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Sample records for affect biological processes

  1. Auditory motion affects visual biological motion processing.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A; van der Zwan, R; Billard, A; Petreska, B; Clarke, S; Blanke, O

    2007-02-01

    The processing of biological motion is a critical, everyday task performed with remarkable efficiency by human sensory systems. Interest in this ability has focused to a large extent on biological motion processing in the visual modality (see, for example, Cutting, J. E., Moore, C., & Morrison, R. (1988). Masking the motions of human gait. Perception and Psychophysics, 44(4), 339-347). In naturalistic settings, however, it is often the case that biological motion is defined by input to more than one sensory modality. For this reason, here in a series of experiments we investigate behavioural correlates of multisensory, in particular audiovisual, integration in the processing of biological motion cues. More specifically, using a new psychophysical paradigm we investigate the effect of suprathreshold auditory motion on perceptions of visually defined biological motion. Unlike data from previous studies investigating audiovisual integration in linear motion processing [Meyer, G. F. & Wuerger, S. M. (2001). Cross-modal integration of auditory and visual motion signals. Neuroreport, 12(11), 2557-2560; Wuerger, S. M., Hofbauer, M., & Meyer, G. F. (2003). The integration of auditory and motion signals at threshold. Perception and Psychophysics, 65(8), 1188-1196; Alais, D. & Burr, D. (2004). No direction-specific bimodal facilitation for audiovisual motion detection. Cognitive Brain Research, 19, 185-194], we report the existence of direction-selective effects: relative to control (stationary) auditory conditions, auditory motion in the same direction as the visually defined biological motion target increased its detectability, whereas auditory motion in the opposite direction had the inverse effect. Our data suggest these effects do not arise through general shifts in visuo-spatial attention, but instead are a consequence of motion-sensitive, direction-tuned integration mechanisms that are, if not unique to biological visual motion, at least not common to all types of

  2. Coupled model of physical and biological processes affecting maize pollination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arritt, R.; Westgate, M.; Riese, J.; Falk, M.; Takle, E.

    2003-04-01

    Controversy over the use of genetically modified (GM) crops has led to increased interest in evaluating and controlling the potential for inadvertent outcrossing in open-pollinated crops such as maize. In response to this problem we have developed a Lagrangian model of pollen dispersion as a component of a coupled end-to-end (anther to ear) physical-biological model of maize pollination. The Lagrangian method is adopted because of its generality and flexibility: first, the method readily accommodates flow fields of arbitrary complexity; second, each element of the material being transported can be identified by its source, time of release, or other properties of interest. The latter allows pollen viability to be estimated as a function of such factors as travel time, temperature, and relative humidity, so that the physical effects of airflow and turbulence on pollen dispersion can be considered together with the biological aspects of pollen release and viability. Predicted dispersion of pollen compares well both to observations and to results from a simpler Gaussian plume model. Ability of the Lagrangian model to handle complex air flows is demonstrated by application to pollen dispersion in the vicinity of an agricultural shelter belt. We also show results indicating that pollen viability can be quantified by an "aging function" that accounts for temperature, humidity, and time of exposure.

  3. Interacting Physical and Biological Processes Affecting Nutrient Transport Through Human Dominated Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities increasingly dominate biogeochemical cycles of limiting nutrients on Earth. Urban and agricultural landscapes represent the largest sources of excess nutrients that drive water quality degradation. The physical structure of both urban and agricultural watersheds has been extensively modified, and these changes have large impacts on water and nutrient transport. Despite strong physical controls over nutrient transport in human dominated landscapes, biological processes play important roles in determining the fates of both nitrogen and phosphorus. This talk uses examples from research in urban and agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern USA to illustrate interactions of physical and biological controls over nutrient cycles that have shifted nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) sources and cycling in unexpected ways in response to management changes. In urban watersheds, efforts to improve water quality have been hindered by legacy sources of phosphorus added to storm water through transport to drainage systems by vegetation. Similarly, reductions in field erosion in agricultural watersheds have not led to major reductions in phosphorus transport, because of continued release of biological sources of P. Where management of phosphorus has been most effective in reducing eutrophication of lakes, decreases in N removal processes have led to long term increases in N concentration and transport. Together, these examples show important roles for biological processes affecting nutrient movement in highly modified landscapes. Consideration of the downstream physical and biological responses of management changes are thus critical toward identification of actions that will most effectively reduce excess nutrients watersheds and coastal zones.

  4. Cholinesterase-Targeting microRNAs Identified in silico Affect Specific Biological Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hanin, Geula; Soreq, Hermona

    2011-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs) have emerged as important gene silencers affecting many target mRNAs. Here, we report the identification of 244 miRs that target the 3′-untranslated regions of different cholinesterase transcripts: 116 for butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), 47 for the synaptic acetylcholinesterase (AChE-S) splice variant, and 81 for the normally rare splice variant AChE-R. Of these, 11 and 6 miRs target both AChE-S and AChE-R, and AChE-R and BChE transcripts, respectively. BChE and AChE-S showed no overlapping miRs, attesting to their distinct modes of miR regulation. Generally, miRs can suppress a number of targets; thereby controlling an entire battery of functions. To evaluate the importance of the cholinesterase-targeted miRs in other specific biological processes we searched for their other experimentally validated target transcripts and analyzed the gene ontology enriched biological processes these transcripts are involved in. Interestingly, a number of the resulting categories are also related to cholinesterases. They include, for BChE, response to glucocorticoid stimulus, and for AChE, response to wounding and two child terms of neuron development: regulation of axonogenesis and regulation of dendrite morphogenesis. Importantly, all of the AChE-targeting miRs found to be related to these selected processes were directed against the normally rare AChE-R splice variant, with three of them, including the neurogenesis regulator miR-132, also directed against AChE-S. Our findings point at the AChE-R splice variant as particularly susceptible to miR regulation, highlight those biological functions of cholinesterases that are likely to be subject to miR post-transcriptional control, demonstrate the selectivity of miRs in regulating specific biological processes, and open new venues for targeted interference with these specific processes. PMID:22007158

  5. Affective processing requires awareness.

    PubMed

    Lähteenmäki, Mikko; Hyönä, Jukka; Koivisto, Mika; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-04-01

    Studies using backward masked emotional stimuli suggest that affective processing may occur outside visual awareness and imply primacy of affective over semantic processing, yet these experiments have not strictly controlled for the participants' awareness of the stimuli. Here we directly compared the primacy of affective versus semantic categorization of biologically relevant stimuli in 5 experiments (n = 178) using explicit (semantic and affective discrimination; Experiments 1-3) and implicit (semantic and affective priming; Experiments 4-5) measures. The same stimuli were used in semantic and affective tasks. Visual awareness was manipulated by varying exposure duration of the masked stimuli, and subjective level of stimulus awareness was measured after each trial using a 4-point perceptual awareness scale. When participants reported no awareness of the stimuli, semantic and affective categorization were at chance level and priming scores did not differ from zero. When participants were even partially aware of the stimuli, (a) both semantic and affective categorization could be performed above chance level with equal accuracy, (b) semantic categorization was faster than affective categorization, and (c) both semantic and affective priming were observed. Affective categorization speed was linearly dependent on semantic categorization speed, suggesting dependence of affective processing on semantic recognition. Manipulations of affective and semantic categorization tasks revealed a hierarchy of categorization operations beginning with basic-level semantic categorization and ending with superordinate level affective categorization. We conclude that both implicit and explicit affective and semantic categorization is dependent on visual awareness, and that affective recognition follows semantic categorization. PMID:25559654

  6. Do fattening process and biological parameters affect the accumulation of metals in Atlantic bluefin tuna?

    PubMed

    Milatou, Niki; Dassenakis, Manos; Megalofonou, Persefoni

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the current levels of heavy metals and trace elements in Atlantic bluefin tuna muscle tissues and how they are influenced by the fattening process and various life history parameters to ascertain whether the concentrations in muscle tissue exceed the maximum levels defined by the European Commission Decision and to evaluate the health risk posed by fish consumption. A total of 20 bluefin tuna reared in sea cages, ranging from 160 to 295 cm in length and from 80 to 540 kg in weight, were sampled from a bluefin tuna farm in the Ionian Sea. The condition factor K of each specimen was calculated and their age was estimated. Heavy metal and trace element (Hg, Zn, Fe and Cu) contents were determined in muscle tissue using cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry and flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The total Hg concentrations ranged from 0.28 to 1.28 mg kg(-1) w/w, Zn from 5.81 to 76.37 mg kg(-1) w/w, Fe from 12.14 to 39.58 mg kg(-1) w/w, and Cu from 0.36 to 0.94 mg kg(-1) w/w. Only 5% of the muscle samples of tuna contained Hg above the maximum level laid down by the European Commission Decision. Moreover, 15% of the muscle samples contained Zn above the maximum level, while Fe and Cu concentrations were within the acceptable tolerable guideline values. The reared bluefin tuna had lower concentrations of Hg than the wild ones from the Mediterranean Sea. Hg and Fe concentrations showed a positive relationship with size and age of bluefin tuna, whereas negative relationships were found for the concentrations of Zn and Cu. The estimated dietary intake values of the analysed metals were mostly below the derived guidelines. PMID:25906290

  7. TGF-β stimulation in human and murine cells reveals commonly affected biological processes and pathways at transcription level

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The TGF-β signaling pathway is a fundamental pathway in the living cell, which plays a key role in many central cellular processes. The complex and sometimes contradicting mechanisms by which TGF-β yields phenotypic effects are not yet completely understood. In this study we investigated and compared the transcriptional response profile of TGF-β1 stimulation in different cell types. For this purpose, extensive experiments are performed and time-course microarray data are generated in human and mouse parenchymal liver cells, human mesenchymal stromal cells and mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells at different time points. We applied a panel of bioinformatics methods on our data to uncover common patterns in the dynamic gene expression response in respective cells. Results Our analysis revealed a quite variable and multifaceted transcriptional response profile of TGF-β1 stimulation, which goes far beyond the well-characterized classical TGF-β1 signaling pathway. Nonetheless, we could identify several commonly affected processes and signaling pathways across cell types and species. In addition our analysis suggested an important role of the transcription factor EGR1, which appeared to have a conserved influence across cell-types and species. Validation via an independent dataset on A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells largely confirmed our findings. Network analysis suggested explanations, how TGF-β1 stimulation could lead to the observed effects. Conclusions The analysis of dynamical transcriptional response to TGF-β treatment experiments in different human and murine cell systems revealed commonly affected biological processes and pathways, which could be linked to TGF-β1 via network analysis. This helps to gain insights about TGF-β pathway activities in these cell systems and its conserved interactions between the species and tissue types. PMID:24886091

  8. Positive affect and psychobiological processes

    PubMed Central

    Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Positive affect has been associated with favourable health outcomes, and it is likely that several biological processes mediate the effects of positive mood on physical health. There is converging evidence that positive affect activates the neuroendocrine, autonomic and immune systems in distinct and functionally meaningful ways. Cortisol, both total output and the awakening response, has consistently been shown to be lower among individuals with higher levels of positive affect. The beneficial effects of positive mood on cardiovascular function, including heart rate and blood pressure, and the immune system have also been described. The influence of positive affect on these psychobiological processes are independent of negative affect, suggesting that positive affect may have characteristic biological correlates. The duration and conceptualisation of positive affect may be important considerations in understanding how different biological systems are activated in association with positive affect. The association of positive affect and psychobiological processes has been established, and these biological correlates may be partly responsible for the protective effects of positive affect on health outcomes. PMID:20097225

  9. Restorative biological processes and health

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Theodore F.; Carroll, Judith E.

    2011-01-01

    Research on psychological influences on physiology primarily focuses on biological responses during stressful challenges, and how those responses can become dysregulated with prolonged or repeated exposure to stressful circumstances. At the same time, humans spend considerable time recovering from those challenges, and a host of biological processes involved in restoration and repair take place during normal, non-stressed activities. We review restorative biological processes and evidence for links between psychosocial factors and several restorative processes including sleep, wound healing, antioxidant production, DNA repair, and telomerase function. Across these biological processes, a growing body of evidence suggests that experiencing negative emotional states, including acute and chronic stress, depressive symptoms, and individual differences in negative affectivity and hostility, can influence these restorative processes. This review calls attention to restorative processes as fruitful mechanisms and outcomes for future biobehavioral research. PMID:21927619

  10. Hydrogeochemical and biological processes affecting the long-term performance of an iron-based permeable reactive barrier.

    PubMed

    Zolla, Valerio; Freyria, Francesca Stefania; Sethi, Rajandrea; Di Molfetta, Antonio

    2009-01-01

    Despite the wide diffusion of zero-valent iron (Fe(0)) permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), there is still a great uncertainty about their longevity and long-term performance. The aim of this study is to investigate the biological and the hydrogeochemical processes that take place at a Fe(0) installation located in Avigliana, Italy, and to derive some general considerations about long-term performance of PRBs.The examined PRB was installed in November 2004 to remediate a chlorinated solvents plume (mainly trichloroethene and 1,2-dichloroethene). The investigation was performed during the third year of operation and included: (1) groundwater sampling and analysis for chlorinated solvents, dissolved CH(4), dissolved H(2) and major inorganic constituents; (2) Fe(0) core sampling and analysis by SEM-EDS, XRD, and FTIR spectroscopy for the organic fraction; (3) in situ permeability tests and flow field monitoring by water level measurements.The study revealed that iron passivation is negligible, as the PRB is still able to effectively treat the contaminants and to reduce their concentrations below target values. Precipitation of several inorganic compounds inside the PRB was evidenced by SEM-EDS and XRD analysis conducted on iron samples. Groundwater sampling evidenced heavy sulfate depletion and the highest reported CH(4) concentration (>5,000 microg/L) at zero-valent iron PRB sites. These are due to the intense microbial activity of sulfate-reducers and methanogens, whose proliferation was most likely stimulated by the use of a biopolymer (i.e. guar gum) as shoring fluid during the excavation of the barrier. Slug tests within the barrier evidenced an apparent hydraulic conductivity two orders of magnitude lower than the predicted value. This occurrence can be ascribed to biofouling and/or accumulation of CH(4)(g) inside the iron filings.This experience suggests that when biopolymer shoring is planned to be used, long-term column tests should be performed beforehand

  11. Molecular Processes in Biological Thermosensation

    PubMed Central

    Digel, I.; Kayser, P.; Artmann, G. M.

    2008-01-01

    Since thermal gradients are almost everywhere, thermosensation could represent one of the oldest sensory transduction processes that evolved in organisms. There are many examples of temperature changes affecting the physiology of living cells. Almost all classes of biological macromolecules in a cell (nucleic acids, lipids, proteins) can present a target of the temperature-related stimuli. This review discusses some features of different classes of temperature-sensing molecules as well as molecular and biological processes that involve thermosensation. Biochemical, structural, and thermodynamic approaches are applied in the paper to organize the existing knowledge on molecular mechanisms of thermosensation. Special attention is paid to the fact that thermosensitive function cannot be assigned to any particular functional group or spatial structure but is rather of universal nature. For instance, the complex of thermodynamic, structural, and functional features of hemoglobin family proteins suggests their possible accessory role as “molecular thermometers”. PMID:20130806

  12. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Members of the synthetic biology community have discussed the significance of word selection when describing synthetic biology to the general public. In particular, many leaders proposed the word "create" was laden with negative connotations. We found that word choice and framing does affect public perception of synthetic biology. In a controlled experiment, participants perceived synthetic biology more negatively when "create" was used to describe the field compared to "construct" (p = 0.008). Contrary to popular opinion among synthetic biologists, however, low religiosity individuals were more influenced negatively by the framing manipulation than high religiosity people. Our results suggest that synthetic biologists directly influence public perception of their field through avoidance of the word "create". PMID:21777466

  13. Thermodynamics of Biological Processes

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Hernan G.; Kondev, Jane; Orme, Nigel; Theriot, Julie A.; Phillips, Rob

    2012-01-01

    There is a long and rich tradition of using ideas from both equilibrium thermodynamics and its microscopic partner theory of equilibrium statistical mechanics. In this chapter, we provide some background on the origins of the seemingly unreasonable effectiveness of ideas from both thermodynamics and statistical mechanics in biology. After making a description of these foundational issues, we turn to a series of case studies primarily focused on binding that are intended to illustrate the broad biological reach of equilibrium thinking in biology. These case studies include ligand-gated ion channels, thermodynamic models of transcription, and recent applications to the problem of bacterial chemotaxis. As part of the description of these case studies, we explore a number of different uses of the famed Monod–Wyman–Changeux (MWC) model as a generic tool for providing a mathematical characterization of two-state systems. These case studies should provide a template for tailoring equilibrium ideas to other problems of biological interest. PMID:21333788

  14. Sentences as Biological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeil, David

    A study of the speech process was conducted. The process is described as one closely linked to the one involved in the problem of the serial order in behavior. It is pointed out that in the speech of young children the grammatical relations that are properties of elementary underlying sentences appear in the grammatical meanings. Six examples of…

  15. DEMONSTRATION BULLETIN: BIOLOGICAL DENITRIFICATION PROCESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    NRMRL-CIN-1362 SAIC. Demonstration Bulletin: Biological Denitrification Process, Ecomat, Inc.. 2001. EPA/540/MR-01/501. 03/15/2001 EcoMat, Inc. of Hayward, CA has developed a two-stage ex situ anoxic biofilter biodenitrification process. The process is a fixed film bioremedia...

  16. Factors Affecting the Tutoring Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Hope J.

    1990-01-01

    Analyzes factors internal to the tutor and tutee (i.e., cognition, metacognition, and affect) and external to them (e.g., teacher/tutor background knowledge, educational environment, content to be learned, socioeconomic status, family background, and cultural forces) that influence the tutoring process. Suggests a theoretical framework for…

  17. Fluctuating Thermodynamics for Biological Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ham, Sihyun

    Because biomolecular processes are largely under thermodynamic control, dynamic extension of thermodynamics is necessary to uncover the mechanisms and driving factors of fluctuating processes. The fluctuating thermodynamics technology presented in this talk offers a practical means for the thermodynamic characterization of conformational dynamics in biomolecules. The use of fluctuating thermodynamics has the potential to provide a comprehensive picture of fluctuating phenomena in diverse biological processes. Through the application of fluctuating thermodynamics, we provide a thermodynamic perspective on the misfolding and aggregation of the various proteins associated with human diseases. In this talk, I will present the detailed concepts and applications of the fluctuating thermodynamics technology for elucidating biological processes. This work was supported by Samsung Science and Technology Foundation under Project Number SSTF-BA1401-13.

  18. Affective Processes and Academic Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feshbach, Norma Deitch; Feshbach, Seymour

    1987-01-01

    Data indicate that for girls, affective dispositional factors (empathy, depressive affectivity, aggression, and self-concept) are intimately linked to cognitive development and academic achievement. (PCB)

  19. Can Polyphosphate Biochemistry Affect Biological Apatite Saturation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omelon, S. J.; Matsuura, N.; Gorelikov, I.; Wynnyckyj, C.; Grynpas, M. D.

    2010-12-01

    (estimated to be 1 g apatite/mL). Carbonates (as NaHCO3 or CaCO3) were used to buffer the protons produced upon polyP hydrolytic degradation to Pi, releasing Ca+2, increasing apatite saturation for precipitation. Initial Ca:P ratios (by EDS) was <1, indicative of Ca-polyP. After incubation, Ca:P ratios were >1, suggesting the formation of Ca-PO4 minerals. XRD results identified Na-Ca- carbonate phases, & hydroxyapatite & carbonated apatite, & residual carbonate reagent. Further optimization of this biological apatite precipitation system will be presented. 1 Kornberg, A., Ann Rev Biochem 1999 (68) 89 2 Kulaev IS, Vagabov VM, Kulakovskaya TV (2004) The Biochemistry of Inorganic Polyphosphates. Chichester, England, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 3 Blake, R. E., O’Neil, J.R., and Surov, A. Am J Sci 2005 (305) 596 4 Heersche, J. N. M. et al. (1990) Bone Regulatory Factors; Plenum Press: New York 5 Omelon et al., PLoS ONE 2009 4(5), e5634

  20. Photochemical tools to study dynamic biological processes

    PubMed Central

    Specht, Alexandre; Bolze, Frédéric; Omran, Ziad; Nicoud, Jean-François; Goeldner, Maurice

    2009-01-01

    Light-responsive biologically active compounds offer the possibility to study the dynamics of biological processes. Phototriggers and photoswitches have been designed, providing the capability to rapidly cause the initiation of wide range of dynamic biological phenomena. We will discuss, in this article, recent developments in the field of light-triggered chemical tools, specially how two-photon excitation, “caged” fluorophores, and the photoregulation of protein activities in combination with time-resolved x-ray techniques should break new grounds in the understanding of dynamic biological processes. PMID:20119482

  1. Modelling Biological Processes Using Simple Matrices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paton, Ray

    1991-01-01

    A variety of examples are given from different areas of biology to illustrate the general applicability of matrix algebra to discrete models. These models of biological systems are concerned with relations between processes occurring in discrete time intervals. Diffusion, ecosystems, and different types of cells are modeled. (KR/Author)

  2. Affective processing in bilingual speakers: disembodied cognition?

    PubMed

    Pavlenko, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    A recent study by Keysar, Hayakawa, and An (2012) suggests that "thinking in a foreign language" may reduce decision biases because a foreign language provides a greater emotional distance than a native tongue. The possibility of such "disembodied" cognition is of great interest for theories of affect and cognition and for many other areas of psychological theory and practice, from clinical and forensic psychology to marketing, but first this claim needs to be properly evaluated. The purpose of this review is to examine the findings of clinical, introspective, cognitive, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging studies of affective processing in bilingual speakers in order to identify converging patterns of results, to evaluate the claim about "disembodied cognition," and to outline directions for future inquiry. The findings to date reveal two interrelated processing effects. First-language (L1) advantage refers to increased automaticity of affective processing in the L1 and heightened electrodermal reactivity to L1 emotion-laden words. Second-language (L2) advantage refers to decreased automaticity of affective processing in the L2, which reduces interference effects and lowers electrodermal reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. The differences in L1 and L2 affective processing suggest that in some bilingual speakers, in particular late bilinguals and foreign language users, respective languages may be differentially embodied, with the later learned language processed semantically but not affectively. This difference accounts for the reduction of framing biases in L2 processing in the study by Keysar et al. (2012). The follow-up discussion identifies the limits of the findings to date in terms of participant populations, levels of processing, and types of stimuli, puts forth alternative explanations of the documented effects, and articulates predictions to be tested in future research. PMID:23163422

  3. Age, Marital Processes, and Depressed Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bookwala, Jamila; Jacobs, Jamie

    2004-01-01

    Purpose: We examined age-cohort differences in the interrelationships among marital processes and depressed affect. Design and Methods: We used data from individuals in first marriages that participated in the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). The NSFH interviewed one adult per household of a nationally representative sample.…

  4. Cognitive and Affective Processes Underlying Career Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muja, Naser; Appelbaum, Steven H.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Aligning social identity and career identity has become increasingly complex due to growth in the pursuit of meaningful careers that offer very long-term personal satisfaction and stability. This paper aims to explore the complex cognitive and affective thought process involved in the conscious planning of voluntary career change.…

  5. Subsurface processes affecting cold season streamflow generation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The amount and timing of snowmelt-generated streamflow greatly affects the management of water resources in the western USA and Canada. Subsurface processes that deliver water to streams during snowmelt are somewhat different from those that occur during rainfall. In this study we document some of ...

  6. Biological treatment processes for fish processing wastewater--a review.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Pankaj; Viraraghavan, T; Srinivasan, A

    2010-01-01

    Water consumption in a fish-processing industry and high-strength wastewater from such an industry are of great concern world-wide. Liquid effluent regulations are becoming more stringent day by day. Biological treatment is the best option for such a wastewater. Anaerobic processes such as upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, anaerobic filter (AF) and anaerobic fluidized bed (AFB) reactor can achieve high (80-90%) organics removal and produce biogas. Aerobic processes such as activated sludge, rotating biological contactor, trickling filter and lagoons are also suitable for organics removal. Anaerobic digestion followed by an aerobic process is an optimal process option for fish processing wastewater treatment. PMID:19751972

  7. Biological Modulation of Deep Earth Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, Norm

    2011-01-01

    The Earth became habitable once CO2 could be subducted into the deep mantle. It is likely that the Earth's surface became clement or even frigid within a few million years after it cooled to habitable temperatures (less than 120°C). Early life obtained its energy from chemical disequilibrium produced by internal processes within the Earth and photolysis in the air and water. The global productivity was tiny and life did not leave a useful record. By the time of the first good geological record at 3.8 billion years, life had evolved anoxygenic (sulfide and ferrous iron) photosynthesis on both water and land. By then, the effects of life were so pervasive that it is not straightforward to infer the prebiotic environment; serpentine existed and catalysts including Ni3Fe and Pt-group minerals were present in trace amounts. On land by 3.8 billion years ago, life had bountiful energy to enhance chemical weathering to liberate Fe(II). Microbial crusts covered available landscape. Life modulates crustal tectonics by producing sandstones, shales, and carbonates that form fold mountains. Melted shales became granitic rocks with quartz. The process is a climatic buffer as it replaced (black daisy) fresh basalts with (white daisy) sand deserts and granites. The subducted produces of photosynthesis control the sulfur content and oxidation state of arc lavas. Even the mantle is strongly affected by photosynthesis. Biology determines the mantle abundances of N and C. Kimberlites (in the general sense) return CO2-rich subducted shallow oceanic crust and sediments to the surface. The chemistry of these rocks provides a record of surface conditions. It is likely that the mantle in general and kimberlites in particular sequester information on the earliest Earth that is no longer preserved in the crust.

  8. Microphysical Processes Affecting the Pinatubo Volcanic Plume

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamill, Patrick; Houben, Howard; Young, Richard; Turco, Richard; Zhao, Jingxia

    1996-01-01

    In this paper we consider microphysical processes which affect the formation of sulfate particles and their size distribution in a dispersing cloud. A model for the dispersion of the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic cloud is described. We then consider a single point in the dispersing cloud and study the effects of nucleation, condensation and coagulation on the time evolution of the particle size distribution at that point.

  9. [Affect processing in psychosomatic patients. I].

    PubMed

    Ahrens, S

    1984-01-01

    The present article reports the results of an empirical investigation concerned with specific characteristics of psychosomatic patients. Subjects suffering from ulcus duodeni or from colitis ulcerosa designated as psychosomatic patients. Controls were chosen from among neurotic patients and from among patients with only somatic illness. Against the background of the criticism with regard to the scientific approaches so far, our own approach was conceived as an experiment. Film episodes of two contrating (friendly versus unfriendly) interactions between physician and patient were offered to the test subjects as triggering situations. The contents of these film segments were organized in a manner calculated to produce an affective embarrassment in the psychosomatic patients. The reactions of the test subjects were inventoried on two levels. One of the levels of investigation was geared to cognitive processes by the application of Hofstätter's list of polarities (1955, 1973). In this case the psychosomatic patients distinguished themselves from the two control groups in that they misinterpreted the differences in the affective contents of both film sequences. On the other level of investigation subconscious processes were recorded by the application of Gottschalk's analysis of verbal contents. In this context all three groups in the investigation reacted in a similar manner to friendly connotations in the behaviour of the physician, namely with hidden aggressions. The results infer an affective resonance of the investigated psychosomatic patients on a subconscious level which, however, does not become evident on the conscious cognitive level. PMID:6485587

  10. Industrial waste treatment process engineering. Volume 2: Biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    Celenza, G.J.

    1999-11-01

    Industrial Waste Treatment Process Engineering is a step-by-step implementation manual in three volumes, detailing the selection and design of industrial liquid and solid waste treatment systems. It consolidates all the process engineering principles required to evaluate a wide range of industrial facilities, starting with pollution prevention and source control and ending with end-of-pipe treatment technologies. This three-volume set is a practical guide for environmental engineers with process implementation responsibilities; a one-stop resource for process engineering requirements--from plant planning to implementing specific treatment technologies for unit operations; a comprehensive reference for industrial waste treatment technologies; and includes calculations and worked problems based on industry cases. The contents of Volume 2 include: aeration; aerobic biological oxidation; activated sludge system; biological oxidation: lagoons; biological oxidation: fixed film processes; aerobic digesters; anaerobic waste treatment, anaerobic sludge treatment; and sedimentation.

  11. Adaptive filtering in biological signal processing.

    PubMed

    Iyer, V K; Ploysongsang, Y; Ramamoorthy, P A

    1990-01-01

    The high dependence of conventional optimal filtering methods on the a priori knowledge of the signal and noise statistics render them ineffective in dealing with signals whose statistics cannot be predetermined accurately. Adaptive filtering methods offer a better alternative, since the a priori knowledge of statistics is less critical, real time processing is possible, and the computations are less expensive for this approach. Adaptive filtering methods compute the filter coefficients "on-line", converging to the optimal values in the least-mean square (LMS) error sense. Adaptive filtering is therefore apt for dealing with the "unknown" statistics situation and has been applied extensively in areas like communication, speech, radar, sonar, seismology, and biological signal processing and analysis for channel equalization, interference and echo canceling, line enhancement, signal detection, system identification, spectral analysis, beamforming, modeling, control, etc. In this review article adaptive filtering in the context of biological signals is reviewed. An intuitive approach to the underlying theory of adaptive filters and its applicability are presented. Applications of the principles in biological signal processing are discussed in a manner that brings out the key ideas involved. Current and potential future directions in adaptive biological signal processing are also discussed. PMID:2180633

  12. Chapter 4: Measuring Energetics of Biological Processes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Measurement of the energetics of biological processes is the key component in understanding the thermodynamic responses of homoeothermic animals to the environment. For these animals to achieve body temperature control, they must adapt to thermal-environmental conditions and variations caused by wea...

  13. The reverse control of irreversible biological processes.

    PubMed

    Cho, Kwang-Hyun; Joo, Jae Il; Shin, Dongkwan; Kim, Dongsan; Park, Sang-Min

    2016-09-01

    Most biological processes have been considered to be irreversible for a long time, but some recent studies have shown the possibility of their reversion at a cellular level. How can we then understand the reversion of such biological processes? We introduce a unified conceptual framework based on the attractor landscape, a molecular phase portrait describing the dynamics of a molecular regulatory network, and the phenotype landscape, a map of phenotypes determined by the steady states of particular output molecules in the attractor landscape. In this framework, irreversible processes involve reshaping of the phenotype landscape, and the landscape reshaping causes the irreversibility of processes. We suggest reverse control by network rewiring which changes network dynamics with constant perturbation, resulting in the restoration of the original phenotype landscape. The proposed framework provides a conceptual basis for the reverse control of irreversible biological processes through network rewiring. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2016, 8:366-377. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1346 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27327189

  14. Building phenomenological models of complex biological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, Bryan; Nemenman, Ilya

    2009-11-01

    A central goal of any modeling effort is to make predictions regarding experimental conditions that have not yet been observed. Overly simple models will not be able to fit the original data well, but overly complex models are likely to overfit the data and thus produce bad predictions. Modern quantitative biology modeling efforts often err on the complexity side of this balance, using myriads of microscopic biochemical reaction processes with a priori unknown kinetic parameters to model relatively simple biological phenomena. In this work, we show how Bayesian model selection (which is mathematically similar to low temperature expansion in statistical physics) can be used to build coarse-grained, phenomenological models of complex dynamical biological processes, which have better predictive powers than microscopically correct, but poorely constrained mechanistic molecular models. We illustrate this on the example of a multiply-modifiable protein molecule, which is a simplified description of multiple biological systems, such as an immune receptors and an RNA polymerase complex. Our approach is similar in spirit to the phenomenological Landau expansion for the free energy in the theory of critical phenomena.

  15. Assessment of biological Hydrogen production processes: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Najafpour, G. D.; Shahavi, M. H.; Neshat, S. A.

    2016-06-01

    Energy crisis created a special attention on renewable energy sources. Among these sources; hydrogen through biological processes is well-known as the most suitable and renewable energy sources. In terms of process yield, hydrogen production from various sources was evaluated. A summary of microorganisms as potential hydrogen producers discussed along with advantages and disadvantages of several bioprocesses. The pathway of photo-synthetic and dark fermentative organisms was discussed. In fact, the active enzymes involved in performance of biological processes for hydrogen generation were identified and their special functionalities were discussed. The influential factors affecting on hydrogen production were known as enzymes assisting liberation specific enzymes such as nitrogenase, hydrogenase and uptake hydrogenase. These enzymes were quite effective in reduction of proton and form active molecular hydrogen. Several types of photosynthetic systems were evaluated with intension of maximum hydrogen productivities. In addition dark fermentative and light intensities on hydrogen productions were evaluated. The hydrogen productivities of efficient hydrogen producing strains were evaluated.

  16. Processing biological tissues for ultrastructural study.

    PubMed

    Mascorro, José A; Bozzola, John J

    2007-01-01

    Biological tissues are passed through numerous procedures before they can be studied at the ultrastructural level with the electron microscope. Chemical fixation is widely used as a method for preserving structural detail and can be performed by simple immersion or total body vascular perfusion. A 2 to 4% solution of glutaraldehyde buffered with 0.1 M sodium phosphate, or a combination of similarly buffered glutaraldehyde and paraformaldehyde, can be used successfully to preserve the fine structure of biological tissues. The material next is washed briefly in the buffer vehicle and then secondarily fixed in 1% osmium tetroxide (osmic acid), which also is buffered with sodium phosphate. The tissue then is thoroughly dehydrated in solutions of ethanol at increasing concentrations of 50%, 70%, 95%, and 100%. After dehydration, tissues are infiltrated for a prescribed time interval with an epoxy embedding medium. After infiltration, specimens are transferred into fresh epoxy resin and polymerized at 60 to 70 degrees C for several hours. This orderly process ultimately yields fixed tissues that are encased in hardened blocks that can be thin-sectioned with an ultramicrotome. The thin sections are counterstained with solutions of heavy metals to add contrast. The material then can be subjected to the electron beam in an electron microscope to produce useful images for ultrastructural study. This overall procedure has been used successfully since the advent of biological electron microscopy to define the minute details of cells and tissues. PMID:17656744

  17. Microphysical processes affecting stratospheric aerosol particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamill, P.; Toon, O. B.; Kiang, C. S.

    1977-01-01

    Physical processes which affect stratospheric aerosol particles include nucleation, condensation, evaporation, coagulation and sedimentation. Quantitative studies of these mechanisms to determine if they can account for some of the observed properties of the aerosol are carried out. It is shown that the altitude range in which nucleation of sulfuric acid-water solution droplets can take place corresponds to that region of the stratosphere where the aerosol is generally found. Since heterogeneous nucleation is the dominant nucleation mechanism, the stratospheric solution droplets are mainly formed on particles which have been mixed up from the troposphere or injected into the stratosphere by volcanoes or meteorites. Particle growth by heteromolecular condensation can account for the observed increase in mixing ratio of large particles in the stratosphere. Coagulation is important in reducing the number of particles smaller than 0.05 micron radius. Growth by condensation, applied to the mixed nature of the particles, shows that available information is consistent with ammonium sulfate being formed by liquid phase chemical reactions in the aerosol particles. The upper altitude limit of the aerosol layer is probably due to the evaporation of sulfuric acid aerosol particles, while the lower limit is due to mixing across the tropopause.

  18. Rotating Biological Contractors (RBC's). Instructor's Guide. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

    This two-lesson unit on rotating biological contactors (RBC's) is designed to be used with students who have had some experience in wastewater treatment and a basic understanding of biological treatment. The first lesson provides information on the concepts and components of RBC treatment systems. The second lesson focuses on design operation and…

  19. Fractal Scaling of Particle Size Distribution and Relationships with Topsoil Properties Affected by Biological Soil Crusts

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Guang-Lei; Ding, Guo-Dong; Wu, Bin; Zhang, Yu-Qing; Qin, Shu-Gao; Zhao, Yuan-Yuan; Bao, Yan-Feng; Liu, Yun-Dong; Wan, Li; Deng, Ji-Feng

    2014-01-01

    Background Biological soil crusts are common components of desert ecosystem; they cover ground surface and interact with topsoil that contribute to desertification control and degraded land restoration in arid and semiarid regions. Methodology/Principal Findings To distinguish the changes in topsoil affected by biological soil crusts, we compared topsoil properties across three types of successional biological soil crusts (algae, lichens, and mosses crust), as well as the referenced sandland in the Mu Us Desert, Northern China. Relationships between fractal dimensions of soil particle size distribution and selected soil properties were discussed as well. The results indicated that biological soil crusts had significant positive effects on soil physical structure (P<0.05); and soil organic carbon and nutrients showed an upward trend across the successional stages of biological soil crusts. Fractal dimensions ranged from 2.1477 to 2.3032, and significantly linear correlated with selected soil properties (R2 = 0.494∼0.955, P<0.01). Conclusions/Significance Biological soil crusts cause an important increase in soil fertility, and are beneficial to sand fixation, although the process is rather slow. Fractal dimension proves to be a sensitive and useful index for quantifying changes in soil properties that additionally implies desertification. This study will be essential to provide a firm basis for future policy-making on optimal solutions regarding desertification control and assessment, as well as degraded ecosystem restoration in arid and semiarid regions. PMID:24516668

  20. Howard Brenner's Legacy for Biological Transport Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitsche, Johannes

    2014-11-01

    This talk discusses the manner in which Howard Brenner's theoretical contributions have had, and long will have, strong and direct impact on the understanding of transport processes occurring in biological systems. His early work on low Reynolds number resistance/mobility coefficients of arbitrarily shaped particles, and particles near walls and in pores, is an essential component of models of hindered diffusion through many types of membranes and tissues, and convective transport in microfluidic diagnostic systems. His seminal contributions to macrotransport (coarse-graining, homogenization) theory presaged the growing discipline of multiscale modeling. For biological systems they represent the key to infusing diffusion models of a wide variety of tissues with a sound basis in their microscopic structure and properties, often over a hierarchy of scales. Both scientific currents are illustrated within the concrete context of diffusion models of drug/chemical diffusion through the skin. This area of theory, which is key to transdermal drug development and risk assessment of chemical exposure, has benefitted very directly from Brenner's contributions. In this as in other areas, Brenner's physicochemical insight, mathematical virtuosity, drive for fully justified analysis free of ad hoc assumptions, quest for generality, and impeccable exposition, have consistently elevated the level of theoretical understanding and presentation. We close with anecdotes showing how his personal qualities and warmth helped to impart high standards of rigor to generations of grateful research students. Authors are Johannes M. Nitsche, Ludwig C. Nitsche and Gerald B. Kasting.

  1. Biologically important compounds in synfuels processes

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, B R; Ho, C; Griest, W H; Guerin, M R

    1980-01-01

    Crude products, by-products and wastes from synfuel processes contain a broad spectrum of chemical compounds - many of which are active in biological systems. Discerning which compound classes are most important is necessary in order to establish effective control over release or exposure. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), multialkylated PAH, primary aromatic amines and N-heterocyclic PAH are significant contributors to the overall mutagenic activities of a large number of materials examined. Ames test data show that the basic, primary aromatic amine fraction is the most active. PAHs, multialkylated PAHs and N-heterocyclic PAHs are all components of the neutral fraction. In nearly all cases, the neutral fractions contribute the largest portion of the mutagenic activity, while the basic primary aromatic amine fractions have the highest specific activity. Neutral fractions are usually the largest (wt %) whereas the total basic fractions are small by comparison; thus, the overall greater contribution of the neutral fraction to the mutagenic activity of most samples. Biologically active constituents are isolated in preparative scale amounts from complex mixtures utilizing combinations of liquid-liquid extraction and various liquid chromatographic column-eluant combinations. Fractions are characterized using a combination of spectroscopic techniques and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

  2. A synthetic biology approach to understanding cellular information processing

    PubMed Central

    Riccione, Katherine A; Smith, Robert P; Lee, Anna J; You, Lingchong

    2012-01-01

    The survival of cells and organisms requires proper responses to environmental signals. These responses are governed by cellular networks, which serve to process diverse environmental cues. Biological networks often contain recurring network topologies called ‘motifs’. It has been recognized that the study of such motifs allows one to predict the response of a biological network, and thus cellular behavior. However, studying a single motif in complete isolation of all other network motifs in a natural setting is difficult. Synthetic biology has emerged as a powerful approach to understanding the dynamic properties of network motifs. In addition to testing existing theoretical predictions, construction and analysis of synthetic gene circuits has led to the discovery of novel motif dynamics such as how the combination of simple motifs can lead to autonomous dynamics or how noise in transcription and translation can affect the dynamics of a motif. Here, we review developments in synthetic biology as they pertain to increasing our understanding of cellular information processing. We highlight several types of dynamic behaviors that diverse motifs can generate, including the control of input/output responses, the generation of autonomous spatial and temporal dynamics, as well as the influence of noise in motif dynamics and cellular behavior. PMID:23411668

  3. Adoption: biological and social processes linked to adaptation.

    PubMed

    Grotevant, Harold D; McDermott, Jennifer M

    2014-01-01

    Children join adoptive families through domestic adoption from the public child welfare system, infant adoption through private agencies, and international adoption. Each pathway presents distinctive developmental opportunities and challenges. Adopted children are at higher risk than the general population for problems with adaptation, especially externalizing, internalizing, and attention problems. This review moves beyond the field's emphasis on adoptee-nonadoptee differences to highlight biological and social processes that affect adaptation of adoptees across time. The experience of stress, whether prenatal, postnatal/preadoption, or during the adoption transition, can have significant impacts on the developing neuroendocrine system. These effects can contribute to problems with physical growth, brain development, and sleep, activating cascading effects on social, emotional, and cognitive development. Family processes involving contact between adoptive and birth family members, co-parenting in gay and lesbian adoptive families, and racial socialization in transracially adoptive families affect social development of adopted children into adulthood. PMID:24016275

  4. Mutation of the Zinc-Binding Metalloprotease Motif Affects Bacteroides fragilis Toxin Activity but Does Not Affect Propeptide Processing

    PubMed Central

    Franco, Augusto A.; Buckwold, Simy L.; Shin, Jai W.; Ascon, Miguel; Sears, Cynthia L.

    2005-01-01

    To evaluate the role of the zinc-binding metalloprotease in Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) processing and activity, the zinc-binding consensus sequences (H348, E349, H352, G355, H358, and M366) were mutated by site-directed-mutagenesis. Our results indicated that single point mutations in the zinc-binding metalloprotease motif do not affect BFT processing but do reduce or eliminate BFT biologic activity in vitro. PMID:16041055

  5. Rotating Biological Contactors (RBC's). Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

    This student manual provides the textual material for a unit on rotating biological contactors (RBC's). Topic areas considered include: (1) flow patterns of water through RBC installations; (2) basic concepts (shaft and stage); (3) characteristics of biomass; (4) mechanical features (bearings, mechanical drive systems, and air drive systems); (5)…

  6. Flexible control in processing affective and non-affective material predicts individual differences in trait resilience.

    PubMed

    Genet, Jessica J; Siemer, Matthias

    2011-02-01

    Trait resilience is a stable personality characteristic that involves the self-reported ability to flexibly adapt to emotional events and situations. The present study examined cognitive processes that may explain individual differences in trait resilience. Participants completed self-report measures of trait resilience, cognitive flexibility and working memory capacity tasks, and a novel affective task-switching paradigm that assesses the ability to flexibly switch between processing the affective versus non-affective qualities of affective stimuli (i.e., flexible affective processing). As hypothesised, cognitive flexibility and flexible affective processing were unique predictors of trait resilience. Working memory capacity was not predictive of trait resilience, indicating that trait resilience is tied to specific cognitive processes rather than overall better cognitive functioning. Cognitive flexibility and flexible affective processing were not associated with other trait measures, suggesting that these flexibility processes are unique to trait resilience. This study was among the first to investigate the cognitive abilities underlying trait resilience. PMID:21432680

  7. Do unconscious processes affect educational institutions?

    PubMed

    Hinshelwood, R D

    2009-10-01

    In this article I discuss the way that aspects of school and teaching have unconscious roots. Where anxiety about the process, for teachers and children, is high then there is the risk that unconscious defensive processes may occur resulting in institutionalized phenomena. These take the form of cultural attitudes and common practices which may not necessarily enhance the work and in some cases may actively interfere. PMID:19759069

  8. POLISHING THE EFFLUENT FROM AN ANAEROBIC BIOLOGICAL PERCHLORATE TREATMENT PROCESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anaerobic biological processes effectively reduce perchlorate to chloride. However, the effluent can be biologically unstable, high in particulates and high in disinfection by-product precursor compounds. Such an effluent would be unsuitable for transmission into a drinking water...

  9. Reading biological processes from nucleotide sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murugan, Anand

    Cellular processes have traditionally been investigated by techniques of imaging and biochemical analysis of the molecules involved. The recent rapid progress in our ability to manipulate and read nucleic acid sequences gives us direct access to the genetic information that directs and constrains biological processes. While sequence data is being used widely to investigate genotype-phenotype relationships and population structure, here we use sequencing to understand biophysical mechanisms. We present work on two different systems. First, in chapter 2, we characterize the stochastic genetic editing mechanism that produces diverse T-cell receptors in the human immune system. We do this by inferring statistical distributions of the underlying biochemical events that generate T-cell receptor coding sequences from the statistics of the observed sequences. This inferred model quantitatively describes the potential repertoire of T-cell receptors that can be produced by an individual, providing insight into its potential diversity and the probability of generation of any specific T-cell receptor. Then in chapter 3, we present work on understanding the functioning of regulatory DNA sequences in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Here we use experiments that measure the transcriptional activity of large libraries of mutagenized promoters and enhancers and infer models of the sequence-function relationship from this data. For the bacterial promoter, we infer a physically motivated 'thermodynamic' model of the interaction of DNA-binding proteins and RNA polymerase determining the transcription rate of the downstream gene. For the eukaryotic enhancers, we infer heuristic models of the sequence-function relationship and use these models to find synthetic enhancer sequences that optimize inducibility of expression. Both projects demonstrate the utility of sequence information in conjunction with sophisticated statistical inference techniques for dissecting underlying biophysical

  10. Sound Affects the Speed of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keetels, Mirjam; Vroomen, Jean

    2011-01-01

    The authors examined the effects of a task-irrelevant sound on visual processing. Participants were presented with revolving clocks at or around central fixation and reported the hand position of a target clock at the time an exogenous cue (1 clock turning red) or an endogenous cue (a line pointing toward 1 of the clocks) was presented. A…

  11. Dilution, Not Load, Affects Distractor Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Daryl E.; Muroi, Miya; MacLeod, Colin M.

    2011-01-01

    Lavie and Tsal (1994) proposed that spare attentional capacity is allocated involuntarily to the processing of irrelevant stimuli, thereby enabling interference. Under this view, when task demands increase, spare capacity should decrease and distractor interference should decrease. In support, Lavie and Cox (1997) found that increasing perceptual…

  12. Heterogeneity of major affective disorders. Biological and clinical evidence.

    PubMed

    Vita, A; Sacchetti, E; Conte, G; Alciati, A; Pennati, A

    1985-01-01

    In this paper we summarize the results of our recent and present research focused on analyzing the correlations between neurochemical, pharmacological and clinical parameters in patients with Major Depression. There is evidence that: a) pretreatment urinary MHPG is a useful predictor for clinical response to tricyclic antidepressants and to long-term lithium treatment; b) urinary MHPG is positively correlated to the age at onset of the disease; c) previous responses to tricyclics and age at onset of affective illness are supplementary tools for predicting the effectiveness of lithium and antidepressant drugs; d) platelet alpha-2-adrenoceptor density is inversely correlated with both urinary MHPG and age at onset; e) cerebral ventricular size is positively correlated with urinary MHPG and age at onset and may discriminate between patients with different outcomes on lithium prophylaxis; f) low MHPG excretors are more likely to have suffered from stressful life events in early childhood than normal-to-high excretors. Taken together, these results lend strong support to the hypothesis that Major Affective Disorder is a heterogeneous illness and that inherently different subgroups of affective patients can be recognized. PMID:2990848

  13. Photoactivated biological processes as quantum measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imamoglu, A.; Whaley, K. B.

    2015-02-01

    We outline a framework for describing photoactivated biological reactions as generalized quantum measurements of external fields, for which the biological system takes on the role of a quantum meter. By using general arguments regarding the Hamiltonian that describes the measurement interaction, we identify the cases where it is essential for a complex chemical or biological system to exhibit nonequilibrium quantum coherent dynamics in order to achieve the requisite functionality. We illustrate the analysis by considering measurement of the solar radiation field in photosynthesis and measurement of the earth's magnetic field in avian magnetoreception.

  14. Low temperature alteration processes affecting ultramafic bodies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nesbitt, H.W.; Bricker, O.P.

    1978-01-01

    At low temperatures, in the presence of an aqueous solution, olivine and orthopyroxene are not stable relative to the hydrous phases brucite, serpentine and talc. Alteration of dunite and peridotite to serpentine or steatite bodies must therefore proceed via non-equilibrium processes. The compositions of natural solutions emanating from dunites and peridotites demonstrate that the dissolution of forsterite and/or enstatite is rapid compared with the precipitation of the hydrous phases; consequently, dissolution of anhydrous minerals controls the chemistry of such solutions. In the presence of an aqueous phase, precipitation of hydrous minerals is the rate-controlling step. Brucite-bearing and -deficient serpentinites alter at low temperature by non-equilibrium processes, as evidenced by the composition of natural solutions from these bodies. The solutions approach equilibrium with the least stable hydrous phase and, as a consequence, are supersaturated with other hydrous phases. Dissolution of the least stable phase is rapid compared to precipitation of other phases, so that the dissolving mineral controls the solution chemistry. Non-equilibrium alteration of anhydrous ultramafic bodies continues until at least one anhydrous phase equilibrates with brucite, chrysotile or talc. The lowest temperature (at a given pressure) at which this happens is defined by the reaction: 3H2O + 2Mg2SiO4 ??? Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + Mg(OH)2 (Johannes, 1968, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 19, 309-315) so that non-equilibrium alteration may occur well into greenschist facies metamorphic conditions. ?? 1978.

  15. Optimization criteria and biological process enrichment in homologous multiprotein modules.

    PubMed

    Hodgkinson, Luqman; Karp, Richard M

    2013-06-25

    Biological process enrichment is a widely used metric for evaluating the quality of multiprotein modules. In this study, we examine possible optimization criteria for detecting homologous multiprotein modules and quantify their effects on biological process enrichment. We find that modularity, linear density, and module size are the most important criteria considered, complementary to each other, and that graph theoretical attributes account for 36% of the variance in biological process enrichment. Variations in protein interaction similarity within module pairs have only minor effects on biological process enrichment. As random modules increase in size, both biological process enrichment and modularity tend to improve, although modularity does not show this upward trend in modules with size at most 50 proteins. To adjust for these trends, we recommend a size correction based on random sampling of modules when using biological process enrichment or other attributes to evaluate module boundaries. Characteristics of homologous multiprotein modules optimized for each of the optimization criteria are examined. PMID:23757502

  16. Cloud Processed CCN Affect Cloud Microphysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, J. G.; Noble, S. R., Jr.; Tabor, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    Variations in the bimodality/monomodality of CCN spectra (Hudson et al. 2015) exert opposite effects on cloud microphysics in two aircraft field projects. The figure shows two examples, droplet concentration, Nc, and drizzle liquid water content, Ld, against classification of CCN spectral modality. Low ratings go to balanced separated bimodal spectra, high ratings go to single mode spectra, strictly monomodal 8. Intermediate ratings go merged modes, e.g., one mode a shoulder of another. Bimodality is caused by mass or hygroscopicity increases that go only to CCN that made activated cloud droplets. In the Ice in Clouds Experiment-Tropical (ICE-T) small cumuli with lower Nc, greater droplet mean diameters, MD, effective radii, re, spectral widths, σ, cloud liquid water contents, Lc, and Ld were closer to more bimodal (lower modal ratings) below cloud CCN spectra whereas clouds with higher Nc, smaller MD, re, σ, and Ld were closer to more monomodal CCN (higher modal ratings). In polluted stratus clouds of the MArine Stratus/Stratocumulus Experiment (MASE) clouds that had greater Nc, and smaller MD, re, σ, Lc, and Ld were closer to more bimodal CCN spectra whereas clouds with lower Nc, and greater MD, re, σ, Lc, and Ld were closer to more monomodal CCN. These relationships are opposite because the dominant ICE-T cloud processing was coalescence whereas chemical transformations (e.g., SO2 to SO4) were dominant in MASE. Coalescence reduces Nc and thus also CCN concentrations (NCCN) when droplets evaporate. In subsequent clouds the reduced competition increases MD and σ, which further enhance coalescence and drizzle. Chemical transformations do not change Nc but added sulfate enhances droplet and CCN solubility. Thus, lower critical supersaturation (S) CCN can produce more cloud droplets in subsequent cloud cycles, especially for the low W and effective S of stratus. The increased competition reduces MD, re, and σ, which inhibit coalescence and thus reduce drizzle

  17. Studies of dynamical processes affecting global climate

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, C.; Cooper, D.; Eichinger, W.

    1998-12-31

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The main objective was, by a combined theoretical and observational approach, to develop improved models of dynamic processes in the oceans and atmosphere and to incorporate them into large climate codes, chiefly in four main areas: numerical physics, chemistry, water vapor, and ocean-atmosphere interactions. Main areas of investigation included studies of: cloud parameterizations for global climate codes, Lidar and the planetary boundary layer, chemistry, climate variability using coupled ocean-atmospheric models, and numerical physical methods. This project employed a unique approach that included participation of a number of University of California faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who collaborated with Los Alamos research staff on specific tasks, thus greatly enhancing the research output. Overall accomplishments during the sensing of the atmospheric planetary were: (1) first two- and three-dimensional remote sensing of the atmospheric planetary boundary layer using Lidars, (2) modeling of 20-year cycle in both pressure and sea surface temperatures in North Pacific, (3) modeling of low frequency internal variability, (4) addition of aerosols to stratosphere to simulate Pinatubo effect on ozone, (5) development of fast, comprehensive chemistry in the troposphere for urban pollution studies, (6) new prognostic cloud parameterization in global atmospheric code remedied problems with North Pacific atmospheric circulation and excessive equatorial precipitation, (7) development of a unique aerosol analysis technique, the aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS), which allows real-time analysis of the size and chemical composition of individual aerosol particles, and (8) numerical physics applying Approximate Inertial Manifolds to ocean circulation. 14 refs., 6 figs.

  18. Biologics formulation factors affecting metal leachables from stainless steel.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shuxia; Schöneich, Christian; Singh, Satish K

    2011-03-01

    An area of increasing concern and scientific scrutiny is the potential contamination of drug products by leachables entering the product during manufacturing and storage. These contaminants may either have a direct safety impact on the patients or act indirectly through the alteration of the physicochemical properties of the product. In the case of biotherapeutics, trace amounts of metal contaminants can arise from various sources, but mainly from contact with stainless steel (ss). The effect of the various factors, buffer species, solution fill volume per unit contact surface area, metal chelators, and pH, on metal leachables from contact with ss over time were investigated individually. Three major metal leachables, iron, chromium, and nickel, were monitored by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry because they are the major components of 316L ss. Iron was primarily used to evaluate the effect of each factor since it is the most abundant. It was observed that each studied factor exhibited its own effect on metal leachables from contact with ss. The effect of buffer species and pH exhibited temperature dependence over the studied temperature range. The metal leachables decreased with the increased fill volume (mL) per unit contact ss surface area (cm(2)) but a plateau was achieved at approximately 3 mL/cm(2). Metal chelators produced the strongest effect in facilitating metal leaching. In order to minimize the metal leachables and optimize biological product stability, each formulation factor must be evaluated for its impact, to balance its risk and benefit in achieving the target drug product shelf life. PMID:21360314

  19. Water in Biological and Chemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagchi, Biman

    2013-11-01

    Part I. Bulk Water: 1. Uniqueness of water; 2. Anomalies of water; 3. Dynamics of water: molecular motions and hydrogen bond breaking kinetics; 4. Inherent structures of liquid water; 5. pH of water; Part II. Water in Biology: Dynamical View and Function: 6. Biological water; 7. Explicit role of water in biological functions; 8. Hydration of proteins; 9. Can we understand protein hydration layer: lessons from computer simulations; 10. Water in and around DNA and RNA; 11. Role of water in protein-DNA interaction; 12. Water surrounding lipid bilayers; 13. Water in Darwin's world; Part III. Water in Complex Chemical Systems: 14. Hydrophilic effects; 15. Hydrophobic effects; 16. Aqueous binary mixtures: amphiphilic effect; 17. Water in and around micelles, reverse micelles and microemulsions; 18. Water in carbon nanotubes; Part IV. Bulk Water: Advanced Topics: 19. Entropy of water; 20. Freezing of water into ice; 21. Supercritical water; 22. Microscopic approaches to understand water anomalies.

  20. Streamlined ammonia removal from wastewater using biological deammonification process

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this work we evaluated biological deammonification process to more economically remove ammonia from livestock wastewater. The process combines partial nitritation (PN) and anammox. The anammox is a biologically mediated reaction that oxidizes ammonia (NH4+) and releases di-nitrogen gas (N2) unde...

  1. Breathing and affective picture processing across the adult lifespan.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Filippou, Dimitra; Pais, Bruno; von Gunten, Armin; Danuser, Brigitta

    2016-09-01

    The present study investigated differences between healthy younger, middle-aged, and older adults in their respiratory responses to pictures of different valence and arousal. Expiratory time shortened and end-tidal PCO2 decreased with increasing arousal in all age groups; yet, compared to younger adults, older adults' overall change from baseline was smaller for expiratory time and larger for end-tidal PCO2. Contrary to their younger counterparts, older adults' inspiratory time did not shorten with increasing arousal. Inspiratory duty cycle did not covary with affective ratings for younger adults, increased with unpleasantness for middle-aged adults, and increased with arousal for older adults. Thoracic breathing increased with increasing unpleasantness only among older adults. Age had no effects on mean inspiratory flow and minute ventilation, which both augmented as arousal increased. We discuss how age effects on respiratory response magnitude and pattern may depend on age-associated biological changes or reflect age-related differences in emotional processing. PMID:27417701

  2. Inferring Group Processes from Computer-Mediated Affective Text Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Schryver, Jack C; Begoli, Edmon; Jose, Ajith; Griffin, Christopher

    2011-02-01

    Political communications in the form of unstructured text convey rich connotative meaning that can reveal underlying group social processes. Previous research has focused on sentiment analysis at the document level, but we extend this analysis to sub-document levels through a detailed analysis of affective relationships between entities extracted from a document. Instead of pure sentiment analysis, which is just positive or negative, we explore nuances of affective meaning in 22 affect categories. Our affect propagation algorithm automatically calculates and displays extracted affective relationships among entities in graphical form in our prototype (TEAMSTER), starting with seed lists of affect terms. Several useful metrics are defined to infer underlying group processes by aggregating affective relationships discovered in a text. Our approach has been validated with annotated documents from the MPQA corpus, achieving a performance gain of 74% over comparable random guessers.

  3. Implicit Processing of Visual Emotions Is Affected by Sound-Induced Affective States and Individual Affective Traits

    PubMed Central

    Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bertolino, Alessandro; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-01-01

    The ability to recognize emotions contained in facial expressions are affected by both affective traits and states and varies widely between individuals. While affective traits are stable in time, affective states can be regulated more rapidly by environmental stimuli, such as music, that indirectly modulate the brain state. Here, we tested whether a relaxing or irritating sound environment affects implicit processing of facial expressions. Moreover, we investigated whether and how individual traits of anxiety and emotional control interact with this process. 32 healthy subjects performed an implicit emotion processing task (presented to subjects as a gender discrimination task) while the sound environment was defined either by a) a therapeutic music sequence (MusiCure), b) a noise sequence or c) silence. Individual changes in mood were sampled before and after the task by a computerized questionnaire. Additionally, emotional control and trait anxiety were assessed in a separate session by paper and pencil questionnaires. Results showed a better mood after the MusiCure condition compared with the other experimental conditions and faster responses to happy faces during MusiCure compared with angry faces during Noise. Moreover, individuals with higher trait anxiety were faster in performing the implicit emotion processing task during MusiCure compared with Silence. These findings suggest that sound-induced affective states are associated with differential responses to angry and happy emotional faces at an implicit stage of processing, and that a relaxing sound environment facilitates the implicit emotional processing in anxious individuals. PMID:25072162

  4. Implicit processing of visual emotions is affected by sound-induced affective states and individual affective traits.

    PubMed

    Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bertolino, Alessandro; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-01-01

    The ability to recognize emotions contained in facial expressions are affected by both affective traits and states and varies widely between individuals. While affective traits are stable in time, affective states can be regulated more rapidly by environmental stimuli, such as music, that indirectly modulate the brain state. Here, we tested whether a relaxing or irritating sound environment affects implicit processing of facial expressions. Moreover, we investigated whether and how individual traits of anxiety and emotional control interact with this process. 32 healthy subjects performed an implicit emotion processing task (presented to subjects as a gender discrimination task) while the sound environment was defined either by a) a therapeutic music sequence (MusiCure), b) a noise sequence or c) silence. Individual changes in mood were sampled before and after the task by a computerized questionnaire. Additionally, emotional control and trait anxiety were assessed in a separate session by paper and pencil questionnaires. Results showed a better mood after the MusiCure condition compared with the other experimental conditions and faster responses to happy faces during MusiCure compared with angry faces during Noise. Moreover, individuals with higher trait anxiety were faster in performing the implicit emotion processing task during MusiCure compared with Silence. These findings suggest that sound-induced affective states are associated with differential responses to angry and happy emotional faces at an implicit stage of processing, and that a relaxing sound environment facilitates the implicit emotional processing in anxious individuals. PMID:25072162

  5. ECOMAT INC. BIOLOGICAL DENITRIFICATION PROCESS, ITER

    EPA Science Inventory

    EcoMat, Inc. of Hayward, California (EcoMat) has developed an ex situ anoxic biofilter biodenitrification (BDN) process. The process uses specific biocarriers and bacteria to treat nitrate-contaminated water and employs a patented reactor that retains biocarrier within the syste...

  6. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages

    PubMed Central

    Uusberg, Andero; Uibo, Helen; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Tamm, Maria; Raidvee, Aire; Allik, Jüri

    2013-01-01

    Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting affective images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using early posterior negativity (EPN, 175–300 ms) as well as P3-like (P3, 300–500 ms) and slow wave (SW, 500–1500 ms) portions of the late positive potential. All analyzed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli. PMID:24421772

  7. Preliminary benefit analysis of biological space processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perrine, J.

    1976-01-01

    The value of weightlessness in bioprocessing is assessed. The ecomonic benefits are assessed for space processing urokinase and human lymphocytes for treatment of end stage renal disease and thromboembolisms.

  8. Biological solids reduction using the Cannibal process.

    PubMed

    Novak, John T; Chon, Dong H; Curtis, Betty-Ann; Doyle, Mike

    2007-11-01

    A laboratory study of the Cannibal process was undertaken to determine if the Cannibal system would generate less sludge compared with a conventional activated sludge system. Side-by-side sequencing batch reactors were operated--one using the Cannibal configuration and the other as conventional activated sludge. It was found that the Cannibal process generated 60% less solids than the conventional activated sludge system, without any negative effect on the effluent quality or the settling characteristics of the activated sludge. The oxygen uptake rate for the centrate from the Cannibal bioreactor showed that readily biodegradable organic matter was released from the recycled biomass in the Cannibal bioreactor. It is proposed that the mechanism for reduced solids from the Cannibal system is that, in the Cannibal bioreactor, iron is reduced, releasing iron-bound organic material into solution. When the Cannibal biomass is recirculated back to the aeration basin, the released organic material is rapidly degraded. PMID:18044354

  9. A Mathematical Analysis of a Biology Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juratoni, A.; Bundǎu, O.; Chevereşan, A.

    2010-09-01

    We present a mathematical model of tumor growth with an immune response. We will analyze the problem of maximizes the effects of the immunotherapy while minimizing the number of tumor cells and the cost of the control which is given by medical treatment. Mathematical modeling of this process leads to an optimal control problem with a finite horizon. We give an existence result and we prove the necessary conditions for the optimal control problem.

  10. A literature-based similarity metric for biological processes

    PubMed Central

    Chagoyen, Monica; Carmona-Saez, Pedro; Gil, Concha; Carazo, Jose M; Pascual-Montano, Alberto

    2006-01-01

    Background Recent analyses in systems biology pursue the discovery of functional modules within the cell. Recognition of such modules requires the integrative analysis of genome-wide experimental data together with available functional schemes. In this line, methods to bridge the gap between the abstract definitions of cellular processes in current schemes and the interlinked nature of biological networks are required. Results This work explores the use of the scientific literature to establish potential relationships among cellular processes. To this end we haveused a document based similarity method to compute pair-wise similarities of the biological processes described in the Gene Ontology (GO). The method has been applied to the biological processes annotated for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. We compared our results with similarities obtained with two ontology-based metrics, as well as with gene product annotation relationships. We show that the literature-based metric conserves most direct ontological relationships, while reveals biologically sounded similarities that are not obtained using ontology-based metrics and/or genome annotation. Conclusion The scientific literature is a valuable source of information from which to compute similarities among biological processes. The associations discovered by literature analysis are a valuable complement to those encoded in existing functional schemes, and those that arise by genome annotation. These similarities can be used to conveniently map the interlinked structure of cellular processes in a particular organism. PMID:16872502

  11. Facultative Lagoons. Instructor's Guide. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersen, Lorri

    This instructor's guide contains materials needed to teach a two-lesson unit on the structure and components of facultative lagoons, the biological theory of their operation, and factors affecting their operation. Control testing recommendations, maintenance guidelines, and troubleshooting hints are also provided. These materials include: (1) an…

  12. Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the importation of highly specific inse...

  13. Factors Which Affect Students' Attitudes towards the Use of Living Animals in Learning Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silberstein, Moshe; Tamir, Pinchas

    1981-01-01

    Identifies factors which affect students' attitudes toward the use of animals in research and in learning biology. Responses of students (N=577) in grades 5, 7, 9, and 11 to questionnaires were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance by grade level and sex. Results and implications are discussed. (CS)

  14. Investigations of biological processes in Austrian MBT plants.

    PubMed

    Tintner, J; Smidt, E; Böhm, K; Binner, E

    2010-10-01

    Mechanical biological treatment (MBT) of municipal solid waste (MSW) has become an important technology in waste management during the last decade. The paper compiles investigations of mechanical biological processes in Austrian MBT plants. Samples from all plants representing different stages of degradation were included in this study. The range of the relevant parameters characterizing the materials and their behavior, e.g. total organic carbon, total nitrogen, respiration activity and gas generation sum, was determined. The evolution of total carbon and nitrogen containing compounds was compared and related to process operation. The respiration activity decreases in most of the plants by about 90% of the initial values whereas the ammonium release is still ongoing at the end of the biological treatment. If the biogenic waste fraction is not separated, it favors humification in MBT materials that is not observed to such extent in MSW. The amount of organic carbon is about 15% dry matter at the end of the biological treatment. PMID:20580543

  15. Investigations of biological processes in Austrian MBT plants

    SciTech Connect

    Tintner, J.; Smidt, E.; Boehm, K.; Binner, E.

    2010-10-15

    Mechanical biological treatment (MBT) of municipal solid waste (MSW) has become an important technology in waste management during the last decade. The paper compiles investigations of mechanical biological processes in Austrian MBT plants. Samples from all plants representing different stages of degradation were included in this study. The range of the relevant parameters characterizing the materials and their behavior, e.g. total organic carbon, total nitrogen, respiration activity and gas generation sum, was determined. The evolution of total carbon and nitrogen containing compounds was compared and related to process operation. The respiration activity decreases in most of the plants by about 90% of the initial values whereas the ammonium release is still ongoing at the end of the biological treatment. If the biogenic waste fraction is not separated, it favors humification in MBT materials that is not observed to such extent in MSW. The amount of organic carbon is about 15% dry matter at the end of the biological treatment.

  16. Students' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process Diagrams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Process diagrams describe how a system functions (e.g. photosynthesis) and are an important type of representation in Biology education. In the present study, we examined students' learning activities while studying process diagrams, related to their resulting comprehension of these diagrams. Each student completed three learning tasks. Verbal…

  17. Are you in the mood? Therapist affect and psychotherapy process.

    PubMed

    Chui, Harold; Hill, Clara E; Kline, Kathryn; Kuo, Patty; Mohr, Jonathan J

    2016-07-01

    Studies on therapist factors have mostly focused on therapist traits rather than states such as affect. Research related to therapist affect has often looked at therapist baseline well-being or therapist reactions, but not both. Fifteen therapists and 51 clients rated pre- and postsession affect, as well as postsession working alliance and session quality, for 1,172 sessions of individual psychotherapy at a community clinic. Therapists' affect became more positive when clients were initially positive and when clients became more positive over the session, and became more negative when clients were initially negative and when clients became more negative over the session. Furthermore, when therapists were initially positive in affect and when therapists became more positive over the session, clients rated the session quality to be high. Conversely, when therapists were initially negative in affect and when therapists became more negative over the session, clients rated the session quality and working alliance low. On open-ended questions, therapists reported mood shifts in 67% of sessions (63% positive, 50% negative). Positive affect change was attributed to collaborating with the client, perceiving the client to be engaged, or being a good therapist. Negative affect change was attributed to having a difficult client, perceiving the client to be in distress, or being a poor therapist. Thus, therapist state affect at presession and change in affect across a session may independently contribute to the process and outcome of therapy sessions. The examination of within-therapist variables over the course of therapy may further our understanding of therapist factors. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27177026

  18. fMRI Scanner Noise Interaction with Affective Neural Processes

    PubMed Central

    Skouras, Stavros; Gray, Marcus; Critchley, Hugo; Koelsch, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was the investigation of interaction effects between functional MRI scanner noise and affective neural processes. Stimuli comprised of psychoacoustically balanced musical pieces, expressing three different emotions (fear, neutral, joy). Participants (N=34, 19 female) were split into two groups, one subjected to continuous scanning and another subjected to sparse temporal scanning that features decreased scanner noise. Tests for interaction effects between scanning group (sparse/quieter vs continuous/noisier) and emotion (fear, neutral, joy) were performed. Results revealed interactions between the affective expression of stimuli and scanning group localized in bilateral auditory cortex, insula and visual cortex (calcarine sulcus). Post-hoc comparisons revealed that during sparse scanning, but not during continuous scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for fear, as well as stronger for fear than for neutral in bilateral auditory cortex. During continuous scanning, but not during sparse scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for neutral in the left auditory cortex and for joy than for fear in the calcarine sulcus. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to show a statistical interaction effect between scanner noise and affective processes and extends evidence suggesting scanner noise to be an important factor in functional MRI research that can affect and distort affective brain processes. PMID:24260420

  19. Interspecies Systems Biology Uncovers Metabolites Affecting C. elegans Gene Expression and Life History Traits

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Emma; MacNeil, Lesley T.; Ritter, Ashlyn D.; Yilmaz, L. Safak; Rosebrock, Adam P.; Caudy, Amy A.; Walhout, Albertha J. M.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Diet greatly influences gene expression and physiology. In mammals, elucidating the effects and mechanisms of individual nutrients is challenging due to the complexity of both the animal and its diet. Here we used an interspecies systems biology approach with Caenorhabditis elegans and two if its bacterial diets, Escherichia coli and Comamonas aquatica, to identify metabolites that affect the animal’s gene expression and physiology. We identify vitamin B12 as the major dilutable metabolite provided by Comamonas aq. that regulates gene expression, accelerates development and reduces fertility, but does not affect lifespan. We find that vitamin B12 has a dual role in the animal: it affects development and fertility via the methionine/S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM) cycle and breaks down the short-chain fatty acid propionic acid preventing its toxic buildup. Our interspecies systems biology approach provides a paradigm for understanding complex interactions between diet and physiology. PMID:24529378

  20. Affective picture processing: An integrative review of ERP findings

    PubMed Central

    Olofsson, Jonas K.; Nordin, Steven; Sequeira, Henrique; Polich, John

    2008-01-01

    The review summarizes and integrates findings from 40 years of event-related potential (ERP) studies using pictures that differ in valence (unpleasant-to-pleasant) and arousal (low-to-high) and that are used to elicit emotional processing. Affective stimulus factors primarily modulate ERP component amplitude, with little change in peak latency observed. Arousal effects are consistently obtained, and generally occur at longer latencies. Valence effects are inconsistently reported at several latency ranges, including very early components. Some affective ERP modulations vary with recording methodology, stimulus factors, as well as task-relevance and emotional state. Affective ERPs have been linked theoretically to attention orientation for unpleasant pictures at earlier components (< 300 ms). Enhanced stimulus processing has been associated with memory encoding for arousing pictures of assumed intrinsic motivational relevance, with task-induced differences contributing to emotional reactivity at later components (> 300 ms). Theoretical issues, stimulus factors, task demands, and individual differences are discussed. PMID:18164800

  1. PROCESSES AFFECTING SUBSURFACE TRANSPORT OF LEAKING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK FLUIDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The document focuses solely on the process affecting migration of fluids from a leaking tank and their effects on monitoring methodologies. Based upon the reviews presented, soil heterogeneities and the potential for multiphase flow will lead to high monitoring uncertainties if l...

  2. Developing Worksheet Based on Science Process Skills: Factors Affecting Solubility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karsli, Fethiye; Sahin, Cigdem

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop a worksheet about the factors affecting solubility, which could be useful for the prospective science teachers (PST) to remind and regain their science process skills (SPS). The pilot study of the WS was carried out with 32 first grade PST during the 2007-2008 academic year in the education department at…

  3. Towards the understanding of network information processing in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Vijay

    Living organisms perform incredibly well in detecting a signal present in the environment. This information processing is achieved near optimally and quite reliably, even though the sources of signals are highly variable and complex. The work in the last few decades has given us a fair understanding of how individual signal processing units like neurons and cell receptors process signals, but the principles of collective information processing on biological networks are far from clear. Information processing in biological networks, like the brain, metabolic circuits, cellular-signaling circuits, etc., involves complex interactions among a large number of units (neurons, receptors). The combinatorially large number of states such a system can exist in makes it impossible to study these systems from the first principles, starting from the interactions between the basic units. The principles of collective information processing on such complex networks can be identified using coarse graining approaches. This could provide insights into the organization and function of complex biological networks. Here I study models of biological networks using continuum dynamics, renormalization, maximum likelihood estimation and information theory. Such coarse graining approaches identify features that are essential for certain processes performed by underlying biological networks. We find that long-range connections in the brain allow for global scale feature detection in a signal. These also suppress the noise and remove any gaps present in the signal. Hierarchical organization with long-range connections leads to large-scale connectivity at low synapse numbers. Time delays can be utilized to separate a mixture of signals with temporal scales. Our observations indicate that the rules in multivariate signal processing are quite different from traditional single unit signal processing.

  4. Is metabolic rate a universal 'pacemaker' for biological processes?

    PubMed

    Glazier, Douglas S

    2015-05-01

    A common, long-held belief is that metabolic rate drives the rates of various biological, ecological and evolutionary processes. Although this metabolic pacemaker view (as assumed by the recent, influential 'metabolic theory of ecology') may be true in at least some situations (e.g. those involving moderate temperature effects or physiological processes closely linked to metabolism, such as heartbeat and breathing rate), it suffers from several major limitations, including: (i) it is supported chiefly by indirect, correlational evidence (e.g. similarities between the body-size and temperature scaling of metabolic rate and that of other biological processes, which are not always observed) - direct, mechanistic or experimental support is scarce and much needed; (ii) it is contradicted by abundant evidence showing that various intrinsic and extrinsic factors (e.g. hormonal action and temperature changes) can dissociate the rates of metabolism, growth, development and other biological processes; (iii) there are many examples where metabolic rate appears to respond to, rather than drive the rates of various other biological processes (e.g. ontogenetic growth, food intake and locomotor activity); (iv) there are additional examples where metabolic rate appears to be unrelated to the rate of a biological process (e.g. ageing, circadian rhythms, and molecular evolution); and (v) the theoretical foundation for the metabolic pacemaker view focuses only on the energetic control of biological processes, while ignoring the importance of informational control, as mediated by various genetic, cellular, and neuroendocrine regulatory systems. I argue that a comprehensive understanding of the pace of life must include how biological activities depend on both energy and information and their environmentally sensitive interaction. This conclusion is supported by extensive evidence showing that hormones and other regulatory factors and signalling systems coordinate the processes of

  5. Necker's smile: Immediate affective consequences of early perceptual processes.

    PubMed

    Topolinski, Sascha; Erle, Thorsten M; Reber, Rolf

    2015-07-01

    Current theories assume that perception and affect are separate realms of the mind. In contrast, we argue that affect is a genuine online-component of perception instantaneously mirroring the success of different perceptual stages. Consequently, we predicted that the success (failure) of even very early and cognitively encapsulated basic visual processing steps would trigger immediate positive (negative) affective responses. To test this assumption, simple visual stimuli that either allowed or obstructed early visual processing stages without participants being aware of this were presented briefly. Across 5 experiments, we found more positive affective responses to stimuli that allowed rather than obstructed Gestalt completion at certain early visual stages (Experiments 1-3; briefest presentation 100 ms with post-mask), and visual disambiguation in possible vs. impossible Necker cubes (Experiments 4 and 5; briefest presentation 100 ms with post-mask). This effect was observed both on verbal preference ratings (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) and as facial muscle responses occurring within 2-4 s after stimulus onset (zygomaticus activity; Experiments 3 and 7). For instance, in participants unaware of spatial possibility we found affective discrimination between possible and impossible Necker cubes (the famous Freemish Crate) for 100 ms presentation timings, although a conscious discrimination took more than 2000 ms (Experiment 4). PMID:25855534

  6. Humans Process Dog and Human Facial Affect in Similar Ways

    PubMed Central

    Schirmer, Annett; Seow, Cui Shan; Penney, Trevor B.

    2013-01-01

    Humans share aspects of their facial affect with other species such as dogs. Here we asked whether untrained human observers with and without dog experience are sensitive to these aspects and recognize dog affect with better-than-chance accuracy. Additionally, we explored similarities in the way observers process dog and human expressions. The stimulus material comprised naturalistic facial expressions of pet dogs and human infants obtained through positive (i.e., play) and negative (i.e., social isolation) provocation. Affect recognition was assessed explicitly in a rating task using full face images and images cropped to reveal the eye region only. Additionally, affect recognition was assessed implicitly in a lexical decision task using full faces as primes and emotional words and pseudowords as targets. We found that untrained human observers rated full face dog expressions from the positive and negative condition more accurately than would be expected by chance. Although dog experience was unnecessary for this effect, it significantly facilitated performance. Additionally, we observed a range of similarities between human and dog face processing. First, the facial expressions of both species facilitated lexical decisions to affectively congruous target words suggesting that their processing was equally automatic. Second, both dog and human negative expressions were recognized from both full and cropped faces. Third, female observers were more sensitive to affective information than were male observers and this difference was comparable for dog and human expressions. Together, these results extend existing work on cross-species similarities in facial emotions and provide evidence that these similarities are naturally exploited when humans interact with dogs. PMID:24023954

  7. Affective recognition memory processing and event-related brain potentials

    PubMed Central

    Kaestner, Erik J.

    2011-01-01

    Recognition memory was examined for visual affective stimuli using behavioral and event-related brain potential (ERP) measures. Images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that varied systematically in arousal level (low, high) and valence direction (unpleasant, pleasant) were first viewed passively. Then, during a response phase, the original images were intermixed with an equal number of new images and presented, and participants were instructed to press a button to indicate whether each stimulus picture was previously viewed (target) or new (foil). Participants were more sensitive to unpleasant- than to pleasant-valence stimuli and were biased to respond to high-arousal unpleasant stimuli as targets, whether the stimuli were previously viewed or new. Response times (RTs) to target stimuli were systematically affected by valence, whereas RTs to foil stimuli were influenced by arousal level. ERP component amplitudes were generally larger for high than for low arousal levels. The P300 (late positive component) amplitude was largest for high-arousal unpleasant target images. These and other amplitude effects suggest that high-arousal unpleasant stimuli engage a privileged memory-processing route during stimulus processing. Theoretical relationships between affective and memory processes are discussed. PMID:21384231

  8. Boolean Models of Biological Processes Explain Cascade-Like Behavior.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Wang, Guanyu; Simha, Rahul; Du, Chenghang; Zeng, Chen

    2016-01-01

    Biological networks play a key role in determining biological function and therefore, an understanding of their structure and dynamics is of central interest in systems biology. In Boolean models of such networks, the status of each molecule is either "on" or "off" and along with the molecules interact with each other, their individual status changes from "on" to "off" or vice-versa and the system of molecules in the network collectively go through a sequence of changes in state. This sequence of changes is termed a biological process. In this paper, we examine the common perception that events in biomolecular networks occur sequentially, in a cascade-like manner, and ask whether this is likely to be an inherent property. In further investigations of the budding and fission yeast cell-cycle, we identify two generic dynamical rules. A Boolean system that complies with these rules will automatically have a certain robustness. By considering the biological requirements in robustness and designability, we show that those Boolean dynamical systems, compared to an arbitrary dynamical system, statistically present the characteristics of cascadeness and sequentiality, as observed in the budding and fission yeast cell- cycle. These results suggest that cascade-like behavior might be an intrinsic property of biological processes. PMID:26821940

  9. Signal Processing For Chemical Sensing: Statistics or Biological Inspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco, Santiago

    2011-09-01

    Current analytical instrumentation and continuous sensing can provide huge amounts of data. Automatic signal processing and information evaluation is needed to overcome drowning in data. Today, statistical techniques are typically used to analyse and extract information from continuous signals. However, it is very interesting to note that biology (insects and vertebrates) has found alternative solutions for chemical sensing and information processing. This is a brief introduction to the developments in the European Project: Bio-ICT NEUROCHEM: Biologically Inspired Computation for Chemical Sensing (grant no. 216916) Fp7 project devoted to biomimetic olfactory systems.

  10. Benefit evaluation of space processing of biological materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A rational analytical basis for the evaluation of potential benefits of space processing of biological materials is described. A preliminary evaluation of three candidate space processed biological materials was accomplished. Materials investigated were human lymphocytes, urokinase, and Beta cells. Separation of lymphocyte groups was considered in order to improve the matching of donors and recipients for kidney transplantation, while urokinase was examined in regard to treatment of thromboembolic diseases. Separation of Beta cells was studied since it could provide a highly effective means for the treatment of juvenile-onset diabetes.

  11. Effect of the process conditions of aerobic bioconversion on the characteristics of biologically processed brown coals

    SciTech Connect

    I.P. Ivanov

    2007-04-15

    The effect of the laboratory and pilot process conditions of the aerobic bioconversion of brown coals on the elemental composition and technical characteristics of the organic matter of the resulting biologically processed coals is reported.

  12. Advanced biologically plausible algorithms for low-level image processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusakova, Valentina I.; Podladchikova, Lubov N.; Shaposhnikov, Dmitry G.; Markin, Sergey N.; Golovan, Alexander V.; Lee, Seong-Whan

    1999-08-01

    At present, in computer vision, the approach based on modeling the biological vision mechanisms is extensively developed. However, up to now, real world image processing has no effective solution in frameworks of both biologically inspired and conventional approaches. Evidently, new algorithms and system architectures based on advanced biological motivation should be developed for solution of computational problems related to this visual task. Basic problems that should be solved for creation of effective artificial visual system to process real world imags are a search for new algorithms of low-level image processing that, in a great extent, determine system performance. In the present paper, the result of psychophysical experiments and several advanced biologically motivated algorithms for low-level processing are presented. These algorithms are based on local space-variant filter, context encoding visual information presented in the center of input window, and automatic detection of perceptually important image fragments. The core of latter algorithm are using local feature conjunctions such as noncolinear oriented segment and composite feature map formation. Developed algorithms were integrated into foveal active vision model, the MARR. It is supposed that proposed algorithms may significantly improve model performance while real world image processing during memorizing, search, and recognition.

  13. Surface coating affects behavior of metallic nanoparticles in a biological environment

    PubMed Central

    Jurašin, Darija Domazet; Ćurlin, Marija; Capjak, Ivona; Crnković, Tea; Lovrić, Marija; Babič, Michal; Horák, Daniel; Gajović, Srećko

    2016-01-01

    Summary Silver (AgNPs) and maghemite, i.e., superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are promising candidates for new medical applications, which implies the need for strict information regarding their physicochemical characteristics and behavior in a biological environment. The currently developed AgNPs and SPIONs encompass a myriad of sizes and surface coatings, which affect NPs properties and may improve their biocompatibility. This study is aimed to evaluate the effects of surface coating on colloidal stability and behavior of AgNPs and SPIONs in modelled biological environments using dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering techniques, as well as transmission electron microscopy to visualize the behavior of the NP. Three dispersion media were investigated: ultrapure water (UW), biological cell culture medium without addition of protein (BM), and BM supplemented with common serum protein (BMP). The obtained results showed that different coating agents on AgNPs and SPIONs produced different stabilities in the same biological media. The combination of negative charge and high adsorption strength of coating agents proved to be important for achieving good stability of metallic NPs in electrolyte-rich fluids. Most importantly, the presence of proteins provided colloidal stabilization to metallic NPs in biological fluids regardless of their chemical composition, surface structure and surface charge. In addition, an assessment of AgNP and SPION behavior in real biological fluids, rat whole blood (WhBl) and blood plasma (BlPl), revealed that the composition of a biological medium is crucial for the colloidal stability and type of metallic NP transformation. Our results highlight the importance of physicochemical characterization and stability evaluation of metallic NPs in a variety of biological systems including as many NP properties as possible. PMID:26977382

  14. Surface coating affects behavior of metallic nanoparticles in a biological environment.

    PubMed

    Jurašin, Darija Domazet; Ćurlin, Marija; Capjak, Ivona; Crnković, Tea; Lovrić, Marija; Babič, Michal; Horák, Daniel; Vinković Vrček, Ivana; Gajović, Srećko

    2016-01-01

    Silver (AgNPs) and maghemite, i.e., superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are promising candidates for new medical applications, which implies the need for strict information regarding their physicochemical characteristics and behavior in a biological environment. The currently developed AgNPs and SPIONs encompass a myriad of sizes and surface coatings, which affect NPs properties and may improve their biocompatibility. This study is aimed to evaluate the effects of surface coating on colloidal stability and behavior of AgNPs and SPIONs in modelled biological environments using dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering techniques, as well as transmission electron microscopy to visualize the behavior of the NP. Three dispersion media were investigated: ultrapure water (UW), biological cell culture medium without addition of protein (BM), and BM supplemented with common serum protein (BMP). The obtained results showed that different coating agents on AgNPs and SPIONs produced different stabilities in the same biological media. The combination of negative charge and high adsorption strength of coating agents proved to be important for achieving good stability of metallic NPs in electrolyte-rich fluids. Most importantly, the presence of proteins provided colloidal stabilization to metallic NPs in biological fluids regardless of their chemical composition, surface structure and surface charge. In addition, an assessment of AgNP and SPION behavior in real biological fluids, rat whole blood (WhBl) and blood plasma (BlPl), revealed that the composition of a biological medium is crucial for the colloidal stability and type of metallic NP transformation. Our results highlight the importance of physicochemical characterization and stability evaluation of metallic NPs in a variety of biological systems including as many NP properties as possible. PMID:26977382

  15. External magnetic fields affect the biological impacts of superparamagnetic iron nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Shanehsazzadeh, Saeed; Lahooti, Afsaneh; Hajipour, Mohammad Javad; Ghavami, Mahdi; Azhdarzadeh, Morteza

    2015-12-01

    Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are recognized as one of the promising nanomaterials for applications in various field of nanomedicine such as targeted imaging/drug delivery, tissue engineering, hyperthermia, and gene therapy. Besides their suitable biocompatibility, SPIONs' unique magnetic properties make them an outstanding candidate for theranostic nanomedicine. Very recent progress in the field revealed that the presence of external magnetic fields may cause considerable amount of SPIONs' agglomeration in their colloidal suspension. As variation of physicochemical properties of colloidal nanoparticles has strong effect on their biological outcomes, one can expect that the SPIONs' agglomeration in the presence of external magnetic fields could change their well-recognized biological impacts. In this case, here, we probed the cellular uptake and toxicity of the SPIONs before and after exposure to external magnetic fields. We found that the external magnetic fields can affect the biological outcome of magnetic nanoparticles. PMID:26613856

  16. Influence of biological kinematics on abstract concept processing.

    PubMed

    Badets, Arnaud; Bidet-Ildei, Christel; Pesenti, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    During a random number generation task, human beings tend to produce more small numbers than large numbers. However, this small number bias is modulated when motor behaviour, such as a turn of the head, is performed during the random number generation task. This result fits with the finding that number representation is linked to laterally oriented actions, with small- and large-magnitude numbers generally linked to movement towards the left or the right side of space, respectively. To test whether this number-space association is specific to human motor behaviours or extends to any type of laterally oriented movements, we assessed whether the presentation of biological or nonbiological leftward or rightward movement affected a subsequent random number generation task. Biological and nonbiological movements were obtained by varying the kinematic parameters of the movements. Biological kinematics represented the tangential velocity actually observed in a human pointing movement; nonbiological kinematics represented equivalent movements but with an inverse tangential velocity along the path. The results show that only the observation of biological movements induces a space-number bias whereas observing nonbiological movements does not. This finding is the first evidence of a link between a biological marker and the semantic representation of a concept as abstract as number. PMID:25219421

  17. Processes affecting the oceanic distributions of dissolved calcium and alkalinity

    SciTech Connect

    Shiller, A.M.; Gieskes, J.M.

    1980-05-20

    Recent studies of the CO/sub 2/ system have suggested that chemical processes in addition to the dissolution and precipitation of calcium carbonate affect the oceanic calcium and alkalinity distributions. Calcium and alkalinity data from the North Pacific have been examined both by using the simple physical-chemical model of previous workers and by a study involving the broader oceanographic context of these data. The simple model is shown to be an inadequate basis for these studies. Although a proton flux associated with organic decomposition may affect the alkalinity, previously reported deviations of calcium-alkalinity correlations from expected trends appear to be related to boundary processes that have been neglected rather than to this proton flux. The distribution of calcium in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean is examined.

  18. Can Computer Animations Affect College Biology Students' Conceptions about Diffusion and Osmosis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanger, Michael J.; Brecheisen, Dorothy M.; Hynek, Brian M.

    2001-01-01

    Investigates whether viewing computer animations representing the process of diffusion and osmosis affects students' conceptions. Discusses the difficulties of implementing computer animations in the classroom. (Contains 27 references.) (YDS)

  19. Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Wyatt I.; Friedman, Jonathan M.; Gaskin, John F.; Norton, Andrew P.

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the utilization of highly specific natural enemies to control exotic pests, may be negatively affected by host hybridization because of shifts in plant traits, such as root allocation or chemical constituents. We investigated introgression between two parent species of the invasive shrub tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western United States, and how differences in plant traits affect interactions with a biological control agent. Introgression varied strongly with latitude of origin and was highly correlated with plant performance. Increased levels of T. ramosissima introgression resulted in both higher investment in roots and tolerance to defoliation and less resistance to insect attack. Because tamarisk hybridization occurs predictably on the western U.S. landscape, managers may be able to exploit this information to maximize control efforts. Genetic differentiation in plant traits in this system underpins the importance of plant hybridization and may explain why some biological control releases are more successful than others.

  20. Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Wyatt I; Friedman, Jonathan M; Gaskin, John F; Norton, Andrew P

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the utilization of highly specific natural enemies to control exotic pests, may be negatively affected by host hybridization because of shifts in plant traits, such as root allocation or chemical constituents. We investigated introgression between two parent species of the invasive shrub tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western United States, and how differences in plant traits affect interactions with a biological control agent. Introgression varied strongly with latitude of origin and was highly correlated with plant performance. Increased levels of T. ramosissima introgression resulted in both higher investment in roots and tolerance to defoliation and less resistance to insect attack. Because tamarisk hybridization occurs predictably on the western U.S. landscape, managers may be able to exploit this information to maximize control efforts. Genetic differentiation in plant traits in this system underpins the importance of plant hybridization and may explain why some biological control releases are more successful than others. PMID:24665340

  1. DEMONSTRATION OF AN INTEGRATED, PASSIVE BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT PROCESS FOR AMD

    EPA Science Inventory

    An innovative, cost-effective, biological treatment process has been designed by MSE Technology Applications, Inc. to treat acid mine drainage (AMD). A pilot-scale demonstration is being conducted under the Mine Waste Technology Program using water flowing from an abandoned mine ...

  2. Integrating Biological Systems in the Process Dynamics and Control Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, Robert S.; Doyle, Francis J.; Henson, Michael A.

    2006-01-01

    The evolution of the chemical engineering discipline motivates a re-evaluation of the process dynamics and control curriculum. A key requirement of future courses will be the introduction of theoretical concepts and application examples relevant to emerging areas, notably complex biological systems. We outline the critical concepts required to…

  3. EFFECT OF HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SPILLS ON BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT PROCESSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of over 250 chemical substances on biological treatment processes are presented in a format which permits its use as an operations handbook. The information, arranged in a matrix form with the chemical substances presented in alphabetical order, includes descriptions ...

  4. 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.

  5. Introductory Biology Textbooks Under-Represent Scientific Process

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Dara B.; Lubman, Alexandra; Hoskins, Sally G.

    2011-01-01

    Attrition of undergraduates from Biology majors is a long-standing problem. Introductory courses that fail to engage students or spark their curiosity by emphasizing the open-ended and creative nature of biological investigation and discovery could contribute to student detachment from the field. Our hypothesis was that introductory biology books devote relatively few figures to illustration of the design and interpretation of experiments or field studies, thereby de-emphasizing the scientific process. To investigate this possibility, we examined figures in six Introductory Biology textbooks published in 2008. On average, multistep scientific investigations were presented in fewer than 5% of the hundreds of figures in each book. Devoting such a small percentage of figures to the processes by which discoveries are made discourages an emphasis on scientific thinking. We suggest that by increasing significantly the illustration of scientific investigations, textbooks could support undergraduates’ early interest in biology, stimulate the development of design and analytical skills, and inspire some students to participate in investigations of their own. PMID:23653758

  6. Mechanical biological treatment of organic fraction of MSW affected dissolved organic matter evolution in simulated landfill.

    PubMed

    Salati, Silvia; Scaglia, Barbara; di Gregorio, Alessandra; Carrera, Alberto; Adani, Fabrizio

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this paper was to study the evolution of DOM during 1 year of observation in simulated landfill, of aerobically treated vs. untreated organic fraction of MSW. Results obtained indicated that aerobic treatment of organic fraction of MSW permitted getting good biological stability so that, successive incubation under anaerobic condition in landfill allowed biological process to continue getting a strong reduction of soluble organic matter (DOM) that showed, also, an aromatic character. Incubation of untreated waste gave similar trend, but in this case DOM decreasing was only apparent as inhibition of biological process in landfill did not allow replacing degraded/leached DOM with new material coming from hydrolysis of fresh OM. PMID:23743423

  7. Towards understanding how surface life can affect interior geological processes: a non-equilibrium thermodynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, J. G.; Gans, F.; Kleidon, A.

    2011-06-01

    Life has significantly altered the Earth's atmosphere, oceans and crust. To what extent has it also affected interior geological processes? To address this question, three models of geological processes are formulated: mantle convection, continental crust uplift and erosion and oceanic crust recycling. These processes are characterised as non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems. Their states of disequilibrium are maintained by the power generated from the dissipation of energy from the interior of the Earth. Altering the thickness of continental crust via weathering and erosion affects the upper mantle temperature which leads to changes in rates of oceanic crust recycling and consequently rates of outgassing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Estimates for the power generated by various elements in the Earth system are shown. This includes, inter alia, surface life generation of 264 TW of power, much greater than those of geological processes such as mantle convection at 12 TW. This high power results from life's ability to harvest energy directly from the sun. Life need only utilise a small fraction of the generated free chemical energy for geochemical transformations at the surface, such as affecting rates of weathering and erosion of continental rocks, in order to affect interior, geological processes. Consequently when assessing the effects of life on Earth, and potentially any planet with a significant biosphere, dynamical models may be required that better capture the coupled nature of biologically-mediated surface and interior processes.

  8. Aerobic Digestion. Biological Treatment Process Control. Instructor's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klopping, Paul H.

    This unit on aerobic sludge digestion covers the theory of the process, system components, factors that affect the process performance, standard operational concerns, indicators of steady-state operations, and operational problems. The instructor's guide includes: (1) an overview of the unit; (2) lesson plan; (3) lecture outline (keyed to a set of…

  9. iBiology: communicating the process of science.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Sarah S

    2014-08-01

    The Internet hosts an abundance of science video resources aimed at communicating scientific knowledge, including webinars, massive open online courses, and TED talks. Although these videos are efficient at disseminating information for diverse types of users, they often do not demonstrate the process of doing science, the excitement of scientific discovery, or how new scientific knowledge is developed. iBiology (www.ibiology.org), a project that creates open-access science videos about biology research and science-related topics, seeks to fill this need by producing videos by science leaders that make their ideas, stories, and experiences available to anyone with an Internet connection. PMID:25080124

  10. Neural Correlates of Affect Processing and Aggression in Methamphetamine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Payer, Doris E.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; London, Edythe D.

    2012-01-01

    Context Methamphetamine abuse is associated with high rates of aggression, but few studies have addressed the contributing neurobiological factors. Objective To quantify aggression, investigate function of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, and assess relationships between brain function and behavior in methamphetamine-dependent individuals. Design In a case-control study, aggression and brain activation were compared between methamphetamine-dependent and control participants. Setting Participants were recruited from the general community to an academic research center. Participants Thirty-nine methamphetamine-dependent volunteers (16 women) who were abstinent for 7 to 10 days and 37 drug-free control volunteers (18 women) participated in the study; subsets completed self-report and behavioral measures. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed on 25 methamphetamine-dependent and 23 control participants. Main outcome measures We measured self-reported and perpetrated aggression, and self-reported alexithymia. Brain activation was assessed using fMRI during visual processing of facial affect (affect matching), and symbolic processing (affect labeling), the latter representing an incidental form of emotion regulation. Results Methamphetamine-dependent participants self-reported more aggression and alexithymia than control participants and escalated perpetrated aggression more following provocation. Alexithymia scores correlated with measures of aggression. During affect matching, fMRI showed no differences between groups in amygdala activation, but found lower activation in methamphetamine-dependent than control participants in bilateral ventral inferior frontal gyrus. During affect labeling, participants recruited dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and exhibited decreased amygdala activity, consistent with successful emotion regulation; there was no group difference in this effect. The magnitude of decrease in amygdala activity during affect labeling

  11. Application of ultrasound processed images in space: assessing diffuse affectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Poch, A.; Bru, C.; Nicolau, C.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate diffuse affectations in the liver using texture image processing techniques. Ultrasound diagnose equipments are the election of choice to be used in space environments as they are free from hazardous effects on health. However, due to the need for highly trained radiologists to assess the images, this imaging method is mainly applied on focal lesions rather than on non-focal ones. We have conducted a clinical study on 72 patients with different degrees of chronic hepatopaties and a group of control of 18 individuals. All subjects' clinical reports and results of biopsies were compared to the degree of affectation calculated by our computer system , thus validating the method. Full statistical results are given in the present paper showing a good correlation (r=0.61) between pathologist's report and analysis of the heterogenicity of the processed images from the liver. This computer system to analyze diffuse affectations may be used in-situ or via telemedicine to the ground.

  12. Biological soil crusts emit large amounts of NO and HONO affecting the nitrogen cycle in drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamm, Alexandra; Wu, Dianming; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J.; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina

    2016-04-01

    Dryland systems currently cover ˜40% of the world's land surface and are still expanding as a consequence of human impact and global change. In contrast to that, information on their role in global biochemical processes is limited, probably induced by the presumption that their sparse vegetation cover plays a negligible role in global balances. However, spaces between the sparse shrubs are not bare, but soils are mostly covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts). These biocrust communities belong to the oldest life forms, resulting from an assembly between soil particles and cyanobacteria, lichens, bryophytes, and algae plus heterotrophic organisms in varying proportions. Depending on the dominating organism group, cyanobacteria-, lichen-, and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts are distinguished. Besides their ability to restrict soil erosion they fix atmospheric carbon and nitrogen, and by doing this they serve as a nutrient source in strongly depleted dryland ecosystems. In this study we show that a fraction of the nitrogen fixed by biocrusts is metabolized and subsequently returned to the atmosphere in the form of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). These gases affect the radical formation and oxidizing capacity within the troposphere, thus being of particular interest to atmospheric chemistry. Laboratory measurements using dynamic chamber systems showed that dark cyanobacteria-dominated crusts emitted the largest amounts of NO and HONO, being ˜20 times higher than trace gas fluxes of nearby bare soil. We showed that these nitrogen emissions have a biogenic origin, as emissions of formerly strongly emitting samples almost completely ceased after sterilization. By combining laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data we made a best estimate of global annual emissions amounting to ˜1.1 Tg of NO-N and ˜0.6 Tg of HONO-N from biocrusts. This sum of 1.7 Tg of reactive nitrogen emissions equals ˜20% of the soil release under natural vegetation according

  13. Biological soil crusts emit large amounts of NO and HONO affecting the nitrogen cycle in drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamm, Alexandra; Wu, Dianming; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J.; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina

    2016-04-01

    Dryland systems currently cover ˜40% of the worl&dacute;s land surface and are still expanding as a consequence of human impact and global change. In contrast to that, information on their role in global biochemical processes is limited, probably induced by the presumption that their sparse vegetation cover plays a negligible role in global balances. However, spaces between the sparse shrubs are not bare, but soils are mostly covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts). These biocrust communities belong to the oldest life forms, resulting from an assembly between soil particles and cyanobacteria, lichens, bryophytes, and algae plus heterotrophic organisms in varying proportions. Depending on the dominating organism group, cyanobacteria-, lichen-, and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts are distinguished. Besides their ability to restrict soil erosion they fix atmospheric carbon and nitrogen, and by doing this they serve as a nutrient source in strongly depleted dryland ecosystems. In this study we show that a fraction of the nitrogen fixed by biocrusts is metabolized and subsequently returned to the atmosphere in the form of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). These gases affect the radical formation and oxidizing capacity within the troposphere, thus being of particular interest to atmospheric chemistry. Laboratory measurements using dynamic chamber systems showed that dark cyanobacteria-dominated crusts emitted the largest amounts of NO and HONO, being ˜20 times higher than trace gas fluxes of nearby bare soil. We showed that these nitrogen emissions have a biogenic origin, as emissions of formerly strongly emitting samples almost completely ceased after sterilization. By combining laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data we made a best estimate of global annual emissions amounting to ˜1.1 Tg of NO-N and ˜0.6 Tg of HONO-N from biocrusts. This sum of 1.7 Tg of reactive nitrogen emissions equals ˜20% of the soil release under natural vegetation

  14. Overview of processes affecting contaminant release from confined disposal facilities. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, J.L.; McCutcheon, S.C.

    1992-01-01

    Confined disposal facilities (CDFs) are widely used for the disposal of dredged material from Corps of Engineers maintenance dredging projects along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and waterways and harbors in the Great Lakes. CDFs are a less common disposal alternative along the Pacific coast and inland river systems. When contaminated dredged material is placed in the CDF, there is a potential for contaminant mobilization and release from the CDF by a variety of physical, chemical, and biological processes. This report provides an overview of the processes affecting mobilization and release of contaminants from CDFs and the potential applicability of multimedia models for prediction of contaminant release. Processes affecting release from in-water CDFs are emphasized, although many of the processes discussed are applicable to nearshore and upland CDFs. Processes affecting contaminant release are complex, involving a variety of chemicals and operational and design considerations. Many of the important processes are reasonably well known. Laboratory column settling and elutriate techniques have been developed to estimate solids and contaminant concentration in water directly released during hydraulic disposal operations. Predictive techniques for other processes are not as available.

  15. Olfactory modulation of affective touch processing - A neurophysiological investigation.

    PubMed

    Croy, Ilona; Drechsler, Edda; Hamilton, Paul; Hummel, Thomas; Olausson, Håkan

    2016-07-15

    Touch can be highly emotional, and depending on the environment, it can be perceived as pleasant and comforting or disgusting and dangerous. Here, we studied the impact of context on the processing of tactile stimuli using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm. This was achieved by embedding tactile stimulation in a variable olfactory environment. Twenty people were scanned with BOLD fMRI while receiving the following stimulus blocks: Slow stroking Touch, Civette odor (feces like), Rose odor, Touch+Civette, and Touch+Rose. Ratings of pleasantness and intensity of tactile stimuli and ratings of disgust and intensity of olfactory stimuli were collected. The impact of the olfactory context on the processing of touch was studied using covariance analyses. Coupling between olfactory processing and somatosensory processing areas was assessed with psychophysiological interaction analysis (PPI). A subjectively disgusting olfactory environment significantly reduced the perceived pleasantness of touch. The touch fMRI activation in the secondary somatosensory cortex, operculum 1 (OP1), was positively correlated with the disgust towards the odors. Decreased pleasantness of touch was related to decreased posterior insula activity. PPI analysis revealed a significant interaction between the OP1, posterior insula, and regions processing the disgust of odors (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala). We conclude that the disgust evaluation of the olfactory environment moderates neural reactivity in somatosensory regions by upregulation of the OP1 and downregulation of the posterior insula. This adaptive regulation of affective touch processing may facilitate adaptive reaction to a potentially harmful stimulus. PMID:27138206

  16. Processes affecting the remediation of chromium-contaminated sites.

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, C D; Wittbrodt, P R

    1991-01-01

    The remediation of chromium-contaminated sites requires knowledge of the processes that control the migration and transformation of chromium. Advection, dispersion, and diffusion are physical processes affecting the rate at which contaminants can migrate in the subsurface. Heterogeneity is an important factor that affects the contribution of each of these mechanisms to the migration of chromium-laden waters. Redox reactions, chemical speciation, adsorption/desorption phenomena, and precipitation/dissolution reactions control the transformation and mobility of chromium. The reduction of CrVI to CrIII can occur in the presence of ferrous iron in solution or in mineral phases, reduced sulfur compounds, or soil organic matter. At neutral to alkaline pH, the CrIII precipitates as amorphous hydroxides or forms complexes with organic matter. CrIII is oxidized by manganese dioxide, a common mineral found in many soils. Solid-phase precipitates of hexavalent chromium such as barium chromate can serve either as sources or sinks for CrVI. Adsorption of CrVI in soils increases with decreasing chromium concentration, making it more difficult to remove the chromium as the concentration decreases during pump-and-treat remediation. Knowledge of these chemical and physical processes is important in developing and selecting effective, cost-efficient remediation designs for chromium-contaminated sites. PMID:1935849

  17. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Freeman-Gallant, C. R.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Kilpatrick, C.W.; Zalik, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Hay harvests have detrimental ecological effects on breeding songbirds, as harvesting results in nest failure. Importantly, whether harvesting also affects evolutionary processes is not known. We explored how hay harvest affected social and genetic mating patterns, and thus, the overall opportunity for sexual selection and evolutionary processes for a ground-nesting songbird, the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). On an unharvested field, 55% of females were in polygynous associations, and social polygyny was associated with greater rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP). In this treatment, synchrony explained variation in EPP rates, as broods by more synchronous females had more EPP than broods by asynchronous females. In contrast, on a harvested field, simultaneous nest failure caused by haying dramatically decreased the overall incidence of EPP by increasing the occurrence of social monogamy and, apparently, the ability of polygynous males to maintain paternity in their own nests. Despite increased social and genetic monogamy, these haying-mediated changes in mating systems resulted in greater than twofold increase in the opportunity for sexual selection. This effect arose, in part, from a 30% increase in the variance associated with within-pair fertilization success, relative to the unharvested field. This effect was caused by a notable increase (+110%) in variance associated with the quality of social mates following simultaneous nest failure. Because up to 40% of regional habitat is harvested by early June, these data may demonstrate a strong population-level effect on mating systems, sexual selection, and consequently, evolutionary processes. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  18. Biological signal processing with a genetic toggle switch.

    PubMed

    Hillenbrand, Patrick; Fritz, Georg; Gerland, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Complex gene regulation requires responses that depend not only on the current levels of input signals but also on signals received in the past. In digital electronics, logic circuits with this property are referred to as sequential logic, in contrast to the simpler combinatorial logic without such internal memory. In molecular biology, memory is implemented in various forms such as biochemical modification of proteins or multistable gene circuits, but the design of the regulatory interface, which processes the input signals and the memory content, is often not well understood. Here, we explore design constraints for such regulatory interfaces using coarse-grained nonlinear models and stochastic simulations of detailed biochemical reaction networks. We test different designs for biological analogs of the most versatile memory element in digital electronics, the JK-latch. Our analysis shows that simple protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA binding are sufficient, in principle, to implement genetic circuits with the capabilities of a JK-latch. However, it also exposes fundamental limitations to its reliability, due to the fact that biological signal processing is asynchronous, in contrast to most digital electronics systems that feature a central clock to orchestrate the timing of all operations. We describe a seemingly natural way to improve the reliability by invoking the master-slave concept from digital electronics design. This concept could be useful to interpret the design of natural regulatory circuits, and for the design of synthetic biological systems. PMID:23874595

  19. Toxicity measurement in biological wastewater treatment processes: a review.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yeyuan; De Araujo, Cecilia; Sze, Chun Chau; Stuckey, David C

    2015-04-01

    Biological wastewater treatment processes (WWTPs), by nature of their reliance on biological entities to degrade organics and sometimes remove nutrients, are vulnerable to toxicants present in their influent. Various toxicity measurement methods have been adopted for biological WWTPs, but most are performed off-line, and cannot be adapted to on-line monitoring tools to provide an early warning for WWTP operators. However, the past decade has seen a rapid expansion in the research and development of biosensors that can be used for toxicity assessment of aquatic environments. Some of these biosensors have also been shown to be effective for use in biological WWTPs. Nevertheless, more research is needed to: examine the sensitivity of assays and sensors based on single organisms to various toxicants and develop a matrix of biosensors or a biosensor incorporating multiple organisms that can protect WWTPs; test the micro fuel cell (MFC)-based biosensors with real wastewaters and correlate the results with the well-established oxygen uptake rate (OUR)-based or CH4-based toxicity assay; and, develop advanced data processing methods for interpreting the results of on-line toxicity sensors in real WWTPs to reduce the noise due to the normal fluctuation in influent quality and quantity. PMID:25550080

  20. Biological Signal Processing with a Genetic Toggle Switch

    PubMed Central

    Hillenbrand, Patrick; Fritz, Georg; Gerland, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Complex gene regulation requires responses that depend not only on the current levels of input signals but also on signals received in the past. In digital electronics, logic circuits with this property are referred to as sequential logic, in contrast to the simpler combinatorial logic without such internal memory. In molecular biology, memory is implemented in various forms such as biochemical modification of proteins or multistable gene circuits, but the design of the regulatory interface, which processes the input signals and the memory content, is often not well understood. Here, we explore design constraints for such regulatory interfaces using coarse-grained nonlinear models and stochastic simulations of detailed biochemical reaction networks. We test different designs for biological analogs of the most versatile memory element in digital electronics, the JK-latch. Our analysis shows that simple protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA binding are sufficient, in principle, to implement genetic circuits with the capabilities of a JK-latch. However, it also exposes fundamental limitations to its reliability, due to the fact that biological signal processing is asynchronous, in contrast to most digital electronics systems that feature a central clock to orchestrate the timing of all operations. We describe a seemingly natural way to improve the reliability by invoking the master-slave concept from digital electronics design. This concept could be useful to interpret the design of natural regulatory circuits, and for the design of synthetic biological systems. PMID:23874595

  1. Advances in biologically inspired on/near sensor processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarley, Paul L.

    1999-07-01

    As electro-optic sensors increase in size and frame rate, the data transfer and digital processing resource requirements also increase. In many missions, the spatial area of interest is but a small fraction of the available field of view. Choosing the right region of interest, however, is a challenge and still requires an enormous amount of downstream digital processing resources. In order to filter this ever-increasing amount of data, we look at how nature solves the problem. The Advanced Guidance Division of the Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory at Elgin AFB, Florida, has been pursuing research in the are of advanced sensor and image processing concepts based on biologically inspired sensory information processing. A summary of two 'neuromorphic' processing efforts will be presented along with a seeker system concept utilizing this innovative technology. The Neuroseek program is developing a 256 X 256 2-color dual band IRFPA coupled to an optimized silicon CMOS read-out and processing integrated circuit that provides simultaneous full-frame imaging in MWIR/LWIR wavebands along with built-in biologically inspired sensor image processing functions. Concepts and requirements for future such efforts will also be discussed.

  2. Towards a Semantic Lexicon for Biological Language Processing

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Verspoor, Karin

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores the use of the resources in the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) for the construction of a lexicon useful for processing texts in the field of molecular biology. A lexicon is constructed from overlapping terms in the UMLS SPECIALIST lexicon and the UMLS Metathesaurus to obtain both morphosyntactic and semantic information for terms, and the coverage of a domain corpus is assessed. Over 77% of tokens in the domain corpus are found in the constructed lexicon, validating the lexicon's coverage of the most frequent terms in the domain and indicating that the constructedmore » lexicon is potentially an important resource for biological text processing.« less

  3. Pitch accent type affects the N400 during referential processing.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Petra B; Baumann, Stefan

    2010-06-23

    Discourse processing depends on semantic memory as well as maintaining and updating of a mental model. Using event-related potentials, we investigated how a referent's information status (new, accessible, given) is processed in combination with three different prosodic realizations (an appropriate accent and two inappropriate accents). The data reveal a biphasic N400-late positivity pattern, indicating that prosodic information affects an early discourse linking stage, during which prominence information reflecting a referent's accessibility is computed (N400), and a later discourse updating stage, during which conflicts between prosodic information and a referent's actual information status are detected (late positivity). Crucially, the data show that the N400 is not only sensitive to lexico-semantic relations but also to discourse accessibility induced by prosodic cues. PMID:20489672

  4. A continuous biological process to decolorize bleach plant effluents.

    PubMed

    Joyce, T W; Chang, H; Campbell, A G; Gerrard, E D; Kirk, T K

    1984-01-01

    Although almost every U.S. pulp mill has a biological wastewater treatment system, these systems based on bacteria, are largely ineffective in the removal of color. For this reason, we have attempted to utilize Phanerochaete chrysosporium, a fungus known to degrade lignin, as the primary organism in a novel waste treatment scheme named the MyCoR Process. Color from bleached Kraft mills originates principally from the first extraction stage of the bleach plant. It is this waste stream which is sent to the MyCoR Process reactor, a rotating biological contactor, for decolorization. We have found that under optimal conditions up to 2,000 color units/L/day can be removed from the waste stream. There is also a concomitant removal of COD and BOD. In addition, chlorolignins originating from the bleaching process were found to be dechlorinated; this is of interest to those concerned with the impact of bleach plant effluents on the environment. The process uses conventional wastewater treatment equipment. However, the use of a pure culture of fungus in a secondary metabolic state has not been attempted previously in a waste treatment scheme. Minor equipment modification and close operator attention may therefore be required. A preliminary economic analysis shows that the MyCoR Process, in its present state, would cost about US$30/metric ton of bleached Kraft pulp produced. This cost will decrease as improved or new strains of fungi are developed for the process. PMID:14545700

  5. Development of brain mechanisms for processing affective touch

    PubMed Central

    Björnsdotter, Malin; Gordon, Ilanit; Pelphrey, Kevin A.; Olausson, Håkan; Kaiser, Martha D.

    2014-01-01

    Affective tactile stimulation plays a key role in the maturation of neural circuits, but the development of brain mechanisms processing touch is poorly understood. We therefore used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain responses to soft brush stroking of both glabrous (palm) and hairy (forearm) skin in healthy children (5–13 years), adolescents (14–17 years), and adults (25–35 years). Adult-defined regions-of-interests in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), insular cortex and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) were significantly and similarly activated in all age groups. Whole-brain analyses revealed that responses in the ipsilateral SII were positively correlated with age in both genders, and that responses in bilateral regions near the pSTS correlated significantly and strongly with age in females but not in males. These results suggest that brain mechanisms associated with both sensory-discriminative and affective-motivational aspects of touch are largely established in school-aged children, and that there is a general continuing maturation of SII and a female-specific increase in pSTS sensitivity with age. Our work establishes a groundwork for future comparative studies of tactile processing in developmental disorders characterized by disrupted social perception such as autism. PMID:24550800

  6. Influence of different natural physical fields on biological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashinsky, A. L.

    2001-01-01

    In space flight conditions gravity, magnetic, and electrical fields as well as ionizing radiation change both in size, and in direction. This causes disruptions in the conduct of some physical processes, chemical reactions, and metabolism in living organisms. In these conditions organisms of different phylogenetic level change their metabolic reactions undergo changes such as disturbances in ionic exchange both in lower and in higher plants, changes in cell morphology for example, gyrosity in Proteus ( Proteus vulgaris), spatial disorientation in coleoptiles of Wheat ( Triticum aestivum) and Pea ( Pisum sativum) seedlings, mutational changes in Crepis ( Crepis capillaris) and Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana) seedling. It has been found that even in the absence of gravity, gravireceptors determining spatial orientation in higher plants under terrestrial conditions are formed in the course of ontogenesis. Under weightlessness this system does not function and spatial orientation is determined by the light flux gradient or by the action of some other factors. Peculiarities of the formation of the gravireceptor apparatus in higher plants, amphibians, fish, and birds under space flight conditions have been observed. It has been found that the system in which responses were accompanied by phase transition have proven to be gravity-sensitive under microgravity conditions. Such reactions include also the process of photosynthesis which is the main energy production process in plants. In view of the established effects of microgravity and different natural physical fields on biological processes, it has been shown that these processes change due to the absence of initially rigid determination. The established biological effect of physical fields influence on biological processes in organisms is the starting point for elucidating the role of gravity and evolutionary development of various organisms on Earth.

  7. Major hydrogeochemical processes in an acid mine drainage affected estuary.

    PubMed

    Asta, Maria P; Calleja, Maria Ll; Pérez-López, Rafael; Auqué, Luis F

    2015-02-15

    This study provides geochemical data with the aim of identifying and quantifying the main processes occurring in an Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) affected estuary. With that purpose, water samples of the Huelva estuary were collected during a tidal half-cycle and ion-ion plots and geochemical modeling were performed to obtain a general conceptual model. Modeling results indicated that the main processes responsible for the hydrochemical evolution of the waters are: (i) the mixing of acid fluvial water with alkaline ocean water; (ii) precipitation of Fe oxyhydroxysulfates (schwertmannite) and hydroxides (ferrihydrite); (iii) precipitation of Al hydroxysulfates (jurbanite) and hydroxides (amorphous Al(OH)3); (iv) dissolution of calcite; and (v) dissolution of gypsum. All these processes, thermodynamically feasible in the light of their calculated saturation states, were quantified by mass-balance calculations and validated by reaction-path calculations. In addition, sorption processes were deduced by the non-conservative behavior of some elements (e.g., Cu and Zn). PMID:25530015

  8. The "Musical Emotional Bursts": a validated set of musical affect bursts to investigate auditory affective processing.

    PubMed

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    The Musical Emotional Bursts (MEB) consist of 80 brief musical executions expressing basic emotional states (happiness, sadness and fear) and neutrality. These musical bursts were designed to be the musical analog of the Montreal Affective Voices (MAV)-a set of brief non-verbal affective vocalizations portraying different basic emotions. The MEB consist of short (mean duration: 1.6 s) improvisations on a given emotion or of imitations of a given MAV stimulus, played on a violin (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]), or a clarinet (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]). The MEB arguably represent a primitive form of music emotional expression, just like the MAV represent a primitive form of vocal, non-linguistic emotional expression. To create the MEB, stimuli were recorded from 10 violinists and 10 clarinetists, and then evaluated by 60 participants. Participants evaluated 240 stimuli [30 stimuli × 4 (3 emotions + neutral) × 2 instruments] by performing either a forced-choice emotion categorization task, a valence rating task or an arousal rating task (20 subjects per task); 40 MAVs were also used in the same session with similar task instructions. Recognition accuracy of emotional categories expressed by the MEB (n:80) was lower than for the MAVs but still very high with an average percent correct recognition score of 80.4%. Highest recognition accuracies were obtained for happy clarinet (92.0%) and fearful or sad violin (88.0% each) MEB stimuli. The MEB can be used to compare the cerebral processing of emotional expressions in music and vocal communication, or used for testing affective perception in patients with communication problems. PMID:23964255

  9. Affective, Biological, and Cognitive Predictors of Depressive Symptom Trajectories in Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Salk, Rachel; Hyde, Janet Shibley; Priess-Groben, Heather A.; Simonson, Jordan L.

    2013-01-01

    Heterogeneity in the longitudinal course of depressive symptoms was examined using latent growth mixture modeling among a community sample of 382 U.S. youth from ages 11 to 18 (52.1% female). Three latent trajectory classes were identified: Stable Low (51%; displayed low depressive symptoms at all assessments), Increasing (37%; reported low depressive symptoms at age 11, but then significantly higher depressive symptoms than the Stable Low class at ages 13, 15, and 18), and Early High (12%; reported high early depressive symptoms at age 11, followed by symptoms that declined over time yet remained significantly higher than those of the Stable Low class at ages 13, 15, and 18). By age 15, rates of Major Depressive Disorder diagnoses among the Early High (25.0%) and Increasing (20.4%) classes were more than twice that observed among the Stable Low class (8.8%). Affective (negative affectivity), biological (pubertal timing, sex) and cognitive (cognitive style, rumination) factors were examined as predictors of class membership. Results indicated general risk factors for both high-risk trajectories as well as specific risk factors unique to each trajectory. Being female and high infant negative affectivity predicted membership in the Increasing class. Early puberty, high infant negative affectivity for boys, and high rumination for girls predicted membership in the Early High class. Results highlight the importance of examining heterogeneity in depression trajectories in adolescence as well as simultaneously considering risk factors across multiple domains. PMID:24158642

  10. DNA Hypomethylation Affects Cancer-Related Biological Functions and Genes Relevant in Neuroblastoma Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Mayol, Gemma; Martín-Subero, José I.; Ríos, José; Queiros, Ana; Kulis, Marta; Suñol, Mariona; Esteller, Manel; Gómez, Soledad; Garcia, Idoia; de Torres, Carmen; Rodríguez, Eva; Galván, Patricia; Mora, Jaume; Lavarino, Cinzia

    2012-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) pathogenesis has been reported to be closely associated with numerous genetic alterations. However, underlying DNA methylation patterns have not been extensively studied in this developmental malignancy. Here, we generated microarray-based DNA methylation profiles of primary neuroblastic tumors. Stringent supervised differential methylation analyses allowed us to identify epigenetic changes characteristic for NB tumors as well as for clinical and biological subtypes of NB. We observed that gene-specific loss of DNA methylation is more prevalent than promoter hypermethylation. Remarkably, such hypomethylation affected cancer-related biological functions and genes relevant to NB pathogenesis such as CCND1, SPRR3, BTC, EGF and FGF6. In particular, differential methylation in CCND1 affected mostly an evolutionary conserved functionally relevant 3′ untranslated region, suggesting that hypomethylation outside promoter regions may play a role in NB pathogenesis. Hypermethylation targeted genes involved in cell development and proliferation such as RASSF1A, POU2F2 or HOXD3, among others. The results derived from this study provide new candidate epigenetic biomarkers associated with NB as well as insights into the molecular pathogenesis of this tumor, which involves a marked gene-specific hypomethylation. PMID:23144874

  11. Evidence for auditory-visual processing specific to biological motion.

    PubMed

    Wuerger, Sophie M; Crocker-Buque, Alexander; Meyer, Georg F

    2012-01-01

    Biological motion is usually associated with highly correlated sensory signals from more than one modality: an approaching human walker will not only have a visual representation, namely an increase in the retinal size of the walker's image, but also a synchronous auditory signal since the walker's footsteps will grow louder. We investigated whether the multisensorial processing of biological motion is subject to different constraints than ecologically invalid motion. Observers were presented with a visual point-light walker and/or synchronised auditory footsteps; the walker was either approaching the observer (looming motion) or walking away (receding motion). A scrambled point-light walker served as a control. Observers were asked to detect the walker's motion as quickly and as accurately as possible. In Experiment 1 we tested whether the reaction time advantage due to redundant information in the auditory and visual modality is specific for biological motion. We found no evidence for such an effect: the reaction time reduction was accounted for by statistical facilitation for both biological and scrambled motion. In Experiment 2, we dissociated the auditory and visual information and tested whether inconsistent motion directions across the auditory and visual modality yield longer reaction times in comparison to consistent motion directions. Here we find an effect specific to biological motion: motion incongruency leads to longer reaction times only when the visual walker is intact and recognisable as a human figure. If the figure of the walker is abolished by scrambling, motion incongruency has no effect on the speed of the observers' judgments. In conjunction with Experiment 1 this suggests that conflicting auditory-visual motion information of an intact human walker leads to interference and thereby delaying the response. PMID:22353566

  12. Energy landscape exploration of the folding processes of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Megan Clare

    For decades, scientists from every discipline have struggled to understand the mechanism of biological self-assembly, which allows proteins and nucleic acids to fold reliably into functional three-dimensional structures. Such an understanding may hold the key to eliminating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and to effective protein engineering. The current best framework for describing biological folding processes is that of statistical mechanical energy landscape theory, and one of the most promising experimental techniques for exploring molecular energy landscapes is single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), in which molecules are mechanically denatured. Theoretical advances have enabled the extraction of complete energy landscape profiles from SMFS data. Here, SMFS experiments performed using laser optical tweezers are analyzed to yield the first ever full landscape profile for an RNA pseudoknot. Further, a promising novel landscape reconstruction technique is validated for the first time using experimental data from a DNA hairpin.

  13. Arabidopsis protein arginine methyltransferase 3 is required for ribosome biogenesis by affecting precursor ribosomal RNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Hang, Runlai; Liu, Chunyan; Ahmad, Ayaz; Zhang, Yong; Lu, Falong; Cao, Xiaofeng

    2014-01-01

    Ribosome biogenesis is a fundamental and tightly regulated cellular process, including synthesis, processing, and assembly of rRNAs with ribosomal proteins. Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) have been implicated in many important biological processes, such as ribosome biogenesis. Two alternative precursor rRNA (pre-rRNA) processing pathways coexist in yeast and mammals; however, how PRMT affects ribosome biogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we show that Arabidopsis PRMT3 (AtPRMT3) is required for ribosome biogenesis by affecting pre-rRNA processing. Disruption of AtPRMT3 results in pleiotropic developmental defects, imbalanced polyribosome profiles, and aberrant pre-rRNA processing. We further identify an alternative pre-rRNA processing pathway in Arabidopsis and demonstrate that AtPRMT3 is required for the balance of these two pathways to promote normal growth and development. Our work uncovers a previously unidentified function of PRMT in posttranscriptional regulation of rRNA, revealing an extra layer of complexity in the regulation of ribosome biogenesis. PMID:25352672

  14. Natural physical and biological processes compromise the long-term performance of compacted soil caps

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, E.D.

    1995-12-01

    Compacted soil barriers are components of essentially all caps placed on closed waste disposal sites. The intended functions of soil barriers in waste facility caps include restricting infiltration of water and release of gases and vapors, either independently or in combination with synthetic membrane barriers, and protecting other manmade or natural barrier components. Review of the performance of installed soil barriers and of natural processes affecting their performance indicates that compacted soil caps may function effectively for relatively short periods (years to decades), but natural physical and biological processes can be expected to cause them to fail in the long term (decades to centuries). This paper addresses natural physical and biological processes that compromise the performance of compacted soil caps and suggests measures that may reduce the adverse consequences of these natural failure mechanisms.

  15. The Use of Microwave Incineration to Process Biological Wastes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Sidney C.; Srinivasan, Venkatesh; Covington, Alan (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The handling and disposal of solid waste matter that has biological or biohazardous components is a difficult issue for hospitals, research laboratories, and industry. NASA faces the same challenge as it is developing regenerative systems that will process waste materials into materials that can be used to sustain humans living in space for extended durations. Plants provide critical functions in such a regenerative life support scheme in that they photosynthesize carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. The edible portions of the plant provide a food source for the crew. Inedible portions can be processed into materials that are more recyclable. The Advanced Life Support Division at NASA Ames Research Center has been evaluating a microwave incinerator that will oxidize inedible plant matter into carbon dioxide and water. The commercially available microwave incinerator is produced by Matsushita Electronic Instruments Corporation of Japan. Microwave incineration is a technology that is simple, safe, and compact enough for home use. It also has potential applications for institutions that produce biological or biohazardous waste. The incinerator produces a sterile ash that has only 13% of the mass of the original waste. The authors have run several sets of tests with the incinerator to establish its viability in processing biological material. One goal of the tests is to show that the incinerator does not generate toxic compounds as a byproduct of the combustion process. This paper will describe the results of the tests, including analyses of the resulting ash and exhaust gases. The significance of the results and their implications on commercial applications of the technology will also be discussed.

  16. Hepatitis C virus mutation affects proteasomal epitope processing

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Ulrike; Liermann, Heike; Racanelli, Vito; Halenius, Anne; Wiese, Manfred; Wedemeyer, Heiner; Ruppert, Thomas; Rispeter, Kay; Henklein, Peter; Sijts, Alice; Hengel, Hartmut; Kloetzel, Peter-M.; Rehermann, Barbara

    2004-01-01

    The high incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) persistence raises the question of how HCV interferes with host immune responses. Studying a single-source HCV outbreak, we identified an HCV mutation that impaired correct carboxyterminal cleavage of an immunodominant HLA-A2–restricted CD8 cell epitope that is frequently recognized by recovered patients. The mutation, a conservative HCV nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) tyrosine to phenylalanine substitution, was absent in 54 clones of the infectious source, but present in 15/21 (71%) HLA-A2–positive and in 11/24 (46%) HLA-A2–negative patients with chronic hepatitis C. In order to analyze whether the mutation affected the processing of the HLA-A2–restricted CD8 cell epitope, mutant and wild-type NS3 polypeptides were digested in vitro with 20S constitutive proteasomes and with immunoproteasomes. The presence of the mutation resulted in impaired carboxyterminal cleavage of the epitope. In order to analyze whether impaired epitope processing affected T cell priming in vivo, HLA-A2–transgenic mice were infected with vaccinia viruses encoding either wild-type or mutant HCV NS3. The mutant induced fewer epitope-specific, IFN-γ;–producing and fewer tetramer+ cells than the wild type. These data demonstrate how a conservative mutation in the flanking region of an HCV epitope impairs the induction of epitope-specific CD8+ T cells and reveal a mechanism that may contribute to viral sequence evolution in infected patients. PMID:15254592

  17. Processes Controlling Temporal Changes in Agriculturally-Affected Groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burow, K. R.; Belitz, K.; Jurgens, B. C.

    2014-12-01

    The National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program of the U.S. Geological Survey includes assessment of groundwater-quality changes with time. To better understand changes at a national scale, NAWQA has implemented smaller scale flow-path studies to evaluate the processes affecting these changes. Flow path studies are designed to sample groundwater of different ages. Wells are sampled for a suite of constituents, including tracers of groundwater age. In the 1990s, a 4.6 km transect of monitoring wells was installed near Fresno in the southern Central Valley of California. The region is dominated by intensive agriculture. The wells were sampled in 1994-95, 2003, and 2013 to provide data on changes in water quality and groundwater age. In 2013, the flow path was extended to a regional scale (30 km) by using existing production wells. Preliminary interpretation of the local-scale flow path indicates that nitrate concentrations in the upper 25 m of the aquifer are higher than the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for drinking water and variably increase or decrease with time. At intermediate depths (25-40 m), nitrate concentrations are lower and show small to moderate increases. The legacy pesticide 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) is degrading at a half-life of about 4-6 years. DBCP is present above the MCL at intermediate depths even though it is has been banned from use for more than 30 years. Both nitrate and DBCP appear to be moving vertically downward through the aquifer. Whereas uranium concentrations are generally below the MCL in the local-scale flow path, concentrations increase along the regional transect, with concentrations nearly an order of magnitude above the MCL in some wells. Further evaluation of processes affecting these constituents (such as source, redox, and mobilization factors) will provide important insight that can be applied to other regions and will assist local water managers.

  18. Towards a semantic lexicon for biological language processing

    SciTech Connect

    Verspoor, K.

    2004-01-01

    It is well understood that natural language processing (NLP) applications require sophisticated lexical resources to support their processing goals. In the biomedical domain, we are privileged to have access to extensive terminological resources in the form of controlled vocabularies and ontologies, which have been integrated into the framework of the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System's (UMLS) Metathesaurus. However, the existence of such terminological resources does not guarantee their utility for NLP. In particular, we have two core requirements for lexical resources for NLP in addition to the basic enumeration of important domain terms: representation of morphosyntactic information about those terms, specifically part of speech information and inflectional patterns to support parsing and lemma assignment, and representation of semantic information indicating general categorical information about terms, and significant relations between terms to support text understanding and inference (Hahn et at, 1999). Biomedical vocabularies by and large commonly leave out morphosyntactic information, and where they address semantic considerations, they often do so in an unprincipled manner, for instance by indicating a relation between two concepts without indicating the type of that relation. But all is not lost. The UMLS knowledge sources include two additional resources which are relevant - the SPECIALIST lexicon, a lexicon addressing our morphosyntactic requirements, and the Semantic Network, a representation of core conceptual categories in the biomedical domain. The coverage of these two knowledge sources with respect to the full coverage of the Metathesaurus is, however, not entirely clear. Furthermore, when our goals are specifically to process biological text - and often more specifically, text in the molecular biology domain - it is difficult to say whether the coverage of these resources is meaningful. The utility of the UMLS

  19. Continuous downstream processing for high value biological products: A Review.

    PubMed

    Zydney, Andrew L

    2016-03-01

    There is growing interest in the possibility of developing truly continuous processes for the large-scale production of high value biological products. Continuous processing has the potential to provide significant reductions in cost and facility size while improving product quality and facilitating the design of flexible multi-product manufacturing facilities. This paper reviews the current state-of-the-art in separations technology suitable for continuous downstream bioprocessing, focusing on unit operations that would be most appropriate for the production of secreted proteins like monoclonal antibodies. This includes cell separation/recycle from the perfusion bioreactor, initial product recovery (capture), product purification (polishing), and formulation. Of particular importance are the available options, and alternatives, for continuous chromatographic separations. Although there are still significant challenges in developing integrated continuous bioprocesses, recent technological advances have provided process developers with a number of attractive options for development of truly continuous bioprocessing operations. PMID:26153056

  20. [Hadamard Transform NIR Spectrometer for the Biological Processes].

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Li, Kai; Zeng, Li-bo; Wu, Qiong-shui

    2015-09-01

    Monitoring the consumption of nutrients of biological process helps control the growth environment of the microbes. It ensures the microbes are always in the best growing conditions, so as to maximize the yield of the target product. To monitor the content of glycerol, methanol and glucose in yeast culture medium, a new NIR spectrometer was developed which is based on Hadamard Transform (HT)technique. It uses the Near IR probe, which was designed all by ourselves, to collect the spectral signals, and uses the Digital Micro-mirror Devices(DMD) to complete the coding and modulation of Hadamard template. With self-developed software, aiming at spectral acquisition and spectral processing, the spectrometer has realized the real-time monitoring. The designs of optical path, Near IR probe, hardware circuit and software modules are given. Through lots of experiments, it turns out that the value of stray light is 0.875% and the volatility is ±4.28% in this spectrometer. The spectrometer shows high precision in a series of tests which means it totally meets the requirements of monitoring the biological processes. PMID:26669185

  1. Characteristics of Biological Nitrogen Removal in a Multiple Anoxic and Aerobic Biological Nutrient Removal Process

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Huoqing; Guan, Yuntao; Li, Li; Wu, Guangxue

    2015-01-01

    Two sequencing batch reactors, one with the conventional anoxic and aerobic (AO) process and the other with the multiple AO process, were operated to examine characteristics of biological nitrogen removal, especially of the multiple AO process. The long-term operation showed that the total nitrogen removal percentage of the multiple AO reactor was 38.7% higher than that of the AO reactor. In the multiple AO reactor, at the initial SBR cycle stage, due to the occurrence of simultaneous nitrification and denitrification, no nitrite and/or nitrate were accumulated. In the multiple AO reactor, activities of nitrite oxidizing bacteria were inhibited due to the multiple AO operating mode applied, resulting in the partial nitrification. Denitrifiers in the multiple AO reactor mainly utilized internal organic carbon for denitrification, and their activities were lower than those of denitrifiers in the AO reactor utilizing external organic carbon. PMID:26491676

  2. Genomic Signal Processing: Predicting Basic Molecular Biological Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alter, Orly

    2005-03-01

    Advances in high-throughput technologies enable acquisition of different types of molecular biological data, monitoring the flow of biological information as DNA is transcribed to RNA, and RNA is translated to proteins, on a genomic scale. Future discovery in biology and medicine will come from the mathematical modeling of these data, which hold the key to fundamental understanding of life on the molecular level, as well as answers to questions regarding diagnosis, treatment and drug development. Recently we described data-driven models for genome-scale molecular biological data, which use singular value decomposition (SVD) and the comparative generalized SVD (GSVD). Now we describe an integrative data-driven model, which uses pseudoinverse projection (1). We also demonstrate the predictive power of these matrix algebra models (2). The integrative pseudoinverse projection model formulates any number of genome-scale molecular biological data sets in terms of one chosen set of data samples, or of profiles extracted mathematically from data samples, designated the ``basis'' set. The mathematical variables of this integrative model, the pseudoinverse correlation patterns that are uncovered in the data, represent independent processes and corresponding cellular states (such as observed genome-wide effects of known regulators or transcription factors, the biological components of the cellular machinery that generate the genomic signals, and measured samples in which these regulators or transcription factors are over- or underactive). Reconstruction of the data in the basis simulates experimental observation of only the cellular states manifest in the data that correspond to those of the basis. Classification of the data samples according to their reconstruction in the basis, rather than their overall measured profiles, maps the cellular states of the data onto those of the basis, and gives a global picture of the correlations and possibly also causal coordination of

  3. How processing digital elevation models can affect simulated water budgets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuniansky, E.L.; Lowery, M.A.; Campbell, B.G.

    2009-01-01

    For regional models, the shallow water table surface is often used as a source/sink boundary condition, as model grid scale precludes simulation of the water table aquifer. This approach is appropriate when the water table surface is relatively stationary. Since water table surface maps are not readily available, the elevation of the water table used in model cells is estimated via a two-step process. First, a regression equation is developed using existing land and water table elevations from wells in the area. This equation is then used to predict the water table surface for each model cell using land surface elevation available from digital elevation models (DEM). Two methods of processing DEM for estimating the land surface for each cell are commonly used (value nearest the cell centroid or mean value in the cell). This article demonstrates how these two methods of DEM processing can affect the simulated water budget. For the example presented, approximately 20% more total flow through the aquifer system is simulated if the centroid value rather than the mean value is used. This is due to the one-third greater average ground water gradients associated with the centroid value than the mean value. The results will vary depending on the particular model area topography and cell size. The use of the mean DEM value in each model cell will result in a more conservative water budget and is more appropriate because the model cell water table value should be representative of the entire cell area, not the centroid of the model cell.

  4. Platelets: A possible glance into brain biological processes in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Asor, Eyal; Ben-Shachar, Dorit

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, characterized by behavioral, emotional and cognitive disturbances, which commonly follows a chronic course. Diagnostic accuracy, management plans, treatment evaluation and prognosis are dependent on relatively subjective assessments. Despite extensive research and improvement in imaging technology, as well as modern genetic and molecular methodologies, the biological basis of this disease is still unclear. Therefore, there is a need for objective and valid biological markers. Platelets have often been used as a model in neurobiological research. The accessibility of platelets and their similarities with neurons turns them into an attractive candidate to search for biological markers for diagnosis and for unraveling pathophysiological processes relevant to the etiology of brain disorders, including schizophrenia. The present review addresses the main changes in platelet physiology observed in schizophrenia and its response to antipsychotic medication. We summarize numerous studies demonstrating impaired metabolism, uptake and receptor kinetics of schizophrenia-relevant neurotransmitters, abnormalities in membrane derived phospholipids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as dysfunctions in the mitochondria. These changes fit with the various hypotheses raised for the etiology of schizophrenia, including the dopamine-glutamate hypothesis, the autoimmune hypothesis, the polyunsaturated fatty acid hypothesis and the impaired energy metabolism hypothesis. Despite extensive research in platelets, no conclusive reliable biomarker has been identified yet. This review suggests that the clinical heterogeneity and the biological complexity of schizophrenia lead to the inevitable conclusion that biomarkers will be identified only for subgroups characterized according to the different diagnostic criteria. Moreover, any biomarker would have to be an array of interrelated factors or even a set of several such arrays. PMID:24175178

  5. Comparison on extreme pathways reveals nature of different biological processes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Constraint-based reconstruction and analysis (COBRA) is used for modeling genome-scale metabolic networks (MNs). In a COBRA model, extreme pathways (ExPas) are the edges of its conical solution space, which is formed by all viable steady-state flux distributions. ExPa analysis has been successfully applied to MNs to reveal their phenotypic capabilities and properties. Recently, the COBRA framework has been extended to transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) and transcriptional and translational networks (TTNs), so efforts are needed to determine whether ExPa analysis is also effective on these two types of networks. Results In this paper, the ExPas resulting from the COBRA models of E.coli's MN, TRN and TTN were horizontally compared from 5 aspects: (1) Total number and the ratio of their amount to reaction amount; (2) Length distribution; (3) Reaction participation; (4) Correlated reaction sets (CoSets); (5) interconnectivity degree. Significant discrepancies in above properties were observed during the comparison, which reveals the biological natures of different biological processes. Besides, by demonstrating the application of ExPa analysis on E.coli, we provide a practical guidance of an improved approach to compute ExPas on COBRA models of TRNs. Conclusions ExPas of E.coli's MN, TRN and TTN have different properties, which are strongly connected with various biological natures of biochemical networks, such as topological structure, specificity and redundancy. Our study shows that ExPas are biologically meaningful on the newborn models and suggests the effectiveness of ExPa analysis on them. PMID:24565046

  6. Students' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process Diagrams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-08-01

    Process diagrams describe how a system functions (e.g. photosynthesis) and are an important type of representation in Biology education. In the present study, we examined students' learning activities while studying process diagrams, related to their resulting comprehension of these diagrams. Each student completed three learning tasks. Verbal data and eye-tracking data were collected as indications of students' learning activities. For the verbal data, we applied a fine-grained coding scheme to optimally describe students' learning activities. For the eye-tracking data, we used fixation time and transitions between areas of interest in the process diagrams as indices of learning activities. Various learning activities while studying process diagrams were found that distinguished between more and less successful students. Results showed that between-student variance in comprehension score was highly predicted by meaning making of the process arrows (80%) and fixation time in the main area (65%). Students employed successful learning activities consistently across learning tasks. Furthermore, compared to unsuccessful students, successful students used a more coherent approach of interrelated learning activities for comprehending process diagrams.

  7. A finite element simulation of biological conversion processes in landfills

    SciTech Connect

    Robeck, M.; Ricken, T.

    2011-04-15

    Landfills are the most common way of waste disposal worldwide. Biological processes convert the organic material into an environmentally harmful landfill gas, which has an impact on the greenhouse effect. After the depositing of waste has been stopped, current conversion processes continue and emissions last for several decades and even up to 100 years and longer. A good prediction of these processes is of high importance for landfill operators as well as for authorities, but suitable models for a realistic description of landfill processes are rather poor. In order to take the strong coupled conversion processes into account, a constitutive three-dimensional model based on the multiphase Theory of Porous Media (TPM) has been developed at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The theoretical formulations are implemented in the finite element code FEAP. With the presented calculation concept we are able to simulate the coupled processes that occur in an actual landfill. The model's theoretical background and the results of the simulations as well as the meantime successfully performed simulation of a real landfill body will be shown in the following.

  8. Integrating the Affective Domain into the Instructional Design Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Main, Robert G.

    This study begins with a definition of the affective domain and its importance to learning, outlining its impact both in achieving affective behaviors and in facilitating cognitive and psychomotor objectives. The study then develops a model of instructional design that incorporates the affective domain as an integral component. The model combines…

  9. Histopathology of growth anomaly affecting the coral, Montipora capitata: implications on biological functions and population viability.

    PubMed

    Burns, John H R; Takabayashi, Misaki

    2011-01-01

    Growth anomalies (GAs) affect the coral, Montipora capitata, at Wai'ōpae, southeast Hawai'i Island. Our histopathological analysis of this disease revealed that the GA tissue undergoes changes which compromise anatomical machinery for biological functions such as defense, feeding, digestion, and reproduction. GA tissue exhibited significant reductions in density of ova (66.1-93.7%), symbiotic dinoflagellates (38.8-67.5%), mesenterial filaments (11.2-29.0%), and nematocytes (28.8-46.0%). Hyperplasia of the basal body wall but no abnormal levels of necrosis and algal or fungal invasion was found in GA tissue. Skeletal density along the basal body wall was significantly reduced in GAs compared to healthy or unaffected sections. The reductions in density of the above histological features in GA tissue were collated with disease severity data to quantify the impact of this disease at the colony and population level. Resulting calculations showed this disease reduces the fecundity of M. capitata colonies at Wai'ōpae by 0.7-49.6%, depending on GA severity, and the overall population fecundity by 2.41±0.29%. In sum, GA in this M. capitata population reduces the coral's critical biological functions and increases susceptibility to erosion, clearly defining itself as a disease and an ecological threat. PMID:22205976

  10. Neural activities during affective processing in people with Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tatia M C; Sun, Delin; Leung, Mei-Kei; Chu, Leung-Wing; Keysers, Christian

    2013-03-01

    This study examined brain activities in people with Alzheimer's disease when viewing happy, sad, and fearful facial expressions of others. A functional magnetic resonance imaging and a voxel-based morphometry methodology together with a passive viewing of emotional faces paradigm were employed to compare the affective processing in 12 people with mild Alzheimer's disease and 12 matched controls. The main finding was that the clinical participants showed reduced activations in regions associated with the motor simulation system (the ventral premotor cortex) and in regions associated with emotional simulation-empathy (the anterior insula and adjacent frontal operculum). This regional decline in blood oxygen level-dependent signals appeared to be lateralized in the left hemisphere and was not related to any structural degeneration in the clinical participants. Furthermore, the regions that showed changes in neural activity differed for the 3 emotional facial expressions studied. Findings of our study indicate that neural changes in regions associated with the motor and emotional simulation systems might play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:22840336

  11. Brain Potentials During Affective Picture Processing in Children

    PubMed Central

    Hajcak, Greg; Dennis, Tracy A.

    2008-01-01

    In adults, emotional (e.g., both unpleasant and pleasant) compared to neutral pictures elicit an increase in the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP); modulation of these ERP components are thought to reflect the facilitated processing of, and increased attention to, motivationally salient stimuli. To determine whether the EPN and LPP are sensitive to emotional content in children, high-density EEG was recorded from 18 children who were 5 to 8 years of age (mean age = 77 months, SD = 11 months) while they viewed developmentally appropriate pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System. Self-reported ratings of valence and arousal were also obtained. An EPN was not evident following emotional compared to neutral pictures; however, a positivity maximal at occipital-parietal recording sites was increased from 500 to 1,000 ms following pleasant pictures and from 500 to 1,500 ms following unpleasant pictures. Comparisons between the EPN and LPP observed in children and adults, and implications for developmental studies of emotion, are discussed. PMID:19103249

  12. Emotional Language Processing: How Mood Affects Integration Processes during Discourse Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egidi, Giovanna; Nusbaum, Howard C.

    2012-01-01

    This research tests whether mood affects semantic processing during discourse comprehension by facilitating integration of information congruent with moods' valence. Participants in happy, sad, or neutral moods listened to stories with positive or negative endings during EEG recording. N400 peak amplitudes showed mood congruence for happy and sad…

  13. Affective disorders as complex dynamic diseases--a perspective from systems biology.

    PubMed

    Tretter, F; Gebicke-Haerter, P J; an der Heiden, U; Rujescu, D; Mewes, H W; Turck, C W

    2011-05-01

    Understanding mental disorders and their neurobiological basis encompasses the conceptual management of "complexity" and "dynamics". For example, affective disorders exhibit several fluctuating state variables on psychological and biological levels and data collected of these systems levels suggest quasi-chaotic periodicity leading to use concepts and tools of the mathematics of nonlinear dynamic systems. Regarding this, we demonstrate that the concept of "Dynamic Diseases" could be a fruitful way for theory and empirical research in neuropsychiatry. In a first step, as an example, we focus on the analysis of dynamic cortisol regulation that is important for understanding depressive disorders. In this case, our message is that extremely complex phenomena of a disease may be explained as resulting from perplexingly simple nonlinear interactions of a very small number of variables. Additionally, we propose that and how widely used complex circuit diagrams representing the macroanatomic structures and connectivities of the brain involved in major depression or other mental disorders may be "animated" by quantification, even by using expert-based estimations (dummy variables). This method of modeling allows to develop exploratory computer-based numerical models that encompass the option to explore the system by computer simulations (in-silico experiments). Also inter- and intracellular molecular networks involved in affective disorders could be modeled by this procedure. We want to stimulate future research in this theoretical context. PMID:21544742

  14. Processes Affecting Nitrogen Speciation in a Karst Aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahler, B. J.; Musgrove, M.; Wong, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    Like many karst aquifers, the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, in central Texas, is in an area undergoing rapid growth in population, and there is concern as to how increased amounts of wastewater might affect groundwater quality. We measured concentrations and estimated loads of nitrogen (N) species in recharge to and discharge from the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, central Texas, to evaluate processes affecting the transport and fate of N species in groundwater. Water samples were collected during 17 months (November 2008-March 2010) from five streams that contribute about 85% of recharge to the aquifer segment and from Barton Springs, the principal point of discharge from the segment. The sampling period spanned a range of climatic conditions from exceptional drought to above-normal rainfall. Samples were analyzed for N species (organic N + ammonia, ammonia, nitrate + nitrite, nitrite); loads of organic N and nitrate were estimated with LOADEST, a regression-based model that uses a time series of streamflow and measured constituent concentrations to estimate constituent loads. Concentrations of organic nitrogen and dissolved oxygen were higher and concentrations of nitrate were lower in surface water than in spring discharge, consistent with conversion of organic nitrogen to nitrate and associated consumption of dissolved oxygen in the aquifer. During the period of the study, the estimated load of organic N in recharge from streams (average daily load [adl] of 39 kg/d) was about 10 times that in Barton Springs discharge (adl of 9.4 kg/d), whereas the estimated load of nitrate in recharge from streams (adl of 123 kg/d) was slightly less than that in Barton Springs discharge (adl of 148 kg/d). The total average N load in recharge from streams and discharge from Barton Springs was not significantly different (adl of 162 and 157 kg/d, respectively), indicating that surface-water recharge can account for all of the N in Barton Springs

  15. Addiction Motivation Reformulated: An Affective Processing Model of Negative Reinforcement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Timothy B.; Piper, Megan E.; McCarthy, Danielle E.; Majeskie, Matthew R.; Fiore, Michael C.

    2004-01-01

    This article offers a reformulation of the negative reinforcement model of drug addiction and proposes that the escape and avoidance of negative affect is the prepotent motive for addictive drug use. The authors posit that negative affect is the motivational core of the withdrawal syndrome and argue that, through repeated cycles of drug use and…

  16. Sources and Processes Affecting Particulate Matter Pollution over North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Shao, J.; Lu, X.; Zhao, Y.; Gong, S.; Henze, D. K.

    2015-12-01

    Severe fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution over North China has received broad attention worldwide in recent years. Better understanding the sources and processes controlling pollution over this region is of great importance with urgent implications for air quality policy. We will present a four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation system using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model and its adjoint model at 0.25° × 0.3125° horizontal resolution, and apply it to analyze the factors affecting PM2.5 concentrations over North China. Hourly surface observations of PM2.5 and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the China National Environmental Monitoring Center (CNEMC) can be assimilated into the model to evaluate and constrain aerosol (primary and precursors) emissions. Application of the data assimilation system to the APEC period (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit; 5-11 November 2014) shows that 46% of the PM2.5 pollution reduction during APEC ("The APEC Blue") can be attributed to meteorology conditions and the rest 54% to emission reductions due to strict emission controls. Ammonia emissions are shown to significantly contribute to PM2.5 over North China in the fall. By converting sulfuric acid and nitric acid to longer-lived ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate aerosols, ammonia plays an important role in promoting their regional transport influences. We will also discuss the pathways and mechanisms of external long-range transport influences to the PM2.5 pollution over North China.

  17. Positive affect and health-related neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and inflammatory processes.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Wardle, Jane; Marmot, Michael

    2005-05-01

    Negative affective states such as depression are associated with premature mortality and increased risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and disability. It has been suggested that positive affective states are protective, but the pathways through which such effects might be mediated are poorly understood. Here we show that positive affect in middle-aged men and women is associated with reduced neuroendocrine, inflammatory, and cardiovascular activity. Positive affect was assessed by aggregating momentary experience samples of happiness over a working day and was inversely related to cortisol output over the day, independently of age, gender, socioeconomic position, body mass, and smoking. Similar patterns were observed on a leisure day. Happiness was also inversely related to heart rate assessed by using ambulatory monitoring methods over the day. Participants underwent mental stress testing in the laboratory, where plasma fibrinogen stress responses were smaller in happier individuals. These effects were independent of psychological distress, supporting the notion that positive well-being is directly related to health-relevant biological processes. PMID:15840727

  18. Treatment of winery wastewater by physicochemical, biological and advanced processes: a review.

    PubMed

    Ioannou, L A; Li Puma, G; Fatta-Kassinos, D

    2015-04-01

    Winery wastewater is a major waste stream resulting from numerous cleaning operations that occur during the production stages of wine. The resulting effluent contains various organic and inorganic contaminants and its environmental impact is notable, mainly due to its high organic/inorganic load, the large volumes produced and its seasonal variability. Several processes for the treatment of winery wastewater are currently available, but the development of alternative treatment methods is necessary in order to (i) maximize the efficiency and flexibility of the treatment process to meet the discharge requirements for winery effluents, and (ii) decrease both the environmental footprint, as well as the investment/operational costs of the process. This review, presents the state-of-the-art of the processes currently applied and/or tested for the treatment of winery wastewater, which were divided into five categories: i.e., physicochemical, biological, membrane filtration and separation, advanced oxidation processes, and combined biological and advanced oxidation processes. The advantages and disadvantages, as well as the main parameters/factors affecting the efficiency of winery wastewater treatment are discussed. Both bench- and pilot/industrial-scale processes have been considered for this review. PMID:25636058

  19. Distributed parameter approach to the dynamics of complex biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, T.T.; Wang, F.Y.; Newell, R.B.

    1999-10-01

    Modeling and simulation of a complex biological process for the removal of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from municipal wastewater are addressed. The model developed in this work employs a distributed-parameter approach to describe the behavior of components within three different bioreaction zones and the behavior of sludge in the anaerobic zone and soluble phosphate in the aerobic zone in two experiments. Good results are achieved despite the apparent plant-model mismatch, such as uncertainties with the behavior of phosphorus-accumulating organisms. Validation of the proposed secondary-settler model shows that it is superior to two state-of-the-art models in terms of the sum of the square relative errors.

  20. Biological Processes Discovered by High-Throughput Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Reon, Brian J; Dutta, Anindya

    2016-04-01

    Advances in DNA and RNA sequencing technologies have completely transformed the field of genomics. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) is now a widely used and accessible technology that allows scientists to sequence an entire transcriptome or genome in a timely and cost-effective manner. Application of HTS techniques has led to many key discoveries, including the identification of long noncoding RNAs, microDNAs, a family of small extrachromosomal circular DNA species, and tRNA-derived fragments, which are a group of small non-miRNAs that are derived from tRNAs. Furthermore, public sequencing repositories provide unique opportunities for laboratories to parse large sequencing databases to identify proteins and noncoding RNAs at a scale that was not possible a decade ago. Herein, we review how HTS has led to the discovery of novel nucleic acid species and uncovered new biological processes during the course. PMID:26828742

  1. [Biological Process Oriented Online Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer].

    PubMed

    Xie, Fei; Wu, Qiong-shui; Zeng, Li-bo

    2015-08-01

    An online Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer and an ATR (Attenuated Total Reflection) probe, specifically at the application of real time measurement of the reaction substrate concentration in biological processes, were designed. (1) The spectrometer combined the theories of double cube-corner reflectors and flat mirror, which created a kind of high performance interferometer system. The light path folding way was utilized to makes the interferometer compact structure. Adopting double cube-corner reflectors, greatly reduces the influence of factors in the process of moving mirror movement such as rotation, tilt, etc. The parallelogram oscillation flexible support device was utilized to support the moving mirror moves. It cancelled the friction and vibration during mirror moving, and ensures the smooth operation. The ZnSe splitter significantly improved the hardware reliability in high moisture environment. The method of 60° entrance to light splitter improves the luminous flux. (2) An ATR in situ measuring probe with simple structure, large-flux, economical and practical character was designed in this article. The transmission of incident light and the light output utilized the infrared pipe with large diameter and innerplanted-high plating membrane, which conducted for the infrared transmission media of ATR probe. It greatly reduced the energy loss of infrared light after multiple reflection on the inner wall of the light pipe. Therefore, the ATR probe obtained high flux, improved the signal strength, which make the signal detected easily. Finally, the high sensitivity of MCT (Mercury Cadmium Telluride) detector was utilized to realize infrared interference signal collection, and improved the data quality of detection. The test results showed that the system yields the advantages of perfect moisture-proof performance, luminous flux, online measurement, etc. The designed online Fourier infrared spectrometer can real-time measured common reactant substrates

  2. Embryo fossilization is a biological process mediated by microbial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Raff, Elizabeth C.; Schollaert, Kaila L.; Nelson, David E.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Thomas, Ceri-Wyn; Turner, F. Rudolf; Stein, Barry D.; Dong, Xiping; Bengtson, Stefan; Huldtgren, Therese; Stampanoni, Marco; Chongyu, Yin; Raff, Rudolf A.

    2008-01-01

    Fossilized embryos with extraordinary cellular preservation appear in the Late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian, coincident with the appearance of animal body fossils. It has been hypothesized that microbial processes are responsible for preservation and mineralization of organic tissues. However, the actions of microbes in preservation of embryos have not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, we show that bacterial biofilms assemble rapidly in dead marine embryos and form remarkable pseudomorphs in which the bacterial biofilm replaces and exquisitely models details of cellular organization and structure. The experimental model was the decay of cleavage stage embryos similar in size and morphology to fossil embryos. The data show that embryo preservation takes place in 3 distinct steps: (i) blockage of autolysis by reducing or anaerobic conditions, (ii) rapid formation of microbial biofilms that consume the embryo but form a replica that retains cell organization and morphology, and (iii) bacterially catalyzed mineralization. Major bacterial taxa in embryo decay biofilms were identified by using 16S rDNA sequencing. Decay processes were similar in different taphonomic conditions, but the composition of bacterial populations depended on specific conditions. Experimental taphonomy generates preservation states similar to those in fossil embryos. The data show how fossilization of soft tissues in sediments can be mediated by bacterial replacement and mineralization, providing a foundation for experimentally creating biofilms from defined microbial species to model fossilization as a biological process. PMID:19047625

  3. Advancing microwave technology for dehydration processing of biologics.

    PubMed

    Cellemme, Stephanie L; Van Vorst, Matthew; Paramore, Elisha; Elliott, Gloria D

    2013-10-01

    Our prior work has shown that microwave processing can be effective as a method for dehydrating cell-based suspensions in preparation for anhydrous storage, yielding homogenous samples with predictable and reproducible drying times. In the current work an optimized microwave-based drying process was developed that expands upon this previous proof-of-concept. Utilization of a commercial microwave (CEM SAM 255, Matthews, NC) enabled continuous drying at variable low power settings. A new turntable was manufactured from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE; Grainger, Lake Forest, IL) to provide for drying of up to 12 samples at a time. The new process enabled rapid and simultaneous drying of multiple samples in containment devices suitable for long-term storage and aseptic rehydration of the sample. To determine sample repeatability and consistency of drying within the microwave cavity, a concentration series of aqueous trehalose solutions were dried for specific intervals and water content assessed using Karl Fischer Titration at the end of each processing period. Samples were dried on Whatman S-14 conjugate release filters (Whatman, Maidestone, UK), a glass fiber membrane used currently in clinical laboratories. The filters were cut to size for use in a 13 mm Swinnex(®) syringe filter holder (Millipore(™), Billerica, MA). Samples of 40 μL volume could be dehydrated to the equilibrium moisture content by continuous processing at 20% with excellent sample-to-sample repeatability. The microwave-assisted procedure enabled high throughput, repeatable drying of multiple samples, in a manner easily adaptable for drying a wide array of biological samples. Depending on the tolerance for sample heating, the drying time can be altered by changing the power level of the microwave unit. PMID:24835259

  4. Ontology of physics for biology: representing physical dependencies as a basis for biological processes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In prior work, we presented the Ontology of Physics for Biology (OPB) as a computational ontology for use in the annotation and representations of biophysical knowledge encoded in repositories of physics-based biosimulation models. We introduced OPB:Physical entity and OPB:Physical property classes that extend available spatiotemporal representations of physical entities and processes to explicitly represent the thermodynamics and dynamics of physiological processes. Our utilitarian, long-term aim is to develop computational tools for creating and querying formalized physiological knowledge for use by multiscale “physiome” projects such as the EU’s Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) and NIH’s Virtual Physiological Rat (VPR). Results Here we describe the OPB:Physical dependency taxonomy of classes that represent of the laws of classical physics that are the “rules” by which physical properties of physical entities change during occurrences of physical processes. For example, the fluid analog of Ohm’s law (as for electric currents) is used to describe how a blood flow rate depends on a blood pressure gradient. Hooke’s law (as in elastic deformations of springs) is used to describe how an increase in vascular volume increases blood pressure. We classify such dependencies according to the flow, transformation, and storage of thermodynamic energy that occurs during processes governed by the dependencies. Conclusions We have developed the OPB and annotation methods to represent the meaning—the biophysical semantics—of the mathematical statements of physiological analysis and the biophysical content of models and datasets. Here we describe and discuss our approach to an ontological representation of physical laws (as dependencies) and properties as encoded for the mathematical analysis of biophysical processes. PMID:24295137

  5. Process-induced extracellular matrix alterations affect the mechanisms of soft tissue repair and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hui; Sandor, Maryellen; Lombardi, Jared

    2013-01-01

    Extracellular matrices derived from animal tissues for human tissue repairs are processed by various methods of physical, chemical, or enzymatic decellularization, viral inactivation, and terminal sterilization. The mechanisms of action in tissue repair vary among bioscaffolds and are suggested to be associated with process-induced extracellular matrix modifications. We compared three non-cross-linked, commercially available extracellular matrix scaffolds (Strattice, Veritas, and XenMatrix), and correlated extracellular matrix alterations to in vivo biological responses upon implantation in non-human primates. Structural evaluation showed significant differences in retaining native tissue extracellular matrix histology and ultrastructural features among bioscaffolds. Tissue processing may cause both the condensation of collagen fibers and fragmentation or separation of collagen bundles. Calorimetric analysis showed significant differences in the stability of bioscaffolds. The intrinsic denaturation temperature was measured to be 51°C, 38°C, and 44°C for Strattice, Veritas, and XenMatrix, respectively, demonstrating more extracellular matrix modifications in the Veritas and XenMatrix scaffolds. Consequently, the susceptibility to collagenase degradation was increased in Veritas and XenMatrix when compared to their respective source tissues. Using a non-human primate model, three bioscaffolds were found to elicit different biological responses, have distinct mechanisms of action, and yield various outcomes of tissue repair. Strattice permitted cell repopulation and was remodeled over 6 months. Veritas was unstable at body temperature, resulting in rapid absorption with moderate inflammation. XenMatrix caused severe inflammation and sustained immune reactions. This study demonstrates that extracellular matrix alterations significantly affect biological responses in soft tissue repair and regeneration. The data offer useful insights into the rational design of

  6. The reallocation of carbon in P deficient lupins affects biological nitrogen fixation.

    PubMed

    Kleinert, Aleysia; Venter, Mauritz; Kossmann, Jens; Valentine, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    It is not known how phosphate (P) deficiency affects the allocation of carbon (C) to biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) in legumes. The alteration of the respiratory and photosynthetic C costs of BNF was investigated under P deficiency. Although BNF can impose considerable sink stimulation on host respiratory and photosynthetic C, it is not known how the change in the C and energy allocation during P deficiency may affect BNF. Nodulated Lupinus luteus plants were grown in sand culture, using a modified Long Ashton nutrient solution containing no nitrogen (N) for ca. four weeks, after which one set was exposed to a P-deficient nutrient medium, while the other set continued growing on a P-sufficient nutrient medium. Phosphorus stress was measured at 20 days after onset of P-starvation. During P stress the decline in nodular P levels was associated with lower BNF and nodule growth. There was also a shift in the balance of photosynthetic and respiratory C toward a loss of C during P stress. Below-ground respiration declined under limiting P conditions. However, during this decline there was also a shift in the proportion of respiratory energy from maintenance toward growth respiration. Under P stress, there was an increased allocation of C toward root growth, thereby decreasing the amount of C available for maintenance respiration. It is therefore possible that the decline in BNF under P deficiency may be due to this change in resource allocation away from respiration associated with direct nutrient uptake, but rather toward a long term nutrient acquisition strategy of increased root growth. PMID:25155758

  7. Biological processes in the water column of the South Atlantic Bight: Phytoplankton response. Final progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Verity, P.G.; Yoder, J.A.

    1992-03-10

    This study addressed shelf-wide processes and nearshore (coastal boundary zone) processes occurring in the southeastern. Coastal boundary zone (CBZ) US continental shelf dynamics involve studies of circulation and of biological and chemical transformations. Continental shelf processes affect the removal of material from the coastal boundary zone into areas where the material no longer interacts with or influences concentrations in the CBZ. The two arbitrarily separate components are, in fact, unified. The CBZ typically extends about 300 km along-shore and about 20 km offshore from its center off Savannah, Georgia, where most runoff occurs. The rates of biological and chemical transformations are controlled by proximity to the bottom and the amounts of fine suspended organic matter originating from rivers and salt marshes. Once material is removed from this zone, either by a long-shelf or cross-shelf advection to regions where the materials are no longer in contact with the bottom, the suite of factors governing the rates of chemical and biological transformations changes. The determination of contrasting rates in these two environments was one of the central focuses of the South Atlantic Bight program.

  8. Exploiting graphics processing units for computational biology and bioinformatics.

    PubMed

    Payne, Joshua L; Sinnott-Armstrong, Nicholas A; Moore, Jason H

    2010-09-01

    Advances in the video gaming industry have led to the production of low-cost, high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) that possess more memory bandwidth and computational capability than central processing units (CPUs), the standard workhorses of scientific computing. With the recent release of generalpurpose GPUs and NVIDIA's GPU programming language, CUDA, graphics engines are being adopted widely in scientific computing applications, particularly in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. The goal of this article is to concisely present an introduction to GPU hardware and programming, aimed at the computational biologist or bioinformaticist. To this end, we discuss the primary differences between GPU and CPU architecture, introduce the basics of the CUDA programming language, and discuss important CUDA programming practices, such as the proper use of coalesced reads, data types, and memory hierarchies. We highlight each of these topics in the context of computing the all-pairs distance between instances in a dataset, a common procedure in numerous disciplines of scientific computing. We conclude with a runtime analysis of the GPU and CPU implementations of the all-pairs distance calculation. We show our final GPU implementation to outperform the CPU implementation by a factor of 1700. PMID:20658333

  9. Processing biological literature with customizable Web services supporting interoperable formats

    PubMed Central

    Rak, Rafal; Batista-Navarro, Riza Theresa; Carter, Jacob; Rowley, Andrew; Ananiadou, Sophia

    2014-01-01

    Web services have become a popular means of interconnecting solutions for processing a body of scientific literature. This has fuelled research on high-level data exchange formats suitable for a given domain and ensuring the interoperability of Web services. In this article, we focus on the biological domain and consider four interoperability formats, BioC, BioNLP, XMI and RDF, that represent domain-specific and generic representations and include well-established as well as emerging specifications. We use the formats in the context of customizable Web services created in our Web-based, text-mining workbench Argo that features an ever-growing library of elementary analytics and capabilities to build and deploy Web services straight from a convenient graphical user interface. We demonstrate a 2-fold customization of Web services: by building task-specific processing pipelines from a repository of available analytics, and by configuring services to accept and produce a combination of input and output data interchange formats. We provide qualitative evaluation of the formats as well as quantitative evaluation of automatic analytics. The latter was carried out as part of our participation in the fourth edition of the BioCreative challenge. Our analytics built into Web services for recognizing biochemical concepts in BioC collections achieved the highest combined scores out of 10 participating teams. Database URL: http://argo.nactem.ac.uk. PMID:25006225

  10. Processing biological literature with customizable Web services supporting interoperable formats.

    PubMed

    Rak, Rafal; Batista-Navarro, Riza Theresa; Carter, Jacob; Rowley, Andrew; Ananiadou, Sophia

    2014-01-01

    Web services have become a popular means of interconnecting solutions for processing a body of scientific literature. This has fuelled research on high-level data exchange formats suitable for a given domain and ensuring the interoperability of Web services. In this article, we focus on the biological domain and consider four interoperability formats, BioC, BioNLP, XMI and RDF, that represent domain-specific and generic representations and include well-established as well as emerging specifications. We use the formats in the context of customizable Web services created in our Web-based, text-mining workbench Argo that features an ever-growing library of elementary analytics and capabilities to build and deploy Web services straight from a convenient graphical user interface. We demonstrate a 2-fold customization of Web services: by building task-specific processing pipelines from a repository of available analytics, and by configuring services to accept and produce a combination of input and output data interchange formats. We provide qualitative evaluation of the formats as well as quantitative evaluation of automatic analytics. The latter was carried out as part of our participation in the fourth edition of the BioCreative challenge. Our analytics built into Web services for recognizing biochemical concepts in BioC collections achieved the highest combined scores out of 10 participating teams. Database URL: http://argo.nactem.ac.uk. PMID:25006225

  11. Cognitive structure and the affective domain: on knowing and feeling in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Tressa L.; Mintzes, Joel J.

    2002-06-01

    This cross-age study explored the structural complexity and propositional validity of knowledge about and attitudes toward sharks, and the relationships among knowledge and attitudes. Responses were elicited from a convenience sample of students (5th, 8th and 11th grade, and college level) and senior citizens (n = 238). All subjects constructed a concept map on sharks and responded to a Likert-type attitude inventory. Based on the work of Novak and Gowin (Leaning How to Learn, Cambridge University Press, 1984), concept maps were scored for frequencies of non-redundant concepts and scientifically valid relationships, levels of hierarchy, incidence of branching and number of crosslinks. The attitude inventory, emerging from Kellert's (The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society, Island Press, 1996) work, generated subscale scores on four affective dimensions: scientific, naturalistic, moralistic and utilitarian/negative. Significant differences were found among subject groups on all knowledge structure variables and attitudinal dimensions. Gender differences were documented on three of four attitude subscales. A series of simple, mulitiple and canonical correlations revealed moderately strong relationships between knowledge structure variables and attitudinal dimensions. The pattern of these relationships supports conservation education efforts and instructional practices that encourage meaningful learning, knowledge restructuring and conceptual change (Mintzes et al., Assessing Science Understanding: A Human Constructivist View, Academic Press, 2000).

  12. Pyrroloquinoline-quinone and its versatile roles in biological processes.

    PubMed

    Misra, H S; Rajpurohit, Y S; Khairnar, N P

    2012-06-01

    Pyrroloquinoline-quinine (PQQ) was initially characterized as a redox cofactor for membrane-bound dehydrogenases in the bacterial system. Subsequently, PQQ was shown to be an antioxidant protecting the living cells from oxidative damage in vivo and the biomolecules from artificially produced reaction oxygen species in vitro. The presence of PQQ has been documented from different biological samples. It functions as a nutrient and vitamin for supporting the growth and protection of living cells under stress. Recently, the role of PQQ has also been shown as a bio-control agent for plant fungal pathogens, an inducer for proteins kinases involved in cellular differentiation of mammalian cells and as a redox sensor leading to development of biosensor. Recent reviews published on PQQ and enzymes requiring this cofactor have brought forth the case specific roles of PQQ. This review covers the comprehensive information on various aspects of PQQ known till date. These include the roles of PQQ in the regulation of cellular growth and differentiation in mammalian system, as a nutrient and vitamin in stress tolerance, in crop productivity through increasing the availability of insoluble phosphate and as a bio-control agent, and as a redox agent leading to the biosensor development. Most recent findings correlating the exceptionally high redox recycling ability of PQQ to its potential as anti-neurodegenerative, anticancer and pharmacological agents, and as a signalling molecule have been distinctly brought out. This review discusses different findings suggesting the versatility in PQQ functions and provides the most plausible intellectual basis to the ubiquitous roles of this compound in a large number of biological processes, as a nutrient and a perspective vitamin. PMID:22581337

  13. Biologically active collagen-based scaffolds: advances in processing and characterization.

    PubMed

    Yannas, I V; Tzeranis, D S; Harley, B A; So, P T C

    2010-04-28

    A small number of type I collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffolds (collagen-GAG scaffolds; CGSs) have unusual biological activity consisting primarily in inducing partial regeneration of organs in the adult mammal. Two of these are currently in use in a variety of clinical settings. CGSs appear to induce regeneration by blocking the adult healing response, following trauma, consisting of wound contraction and scar formation. Several structural determinants of biological activity have been identified, including ligands for binding of fibroblasts to the collagen surface, the mean pore size (which affects ligand density) and the degradation rate (which affects the duration of the wound contraction-blocking activity by the scaffold). Processing variables that affect these determinants include the kinetics of swelling of collagen fibres in acetic acid, freezing of the collagen-GAG suspension and cross-linking of the freeze-dried scaffold. Recent developments in the processing of CGSs include fabrication of scaffolds that are paucidisperse in pore size, scaffolds with gradients in physicochemical properties (and therefore biological activity) and scaffolds that incorporate a mineral component. Advances in the characterization of the pore structure of CGSs have been made using confocal and nonlinear optical microscopy (NLOM). The mechanical behaviour of CGSs, as well as the resistance to degradative enzymes, have been studied. Following seeding with cells (typically fibroblasts), contractile forces in the range 26-450 nN per cell are generated by the cells, leading to buckling of scaffold struts. Ongoing studies of cell-seeded CGSs with NLOM have shown an advantage over the use of confocal microscopy due to the ability of the former method to image the CGS surfaces without staining (which alters its surface ligands), reduced cell photodamage, reduced fluorophore photobleaching and the ability to image deeper inside the scaffold. PMID:20308118

  14. Biological sulfuric acid transformation: Reactor design and process optimization.

    PubMed

    Stucki, G; Hanselmann, K W; Hürzeler, R A

    1993-02-01

    As an alternative to the current disposal technologies for waste sulfuric acid, a new combination of recycling processes was developed. The strong acid (H(2)SO(4)) is biologically converted with the weak acid (CH(3)COOH) into two volatile weak acids (H(2)S, H(2)CO(3)) by sulfate-reducing bacteria. The transformation is possible without prior neutralization of the sulfuric acid. The microbially mediated transformation can be followed by physiochemical processes for the further conversion of the H(2)S.The reduction of sulfate to H(2)S is carried out under carbon-limited conditions at pH 7.5 to 8.5. A fixed-bed biofilm column reactor is used in conjunction with a separate gas-stripping column which was installed in the recycle stream. Sulfate, total sulfide, and the carbon substrate (in most cases acetate) were determined quantitatively. H(2)S and CO(2) are continually removed by stripping with N(2). Optimal removal is achieved under pH conditions which are adjusted to values below the pK(a)-values of the acids. The H(2)S concentration in the stripped gas was 2% to 8% (v/v) if H(2)SO(4) and CH(3)COOH are fed to the recycle stream just before the stripping column.Microbiol conversion rates of 65 g of sulfate reduced per liter of bioreactor volume per day are achieved and bacterial conversion efficiencies for sulfate of more than 95% can be maintained if the concentration of undissociated H(2)S is kept below 40 to 50 mg/L. Porous glass spheres, lava beads, and polyurethane pellets are useful matrices for the attachment of the bacterial biomass. Theoretical aspects and the dependence of the overall conversion performance on selected process parameters are illustrated in the Appendix to this article. PMID:18609554

  15. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Determinants of Performance: A Process Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorfman, Peter W.; Stephan, Walter G.

    Literature from organizational and social psychology has suggested that three types of factors influence performance, i.e., cognitive, affective and behavioral. A model was developed to test a set of propositions concerning the relationship between the three kinds of factors, and included attributions, expectancies, general emotional responses to…

  16. Processing of Affective Speech Prosody Is Impaired in Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korpilahti, Pirjo; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Kuusikko, Sanna; Suominen, Kalervo; Rytky, Seppo; Pauls, David L.; Moilanen, Irma

    2007-01-01

    Many people with the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS) show poorly developed skills in understanding emotional messages. The present study addressed discrimination of speech prosody in children with AS at neurophysiological level. Detection of affective prosody was investigated in one-word utterances as indexed by the N1 and the mismatch…

  17. Does the different mowing regime affect soil biological activity and floristic composition of thermophilous Pieniny meadow?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Józefowska, Agnieszka; Zaleski, Tomasz; Zarzycki, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The study area was located in the Pieniny National Park in the Carpathian Mountain (Southern Poland). About 30% of Park's area is covered by meadows. The climax stage of this area is forest. Therefore extensive use is indispensable action to keep semi-natural grassland such as termophilous Pieniny meadows, which are characterized by a very high biodiversity. The purpose of this research was to answer the question, how the different way of mowing: traditional scything (H), and mechanical mowing (M) or abandonment of mowing (N) effect on the biological activity of soil. Soil biological activity has been expressed by microbial and soil fauna activity. Microbial activity was described directly by count of microorganisms and indirectly by enzymatic activity (dehydrogenase - DHA) and the microbial biomass carbon content (MBC). Enchytraeidae and Lumbricidae were chosen as representatives of soil fauna. Density and species diversity of this Oligochaeta was determined. Samples were collected twice in June (before mowing) and in September (after mowing). Basic soil properties, such as pH value, organic carbon and nitrogen content, moisture and temperature, were determined. Mean count of vegetative bacteria forms, fungi and Actinobacteria was higher in H than M and N. Amount of bacteria connected with nitrification and denitrification process and Clostridium pasteurianum was the highest in soil where mowing was discontinued 11 years ago. The microbial activity measured indirectly by MBC and DHA indicated that the M had the highest activity. The soil biological activity in second term of sampling had generally higher activity than soil collected in June. That was probably connected with highest organic carbon content in soil resulting from mowing and the end of growing season. Higher earthworm density was in mowing soil (220 and 208 individuals m‑2 in H and M respectively) compare to non-mowing one (77 ind. m‑2). The density of Enchytraeidae was inversely, the higher

  18. Genotypic variation in tomatoes affecting processing and antioxidant attributes.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Mohammed Wasim; Ayala-Zavala, J F; Dhua, R S

    2015-01-01

    Tomatoes are widely consumed either raw or after processing and can provide a significant proportion of the total antioxidants in the diet associated with beneficial health properties. Over the last two or three decades an increasing interest for processing and antioxidant attributes in tomatoes has arisen. The screening of processing attributes of tomatoes is subject of a large number of articles; however, special interest has been addressed to the biochemical composition. The postharvest and industrial processing of tomato in tomato-based products includes several steps. Processing and antioxidant characteristics of the raw fruit are important considering the processing steps and final product. To respond to consumer and industrial complaints, breeders should know the range of genetic variability available in tomato resources, including local genotypes, for improving the mentioned attributes. Characterization and conservation of traditional and modern varieties is a major goal for their preservation and utilization. The bioactive contents have an impact on the processed destines so their stability must be contemplated while selecting the tomato fruits for processing. The endeavor of this review was to examine comprehensively the variation in processing and antioxidant attributes among tomatoes. Role of tomato peel in terms of bioactive contents and information on high pigment (hp) tomato mutants are also touched to some extent. Probably, patterns of variation identified/discussed in this paper would give impetus for planning breeding strategies to develop and improve the new processing cultivars with good antioxidant status. PMID:24279355

  19. Next generation tools to accelerate the synthetic biology process.

    PubMed

    Shih, Steve C C; Moraes, Christopher

    2016-05-16

    Synthetic biology follows the traditional engineering paradigm of designing, building, testing and learning to create new biological systems. While such approaches have enormous potential, major challenges still exist in this field including increasing the speed at which this workflow can be performed. Here, we present recently developed microfluidic tools that can be used to automate the synthetic biology workflow with the goal of advancing the likelihood of producing desired functionalities. With the potential for programmability, automation, and robustness, the integration of microfluidics and synthetic biology has the potential to accelerate advances in areas such as bioenergy, health, and biomaterials. PMID:27146265

  20. Oilfield wastewater treatment by combined microfiltration and biological processes.

    PubMed

    Campos, J C; Borges, R M H; Oliveira Filho, A M; Nobrega, R; Sant'Anna, G L

    2002-01-01

    This work deals with the treatment of offshore oilfield wastewater from the Campos Basin (Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil). After coarse filtration, this high saline wastewater was microfiltrated through mixed cellulose ester (MCE) membranes, resulting in average removals of COD, TOC, O&G and phenols of 35%, 25%, 92% and 35%, respectively. The permeate effluent was fed into a 1-L air-lift reactor containing polystyrene particles of 2mm diameter, used as support material. This reactor was operated for 210 days, at three hydraulic retention times (HRT): 48, 24 and 12h. Even when operated at the lowest HRT (12 h), removal efficiencies of 65% COD, 80% TOC, 65% phenols and 40% ammonium were attained. The final effluent presented COD and TOC values of 230 and 55 mg/L, respectively. Results obtained by gas chromatography analyses and toxicity tests with Artemia salina showed that a significant improvement in the effluent's quality was achieved after treatment by the combined (microfiltration/biological) process. PMID:11767743

  1. Quantifying the Intermittency of Fractal Processes with Biological Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickel, David

    2001-03-01

    A number of biological phenomena tend to have intermittent departures from their typical dynamics. The extent to which a fractal is intermittent can be qualified and quantified by differential intermittency (DI) or finite-difference intermittency (FI), the degree to which the generalized Hurst exponents differ. The generalized codimensions of a singular measure are a special case of the FI of the corresponding devil's staircase. Intermittency has uses in data-model and data-data comparisons, e.g., an FI of the heart rate distinguishes healthy subjects from those with heart failure. An FI of the S&P 500 index implies that the stock market is also more intermittent than most previously proposed models. In addition, an FI of human activity quantifies restfulness at night. Viral DNA composition, on the other hand, has an FI of zero, reflecting its unifractal nature. DNA evolution has been modeled as a point process with a positive FI, consistent with mammalian sequence data, under the assumption of a common ancestor. Selected References: D. R. Bickel, Phys. Lett. A 262 (1999) 251; D. R. Bickel, Physica A 265 (1999) 634; D. R. Bickel, Fractals 8 (2000) 1; D. R. Bickel and B. J. West, J. Mol. Evol. 47 (1998) 551; abstracts on http://sonser4.uth.tmc.edu/research/db.htm.

  2. Exploring Biological Motion Processing in Parkinson's Disease Using Temporal Dilation.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ruihua; Ye, Xing; Chen, Xingui; Zhang, Long; Chen, Xianwen; Tian, Yanghua; Hu, Panpan; Wang, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Biological motion (BM) perception is the compelling ability of the visual system to perceive complex animated movements effortlessly and promptly. A recent study has shown that BM can automatically lengthen perceived temporal duration independent of global configuration. The present study aimed mainly to investigate this temporal dilation effect of BM signals in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. We used the temporal dilation effect as an implicit measure of visual processing of BM. In all, 32 PD patients (under off-therapy conditions) and 32 healthy controls (HCs) participated in our study. In each trial, an upright BM sequence and an inverted BM sequence were presented within an interval in the center of the screen. We tested both canonical and scrambled BM sequences; the scrambled ones were generated by disturbing the global configuration of the canonical ones but preserving exactly the same local motion components. Observers were required to make a verbal two-alternative forced choice response to indicate which interval (the first or the second) appeared longer. Statistical analyses were conducted on the points of subjective equality (PSEs). We found that the temporal dilation effect was significantly reduced for PD patients compared with HCs in both canonical and scrambled BM conditions. Moreover, no temporal dilation effects of scrambled BM were shown in both early- and late-stage PD patients, while the temporal dilation effect of canonical BM was relatively preserved in the early stages. PMID:26381888

  3. Dynamic phases in control and information processing biological circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaikuntanathan, Suriyanarayanan

    2015-03-01

    Recent work using the mathematical framework of large deviation theory has shown that fluctuations about the steady state can have a particularly rich structure even in extremely simple non-equilibrium systems [Phys. Rev. E. 89, 062108, 2014]. In certain instances the fluctuations can encode the presence of a dynamical phase with properties distinct from those of the steady state of the system. The transition between these two regimes is akin to a first order thermodynamic phase transition. Specifically, it implies an extreme sensitivity of the system to changes in certain sets of parameters. I will show that such dynamical phase transitions can serve as a general organizing principle to understand biological circuits that are involved in information processing and control. I will focus on two specific examples: adaptation control in E. coli chemotaxis and ultra sensitive response of the E. coli flagella motor, to illustrate these calculations. This work also elucidates the role played by energy dissipation in ensuring control and suggests general guidelines for the construction of robust non equilibrium circuits that perform various specified functions.

  4. Crowdsourcing and curation: perspectives from biology and natural language processing

    PubMed Central

    Hirschman, Lynette; Fort, Karën; Boué, Stéphanie; Kyrpides, Nikos; Islamaj Doğan, Rezarta; Cohen, Kevin Bretonnel

    2016-01-01

    Crowdsourcing is increasingly utilized for performing tasks in both natural language processing and biocuration. Although there have been many applications of crowdsourcing in these fields, there have been fewer high-level discussions of the methodology and its applicability to biocuration. This paper explores crowdsourcing for biocuration through several case studies that highlight different ways of leveraging ‘the crowd’; these raise issues about the kind(s) of expertise needed, the motivations of participants, and questions related to feasibility, cost and quality. The paper is an outgrowth of a panel session held at BioCreative V (Seville, September 9–11, 2015). The session consisted of four short talks, followed by a discussion. In their talks, the panelists explored the role of expertise and the potential to improve crowd performance by training; the challenge of decomposing tasks to make them amenable to crowdsourcing; and the capture of biological data and metadata through community editing. Database URL: http://www.mitre.org/publications/technical-papers/crowdsourcing-and-curation-perspectives PMID:27504010

  5. Processed Vietnamese ginseng: Preliminary results in chemistry and biological activity

    PubMed Central

    Le, Thi Hong Van; Lee, Seo Young; Kim, Tae Ryong; Kim, Jae Young; Kwon, Sung Won; Nguyen, Ngoc Khoi; Park, Jeong Hill; Nguyen, Minh Duc

    2013-01-01

    Background This study was carried out to investigate the effect of the steaming process on chemical constituents, free radical scavenging activity, and antiproliferative effect of Vietnamese ginseng. Methods Samples of powdered Vietnamese ginseng were steamed at 120°C for various times and their extracts were subjected to chemical and biological studies. Results Upon steaming, contents of polar ginsenosides, such as Rb1, Rc, Rd, Re, and Rg1, were rapidly decreased, whereas less polar ginsenosides such as Rg3, Rg5, Rk1, Rk3, and Rh4 were increased as reported previously. However, ocotillol type saponins, which have no glycosyl moiety at the C-20 position, were relatively stable on steaming. The radical scavenging activity was increased continuously up to 20 h of steaming. Similarly, the antiproliferative activity against A549 lung cancer cells was also increased. Conclusion It seems that the antiproliferative activity is closely related to the contents of ginsenoside Rg3, Rg5, and Rk1. PMID:24748840

  6. Crowdsourcing and curation: perspectives from biology and natural language processing.

    PubMed

    Hirschman, Lynette; Fort, Karën; Boué, Stéphanie; Kyrpides, Nikos; Islamaj Doğan, Rezarta; Cohen, Kevin Bretonnel

    2016-01-01

    Crowdsourcing is increasingly utilized for performing tasks in both natural language processing and biocuration. Although there have been many applications of crowdsourcing in these fields, there have been fewer high-level discussions of the methodology and its applicability to biocuration. This paper explores crowdsourcing for biocuration through several case studies that highlight different ways of leveraging 'the crowd'; these raise issues about the kind(s) of expertise needed, the motivations of participants, and questions related to feasibility, cost and quality. The paper is an outgrowth of a panel session held at BioCreative V (Seville, September 9-11, 2015). The session consisted of four short talks, followed by a discussion. In their talks, the panelists explored the role of expertise and the potential to improve crowd performance by training; the challenge of decomposing tasks to make them amenable to crowdsourcing; and the capture of biological data and metadata through community editing.Database URL: http://www.mitre.org/publications/technical-papers/crowdsourcing-and-curation-perspectives. PMID:27504010

  7. How Word Frequency Affects Morphological Processing in Monolinguals and Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehtonen, Minna; Laine, Matti

    2003-01-01

    The present study investigated processing of morphologically complex words in three different frequency ranges in monolingual Finnish speakers and Finnish-Swedish bilinguals. By employing a visual lexical decision task, we found a differential pattern of results in monolinguals vs. bilinguals. Monolingual Finns seemed to process low frequency and…

  8. POLISHING THE EFFLUENT FROM AN ANAEROBIC BIOLOGICAL PERCHLORATE TREATMENT PROCESS - SLIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anaerobic biological processes effectively reduce perchlorate to chloride. However, the effluent can be biologically unstable, high in particulates and high in disinfection by-product precursor compounds. Such an effluent would be unsuitable for transmission into a drinking water...

  9. Parameters Affecting Spore Recovery from Wipes Used in Biological Surface Sampling ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Da Silva, Sandra M.; Filliben, James J.; Morrow, Jayne B.

    2011-01-01

    The need for the precise and reliable collection of potential biothreat contaminants has motivated research in developing a better understanding of the variability in biological surface sampling methods. In this context, the objective of this work was to determine parameters affecting the efficiency of extracting Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores from commonly used wipe sampling materials and to describe performance using the interfacial energy concept. In addition, surface thermodynamics was applied to understand and predict surface sampling performance. Wipe materials were directly inoculated with known concentrations of B. anthracis spores and placed into extraction solutions, followed by sonication or vortexing. Experimental factors investigated included wipe material (polyester, cotton, and polyester-rayon), extraction solution (sterile deionized water [H2O], deionized water with 0.04% Tween 80 [H2O-T], phosphate-buffered saline [PBS], and PBS with 0.04% Tween 80 [PBST]), and physical dissociation method (vortexing or sonication). The most efficient extraction from wipes was observed for solutions containing the nonionic surfactant Tween 80. The increase in extraction efficiency due to surfactant addition was attributed to an attractive interfacial energy between Tween 80 and the centrifuge tube wall, which prevented spore adhesion. Extraction solution significantly impacted the extraction efficiency, as determined by statistical analysis (P < 0.05). Moreover, the extraction solution was the most important factor in extraction performance, followed by the wipe material. Polyester-rayon was the most efficient wipe material for releasing spores into solution by rank; however, no statistically significant difference between polyester-rayon and cotton was observed (P > 0.05). Vortexing provided higher spore recovery in H2O and H2O-T than sonication, when all three wipe materials and the reference control were considered (P < 0.05). PMID:21296945

  10. Sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to acetaminophen reveals biological pathways that affect patient survival

    PubMed Central

    BUSH, STEPHEN H.; TOLLIN, SHARON; MARCHION, DOUGLAS C.; XIONG, YIN; ABBASI, FOROUGH; RAMIREZ, INGRID J.; ZGHEIB, NADIM BOU; BOAC, BERNADETTE; JUDSON, PATRICIA L.; CHON, HYE SOOK; WENHAM, ROBERT M.; APTE, SACHIN M.; CUBITT, CHRISTOPHER L.; BERGLUND, ANDERS E.; HAVRILESKY, LAURA J.; LANCASTER, JOHNATHAN M.

    2016-01-01

    Experimental and epidemiological data support the potential activity of acetaminophen against ovarian cancer (OVCA). In this study, we sought to confirm the activity of acetaminophen in OVCA cell lines and to investigate the molecular basis of response. A total of 16 OVCA cell lines underwent pretreatment (baseline) genome-wide expression measurements and were then treated with and analyzed for acetaminophen sensitivity. Pearson's correlation analysis was performed to identify genes that were associated with OVCA acetaminophen response. The identified genes were subjected to pathway analysis, and the expression of each represented pathway was summarized using principal component analysis. OVCA acetaminophen response pathways were analyzed in 4 external clinico-genomic datasets from 820 women for associations with overall survival from OVCA. Acetaminophen exhibited antiproliferative activity against all tested OVCA cell lines, with half maximal inhibitory concentration values ranging from 63.2 to 403 µM. Pearson's correlation followed by biological pathway analysis identified 13 pathways to be associated with acetaminophen sensitivity (P<0.01). Associations were observed between patient survival from OVCA and expression of the following pathways: Development/angiotensin signaling via β-arrestin (P=0.04), protein folding and maturation/angiotensin system maturation (P=0.02), signal transduction/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway (P=0.03) and androstenedione and testosterone biosynthesis and metabolism (P=0.02). We confirmed that acetaminophen was active against OVCA cells in vitro. Furthermore, we identified 4 molecular signaling pathways associated with acetaminophen response that may also affect overall survival in women with OVCA, including the JNK pathway, which has been previously implicated in the mechanism of action of acetaminophen and is predictive of decreased survival in women with OVCA. PMID:26998291

  11. Adipose-specific lipoprotein lipase deficiency more profoundly affects brown than white fat biology.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Arcos, Itsaso; Hiyama, Yaeko; Drosatos, Konstantinos; Bharadwaj, Kalyani G; Hu, Yunying; Son, Ni Huiping; O'Byrne, Sheila M; Chang, Chuchun L; Deckelbaum, Richard J; Takahashi, Manabu; Westerterp, Marit; Obunike, Joseph C; Jiang, Hongfeng; Yagyu, Hiroaki; Blaner, William S; Goldberg, Ira J

    2013-05-17

    Adipose fat storage is thought to require uptake of circulating triglyceride (TG)-derived fatty acids via lipoprotein lipase (LpL). To determine how LpL affects the biology of adipose tissue, we created adipose-specific LpL knock-out (ATLO) mice, and we compared them with whole body LpL knock-out mice rescued with muscle LpL expression (MCK/L0) and wild type (WT) mice. ATLO LpL mRNA and activity were reduced, respectively, 75 and 70% in gonadal adipose tissue (GAT), 90 and 80% in subcutaneous tissue, and 84 and 85% in brown adipose tissue (BAT). ATLO mice had increased plasma TG levels associated with reduced chylomicron TG uptake into BAT and lung. ATLO BAT, but not GAT, had altered TG composition. GAT from MCK/L0 was smaller and contained less polyunsaturated fatty acids in TG, although GAT from ATLO was normal unless LpL was overexpressed in muscle. High fat diet feeding led to less adipose in MCK/L0 mice but TG acyl composition in subcutaneous tissue and BAT reverted to that of WT. Therefore, adipocyte LpL in BAT modulates plasma lipoprotein clearance, and the greater metabolic activity of this depot makes its lipid composition more dependent on LpL-mediated uptake. Loss of adipose LpL reduces fat accumulation only if accompanied by greater LpL activity in muscle. These data support the role of LpL as the "gatekeeper" for tissue lipid distribution. PMID:23542081

  12. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turhan, Sule; Canan Ozbag, Basak; Cetin, Bahattin

    The main aim of this study is to examine the determinants of location choices for food processing plants using the results of 59 personal surveys. The 61.3% of the food processing plants that were interviewed are small scale plants, 9.1% are large scale plants and 29.6% are medium scale plants. Sixteen of the firms process vegetables, 12 process poultry, 12 process dairy and 9 process seafood products. Business climate factors are divided into six categories (market, infrastructure, raw material, labor, personal and environmental) and 17 specific location factors are considered. The survey responses are analyzed by types of raw materials processed and by plant size. 43.7, 55.3 and 42.2% of the respondents cited categories of Market, Raw Material and Infrastructure respectively as important, while 44.3, 50.7 and 74.4% of the respondents cited, labor, personal and environmental regulation categories of as not important. Thus survey findings indicate that plant location choices are mainly driven by market, raw material and infra structural factors. Environmental factors such as environmental regulations and permissions are relatively insignificant.

  13. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

    Iaconelli, Cyril; Lemetais, Guillaume; Kechaou, Noura; Chain, Florian; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Langella, Philippe; Gervais, Patrick; Beney, Laurent

    2015-11-20

    Probiotic formulations are widely used and are proposed to have a variety of beneficial effects, depending on the probiotic strains present in the product. The impact of drying processes on the viability of probiotics is well documented. However, the impact of these processes on probiotics functionality remains unclear. In this work, we investigated variations in seven different bacterial markers after various desiccation processes. Markers were composed of four different viability evaluation (combining two growth abilities and two cytometric measurements) and in three in vitro functionalities: stimulation of IL-10 and IL-12 production by PBMCs (immunomodulation) and bacterial adhesion to hexadecane. We measured the impact of three drying processes (air-drying, freeze-drying and spray-drying), without the use of protective agents, on three types of probiotic bacteria: Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus zeae. Our results show that the bacteria respond differently to the three different drying processes, in terms of viability and functionality. Drying methods produce important variations in bacterial immunomodulation and hydrophobicity, which are correlated. We also show that adherence can be stimulated (air-drying) or inhibited (spray-drying) by drying processes. Results of a multivariate analysis show no direct correlation between bacterial survival and functionality, but do show a correlation between probiotic responses to desiccation-rewetting and the process used to dry the bacteria. PMID:26325197

  14. The Process of Incest: Biologic Father and Stepfather Families.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelan, Patricia

    1986-01-01

    A study compared characteristics of incest between biologic father and daughter families (N=46) and stepfather and stepdaughter families (N=56). Biologic fathers more frequently engaged in full intercourse, more frequently involved multiple daughters, and more frequently began the sexual activity when their daughters were adolescents than did…

  15. Process Formulations And Curing Conditions That Affect Saltstone Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Reigel, M. M.; Pickenheim, B. R.; Daniel, W. E.

    2012-09-28

    The first objective of this study was to analyze saltstone fresh properties to determine the feasibility of reducing the formulation water to premix (w/p) ratio while varying the amount of extra water and admixtures used during processing at the Saltstone Production Facility (SPF). The second part of this study was to provide information for understanding the impact of curing conditions (cure temperature, relative humidity (RH)) and processing formulation on the performance properties of cured saltstone.

  16. Ecosystem Modeling of Biological Processes to Global Budgets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christopher, Potter S.; Condon, Estelle (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    biosphere effects on atmospheric composition is the ecosystem level. These assumptions are the foundation for developing modern emission budgets for biogenic gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, isoprene, nitrous and nitric oxide, and ammonia. Such emission budgets commonly include information on seasonal flux patterns, typical diurnal profiles, and spatial resolution of at least one degree latitude/longitude for the globe. On the basis of these budgets, it is possible to compute 'base emission rates' for the major biogenic trace gases from both terrestrial and ocean sources, which may be useful benchmarks for defining the gas production rates of organisms, especially those from early Earth history, which are required to generate a detectable signal on a global atmosphere. This type of analysis is also the starting point for evaluation of the 'biological processes to global gas budget' extrapolation procedure described above for early Earth ecosystems.

  17. Psychometric Characteristics of the EEAA (Scale of Affective Strategies in the Learning Process)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Villardón-Gallego, Lourdes; Yániz, Concepción

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Affective strategies for coping with affective states linked to the learning process may be oriented toward controlling emotions or toward controlling motivation. Both types affect performance, directly and indirectly. The objective of this research was to design an instrument for measuring the affective strategies used by university…

  18. Factors affecting chemical and biological reduction of hexavalent chromium in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Losi, M.E.; Amrhein, C.; Frankenberger, W.T. Jr. . Dept. of Soil and Environmental Sciences)

    1994-11-01

    Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a common environmental pollutant that is mobile in soils and is a known mutagen. The trivalent form [Cr(III)] has not known mutagenic properties and is highly insoluble and immobile above pH 5.5. Reduction to the trivalent state thus represents an effective mechanism for detoxification and immobilization of Cr(VI) in soil/water systems. In this study, the authors conducted experiments to examine various parameters involving aerobic reduction of Cr(VI) in a field soil. They found that organic matter content, bioactivity, and oxygen status were important factors. Under optimum conditions, the soil reduced 96% of added Cr(VI) under aerobic, field-moist conditions. The pH of the system was shown to have little effect. Both biological and nonbiological processes were influential, and, of 20 chromate-resistant bacterial cultures isolated from soils, 9 were found to actively reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in liquid media. Their study suggests that organic-amended soils can readily reduce Cr(VI) and could promote excellent removal efficiency either as a primary treatment technique, or in conjunction with bioreactor-type wastewater treatment systems.

  19. Acute ethanol administration affects zebrafish preference for a biologically inspired robot.

    PubMed

    Spinello, Chiara; Macrì, Simone; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2013-08-01

    Preclinical animal models constitute a cornerstone against which the reward processes involved in drug addiction are often studied and dissected. While rodents have traditionally represented the species of choice, a growing body of literature indicates that zebrafish are emerging as a valuable model organism. Specifically, several studies demonstrate that the effects of ethanol at the level of emotional- and cognitive-related domains can be reliably investigated using zebrafish. The rapidly evolving nature of these efforts allows substantial room for the development of novel experimental paradigms suited to this freshwater species. The field of ethorobotics may prove particularly beneficial, due to its ability to convey fully controllable and easily reproducible experimental tools. In this study, we addressed the possibility of using a biologically inspired robot to investigate the emotionally related properties of ethanol in a preference task in zebrafish. To this aim, we evaluated wild-type zebrafish preference toward a robotic stimulus and addressed whether ethanol administration (0.25% and 1.00% ethanol/water concentration) may alter such preferences. In accordance with our previous studies, we observed that zebrafish exhibit a natural attraction toward the robot. Additionally, in agreement with our predictions, we showed that ethanol administration abolishes such preferences. This work is the first to demonstrate that robotic stimuli can be used in zebrafish to investigate the reward-related properties of alcohol. PMID:23725654

  20. Temporal factors affecting somatosensory–auditory interactions in speech processing

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Takayuki; Gracco, Vincent L.; Ostry, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Speech perception is known to rely on both auditory and visual information. However, sound-specific somatosensory input has been shown also to influence speech perceptual processing (Ito et al., 2009). In the present study, we addressed further the relationship between somatosensory information and speech perceptual processing by addressing the hypothesis that the temporal relationship between orofacial movement and sound processing contributes to somatosensory–auditory interaction in speech perception. We examined the changes in event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to multisensory synchronous (simultaneous) and asynchronous (90 ms lag and lead) somatosensory and auditory stimulation compared to individual unisensory auditory and somatosensory stimulation alone. We used a robotic device to apply facial skin somatosensory deformations that were similar in timing and duration to those experienced in speech production. Following synchronous multisensory stimulation the amplitude of the ERP was reliably different from the two unisensory potentials. More importantly, the magnitude of the ERP difference varied as a function of the relative timing of the somatosensory–auditory stimulation. Event-related activity change due to stimulus timing was seen between 160 and 220 ms following somatosensory onset, mostly around the parietal area. The results demonstrate a dynamic modulation of somatosensory–auditory convergence and suggest the contribution of somatosensory information for speech processing process is dependent on the specific temporal order of sensory inputs in speech production. PMID:25452733

  1. Centrifugal inhibitory processes affecting neurones in the cat cochlear nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Comis, S. D.

    1970-01-01

    1. Stimulation of the lateral part of the olivary S-segment in the cat inhibited neurones in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus. A smaller number of neurones located in the ventral division of the cochlear nucleus were excited. 2. It is suggested that inhibition in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus may be mediated directly by fibres making synaptic connexions on the cochlear nucleus neurones, or indirectly by inhibitory fibres acting at the cochlea. 3. The direct inhibitory process at the cochlear nucleus is unaffected by strychnine, whereas the inhibitory process at the cochlea is abolished by strychnine. 4. A cochlear nucleus neurone can be influenced simultaneously by excitatory and inhibitory processes. ImagesFig. 1 PMID:5499823

  2. Distal Prosodic Context Affects Word Segmentation and Lexical Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilley, Laura C.; McAuley, J. Devin

    2008-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the role of distal (i.e., nonlocal) prosody in word segmentation and lexical processing. In Experiment 1, prosodic characteristics of the initial five syllables of eight-syllable sequences were manipulated; the final portions of these sequences were lexically ambiguous (e.g., "note bookworm", "notebook worm"). Distal…

  3. Does Welfare Affect Family Processes and Adolescent Adjustment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalil, Ariel; Eccles, Jacquelynne S.

    1998-01-01

    Investigated parenting behavior, parent/adolescent relationship, and adolescent attitudes and behaviors in three family types. Results showed minimal support for the hypothesis that welfare is negatively related to family processes and adolescent attitudes and behavior, although mothers receiving welfare reported fewer effective parent-management…

  4. Stimulus Characteristics Affect Humor Processing in Individuals with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Andrea C.; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The present paper aims to investigate whether individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) show global humor processing deficits or whether humor comprehension and appreciation depends on stimulus characteristics. Non-verbal visual puns, semantic and Theory of Mind cartoons were rated on comprehension, funniness and the punchlines were explained. AS…

  5. Can Process Portfolios Affect Students' Writing Self-Efficacy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolaidou, Iolie

    2012-01-01

    Can process portfolios that support students in goal setting, reflection, self-evaluation and feedback have a positive impact on students' writing self-efficacy? This article presents the findings of a yearlong study conducted in three 4th grade elementary classes in Cyprus where paper-based and web-based portfolios were implemented to help…

  6. Feedstock and Processes Affect Environmental Properties of Biochars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar, a byproduct of the pyrolysis process of biomass-to-energy conversion, can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil health, providing beneficial use for biochar. The quality of the biochar as soil amendment and its environmental impact are likely to depend on feedstock source and processi...

  7. Social Process Variables Affecting Reading Performance in Delayed Readers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorton, Mary; Kukuk, Cristopher

    A study was conducted to determine the relationship between fourteen social process variables (relating to perinatal events, early language patterns, parental/home environment, and child behavior patterns) and the reading performance of retarded readers. The subjects were 180 children, aged seven through fifteen, randomly selected from among…

  8. COULD ETHINYL ESTRADIOL AFFECT THE POPULATION BIOLOGY OF CUNNER, TAUTOGOLABRUS ADSPERSUS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment may disturb the population dynamics of wildlife by affecting reproductive output and embryonic development of organisms. This study used a population model to evaluate whether ethinyl estradiol (EE2 could affect cunner Tautogolabr...

  9. Critical processes affecting Cryptosporidium oocyst survival in the environment.

    PubMed

    King, B J; Monis, P T

    2007-03-01

    Cryptosporidium are parasitic protozoans that cause gastrointestinal disease and represent a significant risk to public health. Cryptosporidium oocysts are prevalent in surface waters as a result of human, livestock and native animal faecal contamination. The resistance of oocysts to the concentrations of chlorine and monochloramine used to disinfect potable water increases the risk of waterborne transmission via drinking water. In addition to being resistant to commonly used disinfectants, it is thought that oocysts can persist in the environment and be readily mobilized by precipitation events. This paper will review the critical processes involved in the inactivation or removal of oocysts in the terrestrial and aquatic environments and consider how these processes will respond in the context of climate change. PMID:17096874

  10. Does welfare affect family processes and adolescent adjustment?

    PubMed

    Kalil, A; Eccles, J S

    1998-12-01

    Recent welfare reform legislation requires increased parental work effort and imposes time limits on the receipt of federal assistance. These changes were based in part on assumptions that parental welfare receipt may be negatively related to family processes and children's attitudes and behaviors. Currently, researchers know little about the effects of welfare by itself relative to the effects of related variables such as family demographic characteristics, economic strain, and neighborhood factors on processes among families with adolescent children. This study investigates parenting behaviors, parent-adolescent relationships, and adolescent attitudes and behaviors in three family types. Families of adolescents ages 11-15 who received income from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the previous 12 months are compared with poor families who have not received AFDC in the last year and with families who are neither poor nor welfare dependent. We found minimal support for the hypothesis that welfare is negatively related to family processes and adolescent attitudes and behaviors, although mothers receiving welfare report fewer effective parent management practices than their poor non-welfare counterparts. Implications of the findings for current social policy debates are discussed. PMID:9914641

  11. Carbonate Beaches: A Balance Between Biological and Physical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nairn, R.; Risk, M.

    2004-12-01

    Carbonate beaches are a unique example of the interaction between biological processes, creating the sediments, and physical processes, moving and often removing the sediments. On the sediment supply side, carbonate sediments are born, not made. They exist in dynamic equilibrium between production and destruction. Following the creation of carbonate sediment in coral reef and lagoon environments, the sediments are moved shoreward to the beach, transport along the shore and sometimes, eventually lost offshore, often as the result of tropical storms. Comprehensive studies of the balance between the supply and loss of carbonate sediments and beach dynamics have been completed for the islands of Mauritius and Barbados. Field studies and remote sensing (Compact Airborne Spectrometry Imaging) have been applied to develop carbonate sediment production rates for a range of reef and lagoon conditions. Using GIS, these production rates have been integrated to determine sediment supply rates for different segments of the coastline. 1-D and 2-D models of waves, hydrodynamics, sediment transport and morphodynamics were set-up and tested against observed beach response to storm events or a sequence of storm events. These complex deterministic models are not suitable for application over periods of decades. However, it was possible to characterize storm events by the extent of sand loss, and relate this to key descriptive factors for groups of storm events, thereby encapsulating the erosion response. A long-term predictive tool for evaluating beach erosion and accretion response, over a period of several decades, was developed by combining the supply rates for carbonate sediment and the encapsulated representation of the loss rates through physical processes. The ability of this predictive tool was successfully tested against observed long term beach evolution along sections of the coast in Barbados and Mauritius using air photo analysis in GIS for shoreline change over periods

  12. Students' Ability to Solve Process-Diagram Problems in Secondary Biology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Process diagrams are important tools in biology for explaining processes such as protein synthesis, compound cycles and the like. The aim of the present study was to measure the ability to solve process-diagram problems in biology and its relationship with prior knowledge, spatial ability and working memory. For this purpose, we developed a test…

  13. Dopaminergic modulation of memory and affective processing in Parkinson depression.

    PubMed

    Blonder, Lee X; Slevin, John T; Kryscio, Richard J; Martin, Catherine A; Andersen, Anders H; Smith, Charles D; Schmitt, Frederick A

    2013-11-30

    Depression is common in Parkinson's disease and is associated with cognitive impairment. Dopaminergic medications are effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease; however, little is known regarding the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on cognitive function in depressed Parkinson patients. This study examines the neuropsychological effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy in Parkinsonian depression. We compared cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed Parkinson patients at two time-points: following overnight withdrawal and after the usual morning regimen of dopaminergic medications. A total of 28 non-demented, right-handed patients with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson's disease participated. Ten of these patients were depressed according to DSM IV criteria. Results revealed a statistically significant interaction between depression and medication status on three measures of verbal memory and a facial affect naming task. In all cases, depressed Parkinson's patients performed significantly more poorly while on dopaminergic medication than while off. The opposite pattern emerged for the non-depressed Parkinson's group. The administration of dopaminergic medication to depressed Parkinson patients may carry unintended risks. PMID:23838419

  14. Dopaminergic modulation of memory and affective processing in Parkinson depression

    PubMed Central

    Blonder, Lee X.; Slevin, John T.; Kryscio, Richard J.; Martin, Catherine A.; Andersen, Anders H.; Smith, Charles D.; Schmitt, Frederick A.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is common in Parkinson’s disease and is associated with cognitive impairment. Dopaminergic medications are effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; however, little is known regarding the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on cognitive function in depressed Parkinson patients. This study examines the neuropsychological effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy in Parkinsonian depression. We compared cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed Parkinson patients at two time-points: following overnight withdrawal and after the usual morning regimen of dopaminergic medications. A total of 28 non-demented, right-handed patients with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson’s disease participated. Ten of these patients were depressed according to DSM IV criteria. Results revealed a statistically significant interaction between depression and medication status on three measures of verbal memory and a facial affect naming task. In all cases, depressed Parkinson’s patients performed significantly more poorly while on dopaminergic medication than while off. The opposite pattern emerged for the non-depressed Parkinson’s group. The administration of dopaminergic medication to depressed Parkinson patients may carry unintended risks. PMID:23838419

  15. Understanding processes affecting mineral deposits in humid environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seal, Robert R., II; Ayuso, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent interdisciplinary studies by the U.S. Geological Survey have resulted in substantial progress toward understanding the influence that climate and hydrology have on the geochemical signatures of mineral deposits and the resulting mine wastes in the eastern United States. Specific areas of focus include the release, transport, and fate of acid, metals, and associated elements from inactive mines in temperate coastal areas and of metals from unmined mineral deposits in tropical to subtropical areas; the influence of climate, geology, and hydrology on remediation options for abandoned mines; and the application of radiogenic isotopes to uniquely apportion source contributions that distinguish natural from mining sources and extent of metal transport. The environmental effects of abandoned mines and unmined mineral deposits result from a complex interaction of a variety of chemical and physical factors. These include the geology of the mineral deposit, the hydrologic setting of the mineral deposit and associated mine wastes, the chemistry of waters interacting with the deposit and associated waste material, the engineering of a mine as it relates to the reactivity of mine wastes, and climate, which affects such factors as temperature and the amounts of precipitation and evapotranspiration; these factors, in turn, influence the environmental behavior of mineral deposits. The role of climate is becoming increasingly important in environmental investigations of mineral deposits because of the growing concerns about climate change.

  16. Nutrient availability affects pigment production but not growth in lichens of biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Koch, G.W.; Belnap, J.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Recent research suggests that micronutrients such as Mn may limit growth of slow-growing biological soil crusts (BSCs) in some of the drylands of the world. These soil surface communities contribute strongly to arid ecosystem function and are easily degraded, creating a need for new restoration tools. The possibility that Mn fertilization could be used as a restoration tool for BSCs has not been tested previously. We used microcosms in a controlled greenhouse setting to investigate the hypothesis that Mn may limit photosynthesis and consequently growth in Collema tenax, a dominant N-fixing lichen found in BSCs worldwide. We found no evidence to support our hypothesis; furthermore, addition of other nutrients (primarily P, K, and Zn) had a suppressive effect on gross photosynthesis (P = 0.05). We also monitored the growth and physiological status of our microcosms and found that other nutrients increased the production of scytonemin, an important sunscreen pigment, but only when not added with Mn (P = 0.01). A structural equation model indicated that this effect was independent of any photosynthesis-related variable. We propose two alternative hypotheses to account for this pattern: (1) Mn suppresses processes needed to produce scytonemin; and (2) Mn is required to suppress scytonemin production at low light, when it is an unnecessary photosynthate sink. Although Mn fertilization does not appear likely to increase photosynthesis or growth of Collema, it could have a role in survivorship during environmentally stressful periods due to modification of scytonemin production. Thus, Mn enrichment should be studied further for its potential to facilitate BSC rehabilitation. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Protein corona composition of gold nanoparticles/nanorods affects amyloid beta fibrillation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirsadeghi, Somayeh; Dinarvand, Rassoul; Ghahremani, Mohammad Hossein; Hormozi-Nezhad, Mohammad Reza; Mahmoudi, Zohreh; Hajipour, Mohammad Javad; Atyabi, Fatemeh; Ghavami, Mahdi; Mahmoudi, Morteza

    2015-03-01

    Protein fibrillation process (e.g., from amyloid beta (Aβ) and α-synuclein) is the main cause of several catastrophic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. During the past few decades, nanoparticles (NPs) were recognized as one of the most promising tools for inhibiting the progress of the disease by controlling the fibrillation kinetic process; for instance, gold NPs have a strong capability to inhibit Aβ fibrillations. It is now well understood that a layer of biomolecules would cover the surface of NPs (so called ``protein corona'') upon the interaction of NPs with protein sources. Due to the fact that the biological species (e.g., cells and amyloidal proteins) ``see'' the protein corona coated NPs rather than the pristine coated particles, one should monitor the fibrillation process of amyloidal proteins in the presence of corona coated NPs (and not pristine coated ones). Therefore, the previously obtained data on NPs effects on the fibrillation process should be modified to achieve a more reliable and predictable in vivo results. Herein, we probed the effects of various gold NPs (with different sizes and shapes) on the fibrillation process of Aβ in the presence and absence of protein sources (i.e., serum and plasma). We found that the protein corona formed a shell at the surface of gold NPs, regardless of their size and shape, reducing the access of Aβ to the gold inhibitory surface and, therefore, affecting the rate of Aβ fibril formation. More specifically, the anti-fibrillation potencies of various corona coated gold NPs were strongly dependent on the protein source and their concentrations (10% serum/plasma (simulation of an in vitro milieu) and 100% serum/plasma (simulation of an in vivo milieu)).Protein fibrillation process (e.g., from amyloid beta (Aβ) and α-synuclein) is the main cause of several catastrophic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. During the past few decades

  18. Diffusion and association processes in biological systems: theory, computation and experiment

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Macromolecular diffusion plays a fundamental role in biological processes. Here, we give an overview of recent methodological advances and some of the challenges for understanding how molecular diffusional properties influence biological function that were highlighted at a recent workshop, BDBDB2, the second Biological Diffusion and Brownian Dynamics Brainstorm. PMID:21595997

  19. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes.

    PubMed

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feedback cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here, we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models-one a susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion and the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network-and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes. PMID:27368799

  20. Suprasegmental information affects processing of talking faces at birth.

    PubMed

    Guellai, Bahia; Mersad, Karima; Streri, Arlette

    2015-02-01

    From birth, newborns show a preference for faces talking a native language compared to silent faces. The present study addresses two questions that remained unanswered by previous research: (a) Does the familiarity with the language play a role in this process and (b) Are all the linguistic and paralinguistic cues necessary in this case? Experiment 1 extended newborns' preference for native speakers to non-native ones. Given that fetuses and newborns are sensitive to the prosodic characteristics of speech, Experiments 2 and 3 presented faces talking native and nonnative languages with the speech stream being low-pass filtered. Results showed that newborns preferred looking at a person who talked to them even when only the prosodic cues were provided for both languages. Nonetheless, a familiarity preference for the previously talking face is observed in the "normal speech" condition (i.e., Experiment 1) and a novelty preference in the "filtered speech" condition (Experiments 2 and 3). This asymmetry reveals that newborns process these two types of stimuli differently and that they may already be sensitive to a mismatch between the articulatory movements of the face and the corresponding speech sounds. PMID:25531944

  1. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feedback cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here, we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models—one a susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion and the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network—and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes.

  2. Does Signal Degradation Affect Top-Down Processing of Speech?

    PubMed

    Wagner, Anita; Pals, Carina; de Blecourt, Charlotte M; Sarampalis, Anastasios; Başkent, Deniz

    2016-01-01

    Speech perception is formed based on both the acoustic signal and listeners' knowledge of the world and semantic context. Access to semantic information can facilitate interpretation of degraded speech, such as speech in background noise or the speech signal transmitted via cochlear implants (CIs). This paper focuses on the latter, and investigates the time course of understanding words, and how sentential context reduces listeners' dependency on the acoustic signal for natural and degraded speech via an acoustic CI simulation.In an eye-tracking experiment we combined recordings of listeners' gaze fixations with pupillometry, to capture effects of semantic information on both the time course and effort of speech processing. Normal-hearing listeners were presented with sentences with or without a semantically constraining verb (e.g., crawl) preceding the target (baby), and their ocular responses were recorded to four pictures, including the target, a phonological (bay) competitor and a semantic (worm) and an unrelated distractor.The results show that in natural speech, listeners' gazes reflect their uptake of acoustic information, and integration of preceding semantic context. Degradation of the signal leads to a later disambiguation of phonologically similar words, and to a delay in integration of semantic information. Complementary to this, the pupil dilation data show that early semantic integration reduces the effort in disambiguating phonologically similar words. Processing degraded speech comes with increased effort due to the impoverished nature of the signal. Delayed integration of semantic information further constrains listeners' ability to compensate for inaudible signals. PMID:27080670

  3. Advanced Computer Simulations Of Nanomaterials And Stochastic Biological Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minakova, Maria S.

    This dissertation consists of several parts. The first two chapters are devoted to of study of dynamic processes in cellular organelles called filopodia. A stochastic kinetics approach is used to describe non-equilibrium evolution of the filopodial system from nano- to micro scales. Dynamic coupling between chemistry and mechanics is also taken into account in order to investigate the influence of focal adhesions on cell motility. The second chapter explores the possibilities and effects of motor enhanced delivery of actin monomers to the polymerizing tips of filopodia, and how the steady-state filopodial length can exceed the limit set by pure diffusion. Finally, we also challenge the currently existing view of active transport and propose a new theoretical model that accurately describes the motor dynamics and concentration profiles seen in experiments in a physically meaningful way. The third chapter is a result of collaboration between three laboratories, as a part of Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The work presented here unified the fields of synthetic chemistry, photochemistry, and computational physical chemistry in order to investigate a novel bio-synthetic compound and its energy transfer capabilities. This particular peptide-based design has never been studied via Molecular Dynamics with high precision, and it is the first attempt known to us to simulate the whole chromophore-peptide complex in solution in order to gain detailed information about its structural and dynamic features. The fourth chapter deals with the non-equilibrium relaxation induced transport of water molecules in a microemulsion. This problem required a different set of methodologies and a more detailed, all-atomistic treatment of the system. We found interesting water clustering effects and elucidated the most probable mechanism of water transfer through oil under the condition of saturated Langmuir monolayers. Together these

  4. Silicification of Thermophilic Biofilms: Do Aquificales Affect the Mineralisation Process?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konhauser, K.; Lalonde, S.; Aguiar, P.; Reysenbach, A.

    2003-12-01

    In geothermal environments, biomineralisation is an inevitable consequence of microbes growing in solute-rich waters. The process of silicification is of particular interest due to (1) apparent discrepancies between natural and laboratory silicification rates and (2) siliceous microfossils currently serve as the earliest physical evidence for life on Earth. Although mesophilic microbe-silica interactions have been studied in great detail, there is a paucity of information on the role that thermophiles play in the silicification process, i.e., does their metabolism in any way facilitate silicification and do their cellular remains fossilise? To help resolve some of these uncertainties, a thermophilic, biofilm-forming member of the Aquificales order, Sulfurihydrogenobium azorense, was grown in the presence of various concentrations of silica, ranging from undersaturated to those extremely supersaturated with respect to amorphous silica. Since the chemolithoautotrophic Aquificales use of a wide range and combination of electron donors and acceptors, the bacteria cultured were grown in the presence of H2 with O2, S and Fe(III) as terminal electron acceptors. This study focused on the rates of pH-induced silica polymerisation during a 48 hour interval, when the soluble silica phase was at its most reactive stage, and when the greatest amount of silica immobilisation was likely to occur. S. azorense was found to have no detectable effect on the polymerisation rate of silica under any condition tested, nor did it cause silica to precipitate in undersaturated conditions. In addition, transmission electron microscopy showed that although silica did indeed precipitate from solution, there was no obvious association between solid-phase silica and the cells walls. This suggests that under high silica levels there is such a strong chemical driving force for silica polymerisation, homogeneous nucleation, and ultimately silica precipitation that there is no obvious need for

  5. Quantitative evolution of volcanic surfaces affected by erosional processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Boillot-Airaksinen, Kim; Germa, Aurélie; Lavigne, Franck

    2016-04-01

    Variations through time of erosion dynamics, a key point to investigate correlation between climates and landform evolution, still remains poorly documented. One of the main issue in this type of study is the difficulty in determining for how long the erosion has operated. For this purpose, volcanic contexts are particularly suitable for defining the temporal dynamics governing erosion since the age of volcanic activity also constrains the age of emplacement of the surface today eroded, and thus the erosion duration. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of river profiles offers the opportunity to discriminate, among the wide variety of geological phenomena influencing erosion, their respective influence. Quantification of erosion processes and constrain of their signature on reliefs can be addressed by a morphometric approach of river profiles in volcanic environment through the analysis of digital topography (DEM). Break in slope zones, the so-called knickpoints, are usually related to a retreat of the point between the relict channel, upstream, and the adjusted channel, downstream. They are induced by either a lithological contrast, a change in the base level, uplift or eustatism, or a rejuvenation of the age of the volcanic surface. The stream long-profile and its watershed is also investigated by their concavity and hypsometric indexes to determine for how long the complexity and its heterogeneity along the valley incision remain visible. The present study focusses on the erosion of volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles, Reunion Island and Lombok Island (Indonesia). All located in tropical environments, these volcanoes offer a wide diversity of age (30 - 0 Ma) and lithology for investigating the respective influence of geological processes that have induced a large variety of shapes and volcanic history that we try to correlate to geometry of river profiles.

  6. Method and apparatus for determining nutrient stimulation of biological processes

    DOEpatents

    Colwell, F.S.; Geesey, G.G.; Gillis, R.J.; Lehman, R.M.

    1999-07-13

    A method and apparatus are disclosed for determining the nutrients to stimulate microorganisms in a particular environment. A representative sample of microorganisms from a particular environment are contacted with multiple support means wherein each support means has intimately associated with the surface of the support means a different nutrient composition for microorganisms in the sample. The multiple support means is allowed to remain in contact with the microorganisms in the sample for a time period sufficient to measure difference in microorganism effects for the multiple support means. Microorganism effects for the multiple support means are then measured and compared. The invention is particularly adaptable to being conducted in situ. The additional steps of regulating nutrients added to the particular environment of microorganisms can enhance the desired results. Biological systems particularly suitable for this invention are bioremediation, biologically enhanced oil recovery, biological leaching of metals, and agricultural bioprocesses. 5 figs.

  7. Method and apparatus for determining nutrient stimulation of biological processes

    DOEpatents

    Colwell, F.S.; Geesey, G.G.; Gillis, R.J.; Lehman, R.M.

    1997-11-11

    A method and apparatus is described for determining the nutrients to stimulate microorganisms in a particular environment. A representative sample of microorganisms from a particular environment are contacted with multiple support means wherein each support means has intimately associated with the surface of the support means a different nutrient composition for said microorganisms in said sample. The multiple support means is allowed to remain in contact with the microorganisms in the sample for a time period sufficient to measure differences in microorganism effects for the multiple support means. Microorganism effects for the multiple support means are then measured and compared. The invention is particularly adaptable to being conducted in situ. The additional steps of regulating nutrients added to the particular environment of microorganisms can enhance the desired results. Biological systems particularly suitable for this invention are bioremediation, biologically enhanced oil recovery, biological leaching of metals, and agricultural bioprocesses. 5 figs.

  8. Method and apparatus for determining nutrient stimulation of biological processes

    DOEpatents

    Colwell, Frederick S.; Geesey, Gill G.; Gillis, Richard J.; Lehman, R. Michael

    1999-01-01

    A method and apparatus for determining the nutrients to stimulate microorganisms in a particular environment. A representative sample of microorganisms from a particular environment are contacted with multiple support means wherein each support means has intimately associated with the surface of the support means a different nutrient composition for said microorganisms in said sample. The multiple support means is allowed to remain in contact with the microorganisms in the sample for a time period sufficient to measure difference in microorganism effects for the multiple support means. Microorganism effects for the multiple support means are then measured and compared. The invention is particularly adaptable to being conducted in situ. The additional steps of regulating nutrients added to the particular environment of microorganisms can enhance the desired results. Biological systems particularly suitable for this invention are bioremediation, biologically enhanced oil recovery, biological leaching of metals, and agricultural bioprocesses.

  9. Method and apparatus for determining nutrient stimulation of biological processes

    DOEpatents

    Colwell, Frederick S.; Geesey, Gill G.; Gillis, Richard J.; Lehman, R. Michael

    1997-01-01

    A method and apparatus for determining the nutrients to stimulate microorganisms in a particular environment. A representative sample of microorganisms from a particular environment are contacted with multiple support means wherein each support means has intimately associated with the surface of the support means a different nutrient composition for said microorganisms in said sample. The multiple support means is allowed to remain in contact with the microorganisms in the sample for a time period sufficient to measure differences in microorganism effects for the multiple support means. Microorganism effects for the multiple support means are then measured and compared. The invention is particularly adaptable to being conducted in situ. The additional steps of regulating nutrients added to the particular environment of microorganisms can enhance the desired results. Biological systems particularly suitable for this invention are bioremediation, biologically enhanced oil recovery, biological leaching of metals, and agricultural bioprocesses.

  10. Early Social Experience Affects the Development of Eye Gaze Processing.

    PubMed

    Senju, Atsushi; Vernetti, Angélina; Ganea, Natasa; Hudry, Kristelle; Tucker, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H

    2015-12-01

    Eye gaze is a key channel of non-verbal communication in humans. Eye contact with others is present from birth, and eye gaze processing is crucial for social learning and adult-infant communication. However, little is known about the effect of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze communication on early social and communicative development. To directly address this question, we assessed 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBPs) longitudinally at 6-10 and 12-16 months. Face scanning and gaze following were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, naturalistic observations were made when the infants were interacting with their blind parent and with an unfamiliar sighted adult. Established measures of emergent autistic-like behaviors and standardized tests of cognitive, motor, and linguistic development were also collected. These data were then compared with those obtained from a group of infants of sighted parents. Despite showing typical social skills development overall, infants of blind parents allocated less attention to adult eye movements and gaze direction, an effect that increased between 6-10 and 12-16 months of age. The results suggest that infants adjust their use of adults' eye gaze depending on gaze communication experience from early in life. The results highlight that human functional brain development shows selective experience-dependent plasticity adaptive to the individual's specific social environment. PMID:26752077

  11. Early Social Experience Affects the Development of Eye Gaze Processing

    PubMed Central

    Senju, Atsushi; Vernetti, Angélina; Ganea, Natasa; Hudry, Kristelle; Tucker, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Eye gaze is a key channel of non-verbal communication in humans [1, 2, 3]. Eye contact with others is present from birth [4], and eye gaze processing is crucial for social learning and adult-infant communication [5, 6, 7]. However, little is known about the effect of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze communication on early social and communicative development. To directly address this question, we assessed 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBPs) longitudinally at 6–10 and 12–16 months. Face scanning [8] and gaze following [7, 9] were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, naturalistic observations were made when the infants were interacting with their blind parent and with an unfamiliar sighted adult. Established measures of emergent autistic-like behaviors [10] and standardized tests of cognitive, motor, and linguistic development [11] were also collected. These data were then compared with those obtained from a group of infants of sighted parents. Despite showing typical social skills development overall, infants of blind parents allocated less attention to adult eye movements and gaze direction, an effect that increased between 6–10 and 12–16 months of age. The results suggest that infants adjust their use of adults’ eye gaze depending on gaze communication experience from early in life. The results highlight that human functional brain development shows selective experience-dependent plasticity adaptive to the individual’s specific social environment. PMID:26752077

  12. The chain length of biologically produced (R)-3-hydroxyalkanoic acid affects biological activity and structure of anti-cancer peptides.

    PubMed

    Szwej, Emilia; Devocelle, Marc; Kenny, Shane; Guzik, Maciej; O'Connor, Stephen; Nikodinovic-Runic, Jasmina; Radivojevic, Jelena; Maslak, Veselin; Byrne, Annete T; Gallagher, William M; Zulian, Qun Ren; Zinn, Manfred; O'Connor, Kevin E

    2015-06-20

    Conjugation of DP18L peptide with (R)-3-hydroxydecanoic acid, derived from the biopolymer polyhydroxyalkanoate, enhances its anti-cancer activity (O'Connor et al., 2013. Biomaterials 34, 2710-2718). However, it is unknown if other (R)-3-hydroxyalkanoic acids (R3HAs) can enhance peptide activity, if chain length affects enhancement, and what effect R3HAs have on peptide structure. Here we show that the degree of enhancement of peptide (DP18L) anti-cancer activity by R3HAs is carbon chain length dependent. In all but one example the R3HA conjugated peptides were more active against cancer cells than the unconjugated peptides. However, R3HAs with 9 and 10 carbons were most effective at improving DP18L activity. DP18L peptide variant DP17L, missing a hydrophobic amino acid (leucine residue 4) exhibited lower efficacy against MiaPaCa cells. Circular dichroism analysis showed DP17L had a lower alpha helix content and the conjugation of any R3HA ((R)-3-hydroxyhexanoic acid to (R)-3-hydroxydodecanoic acid) to DP17L returned the helix content back to levels of DP18L. However (R)-3-hydroxyhexanoic did not enhance the anti-cancer activity of DP17L and at least 7 carbons were needed in the R3HA to enhance activity of D17L. DP17L needs a longer chain R3HA to achieve the same activity as DP18L conjugated to an R3HA. As a first step to assess the synthetic potential of polyhydroxyalkanoate derived R3HAs, (R)-3-hydroxydecanoic acid was synthetically converted to (±)3-chlorodecanoic acid, which when conjugated to DP18L improved its antiproliferative activity against MiaPaCa cells. PMID:25820126

  13. Cognitive Developmental Biology: History, Process and Fortune's Wheel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balaban, Evan

    2006-01-01

    Biological contributions to cognitive development continue to be conceived predominantly along deterministic lines, with proponents of different positions arguing about the preponderance of gene-based versus experience-based influences that organize brain circuits irreversibly during prenatal or early postnatal life, and evolutionary influences…

  14. Activated Sludge. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boe, Owen K.; Klopping, Paul H.

    This student manual contains the textual material for a seven-lesson unit on activated sludge. Topic areas addressed in the lessons include: (1) activated sludge concepts and components (including aeration tanks, aeration systems, clarifiers, and sludge pumping systems); (2) activated sludge variations and modes; (3) biological nature of activated…

  15. BIOLOGICALLY ENHANCED OXYGEN TRANSFER IN THE ACTIVATED SLUDGE PROCESS (JOURNAL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biologically enhanced oxgyen transfer has been a hypothesis to explain observed oxygen transfer rates in activated sludge systems that were well above that predicted from aerator clean-water testing. The enhanced oxygen transfer rates were based on tests using BOD bottle oxygen ...

  16. A DO- and pH-based early warning system of nitrification inhibition for biological nitrogen removal processes.

    PubMed

    Hong, Seil; Choi, Il; Lim, Byung Jin; Kim, Hyunook

    2012-01-01

    In Korea, more than 80% of municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with capacities of 500 m3·d-1 or more are capable of removing nitrogen from wastewater through biological nitrification and denitrification processes. Normally, these biological processes show excellent performance, but if a toxic chemical is present in the influent to a WWTP, the biological processes (especially, the nitrification process) may be affected and fail to function normally; nitrifying bacteria are known very vulnerable to toxic substances. Then, the toxic compound as well as the nitrogen in wastewater may be discharged into a receiving water body without any proper treatment. Moreover, it may take significant time for the process to return back its normal state. In this study, a DO- and pH-based strategy to identify potential nitrification inhibition was developed to detect early the inflow of toxic compounds to a biological nitrogen removal process. This strategy utilizes significant changes observed in the oxygen uptake rate and the pH profiles of the mixed liquor when the activity of nitrifying bacteria is inhibited. Using the strategy, the toxicity from test wastewater with 2.5 mg·L-1 Hg2+, 0.5 mg·L-1 allythiourea, or 0.25 mg·L-1 chloroform could be successfully detected. PMID:23443381

  17. A DO- and pH-Based Early Warning System of Nitrification Inhibition for Biological Nitrogen Removal Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Seil; Choi, Il; Lim, Byung Jin; Kim, Hyunook

    2012-01-01

    In Korea, more than 80% of municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with capacities of 500 m3·d−1 or more are capable of removing nitrogen from wastewater through biological nitrification and denitrification processes. Normally, these biological processes show excellent performance, but if a toxic chemical is present in the influent to a WWTP, the biological processes (especially, the nitrification process) may be affected and fail to function normally; nitrifying bacteria are known very vulnerable to toxic substances. Then, the toxic compound as well as the nitrogen in wastewater may be discharged into a receiving water body without any proper treatment. Moreover, it may take significant time for the process to return back its normal state. In this study, a DO- and pH-based strategy to identify potential nitrification inhibition was developed to detect early the inflow of toxic compounds to a biological nitrogen removal process. This strategy utilizes significant changes observed in the oxygen uptake rate and the pH profiles of the mixed liquor when the activity of nitrifying bacteria is inhibited. Using the strategy, the toxicity from test wastewater with 2.5 mg·L−1 Hg2+, 0.5 mg·L−1 allythiourea, or 0.25 mg·L−1 chloroform could be successfully detected. PMID:23443381

  18. The Development and Application of Affective Assessment in an Upper-Level Cell Biology Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kitchen, Elizabeth; Reeve, Suzanne; Bell, John D.; Sudweeks, Richard R.; Bradshaw, William S.

    2007-01-01

    This study exemplifies how faculty members can develop instruments to assess affective responses of students to the specific features of the courses they teach. Means for assessing three types of affective responses are demonstrated: (a) student attitudes towards courses with differing instructional objectives and methodologies, (b) student…

  19. The Role and Impact of Affect in the Process of Resistance to Persuasion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfau, Michael; Szabo, Erin Alison; Anderson, Jason; Morrill, Joshua; Zubric, Jessica; Wan, Hua-Hsin

    2001-01-01

    Deals with the role and impact of affect in the process of resistance among undergraduate students. Notes that initial results indicated that the cognitive, affective-anger, and affective-happiness inoculation treatments all conferred resistance to persuasive attacks. Indicates that greater receiver involvement was positively associated with…

  20. Building the process-drug–side effect network to discover the relationship between biological Processes and side effects

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Side effects are unwanted responses to drug treatment and are important resources for human phenotype information. The recent development of a database on side effects, the side effect resource (SIDER), is a first step in documenting the relationship between drugs and their side effects. It is, however, insufficient to simply find the association of drugs with biological processes; that relationship is crucial because drugs that influence biological processes can have an impact on phenotype. Therefore, knowing which processes respond to drugs that influence the phenotype will enable more effective and systematic study of the effect of drugs on phenotype. To the best of our knowledge, the relationship between biological processes and side effects of drugs has not yet been systematically researched. Methods We propose 3 steps for systematically searching relationships between drugs and biological processes: enrichment scores (ES) calculations, t-score calculation, and threshold-based filtering. Subsequently, the side effect-related biological processes are found by merging the drug-biological process network and the drug-side effect network. Evaluation is conducted in 2 ways: first, by discerning the number of biological processes discovered by our method that co-occur with Gene Ontology (GO) terms in relation to effects extracted from PubMed records using a text-mining technique and second, determining whether there is improvement in performance by limiting response processes by drugs sharing the same side effect to frequent ones alone. Results The multi-level network (the process-drug-side effect network) was built by merging the drug-biological process network and the drug-side effect network. We generated a network of 74 drugs-168 side effects-2209 biological process relation resources. The preliminary results showed that the process-drug-side effect network was able to find meaningful relationships between biological processes and side effects in an

  1. Using Simple Manipulatives to Improve Student Comprehension of a Complex Biological Process: Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guzman, Karen; Bartlett, John

    2012-01-01

    Biological systems and living processes involve a complex interplay of biochemicals and macromolecular structures that can be challenging for undergraduate students to comprehend and, thus, misconceptions abound. Protein synthesis, or translation, is an example of a biological process for which students often hold many misconceptions. This article…

  2. EMERGING TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT OF PHOSTRIP, A/O, AND BARDENPHO PROCESSES FOR BIOLOGICAL PHOSPHORUS REMOVAL

    EPA Science Inventory

    An engineering evaluation of three proprietary processes for biological removal of phosphorus from municipal wastewater was conducted. The report presents for each process: Technology description; Technology evaluation; Development status; Equivalent technologies comparison; Asse...

  3. Methods, Including CCTV, of Presenting Introductory Biology: Their "Affect" on College Freshmen.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madson, Marland LeRoy

    Reported is a study in which freshman students in biology with no prior experience of closed circuit television (CCTV) instruction were randomly assigned to three groups of 35 students each. All groups had one three-hour laboratory session weekly for one quarter. Additional weekly classes for Group A were three one-hour CCTV lectures and one…

  4. Phytoplankton behavior affects ocean mixed layer dynamics through biological-physical feedback mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonntag, S.; Hense, I.

    2011-08-01

    Biologically induced changes in physical oceanic properties through phytoplankton provide potential positive and negative feedback loops. In particular, surface floating cyanobacteria, which are expected to be favored from future environmental conditions and can form large surface mats, can increase light absorption and the surface albedo and decrease momentum input from the atmosphere by wind. In this work we study the effect of a changing phytoplankton community composition to one dominated by buoyant cyanobacteria on the physical oceanic properties. We use the water column model General Ocean Turbulence Model and set up an idealized biological model taking into account the phytoplankton species' characteristics as well as the effects of biology on physics. The model results show that an increase of buoyant cyanobacteria leads to substantial changes in the seasonal cycle of the mixed layer. The results furthermore indicate that the effects due to altered absorption and biologically induced reduction of the wind drag are larger than contrary effects due to changes in the surface albedo. Overall, our model results suggest that the development of cyanobacterial surface blooms and their feedbacks on light absorption and wind drag need to be taken into account in ocean models used for climate scenarios in order to capture changes in the dynamics of the upper ocean.

  5. Does Eating Breakfast Affect the Performance of College Students on Biology Exams?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Gregory W.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined the breakfast eating habits of 1,259 college students over an eleven year period to determine if eating breakfast had an impact upon their grade on a General Biology exam. The study determined that there was a significant difference in the performance on the exam with a higher percent of the participants, who had eaten…

  6. Cortical processing of global form, motion and biological motion under low light levels.

    PubMed

    Burton, Eliza; Wattam-Bell, John; Rubin, Gary S; Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver; Nardini, Marko

    2016-04-01

    Advances in potential treatments for rod and cone dystrophies have increased the need to understand the contributions of rods and cones to higher-level cortical vision. We measured form, motion and biological motion coherence thresholds and EEG steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) responses under light conditions ranging from photopic to scotopic. Low light increased thresholds for all three kinds of stimuli; however, global form thresholds were relatively more impaired than those for global motion or biological motion. SSVEP responses to coherent global form and motion were reduced in low light, and motion responses showed a shift in topography from the midline to more lateral locations. Contrast sensitivity measures confirmed that basic visual processing was also affected by low light. However, comparison with contrast sensitivity function (CSF) reductions achieved by optical blur indicated that these were insufficient to explain the pattern of results, although the temporal properties of the rod system may also play a role. Overall, mid-level processing in extra-striate areas is differentially affected by light level, in ways that cannot be explained in terms of low-level spatiotemporal sensitivity. A topographical shift in scotopic motion SSVEP responses may reflect either changes to inhibitory feedback mechanisms between V1 and extra-striate regions or a reduction of input to the visual cortex. These results provide insight into how higher-level cortical vision is normally organised in absence of cone input, and provide a basis for comparison with patients with cone dystrophies, before and after treatments aiming to restore cone function. PMID:26878697

  7. 43 CFR 2.4 - Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Does where you send your request affect its processing? 2.4 Section 2.4 Public Lands: Interior Office of the Secretary of the Interior FREEDOM... request affect its processing? (a) A request to a particular bureau component (for example, a...

  8. 43 CFR 2.4 - Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Does where you send your request affect its processing? 2.4 Section 2.4 Public Lands: Interior Office of the Secretary of the Interior FREEDOM... request affect its processing? (a) A request to a particular bureau component (for example, a...

  9. Process for biological material carbon-carbon bond formation

    DOEpatents

    Hollingsworth, Rawle I.; Jung, Seunho; Mindock, Carol A.

    1998-01-01

    A process for providing vicinal dimethyl long chain between alkyl groups of organic compounds is described. The process uses intact or disrupted cells of various species of bacteria, particularly Thermoanaerobacter sp., Sarcina sp. and Butyrivibrio sp. The process can be conducted in an aqueous reaction mixture at room temperatures.

  10. Global Biology Research Program: Biogeochemical Processes in Wetlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartlett, D. S. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    The results of a workshop examining potential NASA contributions to research on wetland processes as they relate to global biogeochemical cycles are summarized. A wetlands data base utilizing remotely sensed inventories, studies of wetland/atmosphere exchange processes, and the extrapolation of local measurements to global biogeochemical cycling processes were identified as possible areas for NASA support.

  11. Process for biological material carbon-carbon bond formation

    DOEpatents

    Hollingsworth, R.I.; Jung, S.; Mindock, C.A.

    1998-12-22

    A process for providing vicinal dimethyl long chain between alkyl groups of organic compounds is described. The process uses intact or disrupted cells of various species of bacteria, particularly Thermoanaerobacter sp., Sarcina sp. and Butyrivibrio sp. The process can be conducted in an aqueous reaction mixture at room temperatures. 8 figs.

  12. 76 FR 30509 - Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-26

    ... Part 1653 Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts AGENCY: Federal... finalize the process by which TSP accounts may be garnished efficiently--consistent with law and regulation... is trying to process more than 7,000 child support orders. If the Agency processes these orders...

  13. Modular Automated Processing System (MAPS) for analysis of biological samples.

    SciTech Connect

    Gil, Geun-Cheol; Chirica, Gabriela S.; Fruetel, Julia A.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Branda, Steven S.; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Throckmorton, Daniel J.; Brennan, James S.; Renzi, Ronald F.

    2010-10-01

    We have developed a novel modular automated processing system (MAPS) that enables reliable, high-throughput analysis as well as sample-customized processing. This system is comprised of a set of independent modules that carry out individual sample processing functions: cell lysis, protein concentration (based on hydrophobic, ion-exchange and affinity interactions), interferent depletion, buffer exchange, and enzymatic digestion of proteins of interest. Taking advantage of its unique capacity for enclosed processing of intact bioparticulates (viruses, spores) and complex serum samples, we have used MAPS for analysis of BSL1 and BSL2 samples to identify specific protein markers through integration with the portable microChemLab{trademark} and MALDI.

  14. Systems Biology Graphical Notation: Process Description language Level 1 Version 1.3.

    PubMed

    Moodie, Stuart; Le Novère, Nicolas; Demir, Emek; Mi, Huaiyu; Villéger, Alice

    2015-01-01

    The Systems Biological Graphical Notation (SBGN) is an international community effort for standardized graphical representations of biological pathways and networks. The goal of SBGN is to provide unambiguous pathway and network maps for readers with different scientific backgrounds as well as to support efficient and accurate exchange of biological knowledge between different research communities, industry, and other players in systems biology. Three SBGN languages, Process Description (PD), Entity Relationship (ER) and Activity Flow (AF), allow for the representation of different aspects of biological and biochemical systems at different levels of detail. The SBGN Process Description language represents biological entities and processes between these entities within a network. SBGN PD focuses on the mechanistic description and temporal dependencies of biological interactions and transformations. The nodes (elements) are split into entity nodes describing, e.g., metabolites, proteins, genes and complexes, and process nodes describing, e.g., reactions and associations. The edges (connections) provide descriptions of relationships (or influences) between the nodes, such as consumption, production, stimulation and inhibition. Among all three languages of SBGN, PD is the closest to metabolic and regulatory pathways in biological literature and textbooks, but its well-defined semantics offer a superior precision in expressing biological knowledge. PMID:26528561

  15. Review of Solids Handling. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W.

    This student manual contains the textual material for a single-lesson unit which summarizes and reviews most of the solids handling processes in common use in municipal treatment plants. No attempt is made to detail the theory and operation of the processes. Topics discussed include: (1) sources of sludge; (2) the importance of sludge management;…

  16. ECOMAT INC. BIOLOGICAL DENIFTRICATION PROCESS; SITE TECHNOLOGY CAPSULE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EcoMat, Inc. of Hayward, California (EcoMat) has developed an ex situ anoxic biofilter biodenitrification (BDN) process. The process uses specific biocarriers and bacteria to treat nitrate-contaminated water and employs a patented reactor that retains biocarrier within the syste...

  17. Who Should Mark What? A Study of Factors Affecting Marking Accuracy in a Biology Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suto, Irenka; Nadas, Rita; Bell, John

    2011-01-01

    Accurate marking is crucial to the reliability and validity of public examinations, in England and internationally. Factors contributing to accuracy have been conceptualised as affecting either marking task demands or markers' personal expertise. The aim of this empirical study was to develop this conceptualisation through investigating the…

  18. Biological short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) production from waste-activated sludge affected by surfactant.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Su; Chen, Yinguang; Zhou, Qi; Gu, Guowei

    2007-07-01

    Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the preferred carbon sources for biological nutrient removal, are the important intermediate products in sludge anaerobic fermentation. Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate (SDBS) is a widespread used surfactant, which can be easily found in waste-activated sludge (WAS). In this investigation, the effect of SDBS on SCFAs production from WAS was investigated, and the potential of using fermentative SCFAs to promote enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) was tested. Results showed that the total SCFAs production increased significantly in the presence of SDBS at room temperature. At fermentation time of 6 days, the maximum SCFAs was 2599.1mg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/L in the presence of SDBS 0.02g/g, whereas it was only 339.1mg (COD)/L in the absence of SDBS. The SCFAs produced in the case of SDBS 0.02g/g and fermentation time 6 days consisted of acetic acid (27.1%), propionic acid (22.8%), iso-valeric acid (20.1%), iso-butyric acid (11.9%), n-butyric acid (10.4%) and n-valeric acid (7.7%). It was found that during sludge anaerobic fermentation, the solubilization of sludge particulate organic-carbon and hydrolysis of solubilized substrate as well as acidification of hydrolyzed products were all increased in the presence of SDBS, while the methane formation was decreased, the SCFAs production was therefore remarkably improved. Further investigation showed that the production of SCFAs enhanced by SDBS was caused mainly by biological effects, rather than by chemical effects and SDBS decomposition. With the fermentative SCFAs as the main carbon source, the EBPR maintained high phosphorus removal efficiency ( approximately 97%). PMID:17499838

  19. Approaches to developing biological H(2)-photoproducing organisms and processes.

    PubMed

    Ghirardi, M L; King, P W; Posewitz, M C; Maness, P Ching; Fedorov, A; Kim, K; Cohen, J; Schulten, K; Seibert, M

    2005-02-01

    The development of efficient biological systems for the direct photoproduction of H(2) gas from water faces several challenges, the more serious of which is the sensitivity of the H(2)-evolving enzymes (hydrogenases) to O(2), an obligatory by-product of photosynthesis. This high sensitivity is common to both FeFe and NiFe hydrogenases, and is caused by O(2) binding to their respective metallocatalytic sites. This overview describes approaches to (i) molecular engineering of algal FeFe-hydrogenase to prevent O(2) access to its catalytic site; (ii) transform a cyanobacterium with an O(2)-tolerant bacterial NiFe hydrogenase or (c) partially inactivate algal O(2)-evolution activity to create physiologically anaerobiosis and induce hydrogenase expression. PMID:15667268

  20. Objects and processes: Two notions for understanding biological information.

    PubMed

    Mercado-Reyes, Agustín; Padilla-Longoria, Pablo; Arroyo-Santos, Alfonso

    2015-09-01

    In spite of being ubiquitous in life sciences, the concept of information is harshly criticized. Uses of the concept other than those derived from Shannon׳s theory are denounced as metaphoric. We perform a computational experiment to explore whether Shannon׳s information is adequate to describe the uses of said concept in commonplace scientific practice. Our results show that semantic sequences do not have unique complexity values different from the value of meaningless sequences. This result suggests that quantitative theoretical frameworks do not account fully for the complex phenomenon that the term "information" refers to. We propose a restructuring of the concept into two related, but independent notions, and conclude that a complete theory of biological information must account completely not only for both notions, but also for the relationship between them. PMID:26026831

  1. Sublethal effects of antibiosis resistance on the reproductive biology of two spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria spp.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Paola A; Miller, María F; Cardona, Cesar; Miles, John W; Sotelo, Guillermo; Montoya, James

    2008-04-01

    Several greenhouse experiments were used to measure how high levels of antibiosis resistance to nymphs in two interspecific Brachiaria (brachiariagrass) hybrids affect life history parameters of the spittlebugs Aeneolamia varia (F.) and Zulia carbonaria (Lallemand), two of the most important spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria production in Colombia. The A. varia-resistant hybrid CIAT 36062, the Z. carbonaria-resistant hybrid SX01NO/0102, and the susceptible accession CIAT 0654 were used to compare the effect of all possible combinations of food sources for nymphs and adults. Calculation of growth indexes showed a significant impact of antibiosis resistance on the biology of immature stages of both species. Median survival times of adults feeding on resistant genotypes did not differ from those recorded on the susceptible genotype, suggesting that factors responsible for high mortality of nymphs in the resistant hybrids did not affect adult survival. Rearing nymphs of A. varia on CIAT 36062 and of Z. carbonaria on SX01NO/0102 had deleterious sublethal effects on the reproductive biology of resulting adult females. It is concluded that high nymphal mortality and subsequent sublethal effects of nymphal antibiosis on adults should have a major impact on the demography of the two spittlebug species studied. PMID:18459425

  2. System for monitoring an industrial or biological process

    DOEpatents

    Gross, Kenneth C.; Wegerich, Stephan W.; Vilim, Rick B.; White, Andrew M.

    1998-01-01

    A method and apparatus for monitoring and responding to conditions of an industrial process. Industrial process signals, such as repetitive manufacturing, testing and operational machine signals, are generated by a system. Sensor signals characteristic of the process are generated over a time length and compared to reference signals over the time length. The industrial signals are adjusted over the time length relative to the reference signals, the phase shift of the industrial signals is optimized to the reference signals and the resulting signals output for analysis by systems such as SPRT.

  3. System for monitoring an industrial or biological process

    DOEpatents

    Gross, K.C.; Wegerich, S.W.; Vilim, R.B.; White, A.M.

    1998-06-30

    A method and apparatus are disclosed for monitoring and responding to conditions of an industrial process. Industrial process signals, such as repetitive manufacturing, testing and operational machine signals, are generated by a system. Sensor signals characteristic of the process are generated over a time length and compared to reference signals over the time length. The industrial signals are adjusted over the time length relative to the reference signals, the phase shift of the industrial signals is optimized to the reference signals and the resulting signals output for analysis by systems such as SPRT. 49 figs.

  4. Systems Genetics Analysis of GWAS reveals Novel Associations between Key Biological Processes and Coronary Artery Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Sujoy; Vivar, Juan; Nelson, Christopher P; Willenborg, Christina; Segrè, Ayellet V; Mäkinen, Ville-Petteri; Nikpay, Majid; Erdmann, Jeannette; Blankenberg, Stefan; O'Donnell, Christopher; März, Winfried; Laaksonen, Reijo; Stewart, Alexandre FR; Epstein, Stephen E; Shah, Svati H; Granger, Christopher B; Hazen, Stanley L; Kathiresan, Sekar; Reilly, Muredach P; Yang, Xia; Quertermous, Thomas; Samani, Nilesh J; Schunkert, Heribert; Assimes, Themistocles L; McPherson, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Objective Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified multiple genetic variants affecting the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, individually these explain only a small fraction of the heritability of CAD and for most, the causal biological mechanisms remain unclear. We sought to obtain further insights into potential causal processes of CAD by integrating large-scale GWA data with expertly curated databases of core human pathways and functional networks. Approaches and Results Employing pathways (gene sets) from Reactome, we carried out a two-stage gene set enrichment analysis strategy. From a meta-analyzed discovery cohort of 7 CADGWAS data sets (9,889 cases/11,089 controls), nominally significant gene-sets were tested for replication in a meta-analysis of 9 additional studies (15,502 cases/55,730 controls) from the CARDIoGRAM Consortium. A total of 32 of 639 Reactome pathways tested showed convincing association with CAD (replication p<0.05). These pathways resided in 9 of 21 core biological processes represented in Reactome, and included pathways relevant to extracellular matrix integrity, innate immunity, axon guidance, and signaling by PDRF, NOTCH, and the TGF-β/SMAD receptor complex. Many of these pathways had strengths of association comparable to those observed in lipid transport pathways. Network analysis of unique genes within the replicated pathways further revealed several interconnected functional and topologically interacting modules representing novel associations (e.g. semaphorin regulated axonal guidance pathway) besides confirming known processes (lipid metabolism). The connectivity in the observed networks was statistically significant compared to random networks (p<0.001). Network centrality analysis (‘degree’ and ‘betweenness’) further identified genes (e.g. NCAM1, FYN, FURIN etc.) likely to play critical roles in the maintenance and functioning of several of the replicated pathways. Conclusions These findings

  5. Study of individual and group affective processes in the crew of a simulated mission to Mars: Positive affectivity as a valuable indicator of changes in the crew affectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek; Šolcová, Iva

    2014-07-01

    The success of a long-duration space mission depends on various technical demands as well as on the psychological (cognitive, affective, and motivational) adaptation of crewmembers and the quality of interactions within the crew. We examined the ways crewmembers of a 520-day simulated spaceflight to Mars (held in the Institute for Biomedical Problems, in Moscow) experienced and regulated their moods and emotions. Results show that crewmembers experienced predominantly positive emotions throughout their 520-day isolation and the changes in mood of the crewmembers were asynchronous and balanced. The study suggests that during the simulation, crewmembers experienced and regulated their emotions differently than they usually do in their everyday life. In isolation, crewmembers preferred to suppress and neutralize their negative emotions and express overtly only emotions with positive valence. Although the affective processes were almost invariable throughout the simulation, two periods of time when the level of positive emotions declined were identified. Regarding the findings, the paper suggests that changes in positive affectivity could be a more valuable indicator of human experience in demanding but professional environments than changes in negative affectivity. Finally, the paper discusses the phenomenology of emotions during a real space mission.

  6. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change. PMID:23640751

  7. Triple nanoemulsion potentiates the effects of topical treatments with microencapsulated retinol and modulates biological processes related to skin aging *

    PubMed Central

    Afornali, Alessandro; de Vecchi, Rodrigo; Stuart, Rodrigo Makowiecky; Dieamant, Gustavo; de Oliveira, Luciana Lima; Brohem, Carla Abdo; Feferman, Israel Henrique Stokfisz; Fabrício, Lincoln Helder Zambaldi; Lorencini, Márcio

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND The sum of environmental and genetic factors affects the appearance and function of the skin as it ages. The identification of molecular changes that take place during skin aging provides biomarkers and possible targets for therapeutic intervention. Retinoic acid in different formulations has emerged as an alternative to prevent and repair age-related skin damage. OBJECTIVES To understand the effects of different retinoid formulations on the expression of genes associated with biological processes that undergo changes during skin aging. METHODS Ex-vivo skin samples were treated topically with different retinoid formulations. The modulation of biological processes associated with skin aging was measured by Reverse Transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). RESULTS A formulation containing microencapsulated retinol and a blend of active ingredients prepared as a triple nanoemulsion provided the best results for the modulation of biological, process-related genes that are usually affected during skin aging. CONCLUSION This association proved to be therapeutically more effective than tretinoin or microencapsulated retinol used singly. PMID:24474102

  8. Modeling pCO{sub 2} in the upper ocean: A review of relevant physical, chemical, and biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    1990-12-01

    The pCO{sub 2} of the surface ocean is controlled by a combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Modeling surface ocean pCO{sub 2} is analogous to modeling sea surface temperature (SST), in that sea surface pCO{sub 2} is affected by fluxes across the air-sea interface and by exchange with deeper water. However, pCO{sub 2} is also affected by chemical and biological processes which have no analog in SST. Seawater pCO{sub 2} is buffered by pH equilibrium reactions between the species CO{sub 2}, HCO{sub 3}-, and CO{sub 3}{sup =}. This effect provides an effective reservoir for CO{sub 2} in seawater that is 10 times larger than it would be for an unbuffered gas. The equilibrium between dissolved and atmospheric CO{sub 2} is sensitive to temperature, tending to higher pCO{sub 2} in warmer water. Biological export of carbon as sinking particles maintains a gradient of pCO{sub 2}, with lower values near the surface (this processes is called the {open_quotes}biological pump{close_quotes}). In most of the ocean, biological activity removes all of the available nutrients from the surface water; that is, the rate of carbon export in these locations is limited by the rate of nutrient supply to the euphotic zone. However, in much of the high-latitude oceans, primary production does not deplete the euphotic zone of nutrients, a fact to which the atmospheric pCO{sub 2} is extraordinarily sensitive. Understanding the limits to phytoplankton growth in the high latitudes, and how these limits might change under different climatic regimes, is essential to prediction of future ocean uptake of fossil fuel CO{sub 2}.

  9. Advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater by a novel integration of heterogeneous Fenton oxidation and biological process.

    PubMed

    Xu, Peng; Han, Hongjun; Zhuang, Haifeng; Hou, Baolin; Jia, Shengyong; Xu, Chunyan; Wang, Dexin

    2015-04-01

    Laboratorial scale experiments were conducted in order to investigate a novel system integrating heterogeneous Fenton oxidation (HFO) with anoxic moving bed biofilm reactor (ANMBBR) and biological aerated filter (BAF) process on advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater (CGW). The results indicated that HFO with the prepared catalyst (FeOx/SBAC, sewage sludge based activated carbon (SBAC) which loaded Fe oxides) played a key role in eliminating COD and COLOR as well as in improving the biodegradability of raw wastewater. The surface reaction and hydroxyl radicals (OH) oxidation were the mechanisms for FeOx/SBAC catalytic reaction. Compared with ANMBBR-BAF process, the integrated system was more effective in abating COD, BOD5, total phenols (TPs), total nitrogen (TN) and COLOR and could shorten the retention time. Therefore, the integrated system was a promising technology for engineering applications. PMID:25724695

  10. Sex differences in parking are affected by biological and social factors.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Claudia C; Ocklenburg, Sebastian; Oren, Beyza; Becker, Cordula; Hofstätter, Andrea; Bös, Christa; Popken, Markus; Thorstensen, Truls; Güntürkün, Onur

    2010-07-01

    The stereotype of women's limited parking skills is deeply anchored in modern culture. Although laboratory tests prove men's average superiority in visuospatial tasks and parking requires complex, spatial skills, underlying mechanisms remain unexplored. Here, we investigated performance of beginners (nine women, eight men) and more experienced drivers (21 women, 27 men) at different parking manoeuvres. Furthermore, subjects conducted the mental rotation test and self-assessed their parking skills. We show that men park more accurately and especially faster than women. Performance is related to mental rotation skills and self-assessment in beginners, but only to self-assessment in more experienced drivers. We assume that, due to differential feedback, self-assessment incrementally replaces the controlling influence of mental rotation, as parking is trained with increasing experience. Results suggest that sex differences in spatial cognition persist in real-life situations, but that socio-psychological factors modulate the biological causes of sex differences. PMID:19997928

  11. Flocculation and particle size analysis of expansive clay sediments affected by biological, chemical, and hydrodynamic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Xiaoling; Hu, Liming; Reed, Allen H.; Furukawa, Yoko; Zhang, Guoping

    2014-01-01

    Expansive clay sediments are abundant in riverine and estuarine waters and bottom beds, and their particle size distributions (PSD) are important for the analysis of sediment transport. This paper presents an experimental study to evaluate, using a laser particle size analyzer under varying flow conditions, the intrinsic PSD of two expansive clays, a Ca- and a Na-montmorillonite and the influence of biological, chemical, and hydrodynamic factors on their flocculation and PSD. The considered biological factor consists of three extracellular polymeric substances of varying polarity, including xanthan gum, guar gum, and chitosan; the chemical factor is the salinity; and the hydrodynamic factor is the types of flow indicated by the Reynolds number and shear rate. The intrinsic PSD of both clays show a multimodal lognormal distribution with sizes ranging from 0.2 to 50 μm. All three biopolymers, xanthan gum, guar gum, and chitosan, can facilitate flocculation through long-range polymer bridging and short-range ion-dipole interaction, hydrogen bonding, and Coulomb force. The influence of salinity is different for the two clays: the particle size of the Na-montmorillonite increases with salinity, which is caused by flocculation resulting from the suppressed electrical double layer, while that of the Ca-montmorillonite is slightly reduced owing to the decreased basal spacing and cation exchange. For different hydrodynamic conditions, higher shear rate promotes the flocculation of Ca-montmorillonite, but breaks the Na-montmorillonite flocs. The significance of understanding the flocculation and PSD of expansive clays is also discussed in terms of sediment transport under different aquatic environments.

  12. Hundreds of variants clustered in genomic loci and biological pathways affect human height

    PubMed Central

    Lango Allen, Hana; Estrada, Karol; Lettre, Guillaume; Berndt, Sonja I.; Weedon, Michael N.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Willer, Cristen J.; Jackson, Anne U.; Vedantam, Sailaja; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Ferreira, Teresa; Wood, Andrew R.; Weyant, Robert J.; Segrè, Ayellet V.; Speliotes, Elizabeth K.; Wheeler, Eleanor; Soranzo, Nicole; Park, Ju-Hyun; Yang, Jian; Gudbjartsson, Daniel; Heard-Costa, Nancy L.; Randall, Joshua C.; Qi, Lu; Smith, Albert Vernon; Mägi, Reedik; Pastinen, Tomi; Liang, Liming; Heid, Iris M.; Luan, Jian'an; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Winkler, Thomas W.; Goddard, Michael E.; Lo, Ken Sin; Palmer, Cameron; Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie; Aulchenko, Yurii S.; Johansson, Åsa; Zillikens, M.Carola; Feitosa, Mary F.; Esko, Tõnu; Johnson, Toby; Ketkar, Shamika; Kraft, Peter; Mangino, Massimo; Prokopenko, Inga; Absher, Devin; Albrecht, Eva; Ernst, Florian; Glazer, Nicole L.; Hayward, Caroline; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Jacobs, Kevin B.; Knowles, Joshua W.; Kutalik, Zoltán; Monda, Keri L.; Polasek, Ozren; Preuss, Michael; Rayner, Nigel W.; Robertson, Neil R.; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Tyrer, Jonathan P.; Voight, Benjamin F.; Wiklund, Fredrik; Xu, Jianfeng; Zhao, Jing Hua; Nyholt, Dale R.; Pellikka, Niina; Perola, Markus; Perry, John R.B.; Surakka, Ida; Tammesoo, Mari-Liis; Altmaier, Elizabeth L.; Amin, Najaf; Aspelund, Thor; Bhangale, Tushar; Boucher, Gabrielle; Chasman, Daniel I.; Chen, Constance; Coin, Lachlan; Cooper, Matthew N.; Dixon, Anna L.; Gibson, Quince; Grundberg, Elin; Hao, Ke; Junttila, M. Juhani; Kaplan, Lee M.; Kettunen, Johannes; König, Inke R.; Kwan, Tony; Lawrence, Robert W.; Levinson, Douglas F.; Lorentzon, Mattias; McKnight, Barbara; Morris, Andrew P.; Müller, Martina; Ngwa, Julius Suh; Purcell, Shaun; Rafelt, Suzanne; Salem, Rany M.; Salvi, Erika; Sanna, Serena; Shi, Jianxin; Sovio, Ulla; Thompson, John R.; Turchin, Michael C.; Vandenput, Liesbeth; Verlaan, Dominique J.; Vitart, Veronique; White, Charles C.; Ziegler, Andreas; Almgren, Peter; Balmforth, Anthony J.; Campbell, Harry; Citterio, Lorena; De Grandi, Alessandro; Dominiczak, Anna; Duan, Jubao; Elliott, Paul; Elosua, Roberto; Eriksson, Johan G.; Freimer, Nelson B.; Geus, Eco J.C.; Glorioso, Nicola; Haiqing, Shen; Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa; Havulinna, Aki S.; Hicks, Andrew A.; Hui, Jennie; Igl, Wilmar; Illig, Thomas; Jula, Antti; Kajantie, Eero; Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O.; Koiranen, Markku; Kolcic, Ivana; Koskinen, Seppo; Kovacs, Peter; Laitinen, Jaana; Liu, Jianjun; Lokki, Marja-Liisa; Marusic, Ana; Maschio, Andrea; Meitinger, Thomas; Mulas, Antonella; Paré, Guillaume; Parker, Alex N.; Peden, John F.; Petersmann, Astrid; Pichler, Irene; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H.; Pouta, Anneli; Ridderstråle, Martin; Rotter, Jerome I.; Sambrook, Jennifer G.; Sanders, Alan R.; Schmidt, Carsten Oliver; Sinisalo, Juha; Smit, Jan H.; Stringham, Heather M.; Walters, G.Bragi; Widen, Elisabeth; Wild, Sarah H.; Willemsen, Gonneke; Zagato, Laura; Zgaga, Lina; Zitting, Paavo; Alavere, Helene; Farrall, Martin; McArdle, Wendy L.; Nelis, Mari; Peters, Marjolein J.; Ripatti, Samuli; van Meurs, Joyce B.J.; Aben, Katja K.; Ardlie, Kristin G; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Beilby, John P.; Bergman, Richard N.; Bergmann, Sven; Collins, Francis S.; Cusi, Daniele; den Heijer, Martin; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Gejman, Pablo V.; Hall, Alistair S.; Hamsten, Anders; Huikuri, Heikki V.; Iribarren, Carlos; Kähönen, Mika; Kaprio, Jaakko; Kathiresan, Sekar; Kiemeney, Lambertus; Kocher, Thomas; Launer, Lenore J.; Lehtimäki, Terho; Melander, Olle; Mosley, Tom H.; Musk, Arthur W.; Nieminen, Markku S.; O'Donnell, Christopher J.; Ohlsson, Claes; Oostra, Ben; Palmer, Lyle J.; Raitakari, Olli; Ridker, Paul M.; Rioux, John D.; Rissanen, Aila; Rivolta, Carlo; Schunkert, Heribert; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Siscovick, David S.; Stumvoll, Michael; Tönjes, Anke; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; van Ommen, Gert-Jan; Viikari, Jorma; Heath, Andrew C.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Montgomery, Grant W.; Province, Michael A.; Kayser, Manfred; Arnold, Alice M.; Atwood, Larry D.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Chanock, Stephen J.; Deloukas, Panos; Gieger, Christian; Grönberg, Henrik; Hall, Per; Hattersley, Andrew T.; Hengstenberg, Christian; Hoffman, Wolfgang; Lathrop, G.Mark; Salomaa, Veikko; Schreiber, Stefan; Uda, Manuela; Waterworth, Dawn; Wright, Alan F.; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Barroso, Inês; Hofman, Albert; Mohlke, Karen L.; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Caulfield, Mark J.; Cupples, L.Adrienne; Erdmann, Jeanette; Fox, Caroline S.; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Gyllensten, Ulf; Harris, Tamara B.; Hayes, Richard B.; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Mooser, Vincent; Munroe, Patricia B.; Ouwehand, Willem H.; Penninx, Brenda W.; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Quertermous, Thomas; Rudan, Igor; Samani, Nilesh J.; Spector, Timothy D.; Völzke, Henry; Watkins, Hugh; Wilson, James F.; Groop, Leif C.; Haritunians, Talin; Hu, Frank B.; Kaplan, Robert C.; Metspalu, Andres; North, Kari E.; Schlessinger, David; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Hunter, David J.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Strachan, David P.; Wichmann, H.-Erich; Borecki, Ingrid B.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Schadt, Eric E.; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Peltonen, Leena; Uitterlinden, André; Visscher, Peter M.; Chatterjee, Nilanjan; Loos, Ruth J.F.; Boehnke, Michael; McCarthy, Mark I.; Ingelsson, Erik; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; Abecasis, Gonçalo R.; Stefansson, Kari; Frayling, Timothy M.; Hirschhorn, Joel N

    2010-01-01

    Most common human traits and diseases have a polygenic pattern of inheritance: DNA sequence variants at many genetic loci influence phenotype. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified >600 variants associated with human traits1, but these typically explain small fractions of phenotypic variation, raising questions about the utility of further studies. Here, using 183,727 individuals, we show that hundreds of genetic variants, in at least 180 loci, influence adult height, a highly heritable and classic polygenic trait2,3. The large number of loci reveals patterns with important implications for genetic studies of common human diseases and traits. First, the 180 loci are not random, but instead are enriched for genes that are connected in biological pathways (P=0.016), and that underlie skeletal growth defects (P<0.001). Second, the likely causal gene is often located near the most strongly associated variant: in 13 of 21 loci containing a known skeletal growth gene, that gene was closest to the associated variant. Third, at least 19 loci have multiple independently associated variants, suggesting that allelic heterogeneity is a frequent feature of polygenic traits, that comprehensive explorations of already-discovered loci should discover additional variants, and that an appreciable fraction of associated loci may have been identified. Fourth, associated variants are enriched for likely functional effects on genes, being over-represented amongst variants that alter amino acid structure of proteins and expression levels of nearby genes. Our data explain ∼10% of the phenotypic variation in height, and we estimate that unidentified common variants of similar effect sizes would increase this figure to ∼16% of phenotypic variation (∼20% of heritable variation). Although additional approaches are needed to fully dissect the genetic architecture of polygenic human traits, our findings indicate that GWA studies can identify large numbers of loci that

  13. Biologically-based signal processing system applied to noise removal for signal extraction

    DOEpatents

    Fu, Chi Yung; Petrich, Loren I.

    2004-07-13

    The method and system described herein use a biologically-based signal processing system for noise removal for signal extraction. A wavelet transform may be used in conjunction with a neural network to imitate a biological system. The neural network may be trained using ideal data derived from physical principles or noiseless signals to determine to remove noise from the signal.

  14. A Formative Evaluation of Biological Science: Patterns and Processes, Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, William V.; And Others

    Reported is a formative evaluation of the Biological Science Curriculum Study "Biological Science: Patterns and Processes", designed for academically unsuccessful students. "Criterion referenced" tests were developed, with items selected to indicate the extent of students' learning rather than to discriminate between students. An alternate form,…

  15. Plasmalogens in biological systems: their role in oxidative processes in biological membranes, their contribution to pathological processes and aging and plasmalogen analysis.

    PubMed

    Lessig, J; Fuchs, B

    2009-01-01

    Plasmalogens are a specific glycerophospholipid class containing a vinyl ether moiety at the sn-1-position of the glycerol backbone. The high susceptibility of this vinyl ether bond to oxidative damage and traces of acids may indicate the possible function of plasmalogens in biological systems: The regarded cell-internal antioxidative defense of membranes by protecting other phospholipids or lipoprotein particles against oxidative stress is controversial. Reactive oxygen species preferably affect the vinyl ether function as well as the olefinic acyl residues at the sn-2-position of plasmalogens. This review is dedicated to the role of plasmalogens in different cells and tissues as spermatozoal cells or brain tissue. The first chapter of this review will discuss the molecular structure and chemistry of plasmalogen molecules, their distributions in cells and tissues and the species-specificity. In the second chapter their functions as lipid mediators will be considered and the controversial antioxidative function will be discussed. The supposed function of plasmalogens as "scavengers" for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in biological membranes is challenged by the finding that plasmalogen oxidation products as alpha-hydroxyaldehydes and plasmalogen epoxides accumulate in all chronic diseases as atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, upon aging as well as in Alzheimers disease and other neuropathological conditions. All these conditions, characterized by increased membrane instability and oxidative damage, will be reviewed in chapter three. Chronically proceeding processes can be described by permanently invading polymorphonuclear neutrophils into inflammatory loci. The degranulation of the azurophilic granula in polymorphonuclear leukocytes causes the release of highly reactive substances, for instance the myeloperoxidase-generated hypochlorous acid (HOCl) acting as effective oxidant. Therefore, special attention will be paid to neutrophil-derived HOCl. The last

  16. Reactome: a database of reactions, pathways and biological processes.

    PubMed

    Croft, David; O'Kelly, Gavin; Wu, Guanming; Haw, Robin; Gillespie, Marc; Matthews, Lisa; Caudy, Michael; Garapati, Phani; Gopinath, Gopal; Jassal, Bijay; Jupe, Steven; Kalatskaya, Irina; Mahajan, Shahana; May, Bruce; Ndegwa, Nelson; Schmidt, Esther; Shamovsky, Veronica; Yung, Christina; Birney, Ewan; Hermjakob, Henning; D'Eustachio, Peter; Stein, Lincoln

    2011-01-01

    Reactome (http://www.reactome.org) is a collaboration among groups at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York University School of Medicine and The European Bioinformatics Institute, to develop an open source curated bioinformatics database of human pathways and reactions. Recently, we developed a new web site with improved tools for pathway browsing and data analysis. The Pathway Browser is an Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN)-based visualization system that supports zooming, scrolling and event highlighting. It exploits PSIQUIC web services to overlay our curated pathways with molecular interaction data from the Reactome Functional Interaction Network and external interaction databases such as IntAct, BioGRID, ChEMBL, iRefIndex, MINT and STRING. Our Pathway and Expression Analysis tools enable ID mapping, pathway assignment and overrepresentation analysis of user-supplied data sets. To support pathway annotation and analysis in other species, we continue to make orthology-based inferences of pathways in non-human species, applying Ensembl Compara to identify orthologs of curated human proteins in each of 20 other species. The resulting inferred pathway sets can be browsed and analyzed with our Species Comparison tool. Collaborations are also underway to create manually curated data sets on the Reactome framework for chicken, Drosophila and rice. PMID:21067998

  17. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Arthur M.; Võ, Melissa L.-H.; Briesemeister, Benny B.; Conrad, Markus; Hofmann, Markus J.; Kuchinke, Lars; Lüdtke, Jana; Braun, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Reading is not only “cold” information processing, but involves affective and aesthetic processes that go far beyond what current models of word recognition, sentence processing, or text comprehension can explain. To investigate such “hot” reading processes, standardized instruments that quantify both psycholinguistic and emotional variables at the sublexical, lexical, inter-, and supralexical levels (e.g., phonological iconicity, word valence, arousal-span, or passage suspense) are necessary. One such instrument, the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) has been used in over 50 published studies demonstrating effects of lexical emotional variables on all relevant processing levels (experiential, behavioral, neuronal). In this paper, we first present new data from several BAWL studies. Together, these studies examine various views on affective effects in reading arising from dimensional (e.g., valence) and discrete emotion features (e.g., happiness), or embodied cognition features like smelling. Second, we extend our investigation of the complex issue of affective word processing to words characterized by a mixture of affects. These words entail positive and negative valence, and/or features making them beautiful or ugly. Finally, we discuss tentative neurocognitive models of affective word processing in the light of the present results, raising new issues for future studies. PMID:26089808

  18. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Arthur M; Võ, Melissa L-H; Briesemeister, Benny B; Conrad, Markus; Hofmann, Markus J; Kuchinke, Lars; Lüdtke, Jana; Braun, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Reading is not only "cold" information processing, but involves affective and aesthetic processes that go far beyond what current models of word recognition, sentence processing, or text comprehension can explain. To investigate such "hot" reading processes, standardized instruments that quantify both psycholinguistic and emotional variables at the sublexical, lexical, inter-, and supralexical levels (e.g., phonological iconicity, word valence, arousal-span, or passage suspense) are necessary. One such instrument, the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) has been used in over 50 published studies demonstrating effects of lexical emotional variables on all relevant processing levels (experiential, behavioral, neuronal). In this paper, we first present new data from several BAWL studies. Together, these studies examine various views on affective effects in reading arising from dimensional (e.g., valence) and discrete emotion features (e.g., happiness), or embodied cognition features like smelling. Second, we extend our investigation of the complex issue of affective word processing to words characterized by a mixture of affects. These words entail positive and negative valence, and/or features making them beautiful or ugly. Finally, we discuss tentative neurocognitive models of affective word processing in the light of the present results, raising new issues for future studies. PMID:26089808

  19. Review of Solids Handling. Instructor's Guide. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W.

    This unit (which consists of a single lesson) summarizes and reviews most of the solids handling processes in common use in municipal treatment plants. The instructor's guide for the unit includes: (1) an overview of the lesson; (2) lesson plan; (3) lecture outline (keyed to a set of 72 slides); (4) student worksheet (with answers); and (5) two…

  20. Facultative Lagoons. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersen, Lorri

    The textual material for a unit on facultative lagoons is presented in this student manual. Topic areas discussed include: (1) loading; (2) microbial theory; (3) structure and design; (4) process control; (5) lagoon start-up; (6) data handling and analysis; (7) lagoon maintenance (considering visual observations, pond structure, safety, odor,…

  1. Anaerobic Digestion. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W., Ed.

    This student manual contains the textual material for a four-lesson unit on anaerobic digestion control. Areas addressed include: (1) anaerobic sludge digestion (considering the nature of raw sludge, purposes of anaerobic digestion, the results of digestion, types of equipment, and other topics); (2) digester process control (considering feeding…

  2. Trickling Filters. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richwine, Reynold D.

    The textual material for a unit on trickling filters is presented in this student manual. Topic areas discussed include: (1) trickling filter process components (preliminary treatment, media, underdrain system, distribution system, ventilation, and secondary clarifier); (2) operational modes (standard rate filters, high rate filters, roughing…

  3. Oxidation Ditches. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelsen, David

    The textual material for a two-lesson unit on oxidation ditches is presented in this student manual. Topics discussed in the first lesson (introduction, theory, and components) include: history of the oxidation ditch process; various designs of the oxidation ditch; multi-trench systems; carrousel system; advantages and disadvantages of the…

  4. Activated Biological Filters (ABF Towers). Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wooley, John F.

    This student manual contains textual material for a two-lesson unit on activated bio-filters (ABF). The first lesson (the sewage treatment plant) examines those process units that are unique to the ABF system. The lesson includes a review of the structural components of the ABF system and their functions and a discussion of several operational…

  5. The Biological Nature of Geochemical Proxies: algal symbionts affect coral skeletal chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, K.; Cohen, A. L.; Shimizu, N.

    2001-12-01

    The strontium-calcium ratio (Sr/Ca) of reef coral skeleton is an important ocean temperature proxy that has been used to address some particularly controversial climate change issues. However, the paleothermometer has sometimes proven unreliable and there are indications that the temperature-dependence of Sr/Ca in coral aragonite is linked to the photosynthetic activity of algal symbionts (zooxanthellae) in coral tissue. We examined the effect of algal symbiosis on skeletal chemistry using Astrangia danae, a small colonial temperate scleractinian that occurs naturally with and without zooxanthellae. Live symbiotic (deep brown) and asymbiotic (white) colonies of similar size were collected in Woods Hole where water temperatures fluctuate seasonally between -2oC and 23oC. We used a microbeam technique (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) and a 30 micron diameter sampling beam to construct high-resolution Sr/Ca profiles, 2500 microns long, down the growth axes of the outer calical (thecal) walls. Profiles generated from co-occuring symbiotic and asymbiotic colonies are remarkably different despite their exposure to identical water temperatures. Symbiotic coral Sr/Ca displays four large-amplitude annual cycles with high values in the winter, low values in the summer and a temperature dependence similar to that of tropical reef corals. By comparison, Sr/Ca profiles constructed from asymbiotic coral skeleton display little variability over the same time period. Asymbiont Sr/Ca is relatively insensitive to the enormous temperature changes experienced over the year; the temperature dependence is similar to that of nighttime skeletal deposits in tropical reef corals and non-biological aragonite precipitates. We propose that the large variations in skeletal Sr/Ca observed in all symbiont-hosting coral species are not related to SST variability per se but are driven primarily by large seasonal variations in skeletal calcification rate associated with symbiont photosynthesis. Our

  6. A model for anaerobic ponds combining settling and biological processes.

    PubMed

    Effebi, K R; Jupsin, H; Keffala, C; Vasel, J L

    2013-01-01

    This work presents an approach to an anaerobic pond model by combining the stoichiometry of the hydrolysis and acidogenic processes of the main constituents of wastewater, i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, grouped as a 'combined substrate' with a previously published settling model (see 'Suspended solids settling and half removal time in stabilization ponds (Tunisia)' by Effebi et al. (2011)). This approach includes biomass production. Coupling the kinetics and stoichiometry of the previous processes with the usual methanogenic model, we developed an anaerobic pond model. This paper gives the stoichiometry of the different chemical reactions that occur during the degradation of a conventional influent (corresponding to what we define as a 'combined substrate') of domestic wastewater and the model's first results. PMID:23787301

  7. Low cost materials of construction for biological processes: Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-05-13

    The workshop was held, May 1993 in conjunction with the 15th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. The purpose of this workshop was to present information on the biomass to ethanol process in the context of materials selection and through presentation and discussion, identify promising avenues for future research. Six technical presentations were grouped into two sessions: process assessment and technology assessment. In the process assessment session, the group felt that the pretreatment area would require the most extensive materials research due the complex chemical, physical and thermal environment. Discussion centered around the possibility of metals being leached into the process stream and their effect on the fermentation mechanics. Linings were a strong option for pretreatment assuming the economics were favorable. Fermentation was considered an important area for research also, due to the unique complex of compounds and dual phases present. Erosion in feedstock handling equipment was identified as a minor concern. In the technology assessment session, methodologies in corrosion analysis were presented in addition to an overview of current coatings/linings technology. Widely practiced testing strategies, including ASTM methods, as well as novel procedures for micro-analysis of corrosion were discussed. Various coatings and linings, including polymers and ceramics, were introduced. The prevailing recommendations for testing included keeping the testing simple until the problem warranted a more detailed approach and developing standardized testing procedures to ensure the data was reproducible and applicable. The need to evaluate currently available materials such as coatings/linings, carbon/stainless steels, or fiberglass reinforced plastic was emphasized. It was agreed that economic evaluation of each material candidate must be an integral part of any research plan.

  8. Development of biological coal gasification (MicGAS process)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-30

    Laboratory scale studies examining biogasification of Texas lignite at various coal solids loadings have been completed. Bench scale bioreactors are currently being used to scale up the biogasification process to higher coal solids loadings (5% and 10%) Specific observations reported this quarter are that methane production was not curtailed when B-vitamin solution was not added to the biogasification medium and that aeration of Mic-1 did not sufficiently oxidize the medium to eliminate strict anaerobic bacteria including methanogens.

  9. Characteristics of biological aerosols in dairy processing plants.

    PubMed

    Kang, Y J; Frank, J F

    1990-03-01

    The viable aerosol in dairy processing plant environments was characterized by using an Andersen six-stage sieve sampler and a Reuter centrifugal sampler. Artificially introduced Serratia marcescens were detected in the air during drain flooding and after rinsing the floor with a pressured water hose, thus illustrating the ability of a specific microorganism to be disseminated from drains and wet surfaces via physical disruption activities often observed in food plants. Once a high concentration of wet viable aerosol was generated, it took 40 or more min to return to the background level in the absence of forced ventilation or other activity. The greatest reduction in viable particles occurred during the first 10 min. Estimated mean aerosol particle sizes were decreased from approximately 4.6 to 3.2 mu with time lapse. The estimated mean aerosol particle sizes from actual dairy processing plant environments ranged from approximately 4.3 to 5.3 mu. In addition, a more heavily contaminated dairy processing environment contained larger aerosol particles. These results indicate that the RCS sampler will often overestimate the true aerosol concentration in highly contaminated air, because mean particle sizes are over 4 mu in diameter. PMID:2187913

  10. Development of biological coal gasification (MicGAS Process)

    SciTech Connect

    Walia, D.S.; Srivastava, K.C.

    1994-10-01

    The overall goal of the project is to develop an advanced, clean coal biogasification (MicGAS) Process. The objectives of the research during FY 1993--94 were to: (1) enhance kinetics of methane production (biogasification, biomethanation) from Texas lignite (TxL) by the Mic-1 consortium isolated and developed at ARCTECH, (2) increase coal solids loading, (3) optimize medium composition, and (4) reduce retention time. A closer analysis of the results described here indicate that biomethanation of TxL at >5% solids loading is feasible through appropriate development of nutrient medium and further adaptation of the microorganisms involved in this process. Further understanding of the inhibitory factors and some biochemical manipulations to overcome those inhibitions will hasten the process considerably. Results are discussed on the following: products of biomethanation and enhance of methane production including: bacterial adaptation; effect of nutrient amendment substitutes; effects of solids loading; effect of initial pH of the culture medium; effect of hydrogen donors and carbon balance.

  11. Biological processing in oscillatory baffled reactors: operation, advantages and potential

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, M. S. R.; Harvey, A. P.; Perez, G. Valente; Theodorou, M. K.

    2013-01-01

    The development of efficient and commercially viable bioprocesses is essential for reducing the need for fossil-derived products. Increasingly, pharmaceuticals, fuel, health products and precursor compounds for plastics are being synthesized using bioprocessing routes as opposed to more traditional chemical technologies. Production vessels or reactors are required for synthesis of crude product before downstream processing for extraction and purification. Reactors are operated either in discrete batches or, preferably, continuously in order to reduce waste, cost and energy. This review describes the oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR), which, generally, has a niche application in performing ‘long’ processes in plug flow conditions, and so should be suitable for various bioprocesses. We report findings to suggest that OBRs could increase reaction rates for specific bioprocesses owing to low shear, good global mixing and enhanced mass transfer compared with conventional reactors. By maintaining geometrical and dynamic conditions, the technology has been proved to be easily scaled up and operated continuously, allowing laboratory-scale results to be easily transferred to industrial-sized processes. This is the first comprehensive review of bioprocessing using OBRs. The barriers facing industrial adoption of the technology are discussed alongside some suggested strategies to overcome these barriers. OBR technology could prove to be a major aid in the development of commercially viable and sustainable bioprocesses, essential for moving towards a greener future. PMID:24427509

  12. Biological processing in oscillatory baffled reactors: operation, advantages and potential.

    PubMed

    Abbott, M S R; Harvey, A P; Perez, G Valente; Theodorou, M K

    2013-02-01

    The development of efficient and commercially viable bioprocesses is essential for reducing the need for fossil-derived products. Increasingly, pharmaceuticals, fuel, health products and precursor compounds for plastics are being synthesized using bioprocessing routes as opposed to more traditional chemical technologies. Production vessels or reactors are required for synthesis of crude product before downstream processing for extraction and purification. Reactors are operated either in discrete batches or, preferably, continuously in order to reduce waste, cost and energy. This review describes the oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR), which, generally, has a niche application in performing 'long' processes in plug flow conditions, and so should be suitable for various bioprocesses. We report findings to suggest that OBRs could increase reaction rates for specific bioprocesses owing to low shear, good global mixing and enhanced mass transfer compared with conventional reactors. By maintaining geometrical and dynamic conditions, the technology has been proved to be easily scaled up and operated continuously, allowing laboratory-scale results to be easily transferred to industrial-sized processes. This is the first comprehensive review of bioprocessing using OBRs. The barriers facing industrial adoption of the technology are discussed alongside some suggested strategies to overcome these barriers. OBR technology could prove to be a major aid in the development of commercially viable and sustainable bioprocesses, essential for moving towards a greener future. PMID:24427509

  13. The learning processes of two high-school biology students when reading primary literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brill, Gilat; Falk, Hedda; Yarden, Anat

    2004-04-01

    Biology education, like education in any other discipline, strives to make students familiar with the knowledge, activities, and ways of thinking of the community of biologists. We produced a curriculum in developmental biology based on learning through primary literature, in an attempt to develop biological literacy among highschool students. Here we characterize the way in which two high-school biology students read a research article in developmental biology. Mere reading resulted in superficial comprehension. In contrast, when the students answered questions about the text, deeper comprehension evolved. The students could overcome readingcomprehension problems by applying well-established reading strategies, but encountered difficulties resulting from the classical structure of research articles. We hope that our characterization of the learning process of research articles by high-school students will enable the use of these complex texts in high-school biology classrooms.

  14. [How do transport and metabolism affect the biological effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons?].

    PubMed

    Bekki, Kanae; Toriba, Akira; Tang, Ning; Kameda, Takayuki; Takigami, Hidetaka; Suzuki, Go; Hayakawa, Kazuichi

    2012-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which are carcinogenic/mutagenic, are generated by combustion of fossil fuels and also released through tanker or oilfield accident to cause a large scale environmental pollution. PAHs concentration in China is especially high in East Asia because of many kinds of generation sources such as coal heating systems, vehicles and factories without exhaust gas/particulate treatment systems. So, the atmospheric pollution caused by PAHs in China has been seriously concerned from the view point of health effects. Like yellow sand and sulfur oxide, PAHs exhausted in China are also transported to Japan. Additionally, strongly mutagenic nitrated PAHs (NPAHs), estrogenic/antiestrogenic PAH hydroxides (PAHOHs) and reactive oxygen species-producing PAH quinones (PAHQs) are formed from PAHs by the chemical reaction during the transport. Furthermore these PAHOHs and PAHQs are produced by the metabolism in animal body. In the biological activities caused by the above PAH derivatives, the structure-activity relationship was observed. In this review, our recent results on the generation of PAH derivatives by atmospheric transport and metabolism are reported. Also, the existing condition of PAHs as atmospheric pollutants is considered. PMID:22382837

  15. Area-wide biological control of disease vectors and agents affecting wildlife.

    PubMed

    Reichard, R E

    2002-04-01

    Two examples of area-wide programmes, employing the sterile insect technique (SIT), which have eradicated a parasite and a disease vector common to domestic and wild animals are described. New World screwworm (NWS), Cochliomyia hominivorax, caused significant morbidity and mortality of livestock and wild mammals in tropical and subtropical areas of America before eradication was achieved in North America using the SIT and other components of an integrated pest management (IPM) programme. Movement of wild as well as domestic animals from an area which is infested with screwworm to a free area requires prophylactic treatment. Tsetse fly-borne trypanosomosis has an immense influence on the distribution of people and livestock in Africa. The immunotolerance of wildlife to the parasites is an important factor in maintaining some areas livestock free as wildlife refuges. Slaughter has ceased of wild hoofstock species considered to be disease reservoirs for control purposes. The SIT, combined with other IPM measures, has resulted in the eradication of the tsetse fly and trypanosomosis from Zanzibar. Other programmes in Africa are underway. Microbial 'biopesticides' have also been employed successfully against plant insect pests and some vectors of human disease. It seems likely that for the immediate future, wildlife may benefit from area-wide biological control programmes, intended mainly to protect humans and/or domestic animals. PMID:11974628

  16. Positive Affect and Processes of Recovery among Treatment-Seeking Methamphetamine Users

    PubMed Central

    Carrico, Adam W.; Woods, William J.; Siever, Michael D.; Discepola, Michael V.; Dilwort, Samantha E.; Neilands, Torsten B.; Miller, Nicole; Moskowitz, Judith Tedlie

    2015-01-01

    Background Revised Stress and Coping Theory proposes that positive affect serves adaptive functions, independent of negative affect. However, scant research has examined whether, how, and under what circumstances positive affect is associated with decreased substance use. Methods Eighty-eight methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM) completed the baseline assessment for substance abuse treatment outcome study which included measures of positive and negative affect, cognitive-behavioral change processes (i.e., approach-oriented coping, self-efficacy for managing methamphetamine triggers, and abstinence-related action tendencies), abstinence-specific social support, and self-reported substance use. Participants also provided a urine sample for toxicology screening. Results After controlling for demographic characteristics and negative affect, higher positive affect was independently associated with greater approach-oriented coping, abstinence-related action tendencies, and abstinence-specific social support. Positive affect was also independently associated with greater self-efficacy for managing methamphetamine triggers, but only at lower levels of negative affect. Through these cognitive-behavioral and social pathways, positive affect was indirectly associated with lower frequency of stimulant use in the past 30 days, lower odds of reporting stimulant use two or more days in a row, and lower odds of providing a urine sample that was reactive for stimulant metabolites. On the other hand, negative affect was not indirectly associated with any measure of stimulant use. Conclusions Clinical research is needed to examine the pathways whereby positive affect may predict better substance abuse treatment outcomes. PMID:23684632

  17. Are Developmental Processes Affected by Immigration? Family Processes, Internalizing Behaviors, and Externalizing Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vazsonyi, Alexander T.; Trejos-Castillo, Elizabeth; Huang, Li

    2006-01-01

    The current study compared levels of family processes, internalizing behaviors, and externalizing behaviors as well as developmental processes, namely the associations among family processes and measures of internalizing or externalizing behaviors, in native Swiss, 2nd and 1st generation immigrant adolescents (N=3,540). Findings provided evidence…

  18. Factors affecting the flight capacity of Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a classical biological control agent of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae).

    PubMed

    Fahrner, Samuel J; Lelito, Jonathan P; Blaedow, Karen; Heimpel, George E; Aukema, Brian H

    2014-12-01

    The dispersal characteristics of a biological control agent can have direct implications on the ability of that agent to control populations of a target host. Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a parasitic wasp native to eastern Asia that has been introduced into the United States as part of a classical biological control program against the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). We used computer-monitored flight mills to investigate the role of age, feeding status, mating status, and size on the flight capacity of female T. planipennisi over a 24-h period. We also compared flight capacity between sexes. Flight distance of female T. planipennisi representative of populations released in the biological control program averaged 1.26 km in 24 h with a maximum flight of just over 7 km. Median flight distance, however, was 422 m. The flight capacity of females fed a honey-water solution was 41× that of females provided only water, who flew very little. Larger females were capable of flying farther distances, but age did not affect the flight capacity of females up to 70 d posteclosion. Females dispersed 6× farther than did their smaller, male counterparts. The implications of our findings to host-parasitoid interactions and release protocols for distributing T. planipennisi are discussed. PMID:25479199

  19. Inhibition Of Molecular And Biological Processes Using Modified Oligonucleotides

    DOEpatents

    Kozyavkin, Sergei A.; Malykh, Andrei G.; Polouchine, Nikolai N.; Slesarev, Alexei I.

    2003-04-15

    A method of inhibiting at least one molecular process in a sample, comprising administering to the sample an oligonucleotide or polynucleotide containing at least one monomeric unit having formula (I): wherein A is an organic moiety, n is at least 1, and each X is independently selected from the group consisting of --NRCOCONu, --NHCOCR.sub.2 CR.sub.2 CONu, --NHCOCR.dbd.CRCONu, and --NHCOSSCONu, wherein each R independently represents H or a substituted or unsubstituted alkyl group, and Nu represents a nucleophile, or a salt of the compound.

  20. The Impact of Affect on Out-Group Judgments Depends on Dominant Information-Processing Styles: Evidence From Incidental and Integral Affect Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Linda M; Lair, Elicia C; Rovenpor, Daniel R

    2016-04-01

    Two studies tested the affect-as-cognitive-feedback model, in which positive and negative affective states are not uniquely associated with particular processing styles, but rather serve as feedback about currently accessible processing styles. The studies extend existing work by investigating (a) both incidental and integral affect, (b) out-group judgments, and (c) downstream consequences. We manipulated processing styles and either incidental (Study 1) or integral (Study 2) affect and measured perceptions of out-group homogeneity. Positive (relative to negative) affect increased out-group homogeneity judgments when global processing was primed, but under local priming, the effect reversed (Studies 1 and 2). A similar interactive effect emerged on attributions, which had downstream consequences for behavioral intentions (Study 2). These results demonstrate that both incidental and integral affect do not directly produce specific processing styles, but rather influence thinking by providing feedback about currently accessible processing styles. PMID:26984013

  1. How preconditioning affects the measurement of poro-viscoelastic mechanical properties in biological tissues.

    PubMed

    Hosseini, Sayyed Mohsen; Wilson, Wouter; Ito, Keita; van Donkelaar, Corrinus C

    2014-06-01

    It is known that initial loading curves of soft biological tissues are substantially different from subsequent loadings. The later loading curves are generally used for assessing the mechanical properties of a tissue, and the first loading cycles, referred to as preconditioning, are omitted. However, slow viscoelastic phenomena related to fluid flow or collagen viscoelasticity are initiated during these first preconditioning loading cycles and may persist during the actual data collection. When these data are subsequently used for fitting of material properties, the viscoelastic phenomena that occurred during the initial cycles are not accounted for. The aim of the present study is to explore whether the above phenomena are significant for articular cartilage, by evaluating the effect of such time-dependent phenomena by means of computational modeling. Results show that under indentation, collagen viscoelasticity dominates the time-dependent behavior. Under UC, fluid-dependent effects are more important. Interestingly, viscoelastic and poroelastic effects may act in opposite directions and may cancel each other out in a stress-strain curve. Therefore, equilibrium may be apparent in a stress-strain relationship, even though internally the tissue is not in equilibrium. Also, the time-dependent effects of viscoelasticity and poroelasticity may reinforce each other, resulting in a sustained effect that lasts longer than suggested by their individual effects. Finally, the results illustrate that data collected from a mechanical test may depend on the preconditioning protocol. In conclusion, preconditioning influences the mechanical response of articular cartilage significantly and therefore cannot be neglected when determining the mechanical properties. To determine the full viscoelastic and poroelastic properties of articular cartilage requires fitting to both preconditioning and post-preconditioned loading cycles. PMID:23864393

  2. Encoding and processing biologically relevant temporal information in electrosensory systems.

    PubMed

    Fortune, E S; Rose, G J; Kawasaki, M

    2006-06-01

    Wave-type weakly electric fish are specialists in time-domain processing: behaviors in these animals are often tightly correlated with the temporal structure of electrosensory signals. Behavioral responses in these fish can be dependent on differences in the temporal structure of electrosensory signals alone. This feature has facilitated the study of temporal codes and processing in central nervous system circuits of these animals. The temporal encoding and mechanisms used to transform temporal codes in the brain have been identified and characterized in several species, including South American gymnotid species and in the African mormyrid genus Gymnarchus. These distantly related groups use similar strategies for neural computations of information on the order of microseconds, milliseconds, and seconds. Here, we describe a suite of mechanisms for behaviorally relevant computations of temporal information that have been elucidated in these systems. These results show the critical role that behavioral experiments continue to have in the study of the neural control of behavior and its evolution. PMID:16450118

  3. Physical processes affecting availability of dissolved silicate for diatom production in the Arabian Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, David K.; Kindle, John C.

    1994-01-01

    A passive tracer to represent dissolved silicate concentrations, with biologically realistic uptake kinetics, is successfully incorporated into a three-dimensional, eddy-resolving, ocean circulation model of the Indian Ocean. Hypotheses are tested to evaluate physical processes which potentially affect the availability of silicate for diatom production in the Arabian Sea. An alternative mechanism is offered to the idea that open ocean upwelling is primarily responsible for the high, vertical nutrient flux and consequent large-scale phytoplankton bloom in the northwestern Arabian Sea during the southwest monsoon. Model results show that dissolved silicate in surface waters available for uptake by diatoms is primarily influenced by the intensity of nearshore upwelling from soutwest monsoonal wind forcing and by the offshore advective transport of surface waters. The upwelling, which in the model occurs within 200 +/- 50 km of the coast, appears to be a result of a combination of coastal upwelling, Elkman pumping, and divergence of the coastal flow as it turns offshore. Localized intensifications of silicate concentrations appear to be hydrodynamically driven and geographically correlated to coastal topographic features. The absence of diatoms in sediments of the eastern Arabian Basin is consistent with modeled distributional patterns of dissolved silicate resulting from limited westward advection of upwelled coastal waters from the western continental margin of India and rapid uptake of available silicate by diatoms. Concentrations of modeled silicate become sufficiently low to become unavailable for diatom production in the eastern Arabian Sea, a region between 61 deg E and 70 deg E at 8 deg N on the south, with the east and west boundaries converging on the north at approximately 67 deg E, 20 deg N.

  4. Thinking Back about a Positive Event: The Impact of Processing Style on Positive Affect

    PubMed Central

    Nelis, Sabine; Holmes, Emily A.; Palmieri, Rosa; Bellelli, Guglielmo; Raes, Filip

    2015-01-01

    The manner in which individuals recall an autobiographical positive life event has affective consequences. Two studies addressed the processing styles during positive memory recall in a non-clinical sample. Participants retrieved a positive memory, which was self-generated (Study 1, n = 70) or experimenter-chosen (i.e., academic achievement, Study 2, n = 159), followed by the induction of one of three processing styles (between-subjects): in Study 1, a “concrete/imagery” vs. “abstract/verbal” processing style was compared. In Study 2, a “concrete/imagery,” “abstract/verbal,” and “comparative/verbal” processing style were compared. The processing of a personal memory in a concrete/imagery-based way led to a larger increase in positive affect compared to abstract/verbal processing in Study 1, as well as compared to comparative/verbal thinking in Study 2. Results of Study 2 further suggest that it is making unfavorable verbal comparisons that may hinder affective benefits to positive memories (rather than general abstract/verbal processing per se). The comparative/verbal thinking style failed to lead to improvements in positive affect, and with increasing levels of depressive symptoms it had a more negative impact on change in positive affect. We found no evidence that participant’s tendency to have dampening thoughts in response to positive affect in daily life contributed to the affective impact of positive memory recall. The results support the potential for current trainings in boosting positive memories and mental imagery, and underline the search for parameters that determine at times deleterious outcomes of abstract/verbal memory processing in the face of positive information. PMID:25806003

  5. Thinking Back about a Positive Event: The Impact of Processing Style on Positive Affect.

    PubMed

    Nelis, Sabine; Holmes, Emily A; Palmieri, Rosa; Bellelli, Guglielmo; Raes, Filip

    2015-01-01

    The manner in which individuals recall an autobiographical positive life event has affective consequences. Two studies addressed the processing styles during positive memory recall in a non-clinical sample. Participants retrieved a positive memory, which was self-generated (Study 1, n = 70) or experimenter-chosen (i.e., academic achievement, Study 2, n = 159), followed by the induction of one of three processing styles (between-subjects): in Study 1, a "concrete/imagery" vs. "abstract/verbal" processing style was compared. In Study 2, a "concrete/imagery," "abstract/verbal," and "comparative/verbal" processing style were compared. The processing of a personal memory in a concrete/imagery-based way led to a larger increase in positive affect compared to abstract/verbal processing in Study 1, as well as compared to comparative/verbal thinking in Study 2. Results of Study 2 further suggest that it is making unfavorable verbal comparisons that may hinder affective benefits to positive memories (rather than general abstract/verbal processing per se). The comparative/verbal thinking style failed to lead to improvements in positive affect, and with increasing levels of depressive symptoms it had a more negative impact on change in positive affect. We found no evidence that participant's tendency to have dampening thoughts in response to positive affect in daily life contributed to the affective impact of positive memory recall. The results support the potential for current trainings in boosting positive memories and mental imagery, and underline the search for parameters that determine at times deleterious outcomes of abstract/verbal memory processing in the face of positive information. PMID:25806003

  6. Soil organic matter dynamics under Beech and Hornbeam as affected by soil biological activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooijman, A. M.; Cammeraat, L. H.

    2009-04-01

    Organic matter dynamics are highly affected both the soil fauna as well as the source of organic matter, having important consequences for the spatial heterogeneity of organic matter storage and conversion. We studied oldgrowth mixed deciduous forests in Central-Luxemburg on decalcified dolomitic marl, dominated by high-degradable hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) or low-degradable beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Decomposition was measured both in the laboratory and in the field. Litter decomposition was higher for hornbeam than for beech under laboratory conditions, but especially in the field, which is mainly to be attributed to macro-fauna activity, specifically to earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris and Allolobophora species). We also investigated differences between beech and hornbeam with regard to litter input and habitat conditions. Total litter input was the same, but contribution of beech and hornbeam litter clearly differed between the two species. Also, mass of the ectorganic horizon and soil C:N ratio were significantly higher for beech, which was reflected in clear differences in the development of ectorganic profiles on top of the soil. Under beech a mull-moder was clearly present with a well developed fermentation and litter horizon, whereas under hornbeam all litter is incorporated into the soil, leaving the mineral soil surface bear in late summer (mull-type of horizon). In addition to litter quality, litter decomposition was affected by pH and soil moisture. Both pH and soil moisture were higher under hornbeam than under beech, which may reflect differences in soil development and litter quality effects over longer time scales. Under beech, dense layers of low-degradable litter may prevent erosion, and increase clay eluviation and leaching of base cations, leading to acid and dry conditions, which further decrease litter decay. Under hornbeam, the soil is not protected by a litter layer, and clay eluviation and acidification may be counteracted by erosion

  7. tRNAs as regulators of biological processes

    PubMed Central

    Raina, Medha; Ibba, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNA) are best known for their role as adaptors during translation of the genetic code. Beyond their canonical role during protein biosynthesis, tRNAs also perform additional functions in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes for example in regulating gene expression. Aminoacylated tRNAs have also been implicated as substrates for non-ribosomal peptide bond formation, post-translational protein labeling, modification of phospholipids in the cell membrane, and antibiotic biosyntheses. Most recently tRNA fragments, or tRFs, have also been recognized to play regulatory roles. Here, we examine in more detail some of the new functions emerging for tRNA in a variety of cellular processes outside of protein synthesis. PMID:24966867

  8. Process development for biological production of butanol from Eastern redcedar.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kan; Atiyeh, Hasan K; Pardo-Planas, Oscar; Ramachandriya, Karthikeyan D; Wilkins, Mark R; Ezeji, Thaddeus C; Ujor, Victor; Tanner, Ralph S

    2015-01-01

    Eastern redcedar is an invasive softwood species in Oklahoma and across grasslands in the Central Plains of the United States and potential feedstock for butanol production. Butanol has higher energy content than ethanol and can be upgraded to jet and diesel fuels. The objective of this study was to develop a process for production of butanol from redcedar. Results showed that Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 and Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 did not grow in fermentation medium with citrate buffer. However, both strains grew in the medium with acetate buffer, resulting in 3-4g/L greater butanol than without acetate. Detoxification of redcedar hydrolyzate was required to increase butanol concentration from 1 to 13g/L. Hydrolyzate was detoxified by activated carbon to remove inhibitors. Fermentations in detoxified redcedar hydrolyzate reached 13g/L butanol and 19g/L total ABE, comparable to glucose control. This shows the potential for redcedar use in butanol production. PMID:25460988

  9. Experiment kits for processing biological samples inflight on SLS-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, P. D.; Hinds, W. E.; Jaquez, R.; Evans, J.; Dubrovin, L.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes development of an innovative, modular approach to packaging the instruments used to obtain and preserve the inflight rodent tissue and blood samples associated with hematology experiments on the Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (SLS-2) mission. The design approach organized the multitude of instruments into twelve 5- x 6- x l-in. kits which were each used for a particular experiment. Each kit contained the syringes, vials, microscope slides, etc., necessary for processing and storing blood and tissue samples for one rat on a particular day. A total of 1245 components, packaged into 128 kits and stowed in 17 Zero(registered trademark) boxes, were required. Crewmembers found the design easy to use and laid out in a logical, simple configuration which minimized chances for error during the complex procedures in flight. This paper also summarizes inflight performance of the kits on SLS-2.

  10. The “Musical Emotional Bursts”: a validated set of musical affect bursts to investigate auditory affective processing

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    The Musical Emotional Bursts (MEB) consist of 80 brief musical executions expressing basic emotional states (happiness, sadness and fear) and neutrality. These musical bursts were designed to be the musical analog of the Montreal Affective Voices (MAV)—a set of brief non-verbal affective vocalizations portraying different basic emotions. The MEB consist of short (mean duration: 1.6 s) improvisations on a given emotion or of imitations of a given MAV stimulus, played on a violin (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]), or a clarinet (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]). The MEB arguably represent a primitive form of music emotional expression, just like the MAV represent a primitive form of vocal, non-linguistic emotional expression. To create the MEB, stimuli were recorded from 10 violinists and 10 clarinetists, and then evaluated by 60 participants. Participants evaluated 240 stimuli [30 stimuli × 4 (3 emotions + neutral) × 2 instruments] by performing either a forced-choice emotion categorization task, a valence rating task or an arousal rating task (20 subjects per task); 40 MAVs were also used in the same session with similar task instructions. Recognition accuracy of emotional categories expressed by the MEB (n:80) was lower than for the MAVs but still very high with an average percent correct recognition score of 80.4%. Highest recognition accuracies were obtained for happy clarinet (92.0%) and fearful or sad violin (88.0% each) MEB stimuli. The MEB can be used to compare the cerebral processing of emotional expressions in music and vocal communication, or used for testing affective perception in patients with communication problems. PMID:23964255

  11. Online nonlinear sequential Bayesian estimation of a biological wastewater treatment process.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joong-Won; Hong, Yoon-Seok Timothy; Suh, Changwon; Shin, Hang-Sik

    2012-03-01

    Online estimation of unknown state variables is a key component in the accurate modelling of biological wastewater treatment processes due to a lack of reliable online measurement systems. The extended Kalman filter (EKF) algorithm has been widely applied for wastewater treatment processes. However, the series approximations in the EKF algorithm are not valid, because biological wastewater treatment processes are highly nonlinear with a time-varying characteristic. This work proposes an alternative online estimation approach using the sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) methods for recursive online state estimation of a biological sequencing batch reactor for wastewater treatment. SMC is an algorithm that makes it possible to recursively construct the posterior probability density of the state variables, with respect to all available measurements, through a random exploration of the states by entities called 'particle'. In this work, the simplified and modified Activated Sludge Model No. 3 with nonlinear biological kinetic models is used as a process model and formulated in a dynamic state-space model applied to the SMC method. The performance of the SMC method for online state estimation applied to a biological sequencing batch reactor with online and offline measured data is encouraging. The results indicate that the SMC method could emerge as a powerful tool for solving online state and parameter estimation problems without any model linearization or restrictive assumptions pertaining to the type of nonlinear models for biological wastewater treatment processes. PMID:21792564

  12. The Production Processes and Biological Effects of Intravenous Immunoglobulin

    PubMed Central

    Barahona Afonso, Ana Filipa; João, Cristina Maria Pires

    2016-01-01

    Immunoglobulin is a highly diverse autologous molecule able to influence immunity in different physiological and diseased situations. Its effect may be visible both in terms of development and function of B and T lymphocytes. Polyclonal immunoglobulin may be used as therapy in many diseases in different circumstances such as primary and secondary hypogammaglobulinemia, recurrent infections, polyneuropathies, cancer, after allogeneic transplantation in the presence of infections and/or GVHD. However, recent studies have broadened the possible uses of polyclonal immunoglobulin showing that it can stimulate certain sub-populations of T cells with effects on T cell proliferation, survival and function in situations of lymphopenia. These results present a novel and considerable impact of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment in situations of severe lymphopenia, a situation that can occur in cancer patients after chemo and radiotherapy treatments. In this review paper the established and experimental role of polyclonal immunoglobulin will be presented and discussed as well as the manufacturing processes involved in their production. PMID:27005671

  13. Life's origin: the cosmic, planetary and biological processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scattergood, T.; Des Marais, D.; Jahnke, L.

    1987-01-01

    From elements formed in interstellar furnaces to humans peering back at the stars, the evolution of life has been a long, intricate and perhaps inevitable process. Life as we know it requires a planet orbiting a star at just the right distance so that water can exist in liquid form. It needs a rich supply of chemicals and energy sources. On Earth, the combination of chemistry and energy generated molecules that evolved ways of replicating themselves and of passing information from one generation to the next. Thus, the thread of life began. This chart traces the thread, maintained by DNA molecules for much of its history, as it weaves its way through the primitive oceans, gaining strength and diversity along the way. Organisms eventually moved onto the land, where advanced forms, including humans, ultimately arose. Finally, assisted by a technology of its own making, life has reached back out into space to understand its own origins, to expand into new realms, and to seek other living threads in the cosmos.

  14. Sequential biological process for molybdenum extraction from hydrodesulphurization spent catalyst.

    PubMed

    Vyas, Shruti; Ting, Yen-Peng

    2016-10-01

    Spent catalyst bioleaching with Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans has been widely studied and low Mo leaching has often been reported. This work describes an enhanced extraction of Mo via a two stage sequential process for the bioleaching of hydrodesulphurization spent catalyst containing Molybdenum, Nickel and, Aluminium. In the first stage, two-step bioleaching was performed using Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, and achieved 89.4% Ni, 20.9% Mo and 12.7% Al extraction in 15 days. To increase Mo extraction, the bioleached catalyst was subjected to a second stage bioleaching using Escherichia coli, during which 99% of the remaining Mo was extracted in 25 days. This sequential bioleaching strategy selectively extracted Ni in the first stage and Mo in the second stage, and is a more environmentally friendly alternative to sequential chemical leaching with alkaline reagents for improved Mo extraction. Kinetic modelling to establish the rate determining step in both stages of bioleaching showed that in the first stage, Mo extraction was chemical reaction controlled whereas in the subsequent stage, product layer diffusion model provided the best fit. PMID:27351900

  15. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  16. Responsiveness and Affective Processes in the Interactive Construction of Understanding in Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owens, Kay; Perry, Bob; Conroy, John; Howe, Peter; Geoghegan, Noel

    1998-01-01

    Reports on important learning processes that emerged during adult mathematics classes that used a teaching approach compatible with a social constructivist theory of knowing. Concludes that affective processes precipitated students' responsiveness, modifying the immediate learning context which influenced student thinking, creating a snowball…

  17. Ecological and Dynamical Study of the Creative Process and Affects of Scientific Students Working in Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peilloux, Aurélien; Botella, Marion

    2016-01-01

    Although creativity has drawn the attention of researchers during the past century, collaborative processes have barely been investigated. In this article, the collective dimension of a creative process is investigated, based on a dynamic and ecological approach that includes an affective component. "Dynamic" means that the creative…

  18. How Does Tele-Mental Health Affect Group Therapy Process? Secondary Analysis of a Noninferiority Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Carolyn J.; Morland, Leslie A.; Macdonald, Alexandra; Frueh, B. Christopher; Grubbs, Kathleen M.; Rosen, Craig S.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Video teleconferencing (VTC) is used for mental health treatment delivery to geographically remote, underserved populations. However, few studies have examined how VTC affects individual or group psychotherapy processes. This study compares process variables such as therapeutic alliance and attrition among participants receiving anger…

  19. High intensity exercise affects diurnal variation of some biological markers in trained subjects.

    PubMed

    Hammouda, O; Chtourou, H; Chahed, H; Ferchichi, S; Chaouachi, A; Kallel, C; Miled, A; Chamari, K; Souissi, N

    2012-11-01

    The study investigated if markers of muscle injury and antioxidant status were affected by a Wingate test performed at 2 different times of day. 15 young male footballers performed 2 tests (randomized) at 07:00-h and 17:00-h. Fasting blood samples were collected before and 3 min after each test for assessment of markers of muscle injury and antioxidant status. Resting oral temperature was recorded during each session. Peak power (10.76 ± 1.05 vs. 11.15 ± 0.83 W.kg( - 1)) and fatigue index (0.41 ± 0.04 vs. 0.49 ± 0.13%) during the Wingate test, and core temperature, were significantly higher (all p<0.05) in the evening. Markers of muscle injury were significantly higher in the evening before and after exercise (e. g., 148.7 ± 67.05 vs. 195 ± 74.6 and 191.6 ± 79.52 vs. 263.6 ± 96.06 IU.L (- 1), respectively, for creatine kinase; both p<0.001). Antioxidant parameters increased after the Wingate test but only resting values were significantly higher in the morning (e. g., 1.33 ± 0.19 vs. 1.19 ± 0.14 µmol.L (- 1) for total antioxidant status; p<0.05). The results indicate that muscle injury and antioxidant activity after the Wingate test were higher in the evening, suggesting a possible link between the biochemical measures and the diurnal fluctuation of anaerobic performance. However, repetition of this study after prescribed rather than self-selected exercise intensity is recommended. PMID:22791622

  20. Biological activated carbon process for treatment of potato processing wastewater for in-plant reuse. Technical completion report

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, Y.T.; Priebe, B.D.

    1981-10-01

    Like many other food processing industries, potato processing could create a serious pollution problem. An average-sized processing plant, producing french fries and dehydrated potatoes, can generate a waste load equivalent to a city of 200,000 people. Any discharge of wastes into these waters would immediately result in detrimental effects to the environment. In a plant processing 15,000 tons of potatoes per year, 60 million gallons of water are required. With proper treatment, a large percentage of the wastewater could be reclaimed and reused in the potato processing plant. The scope of the study includes the operation of completely mixed activated sludge (CMAS) reactors as secondary treatment, and anaerobic upflow continuous biological activated carbon (BAC) and biological sand columns as tertiary treatment for potato processing wastewaters.

  1. The Mechanism of Valence-Space Metaphors: ERP Evidence for Affective Word Processing

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Chang, Song

    2014-01-01

    Embodied cognition contends that the representation and processing of concepts involve perceptual, somatosensory, motoric, and other physical re-experiencing information. In this view, affective concepts are also grounded in physical information. For instance, people often say “feeling down” or “cheer up” in daily life. These phrases use spatial information to understand affective concepts. This process is referred to as valence-space metaphor. Valence-space metaphors refer to the employment of spatial information (lower/higher space) to elaborate affective concepts (negative/positive concepts). Previous studies have demonstrated that processing affective words affects performance on a spatial detection task. However, the mechanism(s) behind this effect remain unclear. In the current study, we hypothesized that processing affective words might produce spatial information. Consequently, spatial information would affect the following spatial cue detection/discrimination task. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to remember an affective word. Then, they completed a spatial cue detection task while event-related potentials were recorded. The results indicated that the top cues induced enhanced amplitude of P200 component while participants kept positive words relative to negative words in mind. On the contrary, the bottom cues induced enhanced P200 amplitudes while participants kept negative words relative to positive words in mind. In Experiment 2, we conducted a behavioral experiment that employed a similar paradigm to Experiment 1, but used arrows instead of dots to test the attentional nature of the valence-space metaphor. We found a similar facilitation effect as found in Experiment 1. Positive words facilitated the discrimination of upper arrows, whereas negative words facilitated the discrimination of lower arrows. In summary, affective words might activate spatial information and cause participants to allocate their attention to corresponding

  2. Biological Filtration Limits Carbon Availability and Affects Downstream Biofilm Formation and Community Structure†

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Chee Meng; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2006-01-01

    Carbon removal strategies have gained popularity in the mitigation of biofouling in water reuse processes, but current biofilm-monitoring practices based on organic-carbon concentrations may not provide an accurate representation of the in situ biofilm problem. This study evaluated a submerged microtiter plate assay for direct and rapid monitoring of biofilm formation by subjecting the plates to a continuous flow of either secondary effluent (SE) or biofilter-treated secondary effluent (BF). This method was very robust, based on a high correlation (R2 = 0.92) between the biomass (given by the A600 in the microtiter plate assay) and the biovolume (determined from independent biofilms developed on glass slides under identical conditions) measurements, and revealed that the biomasses in BF biofilms were consistently lower than those in SE biofilms. The influence of the organic-carbon content on the biofilm community composition and succession was further evaluated using molecular tools. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed a group of pioneer colonizers, possibly represented by Sphingomonadaceae and Caulobacter organisms, to be common in both SE and BF biofilms. However, differences in organic-carbon availabilities in the two water samples eventually led to the selection of distinct biofilm communities. Alphaproteobacterial populations were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization to be enriched in SE biofilms, while Betaproteobacteria were dominant in BF biofilms. Cloning analyses further demonstrated that microorganisms adapted for survival under low-substrate conditions (e.g., Aquabacterium, Caulobacter, and Legionella) were preferentially selected in the BF biofilm, suggesting that carbon limitation strategies may not achieve adequate biofouling control in the long run. PMID:16957184

  3. Neural processing associated with cognitive and affective Theory of Mind in adolescents and adults.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Catherine L; Fontaine, Nathalie M G; Bird, Geoffrey; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Brito, Stephane A De; McCrory, Eamon J P; Viding, Essi

    2012-01-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute thoughts, intentions and beliefs to others. This involves component processes, including cognitive perspective taking (cognitive ToM) and understanding emotions (affective ToM). This study assessed the distinction and overlap of neural processes involved in these respective components, and also investigated their development between adolescence and adulthood. While data suggest that ToM develops between adolescence and adulthood, these populations have not been compared on cognitive and affective ToM domains. Using fMRI with 15 adolescent (aged 11-16 years) and 15 adult (aged 24-40 years) males, we assessed neural responses during cartoon vignettes requiring cognitive ToM, affective ToM or physical causality comprehension (control). An additional aim was to explore relationships between fMRI data and self-reported empathy. Both cognitive and affective ToM conditions were associated with neural responses in the classic ToM network across both groups, although only affective ToM recruited medial/ventromedial PFC (mPFC/vmPFC). Adolescents additionally activated vmPFC more than did adults during affective ToM. The specificity of the mPFC/vmPFC response during affective ToM supports evidence from lesion studies suggesting that vmPFC may integrate affective information during ToM. Furthermore, the differential neural response in vmPFC between adult and adolescent groups indicates developmental changes in affective ToM processing. PMID:21467048

  4. Evaluation of microbial loads, physical characteristics, chemical constituents and biological properties of radiation processed Fagonia arabica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khattak, Khanzadi Fatima

    2012-06-01

    Whole plant of Fagonia arabica with 3 different particle sizes (30, 50 and 70 mesh) were exposed to gamma radiation doses of 1-10 kGy from a Cobalt 60 source. A series of tests was performed in order to check the feasibility of irradiation processing of the plant. The applied radiation doses did not affect (P<0.05) pH and antimicrobial activities of the plant. The total weight of the dry extracts in methanol as well as water was found increased with irradiation. The irradiated samples showed significant increase in phenolic content and free radical scavenging activity using DPPH. Shortly after irradiation (on the day of radiation treatment) high amounts of free radicals were detected in the irradiated plant samples and the chemiluminescence measurements were generally found to be dose dependent. Maximum luminescence intensity was observed in case of samples with mesh size of 30 for all the radiation doses applied. After a period of one month the chemiluminescence signals of the irradiated samples approximated those of the controls. The study suggests that gamma irradiation treatment is effective for quality improvement and enhances certain beneficial biological properties of the treated materials.

  5. Chemical industrial wastewater treated by combined biological and chemical oxidation process.

    PubMed

    Guomin, Cao; Guoping, Yang; Mei, Sheng; Yongjian, Wang

    2009-01-01

    Wastewaters from phenol and rubber synthesis were treated by the activated sludge process in a large-scale chemical factory in Shanghai, but the final effluent quality cannot conform with the local discharge limit without using river water for dilution. Therefore, this chemical factory had to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. To fully use the present buildings and equipment during upgrading of the chemical factory's wastewater treatment plant and to save operation costs, a sequential biological pre-treatement, chemical oxidation, and biological post-treatment (or BCB for short) process had been proposed and investigated in a pilot trial. The pilot trial results showed that about 80% COD in the chemical wastewater could be removed through anoxic and aerobic degradation in the biological pre-treatement section, and the residual COD in the effluent of the biological pre-treatment section belongs to refractory chemicals which cannot be removed by the normal biological process. The refractory chemicals were partial oxidized using Fenton's reagent in the chemical oxidation section to improve their biodegradability; subsequently the wastewater was treated by the SBR process in the biological post-treatment section. The final effluent COD reached the first grade discharge limit (<100 mg l(-1)) of Chinese Notational Integrated Wastewater Discharge Standard (GB8978-1996) even if without using any dilution water. Compared with the original dilution and biological process, the operation cost of the BCB process increased by about 0.5 yuan (RMB) per cubic metre wastewater, but about 1,240,000 m(3) a(-1) dilution water could be saved and the COD emission could be cut down by 112 tonne each year. PMID:19273902

  6. Extreme sensory processing patterns and their relation with clinical conditions among individuals with major affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Muzio, Caterina; Rinosi, Giorgio; Solano, Paola; Geoffroy, Pierre Alexis; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario; Serafini, Gianluca

    2016-02-28

    Previous studies highlighted the involvement of sensory perception in emotional processes. However, the role of extreme sensory processing patterns expressed in hyper- or hyposensitivity was not thoroughly considered. The present study, in real life conditions, examined the unique sensory processing patterns of individuals with major affective disorders and their relationship with psychiatric symptomatology. The sample consisted of 105 participants with major affective conditions ranging in age from 20 to 84 years (mean=56.7±14.6). All participants completed the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A), the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). Sensory sensitivity/avoiding hypersensitivity patterns and low registration (a hyposensitivity pattern) were prevalent among our sample as compared to normative data. About seventy percent of the sample showed lower seeking tendency. Stepwise regression analyses revealed that depression and anxious/cyclothymic affective temperaments were predicted by sensory sensory/avoiding. Anxious and irritable affective temperaments were predicted by low registration. Hyperthymic affective temperament and lower severity of depression were predicted by sensation seeking. Hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity may be "trait" markers of individuals with major affective disorders. Interventions should refer to the individual unique sensory profiles and their behavioral and functional impact in the context of real life. PMID:26738981

  7. Comparative Study of the Effects of Long and Short Term Biological Processes on the Cycling of Colloidal Trace Metals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinedo, P.; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, S. A.; West, A.

    2013-05-01

    colloidal and truly dissolved fractions was strongly influenced by the distribution of DOC and chlorophyll-a concentration. On the other hand, ~93% of Cu was found in the truly dissolved pool, suggesting little correlation between Cu speciation and chlorophyll-a concentration. Together, the findings from our study of both long and short term biological processes show differential fractionation of Cu, which has a low nutrient value and a high affinity for dissolved constituents compared to Fe, which has a much higher cellular requirements and high particle reactivity. Overall, this study points out that both long and short term biological processes have an important bearing on understanding the mobility of trace metals in the ocean, with implications for how we should collect and interpret water-quality data, and for how cyclical variation in metal concentrations may affect aquatic ecology.

  8. Integration of advanced oxidation technologies and biological processes: recent developments, trends, and advances.

    PubMed

    Tabrizi, Gelareh Bankian; Mehrvar, Mehrab

    2004-01-01

    The greatest challenge of today's wastewater treatment technology is to optimize the use of biological and chemical wastewater treatment processes. The choice of the process and/or integration of the processes depend strongly on the wastewater characteristics, concentrations, and the desired efficiencies. It has been observed by many investigators that the coupling of a bioreactor and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) could reduce the final concentrations of the effluent to the desired values. However, optimizing the total cost of the treatment is a challenge, as AOPs are much more expensive than biological processes alone. Therefore, an appropriate design should not only consider the ability of this coupling to reduce the concentration of organic pollutants, but also try to obtain the desired results in a cost effective process. To consider the total cost of the treatment, the residence time in biological and photochemical reactors, the kinetic rates, and the capital and operating costs of the reactors play significant roles. In this study, recent developments and trends (1996-2003) on the integration of photochemical and biological processes for the degradation of problematic pollutants in wastewater have been reviewed. The conditions to get the optimum results from this integration have also been considered. In most of the studies, it has been shown that the integrated processes were more efficient than individual processes. However, slight changes in the configuration of the reactors, temperature, pH, treatment time, concentration of the oxidants, and microorganism's colonies could lead to a great deviation in results. It has also been demonstrated that the treatment cost in both reactors is a function of time, which changes by the flow rate. The minimum cost in the coupling of the processes cannot be achieved unless considering the best treatment time in chemical and biological reactors individually. PMID:15533022

  9. Mineralization of 2-chlorophenol by sequential electrochemical reductive dechlorination and biological processes.

    PubMed

    Arellano-González, Miguel Ángel; González, Ignacio; Texier, Anne-Claire

    2016-08-15

    In this work, a novel approach was applied to obtain the mineralization of 2-chlorophenol (2-CP) in an electrochemical-biological combined system where an electrocatalytic dehydrogenation process (reductive dechlorination) was coupled to a biological denitrification process. Reductive dechlorination of 2-CP was conducted in an ECCOCEL-type reactor on a Pd-Ni/Ti electrode at a potential of -0.40V vs Ag/AgCl(s)/KCl(sat), achieving 100 percent transformation of 2-CP into phenol. The electrochemically pretreated effluent was fed to a rotating cylinder denitrifying bioreactor where the totality of phenol was mineralized by denitrification, obtaining CO2 and N2 as the end products. The total time required for 2-CP mineralization in the combined electrochemical-biological process was 7.5h. This value is close to those previously reported for electrochemical and advanced oxidation processes but in this case, an efficient process was obtained without accumulation of by-products or generation of excessive energy costs due to the selective electrochemical pretreatment. This study showed that the use of electrochemical reductive pretreatment combined with biological processes could be a promising technology for the removal of recalcitrant molecules, such as chlorophenols, from wastewaters by more efficient, rapid, and environmentally friendly processes. PMID:27131458

  10. Effect of Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning on Non-majors Biology Students' Understanding of Biological Classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wozniak, Breann M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) on non-majors college biology students' understanding of biological classification. This study addressed an area of science instruction, POGIL in the non-majors college biology laboratory, which has yet to be qualitatively and quantitatively researched. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods approach was used. Students' understanding of biological classification was measured in two areas: scores on pre and posttests (consisting of 11 multiple choice questions), and conceptions of classification as elicited in pre and post interviews and instructor reflections. Participants were Minnesota State University, Mankato students enrolled in BIOL 100 Summer Session. One section was taught with the traditional curriculum (n = 6) and the other section in the POGIL curriculum (n = 10) developed by the researcher. Three students from each section were selected to take part in pre and post interviews. There were no significant differences within each teaching method (p < .05). There was a tendency of difference in the means. The POGIL group may have scored higher on the posttest (M = 8.830 +/- .477 vs. M = 7.330 +/- .330; z =-1.729, p = .084) and the traditional group may have scored higher on the pretest than the posttest (M = 8.333 +/- .333 vs M = 7.333 +/- .333; z = -1.650 , p = .099). Two themes emerged after the interviews and instructor reflections: 1) After instruction students had a more extensive understanding of classification in three areas: vocabulary terms, physical characteristics, and types of evidence used to classify. Both groups extended their understanding, but only POGIL students could explain how molecular evidence is used in classification. 2) The challenges preventing students from understanding classification were: familiar animal categories and aquatic habitats, unfamiliar organisms, combining and subdividing initial groupings, and the hierarchical

  11. Advanced low carbon-to-nitrogen ratio wastewater treatment by electrochemical and biological coupling process.

    PubMed

    Deng, Shihai; Li, Desheng; Yang, Xue; Zhu, Shanbin; Xing, Wei

    2016-03-01

    Nitrogen pollution in ground and surface water significantly affects the environment and its organisms, thereby leading to an increasingly serious environmental problem. Such pollution is difficult to degrade because of the lack of carbon sources. Therefore, an electrochemical and biological coupling process (EBCP) was developed with a composite catalytic biological carrier (CCBC) and applied in a pilot-scale cylindrical reactor to treat wastewater with a carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio of 2. The startup process, coupling principle, and dynamic feature of the EBCP were examined along with the effects of hydraulic retention time (HRT), dissolved oxygen (DO), and initial pH on nitrogen removal. A stable coupling system was obtained after 51 days when plenty of biofilms were cultivated on the CCBC without inoculation sludge. Autotrophic denitrification, with [Fe(2+)] and [H] produced by iron-carbon galvanic cells in CCBC as electron donors, was confirmed by equity calculation of CODCr and nitrogen removal. Nitrogen removal efficiency was significantly influenced by HRT, DO, and initial pH with optimal values of 3.5 h, 3.5 ± 0.1 mg L(-1), and 7.5 ± 0.1, respectively. The ammonia, nitrate, and total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiencies of 90.1 to 95.3 %, 90.5 to 99.0 %, and 90.3 to 96.5 % were maintained with corresponding initial concentrations of 40 ± 2 mg L(-1) (NH3-N load of 0.27 ± 0.01 kg NH3-N m(-3) d(-1)), 20 ± 1 mg L(-1), and 60 ± 2 mg L(-1) (TN load of 0.41 ± 0.02 kg TN m(-3) d(-1)). Based on the Eckenfelder model, the kinetics equation of the nitrogen transformation along the reactor was N e  = N 0 exp (-0.04368 h/L(1.8438)). Hence, EBCP is a viable method for advanced low C/N ratio wastewater treatment. PMID:26564190

  12. Quantum chemical methods for the investigation of photoinitiated processes in biological systems: theory and applications.

    PubMed

    Dreuw, Andreas

    2006-11-13

    With the advent of modern computers and advances in the development of efficient quantum chemical computer codes, the meaningful computation of large molecular systems at a quantum mechanical level became feasible. Recent experimental effort to understand photoinitiated processes in biological systems, for instance photosynthesis or vision, at a molecular level also triggered theoretical investigations in this field. In this Minireview, standard quantum chemical methods are presented that are applicable and recently used for the calculation of excited states of photoinitiated processes in biological molecular systems. These methods comprise configuration interaction singles, the complete active space self-consistent field method, and time-dependent density functional theory and its variants. Semiempirical approaches are also covered. Their basic theoretical concepts and mathematical equations are briefly outlined, and their properties and limitations are discussed. Recent successful applications of the methods to photoinitiated processes in biological systems are described and theoretical tools for the analysis of excited states are presented. PMID:17009357

  13. Landauer in the Age of Synthetic Biology: Energy Consumption and Information Processing in Biochemical Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Pankaj; Lang, Alex H.; Schwab, David J.

    2016-03-01

    A central goal of synthetic biology is to design sophisticated synthetic cellular circuits that can perform complex computations and information processing tasks in response to specific inputs. The tremendous advances in our ability to understand and manipulate cellular information processing networks raises several fundamental physics questions: How do the molecular components of cellular circuits exploit energy consumption to improve information processing? Can one utilize ideas from thermodynamics to improve the design of synthetic cellular circuits and modules? Here, we summarize recent theoretical work addressing these questions. Energy consumption in cellular circuits serves five basic purposes: (1) increasing specificity, (2) manipulating dynamics, (3) reducing variability, (4) amplifying signal, and (5) erasing memory. We demonstrate these ideas using several simple examples and discuss the implications of these theoretical ideas for the emerging field of synthetic biology. We conclude by discussing how it may be possible to overcome these limitations using "post-translational" synthetic biology that exploits reversible protein modification.

  14. A Neuropsychiatric Model of Biological and Psychological Processes in the Remission of Delusions and Auditory Hallucinations

    PubMed Central

    van der Gaag, Mark

    2006-01-01

    This selective review combines cognitive models and biological models of psychosis into a tentative integrated neuropsychiatric model. The aim of the model is to understand better, how pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavior therapy come forward as partners in the treatment of psychosis and play complementary and mutually reinforcing roles. The article reviews the dominant models in literature. The focus in this review is on one hand on neural circuits that are involved in cognitive models and on the other hand on cognitive processes and experiences involved in biological models. In this way, a 4-component neuropsychiatric model is tentatively constructed: (1) a biological component that leads to aberrant perceptions and salience of stimuli, (2) a cognitive component that attempts to explain the psychic abnormal events, (3) a mediating component with psychological biases which influences the reasoning process in the direction of the formation of (secondary) delusions, and (4) a component of psychological processes that maintains delusions and prevents the falsification of delusional ideas. Remission consists actually of 2 processes. Biological remission consists of the dampening of mesolimbic dopamine releases with antipsychotic medication and decreases the continuous salient experiences. Psychological remission consists of the reappraisal of primary psychotic experiences. Both forms of remission are partially independent. We expect that a full remission including biological and psychological remission could prevent relapse. PMID:16905635

  15. The sound of emotions-Towards a unifying neural network perspective of affective sound processing.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Trost, Wiebke; Kotz, Sonja A

    2016-09-01

    Affective sounds are an integral part of the natural and social environment that shape and influence behavior across a multitude of species. In human primates, these affective sounds span a repertoire of environmental and human sounds when we vocalize or produce music. In terms of neural processing, cortical and subcortical brain areas constitute a distributed network that supports our listening experience to these affective sounds. Taking an exhaustive cross-domain view, we accordingly suggest a common neural network that facilitates the decoding of the emotional meaning from a wide source of sounds rather than a traditional view that postulates distinct neural systems for specific affective sound types. This new integrative neural network view unifies the decoding of affective valence in sounds, and ascribes differential as well as complementary functional roles to specific nodes within a common neural network. It also highlights the importance of an extended brain network beyond the central limbic and auditory brain systems engaged in the processing of affective sounds. PMID:27189782

  16. How orthographic transparency affects morphological processing in young readers with and without reading disability.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, Miguel; García, Laura; Burani, Cristina

    2015-10-01

    This study investigates how orthographic modifications to the stems of complex words affect morphological processing in proficient young Spanish readers and children with reading deficits. In a definition task all children, irrespective of their reading skill, were worse at defining derived words that had an orthographic alteration of the base stem than words with no orthographic alteration. In a go/no-go lexical decision task, an interaction between base frequency and orthographic alteration was found: base frequency affected derived words with no orthographic alteration more than words with alterations, irrespective of reading skill. Overall, results show that all children benefit from a high frequency base, skilled children outperform children with reading deficits and morphological processing is affected by orthographic alterations similarly in proficient and impaired readers. PMID:25899060

  17. Abnormal, affect-specific modulatory effects on early auditory processing in schizophrenia: magnetoencephalographic evidence.

    PubMed

    Junghöfer, Markus; Bröckelmann, Ann-Kathrin; Küppers, Kerstin; Ohrmann, Patricia; Pedersen, Anya

    2015-02-01

    Abnormalities in the perception and identification of emotions have frequently been reported in schizophrenia. Hemodynamic neuroimaging studies found functional abnormalities in cortical and subcortical brain circuits that are involved in normal affective processing, but the temporal dynamics of abnormal emotion processing in schizophrenia remain largely elusive. To investigate this issue, we recorded early auditory evoked field components by means of whole-head magnetoencephalography that were in response to emotion-associated tones in seventeen patients with schizophrenia and in seventeen healthy, matched controls. Forty-two click-like tones (conditioned stimuli; CS) acquired differential emotional meaning through an affective associative learning procedure by pairing each CS three times with either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral auditory scenes. As expected, differential affect-specific modulation in patients vs. controls was evident, starting at the auditory N1m onset latency of approximately 70ms, extending to 230ms. While controls showed the expected enhanced processing of emotion associated CS, patients revealed an inverted pattern with reduced processing of arousal, when compared to neutral stimuli, in the right prefrontal cortex. The present finding suggests impairments in the prioritization of emotionally salient vs. non-salient stimuli in patients with schizophrenia. Dysfunction in higher cognitive processes and behavior in schizophrenia may therefore reflect dysfunction in fundamental, early emotion processing stages. PMID:25497223

  18. Social Information Processing in Children: Specific Relations to Anxiety, Depression, and Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luebbe, Aaron M.; Bell, Debora J.; Allwood, Maureen A.; Swenson, Lance P.; Early, Martha C.

    2010-01-01

    Two studies examined shared and unique relations of social information processing (SIP) to youth's anxious and depressive symptoms. Whether SIP added unique variance over and above trait affect in predicting internalizing symptoms was also examined. In Study 1, 215 youth (ages 8-13) completed symptom measures of anxiety and depression and a…

  19. Interaction between Task Oriented and Affective Information Processing in Cognitive Robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haazebroek, Pascal; van Dantzig, Saskia; Hommel, Bernhard

    There is an increasing interest in endowing robots with emotions. Robot control however is still often very task oriented. We present a cognitive architecture that allows the combination of and interaction between task representations and affective information processing. Our model is validated by comparing simulation results with empirical data from experimental psychology.

  20. Automatic Processing of Emotional Faces in High-Functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders: An Affective Priming Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamio, Yoko; Wolf, Julie; Fein, Deborah

    2006-01-01

    This study examined automatic processing of emotional faces in individuals with high-functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders (HFPDD) using an affective priming paradigm. Sixteen participants (HFPDD and matched controls) were presented with happy faces, fearful faces or objects in both subliminal and supraliminal exposure conditions, followed…

  1. Facial Affect Processing and Depression Susceptibility: Cognitive Biases and Cognitive Neuroscience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bistricky, Steven L.; Ingram, Rick E.; Atchley, Ruth Ann

    2011-01-01

    Facial affect processing is essential to social development and functioning and is particularly relevant to models of depression. Although cognitive and interpersonal theories have long described different pathways to depression, cognitive-interpersonal and evolutionary social risk models of depression focus on the interrelation of interpersonal…

  2. Approaching the Affective Factors of Information Seeking: The Viewpoint of the Information Search Process Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savolainen, Reijo

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The article contributes to the conceptual studies of affective factors in information seeking by examining Kuhlthau's information search process model. Method: This random-digit dial telephone survey of 253 people (75% female) living in a rural, medically under-serviced area of Ontario, Canada, follows-up a previous interview study…

  3. Processes affecting the transport of nitrogen in groundwater and factors related to slope position

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrate (NO3-) pollution of water resources has been a major problem for years, causing contaminated water supplies, harmful effects on human health, and widespread eutrophication of fresh water resources. The main objectives of this study were to: 1) understand the processes affecting NO3- transpor...

  4. Factors Affecting Christian Parents' School Choice Decision Processes: A Grounded Theory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prichard, Tami G.; Swezey, James A.

    2016-01-01

    This study identifies factors affecting the decision processes for school choice by Christian parents. Grounded theory design incorporated interview transcripts, field notes, and a reflective journal to analyze themes. Comparative analysis, including open, axial, and selective coding, was used to reduce the coded statements to five code families:…

  5. Atypical Sensory Processing in Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Non-Affected Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De la Marche, Wouter; Steyaert, Jean; Noens, Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Atypical sensory processing is common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Specific profiles have been proposed in different age groups, but no study has focused specifically on adolescents. Identifying traits of ASD that are shared by individuals with ASD and their non-affected family members can shed light on the genetic underpinnings of ASD.…

  6. Transactional Distance among Open University Students: How Does it Affect the Learning Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassandrinou, Amanda; Angelaki, Christina; Mavroidis, Ilias

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the presence of transactional distance among students, the factors affecting it, as well as the way it influences the learning process of students in a blended distance learning setting in Greece. The present study involved 12 postgraduate students of the Hellenic Open University (HOU). A qualitative research was conducted,…

  7. Alpha-Tocopherol modulates transcriptional activities that affect essential biological processes in Bovine Cells

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alpha-tocopherol is the major isoform of vitamin E. after nearly 100 years of research and countless publications, the physiological functions of vitamin E remain mysterious to a certain degree. Nevertheless, vitamin E is one of the most commonly used single nutrient supplements. Recent data has su...

  8. Prepare for scare-Impact of threat predictability on affective visual processing in spider phobia.

    PubMed

    Klahn, Anna Luisa; Klinkenberg, Isabelle A G; Notzon, Swantje; Arolt, Volker; Pantev, Christo; Zwanzger, Peter; Junghöfer, Markus

    2016-07-01

    The visual processing of emotional faces is influenced by individual's level of stress and anxiety. Valence unspecific affective processing is expected to be influenced by predictability of threat. Using a design of phasic fear (predictable threat), sustained anxiety (unpredictable threat) and safety (no threat), we investigated the magnetoencephalographic correlates and temporal dynamics of emotional face processing in a sample of phobic patients. Compared to non-anxious controls, phobic individuals revealed decreased parietal emotional attention processes during affective processing at mid-latency and late processing stages. While control subjects showed increasing parietal processing of the facial stimuli in line with decreasing threat predictability, phobic subjects revealed the opposite pattern. Decreasing threat predictability also led to increasing neural activity in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex at mid-latency stages. Additionally, unpredictability of threat lead to higher subjective discomfort compared to predictability of threat and no threat safety condition. Our findings indicate that visual processing of emotional information is influenced by both stress induction and pathologic anxiety. PMID:27036648

  9. Biological and Chemical Removal of Primary Cilia Affects Mechanical Activation of Chondrogenesis Markers in Chondroprogenitors and Hypertrophic Chondrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Deren, Matthew E.; Yang, Xu; Guan, Yingjie; Chen, Qian

    2016-01-01

    Chondroprogenitors and hypertrophic chondrocytes, which are the first and last stages of the chondrocyte differentiation process, respectively, are sensitive to mechanical signals. We hypothesize that the mechanical sensitivity of these cells depends on the cell surface primary cilia. To test this hypothesis, we removed the primary cilia by biological means with transfection with intraflagellar transport protein 88 (IFT88) siRNA or by chemical means with chloral hydrate treatment. Transfection of IFT88 siRNA significantly reduced the percentage of ciliated cells in both chondroprogenitor ATDC5 cells as well as primary hypertrophic chondrocytes. Cyclic loading (1 Hz, 10% matrix deformation) of ATDC5 cells in three-dimensional (3D) culture stimulates the mRNA levels of chondrogenesis marker Type II collagen (Col II), hypertrophic chondrocyte marker Type X collagen (Col X), and a molecular regulator of chondrogenesis and chondrocyte hypertrophy bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2). The reduction of ciliated chondroprogenitors abolishes mechanical stimulation of Col II, Col X, and BMP-2. In contrast, cyclic loading stimulates Col X mRNA levels in hypertrophic chondrocytes, but not those of Col II and BMP-2. Both biological and chemical reduction of ciliated hypertrophic chondrocytes reduced but failed to abolish mechanical stimulation of Col X mRNA levels. Thus, primary cilia play a major role in mechanical stimulation of chondrogenesis and chondrocyte hypertrophy in chondroprogenitor cells and at least a partial role in hypertrophic chondrocytes. PMID:26861287

  10. Affective Assessment of a Computer User through the Processing of the Pupil Diameter Signal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Ying; Barreto, Armando; Adjouadi, Malek

    This study proposes to achieve the affective assessment of a computer user through the processing of the pupil diameter (PD) signal. An adaptive interference canceller (AIC) system using the H∞ time-varying (HITV) adaptive algorithm was developed to minimize the impact of the PLR (pupil size changes caused by light intensity variations) on the measured pupil diameter signal. The modified pupil diameter (MPD) signal, obtained from the AIC, was expected to reflect primarily the pupillary affective responses (PAR) of the subject. Additional manipulations of the AIC output resulted in a Processed MPD (PMPD) signal, from which a classification feature, “PMPDmean”, was extracted. This feature was used to train and test a support vector machine (SVM), for the identification of “stress” states in the subject, achieving an accuracy rate of 77.78%. The advantages of affective recognition through the PD signal were verified by comparatively investigating the classification of “stress” and “relaxation” states through features derived from the simultaneously recorded galvanic skin response (GSR) and blood volume pulse (BVP) signals, with and without the PD feature. Encouraging results in affective assessment based on pupil diameter monitoring were obtained in spite of intermittent illumination increases purposely introduced during the experiments. Therefore, these results confirmed the possibility of using PD monitoring to evaluate the evolving affective states of a computer user.

  11. Affective ERP Processing in a Visual Oddball Task: Arousal, Valence, and Gender

    PubMed Central

    Rozenkrants, Bella; Polich, John

    2008-01-01

    Objective To assess affective event-related brain potentials (ERPs) using visual pictures that were highly distinct on arousal level/valence category ratings and a response task. Methods Images from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS) were selected to obtain distinct affective arousal (low, high) and valence (negative, positive) rating levels. The pictures were used as target stimuli in an oddball paradigm, with a visual pattern as the standard stimulus. Participants were instructed to press a button whenever a picture occurred and to ignore the standard. Task performance and response time did not differ across conditions. Results High-arousal compared to low-arousal stimuli produced larger amplitudes for the N2, P3, early slow wave, and late slow wave components. Valence amplitude effects were weak overall and originated primarily from the later waveform components and interactions with electrode position. Gender differences were negligible. Conclusion The findings suggest that arousal level is the primary determinant of affective oddball processing, and valence minimally influences ERP amplitude. Significance Affective processing engages selective attentional mechanisms that are primarily sensitive to the arousal properties of emotional stimuli. The application and nature of task demands are important considerations for interpreting these effects. PMID:18783987

  12. Facial affect processing deficits in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis of antipsychotic treatment effects

    PubMed Central

    Kempton, Matthew J; Mehta, Mitul A

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition, including emotion processing, is a recognised deficit observed in patients with schizophrenia. It is one cognitive domain which has been emphasised as requiring further investigation, with the efficacy of antipsychotic treatment on this deficit remaining unclear. Nine studies met our criteria for entry into a meta-analysis of the effects of medication on facial affect processing, including data from 1162 patients and six antipsychotics. Overall we found a small, positive effect (Hedge’s g = 0.13, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.21, p = 0.002). In a subgroup analysis this was statistically significant for atypical, but not typical, antipsychotics. It should be noted that the pooled sample size of the typical subgroup was significantly lower than the atypical. Meta-regression analyses revealed that age, gender and changes in symptom severity were not moderating factors. For the small, positive effect on facial affect processing, the clinical significance is questionable in terms of treating deficits in emotion identification in schizophrenia. We show that antipsychotic medications are poor at improving facial affect processing compared to reducing symptoms. This highlights the need for further investigation into the neuropharmacological mechanisms associated with accurate emotion processing, to inform treatment options for these deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:25492885

  13. Understanding a basic biological process: Expert and novice models of meiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kindfield, Ann C. H.

    Central to secondary and college-level biology instruction is the development of student understanding of a number of subcellular processes. Yet some of the most crucial are consistently cited as the most difficult components of biology to learn. Among these is meiosis. In this article I report on the meiosis models utilized by five individuals at each of three levels of expertise in genetics as each reasoned about this process in an individual interview setting. Detailed characterization of individual meiosis models and comparison among models revealed a set of biologically correct features common to all individuals' models as well as a variety of model flaws (i.e., meiosis misunderstandings) which are categorized according to type and level of expertise. These results are suggestive of both sources of various misunderstandings and factors that might contribute to the construction of a sound understanding of meiosis. Each of these is addressed in relation to their respective implications for instruction.

  14. Biological processes for the treatment of waste water from coal-fired power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Vredenbregt, L.H.J.; Potma, A.A.; Enoch, G.D.

    1998-07-01

    In The Netherlands, all coal-fired power stations are equipped with a wet lime(stone)-gypsum flue gas desulfurization (FGD) installation, in order to meet the SO{sub 2} emission requirements. During wet desulfurization a waste water stream is produced containing among others suspended solids, heavy metals, nitrate and in some cases ammonia. Besides, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the waste water is increased if the FGD process is optimized by application of organic buffers. The traditional waste water treatment plant (WWTP) does not remove nitrate, ammonia and COD, and only poorly removes the anions of oxygenated metals such as selenium. In a previous research it was demonstrated that nitrate and ammonia can be removed biologically, even at the relatively extreme conditions of FGD waste water, which is characterized by a high chloride concentration (5 and 40 g/l) and relatively high temperatures (typically 35--50 C). However, the removal is no longer solely focused on nitrogen components, but also on COD removal and for the anions of some oxygenated metals target values are expected in the near future. In this paper attention is focused on two biological processes. One process is the combined removal of nitrate and COD in a fluid-bed reactor which can be applied upstream of the traditional WWTP. The application of this process was successfully demonstrated at a bench-scale fluid bed reactor. The optimal process conditions were determined in activated-sludge reactors on a laboratory scale. The second biological process is the combined removal of COD and metals from FGD waste water. An upflow sludge blanket reactor was successfully tested on laboratory scale at a wide range of process conditions with actual waste water. The possible advantages and disadvantages of the biological removal processes are discussed and compared with the well known chemical precipitation process.

  15. Protein Molecular Structures, Protein SubFractions, and Protein Availability Affected by Heat Processing: A Review

    SciTech Connect

    Yu,P.

    2007-01-01

    The utilization and availability of protein depended on the types of protein and their specific susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis (inhibitory activities) in the gastrointestine and was highly associated with protein molecular structures. Studying internal protein structure and protein subfraction profiles leaded to an understanding of the components that make up a whole protein. An understanding of the molecular structure of the whole protein was often vital to understanding its digestive behavior and nutritive value in animals. In this review, recently obtained information on protein molecular structural effects of heat processing was reviewed, in relation to protein characteristics affecting digestive behavior and nutrient utilization and availability. The emphasis of this review was on (1) using the newly advanced synchrotron technology (S-FTIR) as a novel approach to reveal protein molecular chemistry affected by heat processing within intact plant tissues; (2) revealing the effects of heat processing on the profile changes of protein subfractions associated with digestive behaviors and kinetics manipulated by heat processing; (3) prediction of the changes of protein availability and supply after heat processing, using the advanced DVE/OEB and NRC-2001 models, and (4) obtaining information on optimal processing conditions of protein as intestinal protein source to achieve target values for potential high net absorbable protein in the small intestine. The information described in this article may give better insight in the mechanisms involved and the intrinsic protein molecular structural changes occurring upon processing.

  16. Parallel effects of processing fluency and positive affect on familiarity-based recognition decisions for faces

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Devin; Fiacconi, Chris M.; Köhler, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    According to attribution models of familiarity assessment, people can use a heuristic in recognition-memory decisions, in which they attribute the subjective ease of processing of a memory probe to a prior encounter with the stimulus in question. Research in social cognition suggests that experienced positive affect may be the proximal cue that signals fluency in various experimental contexts. In the present study, we compared the effects of positive affect and fluency on recognition-memory judgments for faces with neutral emotional expression. We predicted that if positive affect is indeed the critical cue that signals processing fluency at retrieval, then its manipulation should produce effects that closely mirror those produced by manipulations of processing fluency. In two experiments, we employed a masked-priming procedure in combination with a Remember-Know (RK) paradigm that aimed to separate familiarity- from recollection-based memory decisions. In addition, participants performed a prime-discrimination task that allowed us to take inter-individual differences in prime awareness into account. We found highly similar effects of our priming manipulations of processing fluency and of positive affect. In both cases, the critical effect was specific to familiarity-based recognition responses. Moreover, in both experiments it was reflected in a shift toward a more liberal response bias, rather than in changed discrimination. Finally, in both experiments, the effect was found to be related to prime awareness; it was present only in participants who reported a lack of such awareness on the prime-discrimination task. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that points not only to a role of fluency, but also of positive affect in familiarity assessment. As such they are consistent with the idea that fluency itself may be hedonically marked. PMID:24795678

  17. Oxygen and carbon requirements for biological nitrogen removal processes accomplishing nitrification, nitritation, and anammox.

    PubMed

    Daigger, Glen T

    2014-03-01

    The oxygen and carbon savings associated with novel nitrogen removal processes for the treatment of high ammonia, low biodegradable organic matter waste streams such as the recycle streams from the dewatering of anaerobically digested sludges are well documented.This understanding may lead some to think that similar oxygen savings are possible if novel processes such as nitritation/ denitritation and partial nitritation-deammonification are incorporated into main liquid stream processes where influent biodegradable organic matter is used to denitrify residual oxidized nitrogen (nitrite and nitrate). It is demonstrated that the net oxygen required for nitrogen removal is 1.71 mg O2/mg ammonia-nitrogen converted to nitrogen gas as long as influent biodegradable organic matter is used to denitrify residual oxidized nitrogen. Less oxygen is required to produce oxidized nitrogen with these novel processes, but less biodegradable organic matter is also required for oxidized nitrogen reduction to nitrogen gas, resulting in reduced oxygen savings for the oxidation of biodegradable organic matter. The net oxygen requirement is the same since the net electron transfer for the conversion of ammonia-nitrogen to nitrogen gas is the same. The biodegradable organic matter required to reduce the oxidized nitrogen to nitrogen gas is estimated for these processes based on standard biological process calculations. It is estimated to be in the range of 3.5 to 4.0 mg biodegradable COD/mg ammonia-nitrogen reduced to nitrogen gas for nitrification-denitrification, 2.0 to 2.5 for nitritation-denitritation, and 0.5 for partial nitritation-deammonification. The resulting limiting influent wastewater carbon-to-nitrogen ratios are estimated and can be used to guide the appropriate selection of biological nitrogen removal process given knowledge of the biological process influent wastewater carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Energy savings possible for mainstream processes incorporating these novel

  18. A Cognitive Processing Capacity Model of Teaching and Studying Applied to Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furukawa, James M.; And Others

    The cognitive processing capacity (CPC) model of teaching and studying was used to determine whether tenth grade students could improve their performance in biology. The 27 students in the experimental class were taught to study information in quantities that matched their CPC and to chunk these quantities together under a heading in a study…

  19. Learning How Scientists Work: Experiential Research Projects to Promote Cell Biology Learning and Scientific Process Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DebBurman, Shubhik K.

    2002-01-01

    Facilitating not only the mastery of sophisticated subject matter, but also the development of process skills is an ongoing challenge in teaching any introductory undergraduate course. To accomplish this goal in a sophomore-level introductory cell biology course, I require students to work in groups and complete several mock experiential research…

  20. BIOLOGICAL TREATABILITY OF KRW ENERGY SYSTEMS GASIFIER PDU (PROCESS DEVELOPMENT UNIT) WASTEWATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of bench-scale biological treatability tests with wastewaters produced from the KRW Energy Systems gasifier process development unit (KRW-PDU). Goals of the tests were to assess the biotreatability of these aqueous wastes and to develop data for correlati...

  1. EVALUATION OF DEEP SHAFT BIOLOGICAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESS AT ITHACA, NEW YORK

    EPA Science Inventory

    The major objectives of this study were to demonstrate the feasibility of the Deep Shaft biological treatment process and to evaluate its application for the treatment of municipal wastewater. A 757-cu m day (0.2-mgd) pilot plant facility was constructed at the existing wastewate...

  2. Understanding a Basic Biological Process: Expert and Novice Models of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kindfield, A. C. H.

    1994-01-01

    Reports on the meiosis models utilized by five individuals at each of three levels of expertise in genetics as each reasoned about this process in an individual interview setting. Results revealed a set of biologically correct features common to all individuals' models as well as a variety of model flaws (i.e., meiosis misunderstandings) which are…

  3. Using a Computer Simulation To Teach Science Process Skills to College Biology and Elementary Education Majors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Aimee T.; Hairston, Rosalina V.; Thames, Rachel; Lawrence, Tonya; Herron, Sherry S.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the Lateblight computer simulation implemented in the general biology laboratory and science methods course for elementary teachers to reinforce the processes of science and allow students to engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate the methods of building concepts in science. (Author/KHR)

  4. Treatment of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) wastewater by internal electrolysis--biological contact oxidation process.

    PubMed

    Cao, X Z; Li, Y M

    2011-01-01

    Surfactant wastewater is usually difficult to treat due to its toxicity and poor biodegradability. A separate physico-chemical or biochemical treatment method achieves a satisfactory effect with difficulty. In this study, treatment of the wastewater collected from a daily chemical plant by the combination processes of Fe/C internal electrolysis and biological contact oxidation was investigated. For the internal electrolysis process, the optimal conditions were: pH = 4-5, Fe/C = (10-15):1, air-water ratio = (10-20):1 and hydraulic retention time (HRT)= 2 h. For the biological contact oxidation process, the optimal conditions were: HRT = 12 h, DO = 4.0-5.0 mg/L. Treated by the above combined processes, the effluent could meet the I-grade criteria specified in Integrated Wastewater Discharge Standard of China (GB 8978-1996). The results provide valuable information for full-scale linear alkylbenzene sulfonate wastewater treatment. PMID:22053469

  5. Wheeler and Whitehead: Process Biology and Process Philosophy in the Early Twentieth Century.

    PubMed

    Sölch, Dennis

    2016-07-01

    The case of William Morton Wheeler and Alfred North Whitehead represents a striking example of how biologists and philosophers engaged in a common enterprise in the early twentieth century. Both challenge the notion that the living world is composed of distinct organisms. Based on his studies of the behavior of social insects, Wheeler developed a concept of superorganisms that paved the way for a theory of emergent evolution. This paper argues that Whitehead, whose relation to academic biology has been largely ignored, drew on Wheeler's findings and integrated them into a universal philosophical cosmology. PMID:27477347

  6. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: the role of biological particles in cloud physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möhler, O.; Demott, P. J.; Vali, G.; Levin, Z.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a series of papers on the sources, distribution and potential impact of biological particles in the atmosphere, this paper introduces and summarizes the potential role of biological particles in atmospheric clouds. Biological particles like bacteria or pollen may be active as both cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) and thereby can contribute to the initial cloud formation stages and the development of precipitation through giant CCN and IN processes. The paper gives an introduction to aerosol-cloud processes involving CCN and IN in general and provides a short summary of previous laboratory, field and modelling work which investigated the CCN and IN activity of bacterial cells and pollen. Recent measurements of atmospheric ice nuclei with a continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) and of the heterogeneous ice nucleation efficiency of bacterial cells are also briefly discussed. As a main result of this overview paper we conclude that a proper assessment of the impact of biological particles on tropospheric clouds needs new laboratory, field and modelling work on the abundance of biological particles in the atmosphere and their CCN and heterogeneous IN properties.

  7. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: the role of biological particles in cloud physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möhler, O.; Demott, P. J.; Vali, G.; Levin, Z.

    2007-08-01

    As part of a series of papers on the sources, distribution and potential impact of biological particles in the atmosphere, this paper introduces and summarizes the potential role of biological particles in atmospheric clouds. Biological particles like bacteria or pollen may be active as both cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) and thereby can contribute to the initial cloud formation stages and the development of precipitation through giant CCN and IN processes. The paper gives an introduction to aerosol-cloud processes like CCN and IN in general and provides a short summary of previous laboratory, field and modelling work investigating the CCN and IN activity of bacterial cells and pollen. Recent measurements of atmospheric ice nuclei with a continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) and of the heterogeneous ice nucleation efficiency of bacterial cells are also briefly discussed. As a main result of this overview paper we conclude that a proper assessment of the impact of biological particles on tropospheric clouds needs new laboratory, field and modelling work investigating the abundance of biological particles in the atmosphere and their CCN and heterogeneous IN properties.

  8. Searching for Judy: How small mysteries affect narrative processes and memory

    PubMed Central

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how author’s narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers’ narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that one type of small mystery—a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story—affects readers’ moment-by-moment processing. For that project, participants read stories that introduced characters by proper name alone (e.g., Judy) or with information connecting the character to the rest of the story (e.g., our principal Judy). In an on-line recognition probe task, responses to the character’s name three lines after his or her introduction were faster when the character had not been introduced with connecting information, suggesting that the character remained accessible awaiting resolution. In the four experiments in this paper, we extended our theoretical analysis of small mysteries. In Experiments 1 and 2, we found evidence that trait information (e.g., daredevil Judy) is not sufficient to connect a character to a text. In Experiments 3 and 4, we provide evidence that the moment-by-moment processing effects of such small mysteries also affect readers’ memory for the stories. We interpret the results in terms of Kintsch’s Construction-Integration model (1988) of discourse processing. PMID:20438273

  9. Searching for Judy: how small mysteries affect narrative processes and memory.

    PubMed

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J

    2010-05-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how authors' narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers' narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that 1 type of small mystery-a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story-affects readers' moment-by-moment processing. For that project, participants read stories that introduced characters by proper name alone (e.g., "Judy") or with information connecting the character to the rest of the story (e.g., "our principal Judy"). In an online recognition probe task, responses to the character's name 3 lines after his or her introduction were faster when the character had not been introduced with connecting information, suggesting that the character remained accessible awaiting resolution. In the 4 experiments in this article, we extend our theoretical analysis of small mysteries. In Experiments 1 and 2, we found evidence that trait information (e.g., "daredevil Judy") is not sufficient to connect a character to a text. In Experiments 3 and 4, we found evidence that the moment-by-moment processing effects of such small mysteries also affect readers' memory for the stories. We interpret the results in terms of Kintsch's (1988) construction-integration model of discourse processing. PMID:20438273

  10. Chemical analysis and biological testing of materials from the EDS coal liquefaction process: a status report

    SciTech Connect

    Later, D.W.; Pelroy, R.A.; Wilson, B.W.

    1984-05-01

    Representative process materials were obtained from the EDS pilot plant for chemical and biological analyses. These materials were characterized for biological activity and chemical composition using a microbial mutagenicity assay and chromatographic and mass spectrometric analytical techniques. The two highest boiling distillation cuts, as well as process solvent (PS) obtained from the bottoms recycle mode operation, were tested for initiation of mouse skin tumorigenicity. All three materials were active; the crude 800/sup 0 +/F cut was substantially more potent than the crude bottoms recycle PS or 750 to 800/sup 0/F distillate cut. Results from chemical analyses showed the EDS materials, in general, to be more highly alkylated and have higher hydroaromatic content than analogous SRC II process materials (no in-line process hydrogenation) used for comparison. In the microbial mutagenicity assays the N-PAC fractions showed greater activity than did the aliphatic hydrocarbon, hydroxy-PAH, or PAH fractions, although mutagenicity was detected in certain PAH fractions by a modified version of the standard microbial mutagenicity assay. Mutagenic activities for the EDS materials were lower, overall, than those for the corresponding materials from the SRC II process. The EDS materials produced under different operational modes had distinguishable differences in both their chemical constituency and biological activity. The primary differences between the EDS materials studied here and their SRC II counterparts used for comparison are most likely attributable to the incorporation of catalytic hydrogenation in the EDS process. 27 references, 28 figures, 27 tables.

  11. Threat processing in generalized social phobia: an investigation of interpretation biases in ambiguous facial affect.

    PubMed

    Jusyte, Aiste; Schönenberg, Michael

    2014-06-30

    Facial affect is one of the most important information sources during the course of social interactions, but it is susceptible to distortion due to the complex and dynamic nature. Socially anxious individuals have been shown to exhibit alterations in the processing of social information, such as an attentional and interpretative bias toward threatening information. This may be one of the key factors contributing to the development and maintenance of anxious psychopathology. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether a threat-related interpretation bias is evident for ambiguous facial stimuli in a population of individuals with a generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (gSAD) as compared to healthy controls. Participants judged ambiguous happy/fearful, angry/fearful and angry/happy blends varying in intensity and rated the predominant affective expression. The results obtained in this study do not indicate that gSAD is associated with a biased interpretation of ambiguous facial affect. PMID:24656896

  12. ADAPT: building conceptual models of the physical and biological processes across permafrost landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allard, M.; Vincent, W. F.; Lemay, M.

    2012-12-01

    Fundamental and applied permafrost research is called upon in Canada in support of environmental protection, economic development and for contributing to the international efforts in understanding climatic and ecological feedbacks of permafrost thawing under a warming climate. The five year "Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition" program (ADAPT) funded by NSERC brings together 14 scientists from 10 Canadian universities and involves numerous collaborators from academia, territorial and provincial governments, Inuit communities and industry. The geographical coverage of the program encompasses all of the permafrost regions of Canada. Field research at a series of sites across the country is being coordinated. A common protocol for measuring ground thermal and moisture regime, characterizing terrain conditions (vegetation, topography, surface water regime and soil organic matter contents) is being applied in order to provide inputs for designing a general model to provide an understanding of transfers of energy and matter in permafrost terrain, and the implications for biological and human systems. The ADAPT mission is to produce an 'Integrated Permafrost Systems Science' framework that will be used to help generate sustainable development and adaptation strategies for the North in the context of rapid socio-economic and climate change. ADAPT has three major objectives: to examine how changing precipitation and warming temperatures affect permafrost geosystems and ecosystems, specifically by testing hypotheses concerning the influence of the snowpack, the effects of water as a conveyor of heat, sediments, and carbon in warming permafrost terrain and the processes of permafrost decay; to interact directly with Inuit communities, the public sector and the private sector for development and adaptation to changes in permafrost environments; and to train the new generation of experts and scientists in this critical domain of research in Canada

  13. SUPERCRITICAL CO2 EXTRUSION – OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOOD AND BIOLOGICAL PROCESSING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extrusion cooking is a high temperature, short time processing method. During extrusion processing, many chemical and structural changes of the feed materials occur inside the barrel due to high temperatures, shear rates, and pressures. These alterations affect bonding between molecules, which in...

  14. Children's and adults' understanding of the impact of nutrition on biological and psychological processes.

    PubMed

    Raman, Lakshmi

    2014-03-01

    Four studies examined children's and adults' beliefs about the impact of nutrition on growth and mood states. In Studies 1 and 2, 271 participants (preschoolers through adults) judged the impact of healthy and unhealthy nutrition on height and weight. In Studies 3 and 4, 267 participants judged the impact of healthy and unhealthy nutrition on positive and negative mood states. The results suggest that young children demonstrate a co-existence of an ontologically distinct theory of biology as well as a theory of cross-domain interaction when reasoning about the impact of food on biological and psychological processes. PMID:24303848

  15. Performance processes within affect-related performance zones: a multi-modal investigation of golf performance.

    PubMed

    van der Lei, Harry; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2012-12-01

    Individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) method utilizing Kamata et al. (J Sport Exerc Psychol 24:189-208, 2002) probabilistic model of determining the individual zone of optimal functioning was utilized as idiosyncratic affective patterns during golf performance. To do so, three male golfers of a varsity golf team were observed during three rounds of golf competition. The investigation implemented a multi-modal assessment approach in which the probabilistic relationship between affective states and both, performance process and performance outcome, measures were determined. More specifically, introspective (i.e., verbal reports) and objective (heart rate and respiration rate) measures of arousal were incorporated to examine the relationships between arousal states and both, process components (i.e., routine consistency, timing), and outcome scores related to golf performance. Results revealed distinguishable and idiosyncratic IAPZs associated with physiological and introspective measures for each golfer. The associations between the IAPZs and decision-making or swing/stroke execution were strong and unique for each golfer. Results are elaborated using cognitive and affect-related concepts, and applications for practitioners are provided. PMID:22562463

  16. Elevated Preattentive Affective Processing in Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Hooley, Jill M.; Dahlgren, Mary K.; Gönenc, Atilla; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A.; Gruber, Staci A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Emotion dysregulation is central to the clinical conceptualization of borderline personality disorder (BPD), with individuals often displaying instability in mood and intense feelings of negative affect. Although existing data suggest important neural and behavioral differences in the emotion processing of individuals with BPD, studies thus far have only explored reactions to overt emotional information. Therefore, it is unclear if BPD-related emotional hypersensitivity extends to stimuli presented below the level of conscious awareness (preattentively). Methods: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure neural responses to happy, angry, fearful, and neutral faces presented preattentively, using a backward masked affect paradigm. Given their tendency toward emotional hyperreactivity and altered amygdala and frontal activation, we hypothesized that individuals with BPD would demonstrate a distinct pattern of fMRI responses relative to those without BPD during the viewing of masked affective versus neutral faces in specific regions of interests (ROIs). Results: Results indicated that individuals with BPD demonstrated increases in frontal, cingulate, and amygdalar activation represented by number of voxels activated and demonstrated a different pattern of activity within the ROIs relative to those without BPD while viewing masked affective versus neutral faces. Conclusion: These findings suggest that in addition to the previously documented heightened responses to overt displays of emotion, individuals with BPD also demonstrate differential responses to positive and negative emotions, early in the processing stream, even before conscious awareness. PMID:26696932

  17. Biclustering with Flexible Plaid Models to Unravel Interactions between Biological Processes.

    PubMed

    Henriques, Rui; Madeira, Sara C

    2015-01-01

    Genes can participate in multiple biological processes at a time and thus their expression can be seen as a composition of the contributions from the active processes. Biclustering under a plaid assumption allows the modeling of interactions between transcriptional modules or biclusters (subsets of genes with coherence across subsets of conditions) by assuming an additive composition of contributions in their overlapping areas. Despite the biological interest of plaid models, few biclustering algorithms consider plaid effects and, when they do, they place restrictions on the allowed types and structures of biclusters, and suffer from robustness problems by seizing exact additive matchings. We propose BiP (Biclustering using Plaid models), a biclustering algorithm with relaxations to allow expression levels to change in overlapping areas according to biologically meaningful assumptions (weighted and noise-tolerant composition of contributions). BiP can be used over existing biclustering solutions (seizing their benefits) as it is able to recover excluded areas due to unaccounted plaid effects and detect noisy areas non-explained by a plaid assumption, thus producing an explanatory model of overlapping transcriptional activity. Experiments on synthetic data support BiP's efficiency and effectiveness. The learned models from expression data unravel meaningful and non-trivial functional interactions between biological processes associated with putative regulatory modules. PMID:26357312

  18. Positive Affect Processing and Joint Attention in Infants at High Risk for Autism: An Exploratory Study.

    PubMed

    Key, Alexandra P; Ibanez, Lisa V; Henderson, Heather A; Warren, Zachary; Messinger, Daniel S; Stone, Wendy L

    2015-12-01

    Few behavioral indices of risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are present before 12 months, and potential biomarkers remain largely unexamined. This prospective study of infant siblings of children with ASD (n = 16) and low-risk comparison infants (n = 15) examined group differences in event-related potentials (ERPs) indexing processing of facial positive affect (N290/P400, Nc) at 9 months and their relation to joint attention at 15 months. Group differences were most pronounced for subtle facial expressions, in that the low-risk group exhibited relatively longer processing (P400 latency) and greater attention resource allocation (Nc amplitude). Exploratory analyses found associations between ERP responses and later joint attention, suggesting that attention to positive affect cues may support the development of other social competencies. PMID:25056131

  19. Advancing the Assessment of Personality Pathology With the Cognitive-Affective Processing System.

    PubMed

    Huprich, Steven K; Nelson, Sharon M

    2015-01-01

    The Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) is a dynamic and expansive model of personality proposed by Mischel and Shoda (1995) that incorporates dispositional and processing frameworks by considering the interaction of the individual and the situation, and the patterns of variation that result. These patterns of cognition, affect, and behavior are generally defined through the use of if … then statements, and provide a rich understanding of the individual across varying levels of assessment. In this article, we describe the CAPS model and articulate ways in which it can be applied to conceptualizing and assessing personality pathology. We suggest that the CAPS model is an ideal framework that integrates a number of current theories of personality pathology, and simultaneously overcomes a number of limits that have been empirically identified in the past. PMID:26214351

  20. Integrative Processing of Touch and Affect in Social Perception: An fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J H; Salone, Anatolia; Martinotti, Giovanni; Carlucci, Leonardo; Mantini, Dante; Perrucci, Mauro G; Saggino, Aristide; Romani, Gian Luca; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Northoff, Georg; Gallese, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    Social perception commonly employs multiple sources of information. The present study aimed at investigating the integrative processing of affective social signals. Task-related and task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 26 healthy adult participants during a social perception task concerning dynamic visual stimuli simultaneously depicting facial expressions of emotion and tactile sensations that could be either congruent or incongruent. Confounding effects due to affective valence, inhibitory top-down influences, cross-modal integration, and conflict processing were minimized. The results showed that the perception of congruent, compared to incongruent stimuli, elicited enhanced neural activity in a set of brain regions including left amygdala, bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left superior parietal cortex. These congruency effects did not differ as a function of emotion or sensation. A complementary task-related functional interaction analysis preliminarily suggested that amygdala activity depended on previous processing stages in fusiform gyrus and PCC. The findings provide support for the integrative processing of social information about others' feelings from manifold bodily sources (sensory-affective information) in amygdala and PCC. Given that the congruent stimuli were also judged as being more self-related and more familiar in terms of personal experience in an independent sample of participants, we speculate that such integrative processing might be mediated by the linking of external stimuli with self-experience. Finally, the prediction of task-related responses in amygdala by intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and PCC during a task-free state implies a neuro-functional basis for an individual predisposition for the integrative processing of social stimulus content. PMID:27242474

  1. Integrative Processing of Touch and Affect in Social Perception: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J. H.; Salone, Anatolia; Martinotti, Giovanni; Carlucci, Leonardo; Mantini, Dante; Perrucci, Mauro G.; Saggino, Aristide; Romani, Gian Luca; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Northoff, Georg; Gallese, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    Social perception commonly employs multiple sources of information. The present study aimed at investigating the integrative processing of affective social signals. Task-related and task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 26 healthy adult participants during a social perception task concerning dynamic visual stimuli simultaneously depicting facial expressions of emotion and tactile sensations that could be either congruent or incongruent. Confounding effects due to affective valence, inhibitory top–down influences, cross-modal integration, and conflict processing were minimized. The results showed that the perception of congruent, compared to incongruent stimuli, elicited enhanced neural activity in a set of brain regions including left amygdala, bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left superior parietal cortex. These congruency effects did not differ as a function of emotion or sensation. A complementary task-related functional interaction analysis preliminarily suggested that amygdala activity depended on previous processing stages in fusiform gyrus and PCC. The findings provide support for the integrative processing of social information about others’ feelings from manifold bodily sources (sensory-affective information) in amygdala and PCC. Given that the congruent stimuli were also judged as being more self-related and more familiar in terms of personal experience in an independent sample of participants, we speculate that such integrative processing might be mediated by the linking of external stimuli with self-experience. Finally, the prediction of task-related responses in amygdala by intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and PCC during a task-free state implies a neuro-functional basis for an individual predisposition for the integrative processing of social stimulus content. PMID:27242474

  2. The ANK3 gene and facial affect processing: An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wan; Zhang, Qiumei; Yu, Ping; Zhang, Zhifang; Chen, Xiongying; Gu, Huang; Zhai, Jinguo; Chen, Min; Du, Boqi; Deng, Xiaoxiang; Ji, Feng; Wang, Chuanyue; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Li, Dawei; Wu, Hongjie; Dong, Qi; Luo, Yuejia; Li, Jun; Chen, Chuansheng

    2016-09-01

    ANK3 is one of the most promising candidate genes for bipolar disorder (BD). A polymorphism (rs10994336) within the ANK3 gene has been associated with BD in at least three genome-wide association studies of BD [McGuffin et al., 2003; Kieseppä, 2004; Edvardsen et al., 2008]. Because facial affect processing is disrupted in patients with BD, the current study aimed to explore whether the BD risk alleles are associated with the N170, an early event-related potential (ERP) component related to facial affect processing. We collected data from two independent samples of healthy individuals (Ns = 83 and 82, respectively) to test the association between rs10994336 and an early event-related potential (ERP) component (N170) that is sensitive to facial affect processing. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance in both samples consistently revealed significant main effects of rs10994336 genotype (Sample I: F (1, 72) = 7.24, P = 0.009; Sample II: F (1, 69) = 11.81, P = 0.001), but no significant interaction of genotype × electrodes (Ps > 0.05) or genotype × emotional conditions (Ps > 0.05). These results suggested that rs10994336 was linked to early ERP component reflecting facial structural encoding during facial affect processing. These results shed new light on the brain mechanism of this risk SNP and associated disorders such as BD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27177275

  3. Microfluidic solutions enabling continuous processing and monitoring of biological samples: A review.

    PubMed

    Karle, Marc; Vashist, Sandeep Kumar; Zengerle, Roland; von Stetten, Felix

    2016-07-27

    The last decade has witnessed tremendous advances in employing microfluidic solutions enabling Continuous Processing and Monitoring of Biological Samples (CPMBS), which is an essential requirement for the control of bio-processes. The microfluidic systems are superior to the traditional inline sensors due to their ability to implement complex analytical procedures, such as multi-step sample preparation, and enabling the online measurement of parameters. This manuscript provides a backgound review of microfluidic approaches employing laminar flow, hydrodynamic separation, acoustophoresis, electrophoresis, dielectrophoresis, magnetophoresis and segmented flow for the continuous processing and monitoring of biological samples. The principles, advantages and limitations of each microfluidic approach are described along with its potential applications. The challenges in the field and the future directions are also provided. PMID:27251944

  4. Observation of the freeze-drying process of biological materials with a scanning electron microscope.

    PubMed

    Nei, T; Fujikawa, S

    1976-10-01

    Over the past few decades, numerous studies have been done on the freeze-drying of biological materials from a physical, chemical and biological point of view. Morphological observation of the freeze-drying process of specimens, however, has been tried by only a few investigators. In those studies, thin-layered aqueous specimens, which were sandwiched between two cover slips, were mostly observed with an optical microscope. For ultrastructural and stereoscopic observation, the scanning electron microscope has a great advantage, unlike that of the optical microscope. A specially designed cryo-scanning electron microscope, employed in the present study, made it possible to observe the freezing patterns of the specimens and also the sublimation process of ice in frozen specimens under vacuum. With this specially designed microscope, shrinkage of some specimens due to dehydration during the freeze-drying process was revealed and the extent of such shrinkage was quantitatively determined. PMID:1036327

  5. A comparison of form processing involved in the perception of biological and nonbiological movements.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Steven M; Lu, Hongjing

    2016-01-01

    Although there is evidence for specialization in the human brain for processing biological motion per se, few studies have directly examined the specialization of form processing in biological motion perception. The current study was designed to systematically compare form processing in perception of biological (human walkers) to nonbiological (rotating squares) stimuli. Dynamic form-based stimuli were constructed with conflicting form cues (position and orientation), such that the objects were perceived to be moving ambiguously in two directions at once. In Experiment 1, we used the classification image technique to examine how local form cues are integrated across space and time in a bottom-up manner. By comparing with a Bayesian observer model that embodies generic principles of form analysis (e.g., template matching) and integrates form information according to cue reliability, we found that human observers employ domain-general processes to recognize both human actions and nonbiological object movements. Experiments 2 and 3 found differential top-down effects of spatial context on perception of biological and nonbiological forms. When a background does not involve social information, observers are biased to perceive foreground object movements in the direction opposite to surrounding motion. However, when a background involves social cues, such as a crowd of similar objects, perception is biased toward the same direction as the crowd for biological walking stimuli, but not for rotating nonbiological stimuli. The model provided an accurate account of top-down modulations by adjusting the prior probabilities associated with the internal templates, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the Bayesian approach for visual form perception. PMID:26746875

  6. Intrinsic colony conditions affect the provisioning and oviposition process in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

    PubMed

    Pereira, R A; Morais, M M; Nascimento, F S; Bego, L R

    2009-01-01

    The cell provisioning and oviposition process (POP) is a unique characteristic of stingless bees (Meliponini), in which coordinated interactions between workers and queen regulate the filling of brood cells with larval resources and subsequent egg laying. Environmental conditions seem to regulate reproduction in stingless bees; however, little is known about how the amount of food affects quantitative sequences of the process. We examined intrinsic variables by comparing three colonies in distinct conditions (strong, intermediate and weak state). We predicted that some of these variables are correlated with temporal events of POP in Melipona scutellaris colonies. The results demonstrated that the strong colony had shorter periods of POP. PMID:19554772

  7. Using Bayesian Nonparametric Hidden Semi-Markov Models to Disentangle Affect Processes during Marital Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, William A.; Li, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Sequential affect dynamics generated during the interaction of intimate dyads, such as married couples, are associated with a cascade of effects—some good and some bad—on each partner, close family members, and other social contacts. Although the effects are well documented, the probabilistic structures associated with micro-social processes connected to the varied outcomes remain enigmatic. Using extant data we developed a method of classifying and subsequently generating couple dynamics using a Hierarchical Dirichlet Process Hidden semi-Markov Model (HDP-HSMM). Our findings indicate that several key aspects of existing models of marital interaction are inadequate: affect state emissions and their durations, along with the expected variability differences between distressed and nondistressed couples are present but highly nuanced; and most surprisingly, heterogeneity among highly satisfied couples necessitate that they be divided into subgroups. We review how this unsupervised learning technique generates plausible dyadic sequences that are sensitive to relationship quality and provide a natural mechanism for computational models of behavioral and affective micro-social processes. PMID:27187319

  8. Water quality and processes affecting dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Blackwater River, Canaan Valley, West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waldron, M.C.; Wiley, J.B.

    1996-01-01

    The water quality and environmental processes affecting dissolved oxygen were determined for the Blackwater River in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Canaan Valley is oval-shaped (14 miles by 5 miles) and is located in the Allegheny Mountains at an average elevation of 3,200 feet above sea level. Tourism, population, and real estate development have increased in the past two decades. Most streams in Canaan Valley are a dilute calcium magnesium bicarbonate-type water. Streamwater typicaly was soft and low in alkalinity and dissolved solids. Maximum values for specific conductance, hardness, alkalinity, and dissolved solids occurred during low-flow periods when streamflow was at or near baseflow. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are most sensitive to processes affecting the rate of reaeration. The reaeration is affected by solubility (atmospheric pressure, water temperature, humidity, and cloud cover) and processes that determine stream turbulence (stream depth, width, velocity, and roughness). In the headwaters, photosynthetic dissolved oxygen production by benthic algae can result in supersaturated dissolved oxygen concentrations. In beaver pools, dissolved oxygen consumption from sediment oxygen demand and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand can result in dissolved oxygen deficits.

  9. Attentional and affective processing of sexual stimuli in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Marieke; van Leeuwen, Matthijs; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K; Heiman, Julia R; Laan, Ellen

    2012-08-01

    Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common sexual problem in women. From an incentive motivation perspective, HSDD may be the result of a weak association between sexual stimuli and rewarding experiences. As a consequence, these stimuli may either lose or fail to acquire a positive meaning, resulting in a limited number of incentives that have the capacity to elicit a sexual response. According to current information processing models of sexual arousal, sexual stimuli automatically activate meanings and if these are not predominantly positive, processes relevant to the activation of sexual arousal and desire may be interrupted. Premenopausal U.S. and Dutch women with acquired HSDD (n = 42) and a control group of sexually functional women (n = 42) completed a single target Implicit Association Task and a Picture Association Task assessing automatic affective associations with sexual stimuli and a dot detection task measuring attentional capture by sexual stimuli. Results showed that women with acquired HSDD displayed less positive (but not more negative) automatic associations with sexual stimuli than sexually functional women. The same pattern was found for self-reported affective sex-related associations. Participants were slower to detect targets in the dot detection task that replaced sexual images, irrespective of sexual function status. As such, the findings point to the relevance of affective processing of sexual stimuli in women with HSDD, and imply that the treatment of HSDD might benefit from a stronger emphasis on the strengthening of the association between sexual stimuli and positive meaning and sexual reward. PMID:21892693

  10. Using Bayesian Nonparametric Hidden Semi-Markov Models to Disentangle Affect Processes during Marital Interaction.

    PubMed

    Griffin, William A; Li, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Sequential affect dynamics generated during the interaction of intimate dyads, such as married couples, are associated with a cascade of effects-some good and some bad-on each partner, close family members, and other social contacts. Although the effects are well documented, the probabilistic structures associated with micro-social processes connected to the varied outcomes remain enigmatic. Using extant data we developed a method of classifying and subsequently generating couple dynamics using a Hierarchical Dirichlet Process Hidden semi-Markov Model (HDP-HSMM). Our findings indicate that several key aspects of existing models of marital interaction are inadequate: affect state emissions and their durations, along with the expected variability differences between distressed and nondistressed couples are present but highly nuanced; and most surprisingly, heterogeneity among highly satisfied couples necessitate that they be divided into subgroups. We review how this unsupervised learning technique generates plausible dyadic sequences that are sensitive to relationship quality and provide a natural mechanism for computational models of behavioral and affective micro-social processes. PMID:27187319

  11. TMS affects moral judgment, showing the role of DLPFC and TPJ in cognitive and emotional processing

    PubMed Central

    Jeurissen, Danique; Sack, Alexander T.; Roebroeck, Alard; Russ, Brian E.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making involves a complex interplay of emotional responses and reasoning processes. In this study, we use TMS to explore the neurobiological substrates of moral decisions in humans. To examining the effects of TMS on the outcome of a moral-decision, we compare the decision outcome of moral-personal and moral-impersonal dilemmas to each other and examine the differential effects of applying TMS over the right DLPFC or right TPJ. In this comparison, we find that the TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during the decision process, affects the outcome of the moral-personal judgment, while TMS-induced disruption of TPJ affects only moral-impersonal conditions. In other words, we find a double-dissociation between DLPFC and TPJ in the outcome of a moral decision. Furthermore, we find that TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during non-moral, moral-impersonal, and moral-personal decisions lead to lower ratings of regret about the decision. Our results are in line with the dual-process theory and suggest a role for both the emotional response and cognitive reasoning process in moral judgment. Both the emotional and cognitive processes were shown to be involved in the decision outcome. PMID:24592204

  12. The effects of physical environments in medical wards on medication communication processes affecting patient safety.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Manias, Elizabeth; Gerdtz, Marie

    2014-03-01

    Physical environments of clinical settings play an important role in health communication processes. Effective medication management requires seamless communication among health professionals of different disciplines. This paper explores how physical environments affect communication processes for managing medications and patient safety in acute care hospital settings. Findings highlighted the impact of environmental interruptions on communication processes about medications. In response to frequent interruptions and limited space within working environments, nurses, doctors and pharmacists developed adaptive practices in the local clinical context. Communication difficulties were associated with the ward physical layout, the controlled drug key and the medication retrieving device. Health professionals should be provided with opportunities to discuss the effects of ward environments on medication communication processes and how this impacts medication safety. Hospital administrators and architects need to consider health professionals' views and experiences when designing hospital spaces. PMID:24486620

  13. Optimal Size for Maximal Energy Efficiency in Information Processing of Biological Systems Due to Bistability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chi; Liu, Li-Wei; Wang, Long-Fei; Yue, Yuan; Yu, Lian-Chun

    2015-11-01

    Energy efficiency is closely related to the evolution of biological systems and is important to their information processing. In this paper, we calculated the excitation probability of a simple model of a bistable biological unit in response to pulsatile inputs, and its spontaneous excitation rate due to noise perturbation. Then we analytically calculated the mutual information, energy cost, and energy efficiency of an array of these bistable units. We found that the optimal number of units could maximize this array's energy efficiency in encoding pulse inputs, which depends on the fixed energy cost. We conclude that demand for energy efficiency in biological systems may strongly influence the size of these systems under the pressure of natural selection.

  14. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder☆

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Rachel C.; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A.; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  15. Optimization of a biological wastewater treatment process at a petrochemical plant using process simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, R.M.; Dold, P.L.; Baker, A.J.; Briggs, T.

    1996-12-31

    A research study was conducted on the activated sludge process treating the wastewater from a petrochemical manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The objective of the study was to improve the level of understanding of the process and to evaluate the use of model-based simulation tools as an aid in the optimization of the wastewater treatment facility. Models such as the IAWQ Activated Sludge Model No. 1 (ASM1) have previously been developed and applied to assist in designing new systems and to assist in the optimization of existing systems for the treatment of municipal wastewaters, However, due to significant differences between the characteristics of the petrochemical plant wastewater and municipal wastewaters, this study required the development of a mechanistic model specifically to describe the behavior of the activated sludge treatment of the petrochemical wastewater. This paper outlines the development of the mechanistic model and gives examples of how plant performance issues were investigated through process simulation.

  16. Plasma of Argon Affects the Earliest Biological Response of Different Implant Surfaces: An In Vitro Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    Canullo, L; Genova, T; Tallarico, M; Gautier, G; Mussano, F; Botticelli, D

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the early cell response and protein adsorption elicited by the argon plasma treatment of different commercially available titanium surfaces via a chair-side device. Sterile disks made of grade 4 titanium (n= 450, 4-mm diameter) with 3 surface topographies (machined, plasma sprayed, and zirconia blasted and acid etched) were allocated to receive 4 testing treatments (2% and 10% protein adsorption and cell adhesion with MC3T3-E1 and MG-63). Furthermore, the specimens were divided to undergo 1) argon plasma treatment (10 W, 1 bar for 12 min) in a plasma reactor, 2) ultraviolet (UV) light treatment for 2 h (positive control group), or 3) no treatment (control group). Pretreatment surface analyses based on a scanning electron microscope and profilometer images were also performed. Profilometric analysis demonstrated that the evaluated specimens perfectly suit the standard parameters. The use of argon plasma was capable of affecting the quantity of proteins adsorbed on the different surfaces, notwithstanding their roughness or topographic features at a low fetal bovine serum concentration (2%). UV light treatment for 2 h attained similar results. Moreover, both the plasma of argon and the UV light demonstrated a significant increase in the number of osteoblasts adherent at 10 min in all tested surfaces. Within its limitations, this in vitro study highlights the potential biological benefits of treating implant surfaces with plasma of argon or UV, irrespective of the roughness of the titanium surface. However, in vivo experiments are needed to confirm these preliminary data and settle the rationale of a treatment that might be clinically relevant in case of bone-reparative deficiencies. PMID:26848069

  17. Improving biomarker list stability by integration of biological knowledge in the learning process

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The identification of robust lists of molecular biomarkers related to a disease is a fundamental step for early diagnosis and treatment. However, methodologies for biomarker discovery using microarray data often provide results with limited overlap. It has been suggested that one reason for these inconsistencies may be that in complex diseases, such as cancer, multiple genes belonging to one or more physiological pathways are associated with the outcomes. Thus, a possible approach to improve list stability is to integrate biological information from genomic databases in the learning process; however, a comprehensive assessment based on different types of biological information is still lacking in the literature. In this work we have compared the effect of using different biological information in the learning process like functional annotations, protein-protein interactions and expression correlation among genes. Results Biological knowledge has been codified by means of gene similarity matrices and expression data linearly transformed in such a way that the more similar two features are, the more closely they are mapped. Two semantic similarity matrices, based on Biological Process and Molecular Function Gene Ontology annotation, and geodesic distance applied on protein-protein interaction networks, are the best performers in improving list stability maintaining almost equal prediction accuracy. Conclusions The performed analysis supports the idea that when some features are strongly correlated to each other, for example because are close in the protein-protein interaction network, then they might have similar importance and are equally relevant for the task at hand. Obtained results can be a starting point for additional experiments on combining similarity matrices in order to obtain even more stable lists of biomarkers. The implementation of the classification algorithm is available at the link: http://www.math.unipd.it/~dasan/biomarkers.html. PMID

  18. Biologically Inspired Information Processing and Synchronization in Ensembles of Non-Identical Threshold-Potential Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Cervera, Javier; Manzanares, José A.; Mafé, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    Nanotechnology produces basic structures that show a significant variability in their individual physical properties. This experimental fact may constitute a serious limitation for most applications requiring nominally identical building blocks. On the other hand, biological diversity is found in most natural systems. We show that reliable information processing can be achieved with heterogeneous groups of non-identical nanostructures by using some conceptual schemes characteristic of biological networks (diversity, frequency-based signal processing, rate and rank order coding, and synchronization). To this end, we simulate the integrated response of an ensemble of single-electron transistors (SET) whose individual threshold potentials show a high variability. A particular experimental realization of a SET is a metal nanoparticle-based transistor that mimics biological spiking synapses and can be modeled as an integrate-and-fire oscillator. The different shape and size distributions of nanoparticles inherent to the nanoscale fabrication procedures result in a significant variability in the threshold potentials of the SET. The statistical distributions of the nanoparticle physical parameters are characterized by experimental average and distribution width values. We consider simple but general information processing schemes to draw conclusions that should be of relevance for other threshold-based nanostructures. Monte Carlo simulations show that ensembles of non-identical SET may show some advantages over ensembles of identical nanostructures concerning the processing of weak signals. The results obtained are also relevant for understanding the role of diversity in biophysical networks. PMID:23349746

  19. Heterogeneous processes at the intersection of chemistry and biology: A computational approach

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, I W; Mundy, C J

    2008-02-11

    Heterogeneous processes hold the key to understanding many problems in biology and atmospheric science. In particular, recent experiments have shown that heterogeneous chemistry at the surface of sea-salt aerosols plays a large role in important atmospheric processes with far reaching implications towards understanding of the fate and transport of aerosolized chemical weapons (i.e. organophosphates such as sarin and VX). Unfortunately, the precise mechanistic details of the simplest surface enhanced chemical reactions remain unknown. Understanding heterogeneous processes also has implications in the biological sciences. Traditionally, it is accepted that enzymes catalyze reactions by stabilizing the transition state, thereby lowering the free energy barrier. However, recent findings have shown that a multitude of phenomena likely contribute to the efficiency of enzymes, such as coupled protein motion, quantum mechanical tunneling, or strong electrostatic binding. The objective of this project was to develop and validate a single computational framework based on first principles simulations using tera-scale computational resources to answer fundamental scientific questions about heterogeneous chemical processes relevant to atmospheric chemistry and biological sciences.

  20. Beyond Element-Wise Interactions: Identifying Complex Interactions in Biological Processes

    PubMed Central

    Kendrick, Keith; Feng, Jianfeng

    2009-01-01

    Background Biological processes typically involve the interactions of a number of elements (genes, cells) acting on each others. Such processes are often modelled as networks whose nodes are the elements in question and edges pairwise relations between them (transcription, inhibition). But more often than not, elements actually work cooperatively or competitively to achieve a task. Or an element can act on the interaction between two others, as in the case of an enzyme controlling a reaction rate. We call “complex” these types of interaction and propose ways to identify them from time-series observations. Methodology We use Granger Causality, a measure of the interaction between two signals, to characterize the influence of an enzyme on a reaction rate. We extend its traditional formulation to the case of multi-dimensional signals in order to capture group interactions, and not only element interactions. Our method is extensively tested on simulated data and applied to three biological datasets: microarray data of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, local field potential recordings of two brain areas and a metabolic reaction. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that complex Granger causality can reveal new types of relation between signals and is particularly suited to biological data. Our approach raises some fundamental issues of the systems biology approach since finding all complex causalities (interactions) is an NP hard problem. PMID:19774090

  1. Biologically inspired large scale chemical sensor arrays and embedded data processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco, S.; Gutiérrez-Gálvez, A.; Lansner, A.; Martinez, D.; Rospars, J. P.; Beccherelli, R.; Perera, A.; Pearce, T.; Vershure, P.; Persaud, K.

    2013-05-01

    Biological olfaction outperforms chemical instrumentation in specificity, response time, detection limit, coding capacity, time stability, robustness, size, power consumption, and portability. This biological function provides outstanding performance due, to a large extent, to the unique architecture of the olfactory pathway, which combines a high degree of redundancy, an efficient combinatorial coding along with unmatched chemical information processing mechanisms. The last decade has witnessed important advances in the understanding of the computational primitives underlying the functioning of the olfactory system. EU Funded Project NEUROCHEM (Bio-ICT-FET- 216916) has developed novel computing paradigms and biologically motivated artefacts for chemical sensing taking inspiration from the biological olfactory pathway. To demonstrate this approach, a biomimetic demonstrator has been built featuring a large scale sensor array (65K elements) in conducting polymer technology mimicking the olfactory receptor neuron layer, and abstracted biomimetic algorithms have been implemented in an embedded system that interfaces the chemical sensors. The embedded system integrates computational models of the main anatomic building blocks in the olfactory pathway: the olfactory bulb, and olfactory cortex in vertebrates (alternatively, antennal lobe and mushroom bodies in the insect). For implementation in the embedded processor an abstraction phase has been carried out in which their processing capabilities are captured by algorithmic solutions. Finally, the algorithmic models are tested with an odour robot with navigation capabilities in mixed chemical plumes

  2. Study of major factors to affect photoresist profile on developable bottom anti-reflective coating process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roh, Hyo Jung; Ju, Dong Kyu; Kim, Hyun Jin; Kim, Jaehyun

    2011-04-01

    As critical dimensions continue to shrink in lithography, new materials will be needed to meet the new demands imposed by this shrinkage. Recently, there are needs for novel materials with various substrates and immersing process, including double patterning process, a high resolution implant process, and so on. Among such materials, Developable Bottom Anti-reflective Coating material (DBARC) is a good candidate for high resolution implant application as well as double patterning. DBARC should have reflectivity control function as an ordinary BARC, as well as an appropriate solubility in TMAH-based conventional developer after exposure and bake process. The most distinguished advantage of DBARC is to skip BARC etch process that is required in normal BARC process. In spite of this advantage, the photoresist profile on DBARC could be influenced by components and process conditions of DBARC. Several groups have tried to solve this issue to implement DBARC to new process. We have studied material-related factors affecting photoresist profiles, such as a polymer, photo-acid generators (PAGs), and additives. And we explored the effect of process condition for photoresist and DBARC. In case of polymer, we studied the effect of dissolution rate in developer and crosslinking functionality. For PAGs and additives, the effect of acid diffusivity and cross-linking degree according to their bulkiness were examined. We also evaluated coated film stability in a photoresist solvent after BARC bake process and compared lithographic performance of various DBARC formulations. In addition, the effect of photoresist profile with bake condition of photoresist and DBARC were investigated. In this paper, we will demonstrate the most influential factors of DBARC to photoresist profile and suggest the optimum formulation and process condition for DBARC application.

  3. Group processing in an undergraduate biology course for preservice teachers: Experiences and attitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schellenberger, Lauren Brownback

    Group processing is a key principle of cooperative learning in which small groups discuss their strengths and weaknesses and set group goals or norms. However, group processing has not been well-studied at the post-secondary level or from a qualitative or mixed methods perspective. This mixed methods study uses a phenomenological framework to examine the experience of group processing for students in an undergraduate biology course for preservice teachers. The effect of group processing on students' attitudes toward future group work and group processing is also examined. Additionally, this research investigated preservice teachers' plans for incorporating group processing into future lessons. Students primarily experienced group processing as a time to reflect on past performance. Also, students experienced group processing as a time to increase communication among group members and become motivated for future group assignments. Three factors directly influenced students' experiences with group processing: (1) previous experience with group work, (2) instructor interaction, and (3) gender. Survey data indicated that group processing had a slight positive effect on students' attitudes toward future group work and group processing. Participants who were interviewed felt that group processing was an important part of group work and that it had increased their group's effectiveness as well as their ability to work effectively with other people. Participants held positive views on group work prior to engaging in group processing, and group processing did not alter their atittude toward group work. Preservice teachers who were interviewed planned to use group work and a modified group processing protocol in their future classrooms. They also felt that group processing had prepared them for their future professions by modeling effective collaboration and group skills. Based on this research, a new model for group processing has been created which includes extensive

  4. Biological Production in Lakes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, R. A.; Carey, G. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is carried out by phytoplankton, microscopic plants…

  5. Application of a solar UV/chlorine advanced oxidation process to oil sands process-affected water remediation.

    PubMed

    Shu, Zengquan; Li, Chao; Belosevic, Miodrag; Bolton, James R; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2014-08-19

    The solar UV/chlorine process has emerged as a novel advanced oxidation process for industrial and municipal wastewaters. Currently, its practical application to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) remediation has been studied to treat fresh OSPW retained in large tailings ponds, which can cause significant adverse environmental impacts on ground and surface waters in Northern Alberta, Canada. Degradation of naphthenic acids (NAs) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW was investigated. In a laboratory-scale UV/chlorine treatment, the NAs degradation was clearly structure-dependent and hydroxyl radical-based. In terms of the NAs degradation rate, the raw OSPW (pH ∼ 8.3) rates were higher than those at an alkaline condition (pH = 10). Under actual sunlight, direct solar photolysis partially degraded fluorophore organic compounds, as indicated by the qualitative synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) of the OSPW, but did not impact NAs degradation. The solar/chlorine process effectively removed NAs (75-84% removal) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW in the presence of 200 or 300 mg L(-1) OCl(-). The acute toxicity of OSPW toward Vibrio fischeri was reduced after the solar/chlorine treatment. However, the OSPW toxicity toward goldfish primary kidney macrophages after solar/chlorine treatment showed no obvious toxicity reduction versus that of untreated OSPW, which warrants further study for process optimization. PMID:25051215

  6. The power of emotional valence-from cognitive to affective processes in reading.

    PubMed

    Altmann, Ulrike; Bohrn, Isabel C; Lubrich, Oliver; Menninghaus, Winfried; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2012-01-01

    The comprehension of stories requires the reader to imagine the cognitive and affective states of the characters. The content of many stories is unpleasant, as they often deal with conflict, disturbance or crisis. Nevertheless, unpleasant stories can be liked and enjoyed. In this fMRI study, we used a parametric approach to examine (1) the capacity of increasing negative valence of story contents to activate the mentalizing network (cognitive and affective theory of mind, ToM), and (2) the neural substrate of liking negatively valenced narratives. A set of 80 short narratives was compiled, ranging from neutral to negative emotional valence. For each story mean rating values on valence and liking were obtained from a group of 32 participants in a prestudy, and later included as parametric regressors in the fMRI analysis. Another group of 24 participants passively read the narratives in a three Tesla MRI scanner. Results revealed a stronger engagement of affective ToM-related brain areas with increasingly negative story valence. Stories that were unpleasant, but simultaneously liked, engaged the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which might reflect the moral exploration of the story content. Further analysis showed that the more the mPFC becomes engaged during the reading of negatively valenced stories, the more coactivation can be observed in other brain areas related to the neural processing of affective ToM and empathy. PMID:22754519

  7. The power of emotional valence—from cognitive to affective processes in reading

    PubMed Central

    Altmann, Ulrike; Bohrn, Isabel C.; Lubrich, Oliver; Menninghaus, Winfried; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2012-01-01

    The comprehension of stories requires the reader to imagine the cognitive and affective states of the characters. The content of many stories is unpleasant, as they often deal with conflict, disturbance or crisis. Nevertheless, unpleasant stories can be liked and enjoyed. In this fMRI study, we used a parametric approach to examine (1) the capacity of increasing negative valence of story contents to activate the mentalizing network (cognitive and affective theory of mind, ToM), and (2) the neural substrate of liking negatively valenced narratives. A set of 80 short narratives was compiled, ranging from neutral to negative emotional valence. For each story mean rating values on valence and liking were obtained from a group of 32 participants in a prestudy, and later included as parametric regressors in the fMRI analysis. Another group of 24 participants passively read the narratives in a three Tesla MRI scanner. Results revealed a stronger engagement of affective ToM-related brain areas with increasingly negative story valence. Stories that were unpleasant, but simultaneously liked, engaged the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which might reflect the moral exploration of the story content. Further analysis showed that the more the mPFC becomes engaged during the reading of negatively valenced stories, the more coactivation can be observed in other brain areas related to the neural processing of affective ToM and empathy. PMID:22754519

  8. Warming and increased precipitation frequency on the Colorado Plateau: implications for biological soil crusts and soil processes

    SciTech Connect

    Zelikova, Tamara J.; Housman, David C.; Grote, Ed E.; Neher, Deborah A.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-20

    Changes in temperature and precipitation are expected to influence ecosystem processes worldwide. Despite their globally large extent, few studies to date have examined the effects of climate change in desert ecosystems, where biological soil crusts are key nutrient cycling components. The goal of this work was to assess how increased temperature and frequency of summertime precipitation affect the contributions of crust organisms to soil processes. With a combination of experimental 2°C warming and altered summer precipitation frequency applied over 2 years, we measured soil nutrient cycling and the structure and function of crust communities. We saw no change in crust cover, composition, or other measures of crust function in response to 2°C warming and no effects on any measure of soil chemistry. In contrast, crust cover and function responded to increased frequency of summer precipitation, shifting from moss to cyanobacteria-dominated crusts; however, in the short timeframe we measured, there was no accompanying change in soil chemistry. Total bacterial and fungal biomass was also reduced in watered plots, while the activity of two enzymes increased, indicating a functional change in the microbial community. Taken together, our results highlight the limited effects of warming alone on biological soil crust communities and soil chemistry, but demonstrate the substantially larger effects of altered summertime precipitation.

  9. The mental health of children affected by armed conflict: Protective processes and pathways to resilience

    PubMed Central

    Betancourt, Theresa Stichick; Khan, Kashif Tanveer

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the concept of resilience in the context of children affected by armed conflict. Resilience has been frequently viewed as a unique quality of certain ‘invulnerable’ children. In contrast, this paper argues that a number of protective processes contribute to resilient mental health outcomes in children when considered through the lens of the child's social ecology. While available research has made important contributions to understanding risk factors for negative mental health consequences of war-related violence and loss, the focus on trauma alone has resulted in inadequate attention to factors associated with resilient mental health outcomes. This paper presents key studies in the literature that address the interplay between risk and protective processes in the mental health of war-affected children from an ecological, developmental perspective. It suggests that further research on war-affected children should pay particular attention to coping and meaning making at the individual level; the role of attachment relationships, caregiver health, resources and connection in the family, and social support available in peer and extended social networks. Cultural and community influences such as attitudes towards mental health and healing as well as the meaning given to the experience of war itself are also important aspects of the larger social ecology. PMID:18569183

  10. Application of ultrasound processed images in space: Quanitative assessment of diffuse affectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Poch, A.; Bru, C.; Nicolau, C.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate diffuse affectations in the liver using texture image processing techniques. Ultrasound diagnose equipments are the election of choice to be used in space environments as they are free from hazardous effects on health. However, due to the need for highly trained radiologists to assess the images, this imaging method is mainly applied on focal lesions rather than on non-focal ones. We have conducted a clinical study on 72 patients with different degrees of chronic hepatopaties and a group of control of 18 individuals. All subjects' clinical reports and results of biopsies were compared to the degree of affectation calculated by our computer system , thus validating the method. Full statistical results are given in the present paper showing a good correlation (r=0.61) between pathologist's report and analysis of the heterogenicity of the processed images from the liver. This computer system to analyze diffuse affectations may be used in-situ or via telemedicine to the ground.

  11. The mental health of children affected by armed conflict: protective processes and pathways to resilience.

    PubMed

    Betancourt, Theresa Stichick; Khan, Kashif Tanveer

    2008-06-01

    This paper examines the concept of resilience in the context of children affected by armed conflict. Resilience has been frequently viewed as a unique quality of certain 'invulnerable' children. In contrast, this paper argues that a number of protective processes contribute to resilient mental health outcomes in children when considered through the lens of the child's social ecology. While available research has made important contributions to understanding risk factors for negative mental health consequences of war-related violence and loss, the focus on trauma alone has resulted in inadequate attention to factors associated with resilient mental health outcomes. This paper presents key studies in the literature that address the interplay between risk and protective processes in the mental health of war-affected children from an ecological, developmental perspective. It suggests that further research on war-affected children should pay particular attention to coping and meaning making at the individual level; the role of attachment relationships, caregiver health, resources and connection in the family, and social support available in peer and extended social networks. Cultural and community influences such as attitudes towards mental health and healing as well as the meaning given to the experience of war itself are also important aspects of the larger social ecology. PMID:18569183

  12. The association between chronic exposure to video game violence and affective picture processing: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Kira; West, Robert; Anderson, Craig A

    2011-06-01

    Exposure to video game violence (VGV) is known to result in desensitization to violent material and may alter the processing of positive emotion related to facial expressions. The present study was designed to address three questions: (1) Does the association between VGV and positive emotion extend to stimuli other than faces, (2) is the association between VGV and affective picture processing observed with a single presentation of the stimuli, and (3) is the association between VGV and the response to violent stimuli sensitive to the relevance of emotion for task performance? The data revealed that transient modulations of the event-related potentials (ERPs) related to attentional orienting and sustained modulations of the ERPs related to evaluative processing were sensitive to VGV exposure. PMID:21461985

  13. Hoogsteen base-pairing revisited: Resolving a role in normal biological processes and human diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Ghosal, Gargi; Muniyappa, K. . E-mail: kmbc@biochem.iisc.ernet.in

    2006-04-28

    For a long time since the discovery of an alternative type of hydrogen bonding between adenine and thymidine, termed Hoogsteen base-pairing, its biological role remained elusive. Recent experiments provide compelling evidence that Hoogsteen base pairs manifest in a gamut of nuclear processes encompassing gene expression, replication, recombination, and telomere length maintenance. An increasing number of proteins that have been shown to bind, unwind or cleave G-quadruplexes or triplexes with high specificity underscore their biological significance. In humans, the absence of these cellular factors or their dysfunction leads to a wide spectrum of genetic diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative syndromes, and a myriad of other disorders. Thus, development of clinically useful compounds that target G-quadruplexes or triplexes, and interfere with specific cellular processes, provides considerable promise for successful and improved treatment of human diseases.

  14. Biological treatment of fish processing wastewater: A case study from Sfax City (Southeastern Tunisia).

    PubMed

    Jemli, Meryem; Karray, Fatma; Feki, Firas; Loukil, Slim; Mhiri, Najla; Aloui, Fathi; Sayadi, Sami

    2015-04-01

    The present work presents a study of the biological treatment of fish processing wastewater at salt concentration of 55 g/L. Wastewater was treated by both continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) during 50 and 100 days, respectively. These biological processes involved salt-tolerant bacteria from natural hypersaline environments at different organic loading rates (OLRs). The phylogenetic analysis of the corresponding excised DGGE bands has demonstrated that the taxonomic affiliation of the most dominant species includes Halomonadaceae and Flavobacteriaceae families of the Proteobacteria (Gamma-proteobacteria class) and the Bacteroidetes phyla, respectively. The results of MBR were better than those of CSTR in the removal of total organic carbon with efficiencies from 97.9% to 98.6%. Nevertheless, salinity with increasing OLR aggravates fouling that requires more cleaning for a membrane in MBR while leads to deterioration of sludge settleability and effluent quality in CSTR. PMID:25872714

  15. HRI catalytic two-stage liquefaction (CTSL) process materials: chemical analysis and biological testing

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, C.W.; Later, D.W.

    1985-12-01

    This report presents data from the chemical analysis and biological testing of coal liquefaction materials obtained from the Hydrocarbon Research, Incorporated (HRI) catalytic two-stage liquefaction (CTSL) process. Materials from both an experimental run and a 25-day demonstration run were analyzed. Chemical methods of analysis included adsorption column chromatography, high-resolution gas chromatography, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, low-voltage probe-inlet mass spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The biological activity was evaluated using the standard microbial mutagenicity assay and an initiation/promotion assay for mouse-skin tumorigenicity. Where applicable, the results obtained from the analyses of the CTSL materials have been compared to those obtained from the integrated and nonintegrated two-stage coal liquefaction processes. 18 refs., 26 figs., 22 tabs.

  16. Laser apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells

    DOEpatents

    Gourley, P.L.; Gourley, M.F.

    1997-03-04

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells. The apparatus comprises a laser having an analysis region within the laser cavity for containing one or more biological cells to be analyzed. The presence of a cell within the analysis region in superposition with an activated portion of a gain medium of the laser acts to encode information about the cell upon the laser beam, the cell information being recoverable by an analysis means that preferably includes an array photodetector such as a CCD camera and a spectrometer. The apparatus and method may be used to analyze biomedical cells including blood cells and the like, and may include processing means for manipulating, sorting, or eradicating cells after analysis. 20 figs.

  17. Laser apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells

    DOEpatents

    Gourley, Paul L.; Gourley, Mark F.

    1997-01-01

    An apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells. The apparatus comprises a laser having an analysis region within the laser cavity for containing one or more biological cells to be analyzed. The presence of a cell within the analysis region in superposition with an activated portion of a gain medium of the laser acts to encode information about the cell upon the laser beam, the cell information being recoverable by an analysis means that preferably includes an array photodetector such as a CCD camera and a spectrometer. The apparatus and method may be used to analyze biomedical cells including blood cells and the like, and may include processing means for manipulating, sorting, or eradicating cells after analysis thereof.

  18. Marketing the use of the space environment for the processing of biological and pharmaceutical materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The perceptions of U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies concerning the potential use of the space environment for the processing of biological substances was examined. Physical phenomena that may be important in space-base processing of biological materials are identified and discussed in the context of past and current experiment programs. The capabilities of NASA to support future research and development, and to engage in cooperative risk sharing programs with industry are discussed. Meetings were held with several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to provide data for an analysis of the attitudes and perceptions of these industries toward the use of the space environment. Recommendations are made for actions that might be taken by NASA to facilitate the marketing of the use of the space environment, and in particular the Space Shuttle, to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

  19. Perceiving emotions in neutral faces: expression processing is biased by affective person knowledge.

    PubMed

    Suess, Franziska; Rabovsky, Milena; Abdel Rahman, Rasha

    2015-04-01

    According to a widely held view, basic emotions such as happiness or anger are reflected in facial expressions that are invariant and uniquely defined by specific facial muscle movements. Accordingly, expression perception should not be vulnerable to influences outside the face. Here, we test this assumption by manipulating the emotional valence of biographical knowledge associated with individual persons. Faces of well-known and initially unfamiliar persons displaying neutral expressions were associated with socially relevant negative, positive or comparatively neutral biographical information. The expressions of faces associated with negative information were classified as more negative than faces associated with neutral information. Event-related brain potential modulations in the early posterior negativity, a component taken to reflect early sensory processing of affective stimuli such as emotional facial expressions, suggest that negative affective knowledge can bias the perception of faces with neutral expressions toward subjectively displaying negative emotions. PMID:24948155

  20. Does the processing fluency of a syllabus affect the forecasted grade and course difficulty?

    PubMed

    Guenther, R Kim

    2012-06-01

    Processing fluency is known to affect a variety of cognitive assessments, but most research has not examined such effects in the context of a real-life experience. In the first experiment, college students, enrolled in either a statistics or cognitive psychology course, read a course syllabus which varied in the clarity of its font and frequency of its vocabulary. Based on the syllabus, students then forecasted their final course grade and the course's difficulty. Despite methodological similarity to other fluency experiments and adequate statistical power, there were no significant differences in forecasts across fluency conditions. Fluency may be discounted in a task which provides information that affects people's lives. This interpretation was bolstered by a second experiment whose participants were students in a statistics course. These students read the cognitive course's syllabus and forecasted better grades and less difficulty in the cognitive course when the font of the syllabus was more clear than unclear. PMID:22897096

  1. Perceiving emotions in neutral faces: expression processing is biased by affective person knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Rabovsky, Milena; Abdel Rahman, Rasha

    2015-01-01

    According to a widely held view, basic emotions such as happiness or anger are reflected in facial expressions that are invariant and uniquely defined by specific facial muscle movements. Accordingly, expression perception should not be vulnerable to influences outside the face. Here, we test this assumption by manipulating the emotional valence of biographical knowledge associated with individual persons. Faces of well-known and initially unfamiliar persons displaying neutral expressions were associated with socially relevant negative, positive or comparatively neutral biographical information. The expressions of faces associated with negative information were classified as more negative than faces associated with neutral information. Event-related brain potential modulations in the early posterior negativity, a component taken to reflect early sensory processing of affective stimuli such as emotional facial expressions, suggest that negative affective knowledge can bias the perception of faces with neutral expressions toward subjectively displaying negative emotions. PMID:24948155

  2. Reduction of Biological Sludge Production Applying an Alternating Oxic/anoxic Process in Water Line.

    PubMed

    Eusebi, Anna Laura; Panigutti, Maximiliano; Battistoni, Paolo

    2016-06-01

    Alternating oxic/anoxic process, applied for the main objective of the improvement of nitrogen performances, was studied in terms of secondary effect of biomass reduction. The process was carried out in one real water resource recovery facility and the data were compared with the previous conventional period when a conventional process was adopted. The main mechanism of the process for the sludge minimization is recognized in the metabolic uncoupling. In fact, an increase of the specific oxygen uptake rate in the biological reactor was recorded stimulated by the change of the oxidation reduction potential environment. Moreover, the heterotrophic growth yield was measured equal to 0.385 kgVSS/kgCOD. The global percentage of reduction was tested with the mass balance of solids. The process is able to decrease the observed sludge yield up to 20%. The specific energy consumption was evaluated. PMID:27225780

  3. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-06-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3–25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension.

  4. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    PubMed Central

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-01-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3–25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension. PMID:27357966

  5. Theta phase coherence in affective picture processing reveals dysfunctional sensory integration in psychopathic offenders.

    PubMed

    Tillem, Scott; Ryan, Jonathan; Wu, Jia; Crowley, Michael J; Mayes, Linda C; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle

    2016-09-01

    Psychopathic offenders are described as emotionally cold, displaying deficits in affective responding. However, research demonstrates that many of the psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by attention, such that under conditions of high attentional and perceptual load psychopathic offenders display deficits in affective responses, but do not in conditions of low load. To date, most studies use measures of defensive reflex (i.e., startle) and conditioning manipulations to examine the impact of load on psychopathy-related processing, but have not examined more direct measures of attention processing. In a sample of adult male offenders, the present study examined time-frequency EEG phase coherence in response to a picture-viewing paradigm that manipulated picture familiarity to assess neural changes in processing based on perceptual demands. Results indicated psychopathy-related differences in the theta response, an index of readiness to perceive and integrate sensory information. These data provide further evidence that psychopathic offenders have disrupted integration of sensory information. PMID:27373371

  6. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information.

    PubMed

    Valenza, G; Greco, A; Citi, L; Bianchi, M; Barbieri, R; Scilingo, E P

    2016-01-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3-25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension. PMID:27357966

  7. Affective processing bias in youth with primary bipolar disorder or primary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Karen E; Kim, Kerri L; Cushman, Grace K; Puzia, Megan E; Weissman, Alexandra B; Galvan, Thania; Dickstein, Daniel P

    2015-11-01

    High rates of comorbidity and overlapping diagnostic criteria between pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) contribute to diagnostic and treatment confusion. To advance what is known about both disorders, we compared effect of emotional stimuli on response control in children with primary BD, primary ADHD and typically developing controls (TDC). Participants included 7-17 year olds with either "narrow-phenotype" pediatric BD (n = 25), ADHD (n = 25) or TDC (n = 25). Groups were matched on participant age and FSIQ. The effect of emotional stimuli on response control was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Affective Go/No-Go task (CANTAB AGN). We found a group by target valence interaction on commission errors [F(2,71) = 5.34, p < 0.01, ƞ p (2) = 0.13] whereby ADHD, but not TDC participants, made more errors on negative than positive words [t(24) = -2.58, p < 0.05, r = 0.47]. In contrast, there was a nonsignificant trend for BD participants to make fewer errors on negative versus positive words compared to ADHD and TDC participants. Between-subjects effects showed that ADHD participants made more errors than TDC, but not BD participants. Our main finding advances what is known about the effect of emotional stimuli on response control in children with ADHD. Our results suggesting a positive affective processing bias in children with ADHD compliment emerging literature show that difficulties with emotional processing and regulation may be core features of ADHD. Further, given the observed pattern of results in children with ADHD compared to BD children, our behavioral results suggest the importance of examining differences in the brain-behavior mechanisms involved in affective processing in children with ADHD compared to BD children. PMID:25724546

  8. Schema-Triggered Cognitive and Affective Response to Music: Applying an Information-Processing Model to Rock 'N' Roll.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voelker, David H.; Pettey, Gary R.

    To account for cognitive and affective responses to popular music, a pilot study used an information processing model to show that affect results largely from the activation of affect-laden schemas by the music stimulus. Subjects, 196 students from an introductory course in interpersonal communication at a medium-sized university, listened to a…

  9. Process for measuring low cadmium levels in blood and other biological specimens

    DOEpatents

    Peterson, David P.; Huff, Edmund A.; Bhattacharyya, Maryka H.

    1994-05-03

    A process for measuring low levels of cadmium in blood and other biological specimens is provided without interference from high levels of alkali metal contaminants by forming an aqueous solution and without contamination by environmental cadmium absent the proteins from the specimen, selectively removing cadmium from the aqueous solution on an anion exchange resin, thereby removing the alkali metal contaminants, resolubilizing cadmium from the resin to form a second solution and analyzing the second solution for cadmium, the process being carried out in a cadmium-free environment.

  10. Process for measuring low cadmium levels in blood and other biological specimens

    DOEpatents

    Peterson, David P.; Huff, Edmund A.; Bhattacharyya, Maryka H.

    1994-01-01

    A process for measuring low levels of cadmium in blood and other biological specimens is provided without interference from high levels of alkali metal contaminants by forming an aqueous solution and without contamination by environmental cadmium absent the proteins from the specimen, selectively removing cadmium from the aqueous solution on an anion exchange resin, thereby removing the alkali metal contaminants, resolubilizing cadmium from the resin to form a second solution and analyzing the second solution for cadmium, the process being carried out in a cadmium-free environment.

  11. The B- to Z-DNA equilibrium in vivo is perturbed by biological processes.

    PubMed Central

    Zacharias, W; Jaworski, A; Larson, J E; Wells, R D

    1988-01-01

    Right-handed B and left-handed Z conformations coexist in equilibrium in portions of plasmids in Escherichia coli. The equilibria are influenced by the length of the sequences that undergo the structural transitions and are perturbed by biological processes. The composite results of three types of determinations indicate a supercoil density of -0.025 in vivo. The coexistence of alternative DNA conformations in living cells implies the potential of these structures or their transitions for important functions in genetic regulatory processes. Images PMID:3050986

  12. Removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater by biological processes, hydrodynamic cavitation and UV treatment.

    PubMed

    Zupanc, Mojca; Kosjek, Tina; Petkovšek, Martin; Dular, Matevž; Kompare, Boris; Širok, Brane; Blažeka, Željko; Heath, Ester

    2013-07-01

    To augment the removal of pharmaceuticals different conventional and alternative wastewater treatment processes and their combinations were investigated. We tested the efficiency of (1) two distinct laboratory scale biological processes: suspended activated sludge and attached-growth biomass, (2) a combined hydrodynamic cavitation-hydrogen peroxide process and (3) UV treatment. Five pharmaceuticals were chosen including ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen, carbamazepine and diclofenac, and an active metabolite of the lipid regulating agent clofibric acid. Biological treatment efficiency was evaluated using lab-scale suspended activated sludge and moving bed biofilm flow-through reactors, which were operated under identical conditions in respect to hydraulic retention time, working volume, concentration of added pharmaceuticals and synthetic wastewater composition. The suspended activated sludge process showed poor and inconsistent removal of clofibric acid, carbamazepine and diclofenac, while ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen yielded over 74% removal. Moving bed biofilm reactors were filled with two different types of carriers i.e. Kaldnes K1 and Mutag BioChip™ and resulted in higher removal efficiencies for ibuprofen and diclofenac. Augmentation and consistency in the removal of diclofenac were observed in reactors using Mutag BioChip™ carriers (85%±10%) compared to reactors using Kaldnes carriers and suspended activated sludge (74%±22% and 48%±19%, respectively). To enhance the removal of pharmaceuticals hydrodynamic cavitation with hydrogen peroxide process was evaluated and optimal conditions for removal were established regarding the duration of cavitation, amount of added hydrogen peroxide and initial pressure, all of which influence the efficiency of the process. Optimal parameters resulted in removal efficiencies between 3-70%. Coupling the attached-growth biomass biological treatment, hydrodynamic cavitation/hydrogen peroxide process and UV treatment

  13. Industrial methodology for process verification in research (IMPROVER): toward systems biology verification

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Pablo; Hoeng, Julia; Rice, J. Jeremy; Norel, Raquel; Sprengel, Jörg; Stolle, Katrin; Bonk, Thomas; Corthesy, Stephanie; Royyuru, Ajay; Peitsch, Manuel C.; Stolovitzky, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    Motivation: Analyses and algorithmic predictions based on high-throughput data are essential for the success of systems biology in academic and industrial settings. Organizations, such as companies and academic consortia, conduct large multi-year scientific studies that entail the collection and analysis of thousands of individual experiments, often over many physical sites and with internal and outsourced components. To extract maximum value, the interested parties need to verify the accuracy and reproducibility of data and methods before the initiation of such large multi-year studies. However, systematic and well-established verification procedures do not exist for automated collection and analysis workflows in systems biology which could lead to inaccurate conclusions. Results: We present here, a review of the current state of systems biology verification and a detailed methodology to address its shortcomings. This methodology named ‘Industrial Methodology for Process Verification in Research’ or IMPROVER, consists on evaluating a research program by dividing a workflow into smaller building blocks that are individually verified. The verification of each building block can be done internally by members of the research program or externally by ‘crowd-sourcing’ to an interested community. www.sbvimprover.com Implementation: This methodology could become the preferred choice to verify systems biology research workflows that are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated in industrial and academic settings. Contact: gustavo@us.ibm.com PMID:22423044

  14. Integration of Science on Biological and Physical Processes to Understand Ecological Diversity of Stream Fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieman, B.; Dunham, J.

    2002-12-01

    The integration of biological and physical sciences has been important in efforts to understand and conserve aquatic species such as the stream fishes found in the Pacific Northwest. Traditionally that integration has focused at relatively fine scales and on what were perceived as more or less static conditions of stream habitats to explain the abundance and distribution of select species. Scientists and managers were intent on defining and creating optimal conditions to maximize the abundance of those species. There is growing recognition that habitats are dynamic and that populations of many species may be structured by biological and physical processes operating over much larger spatial and temporal scales. Natural disturbance, hydrology, and geomorphic constraints lead to variation in the distribution, size, and productivity of habitats for different species through time and space. That variation could influence the distribution and persistence of populations and the diversity that is expressed within and among those populations. It may even be critical to long-term evolutionary potential. Metapopulation theory, for example, suggests the geometry and interconnection of habitats will be key to the occurrence and persistence of many populations. Recent work with bull trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout support those predictions and demonstrate that the large-scale geometry of habitat networks is essentially defined by the variation in stream topology and temperature. Life history diversity and phenotypic plasticity are thought to be mechanisms that allow species populations to adapt to, fully exploit, and persist in variable and changing environments. The expression of that diversity may depend on historical patterns of disturbance and the interconnection and diversity of environments that are currently available. Conservation of aquatic biological diversity will depend on our understanding of the processes that generate that diversity. The application of new

  15. Biological soil crusts: a microenvironment characterized by complex microbial interrelations affected by the presence of the exopolysaccharidic matrix.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are complex microbial communities, commonly found in arid and semiarid areas of the world. The capability of the microorganisms residing in BSCs to withstand the harsh environmental conditions typical of these habitats, namely drought and high solar irradiation, is related with the presence of a matrix constituted by microbial-produced extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs), which also accomplish for a wide array of key ecological roles. EPSs represent a huge carbon source directly available to heterotrophic organisms, affect soil characteristics, water regimes, and establish complex interactions with plants. The induction of BSCs on degraded soils is considered a feasible approach to amend and maintain land fertility, as it was reported in a number of recent studies. It was recently shown that BSC induction is beneficial in enhancing SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) and in increasing the abundance of phototrophic organisms and vegetation cover. This lecture will describe the results of a study showing that cyanobacterial-EPS resulted advantageous to the growth and metabolism of seedlings of Caragana korshinskii, a desert sub-shrub widely diffused in the area under study, also contributing a defensive effect against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated under UV-irradiation, salt stress and desiccation. A study aimed at investigating the possible correlation between the chemical composition and the macromolecular features of the EPS matrix of induced BSCs of different age, collected in the hyper-arid plateau of Hobq desert, Inner Mongolia, China, will be also presented. The results of this study showed that the characteristics of the EPS of the matrix of the investigated IBSCs cannot be put only in relation with the age of the crusts and the activity of phototrophic microorganisms but, more properly, it has to be taken into account the biotic interactions ongoing between EPS producers (cyanobacteria, green microalgae

  16. Thermal processing differentially affects lycopene and other carotenoids in cis-lycopene containing, tangerine tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Cooperstone, Jessica L; Francis, David M; Schwartz, Steven J

    2016-11-01

    Tangerine tomatoes, unlike red tomatoes, accumulate cis-lycopenes instead of the all-trans isomer. cis-Lycopene is the predominating isomeric form of lycopene found in blood and tissues. Our objective was to understand how thermal processing and lipid concentration affect carotenoid isomerisation and degradation in tangerine tomatoes. We conducted duplicated factorial designed experiments producing tangerine tomato juice and sauce, varying both processing time and lipid concentration. Carotenoids were extracted and analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection. Phytoene, phytofluene, ζ-carotene, neurosporene, tetra-cis-lycopene, all-trans-lycopene and other-cis-lycopenes were quantified. Tetra-cis-lycopene decreased with increasing heating time and reached 80% of the original level in sauce after processing times of 180min. All-trans-lycopene and other-cis-lycopenes increased with longer processing times. Total carotenoids and total lycopene decreased with increased heating times while phytoene and phytofluene were unchanged. These data suggest limiting thermal processing of tangerine tomato products if delivery of tetra-cis-lycopene is desirable. PMID:27211672

  17. Mind the gap: non-biological processes contributing to soil CO2 efflux.

    PubMed

    Rey, Ana

    2015-05-01

    Widespread recognition of the importance of soil CO2 efflux as a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere has led to active research. A large soil respiration database and recent reviews have compiled data, methods, and current challenges. This study highlights some deficiencies for a proper understanding of soil CO2 efflux focusing on processes of soil CO2 production and transport that have not received enough attention in the current soil respiration literature. It has mostly been assumed that soil CO2 efflux is the result of biological processes (i.e. soil respiration), but recent studies demonstrate that pedochemical and geological processes, such as geothermal and volcanic CO2 degassing, are potentially important in some areas. Besides the microbial decomposition of litter, solar radiation is responsible for photodegradation or photochemical degradation of litter. Diffusion is considered to be the main mechanism of CO2 transport in the soil, but changes in atmospheric pressure and thermal convection may also be important mechanisms driving soil CO2 efflux greater than diffusion under certain conditions. Lateral fluxes of carbon as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon occur and may cause an underestimation of soil CO2 efflux. Traditionally soil CO2 efflux has been measured with accumulation chambers assuming that the main transport mechanism is diffusion. New techniques are available such as improved automated chambers, CO2 concentration profiles and isotopic techniques that may help to elucidate the sources of carbon from soils. We need to develop specific and standardized methods for different CO2 sources to quantify this flux on a global scale. Biogeochemical models should include biological and non-biological CO2 production processes before we can predict the response of soil CO2 efflux to climate change. Improving our understanding of the processes involved in soil CO2 efflux should be a research priority given the importance of this flux in the global

  18. Processes affecting reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents by zero-valent iron

    SciTech Connect

    Matheson, L.J.; Tratnyek, P.G.

    1993-12-31

    Zero-valent iron may participate in the reductive dechlorination process by three different mechanisms: direct, electrolytic reduction; reduction by hydrogen produced during the corrosion process; and reduction by dissolved (ferrous) iron that is also produced by corroding iron. The first step of electrolytic reduction is presumably, the transfer of one electron from the metal surface to the organic molecule. This results in an organic anion radical that may then lose a halide anion to give a carbon-centered radical, and oxidized iron, which is eventually released to the solution as Fe{sup 2+}. The goal of this research is to provide a comprehensive survey of the mechanisms that affect the performance of this reactive barrier technology.

  19. Verbal conditioning of affect responses of process and reactive schizophrenics in a clinical interview situation.

    PubMed

    Pansa, M

    1979-06-01

    Sixteen process and 16 reactive schizoprenics out-patients were compared on a verbal conditioning task in an alternating conditioning-extinction design, using verbal and non-verbal positive social reinforcement to influence the emission of self-referred affect statements. It was found that process subjects failed to condition during the time periods used, while reactives demonstrated a significant trials effect showing trends consistent with those hypothesized from the type of design used. This differential conditionability between groups was shown not to be a function of diagnosis, sex, motivation, severity of illness, medication, hospitalization history, or general speech output. It was concluded that the degree of social responsiveness manifested in the premorbid history of the two groups is also operative in behaviour during the psychotic period, specifically, in responsiveness to positive social reinforcers in a verbal conditioning task. PMID:486358

  20. Anthropogenic processing of dust affects the oxygen content of the North Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nenes, Athanasios; Ito, Taka; Johnson, Matthew; Meskhidze, Nicholas; Valett, Jackie; Deutsch, Curtis

    2015-04-01

    Observations from the last several decades show a significant expansion of the tropical Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). However, the underlying causes remain elusive, as the currently accepted effects of ocean warming and associated solubility decease cannot fully explain the observed oxygen trend. Here we show that anthropogenic pollution can change the pattern of biological productivity and oxygen trends consistent with observations in the tropics and extratropics. These effects are caused by the mobilization of iron in mineral dust by pollutants, where it is transported and deposited to the HNLC regions of the tropical pacific affecting primary productivity and oxygen consumption by bacterial respiration. In this study, it is shown that pollution-mobilized iron deposited to high latitude oceanic environments can profoundly impact subsurface oxygen and the extent of the OMZ through long-range oceanic transport. Together with the intensification of tropical upwelling since the 1990s associated with natural climate variability, our results can explain the expansion of the OMZ in the tropical Pacific in the late twentieth century. Unlike climate variability, however, anthropogenic pollution likely influences the long-term trends in marine biogeochemistry and further alters regional productivity and subsurface oxygen distributions with profound implications for marine habitats and nitrate inventory of the oceans.

  1. Anthropogenic processing of dust affects the oxygen content of the North Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nenes, A.; Ito, T.; Johnson, M. S.; Meskhidze, N.; Valett, J.; Deutsch, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Observations from the last several decades show a significant expansion of the tropical Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). However, the underlying causes remain elusive, as the currently accepted effects of ocean warming and associated solubility decease cannot fully explain the observed oxygen trend. Here we show that anthropogenic pollution can change the pattern of biological productivity and oxygen trends consistent with observations in the tropics and extratropics. These effects are caused by the mobilization of iron in mineral dust by pollutants, where it is transported and deposited to the HNLC regions of the tropical pacific affecting primary productivity and oxygen consumption by bacterial respiration. In this study, it is shown that pollution-mobilized iron deposited to high latitude oceanic environments can profoundly impact subsurface oxygen and the extent of the OMZ through long-range oceanic transport. Together with the intensification of tropical upwelling since the 1990s associated with natural climate variability, our results can explain the expansion of the OMZ in the tropical Pacific in the late twentieth century. Unlike climate variability, however, anthropogenic pollution likely influences the long-term trends in marine biogeochemistry and further alters regional productivity and subsurface oxygen distributions with profound implications for marine habitats and nitrate inventory of the oceans.

  2. 43 CFR 3602.12 - How does the mineral materials sales process affect other users of the same public lands?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... process affect other users of the same public lands? 3602.12 Section 3602.12 Public Lands: Interior... does the mineral materials sales process affect other users of the same public lands? (a) When BLM..., entry, or other conflicting use of the land, including subsequent mining claim locations. (b)...

  3. 43 CFR 3602.12 - How does the mineral materials sales process affect other users of the same public lands?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... process affect other users of the same public lands? 3602.12 Section 3602.12 Public Lands: Interior... does the mineral materials sales process affect other users of the same public lands? (a) When BLM..., entry, or other conflicting use of the land, including subsequent mining claim locations. (b)...

  4. 43 CFR 3602.12 - How does the mineral materials sales process affect other users of the same public lands?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... process affect other users of the same public lands? 3602.12 Section 3602.12 Public Lands: Interior... does the mineral materials sales process affect other users of the same public lands? (a) When BLM..., entry, or other conflicting use of the land, including subsequent mining claim locations. (b)...

  5. The Effect of Intrinsic Motivation on the Affect and Evaluation of the Creative Process among Fine Arts Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanko-Kaczmarek, Maja

    2012-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the effect of intrinsic motivation on affect, subjective evaluation, and the creative process of young artists. Relations between motivation, affect, and evaluation were treated as a dynamic process and measured several times. The unique contribution of this study is that it…

  6. THE SIZE AND SURFACE COATING OF NANOSILVER DIFFERENTIALLY AFFECTS BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER (RBEC4) CELLS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Linking the physical properties of nanoparticles with differences in their biological activity is critical for understanding their potential toxicity and mode of action. The influence of aggregate size, surface coating, and surface charge on nanosilver's (nanoAg) movement through...

  7. Reproductive and developmental biology of the emerald ash borer parasitoid Spathius galinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) as affected by temperature

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is an invasive pest of serious concern in North America. To complement ongoing biological control efforts, Spathius galinae Belokobylskij and Strazenac (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a recently-described specialist parasitoid of ...

  8. PTA1, an essential gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae affecting pre-tRNA processing.

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, J P; Peebles, C L

    1992-01-01

    We have identified an essential Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene, PTA1, that affects pre-tRNA processing. PTA1 was initially defined by a UV-induced mutation, pta1-1, that causes the accumulation of all 10 end-trimmed, intron-containing pre-tRNAs and temperature-sensitive but osmotic-remedial growth. pta1-1 does not appear to be an allele of any other known gene affecting pre-tRNA processing. Extracts prepared from pta1-1 strains had normal pre-tRNA splicing endonuclease activity. pta1-1 was suppressed by the ochre suppressor tRNA gene SUP11, indicating that the pta1-1 mutation creates a termination codon within a protein reading frame. The PTA1 gene was isolated from a genomic library by complementation of the pta1-1 growth defect. Episome-borne PTA1 directs recombination to the pta1-1 locus. PTA1 has been mapped to the left arm of chromosome I near CDC24; the gene was sequenced and could encode a protein of 785 amino acids with a molecular weight of 88,417. No other protein sequences similar to that of the predicted PTA1 gene product have been identified within the EMBL or GenBank data base. Disruption of PTA1 near the carboxy terminus of the putative open reading frame was lethal. Possible functions of the PTA1 gene product are discussed. Images PMID:1508188

  9. Effect of Affective Personality Information on Face Processing: Evidence from ERPs

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Qiu L.; Wang, Han L.; Dzhelyova, Milena; Huang, Ping; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the extent to which there are the neural correlates of the affective personality influence on face processing using event-related potentials (ERPs). In the learning phase, participants viewed a target individual’s face (expression neutral or faint smile) paired with either negative, neutral or positive sentences describing previous typical behavior of the target. In the following EEG testing phase, participants completed gender judgments of the learned faces. Statistical analyses were conducted on measures of neural activity during the gender judgment task. Repeated measures ANOVA of ERP data showed that faces described as having a negative personality elicited larger N170 than did those with a neutral or positive description. The early posterior negativity (EPN) showed the same result pattern, with larger amplitudes for faces paired with negative personality than for others. The size of the late positive potential was larger for faces paired with positive personality than for those with neutral and negative personality. The current study indicates that affective personality information is associated with an automatic, top–down modulation on face processing. PMID:27303359

  10. Multifactorial processes to slowing the biological clock: Insights from a comparative approach.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Jamila R; Milton, Sarah L; Corbit, Kevin C; Buffenstein, Rochelle

    2015-11-01

    Traditionally scientists have attempted to understand the biology of aging through engineering tractable systems, employing methods such as transgenesis and environmental or nutritional manipulation. An alternative approach relies on the phenomena of natural, extreme biology. Numerous examples exist of species that persist under conditions that promote pathology in humans and considerable insight has been garnered by uncovering the molecular mechanisms mediating this "evolutionary experimentation". Here we focus on a few well-studied naturally long-lived species to evaluate how natural selection has permitted an attenuated aging process without the physiological decline that plagues short lived species. Animals with exceptional endocrine and metabolic systems, as well as animals that tolerate oxidative stress are proposed as good models for studying the mechanisms of longevity. Cumulatively, this review will highlight some advantages and shortcomings of using a comparative approach to study aging. PMID:26343258

  11. From neuron to behavior: dynamic equation-based prediction of biological processes in motor control.

    PubMed

    Daun-Gruhn, Silvia; Büschges, Ansgar

    2011-07-01

    This article presents the use of continuous dynamic models in the form of differential equations to describe and predict temporal changes in biological processes and discusses several of its important advantages over discontinuous bistable ones, exemplified on the stick insect walking system. In this system, coordinated locomotion is produced by concerted joint dynamics and interactions on different dynamical scales, which is therefore difficult to understand. Modeling using differential equations possesses, in general, the potential for the inclusion of biological detail, the suitability for simulation, and most importantly, parameter manipulation to make predictions about the system behavior. We will show in this review article how, in case of the stick insect walking system, continuous dynamical system models can help to understand coordinated locomotion. PMID:21769740

  12. State of the art of biological processes for coal gasification wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qian; Liu, Yu

    2016-01-01

    The treatment of coal gasification wastewater (CGW) poses a serious challenge on the sustainable development of the global coal industry. The CGW contains a broad spectrum of high-strength recalcitrant substances, including phenolic, monocyclic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic nitrogenous compounds and long chain aliphatic hydrocarbon. So far, biological treatment of CGW has been considered as an environment-friendly and cost-effective method compared to physiochemical approaches. Thus, this reviews aims to provide a comprehensive picture of state of the art of biological processes for treating CGW wastewater, while the possible biodegradation mechanisms of toxic and refractory organic substances were also elaborated together with microbial community involved. Discussion was further extended to advanced bioprocesses to tackle high-concentration ammonia and possible options towards in-plant zero liquid discharge. PMID:27364381

  13. Electrochemical advanced oxidation and biological processes for wastewater treatment: a review of the combined approaches.

    PubMed

    Ganzenko, Oleksandra; Huguenot, David; van Hullebusch, Eric D; Esposito, Giovanni; Oturan, Mehmet A

    2014-01-01

    As pollution becomes one of the biggest environmental challenges of the twenty-first century, pollution of water threatens the very existence of humanity, making immediate action a priority. The most persistent and hazardous pollutants come from industrial and agricultural activities; therefore, effective treatment of this wastewater prior to discharge into the natural environment is the solution. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have caused increased interest due to their ability to degrade hazardous substances in contrast to other methods, which mainly only transfer pollution from wastewater to sludge, a membrane filter, or an adsorbent. Among a great variety of different AOPs, a group of electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs), including electro-Fenton, is emerging as an environmental-friendly and effective treatment process for the destruction of persistent hazardous contaminants. The only concern that slows down a large-scale implementation is energy consumption and related investment and operational costs. A combination of EAOPs with biological treatment is an interesting solution. In such a synergetic way, removal efficiency is maximized, while minimizing operational costs. The goal of this review is to present cutting-edge research for treatment of three common and problematic pollutants and effluents: dyes and textile wastewater, olive processing wastewater, and pharmaceuticals and hospital wastewater. Each of these types is regarded in terms of recent scientific research on individual electrochemical, individual biological and a combined synergetic treatment. PMID:24965093

  14. The Berlin Affective Word List for Children (kidBAWL): Exploring Processing of Affective Lexical Semantics in the Visual and Auditory Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Sylvester, Teresa; Braun, Mario; Schmidtke, David; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2016-01-01

    While research on affective word processing in adults witnesses increasing interest, the present paper looks at another group of participants that have been neglected so far: pupils (age range: 6–12 years). Introducing a variant of the Berlin Affective Wordlist (BAWL) especially adapted for children of that age group, the “kidBAWL,” we examined to what extent pupils process affective lexical semantics similarly to adults. In three experiments using rating and valence decision tasks in both the visual and auditory modality, it was established that children show the two ubiquitous phenomena observed in adults with emotional word material: the asymmetric U-shaped function relating valence to arousal ratings, and the inversely U-shaped function relating response times to valence decision latencies. The results for both modalities show large structural similarities between pupil and adult data (taken from previous studies) indicating that in the present age range, the affective lexicon and the dynamic interplay between language and emotion is already well-developed. Differential effects show that younger children tend to choose less extreme ratings than older children and that rating latencies decrease with age. Overall, our study should help to develop more realistic models of word recognition and reading that include affective processes and offer a methodology for exploring the roots of pleasant literary experiences and ludic reading. PMID:27445930

  15. The Berlin Affective Word List for Children (kidBAWL): Exploring Processing of Affective Lexical Semantics in the Visual and Auditory Modalities.

    PubMed

    Sylvester, Teresa; Braun, Mario; Schmidtke, David; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2016-01-01

    While research on affective word processing in adults witnesses increasing interest, the present paper looks at another group of participants that have been neglected so far: pupils (age range: 6-12 years). Introducing a variant of the Berlin Affective Wordlist (BAWL) especially adapted for children of that age group, the "kidBAWL," we examined to what extent pupils process affective lexical semantics similarly to adults. In three experiments using rating and valence decision tasks in both the visual and auditory modality, it was established that children show the two ubiquitous phenomena observed in adults with emotional word material: the asymmetric U-shaped function relating valence to arousal ratings, and the inversely U-shaped function relating response times to valence decision latencies. The results for both modalities show large structural similarities between pupil and adult data (taken from previous studies) indicating that in the present age range, the affective lexicon and the dynamic interplay between language and emotion is already well-developed. Differential effects show that younger children tend to choose less extreme ratings than older children and that rating latencies decrease with age. Overall, our study should help to develop more realistic models of word recognition and reading that include affective processes and offer a methodology for exploring the roots of pleasant literary experiences and ludic reading. PMID:27445930

  16. Insecticide use in hybrid onion seed production affects pre- and postpollination processes.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Sandra; Long, Rachael; Seitz, Nicola; Williams, Neal

    2014-02-01

    Research on threats to pollination service in agro-ecosystems has focused primarily on the negative impacts of land use change and agricultural practices such as insecticide use on pollinator populations. Insecticide use could also affect the pollination process, through nonlethal impacts on pollinator attraction and postpollination processes such as pollen viability or pollen tube growth. Hybrid onion seed (Allium cepa L., Alliaceae) is an important pollinator-dependent crop that has suffered yield declines in California, concurrent with increased insecticide use. Field studies suggest that insecticide use reduces pollination service in this system. We conducted a field experiment manipulating insecticide use to examine the impacts of insecticides on 1) pollinator attraction, 2) pollen/stigma interactions, and 3) seed set and seed quality. Select insecticides had negative impacts on pollinator attraction and pollen/stigma interactions, with certain products dramatically reducing pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Decreased pollen germination was not associated with reduced seed set; however, reduced pollinator attraction was associated with lower seed set and seed quality, for one of the two female lines examined. Our results highlight the importance of pesticide effects on the pollination process. Overuse may lead to yield reductions through impacts on pollinator behavior and postpollination processes. Overall, in hybrid onion seed production, moderation in insecticide use is advised when controlling onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, on commercial fields. PMID:24665681

  17. Processing Conditions Affecting Grain Size and Mechanical Properties in Nanocomposites Produced via Cold Spray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavaliere, P.; Perrone, A.; Silvello, A.

    2014-10-01

    Cold spray is a coating technology based on aerodynamics and high-speed impact dynamics. In this process, spray particles (usually 1-50 μm in diameter) are accelerated to a high velocity (typically 300-1200 m/s) by a high-speed gas (pre-heated air, nitrogen, or helium) flow that is generated through a convergent-divergent de Laval-type nozzle. A coating is formed through the intensive plastic deformation of particles impacting on a substrate at a temperature below the melting point of the spray material. In the present paper the main processing parameters affecting the microstructural and mechanical behavior of metal-metal cold spray deposits are described. The effect of process parameters on grain refinement and mechanical properties were analyzed for composite particles of Al-Al2O3, Ni-BN, Cu-Al2O3, and Co-SiC. The properties of the formed nanocomposites were compared with those of the parent materials sprayed under the same conditions. The process conditions, leading to a strong grain refinement with an acceptable level of the deposit mechanical properties such as porosity and adhesion strength, are discussed.

  18. A vascular biology network model focused on inflammatory processes to investigate atherogenesis and plaque instability

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Numerous inflammation-related pathways have been shown to play important roles in atherogenesis. Rapid and efficient assessment of the relative influence of each of those pathways is a challenge in the era of “omics” data generation. The aim of the present work was to develop a network model of inflammation-related molecular pathways underlying vascular disease to assess the degree of translatability of preclinical molecular data to the human clinical setting. Methods We constructed and evaluated the Vascular Inflammatory Processes Network (V-IPN), a model representing a collection of vascular processes modulated by inflammatory stimuli that lead to the development of atherosclerosis. Results Utilizing the V-IPN as a platform for biological discovery, we have identified key vascular processes and mechanisms captured by gene expression profiling data from four independent datasets from human endothelial cells (ECs) and human and murine intact vessels. Primary ECs in culture from multiple donors revealed a richer mapping of mechanisms identified by the V-IPN compared to an immortalized EC line. Furthermore, an evaluation of gene expression datasets from aortas of old ApoE-/- mice (78 weeks) and human coronary arteries with advanced atherosclerotic lesions identified significant commonalities in the two species, as well as several mechanisms specific to human arteries that are consistent with the development of unstable atherosclerotic plaques. Conclusions We have generated a new biological network model of atherogenic processes that demonstrates the power of network analysis to advance integrative, systems biology-based knowledge of cross-species translatability, plaque development and potential mechanisms leading to plaque instability. PMID:24965703

  19. Is biological treatment a viable alternative for micropollutant removal in drinking water treatment processes?

    PubMed

    Benner, Jessica; Helbling, Damian E; Kohler, Hans-Peter E; Wittebol, Janneke; Kaiser, Elena; Prasse, Carsten; Ternes, Thomas A; Albers, Christian N; Aamand, Jens; Horemans, Benjamin; Springael, Dirk; Walravens, Eddy; Boon, Nico

    2013-10-15

    In western societies, clean and safe drinking water is often taken for granted, but there are threats to drinking water resources that should not be underestimated. Contamination of drinking water sources by anthropogenic chemicals is one threat that is particularly widespread in industrialized nations. Recently, a significant amount of attention has been given to the occurrence of micropollutants in the urban water cycle. Micropollutants are bioactive and/or persistent chemicals originating from diverse sources that are frequently detected in water resources in the pg/L to μg/L range. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the viability of biological treatment processes as a means to remove micropollutants from drinking water resources. We first place the micropollutant problem in context by providing a comprehensive summary of the reported occurrence of micropollutants in raw water used directly for drinking water production and in finished drinking water. We then present a critical discussion on conventional and advanced drinking water treatment processes and their contribution to micropollutant removal. Finally, we propose biological treatment and bioaugmentation as a potential targeted, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to existing processes while critically examining the technical limitations and scientific challenges that need to be addressed prior to implementation. This review will serve as a valuable source of data and literature for water utilities, water researchers, policy makers, and environmental consultants. Meanwhile this review will open the door to meaningful discussion on the feasibility and application of biological treatment and bioaugmentation in drinking water treatment processes to protect the public from exposure to micropollutants. PMID:24053940

  20. Factors affecting cashew processing by wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus, Kerr 1792).

    PubMed

    Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Albani, Alessandro; Ventricelli, Marialba; Izar, Patricia; Schino, Gabriele; Fragazsy, Dorothy

    2016-08-01

    Cashew nuts are very nutritious but so well defended by caustic chemicals that very few species eat them. We investigated how wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) living at Fazenda Boa Vista (FBV; Piauí, Brazil) process cashew nuts (Anacardium spp.) to avoid the caustic chemicals contained in the seed mesocarp. We recorded the behavior of 23 individuals toward fresh (N = 1282) and dry (N = 477) cashew nuts. Adult capuchins used different sets of behaviors to process nuts: rubbing for fresh nuts and tool use for dry nuts. Moreover, adults succeed to open dry nuts both by using teeth and tools. Age and body mass significantly affected success. Signs of discomfort (e.g., chemical burns, drooling) were rare. Young capuchins do not frequently closely observe adults processing cashew nuts, nor eat bits of nut processed by others. Thus, observing the behavior of skillful group members does not seem important for learning how to process cashew nuts, although being together with group members eating cashews is likely to facilitate interest toward nuts and their inclusion into the diet. These findings differ from those obtained when capuchins crack palm nuts, where observations of others cracking nuts and encounters with the artifacts of cracking produced by others are common and support young individuals' persistent practice at cracking. Cashew nut processing by capuchins in FBV appears to differ from that observed in a conspecific population living 320 km apart, where capuchins use tools to open both fresh and dry nuts. Moreover, in the latter population, chemical burns due to cashew caustic compounds appear to be common. The sources of these differences across populations deserve investigation, especially given that social influences on young monkeys learning to open cashew nuts at FBV seem to be nonspecific. Am. J. Primatol. 78:799-815, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27008439

  1. The Effect of Affective Context on Visuocortical Processing of Neutral Faces in Social Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Matthias J.; Moscovitch, David A.

    2015-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that verbal context information alters the neural processing of ambiguous faces such as faces with no apparent facial expression. In social anxiety, neutral faces may be implicitly threatening for socially anxious individuals due to their ambiguous nature, but even more so if these neutral faces are put in self-referential negative contexts. Therefore, we measured event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in response to neutral faces which were preceded by affective verbal information (negative, neutral, positive). Participants with low social anxiety (LSA; n = 23) and high social anxiety (HSA; n = 21) were asked to watch and rate valence and arousal of the respective faces while continuous EEG was recorded. ERP analysis revealed that HSA showed elevated P100 amplitudes in response to faces, but reduced structural encoding of faces as indexed by reduced N170 amplitudes. In general, affective context led to an enhanced early posterior negativity (EPN) for negative compared to neutral facial expressions. Moreover, HSA compared to LSA showed enhanced late positive potentials (LPP) to negatively contextualized faces, whereas in LSA this effect was found for faces in positive contexts. Also, HSA rated faces in negative contexts as more negative compared to LSA. These results point at enhanced vigilance for neutral faces regardless of context in HSA, while structural encoding seems to be diminished (avoidance). Interestingly, later components of sustained processing (LPP) indicate that LSA show enhanced visuocortical processing for faces in positive contexts (happy bias), whereas this seems to be the case for negatively contextualized faces in HSA (threat bias). Finally, our results add further new evidence that top-down information in interaction with individual anxiety levels can influence early-stage aspects of visual perception. PMID:26648889

  2. Mineral-Water Interface Processes Affecting Uranium Fate in Contaminated Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, J. G.

    2011-12-01

    Widespread uranium contamination of soil, sediments, and groundwater systems has resulted from mining activities, nuclear weapon production, and energy generation. The fate and transport of uranium in such systems is strongly affected by geochemical processes occurring at mineral-water interfaces. I will present a summary of the mineral-water interface processes found to affect uranium fate in example contaminated sediments at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford sites and in related model systems. Processes occurring under oxic conditions will be the primary focus of this talk as under these conditions uranium is most mobile and thus presents the greatest hazard. Three dominant solid-phase uranium species are observed in contaminated soil and sediments at the Hanford site: uranyl silicates, uranyl phosphates, and uranyl adsorbed to clays and iron oxides. In deep sediments, uranyl silicates are found in microfractures in feldspar grains, likely because slow diffusion in such fractures maintains a high silicate activity. Such silicates are also found in waste-impacted shallow sediments and soil; waste fluids or evaporative processes may have generated the silicate activity needed to produce such phases. Uranyl phosphates are less abundant, occurring primarily in shallow sediments exposed to P-bearing waste fluids. However, remediation approaches under consideration may produce substantial quantities of uranyl phosphates in the future. Adsorbed uranyl is dispersed throughout contaminated soils and shallow sediments and likely has the greatest potential for remobilization. Analogue studies show that precipitation of uranyl phosphates is rapid when such phases are supersaturated and that both homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation may occur. Specific adsorption of uranyl to minerals is strongly affected by the presence of complexation anions. Carbonate suppresses uranyl adsorption but also forms uranyl-carbonate ternary surface complexes. At conditions below

  3. Assessment of biological chromium among stainless steel and mild steel welders in relation to welding processes.

    PubMed

    Edmé, J L; Shirali, P; Mereau, M; Sobaszek, A; Boulenguez, C; Diebold, F; Haguenoer, J M

    1997-01-01

    Air and biological monitoring were used for assessing external and internal chromium exposure among 116 stainless steel welders (SS welders) using manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding processes (MMA: n = 57; MIG: n = 37; TIG: n = 22) and 30 mild steel welders (MS welders) using MMA and MIG welding processes (MMA: n = 14; MIG: n = 16). The levels of atmospheric total chromium were evaluated after personal air monitoring. The mean values for the different groups of SS welders were 201 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 185 micrograms/m3 (MIG), 52 micrograms/m3 (TIG) and for MS welders 8.1 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 7.3 micrograms/m3 (MIG). The curve of cumulative frequency distribution from biological monitoring among SS welders showed chromium geometric mean concentrations in whole blood of 3.6 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 19.9), in plasma of 3.3 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 21.0) and in urine samples of 6.2 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 58.0). Among MS welders, mean values in whole blood and plasma were rather more scattered (1.8 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 9.3 and 1.3 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 8.4, respectively) and in urine the value was 2.4 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 13.3). The analysis of variance of chromium concentrations in plasma previously showed a metal effect (F = 29.7, P < 0.001), a process effect (F = 22.2, P < 0.0001) but no metal-process interaction (F = 1.3, P = 0.25). Concerning urinary chromium concentration, the analysis of variance also showed a metal effect (F = 30, P < 0.0001), a process effect (F = 72, P < 0.0001) as well as a metal-process interaction (F = 13.2, P = 0.0004). Throughout the study we noted any significant differences between smokers and non-smokers among welders. Taking in account the relationships between chromium concentrations in whole, plasma or urine and the different welding process. MMA-SS is definitely different from other processes because the biological values

  4. The stability and the hydrological behavior of biological soil crusts is significantly affected by the complex nature of their polysaccharidic matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological crusts (BSCs) are complex microbial associations constituted by cells and microbial filaments embedded in a polysaccharidic matrix (EPS) that binds them together and with soil particles. EPSs of BSCs play a key role in structuring the soil and in affecting the hydrological processes taking place at the topsoil in desert environments. Recently, the amphiphilic nature of the EPSs, due to the contemporaneous presence in the macromolecules of hydrophilic and hydrophobic constituents, was put in relation with their capability to contribute to the structuring of the soil particles in BSCs and to hydrological behavior of the crusts. Indeed, in the EPSs the hydrophobicity due to the non-polar constituents (i.e. deoxysugars, ester-linked fatty acids, non polar aminoacids) was associated with the adhesion of the microbial cells to solid surfaces and to the clogging of micropores in the crusts. On the other hand, the hydrophilic constituents of the EPSs (i.e. acidic sugars, ketal-linked pyruvic acid, sulphate groups etc) were suggested to determine the final water content and distribution in the soil. The presence of BSCs facilitates the uptake of moisture from the atmosphere and at the same time contributes to enriching the soils with organic matter. In this lecture, the role of the EPSs in affecting the hydrological behavior of BSCs will be discussed by comparing the results obtained with natural and artificially induced BSCs also in relation with the texture of the soils. Furthermore, the contribution to the structuring of the soils of the polysaccharidic matrix of the crusts will be discussed moving from the different characteristics of two operationally-defined EPS fractions, the colloidal (C-EPS) and the EDTA extractable (tightly bound, TB-EPS) fractions. In BSCs, C-EPSs are loosely bound to cells and sediments while TB-EPSs are tightly bound to the crustal biotic and abiotic constituents of the crusts. The results obtained in a recent study suggest that the

  5. Biological Oceanography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Within the framework of global biogeochemical cycles and ocean productivity, there are two areas that will be of particular interest to biological oceanography in the 1990s. The first is the mapping in space time of the biomass and productivity of phytoplankton in the world ocean. The second area is the coupling of biological and physical processes as it affects the distribution and growth rate of phytoplankton biomass. Certainly other areas will be of interest to biological oceanographers, but these two areas are amenable to observations from satellites. Temporal and spatial variability is a regular feature of marine ecosystems. The temporal and spatial variability of phytoplankton biomass and productivity which is ubiquitous at all time and space scales in the ocean must be characterized. Remote sensing from satellites addresses these problems with global observations of mesocale (2 to 20 days, 10 to 200 km) features over a long period of time.

  6. A process-based model for erosion of Macoma balthica-affected mud beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Prooijen, Bram C.; Montserrat, Francesc; Herman, Peter M. J.

    2011-04-01

    Modeling the effect of biota on sediment dynamics is a difficult task. In this paper we re-analyze experimental results of Willows et al. (1998) on the effects of Macoma balthica on sediment erosion. A process-based framework is proposed, fully compatible with a physical description of erosion processes in case of no biogenic influences. The bed is represented by a fluff layer on top of a substrate. A characteristic feature of the framework is that the sediment is represented by a probability density distribution for the critical shear stress, allowing for Type I and Type II erosion. M. balthica increases the sediment mass in the fluff layer. This increase is determined by considering the action radius, the overlap of feeding areas, and the feeding rate per animal. The calibrated action radius and feeding rate were in the range as found in the literature. The distribution of sediment over the erodibility classes and the erosion rate parameter are hardly influenced at all. Due to overlapping feeding areas, the effect is non-linear with density of the animals. The model results are in close agreement with the measured results, suggesting that no further formulations of biological effects are needed to simulate the experiments of Willows et al. (1998). In nature, other effects like disrupting the biofilm by grazing can be of importance and should be included in a later stage. This study emphasizes the crucial role of sediment availability and the effect of biota on it. This aspect needs more attention in future experiments. The proposed model turned out to work well for the effects of M. balthica and offers opportunities to include other biogenic effects in a process-based way as well.

  7. Impact of Fungicide Mancozeb at Different Application Rates on Soil Microbial Populations, Soil Biological Processes, and Enzyme Activities in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Preeti; Guleria, Shiwani; Chauhan, Anjali; Shirkot, C. K.

    2014-01-01

    The use of fungicides is the continuous exercise particularly in orchard crops where fungal diseases, such as white root rot, have the potential to destroy horticultural crops rendering them unsaleable. In view of above problem, the present study examines the effect of different concentrations of mancozeb (0–2000 ppm) at different incubation periods for their harmful side effects on various microbiological processes, soil microflora, and soil enzymes in alluvial soil (pH 6.8) collected from apple orchards of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (India). Low concentrations of mancozeb were found to be deleterious towards fungal and actinomycetes population while higher concentrations (1000 and 2000 ppm) were found to be detrimental to soil bacteria. Mancozeb impaired the process of ammonification and nitrification. Similar results were observed for nitrifying and ammonifying bacteria. Phosphorus solubilization was increased by higher concentration of mancozeb, that is, 250 ppm and above. In unamended soil, microbial biomass carbon and carbon mineralization were adversely affected by mancozeb. Soil enzymes, that is, amylase, invertase, and phosphatase showed adverse and disruptive effect when mancozeb used was above 10 ppm in unamended soil. These results conclude that, to lessen the harmful effects in soil biological processes caused by this fungicide, addition of higher amount of nitrogen based fertilizers is required. PMID:25478598

  8. Decoupling the influence of biological and physical processes on the dissolved oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Jiabi; Shen, Jian

    2015-01-01

    is instructive and essential to decouple the effects of biological and physical processes on the dissolved oxygen condition, in order to understand their contribution to the interannual variability of hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay since the 1980s. A conceptual bottom DO budget model is applied, using the vertical exchange time scale (VET) to quantify the physical condition and net oxygen consumption rate to quantify biological activities. By combining observed DO data and modeled VET values along the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay, the monthly net bottom DO consumption rate was estimated for 1985-2012. The DO budget model results show that the interannual variations of physical conditions accounts for 88.8% of the interannual variations of observed DO. The high similarity between the VET spatial pattern and the observed DO suggests that physical processes play a key role in regulating the DO condition. Model results also show that long-term VET has a slight increase in summer, but no statistically significant trend is found. Correlations among southerly wind strength, North Atlantic Oscillation index, and VET demonstrate that the physical condition in the Chesapeake Bay is highly controlled by the large-scale climate variation. The relationship is most significant during the summer, when the southerly wind dominates throughout the Chesapeake Bay. The seasonal pattern of the averaged net bottom DO consumption rate (B'20) along the main stem coincides with that of the chlorophyll-a concentration. A significant correlation between nutrient loading and B'20 suggests that the biological processes in April-May are most sensitive to the nutrient loading.

  9. Physicochemical and porosity characteristics of thermally regenerated activated carbon polluted with biological activated carbon process.

    PubMed

    Dong, Lihua; Liu, Wenjun; Jiang, Renfu; Wang, Zhansheng

    2014-11-01

    The characteristics of thermally regenerated activated carbon (AC) polluted with biological activated carbon (BAC) process were investigated. The results showed that the true micropore and sub-micropore volume, pH value, bulk density, and hardness of regenerated AC decreased compared to the virgin AC, but the total pore volume increased. XPS analysis displayed that the ash contents of Al, Si, and Ca in the regenerated AC respectively increased by 3.83%, 2.62% and 1.8%. FTIR spectrum showed that the surface functional groups of virgin and regenerated AC did not change significantly. Pore size distributions indicated that the AC regeneration process resulted in the decrease of micropore and macropore (D>10 μm) volume and the increase of mesopore and macropore (0.1 μmbiological waste (spent AC) from BAC process. PMID:25203235

  10. Process-driven inference of biological network structure: feasibility, minimality, and multiplicity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guanyu; Rong, Yongwu; Chen, Hao; Pearson, Carl; Du, Chenghang; Simha, Rahul; Zeng, Chen

    2012-01-01

    A common problem in molecular biology is to use experimental data, such as microarray data, to infer knowledge about the structure of interactions between important molecules in subsystems of the cell. By approximating the state of each molecule as "on" or "off", it becomes possible to simplify the problem, and exploit the tools of boolean analysis for such inference. Amongst boolean techniques, the process-driven approach has shown promise in being able to identify putative network structures, as well as stability and modularity properties. This paper examines the process-driven approach more formally, and makes four contributions about the computational complexity of the inference problem, under the "dominant inhibition" assumption of molecular interactions. The first is a proof that the feasibility problem (does there exist a network that explains the data?) can be solved in polynomial-time. Second, the minimality problem (what is the smallest network that explains the data?) is shown to be NP-hard, and therefore unlikely to result in a polynomial-time algorithm. Third, a simple polynomial-time heuristic is shown to produce near-minimal solutions, as demonstrated by simulation. Fourth, the theoretical framework explains how multiplicity (the number of network solutions to realize a given biological process), which can take exponential-time to compute, can instead be accurately estimated by a fast, polynomial-time heuristic. PMID:22815739

  11. Reduction of overestimation in interval arithmetic simulation of biological wastewater treatment processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauh, Andreas; Kletting, Marco; Aschemann, Harald; Hofer, Eberhard P.

    2007-02-01

    A novel interval arithmetic simulation approach is introduced in order to evaluate the performance of biological wastewater treatment processes. Such processes are typically modeled as dynamical systems where the reaction kinetics appears as additive nonlinearity in state. In the calculation of guaranteed bounds of state variables uncertain parameters and uncertain initial conditions are considered. The recursive evaluation of such systems of nonlinear state equations yields overestimation of the state variables that is accumulating over the simulation time. To cope with this wrapping effect, innovative splitting and merging criteria based on a recursive uncertain linear transformation of the state variables are discussed. Additionally, re-approximation strategies for regions in the state space calculated by interval arithmetic techniques using disjoint subintervals improve the simulation quality significantly if these regions are described by several overlapping subintervals. This simulation approach is used to find a practical compromise between computational effort and simulation quality. It is pointed out how these splitting and merging algorithms can be combined with other methods that aim at the reduction of overestimation by applying consistency techniques. Simulation results are presented for a simplified reduced-order model of the reduction of organic matter in the activated sludge process of biological wastewater treatment.

  12. A hybrid biological process of indoor air treatment for toluene removal.

    PubMed

    Hort, C; Platel, V; Sochard, S; Munoz, Luengas A T; Ondarts, M; Reguer, A; Barona, A; Elias, A

    2014-12-01

    Bioprocesses, such as biofiltration, are commonly used to treat industrial effluents containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at low concentrations. Nevertheless, the use of biofiltration for indoor air pollution (IAP) treatment requires adjustments depending on specific indoor environments. Therefore, this study focuses on the convenience of a hybrid biological process for IAP treatment. A biofiltration reactor using a green waste compost was combined with an adsorption column filled with activated carbon (AC). This system treated a toluene-micropolluted effluent (concentration between 17 and 52 μg/m3), exhibiting concentration peaks close to 733 μg/m3 for a few hours per day. High removal efficiency was obtained despite changes in toluene inlet load (from 4.2 x 10(-3) to 0.20 g/m3/hr), which proves the hybrid system's effectiveness. In fact, during unexpected concentration changes, the efficiency of the biofilter is greatly decreased, but the adsorption column maintains the high efficiency of the entire process (removal efficiency [RE] close to 100%). Moreover, the adsorption column after biofiltration is able to deal with the problem of the emission of particles and/or microorganisms from the biofilter. Implications: Indoor air pollution is nowadays recognized as major environmental and health issue. This original study investigates the performance of a hybrid biological process combining a biofilter and an adsorption column for removal of indoor VOCs, specifically toluene. PMID:25562936

  13. Combination of Advanced Oxidation Processes and biological treatments for wastewater decontamination--a review.

    PubMed

    Oller, I; Malato, S; Sánchez-Pérez, J A

    2011-09-15

    Nowadays there is a continuously increasing worldwide concern for development of alternative water reuse technologies, mainly focused on agriculture and industry. In this context, Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) are considered a highly competitive water treatment technology for the removal of those organic pollutants not treatable by conventional techniques due to their high chemical stability and/or low biodegradability. Although chemical oxidation for complete mineralization is usually expensive, its combination with a biological treatment is widely reported to reduce operating costs. This paper reviews recent research combining AOPs (as a pre-treatment or post-treatment stage) and bioremediation technologies for the decontamination of a wide range of synthetic and real industrial wastewater. Special emphasis is also placed on recent studies and large-scale combination schemes developed in Mediterranean countries for non-biodegradable wastewater treatment and reuse. The main conclusions arrived at from the overall assessment of the literature are that more work needs to be done on degradation kinetics and reactor modeling of the combined process, and also dynamics of the initial attack on primary contaminants and intermediate species generation. Furthermore, better economic models must be developed to estimate how the cost of this combined process varies with specific industrial wastewater characteristics, the overall decontamination efficiency and the relative cost of the AOP versus biological treatment. PMID:20956012

  14. Chemical or biological terrorist attacks: an analysis of the preparedness of hospitals for managing victims affected by chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Russell L

    2006-03-01

    The possibility of a terrorist attack employing the use of chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on American soil is no longer an empty threat, it has become a reality. A WMD is defined as any weapon with the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale that its very presence in the hands of hostile forces is a grievous threat. Events of the past few years including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and the use of planes as guided missiles directed into the Pentagon and New York's Twin Towers in 2001 (9/11) and the tragic incidents involving twentythree people who were infected and five who died as a result of contact with anthrax-laced mail in the Fall of 2001, have well established that the United States can be attacked by both domestic and international terrorists without warning or provocation. In light of these actions, hospitals have been working vigorously to ensure that they would be "ready" in the event of another terrorist attack to provide appropriate medical care to victims. However, according to a recent United States General Accounting Office (GAO) nationwide survey, our nation's hospitals still are not prepared to manage mass causalities resulting from chemical or biological WMD. Therefore, there is a clear need for information about current hospital preparedness in order to provide a foundation for systematic planning and broader discussions about relative cost, probable effectiveness, environmental impact and overall societal priorities. Hence, the aim of this research was to examine the current preparedness of hospitals in the State of Mississippi to manage victims of terrorist attacks involving chemical or biological WMD. All acute care hospitals in the State were selected for inclusion in this study. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized for data collection and analysis. Six hypotheses were tested. Using a questionnaire

  15. Chemical or Biological Terrorist Attacks: An Analysis of the Preparedness of Hospitals for Managing Victims Affected by Chemical or Biological Weapons of Mass Destruction

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Russell L.

    2006-01-01

    The possibility of a terrorist attack employing the use of chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on American soil is no longer an empty threat, it has become a reality. A WMD is defined as any weapon with the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale that its very presence in the hands of hostile forces is a grievous threat. Events of the past few years including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and the use of planes as guided missiles directed into the Pentagon and New York’s Twin Towers in 2001 (9/11) and the tragic incidents involving twenty-three people who were infected and five who died as a result of contact with anthrax-laced mail in the Fall of 2001, have well established that the United States can be attacked by both domestic and international terrorists without warning or provocation. In light of these actions, hospitals have been working vigorously to ensure that they would be “ready” in the event of another terrorist attack to provide appropriate medical care to victims. However, according to a recent United States General Accounting Office (GAO) nationwide survey, our nation’s hospitals still are not prepared to manage mass causalities resulting from chemical or biological WMD. Therefore, there is a clear need for information about current hospital preparedness in order to provide a foundation for systematic planning and broader discussions about relative cost, probable effectiveness, environmental impact and overall societal priorities. Hence, the aim of this research was to examine the current preparedness of hospitals in the State of Mississippi to manage victims of terrorist attacks involving chemical or biological WMD. All acute care hospitals in the State were selected for inclusion in this study. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized for data collection and analysis. Six hypotheses were tested. Using a

  16. Similar local and landscape processes affect both a common and a rare newt species.

    PubMed

    Denoël, Mathieu; Perez, Amélie; Cornet, Yves; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Although rare species are often the focus of conservation measures, more common species may experience similar decline and suffer from the same threatening processes. We tested this hypothesis by examining, through an information-theoretic approach, the importance of ecological processes at multiple scales in the great crested newt Triturus cristatus, regionally endangered and protected in Europe, and the more common smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. Both species were similarly affected by the same processes, i.e. suitability of aquatic and terrestrial components of their habitat at different scales, connectivity among breeding sites, and the presence of introduced fish. T. cristatus depended more on water depth and aquatic vegetation than L. vulgaris. The results show that environmental pressures threaten both common and rare species, and therefore the more widespread species should not be neglected in conservation programs. Because environmental trends are leading to a deterioration of aquatic and terrestrial habitat features required by newt populations, populations of the common species may follow the fate of the rarest species. This could have substantial conservation implications because of the numerical importance of common species in ecosystems and because commonness could be a transient state moving towards rarity. On the other hand, in agreement with the umbrella species concept, targeting conservation efforts on the most demanding species would also protect part of the populations of the most common species. PMID:23658765

  17. Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yaxin; Liang, Jiaming; Liu, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The extraction process used to obtain bitumen from the oil sands produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As a newly emerging desalination technology, forward osmosis (FO) has shown great promise in saving electrical power requirements, increasing water recovery, and minimizing brine discharge. With the support of this funding, a FO system was constructed using a cellulose triacetate FO membrane to test the feasibility of OSPW desalination and contaminant removal. The FO systems were optimized using different types and concentrations of draw solution. The FO system using 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing. PMID:27120634

  18. Treatment of waste metalworking fluid by a hybrid ozone-biological process.

    PubMed

    Jagadevan, Sheeja; Graham, Nigel J; Thompson, Ian P

    2013-01-15

    In metal machining processes, the regulation of heat generation and lubrication at the contact point are achieved by application of a fluid referred to as metalworking fluid (MWF). MWFs inevitably become operationally exhausted with age and intensive use, which leads to compromised properties, thereby necessitating their safe disposal. Disposal of this waste through a biological route is an increasingly attractive option, since it is effective with relatively low energy demands. However, successful biological treatment is challenging since MWFs are chemically complex, and include biocides specifically to retard microbial deterioration whilst the fluids are operational. In this study remediation of the recalcitrant component of a semi-synthetic MWF by a novel hybrid ozone-bacteriological treatment, was investigated. The hybrid treatment proved to be effective and reduced the chemical oxygen demand by 72% (26.9% and 44.9% reduction after ozonation and biological oxidation respectively). Furthermore, a near-complete degradation of three non-biodegradable compounds (viz. benzotriazole, monoethanolamine, triethanolamine), commonly added as biocides and corrosion inhibitors in MWF formulations, under ozonation was observed. PMID:23274939

  19. Principles for integrating reactive species into in vivo biological processes: Examples from exercise physiology.

    PubMed

    Margaritelis, Nikos V; Cobley, James N; Paschalis, Vassilis; Veskoukis, Aristidis S; Theodorou, Anastasios A; Kyparos, Antonios; Nikolaidis, Michalis G

    2016-04-01

    The equivocal role of reactive species and redox signaling in exercise responses and adaptations is an example clearly showing the inadequacy of current redox biology research to shed light on fundamental biological processes in vivo. Part of the answer probably relies on the extreme complexity of the in vivo redox biology and the limitations of the currently applied methodological and experimental tools. We propose six fundamental principles that should be considered in future studies to mechanistically link reactive species production to exercise responses or adaptations: 1) identify and quantify the reactive species, 2) determine the potential signaling properties of the reactive species, 3) detect the sources of reactive species, 4) locate the domain modified and verify the (ir)reversibility of post-translational modifications, 5) establish causality between redox and physiological measurements, 6) use selective and targeted antioxidants. Fulfilling these principles requires an idealized human experimental setting, which is certainly a utopia. Thus, researchers should choose to satisfy those principles, which, based on scientific evidence, are most critical for their specific research question. PMID:26721187

  20. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: biological, physical and chemical characterization of aerosol particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakopoulos, D. G.; Després, V.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Psenner, R.; Ariya, P. A.; Pósfai, M.; Ahern, H. E.; Moffett, B. F.; Hill, T. C. J.

    2008-04-01

    The interest in bioaerosols has traditionally been linked to health hazards for humans, animals and plants. However, several components of bioaerosols exhibit physical properties of great significance for cloud processes, such as ice nucleation and cloud condensation. To gain a better understanding of their influence on climate, it is therefore important to determine the composition, concentration, seasonal fluctuation, regional diversity and evolution of bioaerosols. In this paper, we will review briefly the existing techniques for detection, quantification, physical and chemical analysis of biological particles, attempting to bridge physical, chemical and biological methods for analysis of biological particles and integrate them with aerosol sampling techniques. We will also explore some emerging spectroscopy techniques for bulk and single-particle analysis that have potential for in-situ physical and chemical analysis. Lastly, we will outline open questions and further desired capabilities (e.g., in-situ, sensitive, both broad and selective, on-line, time-resolved, rapid, versatile, cost-effective techniques) required prior to comprehensive understanding of chemical and physical characterization of bioaerosols.

  1. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: biological, physical and chemical characterization of aerosol particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakopoulos, D. G.; Després, V.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Psenner, R.; Ariya, P. A.; Pósfai, M.; Ahern, H. E.; Moffett, B. F.; Hill, T. C. J.

    2009-04-01

    The interest in bioaerosols has traditionally been linked to health hazards for humans, animals and plants. However, several components of bioaerosols exhibit physical properties of great significance for cloud processes, such as ice nucleation and cloud condensation. To gain a better understanding of their influence on climate, it is therefore important to determine the composition, concentration, seasonal fluctuation, regional diversity and evolution of bioaerosols. In this paper, we will review briefly the existing techniques for detection, quantification, physical and chemical analysis of biological particles, attempting to bridge physical, chemical and biological methods for analysis of biological particles and integrate them with aerosol sampling techniques. We will also explore some emerging spectroscopy techniques for bulk and single-particle analysis that have potential for in-situ physical and chemical analysis. Lastly, we will outline open questions and further desired capabilities (e.g., in-situ, sensitive, both broad and selective, on-line, time-resolved, rapid, versatile, cost-effective techniques) required prior to comprehensive understanding of chemical and physical characterization of bioaerosols.

  2. Primary photophysical processes which define the biological and therapeutic effect of low-intensity laser radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mostovnikov, Vasili A.; Mostovnikova, Galina R.; Plavski, Vitali Y.; Plavskaja, Ljudmila G.; Morozova, Raisa P.

    1995-01-01

    It is shown that reversible conformations (changes of spatial structure) of the cell components, responsible for the metabolic processes regulation, are the basis of biological activity and as a consequence therapeutic effect of low-intensity laser radiation. The physical mechanism of these changes is the reorientation of high regulated anisotropic parts-domains with the liquid- crystalline type of ordering due to the interaction between electric field of the laser lightwave and integral electric dipole of the domain (light induced analogue of Frederix's effect).

  3. Comparing predicted and actual affective responses to process versus outcome: an emotion-as-feedback perspective.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Jessica Y Y; Wong, Kin Fai Ellick; Tang, Suki K Y

    2013-10-01

    One of the conjectures in affective forecasting literature is that people are advised to discount their anticipated emotions because their forecasts are often inaccurate. The present research distinguishes between emotional reactions to process versus those to outcome, and highlights an alternative view that affective misforecasts could indeed be adaptive to goal pursuit. Using an ultimatum game, Study 1 showed that people overpredicted how much they would regret and be disappointed by the amount of effort they exerted, should the outcomes turned out worse than expected; nonetheless, people could accurately predict their emotional responses to unfavorable outcomes per se. In a natural setting of a university examination, Study 2 demonstrated that actual regret and disappointment toward favorable outcomes were more intense than the level people expected, but this discrepancy was not observed in their emotional responses to efforts they had invested. These two distinct patterns of results substantiate the argument that the deviation between predicted and actual emotions is dependent on the referents of the emotional reactions. PMID:23831563

  4. An affective-cognitive processing model of post-traumatic growth.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Stephen; Murphy, David; Regel, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    A topic that has begun to attract interest from clinical psychologists and psychotherapists is post-traumatic growth. First, we provide a general overview of the field, setting out the historical development, main concepts, measurement issues and research findings. Second, we review evidence showing that the relationship between post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth is likely curvilinear. Third, a new affective-cognitive processing model of post-traumatic growth will be introduced in which post-traumatic stress is understood to be the engine of post-traumatic growth. Fourth, points of clinical intervention are described showing the ways in which therapists can facilitate post-traumatic growth. PMID:22610981

  5. Affective processing in positive schizotypy: Loose control of social-emotional information.

    PubMed

    Papousek, Ilona; Weiss, Elisabeth M; Mosbacher, Jochen A; Reiser, Eva M; Schulter, Günter; Fink, Andreas

    2014-10-30

    Behavioral studies suggested heightened impact of emotionally laden perceptual input in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, in particular in patients with prominent positive symptoms. De-coupling of prefrontal and posterior cortices during stimulus processing, which is related to loosening of control of the prefrontal cortex over incoming affectively laden information, may underlie this abnormality. Pre-selected groups of individuals with low versus high positive schizotypy (lower and upper quartile of a large screening sample) were tested. During exposure to auditory displays of strong emotions (anger, sadness, cheerfulness), individuals with elevated levels of positive schizotypal symptoms showed lesser prefrontal-posterior coupling (EEG coherence) than their symptom-free counterparts (right hemisphere). This applied to negative emotions in particular and was most pronounced during confrontation with anger. The findings indicate a link between positive symptoms and a heightened impact particularly of threatening emotionally laden stimuli which might lead to exacerbation of positive symptoms and inappropriate behavior in interpersonal situations. PMID:25463142

  6. The effect of self-affirmation in nonthreatening persuasion domains: timing affects the process.

    PubMed

    Briñol, Pablo; Petty, Richard E; Gallardo, Ismael; DeMarree, Kenneth G

    2007-11-01

    Most research on self-affirmation and persuasion has argued that self-affirmation buffers the self against the threat posed by a persuasive message; thus, it increases the likelihood that participants will respond to the message favorably. Little research, in contrast, has looked at the effects of self-affirmation on persuasive messages that are not threatening to the self. This research examines mechanisms that can operate under these conditions. Consistent with the idea that self-affirmation affects confidence, the article shows that self-affirmation can decrease information processing when induced prior to message reception (Experiment 1) and can increase the use of self-generated thoughts in response to a persuasive message when induced after message reception (Experiment 2). In addition, Experiment 3 manipulates the timing of self-affirmation to replicate both effects and Experiment 4 provides direct evidence for the impact of self-affirmation on confidence. PMID:17933742

  7. NOx removal from flue gas by an integrated physicochemical absorption and biological denitrification process.

    PubMed

    van der Maas, Peter; van den Bosch, Pim; Klapwijk, Bram; Lens, Piet

    2005-05-20

    An integrated physicochemical and biological technique for NO(x) removal from flue gas, the so-called BioDeNO(x) process, combines the principles of wet absorption of NO in an aqueous Fe(II)EDTA(2-) solution with biological reduction of the sorbed NO in a bioreactor. The biological reduction of NO to di-nitrogen gas (N(2)) takes place under thermophilic conditions (55 degrees C). This study demonstrates the technical feasibility of this BioDeNO(x) concept in a bench-scale installation with a continuous flue gas flow of 650 l.h(-1) (70-500 ppm NO; 0.8-3.3% O(2)). Stable NO removal with an efficiency of at least 70% was obtained in case the artificial flue gas contained 300 ppm NO and 1% O(2) when the bioreactor was inoculated with a denitrifying sludge. An increase of the O(2) concentration of only 0.3% resulted in a rapid elevation of the redox potential (ORP) in the bioreactor, accompanied by a drastic decline of the NO removal efficiency. This was not due to a limitation or inhibition of the NO reduction, but to a limited biological iron reduction capacity. The latter leads to a depletion of the NO absorption capacity of the scrubber liquor, and thus to a poor NO removal efficiency. Bio-augmentation of the reactor mixed liquor with an anaerobic granular sludge with a high Fe(III) reduction capacity successfully improved the bioreactor efficiency and enabled to treat a flue gas containing at least 3.3% O(2) and 500 ppm NO with an NO removal efficiency of over 80%. The ORP in the bioreactor was found to be a proper parameter for the control of the ethanol supply, needed as electron donor for the biological regeneration process. The NO removal efficiency as well as the Fe(III)EDTA(-) reduction rate were found to decline at ORP values higher than -140 mV (pH 7.0). For stable BioDeNO(x) operation, the supply of electron donor (ethanol) can be used to control the ORP below that critical value. PMID:15812803

  8. Composting of the solid fraction of digestate derived from pig slurry: Biological processes and compost properties

    SciTech Connect

    Tambone, Fulvia Terruzzi, Laura; Scaglia, Barbara; Adani, Fabrizio

    2015-01-15

    Highlights: • Anaerobic digestion leads to the production of a biologically stable digestate. • Solid–liquid separation produces a solid fraction having high fertilizer value. • Composting process shows low biological activity due to high biological stability of digestate. • Solid digestate fraction can be composted in a short time or used directly as organic fertilizer. - Abstract: The aim of this paper was to assess the characteristics of the solid fractions (SF) obtained by mechanical separation of digestate, their compostability and compost quality. To do so, the SF of digestates obtained from anaerobic digestion of pig slurry, energy crops and agro-industrial residues were sampled in five plants located in Northern Italy. Results obtained indicated that anaerobic digestion by itself promoted the high biological stability of biomasses with a Potential Dynamic Respiration Index (PDRI) close to 1000 mgO{sub 2} kg V S{sup −1} h{sup −1}. Subsequent composting of digestates, with an added bulking agent, did not give remarkably different results, and led only to a slight modification of the characteristics of the initial non-composted mixtures; the composts obtained fully respected the legal limits for high quality compost. Chemical studies of organic matter composition of the biomasses by using CP MAS {sup 13}C NMR, indicated that the compost was composed of a high relative content of O-alkyl-C (71.47% of total C) (cellulose and hemicelluloses) and a low alkyl-C (12.42%) (i.e. volatile fatty acids, steroid-like molecules, aliphatic biopolymers and proteins)

  9. Reaction time in gait initiation depends on the time available for affective processing.

    PubMed

    Gélat, Thierry; Chapus, Carole Ferrel

    2015-11-16

    Previous studies have reported that reaction time in gait initiation was affected by emotion eliciting pictures. This study examined the effect of a change in the delay between image onset and the imperative "go" on reaction time. From a standing posture, 19 young adults had to walk (several steps) toward pleasant or unpleasant images in two conditions. In the short condition, the word "go" appeared 500ms after image onset and participants were instructed to initiate gait as soon as possible after the word go appeared. In the long condition, the same procedure was used but the word "go" appeared 3000ms after image onset. Results demonstrated that motor responses were faster for pleasant pictures than unpleasant ones in the short condition. In contrast, no significant difference was found between both categories of pictures in the long condition. Moreover, we found that self ratings of valence of unpleasant pictures were less unpleasant in the long condition than in the short one whereas there was no difference for pleasant pictures between both conditions. This result reflected a change in the affective significance of unpleasant pictures in the long condition. We also found in the long condition, that the body was inclined forward and to the stance limb during the standing posture and importantly with a similar extent for pleasant and unpleasant pictures. This change clearly reflected a facilitation of the gait initiation process. Overall, results suggested that this gait facilitation when confronted to unpleasant pictures resulted from emotional regulation processes enabling to reappraise these pictures and to override the initial avoidance tendency that they caused. PMID:26455865

  10. Steroidal aromatic 'naphthenic acids' in oil sands process-affected water: structural comparisons with environmental estrogens.

    PubMed

    Rowland, Steven J; West, Charles E; Jones, David; Scarlett, Alan G; Frank, Richard A; Hewitt, L Mark

    2011-11-15

    The large volumes, acute toxicity, estrogenicity, and antiandrogenicity of process-affected waters accruing in tailings ponds from the operations of the Alberta oil sands industries pose a significant task for environmental reclamation. Synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) suggest that oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) may contain aromatic carboxylic acids, which are among the potentially environmentally important toxicants, but no such acids have yet been identified, limiting interpretations of the results of estrogenicity and other assays. Here we show that multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS) of methyl esters of acids in an OSPW sample produces mass spectra consistent with their assignment as C(19) and C(20) C-ring monoaromatic hydroxy steroid acids, D-ring opened hydroxy and nonhydroxy polyhydrophenanthroic acids with one aromatic and two alicyclic rings and A-ring opened steroidal keto acids. High resolution MS data support the assignment of several of the so-called 'O3' species. When fractions of distilled, esterified, OSPW acid-extractable organics were examined, the putative aromatics were mainly present in a high boiling fraction; when examined by argentation thin layer chromatography, some were present in a fraction with a retardation factor between that of the methyl esters of synthetic monoalicyclic and monoaromatic acids. Ultraviolet absorption spectra of these fractions indicated the presence of benzenoid moieties. SFS of model octahydro- and tetrahydrophenanthroic acids produced emissions at the characteristic excitation wavelengths observed in some OSPW extracts, consistent with the postulations from ultraviolet spectroscopy and mass spectrometry data. We suggest the acids originate from extensive biodegradation of C-ring monoaromatic steroid hydrocarbons and offer a means of differentiating residues at different biodegradation stages in tailings ponds. Structural similarities with estrone and

  11. Mutations in the su(s) gene affect RNA processing in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed Central

    Geyer, P K; Chien, A J; Corces, V G; Green, M M

    1991-01-01

    We have studied the effect of mutations in the suppressor of sable [su(s)] gene on P element-induced yellow alleles. Two independent mutations tested, y76d28 and y1#7, contain a 1.1-kilobase (kb) P element inserted in the 5' transcribed untranslated portion of the yellow gene. Sequences responsible for the y1#7 mutation are inserted in the same transcriptional orientation as yellow and cannot be processed by splicing, and this mutation is not suppressed by su(s) mutations. P element sequences are located in a transcriptional orientation opposite to that of the yellow gene in y76d28; these sequences can be spliced from a composite P element-yellow mRNA, resulting in low accumulation of a functional 1.9-kb yellow transcript. The levels of both the putative precursor P element-yellow RNA and the 1.9-kb yellow transcript increase in y76d28 su(s) flies, suggesting that mutations in su(s) do not affect the efficiency of splicing of the P element sequences. Analysis of y76d28 cDNAs isolated from flies carrying a wild-type or mutant su(s) gene demonstrates that the choice of splice junctions to process P element sequences is unchanged in these different backgrounds, suggesting that mutations in su(s) do not affect the selection of donor and acceptor splice sites. We propose that the su(s) protein functions to control the stability of unprocessed RNA during the splicing reaction. Images PMID:1714588

  12. Diagnosis and optimization of the composting process in full-scale mechanical-biological treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Baptista, Marco; Antunes, Fernando; Silveira, Ana

    2011-06-01

    The aims of this study were (i) to evaluate the performance of the composting process operation in full-scale mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plants, (ii) to estimate their performance under optimized conditions and (iii) to propose specific guidelines on how to improve the efficiency of the composting process. To fulfil these objectives, a first-order kinetic model was used. This model was calibrated with experimental data to account for the limitations imposed by less-than-optimal environmental conditions during operation of the composting process. Data treatment and simulation showed that two of the three MBT plants studied were poorly operated. Optimization of process management with measures of simple practical implementation was estimated to be highly significant in these poorly managed plants, increasing performance by 103% in MBT1 and 53% in MBT2. In MBT3, the potential for optimization was estimated at 17%. Similar results were obtained from the analysis of other published data, suggesting that poor process management in MBT composting is widespread. These findings highlight the importance of having programmes for monitoring and optimizing process performance in full-scale composting systems. The procedures developed here are simple to apply and can routinely be implemented in full-scale plants. PMID:21216924

  13. Techno-economic evaluation of a two-step biological process for hydrogen production.

    PubMed

    Ljunggren, Mattias; Zacchi, Guido

    2010-01-01

    An integrated biological process for the production of hydrogen based on thermophilic and photo-heterotrophic fermentation was evaluated from a technical and economic standpoint. Besides the two fermentation steps the process also includes pretreatment of the raw material (potato steam peels) and purification of hydrogen using amine absorption. The study aimed neither at determining the absolute cost of biohydrogen nor at an economic optimization of the production process, but rather at studying the effects of different parameters on the production costs of biohydrogen as a guideline for future improvements. The effect of the key parameters, hydrogen productivity and yield and substrate concentration in the two fermentations on the cost of the hydrogen produced was studied. The selection of the process conditions was based mainly on laboratory data. The process was simulated by use of the software Aspen Plus and the capital costs were estimated using the program Aspen Icarus Process Evaluator. The study shows that the photo-fermentation is the main contributor to the hydrogen production cost mainly because of the cost of plastic tubing, for the photo-fermentors, which represents 40.5% of the hydrogen production cost. The costs of the capital investment and chemicals were also notable contributors to the hydrogen production cost. Major economic improvements could be achieved by increasing the productivity of the two fermentation steps on a medium-term to long-term scale. PMID:20039381

  14. 40 CFR Table 36 to Subpart G of... - Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 10 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes (See § 63.145(h)) 36 Table 36 to Subpart G of Part 63... Subpart G of Part 63—Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological...

  15. 40 CFR Table 36 to Subpart G of... - Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 9 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes (See § 63.145(h)) 36 Table 36 to Subpart G of Part 63... Subpart G of Part 63—Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological...

  16. 40 CFR Table 36 to Subpart G of... - Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 9 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes (See § 63.145(h)) 36 Table 36 to Subpart G of Part 63... Subpart G of Part 63—Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological...

  17. 40 CFR Table 36 to Subpart G of... - Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 10 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes (See § 63.145(h)) 36 Table 36 to Subpart G of Part 63... Subpart G of Part 63—Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological...

  18. 40 CFR Table 36 to Subpart G of... - Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 10 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological Treatment Processes (See § 63.145(h)) 36 Table 36 to Subpart G of Part 63... Subpart G of Part 63—Compound Lists Used for Compliance Demonstrations for Enhanced Biological...

  19. Assessing Students' Abilities in Processes of Scientific Inquiry in Biology Using a Paper-and-Pencil Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nowak, Kathrin Helena; Nehring, Andreas; Tiemann, Rüdiger; Upmeier zu Belzen, Annette

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the study was to describe, categorise and analyse students' (aged 14-16) processes of scientific inquiry in biology and chemistry education. Therefore, a theoretical structure for scientific inquiry for both biology and chemistry, the VerE model, was developed. This model consists of nine epistemological acts, which combine…

  20. Transforming Misconceptions: Using Transformative Experience to Promote Positive Affect and Conceptual Change in Students Learning about Biological Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heddy, Benjamin C.; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2013-01-01

    Teaching and learning about complex scientific content, such as biological evolution, is challenging in part because students have a difficult time seeing the relevance of evolution in their everyday lives. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of the Teaching for Transformative Experiences in Science (TTES) model (Pugh, 2002)…