the inactivated form. The resulting global conformational change results in entrapment of the protease and activation of the thioester bond that covalently links to the attacking protease. Owing to the similarity in structure and domain architecture of Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin and human α-2-macroglobulin, this protease-activation mechanism is likely to operate across the diverse members of this group.

  1. Altered spontaneous activity in antisocial personality disorder revealed by regional homogeneity.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Liu, Wangyong; Chen, Jingang; Liao, Jian; Hu, Dewen; Wang, Wei

    2013-08-01

    There is increasing evidence that antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) stems from brain abnormalities. However, there are only a few studies investigating brain structure in ASPD. The aim of this study was to find regional coherence abnormalities in resting-state functional MRI of ASPD. Thirty-two ASPD individuals and 34 controls underwent a resting-state functional MRI scan. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach was used to examine whether ASPD was related to alterations in resting-state neural activity. Support vector machine discriminant analysis was used to evaluate the sensitivity/specificity characteristics of the ReHo index in discriminating between the ASPD individuals and controls. The results showed that, compared with controls, ASPD individuals show lower ReHo in the right cerebellum posterior lobe (Crus1) and the right middle frontal gyrus, as well as higher ReHo in the right middle occipital gyrus (BA 19), left inferior temporal gyrus (BA 37), and right inferior occipital gyrus (cuneus, BA 18). All alternation regions reported a predictive accuracy above 70%. To our knowledge, this study was the first to study the change in regional activity coherence in the resting brain of ASPD individuals. These results not only elucidated the pathological mechanism of ASPD from a resting-state functional viewpoint but also showed that these alterations in ReHo may serve as potential markers for the detection of ASPD.

  2. Phyllosilicate diversity and past aqueous activity revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Janice L; Dobrea, Eldar Z Noe; McKeown, Nancy K; Parente, Mario; Ehlmann, Bethany L; Michalski, Joseph R; Milliken, Ralph E; Poulet, Francois; Swayze, Gregg A; Mustard, John F; Murchie, Scott L; Bibring, Jean-Pierre

    2008-08-01

    Observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars in the Mawrth Vallis region show several phyllosilicate species, indicating a wide range of past aqueous activity. Iron/magnesium (Fe/Mg)-smectite is observed in light-toned outcrops that probably formed via aqueous alteration of basalt of the ancient cratered terrain. This unit is overlain by rocks rich in hydrated silica, montmorillonite, and kaolinite that may have formed via subsequent leaching of Fe and Mg through extended aqueous events or a change in aqueous chemistry. A spectral feature attributed to an Fe2+ phase is present in many locations in the Mawrth Vallis region at the transition from Fe/Mg-smectite to aluminum/silicon (Al/Si)-rich units. Fe2+-bearing materials in terrestrial sediments are typically associated with microorganisms or changes in pH or cations and could be explained here by hydrothermal activity. The stratigraphy of Fe/Mg-smectite overlain by a ferrous phase, hydrated silica, and then Al-phyllosilicates implies a complex aqueous history.

  3. Covalent Inhibition of Ubc13 Affects Ubiquitin Signaling and Reveals Active Site Elements Important for Targeting.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Curtis D; Edwards, Ross A; Markin, Craig J; McDonald, Darin; Pulvino, Mary; Huen, Michael S Y; Zhao, Jiyong; Spyracopoulos, Leo; Hendzel, Michael J; Glover, J N Mark

    2015-07-17

    Ubc13 is an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme that functions in nuclear DNA damage signaling and cytoplasmic NF-κB signaling. Here, we present the structures of complexes of Ubc13 with two inhibitors, NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082, which inhibit DNA damage and NF-κB signaling in human cells. NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082 both inhibit Ubc13 by covalent adduct formation through a Michael addition at the Ubc13 active site cysteine. The resulting adducts of both compounds exploit a binding groove unique to Ubc13. We developed a Ubc13 mutant which resists NSC697923 inhibition and, using this mutant, we show that the inhibition of cellular DNA damage and NF-κB signaling by NSC697923 is largely due to specific Ubc13 inhibition. We propose that unique structural features near the Ubc13 active site could provide a basis for the rational development and design of specific Ubc13 inhibitors. PMID:25909880

  4. Phyllosilicate diversity and past aqueous activity revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bishop, J.L.; Dobrea, E.Z.N.; McKeown, N.K.; Parente, M.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Michalski, J.R.; Milliken, R.E.; Poulet, F.; Swayze, G.A.; Mustard, J.F.; Murchie, S.L.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2008-01-01

    Observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars in the Mawrth Vallis region show several phyllosilicate species, indicating a wide range of past aqueous activity. Iron/magnesium (Fe/Mg)-smectite is observed in light-toned outcrops that probably formed via aqueous alteration of basalt of the ancient cratered terrain. This unit is overlain by rocks rich in hydrated silica, montmorillonite, and kaolinite that may have formed via subsequent leaching of Fe and Mg through extended aqueous events or a change in aqueous chemistry. A spectral feature attributed to an Fe2+ phase is present in many locations in the Mawrth Vallis region at the transition from Fe/Mg-smectite to aluminum/silicon (Al/Si)-rich units. Fe2+-bearing materials in terrestrial sediments are typically associated with microorganisms or changes in pH or cations and could be explained here by hydrothermal activity. The stratigraphy of Fe/Mg-smectite overlain by a ferrous phase, hydrated silica, and then Al-phyllosilicates implies a complex aqueous history.

  5. Covalent Inhibition of Ubc13 Affects Ubiquitin Signaling and Reveals Active Site Elements Important for Targeting.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Curtis D; Edwards, Ross A; Markin, Craig J; McDonald, Darin; Pulvino, Mary; Huen, Michael S Y; Zhao, Jiyong; Spyracopoulos, Leo; Hendzel, Michael J; Glover, J N Mark

    2015-07-17

    Ubc13 is an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme that functions in nuclear DNA damage signaling and cytoplasmic NF-κB signaling. Here, we present the structures of complexes of Ubc13 with two inhibitors, NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082, which inhibit DNA damage and NF-κB signaling in human cells. NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082 both inhibit Ubc13 by covalent adduct formation through a Michael addition at the Ubc13 active site cysteine. The resulting adducts of both compounds exploit a binding groove unique to Ubc13. We developed a Ubc13 mutant which resists NSC697923 inhibition and, using this mutant, we show that the inhibition of cellular DNA damage and NF-κB signaling by NSC697923 is largely due to specific Ubc13 inhibition. We propose that unique structural features near the Ubc13 active site could provide a basis for the rational development and design of specific Ubc13 inhibitors.

  6. Covalent Inhibition of Ubc13 Affects Ubiquitin Signaling and Reveals Active Site Elements Important for Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Hodge, Curtis D.; Edwards, Ross A.; Markin, Craig J.; McDonald, Darin; Pulvino, Mary; Huen, Michael S. Y.; Zhao, Jiyong; Spyracopoulos, Leo; Hendzel, Michael J.; Glover, J.N. Mark

    2015-01-01

    Ubc13 is an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme that functions in nuclear DNA damage signaling and cytoplasmic NF-κB signaling. Here we present the structures of complexes of Ubc13 with two inhibitors, NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082, which inhibit DNA damage and NF-κB signaling in human cells. NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082 both inhibit Ubc13 by covalent adduct formation through a Michael addition at the Ubc13 active site cysteine. The resulting adducts of both compounds exploit a binding groove unique to Ubc13. We developed a Ubc13 mutant which resists NSC697923 inhibition and, using this mutant, we show that the inhibition of cellular DNA damage and NF-κB signaling by NSC697923 is largely due to specific Ubc13 inhibition. We propose that unique structural features near the Ubc13 active site could provide a basis for the rational development and design of specific Ubc13 inhibitors. PMID:25909880

  7. Characterization of 10-Hydroxygeraniol Dehydrogenase from Catharanthus roseus Reveals Cascaded Enzymatic Activity in Iridoid Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Krithika, Ramakrishnan; Srivastava, Prabhakar Lal; Rani, Bajaj; Kolet, Swati P.; Chopade, Manojkumar; Soniya, Mantri; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V.

    2015-01-01

    Catharanthus roseus [L.] is a major source of the monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIAs), which are of significant interest due to their therapeutic value. These molecules are formed through an intermediate, cis-trans-nepetalactol, a cyclized product of 10-oxogeranial. One of the key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of MIAs is an NAD(P)+ dependent oxidoreductase system, 10-hydroxygeraniol dehydrogenase (Cr10HGO), which catalyses the formation of 10-oxogeranial from 10-hydroxygeraniol via 10-oxogeraniol or 10-hydroxygeranial. This work describes the cloning and functional characterization of Cr10HGO from C. roseus and its role in the iridoid biosynthesis. Substrate specificity studies indicated that, Cr10HGO has good activity on substrates such as 10-hydroxygeraniol, 10-oxogeraniol or 10-hydroxygeranial over monohydroxy linear terpene derivatives. Further it was observed that incubation of 10-hydroxygeraniol with Cr10HGO and iridoid synthase (CrIDS) in the presence of NADP+ yielded a major metabolite, which was characterized as (1R, 4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactol by comparing its retention time, mass fragmentation pattern, and co-injection studies with that of the synthesized compound. These results indicate that there is concerted activity of Cr10HGO with iridoid synthase in the formation of (1R, 4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactol, an important intermediate in iridoid biosynthesis. PMID:25651761

  8. Delineation of Platelet Activation Pathway of Scutellarein Revealed Its Intracellular Target as Protein Kinase C.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xiaoxuan; Chang, Lianying; Ma, Guangyin; Wang, Taiyi; Lv, Ming; Wang, Zhilong; Chen, Liping; Wang, Yuefei; Gao, Xiumei; Zhu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Erigeron breviscapus has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its total flavonoid component is commonly used to treat ischemic stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Scutellarin is the major ingredient of E. breviscapus and scutellarein is one of the main bioactive metabolites of scutellarin in vivo, but the latter's pharmacological activities have not been fully characterized. Provided evidence that could inhibit platelet aggregation, the effect of scutellarein on rat washed platelets and its underlying mechanisms were evaluated in our research. Scutellarein inhibited platelet adhesion and aggregation induced by multiple G protein coupled receptor agonists such as thrombin, U46619 and ADP, in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, the mild effect of scutellarein on intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization and cyclic AMP (cAMP) level was observed. On the other hand, the role of scutellarein as potential protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor was confirmed by PKC activity analysis and molecular docking. The phorbol myristate acetate-induced platelets aggregation assay with or without ADP implied that the scutellarein takes PKC(s) as its primary target(s), and acts on it in a reversible way. Finally, scutellarein as a promising agent exhibited a high inhibition effect on ADP-induced platelet aggregation among its analogues. This study clarifies the PKC-related signaling pathway involved in antiplatelet action of scutellarein, and may be beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. PMID:26581323

  9. Deep sequencing of subseafloor eukaryotic rRNA reveals active Fungi across marine subsurface provinces.

    PubMed

    Orsi, William; Biddle, Jennifer F; Edgcomb, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The deep marine subsurface is a vast habitat for microbial life where cells may live on geologic timescales. Because DNA in sediments may be preserved on long timescales, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is suggested to be a proxy for the active fraction of a microbial community in the subsurface. During an investigation of eukaryotic 18S rRNA by amplicon pyrosequencing, unique profiles of Fungi were found across a range of marine subsurface provinces including ridge flanks, continental margins, and abyssal plains. Subseafloor fungal populations exhibit statistically significant correlations with total organic carbon (TOC), nitrate, sulfide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). These correlations are supported by terminal restriction length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of fungal rRNA. Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface. Within the same dataset, ancient rRNA signatures were recovered from plants and diatoms in marine sediments ranging from 0.03 to 2.7 million years old, suggesting that rRNA from some eukaryotic taxa may be much more stable than previously considered in the marine subsurface.

  10. Proteomic analysis of tylosin-resistant Mycoplasma gallisepticum reveals enzymatic activities associated with resistance

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xi; Wu, Congming; Cui, Yaowen; Kang, Mengjiao; Li, Xiaowei; Ding, Shuangyang; Shen, Jianzhong

    2015-01-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a significant pathogenic bacterium that infects poultry, causing chronic respiratory disease and sinusitis in chickens and turkeys, respectively. M. gallisepticum infection poses a substantial economic threat to the poultry industry, and this threat is made worse by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. The mechanisms of resistance are often difficult to determine; for example, little is known about antibiotic resistance of M. gallisepticum at the proteome level. In this study, we performed comparative proteomic analyses of an antibiotic (tylosin)-resistant M. gallisepticum mutant and a susceptible parent strain using a combination of two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and nano-liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry. Thirteen proteins were identified as differentially expressed in the resistant strain compared to the susceptible strain. Most of these proteins were related to catalytic activity, including catalysis that promotes the formylation of initiator tRNA and energy production. Elongation factors Tu and G were over-expressed in the resistant strains, and this could promote the binding of tRNA to ribosomes and catalyze ribosomal translocation, the coordinated movement of tRNA, and conformational changes in the ribosome. Taken together, our results indicate that M. gallisepticum develops resistance to tylosin by regulating associated enzymatic activities. PMID:26584633

  11. Prodigiosin inhibits motility and activates bacterial cell death revealing molecular biomarkers of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Darshan, N; Manonmani, H K

    2016-12-01

    The antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin from Serratia nematodiphila darsh1, a bacterial pigment was tested against few food borne bacterial pathogens Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The mode of action of prodigiosin was studied. Prodigiosin induced bactericidal activity indicating a stereotypical set of biochemical and morphological feature of Programmed cell death (PCD). PCD involves DNA fragmentation, generation of ROS, and expression of a protein with caspase-like substrate specificity in bacterial cells. Prodigiosin was observed to be internalized into bacterial cells and was localized predominantly in the membrane and the nuclear fraction, thus, facilitating intracellular trafficking and then binding of prodigiosin to the bacterial DNA. Corresponding to an increasing concentration of prodigiosin, the level of certain proteases were observed to increase in bacteria studied, thus initiating the onset of PCD. Prodigiosin at a sub-inhibitory concentration inhibits motility of pathogens. Our observations indicated that prodigiosin could be a promising antibacterial agent and could be used in the prevention of bacterial infections. PMID:27460563

  12. Deep Sequencing of Subseafloor Eukaryotic rRNA Reveals Active Fungi across Marine Subsurface Provinces

    PubMed Central

    Orsi, William; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Edgcomb, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The deep marine subsurface is a vast habitat for microbial life where cells may live on geologic timescales. Because DNA in sediments may be preserved on long timescales, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is suggested to be a proxy for the active fraction of a microbial community in the subsurface. During an investigation of eukaryotic 18S rRNA by amplicon pyrosequencing, unique profiles of Fungi were found across a range of marine subsurface provinces including ridge flanks, continental margins, and abyssal plains. Subseafloor fungal populations exhibit statistically significant correlations with total organic carbon (TOC), nitrate, sulfide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). These correlations are supported by terminal restriction length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of fungal rRNA. Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface. Within the same dataset, ancient rRNA signatures were recovered from plants and diatoms in marine sediments ranging from 0.03 to 2.7 million years old, suggesting that rRNA from some eukaryotic taxa may be much more stable than previously considered in the marine subsurface. PMID:23418556

  13. X-ray structure of human aromatase reveals an androgen-specific active site.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Debashis; Griswold, Jennifer; Erman, Mary; Pangborn, Walter

    2010-02-28

    Aromatase is a unique cytochrome P450 that catalyzes the removal of the 19-methyl group and aromatization of the A-ring of androgens for the synthesis of estrogens. All human estrogens are synthesized via this enzymatic aromatization pathway. Aromatase inhibitors thus constitute a frontline therapy for estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Despite decades of intense investigation, this enzyme of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane has eluded all structure determination efforts. We have determined the crystal structure of the highly active aromatase purified from human placenta, in complex with its natural substrate androstenedione. The structure shows the binding mode of androstenedione in the catalytically active oxidized high-spin ferric state of the enzyme. Hydrogen bond-forming interactions and tight packing hydrophobic side chains that complement the puckering of the steroid backbone provide the molecular basis for the exclusive androgenic specificity of aromatase. Locations of catalytic residues and water molecules shed new light on the mechanism of the aromatization step. The structure also suggests a membrane integration model indicative of the passage of steroids through the lipid bilayer.

  14. Prodigiosin inhibits motility and activates bacterial cell death revealing molecular biomarkers of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Darshan, N; Manonmani, H K

    2016-12-01

    The antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin from Serratia nematodiphila darsh1, a bacterial pigment was tested against few food borne bacterial pathogens Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The mode of action of prodigiosin was studied. Prodigiosin induced bactericidal activity indicating a stereotypical set of biochemical and morphological feature of Programmed cell death (PCD). PCD involves DNA fragmentation, generation of ROS, and expression of a protein with caspase-like substrate specificity in bacterial cells. Prodigiosin was observed to be internalized into bacterial cells and was localized predominantly in the membrane and the nuclear fraction, thus, facilitating intracellular trafficking and then binding of prodigiosin to the bacterial DNA. Corresponding to an increasing concentration of prodigiosin, the level of certain proteases were observed to increase in bacteria studied, thus initiating the onset of PCD. Prodigiosin at a sub-inhibitory concentration inhibits motility of pathogens. Our observations indicated that prodigiosin could be a promising antibacterial agent and could be used in the prevention of bacterial infections.

  15. Metabolic profiling of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens revealed activation of unpredicted pathway during encystation.

    PubMed

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Sato, Dan; Husain, Afzal; Escueta-de Cadiz, Aleyla; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Suematsu, Makoto; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Encystation, which is cellular differentiation from the motile, proliferative, labile trophozoite form to the dormant, resistant cyst form, is a crucial process found in parasitic and free-living protozoa such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, and Balamuthia. Since encystation is an essential process to deal with the adverse external environmental changes during the life cycle, and often integral to the transmission of the diseases, biochemical understanding of the process potentially provides useful measures against the infections caused by this group of protozoa. In this study, we investigated metabolic and transcriptomic changes that occur during encystation in Entamoeba invadens, the reptilian sibling of mammal-infecting E. histolytica, using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and DNA microarray-based expression profiling. As the encystation progressed, the levels of majority of metabolites involved in glycolysis and nucleotides drastically decreased, indicating energy generation is ceased. Furthermore, the flux of glycolysis was redirected toward chitin wall biosynthesis. We found remarkable temporal increases in biogenic amines such as isoamylamine, isobutylamine, and cadaverine, during the early period of encystation, when the trophozoites form large multicellular aggregates (precyst). We also found remarkable induction of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) during encystation. This study has unveiled for the first time the dynamics of the transcriptional and metabolic regulatory networks during encystation, and should help in better understanding of the process in pathogenic eukaryotes, and further development of measures controlling infections they cause.

  16. Cortical activation during word processing in late bilinguals: similarities and differences as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Marian, Viorica; Shildkrot, Yevgeniy; Blumenfeld, Henrike K; Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Hirsch, Joy

    2007-04-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare cortical organization of the first (L1, Russian) and second (L2, English) languages. Six fluent Russian-English bilinguals who acquired their second language postpuberty were tested with words and nonwords presented either auditorily or visually. Results showed that both languages activated similar cortical networks, including the inferior frontal, middle frontal, superior temporal, middle temporal, angular, and supramarginal gyri. Within the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), L2 activated a larger cortical volume than L1 during lexical and phonological processing. For both languages, the left IFG was more active than the right IFG during lexical processing. Within the left IFG, the distance between centers of activation associated with lexical processing of translation equivalents across languages was larger than the distance between centers of activation associated with lexical processing of different words in the same language. Results of phonological processing analyses revealed different centers of activation associated with the first versus the second language in the IFG, but not in the superior temporal gyrus (STG). These findings are discussed within the context of the current literature on cortical organization in bilinguals and suggest variation in bilingual cortical activation associated with lexical, phonological, and orthographic processing.

  17. Measuring citalopram in blood and central nervous system: revealing a distribution pattern that differs from other antidepressants.

    PubMed

    Paulzen, Michael; Lammertz, Sarah E; Gründer, Gerhard; Veselinovic, Tanja; Hiemke, Christoph; Tauber, Simone C

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study was to measure blood and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of citalopram and its weakly active N-demethylated metabolite desmethylcitalopram to account for the distribution between the two compartments. The findings are discussed in the context with own preceding studies on the distribution pattern of different antidepressants. Concentrations of citalopram were measured in blood serum and cerebrospinal fluid of 18 patients treated with daily doses of 10-40 mg. Daily doses were correlated with serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations, and serum concentrations were correlated with concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid. Serum concentrations of citalopram and desmethylcitalopram showed no significant correlation to the daily dose, r=0.164, P=0.515, and r=0.174, P=0.505, respectively, whereas citalopram concentrations in serum and cerebrospinal fluid were highly correlated (r=0.763, P<0.001). The cerebrospinal fluid/serum ratio for citalopram (total=bound+unbound concentration) varied between 0.14 and 0.86 (mean 0.35, SD 0.16). By correcting the mean cerebrospinal fluid/serum ratio for 80% plasma protein binding, cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of citalopram were on average 77% higher than the calculated unbound serum concentration with a ratio of 1.77 (SD 0.81, range 0.68-4.29). Findings indicate a very good ability of citalopram to cross the blood-brain and cerebrospinal fluid barrier. High concentrations of citalopram in the cerebrospinal fluid are indicative of active transport of citalopram into or missing active transport out of the cerebrospinal fluid. The results suggest a high ability of citalopram to enter the brain with sufficiently high drug concentrations at the target sites within the brain, contributing toward clinical efficacy. PMID:26650488

  18. Tectonic activity revealed by morphostructural analysis: Development of the Sierra de la Candelaria range, northwestern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barcelona, H.; Peri, G.; Tobal, J.; Sagripanti, L.; Favetto, A.

    2014-12-01

    The tectonically active broken foreland of NW Argentina is a recent analog of the eastern margin of the Puna plateau during Mio-Pliocene times and likely of other broken forelands worldwide. In order to evaluate active tectonism in the broken foreland of the NW Argentine Andes, we examined the complex geomorphology in the vicinity of the basement-cored Sierra de la Candelaria range at ˜26°S and deciphered multiple episodes of crustal deformation spanning the Pliocene to the Quaternary. Digital elevation models, satellite images and geological data within a GIS environment allowed us to analyze the terrain, drainage networks, river dynamics and structure, as well as to obtain detailed geomorphological mapping, active tectonic indices, longitudinal river profiles and structural sections. Three morphostructural segments were defined based on the structural features, the differential vertical dissection pattern over the basement, the faulted Pliocene to recent deposits, the stepwise propagation of anticlines and the distortion over the fluvial system. By combining the several lines of evidence, we concluded that the Sierra de la Candelaria range was subjected to a multi-stage development. The first stage uplifted the central segment concomitant with the formation of the surrounding ranges and with the main partition phase of the foreland. After a significant time lapse, the mountain range was subjected to southward thick-skinned growth and northward growth via stepwise thin-skinned deformation and exerted control over the dynamics of the Río Rosario. Taking into account the surrounding basins and ranges of the Sierra de la Candelaria, the southern Santa Bárbara System is characterized by partially isolated intramontane basins (Choromoro and Rosario) limited by shielded ranges that caused moisture block and shows continuous deformation. These features were related to early stages of a broken foreland evolution model and modern analogs were found at the northern

  19. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Mo, Charlie Y; Manning, Sara A; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J; Samuels, Amanda N; Sniegowski, Paul D; Goulian, Mark; Kohli, Rahul M

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role in

  20. Equinoctial Activity Over Titan Dune Fields Revealed by Cassini/vims

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, S.; Le Mouelic, S.; Barnes, J. W.; Hirtzig, M.; Rannou, P.; Sotin, C.; Brown, R. H.; Bow, J.; Vixie, G.; Cornet, T.; Bourgeois, O.; Narteau, C.; Courrech Du Pont, S.; Le Gall, A.; Reffet, E.; Griffith, C. A.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Buratti, B. J.; Clark, R. N.; Baines, K. H.; Nicholson, P. D.; Coustenis, A.

    2012-12-01

    Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, is the only satellite in the solar system with a dense atmosphere. The close and continuous observations of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since July 2004, bring us evidences that Titan troposphere and low stratosphere experience an exotic, but complete meteorological cycle similar to the Earth hydrological cycle, with hydrocarbons evaporation, condensation in clouds, and rainfall. Cassini monitoring campaigns also demonstrate that Titan's cloud coverage and climate vary with latitude. Titan's tropics, with globally weak meteorological activity and widespread dune fields, seem to be slightly more arid than the poles, where extensive and numerous liquid reservoirs and sustained cloud activity have been discovered. Only a few tropo-spheric clouds have been observed at Titan's tropics during the southern summer. As equinox was approaching (in August 2009), they occurred more frequently and appeared to grow in strength and size. We present here the observation of intense brightening at Titan's tropics, very close to the equinox. These detections were conducted with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard Cassini. We will discuss the VIMS images of the three individual events detected so far, observed during the Titan's flybys T56 (22 May 2009), T65 (13 January 2010) and T70 (21 June 2010). T56, T65 and T70 observations show an intense and transient brighten-ing of large regions very close to the equator, right over the extensive dune fields of Senkyo, Belet and Shangri-La. They all appear spectrally and morphologically different from all transient surface features or atmospheric phenomena previously reported. Indeed, these events share in particular a strong brightening at wavelengths greater than 2 μm (especially at 5 μm), making them spectrally distinct from the small tropical clouds observed before the equinox and the large storms observed near the equator in September and October

  1. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Charlie Y.; Manning, Sara A.; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J.; Samuels, Amanda N.; Sniegowski, Paul D.; Goulian, Mark

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role