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Sample records for actual biological systems

  1. Gauging triple stores with actual biological data

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Semantic Web technologies have been developed to overcome the limitations of the current Web and conventional data integration solutions. The Semantic Web is expected to link all the data present on the Internet instead of linking just documents. One of the foundations of the Semantic Web technologies is the knowledge representation language Resource Description Framework (RDF). Knowledge expressed in RDF is typically stored in so-called triple stores (also known as RDF stores), from which it can be retrieved with SPARQL, a language designed for querying RDF-based models. The Semantic Web technologies should allow federated queries over multiple triple stores. In this paper we compare the efficiency of a set of biologically relevant queries as applied to a number of different triple store implementations. Results Previously we developed a library of queries to guide the use of our knowledge base Cell Cycle Ontology implemented as a triple store. We have now compared the performance of these queries on five non-commercial triple stores: OpenLink Virtuoso (Open-Source Edition), Jena SDB, Jena TDB, SwiftOWLIM and 4Store. We examined three performance aspects: the data uploading time, the query execution time and the scalability. The queries we had chosen addressed diverse ontological or biological questions, and we found that individual store performance was quite query-specific. We identified three groups of queries displaying similar behaviour across the different stores: 1) relatively short response time queries, 2) moderate response time queries and 3) relatively long response time queries. SwiftOWLIM proved to be a winner in the first group, 4Store in the second one and Virtuoso in the third one. Conclusions Our analysis showed that some queries behaved idiosyncratically, in a triple store specific manner, mainly with SwiftOWLIM and 4Store. Virtuoso, as expected, displayed a very balanced performance - its load time and its response time for all the

  2. Biological system interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Adomian, G; Adomian, G E; Bellman, R E

    1984-01-01

    Mathematical modeling of cellular population growth, interconnected subsystems of the body, blood flow, and numerous other complex biological systems problems involves nonlinearities and generally randomness as well. Such problems have been dealt with by mathematical methods often changing the actual model to make it tractable. The method presented in this paper (and referenced works) allows much more physically realistic solutions. PMID:6585837

  3. Systems interface biology

    PubMed Central

    Doyle, Francis J; Stelling, Jörg

    2006-01-01

    The field of systems biology has attracted the attention of biologists, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and others in an endeavour to create systems-level understanding of complex biological networks. In particular, systems engineering methods are finding unique opportunities in characterizing the rich behaviour exhibited by biological systems. In the same manner, these new classes of biological problems are motivating novel developments in theoretical systems approaches. Hence, the interface between systems and biology is of mutual benefit to both disciplines. PMID:16971329

  4. Systems interface biology.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Francis J; Stelling, Jörg

    2006-10-22

    The field of systems biology has attracted the attention of biologists, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and others in an endeavour to create systems-level understanding of complex biological networks. In particular, systems engineering methods are finding unique opportunities in characterizing the rich behaviour exhibited by biological systems. In the same manner, these new classes of biological problems are motivating novel developments in theoretical systems approaches. Hence, the interface between systems and biology is of mutual benefit to both disciplines.

  5. Measuring the Disparities between Biology Undergraduates' Perceptions and Their Actual Knowledge of Scientific Literature with Clickers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandyopadhyay, Aditi

    2013-01-01

    This article demonstrates an innovative method used to determine the need for information literacy among science undergraduate students at Adelphi University. Using clickers technology, this study measured the disconnect between biology undergraduates' perceived and actual knowledge of scientific literature. The quantitative data collected in the…

  6. Systems Biology of Embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Edelman, Lucas B.; Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Price, Nathan D.

    2010-01-01

    The development of a complete organism from a single cell involves extraordinarily complex orchestration of biological processes that vary intricately across space and time. Systems biology seeks to describe how all elements of a biological system interact in order to understand, model, and ultimately predict aspects of emergent biological processes. Embryogenesis represents an extraordinary opportunity – and challenge – for the application of systems biology. Systems approaches have already been used successfully to study various aspects of development, from complex intracellular networks to 4D models of organogenesis. Going forward, great advancements and discoveries can be expected from systems approaches applied to embryogenesis and developmental biology. PMID:20003850

  7. Biological conversion system

    DOEpatents

    Scott, C.D.

    A system for bioconversion of organic material comprises a primary bioreactor column wherein a biological active agent (zymomonas mobilis) converts the organic material (sugar) to a product (alcohol), a rejuvenator column wherein the biological activity of said biological active agent is enhanced, and means for circulating said biological active agent between said primary bioreactor column and said rejuvenator column.

  8. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    PubMed Central

    Oprea, Tudor I.; May, Elebeoba E.; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology, SCB (Oprea et al., 2007). The overarching goal of computational SCB is to develop tools for integrated chemical-biological data acquisition, filtering and processing, by taking into account relevant information related to interactions between proteins and small molecules, possible metabolic transformations of small molecules, as well as associated information related to genes, networks, small molecules and, where applicable, mutants and variants of those proteins. There is yet an unmet need to develop an integrated in silico pharmacology / systems biology continuum that embeds drug-target-clinical outcome (DTCO) triplets, a capability that is vital to the future of chemical biology, pharmacology and systems biology. Through the development of the SCB approach, scientists will be able to start addressing, in an integrated simulation environment, questions that make the best use of our ever-growing chemical and biological data repositories at the system-wide level. This chapter reviews some of the major research concepts and describes key components that constitute the emerging area of computational systems chemical biology. PMID:20838980

  9. Computational systems chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Oprea, Tudor I; May, Elebeoba E; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology (SCB) (Nat Chem Biol 3: 447-450, 2007).The overarching goal of computational SCB is to develop tools for integrated chemical-biological data acquisition, filtering and processing, by taking into account relevant information related to interactions between proteins and small molecules, possible metabolic transformations of small molecules, as well as associated information related to genes, networks, small molecules, and, where applicable, mutants and variants of those proteins. There is yet an unmet need to develop an integrated in silico pharmacology/systems biology continuum that embeds drug-target-clinical outcome (DTCO) triplets, a capability that is vital to the future of chemical biology, pharmacology, and systems biology. Through the development of the SCB approach, scientists will be able to start addressing, in an integrated simulation environment, questions that make the best use of our ever-growing chemical and biological data repositories at the system-wide level. This chapter reviews some of the major research concepts and describes key components that constitute the emerging area of computational systems chemical biology.

  10. Power Delivery from an Actual Thermoelectric Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaibe, Hiromasa; Kajihara, Takeshi; Nagano, Kouji; Makino, Kazuya; Hachiuma, Hirokuni; Natsuume, Daisuke

    2014-06-01

    Similar to photovoltaic (PV) and fuel cells, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) supply direct-current (DC) power, essentially requiring DC/alternating current (AC) conversion for delivery as electricity into the grid network. Use of PVs is already well established through power conditioning systems (PCSs) that enable DC/AC conversion with maximum-power-point tracking, which enables commercial use by customers. From the economic, legal, and regulatory perspectives, a commercial PCS for PVs should also be available for TEGs, preferably as is or with just simple adjustment. Herein, we report use of a PV PCS with an actual TEG. The results are analyzed, and proper application for TEGs is proposed.

  11. Teaching systems biology.

    PubMed

    Alves, R; Vilaprinyo, E; Sorribas, A

    2011-03-01

    Advances in systems biology are increasingly dependent upon the integration of various types of data and different methodologies to reconstruct how cells work at the systemic level. Thus, teams with a varied array of expertise and people with interdisciplinary training are needed. So far this training was thought to be more productive if aimed at the Masters or PhD level. At this level, multiple specialised and in-depth courses on the different subject matters of systems biology are taught to already well-prepared students. This approach is mostly based on the recognition that systems biology requires a wide background that is hard to find in undergraduate students. Nevertheless, and given the importance of the field, the authors argue that exposition of undergraduate students to the methods and paradigms of systems biology would be advantageous. Here they present and discuss a successful experiment in teaching systems biology to third year undergraduate biotechnology students at the University of Lleida in Spain. The authors' experience, together with that from others, argues for the adequateness of teaching systems biology at the undergraduate level. [Includes supplementary material].

  12. Actual evapotranspiration and deficit: Biologically meaningful correlates of vegetation distribution across spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephenson, N.L.

    1998-01-01

    Correlative approaches to understanding the climatic controls of vegetation distribution have exhibited at least two important weaknesses: they have been conceptually divorced across spatial scales, and their climatic parameters have not necessarily represented aspects of climate of broad physiological importance to plants. Using examples from the literature and from the Sierra Nevada of California, I argue that two water balance parameters-actual evapotranspiration (AET) and deficit (D)-are biologically meaningful, are well correlated with the distribution of vegetation types, and exhibit these qualities over several orders of magnitude of spatial scale (continental to local). I reach four additional conclusions. (1) Some pairs of climatic parameters presently in use are functionally similar to AET and D; however, AET and D may be easier to interpret biologically. (2) Several well-known climatic parameters are biologically less meaningful or less important than AET and D, and consequently are poorer correlates of the distribution of vegetation types. Of particular interest, AET is a much better correlate of the distributions of coniferous and deciduous forests than minimum temperature. (3) The effects of evaporative demand and water availability on a site's water balance are intrinsically different. For example, the 'dry' experienced by plants on sunward slopes (high evaporative demand) is not comparable to the 'dry' experienced by plants on soils with low water-holding capacities (low water availability), and these differences are reflected in vegetation patterns. (4) Many traditional topographic moisture scalars-those that additively combine measures related to evaporative demand and water availability are not necessarily meaningful for describing site conditions as sensed by plants; the same holds for measured soil moisture. However, using AET and D in place of moisture scalars and measured soil moisture can solve these problems.

  13. Systems Biology of Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jens

    2017-03-08

    Metabolism is highly complex and involves thousands of different connected reactions; it is therefore necessary to use mathematical models for holistic studies. The use of mathematical models in biology is referred to as systems biology. In this review, the principles of systems biology are described, and two different types of mathematical models used for studying metabolism are discussed: kinetic models and genome-scale metabolic models. The use of different omics technologies, including transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and fluxomics, for studying metabolism is presented. Finally, the application of systems biology for analyzing global regulatory structures, engineering the metabolism of cell factories, and analyzing human diseases is discussed. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 86 is June 20, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  14. Tutorial on Actual Space Environmental Hazards For Space Systems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazur, J. E.; Fennell, J. F.; Guild, T. B.; O'Brien, T. P.

    2013-12-01

    It has become common in the space science community to conduct research on diverse physical phenomena because they are thought to contribute to space weather. However, satellites contend with only three primary environmental hazards: single event effects, vehicle charging, and total dose, and not every physical phenomenon that occurs in space contributes in substantial ways to create these hazards. One consequence of the mismatch between actual threats and all-encompassing research is the often-described gap between research and operations; another is the creation of forecasts that provide no actionable information for design engineers or spacecraft operators. An example of the latter is the physics of magnetic field emergence on the Sun; the phenomenon is relevant to the formation and launch of coronal mass ejections and is also causally related to the solar energetic particles that may get accelerated in the interplanetary shock. Unfortunately for the research community, the engineering community mitigates the space weather threat (single-event effects from heavy ions above ~50 MeV/nucleon) with a worst-case specification of the environment and not with a prediction. Worst-case definition requires data mining of past events, while predictions involve large-scale systems science from the Sun to the Earth that is compelling for scientists and their funding agencies but not actionable for design or for most operations. Differing priorities among different space-faring organizations only compounds the confusion over what science research is relevant. Solar particle impacts to human crew arise mainly from the total ionizing dose from the solar protons, so the priority for prediction in the human spaceflight community is therefore much different than in the unmanned satellite community, while both communities refer to the fundamental phenomenon as space weather. Our goal in this paper is the presentation of a brief tutorial on the primary space environmental phenomena

  15. Computational Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    McDermott, Jason E.; Samudrala, Ram; Bumgarner, Roger E.; Montogomery, Kristina; Ireton, Renee

    2009-05-01

    Computational systems biology is the term that we use to describe computational methods to identify, infer, model, and store relationships between the molecules, pathways, and cells (“systems”) involved in a living organism. Based on this definition, the field of computational systems biology has been in existence for some time. However, the recent confluence of high throughput methodology for biological data gathering, genome-scale sequencing and computational processing power has driven a reinvention and expansion of this field. The expansions include not only modeling of small metabolic{Ishii, 2004 #1129; Ekins, 2006 #1601; Lafaye, 2005 #1744} and signaling systems{Stevenson-Paulik, 2006 #1742; Lafaye, 2005 #1744} but also modeling of the relationships between biological components in very large systems, incluyding whole cells and organisms {Ideker, 2001 #1124; Pe'er, 2001 #1172; Pilpel, 2001 #393; Ideker, 2002 #327; Kelley, 2003 #1117; Shannon, 2003 #1116; Ideker, 2004 #1111}{Schadt, 2003 #475; Schadt, 2006 #1661}{McDermott, 2002 #878; McDermott, 2005 #1271}. Generally these models provide a general overview of one or more aspects of these systems and leave the determination of details to experimentalists focused on smaller subsystems. The promise of such approaches is that they will elucidate patterns, relationships and general features that are not evident from examining specific components or subsystems. These predictions are either interesting in and of themselves (for example, the identification of an evolutionary pattern), or are interesting and valuable to researchers working on a particular problem (for example highlight a previously unknown functional pathway). Two events have occurred to bring about the field computational systems biology to the forefront. One is the advent of high throughput methods that have generated large amounts of information about particular systems in the form of genetic studies, gene expression analyses (both protein and

  16. Plant Systems Biology (editorial)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In June 2003, Plant Physiology published an Arabidopsis special issue devoted to plant systems biology. The intention of Natasha Raikhel and Gloria Coruzzi, the two editors of this first-of-its-kind issue, was ‘‘to help nucleate this new effort within the plant community’’ as they considered that ‘‘...

  17. Fact-finding survey of actual garbage discharged from dormitory and its biological anaerobic-aerobic treatment.

    PubMed

    Imai, T; Ukita, M; Sekine, M; Fukagawa, M; Nakanishi, H

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study is to find a possibility of complete treatment of garbage and resource recovery (production of methane from available utility of carbon resource in garbage) by biological treatment process. As the first step, a fact-finding survey of actual garbage discharged from the dormitory of the Ube National College of Technology (equivalent to 300 population) was carried out. Second, the combined biological anaerobic-aerobic treatment, i.e. combination of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) process and aerobic membrane bioreactor (AMB) process, was applied to the garbage treatment. The applicability and efficiency of this system were investigated in this study. The survey results showed that the composition and quantity of garbage from a student dormitory changed slightly during a week due to the change of the menu, however, they remained almost unchanged during the entire experimental period. The experimental results showed high biodegradability of the garbage, and demonstrated its suitability for methane production. The soluble nitrogen removal was high: over 97%. No excess sludge was wasted from the system. A high treatment efficiency of simultaneous organic carbon and nitrogen was obtained. The possibility of complete treatment of garbage with this process has been positively demonstrated by this study.

  18. 7th Annual Systems Biology Symposium: Systems Biology and Engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Galitski, Timothy P.

    2008-04-01

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

  19. High School Biology Today: What the Committee of Ten Actually Said

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Keith; Robbins, Dennis M.

    2007-01-01

    This essay describes how in the 1890s the Committee of Ten arrived at their recommendations about the organization of the high school biological sciences and seeks to correct the frequently held, but erroneous view that the Committee of Ten was the initiator of the Biology-Chemistry-Physics order of teaching sciences prevalent in high schools…

  20. Industrial systems biology.

    PubMed

    Otero, José Manuel; Nielsen, Jens

    2010-02-15

    The chemical industry is currently undergoing a dramatic change driven by demand for developing more sustainable processes for the production of fuels, chemicals, and materials. In biotechnological processes different microorganisms can be exploited, and the large diversity of metabolic reactions represents a rich repository for the design of chemical conversion processes that lead to efficient production of desirable products. However, often microorganisms that produce a desirable product, either naturally or because they have been engineered through insertion of heterologous pathways, have low yields and productivities, and in order to establish an economically viable process it is necessary to improve the performance of the microorganism. Here metabolic engineering is the enabling technology. Through metabolic engineering the metabolic landscape of the microorganism is engineered such that there is an efficient conversion of the raw material, typically glucose, to the product of interest. This process may involve both insertion of new enzymes activities, deletion of existing enzyme activities, but often also deregulation of existing regulatory structures operating in the cell. In order to rapidly identify the optimal metabolic engineering strategy the industry is to an increasing extent looking into the use of tools from systems biology. This involves both x-ome technologies such as transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and fluxome analysis, and advanced mathematical modeling tools such as genome-scale metabolic modeling. Here we look into the history of these different techniques and review how they find application in industrial biotechnology, which will lead to what we here define as industrial systems biology.

  1. Virtual vision system with actual flavor by olfactory display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Kunio; Kanazawa, Fumihiro

    2010-11-01

    The authors have researched multimedia system and support system for nursing studies on and practices of reminiscence therapy and life review therapy. The concept of the life review is presented by Butler in 1963. The process of thinking back on one's life and communicating about one's life to another person is called life review. There is a famous episode concerning the memory. It is called as Proustian effects. This effect is mentioned on the Proust's novel as an episode that a story teller reminds his old memory when he dipped a madeleine in tea. So many scientists research why smells trigger the memory. The authors pay attention to the relation between smells and memory although the reason is not evident yet. Then we have tried to add an olfactory display to the multimedia system so that the smells become a trigger of reminding buried memories. An olfactory display is a device that delivers smells to the nose. It provides us with special effects, for example to emit smell as if you were there or to give a trigger for reminding us of memories. The authors have developed a tabletop display system connected with the olfactory display. For delivering a flavor to user's nose, the system needs to recognition and measure positions of user's face and nose. In this paper, the authors describe an olfactory display which enables to detect the nose position for an effective delivery.

  2. Actualizing sustainability: environmental policy for resilience in ecological systems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Society benefits from ecological systems in many ways. These benefits are often referred to as ecosystem services (MA 2005). Because these services matter to humans, they are critical to sustainability. Sustainability has many definitions, but for this chapter, we link our defi...

  3. Systems biology: a biologist's viewpoint.

    PubMed

    Bose, Biplab

    2013-12-01

    The debate over reductionism and antireductionism in biology is very old. Even the systems approach in biology is more than five decades old. However, mainstream biology, particularly experimental biology, has broadly sidestepped those debates and ideas. Post-genome data explosion and development of high-throughput techniques led to resurfacing of those ideas and debates as a new incarnation called Systems Biology. Though experimental biologists have co-opted systems biology and hailed it as a paradigm shift, it is practiced in different shades and understood with divergent meanings. Biology has certain questions linked with organization of multiple components and processes. Often such questions involve multilevel systems. Here in this essay we argue that systems theory provides required framework and abstractions to explore those questions. We argue that systems biology should follow the logical and mathematical approach of systems theory and transmogrification of systems biology to mere collection of higher dimensional data must be avoided. Therefore, the questions that we ask and the priority of those questions should also change. Systems biology should focus on system-level properties and investigate complexity without shying away from it.

  4. Systems Biology of Coagulation

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Scott L.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate computer simulation of blood function can inform drug target selection, patient-specific dosing, clinical trial design, biomedical device design, as well as the scoring of patient-specific disease risk and severity. These large-scale simulations rely on hundreds of independently measured physical parameters and kinetic rate constants. However, the models can be validated against large scale, patient-specific laboratory measurements. By validation with high dimensional data, modelling becomes a powerful tool to predict clinically complex scenarios. Currently, it is possible to accurately predict the clotting rate of plasma or blood in a tube as it is activated with a dose of tissue factor, even as numerous coagulation factors are altered by exogenous attenuation or potentiation. Similarly, the dynamics of platelet activation, as indicated by calcium mobilisation or inside-out signalling, can now be numerically simulated with accuracy in cases where platelets are exposed to combinations of agonists. Multiscale models have emerged to combine platelet function and coagulation kinetics into complete physics-based descriptions of thrombosis under flow. Blood flow controls platelet fluxes, delivery and removal of coagulation factors, adhesive bonding, and von Willebrand factor conformation. The field of Blood Systems Biology has now reached a stage that anticipates the inclusion of contact, complement, and fibrinolytic pathways along with models of neutrophil and endothelial activation. Along with “-omics” data sets, such advanced models seek to predict the multifactorial range of healthy responses and diverse bleeding and clotting scenarios, ultimately to understand and improve patient outcomes. PMID:23809126

  5. Biological Resource Centers and Systems Biology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yufeng; Lilburn, Timothy G

    2009-02-11

    There are hundreds of Biological Resource Centers (BRCs) around the world, holding many little-studied microorganism. The proportion of bacterial strains that is well represented in the sequence and literature databases may be as low as 1%. This body of unexplored diversity represents an untapped source of useful strains and derived products. However, a modicum of phenotypic data is available for almost all the bacterial strains held by BRCs around the world. It is at the phenotypic level that our knowledge of the well-studied strains of bacteria and the many yet-to-be studied strains intersects. This suggests we might leverage the phenotypic data from the data-poor bacteria with the omics data from the data-rich bacteria, using our knowledge of their evolutionary relationships, to map the metabolic networks of the little-known bacteria. This systems biology-based approach is a new way to explore the diversity harbored in BRCs.

  6. Hierarchical structure of biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Alcocer-Cuarón, Carlos; Rivera, Ana L; Castaño, Victor M

    2014-01-01

    A general theory of biological systems, based on few fundamental propositions, allows a generalization of both Wierner and Berthalanffy approaches to theoretical biology. Here, a biological system is defined as a set of self-organized, differentiated elements that interact pair-wise through various networks and media, isolated from other sets by boundaries. Their relation to other systems can be described as a closed loop in a steady-state, which leads to a hierarchical structure and functioning of the biological system. Our thermodynamical approach of hierarchical character can be applied to biological systems of varying sizes through some general principles, based on the exchange of energy information and/or mass from and within the systems. PMID:24145961

  7. From systems biology to systems biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Antony, Paul M A; Balling, Rudi; Vlassis, Nikos

    2012-08-01

    Systems Biology is about combining theory, technology, and targeted experiments in a way that drives not only data accumulation but knowledge as well. The challenge in Systems Biomedicine is to furthermore translate mechanistic insights in biological systems to clinical application, with the central aim of improving patients' quality of life. The challenge is to find theoretically well-chosen models for the contextually correct and intelligible representation of multi-scale biological systems. In this review, we discuss the current state of Systems Biology, highlight the emergence of Systems Biomedicine, and highlight some of the topics and views that we think are important for the efficient application of Systems Theory in Biomedicine.

  8. The nature of systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Frank J; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2007-01-01

    The advent of functional genomics has enabled the molecular biosciences to come a long way towards characterizing the molecular constituents of life. Yet, the challenge for biology overall is to understand how organisms function. By discovering how function arises in dynamic interactions, systems biology addresses the missing links between molecules and physiology. Top-down systems biology identifies molecular interaction networks on the basis of correlated molecular behavior observed in genome-wide "omics" studies. Bottom-up systems biology examines the mechanisms through which functional properties arise in the interactions of known components. Here, we outline the challenges faced by systems biology and discuss limitations of the top-down and bottom-up approaches, which, despite these limitations, have already led to the discovery of mechanisms and principles that underlie cell function.

  9. Systems biology of aging.

    PubMed

    Bolt, Kendra; Bergman, Aviv

    2015-01-01

    Human aging occurs at rates that vary widely between organisms and cell types. We hypothesize that in both cases, variation is due to differences in heat production, heat management and molecular susceptibility to heat-induced change. Metabolic rates have long been implored for their contributions to the aging process, with a negative correlation observed between basal metabolic rate and lifespan (Savage et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104:4718–4723, 2007, Economos, Exp Gerontol 17:145–152, 1982, Keys et al., Metabolism 22:579–587, 1973, O’Connor et al., Comp Biochem Physiol Part A, Molr & Integr Physiol 133:835–842, 2002, Speakman, J Exp Biol 208:1717–1730, 2005, Poehlman, J Am Geriatrics Soc 41:552–559, 1993). Small amounts of heat are the well-known byproduct of metabolism and other biological processes, and despite their magnitude, are sufficient to elicit alterations in biomolecular characteristics (Somero, Ann Rev Physiol 57:43–68, 1995). Existing theories of aging suggest that damage occurs to the conformations or sequences of molecules, which only shifts focus onto the implied failure of repair mechanisms. Contrarily, heat-induced changes affect the behavioral characteristics of molecules and are thus able to persist “under the radar” of heat shock proteins and other canalizing mechanisms, which recognize only physical aberrancies (Rutherford and Lindquist, Nature 396:336–342, 1998, Siegal and Bergman, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99:10528–10532, 2002, Waddington, Nature 150:563–565, 1942). According to our hypothesis, behavioral changes to the binding affinities, kinetics, motilities, and functionalities are dependent on minute energetic fields within and between molecules. Exposure to the thermal byproducts of metabolism cause heritable shifts in molecular interaction schemes and diminish the integrity of genetic and epigenetic networks. Restructured topologies alter the emergent properties of networks and are observed as the

  10. Systems biology of human atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Shalhoub, Joseph; Sikkel, Markus B; Davies, Kerry J; Vorkas, Panagiotis A; Want, Elizabeth J; Davies, Alun H

    2014-01-01

    Systems biology describes a holistic and integrative approach to understand physiology and pathology. The "omic" disciplines include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolic profiling (metabonomics and metabolomics). By adopting a stance, which is opposing (yet complimentary) to conventional research techniques, systems biology offers an overview by assessing the "net" biological effect imposed by a disease or nondisease state. There are a number of different organizational levels to be understood, from DNA to protein, metabolites, cells, organs and organisms, even beyond this to an organism's context. Systems biology relies on the existence of "nodes" and "edges." Nodes are the constituent part of the system being studied (eg, proteins in the proteome), while the edges are the way these constituents interact. In future, it will be increasingly important to collaborate, collating data from multiple studies to improve data sets, making them freely available and undertaking integrative analyses.

  11. Imaging methodologies for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sarah E; Slaughter, Brian D; Unruh, Jay R

    2014-01-01

    Systems biology has recently achieved significant success in the understanding of complex interconnected phenomena such as cell polarity and migration. In this context, the definition of systems biology has come to encompass the integration of quantitative measurements with sophisticated modeling approaches. This article will review recent progress in live cell imaging technologies that have expanded the possibilities of quantitative in vivo measurements, particularly in regards to molecule counting and quantitative measurements of protein concentration and dynamics. These methods have gained and continue to gain popularity with the biological community. In general, we will discuss three broad categories: protein interactions, protein quantitation, and protein dynamics.

  12. Biological Life Support Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Session MP2 includes short reports on: (1) Crew Regenerative Life Support in Long Duration Space Missions; (2) Bioconversion Systems for Food and Water on Long Term Space Missions; (3) Novel Laboratory Approaches to Multi-purpose Aquatic Biogenerative Closed-Loop Food Production Systems; and (4) Artificial Neural Network Derived Plant Growth Models.

  13. Teaching Biological Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, Julia

    1988-01-01

    Described is an activity which allows the investigation of human body systems using textbooks to enhance research skills and providing an opportunity for collaboration between pupils. Discussed are the purpose, materials, method, and results of this teaching method. Reported are some of the advantages of using this activity in teaching systems.…

  14. Kinetic Modeling of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Petzold, Linda; Pettigrew, Michel F.

    2010-01-01

    The dynamics of how the constituent components of a natural system interact defines the spatio-temporal response of the system to stimuli. Modeling the kinetics of the processes that represent a biophysical system has long been pursued with the aim of improving our understanding of the studied system. Due to the unique properties of biological systems, in addition to the usual difficulties faced in modeling the dynamics of physical or chemical systems, biological simulations encounter difficulties that result from intrinsic multiscale and stochastic nature of the biological processes. This chapter discusses the implications for simulation of models involving interacting species with very low copy numbers, which often occur in biological systems and give rise to significant relative fluctuations. The conditions necessitating the use of stochastic kinetic simulation methods and the mathematical foundations of the stochastic simulation algorithms are presented. How the well-organized structural hierarchies often seen in biological systems can lead to multiscale problems, and possible ways to address the encountered computational difficulties are discussed. We present the details of the existing kinetic simulation methods, and discuss their strengths and shortcomings. A list of the publicly available kinetic simulation tools and our reflections for future prospects are also provided. PMID:19381542

  15. Modelling codependence in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Mandel, J J; Palfreyman, N M; Dubitzky, W

    2007-01-01

    A central aim of systems biology is to elucidate the complex dynamic structure of biological systems within which functioning and control occur. The success of this endeavour requires a dialogue between the two quite distinct disciplines of life science and systems theory, and so drives the need for graphical notations which facilitate this dialogue. Several methods have been developed for modelling and simulating biochemical networks, some of which provide notations for graphicall4y constructing a model. Such notations must support the full panoply of mechanisms of systems biology, including metabolic, regulatory, signalling and transport processes. Notations in systems biology tend to fall into two groups. The first group derives its orientation from conventional biochemical pathway diagrams, and so tends to ignore the role of information processing. The second group focuses on the processing of information, incorporating information-processing ideas from other systems-oriented disciplines, such as engineering and business. This, however, can lead to the two crucial and related difficulties of impedance mismatch and conceptual baggage. Impedance mismatch concerns the rift between non-biological notations and biological reality, which forces the researcher to employ awkward workarounds when modelling uniquely biological mechanisms. Conceptual baggage can arise when, for instance, an engineering notation is adapted to cater for these distinctively biological needs, since these adaptations will, typically, never completely free the notation of the conceptual structure of its original engineering motivation. A novel formalism, codependence modelling, which seeks to combine the needs of the biologist with the mathematical rigour required to support computer simulation of dynamics is proposed here. The notion of codependence encompasses the transformation of both chemical substance and information, thus integrating both metabolic and gene regulatory processes within a

  16. Circadian systems biology in Metazoa.

    PubMed

    Lin, Li-Ling; Huang, Hsuan-Cheng; Juan, Hsueh-Fen

    2015-11-01

    Systems biology, which can be defined as integrative biology, comprises multistage processes that can be used to understand components of complex biological systems of living organisms and provides hierarchical information to decoding life. Using systems biology approaches such as genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, it is now possible to delineate more complicated interactions between circadian control systems and diseases. The circadian rhythm is a multiscale phenomenon existing within the body that influences numerous physiological activities such as changes in gene expression, protein turnover, metabolism and human behavior. In this review, we describe the relationships between the circadian control system and its related genes or proteins, and circadian rhythm disorders in systems biology studies. To maintain and modulate circadian oscillation, cells possess elaborative feedback loops composed of circadian core proteins that regulate the expression of other genes through their transcriptional activities. The disruption of these rhythms has been reported to be associated with diseases such as arrhythmia, obesity, insulin resistance, carcinogenesis and disruptions in natural oscillations in the control of cell growth. This review demonstrates that lifestyle is considered as a fundamental factor that modifies circadian rhythm, and the development of dysfunctions and diseases could be regulated by an underlying expression network with multiple circadian-associated signals.

  17. GPU computing for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Dematté, Lorenzo; Prandi, Davide

    2010-05-01

    The development of detailed, coherent, models of complex biological systems is recognized as a key requirement for integrating the increasing amount of experimental data. In addition, in-silico simulation of bio-chemical models provides an easy way to test different experimental conditions, helping in the discovery of the dynamics that regulate biological systems. However, the computational power required by these simulations often exceeds that available on common desktop computers and thus expensive high performance computing solutions are required. An emerging alternative is represented by general-purpose scientific computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU), which offers the power of a small computer cluster at a cost of approximately $400. Computing with a GPU requires the development of specific algorithms, since the programming paradigm substantially differs from traditional CPU-based computing. In this paper, we review some recent efforts in exploiting the processing power of GPUs for the simulation of biological systems.

  18. Systems biology approach to bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Chakraborty, Romy; Wu, Cindy H.; Hazen, Terry C.

    2012-06-01

    Bioremediation has historically been approached as a ‘black box’ in terms of our fundamental understanding. Thus it succeeds and fails, seldom without a complete understanding of why. Systems biology is an integrated research approach to study complex biological systems, by investigating interactions and networks at the molecular, cellular, community, and ecosystem level. The knowledge of these interactions within individual components is fundamental to understanding the dynamics of the ecosystem under investigation. Finally, understanding and modeling functional microbial community structure and stress responses in environments at all levels have tremendous implications for our fundamental understanding of hydrobiogeochemical processes and the potential for making bioremediation breakthroughs and illuminating the ‘black box’.

  19. Workshop Introduction: Systems Biology and Biological Models

    EPA Science Inventory

    As we consider the future of toxicity testing, the importance of applying biological models to this problem is clear. Modeling efforts exist along a continuum with respect to the level of organization (e.g. cell, tissue, organism) linked to the resolution of the model. Generally,...

  20. Theoretical aspects of Systems Biology.

    PubMed

    Bizzarri, Mariano; Palombo, Alessandro; Cucina, Alessandra

    2013-05-01

    The natural world consists of hierarchical levels of complexity that range from subatomic particles and molecules to ecosystems and beyond. This implies that, in order to explain the features and behavior of a whole system, a theory might be required that would operate at the corresponding hierarchical level, i.e. where self-organization processes take place. In the past, biological research has focused on questions that could be answered by a reductionist program of genetics. The organism (and its development) was considered an epiphenomenona of its genes. However, a profound rethinking of the biological paradigm is now underway and it is likely that such a process will lead to a conceptual revolution emerging from the ashes of reductionism. This revolution implies the search for general principles on which a cogent theory of biology might rely. Because much of the logic of living systems is located at higher levels, it is imperative to focus on them. Indeed, both evolution and physiology work on these levels. Thus, by no means Systems Biology could be considered a 'simple' 'gradual' extension of Molecular Biology.

  1. Systems biology: the reincarnation of systems theory applied in biology?

    PubMed

    Wolkenhauer, O

    2001-09-01

    With the availability of quantitative data on the transcriptome and proteome level, there is an increasing interest in formal mathematical models of gene expression and regulation. International conferences, research institutes and research groups concerned with systems biology have appeared in recent years and systems theory, the study of organisation and behaviour per se, is indeed a natural conceptual framework for such a task. This is, however, not the first time that systems theory has been applied in modelling cellular processes. Notably in the 1960s systems theory and biology enjoyed considerable interest among eminent scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Why did these early attempts vanish from research agendas? Here we shall review the domain of systems theory, its application to biology and the lessons that can be learned from the work of Robert Rosen. Rosen emerged from the early developments in the 1960s as a main critic but also developed a new alternative perspective to living systems, a concept that deserves a fresh look in the post-genome era of bioinformatics.

  2. Systems biology of industrial microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Papini, Marta; Salazar, Margarita; Nielsen, Jens

    2010-01-01

    The field of industrial biotechnology is expanding rapidly as the chemical industry is looking towards more sustainable production of chemicals that can be used as fuels or building blocks for production of solvents and materials. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocesses, it is a major challenge to design and develop efficient cell factories that can ensure cost efficient conversion of the raw material into the chemical of interest. This is achieved through metabolic engineering, where the metabolism of the cell factory is engineered such that there is an efficient conversion of sugars, the typical raw materials in the fermentation industry, into the desired product. However, engineering of cellular metabolism is often challenging due to the complex regulation that has evolved in connection with adaptation of the different microorganisms to their ecological niches. In order to map these regulatory structures and further de-regulate them, as well as identify ingenious metabolic engineering strategies that full-fill mass balance constraints, tools from systems biology can be applied. This involves both high-throughput analysis tools like transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analysis, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies. It is in fact expected that systems biology may substantially improve the process of cell factory development, and we therefore propose the term Industrial Systems Biology for how systems biology will enhance the development of industrial biotechnology for sustainable chemical production.

  3. Systems Biology of Industrial Microorganisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papini, Marta; Salazar, Margarita; Nielsen, Jens

    The field of industrial biotechnology is expanding rapidly as the chemical industry is looking towards more sustainable production of chemicals that can be used as fuels or building blocks for production of solvents and materials. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocesses, it is a major challenge to design and develop efficient cell factories that can ensure cost efficient conversion of the raw material into the chemical of interest. This is achieved through metabolic engineering, where the metabolism of the cell factory is engineered such that there is an efficient conversion of sugars, the typical raw materials in the fermentation industry, into the desired product. However, engineering of cellular metabolism is often challenging due to the complex regulation that has evolved in connection with adaptation of the different microorganisms to their ecological niches. In order to map these regulatory structures and further de-regulate them, as well as identify ingenious metabolic engineering strategies that full-fill mass balance constraints, tools from systems biology can be applied. This involves both high-throughput analysis tools like transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analysis, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies. It is in fact expected that systems biology may substantially improve the process of cell factory development, and we therefore propose the term Industrial Systems Biology for how systems biology will enhance the development of industrial biotechnology for sustainable chemical production.

  4. Stochastic simulation in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Natural systems are, almost by definition, heterogeneous: this can be either a boon or an obstacle to be overcome, depending on the situation. Traditionally, when constructing mathematical models of these systems, heterogeneity has typically been ignored, despite its critical role. However, in recent years, stochastic computational methods have become commonplace in science. They are able to appropriately account for heterogeneity; indeed, they are based around the premise that systems inherently contain at least one source of heterogeneity (namely, intrinsic heterogeneity). In this mini-review, we give a brief introduction to theoretical modelling and simulation in systems biology and discuss the three different sources of heterogeneity in natural systems. Our main topic is an overview of stochastic simulation methods in systems biology. There are many different types of stochastic methods. We focus on one group that has become especially popular in systems biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. These discrete-state stochastic methods do not follow individuals over time; rather they track only total populations. They also assume that the volume of interest is spatially homogeneous. We give an overview of these methods, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggest when each is more appropriate to use. We also include references to software implementations of them, so that beginners can quickly start using stochastic methods for practical problems of interest. PMID:25505503

  5. Stochastic simulation in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-11-01

    Natural systems are, almost by definition, heterogeneous: this can be either a boon or an obstacle to be overcome, depending on the situation. Traditionally, when constructing mathematical models of these systems, heterogeneity has typically been ignored, despite its critical role. However, in recent years, stochastic computational methods have become commonplace in science. They are able to appropriately account for heterogeneity; indeed, they are based around the premise that systems inherently contain at least one source of heterogeneity (namely, intrinsic heterogeneity). In this mini-review, we give a brief introduction to theoretical modelling and simulation in systems biology and discuss the three different sources of heterogeneity in natural systems. Our main topic is an overview of stochastic simulation methods in systems biology. There are many different types of stochastic methods. We focus on one group that has become especially popular in systems biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. These discrete-state stochastic methods do not follow individuals over time; rather they track only total populations. They also assume that the volume of interest is spatially homogeneous. We give an overview of these methods, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggest when each is more appropriate to use. We also include references to software implementations of them, so that beginners can quickly start using stochastic methods for practical problems of interest.

  6. Mathematical methods in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Kashdan, Eugene; Duncan, Dominique; Parnell, Andrew; Schattler, Heinz

    2016-12-01

    The editors of this Special Issue of Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering were the organizers for the Third International Workshop "Mathematical Methods in System Biology" that took place on June 15-18, 2015 at the University College Dublin in Ireland. As stated in the workshop goals, we managed to attract a good mix of mathematicians and statisticians working on biological and medical applications with biologists and clinicians interested in presenting their challenging problems and looking to find mathematical and statistical tools for their solutions.

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-10-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Bridging the gap between systems biology and synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Di; Hoynes-O’Connor, Allison; Zhang, Fuzhong

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology is an inter-disciplinary science that studies the complex interactions and the collective behavior of a cell or an organism. Synthetic biology, as a technological subject, combines biological science and engineering, allowing the design and manipulation of a system for certain applications. Both systems and synthetic biology have played important roles in the recent development of microbial platforms for energy, materials, and environmental applications. More importantly, systems biology provides the knowledge necessary for the development of synthetic biology tools, which in turn facilitates the manipulation and understanding of complex biological systems. Thus, the combination of systems and synthetic biology has huge potential for studying and engineering microbes, especially to perform advanced tasks, such as producing biofuels. Although there have been very few studies in integrating systems and synthetic biology, existing examples have demonstrated great power in extending microbiological capabilities. This review focuses on recent efforts in microbiological genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, aiming to fill the gap between systems and synthetic biology. PMID:23898328

  10. System biology of gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Baitaluk, Michael

    2009-01-01

    ) questions of biological relevance. Thus systems biology could be treated as such a socioscientific phenomenon and a new approach to both experiments and theory that is defined by the strategy of pursuing integration of complex data about the interactions in biological systems from diverse experimental sources using interdisciplinary tools and personnel.

  11. Systems biology of diuretic resistance

    PubMed Central

    Knepper, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Diuretics are commonly used to treat hypertension and extracellular fluid volume expansion. However, the development of compensatory responses in the kidney limits the benefit of this class of drugs. In this issue of the JCI, Grimm and colleagues use a systems biology approach in mice lacking the kinase SPAK and unravel a complex mechanism that explains thiazide diuretic resistance. The overall process involves interactions among six different cell types in the kidney. PMID:25893597

  12. Network dynamics and systems biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norrell, Johannes A.

    The physics of complex systems has grown considerably as a field in recent decades, largely due to improved computational technology and increased availability of systems level data. One area in which physics is of growing relevance is molecular biology. A new field, systems biology, investigates features of biological systems as a whole, a strategy of particular importance for understanding emergent properties that result from a complex network of interactions. Due to the complicated nature of the systems under study, the physics of complex systems has a significant role to play in elucidating the collective behavior. In this dissertation, we explore three problems in the physics of complex systems, motivated in part by systems biology. The first of these concerns the applicability of Boolean models as an approximation of continuous systems. Studies of gene regulatory networks have employed both continuous and Boolean models to analyze the system dynamics, and the two have been found produce similar results in the cases analyzed. We ask whether or not Boolean models can generically reproduce the qualitative attractor dynamics of networks of continuously valued elements. Using a combination of analytical techniques and numerical simulations, we find that continuous networks exhibit two effects---an asymmetry between on and off states, and a decaying memory of events in each element's inputs---that are absent from synchronously updated Boolean models. We show that in simple loops these effects produce exactly the attractors that one would predict with an analysis of the stability of Boolean attractors, but in slightly more complicated topologies, they can destabilize solutions that are stable in the Boolean approximation, and can stabilize new attractors. Second, we investigate ensembles of large, random networks. Of particular interest is the transition between ordered and disordered dynamics, which is well characterized in Boolean systems. Networks at the

  13. Systems biology of kidney diseases.

    PubMed

    He, John Cijiang; Chuang, Peter Y; Ma'ayan, Avi; Iyengar, Ravi

    2012-01-01

    Kidney diseases manifest in progressive loss of renal function, which ultimately leads to complete kidney failure. The mechanisms underlying the origins and progression of kidney diseases are not fully understood. Multiple factors involved in the pathogenesis of kidney diseases have made the traditional candidate gene approach of limited value toward full understanding of the molecular mechanisms of these diseases. A systems biology approach that integrates computational modeling with large-scale data gathering of the molecular changes could be useful in identifying the multiple interacting genes and their products that drive kidney diseases. Advances in biotechnology now make it possible to gather large data sets to characterize the role of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome in kidney diseases. When combined with computational analyses, these experimental approaches will provide a comprehensive understanding of the underlying biological processes. Multiscale analysis that connects the molecular interactions and cell biology of different kidney cells to renal physiology and pathology can be utilized to identify modules of biological and clinical importance that are perturbed in disease processes. This integration of experimental approaches and computational modeling is expected to generate new knowledge that can help to identify marker sets to guide the diagnosis, monitor disease progression, and identify new therapeutic targets.

  14. Anion binding in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feiters, Martin C.; Meyer-Klaucke, Wolfram; Kostenko, Alexander V.; Soldatov, Alexander V.; Leblanc, Catherine; Michel, Gurvan; Potin, Philippe; Küpper, Frithjof C.; Hollenstein, Kaspar; Locher, Kaspar P.; Bevers, Loes E.; Hagedoorn, Peter-Leon; Hagen, Wilfred R.

    2009-11-01

    We compare aspects of biological X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) studies of cations and anions, and report on some examples of anion binding in biological systems. Brown algae such as Laminaria digitata (oarweed) are effective accumulators of I from seawater, with tissue concentrations exceeding 50 mM, and the vanadate-containing enzyme haloperoxidase is implicated in halide accumulation. We have studied the chemical state of iodine and its biological role in Laminaria at the I K edge, and bromoperoxidase from Ascophyllum nodosum (knotted wrack) at the Br K edge. Mo is essential for many forms of life; W only for certain archaea, such as Archaeoglobus fulgidus and the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus, and some bacteria. The metals are bound and transported as their oxo-anions, molybdate and tungstate, which are similar in size. The transport protein WtpA from P. furiosus binds tungstate more strongly than molybdate, and is related in sequence to Archaeoglobus fulgidus ModA, of which a crystal structure is known. We have measured A. fulgidus ModA with tungstate at the W L3 (2p3/2) edge, and compared the results with the refined crystal structure. XAS studies of anion binding are feasible even if only weak interactions are present, are biologically relevant, and give new insights in the spectroscopy.

  15. Biological treatment of actual petrochemical wastewater using anaerobic/anoxic/oxic process and the microbial diversity analysis.

    PubMed

    Ding, Pengyuan; Chu, Libing; Wang, Jianlong

    2016-12-01

    A novel process integrating anaerobic hydrolysis-acidification (HA) and anoxic/oxic (A/O) reactors was developed to treat the actual petrochemical wastewater, which was operated for more than 8 months, the removal efficiency of COD and NH4(+)-N was monitored, and the microbial community was analyzed. The results showed that the effluent concentrations were maintained at around 99 and 1.3 mg/L, with the removal efficiency of 70.6 and 95.4 %, respectively at a total hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20 h. The major pollutants in the influent were identified as hydrocarbons, aldehydes, heterocyclic matters, amines, alcohols, phenols, ketones, etc. by GC-MS analysis, while only heterocyclic compounds, ketones, and esters were detected in the effluent after HA-A/O treatment. Bacteria belonging to phyla Chloroflexi, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were highly enriched in the system. The predominant genera in HA, anoxic, and oxic tanks were Anaerolineaceae uncultured and Desulfobacter, Blastocatella and Anaerolineaceae uncultured, Saprospiraceae uncultured and Nitrosomonadaceae uncultured, respectively. The sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfobacter, Desulfofustis and Desulfomicrobium were detected only in HA reactor. The ammonium-oxidizing bacteria Nitrosomonadaceae and Nitrosomonas and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria Nitrospira were highly enriched in A/O reactor, which is consistent with the good nitrification performance.

  16. Decavanadate effects in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Aureliano, Manuel; Gândara, Ricardo M C

    2005-05-01

    Vanadium biological studies often disregarded the formation of decameric vanadate species known to interact, in vitro, with high-affinity with many proteins such as myosin and sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium pump and also to inhibit these biochemical systems involved in energy transduction. Moreover, very few in vivo animal studies involving vanadium consider the contribution of decavanadate to vanadium biological effects. Recently, it has been shown that an acute exposure to decavanadate but not to other vanadate oligomers induced oxidative stress and a different fate in vanadium intracellular accumulation. Several markers of oxidative stress analyzed on hepatic and cardiac tissue were monitored after in vivo effect of an acute exposure (12, 24 h and 7 days), to a sub-lethal concentration (5 mM; 1 mg/kg) of two vanadium solutions ("metavanadate" and "decavanadate"). It was observed that "decavanadate" promote different effects than other vanadate oligomers in catalase activity, glutathione content, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial superoxide anion production and vanadium accumulation, whereas both solutions seem to equally depress reactive oxygen species (ROS) production as well as total intracellular reducing power. Vanadium is accumulated in mitochondria in particular when "decavanadate" is administered. These recent findings, that are now summarized, point out the decameric vanadate species contributions to in vivo and in vitro effects induced by vanadium in biological systems.

  17. Autonomous Biological System (ABS) experiments.

    PubMed

    MacCallum, T K; Anderson, G A; Poynter, J E; Stodieck, L S; Klaus, D M

    1998-12-01

    Three space flight experiments have been conducted to test and demonstrate the use of a passively controlled, materially closed, bioregenerative life support system in space. The Autonomous Biological System (ABS) provides an experimental environment for long term growth and breeding of aquatic plants and animals. The ABS is completely materially closed, isolated from human life support systems and cabin atmosphere contaminants, and requires little need for astronaut intervention. Testing of the ABS marked several firsts: the first aquatic angiosperms to be grown in space; the first higher organisms (aquatic invertebrate animals) to complete their life cycles in space; the first completely bioregenerative life support system in space; and, among the first gravitational ecology experiments. As an introduction this paper describes the ABS, its flight performance, advantages and disadvantages.

  18. Biological Diversity in the Patent System

    PubMed Central

    Oldham, Paul; Hall, Stephen; Forero, Oscar

    2013-01-01

    Biological diversity in the patent system is an enduring focus of controversy but empirical analysis of the presence of biodiversity in the patent system has been limited. To address this problem we text mined 11 million patent documents for 6 million Latin species names from the Global Names Index (GNI) established by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). We identified 76,274 full Latin species names from 23,882 genera in 767,955 patent documents. 25,595 species appeared in the claims section of 136,880 patent documents. This reveals that human innovative activity involving biodiversity in the patent system focuses on approximately 4% of taxonomically described species and between 0.8–1% of predicted global species. In this article we identify the major features of the patent landscape for biological diversity by focusing on key areas including pharmaceuticals, neglected diseases, traditional medicines, genetic engineering, foods, biocides, marine genetic resources and Antarctica. We conclude that the narrow focus of human innovative activity and ownership of genetic resources is unlikely to be in the long term interest of humanity. We argue that a broader spectrum of biodiversity needs to be opened up to research and development based on the principles of equitable benefit-sharing, respect for the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, human rights and ethics. Finally, we argue that alternative models of innovation, such as open source and commons models, are required to open up biodiversity for research that addresses actual and neglected areas of human need. The research aims to inform the implementation of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization and international debates directed to the governance of genetic resources. Our research also aims to inform debates under the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual

  19. An Automated Biological Dosimetry System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorch, T.; Bille, J.; Frieben, M.; Stephan, G.

    1986-04-01

    The scoring of structural chromosome aberrations in peripheral human blood lymphocytes can be used in biological dosimetry to estimate the radiation dose which an individual has received. Especially the dicentric chromosome is a rather specific indicator for an exposure to ionizing radiation. For statistical reasons, in the low dose range a great number of cells must be analysed, which is a very tedious task. The resulting high cost of a biological dose estimation limits the application of this method to cases of suspected irradiation for which physical dosimetry is not possible or not sufficient. Therefore an automated system has been designed to do the major part of the routine work. It uses a standard light microscope with motorized scanning stage, a Plumbicon TV-camera, a real-time hardware preprocessor, a binary and a grey level image buffer system. All computations are performed by a very powerful multi-microprocessor-system (POLYP) based on a MIMD-architecture. The task of the automated system can be split in finding the metaphases (see Figure 1) at low microscope magnification and scoring dicentrics at high magnification. The metaphase finding part has been completed and is now in routine use giving good results. The dicentric scoring part is still under development.

  20. Systems Biology of the Microvasculature

    PubMed Central

    Clegg, Lindsay E.; Mac Gabhann, Feilim

    2015-01-01

    The vascular network carries blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to tissues and providing a pathway for communication between distant organs. The network is hierarchical and structured, but also dynamic, especially at the smaller scales. Remodeling of the microvasculature occurs in response to local changes in oxygen, gene expression, cell-cell communication, and chemical and mechanical stimuli from the microenvironment. These local changes occur as a result of physiological processes such as growth and exercise, as well as acute and chronic diseases including stroke, cancer, and diabetes, and pharmacological intervention. While the vasculature is an important therapeutic target in many diseases, drugs designed to inhibit vascular growth have achieved only limited success, and no drug has yet been approved to promote therapeutic vascular remodeling. This highlights the challenges involved in identifying appropriate therapeutic targets in a system as complex as the vasculature. Systems biology approaches provide a means to bridge current understanding of the vascular system, from detailed signaling dynamics measured in vitro and pre-clinical animal models of vascular disease, to a more complete picture of vascular regulation in vivo. This will translate to an improved ability to identify multi-component biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of therapy that are easy to measure in vivo, as well as better drug targets for specific disease states. In this review, we summarize systems biology approaches that have advanced our understanding of vascular function and dysfunction in vivo, with a focus on computational modeling. PMID:25839068

  1. How secure is your information system? An investigation into actual healthcare worker password practices.

    PubMed

    Cazier, Joseph A; Medlin, B Dawn

    2006-09-27

    For most healthcare information systems, passwords are the first line of defense in keeping patient and administrative records private and secure. However, this defense is only as strong as the passwords employees chose to use. A weak or easily guessed password is like an open door to the medical records room, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive information. In this paper, we present the results of a study of actual healthcare workers' password practices. In general, the vast majority of these passwords have significant security problems on several dimensions. Implications for healthcare professionals are discussed.

  2. How Secure Is Your Information System? An Investigation into Actual Healthcare Worker Password Practices

    PubMed Central

    Cazier, Joseph A; Medlin, B. Dawn

    2006-01-01

    For most healthcare information systems, passwords are the first line of defense in keeping patient and administrative records private and secure. However, this defense is only as strong as the passwords employees chose to use. A weak or easily guessed password is like an open door to the medical records room, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive information. In this paper, we present the results of a study of actual healthcare workers' password practices. In general, the vast majority of these passwords have significant security problems on several dimensions. Implications for healthcare professionals are discussed. PMID:18066366

  3. [Network structures in biological systems].

    PubMed

    Oleskin, A V

    2013-01-01

    Network structures (networks) that have been extensively studied in the humanities are characterized by cohesion, a lack of a central control unit, and predominantly fractal properties. They are contrasted with structures that contain a single centre (hierarchies) as well as with those whose elements predominantly compete with one another (market-type structures). As far as biological systems are concerned, their network structures can be subdivided into a number of types involving different organizational mechanisms. Network organization is characteristic of various structural levels of biological systems ranging from single cells to integrated societies. These networks can be classified into two main subgroups: (i) flat (leaderless) network structures typical of systems that are composed of uniform elements and represent modular organisms or at least possess manifest integral properties and (ii) three-dimensional, partly hierarchical structures characterized by significant individual and/or intergroup (intercaste) differences between their elements. All network structures include an element that performs structural, protective, and communication-promoting functions. By analogy to cell structures, this element is denoted as the matrix of a network structure. The matrix includes a material and an immaterial component. The material component comprises various structures that belong to the whole structure and not to any of its elements per se. The immaterial (ideal) component of the matrix includes social norms and rules regulating network elements' behavior. These behavioral rules can be described in terms of algorithms. Algorithmization enables modeling the behavior of various network structures, particularly of neuron networks and their artificial analogs.

  4. Systems biology of Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Navid, A; Ghim, C; Fenley, A; Yoon, S; Lee, S; Almaas, E

    2008-04-11

    Microbes exist naturally in a wide range of environments, spanning the extremes of high acidity and high temperature to soil and the ocean, in communities where their interactions are significant. We present a practical discussion of three different approaches for modeling microbial communities: rate equations, individual-based modeling, and population dynamics. We illustrate the approaches with detailed examples. Each approach is best fit to different levels of system representation, and they have different needs for detailed biological input. Thus, this set of approaches is able to address the operation and function of microbial communities on a wide range of organizational levels.

  5. The primary test of measuremental system for the actual emittance of relativistic electron beams

    SciTech Connect

    Liang Fu; Tai-bin Du; Xin Chen

    1995-12-31

    Recent, a new measuremental system has been established basically in Tsinghua University PRA. This system is able to measure the lower emittance of the electron beams from the RF accelerators for the FEL. It consists of a scanning magnetic field, a slit, a fluorescent screen, and a TV camera, an image processing system, a CAD 386 computer. Using it an actual phase diagram is obtained for 4-10 Mev electron beams, The principle and structure of the facility were reported in the Proceeding of the 15th FEL Conference. This paper describes the performance of the main components and the results of first measurement for the electron gun and 4Mev standing wave LINAC, Some new suggests are related too.

  6. A systems biology approach to learning autophagy.

    PubMed

    Klionsky, Daniel J; Kumar, Anuj

    2006-01-01

    With its relevance to our understanding of eukaryotic cell function in the normal and disease state, autophagy is an important topic in modern cell biology; yet, few textbooks discuss autophagy beyond a two- or three-sentence summary. Here, we report an undergraduate/graduate class lesson for the in-depth presentation of autophagy using an active learning approach. By our method, students will work in small groups to solve problems and interpret an actual data set describing genes involved in autophagy. The problem-solving exercises and data set analysis will instill within the students a much greater understanding of the autophagy pathway than can be achieved by simple rote memorization of lecture materials; furthermore, the students will gain a general appreciation of the process by which data are interpreted and eventually formed into an understanding of a given pathway. As the data sets used in these class lessons are largely genomic and complementary in content, students will also understand first-hand the advantage of an integrative or systems biology study: No single data set can be used to define the pathway in full-the information from multiple complementary studies must be integrated in order to recapitulate our present understanding of the pathways mediating autophagy. In total, our teaching methodology offers an effective presentation of autophagy as well as a general template for the discussion of nearly any signaling pathway within the eukaryotic kingdom.

  7. Systems biology and biomarker discovery

    SciTech Connect

    Rodland, Karin D.

    2010-12-01

    Medical practitioners have always relied on surrogate markers of inaccessible biological processes to make their diagnosis, whether it was the pallor of shock, the flush of inflammation, or the jaundice of liver failure. Obviously, the current implementation of biomarkers for disease is far more sophisticated, relying on highly reproducible, quantitative measurements of molecules that are often mechanistically associated with the disease in question, as in glycated hemoglobin for the diagnosis of diabetes [1] or the presence of cardiac troponins in the blood for confirmation of myocardial infarcts [2]. In cancer, where the initial symptoms are often subtle and the consequences of delayed diagnosis often drastic for disease management, the impetus to discover readily accessible, reliable, and accurate biomarkers for early detection is compelling. Yet despite years of intense activity, the stable of clinically validated, cost-effective biomarkers for early detection of cancer is pathetically small and still dominated by a handful of markers (CA-125, CEA, PSA) first discovered decades ago. It is time, one could argue, for a fresh approach to the discovery and validation of disease biomarkers, one that takes full advantage of the revolution in genomic technologies and in the development of computational tools for the analysis of large complex datasets. This issue of Disease Markers is dedicated to one such new approach, loosely termed the 'Systems Biology of Biomarkers'. What sets the Systems Biology approach apart from other, more traditional approaches, is both the types of data used, and the tools used for data analysis - and both reflect the revolution in high throughput analytical methods and high throughput computing that has characterized the start of the twenty first century.

  8. Systems Biology of Fungal Infection

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Fabian; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Pollmächer, Johannes; Valiante, Vito; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2012-01-01

    Elucidation of pathogenicity mechanisms of the most important human-pathogenic fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans, has gained great interest in the light of the steadily increasing number of cases of invasive fungal infections. A key feature of these infections is the interaction of the different fungal morphotypes with epithelial and immune effector cells in the human host. Because of the high level of complexity, it is necessary to describe and understand invasive fungal infection by taking a systems biological approach, i.e., by a comprehensive quantitative analysis of the non-linear and selective interactions of a large number of functionally diverse, and frequently multifunctional, sets of elements, e.g., genes, proteins, metabolites, which produce coherent and emergent behaviors in time and space. The recent advances in systems biology will now make it possible to uncover the structure and dynamics of molecular and cellular cause-effect relationships within these pathogenic interactions. We review current efforts to integrate omics and image-based data of host-pathogen interactions into network and spatio-temporal models. The modeling will help to elucidate pathogenicity mechanisms and to identify diagnostic biomarkers and potential drug targets for therapy and could thus pave the way for novel intervention strategies based on novel antifungal drugs and cell therapy. PMID:22485108

  9. Controlled annotations for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Juty, Nick; Laibe, Camille; Le Novère, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this chapter is to provide sufficient information to enable a reader, new to the subject of Systems Biology, to create and use effectively controlled annotations, using resolvable Identifiers.org Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs). The text details the underlying requirements that have led to the development of such an identification scheme and infrastructure, the principles that underpin its syntax and the benefits derived through its use. It also places into context the relationship with other standardization efforts, how it differs from other pre-existing identification schemes, recent improvements to the system, as well as those that are planned in the future. Throughout, the reader is provided with explicit examples of use and directed to supplementary information where necessary.

  10. Thermal Protection System Cavity Heating for Simplified and Actual Geometries Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations with Unstructured Grids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCloud, Peter L.

    2010-01-01

    Thermal Protection System (TPS) Cavity Heating is predicted using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) on unstructured grids for both simplified cavities and actual cavity geometries. Validation was performed using comparisons to wind tunnel experimental results and CFD predictions using structured grids. Full-scale predictions were made for simplified and actual geometry configurations on the Space Shuttle Orbiter in a mission support timeframe.

  11. Quantum Effects in Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sisir

    2014-07-01

    The debates about the trivial and non-trivial effects in biological systems have drawn much attention during the last decade or so. What might these non-trivial sorts of quantum effects be? There is no consensus so far among the physicists and biologists regarding the meaning of "non-trivial quantum effects". However, there is no doubt about the implications of the challenging research into quantum effects relevant to biology such as coherent excitations of biomolecules and photosynthesis, quantum tunneling of protons, van der Waals forces, ultrafast dynamics through conical intersections, and phonon-assisted electron tunneling as the basis for our sense of smell, environment assisted transport of ions and entanglement in ion channels, role of quantum vacuum in consciousness. Several authors have discussed the non-trivial quantum effects and classified them into four broad categories: (a) Quantum life principle; (b) Quantum computing in the brain; (c) Quantum computing in genetics; and (d) Quantum consciousness. First, I will review the above developments. I will then discuss in detail the ion transport in the ion channel and the relevance of quantum theory in brain function. The ion transport in the ion channel plays a key role in information processing by the brain.

  12. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Eddy, James A; Funk, Cory C; Price, Nathan D

    2015-08-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules, predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes, generating hypotheses and guiding experimental design, and highlighting knowledge gaps and refining understanding. In turn, incorporating domain expertise and experimental data is crucial for building towards whole cell models. An iterative cycle of interaction between cell and systems biologists advances the goals of both fields and establishes a framework for mechanistic understanding of the genome-to-phenome relationship.

  13. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Eddy, James A.; Funk, Cory C.; Price, Nathan D.

    2015-01-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules; predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes; generating hypotheses and guiding experimental design; and highlighting knowledge gaps and refining understanding. In turn, incorporating domain expertise and experimental data is critical for building towards whole cell models. An iterative cycle of interaction between cell and systems biologists advances the goals of both fields and establishes a framework for mechanistic understanding of the genome-to-phenome relationship. PMID:26013981

  14. Proving Stabilization of Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Byron; Fisher, Jasmin; Krepska, Elzbieta; Piterman, Nir

    We describe an efficient procedure for proving stabilization of biological systems modeled as qualitative networks or genetic regulatory networks. For scalability, our procedure uses modular proof techniques, where state-space exploration is applied only locally to small pieces of the system rather than the entire system as a whole. Our procedure exploits the observation that, in practice, the form of modular proofs can be restricted to a very limited set. For completeness, our technique falls back on a non-compositional counterexample search. Using our new procedure, we have solved a number of challenging published examples, including: a 3-D model of the mammalian epidermis; a model of metabolic networks operating in type-2 diabetes; a model of fate determination of vulval precursor cells in the C. elegans worm; and a model of pair-rule regulation during segmentation in the Drosophila embryo. Our results show many orders of magnitude speedup in cases where previous stabilization proving techniques were known to succeed, and new results in cases where tools had previously failed.

  15. A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Recent advances in developmental biology have yielded detailed models of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) involved in cell specification and other processes in embryonic differentiation. Such networks form the bedrock on which a systems biology approach to developme...

  16. Anion selectivity in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Wright, E M; Diamond, J M

    1977-01-01

    As background for appreciating the still-unsolved problems of monovalent anion selectivity, we summarize the facts and intepretations that seem reasonably well established. In section II we saw that specific effects of monovalent anions on biological and physical systems define qualitative patterns, in that only certain sequences of anion effects are observed. For example, the 4 halides can be permitted on paper as 4! = 24 sequences, yet only 5 of these sequences have been observed in nature as potency sequences. In addition, there are quantitative regularities in anion potency that permit the construction of so-called empirical selectivity isotherms (Figs. 4 and 13). That is, a given potency sequence is found to be associated with only a certain modest range of selectivity ratios. The sequences and isotherms apply to effects with a nonequilibrium component (e.g., permeability and conductance sequences) as well as to purely equilibrium effects. Since students of cation selectivity have had difficulty accepting this conclusion, we discuss the reasons why it is not as paradoxical as it at first seems. In sections III and IV we develop four theoretical models to account for the observed anion potency sequences as sequences of equilibrium binding energies. Two of these models involve calculation of electrostatic binding energies between anions and monopolar or dipolar cationic sites, assuming anions as well as sites to be rigid and nonpolarizable. The other two models use thermochemically measured binding energies between anions and thealkali cations or occasionally alkaline-earth cations, which in fact approximate rigid, nonpolarizable spheres. All four models consider the anion selectivity pattern of a given cationic site to be determined by anion differences in the balance between hydration energies and ion-site binding energies. Site differences in anion selectivity pattern are attributed to site differences in radius, charge, coordination number, or dipole length

  17. International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB)

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-29

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

  18. Robust design of biological circuits: evolutionary systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; Liou, Jing-Jia

    2011-01-01

    Artificial gene circuits have been proposed to be embedded into microbial cells that function as switches, timers, oscillators, and the Boolean logic gates. Building more complex systems from these basic gene circuit components is one key advance for biologic circuit design and synthetic biology. However, the behavior of bioengineered gene circuits remains unstable and uncertain. In this study, a nonlinear stochastic system is proposed to model the biological systems with intrinsic parameter fluctuations and environmental molecular noise from the cellular context in the host cell. Based on evolutionary systems biology algorithm, the design parameters of target gene circuits can evolve to specific values in order to robustly track a desired biologic function in spite of intrinsic and environmental noise. The fitness function is selected to be inversely proportional to the tracking error so that the evolutionary biological circuit can achieve the optimal tracking mimicking the evolutionary process of a gene circuit. Finally, several design examples are given in silico with the Monte Carlo simulation to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the robust performance of the proposed design method. The result shows that the designed gene circuits can robustly track desired behaviors with minimal errors even with nontrivial intrinsic and external noise.

  19. Spatial Aspects in Biological System Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Resat, Haluk; Costa, Michelle N.; Shankaran, Harish

    2012-01-01

    Mathematical models of the dynamical properties of biological systems aim to improve our understanding of the studied system with the ultimate goal of being able to predict system responses in the absence of experimentation. Despite the enormous advances that have been made in biological modeling and simulation, the inherently multiscale character of biological systems and the stochasticity of biological processes continue to present significant computational and conceptual challenges. Biological systems often consist of well-organized structural hierarchies, which inevitably lead to multiscale problems. This chapter introduces and discusses the advantages and shortcomings of several simulation methods that are being used by the scientific community to investigate the spatiotemporal properties of model biological systems. We first describe the foundations of the methods and then describe their relevance and possible application areas with illustrative examples from our own research. Possible ways to address the encountered computational difficulties are also discussed. PMID:21187236

  20. Introducing systems biology for nursing science.

    PubMed

    Founds, Sandra A

    2009-07-01

    Systems biology expands on general systems theory as the "omics'' era rapidly progresses. Although systems biology has been institutionalized as an interdisciplinary framework in the biosciences, it is not yet apparent in nursing. This article introduces systems biology for nursing science by presenting an overview of the theory. This framework for the study of organisms from molecular to environmental levels includes iterations of computational modeling, experimentation, and theory building. Synthesis of complex biological processes as whole systems rather than isolated parts is emphasized. Pros and cons of systems biology are discussed, and relevance of systems biology to nursing is described. Nursing research involving molecular, physiological, or biobehavioral questions may be guided by and contribute to the developing science of systems biology. Nurse scientists can proactively incorporate systems biology into their investigations as a framework for advancing the interdisciplinary science of human health care. Systems biology has the potential to advance the research and practice goals of the National Institute for Nursing Research in the National Institutes of Health Roadmap initiative.

  1. Systems biology and cardiac arrhythmias.

    PubMed

    Grace, Andrew A; Roden, Dan M

    2012-10-27

    During the past few years, the development of effective, empirical technologies for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias has exceeded the pace at which detailed knowledge of the underlying biology has accumulated. As a result, although some clinical arrhythmias can be cured with techniques such as catheter ablation, drug treatment and prediction of the risk of sudden death remain fairly primitive. The identification of key candidate genes for monogenic arrhythmia syndromes shows that to bring basic biology to the clinic is a powerful approach. Increasingly sophisticated experimental models and methods of measurement, including stem cell-based models of human cardiac arrhythmias, are being deployed to study how perturbations in several biologic pathways can result in an arrhythmia-prone heart. The biology of arrhythmia is largely quantifiable, which allows for systematic analysis that could transform treatment strategies that are often still empirical into management based on molecular evidence.

  2. Systems biology and mechanics of growth.

    PubMed

    Eskandari, Mona; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to inert systems, living biological systems have the advantage to adapt to their environment through growth and evolution. This transfiguration is evident during embryonic development, when the predisposed need to grow allows form to follow function. Alterations in the equilibrium state of biological systems breed disease and mutation in response to environmental triggers. The need to characterize the growth of biological systems to better understand these phenomena has motivated the continuum theory of growth and stimulated the development of computational tools in systems biology. Biological growth in development and disease is increasingly studied using the framework of morphoelasticity. Here, we demonstrate the potential for morphoelastic simulations through examples of volume, area, and length growth, inspired by tumor expansion, chronic bronchitis, brain development, intestine formation, plant shape, and myopia. We review the systems biology of living systems in light of biochemical and optical stimuli and classify different types of growth to facilitate the design of growth models for various biological systems within this generic framework. Exploring the systems biology of growth introduces a new venue to control and manipulate embryonic development, disease progression, and clinical intervention.

  3. Method of measurement in biological systems

    DOEpatents

    Turteltaub, K.W.; Vogel, J.S.; Felton, J.S.; Gledhill, B.L.: Davis, J.C.; Stanker, L.H.

    1993-05-11

    A method is disclosed of quantifying molecules in biological substances, comprising: selecting a biological host in which radioisotopes are present in concentrations equal to or less than those in the ambient biosphere; preparing a long-lived radioisotope labeled reactive chemical specie; administering the chemical specie to the biological host in doses sufficiently low to avoid significant overt damage to the biological system; allowing a period of time to elapse sufficient for dissemination and interaction of the chemical specie with the host throughout the biological system of the host; isolating a reacted fraction of the biological substance from the host in a manner sufficient to avoid contamination of the substance from extraneous sources; converting the fraction of biological substance by suitable means to a material which efficiently produces charged ions in at least one of several possible ion sources without introduction of significant isotopic fractionation; and measuring the radioisotope concentration in the material by means of direct isotopic counting.

  4. Systems biology and mechanics of growth

    PubMed Central

    Eskandari, Mona; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to inert systems, living biological systems have the advantage to adapt to their environment through growth and evolution. This transfiguration is evident in embryonic development, when the predisposed need to grow allows form to follow function. Alterations in the equilibrium state of biological systems breed disease and mutation in response to environmental triggers. The need to characterize the growth of biological systems to better understand these phenomena has motivated the continuum theory of growth and stimulated the development of computational tools in systems biology. Biological growth in development and disease is increasingly studied using the framework of morphoelasticity. Here we demonstrate the potential for morphoelastic simulations through examples of volume, area, and length growth, inspired by tumor expansion, chronic bronchitis, brain development, intestine formation, plant shape, and myopia. We review the sytems biology of living systems in light of biochemical and optical stimuli and classify different types of growth to facilitate the design of growth models for various biological systems within this generic framework. Exploring the systems biology of growth introduces a new venue to control and manipulate embryonic development, disease progression, and clinical intervention. PMID:26352286

  5. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

    With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.

  6. Graphics processing units in bioinformatics, computational biology and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Nobile, Marco S; Cazzaniga, Paolo; Tangherloni, Andrea; Besozzi, Daniela

    2016-07-08

    Several studies in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Systems Biology rely on the definition of physico-chemical or mathematical models of biological systems at different scales and levels of complexity, ranging from the interaction of atoms in single molecules up to genome-wide interaction networks. Traditional computational methods and software tools developed in these research fields share a common trait: they can be computationally demanding on Central Processing Units (CPUs), therefore limiting their applicability in many circumstances. To overcome this issue, general-purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are gaining an increasing attention by the scientific community, as they can considerably reduce the running time required by standard CPU-based software, and allow more intensive investigations of biological systems. In this review, we present a collection of GPU tools recently developed to perform computational analyses in life science disciplines, emphasizing the advantages and the drawbacks in the use of these parallel architectures. The complete list of GPU-powered tools here reviewed is available at http://bit.ly/gputools.

  7. [Cooperation with the electronic medical record and accounting system of an actual dose of drug given by a radiology information system].

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hideo; Yoneda, Tarou; Satou, Shuji; Ishikawa, Toru; Hara, Misako

    2009-12-20

    By input of the actual dose of a drug given into a radiology information system, the system converting with an accounting system into a cost of the drug from the actual dose in the electronic medical record was built. In the drug master, the first unit was set as the cost of the drug, and we set the second unit as the actual dose. The second unit in the radiology information system was received by the accounting system through electronic medical record. In the accounting system, the actual dose was changed into the cost of the drug using the dose of conversion to the first unit. The actual dose was recorded on a radiology information system and electronic medical record. The actual dose was indicated on the accounting system, and the cost for the drug was calculated. About the actual dose of drug, cooperation of the information in a radiology information system and electronic medical record were completed. It was possible to decide the volume of drug from the correct dose of drug at the previous inspection. If it is necessary for the patient to have another treatment of medicine, it is important to know the actual dose of drug given. Moreover, authenticity of electronic medical record based on a statute has also improved.

  8. The emergence of modularity in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Dirk M.; Jeng, Alice; Deem, Michael W.

    2011-06-01

    In this review, we discuss modularity and hierarchy in biological systems. We review examples from protein structure, genetics, and biological networks of modular partitioning of the geometry of biological space. We review theories to explain modular organization of biology, with a focus on explaining how biology may spontaneously organize to a structured form. That is, we seek to explain how biology nucleated from among the many possibilities in chemistry. The emergence of modular organization of biological structure will be described as a symmetry-breaking phase transition, with modularity as the order parameter. Experimental support for this description will be reviewed. Examples will be presented from pathogen structure, metabolic networks, gene networks, and protein-protein interaction networks. Additional examples will be presented from ecological food networks, developmental pathways, physiology, and social networks.

  9. Biological identification systems: genetic markers.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, E P; Meghen, C M

    2001-08-01

    Individual animals differ from each other on a number of biological levels. At the most basic level, the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of each animal is different, and transcription of the DNA code yields variations at the protein level, which in turn give rise to individual diversity at the physical level. In recent years, accessing the primary genetic code of individual animals has become straightforward. The authors briefly review the development of biological identification technologies and then consider in more detail the application of current DNA testing technologies to issues of traceability of live animals and derived products. Although largely focused on cattle and beef traceability, the principles described are relevant to ovine, porcine and equine traceability. The accelerating pace of innovation and development within the field of molecular genetics suggests that the technologies described may soon be superseded. However, the principles of genetic identification will remain unchanged.

  10. Developmental systems biology flourishing on new technologies.

    PubMed

    Han, Jing-Dong J; Liu, Yi; Xue, Huiling; Xia, Kai; Yu, Hong; Zhu, Shanshan; Chen, Zhang; Zhang, Wei; Huang, Zheng; Jin, Chunyu; Xian, Bo; Li, Jing; Hou, Lei; Han, Yixing; Niu, Chaoqun; Alcon, Timothy C

    2008-10-01

    Organism development is a systems level process. It has benefited greatly from the recent technological advances in the field of systems biology. DNA microarray, phenome, interactome and transcriptome mapping, the new generation of deep sequencing technologies, and faster and better computational and modeling approaches have opened new frontiers for both systems biologists and developmental biologists to reexamine the old developmental biology questions, such as pattern formation, and to tackle new problems, such as stem cell reprogramming. As showcased in the International Developmental Systems Biology Symposium organized by Chinese Academy of Sciences, developmental systems biology is flourishing in many perspectives, from the evolution of developmental systems, to the underlying genetic and molecular pathways and networks, to the genomic, epigenomic and noncoding levels, to the computational analysis and modeling. We believe that the field will continue to reap rewards into the future with these new approaches.

  11. Applicability of computational systems biology in toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kongsbak, Kristine; Hadrup, Niels; Audouze, Karine; Vinggaard, Anne Marie

    2014-07-01

    Systems biology as a research field has emerged within the last few decades. Systems biology, often defined as the antithesis of the reductionist approach, integrates information about individual components of a biological system. In integrative systems biology, large data sets from various sources and databases are used to model and predict effects of chemicals on, for instance, human health. In toxicology, computational systems biology enables identification of important pathways and molecules from large data sets; tasks that can be extremely laborious when performed by a classical literature search. However, computational systems biology offers more advantages than providing a high-throughput literature search; it may form the basis for establishment of hypotheses on potential links between environmental chemicals and human diseases, which would be very difficult to establish experimentally. This is possible due to the existence of comprehensive databases containing information on networks of human protein-protein interactions and protein-disease associations. Experimentally determined targets of the specific chemical of interest can be fed into these networks to obtain additional information that can be used to establish hypotheses on links between the chemical and human diseases. Such information can also be applied for designing more intelligent animal/cell experiments that can test the established hypotheses. Here, we describe how and why to apply an integrative systems biology method in the hypothesis-generating phase of toxicological research.

  12. Standards and ontologies in computational systems biology.

    PubMed

    Sauro, Herbert M; Bergmann, Frank T

    2008-01-01

    With the growing importance of computational models in systems biology there has been much interest in recent years to develop standard model interchange languages that permit biologists to easily exchange models between different software tools. In the present chapter two chief model exchange standards, SBML (Systems Biology Markup Language) and CellML are described. In addition, other related features including visual layout initiatives, ontologies and best practices for model annotation are discussed. Software tools such as developer libraries and basic editing tools are also introduced, together with a discussion on the future of modelling languages and visualization tools in systems biology.

  13. Bridging the gaps in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Cvijovic, Marija; Almquist, Joachim; Hagmar, Jonas; Hohmann, Stefan; Kaltenbach, Hans-Michael; Klipp, Edda; Krantz, Marcus; Mendes, Pedro; Nelander, Sven; Nielsen, Jens; Pagnani, Andrea; Przulj, Natasa; Raue, Andreas; Stelling, Jörg; Stoma, Szymon; Tobin, Frank; Wodke, Judith A H; Zecchina, Riccardo; Jirstrand, Mats

    2014-10-01

    Systems biology aims at creating mathematical models, i.e., computational reconstructions of biological systems and processes that will result in a new level of understanding-the elucidation of the basic and presumably conserved "design" and "engineering" principles of biomolecular systems. Thus, systems biology will move biology from a phenomenological to a predictive science. Mathematical modeling of biological networks and processes has already greatly improved our understanding of many cellular processes. However, given the massive amount of qualitative and quantitative data currently produced and number of burning questions in health care and biotechnology needed to be solved is still in its early phases. The field requires novel approaches for abstraction, for modeling bioprocesses that follow different biochemical and biophysical rules, and for combining different modules into larger models that still allow realistic simulation with the computational power available today. We have identified and discussed currently most prominent problems in systems biology: (1) how to bridge different scales of modeling abstraction, (2) how to bridge the gap between topological and mechanistic modeling, and (3) how to bridge the wet and dry laboratory gap. The future success of systems biology largely depends on bridging the recognized gaps.

  14. Soil water availability as controlling factor for actual evapotranspiration in urban soil-vegetation-systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, Simon; Reisdorff, Christoph; Gröngröft, Alexander; Jensen, Kai; Eschenbach, Annette

    2015-04-01

    The City of Hamburg is characterized by a large number of greens, parks and roadside trees: 600.000 trees cover about 14% of the city area, and moreover, 245.000 roadside trees can be found here. Urban vegetation is generally known to positively contribute to the urban micro-climate via cooling by evapotranspiration (ET). The water for ET is predominantly stored in the urban soils. Hence, the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) is - beside atmospheric drivers - determined by soil water availability at the soil surface and in the rooting zones of the respective vegetation. The overall aim of this study is to characterize soil water availability as a regulative factor for ETa in urban soil-vegetation systems. The specific questions addressed are: i) What is the spatio-temporal variation in soil water availability at the study sites? ii) Which soil depths are predominantly used for water uptake by the vegetation forms investigated? and iii) Which are the threshold values of soil water tension and soil water content (Θ), respectively, that limit ETa under dry conditions on both grass-dominated and tree-dominated sites? Three study areas were established in the urban region of Hamburg, Germany. We selected areas featuring both single tree stands and grass-dominated sites, both representing typical vegetation forms in Hamburg. The areas are characterized by relatively dry soil conditions. However, they differ in regard to soil water availability. At each area we selected one site dominated by Common Oak (Quercus ruber L.) with ages from 40 to 120 years, and paired each oak tree site with a neighboring grass-dominated site. All field measurements were performed during the years 2013 and 2014. At each site, we continuously measured soil water tension and Θ up to 160 cm depth, and xylem sap flux of each of three oak trees per site in a 15 min-resolution. Furthermore, we measured soil hydraulic properties as pF-curve, saturated and unsaturated conductivity at all sites

  15. Biological Systems, Energy Sources, and Biology Teaching. Biology and Human Welfare.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tribe, Michael; Pritchard, Alan J.

    This five-chapter document (part of a series on biology and human welfare) focuses on biological systems as energy sources and on the teaching of this subject area. Chapter 1 discusses various topics related to energy and ecology, including biomass, photosynthesis and world energy balances, energy flow through ecosystems, and others. Chapter 2…

  16. The need for a biological registration system.

    PubMed

    Pihl, Todd D; Ribaudo, Randall K

    2010-06-01

    A biological registration system is capable of determining whether two complex biological molecules are the same or different, and can assign identifiers based on this determination. Although such systems are frequently employed by chemists, they are rarely used by biological scientists in the pharmaceutical industry. However, a biological registration system would have several enterprise-wide benefits, from R&D to IP to laboratory safety. Beyond these evident benefits, a biological registration system that integrates appropriately with other systems such as electronic laboratory notebooks and inventory databases could provide critical links to allow the integration of otherwise-siloed data and knowledge generated across global pharmaceutical companies and other large research institutions. Data and knowledge integration are widely recognized as critical yet elusive components of effective translational science and systems biology programs that would create greater efficiencies for drug discovery. However, determining the optimal construction of such systems remains a challenge. This feature review describes how a special interest group comprising several pharmaceutical companies and a software company was used to create a commercially viable and supportable system.

  17. Functional Translational Readthrough: A Systems Biology Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Schueren, Fabian

    2016-01-01

    Translational readthrough (TR) has come into renewed focus because systems biology approaches have identified the first human genes undergoing functional translational readthrough (FTR). FTR creates functional extensions to proteins by continuing translation of the mRNA downstream of the stop codon. Here we review recent developments in TR research with a focus on the identification of FTR in humans and the systems biology methods that have spurred these discoveries. PMID:27490485

  18. A framework for evolutionary systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Loewe, Laurence

    2009-01-01

    Background Many difficult problems in evolutionary genomics are related to mutations that have weak effects on fitness, as the consequences of mutations with large effects are often simple to predict. Current systems biology has accumulated much data on mutations with large effects and can predict the properties of knockout mutants in some systems. However experimental methods are too insensitive to observe small effects. Results Here I propose a novel framework that brings together evolutionary theory and current systems biology approaches in order to quantify small effects of mutations and their epistatic interactions in silico. Central to this approach is the definition of fitness correlates that can be computed in some current systems biology models employing the rigorous algorithms that are at the core of much work in computational systems biology. The framework exploits synergies between the realism of such models and the need to understand real systems in evolutionary theory. This framework can address many longstanding topics in evolutionary biology by defining various 'levels' of the adaptive landscape. Addressed topics include the distribution of mutational effects on fitness, as well as the nature of advantageous mutations, epistasis and robustness. Combining corresponding parameter estimates with population genetics models raises the possibility of testing evolutionary hypotheses at a new level of realism. Conclusion EvoSysBio is expected to lead to a more detailed understanding of the fundamental principles of life by combining knowledge about well-known biological systems from several disciplines. This will benefit both evolutionary theory and current systems biology. Understanding robustness by analysing distributions of mutational effects and epistasis is pivotal for drug design, cancer research, responsible genetic engineering in synthetic biology and many other practical applications. PMID:19239699

  19. Controlled vocabularies and semantics in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Courtot, Mélanie; Juty, Nick; Knüpfer, Christian; Waltemath, Dagmar; Zhukova, Anna; Dräger, Andreas; Dumontier, Michel; Finney, Andrew; Golebiewski, Martin; Hastings, Janna; Hoops, Stefan; Keating, Sarah; Kell, Douglas B; Kerrien, Samuel; Lawson, James; Lister, Allyson; Lu, James; Machne, Rainer; Mendes, Pedro; Pocock, Matthew; Rodriguez, Nicolas; Villeger, Alice; Wilkinson, Darren J; Wimalaratne, Sarala; Laibe, Camille; Hucka, Michael; Le Novère, Nicolas

    2011-10-25

    The use of computational modeling to describe and analyze biological systems is at the heart of systems biology. Model structures, simulation descriptions and numerical results can be encoded in structured formats, but there is an increasing need to provide an additional semantic layer. Semantic information adds meaning to components of structured descriptions to help identify and interpret them unambiguously. Ontologies are one of the tools frequently used for this purpose. We describe here three ontologies created specifically to address the needs of the systems biology community. The Systems Biology Ontology (SBO) provides semantic information about the model components. The Kinetic Simulation Algorithm Ontology (KiSAO) supplies information about existing algorithms available for the simulation of systems biology models, their characterization and interrelationships. The Terminology for the Description of Dynamics (TEDDY) categorizes dynamical features of the simulation results and general systems behavior. The provision of semantic information extends a model's longevity and facilitates its reuse. It provides useful insight into the biology of modeled processes, and may be used to make informed decisions on subsequent simulation experiments.

  20. [System biology and synthetic biology modify drug discovery and development].

    PubMed

    Haiech, Jacques; Ranjeva, Raoul; Kilhoffer, Marie-Claude

    2012-02-01

    Life Sciences are built on observations. Right now, a more systemic approach allowing to integrate the different organizational levels in Biology is emerging. Such an approach uses a set of technologies and strategies allowing to build models that appear to be more and more predictive (omics, bioinformatics, integrative biology, computational biology…). Those models accelerate the rational development of new therapies avoiding an engineering based only on trials and errors. This approach both holistic and predictive radically modifies the discovery and development modalities used today in health industries. Moreover, because of the apparition of new jobs at the interface of disciplines, of private and public sectors and of life sciences and engineering sciences, this implies to rethink the training programs in both their contents and their pedagogical tools.

  1. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Soyer, Orkun S; Siegal, Mark L

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is an emerging hybrid approach that integrates methods, models, and data from evolutionary and systems biology. Drawing on themes that arose at a cross-disciplinary meeting on ESB in 2013, we discuss in detail some of the explanatory friction that arises in the interaction between evolutionary and systems biology. These tensions appear because of different modeling approaches, diverse explanatory aims and strategies, and divergent views about the scope of the evolutionary synthesis. We locate these discussions in the context of long-running philosophical deliberations on explanation, modeling, and theoretical synthesis. We show how many of the issues central to ESB's progress can be understood as general philosophical problems. The benefits of addressing these philosophical issues feed back into philosophy too, because ESB provides excellent examples of scientific practice for the development of philosophy of science and philosophy of biology.

  2. Multiscale Computational Models of Complex Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Walpole, Joseph; Papin, Jason A.; Peirce, Shayn M.

    2014-01-01

    Integration of data across spatial, temporal, and functional scales is a primary focus of biomedical engineering efforts. The advent of powerful computing platforms, coupled with quantitative data from high-throughput experimental platforms, has allowed multiscale modeling to expand as a means to more comprehensively investigate biological phenomena in experimentally relevant ways. This review aims to highlight recently published multiscale models of biological systems while using their successes to propose the best practices for future model development. We demonstrate that coupling continuous and discrete systems best captures biological information across spatial scales by selecting modeling techniques that are suited to the task. Further, we suggest how to best leverage these multiscale models to gain insight into biological systems using quantitative, biomedical engineering methods to analyze data in non-intuitive ways. These topics are discussed with a focus on the future of the field, the current challenges encountered, and opportunities yet to be realized. PMID:23642247

  3. Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics in Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoki, I.

    2005-12-01

    1. Respiration Oxygen-uptake by respiration in organisms decomposes macromolecules such as carbohydrate, protein and lipid and liberates chemical energy of high quality, which is then used to chemical reactions and motions of matter in organisms to support lively order in structure and function in organisms. Finally, this chemical energy becomes heat energy of low quality and is discarded to the outside (dissipation function). Accompanying this heat energy, entropy production which inevitably occurs by irreversibility also is discarded to the outside. Dissipation function and entropy production are estimated from data of respiration. 2. Human body From the observed data of respiration (oxygen absorption), the entropy production in human body can be estimated. Entropy production from 0 to 75 years old human has been obtained, and extrapolated to fertilized egg (beginning of human life) and to 120 years old (maximum period of human life). Entropy production show characteristic behavior in human life span : early rapid increase in short growing phase and later slow decrease in long aging phase. It is proposed that this tendency is ubiquitous and constitutes a Principle of Organization in complex biotic systems. 3. Ecological communities From the data of respiration of eighteen aquatic communities, specific (i.e. per biomass) entropy productions are obtained. They show two phase character with respect to trophic diversity : early increase and later decrease with the increase of trophic diversity. The trophic diversity in these aquatic ecosystems is shown to be positively correlated with the degree of eutrophication, and the degree of eutrophication is an "arrow of time" in the hierarchy of aquatic ecosystems. Hence specific entropy production has the two phase: early increase and later decrease with time. 4. Entropy principle for living systems The Second Law of Thermodynamics has been expressed as follows. 1) In isolated systems, entropy increases with time and

  4. Method of measurement in biological systems

    DOEpatents

    Turteltaub, Kenneth W.; Vogel, John S.; Felton, James S.; Gledhill, Barton L.; Davis, Jay C.; Stanker, Larry H.

    1993-05-11

    Disclosed is a method of quantifying molecules in biological substances, comprising: a. selecting a biological host in which radioisotopes are present in concentrations equal to or less than those in the ambient biosphere, b. preparing a long-lived radioisotope labeled reactive chemical specie, c. administering said chemical specie to said biological host in doses sufficiently low to avoid significant overt damage to the biological system thereof, d. allowing a period of time to elapse sufficient for dissemination and interaction of said chemical specie with said host throughout said biological system of said host, e. isolating a reacted fraction of the biological substance from said host in a manner sufficient to avoid contamination of said substance from extraneous sources, f. converting said fraction of biological substance by suitable means to a material which efficiently produces charged ions in at least one of several possible ion sources without introduction of significant isotopic fractionation, and, g. measuring the radioisotope concentration in said material by means of direct isotopic counting.

  5. Method of measurement in biological systems

    DOEpatents

    Turteltaub, Kenneth W.; Vogel, John S.; Felton, James S.; Gledhill, Barton L.; Davis, Jay C.

    1994-01-01

    Disclosed is a method of quantifying molecules in biological substances comprising: a. selecting a biological host in which radioisotopes are present in concentrations equal to or less than those in the ambient biosphere, b. preparing a long-lived radioisotope labeled reactive chemical specie, c. administering said chemical specie to said biological host in doses sufficiently low to avoid significant overt damage to the biological system thereof, d. allowing a period of time to elapse sufficient for dissemination and interaction of said chemical specie with said host throughout said biological system of said host, e. isolating a reacted fraction of the biological substance from said host in a manner sufficient to avoid contamination of said substance from extraneous sources, f. converting said fraction of biological substance by suitable means to a material which efficiently produces charged ions in at least one of several possible ion sources without introduction of significant isotopic fractionation, and, g. measuring the radioisotope concentration in said material by means of direct isotopic counting.

  6. Method of measurement in biological systems

    DOEpatents

    Turteltaub, K.W.; Vogel, J.S.; Felton, J.S.; Gledhill, B.L.; Davis, J.C.

    1994-12-27

    Disclosed is a method of quantifying molecules in biological substances comprising: a. selecting a biological host in which radioisotopes are present in concentrations equal to or less than those in the ambient biosphere, b. preparing a long-lived radioisotope labeled reactive chemical specie, c. administering the chemical specie to the biological host in doses sufficiently low to avoid significant overt damage to the biological system, d. allowing a period of time to elapse sufficient for dissemination and interaction of the chemical specie with the host throughout the biological system of the host, e. isolating a reacted fraction of the biological substance from the host in a manner sufficient to avoid contamination of the substance from extraneous sources, f. converting the fraction of biological substance by suitable means to a material which efficiently produces charged ions in at least one of several possible ion sources without introduction of significant isotopic fractionation, and, g. measuring the radioisotope concentration in the material by means of direct isotopic counting. 5 figures.

  7. Computational systems biology in cancer brain metastasis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Huiming; Tan, Hua; Zhao, Weiling; Jin, Guangxu; Sharma, Sambad; Xing, Fei; Watabe, Kounosuke; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-01-01

    Brain metastases occur in 20-40% of patients with advanced malignancies. A better understanding of the mechanism of this disease will help us to identify novel therapeutic strategies. In this review, we will discuss the systems biology approaches used in this area, including bioinformatics and mathematical modeling. Bioinformatics has been used for identifying the molecular mechanisms driving brain metastasis and mathematical modeling methods for analyzing dynamics of a system and predicting optimal therapeutic strategies. We will illustrate the strategies, procedures, and computational techniques used for studying systems biology in cancer brain metastases. We will give examples on how to use a systems biology approach to analyze a complex disease. Some of the approaches used to identify relevant networks, pathways, and possibly biomarkers in metastasis will be reviewed into details. Finally, certain challenges and possible future directions in this area will also be discussed.

  8. A Systems Biology Approach to Iron Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Chifman, J.; Laubenbacher, R.; Torti, S.V.

    2015-01-01

    Iron is critical to the survival of almost all living organisms. However, inappropriately low or high levels of iron are detrimental and contribute to a wide range of diseases. Recent advances in the study of iron metabolism have revealed multiple intricate pathways that are essential to the maintenance of iron homeostasis. Further, iron regulation involves processes at several scales, ranging from the subcellular to the organismal. This complexity makes a systems biology approach crucial, with its enabling technology of computational models based on a mathematical description of regulatory systems. Systems biology may represent a new strategy for understanding imbalances in iron metabolism and their underlying causes. PMID:25480643

  9. Anion transporters and biological systems.

    PubMed

    Gale, Philip A; Pérez-Tomás, Ricardo; Quesada, Roberto

    2013-12-17

    In this Account, we discuss the development of new lipid bilayer anion transporters based on the structure of anionophoric natural products (the prodigiosins) and purely synthetic supramolecular systems. We have studied the interaction of these compounds with human cancer cell lines, and, in general, the most active anion transporter compounds possess the greatest anti-cancer properties. Initially, we describe the anion transport properties of synthetic molecules that are based on the structure of the family of natural products known as the prodiginines. Obatoclax, for example, is a prodiginine derivative with an indole ring that is currently in clinical trials for use as an anti-cancer drug. The anion transport properties of the compounds were correlated with their toxicity toward small cell human lung cancer GLC4 cells. We studied related compounds with enamine moieties, tambjamines, that serve as active transporters. These molecules and others in this series could depolarize acidic compartments within GLC4 cells and trigger apoptosis. In a study of the variation of lipophilicity of a series of these compounds, we observed that, as log P increases, the anion transport efficiency reaches a peak and then decreases. In addition, we discuss the anion transport properties of series of synthetic supramolecular anion receptor species. We synthesized trisureas and thioureas based on the tren backbone, and found that the thiourea compounds effectively transport anions. Fluorination of the pendant phenyl groups in this series of compounds greatly enhances the transport properties. Similar to our earlier results, the most active anion transporters reduced the viability of human cancer cell lines by depolarizing acidic compartments in GLC4 cells and triggering apoptosis. In an attempt to produce simpler transporters that obey Lipinski's Rule of Five, we synthesized simpler systems containing a single urea or thiourea group. Once again the thiourea systems, and in particular

  10. Ins and outs of systems biology vis-à-vis molecular biology: continuation or clear cut?

    PubMed

    De Backer, Philippe; De Waele, Danny; Van Speybroeck, Linda

    2010-03-01

    The comprehension of living organisms in all their complexity poses a major challenge to the biological sciences. Recently, systems biology has been proposed as a new candidate in the development of such a comprehension. The main objective of this paper is to address what systems biology is and how it is practised. To this end, the basic tools of a systems biological approach are explored and illustrated. In addition, it is questioned whether systems biology 'revolutionizes' molecular biology and 'transcends' its assumed reductionism. The strength of this claim appears to depend on how molecular and systems biology are characterised and on how reductionism is interpreted. Doing credit to molecular biology and to methodological reductionism, it is argued that the distinction between molecular and systems biology is gradual rather than sharp. As such, the classical challenge in biology to manage, interpret and integrate biological data into functional wholes is further intensified by systems biology's use of modelling and bioinformatics, and by its scale enlargement.

  11. Aquaporin Biology and Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Barbara, Buffoli

    2010-01-01

    Our understanding of the movement of water through cell membranes has been greatly advanced by the discovery of a family of water-specific, membrane-channel proteins: the Aquaporins (AQPs). These proteins are present in organisms at all levels of life, and their unique permeability characteristics and distribution in numerous tissues indicate diverse roles in the regulation of water homeostasis. Phenotype analysis of AQP knock-out mice has confirmed the predicted role of AQPs in osmotically driven transepithelial fluid transport, as occurs in the urinary concentrating mechanism and glandular fluid secretion. Regarding their expression in nervous system, there are evidences suggesting that AQPs are differentially expressed in the peripheral versus central nervous system and that channel-mediated water transport mechanisms may be involved in cerebrospinal fluid formation, neuronal signal transduction and information processing. Moreover, a number of recent studies have revealed the importance of mammalian AQPs in both physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms and have suggested that pharmacological modulation of AQP expression and activity may provide new tools for the treatment of variety of human disorders in which water and small solute transport may be involved. For all the AQPs, new contributions to physiological functions are likely to be discovered with ongoing work in this rapidly expanding field of research. PMID:21119880

  12. Current advances in systems and integrative biology

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Scott W.; Fernandes, Marco; Husi, Holger

    2014-01-01

    Systems biology has gained a tremendous amount of interest in the last few years. This is partly due to the realization that traditional approaches focusing only on a few molecules at a time cannot describe the impact of aberrant or modulated molecular environments across a whole system. Furthermore, a hypothesis-driven study aims to prove or disprove its postulations, whereas a hypothesis-free systems approach can yield an unbiased and novel testable hypothesis as an end-result. This latter approach foregoes assumptions which predict how a biological system should react to an altered microenvironment within a cellular context, across a tissue or impacting on distant organs. Additionally, re-use of existing data by systematic data mining and re-stratification, one of the cornerstones of integrative systems biology, is also gaining attention. While tremendous efforts using a systems methodology have already yielded excellent results, it is apparent that a lack of suitable analytic tools and purpose-built databases poses a major bottleneck in applying a systematic workflow. This review addresses the current approaches used in systems analysis and obstacles often encountered in large-scale data analysis and integration which tend to go unnoticed, but have a direct impact on the final outcome of a systems approach. Its wide applicability, ranging from basic research, disease descriptors, pharmacological studies, to personalized medicine, makes this emerging approach well suited to address biological and medical questions where conventional methods are not ideal. PMID:25379142

  13. Systems Biology: The Next Frontier for Bioinformatics

    PubMed Central

    Likić, Vladimir A.; McConville, Malcolm J.; Lithgow, Trevor; Bacic, Antony

    2010-01-01

    Biochemical systems biology augments more traditional disciplines, such as genomics, biochemistry and molecular biology, by championing (i) mathematical and computational modeling; (ii) the application of traditional engineering practices in the analysis of biochemical systems; and in the past decade increasingly (iii) the use of near-comprehensive data sets derived from ‘omics platform technologies, in particular “downstream” technologies relative to genome sequencing, including transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. The future progress in understanding biological principles will increasingly depend on the development of temporal and spatial analytical techniques that will provide high-resolution data for systems analyses. To date, particularly successful were strategies involving (a) quantitative measurements of cellular components at the mRNA, protein and metabolite levels, as well as in vivo metabolic reaction rates, (b) development of mathematical models that integrate biochemical knowledge with the information generated by high-throughput experiments, and (c) applications to microbial organisms. The inevitable role bioinformatics plays in modern systems biology puts mathematical and computational sciences as an equal partner to analytical and experimental biology. Furthermore, mathematical and computational models are expected to become increasingly prevalent representations of our knowledge about specific biochemical systems. PMID:21331364

  14. From Artificial Chemistries to Systems Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaleta, Christoph

    Artificial Chemistries abstract from real-world chemistries by reducing them to systems of interacting and reacting molecules. They have been used to study phenomena in a wide array of fields like social and ecological modelling, evolution or chemical computing. Artificial Chemistries are inherently difficult to study and, thus, methods have been proposed to analyze their complexity. This chapter outlines how the concept of chemical organization and software dedicated at their analysis can help to ease this task. The chemical organizations of a reaction network correspond to sets of molecules that can coexist over long periods of (simulation-) time. Thus, they can be used to study the full dynamic behavior a system can exhibit without the need to simulate it in every detail. Due to this appealing property, Chemical Organization Theory has been used in the study of a wide array of systems ranging from Artificial Chemistries to real-world chemistries and biological systems. Especially the analysis of biological systems motivated an integration of the tools dedicated to the study of chemical organizations into an application framework from Systems Biology. The benefit of this integration is that tools from Systems Biology can be used without much effort along with the tools for the computation of chemical organizations and vice versa. Thus, software for the analysis of chemical organizations seamlessly integrates into a framework covering almost any aspect of network design and analysis.

  15. Systems biology solutions for biochemical production challenges.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca M; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus; Herrgård, Markus J

    2017-03-16

    There is an urgent need to significantly accelerate the development of microbial cell factories to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks in order to facilitate the transition to a biobased society. Methods commonly used within the field of systems biology including omics characterization, genome-scale metabolic modeling, and adaptive laboratory evolution can be readily deployed in metabolic engineering projects. However, high performance strains usually carry tens of genetic modifications and need to operate in challenging environmental conditions. This additional complexity compared to basic science research requires pushing systems biology strategies to their limits and often spurs innovative developments that benefit fields outside metabolic engineering. Here we survey recent advanced applications of systems biology methods in engineering microbial production strains for biofuels and -chemicals.

  16. Systems medicine: evolution of systems biology from bench to bedside.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui-Sheng; Maron, Bradley A; Loscalzo, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput experimental techniques for generating genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, and interactomes have provided unprecedented opportunities to interrogate biological systems and human diseases on a global level. Systems biology integrates the mass of heterogeneous high-throughput data and predictive computational modeling to understand biological functions as system-level properties. Most human diseases are biological states caused by multiple components of perturbed pathways and regulatory networks rather than individual failing components. Systems biology not only facilitates basic biological research but also provides new avenues through which to understand human diseases, identify diagnostic biomarkers, and develop disease treatments. At the same time, systems biology seeks to assist in drug discovery, drug optimization, drug combinations, and drug repositioning by investigating the molecular mechanisms of action of drugs at a system's level. Indeed, systems biology is evolving to systems medicine as a new discipline that aims to offer new approaches for addressing the diagnosis and treatment of major human diseases uniquely, effectively, and with personalized precision.

  17. Systems Biology Approach to Developing “Systems Therapeutics”

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The standard drug development model uses reductionist approaches to discover small molecules targeting one pathway. Although systems biology analyzes multiple pathways, the approach is often used to develop a small molecule interacting at only one pathway in the system. Similar to that in physics where a departure from the old reductionist “Copenhagen View” of quantum physics to a new and predictive systems based, collective model has emerged yielding new breakthroughs such as the LASER, a new model is emerging in biology where systems biology is used to develop a new technology acting at multiple pathways called “systems therapeutics.” PMID:24900858

  18. Standards and Ontologies in Computational Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Sauro, Herbert M.; Bergmann, Frank

    2009-01-01

    With the growing importance of computational models in systems biology there has been much interest in recent years to develop standard model interchange languages that permit biologists to easily exchange models between different software tools. In this chapter two chief model exchange standards, SBML and CellML are described. In addition, other related features including visual layout initiatives, ontologies and best practices for model annotation are discussed. Software tools such as developer libraries and basic editing tools are also introduced together with a discussion on the future of modeling languages and visualization tools in systems biology. PMID:18793134

  19. Systems Medicine: Evolution of Systems Biology From Bench To Bedside

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui-Sheng; Maron, Bradley A.; Loscalzo, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput experimental techniques for generating genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, and interactomes have provided unprecedented opportunities to interrogate biological systems and human diseases on a global level. Systems biology integrates the mass of heterogeneous high-throughput data and predictive computational modeling to understand biological functions as system-level properties. Most human diseases are biological states caused by multiple components of perturbed pathways and regulatory networks rather than individual failing components. Systems biology not only facilitates basic biological research, but also provides new avenues through which to understand human diseases, identify diagnostic biomarkers, and develop disease treatments. At the same time, systems biology seeks to assist in drug discovery, drug optimization, drug combinations, and drug repositioning by investigating the molecular mechanisms of action of drugs at a system’s level. Indeed, systems biology is evolving to systems medicine as a new discipline that aims to offer new approaches for addressing the diagnosis and treatment of major human diseases uniquely, effectively, and with personalized precision. PMID:25891169

  20. Self Organizing Systems and the Research Implications for Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denkins-Taffe, Lauren R.; Alfred, Marcus; Lindesay, James

    2008-03-01

    The knowledge gained from the human genome project, has provided an added opportunity to study the dynamical relationships within biological systems and can lead to an increased knowledge of diseases and subsequent drug discovery. Through computation, methods in which to rebuild these systems are being studied. These methods, which have first been applied to simpler systems: predator-prey, and self sustaining ecosystems can be applied to the study of microscopic biological systems.

  1. Macroscopic Quantum-Type Potentials in Theoretical Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Nottale, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    We review in this paper the use of the theory of scale relativity and fractal space-time as a tool particularly well adapted to the possible development of a future genuine systems theoretical biology. We emphasize in particular the concept of quantum-type potentials, since, in many situations, the effect of the fractality of space—or of the underlying medium—can be reduced to the addition of such a potential energy to the classical equations of motion. Various equivalent representations—geodesic, quantum-like, fluid mechanical, stochastic—of these equations are given, as well as several forms of generalized quantum potentials. Examples of their possible intervention in high critical temperature superconductivity and in turbulence are also described, since some biological processes may be similar in some aspects to these physical phenomena. These potential extra energy contributions could have emerged in biology from the very fractal nature of the medium, or from an evolutive advantage, since they involve spontaneous properties of self-organization, morphogenesis, structuration and multi-scale integration. Finally, some examples of applications of the theory to actual biological-like processes and functions are also provided. PMID:24709901

  2. Macroscopic quantum-type potentials in theoretical systems biology.

    PubMed

    Nottale, Laurent

    2013-12-30

    We review in this paper the use of the theory of scale relativity and fractal space-time as a tool particularly well adapted to the possible development of a future genuine systems theoretical biology. We emphasize in particular the concept of quantum-type potentials, since, in many situations, the effect of the fractality of space-or of the underlying medium-can be reduced to the addition of such a potential energy to the classical equations of motion. Various equivalent representations-geodesic, quantum-like, fluid mechanical, stochastic-of these equations are given, as well as several forms of generalized quantum potentials. Examples of their possible intervention in high critical temperature superconductivity and in turbulence are also described, since some biological processes may be similar in some aspects to these physical phenomena. These potential extra energy contributions could have emerged in biology from the very fractal nature of the medium, or from an evolutive advantage, since they involve spontaneous properties of self-organization, morphogenesis, structuration and multi-scale integration. Finally, some examples of applications of the theory to actual biological-like processes and functions are also provided.

  3. Discovery of Chemical Toxicity via Biological Networks and Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Perkins, Edward; Habib, Tanwir; Guan, Xin; Escalon, Barbara; Falciani, Francesco; Chipman, J.K.; Antczak, Philipp; Edwards, Stephen; Taylor, Ronald C.; Vulpe, Chris; Loguinov, Alexandre; Van Aggelen, Graham; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Garcia-Reyero, Natalia

    2010-09-30

    Both soldiers and animals are exposed to many chemicals as the result of military activities. Tools are needed to understand the hazards and risks that chemicals and new materials pose to soldiers and the environment. We have investigated the potential of global gene regulatory networks in understanding the impact of chemicals on reproduction. We characterized effects of chemicals on ovaries of the model animal system, the Fathead minnow (Pimopheles promelas) connecting chemical impacts on gene expression to circulating blood levels of the hormones testosterone and estradiol in addition to the egg yolk protein vitellogenin. We describe the application of reverse engineering complex interaction networks from high dimensional gene expression data to characterize chemicals that disrupt the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal endocrine axis that governs reproduction in fathead minnows. The construction of global gene regulatory networks provides deep insights into how drugs and chemicals effect key organs and biological pathways.

  4. Meeting report: Signal transduction meets systems biology

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In the 21st century, systems-wide analyses of biological processes are getting more and more realistic. Especially for the in depth analysis of signal transduction pathways and networks, various approaches of systems biology are now successfully used. The EU FP7 large integrated project SYBILLA (Systems Biology of T-cell Activation in Health and Disease) coordinates such an endeavor. By using a combination of experimental data sets and computational modelling, the consortium strives for gaining a detailed and mechanistic understanding of signal transduction processes that govern T-cell activation. In order to foster the interaction between systems biologists and experimentally working groups, SYBILLA co-organized the 15th meeting “Signal Transduction: Receptors, Mediators and Genes” together with the Signal Transduction Society (STS). Thus, the annual STS conference, held from November 7 to 9, 2011 in Weimar, Germany, provided an interdisciplinary forum for research on signal transduction with a major focus on systems biology addressing signalling events in T-cells. Here we report on a selection of ongoing projects of SYBILLA and how they were discussed at this interdisciplinary conference. PMID:22546078

  5. Systems biology data analysis methodology in pharmacogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Rodin, Andrei S; Gogoshin, Grigoriy; Boerwinkle, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Pharmacogenetics aims to elucidate the genetic factors underlying the individual’s response to pharmacotherapy. Coupled with the recent (and ongoing) progress in high-throughput genotyping, sequencing and other genomic technologies, pharmacogenetics is rapidly transforming into pharmacogenomics, while pursuing the primary goals of identifying and studying the genetic contribution to drug therapy response and adverse effects, and existing drug characterization and new drug discovery. Accomplishment of both of these goals hinges on gaining a better understanding of the underlying biological systems; however, reverse-engineering biological system models from the massive datasets generated by the large-scale genetic epidemiology studies presents a formidable data analysis challenge. In this article, we review the recent progress made in developing such data analysis methodology within the paradigm of systems biology research that broadly aims to gain a ‘holistic’, or ‘mechanistic’ understanding of biological systems by attempting to capture the entirety of interactions between the components (genetic and otherwise) of the system. PMID:21919609

  6. The Actual (Un)usefulness of the Bologna System in Medical Education

    PubMed Central

    Masic, Izet; Begic, Edin

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Faculty of Medicine, University of Sarajevo has officially started working on 22.11.1944, and is the oldest faculty in the medical field in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time there are two systems of organization of the teaching process, the old system and the Bologna system. Aim: To analyze the implementation of the Bologna system, and making an overview of its justification. Material and methods: Answers from questionnaires from total of 459 students were analyzed (197 who had studied under the old system and 262 who studied under the Bologna system), so total of four generations of the Bologna system. They filled out a questionnaire in which they evaluated the teaching process. Student’s opinion about quality of medical education was measured by modified Lickert scale. Results: Students of old system are older than students of the Bologna process, whose average age is increasing from generation to generation, given the growing number of students who repeat a year. All students of old system repeated an academic year once or several times (p <0.05). Analysis of average grades showed statistically significant difference (p <0.05), where students in the Bologna system had higher averages than students who were studying under the old system. The presence of large number of female students, in both systems is significant (p <0.05). Out of 33 questions about satisfaction of class, 15 were answered with better average grade from students of the Bologna system. A slight improvement in the Bologna system is in terms of the evaluation of the quality of the educational process (teachers, methods, effects). The only significant progress has been proven in terms of rating the degree of computerization of the educational process–general records on enrolled students (old system vs Bologna system–3,44 vs 3,63), record of attendance (3,47 vs 3,73), obtaining certificates (3,08 vs 3,84), method of registration of exam (2,98 vs 3,71), method of practical

  7. Correlation of laboratory testing and actual operations for the West Valley supernatant treatment system

    SciTech Connect

    Kurath, D E; Bray, L A; Ross, W A; Ploetz, D K

    1989-04-01

    An ion exchange process which removes Cs-137 from the supernatant liquid associated with neutralized PUREX high-level waste at the West Valley Demonstration Project was developed at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory. West Valley has now achieved initial operation of the supernatant treatment system, and results have confirmed the laboratory studies. This paper addresses the development of the predictions of system operations and the initial results of the system. 2 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  8. Systems biology for organotypic cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Grego, Sonia; Dougherty, Edward R; Alexander, Francis J; Auerbach, Scott S; Berridge, Brian R; Bittner, Michael L; Casey, Warren; Cooley, Philip C; Dash, Ajit; Ferguson, Stephen S; Fennell, Timothy R; Hawkins, Brian T; Hickey, Anthony J; Kleensang, Andre; Liebman, Michael N J; Martin, Florian; Maull, Elizabeth A; Paragas, Jason; Qiao, Guilin Gary; Ramaiahgari, Sreenivasa; Sumner, Susan J; Yoon, Miyoung

    2016-11-14

    Translating in vitro biological data into actionable information related to human health holds the potential to improve disease treatment and risk assessment of chemical exposures. While genomics has identified regulatory pathways at the cellular level, translation to the organism level requires a multiscale approach accounting for intra-cellular regulation, inter-cellular interaction, and tissue/organ-level effects. Tissue-level effects can now be probed in vitro thanks to recently developed systems of three-dimensional (3D), multicellular, "organotypic" cell cultures, which mimic functional responses of living tissue. However, there remains a knowledge gap regarding interactions across different biological scales, complicating accurate prediction of health outcomes from molecular/genomic data and tissue responses. Systems biology aims at mathematical modeling of complex, non-linear biological systems. We propose to apply a systems biology approach to achieve a computational representation of tissue-level physiological responses by integrating empirical data derived from organotypic culture systems with computational models of intracellular pathways to better predict human responses. Successful implementation of this integrated approach will provide a powerful tool for faster, more accurate and cost-effective screening of potential toxicants and therapeutics. On September 11, 2015, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and clinicians gathered for a workshop in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss this ambitious goal. Participants represented laboratory-based and computational modeling approaches to pharmacology and toxicology, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, government, non-profits, and academia. Discussions focused on identifying critical system perturbations to model, the computational tools required, and the experimental approaches best suited to generating key data.

  9. Systems Biology for Organotypic Cell Cultures

    SciTech Connect

    Grego, Sonia; Dougherty, Edward R.; Alexander, Francis J.; Auerbach, Scott S.; Berridge, Brian R.; Bittner, Michael L.; Casey, Warren; Cooley, Philip C.; Dash, Ajit; Ferguson, Stephen S.; Fennell, Timothy R.; Hawkins, Brian T.; Hickey, Anthony J.; Kleensang, Andre; Liebman, Michael N.; Martin, Florian; Maull, Elizabeth A.; Paragas, Jason; Qiao, Guilin; Ramaiahgari, Sreenivasa; Sumner, Susan J.; Yoon, Miyoung

    2016-08-04

    Translating in vitro biological data into actionable information related to human health holds the potential to improve disease treatment and risk assessment of chemical exposures. While genomics has identified regulatory pathways at the cellular level, translation to the organism level requires a multiscale approach accounting for intra-cellular regulation, inter-cellular interaction, and tissue/organ-level effects. Tissue-level effects can now be probed in vitro thanks to recently developed systems of three-dimensional (3D), multicellular, “organotypic” cell cultures, which mimic functional responses of living tissue. However, there remains a knowledge gap regarding interactions across different biological scales, complicating accurate prediction of health outcomes from molecular/genomic data and tissue responses. Systems biology aims at mathematical modeling of complex, non-linear biological systems. We propose to apply a systems biology approach to achieve a computational representation of tissue-level physiological responses by integrating empirical data derived from organotypic culture systems with computational models of intracellular pathways to better predict human responses. Successful implementation of this integrated approach will provide a powerful tool for faster, more accurate and cost-effective screening of potential toxicants and therapeutics. On September 11, 2015, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and clinicians gathered for a workshop in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss this ambitious goal. Participants represented laboratory-based and computational modeling approaches to pharmacology and toxicology, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, government, non-profits, and academia. Discussions focused on identifying critical system perturbations to model, the computational tools required, and the experimental approaches best suited to generating key data. This consensus report summarizes the discussions held.

  10. Promoting Systems Thinking through Biology Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riess, Werner; Mischo, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    This study's goal was to analyze various teaching approaches within the context of natural science lessons, especially in biology. The main focus of the paper lies on the effectiveness of different teaching methods in promoting systems thinking in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. The following methods were incorporated into the…

  11. Support system considerations for STS biological investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, G. H.; Sebesta, P. D.

    1978-01-01

    Equipment required for Space Transportation System biological experiments is considered, and environmental factors and operational constraints affecting the performance of experiments are examined. Specimen housing is discussed, problems associated with telemetry procedures are characterized, and attention is directed to the problems of handling hazardous fixatives, radioisotopes, and chemicals.

  12. Glucose Disappearance in Biological Treatment Systems

    PubMed Central

    Jeris, John S.; Cardenas, Raul R.

    1966-01-01

    Laboratory scale anaerobic and aerobic treatment units were conditioned with a daily slug-feed of glucose. After a period of acclimation and stabilization, glucose disappearance was monitored continuously after the slug feed. A continuous sampling apparatus is described. Mathematical analysis of the data indicate zero-order reactions for both biological treatment systems. PMID:16349685

  13. Modular microfluidic system for biological sample preparation

    DOEpatents

    Rose, Klint A.; Mariella, Jr., Raymond P.; Bailey, Christopher G.; Ness, Kevin Dean

    2015-09-29

    A reconfigurable modular microfluidic system for preparation of a biological sample including a series of reconfigurable modules for automated sample preparation adapted to selectively include a) a microfluidic acoustic focusing filter module, b) a dielectrophoresis bacteria filter module, c) a dielectrophoresis virus filter module, d) an isotachophoresis nucleic acid filter module, e) a lyses module, and f) an isotachophoresis-based nucleic acid filter.

  14. Studies on Semantic Systems Chemical Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Bin

    2012-01-01

    Current "one disease, one target and one drug" drug development paradigm is under question as relatively few drugs have reached the market in the last two decades. Increasingly research focus is being placed on the study of drug action against biological systems as a whole rather than against a single component (called "Systems…

  15. Systems Biology of Glucocorticoids in Muscle Disease

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-01

    SUBJECT TERMS Duchenne Muscular dystrophy , Glucocorticoids, Systems biology, Drug mechanism 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: U 17. LIMITATION...Introduction Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common and incurable muscular dystrophy of childhood. Muscle regeneration fails with...better targeted and more effective therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy dynamically. This MDA grant proposal is led by Dr. Eric Hoffman, and it

  16. Degeneracy and complexity in biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Edelman, Gerald M.; Gally, Joseph A.

    2001-01-01

    Degeneracy, the ability of elements that are structurally different to perform the same function or yield the same output, is a well known characteristic of the genetic code and immune systems. Here, we point out that degeneracy is a ubiquitous biological property and argue that it is a feature of complexity at genetic, cellular, system, and population levels. Furthermore, it is both necessary for, and an inevitable outcome of, natural selection. PMID:11698650

  17. Biological Indicator Systems in Floodplains - a Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dziock, Frank; Henle, Klaus; Foeckler, Francis; Follner, Klaus; Scholz, Mathias

    2006-08-01

    Based on a literature review, the different approaches to biological indicator systems in floodplains are summarised. Four general categories of bioindication are defined and proposed here: 1. Classification indicators, 2.1 Environmental indicators, 2.2 Biodiversity indicators, 3. Valuation indicators. Furthermore, existing approaches in floodplains are classified according to the four categories. Relevant and widely used approaches in floodplains are explained in more detail. The results of the RIVA project are put into the context of these indication approaches. It is concluded that especially functional assessment approaches using biological traits of the species can be seen as very promising and deserve more attention by conservation biologists and floodplain ecologists.

  18. Modeling and testing of fractionation effects with refrigerant blends in an actual residential heat pump system

    SciTech Connect

    Biancardi, F.R.; Pandy, D.R.; Sienel, T.H.; Michels, H.H.

    1997-12-31

    The heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) industry is actively evaluating and testing hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant blends as a means of complying with current and impending national and international environmental regulations restricting the use and disposal of conventional chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants that contribute to the global ozone-depletion effects. While analyses and system performance tools have shown that HFC refrigerant blends offer certain performance, capacity, and operational advantages, there are significant possible service and operational issues that are raised by the use of blends. Many of these issues occur due to the fractionation of the blends. Therefore, the objective of this program was to conduct analyses and experimental tests aimed at understanding these issues, develop approaches or techniques to predict these effects, and convey to the industry safe and reliable approaches. As a result, analytical models verified by laboratory data have been developed that predict the fractionation effects of HFC refrigerant blends (1) when exposed to selected POE lubricants, (2) during the system charging process from large liquid containers, and (3) during system start-up, operation, and shutdown within various system components (where two-phase refrigerant exists) and during selected system and component leakage scenarios. Model predictions and experimental results are presented for HFC refrigerant blends containing R-32, R-134a, and R-125 and the data are generalized for various operating conditions and scenarios.

  19. B chromosomes: from cytogenetics to systems biology.

    PubMed

    Valente, Guilherme T; Nakajima, Rafael T; Fantinatti, Bruno E A; Marques, Diego F; Almeida, Rodrigo O; Simões, Rafael P; Martins, Cesar

    2017-02-01

    Though hundreds to thousands of reports have described the distribution of B chromosomes among diverse eukaryote groups, a comprehensive theory of their biological role has not yet clearly emerged. B chromosomes are classically understood as a sea of repetitive DNA sequences that are poor in genes and are maintained by a parasitic-drive mechanism during cell division. Recent developments in high-throughput DNA/RNA analyses have increased the resolution of B chromosome biology beyond those of classical and molecular cytogenetic methods; B chromosomes contain many transcriptionally active sequences, including genes, and can modulate the activity of autosomal genes. Furthermore, the most recent knowledge obtained from omics analyses, which is associated with a systemic view, has demonstrated that B chromosomes can influence cell biology in a complex way, possibly favoring their own maintenance and perpetuation.

  20. Light manipulation principles in biological photonic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Tim; Vukusic, Pete

    2013-10-01

    The science of light and colour manipulation continues to generate interest across a range of disciplines, from mainstream biology, across multiple physics-based fields, to optical engineering. Furthermore, the study of light production and manipulation is of significant value to a variety of industrial processes and commercial products. Among the several key methods by which colour is produced in the biological world, this review sets out to describe, in some detail, the specifics of the method involving photonics in animal and plant systems; namely, the mechanism commonly referred to as structural colour generation. Not only has this theme been a very rapidly growing area of physics-based interest, but also it is increasingly clear that the biological world is filled with highly evolved structural designs by which light and colour strongly influence behaviours and ecological functions.

  1. Rhythmic biological systems under microgravity conditions.

    PubMed

    Johnsson, A; Eidesmo, T

    1989-01-01

    Rhythmic phenomena in biology cover a wide frequency spectrum. In Space, the rhythms will encounter microgravity conditions which can, therefore, be a valuable tool for their understanding. A review and discussion of important effects of gravity/absence of gravity on biological systems will be given. Convection will be emphasized as a mechanism which is drastically reduced in Space. Microgravity might also affect the coupling between individual oscillators in a multi-oscillatory system. The environmental interference with rhythms will be discussed with a simple feedback as a starting point. Model simulations will be presented and clinostat and microgravity-conditions will be discussed in a specific case, viz. the gravitropical system of plants which can show sustained oscillations.

  2. Actualizing Personalized Healthcare for Women through Connected Data Systems: Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Weerasinghe, Roshanthi

    2013-01-01

    Background: Healthcare organizations have invested in electronic patient data systems, yet use of health data to optimize personalized care has been limited. Primary Study Objective: To develop and pilot an integrated source of health system data related to breast healthcare. Methods/Design: This study is a quality improvement project. Patient-level data from multiple internal sources were identified, mapped to a common data model, linked, and validated to create a breast healthcare-specific data mart. Linkages were based on matching algorithms using patient identifiers to group data from the same patient. Data definitions, a data dictionary, and indicators for quality and benchmarking aligned with standardized measures. Clinical pathways were developed to outline the patient populations, data elements, decision points, and outcomes for specific conditions. Setting: Electronic data sources in a community-based health system in the United States. Participants: Women receiving breast cancer screening, prevention, and diagnosis services. Main Outcome Measures: Distribution of mammography examinations and pathologic results of breast biopsies. Results: From 2008 to 2011, 200768 screening and 50200 diagnostic mammograms were obtained; rates varied by age over time. Breast biopsies for 7332 women indicated 23.3% with invasive breast cancer, 6.7% with ductal carcinoma in situ, and 70.0% with nonmalignant diagnoses that would not have been further differentiated by administrative codes alone. Limitations: Evaluation of validity and efficiency and additional tracking of clinical outcomes are needed. Conclusions: The creation of a patient-centered data system by connecting and integrating disparate data sources within a large health system allows customized analyses of data and improves capacity for clinical decision making and personalized healthcare. PMID:24416691

  3. Treatment of an actual slaughterhouse wastewater by integration of biological and advanced oxidation processes: Modeling, optimization, and cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Bustillo-Lecompte, Ciro Fernando; Mehrvar, Mehrab

    2016-11-01

    Biological and advanced oxidation processes are combined to treat an actual slaughterhouse wastewater (SWW) by a sequence of an anaerobic baffled reactor, an aerobic activated sludge reactor, and a UV/H2O2 photoreactor with recycle in continuous mode at laboratory scale. In the first part of this study, quadratic modeling along with response surface methodology are used for the statistical analysis and optimization of the combined process. The effects of the influent total organic carbon (TOC) concentration, the flow rate, the pH, the inlet H2O2 concentration, and their interaction on the overall treatment efficiency, CH4 yield, and H2O2 residual in the effluent of the photoreactor are investigated. The models are validated at different operating conditions using experimental data. Maximum TOC and total nitrogen (TN) removals of 91.29 and 86.05%, respectively, maximum CH4 yield of 55.72%, and minimum H2O2 residual of 1.45% in the photoreactor effluent were found at optimal operating conditions. In the second part of this study, continuous distribution kinetics is applied to establish a mathematical model for the degradation of SWW as a function of time. The agreement between model predictions and experimental values indicates that the proposed model could describe the performance of the combined anaerobic-aerobic-UV/H2O2 processes for the treatment of SWW. In the final part of the study, the optimized combined anaerobic-aerobic-UV/H2O2 processes with recycle were evaluated using a cost-effectiveness analysis to minimize the retention time, the electrical energy consumption, and the overall incurred treatment costs required for the efficient treatment of slaughterhouse wastewater effluents.

  4. KPFM and PFM of Biological Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, Brian; Kalinin, Sergei V

    2011-01-01

    Surface potentials and electrostatic interactions in biological systems are a key element of cellular regulation and interaction. Examples include cardiac and muscular activity, voltage-gated ion channels, protein folding and assembly, and electroactive cells and electrotransduction. The coupling between electrical, mechanical, and chemical signals and responses in cellular systems necessitates the development of tools capable of measuring the distribution of charged species, surface potentials, and mechanical responses to applied electrical stimuli and vice versa, ultimately under physiological conditions. In this chapter, applications of voltage-modulated atomic force microscopy (AFM) methods including Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) and piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) to biological systems are discussed. KPFM is a force-sensitive non-contact or intermittent-contact mode AFM technique that allows electrostatic interactions and surface potentials to be addressed. Beyond long-range electrostatic interactions, the application of bias can lead to a mechanical response, e.g., due to linear piezoelectric coupling in polar biopolymers or via more complex electrotransduction and redox pathways in other biosystems. The use and development of PFM, based on direct electromechanical detection, to biological systems will also be addressed. The similarities and limitations of measuring surface potentials and electromechanical coupling in solution will be outlined.

  5. Unmanned Aircraft Systems complement biologging in spatial ecology studies.

    PubMed

    Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Barasona, Jose Ángel; Acevedo, Pelayo; Vicente, Joaquín; Negro, Juan José

    2015-11-01

    The knowledge about the spatial ecology and distribution of organisms is important for both basic and applied science. Biologging is one of the most popular methods for obtaining information about spatial distribution of animals, but requires capturing the animals and is often limited by costs and data retrieval. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have proven their efficacy for wildlife surveillance and habitat monitoring, but their potential contribution to the prediction of animal distribution patterns and abundance has not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, we assess the usefulness of UAS overflights to (1) get data to model the distribution of free-ranging cattle for a comparison with results obtained from biologged (GPS-GSM collared) cattle and (2) predict species densities for a comparison with actual density in a protected area. UAS and biologging derived data models provided similar distribution patterns. Predictions from the UAS model overestimated cattle densities, which may be associated with higher aggregated distributions of this species. Overall, while the particular researcher interests and species characteristics will influence the method of choice for each study, we demonstrate here that UAS constitute a noninvasive methodology able to provide accurate spatial data useful for ecological research, wildlife management and rangeland planning.

  6. Dynamical Systems++ for a Theory of Biological System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2014-12-01

    Biological dynamical systems can autonomously change their rule governing the dynamics. To deal with the change in their rule, possible approaches to extend dynamical-systems theory are discussed: They include chaotic itinerancy in high-dimensional dynamical systems, discreteness-induced switches of states, and interference between slow and fast modes. Applications of these concepts to cell differentiation, adaptation, and memory are briefly reviewed, while biological evolution is discussed as selection of dynamical systems by dynamical systems. Finally, necessity of mathematical framework to deal with self-referential dynamics for the rule formation is stressed.

  7. A Converter from the Systems Biology Markup Language to the Synthetic Biology Open Language.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tramy; Roehner, Nicholas; Zundel, Zach; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    Standards are important to synthetic biology because they enable exchange and reproducibility of genetic designs. This paper describes a procedure for converting between two standards: the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) and the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL). SBML is a standard for behavioral models of biological systems at the molecular level. SBOL describes structural and basic qualitative behavioral aspects of a biological design. Converting SBML to SBOL enables a consistent connection between behavioral and structural information for a biological design. The conversion process described in this paper leverages Systems Biology Ontology (SBO) annotations to enable inference of a designs qualitative function.

  8. TOPICAL REVIEW: Carbon nanomaterials in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ke, Pu Chun; Qiao, Rui

    2007-09-01

    This paper intends to reflect, from the biophysical viewpoint, our current understanding on interfacing nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, with biological systems. Strategies for improving the solubility, and therefore, the bioavailability of nanomaterials in aqueous solutions are summarized. In particular, the underlining mechanisms of attaching biomacromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins) and lysophospholipids onto carbon nanotubes and gallic acids onto fullerenes are analyzed. The diffusion and the cellular delivery of RNA-coated carbon nanotubes are characterized using fluorescence microscopy. The translocation of fullerenes across cell membranes is simulated using molecular dynamics to offer new insight into the complex issue of nanotoxicity. To assess the fate of nanomaterials in the environment, the biomodification of lipid-coated carbon nanotubes by the aquatic organism Daphnia magna is discussed. The aim of this paper is to illuminate the need for adopting multidisciplinary approaches in the field study of nanomaterials in biological systems and in the environment.

  9. A systems biology starter kit for arenaviruses.

    PubMed

    Droniou-Bonzom, Magali E; Cannon, Paula M

    2012-12-01

    Systems biology approaches in virology aim to integrate viral and host biological networks, and thus model the infection process. The growing availability of high-throughput “-omics” techniques and datasets, as well as the ever-increasing sophistication of in silico modeling tools, has resulted in a corresponding rise in the complexity of the analyses that can be performed. The present study seeks to review and organize published evidence regarding virus-host interactions for the arenaviruses, from alterations in the host proteome during infection, to reported protein-protein interactions. In this way, we hope to provide an overview of the interplay between arenaviruses and the host cell, and lay the foundations for complementing current arenavirus research with a systems-level approach.

  10. Image informatics in systems biology applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Stephen T. C.

    2005-02-01

    Digital optical microscopy, coupled with parallel processing and a large arsenal of labeling techniques, offers tremendous values to localize, identify, and characterize cells and molecules. This generates many image informatics challenges in requiring new algorithms and tools to extract, classify, correlate, and model image features and content from massive amounts of cellular and molecular images acquired. Image informatics aims to fill this gap. Coupling automated microscopy and image analysis with biostatistical and data mining techniques to provide a system biologic approach in studying the cells, the basic unit of life, potentially leads to many exciting applications in life and health sciences. In this presentation, we describe certain new system biology applications enabled by image informatics technology.

  11. The plasminogen activator system: biology and regulation.

    PubMed

    Irigoyen, J P; Muñoz-Cánoves, P; Montero, L; Koziczak, M; Nagamine, Y

    1999-10-01

    The regulation of plasminogen activation involves genes for two plasminogen activators (tissue type and urokinase type), two specific inhibitors (type 1 and type 2), and a membrane-anchored urokinase-type plasminogen-activator-specific receptor. This system plays an important role in various biological processes involving extracellular proteolysis. Recent studies have revealed that the system, through interplay with integrins and the extracellular matrix protein vitronectin, is also involved in the regulation of cell migration and proliferation in a manner independent of proteolytic activity. The genes are expressed in many different cell types and their expression is under the control of diverse extracellular signals. Gene expression reflects the levels of the corresponding mRNA, which should be the net result of synthesis and degradation. Thus, modulation of mRNA stability is an important factor in overall regulation. This review summarizes current understanding of the biology and regulation of genes involved in plasminogen activation at different levels.

  12. Endogenous Biologically Inspired Art of Complex Systems.

    PubMed

    Ji, Haru; Wakefield, Graham

    2016-01-01

    Since 2007, Graham Wakefield and Haru Ji have looked to nature for inspiration as they have created a series of "artificial natures," or interactive visualizations of biologically inspired complex systems that can evoke nature-like aesthetic experiences within mixed-reality art installations. This article describes how they have applied visualization, sonification, and interaction design in their work with artificial ecosystems and organisms using specific examples from their exhibited installations.

  13. Leveraging systems biology approaches in clinical pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Melas, Ioannis N; Kretsos, Kosmas; Alexopoulos, Leonidas G

    2013-01-01

    Computational modeling has been adopted in all aspects of drug research and development, from the early phases of target identification and drug discovery to the late-stage clinical trials. The different questions addressed during each stage of drug R&D has led to the emergence of different modeling methodologies. In the research phase, systems biology couples experimental data with elaborate computational modeling techniques to capture lifecycle and effector cellular functions (e.g. metabolism, signaling, transcription regulation, protein synthesis and interaction) and integrates them in quantitative models. These models are subsequently used in various ways, i.e. to identify new targets, generate testable hypotheses, gain insights on the drug's mode of action (MOA), translate preclinical findings, and assess the potential of clinical drug efficacy and toxicity. In the development phase, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling is the established way to determine safe and efficacious doses for testing at increasingly larger, and more pertinent to the target indication, cohorts of subjects. First, the relationship between drug input and its concentration in plasma is established. Second, the relationship between this concentration and desired or undesired PD responses is ascertained. Recognizing that the interface of systems biology with PK/PD will facilitate drug development, systems pharmacology came into existence, combining methods from PK/PD modeling and systems engineering explicitly to account for the implicated mechanisms of the target system in the study of drug–target interactions. Herein, a number of popular system biology methodologies are discussed, which could be leveraged within a systems pharmacology framework to address major issues in drug development. PMID:23983165

  14. Systems biology of cancer biomarker detection.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Sanga; Das, Smarajit; Chakrabarti, Jayprokas

    2013-01-01

    Cancer systems-biology is an ever-growing area of research due to explosion of data; how to mine these data and extract useful information is the problem. To have an insight on carcinogenesis one need to systematically mine several resources, such as databases, microarray and next-generation sequences. This review encompasses management and analysis of cancer data, databases construction and data deposition, whole transcriptome and genome comparison, analysing results from high throughput experiments to uncover cellular pathways and molecular interactions, and the design of effective algorithms to identify potential biomarkers. Recent technical advances such as ChIP-on-chip, ChIP-seq and RNA-seq can be applied to get epigenetic information transformed into a high-throughput endeavour to which systems biology and bioinformatics are making significant inroads. The data from ENCODE and GENCODE projects available through UCSC genome browser can be considered as benchmark for comparison and meta-analysis. A pipeline for integrating next generation sequencing data, microarray data, and putting them together with the existing database is discussed. The understanding of cancer genomics is changing the way we approach cancer diagnosis and treatment. To give a better understanding of utilizing available resources' we have chosen oral cancer to show how and what kind of analysis can be done. This review is a computational genomic primer that provides a bird's eye view of computational and bioinformatics' tools currently available to perform integrated genomic and system biology analyses of several carcinoma.

  15. The Emergence of Modularity in Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Dirk M.; Jeng, Alice; Deem, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we discuss modularity and hierarchy in biological systems. We review examples from protein structure, genetics, and biological networks of modular partitioning of the geometry of biological space. We review theories to explain modular organization of biology, with a focus on explaining how biology may spontaneously organize to a structured form. That is, we seek to explain how biology nucleated from among the many possibilities in chemistry. The emergence of modular organization of biological structure will be described as a symmetry-breaking phase transition, with modularity as the order parameter. Experimental support for this description will be reviewed. Examples will be presented from pathogen structure, metabolic networks, gene networks, and protein-protein interaction networks. Additional examples will be presented from ecological food networks, developmental pathways, physiology, and social networks. There once were two watchmakers, named Hora and Tempus, who manufactured very fine watches. Both of them were highly regarded, and the phones in their workshops rang frequently — new customers were constantly calling them. However, Hora prospered, while Tempus became poorer and poorer and finally lost his shop. What was the reason? The watches the men made consisted of about 1,000 parts each. Tempus had so constructed his that if he had one partly assembled and had to put it down — to answer the phone say— it immediately fell to pieces and had to be reassembled from the elements. The better the customers liked his watches, the more they phoned him, the more difficult it became for him to find enough uninterrupted time to finish a watch. The watches that Hora made were no less complex than those of Tempus. But he had designed them so that he could put together subassemblies of about ten elements each. Ten of these subassemblies, again, could be put together into a larger subassembly; and a system of ten of the latter sub

  16. Engineering simulations for cancer systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bown, James; Andrews, Paul S; Deeni, Yusuf; Goltsov, Alexey; Idowu, Michael; Polack, Fiona A C; Sampson, Adam T; Shovman, Mark; Stepney, Susan

    2012-11-01

    Computer simulation can be used to inform in vivo and in vitro experimentation, enabling rapid, low-cost hypothesis generation and directing experimental design in order to test those hypotheses. In this way, in silico models become a scientific instrument for investigation, and so should be developed to high standards, be carefully calibrated and their findings presented in such that they may be reproduced. Here, we outline a framework that supports developing simulations as scientific instruments, and we select cancer systems biology as an exemplar domain, with a particular focus on cellular signalling models. We consider the challenges of lack of data, incomplete knowledge and modelling in the context of a rapidly changing knowledge base. Our framework comprises a process to clearly separate scientific and engineering concerns in model and simulation development, and an argumentation approach to documenting models for rigorous way of recording assumptions and knowledge gaps. We propose interactive, dynamic visualisation tools to enable the biological community to interact with cellular signalling models directly for experimental design. There is a mismatch in scale between these cellular models and tissue structures that are affected by tumours, and bridging this gap requires substantial computational resource. We present concurrent programming as a technology to link scales without losing important details through model simplification. We discuss the value of combining this technology, interactive visualisation, argumentation and model separation to support development of multi-scale models that represent biologically plausible cells arranged in biologically plausible structures that model cell behaviour, interactions and response to therapeutic interventions.

  17. Systems biology for molecular life sciences and its impact in biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel Ángel

    2013-03-01

    Modern systems biology is already contributing to a radical transformation of molecular life sciences and biomedicine, and it is expected to have a real impact in the clinical setting in the next years. In this review, the emergence of systems biology is contextualized with a historic overview, and its present state is depicted. The present and expected future contribution of systems biology to the development of molecular medicine is underscored. Concerning the present situation, this review includes a reflection on the "inflation" of biological data and the urgent need for tools and procedures to make hidden information emerge. Descriptions of the impact of networks and models and the available resources and tools for applying them in systems biology approaches to molecular medicine are provided as well. The actual current impact of systems biology in molecular medicine is illustrated, reviewing two cases, namely, those of systems pharmacology and cancer systems biology. Finally, some of the expected contributions of systems biology to the immediate future of molecular medicine are commented.

  18. Method for photo-altering a biological system to improve biological effect

    DOEpatents

    Hill, Richard A.; Doiron, Daniel R.; Crean, David H.

    2000-08-01

    Photodynamic therapy is a new adjunctive therapy for filtration surgery that does not use chemotherapy agents or radiation, but uses pharmacologically-active sensitizing compounds to produce a titratable, localized, transient, post operative avascular conjunctiva. A photosensitizing agent in a biological system is selectively activated by delivering the photosensitive agent to the biological system and laser activating only a spatially selected portion of the delivered photosensitive agent. The activated portion of the photosensitive agent reacts with the biological system to obtain a predetermined biological effect. As a result, an improved spatial disposition and effectuation of the biological effect by the photosensitive agent in the biological system is achieved.

  19. Complex biological and bio-inspired systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ecke, Robert E

    2009-01-01

    The understanding and characterization ofthe fundamental processes of the function of biological systems underpins many of the important challenges facing American society, from the pathology of infectious disease and the efficacy ofvaccines, to the development of materials that mimic biological functionality and deliver exceptional and novel structural and dynamic properties. These problems are fundamentally complex, involving many interacting components and poorly understood bio-chemical kinetics. We use the basic science of statistical physics, kinetic theory, cellular bio-chemistry, soft-matter physics, and information science to develop cell level models and explore the use ofbiomimetic materials. This project seeks to determine how cell level processes, such as response to mechanical stresses, chemical constituents and related gradients, and other cell signaling mechanisms, integrate and combine to create a functioning organism. The research focuses on the basic physical processes that take place at different levels ofthe biological organism: the basic role of molecular and chemical interactions are investigated, the dynamics of the DNA-molecule and its phylogenetic role are examined and the regulatory networks of complex biochemical processes are modeled. These efforts may lead to early warning algorithms ofpathogen outbreaks, new bio-sensors to detect hazards from pathomic viruses to chemical contaminants. Other potential applications include the development of efficient bio-fuel alternative-energy processes and the exploration ofnovel materials for energy usages. Finally, we use the notion of 'coarse-graining,' which is a method for averaging over less important degrees of freedom to develop computational models to predict cell function and systems-level response to disease, chemical stress, or biological pathomic agents. This project supports Energy Security, Threat Reduction, and the missions of the DOE Office of Science through its efforts to accurately

  20. [Systems theory in medicine and biology].

    PubMed

    Feigl, W; Bonet, E M

    1989-03-15

    We try to determinate, that systems theory has to be introduced into modern medicine. The biological roots as well as the cybernetic ones are outlined. Among various concepts about systems theory the evaluation by Riedl seems to be the most efficient to explain medical procedures. His basic informations refer to von Bertalanffy, the additional introduction of a 4-cause-principle, Aristoteles, permits the explanation of complex relations. The examples of tumor and inflammation are used to demonstrate the basic idea of the formal cause as well as the final cause. The latter should also become an important fact in the solution of other medical problems.

  1. Systems biology for enhanced plant nitrogen nutrition.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A

    2012-06-29

    Nitrogen (N)-based fertilizers increase agricultural productivity but have detrimental effects on the environment and human health. Research is generating improved understanding of the signaling components plants use to sense N and regulate metabolism, physiology, and growth and development. However, we still need to integrate these regulatory factors into signal transduction pathways and connect them to downstream response pathways. Systems biology approaches facilitate identification of new components and N-regulatory networks linked to other plant processes. A holistic view of plant N nutrition should open avenues to translate this knowledge into effective strategies to improve N-use efficiency and enhance crop production systems for more sustainable agricultural practices.

  2. Systems Biology of the Vervet Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Jasinska, Anna J.; Schmitt, Christopher A.; Service, Susan K.; Cantor, Rita M.; Dewar, Ken; Jentsch, James D.; Kaplan, Jay R.; Turner, Trudy R.; Warren, Wesley C.; Weinstock, George M.; Woods, Roger P.; Freimer, Nelson B.

    2013-01-01

    Nonhuman primates (NHP) provide crucial biomedical model systems intermediate between rodents and humans. The vervet monkey (also called the African green monkey) is a widely used NHP model that has unique value for genetic and genomic investigations of traits relevant to human diseases. This article describes the phylogeny and population history of the vervet monkey and summarizes the use of both captive and wild vervet monkeys in biomedical research. It also discusses the effort of an international collaboration to develop the vervet monkey as the most comprehensively phenotypically and genomically characterized NHP, a process that will enable the scientific community to employ this model for systems biology investigations. PMID:24174437

  3. Actual measurement, hygrothermal response experiment and growth prediction analysis of microbial contamination of central air conditioning system in Dalian, China

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Yang; Hu, Guangyao; Wang, Chunyang; Yuan, Wenjie; Wei, Shanshan; Gao, Jiaoqi; Wang, Boyuan; Song, Fangchao

    2017-01-01

    The microbial contamination of central air conditioning system is one of the important factors that affect the indoor air quality. Actual measurement and analysis were carried out on microbial contamination in central air conditioning system at a venue in Dalian, China. Illumina miseq method was used and three fungal samples of two units were analysed by high throughput sequencing. Results showed that the predominant fungus in air conditioning unit A and B were Candida spp. and Cladosporium spp., and two fungus were further used in the hygrothermal response experiment. Based on the data of Cladosporium in hygrothermal response experiment, this paper used the logistic equation and the Gompertz equation to fit the growth predictive model of Cladosporium genera in different temperature and relative humidity conditions, and the square root model was fitted based on the two environmental factors. In addition, the models were carried on the analysis to verify the accuracy and feasibility of the established model equation. PMID:28367963

  4. Systems biology in neuroscience: bridging genes to cognition.

    PubMed

    Grant, Seth G N

    2003-10-01

    Systems biology is a new branch of biology aimed at understanding biological complexity. Genomic and proteomic methods integrated with cellular and organismal analyses allow modelling of physiological processes. Progress in understanding synapse composition and new experimental and bioinformatics methods indicate the synapse is an excellent starting point for global systems biology of the brain. A neuroscience systems biology programme, organized as a consortium, is proposed.

  5. Infrared Microtransmission And Microreflectance Of Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Steve L.; Krishnan, K.; Powell, Jay R.

    1989-12-01

    The infrared microsampling technique has been successfully applied to a variety of biological systems. A microtomed tissue section may be prepared to permit both visual and infrared discrimination. Infrared structural information may be obtained for a single cell, and computer-enhanced images of tissue specimens may be calculated from spectral map data sets. An analysis of a tissue section anomaly may gg suest eitherprotein compositional differences or a localized concentration of foreign matterp. Opaque biological materials such as teeth, gallstones, and kidney stones may be analyzed by microreflectance spectroscop. Absorption anomalies due to specular dispersion are corrected with the Kraymers-Kronig transformation. Corrected microreflectance spectra may contribute to compositional analysis and correlate diseased-related spectral differences to visual specimen anomalies.

  6. Engineering biological systems toward a sustainable bioeconomy.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Mateus Schreiner Garcez

    2015-06-01

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

  7. Adaptable data management for systems biology investigations

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, John; Rovira, Hector; Cavnor, Chris; Burdick, David; Killcoyne, Sarah; Shmulevich, Ilya

    2009-01-01

    Background Within research each experiment is different, the focus changes and the data is generated from a continually evolving barrage of technologies. There is a continual introduction of new techniques whose usage ranges from in-house protocols through to high-throughput instrumentation. To support these requirements data management systems are needed that can be rapidly built and readily adapted for new usage. Results The adaptable data management system discussed is designed to support the seamless mining and analysis of biological experiment data that is commonly used in systems biology (e.g. ChIP-chip, gene expression, proteomics, imaging, flow cytometry). We use different content graphs to represent different views upon the data. These views are designed for different roles: equipment specific views are used to gather instrumentation information; data processing oriented views are provided to enable the rapid development of analysis applications; and research project specific views are used to organize information for individual research experiments. This management system allows for both the rapid introduction of new types of information and the evolution of the knowledge it represents. Conclusion Data management is an important aspect of any research enterprise. It is the foundation on which most applications are built, and must be easily extended to serve new functionality for new scientific areas. We have found that adopting a three-tier architecture for data management, built around distributed standardized content repositories, allows us to rapidly develop new applications to support a diverse user community. PMID:19265554

  8. The systems biology simulation core algorithm

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background With the increasing availability of high dimensional time course data for metabolites, genes, and fluxes, the mathematical description of dynamical systems has become an essential aspect of research in systems biology. Models are often encoded in formats such as SBML, whose structure is very complex and difficult to evaluate due to many special cases. Results This article describes an efficient algorithm to solve SBML models that are interpreted in terms of ordinary differential equations. We begin our consideration with a formal representation of the mathematical form of the models and explain all parts of the algorithm in detail, including several preprocessing steps. We provide a flexible reference implementation as part of the Systems Biology Simulation Core Library, a community-driven project providing a large collection of numerical solvers and a sophisticated interface hierarchy for the definition of custom differential equation systems. To demonstrate the capabilities of the new algorithm, it has been tested with the entire SBML Test Suite and all models of BioModels Database. Conclusions The formal description of the mathematics behind the SBML format facilitates the implementation of the algorithm within specifically tailored programs. The reference implementation can be used as a simulation backend for Java™-based programs. Source code, binaries, and documentation can be freely obtained under the terms of the LGPL version 3 from http://simulation-core.sourceforge.net. Feature requests, bug reports, contributions, or any further discussion can be directed to the mailing list simulation-core-development@lists.sourceforge.net. PMID:23826941

  9. A Free Energy Principle for Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Karl, Friston

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes a free energy principle that tries to explain the ability of biological systems to resist a natural tendency to disorder. It appeals to circular causality of the sort found in synergetic formulations of self-organization (e.g., the slaving principle) and models of coupled dynamical systems, using nonlinear Fokker Planck equations. Here, circular causality is induced by separating the states of a random dynamical system into external and internal states, where external states are subject to random fluctuations and internal states are not. This reduces the problem to finding some (deterministic) dynamics of the internal states that ensure the system visits a limited number of external states; in other words, the measure of its (random) attracting set, or the Shannon entropy of the external states is small. We motivate a solution using a principle of least action based on variational free energy (from statistical physics) and establish the conditions under which it is formally equivalent to the information bottleneck method. This approach has proved useful in understanding the functional architecture of the brain. The generality of variational free energy minimisation and corresponding information theoretic formulations may speak to interesting applications beyond the neurosciences; e.g., in molecular or evolutionary biology. PMID:23204829

  10. Systems Biology: Impressions from a Newcomer Graduate Student in 2016

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Melanie Rae

    2016-01-01

    As a newcomer, the philosophical basis of systems biology seems intuitive and appealing, the underlying philosophy being that the whole of a living system cannot be completely understood by the study of its individual parts. Yet answers to the questions "What is systems biology?" and "What constitutes a systems biology approach in…

  11. The Feasibility of Systems Thinking in Biology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boersma, Kerst; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Klaassen, Kees

    2011-01-01

    Systems thinking in biology education is an up and coming research topic, as yet with contrasting feasibility claims. In biology education systems thinking can be understood as thinking backward and forward between concrete biological objects and processes and systems models representing systems theoretical characteristics. Some studies claim that…

  12. Systems Biology Toolbox for MATLAB: a computational platform for research in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Henning; Jirstrand, Mats

    2006-02-15

    We present a Systems Biology Toolbox for the widely used general purpose mathematical software MATLAB. The toolbox offers systems biologists an open and extensible environment, in which to explore ideas, prototype and share new algorithms, and build applications for the analysis and simulation of biological and biochemical systems. Additionally it is well suited for educational purposes. The toolbox supports the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) by providing an interface for import and export of SBML models. In this way the toolbox connects nicely to other SBML-enabled modelling packages. Models are represented in an internal model format and can be described either by entering ordinary differential equations or, more intuitively, by entering biochemical reaction equations. The toolbox contains a large number of analysis methods, such as deterministic and stochastic simulation, parameter estimation, network identification, parameter sensitivity analysis and bifurcation analysis.

  13. 6th Institute for Systems Biology International Symposium: Systems Biology and the Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Galitski, Timothy P.

    2007-04-23

    Systems biology recognizes the complex multi-scale organization of biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems. The International Symposium on Systems Biology is an annual two-day event gathering the most influential researchers transforming biology into an integrative discipline investigating complex systems. In recognition of the fundamental similarity between the scientific problems addressed in environmental science and systems biology studies at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels, the 2007 Symposium featured global leaders in “Systems Biology and the Environment.” The objective of the 2007 “Systems Biology and the Environment” International Symposium was to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking and research that spans systems biology and environmental science. This Symposium was well aligned with the DOE’s Genomics: GTL program efforts to achieve scientific objectives for each of the three DOE missions: Develop biofuels as a major secure energy source for this century; Develop biological solutions for intractable environmental problems; Understand biosystems’ climate impacts and assess sequestration strategies. Our scientific program highlighted world-class research exemplifying these priorities. The Symposium featured 45 minute lectures from 12 researchers including: Penny/Sallie Chisholm of MIT gave the keynote address “Tiny Cells, Global Impact: What Prochlorococcus Can Teach Us About Systems Biology”, plus Jim Fredrickson of PNNL, Nitin Baliga of ISB, Steve Briggs of UCSD, David Cox of Perlegen Sciences, Antoine Danchin of Institut Pasteur, John Delaney of the U of Washington, John Groopman of Johns Hopkins, Ben Kerr of the U of Washington, Steve Koonin of BP, Elliott Meyerowitz of Caltech, and Ed Rubin of LBNL. The 2007 Symposium promoted DOE’s three mission areas among scientists from multiple disciplines representing academia, non-profit research institutions, and the private sector. As in all previous Symposia, we had

  14. [The Red Cross System for War Relief during the Second World War and Actual Conditions of Its Efforts in Burma].

    PubMed

    Kawahara, Yukari

    2015-12-01

    This paper aims to show the system for relief provided by the Japanese Red Cross relief units during the Second World War, as well as the actual activities of sixteen of its relief units dispatched to Burma. The Red Cross wartime relief efforts involved using personnel and funding prepared beforehand to provide aid to those injured in war, regardless of their status as ally or enemy. Thus they were able to receive support from the army in order to ensure safety and provide supplies. Nurses dispatched to Burma took care of many patients who suffered from malnutrition and physical injuries amidst the outbreak of infectious diseases typical of tropical areas, without sufficient replacement members. Base hospitals not meant for the front lines also came under attack, and the nurses' lives were thus in mortal danger. Of the 374 original members, 29 died or went missing in action.

  15. Biological systems in high magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagishi, A.

    1990-12-01

    Diamagnetic orientation of biological systems have been investigated theoretically and experimentally. Fibrinogen, one of blood proteins, were polymerized in static high magnetic fields up to 8 T. Clotted gels composed of oriented fibrin fibers were obtained even in a field as low as 1 T. Red blood cells (RBC) show full orientation with their plane parallel to the applied field of 4 T. It is confirmed experimentally that the magnetic orientation of RBC is caused by diamagnetic anisotropy. Full orientation is also obtained with blood platelet in a field of 3 T.

  16. AN INTEGRATED BIOLOGICAL CONTROL SYSTEM AT HANFORD

    SciTech Connect

    JOHNSON AR; CAUDILL JG; GIDDINGS RF; RODRIGUEZ JM; ROOS RC; WILDE JW

    2010-02-11

    In 1999 an integrated biological control system was instituted at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site. Successes and changes to the program needed to be communicated to a large and diverse mix of organizations and individuals. Efforts at communication are directed toward the following: Hanford Contractors (Liquid or Tank Waste, Solid Waste, Environmental Restoration, Science and Technology, Site Infrastructure), General Hanford Employees, and Hanford Advisory Board (Native American Tribes, Environmental Groups, Local Citizens, Washington State and Oregon State regulatory agencies). Communication was done through direct interface meetings, individual communication, where appropriate, and broadly sharing program reports. The objectives of the communication efforts was to have the program well coordinated with Hanford contractors, and to have the program understood well enough that all stakeholders would have confidence in the work performed by the program to reduce or elimated spread of radioactive contamination by biotic vectors. Communication of successes and changes to an integrated biological control system instituted in 1999 at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site have required regular interfaces with not only a diverse group of Hanford contractors (i.e., those responsible for liquid or tank waste, solid wastes, environmental restoration, science and technology, and site infrastructure), and general Hanford employees, but also with a consortium of designated stake holders organized as the Hanford Advisory Board (i.e., Native American tribes, various environmental groups, local citizens, Washington state and Oregon regulatory agencies, etc.). Direct interface meetings, individual communication where appropriate, and transparency of the biological control program were the methods and outcome of this effort.

  17. Parallel stochastic systems biology in the cloud.

    PubMed

    Aldinucci, Marco; Torquati, Massimo; Spampinato, Concetto; Drocco, Maurizio; Misale, Claudia; Calcagno, Cristina; Coppo, Mario

    2014-09-01

    The stochastic modelling of biological systems, coupled with Monte Carlo simulation of models, is an increasingly popular technique in bioinformatics. The simulation-analysis workflow may result computationally expensive reducing the interactivity required in the model tuning. In this work, we advocate the high-level software design as a vehicle for building efficient and portable parallel simulators for the cloud. In particular, the Calculus of Wrapped Components (CWC) simulator for systems biology, which is designed according to the FastFlow pattern-based approach, is presented and discussed. Thanks to the FastFlow framework, the CWC simulator is designed as a high-level workflow that can simulate CWC models, merge simulation results and statistically analyse them in a single parallel workflow in the cloud. To improve interactivity, successive phases are pipelined in such a way that the workflow begins to output a stream of analysis results immediately after simulation is started. Performance and effectiveness of the CWC simulator are validated on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

  18. Structural Identifiability of Dynamic Systems Biology Models

    PubMed Central

    Villaverde, Alejandro F.

    2016-01-01

    A powerful way of gaining insight into biological systems is by creating a nonlinear differential equation model, which usually contains many unknown parameters. Such a model is called structurally identifiable if it is possible to determine the values of its parameters from measurements of the model outputs. Structural identifiability is a prerequisite for parameter estimation, and should be assessed before exploiting a model. However, this analysis is seldom performed due to the high computational cost involved in the necessary symbolic calculations, which quickly becomes prohibitive as the problem size increases. In this paper we show how to analyse the structural identifiability of a very general class of nonlinear models by extending methods originally developed for studying observability. We present results about models whose identifiability had not been previously determined, report unidentifiabilities that had not been found before, and show how to modify those unidentifiable models to make them identifiable. This method helps prevent problems caused by lack of identifiability analysis, which can compromise the success of tasks such as experiment design, parameter estimation, and model-based optimization. The procedure is called STRIKE-GOLDD (STRuctural Identifiability taKen as Extended-Generalized Observability with Lie Derivatives and Decomposition), and it is implemented in a MATLAB toolbox which is available as open source software. The broad applicability of this approach facilitates the analysis of the increasingly complex models used in systems biology and other areas. PMID:27792726

  19. Avian biological clock - Immune system relationship.

    PubMed

    Markowska, Magdalena; Majewski, Paweł M; Skwarło-Sońta, Krystyna

    2017-01-01

    Biological rhythms in birds are driven by the master clock, which includes the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the pineal gland and the retina. Light/dark cycles are the cues that synchronize the rhythmic changes in physiological processes, including immunity. This review summarizes our investigations on the bidirectional relationships between the chicken pineal gland and the immune system. We demonstrated that, in the chicken, the main pineal hormone, melatonin, regulates innate immunity, maintains the rhythmicity of immune reactions and is involved in the seasonal changes in immunity. Using thioglycollate-induced peritonitis as a model, we showed that the activated immune system regulates the pineal gland by inhibition of melatonin production at the level of the key enzyme in its biosynthetic pathway, arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). Interleukin 6 and interleukin 18 seem to be the immune mediators influencing the pineal gland, directly inhibiting Aanat gene transcription and modulating expression of the clock genes Bmal1 and Per3, which in turn regulate Aanat.

  20. Systems Biology and the Future of Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo

    2011-01-01

    Contemporary views of human disease are based on simple correlation between clinical syndromes and pathological analysis dating from the late 19th century. While this approach to disease diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment has served the medical establishment and society well for many years, it has serious shortcomings for the modern era of the genomic medicine that stem from its reliance on reductionist principles of experimentation and analysis. Quantitative, holistic systems biology applied to human disease offers a unique approach for diagnosing established disease, defining disease predilection, and developing individualized (personalized) treatment strategies that can take full advantage of modern molecular pathobiology and the comprehensive data sets that are rapidly becoming available for populations and individuals. In this way, systems pathobiology offers the promise of redefining our approach to disease and the field of medicine. PMID:21928407

  1. Immunogenomics and systems biology of vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Buonaguro, Luigi; Pulendran, Bali

    2011-01-01

    Summary Vaccines represent a potent tool to prevent or contain infectious diseases with high morbidity or mortality. However, despite their widespread use, we still have a limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effective elicitation of protective immune responses by vaccines. Recent research suggests that this represents the cooperative action of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Immunity is made of a multifaceted set of integrated responses involving a dynamic interaction of thousands of molecules, whose list is constantly updated to fill the several empty spaces of this puzzle. The recent development of new technologies and computational tools permits the comprehensive and quantitative analysis of the interactions between all of the components of immunity over time. Here, we review the role of the innate immunity in the host response to vaccine antigens and the potential of systems biology in providing relevant and novel insights in the mechanisms of action of vaccines to improve their design and effectiveness. PMID:21198673

  2. Biological Systems for Hydrogen Photoproduction (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, M. L.

    2012-05-01

    This presentation summarizes NREL biological systems for hydrogen photoproduction work for the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, May 14-18, 2012. General goal is develop photobiological systems for large-scale, low cost and efficient H{sub 2} production from water (barriers AH, AI and AJ). Specific tasks are: (1) Address the O{sub 2} sensitivity of hydrogenases that prevent continuity of H{sub 2} photoproduction under aerobic, high solar-to-hydrogen (STH) light conversion efficiency conditions; and (2) Utilize a limited STH H{sub 2}-producing method (sulfur deprivation) as a platform to address or test other factors limiting commercial algal H{sub 2} photoproduction, including low rates due to biochemical and engineering mechanisms.

  3. Conceptual Foundations of Systems Biology Explaining Complex Cardiac Diseases.

    PubMed

    Louridas, George E; Lourida, Katerina G

    2017-02-21

    Systems biology is an important concept that connects molecular biology and genomics with computing science, mathematics and engineering. An endeavor is made in this paper to associate basic conceptual ideas of systems biology with clinical medicine. Complex cardiac diseases are clinical phenotypes generated by integration of genetic, molecular and environmental factors. Basic concepts of systems biology like network construction, modular thinking, biological constraints (downward biological direction) and emergence (upward biological direction) could be applied to clinical medicine. Especially, in the field of cardiology, these concepts can be used to explain complex clinical cardiac phenotypes like chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease. Cardiac diseases are biological complex entities which like other biological phenomena can be explained by a systems biology approach. The above powerful biological tools of systems biology can explain robustness growth and stability during disease process from modulation to phenotype. The purpose of the present review paper is to implement systems biology strategy and incorporate some conceptual issues raised by this approach into the clinical field of complex cardiac diseases. Cardiac disease process and progression can be addressed by the holistic realistic approach of systems biology in order to define in better terms earlier diagnosis and more effective therapy.

  4. Conceptual Foundations of Systems Biology Explaining Complex Cardiac Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Louridas, George E.; Lourida, Katerina G.

    2017-01-01

    Systems biology is an important concept that connects molecular biology and genomics with computing science, mathematics and engineering. An endeavor is made in this paper to associate basic conceptual ideas of systems biology with clinical medicine. Complex cardiac diseases are clinical phenotypes generated by integration of genetic, molecular and environmental factors. Basic concepts of systems biology like network construction, modular thinking, biological constraints (downward biological direction) and emergence (upward biological direction) could be applied to clinical medicine. Especially, in the field of cardiology, these concepts can be used to explain complex clinical cardiac phenotypes like chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease. Cardiac diseases are biological complex entities which like other biological phenomena can be explained by a systems biology approach. The above powerful biological tools of systems biology can explain robustness growth and stability during disease process from modulation to phenotype. The purpose of the present review paper is to implement systems biology strategy and incorporate some conceptual issues raised by this approach into the clinical field of complex cardiac diseases. Cardiac disease process and progression can be addressed by the holistic realistic approach of systems biology in order to define in better terms earlier diagnosis and more effective therapy. PMID:28230815

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  6. Electromagnetic field interactions with biological systems

    SciTech Connect

    Frey, A.H. )

    1993-02-01

    This is a report on Symposia organized by the International Society for Bioelectricity and presented at the 1992 FASEB Meeting. The presentations summarized here were intended to provide a sampling of new and fruitful lines of research. The theme topics for the Symposia were cancer, neural function, cell signaling, pineal gland function, and immune system interactions. Living organisms are complex electrochemical systems that evolved over billions of years in a world with a relatively simple weak magnetic field and with few electromagnetic energy emitters. As is characteristic of living organisms, they interacted with and adapted to this environment of electric and magnetic fields. In recent years there has been a massive introduction of equipment that emits electromagnetic fields in an enormous range of new frequencies, modulations, and intensities. As living organisms have only recently found themselves immersed in this new and virtually ubiquitous environment, they have not had the opportunity to adapt to it. This gives biologists the opportunity to use these electromagnetic fields as probes to study the functioning of living systems. This is a significant opportunity, as new approaches to studying living systems so often provide the means to make great leaps in science. In recent years, a diversity of biologists have carried out experiments using electromagnetic fields to study the function of living cells and systems. This approach is now becoming quite fruitful and is yielding data that are advancing our knowledge in diverse areas of biology. 25 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs.

  7. Kinetic approach for describing biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aristov, V. V.; Ilyin, O. V.

    2016-11-01

    We attempt to consider a biological structure as an open nonequilibrium system the properties of which can be described on the basis of kinetic approach with the help of appropriate kinetic equations. This approach allows us to evaluate in principle scales of sizes and to connect these values to the inner characteristics of the processes of kinetic interaction and advection. One can compare the results with some empirical data concerning these characteristics for bio-systems, in particular mammals, and also for some parts of the systems, say sizes of green leaves. A sense of the nonequilibrium entropy as a measure of complexity of bio-organisms is discussed. Besides the estimations of bio-systems on a global scale, possible methods to describe restricted regions (associated e.g. with living cells) as nonequilibrium open structure with specific boundaries are also discussed. A new boundary 1D problem is formulated and solved for kinetic equations with the membrane-like boundaries conditions. Non-classical transport properties in the system are found.

  8. Promoting Systems Thinking through Biology Lessons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riess, Werner; Mischo, Christoph

    2010-04-01

    This study's goal was to analyze various teaching approaches within the context of natural science lessons, especially in biology. The main focus of the paper lies on the effectiveness of different teaching methods in promoting systems thinking in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. The following methods were incorporated into the study: special lessons designed to promote systems thinking, a computer-simulated scenario on the topic "ecosystem forest," and a combination of both special lessons and the computer simulation. These groups were then compared to a control group. A questionnaire was used to assess systems thinking skills of 424 sixth-grade students of secondary schools in Germany. The assessment differentiated between a conceptual understanding (measured as achievement score) and a reflexive justification (measured as justification score) of systems thinking. The following control variables were used: logical thinking, grades in school, memory span, and motivational goal orientation. Based on the pretest-posttest control group design, only those students who received both special instruction and worked with the computer simulation showed a significant increase in their achievement scores. The justification score increased in the computer simulation condition as well as in the combination of computer simulation and lesson condition. The possibilities and limits of promoting various forms of systems thinking by using realistic computer simulations are discussed.

  9. On the limitations of standard statistical modeling in biological systems: a full Bayesian approach for biology.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Ramirez, Jaime; Sanz, Ricardo

    2013-09-01

    One of the most important scientific challenges today is the quantitative and predictive understanding of biological function. Classical mathematical and computational approaches have been enormously successful in modeling inert matter, but they may be inadequate to address inherent features of biological systems. We address the conceptual and methodological obstacles that lie in the inverse problem in biological systems modeling. We introduce a full Bayesian approach (FBA), a theoretical framework to study biological function, in which probability distributions are conditional on biophysical information that physically resides in the biological system that is studied by the scientist.

  10. Systems biology: impressions from a newcomer graduate student in 2016.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Melanie Rae

    2016-12-01

    As a newcomer, the philosophical basis of systems biology seems intuitive and appealing, the underlying philosophy being that the whole of a living system cannot be completely understood by the study of its individual parts. Yet answers to the questions "What is systems biology?" and "What constitutes a systems biology approach in 2016?" are somewhat more elusive. This seems to be due largely to the diversity of disciplines involved and the varying emphasis placed on the computational modeling and experimental aspects of systems biology. As such, the education of systems biology would benefit from multidisciplinary collaboration with both instructors and students from a range of disciplines within the same course. This essay is the personal reflection of a graduate student trying to get an introductory overview of the field of systems biology and some thoughts about effective education of systems biology.

  11. Dynamical Systems and Control Theory Inspired by Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-02

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2014-0282 DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS AND CONTROL THEORY INSPIRED BY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Eduardo Sontag RUTGERS THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY...Standard Form 298 (Re . 8-98) v Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS AND CONTROL THEORY INSPIRED BY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AFOSR FA9550-11-1-0247...is to develop new concepts, theory, and algorithms for control and signal processing using ideas inspired by molecular systems biology. Cell biology

  12. Lessons Learned from Eight Years' Experience of Actual Operation, and Future Prospects of JMA Earthquake Early Warning System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshiba, M.; Nishimae, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Since 2007, experiences of actual operation of EEW have been gained by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). During this period, we have learned lessons from many M6- and M7-class earthquakes, and the Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake. During the Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake, JMA system functioned well: it issued a warning message more than 15 s before strong ground shaking in the Tohoku district (relatively near distance from the epicenter). However, it was not perfect: in addition to the problem of large extent of fault rupture, some false warning messages were issued due to the confusion of the system because of simultaneous multiple aftershocks which occurred at the wide rupture area. To address the problems, JMA will introduce two new methods into the operational system this year to start their tests, aiming at practical operation within a couple of years. One is Integrated Particle Filter (IPF) method, which is an integrated algorithm of multiple hypocenter determination techniques with Bayesian estimation, in which amplitude information is also used for hypocenter determination. The other is Propagation of Local Undamped Motion (PLUM) method, in which warning message is issued when strong ground shaking is detected at nearby stations around the target site (e.g., within 30 km). Here, hypocenter and magnitude are not required in PLUM. Aiming at application for several years later, we are investigating a new approach, in which current wavefield is estimated in real time, and then future wavefield is predicted time evolutionally from the current situation using physics of wave propagation. Here, hypocenter and magnitude are not necessarily required, but real-time observation of ground shaking is necessary. JMA also plans to predict long period ground motion (up to 8 s) with the EEW system for earthquake damage mitigation in high-rise buildings. Its test will start using the operational system in the near future.

  13. Noise effects in two different biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spagnolo, B.; Spezia, S.; Curcio, L.; Pizzolato, N.; Fiasconaro, A.; Valenti, D.; Lo Bue, P.; Peri, E.; Colazza, S.

    2009-05-01

    We investigate the role of the colored noise in two biological systems: (i) adults of Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), and (ii) polymer translocation. In the first system we analyze, by directionality tests, the response of N. viridula individuals to subthreshold signals plus noise in their mating behaviour. The percentage of insects that react to the subthreshold signal shows a nonmonotonic behaviour, characterized by the presence of a maximum, as a function of the noise intensity. This is the signature of the non-dynamical stochastic resonance phenomenon. By using a “soft” threshold model we find that the maximum of the input-output cross correlation occurs in the same range of noise intensity values for which the behavioural activation of the insects has a maximum. Moreover this maximum value is lowered and shifted towards higher noise intensities, compared to the case of white noise. In the second biological system the noise driven translocation of short polymers in crowded solutions is analyzed. An improved version of the Rouse model for a flexible polymer is adopted to mimic the molecular dynamics by taking into account both the interactions between adjacent monomers and the effects of a Lennard-Jones potential between all beads. The polymer dynamics is simulated in a two-dimensional domain by numerically solving the Langevin equations of motion in the presence of thermal fluctuations and a colored noise source. At low temperatures or for strong colored noise intensities the translocation process of the polymer chain is delayed. At low noise intensity, as the polymer length increases, we find a nonmonotonic behaviour for the mean first translocation time of the polymer centre of inertia. We show how colored noise influences the motion of short polymers, by inducing two different regimes of translocation in the dynamics of molecule transport.

  14. Notions of similarity for systems biology models.

    PubMed

    Henkel, Ron; Hoehndorf, Robert; Kacprowski, Tim; Knüpfer, Christian; Liebermeister, Wolfram; Waltemath, Dagmar

    2016-10-14

    Systems biology models are rapidly increasing in complexity, size and numbers. When building large models, researchers rely on software tools for the retrieval, comparison, combination and merging of models, as well as for version control. These tools need to be able to quantify the differences and similarities between computational models. However, depending on the specific application, the notion of 'similarity' may greatly vary. A general notion of model similarity, applicable to various types of models, is still missing. Here we survey existing methods for the comparison of models, introduce quantitative measures for model similarity, and discuss potential applications of combined similarity measures. To frame model comparison as a general problem, we describe a theoretical approach to defining and computing similarities based on a combination of different model aspects. The six aspects that we define as potentially relevant for similarity are underlying encoding, references to biological entities, quantitative behaviour, qualitative behaviour, mathematical equations and parameters and network structure. We argue that future similarity measures will benefit from combining these model aspects in flexible, problem-specific ways to mimic users' intuition about model similarity, and to support complex model searches in databases.

  15. Liquid crystal assemblies in biologically inspired systems

    PubMed Central

    Safinya, Cyrus R.; Deek, Joanna; Beck, Roy; Jones, Jayna B.; Leal, Cecilia; Ewert, Kai K.; Li, Youli

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, which is part of a collection in honor of Noel Clark's remarkable career on liquid crystal and soft matter research, we present examples of biologically inspired systems, which form liquid crystal (LC) phases with their LC nature impacting biological function in cells or being important in biomedical applications. One area focuses on understanding network and bundle formation of cytoskeletal polyampholytes (filamentous-actin, microtubules, and neurofilaments). Here, we describe studies on neurofilaments (NFs), the intermediate filaments of neurons, which form open network nematic liquid crystal hydrogels in axons. Synchrotron small-angle-x-ray scattering studies of NF-protein dilution experiments and NF hydrogels subjected to osmotic stress show that neurofilament networks are stabilized by competing long-range repulsion and attractions mediated by the neurofilament's polyampholytic sidearms. The attractions are present both at very large interfilament spacings, in the weak sidearm-interpenetrating regime, and at smaller interfilament spacings, in the strong sidearm-interpenetrating regime. A second series of experiments will describe the structure and properties of cationic liposomes (CLs) complexed with nucleic acids (NAs). CL-NA complexes form liquid crystalline phases, which interact in a structure-dependent manner with cellular membranes enabling the design of complexes for efficient delivery of nucleic acid (DNA, RNA) in therapeutic applications. PMID:24558293

  16. Biological engineering and systems biology--new opportunities for engineers in the pharmaceutical industry.

    PubMed

    Lauffenburger, Douglas A

    2004-01-01

    The consecutive life science revolutions of molecular biology and genomic biology have led to the promise for improving human health by molecular-level interventions--but the accompanying challenge of doing so in a rational, predictive manner. Addressing this challenge, and meeting this promise, requires understanding of complex biological processes with molecular detail but in integrative fashion; the emerging field aimed at this endeavor is now commonly termed 'systems biology'. In many ways, this field is an ideal application area for the biological engineering discipline, and offers tremendous opportunities for biology-based engineers. This talk will present a view of key aspects of this vision.

  17. EUCLIS--an information system for circadian systems biology.

    PubMed

    Batista, R T B; Ramirez, D B; Santos, R D; del Rosario, M C I; Mendoza, E R

    2007-09-01

    A major barrier to progress in systems biology is the absence of suitable infrastructure for data and software integration, which would enable working biologists to use and manipulate the techniques directly. We describe the incremental development of key components of such an infrastructure for a research community focused on a specific (but important) biological system. EUCLOCK combines the expertise of 34 chronobiology laboratories from 29 institutions in 11 European countries in a 5-year effort to understand how circadian clocks are synchronised to their specific cyclic environment (entrainment). We envision that the EUCLOCK Information System (EUCLIS) will subsequently evolve to support the worldwide chronobiology community. The architecture of EUCLIS integrates a database for circadian systems biology, containing modules for experimental data (Clock Experiments) and models (Clock Models) with a digital library (Clock KnowledgeBase) for the research community. The digital library paradigm is superior to the simple 'access' or 'mining' as well as the 'data warehouse' approaches currently used in other systems as it provides a flexible framework for community information needs and the potential to use emerging reference models and standards, which will enable easier integration with other systems in the future. The main Clock KnowledgeBase components for EUCLIS V1.0, Clock Genes and Clock Library, are described in detail. An important aspect this work will need to address in the future is the integration of the database and digital library management functions.

  18. Mouse behavioural analysis in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    van Meer, Peter; Raber, Jacob

    2005-01-01

    Molecular techniques allowing in vivo modulation of gene expression have provided unique opportunities and challenges for behavioural studies aimed at understanding the function of particular genes or biological systems under physiological or pathological conditions. Although various animal models are available, the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) has unique features and is therefore a preferred animal model. The mouse shares a remarkable genetic resemblance and aspects of behaviour with humans. In this review, first we describe common mouse models for behavioural analyses. As both genetic and environmental factors influence behavioural performance and need to be carefully evaluated in behavioural experiments, considerations for designing and interpretations of these experiments are subsequently discussed. Finally, common behavioural tests used to assess brain function are reviewed, and it is illustrated how behavioural tests are used to increase our understanding of the role of histaminergic neurotransmission in brain function. PMID:16035954

  19. Systems biology of human benzene exposure

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Luoping; McHale, Cliona M.; Rothman, Nathaniel; Li, Guilan; Ji, Zhiying; Vermeulen, Roel; Hubbard, Alan E.; Ren, Xuefeng; Shen, Min; Rappaport, Stephen M.; North, Matthew; Skibola, Christine F.; Yin, Songnian; Vulpe, Christopher; Chanock, Stephen J.; Smith, Martyn T.; Lan, Qing

    2010-01-01

    Toxicogenomic studies, including genome-wide analyses of susceptibility genes (genomics), gene expression (transcriptomics), protein expression (proteomics), and epigenetic modifications (epigenomics), of human populations exposed to benzene are crucial to understanding gene-environment interactions, providing the ability to develop biomarkers of exposure, early effect and susceptibility. Comprehensive analysis of these toxicogenomic and epigenomic profiles by bioinformatics in the context of phenotypic endpoints, comprises systems biology, which has the potential to comprehensively define the mechanisms by which benzene causes leukemia. We have applied this approach to a molecular epidemiology study of workers exposed to benzene. Hematotoxicity, a significant decrease in almost all blood cell counts, was identified as a phenotypic effect of benzene that occurred even below 1ppm benzene exposure. We found a significant decrease in the formation of progenitor colonies arising from bone marrow stem cells with increasing benzene exposure, showing that progenitor cells are more sensitive to the effects of benzene than mature blood cells, likely leading to the observed hematotoxicity. Analysis of transcriptomics by microarray in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of exposed workers, identified genes and pathways (apoptosis, immune response, and inflammatory response) altered at high (>10ppm) and low (<1ppm) benzene levels. Serum proteomics by SELDI-TOF-MS revealed proteins consistently down-regulated in exposed workers. Preliminary epigenomics data showed effects of benzene on the DNA methylation of specific genes. Genomic screens for candidate genes involved in susceptibility to benzene toxicity are being undertaken in yeast, with subsequent confirmation by RNAi in human cells, to expand upon the findings from candidate gene analyses. Data on these and future biomarkers will be used to populate a large toxicogenomics database, to which we will apply bioinformatic

  20. Systems Biology and Ecology of Streamlined Bacterioplankton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovannoni, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    complex questions hinge on translating gene frequencies into trait based ecological models that reflect the systems biology of cells.

  1. Nodal Network Modelling by Integrating Remote Sensing Derived Actual Evapotranspiration with Spatial Water Balance in a Demand Driven Irrigation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ullah, Kaleem; Hafeez, Mohsin; Sixsmith, Josh; Faux, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    The long-term sustainability of water for agriculture is in doubt in many regions of the world. The major withdrawals of water are for agriculture, industry, and domestic consumption. Irrigated agriculture is major consumer of fresh water, but a large part of the water devour for irrigation is wasted due to poor management of irrigation systems. Improving water management in irrigated areas and assessment of irrigation performance are critical activities for this endeavour. These activities are needed not only to improve water productivity, but also to increase the sustainability of irrigated agriculture and improving the irrigation efficiency. The improvement of the water use efficiency entail the complete understanding of various components of water balances such as rainfall, surface water, groundwater and evapotranspiration (ET). Evapotranspiration is the overriding aspect of water balance at farm to catchment scale. Many models have been used to measure the Evapotranspiration rate, either empirical or functional. The major disadvantage of this approach is that most methods generate only point values, resulting in estimates that are not representative of large areas. These methods are based on crop factors under ideal conditions and cannot therefore represent actual crop ET. Satellite remote sensing is a powerful mean to estimate ET over various spatial and temporal scales. The use of remote sensing techniques to estimate ET is achieved by solving the energy balance thermodynamics fluxes at the surface of the earth. For improved irrigation system management and operation, a holistic approach of integrating remote sensing derived ET from SAM-ET (spatial algorithm for mapping evapotranspiration) algorithm, for Australian agro-ecosystem with spatial water balance by using nodal network model was applied to evaluate agricultural water management in Coleambally Irrigation Area (CIA), New South Wales, Australia. It covers approximately 79,000 ha of intensive

  2. Expert systems guide biological phosphorus removal

    SciTech Connect

    Krichten, D.J.; Wilson, K.D.; Tracy, K.D. )

    1991-10-01

    There is a large body of knowledge regarding optimum control strategies for new secondary wastewater treatment technology using an anaerobic selector to provide biological phosphorus removal. However, because the selector technology is new and the concepts differ somewhat from those used in conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment, a method of communicating this knowledge to plant operators is needed. Traditional methods such as classroom training and operating manuals are of limited effectiveness. The commonplace availability and low cost of the personal computer (PC) makes it practical to use a computer program to communicate the type of information required to control a wastewater treatment plant. Knowledge-based systems technology, commonly referred to as expert systems (ES) technology, is easy to use, provides useful information regarding a consistent control strategy, relieves the anxiety associated with learning a new process,' and provides instruction for inexperienced personnel. ES technology does not require special formatted input and is therefore easily accessible. All information required by the program is readily available through routine laboratory analysis, common plant instrumentation, or direct user observation. The program was designed for all levels of computer users and will run on all IBM-compatible or Apple MacIntosh systems.

  3. Systems biology and complex neurobehavioral traits.

    PubMed

    Giegling, I; Hartmann, A M; Genius, J; Benninghoff, J; Möller, H-J; Rujescu, D

    2008-09-01

    There is evidence for a strong genetic component in the etiology of schizophrenia, as demonstrated by family, twin and adoption studies suggesting a heritability of about 80%. There are several approaches in the search for genetic risk factors such as linkage or association studies. Additionally, much effort was done in refining the phenotype including neuropsychology, neurophysiology, imaging or the generation of animal models. Genes becoming associated with schizophrenia have to be tested for functionality including e.g. metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, generation of transgenic mice, analysis of protein-protein interactions, allele-specific RNA expression analysis, analysis of neuronal and stem cell cultures, as well as post mortem studies and behavioral studies in rodents. This amount of data requires complex data analysis. A system's perspective can help in the analysis of the structural and functional complexity of the brain. New tools will be needed for a more complex and systemic view. The systems biology approach could be a pivotal tool in understanding of complex behavior and diseases in future.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The Physics of a Volcanic System: What is the Actual Role Played by Tectonic Setting in Controlling Volcanic Activity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canon-Tapia, E.

    2005-12-01

    Modern text-books commonly explain volcanic activity as a direct consequence of plate tectonics, overlooking the different scales characteristic of both types of processes. By acknowledging such differences, however, it is possible to envisage a model of a volcanic system that is based in the same principles of hydrostatics established by Blaise Pascal over 300 yrs ago. Such principles allow us to estimate the local conditions required for the occurrence of volcanism at a given location highlighting the importance of the rock strength and the density difference between melt and its surroundings. This model shows that the minimum thickness of the zone of partial melting in the mantle (or seismically defined Low Velocity Zone) that is required to feed volcanic activity might range from 5 to over 100 km, but also that under certain circumstances a rock strength < 200 MPa may suffice to keep magma trapped at depth whereas in other cases a strength > 600 MPa will not suffice to stop magma ascent resulting in volcanic activity at the surface. Consequently, the model of volcanism developed here explains why is that a given LVZ may lead to volcanic activity in some places whereas a completely identical LVZ may not result in volcanic activity in a different location. Consequently, this model provides a general framework that allows us to better understand the actual role played by tectonic setting in controlling volcanism at a planetary scale.

  6. A systems biology perspective of wine fermentations.

    PubMed

    Pizarro, Francisco; Vargas, Felipe A; Agosin, Eduardo

    2007-11-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an important industrial microorganism. Nowadays, it is being used as a cell factory for the production of pharmaceuticals such as insulin, although this yeast has long been utilized in the bakery to raise dough, and in the production of alcoholic beverages, fermenting the sugars derived from rice, wheat, barley, corn and grape juice. S. cerevisiae has also been extensively used as a model eukaryotic system. In the last decade, genomic techniques have revealed important features of its molecular biology. For example, DNA array technologies are routinely used for determining gene expression levels in cells under different physiological conditions or environmental stimuli. Laboratory strains of S. cerevisiae are different from wine strains. For instance, laboratory yeasts are unable to completely transform all the sugar in the grape must into ethanol under winemaking conditions. In fact, standard culture conditions are usually very different from winemaking conditions, where multiple stresses occur simultaneously and sequentially throughout the fermentation. The response of wine yeasts to these stimuli differs in some aspects from laboratory strains, as suggested by the increasing number of studies in functional genomics being conducted on wine strains. In this paper we review the most recent applications of post-genomic techniques to understand yeast physiology in the wine industry. We also report recent advances in wine yeast strain improvement and propose a reference framework for integration of genomic information, bioinformatic tools and molecular biology techniques for cellular and metabolic engineering. Finally, we discuss the current state and future perspectives for using 'modern' biotechnology in the wine industry.

  7. Stem cell genome-to-systems biology.

    PubMed

    Chia, Na-Yu; Ng, Huck-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Stem cells are capable of extended proliferation and concomitantly differentiating into a plethora of specialized cell types that render them apropos for their usage as a form of regenerative medicine for cell replacement therapies. The molecular processes that underlie the ability for stem cells to self-renew and differentiate have been intriguing, and elucidating the intricacies within the genome is pertinent to enhance our understanding of stem cells. Systems biology is emerging as a crucial field in the study of the sophisticated nature of stem cells, through the adoption of multidisciplinary approaches which couple high-throughput experimental techniques with computational and mathematical analysis. This allows for the determination of the molecular constituents that govern stem cell characteristics and conjointly with functional validations via genetic perturbation and protein location binding analysis necessitate the construction of the complex transcriptional regulatory network. With the elucidation of protein-protein interaction, protein-DNA regulation, microRNA involvement as well as the epigenetic modifications, it is possible to comprehend the defining features of stem cells at the system level.

  8. Exoproteomics: exploring the world around biological systems.

    PubMed

    Armengaud, Jean; Christie-Oleza, Joseph A; Clair, Gérémy; Malard, Véronique; Duport, Catherine

    2012-10-01

    The term 'exoproteome' describes the protein content that can be found in the extracellular proximity of a given biological system. These proteins arise from cellular secretion, other protein export mechanisms or cell lysis, but only the most stable proteins in this environment will remain in abundance. It has been shown that these proteins reflect the physiological state of the cells in a given condition and are indicators of how living systems interact with their environments. High-throughput proteomic approaches based on a shotgun strategy, and high-resolution mass spectrometers, have modified the authors' view of exoproteomes. In the present review, the authors describe how these new approaches should be exploited to obtain the maximum useful information from a sample, whatever its origin. The methodologies used for studying secretion from model cell lines derived from eukaryotic, multicellular organisms, virulence determinants of pathogens and environmental bacteria and their relationships with their habitats are illustrated with several examples. The implication of such data, in terms of proteogenomics and the discovery of novel protein functions, is discussed.

  9. Systems Biology in the Context of Big Data and Networks

    PubMed Central

    Altaf-Ul-Amin, Md.; Afendi, Farit Mochamad; Kiboi, Samuel Kuria; Kanaya, Shigehiko

    2014-01-01

    Science is going through two rapidly changing phenomena: one is the increasing capabilities of the computers and software tools from terabytes to petabytes and beyond, and the other is the advancement in high-throughput molecular biology producing piles of data related to genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, interactomes, and so on. Biology has become a data intensive science and as a consequence biology and computer science have become complementary to each other bridged by other branches of science such as statistics, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The combination of versatile knowledge has caused the advent of big-data biology, network biology, and other new branches of biology. Network biology for instance facilitates the system-level understanding of the cell or cellular components and subprocesses. It is often also referred to as systems biology. The purpose of this field is to understand organisms or cells as a whole at various levels of functions and mechanisms. Systems biology is now facing the challenges of analyzing big molecular biological data and huge biological networks. This review gives an overview of the progress in big-data biology, and data handling and also introduces some applications of networks and multivariate analysis in systems biology. PMID:24982882

  10. Systems biology in the context of big data and networks.

    PubMed

    Altaf-Ul-Amin, Md; Afendi, Farit Mochamad; Kiboi, Samuel Kuria; Kanaya, Shigehiko

    2014-01-01

    Science is going through two rapidly changing phenomena: one is the increasing capabilities of the computers and software tools from terabytes to petabytes and beyond, and the other is the advancement in high-throughput molecular biology producing piles of data related to genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, interactomes, and so on. Biology has become a data intensive science and as a consequence biology and computer science have become complementary to each other bridged by other branches of science such as statistics, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The combination of versatile knowledge has caused the advent of big-data biology, network biology, and other new branches of biology. Network biology for instance facilitates the system-level understanding of the cell or cellular components and subprocesses. It is often also referred to as systems biology. The purpose of this field is to understand organisms or cells as a whole at various levels of functions and mechanisms. Systems biology is now facing the challenges of analyzing big molecular biological data and huge biological networks. This review gives an overview of the progress in big-data biology, and data handling and also introduces some applications of networks and multivariate analysis in systems biology.

  11. Apparatus and Methods for Manipulation and Optimization of Biological Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, Chih-Ming (Inventor); Wong, Pak Kin (Inventor); Sun, Ren (Inventor); Yu, Fuqu (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    The invention provides systems and methods for manipulating biological systems, for example to elicit a more desired biological response from a biological sample, such as a tissue, organ, and/or a cell. In one aspect, the invention operates by efficiently searching through a large parametric space of stimuli and system parameters to manipulate, control, and optimize the response of biological samples sustained in the system. In one aspect, the systems and methods of the invention use at least one optimization algorithm to modify the actuator's control inputs for stimulation, responsive to the sensor's output of response signals. The invention can be used, e.g., to optimize any biological system, e.g., bioreactors for proteins, and the like, small molecules, polysaccharides, lipids, and the like. Another use of the apparatus and methods includes is for the discovery of key parameters in complex biological systems.

  12. [Application of systems biology and synthetic biology in strain improvement for biofuel production].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinqing; Bai, Fengwu; Li, Yin

    2010-07-01

    Biofuels are renewable and environmentally friendly, but high production cost makes them economically not competitive, and the development of robust strains is thus one of the prerequisites. In this article, strain improvement studies based on the information from systems biology studies are reviewed, with a focus on their applications on stress tolerance improvement. Furthermore, the contribution of systems biology, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in strain development for biofuel production is discussed, with an expectation for developing more robust strains for biofuel production.

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

    PubMed Central

    Matsuoka, Yukiko; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Yukiko; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2009-08-06

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

  15. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production

    PubMed Central

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  16. Modeling and Simulation Tools: From Systems Biology to Systems Medicine.

    PubMed

    Olivier, Brett G; Swat, Maciej J; Moné, Martijn J

    2016-01-01

    Modeling is an integral component of modern biology. In this chapter we look into the role of the model, as it pertains to Systems Medicine, and the software that is required to instantiate and run it. We do this by comparing the development, implementation, and characteristics of tools that have been developed to work with two divergent methodologies: Systems Biology and Pharmacometrics. From the Systems Biology perspective we consider the concept of "Software as a Medical Device" and what this may imply for the migration of research-oriented, simulation software into the domain of human health.In our second perspective, we see how in practice hundreds of computational tools already accompany drug discovery and development at every stage of the process. Standardized exchange formats are required to streamline the model exchange between tools, which would minimize translation errors and reduce the required time. With the emergence, almost 15 years ago, of the SBML standard, a large part of the domain of interest is already covered and models can be shared and passed from software to software without recoding them. Until recently the last stage of the process, the pharmacometric analysis used in clinical studies carried out on subject populations, lacked such an exchange medium. We describe a new emerging exchange format in Pharmacometrics which covers the non-linear mixed effects models, the standard statistical model type used in this area. By interfacing these two formats the entire domain can be covered by complementary standards and subsequently the according tools.

  17. Exploring Synthetic and Systems Biology at the University of Edinburgh.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Liz; Rosser, Susan; Elfick, Alistair

    2016-06-15

    The Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology ('SynthSys') was originally established in 2007 as the Centre for Integrative Systems Biology, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Today, SynthSys embraces an extensive multidisciplinary community of more than 200 researchers from across the University with a common interest in synthetic and systems biology. Our research is broad and deep, addressing a diversity of scientific questions, with wide ranging impact. We bring together the power of synthetic biology and systems approaches to focus on three core thematic areas: industrial biotechnology, agriculture and the environment, and medicine and healthcare. In October 2015, we opened a newly refurbished building as a physical hub for our new U.K. Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology funded by the BBSRC/EPSRC/MRC as part of the U.K. Research Councils' Synthetic Biology for Growth programme.

  18. A Biologically Inspired Learning to Grasp System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-10-25

    parameters are weakened. Figure 3 shows a learned power grasp directed to a sphere approximated as dodecahedron . Figure 3. A power grip performed by... dodecahedron ) In figure 5 the discovered grasp is actually a mixture of power grasp (a single finger acting as virtual fingers 1 and 2) and

  19. Teaching Systems Biology: An Active-Learning Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, Anuj

    2005-01-01

    With genomics well established in modern molecular biology, recent studies have sought to further the discipline by integrating complementary methodologies into a holistic depiction of the molecular mechanisms underpinning cell function. This genomic subdiscipline, loosely termed "systems biology," presents the biology educator with both…

  20. Integrating systems biology sources illuminates drug action

    PubMed Central

    Gottlieb, Assaf; Altman, Russ B.

    2014-01-01

    There are significant gaps in our understanding of the pathways by which drugs act. This incomplete knowledge limits our ability to use mechanistic molecular information rationally to repurpose drugs, understand their side effects, and predict their interactions with other drugs. Here we present DrugRouter: a novel method for generating drug-specific pathways of action by linking target genes, disease genes and pharmacogenes using gene interaction networks. We construct pathways for over a hundred drugs, and show that the genes included in our pathways (1) co-occur with the query drug in the literature, (2) significantly overlap or are adjacent to known drug-response pathways, and (3) are adjacent to genes that are hits in genome wide association studies assessing drug response. Finally, these computed pathways suggest novel drug repositioning opportunities (e.g., statins for follicular thyroid cancer), gene-side effect associations, and gene-drug interactions. Thus, DrugRouter generates hypotheses about drug actions using systems biology data. PMID:24577151

  1. Isotopic fractionation of tritium in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Le Goff, Pierre; Fromm, Michel; Vichot, Laurent; Badot, Pierre-Marie; Guétat, Philippe

    2014-04-01

    Isotopic fractionation of tritium is a highly relevant issue in radiation protection and requires certain radioecological considerations. Sound evaluation of this factor is indeed necessary to determine whether environmental compartments are enriched/depleted in tritium or if tritium is, on the contrary, isotopically well-distributed in a given system. The ubiquity of tritium and the standard analytical methods used to assay it may induce biases in both the measurement and the signification that is accorded to the so-called fractionation: based on an exhaustive review of the literature, we show how, sometimes large deviations may appear. It is shown that when comparing the non-exchangeable fraction of organically bound tritium (neOBT) to another fraction of tritium (e.g. tritiated water) the preparation of samples and the measurement of neOBT reported frequently led to underestimation of the ratio of tritium to hydrogen (T/H) in the non-exchangeable compartment by a factor of 5% to 50%. In the present study, corrections are proposed for most of the biological matrices studied so far. Nevertheless, the values of isotopic fractionation reported in the literature remain difficult to compare with each other, especially since the physical quantities and units often vary between authors. Some improvements are proposed to better define what should encompass the concepts of exchangeable and non-exchangeable fractions.

  2. Precision medicine driven by cancer systems biology.

    PubMed

    Filipp, Fabian V

    2017-03-07

    Molecular insights from genome and systems biology are influencing how cancer is diagnosed and treated. We critically evaluate big data challenges in precision medicine. The melanoma research community has identified distinct subtypes involving chronic sun-induced damage and the mitogen-activated protein kinase driver pathway. In addition, despite low mutation burden, non-genomic mitogen-activated protein kinase melanoma drivers are found in membrane receptors, metabolism, or epigenetic signaling with the ability to bypass central mitogen-activated protein kinase molecules and activating a similar program of mitogenic effectors. Mutation hotspots, structural modeling, UV signature, and genomic as well as non-genomic mechanisms of disease initiation and progression are taken into consideration to identify resistance mutations and novel drug targets. A comprehensive precision medicine profile of a malignant melanoma patient illustrates future rational drug targeting strategies. Network analysis emphasizes an important role of epigenetic and metabolic master regulators in oncogenesis. Co-occurrence of driver mutations in signaling, metabolic, and epigenetic factors highlights how cumulative alterations of our genomes and epigenomes progressively lead to uncontrolled cell proliferation. Precision insights have the ability to identify independent molecular pathways suitable for drug targeting. Synergistic treatment combinations of orthogonal modalities including immunotherapy, mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors, epigenetic inhibitors, and metabolic inhibitors have the potential to overcome immune evasion, side effects, and drug resistance.

  3. Radionuclide Imaging Technologies for Biological Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Howell, Calvin R.; Reid, Chantal D.; Weisenberger, Andrew G.

    2014-05-14

    The main objective of this project is to develop technologies and experimental techniques for studying the dynamics of physiological responses of plants to changes in their interface with the local environment and to educate a new generation of scientists in an interdisciplinary environment of biology, physics and engineering. Also an important goal is to perform measurements to demonstrate the new data that can be produced and made available to the plant-biology community using the imaging technologies and experimental techniques developed in this project. The study of the plant-environment interface includes a wide range of topics in plant physiology, e.g., the root-soil interface, resource availability, impact of herbivores, influence of microbes on root surface, and responses to toxins in the air and soil. The initial scientific motivation for our work is to improve understanding of the mechanisms for physiological responses to abrupt changes in the local environment, in particular, the responses that result in short-term adjustments in resource (e.g., sugars, nutrients and water) allocations. Data of time-dependent responses of plants to environmental changes are essential in developing mechanistic models for substance intake and resource allocation. Our approach is to use radioisotope tracing techniques to study whole-plant and plant organ (e.g., leaves, stems, roots) dynamical responses to abrupt changes in environmental conditions such as concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, nutrient availability and lighting. To this aim we are collaborating with the Radiation Detector and Imaging Group at the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory Facility (JLab) to develop gamma-ray and beta particle imaging systems optimized for plant studies. The radioisotope tracing measurements are conducted at the Phytotron facility at Duke University. The Phytotron is a controlled environment plant research facility with a variety of plant growth chambers. One chamber

  4. Probing Gravitational Sensitivity in Biological Systems Using Magnetic Body Forces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guevorkian, Karine; Wurzel, Sam; Mihalusova, Mariana; Valles, Jim

    2003-01-01

    At Brown University, we are developing the use of magnetic body forces as a means to simulate variable gravity body forces on biological systems. This tool promises new means to probe gravi-sensing and the gravi-response of biological systems. It also has the potential as a technique for screening future systems for space flight experiments.

  5. Toward metabolic engineering in the context of system biology and synthetic biology: advances and prospects.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanfeng; Shin, Hyun-dong; Li, Jianghua; Liu, Long

    2015-02-01

    Metabolic engineering facilitates the rational development of recombinant bacterial strains for metabolite overproduction. Building on enormous advances in system biology and synthetic biology, novel strategies have been established for multivariate optimization of metabolic networks in ensemble, spatial, and dynamic manners such as modular pathway engineering, compartmentalization metabolic engineering, and metabolic engineering guided by genome-scale metabolic models, in vitro reconstitution, and systems and synthetic biology. Herein, we summarize recent advances in novel metabolic engineering strategies. Combined with advancing kinetic models and synthetic biology tools, more efficient new strategies for improving cellular properties can be established and applied for industrially important biochemical production.

  6. Peroxisystem: harnessing systems cell biology to study peroxisomes.

    PubMed

    Schuldiner, Maya; Zalckvar, Einat

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, high-throughput experimentation with quantitative analysis and modelling of cells, recently dubbed systems cell biology, has been harnessed to study the organisation and dynamics of simple biological systems. Here, we suggest that the peroxisome, a fascinating dynamic organelle, can be used as a good candidate for studying a complete biological system. We discuss several aspects of peroxisomes that can be studied using high-throughput systematic approaches and be integrated into a predictive model. Such approaches can be used in the future to study and understand how a more complex biological system, like a cell and maybe even ultimately a whole organism, works.

  7. Systems Biology Applied to Heart Failure With Normal Ejection Fraction

    PubMed Central

    Mesquita, Evandro Tinoco; Jorge, Antonio Jose Lagoeiro; de Souza, Celso Vale; Cassino, João Paulo Pedroza

    2014-01-01

    Heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF) is currently the most prevalent clinical phenotype of heart failure. However, the treatments available have shown no reduction in mortality so far. Advances in the omics sciences and techniques of high data processing used in molecular biology have enabled the development of an integrating approach to HFNEF based on systems biology. This study aimed at presenting a systems-biology-based HFNEF model using the bottom-up and top-down approaches. A literature search was conducted for studies published between 1991 and 2013 regarding HFNEF pathophysiology, its biomarkers and systems biology. A conceptual model was developed using bottom-up and top-down approaches of systems biology. The use of systems-biology approaches for HFNEF, a complex clinical syndrome, can be useful to better understand its pathophysiology and to discover new therapeutic targets. PMID:24918915

  8. Controlled ecological life support system - biological problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, B., III (Editor); Macelroy, R. D. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    The general processes and controls associated with two distinct experimental paradigms are examined. Specific areas for research related to biotic production (food production) and biotic decomposition (waste management) are explored. The workshop discussions were directed toward Elemental cycles and the biological factors that affect the transformations of nutrients into food, of food material into waste, and of waste into nutrients were discussed. To focus on biological issues, the discussion assumed that (1) food production would be by biological means (thus excluding chemical synthesis), (2) energy would not be a limiting factor, and (3) engineering capacity for composition and leak rate would be adequate.

  9. S-Nitrosothiol measurements in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Gow, Andrew; Doctor, Allan; Mannick, Joan; Gaston, Benjamin

    2007-05-15

    S-Nitrosothiol (SNO) cysteine modifications are regulated signaling reactions that dramatically affect, and are affected by, protein conformation. The lability of the SNO bond can make SNO-modified proteins cumbersome to measure accurately. Here, we review methodologies for detecting SNO modifications in biology. There are three caveats. (1) Many assays for biological SNOs are used near the limit of detection: standard curves must be in the biologically relevant concentration range. (2) The assays that are most reliable are those that modify SNO protein or peptide chemistry the least. (3) Each result should be quantitatively validated using more than one assay. Improved assays are needed and are in development.

  10. Can an engineer fix an immune system?--Rethinking theoretical biology.

    PubMed

    Mattiussi, Claudio

    2013-06-01

    In an instant classic paper (Lazebnik, in Cancer Cell 2(3); 2002: 179-182) biologist Yuri Lazebnik deplores the poor effectiveness of the approach adopted by biologists to understand and "fix" biological systems. Lazebnik suggests that to remedy this state of things biologist should take inspiration from the approach used by engineers to design, understand, and troubleshoot technological systems. In the present paper I substantiate Lazebnik's analysis by concretely showing how to apply the engineering approach to biological problems. I use an actual example of electronic circuit troubleshooting to ground the thesis that, in engineering, the crucial phases of any non-trivial troubleshooting process are aimed at generating a mechanistic explanation of the functioning of the system, which makes extensive recourse to problem-driven qualitative reasoning possibly based on cognitive artifacts applied to systems that are known to have been designed for function. To show how to translate these findings into biological practice I consider a concrete example of biological model building and "troubleshooting", aimed at the identification of a "fix" for the human immune system in presence of progressing cancer, autoimmune disease, and transplant rejection. The result is a novel immune system model--the danger model with regulatory cells--and new, original hypotheses concerning the development, prophylaxis, and therapy of these unwanted biological processes. Based on the manifest efficacy of the proposed approach, I suggest a refocusing of the activity of theoretical biologists along the engineering-inspired lines illustrated in the paper.

  11. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal of developing improved yeast cell factories. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1164-1170. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. International Research and Development in Systems Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    instead what is it that genes actually do. Dr. Piano outlined three challenges facing biologists: 1) decades of research into C . elegans has identified...database of automated recording of cell lineage in C . elegans mutants. The Institute for Advanced Biosciences (IAB, http://www.iab.keio.ac.jp/) at...Circadian Clocks Limited by Noise. Nature 403: 267–8. Covert, M. W., C . H. Schilling and B. Palsson. 2001. Regulation of gene expression in flux

  13. Systems vaccinology: Enabling rational vaccine design with systems biological approaches.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Thomas; Nakaya, Helder I; Subramaniam, Shankar; Pulendran, Bali

    2015-09-29

    Vaccines have drastically reduced the mortality and morbidity of many diseases. However, vaccines have historically been developed empirically, and recent development of vaccines against current pandemics such as HIV and malaria has been met with difficulty. The advent of high-throughput technologies, coupled with systems biological methods of data analysis, has enabled researchers to interrogate the entire complement of a variety of molecular components within cells, and characterize the myriad interactions among them in order to model and understand the behavior of the system as a whole. In the context of vaccinology, these tools permit exploration of the molecular mechanisms by which vaccines induce protective immune responses. Here we review the recent advances, challenges, and potential of systems biological approaches in vaccinology. If the challenges facing this developing field can be overcome, systems vaccinology promises to empower the identification of early predictive signatures of vaccine response, as well as novel and robust correlates of protection from infection. Such discoveries, along with the improved understanding of immune responses to vaccination they impart, will play an instrumental role in development of the next generation of rationally designed vaccines.

  14. A unified biological modeling and simulation system for analyzing biological reaction networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Seok Jong; Tung, Thai Quang; Park, Junho; Lim, Jongtae; Yoo, Jaesoo

    2013-12-01

    In order to understand the biological response in a cell, a researcher has to create a biological network and design an experiment to prove it. Although biological knowledge has been accumulated, we still don't have enough biological models to explain complex biological phenomena. If a new biological network is to be created, integrated modeling software supporting various biological models is required. In this research, we design and implement a unified biological modeling and simulation system, called ezBioNet, for analyzing biological reaction networks. ezBioNet designs kinetic and Boolean network models and simulates the biological networks using a server-side simulation system with Object Oriented Parallel Accelerator Library framework. The main advantage of ezBioNet is that a user can create a biological network by using unified modeling canvas of kinetic and Boolean models and perform massive simulations, including Ordinary Differential Equation analyses, sensitivity analyses, parameter estimates and Boolean network analysis. ezBioNet integrates useful biological databases, including the BioModels database, by connecting European Bioinformatics Institute servers through Web services Application Programming Interfaces. In addition, we employ Eclipse Rich Client Platform, which is a powerful modularity framework to allow various functional expansions. ezBioNet is intended to be an easy-to-use modeling tool and a simulation system for understanding the control mechanism by monitoring the change of each component in a biological network. The simulation result can be managed and visualized on ezBioNet, which is available free of charge at http://ezbionet.sourceforge.net or http://ezbionet.cbnu.ac.kr.

  15. The Simbios National Center: Systems Biology in Motion

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Jeanette P.; Delp, Scott L.; Sherman, Michael A.; Taylor, Charles A.; Pande, Vijay S.; Altman, Russ B.

    2010-01-01

    Physics-based simulation is needed to understand the function of biological structures and can be applied across a wide range of scales, from molecules to organisms. Simbios (the National Center for Physics-Based Simulation of Biological Structures, http://www.simbios.stanford.edu/) is one of seven NIH-supported National Centers for Biomedical Computation. This article provides an overview of the mission and achievements of Simbios, and describes its place within systems biology. Understanding the interactions between various parts of a biological system and integrating this information to understand how biological systems function is the goal of systems biology. Many important biological systems comprise complex structural systems whose components interact through the exchange of physical forces, and whose movement and function is dictated by those forces. In particular, systems that are made of multiple identifiable components that move relative to one another in a constrained manner are multibody systems. Simbios’ focus is creating methods for their simulation. Simbios is also investigating the biomechanical forces that govern fluid flow through deformable vessels, a central problem in cardiovascular dynamics. In this application, the system is governed by the interplay of classical forces, but the motion is distributed smoothly through the materials and fluids, requiring the use of continuum methods. In addition to the research aims, Simbios is working to disseminate information, software and other resources relevant to biological systems in motion. PMID:20107615

  16. A systems biology representation of developmental anatomy

    PubMed Central

    Bard, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    The formation of any tissue involves differentiation, cell dynamics and interactions with adjacent tissues. This paper suggests that the complexity of the system as a whole can be represented as a mathematical graph, that is, a set of connected triples of the general form [term] [term]. Computationally, such graphs are widely used for modeling data; visually, they form hierarchies and networks. For morphogenesis, the triples are of the general structure , where nouns cover tissues, molecules and networks and verbs describe processes such as moves, differentiates, grows and apoptoses. The paper considers the general formalism of graphs, where graphs are already used in biology, and how developmental anatomy may be described using this format. Representing morphogenesis as a visual graph is complicated as the formalism has to incorporate tissue types, molecular signals, networks, dynamic processes and some aspects, at least, of tissue geometry. The formation of a capillary sprout is chosen as an example of how this complexity can be represented graphically, with colour used to distinguish tissues and molecules. There are three key benefits, beyond its compactness, in using the graph formalism of morphogenesis to complement experimentation. First, it emphasizes the distributed nature of causality in morphogenesis. Secondly, producing all the triples for the visual graph requires explicit formalization of each aspect of the process, and this, in turn, often exposes gaps in knowledge and so suggests new experiments. Thirdly, once the graph has been formalized, triples can be annotated with associated information or IDs (e.g. cell types, publications, gene-expression data) that link to external online resources that may be regularly updated. Such annotations allow the graph to be viewed as a self-maintaining review. The graph approach sees dynamic processes as the drivers of developmental momentum and, because the same processes are

  17. A systems biology representation of developmental anatomy.

    PubMed

    Bard, Jonathan

    2011-06-01

    The formation of any tissue involves differentiation, cell dynamics and interactions with adjacent tissues. This paper suggests that the complexity of the system as a whole can be represented as a mathematical graph, that is, a set of connected triples of the general form [term] [term]. Computationally, such graphs are widely used for modeling data; visually, they form hierarchies and networks. For morphogenesis, the triples are of the general structure , where nouns cover tissues, molecules and networks and verbs describe processes such as moves, differentiates, grows and apoptoses. The paper considers the general formalism of graphs, where graphs are already used in biology, and how developmental anatomy may be described using this format. Representing morphogenesis as a visual graph is complicated as the formalism has to incorporate tissue types, molecular signals, networks, dynamic processes and some aspects, at least, of tissue geometry. The formation of a capillary sprout is chosen as an example of how this complexity can be represented graphically, with colour used to distinguish tissues and molecules. There are three key benefits, beyond its compactness, in using the graph formalism of morphogenesis to complement experimentation. First, it emphasizes the distributed nature of causality in morphogenesis. Secondly, producing all the triples for the visual graph requires explicit formalization of each aspect of the process, and this, in turn, often exposes gaps in knowledge and so suggests new experiments. Thirdly, once the graph has been formalized, triples can be annotated with associated information or IDs (e.g. cell types, publications, gene-expression data) that link to external online resources that may be regularly updated. Such annotations allow the graph to be viewed as a self-maintaining review. The graph approach sees dynamic processes as the drivers of developmental momentum and, because the same processes are

  18. Hierarchical structure of biological systems: a bioengineering approach.

    PubMed

    Alcocer-Cuarón, Carlos; Rivera, Ana L; Castaño, Victor M

    2014-01-01

    A general theory of biological systems, based on few fundamental propositions, allows a generalization of both Wierner and Berthalanffy approaches to theoretical biology. Here, a biological system is defined as a set of self-organized, differentiated elements that interact pair-wise through various networks and media, isolated from other sets by boundaries. Their relation to other systems can be described as a closed loop in a steady-state, which leads to a hierarchical structure and functioning of the biological system. Our thermodynamical approach of hierarchical character can be applied to biological systems of varying sizes through some general principles, based on the exchange of energy information and/or mass from and within the systems.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hamon, Morgan; Hong, Jong Wook

    2013-01-01

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

  20. On the interplay between mathematics and biology: hallmarks toward a new systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bellomo, Nicola; Elaiw, Ahmed; Althiabi, Abdullah M; Alghamdi, Mohammed Ali

    2015-03-01

    This paper proposes a critical analysis of the existing literature on mathematical tools developed toward systems biology approaches and, out of this overview, develops a new approach whose main features can be briefly summarized as follows: derivation of mathematical structures suitable to capture the complexity of biological, hence living, systems, modeling, by appropriate mathematical tools, Darwinian type dynamics, namely mutations followed by selection and evolution. Moreover, multiscale methods to move from genes to cells, and from cells to tissue are analyzed in view of a new systems biology approach.

  1. Graphic Representation of Carbon Dioxide Equilibria in Biological Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kindig, Neal B.; Filley, Giles F.

    1983-01-01

    The log C-pH diagram is a useful means of displaying quantitatively the many variables (including temperature) that determine acid-base equilibria in biological systems. Presents the diagram as extended to open/closed biological systems and derives a new water-ion balance method for determining equilibrium pH. (JN)

  2. Biologic treatments for systemic rheumatic diseases

    PubMed Central

    Shirota, Y; Illei, GG; Nikolov, NP

    2009-01-01

    Many rheumatologic disorders, most notably Sjögren's syndrome, are associated with dental complications and in some cases oral diseases may trigger or drive connective tissue disease. During the past three decades the treatment in rheumatology was revolutionized by the introduction of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases have led to the discovery of critical mechanisms of inflammation and autoimmunity and the invention of new target-specific biologic agents. In this review, we will summarize the current state of biologic therapies in rheumatology and discuss the implications of these on oral health and disease. PMID:18282173

  3. [Relationship between system biology and traditional Chinese constitutional medicine].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei-Rong; Li, Jing

    2006-11-01

    Life system and medicine are both complex systems. Recently, traditional biologists have acquired tremendous data from high-speed development of all kinds of species group. However, how to use these data to interpret the mechanisms of diseases and health has become the research target of current investigators. The booms of system biology provide new thought and research methods to tackle this problem. This paper emphasizes the relationship between system biology and traditional Chinese constitutional medicine.

  4. A Systems Approach to Biology (SAB).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bush, Kenneth H.; And Others

    This pupil's study guide is intended to be used with audio-taped biology modules. Each of the units (on laboratory techniques, plant and animal diversity, chemistry, cells, energy, microbiology, genetics, and development) contains an abstract providing an overview of the unit, the rationale and performance objectives for each module, questions to…

  5. Physics and Size in Biological Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, George

    1989-01-01

    Described is the subject of biological scaling for physics teachers including examples and in-depth reading. Topics are elements of scaling, terminal velocities, Lilliputian and Brobdingnagian, brain evolution, dolphin echolocation, surface tension, gravity change, food and oxygen, and seeing. Ten references on physics and size, and ten questions…

  6. Three-dimensional printing of human skeletal muscle cells: An interdisciplinary approach for studying biological systems.

    PubMed

    Bagley, James R; Galpin, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Interdisciplinary exploration is vital to education in the 21st century. This manuscript outlines an innovative laboratory-based teaching method that combines elements of biochemistry/molecular biology, kinesiology/health science, computer science, and manufacturing engineering to give students the ability to better conceptualize complex biological systems. Here, we utilize technology available at most universities to print three-dimensional (3D) scale models of actual human muscle cells (myofibers) out of bioplastic materials. The same methodological approach could be applied to nearly any cell type or molecular structure. This advancement is significant because historically, two-dimensional (2D) myocellular images have proven insufficient for detailed analysis of organelle organization and morphology. 3D imaging fills this void by providing accurate and quantifiable myofiber structural data. Manipulating tangible 3D models combats 2D limitation and gives students new perspectives and alternative learning experiences that may assist their understanding. This approach also exposes learners to 1) human muscle cell extraction and isolation, 2) targeted fluorescence labeling, 3) confocal microscopy, 4) image processing (via open-source software), and 5) 3D printing bioplastic scale-models (×500 larger than the actual cells). Creating these physical models may further student's interest in the invisible world of molecular and cellular biology. Furthermore, this interdisciplinary laboratory project gives instructors of all biological disciplines a new teaching tool to foster integrative thinking.

  7. Advancing Systems Biology in the International Conference on Intelligent Biology and Medicine (ICIBM) 2015.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhongming; Liu, Yunlong; Huang, Yufei; Huang, Kun; Ruan, Jianhua

    2016-08-26

    The 2015 International Conference on Intelligent Biology and Medicine (ICIBM 2015) was held on November 13-15, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. ICIBM 2015 included eight scientific sessions, three tutorial sessions, one poster session, and four keynote presentations that covered the frontier research in broad areas related to bioinformatics, systems biology, big data science, biomedical informatics, pharmacogenomics, and intelligent computing. Here, we present a summary of the 10 research articles that were selected from ICIBM 2015 and included in the supplement to BMC Systems Biology.

  8. Integrative Systems Biology for Data Driven Knowledge Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Casey S.; Troyanskaya, Olga G.

    2015-01-01

    Integrative systems biology is an approach that brings together diverse high throughput experiments and databases to gain new insights into biological processes or systems at molecular through physiological levels. These approaches rely on diverse high-throughput experimental techniques that generate heterogeneous data by assaying varying aspects of complex biological processes. Computational approaches are necessary to provide an integrative view of these experimental results and enable data-driven knowledge discovery. Hypotheses generated from these approaches can direct definitive molecular experiments in a cost effective manner. Using integrative systems biology approaches, we can leverage existing biological knowledge and large-scale data to improve our understanding of yet unknown components of a system of interest and how its malfunction leads to disease. PMID:21044756

  9. Robert Rosen in the age of systems biology.

    PubMed

    Thomas, S Randall

    2007-10-01

    The widespread use of the term Systems Biology (SB) signals a welcome recognition that organisms must be understood as integrated systems. Although just what this is taken to mean varies from one group to another, it generally implies a focus on biological functions and processes rather than on biological parts and a reliance on mathematical modeling to arrive at an understanding of these biological processes based on biological observations or measurements. SB, thus, falls directly in the line of reflection carried out by Robert Rosen throughout his work. In the present article, we briefly introduce the various currents of SB and then point out several ways Rosen's work can be used to avoid certain pitfalls associated with the use of dynamical systems models for the study of complex systems, as well as to inspire a productive path forward based on loosely organized cooperation among dispersed laboratories.

  10. Methods of information geometry in computational system biology (consistency between chemical and biological evolution).

    PubMed

    Astakhov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

    Interest in simulation of large-scale metabolic networks, species development, and genesis of various diseases requires new simulation techniques to accommodate the high complexity of realistic biological networks. Information geometry and topological formalisms are proposed to analyze information processes. We analyze the complexity of large-scale biological networks as well as transition of the system functionality due to modification in the system architecture, system environment, and system components. The dynamic core model is developed. The term dynamic core is used to define a set of causally related network functions. Delocalization of dynamic core model provides a mathematical formalism to analyze migration of specific functions in biosystems which undergo structure transition induced by the environment. The term delocalization is used to describe these processes of migration. We constructed a holographic model with self-poetic dynamic cores which preserves functional properties under those transitions. Topological constraints such as Ricci flow and Pfaff dimension were found for statistical manifolds which represent biological networks. These constraints can provide insight on processes of degeneration and recovery which take place in large-scale networks. We would like to suggest that therapies which are able to effectively implement estimated constraints, will successfully adjust biological systems and recover altered functionality. Also, we mathematically formulate the hypothesis that there is a direct consistency between biological and chemical evolution. Any set of causal relations within a biological network has its dual reimplementation in the chemistry of the system environment.

  11. Adapting to Biology: Maintaining Container-Closure System Compatibility with the Therapeutic Biologic Revolution.

    PubMed

    Degrazio, Dominick

    Many pharmaceutical companies are transitioning their research and development drug product pipeline from traditional small-molecule injectables to the dimension of evolving therapeutic biologics. Important concerns associated with this changeover are becoming forefront, as challenges develop of varying complexity uncommon with the synthesis and production of traditional drugs. Therefore, alternative measures must be established that aim to preserve the efficacy and functionality of a biologic that might not be implemented for small molecules. Conserving protein stability is relative to perpetuating a net equilibrium of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Key to sustaining this balance is the ability of container-closure systems to maintain their compatibility with the ever-changing dynamics of therapeutic biologics. Failure to recognize and adjust the material properties of packaging components to support compatibility with therapeutic biologics can compromise patient safety, drug productivity, and biological stability. This review will examine the differences between small-molecule drugs and therapeutic biologics, lay a basic foundation for understanding the stability of therapeutic biologics, and demonstrate potential sources of container-closure systems' incompatibilities with therapeutic biologics at a mechanistic level.

  12. Synthetic biology: advancing the design of diverse genetic systems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yen-Hsiang; Wei, Kathy Y.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2013-01-01

    A main objective of synthetic biology is to make the process of designing genetically-encoded biological systems more systematic, predictable, robust, scalable, and efficient. The examples of genetic systems in the field vary widely in terms of operating hosts, compositional approaches, and network complexity, ranging from a simple genetic switch to search-and-destroy systems. While significant advances in synthesis capabilities support the potential for the implementation of pathway- and genome-scale programs, several design challenges currently restrict the scale of systems that can be reasonably designed and implemented. Synthetic biology offers much promise in developing systems to address challenges faced in manufacturing, the environment and sustainability, and health and medicine, but the realization of this potential is currently limited by the diversity of available parts and effective design frameworks. As researchers make progress in bridging this design gap, advances in the field hint at ever more diverse applications for biological systems. PMID:23413816

  13. Tracing organizing principles: learning from the history of systems biology.

    PubMed

    Green, Sara; Wolkenhauer, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    With the emergence of systems biology, the identification of organizing principles is being highlighted as a key research aim. Researchers attempt to "reverse engineer" the functional organization of biological systems using methodologies from mathematics, engineering and computer science while taking advantage of data produced by new experimental techniques. While systems biology is a relatively new approach, the quest for general principles of biological organization dates back to systems theoretic approaches in early and mid-twentieth century. The aim of this paper is to draw on this historical background in order to increase the understanding of the motivation behind the search for general principles and to clarify different epistemic aims within systems biology. We pinpoint key aspects of earlier approaches that also underlie the current practice. These are i) the focus on relational and system-level properties, ii) the inherent critique of reductionism and fragmentation of knowledge resulting from overspecialization, and iii) the insight that the ideal of formulating abstract organizing principles is complementary to, rather than conflicting with, the aim of formulating detailed explanations of biological mechanisms. We argue that looking back not only helps us understand the current practice but also points to possible future directions for systems biology.

  14. Systems approaches for synthetic biology: a pathway toward mammalian design.

    PubMed

    Rekhi, Rahul; Qutub, Amina A

    2013-01-01

    We review methods of understanding cellular interactions through computation in order to guide the synthetic design of mammalian cells for translational applications, such as regenerative medicine and cancer therapies. In doing so, we argue that the challenges of engineering mammalian cells provide a prime opportunity to leverage advances in computational systems biology. We support this claim systematically, by addressing each of the principal challenges to existing synthetic bioengineering approaches-stochasticity, complexity, and scale-with specific methods and paradigms in systems biology. Moreover, we characterize a key set of diverse computational techniques, including agent-based modeling, Bayesian network analysis, graph theory, and Gillespie simulations, with specific utility toward synthetic biology. Lastly, we examine the mammalian applications of synthetic biology for medicine and health, and how computational systems biology can aid in the continued development of these applications.

  15. Systems biology and the integration of mechanistic explanation and mathematical explanation.

    PubMed

    Brigandt, Ingo

    2013-12-01

    The paper discusses how systems biology is working toward complex accounts that integrate explanation in terms of mechanisms and explanation by mathematical models-which some philosophers have viewed as rival models of explanation. Systems biology is an integrative approach, and it strongly relies on mathematical modeling. Philosophical accounts of mechanisms capture integrative in the sense of multilevel and multifield explanations, yet accounts of mechanistic explanation (as the analysis of a whole in terms of its structural parts and their qualitative interactions) have failed to address how a mathematical model could contribute to such explanations. I discuss how mathematical equations can be explanatorily relevant. Several cases from systems biology are discussed to illustrate the interplay between mechanistic research and mathematical modeling, and I point to questions about qualitative phenomena (rather than the explanation of quantitative details), where quantitative models are still indispensable to the explanation. Systems biology shows that a broader philosophical conception of mechanisms is needed, which takes into account functional-dynamical aspects, interaction in complex networks with feedback loops, system-wide functional properties such as distributed functionality and robustness, and a mechanism's ability to respond to perturbations (beyond its actual operation). I offer general conclusions for philosophical accounts of explanation.

  16. Noninvasive biological sensor system for detection of drunk driving.

    PubMed

    Murata, Kohji; Fujita, Etsunori; Kojima, Shigeyuki; Maeda, Shinitirou; Ogura, Yumi; Kamei, Tsutomu; Tsuji, Toshio; Kaneko, Shigehiko; Yoshizumi, Masao; Suzuki, Nobutaka

    2011-01-01

    Systems capable of monitoring the biological condition of a driver and issuing warnings during instances of drowsiness have recently been studied. Moreover, many researchers have reported that biological signals, such as brain waves, pulsation waves, and heart rate, are different between people who have and have not consumed alcohol. Currently, we are developing a noninvasive system to detect individuals driving under the influence of alcohol by measuring biological signals. We used the frequency time series analysis to attempt to distinguish between normal and intoxicated states of a person as the basis of the sensing system.

  17. Virtual Tissues and Developmental Systems Biology (book chapter)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Virtual tissue (VT) models provide an in silico environment to simulate cross-scale properties in specific tissues or organs based on knowledge of the underlying biological networks. These integrative models capture the fundamental interactions in a biological system and enable ...

  18. Systems Biology-Derived Discoveries of Intrinsic Clocks

    PubMed Central

    Millius, Arthur; Ueda, Hiroki R.

    2017-01-01

    A systems approach to studying biology uses a variety of mathematical, computational, and engineering tools to holistically understand and model properties of cells, tissues, and organisms. Building from early biochemical, genetic, and physiological studies, systems biology became established through the development of genome-wide methods, high-throughput procedures, modern computational processing power, and bioinformatics. Here, we highlight a variety of systems approaches to the study of biological rhythms that occur with a 24-h period—circadian rhythms. We review how systems methods have helped to elucidate complex behaviors of the circadian clock including temperature compensation, rhythmicity, and robustness. Finally, we explain the contribution of systems biology to the transcription–translation feedback loop and posttranslational oscillator models of circadian rhythms and describe new technologies and “–omics” approaches to understand circadian timekeeping and neurophysiology. PMID:28220104

  19. Systems Biology-Derived Discoveries of Intrinsic Clocks.

    PubMed

    Millius, Arthur; Ueda, Hiroki R

    2017-01-01

    A systems approach to studying biology uses a variety of mathematical, computational, and engineering tools to holistically understand and model properties of cells, tissues, and organisms. Building from early biochemical, genetic, and physiological studies, systems biology became established through the development of genome-wide methods, high-throughput procedures, modern computational processing power, and bioinformatics. Here, we highlight a variety of systems approaches to the study of biological rhythms that occur with a 24-h period-circadian rhythms. We review how systems methods have helped to elucidate complex behaviors of the circadian clock including temperature compensation, rhythmicity, and robustness. Finally, we explain the contribution of systems biology to the transcription-translation feedback loop and posttranslational oscillator models of circadian rhythms and describe new technologies and "-omics" approaches to understand circadian timekeeping and neurophysiology.

  20. In Vitro Electrochemistry of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Kelly L.; Puchades, Maja; Ewing, Andrew G.

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews recent work involving electrochemical methods for in vitro analysis of biomolecules, with an emphasis on detection and manipulation at and of single cells and cultures of cells. The techniques discussed include constant potential amperometry, chronoamperometry, cellular electroporation, scanning electrochemical microscopy, and microfluidic platforms integrated with electrochemical detection. The principles of these methods are briefly described, followed in most cases with a short description of an analytical or biological application and its significance. The use of electrochemical methods to examine specific mechanistic issues in exocytosis is highlighted, as a great deal of recent work has been devoted to this application. PMID:20151038

  1. Systems Biology and Genomics of Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Perou, Charles M.; Børresen-Dale, Anne-Lise

    2011-01-01

    It is now accepted that breast cancer is not a single disease, but instead it is composed of a spectrum of tumor subtypes with distinct cellular origins, somatic changes, and etiologies. Gene expression profiling using DNA microarrays has contributed significantly to our understanding of the molecular heterogeneity of breast tumor formation, progression, and recurrence. For example, at least two clinical diagnostic assays exist (i.e., OncotypeDX RS and Mammaprint®) that are able to predict outcome in patients using patterns of gene expression and predetermined mathematical algorithms. In addition, a new molecular taxonomy based upon the inherent, or “intrinsic,” biology of breast tumors has been developed; this taxonomy is called the “intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer,” which now identifies five distinct tumor types and a normal breast-like group. Importantly, the intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer predict patient relapse, overall survival, and response to endocrine and chemotherapy regimens. Thus, most of the clinical behavior of a breast tumor is already written in its subtype profile. Here, we describe the discovery and basic biology of the intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer, and detail how this interacts with underlying genetic alternations, response to therapy, and the metastatic process. PMID:21047916

  2. Generating Systems Biology Markup Language Models from the Synthetic Biology Open Language.

    PubMed

    Roehner, Nicholas; Zhang, Zhen; Nguyen, Tramy; Myers, Chris J

    2015-08-21

    In the context of synthetic biology, model generation is the automated process of constructing biochemical models based on genetic designs. This paper discusses the use cases for model generation in genetic design automation (GDA) software tools and introduces the foundational concepts of standards and model annotation that make this process useful. Finally, this paper presents an implementation of model generation in the GDA software tool iBioSim and provides an example of generating a Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) model from a design of a 4-input AND sensor written in the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL).

  3. Genome Scale Modeling in Systems Biology: Algorithms and Resources

    PubMed Central

    Najafi, Ali; Bidkhori, Gholamreza; Bozorgmehr, Joseph H.; Koch, Ina; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, in silico studies and trial simulations have complemented experimental procedures. A model is a description of a system, and a system is any collection of interrelated objects; an object, moreover, is some elemental unit upon which observations can be made but whose internal structure either does not exist or is ignored. Therefore, any network analysis approach is critical for successful quantitative modeling of biological systems. This review highlights some of most popular and important modeling algorithms, tools, and emerging standards for representing, simulating and analyzing cellular networks in five sections. Also, we try to show these concepts by means of simple example and proper images and graphs. Overall, systems biology aims for a holistic description and understanding of biological processes by an integration of analytical experimental approaches along with synthetic computational models. In fact, biological networks have been developed as a platform for integrating information from high to low-throughput experiments for the analysis of biological systems. We provide an overview of all processes used in modeling and simulating biological networks in such a way that they can become easily understandable for researchers with both biological and mathematical backgrounds. Consequently, given the complexity of generated experimental data and cellular networks, it is no surprise that researchers have turned to computer simulation and the development of more theory-based approaches to augment and assist in the development of a fully quantitative understanding of cellular dynamics. PMID:24822031

  4. Impact of yeast systems biology on industrial biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Petranovic, Dina; Vemuri, Goutham N

    2009-11-01

    Systems biology is yet an emerging discipline that aims to quantitatively describe and predict the functioning of a biological system. This nascent discipline relies on the recent advances in the analytical technology (such as DNA microarrays, mass spectromety, etc.) to quantify cellular characteristics (such as gene expression, protein and metabolite abundance, etc.) and computational methods to integrate information from these measurements. The model eukaryote, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has played a pivotal role in the development of many of these analytical and computational methods and consequently is the biological system of choice for testing new hypotheses. The knowledge gained from such studies in S. cerevisiae is proving to be extremely useful in designing metabolism that is targeted to specific industrial applications. As a result, the portfolio of products that are being produced using this yeast is expanding rapidly. We review the recent developments in yeast systems biology and how they relate to industrial biotechnology.

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

    PubMed

    Dai, Zongjie; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Multistability and its robustness of a class of biological systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuanlong; Lin, Zongli

    2013-12-01

    Multistability of biological systems with complex nonlinear regulatory schemes is an important research topic in system biology. In many models of biological systems, the regulatory functions are of saturation type. The linear sectors, in which the saturation type functions reside, have been extensively adopted to deal with these saturation type functions. The stability analysis resulting from linear sectors is however often conservative as a wide linear section is required to include a large portion of a saturation type function. In this paper, we utilize piecewise linear sectors, recently adopted in nonlinear control theory, to investigate multistability of a class of biological systems with sum regulatory schemes. We will estimate the domain of attraction of each stable equilibrium and examine the robust stability of each equilibrium in the face of disturbances that are bounded in magnitude or energy. A genetic toggle switch in Escherichia coli is employed as an example to illustrate the applicability and effectiveness of our analysis method.

  7. Software for systems biology: from tools to integrated platforms.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Samik; Matsuoka, Yukiko; Asai, Yoshiyuki; Hsin, Kun-Yi; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2011-11-03

    Understanding complex biological systems requires extensive support from software tools. Such tools are needed at each step of a systems biology computational workflow, which typically consists of data handling, network inference, deep curation, dynamical simulation and model analysis. In addition, there are now efforts to develop integrated software platforms, so that tools that are used at different stages of the workflow and by different researchers can easily be used together. This Review describes the types of software tools that are required at different stages of systems biology research and the current options that are available for systems biology researchers. We also discuss the challenges and prospects for modelling the effects of genetic changes on physiology and the concept of an integrated platform.

  8. Light microscopy applications in systems biology: opportunities and challenges

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Biological systems present multiple scales of complexity, ranging from molecules to entire populations. Light microscopy is one of the least invasive techniques used to access information from various biological scales in living cells. The combination of molecular biology and imaging provides a bottom-up tool for direct insight into how molecular processes work on a cellular scale. However, imaging can also be used as a top-down approach to study the behavior of a system without detailed prior knowledge about its underlying molecular mechanisms. In this review, we highlight the recent developments on microscopy-based systems analyses and discuss the complementary opportunities and different challenges with high-content screening and high-throughput imaging. Furthermore, we provide a comprehensive overview of the available platforms that can be used for image analysis, which enable community-driven efforts in the development of image-based systems biology. PMID:23578051

  9. Learning Delayed Influences of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Tony; Magnin, Morgan; Inoue, Katsumi; Sakama, Chiaki

    2015-01-01

    Boolean networks are widely used model to represent gene interactions and global dynamical behavior of gene regulatory networks. To understand the memory effect involved in some interactions between biological components, it is necessary to include delayed influences in the model. In this paper, we present a logical method to learn such models from sequences of gene expression data. This method analyzes each sequence one by one to iteratively construct a Boolean network that captures the dynamics of these observations. To illustrate the merits of this approach, we apply it to learning real data from bioinformatic literature. Using data from the yeast cell cycle, we give experimental results and show the scalability of the method. We show empirically that using this method we can handle millions of observations and successfully capture delayed influences of Boolean networks. PMID:25642421

  10. Microfluidic systems for electrochemical and biological studies

    SciTech Connect

    Ackler, H., LLNL

    1998-05-01

    Microfluidic devices with microelectrodes have the potential to enable studies of phenomena at size scales where behavior may be dominated by different mechanisms than at macroscales. Through our work developing microfluidic devices for dielectrophoretic separation and sensing of cells and particles, we have fabricated devices from which general or more specialized research devices may be derived. Fluid channels from 80 {micro}m wide X 20 {micro}m deep to 1 mm wide to 200 {micro}m deep have been fabricated in glass, with lithographically patterned electrodes from 10 to 80 {micro}m wide on one or both sides on the channels and over topographies tens of microns in heights. the devices are designed to easily interface to electronic and fluidic interconnect packages that permit reuse of devices, rather than one-time use, crude glue-based methods. Such devices may be useful for many applications of interest to the electrochemical and biological community.

  11. Systems biology of asthma and allergic diseases: a multiscale approach.

    PubMed

    Bunyavanich, Supinda; Schadt, Eric E

    2015-01-01

    Systems biology is an approach to understanding living systems that focuses on modeling diverse types of high-dimensional interactions to develop a more comprehensive understanding of complex phenotypes manifested by the system. High-throughput molecular, cellular, and physiologic profiling of populations is coupled with bioinformatic and computational techniques to identify new functional roles for genes, regulatory elements, and metabolites in the context of the molecular networks that define biological processes associated with system physiology. Given the complexity and heterogeneity of asthma and allergic diseases, a systems biology approach is attractive, as it has the potential to model the myriad connections and interdependencies between genetic predisposition, environmental perturbations, regulatory intermediaries, and molecular sequelae that ultimately lead to diverse disease phenotypes and treatment responses across individuals. The increasing availability of high-throughput technologies has enabled system-wide profiling of the genome, transcriptome, epigenome, microbiome, and metabolome, providing fodder for systems biology approaches to examine asthma and allergy at a more holistic level. In this article we review the technologies and approaches for system-wide profiling, as well as their more recent applications to asthma and allergy. We discuss approaches for integrating multiscale data through network analyses and provide perspective on how individually captured health profiles will contribute to more accurate systems biology views of asthma and allergy.

  12. New approaches in data integration for systems chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Seoane, Jose A; López-Campos, Guillermo; Dorado, Julian; Martin-Sanchez, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Advances done in "-Omics" technologies in the last 20 years have made available to the researches huge amounts of data spanning a wide variety of biological processes from gene sequences to the metabolites present in a cell at a particular time. The management, analysis and representation of these data have been facilitated by mean of the advances made by biomedical informatics in areas such as data architecture and integration systems. However, despite the efforts done by biologists in this area, research in drug design adds a new level of information by incorporating data related with small molecules, which increases the complexity of these integration systems. Current knowledge in molecular biology has shown that it is possible to use comprehensive and integrative approaches to understand the biological processes from a systems perspective and that pathological processes can be mapped into biological networks. Therefore, current strategies for drug design are focusing on how to interact with or modify those networks to achieve the desired effects on what is called systems chemical biology. In this review several approaches for data integration in systems chemical biology will be analysed and described. Furthermore, because of the increasing relevance of the development and use of nanomaterials and their expected impact in the near future, the requirements of integration systems that incorporate these new data types associated with nanomaterials will also be analysed.

  13. Mathematical and Computational Modeling in Complex Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenyang; Zhu, Xiaoliang

    2017-01-01

    The biological process and molecular functions involved in the cancer progression remain difficult to understand for biologists and clinical doctors. Recent developments in high-throughput technologies urge the systems biology to achieve more precise models for complex diseases. Computational and mathematical models are gradually being used to help us understand the omics data produced by high-throughput experimental techniques. The use of computational models in systems biology allows us to explore the pathogenesis of complex diseases, improve our understanding of the latent molecular mechanisms, and promote treatment strategy optimization and new drug discovery. Currently, it is urgent to bridge the gap between the developments of high-throughput technologies and systemic modeling of the biological process in cancer research. In this review, we firstly studied several typical mathematical modeling approaches of biological systems in different scales and deeply analyzed their characteristics, advantages, applications, and limitations. Next, three potential research directions in systems modeling were summarized. To conclude, this review provides an update of important solutions using computational modeling approaches in systems biology. PMID:28386558

  14. Apparatus and methods for manipulation and optimization of biological systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, Chih-Ming (Inventor); Wong, Pak Kin (Inventor); Sun, Ren (Inventor); Yu, Fuqu (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    The invention provides systems and methods for manipulating, e.g., optimizing and controlling, biological systems, e.g., for eliciting a more desired biological response of biological sample, such as a tissue, organ, and/or a cell. In one aspect, systems and methods of the invention operate by efficiently searching through a large parametric space of stimuli and system parameters to manipulate, control, and optimize the response of biological samples sustained in the system, e.g., a bioreactor. In alternative aspects, systems include a device for sustaining cells or tissue samples, one or more actuators for stimulating the samples via biochemical, electromagnetic, thermal, mechanical, and/or optical stimulation, one or more sensors for measuring a biological response signal of the samples resulting from the stimulation of the sample. In one aspect, the systems and methods of the invention use at least one optimization algorithm to modify the actuator's control inputs for stimulation, responsive to the sensor's output of response signals. The compositions and methods of the invention can be used, e.g., to for systems optimization of any biological manufacturing or experimental system, e.g., bioreactors for proteins, e.g., therapeutic proteins, polypeptides or peptides for vaccines, and the like, small molecules (e.g., antibiotics), polysaccharides, lipids, and the like. Another use of the apparatus and methods includes combination drug therapy, e.g. optimal drug cocktail, directed cell proliferations and differentiations, e.g. in tissue engineering, e.g. neural progenitor cells differentiation, and discovery of key parameters in complex biological systems.

  15. Biological and Physical Thresholds in Biogeomorphologically Self-organizing Systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, P.; Bouma, T. J.; Van de Koppel, J.; Borsje, B.; van Belzen, J.; Balke, T.

    2012-12-01

    Many coastal and estuarine landscapes are formed as a consequence of biological-physical interactions. We review examples that we recently studied: coastal vegetations, microphytobenthos-stabilized mudflats, macrofauna-dominated sediments, sand wave formation influenced by animals. In these diverse ecosystems, self-organisation of the coupled landscape results from the existence of positive feedback loops between the physical and biological components. We focus on the question where, in space and/or in time, such feedback systems develop and what determines their persistence and their ability to shape the landscape. We hypothesize that an equilibrium of forces between physical and biological factors is necessary for a feedback loop to develop. This implies a scale match and a commensurate strength of the different factors. There are many examples of systems that are physically too dynamic for the development of biological populations that affect the landscape. We also show an example where biological influence, in the form of strong grazing pressure on microphytobenthos, disrupts a self-organized system on a mudflat. Thus, we define thresholds in parameter space which constrain the development of strongly interacting biogeomorphological systems. The hypothesis of commensurate physical and biological forces as a condition for the development of biogeomorphological systems has important consequences for the establishment and recruitment of such systems. Biological interactions and biological effects on the physical system develop in time with the recruitment and maturation of the biological system. Fully developed systems can therefore be in balance with stronger physical forces than immature, early recruiting phases. This represents a successional threshold that is difficult to overcome. We stress the importance of stochastic variability in physical conditions at a diversity of scales as a prerequisite for phase transitions from physically dominated to

  16. Bionic models for identification of biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerget, O. M.

    2017-01-01

    This article proposes a clinical decision support system that processes biomedical data. For this purpose a bionic model has been designed based on neural networks, genetic algorithms and immune systems. The developed system has been tested on data from pregnant women. The paper focuses on the approach to enable selection of control actions that can minimize the risk of adverse outcome. The control actions (hyperparameters of a new type) are further used as an additional input signal. Its values are defined by a hyperparameter optimization method. A software developed with Python is briefly described.

  17. Biocellion: accelerating computer simulation of multicellular biological system models

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Seunghwa; Kahan, Simon; McDermott, Jason; Flann, Nicholas; Shmulevich, Ilya

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Biological system behaviors are often the outcome of complex interactions among a large number of cells and their biotic and abiotic environment. Computational biologists attempt to understand, predict and manipulate biological system behavior through mathematical modeling and computer simulation. Discrete agent-based modeling (in combination with high-resolution grids to model the extracellular environment) is a popular approach for building biological system models. However, the computational complexity of this approach forces computational biologists to resort to coarser resolution approaches to simulate large biological systems. High-performance parallel computers have the potential to address the computing challenge, but writing efficient software for parallel computers is difficult and time-consuming. Results: We have developed Biocellion, a high-performance software framework, to solve this computing challenge using parallel computers. To support a wide range of multicellular biological system models, Biocellion asks users to provide their model specifics by filling the function body of pre-defined model routines. Using Biocellion, modelers without parallel computing expertise can efficiently exploit parallel computers with less effort than writing sequential programs from scratch. We simulate cell sorting, microbial patterning and a bacterial system in soil aggregate as case studies. Availability and implementation: Biocellion runs on x86 compatible systems with the 64 bit Linux operating system and is freely available for academic use. Visit http://biocellion.com for additional information. Contact: seunghwa.kang@pnnl.gov PMID:25064572

  18. Integrative system biology strategies for disease biomarker discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haiyuan; Hu, Hao; Deng, Cao; Chun, Yeona; Zhou, Shengtao; Huang, Fuqiang; Zhou, Qin

    2012-05-01

    Biomarkers are currently widely used to diagnose diseases, monitor treatments, and evaluate potential drug candidates. Research of differential Omics accelerate the advancements of biomarkers' discovery. By extracting biological knowledge from the 'omics' through integration, integrative system biology creates predictive models of cells, organs, biochemical processes and complete organisms, in addition to identifying human disease biomarkers. Recent development in high-throughput methods enables analysis of genome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome at an unprecedented scale, thus contributing to the deluge of experimental data in numerous public databases. Several integrative system biology approaches have been developed and applied to the discovery of disease biomarkers from databases. In this review, we highlight several of these approaches and identify future steps in the context of the field of integrative system biology.

  19. Computational Modeling, Formal Analysis, and Tools for Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Bartocci, Ezio; Lió, Pietro

    2016-01-01

    As the amount of biological data in the public domain grows, so does the range of modeling and analysis techniques employed in systems biology. In recent years, a number of theoretical computer science developments have enabled modeling methodology to keep pace. The growing interest in systems biology in executable models and their analysis has necessitated the borrowing of terms and methods from computer science, such as formal analysis, model checking, static analysis, and runtime verification. Here, we discuss the most important and exciting computational methods and tools currently available to systems biologists. We believe that a deeper understanding of the concepts and theory highlighted in this review will produce better software practice, improved investigation of complex biological processes, and even new ideas and better feedback into computer science. PMID:26795950

  20. Integrated Design of Antibodies for Systems Biology Using Ab Designer.

    PubMed

    Pisitkun, Trairak; Dummer, Patrick; Somparn, Poorichaya; Hirankarn, Nattiya; Kopp, Jeffrey B; Knepper, Mark A

    2014-03-24

    In the current era of large-scale biology, systems biology has evolved as a powerful approach to identify complex interactions within biological systems. In addition to high throughput identification and quantification techniques, methods based on high-quality mono-specific antibodies remain an essential element of the approach. To assist the large-scale design and production of peptide-directed antibodies for systems biology studies, we developed a fully integrated online application, AbDesigner (http://helixweb.nih.gov/AbDesigner/), to help researchers select optimal peptide immunogens for antibody generation against relatively disordered regions of target proteins. Here we describe AbDesigner in terms of its features, comparing it to other software tools, and use it to design three antibodies against kidney disease-related proteins in human, viz. nephrin, podocin, and apolipoprotein L1.

  1. Environmental Control of Root System Biology.

    PubMed

    Rellán-Álvarez, Rubén; Lobet, Guillaume; Dinneny, José R

    2016-04-29

    The plant root system traverses one of the most complex environments on earth. Understanding how roots support plant life on land requires knowing how soil properties affect the availability of nutrients and water and how roots manipulate the soil environment to optimize acquisition of these resources. Imaging of roots in soil allows the integrated analysis and modeling of environmental interactions occurring at micro- to macroscales. Advances in phenotyping of root systems is driving innovation in cross-platform-compatible methods for data analysis. Root systems acclimate to the environment through architectural changes that act at the root-type level as well as through tissue-specific changes that affect the metabolic needs of the root and the efficiency of nutrient uptake. A molecular understanding of the signaling mechanisms that guide local and systemic signaling is providing insight into the regulatory logic of environmental responses and has identified points where crosstalk between pathways occurs.

  2. Virtual Tissues and Developmental Systems Biology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Computational modeling of embryonic systems to analyze how 'core development processes' are wired together. Has the potential to address environmental and human health factors with broad scientific and economic impacts.

  3. Construction of a Linux based chemical and biological information system.

    PubMed

    Molnár, László; Vágó, István; Fehér, András

    2003-01-01

    A chemical and biological information system with a Web-based easy-to-use interface and corresponding databases has been developed. The constructed system incorporates all chemical, numerical and textual data related to the chemical compounds, including numerical biological screen results. Users can search the database by traditional textual/numerical and/or substructure or similarity queries through the web interface. To build our chemical database management system, we utilized existing IT components such as ORACLE or Tripos SYBYL for database management and Zope application server for the web interface. We chose Linux as the main platform, however, almost every component can be used under various operating systems.

  4. Computational Proteomics: High-throughput Analysis for Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Cannon, William R.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.

    2007-01-03

    High-throughput (HTP) proteomics is a rapidly developing field that offers the global profiling of proteins from a biological system. The HTP technological advances are fueling a revolution in biology, enabling analyses at the scales of entire systems (e.g., whole cells, tumors, or environmental communities). However, simply identifying the proteins in a cell is insufficient for understanding the underlying complexity and operating mechanisms of the overall system. Systems level investigations are relying more and more on computational analyses, especially in the field of proteomics generating large-scale global data.

  5. Systems biology: the role of engineering in the reverse engineering of biological signaling.

    PubMed

    Iglesias, Pablo A

    2013-05-31

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

  6. Circadian systems biology: When time matters

    PubMed Central

    Fuhr, Luise; Abreu, Mónica; Pett, Patrick; Relógio, Angela

    2015-01-01

    The circadian clock is a powerful endogenous timing system, which allows organisms to fine-tune their physiology and behaviour to the geophysical time. The interplay of a distinct set of core-clock genes and proteins generates oscillations in expression of output target genes which temporally regulate numerous molecular and cellular processes. The study of the circadian timing at the organismal as well as at the cellular level outlines the field of chronobiology, which has been highly interdisciplinary ever since its origins. The development of high-throughput approaches enables the study of the clock at a systems level. In addition to experimental approaches, computational clock models exist which allow the analysis of rhythmic properties of the clock network. Such mathematical models aid mechanistic understanding and can be used to predict outcomes of distinct perturbations in clock components, thereby generating new hypotheses regarding the putative function of particular clock genes. Perturbations in the circadian timing system are linked to numerous molecular dysfunctions and may result in severe pathologies including cancer. A comprehensive knowledge regarding the mechanistic of the circadian system is crucial to develop new procedures to investigate pathologies associated with a deregulated clock. In this manuscript we review the combination of experimental methodologies, bioinformatics and theoretical models that have been essential to explore this remarkable timing-system. Such an integrative and interdisciplinary approach may provide new strategies with regard to chronotherapeutic treatment and new insights concerning the restoration of the circadian timing in clock-associated diseases. PMID:26288701

  7. Biological treatment of clogged emitters in a drip irrigation system.

    PubMed

    Sahin, Ustün; Anapali, Omer; Dönmez, Mesude Figen; Sahin, Fikrettin

    2005-09-01

    This study was conducted to investigate microbial organisms that can be used for preventing clogging in drip irrigation systems caused by biological factors. A total of 25 fungi isolate and 121 bacterial strains were isolated from water samples collected from drip irrigation systems in tomato greenhouses in the eastern Anatolia region of Turkey in the spring season of 2001. Biological clogging of emitters in a model drip irrigation system was experimentally caused by application of the microorganisms (fungi and bacteria) isolated in the study. Three antagonistic bacterial strains in the genus Bacillus spp (ERZ, OSU-142) and Burkholdria spp (OSU-7) were used for treatment of biological clogging of the emitters. The results showed that the antagonistic bacterial strains tested have the potential to be used as anti-clogging agents for treatment of emitters in drip irrigation system. This is the first study that demonstrated that antagonistic microorganisms can be utilized for treatment of clogging in drip irrigation systems.

  8. Using the Unified Modelling Language (UML) to guide the systemic description of biological processes and systems.

    PubMed

    Roux-Rouquié, Magali; Caritey, Nicolas; Gaubert, Laurent; Rosenthal-Sabroux, Camille

    2004-07-01

    One of the main issues in Systems Biology is to deal with semantic data integration. Previously, we examined the requirements for a reference conceptual model to guide semantic integration based on the systemic principles. In the present paper, we examine the usefulness of the Unified Modelling Language (UML) to describe and specify biological systems and processes. This makes unambiguous representations of biological systems, which would be suitable for translation into mathematical and computational formalisms, enabling analysis, simulation and prediction of these systems behaviours.

  9. Applications of targeted proteomics in systems biology and translational medicine

    PubMed Central

    Root, Alex; Sander, Chris; Aebersold, Ruedi

    2015-01-01

    Biological systems are composed of numerous components of which proteins are of particularly high functional significance. Network models are useful abstractions for studying these components in context. Network representations display molecules as nodes and their interactions as edges. Because they are difficult to directly measure, functional edges are frequently inferred from suitably structured datasets consisting of the accurate and consistent quantification of network nodes under a multitude of perturbed conditions. For the precise quantification of a finite list of proteins across a wide range of samples, targeted proteomics exemplified by selected/multiple reaction monitoring (SRM, MRM) mass spectrometry has proven useful and has been applied to a variety of questions in systems biology and clinical studies. Here, we survey the literature of studies using SRM‐MS in systems biology and clinical proteomics. Systems biology studies frequently examine fundamental questions in network biology, whereas clinical studies frequently focus on biomarker discovery and validation in a variety of diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Targeted proteomics promises to advance our understanding of biological networks and the phenotypic significance of specific network states and to advance biomarkers into clinical use. PMID:26097198

  10. Engineering plant metabolism into microbes: from systems biology to synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Xu, Peng; Bhan, Namita; Koffas, Mattheos A G

    2013-04-01

    Plant metabolism represents an enormous repository of compounds that are of pharmaceutical and biotechnological importance. Engineering plant metabolism into microbes will provide sustainable solutions to produce pharmaceutical and fuel molecules that could one day replace substantial portions of the current fossil-fuel based economy. Metabolic engineering entails targeted manipulation of biosynthetic pathways to maximize yields of desired products. Recent advances in Systems Biology and the emergence of Synthetic Biology have accelerated our ability to design, construct and optimize cell factories for metabolic engineering applications. Progress in predicting and modeling genome-scale metabolic networks, versatile gene assembly platforms and delicate synthetic pathway optimization strategies has provided us exciting opportunities to exploit the full potential of cell metabolism. In this review, we will discuss how systems and synthetic biology tools can be integrated to create tailor-made cell factories for efficient production of natural products and fuel molecules in microorganisms.

  11. Systematic integration of experimental data and models in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The behaviour of biological systems can be deduced from their mathematical models. However, multiple sources of data in diverse forms are required in the construction of a model in order to define its components and their biochemical reactions, and corresponding parameters. Automating the assembly and use of systems biology models is dependent upon data integration processes involving the interoperation of data and analytical resources. Results Taverna workflows have been developed for the automated assembly of quantitative parameterised metabolic networks in the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML). A SBML model is built in a systematic fashion by the workflows which starts with the construction of a qualitative network using data from a MIRIAM-compliant genome-scale model of yeast metabolism. This is followed by parameterisation of the SBML model with experimental data from two repositories, the SABIO-RK enzyme kinetics database and a database of quantitative experimental results. The models are then calibrated and simulated in workflows that call out to COPASIWS, the web service interface to the COPASI software application for analysing biochemical networks. These systems biology workflows were evaluated for their ability to construct a parameterised model of yeast glycolysis. Conclusions Distributed information about metabolic reactions that have been described to MIRIAM standards enables the automated assembly of quantitative systems biology models of metabolic networks based on user-defined criteria. Such data integration processes can be implemented as Taverna workflows to provide a rapid overview of the components and their relationships within a biochemical system. PMID:21114840

  12. EVOLUTIONARY BIOSCIENCE AS REGULATORY SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Eric H.

    2011-01-01

    At present several entirely different explanatory approaches compete to illuminate the mechanisms by which animal body plans have evolved. Their respective relevance is briefly considered here in the light of modern knowledge of genomes and the regulatory processes by which development is controlled. Just as development is a system property of the regulatory genome, so causal explanation of evolutionary change in developmental process must be considered at a system level. Here I enumerate some mechanistic consequences that follow from the conclusion that evolution of the body plan has occurred by alteration of the structure of developmental gene regulatory networks. The hierarchy and multiple additional design features of these networks act to produce Boolean regulatory state specification functions at upstream phases of development of the body plan. These are created by the logic outputs of network subcircuits, and in modern animals these outputs are impervious to continuous adaptive variation unlike genes operating more peripherally in the network. PMID:21320483

  13. Evolutionary bioscience as regulatory systems biology.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Eric H

    2011-09-01

    At present several entirely different explanatory approaches compete to illuminate the mechanisms by which animal body plans have evolved. Their respective relevance is briefly considered here in the light of modern knowledge of genomes and the regulatory processes by which development is controlled. Just as development is a system property of the regulatory genome, causal explanation of evolutionary change in developmental process must be considered at a system level. Here I enumerate some mechanistic consequences that follow from the conclusion that evolution of the body plan has occurred by alteration of the structure of developmental gene regulatory networks. The hierarchy and multiple additional design features of these networks act to produce Boolean regulatory state specification functions at upstream phases of development of the body plan. These are created by the logic outputs of network subcircuits, and in modern animals these outputs are impervious to continuous adaptive variation unlike genes operating more peripherally in the network.

  14. Echinococcus as a model system: biology and epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, R C A; Jenkins, D J

    2014-10-15

    The introduction of Echinococcus to Australia over 200 years ago and its establishment in sheep rearing areas of the country inflicted a serious medical and economic burden on the country. This resulted in an investment in both basic and applied research aimed at learning more about the biology and life cycle of Echinococcus. This research served to illustrate the uniqueness of the parasite in terms of developmental biology and ecology, and the value of Echinococcus as a model system in a broad range of research, from fundamental biology to theoretical control systems. These studies formed the foundation for an international, diverse and ongoing research effort on the hydatid organisms encompassing stem cell biology, gene regulation, strain variation, wildlife diseases and models of transmission dynamics. We describe the development, nature and diversity of this research, and how it was initiated in Australia but subsequently has stimulated much international and collaborative research on Echinococcus.

  15. Single cell sequencing approaches for complex biological systems.

    PubMed

    Baslan, Timour; Hicks, James

    2014-06-01

    Biological phenotype is the output of complex interactions between heterogeneous cells within a specified niche. These interactions are tightly governed and regulated by the genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptional states of single cells, with deregulation of these states resulting in disease. As such, genome wide single cell investigations are bound to enhance our knowledge of the underlying principles that govern biological systems. Recent technological advances have enabled such investigations in the form of single-cell sequencing. Here, we review the most recent developments in genome wide profiling of single cells, discuss some of the novel biological observations gleaned by such investigations, and touch upon the promise of single cell sequencing in unraveling biological systems.

  16. Thermostability of Biological Systems: Fundamentals, Challenges, and Quantification

    PubMed Central

    He, Xiaoming

    2011-01-01

    This review examines the fundamentals and challenges in engineering/understanding the thermostability of biological systems over a wide temperature range (from the cryogenic to hyperthermic regimen). Applications of the bio-thermostability engineering to either destroy unwanted or stabilize useful biologicals for the treatment of diseases in modern medicine are first introduced. Studies on the biological responses to cryogenic and hyperthermic temperatures for the various applications are reviewed to understand the mechanism of thermal (both cryo and hyperthermic) injury and its quantification at the molecular, cellular and tissue/organ levels. Methods for quantifying the thermophysical processes of the various applications are then summarized accounting for the effect of blood perfusion, metabolism, water transport across cell plasma membrane, and phase transition (both equilibrium and non-equilibrium such as ice formation and glass transition) of water. The review concludes with a summary of the status quo and future perspectives in engineering the thermostability of biological systems. PMID:21769301

  17. Biological indicators for monitoring water quality of MTF canals system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sethi, S. L.

    1975-01-01

    Biological models, diversity indexes, were developed to predict environmental effects of NASA's Mississippi test facility (MTF) chemical operations on canal systems in the area. To predict the effects on local streams, a physical model of unpolluted streams was established. The model is fed by artesian well water free of background levels of pollutants. The species diversity and biota composition of unpolluted MTF stream was determined; resulting information will be used to form baseline data for future comparisons. Biological modeling was accomplished by adding controlled quantities or kinds of chemical pollutants and evaluating the effects of these chemicals on the biological life of the stream.

  18. Enterobacter aerogenes Needle Stick Leads to Improved Biological Management System

    SciTech Connect

    Johanson, Richard E.

    2004-08-01

    A laboratory worker who received a needle stick from a contaminated needle while working with a culture containing Enterobactor aerogenes developed a laboratory acquired infection. Although this organism has been shown to cause community and nosocomial infections, there have been no documented cases of a laboratory acquired infections. Lessons learned from the event led to corrective actions which included modification of lab procedures, development of a biological inventory tracking and risk identification system and the establishment of an effective biological safety program.

  19. Modeling of biological intelligence for SCM system optimization.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shengyong; Zheng, Yujun; Cattani, Carlo; Wang, Wanliang

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes some methods from biological intelligence for modeling and optimization of supply chain management (SCM) systems, including genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, differential evolution, swarm intelligence, artificial immune, and other biological intelligence related methods. An SCM system is adaptive, dynamic, open self-organizing, which is maintained by flows of information, materials, goods, funds, and energy. Traditional methods for modeling and optimizing complex SCM systems require huge amounts of computing resources, and biological intelligence-based solutions can often provide valuable alternatives for efficiently solving problems. The paper summarizes the recent related methods for the design and optimization of SCM systems, which covers the most widely used genetic algorithms and other evolutionary algorithms.

  20. Vibrational resonances in biological systems at microwave frequencies.

    PubMed Central

    Adair, Robert K

    2002-01-01

    Many biological systems can be expected to exhibit resonance behavior involving the mechanical vibration of system elements. The natural frequencies of such resonances will, generally, be in the microwave frequency range. Some of these systems will be coupled to the electromagnetic field by the charge distributions they carry, thus admitting the possibility that microwave exposures may generate physiological effects in man and other species. However, such microwave excitable resonances are expected to be strongly damped by interaction with their aqueous biological environment. Although those dissipation mechanisms have been studied, the limitations on energy transfers that follow from the limited coupling of these resonances to the electromagnetic field have not generally been considered. We show that this coupling must generally be very small and thus the absorbed energy is so strongly limited that such resonances cannot affect biology significantly even if the systems are much less strongly damped than expected from basic dissipation models. PMID:11867434

  1. Modeling of Biological Intelligence for SCM System Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shengyong; Zheng, Yujun; Cattani, Carlo; Wang, Wanliang

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes some methods from biological intelligence for modeling and optimization of supply chain management (SCM) systems, including genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, differential evolution, swarm intelligence, artificial immune, and other biological intelligence related methods. An SCM system is adaptive, dynamic, open self-organizing, which is maintained by flows of information, materials, goods, funds, and energy. Traditional methods for modeling and optimizing complex SCM systems require huge amounts of computing resources, and biological intelligence-based solutions can often provide valuable alternatives for efficiently solving problems. The paper summarizes the recent related methods for the design and optimization of SCM systems, which covers the most widely used genetic algorithms and other evolutionary algorithms. PMID:22162724

  2. Conference Scene: Systems biology and personalized health science and translation.

    PubMed

    Siest, Gérard; Ndiaye, Ndeye Coumba; El Shamieh, Said; Shahabi, Payman; Stathopoulou, Maria; Saleh, Abdel Salam; Godjo, Thibaut; Albertini, Laetitia; Visvikis-Siest, Sophie

    2013-12-01

    After a 1-day advanced course on systems biology, the main themes of this 3-day colloquium were developed: from systems biology to systems medicine with special applications to cancer; pharmacogenomics in drug discovery and clinical application; and epigenomics and genome-wide association studies in cardiovascular diseases. In two roundtable discussions on pharmacogenomics and genome-wide association studies, the progress and the difficulties in the implementation of omics technologies in clinical practice were discussed. Three workshops were also organized on technical tools linked to the meeting themes.

  3. Phase transitions in fluids and biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipos, Maksim

    In this thesis, I consider systems from two seemingly different fields: fluid dynamics and microbial ecology. In these systems, the unifying features are the existences of global non-equilibrium steady states. I consider generic and statistical models for transitions between these global states, and I relate the model results with experimental data. A theme of this thesis is that these rather simple, minimal models are able to capture a lot of functional detail about complex dynamical systems. In Part I, I consider the transition between laminar and turbulent flow. I find that quantitative and qualitative features of pipe flow experiments, the superexponential lifetime and the splitting of turbulent puffs, and the growth rate of turbulent slugs, can all be explained by a coarse-grained, phenomenological model in the directed percolation universality class. To relate this critical phenomena approach closer to the fluid dynamics, I consider the transition to turbulence in the Burgers equation, a simplified model for Navier-Stokes equations. Via a transformation to a model of directed polymers in a random medium, I find that the transition to Burgers turbulence may also be in the directed percolation universality class. This evidence implies that the turbulent-to-laminar transition is statistical in nature and does not depend on details of the Navier-Stokes equations describing the fluid flow. In Part II, I consider the disparate subject of microbial ecology where the complex interactions within microbial ecosystems produce observable patterns in microbe abundance, diversity and genotype. In order to be able to study these patterns, I develop a bioinformatics pipeline to multiply align and quickly cluster large microbial metagenomics datasets. I also develop a novel metric that quantifies the degree of interactions underlying the assembly of a microbial ecosystem, particularly the transition between neutral (random) and niche (deterministic) assembly. I apply this

  4. Towards Environmental Systems Biology of Shewanella

    SciTech Connect

    Fredrickson, Jim K.; Romine, Margaret F.; Beliaev, Alex S.; Auchutung, Jennifer M.; Driscoll, Michael E.; Gardner, Timothy S.; Nealson, Kenneth H.; Osterman, Andrei L.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Reed, Jennifer L.; Rodionov, Dmitry; Rodrigues, Jorge L.M.; Saffarini, Daad; Serres, Margrethe H.; Spormann, Alfred M.; Zhulin, Igor B.; Tiedje, James M.

    2008-07-07

    Abstract: Shewanella are known for versatility in their electron accepting capacities, which allow them to couple decomposition of organic matter to reduction of the variety of terminal electron acceptors encountered in the stratified environments they inhabit. Due to their diverse metabolic capabilities, shewanellae play important roles in carbon cycling and have considerable potential for remediation of contaminated environments and use in microbial fuel cells. Systems-level analysis of the model species, S. oneidensis MR-1, and other members of this genus have provided significant insights into the signal transduction proteins, regulators, and metabolic and respiratory subsystems governing the remarkable versatility of the shewanellae.

  5. Decoherence and spin echo in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Nesterov, Alexander I; Berman, Gennady P

    2015-05-01

    The spin-echo approach is extended to include biocomplexes for which the interaction with dynamical noise, produced by the protein environment, is strong. Significant restoration of the free induction decay signal due to homogeneous (decoherence) and inhomogeneous (dephasing) broadening is demonstrated analytically and numerically for both an individual dimer of interacting chlorophylls and for an ensemble of dimers. Our approach does not require the use of small interaction constants between the electron states and the protein fluctuations. It is based on an exact and closed system of ordinary differential equations that can be easily solved for a wide range of parameters that are relevant for bioapplications.

  6. Advances in Systems Biology, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Volume 547

    SciTech Connect

    Opresko, Lee; Gephart, Julie M.; Mann, Michaela B.

    2002-12-02

    This is the inaugural year for a new series of symposia on systems biology. Particular focus will be on identifying current breakthrough technologies and their application to important model systems. By integrating computational sciences, high-throughput technologies and quantitative biology, we hope to facilitate advancements in this important new area of research.In this first year we are focusing on the four different research areas contained within the new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Genomes to Life program. This program is the successor to the Human Genome Project and exceeds it in scope and ambition. Its goal is to understand the basis of life and ?to venture beyond characterizing such individual life components as genes and other DNA sequences toward a more comprehensive, integrated view of biology at a whole-systems level.? These goals will be met by1. identifying the protein machines that carry out critical life functions2. characterizing the gene regulatory networks that control these machines3. exploring the functional repertoire of complex microbial communities in their natural environments to provide a foundation for understanding and using their remarkably diverse capabilities to address DOE missions4. developing the computational capabilities to integrate and understand these data and begin to model complex biological systems.

  7. Probing the biology of dry biological systems to address the basis of seed longevity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drying cells reduces molecular mobility and slows chemical and physical reactions. As a result, dry biological systems deteriorate slowly. The time course of deterioration in a population of living cells often follows a sigmoidal pattern in which aging is occurring but no changes to viability are ...

  8. Transport processes in biological systems: Tumoral cells and human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucia, Umberto

    2014-01-01

    The entropy generation approach has been developed for the analysis of complex systems, with particular regards to biological systems, in order to evaluate their stationary states. The entropy generation is related to the transport processes related to exergy flows. Moreover, cancer can be described as an open complex dynamic and self-organizing system. Consequently, it is used as an example useful to evaluate the different thermo-chemical quantities of the transport processes in normal and in tumoral cells systems.

  9. Does vertebroplasty affect radiation dose distribution?: comparison of spatial dose distributions in a cement-injected vertebra as calculated by treatment planning system and actual spatial dose distribution.

    PubMed

    Komemushi, Atsushi; Tanigawa, Noboru; Kariya, Shuji; Yagi, Rie; Nakatani, Miyuki; Suzuki, Satoshi; Sano, Akira; Ikeda, Koshi; Utsunomiya, Keita; Harima, Yoko; Sawada, Satoshi

    2012-01-01

    Purpose. To assess differences in dose distribution of a vertebral body injected with bone cement as calculated by radiation treatment planning system (RTPS) and actual dose distribution. Methods. We prepared two water-equivalent phantoms with cement, and the other two phantoms without cement. The bulk density of the bone cement was imported into RTPS to reduce error from high CT values. A dose distribution map for the phantoms with and without cement was calculated using RTPS with clinical setting and with the bulk density importing. Actual dose distribution was measured by the film density. Dose distribution as calculated by RTPS was compared to the dose distribution measured by the film dosimetry. Results. For the phantom with cement, dose distribution was distorted for the areas corresponding to inside the cement and on the ventral side of the cement. However, dose distribution based on film dosimetry was undistorted behind the cement and dose increases were seen inside cement and around the cement. With the equivalent phantom with bone cement, differences were seen between dose distribution calculated by RTPS and that measured by the film dosimetry. Conclusion. The dose distribution of an area containing bone cement calculated using RTPS differs from actual dose distribution.

  10. Reproducible quantitative proteotype data matrices for systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Röst, Hannes L.; Malmström, Lars; Aebersold, Ruedi

    2015-01-01

    Historically, many mass spectrometry–based proteomic studies have aimed at compiling an inventory of protein compounds present in a biological sample, with the long-term objective of creating a proteome map of a species. However, to answer fundamental questions about the behavior of biological systems at the protein level, accurate and unbiased quantitative data are required in addition to a list of all protein components. Fueled by advances in mass spectrometry, the proteomics field has thus recently shifted focus toward the reproducible quantification of proteins across a large number of biological samples. This provides the foundation to move away from pure enumeration of identified proteins toward quantitative matrices of many proteins measured across multiple samples. It is argued here that data matrices consisting of highly reproducible, quantitative, and unbiased proteomic measurements across a high number of conditions, referred to here as quantitative proteotype maps, will become the fundamental currency in the field and provide the starting point for downstream biological analysis. Such proteotype data matrices, for example, are generated by the measurement of large patient cohorts, time series, or multiple experimental perturbations. They are expected to have a large effect on systems biology and personalized medicine approaches that investigate the dynamic behavior of biological systems across multiple perturbations, time points, and individuals. PMID:26543201

  11. Free radical biology of the cardiovascular system.

    PubMed

    Chen, Alex F; Chen, Dan-Dan; Daiber, Andreas; Faraci, Frank M; Li, Huige; Rembold, Christopher M; Laher, Ismail

    2012-07-01

    Most cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), as well as age-related cardiovascular alterations, are accompanied by increases in oxidative stress, usually due to increased generation and/or decreased metabolism of ROS (reactive oxygen species; for example superoxide radicals) and RNS (reactive nitrogen species; for example peroxynitrite). The superoxide anion is generated by several enzymatic reactions, including a variety of NADPH oxidases and uncoupled eNOS (endothelial NO synthase). To relieve the burden caused by this generation of free radicals, which also occurs as part of normal physiological processes, such as mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, mammalian systems have developed endogenous antioxidant enzymes. There is an increased usage of exogenous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E by many patients and the general public, ostensibly in an attempt to supplement intrinsic antioxidant activity. Unfortunately, the results of large-scale trails do not generate much enthusiasm for the continued use of antioxidants to mitigate free-radical-induced changes in the cardiovascular system. In the present paper, we review the clinical use of antioxidants by providing the rationale for their use and describe the outcomes of several large-scale trails that largely display negative outcomes. We also describe the emerging understanding of the detailed regulation of superoxide generation by an uncoupled eNOS and efforts to reverse eNOS uncoupling. SIRT1 (sirtuin 1), which regulates the expression and activity of multiple pro- and anti-oxidant enzymes, could be considered a candidate molecule for a 'molecular switch'.

  12. The Use of an Electronic Response System in Teaching Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bessler, William C.; Nisbet, Jerry J.

    1971-01-01

    An electronic student response system was used in teaching college biology to non-science students. Achievement of this treatment group was compared with that of the control group (not utilizing the response system). The only statistical significant difference found in an analysis of covariance was an interaction between treatment group and time…

  13. Systems Biology and Mode of Action Based Risk Assessment.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The application of systems biology approaches has greatly increased in the past decade largely as a consequence of the human genome project and technological advances in genomics and proteomics. Systems approaches have been used in the medical & pharmaceutical realm for diagnost...

  14. Systems Biology and Mode of Action Based Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The application of systems biology has increased in the past decade largely as a consequence of the human genome project and technological advances in genomics and proteomics. Systems approaches have been used in the medical & pharmaceutical realm for diagnostic purposes and targ...

  15. Understanding quantitative genetics in the systems biology era.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Mengjin; Yu, Mei; Zhao, Shuhong

    2009-01-01

    Biology is now entering the new era of systems biology and exerting a growing influence on the future development of various disciplines within life sciences. In early classical and molecular periods of Biology, the theoretical frames of classical and molecular quantitative genetics have been systematically established, respectively. With the new advent of systems biology, there is occurring a paradigm shift in the field of quantitative genetics. Where and how the quantitative genetics would develop after having undergone its classical and molecular periods? This is a difficult question to answer exactly. In this perspective article, the major effort was made to discuss the possible development of quantitative genetics in the systems biology era, and for which there is a high potentiality to develop towards "systems quantitative genetics". In our opinion, the systems quantitative genetics can be defined as a new discipline to address the generalized genetic laws of bioalleles controlling the heritable phenotypes of complex traits following a new dynamic network model. Other issues from quantitative genetic perspective relating to the genetical genomics, the updates of network model, and the future research prospects were also discussed.

  16. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies of biological systems

    SciTech Connect

    Antypas, W.G. Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The difference between intracellular and extracellular proton relaxation rates provides the basis for the determination of the mean hemoglobin concentration (MHC) in red blood cells. The observed water T{sub 1} relaxation data from red blood cell samples under various conditions were fit to the complete equation for the time-dependent decay of magnetization for a two-compartment system including chemical exchange. The MHC for each sample was calculated from the hematocrit and the intracellular water fraction as determined by NMR. The binding of the phosphorylcholine (PC) analogue, 2-(trimethylphosphonio)-ethylphosphate (phosphoryl-phosphocholine, PPC) to the PC binding myeloma proteins TEPC-15, McPC 603, and MOPC 167 was studied by {sup 31}P NMR.

  17. Actualizing panarchy within environmental policy: mechanisms for tweaking institutional hierarchies to mimic the social-ecological systems they manage

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental law plays a key role in shaping approaches to sustainability. In particular, the role of legal instruments, institutions, and the relationship of law to the inherent variability in social-ecological systems is critical. Sustainability likely must occur via the insti...

  18. Can Schools Be Autonomous in a Centralised Educational System?: On Formal and Actual School Autonomy in the Italian Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agasisti, Tommaso; Catalano, Giuseppe; Sibiano, Piergiacomo

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the difference between formal and real school autonomy in the Italian educational system. The Italian case is characterised by low levels of school autonomy. It is interesting to consider whether heterogeneity of patterns is possible in this context. A description of this heterogeneity is provided…

  19. Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers' Perceptions toward White Board System Prior to Actual Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Ju

    2014-01-01

    Using sample of survey data by pre-service and in-service teachers attending at a regional campus, this study examined how undergraduate and graduate students, in education major, perceived interactive white boards (IWB), and described implications of how the system can be used effectively, based on student-centered pedagogy. Although the…

  20. A dynamic interface for capsaicinoid systems biology.

    PubMed

    Mazourek, Michael; Pujar, Anuradha; Borovsky, Yelena; Paran, Ilan; Mueller, Lukas; Jahn, Molly M

    2009-08-01

    Capsaicinoids are the pungent alkaloids that give hot peppers (Capsicum spp.) their spiciness. While capsaicinoids are relatively simple molecules, much is unknown about their biosynthesis, which spans diverse metabolisms of essential amino acids, phenylpropanoids, benzenoids, and fatty acids. Pepper is not a model organism, but it has access to the resources developed in model plants through comparative approaches. To aid research in this system, we have implemented a comprehensive model of capsaicinoid biosynthesis and made it publicly available within the SolCyc database at the SOL Genomics Network (http://www.sgn.cornell.edu). As a preliminary test of this model, and to build its value as a resource, targeted transcripts were cloned as candidates for nearly all of the structural genes for capsaicinoid biosynthesis. In support of the role of these transcripts in capsaicinoid biosynthesis beyond correct spatial and temporal expression, their predicted subcellular localizations were compared against the biosynthetic model and experimentally determined compartmentalization in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). To enable their use in a positional candidate gene approach in the Solanaceae, these genes were genetically mapped in pepper. These data were integrated into the SOL Genomics Network, a clade-oriented database that incorporates community annotation of genes, enzymes, phenotypes, mutants, and genomic loci. Here, we describe the creation and integration of these resources as a holistic and dynamic model of the characteristic specialized metabolism of pepper.

  1. How molecular should your molecular model be? On the level of molecular detail required to simulate biological networks in systems and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Gonze, Didier; Abou-Jaoudé, Wassim; Ouattara, Djomangan Adama; Halloy, José

    2011-01-01

    The recent advance of genetic studies and the rapid accumulation of molecular data, together with the increasing performance of computers, led researchers to design more and more detailed mathematical models of biological systems. Many modeling approaches rely on ordinary differential equations (ODE) which are based on standard enzyme kinetics. Michaelis-Menten and Hill functions are indeed commonly used in dynamical models in systems and synthetic biology because they provide the necessary nonlinearity to make the dynamics nontrivial (i.e., limit-cycle oscillations or multistability). For most of the systems modeled, the actual molecular mechanism is unknown, and the enzyme equations should be regarded as phenomenological. In this chapter, we discuss the validity and accuracy of these approximations. In particular, we focus on the validity of the Michaelis-Menten function for open systems and on the use of Hill kinetics to describe transcription rates of regulated genes. Our discussion is illustrated by numerical simulations of prototype systems, including the Repressilator (a genetic oscillator) and the Toggle Switch model (a bistable system). We systematically compare the results obtained with the compact version (based on Michaelis-Menten and Hill functions) with its corresponding developed versions (based on "elementary" reaction steps and mass action laws). We also discuss the use of compact approaches to perform stochastic simulations (Gillespie algorithm). On the basis of these results, we argue that using compact models is suitable to model qualitatively biological systems.

  2. Using a systems biological approach to develop novel therapeutics.

    SciTech Connect

    Forst, C.

    2001-01-01

    With the human genome sequence available and with an exponentially growing number of completely sequenced genomes from various model organisms, the research paradigm is shifted towards the analysis of the function of interacting genes and gene-product. The reduced estimate of 30,000-40,000 genes in the human genome strongly indicates that the functional complexity expected for an organism such as human may originate in locations and processes beyond the identified genes. Functional genomics emerges as valuable research area for the identification of key-players in the complex processes within a living organism. It is complemented by Systems Biology [7,103,104], a new research area that combines data obtained from Functional Genomics analysis with biocomputation and simulation of cellular networks. Both Functional Genomics and Systems Biology outline the analysis, prediction and control of complex biological systems.

  3. Learning (from) the errors of a systems biology model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelhardt, Benjamin; Frőhlich, Holger; Kschischo, Maik

    2016-02-01

    Mathematical modelling is a labour intensive process involving several iterations of testing on real data and manual model modifications. In biology, the domain knowledge guiding model development is in many cases itself incomplete and uncertain. A major problem in this context is that biological systems are open. Missed or unknown external influences as well as erroneous interactions in the model could thus lead to severely misleading results. Here we introduce the dynamic elastic-net, a data driven mathematical method which automatically detects such model errors in ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. We demonstrate for real and simulated data, how the dynamic elastic-net approach can be used to automatically (i) reconstruct the error signal, (ii) identify the target variables of model error, and (iii) reconstruct the true system state even for incomplete or preliminary models. Our work provides a systematic computational method facilitating modelling of open biological systems under uncertain knowledge.

  4. Effect of long-term actual spaceflight on the expression of key genes encoding serotonin and dopamine system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, Nina; Shenkman, Boris; Naumenko, Vladimir; Kulikov, Alexander; Kondaurova, Elena; Tsybko, Anton; Kulikova, Elisabeth; Krasnov, I. B.; Bazhenova, Ekaterina; Sinyakova, Nadezhda

    The effect of long-term spaceflight on the central nervous system represents important but yet undeveloped problem. The aim of our work was to study the effect of 30-days spaceflight of mice on Russian biosatellite BION-M1 on the expression in the brain regions of key genes of a) serotonin (5-HT) system (main enzymes in 5-HT metabolism - tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH-2), monoamine oxydase A (MAO A), 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and 5-HT3 receptors); b) pivotal enzymes in DA metabolism (tyrosine hydroxylase, COMT, MAO A, MAO B) and D1, D2 receptors. Decreased expression of genes encoding the 5-HT catabolism (MAO A) and 5-HT2A receptor in some brain regions was shown. There were no differences between “spaceflight” and control mice in the expression of TPH-2 and 5-HT1A, 5-HT3 receptor genes. Significant changes were found in genetic control of DA system. Long-term spaceflight decreased the expression of genes encoding the enzyme in DA synthesis (tyrosine hydroxylase in s.nigra), DA metabolism (MAO B in the midbrain and COMT in the striatum), and D1 receptor in hypothalamus. These data suggested that 1) microgravity affected genetic control of 5-HT and especially the nigrostriatal DA system implicated in the central regulation of muscular tonus and movement, 2) the decrease in the expression of genes encoding key enzyme in DA synthesis, DA degradation and D1 receptor contributes to the movement impairment and dyskinesia produced by the spaceflight. The study was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research grant № 14-04-00173.

  5. Analysing hierarchy in the organization of biological and physical systems.

    PubMed

    Jagers op Akkerhuis, Gerard A J M

    2008-02-01

    A structured approach is discussed for analysing hierarchy in the organization of biological and physical systems. The need for a structured approach follows from the observation that many hierarchies in the literature apply conflicting hierarchy rules and include ill-defined systems. As an alternative, we suggest a framework that is based on the following analytical steps: determination of the succession stage of the universe, identification of a specific system as part of the universe, specification of external influences on a system's creation and analysis of a system's internal organization. At the end, the paper discusses practical implications of the proposed method for the analysis of system organization and hierarchy in biology, ecology and physics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Nervous System of Periplaneta americana Cockroach as a Model in Toxinological Studies: A Short Historical and Actual View.

    PubMed

    Stankiewicz, Maria; Dąbrowski, Marcin; de Lima, Maria Elena

    2012-01-01

    Nervous system of Periplaneta americana cockroach is used in a wide range of pharmacological studies, including electrophysiological techniques. This paper presents its role as a preparation in the development of toxinological studies in the following electrophysiological methods: double-oil-gap technique on isolated giant axon, patch-clamp on DUM (dorsal unpaired median) neurons, microelectrode technique in situ conditions on axon in connective and DUM neurons in ganglion, and single-fiber oil-gap technique on last abdominal ganglion synapse. At the end the application of cockroach synaptosomal preparation is mentioned.

  8. Nervous System of Periplaneta americana Cockroach as a Model in Toxinological Studies: A Short Historical and Actual View

    PubMed Central

    Stankiewicz, Maria; Dąbrowski, Marcin; de Lima, Maria Elena

    2012-01-01

    Nervous system of Periplaneta americana cockroach is used in a wide range of pharmacological studies, including electrophysiological techniques. This paper presents its role as a preparation in the development of toxinological studies in the following electrophysiological methods: double-oil-gap technique on isolated giant axon, patch-clamp on DUM (dorsal unpaired median) neurons, microelectrode technique in situ conditions on axon in connective and DUM neurons in ganglion, and single-fiber oil-gap technique on last abdominal ganglion synapse. At the end the application of cockroach synaptosomal preparation is mentioned. PMID:22666245

  9. Systems Biology of Meridians, Acupoints, and Chinese Herbs in Disease

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Li-Ling; Wang, Ya-Hui; Lai, Chi-Yu; Chau, Chan-Lao; Su, Guan-Chin; Yang, Chun-Yi; Lou, Shu-Ying; Chen, Szu-Kai; Hsu, Kuan-Hao; Lai, Yen-Ling; Wu, Wei-Ming; Huang, Jian-Long; Liao, Chih-Hsin; Juan, Hsueh-Fen

    2012-01-01

    Meridians, acupoints, and Chinese herbs are important components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). They have been used for disease treatment and prevention and as alternative and complementary therapies. Systems biology integrates omics data, such as transcriptional, proteomic, and metabolomics data, in order to obtain a more global and complete picture of biological activity. To further understand the existence and functions of the three components above, we reviewed relevant research in the systems biology literature and found many recent studies that indicate the value of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Acupuncture is useful in pain moderation and relieves various symptoms arising from acute spinal cord injury and acute ischemic stroke. Moreover, Chinese herbal extracts have been linked to wound repair, the alleviation of postmenopausal osteoporosis severity, and anti-tumor effects, among others. Different acupoints, variations in treatment duration, and herbal extracts can be used to alleviate various symptoms and conditions and to regulate biological pathways by altering gene and protein expression. Our paper demonstrates how systems biology has helped to establish a platform for investigating the efficacy of TCM in treating different diseases and improving treatment strategies. PMID:23118787

  10. Resentment of paternalism as system change sentiment: hostile sexism toward men and actual behavior in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

    PubMed

    Tate, Charlotte Chuck

    2014-01-01

    Taking inspiration from Glick and colleagues (2004), this study tested the idea that resentment of paternalism (which is part of the hostile sexism toward men construct) might approximate desire for system change by correlating this variable with actual behavior associated with system change in a single culture. Specifically, voting behavior in the 2008 U.S. presidential election was predicted from political party affiliation, measures of hostile and benevolent sexism toward both women and men, and egalitarian racial attitudes using a U.S. college student sample. Results indicated that the only significant predictors of voting behavior were political party affiliation, resentment of paternalism, and egalitarian racial attitudes. Higher levels of resentment of paternalism were in fact associated with voting for the ticket that represented system change-holding the other predictors constant.

  11. Development of an Evaluation System for Vertical Vibration of Railway Vehicles with Field-Portable Actuators (2nd Report, Excitation Tests of an Actual Commuter Vehicle)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takigami, Tadao; Tomioka, Takahiro

    Bending vibration characteristics of railway vehicles have been investigated in general under excitation tests, in which a carbody was directly excited by a shaker. It is however very difficult with their results to evaluate the ride quality of passengers under conditions that the vehicle runs on a certain track. The authors are therefore developing an evaluation system for vertical vibration of railway vehicles. This system consists of an excitation system equipped with linear actuators, the elastic supporting device installed between wheels and rails, and analytical techniques to estimate the power spectral density (PSD) and the ride quality level (LT) which feature the ride quality. In this paper, we describe the excitation tests performed using an actual commuter car and the estimated PSD and LT are compared with what substantially measured under the running conditions.

  12. From biological models to the evolution of robot control systems.

    PubMed

    Bullinaria, John A

    2003-10-15

    Attempts to formulate realistic models of the development of the human oculomotor control system have led to the conclusion that evolutionary factors play a crucial role. Moreover, even rather coarse simulations of the biological evolutionary processes result in adaptable control systems that are considerably more efficient than those designed by human researchers. In this paper I shall describe some of the aspects of these biological models that are likely to be useful for building robot control systems. In particular, I shall consider the evolution of appropriate innate starting points for learning/adaptation, patterns of learning rates that vary across different system components, learning rates that vary during the system's lifetime, and the relevance of individual differences across the evolved populations.

  13. Implementation of integral feedback control in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Somvanshi, Pramod R; Patel, Anilkumar K; Bhartiya, Sharad; Venkatesh, K V

    2015-01-01

    Integral control design ensures that a key variable in a system is tightly maintained within acceptable levels. This approach has been widely used in engineering systems to ensure offset free operation in the presence of perturbations. Several biological systems employ such an integral control design to regulate cellular processes. An integral control design motif requires a negative feedback and an integrating process in the network loop. This review describes several biological systems, ranging from bacteria to higher organisms in which the presence of integral control principle has been hypothesized. The review highlights that in addition to the negative feedback, occurrence of zero-order kinetics in the process is a key element to realize the integral control strategy. Although the integral control motif is common to these systems, the mechanisms involved in achieving it are highly specific and can be incorporated at the level of signaling, metabolism, or at the phenotypic levels.

  14. Moss systems biology en route: phytohormones in Physcomitrella development.

    PubMed

    Decker, E L; Frank, W; Sarnighausen, E; Reski, R

    2006-05-01

    The moss Physcomitrella patens has become a powerful model system in modern plant biology. Highly standardized cell culture techniques, as well as the necessary tools for computational biology, functional genomics and proteomics have been established. Large EST collections are available and the complete moss genome will be released soon. A simple body plan and the small number of different cell types in Physcomitrella facilitate the study of developmental processes. In the filamentous juvenile moss tissue, developmental decisions rely on the differentiation of single cells. Developmental steps are controlled by distinct phytohormones and integration of environmental signals. Especially the phytohormones auxin, cytokinin, and abscisic acid have distinct effects on early moss development. In this article, we review current knowledge about phytohormone influences on early moss development in an attempt to fully unravel the complex regulatory signal transduction networks underlying the developmental decisions of single plant cells in a holistic systems biology approach.

  15. Cholesterol photosensitized oxidation in food and biological systems.

    PubMed

    Cardenia, Vladimiro; Rodriguez-Estrada, Maria Teresa; Boselli, Emanuele; Lercker, Giovanni

    2013-03-01

    Lipid oxidation is one of the main chemical degradations occurring in biological systems and leads to the formation of compounds that are related to aging and various chronic and degenerative diseases. The extent of oxidation will depend on the presence of antioxidants/pro-oxidants, the unsaturation degree of fatty acids, and environmental conditions. Lipid oxidation can also affect other molecules that have double bonds in their chemical structures, such as cholesterol. Cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) have been studied in depth, because of their negative and controversial biological effects. The formation of COPs can be particularly favored in the presence of light and photosensitizers, since they generate excited singlet oxygen that rapidly reacts with the double bond by a non radical mechanism and without any induction period. The present review intends to provide an overall and critical picture of cholesterol photosensitized oxidation in food and biological systems, and its possible impact on human health and well-being.

  16. Agent-based models in translational systems biology

    PubMed Central

    An, Gary; Mi, Qi; Dutta-Moscato, Joyeeta; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2013-01-01

    Effective translational methodologies for knowledge representation are needed in order to make strides against the constellation of diseases that affect the world today. These diseases are defined by their mechanistic complexity, redundancy, and nonlinearity. Translational systems biology aims to harness the power of computational simulation to streamline drug/device design, simulate clinical trials, and eventually to predict the effects of drugs on individuals. The ability of agent-based modeling to encompass multiple scales of biological process as well as spatial considerations, coupled with an intuitive modeling paradigm, suggests that this modeling framework is well suited for translational systems biology. This review describes agent-based modeling and gives examples of its translational applications in the context of acute inflammation and wound healing. PMID:20835989

  17. Evolutionary Tradeoffs between Economy and Effectiveness in Biological Homeostasis Systems

    PubMed Central

    Szekely, Pablo; Sheftel, Hila; Mayo, Avi; Alon, Uri

    2013-01-01

    Biological regulatory systems face a fundamental tradeoff: they must be effective but at the same time also economical. For example, regulatory systems that are designed to repair damage must be effective in reducing damage, but economical in not making too many repair proteins because making excessive proteins carries a fitness cost to the cell, called protein burden. In order to see how biological systems compromise between the two tasks of effectiveness and economy, we applied an approach from economics and engineering called Pareto optimality. This approach allows calculating the best-compromise systems that optimally combine the two tasks. We used a simple and general model for regulation, known as integral feedback, and showed that best-compromise systems have particular combinations of biochemical parameters that control the response rate and basal level. We find that the optimal systems fall on a curve in parameter space. Due to this feature, even if one is able to measure only a small fraction of the system's parameters, one can infer the rest. We applied this approach to estimate parameters in three biological systems: response to heat shock and response to DNA damage in bacteria, and calcium homeostasis in mammals. PMID:23950698

  18. The Course of Actualization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Smet, Hendrik

    2012-01-01

    Actualization is traditionally seen as the process following syntactic reanalysis whereby an item's new syntactic status manifests itself in new syntactic behavior. The process is gradual in that some new uses of the reanalyzed item appear earlier or more readily than others. This article accounts for the order in which new uses appear during…

  19. Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Fourth Annual In silico Biology Conference "Modeling Systems Biology for Research and Target Prioritization"

    SciTech Connect

    Forst, C.

    2002-01-01

    In silico biology, the computer aided analysis of biological systems, is a relatively young research area. It first has been coined in the late 1990's and emerged from Theoretical and Computational Biology. As in other fields before, biology experiences an increased use of systems mathematics and computer simulation. With the human genome sequence available, with an exponentially growing number of completely sequenced genomes from various model organisms and with expression and proteomic data at hand, the research paradigm is shifted towards systems analysis and simulation. Computer aided modeling of complex biomolecules and assemblies are already routinely performed. Nowadays, theoretical description and computer simulation of cellular components in larger intra- and inter-cellular networks is of growing importance. Together with classic biological and clinical experiments as well as data from functional genomics, in silico biology will take the leading role in the analysis of biological systems.

  20. The ERATO Systems Biology Workbench: enabling interaction and exchange between software tools for computational biology.

    PubMed

    Hucka, M; Finney, A; Sauro, H M; Bolouri, H; Doyle, J; Kitano, H

    2002-01-01

    Researchers in computational biology today make use of a large number of different software packages for modeling, analysis, and data manipulation and visualization. In this paper, we describe the ERATO Systems Biology Workbench (SBW), a software framework that allows these heterogeneous application components--written in diverse programming languages and running on different platforms--to communicate and use each others' data and algorithmic capabilities. Our goal is to create a simple, open-source software infrastructure which is effective, easy to implement and easy to understand. SBW uses a broker-based architecture and enables applications (potentially running on separate, distributed computers) to communicate via a simple network protocol. The interfaces to the system are encapsulated in client-side libraries that we provide for different programming languages. We describe the SBW architecture and the current set of modules, as well as alternative implementation technologies.

  1. Workshop Report: Systems Biology for Organotypic Cell Cultures

    SciTech Connect

    Grego, Sonia; Dougherty, Edward R.; Alexander, Francis Joseph; Auerbach, Scott S.; Berridge, Brian R.; Bittner, Michael L.; Casey, Warren; Cooley, Philip C.; Dash, Ajit; Ferguson, Stephen F.; Fennell, Timothy R.; Hawkins, Brian T.; Hickey, Anthony J.; Kleensang, Andre; Liebman, Michael; Martin, Florian; Maull, Elizabeth A.; Paragas, Jason; Qiao, Guilin; Ramaiahgari, Sreenivasa; Sumner, Susan J.; Yoon, Miyoung

    2016-11-14

    Translating in vitro biological data into actionable information related to human health holds the potential to improve disease treatment and risk assessment of chemical exposures. While genomics has identified regulatory pathways at the cellular level, translation to the organism level requires a multiscale approach accounting for intra-cellular regulation, inter-cellular interaction, and tissue/organ-level effects. Tissue-level effects can now be probed in vitro thanks to recently developed systems of three-dimensional (3D), multicellular, “organotypic” cell cultures, which mimic functional responses of living tissue. However, there remains a knowledge gap regarding interactions across different biological scales, complicating accurate prediction of health outcomes from molecular/genomic data and tissue responses. Systems biology aims at mathematical modeling of complex, non-linear biological systems. We propose to apply a systems biology approach to achieve a computational representation of tissue-level physiological responses by integrating empirical data derived from organotypic culture systems with computational models of intracellular pathways to better predict human responses. Successful implementation of this integrated approach will provide a powerful tool for faster, more accurate and cost-effective screening of potential toxicants and therapeutics. On September 11, 2015, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and clinicians gathered for a workshop in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss this ambitious goal. Participants represented laboratory-based and computational modeling approaches to pharmacology and toxicology, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, government, non-profits, and academia. Discussions focused on identifying critical system perturbations to model, the computational tools required, and the experimental approaches best suited to generating key data.

  2. Workshop Report: Systems Biology for Organotypic Cell Cultures

    DOE PAGES

    Grego, Sonia; Dougherty, Edward R.; Alexander, Francis Joseph; ...

    2016-11-14

    Translating in vitro biological data into actionable information related to human health holds the potential to improve disease treatment and risk assessment of chemical exposures. While genomics has identified regulatory pathways at the cellular level, translation to the organism level requires a multiscale approach accounting for intra-cellular regulation, inter-cellular interaction, and tissue/organ-level effects. Tissue-level effects can now be probed in vitro thanks to recently developed systems of three-dimensional (3D), multicellular, “organotypic” cell cultures, which mimic functional responses of living tissue. However, there remains a knowledge gap regarding interactions across different biological scales, complicating accurate prediction of health outcomes from molecular/genomicmore » data and tissue responses. Systems biology aims at mathematical modeling of complex, non-linear biological systems. We propose to apply a systems biology approach to achieve a computational representation of tissue-level physiological responses by integrating empirical data derived from organotypic culture systems with computational models of intracellular pathways to better predict human responses. Successful implementation of this integrated approach will provide a powerful tool for faster, more accurate and cost-effective screening of potential toxicants and therapeutics. On September 11, 2015, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and clinicians gathered for a workshop in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss this ambitious goal. Participants represented laboratory-based and computational modeling approaches to pharmacology and toxicology, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, government, non-profits, and academia. Discussions focused on identifying critical system perturbations to model, the computational tools required, and the experimental approaches best suited to generating key data.« less

  3. Request for Travel Funds for Systems Radiation Biology Workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Barcellos-Hoff, Mary Helen

    2014-03-22

    The 3rd International Systems Radiation Biology Workshop brought together the major European, US and Japanese research programs on radiation risk as well as selected experts representing systems biological approaches to discuss how the new methodologies could be best exploited for low dose research. A significant part of the workshop was devoted to discussions organised as breakout group sessions. To facilitate discussions number of participants was limited to 60 persons. To achieve the goals of this symposium in this international conference, support from DOE is vital. Hence, this proposal requested support in the amount of $15,000 to cover the travel expenses of international experts and radiation biology scientists from the United States. This supporting mechanism was clearly identified to the selected US participants as a conference support award from the DOE (See attached PDF). The workshop was an outstanding opportunity to strengthen interactions between leading experts in the emerging areas of radiation sciences, and will also provide opportunities for younger scientists to meet with experts and discuss their results. This workshop was designed to endorse active engagement in international collaboration. A major objective of this conference was to effectively communicate research results, in order to ensure that current thinking reflects sound science of radiation biology. Further, this international event addressed the use and success of scientific initiatives in radiation biology for policymakers, standard-setters, and the general public.

  4. CINRG: Systems Biology of Glucocorticoids in Muscle Disease

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-10-01

    wasting effects chronic glucocorticoids have on normal muscle. The goal of this proposal is to use computational systems biology approach to model the... approaches to test the hypothesis that the effect of glucocorticoids on reducing inappropriate cross-talk in TGFβ networks improves muscle regeneration... approach can use hidden variables to represent possible factors contributing to regulatory interactions that are not measured, introducing Time

  5. Proceedings: Second international conference on intelligent systems for molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Altman, R.; Brutlag, D.; Karp, P.; Lathrop, R.; Searls, D.

    1994-12-31

    This volume provided full papers for presentations at the Second International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology held August 14-17, 1994 at Stanford University, Stanford, California. Each individual paper has been separately abstracted and indexed for the database.

  6. Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-14

    interests are in systems biology, network science, modeling and analysis of circadian rhythms, drug delivery for diabetes , and model-based control. Review...symptoms have been proposed, including predator- exposure,145–147 exposure to single prolonged stress,148 and exposure to foot shock149,150 with

  7. Systems biology and the discovery of diagnostic biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Lee, Inyoul; Carlson, George; Hood, Leroy; Galas, David

    2010-01-01

    Systems biology is an approach to the science that views biology as an information science, studies biological systems as a whole and their interactions with the environment. This approach, for the reasons described here, has particular power in the search for informative diagnostic biomarkers of diseases because it focuses on the fundamental causes and keys on the identification and understanding of disease- perturbed molecular networks. In this review, we describe some recent developments that have used systems biology to address complex diseases - prion disease and drug induced liver injury- and use these as examples to illustrate the importance of understanding network structure and dynamics. The knowledge of network dynamics through in vitro experimental perturbation and modeling allows us to determine the state of the networks, to identify molecular correlates, and to derive new disease treatment approaches to reverse the pathology or prevent its progress into a more severe state through the manipulation of network states. This general approach, including diagnostics and therapeutics, is becoming known as systems medicine.

  8. Cancer systems biology: signal processing for cancer research.

    PubMed

    Yli-Harja, Olli; Ylipää, Antti; Nykter, Matti; Zhang, Wei

    2011-04-01

    In this editorial we introduce the research paradigms of signal processing in the era of systems biology. Signal processing is a field of science traditionally focused on modeling electronic and communications systems, but recently it has turned to biological applications with astounding results. The essence of signal processing is to describe the natural world by mathematical models and then, based on these models, develop efficient computational tools for solving engineering problems. Here, we underline, with examples, the endless possibilities which arise when the battle-hardened tools of engineering are applied to solve the problems that have tormented cancer researchers. Based on this approach, a new field has emerged, called cancer systems biology. Despite its short history, cancer systems biology has already produced several success stories tackling previously impracticable problems. Perhaps most importantly, it has been accepted as an integral part of the major endeavors of cancer research, such as analyzing the genomic and epigenomic data produced by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. Finally, we show that signal processing and cancer research, two fields that are seemingly distant from each other, have merged into a field that is indeed more than the sum of its parts.

  9. Systems Biology & Mode of Action Based Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The application of systems biology for risk assessment of environmental chemicals is a national extension of its use in pharmaceutical research. The basis for this is the concept of a key event network that builds on existing mode of action frameworks for risk assessment. The a...

  10. Systems biology markup language: Level 2 and beyond.

    PubMed

    Finney, A; Hucka, M

    2003-12-01

    The SBML (systems biology markup language) is a standard exchange format for computational models of biochemical networks. We continue developing SBML collaboratively with the modelling community to meet their evolving needs. The recently introduced SBML Level 2 includes several enhancements to the original Level 1, and features under development for SBML Level 3 include model composition, multistate chemical species and diagrams.

  11. Recent advances in intravital imaging of dynamic biological systems.

    PubMed

    Kikuta, Junichi; Ishii, Masaru

    2012-01-01

    Intravital multiphoton microscopy has opened a new era in the field of biological imaging. Focal excitation of fluorophores by simultaneous attack of multiple (normally "two") photons generates images with high spatial resolution, and use of near-infrared lasers for multiphoton excitation allows penetration of thicker specimens, enabling biologists to visualize living cellular dynamics deep inside tissues and organs without thin sectioning. Moreover, the minimized photo-bleaching and toxicity associated with multiphoton techniques is beneficial for imaging of live specimens for extended observation periods. Here we focus on recent findings using intravital multiphoton imaging of dynamic biological systems such as the immune system and bone homeostasis. The immune system comprises highly dynamic networks, in which many cell types actively travel throughout the body and interact with each other in specific areas. Therefore, real-time intravital imaging represents a powerful tool for understanding the mechanisms underlying this dynamic system.

  12. Can systems biology help to separate evolutionary analogies (convergent homoplasies) from homologies?

    PubMed

    Gordon, Malcolm S; Notar, Julia C

    2015-01-01

    Convergent evolutionary analogies (homoplasies) of many kinds occur in diverse phylogenetic clades/lineages on both the animal and plant branches of the Tree of Life. Living organisms whose last common ancestors lived millions to hundreds of millions of years ago have later converged morphologically, behaviorally or at other levels of functionality (from molecular genetics through biochemistry, physiology and other organismic processes) as a result of long term strong natural selection that has constrained and channeled evolutionary processes. This happens most often when organisms belonging to different clades occupy ecological niches, habitats or environments sharing major characteristics that select for a relatively narrow range of organismic properties. Systems biology, broadly defined, provides theoretical and methodological approaches that are beginning to make it possible to answer a perennial evolutionary biological question relating to convergent homoplasies: Are at least some of the apparent analogies actually unrecognized homologies? This review provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of important aspects of this topic area. It also provides a resource describing many homoplasies that may be fruitful subjects for systems biological research.

  13. Systems Biology and Cancer Prevention: All Options on the Table

    PubMed Central

    Rosenfeld, Simon; Kapetanovic, Izet

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we outline the status quo and approaches to further development of the systems biology concepts with focus on applications in cancer prevention science. We discuss the biological aspects of cancer research that are of primary importance in cancer prevention, motivations for their mathematical modeling and some recent advances in computational oncology. We also make an attempt to outline in big conceptual terms the contours of future work aimed at creation of large-scale computational and informational infrastructure for using as a routine tool in cancer prevention science and decision making. PMID:19787092

  14. Systems biology and gene networks in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Parikshak, Neelroop N.; Gandal, Michael J.; Geschwind, Daniel H.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic and genomic approaches have implicated hundreds of genetic loci in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration, but mechanistic understanding continues to lag behind the pace of gene discovery. Understanding the role of specific genetic variants in the brain involves dissecting a functional hierarchy that encompasses molecular pathways, diverse cell types, neural circuits and, ultimately, cognition and behaviour. With a focus on transcriptomics, this Review discusses how high-throughput molecular, integrative and network approaches inform disease biology by placing human genetics in a molecular systems and neurobiological context. We provide a framework for interpreting network biology studies and leveraging big genomics data sets in neurobiology. PMID:26149713

  15. The solar system: Importance of research to the biological sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, Harold P.

    1992-01-01

    An attempt is made to describe the scope of scientific areas that comprise the current field of exobiology in the United States. From investigations of astrophysical phenomena that deal with the birth of stars and planetary systems to questions of molecular biology involving phylogenetic relationships among organisms, from attempts to simulate the synthesis of biological precursor molecules in the chemistry laboratory to making measurements of the organic constituents of Titan's atmosphere, these researches all converge toward a common objective--answering the question of how life came about in the universe.

  16. Enhanced Sampling Techniques in Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, Rafael C.; Melo, Marcelo C. R.; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Background Molecular Dynamics has emerged as an important research methodology covering systems to the level of millions of atoms. However, insufficient sampling often limits its application. The limitation is due to rough energy landscapes, with many local minima separated by high-energy barriers, which govern the biomolecular motion. Scope of review In the past few decades methods have been developed that address the sampling problem, such as replica-exchange molecular dynamics, metadynamics and simulated annealing. Here we present an overview over theses sampling methods in an attempt to shed light on which should be selected depending on the type of system property studied. Major Conclusions Enhanced sampling methods have been employed for a broad range of biological systems and the choice of a suitable method is connected to biological and physical characteristics of the system, in particular system size. While metadynamics and replica-exchange molecular dynamics are the most adopted sampling methods to study biomolecular dynamics, simulated annealing is well suited to characterize very flexible systems. The use of annealing methods for a long time was restricted to simulation of small proteins; however, a variant of the method, generalized simulated annealing, can be employed at a relatively low computational cost to large macromolecular complexes. General Significance Molecular dynamics trajectories frequently do not reach all relevant conformational substates, for example those connected with biological function, a problem that can be addressed by employing enhanced sampling algorithms. PMID:25450171

  17. Link between truncated fractals and coupled oscillators in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Paar, V; Pavin, N; Rosandić, M

    2001-09-07

    This article aims at providing a new theoretical insight into the fundamental question of the origin of truncated fractals in biological systems. It is well known that fractal geometry is one of the characteristics of living organisms. However, contrary to mathematical fractals which are self-similar at all scales, the biological fractals are truncated, i.e. their self-similarity extends at most over a few orders of magnitude of separation. We show that nonlinear coupled oscillators, modeling one of the basic features of biological systems, may generate truncated fractals: a truncated fractal pattern for basin boundaries appears in a simple mathematical model of two coupled nonlinear oscillators with weak dissipation. This fractal pattern can be considered as a particular hidden fractal property. At the level of sufficiently fine precision technique the truncated fractality acts as a simple structure, leading to predictability, but at a lower level of precision it is effectively fractal, limiting the predictability of the long-term behavior of biological systems. We point out to the generic nature of our result.

  18. Predictive modelling of complex agronomic and biological systems.

    PubMed

    Keurentjes, Joost J B; Molenaar, Jaap; Zwaan, Bas J

    2013-09-01

    Biological systems are tremendously complex in their functioning and regulation. Studying the multifaceted behaviour and describing the performance of such complexity has challenged the scientific community for years. The reduction of real-world intricacy into simple descriptive models has therefore convinced many researchers of the usefulness of introducing mathematics into biological sciences. Predictive modelling takes such an approach another step further in that it takes advantage of existing knowledge to project the performance of a system in alternating scenarios. The ever growing amounts of available data generated by assessing biological systems at increasingly higher detail provide unique opportunities for future modelling and experiment design. Here we aim to provide an overview of the progress made in modelling over time and the currently prevalent approaches for iterative modelling cycles in modern biology. We will further argue for the importance of versatility in modelling approaches, including parameter estimation, model reduction and network reconstruction. Finally, we will discuss the difficulties in overcoming the mathematical interpretation of in vivo complexity and address some of the future challenges lying ahead.

  19. Sensitivity analysis of dynamic biological systems with time-delays

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Mathematical modeling has been applied to the study and analysis of complex biological systems for a long time. Some processes in biological systems, such as the gene expression and feedback control in signal transduction networks, involve a time delay. These systems are represented as delay differential equation (DDE) models. Numerical sensitivity analysis of a DDE model by the direct method requires the solutions of model and sensitivity equations with time-delays. The major effort is the computation of Jacobian matrix when computing the solution of sensitivity equations. The computation of partial derivatives of complex equations either by the analytic method or by symbolic manipulation is time consuming, inconvenient, and prone to introduce human errors. To address this problem, an automatic approach to obtain the derivatives of complex functions efficiently and accurately is necessary. Results We have proposed an efficient algorithm with an adaptive step size control to compute the solution and dynamic sensitivities of biological systems described by ordinal differential equations (ODEs). The adaptive direct-decoupled algorithm is extended to solve the solution and dynamic sensitivities of time-delay systems describing by DDEs. To save the human effort and avoid the human errors in the computation of partial derivatives, an automatic differentiation technique is embedded in the extended algorithm to evaluate the Jacobian matrix. The extended algorithm is implemented and applied to two realistic models with time-delays: the cardiovascular control system and the TNF-α signal transduction network. The results show that the extended algorithm is a good tool for dynamic sensitivity analysis on DDE models with less user intervention. Conclusions By comparing with direct-coupled methods in theory, the extended algorithm is efficient, accurate, and easy to use for end users without programming background to do dynamic sensitivity analysis on complex

  20. Two classes of bipartite networks: nested biological and social systems.

    PubMed

    Burgos, Enrique; Ceva, Horacio; Hernández, Laura; Perazzo, R P J; Devoto, Mariano; Medan, Diego

    2008-10-01

    Bipartite graphs have received some attention in the study of social networks and of biological mutualistic systems. A generalization of a previous model is presented, that evolves the topology of the graph in order to optimally account for a given contact preference rule between the two guilds of the network. As a result, social and biological graphs are classified as belonging to two clearly different classes. Projected graphs, linking the agents of only one guild, are obtained from the original bipartite graph. The corresponding evolution of its statistical properties is also studied. An example of a biological mutualistic network is analyzed in detail, and it is found that the model provides a very good fitting of all the main statistical features. The model also provides a proper qualitative description of the same features observed in social webs, suggesting the possible reasons underlying the difference in the organization of these two kinds of bipartite networks.

  1. Specifications of Standards in Systems and Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Falk; Bader, Gary D; Golebiewski, Martin; Hucka, Michael; Kormeier, Benjamin; Le Novère, Nicolas; Myers, Chris; Nickerson, David; Sommer, Björn; Waltemath, Dagmar; Weise, Stephan

    2015-09-04

    Standards shape our everyday life. From nuts and bolts to electronic devices and technological processes, standardised products and processes are all around us. Standards have technological and economic benefits, such as making information exchange, production, and services more efficient. However, novel, innovative areas often either lack proper standards, or documents about standards in these areas are not available from a centralised platform or formal body (such as the International Standardisation Organisation). Systems and synthetic biology is a relatively novel area, and it is only in the last decade that the standardisation of data, information, and models related to systems and synthetic biology has become a community-wide effort. Several open standards have been established and are under continuous development as a community initiative. COMBINE, the ‘COmputational Modeling in BIology’ NEtwork has been established as an umbrella initiative to coordinate and promote the development of the various community standards and formats for computational models. There are yearly two meeting, HARMONY (Hackathons on Resources for Modeling in Biology), Hackathon-type meetings with a focus on development of the support for standards, and COMBINE forums, workshop-style events with oral presentations, discussion, poster, and breakout sessions for further developing the standards. For more information see http://co.mbine.org/. So far the different standards were published and made accessible through the standards’ web- pages or preprint services. The aim of this special issue is to provide a single, easily accessible and citable platform for the publication of standards in systems and synthetic biology. This special issue is intended to serve as a central access point to standards and related initiatives in systems and synthetic biology, it will be published annually to provide an opportunity for standard development groups to communicate updated specifications.

  2. Systems Biology Approaches for Identifying Adverse Drug Reactions and Elucidating Their Underlying Biological Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Boland, Mary Regina; Jacunski, Alexandra; Lorberbaum, Tal; Romano, Joseph; Moskovitch, Robert; Tatonetti, Nicholas P.

    2015-01-01

    Small molecules are indispensable to modern medical therapy. However, their use may lead to unintended, negative medical outcomes commonly referred to as adverse drug reactions (ADRs). These effects vary widely in mechanism, severity, and populations affected, making ADR prediction and identification important public health concerns. Current methods rely on clinical trials and post-market surveillance programs to find novel ADRs; however, clinical trials are limited by small sample size, while post-market surveillance methods may be biased and inherently leave patients at risk until sufficient clinical evidence has been gathered. Systems pharmacology, an emerging interdisciplinary field combining network and chemical biology, provides important tools to uncover and understand ADRs and may mitigate the drawbacks of traditional methods. In particular, network analysis allows researchers to integrate heterogeneous data sources and quantify the interactions between biological and chemical entities. Recent work in this area has combined chemical, biological, and large-scale observational health data to predict ADRs in both individual patients and global populations. In this review, we explore the rapid expansion of systems pharmacology in the study of ADRs. We enumerate the existing methods and strategies and illustrate progress in the field with a model framework that incorporates crucial data elements, such as diet and comorbidities, known to modulate ADR risk. Using this framework, we highlight avenues of research that may currently be underexplored, representing opportunities for future work. PMID:26559926

  3. Systems biology approaches for identifying adverse drug reactions and elucidating their underlying biological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Boland, Mary Regina; Jacunski, Alexandra; Lorberbaum, Tal; Romano, Joseph D; Moskovitch, Robert; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

    Small molecules are indispensable to modern medical therapy. However, their use may lead to unintended, negative medical outcomes commonly referred to as adverse drug reactions (ADRs). These effects vary widely in mechanism, severity, and populations affected, making ADR prediction and identification important public health concerns. Current methods rely on clinical trials and postmarket surveillance programs to find novel ADRs; however, clinical trials are limited by small sample size, whereas postmarket surveillance methods may be biased and inherently leave patients at risk until sufficient clinical evidence has been gathered. Systems pharmacology, an emerging interdisciplinary field combining network and chemical biology, provides important tools to uncover and understand ADRs and may mitigate the drawbacks of traditional methods. In particular, network analysis allows researchers to integrate heterogeneous data sources and quantify the interactions between biological and chemical entities. Recent work in this area has combined chemical, biological, and large-scale observational health data to predict ADRs in both individual patients and global populations. In this review, we explore the rapid expansion of systems pharmacology in the study of ADRs. We enumerate the existing methods and strategies and illustrate progress in the field with a model framework that incorporates crucial data elements, such as diet and comorbidities, known to modulate ADR risk. Using this framework, we highlight avenues of research that may currently be underexplored, representing opportunities for future work.

  4. Using Quantum Mechanical Approaches to Study Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus Quantum mechanics (QM) has revolutionized our understanding of the structure and reactivity of small molecular systems. Given the tremendous impact of QM in this research area, it is attractive to believe that this could also be brought into the biological realm where systems of a few thousand atoms and beyond are routine. Applying QM methods to biological problems brings an improved representation to these systems by the direct inclusion of inherently QM effects such as polarization and charge transfer. Because of the improved representation, novel insights can be gleaned from the application of QM tools to biomacromolecules in aqueous solution. To achieve this goal, the computational bottlenecks of QM methods had to be addressed. In semiempirical theory, matrix diagonalization is rate limiting, while in density functional theory or Hartree–Fock theory electron repulsion integral computation is rate-limiting. In this Account, we primarily focus on semiempirical models where the divide and conquer (D&C) approach linearizes the matrix diagonalization step with respect to the system size. Through the D&C approach, a number of applications to biological problems became tractable. Herein, we provide examples of QM studies on biological systems that focus on protein solvation as viewed by QM, QM enabled structure-based drug design, and NMR and X-ray biological structure refinement using QM derived restraints. Through the examples chosen, we show the power of QM to provide novel insights into biological systems, while also impacting practical applications such as structure refinement. While these methods can be more expensive than classical approaches, they make up for this deficiency by the more realistic modeling of the electronic nature of biological systems and in their ability to be broadly applied. Of the tools and applications discussed in this Account, X-ray structure refinement using QM models is now generally available to the community in the

  5. Systems Biology of Clostridium Acetobutylicum: Sugar Metabolism and TNT Reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurley, Margaret; Sund, Christian; Servinsky, Matthew

    2010-03-01

    Rapid advancements in biotechnology are expected to impact multiple areas of interest to the Army, including decontamination, degradation of toxic chemicals and biofuels. This project is a joint experimental/computational effort to map out the metabolic pathways in Clostridium acetobutylicum, and use this information to develop a systems biology model of this system. This organism has been chosen specifically due to the fact that it has potential application to both biofuel production and nitroaromatic degradation. It is hoped that a systems biology model may provide key information to enhance both of these processes. Details will be presented of a first-generation model of central carbon metabolism in C. Acet., developed upon gene expression data accumulated from bacteria grown on different carbohydrate sources. Additional work will discuss the effect of TNT exposure and potential relevant enhancements of the model.

  6. Modeling Functional Motions of Biological Systems by Customized Natural Moves.

    PubMed

    Demharter, Samuel; Knapp, Bernhard; Deane, Charlotte M; Minary, Peter

    2016-08-23

    Simulating the functional motions of biomolecular systems requires large computational resources. We introduce a computationally inexpensive protocol for the systematic testing of hypotheses regarding the dynamic behavior of proteins and nucleic acids. The protocol is based on natural move Monte Carlo, a highly efficient conformational sampling method with built-in customization capabilities that allows researchers to design and perform a large number of simulations to investigate functional motions in biological systems. We demonstrate the use of this protocol on both a protein and a DNA case study. Firstly, we investigate the plasticity of a class II major histocompatibility complex in the absence of a bound peptide. Secondly, we study the effects of the epigenetic mark 5-hydroxymethyl on cytosine on the structure of the Dickerson-Drew dodecamer. We show how our customized natural moves protocol can be used to investigate causal relationships of functional motions in biological systems.

  7. Systems biology for understanding and engineering of heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Park, Beom Gi; Kim, Minsuk; Kim, Joonwon; Yoo, Heewang; Kim, Byung-Gee

    2017-01-01

    Heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms continue to draw interest as they can accumulate a large amount of lipids which is a promising feedstock for the production of biofuels and oleochemicals. Nutrient limitation, especially nitrogen limitation, is known to effectively trigger the lipid production in these microorganisms. For the aim of developing improved strains, the mechanisms behind the lipid production have been studied for a long time. Nowadays, system-level understanding of their metabolism and associated metabolic switches is attainable with modern systems biology tools. This work reviews the systems biology studies, based on (i) top-down, large-scale 'omics' tools, and (ii) bottom-up, mathematical modeling methods, on the heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms with an emphasis on further application to metabolic engineering.

  8. A system biology approach to understand functional activity of cell communication systems.

    PubMed

    Vera, Julio; Wolkenhauer, Olaf

    2008-01-01

    Systems Biology is the quantitative analysis of dynamic interactions among several components of a biochemical system, aiming at an understanding of the behavior of the system as a whole. From an experimental perspective, systems biology is a suitable tool to support the biologist in the process of hypotheses generation and the efficient design of experiments. In this chapter, we discuss the elements of a systems biology methodology based on the interaction between experimental biologists and theoreticians. We, furthermore, show the use of such a methodology in a case study, analyzing receptor and transcription factor modulation affecting the responsiveness of the JAK2/STAT5 pathway.

  9. Improving Collaboration by Standardization Efforts in Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Dräger, Andreas; Palsson, Bernhard Ø.

    2014-01-01

    Collaborative genome-scale reconstruction endeavors of metabolic networks would not be possible without a common, standardized formal representation of these systems. The ability to precisely define biological building blocks together with their dynamic behavior has even been considered a prerequisite for upcoming synthetic biology approaches. Driven by the requirements of such ambitious research goals, standardization itself has become an active field of research on nearly all levels of granularity in biology. In addition to the originally envisaged exchange of computational models and tool interoperability, new standards have been suggested for an unambiguous graphical display of biological phenomena, to annotate, archive, as well as to rank models, and to describe execution and the outcomes of simulation experiments. The spectrum now even covers the interaction of entire neurons in the brain, three-dimensional motions, and the description of pharmacometric studies. Thereby, the mathematical description of systems and approaches for their (repeated) simulation are clearly separated from each other and also from their graphical representation. Minimum information definitions constitute guidelines and common operation protocols in order to ensure reproducibility of findings and a unified knowledge representation. Central database infrastructures have been established that provide the scientific community with persistent links from model annotations to online resources. A rich variety of open-source software tools thrives for all data formats, often supporting a multitude of programing languages. Regular meetings and workshops of developers and users lead to continuous improvement and ongoing development of these standardization efforts. This article gives a brief overview about the current state of the growing number of operation protocols, mark-up languages, graphical descriptions, and fundamental software support with relevance to systems biology. PMID:25538939

  10. Systems Biology Knowledgebase for a New Era in Biology A Genomics:GTL Report from the May 2008 Workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Gregurick, S.; Fredrickson, J. K.; Stevens, R.

    2009-03-01

    Biology has entered a systems-science era with the goal to establish a predictive understanding of the mechanisms of cellular function and the interactions of biological systems with their environment and with each other. Vast amounts of data on the composition, physiology, and function of complex biological systems and their natural environments are emerging from new analytical technologies. Effectively exploiting these data requires developing a new generation of capabilities for analyzing and managing the information. By revealing the core principles and processes conserved in collective genomes across all biology and by enabling insights into the interplay between an organism's genotype and its environment, systems biology will allow scientific breakthroughs in our ability to project behaviors of natural systems and to manipulate and engineer managed systems. These breakthroughs will benefit Department of Energy (DOE) missions in energy security, climate protection, and environmental remediation.

  11. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, genomic and phenotypic data sets, and the development of tools for data integration and mining. Methods for network analysis and systems biology offer the promise of integrating these multiple levels of data, connecting molecular pathways to nervous system function.

  12. From globally coupled maps to complex-systems biology

    SciTech Connect

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2015-09-15

    Studies of globally coupled maps, introduced as a network of chaotic dynamics, are briefly reviewed with an emphasis on novel concepts therein, which are universal in high-dimensional dynamical systems. They include clustering of synchronized oscillations, hierarchical clustering, chimera of synchronization and desynchronization, partition complexity, prevalence of Milnor attractors, chaotic itinerancy, and collective chaos. The degrees of freedom necessary for high dimensionality are proposed to equal the number in which the combinatorial exceeds the exponential. Future analysis of high-dimensional dynamical systems with regard to complex-systems biology is briefly discussed.

  13. Understanding genetic variation – the value of systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Hütt, Marc-Thorsten

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacology is currently transformed by the vast amounts of genome-associated information available for system-level interpretation. Here I review the potential of systems biology to facilitate this interpretation, thus paving the way for the emerging field of systems pharmacology. In particular, I will show how gene regulatory and metabolic networks can serve as a framework for interpreting high throughput data and as an interface to detailed dynamical models. In addition to the established connectivity analyses of effective networks, I suggest here to also analyze higher order architectural properties of effective networks. PMID:24725073

  14. Newton, Laplace, and The Epistemology of Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Bittner, Michael L.; Dougherty, Edward R.

    2012-01-01

    For science, theoretical or applied, to significantly advance, researchers must use the most appropriate mathematical methods. A century and a half elapsed between Newton’s development of the calculus and Laplace’s development of celestial mechanics. One cannot imagine the latter without the former. Today, more than three-quarters of a century has elapsed since the birth of stochastic systems theory. This article provides a perspective on the utilization of systems theory as the proper vehicle for the development of systems biology and its application to complex regulatory diseases such as cancer. PMID:23170064

  15. From globally coupled maps to complex-systems biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2015-09-01

    Studies of globally coupled maps, introduced as a network of chaotic dynamics, are briefly reviewed with an emphasis on novel concepts therein, which are universal in high-dimensional dynamical systems. They include clustering of synchronized oscillations, hierarchical clustering, chimera of synchronization and desynchronization, partition complexity, prevalence of Milnor attractors, chaotic itinerancy, and collective chaos. The degrees of freedom necessary for high dimensionality are proposed to equal the number in which the combinatorial exceeds the exponential. Future analysis of high-dimensional dynamical systems with regard to complex-systems biology is briefly discussed.

  16. From globally coupled maps to complex-systems biology.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2015-09-01

    Studies of globally coupled maps, introduced as a network of chaotic dynamics, are briefly reviewed with an emphasis on novel concepts therein, which are universal in high-dimensional dynamical systems. They include clustering of synchronized oscillations, hierarchical clustering, chimera of synchronization and desynchronization, partition complexity, prevalence of Milnor attractors, chaotic itinerancy, and collective chaos. The degrees of freedom necessary for high dimensionality are proposed to equal the number in which the combinatorial exceeds the exponential. Future analysis of high-dimensional dynamical systems with regard to complex-systems biology is briefly discussed.

  17. Newton, laplace, and the epistemology of systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bittner, Michael L; Dougherty, Edward R

    2012-01-01

    For science, theoretical or applied, to significantly advance, researchers must use the most appropriate mathematical methods. A century and a half elapsed between Newton's development of the calculus and Laplace's development of celestial mechanics. One cannot imagine the latter without the former. Today, more than three-quarters of a century has elapsed since the birth of stochastic systems theory. This article provides a perspective on the utilization of systems theory as the proper vehicle for the development of systems biology and its application to complex regulatory diseases such as cancer.

  18. Two faces of entropy and information in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Mitrokhin, Yuriy

    2014-10-21

    The article attempts to overcome the well-known paradox of contradictions between the emerging biological organization and entropy production in biological systems. It is assumed that quality, speculative correlation between entropy and antientropy processes taking place both in the past and today in the metabolic and genetic cellular systems may be perfectly authorized for adequate description of the evolution of biological organization. So far as thermodynamic entropy itself cannot compensate for the high degree of organization which exists in the cell, we discuss the mode of conjunction of positive entropy events (mutations) in the genetic systems of the past generations and the formation of organized structures of current cells. We argue that only the information which is generated in the conditions of the information entropy production (mutations and other genome reorganization) in genetic systems of the past generations provides the physical conjunction of entropy and antientropy processes separated from each other in time generations. It is readily apparent from the requirements of the Second law of thermodynamics.

  19. In-/off-label use of biologic therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current therapies for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) include corticosteroids as a persistent mainstay and traditional immunosuppressants which are given according to disease severity, organ involvement and patient status. No treatment entails certain efficacy devoid of mild-to-moderate adverse effects. Nowadays, novel therapies are being developed aiming to target specific molecules involved in SLE development and progression which show variable effectiveness and safety. Biologic agents considered for SLE comprise monoclonal antibodies (chimeric, humanized or fully human) as well as fusion molecules or antibody fragments mostly consisting of B cell-targeted therapies beside anti-cytokines as well as T cell-targeted therapies. Encouraging evidence on biologics is mostly provided by case series or uncontrolled studies; conversely, larger randomized controlled clinical trials have frequently missed their primary endpoints with the exception of BLISS-52 and BLISS-76 trials. Actually, apart from belimumab, biologics are employed in clinical practice as off-label treatments for lupus and results are often promising, depending on specific SLE features, dose regimens and individual responsiveness. PMID:24528782

  20. Systems biology, adverse outcome pathways, and ecotoxicology in the 21st century

    EPA Science Inventory

    While many definitions of systems biology exist, the majority of these contain most (if not all) of the following elements: global measurements of biological molecules to the extent technically feasible, dynamic measurements of key biological molecules to establish quantitative r...

  1. Systems biology approaches to identify developmental bases for lung diseases.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Soumyaroop; Mariani, Thomas J

    2013-04-01

    A greater understanding of the regulatory processes contributing to lung development could be helpful to identify strategies to ameliorate morbidity and mortality in premature infants and to identify individuals at risk for congenital and/or chronic lung diseases. Over the past decade, genomics technologies have enabled the production of rich gene expression databases providing information for all genes across developmental time or in diseased tissue. These data sets facilitate systems biology approaches for identifying underlying biological modules and programs contributing to the complex processes of normal development and those that may be associated with disease states. The next decade will undoubtedly see rapid and significant advances in redefining both lung development and disease at the systems level.

  2. Fluorescence dynamics of biological systems using synchrotron radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Gratton, E.; Mantulin, W.W.; Weber, G.; Royer, C.A.; Jameson, D.M.; Reininger, R.; Hansen, R.

    1996-09-01

    A beamline for time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of biological systems is under construction at the Synchrotron Radiation Center. The fluorometer, operating in the frequency domain, will take advantage of the time structure of the synchrotron radiation light pulses to determine fluorescence lifetimes. Using frequency-domain techniques, the instrument can achieve an ultimate time resolution on the order of picoseconds. Preliminary experiments have shown that reducing the intensity of one of the fifteen electron bunches in the storage ring allows measurement of harmonic frequencies equivalent to the single-bunch mode. This mode of operation of the synchrotron significantly extends the range of lifetimes that can be measured. The wavelength range (encompassing the visible and ultraviolet), the range of measurable lifetimes, and the stability and reproducibility of the storage ring pulses should make this beamline a versatile tool for the investigation of the complex fluorescence decay of biological systems. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  3. Hemodynamically Driven Vein Graft Remodeling: A Systems Biology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Berceli, Scott A.; Tran-Son-Tay, Roger; Garbey, Marc; Jiang, Zhihua

    2011-01-01

    Despite intense investigation over several decades to understand the mechanisms of vein graft failure, few therapeutic modalities have emerged. Emphasis using standard reductionist approaches has been focused on cataloging the components involved in the early events following vein graft implantation, but limited insight has been gained in understanding the dynamic interaction of these components. We propose that the application of systems theory offers the opportunity for significant advances in this area. Focused on modeling the dynamic relationships that define living organisms, systems biology provides the necessary tools to further our understanding of the complex series of overlapping biologic events on surgical implantation of the vein graft. Through the use of ordinary differential equation and agent-based modeling techniques, we present our ongoing efforts to define the nonlinear interactions between hemodynamics and vascular adaptation. PMID:19426605

  4. Systems Biology in Immunology – A Computational Modeling Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Germain, Ronald N.; Meier-Schellersheim, Martin; Nita-Lazar, Aleksandra; Fraser, Iain D. C.

    2011-01-01

    Systems biology is an emerging discipline that combines high-content, multiplexed measurements with informatic and computational modeling methods to better understand biological function at various scales. Here we present a detailed review of the methods used to create computational models and conduct simulations of immune function, We provide descriptions of the key data gathering techniques employed to generate the quantitative and qualitative data required for such modeling and simulation and summarize the progress to date in applying these tools and techniques to questions of immunological interest, including infectious disease. We include comments on what insights modeling can provide that complement information obtained from the more familiar experimental discovery methods used by most investigators and why quantitative methods are needed to eventually produce a better understanding of immune system operation in health and disease. PMID:21219182

  5. Extended physics as a theoretical framework for systems biology?

    PubMed

    Miquel, Paul-Antoine

    2011-08-01

    In this essay we examine whether a theoretical and conceptual framework for systems biology could be built from the Bailly and Longo (2008, 2009) proposal. These authors aim to understand life as a coherent critical structure, and propose to develop an extended physical approach of evolution, as a diffusion of biomass in a space of complexity. Their attempt leads to a simple mathematical reconstruction of Gould's assumption (1989) concerning the bacterial world as a "left wall of least complexity" that we will examine. Extended physical systems are characterized by their constructive properties. Time is acting and new properties emerge by their history that can open the list of their initial properties. This conceptual and theoretical framework is nothing more than a philosophical assumption, but as such it provides a new and exciting approach concerning the evolution of life, and the transition between physics and biology.

  6. Systems biology of IL-6, IL-12 family cytokines.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, Anna; Hessenkemper, Wiebke; Schaper, Fred

    2015-10-01

    Interleukin-6-type cytokines play important roles in the communication between cells of multicellular organisms. They are involved in the regulation of complex cellular processes such as proliferation and differentiation and act as key player during inflammation and immune response. A major challenge is to understand how these complex non-linear processes are connected and regulated. Systems biology approaches are used to tackle this challenge in an iterative process of quantitative experimental and mathematical analyses. Here we review quantitative experimental studies and systems biology approaches dealing with the function of Interleukin-6-type cytokines in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. These approaches cover the analyses of signal transduction on a cellular level up to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies on a whole organism level.

  7. Smart interactive electronic system for monitoring the electromagnetic activities of biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popa, Sorin G.; Shahinpoor, Mohsen

    2001-08-01

    A novel electronic device capable of sensing and monitoring the myoelectric, polarization wave and electromagnetic activities of the biological systems and in particular the human body is presented. It is known that all the physical and chemical processes within biological systems are associated with polarization, depolarization waves from the brain, neural signals and myoelectric processes that manifest themselves in ionic and dipole motion. The technology developed in our laboratory is based on certain charge motion sensitive electronics. The electronic system developed is capable of sensing the electromagnetic activities of biological systems. The information obtained is then processed by specialized software in order to interpret it from physical and chemical point of view.

  8. So, you want to be a systems biologist? Determinants for creating graduate curricula in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Voit, E O; Kemp, M L

    2011-01-01

    Systems biology is uniquely situated at the interface of computing, mathematics, engineering and the biological sciences. This positioning creates unique challenges and opportunities over other interdisciplinary studies when developing academic curricula. Integrative systems biology attempts to span the field from observation to innovation, and thus requires successful students to gain skills from mining to manipulation. The authors outline examples of graduate program structures, as well as curricular aspects and assessment metrics that can be customised around the environmental niche of the academic institution towards the formalisation of effective educational opportunities in systems biology. Some of this material was presented at the 2009 Foundations of Systems Biology in Engineering (FOSBE 2009) Conference in Denver, August 2009.

  9. Cell phone radiation exposure on brain and associated biological systems.

    PubMed

    Kesari, Kavindra Kumar; Siddiqui, Mohd Haris; Meena, Ramovatar; Verma, H N; Kumar, Shivendra

    2013-03-01

    Wireless technologies are ubiquitous today and the mobile phones are one of the prodigious output of this technology. Although the familiarization and dependency of mobile phones is growing at an alarming pace, the biological effects due to the exposure of radiations have become a subject of intense debate. The present evidence on mobile phone radiation exposure is based on scientific research and public policy initiative to give an overview of what is known of biological effects that occur at radiofrequency (RF)/ electromagnetic fields (EMFs) exposure. The conflict in conclusions is mainly because of difficulty in controlling the affecting parameters. Biological effects are dependent not only on the distance and size of the object (with respect to the object) but also on the environmental parameters. Health endpoints reported to be associated with RF include childhood leukemia, brain tumors, genotoxic effects, neurological effects and neurodegenerative diseases, immune system deregulation, allergic and inflammatory responses, infertility and some cardiovascular effects. Most of the reports conclude a reasonable suspicion of mobile phone risk that exists based on clear evidence of bio-effects which with prolonged exposures may reasonably be presumed to result in health impacts. The present study summarizes the public issue based on mobile phone radiation exposure and their biological effects. This review concludes that the regular and long term use of microwave devices (mobile phone, microwave oven) at domestic level can have negative impact upon biological system especially on brain. It also suggests that increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role by enhancing the effect of microwave radiations which may cause neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. Evaluation of the Biolog automated microbial identification system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klingler, J. M.; Stowe, R. P.; Obenhuber, D. C.; Groves, T. O.; Mishra, S. K.; Pierson, D. L.

    1992-01-01

    Biolog's identification system was used to identify 39 American Type Culture Collection reference taxa and 45 gram-negative isolates from water samples. Of the reference strains, 98% were identified to genus level and 76% to species level within 4 to 24 h. Identification of some authentic strains of Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Serratia was unreliable. A total of 93% of the water isolates were identified.

  11. Ultrashort Laser Pulse Induced Electromagnetic Stress on Biological Macromolecular Systems.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-11-01

    ULTRASHORT LASER PULSE INDUCED ~~~~~ ELECTROMAGNET IC STRESS ON BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULAR SYSTEMS Adam P. Bruckner , Ph.D. ( i~iiCJ. Michael ...AFSC, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. Dr. John Taboada (RZL) was the Laboratory Project Scientjst..in...Charge When U.S. Goverrijie~t drawings...available to the general public , including foreignnations. Thi s technical report has been reviewed and is approved for publ i-cation. OHN TABOADA , Ph.D

  12. Systems Biology of Polycystic Kidney Disease: a Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Menezes, Luis Fernando; Germino, Gregory G

    2015-01-01

    The proliferation and diminishing costs of ‘omics’ approaches have finally opened the doors for small and medium laboratories to enter the ‘systems biology era’. This is a welcome evolution that requires a new framework to design, interpret and validate studies. Here we highlight some of the challenges, contributions, and prospects of the“cyst-ems biology” of polycystic kidney disease. PMID:25641951

  13. Microbiological evaluation of the mobile biological isolator system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, D. M.; Morelli, F.; Neiderheiser, W.; Tratz, W. M.

    1979-01-01

    Evaluations on critical components of the mobile biological isolation system were performed. High efficiency particulate air filter efficiency and suit integrity were found to withstand repeated ethylene oxide (ETO) sterilizations. The minimum ETO sterilization time required to inactivate all contaminant organisms was established at four hours. Two days of aerating at 120 F was found to dissipate all harmful ETO residuals from the suit. Donning and doffing procedures were clarified and written specifically for isolation rooms.

  14. Antiestrogen Resistance and the Application of Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Bouker, Kerrie B.; Wang, Yue; Xuan, Jianhua; Clarke, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the molecular changes that drive an acquired antiestrogen resistance phenotype is of major clinical relevance. Previous methodologies for addressing this question have taken a single gene/pathway approach and the resulting gains have been limited in terms of their clinical impact. Recent systems biology approaches allow for the integration of data from high throughput “-omics” technologies. We highlight recent advances in the field of antiestrogen resistance with a focus on transcriptomics, proteomics and methylomics. PMID:23539064

  15. Dynamical Systems and Control Theory Inspired by Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-20

    is odd) steady states, there never are more than 2n − 1 steady states, that for parameters near the standard Michaelis - Menten quasi-steady state...conditions, there are at most n + 1 steady states and that for parameters far from the standard Michaelis - Menten quasi-steady state conditions, there is at...moments for certain stochastic kinetics : We have recently started research into stochastic aspects in systems biology. Deterministic mod- els

  16. Electromechanical imaging of biological systems with sub-10 nm resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinin, Sergei V.; Rodriguez, B. J.; Jesse, S.; Thundat, T.; Gruverman, A.

    2005-08-01

    Electromechanical imaging of tooth dentin and enamel has been performed with sub-10nm resolution using piezoresponse force microscopy. Characteristic piezoelectric domain size and local protein fiber ordering in dentin have been determined. The shape of a single protein fibril in enamel is visualized in real space and local hysteresis loops are measured. Because of the ubiquitous presence of piezoelectricity in biological systems, this approach is expected to find broad application in high-resolution studies of a wide range of biomaterials.

  17. Interactions of nanomaterials and biological systems: implications to personalized nanomedicine☆

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xue-Qing; Xu, Xiaoyang; Bertrand, Nicolas; Pridgen, Eric; Swami, Archana; Farokhzad, Omid C.

    2012-01-01

    The application of nanotechnology to personalized medicine provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve the treatment of many diseases. Nanomaterials offer several advantages as therapeutic and diagnostic tools due to design flexibility, small sizes, large surface-to-volume ratio, and ease of surface modification with multivalent ligands to increase avidity for target molecules. Nanomaterials can be engineered to interact with specific biological components, allowing them to benefit from the insights provided by personalized medicine techniques. To tailor these interactions, a comprehensive knowledge of how nanomaterials interact with biological systems is critical. Herein, we discuss how the interactions of nanomaterials with biological systems can guide their design for diagnostic, imaging and drug delivery purposes. A general overview of nanomaterials under investigation is provided with an emphasis on systems that have reached clinical trials. Finally, considerations for the development of personalized nanomedicines are summarized such as the potential toxicity, scientific and technical challenges in fabricating them, and regulatory and ethical issues raised by the utilization of nanomaterials. PMID:22917779

  18. Designing the Cloud-based DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase

    SciTech Connect

    Lansing, Carina S.; Liu, Yan; Yin, Jian; Corrigan, Abigail L.; Guillen, Zoe C.; Kleese van Dam, Kerstin; Gorton, Ian

    2011-09-01

    Systems Biology research, even more than many other scientific domains, is becoming increasingly data-intensive. Not only have advances in experimental and computational technologies lead to an exponential increase in scientific data volumes and their complexity, but increasingly such databases themselves are providing the basis for new scientific discoveries. To engage effectively with these community resources, integrated analyses, synthesis and simulation software is needed, regularly supported by scientific workflows. In order to provide a more collaborative, community driven research environment for this heterogeneous setting, the Department of Energy (DOE) has decided to develop a federated, cloud based cyber infrastructure - the Systems Biology Knowledgebase (Kbase). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with its long tradition in data intensive science lead two of the five initial pilot projects, these two focusing on defining and testing the basic federated cloud-based system architecture and develop a prototype implementation. Hereby the community wide accessibility of biological data and the capability to integrate and analyze this data within its changing research context were seen as key technical functionalities the Kbase needed to enable. In this paper we describe the results of our investigations into the design of a cloud based federated infrastructure for: (1) Semantics driven data discovery, access and integration; (2) Data annotation, publication and sharing; (3) Workflow enabled data analysis; and (4) Project based collaborative working. We describe our approach, exemplary use cases and our prototype implementation that demonstrates the feasibility of this approach.

  19. Development of a biological treatment system for Hanford groundwater remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Brouns, T.M.; Koegler, S.S.; Heath, W.O.; Fredrickson, J.K. ); Stensel, H.D. ); Johnstone, D.L. ); Donaldson, T.L. )

    1990-04-01

    The primary objective of the biological treatment program is to develop and demonstrate a biological process for Hanford groundwater remediation that is capable of nitrate (NO {sub 3}{sup {minus}}) and organic contaminant destruction. Biodenitrification using facultative anaerobic microorganisms is a promising technology for the simultaneous removal of NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}} and organics from contaminated aqueous streams. During FY 1989, microbial consortium from the Hanford groundwater was shown to degrade both NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}} and carbon tetrachloride (CC1{sub 4}). A pilot-scale treatment system was subsequently designed and constructed based on the results of laboratory- and bench-scale testing. The pilot-scale system demonstrated continuous degradation of NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}} and CC1{sub 4} in a simulated groundwater. This report summarizes the results of biological groundwater treatment studies performed during FY 1989 at the pilot-, laboratory-, and bench-scales. Pilot-scale test were conducted using a simulate Hanford groundwater with a continuous stirred-tank bioreactor (CSTR) and a fluidized-bed bioreactor that was added to the pilot-scale treatment system in FY 1989. Laboratory test focused on the degradation of CC1{sub 4} and on the microbial toxicity from CC1{sub 4}, hexavalent chromium (Cr{plus} {sup 6}), and cyanide (CN){sup {minus}} 15 refs., 18 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Demonstration Bulletin: Aqueous Biological Treatment System (Fixed-Film Biodegradation), Biotrol, Inc

    EPA Science Inventory

    This patented biological treatment system, called the BioTrol Aqueous Treatment System (BATS)., uses an amended microbial population to achieve biological degradation. The system is considered amended when a specific microorganism is added to the indigenous microbial population ...

  1. Biological surface engineering: a simple system for cell pattern formation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, S; Yan, L; Altman, M; Lässle, M; Nugent, H; Frankel, F; Lauffenburger, D A; Whitesides, G M; Rich, A

    1999-07-01

    Biological surface engineering using synthetic biological materials has a great potential for advances in our understanding of complex biological phenomena. We developed a simple system to engineer biologically relevant surfaces using a combination of self-assembling oligopeptide monolayers and microcontact printing (muCP). We designed and synthesized two oligopeptides containing a cell adhesion motif (RADS)n (n = 2 and 3) at the N-terminus, followed by an oligo(alanine) linker and a cysteine residue at the C-terminus. The thiol group of cysteine allows the oligopeptides to attach covalently onto a gold-coated surface to form monolayers. We then microfabricated a variety of surface patterns using the cell adhesion peptides in combination with hexa-ethylene glycol thiolate which resist non-specific adsorption of proteins and cells. The resulting patterns consist of areas either supporting or inhibiting cell adhesion, thus they are capable of aligning cells in a well-defined manner, leading to specific cell array and pattern formations.

  2. On Mechanical Transitions in Biologically Motivated Soft Matter Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogle, Craig

    The notion of phase transitions as a characterization of a change in physical properties pervades modern physics. Such abrupt and fundamental changes in the behavior of physical systems are evident in condensed matter system and also occur in nuclear and subatomic settings. While this concept is less prevalent in the field of biology, recent advances have pointed to its relevance in a number of settings. Recent studies have modeled both the cell cycle and cancer as phase transition in physical systems. In this dissertation we construct simplified models for two biological systems. As described by those models, both systems exhibit phase transitions. The first model is inspired by the shape transition in the nuclei of neutrophils during differentiation. During differentiation the nucleus transitions from spherical to a shape often described as "beads on a string." As a simplified model of this system, we investigate the spherical-to-wrinkled transition in an elastic core bounded to a fluid shell system. We find that this model exhibits a first-order phase transition, and the shape that minimizes the energy of the system scales as (micror3/kappa). . The second system studied is motivated by the dynamics of globular proteins. These proteins may undergoes conformational changes with large displacements relative to their size. Transitions between conformational states are not possible if the dynamics are governed strictly by linear elasticity. We construct a model consisting of an predominantly elastic region near the energetic minimum of the system and a non-linear softening of the system at a critical displacement. We find that this simple model displays very rich dynamics include a sharp dynamical phase transition and driving-force-dependent symmetry breaking.

  3. Web API for biology with a workflow navigation system.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Yeondae; Shigemoto, Yasumasa; Kuwana, Yoshikazu; Sugawara, Hideaki

    2009-07-01

    DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) provides Web-based systems for biological analysis, called Web APIs for biology (WABI). So far, we have developed over 20 SOAP services and several workflows that consist of a series of method invocations. In this article, we present newly developed services of WABI, that is, REST-based Web services, additional workflows and a workflow navigation system. Each Web service and workflow can be used as a complete service or a building block for programmers to construct more complex information processing systems. The workflow navigation system aims to help non-programming biologists perform analysis tasks by providing next applicable services on Web browsers according to the output of a previously selected service. With this function, users can apply multiple services consecutively only by following links without any programming or manual copy-and-paste operations on Web browsers. The listed services are determined automatically by the system referring to the dictionaries of service categories, the input/output types of services and HTML tags. WABI and the workflow navigation system are freely accessible at http://www.xml.nig.ac.jp/index.html and http://cyclamen.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/, respectively.

  4. Indoor Air Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Health Modeling and Assessment System

    SciTech Connect

    Stenner, Robert D.; Hadley, Donald L.; Armstrong, Peter R.; Buck, John W.; Hoopes, Bonnie L.; Janus, Michael C.

    2001-03-01

    Indoor air quality effects on human health are of increasing concern to public health agencies and building owners. The prevention and treatment of 'sick building' syndrome and the spread of air-borne diseases in hospitals, for example, are well known priorities. However, increasing attention is being directed to the vulnerability of our public buildings/places, public security and national defense facilities to terrorist attack or the accidental release of air-borne biological pathogens, harmful chemicals, or radioactive contaminants. The Indoor Air Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Health Modeling and Assessment System (IA-NBC-HMAS) was developed to serve as a health impact analysis tool for use in addressing these concerns. The overall goal was to develop a user-friendly fully functional prototype Health Modeling and Assessment system, which will operate under the PNNL FRAMES system for ease of use and to maximize its integration with other modeling and assessment capabilities accessible within the FRAMES system (e.g., ambient air fate and transport models, water borne fate and transport models, Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic models, etc.). The prototype IA-NBC-HMAS is designed to serve as a functional Health Modeling and Assessment system that can be easily tailored to meet specific building analysis needs of a customer. The prototype system was developed and tested using an actual building (i.e., the Churchville Building located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground) and release scenario (i.e., the release and measurement of tracer materials within the building) to ensure realism and practicality in the design and development of the prototype system. A user-friendly "demo" accompanies this report to allow the reader the opportunity for a "hands on" review of the prototype system's capability.

  5. Application of hierarchical dissociated neural network in closed-loop hybrid system integrating biological and mechanical intelligence.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongcheng; Sun, Rong; Zhang, Bin; Wang, Yuechao; Li, Hongyi

    2015-01-01

    Neural networks are considered the origin of intelligence in organisms. In this paper, a new design of an intelligent system merging biological intelligence with artificial intelligence was created. It was based on a neural controller bidirectionally connected to an actual mobile robot to implement a novel vehicle. Two types of experimental preparations were utilized as the neural controller including 'random' and '4Q' (cultured neurons artificially divided into four interconnected parts) neural network. Compared to the random cultures, the '4Q' cultures presented absolutely different activities, and the robot controlled by the '4Q' network presented better capabilities in search tasks. Our results showed that neural cultures could be successfully employed to control an artificial agent; the robot performed better and better with the stimulus because of the short-term plasticity. A new framework is provided to investigate the bidirectional biological-artificial interface and develop new strategies for a future intelligent system using these simplified model systems.

  6. Concluding remarks of Autonomous Biological Systems (ABS) experiments.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Y; Kobayashi, K; Mizutani, H; Kawasaki, Y; Koike, J; Ijiri, K; Yamashita, M; Sugiura, K; Poynter, J; MacCallum, T; Anderson, G

    1998-12-01

    Team efforts for analysis on the Autonomous Biological Systems (ABS) space experiments are summarized here to conclude scientific findings, and to scope the extended studies in future. From the three experiments on Space Shuttle and Space Station Mir, a closed ecological system modeled by the ABS was verified to be capable of sustaining its members of animals and plants under space environment for a period of several months. The animals successfully completed their life cycle in space during the course of these experiments, this was the first time that the life cycle of higher organisms had been completed in space and ecological system. Importance of gravity for ecology was proven at the same time. Gravity is a dominant factor for ecology by formulating spatial patterns and distribution of members of ecological system. Under microgravity, the fate of ecological system was found highly sensitive against the variation of environmental factor, such as light illumination cycle.

  7. Wearable System for Acquisition and Monitoring of Biological Signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccinini, D. J.; Andino, N. B.; Ponce, S. D.; Roberti, MA; López, y. N.

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents a modular, wearable system for acquisition and wireless transmission of biological signals. Configurable slaves for different signals (such as ECG, EMG, inertial sensors, and temperature) based in the ADS1294 Medical Analog Front End are connected to a Master, based in the CC3200 microcontroller, both from Texas Instruments. The slaves are configurable according to the specific application, providing versatility to the wearable system. The battery consumption is reduced, through a couple of Li-ion batteries and the circuit has also a battery charger. A custom made box was designed and fabricated in a 3D printer, preserving the requirements of low cost, low weight and safety recommendations.

  8. Recent Applications of Kirkwood-Buff Theory to Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Veronica; Kang, Myungshim; Aburi, Mahalaxmi; Weerasinghe, Samantha; Smith, Paul E.

    2008-01-01

    The effect of cosolvents on biomolecular equilibria has traditionally been rationalized using simple binding models. More recently, a renewed interest in the use of Kirkwood-Buff (KB) theory to analyze solution mixtures has provided new information on the effects of osmolytes and denaturants and their interactions with biomolcules. Here we review the status of KB theory as applied to biological systems. In particular, the existing models of denaturation are analyzed in terms of KB theory, and the use of KB theory to interpret computer simulation data for these systems is discussed. PMID:18043873

  9. Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, Tyler; Rumel, John D.

    1987-01-01

    Design decisions to aid the development of future space-based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. Here the biochemical stoichiometry is developed for: (1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; (2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and (3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady-state system with wheat as the sole food source.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Evolving a lingua franca and associated software infrastructure for computational systems biology: the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) project.

    PubMed

    Hucka, M; Finney, A; Bornstein, B J; Keating, S M; Shapiro, B E; Matthews, J; Kovitz, B L; Schilstra, M J; Funahashi, A; Doyle, J C; Kitano, H

    2004-06-01

    Biologists are increasingly recognising that computational modelling is crucial for making sense of the vast quantities of complex experimental data that are now being collected. The systems biology field needs agreed-upon information standards if models are to be shared, evaluated and developed cooperatively. Over the last four years, our team has been developing the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) in collaboration with an international community of modellers and software developers. SBML has become a de facto standard format for representing formal, quantitative and qualitative models at the level of biochemical reactions and regulatory networks. In this article, we summarise the current and upcoming versions of SBML and our efforts at developing software infrastructure for supporting and broadening its use. We also provide a brief overview of the many SBML-compatible software tools available today.

  13. Enabling Systems Biology: A Scientific Problem-Solving Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Singhal, Mudita; Stephan, Eric G.; Klicker, Kyle R.; Trease, Lynn L.; Chin, George; Gracio, Deborah K.; Payne, Deborah A.

    2004-06-06

    Biologists today are striving to solve multidisciplinary, complex systems biology questions. To successfully address these questions, software tools must be created to allow scientists to capture data and information, to share this information, and to analyze the data as elements of a complete system. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) we are creating the Computational Cell Environment (CCE), a biology-centered collaborative problem-solving environment (PSE) with the goal of providing data retrieval, management, and analysis through all aspects of biological study including sequencing, gene/protein expression, networks, and communities. A horizontal prototype called BioPSE, demonstrates this vision. Our initial work is centered on developing the Distributed Data Management and Analysis subsystem which is an innovative scientific user environment as well as a specific tool for retrieving data from multiple heterogonous data stores; providing storage facilities that support pedigree tracking and data and information analysis under a common user interface. With time, many such individual subsystems will be developed and integrated to fulfill the CCE vision.

  14. Scaling Reversible Adhesion in Synthetic and Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartlett, Michael; Irschick, Duncan; Crosby, Alfred

    2013-03-01

    High capacity, easy release polymer adhesives, as demonstrated by a gecko's toe, present unique opportunities for synthetic design. However, without a framework that connects biological and synthetic adhesives from basic nanoscopic features to macroscopic systems, synthetic mimics have failed to perform favorably at large length scales. Starting from an energy balance, we develop a scaling approach to understand unstable interfacial fracture over multiple length scales. The simple theory reveals that reversibly adhesive polymers do not rely upon fibrillar features but require contradicting attributes: maximum compliance normal to the substrate and minimum compliance in the loading direction. We use this counterintuitive criterion to create reversible, easy release adhesives at macroscopic sizes (100 cm2) with unprecedented force capacities on the order of 3000 N. Importantly, we achieve this without fibrillar features, supporting our predictions and emphasizing the importance of subsurface anatomy in biological adhesive systems. Our theory describes adhesive force capacity as a function of material properties and geometry and is supported by over 1000 experiments, spanning both synthetic and biological adhesives, with agreement over 14 orders of magnitude in adhesive force.

  15. Holarchical Systems and Emotional Holons : Biologically-Inspired System Designs for Control of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ippolito, Corey; Plice, Laura; Pisanich, Greg

    2003-01-01

    The BEES (Bio-inspired Engineering for Exploration Systems) for Mars project at NASA Ames Research Center has the goal of developing bio-inspired flight control strategies to enable aerial explorers for Mars scientific investigations. This paper presents a summary of our ongoing research into biologically inspired system designs for control of unmanned autonomous aerial vehicle communities for Mars exploration. First, we present cooperative design considerations for robotic explorers based on the holarchical nature of biological systems and communities. Second, an outline of an architecture for cognitive decision making and control of individual robotic explorers is presented, modeled after the emotional nervous system of cognitive biological systems. Keywords: Holarchy, Biologically Inspired, Emotional UAV Flight Control

  16. Mutation Rules and the Evolution of Sparseness and Modularity in Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Friedlander, Tamar; Mayo, Avraham E.; Tlusty, Tsvi; Alon, Uri

    2013-01-01

    Biological systems exhibit two structural features on many levels of organization: sparseness, in which only a small fraction of possible interactions between components actually occur; and modularity – the near decomposability of the system into modules with distinct functionality. Recent work suggests that modularity can evolve in a variety of circumstances, including goals that vary in time such that they share the same subgoals (modularly varying goals), or when connections are costly. Here, we studied the origin of modularity and sparseness focusing on the nature of the mutation process, rather than on connection cost or variations in the goal. We use simulations of evolution with different mutation rules. We found that commonly used sum-rule mutations, in which interactions are mutated by adding random numbers, do not lead to modularity or sparseness except for in special situations. In contrast, product-rule mutations in which interactions are mutated by multiplying by random numbers – a better model for the effects of biological mutations – led to sparseness naturally. When the goals of evolution are modular, in the sense that specific groups of inputs affect specific groups of outputs, product-rule mutations also lead to modular structure; sum-rule mutations do not. Product-rule mutations generate sparseness and modularity because they tend to reduce interactions, and to keep small interaction terms small. PMID:23936433

  17. Artificial cells: building bioinspired systems using small-scale biology.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Ruder, Warren C; LeDuc, Philip R

    2008-01-01

    Artificial cells have generated much interest since the concept was introduced by Aleksandr Oparin in the 1920s, and they have had an impact on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in various areas, including potential therapeutic applications. Here, we discuss the development of small-scale, bio-inspired artificial cell components that recreate the function of key cellular and physiological systems. We describe artificial cells, selected current applications and how small-scale biology could be used to provide what might be a next-generation approach in this area. We believe that this type of work is in its infancy and that exploiting small-scale biological inspiration in the field of artificial cells has great potential for successes in the future.

  18. Intranasal delivery of biologics to the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Lochhead, Jeffrey J; Thorne, Robert G

    2012-05-15

    Treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases is very difficult due to the blood-brain barrier's (BBB) ability to severely restrict entry of all but small, non-polar compounds. Intranasal administration is a non-invasive method of drug delivery which may bypass the BBB to allow therapeutic substances direct access to the CNS. Intranasal delivery of large molecular weight biologics such as proteins, gene vectors, and stem cells is a potentially useful strategy to treat a variety of diseases/disorders of the CNS including stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and psychiatric disorders. Here we give an overview of relevant nasal anatomy and physiology and discuss the pathways and mechanisms likely involved in drug transport from the nasal epithelium to the CNS. Finally we review both pre-clinical and clinical studies involving intranasal delivery of biologics to the CNS.

  19. Computational intelligence approaches for pattern discovery in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Fogel, Gary B

    2008-07-01

    Biology, chemistry and medicine are faced by tremendous challenges caused by an overwhelming amount of data and the need for rapid interpretation. Computational intelligence (CI) approaches such as artificial neural networks, fuzzy systems and evolutionary computation are being used with increasing frequency to contend with this problem, in light of noise, non-linearity and temporal dynamics in the data. Such methods can be used to develop robust models of processes either on their own or in combination with standard statistical approaches. This is especially true for database mining, where modeling is a key component of scientific understanding. This review provides an introduction to current CI methods, their application to biological problems, and concludes with a commentary about the anticipated impact of these approaches in bioinformatics.

  20. ``Recycling'' Geophysics: Monitoring and Isotopic Analysis of Engineered Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doherty, R.; Singh, K. P.; Ogle, N.; Ntarlagiannis, D.

    2010-12-01

    The emerging sub discipline of biogeophysics has provoked debate on the mechanisms of microbial processes that may contribute to geophysical signatures. At field scales geophysical signatures are often non unique due to the many parameters (physical, chemical, and biological) that are involved. It may be easier to apply geophysical techniques such as electrodic potential (EP), self potential (SP) and induced polarization (IP) to engineered biological systems where there is a degree of control over the design of the physical and chemical domain. Here we present results of a column experiment that was designed to anaerobically biodegrade dissolved organic matter in landfill leachate. The column utilises a recycled porous media (concrete) to help sequester organic carbon. Electrodic potential, self potential and induced polarisation are used in conjunction with chemical and isotopic techniques to monitor the effectiveness of this approach. Preliminary carbon and oxygen isotopic analysis on concrete from the column in contact with leachate show isotopic enrichment suggesting abiotic precipitation of carbonates.

  1. Process-based design of dynamical biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Tanevski, Jovan; Todorovski, Ljupčo; Džeroski, Sašo

    2016-01-01

    The computational design of dynamical systems is an important emerging task in synthetic biology. Given desired properties of the behaviour of a dynamical system, the task of design is to build an in-silico model of a system whose simulated be- haviour meets these properties. We introduce a new, process-based, design methodology for addressing this task. The new methodology combines a flexible process-based formalism for specifying the space of candidate designs with multi-objective optimization approaches for selecting the most appropriate among these candidates. We demonstrate that the methodology is general enough to both formulate and solve tasks of designing deterministic and stochastic systems, successfully reproducing plausible designs reported in previous studies and proposing new designs that meet the design criteria, but have not been previously considered. PMID:27686219

  2. Epigenomics and the concept of degeneracy in biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Paul H.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2014-01-01

    Researchers in the field of epigenomics are developing more nuanced understandings of biological complexity, and exploring the multiple pathways that lead to phenotypic expression. The concept of degeneracy—referring to the multiple pathways that a system recruits to achieve functional plasticity—is an important conceptual accompaniment to the growing body of knowledge in epigenomics. Distinct from degradation, redundancy and dilapidation; degeneracy refers to the plasticity of traits whose function overlaps in some environments, but diverges in others. While a redundant system is composed of repeated identical elements performing the same function, a degenerate system is composed of different elements performing similar or overlapping functions. Here, we describe the degenerate structure of gene regulatory systems from the basic genetic code to flexible epigenomic modifications, and discuss how these structural features have contributed to organism complexity, robustness, plasticity and evolvability. PMID:24335757

  3. Epigenomics and the concept of degeneracy in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Maleszka, Ryszard; Mason, Paul H; Barron, Andrew B

    2014-05-01

    Researchers in the field of epigenomics are developing more nuanced understandings of biological complexity, and exploring the multiple pathways that lead to phenotypic expression. The concept of degeneracy-referring to the multiple pathways that a system recruits to achieve functional plasticity-is an important conceptual accompaniment to the growing body of knowledge in epigenomics. Distinct from degradation, redundancy and dilapidation; degeneracy refers to the plasticity of traits whose function overlaps in some environments, but diverges in others. While a redundant system is composed of repeated identical elements performing the same function, a degenerate system is composed of different elements performing similar or overlapping functions. Here, we describe the degenerate structure of gene regulatory systems from the basic genetic code to flexible epigenomic modifications, and discuss how these structural features have contributed to organism complexity, robustness, plasticity and evolvability.

  4. Microbial diversity of biological filters in recirculating aquaculture systems.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Harold J; Mirzoyan, Natella; Saito, Keiko

    2010-06-01

    Development of environmentally sustainable farming of marine and freshwater species using recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs) requires a complete understanding of the biological component involved in wastewater treatment. This component integrates biofilters composed of microbial communities whose structure, dynamics, and activities are responsible for system success. Engineering highly efficient, environmentally sound, disease-free, and economically viable systems necessitates a thorough knowledge of microbial processes involved in all facets of RAS biofilters and has only recently been the focus of comprehensive studies. These studies have included the application of molecular tools to characterize community diversity and have identified key processes useful for improving system performance. In this paper we summarize the current understanding of the microbial diversity and physiology of RAS biofilters and discuss directions for future studies.

  5. Process-based design of dynamical biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanevski, Jovan; Todorovski, Ljupčo; Džeroski, Sašo

    2016-09-01

    The computational design of dynamical systems is an important emerging task in synthetic biology. Given desired properties of the behaviour of a dynamical system, the task of design is to build an in-silico model of a system whose simulated be- haviour meets these properties. We introduce a new, process-based, design methodology for addressing this task. The new methodology combines a flexible process-based formalism for specifying the space of candidate designs with multi-objective optimization approaches for selecting the most appropriate among these candidates. We demonstrate that the methodology is general enough to both formulate and solve tasks of designing deterministic and stochastic systems, successfully reproducing plausible designs reported in previous studies and proposing new designs that meet the design criteria, but have not been previously considered.

  6. Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, Tyler; Rummel, John D.

    1987-01-01

    Design decisions to aid the development of future space based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. The biochemistry stoichiometry was developed for: (1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; (2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and (3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady state system with wheat as the sole food source. The large scale dynamics of a materially closed (BLSS) computer model is described in a companion paper. An extension of this methodology can explore multifood systems and more complex biochemical dynamics while maintaining whole system closure as a focus.

  7. A methodology to annotate systems biology markup language models with the synthetic biology open language.

    PubMed

    Roehner, Nicholas; Myers, Chris J

    2014-02-21

    Recently, we have begun to witness the potential of synthetic biology, noted here in the form of bacteria and yeast that have been genetically engineered to produce biofuels, manufacture drug precursors, and even invade tumor cells. The success of these projects, however, has often failed in translation and application to new projects, a problem exacerbated by a lack of engineering standards that combine descriptions of the structure and function of DNA. To address this need, this paper describes a methodology to connect the systems biology markup language (SBML) to the synthetic biology open language (SBOL), existing standards that describe biochemical models and DNA components, respectively. Our methodology involves first annotating SBML model elements such as species and reactions with SBOL DNA components. A graph is then constructed from the model, with vertices corresponding to elements within the model and edges corresponding to the cause-and-effect relationships between these elements. Lastly, the graph is traversed to assemble the annotating DNA components into a composite DNA component, which is used to annotate the model itself and can be referenced by other composite models and DNA components. In this way, our methodology can be used to build up a hierarchical library of models annotated with DNA components. Such a library is a useful input to any future genetic technology mapping algorithm that would automate the process of composing DNA components to satisfy a behavioral specification. Our methodology for SBML-to-SBOL annotation is implemented in the latest version of our genetic design automation (GDA) software tool, iBioSim.

  8. Systems biology of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway.

    PubMed

    Jegga, Anil G; Schneider, Lonnie; Ouyang, Xiaosen; Zhang, Jianhua

    2011-05-01

    The mechanisms of the control and activity of the autophagy-lysosomal protein degradation machinery are emerging as an important theme for neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. However, the underlying regulatory and functional networks of known genes controlling autophagy and lysosomal function and their role in disease are relatively unexplored. We performed a systems biology-based integrative computational analysis to study the interactions between molecular components and to develop models for regulation and function of genes involved in autophagy and lysosomal function. Specifically, we analyzed transcriptional and microRNA-based post-transcriptional regulation of these genes and performed functional enrichment analyses to understand their involvement in nervous system-related diseases and phenotypes. Transcriptional regulatory network analysis showed that binding sites for transcription factors, SREBP1, USF, AP-1 and NFE2, are common among autophagy and lysosomal genes. MicroRNA enrichment analysis revealed miR-130, 98, 124, 204 and 142 as the putative post-transcriptional regulators of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway genes. Pathway enrichment analyses revealed that the mTOR and insulin signaling pathways are important in the regulation of genes involved in autophagy. In addition, we found that glycosaminoglycan and glycosphingolipid pathways also make a major contribution to lysosomal gene regulation. The analysis confirmed the known contribution of the autophagy-lysosomal genes to Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases and also revealed potential involvement in tuberous sclerosis, neuronal ceroidlipofuscinoses, sepsis and lung, liver and prostatic neoplasms. To further probe the impact of autophagy-lysosomal gene deficits on neurologically-linked phenotypes, we also mined the mouse knockout phenotype data for the autophagylysosomal genes and found them to be highly predictive of nervous system dysfunction. Overall this study demonstrates the utility of systems

  9. Computational Systems Biology in Cancer: Modeling Methods and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Materi, Wayne; Wishart, David S.

    2007-01-01

    In recent years it has become clear that carcinogenesis is a complex process, both at the molecular and cellular levels. Understanding the origins, growth and spread of cancer, therefore requires an integrated or system-wide approach. Computational systems biology is an emerging sub-discipline in systems biology that utilizes the wealth of data from genomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies to build computer simulations of intra and intercellular processes. Several useful descriptive and predictive models of the origin, growth and spread of cancers have been developed in an effort to better understand the disease and potential therapeutic approaches. In this review we describe and assess the practical and theoretical underpinnings of commonly-used modeling approaches, including ordinary and partial differential equations, petri nets, cellular automata, agent based models and hybrid systems. A number of computer-based formalisms have been implemented to improve the accessibility of the various approaches to researchers whose primary interest lies outside of model development. We discuss several of these and describe how they have led to novel insights into tumor genesis, growth, apoptosis, vascularization and therapy. PMID:19936081

  10. The emerging genomics and systems biology research lead to systems genomics studies.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mary Qu; Yoshigoe, Kenji; Yang, William; Tong, Weida; Qin, Xiang; Dunker, A; Chen, Zhongxue; Arbania, Hamid R; Liu, Jun S; Niemierko, Andrzej; Yang, Jack Y

    2014-01-01

    Synergistically integrating multi-layer genomic data at systems level not only can lead to deeper insights into the molecular mechanisms related to disease initiation and progression, but also can guide pathway-based biomarker and drug target identification. With the advent of high-throughput next-generation sequencing technologies, sequencing both DNA and RNA has generated multi-layer genomic data that can provide DNA polymorphism, non-coding RNA, messenger RNA, gene expression, isoform and alternative splicing information. Systems biology on the other hand studies complex biological systems, particularly systematic study of complex molecular interactions within specific cells or organisms. Genomics and molecular systems biology can be merged into the study of genomic profiles and implicated biological functions at cellular or organism level. The prospectively emerging field can be referred to as systems genomics or genomic systems biology. The Mid-South Bioinformatics Centre (MBC) and Joint Bioinformatics Ph.D. Program of University of Arkansas at Little Rock and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are particularly interested in promoting education and research advancement in this prospectively emerging field. Based on past investigations and research outcomes, MBC is further utilizing differential gene and isoform/exon expression from RNA-seq and co-regulation from the ChiP-seq specific for different phenotypes in combination with protein-protein interactions, and protein-DNA interactions to construct high-level gene networks for an integrative genome-phoneme investigation at systems biology level.

  11. Disciplinary baptisms: a comparison of the naming stories of genetics, molecular biology, genomics, and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Powell, Alexander; O'Malley, Maureen A; Müller-Wille, Staffan; Calvert, Jane; Dupré, John

    2007-01-01

    Understanding how scientific activities use naming stories to achieve disciplinary status is important not only for insight into the past, but for evaluating current claims that new disciplines are emerging. In order to gain a historical understanding of how new disciplines develop in relation to these baptismal narratives, we compare two recently formed disciplines, systems biology and genomics, with two earlier related life sciences, genetics and molecular biology. These four disciplines span the twentieth century, a period in which the processes of disciplinary demarcation fundamentally changed from those characteristic of the nineteenth century. We outline how the establishment of each discipline relies upon an interplay of factors that include paradigmatic achievements, technological innovation, and social formations. Our focus, however, is the baptism stories that give the new discipline a founding narrative and articulate core problems, general approaches and constitutive methods. The highly plastic process of achieving disciplinary identity is further marked by the openness of disciplinary definition, tension between technological possibilities and the ways in which scientific issues are conceived and approached, synthesis of reductive and integrative strategies, and complex social interactions. The importance--albeit highly variable--of naming stories in these four cases indicates the scope for future studies that focus on failed disciplines or competing names. Further attention to disciplinary histories could, we suggest, give us richer insight into scientific development.

  12. Systems Biology and P4 Medicine: Past, Present, and Future

    PubMed Central

    Hood, Leroy

    2013-01-01

    Studying complex biological systems in a holistic rather than a “one gene or one protein” at a time approach requires the concerted effort of scientists from a wide variety of disciplines. The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) has seamlessly integrated these disparate fields to create a cross-disciplinary platform and culture in which “biology drives technology drives computation.” To achieve this platform/culture, it has been necessary for cross-disciplinary ISB scientists to learn one another’s languages and work together effectively in teams. The focus of this “systems” approach on disease has led to a discipline denoted systems medicine. The advent of technological breakthroughs in the fields of genomics, proteomics, and, indeed, the other “omics” is catalyzing striking advances in systems medicine that have and are transforming diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Systems medicine has united genomics and genetics through family genomics to more readily identify disease genes. It has made blood a window into health and disease. It is leading to the stratification of diseases (division into discrete subtypes) for proper impedance match against drugs and the stratification of patients into subgroups that respond to environmental challenges in a similar manner (e.g. response to drugs, response to toxins, etc.). The convergence of patient-activated social networks, big data and their analytics, and systems medicine has led to a P4 medicine that is predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory. Medicine will focus on each individual. It will become proactive in nature. It will increasingly focus on wellness rather than disease. For example, in 10 years each patient will be surrounded by a virtual cloud of billions of data points, and we will have the tools to reduce this enormous data dimensionality into simple hypotheses about how to optimize wellness and avoid disease for each individual. P4 medicine will be able to detect and treat

  13. Cellular respiration: replicating in vivo systems biology for in ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This editorial develops a philosophy for expanding the scope of Journal of Breath Research (JBR) into the realm of cellular level study, and links certain topics back to more traditional systemic research for understanding human health based on exhaled breath constituents. The express purpose is to provide a publication outlet for novel breath related research that includes in vitro studies, especially those that explore the biological origin and expression of compounds that may ultimately influence the constituents of exhaled breath. The new topics include all manner of methods and instrumentations for making in vivo and in vitro measurements, the use of different biological media (blood, urine saliva, swabs) including human and microbial cell-lines, in vitro kinetic studies of metabolism, and advances in ex vivo methods for maintaining metabolic competency and viability of biological samples. Traditionally, JBR has published articles on human breath analysis for diagnosing disease, tracking health state, assessing the dose and effect of exogenous chemicals, and contributions of malodorous compounds from the oral/nasal cavity. These have also included research describing novel sampling and analytical technologies, most notably those implementing mass spectrometry, chemical sensors and optical measurement instrumentation (Amann and Smith 2013). The journal’s original scope has also embraced animal models as surrogates for human sampling, new mathematical and

  14. Analytical approaches to metabolomics and applications to systems biology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jeffrey H; Byun, Jaeman; Pennathur, Subramaniam

    2010-09-01

    Phenotypic expression of renal diseases encompasses a complex interaction between genetic, environmental, and local tissue factors. The level of complexity requires integrated understanding of perturbations in the network of genes, proteins, and metabolites. Metabolomics attempts to systematically identify and quantitate metabolites from biological samples. The small molecules represent the end result of complexity of biological processes in a given cell, tissue, or organ, and thus form attractive candidates to understand disease phenotypes. Metabolites represent a diverse group of low-molecular-weight structures including lipids, amino acids, peptides, nucleic acids, and organic acids, which makes comprehensive analysis a difficult analytical challenge. The recent rapid development of a variety of analytical platforms based on mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance have enabled separation, characterization, detection, and quantification of such chemically diverse structures. Continued development of bioinformatics and analytical strategies will accelerate widespread use and integration of metabolomics into systems biology. Here, we will discuss analytical and bioinformatic techniques and highlight recent studies that use metabolomics in understanding pathophysiology of disease processes.

  15. Multimode lasers as analogs of complex biological systems (a survey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danilov, O. B.; Rosanov, N. N.; Solov'ev, N. A.; Soms, L. N.

    2016-04-01

    Simulating the activity of complex biological systems, in particular, the human brain, is a topical problem the solution of which is necessary both for understanding their functioning and for developing new classes of computational system based on operating principles of the brain. Some features and analogies that can be found in the operation of laser systems and brain and used for developing new generation computational systems are discussed. The appropriateness of such analogies is justified by the fact that both laser systems and the brain are open (interacting with the environment) dissipative spatially distributed nonlinear systems. Therefore, laser optical systems and, in particular, systems with dissipative optical solitons offer an opportunity to experimentally and theoretically model some important cognitive brain functions. One of particularities of the brain operation is the ability to manipulate images. Proceeding from this, in this work, problems related to generation and amplification with laser of spatial structures (images), as well as to amplification of signals coming to it from outside are discussed.

  16. Novel metaheuristic for parameter estimation in nonlinear dynamic biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Fernandez, Maria; Egea, Jose A; Banga, Julio R

    2006-01-01

    Background We consider the problem of parameter estimation (model calibration) in nonlinear dynamic models of biological systems. Due to the frequent ill-conditioning and multi-modality of many of these problems, traditional local methods usually fail (unless initialized with very good guesses of the parameter vector). In order to surmount these difficulties, global optimization (GO) methods have been suggested as robust alternatives. Currently, deterministic GO methods can not solve problems of realistic size within this class in reasonable computation times. In contrast, certain types of stochastic GO methods have shown promising results, although the computational cost remains large. Rodriguez-Fernandez and coworkers have presented hybrid stochastic-deterministic GO methods which could reduce computation time by one order of magnitude while guaranteeing robustness. Our goal here was to further reduce the computational effort without loosing robustness. Results We have developed a new procedure based on the scatter search methodology for nonlinear optimization of dynamic models of arbitrary (or even unknown) structure (i.e. black-box models). In this contribution, we describe and apply this novel metaheuristic, inspired by recent developments in the field of operations research, to a set of complex identification problems and we make a critical comparison with respect to the previous (above mentioned) successful methods. Conclusion Robust and efficient methods for parameter estimation are of key importance in systems biology and related areas. The new metaheuristic presented in this paper aims to ensure the proper solution of these problems by adopting a global optimization approach, while keeping the computational effort under reasonable values. This new metaheuristic was applied to a set of three challenging parameter estimation problems of nonlinear dynamic biological systems, outperforming very significantly all the methods previously used for these benchmark

  17. Listeriomics: an Interactive Web Platform for Systems Biology of Listeria.

    PubMed

    Bécavin, Christophe; Koutero, Mikael; Tchitchek, Nicolas; Cerutti, Franck; Lechat, Pierre; Maillet, Nicolas; Hoede, Claire; Chiapello, Hélène; Gaspin, Christine; Cossart, Pascale

    2017-01-01

    As for many model organisms, the amount of Listeria omics data produced has recently increased exponentially. There are now >80 published complete Listeria genomes, around 350 different transcriptomic data sets, and 25 proteomic data sets available. The analysis of these data sets through a systems biology approach and the generation of tools for biologists to browse these various data are a challenge for bioinformaticians. We have developed a web-based platform, named Listeriomics, that integrates different tools for omics data analyses, i.e., (i) an interactive genome viewer to display gene expression arrays, tiling arrays, and sequencing data sets along with proteomics and genomics data sets; (ii) an expression and protein atlas that connects every gene, small RNA, antisense RNA, or protein with the most relevant omics data; (iii) a specific tool for exploring protein conservation through the Listeria phylogenomic tree; and (iv) a coexpression network tool for the discovery of potential new regulations. Our platform integrates all the complete Listeria species genomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes published to date. This website allows navigation among all these data sets with enriched metadata in a user-friendly format and can be used as a central database for systems biology analysis. IMPORTANCE In the last decades, Listeria has become a key model organism for the study of host-pathogen interactions, noncoding RNA regulation, and bacterial adaptation to stress. To study these mechanisms, several genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics data sets have been produced. We have developed Listeriomics, an interactive web platform to browse and correlate these heterogeneous sources of information. Our website will allow listeriologists and microbiologists to decipher key regulation mechanism by using a systems biology approach.

  18. Listeriomics: an Interactive Web Platform for Systems Biology of Listeria

    PubMed Central

    Koutero, Mikael; Tchitchek, Nicolas; Cerutti, Franck; Lechat, Pierre; Maillet, Nicolas; Hoede, Claire; Chiapello, Hélène; Gaspin, Christine

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT As for many model organisms, the amount of Listeria omics data produced has recently increased exponentially. There are now >80 published complete Listeria genomes, around 350 different transcriptomic data sets, and 25 proteomic data sets available. The analysis of these data sets through a systems biology approach and the generation of tools for biologists to browse these various data are a challenge for bioinformaticians. We have developed a web-based platform, named Listeriomics, that integrates different tools for omics data analyses, i.e., (i) an interactive genome viewer to display gene expression arrays, tiling arrays, and sequencing data sets along with proteomics and genomics data sets; (ii) an expression and protein atlas that connects every gene, small RNA, antisense RNA, or protein with the most relevant omics data; (iii) a specific tool for exploring protein conservation through the Listeria phylogenomic tree; and (iv) a coexpression network tool for the discovery of potential new regulations. Our platform integrates all the complete Listeria species genomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes published to date. This website allows navigation among all these data sets with enriched metadata in a user-friendly format and can be used as a central database for systems biology analysis. IMPORTANCE In the last decades, Listeria has become a key model organism for the study of host-pathogen interactions, noncoding RNA regulation, and bacterial adaptation to stress. To study these mechanisms, several genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics data sets have been produced. We have developed Listeriomics, an interactive web platform to browse and correlate these heterogeneous sources of information. Our website will allow listeriologists and microbiologists to decipher key regulation mechanism by using a systems biology approach. PMID:28317029

  19. New frontiers in myocardial protection: a systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Lotz, Christopher; Liem, David; Ping, Peipei

    2011-01-01

    Myocardial ischemic injury and cardioprotection are characterized by a cascade of molecular changes, which includes gene expression, protein expression, protein localization, interactions, and posttranslational modifications (PTMs). A systems biology approach allows the study of these genes and proteins on a large scale; the omics technologies have led to new discoveries that further enhance our understanding of these molecular events. The complexity of the prosurvival signaling networks in cardiac cells is increasingly recognized; they afford beneficial effects on the integrity and functionality of a common effector, the mitochondrion. Mitochondrial proteome undergoes dynamic modifications in the course of ischemic injury; depending on the degree of injury, a variety of functional clusters are being affected including the changes in their protein properties (eg, PTMs), which consequently impact their function. The mitochondrial proteome appears to have inherent molecular machinery that initiates a versatile prosurvival mode, resisting environmental challenges. The molecular features in these mitochondrial pathways enabling adaptations involve distinct phosphorylation sites, S-nitrosylation cysteine residues, and other important amino acid domains subjected to PTMs. They become critical players in the determination of cell death and survival. Cardioprotective protein kinases, such as protein kinase C∈, can activate these PTMs, and provide a unique therapeutic platform for the use of small peptide regulators. Combining genomics and metabolomics discovery with that of proteomics information allows biological insights into cardioprotection at an integrated systems level. The current review discusses the systems biology concepts of myocardial ischemic injury and cardioprotection, as well as outlines the interrelationships of proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics in the quest to comprehend the prosurvival cell-signaling networks.

  20. Systems biology in 3D space--enter the morphome.

    PubMed

    Lucocq, John M; Mayhew, Terry M; Schwab, Yannick; Steyer, Anna M; Hacker, Christian

    2015-02-01

    Systems-based understanding of living organisms depends on acquiring huge datasets from arrays of genes, transcripts, proteins, and lipids. These data, referred to as 'omes', are assembled using 'omics' methodologies. Currently a comprehensive, quantitative view of cellular and organellar systems in 3D space at nanoscale/molecular resolution is missing. We introduce here the term 'morphome' for the distribution of living matter within a 3D biological system, and 'morphomics' for methods of collecting 3D data systematically and quantitatively. A sampling-based approach termed stereology currently provides rapid, precise, and minimally biased morphomics. We propose that stereology solves the 'big data' problem posed by emerging wide-scale electron microscopy (EM) and can establish quantitative links between the newer nanoimaging platforms such as electron tomography, cryo-EM, and correlative microscopy.

  1. A large-scale cryoelectronic system for biological sample banking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirley, Stephen G.; Durst, Christopher H. P.; Fuchs, Christian C.; Zimmermann, Heiko; Ihmig, Frank R.

    2009-11-01

    We describe a polymorphic electronic infrastructure for managing biological samples stored over liquid nitrogen. As part of this system we have developed new cryocontainers and carrier plates attached to Flash memory chips to have a redundant and portable set of data at each sample. Our experimental investigations show that basic Flash operation and endurance is adequate for the application down to liquid nitrogen temperatures. This identification technology can provide the best sample identification, documentation and tracking that brings added value to each sample. The first application of the system is in a worldwide collaborative research towards the production of an AIDS vaccine. The functionality and versatility of the system can lead to an essential optimization of sample and data exchange for global clinical studies.

  2. Systems biology driven software design for the research enterprise

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, John; Cavnor, Christopher; Killcoyne, Sarah; Shmulevich, Ilya

    2008-01-01

    Background In systems biology, and many other areas of research, there is a need for the interoperability of tools and data sources that were not originally designed to be integrated. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of systems biology, and its association with high throughput experimental platforms, there is an additional need to continually integrate new technologies. As scientists work in isolated groups, integration with other groups is rarely a consideration when building the required software tools. Results We illustrate an approach, through the discussion of a purpose built software architecture, which allows disparate groups to reuse tools and access data sources in a common manner. The architecture allows for: the rapid development of distributed applications; interoperability, so it can be used by a wide variety of developers and computational biologists; development using standard tools, so that it is easy to maintain and does not require a large development effort; extensibility, so that new technologies and data types can be incorporated; and non intrusive development, insofar as researchers need not to adhere to a pre-existing object model. Conclusion By using a relatively simple integration strategy, based upon a common identity system and dynamically discovered interoperable services, a light-weight software architecture can become the focal point through which scientists can both get access to and analyse the plethora of experimentally derived data. PMID:18578887

  3. Interactive threats of nanoparticles to the biological system.

    PubMed

    Roy, Ruchi; Kumar, Sandeep; Tripathi, Anurag; Das, Mukul; Dwivedi, Premendra D

    2014-01-01

    The use of nanoscale materials is growing exponentially, but concerns rise about the human hazards cannot be ignored. Nanotechnology has penetrated deep into our lives in diversified areas as engineering, information technology and diagnostics. Nonetheless owing to their peculiar properties these new materials also present new health risks upon interacting with biological systems. This is a typical case of technology preceding toxicity and therefore, various toxicological aspects for an array of nanomaterials are just beginning to be assessed. Several deleterious effects are being noticed, particularly in vitro situations as well as in mammalian system. Nanoparticles toxicity is compellingly related to oxidative stress, alteration of calcium homeostasis, gene expression, pro-inflammatory responses and cellular signalling events. It is therefore critical to understand the nature and origin of the toxicity imposed by nanomaterials. Keeping all these points in mind, the present review provides updated information on the various aspects such as sources of production, effect of different physical properties, interaction with biological system and mechanisms of engineered nanoparticles induced toxicities.

  4. Systems Biology: New Approaches to Old Environmental Health Problems

    PubMed Central

    Toscano, William A.; Oehlke, Kristen P.

    2005-01-01

    The environment plays a pivotal role as a human health determinant and presence of hazardous pollutants in the environment is often implicated in human disease. That pollutants cause human diseases however is often controversial because data connecting exposure to environmental hazards and human diseases are not well defined, except for some cancers and syndromes such as asthma. Understanding the complex nature of human-environment interactions and the role they play in determining the state of human health is one of the more compelling problems in public health. We are becoming more aware that the reductionist approach promulgated by current methods has not, and will not yield answers to the broad questions of population health risk analysis. If substantive applications of environment-gene interactions are to be made, it is important to move to a systems level approach, to take advantage of epidemiology and molecular genomic advances. Systems biology is the integration of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics together with computer technology approaches to elucidate environmentally caused disease in humans. We discuss the applications of environmental systems biology as a route to solution of environmental health problems. PMID:16705795

  5. Swimming simply: Minimal models and stroke optimization for biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, Lisa; Guasto, Jeffrey S.; Stocker, Roman; Hosoi, A. E.

    2012-11-01

    In this talk, we examine how to represent the kinematics of swimming biological systems. We present a new method of extracting optimal curvature-space basis modes from high-speed video microscopy images of motile spermatozoa by tracking their flagellar kinematics. Using as few as two basis modes to characterize the swimmer's shape, we apply resistive force theory to build a model and predict the swimming speed and net translational and rotational displacement of a sperm cell over any given stroke. This low-order representation of motility yields a complete visualization of the system dynamics. The visualization tools provide refined initialization and intuition for global stroke optimization and improve motion planning by taking advantage of symmetries in the shape space to design a stroke that produces a desired net motion. Comparing the predicted optimal strokes to those observed experimentally enables us to rationalize biological motion by identifying possible optimization goals of the organism. This approach is applicable to a wide array of systems at both low and high Reynolds numbers. Battelle Memorial Institute and NSF.

  6. Casual Games and Casual Learning About Human Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, C. Aaron; Gean, Katherine; Christensen, Claire G.; Beheshti, Elham; Pernot, Bryn; Segovia, Gloria; Person, Halcyon; Beasley, Steven; Ward, Patricia

    2016-02-01

    Casual games are everywhere. People play them throughout life to pass the time, to engage in social interactions, and to learn. However, their simplicity and use in distraction-heavy environments can attenuate their potential for learning. This experimental study explored the effects playing an online, casual game has on awareness of human biological systems. Two hundred and forty-two children were given pretests at a Museum and posttests at home after playing either a treatment or control game. Also, 41 children were interviewed to explore deeper meanings behind the test results. Results show modest improvement in scientific attitudes, ability to identify human biological systems and in the children's ability to describe how those systems work together in real-world scenarios. Interviews reveal that children drew upon their prior school learning as they played the game. Also, on the surface they perceived the game as mainly entertainment but were easily able to discern learning outcomes when prompted. Implications for the design of casual games and how they can be used to enhance transfer of knowledge from the classroom to everyday life are discussed.

  7. A complex systems approach to computational molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lapedes, A. |

    1993-09-01

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

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans - A model system for space biology studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Thomas E.; Nelson, Gregory A.

    1991-01-01

    The utility of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in studies spanning aspects of development, aging, and radiobiology is reviewed. These topics are interrelated via cellular and DNA repair processes especially in the context of oxidative stress and free-radical metabolism. The relevance of these research topics to problems in space biology is discussed and properties of the space environment are outlined. Exposure to the space-flight environment can induce rapid changes in living systems that are similar to changes occurring during aging; manipulation of these environmental parameters may represent an experimental strategy for studies of development and senescence. The current and future opportunities for such space-flight experimentation are presented.

  9. From experimental systems to evolutionary biology: an impossible journey?

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2013-01-01

    The historical approach to the sciences has undergone a sea change during recent decades. Maybe the major contribution of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger to this movement was his demonstration of the importance of experimental systems, and of their transformations, in the development of the sciences. To describe these transformations, Hans-Jörg borrows metaphors from evolutionary biology. I want to argue that evolutionary biologists can find in these recent historical studies plenty of models and concepts to address unresolved issues in their discipline. At a time when transdisciplinarity is highly praised, it is useful to provide a precise description of the obstacles that have so far prevented this exchange.

  10. Analysis of water in Autonomous Biological Systems (ABS) samples.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Y; Kobayashi, K; Seki, K; Mizutani, H; Kawasaki, Y; Koike, J; Ijiri, K; Yamashita, M; Sugiura, K; Poynter, J; MacCallum, T; Anderson, G

    1998-12-01

    Several soluble components, peptidase and amino acids, and carbon isotopic ratio in the water retrieved from flight experiments of Autonomous Biological Systems (ABS) as well as ground control samples are analyzed to interpret the condition, dynamics, material balance of the ABS ecosystems. Organic carbons in flight samples were found to be more abundant compared with the control ones, which suggested the uniform ecosystems in low gravity might easily dissolve more soluble components. The Mir-1997 flight sample showed higher C/N ratio probably because of the dissolution of carbon-rich plant materials.

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans: a model system for space biology studies.

    PubMed

    Johnson, T E; Nelson, G A

    1991-01-01

    The utility of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in studies spanning aspects of development, aging, and radiobiology is reviewed. These topics are interrelated via cellular and DNA repair processes especially in the context of oxidative stress and free-radical metabolism. The relevance of these research topics to problems in space biology is discussed and properties of the space environment are outlined. Exposure to the space-flight environment can induce rapid changes in living systems that are similar to changes occurring during aging; manipulation of these environmental parameters may represent an experimental strategy for studies of development and senscence. The current and future opportunities for such space-flight experimentation are presented.

  12. Iterated Function System and Multifractal Analysis of Biological Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zu-Guo; Anh, Vo; Lau, Ka-Sing

    The fractal method has been successfully used to study many problems in physics, mathematics, engineering, finance, even in biology till now. In the past decade or so there has been a ground swell of interest in unravelling the mysteries of DNA. How to get more bioinformations from these DNA sequences is a challenging problem. The problem of classification and evolution relationship of organisms are the central problems in bioinformatics. And it is also very hard to predict the secondary and space structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence. In this paper, some recent results related these problems obtained through multifractal analysis and iterated function system (IFS) model are introduced.

  13. Rigid Biological Systems as Models for Synthetic Composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, George

    2005-11-01

    Advances that have been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying the mechanical behavior of a number of biological materials (namely mollusk shells and sponge spicules) are discussed here. Attempts at biomimicry of the structure of a nacreous layer of a mollusk shell have shown reasonable success. However, they have revealed additional issues that must be addressed if new synthetic composite materials that are based on natural systems are to be constructed. Some of the important advantages and limitations of copying from nature are also described here.

  14. Computational Neuroscience: Modeling the Systems Biology of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kotaleski, Jeanette Hellgren; Blackwell, Kim T.

    2016-01-01

    Preface Synaptic plasticity is a mechanism proposed to underlie learning and memory. The complexity of the interactions between ion channels, enzymes, and genes involved in synaptic plasticity impedes a deep understanding of this phenomenon. Computer modeling is an approach to investigate the information processing that is performed by signaling pathways underlying synaptic plasticity. In the past few years, new software developments that blend computational neuroscience techniques with systems biology techniques have allowed large-scale, quantitative modeling of synaptic plasticity in neurons. We highlight significant advancements produced by these modeling efforts and introduce promising approaches that utilize advancements in live cell imaging. PMID:20300102

  15. Engineering the Feedback Dynamics of in vitro Synthetic Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Joshua D.

    Building a biochemical system from scratch that rivals a living cell in ability to robustly perform many complex tasks in response to environmental signals is beyond the state-of-the- art. However, feedback is clearly a principle widely employed by cells---as it is by engineers---to enable robust dynamical behaviors, although a limited system-level understanding of feedback regulation and dynamical behavior in biochemical contexts hampers our ability to engineer such systems. Studying simple feedback systems in a rich, yet fully synthetic, biochemical context---like that provided by DNA nanotechnology---may therefore lead to a new state-of-the-art for synthetic biological systems. This thesis, in keeping with this philosophy, describes basic efforts in engineering bio- chemical feedback control systems in the form of simple, in vitro, nucleic-acid-based devices. I describe two such devices, which provide basic test-beds for engineering feedback dynamics in vitro. The first device is a DNA nanomotor, previously described in the literature, that is built from and operated by nucleic acid components, and that I modify by the introduction of a protein enzyme to improve the performance of the device in experimental tests. The second device I design and build from nucleic acid components and two protein enzymes to regulate the free quantity of an RNA molecule, which in turn can be used to dynamically drive the operation of other nucleic-acid-based systems---such as the first device---in a robust manner.

  16. MicroRNA-regulated networks: the perfect storm for classical molecular biology, the ideal scenario for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Vera, Julio; Lai, Xin; Schmitz, Ulf; Wolkenhauer, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in many regulatory pathways some of which are complex networks enriched in regulatory motifs like positive or negative feedback loops or coherent and incoherent feedforward loops. Their complexity makes the understanding of their regulation difficult and the interpretation of experimental data cumbersome. In this book chapter we claim that systems biology is the appropriate approach to investigate the regulation of these miRNA-regulated networks. Systems biology is an interdisciplinary approach by which biomedical questions on biochemical networks are addressed by integrating experiments with mathematical modelling and simulation. We here introduce the foundations of the systems biology approach, the basic theoretical and computational tools used to perform model-based analyses of miRNA-regulated networks and review the scientific literature in systems biology of miRNA regulation, with a focus on cancer.

  17. pH control in biological systems using calcium carbonate.

    PubMed

    Salek, S S; van Turnhout, A G; Kleerebezem, R; van Loosdrecht, M C M

    2015-05-01

    Due to its abundance, calcium carbonate (CaCO3) has high potentials as a source of alkalinity for biotechnological applications. The application of CaCO3 in biological systems as neutralizing agent is, however, limited due to potential difficulties in controlling the pH. The objective of the present study was to determine the dominant processes that control the pH in an acid-forming microbial process in the presence of CaCO3. To achieve that, a mathematical model was made with a minimum set of kinetically controlled and equilibrium reactions that was able to reproduce the experimental data of a batch fermentation experiment using finely powdered CaCO3. In the model, thermodynamic equilibrium was assumed for all speciation, complexation and precipitation reactions whereas, rate limited reactions were included for the biological fatty acid production, the mass transfer of CO2 from the liquid phase to the gas phase and the convective transport of CO2 out of the gas phase. The estimated pH-pattern strongly resembled the measured pH, suggesting that the chosen set of kinetically controlled and equilibrium reactions were establishing the experimental pH. A detailed analysis of the reaction system with the aid of the model revealed that the pH establishment was most sensitive to four factors: the mass transfer rate of CO2 to the gas phase, the biological acid production rate, the partial pressure of CO2 and the Ca(+2) concentration in the solution. Individual influences of these factors on the pH were investigated by extrapolating the model to a continuously stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) case. This case study indicates how the pH of a commonly used continuous biotechnological process could be manipulated and adjusted by altering these four factors. Achieving a better insight of the processes controlling the pH of a biological system using CaCO3 as its neutralizing agent can result in broader applications of CaCO3 in biotechnological industries.

  18. Meat science: From proteomics to integrated omics towards system biology.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Angelo; Zolla, Lello

    2013-01-14

    Since the main ultimate goal of farm animal raising is the production of proteins for human consumption, research tools to investigate proteins play a major role in farm animal and meat science. Indeed, proteomics has been applied to the field of farm animal science to monitor in vivo performances of livestock animals (growth performances, fertility, milk quality etc.), but also to further our understanding of the molecular processes at the basis of meat quality, which are largely dependent on the post mortem biochemistry of the muscle, often in a species-specific way. Post mortem alterations to the muscle proteome reflect the biological complexity of the process of "muscle to meat conversion," a process that, despite decades of advancements, is all but fully understood. This is mainly due to the enormous amounts of variables affecting meat tenderness per se, including biological factors, such as animal species, breed specific-characteristic, muscle under investigation. However, it is rapidly emerging that the tender meat phenotype is not only tied to genetics (livestock breeding selection), but also to extrinsic factors, such as the rearing environment, feeding conditions, physical activity, administration of hormonal growth promotants, pre-slaughter handling and stress, post mortem handling. From this intricate scenario, biochemical approaches and systems-wide integrated investigations (metabolomics, transcriptomics, interactomics, phosphoproteomics, mathematical modeling), which have emerged as complementary tools to proteomics, have helped establishing a few milestones in our understanding of the events leading from muscle to meat conversion. The growing integration of omics disciplines in the field of systems biology will soon contribute to take further steps forward.

  19. Universally sloppy parameter sensitivities in systems biology models.

    PubMed

    Gutenkunst, Ryan N; Waterfall, Joshua J; Casey, Fergal P; Brown, Kevin S; Myers, Christopher R; Sethna, James P

    2007-10-01

    Quantitative computational models play an increasingly important role in modern biology. Such models typically involve many free parameters, and assigning their values is often a substantial obstacle to model development. Directly measuring in vivo biochemical parameters is difficult, and collectively fitting them to other experimental data often yields large parameter uncertainties. Nevertheless, in earlier work we showed in a growth-factor-signaling model that collective fitting could yield well-constrained predictions, even when it left individual parameters very poorly constrained. We also showed that the model had a "sloppy" spectrum of parameter sensitivities, with eigenvalues roughly evenly distributed over many decades. Here we use a collection of models from the literature to test whether such sloppy spectra are common in systems biology. Strikingly, we find that every model we examine has a sloppy spectrum of sensitivities. We also test several consequences of this sloppiness for building predictive models. In particular, sloppiness suggests that collective fits to even large amounts of ideal time-series data will often leave many parameters poorly constrained. Tests over our model collection are consistent with this suggestion. This difficulty with collective fits may seem to argue for direct parameter measurements, but sloppiness also implies that such measurements must be formidably precise and complete to usefully constrain many model predictions. We confirm this implication in our growth-factor-signaling model. Our results suggest that sloppy sensitivity spectra are universal in systems biology models. The prevalence of sloppiness highlights the power of collective fits and suggests that modelers should focus on predictions rather than on parameters.

  20. First Steps in Computational Systems Biology: A Practical Session in Metabolic Modeling and Simulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reyes-Palomares, Armando; Sanchez-Jimenez, Francisca; Medina, Miguel Angel

    2009-01-01

    A comprehensive understanding of biological functions requires new systemic perspectives, such as those provided by systems biology. Systems biology approaches are hypothesis-driven and involve iterative rounds of model building, prediction, experimentation, model refinement, and development. Developments in computer science are allowing for ever…

  1. Systems biology and metabolic engineering of Arthrospira cell factories.

    PubMed

    Klanchui, Amornpan; Vorapreeda, Tayvich; Vongsangnak, Wanwipa; Khannapho, Chiraphan; Cheevadhanarak, Supapon; Meechai, Asawin

    2012-01-01

    Arthrospira are attractive candidates to serve as cell factories for production of many valuable compounds useful for food, feed, fuel and pharmaceutical industries. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocessing, it is a challenge to design and develop efficient Arthrospira cell factories which can certify effective conversion from the raw materials (i.e. CO2 and sun light) into desired products. With the current availability of the genome sequences and metabolic models of Arthrospira, the development of Arthrospira factories can now be accelerated by means of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach. Here, we review recent research involving the use of Arthrospira cell factories for industrial applications, as well as the exploitation of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach for studying Arthrospira. The current status of genomics and proteomics through the development of the genome-scale metabolic model of Arthrospira, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies are discussed. At the end, the perspective and future direction on Arthrospira cell factories for industrial biotechnology are presented.

  2. PAH Intermediates: Links between the Atmosphere and Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    SIMONICH, STACI L. MASSEY; MOTORYKIN, OLEKSII; JARIYASOPIT, NARUMOL

    2010-01-01

    China is now the world's largest emitter of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In addition, PAHs, and their reactive intermediates, undergo trans-Pacific atmospheric transport to the Western U.S. The objectives of our research are to predict, identify and quantify novel PAH intermediates in the atmosphere and biological systems, using computational methods, as well as laboratory and field experiments. Gaussian is used to predict the thermodynamic properties of parent structure PAHs, as well as the associated nitro-, oxy-, and hydroxy- PAH intermediates. Based on these predictions, state-of-the-art analytical chemistry techniques are used to identify and quantify these potential intermediates on Asian particulate matter before and after reaction in a continuous flow photochemical reactor. These same techniques are used to identify the relative proportion of PAH intermediates in PAH source regions (such as Beijing, China) and during long-range atmospheric transport to the Western U.S. PAH personal exposure studies in China and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon will be used to assess the similarities and differences in the PAH intermediates in biological systems relative to the atmosphere. PMID:20849837

  3. Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2003-01-01

    In 1993, a Commentary in this journal described how a simple mechanical model of cell structure based on tensegrity architecture can help to explain how cell shape, movement and cytoskeletal mechanics are controlled, as well as how cells sense and respond to mechanical forces (J. Cell Sci. 104, 613-627). The cellular tensegrity model can now be revisited and placed in context of new advances in our understanding of cell structure, biological networks and mechanoregulation that have been made over the past decade. Recent work provides strong evidence to support the use of tensegrity by cells, and mathematical formulations of the model predict many aspects of cell behavior. In addition, development of the tensegrity theory and its translation into mathematical terms are beginning to allow us to define the relationship between mechanics and biochemistry at the molecular level and to attack the larger problem of biological complexity. Part I of this two-part article covers the evidence for cellular tensegrity at the molecular level and describes how this building system may provide a structural basis for the hierarchical organization of living systems--from molecule to organism. Part II, which focuses on how these structural networks influence information processing networks, appears in the next issue.

  4. Strategies for the reduction of Legionella in biological treatment systems.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, R; Utecht, K-U; Exner, M; Verstraete, W; Rosenwinkel, K-H

    A community-wide outbreak of Legionnaire's disease occurred in Warstein, Germany, in August 2013. The epidemic strain, Legionella pneumophila Serogruppe 1, was isolated from an industrial wastewater stream entering the municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Wartein, the WWTP itself, the river Wäster and air/water samples from an industrial cooling system 3 km downstream of the WWTP. The present study investigated the effect of physical-chemical disinfection methods on the reduction of the concentration of Legionella in the biological treatment and in the treated effluent entering the river Wäster. Additionally, to gain insight into the factors that promote the growth of Legionella in biological systems, growth experiments were made with different substrates and temperatures. The dosage rates of silver micro-particles, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide and ozone and pH stress to the activated sludge were not able to decrease the number of culturable Legionella spp. in the effluent. Nevertheless, the UV treatment of secondary treated effluent reduced Legionella spp. on average by 1.6-3.4 log units. Laboratory-scale experiments and full-scale measurements suggested that the aerobic treatment of warm wastewater (30-35 °C) rich in organic nitrogen (protein) is a possible source of Legionella infection.

  5. Systems biology and metabolic engineering of Arthrospira cell factories

    PubMed Central

    Klanchui, Amornpan; Vorapreeda, Tayvich; Vongsangnak, Wanwipa; Khannapho, Chiraphan; Cheevadhanarak, Supapon; Meechai, Asawin

    2012-01-01

    Arthrospira are attractive candidates to serve as cell factories for production of many valuable compounds useful for food, feed, fuel and pharmaceutical industries. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocessing, it is a challenge to design and develop efficient Arthrospira cell factories which can certify effective conversion from the raw materials (i.e. CO2 and sun light) into desired products. With the current availability of the genome sequences and metabolic models of Arthrospira, the development of Arthrospira factories can now be accelerated by means of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach. Here, we review recent research involving the use of Arthrospira cell factories for industrial applications, as well as the exploitation of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach for studying Arthrospira. The current status of genomics and proteomics through the development of the genome-scale metabolic model of Arthrospira, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies are discussed. At the end, the perspective and future direction on Arthrospira cell factories for industrial biotechnology are presented. PMID:24688675

  6. On Having No Head: Cognition throughout Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Baluška, František; Levin, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) underlies memory, perception, decision-making, and behavior in numerous organisms. However, neural networks have no monopoly on the signaling functions that implement these remarkable algorithms. It is often forgotten that neurons optimized cellular signaling modes that existed long before the CNS appeared during evolution, and were used by somatic cellular networks to orchestrate physiology, embryonic development, and behavior. Many of the key dynamics that enable information processing can, in fact, be implemented by different biological hardware. This is widely exploited by organisms throughout the tree of life. Here, we review data on memory, learning, and other aspects of cognition in a range of models, including single celled organisms, plants, and tissues in animal bodies. We discuss current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms at work in these systems, and suggest several hypotheses for future investigation. The study of cognitive processes implemented in aneural contexts is a fascinating, highly interdisciplinary topic that has many implications for evolution, cell biology, regenerative medicine, computer science, and synthetic bioengineering. PMID:27445884

  7. Systems Biology Approaches for Discovering Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Feala, Jacob D.; AbdulHameed, Mohamed Diwan M.; Yu, Chenggang; Dutta, Bhaskar; Yu, Xueping; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tortella, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The rate of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in service members with wartime injuries has risen rapidly in recent years, and complex, variable links have emerged between TBI and long-term neurological disorders. The multifactorial nature of TBI secondary cellular response has confounded attempts to find cellular biomarkers for its diagnosis and prognosis or for guiding therapy for brain injury. One possibility is to apply emerging systems biology strategies to holistically probe and analyze the complex interweaving molecular pathways and networks that mediate the secondary cellular response through computational models that integrate these diverse data sets. Here, we review available systems biology strategies, databases, and tools. In addition, we describe opportunities for applying this methodology to existing TBI data sets to identify new biomarker candidates and gain insights about the underlying molecular mechanisms of TBI response. As an exemplar, we apply network and pathway analysis to a manually compiled list of 32 protein biomarker candidates from the literature, recover known TBI-related mechanisms, and generate hypothetical new biomarker candidates. PMID:23510232

  8. DIPSBC - data integration platform for systems biology collaborations

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Modern biomedical research is often organized in collaborations involving labs worldwide. In particular in systems biology, complex molecular systems are analyzed that require the generation and interpretation of heterogeneous data for their explanation, for example ranging from gene expression studies and mass spectrometry measurements to experimental techniques for detecting molecular interactions and functional assays. XML has become the most prominent format for representing and exchanging these data. However, besides the development of standards there is still a fundamental lack of data integration systems that are able to utilize these exchange formats, organize the data in an integrative way and link it with applications for data interpretation and analysis. Results We have developed DIPSBC, an interactive data integration platform supporting collaborative research projects, based on Foswiki, Solr/Lucene, and specific helper applications. We describe the main features of the implementation and highlight the performance of the system with several use cases. All components of the system are platform independent and open-source developments and thus can be easily adopted by researchers. An exemplary installation of the platform which also provides several helper applications and detailed instructions for system usage and setup is available at http://dipsbc.molgen.mpg.de. Conclusions DIPSBC is a data integration platform for medium-scale collaboration projects that has been tested already within several research collaborations. Because of its modular design and the incorporation of XML data formats it is highly flexible and easy to use. PMID:22568834

  9. Formulation and biological evaluation of glimepiride-cyclodextrin-polymer systems.

    PubMed

    Ammar, H O; Salama, H A; Ghorab, M; Mahmoud, A A

    2006-02-17

    Glimepiride is one of the third generation sulfonylureas used for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Poor aqueous solubility and slow dissolution rate of the drug lead to irreproducible clinical response or therapeutic failure in some cases due to subtherapeutic plasma drug levels. Consequently, the rationale of this study was to improve the biological performance of this drug through enhancing its solubility and dissolution rate. Inclusion complexes of glimepiride in beta-cyclodextrin (beta-CyD), hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-beta-CyD) and sulfobutylether-beta-cyclodextrin (SBE-beta-CyD), with or without water soluble polymers were prepared by the kneading method. Binary systems were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis, IR spectroscopy and X-ray diffractometry. Phase solubility diagrams revealed increase in solubility of the drug upon cyclodextrin addition, showing A(p) type plot indicating high order complexation. All the ternary systems containing beta-CyD or HP-beta-CyD showed higher dissolution efficiency compared to the corresponding binary systems. The hypoglycemic effect of the most rapidly dissolving ternary system of glimepiride-HP-beta-CyD-PEG 4000 was evaluated after oral administration in diabetic rats by measuring blood glucose levels. The results indicated that this ternary system improves significantly the therapeutic efficacy of the drug. In conclusion, the association of water soluble polymers with glimepiride-CyD systems leads to great enhancement in dissolution rate, increased duration of action and improvement of therapeutic efficacy of the drug.

  10. What does systems biology mean for drug development?

    PubMed

    Schrattenholz, André; Soskić, Vukić

    2008-01-01

    The complexity and flexibility of cellular architectures is increasingly recognized by impressive progress on the side of molecular analytics, i.e. proteomics, genomics and metabolomics. One of the messages from systems biology is that the number of molecular species in cellular networks is orders of magnitude bigger than anticipated by genomic analysis, in particular by fast posttranslational modifications of proteins. The requirements to manage external signals, integrate spatiotemporal signal transduction inside an organism and at the same time optimizing networks of biochemical and chemical reactions result in chemically extremely fine tuned molecular entities. Chemical side reactions of enzymatic activity, like e.g. random oxidative damage of proteins by free radicals during aging constantly introduce epigenetic alterations of protein targets. These events gradually and on an individual stochastic scale, keep modifying activities of these targets, and their affinities and selectivities towards biological and pharmacological ligands. One further message is that many of the key reactions in living systems are essentially based on interactions of low affinities and even low selectivities. This principle is responsible for the enormous flexibility and redundancy of cellular circuitries. So, in complex disorders like cancer or neurodegenerative diseases, which are rooted in relatively subtle and multimodal dysfunction of important physiologic pathways, drug discovery programs based on the concept of high affinity/high specificity compounds ("one-target, one-disease"), which still dominate the pharmaceutical industry increasingly turn out to be unsuccessful. Despite improvements in rational drug design and high throughput screening methods, the number of novel, single-target drugs fell much behind expectations during the past decade and the treatment of "complex diseases" remains a most pressing medical need. Currently a change of paradigm can be observed with

  11. First steps in computational systems biology: A practical session in metabolic modeling and simulation.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Palomares, Armando; Sánchez-Jiménez, Francisca; Medina, Miguel Ángel

    2009-05-01

    A comprehensive understanding of biological functions requires new systemic perspectives, such as those provided by systems biology. Systems biology approaches are hypothesis-driven and involve iterative rounds of model building, prediction, experimentation, model refinement, and development. Developments in computer science are allowing for ever faster numerical simulations of mathematical models. Mathematical modeling plays an essential role in new systems biology approaches. As a complex, integrated system, metabolism is a suitable topic of study for systems biology approaches. However, up until recently, this topic has not been properly covered in biochemistry courses. This communication reports the development and implementation of a practical lesson plan on metabolic modeling and simulation.

  12. Systems Biology of Recombinant Protein Production in Bacillus megaterium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biedendieck, Rebekka; Bunk, Boyke; Fürch, Tobias; Franco-Lara, Ezequiel; Jahn, Martina; Jahn, Dieter

    Over the last two decades the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus megaterium was systematically developed to a useful alternative protein production host. Multiple vector systems for high yield intra- and extracellular protein production were constructed. Strong inducible promoters were combined with DNA sequences for optimised ribosome binding sites, various leader peptides for protein export and N- as well as C-terminal affinity tags for affinity chromatographic purification of the desired protein. High cell density cultivation and recombinant protein production were successfully tested. For further system biology based control and optimisation of the production process the genomes of two B. megaterium strains were completely elucidated, DNA arrays designed, proteome, fluxome and metabolome analyses performed and all data integrated using the bioinformatics platform MEGABAC. Now, solid theoretical and experimental bases for primary modeling attempts of the production process are available.

  13. Theoretical discussion for quantum computation in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, Wolfgang

    2010-04-01

    Analysis of the brain as a physical system, that has the capacity of generating a display of every day observed experiences and contains some knowledge of the physical reality which stimulates those experiences, suggests the brain executes a self-measurement process described by quantum theory. Assuming physical reality is a universe of interacting self-measurement loops, we present a model of space as a field of cells executing such self-measurement activities. Empty space is the observable associated with the measurement of this field when the mass and charge density defining the material aspect of the cells satisfy the least action principle. Content is the observable associated with the measurement of the quantum wave function ψ interpreted as mass-charge displacements. The illusion of space and its content incorporated into cognitive biological systems is evidence of self-measurement activity that can be associated with quantum operations.

  14. Biological elements carry out optical tasks in coherent imaging systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraro, P.; Bianco, V.; Paturzo, M.; Miccio, L.; Memmolo, P.; Merola, F.; Marchesano, V.

    2016-03-01

    We show how biological elements, like live bacteria species and Red Blood Cells (RBCs) can accomplish optical functionalities in DH systems. Turbid media allow coherent microscopy despite the strong light scattering these provoke, acting on light just as moving diffusers. Furthermore, a turbid medium can have positive effects on a coherent imaging system, providing resolution enhancement and mimicking the action of noise decorrelation devices, thus yielding an image quality significantly higher than the quality achievable through a transparent medium in similar recording conditions. Besides, suspended RBCs are demonstrated to behave as controllable liquid micro-lenses, opening new possibilities in biophotonics for endoscopy imaging purposes, as well as telemedicine for point-of-care diagnostics in developing countries and low-resource settings.

  15. Hippocampal gene profiling: toward a systems biology of the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Valor, Luis M; Barco, Angel

    2012-05-01

    Transcriptomics and proteomics approaches give a unique perspective for understanding brain and hippocampal functions but also pose unique challenges because of the singular complexity of the nervous system. The proliferation of genome-wide expression studies during the last decade has provided important insight into the molecular underpinnings of brain anatomy, neural plasticity, and neurological diseases. Microarray technology has dominated transcriptomics research, but this situation is rapidly changing with the recent technological advances in high-throughput sequencing. The full potential of transcriptomics in the neurosciences will be achieved as a result of its integration with other "-omics" disciplines as well as the development of novel analytical bioinformatics and systems biology tools for meta-analysis. Here, we review some of the most relevant advances in the gene profiling of the hippocampus, its relationship with proteomics approaches, and the promising perspectives for the future.

  16. Systems Biology of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Nakaya, Helder I; Wrammert, Jens; Lee, Eva K; Racioppi, Luigi; Marie-Kunze, Stephanie; Haining, W. Nicholas; Means, Anthony R; Kasturi, Sudhir P; Khan, Nooruddin; Li, Gui-Mei; McCausland, Megan; Kanchan, Vibhu; Kokko, Kenneth E; Li, Shuzhao; Elbein, Rivka; Mehta, Aneesh K; Aderem, Alan; Subbarao, Kanta; Ahmed, Rafi; Pulendran, Bali

    2011-01-01

    We used a systems biological approach to study innate and adaptive responses to influenza vaccination in humans, during 3 consecutive influenza seasons. Healthy adults were vaccinated with inactivated (TIV) or live attenuated (LAIV) influenza vaccines. TIV induced greater antibody titers and enhanced numbers of plasmablasts than LAIV. In TIV vaccinees, early molecular signatures correlated with, and accurately predicted, later antibody titers in two independent trials. Interestingly, the expression of Calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase IV (CamkIV) at day 3 was inversely correlated with later antibody titers. Vaccination of CamkIV −/− mice with TIV induced enhanced antigen-specific antibody titers, demonstrating an unappreciated role for CaMKIV in the regulation of antibody responses. Thus systems approaches can predict immunogenicity, and reveal new mechanistic insights about vaccines. PMID:21743478

  17. The structural biology of CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fuguo; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-02-01

    Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas genomic loci encode RNA-mediated adaptive immune systems that bear some functional similarities with eukaryotic RNA interference. Acquired and heritable immunity against bacteriophage and plasmids begins with integration of ∼30 base pair foreign DNA sequences into the host genome. CRISPR-derived transcripts assemble with CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to target complementary nucleic acids for degradation. Here we review recent advances in the structural biology of these targeting complexes, with a focus on structural studies of the multisubunit Type I CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance and the Cas9 DNA endonuclease found in Type II CRISPR-Cas systems. These complexes have distinct structures that are each capable of site-specific double-stranded DNA binding and local helix unwinding.

  18. Molecular synchronization, the Kai system, and biological oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubensky, David K.

    2008-03-01

    In most textbook examples, oscillations in cell biology are driven by the periodic creation and destruction of one or more chemical species. The past few years, however, have seen growing interest in a different sort of oscillator. In these systems, the total concentrations of the major protein components are constant, but the molecules move sequentially through a cycle of different states (e.g. covalent modifications). Macroscopic oscillations appear when the progress of the many individual molecules becomes synchronized. The recently-characterized cyanobacterial circadian clock provides a particularly elegant example of such molecular synchronization. Remarkably, with only the 3 proteins KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC, a ˜24 hour oscillation in KaiC phosphorylation can be reconstituted in vitro. We can thus dissect this biochemical circuit in almost unprecedented detail. Here, we give an overview of the Kai system and its relationship to other oscillators. We begin with a review of the major experimental facts about the Kai system, emphasizing possible mechanisms to synchronize KaiC phosphorylation. We then examine in more detail models in which this synchronization occurs through sequestration of KaiA via differential affinity: KaiA, which stimulates KaiC phosphorylation, has a higher affinity for KaiC during certain stages of the phosphorylation cycle; as long as some KaiC molecules at these stages are present in the reaction mixture, they bind all the available KaiA, thereby preventing the other KaiC's from being phosphorylated and proceeding through the cycle. We also discuss the implications of this mechanism for phenomena such as temperature compensation. Finally, we suggest that, in light of lessons learned from the Kai system, a number of other biological oscillators can fruitfully be viewed as examples of molecular synchronization.

  19. Synthetic membranes and membrane processes with counterparts in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matson, Stephen L.

    1996-02-01

    Conventional synthetic membranes, fashioned for the most part from rather unremarkable polymeric materials, are essentially passive structures that achieve various industrial and biomedical separations through simple and selective membrane permeation processes. Indeed, simplicity of membrane material, structure, and function has long been perceived as a virtue of membranes relative to other separation processes with which they compete. The passive membrane separation processes -- exemplified by micro- and ultrafiltration, dialysis, reverse osmosis, and gas permeation -- differ from one another primarily in terms of membrane morphology or structure (e.g., porous, gel-type, and nonporous) and the permeant transport mechanism and driving force (e.g., diffusion, convection, and 'solution/diffusion'). The passive membrane separation processes have in common the fact that interaction between permeant and membrane material is typically weak and physicochemical in nature; indeed, it is frequently an objective of membrane materials design to minimize interaction between permeant and membrane polymer, since such strategies can minimize membrane fouling. As a consequence, conventional membrane processes often provide only modest separation factors or permselectivities; that is, they are more useful in performing 'group separations' (i.e., the separation of different classes of material) than they are in fractionating species within a given class. It has long been recognized within the community of membrane technologists that biological membrane structures and their components are extraordinarily sophisticated and powerful as compared to their synthetic counterparts. Moreover, biomembranes and related biological systems have been 'designed' according to a very different paradigm -- one that frequently maximizes and capitalizes on extraordinarily strong and biochemically specific interactions between components of the membrane and species interacting with them. Thus, in recent

  20. Single molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update

    PubMed Central

    Widom, Julia R.; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A.; Walter, Nils G.

    2015-01-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution, and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. PMID:25212907

  1. Single-molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update.

    PubMed

    Widom, Julia R; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A; Walter, Nils G

    2014-11-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy.

  2. Characterization Techniques for Aggregated Nanomaterials in Biological and Environmental Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeon, Seongho

    Nanoparticles, which are defined as objects with characteristic lengths in the 10--9 -- 10--7 m (nanoscale) size range, are used with increasing frequency in a wide of applications, leading to increases in nanomaterial interactions with biological and environmental systems. There is therefore considerable interest in studying the influence nanomaterials can have when inside the human body or dispersed in the ambient environment. However, nanoparticles persist as homo aggregates or heterogeneous mixtures with organic matters, such as proteins, in biological and environmental systems. A large and growing body of research confirm that nanomaterial morphology as well as the degree of aggregation between nanomaterials influences nanomaterial interactions with their surroundings. Specifically, the structures/morphologies of nanoparticles determine their overall surface areas and corresponding surface reactivity (e.g. their catalytic activity). Nanoparticle transport properties (e.g. diffusion coefficient and extent of cellular uptake) are also determined by both their structures and surface properties. Unfortunately, techniques to characterize nanomaterial size and shape quantitatively, when nanomaterials have complex geometries or persist as aggregates, are lacking. Hydrodynamic sizes of nanoparticles and their aggregates can be inferred by dynamic light scattering (DLS) or nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). However, since these techniques are relied on the scattering light intensity properties, sizes of polydisperse sub 30 nm particles cannot be effectively measured in those techniques. For structure inference of aggregated nanomaterials, microscopy images have been used for qualitative visual analysis, but the quantitative morphology analysis technique is yet to be developed. Five studies in this dissertation are hence aimed to develop new techniques to provide improved morphology characterization of aggregated nanomaterials in various biological and environmental

  3. Taking the example of computer systems engineering for the analysis of biological cell systems.

    PubMed

    Pronk, Tessa E; Pimentel, Andy D; Roos, Marco; Breit, Timo M

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss the potential for the use of engineering methods that were originally developed for the design of embedded computer systems, to analyse biological cell systems. For embedded systems as well as for biological cell systems, design is a feature that defines their identity. The assembly of different components in designs of both systems can vary widely. In contrast to the biology domain, the computer engineering domain has the opportunity to quickly evaluate design options and consequences of its systems by methods for computer aided design and in particular design space exploration. We argue that there are enough concrete similarities between the two systems to assume that the engineering methodology from the computer systems domain, and in particular that related to embedded systems, can be applied to the domain of cellular systems. This will help to understand the myriad of different design options cellular systems have. First we compare computer systems with cellular systems. Then, we discuss exactly what features of engineering methods could aid researchers with the analysis of cellular systems, and what benefits could be gained.

  4. Bridging Mechanistic and Phenomenological Models of Complex Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Transtrum, Mark K.; Qiu, Peng

    2016-01-01

    The inherent complexity of biological systems gives rise to complicated mechanistic models with a large number of parameters. On the other hand, the collective behavior of these systems can often be characterized by a relatively small number of phenomenological parameters. We use the Manifold Boundary Approximation Method (MBAM) as a tool for deriving simple phenomenological models from complicated mechanistic models. The resulting models are not black boxes, but remain expressed in terms of the microscopic parameters. In this way, we explicitly connect the macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, characterize the equivalence class of distinct systems exhibiting the same range of collective behavior, and identify the combinations of components that function as tunable control knobs for the behavior. We demonstrate the procedure for adaptation behavior exhibited by the EGFR pathway. From a 48 parameter mechanistic model, the system can be effectively described by a single adaptation parameter τ characterizing the ratio of time scales for the initial response and recovery time of the system which can in turn be expressed as a combination of microscopic reaction rates, Michaelis-Menten constants, and biochemical concentrations. The situation is not unlike modeling in physics in which microscopically complex processes can often be renormalized into simple phenomenological models with only a few effective parameters. The proposed method additionally provides a mechanistic explanation for non-universal features of the behavior. PMID:27187545

  5. How People Actually Use Thermostats

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, Alan; Aragon, Cecilia; Hurwitz, Becky; Mujumdar, Dhawal; Peffer, Therese; Perry, Daniel; Pritoni, Marco

    2010-08-15

    Residential thermostats have been a key element in controlling heating and cooling systems for over sixty years. However, today's modern programmable thermostats (PTs) are complicated and difficult for users to understand, leading to errors in operation and wasted energy. Four separate tests of usability were conducted in preparation for a larger study. These tests included personal interviews, an on-line survey, photographing actual thermostat settings, and measurements of ability to accomplish four tasks related to effective use of a PT. The interviews revealed that many occupants used the PT as an on-off switch and most demonstrated little knowledge of how to operate it. The on-line survey found that 89% of the respondents rarely or never used the PT to set a weekday or weekend program. The photographic survey (in low income homes) found that only 30% of the PTs were actually programmed. In the usability test, we found that we could quantify the difference in usability of two PTs as measured in time to accomplish tasks. Users accomplished the tasks in consistently shorter times with the touchscreen unit than with buttons. None of these studies are representative of the entire population of users but, together, they illustrate the importance of improving user interfaces in PTs.

  6. A dedicated database system for handling multi-level data in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Advances in high-throughput technologies have enabled extensive generation of multi-level omics data. These data are crucial for systems biology research, though they are complex, heterogeneous, highly dynamic, incomplete and distributed among public databases. This leads to difficulties in data accessibility and often results in errors when data are merged and integrated from varied resources. Therefore, integration and management of systems biological data remain very challenging. Methods To overcome this, we designed and developed a dedicated database system that can serve and solve the vital issues in data management and hereby facilitate data integration, modeling and analysis in systems biology within a sole database. In addition, a yeast data repository was implemented as an integrated database environment which is operated by the database system. Two applications were implemented to demonstrate extensibility and utilization of the system. Both illustrate how the user can access the database via the web query function and implemented scripts. These scripts are specific for two sample cases: 1) Detecting the pheromone pathway in protein interaction networks; and 2) Finding metabolic reactions regulated by Snf1 kinase. Results and conclusion In this study we present the design of database system which offers an extensible environment to efficiently capture the majority of biological entities and relations encountered in systems biology. Critical functions and control processes were designed and implemented to ensure consistent, efficient, secure and reliable transactions. The two sample cases on the yeast integrated data clearly demonstrate the value of a sole database environment for systems biology research. PMID:25053973

  7. Evolutionary systems biology of amino acid biosynthetic cost in yeast.

    PubMed

    Barton, Michael D; Delneri, Daniela; Oliver, Stephen G; Rattray, Magnus; Bergman, Casey M

    2010-08-17

    Every protein has a biosynthetic cost to the cell based on the synthesis of its constituent amino acids. In order to optimise growth and reproduction, natural selection is expected, where possible, to favour the use of proteins whose constituents are cheaper to produce, as reduced biosynthetic cost may confer a fitness advantage to the organism. Quantifying the cost of amino acid biosynthesis presents challenges, since energetic requirements may change across different cellular and environmental conditions. We developed a systems biology approach to estimate the cost of amino acid synthesis based on genome-scale metabolic models and investigated the effects of the cost of amino acid synthesis on Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression and protein evolution. First, we used our two new and six previously reported measures of amino acid cost in conjunction with codon usage bias, tRNA gene number and atomic composition to identify which of these factors best predict transcript and protein levels. Second, we compared amino acid cost with rates of amino acid substitution across four species in the genus Saccharomyces. Regardless of which cost measure is used, amino acid biosynthetic cost is weakly associated with transcript and protein levels. In contrast, we find that biosynthetic cost and amino acid substitution rates show a negative correlation, but for only a subset of cost measures. In the economy of the yeast cell, we find that the cost of amino acid synthesis plays a limited role in shaping transcript and protein expression levels compared to that of translational optimisation. Biosynthetic cost does, however, appear to affect rates of amino acid evolution in Saccharomyces, suggesting that expensive amino acids may only be used when they have specific structural or functional roles in protein sequences. However, as there appears to be no single currency to compute the cost of amino acid synthesis across all cellular and environmental conditions, we conclude that

  8. Modeling acclimatization by hybrid systems: condition changes alter biological system behavior models.

    PubMed

    Assar, Rodrigo; Montecino, Martín A; Maass, Alejandro; Sherman, David J

    2014-07-01

    In order to describe the dynamic behavior of a complex biological system, it is useful to combine models integrating processes at different levels and with temporal dependencies. Such combinations are necessary for modeling acclimatization, a phenomenon where changes in environmental conditions can induce drastic changes in the behavior of a biological system. In this article we formalize the use of hybrid systems as a tool to model this kind of biological behavior. A modeling scheme called strong switches is proposed. It allows one to take into account both minor adjustments to the coefficients of a continuous model, and, more interestingly, large-scale changes to the structure of the model. We illustrate the proposed methodology with two applications: acclimatization in wine fermentation kinetics, and acclimatization of osteo-adipo differentiation system linking stimulus signals to bone mass.

  9. Biologically inspired collision avoidance system for unmanned vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, Fernando E.; Graham, Brett; Spagnoli, Kyle; Kelmelis, Eric J.

    2009-05-01

    In this project, we collaborate with researchers in the neuroscience department at the University of Delaware to develop an Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based embedded computer, inspired by the brains of small vertebrates (fish). The mechanisms of object detection and avoidance in fish have been extensively studied by our Delaware collaborators. The midbrain optic tectum is a biological multimodal navigation controller capable of processing input from all senses that convey spatial information, including vision, audition, touch, and lateral-line (water current sensing in fish). Unfortunately, computational complexity makes these models too slow for use in real-time applications. These simulations are run offline on state-of-the-art desktop computers, presenting a gap between the application and the target platform: a low-power embedded device. EM Photonics has expertise in developing of high-performance computers based on commodity platforms such as graphic cards (GPUs) and FPGAs. FPGAs offer (1) high computational power, low power consumption and small footprint (in line with typical autonomous vehicle constraints), and (2) the ability to implement massively-parallel computational architectures, which can be leveraged to closely emulate biological systems. Combining UD's brain modeling algorithms and the power of FPGAs, this computer enables autonomous navigation in complex environments, and further types of onboard neural processing in future applications.

  10. Nutritional systems biology modeling: from molecular mechanisms to physiology.

    PubMed

    de Graaf, Albert A; Freidig, Andreas P; De Roos, Baukje; Jamshidi, Neema; Heinemann, Matthias; Rullmann, Johan A C; Hall, Kevin D; Adiels, Martin; van Ommen, Ben

    2009-11-01

    The use of computational modeling and simulation has increased in many biological fields, but despite their potential these techniques are only marginally applied in nutritional sciences. Nevertheless, recent applications of modeling have been instrumental in answering important nutritional questions from the cellular up to the physiological levels. Capturing the complexity of today's important nutritional research questions poses a challenge for modeling to become truly integrative in the consideration and interpretation of experimental data at widely differing scales of space and time. In this review, we discuss a selection of available modeling approaches and applications relevant for nutrition. We then put these models into perspective by categorizing them according to their space and time domain. Through this categorization process, we identified a dearth of models that consider processes occurring between the microscopic and macroscopic scale. We propose a "middle-out" strategy to develop the required full-scale, multilevel computational models. Exhaustive and accurate phenotyping, the use of the virtual patient concept, and the development of biomarkers from "-omics" signatures are identified as key elements of a successful systems biology modeling approach in nutrition research--one that integrates physiological mechanisms and data at multiple space and time scales.

  11. Yeast Prions: Structure, Biology, and Prion-Handling Systems

    PubMed Central

    Shewmaker, Frank P.; Bateman, David A.; Edskes, Herman K.; Gorkovskiy, Anton; Dayani, Yaron; Bezsonov, Evgeny E.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY A prion is an infectious protein horizontally transmitting a disease or trait without a required nucleic acid. Yeast and fungal prions are nonchromosomal genes composed of protein, generally an altered form of a protein that catalyzes the same alteration of the protein. Yeast prions are thus transmitted both vertically (as genes composed of protein) and horizontally (as infectious proteins, or prions). Formation of amyloids (linear ordered β-sheet-rich protein aggregates with β-strands perpendicular to the long axis of the filament) underlies most yeast and fungal prions, and a single prion protein can have any of several distinct self-propagating amyloid forms with different biological properties (prion variants). Here we review the mechanism of faithful templating of protein conformation, the biological roles of these prions, and their interactions with cellular chaperones, the Btn2 and Cur1 aggregate-handling systems, and other cellular factors governing prion generation and propagation. Human amyloidoses include the PrP-based prion conditions and many other, more common amyloid-based diseases, several of which show prion-like features. Yeast prions increasingly are serving as models for the understanding and treatment of many mammalian amyloidoses. Patients with different clinical pictures of the same amyloidosis may be the equivalent of yeasts with different prion variants. PMID:25631286

  12. Yeast prions: structure, biology, and prion-handling systems.

    PubMed

    Wickner, Reed B; Shewmaker, Frank P; Bateman, David A; Edskes, Herman K; Gorkovskiy, Anton; Dayani, Yaron; Bezsonov, Evgeny E

    2015-03-01

    A prion is an infectious protein horizontally transmitting a disease or trait without a required nucleic acid. Yeast and fungal prions are nonchromosomal genes composed of protein, generally an altered form of a protein that catalyzes the same alteration of the protein. Yeast prions are thus transmitted both vertically (as genes composed of protein) and horizontally (as infectious proteins, or prions). Formation of amyloids (linear ordered β-sheet-rich protein aggregates with β-strands perpendicular to the long axis of the filament) underlies most yeast and fungal prions, and a single prion protein can have any of several distinct self-propagating amyloid forms with different biological properties (prion variants). Here we review the mechanism of faithful templating of protein conformation, the biological roles of these prions, and their interactions with cellular chaperones, the Btn2 and Cur1 aggregate-handling systems, and other cellular factors governing prion generation and propagation. Human amyloidoses include the PrP-based prion conditions and many other, more common amyloid-based diseases, several of which show prion-like features. Yeast prions increasingly are serving as models for the understanding and treatment of many mammalian amyloidoses. Patients with different clinical pictures of the same amyloidosis may be the equivalent of yeasts with different prion variants.

  13. Phase Transitions in Biological Systems with Many Components.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, William M; Frenkel, Daan

    2017-02-28

    Biological mixtures such as the cytosol may consist of thousands of distinct components. There is now a substantial body of evidence showing that, under physiological conditions, intracellular mixtures can phase separate into spatially distinct regions with differing compositions. In this article we present numerical evidence indicating that such spontaneous compartmentalization exploits general features of the phase diagram of a multicomponent biomolecular mixture. In particular, we show that demixed domains are likely to segregate when the variance in the intermolecular interaction strengths exceeds a well-defined threshold. Multiple distinct phases are likely to become stable under very similar conditions, which can then be tuned to achieve multiphase coexistence. As a result, only minor adjustments to the composition of the cytosol or the strengths of the intermolecular interactions are needed to regulate the formation of different domains with specific compositions, implying that phase separation is a robust mechanism for creating spatial organization. We further predict that this functionality is only weakly affected by increasing the number of components in the system. Our model therefore suggests that, for purely physico-chemical reasons, biological mixtures are naturally poised to undergo a small number of demixing phase transitions.

  14. Perturbation biology: inferring signaling networks in cellular systems.

    PubMed

    Molinelli, Evan J; Korkut, Anil; Wang, Weiqing; Miller, Martin L; Gauthier, Nicholas P; Jing, Xiaohong; Kaushik, Poorvi; He, Qin; Mills, Gordon; Solit, David B; Pratilas, Christine A; Weigt, Martin; Braunstein, Alfredo; Pagnani, Andrea; Zecchina, Riccardo; Sander, Chris

    2013-01-01

    We present a powerful experimental-computational technology for inferring network models that predict the response of cells to perturbations, and that may be useful in the design of combinatorial therapy against cancer. The experiments are systematic series of perturbations of cancer cell lines by targeted drugs, singly or in combination. The response to perturbation is quantified in terms of relative changes in the measured levels of proteins, phospho-proteins and cellular phenotypes such as viability. Computational network models are derived de novo, i.e., without prior knowledge of signaling pathways, and are based on simple non-linear differential equations. The prohibitively large solution space of all possible network models is explored efficiently using a probabilistic algorithm, Belief Propagation (BP), which is three orders of magnitude faster than standard Monte Carlo methods. Explicit executable models are derived for a set of perturbation experiments in SKMEL-133 melanoma cell lines, which are resistant to the therapeutically important inhibitor of RAF kinase. The resulting network models reproduce and extend known pathway biology. They empower potential discoveries of new molecular interactions and predict efficacious novel drug perturbations, such as the inhibition of PLK1, which is verified experimentally. This technology is suitable for application to larger systems in diverse areas of molecular biology.

  15. Micrasterias as a Model System in Plant Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    Lütz-Meindl, Ursula

    2016-01-01

    The unicellular freshwater alga Micrasterias denticulata is an exceptional organism due to its complex star-shaped, highly symmetric morphology and has thus attracted the interest of researchers for many decades. As a member of the Streptophyta, Micrasterias is not only genetically closely related to higher land plants but shares common features with them in many physiological and cell biological aspects. These facts, together with its considerable cell size of about 200 μm, its modest cultivation conditions and the uncomplicated accessibility particularly to any microscopic techniques, make Micrasterias a very well suited cell biological plant model system. The review focuses particularly on cell wall formation and composition, dictyosomal structure and function, cytoskeleton control of growth and morphogenesis as well as on ionic regulation and signal transduction. It has been also shown in the recent years that Micrasterias is a highly sensitive indicator for environmental stress impact such as heavy metals, high salinity, oxidative stress or starvation. Stress induced organelle degradation, autophagy, adaption and detoxification mechanisms have moved in the center of interest and have been investigated with modern microscopic techniques such as 3-D- and analytical electron microscopy as well as with biochemical, physiological and molecular approaches. This review is intended to summarize and discuss the most important results obtained in Micrasterias in the last 20 years and to compare the results to similar processes in higher plant cells. PMID:27462330

  16. Fractal analysis in a Systems Biology approach to cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bizzarri, M.; Giuliani, A.; Cucina, A.; Anselmi, F. D; Soto, A. M.; Sonnenschein, C.

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a highly complex disease due to the disruption of tissue architecture. Thus, tissues, and not individual cells, are the proper level of observation for the study of carcinogenesis. This paradigm shift from a reductionist approach to a systems biology approach is long overdue. Indeed, cell phenotypes are emergent modes arising through collective non-linear interactions among different cellular and microenvironmental components, generally described by “phase space diagrams”, where stable states (attractors) are embedded into a landscape model. Within this framework, cell states and cell transitions are generally conceived as mainly specified by gene-regulatory networks. However, the system s dynamics is not reducible to the integrated functioning of the genome-proteome network alone; the epithelia-stroma interacting system must be taken into consideration in order to give a more comprehensive picture. Given that cell shape represents the spatial geometric configuration acquired as a result of the integrated set of cellular and environmental cues, we posit that fractal-shape parameters represent “omics descriptors of the epithelium-stroma system. Within this framework, function appears to follow form, and not the other way around. PMID:21514387

  17. Systems biology of recombinant protein production using Bacillus megaterium.

    PubMed

    Biedendieck, Rebekka; Borgmeier, Claudia; Bunk, Boyke; Stammen, Simon; Scherling, Christian; Meinhardt, Friedhelm; Wittmann, Christoph; Jahn, Dieter

    2011-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli is the most widely used production host for recombinant proteins in both academia and industry. The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus megaterium represents an increasingly used alternative for high yield intra- and extracellular protein synthesis. During the past two decades, multiple tools including gene expression plasmids and production strains have been developed. Introduction of free replicating and integrative plasmids into B. megaterium is possible via protoplasts transformation or transconjugation. Using His(6)- and StrepII affinity tags, the intra- or extracellular produced proteins can easily be purified in one-step procedures. Different gene expression systems based on the xylose controlled promoter P(xylA) and various phage RNA polymerase (T7, SP6, K1E) driven systems enable B. megaterium to produce up to 1.25g of recombinant protein per liter. Biomass concentrations of up to 80g/l can be achieved by high cell density cultivations in bioreactors. Gene knockouts and gene replacements in B. megaterium are possible via an optimized gene disruption system. For a safe application in industry, sporulation and protease-deficient as well as UV-sensitive mutants are available. With the help of the recently published B. megaterium genome sequence, it is possible to characterize bottle necks in the protein production process via systems biology approaches based on transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and fluxome data. The bioinformatical platform (Megabac, http://www.megabac.tu-bs.de) integrates obtained theoretical and experimental data.

  18. Large-scale violation of detailed balance in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broedersz, Chase; Battle, Christopher; Fakhri, Nikta; Mackintosh, Fred; Schmidt, Christopher

    2015-03-01

    Living systems are out of equilibrium. A fundamental manifestation of non-equilibrium dynamics in biological systems is the violation of detailed balance: at the microscopic level, enzymatic processes such as kinetic proofreading or molecular motor activity clearly violate detailed balance. We study how such non-equilibrium dynamics emerge at macroscopic scales in cellular assemblies. We measure the steady-state dynamics of two systems, beating flagella of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and mechanosensitive primary cilia protruding from epithelial kidney cells. The flagellum exhibits clear non-equilibrium driving, whereas fluctuations in the primary cilium are difficult to differentiate from Brownian motion. We parameterize the shapes of the flagellum and primary cilium using a low-dimensional representation of their configuration phase space, and use the measured dynamics to infer the steady-state probability distributions and probability currents. For both the flagellum and the primary cilium we find significant, coherent circulating probability currents, demonstrating that these systems violate detailed balance at the mesoscopic scale.

  19. System integration and development for biological warfare agent surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mark, Jacob A.; Green, Lance D.; Deshpande, Alina; White, P. Scott

    2007-04-01

    A wide variety of technical needs exist for surveillance, monitoring, identifying, or detecting pathogens with potential use as biological terrorism or warfare agents. Because the needs vary greatly among diverse applications, tailored systems are needed that meet performance, information, and cost requirements. A systems perspective allows developers to identify chokepoints for each application, and focus R&D investments on the limiting factors. Surveillance and detection systems are comprised of three primary components: information (markers), chemistries (assays), and instrumentation for "readout". Careful consideration of these components within the context of each application will allow for increases in efficiency and performance not generally realized when researchers focus on a single component in isolation. In fact, many application requirements can be met with simple novel combinations of existing technologies, without the need for huge investments in basic research. Here we discuss some of the key parameters for surveillance, detection, and identification of biothreat agents, and provide examples of focused development that addresses key bottlenecks, and greatly improve system performance.

  20. Functional Synchronization of Biological Rhythms in a Tritrophic System

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sufang; Wei, Jianing; Guo, Xiaojiao; Liu, Tong-Xian; Kang, Le

    2010-01-01

    In a tritrophic system formed by a plant, an herbivore and a natural enemy, each component has its own biological rhythm. However, the rhythm correlations among the three levels and the underlying mechanisms in any tritrophic system are largely unknown. Here, we report that the rhythms exhibited bidirectional correlations in a model tritrophic system involving a lima bean, a pea leafminer and a parasitoid. From the bottom-up perspective, the rhythm was initiated from herbivore feeding, which triggered the rhythms of volatile emissions; then the rhythmic pattern of parasitoid activities was affected, and these rhythms were synchronized by a light switch signal. Increased volatile concentration can enhance the intensity of parasitoid locomotion and oviposition only under light. From the top-down perspective, naive and oviposition-experienced parasitoids were able to utilize the different volatile rhythm information from the damaged plant to locate host leafminers respectively. Our results indicated that the three interacting organisms in this system can achieve rhythmic functional synchronization under a natural light-dark photoperiod, but not under constant light or darkness. These findings provide new insight into the rhythm synchronization of three key players that contribute to the utilization of light and chemical signals, and our results may be used as potential approaches for manipulating natural enemies. PMID:20552008