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Sample records for affect functional properties

  1. Chemical Modifications that Affect Nutritional and Functional Properties of Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, T.; Kester, J. J.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses chemical alterations of selected amino acids resulting from environmental effects (photooxidations, pH extremes, thermally induced effects). Also dicusses use of intentional chemical derivatizations of various functional groups in amino acid residue side chains and how recombinant DNA techniques might be useful in structure/function…

  2. Functional groups affect physical and biological properties of dextran-based hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Sun, Guoming; Shen, Yu-I; Ho, Chia Chi; Kusuma, Sravanti; Gerecht, Sharon

    2010-06-01

    Modification of dextran backbone allows the development of a hydrogel with specific characteristics. To enhance their functionality for tissue-engineered scaffolds, a series of dextran-based macromers was synthesized by incorporating various functional groups, including allyl isocyanate (Dex-AI), ethylamine (Dex-AE), chloroacetic acid (Dex-AC), or maleic-anhydride (Dex-AM) into dextrans. The dextran-based biodegradable hybrid hydrogels are developed by integrating polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA). To explore the effect of different derivatives on hydrogel properties, three different ratios of Dex/PEGDA are examined: low (20/80), medium (40/60), and high (60/40). Differences in physical and biological properties of the hydrogels are found, including swelling, degradation rate, mechanics, crosslinking density, biocompatibility (in vitro and in vivo), and vascular endothelial growth factor release. The results also indicate that the incorporation of amine groups into dextran gives rise to hydrogels with better biocompatible and release properties. We, therefore, conclude that the incorporation of different functional groups affects the fundamental properties of a dextran-based hydrogel network, and that amine groups are preferred to generate hydrogels for biomedical use.

  3. Key soil functional properties affected by soil organic matter - evidence from published literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Brian

    2015-07-01

    The effect of varying the amount of soil organic matter on a range of individual soil properties was investigated using a literature search of published information largely from Australia, but also included relevant information from overseas. Based on published pedotransfer functions, soil organic matter was shown to increase plant available water by 2 to 3 mm per 10 cm for each 1% increase in soil organic carbon, with the largest increases being associated with sandy soils. Aggregate stability increased with increasing soil organic carbon, with aggregate stability decreasing rapidly when soil organic carbon fell below 1.2 to 1.5 5%. Soil compactibility, friability and soil erodibility were favourably improved by increasing the levels of soil organic carbon. Nutrient cycling was a major function of soil organic matter. Substantial amounts of N, P and S become available to plants when the soil organic matter is mineralised. Soil organic matter also provides a food source for the microorganisms involved in the nutrient cycling of N, P, S and K. In soils with lower clay contents, and less active clays such as kaolinites, soil organic matter can supply a significant amount of the cation exchange capacity and buffering capacity against acidification. Soil organic matter can have a cation exchange capacity of 172 to 297 cmol(+)/kg. As the cation exchange capacity of soil organic matter varies with pH, the effectiveness of soil organic matter to contribute to cation exchange capacity below pH 5.5 is often minimal. Overall soil organic matter has the potential to affect a range of functional soil properties.

  4. Increasing fish taxonomic and functional richness affects ecosystem properties of small headwater prairie streams

    DOE PAGES

    Martin, Erika C.; Gido, Keith B.; Bello, Nora; ...

    2016-04-06

    Stream fish can regulate their environment through direct and indirect pathways, and the relative influence of communities with different taxonomic and functional richness on ecosystem properties likely depends on habitat structure. Given this complexity, it is not surprising that observational studies of how stream fish communities influence ecosystems have shown mixed results. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an observed gradient of taxonomic (zero, one, two or three species) and functional (zero, one or two groups) richness of fishes on several key ecosystem properties in experimental stream mesocosms. Our study simulated small (less than two metres wide) headwatermore » prairie streams with a succession of three pool-riffle structures (upstream, middle and downstream) per mesocosm. Additionally, ecosystem responses included chlorophyll a from floating algal mats and benthic algae, benthic organic matter, macroinvertebrates (all as mass per unit area), algal filament length and stream metabolism (photosynthesis and respiration rate). Ecosystem responses were analysed individually using general linear mixed models. Significant treatment (taxonomic and functional richness) by habitat (pools and riffles) interactions were found for all but one ecosystem response variable. After accounting for location (upstream, middle and downstream) effects, the presence of one or two grazers resulted in shorter mean algal filament lengths in pools compared to no-fish controls. These observations suggest grazers can maintain short algal filaments in pools, which may inhibit long filaments from reaching the surface. Accordingly, floating algal mats decreased in mid- and downstream locations in grazer treatment relative to no-fish controls. At the scale of the entire reach, gross primary productivity and respiration were greater in treatments with two grazer species compared to mixed grazer/insectivore or control treatments. Lastly, the distribution of stream resources

  5. Increasing fish taxonomic and functional richness affects ecosystem properties of small headwater prairie streams

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Erika C.; Gido, Keith B.; Bello, Nora; Dodds, Walter K.; Veach, Allison

    2016-04-06

    Stream fish can regulate their environment through direct and indirect pathways, and the relative influence of communities with different taxonomic and functional richness on ecosystem properties likely depends on habitat structure. Given this complexity, it is not surprising that observational studies of how stream fish communities influence ecosystems have shown mixed results. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an observed gradient of taxonomic (zero, one, two or three species) and functional (zero, one or two groups) richness of fishes on several key ecosystem properties in experimental stream mesocosms. Our study simulated small (less than two metres wide) headwater prairie streams with a succession of three pool-riffle structures (upstream, middle and downstream) per mesocosm. Additionally, ecosystem responses included chlorophyll a from floating algal mats and benthic algae, benthic organic matter, macroinvertebrates (all as mass per unit area), algal filament length and stream metabolism (photosynthesis and respiration rate). Ecosystem responses were analysed individually using general linear mixed models. Significant treatment (taxonomic and functional richness) by habitat (pools and riffles) interactions were found for all but one ecosystem response variable. After accounting for location (upstream, middle and downstream) effects, the presence of one or two grazers resulted in shorter mean algal filament lengths in pools compared to no-fish controls. These observations suggest grazers can maintain short algal filaments in pools, which may inhibit long filaments from reaching the surface. Accordingly, floating algal mats decreased in mid- and downstream locations in grazer treatment relative to no-fish controls. At the scale of the entire reach, gross primary productivity and respiration were greater in treatments with two grazer species compared to mixed grazer/insectivore or control treatments. Lastly, the distribution of stream resources across

  6. Tumor-specific mutations in low-frequency genes affect their functional properties.

    PubMed

    Erdem-Eraslan, Lale; Heijsman, Daphne; de Wit, Maurice; Kremer, Andreas; Sacchetti, Andrea; van der Spek, Peter J; Sillevis Smitt, Peter A E; French, Pim J

    2015-05-01

    Causal genetic changes in oligodendrogliomas (OD) with 1p/19q co-deletion include mutations in IDH1, IDH2, CIC, FUBP1, TERT promoter and NOTCH1. However, it is generally assumed that more somatic mutations are required for tumorigenesis. This study aimed to establish whether genes mutated at low frequency can be involved in OD initiation and/or progression. We performed whole-genome sequencing on three anaplastic ODs with 1p/19q co-deletion. To estimate mutation frequency, we performed targeted resequencing on an additional 39 ODs. Whole-genome sequencing identified a total of 55 coding mutations (range 8-32 mutations per tumor), including known abnormalities in IDH1, IDH2, CIC and FUBP1. We also identified mutations in genes, most of which were previously not implicated in ODs. Targeted resequencing on 39 additional ODs confirmed that these genes are mutated at low frequency. Most of the mutations identified were predicted to have a deleterious functional effect. Functional analysis on a subset of these genes (e.g. NTN4 and MAGEH1) showed that the mutation affects the subcellular localization of the protein (n = 2/12). In addition, HOG cells stably expressing mutant GDI1 or XPO7 showed altered cell proliferation compared to those expressing wildtype constructs. Similarly, HOG cells expressing mutant SASH3 or GDI1 showed altered migration. The significantly higher rate of predicted deleterious mutations, the changes in subcellular localization and the effects on proliferation and/or migration indicate that many of these genes functionally may contribute to gliomagenesis and/or progression. These low-frequency genes and their affected pathways may provide new treatment targets for this tumor type.

  7. Functional properties of whey proteins affected by heat treatment and hydrodynamic high-pressure shearing.

    PubMed

    Dissanayake, M; Vasiljevic, T

    2009-04-01

    Two batches of native whey proteins (WP) were subjected to microfluidization or heat denaturation accompanied by microfluidization, followed by spray drying. Powders were assessed for their solubility, heat stability, coagulation time, and emulsifying and foaming properties. Effects of denaturation and shearing were examined by particle size analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, reducing and nonreducing sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE, and size exclusion-HPLC. Heat treatment significantly decreased solubility, whereas the number of microfluidization passes markedly improved solubility. The combined effect of heat and pressure significantly increased heat coagulation time. Emulsifying activity index substantially increased upon heat denaturation and was further enhanced by microfluidization. Emulsion stability appeared unaffected by the combined treatment, but the concentration of adsorbed protein on fat droplets was significantly increased. Foaming properties were diminished by heating. Particle size distribution patterns, sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE, and size exclusion-HPLC revealed disappearance of major WP and creation of relatively higher, as well as smaller, molecular weight aggregates as a result of the 2 treatments. The use of heat and microfluidization in combination could be used to stabilize WP against heat by producing microparticulated species that have different surface and colloidal properties compared with native WP. These results have implications for the use of WP as an additive in heat-processed foods.

  8. Seed viability and functional properties of broccoli sprouts during germination and postharvest storage as affected by irradiation of seeds.

    PubMed

    Waje, Catherine K; Jun, So-Yun; Lee, Yeon-Kyung; Moon, Kwang-Deog; Choi, Yong Hee; Kwon, Joong-Ho

    2009-06-01

    The viability of broccoli seeds and functional properties, such as ascorbic acid, carotenoid, chlorophyll, and total phenol contents, of broccoli sprouts grown from irradiated seeds were evaluated. The seeds were irradiated using electron beam and gamma ray at doses up to 8 kGy. High germination percentages (>90%) were observed in seeds irradiated at < or =4 kGy, but the yield ratio and sprout length decreased with increased irradiation dose. Irradiation at > or =6 kGy resulted in curling of the sprout roots. Germinated seeds contained higher amounts of nutrients than raw seeds but the nutritional quality of sprouts decreased during postharvest storage. Radiation treatment hampered the growth of irradiated seeds resulting in underdeveloped sprouts with decreased ascorbic acid, carotenoid, and chlorophyll contents. In addition, the decrease in functional content of sprouts was more substantial in samples grown from high-dose (5 kGy) irradiated seeds than that of the low-dose (1 kGy) treated ones. Seed irradiation did not negatively affect the total phenol content of sprouts. In general, electron beam and gamma irradiation of broccoli seeds showed similar effects on the viability and functional properties of sprouts.

  9. Rheological and functional properties of composite sweet potato - wheat dough as affected by transglutaminase and ascorbic acid.

    PubMed

    Ndayishimiye, Jean Bernard; Huang, Wei-Ning; Wang, Feng; Chen, Yong-Zheng; Letsididi, Rebaone; Rayas-Duarte, Patricia; Ndahetuye, Jean Baptiste; Tang, Xiao-Juan

    2016-02-01

    Effect of transglutaminase (TGM) and ascorbic acid (AA) on composite sweet potato - wheat dough functional and rheological properties was studied. Partial substitution of wheat flour with sweet potato flour at the level of 20 % significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced glutenin, gliadin, dough stability, protein weakening, storage modulus (G') and viscous modulus (G″). Mixolab revealed that both TGM and AA treated dough had stability and protein weakening closed to wheat dough (control), with TGM treated dough having the highest values. TGM Introduced new cross-link bonds as shown by the change of amino acid concentration, leading to an increase in storage modulus (G') and viscous modulus (G″), with G' being higher at all levels of TGM concentration. The opposite was observed for composite dough treated with AA as measured by controlled - stress rheometer. TGM treatment increased glutenin and gliadin content. Compared with the control, dough treated with AA exhibited high molecular weight of polymers than TGM treated dough. The results indicate that the TGM and AA modification of the mixolab and dynamic rheological characteristics (G' and G″) dependent on the changes of GMP, glutenin, gliadin and protein weakening in the composite dough. TGM and AA treatment could improve functional and rheological properties of sweet potato - wheat dough to levels that might be achieved with normal wheat bread. However, it's extremely important to optimize the concentrations of both additives to obtain the optimum response.

  10. Psychometric properties of the Greek TCI-R and its clinical correlates: schizotypy and the self-regulation of affective and cognitive functioning

    PubMed Central

    Karagiannopoulou, Leda; Rózsa, Sándor; Zouraraki, Chrysoula; Karamaouna, Penny; Cloninger, C. Robert

    2016-01-01

    Background. The revised Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) measures Cloninger’s psychobiological model of personality. The average effects of individual temperament and character traits have been associated with schizotypy and with impaired regulation of affect and cognition. We extended prior research by testing predictions about the association of specific multidimensional configurations of temperament and character traits on schizotypy, affect balance, and self-perceived cognitive functioning. Method. A well-educated sample of native Greeks (N = 483), completed a new Greek translation of the TCI-R, as well as the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), the Positive/Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ). The factor structure of the TCI-R was examined with exploratory and confirmatory tests. Associations between reported measures were examined with correlational and regression analyses. Results. The TCI-R had good psychometric properties as expected from studies in other countries. As predicted, specific configurations of temperament and character were associated with schizotypy, negative affect balance, and cognitive lapses. The “Borderline/Explosive temperament” (high Novelty Seeking, high Harm Avoidance, low Reward Dependence), “Schizotypal/Disorganized character” (low Self-directedness, low Cooperativeness, high Self-transcendence), and “Low Ego Strength/Fragile” profile (high Harm Avoidance, low Persistence, low Self-Directedness) were each strongly associated with higher stereotypy, negative affect balance (low positive affect and high negative affect), and subjective cognitive lapses compared to their contrast groups. Discussion. Multidimensional TCI profiles are strongly related to individual differences in schizotypy and self-reported regulation of affect and cognition. The Greek translation of the TCI-R is psychometrically sound and useful for clinical assessment and research. PMID

  11. Total phenolics, antioxidant activity, and functional properties of 'Tommy Atkins' mango peel and kernel as affected by drying methods.

    PubMed

    Sogi, Dalbir Singh; Siddiq, Muhammad; Greiby, Ibrahim; Dolan, Kirk D

    2013-12-01

    Mango processing produces significant amount of waste (peels and kernels) that can be utilized for the production of value-added ingredients for various food applications. Mango peel and kernel were dried using different techniques, such as freeze drying, hot air, vacuum and infrared. Freeze dried mango waste had higher antioxidant properties than those from other techniques. The ORAC values of peel and kernel varied from 418-776 and 1547-1819 μmol TE/g db. The solubility of freeze dried peel and kernel powder was the highest. The water and oil absorption index of mango waste powders ranged between 1.83-6.05 and 1.66-3.10, respectively. Freeze dried powders had the lowest bulk density values among different techniques tried. The cabinet dried waste powders can be potentially used in food products to enhance their nutritional and antioxidant properties.

  12. Physicochemical and Thermal Properties of Extruded Instant Functional Rice Porridge Powder as Affected by the Addition of Soybean or Mung Bean.

    PubMed

    Mayachiew, Pornpimon; Charunuch, Chulaluck; Devahastin, Sakamon

    2015-12-01

    Legumes contain protein, micronutrients, and bioactive compounds, which provide various health benefits. In this study, soybean or mung bean was mixed in rice flour to produce by extrusion instant functional legume-rice porridge powder. The effects of the type and percentage (10%, 20%, or 30%, w/w) of legumes on the expansion ratio of the extrudates were first evaluated. Amino acid composition, color, and selected physicochemical (bulk density, water absorption index, and water solubility index), thermal (onset temperature, peak temperature, and transition enthalpy), and pasting (peak viscosity, trough viscosity, and final viscosity) properties of the powder were determined. The crystalline structure and formation of amylose-lipid complexes and the total phenolics content (TPC) and antioxidant activity of the powder were also measured. Soybean-blended porridge powder exhibited higher TPC, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capacity, ferric reducing antioxidant power, amino acid, and fat contents than the mung bean-blended porridge powder. Incorporating either legume affected the product properties by decreasing the lightness and bulk density, while increasing the greenness and yellowness and the peak temperature and transition enthalpy. Expansion capacity of the extrudates increased with percentage of mung bean in the mixture but decreased as the percentage of soybean increased. Amylose-lipid complexes formation was confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis results. Addition of soybean or mung bean resulted in significant pasting property changes of the porridge powder.

  13. Comparative study of the functional properties of lupin, green pea, fava bean, hemp, and buckwheat flours as affected by pH

    PubMed Central

    Raikos, Vassilios; Neacsu, Madalina; Russell, Wendy; Duthie, Garry

    2014-01-01

    The demand for products of high nutritional value from sustainable sources is growing rapidly in the global food market. In this study, the effect of pH on the functional properties of lupin, green pea, fava bean, hemp, and buckwheat flours was investigated and compared with wheat flour. Functional properties included solubility, emulsifying and foaming properties, gelling ability, and water holding capacity (WHC). All flours had minimal solubility at pH 4 and their corresponding values increased with increasing pH. Emulsifying properties were improved at pH 10 for all samples and emulsion stability showed a similar trend. Increasing pH in the range 4–10 enhanced the foaming properties of the flours, particularly buckwheat and hemp. Wheat, green pea, buckwheat, and fava bean were more capable of forming firm gels compared with lupin and hemp, as indicated by least gelling concentrations (LGCs). The ranking of the water binding properties of the different types of flours were lupin>hemp>fava bean>buckwheat>green pea>wheat. Results indicate that underutilized flours from sustainable plant sources could be exploited by the food industry as functional food ingredients or as replacements of wheat flour for various food applications. Depending on the application, flour functionality may be effectively tailored by pH adjustment. PMID:25493199

  14. Comparative study of the functional properties of lupin, green pea, fava bean, hemp, and buckwheat flours as affected by pH.

    PubMed

    Raikos, Vassilios; Neacsu, Madalina; Russell, Wendy; Duthie, Garry

    2014-11-01

    The demand for products of high nutritional value from sustainable sources is growing rapidly in the global food market. In this study, the effect of pH on the functional properties of lupin, green pea, fava bean, hemp, and buckwheat flours was investigated and compared with wheat flour. Functional properties included solubility, emulsifying and foaming properties, gelling ability, and water holding capacity (WHC). All flours had minimal solubility at pH 4 and their corresponding values increased with increasing pH. Emulsifying properties were improved at pH 10 for all samples and emulsion stability showed a similar trend. Increasing pH in the range 4-10 enhanced the foaming properties of the flours, particularly buckwheat and hemp. Wheat, green pea, buckwheat, and fava bean were more capable of forming firm gels compared with lupin and hemp, as indicated by least gelling concentrations (LGCs). The ranking of the water binding properties of the different types of flours were lupin>hemp>fava bean>buckwheat>green pea>wheat. Results indicate that underutilized flours from sustainable plant sources could be exploited by the food industry as functional food ingredients or as replacements of wheat flour for various food applications. Depending on the application, flour functionality may be effectively tailored by pH adjustment.

  15. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

    The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…

  16. Subclinical hypothyroidism affects mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Kvetny, J; Wilms, L; Pedersen, P L; Larsen, J

    2010-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine mitochondrial function in cells from persons with subclinical hypothyroidism and euthyroid controls. The participating persons were examined clinically and had basal oxygen consumption (VO(2)) determined. The concentrations of thyroid hormones and thyrotropine stimulating hormone were determined, and mitochondrial function in isolated mononuclear blood cells was examined by enzymatic methods [citrate synthase activity (CS)] and by flow cytometry (mitochondrial membrane potential by TMRM fluorescence and mitochondrial mass by MTG fluorescence). The ratio of T(4)/T(3) was lowered in subclinical hypothyroidism patients compared to controls (2.5+/-0.5 vs. 2.9+/-0.4, p=0.005). VO(2) was increased in persons with subclinical hypothyroidism compared to controls (adolescents: 134+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 119+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.006, adults: 139+/-14 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 121+/-17 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.001). The mitochondrial function, represented by citrate synthase activity, MTG, and TMRM fluorescence were all increased (CS in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 0.074+/-0.044 nmol/mg*min vs. 0.056+/-0.021 nmol/mg*min, p=0.005; MTG fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 7,482+/-1,733 a.u. vs. 6,391+/-2,171 a.u., p=0.027; TMRM fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 13,449+/-3,807 a.u. vs. 11,733+/-4,473 a.u, p=0.04). Our results indicate an increased mitochondrial stimulation, eventually caused by increased deiodination of T(4) to intracellular bioactive iodothyronines in adults and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism.

  17. In vitro digestibility, protein composition and techno-functional properties of Saskatchewan grown yellow field peas (Pisum sativum L.) as affected by processing.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhen; Boye, Joyce I; Hu, Xinzhong

    2017-02-01

    Saskatchewan grown yellow field pea was subjected to different processing conditions including dehulling, micronization, roasting, conventional/microwave cooking, germination, and combined germination and conventional cooking/roasting. Their nutritional and antinutritional compositions, functional properties, microstructure, thermal properties, in vitro protein and starch digestibility, and protein composition were studied. Processed field peas including conventional cooked yellow peas (CCYP), microwave cooked yellow peas (MCYP), germinated-conventional cooked yellow peas (GCCYP), and germinated-roasted yellow peas (GRYP) exhibited the significantly higher in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD), which was in accordance with their significantly lower trypsin inhibitor activity and tannin content. The SDS-PAGE and size exclusion HPLC profiles of untreated pea proteins and their hydrolysates also confirmed the IVPD result that these four treatments facilitated the hydrolysis of pea proteins to a greater extent. The CCYP, MCYP, GCCYP, and GRYP also exhibited significantly higher starch digestibility which was supported by their lower onset (To), peak (Tp), and conclusion (Tc) temperatures obtained from DSC thermogram, their lower pasting properties and starch damage results, as well as their distinguished amorphous flakes' configuration observed on the scanning electron microscopic image. LC/ESI-MS/MS analysis following in-gel digests of SDS-PAGE separated proteins allowed detailed compositional characterization of pea proteins. The present study would provide fundamental information to help to better understand the functionality of field peas as ingredients, and particularly in regards to agri-food industry to improve the process efficiency of field peas with enhanced nutritional and techno-functional qualities.

  18. Functional properties of vinegar.

    PubMed

    Budak, Nilgün H; Aykin, Elif; Seydim, Atif C; Greene, Annel K; Guzel-Seydim, Zeynep B

    2014-05-01

    A variety of natural vinegar products are found in civilizations around the world. A review of research on these fermented products indicates numerous reports of health benefits derived by consumption of vinegar components. Therapeutic effects of vinegar arising from consuming the inherent bioactive components including acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, ephicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and ferulic acid cause antioxidative, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiobesity, antihypertensive, and cholesterol-lowering responses. The aims of this article are to discuss vinegar history, production, varieties, acetic acid bacteria, and functional properties of vinegars.

  19. Tillage system affects microbiological properties of soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado, A.; de Santiago, A.; Avilés, M.; Perea, F.

    2012-04-01

    Soil tillage significantly affects organic carbon accumulation, microbial biomass, and subsequently enzymatic activity in surface soil. Microbial activity in soil is a crucial parameter contributing to soil functioning, and thus a basic quality factor for soil. Since enzymes remain soil after excretion by living or disintegrating cells, shifts in their activities reflect long-term fluctuations in microbial biomass. In order to study the effects of no-till on biochemical and microbiological properties in comparison to conventional tillage in a representative soil from South Spain, an experiment was conducted since 1982 on the experimental farm of the Institute of Agriculture and Fisheries Research of Andalusia (IFAPA) in Carmona, SW Spain (37o24'07''N, 5o35'10''W). The soil at the experimental site was a very fine, montomorillonitic, thermic Chromic Haploxerert (Soil Survey Staff, 2010). A randomized complete block design involving three replications and the following two tillage treatments was performed: (i) Conventional tillage, which involved mouldboard plowing to a depth of 50 cm in the summer (once every three years), followed by field cultivation to a depth of 15 cm before sowing; crop residues being burnt, (ii) No tillage, which involved controlling weeds before sowing by spraying glyphosate and sowing directly into the crop residue from the previous year by using a planter with double-disk openers. For all tillage treatments, the crop rotation (annual crops) consisted of winter wheat, sunflower, and legumes (pea, chickpea, or faba bean, depending on the year), which were grown under rainfed conditions. Enzymatic activities (ß-glucosidase, dehydrogenase, aryl-sulphatase, acid phosphatase, and urease), soil microbial biomass by total viable cells number by acridine orange direct count, the density of cultivable groups of bacteria and fungi by dilution plating on semi-selective media, the physiological profiles of the microbial communities by BiologR, and the

  20. Sorghum-cowpea composite porridge as a functional food, Part II: Antioxidant properties as affected by simulated in vitro gastrointestinal digestion.

    PubMed

    Apea-Bah, Franklin B; Minnaar, Amanda; Bester, Megan J; Duodu, Kwaku G

    2016-04-15

    The effect of compositing red non-tannin sorghum with brownish-cream cowpea and in vitro gastrointestinal digestion on total phenolic and flavonoid contents and antioxidant properties of a sorghum-cowpea composite porridge was studied. Maize-soybean composite porridge was used as a reference sample. Antioxidant properties were studied using radical scavenging activities against the 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), peroxyl and NO radicals as well as inhibition of low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and oxidative damage of vector DNA. Hydroperoxide content of the samples was also measured. All the samples demonstrated radical scavenging activity. Simulated duodenal digests of the porridges had hydroperoxides and therefore caused LDL oxidation. The undigested porridges and simulated gastric digests inhibited LDL oxidation. Compositing the cereals with legumes increased total phenolic and flavonoid contents and NO scavenging activity of their porridges. In vitro gastrointestinal digestion of the porridges increased their total phenolic and flavonoid contents, radical scavenging activities and LDL oxidation inhibitory activity.

  1. Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph

    2009-04-30

    Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.

  2. Protein recovery from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) processing byproducts via isoelectric solubilization/precipitation and its gelation properties as affected by functional additives.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Chen; Jaczynski, Jacek

    2007-10-31

    Solubility of rainbow trout proteins was determined between pH 1.5 and 13.0 and various ionic strengths (IS). Minimum solubility occurred at pH 5.5; however, when IS = 0.2, the minimum solubility shifted toward more acidic pH. Isoelectric solubilization/precipitation was applied to trout processing byproducts (fish meat left over on bones, head, skin, etc.), resulting in protein recovery yields (Kjeldahl, dry basis) between 77.7% and 89.0%, depending of the pH used for solubilization and precipitation. The recovered protein contained 1.4-2.1% ash (dry basis), while the trout processing byproducts (i.e., starting material) 13.9%. Typical boneless and skinless trout fillets contain 5.5% ash, and therefore, the isoelectric solubilization/precipitation effectively removed impurities such as bones, scales, skin, etc., from the trout processing byproducts. The recovered proteins retained gel-forming ability as assessed with dynamic rheology, torsion test, and texture profile analysis (TPA). However, the recovered proteins failed to gel unless beef plasma protein (BPP) was added. Even with BPP, the recovered protein showed some proteolysis between 40 and 55 degrees C. Addition of potato starch, transglutaminase, and phosphate to the recovered proteins resulted in good texture of trout gels as confirmed by torsion test and TPA. Higher ( P < 0.05) shear stress and strain were measured for gels developed from basic pH treatments than the acidic counterparts. However, proteins recovered from acidic treatments had higher ( P < 0.05) lipid content than the basic treatments. This is probably why the gels from acidic treatments were whiter ( L* - 3 b*) ( P < 0.05) than those from the basic ones. Our study demonstrates that functional proteins can be efficiently recovered from low-value fish processing byproducts using isoelectric solubilization/precipitation and subsequently be used in value-added human foods.

  3. Physical and chemical properties of industrial mineral oils affecting lubrication

    SciTech Connect

    Godfrey, D.; Herguth, W.R.

    1996-02-01

    The lubricating properties of mineral oils, and contaminants which affect those properties, are discussed. A contaminant is any material not in the original fresh oil, whether it is generated within the system or ingested. 5 refs.

  4. Physical and chemical properties of industrial mineral oils affecting lubrication

    SciTech Connect

    Godfrey, D.; Herguth, W.R.

    1995-05-01

    The physical and chemical properties of mineral oils that affect lubrication are reviewed. Recognition of these properties is useful for designing lubrication systems, diagnostics, friction and wear problems, and selecting appropriate test methods.

  5. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype.

  6. Factors Affecting the Textural Properties of Pork

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmer, Sean Frederick

    2009-01-01

    Research concerning rate and extent of tenderization has focused on beef or lamb. However, it is critical to understand these processes in pork, especially as retailers move towards minimally processed or non-enhanced product. The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the textural properties of pork (firmness and tenderness) by examining…

  7. City snow's physicochemical property affects snow disposal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dovbysh, V. O.; Sharukha, A. V.; Evtin, P. V.; Vershinina, S. V.

    2015-10-01

    At the present day the industrial cities run into severe problem: fallen snow in a city it's a concentrator of pollutants and their quantity is constantly increasing by technology development. Pollution of snow increases because of emission of gases to the atmosphere by cars and factories. Large accumulation of polluted snow engenders many vexed ecological problems. That's why we need a new, non-polluting, scientifically based method of snow disposal. This paper investigates polluted snow's physicochemical property effects on snow melting. A distinctive feature of the ion accelerators with self-magnetically insulated diode is that there.

  8. Population properties affect inbreeding avoidance in moose.

    PubMed

    Herfindal, Ivar; Haanes, Hallvard; Røed, Knut H; Solberg, Erling J; Markussen, Stine S; Heim, Morten; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2014-12-01

    Mechanisms reducing inbreeding are thought to have evolved owing to fitness costs of breeding with close relatives. In small and isolated populations, or populations with skewed age- or sex distributions, mate choice becomes limited, and inbreeding avoidance mechanisms ineffective. We used a unique individual-based dataset on moose from a small island in Norway to assess whether inbreeding avoidance was related to population structure and size, expecting inbreeding avoidance to be greater in years with larger populations and even adult sex ratios. The probability that a potential mating event was realized was negatively related to the inbreeding coefficient of the potential offspring, with a stronger relationship in years with a higher proportion or number of males in the population. Thus, adult sex ratio and population size affect the degree of inbreeding avoidance. Consequently, conservation managers should aim for sex ratios that facilitate inbreeding avoidance, especially in small and isolated populations.

  9. Does iron deficiency anemia affect olfactory function?

    PubMed

    Dinc, Mehmet Emre; Dalgic, Abdullah; Ulusoy, Seckin; Dizdar, Denizhan; Develioglu, Omer; Topak, Murat

    2016-07-01

    Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values.

  10. Fiber: composition, structures, and functional properties.

    PubMed

    Sims, Ian M; Monro, John A

    2013-01-01

    Kiwifruit dietary fiber consists of cell-wall polysaccharides that are typical of the cell walls of many dicotyledonous fruits, being composed of pectic polysaccharides, hemicelluloses, and cellulose. The kiwifruit pectic polysaccharides consist of homo- and rhamnogalacturonans with various neutral, (arabino)-galactan side chains, while the hemicelluloses are mostly xyloglucan and xylan. The proportions of pectic polysaccharide, hemicellulose, and cellulose in both green 'Hayward' and 'Zespri® Gold' are similar and are little affected by in vitro exposure to gastric and small intestinal digestion. The hydration properties of the kiwifruit-swelling and water retention capacity-are also unaffected by foregut digestion, indicating that the functional properties of kiwifruit fiber survive in the foregut. However, in the hindgut, kiwifruit fiber is fermented, but whole kiwifruit consumed in association with slowly fermented fiber leads to distal displacement of fermentation, indicating that hindgut benefits of kiwifruit may result from its interaction with other dietary sources of fiber.

  11. How forest fire affects the chemical properties of Andisols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neris, Jonay; Hernández-Moreno, José Manuel; Tejedor, Marisa; Jiménez, Concepción

    2013-04-01

    Forest fires affect soil physical, chemical and mineralogical properties. However, the magnitude of these changes depends on both fire properties, such as the peak temperature reached and duration or depth achieved; and initial soil properties (soil type) as for example soil moisture, organic matter content or soil structure characteristics. Although many works have studied the effects of fire on the chemical properties of different soil types, its effects on Andisols properties have been omitted until now. Taking into account the high susceptibility to drying processes showed by the properties of Andisols affected by land use changes, it could be expected that the fire effects on their chemical properties may differ from those shown by other types of soil. In this study, the main chemical properties in addition to the specific andic properties of burned pine forest Andisols were compared to their unburned control. The chemical properties of ashes found after fire at the soil surface were also studied. The results show a slightly increase in EC and pH after the fire due mainly to the higher content of cations of the soil solution. Ashes derived from the vegetation and soil organic matter consumption by fire could be the main source of these elements in the soils after a fire, as they showed a high cation content. However, the rise in EC and pH is lower than the reported by most authors for other soil types. This behaviour could be related to the higher organic matter content of this soils, even after fire, and the buffering effect of organic compounds on the soil EC and pH changes after the fire. As other authors have shown, a decrease in both the total and active organic content after the fire was also observed as a result of the fire event. The specific andic properties of Andisols were also affected. The P retention of these soils slightly declines as a consequence of fire, while the content of short-range-order products was also modified, but no statistically

  12. Functional Properties of Microorganisms in Fermented Foods.

    PubMed

    Tamang, Jyoti P; Shin, Dong-Hwa; Jung, Su-Jin; Chae, Soo-Wan

    2016-01-01

    Fermented foods have unique functional properties imparting some health benefits to consumers due to presence of functional microorganisms, which possess probiotics properties, antimicrobial, antioxidant, peptide production, etc. Health benefits of some global fermented foods are synthesis of nutrients, prevention of cardiovascular disease, prevention of cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, allergic reactions, diabetes, among others. The present paper is aimed to review the information on some functional properties of the microorganisms associated with fermented foods and beverages, and their health-promoting benefits to consumers.

  13. How Does Maternal Employment Affect Children's Socioemotional Functioning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Gigi

    2015-01-01

    The maternal employment becomes an irreversible trend across the globe. The effect of maternal employment on children's socioemotional functioning is so pervasive that it warrants special attention to investigate into the issue. A trajectory of analytical framework of how maternal employment affects children's socioemotional functioning originates…

  14. How Molecular Structure Affects Mechanical Properties of an Advanced Polymer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nicholson, Lee M.; Whitley, Karen S.; Gates, Thomas S.; Hinkley, Jeffrey A.

    2000-01-01

    density was performed over a range of temperatures below the glass transition temperature. The physical characterization, elastic properties and notched tensile strength all as a function of molecular weight and test temperature were determined. For the uncrosslinked SI material, it was shown that notched tensile strength is a strong function of both temperature and molecular weight, whereas stiffness is only a strong function of temperature. For the crosslinked PETI-SI material, it was shown that the effect of crosslinking significantly enhances the mechanical performance of the low molecular weight material; comparable to that exhibited by the high molecular weight material.

  15. Serotonin and Dopamine: Unifying Affective, Activational, and Decision Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D

    2011-01-01

    Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991

  16. Testing Properties of Boolean Functions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    think of Pno as forming the argument multiset Sno by choosing ` = k − e random columns from Q 103 without replacement, and including an additional e...Rno) ≤ dTV(Syes, Sno ). (10.2) This inequality can be extremely lossy, depending on the function gcore. However, since Theorem 10.1 applies for an...absence of additional restrictions on the class of functions considered, there is no obvious way to bound dTV(Ryes, Rno) except by dTV(Syes, Sno

  17. Properties and applications of chemically functionalized graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craciun, M. F.; Khrapach, I.; Barnes, M. D.; Russo, S.

    2013-10-01

    The vast and yet largely unexplored family of graphene materials has great potential for future electronic devices with novel functionalities. The ability to engineer the electrical and optical properties in graphene by chemically functionalizing it with a molecule or adatom is widening considerably the potential applications targeted by graphene. Indeed, functionalized graphene has been found to be the best known transparent conductor or a wide gap semiconductor. At the same time, understanding the mechanisms driving the functionalization of graphene with hydrogen is proving to be of fundamental interest for energy storage devices. Here we discuss recent advances on the properties and applications of chemically functionalized graphene.

  18. Emergent properties of patch shapes affect edge permeability to animals.

    PubMed

    Nams, Vilis O

    2011-01-01

    Animal travel between habitat patches affects populations, communities and ecosystems. There are three levels of organization of edge properties, and each of these can affect animals. At the lowest level are the different habitats on each side of an edge, then there is the edge itself, and finally, at the highest level of organization, is the geometry or structure of the edge. This study used computer simulations to (1) find out whether effects of edge shapes on animal behavior can arise as emergent properties solely due to reactions to edges in general, without the animals reacting to the shapes of the edges, and to (2) generate predictions to allow field and experimental studies to test mechanisms of edge shape response. Individual animals were modeled traveling inside a habitat patch that had different kinds of edge shapes (convex, concave and straight). When animals responded edges of patches, this created an emergent property of responding to the shape of the edge. The response was mostly to absolute width of the shapes, and not the narrowness of them. When animals were attracted to edges, then they tended to collect in convexities and disperse from concavities, and the opposite happened when animals avoided edges. Most of the responses occurred within a distance of 40% of the perceptual range from the tip of the shapes. Predictions were produced for directionality at various locations and combinations of treatments, to be used for testing edge behavior mechanisms. These results suggest that edge shapes tend to either concentrate or disperse animals, simply because the animals are either attracted to or avoid edges, with an effect as great as 3 times the normal density. Thus edge shape could affect processes like pollination, seed predation and dispersal and predator abundance.

  19. Functional Properties of Microorganisms in Fermented Foods

    PubMed Central

    Tamang, Jyoti P.; Shin, Dong-Hwa; Jung, Su-Jin; Chae, Soo-Wan

    2016-01-01

    Fermented foods have unique functional properties imparting some health benefits to consumers due to presence of functional microorganisms, which possess probiotics properties, antimicrobial, antioxidant, peptide production, etc. Health benefits of some global fermented foods are synthesis of nutrients, prevention of cardiovascular disease, prevention of cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, allergic reactions, diabetes, among others. The present paper is aimed to review the information on some functional properties of the microorganisms associated with fermented foods and beverages, and their health-promoting benefits to consumers. PMID:27199913

  20. Evaluation of different factors affecting antimicrobial properties of chitosan.

    PubMed

    Hosseinnejad, Mahmoud; Jafari, Seid Mahdi

    2016-04-01

    Chitosan as one of the natural biopolymers with antimicrobial activities could be a good choice to be applied in many areas including pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics, chemicals, agricultural crops, etc. There have been many studies in the literature which show this superb polymer is dependent on many factors to display its antimicrobial properties including the environmental conditions such as pH, type of microorganism, and neighbouring components; and its structural conditions such as molecular weight, degree of deacetylation, derivative form, its concentration, and original source. In this review, after a brief explanation of antimicrobial activity of chitosan and its importance, we will discuss the factors affecting the antimicrobial properties of this biopolymer based on recent studies.

  1. Silicified structures affect leaf optical properties in grasses and sedge.

    PubMed

    Klančnik, Katja; Vogel-Mikuš, Katarina; Gaberščik, Alenka

    2014-01-05

    Silicon (Si) is an important structural element that can accumulate at high concentrations in grasses and sedges, and therefore Si structures might affect the optical properties of the leaves. To better understand the role of Si in light/leaf interactions in species rich in Si, we examined the total Si and silica phytoliths, the biochemical and morphological leaf properties, and the reflectance and transmittance spectra in grasses (Phragmites australis, Phalaris arundinacea, Molinia caerulea, Deschampsia cespitosa) and sedge (Carex elata). We show that these grasses contain >1% phytoliths per dry mass, while the sedge contains only 0.4%. The data reveal the variable leaf structures of these species and significant differences in the amount of Si and phytoliths between developing and mature leaves within each species and between grasses and sedge, with little difference seen among the grass species. Redundancy analysis shows the significant roles of the different near-surface silicified leaf structures (e.g., prickle hairs, cuticle, epidermis), phytoliths and Si contents, which explain the majority of the reflectance and transmittance spectra variability. The amount of explained variance differs between mature and developing leaves. The transmittance spectra are also significantly affected by chlorophyll a content and calcium levels in the leaf tissue.

  2. Mechanical Properties of Heat Affected Zone of High Strength Steels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sefcikova, K.; Brtnik, T.; Dolejs, J.; Keltamaki, K.; Topilla, R.

    2015-11-01

    High Strength Steels became more popular as a construction material during last decade because of their increased availability and affordability. On the other hand, even though general use of Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) is expanding, the wide utilization is limited because of insufficient information about their behaviour in structures. The most widely used technique for joining steels is fusion welding. The welding process has an influence not only on the welded connection but on the area near this connection, the so-called heat affected zone, as well. For that reason it is very important to be able to determine the properties in the heat affected zone (HAZ). This area of investigation is being continuously developed in dependence on significant progress in material production, especially regarding new types of steels available. There are currently several types of AHSS on the world market. Two most widely used processes for AHSS production are Thermo-Mechanically Controlled Processing (TMCP) and Quenching in connection with Tempering. In the presented study, TMCP and QC steels grade S960 were investigated. The study is focused on the changes of strength, ductility, hardness and impact strength in heat affected zone based on the used amount of heat input.

  3. Analytical properties of credibilistic expectation functions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuming; Wang, Bo; Watada, Junzo

    2014-01-01

    The expectation function of fuzzy variable is an important and widely used criterion in fuzzy optimization, and sound properties on the expectation function may help in model analysis and solution algorithm design for the fuzzy optimization problems. The present paper deals with some analytical properties of credibilistic expectation functions of fuzzy variables that lie in three aspects. First, some continuity theorems on the continuity and semicontinuity conditions are proved for the expectation functions. Second, a differentiation formula of the expectation function is derived which tells that, under certain conditions, the derivative of the fuzzy expectation function with respect to the parameter equals the expectation of the derivative of the fuzzy function with respect to the parameter. Finally, a law of large numbers for fuzzy variable sequences is obtained leveraging on the Chebyshev Inequality of fuzzy variables. Some examples are provided to verify the results obtained.

  4. Do Non-Collagenous Proteins Affect Skeletal Mechanical Properties?

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Stacyann; Poundarik, Atharva A.; Vashishth, Deepak

    2015-01-01

    The remarkable mechanical behavior of bone is attributed to its complex nanocomposite structure that, in addition to mineral and collagen, comprises a variety of non-collagenous matrix proteins or NCPs. Traditionally, NCPs have been studied as signaling molecules in biological processes including bone formation, resorption and turnover. Limited attention has been given to their role in determining the mechanical properties of bone. Recent studies have highlighted that NCPs can indeed be lost or modified with aging, diseases and drug therapies. Homozygous and heterozygous mice models of key NCP provide a useful approach to determine the impact of NCPs on bone morphology as well as matrix quality, and to carry out detailed mechanical analysis for elucidating the pathway by which NCPs can affect the mechanical properties of bone. In this article, we present a systematic analysis of a large cohort of NCPs on bone’s structural and material hierarchy, and identify three principal pathways by which they determine bone’s mechanical properties. These pathways include alterations of bone morphological parameters crucial for bone’s structural competency, bone quality changes in key matrix parameters (mineral and collagen), and a direct role as load bearing structural proteins. PMID:26048282

  5. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High Functioning Autism

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Purpose We investigated perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody, but atypical lexical prosody production. Method 16 children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers participated in three experiments: 1. Perception of affective prosody, 2. Lexical stress perception, 3. Lexical stress production. In Experiment 1, participants labeled sad, happy, and neutral spoken sentences that were low-pass filtered, to eliminate verbal content. In Experiment 2 participants disambiguated word meanings based on lexical stress (HOTdog, vs. hotDOG). In Experiment 3 participants produced these words in a sentence completion task. Productions were analyzed using acoustic measures. Results Accuracy levels showed no group differences. Participants with HFA could determine affect from filtered sentences and disambiguate words based on lexical stress. They produced appropriately differentiated lexical stress patterns but demonstrated atypically long productions indicating reduced ability in natural prosody production. Conclusions Children with HFA were as capable as their TD peers in receptive tasks of lexical stress and affective prosody. Prosody productions were atypically long, despite accurate differentiation of lexical stress patterns. Future research should use larger samples and spontaneous vs. elicited productions. PMID:20530388

  6. Dietary levels of acrylamide affect rat cardiomyocyte properties.

    PubMed

    Walters, Brandan; Hariharan, Venkatesh; Huang, Hayden

    2014-09-01

    The toxic effects of acrylamide on cytoskeletal integrity and ion channel balance is well-established in many cell types, but there has been little examination regarding the effects of acrylamide on primary cardiomyocytes, despite the importance of such components in their function. Furthermore, acrylamide toxicity is generally examined using concentrations higher than those found in vivo under starch-rich diets. Accordingly, we sought to characterize the dose-dependent effects of acrylamide on various properties, including cell morphology, contraction patterns, and junctional connexin 43 staining, in primary cardiomyocytes. We show that several days exposure to 1-100 μM acrylamide resulted in altered morphology, irregular contraction patterns, and an increase in the amount of immunoreactive signal for connexin 43 at cell junctions. We conclude that dietary levels of acrylamide may alter cellular function with prolonged exposure, in primary cardiomyocytes.

  7. Functional significance of preserved affect recognition in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.

    2009-01-01

    Affect recognition (AR) is a core component of social information processing, thus may be critical to understanding social behavior and functioning in broader aspects of daily living. Deficits in AR are well documented in schizophrenia, however, there is also evidence that many individuals with schizophrenia perform AR tasks at near-normal levels. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the functional significance of AR deficits in schizophrenia by comparing subgroups with normal-range and impaired AR performance on proxy and interviewer-rated measures of real-world functioning. Schizophrenia outpatients were classified as normal-range (N=17) and impaired (N=31) based on a logistic cut point in the sample distribution of BLERT scores, referenced to a normative sample of healthy control subjects (N=56). The derived schizophrenia subgroups were then compared on proxy (UCSD, UPSA, SSPA, MMAA) and interviewer-rated (QLS, ILSS) measures of functioning, as well as battery of neurocognitive tests. Initial analyses indicated superior MMAA and QLS performance in the near-normal AR subgroup. Covariate analyses indicated that group differences in neurocognition fully mediated the observed associations between AR and MMAA and attenuated the observed relationships between AR classification and QLS. These results support three main conclusions. First, AR, like many other domains of psychopathology studied in schizophrenia, is preserved in select subgroups. Second, there is a positive relationship between AR performance and functional outcome measures. Third, neurocognition appears to mediate the relationship between AR and measures of functioning. PMID:20202689

  8. Biochar physico-chemical properties as affected by environmental exposure.

    PubMed

    Sorrenti, Giovambattista; Masiello, Caroline A; Dugan, Brandon; Toselli, Moreno

    2016-09-01

    To best use biochar as a sustainable soil management and carbon (C) sequestration technique, we must understand the effect of environmental exposure on its physical and chemical properties because they likely vary with time. These properties play an important role in biochar's environmental behavior and delivery of ecosystem services. We measured biochar before amendment and four years after amendment to a commercial nectarine orchard at rates of 5, 15 and 30tha(-1). We combined two pycnometry techniques to measure skeletal (ρs) and envelope (ρe) density and to estimate the total pore volume of biochar particles. We also examined imbibition, which can provide information about soil hydraulic conductivity. Finally, we investigated the chemical properties, surface, inner layers atomic composition and C1s bonding state of biochar fragments through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Ageing increased biochar skeletal density and reduced the water imbibition rate within fragments as a consequence of partial pore clogging. However, porosity and the volume of water stored in particles remained unchanged. Exposure reduced biochar pH, EC, and total C, but enhanced total N, nitrate-N, and ammonium-N. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses showed an increase of O, Si, N, Na, Al, Ca, Mn, and Fe surface (0-5nm) atomic composition (at%) and a reduction of C and K in aged particles, confirming the interactions of biochar with soil inorganic and organic phases. Oxidation of aged biochar fragments occurred mainly in the particle surface, and progressively decreased down to 75nm. Biochar surface chemistry changes included the development of carbonyl and carboxylate functional groups, again mainly on the particle surface. However, changes were noticeable down to 75nm, while no significant changes were measured in the deepest layer, up to 110nm. Results show unequivocal shifts in biochar physical and chemical properties/characteristics over short (~years) timescales.

  9. Abnormal GABAergic function and negative affect in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Stephan F; Demeter, Elise; Phan, K Luan; Tso, Ivy F; Welsh, Robert C

    2014-03-01

    Deficits in the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system have been reported in postmortem studies of schizophrenia, and therapeutic interventions in schizophrenia often involve potentiation of GABA receptors (GABAR) to augment antipsychotic therapy and treat negative affect such as anxiety. To map GABAergic mechanisms associated with processing affect, we used a benzodiazepine challenge while subjects viewed salient visual stimuli. Fourteen stable, medicated schizophrenia/schizoaffective patients and 13 healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) technique while they viewed salient emotional images. Subjects received intravenous lorazepam (LRZ; 0.01 mg/kg) or saline in a single-blinded, cross-over design (two sessions separated by 1-3 weeks). A predicted group by drug interaction was noted in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as well as right superior frontal gyrus and left and right occipital regions, such that psychosis patients showed an increased BOLD signal to LRZ challenge, rather than the decreased signal exhibited by the comparison group. A main effect of reduced BOLD signal in bilateral occipital areas was noted across groups. Consistent with the role of the dmPFC in processing emotion, state negative affect positively correlated with the response to the LRZ challenge in the dmPFC for the patients and comparison subjects. The altered response to LRZ challenge is consistent with altered inhibition predicted by postmortem findings of altered GABAR in schizophrenia. These results also suggest that negative affect in schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder is associated-directly or indirectly-with GABAergic function on a continuum with normal behavior.

  10. Particle size distribution of rice flour affecting the starch enzymatic hydrolysis and hydration properties.

    PubMed

    de la Hera, Esther; Gomez, Manuel; Rosell, Cristina M

    2013-10-15

    Rice flour is becoming very attractive as raw material, but there is lack of information about the influence of particle size on its functional properties and starch digestibility. This study evaluates the degree of dependence of the rice flour functional properties, mainly derived from starch behavior, with the particle size distribution. Hydration properties of flours and gels and starch enzymatic hydrolysis of individual fractions were assessed. Particle size heterogeneity on rice flour significantly affected functional properties and starch features, at room temperature and also after gelatinization; and the extent of that effect was grain type dependent. Particle size heterogeneity on rice flour induces different pattern in starch enzymatic hydrolysis, with the long grain having slower hydrolysis as indicated the rate constant (k). No correlation between starch digestibility and hydration properties or the protein content was observed. It seems that in intact granules interactions with other grain components must be taken into account. Overall, particle size fractionation of rice flour might be advisable for selecting specific physico-chemical properties.

  11. Maternal nutrient restriction affects properties of skeletal muscle in offspring

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Mei J; Ford, Stephen P; Means, Warrie J; Hess, Bret W; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Du, Min

    2006-01-01

    Maternal nutrient restriction (NR) affects fetal development with long-term consequences on postnatal health of offspring, including predisposition to obesity and diabetes. Most studies have been conducted in fetuses in late gestation, and little information is available on the persistent impact of NR from early to mid-gestation on properties of offspring skeletal muscle, which was the aim of this study. Pregnant ewes were subjected to 50% NR from day 28–78 of gestation and allowed to deliver. The longissimus dorsi muscle was sampled from 8-month-old offspring. Maternal NR during early to mid-gestation decreased the number of myofibres in the offspring and increased the ratio of myosin IIb to other isoforms by 17.6 ± 4.9% (P < 0.05) compared with offspring of ad libitum fed ewes. Activity of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1, a key enzyme controlling fatty acid oxidation, was reduced by 24.7 ± 4.5% (P < 0.05) in skeletal muscle of offspring of NR ewes and would contribute to increased fat accumulation observed in offspring of NR ewes. Intramuscular triglyceride content (IMTG) was increased in skeletal muscle of NR lambs, a finding which may be linked to predisposition to diabetes in offspring of NR mothers, since enhanced IMTG predisposes to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Proteomic analysis by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis demonstrated downregulation of several catabolic enzymes in 8-month-old offspring of NR ewes. These data demonstrate that the early to mid-gestation period is important for skeletal muscle development. Impaired muscle development during this stage of gestation affects the number and composition of fibres in offspring which may lead to long-term physiological consequences, including predisposition to obesity and diabetes. PMID:16763001

  12. Modulation of GLO1 Expression Affects Malignant Properties of Cells.

    PubMed

    Hutschenreuther, Antje; Bigl, Marina; Hemdan, Nasr Y A; Debebe, Tewodros; Gaunitz, Frank; Birkenmeier, Gerd

    2016-12-18

    The energy metabolism of most tumor cells relies on aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect) characterized by an increased glycolytic flux that is accompanied by the increased formation of the cytotoxic metabolite methylglyoxal (MGO). Consequently, the rate of detoxification of this reactive glycolytic byproduct needs to be increased in order to prevent deleterious effects to the cells. This is brought about by an increased expression of glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) that is the rate-limiting enzyme of the MGO-detoxifying glyoxalase system. Here, we overexpressed GLO1 in HEK 293 cells and silenced it in MCF-7 cells using shRNA. Tumor-related properties of wild type and transformed cells were compared and key glycolytic enzyme activities assessed. Furthermore, the cells were subjected to hypoxic conditions to analyze the impact on cell proliferation and enzyme activities. Our results demonstrate that knockdown of GLO1 in the cancer cells significantly reduced tumor-associated properties such as migration and proliferation, whereas no functional alterations where found by overexpression of GLO1 in HEK 293 cells. In contrast, hypoxia caused inhibition of cell growth of all cells except of those overexpressing GLO1. Altogether, we conclude that GLO1 on one hand is crucial to maintaining tumor characteristics of malignant cells, and, on the other hand, supports malignant transformation of cells in a hypoxic environment when overexpressed.

  13. Modulation of GLO1 Expression Affects Malignant Properties of Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hutschenreuther, Antje; Bigl, Marina; Hemdan, Nasr Y. A.; Debebe, Tewodros; Gaunitz, Frank; Birkenmeier, Gerd

    2016-01-01

    The energy metabolism of most tumor cells relies on aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect) characterized by an increased glycolytic flux that is accompanied by the increased formation of the cytotoxic metabolite methylglyoxal (MGO). Consequently, the rate of detoxification of this reactive glycolytic byproduct needs to be increased in order to prevent deleterious effects to the cells. This is brought about by an increased expression of glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) that is the rate-limiting enzyme of the MGO-detoxifying glyoxalase system. Here, we overexpressed GLO1 in HEK 293 cells and silenced it in MCF-7 cells using shRNA. Tumor-related properties of wild type and transformed cells were compared and key glycolytic enzyme activities assessed. Furthermore, the cells were subjected to hypoxic conditions to analyze the impact on cell proliferation and enzyme activities. Our results demonstrate that knockdown of GLO1 in the cancer cells significantly reduced tumor-associated properties such as migration and proliferation, whereas no functional alterations where found by overexpression of GLO1 in HEK 293 cells. In contrast, hypoxia caused inhibition of cell growth of all cells except of those overexpressing GLO1. Altogether, we conclude that GLO1 on one hand is crucial to maintaining tumor characteristics of malignant cells, and, on the other hand, supports malignant transformation of cells in a hypoxic environment when overexpressed. PMID:27999356

  14. Force distribution affects vibrational properties in hard-sphere glasses.

    PubMed

    DeGiuli, Eric; Lerner, Edan; Brito, Carolina; Wyart, Matthieu

    2014-12-02

    We theoretically and numerically study the elastic properties of hard-sphere glasses and provide a real-space description of their mechanical stability. In contrast to repulsive particles at zero temperature, we argue that the presence of certain pairs of particles interacting with a small force f soften elastic properties. This softening affects the exponents characterizing elasticity at high pressure, leading to experimentally testable predictions. Denoting P(f) ~ f(θ(e)), the force distribution of such pairs and ϕ(c) the packing fraction at which pressure diverges, we predict that (i) the density of states has a low-frequency peak at a scale ω*, rising up to it as D(ω) ~ ω(2+a), and decaying above ω* as D(ω) ~ ω(-a) where a = (1 - θ(e))/(3 + θ(e)) and ω is the frequency, (ii) shear modulus and mean-squared displacement are inversely proportional with ⟨δR²⟩ ~ 1/μ ~ (ϕ(c) - ϕ)(κ), where κ = 2 - 2/(3 + θ(e)), and (iii) continuum elasticity breaks down on a scale ℓ(c) ~ 1/√(δz) ~ (ϕ(c) - ϕ)(-b), where b = (1 + θ(e))/(6 + 2θ(e)) and δz = z - 2d, where z is the coordination and d the spatial dimension. We numerically test (i) and provide data supporting that θ(e) ≈ 0.41 in our bidisperse system, independently of system preparation in two and three dimensions, leading to κ ≈ 1.41, a ≈ 0.17, and b ≈ 0.21. Our results for the mean-square displacement are consistent with a recent exact replica computation for d = ∞, whereas some observations differ, as rationalized by the present approach.

  15. Can the hydrophilicity of functional monomers affect chemical interaction?

    PubMed

    Feitosa, V P; Ogliari, F A; Van Meerbeek, B; Watson, T F; Yoshihara, K; Ogliari, A O; Sinhoreti, M A; Correr, A B; Cama, G; Sauro, S

    2014-02-01

    The number of carbon atoms and/or ester/polyether groups in spacer chains may influence the interaction of functional monomers with calcium and dentin. The present study assessed the chemical interaction and bond strength of 5 standard-synthesized phosphoric-acid ester functional monomers with different spacer chain characteristics, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), ATR-FTIR, thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microtensile bond strength (μTBS). The tested functional monomers were 2-MEP (two-carbon spacer chain), 10-MDP (10-carbon), 12-MDDP (12-carbon), MTEP (more hydrophilic polyether spacer chain), and CAP-P (intermediate hydrophilicity ester spacer). The intensity of monomer-calcium salt formation measured by AAS differed in the order of 12-MDDP=10-MDP>CAP-P>MTEP>2-MEP. FTIR and SEM analyses of monomer-treated dentin surfaces showed resistance to rinsing for all monomer-dentin bonds, except with 2-MEP. TF-XRD confirmed the weaker interaction of 2-MEP. Highest µTBS was observed for 12-MDDP and 10-MDP. A shorter spacer chain (2-MEP) of phosphate functional monomers induced formation of unstable monomer-calcium salts, and lower chemical interaction and dentin bond strength. The presence of ester or ether groups within longer spacer carbon chains (CAP-P and MTEP) may affect the hydrophilicity, μTBS, and also the formation of monomer-calcium salts.

  16. How does temperature affect the function of tissue macrophages?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.

    2011-03-01

    Macrophages create a major danger signal following injury or infection and upon activation release pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn help to generate febrile conditions. Thus, like other cells of the body, tissue macrophages are often exposed to naturally occurring elevations in tissue temperature during inflammation and fever. However, whether macrophages sense and respond to temperature changes in a specific manner which modulates their function is still not clear. In this brief review, we highlight recent studies which have analyzed the effects of temperatures on macrophage function, and summarize the possible underlying molecular mechanisms which have been identified. Mild, physiological range hyperthermia has been shown to have both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles in regulating macrophage inflammatory cytokine production and at the meeting presentation, we will show new data demonstrating that hyperthermia can indeed exert both positive and negative signals to macrophages. While some thermal effects are correlated with the induction of heat shock factors/heat shock proteins, overall it is not clear how mild hyperthermia can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. We also summarize data which shows that hyperthermia can affect other macrophage effector functions, including the anti-tumor cytotoxicity. Overall, these studies may help us to better understand the immunological role of tissue temperature and may provide important information needed to maximize the application of heat in the treatment of various diseases including cancer.

  17. Radiation processing and functional properties of soybean ( Glycine max)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pednekar, Mrinal; Das, Amit K.; Rajalakshmi, V.; Sharma, Arun

    2010-04-01

    Effect of radiation processing (10, 20 and 30 kGy) on soybean for better utilization was studied. Radiation processing reduced the cooking time of soybean and increased the oil absorption capacity of soy flour without affecting its proximate composition. Irradiation improved the functional properties like solubility, emulsification activity and foam stability of soybean protein isolate. The value addition effect of radiation processing has been discussed for the products (soy milk, tofu and tofu fortified patties) prepared from soybean.

  18. Mechanical properties of functionalized carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Z. Q.; Liu, B.; Chen, Y. L.; Jiang, H.; Hwang, K. C.; Huang, Y.

    2008-10-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) used to reinforce polymer matrix composites are functionalized to form covalent bonds with the polymer in order to enhance the CNT/polymer interfaces. These bonds destroy the perfect atomic structures of a CNT and degrade its mechanical properties. We use atomistic simulations to study the effect of hydrogenization on the mechanical properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes. The elastic modulus of CNTs gradually decreases with the increasing functionalization (percentage of C-H bonds). However, both the strength and ductility drop sharply at a small percentage of functionalization, reflecting their sensitivity to C-H bonds. The cluster C-H bonds forming two rings leads to a significant reduction in the strength and ductility. The effect of carbonization has essentially the same effect as hydrogenization.

  19. Positive and negative affect schedule: psychometric properties for the Brazilian Portuguese version.

    PubMed

    Pires, Pedro; Filgueiras, Alberto; Ribas, Rodolfo; Santana, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    This study is about the validity and item analysis for the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), respectively through the Exploratory Factor Analysis (principal components method) and the Partial Credit Model (PCM). The scale has been largely used in areas ranging from clinical to social psychology since its release in 1988 by Watson, Clark, and Tellegen. In order to assess validity and item properties (Item Response Theory paradigm), this is study administered PANAS to 354 respondents, 115 male and 239 female subjects, with an average age of 29.5 (SD = 10,18). The results show PANAS's excellent psychometric properties, with consistent dimensions and reliable item functioning, considering the Rasch measurement paradigm expressed in the PCM as an Item Response Theory model for polytomous data. The study considers important cultural issues and the results support more cautious translations for scales as well as further studies concerned with cross-cultural differences on the perception of affect states.

  20. MicroRNAs affect dendritic cell function and phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Lesley A; Boardman, Dominic A; Tung, Sim L; Lechler, Robert; Lombardi, Giovanna

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that have been linked with immunity through regulating/modulating gene expression. A role for these molecules in T-cell and B-cell development and function has been well established. An increasing body of literature now highlights the importance of specific miRNA in dendritic cell (DC) development as well as their maturation process, antigen presentation capacity and cytokine release. Given the unique role of DC within the immune system, linking the innate and adaptive immune responses, understanding how specific miRNA affect DC function is of importance for understanding disease. In this review we summarize recent developments in miRNA and DC research, highlighting the requirement of miRNA in DC lineage commitment from bone marrow progenitors and for the development of subsets such as plasmacytoid DC and conventional DC. In addition, we discuss how infections and tumours modulate miRNA expression and consequently DC function. PMID:25244106

  1. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B Alex; Jetten, Anton M; Austin, Christopher P; Tice, Raymond R

    2013-05-25

    Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR.

  2. How optimization of potential functions affects protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Hao, M H; Scheraga, H A

    1996-01-01

    The relationship between the optimization of the potential function and the foldability of theoretical protein models is studied based on investigations of a 27-mer cubic-lattice protein model and a more realistic lattice model for the protein crambin. In both the simple and the more complicated systems, optimization of the energy parameters achieves significant improvements in the statistical-mechanical characteristics of the systems and leads to foldable protein models in simulation experiments. The foldability of the protein models is characterized by their statistical-mechanical properties--e.g., by the density of states and by Monte Carlo folding simulations of the models. With optimized energy parameters, a high level of consistency exists among different interactions in the native structures of the protein models, as revealed by a correlation function between the optimized energy parameters and the native structure of the model proteins. The results of this work are relevant to the design of a general potential function for folding proteins by theoretical simulations. PMID:8643516

  3. Can lifestyle modification affect men’s erectile function?

    PubMed Central

    Hehemann, Marah C.

    2016-01-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445

  4. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  5. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  6. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S

    2011-01-01

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.

  7. Hydration affects the physical and mechanical properties of baleen tissue

    PubMed Central

    Harriss, Robert W.; Rosario, Michael V.; George, J. Craig; Sformo, Todd L.

    2016-01-01

    Baleen, an anisotropic oral filtering tissue found only in the mouth of mysticete whales and made solely of alpha-keratin, exhibits markedly differing physical and mechanical properties between dried or (as in life) hydrated states. On average baleen is 32.35% water by weight in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and 34.37% in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). Baleen's wettability measured by water droplet contact angles shows that dried baleen is hydrophobic whereas hydrated baleen is highly hydrophilic. Three-point flexural bending tests of mechanical strength reveal that baleen is strong yet ductile. Dried baleen is brittle and shatters at about 20–30 N mm−2 but hydrated baleen is less stiff; it bends with little force and absorbed water is squeezed out when force is applied. Maximum recorded stress was 4× higher in dried (mean 14.29 N mm−2) versus hydrated (mean 3.69 N mm−2) baleen, and the flexural stiffness was >10× higher in dried (mean 633N mm−2) versus hydrated (mean 58 N mm−2) baleen. In addition to documenting hydration's powerful effects on baleen, this study indicates that baleen is far more pliant and malleable than commonly supposed, with implications for studies of baleen's structure and function as well as its susceptibility to oil or other hydrophobic pollutants. PMID:27853579

  8. Can Cholesterol Metabolism Modulation Affect Brain Function and Behavior?

    PubMed

    Cartocci, Veronica; Servadio, Michela; Trezza, Viviana; Pallottini, Valentina

    2017-02-01

    Cholesterol is an important component for cell physiology. It regulates the fluidity of cell membranes and determines the physical and biochemical properties of proteins. In the central nervous system, cholesterol controls synapse formation and function and supports the saltatory conduction of action potential. In recent years, the role of cholesterol in the brain has caught the attention of several research groups since a breakdown of cholesterol metabolism has been associated with different neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, and interestingly also with psychiatric conditions. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about the connection between cholesterol dysregulation and various neurologic and psychiatric disorders based on clinical and preclinical studies. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 281-286, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. To what extent does urbanisation affect fragmented grassland functioning?

    PubMed

    van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D

    2015-03-15

    Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban

  10. Does Ramadan Fasting Adversely Affect Cognitive Function in Young Females?

    PubMed Central

    Ghayour Najafabadi, Mahboubeh; Rahbar Nikoukar, Laya; Memari, Amir; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Beygi, Sara

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting (n = 9) and nonfasting (n = 8) groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (p < 0.05). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (p < 0.05). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (p < 0.05). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (p < 0.05). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. PMID:26697263

  11. AGN Host Galaxy Properties And Mass Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bongiorno, Angela

    2016-10-01

    Supermassive black hole growth, nuclear activity, and galaxy evolution have been found to be closely related. In the context of AGN-galaxy coevolution, I will discuss about the relation found between the host galaxy properties and the central BH and I will present the latest determination of the host galaxy stellar mass function (HGMF), and the specific accretion rate distribution function (SARDF), derived from the XMM-COSMOS sample up to z˜2.5, with particular focus on AGN feedback as possible responsible mechanism for galaxy quenching.

  12. Functional Roles Affect Diversity-Succession Relationships for Boreal Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of “functional” groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience. PMID:23977350

  13. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed Central

    Wadsworth, P.; Blackburne, H.; Dixon, L.; Dobbs, B.; Eglinton, T.; Ing, A.; Mulder, R.; Porter, R.J.; Wakeman, C.; Frizelle, F.A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and

  14. Membrane elastic properties and cell function.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Bruno; Ayala, Yareni; Fonseca, Anna Carolina C; Romão, Luciana F; Amaral, Racκele F; Salgado, Leonardo T; Lima, Flavia R; Farina, Marcos; Viana, Nathan B; Moura-Neto, Vivaldo; Nussenzveig, H Moysés

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the cell membrane, interacting with its attached cytoskeleton, is an important regulator of cell function, exerting and responding to forces. We investigate this relationship by looking for connections between cell membrane elastic properties, especially surface tension and bending modulus, and cell function. Those properties are measured by pulling tethers from the cell membrane with optical tweezers. Their values are determined for all major cell types of the central nervous system, as well as for macrophage. Astrocytes and glioblastoma cells, which are considerably more dynamic than neurons, have substantially larger surface tensions. Resting microglia, which continually scan their environment through motility and protrusions, have the highest elastic constants, with values similar to those for resting macrophage. For both microglia and macrophage, we find a sharp softening of bending modulus between their resting and activated forms, which is very advantageous for their acquisition of phagocytic functions upon activation. We also determine the elastic constants of pure cell membrane, with no attached cytoskeleton. For all cell types, the presence of F-actin within tethers, contrary to conventional wisdom, is confirmed. Our findings suggest the existence of a close connection between membrane elastic constants and cell function.

  15. Membrane Elastic Properties and Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Pontes, Bruno; Ayala, Yareni; Fonseca, Anna Carolina C.; Romão, Luciana F.; Amaral, Racκele F.; Salgado, Leonardo T.; Lima, Flavia R.; Farina, Marcos; Viana, Nathan B.; Moura-Neto, Vivaldo; Nussenzveig, H. Moysés

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the cell membrane, interacting with its attached cytoskeleton, is an important regulator of cell function, exerting and responding to forces. We investigate this relationship by looking for connections between cell membrane elastic properties, especially surface tension and bending modulus, and cell function. Those properties are measured by pulling tethers from the cell membrane with optical tweezers. Their values are determined for all major cell types of the central nervous system, as well as for macrophage. Astrocytes and glioblastoma cells, which are considerably more dynamic than neurons, have substantially larger surface tensions. Resting microglia, which continually scan their environment through motility and protrusions, have the highest elastic constants, with values similar to those for resting macrophage. For both microglia and macrophage, we find a sharp softening of bending modulus between their resting and activated forms, which is very advantageous for their acquisition of phagocytic functions upon activation. We also determine the elastic constants of pure cell membrane, with no attached cytoskeleton. For all cell types, the presence of F-actin within tethers, contrary to conventional wisdom, is confirmed. Our findings suggest the existence of a close connection between membrane elastic constants and cell function. PMID:23844071

  16. 7 CFR 1955.105 - Real property affected (CONACT).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ...). (a) Loan types. Sections 1955.106-1955.109 of this subpart prescribe procedures for the sale of inventory real property which secured any of the following type of loans (referred to as CONACT property in... Drainage; Shift-in-Land Use (Grazing Association); and loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal...

  17. 7 CFR 1955.105 - Real property affected (CONACT).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ...). (a) Loan types. Sections 1955.106-1955.109 of this subpart prescribe procedures for the sale of inventory real property which secured any of the following type of loans (referred to as CONACT property in... Drainage; Shift-in-Land Use (Grazing Association); and loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal...

  18. 7 CFR 1955.105 - Real property affected (CONACT).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ...). (a) Loan types. Sections 1955.106-1955.109 of this subpart prescribe procedures for the sale of inventory real property which secured any of the following type of loans (referred to as CONACT property in... Drainage; Shift-in-Land Use (Grazing Association); and loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal...

  19. 7 CFR 1955.105 - Real property affected (CONACT).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ...) Loan types. Sections 1955.106-1955.109 of this subpart prescribe procedures for the sale of inventory real property which secured any of the following type of loans (referred to as CONACT property in this... Drainage; Shift-in-Land Use (Grazing Association); and loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal...

  20. 7 CFR 1955.105 - Real property affected (CONACT).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ...). (a) Loan types. Sections 1955.106-1955.109 of this subpart prescribe procedures for the sale of inventory real property which secured any of the following type of loans (referred to as CONACT property in... Drainage; Shift-in-Land Use (Grazing Association); and loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal...

  1. Physicochemical properties of quinoa flour as affected by starch interactions.

    PubMed

    Li, Guantian; Zhu, Fan

    2017-04-15

    There has been growing interest in whole grain quinoa flour for new product development due to the unique nutritional benefits. The quality of quinoa flour is much determined by the properties of its major component starch as well as non-starch components. In this study, composition and physicochemical properties of whole grain flour from 7 quinoa samples have been analyzed. Flour properties have been correlated to the flour composition and the properties of isolated quinoa starches through chemometrics. Great variations in chemical composition, swelling power, water soluble index, enzyme susceptibility, pasting, gel texture, and thermal properties of the flour have been observed. Correlation analysis showed that thermal properties and enzyme susceptibility of quinoa flour are highly influenced by the starch. Interactions of starch with non-starch components, including lipids, protein, dietary fibre, phenolics, and minerals, greatly impacted the flour properties. For example, peak gelatinization temperature of the flour is positively correlated to that of the starch (r=0.948, p<0.01) and negatively correlated to the lipid content (r=-0.951, p<0.01). Understanding the roles of starch and other components in physicochemical properties of quinoa flour provides a basis for better utilization of this specialty crop.

  2. Properties of Bulk Sintered Silver As a Function of Porosity

    SciTech Connect

    Wereszczak, Andrew A; Vuono, Daniel J; Wang, Hsin; Ferber, Mattison K; Liang, Zhenxian

    2012-06-01

    This report summarizes a study where various properties of bulk-sintered silver were investigated over a range of porosity. This work was conducted within the National Transportation Research Center's Power Device Packaging project that is part of the DOE Vehicle Technologies Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Motors Program. Sintered silver, as an interconnect material in power electronics, inherently has porosity in its produced structure because of the way it is made. Therefore, interest existed in this study to examine if that porosity affected electrical properties, thermal properties, and mechanical properties because any dependencies could affect the intended function (e.g., thermal transfer, mechanical stress relief, etc.) or reliability of that interconnect layer and alter how its performance is modeled. Disks of bulk-sintered silver were fabricated using different starting silver pastes and different sintering conditions to promote different amounts of porosity. Test coupons were harvested out of the disks to measure electrical resistivity and electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, coefficient of thermal expansion, elastic modulus, Poisson's ratio, and yield stress. The authors fully recognize that the microstructure of processed bulk silver coupons may indeed not be identical to the microstructure produced in thin (20-50 microns) layers of sintered silver. However, measuring these same properties with such a thin actual structure is very difficult, requires very specialized specimen preparation and unique testing instrumentation, is expensive, and has experimental shortfalls of its own, so the authors concluded that the herein measured responses using processed bulk sintered silver coupons would be sufficient to determine acceptable values of those properties. Almost all the investigated properties of bulk sintered silver changed with porosity content within a range of 3-38% porosity. Electrical resistivity, electrical conductivity, thermal

  3. Maternal metabolic stress may affect oviduct gatekeeper function.

    PubMed

    Jordaens, Lies; Van Hoeck, Veerle; Maillo, Veronica; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Marei, Waleed Fawzy A; Vlaeminck, Bruno; Thys, Sofie; Sturmey, Roger G S; Bols, Peter; Leroy, Jo

    2017-03-03

    We hypothesized that elevated non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) modify in vitro bovine oviduct epithelial cell (BOEC) metabolism and barrier function. Hereto, BOECs were studied in a polarized system with 24h-treatments at day 9: 1) CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0%EtOH), 2) SOLVENT CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH), 3) BASAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the basal compartment), 4) APICAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the apical compartment). FITC-albumin was used for monolayer permeability assessment, and related to Transepithelial Electric Resistance (TER). Fatty acid (FA), glucose, lactate and pyruvate concentrations were measured in spent medium. Intracellular lipid droplets (LD) and FA-uptake were studied using Bodipy 493/503 and immunolabelling of FA-transporters (FAT/CD36, FABP3 and caveolin1). BOEC-mRNA was retrieved for qRT-PCR. Results revealed that APICAL NEFA reduced relative TER-increase (46.85%) during treatment, and increased FITC-albumin flux (27.59%) compared to other treatments. In BASAL NEFA, FAs were transferred to the apical compartment as free FAs: mostly palmitic and oleic acid increased, respectively 56.0 % and 33.5% of initial FA-concentrations. APICAL NEFA allowed no FA-transfer, but induced LD-accumulation and upregulated FA-transporter expression (↑CD36, ↑FABP3, ↑CAV1-protein-expression). Gene expression in APICAL NEFA indicated increased anti-apoptotic (↑BCL2) and anti-oxidative (↑SOD1) capacity, upregulated lipid metabolism (↑CPT1, ↑ACSL1 and ↓ACACA), and FA-uptake (↑CAV1). All treatments had similar carbohydrate metabolism and oviduct function specific gene expression (=OVGP1, ESR1, FOXJ1). Overall, elevated NEFAs affected BOEC-metabolism and barrier function differently depending on NEFA-exposure side. Data substantiate the concept of the oviduct as a gatekeeper that may actively alter early embryonic developmental conditions.

  4. Affective stimulus properties influence size perception and the Ebbinghaus illusion

    PubMed Central

    Semin, Gün R.; Oudejans, Raôul R. D.; Beek, Peter J.

    2007-01-01

    In the New Look literature of the 1950s, it has been suggested that size judgments are dependent on the affective content of stimuli. This suggestion, however, has been ‘discredited’ due to contradictory findings and methodological problems. In the present study, we revisited this forgotten issue in two experiments. The first experiment investigated the influence of affective content on size perception by examining judgments of the size of target circles with and without affectively loaded (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative) pictures. Circles with a picture were estimated to be smaller than circles without a picture, and circles with a negative picture were estimated to be larger than circles with a positive or a neutral picture confirming the suggestion from the 1950s that size perception is influenced by affective content, an effect notably confined to negatively loaded stimuli. In a second experiment, we examined whether affective content influenced the Ebbinghaus illusion. Participants judged the size of a target circle whereby target and flanker circles differed in affective loading. The results replicated the first experiment. Additionally, the Ebbinghaus illusion was shown to be weakest for a negatively loaded target with positively loaded and blank flankers. A plausible explanation for both sets of experimental findings is that negatively loaded stimuli are more attention demanding than positively loaded or neutral stimuli. PMID:17410379

  5. Cellulose nanocrystals: synthesis, functional properties, and applications

    PubMed Central

    George, Johnsy; Sabapathi, SN

    2015-01-01

    Cellulose nanocrystals are unique nanomaterials derived from the most abundant and almost inexhaustible natural polymer, cellulose. These nanomaterials have received significant interest due to their mechanical, optical, chemical, and rheological properties. Cellulose nanocrystals primarily obtained from naturally occurring cellulose fibers are biodegradable and renewable in nature and hence they serve as a sustainable and environmentally friendly material for most applications. These nanocrystals are basically hydrophilic in nature; however, they can be surface functionalized to meet various challenging requirements, such as the development of high-performance nanocomposites, using hydrophobic polymer matrices. Considering the ever-increasing interdisciplinary research being carried out on cellulose nanocrystals, this review aims to collate the knowledge available about the sources, chemical structure, and physical and chemical isolation procedures, as well as describes the mechanical, optical, and rheological properties, of cellulose nanocrystals. Innovative applications in diverse fields such as biomedical engineering, material sciences, electronics, catalysis, etc, wherein these cellulose nanocrystals can be used, are highlighted. PMID:26604715

  6. 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.

  7. Cyclic cryopreservation affects the nanoscale material properties of trabecular bone.

    PubMed

    Landauer, Alexander K; Mondal, Sumona; Yuya, Philip A; Kuxhaus, Laurel

    2014-11-07

    Tissues such as bone are often stored via freezing, or cryopreservation. During an experimental protocol, bone may be frozen and thawed a number of times. For whole bone, the mechanical properties (strength and modulus) do not significantly change throughout five freeze-thaw cycles. Material properties at the trabecular and lamellar scales are distinct from whole bone properties, thus the impact of freeze-thaw cycling at this scale is unknown. To address this, the effect of repeated freezing on viscoelastic material properties of trabecular bone was quantified via dynamic nanoindentation. Vertebrae from five cervine spines (1.5-year-old, male) were semi-randomly assigned, three-to-a-cycle, to 0-10 freeze-thaw cycles. After freeze-thaw cycling, the vertebrae were dissected, prepared and tested. ANOVA (factors cycle, frequency, and donor) on storage modulus, loss modulus, and loss tangent, were conducted. Results revealed significant changes between cycles for all material properties for most cycles, no significant difference across most of the dynamic range, and significant differences between some donors. Regression analysis showed a moderate positive correlation between cycles and material property for loss modulus and loss tangent, and weak negative correlation for storage modulus, all correlations were significant. These results indicate that not only is elasticity unpredictably altered, but also that damping and viscoelasticity tend to increase with additional freeze-thaw cycling.

  8. Dietary supplementation of yucca (Yucca schidigera) affects ovine ovarian functions.

    PubMed

    Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V

    2017-01-15

    Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to <5 mm in diameter), increased accumulation of the apoptosis marker bax, and decreased serum progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels. It inhibited the release of P4 (but not other hormones), to prevent the stimulatory action of FSH on P4 output and promoted insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) release by fragments cultured with FSH. However, yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2

  9. Cholinesterase affects dynamic transduction properties from vagal stimulation to heart rate.

    PubMed

    Nakahara, T; Kawada, T; Sugimachi, M; Miyano, H; Sato, T; Shishido, T; Yoshimura, R; Miyashita, H; Sunagawa, K

    1998-08-01

    Recent investigations in our laboratory using a Gaussian white noise technique showed that the transfer function representing the dynamic properties of transduction from vagus nerve activity to heart rate had characteristics of a first-order low-pass filter. However, the physiological determinants of those characteristics remain to be elucidated. In this study, we stimulated the vagus nerve according to a Gaussian white noise pattern to estimate the transfer function from vagal stimulation to the heart rate response in anesthetized rabbits and examined how changes in acetylcholine kinetics affected the transfer function. We found that although increases in the mean frequency of vagal stimulation from 5 to 10 Hz did not change the characteristics of the transfer function, administration of neostigmine (30 microg . kg-1 . h-1 iv), a cholinesterase inhibitor, increased the dynamic gain from 8.19 +/- 3.66 to 11.7 +/- 4.88 beats . min-1 . Hz-1 (P < 0.05), decreased the corner frequency from 0.12 +/- 0.05 to 0.04 +/- 0.01 Hz (P < 0.01), and increased the lag time from 0.17 +/- 0.12 to 0.27 +/- 0.08 s (P < 0.05). These results suggest that the rate of acetylcholine degradation at the neuroeffector junction, rather than the amount of available acetylcholine, plays a key role in determining the dynamic properties of transduction from vagus nerve activity to heart rate.

  10. Functional neuroimaging of human vocalizations and affective speech.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Sander, David; Grandjean, Didier

    2014-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies have verified the important integrative role of the basal ganglia during affective vocalizations. They, however, also point to additional regions supporting vocal monitoring, auditory-motor feedback processing, and online adjustments of vocal motor responses. For the case of affective vocalizations, we suggest partly extending the model to fully consider the link between primate-general and human-specific neural components.

  11. Recycled Fiber Properties as Affected by Contaminants and Removal Processes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Five materials were applied to either a kraft pulp furnish or to a kraft paper and were removed by conventional removal processes. Uncontaminated... kraft paper subjected to the same removal processes determined that the process, not the contaminant, was responsible for changes in sheet properties

  12. Soil fauna, soil properties and geo-ecosystem functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cammeraat, L. H.

    2012-04-01

    The impact of soil fauna on soil processes is of utmost importance, as the activity of soil fauna directly affects soil quality. This is expressed by the direct effects of soil fauna on soil physical and soil chemical properties that not only have great importance to food production and ecosystems services, but also on weathering and hydrological and geomorphological processes. Soil animals can be perceived as ecosystem engineers that directly affect the flow of water, sediments and nutrients through terrestrial ecosystems. The biodiversity of animals living in the soil is huge and shows a huge range in size, functions and effects. Most work has been focused on only a few species such as earthworms and termites, but in general the knowledge on the effect of soil biota on soil ecosystem functioning is limited as it is for their impact on processes in the soil and on the soil surface. In this presentation we would like to review some of the impacts of soil fauna on soil properties that have implications for geo-ecosystem functioning and soil formation processes.

  13. Cure Kinetics of Epoxy Nanocomposites Affected by MWCNTs Functionalization: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Saeb, Mohammad Reza; Bakhshandeh, Ehsan; Khonakdar, Hossein Ali; Mäder, Edith; Scheffler, Christina; Heinrich, Gert

    2013-01-01

    The current paper provides an overview to emphasize the role of functionalization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in manipulating cure kinetics of epoxy nanocomposites, which itself determines ultimate properties of the resulting compound. In this regard, the most commonly used functionalization schemes, that is, carboxylation and amidation, are thoroughly surveyed to highlight the role of functionalized nanotubes in controlling the rate of autocatalytic and vitrification kinetics. The current literature elucidates that the mechanism of curing in epoxy/MWCNTs nanocomposites remains almost unaffected by the functionalization of carbon nanotubes. On the other hand, early stage facilitation of autocatalytic reactions in the presence of MWCNTs bearing amine groups has been addressed by several researchers. When carboxylated nanotubes were used to modify MWCNTs, the rate of such reactions diminished as a consequence of heterogeneous dispersion within the epoxy matrix. At later stages of curing, however, the prolonged vitrification was seen to be dominant. Thus, the type of functional groups covalently located on the surface of MWCNTs directly affects the degree of polymer-nanotube interaction followed by enhancement of curing reaction. Our survey demonstrated that most widespread efforts ever made to represent multifarious surface-treated MWCNTs have not been directed towards preparation of epoxy nanocomposites, but they could result in property synergism. PMID:24348181

  14. Soil properties affecting wheat yields following drilling-fluid application.

    PubMed

    Bauder, T A; Barbarick, K A; Ippolito, J A; Shanahan, J F; Ayers, P D

    2005-01-01

    Oil and gas drilling operations use drilling fluids (mud) to lubricate the drill bit and stem, transport formation cuttings to the surface, and seal off porous geologic formations. Following completion of the well, waste drilling fluid is often applied to cropland. We studied potential changes in soil compaction as indicated by cone penetration resistance, pH, electrical conductivity (EC(e)), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), extractable soil and total straw and grain trace metal and nutrient concentrations, and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. 'TAM 107') grain yield following water-based, bentonitic drilling-fluid application (0-94 Mg ha(-1)) to field test plots. Three methods of application (normal, splash-plate, and spreader-bar) were used to study compaction effects. We measured increasing SAR, EC(e), and pH with drilling-fluid rates, but not to levels detrimental to crop production. Field measurements revealed significantly higher compaction within areas affected by truck travel, but also not enough to affect crop yield. In three of four site years, neither drilling-fluid rate nor application method affected grain yield. Extractions representing plant availability and plant analyses results indicated that drilling fluid did not significantly increase most trace elements or nutrient concentrations. These results support land application of water-based bentonitic drilling fluids as an acceptable practice on well-drained soils using controlled rates.

  15. Properties of nanoparticles affecting simulation of fibrous gas filter performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tronville, Paolo; Rivers, Richard

    2015-05-01

    Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes allow detailed simulation of the flow of gases through fibrous filter media. When the pattern of gas flow between fibers has been established, simulated particles of any desired size can be “injected” into the entering gas stream, and their paths under the influence of aerodynamic drag, Brownian motion and electrostatic forces tracked. Particles either collide with a fiber, or pass through the entire filter medium. They may bounce off the fiber surface, or adhere firmly to the surface or to particles previously captured. Simulated injection of many particles at random locations in the entering stream allows the average probability of capture to be calculated. Many particle properties must be available as parameters for the equations defining the forces on particles in the gas stream, at the moment of contact with a fiber, and after contact. Accurate values for all properties are needed, not only for predicting particle capture in actual service, but also to validate models for media geometries and computational procedures used in CFD. We present a survey of existing literature on the properties influencing nanoparticle dynamics and adhesion.

  16. Frozen Soil Characteristics That Affect Land Mine Functioning.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-04-01

    ii Introduction .............................................. 1 Backgroun ...Table 3 also presents the results of the mine functioning perform- ance . The M12 mine requires between 1739 and 3287 N to function, as indicated by the

  17. Statistical Properties of Real-Time Amplitude Estimate of Harmonics Affected by Frequency Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellan, Diego; Pignari, Sergio A.

    2016-07-01

    This work deals with the statistical characterization of real-time digital measurement of the amplitude of harmonics affected by frequency instability. In fact, in modern power systems both the presence of harmonics and frequency instability are well-known and widespread phenomena mainly due to nonlinear loads and distributed generation, respectively. As a result, real-time monitoring of voltage/current frequency spectra is of paramount importance as far as power quality issues are addressed. Within this framework, a key point is that in many cases real-time continuous monitoring prevents the application of sophisticated algorithms to extract all the information from the digitized waveforms because of the required computational burden. In those cases only simple evaluations such as peak search of discrete Fourier transform are implemented. It is well known, however, that a slight change in waveform frequency results in lack of sampling synchronism and uncertainty in amplitude estimate. Of course the impact of this phenomenon increases with the order of the harmonic to be measured. In this paper an approximate analytical approach is proposed in order to describe the statistical properties of the measured magnitude of harmonics affected by frequency instability. By providing a simplified description of the frequency behavior of the windows used against spectral leakage, analytical expressions for mean value, variance, cumulative distribution function, and probability density function of the measured harmonics magnitude are derived in closed form as functions of waveform frequency treated as a random variable.

  18. Physical characteristics affecting the tensile failure properties of compact bone.

    PubMed

    Currey, J D

    1990-01-01

    Compact bone specimens from a wide variety of reptiles, birds, and mammals were tested in tension, and their failure properties related to mineral volume fraction, porosity and histological orientation. The principal findings were that the ultimate strain and the work under the stress-strain curve declined sharply with mineralisation, as did the stress and strain appearing after the specimen had yielded. Ultimate tensile strength was not simply related to any combination of the possible explanatory variables, but some relatively poorly mineralised bones, notably antlers, had high stresses at failure. These high strengths were allowed by a great increase in stress after the bones had yielded at quite low stresses.

  19. Functional Properties of Grape and Wine Polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Giovinazzo, Giovanna; Grieco, Francesco

    2015-12-01

    Grape berries polyphenols are mainly synthesized in the skin tissues and seeds and they are extracted during the winemaking process. These substances have a potentially positive effect, on human health, thus giving to grape and red wine "functional properties" that can contribute to prevent a number of human illness. Nevertheless, the research community is showing that the real effect is a result of a combination of different factors, notably daily intake, bioavailability, or in vivo antioxidant activity that are yet to be resolved. Viticulture and winemaking practices, determine the concentration of polyphenols in grape and wine. To date, reduced knowledge is existing on the effects of different yeast strains on the final concentration of polyphenols in red wine. We summarize the recent findings concerning the effects of polyphenols on human chronic disease and the future directions for research to increase the amount of these compounds in wine.

  20. Electronic and structural properties of functional nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Teng

    In this Thesis, I present a study of electronic and structural properties of functional nanostructures such as MoSxIy nanowires, self-assembled monolayer on top of metallic surfaces and structural changes induced in graphite by photo excitations. MoSxI y nanowires, which can be easily synthesized in one step, show many advantages over conventional carbon nanotubes in molecular electronics and many other applications. But how to self-assemble them into desired pattern for practical electronic network? Self-assembled monolayers of polymers on metallic surfaces may help to guide pattern formation of some nanomaterials such as MoSxIy nanowires. I have investigated the physical properties of these nanoscale wires and microscopic self-assembly mechanisms of patterns by total energy calculations combined with molecular dynamics simulations and structure optimization. First, I studied the stability of novel Molybdenum chaicohalide nanowires, a candidate for molecular electronics applications. Next, I investigated the self-assembly of nanoparticles into ordered arrays with the aid of a template. Such templates, I showed, can be formed by polymer adsorption on surfaces such as highly ordered pyrolytic graphite and Ag(111). Finally, I studied the physical origin of of structural changes induced in graphite by light in form of a femtosecond laser pulse.

  1. Does severity of dermatochalasis in aging affect corneal biomechanical properties?

    PubMed Central

    Atalay, Kurşat; Gurez, Ceren; Kirgiz, Ahmet; Serefoglu Cabuk, Kubra

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of a relationship between corneal biomechanical properties and different grades of dermatochalasis. Patients and methods Patients were assigned to four groups according to the severity of their dermatochalasis: normal (Group 1), mild (Group 2), moderate (Group 3), and severe (Group 4). An Ocular Response Analyzer device was used to measure corneal hysteresis (CH), corneal resistance factor (CRF), and corneal-compensated intraocular pressure (IOPcc). Results We found no significant differences in the mean values of the CH, CRF, and IOPcc of all groups (P=0.75, P=0.93, and P=0.11, respectively). However, CH and IOPcc were negatively correlated in Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 patients (P=0.013, r=−0.49; P=0.015, r=−0.52; and P=0.011, r=−0.47, respectively), but this correlation was not apparent in the Group 4 patients (P=0.57, r=0.12). CRF and IOPcc were correlated, but only in Group 4 (P=0.001, r=0.66). Conclusion Severe dermatochalasis was associated with altered corneal biomechanical properties. Some of the important visual consequences of dermatochalasis and related diseases (such as floppy eyelid syndrome) can be understood by considering corneal biomechanical alterations. PMID:27274214

  2. Quality properties of fruits as affected by drying operation.

    PubMed

    Omolola, Adewale O; Jideani, Afam I O; Kapila, Patrick F

    2017-01-02

    The increasing consumption of dried fruits requires further attention on the quality parameters. Drying has become necessary because most fruits are highly perishable owing to their high moisture content and the need to make them available all year round and at locations where they are not produced. In addition to preservation, the reduced weight and bulk of dehydrated products decreases packaging, handling and transportation costs. Quality changes associated with drying of fruit products include physical, sensory, nutritional, and microbiological. Drying gives rise to low or moderate glycemic index (GI) products with high calorie, vitamin and mineral contents. This review examines the nutritional benefits of dried fruits, protective compounds present in dried fruits, GI, overview of some fruit drying methods and effects of drying operations on the quality properties such as shrinkage, porosity, texture, color, rehydration, effective moisture diffusivity, nutritional, sensory, microbiological and shelf stability of fruits.

  3. Concomitant gastroparesis negatively affects children with functional gallbladder disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis and biliary dyskinesia (BD) occur in children, and if so, to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis affects clinical outcome in children with BD. We conducted a retrospective chart review of children with BD (ejecti...

  4. Soil physical and hydrological properties as affected by long-term addition of various organic amendments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eden, Marie; Völkel, Jörg; Mercier, Vincent; Labat, Christophe; Houot, Sabine

    2014-05-01

    The use of organic residues as soil amendments in agriculture not only reduces the amount of waste needing to be disposed of; it may also lead to improvements in soil properties, including physical and hydrological ones. The present study examines a long-term experiment called "Qualiagro", run jointly by INRA and Veolia Environment in Feucherolles, France (near Paris). It was initiated in 1998 on a loess-derived silt loam (787 g/kg silt, 152 g/kg clay) and includes ten treatments: four types of organic amendments and a control (CNT) each at two levels of mineral nitrogen (N) addition: minimal (Nmin) and optimal (Nopt). The amendments include three types of compost and farmyard manure (FYM), which were applied every other year at a rate of ca. 4 t carbon ha-1. The composts include municipal solid waste compost (MSW), co-compost of green wastes and sewage sludge (GWS), and biowaste compost (BIO). The plots are arranged in a randomized block design and have a size of 450 m²; each treatment is replicated four times (total of 40 plots). Ca. 15 years after the start of the experiment soil organic carbon (OC) had continuously increased in the amended plots, while it remained stable or decreased in the control plots. This compost- or manure-induced increase in OC plays a key role, affecting numerous dependant soil properties like bulk density, porosity and water retention. The water holding capacity (WHC) of a soil is of particular interest to farmers in terms of water supply for plants, but also indicates soil quality and functionality. Addition of OC may affect WHC in different ways: carbon-induced aggregation may increase larger-pore volume and hence WHC at the wet end while increased surface areas may lead to an increased retention of water at the dry end. Consequently it is difficult to predict (e.g. with pedotransfer functions) the impact on the amount of water available for plants (PAW), which was experimentally determined for the soils, along with the entire range

  5. Physicochemical properties of foal meat as affected by cooking methods.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, José M; Cittadini, Aurora; Munekata, Paulo E; Domínguez, Rubén

    2015-10-01

    The present study deals with the effect of four different cooking techniques (roasting, grilling, microwave baking and frying with olive oil) on physicochemical parameters (cooking loss, WHC, texture and colour) and lipid oxidation (by TBARS measurement) of foal meat. Thermal treatments induced water loss (P<0.001), being lower in foal steaks cooked in the grill (25.8%) and higher in foal samples cooked in the microwave (39.5%). As it was expected, all the cooking methods increased TBARS index, since high temperature during cooking seems to cause an increase of the lipid oxidation in foal steaks. Statistical analysis displayed that WHC was affected (P<0.001) by thermal treatment, since the smallest WHC values were observed in samples from microwave treatment. Thermal treatment also caused a significant (P<0.001) increase in the force needed to cut the foal steaks. Regarding colour parameter, cooking led to an increase of L*-value (lightness) and b*-value (yellowness), while a*-value (redness) markedly decreased in all samples.

  6. How Tissue Mechanical Properties Affect Enteric Neural Crest Cell Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevalier, N. R.; Gazguez, E.; Bidault, L.; Guilbert, T.; Vias, C.; Vian, E.; Watanabe, Y.; Muller, L.; Germain, S.; Bondurand, N.; Dufour, S.; Fleury, V.

    2016-02-01

    Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a population of multipotent cells that migrate extensively during vertebrate development. Alterations to neural crest ontogenesis cause several diseases, including cancers and congenital defects, such as Hirschprung disease, which results from incomplete colonization of the colon by enteric NCCs (ENCCs). We investigated the influence of the stiffness and structure of the environment on ENCC migration in vitro and during colonization of the gastrointestinal tract in chicken and mouse embryos. We showed using tensile stretching and atomic force microscopy (AFM) that the mesenchyme of the gut was initially soft but gradually stiffened during the period of ENCC colonization. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy revealed that this stiffening was associated with a gradual organization and enrichment of collagen fibers in the developing gut. Ex-vivo 2D cell migration assays showed that ENCCs migrated on substrates with very low levels of stiffness. In 3D collagen gels, the speed of the ENCC migratory front decreased with increasing gel stiffness, whereas no correlation was found between porosity and ENCC migration behavior. Metalloprotease inhibition experiments showed that ENCCs actively degraded collagen in order to progress. These results shed light on the role of the mechanical properties of tissues in ENCC migration during development.

  7. How Tissue Mechanical Properties Affect Enteric Neural Crest Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Chevalier, N.R.; Gazguez, E.; Bidault, L.; Guilbert, T.; Vias, C.; Vian, E.; Watanabe, Y.; Muller, L.; Germain, S.; Bondurand, N.; Dufour, S.; Fleury, V.

    2016-01-01

    Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a population of multipotent cells that migrate extensively during vertebrate development. Alterations to neural crest ontogenesis cause several diseases, including cancers and congenital defects, such as Hirschprung disease, which results from incomplete colonization of the colon by enteric NCCs (ENCCs). We investigated the influence of the stiffness and structure of the environment on ENCC migration in vitro and during colonization of the gastrointestinal tract in chicken and mouse embryos. We showed using tensile stretching and atomic force microscopy (AFM) that the mesenchyme of the gut was initially soft but gradually stiffened during the period of ENCC colonization. Second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy revealed that this stiffening was associated with a gradual organization and enrichment of collagen fibers in the developing gut. Ex-vivo 2D cell migration assays showed that ENCCs migrated on substrates with very low levels of stiffness. In 3D collagen gels, the speed of the ENCC migratory front decreased with increasing gel stiffness, whereas no correlation was found between porosity and ENCC migration behavior. Metalloprotease inhibition experiments showed that ENCCs actively degraded collagen in order to progress. These results shed light on the role of the mechanical properties of tissues in ENCC migration during development. PMID:26887292

  8. Linking hydraulic properties of fire-affected soils to infiltration and water repellency

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, J.A.; Kinner, D.A.; Ubeda, X.

    2009-01-01

    Heat from wildfires can produce a two-layer system composed of extremely dry soil covered by a layer of ash, which when subjected to rainfall, may produce extreme floods. To understand the soil physics controlling runoff for these initial conditions, we used a small, portable disk infiltrometer to measure two hydraulic properties: (1) near-saturated hydraulic conductivity, Kf and (2) sorptivity, S(??i), as a function of initial soil moisture content, ??i, ranging from extremely dry conditions (??i < 0.02 cm3 cm-3) to near saturation. In the field and in the laboratory replicate measurements were made of ash, reference soils, soils unaffected by fire, and fire-affected soils. Each has a different degrees of water repellency that influences Kf and S(??i). Values of Kf ranged from 4.5 ?? 10-3 to 53 ?? 10-3 cm s-1 for ash; from 0.93 ?? 10-3 to 130 ?? 10-3 cm s-1 for reference soils; and from 0.86 ?? 10-3 to 3.0 ?? 10-3 cm s-1, for soil unaffected by fire, which had the lowest values of Kf. Measurements indicated that S(??i) could be represented by an empirical non-linear function of ??i with a sorptivity maximum of 0.18-0.20 cm s-0.5, between 0.03 and 0.08 cm3 cm-3. This functional form differs from the monotonically decreasing non-linear functions often used to represent S(??i) for rainfall-runoff modeling. The sorptivity maximum may represent the combined effects of gravity, capillarity, and adsorption in a transitional domain corresponding to extremely dry soil, and moreover, it may explain the observed non-linear behavior, and the critical soil-moisture threshold of water repellent soils. Laboratory measurements of Kf and S(??i) are the first for ash and fire-affected soil, but additional measurements are needed of these hydraulic properties for in situ fire-affected soils. They provide insight into water repellency behavior and infiltration under extremely dry conditions. Most importantly, they indicate how existing rainfall-runoff models can be modified to

  9. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation affects brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Dan Cao; Yingjie Li; Ling Wei; Yingying Tang

    2016-08-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the emotional processing as well as in the functional brain network. Hyperactivity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would be found in anxious participants. However, it is still unclear what the role of PFC played in a resting functional network. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) is an effective tool to create virtual lesions on brain regions. In this paper, we applied cTBS over right prefrontal area, and investigated the effects of cTBS on the brain activity for functional connectivity by the method of graph theory. We recorded 64-channels EEG on thirteen healthy participants in the resting condition and emotional tasks before and after 40 s of cTBS. This work focused on the effect of cTBS on cortical activities in the resting condition by calculating the coherence between EEG channels and building functional networks before and after cTBS in the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. Results revealed that 1) The functional connectivity after cTBS was significantly increased compared with that before cTBS in delta, theta, alpha and beta bands in the resting condition; 2) The efficiency-cost reached the maximum before and after cTBS both with the cost about 0.3 in the bands above, which meant that the information transmission of functional brain network with this cost was highly efficient; 3) the clustering coefficient and path length after cTBS was significantly increased in delta, theta and beta bands. In conclusion, cTBS over PFC indeed enhanced the functional connectivity in the resting condition. In addition, the information transmission in the resting brain network was highly efficient with the cost about 0.3.

  10. Line defects in graphene: How doping affects the electronic and mechanical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berger, Daniel; Ratsch, Christian

    2016-06-01

    Graphene and carbon nanotubes have extraordinary mechanical and electronic properties. Intrinsic line defects such as local nonhexagonal reconstructions or grain boundaries, however, significantly reduce the tensile strength, but feature exciting electronic properties. Here, we address the properties of line defects in graphene from first principles on the level of full-potential density-functional theory, and assess doping as one strategy to strengthen such materials. We carefully disentangle the global and local effect of doping by comparing results from the virtual crystal approximation with those from local substitution of chemical species, in order to gain a detailed understanding of the breaking and stabilization mechanisms. We find that doping primarily affects the occupation of the frontier orbitals. Occupation through n -type doping or local substitution with nitrogen increases the ultimate tensile strength significantly. In particular, it can stabilize the defects beyond the ultimate tensile strength of the pristine material. We therefore propose this as a key strategy to strengthen graphenic materials. Furthermore, we find that doping and/or applying external stress lead to tunable and technologically interesting metal/semiconductor transitions.

  11. Factors affecting the development of lung function in Tunisian children.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Y; Pariès, J; Harrabi, I; Zbidi, A; Tabka, Z; Richalet, J P; Buvry, A

    2008-01-01

    We undertook to evaluate the impacts of morphology at birth, physical activity, anthropometric, socioeconomic and environmental factors on lung function in healthy Tunisian children. Pulmonary function parameters were measured with a Minato portable spirometer in a randomized population of 756 healthy children (388 males and 368 females) aged between 6 and 16. The morphology at birth, the gestational age, the physical activity, the socioeconomic status, the type of habitation, and the environmental factors were all assessed by a standard questionnaire. Using univariate analysis, we found that: (1) morphometric parameters (height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory perimeter), as well as sex were highly associated with pulmonary function parameters; (2) Height at birth showed strong significant relations with FVC, FEV(1), and FEV(1)/FVC; (3) lung function parameters were influenced by physical training of our children, socioeconomic status, indoor pollution, and passive smoking; and (4) we did not observe any association between the gestational age and the weight at their birth and lung function parameters. Using a general linear model analysis, morphometric parameters, age, sex, type of heating, and maximal inspiratory and expiratory perimeters had significant relation with respiratory parameters. In our population of healthy Tunisian children, the main predictive factors of the pulmonary development were the morphological factors such as height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory thoracic perimeter, sex and age, and the environmental conditions such as type of heating but not morphology at birth, physical activity, or socioeconomic status.

  12. 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.

  13. Can Particulate Pollution Affect Lung Function in Healthy Adults?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accompanying editorial to paper from Harvard by Rice et al. entitled "Long-Term Exposure to Traffic Emissions and Fine Particulate Matter and Lung Function Decline in the Framingham Heart StudyBy almost any measure the Clean Air Act and its amendments has to be considered as one...

  14. Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.

  15. Alginate Overproduction Affects Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Hentzer, Morten; Teitzel, Gail M.; Balzer, Grant J.; Heydorn, Arne; Molin, Søren; Givskov, Michael; Parsek, Matthew R.

    2001-01-01

    During the course of chronic cystic fibrosis (CF) infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes a conversion to a mucoid phenotype, which is characterized by overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Chronic P. aeruginosa infections involve surface-attached, highly antibiotic-resistant communities of microorganisms organized in biofilms. Although biofilm formation and the conversion to mucoidy are both important aspects of CF pathogenesis, the relationship between them is at the present unclear. In this study, we report that the overproduction of alginate affects biofilm development on an abiotic surface. Biofilms formed by an alginate-overproducing strain exhibit a highly structured architecture and are significantly more resistant to the antibiotic tobramycin than a biofilm formed by an isogenic nonmucoid strain. These results suggest that an important consequence of the conversion to mucoidy is an altered biofilm architecture that shows increasing resistance to antimicrobial treatments. PMID:11514525

  16. Nuclear cyclophilins affect spliceosome assembly and function in vitro.

    PubMed

    Adams, B M; Coates, Miranda N; Jackson, S RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S; Davis, Tara L

    2015-07-15

    Cyclophilins are ubiquitously expressed proteins that bind to prolines and can catalyse cis/trans isomerization of proline residues. There are 17 annotated members of the cyclophilin family in humans, ubiquitously expressed and localized variously to the cytoplasm, nucleus or mitochondria. Surprisingly, all eight of the nuclear localized cyclophilins are found associated with spliceosomal complexes. However, their particular functions within this context are unknown. We have therefore adapted three established assays for in vitro pre-mRNA splicing to probe the functional roles of nuclear cyclophilins in the context of the human spliceosome. We find that four of the eight spliceosom-associated cyclophilins exert strong effects on splicing in vitro. These effects are dose-dependent and, remarkably, uniquely characteristic of each cyclophilin. Using both qualitative and quantitative means, we show that at least half of the nuclear cyclophilins can act as regulatory factors of spliceosome function in vitro. The present work provides the first quantifiable evidence that nuclear cyclophilins are splicing factors and provides a novel approach for future work into small molecule-based modulation of pre-mRNA splicing.

  17. Prenatal Drug Exposure Affects Neonatal Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Salzwedel, Andrew P.; Vachet, Clement; Gerig, Guido; Lin, Weili

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal drug exposure, particularly prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE), incurs great public and scientific interest because of its associated neurodevelopmental consequences. However, the neural underpinnings of PCE remain essentially uncharted, and existing studies in school-aged children and adolescents are confounded greatly by postnatal environmental factors. In this study, leveraging a large neonate sample (N = 152) and non-invasive resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared human infants with PCE comorbid with other drugs (such as nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and antidepressant) with infants with similar non-cocaine poly drug exposure and drug-free controls. We aimed to characterize the neural correlates of PCE based on functional connectivity measurements of the amygdala and insula at the earliest stage of development. Our results revealed common drug exposure-related connectivity disruptions within the amygdala–frontal, insula–frontal, and insula–sensorimotor circuits. Moreover, a cocaine-specific effect was detected within a subregion of the amygdala–frontal network. This pathway is thought to play an important role in arousal regulation, which has been shown to be irregular in PCE infants and adolescents. These novel results provide the earliest human-based functional delineations of the neural-developmental consequences of prenatal drug exposure and thus open a new window for the advancement of effective strategies aimed at early risk identification and intervention. PMID:25855194

  18. Does caregiving stress affect cognitive function in older women?

    PubMed

    Lee, Sunmin; Kawachi, Ichiro; Grodstein, Francine

    2004-01-01

    Increasing numbers of women provide care to their ill spouses; however, no studies have examined possible effects of caregiving stress on cognitive function. We administered 6 tests of cognitive function to 13740 Nurses' Health Study participants aged 70-79 years. We collected information on caregiving and numerous potential confounding variables via biennial mailed questionnaires. After adjustment for potential confounders (age, education, mental health index, vitality index, use of antidepressants, and history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease), we found modest but significantly increased risks of low cognitive function on three of the cognitive tests among women who provided care to a disabled or ill spouse compared with women who did not provide any care. For example, on the TICS, a test of general cognition, the risk of a low score was 31% higher in women who provided care compared with women who did not (RR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.10, 1.56). We found a moderately increased risk of poor performance on several cognitive tests among women who provided care to their disabled or ill husbands.

  19. Microplastics Affect the Ecological Functioning of an Important Biogenic Habitat.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; O'Connor, Nessa E; Thompson, Richard

    2017-01-03

    Biological effects of microplastics on the health of bivalves have been demonstrated elsewhere, but ecological impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of bivalve-dominated habitats are unknown. Thus, we exposed intact sediment cores containing European flat oysters (Ostrea edulis) or blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in seawater to two different densities (2.5 or 25 μg L(-1)) of biodegradable or conventional microplastics in outdoor mesocosms. We hypothesized that filtration rates of the bivalves, inorganic nitrogen cycling, primary productivity of sediment dwelling microphytobenthos, and the structure of invertebrate benthic assemblages would be influenced by microplastics. After 50 days, filtration by M. edulis was significantly less when exposed to 25 μg L(-1) of either type of microplastics, but there were no effects on ecosystem functioning or the associated invertebrate assemblages. Contrastingly, filtration by O. edulis significantly increased when exposed to 2.5 or 25 μg L(-1) of microplastics, and porewater ammonium and biomass of benthic cyanobacteria decreased. Additionally the associated infaunal invertebrate assemblages differed, with significantly less polychaetes and more oligochaetes in treatments exposed to microplastics. These findings highlight the potential of microplastics to impact the functioning and structure of sedimentary habitats and show that such effects may depend on the dominant bivalve present.

  20. Nuclear cyclophilins affect spliceosome assembly and function in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Adams, B.M.; Coates, Miranda N.; Jackson, S. RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S.; Davis, Tara L.

    2015-01-01

    Cyclophilins are ubiquitously expressed proteins that bind to prolines and can catalyse cis/trans isomerization of proline residues. There are 17 annotated members of the cyclophilin family in humans, ubiquitously expressed and localized variously to the cytoplasm, nucleus or mitochondria. Surprisingly, all eight of the nuclear localized cyclophilins are found associated with spliceosomal complexes. However, their particular functions within this context are unknown. We have therefore adapted three established assays for in vitro pre-mRNA splicing to probe the functional roles of nuclear cyclophilins in the context of the human spliceosome. We find that four of the eight spliceosom-associated cyclophilins exert strong effects on splicing in vitro. These effects are dose-dependent and, remarkably, uniquely characteristic of each cyclophilin. Using both qualitative and quantitative means, we show that at least half of the nuclear cyclophilins can act as regulatory factors of spliceosome function in vitro. The present work provides the first quantifiable evidence that nuclear cyclophilins are splicing factors and provides a novel approach for future work into small molecule-based modulation of pre-mRNA splicing. PMID:25967372

  1. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  2. Biogenic gradients in algal density affect the emergent properties of spatially self-organized mussel beds.

    PubMed

    Liu, Quan-Xing; Weerman, Ellen J; Gupta, Rohit; Herman, Peter M J; Olff, Han; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-07-06

    Theoretical models highlight that spatially self-organized patterns can have important emergent effects on the functioning of ecosystems, for instance by increasing productivity and affecting the vulnerability to catastrophic shifts. However, most theoretical studies presume idealized homogeneous conditions, which are rarely met in real ecosystems. Using self-organized mussel beds as a case study, we reveal that spatial heterogeneity, resulting from the large-scale effects of mussel beds on their environment, significantly alters the emergent properties predicted by idealized self-organization models that assume homogeneous conditions. The proposed model explicitly considers that the suspended algae, the prime food for the mussels, are supplied by water flow from the seaward boundary of the bed, which causes in combination with consumption a gradual depletion of algae over the simulated domain. Predictions of the model are consistent with properties of natural mussel patterns observed in the field, featuring a decline in mussel biomass and a change in patterning. Model analyses reveal a fundamental change in ecosystem functioning when this self-induced algal depletion gradient is included in the model. First, no enhancement of secondary productivity of the mussels comparing with non-patterns states is predicted, irrespective of parameter setting; the equilibrium amount of mussels is entirely set by the input of algae. Second, alternate stable states, potentially present in the original (no algal gradient) model, are absent when gradual depletion of algae in the overflowing water layer is allowed. Our findings stress the importance of including sufficiently realistic environmental conditions when assessing the emergent properties of self-organized ecosystems.

  3. Visual function affects prosocial behaviors in older adults.

    PubMed

    Teoli, Dac A; Smith, Merideth D; Leys, Monique J; Jain, Priyanka; Odom, J Vernon

    2016-02-01

    Eye-related pathological conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration commonly lead to decreased peripheral/central field, decreased visual acuity, and increased functional disability. We sought to answer if relationships exist between measures of visual function and reported prosocial behaviors in an older adult population with eye-related diagnoses. The sample consisted of adults, aged ≥ 60 years old, at an academic hospital's eye institute. Vision ranged from normal to severe impairment. Medical charts determined the visual acuities, ocular disease, duration of disease (DD), and visual fields (VF). Measures of giving help were via validated questionnaires on giving formal support (GFS) and giving informal support; measures of help received were perceived support (PS) and informal support received (ISR). ISR had subscales: tangible support (ISR-T), emotional support (ISR-E), and composite (ISR-C). Visual acuities of the better and worse seeing eyes were converted to LogMAR values. VF information converted to a 4-point rating scale of binocular field loss severity. DD was in years. Among 96 participants (mean age 73.28; range 60-94), stepwise regression indicated a relationship of visual variables to GFS (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.1679 with acuity-better eye, VF rating, and DD), PS (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.2254 with acuity-better eye), ISR-C (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.041 with acuity-better eye), and ISR-T (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.1421 with acuity-better eye). The findings suggest eye-related conditions can impact levels and perceptions of support exchanges. Our data reinforces the importance of visual function as an influence on prosocial behavior in older adults.

  4. Litter decay controlled by temperature, not soil properties, affecting future soil carbon.

    PubMed

    Gregorich, Edward G; Janzen, Henry; Ellert, Benjamin H; Helgason, Bobbi L; Qian, Budong; Zebarth, Bernie J; Angers, Denis A; Beyaert, Ronald P; Drury, Craig F; Duguid, Scott D; May, William E; McConkey, Brian G; Dyck, Miles F

    2017-04-01

    Widespread global changes, including rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, climate warming and loss of biodiversity, are predicted for this century; all of these will affect terrestrial ecosystem processes like plant litter decomposition. Conversely, increased plant litter decomposition can have potential carbon-cycle feedbacks on atmospheric CO2 levels, climate warming and biodiversity. But predicting litter decomposition is difficult because of many interacting factors related to the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil, as well as to climate and agricultural management practices. We applied (13) C-labelled plant litter to soil at ten sites spanning a 3500-km transect across the agricultural regions of Canada and measured its decomposition over five years. Despite large differences in soil type and climatic conditions, we found that the kinetics of litter decomposition were similar once the effect of temperature had been removed, indicating no measurable effect of soil properties. A two-pool exponential decay model expressing undecomposed carbon simply as a function of thermal time accurately described kinetics of decomposition. (R(2)  = 0.94; RMSE = 0.0508). Soil properties such as texture, cation exchange capacity, pH and moisture, although very different among sites, had minimal discernible influence on decomposition kinetics. Using this kinetic model under different climate change scenarios, we projected that the time required to decompose 50% of the litter (i.e. the labile fractions) would be reduced by 1-4 months, whereas time required to decompose 90% of the litter (including recalcitrant fractions) would be reduced by 1 year in cooler sites to as much as 2 years in warmer sites. These findings confirm quantitatively the sensitivity of litter decomposition to temperature increases and demonstrate how climate change may constrain future soil carbon storage, an effect apparently not influenced by soil properties.

  5. Affected functional networks associated with sentence production in classic galactosemia.

    PubMed

    Timmers, Inge; van den Hurk, Job; Hofman, Paul Am; Zimmermann, Luc Ji; Uludağ, Kâmil; Jansma, Bernadette M; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela

    2015-08-07

    Patients with the inherited metabolic disorder classic galactosemia have language production impairments in several planning stages. Here, we assessed potential deviations in recruitment and connectivity across brain areas responsible for language production that may explain these deficits. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study neural activity and connectivity while participants carried out a language production task. This study included 13 adolescent patients and 13 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants passively watched or actively described an animated visual scene using two conditions, varying in syntactic complexity (single words versus a sentence). Results showed that patients recruited additional and more extensive brain regions during sentence production. Both groups showed modulations with syntactic complexity in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), a region associated with syntactic planning, and in right insula. In addition, patients showed a modulation with syntax in left superior temporal gyrus (STG), whereas the controls did not. Further, patients showed increased activity in right STG and right supplementary motor area (SMA). The functional connectivity data showed similar patterns, with more extensive connectivity with frontal and motor regions, and restricted and weaker connectivity with superior temporal regions. Patients also showed higher baseline cerebral blood flow (CBF) in right IFG and trends towards higher CBF in bilateral STG, SMA and the insula. Taken together, the data demonstrate that language abnormalities in classic galactosemia are associated with specific changes within the language network. These changes point towards impairments related to both syntactic planning and speech motor planning in these patients.

  6. Affective Properties of Mothers' Speech to Infants with Hearing Impairment and Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kondaurova, Maria V.; Bergeson, Tonya R.; Xu, Huiping; Kitamura, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The affective properties of infant-directed speech influence the attention of infants with normal hearing to speech sounds. This study explored the affective quality of maternal speech to infants with hearing impairment (HI) during the 1st year after cochlear implantation as compared to speech to infants with normal hearing. Method:…

  7. Psychometric Properties of the Affect Intensity and Reactivity Measure Adapted for Youth (AIR-Y)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Rachel E.; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W.; Olatunji, Bunmi O.; Reardon, Laura E.; Hawks, Erin

    2009-01-01

    A valid and reliable instrument for measuring affect intensity does not exist for adolescents; such a measure may help to refine understanding of emotion among youths. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the psychometric properties and clinical relevance of a measure of affect intensity adapted for youths. Two hundred five community…

  8. Modeled Microgravity Affects Fibroblast Functions Related to Wound Healing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cialdai, Francesca; Vignali, Leonardo; Morbidelli, Lucia; Colciago, Alessandra; Celotti, Fabio; Santi, Alice; Caselli, Anna; Cirri, Paolo; Monici, Monica

    2017-02-01

    Wound healing is crucial for the survival of an organism. Therefore, in the perspective of space exploration missions, it is important to understand if and how microgravity conditions affect the behavior of the cell populations involved in wound healing and the evolution of the process. Since fibroblasts are the major players in tissue repair, this study was focused on the behavior of fibroblasts in microgravity conditions, modeled by a RCCS. Cell cytoskeleton was studied by immunofluorescence microscopy, the ability to migrate was assessed by microchemotaxis and scratch assay, and the expression of markers of fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation was assessed by western blot. Results revealed that after cell exposure to modeled microgravity conditions, a thorough rearrangement of microtubules occurred and α-SMA bundles were replaced by a tight network of faulty and disorganized filaments. Exposure to modeled microgravity induced a decrease in α-SMA and E-CAD expressions. Also, the expression of the pro-angiogenic protein VEGF decreased, while that of the inflammatory signal COX-2 increased. Fibroblast ability to adhere, migrate, and respond to chemoattractants (PRP), closely related to cytoskeleton integrity and membrane junctions, was significantly impaired. Nevertheless, PRP was able to partially restore fibroblast migration.

  9. Modeled Microgravity Affects Fibroblast Functions Related to Wound Healing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cialdai, Francesca; Vignali, Leonardo; Morbidelli, Lucia; Colciago, Alessandra; Celotti, Fabio; Santi, Alice; Caselli, Anna; Cirri, Paolo; Monici, Monica

    2017-01-01

    Wound healing is crucial for the survival of an organism. Therefore, in the perspective of space exploration missions, it is important to understand if and how microgravity conditions affect the behavior of the cell populations involved in wound healing and the evolution of the process. Since fibroblasts are the major players in tissue repair, this study was focused on the behavior of fibroblasts in microgravity conditions, modeled by a RCCS. Cell cytoskeleton was studied by immunofluorescence microscopy, the ability to migrate was assessed by microchemotaxis and scratch assay, and the expression of markers of fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation was assessed by western blot. Results revealed that after cell exposure to modeled microgravity conditions, a thorough rearrangement of microtubules occurred and α-SMA bundles were replaced by a tight network of faulty and disorganized filaments. Exposure to modeled microgravity induced a decrease in α-SMA and E-CAD expressions. Also, the expression of the pro-angiogenic protein VEGF decreased, while that of the inflammatory signal COX-2 increased. Fibroblast ability to adhere, migrate, and respond to chemoattractants (PRP), closely related to cytoskeleton integrity and membrane junctions, was significantly impaired. Nevertheless, PRP was able to partially restore fibroblast migration.

  10. Relationships among Genetic, Structural, and Functional Properties of Rice Starch.

    PubMed

    Kong, Xiangli; Chen, Yaling; Zhu, Ping; Sui, Zhongquan; Corke, Harold; Bao, Jinsong

    2015-07-15

    We determined the relationships among the structural properties, in vitro digestibility, and genetic factors in starches of 14 rice cultivars. Weight-based chain-length distributions in amylopectin ranged from 18.07% to 24.71% (fa, DP 6-12), 45.01% to 55.67% (fb1, DP 13-24), 12.72% to 14.05% (fb2, DP 25-36), and 10.80 to 20.72% (fb3, DP > 36), respectively. The contents of rapidly digestible starch (RDS), slowly digestible starch (SDS), and resistant starch (RS) ranged from 78.5% to 87.5%, 1.2% to 6.0%, and 10.1% to 18.0%, respectively. AAC was negatively correlated with RDS content but positively correlated with RS content in rice starch. The proportion of short chains in amylopectin, i.e. the amount of fraction IIa (FrIIa) fractionated by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), was positively correlated with RDS. Starch synthase IIa (SSIIa) gene controlled the degree of crystallinity, the amount of fa chains of amylopectin. SSIIIa gene controlled the amount of fb1 chains. Wx gene controlled the FrI, FrIIa, RDS, and RS. Starch debranching enzyme isoamylase II (ISA2) gene also controlled the RDS, which may suggest that RDS was also affected by amylopectin structure, although no correlation between them was found. This study indicated that genetics (i.e., starch biosynthesis related genes) controlled the structural properties of starch, and both amylose content and amylopectin fine structure determined functional properties of rice starch (i.e., the digestion), each in a different way. Understanding the "genetics-structure-function" relationships in rice starches will assist plant breeders and food processors in developing new rice varieties and functional foods.

  11. Low level methylmercury exposure affects neuropsychological function in adults

    PubMed Central

    Yokoo, Edna M; Valente, Joaquim G; Grattan, Lynn; Schmidt, Sérgio Luís; Platt, Illeane; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2003-01-01

    -dependent effect. Conclusions This study suggests that adults exposed to MeHg may be at risk for deficits in neurocognitive function. The functions disrupted in adults, namely attention, fine-motor function and verbal memory, are similar to some of those previously reported in children with prenatal exposures. PMID:12844364

  12. Does vitamin C deficiency affect cognitive development and function?

    PubMed

    Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens

    2014-09-19

    Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(-/-) mice and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies.

  13. Enhanced serotonin transporter function during depression in seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed

    Willeit, Matthäus; Sitte, Harald H; Thierry, Nikolaus; Michalek, Klaus; Praschak-Rieder, Nicole; Zill, Peter; Winkler, Dietmar; Brannath, Werner; Fischer, Michael B; Bondy, Brigitta; Kasper, Siegfried; Singer, Ernst A

    2008-06-01

    Decreased synaptic serotonin during depressive episodes is a central element of the monoamine hypothesis of depression. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT, SERT) is a key molecule for the control of synaptic serotonin levels. Here we aimed to detect state-related alterations in the efficiency of 5-HTT-mediated inward and outward transport in platelets of drug-free depressed patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 5-HTT turnover rate, a measure for the number of inward transport events per minute, and tyramine-induced, 5-HTT-mediated outward transport were assessed at baseline, after 4 weeks of bright light therapy, and in summer using a case-control design in a consecutive sample of 73 drug-free depressed patients with SAD and 70 nonseasonal healthy controls. Patients were drug-naive or medication-free for at least 6 months prior to study inclusion, females patients were studied in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. All participants were genotyped for a 5-HTT-promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) to assess the influence of this polymorphism on 5-HTT parameters. Efficiency of 5-HTT-mediated inward (p=0.014) and outward (p=0.003) transport was enhanced in depressed patients. Both measures normalized toward control levels after therapy and in natural summer remission. Changes in outward transport showed a clear correlation with treatment response (rho=0.421, p=0.001). Changes in inward transport were mediated by changes in 5-HTT transport efficiency rather than affinity or density. 5-HTTLPR was not associated with any of the 5-HTT parameters. In sum, we conclude that the 5-HTT is in a hyperfunctional state during depression in SAD and normalizes after light therapy and in natural summer remission.

  14. Glucose Tightly Controls Morphological and Functional Properties of Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chun-Yao; Dallérac, Glenn; Ezan, Pascal; Anderova, Miroslava; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    The main energy source powering the brain is glucose. Strong energy needs of our nervous system are fulfilled by conveying this essential metabolite through blood via an extensive vascular network. Glucose then reaches brain tissues by cell uptake, diffusion and metabolization, processes primarily undertaken by astrocytes. Deprivation of glucose can however occur in various circumstances. In particular, ageing is associated with cognitive disturbances that are partly attributable to metabolic deficiency leading to brain glycopenia. Despite the crucial role of glucose and its metabolites in sustaining neuronal activity, little is known about its moment-to-moment contribution to astroglial physiology. We thus here investigated the early structural and functional alterations induced in astrocytes by a transient metabolic challenge consisting in glucose deprivation. Electrophysiological recordings of hippocampal astroglial cells of the stratum radiatum in situ revealed that shortage of glucose specifically increases astrocyte membrane capacitance, whilst it has no impact on other passive membrane properties. Consistent with this change, morphometric analysis unraveled a prompt increase in astrocyte volume upon glucose deprivation. Furthermore, characteristic functional properties of astrocytes are also affected by transient glucose deficiency. We indeed found that glucoprivation decreases their gap junction-mediated coupling, while it progressively and reversibly increases their intracellular calcium levels during the slow depression of synaptic transmission occurring simultaneously, as assessed by dual electrophysiological and calcium imaging recordings. Together, these data indicate that astrocytes rapidly respond to metabolic dysfunctions, and are therefore central to the neuroglial dialog at play in brain adaptation to glycopenia. PMID:27148048

  15. Yeast diversity of sourdoughs and associated metabolic properties and functionalities.

    PubMed

    De Vuyst, Luc; Harth, Henning; Van Kerrebroeck, Simon; Leroy, Frédéric

    2016-12-19

    Together with acidifying lactic acid bacteria, yeasts play a key role in the production process of sourdough, where they are either naturally present or added as a starter culture. Worldwide, a diversity of yeast species is encountered, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida humilis, Kazachstania exigua, Pichia kudriavzevii, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Torulaspora delbrueckii among the most common ones. Sourdough-adapted yeasts are able to withstand the stress conditions encountered during their growth, including nutrient starvation as well as the effects of acidic, oxidative, thermal, and osmotic stresses. From a technological point of view, their metabolism primarily contributes to the leavening and flavour of sourdough products. Besides ethanol and carbon dioxide, yeasts can produce metabolites that specifically affect flavour, such as organic acids, diacetyl, higher alcohols from branched-chain amino acids, and esters derived thereof. Additionally, several yeast strains possess functional properties that can potentially lead to nutritional and safety advantages. These properties encompass the production of vitamins, an improvement of the bioavailability of phenolic compounds, the dephosphorylation of phytic acid, the presence of probiotic potential, and the inhibition of fungi and their mycotoxin production. Strains of diverse species are new candidate functional starter cultures, offering opportunities beyond the conventional use of baker's yeast.

  16. Structure-function properties of anticorrosive exopolyaccharides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nanoscale biobased exopolymer films were shown that provide protection to metal substrates under corrosive environments and that the films could be self-repairing in aqueous environments. This work describes the fundamental properties of thin exopolymer films including thermodynamic properties, film...

  17. Neurology of Affective Prosody and Its Functional-Anatomic Organization in Right Hemisphere

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Elliott D.; Monnot, Marilee

    2008-01-01

    Unlike the aphasic syndromes, the organization of affective prosody in brain has remained controversial because affective-prosodic deficits may occur after left or right brain damage. However, different patterns of deficits are observed following left and right brain damage that suggest affective prosody is a dominant and lateralized function of…

  18. Familial Clustering of Executive Functioning in Affected Sibling Pair Families with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate familial clustering of executive functioning (i.e., response inhibition, fine visuomotor functioning, and attentional control) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-affected sibling pairs. Method: Fifty-two affected sibling pairs aged 6 to 18 years and diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV performed the…

  19. Preparation and Properties of Nanocomposites Prepared From Shortened, Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, J. G., Jr.; Delozier, D. M.; Watson, K. A.; Connell, J. W.; Yu, Aiping; Haddon, R. C.; Bekyarova, E.

    2006-01-01

    As part of a continuing materials development activity, low color space environmentally stable polymeric materials that possess sufficient electrical conductivity for electrostatic charge dissipation (ESD) have been investigated. One method of incorporating sufficient electrical conductivity for ESD without detrimental effects on other polymer properties of interest (i.e., optical and thermo-optical) is through the incorporation of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). However, SWNTs are difficult to fully disperse in the polymer matrix. One means of improving dispersion is by shortening and functionalizing SWNTs. While this improves dispersion, other properties (i.e., electrical) of the SWNTs can be affected which can in turn alter the final nanocomposite properties. Additionally, functionalization of the polymer matrix can also influence nanocomposite properties obtained from shortened, functionalized SWNTs. The preparation and characterization of nanocomposites fabricated from a polyimide, both functionalized and unfunctionalized, and shortened, functionalized SWNTs will be presented.

  20. Proliferation status defines functional properties of endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Lipps, Christoph; Badar, Muhammad; Butueva, Milada; Dubich, Tatyana; Singh, Vivek Vikram; Rau, Sophie; Weber, Axel; Kracht, Michael; Köster, Mario; May, Tobias; Schulz, Thomas F; Hauser, Hansjörg; Wirth, Dagmar

    2017-04-01

    Homeostasis of solid tissue is characterized by a low proliferative activity of differentiated cells while special conditions like tissue damage induce regeneration and proliferation. For some cell types it has been shown that various tissue-specific functions are missing in the proliferating state, raising the possibility that their proliferation is not compatible with a fully differentiated state. While endothelial cells are important players in regenerating tissue as well as in the vascularization of tumors, the impact of proliferation on their features remains elusive. To examine cell features in dependence of proliferation, we established human endothelial cell lines in which proliferation is tightly controlled by a doxycycline-dependent, synthetic regulatory unit. We observed that uptake of macromolecules and establishment of cell-cell contacts was more pronounced in the growth-arrested state. Tube-like structures were formed in vitro in both proliferating and non-proliferating conditions. However, functional vessel formation upon transplantation into immune-compromised mice was restricted to the proliferative state. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) infection resulted in reduced expression of endothelial markers. Upon transplantation of infected cells, drastic differences were observed: proliferation arrested cells acquired a high migratory activity while the proliferating counterparts established a tumor-like phenotype, similar to Kaposi Sarcoma lesions. The study gives evidence that proliferation governs endothelial functions. This suggests that several endothelial functions are differentially expressed during angiogenesis. Moreover, since proliferation defines the functional properties of cells upon infection with KSHV, this process crucially affects the fate of virus-infected cells.

  1. OPERATIONAL AND COMPOSITIONAL FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE PERFORMANCE PROPERTIES OF ARP/MCU SALTSTONE GROUT

    SciTech Connect

    Reigel, M.; Edwards, T.; Pickenheim, B.

    2012-02-15

    that of the sample cured at room temperature. The hydration reactions initiated during the mixing of the premix and salt solution continue during the curing period in the vaults to produce the hardened waste form product. The heat generated from exothermic hydration reactions results in a temperature increase in the vaults that depends on the composition of the decontaminated salt solution being dispositioned, the grout formulation (mix design) and the pour frequency and volume. This heat generation is a contributing factor to the temperature increase in the vaults that leads to an increased cure temperature for the grout. This report will further investigate the impact of curing temperature on saltstone performance properties (hydraulic conductivity, Young's modulus, porosity, etc.) over a range of aluminate concentration, water to premix (w/p) ratio and weight percent fly ash in the premix processed at the SPF. The three curing temperatures selected for this study were chosen to provide data at fixed cure temperatures that represent measured temperatures in the SDF vaults. This does not represent the conditions in the vault where the temperature of the saltstone is continually changing with time. For example, it may take several days for the saltstone to reach 60 C at a given elevation. Previous results demonstrated that the rates at which a selected curing temperature is reached affect the performance properties. The approach taken in this task, a rapid increase to the curing temperature, may be conservative with respect to decreased performance. Nevertheless, the data will provide a basis from which to determine the impact of curing temperature on saltstone performance as a function of key variables. A statistical evaluation of the results for these mixes will be performed to provide the range, and associated uncertainties, of hydraulic conductivity and other properties over this factor space.

  2. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  3. Functional properties of teff and oat composites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Teff-oat composites were developed using gluten free teff flour containing essential amino acids and minerals along with oat products containing ß-glucan known for lowering blood cholesterol. Teff-oat composites were evaluated for their pasting and rheological properties by a Rapid Visco Analyzer (R...

  4. Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Affective Style Questionnaire and its role as a moderator of the relationship between stress and negative affect.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianping; Xu, Wei; Fu, Zhongfang; Yu, Wei; He, Li; Sun, Ling; He, Jiao; Hofmann, Stefan

    2016-11-21

    The Affective Style Questionnaire is a self-report instrument for assessing affective style. Study 1 investigated the psychometric properties of the Chinese Affective Style Questionnaire in a sample of 459 Chinese participants. The confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor structure. Study 1 indicated that the Chinese Affective Style Questionnaire can be used as a simple, reliable, and valid scale for measuring individual differences in affective style. Study 2 examined the moderating role of different affective styles in the relationship between stress and negative affect. Concealing and tolerating moderated the relationship between stress and anxiety, and adjusting moderated the relationship between stress and depression.

  5. The Lipid Composition and Physical Properties of the Yeast Vacuole Affect the Hemifusion-Fusion Transition

    PubMed Central

    Karunakaran, Surya; Fratti, Rutilio A.

    2013-01-01

    Yeast vacuole fusion requires the formation of SNARE bundles between membranes. Although the function of vacuolar SNAREs is controlled in part by regulatory lipids, the exact role of the membrane in regulating fusion remains unclear. Because SNAREs are membrane-anchored and transmit the force required for fusion to the bilayer, we hypothesized that the lipid composition and curvature of the membrane aid in controlling fusion. Here, we examined the effect of altering membrane fluidity and curvature on the functionality of fusion-incompetent SNARE mutants that are thought to generate insufficient force to trigger the hemifusion-fusion transition. The hemifusion-fusion transition was inhibited by disrupting the 3Q:1R stoichiometry of SNARE bundles with the mutant SNARE Vam7pQ283R. Similarly, replacing the transmembrane domain of the syntaxin homolog Vam3p with a lipid anchor allowed hemifusion, but not content mixing. Hemifusion-stalled reactions containing either of the SNARE mutants were stimulated to fuse with chlorpromazine, an amphipathic molecule that alters membrane fluidity and curvature. The activity of mutant SNAREs was also rescued by the overexpression of SNAREs, thus multiplying the force transferred to the membrane. Thus, we conclude that either increasing membrane fluidity, or multiplying SNARE-generated energy restored the fusogenicity of mutant SNAREs that are stalled at hemifusion. We also found that regulatory lipids differentially modulated the complex formation of wild-type SNAREs. Together, these data indicate that the physical properties and the lipid composition of the membrane affect the function of SNAREs in promoting the hemifusion-fusion transition. PMID:23438067

  6. Behavioral Functions of the Mesolimbic Dopaminergic System: an Affective Neuroethological Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Alcaro, Antonio; Huber, Robert; Panksepp, Jaak

    2008-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopaminergic (ML-DA) system has been recognized for its central role in motivated behaviors, various types of reward, and, more recently, in cognitive processes. Functional theories have emphasized DA's involvement in the orchestration of goal-directed behaviors, and in the promotion and reinforcement of learning. The affective neuroethological perspective presented here, views the ML-DA system in terms of its ability to activate an instinctual emotional appetitive state (SEEKING) evolved to induce organisms to search for all varieties of life-supporting stimuli and to avoid harms. A description of the anatomical framework in which the ML system is embedded is followed by the argument that the SEEKING disposition emerges through functional integration of ventral basal ganglia (BG) into thalamocortical activities. Filtering cortical and limbic input that spread into BG, DA transmission promotes the “release” of neural activity patterns that induce active SEEKING behaviors when expressed at the motor level. Reverberation of these patterns constitutes a neurodynamic process for the inclusion of cognitive and perceptual representations within the extended networks of the SEEKING urge. In this way, the SEEKING disposition influences attention, incentive salience, associative learning, and anticipatory predictions. In our view, the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse are, in part, caused by the activation of the SEEKING disposition, ranging from appetitive drive to persistent craving depending on the intensity of the affect. The implications of such a view for understanding addiction are considered, with particular emphasis on factors predisposing individuals to develop compulsive drug seeking behaviors. PMID:17905440

  7. Predicting the accuracy of facial affect recognition: the interaction of child maltreatment and intellectual functioning.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G

    2013-02-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying levels of intellectual functioning. A sample of maltreated (n=50) and nonmaltreated (n=56) adolescent females, 14 to 19 years of age, was recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed demographic and study-related questionnaires and interviews to control for potential psychological and psychiatric confounds such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, and difficulties in emotion regulation. Participants also completed an experimental paradigm that recorded responses to facial affect displays starting in a neutral expression and changing into a full expression of one of six emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, or surprise. Hierarchical multiple regression assessed the incremental advantage of evaluating the interaction between child maltreatment and intellectual functioning. Results indicated that the interaction term accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in the accurate identification of facial affect after controlling for relevant covariates and main effects. Specifically, maltreated females with lower levels of intellectual functioning were least accurate in identifying facial affect displays, whereas those with higher levels of intellectual functioning performed as well as nonmaltreated females. These results suggest that maltreatment and intellectual functioning interact to predict the recognition of facial affect, with potential long-term consequences for the interpersonal functioning of maltreated females.

  8. Constructing Easily Iterated Functions with Interesting Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprows, David J.

    2009-01-01

    A number of schools have recently introduced new courses dealing with various aspects of iteration theory or at least have found ways of including topics such as chaos and fractals in existing courses. In this note, we will consider a family of functions whose members are especially well suited to illustrate many of the concepts involved in these…

  9. Functionalized hexagonal boron nitride nanomaterials: emerging properties and applications.

    PubMed

    Weng, Qunhong; Wang, Xuebin; Wang, Xi; Bando, Yoshio; Golberg, Dmitri

    2016-07-11

    Functionalization is an important way to breed new properties and applications for a material. This review presents an overview of the progresses in functionalized hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanomaterials. It begins with an introduction of h-BN structural features, physical and chemical properties, followed by an emphasis on the developments of BN functionalization strategies and its emerging properties/applications, and ends with the research perspectives. Different functionalization methods, including physical and chemical routes, are comprehensively described toward fabrication of various BN derivatives, hetero- and porous structures, etc. Novel properties of functionalized BN materials, such as high water solubility, excellent biocompatibility, tunable surface affinities, good processibility, adjustable band gaps, etc., have guaranteed wide applications in biomedical, electronic, composite, environmental and "green" energy-related fields.

  10. Mechanical properties and biocompatibility of functionalized carbon nanotubes/polypropylene composites.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jing; Nan, Xi; Larsen, Raino Mikael; Huang, Xiaobo; Yu, Bowen

    2016-07-01

    This study investigates the efficiency of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as reinforcement for polypropylene (PP) for biocompatible application as a function of different surface functionalization of CNTs. PP composites were reinforced using various CNTs: single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs, MWCNTs), SWCNTs were covalently functionalized by plasma, for comparison, the MWCNTs were functionalized noncovalently. Different CNTs were incorporated into PP by solution blending. The type of CNTs and surface functionalization affects the mechanical and biocompatibility results significantly. Differences in nanostructure and the chemical compositions, number of functional groups, and structural defects for the CNTs may be the key factors affecting the mechanical properties and biocompatibility of PP nanocomposites compared to the neat PP. Finally, suitable CNTs and surface functionalization of CNTs were selected for making the PP/CNTs composites.

  11. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody but atypical lexical prosody production. Method: Sixteen children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers…

  12. Hydraulic properties affected by topsoil thickness in switchgrass and corn-soybean cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Loss of productive topsoil by soil erosion over time can reduce the productive capacity of soil and can significantly affect soil hydraulic properties. This study evaluated the effects of reduced topsoil thickness and perennial switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) versus corn (Zea mays L.)/soybean [Gly...

  13. Ozone gas affects the physical and chemical properties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) starch

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ozone can oxidize hydroxyl groups present at C2, C3, and C6 positions on the starch molecule and affect its physicochemical properties. In this experiment, bread wheat flour and isolated wheat starch were treated with ozone gas (1,500 ppm, gas flow rate 2.5 L/minutes) for 45 minutes and 30 minutes, ...

  14. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): composition, chemistry, nutritional, and functional properties.

    PubMed

    Abugoch James, Lilian E

    2009-01-01

    Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), which is considered a pseudocereal or pseudograin, has been recognized as a complete food due to its protein quality. It has remarkable nutritional properties; not only from its protein content (15%) but also from its great amino acid balance. It is an important source of minerals and vitamins, and has also been found to contain compounds like polyphenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids with possible nutraceutical benefits. It has some functional (technological) properties like solubility, water-holding capacity (WHC), gelation, emulsifying, and foaming that allow diversified uses. Besides, it has been considered an oil crop, with an interesting proportion of omega-6 and a notable vitamin E content. Quinoa starch has physicochemical properties (such as viscosity, freeze stability) which give it functional properties with novel uses. Quinoa has a high nutritional value and has recently been used as a novel functional food because of all these properties; it is a promising alternative cultivar.

  15. Molecular properties affecting the adsorption coefficient of pesticides from various chemical families.

    PubMed

    Langeron, Julie; Blondel, Alodie; Sayen, Stéphanie; Hénon, Eric; Couderchet, Michel; Guillon, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Forty pesticides were selected in function of their chemical families and their physico-chemical properties to represent a wide range of pesticide properties. Adsorption of these pesticides was studied on two soils by batch experiments. The two soils differed largely in organic matter and calcite contents. Distribution coefficient Kd was determined for each pesticide on the two soils. Adsorption was higher for the soil having the highest organic matter content and the lowest calcite content. In order to identify pesticide properties governing retention, eight molecular descriptors were determined from three-dimensional (3D) structure of molecules. Class-specific quantitative structure properties relationship (QSPR) soil adsorption models using one and two parameters were developed from experimental Kd. Three properties seemed to influence most retention of pesticides: hydrophobicity, solubility, and polarisability. Models combining these properties were suggested and discussed.

  16. Immunomodulatory properties of carbon nanotubes are able to compensate immune function dysregulation caused by microgravity conditions.

    PubMed

    Crescio, Claudia; Orecchioni, Marco; Ménard-Moyon, Cécilia; Sgarrella, Francesco; Pippia, Proto; Manetti, Roberto; Bianco, Alberto; Delogu, Lucia Gemma

    2014-08-21

    Spaceflights lead to dysregulation of the immune cell functionality affecting the expression of activation markers and cytokine production. Short oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes functionalized by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition have been reported to activate immune cells. In this Communication we have performed surface marker assays and multiplex ELISA on primary monocytes and T cells under microgravity. We have discovered that carbon nanotubes, through their immunostimulatory properties, are able to fight spaceflight immune system dysregulations.

  17. Negative affect predicts social functioning across schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: Findings from an integrated data analysis.

    PubMed

    Grove, Tyler B; Tso, Ivy F; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Ellingrod, Vicki L; McInnis, Melvin G; Deldin, Patricia J

    2016-09-30

    Most people with a serious mental illness experience significant functional impairment despite ongoing pharmacological treatment. Thus, in order to improve outcomes, a better understanding of functional predictors is needed. This study examined negative affect, a construct comprised of negative emotional experience, as a predictor of social functioning across serious mental illnesses. One hundred twenty-seven participants with schizophrenia, 113 with schizoaffective disorder, 22 with psychosis not otherwise specified, 58 with bipolar disorder, and 84 healthy controls (N=404) completed self-report negative affect measures. Elevated levels of negative affect were observed in clinical participants compared with healthy controls. For both clinical and healthy control participants, negative affect measures were significantly correlated with social functioning, and consistently explained significant amounts of variance in functioning. For clinical participants, this relationship persisted even after accounting for cognition and positive/negative symptoms. The findings suggest that negative affect is a strong predictor of outcome across these populations and treatment of serious mental illnesses should target elevated negative affect in addition to cognition and positive/negative symptoms.

  18. Positive Affect in the Midst of Distress: Implications for Role Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Moskowitz, Judith Tedlie; Shmueli-Blumberg, Dikla; Acree, Michael; Folkman, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Stress has been shown to deplete the self-regulation resources hypothesized to facilitate effective role functioning. However, recent research suggests that positive affect may help to replenish these vital self-regulation resources. Based on revised Stress and Coping theory and the Broaden-and-Build theory of positive emotion, three studies provide evidence of the potential adaptive function of positive affect in the performance of roles for participants experiencing stress. Participants were students (Study 1), caregivers of ill children (Study 2), and individuals recently diagnosed with HIV (Study 3). In cross sectional analyses, using role functioning as an indicator of self-regulation performance, we found that positive affect was significantly correlated with better self regulation performance, independent of the effects of negative affect. The effects were not as strong longitudinally, however, and there was little evidence of a reciprocal association between increases in positive affect and improvements in role functioning over time. The results provide some modest support for hypotheses stemming from the Broaden and Build model of positive emotion and revised Stress and Coping theory, both of which argue for unique adaptive functions of positive affect under stressful conditions. PMID:23175617

  19. Linking and Psychological Functioning in a Chinese Sample: The Multiple Mediation of Response to Positive Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…

  20. Delocalization error and "functional tuning" in Kohn-Sham calculations of molecular properties.

    PubMed

    Autschbach, Jochen; Srebro, Monika

    2014-08-19

    Kohn-Sham theory (KST) is the "workhorse" of numerical quantum chemistry. This is particularly true for first-principles calculations of ground- and excited-state properties for larger systems, including electronic spectra, electronic dynamic and static linear and higher order response properties (including nonlinear optical (NLO) properties), conformational or dynamic averaging of spectra and response properties, or properties that are affected by the coupling of electron and nuclear motion. This Account explores the sometimes dramatic impact of the delocalization error (DE) and possible benefits from the use of long-range corrections (LC) and "tuning" of functionals in KST calculations of molecular ground-state and response properties. Tuning refers to a nonempirical molecule-specific determination of adjustable parameters in functionals to satisfy known exact conditions, for instance, that the energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) should be equal to the negative vertical ionization potential (IP) or that the energy as a function of fractional electron numbers should afford straight-line segments. The presentation is given from the viewpoint of a chemist interested in computations of a variety of molecular optical and spectroscopic properties and of a theoretician developing methods for computing such properties with KST. In recent years, the use of LC functionals, functional tuning, and quantifying the DE explicitly have provided valuable insight regarding the performance of KST for molecular properties. We discuss a number of different molecular properties, with examples from recent studies from our laboratory and related literature. The selected properties probe different aspects of molecular electronic structure. Electric field gradients and hyperfine coupling constants can be exquisitely sensitive to the DE because it affects the ground-state electron density and spin density distributions. For π-conjugated molecules, it is shown how the

  1. HAMLET: functional properties and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Ho C S, James; Rydström, Anna; Trulsson, Maria; Bålfors, Johannes; Storm, Petter; Puthia, Manoj; Nadeem, Aftab; Svanborg, Catharina

    2012-10-01

    Human α-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells (HAMLET) is the first member in a new family of protein-lipid complexes that kills tumor cells with high selectivity. The protein component of HAMLET is α-lactalbumin, which in its native state acts as a substrate specifier in the lactose synthase complex, thereby defining a function essential for the survival of lactating mammals. In addition, α-lactalbumin acquires tumoricidal activity after partial unfolding and binding to oleic acid. The lipid cofactor serves the dual role as a stabilizer of the altered fold of the protein and a coactivator of specific steps in tumor cell death. HAMLET is broadly tumoricidal, suggesting that the complex identifies conserved death pathways suitable for targeting by novel therapies. Sensitivity to HAMLET is defined by oncogene expression including Ras and c-Myc and by glycolytic enzymes. Cellular targets are located in the cytoplasmic membrane, cytoskeleton, mitochondria, proteasomes, lysosomes and nuclei, and specific signaling pathways are rapidly activated, first by interactions of HAMLET with the cell membrane and subsequently after HAMLET internalization. Therapeutic effects of HAMLET have been demonstrated in human skin papillomas and bladder cancers, and HAMLET limits the progression of human glioblastomas, with no evidence of toxicity for normal brain or bladder tissue. These findings open up new avenues for cancer therapy and the understanding of conserved death responses in tumor cells.

  2. Explanation and inference: mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization.

    PubMed

    Lombrozo, Tania; Gwynne, Nicholas Z

    2014-01-01

    The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1), experimentally provided (Experiment 2), or experimentally induced (Experiment 2). The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional) can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations.

  3. Explanation and inference: mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization

    PubMed Central

    Lombrozo, Tania; Gwynne, Nicholas Z.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1), experimentally provided (Experiment 2), or experimentally induced (Experiment 2). The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional) can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations. PMID:25309384

  4. The Functional Significance of Affect Recognition, Neurocognition, and Clinical Symptoms in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Sigmund

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The complex relationship and exact extent of the contribution of plausible indictors to social functional outcome in schizophrenia remain unclear. The present study aimed to explore the functional significance of clinical symptoms, neurocognition, and affect recognition simultaneously in schizophrenia. Methods The clinical symptoms, basic neurocognition, facial emotion recognition, and social functioning of 154 subjects, including 74 with schizophrenia and 80 nonclinical comparisons, were assessed. Results We observed that various subdomains of social functioning were extensively related to general intelligence, basic neurocognition, facial emotion recognition, and clinical symptoms, with different association patterns. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that years of education, age, sustained attention, working memory, and facial emotion recognition were significantly associated with global social functioning in schizophrenia. Conclusion Our findings suggest that affect recognition combined with nonsocial neurocognition demonstrated a crucial role in predicting global social function in schizophrenia. PMID:28099444

  5. Affective Properties of Mothers' Speech to Infants With Hearing Impairment and Cochlear Implants

    PubMed Central

    Bergeson, Tonya R.; Xu, Huiping; Kitamura, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The affective properties of infant-directed speech influence the attention of infants with normal hearing to speech sounds. This study explored the affective quality of maternal speech to infants with hearing impairment (HI) during the 1st year after cochlear implantation as compared to speech to infants with normal hearing. Method Mothers of infants with HI and mothers of infants with normal hearing matched by age (NH-AM) or hearing experience (NH-EM) were recorded playing with their infants during 3 sessions over a 12-month period. Speech samples of 25 s were low-pass filtered, leaving intonation but not speech information intact. Sixty adults rated the stimuli along 5 scales: positive/negative affect and intention to express affection, to encourage attention, to comfort/soothe, and to direct behavior. Results Low-pass filtered speech to HI and NH-EM groups was rated as more positive, affective, and comforting compared with the such speech to the NH-AM group. Speech to infants with HI and with NH-AM was rated as more directive than speech to the NH-EM group. Mothers decreased affective qualities in speech to all infants but increased directive qualities in speech to infants with NH-EM over time. Conclusions Mothers fine-tune communicative intent in speech to their infant's developmental stage. They adjust affective qualities to infants' hearing experience rather than to chronological age but adjust directive qualities of speech to the chronological age of their infants. PMID:25679195

  6. Canola Proteins for Human Consumption: Extraction, Profile, and Functional Properties

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Siong H; Mailer, Rodney J; Blanchard, Christopher L; Agboola, Samson O

    2011-01-01

    Canola protein isolate has been suggested as an alternative to other proteins for human food use due to a balanced amino acid profile and potential functional properties such as emulsifying, foaming, and gelling abilities. This is, therefore, a review of the studies on the utilization of canola protein in human food, comprising the extraction processes for protein isolates and fractions, the molecular character of the extracted proteins, as well as their food functional properties. A majority of studies were based on proteins extracted from the meal using alkaline solution, presumably due to its high nitrogen yield, followed by those utilizing salt extraction combined with ultrafiltration. Characteristics of canola and its predecessor rapeseed protein fractions such as nitrogen yield, molecular weight profile, isoelectric point, solubility, and thermal properties have been reported and were found to be largely related to the extraction methods. However, very little research has been carried out on the hydrophobicity and structure profiles of the protein extracts that are highly relevant to a proper understanding of food functional properties. Alkaline extracts were generally not very suitable as functional ingredients and contradictory results about many of the measured properties of canola proteins, especially their emulsification tendencies, have also been documented. Further research into improved extraction methods is recommended, as is a more systematic approach to the measurement of desired food functional properties for valid comparison between studies. PMID:21535703

  7. Structure-Function-Property-Design Interplay in Biopolymers: Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures, and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. PMID:23962644

  8. How the type of input function affects the dynamic response of conducting polymer actuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Xingcan; Alici, Gursel; Mutlu, Rahim; Li, Weihua

    2014-10-01

    There has been a growing interest in smart actuators typified by conducting polymer actuators, especially in their (i) fabrication, modeling and control with minimum external data and (ii) applications in bio-inspired devices, robotics and mechatronics. Their control is a challenging research problem due to the complex and nonlinear properties of these actuators, which cannot be predicted accurately. Based on an input-shaping technique, we propose a new method to improve the conducting polymer actuators’ command-following ability, while minimizing their electric power consumption. We applied four input functions with smooth characteristics to a trilayer conducting polymer actuator to experimentally evaluate its command-following ability under an open-loop control strategy and a simulated feedback control strategy, and, more importantly, to quantify how the type of input function affects the dynamic response of this class of actuators. We have found that the four smooth inputs consume less electrical power than sharp inputs such as a step input with discontinuous higher-order derivatives. We also obtained an improved transient response performance from the smooth inputs, especially under the simulated feedback control strategy, which we have proposed previously [X Xiang, R Mutlu, G Alici, and W Li, 2014 “Control of conducting polymer actuators without physical feedback: simulated feedback control approach with particle swarm optimization’, Journal of Smart Materials and Structure, 23]. The idea of using a smooth input command, which results in lower power consumption and better control performance, can be extended to other smart actuators. Consuming less electrical energy or power will have a direct effect on enhancing the operational life of these actuators.

  9. A Density Functional Study of the Nonlinear Optical Properties of Edge-Functionalized Nonplanar Nanographenes.

    PubMed

    Dai, Yafei; Li, Zhenyu; Yang, Jinlong

    2015-08-06

    The atomically precise edge chlorination of nanographenes has recently been reported as a crucial technology of functionalization through which the planar structure and optical properties of nanographenes can be significantly changed. To check the effects of molecular size, geometrical symmetry and edge functionalization of nanographenes on their optical properties, a series of nanographenes is studied in the framework of density functional theory with the B3LYP functional. Our results indicate that edge functionalization remarkably changes the nonlinear optical properties and increases the anisotropy of nanographenes compared to the effects of the molecular size and system geometric symmetry. Furthermore, the nonlinear optical properties of nanographenes can be tuned by precise edge functionalization, which opens a new avenue for using nanographenes as nonlinear optical materials.

  10. Identifying Molecular Regulators of Neuronal Functions Affected in the Movement Disorder Dystonia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-08-01

    AD______________ AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0301 TITLE: Identifying Molecular Regulators of Neuronal Functions Affected in the Movement Disorder...Affected in the Movement Disorder Dystonia 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0301 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The movement disorder dystonia is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the limbs, hands, feet or neck. The aim

  11. Role of affective self-regulatory efficacy in diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning.

    PubMed

    Bandura, Albert; Caprara, Gian Vittorio; Barbaranelli, Claudio; Gerbino, Maria; Pastorelli, Concetta

    2003-01-01

    This prospective study with 464 older adolescents (14 to 19 years at Time 1; 16 to 21 years at Time 2) tested the structural paths of influence through which perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation operates in concert with perceived behavioral efficacy in governing diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning. Self-efficacy to regulate positive and negative affect is accompanied by high efficacy to manage one's academic development, to resist social pressures for antisocial activities, and to engage oneself with empathy in others' emotional experiences. Perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation essentially operated mediationally through the latter behavioral forms of self-efficacy rather than directly on prosocial behavior, delinquent conduct, and depression. Perceived empathic self-efficacy functioned as a generalized contributor to psychosocial functioning. It was accompanied by prosocial behavior and low involvement in delinquency but increased vulnerability to depression in adolescent females.

  12. Observing functional actions affects semantic processing of tools: evidence of a motor-to-semantic priming.

    PubMed

    De Bellis, Francesco; Ferrara, Antonia; Errico, Domenico; Panico, Francesco; Sagliano, Laura; Conson, Massimiliano; Trojano, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence shows that activation of motor information can favor identification of related tools, thus suggesting a strict link between motor and conceptual knowledge in cognitive representation of tools. However, the involvement of motor information in further semantic processing has not been elucidated. In three experiments, we aimed to ascertain whether motor information provided by observation of actions could affect processing of conceptual knowledge about tools. In Experiment 1, healthy participants judged whether pairs of tools evoking different functional handgrips had the same function. In Experiment 2 participants judged whether tools were paired with appropriate recipients. Finally, in Experiment 3 we again required functional judgments as in Experiment 1, but also included in the set of stimuli pairs of objects having different function and similar functional handgrips. In all experiments, pictures displaying either functional grasping (aimed to use tools) or structural grasping (just aimed to move tools independently from their use) were presented before each stimulus pair. The results demonstrated that, in comparison with structural grasping, observing functional grasping facilitates judgments about tools' function when objects did not imply the same functional manipulation (Experiment 1), whereas worsened such judgments when objects shared functional grasp (Experiment 3). Instead, action observation did not affect judgments concerning tool-recipient associations (Experiment 2). Our findings support a task-dependent influence of motor information on high-order conceptual tasks and provide further insights into how motor and conceptual processing about tools can interact.

  13. Lycopene in tomatoes: chemical and physical properties affected by food processing.

    PubMed

    Shi, J; Le Maguer, M

    2000-01-01

    -trans isomers can be observed in the dehydrated tomato samples using the different dehydration methods. Frozen foods and heat-sterilized foods exhibit excellent lycopene stability throughout their normal temperature storage shelf life. Lycopene bioavailability (absorption) can be influenced by many factors. The bioavailability of cis-isomers in food is higher than that of all-trans isomers. Lycopene bioavailability in processed tomato products is higher than in unprocessed fresh tomatoes. The composition and structure of the food also have an impact on the bioavailability of lycopene and may affect the release of lycopene from the tomato tissue matrix. Food processing may improve lycopene bioavailability by breaking down cell walls, which weakens the bonding forces between lycopene and tissue matrix, thus making lycopene more accessible and enhancing the cis-isomerization. More information on lycopene bioavailability, however, is needed. The pharmacokinetic properties of lycopene remain particularly poorly understood. Further research on the bioavalability, pharmacology, biochemistry, and physiology must be done to reveal the mechanism of lycopene in human diet, and the in vivo metabolism of lycopene. Consumer demand for healthy food products provides an opportunity to develop lycopene-rich food as new functional foods, as well as food-grade and pharmaceutical-grade lycopene as new nutraceutical products. An industrial scale, environmentally friendly lycopene extraction and purification procedure with minimal loss of bioactivities is highly desirable for the foods, feed, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. High-quality lycopene products that meet food safety regulations will offer potential benefits to the food industry.

  14. The importance of evaluating the physicochemical and toxicological properties of a contaminant for remediating environments affected by chemical incidents.

    PubMed

    Wyke, S; Peña-Fernández, A; Brooke, N; Duarte-Davidson, R

    2014-11-01

    In the event of a major chemical incident or accident, appropriate tools and technical guidance need to be available to ensure that a robust approach can be adopted for developing a remediation strategy. Remediation and restoration strategies implemented in the aftermath of a chemical incident are a particular concern for public health. As a result an innovative methodology has been developed to help design an effective recovery strategy in the aftermath of a chemical incident that has been developed; the UK Recovery Handbook for Chemical Incidents (UKRHCI). The handbook consists of a six-step decision framework and the use of decision trees specifically designed for three different environments: food production systems, inhabited areas and water environments. It also provides a compendium of evidence-based recovery options (techniques or methods for remediation) that should be selected in relation to their efficacy for removing contaminants from the environment. Selection of effective recovery options in this decision framework involves evaluating the physicochemical and toxicological properties of the chemical(s) involved. Thus, the chemical handbook includes a series of tables with relevant physicochemical and toxicological properties that should be assessed in function of the environment affected. It is essential that the physicochemical properties of a chemical are evaluated and interpreted correctly during the development of a remedial plan in the aftermath of a chemical incident to ensure an effective remedial response. This paper presents a general overview of the key physicochemical and toxicological properties of chemicals that should be evaluated when developing a recovery strategy. Information on how physicochemical properties have impacted on previous remedial responses reported in the literature is also discussed and a number of challenges for remediation are highlighted to include the need to develop novel approaches to remediate sites contaminated

  15. Extraordinary properties of functional integrals and groups of diffeomorphisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belokurov, V. V.; Shavgulidze, E. T.

    2017-03-01

    A review of the work of the authors is presented, in which corollaries of the quasi-invariance of functional integrals on the Wiener measure with respect to the action of a group of diffeomorphisms are studied, and the behavior of functional integrals with nonlinear nonlocal change of variables of integration is investigated as well. Using these substitutions, the functional integrals over discontinuous paths can be determined. The simplest models of the (Euclidean) quantum field theory are offered, in which the presence of hidden internal symmetries or the allowance for discontinuous paths in functional integrals leads to a number of paradoxical properties contradicting the conventional view.

  16. Satellite aerodynamics as a function of atmospheric properties.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karr, G. R.

    1972-01-01

    Demonstration that satellite aerodynamic properties are a function of numerous factors associated with atmospheric properties. Among these factors, the gas composition has influence on the gas surface interaction which in turn has considerable influence on the satellite drag and lift properties. The drag and lift properties, which are also influenced by the orientation of the satellite with respect to the flow, are influenced by upper atmospheric winds which cause changes in the angle of attack of the satellite. Another strong influence on the aerodynamic properties is due to the speed ratio effect which is found to cause a systematic increase in drag coefficient with respect to altitude. The study of these factors is facilitated by the introduction of a generalized gas surface interaction model which is capable of representing a wide range of possible interactions.

  17. Willingness to Use Microbicides Is Affected by the Importance of Product Characteristics, Use Parameters, and Protective Properties

    PubMed Central

    Morrow, Kathleen M.; Fava, Joseph L.; Rosen, Rochelle K.; Vargas, Sara; Barroso, Candelaria; Christensen, Anna L.; Woodsong, Cynthia; Severy, Lawrence

    2008-01-01

    Background Along with efficacy, a microbicide’s acceptability will be integral to its impact on the pandemic. Understanding Product Characteristics that users find most acceptable and determining who will use which type of product are key to optimizing use effectiveness. Objectives To evaluate psychometrically the Important Microbicide Characteristics (IMC) instrument and examine its relationship to willingness to use microbicides. Results Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed 2 IMC subscales (Cronbach’s coefficient α: Product Characteristics subscale (α = 0.84) and Protective Properties subscale (α = 0.89)). Significant differences on Product Characteristics subscale scores were found for history of douching (P = 0.002) and employment status (P = 0.001). Whether a woman used a method to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the last 3 months (P < 0.001) and whether she used a condom during the last vaginal sex episode (P < 0.001) were significantly related to her rating of the importance of microbicides being contraceptive. Product Characteristics (r = 0.21) and Protective Properties (r = 0.27) subscale scores and whether a microbicide had contraceptive properties (r = 0.24) were all significantly associated (P < 0.001) with willingness to use microbicides. Conclusions Formulation and use characteristics and product function(s) affect willingness to use microbicides and should continue to be addressed in product development. The IMC instrument serves as a template for future studies of candidate microbicides. PMID:17325607

  18. Effect of drying temperatures on starch-related functional and thermal properties of acorn flours.

    PubMed

    Correia, P R; Beirão-da-Costa, M L

    2011-03-01

    The application of starchy flours from different origins in food systems depends greatly on information about the chemical and functional properties of such food materials. Acorns are important forestry resources in the central and southern regions of Portugal. To preserve these fruits and to optimize their use, techniques like drying are needed. The effects of different drying temperatures on starch-related functional properties of acorn flours obtained from dried fruits of Quercus rotundifolia (QR) and Quercus suber (QS) were evaluated. Flours were characterized for amylose and resistant starch (RS) contents, swelling ability, and gelatinization properties. Drying temperature mainly affected amylose content and viscoamylographic properties. Amylograms of flours from fruits dried at 60 °C displayed higher consistency (2102 B.U. and 1560 B.U., respectively, for QR and QS). The transition temperatures and enthalpy were less affected by drying temperature, suggesting few modifications in starch structure during drying. QR flours presented different functional properties to those obtained from QS acorn flours. The effect of drying temperatures were more evident in QR.

  19. Stress in Context: Morpho-Syntactic Properties Affect Lexical Stress Assignment in Reading Aloud

    PubMed Central

    Spinelli, Giacomo; Sulpizio, Simone; Primativo, Silvia; Burani, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings from English and Russian have shown that grammatical category plays a key role in stress assignment. In these languages, some grammatical categories have a typical stress pattern and this information is used by readers. However, whether readers are sensitive to smaller distributional differences and other morpho-syntactic properties (e.g., gender, number, person) remains unclear. We addressed this issue in word and non-word reading in Italian, a language in which: (1) nouns and verbs differ in the proportion of words with a dominant stress pattern; (2) information specified by words sharing morpho-syntactic properties may contrast with other sources of information, such as stress neighborhood. Both aspects were addressed in two experiments in which context words were used to induce the desired morpho-syntactic properties. Experiment 1 showed that the relatively different proportions of stress patterns between grammatical categories do not affect stress processing in word reading. In contrast, Experiment 2 showed that information specified by words sharing morpho-syntactic properties outweighs stress neighborhood in non-word reading. Thus, while general information specified by grammatical categories may not be used by Italian readers, stress neighbors with morpho-syntactic properties congruent with those of the target stimulus have a primary role in stress assignment. These results underscore the importance of expanding investigations of stress assignment beyond single words, as current models of single-word reading seem unable to account for our results. PMID:27445910

  20. Self-conscious affects: their adaptive Functions and relationship to depressive mood.

    PubMed

    Uji, Masayo; Kitamura, Toshinori; Nagata, Toshiaki

    2011-01-01

    This study used a structural equation model to examine the influence of resilience on the four self-conscious affects (guilt-proneness, shame-proneness, externalization, and detachment) assessed in the Test of Self-Conscious Affect-3 (TOSCA-3) and their impact on depressive mood. Our subject population consisted of 447 Japanese university students. The first analysis explored which TOSCA-3 affects help an individual adapt to stressful situations. The concept of "resilience" was used as an indicator to evaluate the adaptive functions. We based this on the assumption that an individual with higher resilience is able to use more adaptive affects. In the second analysis, taking the above relationship between resilience and the self-conscious affects into consideration, we examined how those variables as well as a negative life event are related to depressive mood. To assess the resilience level and depressive mood, we adopted the Resilience Scale (RS) and Self-rating Depressive Scale (SDS), respectively. The first analysis showed that the more resilient an individual was, the more prone they were to "detachment" and the less "shame" they experienced. The level of resilience did not have a significant effect on "guilt" or "externalization." In the second analysis we found that "resilience" had a direct inverse effect on depressive mood that was also mediated by "shame" and "detachment." We discuss how the particular self-conscious affects comprising each adaptive function are related to depressive mood.

  1. From Victim to Offender: How Nuisance Property Laws Affect Battered Women.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Gretchen W

    2016-05-04

    Nuisance property laws, which fine people for excessive 911 calls, have become increasingly popular in cities of all sizes. However, research into how these laws affect battered women is still in its early stages. This research study was designed to address the question of whether nuisance property laws harm battered women and, if so, how. Using a qualitative research design, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 primarily low-income African American battered women in St. Louis metropolitan area who had come into contact with a nuisance property law because of domestic violence. Interviews addressed circumstances of contact with a nuisance law, the response of law enforcement officials, and how the law affected the participant's housing, ability to call 911, sense of safety, finances, access to health care, and family stability. Using a multi-stage qualitative analytic procedure, each transcript was coded for themes and then descriptive categories developed for each theme. The data demonstrate that nuisance property laws harm victims of domestic violence in several ways, including by hindering their access to safe and secure housing, discouraging them from calling 911, increasing their vulnerability to violence, and compounding the trauma of the intimate partner violence. This research also reveals ways in which nuisance laws reinforce gender, race, and class inequality. The findings show that nuisance property laws enhance the abuser's power over his victim, hold victims accountable for the abuse, exacerbate the class- and race-based risks many battered women already face, and obscure the real crime of domestic violence. Policy makers need to be informed of these consequences so that they can take action to reform nuisance laws.

  2. Aging affects passive stiffness and spindle function of the rat soleus muscle.

    PubMed

    Rosant, Cédric; Nagel, Marie-Danielle; Pérot, Chantal

    2007-04-01

    Aging affects many motor functions, notably the spinal stretch reflexes and muscle spindle sensitivity. Spindle activation also depends on the elastic properties of the structures linked to the proprioceptive receptors. We have calculated a spindle efficacy index, SEI, for old rats. This index relates the spindle sensitivity, deduced from electroneurograms recording (ENG), to the passive stiffness of the muscle. Spindle sensitivity and passive incremental stiffness were calculated during ramp and hold stretches imposed on pseudo-isolated soleus muscles of control rats (aged 4 months, n=12) and old rats (aged 24 months, n=16). SEI were calculated for the dynamic and static phases of ramp (1-80 mm/s) and for hold (0.5-2mm) stretches imposed at two reference lengths: length threshold for spindle afferents discharges, L(n) (neurogram length) and slack length, L(s). The passive incremental stiffness was calculated from the peak and steady values of passive tension, measured under the stretch conditions used for the ENG recordings, and taking into account the muscle cross-sectional area. The pseudo-isolated soleus muscles were also stretched to establish the stress-strain relationship and to calculate muscle stiffness constant. The contralateral muscle was used to count muscle spindles and spindle fibers (ATPase staining) and immunostained to identify MyHC isoforms. L(n) and L(s) lengths were not significantly different in the control group, while L(n) was significantly greater than L(s) in old muscles. Under dynamic conditions, the SEI of old muscles was the same as in controls at L(s), but it was significantly lower than in controls at L(n) due to increased passive incremental stiffness under the stretch conditions used to analyze the ENG. Under static conditions, the SEI of old muscles was significantly lower than control values at all the stretch amplitudes and threshold lengths tested, due to increased passive incremental stiffness and decreased spindle sensitivity

  3. Handgrip Strength, Positive Affect, and Perceived Health Are Prospectively Associated with Fewer Functional Limitations among Centenarians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franke, Warren D.; Margrett, Jennifer A.; Heinz, Melinda; Martin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the association between perceived health, fatigue, positive and negative affect, handgrip strength, objectively measured physical activity, body mass index, and self-reported functional limitations, assessed 6 months later, among 11 centenarians (age = 102 plus or minus 1). Activities of daily living, assessed 6 months prior to…

  4. Weight Reduction in Athletes May Adversely Affect the Phagocytic Function of Monocytes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kono, Ichiro; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Study of the monocyte phagocytic function in nine competitive athletes before and after a two-week weight reduction (through calorie restriction) program revealed that their pre-program phagocytic activity was higher than in sedentary controls but decreased significantly after the program. This suggests calorie restriction may affect the human…

  5. Metacognitive Awareness of Facial Affect in Higher-Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMahon, Camilla M.; Henderson, Heather A.; Newell, Lisa; Jaime, Mark; Mundy, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Higher-functioning participants with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) viewed a series of face stimuli, made decisions regarding the affect of each face, and indicated their confidence in each decision. Confidence significantly predicted accuracy across all participants, but this relation was stronger for participants with typical…

  6. Cold-storage affects antioxidant properties of apples in Caco-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Tarozzi, Andrea; Marchesi, Alessandra; Cantelli-Forti, Giorgio; Hrelia, Patrizia

    2004-05-01

    Data on the composition of phenolic antioxidant compounds present in food plants and assessment of their activity are essential for epidemiological explanation of the health benefits of fruit and vegetables. Various factors such as cultivation methods, industrial processing, and storage may affect the final concentrations of phytochemicals in food plants and their eventual bioactivity. This study investigated the influence of commercial cold-storage periods on the antioxidant properties of apples grown either by organic or integrated systems. In both cases, total phenolics and total antioxidant activity decreased only in the first 3 mo and only in apples with skin (P < 0.05), suggesting that cold storage rapidly impoverishes these properties in skin but not in pulp. Assessment of antioxidant bioactivity in vitro, measured in terms of intracellular antioxidant, cytoprotective, and antiproliferative activity in human colon carcinoma (Caco-2) cells (differentiated to normal intestinal epithelia for intracellular antioxidant and cytoprotective effects), showed strong, time-related decreases over 6 mo of cold storage for all 3 parameters (P < 0.01), irrespective of the cultivation system. These findings with integrated and organic apples further support the concept that organic systems of cultivation do not generally provide real health benefits. Moreover, the data from the present study clearly show that factors such as cold storage may affect the antioxidant properties of apples. Epidemiological studies on the cancer-preventive benefits of fruits and vegetables should take into account the cold-storage bias for apples, and possibly for other products.

  7. The effect of affective bibliotherapy on clients' functioning in group therapy.

    PubMed

    Shechtman, Zipora; Nir-Shfrir, Rivka

    2008-01-01

    Abstract The effect of affective group bibliotherapy (GB) was compared to affective group therapy (GT) on patients' functioning in therapy and their session impression. Three small groups totaling twenty-five in-patients in a hospital in Israel participated in the study. Clients concurrently participated in both group types, undergoing three sessions in each condition. In-therapy behaviors were assessed through the Client Behavior System (CBS; Hill & O'Brien, 1999). Results indicated that in the GB condition compared to the GT condition, clients showed less resistance, used simple responses less frequently, and expressed greater affective exploration. The Session Evaluation Questionnaire (SEQ; Stiles et al., 1994) was used to measure clients' impressions of the sessions. Results indicated that patients evaluated the two treatment conditions equally. Overall, the results support earlier findings, suggesting that affective bibliotherapy can be an effective method of treatment.

  8. Fundamental Studies of Phase Transformations and Mechanical Properties in the Heat Affected Zone of 10 wt% Nickel Steel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrick, Erin J.

    United States naval applications require the use of steels with high strength and resistance to fracture at low temperatures to provide good ballistic properties. In recent years, 10 wt% Ni steel has been developed with strength and toughness values exceeding those of steels currently used, and is now being considered as a candidate material to replace existing high-strength, low alloy steels. This steel has excellent toughness from the mechanically induced transformation of interlath austenite films to martensite. These austenite films are formed via a carefully developed quenching, lamellarizing, and tempering heat treatment. However, before 10 wt% Ni steel can be implemented for full-scale applications, the effects of the rapid heating and cooling rates associated with welding thermal cycles on phase transformations and mechanical properties must be understood. In this research, a fundamental understanding of phase transformations and mechanical properties in the heat-affected zone of fusion welds in 10 wt% Ni steel was developed through heating and cooling rate dilatometry experiments, gas tungsten arc welding, and simulation of gas metal arc welding. First, an investigation into the effects of heating and cooling rate on the phase transformations in 10 wt% Ni steel was performed. The Ac1 and Ac3 temperatures during heating were determined as a function of heating rate, and sluggish transformation during fast heating rates manifested itself as a high Ac3 temperature of 1050°C as opposed to a temperature of 850°C at slow heating rates. A continuous cooling transformation diagram produced for 10 wt% Ni steel reveals that martensite will form over a very wide range of cooling rates, which reflects a very high hardenability of this alloy. This is significant because the range of cooling rates for which the diagram was constructed over easily covers the range associated with fusion welding, so there would not be the need for precise control over the weld

  9. Can focused US with a diagnostic US contrast agent favorably affect renal function?

    PubMed

    Sica, Domenic A

    2009-12-01

    Focused ultrasonography (US) with simultaneous administration of a US microbubble contrast agent was used to transiently increase the glomerular filtration rate while altering the sieving properties of glomeruli in normal rabbits. In its current form, this process has very limited application potential to states of abnormal renal function.

  10. The Caenorhabditis Elegans Unc-31 Gene Affects Multiple Nervous System-Controlled Functions

    PubMed Central

    Avery, L.; Bargmann, C. I.; Horvitz, H. R.

    1993-01-01

    We have devised a method for selecting Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that execute feeding motions in the absence of food. One mutation isolated in this way is an allele of the gene unc-31, first discovered by S. Brenner in 1974, because of its effects on locomotion. We find that strong unc-31 mutations cause defects in four functions controlled by the nervous system. Mutant worms are lethargic, feed constitutively, are defective in egg-laying and produce dauer larvae that fail to recover. We discuss two extreme models to explain this pleiotropy: either unc-31 affects one or a few neurons that coordinately control several different functions, or it affects many neurons that independently control different functions. PMID:8325482

  11. Thermal properties of ration components as affected by moisture content and water activity during freezing.

    PubMed

    Li, J; Chinachoti, P; Wang, D; Hallberg, L M; Sun, X S

    2008-11-01

    Beef roast with vegetables is an example of a meal, ready-to-eat (MRE) ration entrée. It is a mixture of meat, potato, mushroom, and carrot with a gravy sauce. The thermal properties of each component were characterized in terms of freezing point, latent heat, freezable and unfreezable water contents, and enthalpy during freezing using differential scanning calorimetry. Freezing and thawing curves and the effect of freezing and thawing cycles on thermal properties were also evaluated. The freezing points of beef, potato, mushroom, and sauce were all in the range of -5.1 to -5.6 degrees C, but moisture content, water activity, latent heat, freezable and unfreezable water contents, and enthalpy varied among these components. Freezing temperature greatly affected the unfrozen water fraction. The unfreezable water content (unfrozen water fraction at -50 degrees C) of ration components was in the range of 8.2% to 9.7%. The freezing and thawing curves of vegetables with sauce differed from those of beef but took similar time to freeze or thaw. Freezing and thawing cycles did not greatly affect the thermal properties of each component. Freezing point and latent heat were reduced by decreasing moisture content and water activity of each component. Water activity was proportionally linear to freezing point at a(w) > 0.88, and moisture content was proportionally linear to freezable water content in all ration components. Water was not available for freezing when moisture content was reduced to 28.8% or less. This study indicates that moisture content and water activity are critical factors affecting thermal behavior of ration components during freezing.

  12. Topographical and Functional Properties of Precursors to Severe Problem Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fahmie, Tara A.; Iwata, Brian A.

    2011-01-01

    A literature search identified 17 articles reporting data on 34 subjects who engaged in precursors to severe problem behavior, which we examined to identify topographical and functional characteristics. Unintelligible vocalization was the most common precursor to aggression (27%) and property destruction (29%), whereas self- or nondirected…

  13. Effect of hydrocolloids on functional properties of navy bean starch

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pulses are recognized as a low-fat source of gluten-free protein, soluble fiber, B-vitamins and minerals, and their use in foods has increased in recent years. The functional properties of pulse starches have received relatively little attention, but they are important since starch is the major comp...

  14. Mechanical Properties and Microstructural Evolution of Simulated Heat-Affected Zones in Wrought Eglin Steel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leister, Brett M.; DuPont, John N.; Watanabe, Masashi; Abrahams, Rachel A.

    2015-12-01

    A comprehensive study was performed to correlate the mechanical properties and microstructural evolution in the heat-affected zone of Eglin steel. A Gleeble 3500 thermo-mechanical simulator was used to simulate weld thermal cycles with different peak temperatures at a heat input of 1500 J/mm. These samples underwent mechanical testing to determine strength and toughness in the as-welded and post-weld heat-treated conditions. The inter-critical heat-affected zone (HAZ) had the lowest strength following thermal simulation, while the fine-grain and coarse-grain heat-affected zone exhibited increased strength when compared to the inter-critical HAZ. The toughness of the heat-affected zone in the as-simulated condition is lower than that of the base metal in all regions of the HAZ. Post-weld heat treatments (PWHTs) increased the toughness of the HAZ, but at the expense of strength. In addition, certain combinations of PWHTs within specific HAZ regions exhibited low toughness caused by tempered martensite embrittlement or intergranular failure. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction data have shown that Eglin steel has retained austenite in the fine-grain HAZ in the as-simulated condition. In addition, alloy carbides (M23C6, M2C, M7C3) have been observed in the diffraction spectra for the fine-grain and coarse-grain HAZ following a PWHT of 973 K (700 °C)/4 hours.

  15. Factors affecting longitudinal functional decline and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hazuki; Atsuta, Naoki; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Ito, Mizuki; Senda, Jo; Katsuno, Masahisa; Izumi, Yuishin; Morita, Mitsuya; Tomiyama, Hiroyuki; Taniguchi, Akira; Aiba, Ikuko; Abe, Koji; Mizoguchi, Kouichi; Oda, Masaya; Kano, Osamu; Okamoto, Koichi; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Kazuko; Imai, Takashi; Aoki, Masashi; Tsuji, Shoji; Nakano, Imaharu; Kaji, Ryuji; Sobue, Gen

    2015-06-01

    Our objective was to elucidate the clinical factors affecting functional decline and survival in Japanese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We constructed a multicenter prospective ALS cohort that included 451 sporadic ALS patients in the analysis. We longitudinally utilized the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) as the functional scale, and determined the timing of introduction of a tracheostomy for positive-pressure ventilation and death. A joint modelling approach was employed to identify prognostic factors for functional decline and survival. Age at onset was a common prognostic factor for both functional decline and survival (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). Female gender (p = 0.019) and initial symptoms, including upper limb weakness (p = 0.010), lower limb weakness (p = 0.008) or bulbar symptoms (p = 0.005), were related to early functional decline, whereas neck weakness as an initial symptom (p = 0.018), non-use of riluzole (p = 0.030) and proximal dominant muscle weakness in the upper extremities (p = 0.01) were related to a shorter survival time. A decline in the ALSFRS-R score was correlated with a shortened survival time (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the factors affecting functional decline and survival in ALS were common in part but different to some extent. This difference has not been previously well recognized but is informative in clinical practice and for conducting trials.

  16. How do changes at the cell level affect the mechanical properties of epithelial monolayers?

    PubMed

    Xu, Guang-Kui; Liu, Yang; Li, Bo

    2015-12-07

    Epithelial monolayers play a vital role in gastrulation, tumor metastasis and wound healing, and protect the tissue from pathogens. During these processes, the monolayers sense, generate, and exert mechanical forces to perform their biological functions, but their mechanical properties are rarely known. Here, we use the vertex dynamics models to investigate the mechanical behaviors of an epithelial monolayer and the configurations of the cells within the monolayer during stretch. It was found that the epithelial monolayer exhibited elastic and plastic properties, due to the geometric extension of cells and cell division, respectively. Moreover, the elasticity of monolayers was increased by enhancing the cell adhesion or by reducing the active contractility of actin-myosin rings. This study furthers our understanding of the relationship between the mechanical properties of individual cells and of their monolayers, and may shed light on linking cell behavior to the patterning and morphogenesis of tissues.

  17. Properties of Zero-Free Transfer Function Matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D. O. Anderson, Brian; Deistler, Manfred

    Transfer functions of linear, time-invariant finite-dimensional systems with more outputs than inputs, as arise in factor analysis (for example in econometrics), have, for state-variable descriptions with generic entries in the relevant matrices, no finite zeros. This paper gives a number of characterizations of such systems (and indeed square discrete-time systems with no zeros), using state-variable, impulse response, and matrix-fraction descriptions. Key properties include the ability to recover the input values at any time from a bounded interval of output values, without any knowledge of an initial state, and an ability to verify the no-zero property in terms of a property of the impulse response coefficient matrices. Results are particularized to cases where the transfer function matrix in question may or may not have a zero at infinity or a zero at zero.

  18. Asymptotic Properties of Some Classes of Generalized Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drozhzhinov, Yu N.; Zav'yalov, B. I.

    1986-02-01

    This paper studies the connection between the asymptotic and quasi-asymptotic properties at infinity of slowly increasing generalized functions with supports on the half-line and the asymptotic and quasi-asymptotic properties of the real parts of their Laplace and Fourier transforms in a neighborhood of the origin. The study is caried out in the scale of regularly varying self-similar functions. The results are applied to the study of the asymptotic properties of solutions of linear passive systems, and also to the study of the connection between Abel and Cesàro convergence (with respect to a self-similar weight) of the Fourier-Stieltjes series of nonnegative measures. Bibliography: 13 titles.

  19. Herbivore and predator diversity interactively affect ecosystem properties in an experimental marine community.

    PubMed

    Douglass, James G; Duffy, J Emmett; Bruno, John F

    2008-06-01

    Interacting changes in predator and prey diversity likely influence ecosystem properties but have rarely been experimentally tested. We manipulated the species richness of herbivores and predators in an experimental benthic marine community and measured their effects on predator, herbivore and primary producer performance. Predator composition and richness strongly affected several community and population responses, mostly via sampling effects. However, some predators survived better in polycultures than in monocultures, suggesting complementarity due to stronger intra- than interspecific interactions. Predator effects also differed between additive and substitutive designs, emphasizing that the relationship between diversity and abundance in an assemblage can strongly influence whether and how diversity effects are realized. Changing herbivore richness and predator richness interacted to influence both total herbivore abundance and predatory crab growth, but these interactive diversity effects were weak. Overall, the presence and richness of predators dominated biotic effects on community and ecosystem properties.

  20. Nitinol laser cutting: microstructure and functional properties of femtosecond and continuous wave laser processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biffi, C. A.; Tuissi, A.

    2017-03-01

    Thermal processing can affect the properties of smart materials, and the correct selection of the best manufacturing technology is fundamental for producing high tech smart devices, containing embedded functional properties. In this work cutting of thin superelastic Nitinol plates using a femtosecond (fs) and continuous wave (CW) laser was studied. Diamond shaped elements were cut to characterize the kerf qualitative features; microstructural analysis of the cross sections allowed identification of thermal damage characteristics introduced into the material during the laser processes. A thermally undamaged microstructure was observed for fs laser cutting, while CW was seen to be characterized by a large heat-affected zone. Functional properties were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry and tensile testing of laser cut microelements and of the reference material. It was seen that the martensitic transformation behavior of Nitinol is not affected by fs regime, while cw cutting provokes an effect equivalent to a high temperature thermal treatment in the material surrounding the cutting kerf, degradating the material properties. Finally, tensile testing indicated that superelastic performances were guaranteed by fs regime, while strong reduction of the recoverable strain was detected in the CW processed sample.

  1. How Genetics Might Affect Real Property Rights: Currents in Contemporary Bioethics.

    PubMed

    Rothstein, Mark A; Rothstein, Laura

    2016-03-01

    New developments in genetics could affect a variety of real property rights. Mortgage lenders, mortgage insurers, real estate sellers, senior living centers, retirement communities, or other parties in residential real estate transactions begin requiring predictive genetic information as part of the application process. One likely use would be by retirement communities to learn an individual's genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on disability, but it is not clear that it would apply to genetic risk assessments. Only California law explicitly applies to this situation and there have been no reported cases.

  2. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  3. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  4. Multiscale topological properties of functional brain networks during motor imagery after stroke.

    PubMed

    De Vico Fallani, Fabrizio; Pichiorri, Floriana; Morone, Giovanni; Molinari, Marco; Babiloni, Fabio; Cincotti, Febo; Mattia, Donatella

    2013-12-01

    In recent years, network analyses have been used to evaluate brain reorganization following stroke. However, many studies have often focused on single topological scales, leading to an incomplete model of how focal brain lesions affect multiple network properties simultaneously and how changes on smaller scales influence those on larger scales. In an EEG-based experiment on the performance of hand motor imagery (MI) in 20 patients with unilateral stroke, we observed that the anatomic lesion affects the functional brain network on multiple levels. In the beta (13-30 Hz) frequency band, the MI of the affected hand (Ahand) elicited a significantly lower smallworldness and local efficiency (Eloc) versus the unaffected hand (Uhand). Notably, the abnormal reduction in Eloc significantly depended on the increase in interhemispheric connectivity, which was in turn determined primarily by the rise of regional connectivity in the parieto-occipital sites of the affected hemisphere. Further, in contrast to the Uhand MI, in which significantly high connectivity was observed for the contralateral sensorimotor regions of the unaffected hemisphere, the regions with increased connectivity during the Ahand MI lay in the frontal and parietal regions of the contralaterally affected hemisphere. Finally, the overall sensorimotor function of our patients, as measured by Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) index, was significantly predicted by the connectivity of their affected hemisphere. These results improve on our understanding of stroke-induced alterations in functional brain networks.

  5. 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

  6. Affective and physiological sexual response patterns: the effects of instructions on sexually functional and dysfunctional men.

    PubMed

    Heiman, J R; Rowland, D L

    1983-01-01

    To more clearly characterize the patterns of cognitive-affective and physiological responses concomitant with male sexual dysfunction, the present study compared 14 sexually dysfunctional and 16 sexually functional men. All individuals listened to two sexually explicit tapes and engaged in a self-generated fantasy, while genital, heart rate and scaled cognitive affective responses were recorded. Two types of instructions, a performance demand set and a non-demand sensate focus set, preceded the erotic tapes in counterbalanced order. As predicted, dysfunctional men showed less genital tumescence to tapes preceded by the demand than the non-demand instructions. Contrary to expectation, functional men showed greater penile tumescence to the tapes preceded by demand instructions. Self-reported sexual arousal did not follow the penile tumescence pattern but instead indicated that the dysfunctional sample was significantly less subjectively aroused to the tapes and fantasy. There were other significant differences between the groups. Dysfunctional men showed greater general psychological distress, as measured by the SCL-90, including elevated somaticism, anxiety and depression scores. During the experimental session, dysfunctional men also evidenced greater awareness of a variety of physiological responses, as well as more negative and fewer positive cognitive-affective states. These data are discussed in terms of the interaction of affective and physiological responses, differences in contextual meanings of instructional sets given the presence of a dysfunction, and theoretical and clinical conceptualizations of male sexual functioning.

  7. Relating dissolved organic matter fluorescence to functional properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tipping, E.; Baker, A.; Thacker, S.; Gondar, D.

    2007-12-01

    The fluorescence excitation emission matrix properties of dissolved organic matter from three rivers and one lake in NW England are analysed. Sites are sampled in duplicate and for some sites seasonally to cover variations in dissolved organic matter composition, river flow, and carbon isotopic (13C, 14C) variability. Results are compared to the functional properties of the dissolved organic matter, the functional assays provide quantitative information on light absorption, fluorescence, photochemical fading, pH buffering, copper binding, benzo[a]pyrene binding, hydrophilicity and adsorption to alumina. Fluorescence characterization of the dissolved organic matter samples demonstrates that peak C fluorescence emission wavelength, the ratio of peak T to peak C fluorescence intensity, and the fluorescence : absorbance ratio best differentiate different dissolved organic matter samples. These parameters correspond to dissolved organic matter aromaticity, the ratio of labile to recalcitrant organic matter, and dissolved organic matter molecular weight. Peak C fluorescence emission wavelength, the ratio of peak T to peak C fluorescence intensity, and the fluorescence : absorbance ratio fluorescence parameters also have strong correlations with several of the functional assays, in particular the extinction coefficients, benzo(a)pyrene binding and alumina adsorption, and buffering capacity. In many cases, regression equations with a correlation coefficient >0.9 are obtained, suggesting that dissolved organic matter functional character can be predicted from DOM fluorescence properties. For one site, the relationship between dissolved organic matter source, fluorescence, function and carbon isotopic composition is discussed.

  8. Longer term improvement in neurocognitive functioning and affective distress among methamphetamine users who achieve stable abstinence.

    PubMed

    Iudicello, Jennifer E; Woods, Steven P; Vigil, Ofilio; Scott, J Cobb; Cherner, Mariana; Heaton, Robert K; Atkinson, J Hampton; Grant, Igor

    2010-08-01

    Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little in the way of data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent, and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. A total of 38 non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long-term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use MA were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities than the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more.

  9. Functional properties of yam bean (Pachyrhizus erosus) starch.

    PubMed

    Mélo, E A; Stamford, T L M; Silva, M P C; Krieger, N; Stamford, N P

    2003-08-01

    The study was carried out in order to determine and establish the functional characters of starch extracted from yam bean (Pachyrhizus erosus (L) Urban) compared with cassava starch. Yam bean is a tropical tuber legume easily grown and holds a great potential as a new source of starch. Yam bean starch shows functional properties which are peculiar to those of most starch root crops. Gelatinization temperature (53-63 degrees C) and the pasting temperature (64.5 degrees C) are less than those of cereal starch, however, the swelling power is high (54.4 g gel/g dried starch). Yam bean starch paste presents a high viscosity profile, high retrogradation tendency and low stability on cooking. The functional properties of yam bean starch, similar to those of cassava starch, allows yam bean to be used as a potential new source of starch.

  10. An investigation on pharmacy functions and services affecting satisfaction of patients with prescriptions in community pharmacies.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Hidehiko; Nakajima, Fumio; Tada, Yuichirou; Yoshikawa, Emi; Iwahashi, Yoshiki; Fujita, Kenji; Hayase, Yukitoshi

    2009-05-01

    Various functions expected by patient expects are needed with progress in the system for separation of dispensing and prescribing functions. In this investigation, the relationship between patient satisfaction and pharmacy function were analyzed quantitatively. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 178 community pharmacies. Questions on pharmacy functions and services totaled 87 items concerning information service, amenities, safety, personnel training, etc. The questionnaires for patients had five-grade scales and composed 11 items (observed variables). Based on the results, "the percentage of satisfied patients" was determined. Multivariate analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between patient satisfaction and pharmacy functions or services provided, to confirm patient's evaluation of the pharmacy, and how factors affected comprehensive satisfaction. In correlation analysis, "the number of pharmacists" and "comprehensive satisfaction" had a negative correlation. Other interesting results were obtained. As a results of factor analysis, three latent factors were obtained: the "human factor," "patients' convenience," and "environmental factor," Multiple regression analysis showed that the "human factor" affected "comprehensive satisfaction" the most. Various pharmacy functions and services influence patient satisfaction, and improvement in their quality increases patient satisfaction. This will result in the practice of patient-centered medicine.

  11. Functions and sources of perceived social support among children affected by HIV/AIDS in China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guoxiang; Li, Xiaoming; Fang, Xiaoyi; Zhao, Junfeng; Hong, Yan; Lin, Xiuyun; Stanton, Bonita

    2011-06-01

    While the relationship between perceived social support (PSS) and psychosocial well-being has been well documented in the global literature, existing studies also suggest the existence of multiple domains in definition and measurement of PSS. The current study, utilizing data from 1299 rural children affected by HIV/AIDS in central China, examines the relative importance of PSS functional measures (informational/emotional, material/tangible, affectionate, and social interaction) and PSS structural measures (family/relatives, teachers, friends, and significant others) in predicting psychosocial outcomes including internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and educational resilience. Both functional and structural measures of PSS provided reliable measures of related but unique aspects of PSS. The findings of the current study confirmed the previous results that PSS is highly correlated with children's psychosocial well-being and such correlations vary by functions and sources of the PSS as well as different psychosocial outcomes. The findings in the current study suggested the roles of specific social support functions or resources may need to be assessed in relation to specific psychosocial outcome and the context of children's lives. The strong association between PSS and psychosocial outcomes underscores the importance of adequate social support to alleviate stressful life events and improve psychosocial well-being of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, the study findings call for gender and developmentally appropriate and situation-specific social support for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.

  12. Functional connectivity in the resting brain as biological correlate of the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales.

    PubMed

    Deris, Nadja; Montag, Christian; Reuter, Martin; Weber, Bernd; Markett, Sebastian

    2017-02-15

    According to Jaak Panksepp's Affective Neuroscience Theory and the derived self-report measure, the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS), differences in the responsiveness of primary emotional systems form the basis of human personality. In order to investigate neuronal correlates of personality, the underlying neuronal circuits of the primary emotional systems were analyzed in the present fMRI-study by associating the ANPS to functional connectivity in the resting brain. N=120 healthy participants were invited for the present study. The results were reinvestigated in an independent, smaller sample of N=52 participants. A seed-based whole brain approach was conducted with seed-regions bilaterally in the basolateral and superficial amygdalae. The selection of seed-regions was based on meta-analytic data on affective processing and the Juelich histological atlas. Multiple regression analyses on the functional connectivity maps revealed associations with the SADNESS-scale in both samples. Functional resting-state connectivity between the left basolateral amygdala and a cluster in the postcentral gyrus, and between the right basolateral amygdala and clusters in the superior parietal lobe and subgyral in the parietal lobe was associated with SADNESS. No other ANPS-scale revealed replicable results. The present findings give first insights into the neuronal basis of the SADNESS-scale of the ANPS and support the idea of underlying neuronal circuits. In combination with previous research on genetic associations of the ANPS functional resting-state connectivity is discussed as a possible endophenotype of personality.

  13. Social-adaptive and psychological functioning of patients affected by Fabry disease.

    PubMed

    Laney, Dawn Alyssia; Gruskin, Daniel J; Fernhoff, Paul M; Cubells, Joseph F; Ousley, Opal Y; Hipp, Heather; Mehta, Ami J

    2010-12-01

    Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A. In addition to the debilitating physical symptoms of FD, there are also under-recognized and poorly characterized psychiatric features. As a first step toward characterizing psychiatric features of FD, we administered the Achenbach adult self report questionnaire to 30 FD patients and the Achenbach adult behavior checklist questionnaire to 28 partners/parents/friends of FD patients. Data from at least one of the questionnaires were available on 33 subjects. Analysis focused on social-adaptive functioning in various aspects of daily life and on criteria related to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders IV (DSM-IV). Adaptive functioning scale values, which primarily measure social and relationship functioning and occupational success, showed that eight FD patients (six female and two male) had mean adaptive functioning deficits as compared to population norms. Greater rates of depression (P < 0.01), anxiety (P = 0.05), depression and anxiety (P = 0.03), antisocial personality (P < 0.001), attention-deficit/hyperactivity (AD/H; P < 0.01), hyperactivity-impulsivity (P < 0.01), and aggressive behavior (P = 0.03) were associated with poorer adaptive functioning. Decreased social-adaptive functioning in this study was not statistically significantly associated to disease severity, pain, or level of vitality. This study shows for the first time that FD patients, particularly women, are affected by decreased social-adaptive functioning. Comprehensive treatment plans for FD should consider assessments and interventions to evaluate and improve social, occupational, and psychological functioning. Attention to the behavioral aspects of FD could lead to improved treatment outcome and improved quality of life. Individuals affected by Fabry disease exhibited social-adaptive functioning deficits that were significantly correlated with anxiety

  14. Clinical and cognitive factors affecting psychosocial functioning in remitted patients with bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Konstantakopoulos, G; Ioannidi, N; Typaldou, M; Sakkas, D; Oulis, P

    2016-01-01

    Impaired interpersonal, social, and occupational functioning is very often observed in patients with bipolar disorder, not only at the acute stages of the illness but in remission as well. This finding raises the question of multiple factors that might affect psychosocial functioning in bipolar patients, such as residual subsyndromal symptoms and neuropsychological deficits. Social cognition impairment, especially impaired Theory of Mind (ToM), might also play an important role in bipolar patients' every-day functioning, similarly to what was found in patients with schizophrenia. The present study aimed to investigate the potential effect of clinical and cognitive factors on the psychosocial functioning of patients with bipolar disorder during remission, assessing ToM along with a broad range of basic cognitive functions. Forty-nine patients with bipolar disorder type I in remission and 53 healthy participants were assessed in general intelligence, working memory, attention, speed processing, verbal learning and memory, and executive functions using a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. The Faux Pas Recognition Test was used to assess ToM. The two groups were matched for gender, age and education level. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS), the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were also administered to the patients. Every-day functioning was assessed with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). In order to examine the contribution of many factors in psychosocial functioning, we used hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Bipolar patients presented significant impairment compared to healthy participants in all the basic cognitive functions tested with the exception of verbal memory. Moreover, patients had significant poorer performance than healthy controls in overall psyand cognitive ToM but not in affective ToM as measured by Faux Pas. Psychosocial functioning in patient group was

  15. Electronic properties of functionalized (5,5) beryllium oxide nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Chigo Anota, Ernesto; Cocoletzi, Gregorio Hernández

    2013-05-01

    Using the density functional theory (DFT) we study the structural and electronic properties of functionalized (5,5) chirality single wall beryllium oxide nanotubes (SW-BeONTs), i.e. armchair nanotubes. The nanotube surface and ends are functionalized by the hydroxyl (OH) functional group. Our calculations consider the Hamprecht-Cohen-Tozer-Handy functional in the generalized gradient approximation (HCTH-GGA) to deal with the exchange-correlation energies, and the base function with double polarization (DNP). The geometry optimization of both defects free and with point defects nanotubes is done applying the criterion of minimum energy. Six configurations are considered: The OH oriented toward the Be (on the surface and at the end), toward the O (on the surface and at the end) and placed at the nanotube ends. Simulation results show that the nanotube functionalization takes place at the nanotube ends with the BeO bond displaying hydrogen-like bridge bonds. Moreover the nanotube semiconductor behavior remains unchanged. The polarity is high (it shows a transition from covalent to ionic) favoring solvatation. On the other hand, the work function low value suggests this to be a good candidate for the device fabrication. When the nanotube contains surface point defects the work function is reduced which provides excellent possibilities for the use of this material in the electronic industry.

  16. Emergent Functional Properties of Neuronal Networks with Controlled Topology

    PubMed Central

    Marconi, Emanuele; Nieus, Thierry; Maccione, Alessandro; Valente, Pierluigi; Simi, Alessandro; Messa, Mirko; Dante, Silvia; Baldelli, Pietro; Berdondini, Luca; Benfenati, Fabio

    2012-01-01

    The interplay between anatomical connectivity and dynamics in neural networks plays a key role in the functional properties of the brain and in the associated connectivity changes induced by neural diseases. However, a detailed experimental investigation of this interplay at both cellular and population scales in the living brain is limited by accessibility. Alternatively, to investigate the basic operational principles with morphological, electrophysiological and computational methods, the activity emerging from large in vitro networks of primary neurons organized with imposed topologies can be studied. Here, we validated the use of a new bio-printing approach, which effectively maintains the topology of hippocampal cultures in vitro and investigated, by patch-clamp and MEA electrophysiology, the emerging functional properties of these grid-confined networks. In spite of differences in the organization of physical connectivity, our bio-patterned grid networks retained the key properties of synaptic transmission, short-term plasticity and overall network activity with respect to random networks. Interestingly, the imposed grid topology resulted in a reinforcement of functional connections along orthogonal directions, shorter connectivity links and a greatly increased spiking probability in response to focal stimulation. These results clearly demonstrate that reliable functional studies can nowadays be performed on large neuronal networks in the presence of sustained changes in the physical network connectivity. PMID:22493706

  17. Chemical properties of lipids strongly affect the kinetics of the membrane-induced aggregation of α-synuclein

    PubMed Central

    Brown, James W. P.; Ouberai, Myriam M.; Flagmeier, Patrick; Vendruscolo, Michele; Buell, Alexander K.; Sparr, Emma; Dobson, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular α-synuclein deposits, known as Lewy bodies, have been linked to a range of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. α-Synuclein binds to synthetic and biological lipids, and this interaction has been shown to play a crucial role for both α-synuclein’s native function, including synaptic plasticity, and the initiation of its aggregation. Here, we describe the interplay between the lipid properties and the lipid binding and aggregation propensity of α-synuclein. In particular, we have observed that the binding of α-synuclein to model membranes is much stronger when the latter is in the fluid rather than the gel phase, and that this binding induces a segregation of the lipids into protein-poor and protein-rich populations. In addition, α-synuclein was found to aggregate at detectable rates only when interacting with membranes composed of the most soluble lipids investigated here. Overall, our results show that the chemical properties of lipids determine whether or not the lipids can trigger the aggregation of α-synuclein, thus affecting the balance between functional and aberrant behavior of the protein. PMID:27298346

  18. Leaf biomechanical properties in Arabidopsis thaliana polysaccharide mutants affect drought survival.

    PubMed

    Balsamo, Ronald; Boak, Merewyn; Nagle, Kayla; Peethambaran, Bela; Layton, Bradley

    2015-11-26

    Individual sugars are the building blocks of cell wall polysaccharides, which in turn comprise a plant׳s overall architectural structure. But which sugars play the most prominent role in maintaining a plant׳s mechanical stability during large cellular deformations induced by drought? We investigated the individual contributions of several genes that are involved in the synthesis of monosaccharides which are important for cell wall structure. We then measured drought tolerance and mechanical integrity during simulated drought in Arabidopsis thaliana. To assess mechanical properties, we designed a small-scale tensile tester for measuring failure strain, ultimate tensile stress, work to failure, toughness, and elastic modulus of 6-week-old leaves in both hydrated and drought-simulated states. Col-0 mutants used in this study include those deficient in lignin, cellulose, components of hemicellulose such as xylose and fucose, the pectic components arabinose and rhamnose, as well as mutants with enhanced arabinose and total pectin content. We found that drought tolerance is correlated to the mechanical and architectural stability of leaves as they experience dehydration. Of the mutants, S096418 with mutations for reduced xylose and galactose was the least drought tolerant, while the arabinose-altered CS8578 mutants were the least affected by water loss. There were also notable correlations between drought tolerance and mechanical properties in the diminished rhamnose mutant, CS8575 and the dehydrogenase-disrupted S120106. Our findings suggest that components of hemicellulose and pectins affect leaf biomechanical properties and may play an important role in the ability of this model system to survive drought.

  19. The relationship between sleep-wake cycle and cognitive functioning in young people with affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Joanne S; Robillard, Rébecca; Lee, Rico S C; Hermens, Daniel F; Naismith, Sharon L; White, Django; Whitwell, Bradley; Scott, Elizabeth M; Hickie, Ian B

    2015-01-01

    Although early-stage affective disorders are associated with both cognitive dysfunction and sleep-wake disruptions, relationships between these factors have not been specifically examined in young adults. Sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances in those with affective disorders are considerably heterogeneous, and may not relate to cognitive dysfunction in a simple linear fashion. This study aimed to characterise profiles of sleep and circadian disturbance in young people with affective disorders and examine associations between these profiles and cognitive performance. Actigraphy monitoring was completed in 152 young people (16-30 years; 66% female) with primary diagnoses of affective disorders, and 69 healthy controls (18-30 years; 57% female). Patients also underwent detailed neuropsychological assessment. Actigraphy data were processed to estimate both sleep and circadian parameters. Overall neuropsychological performance in patients was poor on tasks relating to mental flexibility and visual memory. Two hierarchical cluster analyses identified three distinct patient groups based on sleep variables and three based on circadian variables. Sleep clusters included a 'long sleep' cluster, a 'disrupted sleep' cluster, and a 'delayed and disrupted sleep' cluster. Circadian clusters included a 'strong circadian' cluster, a 'weak circadian' cluster, and a 'delayed circadian' cluster. Medication use differed between clusters. The 'long sleep' cluster displayed significantly worse visual memory performance compared to the 'disrupted sleep' cluster. No other cognitive functions differed between clusters. These results highlight the heterogeneity of sleep and circadian profiles in young people with affective disorders, and provide preliminary evidence in support of a relationship between sleep and visual memory, which may be mediated by use of antipsychotic medication. These findings have implications for the personalisation of treatments and improvement of functioning in

  20. How do liquid fuel physical properties affect liquid jet development in atomisers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charalampous, Georgios; Hardalupas, Yannis

    2016-10-01

    The influence of liquid fuel properties on atomisation remains an open question. The droplet sizes in sprays from atomisers operated with different fuels may be modified despite the small changes of the liquid properties. This paper examines experimentally the development of a liquid jet injected from a plain orifice in order to evaluate changes in its behaviour due to modifications of the liquid properties, which may influence the final atomisation characteristics. Two aviation kerosenes with similar, but not identical physical properties are considered, namely, standard JP8 kerosene as the reference fuel and bio-derived hydro-processed renewable jet fuel as an alternative biofuel. The corresponding density, dynamic viscosity, kinematic viscosity, and surface tension change by about +5%, -5%, -10%, and +5%, respectively, which are typical for "drop-in" fuel substitution. Three aspects of the liquid jet behaviour are experimentally considered. The pressure losses of the liquid jet through the nozzle are examined in terms of the discharge coefficient for different flowrates. The morphology of the liquid jet is visualised using high magnification Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) imaging. Finally, the temporal development of the liquid jet interfacial velocity as a function of distance from the nozzle exit is measured from time-dependent motion analysis of dual-frame LIF imaging measurements of the jet. The results show that for the small changes in the physical properties between the considered liquid fuels, the direct substitution of fuel did not result in a drastic change of the external morphology of the fuel jets. However, the small changes in the physical properties modify the interfacial velocities of the liquid and consequently the internal jet velocity profile. These changes can modify the interaction of the liquid jet with the surroundings, including air flows in coaxial or cross flow atomisation, and influence the atomisation characteristics during the

  1. Testing two mechanisms by which rational and irrational beliefs may affect the functionality of inferences.

    PubMed

    Bond, F W; Dryden, W; Briscoe, R

    1999-12-01

    This article describes a role playing experiment that examined the sufficiency hypothesis of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). This proposition states that it is sufficient for rational and irrational beliefs to refer to preferences and musts, respectively, if those beliefs are to affect the functionality of inferences (FI). Consistent with the REBT literature (e.g. Dryden, 1994; Dryden & Ellis, 1988; Palmer, Dryden, Ellis & Yapp, 1995) results from this experiment showed that rational and irrational beliefs, as defined by REBT, do affect FI. Specifically, results showed that people who hold a rational belief form inferences that are significantly more functional than those that are formed by people who hold an irrational belief. Contrary to REBT theory, the sufficiency hypothesis was not supported. Thus, results indicated that it is not sufficient for rational and irrational beliefs to refer to preferences and musts, respectively, if those beliefs are to affect the FI. It appears, then, that preferences and musts are not sufficient mechanisms by which rational and irrational beliefs, respectively, affect the FI. Psychotherapeutic implications of these findings are considered.

  2. Sample, testing and analysis variables affecting liver mechanical properties: A review.

    PubMed

    Mattei, Giorgio; Ahluwalia, Arti

    2016-11-01

    Given the critical role of liver mechanics in regulating cell response and directing the development of tissue fibrosis, accurately characterising its mechanical behaviour is of relevance for both diagnostic purposes as well as for tissue engineering and for the development of in-vitro models. Determining and quantifying the mechanical behaviour of soft biological tissues is, however, highly challenging due to their intrinsic labile nature. Indeed, a unique set of values of liver mechanical properties is still lacking to date; testing conditions can significantly affect sample status and hence the measured behaviour and reported results are strongly dependent on the adopted testing method and configuration as well as sample type and status. This review aims at summarising the bulk mechanical properties of liver described in the literature, discussing the possible sources of variation and their implications on the reported results. We distinguish between the intrinsic mechanical behaviour of hepatic tissue, which depends on sample variables, and the measured mechanical properties which also depend on the testing and analysis methods. Finally, the review provides guidelines on tissue preparation and testing conditions for generating reproducible data which can be meaningfully compared across laboratories.

  3. Deacetylation affects the physical properties and bioactivity of acemannan, an extracted polysaccharide from Aloe vera.

    PubMed

    Chokboribal, Jaroenporn; Tachaboonyakiat, Wanpen; Sangvanich, Polkit; Ruangpornvisuti, Vithaya; Jettanacheawchankit, Suwimon; Thunyakitpisal, Pasutha

    2015-11-20

    Acemannan, an acetylated polymannose from Aloe vera, induces tissue repair. We investigated the role of acemannan's acetyl-groups on its physical and biological properties. Deacetylated acemannan (DeAcAM) was prepared and characterized. The physical properties and microscopic structure of DeAcAM were evaluated using water solubility, contact angle, X-ray diffraction, and scanning-electron microscopy. The activity of DeAcAM on cell proliferation and gene expression were assessed. Acemannan and DeAcAM structures were simulated and the acemannan tetramer diad and its completely deacetylated structure were also determined. Increased acemannan deacetylation reduced its water solubility and hydrophilicity. Complete deacetylation altered acemannan's conformation to a partial crystal structure. The bioactivity of acemannan was reduced corresponding to its deacetylation. Acemannan induced cell proliferation, and VEGF and Collagen I expression; however, 100% DeAcAM did not. The simulated structures of the acemannan diad and the completely deacetylated diad were different. We conclude acetyl-groups affect acemannan's structure and physical/biological properties.

  4. Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children.

    PubMed

    Whittle, Sarah; Simmons, Julian G; Byrne, Michelle L; Strikwerda-Brown, Cherie; Kerestes, Rebecca; Seal, Marc L; Olsson, Craig A; Dudgeon, Paul; Mundy, Lisa K; Patton, George C; Allen, Nicholas B

    2015-09-01

    Early timing of adrenarche, associated with relatively high levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in children, has been associated with mental health and behavioral problems. However, little is known about effects of adreneracheal timing on brain function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of early adrenarche (defined by high DHEA levels independent of age) on affective brain function and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood (N = 83, 43 females, M age 9.53 years, s.d. 0.34 years). Results showed that higher DHEA levels were associated with decreased affect-related brain activity (i) in the mid-cingulate cortex in the whole sample, and (ii) in a number of cortical and subcortical regions in female but not male children. Higher DHEA levels were also associated with increased externalizing symptoms in females, an association that was partly mediated by posterior insula activation to happy facial expressions. These results suggest that timing of adrenarche is an important moderator of affect-related brain function, and that this may be one mechanism linking early adrenarche to psychopathology.

  5. Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children

    PubMed Central

    Whittle, Sarah; Simmons, Julian G.; Byrne, Michelle L.; Strikwerda-Brown, Cherie; Kerestes, Rebecca; Seal, Marc L.; Olsson, Craig A.; Dudgeon, Paul; Mundy, Lisa K.; Patton, George C.

    2015-01-01

    Early timing of adrenarche, associated with relatively high levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in children, has been associated with mental health and behavioral problems. However, little is known about effects of adreneracheal timing on brain function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of early adrenarche (defined by high DHEA levels independent of age) on affective brain function and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood (N = 83, 43 females, M age 9.53 years, s.d. 0.34 years). Results showed that higher DHEA levels were associated with decreased affect-related brain activity (i) in the mid-cingulate cortex in the whole sample, and (ii) in a number of cortical and subcortical regions in female but not male children. Higher DHEA levels were also associated with increased externalizing symptoms in females, an association that was partly mediated by posterior insula activation to happy facial expressions. These results suggest that timing of adrenarche is an important moderator of affect-related brain function, and that this may be one mechanism linking early adrenarche to psychopathology. PMID:25678548

  6. Verbal marking of affect by children with Asperger Syndrome and high functioning autism during spontaneous interactions with family members.

    PubMed

    Müller, Eve; Schuler, Adriana

    2006-11-01

    Verbal marking of affect by older children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism (HFA) during spontaneous interactions is described. Discourse analysis of AS and HFA and typically developing children included frequency of affective utterances, affective initiations, affective labels and affective explanations, attribution of affective responses to self and others, and positive and negative markers of affect. Findings indicate that children with AS and HFA engaged in a higher proportion of affect marking and provided a higher proportion of affective explanations than typically developing children, yet were less likely to initiate affect marking sequences or talk about the affective responses of others. No significant differences were found between groups in terms of the marking of positive and negative affect.

  7. Task- and resting-state functional connectivity of brain regions related to affection and susceptible to concurrent cognitive demand

    PubMed Central

    Kellermann, Tanja S.; Caspers, Svenja; Fox, Peter T.; Zilles, Karl; Roski, Christian; Laird, Angela R.; Turetsky, Bruce I.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    A recent fMRI-study revealed neural responses for affective processing of stimuli for which overt attention irrespective of stimulus valence was required in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and bilateral amygdala (AMY): activation decreased with increasing cognitive demand. To further characterize the network putatively related to this attenuation, we here characterized these regions with respect to their functional properties and connectivity patterns in task-dependent and task-independent states. All experiments of the BrainMap database activating the seed regions OFC and bilateral AMY were identified. Their functional characteristics were quantitatively inferred using the behavioral meta-data of the retrieved experiments. Task-dependent functional connectivity was characterized by meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) of significant co-activations with these seed regions. Task-independent resting-state functional connectivity analysis in a sample of 100 healthy subjects complemented these analyses. All three seed regions co-activated with subgenual cingulum (SGC), precuneus (PCu) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) in the task-dependent MACM analysis. Task-independent resting-state connectivity revealed significant coupling of the seeds only with the SGC, but not the PCu and the NAcc. The former region (SGC) moreover was shown to feature significant resting-state connectivity with all other regions implicated in the network connected to regions where emotional processing may be modulated by a cognitive distractor. Based on its functional profile and connectivity pattern, we suggest that the SGC might serve as a key hub in the identified network, as such linking autobiographic information [PCu], reward [NAcc], (reinforce) values [OFC] and emotional significance [AMY]. Such a role, in turn, may allow the SGC to influence the OFC and AMY to modulate affective processing. PMID:23370055

  8. Homological properties of rings of functional-analytic type.

    PubMed Central

    Wodzicki, M

    1990-01-01

    Strong flatness properties are established for a large class of functional-analytic rings including all C*-algebras. This is later used to prove that all those rings satisfy excision in Hochschild and in cyclic homology over almost arbitrary rings of coefficients and that, for stable C*-algebras, the Hochschild and cyclic homology groups defined over an arbitrary coefficient ring k subset C of complex numbers (e.g., k = Z or Q) vanish in all dimensions. PMID:11607088

  9. Functional and technological properties of camel milk proteins: a review.

    PubMed

    Hailu, Yonas; Hansen, Egon Bech; Seifu, Eyassu; Eshetu, Mitiku; Ipsen, Richard; Kappeler, Stefan

    2016-11-01

    This review summarises current knowledge on camel milk proteins, with focus on significant peculiarities in protein composition and molecular properties. Camel milk is traditionally consumed as a fresh or naturally fermented product. Within the last couple of years, an increasing quantity is being processed in dairy plants, and a number of consumer products have been marketed. A better understanding of the technological and functional properties, as required for product improvement, has been gained in the past years. Absence of the whey protein β-LG and a low proportion of к-casein cause differences in relation to dairy processing. In addition to the technological properties, there are also implications for human nutrition and camel milk proteins are of interest for applications in infant foods, for food preservation and in functional foods. Proposed health benefits include inhibition of the angiotensin converting enzyme, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties as well as an antidiabetogenic effect. Detailed investigations on foaming, gelation and solubility as well as technological consequences of processing should be investigated further for the improvement of camel milk utilisation in the near future.

  10. Factors Affecting Recovery Time of Pulmonary Function in Hospitalized Patients With Acute Asthma Exacerbations

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyo-Jung; Lee, Jaemoon; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Park, So-Young; Kwon, Hyouk-Soo; Kim, Tae-Bum; Moon, Hee-Bom

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Prolonged recovery time of pulmonary function after an asthma exacerbation is a significant burden on asthmatics, and management of these patients needs to be improved. The aim of this study was to evaluate factors associated with a longer recovery time of pulmonary function among asthmatic patients hospitalized due to a severe asthma exacerbation. Methods We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 89 patients who were admitted for the management of acute asthma exacerbations. The recovery time of pulmonary function was defined as the time from the date each patient initially received treatment for asthma exacerbations to the date the patient reached his or her previous best FEV1% value. We investigated the influence of various clinical and laboratory factors on the recovery time. Results The median recovery time of the patients was 1.7 weeks. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that using regular inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) before an acute exacerbation of asthma and concurrent with viral infection at admission were associated with the prolonged recovery time of pulmonary function. Conclusions The prolonged recovery time of pulmonary function after a severe asthma exacerbation was not shown to be directly associated with poor adherence to ICS. Therefore the results indicate that an unknown subtype of asthma may be associated with the prolonged recovery of pulmonary function time after an acute exacerbation of asthma despite regular ICS use. Further prospective studies to investigate factors affecting the recovery time of pulmonary function after an asthma exacerbation are warranted. PMID:27582400

  11. Isozymes of plant hexokinase: occurrence, properties and functions.

    PubMed

    Claeyssen, Eric; Rivoal, Jean

    2007-03-01

    Hexokinase (HK) occurs in all phyla, as an enzyme of the glycolytic pathway. Its importance in plant metabolism has emerged with compelling evidence that its preferential substrate, glucose, is both a nutrient and a signal molecule that controls development and expression of different classes of genes. A variety of plant tissues and organs have been shown to express multiple HK isoforms with different kinetic properties and subcellular localizations. Although plant HK is known to fulfill a catalytic function and act as a glucose sensor, the physiological relevance of plural isoforms and their contribution to either function are still poorly understood. We review here the current knowledge and hypotheses on the physiological roles of plant HK isoforms that have been identified and characterized. Recent findings provide hints on how the expression patterns, biochemical properties and subcellular localizations of HK isoforms may relate to their modes of action. Special attention is devoted to kinetic, mutant and transgenic data on HKs from Arabidopsis thaliana and the Solanaceae potato, tobacco, and tomato, as well as HK gene expression data from Arabidopsis public DNA microarray resources. Similarities and differences to known properties of animal and yeast HKs are also discussed as they may help to gain further insight into the functional adaptations of plant HKs.

  12. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Joseph L; Moreau, Régis

    2016-08-10

    Overwhelming evidence indicates that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are protective against common chronic diseases, such as cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Leafy green vegetables, in particular, are recognized as having substantial health-promoting activities that are attributed to the functional properties of their nutrients and non-essential chemical compounds. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is widely regarded as a functional food due to its diverse nutritional composition, which includes vitamins and minerals, and to its phytochemicals and bioactives that promote health beyond basic nutrition. Spinach-derived phytochemicals and bioactives are able to (i) scavenge reactive oxygen species and prevent macromolecular oxidative damage, (ii) modulate expression and activity of genes involved in metabolism, proliferation, inflammation, and antioxidant defence, and (iii) curb food intake by inducing secretion of satiety hormones. These biological activities contribute to the anti-cancer, anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic properties of spinach. Despite these valuable attributes, spinach consumption remains low in comparison to other leafy green vegetables. This review examines the functional properties of spinach in cell culture, animals and humans with a focus on the molecular mechanisms by which spinach-derived non-essential phytochemicals and bioactives, such as glycolipids and thylakoids, impart their health benefits.

  13. Functionalization of emissive conjugated polymer nanoparticles by coprecipitation: consequences for particle photophysics and colloidal properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Amita; Bezuidenhout, Michael; Walsh, Nichola; Beirne, Jason; Felletti, Riccardo; Wang, Suxiao; Fitzgerald, Kathleen T.; Gallagher, William M.; Kiely, Patrick; Redmond, Gareth

    2016-07-01

    The functionalization of polyfluorene (PFO) nanoparticles by coprecipitation of the conjugated polymer with an amphiphilic comb polymer, consisting of a hydrophobic polystyrene backbone with hydrophilic, carboxylic acid-terminated polyethylene oxide side-chains (PS-PEG-COOH), is investigated. The comb polymer affects the properties of the formed hybrid nanoparticles. Non-functionalized particles are typically larger (28 nm) than functionalized ones (20 nm); peak molar extinction coefficients are found to differ in a similar trend. Zeta potentials are negative, consistent with negative surface charge on PFO particles due to chemical defect formation, with additional charge on functionalized particles due to the pendant carboxylic acid groups. Emission quantum yields of functionalized particles are typically larger, consistent with lower efficiency of energy transfer to quenchers in smaller particles and weaker PFO interchain interactions due to chain dilution. The trend in per-particle fluorescence brightness values, as confirmed by single particle fluorescence imaging, reflects the nanoparticle extinction coefficients. Photostability studies on aqueous dispersions of hybrid particles indicate mild photobrightening under continuous illumination while PFO particles exhibit slow exponential emission decay. Functionalized particles are also resistant to aggregation during exposure to adenocarcinoma cells. Generally, the hybrid particles exhibit more favorable time-, pH- and medium-dependent stabilities, likely due to steric and electrostatic stabilization by PEG-carboxylic acid functionalities. Overall, the functionalized particles exhibit attractive properties: Reasonably small size, tight size distribution, high absorption cross section, radiative rate and emission quantum yield, excellent brightness and photostability, and good colloidal stability.

  14. The protective function of personal growth initiative among a genocide-affected population in Rwanda.

    PubMed

    Blackie, Laura E R; Jayawickreme, Eranda; Forgeard, Marie J C; Jayawickreme, Nuwan

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the extent to which individual differences in personal growth initiative (PGI) were associated with lower reports of functional impairment of daily activities among a genocide-affected population in Rwanda. PGI measures an individual's motivation to develop as a person and the extent to which he or she is active in setting goals that work toward achieving self-improvement. We found that PGI was negatively associated with functional impairment when controlling for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other demographic factors. Our results suggest that PGI may constitute an important mindset for facilitating adaptive functioning in the aftermath of adversity and in the midst of psychological distress, and as such they might have practical applications for the development of intervention programs.

  15. Developing fragility functions for the areas affected by the 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gokon, H.; Koshimura, S.; Imai, K.; Matsuoka, M.; Namegaya, Y.; Nishimura, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Fragility functions in terms of flow depth, flow velocity and hydrodynamic force are developed to evaluate structural vulnerability in the areas affected by the 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami. First, numerical simulations of tsunami propagation and inundation are conducted to reproduce the features of tsunami inundation. To validate the results, flow depths measured in field surveys and waveforms measured by Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) gauges are utilized. Next, building damage is investigated by visually interpreting changes between pre- and post-tsunami high-resolution satellite images. Finally, the data related to tsunami features and building damage are integrated using Geographic Information System (GIS), and tsunami fragility functions are developed based on the statistical analyses. From the developed fragility functions, we quantitatively understood the vulnerability of a coastal region in American Samoa characterized by steep terrains and ria coasts.

  16. Daytime and nighttime wind differentially affects hydraulic properties and thigmomorphogenic response of poplar saplings.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ping; Wan, Xianchong; Lieffers, Victor J

    2016-05-01

    This study tested how wind in daytime and nighttime affects hydraulic properties and thigmomorphogenic response of poplar saplings. It shows that wind in daytime interrupted water balance of poplar plants by aggravating cavitation in the stem xylem under high xylem tension in the daytime, reducing water potential in midday and hence reducing gas exchange, including stomatal conductance and CO2 assimilation. The wind blowing in daytime significantly reduced plant growth, including height, diameter, leaf size, leaf area, root and whole biomass, whereas wind blowing in nighttime only caused a reduction in radial and height growth at the early stage compared with the control but decreased height:diameter ratios. In summary, the interaction between wind loading and xylem tension exerted a negative impact on water balance, gas exchanges and growth of poplar plants, and wind in nighttime caused only a small thigmomorphogenic response.

  17. Mexican Queso Chihuahua: functional properties of aging cheese.

    PubMed

    Olson, D W; Van Hekken, D L; Tunick, M H; Tomasula, P M; Molina-Corral, F J; Gardea, A A

    2011-09-01

    Queso Chihuahua, a semi-hard cheese manufactured from raw milk (RM) in northern Mexico, is being replaced by pasteurized milk (PM) versions because of food safety concerns and the desire for longer shelf life. In this study, the functional traits of authentic Mexican Queso Chihuahua made from RM or PM were characterized to identify sources of variation and to determine if pasteurization of the cheese milk resulted in changes to the functional properties. Two brands of RM cheese and 2 brands of PM cheese obtained in 3 seasons of the year from 4 manufacturers in Chihuahua, Mexico, were analyzed after 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16 wk of storage at 4°C. A color measurement spectrophotometer was used to collect color data before and after heating at 232°C for 5 min or 130°C for 75 min. Meltability was measured using the Schreiber Melt Test on samples heated to 232°C for 5 min. Sliceability (the force required to cut through a sample) was measured using a texture analyzer fitted with a wire cutter attachment. Proteolysis was tracked using sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE. Compared with PM cheeses, RM cheeses showed less browning upon heating, melted more at 232°C, and initially required a greater cutting force. With aging, cheeses increased in meltability, decreased in whiteness when measured before heating, and required less cutting force to slice. Seasonal variations in the cheesemilk had minimal or no effect on the functional properties. The differences in the functional properties can be attributed, in part, to the mixed microflora present in the RM cheeses compared with the more homogeneous microflora added during the manufacture of PM cheeses. The degree of proteolysis and subsequent integrity of the cheese matrix contribute to melt, slice, and color properties of the RM and PM cheeses. Understanding the functional properties of the authentic RM cheeses will help researchers and cheesemakers develop pasteurized versions that maintain the traditional traits desired in the

  18. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    PubMed

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  19. Does increased physical activity in school affect children's executive function and aerobic fitness?

    PubMed

    Kvalø, S E; Bru, E; Brønnick, K; Dyrstad, S M

    2017-02-16

    This study seeks to explore whether increased PA in school affects children's executive function and aerobic fitness. The "Active school" study was a 10-month randomized controlled trial. The sample included 449 children (10-11 years old) in five intervention and four control schools. The weekly interventions were 2×45 minutes physically active academic lessons, 5×10 minutes physically active breaks, and 5×10 minutes physically active homework. Aerobic fitness was measured using a 10-minute interval running test. Executive function was tested using four cognitive tests (Stroop, verbal fluency, digit span, and Trail Making). A composite score for executive function was computed and used in analyses. Mixed ANCOVA repeated measures were performed to analyze changes in scores for aerobic fitness and executive function. Analysis showed a tendency for a time×group interaction on executive function, but the results were non-significant F(1, 344)=3.64, P=.057. There was no significant time×group interaction for aerobic fitness. Results indicate that increased physical activity in school might improve children's executive function, even without improvement in aerobic fitness, but a longer intervention period may be required to find significant effects.

  20. The association between the body composition and lifestyle affecting pulmonary function in Japanese workers.

    PubMed

    Inomoto, Atsushi; Fukuda, Rika; Deguchi Phn, Junko; Kato, Gohei; Kanzaki Rpt, Ryoko; Hiroshige Rpt, Keiichi; Nakamura, Kouichi; Rpt; Nakano Rpt, Keisuke; Toyonaga, Toshihiro

    2016-10-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to identify factors related to physical characteristics and lifestyle that affect pulmonary function. [Subjects and Methods] Ninety seven healthy male workers were recruited for this study, and basic information and details about lifestyle were collected. Body composition analyzer and visceral fat measuring device were conducted as measurements. Pulmonary function was measured using spirometer. A multiple stepwise linear regression analysis was performed with pulmonary function as the dependent variable. Variables with a significant association with pulmonary function on univariate analysis were imputed as independent variables. [Results] Height, fat free mass, upper extremity muscle mass, lower extremity muscle mass, and trunk muscle mass had significant positive correlations with FEV1 and FVC. Age, percentage of body fat, and visceral fat area were negatively correlated with FEV1 and FVC. Regarding the association between pulmonary function and lifestyle, a significant difference was found between the smoking index and the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome risk factors and both FEV1 and FVC. The multiple stepwise linear regression analysis with FEV1 as the dependent variable, adjusted for age and height, revealed that visceral fat area and fat free mass were significantly associated with FEV1. A similar analysis, FVC as the dependent variable identified visceral fat area. [Conclusion] FEV1 was independently associated with visceral fat area and fat free mass. FVC was independently associated with visceral fat area. These results may be valuable in preventing the decrease in respiratory function and, hence, in further preventing the onset of COPD.

  1. Incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Wei; Zhang, Wen; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Identifying how developmental temperature affects the immune system is critical for understanding how ectothermic animals defend against pathogens and their fitness in the changing world. However, reptiles have received little attention regarding this issue. We incubated eggs at three ecologically relevant temperatures to determine how incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. When exposed to bacterial infections, hatchlings from 24 °C had lower cumulative mortalities (55%, therefore, higher immunocompetence) than those from 28 °C (85%) or 32 °C (100%). Consistent with higher immunocompetence, hatchlings from low incubation temperature had higher IgM, IgD, and CD3γ expressions than their counterparts from the other two higher incubation temperatures. Conversely, the activity of immunity-related enzymes did not match the among-temperature difference in immune function. Specifically, enzyme activity was higher at intermediate temperatures (alkaline phosphatase) or was not affected by incubation temperature (acid phosphatase, lysozyme). Our study is the first to provide unequivocal evidence (at the molecular and organismal level) about the significant effect of incubation temperature on offspring immunity in reptiles. Our results also indicate that the reduced immunity induced by high developmental temperatures might increase the vulnerability of reptiles to the outbreak of diseases under global warming scenarios. PMID:26028216

  2. Incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Dang, Wei; Zhang, Wen; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-06-01

    Identifying how developmental temperature affects the immune system is critical for understanding how ectothermic animals defend against pathogens and their fitness in the changing world. However, reptiles have received little attention regarding this issue. We incubated eggs at three ecologically relevant temperatures to determine how incubation temperature affects the immune function of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. When exposed to bacterial infections, hatchlings from 24 °C had lower cumulative mortalities (55%, therefore, higher immunocompetence) than those from 28 °C (85%) or 32 °C (100%). Consistent with higher immunocompetence, hatchlings from low incubation temperature had higher IgM, IgD, and CD3γ expressions than their counterparts from the other two higher incubation temperatures. Conversely, the activity of immunity-related enzymes did not match the among-temperature difference in immune function. Specifically, enzyme activity was higher at intermediate temperatures (alkaline phosphatase) or was not affected by incubation temperature (acid phosphatase, lysozyme). Our study is the first to provide unequivocal evidence (at the molecular and organismal level) about the significant effect of incubation temperature on offspring immunity in reptiles. Our results also indicate that the reduced immunity induced by high developmental temperatures might increase the vulnerability of reptiles to the outbreak of diseases under global warming scenarios.

  3. Towards Tunable Consensus Clustering for Studying Functional Brain Connectivity During Affective Processing.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chao; Abu-Jamous, Basel; Brattico, Elvira; Nandi, Asoke K

    2017-03-01

    In the past decades, neuroimaging of humans has gained a position of status within neuroscience, and data-driven approaches and functional connectivity analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data are increasingly favored to depict the complex architecture of human brains. However, the reliability of these findings is jeopardized by too many analysis methods and sometimes too few samples used, which leads to discord among researchers. We propose a tunable consensus clustering paradigm that aims at overcoming the clustering methods selection problem as well as reliability issues in neuroimaging by means of first applying several analysis methods (three in this study) on multiple datasets and then integrating the clustering results. To validate the method, we applied it to a complex fMRI experiment involving affective processing of hundreds of music clips. We found that brain structures related to visual, reward, and auditory processing have intrinsic spatial patterns of coherent neuroactivity during affective processing. The comparisons between the results obtained from our method and those from each individual clustering algorithm demonstrate that our paradigm has notable advantages over traditional single clustering algorithms in being able to evidence robust connectivity patterns even with complex neuroimaging data involving a variety of stimuli and affective evaluations of them. The consensus clustering method is implemented in the R package "UNCLES" available on http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/UNCLES/index.html .

  4. Functional components and medicinal properties of food: a review.

    PubMed

    Abuajah, Christian Izuchukwu; Ogbonna, Augustine Chima; Osuji, Chijioke Maduka

    2015-05-01

    Research has proved a relationship between functional components of food, health and well-being. Thus, functional components of food can be effectively applied in the treatment and prevention of diseases. They act simultaneously at different or identical target sites with the potential to impart physiological benefits and promotion of wellbeing including reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, inflammation, type II diabetes, and other chronic degenerative diseases, lowering of blood cholesterol, neutralization of reactive oxygen species and charged radicals, anticarcinogenic effect, low-glycaemic response, etc. Previously, it was thought that functional ingredients such as non-starchy carbohydrates including soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, fucoidan; antioxidants including polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols, phytosterols, isoflavones, organosulphur compounds; plant sterols and soy phytoestrogens occur only in plant foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) as phytochemicals. However, probiotics, prebiotics, conjugated linolenic acid, long-chain omega-3, -6 and -9-polyunsaturated fatty acids, and bioactive peptides have proved that functional components are equally available in animal products such as milk, fermented milk products and cold-water fish. The way a food is processed affects its functional components. Many processing techniques have been found to lower the concentration of functional components in food. Conversely, other techniques were found to increase them. Hence, in a time when the role of a healthy diet in preventing non-communicable diseases is well accepted, the borderline between food and medicine is becoming very thin.

  5. Encapsulating contact allergens in liposomes, ethosomes, and polycaprolactone may affect their sensitizing properties.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jakob Torp; Vogel, Stefan; Johansen, Jeanne Duus; Andersen, Klaus Ejner

    2011-06-01

    Attempts to improve formulation of topical products are a continuing process and the development of micro- and nanovesicular systems as well as polymeric microparticles has led to marketing of topical drugs and cosmetics using these technologies. Encapsulation of some well-known contact allergens in ethanolic liposomes have been reported to enhance allergenicity compared with the allergens in similar vehicles without liposomes. The present report includes data on more sensitization studies using the mouse local lymph node assay with three contact allergens encapsulated in different dermal drug-delivery systems: liposomes, ethosomes, and polycaprolactone particles. The results show that the drug-delivery systems are not sensitizers in themselves. Encapsulating the hydrophilic contact allergen potassium dichromate in all three drug-delivery systems did not affect the sensitizing capacity of potassium dichromate compared with control solutions. However, encapsulating the lipophilic contact allergen dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) in polycaprolactone reduced the sensitizing capacity to 1211 ± 449 compared with liposomes (7602 ± 2658) and in acetone:olive oil (4:1) (5633 ± 666). The same trend was observed for encapsulating isoeugenol in polycaprolactone (1100 ± 406) compared with a formulation in acetone:olive oil (4491 ± 819) and in liposomes (3668 ± 950). Further, the size of DNCB-loaded liposomes did not affect the sensitizing properties. These results suggest that modern dermal drug-delivery systems may in some cases magnify or decrease the sensitizing capacity of the encapsulated contact allergen.

  6. Entrapped elemental selenium nanoparticles affect physicochemical properties of selenium fed activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rohan; Seder-Colomina, Marina; Jordan, Norbert; Dessi, Paolo; Cosmidis, Julie; van Hullebusch, Eric D; Weiss, Stephan; Farges, François; Lens, Piet N L

    2015-09-15

    Selenite containing wastewaters can be treated in activated sludge systems, where the total selenium is removed from the wastewater by the formation of elemental selenium nanoparticles, which are trapped in the biomass. No studies have been carried out so far on the characterization of selenium fed activated sludge flocs, which is important for the development of this novel selenium removal process. This study showed that more than 94% of the trapped selenium in activated sludge flocs is in the form of elemental selenium, both as amorphous/monoclinic selenium nanospheres and trigonal selenium nanorods. The entrapment of the elemental selenium nanoparticles in the selenium fed activated sludge flocs leads to faster settling rates, higher hydrophilicity and poorer dewaterability compared to the control activated sludge (i.e., not fed with selenite). The selenium fed activated sludge showed a less negative surface charge density as compared to the control activated sludge. The presence of trapped elemental selenium nanoparticles further affected the spatial distribution of Al and Mg in the activated sludge flocs. This study demonstrated that the formation and subsequent trapping of elemental selenium nanoparticles in the activated sludge flocs affects their physicochemical properties.

  7. Modulation of α power and functional connectivity during facial affect recognition.

    PubMed

    Popov, Tzvetan; Miller, Gregory A; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Weisz, Nathan

    2013-04-03

    Research has linked oscillatory activity in the α frequency range, particularly in sensorimotor cortex, to processing of social actions. Results further suggest involvement of sensorimotor α in the processing of facial expressions, including affect. The sensorimotor face area may be critical for perception of emotional face expression, but the role it plays is unclear. The present study sought to clarify how oscillatory brain activity contributes to or reflects processing of facial affect during changes in facial expression. Neuromagnetic oscillatory brain activity was monitored while 30 volunteers viewed videos of human faces that changed their expression from neutral to fearful, neutral, or happy expressions. Induced changes in α power during the different morphs, source analysis, and graph-theoretic metrics served to identify the role of α power modulation and cross-regional coupling by means of phase synchrony during facial affect recognition. Changes from neutral to emotional faces were associated with a 10-15 Hz power increase localized in bilateral sensorimotor areas, together with occipital power decrease, preceding reported emotional expression recognition. Graph-theoretic analysis revealed that, in the course of a trial, the balance between sensorimotor power increase and decrease was associated with decreased and increased transregional connectedness as measured by node degree. Results suggest that modulations in α power facilitate early registration, with sensorimotor cortex including the sensorimotor face area largely functionally decoupled and thereby protected from additional, disruptive input and that subsequent α power decrease together with increased connectedness of sensorimotor areas facilitates successful facial affect recognition.

  8. Salt matters: How salt affects the rheological and physical properties of gelatine for analogue modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brizzi, S.; Funiciello, F.; Corbi, F.; Di Giuseppe, E.; Mojoli, G.

    2016-06-01

    Gelatine is extensively used as analogue material for the easiness to tune its physical and rheological properties. The addition of salt to gelatine is generally adopted to increase the density of the material, improving the scaling of the models. However, the way the addition of salt changes the rheological properties of gelatine is generally underestimated. Here, we investigate both rheological and physical properties (i.e., density and transparency) of type A pig-skin 2.5 wt.% gelatine at T = 10 °C as a function of salt concentration, cNaCl, and ageing time. We established a standard preparation recipe and measuring protocol, yielding to uniform samples with reproducible behaviour. Rheometric measurements show that the presence of salt weakens the gelatine structure, with a decrease of both material rigidity and viscosity as cNaCl increases. Salted gelatine behaviour moves from viscoelastic to dominantly elastic as the ageing time increases. Density and cloudiness also increase with cNaCl. Finally, we present results from subduction interplate seismicity models performed with pure and salted gelatines, showing that the modified material may improve the modelling performance and open new perspectives in experimental tectonics.

  9. Mechanical properties of lipid bilayers and regulation of mechanosensitive function

    PubMed Central

    Balleza, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Material properties of lipid bilayers, including thickness, intrinsic curvature and compressibility regulate the function of mechanosensitive (MS) channels. This regulation is dependent on phospholipid composition, lateral packing and organization within the membrane. Therefore, a more complete framework to understand the functioning of MS channels requires insights into bilayer structure, thermodynamics and phospholipid structure, as well as lipid-protein interactions. Phospholipids and MS channels interact with each other mainly through electrostatic forces and hydrophobic matching, which are also crucial for antimicrobial peptides. They are excellent models for studying the formation and stabilization of membrane pores. Importantly, they perform equivalent responses as MS channels: (1) tilting in response to tension and (2) dissipation of osmotic gradients. Lessons learned from pore forming peptides could enrich our knowledge of mechanisms of action and evolution of these channels. Here, the current state of the art is presented and general principles of membrane regulation of mechanosensitive function are discussed. PMID:22790280

  10. Antibiotic Supplements Affect Electrophysiological Properties and Excitability of Rat Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons in Primary Culture

    PubMed Central

    Bahrami, Farideh; Janahmadi, Mahyar

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Antibiotic supplements are regularly used in neuronal culture media to control contamination; however, they can interfere with the neuronal excitability and affect electrophysiological properties. Therefore, in this study, the effect of penicillin/streptomycin supplements on the spontaneous electrophysiological activity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons was examined. Methods: Electrophysiological whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from rat hippocampal pyramidal cells in primary culture were performed to investigate the effects of antibiotic supplements on the intrinsic excitability of cultured cells. Results: The present findings indicated that presence of antibiotic supplements (penicillin/streptomycin) in the culture medium altered the intrinsic electrical activity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons in primary culture. These alterations included: 1) depolarized resting membrane potential; 2) a significant enhancement in the after-hyperpolarization amplitude; 3) a significant increase in the area under the action potential and in the decay and rise time of the action potential; 4) a significant broadening of action potential and 5) a significant reduction in the firing frequency. Conclusion: These findings suggest that addition of antibiotic supplements to culture media influences the neuronal excitability and alters the electrophysiological properties of cultured neurons, possibly through changing the ionic conductance underlying neuronal excitability. PMID:23567852

  11. How particle properties affect the assembly and characteristics of colloidal particle bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoda, Minami; Yee, Andrew

    2016-11-01

    The interaction of suspended particles with a planar wall is a classic problem of colloid science. Particle-wall interactions in a flowing suspension are a newer area of interest, motivated by applications in microfluidics. Recent studies show that radius a = 245 nm particles in a dilute (volume fraction φ = 0.17%) suspension are attracted to the wall, form 1D "pearl chains," then assemble into concentrated streamwise bands with a roughly constant cross-stream spacing in combined Poiseuille and electroosmotic flow through fused-silica microchannels. The bands only exist within a few μm of the wall, and occur above a minimum shear rate γ˙ and electric field magnitude | E | . Attracting (i.e., concentrating) the particles to (near) the wall is a prerequisite for band formation; however, bands are not observed in all cases when particles are attracted to the wall. Particle properties appear to have a significant effect on these phenomena: decreasing φ, for example, appears to increase both the minimum γ˙ and | E | for band formation. Results are presented on how the assembly and characteristics of the bands are affected by properties such as φ, a (where a < 1 μ m), and zeta-potential ζp. Supported by ARO.

  12. Chemical interactions and gel properties of black carp actomyosin affected by MTGase and their relationships.

    PubMed

    Jia, Dan; Huang, Qilin; Xiong, Shanbai

    2016-04-01

    Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was applied to evaluate and correlate chemical interactions (-NH2 content, S-S bonds, four non-covalent interactions) with gel properties (dynamic rheological properties and cooking loss (CL)) of black carp actomyosin affected by microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) at suwari and kamaboko stages. The G' and CL were significantly enhanced by MTGase and their values in kamaboko gels were higher than those in suwari gels at the same MTGase concentration. The γ-carboxyamide and amino cross-links, catalyzed by MTGase, were constructed at suwari stage and contributed to the network formation, while disulfide bonds were formed not only in suwari gels but also in kamaboko gels, further enhancing the gel network. PLSR analysis revealed that 86.6-90.3% of the variation of G' and 91.8-94.4% of the variation of CL were best explained by chemical interactions. G' mainly depended on covalent cross-links and gave positive correlation. CL was positively correlated with covalent cross-links, but negatively related to non-covalent bonds, indicating that covalent bonds promoted water extrusion, whereas non-covalent bonds were beneficial for water-holding.

  13. Relaxin Affects Smooth Muscle Biophysical Properties and Mechanical Activity of the Female Mouse Colon.

    PubMed

    Squecco, Roberta; Garella, Rachele; Idrizaj, Eglantina; Nistri, Silvia; Francini, Fabio; Baccari, Maria Caterina

    2015-12-01

    The hormone relaxin (RLX) has been reported to influence gastrointestinal motility in mice. However, at present, nothing is known about the effects of RLX on the biophysical properties of the gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Other than extending previous knowledge of RLX on colonic motility, the purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of the hormone to induce changes in resting membrane potential (RMP) and on sarcolemmal ion channels of colonic SMCs of mice that are related to its mechanical activity. To this aim, we used a combined mechanical and electrophysiological approach. In the mechanical experiments, we observed that RLX caused a decay of the basal tone coupled to an increase of the spontaneous contractions, completely abolished by the guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]-quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ). The electrophysiological results indicate for the first time that RLX directly affects the SMC biophysical properties inducing hyperpolarization of RMP and cycles of slow hyperpolarization/depolarization oscillations. The effects of RLX on RMP were abolished by ODQ as well as by a specific inhibitor of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase, KT5823. RLX reduced Ca(2+) entry through the voltage-dependent L-type channels and modulated either voltage- or ATP-dependent K(+) channels. These effects were abolished by ODQ, suggesting the involvement of the nitric oxide/guanylate cyclase pathway in the effects of RLX on RMP and ion channel modulation. These actions of RLX on membrane properties may contribute to the regulation of the proximal colon motility by the nitric oxide/cGMP/cGMP-dependent protein kinase pathway.

  14. Heat-induced aggregation of thylakoid membranes affect their interfacial properties.

    PubMed

    Östbring, Karolina; Rayner, Marilyn; Albertsson, Per-Åke; Erlanson-Albertsson, Charlotte

    2015-04-01

    Many of our most popular lipid containing foods are in emulsion form. These foods are often highly palatable with high caloric density, that subsequently increases the risk of overconsumption and possibly lead to obesity. Regulating the lipid bioavailability of high-fat foods is one approach to prevent overconsumption. Thylakoids, the chloroplast membrane, creates a barrier around lipid droplets, which prolong lipolysis and increase satiety as demonstrated both in animal and human studies. However, a reduced lipase inhibiting capacity has been reported after heat treatment but the mechanism has not yet been fully established. The aim of this study was to investigate thylakoids' emulsifying properties post heat-treatment and possible links to alterations in lipase inhibiting capacity and chlorophyll degradation. Heat-treatment of thylakoids at either 60 °C, 75 °C or 90 °C for time interval ranging from 15 s to 4 min reduced ability to stabilise emulsions, having increased lipid droplets sizes, reduced emulsification capacity, and elevated surface load as consequence. Emulsifying properties were also found to display a linear relationship to both chlorophyll and lipase inhibiting capacity. The correlations support the hypothesis that heat-treatment induce chlorophyll degradation which promote aggregation within proteins inside the thylakoid membrane known to play a decisive role in interfacial processes. Therefore, heat-treatment of thylakoids affects both chlorophyll content, lipase inhibiting capacity and ability to stabilise the oil-water interface. Since the thylakoid's appetite reducing properties are a surface-related phenomenon, the results are useful to optimize the effect of thylakoids as an appetite reducing agent.

  15. Varying whole body vibration amplitude differentially affects tendon and ligament structural and material properties.

    PubMed

    Keller, Benjamin V; Davis, Matthew L; Thompson, William R; Dahners, Laurence E; Weinhold, Paul S

    2013-05-31

    Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is becoming increasingly popular for helping to maintain bone mass and strengthening muscle. Vibration regimens optimized for bone maintenance often operate at hypogravity levels (<1G) and regimens for muscle strengthening often employ hypergravity (>1G) vibrations. The effect of vibratory loads on tendon and ligament properties is unclear though excessive vibrations may be injurious. Our objective was to evaluate how tendon gene expression and the mechanical/histological properties of tendon and ligament were affected in response to WBV in the following groups: no vibration, low vibration (0.3G peak-to-peak), and high vibration (2G peak-to-peak). Rats were vibrated for 20 min a day, 5 days a week, for 5 weeks. Upon sacrifice, the medial collateral ligament (MCL), patellar tendon (PT), and the Achilles Tendon (AT) were isolated with insertion sites intact. All tissues were tensile tested to determine structural and material properties or used for histology. Patellar tendon was also subjected to quantitative RT-PCR to evaluate expression of anabolic and catabolic genes. No differences in biomechanical data between the control and the low vibration groups were found. There was evidence of significant weakness in the MCL with high vibration, but no significant effect on the PT or AT. Histology of the MCL and PT showed a hypercellular tissue response and some fiber disorganization with high vibration. High vibration caused an increase in collagen expression and a trend for an increase in IGF-1 expression suggesting a potential anabolic response to prevent tendon overuse injury.

  16. Multiple Polymorphisms Affect Expression and Function of the Neuropeptide S Receptor (NPSR1)

    PubMed Central

    Anedda, Francesca; Zucchelli, Marco; Schepis, Danika; Hellquist, Anna; Corrado, Lucia; D'Alfonso, Sandra; Achour, Adnane; McInerney, Gerald; Bertorello, Alejandro; Lördal, Mikael; Befrits, Ragnar; Björk, Jan; Bresso, Francesca; Törkvist, Leif; Halfvarson, Jonas

    2011-01-01

    Background neuropeptide S (NPS) and its receptor NPSR1 act along the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to modulate anxiety, fear responses, nociception and inflammation. The importance of the NPS-NPSR1 signaling pathway is highlighted by the observation that, in humans, NPSR1 polymorphism associates with asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, panic disorders, and intermediate phenotypes of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Because of the genetic complexity at the NPSR1 locus, however, true causative variations remain to be identified, together with their specific effects on receptor expression or function. To gain insight into the mechanisms leading to NPSR1 disease-predisposing effects, we performed a thorough functional characterization of all NPSR1 promoter and coding SNPs commonly occurring in Caucasians (minor allele frequency >0.02). Principal Findings we identified one promoter SNP (rs2530547 [−103]) that significantly affects luciferase expression in gene reporter assays and NPSR1 mRNA levels in human leukocytes. We also detected quantitative differences in NPS-induced genome-wide transcriptional profiles and CRE-dependent luciferase activities associated with three NPSR1 non-synonymous SNPs (rs324981 [Ile107Asn], rs34705969 [Cys197Phe], rs727162 [Arg241Ser]), with a coding variant exhibiting a loss-of-function phenotype (197Phe). Potential mechanistic explanations were sought with molecular modelling and bioinformatics, and a pilot study of 2230 IBD cases and controls provided initial support to the hypothesis that different cis-combinations of these functional SNPs variably affect disease risk. Significance these findings represent a first step to decipher NPSR1 locus complexity and its impact on several human conditions NPS antagonists have been recently described, and our results are of potential pharmacogenetic relevance. PMID:22216302

  17. Acidosis and correction of acidosis does not affect rFVIIa function in swine

    PubMed Central

    Darlington, Daniel N; Kheirabadi, Bijan S; Scherer, Michael R; Martini, Wenjun Z; Cap, Andrew P; Dubick, Michael A

    2012-01-01

    Background: Hemorrhagic shock and trauma are associated with acidosis and altered coagulation. A fall in pH has been reported to attenuate the activity of recombinant activated Factor VII (rFVIIa) in vitro. However, it is not known if acidosis induced by hemorrhagic shock or infusion of HCl attenuates FVIIa activity in vivo. The purpose of this study was to determine if acidosis, induced by two methods, affects recombinant FVIIa (rFVIIa) activity in swine, and if correction of the pH restores rFVIIa activity to normal. Methods: Acidosis was induce in anesthetized swine in two separate models: 1) HCl infusion (n=10) and 2) hemorrhage/hypoventilation (n=8). Three groups per model were used: Control (pH7.4), Acidosis (arterial pH7.1) and Acidosis-Corrected (bicarbonate infusion to return pH from 7.1 to 7.4). Pigs were then injected with rFVIIa (90 μg/kg) or vehicle (saline) at target pH and arterial blood samples were taken for measurement of coagulation function, including Thromboelastography -TEG, Thrombin Generation, Activated Clotting Time, Prothrombin Time, activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, Fibrinogen Concentration and Platelet count before and 5min after injection of rFVIIa. Results: Acidosis led to a hypocoagulation as measured by almost all coagulation parameters in both models. Furthermore, the change in coagulation function produced after infusion of rFVIIa was not different between control, acidosis and acidosis-corrected groups for all coagulation parameters measured. Conclusion: Acidosis associated with hemorrhagic shock or HCl infusion led to a hypocoagulation that was not corrected with bicarbonate infusion. Furthermore, acidosis did not affect rFVIIa function, and correction of the acidosis with bicarbonate had no effect on rFVIIa function in these models. This suggests that in vivo acidosis did not diminish rFVIIa function. PMID:23272296

  18. A pursuit of the functional nutritional and bioactive properties of canola proteins and peptides.

    PubMed

    Aachary, Ayyappan Appukuttan; Thiyam, Usha

    2012-01-01

    This review focuses on updated information about canola proteins and peptides, their functional, nutritional, and bioactive properties, safety aspects, and potential application in foods. Attention is paid to gelation, emulsion, thermal, and water holding capacities of crude and pure proteins and peptides isolated from canola meal. Various factors affecting these properties are discussed. This paper provides an overview of use of canola meal as a protein source in animal diets and their digestibility in vivo. Their effects on a range of health outcomes including ACE inhibition, hypocholesterolemic effects, cancer prevention, anti-viral and anti-diabetic properties are reviewed on the basis of the available in vitro and in vivo animal and human data. The review also focuses on the safety aspects and selected food applications of canola proteins and peptides.

  19. The Functional Effect of Teacher Positive and Neutral Affect on Task Performance of Students with Significant Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Sungho; Singer, George H. S.; Gibson, Mary

    2005-01-01

    The study uses an alternating treatment design to evaluate the functional effect of teacher's affect on students' task performance. Tradition in special education holds that teachers should engage students using positive and enthusiastic affect for task presentations and praise. To test this assumption, we compared two affective conditions. Three…

  20. Immunomodulatory properties of carbon nanotubes are able to compensate immune function dysregulation caused by microgravity conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crescio, Claudia; Orecchioni, Marco; Ménard-Moyon, Cécilia; Sgarrella, Francesco; Pippia, Proto; Manetti, Roberto; Bianco, Alberto; Delogu, Lucia Gemma

    2014-07-01

    Spaceflights lead to dysregulation of the immune cell functionality affecting the expression of activation markers and cytokine production. Short oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes functionalized by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition have been reported to activate immune cells. In this Communication we have performed surface marker assays and multiplex ELISA on primary monocytes and T cells under microgravity. We have discovered that carbon nanotubes, through their immunostimulatory properties, are able to fight spaceflight immune system dysregulations.Spaceflights lead to dysregulation of the immune cell functionality affecting the expression of activation markers and cytokine production. Short oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes functionalized by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition have been reported to activate immune cells. In this Communication we have performed surface marker assays and multiplex ELISA on primary monocytes and T cells under microgravity. We have discovered that carbon nanotubes, through their immunostimulatory properties, are able to fight spaceflight immune system dysregulations. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental section, structures of f-MWCNTs and uptake by human primary immune cells. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr02711f

  1. Ultra-endurance exercise induces stress and inflammation and affects circulating hematopoietic progenitor cell function.

    PubMed

    Stelzer, I; Kröpfl, J M; Fuchs, R; Pekovits, K; Mangge, H; Raggam, R B; Gruber, H-J; Prüller, F; Hofmann, P; Truschnig-Wilders, M; Obermayer-Pietsch, B; Haushofer, A C; Kessler, H H; Mächler, P

    2015-10-01

    Although amateur sports have become increasingly competitive within recent decades, there are as yet few studies on the possible health risks for athletes. This study aims to determine the impact of ultra-endurance exercise-induced stress on the number and function of circulating hematopoietic progenitor cells (CPCs) and hematological, inflammatory, clinical, metabolic, and stress parameters in moderately trained amateur athletes. Following ultra-endurance exercise, there were significant increases in leukocytes, platelets, interleukin-6, fibrinogen, tissue enzymes, blood lactate, serum cortisol, and matrix metalloproteinase-9. Ultra-endurance exercise did not influence the number of CPCs but resulted in a highly significant decline of CPC functionality after the competition. Furthermore, Epstein-Barr virus was seen to be reactivated in one of seven athletes. The link between exercise-induced stress and decline of CPC functionality is supported by a negative correlation between cortisol and CPC function. We conclude that ultra-endurance exercise induces metabolic stress and an inflammatory response that affects not only mature hematopoietic cells but also the function of the immature hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell fraction, which make up the immune system and provide for regeneration.

  2. The geometrical properties researching of surface quality by membership function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yufen

    2008-12-01

    The main content of assessing the machined surface quality of machine components is the geometrical properties of surface quality. The geometrical properties of the two assessing parameters of identical surface quality (surface roughness and surface waviness) exist in the identical substance and there are certain blend and fuzziness, what's more, there is not the concept of the value to describe its varying blend degree, there are, so far, still not practicable methods and measuring tools to separate surface roughness and waviness completely. In contrast, the paper is based on the membership function of fuzzy mathematics to research the geometrical properties of surface roughness and waviness. This method completely broke the traditional one that only adopts numerical values to separate surface roughness and waviness. It can not only directly separate the two assessing parameters from actual surface, measure the actual values of parameters that meet the assessing quality and obtain the actual probability of the blend compositions between the two, but also entirely evaluate the geometrical properties of the actual surface quality, moreover, there will be a quantitative evaluation for the authenticity and reliability of the measured values from measuring systems and instruments.

  3. Structure, functional regulation and signaling properties of Rap2B

    PubMed Central

    QU, DEBAO; HUANG, HUI; DI, JIEHUI; GAO, KEYU; LU, ZHENG; ZHENG, JUNNIAN

    2016-01-01

    The Ras family small guanosine 5′-triphosphate (GTP)-binding protein Rap2B is is a member of the Ras oncogene family and a novel target of p53 that regulates the p53-mediated pro-survival function of cells. The Rap2B protein shares ~90% homology with Rap2A, and its sequence is 70% identical to other members of the Rap family such as RaplA and RaplB. As a result, Rap2B has been theorized to have similar signaling effectors to the GTPase-binding protein Rap, which mediates various biological functions, including the regulation of sterile 20/mitogen-activated proteins. Since its identification in the early 1990s, Rap2B has elicited a considerable interest. Numerous studies indicate that Rap2B exerts specific biological functions, including binding and stimulating phospholipase C-ε and interferon-γ. In addition, downregulation of Rap2B affects the growth of melanoma cells. The present review summarizes the possible effectors and biological functions of Rap2B. Increasing evidence clearly supports the association between Rap2B function and tumor development. Therefore, it is conceivable that anticancer drugs targeting Rap2B may be generated as novel therapies against cancer. PMID:27073477

  4. Phosphonic Acid-Functionalized Polyurethane Dispersions with Improved Adhesion Properties.

    PubMed

    Breucker, Laura; Landfester, Katharina; Taden, Andreas

    2015-11-11

    A facile route to phosphorus-functionalized polyurethane dispersions (P-PUDs) with improved adhesion properties is presented. (Bis)phosphonic acid moieties serve as adhesion promoting sites that are covalently attached via an end-capping reaction to isocyanate-reactive polyurethane particles under aqueous conditions. The synthetic approach circumvents solubility issues, offers great flexibility in terms of polyurethane composition, and allows for the synthesis of semicrystalline systems with thermomechanical response due to reversible physical cross-linking. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is used to investigate the effect of functionalization on the semicrystallinity. The end-capping conversion was determined via inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and was surprisingly found to be almost independent of the stoichiometry of reaction, suggesting an adsorption-dominated process. Particle charge detection (PCD) experiments reveal that a dense surface coverage of phosphonic acid groups can be attained and that, at high functionalization degrees, the phosphonic adhesion moieties are partially dragged inside the colloidal P-PUD particle. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCMD) investigations conducted with hydroxyapatite (HAP) and stainless steel sensors as model surfaces show a greatly enhanced affinity of the aqueous P-PUDs and furthermore indicate polymer chain rearrangements and autonomous film formation under wet conditions. Due to their facile synthesis, significantly improved adhesion, and variable film properties, P-PUD systems such as the one described here are believed to be of great interest for multiple applications, e.g., adhesives, paints, anticorrosion, or dentistry.

  5. Extracting surface phonon properties from the electronic spectral function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plummer, Ward

    2005-03-01

    Angle resolved photoemission measurements have revealed an enhancement in the electron-phonon coupling (EPC) for two- dimensional surface states and quantum-well states in thin films. A recent theoretical advancement by J. Shi [1] has developed a method for the direct extraction of the momentum dependent Eliashberg function from the high-resolution photoemission data. The origin of the enhanced EPC at surfaces and interfaces will be explored as well as schemes to tune the EPC by modification of the surface electronic and vibrational properties. The implications of EPC on physical properties will be discussed, including the lifetime of electronic states near the Fermi energy. 1. Junren Shi et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 186401 (2004). The work at UT supported by NSF- DMR 0105232. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, for the U.S. Dept. of Energy under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725.

  6. Crystallographic Properties of Physiological Hydroxyapatite as a Function of Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leventouri, Th.; Venturelli, R.; Kyriacou, A.

    2007-03-01

    Hydroxyapatite with 4-6 wt % B-type carbonate substitution is the major mineral component in our teeth and bones. Crystal structure properties of human teeth as a function of age between 17 and 91 years are investigated. X-ray powder diffraction reveals a partial phase transition from the hexagonal Ca5(PO4)3OH (Hydroxyapatite) to the triclinic Ca4H(PO4)3.2H2O (Calcium Hydrogen Phosphate Hydrate) at the 70 year old tooth. This phase becomes predominant in the diffraction pattern of a 91 year old tooth. Correlation of such transition with physical properties of synthetic hydroxyapatite could provide useful insights in dentistry and medicine.

  7. Mutation-induced protein interaction kinetics changes affect apoptotic network dynamic properties and facilitate oncogenesis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Linjie; Sun, Tanlin; Pei, Jianfeng; Ouyang, Qi

    2015-07-28

    It has been a consensus in cancer research that cancer is a disease caused primarily by genomic alterations, especially somatic mutations. However, the mechanism of mutation-induced oncogenesis is not fully understood. Here, we used the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway as a case study and performed a systematic analysis of integrating pathway dynamics with protein interaction kinetics to quantitatively investigate the causal molecular mechanism of mutation-induced oncogenesis. A mathematical model of the regulatory network was constructed to establish the functional role of dynamic bifurcation in the apoptotic process. The oncogenic mutation enrichment of each of the protein functional domains involved was found strongly correlated with the parameter sensitivity of the bifurcation point. We further dissected the causal mechanism underlying this correlation by evaluating the mutational influence on protein interaction kinetics using molecular dynamics simulation. We analyzed 29 matched mutant-wild-type and 16 matched SNP--wild-type protein systems. We found that the binding kinetics changes reflected by the changes of free energy changes induced by protein interaction mutations, which induce variations in the sensitive parameters of the bifurcation point, were a major cause of apoptosis pathway dysfunction, and mutations involved in sensitive interaction domains show high oncogenic potential. Our analysis provided a molecular basis for connecting protein mutations, protein interaction kinetics, network dynamics properties, and physiological function of a regulatory network. These insights provide a framework for coupling mutation genotype to tumorigenesis phenotype and help elucidate the logic of cancer initiation.

  8. Mutation-induced protein interaction kinetics changes affect apoptotic network dynamic properties and facilitate oncogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Linjie; Sun, Tanlin; Pei, Jianfeng; Ouyang, Qi

    2015-01-01

    It has been a consensus in cancer research that cancer is a disease caused primarily by genomic alterations, especially somatic mutations. However, the mechanism of mutation-induced oncogenesis is not fully understood. Here, we used the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway as a case study and performed a systematic analysis of integrating pathway dynamics with protein interaction kinetics to quantitatively investigate the causal molecular mechanism of mutation-induced oncogenesis. A mathematical model of the regulatory network was constructed to establish the functional role of dynamic bifurcation in the apoptotic process. The oncogenic mutation enrichment of each of the protein functional domains involved was found strongly correlated with the parameter sensitivity of the bifurcation point. We further dissected the causal mechanism underlying this correlation by evaluating the mutational influence on protein interaction kinetics using molecular dynamics simulation. We analyzed 29 matched mutant–wild-type and 16 matched SNP—wild-type protein systems. We found that the binding kinetics changes reflected by the changes of free energy changes induced by protein interaction mutations, which induce variations in the sensitive parameters of the bifurcation point, were a major cause of apoptosis pathway dysfunction, and mutations involved in sensitive interaction domains show high oncogenic potential. Our analysis provided a molecular basis for connecting protein mutations, protein interaction kinetics, network dynamics properties, and physiological function of a regulatory network. These insights provide a framework for coupling mutation genotype to tumorigenesis phenotype and help elucidate the logic of cancer initiation. PMID:26170328

  9. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective.

  10. Functionalized Thiophene-Based [7]Helicene: Chirooptical Properties versus Electron Delocalization

    SciTech Connect

    Rajca, Andrzej; Pink, Maren; Xiao, Shuzhang; Miyasaka, Makoto; Rajca, Suchada; Das, Kausik; Plessel, Kristin

    2009-11-04

    The functionalized, enantiomerically pure [7]helicene 1 derived from bis(benzodithiophene) functionalized with four heptyl groups is prepared from 1,8-dibromo-4,5-diheptylbenzo[1,2-b:4,3-b']dithiophene building block 2. Such [7]helicene structure, functionalized with bromines at the terminal positions of the helicene inner rim and multiple solubilizing alkyl groups, is an attractive building block for long [n]helicenes and oligo[7]helicenes. Chirooptical properties and the degree of electron delocalization are determined and compared to those of analogous carbon-sulfur [7]helicene and [7]helicenes derived from benzodithiophene to provide a correlation between chirooptical properties and the degree of electron delocalization. [7]Helicene 1 possesses a moderately increased electron delocalization, but its chirooptical properties are similar to those for analogous [7]helicenes with relatively lower electron delocalization, indicating that chirooptical properties are not significantly affected by electron delocalization for this series of [7]helicenes. Molecular structures of racemic [7]helicene 1 and its benzodithiophene building block 2 are confirmed by single-crystal X-ray analysis. Crystals of 2 are chiral and adopt the shape of long, flexible, flat needles that can be readily bent.

  11. Aging. Aging-induced type I interferon response at the choroid plexus negatively affects brain function.

    PubMed

    Baruch, Kuti; Deczkowska, Aleksandra; David, Eyal; Castellano, Joseph M; Miller, Omer; Kertser, Alexander; Berkutzki, Tamara; Barnett-Itzhaki, Zohar; Bezalel, Dana; Wyss-Coray, Tony; Amit, Ido; Schwartz, Michal

    2014-10-03

    Aging-associated cognitive decline is affected by factors produced inside and outside the brain. By using multiorgan genome-wide analysis of aged mice, we found that the choroid plexus, an interface between the brain and the circulation, shows a type I interferon (IFN-I)-dependent gene expression profile that was also found in aged human brains. In aged mice, this response was induced by brain-derived signals, present in the cerebrospinal fluid. Blocking IFN-I signaling within the aged brain partially restored cognitive function and hippocampal neurogenesis and reestablished IFN-II-dependent choroid plexus activity, which is lost in aging. Our data identify a chronic aging-induced IFN-I signature, often associated with antiviral response, at the brain's choroid plexus and demonstrate its negative influence on brain function, thereby suggesting a target for ameliorating cognitive decline in aging.

  12. Ibrutinib treatment affects collagen and von Willebrand factor-dependent platelet functions.

    PubMed

    Levade, Marie; David, Elodie; Garcia, Cédric; Laurent, Pierre-Alexandre; Cadot, Sarah; Michallet, Anne-Sophie; Bordet, Jean-Claude; Tam, Constantine; Sié, Pierre; Ysebaert, Loïc; Payrastre, Bernard

    2014-12-18

    The oral Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor, ibrutinib, has recently demonstrated high efficiency in patients with relapsed B-cell malignancies. Occurrence of bleeding events has been reported in a subgroup of ibrutinib-treated patients. We demonstrate that ibrutinib selectively inhibits platelet signaling and functions downstream of the collagen receptor glycoprotein VI and strongly affects firm platelet adhesion on von Willebrand factor (VWF) under arterial flow. A longitudinal study of 14 patients indicated a correlation between occurrence of bleeding events and decreased platelet aggregation in response to collagen in platelet-rich plasma and firm adhesion on VWF under arterial flow. The addition of 50% untreated platelets was sufficient to efficiently reverse the effects of ibrutinib, and platelet functions recovered after treatment interruption as physiological platelet renewal occurred. These data have important clinical implications and provide a basis for hemostasis management during ibrutinib treatment.

  13. Functional properties of selected starter cultures for sour maize bread.

    PubMed

    Edema, Mojisola O; Sanni, Abiodun I

    2008-06-01

    This paper focuses on the functional properties of maize sour-dough microflora selected and tested for their use as starter cultures for sour maize bread. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts isolated from spontaneously fermented maize dough were selected based on dominance during fermentation and presence at the end of fermentation. Functional properties examined included acidification, leavening and production of some antimicrobial compounds in the fermenting matrix. The organisms previously identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lb. brevis, Lb. fermentum, Lb. acidophilus, Pediococcus acidilactici, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Leuconostoc dextranicum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were used singly and as mixed cultures in the fermentation (fermentation time: 12h at 28+/-2 degrees C) of maize meal (particle size >0.2mm). The pH fell from an initial value of 5.62-3.05 in maize meals fermented with Lb. plantarum; 4.37 in L. dextranicum+S. cerevisiae compared with the value for the control (no starter) of 4.54. Significant differences (P functional properties tested when starters were inoculated compared with the control (no starter) except for leavening. Bivariate correlations at 0.01 levels (two-tailed) showed that significant correlations existed among pH and production of antimicrobial compounds in the fermenting meals, the highest correlation being between production of diacetyl and acid (0.694), a positive correlation indicating that production of both antimicrobial compounds increase together with time. Antimicrobial activities of the fermented maize dough were confirmed by their abilities to inhibit the growth of Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus flavus from an initial inoculum concentration of 7 log cfu ml(-1)) for test bacteria and zone of inhibition of up to 1.33 cm for aflatoxigenic A. flavus. The findings of this study form a database for further studies on the

  14. Vascular smooth muscle cell functional contractility depends on extracellular mechanical properties

    PubMed Central

    Steucke, Kerianne E.; Tracy, Paige V.; Hald, Eric S.; Hall, Jennifer L.; Alford, Patrick W.

    2015-01-01

    Vascular smooth muscle cells’ primary function is to maintain vascular homeostasis through active contraction and relaxation. In diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, this function is inhibited concurrent to changes in the mechanical environment surrounding vascular smooth muscle cells. It is well established that cell function and extracellular mechanics are interconnected; variations in substrate modulus affect cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation. To date, it is unknown how the evolving extracellular mechanical environment of vascular smooth muscle cells affects their contractile function. Here, we have built upon previous vascular muscular thin film technology to develop a variable-modulus vascular muscular thin film that measures vascular tissue functional contractility on substrates with a range of pathological and physiological moduli. Using this modified vascular muscular thin film, we found that vascular smooth muscle cells generated greater stress on substrates with higher moduli compared to substrates with lower moduli. We then measured protein markers typically thought to indicate a contractile phenotype in vascular smooth muscle cells and found that phenotype is unaffected by substrate modulus. These data suggest that mechanical properties of vascular smooth muscle cells’ extracellular environment directly influence their functional behavior and do so without inducing phenotype switching. PMID:26283412

  15. Modest maternal caffeine exposure affects developing embryonic cardiovascular function and growth.

    PubMed

    Momoi, Nobuo; Tinney, Joseph P; Liu, Li J; Elshershari, Huda; Hoffmann, Paul J; Ralphe, John C; Keller, Bradley B; Tobita, Kimimasa

    2008-05-01

    Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is reported to increase the risk of in utero growth restriction and spontaneous abortion. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that modest maternal caffeine exposure affects in utero developing embryonic cardiovascular (CV) function and growth without altering maternal hemodynamics. Caffeine (10 mg.kg(-1).day(-1) subcutaneous) was administered daily to pregnant CD-1 mice from embryonic days (EDs) 9.5 to 18.5 of a 21-day gestation. We assessed maternal and embryonic CV function at baseline and at peak maternal serum caffeine concentration using high-resolution echocardiography on EDs 9.5, 11.5, 13.5, and 18.5. Maternal caffeine exposure did not influence maternal body weight gain, maternal CV function, or embryo resorption. However, crown-rump length and body weight were reduced in maternal caffeine treated embryos by ED 18.5 (P < 0.05). At peak maternal serum caffeine concentration, embryonic carotid artery, dorsal aorta, and umbilical artery flows transiently decreased from baseline at ED 11.5 (P < 0.05). By ED 13.5, embryonic aortic and umbilical artery flows were insensitive to the peak maternal caffeine concentration; however, the carotid artery flow remained affected. By ED 18.5, baseline embryonic carotid artery flow increased and descending aortic flow decreased versus non-caffeine-exposed embryos. Maternal treatment with the adenosine A(2A) receptor inhibitor reproduced the embryonic hemodynamic effects of maternal caffeine exposure. Adenosine A(2A) receptor gene expression levels of ED 11.5 embryo and ED 18.5 uterus were decreased. Results suggest that modest maternal caffeine exposure has adverse effects on developing embryonic CV function and growth, possibly mediated via adenosine A(2A) receptor blockade.

  16. Alcohol Affects Brain Functional Connectivity and its Coupling with Behavior: Greater Effects in Male Heavy Drinkers

    PubMed Central

    Shokri-Kojori, Ehsan; Tomasi, Dardo; Wiers, Corinde E.; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.

    2016-01-01

    Acute and chronic alcohol exposure significantly affect behavior but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here we used functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping to study alcohol-related changes in resting brain activity and their association with behavior. Heavy drinkers (HD; N=16; 16 males) and normal controls (NM; N=24; 14 males) were tested after placebo and after acute alcohol administration. Group comparisons showed that NM had higher FCD in visual and prefrontal cortices, default-mode network regions, and thalamus, while HD had higher FCD in cerebellum. Acute alcohol significantly increased FCD within the thalamus, impaired cognitive and motor functions, and affected self-reports of mood/drug effects in both groups. Partial least squares regression showed alcohol-induced changes in mood/drug effects were associated with changes in thalamic FCD in both groups. Disruptions in motor function were associated with increases in cerebellar FCD in NM and thalamus FCD in HD. Alcohol-induced declines in cognitive performance were associated with connectivity increases in visual cortex and thalamus in NM, but in HD, increases in precuneus FCD were associated with improved cognitive performance. Acute alcohol reduced “neurocognitive coupling”, the association between behavioral performance and FCD (indexing brain activity), an effect that was accentuated in HD compared to NM. Findings suggest that reduced cortical connectivity in HD contribute to decline in cognitive abilities associated with heavy alcohol consumption, whereas increased cerebellar connectivity in HD may have compensatory effects on behavioral performance. The results reveal how drinking history alters the association between brain functional connectivity density and individual differences in behavioral performance. PMID:27021821

  17. Minimal changes of thyroid axis activity influence brain functions in young females affected by subclinical hypothyroidism.

    PubMed

    Menicucci, D; Sebastiani, L; Comparini, A; Pingitore, A; Ghelarducci, B; L'Abbate, A; Iervasi, G; Gemignani, A

    2013-03-01

    There is evidence of an association between thyroid hormones (TH) alterations and mental dysfunctions related to procedural and working memory functions, but the physiological link between these domains is still under debate, also for the presence of age as a confounding factor. Thus, we investigated the TH tuning of cerebral functions in young females affected by the borderline condition of subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) and in euthyroid females of the same age. The experiment consisted in the characterization of the affective state and cognitive abilities of the subjects by means of specific neuropsychological questionnaires, and of brain activity (EEG) in resting state and during the passive viewing of emotional video-clips. We found that SH had i) increased anxiety for Physical Danger; ii) better scores for both Mental Control and no-working-memory-related functions; iii) association between anxiety for Physical Danger and fT4 levels. Thus, in young adults, SH increases inward attention and paradoxically improves some cognitive functions. In addition, self-assessed questionnaires showed that SH had a greater susceptibility to unpleasant emotional stimulation. As for EEG data, SH compared to controls showed: i) reduction of alpha activity and of gamma left lateralization in resting state; ii) increased, and lateralized to the right, beta2 activity during stimulations. Both results indicated that SH have higher levels of arousal and greater susceptibility to negative emotion than controls. In conclusion, our study indicates that minimal changes in TH levels produce subtle but well-defined mental changes, thus encouraging further studies for the prediction of pathology evolution.

  18. Factors affecting recovery of postoperative bowel function after pediatric laparoscopic surgery

    PubMed Central

    Michelet, Daphnée; Andreu-Gallien, Juliette; Skhiri, Alia; Bonnard, Arnaud; Nivoche, Yves; Dahmani, Souhayl

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Laparoscopic pediatric surgery allows a rapid postoperative rehabilitation and hospital discharge. However, the optimal postoperative pain management preserving advantages of this surgical technique remains to be determined. This study aimed to identify factors affecting the postoperative recovery of bowel function after laparoscopic surgery in children. Material and Methods: A retrospective analysis of factors affecting recovery of bowel function in children and infants undergoing laparoscopic surgery between January 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009, was performed. Factors included were: Age, weight, extent of surgery (extensive, regional or local), chronic pain (sickle cell disease or chronic intestinal inflammatory disease), American Society of Anaesthesiologists status, postoperative analgesia (ketamine, morphine, nalbuphine, paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], nefopam, regional analgesia) both in the Postanesthesia Care Unit and in the surgical ward; and surgical complications. Data analysis used classification and regression tree analysis (CART) with a 10-fold cross validation. Results: One hundred and sixty six patients were included in the analysis. Recovery of bowel function depended upon: The extent of surgery, the occurrence of postoperative surgical complications, the administration of postoperative morphine in the surgical ward, the coadministration of paracetamol and NSAIDs and/or nefopam in the surgical ward and the emergency character of the surgery. The CART method generated a decision tree with eight terminal nodes. The percentage of explained variability of the model and the cross validation were 58% and 49%, respectively. Conclusion: Multimodal analgesia using nonopioid analgesia that allows decreasing postoperative morphine consumption should be considered for the speed of bowel function recovery after laparoscopic pediatric surgery. PMID:27625488

  19. Density Functional Study of the structural properties in Tamoxifen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Coss-Martinez, Romeo; Tapia, Jorge A.; Quijano-Quiñones, Ramiro F.; Canto, Gabriel I.

    2013-03-01

    Using the density functional theory, we have studied the structural properties of Tamoxifen. The calculations were performed with two methodological approaches, which were implemented in SIESTA and Spartan codes. For SIESTA, we considerate a linear combination of atomic orbitals method, using pseudopotentials and the van der Waals approximation for the exchange-correlation potential. Here we analyzed and compared the atomic structure between our results and other theoretical study. We found differences in the bond lengths between the results, that could be attributed to code approaches in each one. This work was supported under Grant FOMIX 2011-09 N: 170297 of Ph.D. A. Tapia.

  20. Cassava fermentation and associated changes in physicochemical and functional properties.

    PubMed

    Moorthy, S N; Mathew, G

    1998-02-01

    Fermentation of cassava is an important processing technique followed in different parts of the world. Although fermentation is known to bring about vast changes in the physicochemical and functional properties of the tubers, attempts have seldom been made to consolidate and critically analyze the available information. Glaring inconsistencies and contradictions noticeable in some of the results reflect the differences and variations in the artisanal processes followed in the preparation of these products. It also stresses the need for a systematic study of not only the quoted products, but also a number of other fermented cassava products that have not been well documented.

  1. Topographical and functional properties of precursors to severe problem behavior.

    PubMed

    Fahmie, Tara A; Iwata, Brian A

    2011-01-01

    A literature search identified 17 articles reporting data on 34 subjects who engaged in precursors to severe problem behavior, which we examined to identify topographical and functional characteristics. Unintelligible vocalization was the most common precursor to aggression (27%) and property destruction (29%), whereas self- or nondirected movement was the most common precursor to SIB (32%). Unintelligible vocalization and object-directed movement were the most common precursors to behavior maintained by social-positive reinforcement (27% each), and unintelligible vocalization was the most common precursor to behavior maintained by social-negative reinforcement (29%). Only one precursor was reported for behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement.

  2. Physical and functional properties of arrowroot starch extrudates.

    PubMed

    Jyothi, A N; Sheriff, J T; Sajeev, M S

    2009-03-01

    Arrowroot starch, a commercially underexploited tuber starch but having potential digestive and medicinal properties, has been subjected to extrusion cooking using a single screw food extruder. Different levels of feed moisture (12%, 14%, and 16%) and extrusion temperatures (140, 150, 160, 170, 180, and 190 degrees C) were used for extrusion. The physical properties--bulk density, true density, porosity, and expansion ratio; functional properties such as water absorption index, water solubility index, oil absorption index, pasting, rheological, and textural properties; and in vitro enzyme digestibility of the extrudates were determined. The expansion ratio of the extrudates ranged from 3.22 to 6.09. The water absorption index (6.52 to 8.85 g gel/g dry sample), water solubility index (15.92% to 41.31%), and oil absorption index (0.50 to 1.70 g/g) were higher for the extrudates in comparison to native starch (1.81 g gel/g dry sample, 1.16% and 0.60 g/g, respectively). The rheological properties, storage modulus, and loss modulus of the gelatinized powdered extrudates were significantly lower (P < 0.05) and these behaved like solutions rather than a paste or a gel. Hardness and toughness were more for the samples extruded at higher feed moisture and lower extrusion temperature, whereas snap force and energy were higher at lower feed moisture and temperature. There was a significant decrease in the percentage digestibility of arrowroot starch (30.07% after 30 min of incubation with the enzyme) after extrusion (25.27% to 30.56%). Extrusion cooking of arrowroot starch resulted in products with very good expansion, color, and lower digestibility, which can be exploited for its potential use as a snack food.

  3. Functional Connectivity under Anticipation of Shock: Correlates of Trait Anxious Affect versus Induced Anxiety.

    PubMed

    Bijsterbosch, Janine; Smith, Stephen; Bishop, Sonia J

    2015-09-01

    Sustained anxiety about potential future negative events is an important feature of anxiety disorders. In this study, we used a novel anticipation of shock paradigm to investigate individual differences in functional connectivity during prolonged threat of shock. We examined the correlates of between-participant differences in trait anxious affect and induced anxiety, where the latter reflects changes in self-reported anxiety resulting from the shock manipulation. Dissociable effects of trait anxious affect and induced anxiety were observed. Participants with high scores on a latent dimension of anxious affect showed less increase in ventromedial pFC-amygdala connectivity between periods of safety and shock anticipation. Meanwhile, lower levels of induced anxiety were linked to greater augmentation of dorsolateral pFC-anterior insula connectivity during shock anticipation. These findings suggest that ventromedial pFC-amygdala and dorsolateral pFC-insula networks might both contribute to regulation of sustained fear responses, with their recruitment varying independently across participants. The former might reflect an evolutionarily old mechanism for reducing fear or anxiety, whereas the latter might reflect a complementary mechanism by which cognitive control can be implemented to diminish fear responses generated due to anticipation of aversive stimuli or events. These two circuits might provide complementary, alternate targets for exploration in future pharmacological and cognitive intervention studies.

  4. Dielectric properties of soils as a function of moisture content

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cihlar, J.; Ulaby, F. T.

    1974-01-01

    Soil dielectric constant measurements are reviewed and the dependence of the dielectric constant on various soil parameters is determined. Moisture content is given special attention because of its practical significance in remote sensing and because it represents the single most influential parameter as far as soil dielectric properties are concerned. Relative complex dielectric constant curves are derived as a function of volumetric soil water content at three frequencies (1.3 GHz, 4.0 GHz, and 10.0 GHz) for each of three soil textures (sand, loam, and clay). These curves, presented in both tabular and graphical form, were chosen as representative of the reported experimental data. Calculations based on these curves showed that the power reflection coefficient and emissivity, unlike skin depth, vary only slightly as a function of frequency and soil texture.

  5. Thyroid, brain and mood modulation in affective disorder: insights from molecular research and functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Bauer, M; London, E D; Silverman, D H; Rasgon, N; Kirchheiner, J; Whybrow, P C

    2003-11-01

    The efficacy resulting from adjunctive use of supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine has emerged as a promising approach to therapy and prophylaxis for refractory mood disorders. Most patients with mood disorders who receive treatment with supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine have normal peripheral thyroid hormone levels, and also respond differently to the hormone and tolerate it better than healthy individuals and patients with primary thyroid diseases. Progress in molecular and functional brain imaging techniques has provided a new understanding of these phenomena, illuminating the relationship between thyroid function, mood modulation and behavior. Thyroid hormones are widely distributed in the brain and have a multitude of effects on the central nervous system. Notably many of the limbic system structures where thyroid hormone receptors are prevalent have been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. The influence of the thyroid system on neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin and norepinephrine), which putatively play a major role in the regulation of mood and behavior, may contribute to the mechanisms of mood modulation. Recent functional brain imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with [ (18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose demonstrated that thyroid hormone treatment with levothyroxine affects regional brain metabolism in patients with hypothyroidism and bipolar disorder. Theses studies confirm that thyroid hormones are active in modulating metabolic function in the mature adult brain, and provide intriging neuroanatomic clues that may guide future research.

  6. Surface chemical functionalities affect the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xujie; Feng, Qingling; Bachhuka, Akash; Vasilev, Krasimir

    2013-04-01

    This study examines the effect of surface chemical functionalities on the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in vitro. Plasma polymerized films rich in amine (sbnd NH2), carboxyl (sbnd COOH) and methyl (sbnd CH3), were generated on hydroxyapatite (HAp) substrates. The surface chemical functionalities were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The ability of different substrates to absorb proteins was evaluated. The results showed that substrates modified with hydrophilic functional group (sbnd COOH and sbnd NH2) can absorb more proteins than these modified with more hydrophobic functional group (sbnd CH3). The behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) cultured on different substrates was investigated in vitro: cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) analysis was used to characterize cell proliferation, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to characterize cell morphology and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity analysis was used to account for differentiation. The results of this study demonstrated that the sbnd NH2 modified surfaces encourage osteogenic differentiation; the sbnd COOH modified surfaces promote cell adhesion and spreading and the sbnd CH3 modified surfaces have the lowest ability to induce osteogenic differentiation. These findings confirmed that the surface chemical states of biomaterials can affect the behavior of hASCs in vitro.

  7. No adverse affect after harvesting of free fibula osteoseptocutaneous flaps on gait function.

    PubMed

    Maurer-Ertl, Werner; Glehr, Mathias; Friesenbichler, Joerg; Sadoghi, Patrick; Wiedner, Maria; Haas, Franz; Leithner, Andreas; Windhager, Reinhard; Zwick, Ernst B

    2012-07-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze gait function and muscular strength on donor site after harvesting of a vascularized fibula osteoseptocutaneous flap. Nine patients with a mean follow-up of 33 months (range, 7-59) and a mean resection length of the middle portion of the fibula of 18.0 cm (range, 14.0-23.0) underwent an instrumented three-dimensional gait analysis to evaluate gait function. Furthermore, CYBEX II extremity system was used for muscular strength measurements. Subjective muscle strength measurements were performed according to Kendall et al. and were classified according to the British Medical Research Council. Intraindividual comparison between the operated and the nonoperated leg revealed no significant differences for gait function parameters (cadence, velocity, and stride length, P > 1.00) and for muscular strength measurements for flexion (knee: P = 0.93, ankle: P = 0.54) and extension (knee: P = 0.97, ankle: P= 0.21), respectively. In conclusion, intraindividual comparison of the operated and nonoperated sides after harvesting of the middle portion of the fibula for gaining a free fibula osteoseptocutaneous flap has no adverse affect on gait function or muscular flexion and extension strength on donor site at a mean follow-up of 33 months.

  8. Light availability affects stream biofilm bacterial community composition and function, but not diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Karoline; Besemer, Katharina; Burns, Nancy R.; Battin, Tom J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Changes in riparian vegetation or water turbidity and browning in streams alter the local light regime with potential implications for stream biofilms and ecosystem functioning. We experimented with biofilms in microcosms grown under a gradient of light intensities (range: 5–152 μmole photons s−1 m−2) and combined 454‐pyrosequencing and enzymatic activity assays to evaluate the effects of light on biofilm structure and function. We observed a shift in bacterial community composition along the light gradient, whereas there was no apparent change in alpha diversity. Multifunctionality, based on extracellular enzymes, was highest under high light conditions and decoupled from bacterial diversity. Phenol oxidase activity, involved in the degradation of polyphenolic compounds, was twice as high on average under the lowest compared with the highest light condition. This suggests a shift in reliance of microbial heterotrophs on biofilm phototroph‐derived organic matter under high light availability to more complex organic matter under low light. Furthermore, extracellular enzyme activities correlated with nutrient cycling and community respiration, supporting the link between biofilm structure–function and biogeochemical fluxes in streams. Our findings demonstrate that changes in light availability are likely to have significant impacts on biofilm structure and function, potentially affecting stream ecosystem processes. PMID:26013911

  9. Dynamic changes in brain activations and functional connectivity during affectively different tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    Hua, Qing-Ping; Zeng, Xiang-Zhu; Liu, Jian-Yu; Wang, Jin-Yan; Guo, Jian-You; Luo, Fei

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, we compared brain activations produced by pleasant, neutral and unpleasant touch, to the anterior lateral surface of lower leg of human subjects. It was found that several brain regions, including the contralateral primary somatosensory area (SI), bilateral secondary somatosensory area (SII), as well as contralateral middle and posterior insula cortex were commonly activated under the three touch conditions. In addition, pleasant and unpleasant touch conditions shared a few brain regions including the contralateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and bilateral premotor cortex (PMC). Unpleasant touch specifically activated a set of pain-related brain regions such as contralateral supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsal parts of bilateral anterior cingulated cortex, etc. Brain regions specifically activated by pleasant touch comprised bilateral lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), intraparietal cortex and left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Using a novel functional connectivity model based on graph theory, we showed that a series of brain regions related to affectively different touch had significant functional connectivity during the resting state. Furthermore, it was found that such a network can be modulated between affectively different touch conditions.

  10. Attachment style predicts affect, cognitive appraisals, and social functioning in daily life.

    PubMed

    Sheinbaum, Tamara; Kwapil, Thomas R; Ballespí, Sergi; Mitjavila, Mercè; Chun, Charlotte A; Silvia, Paul J; Barrantes-Vidal, Neus

    2015-01-01

    The way in which attachment styles are expressed in the moment as individuals navigate their real-life settings has remained an area largely untapped by attachment research. The present study examined how adult attachment styles are expressed in daily life using experience sampling methodology (ESM) in a sample of 206 Spanish young adults. Participants were administered the Attachment Style Interview (ASI) and received personal digital assistants that signaled them randomly eight times per day for 1 week to complete questionnaires about their current experiences and social context. As hypothesized, participants' momentary affective states, cognitive appraisals, and social functioning varied in meaningful ways as a function of their attachment style. Individuals with an anxious attachment, as compared with securely attached individuals, endorsed experiences that were congruent with hyperactivating tendencies, such as higher negative affect, stress, and perceived social rejection. By contrast, individuals with an avoidant attachment, relative to individuals with a secure attachment, endorsed experiences that were consistent with deactivating tendencies, such as decreased positive states and a decreased desire to be with others when alone. Furthermore, the expression of attachment styles in social contexts was shown to be dependent upon the subjective appraisal of the closeness of social contacts, and not merely upon the presence of social interactions. The findings support the ecological validity of the ASI and the person-by-situation character of attachment theory. Moreover, they highlight the utility of ESM for investigating how the predictions derived from attachment theory play out in the natural flow of real life.

  11. Catheterization of Intestinal Loops in Ruminants Does Not Adversely Affect Loop Function

    PubMed Central

    Inglis, G Douglas; Kastelic, John P; Uwiera, Richard R E

    2010-01-01

    Catheterized intestinal loops may be a valuable model to elucidate key components of the host response to various treatments within the small intestine of ruminants. We examined whether catheterizing ileal loops in sheep affected the overall health of animals and intestinal function, whether a bacterial treatment could be introduced into the loops through the catheters, and whether broad-spectrum antibiotics could sterilize the loops. Escherichia coli cells transformed to express the GFP gene were introduced readily into the loops through the catheters, and GFP E. coli cells were localized within the injected loops. Catheterized loops, interspaces, and intact ileum exhibited no abnormalities in tissue appearance or electrical resistance. Expression of the IFNγ, IL1α, IL4, IL6, IL12p40, IL18, TGFβ1, and TNFα cytokine genes did not differ significantly among the intact ileum, catheterized loops, and interspaces, nor did the expression of the gene for inducible nitric oxide synthase. Broad-spectrum antibiotics administered during surgery did not sterilize the loops or interspaces and did not substantively change the composition of the microbiota. However, antibiotics reduced the overall number of bacterial cells within the loop and the relative abundance of community constituents. We concluded that catheterization of intestinal loops did not adversely affect health or loop function in sheep. Furthermore, allowing animals to recover fully from surgery and to clear pharmaceuticals will remove any confounding effects due to these factors, making catheterized intestinal loops a feasible model for studying host responses in ruminants. PMID:21262134

  12. Climate change induced rainfall patterns affect wheat productivity and agroecosystem functioning dependent on soil types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabi Tataw, James; Baier, Fabian; Krottenthaler, Florian; Pachler, Bernadette; Schwaiger, Elisabeth; Whylidal, Stefan; Formayer, Herbert; Hösch, Johannes; Baumgarten, Andreas; Zaller, Johann G.

    2014-05-01

    Wheat is a crop of global importance supplying more than half of the world's population with carbohydrates. We examined, whether climate change induced rainfall patterns towards less frequent but heavier events alter wheat agroecosystem productivity and functioning under three different soil types. Therefore, in a full-factorial experiment Triticum aestivum L. was cultivated in 3 m2 lysimeter plots containing the soil types sandy calcaric phaeozem, gleyic phaeozem or calcic chernozem. Prognosticated rainfall patterns based on regionalised climate change model calculations were compared with current long-term rainfall patterns; each treatment combination was replicated three times. Future rainfall patterns significantly reduced wheat growth and yield, reduced the leaf area index, accelerated crop development, reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonisation of roots, increased weed density and the stable carbon isotope signature (δ13C) of both old and young wheat leaves. Different soil types affected wheat growth and yield, ecosystem root production as well as weed abundance and biomass. The interaction between climate and soil type was significant only for the harvest index. Our results suggest that even slight changes in rainfall patterns can significantly affect the functioning of wheat agroecosystems. These rainfall effects seemed to be little influenced by soil types suggesting more general impacts of climate change across different soil types. Wheat production under future conditions will likely become more challenging as further concurrent climate change factors become prevalent.

  13. Attachment style predicts affect, cognitive appraisals, and social functioning in daily life

    PubMed Central

    Sheinbaum, Tamara; Kwapil, Thomas R.; Ballespí, Sergi; Mitjavila, Mercè; Chun, Charlotte A.; Silvia, Paul J.; Barrantes-Vidal, Neus

    2015-01-01

    The way in which attachment styles are expressed in the moment as individuals navigate their real-life settings has remained an area largely untapped by attachment research. The present study examined how adult attachment styles are expressed in daily life using experience sampling methodology (ESM) in a sample of 206 Spanish young adults. Participants were administered the Attachment Style Interview (ASI) and received personal digital assistants that signaled them randomly eight times per day for 1 week to complete questionnaires about their current experiences and social context. As hypothesized, participants’ momentary affective states, cognitive appraisals, and social functioning varied in meaningful ways as a function of their attachment style. Individuals with an anxious attachment, as compared with securely attached individuals, endorsed experiences that were congruent with hyperactivating tendencies, such as higher negative affect, stress, and perceived social rejection. By contrast, individuals with an avoidant attachment, relative to individuals with a secure attachment, endorsed experiences that were consistent with deactivating tendencies, such as decreased positive states and a decreased desire to be with others when alone. Furthermore, the expression of attachment styles in social contexts was shown to be dependent upon the subjective appraisal of the closeness of social contacts, and not merely upon the presence of social interactions. The findings support the ecological validity of the ASI and the person-by-situation character of attachment theory. Moreover, they highlight the utility of ESM for investigating how the predictions derived from attachment theory play out in the natural flow of real life. PMID:25852613

  14. CB1 antagonism: interference with affective properties of acute naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal in rats

    PubMed Central

    Wills, Kiri L.; Vemuri, Kiran; Kalmar, Alana; Lee, Alan; Limebeer, Cheryl L.; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Modulation of the endocannabinoid system has been found to interfere with opiate withdrawal. The potential of activation and blockade of the endocannabinoid system to prevent the aversive-affective state of naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal (MWD) was investigated in a one-trial conditioned place aversion (CPA) paradigm. Objective CPA provides a sensitive measure of the motivational effects of acute MWD. The potential of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors, URB597 and PF-3845, the CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist, AM251, and the neutral CB1 antagonists, AM4113 and AM6527 (oral), to interfere with establishment of a MWD-induced CPA was investigated. As well, the potential of AM251 and AM4113 to interfere with reinstatement of a previously established MWD-induced CPA was investigated. Materials and methods Using a one-trial place conditioning paradigm, rats were administered naloxone (1 mg/kg, subcutaneous (sc)) 24 h after receiving a high dose of morphine (20 mg/kg, sc) and were placed on the conditioning floor. To determine the effect of each pretreatment drug on the establishment of the MWD-induced CPA, URB597 (0.3 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (ip)), PF-3845 (10 mg/kg, ip), AM251 (1 or 2.5 mg/kg, ip), AM4113 (1 or 2.5 mg/kg, ip), and AM6527 (5 mg/kg, oral) were administered prior to conditioning. Results AM251 (2.5, but not 1 mg/k), AM4113, and AM6527, but not URB597 or PF-3845, interfered with the establishment of the MWD-induced CPA. AM251 and AM4113 did not prevent reinstatement of the CPA. Conclusions Neutral antagonism of the CB1 receptor reduces the aversive affective properties of morphine withdrawal. PMID:24770676

  15. CONTINUOSLY STIRRED TANK REACTOR PARAMETERS THAT AFFECT SLUDGE BATCH 6 SIMULANT PROPERTIES

    SciTech Connect

    Newell, J.; Lambert, D.; Stone, M.; Fernandez, A.

    2010-05-28

    ). Precipitated MnO{sub 2} is combined with metal nitrates and fed into the CSTR. The metals are precipitated by a caustic NaOH stream. The rates at which these streams are added allows for pH adjustment of the mixture. A graphical representation of this process is given in Figure 1. In using the CSTR method for developing simulant, there are various parameters that can be adjusted in order to effectuate a physical change in the resulting simulant: pH, temperature, mixing speed, and flow rate. How will changing these parameters affect the physical properties of the sludge simulant? The ability to determine which parameter affects a particular property could allow one to develop a simulant that would better match the physical characteristics of HLW sludge.

  16. Manipulating cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) expression in flax affects fibre composition and properties

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In recent decades cultivation of flax and its application have dramatically decreased. One of the reasons for this is unpredictable quality and properties of flax fibre, because they depend on environmental factors, retting duration and growing conditions. These factors have contribution to the fibre composition, which consists of cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin and pectin. By far, it is largely established that in flax, lignin reduces an accessibility of enzymes either to pectin, hemicelluloses or cellulose (during retting or in biofuel synthesis and paper production). Therefore, in this study we evaluated composition and properties of flax fibre from plants with silenced CAD (cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase) gene, which is key in the lignin biosynthesis. There is evidence that CAD is a useful tool to improve lignin digestibility and/or to lower the lignin levels in plants. Results Two studied lines responded differentially to the introduced modification due to the efficiency of the CAD silencing. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that flax CAD belongs to the “bona-fide” CAD family. CAD down-regulation had an effect in the reduced lignin amount in the flax fibre cell wall and as FT-IR results suggests, disturbed lignin composition and structure. Moreover introduced modification activated a compensatory mechanism which was manifested in the accumulation of cellulose and/or pectin. These changes had putative correlation with observed improved fiber’s tensile strength. Moreover, CAD down-regulation did not disturb at all or has only slight effect on flax plants’ development in vivo, however, the resistance against flax major pathogen Fusarium oxysporum decreased slightly. The modification positively affected fibre possessing; it resulted in more uniform retting. Conclusion The major finding of our paper is that the modification targeted directly to block lignin synthesis caused not only reduced lignin level in fibre, but also affected amount and

  17. MICROSTRUCTURAL FEATURES AFFECTING PROPERTIES AND AGING OF TRITIUM-EXPOSED AUSTENTIC STAINLESS STEEL

    SciTech Connect

    Subramanian, K; Michael Morgan, M

    2004-01-10

    banding and nitrogen concentration were also included as features of interest. The microstructural features of interest included (1) grain size, shape, and orientation; (2) dislocation structure and distribution, or recovered vs. un-recovered. The grain size and orientation affect the grain boundary fracture stress and the hydrogen solubility and diffusion paths. The dislocation structure and distribution play a role in hydrogen trapping as well as potentially affecting the hydrogen assisted fracture path. The initial mechanical and physical properties that are to be included in the investigation are yield stress, fracture toughness, work-hardening capacity, threshold hydrogen cracking stress intensity and stacking-fault energy.

  18. Modification of EWS/WT1 functional properties by phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jungho; Lee, Joseph M.; Branton, Philip E.; Pelletier, Jerry

    1999-01-01

    In many human cancers, tumor-specific chromosomal rearrangements are known to create chimeric products with the ability to transform cells. The EWS/WT1 protein is such a fusion product, resulting from a t(11;22) chromosomal translocation in desmoplastic small round cell tumors, where 265 aa from the EWS amino terminus are fused to the DNA binding domain of the WT1 tumor suppressor gene. Herein, we find that EWS/WT1 is phosphorylated in vivo on serine and tyrosine residues and that this affects DNA binding and homodimerization. We also show that EWS/WT1 can interact with, and is a substrate for, modification on tyrosine residues by c-Abl. Tyrosine phosphorylation of EWS/WT1 by c-Abl negatively regulates its DNA binding properties. These results indicate that the biological activity of EWS/WT1 is closely linked to its phosphorylation status. PMID:10588700

  19. Information Functional Theory: Electronic Properties as Functionals of Information for Atoms and Molecules.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xia-Yu; Rong, Chunying; Lu, Tian; Zhou, Panpan; Liu, Shubin

    2016-05-26

    How to accurately predict electronic properties of a Columbic system with the electron density obtained from experiments such as X-ray crystallography is still an unresolved problem. The information-theoretic approach recently developed in the framework of density functional reactivity theory is one of the efforts to address the issue. In this work, using 27 atoms and 41 molecules as illustrative examples, we present a study to demonstrate that one is able to satisfactorily describe such electronic properties as the total energy and its components with information-theoretic quantities like Shannon entropy, Fisher information, Ghosh-Berkowitz-Parr entropy, and Onicescu information energy. Closely related to the earlier attempt of expanding density functionals using simple homogeneous functionals, this work not only confirms Nagy's proof that Shannon entropy alone should contain all the information needed to adequately describe an electronic system but also provides a feasible pathway to map the relationship between the experimentally available electron density and various electronic properties for Columbic systems such as atoms and molecules. Extensions to other electronic properties are straightforward.

  20. Insights on how the activity of an endoglucanase is affected by physical properties of insoluble celluloses.

    PubMed

    Bragatto, Juliano; Segato, Fernando; Cota, Junio; Mello, Danilo B; Oliveira, Marcelo M; Buckeridge, Marcos S; Squina, Fabio M; Driemeier, Carlos

    2012-05-31

    Cellulose physical properties like crystallinity, porosity, and particle size are known to influence cellulase activity, but knowledge is still insufficient for activity prediction from such measurable substrate characteristics. With the aim of illuminating enzyme-substrate relationships, this work evaluates a purified hyperthermophilic endo-1,4-beta-glucanase (from Pyrococcus furiosus) acting on 13 celluloses characterized for crystallinity and crystal width (by X-ray diffraction), wet porosity (by thermoporometry), and particle size (by light scattering). Activities are analyzed by the Michaelis-Menten kinetic equation, which is justified by low enzyme-substrate affinity. Michaelis-Menten coefficients K(m) and k(cat) are reinterpreted in the context of heterogeneous cellulose hydrolysis. For a set of as-received and milled microcrystalline celluloses, activity is successfully described as a function of accessible substrate concentration, with accessibility proportional to K(m)(-1). Accessibility contribution from external particle areas, pore areas, and crystalline packing are discriminated to have comparable magnitudes, implying that activity prediction demands all these substrate properties to be considered. Results additionally suggest that looser crystalline packing increases the lengths of released cello-oligomers as well as the maximum endoglucanase specific activity (k(cat)).

  1. Synthesis of soil-hydraulic properties and infiltration timescales in wildfire-affected soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ebel, Brian A.; Moody, John A.

    2017-01-01

    We collected soil-hydraulic property data from the literature for wildfire-affected soils, ash, and unburned soils. These data were used to calculate metrics and timescales of hydrologic response related to infiltration and surface runoff generation. Sorptivity (S) and wetting front potential (Ψf) were significantly different (lower) in burned soils compared with unburned soils, whereas field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) was not significantly different. The magnitude and duration of the influence of capillarity during infiltration was greatly reduced in burned soils, causing faster ponding times in response to rainfall. Ash had large values of S and Kfs but moderate values of Ψf, compared with unburned and burned soils, indicating ash has long ponding times in response to rainfall. The ratio of S2/Kfs was nearly constant (~100 mm) for unburned soils but more variable in burned soils, suggesting that unburned soils have a balance between gravity and capillarity contributions to infiltration that may depend on soil organic matter, whereas in burned soils the gravity contribution to infiltration is greater. Changes in S and Kfs in burned soils act synergistically to reduce infiltration and accelerate and amplify surface runoff generation. Synthesis of these findings identifies three key areas for future research. First, short timescales of capillary influences on infiltration indicate the need for better measurements of infiltration at times less than 1 min to accurately characterize S in burned soils. Second, using parameter values, such as Ψf, from unburned areas could produce substantial errors in hydrologic modeling when used without adjustment for wildfire effects, causing parameter compensation and resulting underestimation of Kfs. Third, more thorough measurement campaigns that capture soil-structural changes, organic matter impacts, quantitative water repellency trends, and soil-water content along with soil-hydraulic properties could drive the

  2. [Nutritional content, functional properties and conservation of edible flowers. Review].

    PubMed

    Lara-Cortés, Estrella; Osorio-Díaz, Perla; Jiménez-Aparicio, Antonio; Bautista-Bañios, Silvia

    2013-09-01

    The floriphagia that is the consumption of flowers as a food, is an old practice not widespread among consumers until some decades ago. Edible flowers contribute to increasing the appearance of food. They can provide biologically active substances including vitamin A, C, riboflavins, niacin, minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron and potassium that are eventually beneficial to consumers' health. This review includes some examples of edible flowers including roses, violets and nasturtium among others, uses and applications, sensorial characteristics and nutritional values that lead them to be considered as functional food: An important factor that affects the quality of edible flowers is the form in which they are preserved since it may affect their sensorial and nutritional characteristics. However, not all flowers can be eaten as food since there are some of them that can be toxic or even mortal. Finally, although the consumption of flowers is an ancient practice, there is little regulation in this regard. Of the review on edible flowers, it is concluded that there are still numerous aspects about them to evaluate such as nutritional and functional characteristics, conservation and regulation with the aim to extend its consumption.

  3. The association between the body composition and lifestyle affecting pulmonary function in Japanese workers

    PubMed Central

    Inomoto, Atsushi; Fukuda, Rika; Deguchi, Junko; Kato, Gohei; Kanzaki, Ryoko; Hiroshige, Keiichi; Nakamura, Kouichi; Nakano, Keisuke; Toyonaga, Toshihiro

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to identify factors related to physical characteristics and lifestyle that affect pulmonary function. [Subjects and Methods] Ninety seven healthy male workers were recruited for this study, and basic information and details about lifestyle were collected. Body composition analyzer and visceral fat measuring device were conducted as measurements. Pulmonary function was measured using spirometer. A multiple stepwise linear regression analysis was performed with pulmonary function as the dependent variable. Variables with a significant association with pulmonary function on univariate analysis were imputed as independent variables. [Results] Height, fat free mass, upper extremity muscle mass, lower extremity muscle mass, and trunk muscle mass had significant positive correlations with FEV1 and FVC. Age, percentage of body fat, and visceral fat area were negatively correlated with FEV1 and FVC. Regarding the association between pulmonary function and lifestyle, a significant difference was found between the smoking index and the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome risk factors and both FEV1 and FVC. The multiple stepwise linear regression analysis with FEV1 as the dependent variable, adjusted for age and height, revealed that visceral fat area and fat free mass were significantly associated with FEV1. A similar analysis, FVC as the dependent variable identified visceral fat area. [Conclusion] FEV1 was independently associated with visceral fat area and fat free mass. FVC was independently associated with visceral fat area. These results may be valuable in preventing the decrease in respiratory function and, hence, in further preventing the onset of COPD. PMID:27821955

  4. Breakfast staple types affect brain gray matter volume and cognitive function in healthy children.

    PubMed

    Taki, Yasuyuki; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Asano, Michiko; Asano, Kohei; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2010-12-08

    Childhood diet is important for brain development. Furthermore, the quality of breakfast is thought to affect the cognitive functioning of well-nourished children. To analyze the relationship among breakfast staple type, gray matter volume, and intelligence quotient (IQ) in 290 healthy children, we used magnetic resonance images and applied voxel-based morphometry. We divided subjects into rice, bread, and both groups according to their breakfast staple. We showed that the rice group had a significantly larger gray matter ratio (gray matter volume percentage divided by intracranial volume) and significantly larger regional gray matter volumes of several regions, including the left superior temporal gyrus. The bread group had significantly larger regional gray and white matter volumes of several regions, including the right frontoparietal region. The perceptual organization index (POI; IQ subcomponent) of the rice group was significantly higher than that of the bread group. All analyses were adjusted for age, gender, intracranial volume, socioeconomic status, average weekly frequency of having breakfast, and number of side dishes eaten for breakfast. Although several factors may have affected the results, one possible mechanism underlying the difference between the bread and the rice groups may be the difference in the glycemic index (GI) of these two substances; foods with a low GI are associated with less blood-glucose fluctuation than are those with a high GI. Our study suggests that breakfast staple type affects brain gray and white matter volumes and cognitive function in healthy children; therefore, a diet of optimal nutrition is important for brain maturation during childhood and adolescence.

  5. Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Alvin; Jones, Peter JH; Abumweis, Suhad S

    2004-01-01

    Plant sterols are naturally occurring molecules that humanity has evolved with. Herein, we have critically evaluated recent literature pertaining to the myriad of factors affecting efficacy and safety of plant sterols in free and esterified forms. We conclude that properly solubilized 4-desmetyl plant sterols, in ester or free form, in reasonable doses (0.8–1.0 g of equivalents per day) and in various vehicles including natural sources, and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, are important dietary components for lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and maintaining good heart health. In addition to their cholesterol lowering properties, plant sterols possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenicity, and anti-oxidation activities, and should thus be of clinical importance, even for those individuals without elevated LDL cholesterol. The carotenoid lowering effect of plant sterols should be corrected by increasing intake of food that is rich in carotenoids. In pregnant and lactating women and children, further study is needed to verify the dose required to decrease blood cholesterol without affecting fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid status. PMID:15070410

  6. Psychometric properties of the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS) in a heterogeneous sample of substance users

    PubMed Central

    Serafini, Kelly; Malin-Mayor, Bo; Nich, Charla; Hunkele, Karen; Carroll, Kathleen M.

    2016-01-01

    Background The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) is a widely used measure of affect, and a comprehensive psychometric evaluation has never been conducted among substance users. Objective To examine the psychometric properties of the PANAS in a sample of outpatient treatment substance users. Methods We used pooled data from four randomized clinical trials (N = 416; 34% female, 48% African American). Results A confirmatory factor analysis indicated adequate support for a two-factor correlated model comprised of Positive Affect and Negative Affect with correlated item errors (Comparative Fit Index = .93, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = .07, χ2 = 478.93, df = 156). Cronbach’s α indicated excellent internal consistency for both factors (.90 and .91, respectively). The PANAS factors had good convergence and discriminability (Composite Reliability >.7; Maximum Shared Variance < Average Variance Extracted). A comparison from baseline to Week 1 indicated acceptable test-retest reliability (Positive Affect = .80, Negative Affect = .76). Concurrent and discriminant validity were demonstrated with correlations with the Brief Symptom Inventory and Addiction Severity Index. The PANAS scores were also significantly correlated with treatment outcomes (e.g., Positive Affect was associated with the maximum days of consecutive abstinence from primary substance of abuse, r = .16, p = .001). Conclusion Our data suggest that the psychometric properties of the PANAS are retained in substance using populations. Although several studies have focused on the role of Negative Affect, our findings suggest that Positive Affect may also be an important factor in substance use treatment outcomes. PMID:26905228

  7. Realistic changes in seaweed biodiversity affect multiple ecosystem functions on a rocky shore.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Williams, Susan L

    2013-09-01

    Given current threats to biodiversity, understanding the effects of diversity changes on the functions and services associated with intact ecosystems is of paramount importance. However, limited realism in most biodiversity studies makes it difficult to link the large and growing body of evidence for important functional consequences of biodiversity change to real-world losses of biodiversity. Here, we explored two methods of incorporating realism into biodiversity research: (1) the use of two-, five-, and eight-species assemblages that mimicked those that we observed in surveys of seaweed biodiversity patterns on a northern California (USA) rocky shore and the explicit comparison of those assemblages to random assemblages compiled from the same local species pool; and (2) the measurement of two fundamental ecosystem functions, nitrate uptake and photosynthesis, both of which contribute to growth of primary producers. Specifically, we measured nitrate uptake rates of seaweed assemblages as a function of initial nitrate concentrations and photosynthetic rates as a function of irradiance levels for both realistic and random assemblages of seaweeds. We only observed changes in ecosystem functioning along a richness gradient for realistic assemblages, and both maximum nitrate uptake rates (V(max)) and photosynthetic light use efficiency values (alpha(p) = P(max)/I(K)) were higher in realistic assemblages than in random assemblages. Furthermore, the parameter affected by changes in richness depended on the function being measured. Both V(max) and alpha(p) declined with increasing richness in nonrandom assemblages due to a combination of species identity effects (for V(max) and overyielding effects (for both V(max) and alpha(p)). In contrast, neither nitrate uptake efficiency values (alpha(N) = V(max)/K(s)), nor maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) changed along the gradient in seaweed species richness. Furthermore, overyielding was only evident in realistic assemblages

  8. Effect of land use change on soil properties and functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonutare, Tonu; Kõlli, Raimo; Köster, Tiina; Rannik, Kaire; Szajdak, Lech; Shanskiy, Merrit

    2014-05-01

    For good base of sustainable land management and ecologically sound protection of soils are researches on soil properties and functioning. Ecosystem approach to soil properties and functioning is equally important in both natural and cultivated land use conditions. Comparative analysis of natural and agro-ecosystems formed on similar soil types enables to elucidate principal changes caused by land use change (LUC) and to elaborate the best land use practices for local pedo-ecological conditions. Taken for actual analysis mineral soils' catena - rendzina → brown soils → pseudopodzolic soils → gley-podzols - represent ca 1/3 of total area of Estonian normal mineral soils. All soils of this catena differ substantially each from other by calcareousness, acidity, nutrition conditions, fabric and humus cover type. This catena (representative to Estonian pedo-ecological conditions) starts with drought-prone calcareous soils. Brown (distributed in northern and central Estonia) and pseudopodzolic soils (in southern Estonia) are the most broadly acknowledged for agricultural use medium-textured high-quality automorphic soils. Dispersedly distributed gley-podzols are permanently wet and strongly acid, low-productivity sandy soils. In presentation four complex functions of soils are treated: (1) being a suitable soil environment for plant cover productivity (expressed by annual increment, Mg ha-1 yr-1); (2) forming adequate conditions for decomposition, transformation and conversion of fresh falling litter (characterized by humus cover type); (3) deposition of humus, individual organic compounds, plant nutrition elements, air and water, and (4) forming (bio)chemically variegated active space for soil type specific edaphon. Capacity of soil cover as depositor (3) depends on it thickness, texture, calcareousness and moisture conditions. Biological activity of soil (4) is determined by fresh organic matter influx, quality and quantity of biochemical substances and humus

  9. The Health and Functioning ICF-60: Development and Psychometric Properties

    PubMed Central

    Tutelyan, V A; Chatterji, S; Baturin, A K; Pogozheva, A V; Kishko, O N; Akolzina, S E

    2014-01-01

    Background This paper describes the development and psychometric properties of the Health and Functioning ICF-60 (HF-ICF-60) measure, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: ICF’ (2001). The aims of the present study were to test psychometric properties of the HF-ICF-60, developed as a measure that would be responsive to change in functioning through changes in health and nutritional status, as a prospective measure to monitor health and nutritional status of populations and to explore the relationship of the HF-ICF-60 with quality of life measures such as the World Health Organization WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment in relation to non-communicable diseases. Methods The HF-ICF-60 measure consists of 60 items selected from the ICF by an expert panel, which included 18 items that cover Body Functions, 21 items that cover Activities and Participation, rated on five-point scales, and 21 items that cover Environmental Factors (seven items cover Individual Environmental Factors and 14 items cover Societal Environmental Factors), rated on nine-point scales. The HF-ICF-60 measure was administered to the Russian nationally representative sample within the Russian National Population Quality of Life, Health and Nutrition Survey, in 2004 (n = 9807) and 2005 (n = 9560), as part of the two waves of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS). The statistical analyses were carried out with the use of both classical and modern psychometric methods, such as factor analysis, and based on Item Response Theory, respectively. Results The HF-ICF-60 questionnaire is a new measure derived directly from the ICF and covers the ICF components as follows: Body Functions, Activities and Participation, and Environmental Factors (Individual Environmental Factors and Societal Environmental Factors). The results from the factor analyses (both Exploratory Factor Analyses and Confirmatory Factor

  10. Functional properties of tropical banded cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) protein hydrolysates.

    PubMed

    Hall, Felicia G; Jones, Owen G; O'Haire, Marguerite E; Liceaga, Andrea M

    2017-06-01

    Recently, the benefits of entomophagy have been widely discussed. Due to western cultures' reluctance, entomophagy practices are leaning more towards incorporating insects into food products. In this study, whole crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus) were hydrolyzed with alcalase at 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0% (w/w) for 30, 60, and 90min. Degree of hydrolysis (DH), amino acid composition, solubility, emulsion and foaming properties were evaluated. Hydrolysis produced peptides with 26-52% DH compared to the control containing no enzyme (5% DH). Protein solubility of hydrolysates improved (p<0.05) over a range of pH's, exhibiting >30% soluble protein at pH 3 and 7 and 50-90% at alkaline pH, compared with the control. Emulsion activity index ranged from 7 to 32m(2)/g, while foamability ranged from 100 to 155% for all hydrolysates. These improved functional properties demonstrate the potential to develop cricket protein hydrolysates as a source of functional alternative protein in food ingredient formulations.

  11. Functional properties of ultrasonically generated flaxseed oil-dairy emulsions.

    PubMed

    Shanmugam, Akalya; Ashokkumar, Muthupandian

    2014-09-01

    This study reports on the functional properties of 7% flaxseed oil/milk emulsion obtained by sonication (OM) using 20 kHz ultrasound (US) at 176 W for 1-8 min in two different delivery formulae, viz., ready-to-drink (RTD) and lactic acid gel. The RTD emulsions showed no change in viscosity after sonication for up to 8 min followed by storage up to a minimum of 9 days at 4±2 °C. Similarly, the oxidative stability of the RTD emulsion was studied by measuring the conjugated diene hydroperoxides (CD). The CD was unaffected after 8 min of ultrasonic processing. The safety aspect of US processing was evaluated by measuring the formation of CD at different power levels. The functional properties of OM gels were evaluated by small and large scale deformation studies. The sonication process improved the gelation characteristics, viz., decreased gelation time, increased elastic nature, decreased syneresis and increased gel strength. The presence of finer sono-emulsified oil globules, stabilized by partially denatured whey proteins, contributed to the improvements in the gel structure in comparison to sonicated and unsonicated pasteurized homogenized skim milk (PHSM) gels. A sono-emulsification process of 5 min followed by gelation for about 11 min can produce gels of highest textural attibutes.

  12. Functional properties of honey, propolis, and royal jelly.

    PubMed

    Viuda-Martos, M; Ruiz-Navajas, Y; Fernández-López, J; Pérez-Alvarez, J A

    2008-11-01

    Honey, propolis, and royal jelly, products originating in the beehive, are attractive ingredients for healthy foods. Honey has been used since ancient times as part of traditional medicine. Several aspects of this use indicate that it also has functions such as antibacterial, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflamatory, antibrowning, and antiviral. Propolis is a resinous substance produced by honeybees. This substance has been used in folk medicine since ancient times, due to its many biological properties to possess, such as antitumor, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects, among others. Royal jelly has been demonstrated to possess numerous functional properties such as antibacterial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, vasodilative and hypotensive activities, disinfectant action, antioxidant activity, antihypercholesterolemic activity, and antitumor activity. Biological activities of honey, propolis, and royal jelly are mainly attributed to the phenolic compounds such as flavonoids. Flavonoids have been reported to exhibit a wide range of biological activities, including antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, and vasodilatory actions. In addition, flavonoids inhibit lipid peroxidation, platelet aggregation, capillary permeability and fragility, and the activity of enzyme systems including cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase.

  13. Composition and functional properties of cholesterol reduced egg yolk.

    PubMed

    Awad, A C; Bennink, M R; Smith, D M

    1997-04-01

    The composition and functional properties of cholesterol reduced egg yolk (CREY) were compared to those of control egg yolk (EY). The CREY was prepared by absorbing cholesterol with beta-cyclodextrin after dilution and dissociation of granules at pH 10.5. The CREY contained less lipid and protein and more carbohydrate and ash than EY. Egg lipids were fractionated into triglycerides, cholesterol esters, free cholesterol, phosphatidyl choline, and phosphatidyl ethanolamine. Free and esterified cholesterol in CREY were reduced by 91.6 and 94.4%, respectively. Triglycerides were the major lipid class in CREY. The CREY contained more oleic acid and less linoleic acid than the control. Protein solubility in 0.1 and 0.6 M NaCl and sponge cake volume did not differ. The composition of proteins soluble in 0.6 M NaCl in both egg preparations were similar as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The electrophoretic profiles of proteins soluble in 0.1 M NaCl were similar, except that lipovitellin form EY was insoluble under these conditions. The CREY was less yellow than EY, as indicated by beta-carotene concentrations and Hunter b values. These results suggest that beta-cyclodextrin can be used to produce a low cholesterol egg product with compositional and functional properties similar to EY.

  14. Functional and rheological properties of cold plasma treated rice starch.

    PubMed

    Thirumdas, Rohit; Trimukhe, A; Deshmukh, R R; Annapure, U S

    2017-02-10

    The present work deals with aimed to study the effect of cold plasma treatment on the functional and rheological properties of rice starch using two different power levels (40 and 60W). The changes in amylose content, turbidity, pH, water and fat absorption due to plasma treatment were evaluated. Where decrease in the turbidity and pH after the treatment was observed. Gel hydration properties and syneresis study revealed that there is an increase in leaching of amylose molecules after the treatment. Rapid Visco Analyzer examination showed an increase in pasting and final viscosities. From G' and G″ moduli determination we observed that there is decrease in retrogradation tendency of starch gels. XRD did not show any change in A-type pattern but decrease in the relative crystallinity was observed due to depolymerization caused by active plasma species. FTIR shows some of the additional functional groups after treatment. SEM showed formation of fissures on the surface of starch granules due to etching caused by the plasma species. Thus, plasma treatment can be one of the methods for physical modification of starch.

  15. Mapping specific soil functions based on digital soil property maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pásztor, László; Fodor, Nándor; Farkas-Iványi, Kinga; Szabó, József; Bakacsi, Zsófia; Koós, Sándor

    2016-04-01

    Quantification of soil functions and services is a great challenge in itself even if the spatial relevance is supposed to be identified and regionalized. Proxies and indicators are widely used in ecosystem service mapping. Soil services could also be approximated by elementary soil features. One solution is the association of soil types with services as basic principle. Soil property maps however provide quantified spatial information, which could be utilized more versatilely for the spatial inference of soil functions and services. In the frame of the activities referred as "Digital, Optimized, Soil Related Maps and Information in Hungary" (DOSoReMI.hu) numerous soil property maps have been compiled so far with proper DSM techniques partly according to GSM.net specifications, partly by slightly or more strictly changing some of its predefined parameters (depth intervals, pixel size, property etc.). The elaborated maps have been further utilized, since even DOSoReMI.hu was intended to take steps toward the regionalization of higher level soil information (secondary properties, functions, services). In the meantime the recently started AGRAGIS project requested spatial soil related information in order to estimate agri-environmental related impacts of climate change and support the associated vulnerability assessment. One of the most vulnerable services of soils in the context of climate change is their provisioning service. In our work it was approximated by productivity, which was estimated by a sequential scenario based crop modelling. It took into consideration long term (50 years) time series of both measured and predicted climatic parameters as well as accounted for the potential differences in agricultural practice and crop production. The flexible parametrization and multiple results of modelling was then applied for the spatial assessment of sensitivity, vulnerability, exposure and adaptive capacity of soils in the context of the forecasted changes in

  16. Earthworm-mycorrhiza interactions can affect the diversity, structure and functioning of establishing model grassland communities.

    PubMed

    Zaller, Johann G; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m(-2)). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that

  17. Alcohol affects brain functional connectivity and its coupling with behavior: greater effects in male heavy drinkers.

    PubMed

    Shokri-Kojori, E; Tomasi, D; Wiers, C E; Wang, G-J; Volkow, N D

    2016-03-29

    Acute and chronic alcohol exposure significantly affect behavior but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we used functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping to study alcohol-related changes in resting brain activity and their association with behavior. Heavy drinkers (HD, N=16, 16 males) and normal controls (NM, N=24, 14 males) were tested after placebo and after acute alcohol administration. Group comparisons showed that NM had higher FCD in visual and prefrontal cortices, default mode network regions and thalamus, while HD had higher FCD in cerebellum. Acute alcohol significantly increased FCD within the thalamus, impaired cognitive and motor functions, and affected self-reports of mood/drug effects in both groups. Partial least squares regression showed that alcohol-induced changes in mood/drug effects were associated with changes in thalamic FCD in both groups. Disruptions in motor function were associated with increases in cerebellar FCD in NM and thalamus FCD in HD. Alcohol-induced declines in cognitive performance were associated with connectivity increases in visual cortex and thalamus in NM, but in HD, increases in precuneus FCD were associated with improved cognitive performance. Acute alcohol reduced 'neurocognitive coupling', the association between behavioral performance and FCD (indexing brain activity), an effect that was accentuated in HD compared with NM. Findings suggest that reduced cortical connectivity in HD contribute to decline in cognitive abilities associated with heavy alcohol consumption, whereas increased cerebellar connectivity in HD may have compensatory effects on behavioral performance. The results reveal how drinking history alters the association between brain FCD and individual differences in behavioral performance.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 29 March 2016; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.25.

  18. Maternal mobile phone exposure adversely affects the electrophysiological properties of Purkinje neurons in rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Haghani, M; Shabani, M; Moazzami, K

    2013-10-10

    Electromagnetic field (EMF) radiations emitted from mobile phones may cause structural damage to neurons. With the increased usage of mobile phones worldwide, concerns about their possible effects on the nervous system are rising. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the possible effects of prenatal EMF exposure on the cerebellum of offspring Wistar rats. Rats in the EMF group were exposed to 900-MHz pulse-EMF irradiation for 6h per day during all gestation period. Ten offspring per each group were evaluated for behavioral and electrophysiological evaluations. Cerebellum-related behavioral dysfunctions were analyzed using motor learning and cerebellum-dependent functional tasks (Accelerated Rotarod, Hanging and Open field tests). Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were used for electrophysiological evaluations. The results of the present study failed to show any behavioral abnormalities in rats exposed to chronic EMF radiation. However, whole-cell patch clamp recordings revealed decreased neuronal excitability of Purkinje cells in rats exposed to EMF. The most prominent changes included afterhyperpolarization amplitude, spike frequency, half width and first spike latency. In conclusion, the results of the present study show that prenatal EMF exposure results in altered electrophysiological properties of Purkinje neurons. However, these changes may not be severe enough to alter the cerebellum-dependent functional tasks.

  19. Temperature and Time of Steeping Affect the Antioxidant Properties of White, Green, and Black Tea Infusions.

    PubMed

    Hajiaghaalipour, Fatemeh; Sanusi, Junedah; Kanthimathi, M S

    2016-01-01

    Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the most highly consumed beverage in the world next to water. The common way of preparation is steeping in hot water which is varying for different type of tea. We investigated the antioxidant properties of 6 type of tea leaves under different time and temperatures of extraction method used. In general, all samples tested in this study demonstrated high levels of antioxidant capacity and antioxidant activity. The results indicate that the antioxidants activity is significantly affected by time and temperature of steeping and the highest was depending on the variety. White state values, green and black teas showed different levels of antioxidants under different extraction conditions. Overall, the highest activity for white tea was in prolonged hot and in some assays prolonged hot and cold extracts, whereas for green tea the highest activity observed in prolonged cold steeping while, for black tea was in short hot water infusion. The results of this study showed the antioxidant capacity of white and green tea was greater than black tea.

  20. On the Environmental Factors Affecting the Structural and Cytotoxic Properties of IAPP Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Tomasello, Marianna Flora; Sinopoli, Alessandro; Pappalardo, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Pancreatic islets in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients are characterized by reduced β-cells mass and diffuse extracellular amyloidosis. Amyloid deposition involves the islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a neuropancreatic hormone cosecreted with insulin by β-cells. IAPP is physiologically involved in glucose homeostasis, but it may turn toxic to β-cells owing to its tendency to misfold giving rise to oligomers and fibrils. The process by which the unfolded IAPP starts to self-assemble and the overall factors promoting this conversion are poorly understood. Other open questions are related to the nature of the IAPP toxic species and how exactly β-cells die. Over the last decades, there has been growing consensus about the notion that early molecular assemblies, notably small hIAPP oligomers, are the culprit of β-cells decline. Numerous environmental factors might affect the conformational, aggregation, and cytotoxic properties of IAPP. Herein we review recent progress in the field, focusing on the influences that membranes, pH, and metal ions may have on the conformational conversion and cytotoxicity of full-length IAPP as well as peptide fragments thereof. Current theories proposed for the mechanisms of toxicity will be also summarized together with an outline of the underlying molecular links between IAPP and amyloid beta (Aβ) misfolding. PMID:26582441

  1. On the Environmental Factors Affecting the Structural and Cytotoxic Properties of IAPP Peptides.

    PubMed

    Tomasello, Marianna Flora; Sinopoli, Alessandro; Pappalardo, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Pancreatic islets in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients are characterized by reduced β-cells mass and diffuse extracellular amyloidosis. Amyloid deposition involves the islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a neuropancreatic hormone cosecreted with insulin by β-cells. IAPP is physiologically involved in glucose homeostasis, but it may turn toxic to β-cells owing to its tendency to misfold giving rise to oligomers and fibrils. The process by which the unfolded IAPP starts to self-assemble and the overall factors promoting this conversion are poorly understood. Other open questions are related to the nature of the IAPP toxic species and how exactly β-cells die. Over the last decades, there has been growing consensus about the notion that early molecular assemblies, notably small hIAPP oligomers, are the culprit of β-cells decline. Numerous environmental factors might affect the conformational, aggregation, and cytotoxic properties of IAPP. Herein we review recent progress in the field, focusing on the influences that membranes, pH, and metal ions may have on the conformational conversion and cytotoxicity of full-length IAPP as well as peptide fragments thereof. Current theories proposed for the mechanisms of toxicity will be also summarized together with an outline of the underlying molecular links between IAPP and amyloid beta (Aβ) misfolding.

  2. Functional properties of dopaminergic neurones in the mouse olfactory bulb

    PubMed Central

    Pignatelli, Angela; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Okano, Hideyuki; Belluzzi, Ottorino

    2005-01-01

    The olfactory bulb of mammals contains a large population of dopaminergic interneurones within the glomerular layer. Dopamine has been shown both in vivo and in vitro to modulate several aspects of olfactory information processing, but the functional properties of dopaminergic neurones have never been described due to the inability to recognize these cells in living preparations. To overcome this difficulty, we used a transgenic mouse strain harbouring an eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) reporter construct under the promoter of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for cathecolamine synthesis. As a result, we were able to identify dopaminergic neurones (TH-GFP cells) in living preparations and, for the first time, we could study the functional properties of such neurones in the olfactory bulb, in both slices and dissociated cells. The most prominent feature of these cells was the autorhythmicity. In these cells we identified five main voltage-dependent conductances: the two having largest amplitude were a fast transient Na+ current and a delayed rectifier K+ current. In addition, we observed three smaller inward currents, sustained by Na+ ions (persistent type) and by Ca2+ ions (LVA and HVA). Using pharmacological tools and ion substitution methods we showed that the pacemaking process is supported by the interplay of the persistent Na+ current and of a T-type Ca2+ current. We carried out a complete kinetical analysis of the five conductances present in these cells, and developed a Hodgkin-Huxley model of TH-GFP cells, capable of reproducing accurately the properties of living cells, including autorhytmicity, and allowing a precise understanding of the process. PMID:15731185

  3. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    PubMed Central

    Steven, Eden; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Lopes, Elsa Branco; Brooks, James S; Englander, Ongi; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  4. Structure tailored properties and functionalities of zero-dimensional nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yun

    The field of nanoscience and nanotechnology has achieved significant progress over last thirty years. Complex nanostructures with tunable properties for novel applications have been successfully fabricated and characterized. In this thesis, I will focus on our recent efforts on precise controlled synthesis of zero-dimensional nanostructures as well as fundamental understanding of the physical behavior of assynthesized nanostructures. Particularly, three topics are presented: (1) Nanoscale crystallinity engineering: we have achieved nanoscale crystallinity control of noble metal nanoparticles with 100% yield by molecular engineering. We have used silver nanoparticles as example to demonstrate synthetic strategy and importance of such control in nanoscale chemical transformation, fundamental electron and phonon couplings and surface plasmon resonance based biological sensors. Such nanoscale crystallinity engineering provides a new pathway for design of complex nanostructures, tailoring nanoscale electronic and mechanical properties as well as controlling classical and quantum coupling interactions; (2) Precise control of core shell nanostructures: we have developed a new universal strategy denoted as intermediated phase assisted phase exchange and reaction (iPAPER) to achieve layer-by-layer control of shell components in core shell structures. Tunable plasmonic, optical and magnetic properties of core shell structures enabled by our iPAPER strategy are further demonstrated. These characterizations are promising for understanding and manipulating nanoscale phenomena as well as assembling nanoscale devices with desirable functionality; and (3) Fundamental spin and structure manipulation of semiconductor quantum dots by hydrostatic pressure. Pressure provides a unique means of modifying materials properties. By measuring dependence of spin dynamics on pressure, we revealed that the spin states of semiconductor quantum dots are very robust. We further provided the first

  5. Homologous recombination in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius: genetic assays and functional properties.

    PubMed

    Grogan, Dennis W

    2009-02-01

    HR (homologous recombination) is expected to play important roles in the molecular biology and genetics of archaea, but, so far, few functional properties of archaeal HR have been measured in vivo. In the extreme thermoacidophile Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, a conjugational mechanism of DNA transfer enables quantitative analysis of HR between chromosomal markers. Early studies of this system indicated that HR occurred frequently between closely spaced mutations within the pyrE gene, and this result was later supported by various analyses involving defined point mutations and deletions. These properties of intragenic HR suggested a non-reciprocal mechanism in which donor sequences become incorporated into the recipient genome as short segments. Because fragmentation of donor DNA during cell-to-cell transfer could not be excluded from contributing to this result, subsequent analyses have focused on electroporation of selectable donor DNA directly into recipient strains. For example, S. acidocaldarius was found to incorporate synthetic ssDNA (single-stranded DNA) of more than approximately 20 nt readily into its genome. With respect to various molecular properties of the ssDNA substrates, the process resembled bacteriophage lambdaRed-mediated 'recombineering' in Escherichia coli. Another approach used electroporation of a multiply marked pyrE gene to measure donor sequence tracts transferred to the recipient genome in individual recombination events. Initial results indicate multiple discontinuous tracts in the majority of recombinants, representing a relatively broad distribution of tract lengths. This pattern suggests that properties of the HR process could, in principle, account for many of the apparent peculiarities of intragenic recombination initiated by S. acidocaldarius conjugation.

  6. Soil microbial diversity and soil functioning affect competition among grasses in experimental microcosms.

    PubMed

    Bonkowski, Michael; Roy, Jacques

    2005-03-01

    A gradient of microbial diversity in soil was established by inoculating pasteurized soil with microbial populations of different complexity, which were obtained by a combination of soil fumigation and filtering techniques. Four different soil diversity treatments were planted with six different grass species either in monoculture or in polyculture to test how changes of general microbial functions, such as catabolic diversity and nutrient recycling efficiency would affect the performance of the plant communities. Relatively harsh soil treatments were necessary to elicit visible effects on major soil processes such as decomposition and nitrogen cycling due to the high redundancy and resilience of soil microbial communities. The strongest effects of soil diversity manipulations on plant growth occurred in polycultures where interspecific competition between plants was high. In polycultures, soil diversity reduction led to a gradual, linear decline in biomass production of one subordinate grass species (Bromus hordeaceus), which was compensated by increased growth of two intermediate competitors (Aegilops geniculata, B. madritensis). This negative covariance in growth of competing grass species smoothed the effects of soil diversity manipulations at the plant community level. As a result, total shoot biomass production remained constant. Apparently the effects of soil diversity manipulations were buffered because functional redundancy at both, the microbial and the plant community level complemented each other. The results further suggests that small trade-offs in plant fitness due to general functional shifts at the microbial level can be significant for the outcome of competition in plant communities and thus diversity at much larger scales.

  7. Proliferation of Purple Sulphur Bacteria at the Sediment Surface Affects Intertidal Mat Diversity and Functionality

    PubMed Central

    Hubas, Cédric; Jesus, Bruno; Ruivo, Mickael; Meziane, Tarik; Thiney, Najet; Davoult, Dominique; Spilmont, Nicolas; Paterson, David M.; Jeanthon, Christian

    2013-01-01

    There is a relative absence of studies dealing with mats of purple sulphur bacteria in the intertidal zone. These bacteria display an array of metabolic pathways that allow them to disperse and develop under a wide variety of conditions, making these mats important in terms of ecosystem processes and functions. Mass blooms of purple sulphur bacteria develop during summer on sediments in the intertidal zone especially on macroalgal deposits. The microbial composition of different types of mats differentially affected by the development of purple sulphur bacteria was examined, at low tide, using a set of biochemical markers (fatty acids, pigments) and composition was assessed against their influence on ecosystem functions (sediment cohesiveness, CO2 fixation). We demonstrated that proliferation of purple sulphur bacteria has a major impact on intertidal mats diversity and functions. Indeed, assemblages dominated by purple sulphur bacteria (Chromatiaceae) were efficient exopolymer producers and their biostabilisation potential was significant. In addition, the massive growth of purple sulphur bacteria resulted in a net CO2 degassing whereas diatom dominated biofilms represented a net CO2 sink. PMID:24340018

  8. Proliferation of purple sulphur bacteria at the sediment surface affects intertidal mat diversity and functionality.

    PubMed

    Hubas, Cédric; Jesus, Bruno; Ruivo, Mickael; Meziane, Tarik; Thiney, Najet; Davoult, Dominique; Spilmont, Nicolas; Paterson, David M; Jeanthon, Christian

    2013-01-01

    There is a relative absence of studies dealing with mats of purple sulphur bacteria in the intertidal zone. These bacteria display an array of metabolic pathways that allow them to disperse and develop under a wide variety of conditions, making these mats important in terms of ecosystem processes and functions. Mass blooms of purple sulphur bacteria develop during summer on sediments in the intertidal zone especially on macroalgal deposits. The microbial composition of different types of mats differentially affected by the development of purple sulphur bacteria was examined, at low tide, using a set of biochemical markers (fatty acids, pigments) and composition was assessed against their influence on ecosystem functions (sediment cohesiveness, CO2 fixation). We demonstrated that proliferation of purple sulphur bacteria has a major impact on intertidal mats diversity and functions. Indeed, assemblages dominated by purple sulphur bacteria (Chromatiaceae) were efficient exopolymer producers and their biostabilisation potential was significant. In addition, the massive growth of purple sulphur bacteria resulted in a net CO2 degassing whereas diatom dominated biofilms represented a net CO2 sink.

  9. Aesthetic and Functional Rehabilitation of the Primary Dentition Affected by Amelogenesis Imperfecta

    PubMed Central

    Marquezin, Maria Carolina Salomé; Zancopé, Bruna Raquel; Pacheco, Larissa Ferreira; Gavião, Maria Beatriz Duarte; Pascon, Fernanda Miori

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this case report was to describe the oral rehabilitation of a five-year-old boy patient diagnosed with amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) in the primary dentition. AI is a group of hereditary disorders that affects the enamel structure. The patient was brought to the dental clinic complaining of tooth hypersensitivity during meals. The medical history and clinical examination were used to arrive at the diagnosis of AI. The treatment was oral rehabilitation of the primary molars with stainless steel crowns and resin-filled celluloid forms. The main objectives of the selected treatment were to enhance the esthetics, restore masticatory function, and eliminate the teeth sensitivity. The child was monitored in the pediatric dentistry clinic at four-month intervals until the mixed dentition stage. Treatment not only restored function and esthetic, but also showed a positive psychological impact and thereby improved perceived quality of life. The preventive, psychological, and curative measures of a young child with AI were successful. This result can encourage the clinicians to seek a cost-effective technique such as stainless steel crowns, and resin-filled celluloid forms to reestablish the oral functions and improve the child's psychosocial development. PMID:25705526

  10. Dynamic loading affects the mechanical properties and failure site of porcine spines.

    PubMed

    Yingling, Vanessa R; Callaghan, Jack P; McGill, Stuart M

    1997-07-01

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of load rate on the mechanical characteristics of spinal motion segments under compressive loading. DESIGN: An in vitro experiment using a porcine model which ensured a homogeneous population for age, weight, genetic background and physical activity. BACKGROUND: Spinal motion segments comprise of viscoelastic materials, and as a result the rate of loading will modulate mechanical characteristics and fracture patterns of the segments. METHODS: Twenty-six cervical porcine spines were excised immediately post-mortem with all soft tissue intact. Spines were then separated into two specimens each consisting of three vertebral bodies and the two intervening intervertebral discs (C2-C4 and C5-C7) and loaded to failure under five loading rates (100, 1000, 3000, 10 000 and 16 000 N s(-1)). After the specimens failed, they were dissected to determine the mode of failure. RESULTS: Dynamic loading increases the ultimate load compared with quasi-static loading (100 N s(-1)), whereas the magnitude of dynamic loading (1000-16 000 N s(-1)) appears not to have a significant affect. Stiffness behaved in a similar manner. The displacement to failure of specimens decreased as load rate increased, although there was a diminishing effect at high load rates. Furthermore, failure at low load rates occurred exclusively in the endplate, whereas failure of the vertebral body appeared with greater frequency at higher load rates. CONCLUSIONS: The mechanical characteristics and resulting injuries of porcine spinal motion segments were affected as the loading rates changed from quasi-static to dynamic. The modulating factors of the mechanical characteristics of the spine need to be understood if valid models are to be designed which will increase the understanding of spinal function, and are important for choosing better injury prevention and rehabilitation programmes.

  11. Effect of radiation processing on nutritional, functional, sensory and antioxidant properties of red kidney beans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marathe, S. A.; Deshpande, R.; Khamesra, Arohi; Ibrahim, Geeta; Jamdar, Sahayog N.

    2016-08-01

    In the present study dry red kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), irradiated in the dose range of 0.25-10.0 kGy were evaluated for proximate composition, functional, sensory and antioxidant properties. Radiation processing up to 10 kGy did not affect proximate composition, hydration capacity and free fatty acid value. All the sensory attributes were unaffected at 1.0 kGy dose. The dose of 10 kGy, showed lower values for odor and taste, however, they were in acceptable range. Significant improvement in textural quality and reduction in cooking time was observed at dose of 10 kGy. Antioxidant activity of radiation processed samples was also assessed after normal processing such as soaking and pressure cooking. Both phenolic content and antioxidant activity evaluated in terms of DPPH free radical scavenging assay and inhibition in lipid peroxidation using rabbit erythrocyte ghost system, were marginally improved (5-10%) at the dose of 10 kGy in dry and cooked samples. During storage of samples for six months, no significant change was observed in sensory, cooking and antioxidant properties. Thus, radiation treatment of 1 kGy can be applied to get extended shelf life of kidney beans with improved functional properties without impairing bioactivity; nutritional quality and sensory property.

  12. Affects of Microgravity on the Polymerization and Material Properties of Biomedical Grade Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Deborah J.

    2002-01-01

    extended to include other polymers. Polymerization as well as polymer processing in a microgravity environment may affect the length and orientation of the molecular chains, the degree of crosslinking, and distribution of amorphous to crystalline portions of the material, thus changing the ultimate properties of the polymer. Small polymer samples would be produced from the resin for testing and analysis. This research would include the effect of micro-g processing by compression molded vs. ram extruded samples for analysis. Morphological alterations in the material could be monitored using Transmission Electron Microscopy and associated properties such as toughness, density and crystallinity could be determined and compared to terra produced materials using conventional mechanical testing, density gradient columns and calorimetry techniques. If alterations are evident, fatigue testing can be performed on small specimens in order to determine the material's resistance to crack initiation and propagation. number of orthopaedic implant recipients and could be extended for use in robotics and other beneficial applications. Although polymers exhibit the greatest biocompatibility, problems with debris particle generation continue to reduce the effectiveness of UHMWPE as a biomedical material. Further polymer research in a microgravity environment may prove to produce the desired alterations in the materials' morphology and associated properties, therefore providing millions of people with superior orthopaedic implant components and lessen the occurrences of repeat surgery.

  13. Physicochemical and functional properties of yeast fermented brown rice flour.

    PubMed

    Ilowefah, Muna; Bakar, Jamilah; Ghazali, Hasanah M; Mediani, Ahmed; Muhammad, Kharidah

    2015-09-01

    In the current study, effects of fermentation on physicochemical and functional properties of brown rice flour (BRF) were investigated. Fermentation conditions were optimized using response surface methodology to achieve moderate acidity (pH 5-6), specifically pH 5.5 of brown rice batter with time, temperature and yeast concentration as the independent variables. The results indicated that brown rice batter was well fermented to maintain pH 5.5 at optimum conditions of 32 °C for 6.26 h using 1 % yeast concentration. Fermentation at moderate acidity significantly increased the levels of protein, total ash, insoluble fiber, soluble fibre, minerals, phenolics, antioxidants, resistant starch, riboflavin, pyridoxine, nicotinic acid, γ-tocotrienol, and δ-tocotrienol. However, it reduced the contents of γ-oryzanol, γ-tocopherol, α-tocopherol, phytic acid, amylose and total starch. Foaming capacity, foaming stability, oil holding capacity, gelatinization temperatures, enthalpy and whiteness of BRF were increased after fermentation. In contrast, its swelling power, water solubility index, hot paste viscosity, breakdown, and setback significantly decreased. Microstructure of BRF was also influenced, where its starch granules released from its enclosed structure after fermentation. This investigation shows evidence that yeast fermentation modified the functionality of BRF and can be used as a functional food ingredient.

  14. Functional Overload Enhances Satellite Cell Properties in Skeletal Muscle.

    PubMed

    Fujimaki, Shin; Machida, Masanao; Wakabayashi, Tamami; Asashima, Makoto; Takemasa, Tohru; Kuwabara, Tomoko

    2016-01-01

    Skeletal muscle represents a plentiful and accessible source of adult stem cells. Skeletal-muscle-derived stem cells, termed satellite cells, play essential roles in postnatal growth, maintenance, repair, and regeneration of skeletal muscle. Although it is well known that the number of satellite cells increases following physical exercise, functional alterations in satellite cells such as proliferative capacity and differentiation efficiency following exercise and their molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we found that functional overload, which is widely used to model resistance exercise, causes skeletal muscle hypertrophy and converts satellite cells from quiescent state to activated state. Our analysis showed that functional overload induces the expression of MyoD in satellite cells and enhances the proliferative capacity and differentiation potential of these cells. The changes in satellite cell properties coincided with the inactivation of Notch signaling and the activation of Wnt signaling and likely involve modulation by transcription factors of the Sox family. These results indicate the effects of resistance exercise on the regulation of satellite cells and provide insight into the molecular mechanism of satellite cell activation following physical exercise.

  15. Metacognitive Awareness of Facial Affect in Higher-Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Heather A.; Newell, Lisa; Jaime, Mark; Mundy, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Higher-functioning participants with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) viewed a series of face stimuli, made decisions regarding the affect of each face, and indicated their confidence in each decision. Confidence significantly predicted accuracy across all participants, but this relation was stronger for participants with typical development than participants with ASD. In the hierarchical linear modeling analysis, there were no differences in face processing accuracy between participants with and without ASD, but participants with ASD were more confident in their decisions. These results suggest that individuals with ASD have metacognitive impairments and are overconfident in face processing. Additionally, greater metacognitive awareness was predictive of better face processing accuracy, suggesting that metacognition may be a pivotal skill to teach in interventions. PMID:26496991

  16. RNA INTERFERENCE AGAINST CFTR AFFECTS HL60-DERIVED NEUTROPHIL MICROBICIDAL FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

    Bonvillain, Ryan W.; Painter, Richard G.; Adams, Daniel E.; Viswanathan, Anand; Lanson, Nicholas A.; Wang, Guoshun

    2010-01-01

    Biosynthesis of hypochlorous acid (HOCl), a potent anti-microbial oxidant, in phagosomes is one of the chief mechanisms employed by polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) to combat infections. This reaction, catalyzed by myeloperoxidase, requires chloride anion (Cl−) as a substrate. Thus, Cl− availability is a rate-limiting factor that affects neutrophil microbicidal function. Our previous research demonstrated that defective CFTR, a cAMP-activated chloride channel, present in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients leads to deficient chloride transport to neutrophil phagosomes and impaired bacterial killing (Painter et al., 2008 & 2010). To confirm this finding, here we used RNA interference against this chloride channel to abate CFTR expression in the neutrophil-like cells derived from HL60 cells, a promyelocytic leukemia cell line, with DMSO. The resultant CFTR deficiency in the phagocytes compromised their bactericidal capability, thereby recapitulating the phenotype seen in CF patient cells. The results provide further evidence suggesting that CFTR plays an important role in phagocytic host defense. PMID:20870018

  17. Stable complex formation between HIV Rev and the nucleosome assembly protein, NAP1, affects Rev function

    SciTech Connect

    Cochrane, Alan; Murley, Laura Lea; Gao Mian; Wong, Raymond; Clayton, Kiera; Brufatto, Nicole; Canadien, Veronica; Mamelak, Daniel; Chen, Tricia; Richards, Dawn; Zeghouf, Mahel; Greenblatt, Jack; Burks, Christian; Frappier, Lori

    2009-05-25

    The Rev protein of HIV-1 is essential for HIV-1 proliferation due to its role in exporting viral RNA from the nucleus. We used a modified version of tandem affinity purification (TAP) tagging to identify proteins interacting with HIV-1 Rev in human cells and discovered a prominent interaction between Rev and nucleosome assembly protein 1 (Nap1). This interaction was also observed by specific retention of Nap1 from human cell lysates on a Rev affinity column. Nap1 was found to bind Rev through the Rev arginine-rich domain and altered the oligomerization state of Rev in vitro. Overexpression of Nap1 stimulated the ability of Rev to export RNA, reduced the nucleolar localization of Rev, and affected Rev nuclear import rates. The results suggest that Nap-1 may influence Rev function by increasing the availability of Rev.

  18. p53 Regulates the neuronal intrinsic and extrinsic responses affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Floriddia, Elisa M; Rathore, Khizr I; Tedeschi, Andrea; Quadrato, Giorgia; Wuttke, Anja; Lueckmann, Jan-Matthis; Kigerl, Kristina A; Popovich, Phillip G; Di Giovanni, Simone

    2012-10-03

    Following spinal trauma, the limited physiological axonal sprouting that contributes to partial recovery of function is dependent upon the intrinsic properties of neurons as well as the inhibitory glial environment. The transcription factor p53 is involved in DNA repair, cell cycle, cell survival, and axonal outgrowth, suggesting p53 as key modifier of axonal and glial responses influencing functional recovery following spinal injury. Indeed, in a spinal cord dorsal hemisection injury model, we observed a significant impairment in locomotor recovery in p53(-/-) versus wild-type mice. p53(-/-) spinal cords showed an increased number of activated microglia/macrophages and a larger scar at the lesion site. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments suggested p53 as a direct regulator of microglia/macrophages proliferation. At the axonal level, p53(-/-) mice showed a more pronounced dieback of the corticospinal tract (CST) and a decreased sprouting capacity of both CST and spinal serotoninergic fibers. In vivo expression of p53 in the sensorimotor cortex rescued and enhanced the sprouting potential of the CST in p53(-/-) mice, while, similarly, p53 expression in p53(-/-) cultured cortical neurons rescued a defect in neurite outgrowth, suggesting a direct role for p53 in regulating the intrinsic sprouting ability of CNS neurons. In conclusion, we show that p53 plays an important regulatory role at both extrinsic and intrinsic levels affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury. Therefore, we propose p53 as a novel potential multilevel therapeutic target for spinal cord injury.

  19. Identification and Functional Characterization of GAA Mutations in Colombian Patients Affected by Pompe Disease.

    PubMed

    Niño, Mónica Yasmín; Mateus, Heidi Eliana; Fonseca, Dora Janeth; Kroos, Marian A; Ospina, Sandra Yaneth; Mejía, Juan Fernando; Uribe, Jesús Alfredo; Reuser, Arnold J J; Laissue, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Pompe disease (PD) is a recessive metabolic disorder characterized by acid α-glucosidase (GAA) deficiency, which results in lysosomal accumulation of glycogen in all tissues, especially in skeletal muscles. PD clinical course is mainly determined by the nature of the GAA mutations. Although ~400 distinct GAA sequence variations have been described, the genotype-phenotype correlation is not always evident.In this study, we describe the first clinical and genetic analysis of Colombian PD patients performed in 11 affected individuals. GAA open reading frame sequencing revealed eight distinct mutations related to PD etiology including two novel missense mutations, c.1106 T > C (p.Leu369Pro) and c.2236 T > C (p.Trp746Arg). In vitro functional studies showed that the structural changes conferred by both mutations did not inhibit the synthesis of the 110 kD GAA precursor form but affected the processing and intracellular transport of GAA. In addition, analysis of previously described variants located at this position (p.Trp746Gly, p.Trp746Cys, p.Trp746Ser, p.Trp746X) revealed new insights in the molecular basis of PD. Notably, we found that p.Trp746Cys mutation, which was previously described as a polymorphism as well as a causal mutation, displayed a mild deleterious effect. Interestingly and by chance, our study argues in favor of a remarkable Afro-American and European ancestry of the Colombian population. Taken together, our report provides valuable information on the PD genotype-phenotype correlation, which is expected to facilitate and improve genetic counseling of affected individuals and their families.

  20. Hypoxia transiently affects skeletal muscle hypertrophy in a functional overload model.

    PubMed

    Chaillou, Thomas; Koulmann, Nathalie; Simler, Nadine; Meunier, Adélie; Serrurier, Bernard; Chapot, Rachel; Peinnequin, Andre; Beaudry, Michèle; Bigard, Xavier

    2012-03-01

    Hypoxia induces a loss of skeletal muscle mass, but the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that hypoxia could impair skeletal muscle hypertrophy induced by functional overload (Ov). To test this hypothesis, plantaris muscles were overloaded during 5, 12, and 56 days in female rats exposed to hypobaric hypoxia (5,500 m), and then, we examined the responses of specific signaling pathways involved in protein synthesis (Akt/mTOR) and breakdown (atrogenes). Hypoxia minimized the Ov-induced hypertrophy at days 5 and 12 but did not affect the hypertrophic response measured at day 56. Hypoxia early reduced the phosphorylation levels of mTOR and its downstream targets P70(S6K) and rpS6, but it did not affect the phosphorylation levels of Akt and 4E-BP1, in Ov muscles. The role played by specific inhibitors of mTOR, such as AMPK and hypoxia-induced factors (i.e., REDD1 and BNIP-3) was studied. REDD1 protein levels were reduced by overload and were not affected by hypoxia in Ov muscles, whereas AMPK was not activated by hypoxia. Although hypoxia significantly increased BNIP-3 mRNA levels at day 5, protein levels remained unaffected. The mRNA levels of the two atrogenes MURF1 and MAFbx were early increased by hypoxia in Ov muscles. In conclusion, hypoxia induced a transient alteration of muscle growth in this hypertrophic model, at least partly due to a specific impairment of the mTOR/P70(S6K) pathway, independently of Akt, by an undefined mechanism, and increased transcript levels for MURF1 and MAFbx that could contribute to stimulate the proteasomal proteolysis.

  1. Structural and functional properties of alkali-treated high-amylose rice starch.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jinwen; Yang, Yang; Man, Jianmin; Huang, Jun; Wang, Zhifeng; Zhang, Changquan; Gu, Minghong; Liu, Qiaoquan; Wei, Cunxu

    2014-02-15

    Native starches were isolated from mature grains of high-amylose transgenic rice TRS and its wild-type rice TQ and treated with 0.1% and 0.4% NaOH for 7 and 14 days at 35 °C. Alkali-treated starches were characterised for structural and functional properties using various physical methods. The 0.1% NaOH treatment had no significant effect on structural and functional properties of starches except that it markedly increased the hydrolysis of starch by amylolytic enzymes. The 0.4% NaOH treatment resulted in some changes in structural and functional properties of starches. The alkali treatment affected granule morphology and decreased the electron density between crystalline and amorphous lamellae of starch. The effect of alkali on the crystalline structure including long- and short-range ordered structure was not pronounced. Compared with control starch, alkali-treated TRS starches had lower amylose content, higher onset and peak gelatinisation temperatures, and faster hydrolysis of starch by HCl and amylolytic enzymes.

  2. Low-dose irradiation affects the functional behavior of oral microbiota in the context of mucositis.

    PubMed

    Vanhoecke, Barbara W A; De Ryck, Tine R G; De boel, Kevin; Wiles, Siouxsie; Boterberg, Tom; Van de Wiele, Tom; Swift, Simon

    2016-01-01

    The role of host-microbe interactions in the pathobiology of oral mucositis is still unclear; therefore, this study aimed to unravel the effect of irradiation on behavioral characteristics of oral microbial species in the context of mucositis. Using various experimental in vitro setups, the effects of irradiation on growth and biofilm formation of two Candida spp., Streptococcus salivarius and Klebsiella oxytoca in different culture conditions were evaluated. Irradiation did not affect growth of planktonic cells, but reduced the number of K. oxytoca cells in newly formed biofilms cultured in static conditions. Biofilm formation of K. oxytoca and Candida glabrata was affected by irradiation and depended on the culturing conditions. In the presence of mucins, these effects were lost, indicating the protective nature of mucins. Furthermore, the Galleria melonella model was used to study effects on microbial virulence. Irradiated K. oxytoca microbes were more virulent in G. melonella larvae compared to the nonirradiated ones. Our data indicate that low-dose irradiation can have an impact on functional characteristics of microbial species. Screening for pathogens like K. oxytoca in the context of mucosits could be useful to allow early detection and immediate intervention.

  3. Balance between macronutrients affects life span and functional senescence in fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Lushchak, Oleh V; Gospodaryov, Dmytro V; Rovenko, Bohdana M; Glovyak, Andriy D; Yurkevych, Ihor S; Klyuba, Vira P; Shcherbij, Maria V; Lushchak, Volodymyr I

    2012-02-01

    It has recently been demonstrated that as the ratio of protein to carbohydrate (P:C) in the diet declines, life span increases in Drosophila. Here we explored how extremely low dietary ratios of protein to carbohydrate affected longevity and a selection of variables associated with functional senescence. An increase in P:C ratio from 1:57 to 1:20 shortened life span by increasing age-dependent mortality; whereas a further decline in P:C from 1:57 to 1:95 caused a modest decrease in life span. Female flies consuming the 1:20 and 1:38 diets laid more eggs than those consuming the lower P:C diets. Flies fed diets with higher ratios were more resistant to heat stress. Flies consuming the diets with lowest P:C ratios needed more time to restore activity after paralysis. Our study has therefore extended to very low P:C ratios available data demonstrating that dietary P:C ratio affects life span, fecundity and heat stress resistance, with fecundity and heat stress responses showing the opposite trend to life span.

  4. Oral health conditions affect functional and social activities of terminally-ill cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, D.J.; Epstein, J.B.; Yao, Y.; Wilkie, D.J.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Oral conditions are established complications in terminally-ill cancer patients. Yet despite significant morbidity, the characteristics and impact of oral conditions in these patients are poorly documented. The study objective was to characterize oral conditions in terminally-ill cancer patients to determine the presence, severity, and the functional and social impact of these oral conditions. Methods This was an observational clinical study including terminally-ill cancer patients (2.5–3 week life expectancy). Data were obtained via the Oral Problems Scale (OPS) that measures the presence of subjective xerostomia, orofacial pain, taste change, and the functional/social impact of oral conditions and a demographic questionnaire. A standardized oral examination was used to assess objective salivary hypofunction, fungal infection, mucosal erythema, and ulceration. Regression analysis and t test investigated the associations between measures. Results Of 104 participants, most were ≥50 years of age, female, and high-school educated; 45% were African American, 43% Caucasian, and 37% married. Oral conditions frequencies were: salivary hypofunction (98%), mucosal erythema (50%), ulceration (20%), fungal infection (36%), and other oral problems (46%). Xerostomia, taste change, and orofacial pain all had significant functional impact; p<.001, p=.042 and p<.001, respectively. Orofacial pain also had a significant social impact (p<.001). Patients with oral ulcerations had significantly more orofacial pain with a social impact than patients without ulcers (p=.003). Erythema was significantly associated with fungal infection and with mucosal ulceration (p<.001). Conclusions Oral conditions significantly affect functional and social activities in terminally-ill cancer patients. Identification and management of oral conditions in these patients should therefore be an important clinical consideration. PMID:24232310

  5. Macrofauna assemblage composition and soil moisture interact to affect soil ecosystem functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collison, E. J.; Riutta, T.; Slade, E. M.

    2013-02-01

    Changing climatic conditions and habitat fragmentation are predicted to alter the soil moisture conditions of temperate forests. It is not well understood how the soil macrofauna community will respond to changes in soil moisture, and how changes to species diversity and community composition may affect ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition and soil fluxes. Moreover, few studies have considered the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate soil processes. Here we attempt to disentangle the interactive effects of two of the main factors that regulate soil processes at small scales - moisture and macrofauna assemblage composition. The response of assemblages of three common temperate soil invertebrates (Glomeris marginata Villers, Porcellio scaber Latreille and Philoscia muscorum Scopoli) to two contrasting soil moisture levels was examined in a series of laboratory mesocosm experiments. The contribution of the invertebrates to the leaf litter mass loss of two common temperate tree species of contrasting litter quality (easily decomposing Fraxinus excelsior L. and recalcitrant Quercus robur L.) and to soil CO2 fluxes were measured. Both moisture conditions and litter type influenced the functioning of the invertebrate assemblages, which was greater in high moisture conditions compared with low moisture conditions and on good quality vs. recalcitrant litter. In high moisture conditions, all macrofauna assemblages functioned at equal rates, whereas in low moisture conditions there were pronounced differences in litter mass loss among the assemblages. This indicates that species identity and assemblage composition are more important when moisture is limited. We suggest that complementarity between macrofauna species may mitigate the reduced functioning of some species, highlighting the importance of maintaining macrofauna species richness.

  6. Disruption of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCH1R) affects thyroid function.

    PubMed

    Chung, Shinjae; Liao, Xiao-Hui; Di Cosmo, Caterina; Van Sande, Jacqueline; Wang, Zhiwei; Refetoff, Samuel; Civelli, Olivier

    2012-12-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a peptide produced in the hypothalamus and the zona incerta that acts on one receptor, MCH receptor 1 (MCH1R), in rodents. The MCH system has been implicated in the regulation of several centrally directed physiological responses, including the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis. Yet a possible direct effect of the MCH system on thyroid function has not been explored in detail. We now show that MCH1R mRNA is expressed in thyroid follicular cells and that mice lacking MCH1R [MCH1R-knockout (KO)] exhibit reduced circulating iodothyronine (T(4), free T(4), T(3), and rT(3)) levels and high TRH and TSH when compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Because the TSH of MCH1R-KO mice displays a normal bioactivity, we hypothesize that their hypothyroidism may be caused by defective thyroid function. Yet expression levels of the genes important for thyroid hormones synthesis or secretion are not different between the MCH1R-KO and WT mice. However, the average thyroid follicle size of the MCH1R-KO mice is larger than that of WT mice and contained more free and total T(4) and T(3) than the WT glands, suggesting that they are sequestered in the glands. Indeed, when challenged with TSH, the thyroids of MCH1R-KO mice secrete lower amounts of T(4). Similarly, secretion of iodothyronines in the plasma upon (125)I administration is significantly reduced in MCH1R-KO mice. Therefore, the absence of MCH1R affects thyroid function by disrupting thyroid hormone secretion. To our knowledge, this study is the first to link the activity of the MCH system to the thyroid function.

  7. Evaluation of some properties of fermented milk beverages that affect the demineralization of dental enamel.

    PubMed

    Lodi, Carolina Simonetti; Sassaki, Kikue Takebayashi; Fraiz, Fabian Calixto; Delbem, Alberto Carlos Botazzo; Martinhon, Cleide Cristina Rodrigues

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the erosive capacity of fermented milk beverages, as well as some of their properties that affect the demineralization of dental enamel (pH, buffering capacity, fluoride, calcium and phosphorus contents). Three different batches of 6 commercial brands of fermented milk beverages were analyzed. pH evaluation was accomplished using a potentiometer. The buffering capacity was measured by adding 1 mol L-1 NaOH. Fluoride concentration was assessed by an ion specific electrode after hexamethyldisiloxane-facilitated diffusion, and calcium and phosphorus concentrations were assessed by a colorimetric test using a spectrophotometer. Sixty specimens of bovine enamel were randomly assigned to 6 groups (n = 10). They were exposed to 4 cycles of demineralization in the fermented milk and remineralization in artificial saliva. Enamel mineral loss was determined by surface microhardness (%SMHC) and profilometric tests. The samples' pH ranged from 3.51 to 3.87; the buffering capacity ranged from 470.8 to 804.2 microl of 1 mol L(-1) NaOH; the fluoride concentration ranged from 0.027 to 0.958 microgF/g; the calcium concentration ranged from 0.4788 to 0.8175 mgCa/g; and the phosphorus concentration ranged from 0.2662 to 0.5043 mgP/g. The %SMHC ranged from -41.0 to -29.4. The enamel wear ranged from 0.15 microm to 0.18 microm. In this in vitro study, the fermented milk beverages did not promote erosion of the dental enamel, but rather only a superficial mineral loss.

  8. Bole girdling affects metabolic properties and root, trunk and branch hydraulics of young ponderosa pine trees.

    PubMed

    Domec, Jean-Christophe; Pruyn, Michele L

    2008-10-01

    Effects of trunk girdling on seasonal patterns of xylem water status, water transport and woody tissue metabolic properties were investigated in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex P. Laws.) trees. At the onset of summer, there was a sharp decrease in stomatal conductance (g(s)) in girdled trees followed by a full recovery after the first major rainfall in September. Eliminating the root as a carbohydrate sink by girdling induced a rapid reversible reduction in g(s). Respiratory potential (a laboratory measure of tissue-level respiration) increased above the girdle (branches and upper trunk) and decreased below the girdle (lower trunk and roots) relative to control trees during the growing season, but the effect was reversed after the first major rainfall. The increase in branch respiratory potential induced by girdling suggests that the decrease in g(s) was caused by the accumulation of carbohydrates above the girdle, which is consistent with an observed increase in leaf mass per area in the girdled trees. Trunk girdling did not affect native xylem embolism or xylem conductivity. Both treated and control trunks experienced loss of xylem conductivity ranging from 10% in spring to 30% in summer. Girdling reduced xylem growth and sapwood to leaf area ratio, which in turn reduced branch leaf specific conductivity (LSC). The girdling-induced reductions in g(s) and transpiration were associated with a decrease in leaf hydraulic conductance. Two years after girdling, when root-to-shoot phloem continuity had been restored, girdled trees had a reduced density of new wood, which increased xylem conductivity and whole-tree LSC, but also vulnerability to embolism.

  9. Structural and functional properties of C-type starches.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jinwen; Cai, Canhui; Man, Jianmin; Zhou, Weidong; Wei, Cunxu

    2014-01-30

    This study investigated the structural and functional properties of C-type starches from pea seeds, faba bean seeds, yam rhizomes and water chestnut corms. These starches were mostly oval in shape with significantly different sizes and contents of amylose, damaged starch and phosphorus. Pea, faba bean and water chestnut starches had central hila, and yam starch had eccentric hilum. Water chestnut and yam starches had higher amylopectin short and long chain, respectively. Water chestnut and faba bean starches showed CA-type crystallinities, and pea and yam starches had C-type crystallinities. Water chestnut starch had the highest swelling power, granule swelling and pasting viscosity, lowest gelatinization temperatures and enthalpy. Faba bean starch had the lowest pasting viscosity, whereas yam starch had the highest gelatinization temperatures. Water chestnut and yam starches possessed significantly higher and lower susceptibility to acid and enzyme hydrolysis, the highest and lowest RDS contents, and the lowest and highest RS contents, respectively.

  10. The stability and functional properties of charcoal in Ghanaian agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxfield, Tom; Sohi, Saran

    2014-05-01

    Weathering of biochar will lead to its eventual mineralisation to CO2, but how does this happen and how quickly will the biochar break down? This study focuses on the fate of charcoal, as an analogue for biochar, over a ten year period in rural Ghana. The objectives of the work were to determine the stability of charcoal over this timeframe, the change in its functional properties and to calibrate or validate recently established approaches to age biochar artificially. The study showed that the oxygen-to-carbon ratio of charcoal surfaces generally increases over time. Gradually the oxidation penetrates the subsurface layers, causing surface layers to erode and exposing previously un-aged surfaces to degradation.

  11. Non-Functional Property Driven Service Governance: Performance Implications

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yan; Zhu, Liming; Bass, Len; Gorton, Ian; Staples, Mark

    2007-09-17

    Service governance is a set of businesses processes, policies and technical solutions that support enterprises in their implementation and management of their SOA. The decisions of service governance, especially concerning service boundaries at the enterprise level, influence the deployment topology of business services across or within business organizations. Deployment topologies are realized by integration technologies such as Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). Service governance and technical solutions interact in a subtle way including through communication patterns and protocols between services and ESBs, as well as the deployment and configuration of ESB. These factors have a strong influence on the Non- Functional Properties (NFP) of a SOA solution. A systematic approach is essential to understand alternative technical solutions for a specific service governance decision. This paper proposes a modeling approach to evaluate the performance-related NFP impacts when mapping service governance to technical solutions using an ESB. This approach is illustrated by the quantitative performance analysis of a real

  12. Structure and function of RNase AS, a polyadenylate-specific exoribonuclease affecting mycobacterial virulence in vivo.

    PubMed

    Romano, Maria; van de Weerd, Robert; Brouwer, Femke C C; Roviello, Giovanni N; Lacroix, Ruben; Sparrius, Marion; van den Brink-van Stempvoort, Gunny; Maaskant, Janneke J; van der Sar, Astrid M; Appelmelk, Ben J; Geurtsen, Jeroen J; Berisio, Rita

    2014-05-06

    The cell-envelope of Mycobacterium tuberculosis plays a key role in bacterial virulence and antibiotic resistance. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of regulation of cell-envelope formation. Here, we elucidate functional and structural properties of RNase AS, which modulates M. tuberculosis cell-envelope properties and strongly impacts bacterial virulence in vivo. The structure of RNase AS reveals a resemblance to RNase T from Escherichia coli, an RNase of the DEDD family involved in RNA maturation. We show that RNase AS acts as a 3'-5'-exoribonuclease that specifically hydrolyzes adenylate-containing RNA sequences. Also, crystal structures of complexes with AMP and UMP reveal the structural basis for the observed enzyme specificity. Notably, RNase AS shows a mechanism of substrate recruitment, based on the recognition of the hydrogen bond donor NH2 group of adenine. Our work opens a field for the design of drugs able to reduce bacterial virulence in vivo.

  13. Genotypic and functional properties of early infant HIV-1 envelopes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding the properties of HIV-1 variants that are transmitted from women to their infants is crucial to improving strategies to prevent transmission. In this study, 162 full-length envelope (env) clones were generated from plasma RNA obtained from 5 HIV-1 Clade B infected mother-infant pairs. Following extensive genotypic and phylogenetic analyses, 35 representative clones were selected for functional studies. Results Infant quasispecies were highly homogeneous and generally represented minor maternal variants, consistent with transmission across a selective bottleneck. Infant clones did not differ from the maternal in env length, or glycosylation. All infant variants utilized the CCR5 co-receptor, but were not macrophage tropic. Relatively high levels (IC50 ≥ 100 μg/ml) of autologous maternal plasma IgG were required to neutralize maternal and infant viruses; however, all infant viruses were neutralized by pooled sera from HIV-1 infected individuals, implying that they were not inherently neutralization-resistant. All infant viruses were sensitive to the HIV-1 entry inhibitors Enfuvirtide and soluble CD4; none were resistant to Maraviroc. Sensitivity to human monoclonal antibodies 4E10, 2F5, b12 and 2G12 varied. Conclusions This study provides extensive characterization of the genotypic and functional properties of HIV-1 env shortly after transmission. We present the first detailed comparisons of the macrophage tropism of infant and maternal env variants and their sensitivity to Maraviroc, the only CCR5 antagonist approved for therapeutic use. These findings may have implications for improving approaches to prevent mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission. PMID:21843318

  14. Structural and functional properties of hemp seed protein products.

    PubMed

    Malomo, Sunday A; He, Rong; Aluko, Rotimi E

    2014-08-01

    The effects of pH and protein concentration on some structural and functional properties of hemp seed protein isolate (HPI, 84.15% protein content) and defatted hemp seed protein meal (HPM, 44.32% protein content) were determined. The HPI had minimum protein solubility (PS) at pH 4.0, which increased as pH was decreased or increased. In contrast, the HPM had minimum PS at pH 3.0, which increased at higher pH values. Gel electrophoresis showed that some of the high molecular weight proteins (>45 kDa) present in HPM were not well extracted by the alkali and were absent or present in low ratio in the HPI polypeptide profile. The amino acid composition showed that the isolation process increased the Arg/Lys ratio of HPI (5.52%) when compared to HPM (3.35%). Intrinsic fluorescence and circular dichroism data indicate that the HPI proteins had a well-defined structure at pH 3.0, which was lost as pH value increased. The differences in structural conformation of HPI at different pH values were reflected as better foaming capacity at pH 3.0 when compared to pH 5.0, 7.0, and 9.0. At 10 and 25 mg/mL protein concentrations, emulsions formed by the HPM had smaller oil droplet sizes (higher quality), when compared to the HPI-formed emulsions. In contrast at 50 mg/mL protein concentration, the HPI-formed emulsions had smaller oil droplet sizes (except at pH 3.0). We conclude that the functional properties of hemp seed protein products are dependent on structural conformations as well as protein concentration and pH.

  15. Effects of aggressive remediation on soil properties and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Switzer, Christine; Zihms, Stephanie; Pape, Andrew; Robson, Andrew; Knapp, Charles

    2013-04-01

    Aggressive remediation processes such as thermal desorption, smouldering, and chemical oxidiation remediation processes have significant promise to deliver substantial contaminant reduction in short periods of time, effecting as much as 95-99+% mass removal from non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) source zones. In situ thermal remediation exposes soils to temperatures of 100+°C for periods of weeks or months. In situ smouldering exposes soils to 600-1000+°C for hours to days. Chemical oxidation exposes soils to harsh oxidizing chemicals for weeks or months effecting reactive degradation of chemical contaminants but also surrounding soils. These processes have the potential to result in significant changes to the soil properties, particularly at the particle surface and grain interfaces. The dynamic effects of these changes have important implications in soil management practice. The mobilisation of soil nutrients may challenge rehabilitation or biological "polishing" after aggressive remediation. Plant germination and growth are inhibited and water dynamics are affected as well. Although permeability remains unaffected, infiltration is more rapid and capillary rise is reduced after smouldering remediation. Mobilisation of fines does not explain the change in infiltration and capillary rise; these effects persist after removal of the smaller half of the particle size distribution. Some separation of the soil column is observed in water infiltration after both thermal and smouldering remediation, indicating that erosion and subsidence are potential problems. These effects may be manifestations of subcritical water repellency. Based on the retention of capillary rise and lack of effects on other soil properties, the soil should be amenable to improvement measures. This presentation will place the effects of aggressive remediation into context within real soils and model materials.

  16. Does the optimum hydrophilic lipophilic balance condition affect the physical properties of mixed reverse micelles? A spectroscopic investigation.

    PubMed

    Das, Arindam; Mitra, Rajib Kumar

    2014-05-22

    Synergism in several physical properties as realized in many mixed surfactant reverse micellar (RM) systems often manifests optimum hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB), interdroplet interaction, or both. Such synergism is often desired for specific applications of RM systems; however, a proper rationale on the effect of such phenomenon imparted on the structure, dynamics, and activity of water molecules in RM waterpool is strongly demanded. In the present contribution we have investigated how the optimum HLB condition of mixed RM composed two nonionic surfactants (Igepal 210 and Igepal 630) affects the physical properties of entrapped water molecules in the RM waterpool. The studied mixed RM exhibits synergistic water solubilization behavior as a function of the mixing ratio with a maximum in solubilization capacity being reached at X(Ig630) = 0.3. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies show a bimodal distribution of droplet size in this region, whereas it is monomodal in terminal compositions. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study in the 3000-3800 cm(-1) region identifies a linear trend in which the content of "bound" water increases at the expense of the "network" water as the content of the hydrophilic surfactant Igepal 630 is increased in the mixture. Subnanosecond relaxation dynamics of the entrapped water as revealed by the fluoroprobe coumarin 500 corroborates a similar linear trend as observed in the FTIR measurements as the rotational diffusion gets retarded with the increase of ethylene oxide chain length of Igepal. Reaction kinetics of solvolysis of benzoyl chloride reaction, however, does not offer any linear trend as it gets slower in the optimum HLB region, the nonlinearity being a consequence of the distribution of the substrate in the different phases.

  17. Does the Agaricus blazei Murill mushroom have properties that affect the immune system? An integrative review.

    PubMed

    Lima, Cristiane Urcina Joanna Oliveira; Cordova, Cláudio Olavo de Almeida; Nóbrega, Otávio de Tolêdo; Funghetto, Silvana Schwerz; Karnikowski, Margô Gomes de Oliveira

    2011-01-01

    There has been a significant increase in the use of mushrooms for therapeutic and medicinal purposes, in particular, use of the species Agaricus blazei Murrill, a basidiomycota of Brazilian origin. The objective of this study was to identify scientific evidence regarding the influence of A. blazei Murrill on the immune system. We undertook an integrative review of indexed publications published between 2000 and 2009, using the following question as a guideline: "What evidence can be found in the literature regarding the influence of A. blazei Murrill on the immune system?" Fourteen studies verified that there is in vitro and in vivo research demonstrating this mushroom's influence on the immune system. All research was characterized as evidence level 7 (preclinical study [animals/in vitro]). The research shows that A. blazei Murrill functions through bioactive compounds via mechanisms that are not yet entirely clear, although it has been shown that they promote action on the innate and adaptive immunological response, activation of the complement system, and synthesis of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and even aid in diapedesis. Despite broad scientific evidence demonstrating relevant immunomodulatory properties of A. blazei Murrill, randomized clinical trials with human subjects are still needed in order for the mushroom to be put into clinical practice.

  18. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR) on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability. PMID:26863207

  19. Oribatida (Acari) in grassy arable fallows are more affected by soil properties than habitat age and plant species.

    PubMed

    Wissuwa, Janet; Salamon, Jörg-Alfred; Frank, Thomas

    2013-11-01

    Oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant arthropod groups in soils. They play an important role in soil food webs via regulating the decomposition of organic matter and propagating microorganisms within the soil. To our knowledge, the influence of different plant functional groups on oribatid mites has not been studied in abandoned farmland with undisturbed succession before. The density and assemblage structure of oribatid mites in nine grassy arable fallows relative to three habitat age classes (2-3, 6-8, 12-15 years) and three selected plant species (legume: Medicago sativa, forb: Taraxacum officinale, grass: Bromus sterilis) were investigated in soil associated with single plants. Mite density declined marginally not significant with habitat age because of high abundances of the ubiquitous species Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis and Punctoribates punctum in young and mid-aged fallows and their subsequent decline in old fallows. Oribatid mite density and species assemblage were not affected by plant species. Only P. punctum had significantly higher densities in B. sterilis samples than in T. officinale samples due to a higher amount of fine roots. Distance-based linear models revealed that 65% of the variation in mite assemblage was explained by soil properties, soil type, exposition and geographic position, while habitat age was of minor importance. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the mite assemblage was best explained by soil organic and microbial carbon, water content and pH.

  20. Oribatida (Acari) in grassy arable fallows are more affected by soil properties than habitat age and plant species☆

    PubMed Central

    Wissuwa, Janet; Salamon, Jörg-Alfred; Frank, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant arthropod groups in soils. They play an important role in soil food webs via regulating the decomposition of organic matter and propagating microorganisms within the soil. To our knowledge, the influence of different plant functional groups on oribatid mites has not been studied in abandoned farmland with undisturbed succession before. The density and assemblage structure of oribatid mites in nine grassy arable fallows relative to three habitat age classes (2–3, 6–8, 12–15 years) and three selected plant species (legume: Medicago sativa, forb: Taraxacum officinale, grass: Bromus sterilis) were investigated in soil associated with single plants. Mite density declined marginally not significant with habitat age because of high abundances of the ubiquitous species Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis and Punctoribates punctum in young and mid-aged fallows and their subsequent decline in old fallows. Oribatid mite density and species assemblage were not affected by plant species. Only P. punctum had significantly higher densities in B. sterilis samples than in T. officinale samples due to a higher amount of fine roots. Distance-based linear models revealed that 65% of the variation in mite assemblage was explained by soil properties, soil type, exposition and geographic position, while habitat age was of minor importance. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the mite assemblage was best explained by soil organic and microbial carbon, water content and pH. PMID:26109839

  1. Histopathology of Growth Anomaly Affecting the Coral, Montipora capitata: Implications on Biological Functions and Population Viability

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. A systematic review of early life factors which adversely affect subsequent lung function.

    PubMed

    Kouzouna, A; Gilchrist, F J; Ball, V; Kyriacou, T; Henderson, J; Pandyan, A D; Lenney, W

    2016-09-01

    It has been known for many years that multiple early life factors can adversely affect lung function and future respiratory health. This is the first systematic review to attempt to analyse all these factors simultaneously. We adhered to strict a priori criteria for inclusion and exclusion of studies. The initial search yielded 29,351 citations of which 208 articles were reviewed in full and 25 were included in the review. This included 6 birth cohorts and 19 longitudinal population studies. The 25 studies reported the effect of 74 childhood factors (on their own or in combinations with other factors) on subsequent lung function reported as percent predicted forced expiration in one second (FEV1). The childhood factors that were associated with a significant reduction in future FEV1 could be grouped as: early infection, bronchial hyper-reactivity (BHR) / airway lability, a diagnosis of asthma, wheeze, family history of atopy or asthma, respiratory symptoms and prematurity / low birth weight. A complete mathematical model will only be possible if the raw data from all previous studies is made available. This highlights the need for increased cooperation between researchers and the need for international consensus about the outcome measures for future longitudinal studies.

  3. Functional interactions between p53 and the TFIIH complex are affected by tumour-associated mutations.

    PubMed Central

    Léveillard, T; Andera, L; Bissonnette, N; Schaeffer, L; Bracco, L; Egly, J M; Wasylyk, B

    1996-01-01

    The p53 tumour suppressor is mutated in the majority of human tumours. p53's proposed role as the guardian of the genome is reflected in its multiple effects on transcription genome stability, cell growth and survival. We show that p53 interacts both physically and functionally with the TFIIH complex. There are multiple protein-protein contacts, involving two regions of p53 and three subunits of TFIIH, ERCC2 (XPD), ERCC3 (XPB) and p62. p53 and its C-terminus (amino acids 320-393) inhibit both of the TFIIH helicases and in vitro transcription in the absence of TFIIH. Transcription inhibition is overcome by TFIIH. The N-terminal region of p53 (1-320), lacking the C-terminus, is inactive on its own, yet apparently affects the activity of the C-terminus in the native protein. Interestingly, mutant p53s that are frequently found in tumours are less efficient inhibitors of the helicases and transcription. We hypothesize that the interactions provide an immediate and direct link for p53 to the multiple functions of TFIIH in transcription, DNA repair and possibly the cell cycle. Images PMID:8612585

  4. Maternal creatine supplementation affects the morpho-functional development of hippocampal neurons in rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Sartini, S; Lattanzi, D; Ambrogini, P; Di Palma, M; Galati, C; Savelli, D; Polidori, E; Calcabrini, C; Rocchi, M B L; Sestili, P; Cuppini, R

    2016-01-15

    Creatine supplementation has been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant and ergogenic functions. These features have led to the hypothesis of creatine supplementation use during pregnancy as prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS damage, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, very little is known on the effects of creatine supplementation during neuron differentiation, while in vitro studies revealed an influence on neuron excitability, leaving the possibility of creatine supplementation during the CNS development an open question. Using a multiple approach, we studied the hippocampal neuron morphological and functional development in neonatal rats born by dams supplemented with 1% creatine in drinking water during pregnancy. CA1 pyramidal neurons of supplemented newborn rats showed enhanced dendritic tree development, increased LTP maintenance, larger evoked-synaptic responses, and higher intrinsic excitability in comparison to controls. Moreover, a faster repolarizing phase of action potential with the appearance of a hyperpolarization were recorded in neurons of the creatine-treated group. Consistently, CA1 neurons of creatine exposed pups exhibited a higher maximum firing frequency than controls. In summary, we found that creatine supplementation during pregnancy positively affects morphological and electrophysiological development of CA1 neurons in offspring rats, increasing neuronal excitability. Altogether, these findings emphasize the need to evaluate the benefits and the safety of maternal intake of creatine in humans.

  5. Mutations affecting a putative MutLα endonuclease motif impact multiple mismatch repair functions

    PubMed Central

    Erdeniz, Naz; Nguyen, Megan; Deschênes, Suzanne M.; Liskay, R. Michael

    2008-01-01

    Mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) lead to increased mutation rates and higher recombination between similar, but not identical sequences, as well as resistance to certain DNA methylating agents. Recently, a component of human MMR machinery, MutLα, has been shown to display a latent endonuclease activity. The endonuclease active site appears to include a conserved motif, DQHA(X)2E(X)4E, within the COOH-terminus of human PMS2. Substitution of the glutamic acid residue (E705) abolished the endonuclease activity and mismatch-dependent excision in vitro. Previously, we showed that the PMS2-E705K mutation and the corresponding mutation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae were both recessive loss of function alleles for mutation avoidance in vivo. Here, we show that mutations impacting this endonuclease motif also significantly affect MMR-dependent suppression of homeologous recombination in yeast and responses to Sn1-type methylating agents in both yeast and mammalian cells. Thus, our in vivo results suggest that the endonuclease activity of MutLα is important not only in MMR-dependent mutation avoidance but also for recombination and damage response functions. PMID:17567544

  6. Estradiol affects liver mitochondrial function in ovariectomized and tamoxifen-treated ovariectomized female rats

    SciTech Connect

    Moreira, Paula I.; Custodio, Jose B.A.; Nunes, Elsa; Moreno, Antonio; Seica, Raquel; Oliveira, Catarina R.; Santos, Maria S. . E-mail: mssantos@ci.uc.pt

    2007-05-15

    Given the tremendous importance of mitochondria to basic cellular functions as well as the critical role of mitochondrial impairment in a vast number of disorders, a compelling question is whether 17{beta}-estradiol (E2) modulates mitochondrial function. To answer this question we exposed isolated liver mitochondria to E2. Three groups of rat females were used: control, ovariectomized and ovariectomized treated with tamoxifen. Tamoxifen has antiestrogenic effects in the breast tissue and is the standard endocrine treatment for women with breast cancer. However, under certain circumstances and in certain tissues, tamoxifen can also exert estrogenic agonist properties. We observed that at basal conditions, ovariectomy and tamoxifen treatment do not induce any statistical alteration in oxidative phosphorylation system and respiratory chain parameters. Furthermore, tamoxifen treatment increases the capacity of mitochondria to accumulate Ca{sup 2+} delaying the opening of the permeability transition pore. The presence of 25 {mu}M E2 impairs respiration and oxidative phosphorylation system these effects being similar in all groups of animals studied. Curiously, E2 protects against lipid peroxidation and increases the production of H{sub 2}O{sub 2} in energized mitochondria of control females. Our results indicate that E2 has in general deleterious effects that lead to mitochondrial impairment. Since mitochondrial dysfunction is a triggering event of cell degeneration and death, the use of exogenous E2 must be carefully considered.

  7. Exposure to Concentrated Ambient Particles Does Not Affect Vascular Function in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Nicholas L.; Robinson, Simon D.; Fokkens, Paul H. B.; Leseman, Daan L. A. C.; Miller, Mark R.; Anderson, David; Freney, Evelyn J.; Heal, Mathew R.; Donovan, Robert J.; Blomberg, Anders; Sandström, Thomas; MacNee, William; Boon, Nicholas A.; Donaldson, Ken; Newby, David E.; Cassee, Flemming R.

    2008-01-01

    Background Exposure to fine particulate air pollution is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We previously demonstrated that exposure to dilute diesel exhaust causes vascular dysfunction in humans. Objectives We conducted a study to determine whether exposure to ambient particulate matter causes vascular dysfunction. Methods Twelve male patients with stable coronary heart disease and 12 age-matched volunteers were exposed to concentrated ambient fine and ultrafine particles (CAPs) or filtered air for 2 hr using a randomized, double-blind cross-over study design. We measured peripheral vascular vasomotor and fibrinolytic function, and inflammatory variables—including circulating leukocytes, serum C-reactive protein, and exhaled breath 8-isoprostane and nitrotyrosine—6–8 hr after both exposures. Results Particulate concentrations (mean ± SE) in the exposure chamber (190 ± 37 μg/m3) were higher than ambient levels (31 ± 8 μg/m3) and levels in filtered air (0.5 ± 0.4 μg/m3; p < 0.001). Chemical analysis of CAPs identified low levels of elemental carbon. Exhaled breath 8-isoprostane concentrations increased after exposure to CAPs (16.9 ± 8.5 vs. 4.9 ± 1.2 pg/mL, p < 0.05), but markers of systemic inflammation were largely unchanged. Although there was a dose-dependent increase in blood flow and plasma tissue plasminogen activator release (p < 0.001 for all), CAPs exposure had no effect on vascular function in either group. Conclusions Despite achieving marked increases in particulate matter, exposure to CAPs—low in combustion-derived particles—did not affect vasomotor or fibrinolytic function in either middle-aged healthy volunteers or patients with coronary heart disease. These findings contrast with previous exposures to dilute diesel exhaust and highlight the importance of particle composition in determining the vascular effects of particulate matter in humans. PMID:18560524

  8. Function, kinetic properties, crystallization, and regulation of microbial malate dehydrogenase*

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi-Íñiguez, Tóshiko; Aburto-Rodríguez, Nelly; Vilchis-González, Ana Laura; Flores, María Elena

    2016-01-01

    Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is an enzyme widely distributed among living organisms and is a key protein in the central oxidative pathway. It catalyzes the interconversion between malate and oxaloacetate using NAD+ or NADP+ as a cofactor. Surprisingly, this enzyme has been extensively studied in eukaryotes but there are few reports about this enzyme in prokaryotes. It is necessary to review the relevant information to gain a better understanding of the function of this enzyme. Our review of the data generated from studies in bacteria shows much diversity in their molecular properties, including weight, oligomeric states, cofactor and substrate binding affinities, as well as differences in the direction of the enzymatic reaction. Furthermore, due to the importance of its function, the transcription and activity of this enzyme are rigorously regulated. Crystal structures of MDH from different bacterial sources led to the identification of the regions involved in substrate and cofactor binding and the residues important for the dimer-dimer interface. This structural information allows one to make direct modifications to improve the enzyme catalysis by increasing its activity, cofactor binding capacity, substrate specificity, and thermostability. A comparative analysis of the phylogenetic reconstruction of MDH reveals interesting facts about its evolutionary history, dividing this superfamily of proteins into two principle clades and establishing relationships between MDHs from different cellular compartments from archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

  9. Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Properties and Applications--A Review.

    PubMed

    Alex, Saji; Tiwari, Ashutosh

    2015-03-01

    The past few decades have witnessed significant advances in the development of functionalized gold nanoparticles for applications in various fields such as chemistry, biology, pharmacy and physics. Although it has been more than 150 years since they were first synthesized, extensive research has recently been undertaken to improve or modify gold nanoparticles, thereby opening up opportunities to enhance and optimize their potential and breadth of their applicability. Recently developed methods have allowed a precise control of gold nanoparticle size and the modification of gold nanoparticles with suitable protecting and functionalizing agents, facilitate their applications in different areas such as chemical and biological sensing, imaging and biomedical applications. This review focuses on the recent developments in various methods for the size and shape controlled synthesis of gold nanoparticles, understanding of different properties of gold nanoparticles and their applications in various fields. Particular attention is given to the chemical and biological sensing applications of gold nanoparticles and on the advances in the controlled ordering of gold nanoparticles for creating nanostructures for diverse applications.

  10. Psychometric Properties of the Positive and Negative Affect Scale for Children (PANAS-C) in Children with Anxiety Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Alicia A.; Kendall, Philip C.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Positive and Negative Affect Scale for Children (PANAS-C) (Laurent et al. Psychol Asses 1: 326-338, 1999) in a sample of 139 children (ages 7-14 years) diagnosed with a principal anxiety disorder. Results from this study provided support for the convergent validity of the PANAS-C with…

  11. Climate-related changes of soil characteristics affect bacterial community composition and function of high altitude and latitude lakes.

    PubMed

    Rofner, Carina; Peter, Hannes; Catalán, Núria; Drewes, Fabian; Sommaruga, Ruben; Pérez, María Teresa

    2016-11-01

    Lakes at high altitude and latitude are typically unproductive ecosystems where external factors outweigh the relative importance of in-lake processes, making them ideal sentinels of climate change. Climate change is inducing upward vegetation shifts at high altitude and latitude regions that translate into changes in the pools of soil organic matter. Upon mobilization, this allochthonous organic matter may rapidly alter the composition and function of lake bacterial communities. Here, we experimentally simulate this potential climate-change effect by exposing bacterioplankton of two lakes located above the treeline, one in the Alps and one in the subarctic region, to soil organic matter from below and above the treeline. Changes in bacterial community composition, diversity and function were followed for 72 h. In the subarctic lake, soil organic matter from below the treeline reduced bulk and taxon-specific phosphorus uptake, indicating that bacterial phosphorus limitation was alleviated compared to organic matter from above the treeline. These effects were less pronounced in the alpine lake, suggesting that soil properties (phosphorus and dissolved organic carbon availability) and water temperature further shaped the magnitude of response. The rapid bacterial succession observed in both lakes indicates that certain taxa directly benefited from soil sources. Accordingly, the substrate uptake profiles of initially rare bacteria (copiotrophs) indicated that they are one of the main actors cycling soil-derived carbon and phosphorus. Our work suggests that climate-induced changes in soil characteristics affect bacterioplankton community structure and function, and in turn, the cycling of carbon and phosphorus in high altitude and latitude aquatic ecosystems.

  12. Alterations in cognitive performance and affect-arousal state during fluctuations in motor function in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed Central

    Brown, R G; Marsden, C D; Quinn, N; Wyke, M A

    1984-01-01

    Sixteen patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were selected who were all showing severe fluctuations in motor function ("on-off" phenomenon). Measures of cognitive function and of subjective affect/arousal state were taken on two occasions, once when "on" and once when "off". Twenty-five matched normal controls were also assessed on the same measures. Results revealed, on the average, a drop in cognitive function plus an adverse swing in affect/arousal state, in the patient group in the "off" condition, compared to the levels when "on". Analysis of the data suggested that the main factor associated with cognitive function when "off" was not the severity of disability but the level of affect/arousal. The fluctuations in cognitive function found tended to be mild relative to the severe changes in motor ability, and were present in only a proportion of patients. PMID:6736975

  13. Electronic and structural properties of superionic Cu2Se from density functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Råsander, Mikael; Bergqvist, Lars; Delin, Anna

    2013-03-01

    The superionic high temperature phase of Cu2Se has been found to yield high thermoelectric efficiency due to an interesting combination of low thermal conductivity and a rather high power factor. The low thermal conductivity has been found to be due to the quasi-liquid behaviour of the superionic Cu atoms (Liu et al., Nature Materials, 11, 422-425 (2012)). Here we will present results obtained using density functional theory calculations of the electronic and structural properties of the superionic Cu2Se phase. We will especially address how the inclusion of non-local exchange by the use of hybrid density functionals as well as how localization of the Cu 3d-states affect the electronic structure of Cu2Se. This work was financed through the EU project NexTec, VR (the Swedish Research Council) and SSF (Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research)

  14. Altered precipitation regime affects the function and composition of soil microbial communities on multiple time scales.

    PubMed

    Zeglin, L H; Bottomley, P J; Jumpponen, A; Rice, C W; Arango, M; Lindsley, A; McGowan, A; Mfombep, P; Myrold, D D

    2013-10-01

    Climate change models predict that future precipitation patterns will entail lower-frequency but larger rainfall events, increasing the duration of dry soil conditions. Resulting shifts in microbial C cycling activity could affect soil C storage. Further, microbial response to rainfall events may be constrained by the physiological or nutrient limitation stress of extended drought periods; thus seasonal or multiannual precipitation regimes may influence microbial activity following soil wet-up. We quantified rainfall-driven dynamics of microbial processes that affect soil C loss and retention, and microbial community composition, in soils from a long-term (14-year) field experiment contrasting "Ambient" and "Altered" (extended intervals between rainfalls) precipitation regimes. We collected soil before, the day following, and five days following 2.5-cm rainfall events during both moist and dry periods (June and September 2011; soil water potential = -0.01 and -0.83 MPa, respectively), and measured microbial respiration, microbial biomass, organic matter decomposition potential (extracellular enzyme activities), and microbial community composition (phospholipid fatty acids). The equivalent rainfall events caused equivalent microbial respiration responses in both treatments. In contrast, microbial biomass was higher and increased after rainfall in the Altered treatment soils only, thus microbial C use efficiency (CUE) was higher in Altered than Ambient treatments (0.70 +/- 0.03 > 0.46 +/- 0.10). CUE was also higher in dry (September) soils. C-acquiring enzyme activities (beta-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, and phenol oxidase) increased after rainfall in moist (June), but not dry (September) soils. Both microbial biomass C:N ratios and fungal:bacterial ratios were higher at lower soil water contents, suggesting a functional and/or population-level shift in the microbiota at low soil water contents, and microbial community composition also differed following wet

  15. Interfacial Properties and Design of Functional Energy Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Sumpter, Bobby G; Liang, Liangbo; Nicolai, Adrien; Meunier, V.

    2014-01-01

    The vital importance of energy to society continues to demand a relentless pursuit of energy responsive materials that can bridge fundamental chemical structures at the molecular level and achieve improved functionality, such as efficient energy conversion/storage/transmission, over multiple length scales. This demand can potentially be realized by harnessing the power of self-assembly a spontaneous process where molecules or much larger entities form ordered aggregates as a consequence of predominately non-covalent (weak) interactions. Self-assembly is the key to bottom-up design of molecular devices, because the nearly atomic-level control is very difficult to realize in a top-down, e.g., lithographic approach. However, while function (e.g., charge mobility) in simple systems such as single crystals can often be predicted, predicting the function of the great variety of self-assembled molecular architectures is complicated by the lack of understanding and control over nanoscale interactions, mesoscale architectures, and macroscale (long-range) order. To establish a foundation toward delivering practical solutions, it is critical to develop an understanding of the chemical and physical mechanisms responsible for the self-assembly of molecular and hybrid materials on various substrates. Typically molecular self-assembly involves poorly understood non-covalent intermolecular and substrate-molecule interactions compounded by local and/or collective influences from the substrate atomic lattice (symmetry and/or topological features) and electronic structure. Thus, progress towards unraveling the underlying physicochemical processes that control the structure and macroscopic physical, mechanical, electrical, and transport properties of materials increasingly requires tight integration of theory, modeling and simulation with precision synthesis, advanced experimental characterization, and device measurements. In this mode, theory and simulation can greatly accelerate the

  16. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yufang; Chen, Yingying; Li, Shiqing

    2016-01-01

    Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L.) field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer) and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition). The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological quality of the

  17. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yufang; Chen, Yingying; Li, Shiqing

    2016-01-01

    Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L.) field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer) and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition). The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological quality of the

  18. Antioxidant Properties of Kynurenines: Density Functional Theory Calculations

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Kynurenines, the main products of tryptophan catabolism, possess both prooxidant and anioxidant effects. Having multiple neuroactive properties, kynurenines are implicated in the development of neurological and cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Autoxidation of 3-hydroxykynurenine (3HOK) and its derivatives, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3HAA) and xanthommatin (XAN), leads to the hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which damage cell structures. At the same time, 3HOK and 3HAA have been shown to be powerful ROS scavengers. Their ability to quench free radicals is believed to result from the presence of the aromatic hydroxyl group which is able to easily abstract an electron and H-atom. In this study, the redox properties for kynurenines and several natural and synthetic antioxidants have been calculated at different levels of density functional theory in the gas phase and water solution. Hydroxyl bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE) and ionization potential (IP) for 3HOK and 3HAA appear to be lower than for xanthurenic acid (XAA), several phenolic antioxidants, and ascorbic acid. BDE and IP for the compounds with aromatic hydroxyl group are lower than for their precursors without hydroxyl group. The reaction rate for H donation to *O-atom of phenoxyl radical (Ph-O*) and methyl peroxy radical (Met-OO*) decreases in the following rankings: 3HOK ~ 3HAA > XAAOXO > XAAENOL. The enthalpy absolute value for Met-OO* addition to the aromatic ring of the antioxidant radical increases in the following rankings: 3HAA* < 3HOK* < XAAOXO* < XAAENOL*. Thus, the high free radical scavenging activity of 3HAA and 3HOK can be explained by the easiness of H-atom abstraction and transfer to O-atom of the free radical, rather than by Met-OO* addition to the kynurenine radical. PMID:27861556

  19. Structural, electronic transport and optical properties of functionalized quasi-2D TiC2 from first-principles calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berdiyorov, G. R.; Madjet, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Using the first-principles density functional theory, we study the effect of surface functionalization on the structural and optoelectronic properties of recently proposed quasi-two-dimensional material TiC2 [T. Zhao, S. Zhang, Y. Guo, Q. Wang, Nanoscale 8 (2016) 233]. Hydrogenated, fluorinated, oxidized and hydroxylated surfaces are considered. Significant changes in the lattice parameters and partial charge distributions are found due to the surface termination. Direct contribution of the adatoms to the system density of states near the Fermi level is obtained, which has a major impact on the optoelectronic properties of the material. For example, surface termination results in larger absorption in the visible range of the spectrum. The electronic transport is also affected by the surface functionalization: the current in the system can be reduced by an order of magnitude. These findings indicate the importance of the effects of surface passivation on optoelectronic properties of this quasi-2D material.

  20. Chemical characteristic and functional properties of arenga starch-taro (Colocasia esculanta L.) flour noodle with turmeric extracts addition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ervika Rahayu N., H.; Ariani, Dini; Miftakhussolikhah, E., Maharani P.; Yudi, P.

    2017-01-01

    Arenga starch-taro (Colocasia esculanta L.) flour noodle is an alternative carbohydrate source made from 75% arenga starch and 25% taro flour, but it has a different color with commercial noodle product. The addition of natural color from turmeric may change the consumer preference and affect chemical characteristic and functional properties of noodle. This research aims to identify chemical characteristic and functional properties of arenga starch-taro flour noodle with turmeric extract addition. Extraction was performed using 5 variances of turmeric rhizome (0.06; 0.12; 0.18; 0.24; and 0.30 g (fresh weight/ml water). Then, noodle was made and chemical characteristic (proximate analysis) as well as functional properties (amylose, resistant starch, dietary fiber, antioxidant activity) were then evaluated. The result showed that addition of turmeric extract did not change protein, fat, carbohydrate, amylose, and resistant starch content significantly, while antioxidant activity was increased (23,41%) with addition of turmeric extract.

  1. Quadriceps Rate of Force Development affects Gait and Function in People with Knee Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Winters, Joshua D.; Rudolph, Katherine S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Quadriceps weakness exists in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA) but other muscle factors like rate of force development (RFD) may also be affected by knee OA. The purpose of this study was to determine if people with knee OA have deficits in quadriceps RFD, determine if quadriceps RFD would improve predicting knee joint power absorption and generation during free and fast walking, and determine if RFD would improve predicting functional outcomes. Methods 26 subjects with knee OA and 23 healthy control subjects performed maximal voluntary isometric strength (MVIC) and RFD measures of the quadriceps. Subjects also underwent a 3-D motion analysis of both self-selected free and self-selected fast walking speeds. Joint kinetics were calculated from inverse dynamics. Results RFD was not different by group (p=0.763), however the OA subjects generated the highest peak RFD at a lower %MVIC (p=0.008). Controls walked significantly faster at both free and fast walking speeds (p=0.001, p=0.029). Knee angles at heel strike and peak knee extension were lower (p=0.004, p=0.027) in the OA group. During fast walking knee power generation was higher in Controls (p=0.028). MVIC and force of highest peak RFD predicted KOOS ADL score in the OA subjects, but only MVIC predicted stair climbing time. Conclusions The submaximal force at which peak RFD occurs plays a significant role in knee joint power as well as functional measures in the OA subjects, providing further evidence that factors other than maximal strength are also important in people with knee OA. PMID:24240535

  2. Quality of life and functional capacity are adversely affected in osteoarthritis patients with neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Aşkın, Ayhan; Özkan, Ayten; Tosun, Aliye; Demirdal, Ümit Seçil; İsnaç, Fethi

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the neuropathic pain component of knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients and to investigate the relationship between neuropathic pain, disease stage, functional state, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. This study included 60 patients with knee OA. All demographic data and radiological results were recorded. Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Timed Up and Go Test, Chair Stand Test, Western Ontario and McMasters Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), PainDETECT questionnaire, DN4 questionnaire, Short form-36 questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale were performed for each patient. Neuropathic pain was detected in 66.7% of patients based on the PainDETECT scale and in 46.7% of patients based on DN4 scale. VAS-resting, OA grade, WOMAC scores, and SF-scores showed a significant difference in patients that detected neuropathic pain with PainDETECT (p<0.05). Based on the DN4 scale, patients with neuropathic pain had significantly higher WOMAC scores and significantly lower SF-36 scores (p<0.05). The PainDETECT questionnaire scores showed positive correlations with Timed Up-and-go Test, VAS-resting, WOMAC scores, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale scores, and a negative correlation with all SF-36 scores (p<0.05). DN4 questionnaire scores showed a negative correlation with SF-36 scores and positive correlation with WOMAC scores (p<0.05). To conclude, it should be kept in mind that patients with knee OA who describe intense pain may have a neuropathic component involved in the clinical condition. Quality of life and functional capacity are adversely affected in patients with knee OA who have neuropathic pain. This should be taken into account while planning the treatment of these patients.

  3. Cigarette smoke extract affects functional activity of MRP1 in bronchial epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    van der Deen, Margaretha; de Vries, Elisabeth G E; Visserman, Hylke; Zandbergen, Wouter; Postma, Dirkje S; Timens, Wim; Timmer-Bosscha, Hetty

    2007-01-01

    Cigarette smoke is the principal risk factor for development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1) is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of transporters, which transport physiologic and toxic substrates across cell membranes. MRP1 is highly expressed in lung epithelium. This study aims to analyze the effect of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on MRP1 activity. In the human bronchial epithelial cell line 16HBE14o-, MRP1 function was studied flow cytometrically by cellular retention of carboxyfluorescein (CF) after CSE incubation and MRP1 downregulation by RNA interference (siRNA). Cell survival was measured by the MTT assay. Immunocytochemically, it was shown that 16HBE14o(-) expressed MRP1 and breast cancer resistance protein. Coincubation of CSE IC50 (1.53% +/- 0.22%) with MK571 further decreased cell survival 31% (p, = 0.018). CSE increased cellular CF retention dose dependently from 1.7-fold at 5% CSE to 10.3-fold at 40% CSE (both p < 0.05). siRNA reduced MRP1 RNA expression with 49% and increased CF accumulation 67% versus control transfected cells. CSE exposure further increased CF retention 24% (p = 0.031). A linear positive relation between MRP1 function and CSE-modulating effects (r = 0.99, p =0.089) was shown in untransfected, control transfected, and MRP1 downregulated 16HBE14o- cells analogous to blocking effects with MRP1 inhibitor MK571 (r = 0.99, p = 0.034). In conclusion, cigarette smoke extract affects MRP1 activity probably competitively in bronchial epithelial cells. Inhibition of MRP1 in turn results in higher CSE toxicity. We propose that MRP1 may be a protective protein for COPD development.

  4. Functional Assessment of Human Coding Mutations Affecting Skin Pigmentation Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Tsetskhladze, Zurab R.; Canfield, Victor A.; Ang, Khai C.; Wentzel, Steven M.; Reid, Katherine P.; Berg, Arthur S.; Johnson, Stephen L.; Kawakami, Koichi; Cheng, Keith C.

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge in personalized medicine is the lack of a standard way to define the functional significance of the numerous nonsynonymous, single nucleotide coding variants that are present in each human individual. To begin to address this problem, we have used pigmentation as a model polygenic trait, three common human polymorphisms thought to influence pigmentation, and the zebrafish as a model system. The approach is based on the rescue of embryonic zebrafish mutant phenotypes by “humanized” zebrafish orthologous mRNA. Two hypomorphic polymorphisms, L374F in SLC45A2, and A111T in SLC24A5, have been linked to lighter skin color in Europeans. The phenotypic effect of a second coding polymorphism in SLC45A2, E272K, is unclear. None of these polymorphisms had been tested in the context of a model organism. We have confirmed that zebrafish albino fish are mutant in slc45a2; wild-type slc45a2 mRNA rescued the albino mutant phenotype. Introduction of the L374F polymorphism into albino or the A111T polymorphism into slc24a5 (golden) abolished mRNA rescue of the respective mutant phenotypes, consistent with their known contributions to European skin color. In contrast, the E272K polymorphism had no effect on phenotypic rescue. The experimental conclusion that E272K is unlikely to affect pigmentation is consistent with a lack of correlation between this polymorphism and quantitatively measured skin color in 59 East Asian humans. A survey of mutations causing human oculocutaneous albinism yielded 257 missense mutations, 82% of which are theoretically testable in zebrafish. The developed approach may be extended to other model systems and may potentially contribute to our understanding the functional relationships between DNA sequence variation, human biology, and disease. PMID:23071798

  5. Mechanical and failure properties of extracellular matrix sheets as a function of structural protein composition.

    PubMed

    Black, Lauren D; Allen, Philip G; Morris, Shirley M; Stone, Phillip J; Suki, Béla

    2008-03-01

    The goal of this study was to determine how alterations in protein composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) affect its functional properties. To achieve this, we investigated the changes in the mechanical and failure properties of ECM sheets generated by neonatal rat aortic smooth muscle cells engineered to contain varying amounts of collagen and elastin. Samples underwent static and dynamic mechanical measurements before, during, and after 30 min of elastase digestion followed by a failure test. Microscopic imaging was used to measure thickness at two strain levels to estimate the true stress and moduli in the ECM sheets. We found that adding collagen to the ECM increased the stiffness. However, further increasing collagen content altered matrix organization with a subsequent decrease in the failure strain. We also introduced collagen-related percolation in a nonlinear elastic network model to interpret these results. Additionally, linear elastic moduli correlated with failure stress which may allow the in vivo estimation of the stress tolerance of ECM. We conclude that, in engineered replacement tissues, there is a tradeoff between improved mechanical properties and decreased extensibility, which can impact their effectiveness and how well they match the mechanical properties of native tissue.

  6. Electronic and magnetic properties of silicon supported organometallic molecular wires: a density functional theory (DFT) study.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xia; Tan, Yingzi; Li, Xiuling; Wu, Xiaojun; Pei, Yong

    2015-08-28

    The electronic and magnetic properties of transition metal (TM = Sc, Ti, V, Cr and Mn) atom incorporated single and double one-dimensional (1D) styrene molecular wires confined on the hydrogen-terminated Si(100) surface are explored for the first time by means of spin-polarized density functional theory, denoted as Si-[TM(styrene)]. It is unveiled that TM atoms bind asymmetrically to the adjacent phenyl rings, which leads to novel electronic and magnetic properties in stark contrast to the well-studied gas phase TM-benzene molecular wires. Si-[Mn(styrene)]∞ and Si-[Cr(styrene)]∞ single molecular wires (SMWs) are a ferromagnetic semiconductor and half metal, respectively. Creation of H-atom defects on the silicon surface can introduce an impurity metallic band, which leads to novel half-metallic magnetism of a Si-[Mn(styrene)]∞ system. Moreover, double molecular wires (DMWs) containing two identical or hetero SMWs are theoretically designed. The [Mn(styrene)]∞-[Cr(styrene)]∞ DMW exhibits half-metallic magnetism where the spin-up and spin-down channels are contributed by two single molecular wires. Finally, we demonstrate that introducing a TM-defect may significantly affect the electronic structure and magnetic properties of molecular wires. These studies provide new insights into the structure and properties of surface supported 1-D sandwiched molecular wires and may inspire the future experimental synthesis of substrate confined organometallic sandwiched molecular wires.

  7. Exopolysaccharides modify functional properties of whey protein concentrate.

    PubMed

    Deep, G; Hassan, A N; Metzger, L

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this research was to produce whey protein concentrate (WPC) with modified functionality using exopolysaccharide- (EPS) producing cultures. Two different EPS-producing cultures, Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris JFR and Streptococcus thermophilus, producing EPS1 and EPS2 respectively, were used in this study. One EPS-nonproducing commercial cheese culture (DVS 850; Chr. Hansen, Milwaukee, WI) was used as the control. Reconstituted sweet whey powder was used in this study to eliminate variations from fresh whey. Cultures grown overnight in reconstituted WPC (10% wt/vol) were added, directly or after overnight cooling (cooled EPS), at 2% (wt/vol) to 6% (wt/wt) solution of reconstituted whey. Whey was then high-temperature, short-time pasteurized at 75 °C for 35s and ultrafiltered to a volume reduction factor of 5. Ultrafiltered whey (retentate) was spray dried at inlet and outlet air temperatures of 200 and 90 °C, respectively, to obtain WPC. In general, the solubility of WPC was higher at pH 7 than at pH 3. Whey protein concentrate containing EPS2 exhibited higher protein solubility than did WPC containing no EPS. Also, the presence of EPS in WPC decreased protein denaturation. The emulsifying ability of WPC containing EPS was higher than that in control. Addition of EPS to WPC significantly enhanced its gelling ability. Foam overrun and hydrophobicity of WPC were not affected by addition of EPS. In conclusion, data obtained from this study show that EPS modify WPC functionality. The extent of modification depends on the type of EPS. Cooling of culture containing EPS before its addition to whey further reduced WPC protein denaturation and increased its solubility at pH 7 and gel hardness.

  8. Role of Affective Self-Regulatory Efficacy in Diverse Spheres of Psychosocial Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandura, Albert; Caprara, Gian Vittorio; Barbaranelli, Claudio; Gerbino, Maria; Pastorelli, Concetta

    2003-01-01

    Examined influence of perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation with older adolescents. Found that self-efficacy to regulate affect related to high efficacy to manage academic development, resist social pressures for antisocial activities, and engage with empathy in others' emotional experiences. Perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation…

  9. Sodium benzoate, a food preservative, affects the functional and activation status of splenocytes at non cytotoxic dose.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Ashish; Kumar, Arvind; Das, Mukul; Tripathi, Anurag

    2016-02-01

    Sodium benzoate (SB) is a widely used food preservative due to its bacteriostatic and fungistatic properties. The acceptable daily intake of SB is 5 mg/kg-bw, however, it has been found to be used in the food commodities at relatively high levels (2119 mg/kg). Earlier studies on SB have shown its immunosuppressive properties, but comprehensive immunotoxicity data is lacking. Our studies have shown that SB was non cytotoxic in splenocytes up to 1000 μg/ml for 72 h, however at 2500 μg/ml it was found to be cytotoxic. Thus, 1000 μg/ml dose of SB was chosen for the subsequent experiments. SB significantly suppresses the proliferation of Con A and LPS stimulated splenocytes at 72 h, while allogenic response of T cells was significantly decreased after 96 h. SB did not affect the relative expression of CD3e or CD4 molecules following 72 h exposure, however, it downregulated the relative expression of CD8 co-receptor. Further, exposure of splenocytes to SB for 72 h led to reduced expression of CD28 and CD95, which play a vital role in T cell activation. SB also suppresses the relative expression of CD19, CD40 and CD95 receptors on B cells after 72 h. In addition to the functional responses, SB lowered the expression of IL4, IL6, IFNγ and IL17 cytokines in Con A stimulated splenocytes; and IL6, IFNγ and TNFα in LPS stimulated splenocytes following 48 h of exposure. Taken together, the present study is suggestive of the immunomodulatory potential of SB.

  10. Factors affecting cognitive functioning in a sample of human immunodeficiency virus-positive injection drug users.

    PubMed

    Margolin, Arthur; Avants, S Kelly; Warburton, Lara A; Hawkins, Keith A

    2002-06-01

    Injection drug users represent a major vector of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the nation's inner cities, and are an important population for harm reduction treatment interventions to target. However, there has been relatively little research examining the specific contribution of the multiple factors contributing to cognitive functioning among injection drug users that may affect engagement in, and response to, addiction and HIV-related interventions. The current study examined the independent contributions to neuropsychological (NP) test performance of premorbid educational attainment, medical and psychiatric history, long- and short-term drug use, assessed by laboratory, observation, and self-report measures, and HIV disease, assessed by plasma HIV-1 RNA viral load and CD4+ count, in a sample of 90 HIV-positive injection drug users dually addicted to heroin and cocaine. Fully 88% of the sample showed evidence of impairment (>1 standard deviation below the population mean) on an NP test battery selected to assess processes associated with successful engagement in the treatment of substance abuse and HIV, such as learning and memory of verbal information, capacity to solve new problems and deal with more than one stimulus at a time, visual-motor coordination, and visual tracking and cognitive flexibility. In addition to drug use, independent predictors of NP test performance were HIV viral load, educational attainment, and premorbid medical and psychiatric problems. Findings underscore the multiplicity of factors that contribute to cognitive impairment in HIV-positive drug-abusing individuals in addition to drug use. Clinical implications are discussed.

  11. Fish functional traits are affected by hydrodynamics at small spatial scale.

    PubMed

    Bracciali, C; Guzzo, G; Giacoma, C; Dean, J M; Sarà, G

    2016-02-01

    The Mediterranean damselfish Chromis chromis is a species with a broad distribution found both in the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Atlantic as far south as the coast of Angola. We hypothesized that the species may have significant functional morphological plasticity to adapt along a gradient of environmental conditions. It is a non-migratory zooplanktivorous species and spends the daytime searching for food in the middle of the water column. Therefore, local hydrodynamics could be one of the environmental factors affecting traits of C. chromis with repercussions at the population level. We compared the body condition, individual growth and body shapes of damselfish collected under two different hydrodynamic conditions (low ∼10 cm s(-1) vs. high ∼20 cm s(-1)). Specimens showed higher body condition under high-hydrodynamics, where conditions offered greater amounts of food, which were able to support larger individuals. Individuals smaller than 60-mm were more abundant under low-hydrodynamics. Morphometric analysis revealed that high-hydrodynamics were favored by fish with a more fusiform body shape and body traits developed for propellant swimming.

  12. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions.

    PubMed

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant.

  13. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant. PMID:26186596

  14. Ectodomain Architecture Affects Sequence and Functional Evolution of Vertebrate Toll-like Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jinlan; Zhang, Zheng; Liu, Jing; Zhao, Jing; Yin, Deling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial components of innate immunity that specifically recognize diverse pathogen-associated molecular patterns from pathogens. The continuous hydrogen-bond network (asparagine ladder) formed among the asparagine residues on the concave surfaces of neighboring leucine-rich repeat modules assists in stabilizing the overall shape of TLR ectodomains responsible for ligand recognition. Analysis of 28 types of vertebrate TLRs showed that their ectodomains possessed three types of architectures: a single-domain architecture with an intact asparagine ladder, a three-domain architecture with the ladder interrupted in the middle, and a trans-three-domain architecture with the ladder broken in both termini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, the three vertebrate TLR architectures arose during early evolution. The 1428 vertebrate TLRs can be divided into eight families based on sequence and structural differences. TLRs ligand specificities are affected by their ectodomain architectures. Three-domain TLRs bind hydrophobic ligands, whereas single-domain and trans-three-domain TLRs mainly recognize hydrophilic ligands. Analysis of 39 vertebrate genomes suggested that the number of single-domain TLR genes in terrestrial vertebrate genomes decreased by half compared to aquatic vertebrate genomes. Single-domain TLR genes underwent stronger purifying selective pressures than three-domain TLR genes in mammals. Overall, ectodomain architecture influences the sequence and functional evolution of vertebrate TLRs. PMID:27216145

  15. Activity Pattern Profiles: Relationship With Affect, Daily Functioning, Impairment, and Variables Related to Life Goals.

    PubMed

    Esteve, Rosa; López-Martínez, Alicia E; Peters, Madelon L; Serrano-Ibáñez, Elena R; Ruíz-Párraga, Gema T; González-Gómez, Henar; Ramírez-Maestre, Carmen

    2017-01-04

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to identify subgroups of patients on the basis of their activity patterns and to investigate their relationship with life goals, optimism, affect, and functioning. The sample was comprised of 276 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed on the activity pattern variables and the resulting clusters were compared using 1-way analysis of variance. The 4-cluster was the optimal solution. The 4 clusters comprised: 1) avoiders: patients with high levels of avoidance and low levels of persistence, who use pacing to reduce pain, 2) doers: patients with high levels of persistence and low levels of pacing and avoidance, 3) extreme cyclers: patients with high levels of avoidance and persistence and low levels of pacing, and 4) medium cyclers: patients with moderately high levels of avoidance and persistence and high levels of pacing. Comparison of the clusters showed that doers had the most adaptive profile, whereas avoiders, followed by extreme cyclers, had unhealthy profiles. Doers showed a high level of optimism and a good balance between goal value, expectancy, and conflict.

  16. Naloxonazine, an Amastigote-Specific Compound, Affects Leishmania Parasites through Modulation of Host-Encoded Functions

    PubMed Central

    Vanhollebeke, Benoit; Caljon, Guy; Wolfe, Alan R.; McKerrow, James; Dujardin, Jean-Claude

    2016-01-01

    Host-directed therapies (HDTs) constitute promising alternatives to traditional therapy that directly targets the pathogen but is often hampered by pathogen resistance. HDT could represent a new treatment strategy for leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease caused by the obligate intracellular parasite Leishmania. This protozoan develops exclusively within phagocytic cells, where infection relies on a complex molecular interplay potentially exploitable for drug targets. We previously identified naloxonazine, a compound specifically active against intracellular but not axenic Leishmania donovani. We evaluated here whether this compound could present a host cell-dependent mechanism of action. Microarray profiling of THP-1 macrophages treated with naloxonazine showed upregulation of vATPases, which was further linked to an increased volume of intracellular acidic vacuoles. Treatment of Leishmania-infected macrophages with the vATPase inhibitor concanamycin A abolished naloxonazine effects, functionally demonstrating that naloxonazine affects Leishmania amastigotes indirectly, through host cell vacuolar remodeling. These results validate amastigote-specific screening approaches as a powerful way to identify alternative host-encoded targets. Although the therapeutic value of naloxonazine itself is unproven, our results further demonstrate the importance of intracellular acidic compartments for host defense against Leishmania, highlighting the possibility of targeting this host cell compartment for anti-leishmanial therapy. PMID:28036391

  17. Severity of Demyelinating and Axonal Neuropathy Mouse Models Is Modified by Genes Affecting Structure and Function of Peripheral Nodes.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Kathryn H; Seburn, Kevin L; Schroeder, David G; Spaulding, Emily L; Dionne, Loiuse A; Cox, Gregory A; Burgess, Robert W

    2017-03-28

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of inherited polyneuropathies. Mutations in 80 genetic loci can cause forms of CMT, resulting in demyelination and axonal dysfunction. The clinical presentation, including sensory deficits, distal muscle weakness, and atrophy, can vary greatly in severity and progression. Here, we used mouse models of CMT to demonstrate genetic interactions that result in a more severe neuropathy phenotype. The cell adhesion molecule Nrcam and the Na(+) channel Scn8a (NaV1.6) are important components of nodes. Homozygous Nrcam and heterozygous Scn8a mutations synergized with both an Sh3tc2 mutation, modeling recessive demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4C, and mutations in Gars, modeling dominant axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2D. We conclude that genetic variants perturbing the structure and function of nodes interact with mutations affecting the cable properties of axons by thinning myelin or reducing axon diameter. Therefore, genes integral to peripheral nodes are candidate modifiers of peripheral neuropathy.

  18. Physicochemical and functional properties of peeled and unpeeled pumpkin flour.

    PubMed

    Noor Aziah, A A; Komathi, C A

    2009-09-01

    This study was intended to investigate the potential of peeled and unpeeled pumpkin pulp as a raw material for the production of flour that could be used in composite blend with wheat flour or as a functional ingredient in food products. The peeled and unpeeled pumpkin pulp were soaked in sodium metabisulphite solution, sliced and dried overnight in a hot air oven, followed by milling into peeled pumpkin pulp flour (PPPF) and unpeeled pumpkin pulp flour (UPPF), respectively. The flours were then evaluated for physicochemical attributes (color, proximate compositions, and water activity) and functional properties (water holding capacity and oil holding capacity), in comparison to the commercial wheat flour. PPPF and UPPF were observed to be more attractive in terms of color than wheat flour, as indicated by the significantly higher results (P or= 0.05) was shown in water holding capacity of PPPF and wheat flour. However, the oil holding capacity of PPPF and UPPF was shown to be significantly higher (P

  19. Alternative oxidase: distribution, induction, properties, structure, regulation, and functions.

    PubMed

    Rogov, A G; Sukhanova, E I; Uralskaya, L A; Aliverdieva, D A; Zvyagilskaya, R A

    2014-12-01

    The respiratory chain in the majority of organisms with aerobic type metabolism features the concomitant existence of the phosphorylating cytochrome pathway and the cyanide- and antimycin A-insensitive oxidative route comprising a so-called alternative oxidase (AOX) as a terminal oxidase. In this review, the history of AOX discovery is described. Considerable evidence is presented that AOX occurs widely in organisms at various levels of organization and is not confined to the plant kingdom. This enzyme has not been found only in Archaea, mammals, some yeasts and protists. Bioinformatics research revealed the sequences characteristic of AOX in representatives of various taxonomic groups. Based on multiple alignments of these sequences, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to infer their possible evolution. The ways of AOX activation, as well as regulatory interactions between AOX and the main respiratory chain are described. Data are summarized concerning the properties of AOX and the AOX-encoding genes whose expression is either constitutive or induced by various factors. Information is presented on the structure of AOX, its active center, and the ubiquinone-binding site. The principal functions of AOX are analyzed, including the cases of cell survival, optimization of respiratory metabolism, protection against excess of reactive oxygen species, and adaptation to variable nutrition sources and to biotic and abiotic stress factors. It is emphasized that different AOX functions complement each other in many instances and are not mutually exclusive. Examples are given to demonstrate that AOX is an important tool to overcome the adverse aftereffects of restricted activity of the main respiratory chain in cells and whole animals. This is the first comprehensive review on alternative oxidases of various organisms ranging from yeasts and protists to vascular plants.

  20. Functional properties of whey proteins microparticulated at low pH.

    PubMed

    Dissanayake, M; Liyanaarachchi, S; Vasiljevic, T

    2012-04-01

    The main aim of the study was to assess the effect of microparticulation at low pH on the functionality of heat-denatured whey proteins (WP). Spray-dried, microparticulated WP (MWP) powders were produced from 7% (wt/wt) WP dispersions at pH 3, acidified with citric or lactic acid, and microfluidized with or without heat denaturation. Nonmicroparticulated, spray-dried powders produced at neutral pH or pH 3 served as controls. The powders were examined for their functional and physicochemical properties. Denatured MWP had an approximately 2 orders of magnitude reduction in particle size compared with those produced at neutral pH, with high colloidal stability indicated by substantially improved solubility. The detection of monomeric forms of WP in PAGE also confirmed the particle size reduction. Microparticulated WP exhibited enhanced heat stability, as indicated by thermograms, along with better emulsifying properties compared with those produced at neutral pH. However, MWP powders created weaker heat-induced gels at neutral pH compared with controls. However, they created comparatively strong cold acid-set gels. At low pH, a combination of heat and high hydrodynamic pressure produced WP micro-aggregates with improved colloidal stability that affects other functionalities.

  1. Patient-prosthesis mismatch in the mitral position affects midterm survival and functional status

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Denis; Eynden, Frédéric Vanden; Demers, Philippe; Perrault, Louis P; Carrier, Michel; Cartier, Raymond; Basmadjian, Arsène J; Pellerin, Michel

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The definition and incidence of patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM) in the mitral position are unclear. OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of PPM on late survival and functional status after mitral valve replacement with a mechanical valve. METHODS: Between 1992 and 2005, 714 patients (mean [± SD] age 60±10 years) underwent valve replacement with either St Jude (St Jude Medical Inc, USA) (n=295) or Carbomedics (Sulzer Carbomedics Inc, USA) (n=419) valves. There were 52 concomitant procedures (50 tricuspid annuloplasties, 25 foramen oval closures and 20 radiofrequency mazes). The mean clinical follow-up period was 4.4±3.3 years. The severity of PPM was established with cut-off values for an indexed effective orifice area (EOAi) of lower than 1.2 cm2/m2, lower than 1.3 cm2/m2 and lower than 1.4 cm2/m2. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used to determine predictors of outcome. RESULTS: The prevalence of PPM was 3.7%, 10.1% and 23.5% when considering values of lower than 1.2 cm2/m2, lower than 1.3 cm2/m2 and lower than 1.4 cm2/m2, respectively. When considering functional improvement, patients with an EOAi of 1.4 cm2/m2 or greater had a better outcome than those with an EOAi of lower than 1.4 cm2/m2 (OR 1.98; P=0.03). When building a Cox-proportional hazard model, PPM with an EOAi of less than 1.3 cm2/m2 was an independent predictive factor for midterm survival (HR 2.24, P=0.007). Other factors affecting survival were age (HR 1.039), preoperative New York Heart Association class (HR 1.96) and body surface area (HR 0.31). CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of patients undergoing mitral valve replacement with mechanical prostheses, PPM defined as an EOAi of lower than 1.3 cm2/m2 significantly decreased midterm survival. This level of PPM was observed in 10.2% of patients. Patients with an EOAi of 1.4 cm2/m2 or greater had greater improvement of their functional status. PMID:21165362

  2. How does the structure of extraocular muscles and their nerves affect their function?

    PubMed Central

    Bruenech, J R; Kjellevold Haugen, I B

    2015-01-01

    The sensory and motor control of human extraocular muscles (EOMs) have been subjected to considerable speculation in ophthalmic literature, often related to infranuclear structures such as the unique complement of muscle fibres and their associated sensory organs. The intrafusal fibres do not resemble their somatic counterparts and their peculiar morphology has raised questions about their proprioceptive capacity. No Golgi tendon organs have so far been observed and the myotendinous nerve endings, previously assumed to convey sensory information, have recently been argued to merely represent constituents of the efferent innervation serving the multiply innervated muscles fibres. These observations raise questions about the overall capacity to monitor the activity created by the generous efferent nerve supply observed in these muscles. Furthermore, the argued independent activity of muscular layers and compartments suggest that the required feedback must be highly structured and more specific than previously assumed. Yet, uncertainty about the source of such information remains. The purpose of this paper is to provide a short review of neuromuscular properties of human extraocular muscles. Their functional implications and the most reputable sources of proprioception will also be discussed. The promoted views are based on pertinent literature and previous research undertaken by the authors. PMID:25397785

  3. The study of functional properties of Nypa fruticans flour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulyarti, Nazarudin, Sari, Dian Wulan

    2017-03-01

    Nypafruticans or known as nypa produces considerable amount of fruit with high content of carbohydrate. The mesocarp of the mature fruit is a potential source of energy but underutilised. This research was conducted to study the production of flour from mesocarp of mature nypa fruit and to determine the functional properties of nypa flour. This research used the fruit from mangrove area in Jambi Province. The highest rendemenof flour in ratio to mesocarp weight was 20.00±5.24%. Mesocarp processing produced flour with low fat content (1.45%) and high crude fibre content (17.68%), color parameter L* 83.13±4.04, a* -0.67±0.90, and b* 4.80±0.80. OAC nypa flour was 1.20±0.20 and its WAC was 2.84±0.24. Nypaflour exhibited low swelling power and solubility. The highest swelling power and solubility were achieved at 85oC with value of 4.5g/g and 10.56% respectively.

  4. Physicochemical and functional properties of gelatin extracted from Yak skin.

    PubMed

    Xu, Mengqi; Wei, Lixin; Xiao, Yuancan; Bi, Hongtao; Yang, Hongxia; Du, Yuzhi

    2017-02-01

    Different molecular weight distribution (MWD) gelatin was extracted from Yak skin after enzymatic pretreatments and their physicochemical and functional properties (SDS-PAGE, UV-vis absorption spectra, DSC, FT-IR, Amino acid analysis, AFM, emulsibility and foamability) were analyzed. The gelatin was extracted by pepsin and got different MWD of Yak skin gelatin by controlling the enzymolysis time. The SDS-PAGE showed the MWD of the Yak skin gelatin. The UV-vis absorption turned out that the broad MWD of Yak skin gelatin had a higher maximum absorption peaks. The FT-IR and AFM indicated that the gelatin structures and microstructures changed with the change of the MWD. The broad MWD of the Yak skin gelatin had a higher denaturation temperature (TD), and it was higher than most of the other mammals and marine biological gelatin. The broad MWD gelatin also had higher imino acids (proline and hydroxyproline) contents and lower foamability and emulsibility compared to the narrow MWD gelatin. These findings, obtained for the first time for Yak skin gelatin, showed that it has great potential for application as an alternative to commercial gelatin due to its good thermotolerance, particularly in the applications of the biological materials, stabilizer of thermo-tolerant and so on.

  5. Yellow Mealworm Protein for Food Purposes - Extraction and Functional Properties.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xue; Vázquez-Gutiérrez, José Luis; Johansson, Daniel P; Landberg, Rikard; Langton, Maud

    2016-01-01

    A protocol for extraction of yellow mealworm larvae proteins was established, conditions were evaluated and the resulting protein extract was characterised. The freeze-dried yellow mealworm larvae contained around 33% fat, 51% crude protein and 43% true protein on a dry matter basis. The true protein content of the protein extract was about 75%, with an extraction rate of 70% under optimised extraction conditions using 0.25 M NaOH, a NaOH solution:ethanol defatted worm ratio of 15:1 mL/g, 40°C for 1 h and extraction twice. The protein extract was a good source of essential amino acids. The lowest protein solubility in distilled water solution was found between pH 4 and 5, and increased with either increasing or decreasing pH. Lower solubility was observed in 0.5 M NaCl solution compared with distilled water. The rheological tests indicated that temperature, sample concentration, addition of salt and enzyme, incubation time and pH alterations influenced the elastic modulus of yellow mealworm protein extract (YMPE). These results demonstrate that the functional properties of YMPE can be modified for different food applications.

  6. Novel Functional Properties of Drosophila CNS Glutamate Receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yan; Dharkar, Poorva; Han, Tae-Hee; Serpe, Mihaela; Lee, Chi-Hon; Mayer, Mark L.

    2016-12-01

    Phylogenetic analysis reveals AMPA, kainate, and NMDA receptor families in insect genomes, suggesting conserved functional properties corresponding to their vertebrate counterparts. However, heterologous expression of the Drosophila kainate receptor DKaiR1D and the AMPA receptor DGluR1A revealed novel ligand selectivity at odds with the classification used for vertebrate glutamate receptor ion channels (iGluRs). DKaiR1D forms a rapidly activating and desensitizing receptor that is inhibited by both NMDA and the NMDA receptor antagonist AP5; crystallization of the KaiR1D ligand-binding domain reveals that these ligands stabilize open cleft conformations, explaining their action as antagonists. Surprisingly, the AMPA receptor DGluR1A shows weak activation by its namesake agonist AMPA and also by quisqualate. Crystallization of the DGluR1A ligand-binding domain reveals amino acid exchanges that interfere with binding of these ligands. The unexpected ligand-binding profiles of insect iGluRs allows classical tools to be used in novel approaches for the study of synaptic regulation.

  7. Yellow Mealworm Protein for Food Purposes - Extraction and Functional Properties

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xue; Vázquez-Gutiérrez, José Luis; Johansson, Daniel P.; Landberg, Rikard; Langton, Maud

    2016-01-01

    A protocol for extraction of yellow mealworm larvae proteins was established, conditions were evaluated and the resulting protein extract was characterised. The freeze-dried yellow mealworm larvae contained around 33% fat, 51% crude protein and 43% true protein on a dry matter basis. The true protein content of the protein extract was about 75%, with an extraction rate of 70% under optimised extraction conditions using 0.25 M NaOH, a NaOH solution:ethanol defatted worm ratio of 15:1 mL/g, 40°C for 1 h and extraction twice. The protein extract was a good source of essential amino acids. The lowest protein solubility in distilled water solution was found between pH 4 and 5, and increased with either increasing or decreasing pH. Lower solubility was observed in 0.5 M NaCl solution compared with distilled water. The rheological tests indicated that temperature, sample concentration, addition of salt and enzyme, incubation time and pH alterations influenced the elastic modulus of yellow mealworm protein extract (YMPE). These results demonstrate that the functional properties of YMPE can be modified for different food applications. PMID:26840533

  8. Reduction of Cellular Expression Levels Is a Common Feature of Functionally Affected Pendrin (SLC26A4) Protein Variants

    PubMed Central

    de Moraes, Vanessa C S; Bernardinelli, Emanuele; Zocal, Nathalia; Fernandez, Jhonathan A; Nofziger, Charity; Castilho, Arthur M; Sartorato, Edi L; Paulmichl, Markus; Dossena, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    Sequence alterations in the pendrin gene (SLC26A4) leading to functionally affected protein variants are frequently involved in the pathogenesis of syndromic and nonsyndromic deafness. Considering the high number of SLC26A4 sequence alterations reported to date, discriminating between functionally affected and unaffected pendrin protein variants is essential in contributing to determine the genetic cause of deafness in a given patient. In addition, identifying molecular features common to the functionally affected protein variants can be extremely useful to design future molecule-directed therapeutic approaches. Here we show the functional and molecular characterization of six previously uncharacterized pendrin protein variants found in a cohort of 58 Brazilian deaf patients. Two variants (p.T193I and p.L445W) were undetectable in the plasma membrane, completely retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and showed no transport function; four (p.P142L, p.G149R, p.C282Y and p.Q413R) showed reduced function and significant, although heterogeneous, expression levels in the plasma membrane. Importantly, total expression levels of all of the functionally affected protein variants were significantly reduced with respect to the wild-type and a fully functional variant (p.R776C), regardless of their subcellular localization. Interestingly, reduction of expression may also reduce the transport activity of variants with an intrinsic gain of function (p.Q413R). As reduction of overall cellular abundance was identified as a common molecular feature of pendrin variants with affected function, the identification of strategies to prevent reduction in expression levels may represent a crucial step of potential future therapeutic interventions aimed at restoring the transport activity of dysfunctional pendrin variants. PMID:26752218

  9. Characterizations of how species mediate ecosystem properties require more comprehensive functional effect descriptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, R.; Mavrogordato, M. N.; Tolhurst, T. J.; Solan, M.

    2014-09-01

    The importance of individual species in mediating ecosystem process and functioning is generally accepted, but categorical descriptors that summarize species-specific contributions to ecosystems tend to reference a limited number of biological traits and underestimate the importance of how organisms interact with their environment. Here, we show how three functionally contrasting sediment-dwelling marine invertebrates affect fluid and particle transport - important processes in mediating nutrient cycling - and use high-resolution reconstructions of burrow geometry to determine the extent and nature of biogenic modification. We find that individual functional effect descriptors fall short of being able to adequately characterize how species mediate the stocks and flows of important ecosystem properties and that, in contrary to common practice and understanding, they are not substitutable with one another because they emphasize different aspects of species activity and behavior. When information derived from these metrics is combined with knowledge of how species behave and modify their environment, however, detailed mechanistic information emerges that increases the likelihood that a species functional standing will be appropriately summarized. Our study provides evidence that more comprehensive functional effect descriptors are required if they are to be of value to those tasked with projecting how altered biodiversity will influence future ecosystems.

  10. Characterizations of how species mediate ecosystem properties require more comprehensive functional effect descriptors

    PubMed Central

    Hale, R.; Mavrogordato, M. N.; Tolhurst, T. J.; Solan, M.

    2014-01-01

    The importance of individual species in mediating ecosystem process and functioning is generally accepted, but categorical descriptors that summarize species-specific contributions to ecosystems tend to reference a limited number of biological traits and underestimate the importance of how organisms interact with their environment. Here, we show how three functionally contrasting sediment-dwelling marine invertebrates affect fluid and particle transport - important processes in mediating nutrient cycling - and use high-resolution reconstructions of burrow geometry to determine the extent and nature of biogenic modification. We find that individual functional effect descriptors fall short of being able to adequately characterize how species mediate the stocks and flows of important ecosystem properties and that, in contrary to common practice and understanding, they are not substitutable with one another because they emphasize different aspects of species activity and behavior. When information derived from these metrics is combined with knowledge of how species behave and modify their environment, however, detailed mechanistic information emerges that increases the likelihood that a species functional standing will be appropriately summarized. Our study provides evidence that more comprehensive functional effect descriptors are required if they are to be of value to those tasked with projecting how altered biodiversity will influence future ecosystems. PMID:25249055

  11. Single-subject analyses of magnetoencephalographic evoked responses to the acoustic properties of affective non-verbal vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Salvia, Emilie; Bestelmeyer, Patricia E G; Kotz, Sonja A; Rousselet, Guillaume A; Pernet, Cyril R; Gross, Joachim; Belin, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Magneto-encephalography (MEG) was used to examine the cerebral response to affective non-verbal vocalizations (ANVs) at the single-subject level. Stimuli consisted of non-verbal affect bursts from the Montreal Affective Voices morphed to parametrically vary acoustical structure and perceived emotional properties. Scalp magnetic fields were recorded in three participants while they performed a 3-alternative forced choice emotion categorization task (Anger, Fear, Pleasure). Each participant performed more than 6000 trials to allow single-subject level statistical analyses using a new toolbox which implements the general linear model (GLM) on stimulus-specific responses (LIMO-EEG). For each participant we estimated "simple" models [including just one affective regressor (Arousal or Valence)] as well as "combined" models (including acoustical regressors). Results from the "simple" models revealed in every participant the significant early effects (as early as ~100 ms after onset) of Valence and Arousal already reported at the group-level in previous work. However, the "combined" models showed that few effects of Arousal remained after removing the acoustically-explained variance, whereas significant effects of Valence remained especially at late stages. This study demonstrates (i) that single-subject analyses replicate the results observed at early stages by group-level studies and (ii) the feasibility of GLM-based analysis of MEG data. It also suggests that early modulation of MEG amplitude by affective stimuli partly reflects their acoustical properties.

  12. A decorin-deficient matrix affects skin chondroitin/dermatan sulfate levels and keratinocyte function

    PubMed Central

    Nikolovska, Katerina; Renke, Jana K.; Jungmann, Oliver; Grobe, Kay; Iozzo, Renato V.; Zamfir, Alina D.; Seidler, Daniela G.

    2016-01-01

    Decorin is a small leucine-rich proteoglycan harboring a single glycosaminoglycan chain, which, in skin, is mainly composed of dermatan sulfate (DS). Mutant mice with targeted disruption of the decorin gene (Dcn−/−) exhibit an abnormal collagen architecture in the dermis and reduced tensile strength, collectively leading to a skin fragility phenotype. Notably, Ehlers-Danlos patients with mutations in enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of DS display a similar phenotype, and recent studies indicate that DS is involved in growth factor binding and signaling. To determine the impact of the loss of DS-decorin in the dermis, we analyzed the glycosaminoglycan content of Dcn−/− and wild-type mouse skin. The total amount of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS) was increased in the Dcn−/− skin, but was overall less sulfated with a significant reduction in bisulfated ΔDiS2,X (X=4 or 6) disaccharide units, due to the reduced expression of uronyl 2-O sulfotransferase (Ust). With increasing age, sulfation declined; however, Dcn−/− CS/DS was constantly undersulfated vis-à-vis wild-type. Functionally, we found altered fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)-7 and -2 binding due to changes in the micro-heterogeneity of skin Dcn−/− CS/DS. To better delineate the role of decorin, we used a 3D Dcn−/− fibroblast cell culture model. We found that the CS/DS extracts of wild-type and Dcn−/− fibroblasts were similar to the skin sugars, and this correlated with the lack of uronyl 2-O sulfotransferase in the Dcn−/− fibroblasts. Moreover, Ffg7 binding to total CS/DS was attenuated in the Dcn−/− samples. Surprisingly, wild-type CS/DS significantly reduced the binding of Fgf7 to keratinocytes in concentration dependent manner unlike the Dcn−/− CS/DS that only affected the binding at higher concentrations. Although binding to cell-surfaces was quite similar at higher concentrations, keratinocyte proliferation was differentially affected. Higher concentration of

  13. Human, donkey and cow milk differently affects energy efficiency and inflammatory state by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Trinchese, Giovanna; Cavaliere, Gina; Canani, Roberto Berni; Matamoros, Sebastien; Bergamo, Paolo; De Filippo, Chiara; Aceto, Serena; Gaita, Marcello; Cerino, Pellegrino; Negri, Rossella; Greco, Luigi; Cani, Patrice D; Mollica, Maria Pina

    2015-11-01

    Different nutritional components are able, by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota composition, to influence body composition, metabolic homeostasis and inflammatory state. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects produced by the supplementation of different milks on energy balance, inflammatory state, oxidative stress and antioxidant/detoxifying enzyme activities and to investigate the role of the mitochondrial efficiency and the gut microbiota in the regulation of metabolic functions in an animal model. We compared the intake of human milk, gold standard for infant nutrition, with equicaloric supplementation of donkey milk, the best substitute for newborns due to its nutritional properties, and cow milk, the primary marketed product. The results showed a hypolipidemic effect produced by donkey and human milk intake in parallel with enhanced mitochondrial activity/proton leakage. Reduced mitochondrial energy efficiency and proinflammatory signals (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1 and lipopolysaccharide levels) were associated with a significant increase of antioxidants (total thiols) and detoxifying enzyme activities (glutathione-S-transferase, NADH quinone oxidoreductase) in donkey- and human milk-treated animals. The beneficial effects were attributable, at least in part, to the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 pathway. Moreover, the metabolic benefits induced by human and donkey milk may be related to the modulation of gut microbiota. In fact, milk treatments uniquely affected the proportions of bacterial phyla and genera, and we hypothesized that the increased concentration of fecal butyrate in human and donkey milk-treated rats was related to the improved lipid and glucose metabolism and detoxifying activities.

  14. Pons to Posterior Cingulate Functional Projections Predict Affective Processing Changes in the Elderly Following Eight Weeks of Meditation Training.

    PubMed

    Shao, Robin; Keuper, Kati; Geng, Xiujuan; Lee, Tatia M C

    2016-08-01

    Evidence indicates meditation facilitates affective regulation and reduces negative affect. It also influences resting-state functional connectivity between affective networks and the posterior cingulate (PCC)/precuneus, regions critically implicated in self-referential processing. However, no longitudinal study employing active control group has examined the effect of meditation training on affective processing, PCC/precuneus connectivity, and their association. Here, we report that eight-week meditation, but not relaxation, training 'neutralized' affective processing of positive and negative stimuli in healthy elderly participants. Additionally, meditation versus relaxation training increased the positive connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and the pons, the direction of which was largely directed from the pons to the PCC/precuneus, as revealed by dynamic causal modeling. Further, changes in connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and pons predicted changes in affective processing after meditation training. These findings indicate meditation promotes self-referential affective regulation based on increased regulatory influence of the pons on PCC/precuneus, which new affective-processing strategy is employed across both resting state and when evaluating affective stimuli. Such insights have clinical implications on interventions on elderly individuals with affective disorders.

  15. Self-efficacy and affect as mediators between pain dimensions and emotional symptoms and functional limitation in women with fibromyalgia.

    PubMed

    Peñacoba Puente, Cecilia; Velasco Furlong, Lilian; Écija Gallardo, Carmen; Cigarán Méndez, Margarita; Bedmar Cruz, Dolores; Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, César

    2015-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the role of self-efficacy and affect as mediators of the relationship between pain and several fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms (functional limitation, depression, and anxiety). We evaluated 144 women with FM for self-reported pain (numerical pain scale), pressure pain sensitivity (pressure pain thresholds), functional limitation (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire), self-efficacy (Chronic Pain Self-Efficacy Scale), depression-anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and positive-negative affect (Positive-Negative Affect Scale). Mediating analyses were conducted with ordinary least squares multiple regression analysis. The results demonstrated that self-reported pain and pressure pain sensitivity exhibited significant relationships with functional limitation, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, and affect. Affect mediated the relationship between pressure pain sensitivity and anxiety, whereas self-efficacy was the mediating variable between self-reported pain and functional limitation and depression. Our results support a complex nature of pain in women presenting with FM, as cognitive and emotional variables have different mediator relationships between pain dimensions and functional and emotional outcomes in women with FM.

  16. Mechanical properties of Rene-41 affected by rate of cooling after solution annealing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prager, M.

    1970-01-01

    Investigation of Rene-41 cooling rate from 1975 to 1400 degrees F reveals that slow cooling improves high-temperature ductility and provides more uniform properties throughout a manifold. Ambient elongation and impact resistance are not significantly changed.

  17. Buckwheat and Millet Affect Thermal, Rheological, and Gelling Properties of Wheat Flour.

    PubMed

    Wu, Kao; Gan, Renyou; Dai, Shuhong; Cai, Yi-Zhong; Corke, Harold; Zhu, Fan

    2016-03-01

    Buckwheat (BF) and millet (MF) are recommended as healthy foods due to their unique chemical composition and health benefits. This study investigated the thermal and rheological properties of BF-WF (wheat flour) and MF-WF flour blends at various ratios (0:100 to 100:0). Increasing BF or MF concentration led to higher cold paste viscosity and setback viscosity of pasting properties gel adhesiveness, storage modulus (G') and loss modulus (G″) of dynamic oscillatory rheology, and yield stress (σ0 ) of flow curve of WF. BF and MF addition decreased peak viscosity and breakdown of pasting, gel hardness, swelling volume, and consistency coefficient (K) of flow curve of WF. Thermal properties of the blends appeared additive of that of individual flour. Nonadditive effects were observed for some property changes in the mixtures, and indicated interactions between flour components. This may provide a physicochemical basis for using BF and MF in formulating novel healthy products.

  18. Functional dominance rather than taxonomic diversity and functional diversity mainly affects community aboveground biomass in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing; Buyantuev, Alexander; Li, Frank Yonghong; Jiang, Lin; Niu, Jianming; Ding, Yong; Kang, Sarula; Ma, Wenjing

    2017-03-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and productivity has been a hot topic in ecology. However, the relative importance of taxonomic diversity and functional characteristics (including functional dominance and functional diversity) in maintaining community productivity and the underlying mechanisms (including selection and complementarity effects) of the relationship between diversity and community productivity have been widely controversial. In this study, 194 sites were surveyed in five grassland types along a precipitation gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland of China. The relationships between taxonomic diversity (species richness and the Shannon-Weaver index), functional dominance (the community-weighted mean of four plant traits), functional diversity (Rao's quadratic entropy), and community aboveground biomass were analyzed. The results showed that (1) taxonomic diversity, functional dominance, functional diversity, and community aboveground biomass all increased from low to high precipitation grassland types; (2) there were significant positive linear relationships between taxonomic diversity, functional dominance, functional diversity, and community aboveground biomass; (3) the effect of functional characteristics on community aboveground biomass is greater than that of taxonomic diversity; and (4) community aboveground biomass depends on the community-weighted mean plant height, which explained 57.1% of the variation in the community aboveground biomass. Our results suggested that functional dominance rather than taxonomic diversity and functional diversity mainly determines community productivity and that the selection effect plays a dominant role in maintaining the relationship between biodiversity and community productivity in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

  19. Electronic structure and defect properties of Tl6SeI4: Density functional calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, Koushik; Du, Mao-Hua; Singh, David J.

    2012-10-01

    We report density functional calculations of electronic structure, phase diagram, and dielectric, optical, and defect properties of Tl6SeI4. We discuss how electronic structure and defect properties affect resistivity and carrier mobility-lifetime (μτ) products in Tl6SeI4. We find large Born effective charges due to covalency involving Tl-6p states. High Born charges generally enhance the static dielectric constant. This provides a mechanism for effective screening of charged defects and impurities. We find that high resistivity can be obtained under near-stoichiometric growth conditions via Fermi level pinning near the middle of the band gap by shallow donors and acceptors, as opposed to deep traps that can give high resistivity, but at the expense of short carrier drift lengths. Defect calculations also reveal the presence of deep native donors that may cause electron trapping. The experimentally observed good μτ products may be explained by a combination of small effective masses and effective screening of charged defects. High resistivity and good μτ products make Tl6SeI4 a promising room-temperature radiation detector material. We also show the calculated defect diffusion barriers, which affect defect migration under external bias in a detector.

  20. [Aging effect on mechanical properties in fluid resin. (Part 1). Affection of residual monomer (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Horiuchi, A

    1979-07-01

    Aging effect on the mechanical properties in fluid resins was pointed out, but little was studied on this point. Relationship between amount of residual monomer in the samples prepared by fluid resin and the mechanical properties, brinell hardness, tensile strength, were studied. Test pieces just as polymerized in the size were used. Weights of specimens kept at three different circumstances, in the air at 20 degrees C, in a water bath at 37 degrees C and in a desiccator at 11 mmHg and 40 degrees C, was checked at the prescribed time to clarify the amount of residual monomer and the mechanical properties were measured at the same time. Amount of weight loss, due to evaporation of MMA, must improve the mechanical properties. The improvement by postpolymerization could be neglected. Rate of the weight loss suggests that residual monomer must mainly be at the surface. Molecular weight of PMMA, 86.4 X 10(4) did not have any effect on the mechanical properties and on the evaporation rate of monomers from polymerized specimens. To improve the mechanical properties of fluid resin must be to decrease residual monomer as much as possible in the fluid resin especially at the surface area.

  1. Probability distribution functions of turbulence in seepage-affected alluvial channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Anurag; Kumar, Bimlesh

    2017-02-01

    The present experimental study is carried out on the probability distribution functions (PDFs) of turbulent flow characteristics within near-bed-surface and away-from-bed surfaces for both no seepage and seepage flow. Laboratory experiments were conducted in the plane sand bed for no seepage (NS), 10% seepage (10%S) and 15% seepage (15%) cases. The experimental calculation of the PDFs of turbulent parameters such as Reynolds shear stress, velocity fluctuations, and bursting events is compared with theoretical expression obtained by Gram-Charlier (GC)-based exponential distribution. Experimental observations follow the computed PDF distributions for both no seepage and seepage cases. Jensen-Shannon divergence (JSD) method is used to measure the similarity between theoretical and experimental PDFs. The value of JSD for PDFs of velocity fluctuation lies between 0.0005 to 0.003 while the JSD value for PDFs of Reynolds shear stress varies between 0.001 to 0.006. Even with the application of seepage, the PDF distribution of bursting events, sweeps and ejections are well characterized by the exponential distribution of the GC series, except that a slight deflection of inward and outward interactions is observed which may be due to weaker events. The value of JSD for outward and inward interactions ranges from 0.0013 to 0.032, while the JSD value for sweep and ejection events varies between 0.0001 to 0.0025. The theoretical expression for the PDF of turbulent intensity is developed in the present study, which agrees well with the experimental observations and JSD lies between 0.007 and 0.015. The work presented is potentially applicable to the probability distribution of mobile-bed sediments in seepage-affected alluvial channels typically characterized by the various turbulent parameters. The purpose of PDF estimation from experimental data is that it provides a complete numerical description in the areas of turbulent flow either at a single or finite number of points.

  2. Stress during pregnancy affects general intellectual and language functioning in human toddlers.

    PubMed

    Laplante, David P; Barr, Ronald G; Brunet, Alain; Galbaud du Fort, Guillaume; Meaney, Michael L; Saucier, Jean-Francois; Zelazo, Philip R; King, Suzanne

    2004-09-01

    Prenatal maternal stress has been shown to impair functioning in nonhuman primate offspring. Little is known about the effects of prenatal stress on intellectual and language development in humans because it is difficult to identify sufficiently large samples of pregnant women who have been exposed to an independent stressor. We took advantage of a natural disaster (January 1998 ice storm in Québec, Canada) to determine the effect of the objective severity of pregnant women's stress exposure on general intellectual and language development of their children. Bayley Mental Development Index (MDI) scores and parent-reported language abilities of 58 toddlers of mothers who were exposed to varying levels of prenatal stress were obtained at 2 y of age. The hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that the toddlers' birth weight and age at testing accounted for 12.0% and 14.8% of the variance in the Bayley MDI scores and in productive language abilities, respectively. More importantly, the level of prenatal stress exposure accounted for an additional 11.4% and 12.1% of the variance in the toddlers' Bayley MDI and productive language abilities and uniquely accounted for 17.3% of the variance of their receptive language abilities. The more severe the level of prenatal stress exposure, the poorer the toddlers' abilities. The level of prenatal stress exposure accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in the three dependent variables above and beyond that already accounted for by non-ice storm-related factors. We suspect that high levels of prenatal stress exposure, particularly early in the pregnancy, may negatively affect the brain development of the fetus, reflected in the lower general intellectual and language abilities in the toddlers.

  3. Composition and functional properties of Lupinus campestris protein isolates.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ambriz, S L; Martínez-Ayala, A L; Millán, F; Dávila-Ortíz, G

    2005-09-01

    Protein isolates from L. campestris and soybean seeds were prepared using isoelectric precipitation (PI) and micellization (MI) procedures. The amount of protein recovered was considerably higher with the isoelectric precipitation than with the micellization procedure (60% and 30%, respectively). Protein contents were higher than 90% in protein isolates. Antinutritional factors content (alkaloids, lectins, and tannins) were reduced to innocuous levels after protein isolate preparation. Minimum protein solubility for the precipitated lupin protein isolate (LPI) was at pH 4.0, and between pH 4 and 6 for the micellized lupin protein isolate (LMI), increasing at both extremes of the pH scale. Water absorption for the LMI was 1.3 ml/g of protein and its oil absorption 2.2 ml/g of protein. The LPI had 1.7 ml/g of protein in both water and oil absorption. Foaming capacity and stability was pH-dependent. Foaming capacity was higher at pH 2 and lower near the protein isoelectric points. Minimum protein concentration for gelation in LMI was 8% w/v at pH 4, while for LPI was 6% at pH 4 and 6. Amino acid composition in L. campestris flour and protein isolates was high in lysine and low in methionine. Most of the essential amino acids in lupin protein isolates were at acceptable levels compared to a reference pattern for infants and adults. The electrophoretic pattern of both protein isolates showed three bands with different mobilities, suggesting that the protein fractions belong to alpha-conglutin (11S-like protein), beta-conglutin (7S-like protein) and gamma-conglutin. It is proven that some of the functional properties of L. campestris protein isolates are similar to those soybean protein isolates recovered under equal conditions.

  4. Prediction of the Properties of Heat-Affected Zone of Welded Joints of Sheets from Aluminum Alloys with Structured Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikhailov, V. G.

    2016-05-01

    Welded joints of light structured sheets from aluminum alloy EN AW-6181-T4 (DIN EN 515) of the Al - Si - Mg system are studied. The welding is performed in an argon environment with a short arc by the method of cold metal transfer (CMT®). The results of the study are used in an amended Leblond model for describing the variation of the properties of the heat-affected zone of welded joints of structured sheets.

  5. Psychometric Properties of Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) Original and Short Forms in an African American Community Sample

    PubMed Central

    Merz, Erin L.; Malcarne, Vanessa L.; Roesch, Scott C.; Ko, Celine M.; Emerson, Marc; Roma, Vincenzo G.; Sadler, Georgia Robins

    2014-01-01

    Background The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) has been widely used as a self-report measure of affect in community and clinical contexts. However, evaluations of the psychometric properties of PANAS scores have been limited in diverse ethnic groups. Several short forms of the PANAS have also been proposed, but very little is known about the psychometric properties of these versions. Methods The present study investigated the psychometric properties, including the factor structure of the original PANAS and two short forms in an African American community sample (N = 239). Descriptive, internal consistency reliability, factorial validity, and measurement invariance analyses were conducted. Results All PANAS subscales from the original and short forms had adequate internal consistency. For the original PANAS, the model specifying three correlated factors (Positive Affect, Afraid, Upset) with correlated uniquenesses from redundant items provided the best fit to the data. However, the two-factor model (Positive Affect, Negative Affect) with correlated uniquenesses was also supported. For both short forms, the two-factor model with correlated uniquenesses fit the data best. Factors from all forms were generally invariant across age and gender, although there was some minor invariance at the item level. Limitations Participants were from a limited geographic area and one ethnic group. Indicators of anxiety, depression, and cultural characteristics were not measured. Conclusion The factor structure was replicated, suggesting no immediate concerns regarding the valid interpretation of PANAS scores. The results support the reliability and validity of the PANAS and its short forms for use among African Americans. PMID:24051099

  6. Predicting the Accuracy of Facial Affect Recognition: The Interaction of Child Maltreatment and Intellectual Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shenk, Chad E.; Putnam, Frank W.; Noll, Jennie G.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying…

  7. Emotional Processing in High-Functioning Autism--Physiological Reactivity and Affective Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolte, Sven; Feineis-Matthews, Sabine; Poustka, Fritz

    2008-01-01

    This study examined physiological response and affective report in 10 adult individuals with autism and 10 typically developing controls. An emotion induction paradigm using stimuli from the International Affective Picture System was applied. Blood pressure, heart and self-ratings of experienced valence (pleasure), arousal and dominance (control)…

  8. Alcohol Use in College Students as a Function of Reinforcement Sensitivity, Life Events, and Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hyoung Suk

    2010-01-01

    Mood has been commonly viewed as an important determinant of drinking, but studies of positive and negative affect and alcohol use have reported inconsistent results. It has been suggested that the relationship between negative affect and heavy drinking or drinking problems depends on individual vulnerability dimensions such as personality. Gray's…

  9. Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Vegetable and Cereal Proteins as Potential Sources of Novel Food Ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Soria-Hernández, Cintya; Serna-Saldívar, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    Summary Proteins from vegetable and cereal sources are an excellent alternative to substitute animal-based counterparts because of their reduced cost, abundant supply and good nutritional value. The objective of this investigation is to study a set of vegetable and cereal proteins in terms of physicochemical and functional properties. Twenty protein sources were studied: five soya bean flour samples, one pea flour and fourteen newly developed blends of soya bean and maize germ (five concentrates and nine hydrolysates). The physicochemical characterization included pH (5.63 to 7.57), electrical conductivity (1.32 to 4.32 mS/cm), protein content (20.78 to 94.24% on dry mass basis), free amino nitrogen (0.54 to 2.87 mg/g) and urease activity (0.08 to 2.20). The functional properties showed interesting differences among proteins: water absorption index ranged from 0.41 to 18.52, the highest being of soya and maize concentrates. Nitrogen and water solubility ranged from 10.14 to 74.89% and from 20.42 to 95.65%, respectively. Fat absorption and emulsification activity indices ranged from 2.59 to 4.72 and from 3936.6 to 52 399.2 m2/g respectively, the highest being of pea flour. Foam activity (66.7 to 475.0%) of the soya and maize hydrolysates was the best. Correlation analyses showed that hydrolysis affected solubility-related parameters whereas fat-associated indices were inversely correlated with water-linked parameters. Foam properties were better of proteins treated with low heat, which also had high urease activity. Physicochemical and functional characterization of the soya and maize protein concentrates and hydrolysates allowed the identification of differences regarding other vegetable and cereal protein sources such as pea or soya bean. PMID:27904358

  10. RIC-3 affects properties and quantity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors via a mechanism that does not require the coiled-coil domains.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ami, Hagit Cohen; Yassin, Lina; Farah, Hanna; Michaeli, Avner; Eshel, Margalit; Treinin, Millet

    2005-07-29

    Members of the RIC-3 gene family are effectors of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) expression in vertebrates and invertebrates. In Caenorhabditis elegans RIC-3 is needed for functional expression of multiple nAChRs, including the DEG-3/DES-2 nAChR. Effects of RIC-3 on DEG-3/DES-2 functional expression are found in vivo and following heterologous expression in Xenopus leavis oocytes. We now show that in X. leavis oocytes RIC-3 also affects the kinetics and agonist affinity properties of the DEG-3/DES-2 receptor. Because these effects are mimicked by increasing the ratio of DEG-3 subunits within DEG-3/DES-2 receptors, this suggests that RIC-3 may preferentially promote maturation of DEG-3-rich receptors. Indeed, effects of RIC-3 on functional expression of DEG-3/DES-2 positively correlate with the DEG-3 to DES-2 ratio. All RIC-3 family members have two transmembrane domains followed by one or two coiled-coil domains. Here we show that the effects of RIC-3 on functional expression and on receptor properties are mediated by the transmembrane domains and do not require the coiled-coil domains. In agreement with this, mammals express a RIC-3 transcript lacking the coiled-coil domain that is capable of promoting DEG-3/DES-2 functional expression. Last, we show that RIC-3 affects DEG-3 quantity, suggesting stabilization of receptors or receptor intermediates by RIC-3. Together our results suggest that subunit-specific interactions of RIC-3 with nAChR subunits, mediated by the transmembrane domains, are sufficient for the effects of RIC-3 on nAChR quantity and quality.

  11. When what's inside counts: Sequence of demonstrated actions affects preschooler's categorization by nonobvious properties.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yue; Kushnir, Tamar

    2016-03-01

    This study explores the role of a particular social cue-the sequence of demonstrated actions and events-in preschooler's categorization. A demonstrator sorted objects that varied on both a surface feature (color) and a nonobvious property (sound made when shaken). Children saw a sequence of actions in which the nonobvious property was revealed before (shake-first) or after (shake-last) categorization. Four experiments (N = 150) showed that both 4-year-olds (M(age) = 4.5 years) and 3-year-olds (M(age) = 3.5 years) shifted toward categorizing by nonobvious property after the shake-first sequence compared with the shake-last sequence (Experiment 1 and 4); 4-year-olds also generalized their categorization strategy to new objects (Experiment 2) and objects that were both labeled and categorized (Experiment 3). Results are discussed with regard to preschooler's ability to integrate social and pedagogical cues in category learning.

  12. Length scale of the dendritic microstructure affecting tensile properties of Al-(Ag)-(Cu) alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, Roberto N.; Faria, Jonas D.; Brito, Crystopher; Veríssimo, Nathalia C.; Cheung, Noé; Garcia, Amauri

    2016-12-01

    The dependence of tensile properties on the length scale of the dendritic morphology of Al-Cu, Al-Ag and Al-Ag-Cu alloys is experimentally investigated. These alloys were directionally solidified (DS) under a wide range of cooling rates (Ṫ), permitting extensive microstructural scales to be examined. Experimental growth laws are proposed relating the primary dendritic arm spacing, λ1 to Ṫ and tensile properties to λ1. It is shown that the most significant effect of the scale of λ1 on the tensile properties is that of the ternary alloy, which is attributed to the more homogeneous distribution of the eutectic mixture for smaller λ1 and by the combined reinforcement roles of the intermetallics present in the ternary eutectic: Al2Cu and nonequilibrium Ag3Al.

  13. Soil chemical properties affect the reaction of forest soil bacteria to drought and rewetting stress.

    PubMed

    Chodak, Marcin; Gołębiewski, Marcin; Morawska-Płoskonka, Justyna; Kuduk, Katarzyna; Niklińska, Maria

    Reaction of soil bacteria to drought and rewetting stress may depend on soil chemical properties. The objectives of this study were to test the reaction of different bacterial phyla to drought and rewetting stress and to assess the influence of different soil chemical properties on the reaction of soil bacteria to this kind of stress. The soil samples were taken at ten forest sites and measured for pH and the contents of organic C (Corg) and total N (Nt), Zn, Cu, and Pb. The samples were kept without water addition at 20 - 30 °C for 8 weeks and subsequently rewetted to achieve moisture equal to 50 - 60 % of their maximum water-holding capacity. Prior to the drought period and 24 h after the rewetting, the structure of soil bacterial communities was determined using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The drought and rewetting stress altered bacterial community structure. Gram-positive bacterial phyla, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, increased in relative proportion after the stress, whereas the Gram-negative bacteria in most cases decreased. The largest decrease in relative abundance was for Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. For several phyla the reaction to drought and rewetting stress depended on the chemical properties of soils. Soil pH was the most important soil property influencing the reaction of a number of soil bacterial groups (including all classes of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, and others) to drought and rewetting stress. For several bacterial phyla the reaction to the stress depended also on the contents of Nt and Corg in soil. The effect of heavy metal pollution was also noticeable, although weaker compared to other chemical soil properties. We conclude that soil chemical properties should be considered when assessing the effect of stressing factors on soil bacterial communities.

  14. The affect of densification and dehydroxylation on the mechanical properties of stoichiometric hydroxyapatite bioceramics

    SciTech Connect

    Laasri, S.; Taha, M.; Laghzizil, A.; Hlil, E.K.; Chevalier, J.

    2010-10-15

    This paper reports the effects of processing densification on the mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite bioceramics. Densification of synthetic hydroxyapatite is conducted in the range 1000-1300 {sup o}C. X-ray diffraction and SEM microscopy are used to check the microstructure transformations. Vickers hardness, toughness and Young's modulus are analyzed versus the density and grain size. The sintering temperature and the particle size influence strongly the densification and the resulting mechanical properties. In addition, the critical sintering temperature appears around 1200 {sup o}C and the declined strength at the temperature up to 1200 {sup o}C is found sensitive to the dehydroxylation process of hydroxyapatite.

  15. Fibrin clot properties and haemostatic function in men and women with type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Tehrani, Sara; Jörneskog, Gun; Ågren, Anna; Lins, Per-Eric; Wallén, Håkan; Antovic, Aleksandra

    2015-02-01

    The increased risk of vascular complications in type 1 diabetes may in part be explained by changes in haemostatic function. In the present study, we investigated the fibrin clot properties in patients with type 1 diabetes in relation to sex and microvascular complications. The study included 236 patients (107 women) aged between 20-70 years and without any history of cardiovascular disease. Fibrin clot properties, assessed by determination of the permeability coefficient (Ks) and turbidimetric clotting and lysis assays, did not differ between men and women. Compared with men, women had worse glycaemic control as well as higher levels of prothrombin fragment 1+2 and peak thrombin generation in vitro, indicating increased thrombin generation both in vivo and in vitro. Subgroup analyses of patients younger than 30 years revealed less permeable fibrin clots and prolonged lysis time in females compared with age-matched men. Patients with microvascular complications had higher fibrinogen concentrations and denser and less permeable fibrin clots. Thus, we conclude that in vitro fibrin clot properties in patients with type 1 diabetes without cardiovascular disease are not different between the sexes, but associate with prevalence of microvascular complications. Tighter fibrin clot formation in younger women, as suggested by our results, may affect their future cardiovascular risk and should be investigated in a larger population.

  16. Fabrication of ZnO incorporated chitosan nanocomposites for enhanced functional properties of cellulosic fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raza, Z. A.; Anwar, F.; Ahmad, S.; Aslam, M.

    2016-11-01

    This study concerns the fabrication of chitosan/zinc oxide nano-composites (CZNCs) by using a facile preparation method. The optical, structural and morphological features of nano-composites were investigated by using advanced analytical techniques. The developed CZNCs were coated on to woven cotton fabric by using the pad-dry-cure method. The coated fabric specimens were characterized for surface, functional and textile properties including antibacterial activity and (ultra violet) UV-blocking. The spectral and optical properties demonstrated that the nano-composites developed exhibited hexagonal structural pattern with an average particle size of about 50 nm. The resulting nano-composites were characterized by x-ray diffraction spectroscopy; scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive x-ray, dynamic light scattering technique and so forth. The incorporated concentration of zinc oxide nanoparticles affected both crystallite size and crystallinity of the nano-composites. The nano-composite coated cotton fabric exhibited durable antibacterial, UV-blocking and textile properties with a fair whiteness index.

  17. Affective Functioning among Early Adolescents at High and Low Familial Risk for Depression and Their Mothers: A Focus on Individual and Transactional Processes across Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMakin, Dana L.; Burkhouse, Katie L.; Olino, Thomas M.; Siegle, Greg J.; Dahl, Ronald E.; Silk, Jennifer S.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to characterize affective functioning in families of youth at high familial risk for depression, with particular attention to features of affective functioning that appear to be critical to adaptive functioning but have been underrepresented in prior research including: positive "and" negative affect across multiple contexts,…

  18. Spatiotemporal Object History Affects the Selection of Task-Relevant Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schreij, Daniel; Olivers, Christian N. L.

    2013-01-01

    For stable perception, we maintain mental representations of objects across space and time. What information is linked to such a representation? In this study, we extended our work showing that the spatiotemporal history of an object affects the way the object is attended the next time it is encountered. Observers conducted a visual search for a…

  19. Synthesis, characterization and functional properties of low substituted acetylated corn starch.

    PubMed

    Han, Fei; Liu, Mingzhu; Gong, Honghong; Lü, Shaoyu; Ni, Boli; Zhang, Bing

    2012-05-01

    Acetylated corn starch (ACS) was synthesized by the reaction of native corn starch (NCS) with acetic anhydride (AA) in an aqueous medium in the presence of sodium hydroxide as a catalyst. The factors that could affect the degree of substitution (DS) and reaction efficiency (RE) of corn starch were investigated which included the reaction temperature and time, the mass ratio of AA to starch, the ratio of the water volume to starch mass and pH. The optimal DS of 0.071 and RE of 67.05% was obtained. FTIR spectrometry showed new bands at 1733, 1375 and 1252 cm(-1). The SEM of the ACS indicated some cavities on the granules which fused together, compared with NCS. Wide angle X-ray diffraction revealed that ACS had a similar profile as NCS (A type). However, the intensity of peaks were diminished. DSC thermograms exhibited that ACS had some lower gelatinization temperatures and enthalpies than NCS. The functional properties of ACS such as the swelling power, solubility, water absorption, clarity, freeze-thaw stability, retrogradation and viscosity were also studied. The results suggest that the ACS has much better functional properties than the NCS, and could be expected to have wide applications especially in food industry.

  20. Will Commodity Properties Affect Seller's Creditworthy: Evidence in C2C E-commerce Market in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Hui; Ling, Min

    This paper finds out that the credit rating level shows significant difference among different sub-commodity markets in E-commerce, which provides room for sellers to get higher credit rating by entering businesses with higher average credit level before fraud. In order to study the influence of commodity properties on credit rating, this paper analyzes how commodity properties affect average crediting rating through the degree of information asymmetry, returns and costs of fraud, credibility perception and fraud tolerance. Empirical study shows that Delivery, average trading volume, average price and complaint possibility have decisive impacts on credit performance; brand market share, the degree of standardization and the degree of imitation also have a relatively less significant effect on credit rating. Finally, this paper suggests that important commodity properties should be introduced to modify reputation system, for preventing credit rating arbitrage behavior where sellers move into low-rating commodity after being assigned high credit rating.

  1. Effect of hydrocolloids on functional properties of navy bean starch

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of hydrocolloid replacement on the pasting properties of navy bean starch and on the properties of navy bean starch gels were studied. Navy bean starch was isolated, and blends were prepared with beta-glucan, guar gum, pectin and xanthan gum solutions. The total solids concentration was ...

  2. Impact of variety type and particle size distribution on starch enzymatic hydrolysis and functional properties of tef flours.

    PubMed

    Abebe, Workineh; Collar, Concha; Ronda, Felicidad

    2015-01-22

    Tef grain is becoming very attractive in the Western countries since it is a gluten-free grain with appreciated nutritional advantages. However there is little information of its functional properties and starch digestibility and how they are affected by variety type and particle size distribution. This work evaluates the effect of the grain variety and the mill used on tef flour physico-chemical and functional properties, mainly derived from starch behavior. In vitro starch digestibility of the flours by Englyst method was assessed. Two types of mills were used to obtain whole flours of different granulation. Rice and wheat flours were analyzed as references. Protein molecular weight distribution and flour structure by SEM were also analyzed to justify some of the differences found among the cereals studied. Tef cultivar and mill type exhibited important effect on granulation, bulking density and starch damage, affecting the processing performance of the flours and determining the hydration and pasting properties. The color was darker although one of the white varieties had a lightness near the reference flours. Different granulation of tef flour induced different in vitro starch digestibility. The disc attrition mill led to higher starch digestibility rate index and rapidly available glucose, probably as consequence of a higher damaged starch content. The results confirm the adequacy of tef flour as ingredient in the formulation of new cereal based foods and the importance of the variety and the mill on its functional properties.

  3. Physical, proximate, functional and pasting properties of flour produced from gamma irradiated cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, L. Walp)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darfour, B.; Wilson, D. D.; Ofosu, D. O.; Ocloo, F. C. K.

    2012-04-01

    Cowpeas are leguminous seeds widely produced and consumed in most developing countries of sub Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to determine the physical, proximate, functional and pasting properties of flour obtained from gamma irradiated cowpea. Four cowpea cultivars were irradiated with gamma radiation at dose levels of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0 and 1.5 kGy with the unirradiated cultivars serving as controls. The samples were hammer milled, sieved and stored at 4 °C for analysis. Physical, proximate, functional, pasting properties were determined using appropriate methods. In general, the irradiation dose applied to cowpea for insect control did not significantly affect the physical and proximate properties of the flour. However, significant increase (p<0.05) was achieved in paste bulk density, water and oil absorption capacities, foam capacities and least gelation concentrations of flour in general, which may be attributed to the irradiation. The radiation reduced the swelling power and water solubility index significantly. The peak temperature, peak viscosity and setback viscosity of the pastes were significantly (p<0.05) reduced while breakdown viscosity was significantly (p<0.05) increased by the radiation. It was established that the doses used on cowpea affected both the functional and pasting properties of the flour.

  4. Density functional calculation of the structural and electronic properties of germanium quantum dots

    SciTech Connect

    Anas, M. M.; Gopir, G.

    2015-04-24

    We apply first principles density functional computational methods to study the structures, densities of states (DOS), and higher occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) – lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) gaps of selected free-standing Ge semiconductor quantum dots up to 1.8nm. Our calculations are performed using numerical atomic orbital approach where linear combination of atomic orbital was applied. The surfaces of the quantum dots was passivized by hydrogen atoms. We find that surface passivation does affect the electronic properties associated with the changes of surface state, electron localization, and the energy gaps of germanium nanocrystals as well as the confinement of electrons inside the quantum dots (QDs). Our study shows that the energy gaps of germanium quantum dots decreases with the increasing dot diameter. The size-dependent variations of the computed HOMO-LUMO gaps in our quantum dots model were found to be consistent with the effects of quantum confinement reported in others theoretical and experimental calculation.

  5. The dielectric properties of meats as a function of temperature and composition.

    PubMed

    Sipahioglu, O; Barringer, S A; Bircan, C

    2003-01-01

    The dielectric properties of cod, perch, salmon, chicken breast, chicken thigh and beef were measured at 15 to 65 degrees C at 2450 MHz. The samples covered a moisture range of 68.9-81.2% and ash range of 0.96-1.20%. Equations were developed as a function of temperature, moisture, and ash, and compared to literature equations. The dielectric constant decreased with temperature and increased with moisture content. It was not affected by ash content. The dielectric loss factor increased with moisture content for moisture contents lower than 74.9%, then decreased for higher moisture contents. The dielectric-loss factor was quadratically related to temperature, decreasing to 30.2 degrees C then increasing. The dielectric loss factor increased with ash content. The effect of moisture content and temperature on the dielectric loss factor in the literature is reviewed to explain these results.

  6. Organic-inorganic hybrid foams with diatomite addition: Effect on functional properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verdolotti, L.; D'Auria, M.; Lavorgna, M.; Vollaro, P.; Iannace, S.; Capasso, I.; Galzerano, B.; Caputo, D.; Liguori, B.

    2016-05-01

    Organic-inorganic hybrid foams were prepared by using metakaolin, diatomite as a partial (or total) replacement of metakaolin, as matrix, silicon and whipped protein as pore forming. The foamed systems were hardened at defined temperature and time and then characterized by mechanical point of view through compression tests and by functional point of view through fire reaction and acoustic tests. The experimental findings highlighted that the replacement of diatomite in the formulation affected the morphological structure of the foams and consequently their mechanical properties. In particular, the consolidation mechanism in the diatomite based-hybrid foams changed from geopolymerization to a silicate polycondensation mechanism. Therefore, mechanical performances enhanced with increasing of the diatomite content. Fire reaction tests, such as non-combustibility and cone calorimeter tests, showed positive thermal inertia of samples regardless of the content of diatomite.

  7. Density functional calculation of the structural and electronic properties of germanium quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anas, M. M.; Gopir, G.

    2015-04-01

    We apply first principles density functional computational methods to study the structures, densities of states (DOS), and higher occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) - lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) gaps of selected free-standing Ge semiconductor quantum dots up to 1.8nm. Our calculations are performed using numerical atomic orbital approach where linear combination of atomic orbital was applied. The surfaces of the quantum dots was passivized by hydrogen atoms. We find that surface passivation does affect the electronic properties associated with the changes of surface state, electron localization, and the energy gaps of germanium nanocrystals as well as the confinement of electrons inside the quantum dots (QDs). Our study shows that the energy gaps of germanium quantum dots decreases with the increasing dot diameter. The size-dependent variations of the computed HOMO-LUMO gaps in our quantum dots model were found to be consistent with the effects of quantum confinement reported in others theoretical and experimental calculation.

  8. The properties of GaInP/GaAs heterostructures as a function of growth temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelosi, C.; Attolini, G.; Bosi, M.; Martín, E.; Martinez, O.; Sanz, L. F.; Jiménez, J.; Prutskij, T.

    2006-03-01

    In order to find the best conditions under which ordering process is reduced InGaP layers were grown on GaAs substrates by Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) at low pressure in the temperature range between 525 and 600°C. Because the metal organic cracking process was affected by temperature change the ratio between metal organic TriMethyl Gallium (TMG) and TriMethyl Indium (TMI) has to be tuned for every temperature, while maintaining the same reduced pressure of 60 mbar. The growth rate and the gaseous TMG/TMI ratio giving the match to GaAs are reported as a function of the growth temperature. Cathodoluminescence (CL) and μ -Raman analysis were used to understand the contributions of composition fluctuations, strain, Cu-Pt type ordering on the properties of the layers.

  9. Sheep Grazing in the Wheat-Fallow System Affects Dryland Soil Properties and Grain Yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sheep (Ovis aries L.) grazing during fallow is an effective method of controlling weeds and pests in the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-fallow system. Little is known about the effect of sheep grazing on dryland soil properties and wheat yield. We evaluated the effects of fallow management for weed co...

  10. When What's Inside Counts: Sequence of Demonstrated Actions Affects Preschooler's Categorization by Nonobvious Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Yue; Kushnir, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    This study explores the role of a particular social cue--the "sequence" of demonstrated actions and events--in preschooler's categorization. A demonstrator sorted objects that varied on both a surface feature (color) and a nonobvious property (sound made when shaken). Children saw a sequence of actions in which the nonobvious property…

  11. Dryland soil chemical properties and crop yields affected by long-term tillage and cropping sequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information on the effect of long-term management on soil nutrients and chemical properties is scanty. We examined the 30-yr effect of tillage frequency and cropping sequence combination on dryland soil Olsen-P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, SO4-S, and Zn concentrations, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and catio...

  12. Coarse fragments affects soil properties in a mantled-karst landscape of the Ozark Highlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper investigates the effect of rock fragments on soil physical hydraulic properties within the mantled karst landscapes of the Savoy Experimental Watershed (SEW), a setting typical of much of the Ozark Plateaus. Water resources in these settings are highly susceptible to contamination. As a r...

  13. Dryland soil chemical properties and crop yields affected by long-term tillage and cropping sequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information on the effects of long-term tillage and cropping sequence on dryland soil nutrients and chemical properties is scanty. We examined the effect of 30 yr of tillage frequency and cropping sequence combination on dryland soil Olsen-P, exchangeable K, Ca, Mg, Na, SO4-S, and Zn contents, pH, e...

  14. Water movement in LURGI-combusted oil shale affected by time-dependent hydraulic properties

    SciTech Connect

    Sri Ranjan, R.

    1989-01-01

    Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that contains organic matter which is insoluble in petroleum based solvents under normal conditions. When oil shale is heated to cause pyrolysis, destructive distillation or retorting, molecules are freed and form simpler petroleum liquids and gases. The remaining inorganic matrix, after the oil extraction process is completed, is known as retorted or spent shale. Retorted oil shale contains many chemical species that present the potential for leaching and the creation of adverse impacts on the ground water beneath the disposal sites. This leachate could result from internal drainage of liquids emplaced with the solids and from infiltration in excess of that which can be stored and returned to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration. This dissertation describes the determination of the time-dependent hydraulic properties of LURGI-combusted oil shale. The determination is accomplished through a combination of indirect electromagnetic measurements and direct hydraulic techniques. The time-dependent properties are incorporated into a partial differential equation for which an exact solution is derived for the case of horizontal flow. The exact solution is evaluated using the time-dependent properties measured for the LURGI material and is compared with an independent horizontal flow experiment. Such comparison independently confirms the measured hydraulic properties and the tendency for the LURGI shale to be self-sealing. The exact solution for horizontal flow and an approximate solution for vertical flow are used to explore the effects of time-dependent hydraulic properties on water movement under field conditions. Means by which the tendency to self-seal can be exploited to minimize penetration of water in disposed shale are discussed.

  15. Functional properties of protein from frozen mantle and fin of jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas in function of pH and ionic strength.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Estrada, J G; Córdova-Murueta, J H; García-Carreño, F L

    2010-10-01

    Functional properties of protein from mantle and fin of the jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas were explained based on microscopic muscle fiber and protein fractions profiles as observed in SDS-PAGE. Fin has higher content of connective tissue and complex fiber arrangement, and we observed higher hardness of fin gels as expected. Myosin heavy chain (MHC) was found in sarcoplasmic, myofibril and soluble-in-alkali fractions of mantle and only in sarcoplasmic and soluble-in-alkali fractions of fin. An additive effect of salt concentration and pH affected the solubility and foaming properties. Fin and mantle proteins yielded similar results in solubility tests, but significant differences occurred for specific pH and concentrations of salt. Foaming capacity was proportional to solubility; foam stability was also affected by pH and salt concentration. Hardness and fracture strength of fin gels were significantly higher than mantle gels; gels from proteins of both tissues reached the highest level in the folding test. Structural and molecular properties, such as MHC and paramyosin solubility, arrangement of muscle fibers and the content of connective tissue were useful to explain the differences observed in these protein properties. High-strength gels can be formed from squid mantle or fin muscle. Fin displayed similar or better properties than mantle in all tests.

  16. Beyond Zipf's Law: The Lavalette Rank Function and Its Properties.

    PubMed

    Fontanelli, Oscar; Miramontes, Pedro; Yang, Yaning; Cocho, Germinal; Li, Wentian

    Although Zipf's law is widespread in natural and social data, one often encounters situations where one or both ends of the ranked data deviate from the power-law function. Previously we proposed the Beta rank function to improve the fitting of data which does not follow a perfect Zipf's law. Here we show that when the two parameters in the Beta rank function have the same value, the Lavalette rank function, the probability density function can be derived analytically. We also show both computationally and analytically that Lavalette distribution is approximately equal, though not identical, to the lognormal distribution. We illustrate the utility of Lavalette rank function in several datasets. We also address three analysis issues on the statistical testing of Lavalette fitting function, comparison between Zipf's law and lognormal distribution through Lavalette function, and comparison between lognormal distribution and Lavalette distribution.

  17. Quantitative structure-property relationships for chemical functional use and weight fractions in consumer articles

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chemical functional use -- the functional role a chemical plays in processes or products -- may be a useful heuristic for predicting human exposure potential in that it comprises information about the compound's likely physical properties and the product formulations or articles ...

  18. Carvacrol affects interfacial, structural and transfer properties of chitosan coatings applied onto polyethylene.

    PubMed

    Kurek, Mia; Brachais, Claire-Hélène; Sčetar, Mario; Voilley, Andrée; Galić, Kata; Couvercelle, Jean-Pierre; Debeaufort, Frédéric

    2013-08-14

    Different chitosan coating solutions were tested with the aim of investigating their adhesion and wettability onto polyethylene film to improve packaging performance and provide antimicrobial properties. Surface wetting kinetics was monitored by contact angle measurements. Addition of ethanol and carvacrol improved wettability and adhesion of the thin chitosan layer. Structure, water vapour, O2, CO2 and air permeabilities of self supported chitosan films and coated polyethylene were determined. The formation of a thin chitosan layer on polyethylene improved gas barrier properties decreasing the Permeability Coefficient for oxygen and carbon dioxide ( [Formula: see text] , [Formula: see text] ) from 100 to 10,000 times. Presence of carvacrol in the chitosan coating layer increased [Formula: see text] , [Formula: see text] and Pair by a factor of ten. Moreover, it influenced film microstructure. However chitosan was shown to be good gas barrier film in the dry state.

  19. Alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases: structures of the human liver enzymes, functional properties and evolutionary aspects.

    PubMed

    Jörnvall, H; Hempel, J; von Bahr-Lindström, H; Höög, J O; Vallee, B L

    1987-01-01

    All three types of subunit of class I human alcohol dehydrogenase have been analyzed both at the protein and cDNA levels, and the structures of alpha, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 1, and gamma 2 subunits are known. The same applies to class II pi subunits. Extensive protein data are also available for class III chi subunits. In the class I human isozymes, amino acid exchanges occur at 35 positions in total, with 21-28 replacements between any pair of the alpha/beta/gamma chains. These values, compared with those from species differences between the corresponding human and horse enzymes, suggest that isozyme developments in the class I enzyme resulted from separate gene duplications after the divergence of the human and equine evolutionary lines. All subunits exhibit some unique properties, with slightly closer similarity between the human gamma and horse enzyme subunits and somewhat greater deviations towards the human alpha subunit. Differences are large also in segments close to the active site zinc ligands and other functionally important positions. Species differences are distributed roughly equally between the two types of domain in the subunit, whereas isozyme differences are considerably more common in the catalytic than in the coenzyme-binding domain. These facts illustrate a functional divergence among the isozymes but otherwise similar changes during evolution. Polymorphic forms of beta and gamma subunits are characterized by single replacements at one and two positions, respectively, explaining known deviating properties. Class II and class III subunits are considerably more divergent. Their homology with class I isozymes exhibits only 60-65% positional identity. Hence, they reflect further steps towards the development of new enzymes, with variations well above the horse/human species levels, in contrast to the class I forms. Again, functionally important residues are affected, and patterns resembling those previously established for the divergently related

  20. In vivo loading increases mechanical properties of scaffold by affecting bone formation and bone resorption rates.

    PubMed

    Roshan-Ghias, Alireza; Lambers, Floor M; Gholam-Rezaee, Mehdi; Müller, Ralph; Pioletti, Dominique P

    2011-12-01

    A successful bone tissue engineering strategy entails producing bone-scaffold constructs with adequate mechanical properties. Apart from the mechanical properties of the scaffold itself, the forming bone inside the scaffold also adds to the strength of the construct. In this study, we investigated the role of in vivo cyclic loading on mechanical properties of a bone scaffold. We implanted PLA/β-TCP scaffolds in the distal femur of six rats, applied external cyclic loading on the right leg, and kept the left leg as a control. We monitored bone formation at 7 time points over 35 weeks using time-lapsed micro-computed tomography (CT) imaging. The images were then used to construct micro-finite element models of bone-scaffold constructs, with which we estimated the stiffness for each sample at all time points. We found that loading increased the stiffness by 60% at 35 weeks. The increase of stiffness was correlated to an increase in bone volume fraction of 18% in the loaded scaffold compared to control scaffold. These changes in volume fraction and related stiffness in the bone scaffold are regulated by two independent processes, bone formation and bone resorption. Using time-lapsed micro-CT imaging and a newly-developed longitudinal image registration technique, we observed that mechanical stimulation increases the bone formation rate during 4-10 weeks, and decreases the bone resorption rate during 9-18 weeks post-operatively. For the first time, we report that in vivo cyclic loading increases mechanical properties of the scaffold by increasing the bone formation rate and decreasing the bone resorption rate.

  1. Heat stability and acid gelation properties of calcium-enriched reconstituted skim milk affected by ultrasonication.

    PubMed

    Chandrapala, Jayani; Bui, Don; Kentish, Sandra; Ashokkumar, Muthupandian

    2014-05-01

    The aggregation of proteins after heating of calcium-fortified milks has been an ongoing problem in the dairy industry. This undesirable effect restricts the manufacture of calcium rich dairy products. To overcome this problem, a completely new approach in controlling the heat stability of dairy protein solutions, developed in our lab, has been employed. In this approach, high intensity, low frequency ultrasound is applied for a very short duration after a pre-heating step at ⩾70 °C. The ultrasound breaks apart whey/whey and whey/casein aggregates through the process of acoustic cavitation. Protein aggregates do not reform on subsequent post-heating, thereby making the systems heat stable. In this paper, the acid gelation properties of ultrasonicated calcium-enriched skim milks have also been investigated. It is shown that ultrasonication alone does not change the gelation properties significantly whereas a sequence of preheating (72 °C/1 min) followed by ultrasonication leads to decreased gelation times, decreased gel syneresis and increased skim milk viscosity in comparison to heating alone. Overall, ultrasonication has the potential to provide calcium-fortified dairy products with increased heat stability. However, enhanced gelation properties can only be achieved when ultrasonication is completed in conjunction with heating.

  2. Nature's amazing biopolymer: basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil affected by plant exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Roose, Tiina; Raffan, Annette; George, Timothy; Bengough, Glyn; Brown, Lawrie; Keyes, Sam; Daly, Keith; Hallett, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Plant exudates are known to have a very large impact on soil physical properties through changes in mechanical and hydrological processes driven by long-chain polysaccharides and surface active compounds. Whilst these impacts are well known, the basic physical properties of these exudates have only been reported in a small number of studies. We present data for exudates obtained from barley roots and chia seeds, incorporating treatments examining biological decomposition of the exudates. When these exudates were added to a sandy loam soil, contact angle and drop penetration time increased exponentially with increasing exudate concentration. These wetting properties were strongly correlated with both exudate density and zero-shear viscosity, but not with exudate surface tension. Water holding capacity and water repellency of exudate mixed soil tremendously increased with exudate concentration, however they were significantly reduced on decomposition when measured after 14 days of incubation at 16C. Mechanical stability greatly increased with increasing exudate amendment to soils, which was assessed using a rheological amplitude sweep test near saturation, at -50 cm matric potential (field capacity) using indentation test, and at air-dry condition using the Brazilian test. This reflects that exudates not only attenuate plant water stress but also impart mechanical stability to the rhizosphere. These data are highly relevant to the understanding and modelling of rhizosphere development, which is the next phase of our research.

  3. Irradiation affects cellular properties and Eph receptor expression in human melanoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Mosch, Birgit; Pietzsch, Doreen; Pietzsch, Jens

    2012-01-01

    X-ray irradiation influences metastatic properties of tumor cells and, moreover, metastasis and cellular motility can be modified by members of the Eph receptor/ephrin family of receptor tyrosine kinases. We hypothesized that irradiation-induced changes in cellular properties relevant for metastasis in melanoma cells could be mediated by Eph receptor/ephrin signaling. In this pilot study, we analyzed one pre-metastatic (Mel-Juso) and three metastatic human melanoma (Mel-Juso-L3, A375, and A2058) cells lines and predominantly found anti-metastatic effects of X-ray irradiation with impaired cell growth, clonal growth and motility. Additionally, we observed an irradiation-induced increase in adhesion paralleled by a decrease in migration in Mel-Juso and Mel-Juso-L3 cells and, in part, also in A375 cells. We further demonstrate a decrease of EphA2 both in expression and activity at 7 d after irradiation paralleled by an upregulation of EphA3. Analyzing downstream signaling after irradiation, we detected decreased Src kinase phosphorylation, but unchanged focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation, indicating, in part, irradiation-induced downregulation of signaling via the EphA2-Src-FAK axis in melanoma cells. However, to which extent this finding contributes to the modification of metastasis-relevant cellular properties remains to be elucidated. PMID:22568947

  4. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huemmrich, Karl Fred; Gamon, John A.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Campbell, Petya K. Entcheva; Landis, David R.; Middleton, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    Non-vascular plants (lichens and mosses) are significant components of tundra landscapes and may respond to climate change differently from vascular plants affecting ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed. Gas exchange measurements were collected for pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow, AK. These functional types were found to have three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013 plus or minus 0.0002, 0.0018 plus or minus 0.0002, and 0.0012 plus or minus 0.0001 mol C mol (exp -1) absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Discriminant analysis of the spectra reflectance of these patches identified five spectral bands that separated each of these vegetation functional types as well as nongreen material (bare soil, standing water, and dead leaves). These results were tested along a 100 m transect where midsummer spectral reflectance and vegetation coverage were measured at one meter intervals. Along the transect, area-averaged canopy LUE estimated from coverage fractions of the three functional types varied widely, even over short distances. The patch-level statistical discriminant functions applied to in situ hyperspectral reflectance data collected along the transect successfully unmixed cover fractions of the vegetation functional types. The unmixing functions, developed from the transect data, were applied to 30 m spatial resolution Earth Observing-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data to examine variability in distribution of the vegetation functional types for an area near Barrow, AK. Spatial variability of LUE was derived from the observed functional type distributions. Across this landscape, a

  5. Bioactive phytochemicals in wheat: Extraction, analysis, processing, and functional properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Whole wheat provides a rich source of bioactive phytochemicals namely, phenolic acids, carotenoids, tocopherols, alkylresorcinols, arabinoxylans, benzoxazinoids, phytosterols, and lignans. This review provides information on the distribution, extractability, analysis, and nutraceutical properties of...

  6. Comparison of the lipid properties of captive, healthy wild, and pansteatitis-affected wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Osthoff, Gernot; Hugo, Arno; Bouwman, Henk; Buss, Peter; Govender, Danny; Joubert, Chris C; Swarts, Jannie C

    2010-01-01

    The results presented describe and compare the fatty acid composition and melting properties of captive, healthy wild, and pansteatitis-affected wild crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). Differences in fatty acid composition between intramuscular and adipose fat is noted in captive crocodiles, and the latter differs from wild crocodiles as a result of different diets. Adipose fat of healthy wild crocodiles differs minimally from diseased ones, respectively with 37.3+/-2.6% vs. 43.2+/-2.3% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 43.2+/-2.9% in dead crocodiles, while polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease from 27.3+/-1.9% to as low as 21.9+/-3.6% respectively. Of the unsaturated fatty acids 18:2n-6 decreased from 6.5+/-2.6% in unaffected crocodiles to 3.5+/-0.6% in highly affected and 3.2+/-0.4% in dead crocodiles, and 22:5n-3 from 2.8+/-0.6% to 1.8+/-0.3% and 2.2+/-0.3% respectively. The melting properties as determined by differential scanning calorimetry show that extracted adipose fat is a small degree softer in pansteatitis-affected tissue, specifically in the temperature range 7-36 degrees C, and does not contribute to the hard texture noted for adipose fat tissue of pansteatitis-affected animals. A high moisture content of 51.0+/-19.7% of the fat tissue of pansteatitis-affected animals vs.17.1+/-8.0% of healthy ones, suggests that physiological changes due to interstitial inflammation may contribute to the hard texture.

  7. Factors Affecting the Functionality of Postgraduate Programs in Natural Sciences and Engineering in a Northwest State in Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valdés Cuervo, Angel Alberto; Estévez Nenninger, Etty Haydeé; Wendlandt Amezaga, Teodoro Rafael; Vera Noriega, José Ángel

    2015-01-01

    From the researchers' perspective, the study aimed to identify factors affecting the functionality of postgraduate programs in natural sciences and engineering in a north-western Mexican state. Through the typical cases method, 25 researchers who worked in six doctorate programs in the region were selected. From the perception of these…

  8. Detecting Differential Item Functioning in the Japanese Version of the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List--Revised

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yasuda, Tomoyuki; Lei, Pui-Wa; Suen, Hoi K.

    2007-01-01

    This study examines the differential item functioning (DIF) of the English version and the Japanese-translated version of the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List--Revised (MAACL-R) using the logistic regression (LR) procedure. The results of the LR are supplemented by multiple group confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA). A total of five items are…

  9. Coupled-cluster Green's function: Analysis of properties originating in the exponential parametrization of the ground-state wave function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Bo; Kowalski, Karol

    2016-12-01

    In this paper we derive basic properties of the Green's-function matrix elements stemming from the exponential coupled-cluster (CC) parametrization of the ground-state wave function. We demonstrate that all intermediates used to express the retarded (or, equivalently, ionized) part of the Green's function in the ω representation can be expressed only through connected diagrams. Similar properties are also shared by the first-order ω deriva