Science.gov

Sample records for activity measurements revealed

  1. Revealing Time-Unlocked Brain Activity from MEG Measurements by Common Waveform Estimation

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Yusuke; Yamanaka, Kentaro; Yamagishi, Noriko; Sato, Masa-aki

    2014-01-01

    Brain activities related to cognitive functions, such as attention, occur with unknown and variable delays after stimulus onsets. Recently, we proposed a method (Common Waveform Estimation, CWE) that could extract such brain activities from magnetoencephalography (MEG) or electroencephalography (EEG) measurements. CWE estimates spatiotemporal MEG/EEG patterns occurring with unknown and variable delays, referred to here as unlocked waveforms, without hypotheses about their shapes. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of CWE for cognitive neuroscience. For this purpose, we show procedures to estimate unlocked waveforms using CWE and to examine their role. We applied CWE to the MEG epochs during Go trials of a visual Go/NoGo task. This revealed unlocked waveforms with interesting properties, specifically large alpha oscillations around the temporal areas. To examine the role of the unlocked waveform, we attempted to estimate the strength of the brain activity of the unlocked waveform in various conditions. We made a spatial filter to extract the component reflecting the brain activity of the unlocked waveform, applied this spatial filter to MEG data under different conditions (a passive viewing, a simple reaction time, and Go/NoGo tasks), and calculated the powers of the extracted components. Comparing the powers across these conditions suggests that the unlocked waveforms may reflect the inhibition of the task-irrelevant activities in the temporal regions while the subject attends to the visual stimulus. Our results demonstrate that CWE is a potential tool for revealing new findings of cognitive brain functions without any hypothesis in advance. PMID:24879410

  2. Direct measurement of TRPV4 and PIEZO1 activity reveals multiple mechanotransduction pathways in chondrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Rocio Servin-Vences, M; Moroni, Mirko; Lewin, Gary R; Poole, Kate

    2017-01-01

    The joints of mammals are lined with cartilage, comprised of individual chondrocytes embedded in a specialized extracellular matrix. Chondrocytes experience a complex mechanical environment and respond to changing mechanical loads in order to maintain cartilage homeostasis. It has been proposed that mechanically gated ion channels are of functional importance in chondrocyte mechanotransduction; however, direct evidence of mechanical current activation in these cells has been lacking. We have used high-speed pressure clamp and elastomeric pillar arrays to apply distinct mechanical stimuli to primary murine chondrocytes, stretch of the membrane and deflection of cell-substrate contacts points, respectively. Both TRPV4 and PIEZO1 channels contribute to currents activated by stimuli applied at cell-substrate contacts but only PIEZO1 mediates stretch-activated currents. These data demonstrate that there are separate, but overlapping, mechanoelectrical transduction pathways in chondrocytes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21074.001 PMID:28135189

  3. Long-term thermal activity revealed by magnetic measurements at Kusatsu-Shirane volcano, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Kosuke; Fujii, Ikuko

    2014-09-01

    Repeated geomagnetic measurements commenced around the three summit crater lakes of Kusatsu-Shirane volcano (Yugama, Mizugama and Karegama lakes) in 1976 and continuous measurements commenced in 1990. We reviewed and analyzed these geomagnetic data acquired over the 34 years starting in 1978. Changes in the geomagnetic field related to eruptions during 1982-1983 were recorded in the repeated geomagnetic measurements from 1982 to 1985. A thermal-demagnetization source was estimated to be 400 m below Mizugama crater lake during this period. Although there were no eruptions from 1988 to 1991, there were numerous volcanic earthquakes. Thermomagnetic signals due to demagnetization of the material beneath the crater lakes were recorded by the repeated magnetic measurements during this period. The demagnetized body was estimated to be 600 m below Mizugama crater lake at this time. Previous seismological and geochemical studies attributed these demagnetization events to the ascent of hydrothermal water and volcanic gas. The difference between the depths of demagnetized bodies during these two periods of demagnetization may provide important information about the mechanism of the 1982-1983 eruptions. In contrast, magnetization associated with cooling of rocks beneath the crater lakes was recorded from 1996 to 2012. According to our thermomagnetic modeling of this period, the source of the magnetization was 400 to 700 m below an area immediately northeast of Yugama crater lake and the cooling migrated gradually to shallower depths during this period. Based on our modeling, seismological data, and geochemical monitoring of Yugama lake water, we consider that the flux of hydrothermal fluid from depth decreased after 1992 and rock magnetization due to cooling began in 1996.

  4. Differences in the neurochemical and behavioural profiles of lisdexamfetamine methylphenidate and modafinil revealed by simultaneous dual-probe microdialysis and locomotor activity measurements in freely-moving rats.

    PubMed

    Rowley, Helen L; Kulkarni, Rajiv S; Gosden, Jane; Brammer, Richard J; Hackett, David; Heal, David J

    2014-03-01

    Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is a novel prodrug approved in North America, Europe and Brazil for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It undergoes rate-limited hydrolysis by red blood cells to yield d-amphetamine. Following our previous work comparing lisdexamfetamine with d-amphetamine, the neurochemical and behavioural profiles of lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate and modafinil were compared by dual-probe microdialysis in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum of conscious rats with simultaneous locomotor activity measurement. We employed pharmacologically equivalent doses of all compounds and those that spanned the therapeutically relevant and psychostimulant range. Lisdexamfetamine (0.5, 1.5, 4.5 mg/kg d-amphetamine base, per os (po)), methylphenidate (3, 10, 30 mg/kg base, po) and modafinil (100, 300, 600 mg/kg base, po) increased efflux of dopamine and noradrenaline in PFC, and dopamine in striatum. Only lisdexamfetamine increased 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) efflux in PFC and striatum. Lisdexamfetamine had larger and more sustained effects on catecholaminergic neurotransmission than methylphenidate or modafinil. Linear correlations were observed between striatal dopamine efflux and locomotor activity for lisdexamfetamine and methylphenidate, but not modafinil. Regression slopes revealed greater increases in extracellular dopamine could be elicited without producing locomotor activation by lisdexamfetamine than methylphenidate. These results are consistent with clinical findings showing that lisdexamfetamine is an effective ADHD medication with prolonged duration of action and good separation between its therapeutic actions and stimulant side-effects.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Covert Waking Brain Activity Reveals Instantaneous Sleep Depth

    PubMed Central

    McKinney, Scott M.; Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Buxton, Orfeu M.; Solet, Jo M.; Ellenbogen, Jeffrey M.

    2011-01-01

    The neural correlates of the wake-sleep continuum remain incompletely understood, limiting the development of adaptive drug delivery systems for promoting sleep maintenance. The most useful measure for resolving early positions along this continuum is the alpha oscillation, an 8–13 Hz electroencephalographic rhythm prominent over posterior scalp locations. The brain activation signature of wakefulness, alpha expression discloses immediate levels of alertness and dissipates in concert with fading awareness as sleep begins. This brain activity pattern, however, is largely ignored once sleep begins. Here we show that the intensity of spectral power in the alpha band actually continues to disclose instantaneous responsiveness to noise—a measure of sleep depth—throughout a night of sleep. By systematically challenging sleep with realistic and varied acoustic disruption, we found that sleepers exhibited markedly greater sensitivity to sounds during moments of elevated alpha expression. This result demonstrates that alpha power is not a binary marker of the transition between sleep and wakefulness, but carries rich information about immediate sleep stability. Further, it shows that an empirical and ecologically relevant form of sleep depth is revealed in real-time by EEG spectral content in the alpha band, a measure that affords prediction on the order of minutes. This signal, which transcends the boundaries of classical sleep stages, could potentially be used for real-time feedback to novel, adaptive drug delivery systems for inducing sleep. PMID:21408616

  9. Activity screening of environmental metagenomic libraries reveals novel carboxylesterase families

    PubMed Central

    Popovic, Ana; Hai, Tran; Tchigvintsev, Anatoly; Hajighasemi, Mahbod; Nocek, Boguslaw; Khusnutdinova, Anna N.; Brown, Greg; Glinos, Julia; Flick, Robert; Skarina, Tatiana; Chernikova, Tatyana N.; Yim, Veronica; Brüls, Thomas; Paslier, Denis Le; Yakimov, Michail M.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshina, Olga V.; Savchenko, Alexei; Golyshin, Peter N.; Yakunin, Alexander F.

    2017-01-01

    Metagenomics has made accessible an enormous reserve of global biochemical diversity. To tap into this vast resource of novel enzymes, we have screened over one million clones from metagenome DNA libraries derived from sixteen different environments for carboxylesterase activity and identified 714 positive hits. We have validated the esterase activity of 80 selected genes, which belong to 17 different protein families including unknown and cyclase-like proteins. Three metagenomic enzymes exhibited lipase activity, and seven proteins showed polyester depolymerization activity against polylactic acid and polycaprolactone. Detailed biochemical characterization of four new enzymes revealed their substrate preference, whereas their catalytic residues were identified using site-directed mutagenesis. The crystal structure of the metal-ion dependent esterase MGS0169 from the amidohydrolase superfamily revealed a novel active site with a bound unknown ligand. Thus, activity-centered metagenomics has revealed diverse enzymes and novel families of microbial carboxylesterases, whose activity could not have been predicted using bioinformatics tools. PMID:28272521

  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. Combining complexity measures of EEG data: multiplying measures reveal previously hidden information.

    PubMed

    Burns, Thomas; Rajan, Ramesh

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have noted significant differences among human electroencephalograph (EEG) results when participants or patients are exposed to different stimuli, undertaking different tasks, or being affected by conditions such as epilepsy or Alzheimer's disease. Such studies often use only one or two measures of complexity and do not regularly justify their choice of measure beyond the fact that it has been used in previous studies. If more measures were added to such studies, however, more complete information might be found about these reported differences. Such information might be useful in confirming the existence or extent of such differences, or in understanding their physiological bases. In this study we analysed publically-available EEG data using a range of complexity measures to determine how well the measures correlated with one another. The complexity measures did not all significantly correlate, suggesting that different measures were measuring unique features of the EEG signals and thus revealing information which other measures were unable to detect. Therefore, the results from this analysis suggests that combinations of complexity measures reveal unique information which is in addition to the information captured by other measures of complexity in EEG data. For this reason, researchers using individual complexity measures for EEG data should consider using combinations of measures to more completely account for any differences they observe and to ensure the robustness of any relationships identified.

  12. Combining complexity measures of EEG data: multiplying measures reveal previously hidden information

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Thomas; Rajan, Ramesh

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have noted significant differences among human electroencephalograph (EEG) results when participants or patients are exposed to different stimuli, undertaking different tasks, or being affected by conditions such as epilepsy or Alzheimer's disease. Such studies often use only one or two measures of complexity and do not regularly justify their choice of measure beyond the fact that it has been used in previous studies. If more measures were added to such studies, however, more complete information might be found about these reported differences. Such information might be useful in confirming the existence or extent of such differences, or in understanding their physiological bases. In this study we analysed publically-available EEG data using a range of complexity measures to determine how well the measures correlated with one another. The complexity measures did not all significantly correlate, suggesting that different measures were measuring unique features of the EEG signals and thus revealing information which other measures were unable to detect. Therefore, the results from this analysis suggests that combinations of complexity measures reveal unique information which is in addition to the information captured by other measures of complexity in EEG data. For this reason, researchers using individual complexity measures for EEG data should consider using combinations of measures to more completely account for any differences they observe and to ensure the robustness of any relationships identified. PMID:26594331

  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

    2014-02-06

    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. 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

    2016-02-04

    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.

  16. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    Summary 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. Using H3K27ac and BRD4 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 are responsible for subgroup divergence and implicate 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. PMID:26814967

  17. Real-time Redox Measurements during Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Reveal Interlinked Protein Folding Functions

    PubMed Central

    Merksamer, Philip I.; Trusina, Ala; Papa, Feroz R.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Disruption of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes unfolded proteins to accumulate, triggering the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR outputs in turn decrease ER unfolded proteins to close a negative feedback loop. However, because it is infeasible to directly measure the concentration of unfolded proteins in vivo, cells are generically described as experiencing “ER stress” whenever the UPR is active. Because ER redox potential is optimized for oxidative protein folding, we reasoned that measureable redox changes should accompany unfolded protein accumulation. To test this concept, we employed fluorescent protein reporters to dynamically measure ER redox status and UPR activity in single cells. Using these tools, we show that diverse stressors, both experimental and physiological, compromise ER protein oxidation when UPR-imposed homeostatic control is lost. Using genetic analysis we uncovered redox heterogeneities in isogenic cell populations, and revealed functional interlinks between ER protein folding, modification, and quality control systems. PMID:19026441

  18. 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.

  19. Mars Exospheric Temperature Trends as Revealed by MAVEN NGIMS Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, Stephen W.; Olsen, Kirk; Roeten, Kali; Bell, Jared; Mahaffy, Paul; Benna, Mehdi; Elrod, Meredith; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-11-01

    The Martian dayside upper thermosphere and exosphere temperatures (Texo) have been the subject of considerable debate and study since the first Mariner ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS) measurements (1969-1972), up to recent Mars Express SPICAM UVS measurements (2004-present) (e.g., see reviews by Stewart 1987; Bougher et al. 2000, 2014; Müeller-Wodarg et al. 2008; Stiepen et al. 2014). Prior to MAVEN, the Martian upper atmosphere thermal structure was poorly constrained by a limited number of both in-situ and remote sensing measurements at selected locations, seasons, and periods scattered throughout the solar cycle. Nevertheless, it is recognized that the Mars orbit eccentricity determines that both the solar cycle and seasonal variations in upper atmosphere temperatures must be considered together. The MAVEN NGIMS instrument measures the neutral composition of the major gas species (e.g. He, N, O, CO, N2, O2, NO, Ar and CO2) and their major isotopes, with a vertical resolution of ~5 km for targeted species and a target accuracy of <25% for most of these species (Mahaffy et al. 2014; 2015). Corresponding temperatures can now be derived from the neutral scale heights (especially CO2, Ar, and N2) (e.g. Mahaffy et al. 2015; Bougher et al. 2015). Texo mean temperatures spanning ~200 to 300 km are examined for both Deep Dip and Science orbits over 11-February 2015 (Ls ~ 290) to 14-July 2015 (Ls ~ 12). During these times, dayside sampling below 300 km occurred from the dusk terminator, across the dayside, and approaching the dawn terminator. NGIMS temperatures are investigated to extract spatial (e.g. SZA) and temporal (e.g. orbit-to-orbit, seasonal, solar rotational) variability and trends over this sampling period. Solar and seasonal driven trends in Texo are clearly visible, but orbit-to-orbit variability is significant, and demands further investigation to uncover the major drivers that are responsible.

  20. Nanoviscosity Measurements Revealing Domain Formation in Biomimetic Membranes.

    PubMed

    Hasan, Imad Younus; Mechler, Adam

    2017-02-07

    Partitioning of lipid molecules in biomimetic membranes is a model system for the study of naturally occurring domains, such as rafts, in biological membranes. The existence of nanometer scale membrane domains in binary lipid mixtures has been shown with microscopy methods; however, the nature of these domains has not been established unequivocally. A common notion is to ascribe domain separation to thermodynamic phase equilibria. However, characterizing thermodynamic phases of single bilayer membranes has not been possible due to their extreme dimensions: the size of the domains falls to the order of tens to hundreds of nanometers whereas the membrane thickness is only a few nanometers. Here, we present direct measurements of phase transitions in single bilayers of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC)/1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) phospholipid mixtures using quartz crystal microbalance-based nanoviscosity measurements. Coexisting thermodynamic phases have been successfully identified, and a phase diagram was constructed for the single bilayer binary lipid system. It was demonstrated that domain separation only takes place in planar membranes, and thus, it is absent in liposomes and not detectable in calorimetric measurements on liposome suspensions. On the basis of energetic analysis, the main transition was identified as the breaking of van der Waals interactions between the acyl chains.

  1. 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

  2. Multiscale comparative spectral analysis of satellite total solar irradiance measurements from 2003 to 2013 reveals a planetary modulation of solar activity and its nonlinear dependence on the 11 yr solar cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.; Willson, R. C.

    2013-11-01

    Herein we adopt a multiscale dynamical spectral analysis technique to compare and study the dynamical evolution of the harmonic components of the overlapping ACRIMSAT/ACRIM3 (Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite/Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor 3), SOHO/VIRGO (Solar and Heliopheric Observatory/Variability of solar Irradiance and Gravity Oscillations), and SORCE/TIM (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment/Total Irradiance Monitor) total solar irradiance (TSI) records during 2003.15 to 2013.16 in solar cycles 23 and 24. The three TSI time series present highly correlated patterns. Significant power spectral peaks are common to these records and are observed at the following periods: ~ 0.070 yr, ~ 0.097 yr, ~ 0.20 yr, ~ 0.25 yr, ~ 0.30-0.34 yr, and ~ 0.39 yr. Less certain spectral peaks occur at about 0.55 yr, 0.60-0.65 yr and 0.7-0.9 yr. Four main frequency periods at ~ 4.8 days (~ 0.068 yr), ~ 27.3 days (~ 0.075 yr), at ~ 34-35 days (~ 0.093-0.096 yr), and ~ 36-38 days (~ 0.099-0.104 yr) characterize the solar rotation cycle. The amplitude of these oscillations, in particular of those with periods larger than 0.5 yr, appears to be modulated by the ~ 11 yr solar cycle. Similar harmonics have been found in other solar indices. The observed periodicities are found highly coherent with the spring, orbital and synodic periods of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter. We conclude that solar activity is likely modulated by planetary gravitational and electromagnetic forces acting on the Sun. The strength of the Sun's response to planetary forcing depends nonlinearly on the state of internal solar dynamics; planetary-Sun coupling effects are enhanced during solar activity maxima and attenuated during minima.

  3. 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.

  4. Active Interaction Mapping Reveals the Hierarchical Organization of Autophagy.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Michael H; Farré, Jean-Claude; Mitra, Koyel; Yu, Michael Ku; Ono, Keiichiro; Demchak, Barry; Licon, Katherine; Flagg, Mitchell; Balakrishnan, Rama; Cherry, J Michael; Subramani, Suresh; Ideker, Trey

    2017-02-16

    We have developed a general progressive procedure, Active Interaction Mapping, to guide assembly of the hierarchy of functions encoding any biological system. Using this process, we assemble an ontology of functions comprising autophagy, a central recycling process implicated in numerous diseases. A first-generation model, built from existing gene networks in Saccharomyces, captures most known autophagy components in broad relation to vesicle transport, cell cycle, and stress response. Systematic analysis identifies synthetic-lethal interactions as most informative for further experiments; consequently, we saturate the model with 156,364 such measurements across autophagy-activating conditions. These targeted interactions provide more information about autophagy than all previous datasets, producing a second-generation ontology of 220 functions. Approximately half are previously unknown; we confirm roles for Gyp1 at the phagophore-assembly site, Atg24 in cargo engulfment, Atg26 in cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting, and Ssd1, Did4, and others in selective and non-selective autophagy. The procedure and autophagy hierarchy are at http://atgo.ucsd.edu/.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-06-14

    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.

  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. 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

  9. Physical activity in preschoolers: understanding prevalence and measurement issues.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Melody; Schofield, Grant M; Kolt, Gregory S

    2007-01-01

    . Both energy expenditure (EE) and direct observation have been considered criterion measures in the literature; however, EE is influenced by multiple variables, so its use as a physical activity 'criterion' is not ideal. Also, direct observation is inherently subjective, and coding protocols may result in failure to capture intermittent activity, thereby limiting its utility as a physical activity criterion. Accordingly, these issues must be taken into account where EE or direct observation are used to validate physical activity instruments. A combination of objective monitoring and direct observation may provide the best standard for the assessment of physical activity measurement tools. Ideally, the convergent validity of various physical activity tools should be investigated to determine the level of agreement between currently available measures. The correlational approaches commonly employed in the assessment of physical activity measures do not reveal this relationship, and can conceal potential bias of either measure.

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. Physical activity measurement among individuals with disabilities: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Carlos M; Porretta, David L

    2010-07-01

    This review examined the literature on physical activity measurement among individuals with disabilities utilizing Yun and Ulrich's (2002) view on measurement validity. Specific inclusion criteria were identified. The search produced 115 articles; however, only 28 met all specified criteria. Findings revealed that self-reports and accelerometers were the most common approaches to measuring physical activity, and individuals with orthopedic impairments, those with mental retardation, and those with other health impairments received the most attention. Of the 28 articles, 17 (61%) reported validity and reliability evidence. Among those studies reporting validity, criterion-related evidence was the most common; however, a number of methodological limitations relative to validity were observed. Given the importance of using multiple physical activity measures, only five (18%) studies reported the use of multiple measures. Findings are discussed relative to conducting future physical activity research on persons with disabilities.

  13. Radon measurement and mitigation activity in Finland.

    PubMed

    Valmari, T; Arvela, H; Reisbacka, H; Holmgren, O

    2014-07-01

    Radon prevention, measurement and mitigation activities have been increasing in Finland during the 2000s. Nowadays, many municipal authorities, especially those located in high-radon areas, require radon prevention measures. This has activated radon measurements. Owners of new houses having radon piping installed under the floor slab are the most active group to measure and reduce the found high-radon values. Their radon awareness is apparently better than on the average, and the existing piping makes it easier and cheaper to reduce the radon levels. Local campaigns involving invitation flyers mailed to the residents have been a cost-effective means to activate measurements of older houses. So far 116,611 dwellings in low-rise residential buildings have been measured. At least 15% of the 16,860 dwellings found to exceed the reference level of 400 Bq m(-3) had their indoor radon level reduced below that.

  14. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase revealed by hydrogen/deuterium exchange Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Landgraf, Rachelle R.; Goswami, Devrishi; Rajamohan, Francis; Harris, Melissa S.; Calabrese, Matthew; Hoth, Lise R.; Magyar, Rachelle; Pascal, Bruce D.; Chalmers, Michael J.; Busby, Scott A.; Kurumbail, Ravi; Griffin, Patrick R.

    2013-01-01

    Summary AMP-Activated protein kinase (AMPK) monitors cellular energy, regulates genes involved in ATP synthesis and consumption, and is allosterically activated by nucleotides and synthetic ligands. Analysis of the intact enzyme by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry reveals conformational perturbations of AMPK in response to binding of nucleotides, cyclodextrin and a synthetic small molecule activator, A769662. Results from this analysis clearly show that binding of AMP leads to conformational changes primarily in the γ subunit of AMPK and subtle changes in the α and β subunits. In contrast, A769662 causes profound conformational changes in the glycogen binding module of the β subunit and in the kinase domain of the α subunit suggesting that the molecular binding site of latter resides between the α and β subunits. The distinct short and long-range perturbations induced upon binding of AMP and A769662 suggest fundamentally different molecular mechanisms for activation of AMPK by these two ligands. PMID:24076403

  15. Sequencing the extrachromosomal circular mobilome reveals retrotransposon activity in plants

    PubMed Central

    Llauro, Christel; Jobet, Edouard; Robakowska-Hyzorek, Dagmara; Lasserre, Eric; Ghesquière, Alain; Panaud, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements abundant in plant and animal genomes. While efficiently silenced by the epigenetic machinery, they can be reactivated upon stress or during development. Their level of transcription not reflecting their transposition ability, it is thus difficult to evaluate their contribution to the active mobilome. Here we applied a simple methodology based on the high throughput sequencing of extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) forms of active retrotransposons to characterize the repertoire of mobile retrotransposons in plants. This method successfully identified known active retrotransposons in both Arabidopsis and rice material where the epigenome is destabilized. When applying mobilome-seq to developmental stages in wild type rice, we identified PopRice as a highly active retrotransposon producing eccDNA forms in the wild type endosperm. The mobilome-seq strategy opens new routes for the characterization of a yet unexplored fraction of plant genomes. PMID:28212378

  16. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity.

    PubMed

    Bobrovsky, Pavel; Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-07-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection.

  17. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity

    PubMed Central

    Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-01-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis. Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection. PMID:27160295

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elitzur, Avshalom C.; Cohen, Eliahu

    2011-11-01

    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.

  20. Enceladus's activity as revealed by Cassini-Huygens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Juergen

    2015-08-01

    The activity of Enceladus has been monitored by Cassini for nearly one decade after its discovery (see Science, 2006, 311, special issue). Thus, crucial properties of the vapor and dust plumes, heat output, surface properties, and the gravity field of the satellite are constrained in a fairly detailed manner. In this paper I review key observational facts and discuss implications for the vent geometries as well as interior structure and composition. Special emphasize I will give to data recorded by the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer, and the conclusions drawn from it, concerning the number, size, and composition of grains ejected by the plumes associated with the south polar activity.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Revealing phosphoproteins playing role in tobacco pollen activated in vitro.

    PubMed

    Fíla, Jan; Matros, Andrea; Radau, Sonja; Zahedi, René Peiman; Capková, Věra; Mock, Hans-Peter; Honys, David

    2012-11-01

    The transition between the quiescent mature and the metabolically active germinating pollen grain most probably involves changes in protein phosphorylation status, since phosphorylation has been implicated in the regulation of many cellular processes. Given that, only a minor proportion of cellular proteins are phosphorylated at any one time, and that phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated forms of many proteins can co-exist within a cell, the identification of phosphoproteins requires some prior enrichment from a crude protein extract. Here, we have used metal oxide/hydroxide affinity chromatography (MOAC) based on an aluminum hydroxide matrix for this purpose, and have generated a population of phosphoprotein candidates from both mature and in vitro activated tobacco pollen grains. Both electrophoretic and nonelectrophoretic methods, allied to MS, were applied to these extracts to identify a set of 139 phosphoprotein candidates. In vitro phosphorylation was also used to validate the spectrum of phosphoprotein candidates obtained by the MOAC phosphoprotein enrichment. Since only one phosphorylation site was detected by the above approach, titanium dioxide phosphopeptide enrichment of trypsinized mature pollen crude extract was performed as well. It resulted in a detection of additional 51 phosphorylation sites giving a total of 52 identified phosphosites in this set of 139 phosphoprotein candidates.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Neural activity reveals perceptual grouping in working memory.

    PubMed

    Rabbitt, Laura R; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G; Peterson, Matthew S

    2017-03-01

    There is extensive evidence that the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a scalp recorded event-related brain potential, provides a reliable index of the number of objects held in visual working memory. Here we present evidence that the CDA not only indexes visual object working memory, but also the number of locations held in spatial working memory. In addition, we demonstrate that the CDA can be predictably modulated by the type of encoding strategy employed. When individual locations were held in working memory, the pattern of CDA modulation mimicked previous findings for visual object working memory. Specifically, CDA amplitude increased monotonically until working memory capacity was reached. However, when participants were instructed to group individual locations to form a constellation, the CDA was prolonged and reached an asymptote at two locations. This result provides neural evidence for the formation of a unitary representation of multiple spatial locations.

  12. 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.

  13. Structure-activity relationships in carbohydrates revealed by their hydration.

    PubMed

    Maugeri, Laura; Busch, Sebastian; McLain, Sylvia E; Pardo, Luis Carlos; Bruni, Fabio; Ricci, Maria Antonietta

    2016-12-21

    One of the more intriguing aspects of carbohydrate chemistry is that despite having very similar molecular structures, sugars have very different properties. For instance, there is a sensible difference in sweet taste between glucose and trehalose, even though trehalose is a disaccharide that comprised two glucose units, suggesting a different ability of these two carbohydrates to bind to sweet receptors. Here we have looked at the hydration of specific sites and at the three-dimensional configuration of water molecules around three carbohydrates (glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose), combining neutron diffraction data with computer modelling. Results indicate that identical chemical groups can have radically different hydration patterns depending on their location on a given molecule. These differences can be linked with the specific activity of glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose as a sweet substance, as building block of cellulose fiber, and as a bioprotective agent, respectively. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Recent Advances in Bionanomaterials" Guest Editors: Dr. Marie-Louise Saboungi and Dr. Samuel D. Bader.

  14. Measuring revealed and emergent vulnerabilities of coastal communities to tsunami in Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Birkmann, Jörn; Fernando, Nishara

    2008-03-01

    This paper presents the important findings of a study undertaken in two selected tsunami-affected coastal cities in Sri Lanka (Batticaloa and Galle) to measure the revealed and emergent vulnerability of coastal communities. International risk studies have failed to demonstrate the high vulnerability of coastal communities to tsunami in Sri Lanka. Therefore, indirect assessment tools to measure pre-event vulnerability have to be complemented by assessment tools that analyse revealed and emergent vulnerability in looking at the aftermath and impact patterns of a real scenario, as well as in examining the dynamics of disaster recovery in which different vulnerabilities can be identified. The paper first presents a conceptual framework for capturing vulnerability within a process-oriented approach linked to sustainable development. Next, it highlights selected indicators and methods to measure revealed and emergent vulnerability at the local level using the examples of Batticaloa and Galle. Finally, it discusses the usefulness and application of vulnerability indicators within the framework of reconstruction.

  15. Revealing statistical properties of quasi-CW fibre lasers in bandwidth-limited measurements.

    PubMed

    Gorbunov, O A; Sugavanam, S; Churkin, D V

    2014-11-17

    We introduce a general technique how to reveal in experiments of limited electrical bandwidth which is lower than the optical bandwidth of the optical signal under study, whether the statistical properties of the light source obey Gaussian distribution or mode correlations do exist. To do that one needs to perform measurements by decreasing the measurement bandwidth. We develop a simple model of bandwidth-limited measurements and predict universal laws how intensity probability density function and intensity auto-correlation function of ideal completely stochastic source of Gaussian statistics depend on limited measurement bandwidth and measurement noise level. Results of experimental investigation are in good agreement with model predictions. In particular, we reveal partial mode correlations in the radiation of quasi-CW Raman fibre laser.

  16. A continuous measure of phasic electrodermal activity

    PubMed Central

    Benedek, Mathias; Kaernbach, Christian

    2010-01-01

    Electrodermal activity is characterized by the superposition of what appear to be single distinct skin conductance responses (SCRs). Classic trough-to-peak analysis of these responses is impeded by their apparent superposition. A deconvolution approach is proposed, which separates SC data into continuous signals of tonic and phasic activity. The resulting phasic activity shows a zero baseline, and overlapping SCRs are represented by predominantly distinct, compact impulses showing an average duration of less than 2 s. A time integration of the continuous measure of phasic activity is proposed as a straightforward indicator of event-related sympathetic activity. The quality and benefit of the proposed measure is demonstrated in an experiment with short interstimulus intervals as well as by means of a simulation study. The advances compared to previous decomposition methods are discussed. PMID:20451556

  17. Revealing the nature of the active site on the carbon catalyst for C-H bond activation.

    PubMed

    Sun, XiaoYing; Li, Bo; Su, Dangsheng

    2014-09-28

    A reactivity descriptor for the C-H bond activation on the nanostructured carbon catalyst is proposed. Furthermore the calculations reveal that the single ketone group can be an active site in ODH reaction.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Measuring Active Learning to Predict Course Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, John E.; Ku, Heng-Yu

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated whether active learning within computer-based training courses can be measured and whether it serves as a predictor of learner-perceived course quality. A major corporation participated in this research, providing access to internal employee training courses, training representatives, and historical course evaluation data.…

  1. International exercise on 124Sb activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Chauvenet, B; Bé, M-M; Amiot, M-N; Bobin, C; Lépy, M-C; Branger, T; Lanièce, I; Luca, A; Sahagia, M; Wätjen, A C; Kossert, K; Ott, O; Nähle, O; Dryák, P; Sochorovà, J; Kovar, P; Auerbach, P; Altzitzoglou, T; Pommé, S; Sibbens, G; Van Ammel, R; Paepen, J; Iwahara, A; Delgado, J U; Poledna, R; da Silva, C J; Johansson, L; Stroak, A; Bailat, C; Nedjadi, Y; Spring, P

    2010-01-01

    An international exercise, registered as EUROMET project no. 907, was launched to measure both the activity of a solution of (124)Sb and the photon emission intensities of its decay. The same solution was sent by LNE-LNHB to eight participating laboratories. In order to identify possible biases, the participants were asked to use all possible activity measurement methods available in their laboratory and then to determine their reference value for comparison. Thus, measurement results from 4pibeta-gamma coincidence/anti-coincidence counting, CIEMAT/NIST liquid-scintillation counting, 4pigamma counting with well-type ionization chambers and well-type crystal detectors were given. The results are compared and show a maximum discrepancy of about 1.6%: possible explanations are proposed.

  2. Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals how calmodulin activates NO synthase by controlling its conformational fluctuation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    He, Yufan; Haque, Mohammad Mahfuzul; Stuehr, Dennis J.; Lu, H. Peter

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms that regulate the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS) are of interest in biology and medicine. Although NOS catalysis relies on domain motions, and is activated by calmodulin binding, the relationships are unclear. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy to elucidate the conformational states distribution and associated conformational fluctuation dynamics of the two electron transfer domains in a FRET dye-labeled neuronal NOS reductase domain, and to understand how calmodulin affects the dynamics to regulate catalysis. We found that calmodulin alters NOS conformational behaviors in several ways: It changes the distance distribution between the NOS domains, shortens the lifetimes of the individual conformational states, and instills conformational discipline by greatly narrowing the distributions of the conformational states and fluctuation rates. This information was specifically obtainable only by single-molecule spectroscopic measurements, and reveals how calmodulin promotes catalysis by shaping the physical and temporal conformational behaviors of NOS. PMID:26311846

  3. 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

  4. Chlorophyll a fluorescence lifetime reveals reversible UV-induced photosynthetic activity in the green algae Tetraselmis.

    PubMed

    Kristoffersen, Arne S; Hamre, Børge; Frette, Øyvind; Erga, Svein R

    2016-04-01

    The fluorescence lifetime is a very useful parameter for investigating biological materials on the molecular level as it is mostly independent of the fluorophore concentration. The green alga Tetraselmis blooms in summer, and therefore its response to UV irradiation is of particular interest. In vivo fluorescence lifetimes of chlorophyll a were measured under both normal and UV-stressed conditions of Tetraselmis. Fluorescence was induced by two-photon excitation using a femtosecond laser and laser scanning microscope. The lifetimes were measured in the time domain by time-correlated single-photon counting. Under normal conditions, the fluorescence lifetime was 262 ps, while after 2 h of exposure to UV radiation the lifetime increased to 389 ps, indicating decreased photochemical quenching, likely caused by a damaged and down-regulated photosynthetic apparatus. This was supported by a similar increase in the lifetime to 425 ps when inhibiting photosynthesis chemically using DCMU. Furthermore, the UV-stressed sample was dark-adapted overnight, resulting in a return of the lifetime to 280 ps, revealing that the damage caused by UV radiation is repairable on a relatively short time scale. This reversal of photosynthetic activity was also confirmed by [Formula: see text] measurements.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. High throughput sequencing reveals alterations in the recombination signatures with diminishing Spo11 activity.

    PubMed

    Rockmill, Beth; Lefrançois, Philippe; Voelkel-Meiman, Karen; Oke, Ashwini; Roeder, G Shirleen; Fung, Jennifer C

    2013-10-01

    Spo11 is the topoisomerase-like enzyme responsible for the induction of the meiosis-specific double strand breaks (DSBs), which initiates the recombination events responsible for proper chromosome segregation. Nineteen PCR-induced alleles of SPO11 were identified and characterized genetically and cytologically. Recombination, spore viability and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation were decreased to varying extents in these mutants. Arrest by ndt80 restored these events in two severe hypomorphic mutants, suggesting that ndt80-arrested nuclei are capable of extended DSB activity. While crossing-over, spore viability and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation defects correlated, the extent of such defects was not predictive of the level of heteroallelic gene conversions (prototrophs) exhibited by each mutant. High throughput sequencing of tetrads from spo11 hypomorphs revealed that gene conversion tracts associated with COs are significantly longer and gene conversion tracts unassociated with COs are significantly shorter than in wild type. By modeling the extent of these tract changes, we could account for the discrepancy in genetic measurements of prototrophy and crossover association. These findings provide an explanation for the unexpectedly low prototroph levels exhibited by spo11 hypomorphs and have important implications for genetic studies that assume an unbiased recovery of prototrophs, such as measurements of CO homeostasis. Our genetic and physical data support previous observations of DSB-limited meioses, in which COs are disproportionally maintained over NCOs (CO homeostasis).

  11. 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

  12. Angiogenesis Interactome and Time Course Microarray Data Reveal the Distinct Activation Patterns in Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Liang-Hui; Lee, Esak; Bader, Joel S.; Popel, Aleksander S.

    2014-01-01

    Angiogenesis involves stimulation of endothelial cells (EC) by various cytokines and growth factors, but the signaling mechanisms are not completely understood. Combining dynamic gene expression time-course data for stimulated EC with protein-protein interactions associated with angiogenesis (the “angiome”) could reveal how different stimuli result in different patterns of network activation and could implicate signaling intermediates as points for control or intervention. We constructed the protein-protein interaction networks of positive and negative regulation of angiogenesis comprising 367 and 245 proteins, respectively. We used five published gene expression datasets derived from in vitro assays using different types of blood endothelial cells stimulated by VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor A). We used the Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM) to identify significant temporal gene expression profiles. The statistically significant patterns between 2D fibronectin and 3D type I collagen substrates for telomerase-immortalized EC (TIME) show that different substrates could influence the temporal gene activation patterns in the same cell line. We investigated the different activation patterns among 18 transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors, and experimentally measured the protein level of the tyrosine-kinase receptors VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 in human umbilical vein EC (HUVEC) and human microvascular EC (MEC). The results show that VEGFR1–VEGFR2 levels are more closely coupled than VEGFR1–VEGFR3 or VEGFR2–VEGFR3 in HUVEC and MEC. This computational methodology can be extended to investigate other molecules or biological processes such as cell cycle. PMID:25329517

  13. Measuring homework completion in behavioral activation.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

    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 of BA. The tested scale sought to capture the type of assignment, realm of functioning targeted, extent of completion, and assignment difficulty. Homework assignments were drawn from 12 (mean age = 48, 83% female) clients in two trials of a 10-session BA manual targeting treatment-resistant depression in primary care. The two coders demonstrated acceptable or better reliability on most codes, and unreliable codes were dropped from the proposed scale. In addition, correlations between homework completion and outcome were strong, providing some support for construct validity. Ultimately, this line of research aims to develop a user-friendly, reliable measure of BA homework completion that can be completed by a therapist during session.

  14. Integrative Proteomics and Phosphoproteomics Profiling Reveals Dynamic Signaling Networks and Bioenergetics Pathways Underlying T Cell Activation.

    PubMed

    Tan, Haiyan; Yang, Kai; Li, Yuxin; Shaw, Timothy I; Wang, Yanyan; Blanco, Daniel Bastardo; Wang, Xusheng; Cho, Ji-Hoon; Wang, Hong; Rankin, Sherri; Guy, Cliff; Peng, Junmin; Chi, Hongbo

    2017-03-21

    The molecular circuits by which antigens activate quiescent T cells remain poorly understood. We combined temporal profiling of the whole proteome and phosphoproteome via multiplexed isobaric labeling proteomics technology, computational pipelines for integrating multi-omics datasets, and functional perturbation to systemically reconstruct regulatory networks underlying T cell activation. T cell receptors activated the T cell proteome and phosphoproteome with discrete kinetics, marked by early dynamics of phosphorylation and delayed ribosome biogenesis and mitochondrial activation. Systems biology analyses identified multiple functional modules, active kinases, transcription factors and connectivity between them, and mitochondrial pathways including mitoribosomes and complex IV. Genetic perturbation revealed physiological roles for mitochondrial enzyme COX10-mediated oxidative phosphorylation in T cell quiescence exit. Our multi-layer proteomics profiling, integrative network analysis, and functional studies define landscapes of the T cell proteome and phosphoproteome and reveal signaling and bioenergetics pathways that mediate lymphocyte exit from quiescence.

  15. Kinetic Measurements Reveal Enhanced Protein-Protein Interactions at Intercellular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Shashikanth, Nitesh; Kisting, Meridith A.; Leckband, Deborah E.

    2016-01-01

    The binding properties of adhesion proteins are typically quantified from measurements with soluble fragments, under conditions that differ radically from the confined microenvironment of membrane bound proteins in adhesion zones. Using classical cadherin as a model adhesion protein, we tested the postulate that confinement within quasi two-dimensional intercellular gaps exposes weak protein interactions that are not detected in solution binding assays. Micropipette-based measurements of cadherin-mediated, cell-cell binding kinetics identified a unique kinetic signature that reflects both adhesive (trans) bonds between cadherins on opposing cells and lateral (cis) interactions between cadherins on the same cell. In solution, proposed lateral interactions were not detected, even at high cadherin concentrations. Mutations postulated to disrupt lateral cadherin association altered the kinetic signatures, but did not affect the adhesive (trans) binding affinity. Perturbed kinetics further coincided with altered cadherin distributions at junctions, wound healing dynamics, and paracellular permeability. Intercellular binding kinetics thus revealed cadherin interactions that occur within confined, intermembrane gaps but not in solution. Findings further demonstrate the impact of these revealed interactions on the organization and function of intercellular junctions. PMID:27009566

  16. A genetic strategy to measure circulating Drosophila insulin reveals genes regulating insulin production and secretion.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  17. Outcome revealed by preference in schizophrenia (OPS): development of a new class of outcome measurements.

    PubMed

    Falissard, Bruno; Bazin, Nadine; Hardy-Bayle, Marie-Christine

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to describe the development of a new type of outcome measurement, based on revealed preference, which can be used in serious chronic illnesses. Fifteen texts of about 200 words each were written by one of the authors on the day-to-day life of 15 schizophrenic patients. These 15 'slices of life' thus described were then ranked in terms of acceptability by a second group of 10 schizophrenic patients and by a group of 12 relatives of schizophrenic patients. From these rankings, six situations were selected so as to obtain evenly distributed positioning on an axis of acceptability. These six situations comprised the final instrument. In administration, the patients were first asked if the 'slices of life' that were described were acceptable or not, then if the 'slices of life' described were more or less acceptable than their own lives. Two scores were derived, one for an absolute level and the other for a relative level of the patient's satisfaction with his or her existence. Validation results were presented to a new sample of 229 schizophrenic patients. Internal consistency appeared good and the initial ranking of the six situations in terms of acceptability was confirmed. This study encourages the development of global outcome measures based on revealed preference in chronic serious illnesses.

  18. 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.

  19. Polaron dynamics in two types of long oligothiophenes revealed by Q - and X -band ESR measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanemoto, Katsuichi; Furukawa, Ko; Negishi, Nobukazu; Aso, Yoshio; Otsubo, Tetsuo

    2007-10-01

    The polaron dynamics has been investigated through the X - and Q -band ESR measurements for two types of iodine-doped long oligothiophenes, the 20-mer with octyl substituents (o-20T) and the 16-mer with hexyl substituents (h-16T) . o-20T , used as a model compound of conjugated polymers with crystalline grains, gives anisotropic ESR spectra attributed to g anisotropy at low temperatures. The anisotropic spectra are found to be brought by polarons moving within the crystalline grains consisting of parallel chains. The anisotropy is shown to decrease with increasing temperature. This provides definite evidence that the polarons transfer among some grains by the assist of temperature. In contrast, h-16T , used as a model of the polymers with amorphous morphology, gives almost isotropic ESR spectra even in the Q -band measurement. This feature of h-16T is explained to be caused by a rapid interchain transfer of polarons. Spectral simulations performed for obtained spectra reveal that the ESR linewidth in the Q -band measurement is larger than that in the X band for both oligothiophenes. The difference of the linewidth is analyzed by a simplified motional narrowing model in order to draw the information of polaron dynamics. Analyses for o-20T show that the intergrain motion almost follows the variable range hopping model. The interchain motion in h-16T is found to have a much weaker temperature dependence than the intergrain motion in o-20T . This result suggests that the interchain dynamics of h-16T revealed by the ESR technique includes a variety of processes of motion.

  20. 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...

  1. Single-molecule measurements of replisome composition and function reveal the mechanism of polymerase exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loparo, Joseph

    2011-03-01

    A complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the functioning of large, multiprotein complexes requires experimental tools capable of simultaneously visualizing molecular architecture and enzymatic activity in real time. I will describe a novel single-molecule assay that combines the flow-stretching of individual DNA molecules to measure the activity of the DNA-replication machinery with the visualization of fluorescently labeled DNA polymerases at the replication fork. By correlating polymerase stoichiometry with DNA synthesis of T7 bacteriophage replisomes, we are able to quantitatively describe the mechanism of polymerase exchange. We find that even at relatively modest polymerase concentration (2 nM), soluble polymerases are recruited to an actively synthesizing replisome, dramatically increasing local polymerase concentration. These excess polymerases remain passively associated with the replisome through electrostatic interactions with the T7 helicase for 50 seconds until a stochastic and transient dissociation of the synthesizing polymerase from the primer-template allows for a polymerase exchange event to occur.

  2. Noninvasive neutron scattering measurements reveal slower cholesterol transport in model lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Garg, S; Porcar, L; Woodka, A C; Butler, P D; Perez-Salas, U

    2011-07-20

    Proper cholesterol transport is essential to healthy cellular activity and any abnormality can lead to several fatal diseases. However, complete understandings of cholesterol homeostasis in the cell remains elusive, partly due to the wide variability in reported values for intra- and intermembrane cholesterol transport rates. Here, we used time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering to measure cholesterol intermembrane exchange and intramembrane flipping rates, in situ, without recourse to any external fields or compounds. We found significantly slower transport kinetics than reported by previous studies, particularly for intramembrane flipping where our measured rates are several orders of magnitude slower. We unambiguously demonstrate that the presence of chemical tags and extraneous compounds employed in traditional kinetic measurements dramatically affect the system thermodynamics, accelerating cholesterol transport rates by an order of magnitude. To our knowledge, this work provides new insights into cholesterol transport process disorders, and challenges many of the underlying assumptions used in most cholesterol transport studies to date.

  3. Noninvasive Neutron Scattering Measurements Reveal Slower Cholesterol Transport in Model Lipid Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Garg, S.; Porcar, L.; Woodka, A.C.; Butler, P.D.; Perez-Salas, U.

    2011-01-01

    Proper cholesterol transport is essential to healthy cellular activity and any abnormality can lead to several fatal diseases. However, complete understandings of cholesterol homeostasis in the cell remains elusive, partly due to the wide variability in reported values for intra- and intermembrane cholesterol transport rates. Here, we used time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering to measure cholesterol intermembrane exchange and intramembrane flipping rates, in situ, without recourse to any external fields or compounds. We found significantly slower transport kinetics than reported by previous studies, particularly for intramembrane flipping where our measured rates are several orders of magnitude slower. We unambiguously demonstrate that the presence of chemical tags and extraneous compounds employed in traditional kinetic measurements dramatically affect the system thermodynamics, accelerating cholesterol transport rates by an order of magnitude. To our knowledge, this work provides new insights into cholesterol transport process disorders, and challenges many of the underlying assumptions used in most cholesterol transport studies to date. PMID:21767489

  4. Multipoint measurements of substorm timing and activations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuyin, Pu; Cao, X.; Zhang, H.; Ma, Z. W.; Mishin, M. V.; Kubyshkina, M. V.; Pulkkinen, T.; Reeves, G. D.; Escoubet, C. Philippe

    Substorm timing and activations are studied based on Double Star TC1, Cluster, Polar, IM- AGE, LANL satellites and ground-based Pi2 measurements. Substorm expansion onset is found to begin in the near-Earth tail around X= -(8-9) Re, then progresses both earthward and tailward. About 8-10 minutes before aurora breakup, Cluster measured an earthward flow associated with plasma sheet thinning. A couple of minutes after the breakup, TC1 first detects plasma sheet expansion and then LANL satellites near the midnight measure energetic electron injections, or vise versus. About 20 minutes (or more) later, Cluster and Polar observe plasma sheet expansion successively. Of interest are also the following findings. Auroral bulge is found to quickly broaden and expand poleward when the open magnetic flux of the polar cap is rapidly dissipated, indicating the role of tail lobe reconnection of open field lines in the development of the expansion phase. In addition, poleward expansion of auroral bulges and tailward progression of substorm expansion are shown to be closely related. An initial dipolarization in the near-Earth eventually evolve to enable disruption of the cross-tail current in a wide range of the magnetotail, until the open magnetic flux of the polar cap reaches its minimum. Acknowledgements This work is supported by the NSFC Grants 40390152 and 40536030 and Chinese Key Research Project Grant 2006CB806300. The authors acknowledge all PIs of instruments onboard Double Star and Cluster spacecraft. We also appreciate the useful discussions with R. L. McPherron and A. T. Y. Lui.

  5. 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.

  6. Nanomechanical recognition measurements of individual DNA molecules reveal epigenetic methylation patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Rong; Howorka, Stefan; Pröll, Johannes; Kienberger, Ferry; Preiner, Johannes; Hesse, Jan; Ebner, Andreas; Pastushenko, Vassili Ph.; Gruber, Hermann J.; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2010-11-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful tool for analysing the shapes of individual molecules and the forces acting on them. AFM-based force spectroscopy provides insights into the structural and energetic dynamics of biomolecules by probing the interactions within individual molecules, or between a surface-bound molecule and a cantilever that carries a complementary binding partner. Here, we show that an AFM cantilever with an antibody tether can measure the distances between 5-methylcytidine bases in individual DNA strands with a resolution of 4 Å, thereby revealing the DNA methylation pattern, which has an important role in the epigenetic control of gene expression. The antibody is able to bind two 5-methylcytidine bases of a surface-immobilized DNA strand, and retracting the cantilever results in a unique rupture signature reflecting the spacing between two tagged bases. This nanomechanical approach might also allow related chemical patterns to be retrieved from biopolymers at the single-molecule level.

  7. An insight into synthetic Schiff bases revealing antiproliferative activities in vitro.

    PubMed

    Sztanke, Krzysztof; Maziarka, Agata; Osinka, Anna; Sztanke, Małgorzata

    2013-07-01

    Schiff bases or azomethines are among the most important groups of biomolecules. These compounds have been found to reveal both remarkable biological activities and a variety of valuable practical applications. An interest in the exploration of novel series of synthetic Schiff bases has undoubtedly been growing due to their proven utility as attractive lead structures for the design of novel cytotoxic and cytostatic agents with a mechanism of action that sometimes differs from that of clinically authorized anticancer agents. Therefore, in the present paper we have focussed our attention on the collected synthetic simple Schiff bases of aldimine- and ketimine-types revealing anticancer activities in vitro, that have been described in the scientific literature during the last decade, and on structural variations whose affect the antiproliferative activity in sets of the designed molecules.

  8. Measurement of Gene Regulation in Individual Cells Reveals Rapid Switching Between Promoter States

    PubMed Central

    Sepúlveda, Leonardo A.; Xu, Heng; Zhang, Jing; Wang, Mengyu; Golding, Ido

    2016-01-01

    In vivo mapping of transcription-factor binding to the transcriptional output of the regulated gene is hindered by probabilistic promoter occupancy, the presence of multiple gene copies, and cell-to-cell variability. We demonstrate how to overcome these obstacles in the lysogeny maintenance promoter of bacteriophage lambda, PRM. We simultaneously measured the concentration of the lambda repressor CI and the number of mRNAs from PRM in individual E. coli cells, and used a theoretical model to identify the stochastic activity corresponding to different CI binding configurations. We found that switching between promoter configurations is faster than mRNA lifetime, and that individual gene copies within the same cell act independently. The simultaneous quantification of transcription factor and promoter activity, followed by stochastic theoretical analysis, provides a tool that can be applied to other genetic circuits. PMID:26965629

  9. Variability and reliability of muscle activity measurements during chewing.

    PubMed

    Kravchenko, A; Weiser, A; Hugger, S; Kordass, B; Hugger, A; Wanke, E

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to test masseter muscle activity and its variability and reliability in terms of repeatable measurements in fully dentate and healthy volunteers during habitual chewing and deliberate unilateral chewing. Three sessions were performed on three consecutive days, each time recording kinematic data and masseter muscle EMG activities through a series of defined jaw exercises, including maximum voluntary contraction, habitual chewing, and left and right unilateral chewing. Asymmetry index (AI) and deliberate chewing index (DCI) scores were used to evaluate the activities of the left and right masseter muscles, which were separately recorded during each of these chewing exercises. DCI scores were side-specific, including two sets of values for left and right unilateral chewing. Reproducibility testing of the values obtained for all parameters revealed good to excellent reproducibility of masseter muscle activity under standardized recording conditions across the consecutive study sessions, with intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) ranging from 0.68 to 0.93. Different individuals were found to utilize different strategies of bilateral masseter activation during both habitual chewing and deliberate unilateral chewing.

  10. Small business activity does not measure entrepreneurship.

    PubMed

    Henrekson, Magnus; Sanandaji, Tino

    2014-02-04

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2016-04-19

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Metabolomics reveals a novel vitamin E metabolite and attenuated vitamin E metabolism upon PXR activation.

    PubMed

    Cho, Joo-Youn; Kang, Dong Wook; Ma, Xiaochao; Ahn, Sung-Hoon; Krausz, Kristopher W; Luecke, Hans; Idle, Jeffrey R; Gonzalez, Frank J

    2009-05-01

    Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is an important nuclear receptor xenosensor that regulates the expression of metabolic enzymes and transporters involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics and endobiotics. In this study, ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS), revealed altered urinary metabolomes in both Pxr-null and wild-type mice treated with the mouse PXR activator pregnenolone 16alpha-carbonitrile (PCN). Multivariate data analysis revealed that PCN significantly attenuated the urinary vitamin E metabolite alpha-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman (CEHC) glucuronide together with a novel metabolite in wild-type but not Pxr-null mice. Deconjugation experiments with beta-glucuronidase and beta-glucosidase suggested that the novel urinary metabolite was gamma-CEHC beta-D-glucoside (Glc). The identity of gamma-CEHC Glc was confirmed by chemical synthesis and by comparing tandem mass fragmentation of the urinary metabolite with the authentic standard. The lower urinary CEHC was likely due to PXR-mediated repression of hepatic sterol carrier protein 2 involved in peroxisomal beta-oxidation of branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA). Using a combination of metabolomic analysis and a genetically modified mouse model, this study revealed that activation of PXR results in attenuated levels of the two vitamin E conjugates, and identification of a novel vitamin E metabolite, gamma-CEHC Glc. Activation of PXR results in attenuated levels of the two vitamin E conjugates that may be useful as biomarkers of PXR activation.

  17. 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

  18. Structural Differences between Active Forms of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type 1 Revealed by Conformationally Sensitive Ligands*

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shih-Hon; Gorlatova, Natalia V.; Lawrence, Daniel A.; Schwartz, Bradford S.

    2008-01-01

    Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is a serine protease inhibitor (serpin) in which the reactive center loop (RCL) spontaneously inserts into a central β-sheet, β-sheet A, resulting in inactive inhibitor. Available x-ray crystallographic studies of PAI-1 in an active conformation relied on the use of stabilizing mutations. Recently it has become evident that these structural models do not adequately explain the behavior of wild-type PAI-1 (wtPAI-1) in solution. To probe the structure of native wtPAI-1, we used three conformationally sensitive ligands: the physiologic cofactor, vitronectin; a monoclonal antibody, 33B8, that binds preferentially to RCL-inserted forms of PAI-1; and RCL-mimicking peptides that insert into β-sheet A. From patterns of interaction with wtPAI-1 and the stable mutant, 14-1B, we propose a model of the native conformation of wtPAI-1 in which the bottom of the central sheet is closed, whereas the top of the β-sheet A is open to allow partial insertion of the RCL. Because the incorporation of RCL-mimicking peptides into wtPAI-1 is accelerated by vitronectin, we further propose that vitronectin alters the conformation of the RCL to allow increased accessibility to β-sheet A, yielding a structural hypothesis that is contradictory to the current structural model of PAI-1 in solution and its interaction with vitronectin. PMID:18436534

  19. 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.

  20. A High-Throughput Screen Reveals New Small-Molecule Activators and Inhibitors of Pantothenate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Pantothenate kinase (PanK) is a regulatory enzyme that controls coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. The association of PanK with neurodegeneration and diabetes suggests that chemical modifiers of PanK activity may be useful therapeutics. We performed a high throughput screen of >520000 compounds from the St. Jude compound library and identified new potent PanK inhibitors and activators with chemically tractable scaffolds. The HTS identified PanK inhibitors exemplified by the detailed characterization of a tricyclic compound (7) and a preliminary SAR. Biophysical studies reveal that the PanK inhibitor acts by binding to the ATP–enzyme complex. PMID:25569308

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Long-term home cage activity scans reveal lowered exploratory behaviour in symptomatic female Rett mice.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Lianne; Plano, Andrea; Cobb, Stuart; Riedel, Gernot

    2013-08-01

    Numerous experimental models have been developed to reiterate endophenotypes of Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder with a multitude of motor, cognitive and vegetative symptoms. Here, female Mecp2(Stop) mice [1] were characterised at mild symptomatic conditions in tests for anxiety (open field, elevated plus maze) and home cage observation systems for food intake, locomotor activity and circadian rhythms. Aged 8-9 months, Mecp2(Stop) mice presented with heightened body weight, lower overall activity in the open field, but no anxiety phenotype. Although home cage activity scans conducted in two different observation systems, PhenoMaster and PhenoTyper, confirmed normal circadian activity, they revealed severely compromised habituation to a novel environment in all parameters registered including those derived from a non-linear decay model such as initial exploration maximum, decay half-life of activity and span, as well as plateau. Furthermore, overall activity was significantly reduced in nocturnal periods due to reductions in both fast ambulatory movements, but also a slow lingering. In contrast, light-period activity profiles during which the amount of sleep was highest remained normal in Mecp2(Stop) mice. These data confirm the slow and progressive development of Rett-like symptoms in female Mecp2(Stop) mice resulting in a prominent reduction of overall locomotor activity, while circadian rhythms are maintained. Alterations in the time-course of habituation may indicate deficiencies in cognitive processing.

  4. Simple pain measures reveal psycho-social pathology in patients with Crohn’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Odes, Shmuel; Friger, Michael; Sergienko, Ruslan; Schwartz, Doron; Sarid, Orly; Slonim-Nevo, Vered; Singer, Terri; Chernin, Elena; Vardi, Hillel; Greenberg, Dan; Israel IBD Research Nucleus

    2017-01-01

    AIM To determine whether pain has psycho-social associations in adult Crohn’s disease (CD) patients. METHODS Patients completed demographics, disease status, Patient Harvey-Bradshaw Index (P-HBI), Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ), and five socio-psychological questionnaires: Brief Symptom Inventory, Brief COPE Inventory, Family Assessment Device, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire. Pain sub-scales in P-HBI, SF-36 and SIBDQ measures were recoded into 4 identical scores for univariate and multinomial logistic regression analysis of associations with psycho-social variables. RESULTS The cohort comprised 594 patients, mean age 38.6 ± 14.8 years, women 52.5%, P-HBI 5.76 ± 5.15. P-HBI, SF-36 and SIBDQ broadly agreed in their assessment of pain intensity. More severe pain was significantly associated with female gender, low socio-economic status, unemployment, Israeli birth and smoking. Higher pain scores correlated positively with psychological stress, dysfunctional coping strategies, poor family relationships, absenteeism, presenteeism, productivity loss and activity impairment and all WPAI sub-scores. Patients exhibiting greater satisfaction with life had less pain. The regression showed increasing odds ratios for psychological stress (lowest 2.26, highest 12.17) and female gender (highest 3.19) with increasing pain. Internet-recruited patients were sicker and differed from hardcopy questionnaire patients in their associations with pain. CONCLUSION Pain measures in P-HBI, SF-36 and SIBDQ correlate with psycho-social pathology in CD. Physicians should be aware also of these relationships in approaching CD patients with pain. PMID:28246482

  5. Intracellular Impedance Measurements Reveal Non-ohmic Properties of the Extracellular Medium around Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Jean-Marie; Bédard, Claude; Valtcheva, Silvana; Nelson, Matthew; Khokhlova, Vitalia; Pouget, Pierre; Venance, Laurent; Bal, Thierry; Destexhe, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Determining the electrical properties of the extracellular space around neurons is important for understanding the genesis of extracellular potentials, as well as for localizing neuronal activity from extracellular recordings. However, the exact nature of these extracellular properties is still uncertain. Here, we introduce a method to measure the impedance of the tissue, one that preserves the intact cell-medium interface using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in vivo and in vitro. We find that neural tissue has marked non-ohmic and frequency-filtering properties, which are not consistent with a resistive (ohmic) medium, as often assumed. The amplitude and phase profiles of the measured impedance are consistent with the contribution of ionic diffusion. We also show that the impact of such frequency-filtering properties is possibly important on the genesis of local field potentials, as well as on the cable properties of neurons. These results show non-ohmic properties of the extracellular medium around neurons, and suggest that source estimation methods, as well as the cable properties of neurons, which all assume ohmic extracellular medium, may need to be reevaluated. PMID:26745426

  6. 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

  7. Characterization of Drosophila CMP-sialic acid synthetase activity reveals unusual enzymatic properties.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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 CSASs 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 characterized 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 Zn(2+), Fe(2+), Co(2+) and Mn(2+), whereas the activity with Mg(2+) 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 co-ordinating 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.

  8. The Measurement and Interpretation of Children's Physical Activity.

    PubMed

    Rowlands, Ann V; Eston, Roger G

    2007-09-01

    The accurate and reliable assessment of physical activity is necessary for any research study where physical activity is either an outcome measure or an intervention. The aim of this review is to examine the use of objective measurement techniques for the assessment and interpretation of children's physical activity. Accurate measurement of children's activity is challenging, as the activity is characteristically sporadic and intermittent, consisting of frequent, short bouts. Objective measures of physical activity include heart rate telemetry, pedometry and accelerometry, and each of these methods has strengths and limitations. Heart rate is suited to the measurement of sustained periods of moderate and vigorous activity, pedometry provides a valid measure of total activity, and accelerometry provides a valid measure of total activity as well as the pattern and intensity of activity. As the weaknesses of heart rate and accelerometry for the assessment of activity are not inter-correlated, a combination of the two methods may be more accurate than either method alone. Recent evidence suggests that the Actiheart, an integrated accelerometer and heart rate unit, provides a more accurate prediction of children's energy expenditure than either heart rate or accelerometry alone. However, the cost of the Actiheart is prohibitive for large-scale studies. The pedometer is recommended when only the total amount of physical activity is of interest. When the intensity or the pattern of activity is of interest, accelerometry is the recommended measurement tool. Key pointsThe use of objective measures to assess physical activity in children is recommended.Pedometers provide an inexpensive objective measure of total activity that is highly correlated with more sophisticated techniques, e.g. accelerometry, and has been used to identify relationships between health and activity in children.Accelerometry allows examination of the temporal pattern and intensity of children

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Glucocorticoid Receptor-DNA Dissociation Kinetics Measured in Vitro Reveal Exchange on the Second Time Scale.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Rolando W; Maluf, Nasib K; Yang, Qin; Lambert, James R; Bain, David L

    2015-09-01

    The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a member of the steroid receptor family of ligand-activated transcription factors. Recent live cell imaging studies have revealed that interactions of GR with chromatin are highly dynamic, with average receptor residence times of only seconds. These findings were surprising because early kinetic studies found that GR-DNA interactions in vitro were much slower, having calculated residence times of minutes to hours. However, these latter analyses were conducted at a time when it was possible to work with only either partially purified holoreceptor or its purified but isolated DNA binding domain. Noting these limitations, we reexamined GR-DNA dissociation kinetics using a highly purified holoreceptor shown to be amenable to rigorous study. We first observe that GR-DNA interactions in vitro are not slow as previously thought but converge with in vivo behavior, having residence times of only seconds to tens of seconds. This rapid exchange is seen at six individual response elements and the multisite MMTV promoter used in live cell imaging. Second, GR dissociation rates are identical for all response elements. Thus, previously observed differences in receptor affinity toward these sequences are not due to differences in off rate but in on rate. Finally, dissociation kinetics are biphasic in character. A minimal kinetic model consistent with the data is that in which DNA-bound GR interconverts between states on a second time scale, with dissociation occurring via a multistep process. We speculate that receptor interconversion in this time frame can be recognized by the coregulatory proteins that interact with GR, leading to unique transcriptional responses.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Mutational activation of ErbB2 reveals a new protein kinase autoinhibition mechanism.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ying-Xin; Wong, Lily; Ding, Jinhui; Spiridonov, Nikolay A; Johnson, Richard C; Johnson, Gibbes R

    2008-01-18

    Autoinhibition plays a key role in the control of protein kinase activity. ErbB2 is a unique receptor-tyrosine kinase that does not bind ligand but possesses an extracellular domain poised to engage other ErbBs. Little is known about the molecular mechanism for ErbB2 catalytic regulation. Here we show that ErbB2 kinase is strongly autoinhibited, and a loop connecting the alphaC helix and beta4 sheet within the kinase domain plays a major role in the control of kinase activity. Mutations of two Gly residues at positions 776 and 778 in this loop dramatically increase ErbB2 catalytic activity. Kinetic analysis demonstrates that mutational activation is due to approximately 10- and approximately 7-fold increases in ATP binding affinity and turnover number, respectively. Expression of the activated ErbB2 mutants in cells resulted in elevated ligand-independent ErbB2 autophosphorylation, ErbB3 phosphorylation, and stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase. Molecular modeling suggests that the ErbB2 kinase domain is stabilized in an inactive state via a hydrophobic interaction between the alphaC-beta4 and activation loops. Importantly, many ErbB2 human cancer mutations have been identified in the alphaC-beta4 loop, including the activating G776S mutation studied here. Our findings reveal a new kinase regulatory mechanism in which the alphaC-beta4 loop functions as an intramolecular switch that controls ErbB2 activity and suggests that loss of alphaC-beta4 loop-mediated autoinhibition is involved in oncogenic activation of ErbB2.

  15. 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...

  16. The interior of 67P/C-G nucleus revealed by CONSERT measurements and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levasseur-Regourd, A.; Kofman, Wlodek; Herique, Alain; Ciarletti, Valérie; Heggy, Essam; Lasue, Jérémie

    2015-11-01

    The CONSERT bistatic radar onboard the Rosetta spacecraft and the Philae lander has begun to reveal the internal structure of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, through radio tomographic mapping between the lander and main spacecraft. The small lobe was found to be structurally homogeneous, at the spatial scale of ten meters, corresponding to a few wavelengths of CONSERT instrument [1]. The real part of the relative permittivity has been derived from the travel time of the strongest signals obtained on 12-13 November 2014, from Philae final landing site. Since the final position of the lander was not accurately defined, numerous ray-tracing simulations were performed to constrain the ambiguities on Philae position using the known position of Rosetta and the propagation time and paths inside and outside the nucleus. A least square statistical analysis between measurements and simulations lead to deduce a bulk relative permittivity about (1.27 ± 0.1); meanwhile, the uncertainty in the lander location was reduced to an area of about 21 by 34 square meters [1].Ongoing theoretical and experimental simulations are providing more insights on the nucleus properties. Numerical ray-tracing simulations of the propagation at grazing angles have been performed for various subsurface permittivity models. They establish that a permittivity gradient in the shallow sub-surface would have a strong effect on the wave propagation. The permittivity probably decreases with depth, suggesting that a significant increase of dust/ice ratio with depth is unlikely [2]. Laboratory simulations of the permittivity of subsurface cometary analog materials [3], and of surface porous analog samples [4] have taken place. Results suggest 67P dielectric properties to be mainly controlled by porosity, the dust/ice volumetric ratio to range from 0.4 to 2.6 and the porosity to range from 75 to 85% [1]. Further on-going laboratory measurements will be discussed.Supports from CNES and NASA are acknowledged

  17. Whole-brain activity maps reveal stereotyped, distributed networks for visuomotor behavior.

    PubMed

    Portugues, Ruben; Feierstein, Claudia E; Engert, Florian; Orger, Michael B

    2014-03-19

    Most behaviors, even simple innate reflexes, are mediated by circuits of neurons spanning areas throughout the brain. However, in most cases, the distribution and dynamics of firing patterns of these neurons during behavior are not known. We imaged activity, with cellular resolution, throughout the whole brains of zebrafish performing the optokinetic response. We found a sparse, broadly distributed network that has an elaborate but ordered pattern, with a bilaterally symmetrical organization. Activity patterns fell into distinct clusters reflecting sensory and motor processing. By correlating neuronal responses with an array of sensory and motor variables, we find that the network can be clearly divided into distinct functional modules. Comparing aligned data from multiple fish, we find that the spatiotemporal activity dynamics and functional organization are highly stereotyped across individuals. These experiments systematically reveal the functional architecture of neural circuits underlying a sensorimotor behavior in a vertebrate brain.

  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. Whole-brain activity maps reveal stereotyped, distributed networks for visuomotor behavior

    PubMed Central

    Portugues, Ruben; Feierstein, Claudia E.; Engert, Florian; Orger, Michael B.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Most behaviors, even simple innate reflexes, are mediated by circuits of neurons spanning areas throughout the brain. However, in most cases, the distribution and dynamics of firing patterns of these neurons during behavior are not known. We imaged activity, with cellular resolution, throughout the whole brains of zebrafish performing the optokinetic response. We found a sparse, broadly distributed network that has an elaborate, but ordered, pattern, with a bilaterally symmetrical organization. Activity patterns fell into distinct clusters reflecting sensory and motor processing. By correlating neuronal responses with an array of sensory and motor variables, we find that the network can be clearly divided into distinct functional modules. Comparing aligned data from multiple fish, we find that the spatiotemporal activity dynamics and functional organization are highly stereotyped across individuals. These experiments reveal, for the first time in a vertebrate, the comprehensive functional architecture of the neural circuits underlying a sensorimotor behavior. PMID:24656252

  20. Quantitative and Temporal Requirements Revealed for Zap-70 Catalytic Activity During T Cell Development

    PubMed Central

    Au-Yeung, Byron B.; Melichar, Heather J.; Ross, Jenny O.; Cheng, Debra A.; Zikherman, Julie; Shokat, Kevan M.; Robey, Ellen A.; Weiss, Arthur

    2014-01-01

    The catalytic activity of Zap-70 is crucial for T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, but the quantitative and temporal requirements for its function in thymocyte development are not known. Using a chemical-genetic system to selectively and reversibly inhibit Zap-70 catalytic activity in a model of synchronized thymic selection, we showed that CD4+CD8+ thymocytes integrate multiple, transient, Zap-70-dependent signals over more than 36 h to reach a cumulative threshold for positive selection, whereas one hour of signaling was sufficient for negative selection. Titration of Zap-70 activity resulted in graded reductions in positive and negative selection but did not decrease the cumulative TCR signals integrated by positively selected OT-I cells, revealing heterogeneity, even among CD4+CD8+ thymocytes expressing identical TCRs undergoing positive selection. PMID:24908390

  1. Integrative analysis of breast cancer reveals prognostic haematopoietic activity and patient-specific immune response profiles

    PubMed Central

    Varn, Frederick S.; Andrews, Erik H.; Mullins, David W.; Cheng, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional programmes active in haematopoietic cells enable a variety of functions including dedifferentiation, innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Understanding how these programmes function in the context of cancer can provide valuable insights into host immune response, cancer severity and potential therapy response. Here we present a method that uses the transcriptomes of over 200 murine haematopoietic cells, to infer the lineage-specific haematopoietic activity present in human breast tumours. Correlating this activity with patient survival and tumour purity reveals that the transcriptional programmes of many cell types influence patient prognosis and are found in environments of high lymphocytic infiltration. Collectively, these results allow for a detailed and personalized assessment of the patient immune response to a tumour. When combined with routinely collected patient biopsy genomic data, this method can enable a richer understanding of the complex interplay between the host immune system and cancer. PMID:26725977

  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. Crystal Structure of Escherichia coli Diaminopropionate Ammonia-lyase Reveals Mechanism of Enzyme Activation and Catalysis*

    PubMed Central

    Bisht, Shveta; Rajaram, Venkatesan; Bharath, Sakshibeedu R.; Kalyani, Josyula Nitya; Khan, Farida; Rao, Appaji N.; Savithri, Handanahal S.; Murthy, Mathur R. N.

    2012-01-01

    Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes utilize the unique chemistry of a pyridine ring to carry out diverse reactions involving amino acids. Diaminopropionate (DAP) ammonia-lyase (DAPAL) is a prokaryotic PLP-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of d- and l-forms of DAP to pyruvate and ammonia. Here, we report the first crystal structure of DAPAL from Escherichia coli (EcDAPAL) in tetragonal and monoclinic forms at 2.0 and 2.2 Å resolutions, respectively. Structures of EcDAPAL soaked with substrates were also determined. EcDAPAL has a typical fold type II PLP-dependent enzyme topology consisting of a large and a small domain with the active site at the interface of the two domains. The enzyme is a homodimer with a unique biological interface not observed earlier. Structure of the enzyme in the tetragonal form had PLP bound at the active site, whereas the monoclinic structure was in the apo-form. Analysis of the apo and holo structures revealed that the region around the active site undergoes transition from a disordered to ordered state and assumes a conformation suitable for catalysis only upon PLP binding. A novel disulfide was found to occur near a channel that is likely to regulate entry of ligands to the active site. EcDAPAL soaked with dl-DAP revealed density at the active site appropriate for the reaction intermediate aminoacrylate, which is consistent with the observation that EcDAPAL has low activity under crystallization conditions. Based on the analysis of the structure and results of site-directed mutagenesis, a two-base mechanism of catalysis involving Asp120 and Lys77 is suggested. PMID:22505717

  5. Crystal structure of Escherichia coli diaminopropionate ammonia-lyase reveals mechanism of enzyme activation and catalysis.

    PubMed

    Bisht, Shveta; Rajaram, Venkatesan; Bharath, Sakshibeedu R; Kalyani, Josyula Nitya; Khan, Farida; Rao, Appaji N; Savithri, Handanahal S; Murthy, Mathur R N

    2012-06-08

    Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes utilize the unique chemistry of a pyridine ring to carry out diverse reactions involving amino acids. Diaminopropionate (DAP) ammonia-lyase (DAPAL) is a prokaryotic PLP-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of d- and l-forms of DAP to pyruvate and ammonia. Here, we report the first crystal structure of DAPAL from Escherichia coli (EcDAPAL) in tetragonal and monoclinic forms at 2.0 and 2.2 Å resolutions, respectively. Structures of EcDAPAL soaked with substrates were also determined. EcDAPAL has a typical fold type II PLP-dependent enzyme topology consisting of a large and a small domain with the active site at the interface of the two domains. The enzyme is a homodimer with a unique biological interface not observed earlier. Structure of the enzyme in the tetragonal form had PLP bound at the active site, whereas the monoclinic structure was in the apo-form. Analysis of the apo and holo structures revealed that the region around the active site undergoes transition from a disordered to ordered state and assumes a conformation suitable for catalysis only upon PLP binding. A novel disulfide was found to occur near a channel that is likely to regulate entry of ligands to the active site. EcDAPAL soaked with dl-DAP revealed density at the active site appropriate for the reaction intermediate aminoacrylate, which is consistent with the observation that EcDAPAL has low activity under crystallization conditions. Based on the analysis of the structure and results of site-directed mutagenesis, a two-base mechanism of catalysis involving Asp(120) and Lys(77) is suggested.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Classical and quantum phase transitions revealed using transport and x-ray measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, Arnab

    I present the experimental studies of phase transitions in three different compounds in this thesis. The first one, SrCu2(BO3)2 is a physical realization of the Shastry-Sutherland model where, using precise lattice measurements, we examined the pressure-dependent phase diagram. We found two separate quantum phase transitions in the compound, the first one being a second order transition from a dimer to an intermediate magnetic state, and the second being a first order monoclinic distortion from the intermediate state to a presumed magnetically ordered state. In the second compound, NiS2, using a combination of transport and x-ray diffraction we proved that neither magnetism nor lattice symmetry, but rather electron-electron correlations, plays an active role in the insulator-metal phase transition in pure NiS2 under high pressure. Following this we make an attempt to delve the critical scaling laws using high pressure transport measurements in a helium dilution refrigerator. We observed a resistivity drop of over five orders and an effective of mass enhancement near the critical region. I detail the technical endeavors adopted for leading us to the critical behavior. The third compound, TbTe3, was believed to show only one charge density wave (CDW). We discovered a second CDW, but at a much lower transition temperature to the first one. Our results pointed to bidirectional ordering in TbTe3, a compound that has been otherwise considered a canonical model for one-dimensional CDW physics. The order parameter for this new CDW appears to deviate from standard mean-field behavior. This is only the second rare-earth telluride for which a q-vector has been determined for a second CDW, and the first for which the temperature dependence of that q-vector was characterized.

  9. Field-scale tracking of active methane-oxidizing communities in a landfill cover soil reveals spatial and seasonal variability.

    PubMed

    Henneberger, Ruth; Chiri, Eleonora; Bodelier, Paul E L; Frenzel, Peter; Lüke, Claudia; Schroth, Martin H

    2015-05-01

    Aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) in soils mitigate methane (CH4 ) emissions. We assessed spatial and seasonal differences in active MOB communities in a landfill cover soil characterized by highly variable environmental conditions. Field-based measurements of CH4 oxidation activity and stable-isotope probing of polar lipid-derived fatty acids (PLFA-SIP) were complemented by microarray analysis of pmoA genes and transcripts, linking diversity and function at the field scale. In situ CH4 oxidation rates varied between sites and were generally one order of magnitude lower in winter compared with summer. Results from PLFA-SIP and pmoA transcripts were largely congruent, revealing distinct spatial and seasonal clustering. Overall, active MOB communities were highly diverse. Type Ia MOB, specifically Methylomonas and Methylobacter, were key drivers for CH4 oxidation, particularly at a high-activity site. Type II MOB were mainly active at a site showing substantial fluctuations in CH4 loading and soil moisture content. Notably, Upland Soil Cluster-gamma-related pmoA transcripts were also detected, indicating concurrent oxidation of atmospheric CH4 . Spatial separation was less distinct in winter, with Methylobacter and uncultured MOB mediating CH4 oxidation. We propose that high diversity of active MOB communities in this soil is promoted by high variability in environmental conditions, facilitating substantial removal of CH4 generated in the waste body.

  10. Brain activity associated with omission of an aversive event reveals the effects of fear learning and generalization

    PubMed Central

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2012-01-01

    During fear learning, anticipation of an impending aversive stimulus increases defensive behaviors. Interestingly, omission of the aversive stimulus often produces another response around the time the event was expected. This omission response suggests that the subject detected a mismatch between what was predicted and what actually occurred, thereby providing an indirect measure of cognitive expectancy. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether omission-related brain activity reflects fear expectancy during learning and generalization of conditioned fear. During conditioning, a face expressing a moderate amount of fear (conditioned stimulus, CS+) signaled delivery of an aversive shock unconditioned stimulus (US), whereas the same face with a neutral expression was unreinforced. In a subsequent generalization test, subjects were presented with faces expressing more or less fear intensity than the CS+. Psychophysiological results revealed an increase in the skin conductance response (SCR) during learning when the US was omitted. Omission-related SCRs were also observed during the generalization test following the offset of high-but not low-intensity face expressions. Neuroimaging results revealed omission-related neural activity during learning in the anterior cingulate cortex, parietal cortex, insula, and striatum. These same regions also showed omission-related responses during the generalization test following highly expressive fearful faces. Finally, regression analysis on omission responses during the generalization test revealed correlations in offset-related SCRs and neural activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. Thus, converging psychophysiological and neural activity upon omission of aversive stimulation provides a novel metric of US expectancy, even to generalized cues that had no prior history of reinforcement. PMID:22387662

  11. High throughput estimation of functional cell activities reveals disease mechanisms and predicts relevant clinical outcomes.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Marta R; Cubuk, Cankut; Amadoz, Alicia; Salavert, Francisco; Carbonell-Caballero, José; Dopazo, Joaquin

    2017-01-17

    Understanding the aspects of the cell functionality that account for disease or drug action mechanisms is a main challenge for precision medicine. Here we propose a new method that models cell signaling using biological knowledge on signal transduction. The method recodes individual gene expression values (and/or gene mutations) into accurate measurements of changes in the activity of signaling circuits, which ultimately constitute high-throughput estimations of cell functionalities caused by gene activity within the pathway. Moreover, such estimations can be obtained either at cohort-level, in case/control comparisons, or personalized for individual patients. The accuracy of the method is demonstrated in an extensive analysis involving 5640 patients from 12 different cancer types. Circuit activity measurements not only have a high diagnostic value but also can be related to relevant disease outcomes such as survival, and can be used to assess therapeutic interventions.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Nuclear receptor engineering based on novel structure activity relationships revealed by farnesyl pyrophosphate.

    PubMed

    Goyanka, Ritu; Das, Sharmistha; Samuels, Herbert H; Cardozo, Timothy

    2010-11-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) comprise the second largest protein family targeted by currently available drugs, acting via specific ligand interactions within the ligand binding domain (LBD). Recently, farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) was shown to be a unique promiscuous NR ligand, activating a subset of NR family members and inhibiting wound healing in skin. The current study aimed at visualizing the unique basis of FPP interaction with multiple receptors in order to identify general structure-activity relationships that operate across the NR family. Docking of FPP to the 3D structures of the LBDs of a diverse set of NRs consistently revealed an electrostatic FPP pyrophosphate contact with an NR arginine conserved in the NR family, a hydrophobic farnesyl contact with NR helix-12 and a ligand binding pocket volume between 300 and 430 Å(3) as the minimal requirements for FPP activation of any NR. Lack of any of these structural features appears to render a given NR resistant to FPP activation. We used these structure-activity relationships to rationally design and successfully engineer several mutant human estrogen receptors that retain responsiveness to estradiol but no longer respond to FPP.

  19. Measuring polio immunity to plan immunization activities.

    PubMed

    Voorman, Arend; Lyons, Hil M

    2016-11-21

    The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is closer than ever to achieving a polio-free world. Immunization activities must still be carried out in non-endemic countries to maintain population immunity at levels which will stop poliovirus from spreading if it is re-introduced from still-infected areas. In areas where there is no active transmission of poliovirus, programs must rely on surrogate indicators of population immunity to determine the appropriate immunization activities, typically caregiver-reported vaccination history obtained from non-polio acute flaccid paralysis patients identified through polio surveillance. We used regression models to examine the relationship between polio vaccination campaigns and caregiver-reported polio vaccination history. We find that in many countries, vaccination campaigns have a surprisingly weak impact on these commonly used indicators. We conclude that alternative criteria and data, such as routine immunization indicators from vaccination records or household surveys, should be considered for planning polio vaccination campaigns, and that validation of such surrogate indicators is necessary if they are to be used as the basis for program planning and risk assessment. We recommend that the GPEI and similar organizations consider or continue devoting additional resources to rigorously study population immunity and campaign effectiveness in at-risk countries.

  20. Single-cell transcriptome analyses reveal signals to activate dormant neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuping; Coskun, Volkan; Liang, Aibing; Yu, Juehua; Cheng, Liming; Ge, Weihong; Shi, Zhanping; Zhang, Kunshan; Li, Chun; Cui, Yaru; Lin, Haijun; Luo, Dandan; Wang, Junbang; Lin, Connie; Dai, Zachary; Zhu, Hongwen; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Jie; Liu, Hailiang; deVellis, Jean; Horvath, Steve; Sun, Yi Eve; Li, Siguang

    2015-05-21

    The scarcity of tissue-specific stem cells and the complexity of their surrounding environment have made molecular characterization of these cells particularly challenging. Through single-cell transcriptome and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we uncovered molecular properties of CD133(+)/GFAP(-) ependymal (E) cells in the adult mouse forebrain neurogenic zone. Surprisingly, prominent hub genes of the gene network unique to ependymal CD133(+)/GFAP(-) quiescent cells were enriched for immune-responsive genes, as well as genes encoding receptors for angiogenic factors. Administration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) activated CD133(+) ependymal neural stem cells (NSCs), lining not only the lateral but also the fourth ventricles and, together with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), elicited subsequent neural lineage differentiation and migration. This study revealed the existence of dormant ependymal NSCs throughout the ventricular surface of the CNS, as well as signals abundant after injury for their activation.

  1. 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.

  2. Fifteen years of thermal activity at Vanuatu's volcanoes (2000-2015) revealed by MIROVA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppola, D.; Laiolo, M.; Cigolini, C.

    2016-08-01

    The Vanuatu archipelago consists of 80 islands and hosts 5 subaerial volcanoes (Yasur, Lopevi, Ambrym, Aoba and Gaua) that have shown sign of activity during the past decade. In this contribution we provide a 15 years-long datasets (2000-2015) of the thermal activity recorded at these active volcanoes by means of MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) a new volcanic hotspot detection system based on MODIS data. The analyzed volcanoes are characterized by a spectrum of volcanic activities whose thermal signature has been tracked and carefully analyzed. These include strombolian-vulcanian explosions at Yasur, lava flows at Lopevi, lava lakes at Ambrym, surtseyan-type eruptions within the Voui crater lake of Aoba and ash-dominated eruptions with strong degassing at Gaua. The collected data reveal several details of the long term eruptive dynamics at single sites such as a monthly long pulse in thermal emissions at Yasur volcano as well as at the two active craters of Ambrym (Benbow and Marum). Heating cycles within Aoba crater lake and intermittent pressurized eruptions at Lopevi volcano has also been detected and shed light in the eruptive dynamics of the analyzed volcanoes. In addition we were able to track a two years long intensification of thermal output at Benbow crater (Ambrym) that preceded the occurrence of the first intra-caldera eruptions of this volcano since 1989. We emphasize how the data provided by MIROVA represent a new, safe and affordable method for monitoring in near-real time a large spectrum of volcanic activities taking place at Vanuatu and other volcanic areas.

  3. 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

  4. Structural snapshots of Xer recombination reveal activation by synaptic complex remodeling and DNA bending

    PubMed Central

    Bebel, Aleksandra; Karaca, Ezgi; Kumar, Banushree; Stark, W Marshall; Barabas, Orsolya

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial Xer site-specific recombinases play an essential genome maintenance role by unlinking chromosome multimers, but their mechanism of action has remained structurally uncharacterized. Here, we present two high-resolution structures of Helicobacter pylori XerH with its recombination site DNA difH, representing pre-cleavage and post-cleavage synaptic intermediates in the recombination pathway. The structures reveal that activation of DNA strand cleavage and rejoining involves large conformational changes and DNA bending, suggesting how interaction with the cell division protein FtsK may license recombination at the septum. Together with biochemical and in vivo analysis, our structures also reveal how a small sequence asymmetry in difH defines protein conformation in the synaptic complex and orchestrates the order of DNA strand exchanges. Our results provide insights into the catalytic mechanism of Xer recombination and a model for regulation of recombination activity during cell division. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19706.001 PMID:28009253

  5. Brain Network Activation (BNA) reveals scopolamine-induced impairment of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Reches, Amit; Levy-Cooperman, Naama; Laufer, Ilan; Shani-Hershkovitch, Revital; Ziv, Keren; Kerem, Dani; Gal, Noga; Stern, Yaki; Cukierman, Guy; Romach, Myroslava K; Sellers, Edward M; Geva, Amir B

    2014-09-01

    The overarching goal of this event-related potential (ERP) study was to examine the effects of scopolamine on the dynamics of brain network activation using a novel ERP network analysis method known as Brain Network Activation (BNA). BNA was used for extracting group-common stimulus-activated network patterns elicited to matching probe stimuli in the context of a delayed matching-to-sample task following placebo and scopolamine treatments administered to healthy participants. The BNA extracted networks revealed the existence of two pathophysiological mechanisms following scopolamine, disconnection, and compensation. Specifically, weaker frontal theta and parietal alpha coupling was accompanied with enhanced fronto-centro-parietal theta activation relative to placebo. In addition, using the characteristic BNA network of each treatment as well as corresponding literature-guided selective subnetworks as combined biomarkers managed to differentiate between individual responses to each of the treatments. Behavioral effects associated with scopolamine included delayed response time and impaired response accuracy. These results indicate that the BNA method is sensitive to the effects of scopolamine on working memory and that it may potentially enable diagnosis and treatment assessment of dysfunctions associated with cholinergic deficiency.

  6. 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.

  7. Structures of glycosylated mammalian glutaminyl cyclases reveal conformational variability near the active center.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Carrillo, David; Koch, Birgit; Parthier, Christoph; Wermann, Michael; Dambe, Tresfore; Buchholz, Mirko; Ludwig, Hans-Henning; Heiser, Ulrich; Rahfeld, Jens-Ulrich; Stubbs, Milton T; Schilling, Stephan; Demuth, Hans-Ulrich

    2011-07-19

    Formation of N-terminal pyroglutamate (pGlu or pE) from glutaminyl or glutamyl precursors is catalyzed by glutaminyl cyclases (QC). As the formation of pGlu-amyloid has been linked with Alzheimer's disease, inhibitors of QCs are currently the subject of intense development. Here, we report three crystal structures of N-glycosylated mammalian QC from humans (hQC) and mice (mQC). Whereas the overall structures of the enzymes are similar to those reported previously, two surface loops in the neighborhood of the active center exhibit conformational variability. Furthermore, two conserved cysteine residues form a disulfide bond at the base of the active center that was not present in previous reports of hQC structure. Site-directed mutagenesis suggests a structure-stabilizing role of the disulfide bond. At the entrance to the active center, the conserved tryptophan residue, W(207), which displayed multiple orientations in previous structure, shows a single conformation in both glycosylated human and murine QCs. Although mutagenesis of W(207) into leucine or glutamine altered substrate conversion significantly, the binding constants of inhibitors such as the highly potent PQ50 (PBD150) were minimally affected. The crystal structure of PQ50 bound to the active center of murine QC reveals principal binding determinants provided by the catalytic zinc ion and a hydrophobic funnel. This study presents a first comparison of two mammalian QCs containing typical, conserved post-translational modifications.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Gao; Zhou, Wenyu; Schüssler-Fiorenza Rose, Sophia Miryam; Perelman, Dalia; Colbert, Elizabeth; Runge, Ryan; Rego, Shannon; Sonecha, Ria; Datta, Somalee; McLaughlin, Tracey; Snyder, Michael P.

    2017-01-01

    A new wave of portable biosensors allows frequent measurement of health-related physiology. We investigated the use of these devices to monitor human physiological changes during various activities and their role in managing health and diagnosing and analyzing disease. By recording over 250,000 daily measurements for up to 43 individuals, we found personalized circadian differences in physiological parameters, replicating previous physiological findings. Interestingly, we found striking changes in particular environments, such as airline flights (decreased peripheral capillary oxygen saturation [SpO2] and increased radiation exposure). These events are associated with physiological macro-phenotypes such as fatigue, providing a strong association between reduced pressure/oxygen and fatigue on high-altitude flights. Importantly, we combined biosensor information with frequent medical measurements and made two important observations: First, wearable devices were useful in identification of early signs of Lyme disease and inflammatory responses; we used this information to develop a personalized, activity-based normalization framework to identify abnormal physiological signals from longitudinal data for facile disease detection. Second, wearables distinguish physiological differences between insulin-sensitive and -resistant individuals. Overall, these results indicate that portable biosensors provide useful information for monitoring personal activities and physiology and are likely to play an important role in managing health and enabling affordable health care access to groups traditionally limited by socioeconomic class or remote geography. PMID:28081144

  11. Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao; Dunn, Jessilyn; Salins, Denis; Zhou, Gao; Zhou, Wenyu; Schüssler-Fiorenza Rose, Sophia Miryam; Perelman, Dalia; Colbert, Elizabeth; Runge, Ryan; Rego, Shannon; Sonecha, Ria; Datta, Somalee; McLaughlin, Tracey; Snyder, Michael P

    2017-01-01

    A new wave of portable biosensors allows frequent measurement of health-related physiology. We investigated the use of these devices to monitor human physiological changes during various activities and their role in managing health and diagnosing and analyzing disease. By recording over 250,000 daily measurements for up to 43 individuals, we found personalized circadian differences in physiological parameters, replicating previous physiological findings. Interestingly, we found striking changes in particular environments, such as airline flights (decreased peripheral capillary oxygen saturation [SpO2] and increased radiation exposure). These events are associated with physiological macro-phenotypes such as fatigue, providing a strong association between reduced pressure/oxygen and fatigue on high-altitude flights. Importantly, we combined biosensor information with frequent medical measurements and made two important observations: First, wearable devices were useful in identification of early signs of Lyme disease and inflammatory responses; we used this information to develop a personalized, activity-based normalization framework to identify abnormal physiological signals from longitudinal data for facile disease detection. Second, wearables distinguish physiological differences between insulin-sensitive and -resistant individuals. Overall, these results indicate that portable biosensors provide useful information for monitoring personal activities and physiology and are likely to play an important role in managing health and enabling affordable health care access to groups traditionally limited by socioeconomic class or remote geography.

  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. Quantifying Ant Activity Using Vibration Measurements

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24658467

  14. 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.

  15. Force measurement reveals structure of a confined liquid: Observation of the impenetrable space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amano, Ken-ichi; Tanaka, Eisuke; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Onishi, Hiroshi; Nishi, Naoya; Sakka, Tetsuo

    2015-11-01

    Understanding of the structure of a confined liquid is an important subject for developments in surface science, tribology, biophysics, etc. In this study, we propose its measurement theory and conduct a test of the theory. The measurement theory uses a force curve obtained by surface force apparatus and transforms the force curve into the confined liquid structure. To check the validity of the measurement theory, we perform a verification test in a computer. It is found that the theory can semi-quantitatively reproduce the confined liquid structure. The theory will lead to the first step toward measuring a liquid structure confined between optically impenetrable substrates.

  16. 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.

  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. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; ...

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Spatially Defined EGF Receptor Activation Reveals an F-Actin-Dependent Phospho-Erk Signaling Complex

    PubMed Central

    Singhai, Amit; Wakefield, Devin L.; Bryant, Kirsten L.; Hammes, Stephen R.; Holowka, David; Baird, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the association of signaling proteins with epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors (EGFR) using biotinylated EGF bound to streptavidin that is covalently coupled in an ordered array of micron-sized features on silicon surfaces. Using NIH-3T3 cells stably expressing EGFR, we observe concentration of fluorescently labeled receptors and stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation that are spatially confined to the regions of immobilized EGF and quantified by cross-correlation analysis. We observe recruitment of phosphorylated paxillin to activated EGFR at these patterned features, as well as β1-containing integrins that preferentially localize to more peripheral EGF features, as quantified by radial fluorescence analysis. In addition, we detect recruitment of EGFP-Ras, MEK, and phosphorylated Erk to patterned EGF in a process that depends on F-actin and phosphoinositides. These studies reveal and quantify the coformation of multiprotein EGFR signaling complexes at the plasma membrane in response to micropatterned growth factors. PMID:25468343

  7. 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.

  8. Analysis of miRNA market trends reveals hotspots of research activity.

    PubMed

    Oosta, Gary; Razvi, Enal

    2012-04-01

    We have conducted an analysis of the miRNA research marketplace by evaluating the publication trends in the field. In this article, we present the results of our analysis which reveals that hotspots exist in terms of research activities in the miRNA space--these hotspots illustrate the areas in the miRNA research space where specific miRNAs have been extensively studied, and other areas that represent new territory. We frame these data into the context of areas of opportunity for miRNA content harvest versus segments of opportunity for the development of research tools. Also presented in this article are the primary market data from online surveys we have performed with researchers involved in miRNA research around the world. Taken together, these data frame the current state of the miRNA marketplace and provide niches of opportunity for new entrants into this space.

  9. Structures of Cas9 endonucleases reveal RNA-mediated conformational activation.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-03-14

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Global positioning system: a new opportunity in physical activity measurement.

    PubMed

    Maddison, Ralph; Ni Mhurchu, Cliona

    2009-11-04

    Accurate measurement of physical activity is a pre-requisite to monitor population physical activity levels and design effective interventions. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology offers potential to improve the measurement of physical activity. This paper 1) reviews the extant literature on the application of GPS to monitor human movement, with a particular emphasis on free-living physical activity, 2) discusses issues associated with GPS use, and 3) provides recommendations for future research. Overall findings show that GPS is a useful tool to augment our understanding of physical activity by providing the context (location) of the activity and used together with Geographical Information Systems can provide some insight into how people interact with the environment. However, no studies have shown that GPS alone is a reliable and valid measure of physical activity.

  12. Global positioning system: a new opportunity in physical activity measurement

    PubMed Central

    Maddison, Ralph; Ni Mhurchu, Cliona

    2009-01-01

    Accurate measurement of physical activity is a pre-requisite to monitor population physical activity levels and design effective interventions. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology offers potential to improve the measurement of physical activity. This paper 1) reviews the extant literature on the application of GPS to monitor human movement, with a particular emphasis on free-living physical activity, 2) discusses issues associated with GPS use, and 3) provides recommendations for future research. Overall findings show that GPS is a useful tool to augment our understanding of physical activity by providing the context (location) of the activity and used together with Geographical Information Systems can provide some insight into how people interact with the environment. However, no studies have shown that GPS alone is a reliable and valid measure of physical activity. PMID:19887012

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Synthesis and folding of a mirror-image enzyme reveals ambidextrous chaperone activity

    PubMed Central

    Weinstock, Matthew T.; Jacobsen, Michael T.; Kay, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Mirror-image proteins (composed of d-amino acids) are promising therapeutic agents and drug discovery tools, but as synthesis of larger d-proteins becomes feasible, a major anticipated challenge is the folding of these proteins into their active conformations. In vivo, many large and/or complex proteins require chaperones like GroEL/ES to prevent misfolding and produce functional protein. The ability of chaperones to fold d-proteins is unknown. Here we examine the ability of GroEL/ES to fold a synthetic d-protein. We report the total chemical synthesis of a 312-residue GroEL/ES-dependent protein, DapA, in both l- and d-chiralities, the longest fully synthetic proteins yet reported. Impressively, GroEL/ES folds both l- and d-DapA. This work extends the limits of chemical protein synthesis, reveals ambidextrous GroEL/ES folding activity, and provides a valuable tool to fold d-proteins for drug development and mirror-image synthetic biology applications. PMID:25071217

  16. Quantitative proteomics reveals the induction of mitophagy in tumor necrosis factor-α-activated (TNFα) macrophages.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    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.

  17. Activation of nanoscale allosteric protein domain motion revealed by neutron spin echo spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bu, Zimei; Farago, Bela; Callaway, David

    2012-02-01

    NHERF1 is a multi-domain scaffolding protein that assembles the signaling complexes, and regulates the cell surface expression and endocytic recycling of a variety of membrane proteins. The ability of the two PDZ domains in NHERF1 to assemble protein complexes is allosterically modulated by a membrane-cytoskeleton linker protein ezrin, whose binding site is located as far as 110 angstroms away from the PDZ domains. Here, using neutron spin echo (NSE) spectroscopy, selective deuterium labeling, and theoretical analyses, we reveal the activation of interdomain motion in NHERF1 on nanometer length scales and on sub-microsecond time scales upon forming a complex with ezrin. We show that a much simplified coarse-grained model is sufficient to describe inter-domain motion of a multi-domain protein or protein complex. We expect that future NSE experiments will benefit by exploiting our approach of selective deuteration to resolve the specific domain motions of interest from a plethora of global translational and rotational motions. The results demonstrate that propagation of allosteric signals to distal sites involves the activation of long-range coupled domain motions on submicrosecond time scales, and that these coupled motions can be distinguished and characterized by NSE.

  18. Activity-Based Protein Profiling Reveals Broad Reactivity of the Nerve Agent Sarin.

    PubMed

    Tuin, Adriaan W; Mol, Marijke A E; van den Berg, Roland M; Fidder, A; van der Marel, Gijs A; Overkleeft, Herman S; Noort, Daan

    2009-04-01

    Elucidation of noncholinesterase protein targets of organophosphates, and nerve agents in particular, may reveal additional mechanisms for their high toxicity as well as clues for novel therapeutic approaches toward intoxications with these agents. Within this framework, we here describe the synthesis of the activity-based probe 3, which contains a phosphonofluoridate moiety, a P-Me moiety, and a biotinylated O-alkyl group, and its use in activity-based protein profiling with two relevant biological samples, that is, rhesus monkey liver and cultured human A549 lung cells. In this way, we have unearthed eight serine hydrolases (fatty acid synthase, acylpeptide hydrolase, dipeptidyl peptidase 9, prolyl oligopeptidase, carboxylesterase, long-chain acyl coenzyme A thioesterase, PAF acetylhydrolase 1b, and esterase D/S-formyl glutathione hydrolase) as targets that are modified by the nerve agent sarin. It is also shown that the newly developed probe 3 might find its way into the development of alternative, less laborious purification protocols for human butyrylcholinesterase, a potent bioscavenger currently under clinical investigation as a prophylactic/therapeutic for nerve agent intoxications.

  19. 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.

  20. Abnormal Spontaneous Brain Activity in Women with Premenstrual Syndrome Revealed by Regional Homogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Hai; Pang, Yong; Liu, Peng; Liu, Huimei; Duan, Gaoxiong; Liu, Yanfei; Tang, Lijun; Tao, Jien; Wen, Danhong; Li, Shasha; Liang, Lingyan; Deng, Demao

    2017-01-01

    Background: Previous studies have revealed that the etiologies of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refer to menstrual cycle related brain changes. However, its intrinsic neural mechanism is still unclear. The aim of the present study was to assess abnormal spontaneous brain activity and to explicate the intricate neural mechanism of PMS using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI). Materials and Methods: The data of 20 PMS patients (PMS group) and 21 healthy controls (HC group) were analyzed by regional homogeneity (ReHo) method during the late luteal phase of menstrual cycle. In addition, all the participants were asked to complete a daily record of severity of problems (DRSP) questionnaire. Results: Compared with HC group, the results showed that PMS group had increased ReHo mainly in the bilateral precuneus, left inferior temporal cortex (ITC), right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and left middle frontal cortex (MFC) and decreased ReHo in the right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) at the luteal phase. Moreover, the PMS group had higher DRSP scores, and the DRSP scores positively correlated with ReHo in left MFC and negatively correlated with ReHo in the right ACC. Conclusion: Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity is found in PMS patients and the severity of symptom is specifically related to the left MFC and right ACC. The present findings may be beneficial to explicate the intricate neural mechanism of PMS. PMID:28243196

  1. 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

  2. Structure analysis reveals the flexibility of the ADAMTS-5 active site

    SciTech Connect

    Shieh, Huey-Sheng; Tomasselli, Alfredo G.; Mathis, Karl J.; Schnute, Mark E.; Woodard, Scott S.; Caspers, Nicole; Williams, Jennifer M.; Kiefer, James R.; Munie, Grace; Wittwer, Arthur; Malfait, Anne-Marie; Tortorella, Micky D.

    2012-03-02

    A ((1S,2R)-2-hydroxy-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-yl) succinamide derivative (here referred to as Compound 12) shows significant activity toward many matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-13. Modeling studies had predicted that this compound would not bind to ADAMTS-5 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-5) due to its shallow S1' pocket. However, inhibition analysis revealed it to be a nanomolar inhibitor of both ADAMTS-4 and -5. The observed inconsistency was explained by analysis of crystallographic structures, which showed that Compound 12 in complex with the catalytic domain of ADAMTS-5 (cataTS5) exhibits an unusual conformation in the S1' pocket of the protein. This first demonstration that cataTS5 can undergo an induced conformational change in its active site pocket by a molecule like Compound 12 should enable the design of new aggrecanase inhibitors with better potency and selectivity profiles.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Pipken Award: Nuclear physics mysteries revealed by precision ion trap measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilling, Jens

    2017-01-01

    Nuclear Physics is a fundamental science discipline for over 100 years, and started with precision measurements by Rutherford. Much has been learned and understood in the meantime, but some questions remain and also new nuclear phenomena have been discovered. Precision experiments open new venue to address these. Ion trap technologies, originally conceived for atomic and molecular physics have been adapted to the specific requirements stemming from nuclear physics, for example, to couple ion traps to accelerators and achieve very high speed and efficiencies. In this talk I will show some recent examples and technical developments pertaining to nuclear physics questions and phenomena and how they are addressed with precision ion trap measurements.

  6. 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…

  7. Proteomics analysis of dendritic cell activation by contact allergens reveals possible biomarkers regulated by Nrf2.

    PubMed

    Mussotter, Franz; Tomm, Janina Melanie; El Ali, Zeina; Pallardy, Marc; Kerdine-Römer, Saadia; Götz, Mario; von Bergen, Martin; Haase, Andrea; Luch, Andreas

    2016-12-15

    Allergic contact dermatitis is a widespread disease with high clinical relevance affecting approximately 20% of the general population. Typically, contact allergens are low molecular weight electrophilic compounds which can activate the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway. We performed a proteomics study to reveal possible biomarkers for dendritic cell (DC) activation by contact allergens and to further elucidate the role of Keap1/Nrf2 signaling in this process. We used bone marrow derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) of wild-type (nrf2(+/+)) and Nrf2 knockout (nrf2(-/-)) mice and studied their response against the model contact sensitizers 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), cinnamaldehyde (CA) and nickel(II) sulfate by 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) in combination with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, 100μM) served as irritant control. While treatment with nickel(II) sulfate and SDS had only little effects, CA and DNCB led to significant changes in protein expression. We found 18 and 30 protein spots up-regulated in wild-type cells treated with 50 and 100μM CA, respectively. For 5 and 10μM DNCB, 32 and 37 spots were up-regulated, respectively. Almost all of these proteins were not differentially expressed in nrf2(-/-) BMDCs, indicating an Nrf2-dependent regulation. Among them proteins were detected which are involved in oxidative stress and heat shock responses, as well as in signal transduction or basic cellular pathways. The applied approach allowed us to differentiate between Nrf2-dependent and Nrf2-independent cellular biomarkers differentially regulated upon allergen-induced DC activation. The data presented might contribute to the further development of suitable in vitro testing methods for chemical-mediated sensitization.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Cingulate seizure-like activity reveals neuronal avalanche regulated by network excitability and thalamic inputs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cortical neurons display network-level dynamics with unique spatiotemporal patterns that construct the backbone of processing information signals and contribute to higher functions. Recent years have seen a wealth of research on the characteristics of neuronal networks that are sufficient conditions to activate or cease network functions. Local field potentials (LFPs) exhibit a scale-free and unique event size distribution (i.e., a neuronal avalanche) that has been proven in the cortex across species, including mice, rats, and humans, and may be used as an index of cortical excitability. In the present study, we induced seizure activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) with medial thalamic inputs and evaluated the impact of cortical excitability and thalamic inputs on network-level dynamics. We measured LFPs from multi-electrode recordings in mouse cortical slices and isoflurane-anesthetized rats. Results The ACC activity exhibited a neuronal avalanche with regard to avalanche size distribution, and the slope of the power-law distribution of the neuronal avalanche reflected network excitability in vitro and in vivo. We found that the slope of the neuronal avalanche in seizure-like activity significantly correlated with cortical excitability induced by γ-aminobutyric acid system manipulation. The thalamic inputs desynchronized cingulate seizures and affected the level of cortical excitability, the modulation of which could be determined by the slope of the avalanche size. Conclusions We propose that the neuronal avalanche may be a tool for analyzing cortical activity through LFPs to determine alterations in network dynamics. PMID:24387299

  16. Quantum criticality at the superconductor-insulator transition revealed by specific heat measurements

    PubMed Central

    Poran, S.; Nguyen-Duc, T.; Auerbach, A.; Dupuis, N.; Frydman, A.; Bourgeois, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    The superconductor–insulator transition (SIT) is considered an excellent example of a quantum phase transition that is driven by quantum fluctuations at zero temperature. The quantum critical point is characterized by a diverging correlation length and a vanishing energy scale. Low-energy fluctuations near quantum criticality may be experimentally detected by specific heat, cp, measurements. Here we use a unique highly sensitive experiment to measure cp of two-dimensional granular Pb films through the SIT. The specific heat shows the usual jump at the mean field superconducting transition temperature marking the onset of Cooper pairs formation. As the film thickness is tuned towards the SIT, is relatively unchanged, while the magnitude of the jump and low-temperature specific heat increase significantly. This behaviour is taken as the thermodynamic fingerprint of quantum criticality in the vicinity of a quantum phase transition. PMID:28224994

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

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Andrew W.; Lawrence, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:27830110

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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…

  20. Robust dynamic classes revealed by measuring the response function of a social system.

    PubMed

    Crane, Riley; Sornette, Didier

    2008-10-14

    We study the relaxation response of a social system after endogenous and exogenous bursts of activity using the time series of daily views for nearly 5 million videos on YouTube. We find that most activity can be described accurately as a Poisson process. However, we also find hundreds of thousands of examples in which a burst of activity is followed by an ubiquitous power-law relaxation governing the timing of views. We find that these relaxation exponents cluster into three distinct classes and allow for the classification of collective human dynamics. This is consistent with an epidemic model on a social network containing two ingredients: a power-law distribution of waiting times between cause and action and an epidemic cascade of actions becoming the cause of future actions. This model is a conceptual extension of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem to social systems [Ruelle, D (2004) Phys Today 57:48-53] and [Roehner BM, et al., (2004) Int J Mod Phys C 15:809-834], and provides a unique framework for the investigation of timing in complex systems.

  1. Environmental controls of frost cracking revealed through in situ acoustic emission measurements in steep bedrock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Lucas; Gruber, Stephan; Weber, Samuel; Beutel, Jan

    2013-05-01

    Frost cracking, the breakdown of rock by freezing, is one of the most important mechanical weathering processes acting on Earth's surface. Insights on the mechanisms driving frost cracking stem mainly from laboratory and theoretical studies. Transferring insights from such studies to natural conditions, involving jointed bedrock and heterogeneous thermal and hydrological properties, is a major challenge. We address this problem with simultaneous in situ measurements of acoustic emissions, used as proxy of rock damage, and rock temperature/moisture content. The 1 year data set acquired in an Alpine rock wall shows that (1) liquid water content has an important impact on freezing-induced rock damage, (2) sustained freezing can yield much stronger damage than repeated freeze-thaw cycling, and (3) that frost cracking occurs over the full range of temperatures measured extending from 0 down to -15°C. These new measurements yield a slightly different picture than previous field studies where ice segregation appears to play an important role.

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-25

    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.

  5. FRET biosensors reveal AKAP-mediated shaping of subcellular PKA activity and a novel mode of Ca(2+)/PKA crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Schott, Micah B; Gonowolo, Faith; Maliske, Benjamin; Grove, Bryon

    2016-04-01

    Scaffold proteins play a critical role in cellular homeostasis by anchoring signaling enzymes in close proximity to downstream effectors. In addition to anchoring static enzyme complexes, some scaffold proteins also form dynamic signalosomes that can traffic to different subcellular compartments upon stimulation. Gravin (AKAP12), a multivalent scaffold, anchors PKA and other enzymes to the plasma membrane under basal conditions, but upon [Ca(2+)]i elevation, is rapidly redistributed to the cytosol. Because gravin redistribution also impacts PKA localization, we postulate that gravin acts as a calcium "switch" that modulates PKA-substrate interactions at the plasma membrane, thus facilitating a novel crosstalk mechanism between Ca(2+) and PKA-dependent pathways. To assess this, we measured the impact of gravin-V5/His expression on compartmentalized PKA activity using the FRET biosensor AKAR3 in cultured cells. Upon treatment with forskolin or isoproterenol, cells expressing gravin-V5/His showed elevated levels of plasma membrane PKA activity, but cytosolic PKA activity levels were reduced compared with control cells lacking gravin. This effect required both gravin interaction with PKA and localization at the plasma membrane. Pretreatment with calcium-elevating agents thapsigargin or ATP caused gravin redistribution away from the plasma membrane and prevented gravin from elevating PKA activity levels at the membrane. Importantly, this mode of Ca(2+)/PKA crosstalk was not observed in cells expressing a gravin mutant that resisted calcium-mediated redistribution from the cell periphery. These results reveal that gravin impacts subcellular PKA activity levels through the spatial targeting of PKA, and that calcium elevation modulates downstream β-adrenergic/PKA signaling through gravin redistribution, thus supporting the hypothesis that gravin mediates crosstalk between Ca(2+) and PKA-dependent signaling pathways. Based on these results, AKAP localization dynamics may

  6. Repeated surveys reveal nontectonic exposure of supposedly active normal faults in the central Apennines, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastelic, Vanja; Burrato, Pierfrancesco; Carafa, Michele M. C.; Basili, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the geomorphic processes that expose bedrock fault surfaces from under their slope-deposit cover in the central Apennines (Italy). These bedrock fault surfaces are generally located at various heights on mountain fronts above the local base level of glacio-fluvial valleys and intermountain fluvio-lacustrine basins and are laterally confined to the extent of related mountain fronts. The process that led to the exposure of fault surfaces has often been exclusively attributed to coseismic earthquake slip and used as proxy for tectonic slip rates and earthquake recurrence estimations. We present the results of monitoring the contact between the exposed fault surfaces and slope deposits at 23 measurement points on 12 different faults over 3.4 year long observation period. We detected either downward or upward movements of the slope deposit with respect to the fault surface between consecutive measurements. During the entire observation period all points, except one, registered a net downward movement in the 2.9-25.6 mm/yr range, resulting in the progressive exposure of the fault surface. During the monitoring period no major earthquakes occurred in the region, demonstrating that the measured exposure process is disconnected from seismic activity. Our results indicate that the fault surface exposure rates are rather due to gravitational and landsliding movements aided by weathering and slope degradation processes. The so far neglected slope degradation and other (sub)surface processes should thus be carefully taken into consideration before attempting to recover fault slip rates using surface gathered data.

  7. Stable isotopes measurements reveal dual carbon pools contributing to organic matter enrichment in marine aerosol

    PubMed Central

    Ceburnis, Darius; Masalaite, Agne; Ovadnevaite, Jurgita; Garbaras, Andrius; Remeikis, Vidmantas; Maenhaut, Willy; Claeys, Magda; Sciare, Jean; Baisnée, Dominique; O’Dowd, Colin D.

    2016-01-01

    Stable carbon isotope ratios in marine aerosol collected over the Southern Indian Ocean revealed δ13C values ranging from −20.0‰ to −28.2‰. The isotope ratios exhibited a strong correlation with the fractional organic matter (OM) enrichment in sea spray aerosol. The base-level isotope ratio of −20.0‰ is characteristic of an aged Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) pool contributing a relatively homogeneous background level of DOM to oceanic waters. The range of isotope ratios, extending down to −28.2‰, is characteristic of more variable, stronger, and fresher Particulate Organic Matter (POM) pool driven by trophic level interactions. We present a conceptual dual-pool POM-DOM model which comprises a ‘young’ and variable POM pool which dominates enrichment in sea-spray and an ‘aged’ but invariant DOM pool which is, ultimately, an aged end-product of processed ‘fresh’ POM. This model is harmonious with the preferential enrichment of fresh colloidal and nano-gel lipid-like particulate matter in sea spray particles and the observed depleted δ13C ratio resulting from isotope equilibrium fractionation coupled with enhanced plankton photosynthesis in cold water (−2 °C to +8 °C). These results re-assert the hypothesis that OM enrichment in sea-spray is directly linked to primary production and, consequently, can have implications for climate-aerosol-cloud feedback systems. PMID:27819297

  8. Stable isotopes measurements reveal dual carbon pools contributing to organic matter enrichment in marine aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceburnis, Darius; Masalaite, Agne; Ovadnevaite, Jurgita; Garbaras, Andrius; Remeikis, Vidmantas; Maenhaut, Willy; Claeys, Magda; Sciare, Jean; Baisnée, Dominique; O’Dowd, Colin D.

    2016-11-01

    Stable carbon isotope ratios in marine aerosol collected over the Southern Indian Ocean revealed δ13C values ranging from ‑20.0‰ to ‑28.2‰. The isotope ratios exhibited a strong correlation with the fractional organic matter (OM) enrichment in sea spray aerosol. The base-level isotope ratio of ‑20.0‰ is characteristic of an aged Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) pool contributing a relatively homogeneous background level of DOM to oceanic waters. The range of isotope ratios, extending down to ‑28.2‰, is characteristic of more variable, stronger, and fresher Particulate Organic Matter (POM) pool driven by trophic level interactions. We present a conceptual dual-pool POM-DOM model which comprises a ‘young’ and variable POM pool which dominates enrichment in sea-spray and an ‘aged’ but invariant DOM pool which is, ultimately, an aged end-product of processed ‘fresh’ POM. This model is harmonious with the preferential enrichment of fresh colloidal and nano-gel lipid-like particulate matter in sea spray particles and the observed depleted δ13C ratio resulting from isotope equilibrium fractionation coupled with enhanced plankton photosynthesis in cold water (‑2 °C to +8 °C). These results re-assert the hypothesis that OM enrichment in sea-spray is directly linked to primary production and, consequently, can have implications for climate-aerosol-cloud feedback systems.

  9. Allosteric Nanobodies Reveal the Dynamic Range and Diverse Mechanisms of GPCR Activation

    PubMed Central

    Staus, Dean P; Strachan, Ryan T; Manglik, Aashish; Pani, Biswaranjan; Kahsai, Alem W; Kim, Tae Hun; Wingler, Laura M; Ahn, Seungkirl; Chatterjee, Arnab; Masoudi, Ali; Kruse, Andrew C; Pardon, Els; Steyaert, Jan; Weis, William I; Prosser, R. Scott; Kobilka, Brian K; Costa, Tommaso; Lefkowitz, Robert J

    2016-01-01

    G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) modulate many physiological processes by transducing a variety of extracellular cues into intracellular responses. Ligand binding to an extracellular orthosteric pocket propagates conformational change to the receptor cytosolic region to promote binding and activation of downstream signaling effectors such as G proteins and β-arrestins. It is widely appreciated that different agonists can share the same binding pocket but evoke unique receptor conformations leading to a wide range of downstream responses (i.e., ‘efficacy’)1. Furthermore, mounting biophysical evidence, primarily using the β-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) as a model system, supports the existence of multiple active and inactive conformational states2–5. However, how agonists with varying efficacy modulate these receptor states to initiate cellular responses is not well understood. Here we report stabilization of two distinct β2AR conformations using single domain camelid antibodies (nanobodies): a previously described positive allosteric nanobody (Nb80) and a newly identified negative allosteric nanobody (Nb60)6,7. We show that Nb60 stabilizes a previously unappreciated low affinity receptor state which corresponds to one of two inactive receptor conformations as delineated by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. We find that the agonist isoproterenol has a 15,000-fold higher affinity for the β2AR in the presence of Nb80 compared to Nb60, highlighting the full allosteric range of a GPCR. Assessing the binding of 17 ligands of varying efficacy to the β2AR in the absence and presence of Nb60 or Nb80 reveals large ligand-specific effects that can only be explained using an allosteric model which assumes equilibrium amongst at least three receptor states. Agonists generally exert efficacy by stabilizing the active Nb80-stabilized receptor state (R80). In contrast, for a number of partial agonists, both stabilization of R80 and destabilization of the

  10. 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.

  11. Electronic correlations in vanadium revealed by electron-positron annihilation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Josef Andreas; Benea, Diana; Appelt, Wilhelm H.; Ceeh, Hubert; Kreuzpaintner, Wolfgang; Leitner, Michael; Vollhardt, Dieter; Hugenschmidt, Christoph; Chioncel, Liviu

    2017-02-01

    The electronic structure of vanadium measured by angular correlation of electron-positron annihilation radiation (ACAR) is compared with the predictions of the combined density functional and dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT). Reconstructing the momentum density from five two-dimensional projections we were able to determine the full Fermi surface and found excellent agreement with the DMFT calculations. In particular, we show that the local, dynamic self-energy corrections contribute to the anisotropy of the momentum density and need to be included to explain the experimental results.

  12. Active nucleosome positioning beyond intrinsic biophysics is revealed by in vitro reconstitution.

    PubMed

    Korber, Philipp

    2012-04-01

    Genome-wide nucleosome maps revealed well-positioned nucleosomes as a major theme in eukaryotic genome organization. Promoter regions often show a conserved pattern with an NDR (nucleosome-depleted region) from which regular nucleosomal arrays emanate. Three mechanistic contributions to such NDR-array-organization and nucleosome positioning in general are discussed: DNA sequence, DNA binders and DNA-templated processes. Especially, intrinsic biophysics of DNA sequence preferences for nucleosome formation was prominently suggested to explain the majority of nucleosome positions ('genomic code for nucleosome positioning'). Nonetheless, non-histone factors that bind DNA with high or low specificity, such as transcription factors or remodelling enzymes respectively and processes such as replication, transcription and the so-called 'statistical positioning' may be involved too. Recently, these models were tested for yeast by genome-wide reconstitution. DNA sequence preferences as probed by SGD (salt gradient dialysis) reconstitution generated many NDRs, but only few individual nucleosomes, at their proper positions, and no arrays. Addition of a yeast extract and ATP led to dramatically more in vivo-like nucleosome positioning, including regular arrays for the first time. This improvement depended essentially on the extract and ATP but not on transcription or replication. Nucleosome occupancy and close spacing were maintained around promoters, even at lower histone density, arguing for active packing of nucleosomes against the 5' ends of genes rather than statistical positioning. A first extract fractionation identified a direct, specific, necessary, but not sufficient role for the RSC (remodels the structure of chromatin) remodelling enzyme. Collectively, nucleosome positioning in yeast is actively determined by factors beyond intrinsic biophysics, and in steady-state rather than at equilibrium.

  13. 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

  14. Determination of activity of 51Cr on gamma radiation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorbachev, V. V.; Gavrin, V. N.; Ibragimova, T. V.; Kalikhov, A. V.; Malyshkin, Yu. M.; Shikhin, A. A.

    2017-01-01

    A method of determining the activity of intensive distributed -sources on the measurement of the continuous spectrum of radiation, for example the internal bremsstrahlung, is developed. The recurrent formula for reconstructing of a continuous spectrum, registered in a Ge detector, at distorting it in the detector. The method of precise measurements of the spectrum of 51Cr internal bremsstrahlung using two point sources of low activity is described.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Measuring Pavlovian fear with conditioned freezing and conditioned suppression reveals different roles for the basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    McDannald, Michael A; Galarce, Ezequiel M

    2011-02-16

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning, pairing a neutral cue with aversive foot shock endows a cue with fear-eliciting properties. Studies of Pavlovian fear conditioning measuring freezing have demonstrated the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to be critical to both fear learning and memory. The nucleus accumbens core (NAc), while not important to freezing, is important to the enhancement of instrumental responding by cues paired with food reward. In the present study we investigated the role of the BLA and the NAc in another property of fear cues, the ability to suppress instrumental responding for food rewards (conditioned suppression). Sham, BLA and NAc-lesioned rats received a fear discrimination procedure in which one visual cue (CS+) predicted foot shock while a second cue (CS-) did not. Conditioning took place over a baseline of instrumental responding, allowing for concurrent measure of freezing and instrumental suppression. NAc lesions left fear conditioning fully intact. BLA lesions impaired acquisition and discrimination of fear when assessed with conditioned freezing. However, BLA lesions only altered fear acquisition and left discrimination completely intact when assessed with conditioned suppression. These findings suggest a critical role for the BLA in fear when assessed with conditioned freezing but a diminished role when assessed with conditioned suppression.

  18. Present-day crustal thinning in the southern and northern Tibetan Plateau revealed by GPS measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Wei-Peng; Molnar, Peter; Shen, Zheng-Kang; Li, Qiang

    2015-07-01

    GPS measurements from sites within the Tibetan Plateau show not only east-southeast-west-northwest extension but also, more importantly, horizontal dilation throughout the interior of the plateau. Assuming conservation of volume, vertical (thinning) strain rates equal horizontal dilation rates, and they, 8.9 ± 0.8 nanostrain a-1 and 7.4 ± 1.2 nanostrain a-1 in northern and southern Tibet, and 12.0 ± 3.2 nanostrain a-1 in its southwestern part, suggest no measureable difference. Principal extensional strain rates also are similar in magnitude and orientation. If crustal thinning began at 10-15 Ma and the current rates of horizontal dilation applied both to the entire crust and to that period, the crust should have thinned by 5.5-8.5 km. If isostatic equilibrium applied, the mean elevation of the plateau would have dropped ~1 km. The similar rates for northern, southern, and southwestern Tibet suggest that the processes dictating crustal extension, normal faulting, and crustal thinning in the three regions differ little from one another.

  19. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Chen, Y.; Yi, H. T.; Wu, X.; ...

    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

  1. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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. 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.

  3. 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

    2015-10-08

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Genome-wide analysis of LXRα activation reveals new transcriptional networks in human atherosclerotic foam cells.

    PubMed

    Feldmann, Radmila; Fischer, Cornelius; Kodelja, Vitam; Behrens, Sarah; Haas, Stefan; Vingron, Martin; Timmermann, Bernd; Geikowski, Anne; Sauer, Sascha

    2013-04-01

    Increased physiological levels of oxysterols are major risk factors for developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Lipid-loaded macrophages, termed foam cells, are important during the early development of atherosclerotic plaques. To pursue the hypothesis that ligand-based modulation of the nuclear receptor LXRα is crucial for cell homeostasis during atherosclerotic processes, we analysed genome-wide the action of LXRα in foam cells and macrophages. By integrating chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) and gene expression profile analyses, we generated a highly stringent set of 186 LXRα target genes. Treatment with the nanomolar-binding ligand T0901317 and subsequent auto-regulatory LXRα activation resulted in sequence-dependent sharpening of the genome-binding patterns of LXRα. LXRα-binding loci that correlated with differential gene expression revealed 32 novel target genes with potential beneficial effects, which in part explained the implications of disease-associated genetic variation data. These observations identified highly integrated LXRα ligand-dependent transcriptional networks, including the APOE/C1/C4/C2-gene cluster, which contribute to the reversal of cholesterol efflux and the dampening of inflammation processes in foam cells to prevent atherogenesis.

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. 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

  14. Low-altitude magnetic field measurements by MESSENGER reveal Mercury’s ancient crustal field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2015-05-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Static deflection measurements of cantilever arrays reveal polymer film expansion and contraction.

    PubMed

    Snow, David; Weeks, Brandon L; Kim, Dae Jung; Loui, Albert; Hart, Bradley R; Hope-Weeks, Louisa J

    2007-12-15

    An optical static method of detection is used to interpret surface stress induced bending related to cantilevers coated on one side with poly(vinyl alcohol), poly(vinyl butyral-co-vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate), and poly(vinyl chloride-co-vinyl acetate-co-2-hydroxypropyl acrylate), or respectively, PVA, PVB, and PVC, and exposed to various solvent vapors. Results indicate that the adsorption and surface interactions of the different solvent vapors that cause polymer swelling and shrinking lead to rearrangements, which have been shown to change the elastic properties of the polymer film, and subsequently, the spring constant of the polymer coated cantilever. Static deflection measurements allow the direction of cantilever bending to be determined, which adds a new dimension of usefulness for surface functionalized cantilevers as transducers in the development of novel microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

  17. 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.

  18. Cellular pH measurements in Emiliania huxleyi reveal pronounced membrane proton permeability.

    PubMed

    Suffrian, K; Schulz, K G; Gutowska, M A; Riebesell, U; Bleich, M

    2011-05-01

    • To understand the influence of changing surface ocean pH and carbonate chemistry on the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, it is necessary to characterize mechanisms involved in pH homeostasis and ion transport. • Here, we measured effects of changes in seawater carbonate chemistry on the fluorescence emission ratio of BCECF (2',7'-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein) as a measure of intracellular pH (pH(i)). Out of equilibrium solutions were used to differentiate between membrane permeation pathways for H(+), CO(2) and HCO(3)(-). • Changes in fluorescence ratio were calibrated in single cells, resulting in a ratio change of 0.78 per pH(i) unit. pH(i) acutely followed the pH of seawater (pH(e)) in a linear fashion between pH(e) values of 6.5 and 9 with a slope of 0.44 per pH(e) unit. pH(i) was nearly insensitive to changes in seawater CO(2) at constant pH(e) and HCO(3)(-). An increase in extracellular HCO(3)(-) resulted in a slight intracellular acidification. In the presence of DIDS (4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid), a broad-spectrum inhibitor of anion exchangers, E. huxleyi acidified irreversibly. DIDS slightly reduced the effect of pH(e) on pH(i). • The data for the first time show the occurrence of a proton permeation pathway in E. huxleyi plasma membrane. pH(i) homeostasis involves a DIDS-sensitive mechanism.

  19. 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…

  20. 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)

  1. 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,…

  2. Should soil testing services measure soil biological activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Health of agricultural soils depends largely on conservation management to promote soil organic C accumulation. Total soil organic C changes slowly, but active fractions are more dynamic. A key indicator of healthy soil is potential biological activity, which could be measured rapidly with soil te...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Comparison of Dolphins' Body and Brain Measurements with Four Other Groups of Cetaceans Reveals Great Diversity.

    PubMed

    Ridgway, Sam H; Carlin, Kevin P; Van Alstyne, Kaitlin R; Hanson, Alicia C; Tarpley, Raymond J

    2016-01-01

    We compared mature dolphins with 4 other groupings of mature cetaceans. With a large data set, we found great brain diversity among 5 different taxonomic groupings. The dolphins in our data set ranged in body mass from about 40 to 6,750 kg and in brain mass from 0.4 to 9.3 kg. Dolphin body length ranged from 1.3 to 7.6 m. In our combined data set from the 4 other groups of cetaceans, body mass ranged from about 20 to 120,000 kg and brain mass from about 0.2 to 9.2 kg, while body length varied from 1.21 to 26.8 m. Not all cetaceans have large brains relative to their body size. A few dolphins near human body size have human-sized brains. On the other hand, the absolute brain mass of some other cetaceans is only one-sixth as large. We found that brain volume relative to body mass decreases from Delphinidae to a group of Phocoenidae and Monodontidae, to a group of other odontocetes, to Balaenopteroidea, and finally to Balaenidae. We also found the same general trend when we compared brain volume relative to body length, except that the Delphinidae and Phocoenidae-Monodontidae groups do not differ significantly. The Balaenidae have the smallest relative brain mass and the lowest cerebral cortex surface area. Brain parts also vary. Relative to body mass and to body length, dolphins also have the largest cerebellums. Cortex surface area is isometric with brain size when we exclude the Balaenidae. Our data show that the brains of Balaenidae are less convoluted than those of the other cetaceans measured. Large vascular networks inside the cranial vault may help to maintain brain temperature, and these nonbrain tissues increase in volume with body mass and with body length ranging from 8 to 65% of the endocranial volume. Because endocranial vascular networks and other adnexa, such as the tentorium cerebelli, vary so much in different species, brain size measures from endocasts of some extinct cetaceans may be overestimates. Our regression of body length on endocranial

  8. 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.

  9. Anharmonicity effects in impurity-vacancy centers in diamond revealed by isotopic shifts and optical measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekimov, E. A.; Krivobok, V. S.; Lyapin, S. G.; Sherin, P. S.; Gavva, V. A.; Kondrin, M. V.

    2017-03-01

    We studied isotopically enriched nano- and microdiamonds with optically active GeV- centers synthesized at high pressures and high temperatures in nonmetallic growth systems. The influence of isotopic composition on optical properties has been thoroughly investigated by photoluminescence-excitation (PLE) and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy to get insight into the nature and electronic structure of this color center. We have demonstrated that the large frequency defect (difference between oscillation frequencies in the ground and excited electronic states) does bring about large discrepancy between PLE and PL spectra and comparatively high isotopic shift of the zero phonon line. Both effects seem to be rather common to split-vacancy centers (for example SiV-), where the frequency defect reaches record high values. Isotopic substitution of carbon atoms in the diamond lattice results in even larger shifts, which are only partially accounted for by a redistribution of electron density caused by the volume change of the diamond lattice. It was shown that the vibronic frequency in this case does not depend on the mass of carbon atoms. The greatest part of this isotopic shift is due to anharmonicity effects, which constitute a substantial part of vibronic frequency observed in this center. The exact physical mechanism, which leads to significant enhancement of anharmonicity on substitution of 12C to 13C, is yet to be clarified.

  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.

  11. 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.

  12. In God we trust? Neural measures reveal lower social conformity among non-religious individuals.

    PubMed

    Thiruchselvam, Ravi; Gopi, Yashoda; Kilekwang, Leonard; Harper, Jessica; Gross, James J

    2017-02-21

    Even in predominantly religious societies, there are substantial individual differences in religious commitment. Why is this? One possibility is that differences in social conformity (i.e., the tendency to think and behave as others do) underlie inclination towards religiosity. However, the link between religiosity and conformity has not yet been directly examined. In this study, we tested the notion that non-religious individuals show dampened social conformity, using both self-reported and neural (EEG-based ERPs) measures of sensitivity to others' influence. Non-religious versus religious undergraduate subjects completed an experimental task that assessed levels of conformity in a domain unrelated to religion (i.e., in judgments of facial attractiveness). Findings showed that, although both groups yielded to conformity pressures at the self-report level, non-religious individuals did not yield to such pressures in their neural responses. These findings highlight a novel link between religiosity and social conformity, and hold implications for prominent theories about the psychological functions of religion.

  13. AFM/TIRF force clamp measurements of neurosecretory vesicle tethers reveal characteristic unfolding steps

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Mark C.; Cislo, Dillon; Lenz, Joan S.; Umbach, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Although several proteins have been implicated in secretory vesicle tethering, the identity and mechanical properties of the components forming the physical vesicle-plasma membrane link remain unknown. Here we present the first experimental measurements of nanomechanical properties of secretory vesicle-plasma membrane tethers using combined AFM force clamp and TIRF microscopy on membrane sheets from PC12 cells expressing the vesicle marker ANF-eGFP. Application of pulling forces generated tether extensions composed of multiple steps with variable length. The frequency of short (<10 nm) tether extension events was markedly higher when a fluorescent vesicle was present at the cantilever tip and increased in the presence of GTPγS, indicating that these events reflect specifically the properties of vesicle-plasma membrane tethers. The magnitude of the short tether extension events is consistent with extension lengths expected from progressive unfolding of individual helices of the exocyst complex, supporting its direct role in forming the physical vesicle-plasma membrane link. PMID:28323853

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluation of pozzolanic activity by the electric resistance measurement method

    SciTech Connect

    Tashiro, Chuichi; Ikeda, Ko . Dept. of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering); Inoue, Yoshihiro )

    1994-01-01

    Measurements of electric resistance and amount of consumption of portlandite were carried out in accelerated curing conditions by preparing pastes of Fine Ceraments, fly ash, silica fume, kaolin, acid clay, zeolite and quartz activated with portlandite. Electric resistances of reactive pozzolans showed sharp rises except that of kaolin, whereas that of inactive material, quartz, showed no sharp rise. Electric resistances are proportional to the consumptions of portlandite except for fly ashes. The electric resistance measurement method combined with portlandite consumption measurement is useful to the rapid evaluation of pozzolanic activity.

  16. Long-term GNSS measurements from the northern Adria microplate reveal fault-induced fluid mobilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Giuliana; Zuliani, David; Fabris, Paolo

    2016-10-01

    Due to the development of denser permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) networks over the last decade, the observation of transient deformations has significantly increased, mainly in high strain-rate zones. We analyzed the data from a group of permanent GNSS sites on the N-Adria microplate, where anomalous southward tilting and low-frequency tremors preceded the 1976 Mw = 6.4 earthquake. We present records from different stations of a transient signal with an approximately 2-year period that propagated through the northern edge of Adria, in a region 150 km wide. This represents the first time a transient deformation event has been observed in a continental collision area. We exclude surface and groundwater hydrological load effects because we corrected the data for such effects at seasonal, annual, and multiyear scales. The movement is initially upward, except in one location, with slight tilting parallel to the direction of the main tectonic structures. Later, the opposite behavior is observed. The novel methods used include earthquake location techniques and tomographic inversion of the arrival times. These methods demonstrated that the transient source was located spatially and temporally close to the 2004 Mw = 5.2 event in Bovec (Slovenia), attributed to the activity of the Ravne fault. We interpret the transient rises as the expression of a porosity wave, possibly produced by fault valve behavior of the NW tip of the Ravne fault. The propagation velocity is consistent with this hypothesis. As a further test, we invert the arrival times of the transient through hydraulic tomography to obtain hydraulic diffusivity: the values are compatible with the lithotypes present in the region and the literature. By substituting the tomographic velocity and diffusivity in the solitary/porosity wave equation, we infer an initial effective stress of approximately 0.23 bar, sufficient to alter the equilibrium of some fault segments and influence the subsequent

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Tearing of the Indian lithospheric slab beneath southern Tibet revealed by SKS-wave splitting measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yun; Li, Wei; Yuan, Xiaohui; Badal, José; Teng, Jiwen

    2015-03-01

    Shear wave birefringence is a direct diagnostic of seismic anisotropy. It is often used to infer the northern limit of the underthrusting Indian lithosphere, based on the seismic anisotropy contrast between the Indian and Eurasian plates. Most studies have been made through several near north-south trending passive-source seismic experiments in southern Tibet. To investigate the geometry and the nature of the underthrusting Indian lithosphere, an east-west trending seismic array consisting of 48 seismographs was operated in the central Lhasa block from September 2009 to November 2010. Splitting of SKS waves was measured and verified with different methods. Along the profile, the direction of fast wave polarization is about 60° in average with small fluctuations. The delay time generally increases from east to west between 0.2 s and 1.0 s, and its variation correlates spatially with north-south oriented rifts in southern Tibet. The SKS wave arrives 1.0-2.0 s later at stations in the eastern part of the profile than in the west. The source of the anisotropy, estimated by non-overlapped parts of the Fresnel zones at stations with different splitting parameters, is concentrated above ca. 195 km depth. All the first-order features suggest that the geometry of the underthrusting Indian lithospheric slab in the Himalayan-Tibetan collision zone beneath southern Tibet is characterized by systematic lateral variations. A slab tearing and/or breakoff model of Indian lithosphere with different subduction angles is likely a good candidate to explain the observations.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-30

    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.

  3. Multichannel Detrended Fluctuation Analysis Reveals Synchronized Patterns of Spontaneous Spinal Activity in Anesthetized Cats

    PubMed Central

    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- mean = 1.040.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA- mean = 1.010.06), where  = 0.5 indicates randomness while 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- = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA- = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA- = 0.924). In contrast to the classical methods, such as correlation

  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. Active-passive airborne ocean color measurement. II - Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoge, F. E.; Swift, R. N.; Yungel, J. K.

    1986-01-01

    Reported here for the first time is the use of a single airborne instrument to make concurrent measurements of oceanic chlorophyll concentration by (1) laser-induced fluorescence, (2) passive upwelling radiance, and (3) solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence. Results from field experiments conducted with the NASA airborne oceanographic lidar (AOL) in the New York Bight demonstrate the capability of a single active-passive instrument to perform new and potentially important ocean color studies related to (1) active lidar validation of passive ocean color in-water algorithms, (2) chlorophyll a in vivo fluorescence yield variability, (3) calibration of active multichannel lidar systems, (4) effect of sea state on passive and active ocean color measurements, (5) laser/solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence investigations, and (6) subsequent improvement of satellite-borne ocean color scanners. For validation and comparison purposes a separate passive ocean color sensor was also flown along with the new active-passive sensor during these initial field trials.

  6. Measurement of functional activities in older adults in the community.

    PubMed

    Pfeffer, R I; Kurosaki, T T; Harrah, C H; Chance, J M; Filos, S

    1982-05-01

    Two measures of social function designed for community studies of normal aging and mild senile dementia were evaluated in 195 older adults who underwent neurological, cognitive, and affective assessment. An examining and a reviewing neurologist and a neurologically trained nurse independently rated each on a Scale of Functional Capacity. Interrater reliability was high (examining vs. reviewing neurologist, r = .97; examining neurologist vs. nurse, tau b = .802; p less than .001 for both comparisons). Estimates correlated well with an established measure of social function and with results of cognitive tests. Alternate informants evaluated participants on the Functional Activities Questionnaire and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale. The Functional Activities Questionnaire was superior to the Instrumental Activities of Daily scores. Used alone as a diagnostic tool, the Functional Activities Questionnaire was more sensitive than distinguishing between normal and demented individuals.

  7. Foot-mounted inertial measurement unit for activity classification.

    PubMed

    Ghobadi, Mostafa; Esfahani, Ehsan T

    2014-01-01

    This paper proposes a classification technique for daily base activity recognition for human monitoring during physical therapy in home. The proposed method estimates the foot motion using single inertial measurement unit, then segments the motion into steps classify them by template-matching as walking, stairs up or stairs down steps. The results show a high accuracy of activity recognition. Unlike previous works which are limited to activity recognition, the proposed approach is more qualitative by providing similarity index of any activity to its desired template which can be used to assess subjects improvement.

  8. Longitudinal measurement invariance of psychosocial measures in physical activity research: An application to adolescent data.

    PubMed

    Roesch, Scott C; Norman, Greg J; Merz, Erin L; Sallis, James F; Patrick, Kevin

    2013-04-01

    The current study served as a practical and substantive guide to establishing longitudinal measurement invariance of psychosocial measures commonly used in adolescent physical activity (PA) research. Psychosocial data on an initial sample of 878 adolescents (ages 11 - 15) recruited through primary care providers were provided at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. The target measures included family support, peer support, decisional balance (pros, cons), self-efficacy, and behavioral strategies. Five of the six psychosocial measures exhibited strict longitudinal measurement invariance, with the 6th measure (self-efficacy) exhibiting strong longitudinal measurement invariance. These findings support the equivalence of these measures across time, and provide the foundation to substantively interpret group differences and associations involving these measures and PA.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Physical activity in Ontario preschoolers: prevalence and measurement issues.

    PubMed

    Obeid, Joyce; Nguyen, Thanh; Gabel, Leigh; Timmons, Brian W

    2011-04-01

    Early childhood is a critical period for the development of active living behaviours; however, very little is known about the physical activity levels of preschoolers from Canada. The objectives of this study were to (i) examine physical activity in a sample of Ontario preschoolers by using high-frequency accelerometry to determine activity and step counts; (ii) assess the relationship between step counts and physical activity; (iii) examine the influence of epoch length or sampling interval on physical activity; and (iv) compare measured physical activity to existing recommendations. Thirty 3- to 5-year-old children wore accelerometers to monitor habitual physical activity in 3-s epochs over a 7-day period. Preschoolers engaged in an average of 220 min of daily physical activity, 75 min of which were spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and they accumulated 7529 ± 1539 steps·day(-1). Preschoolers who engaged in more MVPA also took more steps on a daily basis (r = 0.81, p < 0.001). Compared with a 3-s epoch, sampling intervals of 15, 30, and 60 s resulted in an average of 2.9, 9.0, and 16.7 missed minutes of MVPA per day, respectively. All 30 preschoolers met the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommendation of at least 120 min of total physical activity per day for preschool-age children. Our data highlight important methodological considerations when measuring physical activity in preschoolers and the need for preschool-specific physical activity guidelines for Canadian children.

  13. Measurements of salivary alpha amylase and salivary cortisol in hominoid primates reveal within-species consistency and between-species differences.

    PubMed

    Behringer, Verena; Borchers, Claudia; Deschner, Tobias; Möstl, Erich; Selzer, Dieter; Hohmann, Gottfried

    2013-01-01

    Salivary alpha amylase (sAA) is the most abundant enzyme in saliva. Studies in humans found variation in enzymatic activity of sAA across populations that could be linked to the copy number of loci for salivary amylase (AMY1), which was seen as an adaptive response to the intake of dietary starch. In addition to diet dependent variation, differences in sAA activity have been related to social stress. In a previous study, we found evidence for stress-induced variation in sAA activity in the bonobos, a hominoid primate that is closely related to humans. In this study, we explored patterns of variation in sAA activity in bonobos and three other hominoid primates, chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan to (a) examine if within-species differences in sAA activity found in bonobos are characteristic for hominoids and (b) assess the extent of variation in sAA activity between different species. The results revealed species-differences in sAA activity with gorillas and orangutans having higher basal sAA activity when compared to Pan. To assess the impact of stress, sAA values were related to cortisol levels measured in the same saliva samples. Gorillas and orangutans had low salivary cortisol concentrations and the highest cortisol concentration was found in samples from male bonobos, the group that also showed the highest sAA activity. Considering published information, the differences in sAA activity correspond with differences in AMY1 copy numbers and match with general features of natural diet. Studies on sAA activity have the potential to complement molecular studies and may contribute to research on feeding ecology and nutrition.

  14. Methodological considerations for measuring spontaneous physical activity in rodents.

    PubMed

    Teske, Jennifer A; Perez-Leighton, Claudio E; Billington, Charles J; Kotz, Catherine M

    2014-05-15

    When exploring biological determinants of spontaneous physical activity (SPA), it is critical to consider whether methodological factors differentially affect rodents and the measured SPA. We determined whether acclimation time, sensory stimulation, vendor, or chamber size affected measures in rodents with varying propensity for SPA. We used principal component analysis to determine which SPA components (ambulatory and vertical counts, time in SPA, and distance traveled) best described the variability in SPA measurements. We compared radiotelemetry and infrared photobeams used to measure SPA and exploratory activity. Acclimation time, sensory stimulation, vendor, and chamber size independently influenced SPA, and the effect was moderated by the propensity for SPA. A 24-h acclimation period prior to SPA measurement was sufficient for habituation. Principal component analysis showed that ambulatory and vertical measurements of SPA describe different dimensions of the rodent's SPA behavior. Smaller testing chambers and a sensory attenuation cubicle around the chamber reduced SPA. SPA varies between rodents purchased from different vendors. Radiotelemetry and infrared photobeams differ in their sensitivity to detect phenotypic differences in SPA and exploratory activity. These data highlight methodological considerations in rodent SPA measurement and a need to standardize SPA methodology.

  15. 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.

  16. Nucleotide Specificity versus Complex Heterogeneity in Exonuclease Activity Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Enderlein, Jörg

    2007-01-01

    A recent publication reported on measurements of Exonuclease I activity using a real-time fluorescence method that measures the time required by molecules of Exonuclease I to hydrolyze single-stranded DNA that was synthesized to have two fluorescently labeled nucleotides. The observed fluorescence-intensity curves were interpreted as a sign of strong heterogeneity of the activity of Exonuclease I. Here, I propose a different model, which assumes that Exonuclease I activity is nucleotide-dependent, and that a fluorescent label bound to a nucleotide significantly slows its cleavage rate. The presented model fits the observed data equally well, but can be used to make specific predictions upon observable sequence dependence of measured fluorescence-intensity curves. PMID:17142274

  17. 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.

  18. Revealing the spin–vibronic coupling mechanism of thermally activated delayed fluorescence

    PubMed Central

    Etherington, Marc K.; Gibson, Jamie; Higginbotham, Heather F.; Penfold, Thomas J.; Monkman, Andrew P.

    2016-01-01

    Knowing the underlying photophysics of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) allows proper design of high efficiency organic light-emitting diodes. We have proposed a model to describe reverse intersystem crossing (rISC) in donor–acceptor charge transfer molecules, where spin–orbit coupling between singlet and triplet states is mediated by one of the local triplet states of the donor (or acceptor). This second order, vibronically coupled mechanism describes the basic photophysics of TADF. Through a series of measurements, whereby the energy ordering of the charge transfer (CT) excited states and the local triplet are tuned in and out of resonance, we show that TADF reaches a maximum at the resonance point, substantiating our model of rISC. Moreover, using photoinduced absorption, we show how the populations of both singlet and triplet CT states and the local triplet state change in and out of resonance. Our vibronic coupling rISC model is used to predict this behaviour and describes how rISC and TADF are affected by external perturbation. PMID:27901046

  19. Revealing the spin-vibronic coupling mechanism of thermally activated delayed fluorescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etherington, Marc K.; Gibson, Jamie; Higginbotham, Heather F.; Penfold, Thomas J.; Monkman, Andrew P.

    2016-11-01

    Knowing the underlying photophysics of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) allows proper design of high efficiency organic light-emitting diodes. We have proposed a model to describe reverse intersystem crossing (rISC) in donor-acceptor charge transfer molecules, where spin-orbit coupling between singlet and triplet states is mediated by one of the local triplet states of the donor (or acceptor). This second order, vibronically coupled mechanism describes the basic photophysics of TADF. Through a series of measurements, whereby the energy ordering of the charge transfer (CT) excited states and the local triplet are tuned in and out of resonance, we show that TADF reaches a maximum at the resonance point, substantiating our model of rISC. Moreover, using photoinduced absorption, we show how the populations of both singlet and triplet CT states and the local triplet state change in and out of resonance. Our vibronic coupling rISC model is used to predict this behaviour and describes how rISC and TADF are affected by external perturbation.

  20. Optical Coherence Tomography angiography reveals laminar microvascular hemodynamics in the rat somatosensory cortex during activation.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Vivek J; Radhakrishnan, Harsha

    2014-11-15

    The BOLD (blood-oxygen-level dependent) fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) signal is shaped, in part, by changes in red blood cell (RBC) content and flow across vascular compartments over time. These complex dynamics have been challenging to characterize directly due to a lack of appropriate imaging modalities. In this study, making use of infrared light scattering from RBCs, depth-resolved Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) angiography was applied to image laminar functional hyperemia in the rat somatosensory cortex. After defining and validating depth-specific metrics for changes in RBC content and speed, laminar hemodynamic responses in microvasculature up to cortical depths of >1mm were measured during a forepaw stimulus. The results provide a comprehensive picture of when and where changes in RBC content and speed occur during and immediately following cortical activation. In summary, the earliest and largest microvascular RBC content changes occurred in the middle cortical layers, while post-stimulus undershoots were most prominent superficially. These laminar variations in positive and negative responses paralleled known distributions of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, suggesting neuronal underpinnings. Additionally, the RBC speed response consistently returned to baseline more promptly than RBC content after the stimulus across cortical layers, supporting a "flow-volume mismatch" of hemodynamic origin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    MeV particle loss measurements from fusion plasmas, in particular alpha particles, remain difficult in large fusion devices and further R&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 -~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.

  4. First fusion proton measurements in TEXTOR plasmas using activation techniquea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    MeV particle loss measurements from fusion plasmas, in particular alpha particles, remain difficult in large fusion devices and further R&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 -˜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.

  5. [Improve cardiovascular health by physical activity: take the good measure].

    PubMed

    Houle, Julie; Trudeau, François

    2012-01-01

    Adherence to physical activity is low among persons with cardiac disease. To influence this behaviour positively, it is suggested clinicians adapt the recommendations to each patient. Besides estimating needs and the values and the preferences of the person, professionals need to measure the physical activity. This measure also allows clinicians to follow the evolution of the behaviour further to the interventions. Subjective methods (questionnaire, logbook) and objective methods (pedometer, accelerometer, and heart rate monitor) can be used. There are advantages and inconveniences to each of these methods. This clinical column provides a review of these various methods to choose the one that is the most suited to the clinical context.

  6. 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.

  7. Active Members Excite And Measure Vibrations In Trusses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuo, Chin-Po; Chen, Gun-Shing; Wada, Ben K.

    1993-01-01

    Report describes experimental study of use of active structural members to excite and measure vibrations as small as microns in truss structure. Part of continuing effort to develop active vibration-suppressing control system adapting itself to changing and/or partly unknown dynamical characteristics of truss structure in outer space. Some aspects of control concept and potential terrestrial applications described in "Two Techniques For Suppressing Vibrations In Structures" (NPO-17889).

  8. Low-activity solid waste measurements at Tokai Works

    SciTech Connect

    J. L. Parker; D. H. Beddingfield; H. O. Menlove

    1999-11-01

    There is significant interest in performing assay measurements of containerized low-activity solid waste. The authors have examined the cases of typical waste drum matrices containing small quantities of plutonium and fission products. They have discussed various measurement techniques and considered the advantages and disadvantages of each method. They present a new state-of-the-art passive neutron waste drum counter with minimum detectable mass limits far below those systems which they have previously fabricated.

  9. 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.

  10. Tethered phytic acid as a probe for measuring phytase activity.

    PubMed

    Berry, Duane F; Berry, David A

    2005-06-15

    A novel approach for measuring phytase activity is presented. We have developed a new chromophoric substrate analog of phytic acid, 5-O-[6-(benzoylamino)hexyl]-d-myo-inositol-1,2,3,4,6-pentakisphosphate that permits direct measurement of the phosphate ester bond-cleavage reaction using HPLC. This compound, along with its dephosphorylated T-phosphatidylinositol intermediates, are quantified using reversed phase chromatography with UV detection.

  11. A Multiplexed NMR-Reporter Approach to Measure Cellular Kinase and Phosphatase Activities in Real-Time.

    PubMed

    Thongwichian, Rossukon; Kosten, Jonas; Benary, Uwe; Rose, Honor May; Stuiver, Marchel; Theillet, Francois-Xavier; Dose, Alexander; Koch, Birgit; Yokoyama, Hideki; Schwarzer, Dirk; Wolf, Jana; Selenko, Philipp

    2015-05-27

    Cell signaling is governed by dynamic changes in kinase and phosphatase activities, which are difficult to assess with discontinuous readout methods. Here, we introduce an NMR-based reporter approach to directly identify active kinases and phosphatases in complex physiological environments such as cell lysates and to measure their individual activities in a semicontinuous fashion. Multiplexed NMR profiling of reporter phosphorylation states provides unique advantages for kinase inhibitor studies and reveals reversible modulations of cellular enzyme activities under different metabolic conditions.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. Finally, mathematical modelling combined with quantitative FRET measurements provided novel insights into the kinetics and integration of calcineurin activation in response to myocyte Ca transients. In all, DuoCaN and UniCaN stand as valuable new tools for understanding the role of calcineurin in normal and pathological signalling. Key points 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

  14. A spectrophotometric assay for routine measurement of mammalian target of rapamycin activity in cell lysates.

    PubMed

    Dekter, Hinke E; Romijn, Fred P H T M; Temmink, Wouter P M; van Pelt, Johannes; de Fijter, Johan W; Smit, Nico P M

    2010-08-01

    The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an important mediator in the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. mTOR is the target of immunosuppressive drugs, such as rapamycin and everolimus, that are used in transplant patients but also for the treatment of various cancers. We have developed a method for mTOR activity measurement in cell lysates that measures the phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) protocol. Using an optimized lysis composition, activity could be measured in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from blood. For the PBMCs, intra- and interassay variations of 7 and 10%, respectively, were found using one lot number of the kit. With different lot numbers, the interassay variation increased up to 21%. Activity remained constant for PBMC pool samples on storage for a period of more than 7 months. Activity could also be measured in CD3+ T-cells isolated from blood. In vitro experiments revealed maximum mTOR inhibition of 30% in PBMCs and 44% in T-cells. The in vitro inhibition in PBMCs could also be demonstrated by Western blotting. The mTOR activity measurements may be used to show in vivo inhibition in renal allograft patients during everolimus treatment and to study mTOR activity in various (tumor) cell types.

  15. 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.

  16. Nitric oxide densities and their diurnal asymmetry in the upper middle atmosphere as revealed by ionospheric measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laštovička, J.

    2001-01-01

    The nitric oxide (NO) density is of principal importance for the lower ionosphere as it is the source of the main ionized component. The mesospheric NO density climatology based on HALOE//UARS measurements (Siskind et al., Advances in Space Research 21 (1998) 1353-1362) and a comparison of the HALOE NO density data with some ionospheric data (Friedrich et al., Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 60 (1998) 1445-1457) revealed, among others, a large ``puzzling'' diurnal asymmetry of the NO density. In this paper, the existence of a diurnal asymmetry of the NO density is confirmed by independent data and is extended from the sunrise//sunset HALOE data to the entire daytime. We analyzed multi-frequency radio wave absorption measurements in the lower ionosphere over Central Europe, partly together with solar Lyman-/α and X-ray fluxes, in order to estimate the NO density. The results show that our ``ionospheric'' NO densities are comparable to, or somewhat higher than, the climatological NO densities of Siskind et al. (1998). They also show that the diurnal asymmetry in summer is a stable and regular feature of the lower ionosphere throughout the daytime, and that there is a substantial diurnal asymmetry in the NO density in the upper middle atmosphere that coincides with that revealed by the HALOE data and which is responsible for the asymmetry in the lower ionosphere.

  17. Characterization of Involuntary Contractions after Spinal Cord Injury Reveals Associations between Physiological and Self-Reported Measures of Spasticity.

    PubMed

    Mayo, Meagan; DeForest, Bradley A; Castellanos, Mabelin; Thomas, Christine K

    2017-01-01

    Correlations between physiological, clinical and self-reported assessments of spasticity are often weak. Our aims were to quantify functional, self-reported and physiological indices of spasticity in individuals with thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI; 3 women, 9 men; 19-52 years), and to compare the strength and direction of associations between these measures. The functional measure we introduced involved recording involuntary electromyographic activity during a transfer from wheelchair to bed which is a daily task necessary for function. High soleus (SL) and tibialis anterior (TA) F-wave/M-wave area ratios were the only physiological measures that distinguished injured participants from the uninjured (6 women, 13 men, 19-67 years). Hyporeflexia (decreased SL H/M ratio) was unexpectedly present in older participants after injury. During transfers, the duration and intensity of involuntary electromyographic activity varied across muscles and participants, but coactivity was common. Wide inter-participant variability was seen for self-reported spasm frequency, severity, pain and interference with function, as well as tone (resistance to imposed joint movement). Our recordings of involuntary electromyographic activity during transfers provided evidence of significant associations between physiological and self-reported measures of spasticity. Reduced low frequency H-reflex depression in SL and high F-wave/M-wave area ratios in TA, physiological indicators of reduced inhibition and greater motoneuron excitability, respectively, were associated with long duration SL and biceps femoris (BF) electromyographic activity during transfers. In turn, participants reported high spasm frequency when transfers involved short duration TA EMG, decreased co-activation between SL and TA, as well as between rectus femoris (RF) vs. BF. Thus, the duration of muscle activity and/or the time of agonist-antagonist muscle coactivity may be used by injured individuals to count spasms. Intense

  18. Characterization of Involuntary Contractions after Spinal Cord Injury Reveals Associations between Physiological and Self-Reported Measures of Spasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mayo, Meagan; DeForest, Bradley A.; Castellanos, Mabelin; Thomas, Christine K.

    2017-01-01

    Correlations between physiological, clinical and self-reported assessments of spasticity are often weak. Our aims were to quantify functional, self-reported and physiological indices of spasticity in individuals with thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI; 3 women, 9 men; 19–52 years), and to compare the strength and direction of associations between these measures. The functional measure we introduced involved recording involuntary electromyographic activity during a transfer from wheelchair to bed which is a daily task necessary for function. High soleus (SL) and tibialis anterior (TA) F-wave/M-wave area ratios were the only physiological measures that distinguished injured participants from the uninjured (6 women, 13 men, 19–67 years). Hyporeflexia (decreased SL H/M ratio) was unexpectedly present in older participants after injury. During transfers, the duration and intensity of involuntary electromyographic activity varied across muscles and participants, but coactivity was common. Wide inter-participant variability was seen for self-reported spasm frequency, severity, pain and interference with function, as well as tone (resistance to imposed joint movement). Our recordings of involuntary electromyographic activity during transfers provided evidence of significant associations between physiological and self-reported measures of spasticity. Reduced low frequency H-reflex depression in SL and high F-wave/M-wave area ratios in TA, physiological indicators of reduced inhibition and greater motoneuron excitability, respectively, were associated with long duration SL and biceps femoris (BF) electromyographic activity during transfers. In turn, participants reported high spasm frequency when transfers involved short duration TA EMG, decreased co-activation between SL and TA, as well as between rectus femoris (RF) vs. BF. Thus, the duration of muscle activity and/or the time of agonist-antagonist muscle coactivity may be used by injured individuals to count spasms

  19. 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.

  20. Isothermal drop calorimeter provides measurements for alpha active, pyrophoric materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, H.

    1969-01-01

    Isothermal drop calorimeter measures the heat content of intensely alpha active and pyrophoric materials in inert atmospheres. It consists of a furnace, calorimeter, and aluminum isothermal jacket contained within an inert-atmosphere glove box, which permits the use of unencapsulated materials without exposing personnel to alpha contamination.

  1. Measuring Active Citizenship through the Development of a Composite Indicator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoskins, Bryony L.; Mascherini, Massimiliano

    2009-01-01

    This article defines Active Citizenship within a European context as a broad range of value based participation. It develops a framework for measuring this phenomenon which combines the four dimensions of Protest and Social Change, Community Life, Representative Democracy and Democratic values. The European Social Survey 2002 is used to populate…

  2. Measuring Perceived Benefits and Perceived Barriers for Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Seth A.

    2005-01-01

    Objectives: To evaluate the psychometric properties and relationship to physical activity levels of the Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale (EBBS) among college students. Methods: A total of 398 college students completed the EBBS and a measure of self-efficacy, the Physical Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale. In addition, a subsample of 275 students also…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-29

    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 (207)Pb/(206)Pb 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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Use of the SYBR Green dye for measuring helicase activity.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Sammer; Khan, Irfan; Zarina, Shamshad; Ali, Syed

    2013-03-05

    Here we describe a non-radioactive assay that exploits the fluorescent dye SYBR Green to measure the helicase enzyme activity. SYBR Green I emits fluorescence upon intercalation with double-stranded DNA or RNA. The fluorescence is lost proportionally as the nucleic acid is converted to single strands by a helicase, and this decrease in fluorescence intensity can be used to measure the activity of the helicase enzyme. The reaction was prepared by mixing a double-stranded substrate with the helicase enzyme, buffer, ATP and SYBR Green I. After completion, the reaction was terminated by EDTA and fluorescence was measured. Using this technique, a linear increase in substrate release was observed with increasing time and helicase concentrations. The assay described here is speedy, efficient and economical; it holds promise for use in large-scale screening of drugs that target helicases.

  10. Electromyographic activation reveals cortical and sub-cortical dissociation during emergence from general anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Hight, Darren F; Voss, Logan J; García, Paul S; Sleigh, Jamie W

    2016-07-21

    During emergence from anesthesia patients regain their muscle tone (EMG). In a typical population of surgical patients the actual volatile gas anesthetic concentrations in the brain (CeMAC) at which EMG activation occurs remains unknown, as is whether EMG activation at higher CeMACs is correlated with subsequent severe pain, or with cortical activation. Electroencephalographic (EEG) and EMG activity was recorded from the forehead of 273 patients emerging from general anesthesia following surgery. We determined CeMAC at time of EMG activation and at return of consciousness. Pain was assessed immediately after return of consciousness using an 11 point numerical rating scale. The onset of EMG activation during emergence was associated with neither discernible muscle movement nor with the presence of exogenous stimulation in half the patients. EMG activation could be modelled as two distinct processes; termed high- and low-CeMAC (occurring higher or lower than 0.07 CeMAC). Low-CeMAC activation was typically associated with simultaneous EMG activation and consciousness, and the presence of a laryngeal mask. In contrast, high-CeMAC EMG activation occurred independently of return of consciousness, and was not associated with severe post-operative pain, but was more common in the presence of an endotracheal tube. Patients emerging from general anesthesia with an endotracheal tube in place are more likely to have an EMG activation at higher CeMAC concentrations. These activations are not associated with subsequent high-pain, nor with cortical arousal, as evidenced by continuing delta waves in the EEG. Conversely, patients emerging from general anesthesia with a laryngeal mask demonstrate marked neural inertia-EMG activation occurs at a low CeMAC, and is closely temporally associated with return of consciousness.

  11. 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

    2016-09-14

    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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Compositional variability on the surface of 4 Vesta revealed through GRaND measurements of high-energy gamma rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peplowski, Patrick N.; Lawrence, David J.; Prettyman, Thomas H.; Yamashita, Naoyuki; Bazell, Dave; Feldman, William C.; Le Corre, Lucille; McCoy, Timothy J.; Reddy, Vishnu; Reedy, Robert C.; Russell, Chris T.; Toplis, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

    Measurements of the high-energy gamma-ray flux emanating from asteroid 4 Vesta by the Dawn Gamma-Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) have revealed variability in the near-surface elemental composition of the Vestan surface. These observations are consistent with the presence of large (≥8 × 104 km2) regions with distinct, HED-like elemental compositions. The results agree broadly with other global measurements, such as the macroscopic neutron absorption cross section and spectral reflectance-derived mineralogic maps. Two distinct regions with eucrite-like elemental compositions have been identified, the first located primarily within the Lucaria and Marcia quadrangles and the second within Oppia quadrangle. The former region is collocated with some of the oldest, most heavily cratered terrain on Vesta. The interior of the 500 km diameter Rheasilvia impact basin is found to have a composition that is consistent with diogenite-like material. Taken together, these observations support the hypothesis that Vesta's original crust was composed of basaltic outflows in the form of eucritic-like material and that the Rheasilvia-basin-forming impact exposed lower-crustal, diogenite-like material. These measurements also constrain the maximum amount of mesosiderite-like material to <10% for each 15 × 15° surface element.

  19. Rational engineering of L-asparaginase reveals importance of dual activity for cancer cell toxicity.

    PubMed

    Offman, Marc N; Krol, Marcin; Patel, Naina; Krishnan, Shekhar; Liu, JiZhong; Saha, Vaskar; Bates, Paul A

    2011-02-03

    Using proteins in a therapeutic context often requires engineering to modify functionality and enhance efficacy. We have previously reported that the therapeutic antileukemic protein macromolecule Escherichia coli L-asparaginase is degraded by leukemic lysosomal cysteine proteases. In the present study, we successfully engineered L-asparaginase to resist proteolytic cleavage and at the same time improve activity. We employed a novel combination of mutant sampling using a genetic algorithm in tandem with flexibility studies using molecular dynamics to investigate the impact of lid-loop and mutations on drug activity. Applying these methods, we successfully predicted the more active L-asparaginase mutants N24T and N24A. For the latter, a unique hydrogen bond network contributes to higher activity. Furthermore, interface mutations controlling secondary glutaminase activity demonstrated the importance of this enzymatic activity for drug cytotoxicity. All selected mutants were expressed, purified, and tested for activity and for their ability to form the active tetrameric form. By introducing the N24A and N24A R195S mutations to the drug L-asparaginase, we are a step closer to individualized drug design.

  20. A simple assay for measuring catalase activity: a visual approach.

    PubMed

    Iwase, Tadayuki; Tajima, Akiko; Sugimoto, Shinya; Okuda, Ken-ichi; Hironaka, Ippei; Kamata, Yuko; Takada, Koji; Mizunoe, Yoshimitsu

    2013-10-30

    In this study, an assay that combines the ease and simplicity of the qualitative approach for measuring catalase activity was developed. The assay reagents comprised only hydrogen peroxide and Triton X-100. The enzyme-generated oxygen bubbles trapped by Triton X-100 were visualized as foam, whose height was estimated. A calibration plot using the defined unit of catalase activity yielded the best linear fit over a range of 20-300 units (U) (y = 0.3794x - 2.0909, r(2) = 0.993). The assay precision and reproducibility at 100 U were 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively. The applicability of the assay for measuring the catalase activity of various samples was assessed using laboratory strains of Escherichia coli, catalase-deficient isogenic mutants, clinically isolated Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and human cells. The assay generated reproducible results. In conclusion, this new assay can be used to measure the catalase activity of bacterial isolates and human cells.

  1. fMRI reveals neural activity overlap between adult and infant pain.

    PubMed

    Goksan, Sezgi; Hartley, Caroline; Emery, Faith; Cockrill, Naomi; Poorun, Ravi; Moultrie, Fiona; Rogers, Richard; Campbell, Jon; Sanders, Michael; Adams, Eleri; Clare, Stuart; Jenkinson, Mark; Tracey, Irene; Slater, Rebeccah

    2015-04-21

    Limited understanding of infant pain has led to its lack of recognition in clinical practice. While the network of brain regions that encode the affective and sensory aspects of adult pain are well described, the brain structures involved in infant nociceptive processing are completely unknown, meaning we cannot infer anything about the nature of the infant pain experience. Using fMRI we identified the network of brain regions that are active following acute noxious stimulation in newborn infants, and compared the activity to that observed in adults. Significant infant brain activity was observed in 18 of the 20 active adult brain regions but not in the infant amygdala or orbitofrontal cortex. Brain regions that encode sensory and affective components of pain are active in infants, suggesting that the infant pain experience closely resembles that seen in adults. This highlights the importance of developing effective pain management strategies in this vulnerable population.

  2. 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.

  3. How valid are wearable physical activity trackers for measuring steps?

    PubMed

    An, Hyun-Sung; Jones, Gregory C; Kang, Seoung-Ki; Welk, Gregory J; Lee, Jung-Min

    2017-04-01

    Wearable activity trackers have become popular for tracking individual's daily physical activity, but little information is available to substantiate the validity of these devices in step counts. Thirty-five healthy individuals completed three conditions of activity tracker measurement: walking/jogging on a treadmill, walking over-ground on an indoor track, and a 24-hour free-living condition. Participants wore 10 activity trackers at the same time for both treadmill and over-ground protocol. Of these 10 activity trackers three were randomly given for 24-hour free-living condition. Correlations of steps measured to steps observed were r = 0.84 and r = 0.67 on a treadmill and over-ground protocol, respectively. The mean MAPE (mean absolute percentage error) score for all devices and speeds on a treadmill was 8.2% against manually counted steps. The MAPE value was higher for over-ground walking (9.9%) and even higher for the 24-hour free-living period (18.48%) on step counts. Equivalence testing for step count measurement resulted in a significant level within ±5% for the Fitbit Zip, Withings Pulse, and Jawbone UP24 and within ±10% for the Basis B1 band, Garmin VivoFit, and SenseWear Armband Mini. The results show that the Fitbit Zip and Withings Pulse provided the most accurate measures of step count under all three different conditions (i.e. treadmill, over-ground, and 24-hour condition), and considerable variability in accuracy across monitors and also by speeds and conditions.

  4. A comparison of direct versus self-report measures for assessing physical activity in adults: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Prince, Stéphanie A; Adamo, Kristi B; Hamel, Meghan E; Hardt, Jill; Gorber, Sarah Connor; Tremblay, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Background Accurate assessment is required to assess current and changing physical activity levels, and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase activity levels. This study systematically reviewed the literature to determine the extent of agreement between subjectively (self-report e.g. questionnaire, diary) and objectively (directly measured; e.g. accelerometry, doubly labeled water) assessed physical activity in adults. Methods Eight electronic databases were searched to identify observational and experimental studies of adult populations. Searching identified 4,463 potential articles. Initial screening found that 293 examined the relationship between self-reported and directly measured physical activity and met the eligibility criteria. Data abstraction was completed for 187 articles, which described comparable data and/or comparisons, while 76 articles lacked comparable data or comparisons, and a further 30 did not meet the review's eligibility requirements. A risk of bias assessment was conducted for all articles from which data was abstracted. Results Correlations between self-report and direct measures were generally low-to-moderate and ranged from -0.71 to 0.96. No clear pattern emerged for the mean differences between self-report and direct measures of physical activity. Trends differed by measure of physical activity employed, level of physical activity measured, and the gender of participants. Results of the risk of bias assessment indicated that 38% of the studies had lower quality scores. Conclusion The findings suggest that the measurement method may have a significant impact on the observed levels of physical activity. Self-report measures of physical activity were both higher and lower than directly measured levels of physical activity, which poses a problem for both reliance on self-report measures and for attempts to correct for self-report – direct measure differences. This review reveals the need for valid, accurate

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Bright and dark triplet states of the negatively charged magnetoexcitons revealed in photoluminescence and time-resolved measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munteanu, F. M.; Rickel, D. G.; Perry, C. H.; Kim, Yongmin; Simmons, J. A.; Reno, J. L.

    2000-12-01

    Continuous and time-resolved magnetophotoluminescence measurements of three GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs heterostructures have been made in high magnetic fields. The spectra revealed the presence of a singlet and two triplet states (the so-called ``bright'' and ``dark'' states) of the negatively charged magnetoexciton, in addition to the neutral exciton. For an asymmetrically doped single quantum well sample, the singlet and the dark triplet states converge (and possibly cross) at a field of about 40 T. The two single heterojunction samples on the other hand show no such convergence, and the singlet remains the fundamental state at least in fields to 60 T. The lifetimes of the charged magnetoexcitons increased linearly with field, whereas the neutral exciton was essentially field independent. The results clarify earlier experimental studies, and provide a confirmation of a recent theory of the behavior of charged magnetoexcitons in magnetic fields by Wojs et al. [Phys Rev. B 62, 4630 (2000)].

  8. 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.

  9. Density and Temperature Measurements in a Solar Active Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, Harry P.; Winebarger, Amy R.

    2003-10-01

    We present electron density and temperature measurements from an active region observed above the limb with the Solar Ultraviolet Measurements of Emitted Radiation spectrometer on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Density-sensitive line ratios from Si VIII and S X indicate densities greater than 108 cm-3 as high as 200" (or 145 Mm) above the limb. At these heights, static, uniformly heated loop models predict densities close to 107 cm-3. Differential emission measure analysis shows that the observed plasma is nearly isothermal with a mean temperature of about 1.5 MK and a dispersion of about 0.2 MK. Both the differential emission measure and the Si XI/Si VIII line ratios indicate only small variations in the temperature at the heights observed. These measurements confirm recent observations from the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer of ``overdense'' plasma at temperatures near 1 MK in solar active regions. Time-dependent hydrodynamic simulations suggest that impulsive heating models can account for the large densities, but they have a difficult time reproducing the narrow range of observed temperatures. The observations of overdense, nearly isothermal plasma in the solar corona provide a significant challenge to theories of coronal heating.

  10. Calculating Capstone depleted uranium aerosol concentrations from beta activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Szrom, Frances; Falo, Gerald A; Parkhurst, Mary Ann; 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 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. Values for the equilibrium fraction ranged from 0.16 to 1, and the wall loss correction factors ranged from 1 to 1.92. This paper describes the process used and adjustments necessary to calculate uranium mass from proportional counting measurements.

  11. Ecological measurements of light exposure, activity, and circadian disruption.

    PubMed

    Miller, D; Bierman, A; Figueiro, Mg; Schernhammer, Es; Rea, Ms

    2010-09-01

    Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms that repeat at approximately 24 hours. In humans, circadian rhythms have an average period of 24.2 hours. The 24-hour patterns of light and dark on the retina synchronize circadian rhythms to the local time on earth. Lighting characteristics affecting circadian rhythms are very different than those affecting visual responses. Lack of synchronization between the endogenous clock and the local time has been associated with a host of maladies. Therefore, it is important to measure circadian light exposures over the course of the 24-hour day and to be able to assess circadian entrainment and disruption in actual living environments. Presented is an overview of the recently developed Daysimeter, a personal measurement device for recording activity and circadian light-exposure. When the Daysimeter is worn on the head, two light sensors near the eye are used to estimate circadian light (CLA) exposures over extended periods of time. Phasor analysis combines the measured periodic activity-rest patterns with the measured periodic light-dark patterns to assess behavioural circadian entrainment/disruption. As shown, day-shift and rotating-shift nurses exhibit remarkably different levels of behavioural circadian entrainment/disruption. These new ecological measurement and analysis techniques may provide important insights into the relationship between circadian disruption and well-being.

  12. Properties of active nucleosomes as revealed by HMG 14 and 17 chromatography.

    PubMed Central

    Weisbrod, S T

    1982-01-01

    Nucleosomes from actively transcribed genes (active nucleosomes) contain nonhistone proteins HMG 14 and 17 and are preferentially sensitive to digestion by DNAse I. Active nucleosomes isolated by chromatography on an HMG 14 and 17 glass bead affinity column were analyzed with respect to overall structure, accessory nonhistone components and modifications to the DNA and histones. The experiments lead to the following conclusions: the DNA in the active nucleosome is undermethylated compared to bulk DNA; topoisomerase I is a non-stoichiometric component of the active nucleosome fraction; the level of histone acetylation is enriched in active nucleosomes, but the extent of enrichment cannot account for HMG binding; and the two histone H3 molecules in the active nucleosome can dimerize more readily and are, therefore, probably closer together than those in the bulk of the nucleosomes. Additionally it is shown that HMG 14 and 17 prefer to bind to single- vs. double-stranded nucleic acids. The role of HMG 14 and 17 in producing a highly DNAse I sensitive structure and correspondingly helping to facilitate transcription is discussed in terms of these properties. Images PMID:6210882

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Neutron Field Measurements in Phantom with Foil Activation Methods.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-11-29

    jI25 Ii III uumu ullli~ S....- - Lb - w * .qJ’ AD-A 192 122 ulJ. IL (pj DNA-TR-87- 10 N EUTRON FIELD MEASUREMENTS IN PHANTOM WITH FOIL ACTIVATION...SAND II Measurements in Phantom 6 4 The 5-Foil Neutron Dosimetry Method 29 5 Comparison of SAND II and Simple 5-Foil Dosimetry Method 34 6 Thermal ...quite reasonable. The monkey phantom spectrum differs from the NBS U-235 fission spectrum in that the former has a I/E tail plus thermal -neutron peak

  20. 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.

  1. Seven Years (2004-2011) of Cassini Measurements Reveal Strong Local Time Asymmetry of the Saturnian Ring Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergis, N.; Krimigis, S.; Thomsen, M.; Roelof, E.; Mitchell, D.; Hamilton, D.; Krupp, N.; Dougherty, M.; Crary, F.

    2012-04-01

    The Saturnian ring current, initially inferred from magnetic field and particle measurements after the Voyager 1 and 2 flybys, has been studied in substantial detail via in-situ and remote measurements since the July 2004 Cassini orbit insertion. The ring current of Saturn, located between 7 and 15 RS and primarily composed of O+ ions, is characterized by increased suprathermal (> 3 keV) particle pressure with high (> 1) plasma β values and intense dynamic behavior, as revealed by the analysis of combined particle data from the Cassini Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) and the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer instrument (CAPS), and magnetic field measurements from the Cassini magnetometer (MAG). Among the most important findings so far is that the azimuthal ring current flows primarily to balance inertial centrifugal forces inside ~8 RS, but increasingly it is driven by the non-thermal pressure gradient beyond its maximum region (8-12 RS, 100-150 pA/m2) and certainly it dominates farther out. Beyond ~ 10RS, the non-thermal pressure decreases with radial distance faster than the previously assumed 1/r rate and results in a magnetic perturbation of 10-15 nT. In this work we present the most complete (2004-2011) and up-to-date results, focusing on the local time asymmetry of the ring current properties (e.g. particle pressure, current density), and the relative contribution of different components to the radial force balance. The comprehensive spatial and local time coverage provided by the Cassini orbits has revealed that the suprathermal pressure and its corresponding pressure gradient is higher by a factor of 3 to 8 on the night side, in agreement with the observed distribution of energetic particle injections and energetic neutral atom (ENA) emissions. In addition to in-situ measurements, ENA images from the Ion and Neutral Camera (INCA) of Cassini, offer a unique overview of large parts of the Saturnian magnetosphere, depicting the rotation and dynamics of the

  2. 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.

  3. Activation pathway of Src kinase reveals intermediate states as targets for drug design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, Diwakar; Meng, Yilin; Roux, Benoît; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-03-01

    Unregulated activation of Src kinases leads to aberrant signalling, uncontrolled growth and differentiation of cancerous cells. Reaching a complete mechanistic understanding of large-scale conformational transformations underlying the activation of kinases could greatly help in the development of therapeutic drugs for the treatment of these pathologies. In principle, the nature of conformational transition could be modelled in silico via atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, although this is very challenging because of the long activation timescales. Here we employ a computational paradigm that couples transition pathway techniques and Markov state model-based massively distributed simulations for mapping the conformational landscape of c-src tyrosine kinase. The computations provide the thermodynamics and kinetics of kinase activation for the first time, and help identify key structural intermediates. Furthermore, the presence of a novel allosteric site in an intermediate state of c-src that could be potentially used for drug design is predicted.

  4. Differential brain activity states during the perception and nonperception of illusory motion as revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    PubMed

    Crowe, David A; Leuthold, Arthur C; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P

    2010-12-28

    We studied visual perception using an annular random-dot motion stimulus called the racetrack. We recorded neural activity using magnetoencephalography while subjects viewed variants of this stimulus that contained no inherent motion or various degrees of embedded motion. Subjects reported seeing rotary motion during viewing of all stimuli. We found that, in the absence of any motion signals, patterns of brain activity differed between states of motion perception and nonperception. Furthermore, when subjects perceived motion, activity states within the brain did not differ across stimuli of different amounts of embedded motion. In contrast, we found that during periods of nonperception brain-activity states varied with the amount of motion signal embedded in the stimulus. Taken together, these results suggest that during perception the brain may lock into a stable state in which lower-level signals are suppressed.

  5. 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

  6. Flagellin/TLR5 responses in epithelia reveal intertwined activation of inflammatory and apoptotic pathways

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Hui; Wu, Huixia; Sloane, Valerie; Jones, Rheinallt; Yu, Yimin; Lin, Patricia; Gewirtz, Andrew T.; Neish, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Flagellin, the primary structural component of bacterial flagella, is recognized by Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) present on the basolateral surface of intestinal epithelial cells. Utilizing biochemical assays of proinflammatory signaling pathways and mRNA expression profiling, we found that purified flagellin could recapitulate the human epithelial cell proinflammatory responses activated by flagellated pathogenic bacteria. Flagellin-induced proinflammatory activation showed similar kinetics and gene specificity as that induced by the classical endogenous proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, although both responses were more rapid than that elicited by viable flagellated bacteria. Flagellin, like TNF-α, activated a number of antiapoptotic mediators, and pretreatment of epithelial cells with this bacterial protein could protect cells from subsequent bacterially mediated apoptotic challenge. However, when NF-κB-mediated or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt proinflammatory signaling was blocked, flagellin could induce programmed cell death. Consistently, we demonstrate that flagellin and viable flagellate Salmonella induces both the extrinsic and intrinsic caspase activation pathways, with the extrinsic pathway (caspase 8) activated by purified flagellin in a TLR5-dependant fashion. We conclude that interaction of flagellin with epithelial cells induces caspase activation in parallel with proinflammatory responses. Such intertwining of proinflammatory and apoptotic signaling mediated by bacterial products suggests roles for host programmed cell death in the pathogenesis of enteric infections. PMID:16179598

  7. A systems study reveals concurrent activation of AMPK and mTOR by amino acids

    PubMed Central

    Pezze, Piero Dalle; Ruf, Stefanie; Sonntag, Annika G.; Langelaar-Makkinje, Miriam; Hall, Philip; Heberle, Alexander M.; Navas, Patricia Razquin; van Eunen, Karen; Tölle, Regine C.; Schwarz, Jennifer J.; Wiese, Heike; Warscheid, Bettina; Deitersen, Jana; Stork, Björn; Fäßler, Erik; Schäuble, Sascha; Hahn, Udo; Horvatovich, Peter; Shanley, Daryl P.; Thedieck, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    Amino acids (aa) are not only building blocks for proteins, but also signalling molecules, with the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) acting as a key mediator. However, little is known about whether aa, independently of mTORC1, activate other kinases of the mTOR signalling network. To delineate aa-stimulated mTOR network dynamics, we here combine a computational–experimental approach with text mining-enhanced quantitative proteomics. We report that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) are acutely activated by aa-readdition in an mTORC1-independent manner. AMPK activation by aa is mediated by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ). In response, AMPK impinges on the autophagy regulators Unc-51-like kinase-1 (ULK1) and c-Jun. AMPK is widely recognized as an mTORC1 antagonist that is activated by starvation. We find that aa acutely activate AMPK concurrently with mTOR. We show that AMPK under aa sufficiency acts to sustain autophagy. This may be required to maintain protein homoeostasis and deliver metabolite intermediates for biosynthetic processes. PMID:27869123

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment: a measure of engagement in personally valued activities.

    PubMed

    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 Index-Z, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Engagement in Meaningful Activities Survey, the Purpose in Life Test, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Inventory and the Rand SF-36v2 Health Survey subscales. Zero-order correlations consistently demonstrated meaningful relationships between the MAPA and scales of psychosocial well-being and health-related quality of life. Results from multiple regression analyses further substantiated these findings, as greater meaningful activity participation was associated with better psychological well-being and health-related quality of life. The MAPA appears to be a reliable and valid measure of meaningful activity, incorporating both subjective and objective indicators of activity engagement.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Measuring Drosophila (fruit fly) activity during microgravity exposure.

    PubMed

    Miller, M S; Keller, T S

    1999-07-01

    Important advances in the understanding of the aging process could be obtained through comprehension of the changes experienced by Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) during microgravity. Previous experiments flown on Cosmos satellites and various Space Shuttle missions have shown a significant decrease in the life span of young male Drosophila after microgravity exposure. Additionally, postflight analysis indicated an accelerated aging of the microgravity exposed male flies since they exhibited a significant decrease in mating ability and a consistently lower negative geotaxis response than the 1 g ground controls. The negative geotaxis response is the Drosophila's reaction to move opposite to the Earth's gravitational vector when disturbed in certain manners. Researchers have hypothesized that the accelerated aging, is due to an increased locomotor activity which causes a subsequent increase in mitochondrial activity. The increased mitochondrial activity, in turn, causes increased aging through accelerated damage to the mitochondrial system. An increase in locomotor activity was indicated by analyzing only a fraction (1/6th of a second) of the 15 minute video recordings of groups of Drosophila taken approximately every two days during a 14-day Space Shuttle flight. The increased locomotor activity may be related to the Drosophila's negative geotaxis response in that the flies may be reacting to the absence of normal gravity by continuously searching for the gravity vector. The aims of this study are to develop methods to accurately measure individual Drosophila activity, use these derived methods in 1 g to create a Drosophila activity baseline, and use the methods during short and long duration microgravity exposure (sounding rockets, parabolic flights, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, etc.) to examine Drosophila activity. The role of the negative geotaxis response on locomotor activity will be examined by using two strains of behaviorally selected

  14. Measurement of Metabolic Activity in Dormant Spores of Bacillus Species

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-14

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Spores of Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus subtilis were harvested shortly after release from sporangia, incubated under...Dec-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: Measurement of Metabolic Activity in Dormant Spores of Bacillus Species...Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 spores, Bacillus , spore dormancy, 3-phosphoglycerate REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11

  15. Measuring physical activity with sensors: a qualitative study.

    PubMed

    Dias, André; Fisterer, Bernhard; Lamla, Gregor; Kuhn, Klaus; Hartvigsen, Gunnar; Horsch, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Long term wearing of motion and heart rate sensors are essential aspects for longitudinal studies on physical activity measurement studies. We conducted a qualitative study with seven subjects in a total of 13 test sessions to identify usability and handling problems associated with Stayhealth RT3, Actigraph GT1M and Polar RS800 sensors. We found that battery life limitation is the most recurrent technical problem and long term wear of heart rate sensors produces discomfort and skin irritation.

  16. Blocking two-component signalling enhances Candida albicans virulence and reveals adaptive mechanisms that counteract sustained SAPK activation

    PubMed Central

    Ikeh, Mélanie A. C.; Haider, Mohammed; Brown, Alistair J. P.; Morgan, Brian A.; Erwig, Lars P.; Quinn, Janet

    2017-01-01

    The Ypd1 phosphorelay protein is a central constituent of fungal two-component signal transduction pathways. Inhibition of Ypd1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans is lethal due to the sustained activation of the ‘p38-related’ Hog1 stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK). As two-component signalling proteins are not found in animals, Ypd1 is considered to be a prime antifungal target. However, a major fungal pathogen of humans, Candida albicans, can survive the concomitant sustained activation of Hog1 that occurs in cells lacking YPD1. Here we show that the sustained activation of Hog1 upon Ypd1 loss is mediated through the Ssk1 response regulator. Moreover, we present evidence that C. albicans survives SAPK activation in the short-term, following Ypd1 loss, by triggering the induction of protein tyrosine phosphatase-encoding genes which prevent the accumulation of lethal levels of phosphorylated Hog1. In addition, our studies reveal an unpredicted, reversible, mechanism that acts to substantially reduce the levels of phosphorylated Hog1 in ypd1Δ cells following long-term sustained SAPK activation. Indeed, over time, ypd1Δ cells become phenotypically indistinguishable from wild-type cells. Importantly, we also find that drug-induced down-regulation of YPD1 expression actually enhances the virulence of C. albicans in two distinct animal infection models. Investigating the underlying causes of this increased virulence, revealed that drug-mediated repression of YPD1 expression promotes hyphal growth both within murine kidneys, and following phagocytosis, thus increasing the efficacy by which C. albicans kills macrophages. Taken together, these findings challenge the targeting of Ypd1 proteins as a general antifungal strategy and reveal novel cellular adaptation mechanisms to sustained SAPK activation. PMID:28135328

  17. β-Arrestin biosensors reveal a rapid, receptor-dependent activation/deactivation cycle

    PubMed Central

    Nuber, Susanne; Zabel, Ulrike; Lorenz, Kristina; Nuber, Andreas; Milligan, Graeme; Tobin, Andrew B.; Lohse, Martin J.; Hoffmann, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    (β-)Arrestins are important regulators of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)1–3. They bind to active, phosphorylated GPCRs and thereby shut off ‘classical’ signalling to G proteins3,4, trigger internalization of GPCRs via interaction with the clathrin machinery5–7 and mediate signalling via ‘non-classical’ pathways1,2. In addition to two visual arrestins that bind to rod and cone photoreceptors (termed arrestin1 and arrestin4), there are only two (non-visual) β-arrestin proteins (β-arrestin1 and β-arrestin2, also termed arrestin2 and arrestin3), which regulate hundreds of different (non-visual) GPCRs. Binding of these proteins to GPCRs usually requires the active form of the receptors plus their phosphorylation by G-protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs)1,3,4. The binding of receptors or their carboxy terminus as well as certain truncations induce active conformations of (β-)arrestins that have recently been solved by X-ray crystallography8–10. Here we investigate both the interaction of β-arrestin with GPCRs, and the β-arrestin conformational changes in real time and in living human cells, using a series of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based β-arrestin2 biosensors. We observe receptor-specific patterns of conformational changes in β-arrestin2 that occur rapidly after the receptor–β-arrestin2 interaction. After agonist removal, these changes persist for longer than the direct receptor interaction. Our data indicate a rapid, receptor-type-specific, two-step binding and activation process between GPCRs and β-arrestins. They further indicate that β-arrestins remain active after dissociation from receptors, allowing them to remain at the cell surface and presumably signal independently. Thus, GPCRs trigger a rapid, receptor-specific activation/deactivation cycle of β-arrestins, which permits their active signalling. PMID:27007855

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenome analysis reveals TBX5 as a novel transcription factor involved in the activation of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Karouzakis, Emmanuel; Trenkmann, Michelle; Gay, Renate E; Michel, Beat A; Gay, Steffen; Neidhart, Michel

    2014-11-15

    In this study, we analyzed the methylation status of human promoters in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASF). Differentially methylated genes between RASF and osteoarthritis synovial fibroblasts (OASF) were identified by methylated DNA immunoprecipitation and hybridization to human promoter tiling arrays. The methylation status was confirmed by pyrosequencing. Gene and protein expression of differentially methylated genes was evaluated with real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was used to measure the gene promoter-associated acetylation and methylation of histones. Transcription factor-specific targets were identified with microarray and luciferase assays. We found that the transcription factor T-box transcription factor 5 (TBX5) was less methylated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium and RASF than in osteoarthritis (OA) samples. Demethylation of the TBX5 promoter in RASF and RA synovium was accompanied by higher TBX5 expression than in OASF and OA synovium. In RA synovium, TBX5 expression was primarily localized to the synovial lining. In addition, the TBX5 locus was enriched in activating chromatin marks, such as histone 4 lysine 4 trimethylation and histone acetylation, in RASF. In our functional studies, we observed that 790 genes were differentially expressed by 2-6-fold after overexpression of TBX5 in OASF. Bioinformatic analysis of these genes revealed that the chemokines IL-8, CXCL12, and CCL20 were common targets of TBX5 in OASF. Taken together, our data show that TBX5 is a novel inducer of important chemokines in RASF. Thus, we conclude that RASF contribute to the inflammatory processes operating in the pathogenesis of RA via epigenetic control of TBX5.

  20. 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.

  1. Mutational and structural analyses of Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus Man5B reveal novel active site residues for family 5 glycoside hydrolases.

    PubMed

    Oyama, Takuji; Schmitz, George E; Dodd, Dylan; 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Dual origins of measured phase-amplitude coupling reveal distinct neural mechanisms underlying episodic memory in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Alex P; Yaffe, Robert B; Wittig, John H; Inati, Sara K; Zaghloul, Kareem A

    2017-03-01

    Phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) is hypothesized to coordinate neural activity, but its role in successful memory formation in the human cortex is unknown. Measures of PAC are difficult to interpret, however. Both increases and decreases in PAC have been linked to memory encoding, and PAC may arise due to different neural mechanisms. Here, we use a waveform analysis to examine PAC in the human cortex as participants with intracranial electrodes performed a paired associates memory task. We found that successful memory formation exhibited significant decreases in left temporal lobe and prefrontal cortical PAC, and these two regions exhibited changes in PAC within different frequency bands. Two underlying neural mechanisms, nested oscillations and sharp waveforms, were responsible for the changes in these regions. Our data therefore suggest that decreases in measured cortical PAC during episodic memory reflect two distinct underlying mechanisms that are anatomically segregated in the human brain.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Urinary metabolomics in Fxr-null mice reveals activated adaptive metabolic pathways upon bile acid challenge.

    PubMed

    Cho, Joo-Youn; Matsubara, Tsutomu; Kang, Dong Wook; Ahn, Sung-Hoon; Krausz, Kristopher W; Idle, Jeffrey R; Luecke, Hans; Gonzalez, Frank J

    2010-05-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor that regulates genes involved in synthesis, metabolism, and transport of bile acids and thus plays a major role in maintaining bile acid homeostasis. In this study, metabolomic responses were investigated in urine of wild-type and Fxr-null mice fed cholic acid, an FXR ligand, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). Multivariate data analysis between wild-type and Fxr-null mice on a cholic acid diet revealed that the most increased ions were metabolites of p-cresol (4-methylphenol), corticosterone, and cholic acid in Fxr-null mice. The structural identities of the above metabolites were confirmed by chemical synthesis and by comparing retention time (RT) and/or tandem mass fragmentation patterns of the urinary metabolites with the authentic standards. Tauro-3alpha,6,7alpha,12alpha-tetrol (3alpha,6,7alpha,12alpha-tetrahydroxy-5beta-cholestan-26-oyltaurine), one of the most increased metabolites in Fxr-null mice on a CA diet, is a marker for efficient hydroxylation of toxic bile acids possibly through induction of Cyp3a11. A cholestatic model induced by lithocholic acid revealed that enhanced expression of Cyp3a11 is the major defense mechanism to detoxify cholestatic bile acids in Fxr-null mice. These results will be useful for identification of biomarkers for cholestasis and for determination of adaptive molecular mechanisms in cholestasis.

  8. Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 reveals an active site for an atypical phosphatase.

    PubMed

    Irani, Seema; Yogesha, S D; Mayfield, Joshua; Zhang, Mengmeng; Zhang, Yong; Matthews, Wendy L; Nie, Grace; Prescott, Nicholas A; Zhang, Yan Jessie

    2016-03-01

    Changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) correlate with the process of eukaryotic transcription. The yeast protein regulator of transcription 1 (Rtr1) and the human homolog RNAPII-associated protein 2 (RPAP2) may function as CTD phosphatases; however, crystal structures of Kluyveromyces lactis Rtr1 lack a consensus active site. We identified a phosphoryl transfer domain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 by obtaining and characterizing a 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure. We identified a putative substrate-binding pocket in a deep groove between the zinc finger domain and a pair of helices that contained a trapped sulfate ion. Because sulfate mimics the chemistry of a phosphate group, this structural data suggested that this groove represents the phosphoryl transfer active site. Mutagenesis of the residues lining this groove disrupted catalytic activity of the enzyme assayed in vitro with a fluorescent chemical substrate, and expression of the mutated Rtr1 failed to rescue growth of yeast lacking Rtr1. Characterization of the phosphatase activity of RPAP2 and a mutant of the conserved putative catalytic site in the same chemical assay indicated a conserved reaction mechanism. Our data indicated that the structure of the phosphoryl transfer domain and reaction mechanism for the phosphoryl transfer activity of Rtr1 is distinct from those of other phosphatase families.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 reveals an active site for an atypical phosphatase

    PubMed Central

    Mayfield, Joshua; Zhang, Mengmeng; Zhang, Yong; Matthews, Wendy L.; Nie, Grace; Prescott, Nicholas A.; Zhang, Yan Jessie

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) correlate with the process of eukaryotic transcription. The yeast protein regulator of transcription 1 (Rtr1) and the human homolog RNAPII-associated protein 2 (RPAP2) may function as CTD phosphatases; however, crystal structures of Kluyveromyces lactis Rtr1 lack a consensus active site. We identified a phosphoryl transfer domain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 by obtaining and characterizing a 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure. We identified a putative substrate-binding pocket in a deep groove between the zinc finger domain and a pair of helices that contained a trapped sulfate ion. Because sulfate mimics the chemistry of a phosphate group, this structural data suggested that this groove represents the phosphoryl transfer active site. Mutagenesis of the residues lining this groove disrupted catalytic activity of the enzyme assayed in vitro with a fluorescent chemical substrate, and expression of the mutated Rtr1 failed to rescue growth of yeast lacking Rtr1. Characterization of the phosphatase activity of RPAP2 and a mutant of the conserved putative catalytic site in the same chemical assay indicated a conserved reaction mechanism. Our data indicated that the structure of the phosphoryl transfer domain and reaction mechanism for the phosphoryl transfer activity of Rtr1 is distinct from those of other phosphatase families. PMID:26933063

  12. Color-Doppler sonographic tissue perfusion measurements reveal significantly diminished renal cortical perfusion in kidneys with vesicoureteral reflux

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27051133

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Transient release kinetics of rod bipolar cells revealed by capacitance measurement of exocytosis from axon terminals in rat retinal slices

    PubMed Central

    Oltedal, Leif; Hartveit, Espen

    2010-01-01

    Presynaptic transmitter release has mostly been studied through measurements of postsynaptic responses, but a few synapses offer direct access to the presynaptic terminal, thereby allowing capacitance measurements of exocytosis. For mammalian rod bipolar cells, synaptic transmission has been investigated in great detail by recording postsynaptic currents in AII amacrine cells. Presynaptic measurements of the dynamics of vesicular cycling have so far been limited to isolated rod bipolar cells in dissociated preparations. Here, we first used computer simulations of compartmental models of morphologically reconstructed rod bipolar cells to adapt the ‘Sine + DC’ technique for capacitance measurements of exocytosis at axon terminals of intact rod bipolar cells in retinal slices. In subsequent physiological recordings, voltage pulses that triggered presynaptic Ca2+ influx evoked capacitance increases that were proportional to the pulse duration. With pulse durations ≤100 ms, the increase saturated at ∼10 fF, corresponding to the size of a readily releasable pool of vesicles. Pulse durations ≥400 ms evoked additional capacitance increases, probably reflecting recruitment from additional pools of vesicles. By using Ca2+ tail current stimuli, we separated Ca2+ influx from Ca2+ channel activation kinetics, allowing us to estimate the intrinsic release kinetics of the readily releasable pool, yielding a time constant of ∼1.1 ms and a maximum release rate of 2–3 vesicles (release site)−1 ms−1. Following exocytosis, we observed endocytosis with time constants ranging from 0.7 to 17 s. Under physiological conditions, it is likely that release will be transient, with the kinetics limited by the activation kinetics of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. PMID:20211976

  16. Predictions of active region flaring probability using subsurface helicity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reinard, A. A.; Komm, R.; Hill, F.

    2010-12-01

    Solar flares are responsible for a number of hazardous effects on the earth such as disabling high-frequency radio communications, interfering with GPS measurements, and disrupting satellites. However, forecasting flare occurrence is currently very difficult. One possible means for predicting flare occurrence lies in helioseismology, i.e. analysis of the region below the active region for signs of an impending flare. Time series helioseismic data collected by the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) has been analyzed for a subset of active regions that produce large flares and a subset with very high magnetic field strength that produce no flares. A predictive parameter has been developed and analyzed using discriminant analysis as well as traditional forecasting tools such as the Heidke skill score. Preliminary results show that this parameter predicts the flaring probability of an active region 2-3 days in advance with a relatively high degree of success.

  17. Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometry Measurement of Aminotransferase Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Xin; Li, Xin; Zhang, Chengsen; Xu, Yang; Cooks, R. Graham

    2017-01-01

    A change in enzyme activity has been used as a clinical biomarker for diagnosis and is useful in evaluating patient prognosis. Current laboratory measurements of enzyme activity involve multi-step derivatization of the reaction products followed by quantitative analysis of these derivatives. This study simplified the reaction systems by using only the target enzymatic reaction and directly detecting its product. A protocol using paper spray mass spectrometry for identifying and quantifying the reaction product has been developed. Evaluation of the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was chosen as a proof-of-principle. The volume of sample needed is greatly reduced compared with the traditional method. Paper spray has a desalting effect that avoids sprayer clogging problems seen when examining serum samples by nanoESI. This very simple method does not require sample pretreatment and additional derivatization reactions, yet it gives high quality kinetic data, excellent limits of detection (60 ppb from serum), and coefficients of variation <10% in quantitation.

  18. 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.

  19. Precise Measurement of Drift Velocities in Active-Target Detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, Louis

    2016-09-01

    Nuclear experiments with radioactive beams are needed to improve our understanding of nuclei structure far from stability. Radioactive beams typically have low beam rates, but active-target detectors can compensate for these low beam rates. In active-target detectors that are also Time-Projection Chambers (TPC), ionized electrons drift through an electric fieldto a detection device to imagethe trajectory of charged-particle ionization tracks within the chamber's gas volume. The measurement of the ionized electrons' drift velocity is crucial for the accurate imaging of these tracks. In order to measure this drift velocity, we will use a UV laser and photo-sensitive foil in a the ND-Cubedetector we are developing, periodically releasingelectrons from the foil at a known timesand a known distance from the electron detector, thereby precisely measuring the drift velocity in situ. We have surveyed several materials to find a material that will work well with typical solid-state UV lasers on the market. We plan to determine the best material and thickness of the foil to maximize the number of photoelectrons. The precision that will be afforded by this measurement of the drift velocity will allow us to eliminate a source of systematic uncertainty.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. In vivo imaging of alphaherpesvirus infection reveals synchronized activity dependent on axonal sorting of viral proteins.

    PubMed

    Granstedt, Andrea E; Bosse, Jens B; Thiberge, Stephan Y; Enquist, Lynn W

    2013-09-10

    A clinical hallmark of human alphaherpesvirus infections is peripheral pain or itching. Pseudorabies virus (PRV), a broad host range alphaherpesvirus, causes violent pruritus in many different animals, but the mechanism is unknown. Previous in vitro studies have shown that infected, cultured peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons exhibited aberrant electrical activity after PRV infection due to the action of viral membrane fusion proteins, yet it is unclear if such activity occurs in infected PNS ganglia in living animals and if it correlates with disease symptoms. Using two-photon microscopy, we imaged autonomic ganglia in living mice infected with PRV strains expressing GCaMP3, a genetically encoded calcium indicator, and used the changes in calcium flux to monitor the activity of many neurons simultaneously with single-cell resolution. Infection with virulent PRV caused these PNS neurons to fire synchronously and cyclically in highly correlated patterns among infected neurons. This activity persisted even when we severed the presynaptic axons, showing that infection-induced firing is independent of input from presynaptic brainstem neurons. This activity was not observed after infections with an attenuated PRV recombinant used for circuit tracing or with PRV mutants lacking either viral glycoprotein B, required for membrane fusion, or viral membrane protein Us9, required for sorting virions and viral glycoproteins into axons. We propose that the viral fusion proteins produced by virulent PRV infection induce electrical coupling in unmyelinated axons in vivo. This action would then give rise to the synchronous and cyclical activity in the ganglia and contribute to the characteristic peripheral neuropathy.

  4. Working memory and lexical ambiguity resolution as revealed by ERPs: a difficult case for activation theories.

    PubMed

    Gunter, Thomas C; Wagner, Susanne; Friederici, Angela D

    2003-07-01

    This series of three event-related potential experiments explored the issue of whether the underlying mechanism of working memory (WM) supporting language processing is inhibitory or activational in nature. These different cognitive mechanisms have been proposed to explain the more efficient processing of subjects with a high WM span compared to those with a low WM span. Participants with high and low WM span were presented with sentences containing a homonym followed three words later by a nominal disambiguation cue and a final disambiguation using a verb. At the position of the disambiguation cue, inhibitory or activational WM mechanisms predict contrasting results. When activation is the underlying mechanism for efficient processing, the prediction is that high memory span persons activate both meanings of the homonym equally in WM, whereas low memory span persons only have one meaning present. When inhibition is the underlying mechanism, the predictions are the reverse. The ERP data, in particular, the variations of the meaning related N400 component, showed clear evidence for inhibition as the underlying cognitive mechanism in high-span readers. For low-span participants the cueing towards the dominant or the subordinate meaning elicited an equivalently large N400 component suggesting that both meanings are active in WM. In high-span subjects, the dominant disambiguation cue elicited a smaller N400 than the subordinate one, indicating that for these subjects particularly the dominant meaning is active. The experiments showed that inhibitory processes are probably underlying WM used during language comprehension in high-span subjects. Moreover, they demonstrate that these subjects can use their inhibition in a more flexible manner than low-span subjects. The effects that these processing differences have on the efficiency of language parsing are discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. Measuring cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in children.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Aimée E; van Lien, René; van Eijsden, Manon; Gemke, Reinoud J B J; Vrijkotte, Tanja G M; de Geus, Eco J

    2013-04-29

    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

  7. Measurement of activity in older adults: reliability and validity of the Step Activity Monitor.

    PubMed

    Resnick, B; Nahm, E S; Orwig, D; Zimmerman, S S; Magaziner, J

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the Step Activity Monitor (SAM) when used with older adults. A total of 30 subjects with a mean age of 86 +/- 6.1 participated in the study. Sixty one-minute walks were measured with the SAM, and two observers visually counted steps. Four participants wore the SAM for 6 to 48 hours and maintained activity diaries. The intraclass correlation for the SAM recordings was R = .84. There was an overall step counting accuracy of 96%. The diaries supported the SAM data for those who wore the SAM for extended periods. The SAM is an easy to use, comfortable, valid, and reliable measure of activity in older adults and particularly may be useful to triangulate measurement of activity in these individuals.

  8. 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.

  9. The Detection and Measurement of the Activity Size Distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramamurthi, Mukund

    The infiltration of radon into the indoor environment may cause the exposure of the public to excessive amounts of radioactivity and has spurred renewed research interest over the past several years into the occurrence and properties of radon and its decay products in indoor air. The public health risks posed by the inhalation and subsequent lung deposition of the decay products of Rn-222 have particularly warranted the study of their diffusivity and attachment to molecular cluster aerosols in the ultrafine particle size range (0.5-5 nm) and to accumulation mode aerosols. In this research, a system for the detection and measurement of the activity size distributions and concentration levels of radon decay products in indoor environments has been developed. The system is microcomputer-controlled and involves a combination of multiple wire screen sampler -detector units operated in parallel. The detection of the radioactivity attached to the aerosol sampled in these units permits the determination of the radon daughter activity -weighted size distributions and concentration levels in indoor air on a semi-continuous basis. The development of the system involved the design of the detection and measurement system, its experimental characterization and testing in a radon-aerosol chamber, and numerical studies for the optimization of the design and operating parameters of the system. Several concepts of utility to aerosol size distribution measurement methods sampling the ultrafine cluster size range evolved from this study, and are discussed in various chapters of this dissertation. The optimized multiple wire screen (Graded Screen Array) system described in this dissertation is based on these concepts. The principal facet of the system is its ability to make unattended measurements of activity size distributions and concentration levels of radon decay products on a semi-continuous basis. Thus, the capability of monitoring changes in the activity concentrations and size

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Increasing AIP Macrocycle Size Reveals Key Features of agr Activation in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeffrey G; Wang, Boyuan; Debelouchina, Galia T; Novick, Richard P; Muir, Tom W

    2015-05-04

    The agr locus in the commensal human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, is a two-promoter regulon with allelic variability that produces a quorum-sensing circuit involved in regulating virulence within the bacterium. Secretion of unique autoinducing peptides (AIPs) and detection of their concentrations by AgrC, a transmembrane receptor histidine kinase, coordinates local bacterial population density with global changes in gene expression. The finding that staphylococcal virulence can be inhibited through antagonism of this quorum-sensing pathway has fueled tremendous interest in understanding the structure-activity relationships underlying the AIP-AgrC interaction. The defining structural feature of the AIP is a 16-membered, thiolactone-containing macrocycle. Surprisingly, the importance of ring size on agr activation or inhibition has not been explored. In this study, we address this deficiency through the synthesis and functional analysis of AIP analogues featuring enlarged and reduced macrocycles. Notably, this study is the first to interrogate AIP function by using both established cell-based reporter gene assays and newly developed in vitro AgrC-I binding and autophosphorylation activity assays. Based on our data, we present a model for robust agr activation involving a cooperative, three-points-of-contact interaction between the AIP macrocycle and AgrC.

  14. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, John X

    2012-03-09

    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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Interspecies cathelicidin comparison reveals divergence in antimicrobial activity, TLR modulation, chemokine induction and regulation of phagocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Coorens, Maarten; Scheenstra, Maaike R.; Veldhuizen, Edwin J. A.; Haagsman, Henk P.

    2017-01-01

    Cathelicidins are short cationic peptides initially described as antimicrobial peptides, which can also modulate the immune system. Because most findings have been described in the context of human LL-37 or murine CRAMP, or have been investigated under varying conditions, it is unclear which functions are cathelicidin specific and which functions are general cathelicidin properties. This study compares 12 cathelicidins from 6 species under standardized conditions to better understand the conservation of cathelicidin functions. Most tested cathelicidins had strong antimicrobial activity against E. coli and/or MRSA. Interestingly, while more physiological culture conditions limit the antimicrobial activity of almost all cathelicidins against E. coli, activity against MRSA is enhanced. Seven out of 12 cathelicidins were able to neutralize LPS and another 7 cathelicidins were able to neutralize LTA; however, there was no correlation found with LPS neutralization. In contrast, only 4 cathelicidins enhanced DNA-induced TLR9 activation. In conclusion, these results provide new insight in the functional differences of cathelicidins both within and between species. In addition, these results underline the importance not to generalize cathelicidin functions and indicates that caution should be taken in extrapolating results from LL-37- or CRAMP-related studies to other animal settings. PMID:28102367

  18. Active role of the liquid phase of developer in revealing surface flaws by capillary methods

    SciTech Connect

    Prokhorenko, P.P.; Dezhkunov, N.V.; Stoicheva, I.V.

    1988-08-01

    The article investigates the interaction of two chemically nonreacting liquids after they have been brought into contact with each other in a capillary. It is established that the liquid phase of the developer is not only a passive carrier of the developing component but also exerts an active influence on the process of development, and consequently, on the detectability of flaws.

  19. Temporal quantitative phosphoproteomics of ADP stimulation reveals novel central nodes in platelet activation and inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Florian; Geiger, Jörg; Gambaryan, Stepan; Solari, Fiorella A.; Dell’Aica, Margherita; Loroch, Stefan; Mattheij, Nadine J.; Mindukshev, Igor; Pötz, Oliver; Jurk, Kerstin; Burkhart, Julia M.; Fufezan, Christian; Heemskerk, Johan W. M.; Walter, Ulrich

    2017-01-01

    Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) enhances platelet activation by virtually any other stimulant to complete aggregation. It binds specifically to the G-protein–coupled membrane receptors P2Y1 and P2Y12, stimulating intracellular signaling cascades, leading to integrin αIIbβ3 activation, a process antagonized by endothelial prostacyclin. P2Y12 inhibitors are among the most successful antiplatelet drugs, however, show remarkable variability in efficacy. We reasoned whether a more detailed molecular understanding of ADP-induced protein phosphorylation could identify (1) critical hubs in platelet signaling toward aggregation and (2) novel molecular targets for antiplatelet treatment strategies. We applied quantitative temporal phosphoproteomics to study ADP-mediated signaling at unprecedented molecular resolution. Furthermore, to mimic the antagonistic efficacy of endothelial-derived prostacyclin, we determined how Iloprost reverses ADP-mediated signaling events. We provide temporal profiles of 4797 phosphopeptides, 608 of which showed significant regulation. Regulated proteins are implicated in well-known activating functions such as degranulation and cytoskeletal reorganization, but also in less well-understood pathways, involving ubiquitin ligases and GTPase exchange factors/GTPase-activating proteins (GEF/GAP). Our data demonstrate that ADP-triggered phosphorylation occurs predominantly within the first 10 seconds, with many short rather than sustained changes. For a set of phosphorylation sites (eg, PDE3ASer312, CALDAG-GEFISer587, ENSASer109), we demonstrate an inverse regulation by ADP and Iloprost, suggesting that these are central modulators of platelet homeostasis. This study demonstrates an extensive spectrum of human platelet protein phosphorylation in response to ADP and Iloprost, which inversely overlap and represent major activating and inhibitory pathways. PMID:28060719

  20. Native Electrophoresis-Coupled Activity Assays Reveal Catalytically-Active Protein Aggregates of Escherichia coli β-Glucuronidase.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Quantifying the sources of error in measurements of urine activity

    SciTech Connect

    Mozley, P.D.; Kim, H.J.; McElgin, W.

    1994-05-01

    Accurate scintigraphic measurements of radioactivity in the bladder and voided urine specimens can be limited by scatter, attenuation, and variations in the volume of urine that a given dose is distributed in. The purpose of this study was to quantify some of the errors that these problems can introduce. Transmission scans and 41 conjugate images of the bladder were sequentially acquired on a dual headed camera over 24 hours in 6 subjects after the intravenous administration of 100-150 MBq (2.7-3.6 mCi) of a novel I-123 labeled benzamide. Renal excretion fractions were calculated by measuring the counts in conjugate images of 41 sequentially voided urine samples. A correction for scatter was estimated by comparing the count rates in images that were acquired with the photopeak centered an 159 keV and images that were made simultaneously with the photopeak centered on 126 keV. The decay and attenuation corrected, geometric mean activities were compared to images of the net dose injected. Checks of the results were performed by measuring the total volume of each voided urine specimen and determining the activity in a 20 ml aliquot of it with a dose calibrator. Modeling verified the experimental results which showed that 34% of the counts were attenuated when the bladder had been expanded to a volume of 300 ml. Corrections for attenuation that were based solely on the transmission scans were limited by the volume of non-radioactive urine in the bladder before the activity was administered. The attenuation of activity in images of the voided wine samples was dependent on the geometry of the specimen container. The images of urine in standard, 300 ml laboratory specimen cups had 39{plus_minus}5% fewer counts than images of the same samples laid out in 3 liter bedpans. Scatter through the carbon fiber table substantially increased the number of counts in the images by an average of 14%.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Using decision trees to measure activities in people with stroke.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ting; Fulk, George D; Tang, Wenlong; Sazonov, Edward S

    2013-01-01

    Improving community mobility is a common goal for persons with stroke. Measuring daily physical activity is helpful to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions. In our previous studies, a novel wearable shoe-based sensor system (SmartShoe) was shown to be capable of accurately classify three major postures and activities (sitting, standing, and walking) from individuals with stroke by using Artificial Neural Network (ANN). In this study, we utilized decision tree algorithms to develop individual and group activity classification models for stroke patients. The data was acquired from 12 participants with stroke. For 3-class classification, the average accuracy was 99.1% with individual models and 91.5% with group models. Further, we extended the activities into 8 classes: sitting, standing, walking, cycling, stairs-up, stairs-down, wheel-chair-push, and wheel-chair-propel. The classification accuracy for individual models was 97.9%, and for group model was 80.2%, demonstrating feasibility of multi-class activity recognition by SmartShoe in stroke patients.

  7. 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

  8. Information Technology Measurement and Testing Activities at NIST.

    PubMed

    Hogan, M D; Carnahan, L J; Carpenter, R J; Flater, D W; Fowler, J E; Frechette, S P; Gray, M M; Johnson, L A; McCabe, R M; Montgomery, D; Radack, S M; Rosenthal, R; Shakarji, C 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.

  9. Comparing GPS, Log, Survey, and Accelerometry to Measure Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    James, Peter; Weissman, Jennifer; Wolf, Jean; Mumford, Karen; Contant, Cheryl K.; Hwang, Wei-Ting; Taylor, Lynne; Glanz, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Both self-report and objective measures have strengths and limitations for studying physical activity (PA) and travel. We explored how objectively measured global positioning system (GPS) and accelerometer data matches with travel logs and questionnaires in predicting trip duration and PA. Methods In a study of PA and travel among residents in Atlanta, GA conducted in 2008–2009, 99 participants wore GPS devices and accelerometers, and recorded all trips in a log for 5 consecutive days. Participants also completed a self-administered questionnaire on PA and travel behaviors. Results There was good agreement between GPS and log for assessment of trip duration, although log measures overestimated trip duration (concordance correlation coefficient 0.53 [0.47, 0.59]; Bland-Altman estimate 0.76 [0.16, 3.71] comparing GPS to log). Log measures underestimated light PA and overestimated moderate PA compared to accelerometry when greater than zero moderate PA was reported. Conclusions It is often not feasible to deploy accelerometry or GPS devices in population research because these devices are expensive and require technical expertise and data processing. Questionnaires and logs provide inexpensive tools to assess PA and travel with reasonable concordance with objective measures. However, they have shortcomings in evaluating the presence and amount of light and moderate PA. Future questionnaires and logs should be developed to evaluate sensitivity to light and moderate PA. PMID:26685821

  10. 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...

  11. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1.

    PubMed

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer

    2017-03-01

    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling.

  12. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1

    PubMed Central

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A.; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer

    2017-01-01

    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling. PMID:28378014

  13. 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.

  14. Biases during DNA extraction of activated sludge samples revealed by high throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Guo, Feng; Zhang, Tong

    2013-05-01

    Standardization of DNA extraction is a fundamental issue of fidelity and comparability in investigations of environmental microbial communities. Commercial kits for soil or feces are often adopted for studies of activated sludge because of a lack of specific kits, but they have never been evaluated regarding their effectiveness and potential biases based on high throughput sequencing. In this study, seven common DNA extraction kits were evaluated, based on not only yield/purity but also sequencing results, using two activated sludge samples (two sub-samples each, i.e. ethanol-fixed and fresh, as-is). The results indicate that the bead-beating step is necessary for DNA extraction from activated sludge. The two kits without the bead-beating step yielded very low amounts of DNA, and the least abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and significantly underestimated the Gram-positive Actinobacteria, Nitrospirae, Chloroflexi, and Alphaproteobacteria and overestimated Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and the rare phyla whose cell walls might have been readily broken. Among the other five kits, FastDNA(@) SPIN Kit for Soil extracted the most and the purest DNA. Although the number of total OTUs obtained using this kit was not the highest, the abundant OTUs and abundance of Actinobacteria demonstrated its efficiency. The three MoBio kits and one ZR kit produced fair results, but had a relatively low DNA yield and/or less Actinobacteria-related sequences. Moreover, the 50 % ethanol fixation increased the DNA yield, but did not change the sequenced microbial community in a significant way. Based on the present study, the FastDNA SPIN kit for Soil is recommended for DNA extraction of activated sludge samples. More importantly, the selection of the DNA extraction kit must be done carefully if the samples contain dominant lysing-resistant groups, such as Actinobacteria and Nitrospirae.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Substrate-binding specificity of chitinase and chitosanase as revealed by active-site architecture analysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shijia; Shao, Shangjin; Li, Linlin; Cheng, Zhi; Tian, Li; Gao, Peiji; Wang, Lushan

    2015-12-11

    Chitinases and chitosanases, referred to as chitinolytic enzymes, are two important categories of glycoside hydrolases (GH) that play a key role in degrading chitin and chitosan, two naturally abundant polysaccharides. Here, we investigate the active site architecture of the major chitosanase (GH8, GH46) and chitinase families (GH18, GH19). Both charged (Glu, His, Arg, Asp) and aromatic amino acids (Tyr, Trp, Phe) are observed with higher frequency within chitinolytic active sites as compared to elsewhere in the enzyme structure, indicating significant roles related to enzyme function. Hydrogen bonds between chitinolytic enzymes and the substrate C2 functional groups, i.e. amino groups and N-acetyl groups, drive substrate recognition, while non-specific CH-π interactions between aromatic residues and substrate mainly contribute to tighter binding and enhanced processivity evident in GH8 and GH18 enzymes. For different families of chitinolytic enzymes, the number, type, and position of substrate atoms bound in the active site vary, resulting in different substrate-binding specificities. The data presented here explain the synergistic action of multiple enzyme families at a molecular level and provide a more reasonable method for functional annotation, which can be further applied toward the practical engineering of chitinases and chitosanases.

  2. A new autocatalytic activation mechanism for cysteine proteases revealed by Prevotella intermedia interpain A.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-02-01

    Prevotella intermedia is a major periodontopathogen contributing to human gingivitis and periodontitis. Such pathogens release proteases as virulence factors that cause deterrence of host defenses and tissue destruction. A new cysteine protease from the cysteine-histidine-dyad class, interpain A, was studied in its zymogenic and self-processed mature forms. 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 20A 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A Rodent Model of Schizophrenia Reveals Increase in Creatine Kinase Activity with Associated Behavior Changes

    PubMed Central

    Canever, Leila; Oliveira, Larissa; de Luca, Renata D'Altoé; Correa, Paulo T. F.; Fraga, Daiane de B.; Matos, Maria Paula; Scaini, Giselli; Quevedo, João; Streck, Emílio L.; Zugno, Alexandra I.

    2010-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder characterized by positive (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech) and negative (affective flattering, avolition and social withdrawal) symptoms as well as cognitive deficits. The frequency, severity and topography characterize the disorder as heterogeneous, the pathophysiology of schizophrenia is poorly understood. Sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine produce hyperactivity, stereotypy and abnormal social interaction and it is used as a model of schizophrenia. In this study, we induced an animal model by acute sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine and tested different behavioral parameters. We also evaluated the activity of creatine kinase (CK) in brain of rats treated with ketamine. Our results demonstrated that administration of 10, 25 and 50 mg/kg of ketamine induced an increase of covered distance in habituated and non-habituated rats to the behavioral apparatus. Ketamine administration induced significant social deficits and stereotypic behavioral in all doses tested. Finally we evaluated the effect of different doses of ketamine on creatinine kinase (CK) activity and we observed that CK activity is increased inspecific regions of the brain. Our study suggests that our animal model may be used as a model of schizophrenia and that cerebral energy metabolism might be altered in the brain of schizophrenic patients, probably leading to alterations that might be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. PMID:21270541

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Nearly-uniform internal rotation of solar-like main sequence stars revealed by asteroseismology and spectroscopic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benomar, Othman Michel; Takata, Masao; Shibahashi, Hiromoto; Ceillier, Tugdual; Garcia, Rafael

    2015-08-01

    Stellar pulsations, which can be trapped acoustic waves (p modes), internal gravity waves (g modes) or a mixture of two, have frequencies that depend on the properties of the stellar interior, such as the internal rotation.Helioseismology extensively exploited these pulsations and, by the means of seismic inversion, has revealed a nearly uniform rotation profile, with variations that do not exceed 30% in the radial direction (e.g. Thompson et al. 2003). To conciliate models with observations, an efficient mechanism of transport of angular momentum from the core to the envelope is required.The necessity of an efficient angular momentum transport was also revealed on two main-sequence stars showing p modes and g modes (Kurtz et al. 2014, Saio et al. 2015) and on several evolved stars solar-like showing mixed modes (Deheuvels et al. 2012, 2014).However, the number of stars with a measured internal rotation structure is still limited. For low-mass main-sequence stars showing solar-like oscillations, the measure of the internal rotation profile is limited because only the low degree p modes can be observed by unresolved photometry.Yet, by comparing the average surface rotation with the average of the internal rotation, it is possible to evaluate the degree of differential rotation between deep layers and the surface. The surface rotation can be derived by spectroscopic vsin(i) or by the periodic luminosity variation due to surface spots, while the average internal rotation is determined by asteroseismology, using the so-called rotational splitting.We performed this comparison on 22 solar-like stars of the main sequence. We show that the rotation at the surface and in the interior are generally close to each other. For 10 stars, the difference is clearly too small to be explained by simple evolutionary models that assume local conservation of angular momentum. Furthermore, by adopting a simple two-zone model, we show that 20 out of the 22 stars have a rotation rate in

  10. 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

  11. Comparison of accelerometry and oxymetry for measuring daily physical activity.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Yumiko; Kawamura, Takashi; Tamakoshi, Akiko; Noda, Akiko; Hirai, Makoto; Saito, Hidehiko; Ohno, Yoshiyuki

    2002-08-01

    To assess the validity of accelerometry in measuring daily physical activity, the energy consumption calculated by accelerometry, with respiratory gas analysis as a reference, was evaluated in 45 non-athletes during various exercise tests. Subjects were required to (1) walk on a treadmill ergometer at various speeds, (2) walk on a treadmill ergometer at a fixed speed and with a stride of 20% more or 20% less than that when walking freely, (3) walk on a treadmill ergometer at a fixed speed wearing either sneakers or leather-soled shoes, and (4) cycle on a bicycle ergometer. There were strong linear relationships between the measurements during the progressively graded treadmill test, with an overall Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.97. The mean estimated difference ranged from -0.77 to 0.27 kcal/min and the coefficients of variation from 13.2% to 22.2%. However, the difference between the methods was not negligible for individual subjects. Accelerometry overestimated energy expenditure during short-step walking, and underestimated it during long-step walking. No significant difference in energy expenditure was found according to the type of shoes worn. Cycling activity was not recorded by accelerometry. Accelerometry is a reasonably accurate and feasible method for evaluating the physical activities of non-athletes, and could be a common tool for epidemiological research and health promotion despite its limitations.

  12. 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.

  13. Seven-day activity and self-report compared to a direct measure of physical activity.

    PubMed

    Taylor, C B; Coffey, T; Berra, K; Iaffaldano, R; Casey, K; Haskell, W L

    1984-12-01

    To determine how well a seven-day interview-administered activity recall used in a large epidemiologic study at Stanford University reflected seven days of self-reported activity and directly measured physical activity, 30 white males, mean age 52 years, recorded daily physical activity for a week, and half of these wore an ambulatory solid-state minicomputer (Vitalog) which measures continuous heart rate and motion. Total hours of moderate, hard, and hard plus very hard activity were not significantly different for weekdays and weekends for self-report and recall and were significantly correlated. Total energy expenditure for subjects wearing the Vitalog averaged 38.5 +/- 6.7 kcal/kg/day compared to an average of 37.7 +/- 4.5 kcal/kg/day for recall or 39.6 +/- 7.2 kcal/kg/day for self-report. Conditioning activities are best remembered followed by home or leisure and job activities. Mean hours of sleep per week night were significantly greater reported by self-report than reported by recall, but the two were significantly correlated. It is concluded that a seven-day activity recall accurately reflects mean kcal/day expenditure, with conditioning activities being the best recalled. A self-report log used in conjunction with an interview-based seven-day recall might maximize accuracy of recall.

  14. 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.

  15. DOPAMINE RECEPTOR ACTIVATION REVEALS A NOVEL, KYNURENATE-SENSITIVE COMPONENT OF STRIATAL NMDA NEUROTOXICITY

    PubMed Central

    Poeggeler, Burkhard; Rassoulpour, Arash; Wu, Hui-Qiu; Guidetti, Paolo; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Schwarcz, Robert

    2007-01-01

    The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptors plays an important role in brain physiology, but excessive receptor stimulation results in seizures and excitotoxic nerve cell death. NMDA receptor-mediated neuronal excitation and injury can be prevented by high, non-physiological concentrations of the neuroinhibitory tryptophan metabolite kynurenic acid (KYNA). Here we report that endogenous KYNA, which is formed in and released from astrocytes, controls NMDA receptors in vivo. This was revealed with the aid of the dopaminergic drugs d-amphetamine and apomorphine, which cause rapid, transient decreases in striatal KYNA levels in rats. Intrastriatal injections of the excitotoxins NMDA or quinolinate (but not the non-NMDA receptor agonist kainate) at the time of maximal KYNA reduction resulted in 2-3-fold increases in excitotoxic lesion size. Pre-treatment with kynurenine 3-hydroxylase inhibitors or dopamine receptor antagonists, two classes of pharmacological agents that prevented the reduction in brain KYNA caused by dopaminergic stimulation, abolished the potentiation of neurotoxicity. Thus, the present study identifies a previously unappreciated role of KYNA as a functional link between dopamine receptor stimulation and NMDA neurotoxicity in the striatum. PMID:17629627

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Effective contractile response to voltage-gated Na+ channels revealed by a channel activator.

    PubMed

    Ho, W-S Vanessa; Davis, Alison J; Chadha, Preet S; Greenwood, Iain A

    2013-04-15

    This study investigated the molecular identity and impact of enhancing voltage-gated Na(+) (Na(V)) channels in the control of vascular tone. In rat isolated mesenteric and femoral arteries mounted for isometric tension recording, the vascular actions of the Na(V) channel activator veratridine were examined. Na(V) channel expression was probed by molecular techniques and immunocytochemistry. In mesenteric arteries, veratridine induced potent contractions (pEC(50) = 5.19 ± 0.20, E(max) = 12.0 ± 2.7 mN), which were inhibited by 1 μM TTX (a blocker of all Na(V) channel isoforms, except Na(V)1.5, Na(V)1.8, and Na(V)1.9), but not by selective blockers of Na(V)1.7 (ProTx-II, 10 nM) or Na(V)1.8 (A-80347, 1 μM) channels. The responses were insensitive to endothelium removal but were partly (~60%) reduced by chemical destruction of sympathetic nerves by 6-hydroxydopamine (2 mM) or antagonism at the α1-adrenoceptor by prazosin (1 μM). KB-R7943, a blocker of the reverse mode of the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (3 μM), inhibited veratridine contractions in the absence or presence of prazosin. T16A(inh)-A01, a Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel blocker (10 μM), also inhibited the prazosin-resistant contraction to veratridine. Na(V) channel immunoreactivity was detected in freshly isolated mesenteric myocytes, with apparent colocalization with the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger. Veratridine induced similar contractile effects in the femoral artery, and mRNA transcripts for Na(V)1.2 and Na(V)1.3 channels were evident in both vessel types. We conclude that, in addition to sympathetic nerves, NaV channels are expressed in vascular myocytes, where they are functionally coupled to the reverse mode of Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger and subsequent activation of Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channels, causing contraction. The TTX-sensitive Na(V)1.2 and Na(V)1.3 channels are likely involved in vascular control.

  19. 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.

  20. Negative differential mobility for negative carriers as revealed by space charge measurements on crosslinked polyethylene insulated model cables

    SciTech Connect

    Teyssedre, G. Laurent, C.; Vu, T. T. N.

    2015-12-21

    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{sup −14}–10{sup −13} m{sup 2} V{sup −1} s{sup −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.

  1. Improved installation prototype for measurement of low argon-37 activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakhomov, Sergei; Dubasov, Yuri

    2015-04-01

    On-site Inspection (OSI) is a key element of verification of State Parties' compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). An on-site inspection is launched to establish whether or not a nuclear explosion has been carried out. One of the most significant evidence of n underground nuclear explosion (UNE) is detection above background concentrations of argon-37 in near surface air. Argon-37 is formed in large amounts at interaction of neutrons of UNE with the potassium which is a part of the majority of rocks. Its estimated contents for the 100th days after explosion with a energy of 1000 t of TNT near a surface can vary from 1 to 1000 mBq/m3. The background concentrations of argon-37 in subsoil air vary 1 do100 mBq/m3. Traditionally, for argon-37 activity measurement the gas-proportional counters are used. But at Khlopin Radium institute the developments of the new type of highly sensitive and low-background installation capable to provide the required range of measurements of the argon-37 concentration are conducted. The liquid scintillation method of the registration of the low-energetic argon-37 electrons is the basic installation principle and as scintillator, the itself condensed air argon sample is used. Registration of scintillations of liquid argon is made by means of system from 3 PMT which cathodes are cooled near to the temperature of liquid nitrogen together with the measuring chamber in which placed the quartz glass ampule, containing the measured sample of the liquefied argon. For converse the short wavelength photons (λ = 127 nm) of liquid argon scintillations to more long-wave, corresponding to the range of PMT sensitivity, the polymer film with tetra-phenyl-butadiene (TPB) is provided. Even the insignificant impurities of nitrogen, oxygen and others gaseous in the liquid argon samples can to cause the quenching of scintillation, especially their slow components. To account this effect and it influence on change of registration

  2. Measurements of 55Fe activity in activated steel samples with GEMPix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curioni, A.; Dinar, N.; La Torre, F. P.; Leidner, J.; Murtas, F.; Puddu, S.; Silari, M.

    2017-03-01

    In this paper we present a novel method, based on the recently developed GEMPix detector, to measure the 55Fe content in samples of metallic material activated during operation of CERN accelerators and experimental facilities. The GEMPix, a gas detector with highly pixelated read-out, has been obtained by coupling a triple Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) to a quad Timepix ASIC. Sample preparation, measurements performed on 45 samples and data analysis are described. The calibration factor (counts per second per unit specific activity) has been obtained via measurements of the 55Fe activity determined by radiochemical analysis of the same samples. Detection limit and sensitivity to the current Swiss exemption limit are calculated. Comparison with radiochemical analysis shows inconsistency for the sensitivity for only two samples, most likely due to underestimated uncertainties of the GEMPix analysis. An operative test phase of this technique is already planned at CERN.

  3. Activities on Nuclear Data Measurements at Pohang Neutron Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Guinyun

    2009-03-01

    We report the activities of the Pohang Neutron Facility which consists of an electron linear accelerator, a water-cooled Ta target, and a 12-m time-of-flight path. It has been equipped with a four-position sample changer controlled remotely by a CAMAC data acquisition system, which allows simultaneous accumulation of the neutron time of flight spectra from 4 different detectors. It can be possible to measure the neutron total cross-sections in the neutron energy range from 0.1 eV to few hundreds eV by using the neutron time-of-flight method. A 6LiZnS(Ag) glass scintillator was used as a neutron detector. The neutron flight path from the water-cooled Ta target to the neutron detector was 12.1 m. The background level was determined by using notch-filters of Co, In, Ta, and Cd sheets. In order to reduce the gamma rays from bremsstrahlung and those from neutron capture, we employed a neutron-gamma separation system based on their different pulse shapes. The present measurements of several samples (Ta, Mo) are in general agreement with the evaluated data in ENDF/B-VI. We measured the thermal neutron capture cross-sections and the resonance integrals of the 186W(n,γ)187W reaction and the 98Mo(n,γ)99Mo reaction by the activation method using the 197Au(n,γ)198Au monitor reaction as a single comparator. We also report the isomeric yield ratios for the 44 m, gSc isomeric pairs produced from four different photonuclear reactions 45Sc(γ,n)44m,gSc, natTi(γ,xn1p)44m,gSc, natFe(γ,xn5p)52m,gMn, and 103Rh(γ,4n)99m,gRh by using the activation method.

  4. Activation of TRPM3 by a potent synthetic ligand reveals a role in peptide release.

    PubMed

    Held, Katharina; Kichko, Tatjana; De Clercq, Katrien; Klaassen, Hugo; Van Bree, Rieta; Vanherck, Jean-Christophe; Marchand, Arnaud; Reeh, Peter W; Chaltin, Patrick; Voets, Thomas; Vriens, Joris

    2015-03-17

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel subfamily M member 3 (TRPM3), a member of the TRP channel superfamily, was recently identified as a nociceptor channel in the somatosensory system, where it is involved in the detection of noxious heat; however, owing to the lack of potent and selective agonists, little is known about other potential physiological consequences of the opening of TRPM3. Here we identify and characterize a synthetic TRPM3 activator, CIM0216, whose potency and apparent affinity greatly exceeds that of the canonical TRPM3 agonist, pregnenolone sulfate (PS). In particular, a single application of CIM0216 causes opening of both the central calcium-conducting pore and the alternative cation permeation pathway in a membrane-delimited manner. CIM0216 evoked robust calcium influx in TRPM3-expressing somatosensory neurons, and intradermal injection of the compound induced a TRPM3-dependent nocifensive behavior. Moreover, CIM0216 elicited the release of the peptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from sensory nerve terminals and insulin from isolated pancreatic islets in a TRPM3-dependent manner. These experiments identify CIM0216 as a powerful tool for use in investigating the physiological roles of TRPM3, and indicate that TRPM3 activation in sensory nerve endings can contribute to neurogenic inflammation.

  5. Active chromatin domains are defined by acetylation islands revealed by genome-wide mapping.

    PubMed

    Roh, Tae-Young; Cuddapah, Suresh; Zhao, Keji

    2005-03-01

    The identity and developmental potential of a human cell is specified by its epigenome that is largely defined by patterns of chromatin modifications including histone acetylation. Here we report high-resolution genome-wide mapping of diacetylation of histone H3 at Lys 9 and Lys 14 in resting and activated human T cells by genome-wide mapping technique (GMAT). Our data show that high levels of the H3 acetylation are detected in gene-rich regions. The chromatin accessibility and gene expression of a genetic domain is correlated with hyperacetylation of promoters and other regulatory elements but not with generally elevated acetylation of the entire domain. Islands of acetylation are identified in the intergenic and transcribed regions. The locations of the 46,813 acetylation islands identified in this study are significantly correlated with conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) and many of them are colocalized with known regulatory elements in T cells. TCR signaling induces 4045 new acetylation loci that may mediate the global chromatin remodeling and gene activation. We propose that the acetylation islands are epigenetic marks that allow prediction of functional regulatory elements.

  6. Active chromatin domains are defined by acetylation islands revealed by genome-wide mapping

    PubMed Central

    Roh, Tae-Young; Cuddapah, Suresh; Zhao, Keji

    2005-01-01

    The identity and developmental potential of a human cell is specified by its epigenome that is largely defined by patterns of chromatin modifications including histone acetylation. Here we report high-resolution genome-wide mapping of diacetylation of histone H3 at Lys 9 and Lys 14 in resting and activated human T cells by genome-wide mapping technique (GMAT). Our data show that high levels of the H3 acetylation are detected in gene-rich regions. The chromatin accessibility and gene expression of a genetic domain is correlated with hyperacetylation of promoters and other regulatory elements but not with generally elevated acetylation of the entire domain. Islands of acetylation are identified in the intergenic and transcribed regions. The locations of the 46,813 acetylation islands identified in this study are significantly correlated with conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) and many of them are colocalized with known regulatory elements in T cells. TCR signaling induces 4045 new acetylation loci that may mediate the global chromatin remodeling and gene activation. We propose that the acetylation islands are epigenetic marks that allow prediction of functional regulatory elements. PMID:15706033

  7. Structure of protein O-mannose kinase reveals a unique active site architecture

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Qinyu; Venzke, David; Walimbe, Ameya S; Anderson, Mary E; Fu, Qiuyu; Kinch, Lisa N; Wang, Wei; Chen, Xing; Grishin, Nick V; Huang, Niu; Yu, Liping; Dixon, Jack E; Campbell, Kevin P; Xiao, Junyu

    2016-01-01

    The ‘pseudokinase’ SgK196 is a protein O-mannose kinase (POMK) that catalyzes an essential phosphorylation step during biosynthesis of the laminin-binding glycan on α-dystroglycan. However, the catalytic mechanism underlying this activity remains elusive. Here we present the crystal structure of Danio rerio POMK in complex with Mg2+ ions, ADP, aluminum fluoride, and the GalNAc-β3-GlcNAc-β4-Man trisaccharide substrate, thereby providing a snapshot of the catalytic transition state of this unusual kinase. The active site of POMK is established by residues located in non-canonical positions and is stabilized by a disulfide bridge. GalNAc-β3-GlcNAc-β4-Man is recognized by a surface groove, and the GalNAc-β3-GlcNAc moiety mediates the majority of interactions with POMK. Expression of various POMK mutants in POMK knockout cells further validated the functional requirements of critical residues. Our results provide important insights into the ability of POMK to function specifically as a glycan kinase, and highlight the structural diversity of the human kinome. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22238.001 PMID:27879205

  8. Proteomic analysis of tylosin-resistant Mycoplasma gallisepticum reveals enzymatic activities associated with resistance.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xi; Wu, Congming; Cui, Yaowen; Kang, Mengjiao; Li, Xiaowei; Ding, Shuangyang; Shen, Jianzhong

    2015-11-20

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Early Category-Specific Cortical Activation Revealed by Visual Stimulus Inversion

    PubMed Central

    Meeren, Hanneke K. M.; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Hämäläinen, Matti S.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2008-01-01

    Visual categorization may already start within the first 100-ms after stimulus onset, in contrast with the long-held view that during this early stage all complex stimuli are processed equally and that category-specific cortical activation occurs only at later stages. The neural basis of this proposed early stage of high-level analysis is however poorly understood. To address this question we used magnetoencephalography and anatomically-constrained distributed source modeling to monitor brain activity with millisecond-resolution while subjects performed an orientation task on the upright and upside-down presented images of three different stimulus categories: faces, houses and bodies. Significant inversion effects were found for all three stimulus categories between 70–100-ms after picture onset with a highly category-specific cortical distribution. Differential responses between upright and inverted faces were found in well-established face-selective areas of the inferior occipital cortex and right fusiform gyrus. In addition, early category-specific inversion effects were found well beyond visual areas. Our results provide the first direct evidence that category-specific processing in high-level category-sensitive cortical areas already takes place within the first 100-ms of visual processing, significantly earlier than previously thought, and suggests the existence of fast category-specific neocortical routes in the human brain. PMID:18946504

  11. Transcriptomic profiling of microglia reveals signatures of cell activation and immune response, during experimental cerebral malaria

    PubMed Central

    Capuccini, Barbara; Lin, Jingwen; Talavera-López, Carlos; Khan, Shahid M.; Sodenkamp, Jan; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Langhorne, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral malaria is a pathology involving inflammation in the brain. There are many immune cell types activated during this process, but there is little information on the response of microglia, in this severe complication. We examined microglia by genome wide transcriptomic analysis in a model of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), in which C57BL/6 mice are infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA. Thousands of transcripts were differentially expressed in microglia at two different time points during infection. Proliferation of microglia was a dominant feature before the onset of ECM, and supporting this, we observed an increase in numbers of these cells in the brain. When cerebral malaria symptoms were manifest, genes involved in immune responses and chemokine production were upregulated, which were possibly driven by Type I Interferon. Consistent with this hypothesis, in vitro culture of a microglial cell line with Interferon-β, but not infected red blood cells, resulted in production of several of the chemokines shown to be upregulated in the gene expression analysis. It appears that these responses are associated with ECM, as microglia from mice infected with a mutant P. berghei parasite (ΔDPAP3), which does not cause ECM, did not show the same level of activation or proliferation. PMID:27991544

  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. A validated tumorgraft model reveals activity of dovitinib against renal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Sivanand, Sharanya; Peña-Llopis, Samuel; Zhao, Hong; Kucejova, Blanka; Spence, Patrick; Pavia-Jimenez, Andrea; Yamasaki, Toshinari; McBride, David J; Gillen, Jessica; Wolff, Nicholas C; Morlock, Lorraine; Lotan, Yair; Raj, Ganesh V; Sagalowsky, Arthur; Margulis, Vitaly; Cadeddu, Jeffrey A; Ross, Mark T; Bentley, David R; Kabbani, Wareef; Xie, Xian-Jin; Kapur, Payal; Williams, Noelle S; Brugarolas, James

    2012-06-06

    Most anticancer drugs entering clinical trials fail to achieve approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Drug development is hampered by the lack of preclinical models with therapeutic predictive value. Herein, we report the development and validation of a tumorgraft model of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and its application to the evaluation of an experimental drug. Tumor samples from 94 patients were implanted in the kidneys of mice without additives or disaggregation. Tumors from 35 of these patients formed tumorgrafts, and 16 stable lines were established. Samples from metastatic sites engrafted at higher frequency than those from primary tumors, and stable engraftment of primary tumors in mice correlated with decreased patient survival. Tumorgrafts retained the histology, gene expression, DNA copy number alterations, and more than 90% of the protein-coding gene mutations of the corresponding tumors. As determined by the induction of hypercalcemia in tumorgraft-bearing mice, tumorgrafts retained the ability to induce paraneoplastic syndromes. In studies simulating drug exposures in patients, RCC tumorgraft growth was inhibited by sunitinib and sirolimus (the active metabolite of temsirolimus in humans), but not by erlotinib, which was used as a control. Dovitinib, a drug in clinical development, showed greater activity than sunitinib and sirolimus. The routine incorporation of models recapitulating the molecular genetics and drug sensitivities of human tumors into preclinical programs has the potential to improve oncology drug development.

  14. Nerve Growth Factor Promoter Activity Revealed in Mice Expressing Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kawaja, Michael D.; Smithson, Laura J.; Elliott, Janet; Trinh, Gina; Crotty, Anne-Marie; Michalski, Bernadeta; Fahnestock, Margaret

    2012-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its precursor proNGF are perhaps the best described growth factors of the mammalian nervous system. There remains, however, a paucity of information regarding the precise cellular sites of proNGF/NGF synthesis. Here we report the generation of transgenic mice in which the NGF promoter controls the ectopic synthesis of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). These transgenic mice provide an unprecedented resolution of both neural cells (e.g., neocortical and hippocampal neurons) and non-neural cells (e.g., renal interstitial cells and thymic reticular cells) that display NGF promoter activity from postnatal development to adulthood. Moreover, the transgene is inducible by injury. At 2 days after sciatic nerve ligation, a robust population of EGFP-positive cells is seen in the proximal nerve stump. These transgenic mice offer novel insights into the cellular sites of NGF promoter activity and can be used as models for investigating the regulation of proNGF/NGF expression after injury. PMID:21456011

  15. A uniform human Wnt expression library reveals a shared secretory pathway and unique signaling activities.

    PubMed

    Najdi, Rani; Proffitt, Kyle; Sprowl, Stephanie; Kaur, Simran; Yu, Jia; Covey, Tracy M; Virshup, David M; Waterman, Marian L

    2012-09-01

    Wnt ligands are secreted morphogens that control multiple developmental processes during embryogenesis and adult homeostasis. A diverse set of receptors and signals have been linked to individual Wnts, but the lack of tools for comparative analysis has limited the ability to determine which of these signals are general for the entire Wnt family, and which define subsets of differently acting ligands. We have created a versatile Gateway library of clones for all 19 human Wnts. An analysis comparing epitope-tagged and untagged versions of each ligand shows that despite their similar expression at the mRNA level, Wnts exhibit considerable variation in stability, processing and secretion. At least 14 out of the 19 Wnts activate β-catenin-dependent signaling, an activity that is cell type-dependent and tracks with the stabilization of β-catenin and LRP6 phosphorylation. We find that the core Wnt modification and secretion proteins Porcupine (PORCN) and Wntless (WLS) are essential for all Wnts to signal through β-catenin-dependent and independent pathways. This comprehensive toolkit provides critical tools and new insights into human Wnt gene expression and function.

  16. Preserved hippocampus activation in normal aging as revealed by fMRI.

    PubMed

    Persson, Jonas; Kalpouzos, Grégoria; Nilsson, Lars-Göran; Ryberg, Mats; Nyberg, Lars

    2011-07-01

    The hippocampus is deteriorated in various pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and such deterioration has been linked to memory impairment. By contrast, the structural and functional effects of normal aging on the hippocampus is a matter of debate, with some findings suggesting deterioration and others providing evidence of preservation. This constitutes a crucial question since many investigations on AD are based on the assumption that the deterioration of the hippocampus is the breaking point between normal and pathological aging. A growing number of fMRI studies specifically aimed at investigating hippocampal engagement in various cognitive tasks, notably memory tasks, but the results have been inconclusive. Here, we optimized the episodic face-name paired-associates task in order to test the functioning of the hippocampus in normal aging. Critically, we found no difference in the activation of the hippocampus between the young and a group of older participants. Analysis of individual patterns of activation substantiated this impression. Collectively, these findings provide evidence of preserved hippocampal functioning in normal aging.

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2008-08-08

    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.

  19. Altered spontaneous activity in antisocial personality disorder revealed by regional homogeneity.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Liu, Wangyong; Chen, Jingang; Liao, Jian; Hu, Dewen; Wang, Wei

    2013-08-07

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Time, space and emotion: fMRI reveals content-specific activation during text comprehension.

    PubMed

    Ferstl, Evelyn C; von Cramon, D Yves

    2007-11-12

    Story comprehension involves building a situation model of the text, i.e., a representation containing information on the who, where, when and why of the story. Using fMRI at 3T, domain-specific activations for three different information aspects were sought. Twenty participants read two sentence stories half of which contained inconsistencies concerning emotional, temporal or spatial information. Partly replicating previous results [E.C. Ferstl, M. Rinck, D.Y. von Cramon, Emotional and temporal aspects of situation model processing during text comprehension: an event-related fMRI study, J. Cogn. Neurosci. 17 (2005) 724-739], the anterior lateral prefrontal cortex/orbito-frontal cortex proved important for processing temporal information. The left anterior temporal lobe was particularly important during emotional stories. Most importantly, spatial information elicited bilateral activation in the collateral sulci and the posterior cingulate cortex, areas important for visuo-spatial cognition. These findings provide further evidence for content-specific processes during text comprehension.

  2. 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.

  3. Structure-guided mutagenesis reveals a hierarchical mechanism of Parkin activation

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Matthew Y.; Vranas, Marta; Krahn, Andrea I.; Pundlik, Shayal; Trempe, Jean- François; Fon, Edward A.

    2017-01-01

    Parkin and PINK1 function in a common pathway to clear damaged mitochondria. Parkin exists in an auto-inhibited conformation stabilized by multiple interdomain interactions. The binding of PINK1-generated phospho-ubiquitin and the phosphorylation of the ubiquitin-like (Ubl) domain of Parkin at Ser65 release its auto-inhibition, but how and when these events take place in cells remain to be defined. Here we show that mutations that we designed to activate Parkin by releasing the Repressor Element of Parkin (REP) domain, or by disrupting the interface between the RING0:RING2 domains, can completely rescue mutations in the Parkin Ubl that are defective in mitochondrial autophagy. Using a FRET reporter assay we show that Parkin undergoes a conformational change upon phosphorylation that can be mimicked by mutating Trp403 in the REP. We propose a hierarchical model whereby pUb binding on mitochondria enables Parkin phosphorylation, which, in turn, leads to REP removal, E3 ligase activation and mitophagy. PMID:28276439

  4. 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

  5. Transcriptomic profiling of microglia reveals signatures of cell activation and immune response, during experimental cerebral malaria.

    PubMed

    Capuccini, Barbara; Lin, Jingwen; Talavera-López, Carlos; Khan, Shahid M; Sodenkamp, Jan; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Langhorne, Jean

    2016-12-19

    Cerebral malaria is a pathology involving inflammation in the brain. There are many immune cell types activated during this process, but there is little information on the response of microglia, in this severe complication. We examined microglia by genome wide transcriptomic analysis in a model of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), in which C57BL/6 mice are infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA. Thousands of transcripts were differentially expressed in microglia at two different time points during infection. Proliferation of microglia was a dominant feature before the onset of ECM, and supporting this, we observed an increase in numbers of these cells in the brain. When cerebral malaria symptoms were manifest, genes involved in immune responses and chemokine production were upregulated, which were possibly driven by Type I Interferon. Consistent with this hypothesis, in vitro culture of a microglial cell line with Interferon-β, but not infected red blood cells, resulted in production of several of the chemokines shown to be upregulated in the gene expression analysis. It appears that these responses are associated with ECM, as microglia from mice infected with a mutant P. berghei parasite (ΔDPAP3), which does not cause ECM, did not show the same level of activation or proliferation.

  6. Effect of fluorocarbons on acetylcholinesterase activity and some counter measures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, W.; Parker, J. A.

    1975-01-01

    An isolated vagal sympathetic heart system has been successfully used for the study of the effect of fluorocarbons (FCs) on cardiac performance and in situ enzyme activity. Dichlorodifluoromethane sensitizes this preparation to sympathetic stimulation and to exogenous epinephrine challenge. Partial and complete A-V block and even cardiac arrest have been induced by epinephrine challenge in the FC sensitized heart. Potassium chloride alone restores the rhythmicity but not the normal contractility of the heart in such a situation. Addition of glucose will, however, completely restore the normal function of the heart which is sensitized by dichlorodifluoromethane. The ED 50 values of acetylcholinesterase activity which are used as a measure of relative effectiveness of fluorocarbons are compared with the maximum permissible concentration. Kinetic studies indicate that all the fluorocarbons tested so far are noncompetitive.

  7. Recent volcanic activity on Venus - Evidence from radiothermal emissivity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, C. A.; Wood, J. A.

    1993-03-01

    Radiothermal emissivity measurements are analyzed in order to study large volcanic constructs on Venus and to correlate details of the reflectivity/emissivity patterns with geological landforms and stratigraphy visible in corresponding SAR images. There appears to be a correlation between locations on Venus where high emissivity at high altitudes and low emissivity at low altitudes are observed. These phenomena are attributed here to relatively recent volcanic activity: the former to summit eruptions that have not had time to weather to the low-emissivity state, the latter to continuing emission of volcanic gases from neighboring small plains volcanoes. The pattern of reflectivity and emissivity on Maat Mons is examined in the light of these findings. It is concluded that Maat Mons has undergone the most recent episode of volcanic activity of all the volcanoes studied here.

  8. Recent volcanic activity on Venus - Evidence from radiothermal emissivity measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Cordula A.; Wood, John A.

    1993-01-01

    Radiothermal emissivity measurements are analyzed in order to study large volcanic constructs on Venus and to correlate details of the reflectivity/emissivity patterns with geological landforms and stratigraphy visible in corresponding SAR images. There appears to be a correlation between locations on Venus where high emissivity at high altitudes and low emissivity at low altitudes are observed. These phenomena are attributed here to relatively recent volcanic activity: the former to summit eruptions that have not had time to weather to the low-emissivity state, the latter to continuing emission of volcanic gases from neighboring small plains volcanoes. The pattern of reflectivity and emissivity on Maat Mons is examined in the light of these findings. It is concluded that Maat Mons has undergone the most recent episode of volcanic activity of all the volcanoes studied here.

  9. Comparison of ionization chamber efficiencies for activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Schrader, H; Svec, A

    2004-01-01

    The calibration of ionization chamber measuring systems in terms of activity is described. The energy-dependent efficiency curves of three chambers at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, the National Physical Laboratory and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt are determined and compared using a fitting procedure for the experimental radionuclide efficiencies by the Microsoft (MS) EXCEL Solver program. An estimation of the uncertainty of the efficiency curves and the deviations of experimental and calculated radionuclide efficiencies are given. By this fitting method, discrepancies in the efficiency determination can be detected at a level of about one percent. Systematic deviations entering into the calculations either from emission probabilities per decay or from absolute activity standardization are discussed.

  10. Behavioral manifestations of audiometrically-defined "slight" or "hidden" hearing loss revealed by measures of binau