Science.gov

Sample records for affected biological processes

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Affective processing requires awareness.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Gas transport processes in sea ice: How convection and diffusion processes might affect biological imprints, a challenge for modellers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tison, J.-L.; Zhou, J.; Thomas, D. N.; Rysgaard, S.; Eicken, H.; Crabeck, O.; Deleu, F.; Delille, B.

    2012-04-01

    Recent data from a year-round survey of landfast sea ice growth in Barrow (Alaska) have shown how O2/N2 and O2/Ar ratios could be used to pinpoint primary production in sea ice and derive net productivity rates from the temporal evolution of the oxygen concentration at a given depth within the sea ice cover. These rates were however obtained surmising that neither convection, nor diffusion had affected the gas concentration profiles in the ice between discrete ice core collections. This paper discusses examples from three different field surveys (the above-mentioned Barrow experiment, the INTERICE IV tank experiment in Hamburg and a short field survey close to the Kapisilit locality in the South-East Greenland fjords) where convection or diffusion processes have clearly affected the temporal evolution of the gas profiles in the ice, therefore potentially affecting biological signatures. The INTERICE IV and Barrow experiment show that the initial equilibrium dissolved gas entrapment within the skeletal layer basically governs most of the profiles higher up in the sea ice cover during the active sea ice growth. However, as the ice layers age and cool down under the temperature gradient, bubble nucleation occurs while the concentration in the ice goes well above the theoretical one, calculated from brine equilibrium under temperature and salinity changes and observed brine volumes. This phase change locks the gases within the sea ice structure, preventing "degassing" of the ice, as is observed for salts under the mushy layer brine convection process. In some cases, mainly in the early stages of the freezing process (first 10-20 cm) where temperature gradients are strong and the ice still permeable on its whole thickness, repeated convection and bubble nucleation can actually increase the gas concentration in the ice above the one initially acquired within the skeletal layer. Convective processes will also occur on ice decay, when ice permeability is restored and the

  5. Biological Processes Affecting Bioaccumulation, Transfer, and Toxicity of Metal Contaminants in Estuarine Sediments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    acclimation……………………………………………………………………….p. 59 Figure 26. Interactive transcriptome revealed……………………………………p. 60 Figure 27. Functional network of... interacting genes……………………………...p. 61 4 Tables: Table 1. Salinity, DOC and metal concentration additions…………………..….p. 13 Table 2. AVS-SEM... ecology , metal biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology, applied genomics) to investigate “fundamental pathways and processes controlling the movement of

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Positive affect and psychobiological processes.

    PubMed

    Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-09-01

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

  8. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-21

    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".

  9. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Sentences as Biological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeil, David

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

  12. Fixed-film biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    Josephson, J.

    1982-07-01

    During the 1970's, interest in fixed-film biological (FFB) processes for wastewater treatment has increased markedly. One reason for this is that these systems have a potential for considerable energy savings, as compared to conventional suspended-growth or activated-sludge systems, and certain FFB processes may eventually become energy producers. In this article, FFB processes are reviewed. Aerobic and anaerobic FFB systems are discussed and compared, along with a discussion of the toxic substances produced by FFB processes.

  13. Biological Processes for Hydrogen Production.

    PubMed

    van Niel, Ed W J

    Methane is produced usually from organic waste in a straightforward anaerobic digestion process. However, hydrogen production is technically more challenging as more stages are needed to convert all biomass to hydrogen because of thermodynamic constraints. Nevertheless, the benefit of hydrogen is that it can be produced, both biologically and thermochemically, in more than one way from either organic compounds or water. Research in biological hydrogen production is booming, as reflected by the myriad of recently published reviews on the topic. This overview is written from the perspective of how to transfer as much energy as possible from the feedstock into the gaseous products hydrogen, and to a lesser extent, methane. The status and remaining challenges of all the biological processes are concisely discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. Biological Concepts. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, John W.

    This manual contains the textual material for a three-lesson unit which introduces students to the basic concepts applicable to all biological treatment systems. The general topic areas addressed in the lessons are: (1) the microorganisms found in biological systems; (2) the factors that affect the growth and health of biological systems; and (3)…

  16. Hybrid Thermochemical/Biological Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Robert C.

    The conventional view of biorefineries is that lignocellulosic plant material will be fractionated into cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and terpenes before these components are biochemically converted into market products. Occasionally, these plants include a thermochemical step at the end of the process to convert recalcitrant plant components or mixed waste streams into heat to meet thermal energy demands elsewhere in the facility. However, another possibility for converting high-fiber plant materials is to start by thermochemically processing it into a uniform intermediate product that can be biologically converted into a bio-based product. This alternative route to bio-based products is known as hybrid thermochemical/biological processing. There are two distinct approaches to hybrid processing: (a) gasification followed by fermentation of the resulting gaseous mixture of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), and carbon dioxide (CO2) and (b) fast pyrolysis followed by hydrolysis and/or fermentation of the anhydrosugars found in the resulting bio-oil. This article explores this "cart before the horse" approach to biorefineries.

  17. Biological sex affects the neurobiology of autism.

    PubMed

    Lai, Meng-Chuan; Lombardo, Michael V; Suckling, John; Ruigrok, Amber N V; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev; Ecker, Christine; Deoni, Sean C L; Craig, Michael C; Murphy, Declan G M; Bullmore, Edward T; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2013-09-01

    In autism, heterogeneity is the rule rather than the exception. One obvious source of heterogeneity is biological sex. Since autism was first recognized, males with autism have disproportionately skewed research. Females with autism have thus been relatively overlooked, and have generally been assumed to have the same underlying neurobiology as males with autism. Growing evidence, however, suggests that this is an oversimplification that risks obscuring the biological base of autism. This study seeks to answer two questions about how autism is modulated by biological sex at the level of the brain: (i) is the neuroanatomy of autism different in males and females? and (ii) does the neuroanatomy of autism fit predictions from the 'extreme male brain' theory of autism, in males and/or in females? Neuroanatomical features derived from voxel-based morphometry were compared in a sample of equal-sized high-functioning male and female adults with and without autism (n = 120, n = 30/group). The first question was investigated using a 2 × 2 factorial design, and by spatial overlap analyses of the neuroanatomy of autism in males and females. The second question was tested through spatial overlap analyses of specific patterns predicted by the extreme male brain theory. We found that the neuroanatomy of autism differed between adult males and females, evidenced by minimal spatial overlap (not different from that occurred under random condition) in both grey and white matter, and substantially large white matter regions showing significant sex × diagnosis interactions in the 2 × 2 factorial design. These suggest that autism manifests differently by biological sex. Furthermore, atypical brain areas in females with autism substantially and non-randomly (P < 0.001) overlapped with areas that were sexually dimorphic in neurotypical controls, in both grey and white matter, suggesting neural 'masculinization'. This was not seen in males with autism. How differences in neuroanatomy

  18. Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Physical-Chemical-Biological Processes Affecting Archeological Sites Held in College Station, Texas on May 27-29, 1987

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-01-01

    great antiquity. This and other work by geologists provided the geologic framework for the development of a Paleolithic chronology in Europe 11. A...KATHY DIANE, 1984, Processes of Paleolithic Site Formation: An Experimental Study: PhD Dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, 467p... paleolithic cultural and faunal material found in Pleistocene sediments. In Davidson, Donald A., and Shackley, Myra L., (editors), Geoarchaeology

  19. Can Polyphosphate Biochemistry Affect Biological Apatite Saturation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. Site remediation using biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    Lei, J.; Sansregret, J.L.; Cyr, B.; Pouliot, Y.

    1995-11-01

    The main process used in the bioremediation of contaminated sites is the microbial degradation and mineralization of pollutants. The bioengineering processes developed and applied by the company to optimize the microbial degradation are described and full scale case studies are reviewed. In each case, the site characteristics (type of contaminants, nature of soil, geographic location, etc.) and the results obtained are presented. The selected projects cover different bioremediation techniques (biopile, bioventing and air sparging), different contaminants (PAH, PCP, hydrocarbons) and different types of industrial sites (former gas work plant, petroleum depot, refinery, etc.).

  2. Introductory Biology and Scientific Process-- Any Connection?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fleishman, Ruth; Crocker, Denton W.

    1972-01-01

    Biology curriculum was developed, for the first year biology students, with an emphasis on scientific processes and understanding of ecosystems and enzyme systems. Lab classes were very useful along with teachers and discussions. Faculty was highly convinced of objectives of the course. (PS)

  3. Positive affect and psychobiological processes relevant to health.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Dockray, Samantha; Wardle, Jane

    2009-12-01

    Empirical evidence suggests that there are marked associations between positive psychological states and health outcomes, including reduced cardiovascular disease risk and increased resistance to infection. These observations have stimulated the investigation of behavioral and biological processes that might mediate protective effects. Evidence linking positive affect with health behaviors has been mixed, though recent cross-cultural research has documented associations with exercising regularly, not smoking, and prudent diet. At the biological level, cortisol output has been consistently shown to be lower among individuals reporting positive affect, and favorable associations with heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 have also been described. Importantly, these relationships are independent of negative affect and depressed mood, suggesting that positive affect may have distinctive biological correlates that can benefit health. At the same time, positive affect is associated with protective psychosocial factors such as greater social connectedness, perceived social support, optimism, and preference for adaptive coping responses. Positive affect may be part of a broader profile of psychosocial resilience that reduces risk of adverse physical health outcomes.

  4. Affect intensity and processing fluency of deterrents.

    PubMed

    Holman, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    The theory of emotional intensity (Brehm, 1999) suggests that the intensity of affective states depends on the magnitude of their current deterrents. Our study investigated the role that fluency--the subjective experience of ease of information processing--plays in the emotional intensity modulations as reactions to deterrents. Following an induction phase of good mood, we manipulated both the magnitude of deterrents (using sets of photographs with pre-tested potential to instigate an emotion incompatible with the pre-existent affective state--pity) and their processing fluency (normal vs. enhanced through subliminal priming). Current affective state and perception of deterrents were then measured. In the normal processing conditions, the results revealed the cubic effect predicted by the emotional intensity theory, with the initial affective state being replaced by the one appropriate to the deterrent only in participants exposed to the high magnitude deterrence. In the enhanced fluency conditions the emotional intensity pattern was drastically altered; also, the replacement of the initial affective state occurred at a lower level of deterrence magnitude (moderate instead of high), suggesting the strengthening of deterrence emotional impact by enhanced fluency.

  5. 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.…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-08

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

  7. Biological Modulation of Deep Earth Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, Norm

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Update on the biology of seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Chang-Ho; Lam, Raymond W

    2005-08-01

    The etiology and pathophysiology of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been linked to the seasons and to light since its first conceptualization. Aspects of SAD that make it particularly amenable to biological investigation include the predictable recurrent episodes, the rapid response to a nonpharmacologic treatment, the specific neurovegetative features, and the availability of rich animal models of seasonality. This paper reviews new findings for the major biological hypotheses for SAD, focusing on circadian rhythms, neurotransmitters, and molecular genetics. Integrative issues and future directions for the study of SAD, including the heuristic value of a dual-vulnerability hypothesis that conceptualizes seasonality as a dimensional construct and the importance of studying endophenotypes, will be discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Chapter 4: Measuring Energetics of Biological Processes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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.

  14. Application of molecular modeling to biological processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrey, Alfred H.; Famini, George R.; Wick, Charles

    1993-07-01

    Detailed understanding of the molecular basis for biological processes is now available through computational modeling techniques. Advances in computational algorithms and technology allow applications to large biological macromolecules and permits the study of such problems as binding mechanisms, chemical reactivity, structural and conformational effects, and simulations of molecular motions. Recent crystallographic data provides access to detailed structural information that allows analysis and comparison of various computational techniques. Preliminary semiempirical studies on N-acetylneuraminic acid are presented as an example of computational studies on binding mechanisms. N-acetylneuraminic acid is a substituted carbohydrate, which is a recognition site for binding of proteins (i.e., cholera toxin). These calculations provide some insight into electronic effects on bin in a crystal complex and the effect of the molecular charge on hydrogen bonding the crystal complex.

  15. Assessment of biological Hydrogen production processes: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Emphasizing the process of science in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Augustino, Tracy Marie

    The purpose of this project was to emphasize the process of science which is used in all aspects of life. Students in an Introductory Biology class practiced making observations, identifying patterns and asking questions based on observed patterns. The questions led to the development of multiple hypotheses with students predicting possible results. Students had opportunities to discuss their predictions with peers and the instructor. They discussed additional steps, alternative observations and questions, further exploring the process of science. To objectively evaluate the increased knowledge, students were given a pre-test and post-test that covered the points presented. Data analysis indicated that participation in unit activities successfully increased the students' understanding of the process of science.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Image processing and recognition for biological images.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Seiichi

    2013-05-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

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

  6. Biological treatment of a seafood processing wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Mines, R.O. Jr.; Robertson, R.R. II

    1998-07-01

    The seafood industry in Tampa is a multi-million dollar-per-year industry which heavily impacts the environment with large volumes of wastewater containing high concentrations of suspended solids and nitrogen. A 10 liter per day, bench-scale, wastewater treatment facility was designed, constructed, and operated for approximately eight (8) months to collect treat ability data on a seafood-processing wastewater. The bench-scale reactor consisted of a single-sludge, extended aeration, modified Ludzack-Ettinger (MLE) process for biologically removing carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus from the wastewater. Influent and effluent data collected on the system included: chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, total nitrogen (TN), pH, total phosphorus (TP), dissolved oxygen (DO), alkalinity, and temperature. All analyses were performed in accordance with Standard Methods (1992). Typical influent characteristics were: 900--4,000 mg/L COD, 45--110 mg/L TKN, 150--2,000 mg/L TSS, and 40--80 mg/L TP. Solids residence time (SRT) served as the primary control parameter with average STR's of 4.5, 6.4, 8.5, and 30.9 days observed during the study. The following biokinetic constants were determined from the data: a yield coefficient (Y) of 0.49 mg TSS/mg COD and an endogenous decay coefficient (k{sub e}) of 0.11 days{sup {minus}1}.

  7. Do unconscious processes affect educational institutions?

    PubMed

    Hinshelwood, R D

    2009-10-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Financial Exigency: Need It Affect the Quality of Biology Curricula?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Robert G.; Abramoff, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Outlines Marquette University's response to declining enrollments and financial restraints for its undergraduate biology curriculum, beginning with a description of the old program and its problems. Discusses redefinition of laboratory role, uncoupling and reducing number of laboratories required, teacher responsibility changes, centralized…

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Biological Information Processing in Single Microtubules

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-03-05

    single Microtubule Google Mountain view campus, workshop on quantum biology 22 October 2010 3. Paul Davies Beyond Center at Arizona State University...Phoenix) Phoenix, workshop on quantum biology and cancer research, Experimental studies on single microtubule, 25-27 October 2010, Tempe, Arizona...State University, USA 4. Quantum aspects of microtubule: Direct experimental evidence for the existence of quantum states in microtubule, Towards a

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Cognitive control modulates preferential sensory processing of affective stimuli.

    PubMed

    Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.

  19. Cow biological type affects ground beef colour stability.

    PubMed

    Raines, Christopher R; Hunt, Melvin C; Unruh, John A

    2009-12-01

    To determine the effects of cow biological type on colour stability of ground beef, M. semimembranosus from beef-type (BSM) and dairy-type (DSM) cows was obtained 5d postmortem. Three blends (100% BSM, 50% BSM+50% DSM, 100% DSM) were adjusted to 90% and 80% lean points using either young beef trim (YBT) or beef cow trim (BCT), then packaged in high oxygen (High-O(2); 80% O(2)) modified atmosphere (MAP). The BSM+YBT patties had the brightest colour initially, but discoloured rapidly. Although DSM+BCT patties had the darkest colour initially, they discoloured least during display. Metmyoglobin reducing ability of ground DSM was up to fivefold greater than ground BSM, and TBARS values of BSM was twofold greater than DSM by the end of display (4d). Though initially darker than beef cow lean, dairy cow lean has a longer display colour life and may be advantageous to retailers using High-O(2) MAP.

  20. 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.

  1. Mixing and Processing of Complex Biological Fluids

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-01

    Microfabricated Microneedles ," Technical Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Computational Nanoscienceand Nanotechnology, and Technical...France, 12-14 Oct. 2000, 311-15. Zahn, J.D. and Liepmann, D. (2000) "Complex Biological Fluid Flow Through Microfabricated Microneedles ," Proceedings

  2. Soil biological activity as affected by tillage intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gajda, A.; 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.

  3. Students' application of a biological concept: Factors affecting consistency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, David

    1996-12-01

    This study investigated factors affecting students' ability to apply consistently the concept of adaptations (i.e., characteristics which suit an organism to its environment). Individual interviews were carried out with 74 Year 10 students, of whom only 47% showed an understanding of the concept. These students were asked to indicate on a list of living and non-living items which ones whould have adaptations. It was found that they were more likely to apply the concept to vertebrates than to other types of living things. In addition, many students appeared to be unable to separate consistently the idea of “adaptations as characteristics” from the other everyday and scientific meanings of the terms “adapt” and “adaptation”.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  5. Simulated microgravity affects some biological characteristics of Lactobacillus acidophilus.

    PubMed

    Shao, Dongyan; Yao, Linbo; Riaz, Muhammad Shahid; Zhu, Jing; Shi, Junling; Jin, Mingliang; Huang, Qingsheng; Yang, Hui

    2017-04-01

    The effects of weightlessness on enteric microorganisms have been extensively studied, but have mainly been focused on pathogens. As a major component of the microbiome of the human intestinal tract, probiotics are important to keep the host healthy. Accordingly, understanding their changes under weightlessness conditions has substantial value. This study was carried out to investigate the characteristics of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a typical probiotic for humans, under simulated microgravity (SMG) conditions. The results revealed that SMG had no significant impact on the morphology of L. acidophilus, but markedly shortened its lag phase, enhanced its growth rate, acid tolerance ability up to pH < 2.5, and the bile resistance at the bile concentration of <0.05%. SMG also decreased the sensitivity of L. acidophilus to cefalexin, sulfur gentamicin, and sodium penicillin. No obvious effect of SMG was observed on the adhesion ability of L. acidophilus to Caco-2 cells. Moreover, after SMG treatment, both the culture of L. acidophilus and its liquid phase exhibited higher antibacterial activity against S. typhimurium and S. aureus in a time-dependent manner. The SMG treatment also increased the in vitro cholesterol-lowering ability of L. acidophilus by regulating the expression of the key cholesterol metabolism genes CYP7A1, ABCB11, LDLR, and HMGCR in the HepG2 cell line. Thus, the SMG treatment did have considerable influence on some biological activities and characteristics of L. acidophilus related to human health. These findings provided valuable information for understanding the influence of probiotics on human health under simulated microgravity conditions, at least.

  6. 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.

  7. Biological Information Processing in Single Microtubules

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-20

    electronic properties of a single Microtubule Google Mountain view campus, workshop on quantum biology 22 October 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...Chemists, Tsukuba, Japan March 1-3, (2011) 3. Quantum aspects of microtubule: Direct experimental evidence for the existence of quantum states in...microtubule, Towards a science of consciousness May 2-8 (2011), Sweden 4. Electromagnetic energy of cells and microtubule: how microtubule research will

  8. DEMONSTRATION BULLETIN: BIOLOGICAL DENITRIFICATION PROCESS, ECOMAT, INC.

    EPA Science Inventory

    EcoMat, Inc. of Hayward, CA has developed a two-stage ex situ anoxic biofilter biodenitrification process. The process is a fixed film bioremediation, using biocarriers and specific bacteria to treat nitrate-contaminated water. Unique to EcoMat's process is a patented mixed bed r...

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Quantitative high spatiotemporal imaging of biological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borbely, Joe; Otterstrom, Jason; Mohan, Nitin; Manzo, Carlo; Lakadamyali, Melike

    2015-08-01

    Super-resolution microscopy has revolutionized fluorescence imaging providing access to length scales that are much below the diffraction limit. The super-resolution methods have the potential for novel discoveries in biology. However, certain technical limitations must be overcome for this potential to be fulfilled. One of the main challenges is the use of super-resolution to study dynamic events in living cells. In addition, the ability to extract quantitative information from the super-resolution images is confounded by the complex photophysics that the fluorescent probes exhibit during the imaging. Here, we will review recent developments we have been implementing to overcome these challenges and introduce new steps in automated data acquisition towards high-throughput imaging.

  14. 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.

  15. Role of water in some biological processes.

    PubMed Central

    Wiggins, P M

    1990-01-01

    The state of intracellular water has been a matter of controversy for a long time for two reasons. First, experiments have often given conflicting results. Second, hitherto, there have been no plausible grounds for assuming that intracellular water should be significantly different from bulk water. A collective behavior of water molecules is suggested here as a thermodynamically inevitable mechanism for generation of appreciable zones of abnormal water. At a highly charged surface, water molecules move together, generating a zone of water perhaps 6 nm thick, which is weakly hydrogen bonded, fluid, and reactive and selectively accumulates small cations, multivalent anions, and hydrophobic solutes. At a hydrophobic surface, molecules move apart and local water becomes strongly bonded, inert, and viscous and accumulates large cations, univalent anions, and compatible solutes. Proteins and many other biopolymers have patchy surfaces which therefore induce, by the two mechanisms described, patchy interfacial water structures, which extended appreciable distances from the surface. The reason for many conflicting experimental results now becomes apparent. Average values of properties of water measured in gels, cells, or solutions of proteins are often not very different from the same properties of normal water, giving no indication that they are averages of extreme values. To detect the operation of this phenomenon, it is necessary to probe selectively a single abnormal population. Examples of such experiments are given. It is shown that this collective behavior of water molecules amounts to a considerable biological force, which can be equivalent to a pressure of 1,000 atm (1.013 x 10(5) kPa). It is suggested that cells selectively accumulate K+ ions and compatible solutes to avoid extremes of water structure in their aqueous compartments, but that cation pumps and other enzymes exploit the different solvent properties and reactivities of water to perform work of

  16. A Mathematical Analysis of a Biology Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Affective value and associative processing share a cortical substrate.

    PubMed

    Shenhav, Amitai; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Bar, Moshe

    2013-03-01

    The brain stores information in an associative manner so that contextually related entities are connected in memory. Such associative representations mediate the brain's ability to generate predictions about which other objects and events to expect in a given context. Likewise, the brain encodes and is able to rapidly retrieve the affective value of stimuli in our environment. That both contextual associations and affect serve as building blocks of numerous mental functions often makes interpretation of brain activation ambiguous. A critical brain region where such activation has often resulted in equivocal interpretation is the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), which has been implicated separately in both affective and associative processing. To characterize its role more unequivocally, we tested whether activity in the mOFC was most directly attributable to affective processing, associative processing, or a combination of both. Subjects performed an object recognition task while undergoing fMRI scans. Objects varied independently in their affective valence and in their degree of association with other objects (associativity). Analyses revealed an overlapping sensitivity whereby the left mOFC responded both to increasingly positive affective value and to stronger associativity. These two properties individually accounted for mOFC response, even after controlling for their interrelationship. The role of the mOFC is either general enough to encompass associations that link stimuli both with reinforcing outcomes and with other stimuli or abstract enough to use both valence and associativity in conjunction to inform downstream processes related to perception and action. These results may further point to a fundamental relationship between associativity and positive affect.

  20. Student perceptions of their biology teacher's interpersonal teaching behaviors and student achievement and affective learning outcomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Wade Clay, Jr.

    The primary goals of this dissertation were to determine the relationships between interpersonal teaching behaviors and student achievement and affective learning outcomes. The instrument used to collect student perceptions of teacher interpersonal teaching behaviors was the Questionnaire on Teacher Interactions (QTI). The instrument used to assess student affective learning outcomes was the Biology Student Affective Instrument (BSAI). The interpersonal teaching behavior data were collected using students as the observers. 111 students in an urban influenced, rural high school answered the QTI and BSAI in September 1997 and again in April 1998. At the same time students were pre and post tested using the Biology End of Course Examination (BECE). The QTI has been used primarily in European and Oceanic areas. The instrument was also primarily used in educational stratified environment. This was the first time the BSAI was used to assess student affective learning outcomes. The BECE is a Texas normed cognitive assessment test and it is used by Texas schools districts as the end of course examination in biology. The interpersonal teaching behaviors model was tested to ascertain if predictive power in the USA and in a non-stratified educational environment. Findings indicate that the QTI is an adequate predictor of student achievement in biology. The results were not congruent with the non-USA data and results, this indicates that the QTI is a society/culturally sensitive instrument and the instrument needs to be normed to a particular society/culture before it is used to affect teachers' and students' educational environments.

  1. 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…

  2. fMRI Scanner Noise Interaction with Affective Neural Processes

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. How current ginning processes affect fiber length uniformity index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a need to develop cotton ginning methods that improve fiber characteristics that are compatible with the newer and more efficient spinning technologies. A literature search produced recent studies that described how current ginning processes affect HVI fiber length uniformity index. Resul...

  6. 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…

  7. Sequencing biological and physical events affects specific frequency bands within the human premotor cortex: an intracerebral EEG study.

    PubMed

    Caruana, Fausto; Sartori, Ivana; Lo Russo, Giorgio; Avanzini, Pietro

    2014-01-01

    Evidence that the human premotor cortex (PMC) is activated by cognitive functions involving the motor domain is classically explained as the reactivation of a motor program decoupled from its executive functions, and exploited for different purposes by means of a motor simulation. In contrast, the evidence that PMC contributes to the sequencing of non-biological events cannot be explained by the simulationist theory. Here we investigated how motor simulation and event sequencing coexist within the PMC and how these mechanisms interact when both functions are executed. We asked patients with depth electrodes implanted in the PMC to passively observe a randomized arrangement of images depicting biological actions and physical events and, in a second block, to sequence them in the correct order. This task allowed us to disambiguate between the simple observation of actions, their sequencing (recruiting different motor simulation processes), as well as the sequencing of non-biological events (recruiting a sequencer mechanism non dependant on motor simulation). We analysed the response of the gamma, alpha and beta frequency bands to evaluate the contribution of each brain rhythm to the observation and sequencing of both biological and non-biological stimuli. We found that motor simulation (biological>physical) and event sequencing (sequencing>observation) differently affect the three investigated frequency bands: motor simulation was reflected on the gamma and, partially, in the beta, but not in the alpha band. In contrast, event sequencing was also reflected on the alpha band.

  8. 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

  9. Humans process dog and human facial affect in similar ways.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    I.P. Ivanov

    2007-04-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-29

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Microflora of Processed Cheese and the Factors Affecting It.

    PubMed

    Buňková, Leona; Buňka, František

    2015-09-11

    The basic raw materials for the production of processed cheese are natural cheese which is treated by heat with the addition of emulsifying salts. From a point of view of the melting temperatures used (and the pH-value of the product), the course of processed cheese production can be considered "pasteurisation of cheese". During the melting process, the majority of vegetative forms of microorganisms, including bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae, are inactivated. The melting temperatures are not sufficient to kill the endospores, which survive the process but they are often weakened. From a microbiological point of view, the biggest contamination problem of processed cheese is caused by gram-positive spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria of the genera Bacillus, Geobacillus and Clostridium. Other factors affecting the shelf-life and quality of processed cheese are mainly the microbiological quality of the raw materials used, strict hygienic conditions during the manufacturing process as well as the type of packaging materials and storage conditions. The quality of processed cheese is not only dependent on the ingredients used but also on other parameters such as the value of water activity of the processed cheese, its pH-value, the presence of salts and emulsifying salts and the amount of fat in the product.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Electrophysiological Differences in the Processing of Affect Misattribution

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23145097

  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. 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

  6. iBiology: communicating the process of science.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Sarah S

    2014-08-01

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

  7. Pattern, process, inference and prediction in extinction biology.

    PubMed

    Brook, Barry W; Alroy, John

    2017-01-01

    Extinction is a key feature of the evolutionary history of life, and assessments of extinction risk are essential for the effective protection of biodiversity. The goal in assembling this special issue of Biology Letters was to highlight problems and questions at the research frontier of extinction biology, with an emphasis on recent developments in the methodology of inferring the patterns and processes of extinction from a background of often noisy and sparse data. In selecting topics, we sought to illustrate how extinction is not simply a self-evident phenomenon, but the subject of a dynamic and quantitatively rigorous field of natural science, with practical applications to conservation.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Constraining the North Pacific carbon sink: biological and physical processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayers, J.; Lozier, M.

    2010-12-01

    The transition zone region of the North Pacific is a notably large sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide on a mean annual basis, though seasonally the region varies between strong wintertime uptake and weak summertime outgassing. Because the direction of air-sea carbon flux is effectively set by the sea surface pCO2, we seek to identify and quantify those processes most responsible for its variability in this region. While changes in temperature, salinity, dissolved inorganic carbon, and alkalinity are all factors that impact sea surface pCO2 on a seasonal basis, on a mean annual basis the region must be maintained as a sink by processes that remove carbon from surface waters: biological drawdown as well as the result of advection/mixing. In this work we constrain the quantitative contribution of each of these processes throughout an annual cycle. The least constrained of these processes is the biological pump, which we estimate in two independent ways: bottom-up, using satellite data-based primary productivity models coupled with export estimates from literature; and top-down, by determining what the biological pump would need to be to maintain the observed sea surface pCO2 values in the region, given our estimates of all the other regulatory processes.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-09

    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.

  17. 100 years after Smoluchowski: stochastic processes in cell biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holcman, D.; Schuss, Z.

    2017-03-01

    100 years after Smoluchowski introduced his approach to stochastic processes, they are now at the basis of mathematical and physical modeling in cellular biology: they are used for example to analyse and to extract features from a large number (tens of thousands) of single molecular trajectories or to study the diffusive motion of molecules, proteins or receptors. Stochastic modeling is a new step in large data analysis that serves extracting cell biology concepts. We review here Smoluchowski’s approach to stochastic processes and provide several applications for coarse-graining diffusion, studying polymer models for understanding nuclear organization and finally, we discuss the stochastic jump dynamics of telomeres across cell division and stochastic gene regulation.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Influence of different natural physical fields on biological processes.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Biological nitrification process simulation in groundwater with dissolved oxygen controller

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Jinlong

    2009-07-01

    Nowadays groundwater contamination by nitrogenous fertilizer is a globally growing problem, but groundwater always serves as an important water source, especially in rural area. In order to tackle this problem, biological nitrification and denitrification process has been widely used for removal of nitrogenous pollutants from polluted water. To improve removal efficiency, the dissolved oxygen (DO) controller is presented. And the control strategies for the activated sludge process have been developed and evaluated by simulation. The results also showed that the DO controller will be applied widely in the control and management of the decentralization water treatment.

  6. 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

  7. Biological diversity of fish communities: pattern and process.

    PubMed

    Magurran, A E; Khachonpisitsak, S; Ahmad, A B

    2011-12-01

    For over 150 years, ecologists have been striving to explain fundamental patterns of biological diversity, such as the observation that communities invariably consist of common and rare species, and to unravel the processes that underpin these patterns. This task is increasingly urgent given the accelerating loss of biological diversity. Although fishes are the most diverse vertebrate taxon and fish communities occur in a wide range of habitats, they have been relatively little studied in the quest to elucidate the processes that shape patterns of biological diversity. Here, some of the topics that investigations of fish assemblages can illuminate are highlighted. These include the characteristics of ecological communities and the role that dispersal limitation plays in structuring them, the distinction between core and occasional species, the insights that evaluating abundance in different currencies can bring and the assessment of community capacity. Questions are identified that future investigations of fish communities might tackle and a case study of a biodiverse ecoregion (Thailand and Peninsula Malaysia) is used to illustrate the need for better links between these ecological questions and effective conservation practice.

  8. Hemispheric processing of memory is affected by sleep.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, Padraic; Shaw, John J; Ashworth-Lord, Anneliese; Newbury, Chloe R

    2017-04-01

    Sleep is known to affect learning and memory, but the extent to which it influences behavioural processing in the left and right hemispheres of the brain is as yet unknown. We tested two hypotheses about lateralised effects of sleep on recognition memory for words: whether sleep reactivated recent experiences of words promoting access to the long-term store in the left hemisphere (LH), and whether sleep enhanced spreading activation differentially in semantic networks in the hemispheres. In Experiment 1, participants viewed lists of semantically related words, then slept or stayed awake for 12h before being tested on seen, unseen but related, or unrelated words presented to the left or the right hemisphere. Sleep was found to promote word recognition in the LH, and to spread activation equally within semantic networks in both hemispheres. Experiment 2 ensured that the results were not due to time of day effects influencing cognitive performance.

  9. Economics of a commercial slurry-phase biological treatment process

    SciTech Connect

    Jerger, D.E.; Woodhull, P.M.

    1995-12-31

    Slurry-phase bioremediation is an engineered process for treating contaminated soils or sludges in a slurry of water at 10 to 40% solids. Slurry-phase treatment relies on the mobilization of contaminants to the aqueous phase, where they are susceptible to microbial degradation. The mobilization or dissolution step can be the result of either microbial or physical/chemical action. Operating parameters are maintained to provide optimal conditions for biological treatment of the contaminants. OHM Remediation Services Corp. has completed the full-scale slurry-phase biological treatment of 10,500 yd{sup 3} of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act-K001 wastes at the Southeastern Wood Preserving Superfund site in Canton, Mississippi. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in the untreated material ranged from 8,000 mg/kg to 12,000 mg/kg dry-weight. A 95% reduction in total PAH concentration was achieved following treatment.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kuniansky, Eve L; Lowery, Mark A; Campbell, Bruce 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.

  16. Barley cultivar, kernel composition, and processing affect the glycemic index.

    PubMed

    Aldughpassi, Ahmed; Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M; Wolever, Thomas M S

    2012-09-01

    Barley has a low glycemic index (GI), but it is unknown whether its GI is affected by variation in carbohydrate composition in different cultivars and by food processing and food form. To examine the effect of these factors on GI, 9 barley cultivars varying in amylose and β-glucan content were studied in 3 experiments in separate groups of 10 healthy participants. In Expt. 1, 3 barley cultivars underwent 2 levels of processing: hull removal [whole-grain (WG)] and bran, germ, and crease removal [white pearled (WP)]. GI varied by cultivar (CDC Fibar vs. AC Parkhill, [mean ± SEM]: 26 ± 3 vs. 53 ± 4, respectively; P < 0.05) and pearling (WG vs. WP: 26 ± 4 vs. 35 ± 3, respectively; P < 0.05) with no cultivar × pearling interaction. In Expt. 2, the GI of 7 WG cultivars ranged from 21 ± 4 to 36 ± 8 (P = 0.09). In Expt. 3, WG and WP AC Parkhill and Celebrity cultivars were ground and made into wet pasta. The GI of AC Parkhill pasta (69 ± 3) was similar to that of Celebrity pasta (64 ± 4) but, unlike in Expt. 1, the GI of WP pasta (61 ± 3) was less than that of WG pasta (72 ± 4) (P < 0.05). Pooled data from Expts. 1 and 2 showed that GI was correlated with total fiber (r = -0.75, P = 0.002) but not with measures of starch characteristics. We conclude that the GI of barley is influenced by cultivar, processing, and food form but is not predicted by its content of amylose or other starch characteristics.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Positive affect and psychosocial processes related to health.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; O'Donnell, Katie; Marmot, Michael; Wardle, Jane

    2008-05-01

    Positive affect is associated with longevity and favourable physiological function. We tested the hypothesis that positive affect is related to health-protective psychosocial characteristics independently of negative affect and socio-economic status. Both positive and negative affect were measured by aggregating momentary samples collected repeatedly over 1 day, and health-related psychosocial factors were assessed by questionnaire in a sample of 716 men and women aged 58-72 years. Positive affect was associated with greater social connectedness, emotional and practical support, optimism and adaptive coping responses, and lower depression, independently of age, gender, household income, paid employment, smoking status, and negative affect. Negative affect was independently associated with negative relationships, greater exposure to chronic stress, depressed mood, pessimism, and avoidant coping. Positive affect may be beneficial for health outcomes in part because it is a component of a profile of protective psychosocial characteristics.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. The detection and analysis of point processes in biological signals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. J.; Correia, M. J.

    1977-01-01

    A pragmatic approach to the detection and analysis of discrete events in biomedical signals is taken. Examples from both clinical and basic research are provided. Introductory sections discuss not only discrete events which are easily extracted from recordings by conventional threshold detectors but also events embedded in other information carrying signals. The primary considerations are factors governing event-time resolution and the effects limits to this resolution have on the subsequent analysis of the underlying process. The analysis portion describes tests for qualifying the records as stationary point processes and procedures for providing meaningful information about the biological signals under investigation. All of these procedures are designed to be implemented on laboratory computers of modest computational capacity.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Biosynthesis, processing and secretion of von Willebrand factor: biological implications.

    PubMed

    de Wit, T R; van Mourik, J A

    2001-06-01

    von Willebrand factor is a multimeric plasma glycoprotein that is required for normal haemostasis. von Willebrand factor is synthesized by endothelial cells and megakaryocytes, and originates from its precursor pro-von Willebrand factor. The endoproteolytic processing of pro-von Willebrand factor results in mature von Willebrand factor and von Willebrand factor propeptide (also known as von Willebrand Ag II). In endothelial cells, the propeptide controls the polymerization and subsequent targeting of von Willebrand factor to the storage vesicles, the so-called Weibel-Palade bodies. Upon stimulation of the endothelial cells, the Weibel-Palade bodies are translocated to the plasma membrane of the cell, and mature von Willebrand factor and its propeptide are co-secreted. After release, these polypeptides have divergent fates and serve different biological functions. Mature von Willebrand factor both controls platelet adhesion and aggregation at sites of vascular injury and acts as a chaperone protein for coagulation factor VIII. The von Willebrand factor propeptide may serve a role in modulating inflammatory processes. This still growing body of information indicates that the biological function of the von Willebrand factor gene product is more diverse than was previously thought.

  6. 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

  7. Automated Force Volume Image Processing for Biological Samples

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Junbo; Duval, Jérôme F. L.; Brie, David; Francius, Grégory

    2011-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has now become a powerful technique for investigating on a molecular level, surface forces, nanomechanical properties of deformable particles, biomolecular interactions, kinetics, and dynamic processes. This paper specifically focuses on the analysis of AFM force curves collected on biological systems, in particular, bacteria. The goal is to provide fully automated tools to achieve theoretical interpretation of force curves on the basis of adequate, available physical models. In this respect, we propose two algorithms, one for the processing of approach force curves and another for the quantitative analysis of retraction force curves. In the former, electrostatic interactions prior to contact between AFM probe and bacterium are accounted for and mechanical interactions operating after contact are described in terms of Hertz-Hooke formalism. Retraction force curves are analyzed on the basis of the Freely Jointed Chain model. For both algorithms, the quantitative reconstruction of force curves is based on the robust detection of critical points (jumps, changes of slope or changes of curvature) which mark the transitions between the various relevant interactions taking place between the AFM tip and the studied sample during approach and retraction. Once the key regions of separation distance and indentation are detected, the physical parameters describing the relevant interactions operating in these regions are extracted making use of regression procedure for fitting experiments to theory. The flexibility, accuracy and strength of the algorithms are illustrated with the processing of two force-volume images, which collect a large set of approach and retraction curves measured on a single biological surface. For each force-volume image, several maps are generated, representing the spatial distribution of the searched physical parameters as estimated for each pixel of the force-volume image. PMID:21559483

  8. Direction of Biological Motion Affects Early Brain Activation: A Link with Social Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Pegna, Alan John; Gehring, Elise; Meyer, Georg; Del Zotto, Marzia

    2015-01-01

    A number of EEG studies have investigated the time course of brain activation for biological movement over this last decade, however the temporal dynamics of processing are still debated. Moreover, the role of direction of movement has not received much attention even though it is an essential component allowing us to determine the intentions of the moving agent, and thus permitting the anticipation of potential social interactions. In this study, we examined event-related responses (ERPs) in 15 healthy human participants to light point walkers and their scrambled counterparts, whose movements occurred either in the radial or in the lateral plane. Compared to scrambled motion (SM), biological motion (BM) showed an enhanced negativity between 210 and 360ms. A source localization algorithm (sLORETA) revealed that this was due to an increase in superior and middle temporal lobe activity. Regarding direction, we found that radial BM produced an enhanced P1 compared to lateral BM, lateral SM and radial SM. This heightened P1 was due to an increase in activity in extrastriate regions, as well as in superior temporal, medial parietal and medial prefrontal areas. This network is known to be involved in decoding the underlying intentionality of the movement and in the attribution of mental states. The social meaning signaled by the direction of biological motion therefore appears to trigger an early response in brain activity. PMID:26121591

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. A review of the effects of seamounts on biological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boehlert, George W.; Genin, Amatzia

    Seamounts interacting with oceanic currents create flow complexities which depend upon current speed, stratification, latitude, and seamount morphology. Seamount effects, which include internal wave generation, eddy formation, local upwelling, and closed circulation patterns called Taylor columns, have important effects upon pelagic and benthic ecosystems over seamounts. The biological effects of these current-topography interactions are poorly understood. Flow acceleration on upper flanks of seamounts may lead to low sedimentation but areas of high standing stocks of benthic fauna, particularly filter feeders. Other effects extend into the water column; nutrient enrichment and enhanced primary productivity occur over some seamounts. Longer observational periods will be necessary to understand the time-varying nature of such enhanced productivity and the extent to which it remains at the seamount or is advected away. At higher trophic levels, unusual patterns of distribution and abundance occur at some seamounts. Maintenance of high standing stocks of seamount-associated micronekton and demersal fishes suggests that seamounts are locations for high rates of energy transfer. The energy driving this biological productivity may either be generated from in situ processes or be advected from elsewhere and concentrated at the seamount; interdisciplinary studies will be necessary to better understand these ecosystems.

  13. Histopathology of Growth Anomaly Affecting the Coral, Montipora capitata: Implications on Biological Functions and Population Viability

    PubMed Central

    Burns, John H. R.; Takabayashi, Misaki

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Identification of key water quality characteristics affecting the filterability of biologically treated effluent in low-pressure membrane filtration.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, T; Fan, L; Roddick, F A; Harris, J L

    2010-01-01

    There are many water quality characteristics which could influence the filterability of biologically treated effluent from Melbourne's Western Treatment Plant (WTP). Statistical correlation was used to identify the key water characteristics affecting the microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) filterability in terms of permeate volume of the treated effluent. The models developed showed that turbidity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total suspended solids (TSS) were the key factors which influenced the MF and UF filterability. Turbidity was the dominant factor affecting the accuracy of the model for MF filterability while DOC was the major factor affecting the accuracy of the model for UF filterability. A prediction accuracy of 85% was obtained for MF and 86% for UF filterability of the WTP effluent. The characteristics of the organic components of the wastewater were demonstrated by EEM spectra to have seasonal variation which would have reduced the prediction accuracy. As turbidity, DOC and TSS can be determined on-line, the models would be useful for rapid prediction of the filterability of WTP effluent and this may assist the control of low-pressure membrane filtration processes.

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

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Wardle, Jane; Marmot, Michael

    2005-05-03

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-09

    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.

  17. EPR imaging of diffusional processes in biologically relevant polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berliner, Lawrence J.; Fujii, Hirotada

    Diffusion processes in biological tissue are important problems for noninvasive investigation. As a model study, this work addresses the diffusion of an electrolyte buffer (Krebs) solution containing a nitroxide spin probe into a cylindrical polyacrylamide gel rod. The nitroxide spin density distribution was imaged at 1.6 GHz in gel cross sections at various time intervals for both homogeneous radial diffusion and inhomogeneous diffusion. A one-dimensional radial diffusion constant was calculated for the nitroxide spin probe, TEMPOL, of 3.7 ± 0.7 × 10 -6 cm 2/s at ambient temperature. The EPR spectrometer, using low-field flat-loop surface coils (H. Nishikawa, H. Fujii, and L. J. Berliner, J. Magn. Reson.62, 79 (1985)), showed minimal dielectric or magnetic losses in sensitity for electrolyte vs nondielectric samples.

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Ultrasonic microdevices for integrated on-chip biological sample processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, George Michael

    Integrated lab-on-a-chip devices, also known as micro total analysis systems (mu-TAS), are expected to play a leading role in biological research and medicine in the 21st century, and on-chip sample processing is a key function of such devices. A new class of ultrasonic microfluidic sample processing devices is presented, based on a single common fundamental unit---a capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer---and fabricated using a single common process. Arrays of the transducers are integrated with fluidic microchannels, allowing devices with different functions to be realized simply by altering the physical arrangement and electrical drive signals of the array elements. The efficient, in-plane manipulation of particle-laden liquids is achieved by the use of phased, co-planar transducers, allowing the generation of in-plane, cavity-mode standing waves in the microchannels, and permitting the efficient manipulation of suspended particles such as cells by acoustic radiation forces. Fabricated prototype devices include several types of ultrasonic particle filters, flow-through particle fractionators, particle collimators for cell alignment, devices for the ultrasonic lysing of cells, ultrasonic pumps and ultrasonic mixers. As part of the development effort, an investigation of the thin film silicon material known as "permeable polysilicon" was performed, resulting in the discovery that the material's liquid-permeability properties are caused by nanoscale pores that form spontaneously within an unusual morphological growth regime. A new, one-step porous polysilicon process is presented that allows the quick and easy fabrication of porous polysilicon films for a wide range of applications. The process is used to fabricate the ultrasonic immersion transducers used in the device arrays, and allows the convenient fabrication of a wide variety of microstructures that would be difficult or impossible to fabricate by other means. In addition, a new simulation code is

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. [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.

  5. Posttranslational modifications of desmin and their implication in biological processes and pathologies.

    PubMed

    Winter, Daniel L; Paulin, Denise; Mericskay, Mathias; Li, Zhenlin

    2014-01-01

    Desmin, the muscle-specific intermediate filament, is involved in myofibrillar myopathies, dilated cardiomyopathy and muscle wasting. Desmin is the target of posttranslational modifications (PTMs) such as phosphorylation, ADP-ribosylation and ubiquitylation as well as nonenzymatic modifications such as glycation, oxidation and nitration. Several PTM target residues and their corresponding modifying enzymes have been discovered in human and nonhuman desmin. The major effect of phosphorylation and ADP-ribosylation is the disassembly of desmin filaments, while ubiquitylation of desmin leads to its degradation. The regulation of the desmin filament network by phosphorylation and ADP-ribosylation was found to be implicated in several major biological processes such as myogenesis, myoblast fusion, muscle contraction, muscle atrophy, cell division and possibly desmin interactions with its binding partners. Phosphorylation of desmin is also implicated in many forms of desmin-related myopathies (desminopathies). In this review, we summarize the findings on desmin PTMs and their implication in biological processes and pathologies, and discuss the current knowledge on the regulation of the desmin network by PTMs. We conclude that the desmin filament network can be seen as an intricate scaffold for muscle cell structure and biological processes and that its dynamics can be affected by PTMs. There are now precise tools to investigate PTMs and visualize cellular structures that have been underexploited in the study of desminopathies. Future studies should focus on these aspects.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

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

  11. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. An evaluation of a foundational course in high school biology as measured by cognitive and affective factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudolph, Cynthia Thompson

    There is little written about the use of foundational courses in high school science. This study seeks to identify if a foundational course in high school biology improves student outcomes as measured by Biology I EOC exam proficiency scale scores and student growth. Efforts were made to determine differences in cognitive skill areas and affective/conative skill areas as students progress from the foundational course of Greenhouse Biology (GH Bio) to Biology I. Three years of test score data from over 15,000 student participants are evaluated, as well as extant survey data from biology teachers and district student scheduling personnel. Findings from the study indicate GH Bio does make a difference in academic outcomes in students taking the foundational course before taking the Biology I course, and subsequently, the Biology I EOC exam. Findings also show there are cognitive, affective, and conative differences between the GH Bio students and their non-GH Bio peers while in Biology I. The study also seeks to determine why some students are scheduled for GH Bio and others are not. Findings indicate there are variances as to the reasons and intent for scheduling students into GH Bio. Some students who could benefit from the course are not being scheduled into the course.

  14. P-chiral oligonucleotides in biological recognition processes.

    PubMed

    Guga, Piotr

    2007-01-01

    Internucleotide phosphodiester linkages in non-modified oligonucleotides are quickly degraded by nucleolytic enzymes present in the cells and this feature practically eliminates natural DNA and RNA molecules from medical applications and from many structural and mechanistic studies. P-chiral oligonucleotide analogs, in which one of the non-bridging phosphate oxygen atoms is substituted with another heteroatom (e.g. S, Se) or a chemical group (e.g. CH3, BH3(-)), have significantly greater nuclease resistance and also offer important possibilities for detailed studies of interactions with other biomolecules at the molecular level. Notably, these substitutions do not disrupt hydrogen bonding between nucleobases and affect the overall geometry of the oligomers to only low or moderate extent, although important changes of hydration patterns and changes of interactions with metal ions are observed. Such the probes, including isotopomeric species labeled with a heavy oxygen isotope, possessing phosphorus atoms of selected absolute configurations, have been used for elucidation of the mode of action of many enzymes (nucleases, transferases, kinases), ribozymes and DNA-zymes, as well as for investigations on thermodynamic stability of nucleic acids complexes (duplexes, triplexes, i-motif) and for studies on a mechanism of conformational changes of B-Z type. They are also useful tools for analysis of interactions of the phosphoryl oxygen atoms in natural precursors with functional groups of proteins. The synthetic routes to stereodefined forms of selected types of P-chiral oligonucleotides are presented, as well as recently developed methods for their configurational analysis at micromolar concentration. Selected examples of application of diastereomerically pure P-chiral oligonucleotides for structural, biochemical and biological experiments are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Integrating the Affective Domain into the Instructional Design Process

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-03-01

    domains. Yet, instructional design models and practices have focused primarily on the acquisition of knowledge and psychomotor skills . Concern for the...the skills involved in the reactive and interactive domains are as amenable to the general principles of instruction as are cognitive and psychomotor ... skills . He also sees a parallel between the automation of affective domain skills (reflexive, conditioned activity versus behavior resulting from a

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-15

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Dynamic phases in control and information processing biological circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaikuntanathan, Suriyanarayanan

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  5. 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).

  6. Food source affects the expression of vitellogenin and fecundity of a biological control agent, Neoseiulus cucumeris.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yunlong; Li, Dunsong; Zhang, Min; Chen, Wei; Zhang, Guren

    2014-07-01

    Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is one of the most widely used and important biological control agents for thrips and other small pests worldwide. In the present study, we cloned two cDNAs of vitellogenins (Vgs, NcVg1 and NcVg2) and analyzed the effect of food source on the expression of both Vgs and fecundity in female adults. NcVgs showed higher sequence similarity to Vgs from Parasitiformes. Both neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods for phylogenetic analysis of NcVgs yielded similar topologies and showed that the Parasitiformes except Haemaphysalis longicornis segregated into a single clade that was separated into two subclades including one of both Vgs from N. cucumeris. Both transcripts, NcVg1 and NcVg2 revealed similar trends during developmental periods and reached the maximum level at the pre-oviposition period. When fed with different food sources, both NcVg1 and NcVg2 of female adults demonstrated a significant difference (P < 0.05) during the pre-oviposition period. Meanwhile, a positive correlation between the expression of Vgs and fecundity was observed. Therefore, the nutrients provided by the food sources affected fecundity resulting in differential expression of Vgs. Vitellogenin expression can be used as a molecular marker of fecundity of N. cucumeris.

  7. 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...

  8. Stimulus characteristics affect humor processing in individuals with Asperger syndrome.

    PubMed

    Samson, Andrea C; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-04-01

    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 individuals did not differ to the control group in humor appreciation of visual puns. However, they had difficulty understanding and appreciating Theory of Mind cartoons and provided mentalistic explanations less frequently than controls suggesting that humor processing is strongly related to the cognitive requirements that the stimuli pose on the perceiver. Furthermore, AS individuals referred in all conditions more frequently to non-joke relevant details. Therefore, humor processing is also influenced by their detail-oriented processing style.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Calcium phosphate precipitation in a SBR operated for EBPR: interactions with the biological process.

    PubMed

    Barat, R; Montoya, T; Borras, L; Ferrer, J; Seco, A

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to study the precipitation process in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) operated for EBPR (enhanced biological phosphorus removal) and the possible effects of this phosphorus precipitation in the biological process. Four experiments were carried out under different influent calcium concentration. The experimental results and the equilibrium study, based on the Saturation Index calculation, confirm that the process controlling the calcium behaviour in a SBR operated for EBPR is the calcium phosphate precipitation. This precipitation takes place at two stages initially precipitation of the ACP and later crystallization of HAP. Also the accumulation of phosphorus precipitated was observed when the influent Ca concentration was increased. In all the experiments the influent wastewater ratio P/COD was kept constant. It has been observed that at high Ca concentration the amount of poly-P granules decrease, decreasing the ratio between phosphate release and acetate uptake (P(rel)/Ac(uptake)). Changes on PAO and GAO populations during the experimental period were ruled out by means of methilene blue stains for poly-P detection. These results confirmed the phosphate precipitation as a process that can affect to the PAO metabolism and the EBPR performance.

  12. 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.

  13. Respiration, metabolic balance, and attention in affective picture processing.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Shafy, Samiha; Danuser, Brigitta

    2008-05-01

    The respiratory behavior during affective states is not completely understood. We studied breathing pattern responses to picture series in 37 participants. We also measured end-tidal pCO2 (EtCO2) to determine if ventilation is in balance with metabolic demands and spontaneous eye-blinking to investigate the link between respiration and attention. Minute ventilation (MV) and inspiratory drive increased with self-rated arousal. These relationships reflected increases in inspiratory volume rather than shortening of the time parameters. EtCO2 covaried with pleasantness but not arousal. Eye-blink rate decreased with increasing unpleasantness in line with a negativity bias in attention. This study confirms that respiratory responses to affective stimuli are organized to a certain degree along the dimensions of valence and arousal. It shows, for the first time, that during picture viewing, ventilatory increases with increasing arousal are in balance with metabolic activity and that inspiratory volume is modulated by arousal. MV emerges as the most reliable respiratory index of self-perceived arousal.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. How gender-expectancy affects the processing of "them".

    PubMed

    Doherty, Alice; Conklin, Kathy

    2017-04-01

    How sensitive is pronoun processing to expectancies based on real-world knowledge and language usage? The current study links research on the integration of gender stereotypes and number-mismatch to explore this question. It focuses on the use of them to refer to antecedents of different levels of gender-expectancy (low-cyclist, high-mechanic, known-spokeswoman). In a rating task, them is considered increasingly unnatural with greater gender-expectancy. However, participants might not be able to differentiate high-expectancy and gender-known antecedents online because they initially search for plural antecedents (e.g., Sanford & Filik), and they make all-or-nothing gender inferences. An eye-tracking study reveals early differences in the processing of them with antecedents of high gender-expectancy compared with gender-known antecedents. This suggests that participants have rapid access to the expected gender of the antecedent and the level of that expectancy.

  3. Production of hydrogen using an anaerobic biological process

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Robert; Pelter, Libbie S.; Patterson, John A.

    2016-11-29

    Various embodiments of the present invention pertain to methods for biological production of hydrogen. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention pertain to a modular energy system and related methods for producing hydrogen using organic waste as a feed stock.

  4. Heparin affin regulatory peptide/pleiotrophin negatively affects diverse biological activities in C6 glioma cells.

    PubMed

    Parthymou, Anastasia; Lampropoulou, Evgenia; Mikelis, Constantinos; Drosou, Georgia; Papadimitriou, Evangelia

    2008-01-01

    Heparin affin regulatory peptide (HARP) or pleiotrophin seems to be involved in the progression of several tumors of diverse origin. In this study, we tried to determine the role of HARP in rat C6 glioma cells by using an antisense strategy for inhibition of HARP expression. Decrease of the expression of endogenous HARP in C6 cells (AS-C6 cells) significantly increased proliferation, migration, and anchorage-independent growth of cells. Implantation of AS-C6 cells onto chicken embryo chorioallantoic membranes resulted in a significant increase of tumor-induced angiogenesis compared with that induced by non-transfected or C6 cells transfected with the plasmid alone (PC-C6 cells). In the same line, conditioned medium from AS-C6 cells significantly increased endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation in vitro compared with the effect of conditioned medium from C6 or PC-C6 cells. Interestingly, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induced C6 cell proliferation and migration, and SU1496, a selective inhibitor of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), blocked increased glioma cell growth, migration, and angiogenicity observed in AS-C6 cell cultures. The above results seem to be due to a direct interaction between HARP and VEGF in the culture medium of C6 and PC-C6 cells, while AS-C6 cells secreted comparable amounts of VEGF that do not interact with HARP. Collectively, these data suggest that HARP negatively affects diverse biological activities in C6 glioma cells, mainly due to binding of HARP to VEGF, which may sequester secreted VEGF from signalling through VEGFR2.

  5. Infiltration and runoff generation processes in fire-affected soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2014-01-01

    Post-wildfire runoff was investigated by combining field measurements and modelling of infiltration into fire-affected soils to predict time-to-start of runoff and peak runoff rate at the plot scale (1 m2). Time series of soil-water content, rainfall and runoff were measured on a hillslope burned by the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire west of Boulder, Colorado during cyclonic and convective rainstorms in the spring and summer of 2011. Some of the field measurements and measured soil physical properties were used to calibrate a one-dimensional post-wildfire numerical model, which was then used as a ‘virtual instrument’ to provide estimates of the saturated hydraulic conductivity and high-resolution (1 mm) estimates of the soil-water profile and water fluxes within the unsaturated zone.Field and model estimates of the wetting-front depth indicated that post-wildfire infiltration was on average confined to shallow depths less than 30 mm. Model estimates of the effective saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks, near the soil surface ranged from 0.1 to 5.2 mm h−1. Because of the relatively small values of Ks, the time-to-start of runoff (measured from the start of rainfall),  tp, was found to depend only on the initial soil-water saturation deficit (predicted by the model) and a measured characteristic of the rainfall profile (referred to as the average rainfall acceleration, equal to the initial rate of change in rainfall intensity). An analytical model was developed from the combined results and explained 92–97% of the variance of  tp, and the numerical infiltration model explained 74–91% of the variance of the peak runoff rates. These results are from one burned site, but they strongly suggest that  tp in fire-affected soils (which often have low values of Ks) is probably controlled more by the storm profile and the initial soil-water saturation deficit than by soil hydraulic properties.

  6. 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

  7. Factors affecting growth of foodborne pathogens on minimally processed apples.

    PubMed

    Alegre, Isabel; Abadias, Maribel; Anguera, Marina; Oliveira, Marcia; Viñas, Inmaculada

    2010-02-01

    Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria innocua increased by more than 2 log(10) units over a 24 h period on fresh-cut 'Golden Delicious' apple plugs stored at 25 and 20 degrees C. L. innocua reached the same final population level at 10 degrees C meanwhile E. coli and Salmonella only increased 1.3 log(10) units after 6 days. Only L. innocua was able to grow at 5 degrees C. No significant differences were observed between the growth of foodborne pathogens on fresh-cut 'Golden Delicious', 'Granny Smith' and 'Shampion' apples stored at 25 and 5 degrees C. The treatment of 'Golden Delicious' and 'Granny Smith' apple plugs with the antioxidants, ascorbic acid (2%) and NatureSeal (6%), did not affect pathogen growth. The effect of passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the growth of E. coli, Salmonella and L. innocua on 'Golden Delicious' apple slices was also tested. There were no significant differences in growth of pathogens in MAP conditions compared with air packaging of 'Golden Delicious' apple plugs, but the growth of mesophilic and psychrotrophic microorganisms was inhibited. These results highlight the importance of avoiding contamination of fresh-cut fruit with foodborne pathogens and the maintenance of the cold chain during storage until consumption.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-30

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

  10. Habitat Complexity in Aquatic Microcosms Affects Processes Driven by Detritivores

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Lorea; Bailey, R. A.; Elosegi, Arturo; Larrañaga, Aitor; Reiss, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Habitat complexity can influence predation rates (e.g. by providing refuge) but other ecosystem processes and species interactions might also be modulated by the properties of habitat structure. Here, we focussed on how complexity of artificial habitat (plastic plants), in microcosms, influenced short-term processes driven by three aquatic detritivores. The effects of habitat complexity on leaf decomposition, production of fine organic matter and pH levels were explored by measuring complexity in three ways: 1. as the presence vs. absence of habitat structure; 2. as the amount of structure (3 or 4.5 g of plastic plants); and 3. as the spatial configuration of structures (measured as fractal dimension). The experiment also addressed potential interactions among the consumers by running all possible species combinations. In the experimental microcosms, habitat complexity influenced how species performed, especially when comparing structure present vs. structure absent. Treatments with structure showed higher fine particulate matter production and lower pH compared to treatments without structures and this was probably due to higher digestion and respiration when structures were present. When we explored the effects of the different complexity levels, we found that the amount of structure added explained more than the fractal dimension of the structures. We give a detailed overview of the experimental design, statistical models and R codes, because our statistical analysis can be applied to other study systems (and disciplines such as restoration ecology). We further make suggestions of how to optimise statistical power when artificially assembling, and analysing, ‘habitat complexity’ by not confounding complexity with the amount of structure added. In summary, this study highlights the importance of habitat complexity for energy flow and the maintenance of ecosystem processes in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:27802267

  11. 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…

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Spinello, Chiara; Macrì, Simone; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2013-08-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Simultanagnosia does not affect processes of auditory Gestalt perception.

    PubMed

    Rennig, Johannes; Bleyer, Anna Lena; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2017-03-23

    Simultanagnosia is a neuropsychological deficit of higher visual processes caused by temporo-parietal brain damage. It is characterized by a specific failure of recognition of a global visual Gestalt, like a visual scene or complex objects, consisting of local elements. In this study we investigated to what extend this deficit should be understood as a deficit related to specifically the visual domain or whether it should be seen as defective Gestalt processing per se. To examine if simultanagnosia occurs across sensory domains, we designed several auditory experiments sharing typical characteristics of visual tasks that are known to be particularly demanding for patients suffering from simultanagnosia. We also included control tasks for auditory working memory deficits and for auditory extinction. We tested four simultanagnosia patients who suffered from severe symptoms in the visual domain. Two of them indeed showed significant impairments in recognition of simultaneously presented sounds. However, the same two patients also suffered from severe auditory working memory deficits and from symptoms comparable to auditory extinction, both sufficiently explaining the impairments in simultaneous auditory perception. We thus conclude that deficits in auditory Gestalt perception do not appear to be characteristic for simultanagnosia and that the human brain obviously uses independent mechanisms for visual and for auditory Gestalt perception.

  16. Sensitivity analysis on parameters and processes affecting vapor intrusion risk.

    PubMed

    Picone, Sara; Valstar, Johan; van Gaans, Pauline; Grotenhuis, Tim; Rijnaarts, Huub

    2012-05-01

    A one-dimensional numerical model was developed and used to identify the key processes controlling vapor intrusion risks by means of a sensitivity analysis. The model simulates the fate of a dissolved volatile organic compound present below the ventilated crawl space of a house. In contrast to the vast majority of previous studies, this model accounts for vertical variation of soil water saturation and includes aerobic biodegradation. The attenuation factor (ratio between concentration in the crawl space and source concentration) and the characteristic time to approach maximum concentrations were calculated and compared for a variety of scenarios. These concepts allow an understanding of controlling mechanisms and aid in the identification of critical parameters to be collected for field situations. The relative distance of the source to the nearest gas-filled pores of the unsaturated zone is the most critical parameter because diffusive contaminant transport is significantly slower in water-filled pores than in gas-filled pores. Therefore, attenuation factors decrease and characteristic times increase with increasing relative distance of the contaminant dissolved source to the nearest gas diffusion front. Aerobic biodegradation may decrease the attenuation factor by up to three orders of magnitude. Moreover, the occurrence of water table oscillations is of importance. Dynamic processes leading to a retreating water table increase the attenuation factor by two orders of magnitude because of the enhanced gas phase diffusion.

  17. 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.

  18. Left Hand Dominance Affects Supra-Second Time Processing

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, Carmelo Mario; Bonní, Sonia; Koch, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies exploring specific brain functions of left- and right-handed subjects have shown variances in spatial and motor abilities that might be explained according to consistent structural and functional differences. Given the role of both spatial and motor information in the processing of temporal intervals, we designed a study aimed at investigating timing abilities in left-handed subjects. To this purpose both left- and right-handed subjects were asked to perform a time reproduction of sub-second vs. supra-second time intervals with their left and right hand. Our results show that during processing of the supra-second intervals left-handed participants sub-estimated the duration of the intervals, independently of the hand used to perform the task, while no differences were reported for the sub-second intervals. These results are discussed on the basis of recent findings on supra-second motor timing, as well as emerging evidence that suggests a linear representation of time with a left-to-right displacement. PMID:22028685

  19. Predicting Simulation Parameters of Biological Systems Using a Gaussian Process Model

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiangxin; Welling, Max; Jin, Fang; Lowengrub, John

    2013-01-01

    Finding optimal parameters for simulating biological systems is usually a very difficult and expensive task in systems biology. Brute force searching is infeasible in practice because of the huge (often infinite) search space. In this article, we propose predicting the parameters efficiently by learning the relationship between system outputs and parameters using regression. However, the conventional parametric regression models suffer from two issues, thus are not applicable to this problem. First, restricting the regression function as a certain fixed type (e.g. linear, polynomial, etc.) introduces too strong assumptions that reduce the model flexibility. Second, conventional regression models fail to take into account the fact that a fixed parameter value may correspond to multiple different outputs due to the stochastic nature of most biological simulations, and the existence of a potentially large number of other factors that affect the simulation outputs. We propose a novel approach based on a Gaussian process model that addresses the two issues jointly. We apply our approach to a tumor vessel growth model and the feedback Wright–Fisher model. The experimental results show that our method can predict the parameter values of both of the two models with high accuracy. PMID:23482410

  20. Processes affecting coastal wetland loss in the Louisiana deltaic plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, S. Jeffress; Penland, Shea; Roberts, Harry H.

    1993-01-01

    Nowhere are the problems of coastal wetland loss more serious and dramatic than in the Mississippi River deltaic plain region of south-central Louisiana. In that area, rates of shoreline erosion of 20 m.yr and loss of land area of up to 75 km/yr result from a complex combination of natural (delta switching, subsidence, sea-level rise, storms) and human (flood control, navigation, oil and gas development, land reclamation) factors. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the National Coastal Geology Program, has undertaken joint filed investigations with Federal, State, and university partners. The objective of these long-term studies is to gather and interpret baseline information in order to improve our scientific understanding of the critical processes and responses responsible for creation, maintenance, and deterioration of coastal wetlands.

  1. Visual processing affects the neural basis of auditory discrimination.

    PubMed

    Kislyuk, Daniel S; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko

    2008-12-01

    The interaction between auditory and visual speech streams is a seamless and surprisingly effective process. An intriguing example is the "McGurk effect": The acoustic syllable /ba/ presented simultaneously with a mouth articulating /ga/ is typically heard as /da/ [McGurk, H., & MacDonald, J. Hearing lips and seeing voices. Nature, 264, 746-748, 1976]. Previous studies have demonstrated the interaction of auditory and visual streams at the auditory cortex level, but the importance of these interactions for the qualitative perception change remained unclear because the change could result from interactions at higher processing levels as well. In our electroencephalogram experiment, we combined the McGurk effect with mismatch negativity (MMN), a response that is elicited in the auditory cortex at a latency of 100-250 msec by any above-threshold change in a sequence of repetitive sounds. An "odd-ball" sequence of acoustic stimuli consisting of frequent /va/ syllables (standards) and infrequent /ba/ syllables (deviants) was presented to 11 participants. Deviant stimuli in the unisensory acoustic stimulus sequence elicited a typical MMN, reflecting discrimination of acoustic features in the auditory cortex. When the acoustic stimuli were dubbed onto a video of a mouth constantly articulating /va/, the deviant acoustic /ba/ was heard as /va/ due to the McGurk effect and was indistinguishable from the standards. Importantly, such deviants did not elicit MMN, indicating that the auditory cortex failed to discriminate between the acoustic stimuli. Our findings show that visual stream can qualitatively change the auditory percept at the auditory cortex level, profoundly influencing the auditory cortex mechanisms underlying early sound discrimination.

  2. 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.

  3. Learned Inequality: Racial Labels in the Biology Curriculum Can Affect the Development of Racial Prejudice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Brian M.

    2017-01-01

    For over a century, genetic arguments for the existence of racial inequality have been used to oppose policies that promote social equality. And, over that same time period, American biology textbooks have repeatedly discussed genetic differences between races. This experiment tests whether racial terminology in the biology curriculum causes…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Haifeng; Han, Hongjun; Jia, Shengyong; Hou, Baolin; Zhao, Qian

    2014-08-01

    Advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater (CGW) was investigated employing heterogeneous catalytic ozonation integrated with anoxic moving bed biofilm reactor (ANMBBR) and biological aerated filter (BAF) process. The results indicated that catalytic ozonation with the prepared catalyst (i.e. MnOx/SBAC, sewage sludge was converted into sludge based activated carbon (SBAC) which loaded manganese oxides) significantly enhanced performance of pollutants removal by generated hydroxyl radicals. The effluent of catalytic ozonation process was more biodegradable and less toxic than that in ozonation alone. Meanwhile, ANMBBR-BAF showed efficient capacity of pollutants removal in treatment of the effluent of catalytic ozonation at a shorter reaction time, allowing the discharge limits to be met. Therefore, the integrated process with efficient, economical and sustainable advantages was suitable for advanced treatment of real biologically pretreated CGW.

  10. Computing biological functions using BioΨ, a formal description of biological processes based on elementary bricks of actions

    PubMed Central

    Pérès, Sabine; Felicori, Liza; Rialle, Stéphanie; Jobard, Elodie; Molina, Franck

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: In the available databases, biological processes are described from molecular and cellular points of view, but these descriptions are represented with text annotations that make it difficult to handle them for computation. Consequently, there is an obvious need for formal descriptions of biological processes. Results: We present a formalism that uses the BioΨ concepts to model biological processes from molecular details to networks. This computational approach, based on elementary bricks of actions, allows us to calculate on biological functions (e.g. process comparison, mapping structure–function relationships, etc.). We illustrate its application with two examples: the functional comparison of proteases and the functional description of the glycolysis network. This computational approach is compatible with detailed biological knowledge and can be applied to different kinds of systems of simulation. Availability: www.sysdiag.cnrs.fr/publications/supplementary-materials/BioPsi_Manager/ Contact: sabine.peres@sysdiag.cnrs.fr; franck.molina@sysdiag.cnrs.fr Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:20448138

  11. Drugs affecting prelamin A processing: Effects on heterochromatin organization

    SciTech Connect

    Mattioli, Elisabetta; Columbaro, Marta; Capanni, Cristina; Santi, Spartaco; D'Apice, M. Rosaria; Novelli, Giuseppe; Riccio, Massimo; Squarzoni, Stefano; Lattanzi, Giovanna

    2008-02-01

    Increasing interest in drugs acting on prelamin A has derived from the finding of prelamin A involvement in severe laminopathies. Amelioration of the nuclear morphology by inhibitors of prelamin A farnesylation has been widely reported in progeroid laminopathies. We investigated the effects on chromatin organization of two drugs inhibiting prelamin A processing by an ultrastructural and biochemical approach. The farnesyltransferase inhibitor FTI-277 and the non-peptidomimetic drug N-acetyl-S-farnesyl-L-cysteine methylester (AFCMe) were administered to cultured control human fibroblasts for 6 or 18 h. FTI-277 interferes with protein farnesylation causing accumulation of non-farnesylated prelamin A, while AFCMe impairs the last cleavage of the lamin A precursor and is expected to accumulate farnesylated prelamin A. FTI-277 caused redistribution of heterochromatin domains at the nuclear interior, while AFCMe caused loss of heterochromatin domains, increase of nuclear size and nuclear lamina thickening. At the biochemical level, heterochromatin-associated proteins and LAP2{alpha} were clustered at the nuclear interior following FTI-277 treatment, while they were unevenly distributed or absent in AFCMe-treated nuclei. The reported effects show that chromatin is an immediate target of FTI-277 and AFCMe and that dramatic remodeling of chromatin domains occurs following treatment with the drugs. These effects appear to depend, at least in part, on the accumulation of prelamin A forms, since impairment of prelamin A accumulation, here obtained by 5-azadeoxycytidine treatment, abolishes the chromatin effects. These results may be used to evaluate downstream effects of FTIs or other prelamin A inhibitors potentially useful for the therapy of laminopathies.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boe, Owen K.; Klopping, Paul H.

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. Biological processes in the water column of the South Atlantic Bight: Zooplankton responses

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-02-07

    The goal of the Fall Removal Experiment 1987 was to determine the processes affecting the dependent and fate of low salinity coastal water and of biological material therein during fall when winds are mainly south-to westward. Five zooplankton taxa, Acartia tonsa, (A. tonsa) Paracalanus species (sp), Temora turbinata (T. turbinata), Oncaea sp, and Sagitta enflata were examined. Data on the distribution of all five taxa were presented, and distribution over time was also studied. The abundance of A. tonsa decreased tenfold over the 13 day sampling period, Paracalanus varied twofold and T. Turbinata showed little variability. The A. tonsa decrease was postulated to result from food abundance or predation, although the possible role of size distribution, water displacement and chlorophyll distribution will be examined in the future. A possible role of turbulence in zooplankton abundance is being examined. 8 refs., 5 figs.

  18. 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…

  19. Hybrid Adsorption-Membrane Biological Reactors for Improved Performance and Reliability of Perchlorate Removal Processes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    carbon supply for the autotrophic perchlorate reducing bacteria. The membrane used in the reactor is a hollow-fiber microfiltration membrane made from...1 HYBRID ADSORPTION- MEMBRANE BIOLOGICAL REACTORS FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY OF PERCHLORATE REMOVAL PROCESSES L.C. Schideman...Center Champaign, IL 61826, USA ABSTRACT This study introduces the novel HAMBgR process (Hybrid Adsorption Membrane Biological Reactor) and

  20. Techno-economic analysis of a two-step biological process producing hydrogen and methane.

    PubMed

    Ljunggren, Mattias; Zacchi, Guido

    2010-10-01

    Biological hydrogen production using dark fermentation has been proposed as an alternative and renewable way of producing hydrogen from biomass. However, theoretically, the conversion of biomass to biohydrogen using dark fermentation only utilizes one third of the energy content of the sugars derived from starch or cellulose; the rest being in the form of organic acids also produced by the microorganisms. To provide a viable alternative, the energy contained in the organic acids produced in dark fermentation must also be utilized. This can be done in several ways, one of which is to produce methane in an anaerobic digestion step. The technical and economical feasibility of this two-step biological process is investigated in the present study employing three base cases reflecting the different strategies that can be used when performing dark fermentation: high productivity, high yield, and low productivity-low yield. The glucose concentrations, hydrogen productivities and yields studied herein ranges from 4-20 g/L, 7.25-45.75 mmol H₂/(lh) and 1.37-3.48 mmol H₂/mole glucose, respectively. The production of pure methane was included as a reference case to investigate how the production of hydrogen affects the production cost. The cost estimates ranged from 50 to 340 €/GJ for the three base cases and the reference case for the process alternatives investigated. The results show that the capital costs and the nutrients used in the two biological steps are the main contributors to the cost in all base cases and the reference case. Furthermore, increasing the substrate concentration and, surprisingly, decreasing the hydrogen yield, reduces the production cost.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Degradation alternatives for a commercial fungicide in water: biological, photo-Fenton, and coupled biological photo-Fenton processes.

    PubMed

    López-Loveira, Elsa; Ariganello, Federico; Medina, María Sara; Centrón, Daniela; Candal, Roberto; Curutchet, Gustavo

    2016-09-17

    Imazalil (IMZ) is a widely used fungicide for the post-harvest treatment of citrus, classified as "likely to be carcinogenic in humans" for EPA, that can be only partially removed by conventional biological treatment. Consequently, specific or combined processes should be applied to prevent its release to the environment. Biological treatment with adapted microorganism consortium, photo-Fenton, and coupled biological photo-Fenton processes were tested as alternatives for the purification of water containing high concentration of the fungicide and the coadjutants present in the commercial formulation. IMZ-resistant consortium with the capacity to degrade IMZ in the presence of a C-rich co-substrate was isolated from sludge coming from a fruit packaging company wastewater treatment plant. This consortium was adapted to resist and degrade the organics present in photo-Fenton-oxidized IMZ water solution. Bacteria colonies from the consortia were isolated and identified. The effect of H2O2 initial concentration and dosage on IMZ degradation rate, average oxidation state (AOS), organic acid concentration, oxidation, and mineralization percentage after photo-Fenton process was determined. The application of biological treatment to the oxidized solutions notably decreased the total organic carbon (TOC) in solution. The effect of the oxidation degree, limited by H2O2 concentration and dosage, on the percentage of mineralization obtained after the biological treatment was determined and explained in terms of changes in AOS. The concentration of H2O2 necessary to eliminate IMZ by photo-Fenton and to reduce TOC and chemical oxygen demand (COD) by biological treatment, in order to allow the release of the effluents to rivers with different flows, was estimated.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Regional brain activation as a biological marker of affective responsivity to acute exercise: influence of fitness.

    PubMed

    Petruzzello, S J; Hall, E E; Ekkekakis, P

    2001-01-01

    Previous research has shown that regional brain activation, assessed via frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry, predicts affective responsivity to aerobic exercise. To replicate and extend this work, in the present study we examined whether resting brain activation was associated with affective responses to an acute bout of aerobic exercise and the extent to which aerobic fitness mediated this relationship. Participants (high-fit, n = 22; low/moderate-fit, n = 45) ran on a treadmill for 30 min at 75% VO2max. EEG and affect were assessed pre- and 0-, 10-, 20-, and 30-min postexercise. Resting EEG asymmetry predicted positive affect (as measured by the energetic arousal subscale of the Activation Deactivation Adjective Check List) postexercise. Furthermore, resting frontal EEG asymmetry predicted affect only in the high-fit group, suggesting the effect might be mediated by some factor related to fitness. It was also shown that subjects with relatively greater left frontal activation had significantly more energy (i.e., activated pleasant affect) following exercise than subjects with relatively greater right frontal activation. In conclusion, aerobic fitness influenced the relationship between resting frontal asymmetry and exercise-related affective responsivity.

  9. The dynamic nature of the stress appraisal process and the infusion of affect.

    PubMed

    Eschleman, Kevin J; Alarcon, Gene M; Lyons, Joseph B; Stokes, Charlene K; Schneider, Tamera

    2012-05-01

    Very little is known about the process in which people reappraise a stressful environment or the factors that may influence this process. In the current study, we address the several limitations to previous research regarding stress reappraisals and explore the role of affect on this process. A total of 320 participants (mean age = 20 years, 60% male) completed an increasingly demanding team-based coordination task. Mood and stress appraisals were assessed at three time points using self-report surveys during four different waves of data collection. The longitudinal design enabled us to assess primary and secondary reappraisals (change in appraisals during the experiment), task-irrelevant affect (affect assessed prior to experiment participation), and task-relevant affect (change in affect experienced during the experiment). Guided by the Transactional Theory of Stress, we argue that the relationship between primary reappraisal and secondary reappraisal is an accurate representation of a dynamic stress appraisal process. We found that participants were more likely to engage in the stress appraisal process when they experienced less task-irrelevant positive affect and greater task-relevant positive affect. Both task-irrelevant and task-relevant negative affect were not found to influence the stress appraisal process.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Analysis of biological processes and diseases using text mining approaches.

    PubMed

    Krallinger, Martin; Leitner, Florian; Valencia, Alfonso

    2010-01-01

    A number of biomedical text mining systems have been developed to extract biologically relevant information directly from the literature, complementing bioinformatics methods in the analysis of experimentally generated data. We provide a short overview of the general characteristics of natural language data, existing biomedical literature databases, and lexical resources relevant in the context of biomedical text mining. A selected number of practically useful systems are introduced together with the type of user queries supported and the results they generate. The extraction of biological relationships, such as protein-protein interactions as well as metabolic and signaling pathways using information extraction systems, will be discussed through example cases of cancer-relevant proteins. Basic strategies for detecting associations of genes to diseases together with literature mining of mutations, SNPs, and epigenetic information (methylation) are described. We provide an overview of disease-centric and gene-centric literature mining methods for linking genes to phenotypic and genotypic aspects. Moreover, we discuss recent efforts for finding biomarkers through text mining and for gene list analysis and prioritization. Some relevant issues for implementing a customized biomedical text mining system will be pointed out. To demonstrate the usefulness of literature mining for the molecular oncology domain, we implemented two cancer-related applications. The first tool consists of a literature mining system for retrieving human mutations together with supporting articles. Specific gene mutations are linked to a set of predefined cancer types. The second application consists of a text categorization system supporting breast cancer-specific literature search and document-based breast cancer gene ranking. Future trends in text mining emphasize the importance of community efforts such as the BioCreative challenge for the development and integration of multiple systems into

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

    PubMed

    Shi, J; Le Maguer, M

    2000-01-01

    Lycopene is the pigment principally responsible for the characteristic deep-red color of ripe tomato fruits and tomato products. It has attracted attention due to its biological and physicochemical properties, especially related to its effects as a natural antioxidant. Although it has no provitamin A activity, lycopene does exhibit a physical quenching rate constant with singlet oxygen almost twice as high as that of beta-carotene. This makes its presence in the diet of considerable interest. Increasing clinical evidence supports the role of lycopene as a micronutrient with important health benefits, because it appears to provide protection against a broad range of epithelial cancers. Tomatoes and related tomato products are the major source of lycopene compounds, and are also considered an important source of carotenoids in the human diet. Undesirable degradation of lycopene not only affects the sensory quality of the final products, but also the health benefit of tomato-based foods for the human body. Lycopene in fresh tomato fruits occurs essentially in the all-trans configuration. The main causes of tomato lycopene degradation during processing are isomerization and oxidation. Isomerization converts all-trans isomers to cis-isomers due to additional energy input and results in an unstable, energy-rich station. Determination of the degree of lycopene isomerization during processing would provide a measure of the potential health benefits of tomato-based foods. Thermal processing (bleaching, retorting, and freezing processes) generally cause some loss of lycopene in tomato-based foods. Heat induces isomerization of the all-trans to cis forms. The cis-isomers increase with temperature and processing time. In general, dehydrated and powdered tomatoes have poor lycopene stability unless carefully processed and promptly placed in a hermetically sealed and inert atmosphere for storage. A significant increase in the cis-isomers with a simultaneous decrease in the all

  15. 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.

  16. Differences in the dynamics of affective and cognitive processing - An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Christina J; Fritsch, Nathalie; Hofmann, Markus J; Kuchinke, Lars

    2017-01-15

    A controversy in emotion research concerns the question of whether affective or cognitive primacy are evident in processing affective stimuli and the factors contributing to each alternative. Using electrophysiological recordings in an adapted visual oddball paradigm allowed tracking the dynamics of affective and cognitive effects. Stimuli consisted of face pictures displaying affective expressions with rare oddballs differing from frequent stimuli in either affective expression, structure (while frequent stimuli were shown frontally these deviants were turned sideways) or they differed on both dimensions, i.e. in affective expression and structure. Results revealed a defined sequence of differences in ERP amplitudes: For stimuli deviating in their affective expression only, P1 modulations ~100ms were evident, while affective differences of structure deviants were not evident before the N170 time window. All three types of deviants differed in P300 amplitudes, indicating integration of affective and structural information. These results encompass evidence for both, cognitive and affective primacy depending on stimulus properties. Specifically affective primacy is only visible when the respective facial features can be extracted with ease. When structural differences make face processing harder, however, cognitive primacy is brought forward.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Bridging structure and process in developmental biology through new imaging technologies.

    PubMed

    Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2011-07-19

    Many unexpected discoveries in developmental biology have depended on advancement of imaging technologies to visualize developmental processes as they unfold across multiple spatial and temporal scales. This essay surveys the recent advances in imaging, highlighting emerging capabilities with an eye toward those poised to have the greatest impact on developmental biology.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. 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}.

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. A Biologically-Inspired Neural Network Architecture for Image Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-01

    findings, in accord with other research cited here, were obtained from cortical measurements or, 15 adult cats and 12 kittens , all anesthetized (9...software models on a Cray computer. Furthermore, care should be taken to avoid exceeding machine memory capacity when running intensive processes

  12. Correlation between BMI and PASI in patients affected by moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing biological therapy.

    PubMed

    Bardazzi, F; Balestri, R; Baldi, E; Antonucci, A; De Tommaso, S; Patrizi, A

    2010-01-01

    Obesity is common in psoriatic patients, and it has been shown to be important for many aspects of the condition. In particular, low-calorie diets can improve the symptoms and response to treatment in pustular psoriasis. The present study investigates the influence of body-weight alteration on the disease's clinical manifestations in moderate to severe psoriasis patients treated with biological drugs. Finally, the influence of a caloric restriction was assessed. This observational transversal study enrolled 33 patients attending our Severe Psoriasis Outpatient Clinic, who were treated with biological drugs. Body Mass Index (BMI) was used as a diagnostic indicator of being overweight and of obesity. Waist circumference was also measured. Body weight and Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) index were measured at follow-up visits at 4 and 8 months. Nonparametric test of Mann-Whitney was used to detect the differences between patient groups. Fisher's exact test was performed to evaluate the different results depending on the therapeutic changes of BMI. There was a strong prevalence of overweight-obese individuals in the group with a mean BMI of 30.59 +/- 6.94. Waist circumference was also above normal in the majority of the patients. Obese patients had a PASI index higher than the average of the whole group (25.03 +/- 12.43), with grade III obese patients having an average PASI of 44 +/- 3.37. At the first and second follow-ups, patients who put on weight did not achieve PASI 50; patients who had a stable weight presented variable response to treatment, while patients who decreased their weight achieved PASI 90 or PASI 75 even when not responding at the first. Further studies are needed to understand if the poor response observed in heavier patients is due to biological drugs pharmacokinetics or because therapy should be BMI based rather than administered in fixed doses, posing then an ethical consideration.

  13. 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'…

  14. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fertilization regimes affect the soil biological characteristics of a sudangrass and ryegrass rotation system.

    PubMed

    Li, WenXi; Lu, JianWei; Li, FangBai; Wang, Yan; Lu, JunMing; Li, XiaoKun

    2011-06-01

    The sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense) and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) rotation is an intensive and new cropping system in Central China. Nutrient management practices in this rotation system may influence soil fertility, the important aspects of which are soil biological properties and quality. As sensitive soil biological properties and quality indicators, soil microbial community activity, microbial biomass, enzyme activities, soil organic matter (SOM) and total N resulting from different fertilization regimes in this rotation system were studied through a four-year field experiment from April 2005 to May 2009. Treatments included control (CK), fertilizer phosphorus and potassium (PK), fertilizer nitrogen and potassium (NK), fertilizer nitrogen and phosphorus (NP) and a fertilizer nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium combination (NPK). Soil microbial community activities in the NK, NP and NPK treatments were significantly lower than those in the CK and PK treatments after the sudangrass and ryegrass trial. The highest microbial biomass C, microbial biomass N, SOM, total N, sucrase and urease activities were found in the NPK treatment, and these soil quality indicators were significantly higher in the NK, NP and NPK treatments than in the PK and CK treatments. Soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities were positively associated with SOM in the sudangrass and ryegrass rotation system, indicating that fertilization regimes, especially N application, reduced microbial community activity in the soil. Proper fertilization regimes will increase microbial biomass, enzyme activity and SOM and improve soil fertility.

  19. Interest of image processing in cell biology and immunology.

    PubMed

    Sabri, S; Richelme, F; Pierres, A; Benoliel, A M; Bongrand, P

    1997-10-13

    Microscopy is a basic tool for cell biologists. Recent progress of electronics and computer science made powerful methodologies for digital processing of microscopic images easily available. These methods allowed impressive increase of the power of conventional microscopy. Dramatic image enhancement may be achieved by combination of filtering techniques, computer-based deblurring and contrast enhancement. Quantitative treatment of digitized images allows absolute determination of the density of different components of the observed sample, including antigens, intracellular calcium and pH. Morphometric studies are also greatly facilitated by image processing techniques. The capture of fast phenomena may be performed by transfer of small portion of microscopic images into computer memory as well as particular use of confocal microscopy. Finally, improved display of experimental data through coded colors or other procedures may enhance the amount of information that can be conveyed by visual examination of microscopical images. The purpose of the present review is to describe the basic principles of image processing and exemplify the power of this approach with a variety of illustrated applications to conventional, fluorescence or electron microscopy as well as confocal microscopy.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-06

    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.

  2. Methods for simulating the dynamics of complex biological processes.

    PubMed

    Schilstra, Maria J; Martin, Stephen R; Keating, Sarah M

    2008-01-01

    In this chapter, we provide the basic information required to understand the central concepts in the modeling and simulation of complex biochemical processes. We underline the fact that most biochemical processes involve sequences of interactions between distinct entities (molecules, molecular assemblies), and also stress that models must adhere to the laws of thermodynamics. Therefore, we discuss the principles of mass-action reaction kinetics, the dynamics of equilibrium and steady state, and enzyme kinetics, and explain how to assess transition probabilities and reactant lifetime distributions for first-order reactions. Stochastic simulation of reaction systems in well-stirred containers is introduced using a relatively simple, phenomenological model of microtubule dynamic instability in vitro. We demonstrate that deterministic simulation [by numerical integration of coupled ordinary differential equations (ODE)] produces trajectories that would be observed if the results of many rounds of stochastic simulation of the same system were averaged. In Section V, we highlight several practical issues with regard to the assessment of parameter values. We draw some attention to the development of a standard format for model storage and exchange, and provide a list of selected software tools that may facilitate the model building process, and can be used to simulate the modeled systems.

  3. He throws like a girl (but only when he's sad): emotion affects sex-decoding of biological motion displays.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Kerri L; McKay, Lawrie S; Pollick, Frank E

    2011-05-01

    Gender stereotypes have been implicated in sex-typed perceptions of facial emotion. Such interpretations were recently called into question because facial cues of emotion are confounded with sexually dimorphic facial cues. Here we examine the role of visual cues and gender stereotypes in perceptions of biological motion displays, thus overcoming the morphological confounding inherent in facial displays. In four studies, participants' judgments revealed gender stereotyping. Observers accurately perceived emotion from biological motion displays (Study 1), and this affected sex categorizations. Angry displays were overwhelmingly judged to be men; sad displays were judged to be women (Studies 2-4). Moreover, this pattern remained strong when stimuli were equated for velocity (Study 3). We argue that these results were obtained because perceivers applied gender stereotypes of emotion to infer sex category (Study 4). Implications for both vision sciences and social psychology are discussed.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wooley, John F.

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

  5. Biological processes in the water column of the south Atlantic bight: Zooplankton responses: Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Paffenhoefer, G.A.

    1987-12-16

    The studies on which we report in the following segments represent interdisciplinary efforts to understand interactions of physical, chemical and biological processes on the southeastern continental shelf of the USA. The Georgia Bight Experiment was designed to determine the physical forces responsible for upwelling on the northeastern Florida and Georgia shelf during summer, trajectories and fate of those upwellings, and major chemical and biological processes therein. 5 refs.

  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. How do wettability, zeta potential and hydroxylation degree affect the biological response of biomaterials?

    PubMed

    Spriano, S; Sarath Chandra, V; Cochis, A; Uberti, F; Rimondini, L; Bertone, E; Vitale, A; Scolaro, C; Ferrari, M; Cirisano, F; Gautier di Confiengo, G; Ferraris, S

    2017-05-01

    It is well known that composition, electric charge, wettability and roughness of implant surfaces have great influence on their interaction with the biological fluids and tissues, but systematic studies of different materials in the same experimental conditions are still lacking in the scientific literature. The aim of this research is to investigate the correlations between some surface characteristics (wettability, zeta potential and hydroxylation degree) and the biological response (protein adsorption, blood wettability, cell and bacterial adhesion) to some model biomaterials. The resulting knowledge can be applied for the development of future innovative surfaces for implantable biomaterials. Roughness was not considered as a variable because it is a widely explored feature: smooth surfaces prepared by a controlled protocol were compared in order to have no roughness effects. Three oxides (ZrO2, Al2O3, SiO2), three metals (316LSS steel, Ti, Nb) and two polymers (corona treated polystyrene for cell culture and untreated polystyrene for bacteria culture), widely used for biomedical applications, were considered. The surfaces were characterized by contact profilometry, SEM-EDS, XPS, FTIR, zeta potential and wettability with different fluids. Protein adsorption, blood wettability, bacterial and cell adhesion were evaluated in order to investigate the correlations between the surface physiochemical properties and biological responses. From a methodological standpoint, XPS and electrokinetic measurements emerged as the more suitable techniques respectively for the evaluation of hydroxylation degree and surface charge/isoelectric point. Moreover, determination of wettability by blood appeared a specific and crucial test, the results of which are not easily predictable by using other type of tests. Hydroxylation degree resulted correlated to the wettability by water, but not directly to surface charge. Wetting tests with different media showed the possibility to

  8. Inhibition Of Molecular And Biological Processes Using Modified Oligonucleotides

    DOEpatents

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

    2003-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  10. Using Data Exclusivity Grants to Incentivize Cumulative Innovation of Biologics' Manufacturing Processes.

    PubMed

    Levi, Eric Lawrence

    The pharmaceutical market is divided into two types of compounds: small-molecule chemical compounds and large-molecule biologics. Due to biologics’ molecular sizes and the current scientific state of biologics manufacturing, manufacturing facilities and processes require frequent reassessment to ensure production of safe, pure, and potent therapeutics. Manufacturers utilize patent and drug regulatory law to protect their investments and simultaneously signal where innovation and investment are lacking. The current four- and twelve-year regimented structures of the Biologics Price, Competition, and Innovation Act do not keep pace with scientific development; biologics manufacturing processes drift with time, and if a manufacturer can obtain a higher degree of process control, then it should not feel restricted to wait until their exclusivity period lapses. Currently, the FDA rarely grants market exclusivity privileges for manufacturing process improvements alone; hence, manufacturing processes--or at least large portions thereof--are typically withheld as trade secrets or strategically claimed within companion composition claims. As a result, significant opportunity exists in regulatory framework to incentivize the research and development of biologics manufacturing processes. By creating a one- to four-year data exclusivity extension opportunity, manufacturers will feel more comfortable reinvesting their returns on investment towards manufacturing efficiency, and manufacturers can capitalize on the complex-molecule nature of their biologic.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Topological augmentation to infer hidden processes in biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Sunnåker, Mikael; Zamora-Sillero, Elias; López García de Lomana, Adrián; Rudroff, Florian; Sauer, Uwe; Stelling, Joerg; Wagner, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: A common problem in understanding a biochemical system is to infer its correct structure or topology. This topology consists of all relevant state variables—usually molecules and their interactions. Here we present a method called topological augmentation to infer this structure in a statistically rigorous and systematic way from prior knowledge and experimental data. Results: Topological augmentation starts from a simple model that is unable to explain the experimental data and augments its topology by adding new terms that capture the experimental behavior. This process is guided by representing the uncertainty in the model topology through stochastic differential equations whose trajectories contain information about missing model parts. We first apply this semiautomatic procedure to a pharmacokinetic model. This example illustrates that a global sampling of the parameter space is critical for inferring a correct model structure. We also use our method to improve our understanding of glutamine transport in yeast. This analysis shows that transport dynamics is determined by glutamine permeases with two different kinds of kinetics. Topological augmentation can not only be applied to biochemical systems, but also to any system that can be described by ordinary differential equations. Availability and implementation: Matlab code and examples are available at: http://www.csb.ethz.ch/tools/index. Contact: mikael.sunnaker@bsse.ethz.ch; andreas.wagner@ieu.uzh.ch Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:24297519

  2. 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…

  3. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Tools for Biogas Process Analysis, Diagnosis and Control.

    PubMed

    Lebuhn, Michael; Weiß, Stefan; Munk, Bernhard; Guebitz, Georg M

    2015-01-01

    Many biotechnological processes such as biogas production or defined biotransformations are carried out by microorganisms or tightly cooperating microbial communities. Process breakdown is the maximum credible accident for the operator. Any time savings that can be provided by suitable early-warning systems and allow for specific countermeasures are of great value. Process disturbance, frequently due to nutritional shortcomings, malfunction or operational deficits, is evidenced conventionally by process chemistry parameters. However, knowledge on systems microbiology and its function has essentially increased in the last two decades, and molecular biology tools, most of which are directed against nucleic acids, have been developed to analyze and diagnose the process. Some of these systems have been shown to indicate changes of the process status considerably earlier than the conventionally applied process chemistry parameters. This is reasonable because the triggering catalyst is determined, activity changes of the microbes that perform the reaction. These molecular biology tools have thus the potential to add to and improve the established process diagnosis system. This chapter is dealing with the actual state of the art of biogas process analysis in practice, and introduces molecular biology tools that have been shown to be of particular value in complementing the current systems of process monitoring and diagnosis, with emphasis on nucleic acid targeted molecular biology systems.

  4. 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.

  5. Reduction of nitrous oxide emissions from biological nutrient removal processes by thermal decomposition.

    PubMed

    Pedros, Philip B; Askari, Omid; Metghalchi, Hameed

    2016-12-01

    During the last decade municipal wastewater treatment plants have been regulated with increasingly stringent nutrient removal requirements including nitrogen. Typically biological treatment processes are employed to meet these limits. Although the nitrogen in the wastewater stream is reduced, certain steps in the biological processes allow for the release of gaseous nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas (GHG). A comprehensive study was conducted to investigate the potential to mitigate N2O emissions from biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes by means of thermal decomposition. The study examined using the off gases from the biological process, instead of ambient air, as the oxidant gas for the combustion of biomethane. A detailed analysis was done to examine the concentration of N2O and 58 other gases that exited the combustion process. The analysis was based on the assumption that the exhaust gases were in chemical equilibrium since the residence time in the combustor is sufficiently longer than the chemical characteristics. For all inlet N2O concentrations the outlet concentrations were close to zero. Additionally, the emission of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ten commonly occurring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were also examined as a means of odor control for biological secondary treatment processes or as potential emissions from an anaerobic reactor of a BNR process. The sulfur released from the H2S formed sulfur dioxide (SO2) and eight of the ten VOCs were destroyed.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Meditation-induced neuroplastic changes in amygdala activity during negative affective processing.

    PubMed

    Leung, Mei-Kei; Lau, Way K W; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Samuel S Y; Fung, Annis L C; Lee, Tatia M C

    2017-04-10

    Recent evidence suggests that the effects of meditation practice on affective processing and resilience have the potential to induce neuroplastic changes within the amygdala. Notably, literature speculates that meditation training may reduce amygdala activity during negative affective processing. Nonetheless, studies have thus far not verified this speculation. In this longitudinal study, participants (N = 21, 9 men) were trained in awareness-based compassion meditation (ABCM) or matched relaxation training. The effects of meditation training on amygdala activity were examined during passive viewing of affective and neutral stimuli in a non-meditative state. We found that the ABCM group exhibited significantly reduced anxiety and right amygdala activity during negative emotion processing than the relaxation group. Furthermore, ABCM participants who performed more compassion practice had stronger right amygdala activity reduction during negative emotion processing. The lower right amygdala activity after ABCM training may be associated with a general reduction in reactivity and distress. As all participants performed the emotion processing task in a non-meditative state, it appears likely that the changes in right amygdala activity are carried over from the meditation practice into the non-meditative state. These findings suggest that the distress-reducing effects of meditation practice on affective processing may transfer to ordinary states, which have important implications on stress management.

  12. Influence of COMT genotype and affective distractors on the processing of self-generated thought

    PubMed Central

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Wood, Nicholas W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2015-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme is a major determinant of prefrontal dopamine levels. The Val158Met polymorphism affects COMT enzymatic activity and has been associated with variation in executive function and affective processing. This study investigated the effect of COMT genotype on the flexible modulation of the balance between processing self-generated and processing stimulus-oriented information, in the presence or absence of affective distractors. Analyses included 124 healthy adult participants, who were also assessed on standard working memory (WM) tasks. Relative to Val carriers, Met homozygotes made fewer errors when selecting and manipulating self-generated thoughts. This effect was partly accounted for by an association between COMT genotype and visuospatial WM performance. We also observed a complex interaction between the influence of affective distractors, COMT genotype and sex on task accuracy: male, but not female, participants showed a sensitivity to the affective distractors that was dependent on COMT genotype. This was not accounted for by WM performance. This study provides novel evidence of the role of dopaminergic genetic variation on the ability to select and manipulate self-generated thoughts. The results also suggest sexually dimorphic effects of COMT genotype on the influence of affective distractors on executive function. PMID:25190703

  13. Affective information processing in pregnancy and postpartum with and without major depression.

    PubMed

    Gollan, Jackie K; Hoxha, Denada; Getch, Sarah; Sankin, Lindsey; Michon, Ruth

    2013-04-30

    Adults with clinical depression exhibit systematic errors in their recognition and interpretation of affective stimuli. This study investigated the extent to which depression and phases of pregnancy and postpartum influence affective processing of positive and negative information, and the extent to which affective information processing in pregnancy predicts depressive symptoms in postpartum. Data were collected from 80 unmedicated women, diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) or with no psychiatric disorder and between ages 18 and 44 years, during 32-36 weeks of pregnancy and during 6-8 weeks postpartum. All completed a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) Axis I review, symptom reports, and a computer task measuring affective information processing. Significant group differences were found in which postpartum women with major depression were less responsive to negative stimuli, with lower ratings of intensity and reactions to negative pictorial stimuli, compared with postpartum healthy women. Also, lower ratings of the intensity and reactions to negative stimuli during pregnancy among depressed women predicted postpartum depression severity, even after controlling for depressive severity and affect ratings in pregnancy. Blunted affective reactivity to negative stimuli is a characteristic of depression that was observed among depressed women during pregnancy and postpartum in our study.

  14. Developmental Coordination Disorder Affects the Processing of Action-Related Verbs

    PubMed Central

    Mirabella, Giovanni; Del Signore, Sara; Lakens, Daniel; Averna, Roberto; Penge, Roberta; Capozzi, Flavia

    2017-01-01

    Processing action-language affects the planning and execution of motor acts, which suggests that the motor system might be involved in action-language understanding. However, this claim is hotly debated. For the first time, we compared the processing of action-verbs in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a disease that specifically affects the motor system, with children with a typical development (TD). We administered two versions of a go/no-go task in which verbs expressing either hand, foot or abstract actions were presented. We found that only when the semantic content of a verb has to be retrieved, TD children showed an increase in reaction times if the verb involved the same effector used to give the response. In contrast, DCD patients did not show any difference between verb categories irrespective of the task. These findings suggest that the pathological functioning of the motor system in individuals with DCD also affects language processing. PMID:28119585

  15. 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.

  16. The lateralized processing of affect in emotionally labile extraverts and introverts: central and autonomic effects.

    PubMed

    Smith, B D; Kline, R; Lindgren, K; Ferro, M; Smith, D A; Nespor, A

    1995-02-01

    The purpose of the present study was to better understand both the lateralized hemispheric processing of emotion and the differential neural processing of arousal in extraverts and introverts. We preselected right-handed male and female extraverts and introverts who were high in emotional lability. Each subject was exposed to two positive and two negative emotional stimuli under each of three counterbalanced conditions, including affective, cognitive, and neutral, while EEG and electrodermal activity (EDA) were recorded. Results showed that introverts are more aroused and that extraversion interacts with gender to produce differentiated patterns of lateralized neural activity. In addition, affective conditions produced higher levels of arousal than did cognitive or neutral conditions, particularly in the left hemisphere and under negative as opposed to positive stimuli. Finally, the hemispherically differentiated processing of positive and negative stimuli was affected by the contextual conditions under which they were experienced.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Visual processing and social cognition in schizophrenia: relationships among eye movements, biological motion perception, and empathy.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yukiko; Takahashi, Hideyuki; Murai, Toshiya; Takahashi, Hidehiko

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients have impairments at several levels of cognition including visual attention (eye movements), perception, and social cognition. However, it remains unclear how lower-level cognitive deficits influence higher-level cognition. To elucidate the hierarchical path linking deficient cognitions, we focused on biological motion perception, which is involved in both the early stage of visual perception (attention) and higher social cognition, and is impaired in schizophrenia. Seventeen schizophrenia patients and 18 healthy controls participated in the study. Using point-light walker stimuli, we examined eye movements during biological motion perception in schizophrenia. We assessed relationships among eye movements, biological motion perception and empathy. In the biological motion detection task, schizophrenia patients showed lower accuracy and fixated longer than healthy controls. As opposed to controls, patients exhibiting longer fixation durations and fewer numbers of fixations demonstrated higher accuracy. Additionally, in the patient group, the correlations between accuracy and affective empathy index and between eye movement index and affective empathy index were significant. The altered gaze patterns in patients indicate that top-down attention compensates for impaired bottom-up attention. Furthermore, aberrant eye movements might lead to deficits in biological motion perception and finally link to social cognitive impairments. The current findings merit further investigation for understanding the mechanism of social cognitive training and its development.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Chee Meng; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2006-01-01

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

  4. WE-DE-202-03: Modeling of Biological Processes - What Happens After Early Molecular Damage?

    PubMed

    McMahon, S

    2016-06-01

    Radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer has been established as a highly precise and effective way to eradicate a localized region of diseased tissue. To achieve further significant gains in the therapeutic ratio, we need to move towards biologically optimized treatment planning. To achieve this goal, we need to understand how the radiation-type dependent patterns of induced energy depositions within the cell (physics) connect via molecular, cellular and tissue reactions to treatment outcome such as tumor control and undesirable effects on normal tissue. Several computational biology approaches have been developed connecting physics to biology. Monte Carlo simulations are the most accurate method to calculate physical dose distributions at the nanometer scale, however simulations at the DNA scale are slow and repair processes are generally not simulated. Alternative models that rely on the random formation of individual DNA lesions within one or two turns of the DNA have been shown to reproduce the clusters of DNA lesions, including single strand breaks (SSBs), double strand breaks (DSBs) without the need for detailed track structure simulations. Efficient computational simulations of initial DNA damage induction facilitate computational modeling of DNA repair and other molecular and cellular processes. Mechanistic, multiscale models provide a useful conceptual framework to test biological hypotheses and help connect fundamental information about track structure and dosimetry at the sub-cellular level to dose-response effects on larger scales. In this symposium we will learn about the current state of the art of computational approaches estimating radiation damage at the cellular and sub-cellular scale. How can understanding the physics interactions at the DNA level be used to predict biological outcome? We will discuss if and how such calculations are relevant to advance our understanding of radiation damage and its repair, or, if the underlying biological

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Using ERPs to investigate valence processing in the affect misattribution procedure.

    PubMed

    von Gunten, Curtis D; Bartholow, Bruce D; Scherer, Laura D

    2017-02-01

    The construct validity of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) has been challenged by theories proposing that the task does not actually measure affect misattribution. The current study tested the validity of the AMP as a measure of affect misattribution by examining three components of the ERP known to be associated with the allocation of motivated attention. Results revealed that ERP amplitudes varied in response to affectively ambiguous targets as a function of the valence of preceding primes. Furthermore, differences in ERP responses to the targets were largely similar to differences in ERPs elicited by the primes. The existence of valence differentiation in both the prime-locked and the target-locked ERPs, along with the similarity in this differentiation, provides evidence that the affective content of the primes is psychologically registered, and that this content influences the processing of the subsequent, evaluatively ambiguous targets, both of which are required if the priming effects found in the AMP are the result of affect misattribution. However, the behavioral priming effect was uncorrelated with ERP amplitudes, leaving some question as to the locus of this effect in the information-processing system. Findings are discussed in light of the strengths and weaknesses of using ERPs to understand the priming effects in the AMP.

  10. The importance of biological factors affecting trace metal concentration as revealed from accumulation patterns in co-occurring terrestrial invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hendrickx, Frederik; Maelfait, Jean-Pierre; Bogaert, Nicolas; Tojal, Catarina; Du Laing, Gijs; Tack, Filip M G; Verloo, Marc G

    2004-01-01

    As physicochemical properties of the soil highly influence the bioavailable fraction of a particular trace metal, measured metal body burdens in a particular species are often assumed to be more reliable estimators of the contamination of the biota. To test this we compared the Cd, Cu and Zn content of three spiders (generalist predators) and two amphipods (detritivores), co-occurring in seven tidal marshes along the river Schelde, between each other and with the total metal concentrations and the concentrations of four sequential extractions of the soils. Correlations were significant in only one case and significant site x species interactions for all metals demonstrate that factors affecting metal concentration were species and site specific and not solely determined by site specific characteristics. These results emphasize that site and species specific biological factors might be of the utmost importance in determining the contamination of the biota, at least for higher trophic levels. A hypothetical example clarifies these findings.

  11. Culture medium type affects endocytosis of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in BEAS-2B cells and subsequent biological response.

    PubMed

    Haniu, Hisao; Saito, Naoto; Matsuda, Yoshikazu; Tsukahara, Tamotsu; Maruyama, Kayo; Usui, Yuki; Aoki, Kaoru; Takanashi, Seiji; Kobayashi, Shinsuke; Nomura, Hiroki; Okamoto, Masanori; Shimizu, Masayuki; Kato, Hiroyuki

    2013-09-01

    We examined the cytotoxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and the resulting cytokine secretion in BEAS-2B cells or normal human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEpCs) in two types of culture media (Ham's F12 containing 10% FBS [Ham's F12] and serum-free growth medium [SFGM]). Cellular uptake of MWCNT was observed by fluorescent microscopy and analyzed using flow cytometry. Moreover, we evaluated whether MWCNT uptake was suppressed by 2 types of endocytosis inhibitors. We found that BEAS-2B cells cultured in Ham's F12 and HBEpCs cultured in SFGM showed similar biological responses, but BEAS-2B cells cultured in SFGM did not internalize MWCNTs, and the 50% inhibitory concentration value, i.e., the cytotoxicity, was increased by more than 10-fold. MWCNT uptake was suppressed by a clathrin-mediated endocytosis inhibitor and a caveolae-mediated endocytosis inhibitor in BEAS-2B cells cultured in Ham's F12 and HBEpCs cultured in SFGM. In conclusion, we suggest that BEAS-2B cells cultured in a medium containing serum should be used for the safety evaluation of nanomaterials as a model of normal human bronchial epithelial cells. However, the culture medium composition may affect the proteins that are expressed on the cytoplasmic membrane, which may influence the biological response to MWCNTs.

  12. A preliminary comparison of flat affect schizophrenics and brain-damaged patients on measures of affective processing.

    PubMed

    Borod, J C; Alpert, M; Brozgold, A; Martin, C; Welkowitz, J; Diller, L; Peselow, E; Angrist, B; Lieberman, A

    1989-04-01

    Flat affect is a major component of schizophrenia and is often also seen in neurological disorders. A preliminary set of comparisons were conducted to delineate neuropsychological mechanisms underlying flat affect in schizophrenia, and new measures are described for the assessment of affective deficits in clinical populations. Subjects were schizophrenic with flat affect (SZs), right brain-damaged (RBD), Parkinson's Disease (PDs), and normal control (NC) right-handed adults. Subjects were administered affective measures of expression and perception in both facial and vocal channels. For both perceptual and expressive tasks the SZs performed significantly less accurately than the NCs and the PDs but did not differ from the RBDs. This was the case for both face and voice. This finding lends support to the speculation that right hemisphere mechanisms, especially cortical ones, may be compromised among schizophrenics with flat affect.

  13. 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.

  14. In Vivo Bioluminescent Imaging (BLI): Noninvasive Visualization and Interrogation of Biological Processes in Living Animals

    PubMed Central

    Close, Dan M.; Xu, Tingting; Sayler, Gary S.; Ripp, Steven

    2011-01-01

    In vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI) is increasingly being utilized as a method for modern biological research. This process, which involves the noninvasive interrogation of living animals using light emitted from luciferase-expressing bioreporter cells, has been applied to study a wide range of biomolecular functions such as gene function, drug discovery and development, cellular trafficking, protein-protein interactions, and especially tumorigenesis, cancer treatment, and disease progression. This article will review the various bioreporter/biosensor integrations of BLI and discuss how BLI is being applied towards a new visual understanding of biological processes within the living organism. PMID:22346573

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. City living and urban upbringing affect neural social stress processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Lederbogen, Florian; Kirsch, Peter; Haddad, Leila; Streit, Fabian; Tost, Heike; Schuch, Philipp; Wüst, Stefan; Pruessner, Jens C; Rietschel, Marcella; Deuschle, Michael; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2011-06-22

    More than half of the world's population now lives in cities, making the creation of a healthy urban environment a major policy priority. Cities have both health risks and benefits, but mental health is negatively affected: mood and anxiety disorders are more prevalent in city dwellers and the incidence of schizophrenia is strongly increased in people born and raised in cities. Although these findings have been widely attributed to the urban social environment, the neural processes that could mediate such associations are unknown. Here we show, using functional magnetic resonance imaging in three independent experiments, that urban upbringing and city living have dissociable impacts on social evaluative stress processing in humans. Current city living was associated with increased amygdala activity, whereas urban upbringing affected the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex, a key region for regulation of amygdala activity, negative affect and stress. These findings were regionally and behaviourally specific, as no other brain structures were affected and no urbanicity effect was seen during control experiments invoking cognitive processing without stress. Our results identify distinct neural mechanisms for an established environmental risk factor, link the urban environment for the first time to social stress processing, suggest that brain regions differ in vulnerability to this risk factor across the lifespan, and indicate that experimental interrogation of epidemiological associations is a promising strategy in social neuroscience.

  18. Affect and non-uniform characteristics of predictive processing in musical behaviour.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Rebecca S; Overy, Katie; Nelson, Peter

    2013-06-01

    The important roles of prediction and prior experience are well established in music research and fit well with Clark's concept of unified perception, cognition, and action arising from hierarchical, bidirectional predictive processing. However, in order to fully account for human musical intelligence, Clark needs to further consider the powerful and variable role of affect in relation to prediction error.

  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. Affective Cues and Processing Strategy: Color-Coded Examination Forms Influence Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinclair, Robert C.; Soldat, Alexander S.; Mark, Melvin M.

    1998-01-01

    Argues that external cues provide affective information that influence processing strategy and, therefore, examination performance. Notes the differences in performance for two midterm examinations, identical, except that they were printed on blue and red paper. Discusses a method for appropriately adjusting scores to control for form effects.…

  1. 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... amendment which subjects TSP accounts to orders issued pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act... in which child support orders and MVRA orders are payable. The amendments clarify that these...

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. A Synthesis of Cognitive and Affective Processes in Social Studies Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, James L.

    Three tasks are described in the development of a Valuing Lexicon: 1) the identification of a hierarchy of cognitive processes; 2) the identification of the affective components; and, 3) the clarification of the relationships between the two. For the purpose of clarifying the development of the lexicon, Krathwohl's hierarchy on what 'valuing'…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassandrinou, Amanda; Angelaki, Christina; Mavroidis, Ilias

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Brushing Your Spacecrafts Teeth: A Review of Biological Reduction Processes for Planetary Protection Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pugel, D.E. (Betsy); Rummel, J. D.; Conley, C. A.

    2017-01-01

    Much like keeping your teeth clean, where you brush away biofilms that your dentist calls plaque, there are various methods to clean spaceflight hardware of biological contamination, known as biological reduction processes. Different approaches clean your hardwares teeth in different ways and with different levels of effectiveness. We know that brushing at home with a simple toothbrush is convenient and has a different level of impact vs. getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. In the same way, there are some approaches to biological reduction that may require simple tools or more complex implementation approaches (think about sonicating or just soaking your dentures, vs. brushing them). There are also some that are more effective for different degrees of cleanliness and still some that have materials compatibility concerns. In this article, we review known and NASA-certified approaches for biological reduction, pointing out materials compatibility concerns and areas where additional research is needed.

  8. Brushing Your Spacecrafts Teeth: A Review of Biological Reduction Processes for Planetary Protection Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pugel, D. E. (Betsy); Rummel, J. D.; Conley, Catharine

    2017-01-01

    Much like keeping your teeth clean, where you brush away biofilms that your dentist calls "plaque," there are various methods to clean spaceflight hardware of biological contamination, known as biological reduction processes. Different approaches clean your hardware's "teeth" in different ways and with different levels of effectiveness. We know that brushing at home with a simple toothbrush is convenient and has a different level of impact vs. getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. In the same way, there are some approaches to biological reduction that may require simple tools or more complex implementation approaches (think about sonicating or just soaking your dentures, vs. brushing them). There are also some that are more effective for different degrees of cleanliness and still some that have materials compatibility concerns. In this article, we review known and NASA-certified approaches for biological reduction, pointing out materials compatibility concerns and areas where additional research is needed.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. White wine taste and mouthfeel as affected by juice extraction and processing.

    PubMed

    Gawel, Richard; Day, Martin; Van Sluyter, Steven C; Holt, Helen; Waters, Elizabeth J; Smith, Paul A

    2014-10-15

    The juice used to make white wine can be extracted using various physical processes that affect the amount and timing of contact of juice with skins. The influence of juice extraction processes on the mouthfeel and taste of white wine and their relationship to wine composition were determined. The amount and type of interaction of juice with skins affected both wine total phenolic concentration and phenolic composition. Wine pH strongly influenced perceived viscosity, astringency/drying, and acidity. Despite a 5-fold variation in total phenolics among wines, differences in bitter taste were small. Perceived viscosity was associated with higher phenolics but was not associated with either glycerol or polysaccharide concentration. Bitterness may be reduced by using juice extraction and handling processes that minimize phenolic concentration, but lowering phenolic concentration may also result in wines of lower perceived viscosity.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kindfield, Ann C. H.

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

  14. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an affect-processing and thought disorder?

    PubMed

    Günter, Michael

    2014-02-01

    In the literature on child and adolescent psychoanalysis attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is described as complex syndrome with wide-ranging psychodynamic features. Broadly speaking, the disorder is divided into three categories: 1. a disorder in early object relations leading to the development of a maniform defence organization in which object-loss anxieties and depressed affects are not worked through via symbolization but are organized in a body-near manner; 2. a triangulation disorder in which the cathexis of the paternal position is not stable; structures providing little support alternate with excessive arousal, affect regulation is restricted; 3. current emotional stress or a traumatic experience. I suggest taking a fresh look at ADHD from a psychoanalytic vantage point. With respect to the phenomenology of the disorder, the conflict-dynamic approach should be supplemented by a perspective regarding deficits in α-function as constitutive for ADHD. These deficits cause affect-processing and thought disorders compensated for (though not fully) by the symptomatology. At a secondary level, a vicious circle develops through the mutual reinforcement of defective processing of sense data and affects into potential thought content, on the one hand, and secondary, largely narcissistic defence processes on the other. These considerations have major relevance for the improved understanding of ADHD and for psychoanalytic technique.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Degradation of chlorinated paraben by integrated irradiation and biological treatment process.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shizong; Wang, Jianlong; Sun, Yuliang

    2017-03-15

    Chlorinated paraben, namely, methyl 3, 5-dichloro-4-hydroxybenzoate (MDHB) is the by-product of chlorination disinfection of paraben and frequently detected in the aquatic environments, which exhibited higher persistence and toxicity than paraben itself. In this paper, the combined irradiation and biological treatment process was employed to investigate the removal of MDHB from aqueous solution. The results showed that the removal efficiency of MDHB and total organic carbon (TOC) by irradiation process increased with radiation dose no matter what the initial concentration of MDHB was. The maximum removal efficiency of MDHB was 100%, 91.1%, 93%, respectively, for the initial concentration of MDHB of 1 mg/L, 5 mg/L and 10 mg/L with the radiation dose of 800 Gy. However, the maximum removal efficiency of TOC among all the experimental groups was only 15.3% obtained with the initial concentration of 1 mg/L at dose of 800 Gy. The subsequent biological treatment enhanced the mineralization of MDHB. The suitable radiation dose for the subsequent biological treatment was determined to be 600 Gy. In this case the removal efficiency of TOC increased to about 70%. Compared to the single biological treatment, the integrated irradiation and biological treatment significantly increase the degradation and mineralization of MDHB. Moreover, the dechlorination efficiency reached 77.4% during the integrated irradiation and biological treatment process. In addition, eight intermediates were identified during the combined process and the possible degradation pathway was proposed.

  18. Diurnal rhythmicity in biological processes involved in bioavailability of functional food factors.

    PubMed

    Tsurusaki, Takashi; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Aoshima, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Sakono, Masanobu; Shimoi, Kayoko

    2013-05-01

    In the past few decades, many types of functional factors have been identified in dietary foods; for example, flavonoids are major groups widely distributed in the plant kingdom. However, the absorption rates of the functional food factors are usually low, and many of these are difficult to be absorbed in the intact forms because of metabolization by biological processes during absorption. To gain adequate beneficial effects, it is therefore mandatory to know whether functional food factors are absorbed in sufficient quantity, and then reach target organs while maintaining beneficial effects. These are the reasons why the bioavailability of functional food factors has been well investigated using rodent models. Recently, many of the biological processes have been reported to follow diurnal rhythms recurring every 24 h. Therefore, absorption and metabolism of functional food factors influenced by the biological processes may vary with time of day. Consequently, the evaluation of the bioavailability of functional food factors using rodent models should take into consideration the timing of consumption. In this review, we provide a perspective overview of the diurnal rhythm of biological processes involved in the bioavailability of functional food factors, particularly flavonoids.

  19. 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/.

  20. 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…

  1. 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)

  2. Japanese Children's Awareness of the Effects of Psychological Taste Experiences on Biological Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toyama, Noriko

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined Japanese children's and adults' awareness of the effects of psychological taste experiences on biological processes such as growth and illness. Studies 1 and 2 showed the following: (1) preschoolers tended to assume that good-tasting experiences would make one grow taller and gain more weight, while adults seldom…

  3. The chemistry-biology-medicine continuum and the drug discovery and development process in academia.

    PubMed

    Nicolaou, K C

    2014-09-18

    Admirable as it is, the drug discovery and development process is continuously undergoing changes and adjustments in search of further improvements in efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Recent trends in academic-industrial partnerships promise to provide new opportunities for advancements of this process through transdisciplinary collaborations along the entire spectrum of activities involved in this complex process. This perspective discusses ways to promote the emerging academic paradigm of the chemistry-biology-medicine continuum as a means to advance the drug discovery and development process.

  4. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: the role of biological particles in cloud physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möhler, O.; Demott, P. J.; Vali, G.; Levin, Z.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a series of papers on the sources, distribution and potential impact of biological particles in the atmosphere, this paper introduces and summarizes the potential role of biological particles in atmospheric clouds. Biological particles like bacteria or pollen may be active as both cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) and thereby can contribute to the initial cloud formation stages and the development of precipitation through giant CCN and IN processes. The paper gives an introduction to aerosol-cloud processes involving CCN and IN in general and provides a short summary of previous laboratory, field and modelling work which investigated the CCN and IN activity of bacterial cells and pollen. Recent measurements of atmospheric ice nuclei with a continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) and of the heterogeneous ice nucleation efficiency of bacterial cells are also briefly discussed. As a main result of this overview paper we conclude that a proper assessment of the impact of biological particles on tropospheric clouds needs new laboratory, field and modelling work on the abundance of biological particles in the atmosphere and their CCN and heterogeneous IN properties.

  5. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: the role of biological particles in cloud physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möhler, O.; Demott, P. J.; Vali, G.; Levin, Z.

    2007-08-01

    As part of a series of papers on the sources, distribution and potential impact of biological particles in the atmosphere, this paper introduces and summarizes the potential role of biological particles in atmospheric clouds. Biological particles like bacteria or pollen may be active as both cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) and thereby can contribute to the initial cloud formation stages and the development of precipitation through giant CCN and IN processes. The paper gives an introduction to aerosol-cloud processes like CCN and IN in general and provides a short summary of previous laboratory, field and modelling work investigating the CCN and IN activity of bacterial cells and pollen. Recent measurements of atmospheric ice nuclei with a continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) and of the heterogeneous ice nucleation efficiency of bacterial cells are also briefly discussed. As a main result of this overview paper we conclude that a proper assessment of the impact of biological particles on tropospheric clouds needs new laboratory, field and modelling work investigating the abundance of biological particles in the atmosphere and their CCN and heterogeneous IN properties.

  6. Different modalities of painful somatosensory stimulations affect anticipatory cortical processes: a high-resolution EEG study.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Brancucci, Alfredo; Capotosto, Paolo; Del Percio, Claudio; Romani, Gian Luca; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2007-03-15

    Pain sensation is characterized by multiple features that allow to differentiate pricking, burning, aching, stinging, and electrical shock. These features are sub-served by neural pathways that might give flexibility and selectivity to the cerebral anticipatory processes. In this line, the present high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG) study tested the hypothesis that the anticipatory cortical processes are stronger for painful thermal (biologically relevant) than electrical ("artificial") stimuli with similar intensity. EEG data (128 electrodes) were recorded in normal subjects during the expectancy of painful electrical or laser stimuli (visual omitted stimulus paradigm; interval between two painful stimuli: 16s), delivered over the median nerve region of the right arm (nonpainful stimuli as controls). After each stimulus, the subject reported the perceived stimulus intensity. Surface Laplacian estimation of the EEG data spatially enhanced the anticipatory stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN), which reflects motivational relevance of the stimulus. Subjects perceived no difference in the intensity of the electrical versus laser stimuli in both painful and nonpainful conditions. However, the anticipatory SPN appeared over large scalp regions before painful laser but not electrical stimulation. The same was true for the nonpainful stimulations. The present results suggest that the motivational anticipatory cortical processes are induced by nonpainful and painful biologically/ecologically relevant laser stimuli rather than by "artificial" electrical stimuli with similar intensity.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Elevated Preattentive Affective Processing in Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Hooley, Jill M.; Dahlgren, Mary K.; Gönenc, Atilla; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A.; Gruber, Staci A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Emotion dysregulation is central to the clinical conceptualization of borderline personality disorder (BPD), with individuals often displaying instability in mood and intense feelings of negative affect. Although existing data suggest important neural and behavioral differences in the emotion processing of individuals with BPD, studies thus far have only explored reactions to overt emotional information. Therefore, it is unclear if BPD-related emotional hypersensitivity extends to stimuli presented below the level of conscious awareness (preattentively). Methods: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure neural responses to happy, angry, fearful, and neutral faces presented preattentively, using a backward masked affect paradigm. Given their tendency toward emotional hyperreactivity and altered amygdala and frontal activation, we hypothesized that individuals with BPD would demonstrate a distinct pattern of fMRI responses relative to those without BPD during the viewing of masked affective versus neutral faces in specific regions of interests (ROIs). Results: Results indicated that individuals with BPD demonstrated increases in frontal, cingulate, and amygdalar activation represented by number of voxels activated and demonstrated a different pattern of activity within the ROIs relative to those without BPD while viewing masked affective versus neutral faces. Conclusion: These findings suggest that in addition to the previously documented heightened responses to overt displays of emotion, individuals with BPD also demonstrate differential responses to positive and negative emotions, early in the processing stream, even before conscious awareness. PMID:26696932

  10. No support for dual process accounts of human affective learning in simple Pavlovian conditioning.

    PubMed

    Lipp, Ottmar V; Purkis, Helena M

    2005-02-01

    Dual process accounts of affective learning state that the learning of likes and dislikes reflects a learning mechanism that is distinct from the one reflected in expectancy learning, the learning of signal relationships, and has different empirical characteristics. Affective learning, for example, is said not to be affected by: (a) extinction training; (b) occasion setting; (c) cue competition; and (d) awareness of the CS-US contingencies. These predictions were tested in a series of experiments that employed simple Pavlovian conditioning procedures. Neutral visual pictures of geometric shapes, or tactile conditional stimuli (CS) were paired with aversive electrotactile unconditional stimuli (US). Dependent measures were physiological (skin conductance, blink startle modulation) or verbal (US expectancy, on-line and off-line ratings of CS pleasantness). Different combinations of these dependent measures were employed across different experiments in an attempt to assess affective and expectancy learning simultaneously. Changes in CS pleasantness as indexed by ratings or blink startle modulation were readily observed. However, contrary to the predictions from dual-process accounts, results indicated that acquired CS unpleasantness is subject to extinction, occasion setting, cue competition, and not found in absence of CS-US contingency awareness.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. How work context affects operating room processes: using data mining and computer simulation to analyze facility and process design.

    PubMed

    Baumgart, André; Denz, Christof; Bender, Hans-Joachim; Schleppers, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    The complexity of the operating room (OR) requires that both structural (eg, department layout) and behavioral (eg, staff interactions) patterns of work be considered when developing quality improvement strategies. In our study, we investigated how these contextual factors influence outpatient OR processes and the quality of care delivered. The study setting was a German university-affiliated hospital performing approximately 6000 outpatient surgeries annually. During the 3-year-study period, the hospital significantly changed its outpatient OR facility layout from a decentralized (ie, ORs in adjacent areas of the building) to a centralized (ie, ORs in immediate vicinity of each other) design. To study the impact of the facility change on OR processes, we used a mixed methods approach, including process analysis, process modeling, and social network analysis of staff interactions. The change in facility layout was seen to influence OR processes in ways that could substantially affect patient outcomes. For example, we found a potential for more errors during handovers in the new centralized design due to greater interdependency between tasks and staff. Utilization of the mixed methods approach in our analysis, as compared with that of a single assessment method, enabled a deeper understanding of the OR work context and its influence on outpatient OR processes.

  17. The ANK3 gene and facial affect processing: An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wan; Zhang, Qiumei; Yu, Ping; Zhang, Zhifang; Chen, Xiongying; Gu, Huang; Zhai, Jinguo; Chen, Min; Du, Boqi; Deng, Xiaoxiang; Ji, Feng; Wang, Chuanyue; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Li, Dawei; Wu, Hongjie; Dong, Qi; Luo, Yuejia; Li, Jun; Chen, Chuansheng

    2016-09-01

    ANK3 is one of the most promising candidate genes for bipolar disorder (BD). A polymorphism (rs10994336) within the ANK3 gene has been associated with BD in at least three genome-wide association studies of BD [McGuffin et al., 2003; Kieseppä, 2004; Edvardsen et al., 2008]. Because facial affect processing is disrupted in patients with BD, the current study aimed to explore whether the BD risk alleles are associated with the N170, an early event-related potential (ERP) component related to facial affect processing. We collected data from two independent samples of healthy individuals (Ns = 83 and 82, respectively) to test the association between rs10994336 and an early event-related potential (ERP) component (N170) that is sensitive to facial affect processing. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance in both samples consistently revealed significant main effects of rs10994336 genotype (Sample I: F (1, 72) = 7.24, P = 0.009; Sample II: F (1, 69) = 11.81, P = 0.001), but no significant interaction of genotype × electrodes (Ps > 0.05) or genotype × emotional conditions (Ps > 0.05). These results suggested that rs10994336 was linked to early ERP component reflecting facial structural encoding during facial affect processing. These results shed new light on the brain mechanism of this risk SNP and associated disorders such as BD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Soy processing affects metabolism and disposition of dietary isoflavones in ovariectomized BALB/c mice.

    PubMed

    Allred, Clinton D; Twaddle, Nathan C; Allred, Kimberly F; Goeppinger, Tracy S; Churchwell, Mona I; Ju, Young H; Helferich, William G; Doerge, Daniel R

    2005-11-02

    Soy foods and nutritional supplements are widely consumed for potential health benefits. It was previously shown that isoflavone-supplemented diets, which contained equal genistein equivalents, differentially stimulated mammary tumor growth in athymic mice based on the degree of processing. This paper reports plasma pharmacokinetic analysis and metabolite identification using the parental mouse strain fed the same diets, which contained genistin, mixed isoflavones, Novasoy, soy molasses, or soy flour plus mixed isoflavones. Whereas the degree of soy processing did affect several parameters reflecting isoflavone bioavailability and gut microflora metabolism of daidzein to equol, stimulation of tumor growth correlated significantly with only the plasma concentration of aglycon genistein produced by the diets. This conclusion is consistent with the known estrogen agonist activity of genistein aglycon on mammary tumor growth. Conversely, plasma equol concentration was inversely correlated with the degree of soy processing. Although antagonism of genistein-stimulated tumor growth by equol could explain this result, the very low concentration of aglycon equol in plasma (12-fold lower relative to genistein) is inconsistent with any effect. These findings underscore the importance of food processing, which can remove non-nutritive components from soy, on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of isoflavones. Such changes in diet composition affect circulating, and presumably target tissue, concentrations of genistein aglycon, which initiates estrogen receptor-mediated processes required for the stimulation of tumor growth in a mouse model for postmenopausal breast cancer.

  19. TMS affects moral judgment, showing the role of DLPFC and TPJ in cognitive and emotional processing

    PubMed Central

    Jeurissen, Danique; Sack, Alexander T.; Roebroeck, Alard; Russ, Brian E.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making involves a complex interplay of emotional responses and reasoning processes. In this study, we use TMS to explore the neurobiological substrates of moral decisions in humans. To examining the effects of TMS on the outcome of a moral-decision, we compare the decision outcome of moral-personal and moral-impersonal dilemmas to each other and examine the differential effects of applying TMS over the right DLPFC or right TPJ. In this comparison, we find that the TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during the decision process, affects the outcome of the moral-personal judgment, while TMS-induced disruption of TPJ affects only moral-impersonal conditions. In other words, we find a double-dissociation between DLPFC and TPJ in the outcome of a moral decision. Furthermore, we find that TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during non-moral, moral-impersonal, and moral-personal decisions lead to lower ratings of regret about the decision. Our results are in line with the dual-process theory and suggest a role for both the emotional response and cognitive reasoning process in moral judgment. Both the emotional and cognitive processes were shown to be involved in the decision outcome. PMID:24592204

  20. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT): A biological process in the development, stem cell differentiation, and tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tong; You, Yanan; Jiang, Hua; Wang, Zack Z

    2017-01-12

    The lineage transition between epithelium and mesenchyme is a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), by which polarized epithelial cells lose their adhesion property and obtain mesenchymal cell phenotypes. EMT is a biological process that is often involved in embryogenesis and diseases, such as cancer invasion and metastasis. The EMT and the reverse process, mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), also play important roles in stem cell differentiation and de-differentiation (or reprogramming). In this review, we will discuss current research progress of EMT in embryonic development, cellular differentiation and reprogramming, and cancer progression, all of which are representative models for researches of stem cell biology in normal and in diseases. Understanding of EMT and MET may help to identify specific markers to distinguish normal stem cells from cancer stem cells in future.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Attentional and affective processing of sexual stimuli in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Marieke; van Leeuwen, Matthijs; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K; Heiman, Julia R; Laan, Ellen

    2012-08-01

    Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common sexual problem in women. From an incentive motivation perspective, HSDD may be the result of a weak association between sexual stimuli and rewarding experiences. As a consequence, these stimuli may either lose or fail to acquire a positive meaning, resulting in a limited number of incentives that have the capacity to elicit a sexual response. According to current information processing models of sexual arousal, sexual stimuli automatically activate meanings and if these are not predominantly positive, processes relevant to the activation of sexual arousal and desire may be interrupted. Premenopausal U.S. and Dutch women with acquired HSDD (n = 42) and a control group of sexually functional women (n = 42) completed a single target Implicit Association Task and a Picture Association Task assessing automatic affective associations with sexual stimuli and a dot detection task measuring attentional capture by sexual stimuli. Results showed that women with acquired HSDD displayed less positive (but not more negative) automatic associations with sexual stimuli than sexually functional women. The same pattern was found for self-reported affective sex-related associations. Participants were slower to detect targets in the dot detection task that replaced sexual images, irrespective of sexual function status. As such, the findings point to the relevance of affective processing of sexual stimuli in women with HSDD, and imply that the treatment of HSDD might benefit from a stronger emphasis on the strengthening of the association between sexual stimuli and positive meaning and sexual reward.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control

    PubMed Central

    Mariño, Yobana A.; Verle Rodrigues, José C.; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R0), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management. PMID:28085049

  12. 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.

  13. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control.

    PubMed

    Mariño, Yobana A; Verle Rodrigues, José C; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-11

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R₀), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management.

  14. The oxidation of methionine-54 of epoetinum alfa does not affect molecular structure or stability, but does decrease biological activity.

    PubMed

    Labrenz, Steven R; Calmann, Melissa A; Heavner, George A; Tolman, Glen

    2008-01-01

    Erythropoietin therapy is used to treat severe anemia in renal failure and chemotherapy patients. One of these therapies based on recombinant human erythropoietin is marketed under the trade name of EPREX and utilizes epoetinum alfa as the active pharmaceutical ingredient. The effect of oxidation of methionine-54 on the structure and stability of the erythropoietin molecule has not been directly tested. We have observed partial and full chemical oxidation of methionine-54 to methionine-54 sulfoxide, accomplished using tert-Butylhydroperoxide and hydrogen peroxide, respectively. A blue shift in the fluorescence center of spectral mass wavelength was observed as a linear response to the level of methionine sulfoxide in the epoetinum alfa molecule, presumably arising from a local change in the environment near tryptophan-51, as supported by potassium iodide quenching studies. Circular dichroism studies demonstrated no change in the folded structure of the molecule with methionine oxidation. The thermal unfolding profiles of partial and completely oxidized epoetinum alfa overlap, with a T(m) of 49.5 degrees C across all levels of methionine sulfoxide content. When the protein was tested for activity, a decrease in biological activity was observed, correlating with methionine sulfoxide levels. An allosteric effect between Met54, Trp51, and residues involved in receptor binding is proposed. These results indicate that methionine oxidation has no effect on the folded structure and global thermodynamic stability of the recombinant human erythropoietin molecule. Oxidation can affect potency, but only at levels significantly in excess of those seen in EPREX.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Applying the Cognitive-Affective Processing Systems Approach to Conceptualizing Rejection Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Ayduk, Özlem; Gyurak, Anett

    2009-01-01

    The Cognitive-Affective Processing Systems or CAPS theory (Mischel & Shoda, 1995) was proposed to account for the processes that explain why and how people’s behavior varies stably across situations. Research on Rejection Sensitivity is reviewed as a programmatic attempt to illustrate how personality dispositions can be studied within the CAPS framework. This research reveals an if … then … (e.g., if situation X, he does A, but if situation Y, he does B) pattern of rejection sensitivity such that high rejection sensitive people’s goal to prevent rejection can lead to accommodating behavior; yet, the failure to achieve this goal can lead to aggression, reactivity, and lack of self-concept clarity. These situation–behavior relations or personality signatures reflect a stable activation network of distinctive personality processing dynamics. These dynamics link fears and expectations of rejection, perceptions/attributions of rejection, and affective/behavioral overreactions to perceived rejection. Self-regulatory and attentional mechanisms may interact with these dynamics as buffers against high rejection sensitivity, illustrating how multiple processes within a CAPS network play out in behavior. PMID:19890458

  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. Differential gene expression profiling and biological process analysis in proximal nerve segments after sciatic nerve transection.

    PubMed

    Li, Shiying; Liu, Qianqian; Wang, Yongjun; Gu, Yun; Liu, Dong; Wang, Chunming; Ding, Guohui; Chen, Jianping; Liu, Jie; Gu, Xiaosong

    2013-01-01

    After traumatic injury, peripheral nerves can spontaneously regenerate through highly sophisticated and dynamic processes that are regulated by multiple cellular elements and molecular factors. Despite evidence of morphological changes and of expression changes of a few regulatory genes, global knowledge of gene expression changes and related biological processes during peripheral nerve injury and regeneration is still lacking. Here we aimed to profile global mRNA expression changes in proximal nerve segments of adult rats after sciatic nerve transection. According to DNA microarray analysis, the huge number of genes was differentially expressed at different time points (0.5 h-14 d) post nerve transection, exhibiting multiple distinct temporal expression patterns. The expression changes of several genes were further validated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis. The gene ontology enrichment analysis was performed to decipher the biological processes involving the differentially expressed genes. Collectively, our results highlighted the dynamic change of the important biological processes and the time-dependent expression of key regulatory genes after peripheral nerve injury. Interestingly, we, for the first time, reported the presence of olfactory receptors in sciatic nerves. Hopefully, this study may provide a useful platform for deeply studying peripheral nerve injury and regeneration from a molecular-level perspective.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The power of emotional valence-from cognitive to affective processes in reading.

    PubMed

    Altmann, Ulrike; Bohrn, Isabel C; Lubrich, Oliver; Menninghaus, Winfried; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2012-01-01

    The comprehension of stories requires the reader to imagine the cognitive and affective states of the characters. The content of many stories is unpleasant, as they often deal with conflict, disturbance or crisis. Nevertheless, unpleasant stories can be liked and enjoyed. In this fMRI study, we used a parametric approach to examine (1) the capacity of increasing negative valence of story contents to activate the mentalizing network (cognitive and affective theory of mind, ToM), and (2) the neural substrate of liking negatively valenced narratives. A set of 80 short narratives was compiled, ranging from neutral to negative emotional valence. For each story mean rating values on valence and liking were obtained from a group of 32 participants in a prestudy, and later included as parametric regressors in the fMRI analysis. Another group of 24 participants passively read the narratives in a three Tesla MRI scanner. Results revealed a stronger engagement of affective ToM-related brain areas with increasingly negative story valence. Stories that were unpleasant, but simultaneously liked, engaged the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which might reflect the moral exploration of the story content. Further analysis showed that the more the mPFC becomes engaged during the reading of negatively valenced stories, the more coactivation can be observed in other brain areas related to the neural processing of affective ToM and empathy.

  7. A Differential Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis: Impact of Cellular Copper on Complex Biological Processes like Aging and Development

    PubMed Central

    Servos, Jörg; Hamann, Andrea; Grimm, Carolin; Osiewacz, Heinz D.

    2012-01-01

    The regulation of cellular copper homeostasis is crucial in biology. Impairments lead to severe dysfunctions and are known to affect aging and development. Previously, a loss-of-function mutation in the gene encoding the copper-sensing and copper-regulated transcription factor GRISEA of the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina was reported to lead to cellular copper depletion and a pleiotropic phenotype with hypopigmentation of the mycelium and the ascospores, affected fertility and increased lifespan by approximately 60% when compared to the wild type. This phenotype is linked to a switch from a copper-dependent standard to an alternative respiration leading to both a reduced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). We performed a genome-wide comparative transcriptome analysis of a wild-type strain and the copper-depleted grisea mutant. We unambiguously assigned 9,700 sequences of the transcriptome in both strains to the more than 10,600 predicted and annotated open reading frames of the P. anserina genome indicating 90% coverage of the transcriptome. 4,752 of the transcripts differed significantly in abundance with 1,156 transcripts differing at least 3-fold. Selected genes were investigated by qRT-PCR analyses. Apart from this general characterization we analyzed the data with special emphasis on molecular pathways related to the grisea mutation taking advantage of the available complete genomic sequence of P. anserina. This analysis verified but also corrected conclusions from earlier data obtained by single gene analysis, identified new candidates of factors as part of the cellular copper homeostasis system including target genes of transcription factor GRISEA, and provides a rich reference source of quantitative data for further in detail investigations. Overall, the present study demonstrates the importance of systems biology approaches also in cases were mutations in single genes are analyzed to explain the

  8. 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.

  9. Acetyl-L-carnitine affects nonassociative learning processes in the leech Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Ristori, C; Cataldo, E; Zaccardi, M L; Traina, G; Calvani, M; Lombardo, P; Scuri, R; Brunelli, M

    2006-11-03

    Acetyl-L-carnitine is a natural molecule widely distributed in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous system. It is known to have significant effects on neuronal activity playing a role as neuroprotective and anti-nociceptive agent, as well as neuromodulatory factor. About its capability of affecting learning processes the available data are controversial. In the present study, we utilized the simplified model system of the leech Hirudo medicinalis to analyze the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine, assessing whether and how it might affect elementary forms of nonassociative learning processes. In leeches with the head ganglion disconnected from the first segmental ganglion, repetitive application of weak electrical shocks onto the caudal portion of the body wall induces habituation of swim induction whereas brush strokes on the dorsal skin produces sensitization or dishabituation when the nociceptive stimulus is delivered on previously habituated animals. Herein, the effects of different concentrations of acetyl-L-carnitine (2 mM - 0.05 mM) have been tested at different times on both sensitization and dishabituation. The results show that a single treatment of acetyl-L-carnitine blocked the onset of sensitization in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In fact, the most effective concentration able to block this process was 2 mM, which induced its major effects 11 days after the treatment, whereas 0.05 mM was unable to affect the sensitization process at all considered time points. On the contrary, acetyl-L-carnitine did not completely abolish dishabituation at the tested concentrations and at every time point. Finally, acetyl-L-carnitine also impaired the habituation of swim induction, but only 11 days after treatment.

  10. How does context affect intimate relationships? linking external stress and cognitive processes within marriage.

    PubMed

    Neff, Lisa A; Karney, Benjamin R

    2004-02-01

    Stressors external to the marriage frequently affect the way spouses evaluate their marital quality. To date, however, understanding of the interplay between external stress and internal relationship processes has been limited in two ways. First, research has generally examined only the short-term consequences of stress. Second, the mechanisms through which external stressors influence relationship outcomes are unclear. This study addressed both limitations by examining relationship cognitions that may mediate the effects of external stress throughout 4 years of marriage. Analyses confirmed that stressful experiences were associated with the trajectory of marital quality overtime. Furthermore, both the content and the organization of spouses' specific relationship cognitions mediated this effect. That is, stress negatively influenced the nature of spouses' marital perceptions as well as the way spouses interpreted and processed those perceptions. These findings draw attention to ways that the context of relationships shapes and constrains relationship processes.

  11. 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.

  12. The neurophysiology of human biological motion processing: a high-density electrical mapping study.

    PubMed

    Krakowski, Aaron I; Ross, Lars A; Snyder, Adam C; Sehatpour, Pejman; Kelly, Simon P; Foxe, John J

    2011-05-01

    The neural processing of biological motion (BM) is of profound experimental interest since it is often through the movement of another that we interpret their immediate intentions. Neuroimaging points to a specialized cortical network for processing biological motion. Here, high-density electrical mapping and source-analysis techniques were employed to interrogate the timing of information processing across this network. Participants viewed point-light-displays depicting standard body movements (e.g. jumping), while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded and compared to ERPs to scrambled motion control stimuli. In a pair of experiments, three major phases of BM-specific processing were identified: 1) The earliest phase of BM-sensitive modulation was characterized by a positive shift of the ERP between 100 and 200 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation was observed exclusively over the right hemisphere and source-analysis suggested a likely generator in close proximity to regions associated with general motion processing (KO/hMT). 2) The second phase of BM-sensitivity occurred from 200 to 350 ms, characterized by a robust negative-going ERP modulation over posterior middle temporal regions bilaterally. Source-analysis pointed to bilateral generators at or near the posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS). 3) A third phase of processing was evident only in our second experiment, where participants actively attended the BM aspect of the stimuli, and was manifest as a centro-parietal positive ERP deflection, likely related to later cognitive processes. These results point to very early sensory registration of biological motion, and highlight the interactive role of the posterior STS in analyzing the movements of other living organisms.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Enhanced Gaussia luciferase blood assay for monitoring of in vivo biological processes.

    PubMed

    Bovenberg, M Sarah S; Degeling, M Hannah; Tannous, Bakhos A

    2012-01-17

    Secreted Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) has been shown to be a useful tool for ex vivo monitoring of in vivo biological processes. The Gluc level in the blood was used to detect tumor growth, metastasis and response to therapy, gene transfer, and circulating cells viability, as well as transcription factors activation, complementing in vivo bioluminescence imaging. The sensitivity of the Gluc blood assay is limited due to the absorption of blue light by pigmented molecules such as hemoglobin, resulting in quenching of the signal and therefore lower sensitivity. To overcome this problem, we designed an alternative microtiter well-based binding assay in which Gluc is captured first from blood using a specific antibody followed by the addition of coelenterazine and signal acquisition using a luminometer. This assay showed to be over 1 order of magnitude more sensitive in detecting Gluc in the blood as compared to the direct Gluc blood assay enhancing ex vivo monitoring of biological processes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Does the processing fluency of a syllabus affect the forecasted grade and course difficulty?

    PubMed

    Guenther, R Kim

    2012-06-01

    Processing fluency is known to affect a variety of cognitive assessments, but most research has not examined such effects in the context of a real-life experience. In the first experiment, college students, enrolled in either a statistics or cognitive psychology course, read a course syllabus which varied in the clarity of its font and frequency of its vocabulary. Based on the syllabus, students then forecasted their final course grade and the course's difficulty. Despite methodological similarity to other fluency experiments and adequate statistical power, there were no significant differences in forecasts across fluency conditions. Fluency may be discounted in a task which provides information that affects people's lives. This interpretation was bolstered by a second experiment whose participants were students in a statistics course. These students read the cognitive course's syllabus and forecasted better grades and less difficulty in the cognitive course when the font of the syllabus was more clear than unclear.

  19. 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

  20. [Biological Role of Oligomerny Matriksny of Protein of the Cartilage in Exchange Processes Connecting Tissue].

    PubMed

    Belova, Yu S

    2015-01-01

    In the review the literary data on studying of biological role of a oligomerny matriksny of protein of the cartilage in exchange processes connecting tissue at people and animals are provided, and also results of own researches on definition of a oligomerny matriksny of protein of the cartilage as a modern marker of a metabolism of an articulate cartilage at children from undifferentiated displaziy conjunctive tissue are briefly described.

  1. 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.

  2. Transcranial magnetic stimulation to the transverse occipital sulcus affects scene but not object processing.

    PubMed

    Ganaden, Rachel E; Mullin, Caitlin R; Steeves, Jennifer K E

    2013-06-01

    Traditionally, it has been theorized that the human visual system identifies and classifies scenes in an object-centered approach, such that scene recognition can only occur once key objects within a scene are identified. Recent research points toward an alternative approach, suggesting that the global image features of a scene are sufficient for the recognition and categorization of a scene. We have previously shown that disrupting object processing with repetitive TMS to object-selective cortex enhances scene processing possibly through a release of inhibitory mechanisms between object and scene pathways [Mullin, C. R., & Steeves, J. K. E. TMS to the lateral occipital cortex disrupts object processing but facilitates scene processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 4174-4184, 2011]. Here we show the effects of TMS to the transverse occipital sulcus (TOS), an area implicated in scene perception, on scene and object processing. TMS was delivered to the TOS or the vertex (control site) while participants performed an object and scene natural/nonnatural categorization task. Transiently interrupting the TOS resulted in significantly lower accuracies for scene categorization compared with control conditions. This demonstrates a causal role of the TOS in scene processing and indicates its importance, in addition to the parahippocampal place area and retrosplenial cortex, in the scene processing network. Unlike TMS to object-selective cortex, which facilitates scene categorization, disrupting scene processing through stimulation of the TOS did not affect object categorization. Further analysis revealed a higher proportion of errors for nonnatural scenes that led us to speculate that the TOS may be involved in processing the higher spatial frequency content of a scene. This supports a nonhierarchical model of scene recognition.

  3. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Sorting it out: bedding particle size and nesting material processing method affect nest complexity.

    PubMed

    Robinson-Junker, Amy; Morin, Amelia; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen; Gaskill, Brianna N

    2017-04-01

    As part of routine husbandry, an increasing number of laboratory mice receive nesting material in addition to standard bedding material in their cages. Nesting material improves health outcomes and physiological performance in mice that receive it. Providing usable nesting material uniformly and efficiently to various strains of mice remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to determine how bedding particle size, method of nesting material delivery, and processing of the nesting material before delivery affected nest building in mice of strong (BALB/cAnNCrl) and weak (C3H/HeNCrl) gathering abilities. Our data suggest that processing nesting material through a grinder in conjunction with bedding material, although convenient for provision of bedding with nesting material 'built-in', negatively affects the integrity of the nesting material and subsequent nest-building outcomes. We also found that C3H mice, previously thought to be poor nest builders, built similarly scored nests to those of BALB/c mice when provided with unprocessed nesting material. This was true even when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate. We also observed that when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate, mice of both strains would sort their bedding by particle size more often than if it were not mixed in. Our findings support the utility of the practice of distributing nesting material mixed in with bedding substrate, but not that of processing the nesting material with the bedding in order to mix them.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Assessing Students' Abilities in Processes of Scientific Inquiry in Biology Using a Paper-and-Pencil Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nowak, Kathrin Helena; Nehring, Andreas; Tiemann, Rüdiger; Upmeier zu Belzen, Annette

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the study was to describe, categorise and analyse students' (aged 14-16) processes of scientific inquiry in biology and chemistry education. Therefore, a theoretical structure for scientific inquiry for both biology and chemistry, the VerE model, was developed. This model consists of nine epistemological acts, which combine processes of…

  10. 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.

  11. Does the Harvesting Technique Affect the Properties of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells?-The Comparative Biological Characterization.

    PubMed

    Bajek, Anna; Gurtowska, Natalia; Olkowska, Joanna; Maj, Małgorzata; Kaźmierski, Łukasz; Bodnar, Magdalena; Marszałek, Andrzej; Dębski, Robert; Drewa, Tomasz

    2017-05-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate complex biological properties of human stem cells isolated from adipose tissue (ASCs) harvested utilizing different methods: surgical resection (R), power-assisted liposuction (PAL), and laser-assisted liposuction (LAL). ASCs were isolated from healthy donors, due to surgical resection, power-, and laser-assisted liposuction. Isolated cells were characterized by their clonogenicity, proliferation rate, doubling time, multilineage differentiation, and senescence potential. The average number of ASCs from 1g/1 ml of solid adipose tissue/lipoaspirate was 2.9 × 10(5)  ± 2.4 × 10(5) , 1.1 × 10(5)  ± 0.8 × 10(5) , and 1.2 × 10(5)  ± 0.7 × 10(5) , respectively, for ASCsR, ASCsPAL, and ASCsLAL. However, number of colonies formed by ASCsR and ASCsPAL was significantly higher compared to the average number of colonies formed by ASCsLAL. Also, in comparison to other analyzed cell groups, ASCsPAL obtained the highest proliferative activity. All analyzed cells were characterized by stable expression of CD90 and CD44 markers during prolonged culture. Expression of CD34 and CD45 markers was decreasing in subsequent passages. Presented study shows that different ASCs collection method affects some basic characteristics of these cells, such as number of isolated cells, clonogeneity, or doubling time. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1097-1107, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Nutritive value of corn silage as affected by maturity and mechanical processing: a contemporary review.

    PubMed

    Johnson, L; Harrison, J H; Hunt, C; Shinners, K; Doggett, C G; Sapienza, D

    1999-12-01

    Stage of maturity at harvest and mechanical processing affect the nutritive value of corn silage. The change in nutritive value of corn silage as maturity advances can be measured by animal digestion and macro in situ degradation studies among other methods. Predictive equations using climatic data, vitreousness of corn grain in corn silage, starch reactivity, gelatinization enthalpy, dry matter (DM) of corn grain in corn silage, and DM of corn silage can be used to estimate starch digestibility of corn silage. Whole plant corn silage can be mechanically processed either pre- or postensiling with a kernel processor mounted on a forage harvester, a recutter screen on a forage harvester, or a stationary roller mill. Mechanical processing of corn silage can improve ensiling characteristics, reduce DM losses during ensiling, and improve starch and fiber digestion as a result of fracturing the corn kernels and crushing and shearing the stover and cobs. Improvements in milk production have ranged from 0.2 to 2.0 kg/d when cows were fed mechanically processed corn silage. A consistent improvement in milk protein yield has also been observed when mechanically processed corn silage has been fed. With the advent of mechanical processors, alternative strategies are evident for corn silage management, such as a longer harvest window.

  15. 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.

  16. [Analysis of novel style biological fluidized bed A/O combined process in dyeing wastewater treatment].

    PubMed

    Wei, Chao-Hai; Huang, Hui-Jing; Ren, Yuan; Wu, Chao-Fei; Wu, Hai-Zhen; Lu, Bin

    2011-04-01

    A novel biological fluidized bed was designed and developed to deal with high-concentration refractory organic industrial wastewater. From 12 successful projects, three cases of dyeing wastewater treatment projects with the scale of 1200, 2000 and 13000 m3/d respectively were selected to analyze the principle of treating refractory organic wastewater with fluidized bed technology and discuss the superiority of self-developed biological fluidized bed from the aspects of technical and economic feasibility. In the three cases, when the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of biological system were 23, 34 and 21. 8 h, and the volume loading of influents (COD) were 1.75, 4.75 and 2.97 kg/(m3 x d), the corresponding COD removal were 97.3%, 98.1% and 95.8%. Furthermore the operating costs of projects were 0.91, 1.17 and 0.88 yuan per ton of water respectively. The index of effluent all met the 1st grade of Guangdong Province wastewater discharge standard. Results showed that the biological fluidized bed had characteristics of shorter retention time, greater oxygen utilization rate, faster conversion rate of organic pollutants and less sludge production, which made it overcome the shortcomings of traditional methods in printing and dyeing wastewater treatment. Considering the development of technology and the combination of ecological security and recycling resources, a low-carbon wastewater treatment process was proposed.

  17. 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

  18. Decoupling physical from biological processes to assess the impact of viruses on a mesoscale algal bloom.

    PubMed

    Lehahn, Yoav; Koren, Ilan; Schatz, Daniella; Frada, Miguel; Sheyn, Uri; Boss, Emmanuel; Efrati, Shai; Rudich, Yinon; Trainic, Miri; Sharoni, Shlomit; Laber, Christian; DiTullio, Giacomo R; Coolen, Marco J L; Martins, Ana Maria; Van Mooy, Benjamin A S; Bidle, Kay D; Vardi, Assaf

    2014-09-08

    Phytoplankton blooms are ephemeral events of exceptionally high primary productivity that regulate the flux of carbon across marine food webs [1-3]. Quantification of bloom turnover [4] is limited by a fundamental difficulty to decouple between physical and biological processes as observed by ocean color satellite data. This limitation hinders the quantification of bloom demise and its regulation by biological processes [5, 6], which has important consequences on the efficiency of the biological pump of carbon to the deep ocean [7-9]. Here, we address this challenge and quantify algal blooms' turnover using a combination of satellite and in situ data, which allows identification of a relatively stable oceanic patch that is subject to little mixing with its surroundings. Using a newly developed multisatellite Lagrangian diagnostic, we decouple the contributions of physical and biological processes, allowing quantification of a complete life cycle of a mesoscale (∼10-100 km) bloom of coccolithophores in the North Atlantic, from exponential growth to its rapid demise. We estimate the amount of organic carbon produced during the bloom to be in the order of 24,000 tons, of which two-thirds were turned over within 1 week. Complimentary in situ measurements of the same patch area revealed high levels of specific viruses infecting coccolithophore cells, therefore pointing at the importance of viral infection as a possible mortality agent. Application of the newly developed satellite-based approaches opens the way for large-scale quantification of the impact of diverse environmental stresses on the fate of phytoplankton blooms and derived carbon in the ocean.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. How baryonic feedback processes can affect dark matter halos: a stochastic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freundlich, J.; El-Zant, A.; Combes, F.

    2016-12-01

    Feedback processes from stars and active galactic nuclei result in gas density fluctuations which can contribute to `heating' dark matter haloes, decrease their density at the center and hence form more realistic `cores' than the steep `cusps' predicted by cold dark matter (CDM) simulations. We present a theoretical model deriving this effect from first principles: stochastic density variations in the gas distribution perturb the gravitational potential and hence affect the halo particles. We analytically derive the velocity dispersion imparted to the CDM particles and the corresponding relaxation time, and further perform numerical simulations to show that the assumed process can indeed lead to the formation of a core in an initially cuspy halo within a timescale comparable to the derived relaxation time. This suggests that feedback-induced cusp-core transformations observed in hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation may be understood and parametrized in relatively simple terms.

  2. Processes affecting reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents by zero-valent iron

    SciTech Connect

    Matheson, L.J.; Tratnyek, P.G.

    1993-12-31

    Zero-valent iron may participate in the reductive dechlorination process by three different mechanisms: direct, electrolytic reduction; reduction by hydrogen produced during the corrosion process; and reduction by dissolved (ferrous) iron that is also produced by corroding iron. The first step of electrolytic reduction is presumably, the transfer of one electron from the metal surface to the organic molecule. This results in an organic anion radical that may then lose a halide anion to give a carbon-centered radical, and oxidized iron, which is eventually released to the solution as Fe{sup 2+}. The goal of this research is to provide a comprehensive survey of the mechanisms that affect the performance of this reactive barrier technology.

  3. Oil sands process-affected water impairs feeding by Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Lari, Ebrahim; Steinkey, Dylan; Morandi, Garrett; Rasmussen, Joseph B; Giesy, John P; Pyle, Greg G

    2017-05-01

    Growth in extraction of bitumen from oil sands has raised concerns about influences of this industry on surrounding environments. Water clearance rate (a surrogate of feeding rate by Daphnia magna) in water containing D. magna exposed to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) and its principal components, dissolved component (DC) and suspended particulate matter (SPM), was reduced to 72, 29, and 59% of controls, respectively. This study also examined several possible mechanisms for the observed changes algal cell density (i.e., feeding rate). There was no change in the digestive enzymes trypsin or amylase when D. magna were exposed to DC or SPM; however, exposure to total OSPW reduced trypsin activity. Mandible rolling or post-abdominal rejections, which are indicators of feeding and palatability of food, were not affected by any exposures to OSPW. Beating of thoracic limbs, which provides water flow toward the feeding groove, was reduced by exposure to SPM or total OSPW. Peristaltic activity was reduced by exposure to DC, which then might result in reduced digestion time in D. magna exposed to DC, SPM or whole OSPW. All treatments caused an increase in numbers of intact algae cells in the hindgut and excreted material. These results suggest that both DC and SPM affect feeding of D. magna by impairing actions of the digestive system, but most probably not by reducing rates of ingestion.

  4. 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

  5. Prospects for energy recovery during hydrothermal and biological processing of waste biomass.

    PubMed

    Gerber Van Doren, Léda; Posmanik, Roy; Bicalho, Felipe A; Tester, Jefferson W; Sills, Deborah L

    2017-02-01

    Thermochemical and biological processes represent promising technologies for converting wet biomasses, such as animal manure, organic waste, or algae, to energy. To convert biomass to energy and bio-chemicals in an economical manner, internal energy recovery should be maximized to reduce the use of external heat and power. In this study, two conversion pathways that couple hydrothermal liquefaction with anaerobic digestion or catalytic hydrothermal gasification were compared. Each of these platforms is followed by two alternative processes for gas utilization: 1) combined heat and power; and 2) combustion in a boiler. Pinch analysis was applied to integrate thermal streams among unit processes and improve the overall system efficiency. A techno-economic analysis was conducted to compare the feasibility of the four modeled scenarios under different market conditions. Our results show that a systems approach designed to recover internal heat and power can reduce external energy demands and increase the overall process sustainability.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  10. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  11. 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

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  12. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  13. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  14. 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…

  15. Compensatory premotor activity during affective face processing in subclinical carriers of a single mutant Parkin allele.

    PubMed

    Anders, Silke; Sack, Benjamin; Pohl, Anna; Münte, Thomas; Pramstaller, Peter; Klein, Christine; Binkofski, Ferdinand

    2012-04-01

    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 activity in

  16. Mammalian Exo1 encodes both structural and catalytic functions that play distinct roles in essential biological processes.

    PubMed

    Schaetzlein, Sonja; Chahwan, Richard; Avdievich, Elena; Roa, Sergio; Wei, Kaichun; Eoff, Robert L; Sellers, Rani S; Clark, Alan B; Kunkel, Thomas A; Scharff, Matthew D; Edelmann, Winfried

    2013-07-02

    Mammalian Exonuclease 1 (EXO1) is an evolutionarily conserved, multifunctional exonuclease involved in DNA damage repair, replication, immunoglobulin diversity, meiosis, and telomere maintenance. It has been assumed that EXO1 participates in these processes primarily through its exonuclease activity, but recent studies also suggest that EXO1 has a structural function in the assembly of higher-order protein complexes. To dissect the enzymatic and nonenzymatic roles of EXO1 in the different biological processes in vivo, we generated an EXO1-E109K knockin (Exo1(EK)) mouse expressing a stable exonuclease-deficient protein and, for comparison, a fully EXO1-deficient (Exo1(null)) mouse. In contrast to Exo1(null/null) mice, Exo1(EK/EK) mice retained mismatch repair activity and displayed normal class switch recombination and meiosis. However, both Exo1-mutant lines showed defects in DNA damage response including DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR) through DNA end resection, chromosomal stability, and tumor suppression, indicating that the enzymatic function is required for those processes. On a transformation-related protein 53 (Trp53)-null background, the DSBR defect caused by the E109K mutation altered the tumor spectrum but did not affect the overall survival as compared with p53-Exo1(null) mice, whose defects in both DSBR and mismatch repair also compromised survival. The separation of these functions demonstrates the differential requirement for the structural function and nuclease activity of mammalian EXO1 in distinct DNA repair processes and tumorigenesis in vivo.

  17. 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

  18. Health of domestic mallards (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) following exposure to oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Beck, Elizabeth M; Smits, Judit E G; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Bitumen extraction from the oil sands of northern Alberta produces large volumes of process-affected water that contains substances toxic to wildlife. Recent monitoring has shown that tens of thousands of birds land on ponds containing this water annually, creating an urgent need to understand its effects on bird health. We emulated the repeated, short-term exposures that migrating water birds are thought to experience by exposing pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) to recycled oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As indicators of health, we measured a series of physiological (electrolytes, metabolites, enzymes, hormones, and blood cells) and toxicological (metals and minerals) variables. Relative to controls, juvenile birds exposed to OSPW had higher potassium following the final exposure, and males had a higher thyroid hormone ratio (T3/T4). In adults, exposed birds had higher vanadium, and, following the final exposure, higher bicarbonate. Exposed females had higher bile acid, globulin, and molybdenum levels, and males, higher corticosterone. However, with the exception of the metals, none of these measures varied from available reference ranges for ducks, suggesting OSPW is not toxic to juvenile or adult birds after three and six weekly, 1 h exposures, but more studies are needed to know the generality of this result.

  19. Physical processes affecting circulation and hydrography in the Sable Gully of Nova Scotia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Shiliang; Sheng, Jinyu; Greenan, Blair J. W.

    2014-06-01

    The Sable Gully is the largest submarine canyon along the shelf break off the east coast of North America. The circulation and hydrography in the Gully have significant temporal and spatial variability. This paper presents a numerical study of the three-dimensional circulation and hydrography in the Gully using a multi-nested ocean circulation model. The model is forced by tides, wind stress and surface heat/freshwater fluxes. Model results are in fair agreement with the current and hydrographic observations made in the Gully in 2006 and 2007. A process study is conducted to examine the main physical processes affecting the circulation and hydrography, including tide-topography interaction, wind forcing, and the shelf-scale circulation over the eastern Canadian Shelf. The model results demonstrate that the circulation and hydrography above the canyon rim are influenced significantly by wind, particularly during storm events, while the subsurface flow over the shelf slope is affected by the shelf-scale circulation. There is also significant tide-topography interaction inside the Gully.

  20. Emotional Granularity Effects on Event-Related Brain Potentials during Affective Picture Processing

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ja Y.; Lindquist, Kristen A.; Nam, Chang S.

    2017-01-01

    There is debate about whether emotional granularity, the tendency to label emotions in a nuanced and specific manner, is merely a product of labeling abilities, or a systematic difference in the experience of emotion during emotionally evocative events. According to the Conceptual Act Theory of Emotion (CAT) (Barrett, 2006), emotional granularity is due to the latter and is a product of on-going temporal differences in how individuals categorize and thus make meaning of their affective states. To address this question, the present study investigated the effects of individual differences in emotional granularity on electroencephalography-based brain activity during the experience of emotion in response to affective images. Event-related potentials (ERP) and event-related desynchronization and synchronization (ERD/ERS) analysis techniques were used. We found that ERP responses during the very early (60–90 ms), middle (270–300 ms), and later (540–570 ms) moments of stimulus presentation were associated with individuals’ level of granularity. We also observed that highly granular individuals, compared to lowly granular individuals, exhibited relatively stable desynchronization of alpha power (8–12 Hz) and synchronization of gamma power (30–50 Hz) during the 3 s of stimulus presentation. Overall, our results suggest that emotional granularity is related to differences in neural processing throughout emotional experiences and that high granularity could be associated with access to executive control resources and a more habitual processing of affective stimuli, or a kind of “emotional complexity.” Implications for models of emotion are also discussed. PMID:28392761

  1. Stochastic resonance in biology. How noise can enhance detection of weak signals and help improve biological information processing.

    PubMed

    Hänggi, Peter

    2002-03-12

    Noise is usually thought of as the enemy of order rather than as a constructive influence. In nonlinear systems that possess some sort of threshold, random noise plays a beneficial role in enhancing the detection of weak information-carrying signals. This phenomenon, termed stochastic resonance, does find useful applications in physical, biological, and biomedical contexts. Certain biological systems may even use this effect for optimizing function and behavior.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biological processes, properties and molecular wiring diagrams of candidate low-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility genes

    PubMed Central

    Bonifaci, Núria; Berenguer, Antoni; Díez, Javier; Reina, Oscar; Medina, Ignacio; Dopazo, Joaquín; Moreno, Víctor; Pujana, Miguel Angel

    2008-01-01

    Background Recent advances in whole-genome association studies (WGASs) for human cancer risk are beginning to provide the part lists of low-penetrance susceptibility genes. However, statistical analysis in these studies is complicated by the vast number of genetic variants examined and the weak effects observed, as a result of which constraints must be incorporated into the study design and analytical approach. In this scenario, biological attributes beyond the adjusted statistics generally receive little attention and, more importantly, the fundamental biological characteristics of low-penetrance susceptibility genes have yet to be determined. Methods We applied an integrative approach for identifying candidate low-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility genes, their characteristics and molecular networks through the analysis of diverse sources of biological evidence. Results First, examination of the distribution of Gene Ontology terms in ordered WGAS results identified asymmetrical distribution of Cell Communication and Cell Death processes linked to risk. Second, analysis of 11 different types of molecular or functional relationships in genomic and proteomic data sets defined the "omic" properties of candidate genes: i/ differential expression in tumors relative to normal tissue; ii/ somatic genomic copy number changes correlating with gene expression levels; iii/ differentially expressed across age at diagnosis; and iv/ expression changes after BRCA1 perturbation. Finally, network modeling of the effects of variants on germline gene expression showed higher connectivity than expected by chance between novel candidates and with known susceptibility genes, which supports functional relationships and provides mechanistic hypotheses of risk. Conclusion This study proposes that cell communication and cell death are major biological processes perturbed in risk of breast cancer conferred by low-penetrance variants, and defines the common omic properties, molecular

  10. 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

  11. The Effect of Affective Context on Visuocortical Processing of Neutral Faces in Social Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Matthias J.; Moscovitch, David A.

    2015-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that verbal context information alters the neural processing of ambiguous faces such as faces with no apparent facial expression. In social anxiety, neutral faces may be implicitly threatening for socially anxious individuals due to their ambiguous nature, but even more so if these neutral faces are put in self-referential negative contexts. Therefore, we measured event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in response to neutral faces which were preceded by affective verbal information (negative, neutral, positive). Participants with low social anxiety (LSA; n = 23) and high social anxiety (HSA; n = 21) were asked to watch and rate valence and arousal of the respective faces while continuous EEG was recorded. ERP analysis revealed that HSA showed elevated P100 amplitudes in response to faces, but reduced structural encoding of faces as indexed by reduced N170 amplitudes. In general, affective context led to an enhanced early posterior negativity (EPN) for negative compared to neutral facial expressions. Moreover, HSA compared to LSA showed enhanced late positive potentials (LPP) to negatively contextualized faces, whereas in LSA this effect was found for faces in positive contexts. Also, HSA rated faces in negative contexts as more negative compared to LSA. These results point at enhanced vigilance for neutral faces regardless of context in HSA, while structural encoding seems to be diminished (avoidance). Interestingly, later components of sustained processing (LPP) indicate that LSA show enhanced visuocortical processing for faces in positive contexts (happy bias), whereas this seems to be the case for negatively contextualized faces in HSA (threat bias). Finally, our results add further new evidence that top-down information in interaction with individual anxiety levels can influence early-stage aspects of visual perception. PMID:26648889

  12. 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

  13. Utilization of the cyanobacteria Anabaena sp. CH1 in biological carbon dioxide mitigation processes.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Chang-Ling; Lee, Chi-Mei; Chen, Pei-Chung

    2011-05-01

    Before switching totally to alternative fuel stage, CO(2) mitigation process has considered a transitional strategy for combustion of fossil fuels inevitably. In comparison to other CO(2) mitigation options, such as oceanic or geologic injection, the biological photosynthetic process would present a far superior and sustainable solution under both environmental and social considerations. The utilization of the cyanobacteria Anabaena sp. CH1 in carbon dioxide mitigation processes is analyzed in our research. It was found that an original developed photobioreactor with internal light source exhibits high light utilization. Anabaena sp. CH1 demonstrates excellent CO(2) tolerance even at 15% CO(2) level. This enables flue gas from power plant to be directly introduced to Anabaena sp. CH1 culture. Double light intensity and increased 47% CO(2) bubble retention time could enhance CO(2) removal efficiencies by 79% and 67%, respectively. A maximum CO(2) fixation rate of 1.01 g CO(2)L(-1)day(-1) was measured experimentally.

  14. Demonstrating Compliance with Stringent Nitrogen Limits Using a Biological Nutrient Removal Process in California's Central Valley.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Rion; Witzgall, Bob; Yu, William; Ohlinger, Kurt; Ramberg, Steve; De Las Casas, Carla; Henneman, Seppi; Parker, Denny

    2015-12-01

    The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (District) must be compliant with stringent nitrogen limits by 2021 that the existing treatment facilities cannot meet. An 11-month pilot study was conducted to confirm that these limits could be met with an air activated sludge biological nutrient removal (BNR) process. The pilot BNR treated an average flow of 946 m(3)/d and demonstrated that it could reliably meet the ammonia limit, but that external carbon addition may be necessary to satisfy the nitrate limit. The BNR process performed well throughout the 11 months of operation with good settleability, minimal nocardioform content, and high quality secondary effluent. The BNR process was operated at a minimum pH of 6.4 with no noticeable impact to nitrification rates. Increased secondary sludge production was observed during rainfall events and is attributed to a change in wastewater influent characteristics.

  15. A process-based model for erosion of Macoma balthica-affected mud beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Prooijen, Bram C.; Montserrat, Francesc; Herman, Peter M. J.

    2011-04-01

    Modeling the effect of biota on sediment dynamics is a difficult task. In this paper we re-analyze experimental results of Willows et al. (1998) on the effects of Macoma balthica on sediment erosion. A process-based framework is proposed, fully compatible with a physical description of erosion processes in case of no biogenic influences. The bed is represented by a fluff layer on top of a substrate. A characteristic feature of the framework is that the sediment is represented by a probability density distribution for the critical shear stress, allowing for Type I and Type II erosion. M. balthica increases the sediment mass in the fluff layer. This increase is determined by considering the action radius, the overlap of feeding areas, and the feeding rate per animal. The calibrated action radius and feeding rate were in the range as found in the literature. The distribution of sediment over the erodibility classes and the erosion rate parameter are hardly influenced at all. Due to overlapping feeding areas, the effect is non-linear with density of the animals. The model results are in close agreement with the measured results, suggesting that no further formulations of biological effects are needed to simulate the experiments of Willows et al. (1998). In nature, other effects like disrupting the biofilm by grazing can be of importance and should be included in a later stage. This study emphasizes the crucial role of sediment availability and the effect of biota on it. This aspect needs more attention in future experiments. The proposed model turned out to work well for the effects of M. balthica and offers opportunities to include other biogenic effects in a process-based way as well.

  16. General anesthesia as a possible GABAergic modulator affects visual processing in children

    PubMed Central

    Van den Boomen, C.; de Graaff, J. C.; de Jong, T. P. V. M.; Kalkman, C. J.; Kemner, C.

    2013-01-01

    Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) inhibitory interneurons play an important role in visual processing, as is revealed by studies administering drugs in human and monkey adults. Investigating this process in children requires different methodologies, due to ethical considerations. The current study aimed to investigate whether a new method, being general anesthesia using Sevoflurane, can be used to trace the effects of GABAergic modulation on visual brain functioning in children. To this aim, visual processing was investigated in children aged 4–12 years who were scheduled for minor urologic procedures under general anesthesia in day-care treatment. In a visual segmentation task, the difference in Event-Related Potential (ERP) response to homogeneous and textured stimuli was investigated. In addition, psychophysical performance on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were measured. Results were compared between before and shortly after anesthesia. In two additional studies, effects at 1 day after anesthesia and possible effects of task-repetition were investigated. ERP results showed longer latency and lower amplitude of the Texture Negativity (TN) component shortly after compared to before anesthesia. No effects of anesthesia on psychophysical measurements were found. No effects at 1 day after anesthesia or of repetition were revealed either. These results show that GABAergic modulation through general anesthesia affects ERP reflections of visual segmentation in a similar way in children as benzodiazepine does in adults, but that effects are not permanent. This demonstrates that ERP measurement after anesthesia is a successful method to study effects of GABAergic modulation in children. PMID:23630461

  17. Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yaxin; Liang, Jiaming; Liu, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The extraction process used to obtain bitumen from the oil sands produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As a newly emerging desalination technology, forward osmosis (FO) has shown great promise in saving electrical power requirements, increasing water recovery, and minimizing brine discharge. With the support of this funding, a FO system was constructed using a cellulose triacetate FO membrane to test the feasibility of OSPW desalination and contaminant removal. The FO systems were optimized using different types and concentrations of draw solution. The FO system using 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing.

  18. Stem-loop RNA labeling can affect nuclear and cytoplasmic mRNA processing.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Stephanie; Sidler, Corinne L; Azzalin, Claus M; Weis, Karsten

    2017-02-01

    The binding of sequence-specific RNA-interacting proteins, such as the bacteriophage MS2 or PP7 coat proteins, to their corresponding target sequences has been extremely useful and widely used to visualize single mRNAs in vivo. However, introduction of MS2 stem-loops into yeast mRNAs has recently been shown to lead to the accumulation of RNA fragments, suggesting that the loops impair mRNA decay. This result was questioned, because fragment occurrence was mainly assessed using ensemble methods, and their cellular localization and its implications had not been addressed on a single transcript level. Here, we demonstrate that the introduction of either MS2 stem-loops (MS2SL) or PP7 stem-loops (PP7SL) can affect the processing and subcellular localization of mRNA. We use single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) to determine the localization of three independent mRNAs tagged with the stem-loop labeling systems in glucose-rich and glucose starvation conditions. Transcripts containing MS2SL or PP7SL display aberrant localization in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. These defects are most prominent in glucose starvation conditions, with nuclear mRNA processing being altered and stem-loop fragments abnormally enriching in processing bodies (PBs). The mislocalization of SL-containing RNAs is independent of the presence of the MS2 or PP7 coat protein (MCP or PCP).

  19. Reduction of overestimation in interval arithmetic simulation of biological wastewater treatment processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauh, Andreas; Kletting, Marco; Aschemann, Harald; Hofer, Eberhard P.

    2007-02-01

    A novel interval arithmetic simulation approach is introduced in order to evaluate the performance of biological wastewater treatment processes. Such processes are typically modeled as dynamical systems where the reaction kinetics appears as additive nonlinearity in state. In the calculation of guaranteed bounds of state variables uncertain parameters and uncertain initial conditions are considered. The recursive evaluation of such systems of nonlinear state equations yields overestimation of the state variables that is accumulating over the simulation time. To cope with this wrapping effect, innovative splitting and merging criteria based on a recursive uncertain linear transformation of the state variables are discussed. Additionally, re-approximation strategies for regions in the state space calculated by interval arithmetic techniques using disjoint subintervals improve the simulation quality significantly if these regions are described by several overlapping subintervals. This simulation approach is used to find a practical compromise between computational effort and simulation quality. It is pointed out how these splitting and merging algorithms can be combined with other methods that aim at the reduction of overestimation by applying consistency techniques. Simulation results are presented for a simplified reduced-order model of the reduction of organic matter in the activated sludge process of biological wastewater treatment.

  20. Connecting marine productivity to sea-spray via microscale biological processes: phytoplancton demise and viral infection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Facchini, C.; O'Dowd, C. D. D.; Danovaro, R.

    2015-12-01

    The processes that link phytoplankton biomass and productivity to the organic matter enrichment in sea spray aerosol are far from being elucidated and modelling predictions remain highly uncertain at the moment. While some studies have asserted that the enrichment of OM in sea spray aerosol is independent on marine productivity, others, have shown significant correlation with phytoplankton biomass and productivity (Chl-a retrieved by satellites). We present here new results illustrating a clear link between OM mass-fraction enrichment in sea spray (OMss) and both phytoplankton-biomass and Net Primary Productivity (NPP). We suggest that the OM enrichment of sea spray through the demise of the bloom, driven by nanoscale biological processes (such as viral infections), which determine the release of celldebris, exudates and other colloidal material. This OM, through processes, leads to enrichment in sea-spray, thus demonstrating an important coupling between biologically-drive plankton bloom termination, marine productivity and sea-spraymodification with potentially significant climate impacts.

  1. Industrial wastewater platform: upgrading of the biological process and operative configurations for best performance.

    PubMed

    Eusebi, Anna Laura; Massi, Alessandro; Sablone, Emiliano; Santinelli, Martina; Battistoni, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    The treatment of industrial liquid wastes is placed in a wide context of technologies and is related to the high variability of the influent physical-chemical characteristics. In this condition, the achievement of satisfactory biological unit efficiency could be complicated. An alternate process (AC) with aerobic and anoxic phases fed in a continuous way was evaluated as an operative solution to optimize the performance of the biological reactor in a platform for the treatment of industrial liquid wastes. The process application has determined a stable quality effluent with an average concentration of 25 mg TN L(-1), according to the law limits. The use of discharged wastewaters as rapid carbon sources to support the anoxic phase of the alternate cycle, realizes a reduction of TN of 95% without impact on the total operative costs. The evaluation of the micro-pollutants behaviour has highlighted a bio-adsorption phenomenon in the first reactor. The implementation of the process defined 31% of energy saving during period 1 and 19% for the periods 2, 3 and 4.

  2. Process-Driven Inference of Biological Network Structure: Feasibility, Minimality, and Multiplicity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guanyu; Rong, Yongwu; Chen, Hao; Pearson, Carl; Du, Chenghang; Simha, Rahul; Zeng, Chen

    2012-01-01

    A common problem in molecular biology is to use experimental data, such as microarray data, to infer knowledge about the structure of interactions between important molecules in subsystems of the cell. By approximating the state of each molecule as “on” or “off”, it becomes possible to simplify the problem, and exploit the tools of Boolean analysis for such inference. Amongst Boolean techniques, the process-driven approach has shown promise in being able to identify putative network structures, as well as stability and modularity properties. This paper examines the process-driven approach more formally, and makes four contributions about the computational complexity of the inference problem, under the “dominant inhibition” assumption of molecular interactions. The first is a proof that the feasibility problem (does there exist a network that explains the data?) can be solved in polynomial-time. Second, the minimality problem (what is the smallest network that explains the data?) is shown to be NP-hard, and therefore unlikely to result in a polynomial-time algorithm. Third, a simple polynomial-time heuristic is shown to produce near-minimal solutions, as demonstrated by simulation. Fourth, the theoretical framework explains how multiplicity (the number of network solutions to realize a given biological process), which can take exponential-time to compute, can instead be accurately estimated by a fast, polynomial-time heuristic. PMID:22815739

  3. Physicochemical and porosity characteristics of thermally regenerated activated carbon polluted with biological activated carbon process.

    PubMed

    Dong, Lihua; Liu, Wenjun; Jiang, Renfu; Wang, Zhansheng

    2014-11-01

    The characteristics of thermally regenerated activated carbon (AC) polluted with biological activated carbon (BAC) process were investigated. The results showed that the true micropore and sub-micropore volume, pH value, bulk density, and hardness of regenerated AC decreased compared to the virgin AC, but the total pore volume increased. XPS analysis displayed that the ash contents of Al, Si, and Ca in the regenerated AC respectively increased by 3.83%, 2.62% and 1.8%. FTIR spectrum showed that the surface functional groups of virgin and regenerated AC did not change significantly. Pore size distributions indicated that the AC regeneration process resulted in the decrease of micropore and macropore (D>10 μm) volume and the increase of mesopore and macropore (0.1 μmbiological waste (spent AC) from BAC process.

  4. Treatment of concentrated fruit juice wastewater by the combination of biological and chemical processes.

    PubMed

    Amor, Carlos; Lucas, Marco S; Pirra, António J; Peres, José A

    2012-01-01

    Concentrated fruit juice industries use a wide volume of water for washing and fruit processing, generating a large volume of wastewater. This work studied the combination of an aerobic biological process with a chemical coagulation/flocculation step to treat a high concentrated fruit juice wastewater. This wastewater presents a good biodegradability (BOD(5)/COD = 0.66) allowing a chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal above 90% in most reactors. The best results in aerobic biological treatment were obtained in reactors initially loaded with 2 g VSS L(-1) of biomass concentration and 20 g COD L(-1) of organic matter concentration. Three different kinetic models were evaluated (Monod, Haldane and Contois). The Haldane-inhibition model was the one that best fitted the COD biodegradation. AQUASIM software allowed calculate the following kinetic constants ranges for aerobic biodegradation: K (s): 6-20 g COD L(-1); v (max): 2.0-5.1 g COD g(-1) VSS day(-1) and K (i) values: 0.10-0.50 g COD L(-1). These constants corresponds to maximum removal rates (v*) between 0.11 and 0.26 g COD g(-1) VSS day(-1) for substrate concentrations (S*) from 0.77 to 3.16 g COD L(-1). A tertiary coagulation/flocculation process improved the efficiency of the biological pre-treatment. Ferric chloride was selected as best compromise to treat this wastewater. Optimal conditions were 0.44 g L(-1) of coagulant at pH = 5.5, achieving 94.4% and 99.6% on turbidity and COD removal, respectively.

  5. Decoupling the influence of biological and physical processes on the dissolved oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Jiabi; Shen, Jian

    2015-01-01

    is instructive and essential to decouple the effects of biological and physical processes on the dissolved oxygen condition, in order to understand their contribution to the interannual variability of hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay since the 1980s. A conceptual bottom DO budget model is applied, using the vertical exchange time scale (VET) to quantify the physical condition and net oxygen consumption rate to quantify biological activities. By combining observed DO data and modeled VET values along the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay, the monthly net bottom DO consumption rate was estimated for 1985-2012. The DO budget model results show that the interannual variations of physical conditions accounts for 88.8% of the interannual variations of observed DO. The high similarity between the VET spatial pattern and the observed DO suggests that physical processes play a key role in regulating the DO condition. Model results also show that long-term VET has a slight increase in summer, but no statistically significant trend is found. Correlations among southerly wind strength, North Atlantic Oscillation index, and VET demonstrate that the physical condition in the Chesapeake Bay is highly controlled by the large-scale climate variation. The relationship is most significant during the summer, when the southerly wind dominates throughout the Chesapeake Bay. The seasonal pattern of the averaged net bottom DO consumption rate (B'20) along the main stem coincides with that of the chlorophyll-a concentration. A significant correlation between nutrient loading and B'20 suggests that the biological processes in April-May are most sensitive to the nutrient loading.

  6. Reproductive and developmental biology of the emerald ash borer parasitoid Spathius galinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) as affected by temperature

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is an invasive pest of serious concern in North America. To complement ongoing biological control efforts, Spathius galinae Belokobylskij and Strazenac (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a recently-described specialist parasitoid of ...

  7. 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...

  8. Impact of Fungicide Mancozeb at Different Application Rates on Soil Microbial Populations, Soil Biological Processes, and Enzyme Activities in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Preeti; Guleria, Shiwani; Chauhan, Anjali; Shirkot, C. K.

    2014-01-01

    The use of fungicides is the continuous exercise particularly in orchard crops where fungal diseases, such as white root rot, have the potential to destroy horticultural crops rendering them unsaleable. In view of above problem, the present study examines the effect of different concentrations of mancozeb (0–2000 ppm) at different incubation periods for their harmful side effects on various microbiological processes, soil microflora, and soil enzymes in alluvial soil (pH 6.8) collected from apple orchards of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (India). Low concentrations of mancozeb were found to be deleterious towards fungal and actinomycetes population while higher concentrations (1000 and 2000 ppm) were found to be detrimental to soil bacteria. Mancozeb impaired the process of ammonification and nitrification. Similar results were observed for nitrifying and ammonifying bacteria. Phosphorus solubilization was increased by higher concentration of mancozeb, that is, 250 ppm and above. In unamended soil, microbial biomass carbon and carbon mineralization were adversely affected by mancozeb. Soil enzymes, that is, amylase, invertase, and phosphatase showed adverse and disruptive effect when mancozeb used was above 10 ppm in unamended soil. These results conclude that, to lessen the harmful effects in soil biological processes caused by this fungicide, addition of higher amount of nitrogen based fertilizers is required. PMID:25478598

  9. Impact of fungicide mancozeb at different application rates on soil microbial populations, soil biological processes, and enzyme activities in soil.

    PubMed

    Walia, Abhishek; Mehta, Preeti; Guleria, Shiwani; Chauhan, Anjali; Shirkot, C K

    2014-01-01

    The use of fungicides is the continuous exercise particularly in orchard crops where fungal diseases, such as white root rot, have the potential to destroy horticultural crops rendering them unsaleable. In view of above problem, the present study examines the effect of different concentrations of mancozeb (0-2000 ppm) at different incubation periods for their harmful side effects on various microbiological processes, soil microflora, and soil enzymes in alluvial soil (pH 6.8) collected from apple orchards of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (India). Low concentrations of mancozeb were found to be deleterious towards fungal and actinomycetes population while higher concentrations (1000 and 2000 ppm) were found to be detrimental to soil bacteria. Mancozeb impaired the process of ammonification and nitrification. Similar results were observed for nitrifying and ammonifying bacteria. Phosphorus solubilization was increased by higher concentration of mancozeb, that is, 250 ppm and above. In unamended soil, microbial biomass carbon and carbon mineralization were adversely affected by mancozeb. Soil enzymes, that is, amylase, invertase, and phosphatase showed adverse and disruptive effect when mancozeb used was above 10 ppm in unamended soil. These results conclude that, to lessen the harmful effects in soil biological processes caused by this fungicide, addition of higher amount of nitrogen based fertilizers is required.

  10. SPIDER image processing for single-particle reconstruction of biological macromolecules from electron micrographs

    PubMed Central

    Shaikh, Tanvir R; Gao, Haixiao; Baxter, William T; Asturias, Francisco J; Boisset, Nicolas; Leith, Ardean; Frank, Joachim

    2009-01-01

    This protocol describes the reconstruction of biological molecules from the electron micrographs of single particles. Computation here is performed using the image-processing software SPIDER and can be managed using a graphical user interface, termed the SPIDER Reconstruction Engine. Two approaches are described to obtain an initial reconstruction: random-conical tilt and common lines. Once an existing model is available, reference-based alignment can be used, a procedure that can be iterated. Also described is supervised classification, a method to look for homogeneous subsets when multiple known conformations of the molecule may coexist. PMID:19180078

  11. Treatment of waste metalworking fluid by a hybrid ozone-biological process.

    PubMed

    Jagadevan, Sheeja; Graham, Nigel J; Thompson, Ian P

    2013-01-15

    In metal machining processes, the regulation of heat generation and lubrication at the contact point are achieved by application of a fluid referred to as metalworking fluid (MWF). MWFs inevitably become operationally exhausted with age and intensive use, which leads to compromised properties, thereby necessitating their safe disposal. Disposal of this waste through a biological route is an increasingly attractive option, since it is effective with relatively low energy demands. However, successful biological treatment is challenging since MWFs are chemically complex, and include biocides specifically to retard microbial deterioration whilst the fluids are operational. In this study remediation of the recalcitrant component of a semi-synthetic MWF by a novel hybrid ozone-bacteriological treatment, was investigated. The hybrid treatment proved to be effective and reduced the chemical oxygen demand by 72% (26.9% and 44.9% reduction after ozonation and biological oxidation respectively). Furthermore, a near-complete degradation of three non-biodegradable compounds (viz. benzotriazole, monoethanolamine, triethanolamine), commonly added as biocides and corrosion inhibitors in MWF formulations, under ozonation was observed.

  12. Comparison of aerobic and anaerobic stability indices through a MSW biological treatment process.

    PubMed

    Ponsá, Sergio; Gea, Teresa; Alerm, Llorenç; Cerezo, Javier; Sánchez, Antoni

    2008-12-01

    A complex mechanical-biological waste treatment plant designed for the processing of mixed municipal solid wastes (MSW) and source-selected organic fraction of municipal solid wastes (OFMSW) has been studied by using stability indices related to aerobic (respiration index, RI) and anaerobic conditions (biochemical methane potential, BMP). Several selected stages of the plant have been characterized: waste inputs, mechanically treated wastes, anaerobically digested materials and composted wastes, according to the treatment sequence used in the plant. Results obtained showed that the main stages responsible for waste stabilization were the two first stages: mechanical separation and anaerobic digestion with a diminution of both RI and BMP around 40% and 60%, respectively, whereas the third stage, composting of digested materials, produced lesser biological degradation (20-30%). The results related to waste stabilization were similar in both lines (MSW and OFMSW), although the indices obtained for MSW were significantly lower than those obtained for OFMSW, which demonstrated a high biodegradability of OFMSW. The methodology proposed can be used for the characterization of organic wastes and the determination of the efficiency of operation units used in mechanical-biological waste treatment plants.

  13. General strategy for understanding intracellular molecular interaction cascades that elicit stimulus-invoked biological processes

    PubMed Central

    OKAYAMA, Hiroto

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in biology have been driven by chemical analyses of the substances that form living organisms. Such analyses are extremely powerful as way of learning about the static properties of molecular species, but relatively powerless for understanding their dynamic behaviors even though this dynamism is essential for organisms to perform various biological processes that perpetuate their lives. Thus, attempts to identify individual species and molecular interaction cascades that drive specific responses to external stimuli or environmental changes often fail. Here I propose a general strategy to address this problem. The strategy comprises two key elements: functional manipulation of a given protein molecule coupled with close monitoring of its biological effect, and construction of a knowledge base tailored for conjecture-driven experimentation. The original idea for this strategy co-evolved with and greatly helped a series of studies we recently performed to discover critical signal cascades and cellular components that regulate the cell cycle transition from G1 to S phase. PMID:27725475

  14. Principles for integrating reactive species into in vivo biological processes: Examples from exercise physiology.

    PubMed

    Margaritelis, Nikos V; Cobley, James N; Paschalis, Vassilis; Veskoukis, Aristidis S; Theodorou, Anastasios A; Kyparos, Antonios; Nikolaidis, Michalis G

    2016-04-01

    The equivocal role of reactive species and redox signaling in exercise responses and adaptations is an example clearly showing the inadequacy of current redox biology research to shed light on fundamental biological processes in vivo. Part of the answer probably relies on the extreme complexity of the in vivo redox biology and the limitations of the currently applied methodological and experimental tools. We propose six fundamental principles that should be considered in future studies to mechanistically link reactive species production to exercise responses or adaptations: 1) identify and quantify the reactive species, 2) determine the potential signaling properties of the reactive species, 3) detect the sources of reactive species, 4) locate the domain modified and verify the (ir)reversibility of post-translational modifications, 5) establish causality between redox and physiological measurements, 6) use selective and targeted antioxidants. Fulfilling these principles requires an idealized human experimental setting, which is certainly a utopia. Thus, researchers should choose to satisfy those principles, which, based on scientific evidence, are most critical for their specific research question.

  15. Theoretical considerations concerning the effect of relativistic velocities on the rate of biological processes.

    PubMed

    Heneine, I F

    1997-06-01

    Theoretical considerations were advanced on the reaction rate of biological systems in a rocket accelerated at fractional levels of the velocity of light. The values of mass increase in reacting molecules and length contraction of space under these relativistic velocities attained by the hypothetical rocket were inserted in equations of the absolute reaction rate theory. The equations employed were for the frequency of collisions, and for the internal kinetic energy of molecular reactions. Results of both sets of equations indicated that reduction of reaction rates were correlated to the mass increase. This would imply a general slowing of all chemical, biochemical and biological processes taking place. A human would suffer a related decrease in metabolic rate. Contrary to what is generally accepted, the biological aging of the space traveler under velocities bearable by humans, namely under 0.50c, would follow a pace very similar to that of an observer remaining in the resting frame of reference. With increased increments of the velocity, the space traveler would display a more intense lowering of the metabolic rate, with signs and symptoms comparable to body core hypothermia. Metabolic rates at insufficient levels to maintain the vital functions would be attained at 0.70c and higher, leading swiftly to coma and death. The presence of an endocrine dysfunction such as hypothyroidism or obesity in the space traveler would aggravate the signs and symptoms. Space travel at efficient velocities would be unbearable for a warm-blooded animal.

  16. Affective processing in positive schizotypy: Loose control of social-emotional information.

    PubMed

    Papousek, Ilona; Weiss, Elisabeth M; Mosbacher, Jochen A; Reiser, Eva M; Schulter, Günter; Fink, Andreas

    2014-10-30

    Behavioral studies suggested heightened impact of emotionally laden perceptual input in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, in particular in patients with prominent positive symptoms. De-coupling of prefrontal and posterior cortices during stimulus processing, which is related to loosening of control of the pr