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Sample records for affected biological processes

  1. Auditory motion affects visual biological motion processing.

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, J. C.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Milatou, Niki; Dassenakis, Manos; Megalofonou, Persefoni

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Restorative biological processes and health

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Theodore F.; Carroll, Judith E.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Brianna; Snell, Sam; Bye-Nagel, Kyri; Tonidandel, Scott; Heyer, Laurie J; Campbell, A Malcolm

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Thermodynamics of Biological Processes

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Factors Affecting the Tutoring Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Hope J.

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Fluctuating Thermodynamics for Biological Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ham, Sihyun

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

  11. Emotional processing affects movement speed.

    PubMed

    Hälbig, Thomas D; Borod, Joan C; Frisina, Pasquale G; Tse, Winona; Voustianiouk, Andrei; Olanow, C Warren; Gracies, Jean-Michel

    2011-09-01

    Emotions can affect various aspects of human behavior. The impact of emotions on behavior is traditionally thought to occur at central, cognitive and motor preparation stages. Using EMG to measure the effects of emotion on movement, we found that emotional stimuli differing in valence and arousal elicited highly specific effects on peripheral movement time. This result has conceptual implications for the emotion-motion link and potentially practical implications for neurorehabilitation and professional environments where fast motor reactions are critical.

  12. Can Polyphosphate Biochemistry Affect Biological Apatite Saturation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. Affect, Behavioural Schemas and the Proving Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selden, Annie; McKee, Kerry; Selden, John

    2010-01-01

    In this largely theoretical article, we discuss the relation between a kind of affect, behavioural schemas and aspects of the proving process. We begin with affect as described in the mathematics education literature, but soon narrow our focus to a particular kind of affect--nonemotional cognitive feelings. We then mention the position of feelings…

  14. Factors affecting the process performance of biofiltration

    SciTech Connect

    Kopchynski, D.M.; Farmer, R.W.; Maier, W.J.

    1996-11-01

    Biofiltration is an emerging biological treatment technology for the removal of airborne VOCs from industrial process waste streams. Removal of air-phase VOCs by biofiltration is accomplished by contacting a process airstream with an active microbial biofilm attached to a solid phase packing. VOCs that partition into the biofilm are aerobically oxidized to the endproducts of water, carbon dioxide and salts. A multiple reactor biofiltration pilot plant test program has been in progress at the University of Minnesota Environmental Engineering Laboratories since 1992. The primary goal of the program is to study factors that affect biofiltration process performance. Initial results of this test program were reported in a previous conference paper and master`s thesis. This paper presents the results of more recent studies that focus on the effects of: (1) biofilm accumulation (which in turn causes a decrease in biofilter bed porosity and packing bed surface area), (2) rates of nutrient addition, and (3) chemical properties of the target contaminant, on biofiltration removal performance. Removal performance was evaluated by determining biofilter removal capacities and efficiencies for various substrate feeds. The performance parameters were measured under constant contaminant inlet concentrations and under constant temperature. Three VOCs were selected for study and they are: MEK, (methyl ethyl ketone), xylene, and hexane. MEK, xylene, and hexane were chosen because they are representative of widely used industrial solvents and they have significantly different Henry`s law constants relative to each other (the MEK value < Xylene value < Hexane value). Henry`s law constants quantify the partitioning of a chemical between the air and water-biofilm phase and therefore can be used to correlate the effect of chemical properties on biofilter removal capacities. This paper also introduces a new model for the biofiltration process.

  15. Factors affecting response to biologic treatment in psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Karczewski, Jacek; Poniedziałek, Barbara; Rzymski, Piotr; Adamski, Zygmunt

    2014-01-01

    Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory skin disease, affecting approximately 2-4% of the population in western countries. Patients with a more severe form of the disease are typically considered for systemic therapy, including biologics. In spite of the overall superiority of biologic agents, the treatment response may differ substantially among individual patients. As with other medical conditions, a range of factors contribute to response heterogeneity observed in psoriasis. Proper identification of these factors can significantly improve the therapeutic decisions. This review focuses on potential genetic and nongenetic factors that may affect the treatment response and outcomes in patients with psoriasis.

  16. Optimal timing in biological processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, B.K.; Nichols, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    A general approach for obtaining solutions to a class of biological optimization problems is provided. The general problem is one of determining the appropriate time to take some action, when the action can be taken only once during some finite time frame. The approach can also be extended to cover a number of other problems involving animal choice (e.g., mate selection, habitat selection). Returns (assumed to index fitness) are treated as random variables with time-specific distributions, and can be either observable or unobservable at the time action is taken. In the case of unobservable returns, the organism is assumed to base decisions on some ancillary variable that is associated with returns. Optimal policies are derived for both situations and their properties are discussed. Various extensions are also considered, including objective functions based on functions of returns other than the mean, nonmonotonic relationships between the observable variable and returns; possible death of the organism before action is taken; and discounting of future returns. A general feature of the optimal solutions for many of these problems is that an organism should be very selective (i.e., should act only when returns or expected returns are relatively high) at the beginning of the time frame and should become less and less selective as time progresses. An example of the application of optimal timing to a problem involving the timing of bird migration is discussed, and a number of other examples for which the approach is applicable are described.

  17. Affective processing in bilingual speakers: disembodied cognition?

    PubMed

    Pavlenko, Aneta

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Cognitive and Affective Processes Underlying Career Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muja, Naser; Appelbaum, Steven H.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Biological Modulation of Deep Earth Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, Norm

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Microphysical Processes Affecting the Pinatubo Volcanic Plume

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  1. Stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes.

    PubMed

    Campeau, Serge; Liberzon, Israel; Morilak, David; Ressler, Kerry

    2011-09-01

    This review summarizes the major discussion points of a symposium on stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes, which was held during the 2010 workshop on the neurobiology of stress (Boulder, CO, USA). The four discussants addressed a number of specific cognitive and affective factors that are modulated by exposure to acute or repeated stress. Dr David Morilak discussed the effects of various repeated stress situations on cognitive flexibility, as assessed with a rodent model of attentional set-shifting task, and how performance on slightly different aspects of this test is modulated by different prefrontal regions through monoaminergic neurotransmission. Dr Serge Campeau summarized the findings of several studies exploring a number of factors and brain regions that regulate habituation of various autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to repeated audiogenic stress exposures. Dr Kerry Ressler discussed a body of work exploring the modulation and extinction of fear memories in rodents and humans, especially focusing on the role of key neurotransmitter systems including excitatory amino acids and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Dr Israel Liberzon presented recent results on human decision-making processes in response to exogenous glucocorticoid hormone administration. Overall, these discussions are casting a wider framework on the cognitive/affective processes that are distinctly regulated by the experience of stress and some of the brain regions and neurotransmitter systems associated with these effects.

  2. Stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes.

    PubMed

    Campeau, Serge; Liberzon, Israel; Morilak, David; Ressler, Kerry

    2011-09-01

    This review summarizes the major discussion points of a symposium on stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes, which was held during the 2010 workshop on the neurobiology of stress (Boulder, CO, USA). The four discussants addressed a number of specific cognitive and affective factors that are modulated by exposure to acute or repeated stress. Dr David Morilak discussed the effects of various repeated stress situations on cognitive flexibility, as assessed with a rodent model of attentional set-shifting task, and how performance on slightly different aspects of this test is modulated by different prefrontal regions through monoaminergic neurotransmission. Dr Serge Campeau summarized the findings of several studies exploring a number of factors and brain regions that regulate habituation of various autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to repeated audiogenic stress exposures. Dr Kerry Ressler discussed a body of work exploring the modulation and extinction of fear memories in rodents and humans, especially focusing on the role of key neurotransmitter systems including excitatory amino acids and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Dr Israel Liberzon presented recent results on human decision-making processes in response to exogenous glucocorticoid hormone administration. Overall, these discussions are casting a wider framework on the cognitive/affective processes that are distinctly regulated by the experience of stress and some of the brain regions and neurotransmitter systems associated with these effects. PMID:21790481

  3. Human development: biological and genetic processes.

    PubMed

    Gottesman, Irving I; Hanson, Daniel R

    2005-01-01

    Adaptation is a central organizing principle throughout biology, whether we are studying species, populations, or individuals. Adaptation in biological systems occurs in response to molar and molecular environments. Thus, we would predict that genetic systems and nervous systems would be dynamic (cybernetic) in contrast to previous conceptualizations with genes and brains fixed in form and function. Questions of nature versus nurture are meaningless, and we must turn to epigenetics--the way in which biology and experience work together to enhance adaptation throughout thick and thin. Defining endophenotypes--road markers that bring us closer to the biological origins of the developmental journey--facilitates our understanding of adaptive or maladaptive processes. For human behavioral disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, the inherent plasticity of the nervous system requires a systems approach to incorporate all of the myriad epigenetic factors that can influence such outcomes. PMID:15709936

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

    SciTech Connect

    Celenza, G.J.

    1999-11-01

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

  5. Adaptive filtering in biological signal processing.

    PubMed

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

    1990-01-01

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

  6. Chapter 4: Measuring Energetics of Biological Processes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Impact of Chronic Hypercortisolemia on Affective Processing

    PubMed Central

    Langenecker, Scott A.; Weisenbach, Sara L.; Giordani, Bruno; Briceno, Emily M.; GuidottiBreting, Leslie M.; Schallmo, Michael-Paul; Leon, Hadia M.; Noll, Douglas C.; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Schteingart, David E.; Starkman, Monica N.

    2011-01-01

    Cushing syndrome (CS) is the classic condition of cortisol dysregulation, and cortisol dysregulation is the prototypic finding in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). We hypothesized that subjects with active CS would show dysfunction in frontal and limbic structures relevant to affective networks, and also manifest poorer facial affect identification accuracy, a finding reported in MDD.Twenty-one patients with confirmed CS (20 ACTH-dependent and 1 ACTH-independent) were compared to 21 healthy controlsubjects. Identification of affective facial expressions (Facial Emotion Perception Test) was conducted in a 3 Tesla GE fMRI scanner using BOLD fMRI signal. The impact of disease (illness duration, current hormone elevation and degree of disruption of circadian rhythm), performance, and comorbid conditions secondary to hypercortisolemia were evaluated.CS patients made more errors in categorizing facial expressions and had less activation in left anterior superior temporal gyrus, a region important in emotion processing. CS patients showed higher activation in frontal, medial, and subcortical regions relative to controls. Two regions of elevated activation in CS, left middle frontal and lateral posterior/pulvinar areas, were positively correlated with accuracy in emotion identification in the CS group, reflecting compensatory recruitment. In addition, within the CSgroup, greater activation in left dorsal anterior cingulatewas related to greater severity of hormone dysregulation. In conclusion, cortisol dysregulation in CS patients is associated with problems in accuracy of affective discrimination and altered activation of brain structures relevant to emotion perception, processing and regulation, similar to the performance decrements and brain regions shown to be dysfunctional in MDD. PMID:21787793

  8. Self-reported affective traits and current affective experiences of biological relatives of people with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Docherty, Anna R; Sponheim, Scott R; Kerns, John G

    2015-02-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by self-reported trait anhedonia but intact hedonic responses during laboratory experiments. Affective traits of first-degree biological relatives may be similar to those of people with schizophrenia, and measures of hedonic response in relatives may be free of antipsychotic medication or cognitive confounds. Relatives also self-report increased anhedonia, yet it is unclear whether, like in patients, this anhedonia is paired with largely intact hedonic self-report. In this study, first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia (n=33) and nonpsychiatric controls (n=25) completed a wide range of questionnaires and tasks assessing social and physical anhedonia, positive and negative affective experience, and anticipatory and consummatory pleasure. Valence, intensity, frequency, and the arousal of current emotion were assessed. Extraversion and current positive and negative affective state were also examined in relation to self-reported social anhedonia. Relatives evidenced the same disjunction of increased self-reported anhedonia and intact affective response observed in people with schizophrenia. Group differences in anhedonia were not better accounted for by decreased current positive affect, increased current negative affect, or decreased extraversion in relatives. Results suggest that, like people with schizophrenia, first-degree relatives report intact hedonic response on both questionnaire and laboratory measures despite significant elevations in self-reported social anhedonia.

  9. Flow Characteristics in Permeable Reactive Barrier Affected by Biological Clogging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seki, K.; Hanada, J.; Miyazaki, T.

    2004-12-01

    Permeable reactive barriers (PRB) are becoming popular for the in situ remediation of contaminated groundwater. The efficiency of the PRB is affected by permeability of the reactive zone, because when permeability decreases contaminants can bypass the reactive zone without degraded. One of the factors affecting permeability of the permeable reactive zone is biological clogging of soil pore, i.e., biomass buildup and resultant decrease in hydraulic conductivity. So far biological clogging in laboratory was mostly observed in one-dimensional flow field, but the actual flow field in PRB is better simulated in two-dimensional flow field. The objective of this study is to observe the flow characteristics in PRB by using simulated flow cells in laboratory, by comparing one-dimensional and two-dimensional flow field. One-dimensional flow field was simulated by 20 cm length and 1 cm width flow cell, and two-dimensional flow field was simulated by 20 cm length and 10 cm width flow cell. Each flow cell was operated under water-saturated conditions, in horizontal position, and at a constant temperature of 20 degree centigrade. Glass beads of 0.1 mm mean diameter was packed uniformly in the flow cells and inoculum was injected into the nutrient injection ports at the middle of the flow cells. After 24 h incubation time continuous flow was started. Background flow of de-ionized water was supplied to the inlet ports, and the mineral medium was supplied from the nutrient injection ports. The flux was measured every day and local hydraulic head distribution was measured by water manometer, and hydraulic conductivity was calculated. The flow cell experiments were continued for 9 days. In one-dimensional flow cell, hydraulic conductivity of the nutrient supplied part decreased to about half of the initial value in 9 days flow period, where the hydraulic conductivity of the part where nutrient was not supplied remained constant. Bacterial and fungal number in the moderately clogged

  10. Classification of biological and non-biological fluvial particles using image processing and artificial neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Bim Prasad; Shrestha, Nabin Kumar; Poudel, Laxman

    2009-04-01

    Particles flowing along with water largely affect safe drinking water, irrigation, aquatic life preservation and hydropower generation. This research describes activities that lead to development of fluvial particle characterization that includes detection of biological and non-biological particles and shape characterization using Image Processing and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Fluvial particles are characterized based on multi spectral images processing using ANN. Images of wavelength of 630nm and 670nm are taken as most distinctive characterizing properties of biological and non-biological particles found in Bagmati River of Nepal. The samples were collected at pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Random samples were selected and multi spectral images are processed using MATLAB 6.5. Thirty matrices were built from each sample. The obtained data of 42 rows and 60columns were taken as input training with an output matrix of 42 rows and 2 columns. Neural Network of Perceptron model was created using a transfer function. The system was first validated and later on tested at 18 different strategic locations of Bagmati River of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. This network classified biological and non biological particles. Development of new non-destructive technique to characterize biological and non-biological particles from fluvial sample in a real time has a significance breakthrough. This applied research method and outcome is an attractive model for real time monitoring of particles and has many applications that can throw a significant outlet to many researches and for effective utilization of water resources. It opened a new horizon of opportunities for basic and applied research at Kathmandu University in Nepal.

  11. Assessment of biological Hydrogen production processes: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Leaf microbiota of strawberries as affected by biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Sylla, Justine; Alsanius, Beatrix W; Krüger, Erika; Reineke, Annette; Strohmeier, Stephan; Wohanka, Walter

    2013-10-01

    The increasing use of biological control agents (BCAs) against Botrytis cinerea in strawberry raises the question of whether there are any undesirable impacts of foliar applications of BCAs on nontarget microorganisms in the phyllosphere. Therefore, our objective was to investigate this issue within a field study. Strawberry plants were repeatedly sprayed with three BCAs-namely, RhizoVital 42 fl. (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42), Trianum-P (Trichoderma harzianum T22), and Naturalis (Beauveria bassiana ATCC 74040)-to suppress Botrytis cinerea infections. Microbial communities of differentially treated leaves were analyzed using plate counts and pyrosequencing and compared with the microbial community of nontreated leaves. Plate count results indicate that the applied Bacillus and Trichoderma spp. survived in the strawberry phyllosphere throughout the strawberry season. However, no significant impacts on the leaf microbiota could be detected by this culture-dependent technique. Pyrosequencing of internal transcribed spacer ribosomal RNA and 16S RNA sequences revealed a change in fungal composition and diversity at class level after the introduction of T. harzianum T22 to the phyllosphere, whereas the bacterial composition and diversity was not affected by either this Trichoderma preparation or the other two BCAs. Our results suggest that pyrosequencing represents a useful method for studying microbial interactions in the phyllosphere. PMID:24020904

  13. Biological transport processes and space dimension.

    PubMed

    Nadler, W; Stein, D L

    1991-08-01

    We discuss the generic time behavior of reaction-diffusion processes capable of modeling various types of biological transport processes, such as ligand migration in proteins and gating fluctuations in ion channel proteins. The main observable in these two cases, the fraction of unbound ligands and the probability of finding the channel in the closed state, respectively, exhibits an algebraic t-1/2 decay at intermediate times, followed by an exponential cutoff. We provide a simple framework for understanding these observations and explain their ubiquity by showing that these qualitative results are independent of space dimension. We also derive an experimental criterion to distinguish between a one-dimensional process and one whose effective dimension is higher.

  14. Physics of a random biological process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canessa, E.; Calmetta, A.

    1994-07-01

    We analyze the successive fluctuations of the daytime and nighttime sleep pattern of a newborn baby by using tools of far-from-equilibrium statistical physics. We find that this class of natural random biological process displays a remarkable long-range power-law correlation that extends for, at least, the first six months of life. Such a scaling behavior might help to characterize the underlying dynamics of the (early) growth and development of humans through analyzing the time series generated when asleep.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

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

  16. Modeling delayed processes in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Jingchen; Sevier, Stuart A.; Huang, Bin; Jia, Dongya; Levine, Herbert

    2016-09-01

    Delayed processes are ubiquitous in biological systems and are often characterized by delay differential equations (DDEs) and their extension to include stochastic effects. DDEs do not explicitly incorporate intermediate states associated with a delayed process but instead use an estimated average delay time. In an effort to examine the validity of this approach, we study systems with significant delays by explicitly incorporating intermediate steps. We show that such explicit models often yield significantly different equilibrium distributions and transition times as compared to DDEs with deterministic delay values. Additionally, different explicit models with qualitatively different dynamics can give rise to the same DDEs revealing important ambiguities. We also show that DDE-based predictions of oscillatory behavior may fail for the corresponding explicit model.

  17. Image processing and recognition for biological images

    PubMed Central

    Uchida, Seiichi

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews image processing and pattern recognition techniques, which will be useful to analyze bioimages. Although this paper does not provide their technical details, it will be possible to grasp their main tasks and typical tools to handle the tasks. Image processing is a large research area to improve the visibility of an input image and acquire some valuable information from it. As the main tasks of image processing, this paper introduces gray-level transformation, binarization, image filtering, image segmentation, visual object tracking, optical flow and image registration. Image pattern recognition is the technique to classify an input image into one of the predefined classes and also has a large research area. This paper overviews its two main modules, that is, feature extraction module and classification module. Throughout the paper, it will be emphasized that bioimage is a very difficult target for even state-of-the-art image processing and pattern recognition techniques due to noises, deformations, etc. This paper is expected to be one tutorial guide to bridge biology and image processing researchers for their further collaboration to tackle such a difficult target. PMID:23560739

  18. 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

  19. Howard Brenner's Legacy for Biological Transport Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitsche, Johannes

    2014-11-01

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

  20. A synthetic biology approach to understanding cellular information processing

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grotevant, Harold D; McDermott, Jennifer M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Processes affecting the distribution and speciation of selenium in seawater

    SciTech Connect

    Cutter, G.A.

    1982-01-01

    The analyses of dissolved selenium species in the Pacific Ocean and anoxic waters of the Saanich Inlet, selenium in fluxing particles, and the regeneration of selenium from biogenic matter has been undertaken in order to evaluate the processes affecting selenium in the ocean. Analyses of oceanic surface waters show selenite to be severely depleted, and the degree of selenate depletion, a function of the oceanic regime (i.e. most depleted in oligotrophic regions). Both species are enriched in deeper waters with an approximately 60:40 ratio of Se +6 to +4. A major species in surface waters and the upper thermocline is organic selenide. A secondary maximum of organic selenide is seen in the suboxic oxygen minimum of the eastern tropical Pacific, while selenite shows a negative anomaly. The regeneration of selenium from biogenic matter shows a multistep behavior, with organic selenide being released rapidly and primarily, selenite and selenate being produced by the slow oxidation of this fraction. Selenium in the ocean is affected by several processes. First organisms preferentially take-up selenite over selenate. This incorporation of selenium into biological material involves reduction to selenide. As selenium is regenerated from biogenic matter, first organic selenide is released, which in turn oxidizes to selenite, which then oxidizes very slowly to selenate. Finally, selenium does appear to undergo redox reactions in anoxic systems, but the products of the reactions remain unidentified.

  5. Reading biological processes from nucleotide sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murugan, Anand

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

  6. Dilution, Not Load, Affects Distractor Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Sound Affects the Speed of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keetels, Mirjam; Vroomen, Jean

    2011-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Molecular biology and genetics affecting pediatric solid tumors.

    PubMed

    Lugo-Vicente, H

    2000-01-01

    Since the discovery of oncogenes more than 20 years ago, it has been proven that cancer is a genetically determined disease. Multiple genetic alteration occurs during the course of an illness for neoplasia to develop. Transformation of positive cell growth regulators (oncogenes) and inactivations of negative cell growth regulators (tumor suppressor genes) merge to express a malignant phenotype. These genetic alterations occur as chromosomal translocations, deletions, inversion, amplification or point mutation. The objective of this review is to introduce basic concepts of molecular biology and describe the molecular genetics and biologic clinical findings of the most important solid malignant tumors in children, namely Neuroblastoma, Wilms and Rhabdomyosarcoma. It is the oncology surgeons responsibility to learn basic molecular genetics and tumor biology to provide rational and appropriate care in the setting of multidisciplinary management. Identifications of new oncogenes will continue to be important milestones in diagnosis, early detection of tumor recurrence, and as potential targets for gene therapy. Fusion proteins generated by mutated translocations are true tumor specific antigens and potential targets for therapy. The predicament is that they are proteins needing therapeutic manipulation within the tumor cell nuclei. Technological advances in molecular and genetics will develop tools necessary to manipulate the cell nuclear DNA and target cancer cell.

  10. Low temperature alteration processes affecting ultramafic bodies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1978-01-01

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

  11. Experiments with a universe for molecular modelling of biological processes.

    PubMed

    Jedruch, W T; Barski, M

    1990-01-01

    A computer simulation program and results of preliminary simulations of an abstract two-dimensional universe are presented, in which biological and physical processes can be modelled at the molecular level. Two types of permanent elements (atoms) occupy squares of the universe: called 0 and 1. Atoms sharing a common square form a particle, with properties determined by its component atoms. Atoms, particles, and complexes of particles move and collide according to rules like those of classical mechanics. At a higher level of organization, the string of atoms in a particle is viewed as a program, whose execution can affect the space around the particle. The computer program (written in Turbo-Pascal language) can simulate the evolution of the universe starting from any given initial configuration of the particles. Three examples of simulations, showing the development of ordered spatial structures from initial sets of randomly distributed particles, illustrate the universe's potential in modelling various molecular processes.

  12. Evidence that biological activity affects Ocean Bottom Seismograph recordings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buskirk, Ruth E.; Frohlich, Cliff; Latham, Gary V.; Chen, Allen T.; Lawton, Jeff

    1981-06-01

    Brief and impulsive signals of uncertain origin appear regularly on records from Ocean Bottom Seismographs (OBS) of several institutions. These signals have been recorded on nearly all deployments of the Texas OBS, including sites at depths greater than 7000 m. At some sites, they account for over 90% of the events recorded. They are of short duration (usually 0.5 4.0 s) and have a characteristic frequency (usually in the range of 4 18 Hz) that differs from site to site. When networks of OBS instruments are deployed, the signals are not recorded simultaneously by different instruments. Neither the frequency content nor the distribution of durations of these signals is similar to what is observed for known earthquake events. We present evidence suggesting that the signals are of biological origin, perhaps caused by animals touching the OBS units. (1) The distribution of these signals on instruments deployed at depths shallower than 1000 m shows a 24 h periodicity, while there is a 24 h periodic pattern on instruments deployed at sites deeper than 1000 m (where there is no visible light). (2) The frequency of occurrence of signals is similar to the vertical distribution of biomass in the oceans, i.e., they appear most frequently on OBS instruments deployed at very shallow depths. (3) Biological material has been found attached to several OBS units upon recovery.

  13. Cloud Processed CCN Affect Cloud Microphysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Studies of dynamical processes affecting global climate

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-12-31

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

  15. Implicit affectivity and rapid processing of affective body language: An fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Suslow, Thomas; Ihme, Klas; Quirin, Markus; Lichev, Vladimir; Rosenberg, Nicole; Bauer, Jochen; Bomberg, Luise; Kersting, Anette; Hoffmann, Karl-Titus; Lobsien, Donald

    2015-10-01

    Previous research has revealed affect-congruity effects for the recognition of affects from faces. Little is known about the impact of affect on the perception of body language. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship of implicit (versus explicit) affectivity with the recognition of briefly presented affective body expressions. Implicit affectivity, which can be measured using indirect assessment methods, has been found to be more predictive of spontaneous physiological reactions than explicit (self-reported) affect. Thirty-four healthy women had to label the expression of body postures (angry, fearful, happy, or neutral) presented for 66 ms and masked by a neutral body posture in a forced-choice format while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants' implicit affectivity was assessed using the Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test. Measures of explicit state and trait affectivity were also administered. Analysis of the fMRI data was focused on a subcortical network involved in the rapid perception of affective body expressions. Only implicit negative affect (but not explicit affect) was correlated with correct labeling performance for angry body posture. As expected, implicit negative affect was positively associated with activation of the subcortical network in response to fearful and angry expression (compared to neutral expression). Responses of the caudate nucleus to affective body expression were especially associated with its recognition. It appears that processes of rapid recognition of affects from body postures could be facilitated by an individual's implicit negative affect. PMID:26032148

  16. Elaboration Likelihood and the Counseling Process: The Role of Affect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoltenberg, Cal D.; And Others

    The role of affect in counseling has been examined from several orientations. The depth of processing model views the efficiency of information processing as a function of the extent to which the information is processed. The notion of cognitive processing capacity states that processing information at deeper levels engages more of one's limited…

  17. Water in Biological and Chemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagchi, Biman

    2013-11-01

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

  18. Soil biological activity as affected by tillage intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gajda, A. M.; Przewłoka, B.

    2012-02-01

    The effect of tillage intensity on changes of microbiological activity and content of particulate organic matter in soil under winter wheat duirng 3 years was studied. Microbial response related to the tillage-induced changes in soil determined on the content of biomass C and N, the rate of CO2 evolution, B/F ratio, the activity of dehydrogenases, acid and alkaline phosphatases, soil C/N ratio and microbial biomass C/N ratio confirmed the high sensitivity of soil microbial populations to the tillage system applied. After three year studies, the direct sowing system enhanced the increase of labile fraction of organic matter content in soil. There were no significant changes in the labile fraction quantity observed in soil under conventional tillage. Similar response related to the tillage intensity was observed in particulate organic matter quantities expressed as a percentage of total organic matter in soil. A high correlation coefficients calculated between contents of soil microbial biomass C and N, particulate organic matter and potentially mineralizable N, and the obtained yields of winter wheat grown on experimental fields indicated on a high importance of biological quality of status of soil for agricultural crop production.

  19. Biological treatments affect the chemical composition of coffee pulp.

    PubMed

    Ulloa Rojas, J B; Verreth, J A J; Amato, S; Huisman, E A

    2003-09-01

    Biological treatments were applied to fresh coffee pulp (CoP) to improve its nutritive value for monogastric animals by reducing its content of cellulose and antinutritional factors (ANFs) such as total phenols, tannins and caffeine. Treatments were: (1) ensiling with 0, 50 and 100 gkg(-1) molasses for 2 and 3 months, (2) aerobic decomposition for 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42 days, (3) aerobic bacterial inoculation (Bacillus sp.) for 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Ensiled CoP (E-CoP) showed higher fat and ash contents than oven-dried-CoP (OD-CoP; P<0.05). Similarly, true protein values tended to increase. The cellulose and total phenols levels of E-CoP were lower than OD-CoP (P<0.05). The E-CoP tannins levels tended to be lower than OD-CoP whereas caffeine levels remained unaffected. Improvement in the nutritional quality of E-CoP was associated with higher fat and protein contents and reduction of cellulose, total phenols and tannins. The aerobic decomposition treatment improved the nutritional quality of CoP by increasing true protein and fat contents. In addition, total phenols, tannins, caffeine and cellulose contents were reduced by an increase in treatment time (P<0.05). Bacterial treatment increased the protein content of CoP after 21 days (from 137 to 392 gkg(-1)) and decreased it after 28 days. Cellulose, total phenols, tannins and caffeine contents reduced with an increase in time of bacterial degradation. Bacterial treatment improved the CoP quality by increasing protein content and reducing cellulose and ANFs, especially after 21 days of treatment. Both the aerobic decomposition (after 21-28 days) and the aerobic bacterial degradation of CoP (after 21 days) appeared more suitable to improve the nutritional quality of CoP than the ensiling.

  20. Streamlined ammonia removal from wastewater using biological deammonification process

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

  2. Emotion-specific load disrupts concomitant affective processing.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Nicolas; Niedenthal, Paula M; Pleyers, Gordy; Bayot, Marie; Corneille, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Findings in the neuroimaging literature suggest that separate brain circuitries are involved when individuals perform emotional compared to nonemotional working memory (WM) tasks. Here we test this hypothesis with behavioural measures. We predicted that the conceptual processing of affect would be disrupted more by concurrent affective than nonaffective load. Participants performed a conceptual task in which they verified affective versus sensory properties of concepts, and a second, concurrent, working memory (n-back) task in which the target stimuli were facial expressions. Results revealed that storing and updating affective (as compared with identity) features of facial expressions altered performance more for affective than for sensory properties of concepts. The findings are supportive of the ideas that affective resources exist and that these resources are specifically used during the processing and representation of affective properties of objects and events.

  3. Assessment of Affective Outcomes of Instruction With High School Sophomore Biology Students and Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glass, Lynn W.

    An instrument was developed to determine the teacher's and student's educational objectives in the affective domain for high school biology. The 65 item attitude assessment scale was based on the same subject matter as "Biological Science: Molecules to Man," and structured according to Krathwohl, Bloom, and Masia's taxonomy. In a pilot study the…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Actinide speciation in relation to biological processes.

    PubMed

    Ansoborlo, Eric; Prat, Odette; Moisy, Philippe; Den Auwer, Christophe; Guilbaud, Philippe; Carriere, M; Gouget, Barbara; Duffield, John; Doizi, Denis; Vercouter, Thomas; Moulin, Christophe; Moulin, Valérie

    2006-11-01

    In case of accidental release of radionuclides into the environment, actinides represent a severe health risk to human beings following internal contamination (inhalation, ingestion or wound). For a better understanding of the actinide behaviour in man (in term of metabolism, retention, excretion) and in specific biological systems (organs, cells or biochemical pathways), it is of prime importance to have a good knowledge of the relevant actinide solution chemistry and biochemistry, in particular of the thermodynamic constants needed for computing actinide speciation. To a large extent, speciation governs bioavailability and toxicity of elements and has a significant impact on the mechanisms by which toxics accumulate in cell compartments and organs and by which elements are transferred and transported from cell to cell. From another viewpoint, speciation is the prerequisite for the design and success of potential decorporation therapies. The purpose of this review is to present the state of the art of actinide knowledge within biological media. It is also to discuss how actinide speciation can be determined or predicted and to highlight the areas where information is lacking with the aim to encourage new research efforts.

  6. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: chemical interactions of Primary Biological Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deguillaume, L.; Leriche, M.; Amato, P.; Ariya, P. A.; Delort, A.-M.; Pöschl, U.; Chaumerliac, N.; Bauer, H.; Flossmann, A. I.; Morris, C. E.

    2008-02-01

    This paper discusses the influence of bioaerosols on atmospheric chemistry and vice versa through microbiological and chemical properties and processes. Several studies have shown that biological matter represents a significant fraction of air particulate matter and hence affects the microstructure and water uptake of aerosol particles. Moreover, airborne micro-organisms can transform chemical constituents of the atmosphere by metabolic activity. Recent studies have emphasized the viability of bacteria and metabolic degradation of organic substances in cloud water. On the other hand, the viability and metabolic activity of airborne micro-organisms depend strongly on physical and chemical atmospheric parameters such as temperature, pressure, radiation, pH value and nutrient concentrations. In spite of recent advances, however, our knowledge of the microbiological and chemical interactions of primary biological particles in the atmosphere is rather limited. Further targeted investigations combining laboratory experiments, field measurements, and modelling studies will be required to characterize the chemical feedbacks, microbiological activities at the air/snow/water interface supplied to the atmosphere.

  7. ECOMAT INC. BIOLOGICAL DENITRIFICATION PROCESS, ITER

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. Preliminary benefit analysis of biological space processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perrine, J.

    1976-01-01

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

  9. Positive and negative affective processing exhibit dissociable functional hubs during the viewing of affective pictures.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenhai; Li, Hong; Pan, Xiaohong

    2015-02-01

    Recent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies using graph theory metrics have revealed that the functional network of the human brain possesses small-world characteristics and comprises several functional hub regions. However, it is unclear how the affective functional network is organized in the brain during the processing of affective information. In this study, the fMRI data were collected from 25 healthy college students as they viewed a total of 81 positive, neutral, and negative pictures. The results indicated that affective functional networks exhibit weaker small-worldness properties with higher local efficiency, implying that local connections increase during viewing affective pictures. Moreover, positive and negative emotional processing exhibit dissociable functional hubs, emerging mainly in task-positive regions. These functional hubs, which are the centers of information processing, have nodal betweenness centrality values that are at least 1.5 times larger than the average betweenness centrality of the network. Positive affect scores correlated with the betweenness values of the right orbital frontal cortex (OFC) and the right putamen in the positive emotional network; negative affect scores correlated with the betweenness values of the left OFC and the left amygdala in the negative emotional network. The local efficiencies in the left superior and inferior parietal lobe correlated with subsequent arousal ratings of positive and negative pictures, respectively. These observations provide important evidence for the organizational principles of the human brain functional connectome during the processing of affective information.

  10. Biological solids reduction using the Cannibal process.

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  11. A literature-based similarity metric for biological processes

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersen, Lorri

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

  13. Relationship between auditory processing and affective prosody in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Jahshan, Carol; Wynn, Jonathan K; Green, Michael F

    2013-02-01

    Patients with schizophrenia have well-established deficits in their ability to identify emotion from facial expression and tone of voice. In the visual modality, there is strong evidence that basic processing deficits contribute to impaired facial affect recognition in schizophrenia. However, few studies have examined the auditory modality for mechanisms underlying affective prosody identification. In this study, we explored links between different stages of auditory processing, using event-related potentials (ERPs), and affective prosody detection in schizophrenia. Thirty-six schizophrenia patients and 18 healthy control subjects received tasks of affective prosody, facial emotion identification, and tone matching, as well as two auditory oddball paradigms, one passive for mismatch negativity (MMN) and one active for P300. Patients had significantly reduced MMN and P300 amplitudes, impaired auditory and visual emotion recognition, and poorer tone matching performance, relative to healthy controls. Correlations between ERP and behavioral measures within the patient group revealed significant associations between affective prosody recognition and both MMN and P300 amplitudes. These relationships were modality specific, as MMN and P300 did not correlate with facial emotion recognition. The two ERP waves accounted for 49% of the variance in affective prosody in a regression analysis. Our results support previous suggestions of a relationship between basic auditory processing abnormalities and affective prosody dysfunction in schizophrenia, and indicate that both relatively automatic pre-attentive processes (MMN) and later attention-dependent processes (P300) are involved with accurate auditory emotion identification. These findings provide support for bottom-up (e.g., perceptually based) cognitive remediation approaches.

  14. Electron beam/biological processing of anaerobic and aerobic sludge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čuba, V.; Pospíšil, M.; Múčka, V.; Jeníček, P.; Dohányos, M.; Zábranská, J.

    2003-01-01

    Besides common chemical and biological methods, the radiation technology is a promising way of sludge treatment. The paper describes possibilities of combined accelerated electrons/biological processing of both anaerobic and aerobic sludge. Besides one-shot experiments, experimental reactors for the simulation of anaerobic processes have been used. Main effort has been aimed to decrease organic compounds concentration and overall volume of solids, to improve some physico-chemical parameters of sludge, to validate hygienisation effects of the ionising radiation, and in the case of anaerobic sludge, to increase the volume of the produced biogas. Positive effects of the electron beam processing have been observed on all previously named parameters.

  15. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: chemical interactions of primary biological aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deguillaume, L.; Leriche, M.; Amato, P.; Ariya, P. A.; Delort, A.-M.; Pöschl, U.; Chaumerliac, N.; Bauer, H.; Flossmann, A. I.; Morris, C. E.

    2008-07-01

    This paper discusses the influence of primary biological aerosols (PBA) on atmospheric chemistry and vice versa through microbiological and chemical properties and processes. Several studies have shown that PBA represent a significant fraction of air particulate matter and hence affect the microstructure and water uptake of aerosol particles. Moreover, airborne micro-organisms, namely fungal spores and bacteria, can transform chemical constituents of the atmosphere by metabolic activity. Recent studies have emphasized the viability of bacteria and metabolic degradation of organic substances in cloud water. On the other hand, the viability and metabolic activity of airborne micro-organisms depend strongly on physical and chemical atmospheric parameters such as temperature, pressure, radiation, pH value and nutrient concentrations. In spite of recent advances, however, our knowledge of the microbiological and chemical interactions of PBA in the atmosphere is rather limited. Further targeted investigations combining laboratory experiments, field measurements, and modelling studies will be required to characterize the chemical feedbacks, microbiological activities at the air/snow/water interface supplied to the atmosphere.

  16. Investigations of biological processes in Austrian MBT plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-15

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

  17. Students' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process Diagrams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silberstein, Moshe; Tamir, Pinchas

    1981-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karsli, Fethiye; Sahin, Cigdem

    2009-01-01

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

  20. BICT biological process for nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

    PubMed

    Huang, Y; Li, Y; Pan, Y

    2004-01-01

    An updated biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal process--BICT (Bi-Cyclic Two-Phase) biological process--is proposed and investigated. It is aimed to provide a process configuration and operation mode that has facility and good potential for optimizing operation conditions, especially for enhancing the stability and reliability of the biological nutrient removal process. The proposed system consists of an attached-growth reactor for growing autotrophic nitrifying bacteria, a set of suspended-growth sequencing batch reactors for growing heterotrophic organisms, an anaerobic biological selector and a clarifier. In this paper, the fundamental concept and operation principles of BICT process are described, and the overall performances, major operation parameters and the factors influencing COD, nitrogen and phosphorus removal in the process are also discussed based on the results of extensive laboratory experiments. According to the experimental results with municipal sewage and synthetic wastewater, the process has strong and stable capability for COD removal. Under well controlled conditions, the removal rate of TN can reach over 80% and TP over 90% respectively, and the effluent concentrations of TN and TP can be controlled below 15 mg/L and 1.0 mg/L respectively for municipal wastewater. The improved phosphorus removal has been reached at short SRT, and the recycling flow rate of supernatant between the main reactors and attached-growth reactor is one of the key factors controlling the effect of nitrogen removal.

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

    PubMed

    Glazier, Douglas S

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Glazier, Douglas S

    2015-05-01

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

  3. Interspecies systems biology uncovers metabolites affecting C. elegans gene expression and life history traits.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Investigating facial affect processing in psychosis: a study using the Comprehensive Affective Testing System.

    PubMed

    Rossell, Susan L; Van Rheenen, Tamsyn E; Joshua, Nicole R; O'Regan, Alison; Gogos, Andrea

    2014-08-01

    Facial affect processing (FAP) deficits in schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) have been widely reported; although effect sizes vary across studies, and there are limited direct comparisons of the two groups. Further, there is debate as to the influence of both psychotic and mood symptoms on FAP. This study aimed to address these limitations by recruiting groups of psychosis patients with either a diagnosis of SZ or BD and comparing them to healthy controls (HC) on a well validated battery of four FAP subtests: affect discrimination, name affect, select affect and match affect. Overall, both groups performed more poorly than controls in terms of accuracy. In SZ, this was largely driven by impairments on three of the four subtests. The BD patients showed impaired performance specifically on the match affect subtest, a task that had a high cognitive load. FAP performance in the psychosis patients was correlated with severity of positive symptoms and mania. This study confirmed that FAP deficits are a consistent finding in SZ that occur independent of task specific methodology; whilst FAP deficits in BD are more subtle. Further work in this group is needed to replicate these results.

  6. Benefit evaluation of space processing of biological materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco, Santiago

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Electrophysiological differences in the processing of affect misattribution.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Yohei; Minami, Tetsuto; Nakauchi, Shigeki

    2012-01-01

    The affect misattribution procedure (AMP) was proposed as a technique to measure an implicit attitude to a prime image [1]. In the AMP, neutral symbols (e.g., a Chinese pictograph, called the target) are presented, following an emotional stimulus (known as the prime). Participants often misattribute the positive or negative affect of the priming images to the targets in spite of receiving an instruction to ignore the primes. The AMP effect has been investigated using behavioral measures; however, it is difficult to identify when the AMP effect occurs in emotional processing-whether the effect may occur in the earlier attention allocation stage or in the later evaluation stage. In this study, we examined the neural correlates of affect misattribution, using event-related potential (ERP) dividing the participants into two groups based on their tendency toward affect misattribution. The ERP results showed that the amplitude of P2 was larger for the prime at the parietal location in participants showing a low tendency to misattribution than for those showing a high tendency, while the effect of judging neutral targets amiss according to the primes was reflected in the late processing of targets (LPP). In addition, the topographic pattern analysis revealed that EPN-like component to targets was correlated with the difference of AMP tendency as well as P2 to primes and LPP to targets. Taken together, the mechanism of the affective misattribution was closely related to the attention allocation processing. Our findings provide neural evidence that evaluations of neutral targets are misattributed to emotional primes.

  12. Chemical and biological flocculation process to treat municipal sewage and analysis of biological function.

    PubMed

    Xia, Si-qing; Yang, Dian-hai; Xu, Bin; Zhao, Jian-fu

    2005-01-01

    The pilot-scale experimental apparatus and the procedure of the chemical and biological flocculation process to verify the feasibility in treating Shanghai municipal sewage were introduced in this paper. In addition, the biological function of the process was discussed. The results of optimal running showed that in the reaction tank, the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solid(MLSS) was 2 g/L, hydraulic retention time(HRT) was 35 min, dosage of liquid polyaluminium chloride(PAC) was 60 mg/L, and the concentration of polyacrylamide(PAM) was 0.5 mg/L. The effluent average concentrations of COD(Cr), TP, SS and BOD5 were 50 mg/L, 0.62 mg/L, 18 mg/L, and 17 mg/L, respectively. These were better than the designed demand. In addition, the existence of biological degradation in this system was proven by several methods. The removal efficiencies of the chemical and biological flocculation process were 20% higher than that of the chemical flocculation process above at the same coagulant dosage. The treatment process under different situations was evaluated on a pilot-scale experiment, and the results provided magnificent parameters and optimal condition for future operation of the plant.

  13. Spelling-to-sound correspondences affect acronym recognition processes.

    PubMed

    Playfoot, David; Izura, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    A large body of research has examined the factors that affect the speed with which words are recognized in lexical decision tasks. Nothing has yet been reported concerning the important factors in differentiating acronyms (e.g., BBC, HIV, NASA) from nonwords. It appears that this task poses little problem for skilled readers, in spite of the fact that acronyms have uncommon, even illegal, spellings in English. We used regression techniques to examine the role of a number of lexical and nonlexical variables known to be important in word processing in relation to lexical decision for acronym targets. Findings indicated that acronym recognition is affected by age of acquisition and imageability. In a departure from findings in word recognition, acronym recognition was not affected by frequency. Lexical decision responses for acronyms were also affected by the relationship between spelling and sound-a pattern not usually observed in word recognition. We argue that the complexity of acronym recognition means that the process draws phonological information in addition to semantics. PMID:25337636

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-05-20

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucia, Umberto

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Introductory biology textbooks under-represent scientific process.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Introductory Biology Textbooks Under-Represent Scientific Process

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klopping, Paul H.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. iBiology: communicating the process of science

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, Sarah S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. Processing of affective speech prosody is impaired in Asperger syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

    Many people with the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS) show poorly developed skills in understanding emotional messages. The present study addressed discrimination of speech prosody in children with AS at neurophysiological level. Detection of affective prosody was investigated in one-word utterances as indexed by the N1 and the mismatch negativity (MMN) of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). Data from fourteen boys with AS were compared with those for thirteen typically developed boys. These results suggest atypical neural responses to affective prosody in children with AS and their fathers, especially over the RH, and that this impairment can already be seen at low-level information processes. Our results provide evidence for familial patterns of abnormal auditory brain reactions to prosodic features of speech.

  12. As "Process" As It Can Get: Students' Understanding of Biological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barak, Judith; Gorodetsky, Malka

    1999-01-01

    Analyzes students' understanding of biological phenomena via the ontological categories of processes and matter. Analysis is based on tenth-grade students' explanations of biological phenomena such as photosynthesis, energy resources, temperature regulation, and the interrelationships between living and nonliving things. (Author/WRM)

  13. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, C D; Wittbrodt, P R

    1991-01-01

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

  15. Positron emission tomography provides molecular imaging of biological processes

    PubMed Central

    Phelps, Michael E.

    2000-01-01

    Diseases are biological processes, and molecular imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) is sensitive to and informative of these processes. This is illustrated by detection of biological abnormalities in neurological disorders with no computed tomography or MRI anatomic changes, as well as even before symptoms are expressed. PET whole body imaging in cancer provides the means to (i) identify early disease, (ii) differentiate benign from malignant lesions, (iii) examine all organs for metastases, and (iv) determine therapeutic effectiveness. Diagnostic accuracy of PET is 8–43% higher than conventional procedures and changes treatment in 20–40% of the patients, depending on the clinical question, in lung and colorectal cancers, melanoma, and lymphoma, with similar findings in breast, ovarian, head and neck, and renal cancers. A microPET scanner for mice, in concert with human PET systems, provides a novel technology for molecular imaging assays of metabolism and signal transduction to gene expression, from mice to patients: e.g., PET reporter gene assays are used to trace the location and temporal level of expression of therapeutic and endogenous genes. PET probes and drugs are being developed together—in low mass amounts, as molecular imaging probes to image the function of targets without disturbing them, and in mass amounts to modify the target's function as a drug. Molecular imaging by PET, optical technologies, magnetic resonance imaging, single photon emission tomography, and other technologies are assisting in moving research findings from in vitro biology to in vivo integrative mammalian biology of disease. PMID:10922074

  16. Biological signal processing with a genetic toggle switch.

    PubMed

    Hillenbrand, Patrick; Fritz, Georg; Gerland, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Biological Signal Processing with a Genetic Toggle Switch

    PubMed Central

    Hillenbrand, Patrick; Fritz, Georg; Gerland, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Affects as central organising and integrating factors. A new psychosocial/biological model of the psyche.

    PubMed

    Ciompi, L

    1991-07-01

    A new psychosocial/biological model of the psyche is proposed, in which the affects play a central role in organising and integrating cognition. The psyche is understood here as a complex hierarchical structure of affective/cognitive systems of reference (or 'programmes for feeling, thinking, and behaviour'), generated by repetitive concrete action. These systems store past experience in their structure, and provide the functional basis for further cognition and communication. Affects endow these programmes with a specific qualitative value (such as motivation), connect cognitive elements synchronically and diachronically, and contribute to their storage and mobilisation according to context. They also participate in differentiating cognitive systems at higher levels of abstraction. These assumptions are supported by recent findings on the role of the limbic and hypothalamic system for the regulation of emotion, on neuronal plasticity, and on the phenomenon of state-dependent learning and memory. Refutable hypotheses are formulated for further research on the interaction of emotion and cognition.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Towards a Semantic Lexicon for Biological Language Processing

    DOE PAGES

    Verspoor, Karin

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Effects of processing style on responsiveness to affective stimuli and processing fluency.

    PubMed

    Dijkstra, Koen A; van der Pligt, Joop; van Kleef, Gerben A

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we provide direct evidence for effects of global versus local processing on responsiveness to and reliance on affective information in judgement and decision-making. Results of Experiments 1 and 2 showed an increased responsiveness to affective stimuli among participants in a global processing mode. Experiment 3 showed similar effects for processing fluency; participants adopting a global processing style showed an increased reliance on fluency. Experiment 4 replicated our findings in a more mundane judgement task in which participants judged apartments. We discuss our findings in relation to the distinction between intuitive versus deliberative modes of thinking.

  3. Extraversion and reward-related processing: probing incentive motivation in affective priming tasks.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Michael D; Moeller, Sara K; Ode, Scott

    2010-10-01

    Based on an incentive motivation theory of extraversion (Depue & Collins, 1999), it was hypothesized that extraverts (relative to introverts) would exhibit stronger positive priming effects in affective priming tasks, whether involving words or pictures. This hypothesis was systematically supported in four studies involving 229 undergraduates. In each of the four studies, and in a subsequent combined analysis, extraversion was positively predictive of positive affective priming effects, but was not predictive of negative affective priming effects. The results bridge an important gap in the literature between biological and trait models of incentive motivation and do so in a way that should be informative to subsequent efforts to understand the processing basis of extraversion as well as incentive motivation.

  4. Dynamic phase imaging and processing of moving biological organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creath, Katherine; Goldstein, Goldie

    2012-03-01

    This paper describes recent advances in developing a new, novel interference Linnik microscope system and presents images and data of live biological samples. The specially designed optical system enables instantaneous 4-dimensional video measurements of dynamic motions within and among live cells without the need for contrast agents. "Label-free" measurements of biological objects in reflection using harmless light levels are possible without the need for scanning and vibration isolation. This instrument utilizes a pixelated phase mask enabling simultaneous measurement of multiple interference patterns taking advantage of the polarization properties of light enabling phase image movies in real time at video rates to track dynamic motions and volumetric changes. Optical thickness data are derived from phase images after processing to remove the background surface shape to quantify changes in cell position and volume. Data from a number of different pond organisms will be presented, as will measurements of human breast cancer cells with the addition of various agents that break down the cells. These data highlight examples of the image processing involved and the monitoring of different biological processes.

  5. Development of brain mechanisms for processing affective touch

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Influence of different natural physical fields on biological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashinsky, A. L.

    2001-01-01

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

  7. Biological processing of dinuclear ruthenium complexes in eukaryotic cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Xin; Heimann, Kirsten; Dinh, Xuyen Thi; Keene, F Richard; Collins, J Grant

    2016-10-20

    The biological processing - mechanism of cellular uptake, effects on the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial membranes, intracellular sites of localisation and induction of reactive oxygen species - of two dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(ii) complexes has been examined in three eukaryotic cells lines. Flow cytometry was used to determine the uptake of [{Ru(phen)2}2{μ-bb12}](4+) (Rubb12) and [Ru(phen)2(μ-bb7)Ru(tpy)Cl](3+) {Rubb7-Cl, where phen = 1,10-phenanthroline, tpy = 2,2':6',2''-terpyridine and bbn = bis[4(4'-methyl-2,2'-bipyridyl)]-1,n-alkane} in baby hamster kidney (BHK), human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines. The results demonstrated that the major uptake mechanism for Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl was active transport, although with a significant contribution from carrier-assisted diffusion for Rubb12 and passive diffusion for Rubb7-Cl. Flow cytometry coupled with Annexin V/TO-PRO-3 double-staining was used to compare cell death by membrane damage or apoptosis. Rubb12 induced significant direct membrane damage, particularly with HepG2 cells, while Rubb7-Cl caused considerably less membrane damage but induced greater levels of apoptosis. Confocal microscopy, coupled with JC-1 assays, demonstrated that Rubb12 depolarises the mitochondrial membrane, whereas Rubb7-Cl had a much smaller affect. Cellular localisation experiments indicated that Rubb12 did not accumulate in the mitochondria, whereas significant mitochondrial accumulation was observed for Rubb7-Cl. The effect of Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl on intracellular superoxide dismutase activity showed that the ruthenium complexes could induce cell death via a reactive oxygen species-mediated pathway. The results of this study demonstrate that Rubb12 predominantly kills eukaryotic cells by damaging the cytoplasmic membrane. As this dinuclear ruthenium complex has been previously shown to exhibit greater toxicity towards bacteria than eukaryotic cells, the results of the present study suggest that

  8. Biological processing of dinuclear ruthenium complexes in eukaryotic cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Xin; Heimann, Kirsten; Dinh, Xuyen Thi; Keene, F Richard; Collins, J Grant

    2016-10-20

    The biological processing - mechanism of cellular uptake, effects on the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial membranes, intracellular sites of localisation and induction of reactive oxygen species - of two dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(ii) complexes has been examined in three eukaryotic cells lines. Flow cytometry was used to determine the uptake of [{Ru(phen)2}2{μ-bb12}](4+) (Rubb12) and [Ru(phen)2(μ-bb7)Ru(tpy)Cl](3+) {Rubb7-Cl, where phen = 1,10-phenanthroline, tpy = 2,2':6',2''-terpyridine and bbn = bis[4(4'-methyl-2,2'-bipyridyl)]-1,n-alkane} in baby hamster kidney (BHK), human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines. The results demonstrated that the major uptake mechanism for Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl was active transport, although with a significant contribution from carrier-assisted diffusion for Rubb12 and passive diffusion for Rubb7-Cl. Flow cytometry coupled with Annexin V/TO-PRO-3 double-staining was used to compare cell death by membrane damage or apoptosis. Rubb12 induced significant direct membrane damage, particularly with HepG2 cells, while Rubb7-Cl caused considerably less membrane damage but induced greater levels of apoptosis. Confocal microscopy, coupled with JC-1 assays, demonstrated that Rubb12 depolarises the mitochondrial membrane, whereas Rubb7-Cl had a much smaller affect. Cellular localisation experiments indicated that Rubb12 did not accumulate in the mitochondria, whereas significant mitochondrial accumulation was observed for Rubb7-Cl. The effect of Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl on intracellular superoxide dismutase activity showed that the ruthenium complexes could induce cell death via a reactive oxygen species-mediated pathway. The results of this study demonstrate that Rubb12 predominantly kills eukaryotic cells by damaging the cytoplasmic membrane. As this dinuclear ruthenium complex has been previously shown to exhibit greater toxicity towards bacteria than eukaryotic cells, the results of the present study suggest that

  9. Affective and executive network processing associated with persuasive antidrug messages.

    PubMed

    Ramsay, Ian S; Yzer, Marco C; Luciana, Monica; Vohs, Kathleen D; MacDonald, Angus W

    2013-07-01

    Previous research has highlighted brain regions associated with socioemotional processes in persuasive message encoding, whereas cognitive models of persuasion suggest that executive brain areas may also be important. The current study aimed to identify lateral prefrontal brain areas associated with persuasive message viewing and understand how activity in these executive regions might interact with activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Seventy adolescents were scanned using fMRI while they watched 10 strongly convincing antidrug public service announcements (PSAs), 10 weakly convincing antidrug PSAs, and 10 advertisements (ads) unrelated to drugs. Antidrug PSAs compared with nondrug ads more strongly elicited arousal-related activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Within antidrug PSAs, those that were prerated as strongly persuasive versus weakly persuasive showed significant differences in arousal-related activity in executive processing areas of the lateral pFC. In support of the notion that persuasiveness involves both affective and executive processes, functional connectivity analyses showed greater coactivation between the lateral pFC and amygdala during PSAs known to be strongly (vs. weakly) convincing. These findings demonstrate that persuasive messages elicit activation in brain regions responsible for both emotional arousal and executive control and represent a crucial step toward a better understanding of the neural processes responsible for persuasion and subsequent behavior change.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-15

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

  11. Synthetic membranes and membrane processes with counterparts in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matson, Stephen L.

    1996-02-01

    Conventional synthetic membranes, fashioned for the most part from rather unremarkable polymeric materials, are essentially passive structures that achieve various industrial and biomedical separations through simple and selective membrane permeation processes. Indeed, simplicity of membrane material, structure, and function has long been perceived as a virtue of membranes relative to other separation processes with which they compete. The passive membrane separation processes -- exemplified by micro- and ultrafiltration, dialysis, reverse osmosis, and gas permeation -- differ from one another primarily in terms of membrane morphology or structure (e.g., porous, gel-type, and nonporous) and the permeant transport mechanism and driving force (e.g., diffusion, convection, and 'solution/diffusion'). The passive membrane separation processes have in common the fact that interaction between permeant and membrane material is typically weak and physicochemical in nature; indeed, it is frequently an objective of membrane materials design to minimize interaction between permeant and membrane polymer, since such strategies can minimize membrane fouling. As a consequence, conventional membrane processes often provide only modest separation factors or permselectivities; that is, they are more useful in performing 'group separations' (i.e., the separation of different classes of material) than they are in fractionating species within a given class. It has long been recognized within the community of membrane technologists that biological membrane structures and their components are extraordinarily sophisticated and powerful as compared to their synthetic counterparts. Moreover, biomembranes and related biological systems have been 'designed' according to a very different paradigm -- one that frequently maximizes and capitalizes on extraordinarily strong and biochemically specific interactions between components of the membrane and species interacting with them. Thus, in recent

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

    PubMed

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Advanced biological unit processes for domestic water recycling.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, B; Laine, A L; Stephenson, T; Judd, S J

    2001-01-01

    The potential of advanced biological unit operations for the recycling of grey and black waters has been evaluated. The membrane bioreactor (MBR) demonstrated the greatest efficacy towards water recycling in terms of all the quality determinants. Both the biologically aerated filter (BAF) and the MBR were able to effectively treat the organic and physical pollutants in all the types of wastewater tested. The main difference was observed in terms of the microbiological quality, measured as total coliforms. The open bed structure of the BAF enabled passage of coliforms whereas the complete barrier of the MBR produced a non detectable level in the effluent. The MBR process complied with commonly adopted water recycling quality standards for the all determinants during the grey water trials and failed only in terms of total coliform counts once black water had been introduced into the feed. The MBR was seen as a particularly suitable advanced biological process as it was very effective at stabilising out the considerable load variations encountered during the trial.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Megan Clare

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

  15. The Use of Microwave Incineration to Process Biological Wastes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Processes Controlling Temporal Changes in Agriculturally-Affected Groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, E.D.

    1995-12-01

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

  18. Towards a semantic lexicon for biological language processing

    SciTech Connect

    Verspoor, K.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zydney, Andrew L

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Parathyroid nuclear scan. A focused review on the technical and biological factors affecting its outcome

    PubMed Central

    Kannan, Subramanian; Milas, Mira; Neumann, Donald; Parikh, Rikesh T.; Siperstein, Alan; Licata, Angelo

    2014-01-01

    Summary Objective Technetium Parathyroid Scintigraphy (TS) is the most popular noninvasive localization procedure in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). Awareness of various factors involved in technetium uptake helps understand the outcome of TS. Methods We utilize a case of changing TS scans in a patient to review the literature on the various biological and technical factors involved in technetium uptake by the abnormal parathyroid tissue. A 56 year female was diagnosed with PHPT and osteopenia. An initial scan using 99mTc-Tetrofosmin showed no definite areas of abnormal parathyroid tissue. Patient refused surgical exploration, was started on Bisphosponates and subsequently monitored. Five years later she suffered fracture of her right wrist. A repeat TS using 99mTc-Sestamibi revealed hypervascular parathyroid lesion in the right lower neck. She underwent successful removal of a right lower parathyroid adenoma. Results Technical factors like the type of Tc isotope used, imaging techniques and biological factors like biochemical parameters (calcium, vitamin D levels), adenoma size, content of oxyphilic cells, vascularity can affect the outcome of the scan. Conclusion Clinicians should be aware of technical and biological factors that could result in negative scan in parathyroid nuclear scintigraphy. PMID:25002876

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Optical control of biological processes by light-switchable proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Linlin Z.; Lin, Michael Z.

    2015-01-01

    Cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, or migration depend on precise spatiotemporal coordination of protein activities. Correspondingly, reaching a quantitative understanding of cellular behavior requires experimental approaches that enable spatial and temporal modulation of protein activity. Recently, a variety of light-sensitive protein domains have been engineered as optogenetic actuators to spatiotemporally control protein activity. In the present review, we discuss the principle of these optical control methods and examples of their applications in modulating signalling pathways. By controlling protein activity with spatiotemporal specificity, tunable dynamics, and quantitative control, light-controllable proteins promise to accelerate our understanding of cellular and organismal biology. PMID:25858669

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Genomic Signal Processing: Predicting Basic Molecular Biological Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alter, Orly

    2005-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Asor, Eyal; Ben-Shachar, Dorit

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Students' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process Diagrams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Robeck, M.; Ricken, T.

    2011-04-15

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

  9. Observation and stimulation of biological processes using excimer lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greulich, Karl-Otto; Wolfrum, Juergen M.

    1990-06-01

    Examples are given for the application o f high power excimer lasers in spectroscopy and processing of biological material. An excimer-laser pumped dye laser serves as light source for a pulsed UV Raman spectrometer which allows resonant Raman studies on nucleic acids. Experiments on the pH induced double helix formation of poly adenylic acid are described. By combining the excimer laser with a distributed feedback dye laser and a streak camera, a picosecond UV fluorescence spectrometer is built up .Tyrosine fluorescence lifetimes of selected tryptophan free peptides with up to 9 amino acids can be explained in a surprisingly simple way: only the directly neighbouring amino acid on the C-terminal side and only a few amino acids on the N-terminal side have an influence on the fluorecscence lifetime of these peptides. Besides spectroscopic applications, the excimer laser serves as light source for processing of biological material. For medical applications , high power UV Laser light has to be transmitted through light guides. A tapered light guide transmitting more than GW/cm2 is described. Microprocessing of biological material with accuracies of a few hundred nanometers can be performed when an excimer pumped dye laser is coupled into a microscope .The resulting UV laser microbeam can be used to introduce foreign genetic material into plant cells, tissues and subcellular organelles such as mitochondria and chioroplasts. Selected pairs of different cells can be fused in the UV laser microbeam under total microscopic control. Finally, one can microdissect human chromosomes and isolate DNA probes for the analysis of human disease.

  10. Process-based design of dynamical biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanevski, Jovan; Todorovski, Ljupčo; Džeroski, Sašo

    2016-09-01

    The computational design of dynamical systems is an important emerging task in synthetic biology. Given desired properties of the behaviour of a dynamical system, the task of design is to build an in-silico model of a system whose simulated be- haviour meets these properties. We introduce a new, process-based, design methodology for addressing this task. The new methodology combines a flexible process-based formalism for specifying the space of candidate designs with multi-objective optimization approaches for selecting the most appropriate among these candidates. We demonstrate that the methodology is general enough to both formulate and solve tasks of designing deterministic and stochastic systems, successfully reproducing plausible designs reported in previous studies and proposing new designs that meet the design criteria, but have not been previously considered.

  11. Process-based design of dynamical biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Tanevski, Jovan; Todorovski, Ljupčo; Džeroski, Sašo

    2016-01-01

    The computational design of dynamical systems is an important emerging task in synthetic biology. Given desired properties of the behaviour of a dynamical system, the task of design is to build an in-silico model of a system whose simulated be- haviour meets these properties. We introduce a new, process-based, design methodology for addressing this task. The new methodology combines a flexible process-based formalism for specifying the space of candidate designs with multi-objective optimization approaches for selecting the most appropriate among these candidates. We demonstrate that the methodology is general enough to both formulate and solve tasks of designing deterministic and stochastic systems, successfully reproducing plausible designs reported in previous studies and proposing new designs that meet the design criteria, but have not been previously considered. PMID:27686219

  12. Quantum Processes and Dynamic Networks in Physical and Biological Systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudziak, Martin Joseph

    Quantum theory since its earliest formulations in the Copenhagen Interpretation has been difficult to integrate with general relativity and with classical Newtonian physics. There has been traditionally a regard for quantum phenomena as being a limiting case for a natural order that is fundamentally classical except for microscopic extrema where quantum mechanics must be applied, more as a mathematical reconciliation rather than as a description and explanation. Macroscopic sciences including the study of biological neural networks, cellular energy transports and the broad field of non-linear and chaotic systems point to a quantum dimension extending across all scales of measurement and encompassing all of Nature as a fundamentally quantum universe. Theory and observation lead to a number of hypotheses all of which point to dynamic, evolving networks of fundamental or elementary processes as the underlying logico-physical structure (manifestation) in Nature and a strongly quantized dimension to macroscalar processes such as are found in biological, ecological and social systems. The fundamental thesis advanced and presented herein is that quantum phenomena may be the direct consequence of a universe built not from objects and substance but from interacting, interdependent processes collectively operating as sets and networks, giving rise to systems that on microcosmic or macroscopic scales function wholistically and organically, exhibiting non-locality and other non -classical phenomena. The argument is made that such effects as non-locality are not aberrations or departures from the norm but ordinary consequences of the process-network dynamics of Nature. Quantum processes are taken to be the fundamental action-events within Nature; rather than being the exception quantum theory is the rule. The argument is also presented that the study of quantum physics could benefit from the study of selective higher-scale complex systems, such as neural processes in the brain

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egidi, Giovanna; Nusbaum, Howard C.

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Mathematical Assumptions versus Biological Reality: Myths in Affected Sib Pair Linkage Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Elston, Robert C.; Song, Danhong; Iyengar, Sudha K.

    2005-01-01

    Affected sib pair (ASP) analysis has become common ever since it was shown that, under very specific assumptions, ASPs afford a powerful design for linkage analysis. In 2003, Vieland and Huang, on the basis of a “fundamental heterogeneity equation,” proved that heterogeneity and epistasis are confounded in ASP linkage analysis. A much more serious limitation of ASP linkage analysis is the implicit assumption that randomly sampled sib pairs share half their alleles identical by descent at any locus, whereas a critical assumption underlying Vieland and Huang’s proof is that of joint Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium proportions at two trait loci. These are considered as examples of mathematical assumptions that may not always reflect biological reality. More-robust sib-pair designs and appropriate methods for their analysis have long been available. PMID:15540158

  15. Processes Affecting Nitrogen Speciation in a Karst Aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Burns, John H R; Takabayashi, Misaki

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Two-way feedback between biology and deep Earth processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, N. H.; Pope, E.; Bird, D.

    2012-12-01

    The presence of the metamorphic products of banded iron formation and black shale indicate that the Earth teemed with life by the time of the earliest preserved rocks, ca. 3.85 Ga. Iron and sulfur-based anoxygenic photosynthesis with full carbon cycles was present by this time. The pH of the ocean was ~8. The lack of older rock record cloaks pre-biotic evolution and the origin of life. Nascent and early life obtained energy from chemical disequilibria in rocks rather than sunlight. Appraising putative rock pre-biological environments is difficult in that life has modified the composition of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and sedimentary rocks. It has greatly affected the composition of crystalline crustal rocks and measurably modified the mantle. Conversely, hard crustal rocks and the mantle likely sequester a very ancient record of last resort. Theory provides additional insight. The Earth's surface and interior cooled following the moon-forming impact. The oceans passed through conditions favored by thermophile organisms before becoming clement. Ocean pH was ~6 and bars of CO2 existed in the atmosphere. Subduction removed the CO2 into the mantle before the time of rock record. Serpentinite likely existed in land, tidal, and marine environments as it does today. Seafloor spreading and arc volcanism likely drove hydrothermal circulation. The late heavy bombardment occurred after ca. 4.1 Ga; low heat flow environments and hence habitable subsurface refugia existed. It is conceivable that one or a few ocean-boiling impacts left thermophile survivors in their wake. Overall, the molecular biology of extant life likely conserves features that relate to its earliest abodes.

  18. The role of molecular methods in evaluating biological treatment processes.

    PubMed

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2002-01-01

    Methods derived from molecular biology provide powerful new tools to analyze biological treatment processes. Because molecular methods can be used to directly interrogate genetic information about the microbial community, they can provide the fine detail that is impossible with the blunt, nondiscriminating information usually obtained from more traditional measures such as biochemical oxygen demand and volatile suspended solids. Molecular methods allow tracking of critical groups of microorganisms, such as ammonia oxidizers, that comprise a small fraction of the total biomass. Molecular methods also allow tracking of specific metabolic reactions or other functions that are key to the satisfactory performance of a system. Despite their power, molecular methods do not provide sufficient information when used alone. Aggregated measures and quantitative modeling remain necessary to establish mass balances, quantify the function of the microbial community, and connect the results of molecular assays to practice. Several examples involving nitrifying bacteria in activated sludge illustrate the fine detail available with molecular methods and how they can be linked to traditional and quantitative analyses. Other manuscripts in this special issue also provide examples of the value of using molecular tools in combination with traditional methods.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Wardle, Jane; Marmot, Michael

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Advancing microwave technology for dehydration processing of biologics.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  8. Advancing Microwave Technology for Dehydration Processing of Biologics

    PubMed Central

    Cellemme, Stephanie L.; Van Vorst, Matthew; Paramore, Elisha

    2013-01-01

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

  9. [Water quality safety of ozonation and biologically activated carbon process in application].

    PubMed

    Qiao, Tie-Jun; Zhang, Xi-Hui

    2009-11-01

    Ozonation and biologically activated carbon process, one of advanced treatment technologies, has been applied in many places at home and abroad. However, some emerging water quality problems appeared in operation. Drinking water treatment plant (6 x 10(5) m3/d) with ozonation and biologically activated carbon process (O3-BAC process) was investigated systematically, including microbial safety, the excessive growth of aquatic microorganism and chemical stability of water quality. And some experiments were done in the pilot plant (10 m3/h) at the same time. O3-BAC process is reliable in microbial safety, but operation management should be enhanced. A good number of aquatic microorganisms grow immoderately during operation of O3-BAC process, which is more serious especially in place with high temperature and humidity. With prolong of runtime, the growth of aquatic microorganisms varies regularly. That is hazardous to water quality safety. When raw water is low with alkalinity, decrease of pH in O3-BAC process is obvious. That will seriously affect on chemical stability. PMID:20063746

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

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hui; Sandor, Maryellen; Lombardi, Jared

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Benthic processes affecting contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuwabara, James S.; Topping, Brent R.; Carter, James L.; Carlson, Rick A; Parchaso, Francis; Fend, Steven V.; Stauffer-Olsen, Natalie; Manning, Andrew J.; Land, Jennie M.

    2016-09-30

    Executive SummaryMultiple sampling trips during calendar years 2013 through 2015 were coordinated to provide measurements of interdependent benthic processes that potentially affect contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake (UKL), Oregon. The measurements were motivated by recognition that such internal processes (for example, solute benthic flux, bioturbation and solute efflux by benthic invertebrates, and physical groundwater-surface water interactions) were not integrated into existing management models for UKL. Up until 2013, all of the benthic-flux studies generally had been limited spatially to a number of sites in the northern part of UKL and limited temporally to 2–3 samplings per year. All of the benthic invertebrate studies also had been limited to the northern part of the lake; however, intensive temporal (weekly) studies had previously been completed independent of benthic-flux studies. Therefore, knowledge of both the spatial and temporal variability in benthic flux and benthic invertebrate distributions for the entire lake was lacking. To address these limitations, we completed a lakewide spatial study during 2013 and a coordinated temporal study with weekly sampling of benthic flux and benthic invertebrates during 2014. Field design of the spatially focused study in 2013 involved 21 sites sampled three times as the summer cyanobacterial bloom developed (that is, May 23, June 13, and July 3, 2013). Results of the 27-week, temporally focused study of one site in 2014 were summarized and partitioned into three periods (referred to herein as pre-bloom, bloom and post-bloom periods), each period involving 9 weeks of profiler deployments, water column and benthic sampling. Partitioning of the pre-bloom, bloom, and post-bloom periods were based on water-column chlorophyll concentrations and involved the following date intervals, respectively: April 15 through June 10, June 17 through August 13, and August 20 through October 16, 2014. To examine

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-03-10

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

  13. Identifying biologically meaningful hot-weather events using threshold temperatures that affect life-history.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Susan J; Kruger, Andries C; Nxumalo, Mthobisi P; Hockey, Philip A R

    2013-01-01

    Increases in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves are frequently evoked in climate change predictions. However, there is no universal definition of a heat wave. Recent, intense hot weather events have caused mass mortalities of birds, bats and even humans, making the definition and prediction of heat wave events that have the potential to impact populations of different species an urgent priority. One possible technique for defining biologically meaningful heat waves is to use threshold temperatures (T(thresh)) above which known fitness costs are incurred by species of interest. We set out to test the utility of this technique using T(thresh) values that, when exceeded, affect aspects of the fitness of two focal southern African bird species: the southern pied babbler Turdiodes bicolor (T(thresh) = 35.5 °C) and the common fiscal Lanius collaris (T(thresh) = 33 °C). We used these T(thresh) values to analyse trends in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves of magnitude relevant to the focal species, as well as the annual number of hot days (maximum air temperature > T(thresh)), in north-western South Africa between 1961 and 2010. Using this technique, we were able to show that, while all heat wave indices increased during the study period, most rapid increases for both species were in the annual number of hot days and in the maximum intensity (and therefore intensity variance) of biologically meaningful heat waves. Importantly, we also showed that warming trends were not uniform across the study area and that geographical patterns in warming allowed both areas of high risk and potential climate refugia to be identified. We discuss the implications of the trends we found for our focal species, and the utility of the T(thresh) technique as a conservation tool.

  14. Identifying Biologically Meaningful Hot-Weather Events Using Threshold Temperatures That Affect Life-History

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Susan J.; Kruger, Andries C.; Nxumalo, Mthobisi P.

    2013-01-01

    Increases in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves are frequently evoked in climate change predictions. However, there is no universal definition of a heat wave. Recent, intense hot weather events have caused mass mortalities of birds, bats and even humans, making the definition and prediction of heat wave events that have the potential to impact populations of different species an urgent priority. One possible technique for defining biologically meaningful heat waves is to use threshold temperatures (Tthresh) above which known fitness costs are incurred by species of interest. We set out to test the utility of this technique using Tthresh values that, when exceeded, affect aspects of the fitness of two focal southern African bird species: the southern pied babbler Turdiodes bicolor (Tthresh = 35.5°C) and the common fiscal Lanius collaris (Tthresh = 33°C). We used these Tthresh values to analyse trends in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves of magnitude relevant to the focal species, as well as the annual number of hot days (maximum air temperature > Tthresh), in north-western South Africa between 1961 and 2010. Using this technique, we were able to show that, while all heat wave indices increased during the study period, most rapid increases for both species were in the annual number of hot days and in the maximum intensity (and therefore intensity variance) of biologically meaningful heat waves. Importantly, we also showed that warming trends were not uniform across the study area and that geographical patterns in warming allowed both areas of high risk and potential climate refugia to be identified. We discuss the implications of the trends we found for our focal species, and the utility of the Tthresh technique as a conservation tool. PMID:24349296

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  17. Neural processing of biological motion in the macaque temporal cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oram, Michael W.; Perrett, David I.

    1994-03-01

    Cells have been found in the superior temporal polysensory area (STPa) of the macaque temporal cortex which are selectively responsive to the sight of particular whole body movements (e.g., walking) under normal lighting. These cells typically discriminate the direction of walking and the view of the body (e.g., left profile walking left). We investigated the extent to which these cells are responsive under `biological motion' conditions where the form of the body is defined only by the movement of light patches attached to the points of limb articulation. One third of the cells (25/72) selective for the form and motion of waling bodies, showed sensitivity to the moving light displays. Seven of these cells showed only partial sensitivity to form from motion, in so far as the cells responded more to moving light displays than to moving controls but failed to discriminate body view. These seven cells exhibited directional selectivity. Eighteen cells showed statistical discrimination for both direction of movement and body view under biological motion conditions. Most of these cells showed reduced responses to the impoverished moving light stimuli compared to full light conditions. The 18 cells were thus sensitive to detailed form information (body view) from the pattern of articulating motion. Cellular processing of the global pattern of articulation was indicated by the observations that none of the cells were found sensitive to movement of individual limbs and that jumbling the pattern of moving limbs reduced response magnitude. The cell responses thus provide direct evidence for neural mechanisms computing form from non-rigid motion. The selectivity of the cells was for body view, specific direction and specific type of body motion presented by moving light displays and is not predicted by many current computational approaches to the extraction of form from motion.

  18. Timing is everything: a collection on how clocks affect resilience in biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; McEwen, Bruce S.

    2014-01-01

    Why do some people get sick, and others do not? This basic question, of vulnerability and resilience, is of crucial importance in physical and mental health research. Determining factors that impart resilience, or contribute to vulnerability, could be a turning point in our fundamental understanding of disease. This collection explores current data on the role of two systems that seem indispensible for health: Circadian rhythms, and Sleep. While we have learned a great deal about the mechanisms that control these two biological processes, we are only at the beginning of our understanding of how these systems impact mood, cognition, immune function, and metabolism. The concepts of resilience and vulnerability may be useful in understanding the myriad effects of circadian rhythm and sleep disruption on mental and physical health, and perhaps provide new insights to how we can predict – and protect against – negative outcomes while amplifying positive health effects. PMID:25580235

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Tressa L.; Mintzes, Joel J.

    2002-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shih, Steve C C; Moraes, Christopher

    2016-05-16

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehtonen, Minna; Laine, Matti

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Biological Processes Related to Serpentinization: Expected vs Observed Patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardace, D.

    2015-12-01

    Serpentinization is a water-rock reaction that drives the evolution of micro- to mega-scale habitability in ultramafic rocks, through the aqueous alteration of olivine and pyroxene in parent rocks, and the production of H2, CH4, and (possibly) biologically useful organic compounds. This process may pervade extensive areas of silicate planetary bodies, in geologic settings as diverse as cratered fracture zones and fault systems in ultramafic rocks, hydrothermal flow systems operating near crust/mantle interfaces, and deep subsurface groundwater flow systems. Serpentinization causes transformations in mineralogy, rock geochemistry, and co-occurring associated water chemistry that together control the feasibilities of prominent microbial metabolisms. Changing activities of aqueous H2, CH4, CO2, CO, organic acids, H+, and other redox-sensitive dissolved species shift the metabolic landscape in serpentinites in predictable ways, providing expected patterns in community metabolic strategies. I discuss emerging patterns in observations from terrestrial sites of serpentinization, marine and continent-hosted, and consider how they may allow testing of some pertinent hypotheses in geomicrobiology in terrestrial and extraterrestrial settings.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Biological photoreceptors of light-dependent regulatory processes.

    PubMed

    Fraikin, G Ya; Strakhovskaya, M G; Rubin, A B

    2013-11-01

    Progress in understanding primary mechanisms of light reception in photoregulatory processes is achieved through discovering new biological photoreceptors, chiefly the regulatory sensors of blue/UV-A light. Among them are LOV domain-containing proteins and DNA photolyase-like cryptochromes, which constitute two widespread groups of photoreceptors that use flavin cofactors (FMN or FAD) as the photoactive chromophores. Bacterial LOV domain modules are connected in photoreceptor proteins with regulatory domains such as diguanylate cyclases/phosphodiesterases, histidine kinases, and DNA-binding domains that are activated by photoconversions of flavin. Identification of red/far-red light sensors in chemotrophic bacteria (bacteriophytochromes) and crystal structures of their photosensor module with bilin chromophore are significant for decoding the mechanisms of phytochrome receptor photoconversion and early step mechanisms of phytochrome-mediated signaling. The only UV-B regulatory photon sensor, UVR8, recently identified in plants, unlike other photoreceptors functions without a prosthetic chromophore: tryptophans of the unique UVR8 protein structure provide a "UV-B antenna". Our analysis of new data on photosensory properties of the identified photoreceptors in conjunction with their structure opens insight on the influence of the molecular microenvironment on light-induced chromophore reactions, the mechanisms by which the photoactivated chromophores trigger conformational changes in the surrounding protein structure, and structural bases of propagation of these changes to the interacting effector domains/proteins.

  8. Quantifying the Intermittency of Fractal Processes with Biological Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickel, David

    2001-03-01

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

  9. A membrane bioreactor for an innovative biological nitrogen removal process.

    PubMed

    Chen, W; Sun, F Y; Wang, X M; Li, X Y

    2010-01-01

    A hybrid system has been developed for biological nitrogen removal through nitrification-denitrification. The system includes an aerobic tank and an anoxic tank with an intermediate sludge settler connected to a membrane bioreactor (MBR) with a submerged 0.4 microm hollow-fiber membrane module. The laboratory system has a total working volume of 6.5 L treating a glucose-based synthetic wastewater. The experimental results demonstrate that the new process is highly effective for simultaneous organic and nitrogen removal. During the stationary operation, a sludge SS (suspended solids) concentration of 6 g/L or higher can be maintained in the reactors. The system has a COD (chemical oxygen demand) loading rate of up to 2,100 mg/L-d and a total nitrogen loading rate of up to 170 mg N/L-d. More than 95% COD can be degraded, and the total nitrogen removal efficiency can be 90% or higher as the nitrogen is reduced from 100 to around 7.5 mg/L. A high quality effluent is produced with a SS of less than 1 mg/L. With the MBR, organic degradation, nitrogen removal and sludge-liquid separation can be well achieved within a short HRT of about 10 hr.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Józefowska, Agnieszka; Zaleski, Tomasz; Zarzycki, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Józefowska, Agnieszka; Zaleski, Tomasz; Zarzycki, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelan, Patricia

    1986-01-01

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

  18. Benthic processes affecting contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuwabara, James S.; Topping, Brent R.; Carter, James L.; Carlson, Rick A; Parchaso, Francis; Fend, Steven V.; Stauffer-Olsen, Natalie; Manning, Andrew J.; Land, Jennie M.

    2016-09-30

    Executive SummaryMultiple sampling trips during calendar years 2013 through 2015 were coordinated to provide measurements of interdependent benthic processes that potentially affect contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake (UKL), Oregon. The measurements were motivated by recognition that such internal processes (for example, solute benthic flux, bioturbation and solute efflux by benthic invertebrates, and physical groundwater-surface water interactions) were not integrated into existing management models for UKL. Up until 2013, all of the benthic-flux studies generally had been limited spatially to a number of sites in the northern part of UKL and limited temporally to 2–3 samplings per year. All of the benthic invertebrate studies also had been limited to the northern part of the lake; however, intensive temporal (weekly) studies had previously been completed independent of benthic-flux studies. Therefore, knowledge of both the spatial and temporal variability in benthic flux and benthic invertebrate distributions for the entire lake was lacking. To address these limitations, we completed a lakewide spatial study during 2013 and a coordinated temporal study with weekly sampling of benthic flux and benthic invertebrates during 2014. Field design of the spatially focused study in 2013 involved 21 sites sampled three times as the summer cyanobacterial bloom developed (that is, May 23, June 13, and July 3, 2013). Results of the 27-week, temporally focused study of one site in 2014 were summarized and partitioned into three periods (referred to herein as pre-bloom, bloom and post-bloom periods), each period involving 9 weeks of profiler deployments, water column and benthic sampling. Partitioning of the pre-bloom, bloom, and post-bloom periods were based on water-column chlorophyll concentrations and involved the following date intervals, respectively: April 15 through June 10, June 17 through August 13, and August 20 through October 16, 2014. To examine

  19. 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.

  20. Studies of dynamical processes affecting the distribution of stratospheric ozone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, Kenneth P.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the research was to understand large-scale tracer transport processes in the stratosphere. Two approaches were taken. The first is analysis of tracer observations, especially satellite observations of ozone concentration and total column ozone. The second is numerical simulation of tracer transport processes. Topics researched include: quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and stratospheric ozone; mixing in the polar vortices; polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) properties from Antarctic lidar data; and statistical methods for numerical experiments.

  1. Ecosystem Modeling of Biological Processes to Global Budgets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Model-based analysis of the role of biological, hydrological and geochemical factors affecting uranium bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jiao; Scheibe, Timothy D; Mahadevan, R

    2011-07-01

    Uranium contamination is a serious concern at several sites motivating the development of novel treatment strategies such as the Geobacter-mediated reductive immobilization of uranium. However, this bioremediation strategy has not yet been optimized for the sustained uranium removal. While several reactive-transport models have been developed to represent Geobacter-mediated bioremediation of uranium, these models often lack the detailed quantitative description of the microbial process (e.g., biomass build-up in both groundwater and sediments, electron transport system, etc.) and the interaction between biogeochemical and hydrological process. In this study, a novel multi-scale model was developed by integrating our recent model on electron capacitance of Geobacter (Zhao et al., 2010) with a comprehensive simulator of coupled fluid flow, hydrologic transport, heat transfer, and biogeochemical reactions. This mechanistic reactive-transport model accurately reproduces the experimental data for the bioremediation of uranium with acetate amendment. We subsequently performed global sensitivity analysis with the reactive-transport model in order to identify the main sources of prediction uncertainty caused by synergistic effects of biological, geochemical, and hydrological processes. The proposed approach successfully captured significant contributing factors across time and space, thereby improving the structure and parameterization of the comprehensive reactive-transport model. The global sensitivity analysis also provides a potentially useful tool to evaluate uranium bioremediation strategy. The simulations suggest that under difficult environments (e.g., highly contaminated with U(VI) at a high migration rate of solutes), the efficiency of uranium removal can be improved by adding Geobacter species to the contaminated site (bioaugmentation) in conjunction with the addition of electron donor (biostimulation). The simulations also highlight the interactive effect of

  3. Model-Based Analysis of the Role of Biological, Hydrological and Geochemical Factors Affecting Uranium Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Jiao; Scheibe, Timothy D.; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan

    2011-01-24

    Uranium contamination is a serious concern at several sites motivating the development of novel treatment strategies such as the Geobacter-mediated reductive immobilization of uranium. However, this bioremediation strategy has not yet been optimized for the sustained uranium removal. While several reactive-transport models have been developed to represent Geobacter-mediated bioremediation of uranium, these models often lack the detailed quantitative description of the microbial process (e.g., biomass build-up in both groundwater and sediments, electron transport system, etc.) and the interaction between biogeochemical and hydrological process. In this study, a novel multi-scale model was developed by integrating our recent model on electron capacitance of Geobacter (Zhao et al., 2010) with a comprehensive simulator of coupled fluid flow, hydrologic transport, heat transfer, and biogeochemical reactions. This mechanistic reactive-transport model accurately reproduces the experimental data for the bioremediation of uranium with acetate amendment. We subsequently performed global sensitivity analysis with the reactive-transport model in order to identify the main sources of prediction uncertainty caused by synergistic effects of biological, geochemical, and hydrological processes. The proposed approach successfully captured significant contributing factors across time and space, thereby improving the structure and parameterization of the comprehensive reactive-transport model. The global sensitivity analysis also provides a potentially useful tool to evaluate uranium bioremediation strategy. The simulations suggest that under difficult environments (e.g., highly contaminated with U(VI) at a high migration rate of solutes), the efficiency of uranium removal can be improved by adding Geobacter species to the contaminated site (bioaugmentation) in conjunction with the addition of electron donor (biostimulation). The simulations also highlight the interactive effect of

  4. Effect of ozone on the performance of a hybrid ceramic membrane-biological activated carbon process.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jianning; Hu, Jiangyong; Tao, Yi; Zhu, Jia; Zhang, Xihui

    2014-04-01

    Two hybrid processes including ozonation-ceramic membrane-biological activated carbon (BAC) (Process A) and ceramic membrane-BAC (Process B) were compared to treat polluted raw water. The performance of hybrid processes was evaluated with the removal efficiencies of turbidity, ammonia and organic matter. The results indicated that more than 99% of particle count was removed by both hybrid processes and ozonation had no significant effect on its removal. BAC filtration greatly improved the removal of ammonia. Increasing the dissolved oxygen to 30.0 mg/L could lead to a removal of ammonia with concentrations as high as 7.80 mg/L and 8.69 mg/L for Processes A and B, respectively. The average removal efficiencies of total organic carbon and ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (UV254, a parameter indicating organic matter with aromatic structure) were 49% and 52% for Process A, 51% and 48% for Process B, respectively. Some organic matter was oxidized by ozone and this resulted in reduced membrane fouling and increased membrane flux by 25%-30%. However, pre-ozonation altered the components of the raw water and affected the microorganisms in the BAC, which may impact the removals of organic matter and nitrite negatively.

  5. Personality interacts with implicit affect to predict performance in analytic versus holistic processing.

    PubMed

    Kazén, Miguel; Kuhl, Julius; Quirin, Markus

    2015-06-01

    Both theoretical approaches and empirical evidence suggest that negative affect fosters analytic processing, whereas positive affect fosters holistic processing, but these effects are inconsistent. We aim to show that (a) differences in affect regulation abilities ("action orientation") and (b) implicit more so than self-reported affect assessment need to be considered to advance our understanding of these processes. Forty participants were asked to verify whether a word was correctly or incorrectly spelled to measure analytic processing, as well as to intuitively assess whether sets of three words were coherent (remote associates task) to measure holistic processing. As expected, implicit but not explicit negative affect interacted with low action orientation ("state orientation") to predict higher d' performance in word spelling, whereas implicit but not explicit positive affect interacted with high action orientation to predict higher d' performance in coherence judgments for word triads. Results are interpreted according to personality systems interaction theory. These findings suggest that affect and affect changes should be measured explicitly and implicitly to investigate affect-cognition interactions. Moreover, they suggest that good affect regulators benefit from positive affect for holistic processing, whereas bad affect regulators benefit from negative affect for analytical processing. PMID:24725069

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Villardón-Gallego, Lourdes; Yániz, Concepción

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Adipose-specific Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency More Profoundly Affects Brown than White Fat Biology*

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolaidou, Iolie

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Factors Affecting the Processing of Epoxy Film Adhesives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pike, R. A.

    1985-01-01

    The increasing awareness that adhesive performance is controlled not only by the condition of the adherend surface but also the condition or state of the adhesive and the process parameters used during fabrication is expected to result in improved reliability, as well as bond performance. The critical process variables which have been found to control adhesive bond formation and ultimate bond strength in 250F and 350F curing epoxy adhesives are described in terms of fabrication parameters and adhesive characteristics. These include the heat-up rate and cure temperature during processing and the adhesive moisture content and age condition (degree of advancement). The diagnostic methods used to delineate the effects of these process variables on adhesive performance are illustrated. These are dielectric, thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analyses. Correlation of test results with measured mechanical tensile lap shear strengths of bonded joints is presented and the results briefly discussed in terms of the additives and hardeners used in the adhesive systems.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Andrea C.; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Distal Prosodic Context Affects Word Segmentation and Lexical Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilley, Laura C.; McAuley, J. Devin

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Impact of hydrogen peroxide oxygen transfer tests on the performance of the biological nutrient removal process.

    PubMed

    Mahendraker, V; Mavinic, D S; Rabinowitz, B

    2002-02-01

    Knowledge of in-process oxygen transfer is essential to the optimum design and operation of aeration systems in activated sludge processes. In this study, non-steady state H2O2 oxygen transfer tests were performed in a laboratory scale, University of Cape Town configuration biological nutrient removal process (BNR) to measure the in-process oxygen transfer rates. Given the small quantity (about 1 ml @30% concentration) of H2O2 used in the aerobic reactor with a mixed liquor volume of 161 (total system working volume of 33.65 l), no effect on the process performance itself was expected. However, the process performance data obtained indicated results to the contrary. Use of H2O2 in measuring process oxygen transfer rates may not be suitable for BNR processes, as all the major process performance indicators (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal by the system and carbon uptake and phosphorus release in the anaerobic zone) were negatively affected. Evidence in thiswork leads to the conclusion that external addition of H2O2 leads to excessive production of the hydroxyl radical. Since microorganisms do not have enzyme systems capable of acting upon this additional reactive radical, it resulted in loss of process performance. It is also possible that H2O2 could have upset the normal aerobic respiration process by introducing oxidative stress conditions on the catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase enzymes that deal with other oxygen radicals generated as part of the overall process of reducing oxygen to water. Any test that interferes with the system in which the test is being performed is suspect. Therefore, in light of these results, the H2O2 method to test in-process oxygen transfer should be re-evaluated.

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

    PubMed

    King, B J; Monis, P T

    2007-03-01

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

  15. Brain responses during sentence reading: visual input affects central processes.

    PubMed

    Gunter, T C; Friederici, A D; Hahne, A

    1999-10-19

    The effect of visual contrast on sentence reading was investigated using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Under the low contrast condition semantic integration as reflected in the N400 ERP component was delayed to some degree. The left anterior negativity (LAN) reflecting initial syntactic processes, in contrast, seemed to change its characteristics as a function of visual input. In the high contrast condition the LAN preceded the P200 component whereas in the low contrast condition it was present after this component. These ERP-data from word-by-word sentence reading together with prior results from sentence listening suggest that the physical characteristics of the input must fall within a certain optimal range to guarantee ERP-effects of fast initial syntactic processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nairn, R.; Risk, M.

    2004-12-01

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

  17. Understanding processes affecting mineral deposits in humid environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Biogeomorphology of tidal landforms: physical and biological processes shaping the tidal landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marani, M.; D'Alpaos, A.; Da Lio, C.

    2011-12-01

    The equilibrium states and transient dynamics of tidal landforms are the result of many concurring physical and biological forcings, such as tidal range, wind climate, sediment supply, vegetation and microphytobenthos development, and rates of relative sea level rise (RSLR). A 0D model of the coupled elevation-vegetation dynamics is used to explore the relative role of the physical and biological factors shaping these systems. We find that salt marshes exposed to large tidal ranges are more stable, and therefore more resilient to increasing rates of RSLR, than marshes subjected to low tidal ranges and that subtidal platforms in macrotidal systems are less exposed to wind-induced erosion processes than their counterparts in systems with smaller tidal fluctuations. Notably, we find that vegetation crucially affects both the equilibrium marsh elevation, through dissipation of wind waves and organic accumulation, and marsh resilience to accelerations in RSLR rates, important differences being associated with different vegetation types. Furthermore, our results show that the existence and stability of equilibrium states fundamentally depend on the local wind and tidal regime, even within the same tidal system. Finally, we propose a modelling framework to study how biological evolution lead to the emergence of tidal landforms as we know them.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Diesel oil volatilization processes affected by selected porous media.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yanfei; Zheng, Xilai; Anderson, S H; Lu, Jie; Feng, Xuedong

    2014-03-01

    Volatilization plays an important role in attenuating petroleum products in contaminated soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of wind speed, vessel diameter and mean grain size of porous media on diesel oil volatilization. Experiments were conducted to investigate the volatilization behavior of diesel oil from porous media by weighing contaminated samples pre- and post-volatilization. Three selected field porous media materials were evaluated: Silty Clay Loam, Fine Sand, and Coarse Sand along with six individual sand fractions of the Coarse Sand. Results indicate that increasing wind speed accelerates the diesel oil volatilization process, especially for wind speeds below 2.10ms(-1). The low-carbon components of diesel oil volatilize more rapidly, with the effects of wind speed more pronounced on C10 to C15 volatilization than on C16 and higher. The volatilization rate coefficient of diesel oil increases with decreasing mean grain size of porous media, and with increasing vessel diameter. A power function expressed the relationship with mean grain size. All processes (wind speed, vessel diameter, and mean grain size) were included in an equation which explained over 92% of the measured diesel oil volatilization rate coefficient variations for the experiments. Diesel oil volatilization appears to be boundary-layer regulated to some extent.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. The HIV Tat protein affects processing of ribosomal RNA precursor

    PubMed Central

    Ponti, Donatella; Troiano, Maria; Bellenchi, Gian Carlo; Battaglia, Piero A; Gigliani, Franca

    2008-01-01

    Background Inside the cell, the HIV Tat protein is mainly found in the nucleus and nucleolus. The nucleolus, the site of ribosome biogenesis, is a highly organized, non-membrane-bound sub-compartment where proteins with a high affinity for nucleolar components are found. While it is well known that Tat accumulates in the nucleolus via a specific nucleolar targeting sequence, its function in this compartment it still unknown. Results To clarify the significance of the Tat nucleolar localization, we induced the expression of the protein during oogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster strain transgenic for HIV-tat gene. Here we show that Tat localizes in the nucleoli of Drosophila oocyte nurse cells, where it specifically co-localizes with fibrillarin. Tat expression is accompanied by a significant decrease of cytoplasmic ribosomes, which is apparently related to an impairment of ribosomal rRNA precursor processing. Such an event is accounted for by the interaction of Tat with fibrillarin and U3 snoRNA, which are both required for pre-rRNA maturation. Conclusion Our data contribute to understanding the function of Tat in the nucleolus, where ribosomal RNA synthesis and cell cycle control take place. The impairment of nucleolar pre-rRNA maturation through the interaction of Tat with fibrillarin-U3snoRNA complex suggests a process by which the virus modulates host response, thus contributing to apoptosis and protein shut-off in HIV-uninfected cells. PMID:18559082

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

    PubMed

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Acute physical exercise affected processing efficiency in an auditory attention task more than processing effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Dutke, Stephan; Jaitner, Thomas; Berse, Timo; Barenberg, Jonathan

    2014-02-01

    Research on effects of acute physical exercise on performance in a concurrent cognitive task has generated equivocal evidence. Processing efficiency theory predicts that concurrent physical exercise can increase resource requirements for sustaining cognitive performance even when the level of performance is unaffected. This hypothesis was tested in a dual-task experiment. Sixty young adults worked on a primary auditory attention task and a secondary interval production task while cycling on a bicycle ergometer. Physical load (cycling) and cognitive load of the primary task were manipulated. Neither physical nor cognitive load affected primary task performance, but both factors interacted on secondary task performance. Sustaining primary task performance under increased physical and/or cognitive load increased resource consumption as indicated by decreased secondary task performance. Results demonstrated that physical exercise effects on cognition might be underestimated when only single task performance is the focus.

  7. Iodine Affects Differentiation and Migration Process in Trophoblastic Cells.

    PubMed

    Olivo-Vidal, Zendy Evelyn; Rodríguez, Roció Coutiño; Arroyo-Helguera, Omar

    2016-02-01

    Iodine deficiency is associated with oxidative stress increase and preeclampsia during gestation, suggesting that iodine concentration plays an important role in the normal placenta physiology. The question raised is to analyze the effect of iodine deficiency on oxidative stress, viability, differentiation, and migration process and changes in the expression of differentiation and migration markers. Iodine deprivation was done using potassium perchlorate (KCLO4) to block sodium iodide symporter (NIS) transporter and 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid DIDS to inhibit pendrine (PEN) transport for 3-48 h. Then trophoblast cells were treated with low iodine doses of 5-500 μM and high iodine doses of 100-5000 μM. Oxidative stress, viability, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hGC) were measured by colorimetric methods. Migration throphoblast cells were evaluated by both wound healing and Boyden chamber assays. Changes in mRNA expression were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. Iodine deprivation induces a significant increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS), viability, and migration process vs control cells. We found a significant overregulation in the mRNA's peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-gamma), Snail, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) mRNA's in cells deprived of iodine, as well as a down glial cell missing-1 (GCM-1) regulation, hGC, pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), and E-cadherin mRNA expression. The expression of hypoxic induction factor alpha (HIFα) mRNA does not change with iodine deprivation. In cells deprived of iodine, supplementing low iodine doses (5-500 μM) does not induce any significant changes in viability. However, ROS and migration process were decreased, although we found an increased human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) secretion as a differentiation marker. In addition, we found that PPAR-gamma, Snail, and MPP-9 mRNAs expression are downregulated with low iodine doses, in contrast with GCM-1, PAPP

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  10. Quantitative evolution of volcanic surfaces affected by erosional processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-11-11

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1999-07-13

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Processes affecting the CO2 concentrations measured in Greenland ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anklin, Martin; Barnola, Jean-Marc; Schwander, Jakob; Stauffer, Bernhard; Raynaud, Dominique

    1995-09-01

    Detailed CO2 measurements on ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show different mean CO2 concentrations for samples at the same gas age. The deviation between Antarctic and Greenland CO2 records raises up to 20 ppmv during the last millennium. Based on the present knowledge of the global carbon cycle we can exclude such a high mean interhemispheric difference of the CO2 concentration between high northern and southern latitudes. Diffusive mixing of the air in the firn smoothes out short term variations of the atmospheric CO2 Concentration. Nevertheless, we observe short term CO2 variations in Greenland ice in the range of 10 20 ppmv, which cannot represent atmospheric CO2 variations. Due to the low temperature at Summit, meltlayers can be excluded for most of the ice and they cannot account for the frequent anomalous short term CO2 variations and the elevated mean CO2 concentration in the Greenland ice. In this work we give some clues, that in situ production of CO2 in Greenland ice could build up excess CO2 after pore close of. Possible chemical reactions are the oxidation of organic carbon and the reaction between acidity and carbonate. We conclude that the carbonate-acidity reaction is the most probable process to explain the excess CO2 in the bubbles. The reaction could take place in very small liquid-like veins in cold ice, where the mobility of impurities is higher than in the ice lattice. At present, there exists no technique to measure the carbonate concentration in the ice directly. However, a comparison of CO2 analyses performed with a dry- and a wet-extraction technique allows to estimate the carbonate content of the ice. This estimate indicates a carbonate concentration in Greenland ice of about 0.4±0.2µmol/l and a much lower concentration in Antarctic ice.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boe, Owen K.; Klopping, Paul H.

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balaban, Evan

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-20

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guzman, Karen; Bartlett, John

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Bacterial secrets of secretion: EuroConference on the biology of type IV secretion processes.

    PubMed

    Baron, Christian; OCallaghan, David; Lanka, Erich

    2002-03-01

    Type IV secretion systems (TFSS) mediate secretion or direct cell-to-cell transfer of virulence factors (proteins or protein-DNA complexes) from many Gram-negative animal, human and plant pathogens, such as Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Bartonella tribocorum, Bordetella pertussis, Brucella suis, Helicobacter pylori, Legionella pneumophila and Rickettsia prowazekii, into eukaryotic cells. Bacterial conjugation is also classified as a TFSS-like process mediating the spread of broad-host-range plasmids between Gram-negative bacteria such as RP4 and R388, which carry antibiotic resistance genes. Genetic, biochemical, cell biological and structural biology experiments led to significant progress in the understanding of several aspects of TFSS processes. X-ray crystallography revealed that homologues of the A. tumefaciens inner membrane-associated proteins VirB11 and VirD4 from H. pylori and R388, respectively, may form channels for substrate translocation or assembly of the transmembrane TFSS machinery. Biochemical and cell biological experiments revealed interactions between components of the periplasmic core components VirB8, VirB9 and VirB10, which may form the translocation channel. Analysis of A. tumefaciens virulence proteins VirE2 and VirF suggested that the periplasmic translocation route of the pertussis toxin from B. pertussis may be more generally valid than previously anticipated. Secretion and modification of toxins from H. pylori and L. pneumophila profoundly affect host cell metabolism, thus entering the discipline of cellular microbiology. Finally, results from genome sequencing projects revealed the presence of up to three TFSS in a single organism, and the analysis of their interplay and adaptation to different functions will be a future challenge. TFSS-carrying plasmids were discovered in different ecosystems, suggesting that genetic exchange may speed up their evolution and adaptation to different cell-cell interactions. PMID:11918819

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Generalizability of Gottman and Colleagues' Affective Process Models Of Couples' Relationship Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Hyoun K.; Capaldi, Deborah M.; Crosby, Lynn

    2007-01-01

    The generalizability of the affective process models of J. M. Gottman et al. (1998) was examined using a community-based sample of 85 married or cohabiting couples with at-risk backgrounds. Predictive associations between affective processes assessed at about age 21 years and relationship status and satisfaction assessed approximately 2.5 years…

  7. Process for biological material carbon-carbon bond formation

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-01-01

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

  8. Process for biological material carbon-carbon bond formation

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-12-22

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

  9. Global Biology Research Program: Biogeochemical Processes in Wetlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartlett, D. S. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonntag, S.; Hense, I.

    2011-08-01

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

  11. A Study on the Factors Affecting Biological Concept Learning of Junior High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Min-Nan Maynard; Wu, Kun-Chang; Huang, Tai-Chu Iris

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate how factors such as personal traits and school locations influence junior high school students' conceptual learning of biology. The study was carried out island-wide with the whole area divided into 10 districts, from which 4,537 students were selected using stratified random sampling. A questionnaire on…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Gregory W.

    2005-01-01

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

  13. 76 FR 30509 - Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-26

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W.

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. Degradation of Terrace Risers: Analysis of Hillslope Diffusion due to Physical, Biological and Climatic Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, B. A.; Burbank, D. A.

    2005-12-01

    River-cut terrace risers form at a known initial geometry. Their subsequent degradation, from down-slope transport of sediment, is an aggregate of hillslope processes, mainly attributed to particle-by-particle gravitational unraveling and biological disturbances. This study examines the ability of linear, non-linear, and geometric models to quantify terrace degradation through time and accurately depict the resulting geomorphic form. In addition to the physical processes, the effects of microclimate, due to slope aspect and inclination, strongly affect local degradation rates. By comparing terraces risers from the Ohau River in the McKenzie Basin, New Zealand, where there are no native burrowing mammals, to terraces from Grand Teton National Park, North America, we can compare factors affecting hillslope diffusion and perhaps isolate localized effects on degradation rates and terrace profile form due to burrowing mammals and microclimate. Preliminary analysis of terrace profiles in both regions reveals asymmetric slope and curvature profiles between the upper and lower portion of the terrace risers, as well as correlations between diffusion rates and terrace height. Analysis of profile slope and curvature suggests a non-linear relation between sediment flux and gradient, and imply a heterogeneous diffusion coefficient over the length of individual profiles, caused by varying intensities of dominant transport processes. Initial results suggest that increases in sediment transport rates due to burrowing mammals are minimal. Increases in sediment flux due to burrowing mammals are masked by more dominant gravitational unraveling processes and the effect of terrace height and microclimate. Additionally, the diffusion coefficient, which controls the efficiency of degradation, may vary over the length of the profile, thus creating distinct asymmetries in slope and curvature. Through the analysis of terraces of known age, the results of this study are used to back

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  2. System for monitoring an industrial or biological process

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-01-01

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

  3. System for monitoring an industrial or biological process

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-06-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suto, Irenka; Nadas, Rita; Bell, John

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Folic acid: nutritional biochemistry, molecular biology, and role in disease processes.

    PubMed

    Lucock, M

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews the chemistry, metabolism, and molecular biology of folic acid, with a particular emphasis on how it is, or may be, involved in many disease processes. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects like spina bifida, while its ability to lower homocysteine suggests it might have a positive influence on cardiovascular disease. A role for this B vitamin in maintaining good health may, in fact, extend beyond these clinical conditions to encompass other birth defects, several types of cancer, dementia, affective disorders, Down's syndrome, and serious conditions affecting pregnancy outcome. The effect of folate in these conditions can be explained largely within the context of folate-dependent pathways leading to methionine and nucleotide biosynthesis, and genetic variability resulting from a number of common polymorphisms of folate-dependent enzymes involved in the homocysteine remethylation cycle. Allelic variants of folate genes that have a high frequency in the population, and that may play a role in disease formation include 677C --> T-MTHFR, 1298A --> C-MTHFR, 2756A --> G-MetSyn, and 66A --> G-MSR. Future work will probably uncover further polymorphisms of folate metabolism, and lead to a wider understanding of the interaction between this essential nutrient and the many genes which underpin its enzymatic utilization in a plethora of critical biosynthetic reactions, and which, under adverse nutritional conditions, may promote disease.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  8. Mistaking geography for biology: inferring processes from species distributions.

    PubMed

    Warren, Dan L; Cardillo, Marcel; Rosauer, Dan F; Bolnick, Daniel I

    2014-10-01

    Over the past few decades, there has been a rapid proliferation of statistical methods that infer evolutionary and ecological processes from data on species distributions. These methods have led to considerable new insights, but they often fail to account for the effects of historical biogeography on present-day species distributions. Because the geography of speciation can lead to patterns of spatial and temporal autocorrelation in the distributions of species within a clade, this can result in misleading inferences about the importance of deterministic processes in generating spatial patterns of biodiversity. In this opinion article, we discuss ways in which patterns of species distributions driven by historical biogeography are often interpreted as evidence of particular evolutionary or ecological processes. We focus on three areas that are especially prone to such misinterpretations: community phylogenetics, environmental niche modelling, and analyses of beta diversity (compositional turnover of biodiversity).

  9. Integration between chemical oxidation and membrane thermophilic biological process.

    PubMed

    Bertanza, G; Collivignarelli, M C; Crotti, B M; Pedrazzani, R

    2010-01-01

    Full scale applications of activated sludge thermophilic aerobic process for treatment of liquid wastes are rare. This experimental work was carried out at a facility, where a thermophilic reactor (1,000 m(3) volume) is operated. In order to improve the global performance of the plant, it was decided to upgrade it, by means of two membrane filtration units (ultrafiltration -UF-, in place of the final sedimentation, and nanofiltration -NF-). Subsequently, the integration with chemical oxidation (O(3) and H(2)O(2)/UV processes) was taken into consideration. Studied solutions dealt with oxidation of both the NF effluents (permeate and concentrate). Based on experimental results and economic evaluation, an algorithm was proposed for defining limits of convenience of this process.

  10. A non-biological surrogate for sequential disinfection processes.

    PubMed

    Baeza, Carolina; Ducoste, Joel

    2004-01-01

    An evaluation of Fluorescent YG-microspheres (Polysciences Inc.) was performed to simulate Cryptosporidium parvum (C. parvum) oocysts inactivation in treatment systems that utilize multiple disinfectants. Experiments were conducted in batch reactors that included an ozone primary stage and a secondary free chlorine treatment stage. A flow cytometer was used to track changes in the fluorescence intensity distribution due to exposure to the chemical disinfectant. Microsphere 'survival ratios' (N/No) were calibrated by selecting an appropriate fluorescence intensity threshold to replicate the inactivation of different C. parvum oocysts strains. Results showed that fluorescent microspheres displayed synergistic effects in the presence of two sequential disinfectants. In addition, microsphere structural tests showed that the polystyrene surface was damaged due to exposure to ozone. This polystyrene damage enhanced the diffusion of the secondary disinfectant into the microsphere, where dye was degraded in the opened polymer layer. As a result, YG-fluorescent microspheres is a promising non-biological technique that is capable of producing similar synergistic behavior as with C. parvum oocysts exposed to ozone followed by chlorine.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

    Fu, Chi Yung; Petrich, Loren I.

    2004-07-13

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1990-12-01

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

  14. Biological, mechanical, and technological considerations affecting the longevity of intracortical electrode recordings.

    PubMed

    Harris, James P; Tyler, Dustin J

    2013-01-01

    Intracortical electrodes are important tools, with applications ranging from fundamental laboratory studies to potential solutions to intractable clinical applications. However, the longevity and reliability of the interfaces remain their major limitation to the wider implementation and adoption of this technology, especially in broader translational work. Accordingly, this review summarizes the most significant biological and technical factors influencing the long-term performance of intracortical electrodes. In a laboratory setting, intracortical electrodes have been used to study the normal and abnormal function of the brain. This improved understanding has led to valuable insights regarding many neurological conditions. Likewise, clinical applications of intracortical brain-machine interfaces offer the ability to improve the quality of life of many patients afflicted with high-level paralysis from spinal cord injury, brain stem stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or other conditions. It is widely hypothesized that the tissue response to the electrodes, including inflammation, limits their longevity. Many studies have examined and modified the tissue response to intracortical electrodes to improve future intracortical electrode technologies. Overall, the relationship between biological, mechanical, and technological considerations are crucial for the fidelity of chronic electrode recordings and represent a presently active area of investigation in the field of neural engineering.

  15. Chemical and biological microstructures as probed by dynamic processes

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, J.M. ); Klafter, J. ); Levitz, P. )

    1991-03-29

    The dynamic process of electronic energy transfer (DET) is shown to be an important tool for probing the microstructure of molecular systems, particularly those in which donors and acceptors occupy specifically labeled sites of spatially confining host matrices. Special attention is given to analyzing the temporal behavior of the direct energy transfer reaction for systems in which the dipolar coupling is between a donor and randomly distributed acceptors. This dynamic process is dependent on two competing lengths when the donor and acceptor distribution is determined by the microstructure of the confining system: R{sub p}, the dominant length characterizing the size of the confinement, and R{sub o}, which scales the strength of the dipolar coupling. When energy transfer processes are viewed in the context of these two competing lengths, a picture emerges of the microstructure of the confinement that is consistent with and corroborated by other structural probes. The authors believe that their approach to analyzing the dynamics of the DET process broadens the scope of the applicability of the concept of the spectroscopic ruler and that the temporal analysis technique, which they demonstrate using model porous glasses, can be generally applied to other systems.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelsen, David

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W.

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

  18. Development of biological coal gasification (MicGAS Process)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-04-30

    In order for the coal biogasification process to be economically feasible, an inexpensive nutrient amendment must be found to replace the Difco[trademark] yeast extract and tryptic soy broth (YE/TSB) used in the current medium formulation. Five products have been identified which support greater methane production from Texas lignite than YE/TSB.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersen, Lorri

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richwine, Reynold D.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W., Ed.

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

  2. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Key factors, Soil N Processes, and nitrite accumulation affecting nitrous oxide emissions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A better understanding of the key factors affecting nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and potential mitigation strategies is essential for sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study was to examine the important factors affecting N2O emissions, soil processes involved, and potential mitigation s...

  5. Searching for Judy: How Small Mysteries Affect Narrative Processes and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how authors' narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers' narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that 1 type of small mystery--a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story--affects readers'…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-05-13

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

  8. Development of biological coal gasification (MicGAS process)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wooley, John F.

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

  12. [Hygienic assessment of a biological factor at a garbage-processing enterprise].

    PubMed

    Figurovskiĭ, A P; Mozzhukhina, N A; Topanov, I O; Khomulo, D P

    2010-01-01

    The study of a biological factor at solid domestic waste-processing enterprises has established that air and the surface of technological equipment are highly contaminated with bacteria and molds. PMID:21341490

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brill, Gilat; Falk, Hedda; Yarden, Anat

    2004-04-01

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

  14. Revealing complex function, process and pathway interactions with high-throughput expression and biological annotation data.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitesh Kumar; Ernst, Mathias; Liebscher, Volkmar; Fuellen, Georg; Taher, Leila

    2016-10-20

    The biological relationships both between and within the functions, processes and pathways that operate within complex biological systems are only poorly characterized, making the interpretation of large scale gene expression datasets extremely challenging. Here, we present an approach that integrates gene expression and biological annotation data to identify and describe the interactions between biological functions, processes and pathways that govern a phenotype of interest. The product is a global, interconnected network, not of genes but of functions, processes and pathways, that represents the biological relationships within the system. We validated our approach on two high-throughput expression datasets describing organismal and organ development. Our findings are well supported by the available literature, confirming that developmental processes and apoptosis play key roles in cell differentiation. Furthermore, our results suggest that processes related to pluripotency and lineage commitment, which are known to be critical for development, interact mainly indirectly, through genes implicated in more general biological processes. Moreover, we provide evidence that supports the relevance of cell spatial organization in the developing liver for proper liver function. Our strategy can be viewed as an abstraction that is useful to interpret high-throughput data and devise further experiments.

  15. Sensory cortical processing and the biological basis of personality.

    PubMed

    Hegerl, U; Gallinat, J; Mrowinski, D

    1995-04-01

    Action-oriented personality traits such as sensation seeking, extraversion, and impulsivity have been related to a pronounced amplitude increase of auditory evoked scalp potentials with increasing stimulus intensity. Dipole source analysis represents a crucial methodological progress in this context, because overlapping subcomponents of the scalp potentials can be separated and can be related to their generating cortical structures. In a study on 40 healthy subjects, it was found that sensation seeking is clearly related to the auditory evoked response pattern (N1/P2-component, stimulus intensities: 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 dB SPL) of the superior temporal plane including primary auditory cortex, but not to that of secondary auditory areas in the lateral temporal cortex. These results support the concept that the serotonergic brain system, which is supposed to modulate sensory processing in primary auditory cortices, is an important factor underlying individual differences in sensation seeking.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, David K.; Kindle, John C.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Reichard, R E

    2002-04-01

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

  1. Treated municipal sewage discharge affects multiple levels of biological organization in fish.

    PubMed

    Porter, Clint M; Janz, David M

    2003-02-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine cellular-, organ-, and organism-level responses in longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis) and fish community structure in a stream in which treated municipal sewage effluent is discharged and in a nearby reference stream with little surrounding land use. A modified version of the U.S.E.P.A. Rapid Bioassessment Protocol V, which combines a habitat assessment with Karr's index of biotic integrity, was used on 400-m reaches of each stream. The study site had a higher proportion of tolerant species and omnivores and a lower proportion of top predators, suggesting alterations in the fish community and a slight level of water quality impairment. Significant increases in condition factor, hepatosomatic index, serum testosterone, and plasma vitellogenin concentrations were observed in male sunfish collected from the study stream in comparison to fish collected from the reference stream. There were no differences between sites in hepatic expression of the 70-kDa stress protein (HSP70). In conclusion, effects were observed at cellular, organ, organism, and community levels of biological organization in fishes exposed to treated municipal sewage effluent.

  2. Information-Processing and Perceptions of Control: How Attribution Style Affects Task-Relevant Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeigh, Tony

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of perceived controllability on information processing within Weiner's (1985, 1986) attributional model of learning. Attributional style was used to identify trait patterns of controllability for 37 university students. Task-relevant feedback on an information-processing task was then manipulated to test for…

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

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  5. The Production Processes and Biological Effects of Intravenous Immunoglobulin

    PubMed Central

    Barahona Afonso, Ana Filipa; João, Cristina Maria Pires

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vyas, Shruti; Ting, Yen-Peng

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vyas, Shruti; Ting, Yen-Peng

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peilloux, Aurélien; Botella, Marion

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Chang, Song

    2014-01-01

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

  16. The mechanism of valence-space metaphors: ERP evidence for affective word processing.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Chang, Song

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Octamer-binding protein 4 affects the cell biology and phenotypic transition of lung cancer cells involving β-catenin/E-cadherin complex degradation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhong-Shu; Ling, Dong-Jin; Zhang, Yang-De; Feng, Jian-Xiong; Zhang, Xue-Yu; Shi, Tian-Sheng

    2015-03-01

    Clinical studies have reported evidence for the involvement of octamer‑binding protein 4 (Oct4) in the tumorigenicity and progression of lung cancer; however, the role of Oct4 in lung cancer cell biology in vitro and its mechanism of action remain to be elucidated. Mortality among lung cancer patients is more frequently due to metastasis rather than their primary tumors. Epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a prominent biological event for the induction of epithelial cancer metastasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether Oct4 had the capacity to induce lung cancer cell metastasis via the promoting the EMT in vitro. Moreover, the effect of Oct4 on the β‑catenin/E‑cadherin complex, associated with EMT, was examined using immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation assays as well as western blot analysis. The results demonstrated that Oct4 enhanced cell invasion and adhesion accompanied by the downregulation of epithelial marker cytokeratin, and upregulation of the mesenchymal markers vimentin and N‑cadherin. Furthermore, Oct4 induced EMT of lung cancer cells by promoting β‑catenin/E‑cadherin complex degradation and regulating nuclear localization of β‑catenin. In conclusion, the present study indicated that Oct4 affected the cell biology of lung cancer cells in vitro through promoting lung cancer cell metastasis via EMT; in addition, the results suggested that the association and degradation of the β‑catenin/E‑cadherin complex was regulated by Oct4 during the process of EMT.

  18. Reverse engineering dynamic temporal models of biological processes and their relationships

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Naren; Tadepalli, Satish; Watson, Layne T.; Helm, Richard F.; Antoniotti, Marco; Mishra, Bud

    2010-01-01

    Biological processes such as circadian rhythms, cell division, metabolism, and development occur as ordered sequences of events. The synchronization of these coordinated events is essential for proper cell function, and hence the determination of critical time points in biological processes is an important component of all biological investigations. In particular, such critical time points establish logical ordering constraints on subprocesses, impose prerequisites on temporal regulation and spatial compartmentalization, and situate dynamic reorganization of functional elements in preparation for subsequent stages. Thus, building temporal phenomenological representations of biological processes from genome-wide datasets is relevant in formulating biological hypotheses on: how processes are mechanistically regulated; how the regulations vary on an evolutionary scale, and how their inadvertent disregulation leads to a diseased state or fatality. This paper presents a general framework (GOALIE) to reconstruct temporal models of cellular processes from time-course gene expression data. We mathematically formulate the problem as one of optimally segmenting datasets into a succession of “informative” windows such that time points within a window expose concerted clusters of gene action whereas time points straddling window boundaries constitute points of significant restructuring. We illustrate here how GOALIE successfully brings out the interplay between multiple yeast processes, inferred from combined experimental datasets for the cell cycle and the metabolic cycle. PMID:20571120

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  2. On whether mirror neurons play a significant role in processing affective prosody.

    PubMed

    Ramachandra, Vijayachandra

    2009-02-01

    Several behavioral and neuroimaging studies have indicated that both right and left cortical structures and a few subcortical ones are involved in processing affective prosody. Recent investigations have shown that the mirror neuron system plays a crucial role in several higher-level functions such as empathy, theory of mind, language, etc., but no studies so far link the mirror neuron system with affective prosody. In this paper is a speculation that the mirror neuron system, which serves as a common neural substrate for different higher-level functions, may play a significant role in processing affective prosody via its connections with the limbic lobe. Actual research must apply electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to assess whether the mirror neuron systems underly affective prosody in humans.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khattak, Khanzadi Fatima

    2012-06-01

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

  4. Energy from biological processes. Volume III. Appendixes, Part B: Agriculture, unconventional crops, and select biomass wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-09-01

    This volume contains the following working papers written for OTA to assist in preparation of the report, Energy from Biological Processes: The Potential of Producing Energy From Agriculture; Cropland Availability for Biomass Production; Energy From Agriculture: Unconventional Crops; Energy From Aquaculture Biomass Systems: Fresh and Brackish Water Aquatic Plants; Energy From Agriculture: Animal Wastes; and Energy From Agriculture: Agricultural Processing Wastes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-28

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

  7. Affective priming effects of musical sounds on the processing of word meaning.

    PubMed

    Steinbeis, Nikolaus; Koelsch, Stefan

    2011-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that music is capable of conveying semantically meaningful concepts. Several questions have subsequently arisen particularly with regard to the precise mechanisms underlying the communication of musical meaning as well as the role of specific musical features. The present article reports three studies investigating the role of affect expressed by various musical features in priming subsequent word processing at the semantic level. By means of an affective priming paradigm, it was shown that both musically trained and untrained participants evaluated emotional words congruous to the affect expressed by a preceding chord faster than words incongruous to the preceding chord. This behavioral effect was accompanied by an N400, an ERP typically linked with semantic processing, which was specifically modulated by the (mis)match between the prime and the target. This finding was shown for the musical parameter of consonance/dissonance (Experiment 1) and then extended to mode (major/minor) (Experiment 2) and timbre (Experiment 3). Seeing that the N400 is taken to reflect the processing of meaning, the present findings suggest that the emotional expression of single musical features is understood by listeners as such and is probably processed on a level akin to other affective communications (i.e., prosody or vocalizations) because it interferes with subsequent semantic processing. There were no group differences, suggesting that musical expertise does not have an influence on the processing of emotional expression in music and its semantic connotations.

  8. No effect of inversion on attentional and affective processing of facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Lipp, Ottmar V; Price, Sarah M; Tellegen, Cassandra L

    2009-04-01

    The decrease in recognition performance after face inversion has been taken to suggest that faces are processed holistically. Three experiments, 1 with schematic and 2 with photographic faces, were conducted to assess whether face inversion also affected visual search for and implicit evaluation of facial expressions of emotion. The 3 visual search experiments yielded the same differences in detection speed between different facial expressions of emotion for upright and inverted faces. Threat superiority effects, faster detection of angry than of happy faces among neutral background faces, were evident in 2 experiments. Face inversion did not affect explicit or implicit evaluation of face stimuli as assessed with verbal ratings and affective priming. Happy faces were evaluated as more positive than angry, sad, or fearful/scheming ones regardless of orientation. Taken together these results seem to suggest that the processing of facial expressions of emotion is not impaired if holistic processing is disrupted.

  9. Intuitive (in)coherence judgments are guided by processing fluency, mood and affect.

    PubMed

    Sweklej, Joanna; Balas, Robert; Pochwatko, Grzegorz; Godlewska, Małgorzata

    2014-01-01

    Recently proposed accounts of intuitive judgments of semantic coherence assume that processing fluency results in a positive affective response leading to successful assessment of semantic coherence. The present paper investigates whether processing fluency may indicate semantic incoherence as well. In two studies, we employ a new paradigm in which participants have to detect an incoherent item among semantically coherent words. In Study 1, we show participants accurately indicating an incoherent item despite not being able to provide an accurate solution to coherent words. Further, this effect is modified by affective valence of solution words that are not retrieved from memory. Study 2 replicates those results and extend them by showing that mood moderates incoherence judgments independently of affective valence of solutions. The results support processing fluency account of intuitive semantic coherence judgments and show that it is not fluency per se but fluency variations that drive judgments.

  10. The biology of NK cells and their receptors affects clinical outcomes after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).

    PubMed

    Foley, Bree; Felices, Martin; Cichocki, Frank; Cooley, Sarah; Verneris, Michael R; Miller, Jeffrey S

    2014-03-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells were first identified for their capacity to reject bone marrow allografts in lethally irradiated mice without prior sensitization. Subsequently, human NK cells were detected and defined by their non-major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted cytotoxicity toward transformed or virally infected target cells. Karre et al. later proposed 'the missing self hypothesis' to explain the mechanism by which self-tolerant cells could kill targets that had lost self MHC class I. Subsequently, the receptors that recognize MHC class I to mediate tolerance in the host were identified on NK cells. These class I-recognizing receptors contribute to the acquisition of function by a dynamic process known as NK cell education or licensing. In the past, NK cells were assumed to be short lived, but more recently NK cells have been shown to mediate immunologic memory to secondary exposures to cytomegalovirus infection. Because of their ability to lyse tumors with aberrant MHC class I expression and to produce cytokines and chemokines upon activation, NK cells may be primed by many stimuli, including viruses and inflammation, to contribute to a graft-versus-tumor effect. In addition, interactions with other immune cells support the therapeutic potential of NK cells to eradicate tumor and to enhance outcomes after hematopoietic cell transplantation.

  11. [Physicochemical and biological factors affecting atmospheric methane oxidation in gray forest soils].

    PubMed

    Kravchenko, I K; Semenov, V M; Kuznetsova, T V; Bykova, S A; Dulov, L E; Pardini, G; Gispert, M; Boeckx, P; Van Cleemput, O; Gal'chenko, V F

    2005-01-01

    The decline of methane oxidizing activities in gray forest soil upon its conversion into arable land was shown to be caused by major changes in biotic and physicochemical properties of soil. Using the method of immune serums, methane-oxidizing bacteria were detected in both forest and agricultural soils, but their populations differed significantly in both abundance and composition. In the forest soil, the number of methanotrophs was an order of magnitude higher than in arable soil, amounting to 3.5 x 10(8) and 0.24 x 10(8) cells/g soil, respectively. All methane-oxidizing bacteria identified in the forest soil belonged to the genus Methylocystis, and 94% of these were represented by a single species, M. parvus. The arable soil was dominated by type I methanotrophs (Methylobacter and Methylomonas, 67.6%), occurring along with bacteria of the genus Methylocystis. In addition, arable soil is characterized by a low content of microbial biomass, lower porosity and water permeability of soil aggregates, and the predominance of nitrogen mineralization processes over those of nitrogen immobilization. These factors can also contribute to lower rates of methane oxidation in arable soil as compared to forest soil.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tabrizi, Gelareh Bankian; Mehrvar, Mehrab

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

  16. Affective processing of loved familiar faces: integrating central and peripheral electrophysiological measures.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Pedro; Vico, Cynthia; Campagnoli, Rafaela; Sánchez, Alicia; Anllo-Vento, Lourdes; Vila, Jaime

    2012-07-01

    A major problem in the electrophysiological studies of emotional processing linked to recognition of familiar faces is the unambiguous differentiation of effects due to emotional valence, arousal, and familiarity. The present paper summarizes a set of three studies aimed at investigating the affective processing of loved familiar faces using Lang's picture-viewing paradigm, with a special emphasis on teasing apart the individual contributions of affective valence, undifferentiated emotional arousal, and familiarity The results of the three studies support the conclusion that viewing the faces of familiar loved ones elicits an intense positive emotional reaction that cannot be explained either by familiarity or arousal alone. PMID:21689694

  17. Low spatial frequency filtering modulates early brain processing of affective complex pictures.

    PubMed

    Alorda, Catalina; Serrano-Pedraza, Ignacio; Campos-Bueno, J Javier; Sierra-Vázquez, Vicente; Montoya, Pedro

    2007-11-01

    Recent research on affective processing has suggested that low spatial frequency information of fearful faces provide rapid emotional cues to the amygdala, whereas high spatial frequencies convey fine-grained information to the fusiform gyrus, regardless of emotional expression. In the present experiment, we examined the effects of low (LSF, <15 cycles/image width) and high spatial frequency filtering (HSF, >25 cycles/image width) on brain processing of complex pictures depicting pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral scenes. Event-related potentials (ERP), percentage of recognized stimuli and response times were recorded in 19 healthy volunteers. Behavioral results indicated faster reaction times in response to unpleasant LSF than to unpleasant HSF pictures. Unpleasant LSF pictures and pleasant unfiltered pictures also elicited significant enhancements of P1 amplitudes at occipital electrodes as compared to neutral LSF and unfiltered pictures, respectively; whereas no significant effects of affective modulation were found for HSF pictures. Moreover, mean ERP amplitudes in the time between 200 and 500ms post-stimulus were significantly greater for affective (pleasant and unpleasant) than for neutral unfiltered pictures; whereas no significant affective modulation was found for HSF or LSF pictures at those latencies. The fact that affective LSF pictures elicited an enhancement of brain responses at early, but not at later latencies, suggests the existence of a rapid and preattentive neural mechanism for the processing of motivationally relevant stimuli, which could be driven by LSF cues. Our findings confirm thus previous results showing differences on brain processing of affective LSF and HSF faces, and extend these results to more complex and social affective pictures.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wozniak, Breann M.

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

  19. Early visual processing deficits in patients with schizophrenia during spatial frequency-dependent facial affect processing.

    PubMed

    Kim, Do-Won; Shim, Miseon; Song, Myeong Ju; Im, Chang-Hwan; Lee, Seung-Hwan

    2015-02-01

    Abnormal facial emotion recognition is considered as one of the key symptoms of schizophrenia. Only few studies have considered deficits in the spatial frequency (SF)-dependent visual pathway leading to abnormal facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia. Twenty-one patients with schizophrenia and 19 matched healthy controls (HC) were recruited for this study. Event-related potentials (ERP) were measured during presentation of SF-modulated face stimuli and their source imaging was analyzed. The patients showed reduced P100 amplitude for low-spatial frequency (LSF) pictures of fearful faces compared with the HC group. The P100 amplitude for high-spatial frequency (HSF) pictures of neutral faces was increased in the schizophrenia group, but not in the HC group. The neural source activities of the LSF fearful faces and HSF neutral faces led to hypo- and hyperactivation of the frontal lobe of subjects from the schizophrenia group and HC group, respectively. In addition, patients with schizophrenia showed enhanced N170 activation in the right hemisphere in the LSF condition, while the HC group did not. Our results suggest that deficits in the LSF-dependent visual pathway, which involves magnocellular neurons, impair early visual processing leading to dysfunctional facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia. Moreover, it suggests impaired bottom-up processing rather than top-down dysfunction for facial emotion recognition in these patients.

  20. How data analysis affects power, reproducibility and biological insight of RNA-seq studies in complex datasets

    PubMed Central

    Peixoto, Lucia; Risso, Davide; Poplawski, Shane G.; Wimmer, Mathieu E.; Speed, Terence P.; Wood, Marcelo A.; Abel, Ted

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the full transcriptome (RNA-seq) has become the preferred choice for the measurement of genome-wide gene expression. Despite its widespread use, challenges remain in RNA-seq data analysis. One often-overlooked aspect is normalization. Despite the fact that a variety of factors or ‘batch effects’ can contribute unwanted variation to the data, commonly used RNA-seq normalization methods only correct for sequencing depth. The study of gene expression is particularly problematic when it is influenced simultaneously by a variety of biological factors in addition to the one of interest. Using examples from experimental neuroscience, we show that batch effects can dominate the signal of interest; and that the choice of normalization method affects the power and reproducibility of the results. While commonly used global normalization methods are not able to adequately normalize the data, more recently developed RNA-seq normalization can. We focus on one particular method, RUVSeq and show that it is able to increase power and biological insight of the results. Finally, we provide a tutorial outlining the implementation of RUVSeq normalization that is applicable to a broad range of studies as well as meta-analysis of publicly available data. PMID:26202970

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dreuw, Andreas

    2006-11-13

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

  5. An overview of biological processes and their potential for CO2 capture.

    PubMed

    Goli, Amin; Shamiri, Ahmad; Talaiekhozani, Amirreza; Eshtiaghi, Nicky; Aghamohammadi, Nasrin; Aroua, Mohamed Kheireddine

    2016-12-01

    The extensive amount of available information on global warming suggests that this issue has become prevalent worldwide. Majority of countries have issued laws and policies in response to this concern by requiring their industrial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2. Thus, introducing new and more effective treatment methods, such as biological techniques, is crucial to control the emission of greenhouse gases. Many studies have demonstrated CO2 fixation using photo-bioreactors and raceway ponds, but a comprehensive review is yet to be published on biological CO2 fixation. A comprehensive review of CO2 fixation through biological process is presented in this paper as biological processes are ideal to control both organic and inorganic pollutants. This process can also cover the classification of methods, functional mechanisms, designs, and their operational parameters, which are crucial for efficient CO2 fixation. This review also suggests the bio-trickling filter process as an appropriate approach in CO2 fixation to assist in creating a pollution-free environment. Finally, this paper introduces optimum designs, growth rate models, and CO2 fixation of microalgae, functions, and operations in biological CO2 fixation. PMID:27576148

  6. An overview of biological processes and their potential for CO2 capture.

    PubMed

    Goli, Amin; Shamiri, Ahmad; Talaiekhozani, Amirreza; Eshtiaghi, Nicky; Aghamohammadi, Nasrin; Aroua, Mohamed Kheireddine

    2016-12-01

    The extensive amount of available information on global warming suggests that this issue has become prevalent worldwide. Majority of countries have issued laws and policies in response to this concern by requiring their industrial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2. Thus, introducing new and more effective treatment methods, such as biological techniques, is crucial to control the emission of greenhouse gases. Many studies have demonstrated CO2 fixation using photo-bioreactors and raceway ponds, but a comprehensive review is yet to be published on biological CO2 fixation. A comprehensive review of CO2 fixation through biological process is presented in this paper as biological processes are ideal to control both organic and inorganic pollutants. This process can also cover the classification of methods, functional mechanisms, designs, and their operational parameters, which are crucial for efficient CO2 fixation. This review also suggests the bio-trickling filter process as an appropriate approach in CO2 fixation to assist in creating a pollution-free environment. Finally, this paper introduces optimum designs, growth rate models, and CO2 fixation of microalgae, functions, and operations in biological CO2 fixation.

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

    PubMed Central

    van der Gaag, Mark

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... negative pressure at all times while the process unit or affected facility is in operation to ensure that... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of...-vented process units or affected facilities. (a) Use of closed vent system and control device....

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Hybrid semi-parametric mathematical systems: bridging the gap between systems biology and process engineering.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Ana P; Carinhas, Nuno; Dias, João M L; Cruz, Pedro; Alves, Paula M; Carrondo, Manuel J T; Oliveira, Rui

    2007-12-01

    Systems biology is an integrative science that aims at the global characterization of biological systems. Huge amounts of data regarding gene expression, proteins activity and metabolite concentrations are collected by designing systematic genetic or environmental perturbations. Then the challenge is to integrate such data in a global model in order to provide a global picture of the cell. The analysis of these data is largely dominated by nonparametric modelling tools. In contrast, classical bioprocess engineering has been primarily founded on first principles models, but it has systematically overlooked the details of the embedded biological system. The full complexity of biological systems is currently assumed by systems biology and this knowledge can now be taken by engineers to decide how to optimally design and operate their processes. This paper discusses possible methodologies for the integration of systems biology and bioprocess engineering with emphasis on applications involving animal cell cultures. At the mathematical systems level, the discussion is focused on hybrid semi-parametric systems as a way to bridge systems biology and bioprocess engineering.

  12. Combined unilateral lesions of the amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex impair affective processing in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, Alicia; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2004-05-01

    The amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo) interact as part of a system for affective processing. To assess whether there is a hemispheric functional specialization for the processing of emotion or reward or both in nonhuman primates, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with combined lesions of the amygdala and PFo in one hemisphere, either left or right, were compared with unoperated controls on a battery of tasks that tax affective processing, including two tasks that tax reward processing and two that assess emotional reactions. Although the two operated groups did not differ from each other, monkeys with unilateral lesions, left and right, showed altered reward-processing abilities as evidenced by attenuated reinforcer devaluation effects and an impairment in object reversal learning relative to controls. In addition, both operated groups showed blunted emotional reactions to a rubber snake. By contrast, monkeys with unilateral lesions did not differ from controls in their responses to an unfamiliar human (human "intruder"). Although the results provide no support for a hemispheric specialization of function, they yield the novel finding that unilateral lesions of the amygdala-orbitofrontal cortical circuit in monkeys are sufficient to significantly disrupt affective processing. PMID:14711973

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 43 CFR 2.4 - Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... OF INFORMATION ACT; RECORDS AND TESTIMONY How To Make a Request § 2.4 Does where you send your request affect its processing? (a) A request to a particular bureau component (for example, a request addressed to a regional or field office) will be presumed to seek only records from that...

  16. 43 CFR 2.6 - How will fee information affect the processing of your request?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT; RECORDS AND TESTIMONY How To Make a Request § 2.6 How will fee information... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false How will fee information affect the... associated with processing the request, that you will pay fees up to a specified amount, and/or that you...

  17. 43 CFR 2.6 - How will fee information affect the processing of your request?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT; RECORDS AND TESTIMONY How To Make a Request § 2.6 How will fee information... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false How will fee information affect the... associated with processing the request, that you will pay fees up to a specified amount, and/or that you...

  18. 43 CFR 2.4 - Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... OF INFORMATION ACT; RECORDS AND TESTIMONY How To Make a Request § 2.4 Does where you send your request affect its processing? (a) A request to a particular bureau component (for example, a request addressed to a regional or field office) will be presumed to seek only records from that...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prichard, Tami G.; Swezey, James A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savolainen, Reijo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassandrinou, Amanda; Angelaki, Christina; Mavroidis, Ilias

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Impaired Global, and Compensatory Local, Biological Motion Processing in People with High Levels of Autistic Traits

    PubMed Central

    van Boxtel, Jeroen J. A.; Lu, Hongjing

    2013-01-01

    People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are hypothesized to have poor high-level processing but superior low-level processing, causing impaired social recognition, and a focus on non-social stimulus contingencies. Biological motion perception provides an ideal domain to investigate exactly how ASD modulates the interaction between low and high-level processing, because it involves multiple processing stages, and carries many important social cues. We investigated individual differences among typically developing observers in biological motion processing, and whether such individual differences associate with the number of autistic traits. In Experiment 1, we found that individuals with fewer autistic traits were automatically and involuntarily attracted to global biological motion information, whereas individuals with more autistic traits did not show this pre-attentional distraction. We employed an action adaptation paradigm in the second study to show that individuals with more autistic traits were able to compensate for deficits in global processing with an increased involvement in local processing. Our findings can be interpreted within a predictive coding framework, which characterizes the functional relationship between local and global processing stages, and explains how these stages contribute to the perceptual difficulties associated with ASD. PMID:23630514

  5. Rapid communication: Global-local processing affects recognition of distractor emotional faces.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Narayanan; Gupta, Rashmi

    2011-03-01

    Recent studies have shown links between happy faces and global, distributed attention as well as sad faces to local, focused attention. Emotions have been shown to affect global-local processing. Given that studies on emotion-cognition interactions have not explored the effect of perceptual processing at different spatial scales on processing stimuli with emotional content, the present study investigated the link between perceptual focus and emotional processing. The study investigated the effects of global-local processing on the recognition of distractor faces with emotional expressions. Participants performed a digit discrimination task with digits at either the global level or the local level presented against a distractor face (happy or sad) as background. The results showed that global processing associated with broad scope of attention facilitates recognition of happy faces, and local processing associated with narrow scope of attention facilitates recognition of sad faces. The novel results of the study provide conclusive evidence for emotion-cognition interactions by demonstrating the effect of perceptual processing on emotional faces. The results along with earlier complementary results on the effect of emotion on global-local processing support a reciprocal relationship between emotional processing and global-local processing. Distractor processing with emotional information also has implications for theories of selective attention.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kempton, Matthew J; Mehta, Mitul A

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kindfield, Ann C. H.

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

  8. Theta phase coherence in affective picture processing reveals dysfunctional sensory integration in psychopathic offenders.

    PubMed

    Tillem, Scott; Ryan, Jonathan; Wu, Jia; Crowley, Michael J; Mayes, Linda C; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle

    2016-09-01

    Psychopathic offenders are described as emotionally cold, displaying deficits in affective responding. However, research demonstrates that many of the psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by attention, such that under conditions of high attentional and perceptual load psychopathic offenders display deficits in affective responses, but do not in conditions of low load. To date, most studies use measures of defensive reflex (i.e., startle) and conditioning manipulations to examine the impact of load on psychopathy-related processing, but have not examined more direct measures of attention processing. In a sample of adult male offenders, the present study examined time-frequency EEG phase coherence in response to a picture-viewing paradigm that manipulated picture familiarity to assess neural changes in processing based on perceptual demands. Results indicated psychopathy-related differences in the theta response, an index of readiness to perceive and integrate sensory information. These data provide further evidence that psychopathic offenders have disrupted integration of sensory information.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-07-01

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

  10. Wheeler and Whitehead: Process Biology and Process Philosophy in the Early Twentieth Century.

    PubMed

    Sölch, Dennis

    2016-07-01

    The case of William Morton Wheeler and Alfred North Whitehead represents a striking example of how biologists and philosophers engaged in a common enterprise in the early twentieth century. Both challenge the notion that the living world is composed of distinct organisms. Based on his studies of the behavior of social insects, Wheeler developed a concept of superorganisms that paved the way for a theory of emergent evolution. This paper argues that Whitehead, whose relation to academic biology has been largely ignored, drew on Wheeler's findings and integrated them into a universal philosophical cosmology. PMID:27477347

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yu,P.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Parallel effects of processing fluency and positive affect on familiarity-based recognition decisions for faces

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Devin; Fiacconi, Chris M.; Köhler, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    According to attribution models of familiarity assessment, people can use a heuristic in recognition-memory decisions, in which they attribute the subjective ease of processing of a memory probe to a prior encounter with the stimulus in question. Research in social cognition suggests that experienced positive affect may be the proximal cue that signals fluency in various experimental contexts. In the present study, we compared the effects of positive affect and fluency on recognition-memory judgments for faces with neutral emotional expression. We predicted that if positive affect is indeed the critical cue that signals processing fluency at retrieval, then its manipulation should produce effects that closely mirror those produced by manipulations of processing fluency. In two experiments, we employed a masked-priming procedure in combination with a Remember-Know (RK) paradigm that aimed to separate familiarity- from recollection-based memory decisions. In addition, participants performed a prime-discrimination task that allowed us to take inter-individual differences in prime awareness into account. We found highly similar effects of our priming manipulations of processing fluency and of positive affect. In both cases, the critical effect was specific to familiarity-based recognition responses. Moreover, in both experiments it was reflected in a shift toward a more liberal response bias, rather than in changed discrimination. Finally, in both experiments, the effect was found to be related to prime awareness; it was present only in participants who reported a lack of such awareness on the prime-discrimination task. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that points not only to a role of fluency, but also of positive affect in familiarity assessment. As such they are consistent with the idea that fluency itself may be hedonically marked. PMID:24795678

  13. Using a Computer Simulation To Teach Science Process Skills to College Biology and Elementary Education Majors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Aimee T.; Hairston, Rosalina V.; Thames, Rachel; Lawrence, Tonya; Herron, Sherry S.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the Lateblight computer simulation implemented in the general biology laboratory and science methods course for elementary teachers to reinforce the processes of science and allow students to engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate the methods of building concepts in science. (Author/KHR)

  14. A Cognitive Processing Capacity Model of Teaching and Studying Applied to Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furukawa, James M.; And Others

    The cognitive processing capacity (CPC) model of teaching and studying was used to determine whether tenth grade students could improve their performance in biology. The 27 students in the experimental class were taught to study information in quantities that matched their CPC and to chunk these quantities together under a heading in a study…

  15. IBIS integrated biological imaging system: electron micrograph image-processing software running on Unix workstations.

    PubMed

    Flifla, M J; Garreau, M; Rolland, J P; Coatrieux, J L; Thomas, D

    1992-12-01

    'IBIS' is a set of computer programs concerned with the processing of electron micrographs, with particular emphasis on the requirements for structural analyses of biological macromolecules. The software is written in FORTRAN 77 and runs on Unix workstations. A description of the various functions and the implementation mode is given. Some examples illustrate the user interface.

  16. Understanding a Basic Biological Process: Expert and Novice Models of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kindfield, A. C. H.

    1994-01-01

    Reports on the meiosis models utilized by five individuals at each of three levels of expertise in genetics as each reasoned about this process in an individual interview setting. Results revealed a set of biologically correct features common to all individuals' models as well as a variety of model flaws (i.e., meiosis misunderstandings) which are…

  17. Learning How Scientists Work: Experiential Research Projects to Promote Cell Biology Learning and Scientific Process Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DebBurman, Shubhik K.

    2002-01-01

    Facilitating not only the mastery of sophisticated subject matter, but also the development of process skills is an ongoing challenge in teaching any introductory undergraduate course. To accomplish this goal in a sophomore-level introductory cell biology course, I require students to work in groups and complete several mock experiential research…

  18. Gelsius: a literature-based workflow for determining quantitative associations between genes and biological processes.

    PubMed

    Abate, Francesco; Acquaviva, Andrea; Ficarra, Elisa; Piva, Roberto; Macii, Enrico

    2013-01-01

    An effective knowledge extraction and quantification methodology from biomedical literature would allow the researcher to organize and analyze the results of high-throughput experiments on microarrays and next-generation sequencing technologies. Despite the large amount of raw information available on the web, a tool able to extract a measure of the correlation between a list of genes and biological processes is not yet available. In this paper, we present Gelsius, a workflow that incorporates biomedical literature to quantify the correlation between genes and terms describing biological processes. To achieve this target, we build different modules focusing on query expansion and document cononicalization. In this way, we reached to improve the measurement of correlation, performed using a latent semantic analysis approach. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first complete tool able to extract a measure of genes-biological processes correlation from literature. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed workflow on six biological processes and a set of genes, by showing that correlation results for known relationships are in accordance with definitions of gene functions provided by NCI Thesaurus. On the other side, the tool is able to propose new candidate relationships for later experimental validation. The tool is available at >http://bioeda1.polito.it:8080/medSearchServlet/.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Deep silicon etch for biology MEMS fabrication: review of process parameters influence versus chip design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magis, T.; Ballerand, S.; Bellemin Comte, A.; Pollet, Olivier

    2013-03-01

    Micro-system for biology is a growing market, especially for micro-fluidic applications (environment and health). Key part for the manufacturing of biology MEMS is the deep silicon etching by plasma to create microstructures. Usual etching process as an alternation of etching and passivation steps is a well-known method for MEMS fabrication, nowadays used in high volume production for devices like sensors and actuators. MEMS for biology applications are very different in design compared to more common micro-systems like accelerometers for instance. Indeed, their design includes on the same chip structures of very diverse size like narrow pillars, large trenches and wide cavities. This makes biology MEMS fabrication very challenging for DRIE, since each type of feature considered individually would require a specific etch process. Furthermore process parameters suited to match specifications on small size features (vertical profile, low sidewall roughness) induce issues and defects on bigger structures (undercut, micro-masking) and vice versa. Thus the process window is constrained leading to trade-offs in process development. In this paper process parameters such as source and platen powers, pressure, etching and passivation gas flows and steps duration were investigated to achieve all requirements. As well interactions between those different factors were characterized at different levels, from individual critical feature up to chip scale and to wafer scale. We will show the plasma process development and tuning to reach all these specifications. We also compared different chambers configurations of our ICP tool (source wafer distance, plasma diffusion) in order to obtain a good combination of hardware and process. With optimized etching we successfully fabricate micro-fluidic devices like micro-pumps.

  1. Climatic, tectonic, and biological factors affecting the oxidation state of the atmosphere and oceans: Implications for Phanerozoic O2 evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozaki, K.; Tajika, E.

    2015-12-01

    The Earth's atmosphere and oceans have seen fundamental changes in its oxidation state in response to the climatic, tectonic and geochemical variations. Over the past decade, several geochemical proxies have led to significant progress in understanding the paleredox states of ancient oceans. However, a quantitative interpretation of these data for atmospheric O2 levels remain unclear because the relationship between atmospheric O2 levels (pO2) and oceanic redox state depends on several environmental factors, such as terrestrial weathering rate, sea-level stands, and sinking rate of particulate organic matter (POM) in the water column and so on. It is widely thought that the redox-dependent P cycling also plays a crucial role in regulating pO2 because it acts as a negative feedback on a geological timescale. It is important that strength of this feedback for a given pO2 is also modulated by environmental factors, affecting not only O2 levels at steady state but also its susceptibility to environmental changes. In this study, a quantitative role of environmental factors in the oxidation state of Earth's surface environment is evaluated with an oceanic biogeochemical cycle model (CANOPS) coupled with global C cycle model, which enables us to understand the ancient CO2 and O2 evolution. Our results demonstrate that atmospheric O2 level at steady state is affected by CO2 input flux from Earth's interior via changes in biogeochemical cycles, but its response is modulated by several internal factors such as shelf area and POM sinking rate. We also found that early Paleozoic atmospheric O2 levels before the advent of land plant would be determined so that oceans may locate at the "edge of anoxia (EoA)" where the redox-dependency of marine P cycle plays a crucial role in regulating O2 cycle, and that POM sinking rate has a great impact on the EoA. Our findings provide insights into the O2 cycle over the Phanerozoic in response to the climatic and tectonic variations and

  2. Chemical analysis and biological testing of materials from the EDS coal liquefaction process: a status report

    SciTech Connect

    Later, D.W.; Pelroy, R.A.; Wilson, B.W.

    1984-05-01

    Representative process materials were obtained from the EDS pilot plant for chemical and biological analyses. These materials were characterized for biological activity and chemical composition using a microbial mutagenicity assay and chromatographic and mass spectrometric analytical techniques. The two highest boiling distillation cuts, as well as process solvent (PS) obtained from the bottoms recycle mode operation, were tested for initiation of mouse skin tumorigenicity. All three materials were active; the crude 800/sup 0 +/F cut was substantially more potent than the crude bottoms recycle PS or 750 to 800/sup 0/F distillate cut. Results from chemical analyses showed the EDS materials, in general, to be more highly alkylated and have higher hydroaromatic content than analogous SRC II process materials (no in-line process hydrogenation) used for comparison. In the microbial mutagenicity assays the N-PAC fractions showed greater activity than did the aliphatic hydrocarbon, hydroxy-PAH, or PAH fractions, although mutagenicity was detected in certain PAH fractions by a modified version of the standard microbial mutagenicity assay. Mutagenic activities for the EDS materials were lower, overall, than those for the corresponding materials from the SRC II process. The EDS materials produced under different operational modes had distinguishable differences in both their chemical constituency and biological activity. The primary differences between the EDS materials studied here and their SRC II counterparts used for comparison are most likely attributable to the incorporation of catalytic hydrogenation in the EDS process. 27 references, 28 figures, 27 tables.

  3. ADAPT: building conceptual models of the physical and biological processes across permafrost landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allard, M.; Vincent, W. F.; Lemay, M.

    2012-12-01

    Fundamental and applied permafrost research is called upon in Canada in support of environmental protection, economic development and for contributing to the international efforts in understanding climatic and ecological feedbacks of permafrost thawing under a warming climate. The five year "Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition" program (ADAPT) funded by NSERC brings together 14 scientists from 10 Canadian universities and involves numerous collaborators from academia, territorial and provincial governments, Inuit communities and industry. The geographical coverage of the program encompasses all of the permafrost regions of Canada. Field research at a series of sites across the country is being coordinated. A common protocol for measuring ground thermal and moisture regime, characterizing terrain conditions (vegetation, topography, surface water regime and soil organic matter contents) is being applied in order to provide inputs for designing a general model to provide an understanding of transfers of energy and matter in permafrost terrain, and the implications for biological and human systems. The ADAPT mission is to produce an 'Integrated Permafrost Systems Science' framework that will be used to help generate sustainable development and adaptation strategies for the North in the context of rapid socio-economic and climate change. ADAPT has three major objectives: to examine how changing precipitation and warming temperatures affect permafrost geosystems and ecosystems, specifically by testing hypotheses concerning the influence of the snowpack, the effects of water as a conveyor of heat, sediments, and carbon in warming permafrost terrain and the processes of permafrost decay; to interact directly with Inuit communities, the public sector and the private sector for development and adaptation to changes in permafrost environments; and to train the new generation of experts and scientists in this critical domain of research in Canada

  4. Factors affecting the microbial populations at full-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) wastewater treatment plants in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    López-Vázquez, Carlos M; Hooijmans, Christine M; Brdjanovic, Damir; Gijzen, Huub J; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M

    2008-05-01

    The influence of operating and environmental conditions on the microbial populations of the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process at seven full-scale municipal activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in The Netherlands was studied. Data from the selected WWTPs concerning process configuration, operating and environmental conditions were compiled. The EBPR activity from each plant was determined by execution of anaerobic-anoxic-aerobic batch tests using fresh activated sludge. Fractions of Accumulibacter as potential phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAO), and Competibacter, Defluviicoccus-related microorganisms and Sphingomonas as potential glycogen accumulating organisms (GAO) were quantified using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The relationships among plant process configurations, operating parameters, environmental conditions, EBPR activity and microbial populations fractions were evaluated using a statistical approach. A well-defined and operated denitrification stage and a higher mixed liquor pH value in the anaerobic stage were positively correlated with the occurrence of Accumulibacter. A well-defined denitrification stage also stimulated the development of denitrifying PAO (DPAO). A positive correlation was observed between Competibacter fractions and organic matter concentrations in the influent. Nevertheless, Competibacter did not cause a major effect on the EBPR performance. The observed Competibacter fractions were not in the range that would have led to EBPR deterioration. Likely, the low average sewerage temperature (12+/-2 degrees C) limited their proliferation. Defluviicoccus-related microorganisms were seen only in negligible fractions in a few plants (<0.1% as EUB), whereas Sphingomonas were not observed.

  5. Children's and adults' understanding of the impact of nutrition on biological and psychological processes.

    PubMed

    Raman, Lakshmi

    2014-03-01

    Four studies examined children's and adults' beliefs about the impact of nutrition on growth and mood states. In Studies 1 and 2, 271 participants (preschoolers through adults) judged the impact of healthy and unhealthy nutrition on height and weight. In Studies 3 and 4, 267 participants judged the impact of healthy and unhealthy nutrition on positive and negative mood states. The results suggest that young children demonstrate a co-existence of an ontologically distinct theory of biology as well as a theory of cross-domain interaction when reasoning about the impact of food on biological and psychological processes.

  6. Children's and adults' understanding of the impact of nutrition on biological and psychological processes.

    PubMed

    Raman, Lakshmi

    2014-03-01

    Four studies examined children's and adults' beliefs about the impact of nutrition on growth and mood states. In Studies 1 and 2, 271 participants (preschoolers through adults) judged the impact of healthy and unhealthy nutrition on height and weight. In Studies 3 and 4, 267 participants judged the impact of healthy and unhealthy nutrition on positive and negative mood states. The results suggest that young children demonstrate a co-existence of an ontologically distinct theory of biology as well as a theory of cross-domain interaction when reasoning about the impact of food on biological and psychological processes. PMID:24303848

  7. The development of a content-influenced process skills instrument for general biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Grady M.

    Since the mid 1960's, a major goal in biology instruction has been the teaching of process skills. Many process skills studies have been done and several process skills tests exist, but these studies and tests all target students in grades 7 through 12. The purpose of this study was to develop a biological process skills test for use in college level freshman biology classes. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase I was the development of the process skills test. Phase II of the study was to administer the test and determine student acquisition of process skills, and to determine whether any relationship existed between acquisition of process skills, student attitudes toward science, and student learning styles. Testing was implemented with a sample of 135 students enrolled in general biology in one southeastern university. The process skills test and the attitudes toward science test were administered as pretests; and posttests. The learning styles test was administered as a pretest. Data analysis included t-tests for dependent samples, multiple regression analyses, and an item analysis of the process skills test that concentrated on item difficulty, discriminating power, and distractor spread. Item analysis of the process skills test revealed some questions that were too difficult, and some questions that had problems with distractors. The majority of the test questions were found to be acceptable. The t-tests for dependent samples pies showed a significant increase in process skills mean test scores from pretest to posttest, and a significant improvement in student attitudes toward science mean test scores from pretest to posttest. The multiple regression analyses revealed no significant relationship between process skills, and student attitudes toward science, and student learning style. Recommendations include a review of the process skills test and revision of those items that are in question. The study should be continued with a larger sample size and

  8. Performance processes within affect-related performance zones: a multi-modal investigation of golf performance.

    PubMed

    van der Lei, Harry; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2012-12-01

    Individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) method utilizing Kamata et al. (J Sport Exerc Psychol 24:189-208, 2002) probabilistic model of determining the individual zone of optimal functioning was utilized as idiosyncratic affective patterns during golf performance. To do so, three male golfers of a varsity golf team were observed during three rounds of golf competition. The investigation implemented a multi-modal assessment approach in which the probabilistic relationship between affective states and both, performance process and performance outcome, measures were determined. More specifically, introspective (i.e., verbal reports) and objective (heart rate and respiration rate) measures of arousal were incorporated to examine the relationships between arousal states and both, process components (i.e., routine consistency, timing), and outcome scores related to golf performance. Results revealed distinguishable and idiosyncratic IAPZs associated with physiological and introspective measures for each golfer. The associations between the IAPZs and decision-making or swing/stroke execution were strong and unique for each golfer. Results are elaborated using cognitive and affect-related concepts, and applications for practitioners are provided.

  9. Abnormal neural processing during emotional salience attribution of affective asymmetry in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seon-Koo; Chun, Ji Won; Lee, Jung Suk; Park, Hae-Jeong; Jung, Young-Chul; Seok, Jeong-Ho; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2014-01-01

    Aberrant emotional salience attribution has been reported to be an important clinical feature in patients with schizophrenia. Real life stimuli that incorporate both positive and negative emotional traits lead to affective asymmetry such as negativity bias and positivity offset. In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of emotional salience attribution in patients with schizophrenia when affective asymmetry was processed. Fifteen patients with schizophrenia and 14 healthy controls were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing an emotion judgment task in which two pictures were juxtaposed. The task consisted of responding to affective asymmetry condition (ambivalent and neutral) and affective symmetry conditions (positive and negative), and group comparisons were performed for each condition. Significantly higher activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus was observed for the ambivalent condition than for the other conditions in controls, but not in patients. Compared with controls, patients showed decreased activities in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, and putamen for the ambivalent condition, but no changes were observed for the neutral condition. Multiple prefrontal hypoactivities during salience attribution of negativity bias in schizophrenia may underlie deficits in the integrative processing of emotional information. Regional abnormalities in the salience network may be the basis of defective emotional salience attribution in schizophrenia, which is likely involved in symptom formation and social dysfunction.

  10. Advancing the Assessment of Personality Pathology With the Cognitive-Affective Processing System.

    PubMed

    Huprich, Steven K; Nelson, Sharon M

    2015-01-01

    The Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) is a dynamic and expansive model of personality proposed by Mischel and Shoda (1995) that incorporates dispositional and processing frameworks by considering the interaction of the individual and the situation, and the patterns of variation that result. These patterns of cognition, affect, and behavior are generally defined through the use of if … then statements, and provide a rich understanding of the individual across varying levels of assessment. In this article, we describe the CAPS model and articulate ways in which it can be applied to conceptualizing and assessing personality pathology. We suggest that the CAPS model is an ideal framework that integrates a number of current theories of personality pathology, and simultaneously overcomes a number of limits that have been empirically identified in the past.

  11. Advancing the Assessment of Personality Pathology With the Cognitive-Affective Processing System.

    PubMed

    Huprich, Steven K; Nelson, Sharon M

    2015-01-01

    The Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) is a dynamic and expansive model of personality proposed by Mischel and Shoda (1995) that incorporates dispositional and processing frameworks by considering the interaction of the individual and the situation, and the patterns of variation that result. These patterns of cognition, affect, and behavior are generally defined through the use of if … then statements, and provide a rich understanding of the individual across varying levels of assessment. In this article, we describe the CAPS model and articulate ways in which it can be applied to conceptualizing and assessing personality pathology. We suggest that the CAPS model is an ideal framework that integrates a number of current theories of personality pathology, and simultaneously overcomes a number of limits that have been empirically identified in the past. PMID:26214351

  12. Positive Affect Processing and Joint Attention in Infants at High Risk for Autism: An Exploratory Study.

    PubMed

    Key, Alexandra P; Ibanez, Lisa V; Henderson, Heather A; Warren, Zachary; Messinger, Daniel S; Stone, Wendy L

    2015-12-01

    Few behavioral indices of risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are present before 12 months, and potential biomarkers remain largely unexamined. This prospective study of infant siblings of children with ASD (n = 16) and low-risk comparison infants (n = 15) examined group differences in event-related potentials (ERPs) indexing processing of facial positive affect (N290/P400, Nc) at 9 months and their relation to joint attention at 15 months. Group differences were most pronounced for subtle facial expressions, in that the low-risk group exhibited relatively longer processing (P400 latency) and greater attention resource allocation (Nc amplitude). Exploratory analyses found associations between ERP responses and later joint attention, suggesting that attention to positive affect cues may support the development of other social competencies.

  13. Integrative Processing of Touch and Affect in Social Perception: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J. H.; Salone, Anatolia; Martinotti, Giovanni; Carlucci, Leonardo; Mantini, Dante; Perrucci, Mauro G.; Saggino, Aristide; Romani, Gian Luca; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Northoff, Georg; Gallese, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    Social perception commonly employs multiple sources of information. The present study aimed at investigating the integrative processing of affective social signals. Task-related and task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 26 healthy adult participants during a social perception task concerning dynamic visual stimuli simultaneously depicting facial expressions of emotion and tactile sensations that could be either congruent or incongruent. Confounding effects due to affective valence, inhibitory top–down influences, cross-modal integration, and conflict processing were minimized. The results showed that the perception of congruent, compared to incongruent stimuli, elicited enhanced neural activity in a set of brain regions including left amygdala, bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left superior parietal cortex. These congruency effects did not differ as a function of emotion or sensation. A complementary task-related functional interaction analysis preliminarily suggested that amygdala activity depended on previous processing stages in fusiform gyrus and PCC. The findings provide support for the integrative processing of social information about others’ feelings from manifold bodily sources (sensory-affective information) in amygdala and PCC. Given that the congruent stimuli were also judged as being more self-related and more familiar in terms of personal experience in an independent sample of participants, we speculate that such integrative processing might be mediated by the linking of external stimuli with self-experience. Finally, the prediction of task-related responses in amygdala by intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and PCC during a task-free state implies a neuro-functional basis for an individual predisposition for the integrative processing of social stimulus content. PMID:27242474

  14. Integrative Processing of Touch and Affect in Social Perception: An fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J H; Salone, Anatolia; Martinotti, Giovanni; Carlucci, Leonardo; Mantini, Dante; Perrucci, Mauro G; Saggino, Aristide; Romani, Gian Luca; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Northoff, Georg; Gallese, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    Social perception commonly employs multiple sources of information. The present study aimed at investigating the integrative processing of affective social signals. Task-related and task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 26 healthy adult participants during a social perception task concerning dynamic visual stimuli simultaneously depicting facial expressions of emotion and tactile sensations that could be either congruent or incongruent. Confounding effects due to affective valence, inhibitory top-down influences, cross-modal integration, and conflict processing were minimized. The results showed that the perception of congruent, compared to incongruent stimuli, elicited enhanced neural activity in a set of brain regions including left amygdala, bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left superior parietal cortex. These congruency effects did not differ as a function of emotion or sensation. A complementary task-related functional interaction analysis preliminarily suggested that amygdala activity depended on previous processing stages in fusiform gyrus and PCC. The findings provide support for the integrative processing of social information about others' feelings from manifold bodily sources (sensory-affective information) in amygdala and PCC. Given that the congruent stimuli were also judged as being more self-related and more familiar in terms of personal experience in an independent sample of participants, we speculate that such integrative processing might be mediated by the linking of external stimuli with self-experience. Finally, the prediction of task-related responses in amygdala by intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and PCC during a task-free state implies a neuro-functional basis for an individual predisposition for the integrative processing of social stimulus content. PMID:27242474

  15. Microfluidic solutions enabling continuous processing and monitoring of biological samples: A review.

    PubMed

    Karle, Marc; Vashist, Sandeep Kumar; Zengerle, Roland; von Stetten, Felix

    2016-07-27

    The last decade has witnessed tremendous advances in employing microfluidic solutions enabling Continuous Processing and Monitoring of Biological Samples (CPMBS), which is an essential requirement for the control of bio-processes. The microfluidic systems are superior to the traditional inline sensors due to their ability to implement complex analytical procedures, such as multi-step sample preparation, and enabling the online measurement of parameters. This manuscript provides a backgound review of microfluidic approaches employing laminar flow, hydrodynamic separation, acoustophoresis, electrophoresis, dielectrophoresis, magnetophoresis and segmented flow for the continuous processing and monitoring of biological samples. The principles, advantages and limitations of each microfluidic approach are described along with its potential applications. The challenges in the field and the future directions are also provided. PMID:27251944

  16. Enhanced biological phosphorus removal and its modeling for the activated sludge and membrane bioreactor processes.

    PubMed

    Zuthi, M F R; Guo, W S; Ngo, H H; Nghiem, L D; Hai, F I

    2013-07-01

    A modified activated sludge process (ASP) for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) needs to sustain stable performance for wastewater treatment to avoid eutrophication in the aquatic environment. Unfortunately, the overall efficiency of the EBPR in ASPs and membrane bioreactors (MBRs) is frequently hindered by different operational/system constraints. Moreover, although phosphorus removal data from several wastewater treatment systems are available, a comprehensive mathematical model of the process is still lacking. This paper presents a critical review that highlights the core issues of the biological phosphorus removal in ASPs and MBRs while discussing the inhibitory process requirements for other nutrients' removal. This mini review also successfully provided an assessment of the available models for predicting phosphorus removal in both ASP and MBR systems. The advantages and limitations of the existing models were discussed together with the inclusion of few guidelines for their improvement.

  17. New insight into the biological treatment by activated sludge: the role of adsorption process.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaochun; Li, Xinrun; Zhang, Qingrui; Peng, Qiuming; Zhang, Wen; Gao, Faming

    2014-02-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of adsorption on the biological treatment process of wastewater. In the absence of substrate in the water, activated sludge developed well in the first hour, indicating that the growth of microorganism was not directly related to substrate concentration and the dissolved organic matter in the water assays were performed, no organic matter was detected out, revealing that there was no desorption in the activated sludge adsorption process. Activated sludge batch growth experiments in the presence of different adsorption capacities indicated that specific growth rate increased as specific adsorption capacity increased. The experiment on the relationship of adsorption capacity and substrate concentration or sludge concentration was also carried out. Specific adsorption capacity increased as sludge load increased, presenting linear correlation. The experiment results showed that adsorption should be taken into account in the study of the biological treatment process of wastewater.

  18. Bright versus dim ambient light affects subjective well-being but not serotonin-related biological factors.

    PubMed

    Stemer, Bettina; Melmer, Andreas; Fuchs, Dietmar; Ebenbichler, Christoph; Kemmler, Georg; Deisenhammer, Eberhard A

    2015-10-30

    Light falling on the retina is converted into an electrical signal which stimulates serotonin synthesis. Previous studies described an increase of plasma and CNS serotonin levels after bright light exposure. Ghrelin and leptin are peptide hormones which are involved in the regulation of hunger/satiety and are related to serotonin. Neopterin and kynurenine are immunological markers which are also linked to serotonin biosynthesis. In this study, 29 healthy male volunteers were exposed to bright (5000lx) and dim (50lx) light conditions for 120min in a cross-over manner. Subjective well-being and hunger as well as various serotonin associated plasma factors were assessed before and after light exposure. Subjective well-being showed a small increase under bright light and a small decrease under dim light, resulting in a significant interaction between light condition and time. Ghrelin concentrations increased significantly under both light conditions, but there was no interaction between light and time. Correspondingly, leptin decreased significantly under both light conditions. Hunger increased significantly with no light-time interaction. We also found a significant decrease of neopterin, tryptophan and tyrosine levels, but no interaction between light and time. In conclusion, ambient light was affecting subjective well-being rather than serotonin associated biological factors.

  19. A comparison of form processing involved in the perception of biological and nonbiological movements

    PubMed Central

    Thurman, Steven M.; Lu, Hongjing

    2016-01-01

    Although there is evidence for specialization in the human brain for processing biological motion per se, few studies have directly examined the specialization of form processing in biological motion perception. The current study was designed to systematically compare form processing in perception of biological (human walkers) to nonbiological (rotating squares) stimuli. Dynamic form-based stimuli were constructed with conflicting form cues (position and orientation), such that the objects were perceived to be moving ambiguously in two directions at once. In Experiment 1, we used the classification image technique to examine how local form cues are integrated across space and time in a bottom-up manner. By comparing with a Bayesian observer model that embodies generic principles of form analysis (e.g., template matching) and integrates form information according to cue reliability, we found that human observers employ domain-general processes to recognize both human actions and nonbiological object movements. Experiments 2 and 3 found differential top-down effects of spatial context on perception of biological and nonbiological forms. When a background does not involve social information, observers are biased to perceive foreground object movements in the direction opposite to surrounding motion. However, when a background involves social cues, such as a crowd of similar objects, perception is biased toward the same direction as the crowd for biological walking stimuli, but not for rotating nonbiological stimuli. The model provided an accurate account of top-down modulations by adjusting the prior probabilities associated with the internal templates, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the Bayesian approach for visual form perception. PMID:26746875

  20. A comparison of form processing involved in the perception of biological and nonbiological movements.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Steven M; Lu, Hongjing

    2016-01-01

    Although there is evidence for specialization in the human brain for processing biological motion per se, few studies have directly examined the specialization of form processing in biological motion perception. The current study was designed to systematically compare form processing in perception of biological (human walkers) to nonbiological (rotating squares) stimuli. Dynamic form-based stimuli were constructed with conflicting form cues (position and orientation), such that the objects were perceived to be moving ambiguously in two directions at once. In Experiment 1, we used the classification image technique to examine how local form cues are integrated across space and time in a bottom-up manner. By comparing with a Bayesian observer model that embodies generic principles of form analysis (e.g., template matching) and integrates form information according to cue reliability, we found that human observers employ domain-general processes to recognize both human actions and nonbiological object movements. Experiments 2 and 3 found differential top-down effects of spatial context on perception of biological and nonbiological forms. When a background does not involve social information, observers are biased to perceive foreground object movements in the direction opposite to surrounding motion. However, when a background involves social cues, such as a crowd of similar objects, perception is biased toward the same direction as the crowd for biological walking stimuli, but not for rotating nonbiological stimuli. The model provided an accurate account of top-down modulations by adjusting the prior probabilities associated with the internal templates, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the Bayesian approach for visual form perception. PMID:26746875

  1. Intrinsic colony conditions affect the provisioning and oviposition process in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

    PubMed

    Pereira, R A; Morais, M M; Nascimento, F S; Bego, L R

    2009-01-01

    The cell provisioning and oviposition process (POP) is a unique characteristic of stingless bees (Meliponini), in which coordinated interactions between workers and queen regulate the filling of brood cells with larval resources and subsequent egg laying. Environmental conditions seem to regulate reproduction in stingless bees; however, little is known about how the amount of food affects quantitative sequences of the process. We examined intrinsic variables by comparing three colonies in distinct conditions (strong, intermediate and weak state). We predicted that some of these variables are correlated with temporal events of POP in Melipona scutellaris colonies. The results demonstrated that the strong colony had shorter periods of POP.

  2. The effect of welding line heat-affected-zone on the formability of tube hydroforming process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ChiuHuang, Cheng-Kai; Hsu, Cheng-En; Lee, Ping-Kun

    2016-08-01

    Tube hydroforming has been used as a lightweight design approach to reduce CO2 emission for the automotive industry. For the high strength steel tube, the strength and quality of the welding line is very important for a successful tube hydroforming process. This paper aims to investigate the effect of the welding line's strength and the width of the heat-affected zone on the tube thinning during the hydroforming process. The simulation results show that both factors play an important role on the thickness distribution during the tube expansion.

  3. Intrinsic colony conditions affect the provisioning and oviposition process in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

    PubMed

    Pereira, R A; Morais, M M; Nascimento, F S; Bego, L R

    2009-01-01

    The cell provisioning and oviposition process (POP) is a unique characteristic of stingless bees (Meliponini), in which coordinated interactions between workers and queen regulate the filling of brood cells with larval resources and subsequent egg laying. Environmental conditions seem to regulate reproduction in stingless bees; however, little is known about how the amount of food affects quantitative sequences of the process. We examined intrinsic variables by comparing three colonies in distinct conditions (strong, intermediate and weak state). We predicted that some of these variables are correlated with temporal events of POP in Melipona scutellaris colonies. The results demonstrated that the strong colony had shorter periods of POP. PMID:19554772

  4. Water quality and processes affecting dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Blackwater River, Canaan Valley, West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waldron, M.C.; Wiley, J.B.

    1996-01-01

    The water quality and environmental processes affecting dissolved oxygen were determined for the Blackwater River in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Canaan Valley is oval-shaped (14 miles by 5 miles) and is located in the Allegheny Mountains at an average elevation of 3,200 feet above sea level. Tourism, population, and real estate development have increased in the past two decades. Most streams in Canaan Valley are a dilute calcium magnesium bicarbonate-type water. Streamwater typicaly was soft and low in alkalinity and dissolved solids. Maximum values for specific conductance, hardness, alkalinity, and dissolved solids occurred during low-flow periods when streamflow was at or near baseflow. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are most sensitive to processes affecting the rate of reaeration. The reaeration is affected by solubility (atmospheric pressure, water temperature, humidity, and cloud cover) and processes that determine stream turbulence (stream depth, width, velocity, and roughness). In the headwaters, photosynthetic dissolved oxygen production by benthic algae can result in supersaturated dissolved oxygen concentrations. In beaver pools, dissolved oxygen consumption from sediment oxygen demand and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand can result in dissolved oxygen deficits.

  5. Using Bayesian Nonparametric Hidden Semi-Markov Models to Disentangle Affect Processes during Marital Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, William A.; Li, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Sequential affect dynamics generated during the interaction of intimate dyads, such as married couples, are associated with a cascade of effects—some good and some bad—on each partner, close family members, and other social contacts. Although the effects are well documented, the probabilistic structures associated with micro-social processes connected to the varied outcomes remain enigmatic. Using extant data we developed a method of classifying and subsequently generating couple dynamics using a Hierarchical Dirichlet Process Hidden semi-Markov Model (HDP-HSMM). Our findings indicate that several key aspects of existing models of marital interaction are inadequate: affect state emissions and their durations, along with the expected variability differences between distressed and nondistressed couples are present but highly nuanced; and most surprisingly, heterogeneity among highly satisfied couples necessitate that they be divided into subgroups. We review how this unsupervised learning technique generates plausible dyadic sequences that are sensitive to relationship quality and provide a natural mechanism for computational models of behavioral and affective micro-social processes. PMID:27187319

  6. Using Bayesian Nonparametric Hidden Semi-Markov Models to Disentangle Affect Processes during Marital Interaction.

    PubMed

    Griffin, William A; Li, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Sequential affect dynamics generated during the interaction of intimate dyads, such as married couples, are associated with a cascade of effects-some good and some bad-on each partner, close family members, and other social contacts. Although the effects are well documented, the probabilistic structures associated with micro-social processes connected to the varied outcomes remain enigmatic. Using extant data we developed a method of classifying and subsequently generating couple dynamics using a Hierarchical Dirichlet Process Hidden semi-Markov Model (HDP-HSMM). Our findings indicate that several key aspects of existing models of marital interaction are inadequate: affect state emissions and their durations, along with the expected variability differences between distressed and nondistressed couples are present but highly nuanced; and most surprisingly, heterogeneity among highly satisfied couples necessitate that they be divided into subgroups. We review how this unsupervised learning technique generates plausible dyadic sequences that are sensitive to relationship quality and provide a natural mechanism for computational models of behavioral and affective micro-social processes. PMID:27187319

  7. The effects of physical environments in medical wards on medication communication processes affecting patient safety.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Manias, Elizabeth; Gerdtz, Marie

    2014-03-01

    Physical environments of clinical settings play an important role in health communication processes. Effective medication management requires seamless communication among health professionals of different disciplines. This paper explores how physical environments affect communication processes for managing medications and patient safety in acute care hospital settings. Findings highlighted the impact of environmental interruptions on communication processes about medications. In response to frequent interruptions and limited space within working environments, nurses, doctors and pharmacists developed adaptive practices in the local clinical context. Communication difficulties were associated with the ward physical layout, the controlled drug key and the medication retrieving device. Health professionals should be provided with opportunities to discuss the effects of ward environments on medication communication processes and how this impacts medication safety. Hospital administrators and architects need to consider health professionals' views and experiences when designing hospital spaces. PMID:24486620

  8. The effects of physical environments in medical wards on medication communication processes affecting patient safety.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Manias, Elizabeth; Gerdtz, Marie

    2014-03-01

    Physical environments of clinical settings play an important role in health communication processes. Effective medication management requires seamless communication among health professionals of different disciplines. This paper explores how physical environments affect communication processes for managing medications and patient safety in acute care hospital settings. Findings highlighted the impact of environmental interruptions on communication processes about medications. In response to frequent interruptions and limited space within working environments, nurses, doctors and pharmacists developed adaptive practices in the local clinical context. Communication difficulties were associated with the ward physical layout, the controlled drug key and the medication retrieving device. Health professionals should be provided with opportunities to discuss the effects of ward environments on medication communication processes and how this impacts medication safety. Hospital administrators and architects need to consider health professionals' views and experiences when designing hospital spaces.

  9. TMS affects moral judgment, showing the role of DLPFC and TPJ in cognitive and emotional processing.

    PubMed

    Jeurissen, Danique; Sack, Alexander T; Roebroeck, Alard; Russ, Brian E; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making involves a complex interplay of emotional responses and reasoning processes. In this study, we use TMS to explore the neurobiological substrates of moral decisions in humans. To examining the effects of TMS on the outcome of a moral-decision, we compare the decision outcome of moral-personal and moral-impersonal dilemmas to each other and examine the differential effects of applying TMS over the right DLPFC or right TPJ. In this comparison, we find that the TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during the decision process, affects the outcome of the moral-personal judgment, while TMS-induced disruption of TPJ affects only moral-impersonal conditions. In other words, we find a double-dissociation between DLPFC and TPJ in the outcome of a moral decision. Furthermore, we find that TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during non-moral, moral-impersonal, and moral-personal decisions lead to lower ratings of regret about the decision. Our results are in line with the dual-process theory and suggest a role for both the emotional response and cognitive reasoning process in moral judgment. Both the emotional and cognitive processes were shown to be involved in the decision outcome.

  10. Bio oil synthesis by coupling biological biomass pretreatment and catalytic hydroliquefaction process.

    PubMed

    Hamieh, S; Beauchet, R; Lemee, L; Toufaily, J; Koubaissy, B; Hamieh, T; Pouilloux, Y; Pinard, L

    2014-03-01

    The bio-oil synthesis from a mixture of wastes (7wt.% straw, 38wt.% wood, and 45wt.% grass) was carried out by direct liquefaction reaction using Raney Nickel as catalyst and tetralin as solvent. The green wastes were biologically degraded during 3 months. Longer the destructuration time; higher the yield into oil is. Biological pretreatment of green wastes promotes the liquefaction process. Among the components of degraded biomass, Humin, the major fraction (60-80wt.%) that was favored by the biological treatment, yields to a bio oil extremely energetic with a HHV close to biopetroleum (40MJ kg(-1)), contrariwise, Fulvic acids (2-12wt.%), the minor fraction is refractory to liquefaction reaction.

  11. [Biocenotic dynamics of liquid sewage in the process of its biological purification at aeration stations].

    PubMed

    Kalina, G P; Vinogradova, L A; Gipp, E K

    1975-08-01

    A study was made of biological purification of sewage at the aeration stations on the quantitative composition of the main indicator microbes--of bacteria of the coliform group and of the fecal coliform bacilli, enterococci, Proteus, and also pathogenic enterobacteria. There was found a difference in the behaviour of different species of Proteus, i.e. reduction in the process of purification in the numbers of Pr. mirabilis, and a sharp elevation of Pr. morganii content. There was noted an insignificant amount of Pr. vulgaris both before and after the biological purification. It was found that dynamics of biocenosis was influenced by air temperature at the time of collection of the samples. A possibility of reproduction of coliform bacilli serving as one of the factors of autopurification of sewage during the biological purification was confirmed.

  12. Strawberry processing does not affect the production and urinary excretion of urolithins, ellagic acid metabolites, in humans.

    PubMed

    Truchado, Pilar; Larrosa, Mar; García-Conesa, María Teresa; Cerdá, Begoña; Vidal-Guevara, María Luisa; Tomás-Barberán, Francisco A; Espín, Juan Carlos

    2012-06-13

    The study of fruit and vegetable processing and its effects on the levels of health-promoting constituents and their bioavailability and metabolism is very relevant to understanding the role of these constituents in human health. Strawberry polyphenols, and particularly ellagitannins and ellagic acid, have been associated with the health benefits of this berry for humans. These compounds are transformed into urolithins by the gut microbiota, and these metabolites exert several biological activities that could be responsible for the health effects of strawberries. Processing potentially increases the extraction of ellagitannins from the strawberry achenes and the release of ellagic acid from ellagitannins. It is of interest to evaluate the effect of processing on strawberry ellagitannin microbial metabolism compared with fresh strawberries. This study shows that no significant differences in the production and excretion of urolithins were found between the intake of fresh strawberries and that of a thermally processed strawberry puree containing the same amount of strawberries. Processing increases the amount of free ellagic acid 2.5-fold, but this had no effect on the transformation in urolithins by the gut microbiota or in the excretion of urolithin metabolites (urolithin glucuronides) in urine, showing that the release of ellagic acid from ellagitannins is not a relevant factor affecting the microbial metabolism. All of the volunteers produced urolithin A, but only 3 of 20 volunteers produced and excreted urolithin B. It is confirmed that some volunteers were efficient producers of urolithins, whereas other produced much lower amounts. These results show that processing does not modify the potential health effects of strawberry polyphenols.

  13. Optimization of a biological wastewater treatment process at a petrochemical plant using process simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, R.M.; Dold, P.L.; Baker, A.J.; Briggs, T.

    1996-12-31

    A research study was conducted on the activated sludge process treating the wastewater from a petrochemical manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The objective of the study was to improve the level of understanding of the process and to evaluate the use of model-based simulation tools as an aid in the optimization of the wastewater treatment facility. Models such as the IAWQ Activated Sludge Model No. 1 (ASM1) have previously been developed and applied to assist in designing new systems and to assist in the optimization of existing systems for the treatment of municipal wastewaters, However, due to significant differences between the characteristics of the petrochemical plant wastewater and municipal wastewaters, this study required the development of a mechanistic model specifically to describe the behavior of the activated sludge treatment of the petrochemical wastewater. This paper outlines the development of the mechanistic model and gives examples of how plant performance issues were investigated through process simulation.

  14. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder☆

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Rachel C.; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A.; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  15. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Leung, Rachel C; Pang, Elizabeth W; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2015-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  16. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Leung, Rachel C; Pang, Elizabeth W; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2015-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD.

  17. Functional identification of biological neural networks using reservoir adaptation for point processes.

    PubMed

    Gürel, Tayfun; Rotter, Stefan; Egert, Ulrich

    2010-08-01

    The complexity of biological neural networks does not allow to directly relate their biophysical properties to the dynamics of their electrical activity. We present a reservoir computing approach for functionally identifying a biological neural network, i.e. for building an artificial system that is functionally equivalent to the reference biological network. Employing feed-forward and recurrent networks with fading memory, i.e. reservoirs, we propose a point process based learning algorithm to train the internal parameters of the reservoir and the connectivity between the reservoir and the memoryless readout neurons. Specifically, the model is an Echo State Network (ESN) with leaky integrator neurons, whose individual leakage time constants are also adapted. The proposed ESN algorithm learns a predictive model of stimulus-response relations in in vitro and simulated networks, i.e. it models their response dynamics. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicates that these ESNs can imitate the response signal of a reference biological network. Reservoir adaptation improved the performance of an ESN over readout-only training methods in many cases. This also held for adaptive feed-forward reservoirs, which had no recurrent dynamics. We demonstrate the predictive power of these ESNs on various tasks with cultured and simulated biological neural networks.

  18. Biological Production in Lakes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, R. A.; Carey, G. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is carried out by phytoplankton, microscopic plants…

  19. Heterogeneous processes at the intersection of chemistry and biology: A computational approach

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, I W; Mundy, C J

    2008-02-11

    Heterogeneous processes hold the key to understanding many problems in biology and atmospheric science. In particular, recent experiments have shown that heterogeneous chemistry at the surface of sea-salt aerosols plays a large role in important atmospheric processes with far reaching implications towards understanding of the fate and transport of aerosolized chemical weapons (i.e. organophosphates such as sarin and VX). Unfortunately, the precise mechanistic details of the simplest surface enhanced chemical reactions remain unknown. Understanding heterogeneous processes also has implications in the biological sciences. Traditionally, it is accepted that enzymes catalyze reactions by stabilizing the transition state, thereby lowering the free energy barrier. However, recent findings have shown that a multitude of phenomena likely contribute to the efficiency of enzymes, such as coupled protein motion, quantum mechanical tunneling, or strong electrostatic binding. The objective of this project was to develop and validate a single computational framework based on first principles simulations using tera-scale computational resources to answer fundamental scientific questions about heterogeneous chemical processes relevant to atmospheric chemistry and biological sciences.

  20. Application of a solar UV/chlorine advanced oxidation process to oil sands process-affected water remediation.

    PubMed

    Shu, Zengquan; Li, Chao; Belosevic, Miodrag; Bolton, James R; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2014-08-19

    The solar UV/chlorine process has emerged as a novel advanced oxidation process for industrial and municipal wastewaters. Currently, its practical application to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) remediation has been studied to treat fresh OSPW retained in large tailings ponds, which can cause significant adverse environmental impacts on ground and surface waters in Northern Alberta, Canada. Degradation of naphthenic acids (NAs) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW was investigated. In a laboratory-scale UV/chlorine treatment, the NAs degradation was clearly structure-dependent and hydroxyl radical-based. In terms of the NAs degradation rate, the raw OSPW (pH ∼ 8.3) rates were higher than those at an alkaline condition (pH = 10). Under actual sunlight, direct solar photolysis partially degraded fluorophore organic compounds, as indicated by the qualitative synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) of the OSPW, but did not impact NAs degradation. The solar/chlorine process effectively removed NAs (75-84% removal) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW in the presence of 200 or 300 mg L(-1) OCl(-). The acute toxicity of OSPW toward Vibrio fischeri was reduced after the solar/chlorine treatment. However, the OSPW toxicity toward goldfish primary kidney macrophages after solar/chlorine treatment showed no obvious toxicity reduction versus that of untreated OSPW, which warrants further study for process optimization.

  1. Absence of magnetic isotope fractionation for Hg during dark biological processes: experimental evidence and theoretical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kritee, K.; Barkay, T.; Blum, J. D.

    2008-12-01

    The complex biogeochemistry and toxicity of Hg compounds warrants the search for new strategies that could be used to decipher the relative importance of its multiple abiotic and microbial transformations in ecosystems. In this regard, the emerging mercury isotope systematics is showing tremendous potential. We have studied the extent of fractionation of Hg stable isotopes during 1) degradation of MMHg and 2) Hg(II) reduction by multiple Hg(II) reducing strains, and irrespective of the extent of mass dependent fractionation (MDF) we did not observe any mass independent fractionation (MIF) of Hg isotopes. On the other hand, photo-chemical degradation of MMHg and reduction of Hg(II) cause a very high extent of MIF (Bergquist and Blum, 2007). Because there are many more unexamined microbial processes that influence Hg cycling in addition to the microbial transformations examined experimentally, and because some of these (e.g., oxidative degradation of MMHg) are not amenable to pure culture studies, a crucial question facing Hg biogeochemists is "Can microbial/biological processes cause MIF or are MIF signatures unique to photo- chemical transformations?" Based on the high spin orbit coupling in Hg compounds, the low likelihood of suppression of spin orbit coupling during dark biological processes, and the nature of known enzyme-Hg and microbe-Hg interactions, we suggest that the nuclear spin dependent MIF is unlikely to occur during dark biological processes. Because of the important implications of the absence of MIF during biological processes on Hg isotope systematics, we will also discuss experimental strategies that could be used to confirm this suggestion (Kritee et al., 2008). Bergquist B. A. and Blum J. D. (2007) Mass-dependent and mass-independent fractionation of Hg isotopes by photo-reduction in aquatic systems. Science 318(5849), 417-420. Kritee K., Barkay T., and Blum J. D. (2008) Mass dependent mercury stable isotope fractionation during microbial

  2. Study of major factors to affect photoresist profile on developable bottom anti-reflective coating process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roh, Hyo Jung; Ju, Dong Kyu; Kim, Hyun Jin; Kim, Jaehyun

    2011-04-01

    As critical dimensions continue to shrink in lithography, new materials will be needed to meet the new demands imposed by this shrinkage. Recently, there are needs for novel materials with various substrates and immersing process, including double patterning process, a high resolution implant process, and so on. Among such materials, Developable Bottom Anti-reflective Coating material (DBARC) is a good candidate for high resolution implant application as well as double patterning. DBARC should have reflectivity control function as an ordinary BARC, as well as an appropriate solubility in TMAH-based conventional developer after exposure and bake process. The most distinguished advantage of DBARC is to skip BARC etch process that is required in normal BARC process. In spite of this advantage, the photoresist profile on DBARC could be influenced by components and process conditions of DBARC. Several groups have tried to solve this issue to implement DBARC to new process. We have studied material-related factors affecting photoresist profiles, such as a polymer, photo-acid generators (PAGs), and additives. And we explored the effect of process condition for photoresist and DBARC. In case of polymer, we studied the effect of dissolution rate in developer and crosslinking functionality. For PAGs and additives, the effect of acid diffusivity and cross-linking degree according to their bulkiness were examined. We also evaluated coated film stability in a photoresist solvent after BARC bake process and compared lithographic performance of various DBARC formulations. In addition, the effect of photoresist profile with bake condition of photoresist and DBARC were investigated. In this paper, we will demonstrate the most influential factors of DBARC to photoresist profile and suggest the optimum formulation and process condition for DBARC application.

  3. Group processing in an undergraduate biology course for preservice teachers: Experiences and attitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schellenberger, Lauren Brownback

    Group processing is a key principle of cooperative learning in which small groups discuss their strengths and weaknesses and set group goals or norms. However, group processing has not been well-studied at the post-secondary level or from a qualitative or mixed methods perspective. This mixed methods study uses a phenomenological framework to examine the experience of group processing for students in an undergraduate biology course for preservice teachers. The effect of group processing on students' attitudes toward future group work and group processing is also examined. Additionally, this research investigated preservice teachers' plans for incorporating group processing into future lessons. Students primarily experienced group processing as a time to reflect on past performance. Also, students experienced group processing as a time to increase communication among group members and become motivated for future group assignments. Three factors directly influenced students' experiences with group processing: (1) previous experience with group work, (2) instructor interaction, and (3) gender. Survey data indicated that group processing had a slight positive effect on students' attitudes toward future group work and group processing. Participants who were interviewed felt that group processing was an important part of group work and that it had increased their group's effectiveness as well as their ability to work effectively with other people. Participants held positive views on group work prior to engaging in group processing, and group processing did not alter their atittude toward group work. Preservice teachers who were interviewed planned to use group work and a modified group processing protocol in their future classrooms. They also felt that group processing had prepared them for their future professions by modeling effective collaboration and group skills. Based on this research, a new model for group processing has been created which includes extensive

  4. Understanding the granulation process of activated sludge in a biological phosphorus removal sequencing batch reactor.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chang-Yong; Peng, Yong-Zhen; Wang, Ran-Deng; Zhou, Yue-Xi

    2012-02-01

    The granulation of activated sludge was investigated using two parallel sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) operated in biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal conditions though the reactor configuration and operating parameters did not favor the granulation. Granules were not observed when the SBR was operated in biological nitrogen removal period for 30d. However, aerobic granules were formed naturally without the increase of aeration intensity when enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) was achieved. It can be detected that plenty of positive charged particles were formed with the release of phosphorus during the anaerobic period of EBPR. The size of the particles was about 5-20 μm and their highest positive ζ potential was about 73 mV. These positive charged particles can stimulate the granulation. Based on the experimental results, a hypothesis was proposed to interpret the granulation process of activated sludge in the EBPR process in SBR. Dense and compact subgranules were formed stimulated by the positive charged particles. The subgranules grew gradually by collision, adhesion and attached growth of bacteria. Finally, the extrusion and shear of hydrodynamic shear force would help the maturation of granules. Aerobic granular SBR showed excellent biological phosphorus removal ability. The average phosphorus removal efficiency was over 95% and the phosphorus in the effluent was below 0.50 mg L(-1) during the operation.

  5. Biologically inspired large scale chemical sensor arrays and embedded data processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco, S.; Gutiérrez-Gálvez, A.; Lansner, A.; Martinez, D.; Rospars, J. P.; Beccherelli, R.; Perera, A.; Pearce, T.; Vershure, P.; Persaud, K.

    2013-05-01

    Biological olfaction outperforms chemical instrumentation in specificity, response time, detection limit, coding capacity, time stability, robustness, size, power consumption, and portability. This biological function provides outstanding performance due, to a large extent, to the unique architecture of the olfactory pathway, which combines a high degree of redundancy, an efficient combinatorial coding along with unmatched chemical information processing mechanisms. The last decade has witnessed important advances in the understanding of the computational primitives underlying the functioning of the olfactory system. EU Funded Project NEUROCHEM (Bio-ICT-FET- 216916) has developed novel computing paradigms and biologically motivated artefacts for chemical sensing taking inspiration from the biological olfactory pathway. To demonstrate this approach, a biomimetic demonstrator has been built featuring a large scale sensor array (65K elements) in conducting polymer technology mimicking the olfactory receptor neuron layer, and abstracted biomimetic algorithms have been implemented in an embedded system that interfaces the chemical sensors. The embedded system integrates computational models of the main anatomic building blocks in the olfactory pathway: the olfactory bulb, and olfactory cortex in vertebrates (alternatively, antennal lobe and mushroom bodies in the insect). For implementation in the embedded processor an abstraction phase has been carried out in which their processing capabilities are captured by algorithmic solutions. Finally, the algorithmic models are tested with an odour robot with navigation capabilities in mixed chemical plumes

  6. Environmental changes affect the assembly of soil bacterial community primarily by mediating stochastic processes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Johnston, Eric R; Liu, Wei; Li, Linghao; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-01

    Both 'species fitness difference'-based deterministic processes, such as competitive exclusion and environmental filtering, and 'species fitness difference'-independent stochastic processes, such as birth/death and dispersal/colonization, can influence the assembly of soil microbial communities. However, how both types of processes are mediated by anthropogenic environmental changes has rarely been explored. Here we report a novel and general pattern that almost all anthropogenic environmental changes that took place in a grassland ecosystem affected soil bacterial community assembly primarily through promoting or restraining stochastic processes. We performed four experiments mimicking 16 types of environmental changes and separated the compositional variation of soil bacterial communities caused by each environmental change into deterministic and stochastic components, with a recently developed method. Briefly, because the difference between control and treatment communities is primarily caused by deterministic processes, the deterministic change was quantified as (mean compositional variation between treatment and control) - (mean compositional variation within control). The difference among replicate treatment communities is primarily caused by stochastic processes, so the stochastic change was estimated as (mean compositional variation within treatment) - (mean compositional variation within control). The absolute of the stochastic change was greater than that of the deterministic change across almost all environmental changes, which was robust for both taxonomic and functional-based criterion. Although the deterministic change may become more important as environmental changes last longer, our findings showed that changes usually occurred through mediating stochastic processes over 5 years, challenging the traditional determinism-dominated view.

  7. In vivo disruption of Xenopus U3 snRNA affects ribosomal RNA processing.

    PubMed Central

    Savino, R; Gerbi, S A

    1990-01-01

    DNA oligonucleotide complementary to sequences in the 5' third of U3 snRNA were injected into Xenopus oocyte nuclei to disrupt endogenous U3 snRNA. The effect of this treatment on rRNA processing was examined. We found that some toads have a single rRNA processing pathway, whereas in other toads, two rRNA processing pathways can coexist in a single oocyte. U3 snRNA disruption in toads with the single rRNA processing pathway caused a reduction in 20S and '32S' pre-rRNA. In addition, in toads with two rRNA processing pathways, an increase in '36S' pre-rRNA of the second pathway is observed. This is the first in vivo demonstration that U3 snRNA plays a role in rRNA processing. Cleavage site #3 is at the boundary of ITS 1 and 5.8S and links all of the affected rRNA intermediates: 20S and '32S' are the products of site #3 cleavage in the first pathway and '36S' is the substrate for cleavage at site #3 in the second pathway. We postulate that U3 snRNP folds pre-rRNA into a conformation dictating correct cleavage at processing site #3. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. PMID:2357971

  8. Role of transportation in the persuasion process: cognitive and affective responses to antidrug narratives.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Smita C; Greene, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    This study examined transportation effects of first- and third-person narratives as well as the role of transportation in the persuasion process. In particular, the authors evaluated the role of transportation in affecting cognitive and affective responses. Last, they addressed the relation between (a) cognitive and affective responses and (b) antidrug expectancies. Participants were 500 undergraduate students at a large northern university in the United Kingdom who were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: first- or third-person narratives on cocaine use. The results demonstrated that there was no difference between first- and third-person narratives in terms of transportation. However, overall, greater transportation was associated with more favorable cognitive responses, and more favorable cognitive response was associated with stronger anticocaine expectancies. In terms of affective responses, results indicated the mediating role of sadness and contentment in the association between transportation and anticocaine expectancies. In particular, increased transportation was associated with greater sadness and lower contentment. Lower sadness and contentment were associated with stronger anticocaine expectancies. Important theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

  9. The power of emotional valence—from cognitive to affective processes in reading

    PubMed Central

    Altmann, Ulrike; Bohrn, Isabel C.; Lubrich, Oliver; Menninghaus, Winfried; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2012-01-01

    The comprehension of stories requires the reader to imagine the cognitive and affective states of the characters. The content of many stories is unpleasant, as they often deal with conflict, disturbance or crisis. Nevertheless, unpleasant stories can be liked and enjoyed. In this fMRI study, we used a parametric approach to examine (1) the capacity of increasing negative valence of story contents to activate the mentalizing network (cognitive and affective theory of mind, ToM), and (2) the neural substrate of liking negatively valenced narratives. A set of 80 short narratives was compiled, ranging from neutral to negative emotional valence. For each story mean rating values on valence and liking were obtained from a group of 32 participants in a prestudy, and later included as parametric regressors in the fMRI analysis. Another group of 24 participants passively read the narratives in a three Tesla MRI scanner. Results revealed a stronger engagement of affective ToM-related brain areas with increasingly negative story valence. Stories that were unpleasant, but simultaneously liked, engaged the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which might reflect the moral exploration of the story content. Further analysis showed that the more the mPFC becomes engaged during the reading of negatively valenced stories, the more coactivation can be observed in other brain areas related to the neural processing of affective ToM and empathy. PMID:22754519

  10. The mental health of children affected by armed conflict: protective processes and pathways to resilience.

    PubMed

    Betancourt, Theresa Stichick; Khan, Kashif Tanveer

    2008-06-01

    This paper examines the concept of resilience in the context of children affected by armed conflict. Resilience has been frequently viewed as a unique quality of certain 'invulnerable' children. In contrast, this paper argues that a number of protective processes contribute to resilient mental health outcomes in children when considered through the lens of the child's social ecology. While available research has made important contributions to understanding risk factors for negative mental health consequences of war-related violence and loss, the focus on trauma alone has resulted in inadequate attention to factors associated with resilient mental health outcomes. This paper presents key studies in the literature that address the interplay between risk and protective processes in the mental health of war-affected children from an ecological, developmental perspective. It suggests that further research on war-affected children should pay particular attention to coping and meaning making at the individual level; the role of attachment relationships, caregiver health, resources and connection in the family, and social support available in peer and extended social networks. Cultural and community influences such as attitudes towards mental health and healing as well as the meaning given to the experience of war itself are also important aspects of the larger social ecology.

  11. The mental health of children affected by armed conflict: protective processes and pathways to resilience.

    PubMed

    Betancourt, Theresa Stichick; Khan, Kashif Tanveer

    2008-06-01

    This paper examines the concept of resilience in the context of children affected by armed conflict. Resilience has been frequently viewed as a unique quality of certain 'invulnerable' children. In contrast, this paper argues that a number of protective processes contribute to resilient mental health outcomes in children when considered through the lens of the child's social ecology. While available research has made important contributions to understanding risk factors for negative mental health consequences of war-related violence and loss, the focus on trauma alone has resulted in inadequate attention to factors associated with resilient mental health outcomes. This paper presents key studies in the literature that address the interplay between risk and protective processes in the mental health of war-affected children from an ecological, developmental perspective. It suggests that further research on war-affected children should pay particular attention to coping and meaning making at the individual level; the role of attachment relationships, caregiver health, resources and connection in the family, and social support available in peer and extended social networks. Cultural and community influences such as attitudes towards mental health and healing as well as the meaning given to the experience of war itself are also important aspects of the larger social ecology. PMID:18569183

  12. Application of ultrasound processed images in space: Quanitative assessment of diffuse affectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. Warming and increased precipitation frequency on the Colorado Plateau: implications for biological soil crusts and soil processes

    SciTech Connect

    Zelikova, Tamara J.; Housman, David C.; Grote, Ed E.; Neher, Deborah A.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-20

    Changes in temperature and precipitation are expected to influence ecosystem processes worldwide. Despite their globally large extent, few studies to date have examined the effects of climate change in desert ecosystems, where biological soil crusts are key nutrient cycling components. The goal of this work was to assess how increased temperature and frequency of summertime precipitation affect the contributions of crust organisms to soil processes. With a combination of experimental 2°C warming and altered summer precipitation frequency applied over 2 years, we measured soil nutrient cycling and the structure and function of crust communities. We saw no change in crust cover, composition, or other measures of crust function in response to 2°C warming and no effects on any measure of soil chemistry. In contrast, crust cover and function responded to increased frequency of summer precipitation, shifting from moss to cyanobacteria-dominated crusts; however, in the short timeframe we measured, there was no accompanying change in soil chemistry. Total bacterial and fungal biomass was also reduced in watered plots, while the activity of two enzymes increased, indicating a functional change in the microbial community. Taken together, our results highlight the limited effects of warming alone on biological soil crust communities and soil chemistry, but demonstrate the substantially larger effects of altered summertime precipitation.

  14. Inserting spaces before and after words affects word processing differently in Chinese: Evidence from eye movements.

    PubMed

    Liu, Pingping; Li, Xingshan

    2014-02-01

    Unlike in English, there are no spaces between printed words in Chinese. In this study, we explored how inserting a space before or after a word affects the processing of that word in Chinese reading. Native Chinese readers' eye movements were monitored as they read sentences with different presentation conditions. The results show that inserting a space after a word facilitates its processing, but inserting a space before a word does not show this effect and inhibits the processing of that word in some cases. Our results are consistent with the prediction of a word segmentation and recognition model in Chinese Li et al., 2009, Cognit. Psychol., 58, 525. Additionally, we found that a space guides the initial landing position on the word: the initial landing position was further away from the space that inserted into the text, whether it was before or after a word.

  15. The association between chronic exposure to video game violence and affective picture processing: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Kira; West, Robert; Anderson, Craig A

    2011-06-01

    Exposure to video game violence (VGV) is known to result in desensitization to violent material and may alter the processing of positive emotion related to facial expressions. The present study was designed to address three questions: (1) Does the association between VGV and positive emotion extend to stimuli other than faces, (2) is the association between VGV and affective picture processing observed with a single presentation of the stimuli, and (3) is the association between VGV and the response to violent stimuli sensitive to the relevance of emotion for task performance? The data revealed that transient modulations of the event-related potentials (ERPs) related to attentional orienting and sustained modulations of the ERPs related to evaluative processing were sensitive to VGV exposure.

  16. The association between chronic exposure to video game violence and affective picture processing: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Kira; West, Robert; Anderson, Craig A

    2011-06-01

    Exposure to video game violence (VGV) is known to result in desensitization to violent material and may alter the processing of positive emotion related to facial expressions. The present study was designed to address three questions: (1) Does the association between VGV and positive emotion extend to stimuli other than faces, (2) is the association between VGV and affective picture processing observed with a single presentation of the stimuli, and (3) is the association between VGV and the response to violent stimuli sensitive to the relevance of emotion for task performance? The data revealed that transient modulations of the event-related potentials (ERPs) related to attentional orienting and sustained modulations of the ERPs related to evaluative processing were sensitive to VGV exposure. PMID:21461985

  17. Marketing the use of the space environment for the processing of biological and pharmaceutical materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The perceptions of U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies concerning the potential use of the space environment for the processing of biological substances was examined. Physical phenomena that may be important in space-base processing of biological materials are identified and discussed in the context of past and current experiment programs. The capabilities of NASA to support future research and development, and to engage in cooperative risk sharing programs with industry are discussed. Meetings were held with several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to provide data for an analysis of the attitudes and perceptions of these industries toward the use of the space environment. Recommendations are made for actions that might be taken by NASA to facilitate the marketing of the use of the space environment, and in particular the Space Shuttle, to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

  18. Laser apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells

    DOEpatents

    Gourley, P.L.; Gourley, M.F.

    1997-03-04

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells. The apparatus comprises a laser having an analysis region within the laser cavity for containing one or more biological cells to be analyzed. The presence of a cell within the analysis region in superposition with an activated portion of a gain medium of the laser acts to encode information about the cell upon the laser beam, the cell information being recoverable by an analysis means that preferably includes an array photodetector such as a CCD camera and a spectrometer. The apparatus and method may be used to analyze biomedical cells including blood cells and the like, and may include processing means for manipulating, sorting, or eradicating cells after analysis. 20 figs.

  19. Laser apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells

    DOEpatents

    Gourley, Paul L.; Gourley, Mark F.

    1997-01-01

    An apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells. The apparatus comprises a laser having an analysis region within the laser cavity for containing one or more biological cells to be analyzed. The presence of a cell within the analysis region in superposition with an activated portion of a gain medium of the laser acts to encode information about the cell upon the laser beam, the cell information being recoverable by an analysis means that preferably includes an array photodetector such as a CCD camera and a spectrometer. The apparatus and method may be used to analyze biomedical cells including blood cells and the like, and may include processing means for manipulating, sorting, or eradicating cells after analysis thereof.

  20. Hoogsteen base-pairing revisited: Resolving a role in normal biological processes and human diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Ghosal, Gargi; Muniyappa, K. . E-mail: kmbc@biochem.iisc.ernet.in

    2006-04-28

    For a long time since the discovery of an alternative type of hydrogen bonding between adenine and thymidine, termed Hoogsteen base-pairing, its biological role remained elusive. Recent experiments provide compelling evidence that Hoogsteen base pairs manifest in a gamut of nuclear processes encompassing gene expression, replication, recombination, and telomere length maintenance. An increasing number of proteins that have been shown to bind, unwind or cleave G-quadruplexes or triplexes with high specificity underscore their biological significance. In humans, the absence of these cellular factors or their dysfunction leads to a wide spectrum of genetic diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative syndromes, and a myriad of other disorders. Thus, development of clinically useful compounds that target G-quadruplexes or triplexes, and interfere with specific cellular processes, provides considerable promise for successful and improved treatment of human diseases.

  1. HRI catalytic two-stage liquefaction (CTSL) process materials: chemical analysis and biological testing

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, C.W.; Later, D.W.

    1985-12-01

    This report presents data from the chemical analysis and biological testing of coal liquefaction materials obtained from the Hydrocarbon Research, Incorporated (HRI) catalytic two-stage liquefaction (CTSL) process. Materials from both an experimental run and a 25-day demonstration run were analyzed. Chemical methods of analysis included adsorption column chromatography, high-resolution gas chromatography, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, low-voltage probe-inlet mass spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The biological activity was evaluated using the standard microbial mutagenicity assay and an initiation/promotion assay for mouse-skin tumorigenicity. Where applicable, the results obtained from the analyses of the CTSL materials have been compared to those obtained from the integrated and nonintegrated two-stage coal liquefaction processes. 18 refs., 26 figs., 22 tabs.

  2. Sensory processing sensitivity: a review in the light of the evolution of biological responsivity.

    PubMed

    Aron, Elaine N; Aron, Arthur; Jagiellowicz, Jadzia

    2012-08-01

    This article reviews the literature on sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) in light of growing evidence from evolutionary biology that many personality differences in nonhuman species involve being more or less responsive, reactive, flexible, or sensitive to the environment. After briefly defining SPS, it first discusses how biologists studying animal personality have conceptualized this general environmental sensitivity. Second, it reviews relevant previous human personality/temperament work, focusing on crossover interactions (where a trait generates positive or negative outcomes depending on the environment), and traits relevant to specific hypothesized aspects of SPS: inhibition of behavior, sensitivity to stimuli, depth of processing, and emotional/physiological reactivity. Third, it reviews support for the overall SPS model, focusing on development of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Scale as a measure of SPS then on neuroimaging and genetic studies using the scale, all of which bears on the extent to which SPS in humans corresponds to biological responsivity.

  3. Biological treatment of fish processing wastewater: A case study from Sfax City (Southeastern Tunisia).

    PubMed

    Jemli, Meryem; Karray, Fatma; Feki, Firas; Loukil, Slim; Mhiri, Najla; Aloui, Fathi; Sayadi, Sami

    2015-04-01

    The present work presents a study of the biological treatment of fish processing wastewater at salt concentration of 55 g/L. Wastewater was treated by both continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) during 50 and 100 days, respectively. These biological processes involved salt-tolerant bacteria from natural hypersaline environments at different organic loading rates (OLRs). The phylogenetic analysis of the corresponding excised DGGE bands has demonstrated that the taxonomic affiliation of the most dominant species includes Halomonadaceae and Flavobacteriaceae families of the Proteobacteria (Gamma-proteobacteria class) and the Bacteroidetes phyla, respectively. The results of MBR were better than those of CSTR in the removal of total organic carbon with efficiencies from 97.9% to 98.6%. Nevertheless, salinity with increasing OLR aggravates fouling that requires more cleaning for a membrane in MBR while leads to deterioration of sludge settleability and effluent quality in CSTR.

  4. Perceiving emotions in neutral faces: expression processing is biased by affective person knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Rabovsky, Milena; Abdel Rahman, Rasha

    2015-01-01

    According to a widely held view, basic emotions such as happiness or anger are reflected in facial expressions that are invariant and uniquely defined by specific facial muscle movements. Accordingly, expression perception should not be vulnerable to influences outside the face. Here, we test this assumption by manipulating the emotional valence of biographical knowledge associated with individual persons. Faces of well-known and initially unfamiliar persons displaying neutral expressions were associated with socially relevant negative, positive or comparatively neutral biographical information. The expressions of faces associated with negative information were classified as more negative than faces associated with neutral information. Event-related brain potential modulations in the early posterior negativity, a component taken to reflect early sensory processing of affective stimuli such as emotional facial expressions, suggest that negative affective knowledge can bias the perception of faces with neutral expressions toward subjectively displaying negative emotions. PMID:24948155

  5. Reduction of Biological Sludge Production Applying an Alternating Oxic/anoxic Process in Water Line.

    PubMed

    Eusebi, Anna Laura; Panigutti, Maximiliano; Battistoni, Paolo

    2016-06-01

    Alternating oxic/anoxic process, applied for the main objective of the improvement of nitrogen performances, was studied in terms of secondary effect of biomass reduction. The process was carried out in one real water resource recovery facility and the data were compared with the previous conventional period when a conventional process was adopted. The main mechanism of the process for the sludge minimization is recognized in the metabolic uncoupling. In fact, an increase of the specific oxygen uptake rate in the biological reactor was recorded stimulated by the change of the oxidation reduction potential environment. Moreover, the heterotrophic growth yield was measured equal to 0.385 kgVSS/kgCOD. The global percentage of reduction was tested with the mass balance of solids. The process is able to decrease the observed sludge yield up to 20%. The specific energy consumption was evaluated. PMID:27225780

  6. Reduction of Biological Sludge Production Applying an Alternating Oxic/anoxic Process in Water Line.

    PubMed

    Eusebi, Anna Laura; Panigutti, Maximiliano; Battistoni, Paolo

    2016-06-01

    Alternating oxic/anoxic process, applied for the main objective of the improvement of nitrogen performances, was studied in terms of secondary effect of biomass reduction. The process was carried out in one real water resource recovery facility and the data were compared with the previous conventional period when a conventional process was adopted. The main mechanism of the process for the sludge minimization is recognized in the metabolic uncoupling. In fact, an increase of the specific oxygen uptake rate in the biological reactor was recorded stimulated by the change of the oxidation reduction potential environment. Moreover, the heterotrophic growth yield was measured equal to 0.385 kgVSS/kgCOD. The global percentage of reduction was tested with the mass balance of solids. The process is able to decrease the observed sludge yield up to 20%. The specific energy consumption was evaluated.

  7. Plasma of Argon Affects the Earliest Biological Response of Different Implant Surfaces: An In Vitro Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    Canullo, L; Genova, T; Tallarico, M; Gautier, G; Mussano, F; Botticelli, D

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the early cell response and protein adsorption elicited by the argon plasma treatment of different commercially available titanium surfaces via a chair-side device. Sterile disks made of grade 4 titanium (n= 450, 4-mm diameter) with 3 surface topographies (machined, plasma sprayed, and zirconia blasted and acid etched) were allocated to receive 4 testing treatments (2% and 10% protein adsorption and cell adhesion with MC3T3-E1 and MG-63). Furthermore, the specimens were divided to undergo 1) argon plasma treatment (10 W, 1 bar for 12 min) in a plasma reactor, 2) ultraviolet (UV) light treatment for 2 h (positive control group), or 3) no treatment (control group). Pretreatment surface analyses based on a scanning electron microscope and profilometer images were also performed. Profilometric analysis demonstrated that the evaluated specimens perfectly suit the standard parameters. The use of argon plasma was capable of affecting the quantity of proteins adsorbed on the different surfaces, notwithstanding their roughness or topographic features at a low fetal bovine serum concentration (2%). UV light treatment for 2 h attained similar results. Moreover, both the plasma of argon and the UV light demonstrated a significant increase in the number of osteoblasts adherent at 10 min in all tested surfaces. Within its limitations, this in vitro study highlights the potential biological benefits of treating implant surfaces with plasma of argon or UV, irrespective of the roughness of the titanium surface. However, in vivo experiments are needed to confirm these preliminary data and settle the rationale of a treatment that might be clinically relevant in case of bone-reparative deficiencies.

  8. Plasma of Argon Affects the Earliest Biological Response of Different Implant Surfaces: An In Vitro Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    Canullo, L; Genova, T; Tallarico, M; Gautier, G; Mussano, F; Botticelli, D

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the early cell response and protein adsorption elicited by the argon plasma treatment of different commercially available titanium surfaces via a chair-side device. Sterile disks made of grade 4 titanium (n= 450, 4-mm diameter) with 3 surface topographies (machined, plasma sprayed, and zirconia blasted and acid etched) were allocated to receive 4 testing treatments (2% and 10% protein adsorption and cell adhesion with MC3T3-E1 and MG-63). Furthermore, the specimens were divided to undergo 1) argon plasma treatment (10 W, 1 bar for 12 min) in a plasma reactor, 2) ultraviolet (UV) light treatment for 2 h (positive control group), or 3) no treatment (control group). Pretreatment surface analyses based on a scanning electron microscope and profilometer images were also performed. Profilometric analysis demonstrated that the evaluated specimens perfectly suit the standard parameters. The use of argon plasma was capable of affecting the quantity of proteins adsorbed on the different surfaces, notwithstanding their roughness or topographic features at a low fetal bovine serum concentration (2%). UV light treatment for 2 h attained similar results. Moreover, both the plasma of argon and the UV light demonstrated a significant increase in the number of osteoblasts adherent at 10 min in all tested surfaces. Within its limitations, this in vitro study highlights the potential biological benefits of treating implant surfaces with plasma of argon or UV, irrespective of the roughness of the titanium surface. However, in vivo experiments are needed to confirm these preliminary data and settle the rationale of a treatment that might be clinically relevant in case of bone-reparative deficiencies. PMID:26848069

  9. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information.

    PubMed

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task), and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person's visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal) applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants' tendency to adopt another's point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males' responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another's viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing. PMID:25951227

  10. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-06-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3–25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension.

  11. Theta phase coherence in affective picture processing reveals dysfunctional sensory integration in psychopathic offenders.

    PubMed

    Tillem, Scott; Ryan, Jonathan; Wu, Jia; Crowley, Michael J; Mayes, Linda C; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle

    2016-09-01

    Psychopathic offenders are described as emotionally cold, displaying deficits in affective responding. However, research demonstrates that many of the psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by attention, such that under conditions of high attentional and perceptual load psychopathic offenders display deficits in affective responses, but do not in conditions of low load. To date, most studies use measures of defensive reflex (i.e., startle) and conditioning manipulations to examine the impact of load on psychopathy-related processing, but have not examined more direct measures of attention processing. In a sample of adult male offenders, the present study examined time-frequency EEG phase coherence in response to a picture-viewing paradigm that manipulated picture familiarity to assess neural changes in processing based on perceptual demands. Results indicated psychopathy-related differences in the theta response, an index of readiness to perceive and integrate sensory information. These data provide further evidence that psychopathic offenders have disrupted integration of sensory information. PMID:27373371

  12. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-06-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3-25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension.

  13. Embodied simulation as part of affective evaluation processes: task dependence of valence concordant EMG activity.

    PubMed

    Weinreich, André; Funcke, Jakob Maria

    2014-01-01

    Drawing on recent findings, this study examines whether valence concordant electromyography (EMG) responses can be explained as an unconditional effect of mere stimulus processing or as somatosensory simulation driven by task-dependent processing strategies. While facial EMG over the Corrugator supercilii and the Zygomaticus major was measured, each participant performed two tasks with pictures of album covers. One task was an affective evaluation task and the other was to attribute the album covers to one of five decades. The Embodied Emotion Account predicts that valence concordant EMG is more likely to occur if the task necessitates a somatosensory simulation of the evaluative meaning of stimuli. Results support this prediction with regard to Corrugator supercilii in that valence concordant EMG activity was only present in the affective evaluation task but not in the non-evaluative task. Results for the Zygomaticus major were ambiguous. Our findings are in line with the view that EMG activity is an embodied part of the evaluation process and not a mere physical outcome.

  14. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information.

    PubMed

    Valenza, G; Greco, A; Citi, L; Bianchi, M; Barbieri, R; Scilingo, E P

    2016-01-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3-25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension. PMID:27357966

  15. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    PubMed Central

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-01-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3–25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension. PMID:27357966

  16. Spatiotemporal dynamics of affective picture processing revealed by intracranial high-gamma modulations.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Olivier; D'Hondt, Fabien; Tremblay, Julie; Lepore, Franco; Lassonde, Maryse; Vannasing, Phetsamone; Bouthillier, Alain; Nguyen, Dang Khoa

    2015-01-01

    Our comprehension of the neural mechanisms underlying emotional information processing has largely benefited from noninvasive electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging techniques in recent years. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of the neural events occurring during emotional processing remain imprecise due to the limited combination of spatial and temporal resolution provided by these techniques. This study examines the modulations of high-frequency activity of intracranial electroencephalography recordings associated with affective picture valence, in epileptic patients awaiting neurosurgery. Recordings were obtained from subdural grids and depth electrodes in eight patients while they viewed a series of unpleasant, pleasant and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System. Broadband high-gamma (70-150 Hz) power was computed for separate 100-ms time windows and compared according to ratings of emotional valence. Compared to emotionally neutral or pleasant pictures, unpleasant stimuli were associated with an early and long-lasting (≈200-1,000 ms) bilateral increase in high-gamma activity in visual areas of the occipital and temporal lobes, together with a late and transient (≈500-800 ms) decrease found bilaterally in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). Pleasant pictures were associated with increased gamma activity in the occipital cortex, compared to the emotionally neutral stimuli. Consistent with previous studies, our results provide direct evidence of emotion-related modulations in the visual ventral pathway during picture processing. Results in the lateral PFC also shed light on the neural mechanisms underlying its role in negative emotions processing. This study demonstrates the utility of intracranial high-gamma modulations to study emotional process with a high spatiotemporal precision.

  17. Process for measuring low cadmium levels in blood and other biological specimens

    DOEpatents

    Peterson, David P.; Huff, Edmund A.; Bhattacharyya, Maryka H.

    1994-01-01

    A process for measuring low levels of cadmium in blood and other biological specimens is provided without interference from high levels of alkali metal contaminants by forming an aqueous solution and without contamination by environmental cadmium absent the proteins from the specimen, selectively removing cadmium from the aqueous solution on an anion exchange resin, thereby removing the alkali metal contaminants, resolubilizing cadmium from the resin to form a second solution and analyzing the second solution for cadmium, the process being carried out in a cadmium-free environment.

  18. Process for measuring low cadmium levels in blood and other biological specimens

    DOEpatents

    Peterson, David P.; Huff, Edmund A.; Bhattacharyya, Maryka H.

    1994-05-03

    A process for measuring low levels of cadmium in blood and other biological specimens is provided without interference from high levels of alkali metal contaminants by forming an aqueous solution and without contamination by environmental cadmium absent the proteins from the specimen, selectively removing cadmium from the aqueous solution on an anion exchange resin, thereby removing the alkali metal contaminants, resolubilizing cadmium from the resin to form a second solution and analyzing the second solution for cadmium, the process being carried out in a cadmium-free environment.

  19. Removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater by biological processes, hydrodynamic cavitation and UV treatment.

    PubMed

    Zupanc, Mojca; Kosjek, Tina; Petkovšek, Martin; Dular, Matevž; Kompare, Boris; Širok, Brane; Blažeka, Željko; Heath, Ester

    2013-07-01

    To augment the removal of pharmaceuticals different conventional and alternative wastewater treatment processes and their combinations were investigated. We tested the efficiency of (1) two distinct laboratory scale biological processes: suspended activated sludge and attached-growth biomass, (2) a combined hydrodynamic cavitation-hydrogen peroxide process and (3) UV treatment. Five pharmaceuticals were chosen including ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen, carbamazepine and diclofenac, and an active metabolite of the lipid regulating agent clofibric acid. Biological treatment efficiency was evaluated using lab-scale suspended activated sludge and moving bed biofilm flow-through reactors, which were operated under identical conditions in respect to hydraulic retention time, working volume, concentration of added pharmaceuticals and synthetic wastewater composition. The suspended activated sludge process showed poor and inconsistent removal of clofibric acid, carbamazepine and diclofenac, while ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen yielded over 74% removal. Moving bed biofilm reactors were filled with two different types of carriers i.e. Kaldnes K1 and Mutag BioChip™ and resulted in higher removal efficiencies for ibuprofen and diclofenac. Augmentation and consistency in the removal of diclofenac were observed in reactors using Mutag BioChip™ carriers (85%±10%) compared to reactors using Kaldnes carriers and suspended activated sludge (74%±22% and 48%±19%, respectively). To enhance the removal of pharmaceuticals hydrodynamic cavitation with hydrogen peroxide process was evaluated and optimal conditions for removal were established regarding the duration of cavitation, amount of added hydrogen peroxide and initial pressure, all of which influence the efficiency of the process. Optimal parameters resulted in removal efficiencies between 3-70%. Coupling the attached-growth biomass biological treatment, hydrodynamic cavitation/hydrogen peroxide process and UV treatment

  20. Neural substrates for the processing of cognitive and affective aspects of taste in the brain.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Takashi

    2006-12-01

    Taste is unique among the sensory systems in that, besides its recognition of quality, it is innately associated with hedonic aspects of reward and aversion. This review of the literature will show how taste information is conveyed through the central gustatory pathways to the cortical gustatory area and is processed in terms of qualitative and quantitative aspects. Taste information is also sent to the reward system and feeding center via several brain sites including the prefrontal cortex, insular cortex, and amygdala. The reward system contains the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, and ventral pallidum; it finally sends information to the lateral hypothalamic area, the feeding center. The dopamine system originating from the ventral tegmental area mediates the motivation to consume palatable food. The actual ingestive behavior is promoted by the orexigenic neuropeptides from the hypothalamus. In the last section, the neural substrate of learning and memory of taste is introduced and the biological mechanisms are elucidated. PMID:17287579

  1. Ten good reasons to consider biological processes in prevention and intervention research

    PubMed Central

    BEAUCHAINE, THEODORE P.; NEUHAUS, EMILY; BRENNER, SHARON L.; GATZKE-KOPP, LISA

    2009-01-01

    Most contemporary accounts of psychopathology acknowledge the importance of both biological and environmental influences on behavior. In developmental psychopathology, multiple etiological mechanisms for psychiatric disturbance are well recognized, including those operating at genetic, neurobiological, and environmental levels of analysis. However, neuroscientific principles are rarely considered in current approaches to prevention or intervention. In this article, we explain why a deeper understanding of the genetic and neural substrates of behavior is essential for the next generation of preventive interventions, and we outline 10 specific reasons why considering biological processes can improve treatment efficacy. Among these, we discuss (a) the role of biomarkers and endophenotypes in identifying those most in need of prevention; (b) implications for treatment of genetic and neural mechanisms of homotypic comorbidity, heterotypic comorbidity, and heterotypic continuity; (c) ways in which biological vulnerabilities moderate the effects of environmental experience; (d) situations in which Biology×Environment interactions account for more variance in key outcomes than main effects; and (e) sensitivity of neural systems, via epigenesis, programming, and neural plasticity, to environmental moderation across the life span. For each of the 10 reasons outlined we present an example from current literature and discuss critical implications for prevention. PMID:18606030

  2. Industrial methodology for process verification in research (IMPROVER): toward systems biology verification

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Pablo; Hoeng, Julia; Rice, J. Jeremy; Norel, Raquel; Sprengel, Jörg; Stolle, Katrin; Bonk, Thomas; Corthesy, Stephanie; Royyuru, Ajay; Peitsch, Manuel C.; Stolovitzky, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    Motivation: Analyses and algorithmic predictions based on high-throughput data are essential for the success of systems biology in academic and industrial settings. Organizations, such as companies and academic consortia, conduct large multi-year scientific studies that entail the collection and analysis of thousands of individual experiments, often over many physical sites and with internal and outsourced components. To extract maximum value, the interested parties need to verify the accuracy and reproducibility of data and methods before the initiation of such large multi-year studies. However, systematic and well-established verification procedures do not exist for automated collection and analysis workflows in systems biology which could lead to inaccurate conclusions. Results: We present here, a review of the current state of systems biology verification and a detailed methodology to address its shortcomings. This methodology named ‘Industrial Methodology for Process Verification in Research’ or IMPROVER, consists on evaluating a research program by dividing a workflow into smaller building blocks that are individually verified. The verification of each building block can be done internally by members of the research program or externally by ‘crowd-sourcing’ to an interested community. www.sbvimprover.com Implementation: This methodology could become the preferred choice to verify systems biology research workflows that are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated in industrial and academic settings. Contact: gustavo@us.ibm.com PMID:22423044

  3. Integration of Science on Biological and Physical Processes to Understand Ecological Diversity of Stream Fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieman, B.; Dunham, J.

    2002-12-01

    The integration of biological and physical sciences has been important in efforts to understand and conserve aquatic species such as the stream fishes found in the Pacific Northwest. Traditionally that integration has focused at relatively fine scales and on what were perceived as more or less static conditions of stream habitats to explain the abundance and distribution of select species. Scientists and managers were intent on defining and creating optimal conditions to maximize the abundance of those species. There is growing recognition that habitats are dynamic and that populations of many species may be structured by biological and physical processes operating over much larger spatial and temporal scales. Natural disturbance, hydrology, and geomorphic constraints lead to variation in the distribution, size, and productivity of habitats for different species through time and space. That variation could influence the distribution and persistence of populations and the diversity that is expressed within and among those populations. It may even be critical to long-term evolutionary potential. Metapopulation theory, for example, suggests the geometry and interconnection of habitats will be key to the occurrence and persistence of many populations. Recent work with bull trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout support those predictions and demonstrate that the large-scale geometry of habitat networks is essentially defined by the variation in stream topology and temperature. Life history diversity and phenotypic plasticity are thought to be mechanisms that allow species populations to adapt to, fully exploit, and persist in variable and changing environments. The expression of that diversity may depend on historical patterns of disturbance and the interconnection and diversity of environments that are currently available. Conservation of aquatic biological diversity will depend on our understanding of the processes that generate that diversity. The application of new

  4. Thermal processing differentially affects lycopene and other carotenoids in cis-lycopene containing, tangerine tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Cooperstone, Jessica L; Francis, David M; Schwartz, Steven J

    2016-11-01

    Tangerine tomatoes, unlike red tomatoes, accumulate cis-lycopenes instead of the all-trans isomer. cis-Lycopene is the predominating isomeric form of lycopene found in blood and tissues. Our objective was to understand how thermal processing and lipid concentration affect carotenoid isomerisation and degradation in tangerine tomatoes. We conducted duplicated factorial designed experiments producing tangerine tomato juice and sauce, varying both processing time and lipid concentration. Carotenoids were extracted and analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection. Phytoene, phytofluene, ζ-carotene, neurosporene, tetra-cis-lycopene, all-trans-lycopene and other-cis-lycopenes were quantified. Tetra-cis-lycopene decreased with increasing heating time and reached 80% of the original level in sauce after processing times of 180min. All-trans-lycopene and other-cis-lycopenes increased with longer processing times. Total carotenoids and total lycopene decreased with increased heating times while phytoene and phytofluene were unchanged. These data suggest limiting thermal processing of tangerine tomato products if delivery of tetra-cis-lycopene is desirable.

  5. Shedding Light on the Ocean's Biological Pump and Twilight Zone Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buesseler, K. O.

    2009-05-01

    Pelagic food webs drive a flux of >10 Gt C yr-1 that exits surface waters, mostly via sinking particles through the ocean's biological pump. Much of this particle flux is remineralized in the poorly studied waters of the twilight zone, i.e. the layer underlying the euphotic zone and extending to 1000 m. Fluxes through this layer are important, as they help set surface to deep ocean gradients in dissolved inorganic carbon, and hence influence the partitioning of carbon between the ocean and atmosphere, and thus the net uptake of CO2 by the sea. These fluxes also provide the organic C supply required to support mid-water heterotrophs, who's current C demand cannot be balanced by most estimates. Also, these sinking materials provide a rapid transport mechanism for all particle reactive elements and bioactive materials to the deep sea, thus setting geochemical constraints on ocean processes. In this talk, a brief history of marine studies of the biological pump will be presented followed by a reanalysis of selected twilight zone data. This reanalysis leads to a new conceptual framework and ecosystem model with which to compare the strength and efficiency of the biological pump between different settings and during seasonal variations in the biological pump (Buesseler and Boyd, Limnology and Oceanography, 2009, in review). We need to be more careful in our consideration of variability in euphotic zone depths, as we compare the biological pump between different regions and seasons. The ratio of POC flux at the base of the euphotic zone (Ez) to net primary production is called the Ez-ratio, to distinguish it from depth normalized flux export ratios (e-ratios). Conventional curve fitting of particle flux data can skew our interpretation of twilight zone processes, and thus attenuation below Ez is parameterized by the ratio of POC flux 100 m below Ez to the flux at Ez. This transfer efficiency, T100, varies from <20% to 100%. These new metrics are used to classify the ocean

  6. Mind the gap: non-biological processes contributing to soil CO2 efflux.

    PubMed

    Rey, Ana

    2015-05-01

    Widespread recognition of the importance of soil CO2 efflux as a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere has led to active research. A large soil respiration database and recent reviews have compiled data, methods, and current challenges. This study highlights some deficiencies for a proper understanding of soil CO2 efflux focusing on processes of soil CO2 production and transport that have not received enough attention in the current soil respiration literature. It has mostly been assumed that soil CO2 efflux is the result of biological processes (i.e. soil respiration), but recent studies demonstrate that pedochemical and geological processes, such as geothermal and volcanic CO2 degassing, are potentially important in some areas. Besides the microbial decomposition of litter, solar radiation is responsible for photodegradation or photochemical degradation of litter. Diffusion is considered to be the main mechanism of CO2 transport in the soil, but changes in atmospheric pressure and thermal convection may also be important mechanisms driving soil CO2 efflux greater than diffusion under certain conditions. Lateral fluxes of carbon as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon occur and may cause an underestimation of soil CO2 efflux. Traditionally soil CO2 efflux has been measured with accumulation chambers assuming that the main transport mechanism is diffusion. New techniques are available such as improved automated chambers, CO2 concentration profiles and isotopic techniques that may help to elucidate the sources of carbon from soils. We need to develop specific and standardized methods for different CO2 sources to quantify this flux on a global scale. Biogeochemical models should include biological and non-biological CO2 production processes before we can predict the response of soil CO2 efflux to climate change. Improving our understanding of the processes involved in soil CO2 efflux should be a research priority given the importance of this flux in the global

  7. Comparative study of biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes with sedimentation and membrane-based separation.

    PubMed

    Monti, Alessandro; Hall, Eric R; Dawson, Robert N; Husain, Hadi; Kelly, Harlan G

    2006-07-01

    A membrane-enhanced biological phosphorus removal (MEBPR) process was operated in parallel with a conventional EBPR (CEBPR) process under challenging operating conditions to uncover fundamental differences in their ability to remove chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) from municipal wastewater. Both systems exhibited the same potential to achieve excellent soluble-P removal when a favorable COD to P ratio was maintained in the influent. The MEBPR train generated a superior effluent quality when measured as total P. The CEBPR effluent contained significantly lower levels of nitrates due to the extra denitrification occurring in the sludge blanket of the secondary clarifier. The observed sludge yield in the MEBPR system was estimated to be between 0.23 and 0.28 g VSS/g COD, and this was 15% lower than the CEBPR sludge yield. When the influent volatile fatty acids (VFAs) became limiting, the CEBPR train exhibited better performance in the removal of soluble-P, due to the higher observed sludge yield and an overall greater denitrification activity that led to a more efficient use of VFAs in the anaerobic zone. After experiencing a severe deterioration of the biological P activity in both processes, the MEBPR train exhibited faster recovery than the CEBPR side. In this experimental work, it was demonstrated that an MEBPR process can sustain long-term satisfactory bio-P performance at HRTs as low as 7 h. However, the lower sludge yield and the reduced denitrification capacity are two important factors that impact the design of high rate membrane-assisted biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes.

  8. Mind the gap: non-biological processes contributing to soil CO2 efflux.

    PubMed

    Rey, Ana

    2015-05-01

    Widespread recognition of the importance of soil CO2 efflux as a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere has led to active research. A large soil respiration database and recent reviews have compiled data, methods, and current challenges. This study highlights some deficiencies for a proper understanding of soil CO2 efflux focusing on processes of soil CO2 production and transport that have not received enough attention in the current soil respiration literature. It has mostly been assumed that soil CO2 efflux is the result of biological processes (i.e. soil respiration), but recent studies demonstrate that pedochemical and geological processes, such as geothermal and volcanic CO2 degassing, are potentially important in some areas. Besides the microbial decomposition of litter, solar radiation is responsible for photodegradation or photochemical degradation of litter. Diffusion is considered to be the main mechanism of CO2 transport in the soil, but changes in atmospheric pressure and thermal convection may also be important mechanisms driving soil CO2 efflux greater than diffusion under certain conditions. Lateral fluxes of carbon as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon occur and may cause an underestimation of soil CO2 efflux. Traditionally soil CO2 efflux has been measured with accumulation chambers assuming that the main transport mechanism is diffusion. New techniques are available such as improved automated chambers, CO2 concentration profiles and isotopic techniques that may help to elucidate the sources of carbon from soils. We need to develop specific and standardized methods for different CO2 sources to quantify this flux on a global scale. Biogeochemical models should include biological and non-biological CO2 production processes before we can predict the response of soil CO2 efflux to climate change. Improving our understanding of the processes involved in soil CO2 efflux should be a research priority given the importance of this flux in the global

  9. Anthropogenic processing of dust affects the oxygen content of the North Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nenes, Athanasios; Ito, Taka; Johnson, Matthew; Meskhidze, Nicholas; Valett, Jackie; Deutsch, Curtis

    2015-04-01

    Observations from the last several decades show a significant expansion of the tropical Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). However, the underlying causes remain elusive, as the currently accepted effects of ocean warming and associated solubility decease cannot fully explain the observed oxygen trend. Here we show that anthropogenic pollution can change the pattern of biological productivity and oxygen trends consistent with observations in the tropics and extratropics. These effects are caused by the mobilization of iron in mineral dust by pollutants, where it is transported and deposited to the HNLC regions of the tropical pacific affecting primary productivity and oxygen consumption by bacterial respiration. In this study, it is shown that pollution-mobilized iron deposited to high latitude oceanic environments can profoundly impact subsurface oxygen and the extent of the OMZ through long-range oceanic transport. Together with the intensification of tropical upwelling since the 1990s associated with natural climate variability, our results can explain the expansion of the OMZ in the tropical Pacific in the late twentieth century. Unlike climate variability, however, anthropogenic pollution likely influences the long-term trends in marine biogeochemistry and further alters regional productivity and subsurface oxygen distributions with profound implications for marine habitats and nitrate inventory of the oceans.

  10. The drinking water treatment process as a potential source of affecting the bacterial antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xiaohui; Ma, Xiaolin; Xu, Fengming; Li, Jing; Zhang, Hang; Xiao, Xiang

    2015-11-15

    Two waterworks, with source water derived from the Huangpu or Yangtze River in Shanghai, were investigated, and the effluents were plate-screened for antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) using five antibiotics: ampicillin (AMP), kanamycin (KAN), rifampicin (RFP), chloramphenicol (CM) and streptomycin (STR). The influence of water treatment procedures on the bacterial antibiotic resistance rate and the changes that bacteria underwent when exposed to the five antibiotics at concentration levels ranging from 1 to 100 μg/mL were studied. Multi-drug resistance was also analyzed using drug sensitivity tests. The results indicated that bacteria derived from water treatment plant effluent that used the Huangpu River rather than the Yangtze River as source water exhibited higher antibiotic resistance rates against AMP, STR, RFP and CM but lower antibiotic resistance rates against KAN. When the antibiotic concentration levels ranged from 1 to 10 μg/mL, the antibiotic resistance rates of the bacteria in the water increased as water treatment progressed. Biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration played a key role in increasing the antibiotic resistance rate of bacteria. Chloramine disinfection can enhance antibiotic resistance. Among the isolated ARB, 75% were resistant to multiple antibiotics. Ozone oxidation, BAC filtration and chloramine disinfection can greatly affect the relative abundance of bacteria in the community.

  11. Anthropogenic processing of dust affects the oxygen content of the North Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nenes, A.; Ito, T.; Johnson, M. S.; Meskhidze, N.; Valett, J.; Deutsch, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Observations from the last several decades show a significant expansion of the tropical Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). However, the underlying causes remain elusive, as the currently accepted effects of ocean warming and associated solubility decease cannot fully explain the observed oxygen trend. Here we show that anthropogenic pollution can change the pattern of biological productivity and oxygen trends consistent with observations in the tropics and extratropics. These effects are caused by the mobilization of iron in mineral dust by pollutants, where it is transported and deposited to the HNLC regions of the tropical pacific affecting primary productivity and oxygen consumption by bacterial respiration. In this study, it is shown that pollution-mobilized iron deposited to high latitude oceanic environments can profoundly impact subsurface oxygen and the extent of the OMZ through long-range oceanic transport. Together with the intensification of tropical upwelling since the 1990s associated with natural climate variability, our results can explain the expansion of the OMZ in the tropical Pacific in the late twentieth century. Unlike climate variability, however, anthropogenic pollution likely influences the long-term trends in marine biogeochemistry and further alters regional productivity and subsurface oxygen distributions with profound implications for marine habitats and nitrate inventory of the oceans.

  12. Compensatory premotor activity during affective face processing in subclinical carriers of a single mutant Parkin allele

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Benjamin; Pohl, Anna; Münte, Thomas; Pramstaller, Peter; Klein, Christine; Binkofski, Ferdinand

    2012-01-01

    Patients with Parkinson's disease suffer from significant motor impairments and accompanying cognitive and affective dysfunction due to progressive disturbances of basal ganglia–cortical gating loops. Parkinson's disease has a long presymptomatic stage, which indicates a substantial capacity of the human brain to compensate for dopaminergic nerve degeneration before clinical manifestation of the disease. Neuroimaging studies provide evidence that increased motor-related cortical activity can compensate for progressive dopaminergic nerve degeneration in carriers of a single mutant Parkin or PINK1 gene, who show a mild but significant reduction of dopamine metabolism in the basal ganglia in the complete absence of clinical motor signs. However, it is currently unknown whether similar compensatory mechanisms are effective in non-motor basal ganglia–cortical gating loops. Here, we ask whether asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers show altered patterns of brain activity during processing of facial gestures, and whether this might compensate for latent facial emotion recognition deficits. Current theories in social neuroscience assume that execution and perception of facial gestures are linked by a special class of visuomotor neurons (‘mirror neurons’) in the ventrolateral premotor cortex/pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (Brodmann area 44/6). We hypothesized that asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers would show increased activity in this area during processing of affective facial gestures, replicating the compensatory motor effects that have previously been observed in these individuals. Additionally, Parkin mutation carriers might show altered activity in other basal ganglia–cortical gating loops. Eight asymptomatic heterozygous Parkin mutation carriers and eight matched controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging and a subsequent facial emotion recognition task. As predicted, Parkin mutation carriers showed significantly stronger

  13. The Effect of Intrinsic Motivation on the Affect and Evaluation of the Creative Process among Fine Arts Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanko-Kaczmarek, Maja

    2012-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the effect of intrinsic motivation on affect, subjective evaluation, and the creative process of young artists. Relations between motivation, affect, and evaluation were treated as a dynamic process and measured several times. The unique contribution of this study is that it…

  14. Effect of Affective Personality Information on Face Processing: Evidence from ERPs

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Qiu L.; Wang, Han L.; Dzhelyova, Milena; Huang, Ping; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the extent to which there are the neural correlates of the affective personality influence on face processing using event-related potentials (ERPs). In the learning phase, participants viewed a target individual’s face (expression neutral or faint smile) paired with either negative, neutral or positive sentences describing previous typical behavior of the target. In the following EEG testing phase, participants completed gender judgments of the learned faces. Statistical analyses were conducted on measures of neural activity during the gender judgment task. Repeated measures ANOVA of ERP data showed that faces described as having a negative personality elicited larger N170 than did those with a neutral or positive description. The early posterior negativity (EPN) showed the same result pattern, with larger amplitudes for faces paired with negative personality than for others. The size of the late positive potential was larger for faces paired with positive personality than for those with neutral and negative personality. The current study indicates that affective personality information is associated with an automatic, top–down modulation on face processing. PMID:27303359

  15. Biomechanical organization of gait initiation depends on the timing of affective processing.

    PubMed

    Stins, John F; van Gelder, Linda M A; Oudenhoven, Laura M; Beek, Peter J

    2015-01-01

    Gait initiation (GI) from a quiet bipedal posture has been shown to be influenced by the emotional state of the actor. The literature suggests that the biomechanical organization of forward GI is facilitated when pleasant pictures are shown, as compared to unpleasant pictures. However, there are inconsistencies in the literature, which could be due to the neural dynamics of affective processing. This study aimed to test this hypothesis, using a paradigm whereby participants initiated a step as soon as they saw an affective picture (i.e., onset), or as soon as the picture disappeared from the screen (i.e., offset). Pictures were a priori categorized as pleasant or unpleasant, and could also vary in their arousing properties. We analyzed center-of-pressure and center-of-gravity dynamics as a function of emotional content. We found that gait was initiated faster with pleasant images at onset, and faster with unpleasant images at offset. Also, with offset GI the peak velocity of the COG was reduced, and subjects took smaller steps, with unpleasant images relative to pleasant images. The results are discussed in terms of current knowledge regarding temporal processing of emotions, and its effects on GI. PMID:25455703

  16. Effect of Affective Personality Information on Face Processing: Evidence from ERPs.

    PubMed

    Luo, Qiu L; Wang, Han L; Dzhelyova, Milena; Huang, Ping; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the extent to which there are the neural correlates of the affective personality influence on face processing using event-related potentials (ERPs). In the learning phase, participants viewed a target individual's face (expression neutral or faint smile) paired with either negative, neutral or positive sentences describing previous typical behavior of the target. In the following EEG testing phase, participants completed gender judgments of the learned faces. Statistical analyses were conducted on measures of neural activity during the gender judgment task. Repeated measures ANOVA of ERP data showed that faces described as having a negative personality elicited larger N170 than did those with a neutral or positive description. The early posterior negativity (EPN) showed the same result pattern, with larger amplitudes for faces paired with negative personality than for others. The size of the late positive potential was larger for faces paired with positive personality than for those with neutral and negative personality. The current study indicates that affective personality information is associated with an automatic, top-down modulation on face processing. PMID:27303359

  17. Functional brain interactions that serve cognitive-affective processing during pain and placebo analgesia.

    PubMed

    Craggs, Jason G; Price, Donald D; Verne, G Nicholas; Perlstein, William M; Robinson, Michael M

    2007-12-01

    Pain requires the integration of sensory, cognitive, and affective information. The use of placebo is a common methodological ploy in many fields, including pain. Neuroimaging studies of pain and placebo analgesia (PA) have yet to identify a mechanism of action. Because PA must result from higher order processes, it is likely influenced by cognitive and affective dimensions of the pain experience. A network of brain regions involved in these processes includes the anterior and posterior insula (A-Ins, P-Ins), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (DACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and the supplementary motor area (SMA). We used connectivity analyses to investigate the underlying mechanisms associated with Placebo analgesia in a group of chronic pain patients. Structural equation models (SEM) of fMRI data evaluated the inter-regional connectivity of these regions across three conditions: (1) initial Baseline (B1), (2) placebo (PA), and (3) Placebo Match (PM). SEM results of B1 data in the left hemisphere confirmed hypothesized regional relationships. However, inter-regional relationships were dynamic and the network models varied across hemispheres and conditions. Deviations from the B1 model in the PA and PM conditions correspond to our manipulation of expectation for pain. The dynamic changes in inter-regional influence across conditions are interpreted in the context of a self-reinforcing feedback loop involved in the induction and maintenance of PA. Although it is likely that placebo analgesia results partly from afferent inhibition of a nociceptive signal, the mechanisms likely involve the interaction of a cognitive-affective network with input from both hemispheres. PMID:17904390

  18. 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. PMID:27349456

  19. Perennial N2 supersaturation in an Antarctic lake. [biological processes in thin martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wharton, Robert A., Jr.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.; Simmons, George M., Jr.

    1987-01-01

    The results of a study are reported which, for the first time, documents the supersaturation of N2 in a lake. Dissolved N2 levels of 145 percent and 163 percent were determined for Antarctica's Lake Hoare from samples taken just below the ice cover and at a depth of 12 m, respectively. The relative importance of biological and abiological sources is reflected in the ratio of N2 concentration to O2 concentration. In Lake Hoare this ratio was 1.20 at the ice/water interface and 1.05 at 12 m, considerably different from the ratio in equilibrium with air (about 1.8). Based on these results, it is determined that about half of the net O2 production in the lake is the result of biological processes. The significance of these results for the putative ice-covered paleolakes in the canyon regions of Mars is discussed.

  20. State of the art of biological processes for coal gasification wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qian; Liu, Yu

    2016-01-01

    The treatment of coal gasification wastewater (CGW) poses a serious challenge on the sustainable development of the global coal industry. The CGW contains a broad spectrum of high-strength recalcitrant substances, including phenolic, monocyclic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic nitrogenous compounds and long chain aliphatic hydrocarbon. So far, biological treatment of CGW has been considered as an environment-friendly and cost-effective method compared to physiochemical approaches. Thus, this reviews aims to provide a comprehensive picture of state of the art of biological processes for treating CGW wastewater, while the possible biodegradation mechanisms of toxic and refractory organic substances were also elaborated together with microbial community involved. Discussion was further extended to advanced bioprocesses to tackle high-concentration ammonia and possible options towards in-plant zero liquid discharge. PMID:27364381

  1. Removal of dimethyl sulfide by the combination of non-thermal plasma and biological process.

    PubMed

    Wei, Z S; Li, H Q; He, J C; Ye, Q H; Huang, Q R; Luo, Y W

    2013-10-01

    A bench scale system integrated with a non-thermal plasma (NTP) and a biotricking filtration (BTF) unit for the treatment of gases containing dimethyl sulfide (DMS) was investigated. DMS removal efficiency in the integrated system was up to 96%. Bacterial communities in the BTF were assessed by PCR-DGGE, which play the dominant role in the biological processes of metabolism, sulfur oxidation, sulfate-reducing and carbon oxidation. The addition of ozone from NTP made microbial community in BTF more complicated and active for DMS removal. The NTP oxidize DMS to simple compounds such as methanol and carbonyl sulfide; the intermediate organic products and DMS are further oxidized to sulfate, carbon dioxide, water vapors by biological degradation. These results show that NTP-BTF is achievable and open new possibilities for applying the integrated with NTP and BTF to odour gas treatment.

  2. Removal of disinfection by-products formation potential by biologically intensified process.

    PubMed

    An, Dong; Li, Wei-guang; Cui, Fu-yi; He, Xin; Zhang, Jin-song

    2005-01-01

    The removal of disinfection by-products formation potential (DBPFP) in artificially intensified biological activated carbon (IBAC) process which is developed on the basis of traditional ozone granular activated carbon was evaluated. By IBAC removals of 31% and 68% for THMFP and HAAFP were obtained respectively. Under identical conditions, the removals of the same substances were 4% and 32% respectively only by the granular activated carbon (GAC) process. Compared with GAC, the high removal rates of the two formed potential substances were due to the increasing of bioactivity of the media and the synergistic capabilities of biological degradation cooperating with lactivated carbon adsorption of organic compounds. A clear linear correlation (R2 = 0.9562 and R2 = 0.9007) between DOC HAAFP removal rate and Empty Bed Contact Time (EBCT) of IBAC process was observed, while that between THMFP removal rate and EBCT of GAC was R2 = 0.9782. In addition certain linear correlations between THMFP, HAAFP and UV254 (R2 = 0.855 and R2 = 0.7702) were found for the treated water. For IBAC process there are also more advantages such as long backwashing cycle time, low backwashing intensity and prolonging activated carbon lifetime and so on. PMID:16295913

  3. Electrochemical advanced oxidation and biological processes for wastewater treatment: a review of the combined approaches.

    PubMed

    Ganzenko, Oleksandra; Huguenot, David; van Hullebusch, Eric D; Esposito, Giovanni; Oturan, Mehmet A

    2014-01-01

    As pollution becomes one of the biggest environmental challenges of the twenty-first century, pollution of water threatens the very existence of humanity, making immediate action a priority. The most persistent and hazardous pollutants come from industrial and agricultural activities; therefore, effective treatment of this wastewater prior to discharge into the natural environment is the solution. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have caused increased interest due to their ability to degrade hazardous substances in contrast to other methods, which mainly only transfer pollution from wastewater to sludge, a membrane filter, or an adsorbent. Among a great variety of different AOPs, a group of electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs), including electro-Fenton, is emerging as an environmental-friendly and effective treatment process for the destruction of persistent hazardous contaminants. The only concern that slows down a large-scale implementation is energy consumption and related investment and operational costs. A combination of EAOPs with biological treatment is an interesting solution. In such a synergetic way, removal efficiency is maximized, while minimizing operational costs. The goal of this review is to present cutting-edge research for treatment of three common and problematic pollutants and effluents: dyes and textile wastewater, olive processing wastewater, and pharmaceuticals and hospital wastewater. Each of these types is regarded in terms of recent scientific research on individual electrochemical, individual biological and a combined synergetic treatment.

  4. Biological soil crusts: a microenvironment characterized by complex microbial interrelations affected by the presence of the exopolysaccharidic matrix.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are complex microbial communities, commonly found in arid and semiarid areas of the world. The capability of the microorganisms residing in BSCs to withstand the harsh environmental conditions typical of these habitats, namely drought and high solar irradiation, is related with the presence of a matrix constituted by microbial-produced extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs), which also accomplish for a wide array of key ecological roles. EPSs represent a huge carbon source directly available to heterotrophic organisms, affect soil characteristics, water regimes, and establish complex interactions with plants. The induction of BSCs on degraded soils is considered a feasible approach to amend and maintain land fertility, as it was reported in a number of recent studies. It was recently shown that BSC induction is beneficial in enhancing SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) and in increasing the abundance of phototrophic organisms and vegetation cover. This lecture will describe the results of a study showing that cyanobacterial-EPS resulted advantageous to the growth and metabolism of seedlings of Caragana korshinskii, a desert sub-shrub widely diffused in the area under study, also contributing a defensive effect against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated under UV-irradiation, salt stress and desiccation. A study aimed at investigating the possible correlation between the chemical composition and the macromolecular features of the EPS matrix of induced BSCs of different age, collected in the hyper-arid plateau of Hobq desert, Inner Mongolia, China, will be also presented. The results of this study showed that the characteristics of the EPS of the matrix of the investigated IBSCs cannot be put only in relation with the age of the crusts and the activity of phototrophic microorganisms but, more properly, it has to be taken into account the biotic interactions ongoing between EPS producers (cyanobacteria, green microalgae

  5. Insecticide use in hybrid onion seed production affects pre- and postpollination processes.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Sandra; Long, Rachael; Seitz, Nicola; Williams, Neal

    2014-02-01

    Research on threats to pollination service in agro-ecosystems has focused primarily on the negative impacts of land use change and agricultural practices such as insecticide use on pollinator populations. Insecticide use could also affect the pollination process, through nonlethal impacts on pollinator attraction and postpollination processes such as pollen viability or pollen tube growth. Hybrid onion seed (Allium cepa L., Alliaceae) is an important pollinator-dependent crop that has suffered yield declines in California, concurrent with increased insecticide use. Field studies suggest that insecticide use reduces pollination service in this system. We conducted a field experiment manipulating insecticide use to examine the impacts of insecticides on 1) pollinator attraction, 2) pollen/stigma interactions, and 3) seed set and seed quality. Select insecticides had negative impacts on pollinator attraction and pollen/stigma interactions, with certain products dramatically reducing pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Decreased pollen germination was not associated with reduced seed set; however, reduced pollinator attraction was associated with lower seed set and seed quality, for one of the two female lines examined. Our results highlight the importance of pesticide effects on the pollination process. Overuse may lead to yield reductions through impacts on pollinator behavior and postpollination processes. Overall, in hybrid onion seed production, moderation in insecticide use is advised when controlling onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, on commercial fields. PMID:24665681

  6. Modulation of affective face processing deficits in Schizophrenia by congruent emotional sounds

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Veronika I.; Kellermann, Tanja S.; Seligman, Sarah C.; Turetsky, Bruce I.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder resulting in prominent impairments in social functioning. Thus, clinical research has focused on underlying deficits of emotion processing and their linkage to specific symptoms and neurobiological dysfunctions. Although there is substantial research investigating impairments in unimodal affect recognition, studies in schizophrenia exploring crossmodal emotion processing are rare. Therefore, event-related potentials were measured in 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy controls while rating the expression of happy, fearful and neutral faces and concurrently being distracted by emotional or neutral sounds. Compared with controls, patients with schizophrenia revealed significantly decreased P1 and increased P2 amplitudes in response to all faces, independent of emotion or concurrent sound. Analyzing these effects with regard to audiovisual (in)congruence revealed that P1 amplitudes in patients were only reduced in response to emotionally incongruent stimulus pairs, whereas similar amplitudes between groups could be observed for congruent conditions. Correlation analyses revealed a significant negative correlation between general symptom severity (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-V4) and P1 amplitudes in response to congruent audiovisual stimulus pairs. These results indicate that early visual processing deficits in schizophrenia are apparent during emotion processing but, depending on symptom severity, these deficits can be restored by presenting concurrent emotionally congruent sounds. PMID:22977201

  7. Modulation of affective face processing deficits in Schizophrenia by congruent emotional sounds.

    PubMed

    Müller, Veronika I; Kellermann, Tanja S; Seligman, Sarah C; Turetsky, Bruce I; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2014-04-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder resulting in prominent impairments in social functioning. Thus, clinical research has focused on underlying deficits of emotion processing and their linkage to specific symptoms and neurobiological dysfunctions. Although there is substantial research investigating impairments in unimodal affect recognition, studies in schizophrenia exploring crossmodal emotion processing are rare. Therefore, event-related potentials were measured in 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy controls while rating the expression of happy, fearful and neutral faces and concurrently being distracted by emotional or neutral sounds. Compared with controls, patients with schizophrenia revealed significantly decreased P1 and increased P2 amplitudes in response to all faces, independent of emotion or concurrent sound. Analyzing these effects with regard to audiovisual (in)congruence revealed that P1 amplitudes in patients were only reduced in response to emotionally incongruent stimulus pairs, whereas similar amplitudes between groups could be observed for congruent conditions. Correlation analyses revealed a significant negative correlation between general symptom severity (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-V4) and P1 amplitudes in response to congruent audiovisual stimulus pairs. These results indicate that early visual processing deficits in schizophrenia are apparent during emotion processing but, depending on symptom severity, these deficits can be restored by presenting concurrent emotionally congruent sounds.

  8. Odor-induced mood state modulates language comprehension by affecting processing strategies

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lin; Zhou, Bin; Zhou, Wen; Yang, Yufang

    2016-01-01

    It is controversial whether mood affects cognition by triggering specific processing strategies or by limiting processing resources. The current event-related potential (ERP) study pursued this issue by examining how mood modulates the processing of task relevant/irrelevant information. In question-answer pairs, a question context marked a critical word in the answer sentence as focus (and thus relevant) or non-focus (thereby irrelevant). At the same time, participants were exposed to either a pleasant or unpleasant odor to elicit different mood states. Overall, we observed larger N400s when the critical words in the answer sentences were semantically incongruent (rather than congruent) with the question context. However, such N400 effect was only found for focused words accompanied by a pleasant odor and for both focused and non-focused words accompanied by an unpleasant odor, but not for non-focused words accompanied by a pleasant odor. These results indicate top-down attentional shift to the focused information in a positive mood state and non-selective attention allocated to the focused and non-focused information in a less positive mood state, lending support to the “processing strategy” hypothesis. By using a novel approach to induce mood states, our study provides fresh insights into the mechanisms underlying mood modulation of language comprehension. PMID:27796356

  9. Is biological treatment a viable alternative for micropollutant removal in drinking water treatment processes?

    PubMed

    Benner, Jessica; Helbling, Damian E; Kohler, Hans-Peter E; Wittebol, Janneke; Kaiser, Elena; Prasse, Carsten; Ternes, Thomas A; Albers, Christian N; Aamand, Jens; Horemans, Benjamin; Springael, Dirk; Walravens, Eddy; Boon, Nico

    2013-10-15

    In western societies, clean and safe drinking water is often taken for granted, but there are threats to drinking water resources that should not be underestimated. Contamination of drinking water sources by anthropogenic chemicals is one threat that is particularly widespread in industrialized nations. Recently, a significant amount of attention has been given to the occurrence of micropollutants in the urban water cycle. Micropollutants are bioactive and/or persistent chemicals originating from diverse sources that are frequently detected in water resources in the pg/L to μg/L range. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the viability of biological treatment processes as a means to remove micropollutants from drinking water resources. We first place the micropollutant problem in context by providing a comprehensive summary of the reported occurrence of micropollutants in raw water used directly for drinking water production and in finished drinking water. We then present a critical discussion on conventional and advanced drinking water treatment processes and their contribution to micropollutant removal. Finally, we propose biological treatment and bioaugmentation as a potential targeted, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to existing processes while critically examining the technical limitations and scientific challenges that need to be addressed prior to implementation. This review will serve as a valuable source of data and literature for water utilities, water researchers, policy makers, and environmental consultants. Meanwhile this review will open the door to meaningful discussion on the feasibility and application of biological treatment and bioaugmentation in drinking water treatment processes to protect the public from exposure to micropollutants.

  10. Is biological treatment a viable alternative for micropollutant removal in drinking water treatment processes?

    PubMed

    Benner, Jessica; Helbling, Damian E; Kohler, Hans-Peter E; Wittebol, Janneke; Kaiser, Elena; Prasse, Carsten; Ternes, Thomas A; Albers, Christian N; Aamand, Jens; Horemans, Benjamin; Springael, Dirk; Walravens, Eddy; Boon, Nico

    2013-10-15

    In western societies, clean and safe drinking water is often taken for granted, but there are threats to drinking water resources that should not be underestimated. Contamination of drinking water sources by anthropogenic chemicals is one threat that is particularly widespread in industrialized nations. Recently, a significant amount of attention has been given to the occurrence of micropollutants in the urban water cycle. Micropollutants are bioactive and/or persistent chemicals originating from diverse sources that are frequently detected in water resources in the pg/L to μg/L range. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the viability of biological treatment processes as a means to remove micropollutants from drinking water resources. We first place the micropollutant problem in context by providing a comprehensive summary of the reported occurrence of micropollutants in raw water used directly for drinking water production and in finished drinking water. We then present a critical discussion on conventional and advanced drinking water treatment processes and their contribution to micropollutant removal. Finally, we propose biological treatment and bioaugmentation as a potential targeted, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to existing processes while critically examining the technical limitations and scientific challenges that need to be addressed prior to implementation. This review will serve as a valuable source of data and literature for water utilities, water researchers, policy makers, and environmental consultants. Meanwhile this review will open the door to meaningful discussion on the feasibility and application of biological treatment and bioaugmentation in drinking water treatment processes to protect the public from exposure to micropollutants. PMID:24053940

  11. dNSP: a biologically inspired dynamic Neural network approach to Signal Processing.

    PubMed

    Cano-Izquierdo, José Manuel; Ibarrola, Julio; Pinzolas, Miguel; Almonacid, Miguel

    2008-09-01

    The arriving order of data is one of the intrinsic properties of a signal. Therefore, techniques dealing with this temporal relation are required for identification and signal processing tasks. To perform a classification of the signal according with its temporal characteristics, it would be useful to find a feature vector in which the temporal attributes were embedded. The correlation and power density spectrum functions are suitable tools to manage this issue. These functions are usually defined with statistical formulation. On the other hand, in biology there can be found numerous processes in which signals are processed to give a feature vector; for example, the processing of sound by the auditory system. In this work, the dNSP (dynamic Neural Signal Processing) architecture is proposed. This architecture allows representing a time-varying signal by a spatial (thus statical) vector. Inspired by the aforementioned biological processes, the dNSP performs frequency decomposition using an analogical parallel algorithm carried out by simple processing units. The architecture has been developed under the paradigm of a multilayer neural network, where the different layers are composed by units whose activation functions have been extracted from the theory of Neural Dynamic [Grossberg, S. (1988). Nonlinear neural networks principles, mechanisms and architectures. Neural Networks, 1, 17-61]. A theoretical study of the behavior of the dynamic equations of the units and their relationship with some statistical functions allows establishing a parallelism between the unit activations and correlation and power density spectrum functions. To test the capabilities of the proposed approach, several testbeds have been employed, i.e. the frequencial study of mathematical functions. As a possible application of the architecture, a highly interesting problem in the field of automatic control is addressed: the recognition of a controlled DC motor operating state. PMID:18579344

  12. Somatosensory processing and schizophrenia liability: proprioception, exteroceptive sensitivity, and graphesthesia performance in the biological relatives of schizophrenia patients.

    PubMed

    Chang, Bernard P; Lenzenweger, Mark F

    2005-02-01

    In the present study, the authors examined somatosensory processing in 30 biological relatives of persons with schizophrenia (hereafter called "schizophrenia relatives"), 30 biological relatives of persons with bipolar affective disorder (psychiatric family control subjects), and 30 healthy control subjects with no family history of psychopathology. All 3 groups completed a weight discrimination task, a 2-point discrimination task, and a complex cognitive somatosensory task (i.e., graphesthesia). The schizophrenia relatives performed significantly worse on all 3 somatosensory tasks compared with both the healthy control subjects and the bipolar relatives. The healthy control subjects and psychiatric family control subjects showed no significant differences on any of the somatosensory tasks. Within the weight discrimination and 2-point discrimination tasks, schizophrenia relatives showed group differences on the d' index, the measure of sensitivity, whereas all 3 groups did not differ on lnbeta, the measure of response bias, suggesting a genuine difference in weight and touch sensitivity. The d' value of the weight discrimination task was significantly associated with both the cognitive-perceptual factor and negative symptom factor of the clinical questionnaire (e.g., Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire; SPQ), whereas the 2-point discrimination d' value and graphesthesia scores were significantly associated only with the cognitive-perceptual factor of the SPQ. Implications for the possible relation between somatosensory task performance and schizophrenia liability are discussed.

  13. The Berlin Affective Word List for Children (kidBAWL): Exploring Processing of Affective Lexical Semantics in the Visual and Auditory Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Sylvester, Teresa; Braun, Mario; Schmidtke, David; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2016-01-01

    While research on affective word processing in adults witnesses increasing interest, the present paper looks at another group of participants that have been neglected so far: pupils (age range: 6–12 years). Introducing a variant of the Berlin Affective Wordlist (BAWL) especially adapted for children of that age group, the “kidBAWL,” we examined to what extent pupils process affective lexical semantics similarly to adults. In three experiments using rating and valence decision tasks in both the visual and auditory modality, it was established that children show the two ubiquitous phenomena observed in adults with emotional word material: the asymmetric U-shaped function relating valence to arousal ratings, and the inversely U-shaped function relating response times to valence decision latencies. The results for both modalities show large structural similarities between pupil and adult data (taken from previous studies) indicating that in the present age range, the affective lexicon and the dynamic interplay between language and emotion is already well-developed. Differential effects show that younger children tend to choose less extreme ratings than older children and that rating latencies decrease with age. Overall, our study should help to develop more realistic models of word recognition and reading that include affective processes and offer a methodology for exploring the roots of pleasant literary experiences and ludic reading. PMID:27445930

  14. The Berlin Affective Word List for Children (kidBAWL): Exploring Processing of Affective Lexical Semantics in the Visual and Auditory Modalities.

    PubMed

    Sylvester, Teresa; Braun, Mario; Schmidtke, David; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2016-01-01

    While research on affective word processing in adults witnesses increasing interest, the present paper looks at another group of participants that have been neglected so far: pupils (age range: 6-12 years). Introducing a variant of the Berlin Affective Wordlist (BAWL) especially adapted for children of that age group, the "kidBAWL," we examined to what extent pupils process affective lexical semantics similarly to adults. In three experiments using rating and valence decision tasks in both the visual and auditory modality, it was established that children show the two ubiquitous phenomena observed in adults with emotional word material: the asymmetric U-shaped function relating valence to arousal ratings, and the inversely U-shaped function relating response times to valence decision latencies. The results for both modalities show large structural similarities between pupil and adult data (taken from previous studies) indicating that in the present age range, the affective lexicon and the dynamic interplay between language and emotion is already well-developed. Differential effects show that younger children tend to choose less extreme ratings than older children and that rating latencies decrease with age. Overall, our study should help to develop more realistic models of word recognition and reading that include affective processes and offer a methodology for exploring the roots of pleasant literary experiences and ludic reading. PMID:27445930

  15. Factors affecting cashew processing by wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus, Kerr 1792).

    PubMed

    Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Albani, Alessandro; Ventricelli, Marialba; Izar, Patricia; Schino, Gabriele; Fragazsy, Dorothy

    2016-08-01

    Cashew nuts are very nutritious but so well defended by caustic chemicals that very few species eat them. We investigated how wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) living at Fazenda Boa Vista (FBV; Piauí, Brazil) process cashew nuts (Anacardium spp.) to avoid the caustic chemicals contained in the seed mesocarp. We recorded the behavior of 23 individuals toward fresh (N = 1282) and dry (N = 477) cashew nuts. Adult capuchins used different sets of behaviors to process nuts: rubbing for fresh nuts and tool use for dry nuts. Moreover, adults succeed to open dry nuts both by using teeth and tools. Age and body mass significantly affected success. Signs of discomfort (e.g., chemical burns, drooling) were rare. Young capuchins do not frequently closely observe adults processing cashew nuts, nor eat bits of nut processed by others. Thus, observing the behavior of skillful group members does not seem important for learning how to process cashew nuts, although being together with group members eating cashews is likely to facilitate interest toward nuts and their inclusion into the diet. These findings differ from those obtained when capuchins crack palm nuts, where observations of others cracking nuts and encounters with the artifacts of cracking produced by others are common and support young individuals' persistent practice at cracking. Cashew nut processing by capuchins in FBV appears to differ from that observed in a conspecific population living 320 km apart, where capuchins use tools to open both fresh and dry nuts. Moreover, in the latter population, chemical burns due to cashew caustic compounds appear to be common. The sources of these differences across populations deserve investigation, especially given that social influences on young monkeys learning to open cashew nuts at FBV seem to be nonspecific. Am. J. Primatol. 78:799-815, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27008439

  16. Factors affecting cashew processing by wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus, Kerr 1792).

    PubMed

    Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Albani, Alessandro; Ventricelli, Marialba; Izar, Patricia; Schino, Gabriele; Fragazsy, Dorothy

    2016-08-01

    Cashew nuts are very nutritious but so well defended by caustic chemicals that very few species eat them. We investigated how wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) living at Fazenda Boa Vista (FBV; Piauí, Brazil) process cashew nuts (Anacardium spp.) to avoid the caustic chemicals contained in the seed mesocarp. We recorded the behavior of 23 individuals toward fresh (N = 1282) and dry (N = 477) cashew nuts. Adult capuchins used different sets of behaviors to process nuts: rubbing for fresh nuts and tool use for dry nuts. Moreover, adults succeed to open dry nuts both by using teeth and tools. Age and body mass significantly affected success. Signs of discomfort (e.g., chemical burns, drooling) were rare. Young capuchins do not frequently closely observe adults processing cashew nuts, nor eat bits of nut processed by others. Thus, observing the behavior of skillful group members does not seem important for learning how to process cashew nuts, although being together with group members eating cashews is likely to facilitate interest toward nuts and their inclusion into the diet. These findings differ from those obtained when capuchins crack palm nuts, where observations of others cracking nuts and encounters with the artifacts of cracking produced by others are common and support young individuals' persistent practice at cracking. Cashew nut processing by capuchins in FBV appears to differ from that observed in a conspecific population living 320 km apart, where capuchins use tools to open both fresh and dry nuts. Moreover, in the latter population, chemical burns due to cashew caustic compounds appear to be common. The sources of these differences across populations deserve investigation, especially given that social influences on young monkeys learning to open cashew nuts at FBV seem to be nonspecific. Am. J. Primatol. 78:799-815, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Assessment of biological chromium among stainless steel and mild steel welders in relation to welding processes.

    PubMed

    Edmé, J L; Shirali, P; Mereau, M; Sobaszek, A; Boulenguez, C; Diebold, F; Haguenoer, J M

    1997-01-01

    Air and biological monitoring were used for assessing external and internal chromium exposure among 116 stainless steel welders (SS welders) using manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding processes (MMA: n = 57; MIG: n = 37; TIG: n = 22) and 30 mild steel welders (MS welders) using MMA and MIG welding processes (MMA: n = 14; MIG: n = 16). The levels of atmospheric total chromium were evaluated after personal air monitoring. The mean values for the different groups of SS welders were 201 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 185 micrograms/m3 (MIG), 52 micrograms/m3 (TIG) and for MS welders 8.1 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 7.3 micrograms/m3 (MIG). The curve of cumulative frequency distribution from biological monitoring among SS welders showed chromium geometric mean concentrations in whole blood of 3.6 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 19.9), in plasma of 3.3 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 21.0) and in urine samples of 6.2 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 58.0). Among MS welders, mean values in whole blood and plasma were rather more scattered (1.8 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 9.3 and 1.3 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 8.4, respectively) and in urine the value was 2.4 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 13.3). The analysis of variance of chromium concentrations in plasma previously showed a metal effect (F = 29.7, P < 0.001), a process effect (F = 22.2, P < 0.0001) but no metal-process interaction (F = 1.3, P = 0.25). Concerning urinary chromium concentration, the analysis of variance also showed a metal effect (F = 30, P < 0.0001), a process effect (F = 72, P < 0.0001) as well as a metal-process interaction (F = 13.2, P = 0.0004). Throughout the study we noted any significant differences between smokers and non-smokers among welders. Taking in account the relationships between chromium concentrations in whole, plasma or urine and the different welding process. MMA-SS is definitely different from other processes because the biological values

  18. Assessment of biological chromium among stainless steel and mild steel welders in relation to welding processes.

    PubMed

    Edmé, J L; Shirali, P; Mereau, M; Sobaszek, A; Boulenguez, C; Diebold, F; Haguenoer, J M

    1997-01-01

    Air and biological monitoring were used for assessing external and internal chromium exposure among 116 stainless steel welders (SS welders) using manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding processes (MMA: n = 57; MIG: n = 37; TIG: n = 22) and 30 mild steel welders (MS welders) using MMA and MIG welding processes (MMA: n = 14; MIG: n = 16). The levels of atmospheric total chromium were evaluated after personal air monitoring. The mean values for the different groups of SS welders were 201 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 185 micrograms/m3 (MIG), 52 micrograms/m3 (TIG) and for MS welders 8.1 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 7.3 micrograms/m3 (MIG). The curve of cumulative frequency distribution from biological monitoring among SS welders showed chromium geometric mean concentrations in whole blood of 3.6 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 19.9), in plasma of 3.3 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 21.0) and in urine samples of 6.2 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 58.0). Among MS welders, mean values in whole blood and plasma were rather more scattered (1.8 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 9.3 and 1.3 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 8.4, respectively) and in urine the value was 2.4 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 13.3). The analysis of variance of chromium concentrations in plasma previously showed a metal effect (F = 29.7, P < 0.001), a process effect (F = 22.2, P < 0.0001) but no metal-process interaction (F = 1.3, P = 0.25). Concerning urinary chromium concentration, the analysis of variance also showed a metal effect (F = 30, P < 0.0001), a process effect (F = 72, P < 0.0001) as well as a metal-process interaction (F = 13.2, P = 0.0004). Throughout the study we noted any significant differences between smokers and non-smokers among welders. Taking in account the relationships between chromium concentrations in whole, plasma or urine and the different welding process. MMA-SS is definitely different from other processes because the biological values

  19. Mineral-Water Interface Processes Affecting Uranium Fate in Contaminated Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, J. G.

    2011-12-01

    Widespread uranium contamination of soil, sediments, and groundwater systems has resulted from mining activities, nuclear weapon production, and energy generation. The fate and transport of uranium in such systems is strongly affected by geochemical processes occurring at mineral-water interfaces. I will present a summary of the mineral-water interface processes found to affect uranium fate in example contaminated sediments at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford sites and in related model systems. Processes occurring under oxic conditions will be the primary focus of this talk as under these conditions uranium is most mobile and thus presents the greatest hazard. Three dominant solid-phase uranium species are observed in contaminated soil and sediments at the Hanford site: uranyl silicates, uranyl phosphates, and uranyl adsorbed to clays and iron oxides. In deep sediments, uranyl silicates are found in microfractures in feldspar grains, likely because slow diffusion in such fractures maintains a high silicate activity. Such silicates are also found in waste-impacted shallow sediments and soil; waste fluids or evaporative processes may have generated the silicate activity needed to produce such phases. Uranyl phosphates are less abundant, occurring primarily in shallow sediments exposed to P-bearing waste fluids. However, remediation approaches under consideration may produce substantial quantities of uranyl phosphates in the future. Adsorbed uranyl is dispersed throughout contaminated soils and shallow sediments and likely has the greatest potential for remobilization. Analogue studies show that precipitation of uranyl phosphates is rapid when such phases are supersaturated and that both homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation may occur. Specific adsorption of uranyl to minerals is strongly affected by the presence of complexation anions. Carbonate suppresses uranyl adsorption but also forms uranyl-carbonate ternary surface complexes. At conditions below

  20. THE SIZE AND SURFACE COATING OF NANOSILVER DIFFERENTIALLY AFFECTS BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER (RBEC4) CELLS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Linking the physical properties of nanoparticles with differences in their biological activity is critical for understanding their potential toxicity and mode of action. The influence of aggregate size, surface coating, and surface charge on nanosilver's (nanoAg) movement through...