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Sample records for air biological challenge

  1. Sex differences in panic-relevant responding to a 10% carbon dioxide-enriched air biological challenge.

    PubMed

    Nillni, Yael I; Berenz, Erin C; Rohan, Kelly J; Zvolensky, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined sex differences in psychological (i.e., self-reported anxiety, panic symptoms, and avoidance) and physiological (i.e., heart rate and skin conductance level) response to, and recovery from, a laboratory biological challenge. Participants were a community-recruited sample of 128 adults (63.3% women; M(age)=23.2 years, SD=8.9) who underwent a 4-min 10% CO(2)-enriched air biological challenge. As predicted, women reported more severe physical panic symptoms and avoidance (i.e., less willingness to participate in another challenge) and demonstrated increased heart rate as compared to men above and beyond the variance accounted for by other theoretically relevant variables (recent panic attack history, neuroticism, and anxiety sensitivity). Additionally, women demonstrated a faster rate of recovery with respect to heart rate compared to men. These results are in line with literature documenting sex-specific differences in panic psychopathology, and results are discussed in the context of possible mechanisms underlying sex differences in panic vulnerability.

  2. Grand challenges for biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jeong-Yeol; Riley, Mark R

    2009-01-01

    Biological engineering will play a significant role in solving many of the world's problems in medicine, agriculture, and the environment. Recently the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) released a document "Grand Challenges in Engineering," covering broad realms of human concern from sustainability, health, vulnerability and the joy of living. Biological engineers, having tools and techniques at the interface between living and non-living entities, will play a prominent role in forging a better future. The 2010 Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) conference in Cambridge, MA, USA will address, in part, the roles of biological engineering in solving the challenges presented by the NAE. This letter presents a brief outline of how biological engineers are working to solve these large scale and integrated problems of our society. PMID:19772647

  3. Dealing with the Biological Challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Emeric

    1996-05-01

    The bio-technological revolution presents a real challenge to the chemical education community. This challenge is two-fold: 1) the necessity of teaching students the underlying chemical principles and other skills necessary for sucess in the expanding biotechnological workplace and 2) ensuring and enhancing respect from the biological community for the first two years of the chemistry curriculum. In the opinion of the author, we are not doing a particularly good job of meeting this challenge, although progress is being made. As the "doing" of chemistry becomes easier for biologists, there is the real danger that the knowledge of a significant portion of the underlying chemistry will increasingly be viewed as less valuable, and perhaps even superfluous. The three "Trojan Horses" are: synthetic, analytical, and "process" kits; instrumentation coupled with computer "interpretation"; and molecular modeling. The author believes that in order to address the biological challenge head on, we should give serious consideration to the following: 1) reversing the "learning arrow"; 2) embedding molecular and other modeling; 3) incorporating instrumental analysis and chemistry-by-kit. Reversing the learning arrow approaches the chemistry curriculum by starting with large biomolecules first and working toward smaller fundamental units. The author believes that this approach and a more proactive stance on establishing what is in the domain of chemistry is the means by which the biological challenge, spawned by the bio-technological revolution, can most forcefully be addressed.

  4. Grand challenges in space synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Montague, Michael G.; Cumbers, John; Hogan, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Space synthetic biology is a branch of biotechnology dedicated to engineering biological systems for space exploration, industry and science. There is significant public and private interest in designing robust and reliable organisms that can assist on long-duration astronaut missions. Recent work has also demonstrated that such synthetic biology is a feasible payload minimization and life support approach as well. This article identifies the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the field of space synthetic biology, while highlighting relevant progress. It also outlines anticipated broader benefits from this field, because space engineering advances will drive technological innovation on Earth. PMID:26631337

  5. Grand challenges in space synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Amor A; Montague, Michael G; Cumbers, John; Hogan, John A; Arkin, Adam P

    2015-12-01

    Space synthetic biology is a branch of biotechnology dedicated to engineering biological systems for space exploration, industry and science. There is significant public and private interest in designing robust and reliable organisms that can assist on long-duration astronaut missions. Recent work has also demonstrated that such synthetic biology is a feasible payload minimization and life support approach as well. This article identifies the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the field of space synthetic biology, while highlighting relevant progress. It also outlines anticipated broader benefits from this field, because space engineering advances will drive technological innovation on Earth. PMID:26631337

  6. Grand challenges in space synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Amor A; Montague, Michael G; Cumbers, John; Hogan, John A; Arkin, Adam P

    2015-12-01

    Space synthetic biology is a branch of biotechnology dedicated to engineering biological systems for space exploration, industry and science. There is significant public and private interest in designing robust and reliable organisms that can assist on long-duration astronaut missions. Recent work has also demonstrated that such synthetic biology is a feasible payload minimization and life support approach as well. This article identifies the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the field of space synthetic biology, while highlighting relevant progress. It also outlines anticipated broader benefits from this field, because space engineering advances will drive technological innovation on Earth.

  7. Challenges for nanomechanical sensors in biological detection.

    PubMed

    Calleja, Montserrat; Kosaka, Priscila M; San Paulo, Álvaro; Tamayo, Javier

    2012-08-21

    Nanomechanical biosensing relies on changes in the movement and deformation of micro- and nanoscale objects when they interact with biomolecules and other biological targets. This field of research has provided ever-increasing records in the sensitivity of label-free detection but it has not yet been established as a practical alternative for biological detection. We analyze here the latest advancements in the field, along with the challenges remaining for nanomechanical biosensors to become a commonly used tool in biology and biochemistry laboratories. PMID:22810853

  8. [New challenges in the biological weapons convention].

    PubMed

    Sissonen, Susanna; Raijas, Tiina; Haikala, Olli; Hietala, Heikki; Virri, Markku; Nikkari, Simo

    2012-01-01

    Microbes and their toxins are biological weapons that can cause disease in humans, animals or plants, and which can be used with hostile intent in warfare and terrorism. Biological agents can be used as weapons of mass destruction and therefore, immense human and social and major economical damage can be caused. Rapid development of life sciences and technologies during the recent decades has posed new challenges to the Biological Weapons Convention. The Convention states that the States Parties to the BWC strive to ensure that the Convention remains relevant and effective, despite changes in science, technology or politics.

  9. Challenges for nanomechanical sensors in biological detection.

    PubMed

    Calleja, Montserrat; Kosaka, Priscila M; San Paulo, Álvaro; Tamayo, Javier

    2012-08-21

    Nanomechanical biosensing relies on changes in the movement and deformation of micro- and nanoscale objects when they interact with biomolecules and other biological targets. This field of research has provided ever-increasing records in the sensitivity of label-free detection but it has not yet been established as a practical alternative for biological detection. We analyze here the latest advancements in the field, along with the challenges remaining for nanomechanical biosensors to become a commonly used tool in biology and biochemistry laboratories.

  10. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the "myths".

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to "make biology easier to engineer," is routinely described as leading to an increase in the "dual-use" threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be "used" for peaceful purposes or "misused" for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the "de-skilling" of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five "myths" that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these "myths" play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a "promissory" field of research and as an "emerging technology" in need of governance.

  11. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the "myths".

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to "make biology easier to engineer," is routinely described as leading to an increase in the "dual-use" threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be "used" for peaceful purposes or "misused" for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the "de-skilling" of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five "myths" that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these "myths" play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a "promissory" field of research and as an "emerging technology" in need of governance. PMID:25191649

  12. India's Computational Biology Growth and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy

    2016-09-01

    India's computational science is growing swiftly due to the outburst of internet and information technology services. The bioinformatics sector of India has been transforming rapidly by creating a competitive position in global bioinformatics market. Bioinformatics is widely used across India to address a wide range of biological issues. Recently, computational researchers and biologists are collaborating in projects such as database development, sequence analysis, genomic prospects and algorithm generations. In this paper, we have presented the Indian computational biology scenario highlighting bioinformatics-related educational activities, manpower development, internet boom, service industry, research activities, conferences and trainings undertaken by the corporate and government sectors. Nonetheless, this new field of science faces lots of challenges.

  13. Synthetic biology: navigating the challenges ahead.

    PubMed

    Bhutkar, Arjun

    2005-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology is broadly defined as the area of intersection of biology and engineering that focuses on the modification or creation of novel biological systems that do not have a counterpart in nature. Potential applications of this technology range from creating systems for environmental cleanup tasks, for medical diagnosis and treatment, to economical generation of hydrogen fuel. This technology is in tis nascent state and there are a number of concerns surrounding its potential applications and the nature of research being performed. With the potential to create hitherto unknown "living organisms", it raises a number of challenges along different dimensions. This article reviews the current state of the technology and analyzes synthetic biology using different lenses: patentability, ethics, and regulation. It proposes a classification system for the products of synthetic biology and provides recommendations in each of the above areas (patentability, ethics, and regulation) in the context of this classification system. These recommendations include an improved framework for patentability testing, ethical principles to guide work in this area, a controlled approval process, and reference frameworks for regulation. PMID:16538811

  14. Biological waste air treatment in biotrickling filters

    PubMed

    Cox; Deshusses

    1998-06-01

    Recent studies in the area of biological waste air treatment in biotrickling filters have addressed fundamental key issues, such as biofilm architecture, microbiology of the process culture and means to control accumulation of biomass. The results from these studies have provided a deeper insight into the fundamental mechanisms involved during biotrickling filtration. In the coming years, these and future advances should allow for the design of better reactor controls and the improvement of pollutant removal in these gas phase bioreactors. Ultimately, this should lead to a more widespread use of biotrickling filters for air pollution control.

  15. Unique biology of gliomas: challenges and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Stacey; Sontheimer, Harald

    2013-01-01

    Gliomas are terrifying primary brain tumors for which patient outlook remains bleak. Recent research provides novel insights into the unique biology of gliomas. For example, these tumors exhibit an unexpected pluripotency that enables them to grow their own vasculature. They have an unusual ability to navigate tortuous extracellular pathways as they invade, and they use neurotransmitters to inflict damage and create room for growth. Here, we review studies that illustrate the importance of considering interactions of gliomas with their native brain environment. Such studies suggest that gliomas constitute a neurodegenerative disease caused by the malignant growth of brain support cells. The chosen examples illustrate how targeted research into the biology of gliomas is yielding new and much needed therapeutic approaches to this challenging nervous system disease. PMID:22683220

  16. India's Computational Biology Growth and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy

    2016-09-01

    India's computational science is growing swiftly due to the outburst of internet and information technology services. The bioinformatics sector of India has been transforming rapidly by creating a competitive position in global bioinformatics market. Bioinformatics is widely used across India to address a wide range of biological issues. Recently, computational researchers and biologists are collaborating in projects such as database development, sequence analysis, genomic prospects and algorithm generations. In this paper, we have presented the Indian computational biology scenario highlighting bioinformatics-related educational activities, manpower development, internet boom, service industry, research activities, conferences and trainings undertaken by the corporate and government sectors. Nonetheless, this new field of science faces lots of challenges. PMID:27465042

  17. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376

  18. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Scott P; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T; Bergstrom, Carl T; Denison, R Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B; Strauss, Sharon Y; Tabashnik, Bruce E

    2014-10-17

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens, and pests that evolve too quickly and the second, from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This Review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental, and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development.

  19. Biological hydrogen production: prospects and challenges.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyung-Sool; Vermaas, Wim F J; Rittmann, Bruce E

    2010-05-01

    Hydrogen gas provides exceptional value as an energy carrier and industrial feedstock, but currently is produced entirely by reforming fossil fuels. Biological hydrogen production (BioH(2)), which offers the possibility of being renewable and carbon neutral, can be achieved by photosynthesis, fermentation, and microbial electrolysis cells. This review introduces the principles, advantages and challenges of each approach to BioH(2). Photosynthetic BioH(2) is the ultimate renewable source, since it directly uses inexhaustible resources: sunlight energy and electrons from H(2)O. However, it presents major technical challenges, particularly due to oxygen sensitivity. Fermentative BioH(2) offers a high production rate, but poor conversion efficiency from the organic substrate to H(2). The microbial electrolysis cell can achieve high conversion efficiency, but is an emerging technology.

  20. Biological waste air treatment in biofilters.

    PubMed

    Deshusses, M A

    1997-06-01

    Recent studies in the area of biological waste air treatment in biofilters have addressed fundamental key issues such as microbial dynamics, microscopical characterization of the process culture and oxygen and nutrient limitations. The results from these studies have provided a deeper insight into the overall biofiltration process. In the coming years, such advances should allow for the design of better reactor controls and the improvement of pollutant removal in gas-phase bioreactors.

  1. Biological impact of small air ions.

    PubMed

    Krueger, A P; Reed, E J

    1976-09-24

    The thrust of the experimental data presented here is that small air ions are biologically active. There is convincing evidence that both negative and positive ions (i) inhibit growth of bacteria and fungi on solid media; (ii) exert a lethal effect on vegetative forms of bacteria suspended in water when opportunity is provided for contact of cells and ions; and (iii) reduce the viable count of bacterial aerosols. Through physical action, ions of either charge upset the stability of aerolosized bacterial suspensions and, in addition, have a direct lethal effect which is more prominent with negative ions than with positive ions. With regard to the serotonin hypothesis of air ions action, the situation is more complex. The essential fact is that mice and rats display a charge-related metabolic response to air ions and this phenomenon also occurs in humans. Because serotonin is such a potent hormone, the ultimate functional changes incident to air ion action are impressive and account for the signs of symptoms of the sharav syndrome. Alterations in the cumulative mortality rate with three experimental respiratory disease in the mouse also are charge-dependent, positive ions routinely exercising a detrimental effect. Further, in the case of mice infected with influenza virus, ion-deprivation increases the cumulative mortality rate. Since ion depletion is a constant concomitant of modern urban life, one reasonably may speculate about comparable inimical effects on humans.

  2. Physical Biology : challenges for our second decade.

    PubMed

    Levine, Herbert

    2014-06-01

    It is quite an honor to be asked to become the third editor-in-chief of Physical Biology . I am following in the footsteps of Tim Newman, who served with energy and enthusiasm. Hopefully, the entire community fully appreciates his contributions to moving the field forward. Thank you, Tim! With the honor, however, goes a clear responsibility. Our journal has survived its birth pangs and emerged as a serious venue for publishing quality research papers using physical science to address the workings of living matter. With the support of scientists in this field and with the ongoing commitment of the IOP, we have successfully reached adolescence. Yet, there is clearly much room to grow and there are clear challenges in defining and maintaining our special niche in the publishing landscape. In this still-developing state, the journal very much mimics the state of the field of physical biology itself. Few scientists continue to question the relevance of physical science for the investigation of the living world. But, will our new perspective and the methods that come with it really lead to radically new principles of how life works? Or, will breakthroughs continue to come from experimental biology (perhaps aided by the traditional physicist-as-tool-builder paradigm), leaving us to put quantitative touches on established fundamentals? In thinking about these questions for the field and for the journal, I have tried to understand what is really unique about our joint endeavors. I have become convinced that living matter represents a new challenge to our physical-science based conceptual framework. Not only is it far from equilibrium, as has been generally recognized, but it violates our simple notions of the separability of constituents, their interactions and the resulting large-scale behavior. Unlike, say, atomic physicists who can do productive research while safely ignoring the latest developments in QCD (let alone particle physics at higher energies), we do not yet

  3. Physical Biology : challenges for our second decade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Herbert

    2014-06-01

    It is quite an honor to be asked to become the third editor-in-chief of Physical Biology . I am following in the footsteps of Tim Newman, who served with energy and enthusiasm. Hopefully, the entire community fully appreciates his contributions to moving the field forward. Thank you, Tim! With the honor, however, goes a clear responsibility. Our journal has survived its birth pangs and emerged as a serious venue for publishing quality research papers using physical science to address the workings of living matter. With the support of scientists in this field and with the ongoing commitment of the IOP, we have successfully reached adolescence. Yet, there is clearly much room to grow and there are clear challenges in defining and maintaining our special niche in the publishing landscape. In this still-developing state, the journal very much mimics the state of the field of physical biology itself. Few scientists continue to question the relevance of physical science for the investigation of the living world. But, will our new perspective and the methods that come with it really lead to radically new principles of how life works? Or, will breakthroughs continue to come from experimental biology (perhaps aided by the traditional physicist-as-tool-builder paradigm), leaving us to put quantitative touches on established fundamentals? In thinking about these questions for the field and for the journal, I have tried to understand what is really unique about our joint endeavors. I have become convinced that living matter represents a new challenge to our physical-science based conceptual framework. Not only is it far from equilibrium, as has been generally recognized, but it violates our simple notions of the separability of constituents, their interactions and the resulting large-scale behavior. Unlike, say, atomic physicists who can do productive research while safely ignoring the latest developments in QCD (let alone particle physics at higher energies), we do not yet

  4. Making Li-air batteries rechargeable: material challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Ding, Fei; Xiao, Jie; Zhang, Jian; Xu, Wu; Park, Seh Kyu; Zhang, Jiguang; Wang, Yong; Liu, Jun

    2013-02-25

    A Li-air battery could potentially provide three to five times higher energy density/specific energy than conventional batteries, thus enable the driving range of an electric vehicle comparable to a gasoline vehicle. However, making Li-air batteries rechargeable presents significant challenges, mostly related with materials. Herein, we discuss the key factors that influence the rechargeability of Li-air batteries with a focus on nonaqueous system. The status and materials challenges for nonaqueous rechargeable Li-air batteries are reviewed. These include electrolytes, cathode (electocatalysts), lithium metal anodes, and oxygen-selective membranes (oxygen supply from air). The perspective of rechargeable Li-air batteries is provided.

  5. New directions: Air pollution challenges for developing megacities like Delhi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Prashant; Khare, Mukesh; Harrison, Roy M.; Bloss, William J.; Lewis, Alastair C.; Coe, Hugh; Morawska, Lidia

    2015-12-01

    Most major cities around the world experience periods of elevated air pollution levels, which exceed international health-based air quality standards (Kumar et al., 2013). Although it is a global problem, some of the highest air pollution levels are found in rapidly expanding cities in India and China. The sources, emissions, transformations and broad effects of meteorology on air pollution are reasonably well accounted in air quality control strategies in many developed cities; however these key factors remain poorly constrained in the growing cities of countries with emerging economies. We focus here on Delhi, one of the largest global population centres, which faces particular air pollution challenges, now and in the future.

  6. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, YZ; Lee, JK; Zhao, HM

    2013-11-15

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. PMID:24222925

  8. Introducing the scanning air puff tonometer for biological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleury, Vincent; Al-Kilani, Alia; Boryskina, Olena P.; Cornelissen, Annemiek J. M.; Nguyen, Thi-Hanh; Unbekandt, Mathieu; Leroy, Loïc; Baffet, Georges; Le Noble, Ferdinand; Sire, Olivier; Lahaye, Elodie; Burgaud, Vincent

    2010-02-01

    It is getting increasingly evident that physical properties such as elastoviscoplastic properties of living materials are quite important for the process of tissue development, including regulation of genetic pathways. Measuring such properties in vivo is a complicated and challenging task. In this paper, we present an instrument, a scanning air puff tonometer, which is able to map point by point the viscoelastic properties of flat or gently curved soft materials. This instrument is an improved version of the air puff tonometer used by optometrists, with important modifications. The instrument allows one to obtain a direct insight into gradients of material properties in vivo. The instrument capabilities are demonstrated on substances with known elastoviscoplastic properties and several biological objects. On the basis of the results obtained, the role of the gradients of elastoviscoplastic properties is outlined for the process of angiogenesis, limb development, bacterial colonies expansion, etc. which is important for bridging the gaps in the theory of the tissue development and highlighting new possibilities for tissue engineering, based on a clarification of the role of physical features in developing biological material.

  9. Biological Invasions: A Challenge In Ecological Forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnase, J. L.; Smith, J. A.; Stohlgren, T. J.; Graves, S.; Trees, C.; Rood, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The spread of invasive species is one of the most daunting environmental, economic, and human-health problems facing the United States and the World today. It is one of several grand challenge environmental problems being considered by NASA's Earth Science Vision for 2025. The invasive species problem is complex and presents many challenges. Developing an invasive species predictive capability could significantly advance the science and technology of ecological forecasting.

  10. OPEN PROBLEM: Some nonlinear challenges in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosconi, Francesco; Julou, Thomas; Desprat, Nicolas; Sinha, Deepak Kumar; Allemand, Jean-François; Croquette, Vincent; Bensimon, David

    2008-08-01

    Driven by a deluge of data, biology is undergoing a transition to a more quantitative science. Making sense of the data, building new models, asking the right questions and designing smart experiments to answer them are becoming ever more relevant. In this endeavour, nonlinear approaches can play a fundamental role. The biochemical reactions that underlie life are very often nonlinear. The functional features exhibited by biological systems at all levels (from the activity of an enzyme to the organization of a colony of ants, via the development of an organism or a functional module like the one responsible for chemotaxis in bacteria) are dynamically robust. They are often unaffected by order of magnitude variations in the dynamical parameters, in the number or concentrations of actors (molecules, cells, organisms) or external inputs (food, temperature, pH, etc). This type of structural robustness is also a common feature of nonlinear systems, exemplified by the fundamental role played by dynamical fixed points and attractors and by the use of generic equations (logistic map, Fisher-Kolmogorov equation, the Stefan problem, etc.) in the study of a plethora of nonlinear phenomena. However, biological systems differ from these examples in two important ways: the intrinsic stochasticity arising from the often very small number of actors and the role played by evolution. On an evolutionary time scale, nothing in biology is frozen. The systems observed today have evolved from solutions adopted in the past and they will have to adapt in response to future conditions. The evolvability of biological system uniquely characterizes them and is central to biology. As the great biologist T Dobzhansky once wrote: 'nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution'.

  11. Air pollution in China: Scientific and Public Policy Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, T.

    2014-12-01

    Sever air pollution in China has in recent years caused intensive public, media and governmental attention. Many questions need to be answered about the air pollution in China, such as how harmful is the air pollution, especially PM2.5? Why suddenly so many reports about sever air pollution, is the air in China getting more polluted? How to design a policy that can control the air pollution most efficiently? After updated the national Ambient Air Quality Standards in 2012 and included PM2.5 as one of the critical air pollutants, in 2013, Chinese central government released for the first time the "Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan". The plan has set goals to reduce annual mean concentration of PM2.5 up to 25% in 2017 in different regions in China. If the ambitious goals were achieved, this could be the most significant air pollution reduction in such a short time that affects so many people in human history. To achieve these goals, however, there are enormous scientific and public policy challenges to deal with. For example: Identify the key components, size fraction of PM that have the largest health effects; and identify the sources of PM that has the most harmful effects on human health and ecosystem. Reduce the uncertainty in health risk assessment. Understand complicate chemical transformation processes in air pollution formation with intensive emissions from industry, power plant, vehicles, agriculture. Interactions between air pollution, PBL, and atmospheric circulation at different scales. The accountability, feasibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of air pollution control policies. Integrate multi-pollutant control and achieve co-benefit with climate and energy policy. Regional coordinated air pollution control. The largest challenge in China for air pollution control remains how to strength the link between science and policy.

  12. Africa Holds Challenges for Biology Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merowit, Clement E.

    1973-01-01

    With the establishment of the United Nations environmental secretariat at Nairobi, many opportunities are possible for biology teachers to improve their teaching, especially in areas of wildlife management and preservation. A group of educators will travel to African countries and prepare audio-visual and other instructional materials. (PS)

  13. Biological dosimetry for astronauts: a real challenge.

    PubMed

    Testard, I; Sabatier, L

    1999-12-01

    Manned space missions recently increased in number and duration, thus it became important to estimate the biological risks encountered by astronauts. They are exposed to cosmic and galactic rays, a complex mixture of different radiations. In addition to the measurements realized by physical dosimeters, it becomes essential to estimate real biologically effective doses and compare them to physical doses. Biological dosimetry of radiation exposures has been widely performed using cytogenetic analysis of chromosomes. This approach has been used for many years in order to estimate absorbed doses in accidental or chronic overexposures of humans. In addition to conventional techniques (Giemsa or FPG staining, R- or G-banding), faster and accurate means of analysis have been developed (fluorescence in situ hybridization [FISH] painting). As results accumulate, it appears that strong interindividual variability exists in the basal level of aberrations. Moreover, some aberrations such as translocations exhibit a high background level. Radiation exposures seem to induce variability between individual responses. Its extent strongly differs with the mode of exposure, the doses delivered, the kind of radiation, and the cytogenetic method used. This paper aims to review the factors that may influence the reliability of cytogenetic dosimetry. The emphasis is on the exposure to high linear energy transfer (LET) particles in space as recent studies demonstrated interindividual variations in doses estimated from aberration analysis after long-term space missions. In addition to the problem of dose estimates, the heterogeneity of cosmic radiation raises questions relating to the real numbers of damaged cells in an individual, and potential long-term risks. Actually, densely ionizing particles are extremely potent to induce late chromosomal instability, and again, interindividual variability exists in the expression of damage. PMID:10631347

  14. Systems medicine: opportunities and challenges for systems biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Kolch, Walter; Kholodenko, Boris N

    2013-12-01

    Technological advance have not only dramatically accelerated progress in medical knowledge and practice, but also revealed the enormous complexity of diseases and pathogenetic mechanisms. Can systems biology approaches and computational modelling help defeat the challenge of exploding complexity? Four review articles discuss the challenges and opportunities for such systems level approaches in medicine, pathology and drug development.

  15. Biological challenges to effective vaccines in the developing world

    PubMed Central

    Grassly, Nicholas C.; Kang, Gagandeep; Kampmann, Beate

    2015-01-01

    The reason for holding a meeting to discuss biological challenges to vaccines is simple: not all vaccines work equally well in all settings. This special issue reviews the performance of vaccines in challenging environments, summarizes current thinking on the reasons why vaccines underperform and considers what approaches are necessary to understand the heterogeneity in responses and to improve vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. PMID:25964451

  16. Biological challenges to effective vaccines in the developing world.

    PubMed

    Grassly, Nicholas C; Kang, Gagandeep; Kampmann, Beate

    2015-06-19

    The reason for holding a meeting to discuss biological challenges to vaccines is simple: not all vaccines work equally well in all settings. This special issue reviews the performance of vaccines in challenging environments, summarizes current thinking on the reasons why vaccines underperform and considers what approaches are necessary to understand the heterogeneity in responses and to improve vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy.

  17. Air quality management in China: issues, challenges, and options.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuxiao; Hao, Jiming

    2012-01-01

    This article analyzed the control progress and current status of air quality, identified the major air pollution issues and challenges in future, proposed the long-term air pollution control targets, and suggested the options for better air quality in China. With the continuing growth of economy in the next 10-15 years, China will face a more severe situation of energy consumption, electricity generation and vehicle population leading to increase in multiple pollutant emissions. Controlling regional air pollution especially fine particles and ozone, as well as lowering carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption will be a big challenge for the country. To protect public health and the eco-system, the ambient air quality in all Chinese cities shall attain the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and ambient air quality guideline values set by the World Health Organization (WHO). To achieve the air quality targets, the emissions of SO2, NOx, PM10, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) should decrease by 60%, 40%, 50%, and 40%, respectively, on the basis of that in 2005. A comprehensive control policy focusing on multiple pollutants and emission sources at both the local and regional levels was proposed to mitigate the regional air pollution issue in China. The options include development of clean energy resources, promotion of clean and efficient coal use, enhancement of vehicle pollution control, implementation of synchronous control of multiple pollutants including SO2, NOx, VOC, and PM emissions, joint prevention and control of regional air pollution, and application of climate friendly air pollution control measures.

  18. A snapshot of biologic drug development: Challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Andrews, L; Ralston, S; Blomme, E; Barnhart, K

    2015-12-01

    Since the approval of insulin as the first recombinant therapeutic protein, the prominence of biologic therapies in drug development has grown significantly. Many modalities beyond traditional biologics are now being developed or explored for various indications with significant unmet medical needs. From early traditional replacement proteins to more recent, highly engineered antibodies, oligonucleotides, fusion proteins, and gene constructs, biologic agents have delivered life-changing therapies, despite often having scientifically and technically challenging development programs. This brief review outlines some of the major biotherapeutic classes and identifies the advantages and challenges with the development of these products. PMID:26614816

  19. Biology of ageing: principles, challenges and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rattan, Suresh I S

    2015-01-01

    Living systems owe their survival and health to a series of complex biochemical pathways of maintenance and repair. These defense systems create the homeodynamic space of an individual, which is characterized by stress tolerance, molecular damage control and continuous remodeling. Ageing, age-related diseases and eventual death are the consequences of a progressive shrinkage of the homeodynamic space, due to the failure of maintenance and repair. Whereas longevity assurance genes do affect the essential lifespan of a species, there are no ageing-specific gerontogenes to cause ageing and to limit the lifespan of an individual. The challenge of preventing, managing or treating age-related chronic diseases and other health problems requires abandoning the traditional "one-target, one-shot" biomedical approach. Wholistic methods incorporating lifestyle-based hormetic interventions, including food, physical activity and mental engagement, appear to be potentially more successful in maintaining health and in extending healthspan and longevity.

  20. Synthetic biology: a challenge to mechanical explanations in biology?

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2012-01-01

    In their plans to modify organisms, synthetic biologists have contrasted engineering and tinkering. By drawing this contrast between their endeavors and what has happened during the evolution of organisms by natural selection, they underline the novelty of their projects and justify their ambitions. Synthetic biologists are at odds with a long tradition that has considered organisms as "perfect machines." This tradition had already been questioned by Stephen Jay Gould in the 1970s and received a major blow with the comparison made by François Jacob between organisms and the results of "bricolage" (tinkering). These contrasts between engineering and tinkering, synthetic biology and evolution, have no raison d'être. Machines built by humans are increasingly inspired by observations made on organisms. This is not a simple reversal of the previous trend-the mechanical conception of organisms-in which the characteristics of the latter were explained by comparison with human-built machines. Relations between organisms and machines have always been complex and ambiguous.

  1. Diffusion of synthetic biology: a challenge to biosafety.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Markus

    2008-06-01

    One of the main aims of synthetic biology is to make biology easier to engineer. Major efforts in synthetic biology are made to develop a toolbox to design biological systems without having to go through a massive research and technology process. With this "de-skilling" agenda, synthetic biology might finally unleash the full potential of biotechnology and spark a wave of innovation, as more and more people have the necessary skills to engineer biology. But this ultimate domestication of biology could easily lead to unprecedented safety challenges that need to be addressed: more and more people outside the traditional biotechnology community will create self-replicating machines (life) for civil and defence applications, "biohackers" will engineer new life forms at their kitchen table; and illicit substances will be produced synthetically and much cheaper. Such a scenario is a messy and dangerous one, and we need to think about appropriate safety standards now.

  2. Challenges and approaches for the development of safer immunomodulatory biologics.

    PubMed

    Sathish, Jean G; Sethu, Swaminathan; Bielsky, Marie-Christine; de Haan, Lolke; French, Neil S; Govindappa, Karthik; Green, James; Griffiths, Christopher E M; Holgate, Stephen; Jones, David; Kimber, Ian; Moggs, Jonathan; Naisbitt, Dean J; Pirmohamed, Munir; Reichmann, Gabriele; Sims, Jennifer; Subramanyam, Meena; Todd, Marque D; Van Der Laan, Jan Willem; Weaver, Richard J; Park, B Kevin

    2013-04-01

    Immunomodulatory biologics, which render their therapeutic effects by modulating or harnessing immune responses, have proven their therapeutic utility in several complex conditions including cancer and autoimmune diseases. However, unwanted adverse reactions--including serious infections, malignancy, cytokine release syndrome, anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity as well as immunogenicity--pose a challenge to the development of new (and safer) immunomodulatory biologics. In this article, we assess the safety issues associated with immunomodulatory biologics and discuss the current approaches for predicting and mitigating adverse reactions associated with their use. We also outline how these approaches can inform the development of safer immunomodulatory biologics. PMID:23535934

  3. Conservation biology in Asia: the major policy challenges.

    PubMed

    McNeely, Jeffrey A; Kapoor-Vijay, Promila; Zhi, Lu; Olsvig-Whittaker, Linda; Sheikh, Kashif M; Smith, Andrew T

    2009-08-01

    With about half the world's human population and booming economies, Asia faces numerous challenges to its biodiversity. The Asia Section of the Society for Conservation Biology has identified some key policy issues in which significant progress can be made. These include developing new sources of funding for forest conservation; identifying potential impacts of energy alternatives on the conservation of biodiversity; curbing the trade in endangered species of plants and animals; a special focus on the conservation of mountain biodiversity; enhancing relevant research; ensuring that conservation biology contributes to major international conventions and funding mechanisms; using conservation biology to build a better understanding of zoonotic diseases; more effectively addressing human-animal conflicts; enhancing community-based conservation; and using conservation biology to help address the pervasive water-deficit problems in much of Asia. These challenges can be met through improved regional cooperation among the relevant stakeholders.

  4. Foreword: Follow-on Biologics: Implementation Challenges and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Paradise, Jordan

    2011-01-01

    This Book of the Seton Hall Law Review presents the contributions to Follow-On Biologics: Implementation Challenges and Opportunities, a one-day roundtable event hosted by Seton Hall University School of Law in the fall of 2010. The roundtable fostered an international dialogue regarding the future of follow-on biologics in the United States resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of March 2010. THE BIOLOGIC PRICE COMPETITION AND INNOVATION ACT OF 2010. The March 23, 2010, enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the companion Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 ushered in landmark reform of the American health care system. Along with sweeping overhauls of the health care system generally, PPACA also provides a new regulatory challenge for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A subtitle within PPACA, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA), bestows upon FDA broad authority to implement an abbreviated approval route to market for biological products (also known as biologics) that are "biosimilar" to an existing marketed product. The brief introduction will provide a basic comparison of biologics and conventional pharmaceutical drugs that will prove central to the FDA's development of this follow-on biologic pathway as well as specifically examine the content and scope of the BPCIA provisions and identify future challenges for the FDA. It will conclude by highlighting details of presentations during the roundtable held at the Seton Hall University School of Law and introduce the two resulting articles contained with this Book of the Seton Hall Law Review.

  5. Foreword: Follow-on Biologics: Implementation Challenges and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Paradise, Jordan

    2011-01-01

    This Book of the Seton Hall Law Review presents the contributions to Follow-On Biologics: Implementation Challenges and Opportunities, a one-day roundtable event hosted by Seton Hall University School of Law in the fall of 2010. The roundtable fostered an international dialogue regarding the future of follow-on biologics in the United States resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of March 2010. THE BIOLOGIC PRICE COMPETITION AND INNOVATION ACT OF 2010. The March 23, 2010, enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the companion Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 ushered in landmark reform of the American health care system. Along with sweeping overhauls of the health care system generally, PPACA also provides a new regulatory challenge for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A subtitle within PPACA, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA), bestows upon FDA broad authority to implement an abbreviated approval route to market for biological products (also known as biologics) that are "biosimilar" to an existing marketed product. The brief introduction will provide a basic comparison of biologics and conventional pharmaceutical drugs that will prove central to the FDA's development of this follow-on biologic pathway as well as specifically examine the content and scope of the BPCIA provisions and identify future challenges for the FDA. It will conclude by highlighting details of presentations during the roundtable held at the Seton Hall University School of Law and introduce the two resulting articles contained with this Book of the Seton Hall Law Review. PMID:21739728

  6. 2001 DC Lecture Series: The New Biology - Challenges and Opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    2006-04-11

    The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, in collaboration with Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), developed a series of seminars, ''The New Biology: Challenges and Opportunities'', to stimulate dialogue between leaders in science, medicine, law, biotechnology and senior government policymakers on matters that will shape much of the genomic revolution's impact on individuals and institutions in this country.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    He, Xiaoming

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity: Challenging the “Myths”

    PubMed Central

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to “make biology easier to engineer,” is routinely described as leading to an increase in the “dual-use” threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be “used” for peaceful purposes or “misused” for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the “de-skilling” of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five “myths” that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these “myths” play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a “promissory” field of research and as an “emerging technology” in need of governance. PMID:25191649

  10. Methods for biological data integration: perspectives and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gligorijević, Vladimir; Pržulj, Nataša

    2015-01-01

    Rapid technological advances have led to the production of different types of biological data and enabled construction of complex networks with various types of interactions between diverse biological entities. Standard network data analysis methods were shown to be limited in dealing with such heterogeneous networked data and consequently, new methods for integrative data analyses have been proposed. The integrative methods can collectively mine multiple types of biological data and produce more holistic, systems-level biological insights. We survey recent methods for collective mining (integration) of various types of networked biological data. We compare different state-of-the-art methods for data integration and highlight their advantages and disadvantages in addressing important biological problems. We identify the important computational challenges of these methods and provide a general guideline for which methods are suited for specific biological problems, or specific data types. Moreover, we propose that recent non-negative matrix factorization-based approaches may become the integration methodology of choice, as they are well suited and accurate in dealing with heterogeneous data and have many opportunities for further development. PMID:26490630

  11. Synthetic biology of cyanobacteria: unique challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Berla, Bertram M; Saha, Rajib; Immethun, Cheryl M; Maranas, Costas D; Moon, Tae Seok; Pakrasi, Himadri B

    2013-01-01

    Photosynthetic organisms, and especially cyanobacteria, hold great promise as sources of renewably-produced fuels, bulk and specialty chemicals, and nutritional products. Synthetic biology tools can help unlock cyanobacteria's potential for these functions, but unfortunately tool development for these organisms has lagged behind that for S. cerevisiae and E. coli. While these organisms may in many cases be more difficult to work with as "chassis" strains for synthetic biology than certain heterotrophs, the unique advantages of autotrophs in biotechnology applications as well as the scientific importance of improved understanding of photosynthesis warrant the development of these systems into something akin to a "green E. coli." In this review, we highlight unique challenges and opportunities for development of synthetic biology approaches in cyanobacteria. We review classical and recently developed methods for constructing targeted mutants in various cyanobacterial strains, and offer perspective on what genetic tools might most greatly expand the ability to engineer new functions in such strains. Similarly, we review what genetic parts are most needed for the development of cyanobacterial synthetic biology. Finally, we highlight recent methods to construct genome-scale models of cyanobacterial metabolism and to use those models to measure properties of autotrophic metabolism. Throughout this paper, we discuss some of the unique challenges of a diurnal, autotrophic lifestyle along with how the development of synthetic biology and biotechnology in cyanobacteria must fit within those constraints.

  12. Synthetic biology of cyanobacteria: unique challenges and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Berla, Bertram M.; Saha, Rajib; Immethun, Cheryl M.; Maranas, Costas D.; Moon, Tae Seok; Pakrasi, Himadri B.

    2013-01-01

    Photosynthetic organisms, and especially cyanobacteria, hold great promise as sources of renewably-produced fuels, bulk and specialty chemicals, and nutritional products. Synthetic biology tools can help unlock cyanobacteria's potential for these functions, but unfortunately tool development for these organisms has lagged behind that for S. cerevisiae and E. coli. While these organisms may in many cases be more difficult to work with as “chassis” strains for synthetic biology than certain heterotrophs, the unique advantages of autotrophs in biotechnology applications as well as the scientific importance of improved understanding of photosynthesis warrant the development of these systems into something akin to a “green E. coli.” In this review, we highlight unique challenges and opportunities for development of synthetic biology approaches in cyanobacteria. We review classical and recently developed methods for constructing targeted mutants in various cyanobacterial strains, and offer perspective on what genetic tools might most greatly expand the ability to engineer new functions in such strains. Similarly, we review what genetic parts are most needed for the development of cyanobacterial synthetic biology. Finally, we highlight recent methods to construct genome-scale models of cyanobacterial metabolism and to use those models to measure properties of autotrophic metabolism. Throughout this paper, we discuss some of the unique challenges of a diurnal, autotrophic lifestyle along with how the development of synthetic biology and biotechnology in cyanobacteria must fit within those constraints. PMID:24009604

  13. BIOLOGICAL WASTE AIR TREATMENT IN BIOTRICKLING FILTERS. (R825392)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Recent studies in the area of biological waste air treatment in biotrickling filters have addressed fundamental key issues, such as biofilm architecture, microbiology of the process culture and means to control accumulation of biomass. The results from these s...

  14. Accomplishments and challenges in literature data mining for biology.

    PubMed

    Hirschman, Lynette; Park, Jong C; Tsujii, Junichi; Wong, Limsoon; Wu, Cathy H

    2002-12-01

    We review recent results in literature data mining for biology and discuss the need and the steps for a challenge evaluation for this field. Literature data mining has progressed from simple recognition of terms to extraction of interaction relationships from complex sentences, and has broadened from recognition of protein interactions to a range of problems such as improving homology search, identifying cellular location, and so on. To encourage participation and accelerate progress in this expanding field, we propose creating challenge evaluations, and we describe two specific applications in this context.

  15. Miniaturized biological and electrochemical fuel cells: challenges and applications.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Ghobadian, Sasan; Goodrich, Payton J; Montazami, Reza; Hashemi, Nastaran

    2013-09-14

    This paper discusses the fundamentals and developments of miniaturized fuel cells, both biological and electrochemical. An overview of microfluidic fuel cells, miniaturized microbial fuel cells, enzymatic biofuel cells, and implanted biofuel cells in an attempt to provide green energy and to power implanted microdevices is provided. Also, the challenges and applications of each type of fuel cell are discussed in detail. Most recent developments in fuel cell technologies such as novel catalysts, compact designs, and fabrication methods are reviewed.

  16. Biological control agents: from field to market, problems, and challenges.

    PubMed

    Velivelli, Siva L S; De Vos, Paul; Kromann, Peter; Declerck, Stephane; Prestwich, Barbara D

    2014-10-01

    Global food security is vulnerable due to massive growth of the human population, changes in global climate, the emergence of novel/more virulent pathogens, and demands from increasingly discerning consumers for chemical-free, sustainably produced food products. Bacterium-based biological control agents (BCAs), if used as part of an integrated management system, may satisfy the above demands. We focus on the advantages, limitations, problems, and challenges involved in such strategies.

  17. Challenges and Opportunities of Air Quality Management in Mexico City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramo, V.

    2013-05-01

    The Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) is located in the central plateau of Mexico and is the capital of the country. Its natural characteristics present favorable conditions for air pollution formation and accumulation: mountains surrounding the city, frequent thermal inversions, high isolation all around the year and weak winds. To these natural conditions, a population of more than 20 million inhabitants, a fleet of 4.5 million vehicles and more than 4 thousands industries, make air quality management a real challenge for governments of the region. Intensive air quality improvement actions and programs began at the end of the 1980's and continued nowadays. Since then criteria air pollutants concentrations have decreased in such a way that currently most of pollutants meet the Mexican air quality standards, except for ozone and particulate matter. Applied measures comprised of fuel quality improvements, fuel replacements, regulations for combustion processes, closing of high polluting refineries and industries, regulations of emissions for new and on road vehicles, mandatory I/M programs for vehicles, circulation restrictions for vehicles (Day without car program), alert program for elevated air pollution episodes, improvement of public transportation, among others. Recent researches (MILAGRO 2006 campaign) found that currently it is necessary to implement emissions reduction actions for Volatile Organic Compounds, particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers PM2.5 and Nitrogen Oxides, in order to reduce concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter. Among the new measures to be implemented are: regulations for VOCs emissions in the industry and commercial sectors; regulation of the diesel fleet that includes fleets renewal, filters and particulate traps for in use vehicles and regulation of the cargo fleet; new schemes for reducing the number of vehicles circulating in the city; implementation of non-motorized mobility programs; among

  18. Monitoring biological diversity: strategies, tools, limitations, and challenges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.

    2006-01-01

    Monitoring is an assessment of the spatial and temporal variability in one or more ecosystem properties, and is an essential component of adaptive management. Monitoring can help determine whether mandated environmental standards are being met and can provide an early-warning system of ecological change. Development of a strategy for monitoring biological diversity will likely be most successful when based upon clearly articulated goals and objectives and may be enhanced by including several key steps in the process. Ideally, monitoring of biological diversity will measure not only composition, but also structure and function at the spatial and temporal scales of interest. Although biodiversity monitoring has several key limitations as well as numerous theoretical and practical challenges, many tools and strategies are available to address or overcome such challenges; I summarize several of these. Due to the diversity of spatio-temporal scales and comprehensiveness encompassed by existing definitions of biological diversity, an effective monitoring design will reflect the desired sampling domain of interest and its key stressors, available funding, legal requirements, and organizational goals.

  19. Development of biosensors for the detection of biological warfare agents: its issues and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Harish; Rani, Renu

    2013-01-01

    This review discusses current development in biosensors for the detection of biological warfare agents (BWAs). BWAs include bacteria, virus and toxins that are added deliberately into air water and food to spread terrorism and cause disease or death. The rapid and unambiguous detection and identification of BWAs with early warning signals for detecting possible biological attack is a major challenge for government agencies particularly military and health. The detection devices--biosensors--can be classified (according to their physicochemical transducers) into four types: electrochemical, nucleic acid, optical and piezoelectric. Advantages and limitations of biosensors are discussed in this review followed by an assessment of the current state of development of different types of biosensors. The research and development in biosensors for biological warfare agent detection is of great interest for the public as well as for governments.

  20. Development of biosensors for the detection of biological warfare agents: its issues and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Harish; Rani, Renu

    2013-01-01

    This review discusses current development in biosensors for the detection of biological warfare agents (BWAs). BWAs include bacteria, virus and toxins that are added deliberately into air water and food to spread terrorism and cause disease or death. The rapid and unambiguous detection and identification of BWAs with early warning signals for detecting possible biological attack is a major challenge for government agencies particularly military and health. The detection devices--biosensors--can be classified (according to their physicochemical transducers) into four types: electrochemical, nucleic acid, optical and piezoelectric. Advantages and limitations of biosensors are discussed in this review followed by an assessment of the current state of development of different types of biosensors. The research and development in biosensors for biological warfare agent detection is of great interest for the public as well as for governments. PMID:24244972

  1. Challenges in Analyzing the Biological Effects of Resveratrol

    PubMed Central

    Erdogan, Cihan Suleyman; Vang, Ole

    2016-01-01

    The suggested health effects (e.g., disease prevention) of dietary bioactive compounds such as resveratrol are challenging to prove in comparison to man-made drugs developed for therapeutic purposes. Dietary bioactive compounds have multiple cellular targets and therefore have a variety of biological effects. Extrapolating the biological effects of dietary compounds from in vitro and in vivo animal experiments to humans may lead to over- or under-estimation of the effect and role of these compounds. The present paper will discuss a few of these challenges and suggest directions for future research. Questions we address include: (1) Is the combinatorial effect of resveratrol and other compounds real? (2) What are the real and relevant doses of resveratrol after administration? and (3) Is it possible to estimate the preventive effect of resveratrol by clinical trials using standard experimental designs? The examples concerning resveratrol taken from the scientific literature are mainly from 2010 and later. The challenges pointed out in this review are similar to most naturally occurring bioactive compounds. PMID:27294953

  2. Mathematical and Computational Challenges in Population Biology and Ecosystems Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levin, Simon A.; Grenfell, Bryan; Hastings, Alan; Perelson, Alan S.

    1997-01-01

    Mathematical and computational approaches provide powerful tools in the study of problems in population biology and ecosystems science. The subject has a rich history intertwined with the development of statistics and dynamical systems theory, but recent analytical advances, coupled with the enhanced potential of high-speed computation, have opened up new vistas and presented new challenges. Key challenges involve ways to deal with the collective dynamics of heterogeneous ensembles of individuals, and to scale from small spatial regions to large ones. The central issues-understanding how detail at one scale makes its signature felt at other scales, and how to relate phenomena across scales-cut across scientific disciplines and go to the heart of algorithmic development of approaches to high-speed computation. Examples are given from ecology, genetics, epidemiology, and immunology.

  3. Mathematics and biology: The interface, challenges and opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, S.A.

    1992-06-01

    The interface between mathematics and biology has long been a rich area of research, with mutual benefit to each supporting discipline. Traditional areas of investigation, such as population genetics, ecology, neurobiology, and 3-D reconstructions, have flourished, despite a rather meager environment for the funding of such work. In the past twenty years, the kind and scope of such interactions between mathematicians and biologists have changed dramatically, reaching out to encompass areas of both biology and mathematics that previously had not benefited. At the same time, with the closer integration of theory and experiment, and the increased reliance on high-speed computation, the costs of such research grew, though not the opportunities for funding. The perception became reinforced, both within the research community and at funding agencies, that although these interactions were expanding, they were not doing so at the rate necessary to meet the opportunities and needs. A workshop was held in Washington, DC, between April 28 and May 3, 1990 which drew together a broadly based group of researchers to synthesize conclusions from a group of working papers and extended discussions. The result is the report presented here, which we hope will provide a guide and stimulus to research in mathematical and computational biology for at least the next decade. The report identifies a number of grand challenges, representing a broad consensus among the participants.

  4. Modelling biological evolution: recent progress, current challenges and future direction

    PubMed Central

    Morozov, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Mathematical modelling is widely recognized as a powerful and convenient theoretical tool for investigating various aspects of biological evolution and explaining the existing genetic complexity of the real world. It is increasingly apparent that understanding the key mechanisms involved in the processes of species biodiversity, natural selection and inheritance, patterns of animal behaviour and coevolution of species in complex ecological systems is simply impossible by means of laboratory experiments and field observations alone. Mathematical models are so important because they provide wide-ranging exploration of the problem without a need for experiments with biological systems—which are usually expensive, often require long time and can be potentially dangerous. However, as the number of theoretical works on modelling biological evolution is constantly accelerating each year as different mathematical frameworks and various aspects of evolutionary problems are considered, it is often hard to avoid getting lost in such an immense flux of publications. The aim of this issue of Interface Focus is to provide a useful guide to important recent findings in some key areas in modelling biological evolution, to refine the existing challenges and to outline possible future directions. In particular, the following topics are addressed here by world-leading experts in the modelling of evolution: (i) the origins of biodiversity observed in ecosystems and communities; (ii) evolution of decision-making by animals and the optimal strategy of populations; (iii) links between evolutionary and ecological processes across different time scales; (iv) quantification of biological information in evolutionary models; and (v) linking theoretical models with empirical data. Most of the works presented here are in fact contributed papers from the international conference ‘Modelling Biological Evolution’ (MBE 2013), which took place in Leicester, UK, in May 2013 and brought together

  5. The bioartificial pancreas (BAP): Biological, chemical and engineering challenges.

    PubMed

    Iacovacci, Veronica; Ricotti, Leonardo; Menciassi, Arianna; Dario, Paolo

    2016-01-15

    The bioartificial pancreas (BAP) represents a viable solution for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). By encapsulating pancreatic cells in a semipermeable membrane to allow nutrient, insulin and glucose exchange, the side effects produced by islets and whole organ transplantation-related immunosuppressive therapy can be circumvented. Several factors, mainly related to materials properties, capsule morphology and biological environment, play a key role in optimizing BAP systems. The BAP is an extremely complex delivery system for insulin. Despite considerable efforts, in some instances meeting with limited degree of success, a BAP capable of restoring physiological pancreas functions without the need for immunosuppressive drugs and of controlling blood glucose levels especially in large animal models and a few clinical trials, does not exist. The state of the art in terms of materials, fabrication techniques and cell sources, as well as the current status of commercial devices and clinical trials, are described in this overview from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. In addition, challenges to the creation of effective BAP systems are highlighted including future perspectives in terms of component integration from both a biological and an engineering viewpoint.

  6. THE CHALLENGES OF AIR POLLUTION AND RESIDUAL RISK ASSESSMENT (EDITORIAL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Clean Air Act (CAA), a comprehensive federal law that regulates air pollution from stationary and mobile sources, was first passed in 1963. The act has provided the primary framework for protecting human health and the environment. The CAA divides air pollutants into "criteri...

  7. Export controls and biological weapons: new roles, new challenges.

    PubMed

    Roberts, B

    1998-01-01

    This article considers the value of export controls in reducing the threat of biological weapons. It concludes that export control through export licensing is an essential element in the overall strategy to limit the spread of biological weapons. Modifications to existing export control systems can maximize the usefulness of export controls for limiting the threat of biological warfare and bioterrorism. Export controls are useful only within a broader strategy that includes both an arms control dimension and military defensive preparedness. PMID:9800102

  8. Clinical challenges of persistent pulmonary air-leaks--case report.

    PubMed

    van Zeller, M; Bastos, P; Fernandes, G; Magalhães, A

    2014-01-01

    Air leaks are a common problem after pulmonary resection and can be a source of significant morbidity and mortality. The authors describe the case of a 68-year-old male patient who presented with a persistent air-leak after pulmonary resection. Watchful waiting, surgical procedures, as well as medical therapy like pleurodesis and implantation of endobronchial one-way valves on the bronchial segments identified using systematic occlusion of the bronchial segments, were all tried unsuccessfully. During that time the patient remained hospitalized with a chest tube. The instillation of methylene blue through the chest tube was used to identify the segments leading to the persistent air-leak; this enabled successful endobronchial valve placement which sufficiently reduced the size of the air-leak so that the chest tube could be removed. Nonsurgical approaches seem promising and, for some patients may be the only treatment option after all conventional treatments have failed or are considered too high risk.

  9. Biological removal of carbon disulfide from waste air streams

    SciTech Connect

    Hugler, W.; Acosta, C.; Revah, S.

    1999-09-30

    A pilot-scale biological control system for the treatment of 3,400 m{sup 3} h{sup {minus}1} of a gaseous stream containing up to 7.8 g CS{sub 2} m{sup {minus}3} and trace amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H{sub 2}S) was installed in a cellulose sponge manufacturing facility. The objective was to demonstrate the capability of the process to attain sustained removal efficiencies of 90% for CS{sub 2} and 99% for H{sub 2}S. The system consisted of two sequential biotrickling reactors, which had been previously inoculated with an adapted microbial consortium. During the pilot test, stable removal efficiency and elimination capacity of +90% and 220g CS{sub 2} m{sup {minus}3} h{sup {minus}1}, respectively, were attained with an empty bed residence time (EBTR) of 33 seconds for a period of several weeks. Efficiencies greater than 99% were always obtained for H{sub 2}S. Based on the results, the system was determined to be an effective process to remediate waste air streams containing reduced sulfur compounds generated at cellulose sponge facilities.

  10. New challenges to air/gas cleaning systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kovach, J.L.

    1997-08-01

    This paper discusses the need for changes in the design and manufacturing of air and gas cleaning systems to meet waste management and site remediation requirements. Current design and manufacturing practices are primarily directed toward evaluating operational problems with existing systems in nuclear reactor facilities. However, nuclear waste management needs have developed which are much broader in scope and have different processing conditions. Numerous examples of air cleaning needs for waste management activities are provided; the major differences from operating facility needs are the requirement for continuous effluent treatment under widely different processing conditions. Related regulatory issues are also discussed briefly. 1 ref.

  11. Mathematical and numerical challenges in living biological materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, M. Gregory; Vasquez, Paula A.

    2013-10-01

    The proclaimed Century of Biology is rapidly leading to the realization of how starkly different and more complex biological materials are than the materials that underpinned the industrial and technological revolution. These differences arise, in part, because biological matter exhibits both viscous and elastic behavior. Moreover, this behavior varies across the frequency, wavelength and amplitude spectrum of forcing. This broadclass of responsesin biological matter requires multiple frequency-dependent functions to specify material behavior, instead of a discrete set of parameters that relate to either viscosity or elasticity. This complexity prevails even if the biological matter is assumed to be spatially homogeneous, which is rarely true. However, very little progress has been made on the characterization of heterogeneity and how to build that information into constitutive laws and predictive models. In addition, most biological matter is non-stationary, which motivates the term "living". Biomaterials typically are in an active state in order to perform certain functions, and they often are modified or replenished on the basis of external stimuli. It has become popular in materials engineering to try to duplicate some of the functionality of biomaterials, e.g., a lot of effort has gone into the design of self-assembling, self-healing and shape shifting materials. These distinguishing features of biomaterials require significantly more degrees of freedom than traditional composites and many of the molecular species and their roles in functionality have yet to be determined. A typical biological material includes small molecule biochemical species that react and diffuse within larger species. These large molecular weightspecies provide the primary structural and biophysical properties of the material. The small molecule binding and unbinding kinetics serves to modulate material properties, and typical small molecule production and release are governed by

  12. Persulfides: Current Knowledge and Challenges in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

    PubMed Central

    Park, Chung-Min; Weerasinghe, Laksiri; Day, Jacob J.; Fukuto, Jon M.; Xian, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies conducted in hydrogen sulfide (H2S) signaling have revealed potential importance of persulfides (RSSH) in redox biology. The inherent instability of RSSH makes these species difficult to study and sometimes controversial results are reported. In this review article we summarize known knowledge about both small molecule persulfides and protein persulfides. Their fundamental physical and chemical properties such as preparation/formation and reactivity are discussed. The biological implications of persulfides and their detection methods are also discussed. PMID:25969163

  13. The Center for Computational Biology: resources, achievements, and challenges.

    PubMed

    Toga, Arthur W; Dinov, Ivo D; Thompson, Paul M; Woods, Roger P; Van Horn, John D; Shattuck, David W; Parker, D Stott

    2012-01-01

    The Center for Computational Biology (CCB) is a multidisciplinary program where biomedical scientists, engineers, and clinicians work jointly to combine modern mathematical and computational techniques, to perform phenotypic and genotypic studies of biological structure, function, and physiology in health and disease. CCB has developed a computational framework built around the Manifold Atlas, an integrated biomedical computing environment that enables statistical inference on biological manifolds. These manifolds model biological structures, features, shapes, and flows, and support sophisticated morphometric and statistical analyses. The Manifold Atlas includes tools, workflows, and services for multimodal population-based modeling and analysis of biological manifolds. The broad spectrum of biomedical topics explored by CCB investigators include the study of normal and pathological brain development, maturation and aging, discovery of associations between neuroimaging and genetic biomarkers, and the modeling, analysis, and visualization of biological shape, form, and size. CCB supports a wide range of short-term and long-term collaborations with outside investigators, which drive the center's computational developments and focus the validation and dissemination of CCB resources to new areas and scientific domains.

  14. Modularity and emergence: biology's challenge in understanding life.

    PubMed

    Lüttge, U

    2012-11-01

    This essay juxtaposes modularity and emergence in the consideration of biological systems at various scalar levels of spatio-temporal organisation. It is noted that reductionism, specialisation and modularity are basic prerequisites for understanding life. It is realised that increased progress of scientific biology in elucidating mechanisms at the level of modular components supports the accusation that the more it advances in materialistic description of details, the more it diverts from understanding the innate properties of life. It is clear that modularity, by taking the whole as the sum of its parts, is insufficient for understanding living systems. At the same time, however, there is emergence, as advocated by Robert Laughlin. Emergence after the integration of modules leads to completely new properties of individual organisms as unique unitary entities, and also of systems of organisms with synergistic and antagonistic interactions of the integrated species. The discussion is predominantly based on examples from plant biology. At hierarchically higher scalar levels emergent biological systems are networks integrating species, biotopes, ecosystems and the entire biosphere of Earth, also named Gaia by James Lovelock, in a natural scientific respect. While investigating modules remains essential, biology as a nature science needs to merge and integrate such information to be able to unfold emergence. Through efforts towards visualising and understanding emergent diversity and complexity, the research discipline of biology will provide invaluable contributions to understanding life, and thus refute the accusation that it diverts from embracing the innate properties of life. PMID:23016697

  15. Emotional Avoidance and Panicogenic Responding to a Biological Challenge Procedure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karekla, Maria; Forsyth, John P.; Kelly, Megan M.

    2004-01-01

    Healthy undergraduates high (n = 27) and low (n = 27) in experiential avoidance underwent twelve 20 s inhalations of 20% carbon dioxide-enriched air, while physiological (e.g., skin conductance, heart rate, EMG, and end-tidal CO[subscript 2]) and subjective (e.g., subjective units of distress, evaluative ratings, number and severity of panic…

  16. Challenges to acellular biological scaffold mediated skeletal muscle tissue regeneration.

    PubMed

    Corona, Benjamin T; Greising, Sarah M

    2016-10-01

    Volumetric muscle loss (VML) injuries present a complex and heterogeneous clinical problem that results in a chronic loss of muscle tissue and strength. The primary limitation to muscle tissue regeneration after VML injury is the frank loss of all native muscle constituents in the defect, especially satellite cells and the basal lamina. Recent advancements in regenerative medicine have set forth encouraging and emerging translational and therapeutic options for these devastating injuries including the surgical implantation of acellular biological scaffolds. While these biomaterials can modulate the wound environment, the existing data do not support their capacity to promote appreciable muscle fiber regeneration that can contribute to skeletal muscle tissue functional improvements. An apparent restriction of endogenous satellite cell (i.e., pax7(+)) migration to acellular biological scaffolds likely underlies this deficiency. This work critically evaluates the role of an acellular biological scaffold in orchestrating skeletal muscle tissue regeneration, specifically when used as a regenerative medicine approach for VML injury. PMID:27472161

  17. Challenges to acellular biological scaffold mediated skeletal muscle tissue regeneration.

    PubMed

    Corona, Benjamin T; Greising, Sarah M

    2016-10-01

    Volumetric muscle loss (VML) injuries present a complex and heterogeneous clinical problem that results in a chronic loss of muscle tissue and strength. The primary limitation to muscle tissue regeneration after VML injury is the frank loss of all native muscle constituents in the defect, especially satellite cells and the basal lamina. Recent advancements in regenerative medicine have set forth encouraging and emerging translational and therapeutic options for these devastating injuries including the surgical implantation of acellular biological scaffolds. While these biomaterials can modulate the wound environment, the existing data do not support their capacity to promote appreciable muscle fiber regeneration that can contribute to skeletal muscle tissue functional improvements. An apparent restriction of endogenous satellite cell (i.e., pax7(+)) migration to acellular biological scaffolds likely underlies this deficiency. This work critically evaluates the role of an acellular biological scaffold in orchestrating skeletal muscle tissue regeneration, specifically when used as a regenerative medicine approach for VML injury.

  18. Regenerative chemical biology: current challenges and future potential.

    PubMed

    Ao, Ada; Hao, Jijun; Hong, Charles C

    2011-04-22

    The enthusiasm surrounding the clinical potential of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is tempered by the fact that key issues regarding their safety, efficacy, and long-term benefits have thus far been suboptimal. Small molecules can potentially relieve these problems at major junctions of stem cell biology and regenerative therapy. In this review we will introduce recent advances in these important areas and the first generation of small molecules used in the regenerative context. Current chemical biology studies will provide the archetype for future interdisciplinary collaborations and improve clinical benefits of cell-based therapies.

  19. A decade of molecular cell biology: achievements and challenges.

    PubMed

    Akhtar, Asifa; Fuchs, Elaine; Mitchison, Tim; Shaw, Reuben J; St Johnston, Daniel; Strasser, Andreas; Taylor, Susan; Walczak, Claire; Zerial, Marino

    2011-09-23

    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology celebrated its 10-year anniversary during this past year with a series of specially commissioned articles. To complement this, here we have asked researchers from across the field for their insights into how molecular cell biology research has evolved during this past decade, the key concepts that have emerged and the most promising interfaces that have developed. Their comments highlight the broad impact that particular advances have had, some of the basic understanding that we still require, and the collaborative approaches that will be essential for driving the field forward.

  20. Developing Nontraditional Biology Labs to Challenge Students & Enhance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherif, Abour H.; Siuda, JoElla E.; Movahedzadeh, Farahnaz

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory experience and skills are not only essential for success in science studies, but are the most exciting and rewarding aspects of science for students. As a result, many biology teachers have become critical of the efficacy of cookbook-type laboratory activities as well as the purposes, practices, and learning outcomes of lab experiments…

  1. Ethical and regulatory challenges posed by synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Rager-Zisman, Bracha

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new science with tremendous potential to change how we view and know the life sciences, but like many developing technologies, it has provoked ethical concerns from the scientific community and the public and confronts demands for new regulatory measures. The concerns raised involve the danger of "dual use," in which results for improving human well-being and the environment may be misappropriated for bioterror. To counteract these dangers, many governments, but the United States and Israel in particular, have introduced new laws and redoubled measures for biosafety and biosecurity. In the United States, the recent H5N1 results achieved by two groups of NIH-funded investigators highlighted the dilemma of balancing the risk of dual-use research and the freedom of science. In Israel, concern for unconventional terrorism is long-standing, and the country is constantly engaged in improving biosecurity and biodefense measures. In 2008, the Israeli parliament passed the Regulation of Research into Biological Disease Agents Law, a legislative framework for safeguarding research into biological disease agents. This article summarizes and analyzes the current state of affairs in the United States and Israel, ethical attitudes, and regulatory responses to synthetic biology.

  2. Ethical and regulatory challenges posed by synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Rager-Zisman, Bracha

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new science with tremendous potential to change how we view and know the life sciences, but like many developing technologies, it has provoked ethical concerns from the scientific community and the public and confronts demands for new regulatory measures. The concerns raised involve the danger of "dual use," in which results for improving human well-being and the environment may be misappropriated for bioterror. To counteract these dangers, many governments, but the United States and Israel in particular, have introduced new laws and redoubled measures for biosafety and biosecurity. In the United States, the recent H5N1 results achieved by two groups of NIH-funded investigators highlighted the dilemma of balancing the risk of dual-use research and the freedom of science. In Israel, concern for unconventional terrorism is long-standing, and the country is constantly engaged in improving biosecurity and biodefense measures. In 2008, the Israeli parliament passed the Regulation of Research into Biological Disease Agents Law, a legislative framework for safeguarding research into biological disease agents. This article summarizes and analyzes the current state of affairs in the United States and Israel, ethical attitudes, and regulatory responses to synthetic biology. PMID:23502567

  3. Challenges in assessing biological recovery from acidification in Swedish lakes.

    PubMed

    Holmgren, Kerstin

    2014-01-01

    Since the 1980s, Swedish lakes have in general become less acidified. Assessment of biological recovery is, however, hampered by poor pre-acidification data, confounding effects of climate change, and few lakes with annual sampling of fish and other organisms. Only three critically acidified, but non-limed, lakes had two decades of fish monitoring. The lakes had not yet recovered to pre-industrial chemical targets. Fish had low species richness compared to other organism groups. Roach (Rutilus rutilus) and/or European perch (Perca fluviatilis) were the dominant fish species, and the acid-sensitive roach had been lost from one of the lakes. Calcium decreased, possibly approaching pre-acidification concentrations, but exceeded minimum levels needed to sustain some Daphnia species. High or increasing levels of total organic carbon, likely due to reduced acidification and climate change, might influence the biological communities in unexpected ways, for example, facilitating more frequent occurrence of the invasive algae Gonyostomum semen.

  4. Biological Stability of Drinking Water: Controlling Factors, Methods, and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Prest, Emmanuelle I; Hammes, Frederik; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M; Vrouwenvelder, Johannes S

    2016-01-01

    Biological stability of drinking water refers to the concept of providing consumers with drinking water of same microbial quality at the tap as produced at the water treatment facility. However, uncontrolled growth of bacteria can occur during distribution in water mains and premise plumbing, and can lead to hygienic (e.g., development of opportunistic pathogens), aesthetic (e.g., deterioration of taste, odor, color) or operational (e.g., fouling or biocorrosion of pipes) problems. Drinking water contains diverse microorganisms competing for limited available nutrients for growth. Bacterial growth and interactions are regulated by factors, such as (i) type and concentration of available organic and inorganic nutrients, (ii) type and concentration of residual disinfectant, (iii) presence of predators, such as protozoa and invertebrates, (iv) environmental conditions, such as water temperature, and (v) spatial location of microorganisms (bulk water, sediment, or biofilm). Water treatment and distribution conditions in water mains and premise plumbing affect each of these factors and shape bacterial community characteristics (abundance, composition, viability) in distribution systems. Improved understanding of bacterial interactions in distribution systems and of environmental conditions impact is needed for better control of bacterial communities during drinking water production and distribution. This article reviews (i) existing knowledge on biological stability controlling factors and (ii) how these factors are affected by drinking water production and distribution conditions. In addition, (iii) the concept of biological stability is discussed in light of experience with well-established and new analytical methods, enabling high throughput analysis and in-depth characterization of bacterial communities in drinking water. We discussed, how knowledge gained from novel techniques will improve design and monitoring of water treatment and distribution systems in order

  5. Biological Stability of Drinking Water: Controlling Factors, Methods, and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Prest, Emmanuelle I.; Hammes, Frederik; van Loosdrecht, Mark C. M.; Vrouwenvelder, Johannes S.

    2016-01-01

    Biological stability of drinking water refers to the concept of providing consumers with drinking water of same microbial quality at the tap as produced at the water treatment facility. However, uncontrolled growth of bacteria can occur during distribution in water mains and premise plumbing, and can lead to hygienic (e.g., development of opportunistic pathogens), aesthetic (e.g., deterioration of taste, odor, color) or operational (e.g., fouling or biocorrosion of pipes) problems. Drinking water contains diverse microorganisms competing for limited available nutrients for growth. Bacterial growth and interactions are regulated by factors, such as (i) type and concentration of available organic and inorganic nutrients, (ii) type and concentration of residual disinfectant, (iii) presence of predators, such as protozoa and invertebrates, (iv) environmental conditions, such as water temperature, and (v) spatial location of microorganisms (bulk water, sediment, or biofilm). Water treatment and distribution conditions in water mains and premise plumbing affect each of these factors and shape bacterial community characteristics (abundance, composition, viability) in distribution systems. Improved understanding of bacterial interactions in distribution systems and of environmental conditions impact is needed for better control of bacterial communities during drinking water production and distribution. This article reviews (i) existing knowledge on biological stability controlling factors and (ii) how these factors are affected by drinking water production and distribution conditions. In addition, (iii) the concept of biological stability is discussed in light of experience with well-established and new analytical methods, enabling high throughput analysis and in-depth characterization of bacterial communities in drinking water. We discussed, how knowledge gained from novel techniques will improve design and monitoring of water treatment and distribution systems in order

  6. Molecular biology of gliomas: present and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Altieri, R.; Agnoletti, A.; Quattrucci, F.; Garbossa, D.; Calamo Specchia, F. M.; Bozzaro, M.; Fornaro, R.; Mencarani, C.; Lanotte, M.; Spaziante, R.; Ducati, A.

    2014-01-01

    Malignant brain tumours are one of the most relevant causes of morbidity and mortality across a wide range of individuals. Malignant glioma is the most common intra axial tumor in the adult. Many researches on this theme brought advances in the knowledge of gliomas biology and pathogenesis and to the development of new agents for targeted molecular therapy. Recent studies focused on either tumor metabolism analysis or epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis or maintenance of brain tumors. This Review summarizes these developments analyzing molecular pathology and possible further developments for targeted therapies. PMID:25147764

  7. Molecular biology of gliomas: present and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Altieri, R; Agnoletti, A; Quattrucci, F; Garbossa, D; Calamo Specchia, F M; Bozzaro, M; Fornaro, R; Mencarani, C; Lanotte, M; Spaziante, R; Ducati, A

    2014-09-01

    Malignant brain tumours are one of the most relevant causes of morbidity and mortality across a wide range of individuals. Malignant glioma is the most common intra axial tumor in the adult. Many researches on this theme brought advances in the knowledge of gliomas biology and pathogenesis and to the development of new agents for targeted molecular therapy. Recent studies focused on either tumor metabolism analysis or epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis or maintenance of brain tumors. This Review summarizes these developments analyzing molecular pathology and possible further developments for targeted therapies.

  8. Organism, machine, artifact: The conceptual and normative challenges of synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Holm, Sune; Powell, Russell

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline that aims to apply rational engineering principles in the design and creation of organisms that are exquisitely tailored to human ends. The creation of artificial life raises conceptual, methodological and normative challenges that are ripe for philosophical investigation. This special issue examines the defining concepts and methods of synthetic biology, details the contours of the organism-artifact distinction, situates the products of synthetic biology vis-à-vis this conceptual typology and against historical human manipulation of the living world, and explores the normative implications of these conclusions. In addressing the challenges posed by emerging biotechnologies, new light can be thrown on old problems in the philosophy of biology, such as the nature of the organism, the structure of biological teleology, the utility of engineering metaphors and methods in biological science, and humankind's relationship to nature. PMID:23810468

  9. [Quality of interior air: biological contaminants and their effects on health; bioaerosols and gathering techniques].

    PubMed

    Bălan, Gabriela

    2007-01-01

    Indoor Air Quality: biological contaminants and health effects; airborne organisms and sampling instruments. Biological contaminants include bacteria, molds, viruses, animal dander and cat saliva, house dust, mites, cockroaches and pollen. Symptoms of health problems caused by biological pollutants include sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fevers. Children, elderly people with breathing problems, allergies and lung diseases are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air. It is convenient to consider microbiological samplers for collecting organisms in air as falling into several broad categories. Many popular microbiological air samplers use the principle of impaction to trap the organisms by impacting them directly on to agar. Further distinct groups are the impingers, which operate by impinging organisms into liquid. PMID:18441954

  10. Air emission control equipment - the new challenge for equpiment suppliers

    SciTech Connect

    Lobb, F.H.

    1997-12-31

    The combination of Title V, the CAM Rule and the Credible Evidence Rule demand industrial sites view the selection and operation of emission control devices in a whole new light. No longer can users see these devices as detached end of pipe pieces of equipment essentially purchased off lowest bid. These regulatory changes force plants to fully integrate the operation of these devices into their process control systems and instrumentation. And this is specifically EPA`s stated intent. EPA believes that by forcing sites to exercise the same knowledge and attention to air emissions that they do to operate their production processes, emissions will undergo a natural reduction across the country. Process and operational data that historically has been the sole province of sites becomes public. And compliance with state defined requirements must be demonstrated essentially continuously. This paper explores the new approach to compliance and provides insight through specific field examples/installations of emission control equipment. The author seeks to promote understanding through discussion of these significant regulatory changes.

  11. Interfacing DNA nanodevices with biology: challenges, solutions and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinther, Mathias; Kjems, Jørgen

    2016-08-01

    The cellular machinery performs millions of complex reactions with extreme precision at nanoscale. From studying these reactions, scientists have become inspired to build artificial nanosized molecular devices with programmed functions. One of the fundamental tools in designing and creating these nanodevices is molecular self-assembly. In nature, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is inarguably one of the most remarkable self-assembling molecules. Governed by the Watson-Crick base-pairing rules, DNA assembles with a structural reliability and predictability based on sequence composition unlike any other complex biological polymer. This consistency has enabled rational design of hundreds of two- and three-dimensional shapes with a molecular precision and homogeneity not preceded by any other known technology at the nanometer scale. During the last two decades, DNA nanotechnology has undergone a rapid evolution pioneered by the work of Nadrian Seeman (Kallenbach et al 1983 Nature 205 829-31). Especially the introduction of the versatile DNA Origami technique by Rothemund (2006 Nature 440 297-302) led to an efflorescence of new DNA-based self-assembled nanostructures (Andersen et al 2009 Nature 459 73-6, Douglas et al 2009 Nature 459 414-8, Dietz et al 2009 Science 325 725-30, Han et al 2011 Science 332 342-6, Iinuma et al 2014 Science 344 65-9), and variations of this technique have contributed to an increasing repertoire of DNA nanostructures (Wei et al 2012 Nature 485 623-6, Ke et al 2012 Science 338 1177-83, Benson et al 2015 Nature 523 441-4, Zhang et al 2015 Nat. Nanotechnol. 10 779-84, Scheible et al 2015 Small 11 5200-5). These advances have naturally triggered the question: What can these DNA nanostructures be used for? One of the leading proposals of use for DNA nanotechnology has been in biology and biomedicine acting as a molecular ‘nanorobot’ or smart drug interacting with the cellular machinery. In this review, we will explore and examine the perspective of

  12. Interfacing DNA nanodevices with biology: challenges, solutions and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinther, Mathias; Kjems, Jørgen

    2016-08-01

    The cellular machinery performs millions of complex reactions with extreme precision at nanoscale. From studying these reactions, scientists have become inspired to build artificial nanosized molecular devices with programmed functions. One of the fundamental tools in designing and creating these nanodevices is molecular self-assembly. In nature, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is inarguably one of the most remarkable self-assembling molecules. Governed by the Watson–Crick base-pairing rules, DNA assembles with a structural reliability and predictability based on sequence composition unlike any other complex biological polymer. This consistency has enabled rational design of hundreds of two- and three-dimensional shapes with a molecular precision and homogeneity not preceded by any other known technology at the nanometer scale. During the last two decades, DNA nanotechnology has undergone a rapid evolution pioneered by the work of Nadrian Seeman (Kallenbach et al 1983 Nature 205 829–31). Especially the introduction of the versatile DNA Origami technique by Rothemund (2006 Nature 440 297–302) led to an efflorescence of new DNA-based self-assembled nanostructures (Andersen et al 2009 Nature 459 73–6, Douglas et al 2009 Nature 459 414–8, Dietz et al 2009 Science 325 725–30, Han et al 2011 Science 332 342–6, Iinuma et al 2014 Science 344 65–9), and variations of this technique have contributed to an increasing repertoire of DNA nanostructures (Wei et al 2012 Nature 485 623–6, Ke et al 2012 Science 338 1177–83, Benson et al 2015 Nature 523 441–4, Zhang et al 2015 Nat. Nanotechnol. 10 779–84, Scheible et al 2015 Small 11 5200–5). These advances have naturally triggered the question: What can these DNA nanostructures be used for? One of the leading proposals of use for DNA nanotechnology has been in biology and biomedicine acting as a molecular ‘nanorobot’ or smart drug interacting with the cellular machinery. In this review, we will explore and

  13. Meeting the future challenges of air quality management in the United States.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Clean Air Act (CAA, or the Act) and its amendments has achieved substantial progress in cleaning up the nation's air. Over the past 30 years, the CAA reduced emissions of the 6 principal ("criteria") pollutants by over 25%, even while gross domestic product (GDP) has increased over 150% and population and energy consumption rose by nearly 40%. However, despite the tremendous gains the Act has brought, the country's air quality management (AQM) system still faces substantial challenges. In response to a congressional request for an independent evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the CAA, the National Research Council formed the Committee on Air Quality Management. Composed of 25 members with diverse areas of air quality expertise, the committee was charged with developing scientific and technical recommendations for strengthening the nation's AQM system. In 2004, the National Academies published their recommendations in a text entitled Air Quality Management in the United States (National Research Council, 2004).

  14. Coding ethical behaviour: the challenges of biological weapons.

    PubMed

    Rappert, Brian

    2003-10-01

    Since 11 September 2001 and the anthrax attacks that followed in the US, public and policy concerns about the security threats posed by biological weapons have increased significantly. With this has come an expansion of those activities in civil society deemed as potential sites for applying security controls. This paper examines the assumptions and implications of national and international efforts in one such area: how a balance or integration can take place between security and openness in civilian biomedical research through devising professional codes of conduct for scientists. Future attempts to establish such codes must find a way of reconciling or at least addressing dilemmatic and tension-ridden issues about the appropriateness of research; a topic that raises fundamental questions about the position of science within society. PMID:14652899

  15. Air monitoring and detection of chemical and biological agents

    SciTech Connect

    Leonelli, J.; Althouse, M.L.

    1999-06-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of SPIE`s remote sensing symposium which was held November 2--3, 1998 in Boston, Massachusetts. Topics of discussion include the following: system simulations, atmospheric modeling, and performance prediction studies of chemical warfare remote sensing technologies; ultraviolet laser-induced fluorescence and aerosol detection methods for remote sensing of biological warfare agents; passive detection methods for remote detection of chemical warfare agents; and lidar-based system performance assessments, demonstrations, and new concepts for chemical warfare/biological warfare detection.

  16. [Experimental research on combined water and air backwashing reactor technology for biological activated carbon].

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhi-Gang; Qiu, Xue-Min; Zhao, Yan-Ling

    2012-01-01

    To proper control the backwashing process of biological activated carbon (BAC) reactor and improve the overall operation performance, the evaluative indexes such as backwashing wastewater turbidity, organic pollutants removal rate of pre and post-backwashing, and the variation of biomass and biological activity in carbon column are used to compare and analyze the effect of three different combined water and air backwashing methods on the operation of BAC reactor. The result shows that intermittent combined water and air backwashing method is most suitable to BAC reactor. The biological activaty obviously increases by 62.5% after intermittent combined water and air backwashing process. While, the biological activaty using the backwashing method of air plus water and the backwashing method of water and air compounded plus water washing increases by 55.6%, 38.5%, respectively. After backwashing 308h, the reactor recovered to its normal function after intermittent combined water and air backwashing process with the removal rate of UV254 reaching to 60.0%. The fulvic-like fluorescence peak of backwashing water are very weak, and are characterized by low-excitation wavelength tryptophan like (peak S) and high excitation wavelength of tryptophan (peak T), which are caused by the microbial debris washed down. The three-dimensional fluorescence spectra also show that microbial fragments are easy to be washed clean with intermittent combined water and air backwashing. PMID:22452199

  17. [Experimental research on combined water and air backwashing reactor technology for biological activated carbon].

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhi-Gang; Qiu, Xue-Min; Zhao, Yan-Ling

    2012-01-01

    To proper control the backwashing process of biological activated carbon (BAC) reactor and improve the overall operation performance, the evaluative indexes such as backwashing wastewater turbidity, organic pollutants removal rate of pre and post-backwashing, and the variation of biomass and biological activity in carbon column are used to compare and analyze the effect of three different combined water and air backwashing methods on the operation of BAC reactor. The result shows that intermittent combined water and air backwashing method is most suitable to BAC reactor. The biological activaty obviously increases by 62.5% after intermittent combined water and air backwashing process. While, the biological activaty using the backwashing method of air plus water and the backwashing method of water and air compounded plus water washing increases by 55.6%, 38.5%, respectively. After backwashing 308h, the reactor recovered to its normal function after intermittent combined water and air backwashing process with the removal rate of UV254 reaching to 60.0%. The fulvic-like fluorescence peak of backwashing water are very weak, and are characterized by low-excitation wavelength tryptophan like (peak S) and high excitation wavelength of tryptophan (peak T), which are caused by the microbial debris washed down. The three-dimensional fluorescence spectra also show that microbial fragments are easy to be washed clean with intermittent combined water and air backwashing.

  18. Addressing the Grand Challenge of atmospheric carbon dioxide: geologic sequestration vs. biological recycling

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    On February 15, 2008, the National Academy of Engineering unveiled their list of 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering. Building off of tremendous advancements in the past century, these challenges were selected for their role in assuring a sustainable existence for the rapidly increasing global community. It is no accident that the first five Challenges on the list involve the development of sustainable energy sources and management of environmental resources. While the focus of this review is to address the single Grand Challenge of "develop carbon sequestration methods", is will soon be clear that several other Challenges are intrinsically tied to it through the principles of sustainability. How does the realm of biological engineering play a role in addressing these Grand Challenges? PMID:22047501

  19. Biological approaches for addressing the grand challenge of providing access to clean drinking water

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently published a document presenting "Grand Challenges for Engineering". This list was proposed by leading engineers and scientists from around the world at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Fourteen topics were selected for these grand challenges, and at least seven can be addressed using the tools and methods of biological engineering. Here we describe how biological engineers can address the challenge of providing access to clean drinking water. This issue must be addressed in part by removing or inactivating microbial and chemical contaminants in order to properly deliver water safe for human consumption. Despite many advances in technologies this challenge is expanding due to increased pressure on fresh water supplies and to new opportunities for growth of potentially pathogenic organisms. PMID:21453515

  20. Biological approaches for addressing the grand challenge of providing access to clean drinking water.

    PubMed

    Riley, Mark R; Gerba, Charles P; Elimelech, Menachem

    2011-03-31

    The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently published a document presenting "Grand Challenges for Engineering". This list was proposed by leading engineers and scientists from around the world at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Fourteen topics were selected for these grand challenges, and at least seven can be addressed using the tools and methods of biological engineering. Here we describe how biological engineers can address the challenge of providing access to clean drinking water. This issue must be addressed in part by removing or inactivating microbial and chemical contaminants in order to properly deliver water safe for human consumption. Despite many advances in technologies this challenge is expanding due to increased pressure on fresh water supplies and to new opportunities for growth of potentially pathogenic organisms.

  1. Climate change and air pollution in megacities: A challenge for interdisciplinary research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suppan, Peter; Gurjar, B. R.

    2010-05-01

    The impact of climate change on Megacities as well as feedback mechanisms from urban conglomerations to climate change are issues which will have major consequences to the urban life quality. One of such issues is the impact of climate change on air quality in Megacities and its future development as well as the contribution of green house gases (GHG) from urban emissions to climate change. Based on a survey of more than 500 stakeholders from 25 cites it was expressed, that air pollution is the most significant environmental challenge followed by traffic congestion issues. This statement enforces the scientific work on air quality in which vehicular emissions play a major role for the air pollution in urban conglomerations and further - interdisciplinary - investigations on air pollution have to be done. In view of the ongoing climate change - which will amplify environmental problems - it is important that the scientific community of climate change, air pollution, health and social science experts convene with regional and local stakeholders in order to introduce suitable measures and to reduce and minimize air pollution levels and health impacts. Results of the assessment of the air quality, the impact of global climate change and its consequences on human health in large urban agglomerations will be discussed and presented.

  2. The Diamond Light Source and the challenges ahead for structural biology: some informal remarks.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, V

    2015-03-01

    The remarkable advances in structural biology in the past three decades have led to the determination of increasingly complex structures that lie at the heart of many important biological processes. Many of these advances have been made possible by the use of X-ray crystallography using synchrotron radiation. In this short article, some of the challenges and prospects that lie ahead will be summarized.

  3. The Diamond Light Source and the challenges ahead for structural biology: some informal remarks

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, V.

    2015-01-01

    The remarkable advances in structural biology in the past three decades have led to the determination of increasingly complex structures that lie at the heart of many important biological processes. Many of these advances have been made possible by the use of X-ray crystallography using synchrotron radiation. In this short article, some of the challenges and prospects that lie ahead will be summarized. PMID:25624524

  4. The challenges of informatics in synthetic biology: from biomolecular networks to artificial organisms

    PubMed Central

    Ramoni, Marco F.

    2010-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology holds an inspiring vision for the future; it integrates computational analysis, biological data and the systems engineering paradigm in the design of new biological machines and systems. These biological machines are built from basic biomolecular components analogous to electrical devices, and the information flow among these components requires the augmentation of biological insight with the power of a formal approach to information management. Here we review the informatics challenges in synthetic biology along three dimensions: in silico, in vitro and in vivo. First, we describe state of the art of the in silico support of synthetic biology, from the specific data exchange formats, to the most popular software platforms and algorithms. Next, we cast in vitro synthetic biology in terms of information flow, and discuss genetic fidelity in DNA manipulation, development strategies of biological parts and the regulation of biomolecular networks. Finally, we explore how the engineering chassis can manipulate biological circuitries in vivo to give rise to future artificial organisms. PMID:19906839

  5. The Challenge of Proteomic Data from Molecular Signals to Biological Networks and Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Cannon, William R.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Gracio, Deborah K.

    2006-12-31

    Mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics is a rapidly advancing field that has great promise for both understanding biological systems as well as advancing the identification and treatment of disease. Breakthroughs in science and medicine due to proteomics, however, are coupled with our ability to overcome significant challenges in the field. These challenges are multi-scalar, spanning the range from the statistics of molecules and molecular signals, to the phenomenological characterization of disease. The papers presented in this section are a representative snapshot of these challenges that span scale and scientific disciplines.

  6. Using global aerosol models and satellite data for air quality studies: Challenges and data needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, Mian

    2006-01-01

    Aerosol particles, also known as PM2.5 (particle diameter less than 2.5 pm) and PM10 (particle diameter less than 10 pm), are one of the key atmospheric components that determines air quality. Yet, air quality forecasts for PM are still in their infancy and remain a challenging task. It is difficult to simply relate PM levels to local meteorological conditions, and large uncertainties exist in regional air quality model emission inventories and initial and boundary conditions. Especially challenging are periods when a significant amount of aerosol comes from outside the regional modeling domain through long-range transport. In the past few years, NASA has launched several satellites with global aerosol measurement capabilities, providing large-scale chemical weather pictures. NASA has also supported development of global models which simulate atmospheric transport and transformation processes of important atmospheric gas and aerosol species. I will present the current modeling and satellite capabilities for PM2.5 studies, the possibilities and challenges in using satellite data for PM2.5 forecasts, and the needs of future remote sensing data for improving air quality monitoring and modeling.

  7. Medical and biological engineering in the next 20 years: the promise and the challenges.

    PubMed

    2013-07-01

    In 2011, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (www.aimbe.org) celebrated its 20th anniversary by undertaking to identify major societal challenges to which medical and biological engineers can contribute solutions in the next 20 years. This report is a summary of the six major challenges that were identified. The report also discusses some specific areas within these high-level challenges that can form the basis for policy action, provides a brief rationale for pursuing those areas, and discusses roadblocks to progress. The six overarching challenges are: 1) engineering safe and sustainable water and food supply, 2) engineering personalized health care, 3) engineering solutions to injury and chronic diseases, 4) engineering global health through infectious disease prevention and therapy, 5) engineering sustainable bioenergy production, and 6) engineering the 21st century US economy. While arrived at independently by AIMBE, many of the elements overlap with similar challenges identified by other bodies. The similarities highlight the central mission of medical and biological engineers, working with other experts, which is to solve important problems central to human health and welfare.

  8. Study of Air Pollution from Space Using TOMS: Challenges and Promises for Future Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhartia, Pawan K.

    2002-01-01

    A series of TOMS instruments built by NASA has flown on US, Russian, and Japanese satellites in the last 24 years. These instruments are well known for producing spectacular maps of the ozone hole that forms over Antarctica each spring. However, it is less well known that these instruments also provided first evidence that space-based measurements in UV of sufficiently high precision and accuracy can provide valuable information to study global air quality. We will use the TOMS experience to highlight the promises and challenges of future space-based missions designed specifically for air quality studies.

  9. Interactions of physical, chemical, and biological weather calling for an integrated approach to assessment, forecasting, and communication of air quality.

    PubMed

    Klein, Thomas; Kukkonen, Jaakko; Dahl, Aslög; Bossioli, Elissavet; Baklanov, Alexander; Vik, Aasmund Fahre; Agnew, Paul; Karatzas, Kostas D; Sofiev, Mikhail

    2012-12-01

    This article reviews interactions and health impacts of physical, chemical, and biological weather. Interactions and synergistic effects between the three types of weather call for integrated assessment, forecasting, and communication of air quality. Today's air quality legislation falls short of addressing air quality degradation by biological weather, despite increasing evidence for the feasibility of both mitigation and adaptation policy options. In comparison with the existing capabilities for physical and chemical weather, the monitoring of biological weather is lacking stable operational agreements and resources. Furthermore, integrated effects of physical, chemical, and biological weather suggest a critical review of air quality management practices. Additional research is required to improve the coupled modeling of physical, chemical, and biological weather as well as the assessment and communication of integrated air quality. Findings from several recent COST Actions underline the importance of an increased dialog between scientists from the fields of meteorology, air quality, aerobiology, health, and policy makers.

  10. Environmental Learning Workshop: Lichen as Biological Indicator of Air Quality and Impact on Secondary Students' Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samsudin, Mohd Wahid; Daik, Rusli; Abas, Azlan; Meerah, T. Subahan Mohd; Halim, Lilia

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the learning of science outside the classroom is believe to be an added value to science learning as well as it offers students to interact with the environment. This study presents data obtained from two days' workshop on Lichen as Biological Indicator for Air Quality. The aim of the workshop is for the students to gain an…

  11. Biological threat detection in the air and on the surface: how to define the risk.

    PubMed

    Trafny, Elżbieta Anna; Lewandowski, Rafał; Stępińska, Małgorzata; Kaliszewski, Miron

    2014-08-01

    The improvements in the existing methods of rapid detection and biological pathogen surveillance are still needed. The new spectroscopic methods that rely on the unique structural features and intrinsic fluorescence of microorganisms are well fitted for monitoring the spread of airborne biological agents or their reagentless detection in the air, and these methods may bring a new quality to bioaerosols remote detection. This review describes the problem of the confidence in the environmental testing results that may affect clearance standard, sampling techniques, and the estimation of risk of human exposure to the low concentrations of harmful microorganisms during bioterrorist event or naturally occurring outbreaks. Higher recovery efficiency of dangerous biological agents from the air and contaminated surfaces would enable more reliable environmental human risk exposure assessment. PMID:24917429

  12. Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long-Term Vision

    SciTech Connect

    Arkin, A.; Baliga, N.; Braam, J.; Church, G.; Collins, J; Cottingham, R.; Ecker, J.; Gerstein, M.; Gilna, P.; Greenberg, J.; Handelsman, J.; Hubbard, S.; Joachimiak, A.; Liao, J.; Looger, L.; Meyerowitz, E.; Mjolness, E.; Petsko, G.; Sayler, G.; Simpson, M.; Stacey, G.; Sussman, M.; Tiedje, J.; Bader, D.; Cessi, P.; Collins, W.; Denning, S.; Dickinson, R.; Easterling, D.; Edmonds, J.; Feddema, J.; Field, C.; Fridlind, A.; Fung, I.; Held, I.; Jackson, R.; Janetos, A.; Large, W.; Leinen, M.; Leung, R.; Long, S.; Mace, G.; Masiello, C.; Meehl, G.; Ort, D.; Otto-Bliesner, B.; Penner, J.; Prather, M.; Randall, D.; Rasch, P.; Schneider, E.; Shugart, H.; Thornton, P.; Washington, W.; Wildung, R.; Wiscombe, W.; Zak, D.; Zhang, M.; Bielicki, J.; Buford, M.; Cleland, E.; Dale, V.; Duke, C.; Ehleringer, J.; Hecht, A.; Kammen, D.; Marland, G.; Pataki, D.; Riley, M. Robertson, P.; Hubbard, S.

    2010-12-01

    The interactions and feedbacks among plants, animals, microbes, humans, and the environment ultimately form the world in which we live. This world is now facing challenges from a growing and increasingly affluent human population whose numbers and lifestyles are driving ever greater energy demand and impacting climate. These and other contributing factors will make energy and climate sustainability extremely difficult to achieve over the 20-year time horizon that is the focus of this report. Despite these severe challenges, there is optimism that deeper understanding of our environment will enable us to mitigate detrimental effects, while also harnessing biological and climate systems to ensure a sustainable energy future. This effort is advanced by scientific inquiries in the fields of atmospheric chemistry and physics, biology, ecology, and subsurface science - all made possible by computing. The Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science has a long history of bringing together researchers from different disciplines to address critical national needs in determining the biological and environmental impacts of energy production and use, characterizing the interplay of climate and energy, and collaborating with other agencies and DOE programs to improve the world's most powerful climate models. BER science focuses on three distinct areas: (1) What are the roles of Earth system components (atmosphere, land, oceans, sea ice, and the biosphere) in determining climate? (2) How is the information stored in a genome translated into microbial, plant, and ecosystem processes that influence biofuel production, climate feedbacks, and the natural cycling of carbon? (3) What are the biological, geochemical, and physical forces that govern the behavior of Earth's subsurface environment? Ultimately, the goal of BER science is to support experimentation and modeling that can reliably predict the outcomes and

  13. Overcoming Chemical, Biological, and Computational Challenges in the Development of Inhibitors Targeting Protein-Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Laraia, Luca; McKenzie, Grahame; Spring, David R.; Venkitaraman, Ashok R.; Huggins, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) underlie the majority of biological processes, signaling, and disease. Approaches to modulate PPIs with small molecules have therefore attracted increasing interest over the past decade. However, there are a number of challenges inherent in developing small-molecule PPI inhibitors that have prevented these approaches from reaching their full potential. From target validation to small-molecule screening and lead optimization, identifying therapeutically relevant PPIs that can be successfully modulated by small molecules is not a simple task. Following the recent review by Arkin et al., which summarized the lessons learnt from prior successes, we focus in this article on the specific challenges of developing PPI inhibitors and detail the recent advances in chemistry, biology, and computation that facilitate overcoming them. We conclude by providing a perspective on the field and outlining four innovations that we see as key enabling steps for successful development of small-molecule inhibitors targeting PPIs. PMID:26091166

  14. Biologically Based Methods for Pest Management in Agriculture under Changing Climates: Challenges and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Chidawanyika, Frank; Mudavanhu, Pride; Nyamukondiwa, Casper

    2012-01-01

    The current changes in global climatic regimes present a significant societal challenge, affecting in all likelihood insect physiology, biochemistry, biogeography and population dynamics. With the increasing resistance of many insect pest species to chemical insecticides and an increasing organic food market, pest control strategies are slowly shifting towards more sustainable, ecologically sound and economically viable options. Biologically based pest management strategies present such opportunities through predation or parasitism of pests and plant direct or indirect defense mechanisms that can all be important components of sustainable integrated pest management programs. Inevitably, the efficacy of biological control systems is highly dependent on natural enemy-prey interactions, which will likely be modified by changing climates. Therefore, knowledge of how insect pests and their natural enemies respond to climate variation is of fundamental importance in understanding biological insect pest management under global climate change. Here, we discuss biological control, its challenges under climate change scenarios and how increased global temperatures will require adaptive management strategies to cope with changing status of insects and their natural enemies. PMID:26466733

  15. Systems Health Monitoring — From Ground to Air — The Aerospace Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Mary

    2007-03-01

    The aerospace industry and the government are significantly investing in jet engine systems health monitoring. Government organizations such as the Air Force, Navy, Army, National Labs and NASA are investing in the development of state aware sensing for health monitoring of jet engines such as the Joint Strike Fighter, F119 and F100's. This paper will discuss on-going work in systems health monitoring for jet engines. Topics will include a general discussion of the approaches to engine structural health monitoring and the prognosis of engine component life. Real-world implementation challenges on the ground and in the air will be reviewed. The talk will conclude with a prediction of where engine health monitoring will be in twenty years.

  16. An eQTL biological data visualization challenge and approaches from the visualization community

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In 2011, the IEEE VisWeek conferences inaugurated a symposium on Biological Data Visualization. Like other domain-oriented Vis symposia, this symposium's purpose was to explore the unique characteristics and requirements of visualization within the domain, and to enhance both the Visualization and Bio/Life-Sciences communities by pushing Biological data sets and domain understanding into the Visualization community, and well-informed Visualization solutions back to the Biological community. Amongst several other activities, the BioVis symposium created a data analysis and visualization contest. Unlike many contests in other venues, where the purpose is primarily to allow entrants to demonstrate tour-de-force programming skills on sample problems with known solutions, the BioVis contest was intended to whet the participants' appetites for a tremendously challenging biological domain, and simultaneously produce viable tools for a biological grand challenge domain with no extant solutions. For this purpose expression Quantitative Trait Locus (eQTL) data analysis was selected. In the BioVis 2011 contest, we provided contestants with a synthetic eQTL data set containing real biological variation, as well as a spiked-in gene expression interaction network influenced by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA variation and a hypothetical disease model. Contestants were asked to elucidate the pattern of SNPs and interactions that predicted an individual's disease state. 9 teams competed in the contest using a mixture of methods, some analytical and others through visual exploratory methods. Independent panels of visualization and biological experts judged entries. Awards were given for each panel's favorite entry, and an overall best entry agreed upon by both panels. Three special mention awards were given for particularly innovative and useful aspects of those entries. And further recognition was given to entries that correctly answered a bonus question about how a

  17. Plasma flame for mass purification of contaminated air with chemical and biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Uhm, Han S.; Shin, Dong H.; Hong, Yong C.

    2006-09-18

    An elimination of airborne simulated chemical and biological warfare agents was carried out by making use of a plasma flame made of atmospheric plasma and a fuel-burning flame, which can purify the interior air of a large volume in isolated spaces such as buildings, public transportation systems, and military vehicles. The plasma flame generator consists of a microwave plasma torch connected in series to a fuel injector and a reaction chamber. For example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22 cm diameter and 30 cm length, purifies an airflow rate of 5000 lpm contaminated with toluene (the simulated chemical agent) and soot from a diesel engine (the simulated aerosol for biological agents). Large volumes of purification by the plasma flame will free mankind from the threat of airborne warfare agents. The plasma flame may also effectively purify air that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, in addition to eliminating soot from diesel engines as an environmental application.

  18. Ecological assessment of waste air treatment systems in the case of biological waste treatment.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, I; Bockreis, A; Rohde, C; Jager, J

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the authors present a technique aimed at increasing the efficiency of biological waste air treatment. The objective is to modify the existing biological waste air treatment systems (i.e. biofilters) to reduce the emitted substances and their potential environmental impacts. The principle of the ionization system is described, along with the first experiences of applying those methods during the rotting process. The investigated system is evaluated by means of life cycle impact assessment, with a focus on odour. It is demonstrated which of the measured substances (i.e. VOC) can potentially contribute to the odorant concentration. Further, it is shown which odour-intensive substances can be reduced by deploying ionization. Finally, the authors respond to the fact that the cleaning efficiency of ionization strongly depends on the humidity of the treated waste gas stream.

  19. Advantages and challenges of using physics curricula as a model for reforming an undergraduate biology course.

    PubMed

    Donovan, D A; Atkins, L J; Salter, I Y; Gallagher, D J; Kratz, R F; Rousseau, J V; Nelson, G D

    2013-06-01

    We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life sciences context. While some approaches were easily adapted, others provided significant challenges. Among these challenges were: representations of energy, introducing definitions, the placement of Scientists' Ideas, and the replicability of data. In modifying the curriculum to address these challenges, we have come to see them as speaking to deeper differences between the disciplines, namely that introductory physics--for example, Newton's laws, magnetism, light--is a science of pairwise interaction, while introductory biology--for example, photosynthesis, evolution, cycling of matter in ecosystems--is a science of linked processes, and we suggest that this is how the two disciplines are presented in introductory classes. We illustrate this tension through an analysis of our adaptations of the physics curriculum for instruction on the cycling of matter and energy; we show that modifications of the physics curriculum to address the biological framework promotes strong gains in student understanding of these topics, as evidenced by analysis of student work.

  20. The NYC native air sampling pilot project: using HVAC filter data for urban biological incident characterization.

    PubMed

    Ackelsberg, Joel; Leykam, Frederic M; Hazi, Yair; Madsen, Larry C; West, Todd H; Faltesek, Anthony; Henderson, Gavin D; Henderson, Christopher L; Leighton, Terrance

    2011-09-01

    Native air sampling (NAS) is distinguished from dedicated air sampling (DAS) devices (eg, BioWatch) that are deployed to detect aerosol disseminations of biological threat agents. NAS uses filter samples from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial properties for environmental sampling after DAS detection of biological threat agent incidents. It represents an untapped, scientifically sound, efficient, widely distributed, and comparably inexpensive resource for postevent environmental sampling. Calculations predict that postevent NAS would be more efficient than environmental surface sampling by orders of magnitude. HVAC filter samples could be collected from pre-identified surrounding NAS facilities to corroborate the DAS alarm and delineate the path taken by the bioaerosol plume. The New York City (NYC) Native Air Sampling Pilot Project explored whether native air sampling would be acceptable to private sector stakeholders and could be implemented successfully in NYC. Building trade associations facilitated outreach to and discussions with property owners and managers, who expedited contact with building managers of candidate NAS properties that they managed or owned. Nominal NAS building requirements were determined; procedures to identify and evaluate candidate NAS facilities were developed; data collection tools and other resources were designed and used to expedite candidate NAS building selection and evaluation in Manhattan; and exemplar environmental sampling playbooks for emergency responders were completed. In this sample, modern buildings with single or few corporate tenants were the best NAS candidate facilities. The Pilot Project successfully demonstrated that in one urban setting a native air sampling strategy could be implemented with effective public-private collaboration. PMID:21793731

  1. The NYC native air sampling pilot project: using HVAC filter data for urban biological incident characterization.

    PubMed

    Ackelsberg, Joel; Leykam, Frederic M; Hazi, Yair; Madsen, Larry C; West, Todd H; Faltesek, Anthony; Henderson, Gavin D; Henderson, Christopher L; Leighton, Terrance

    2011-09-01

    Native air sampling (NAS) is distinguished from dedicated air sampling (DAS) devices (eg, BioWatch) that are deployed to detect aerosol disseminations of biological threat agents. NAS uses filter samples from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial properties for environmental sampling after DAS detection of biological threat agent incidents. It represents an untapped, scientifically sound, efficient, widely distributed, and comparably inexpensive resource for postevent environmental sampling. Calculations predict that postevent NAS would be more efficient than environmental surface sampling by orders of magnitude. HVAC filter samples could be collected from pre-identified surrounding NAS facilities to corroborate the DAS alarm and delineate the path taken by the bioaerosol plume. The New York City (NYC) Native Air Sampling Pilot Project explored whether native air sampling would be acceptable to private sector stakeholders and could be implemented successfully in NYC. Building trade associations facilitated outreach to and discussions with property owners and managers, who expedited contact with building managers of candidate NAS properties that they managed or owned. Nominal NAS building requirements were determined; procedures to identify and evaluate candidate NAS facilities were developed; data collection tools and other resources were designed and used to expedite candidate NAS building selection and evaluation in Manhattan; and exemplar environmental sampling playbooks for emergency responders were completed. In this sample, modern buildings with single or few corporate tenants were the best NAS candidate facilities. The Pilot Project successfully demonstrated that in one urban setting a native air sampling strategy could be implemented with effective public-private collaboration.

  2. Challenger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Close-up view of the liftoff of the Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51L taken from camera site 39B-2/T3. From this camera position, a cloud of grey-brown smoke can be seen on the right side of the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) on a line directly across from the letter 'U' in United States. This was the first visible sign that an SRB joint breach may have occured. On January 28, 1986 frigid overnight temperatures caused normally pliable rubber O-ring seals and putty that are designed to seal and establish joint integrity between the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) joint segments, to become hard and non- flexible. At the instant of SRB ignition, tremendous stresses and pressures occur within the SRB casing and especially at the joint attachmentment points. The failure of the O-rings and putty to 'seat' properly at motor ignition, caused hot exhaust gases to blow by the seals and putty. During Challenger's ascent, this hot gas 'blow by' ultimately cut a swath completely through the steel booster casing; and like a welder's torch, began cutting into the External Tank (ET). It is believed that the ET was compromised in several locations starting in the aft at the initial point where SRB joint failure occured. The ET hydrogen tank is believed to have been breached first, with continuous rapid incremental failure of both the ET and SRB. A chain reaction of events occurring in milliseconds culminated in a massive explosion. The orbiter Challenger was instantly ejected by the blast and went askew into the supersonic air flow. These aerodynamic forces caused structural shattering and complete destruction of the orbiter. Though it was concluded that the G-forces experienced during orbiter ejection and break-up were survivable, impact with the ocean surface was not. Tragically, all seven crewmembers perished.

  3. Evaluation of the operator protection factors offered by positive pressure air suits against airborne microbiological challenge.

    PubMed

    Steward, Jackie A; Lever, Mark S

    2012-08-01

    Laboratories throughout the world that perform work with Risk Group 4 Pathogens generally adopt one of two approaches within BSL-4 environments: either the use of positive pressure air-fed suits or using Class III microbiological safety cabinets and isolators for animal work. Within the UK at present, all laboratories working with Risk Group 4 agents adopt the use of Class III microbiological safety cabinet lines and isolators. Operator protection factors for the use of microbiological safety cabinets and isolators are available however; there is limited published data on the operator protection factors afforded by the use of positive pressure suits. This study evaluated the operator protection factors provided by positive pressure air suits against a realistic airborne microbiological challenge. The suits were tested, both intact and with their integrity compromised, on an animated mannequin within a stainless steel exposure chamber. The suits gave operator protection in all tests with an intact suit and with a cut in the leg. When compromised by a cut in the glove, a very small ingress of the challenge was seen as far as the wrist. This is likely to be due to the low airflow in the gloves of the suit. In all cases no microbiological penetration of the respiratory tract was observed. These data provide evidence on which to base safety protocols for use of positive pressure suits within high containment laboratories. PMID:23012620

  4. Evaluation of the Operator Protection Factors Offered by Positive Pressure Air Suits against Airborne Microbiological Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Steward, Jackie A.; Lever, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    Laboratories throughout the world that perform work with Risk Group 4 Pathogens generally adopt one of two approaches within BSL-4 environments: either the use of positive pressure air-fed suits or using Class III microbiological safety cabinets and isolators for animal work. Within the UK at present, all laboratories working with Risk Group 4 agents adopt the use of Class III microbiological safety cabinet lines and isolators. Operator protection factors for the use of microbiological safety cabinets and isolators are available however; there is limited published data on the operator protection factors afforded by the use of positive pressure suits. This study evaluated the operator protection factors provided by positive pressure air suits against a realistic airborne microbiological challenge. The suits were tested, both intact and with their integrity compromised, on an animated mannequin within a stainless steel exposure chamber. The suits gave operator protection in all tests with an intact suit and with a cut in the leg. When compromised by a cut in the glove, a very small ingress of the challenge was seen as far as the wrist. This is likely to be due to the low airflow in the gloves of the suit. In all cases no microbiological penetration of the respiratory tract was observed. These data provide evidence on which to base safety protocols for use of positive pressure suits within high containment laboratories. PMID:23012620

  5. The challenging definition of naïve patient for biological drug use.

    PubMed

    Biggioggero, Martina; Danova, Marco; Genovese, Umberto; Locatelli, Francesco; Meroni, Pier Luigi; Pane, Fabrizio; Scaglione, Francesco

    2015-06-01

    Biosimilar is defined by The European Medical Agency as a biological medicinal product, which is similar but not identical to the biological drug already authorized. The biosimilar and its reference product are expected to display the same safety and efficacy profile and are generally used to treat the same conditions. The Italian Medicines Agency considers biosimilars as a valid therapeutic option with an economic advantage, especially in primary naïve patients with no previous exposure to the originator or with a sufficiently long wash-out period ("secondary naïve"). The identification of "secondary naïve" is not well defined and can be subjected to different variables, mainly the drug biologic effect and its immunogenicity. The first one depends on the type of biologics and on their mechanism of action. The second one is related to the fact that biologicals may be immunogenic and can trigger an anti-drug antibody response (ADA). ADA may behave as neutralizing antibodies blocking the active site of the biological but can also recognize other epitopes favoring the formation of immune-complexes that eventually affect the pharmacodynamics. Moreover, the concomitant immune-suppressive treatment can affect the immunogenicity, even if the exact mechanism remains unknown. In conclusion, the development and use of biosimilars represent a tool for increasing health system sustainability. However it is of paramount importance to distinguish between the pharmacodynamics of a given drug and its immunogenicity being the two aspects unrelated. Thus a detailed definition of "secondary naïve" patients is challenging, and may be related to both the two parameters.

  6. Exosomes as therapeutic drug carriers and delivery vehicles across biological membranes: current perspectives and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Ha, Dinh; Yang, Ningning; Nadithe, Venkatareddy

    2016-07-01

    Exosomes are small intracellular membrane-based vesicles with different compositions that are involved in several biological and pathological processes. The exploitation of exosomes as drug delivery vehicles offers important advantages compared to other nanoparticulate drug delivery systems such as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles; exosomes are non-immunogenic in nature due to similar composition as body׳s own cells. In this article, the origin and structure of exosomes as well as their biological functions are outlined. We will then focus on specific applications of exosomes as drug delivery systems in pharmaceutical drug development. An overview of the advantages and challenges faced when using exosomes as a pharmaceutical drug delivery vehicles will also be discussed.

  7. Overview of significant challenges in molecular biology amenable to computational methods.

    PubMed

    Glaeser, R M

    1994-01-01

    Many challenging but significant opportunities exist for the development of theoretical approaches in modern Cell and Molecular Biology. The creation of data bases which contain extremely large amounts of information has proven to be an unexpectedly important facto-tin gaining acceptance and respectability for theoretical work that builds on nothing more than what is in the data base itself, such as theoretical work involving the analysis of known protein structures, or the development of more powerful homology searches. Other opportunities, not yet accepted by a broad community, involve work on complex networks (metabolic, genetic, immunologic and neural networks) and work on the "physics of how things work." The DOE National Laboratory System represents the ideal institution that would be well suited to the role of being an "incubator" for the creation of a theoretical and computational discipline within modern biology. PMID:7755540

  8. Exosomes as therapeutic drug carriers and delivery vehicles across biological membranes: current perspectives and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Ha, Dinh; Yang, Ningning; Nadithe, Venkatareddy

    2016-07-01

    Exosomes are small intracellular membrane-based vesicles with different compositions that are involved in several biological and pathological processes. The exploitation of exosomes as drug delivery vehicles offers important advantages compared to other nanoparticulate drug delivery systems such as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles; exosomes are non-immunogenic in nature due to similar composition as body׳s own cells. In this article, the origin and structure of exosomes as well as their biological functions are outlined. We will then focus on specific applications of exosomes as drug delivery systems in pharmaceutical drug development. An overview of the advantages and challenges faced when using exosomes as a pharmaceutical drug delivery vehicles will also be discussed. PMID:27471669

  9. Environmental health in China: challenges to achieving clean air and safe water

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Junfeng (Jim); Mauzerall, Denise L.; Zhu, Tong; Liang, Song; Ezzati, Majid; Remais, Justin

    2014-01-01

    The health effects of environmental risks, especially those of air and water pollution, remain a major source of morbidity and mortality in China. Biomass fuel and coal are routinely burned for cooking and heating in almost all rural and many urban households resulting in severe indoor air pollution that contributes greatly to the burden of disease. Many communities lack access to safe drinking water and santiation, and thus the risk of waterborne disease in many regions remains high. At the same time, China is rapidly industrializing with associated increases in energy use and industrial waste. While economic growth resulting from industrialization has improved health and quality of life indicators in China, it has also increased the incidence of environmental disasters and the release of chemical toxins into the environment, with severe impacts on health. Air quality in China's cities is among the worst in the world and industrial water pollution has become a widespread health hazard. Moreover, emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases from energy use are rapidly increasing. Global climate change will inevitably intensify China's environmental health problems, with potentially catastrophic outcomes from major shifts in temperature and precipitation. Facing the overlap of traditional, modern, and emerging environmental problems, China has committed substantial resources to environmental improvement. China has the opportunity to both address its national environmental health challenges and to assume a central role in the international effort to improve the global environment. PMID:20346817

  10. The Air Transportation Policy of Small States: Meeting the Challenges of Globalization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antoniou, Andreas

    2001-01-01

    The air transport policies of small states are currently at a crossroad. Policy makers in these countries are facing a difficult dilemma: either follow the general trend of liberalization and pay the high cost of the resulting restructuring or maintain the existing regulatory and ownership structures at the risk of isolation thus undermining the viability and sustainability of their air transport sector and their economies in general. This paper proposes to explore the broad issues raised by this difficult dilemma, to outline its special significance in the context of small states and to delineate the options opened to the economic policymakers; in these states. After a brief note on the method of research, we sketch the main elements of the international air transport industry in which the airlines of small states are called upon to act. We then propose to review the main features of the analytical framework of this debate as it pertains to the special circumstances of these states. Then we focus on the challenges facing the airlines of Small States, while the next section proposes a number of the alternative policy options open to the policy makers in these states. The main conclusions are drawn in the final section.

  11. Marijuana use, abuse, and dependence: evaluation of panic responsivity to biological challenge.

    PubMed

    Bonn-Miller, Marcel O; Zvolensky, Michael J

    2009-12-01

    The present investigation examined marijuana use, abuse, and dependence in relation to anxious and fearful responding to panic-relevant bodily sensations elicited by a biological challenge procedure among a sample of young adult marijuana users (n = 64; 46.9% women; M(age) = 20.97, SD = 6.01). Results indicated that those who were dependent on marijuana had greater self-reported panic attack symptoms post-challenge than those who abused marijuana. No differences were found between those who did not meet criteria for either abuse or dependence (users), and those who abused or were dependent on marijuana. No group differences were found for heart rate reactivity. Results are discussed in relation to better understanding the role of marijuana use and its disorders in terms of panic responsivity. PMID:20235439

  12. Air

    MedlinePlus

    ... do to protect yourself from dirty air . Indoor air pollution and outdoor air pollution Air can be polluted indoors and it can ... this chart to see what things cause indoor air pollution and what things cause outdoor air pollution! Indoor ...

  13. Prospects and challenges of quantitative phase imaging in tumor cell biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemper, Björn; Götte, Martin; Greve, Burkhard; Ketelhut, Steffi

    2016-03-01

    Quantitative phase imaging (QPI) techniques provide high resolution label-free quantitative live cell imaging. Here, prospects and challenges of QPI in tumor cell biology are presented, using the example of digital holographic microscopy (DHM). It is shown that the evaluation of quantitative DHM phase images allows the retrieval of different parameter sets for quantification of cellular motion changes in migration and motility assays that are caused by genetic modifications. Furthermore, we demonstrate simultaneously label-free imaging of cell growth and morphology properties.

  14. Synthetic biology as it relates to CAM photosynthesis: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    DePaoli, Henrique C; Borland, Anne M; Tuskan, Gerald A; Cushman, John C; Yang, Xiaohan

    2014-07-01

    To meet future food and energy security needs, which are amplified by increasing population growth and reduced natural resource availability, metabolic engineering efforts have moved from manipulating single genes/proteins to introducing multiple genes and novel pathways to improve photosynthetic efficiency in a more comprehensive manner. Biochemical carbon-concentrating mechanisms such as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), which improves photosynthetic, water-use, and possibly nutrient-use efficiency, represent a strategic target for synthetic biology to engineer more productive C3 crops for a warmer and drier world. One key challenge for introducing multigene traits like CAM onto a background of C3 photosynthesis is to gain a better understanding of the dynamic spatial and temporal regulatory events that underpin photosynthetic metabolism. With the aid of systems and computational biology, vast amounts of experimental data encompassing transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics can be related in a network to create dynamic models. Such models can undergo simulations to discover key regulatory elements in metabolism and suggest strategic substitution or augmentation by synthetic components to improve photosynthetic performance and water-use efficiency in C3 crops. Another key challenge in the application of synthetic biology to photosynthesis research is to develop efficient systems for multigene assembly and stacking. Here, we review recent progress in computational modelling as applied to plant photosynthesis, with attention to the requirements for CAM, and recent advances in synthetic biology tool development. Lastly, we discuss possible options for multigene pathway construction in plants with an emphasis on CAM-into-C3 engineering.

  15. Environmental Technology Verification: Supplement to Test/QA Plan for Biological and Aerosol Testing of General Ventilation Air Cleaners; Bioaerosol Inactivation Efficiency by HVAC In-Duct Ultraviolet Light Air Cleaners

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Air Pollution Control Technology Verification Center has selected general ventilation air cleaners as a technology area. The Generic Verification Protocol for Biological and Aerosol Testing of General Ventilation Air Cleaners is on the Environmental Technology Verification we...

  16. Flow and performance of an air-curtain biological safety cabinet.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rong Fung; Chou, Chun I

    2009-06-01

    Using laser-assisted smoke flow visualization and tracer gas concentration detection techniques, this study examines aerodynamic flow properties and the characteristics of escape from containment, inward dispersion, and cross-cabinet contamination of a biological safety cabinet installed with an air curtain across the front aperture. The experimental method partially simulates the NSF/ANSI 49 standards with the difference that the biological tracer recommended by these standards is replaced by a mixture of 10% SF(6) in N(2). The air curtain is set up across the cabinet aperture plane by means of a narrow planar jet issued from the lower edge of the sash and a suction flow going through a suction slot installed at the front edge of the work surface. Varying the combination of jet velocity, suction flow velocity, and descending flow velocity reveals three types of characteristic flow modes: 'straight curtain', 'slightly concave curtain', and 'severely concave curtain'. Operating the cabinet in the straight curtain mode causes the air curtain to impinge on the doorsill and therefore induces serious escape from containment. In the severely concave curtain mode, drastically large inward dispersion and cross-cabinet contamination were observed because environmental air entered into the cabinet and a three-dimensional vortical flow structure formed in the cabinet. The slightly concave curtain mode presents a smooth and two-dimensional flow pattern with an air curtain separating the outside atmosphere from the inside space of the cabinet, and therefore exhibited negligibly small escape from containment, inward dispersion, and cross-cabinet contamination. PMID:19398506

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-03-01

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

  18. Flow and performance of an air-curtain biological safety cabinet.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rong Fung; Chou, Chun I

    2009-06-01

    Using laser-assisted smoke flow visualization and tracer gas concentration detection techniques, this study examines aerodynamic flow properties and the characteristics of escape from containment, inward dispersion, and cross-cabinet contamination of a biological safety cabinet installed with an air curtain across the front aperture. The experimental method partially simulates the NSF/ANSI 49 standards with the difference that the biological tracer recommended by these standards is replaced by a mixture of 10% SF(6) in N(2). The air curtain is set up across the cabinet aperture plane by means of a narrow planar jet issued from the lower edge of the sash and a suction flow going through a suction slot installed at the front edge of the work surface. Varying the combination of jet velocity, suction flow velocity, and descending flow velocity reveals three types of characteristic flow modes: 'straight curtain', 'slightly concave curtain', and 'severely concave curtain'. Operating the cabinet in the straight curtain mode causes the air curtain to impinge on the doorsill and therefore induces serious escape from containment. In the severely concave curtain mode, drastically large inward dispersion and cross-cabinet contamination were observed because environmental air entered into the cabinet and a three-dimensional vortical flow structure formed in the cabinet. The slightly concave curtain mode presents a smooth and two-dimensional flow pattern with an air curtain separating the outside atmosphere from the inside space of the cabinet, and therefore exhibited negligibly small escape from containment, inward dispersion, and cross-cabinet contamination.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-03-01

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

  20. Proteomic Challenges: Sample Preparation Techniques for Microgram-Quantity Protein Analysis from Biological Samples

    PubMed Central

    Feist, Peter; Hummon, Amanda B.

    2015-01-01

    Proteins regulate many cellular functions and analyzing the presence and abundance of proteins in biological samples are central focuses in proteomics. The discovery and validation of biomarkers, pathways, and drug targets for various diseases can be accomplished using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. However, with mass-limited samples like tumor biopsies, it can be challenging to obtain sufficient amounts of proteins to generate high-quality mass spectrometric data. Techniques developed for macroscale quantities recover sufficient amounts of protein from milligram quantities of starting material, but sample losses become crippling with these techniques when only microgram amounts of material are available. To combat this challenge, proteomicists have developed micro-scale techniques that are compatible with decreased sample size (100 μg or lower) and still enable excellent proteome coverage. Extraction, contaminant removal, protein quantitation, and sample handling techniques for the microgram protein range are reviewed here, with an emphasis on liquid chromatography and bottom-up mass spectrometry-compatible techniques. Also, a range of biological specimens, including mammalian tissues and model cell culture systems, are discussed. PMID:25664860

  1. Synthetic Biology and the U.S. Biotechnology Regulatory System: Challenges and Options

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, Sarah R.; Rodemeyer, Michael; Garfinkel, Michele S.; Friedman, Robert M.

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic Biology and the U.S. Biotechnology Regulatory System: Challenges and Options Sarah R. Carter, Ph.D., J. Craig Venter Institute; Michael Rodemeyer, J.D., University of Virginia; Michele S. Garfinkel, Ph.D., EMBO; Robert M. Friedman, Ph.D., J. Craig Venter Institute In recent years, a range of genetic engineering techniques referred to as “synthetic biology” has significantly expanded the tool kit available to scientists and engineers, providing them with far greater capabilities to engineer organisms than previous techniques allowed. The field of synthetic biology includes the relatively new ability to synthesize long pieces of DNA from chemicals, as well as improved methods for genetic manipulation and design of genetic pathways to achieve more precise control of biological systems. These advances will help usher in a new generation of genetically engineered microbes, plants, and animals. The JCVI Policy Center team, along with researchers at the University of Virginia and EMBO, examined how well the current U.S. regulatory system for genetically engineered products will handle the near-term introduction of organisms engineered using synthetic biology. In particular, the focus was on those organisms intended to be used or grown directly in the environment, outside of a contained facility. The study concludes that the U.S. regulatory agencies have adequate legal authority to address most, but not all, potential environmental, health and safety concerns posed by these organisms. Such near-term products are likely to represent incremental changes rather than a marked departure from previous genetically engineered organisms. However, the study also identified two key challenges for the regulatory system, which are detailed in the report. First, USDA’s authority over genetically engineered plants depends on the use of an older engineering technique that is no longer necessary for many applications. The shift to synthetic biology and other newer genetic

  2. Discovery informatics in biological and biomedical sciences: research challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Honavar, Vasant

    2015-01-01

    New discoveries in biological, biomedical and health sciences are increasingly being driven by our ability to acquire, share, integrate and analyze, and construct and simulate predictive models of biological systems. While much attention has focused on automating routine aspects of management and analysis of "big data", realizing the full potential of "big data" to accelerate discovery calls for automating many other aspects of the scientific process that have so far largely resisted automation: identifying gaps in the current state of knowledge; generating and prioritizing questions; designing studies; designing, prioritizing, planning, and executing experiments; interpreting results; forming hypotheses; drawing conclusions; replicating studies; validating claims; documenting studies; communicating results; reviewing results; and integrating results into the larger body of knowledge in a discipline. Against this background, the PSB workshop on Discovery Informatics in Biological and Biomedical Sciences explores the opportunities and challenges of automating discovery or assisting humans in discovery through advances (i) Understanding, formalization, and information processing accounts of, the entire scientific process; (ii) Design, development, and evaluation of the computational artifacts (representations, processes) that embody such understanding; and (iii) Application of the resulting artifacts and systems to advance science (by augmenting individual or collective human efforts, or by fully automating science).

  3. Biological rhythms, higher brain function, and behavior: Gaps, opportunities, and challenges.

    PubMed

    Benca, Ruth; Duncan, Marilyn J; Frank, Ellen; McClung, Colleen; Nelson, Randy J; Vicentic, Aleksandra

    2009-12-11

    Increasing evidence suggests that disrupted temporal organization impairs behavior, cognition, and affect; further, disruption of circadian clock genes impairs sleep-wake cycle and social rhythms which may be implicated in mental disorders. Despite this strong evidence, a gap in understanding the neural mechanisms of this interaction obscures whether biological rhythms disturbances are the underlying causes or merely symptoms of mental disorder. Here, we review current understanding, emerging concepts, gaps, and opportunities pertinent to (1) the neurobiology of the interactions between circadian oscillators and the neural circuits subserving higher brain function and behaviors of relevance to mental health, (2) the most promising approaches to determine how biological rhythms regulate brain function and behavior under normal and pathological conditions, (3) the gaps and challenges to advancing knowledge on the link between disrupted circadian rhythms/sleep and psychiatric disorders, and (4) the novel strategies for translation of basic science discoveries in circadian biology to clinical settings to define risk, prevent or delay onset of mental illnesses, design diagnostic tools, and propose new therapeutic strategies. The review is organized around five themes pertinent to (1) the impact of molecular clocks on physiology and behavior, (2) the interactions between circadian signals and cognitive functions, (3) the interface of circadian rhythms with sleep, (4) a clinical perspective on the relationship between circadian rhythm abnormalities and affective disorders, and (5) the pre-clinical models of circadian rhythm abnormalities and mood disorders.

  4. Airborne biological hazards and urban transport infrastructure: current challenges and future directions.

    PubMed

    Nasir, Zaheer Ahmad; Campos, Luiza Cintra; Christie, Nicola; Colbeck, Ian

    2016-08-01

    Exposure to airborne biological hazards in an ever expanding urban transport infrastructure and highly diverse mobile population is of growing concern, in terms of both public health and biosecurity. The existing policies and practices on design, construction and operation of these infrastructures may have severe implications for airborne disease transmission, particularly, in the event of a pandemic or intentional release of biological of agents. This paper reviews existing knowledge on airborne disease transmission in different modes of transport, highlights the factors enhancing the vulnerability of transport infrastructures to airborne disease transmission, discusses the potential protection measures and identifies the research gaps in order to build a bioresilient transport infrastructure. The unification of security and public health research, inclusion of public health security concepts at the design and planning phase, and a holistic system approach involving all the stakeholders over the life cycle of transport infrastructure hold the key to mitigate the challenges posed by biological hazards in the twenty-first century transport infrastructure.

  5. Airborne biological hazards and urban transport infrastructure: current challenges and future directions.

    PubMed

    Nasir, Zaheer Ahmad; Campos, Luiza Cintra; Christie, Nicola; Colbeck, Ian

    2016-08-01

    Exposure to airborne biological hazards in an ever expanding urban transport infrastructure and highly diverse mobile population is of growing concern, in terms of both public health and biosecurity. The existing policies and practices on design, construction and operation of these infrastructures may have severe implications for airborne disease transmission, particularly, in the event of a pandemic or intentional release of biological of agents. This paper reviews existing knowledge on airborne disease transmission in different modes of transport, highlights the factors enhancing the vulnerability of transport infrastructures to airborne disease transmission, discusses the potential protection measures and identifies the research gaps in order to build a bioresilient transport infrastructure. The unification of security and public health research, inclusion of public health security concepts at the design and planning phase, and a holistic system approach involving all the stakeholders over the life cycle of transport infrastructure hold the key to mitigate the challenges posed by biological hazards in the twenty-first century transport infrastructure. PMID:27318484

  6. Effects of air pollution on ecosystems and biological diversity in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Lovett, Gary M; Tear, Timothy H; Evers, David C; Findlay, Stuart E G; Cosby, B Jack; Dunscomb, Judy K; Driscoll, Charles T; Weathers, Kathleen C

    2009-04-01

    elevated exposure levels or in combination with other stresses such as drought, freezing, or pathogens. The notable exceptions are the acid/aluminum effects on aquatic organisms, which can be lethal at levels of acidity observed in many surface waters in the region. Although the effects are often subtle, they are important to biological conservation. Changes in species composition caused by terrestrial or aquatic acidification or eutrophication can propagate throughout the food webs to affect many organisms beyond those that are directly sensitive to the pollution. Likewise, sublethal doses of toxic pollutants may reduce the reproductive success of the affected organisms or make them more susceptible to potentially lethal pathogens. Many serious gaps in knowledge that warrant further research were identified. Among those gaps are the effects of acidification, ozone, and mercury on alpine systems, effects of nitrogen on species composition of forests, effects of mercury in terrestrial food webs, interactive effects of multiple pollutants, and interactions among air pollution and other environmental changes such as climate change and invasive species. These gaps in knowledge, coupled with the strong likelihood of impacts on ecosystems that have not been studied in the region, suggests that current knowledge underestimates the actual impact of air pollutants on biodiversity. Nonetheless, because known or likely impacts of air pollution on the biodiversity and function of natural ecosystems are widespread in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the effects of air pollution should be considered in any long-term conservation strategy. It is recommended that ecologically relevant standards, such as "critical loads," be adopted for air pollutants and the importance of long-term monitoring of air pollution and its effects is emphasized.

  7. Advantages and Challenges of Using Physics Curricula as a Model for Reforming an Undergraduate Biology Course

    PubMed Central

    Donovan, D. A.; Atkins, L. J.; Salter, I. Y.; Gallagher, D. J.; Kratz, R. F.; Rousseau, J. V.; Nelson, G. D.

    2013-01-01

    We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life sciences context. While some approaches were easily adapted, others provided significant challenges. Among these challenges were: representations of energy, introducing definitions, the placement of Scientists’ Ideas, and the replicability of data. In modifying the curriculum to address these challenges, we have come to see them as speaking to deeper differences between the disciplines, namely that introductory physics—for example, Newton's laws, magnetism, light—is a science of pairwise interaction, while introductory biology—for example, photosynthesis, evolution, cycling of matter in ecosystems—is a science of linked processes, and we suggest that this is how the two disciplines are presented in introductory classes. We illustrate this tension through an analysis of our adaptations of the physics curriculum for instruction on the cycling of matter and energy; we show that modifications of the physics curriculum to address the biological framework promotes strong gains in student understanding of these topics, as evidenced by analysis of student work. PMID:23737629

  8. [Progress of biological air filter (BAF) development in manned spacecraft cabin].

    PubMed

    Tang, Yong-kang; Guo, Shuang-sheng; Ai, Wei-dang

    2005-06-01

    The contaminants originating from human metabolism, material off-gassing and waste processing, may influence human health and the growth and development of higher plants when they accumulate at some degree in the spacecraft cabin. So the contaminants concentrations must be controlled below the spacecraft maximum allowable concentration (SMAC). For the long manned space missions and planetary habitation, biological technique is available for the removal of the contaminants. The biological air filter, BAF, is a system that degrades the contaminants into carbon dioxide, water and salts. It holds many advantages such as small weight and volume, low power consumption, easy maintenance and good working performance under the condition of microgravity. Its wide application will be seen in the space field in near future.

  9. Integrated catalytic wet air oxidation and biological treatment of wastewater from Vitamin B 6 production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Jianxiong; Zhan, Wei; Li, Daosheng; Wang, Xiaocong; Song, Jing; Liu, Dongqi

    This study investigated the feasibility of coupling a catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO), with CuO/Al 2O 3 as catalyst, and an anaerobic/aerobic biological process to treat wastewater from Vitamin B 6 production. Results showed that the CWAO enhanced the biodegradability (BOD 5/COD) from 0.10 to 0.80. The oxidized effluents with COD of 10,000 mg l -1 was subjected to subsequent continuous anaerobic/aerobic oxidation, and 99.3% of total COD removal was achieved. The quality of the effluent obtained met the discharge standards of water pollutants for pharmaceutical industry Chemical Synthesis Products Category (GB21904-2008), and thereby it implies that the integrated CWAO and anaerobic/aerobic biological treatment may offer a promising process to treat wastewater from Vitamin B 6 production.

  10. Urban air quality: the challenge of traffic non-exhaust emissions.

    PubMed

    Amato, Fulvio; Cassee, Flemming R; Denier van der Gon, Hugo A C; Gehrig, Robert; Gustafsson, Mats; Hafner, Wolfgang; Harrison, Roy M; Jozwicka, Magdalena; Kelly, Frank J; Moreno, Teresa; Prevot, Andre S H; Schaap, Martijn; Sunyer, Jordi; Querol, Xavier

    2014-06-30

    About 400,000 premature adult deaths attributable to air pollution occur each year in the European Region. Road transport emissions account for a significant share of this burden. While important technological improvements have been made for reducing particulate matter (PM) emissions from motor exhausts, no actions are currently in place to reduce the non-exhaust part of emissions such as those from brake wear, road wear, tyre wear and road dust resuspension. These "non-exhaust" sources contribute easily as much and often more than the tailpipe exhaust to the ambient air PM concentrations in cities, and their relative contribution to ambient PM is destined to increase in the future, posing obvious research and policy challenges. This review highlights the major and more recent research findings in four complementary fields of research and seeks to identify the current gaps in research and policy with regard to non-exhaust emissions. The objective of this article is to encourage and direct future research towards an improved understanding on the relationship between emissions, concentrations, exposure and health impact and on the effectiveness of potential remediation measures in the urban environment.

  11. A SOLAS challenge: How can we test test feedback loops involving air-sea exchange?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huebert, B. J.

    2004-12-01

    It is now well accepted that the Earth System links biological and physical processes in the water, on land, and in the air, creating countless feedback loops and dependencies that are at best difficult to quantify. One example of interest to SOLAS scientists is the suspension and long-range transport of dust from Asia, which may or may not interact with acidic air pollutants, that may increase the biological availability of iron, thereby increasing primary productivity in parts of the Pacific. This could increase DMS emissions and modify the radiative impact of Pacific clouds, affecting the climate and the hydrological system that limits the amount of dust lofted each year. Air-sea exchange is central to many such feedbacks: Variations in productivity in upwelling waters off Peru probably change DMS emissions and modify the stratocumulus clouds that blanket that region, thereby feeding back to productivity. The disparate time and space scales of the controlling processes make it difficult to observationally constrain such systems without the use of multi-year time-series and intensive multiplatform process studies. Unfortunately, much of the infrastructure for funding Earth science is poorly suited for supporting multidisciplinary research. For example, NSF's program managers are organized into disciplines and sub-disciplines, and rely on disciplinary reviewer communities that are protective of their slices of the funding pie. It is easy to find authors of strong, innovative, cross-disciplinary (yet unsuccessful) proposals who say they'll never try it again, because there is so little institutional support for interfacial research. Facility issues also complicate multidisciplinary projects, since there are usually several allocating groups that don't want to commit their ships, airplanes, or towers until the other groups have done so. The result is that there are very few examples of major interdisciplinary projects, even though IGBP core programs have articulated

  12. The Learning-Focused Transformation of Biology and Physics Core Courses at the U.S. Air Force Academy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sagendorf, Kenneth; Noyd, Robert K.; Morris, D. Brent

    2009-01-01

    An institution-wide focus on deep learning has made significant changes in the biology and physics core course curriculum at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The biology course director has reworked course objectives to reflect the learning-focused approach to teaching, while the physics curriculum has adopted new learning outcomes and ways to…

  13. Challenges in modeling the impact of biomass burning on air quality in megacities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, W.; Li, G.; Molina, L. T.

    2013-05-01

    Biomass burning (BB) is the largest source of primary carbonaceous aerosols and the second largest source of trace gases in the global troposphere. The trace gases and particulates emitted by or formed in the biomass burning plumes adversely affect human health and have important impacts on atmospheric chemistry, air quality, and climate change in megacities. Chemical transport models provide an independent tool to assess the BB impacts, and more importantly they can be used to assess the impacts during periods when and with large spatial coverage where measurements are not available. However due to the high variable nature of the BB impacts, the uncertainties in the BB emission estimates arising from the emission factors, biomass assumption estimates, spatial and temporal distributions, the bias in predicted dynamic mixing and transport, and the limited availability of measurements, a modeling evaluation of the BB impacts is a difficult and challenging task. In this study we use Mexico City as a case study to illustrate the challenges in simulating the impacts from open fires, biofuel use and trash burning.

  14. On Brucella pathogenesis: looking for the unified challenge in systems and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Chiliveru, Srikanth; Appari, Mahesh; Suravajhala, Prashanth

    2015-06-01

    Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection transmitted to humans from infected animals and is one of the widely spread zoonoses. Recently, six species were recognized within the genus Brucella wherein B. melitensis, B. suis and B. abortus are considered virulent for humans. While these species differ phenotypically by their pattern of metabolic activities, there has been an imperative need to understand pathogenesis of Brucella species. It has been foreseen that creating a human vaccine for Brucellosis would entail decreased dose of antibiotics. However the emerging role of Brucella pathogenesis still centers on isolation of the organism and various diagnostic tests thereby leading to varying strategies of treatment cycle. In view of disease heterogeneity, we focus systems and synthetic biology challenges that might improve our understanding the Brucella pathogenesis.

  15. MALDI-MS drug analysis in biological samples: opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Steuer, Andrea E; Poetzsch, Michael; Kraemer, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    Drug analysis represents a large field in different disciplines. Plasma is commonly considered to be the biosample of choice for that purpose. However, concentrations often do not represent the levels present within deeper compartments and therefore cannot sufficiently explain efficacy or toxicology of drugs. MALDI-MS in drug analysis is of great interest for high-throughput quantification and particularly spatially resolved tissue imaging. The current perspective article will deal with challenges and opportunities of MALDI-MS drug analysis in different biological samples. A particular focus will be on hair samples. Recent applications were included, reviewed for their instrumental setup and sample preparation and pros and cons as well as future perspectives are critically discussed. PMID:27524467

  16. A hybrid biological process of indoor air treatment for toluene removal.

    PubMed

    Hort, C; Platel, V; Sochard, S; Munoz, Luengas A T; Ondarts, M; Reguer, A; Barona, A; Elias, A

    2014-12-01

    Bioprocesses, such as biofiltration, are commonly used to treat industrial effluents containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at low concentrations. Nevertheless, the use of biofiltration for indoor air pollution (IAP) treatment requires adjustments depending on specific indoor environments. Therefore, this study focuses on the convenience of a hybrid biological process for IAP treatment. A biofiltration reactor using a green waste compost was combined with an adsorption column filled with activated carbon (AC). This system treated a toluene-micropolluted effluent (concentration between 17 and 52 μg/m3), exhibiting concentration peaks close to 733 μg/m3 for a few hours per day. High removal efficiency was obtained despite changes in toluene inlet load (from 4.2 x 10(-3) to 0.20 g/m3/hr), which proves the hybrid system's effectiveness. In fact, during unexpected concentration changes, the efficiency of the biofilter is greatly decreased, but the adsorption column maintains the high efficiency of the entire process (removal efficiency [RE] close to 100%). Moreover, the adsorption column after biofiltration is able to deal with the problem of the emission of particles and/or microorganisms from the biofilter. Implications: Indoor air pollution is nowadays recognized as major environmental and health issue. This original study investigates the performance of a hybrid biological process combining a biofilter and an adsorption column for removal of indoor VOCs, specifically toluene.

  17. Assessing isocyanate exposures in polyurethane industry sectors using biological and air monitoring methods.

    PubMed

    Creely, K S; Hughson, G W; Cocker, J; Jones, K

    2006-08-01

    Isocyanates, as a chemical group, are considered to be the biggest cause of occupational asthma in the UK. Monitoring of airborne exposures to total isocyanate is costly, requiring considerable expertise, both in terms of sample collection and chemical analysis and cannot be used to assess the effectiveness of protection from wearing respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Biological monitoring by analysis of metabolites in urine can be a relatively simple and inexpensive way to assess exposure to isocyanates. It may also be a useful way to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures in place. In this study biological and inhalation monitoring were undertaken to assess exposure in a variety of workplaces in the non-motor vehicle repair sector. Companies selected to participate in the survey included only those judged to be using good working practices when using isocyanate formulations. This included companies that used isocyanates to produce moulded polyurethane products, insulation material and those involved in industrial painting. Air samples were collected by personal monitoring and were analysed for total isocyanate content. Urine samples were collected soon after exposure and analysed for the metabolites of different isocyanate species, allowing calculation of the total metabolite concentration. Details of the control measures used and observed contamination of exposed skin were also recorded. A total of 21 companies agreed to participate in the study, with exposure measurements being collected from 22 sites. The airborne isocyanate concentrations were generally very low (range 0.0005-0.066 mg m(-3)). A total of 50 of the 70 samples were <0.001 mg m(-3), the limit of quantification (LOQ), therefore samples below the LOQ were assigned a value of 1/2 LOQ (0.0005 mg m(-3)). Of the 70 samples, 67 were below the current workplace exposure limit of 0.02 mg m(-3). The highest inhalation exposures occurred during spray painting activities in a truck manufacturing

  18. Chemical biology of mGlu4 receptor activation: dogmas, challenges, strategies and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xinyan; Dale, Elena; Brodbeck, Robbin M; Doller, Dario

    2014-01-01

    Drug design necessitates a clear understanding of the phenotypic response to be elicited by a given ligandtarget interaction. This relationship is relatively well understood for classical biological targets of drug action, but for some novel targets, notably those amenable to allosteric modulation, developing such understanding may represent a more challenging task. In order to gain knowledge on the nature of the functional response derived from mGlu4 receptor activation, its molecular and cell biology are reviewed, including signalling pathways involved, receptor localization in central nervous system and beyond, and potential genetic links to disease. Broadly held views for both, orthosteric agonists as well as allosteric modulators, are compared with specific observations for the case of mGlu4 receptor activation via orthosteric and allosteric mechanisms. First, sub-type selectivity and brain penetration of amino acid mGlu4 receptor agonists are discussed, followed by the quantification of functional allosteric effects, the potential role of heterodimers in the functional response, and the observation of supra-physiological efficacy of mGlu4 receptor PAMs. We show that, in our analysis, these attributes differ from those that may be expected by extrapolating from broad knowledge. In addition, recent progress with mGlu4 receptor radioligands and PET ligands is summarized.

  19. Branching out of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy: challenges for chemistry and influence on biology.

    PubMed

    Tinnefeld, Philip; Sauer, Markus

    2005-04-29

    In the last decade emerging single-molecule fluorescence-spectroscopy tools have been developed and adapted to analyze individual molecules under various conditions. Single-molecule-sensitive optical techniques are now well established and help to increase our understanding of complex problems in different disciplines ranging from materials science to cell biology. Previous dreams, such as the monitoring of the motility and structural changes of single motor proteins in living cells or the detection of single-copy genes and the determination of their distance from polymerase molecules in transcription factories in the nucleus of a living cell, no longer constitute unsolvable problems. In this Review we demonstrate that single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an independent discipline capable of solving problems in molecular biology. We outline the challenges and future prospects for optical single-molecule techniques which can be used in combination with smart labeling strategies to yield quantitative three-dimensional information about the dynamic organization of living cells. PMID:15849689

  20. The challenge of determining the need for remediation following a wide-area biological release.

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen

    2011-09-01

    Recovering from a biological attack is a complex process requiring the successful resolution of numerous challenges. The Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration program is one of the first multiagency efforts to develop strategies and tools that could be effective following a wide-area release of B. anthracis spores. Nevertheless, several key policy issues and associated science and technology issues still need to be addressed. For example, more refined risk assessment and management approaches are needed to help evaluate "true" public health risk. Once the risk is understood, that information can be considered along with the types of characterization activities deemed necessary to determine whether the cost and time of decontamination are actually warranted. This commentary offers 5 recommendations associated with decision making regarding decontamination and clearance options that should accompany a comprehensive risk analysis leading to more effective risk management decisions. It summarizes some of the most important technological gaps that still need to be addressed to help decision makers in their objective of reducing health risks to an acceptable level. The risk management approach described should enable decision makers to improve credibility and gain public acceptance, especially when an adequate science and technology base is available to support the required decisions. PMID:21882967

  1. The challenge of determining the need for remediation following a wide-area biological release.

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen

    2011-09-01

    Recovering from a biological attack is a complex process requiring the successful resolution of numerous challenges. The Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration program is one of the first multiagency efforts to develop strategies and tools that could be effective following a wide-area release of B. anthracis spores. Nevertheless, several key policy issues and associated science and technology issues still need to be addressed. For example, more refined risk assessment and management approaches are needed to help evaluate "true" public health risk. Once the risk is understood, that information can be considered along with the types of characterization activities deemed necessary to determine whether the cost and time of decontamination are actually warranted. This commentary offers 5 recommendations associated with decision making regarding decontamination and clearance options that should accompany a comprehensive risk analysis leading to more effective risk management decisions. It summarizes some of the most important technological gaps that still need to be addressed to help decision makers in their objective of reducing health risks to an acceptable level. The risk management approach described should enable decision makers to improve credibility and gain public acceptance, especially when an adequate science and technology base is available to support the required decisions.

  2. Direct cardiac reprogramming: progress and challenges in basic biology and clinical applications.

    PubMed

    Sadahiro, Taketaro; Yamanaka, Shinya; Ieda, Masaki

    2015-04-10

    The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells changed the field of regenerative medicine and inspired the technological development of direct reprogramming or the process by which one cell type is directly converted into another without reverting a stem cell state by overexpressing lineage-specific factors. Indeed, direct reprogramming has proven sufficient in yielding a diverse range of cell types from fibroblasts, including neurons, cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, and hepatocytes. These studies revealed that somatic cells are more plastic than anticipated, and that transcription factors, microRNAs, epigenetic factors, secreted molecules, as well as the cellular microenvironment are all important for cell fate specification. With respect to the field of cardiology, the cardiac reprogramming presents as a novel method to regenerate damaged myocardium by directly converting endogenous cardiac fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocyte-like cells in situ. The first in vivo cardiac reprogramming reports were promising to repair infarcted hearts; however, the low induction efficiency of fully reprogrammed, functional induced cardiomyocyte-like cells has become a major challenge and hampered our understanding of the reprogramming process. Nevertheless, recent studies have identified several critical factors that may affect the efficiency and quality of cardiac induction and have provided new insights into the mechanisms of cardiac reprogramming. Here, we review the progress in direct reprogramming research and discuss the perspectives and challenges of this nascent technology in basic biology and clinical applications.

  3. Trace element analytical speciation in biological systems: importance, challenges and trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanz-Medel, Alfredo

    1998-02-01

    Speciation of trace elements is a relatively new field and it was in toxicology that the relationship between the chemical form of a metal and its harmful effects was first recognized. The present need for chemical speciation information in biochemistry bioinorganic and clinical chemistry is documented in an attempt to justify the present demand for innovative chemical speciation strategies and analytical technologies. The challenge and complexity of speciation is stressed and three different categories of analytical speciation of increasing analytical difficulty are proposed. Analytical strategies developed so far to try to tackle speciation problems (computational approaches, direct species-specific and hybrid techniques) are reviewed and critically assessed for biological materials. It is indisputable these days that in most cases of real-life analytical speciation we have to resort to the development and use of hybrid techniques combining an adequate separation technique for the species physical separation and an element specific detector such as those based in atomic spectrometry. Examples of such strategies, as developed mainly in the author's laboratory and including chromatographic and non-chromatographic type hybrid strategies coupled to flame, plasma and electrothermal vaporization atomic detectors, are discussed in more detail. Finally, in light of the latest trends observed in this new field, the author attempts to cast a forward look into the foreseeable future of analytical speciation research in biological and biomedical sciences. The urgent plea for quality assurance in non-routine analysis and the concept of using complementary analytical techniques and definitive methods to attack the complexity of chemical speciation in biological systems are particularly highlighted.

  4. A one-compartment fructose/air biological fuel cell based on direct electron transfer.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xuee; Zhao, Feng; Varcoe, John R; Thumser, Alfred E; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio; Slade, Robert C T

    2009-10-15

    The construction and characterization of a one-compartment fructose/air biological fuel cell (BFC) based on direct electron transfer is reported. The BFC employs bilirubin oxidase and d-fructose dehydrogenase adsorbed on a cellulose-multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) matrix, reconstituted with an ionic liquid, as the biocathode and the bioanode for oxygen reduction and fructose oxidation reactions, respectively. The performance of the bioelectrode was investigated by chronoamperometric and cyclic voltammetric techniques in a standard three-electrode cell, and the polarization and long-term stability of the BFC was tested by potentiostatic discharge. An open circuit voltage of 663 mV and a maximum power density of 126 microWcm(-2) were obtained in buffer at pH 5.0. Using this regenerated cellulose-MWCNT matrix as the immobilization platform, this BFC has shown a relatively high performance and long-term stability compared with previous studies.

  5. Biological treatment of carbon disulfide laden air from sponge manufacturing facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hugler, W.; Acosta, C.M.; Benavente, J.L.; Revah, S.

    1998-12-31

    While several different biological techniques have been developed to eliminate hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from air, there are only few examples of successful results with high concentrations of carbon disulfide (CS2). A pilot-scale biological control system for the treatment of 2,000 ACFM of a gaseous stream containing up to 2,500 ppmv of carbon disulfide, was installed in a cellulose sponge manufacturing facility. The project`s objective was to evaluate the ability of the system to attain continuous removal efficiency levels of 90% for CS{sub 2} and 99% for H{sub 2}S. During the pilot test, the two-unit sequential biotrickling filter reached stable average removal efficiency and rate of 90% and 185 g S/m3-h (based on CS{sub 2} load); individual data analysis for each unit showed that first tower reached a maximum performance of 86% efficiency and 350 g S/m3-h removal rate. Removal efficiencies greater than 99% were obtained for H{sub 2}S during most test period. Furthermore, the system was evaluated for the treatment of a similar waste stream with high fluctuations on CS{sub 2} concentration (in order to assess the need for a dampening unit). New waste gas conditions had a negative impact on performance, which eventually improved reaching an efficiency of 77%; due to time constraints an steady-state was not attained during this test phase. Based on results, the BIOCYD technology demonstrated to be an effective process to remediate waste air streams generated at cellulose sponge facilities.

  6. Review: domestic animal forensic genetics - biological evidence, genetic markers, analytical approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kanthaswamy, S

    2015-10-01

    This review highlights the importance of domestic animal genetic evidence sources, genetic testing, markers and analytical approaches as well as the challenges this field is facing in view of the de facto 'gold standard' human DNA identification. Because of the genetic similarity between humans and domestic animals, genetic analysis of domestic animal hair, saliva, urine, blood and other biological material has generated vital investigative leads that have been admitted into a variety of court proceedings, including criminal and civil litigation. Information on validated short tandem repeat, single nucleotide polymorphism and mitochondrial DNA markers and public access to genetic databases for forensic DNA analysis is becoming readily available. Although the fundamental aspects of animal forensic genetic testing may be reliable and acceptable, animal forensic testing still lacks the standardized testing protocols that human genetic profiling requires, probably because of the absence of monetary support from government agencies and the difficulty in promoting cooperation among competing laboratories. Moreover, there is a lack in consensus about how to best present the results and expert opinion to comply with court standards and bear judicial scrutiny. This has been the single most persistent challenge ever since the earliest use of domestic animal forensic genetic testing in a criminal case in the mid-1990s. Crime laboratory accreditation ensures that genetic test results have the courts' confidence. Because accreditation requires significant commitments of effort, time and resources, the vast majority of animal forensic genetic laboratories are not accredited nor are their analysts certified forensic examiners. The relevance of domestic animal forensic genetics in the criminal justice system is undeniable. However, further improvements are needed in a wide range of supporting resources, including standardized quality assurance and control protocols for sample

  7. Review: domestic animal forensic genetics - biological evidence, genetic markers, analytical approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kanthaswamy, S

    2015-10-01

    This review highlights the importance of domestic animal genetic evidence sources, genetic testing, markers and analytical approaches as well as the challenges this field is facing in view of the de facto 'gold standard' human DNA identification. Because of the genetic similarity between humans and domestic animals, genetic analysis of domestic animal hair, saliva, urine, blood and other biological material has generated vital investigative leads that have been admitted into a variety of court proceedings, including criminal and civil litigation. Information on validated short tandem repeat, single nucleotide polymorphism and mitochondrial DNA markers and public access to genetic databases for forensic DNA analysis is becoming readily available. Although the fundamental aspects of animal forensic genetic testing may be reliable and acceptable, animal forensic testing still lacks the standardized testing protocols that human genetic profiling requires, probably because of the absence of monetary support from government agencies and the difficulty in promoting cooperation among competing laboratories. Moreover, there is a lack in consensus about how to best present the results and expert opinion to comply with court standards and bear judicial scrutiny. This has been the single most persistent challenge ever since the earliest use of domestic animal forensic genetic testing in a criminal case in the mid-1990s. Crime laboratory accreditation ensures that genetic test results have the courts' confidence. Because accreditation requires significant commitments of effort, time and resources, the vast majority of animal forensic genetic laboratories are not accredited nor are their analysts certified forensic examiners. The relevance of domestic animal forensic genetics in the criminal justice system is undeniable. However, further improvements are needed in a wide range of supporting resources, including standardized quality assurance and control protocols for sample

  8. Epidemiology of fine particulate air pollution and human health: biologic mechanisms and who's at risk?

    PubMed Central

    Pope, C A

    2000-01-01

    This article briefly summarizes the epidemiology of the health effects of fine particulate air pollution, provides an early, somewhat speculative, discussion of the contribution of epidemiology to evaluating biologic mechanisms, and evaluates who's at risk or is susceptible to adverse health effects. Based on preliminary epidemiologic evidence, it is speculated that a systemic response to fine particle-induced pulmonary inflammation, including cytokine release and altered cardiac autonomic function, may be part of the pathophysiologic mechanisms or pathways linking particulate pollution with cardiopulmonary disease. The elderly, infants, and persons with chronic cardiopulmonary disease, influenza, or asthma are most susceptible to mortality and serious morbidity effects from short-term acutely elevated exposures. Others are susceptible to less serious health effects such as transient increases in respiratory symptoms, decreased lung function, or other physiologic changes. Chronic exposure studies suggest relatively broad susceptibility to cumulative effects of long-term repeated exposure to fine particulate pollution, resulting in substantive estimates of population average loss of life expectancy in highly polluted environments. Additional knowledge is needed about the specific pollutants or mix of pollutants responsible for the adverse health effects and the biologic mechanisms involved. PMID:10931790

  9. Real-time sensors for indoor air monitoring and challenges ahead in deploying them to urban buildings.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prashant; Skouloudis, Andreas N; Bell, Margaret; Viana, Mar; Carotta, M Cristina; Biskos, George; Morawska, Lidia

    2016-08-01

    Household air pollution is ranked the 9(th) largest Global Burden of Disease risk (Forouzanfar et al., The Lancet 2015). People, particularly urban dwellers, typically spend over 90% of their daily time indoors, where levels of air pollution often surpass those of outdoor environments. Indoor air quality (IAQ) standards and approaches for assessment and control of indoor air require measurements of pollutant concentrations and thermal comfort using conventional instruments. However, the outcomes of such measurements are usually averages over long integrated time periods, which become available after the exposure has already occurred. Moreover, conventional monitoring is generally incapable of addressing temporal and spatial heterogeneity of indoor air pollution, or providing information on peak exposures that occur when specific indoor sources are in operation. This article provides a review of new air pollution sensing methods to determine IAQ and discusses how real-time sensing could bring a paradigm shift in controlling the concentration of key air pollutants in billions of urban houses worldwide. We also show that besides the opportunities, challenges still remain in terms of maturing technologies, or data mining and their interpretation. Moreover, we discuss further research and essential development needed to close gaps between what is available today and needed tomorrow. In particular, we demonstrate that awareness of IAQ risks and availability of appropriate regulation are lagging behind the technologies.

  10. Real-time sensors for indoor air monitoring and challenges ahead in deploying them to urban buildings.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prashant; Skouloudis, Andreas N; Bell, Margaret; Viana, Mar; Carotta, M Cristina; Biskos, George; Morawska, Lidia

    2016-08-01

    Household air pollution is ranked the 9(th) largest Global Burden of Disease risk (Forouzanfar et al., The Lancet 2015). People, particularly urban dwellers, typically spend over 90% of their daily time indoors, where levels of air pollution often surpass those of outdoor environments. Indoor air quality (IAQ) standards and approaches for assessment and control of indoor air require measurements of pollutant concentrations and thermal comfort using conventional instruments. However, the outcomes of such measurements are usually averages over long integrated time periods, which become available after the exposure has already occurred. Moreover, conventional monitoring is generally incapable of addressing temporal and spatial heterogeneity of indoor air pollution, or providing information on peak exposures that occur when specific indoor sources are in operation. This article provides a review of new air pollution sensing methods to determine IAQ and discusses how real-time sensing could bring a paradigm shift in controlling the concentration of key air pollutants in billions of urban houses worldwide. We also show that besides the opportunities, challenges still remain in terms of maturing technologies, or data mining and their interpretation. Moreover, we discuss further research and essential development needed to close gaps between what is available today and needed tomorrow. In particular, we demonstrate that awareness of IAQ risks and availability of appropriate regulation are lagging behind the technologies. PMID:27101450

  11. Release and distribution of Lilioceris cheni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biological control agent of air potato (Dioscorea bulbilfera: Dioscoreaceae), in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    From 2012 to 2015, 429,668 Lilioceris cheni Gressit and Kimoto (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) were released in Florida for biological control of air potato [Dioscorea bulbilfera L. (Dioscoreaceae)]. The spatial distribution of releases was highly aggregated, with several areas of high density releases ...

  12. Challenges and Opportunities for Learning Biology in Distance-Based Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hallyburton, Chad L.; Lunsford, Eddie

    2013-01-01

    The history of learning biology through distance education is documented. A review of terminology and unique problems associated with biology instruction is presented. Using published research and their own teaching experience, the authors present recommendations and best practices for managing biology in distance-based formats. They offer ideas…

  13. Performance of conventional and antimicrobial-treated filtering facepiece respirators challenged with biological aerosols.

    PubMed

    Lore, Michael B; Sebastian, John M; Brown, TeAnne L; Viner, Andrew S; McCullough, Nicole V; Hinrichs, Steven H

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the filtration performance of four commercially available models of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) against both biological and inert aerosols at a flow rate of 85 L/min. Conventional N95 and P100 FFRs and two antimicrobial (AM)-treated FFRs (an N95 and a P95, both with iodine-based AM treatments) were tested for both physical penetration (PEN(P)) and viable penetration (PEN(V)) with three different bioaerosols, including MS2 bacteriophage virus, and the spores and vegetative cells of Bacillus atrophaeus bacteria, in addition to inert sodium chloride (NaCl) aerosol. For each FFR model, the PEN(P) measured with NaCl was predictive of its MS2 PEN(P), and it was observed that spores and bacteria aerosols were also filtered similarly to the inert aerosol. For both conventional FFRs, up to a 1-log reduction in PEN(V) in comparison with PEN(P) was observed and attributed to the experimental variability of the test system. For both models of AM-FFRs, no statistically significant differences between PEN(V) and PEN(P) for any of the three different bioaerosol challenges were observed. Thus, no bioaerosol filtration enhancement over the conventional FFRs was detected for either iodine-based AM-FFR. In the absence of any standardized test methods, we recommend that future studies evaluating the filtration performance of AM-treated FFRs incorporate the experimental best practices described herein. PMID:22206440

  14. Baseline biological risk assessment for aquatic populations occurring near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Dauble, D.; Brandt, C.; Lewis, R.; Smith, R.

    1995-12-31

    Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska was listed as a Superfund site in November 1989 with 64 potential source areas of contamination. As part of a sitewide remedial investigation, baseline risk assessments were conducted in 1993 and 1994 to evaluate hazards posed to biological receptors and to human health. Fish tissue, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic vegetation, sediment, and surface water data were collected from several on-site and off-site surface water bodies. An initial screening risk assessment indicated that several surface water sites along two major tributary creeks flowing through the base had unacceptable risks to both aquatic receptors and to human health because of DDTs. Other contaminants of concern (i.e., PCBs and PAHs) were below screening risk levels for aquatic organisms, but contributed to an unacceptable risk to human health. Additional samples was taken in 1994 to characterize the site-wide distribution of PAHs, DDTs, and PCBs in aquatic biota and sediments. Concentrations of PAHs were invertebrates > aquatic vegetation > fish, but concentrations were sufficiently low that they posed no significant risk to biological receptors. Pesticides were detected in all fish tissue samples. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also detected in most fish from Garrison Slough. The pattern of PCB concentrations in Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) was related to their proximity to a sediment source in lower Garrison Slough. Ingestion of PCB-contaminated fish is the primary human-health risk driver for surface water bodies on Eielson AFB, resulting in carcinogenic risks > 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}4} for future recreational land-use at some sites. Principal considerations affecting uncertainty in the risk assessment process included spatial and temporal variability in media contaminant concentrations and inconsistencies between modelled and measured body burdens.

  15. Three phase biological treatment process for chlorinated compounds in air streams

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, W.J.; Collins, J.; Wells, J.; Kennedy, K.

    1999-07-01

    A combination of experimental and modeling studies were carried out to evaluate the potential for biological treatment of air streams containing chlorinated organics in a hybrid process. The proposed process consists of a scrubbing column for transferring chlorinated compounds from the gas to the liquid phase and a high rate anaerobic reactor for biodegradation of the compounds. Carbon tetrachloride, tetrachloroethylene and dichloromethane were employed as target compounds in this study to assess compounds with a range of chemical, physical and biological properties. Batch tests provided conclusive evidence that the target compounds strongly partition to vegetable oil. Continuous flow test results suggested that high removal efficiencies for all three compounds ({gt}90%) could be obtained with gas-liquid flow ratios less than 200. It was found that the Onda correlations did not fit the experimental data of vegetable oil very well, hence the Onda correlations were modified by assuming that the gas phase resistance was controlling mass transfer. The assumption appeared to be valid for the compounds with lower gas-oil partitioning coefficients (CT and PCE). DCM appeared to have some component of liquid phase control. Experiments were conducted in high rate anaerobic reactors to evaluate the impact of cosubstrate loading and hydraulic retention time on the biodegradation of the target compounds. Removals approached 100% for all three target compounds when the UASB was operated at high values of OLR and HRT. Removals for PCE and DCM decreased when the UASB was run under more strenuous conditions. A hybrid anaerobic reactor that consisted of a liquid-liquid mass transfer zone and an anaerobic biodegradation zone was operated to assess the processes potential to degrade the target compounds when they entered in a vegetable oil matrix.

  16. Bioaccumulation Potential Of Air Contaminants: Combining Biological Allometry, Chemical Equilibrium And Mass-Balances To Predict Accumulation Of Air Pollutants In Various Mammals

    SciTech Connect

    Veltman, Karin; McKone, Thomas E.; Huijbregts, Mark A.J.; Hendriks, A. Jan

    2009-03-01

    In the present study we develop and test a uniform model intended for single compartment analysis in the context of human and environmental risk assessment of airborne contaminants. The new aspects of the model are the integration of biological allometry with fugacity-based mass-balance theory to describe exchange of contaminants with air. The developed model is applicable to various mammalian species and a range of chemicals, while requiring few and typically well-known input parameters, such as the adult mass and composition of the species, and the octanol-water and air-water partition coefficient of the chemical. Accumulation of organic chemicals is typically considered to be a function of the chemical affinity forlipid components in tissues. Here, we use a generic description of chemical affinity for neutral and polar lipids and proteins to estimate blood-air partition coefficients (Kba) and tissue-air partition coefficients (Kta) for various mammals. This provides a more accurate prediction of blood-air partition coefficients, as proteins make up a large fraction of total blood components. The results show that 75percent of the modeled inhalation and exhalation rate constants are within a factor of 2 from independent empirical values for humans, rats and mice, and 87percent of the predicted blood-air partition coefficients are within a factor of 5 from empirical data. At steady-state, the bioaccumulation potential of air pollutants is shown to be mainly a function of the tissue-air partition coefficient and the biotransformation capacity of the species and depends weakly on the ventilation rate and the cardiac output of mammals.

  17. Characterization of biological aerosol exposure risks from automobile air conditioning system.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Li, Mingzhen; Shen, Fangxia; Zou, Zhuanglei; Yao, Maosheng; Wu, Chang-yu

    2013-09-17

    Although use of automobile air conditioning (AC) was shown to reduce in-vehicle particle levels, the characterization of its microbial aerosol exposure risks is lacking. Here, both AC and engine filter dust samples were collected from 30 automobiles in four different geographical locations in China. Biological contents (bacteria, fungi, and endotoxin) were studied using culturing, high-throughput gene sequence, and Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) methods. In-vehicle viable bioaerosol concentrations were directly monitored using an ultraviolet aerodynamic particle sizer (UVAPS) before and after use of AC for 5, 10, and 15 min. Regardless of locations, the vehicle AC filter dusts were found to be laden with high levels of bacteria (up to 26,150 CFU/mg), fungi (up to 1287 CFU/mg), and endotoxin (up to 5527 EU/mg). More than 400 unique bacterial species, including human opportunistic pathogens, were detected in the filter dusts. In addition, allergenic fungal species were also found abundant. Surprisingly, unexpected fluorescent peaks around 2.5 μm were observed during the first 5 min use of AC, which was attributed to the reaerosolization of those filter-borne microbial agents. The information obtained here can assist in minimizing or preventing the respiratory allergy or infection risk from the use of automobile AC system.

  18. Biological Sciences for the 21st Century: Meeting the Challenges of Sustainable Development in an Era of Global Change

    SciTech Connect

    Joel Cracraft; Richard O'Grady

    2007-05-12

    The symposium was held 10-12 May, 2007 at the Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, D. C. The 30 talks explored how some of today's key biological research developments (such as biocomplexity and complex systems analysis, bioinformatics and computational biology, the expansion of molecular and genomics research, and the emergence of other comprehensive or system wide analyses, such as proteomics) contribute to sustainability science. The symposium therefore emphasized the challenges facing agriculture, human health, sustainable energy, and the maintenance of ecosystems and their services, so as to provide a focus and a suite of examples of the enormous potential contributions arising from these new developments in the biological sciences. This symposium was the first to provide a venue for exploring how the ongoing advances in the biological sciences together with new approaches for improving knowledge integration and institutional science capacity address key global challenges to sustainability. The speakers presented new research findings, and identified new approaches and needs in biological research that can be expected to have substantial impacts on sustainability science.

  19. Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Thomas R.

    1975-01-01

    Domestic and international challenges facing the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness are discussed; and U.S. and Russian programs in testing and correcting children's vision, developing eye safety programs in agriculture and industry, and disseminating information concerning the detection and treatment of cataracts are compared. (SB)

  20. Challenger

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allday, Jonathan

    2002-01-01

    The events that led to the spectacular destruction of the Space Shuttle "Challenger" in 1986 are detailed here. They show how NASA should have heeded engineers' worries over materials problems resulting from a launch in cold weather. Suggestions are made of how pupils could also learn from this tragedy. (Contains 4 figures and 2 footnotes.)

  1. Challenges of Achieving 2012 IECC Air Sealing Requirements in Multifamily Dwellings

    SciTech Connect

    Klocke, S.; Faakye, O.; Puttagunta, S.

    2014-10-01

    While previous versions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have included provisions to improve the air tightness of dwellings, for the first time, the 2012 IECC mandates compliance verification through blower door testing. Simply completing the Air Barrier and Insulation Installation checklist through visual inspection is no longer sufficient by itself. In addition, the 2012 IECC mandates a significantly stricter air sealing requirement. In Climate Zones 3 through 8, air leakage may not exceed 3 ACH50, which is a significant reduction from the 2009 IECC requirement of 7 ACH50. This requirement is for all residential buildings, which includes low-rise multifamily dwellings. While this air leakage rate requirement is an important component to achieving an efficient building thermal envelope, currently, the code language doesn't explicitly address differences between single family and multifamily applications. In addition, the 2012 IECC does not provide an option to sample dwellings for larger multifamily buildings, so compliance would have to be verified on every unit. With compliance with the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements on the horizon, several of Consortium for Advanced Residential Building's (CARB’s) multifamily builder partners are evaluating how best to comply with this requirement. Builders are not sure whether it is more practical or beneficial to simply pay for guarded testing or to revise their air sealing strategies to improve compartmentalization to comply with code requirements based on unguarded blower door testing. This report summarizes CARB's research that was conducted to assess the feasibility of meeting the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements in 3 multifamily buildings.

  2. Challenges of Achieving 2012 IECC Air Sealing Requirements in Multifamily Dwellings

    SciTech Connect

    Klocke, S.; Faakye, O.; Puttagunta, S.

    2014-10-01

    ​While previous versions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have included provisions to improve the air tightness of dwellings, for the first time, the 2012 IECC mandates compliance verification through blower door testing. Simply completing the Air Barrier and Insulation Installation checklist through visual inspection is no longer sufficient by itself. In addition, the 2012 IECC mandates a significantly stricter air sealing requirement. In Climate Zones 3 through 8, air leakage may not exceed 3 ACH50, which is a significant reduction from the 2009 IECC requirement of 7 ACH50. This requirement is for all residential buildings, which includes low-rise multifamily dwellings. While this air leakage rate requirement is an important component to achieving an efficient building thermal envelope, currently, the code language doesn't explicitly address differences between single family and multifamily applications. In addition, the 2012 IECC does not provide an option to sample dwellings for larger multifamily buildings, so compliance would have to be verified on every unit. With compliance with the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements on the horizon, several of CARB's multifamily builder partners are evaluating how best to comply with this requirement. Builders are not sure whether it is more practical or beneficial to simply pay for guarded testing or to revise their air sealing strategies to improve compartmentalization to comply with code requirements based on unguarded blower door testing. This report summarizes CARB's research that was conducted to assess the feasibility of meeting the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements in 3 multifamily buildings.

  3. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF OIL FLY ASH AND RELEVANCE TO AMBIENT AIR PARTICULATE MATTER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated increased human morbidity and mortality with elevations in the concentration of ambient air particulate matter (PM). Fugitive fly ash from the combustion of oil and residual fuel oil significantly contributes to the ambient air particle bur...

  4. Understanding the limits of animal models as predictors of human biology: lessons learned from the sbv IMPROVER Species Translation Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Mathis, Carole; Dulize, Rémi H. J.; Ivanov, Nikolai V.; Alexopoulos, Leonidas; Jeremy Rice, J.; Peitsch, Manuel C.; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Meyer, Pablo; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: Inferring how humans respond to external cues such as drugs, chemicals, viruses or hormones is an essential question in biomedicine. Very often, however, this question cannot be addressed because it is not possible to perform experiments in humans. A reasonable alternative consists of generating responses in animal models and ‘translating’ those results to humans. The limitations of such translation, however, are far from clear, and systematic assessments of its actual potential are urgently needed. sbv IMPROVER (systems biology verification for Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research) was designed as a series of challenges to address translatability between humans and rodents. This collaborative crowd-sourcing initiative invited scientists from around the world to apply their own computational methodologies on a multilayer systems biology dataset composed of phosphoproteomics, transcriptomics and cytokine data derived from normal human and rat bronchial epithelial cells exposed in parallel to 52 different stimuli under identical conditions. Our aim was to understand the limits of species-to-species translatability at different levels of biological organization: signaling, transcriptional and release of secreted factors (such as cytokines). Participating teams submitted 49 different solutions across the sub-challenges, two-thirds of which were statistically significantly better than random. Additionally, similar computational methods were found to range widely in their performance within the same challenge, and no single method emerged as a clear winner across all sub-challenges. Finally, computational methods were able to effectively translate some specific stimuli and biological processes in the lung epithelial system, such as DNA synthesis, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix, translation, immune/inflammation and growth factor/proliferation pathways, better than the expected response similarity between species. Contact

  5. Biology's Challenge to Social Work: Embodying the Person-in-Environment Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saleebey, Dennis

    1992-01-01

    Notes that, although social work credits itself for using biopsychosocial perspective, "bio" is virtually absent from profession's knowing and doing. Review of areas in which biological knowledge is growing ("biology of hope"--psychoneuroimmunology, for example--and the new biomedical approach to mental health) yields some ideas about how theory…

  6. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we…

  7. Knowledge Transfer in Biology and Translation across External Representations: Experts' Views and Challenges for Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schonborn, Konrad J.; Bogeholz, Susanne

    2009-01-01

    Recent curriculum reform promotes core competencies such as desired "content knowledge" and "communication" for meaningful learning in biology. Understanding in biology is demonstrated when pupils can apply acquired knowledge to new tasks. This process requires the transfer of knowledge and the subordinate process of translation across external…

  8. 76 FR 3076 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Air Potato

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-19

    ... Control Agent for Air Potato AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of... Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) relative to the control of air potato... severity of air potato infestations. We are making the EA available to the public for review and...

  9. Challenges and opportunities for remote sensing of air quality: Insights from DISCOVER-AQ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, J. H.; Pickering, K. E.; Anderson, B. E.; Beyersdorf, A. J.; Clark, R. D.; Cohen, R. C.; Diskin, G. S.; Ferrare, R. A.; Fried, A.; Holben, B. N.; Herman, J. R.; Hoff, R. M.; Hostetler, C. A.; Janz, S. J.; Szykman, J.; Thompson, A. M.; Weinheimer, A. J.; Wisthaler, A.; Yang, M. M.; Chen, G.; Kleb, M. M.

    2014-12-01

    Improving the remote sensing of air quality has been the primary focus of a series of four field studies conducted by a project called DISCOVER-AQ (Deriving Information on Surface conditions from COlumn and VERtically resolved observations relevant to Air Quality). Operating as an integrated observing system, DISCOVER-AQ has employed multiple aircraft and ground instrumentation to conduct multi-perspective observations of the distribution of gaseous and particulate pollution in the lower atmosphere over contrasting regions of the U.S. that are currently in violation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The four study areas include Maryland (Baltimore-Washington corridor), California (southern San Joaquin Valley), Texas (Greater Houston area), and Colorado (Denver/Northern Front Range). The DISCOVER-AQ observations are actively being used to promote improvements in remote sensing in the following ways: Characterizing vertical structure in the atmosphere and its diurnal patterns to develop improved a priori information for satellite retrievals; Examining horizontal variability to assess the spatial scales needed to resolve emissions and photochemistry; Determining correlative relationships between remotely sensed and in situ observations; Assessing the value of ground-based remote sensing to provide information on impact of boundary layer dynamics and mixing on air pollution. Examples of the ongoing analysis of these datasets and their relevance to future geostationary satellite observations as well as augmentation of air quality monitoring networks with ground-based remote sensing will be discussed.

  10. New clean air efforts face tough challenges, say senators and former EPA administrators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-02-01

    With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coming under repeated attack from some members of Congress and others for perceived heavy-handed regulatory actions, two moderate U.S. senators and two former EPA administrators recently noted the need for continued measures to improve air quality. However, they also acknowledged the difficulty in moving forward with new legislative efforts to revise the federal Clean Air Act to further reduce air pollution in the current polarized political climate. "Nobody who wants to see constructive changes [to the act] would dare touch it or propose it in the current climate," said former EPA administrator William Reilly at a 23 January forum sponsored by the World Resources Institute. Reilly, who served as EPA administrator from 1989 to 1992, noted that bipartisan congressional support had been key to addressing many environmental problems up until the mid-1990s.

  11. The path to next generation biofuels: successes and challenges in the era of synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Volatility of oil prices along with major concerns about climate change, oil supply security and depleting reserves have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Recent advances in synthetic biology provide new tools for metabolic engineers to direct their strategies and construct optimal biocatalysts for the sustainable production of biofuels. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology efforts entailing the engineering of native and de novo pathways for conversion of biomass constituents to short-chain alcohols and advanced biofuels are herewith reviewed. In the foreseeable future, formal integration of functional genomics and systems biology with synthetic biology and metabolic engineering will undoubtedly support the discovery, characterization, and engineering of new metabolic routes and more efficient microbial systems for the production of biofuels. PMID:20089184

  12. Reverse engineering and identification in systems biology: strategies, perspectives and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Villaverde, Alejandro F.; Banga, Julio R.

    2014-01-01

    The interplay of mathematical modelling with experiments is one of the central elements in systems biology. The aim of reverse engineering is to infer, analyse and understand, through this interplay, the functional and regulatory mechanisms of biological systems. Reverse engineering is not exclusive of systems biology and has been studied in different areas, such as inverse problem theory, machine learning, nonlinear physics, (bio)chemical kinetics, control theory and optimization, among others. However, it seems that many of these areas have been relatively closed to outsiders. In this contribution, we aim to compare and highlight the different perspectives and contributions from these fields, with emphasis on two key questions: (i) why are reverse engineering problems so hard to solve, and (ii) what methods are available for the particular problems arising from systems biology? PMID:24307566

  13. Reverse engineering and identification in systems biology: strategies, perspectives and challenges.

    PubMed

    Villaverde, Alejandro F; Banga, Julio R

    2014-02-01

    The interplay of mathematical modelling with experiments is one of the central elements in systems biology. The aim of reverse engineering is to infer, analyse and understand, through this interplay, the functional and regulatory mechanisms of biological systems. Reverse engineering is not exclusive of systems biology and has been studied in different areas, such as inverse problem theory, machine learning, nonlinear physics, (bio)chemical kinetics, control theory and optimization, among others. However, it seems that many of these areas have been relatively closed to outsiders. In this contribution, we aim to compare and highlight the different perspectives and contributions from these fields, with emphasis on two key questions: (i) why are reverse engineering problems so hard to solve, and (ii) what methods are available for the particular problems arising from systems biology?

  14. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology. PMID:24006397

  15. Getting to evo-devo: concepts and challenges for students learning evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P; Price, Rebecca M; Perez, Kathryn E

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology.

  16. Large, dynamic, multi-protein complexes: a challenge for structural biology.

    PubMed

    Różycki, Bartosz; Boura, Evzen

    2014-11-19

    Structural biology elucidates atomic structures of macromolecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA, and their complexes to understand the basic mechanisms of their functions. Among proteins that pose the most difficult problems to current efforts are those which have several large domains connected by long, flexible polypeptide segments. Although abundant and critically important in biological cells, such proteins have proven intractable by conventional techniques. This gap has recently led to the advancement of hybrid methods that use state-of-the-art computational tools to combine complementary data from various high- and low-resolution experiments. In this review, we briefly discuss the individual experimental techniques to illustrate their strengths and limitations, and then focus on the use of hybrid methods in structural biology. We describe how representative structures of dynamic multi-protein complexes are obtained utilizing the EROS hybrid method that we have co-developed. PMID:25335513

  17. Large, dynamic, multi-protein complexes: a challenge for structural biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Różycki, Bartosz; Boura, Evzen

    2014-11-01

    Structural biology elucidates atomic structures of macromolecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA, and their complexes to understand the basic mechanisms of their functions. Among proteins that pose the most difficult problems to current efforts are those which have several large domains connected by long, flexible polypeptide segments. Although abundant and critically important in biological cells, such proteins have proven intractable by conventional techniques. This gap has recently led to the advancement of hybrid methods that use state-of-the-art computational tools to combine complementary data from various high- and low-resolution experiments. In this review, we briefly discuss the individual experimental techniques to illustrate their strengths and limitations, and then focus on the use of hybrid methods in structural biology. We describe how representative structures of dynamic multi-protein complexes are obtained utilizing the EROS hybrid method that we have co-developed.

  18. Systems biology of cancer: a challenging expedition for clinical and quantitative biologists.

    PubMed

    Korsunsky, Ilya; McGovern, Kathleen; LaGatta, Tom; Olde Loohuis, Loes; Grosso-Applewhite, Terri; Griffeth, Nancy; Mishra, Bud

    2014-01-01

    A systems-biology approach to complex disease (such as cancer) is now complementing traditional experience-based approaches, which have typically been invasive and expensive. The rapid progress in biomedical knowledge is enabling the targeting of disease with therapies that are precise, proactive, preventive, and personalized. In this paper, we summarize and classify models of systems biology and model checking tools, which have been used to great success in computational biology and related fields. We demonstrate how these models and tools have been used to study some of the twelve biochemical pathways implicated in but not unique to pancreatic cancer, and conclude that the resulting mechanistic models will need to be further enhanced by various abstraction techniques to interpret phenomenological models of cancer progression.

  19. Indoor air pollution in developing countries: a major environmental and public health challenge.

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, N.; Perez-Padilla, R.; Albalak, R.

    2000-01-01

    Around 50% of people, almost all in developing countries, rely on coal and biomass in the form of wood, dung and crop residues for domestic energy. These materials are typically burnt in simple stoves with very incomplete combustion. Consequently, women and young children are exposed to high levels of indoor air pollution every day. There is consistent evidence that indoor air pollution increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and of acute respiratory infections in childhood, the most important cause of death among children under 5 years of age in developing countries. Evidence also exists of associations with low birth weight, increased infant and perinatal mortality, pulmonary tuberculosis, nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancer, cataract, and, specifically in respect of the use of coal, with lung cancer. Conflicting evidence exists with regard to asthma. All studies are observational and very few have measured exposure directly, while a substantial proportion have not dealt with confounding. As a result, risk estimates are poorly quantified and may be biased. Exposure to indoor air pollution may be responsible for nearly 2 million excess deaths in developing countries and for some 4% of the global burden of disease. Indoor air pollution is a major global public health threat requiring greatly increased efforts in the areas of research and policy-making. Research on its health effects should be strengthened, particularly in relation to tuberculosis and acute lower respiratory infections. A more systematic approach to the development and evaluation of interventions is desirable, with clearer recognition of the interrelationships between poverty and dependence on polluting fuels. PMID:11019457

  20. Meeting the challenge: a survey of capabilities planned to meet future space biology research needs.

    PubMed

    Yost, B; Souza, K; Wade, C; Davies, P

    1999-07-01

    NASA/Ames Research Center Life Sciences has supported a large number of experiments and observations directed at understanding how biological systems perform or change in the microgravity space environment. These campaigns have been accomplished on a wide range of space-based platforms beginning with the Bion/Cosmos unmanned satellites and including the Space Shuttle middeck, Spacelab, SpaceHab, the Russian Space Station Mir and in the near future, the International Space Station (ISS). To further build upon this past experience, and to continue to make contributions towards the goals of the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) enterprise, a number of experiment systems and infrastructure are in development in an attempt to provide a comprehensive set of opportunities and capabilities to enable research into biological systems in space. Life support systems, or habitats are geared towards the maintenance of a wide range of biological specimens onboard ISS. Augmented with a set of ancillary equipment and sufficient expendable resources and crew time, researchers will have a robust set of tools to continue biological and physiological experiments in space.

  1. Methodological challenges of optical tweezers-based X-ray fluorescence imaging of biological model organisms at synchrotron facilities.

    PubMed

    Vergucht, Eva; Brans, Toon; Beunis, Filip; Garrevoet, Jan; Bauters, Stephen; De Rijcke, Maarten; Deruytter, David; Janssen, Colin; Riekel, Christian; Burghammer, Manfred; Vincze, Laszlo

    2015-07-01

    Recently, a radically new synchrotron radiation-based elemental imaging approach for the analysis of biological model organisms and single cells in their natural in vivo state was introduced. The methodology combines optical tweezers (OT) technology for non-contact laser-based sample manipulation with synchrotron radiation confocal X-ray fluorescence (XRF) microimaging for the first time at ESRF-ID13. The optical manipulation possibilities and limitations of biological model organisms, the OT setup developments for XRF imaging and the confocal XRF-related challenges are reported. In general, the applicability of the OT-based setup is extended with the aim of introducing the OT XRF methodology in all research fields where highly sensitive in vivo multi-elemental analysis is of relevance at the (sub)micrometre spatial resolution level.

  2. Using Grand Challenges to Teach Science: A Biology-Geology Collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyford, M.; Myers, J. D.

    2012-12-01

    Three science courses at the University of Wyoming explore the inextricable connections between science and society by centering on grand challenges. Two of these courses are introductory integrated science courses for non-majors while the third is an upper level course for majors and non-majors. Through collaboration, the authors have developed these courses to explore the grand challenges of energy, water and climate. Each course focuses on the fundamental STEM principles required for a citizen to understand each grand challenge. However, the courses also emphasize the non-STEM perspectives (e.g., economics, politics, human well-being, externalities) that underlie each grand challenge and argue that creating equitable, sustainable and just solutions to the grand challenges hinges on an understanding of STEM and non-STEM perspectives. Moreover, the authors also consider the multitude of personal perspectives individuals bring to the classroom (e.g., values, beliefs, empathy misconceptions) that influence any stakeholder's ability to engage in fruitful discussions about grand challenge solutions. Discovering Science (LIFE 1002) focuses on the grand challenges of energy and climate. Students attend three one-hour lectures, one two-hour lab and a one-hour discussion each week. Lectures emphasize the STEM and non-STEM principles underlying each grand challenge. Laboratory activities are designed to be interdisciplinary and engage students in inquiry-driven activities to reinforce concepts from lecture and to model how science is conducted. Labs also expose students to the difficulties often associated with scientific studies, the limits of science, and the inherent uncertainties associated with scientific findings. Discussion sessions provide an opportunity for students to explore the complexity of the grand challenges from STEM and non-STEM perspectives, and expose the multitude of personal perspectives an individual might harbor related to each grand challenge

  3. Coming Out in Class: Challenges and Benefits of Active Learning in a Biology Classroom for LGBTQIA Students.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Katelyn M; Brownell, Sara E

    2016-01-01

    As we transition our undergraduate biology classrooms from traditional lectures to active learning, the dynamics among students become more important. These dynamics can be influenced by student social identities. One social identity that has been unexamined in the context of undergraduate biology is the spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) identities. In this exploratory interview study, we probed the experiences and perceptions of seven students who identify as part of the LGBTQIA community. We found that students do not always experience the undergraduate biology classroom to be a welcoming or accepting place for their identities. In contrast to traditional lectures, active-learning classes increase the relevance of their LGBTQIA identities due to the increased interactions among students during group work. Finally, working with other students in active-learning classrooms can present challenges and opportunities for students considering their LGBTQIA identity. These findings indicate that these students' LGBTQIA identities are affecting their experience in the classroom and that there may be specific instructional practices that can mitigate some of the possible obstacles. We hope that this work can stimulate discussions about how to broadly make our active-learning biology classes more inclusive of this specific population of students. PMID:27543636

  4. Coming Out in Class: Challenges and Benefits of Active Learning in a Biology Classroom for LGBTQIA Students.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Katelyn M; Brownell, Sara E

    2016-01-01

    As we transition our undergraduate biology classrooms from traditional lectures to active learning, the dynamics among students become more important. These dynamics can be influenced by student social identities. One social identity that has been unexamined in the context of undergraduate biology is the spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) identities. In this exploratory interview study, we probed the experiences and perceptions of seven students who identify as part of the LGBTQIA community. We found that students do not always experience the undergraduate biology classroom to be a welcoming or accepting place for their identities. In contrast to traditional lectures, active-learning classes increase the relevance of their LGBTQIA identities due to the increased interactions among students during group work. Finally, working with other students in active-learning classrooms can present challenges and opportunities for students considering their LGBTQIA identity. These findings indicate that these students' LGBTQIA identities are affecting their experience in the classroom and that there may be specific instructional practices that can mitigate some of the possible obstacles. We hope that this work can stimulate discussions about how to broadly make our active-learning biology classes more inclusive of this specific population of students.

  5. Synthetic biology between challenges and risks: suggestions for a model of governance and a regulatory framework, based on fundamental rights.

    PubMed

    Colussi, Ilaria Anna

    2013-01-01

    This paper deals with the emerging synthetic biology, its challenges and risks, and tries to design a model for the governance and regulation of the field. The model is called of "prudent vigilance" (inspired by the report about synthetic biology, drafted by the U.S. Presidential Commission on Bioethics, 2010), and it entails (a) an ongoing and periodically revised process of assessment and management of all the risks and concerns, and (b) the adoption of policies - taken through "hard law" and "soft law" sources - that are based on the principle of proportionality (among benefits and risks), on a reasonable balancing between different interests and rights at stake, and are oriented by a constitutional frame, which is represented by the protection of fundamental human rights emerging in the field of synthetic biology (right to life, right to health, dignity, freedom of scientific research, right to environment). After the theoretical explanation of the model, its operability is "checked", by considering its application with reference to only one specific risk brought up by synthetic biology - biosecurity risk, i.e. the risk of bioterrorism.

  6. Coming Out in Class: Challenges and Benefits of Active Learning in a Biology Classroom for LGBTQIA Students

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Katelyn M.; Brownell, Sara E.

    2016-01-01

    As we transition our undergraduate biology classrooms from traditional lectures to active learning, the dynamics among students become more important. These dynamics can be influenced by student social identities. One social identity that has been unexamined in the context of undergraduate biology is the spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) identities. In this exploratory interview study, we probed the experiences and perceptions of seven students who identify as part of the LGBTQIA community. We found that students do not always experience the undergraduate biology classroom to be a welcoming or accepting place for their identities. In contrast to traditional lectures, active-learning classes increase the relevance of their LGBTQIA identities due to the increased interactions among students during group work. Finally, working with other students in active-learning classrooms can present challenges and opportunities for students considering their LGBTQIA identity. These findings indicate that these students’ LGBTQIA identities are affecting their experience in the classroom and that there may be specific instructional practices that can mitigate some of the possible obstacles. We hope that this work can stimulate discussions about how to broadly make our active-learning biology classes more inclusive of this specific population of students. PMID:27543636

  7. New and improved proteomics technologies for understanding complex biological systems: Addressing a grand challenge in the life sciences

    PubMed Central

    Hood, Leroy E.; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Moritz, Robert L.; Aebersold, Ruedi; Yamamoto, Keith R.; Amos, Michael; Hunter-Cevera, Jennie; Locascio, Laurie

    2014-01-01

    This White Paper sets out a Life Sciences Grand Challenge for Proteomics Technologies to enhance our understanding of complex biological systems, link genomes with phenotypes, and bring broad benefits to the biosciences and the US economy. The paper is based on a workshop hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, 14–15 February 2011, with participants from many federal R&D agencies and research communities, under the aegis of the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Opportunities are identified for a coordinated R&D effort to achieve major technology-based goals and address societal challenges in health, agriculture, nutrition, energy, environment, national security, and economic development. PMID:22807061

  8. New and improved proteomics technologies for understanding complex biological systems: addressing a grand challenge in the life sciences.

    PubMed

    Hood, Leroy E; Omenn, Gilbert S; Moritz, Robert L; Aebersold, Ruedi; Yamamoto, Keith R; Amos, Michael; Hunter-Cevera, Jennie; Locascio, Laurie

    2012-09-01

    This White Paper sets out a Life Sciences Grand Challenge for Proteomics Technologies to enhance our understanding of complex biological systems, link genomes with phenotypes, and bring broad benefits to the biosciences and the US economy. The paper is based on a workshop hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, 14-15 February 2011, with participants from many federal R&D agencies and research communities, under the aegis of the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Opportunities are identified for a coordinated R&D effort to achieve major technology-based goals and address societal challenges in health, agriculture, nutrition, energy, environment, national security, and economic development.

  9. Using Mobile Monitoring to Assess Spatial Variability in Urban Air Pollution Levels: Opportunities and Challenges (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, T.

    2010-12-01

    Measuring air pollution concentrations from a moving platform is not a new idea. Historically, however, most information on the spatial variability of air pollutants have been derived from fixed site networks operating simultaneously over space. While this approach has obvious advantages from a regulatory perspective, with the increasing need to understand ever finer scales of spatial variability in urban pollution levels, the use of mobile monitoring to supplement fixed site networks has received increasing attention. Here we present examples of the use of this approach: 1) to assess existing fixed-site fine particle networks in Seattle, WA, including the establishment of new fixed-site monitoring locations; 2) to assess the effectiveness of a regulatory intervention, a wood stove burning ban, on the reduction of fine particle levels in the greater Puget Sound region; and 3) to assess spatial variability of both wood smoke and mobile source impacts in both Vancouver, B.C. and Tacoma, WA. Deducing spatial information from the inherently spatio-temporal measurements taken from a mobile platform is an area that deserves further attention. We discuss the use of “fuzzy” points to address the fine-scale spatio-temporal variability in the concentration of mobile source pollutants, specifically to deduce the broader distribution and sources of fine particle soot in the summer in Vancouver, B.C. We also discuss the use of principal component analysis to assess the spatial variability in multivariate, source-related features deduced from simultaneous measurements of light scattering, light absorption and particle-bound PAHs in Tacoma, WA. With increasing miniaturization and decreasing power requirements of air monitoring instruments, the number of simultaneous measurements that can easily be made from a mobile platform is rapidly increasing. Hopefully the methods used to design mobile monitoring experiments for differing purposes, and the methods used to interpret those

  10. Biological Monitoring of Air Pollutants and Its Influence on Human Beings.

    PubMed

    Cen, Shihong

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring air pollutants via plants is an economic, convenient and credible method compared with the traditional ways. Plants show different damage symptoms to different air pollutants, which can be used to determine the species of air pollutants. Besides, pollutants mass concentration scope can be estimated by the damage extent of plants and the span of polluted time. Based on the domestic and foreign research, this paper discusses the principles, mechanism, advantages and disadvantages of plant-monitoring, and exemplifies plenty of such plants and the minimum mass concentration and pollution time of the plants showing damage symptoms. Finally, this paper introduced the human health effects of air pollutants on immune function of the body, such as decrease of the body's immune function, decline of lung function, respiratory and circulatory system changes, inducing and promoting human allergic diseases, respiratory diseases and other diseases.

  11. Biological Monitoring of Air Pollutants and Its Influence on Human Beings

    PubMed Central

    Cen, Shihong

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring air pollutants via plants is an economic, convenient and credible method compared with the traditional ways. Plants show different damage symptoms to different air pollutants, which can be used to determine the species of air pollutants. Besides, pollutants mass concentration scope can be estimated by the damage extent of plants and the span of polluted time. Based on the domestic and foreign research, this paper discusses the principles, mechanism, advantages and disadvantages of plant-monitoring, and exemplifies plenty of such plants and the minimum mass concentration and pollution time of the plants showing damage symptoms. Finally, this paper introduced the human health effects of air pollutants on immune function of the body, such as decrease of the body's immune function, decline of lung function, respiratory and circulatory system changes, inducing and promoting human allergic diseases, respiratory diseases and other diseases. PMID:26628931

  12. Spectroscopic Challenges in the Modelling and Diagnostics of High Temperature Air Plasma Radiation for Aerospace Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Laux, Christophe O.

    2007-04-06

    State-of-the-art spectroscopic models of the radiative transitions of interest for Earth re-entry and ground-based diagnostic facilities for aerospace applications are reviewed. The spectral range considered extends from the vacuum ultraviolet to the mid-infrared range (80 nm to 5.5 {mu}m). The modeling results are compared with absolute intensity measurements of the ultraviolet-visible-infrared emission of a well-characterized high-temperature air plasma produced with a 50 kW inductively coupled radio-frequency plasma torch, and with high-resolution absorption spectra from the Center for Astrophysics in the vacuum ultraviolet. The Spectroscopic data required to better model the spectral features of interest for aerospace applications are discussed.

  13. Validation and variability: dual challenges on the path from systems biology to systems medicine.

    PubMed

    Carusi, Annamaria

    2014-12-01

    Systems biology is currently making a bid to show that it is able to make an important contribution to personalised or precision medicine. In order to do so, systems biologists need to find a way of tackling the pervasive variability of biological systems that is manifested in the medical domain as inter-subject variability. This need is simultaneously social and epistemic: social as systems biologists attempt to engage with the interests and concerns of clinicians and others in applied medical research; epistemic as they attempt to develop new strategies to cope with variability in the validation of the computational models typical of systems biology. This paper describes one attempt to develop such a strategy: a trial with a population-of-models approach in the context of cardiac electrophysiology. I discuss the development of this approach against the background of ongoing tensions between mathematically and experimentally inclined modellers on the one hand, and attempts to forge new collaborations with medical scientists on the other. Apart from the scientific interest of the population-of-models approach for tackling variability, the trial also offers a good illustration of the epistemology of experiment-facing modelling. I claim that it shows the extent to which experiment-facing modelling and validation require the establishment of criteria for comparing models and experiments that enable them to be linked together. These 'grounds of comparability' are the broad framework in which validation experiments are interpreted and evaluated by all the disciplines in the collaboration, or being persuaded to participate in it. I claim that following the process of construction of the grounds of comparability allows us to see the establishment of epistemic norms for judging validation results, through a process of 'normative intra-action' (Rouse, 2002) that shape the social and epistemic evolution of systems approaches to biomedicine.

  14. Structural biology and bioinformatics in drug design: opportunities and challenges for target identification and lead discovery

    PubMed Central

    Blundell, Tom L; Sibanda, Bancinyane L; Montalvão, Rinaldo Wander; Brewerton, Suzanne; Chelliah, Vijayalakshmi; Worth, Catherine L; Harmer, Nicholas J; Davies, Owen; Burke, David

    2006-01-01

    Impressive progress in genome sequencing, protein expression and high-throughput crystallography and NMR has radically transformed the opportunities to use protein three-dimensional structures to accelerate drug discovery, but the quantity and complexity of the data have ensured a central place for informatics. Structural biology and bioinformatics have assisted in lead optimization and target identification where they have well established roles; they can now contribute to lead discovery, exploiting high-throughput methods of structure determination that provide powerful approaches to screening of fragment binding. PMID:16524830

  15. Municipal waste incinerators: air and biological monitoring of workers for exposure to particles, metals, and organic compounds

    PubMed Central

    Maitre, A; Collot-Fertey, D; Anzivino, L; Marques, M; Hours, M; Stoklov, M

    2003-01-01

    Aims: To evaluate occupational exposure to toxic pollutants at municipal waste incinerators (MWIs). Methods: Twenty nine male subjects working near the furnaces in two MWIs, and 17 subjects not occupationally exposed to combustion generated pollutants were studied. Individual air samples were taken throughout the shift; urine samples were collected before and after. Stationary air samples were taken near potential sources of emission. Results: Occupational exposure did not result in the infringement of any occupational threshold limit value. Atmospheric exposure levels to particles and metals were 10–100 times higher in MWIs than at the control site. The main sources were cleaning operations for particles, and residue transfer and disposal operations for metals. MWI workers were not exposed to higher levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than workers who are routinely in contact with vehicle exhaust. The air concentrations of volatile organic compounds and aldehydes were low and did not appear to pose any significant threat to human health. Only the measurement of chlorinated hydrocarbon levels would seem to be a reliable marker for the combustion of plastics. Urine metal levels were significantly higher at plant 1 than at plant 2 because of high levels of pollutants emanating from one old furnace. Conclusion: While biological monitoring is an easy way of acquiring data on long term personal exposure, air monitoring remains the only method that makes it possible to identify the primary sources of pollutant emission which need to be controlled if occupational exposure and environmental pollution are to be reduced. PMID:12883016

  16. Optimal control of systems governed by differential equations with applications in air traffic management and systems biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raffard, Robin L.

    Differential equations are arguably the most widespread formalism to model dynamical systems in sciences and engineering. In this dissertation, we strive to design a practical methodology which can be used for the optimal control of most systems modeled by differential equations. Namely, the method is applicable to ordinary differential equations (ODEs), partial differential equations (PDEs) and stochastic differential equations (SDEs) driven by deterministic control. The algorithm draws from both optimization and control theory. It solves the Pontryagin Maximum Principle conditions in an iterative fashion via a novel approximate Newton method. We also extend the method to the case in which multiple agents are involved in the optimal control problem. For this purpose, we use dual decomposition techniques which allow us to decentralize the control algorithm and to distribute the computational load among each individual agent. Most of the dissertation is devoted to promoting the applicability of the method to practical problems in air traffic management and systems biology. In air traffic management; we use the technique to optimize a new PDE-based Eulerian model of the airspace; suitable to represent and control air traffic flow at the scale of the US national airspace. We also apply the technique to aircraft coordination problems in the context of formation flight, in which aircraft dynamics are described by ODEs. In systems biology, we use the method to perform fast parameter identification in the analysis of protein networks, which allows us to gain some insights about the biological processes regulating the system. In particular we perform parameter identification for a PDE model of a spatially distributed network of proteins, playing a key role in the planar cell polarity of Drosophila wings. We also study a general representation of intra-cellular genetic networks, described as a stochastic nonlinear regulatory network, in which our control system approach

  17. The evolutionary developmental biology of tinkering: an introduction to the challenge.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Daniel E; Hall, Brian K

    2007-01-01

    Recent developments in evolutionary biology have conflicting implications for our understanding of the developmental bases of microevolutionary processes. On the one hand, Darwinian theory predicts that evolution occurs mostly gradually and incrementally through selection on small-scale, heritable changes in phenotype within populations. On the other hand, many discoveries in evolutionary developmental biology--quite a few based on comparisons of distantly related model organisms--suggest that relatively simple transformations of developmental pathways can lead to dramatic, rapid change in phenotype. Here I review the history of and bases for gradualist versus punctuationalist views from a developmental perspective, and propose a framework with which to reconcile them. Notably, while tinkering with developmental pathways can underlie large-scale transformations in body plan, the phenotypic effect of these changes is often modulated by the complexity of the genetic and epigenetic contexts in which they develop. Thus the phenotypic effects of mutations of potentially large effect can manifest themselves rapidly, but they are more likely to emerge more incrementally over evolutionary time via transitional forms as natural selection within populations acts on their expression. To test these hypotheses, and to better understand how developmental shifts underlie microevolutionary change, future research needs to be directed at understanding how complex developmental networks, both genetic and epigenetic, structure the phenotypic effects of particular mutations within populations of organisms.

  18. Interaction of Materials and Biology in Total Joint Replacement – Successes, Challenges and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Sato, T; Yao, Z; Goodman, SB

    2014-01-01

    Total joint replacement (TJR) has revolutionized the treatment of end-stage arthritic disorders. This success is due, in large part, to a clear understanding of the important interaction between the artificial implant and the biology of the host. All surgical procedures in which implants are placed in the body evoke an initial inflammatory reaction, which generally subsides over several weeks. Thereafter, a series of homeostatic events occur leading to progressive integration of the implant within bone and the surrounding musculoskeletal tissues. The eventual outcome of the operation is dependent on the characteristics of the implant, the precision of the surgical technique and operative environment, and the biological milieu of the host. If these factors and events are not optimal, adverse events can occur such as the development of chronic inflammation, progressive bone loss due to increased production of degradation products from the implant (periprosthetic osteolysis), implant loosening or infection. These complications can lead to chronic pain and poor function of the joint reconstruction, and may necessitate revision surgery or removal of the prosthesis entirely. Recent advances in engineering, materials science, and the immunological aspects associated with orthopaedic implants have fostered intense research with the hope that joint replacements will last a lifetime, and facilitate pain-free, normal function. PMID:25541591

  19. AICE Survey of USSR Air Pollution Literature, Volume 15: A Third Compilation of Technical Reports on the Biological Effects and the Public Health Aspects of Atmospheric Pollutants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nuttonson, M. Y.

    Ten papers were translated: Maximum permissible concentrations of noxious substances in the atmospheric air of populated areas; Some aspects of the biological effect of microconcentrations of two chloroisocyanates; The toxicology of low concentrations of aromatic hydrocarbons; Chronic action of low concentrations of acrolein in air on the…

  20. Tire Changes, Fresh Air, and Yellow Flags: Challenges in Predictive Analytics for Professional Racing.

    PubMed

    Tulabandhula, Theja; Rudin, Cynthia

    2014-06-01

    Our goal is to design a prediction and decision system for real-time use during a professional car race. In designing a knowledge discovery process for racing, we faced several challenges that were overcome only when domain knowledge of racing was carefully infused within statistical modeling techniques. In this article, we describe how we leveraged expert knowledge of the domain to produce a real-time decision system for tire changes within a race. Our forecasts have the potential to impact how racing teams can optimize strategy by making tire-change decisions to benefit their rank position. Our work significantly expands previous research on sports analytics, as it is the only work on analytical methods for within-race prediction and decision making for professional car racing.

  1. Challenge of investigating biologically relevant functions of virulence factors in bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed Central

    Moxon, R; Tang, C

    2000-01-01

    Recent innovations have increased enormously the opportunities for investigating the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenicity, including the availability of whole-genome sequences, techniques for identifying key virulence genes, and the use of microarrays and proteomics. These methods should provide powerful tools for analysing the patterns of gene expression and function required for investigating host-microbe interactions in vivo. But, the challenge is exacting. Pathogenicity is a complex phenotype and the reductionist approach does not adequately address the eclectic and variable outcomes of host-microbe interactions, including evolutionary dynamics and ecological factors. There are difficulties in distinguishing bacterial 'virulence' factors from the many determinants that are permissive for pathogenicity, for example those promoting general fitness. A further practical problem for some of the major bacterial pathogens is that there are no satisfactory animal models or experimental assays that adequately reflect the infection under investigation. In this review, we give a personal perspective on the challenge of characterizing how bacterial pathogens behave in vivo and discuss some of the methods that might be most relevant for understanding the molecular basis of the diseases for which they are responsible. Despite the powerful genomic, molecular, cellular and structural technologies available to us, we are still struggling to come to grips with the question of 'What is a pathogen?' PMID:10874737

  2. The Challenges of Field Testing the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) in an Operational Air Traffic Control Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoang, Ty; Swenson, Harry N.

    1997-01-01

    The Traffic Management Advisor (TMA), the sequence and schedule tool of the Center/TRACON Automation System (CTAS), was evaluated at the Fort Worth Center (ZFW) in the summer of 1996. This paper describes the challenges encountered during the various phases of the TMA field evaluation, which included system (hardware and software) installation, personnel training, and data collection. Operational procedures were developed and applied to the evaluation process that would ensure air safety. The five weeks of field evaluation imposed minimal impact on the hosting facility and provided valuable engineering and human factors data. The collection of data was very much an opportunistic affair, due to dynamic traffic conditions. One measure of the success of the TMA evaluation is that, rather than remove TMA after the evaluation until it could be fully implemented, the prototype TMA is in continual use at ZFW as the fully operational version is readied for implementation.

  3. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Great Lakes economy: Challenges and opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, D.; Molburg, J.; Pandola, G.; Taxon, T.; Lurie, G.; Fisher, R.; Boyd, G. ); Fox, J. )

    1991-01-01

    This paper deals with the market for SO{sub 2} emission allowances over time and electric utility compliance choices. For currently high emitting plants ( > 2.5 lb SO{sub 2}/MMBtu), the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) provide for about twice as many SO{sub 2} allowances to be issued per year in Phase 1 (1995--1999) than in Phase 2. Also, considering the scrubber incentives in Phase 1, there is likely to be substantial emission banking for use in Phase 2. Allowance prices are expected to increase over time at a rate less than the return on alternative investments, so utilities which are risk neutral or other potential speculators in the allowance market are not expected to bank allowances. The allowances will be banked by risk averse utilities or the utilities may buy forward contracts for SO{sub 2} allowances. However, speculators may play an important role by selling forward contracts for SO{sub 2} allowances to the risk averse utilities. The Argonne Utility Simulation Model (ARGUS) is being revised to incorporate the provisions of the CAAA acid rain title and to simulate SO{sub 2} allowance prices, compliance choices, capacity expansion, system dispatch, fuel use, and emissions. The revised model (ARGUS2) incorporates unit-level performance data and can incorporate unit-specific compliance decisions when these are known. The model has been designed for convenience in analyzing alternatives scenarios (demand growth rates, technology mix, economic parameters, etc). 1 ref., 5 figs.

  4. Current Trends and New Challenges of Databases and Web Applications for Systems Driven Biological Research

    PubMed Central

    Sreenivasaiah, Pradeep Kumar; Kim, Do Han

    2010-01-01

    Dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of systems driven research imposes special requirements on the technology, approach, design and architecture of computational infrastructure including database and Web application. Several solutions have been proposed to meet the expectations and novel methods have been developed to address the persisting problems of data integration. It is important for researchers to understand different technologies and approaches. Having familiarized with the pros and cons of the existing technologies, researchers can exploit its capabilities to the maximum potential for integrating data. In this review we discuss the architecture, design and key technologies underlying some of the prominent databases and Web applications. We will mention their roles in integration of biological data and investigate some of the emerging design concepts and computational technologies that are likely to have a key role in the future of systems driven biomedical research. PMID:21423387

  5. Current Advances and Future Challenges in Adenoviral Vector Biology and Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Samuel K.; Barry, Michael A.

    2008-01-01

    Gene delivery vectors based on Adenoviral (Ad) vectors have enormous potential for the treatment of both hereditary and acquired disease. Detailed structural analysis of the Ad virion, combined with functional studies has broadened our knowledge of the structure/function relationships between Ad vectors and host cells/tissues and substantial achievement has been made towards a thorough understanding of the biology of Ad vectors. The widespread use of Ad vectors for clinical gene therapy is compromised by their inherent immunogenicity. The generation of safer and more effective Ad vectors, targeted to the site of disease, has therefore become a great ambition in the field of Ad vector development. This review provides a synopsis of the structure/function relationships between Ad vectors and host systems and summarizes the many innovative approaches towards achieving Ad vector targeting. PMID:17584037

  6. Current trends and new challenges of databases and web applications for systems driven biological research.

    PubMed

    Sreenivasaiah, Pradeep Kumar; Kim, Do Han

    2010-01-01

    Dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of systems driven research imposes special requirements on the technology, approach, design and architecture of computational infrastructure including database and Web application. Several solutions have been proposed to meet the expectations and novel methods have been developed to address the persisting problems of data integration. It is important for researchers to understand different technologies and approaches. Having familiarized with the pros and cons of the existing technologies, researchers can exploit its capabilities to the maximum potential for integrating data. In this review we discuss the architecture, design and key technologies underlying some of the prominent databases and Web applications. We will mention their roles in integration of biological data and investigate some of the emerging design concepts and computational technologies that are likely to have a key role in the future of systems driven biomedical research.

  7. Topical, Biological and Clinical Challenges in the Management of Patients with Acne Vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Al-Hammadi, Anwar; Al-Ismaily, Abla; Al-Ali, Sameer; Ramadurai, Rajesh; Jain, Rishi; McKinley-Grant, Lynn; Mughal, Tariq I

    2016-05-01

    Acne vulgaris is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin disorders among adolescents and young adults. It is associated with substantial morbidity and, rarely, with mortality. The exact worldwide incidence and prevalence are currently unknown. Current challenges involve improving understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of acne vulgaris and developing a practical treatment consensus. Expert panel discussions were held in 2013 and 2014 among a group of scientists and clinicians from the Omani and United Arab Emirate Dermatology Societies to ascertain the current optimal management of acne vulgaris, identify clinically relevant end-points and construct suitable methodology for future clinical trial designs. This article reviews the discussions of these sessions and recent literature on this topic.

  8. Physics and the canalization of morphogenesis: a grand challenge in organismal biology

    PubMed Central

    von Dassow, Michelangelo; Davidson, Lance A.

    2011-01-01

    Morphogenesis takes place in a background of organism-to-organism and environmental variation. Therefore, a fundamental question in the study of morphogenesis is how the mechanical processes of tissue movement and deformation are affected by that variability, and in turn, how the mechanics of the system modulates phenotypic variation. We highlight a few key factors, including environmental temperature, embryo size, and environmental chemistry that might perturb the mechanics of morphogenesis in natural populations. Then we discuss several ways in which mechanics – including feedback from mechanical cues – might influence intra-specific variation in morphogenesis. To understand morphogenesis it will be necessary to consider whole-organism, environment, and evolutionary scales because these larger scales present the challenges that developmental mechanisms have evolved to cope with. Studying the variation organisms express and the variation organisms experience will aid in deciphering the causes of birth defects. PMID:21750364

  9. Physics and the canalization of morphogenesis: a grand challenge in organismal biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Dassow, Michelangelo; Davidson, Lance A.

    2011-08-01

    Morphogenesis takes place against a background of organism-to-organism and environmental variation. Therefore, fundamental questions in the study of morphogenesis include: How are the mechanical processes of tissue movement and deformation affected by that variability, and in turn, how do the mechanic of the system modulate phenotypic variation? We highlight a few key factors, including environmental temperature, embryo size and environmental chemistry that might perturb the mechanics of morphogenesis in natural populations. Then we discuss several ways in which mechanics—including feedback from mechanical cues—might influence intra-specific variation in morphogenesis. To understand morphogenesis it will be necessary to consider whole-organism, environment and evolutionary scales because these larger scales present the challenges that developmental mechanisms have evolved to cope with. Studying the variation organisms express and the variation organisms experience will aid in deciphering the causes of birth defects.

  10. Topical, Biological and Clinical Challenges in the Management of Patients with Acne Vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hammadi, Anwar; Al-Ismaily, Abla; Al-Ali, Sameer; Ramadurai, Rajesh; Jain, Rishi; McKinley-Grant, Lynn; Mughal, Tariq I.

    2016-01-01

    Acne vulgaris is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin disorders among adolescents and young adults. It is associated with substantial morbidity and, rarely, with mortality. The exact worldwide incidence and prevalence are currently unknown. Current challenges involve improving understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of acne vulgaris and developing a practical treatment consensus. Expert panel discussions were held in 2013 and 2014 among a group of scientists and clinicians from the Omani and United Arab Emirate Dermatology Societies to ascertain the current optimal management of acne vulgaris, identify clinically relevant end-points and construct suitable methodology for future clinical trial designs. This article reviews the discussions of these sessions and recent literature on this topic. PMID:27226905

  11. "Nested" cryptic diversity in a widespread marine ecosystem engineer: a challenge for detecting biological invasions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Ecosystem engineers facilitate habitat formation and enhance biodiversity, but when they become invasive, they present a critical threat to native communities because they can drastically alter the receiving habitat. Management of such species thus needs to be a priority, but the poorly resolved taxonomy of many ecosystem engineers represents a major obstacle to correctly identifying them as being either native or introduced. We address this dilemma by studying the sea squirt Pyura stolonifera, an important ecosystem engineer that dominates coastal communities particularly in the southern hemisphere. Using DNA sequence data from four independently evolving loci, we aimed to determine levels of cryptic diversity, the invasive or native status of each regional population, and the most appropriate sampling design for identifying the geographic ranges of each evolutionary unit. Results Extensive sampling in Africa, Australasia and South America revealed the existence of "nested" levels of cryptic diversity, in which at least five distinct species can be further subdivided into smaller-scale genetic lineages. The ranges of several evolutionary units are limited by well-documented biogeographic disjunctions. Evidence for both cryptic native diversity and the existence of invasive populations allows us to considerably refine our view of the native versus introduced status of the evolutionary units within Pyura stolonifera in the different coastal communities they dominate. Conclusions This study illustrates the degree of taxonomic complexity that can exist within widespread species for which there is little taxonomic expertise, and it highlights the challenges involved in distinguishing between indigenous and introduced populations. The fact that multiple genetic lineages can be native to a single geographic region indicates that it is imperative to obtain samples from as many different habitat types and biotic zones as possible when attempting to identify the

  12. Photocatalytic elimination of indoor air biological and chemical pollution in realistic conditions.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Benigno; Sánchez-Muñoz, Marta; Muñoz-Vicente, María; Cobas, Guillermo; Portela, Raquel; Suárez, Silvia; González, Aldo E; Rodríguez, Nuria; Amils, Ricardo

    2012-05-01

    The photocatalytic elimination of microorganisms from indoor air in realistic conditions and the feasibility of simultaneous elimination of chemical contaminants have been studied at laboratory scale. Transparent polymeric monoliths have been coated with sol-gel TiO(2) films and used as photocatalyst to treat real indoor air in a laboratory-scale single-step annular photocatalytic reactor. The analytical techniques used to characterize the air quality and analyze the results of the photocatalytic tests were: colony counting, microscopy and PCR with subsequent sequencing for microbial quantification and identification; automated thermal desorption coupled to gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection for chemical analysis. The first experiments performed proved that photocatalysis based on UVA-irradiated TiO(2) for the reduction of the concentration of bacteria in the air could compete with the conventional photolytic treatment with UVC radiation, more expensive and hazardous. Simultaneously to the disinfection, the concentration of volatile organic compounds was greatly reduced, which adds value to this technology for real applications. The fungal colony number was not apparently modified.

  13. SMOG CHAMBERS: A TOOL TO EXAMINE EFFECTS OF PHOTOCHEMICALLY AGED AIR POLLUTANTS ON BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Irradiative exposure chambers or 'Smog chambers' have been used at the University of North Carolina for over 30 years to study photochemically active mixtures of volatile organic compounds and their transformation products (a significant sub-set of Hazardous Air Pollutants, HAPs)...

  14. Biological monitoring of dichloropropene: Air concentrations, urinary metabolite, and renal enzyme excretion

    SciTech Connect

    Osterloh, J.D.; Wang, R.; Schneider, F.; Maddy, K. )

    1989-07-01

    Fifteen applicators of dichloropropene (DCP) were studied for personal air exposure to DCP, excretion of the metabolite of DCP (3CNAC), and excretion of the renal tubular enzyme, N-acetyl glucosaminidase (NAG). Each was studied for four 6-8 h consecutive intervals following baseline determinations of 3CNAC and NAG excretion. In accord with pilot data, 24-h urinary excretion of 3CNAC (mg) correlated well with exposure product for DCP (min exposed.mg/m{sup 3}), r = 0.854, p less than .001. A more precise correlation of the air exposure product with urinary excretion of 3CNAC was discerned by using the morning urine after the previous day of exposure (micrograms/mg of creatinine), r = 0.914, p less than .001. Four workers had clinically elevated activity of NAG (greater than 4 mU/mg creatinine) in any of their urine collections after baseline. Nine workers showed greater than 25% increases in NAG excretion when compared to baseline. Dichloropropene air exposure products of greater than 700 mg.min/m{sup 3} or excretion of greater than 1.5 mg 3CNAC/d distinguished abnormally high daily excretion of NAG. These data demonstrate a firm positive relationship between air exposure and internal exposure, and a possible subclinical nephrotoxic effect in DCP workers.

  15. The role of biological system other than auditory air-conduction in the emergence of the hypersonic effect.

    PubMed

    Oohashi, Tsutomu; Kawai, Norie; Nishina, Emi; Honda, Manabu; Yagi, Reiko; Nakamura, Satoshi; Morimoto, Masako; Maekawa, Tadao; Yonekura, Yoshiharu; Shibasaki, Hiroshi

    2006-02-16

    Although human beings cannot perceive elastic vibrations in the frequency range above 20 kHz, nonstationary sounds containing a wealth of inaudible high-frequency components (HFC) above the human audible range activate deep-lying brain structures, including the brainstem and thalamus and evoke various physiological, psychological, and behavioral responses. In the previous reports, we have called these phenomena collectively "the hypersonic effect." It remains unclear, however, if vibratory stimuli above the audible range are transduced and perceived solely via the conventional air-conducting auditory system or if other mechanisms also contribute to mediate transduction and perception. In the present study, we have examined the emergence of the hypersonic effect when inaudible HFC and audible low-frequency components (LFC) were presented selectively to the ears, the entrance of an air-conducting auditory system, or to the body surface including the head which might contain some unknown vibratory sensing mechanisms. We used two independent measurements based on differing principles; one physiological (alpha 2 frequency of spontaneous electroencephalogram [alpha-EEG]) and the other behavioral (the comfortable listening level [CLL]). Only when the listener's entire body surface was exposed to HFC, but not when HFC was presented exclusively to the air-conducting auditory system, did both the alpha-EEG and the CLL significantly increase compared to the presentation of LFC alone, that is to say, there was an evident emergence of the hypersonic effect. The present findings suggest that the conventional air-conducting auditory system alone does not bring about the hypersonic effect. We may need to consider the possible involvement of a biological system distinct from the conventional air-conducting auditory nervous system in sensing and transducing high-frequency elastic vibration above the human audible range.

  16. [Monitoring of wokplace air and coveralls pollution with mercury, and its content of biologic materials in workers engaged into caustic soda production].

    PubMed

    Lisetskaya, L G; Meshakova, N M; Shayakhmetov, S F

    2015-01-01

    The article covers retrospective evaluation of workplace air pollution with mercury in caustic production, and mercury content of swabs from coveralls and of biologic materials in the workers under study. The highest mercury content of biologic materials (blood, hair) was seen in workers of electrolysis workshop and mercury-containing sludge regeneration workshop. The authors revealed correlation between individual value of exposure to mercury and mercury content of biologic materials.

  17. Umbilical cord blood transplantation: basic biology and clinical challenges to immune reconstitution.

    PubMed

    Brown, Julia A; Boussiotis, Vassiliki A

    2008-06-01

    Allogeneic stem cell transplantation has continued to evolve as a common procedure for the treatment of hematological malignancies and bone marrow failure. Donor bone marrow and mobilized peripheral stem cells are routinely employed for the reconstitution of immune function in leukemia and lymphoma patients following radiation and/or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, only 30% of patients have an HLA-identical sibling donor and the identification of matched unrelated donors, particularly for minorities, can present an exceptional challenge. The transplantation of umbilical cord blood (UCB) represents the most recent strategy to expand the potential donor pool while maintaining an acceptable level of treatment-related complications. First utilized in children, UCB transplantation permits a higher degree of HLA disparity while demonstrating a reduction in the incidence and severity of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) compared to previous transplantation modalities. Despite the apparent decrease in GvHD, relapse rates remain comparable to transplantation with bone marrow or mobilized peripheral blood suggesting a strong graft-versus-leukemia/lymphoma (GvL) effect. However, several issues complicate the use of UCB transplantation and its extension to the treatment of adults. Many infections that afflict transplant patients are particularly frequent and more severe in the context of UCB transplantation. UCB T-cells are naive and therefore display less proliferation and IFN-gamma production in response to cognate antigen and also appear to demonstrate defects in signal transduction mechanisms. In addition, UCB contains T regulatory cells (Treg) with more potent suppressor function than adult Treg. Furthermore, adult patients often require more total cells and CD34+ progenitors for transplantation than a single UCB unit can provide. Thus, strategies to expand selected subpopulations from UCB and the use of multi-unit transplantation are areas of active research. This review

  18. The challenge of preparation for a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear terrorist attack.

    PubMed

    Alexander, D A; Klein, S

    2006-01-01

    Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, but, in the contemporary scene, it has established itself in a manner which commands the most serious attention of the authorities. Until relatively recently, the major threat has been through the medium of conventional weaponry and explosives. Their obvious convenience of use and accessibility guarantees that such methods will continue to represent a serious threat. However, over the last few years, terrorists have displayed an enthusiasm for higher levels of carnage, destruction and publicity. This trend leads inexorably to the conclusion that chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) methods will be pursued by terrorist organisations, particularly those which are well organised, are based on immutable ideological principles, and have significant financial backing. Whilst it is important that the authorities and the general public do not risk over-reacting to such a threat (otherwise, they will do the work of the terrorists for them), it would be equally ill-advised to seek comfort in denial. The reality of a CBRN event has to be accepted and, as a consequence, the authorities need to consider (and take seriously) how individuals and the community are likely to react thereto and to identify (and rehearse in a realistic climate) what steps would need to be taken to ameliorate the effects of such an event. PMID:16679677

  19. Biology in the Anthropocene: Challenges and insights from young fossil records.

    PubMed

    Kidwell, Susan M

    2015-04-21

    With overwhelming evidence of change in habitats, biologists today must assume that few, if any, study areas are natural and that biological variability is superimposed on trends rather than stationary means. Paleobiological data from the youngest sedimentary record, including death assemblages actively accumulating on modern land surfaces and seabeds, provide unique information on the status of present-day species, communities, and biomes over the last few decades to millennia and on their responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Key advances have established the accuracy and resolving power of paleobiological information derived from naturally preserved remains and of proxy evidence for environmental conditions and sample age so that fossil data can both implicate and exonerate human stressors as the drivers of biotic change and permit the effects of multiple stressors to be disentangled. Legacy effects from Industrial and even pre-Industrial anthropogenic extirpations, introductions, (de)nutrification, and habitat conversion commonly emerge as the primary factors underlying the present-day status of populations and communities; within the last 2 million years, climate change has rarely been sufficient to drive major extinction pulses absent other human pressures, which are now manifold. Young fossil records also provide rigorous access to the baseline composition and dynamics of modern-day biota under pre-Industrial conditions, where insights include the millennial-scale persistence of community structures, the dominant role of physical environmental conditions rather than biotic interactions in determining community composition and disassembly, and the existence of naturally alternating states.

  20. Biology in the Anthropocene: Challenges and insights from young fossil records.

    PubMed

    Kidwell, Susan M

    2015-04-21

    With overwhelming evidence of change in habitats, biologists today must assume that few, if any, study areas are natural and that biological variability is superimposed on trends rather than stationary means. Paleobiological data from the youngest sedimentary record, including death assemblages actively accumulating on modern land surfaces and seabeds, provide unique information on the status of present-day species, communities, and biomes over the last few decades to millennia and on their responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Key advances have established the accuracy and resolving power of paleobiological information derived from naturally preserved remains and of proxy evidence for environmental conditions and sample age so that fossil data can both implicate and exonerate human stressors as the drivers of biotic change and permit the effects of multiple stressors to be disentangled. Legacy effects from Industrial and even pre-Industrial anthropogenic extirpations, introductions, (de)nutrification, and habitat conversion commonly emerge as the primary factors underlying the present-day status of populations and communities; within the last 2 million years, climate change has rarely been sufficient to drive major extinction pulses absent other human pressures, which are now manifold. Young fossil records also provide rigorous access to the baseline composition and dynamics of modern-day biota under pre-Industrial conditions, where insights include the millennial-scale persistence of community structures, the dominant role of physical environmental conditions rather than biotic interactions in determining community composition and disassembly, and the existence of naturally alternating states. PMID:25901315

  1. Biology in the Anthropocene: Challenges and insights from young fossil records

    PubMed Central

    Kidwell, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    With overwhelming evidence of change in habitats, biologists today must assume that few, if any, study areas are natural and that biological variability is superimposed on trends rather than stationary means. Paleobiological data from the youngest sedimentary record, including death assemblages actively accumulating on modern land surfaces and seabeds, provide unique information on the status of present-day species, communities, and biomes over the last few decades to millennia and on their responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Key advances have established the accuracy and resolving power of paleobiological information derived from naturally preserved remains and of proxy evidence for environmental conditions and sample age so that fossil data can both implicate and exonerate human stressors as the drivers of biotic change and permit the effects of multiple stressors to be disentangled. Legacy effects from Industrial and even pre-Industrial anthropogenic extirpations, introductions, (de)nutrification, and habitat conversion commonly emerge as the primary factors underlying the present-day status of populations and communities; within the last 2 million years, climate change has rarely been sufficient to drive major extinction pulses absent other human pressures, which are now manifold. Young fossil records also provide rigorous access to the baseline composition and dynamics of modern-day biota under pre-Industrial conditions, where insights include the millennial-scale persistence of community structures, the dominant role of physical environmental conditions rather than biotic interactions in determining community composition and disassembly, and the existence of naturally alternating states. PMID:25901315

  2. Biological underpinnings of breastfeeding challenges: the role of genetics, diet, and environment on lactation physiology.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sooyeon; Kelleher, Shannon L

    2016-08-01

    Lactation is a dynamic process that has evolved to produce a complex biological fluid that provides nutritive and nonnutritive factors to the nursing offspring. It has long been assumed that once lactation is successfully initiated, the primary factor regulating milk production is infant demand. Thus, most interventions have focused on improving breastfeeding education and early lactation support. However, in addition to infant demand, increasing evidence from studies conducted in experimental animal models, production animals, and breastfeeding women suggests that a diverse array of maternal factors may also affect milk production and composition. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of the role of maternal genetics and modifiable factors, such as diet and environmental exposures, on reproductive endocrinology, lactation physiology, and the ability to successfully produce milk. To identify factors that may affect lactation in women, we highlight some information gleaned from studies in experimental animal models and production animals. Finally, we highlight the gaps in current knowledge and provide commentary on future research opportunities aimed at improving lactation outcomes in breastfeeding women to improve the health of mothers and their infants. PMID:27354238

  3. Stabilization challenges and formulation strategies associated with oral biologic drug delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Truong-Le, Vu; Lovalenti, Phillip M; Abdul-Fattah, Ahmad M

    2015-10-01

    Delivery of proteins to mucosal tissues of GI tract typically utilize formulations which protect against proteolysis and target the mucosal tissues. Using case studies from literature and the authors' own work, the in-process stability and solid state storage stability of biopharmaceuticals formulated in delivery systems designed for oral delivery to the GI tract will be reviewed. Among the range of delivery systems, biodegradable polymer systems for protection and controlled release of proteins have been the most studied; hence these systems will be covered in greater depth. These delivery systems include polymeric biodegradable microspheres or nanospheres that contain proteins or vaccines, which are designed to reduce the number of administrations/inoculations and the total protein dose required to achieve the desired biological effect. Specifically, this review will include a landscape survey of the systems that have been studied, the manufacturing processes involved, stability through the manufacturing process, key pharmaceutical formulation parameters that impact stability of the encased proteins, and storage stability of the encapsulated proteins in these delivery systems.

  4. Time-restricted feeding and the realignment of biological rhythms: translational opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Sunderram, Jag; Sofou, Stavroula; Kamisoglu, Kubra; Karantza, Vassiliki; Androulakis, Ioannis P

    2014-03-28

    It has been argued that circadian dysregulation is not only a critical inducer and promoter of adverse health effects, exacerbating symptom burden, but also hampers recovery. Therefore understanding the health-promoting roles of regulating (i.e., restoring) circadian rhythms, thus suppressing harmful effects of circadian dysregulation, would likely improve treatment. At a critical care setting it has been argued that studies are warranted to determine whether there is any use in restoring circadian rhythms in critically ill patients, what therapeutic goals should be targeted, and how these could be achieved. Particularly interesting are interventional approaches aiming at optimizing the time of feeding in relation to individualized day-night cycles for patients receiving enteral nutrition, in an attempt to re-establish circadian patterns of molecular expression. In this short review we wish to explore the idea of transiently imposing (appropriate, but yet to be determined) circadian rhythmicity via regulation of food intake as a means of exploring rhythm-setting properties of metabolic cues in the context of improving immune response. We highlight some of the key elements associated with his complex question particularly as they relate to: a) stress and rhythmic variability; and b) metabolic entrainment of peripheral tissues as a possible intervention strategy through time-restricted feeding. Finally, we discuss the challenges and opportunities for translating these ideas to the bedside.

  5. Use of ERTS imagery in air pollution and marine biology studies, tasks 1 through 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Copeland, G. E.; Ludwick, J. C.; Marshall, H. G. (Principal Investigator); Bandy, A. R.; Fleischer, P.; Hanna, W. J.; Gosink, T. A.; Bowker, D. W.

    1972-01-01

    There are no author-identified significant results in this report. The general suitability of ERTS imagery in detecting ground originated air pollution has proved to be excellent. The quality and resolution exceeded expectations and has permitted in some instances location of point sources to within a thousand feet. Suitable techniques have not yet been developed for determining or measuring area and line sources of air pollution. A major problem has been cloud cover that has persisted over the area of primary interest, the Chesapeake Bay. Work has been completed on mounting the shipboard transmissometer which will be used for investigations to relate the chlorophyll and suspended sediment content in the waters of the Lower Chesapeake Bay to ERTS-1 imagery. Water sampling, plankton analysis, and preparations for sea collection of water truth along the eastern continental shelf of the U.S. have been completed for use in comparisons with ERTS-1 data.

  6. Tracking Legionella in air generated from a biological treatment plant: a case study of the outbreak of legionellosis in Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blatny, Janet M.; Olsen, Jaran S.; Andreassen, Øyvind; Waagen, Viggo; Reif, Bjørn Anders P.

    2011-05-01

    Two outbreaks of legionellosis occurred in the Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad region southeast of Norway in 2005 and 2008 where more than 60 exposed individuals were infected and 10 case patients died. The air scrubber at Borregaard, a wood-based chemical factory, was identified as the outbreak source. High concentration levels of Legionella species, including the etiological agent L. pneumophila SG1 was found in the aeration ponds, which belongs to Borregaard's biological treatment plant. Results showed that these ponds were able to generate Legionella-containing aerosols that were transported by the wind as such aerosols were measured up to 200 meters downwind of the pond. Our studies did not detect L. pneumophila SG1 isolates, only L. pneumophila SG4 during the air sampling measurement campaign. Furthermore, the operational conditions of the air scrubber proved to be harsh for Legionella growth as the outbreak L. pneumophila strains were not able to grow at 45ºC and pH8 (conditions during the outbreaks). These results, together, lead us to suggest that the aeration pond should be regarded as the primary amplifier and disseminator of Legionella and L. pneumophila and thereby most likely being the outbreak source.

  7. Challenges in determining causation in structure-function studies using molecular biological techniques.

    PubMed

    de los Reyes, Francis L

    2010-09-01

    The use of molecular biological techniques for determining the levels and types of different microbial populations in bioreactors has led to the emergence of the microbial community 'structure-function' paradigm that is often used in research. Typically, lab- or full-scale systems are monitored for the relevant parameters, and these parameters are related to the changes in microbial populations. Research in activated sludge phenomena, such as filamentous bulking, filamentous foaming, nitrogen removal, and phosphorus removal, are replete with many examples of this 'structure-function' paradigm, most commonly those that involve 16S rRNA gene-based analysis of the microbial populations. In many cases, such studies assume a causal microbial population (e.g., a species that causes bulking or foaming), or conclude in identifying a causal population. However, assigning cause to specific organisms and populations is problematic in a complex environment such as wastewater bioreactors. The Koch-Henle postulates, the gold standard in evaluating causation of disease, have limitations when applied to systems with mixed microbial communities with complex interactions, particularly if pure cultures are not available. Molecular techniques that allow specific identification and quantification of organisms have been used by researchers to overcome the limitations of culture-based techniques, and at the same time, raised new questions on the applicability of causation postulates in environmental systems. In this paper, various causation criteria improving on the Koch-Henle postulates are presented. Complicating issues in assigning cause in wastewater bioreactors are identified. Approaches for determining cause-effect relationships are illustrated using 16S rDNA-based investigations of filaments that cause bulking and foaming in activated sludge. The hope is that a causation framework that accounts for the assumptions in molecular studies, as applied to wastewater treatment research

  8. Enabling X-ray free electron laser crystallography for challenging biological systems from a limited number of crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Uervirojnangkoorn, Monarin; Zeldin, Oliver B.; Lyubimov, Artem Y.; Hattne, Johan; Brewster, Aaron S.; Sauter, Nicholas K.; Brunger, Axel T.; Weis, William I.

    2015-03-17

    There is considerable potential for X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) to enable determination of macromolecular crystal structures that are difficult to solve using current synchrotron sources. Prior XFEL studies often involved the collection of thousands to millions of diffraction images, in part due to limitations of data processing methods. We implemented a data processing system based on classical post-refinement techniques, adapted to specific properties of XFEL diffraction data. When applied to XFEL data from three different proteins collected using various sample delivery systems and XFEL beam parameters, our method improved the quality of the diffraction data as well as the resulting refined atomic models and electron density maps. Moreover, the number of observations for a reflection necessary to assemble an accurate data set could be reduced to a few observations. These developments will help expand the applicability of XFEL crystallography to challenging biological systems, including cases where sample is limited.

  9. Enabling X-ray free electron laser crystallography for challenging biological systems from a limited number of crystals

    DOE PAGES

    Uervirojnangkoorn, Monarin; Zeldin, Oliver B.; Lyubimov, Artem Y.; Hattne, Johan; Brewster, Aaron S.; Sauter, Nicholas K.; Brunger, Axel T.; Weis, William I.

    2015-03-17

    There is considerable potential for X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) to enable determination of macromolecular crystal structures that are difficult to solve using current synchrotron sources. Prior XFEL studies often involved the collection of thousands to millions of diffraction images, in part due to limitations of data processing methods. We implemented a data processing system based on classical post-refinement techniques, adapted to specific properties of XFEL diffraction data. When applied to XFEL data from three different proteins collected using various sample delivery systems and XFEL beam parameters, our method improved the quality of the diffraction data as well as themore » resulting refined atomic models and electron density maps. Moreover, the number of observations for a reflection necessary to assemble an accurate data set could be reduced to a few observations. These developments will help expand the applicability of XFEL crystallography to challenging biological systems, including cases where sample is limited.« less

  10. Enabling X-ray free electron laser crystallography for challenging biological systems from a limited number of crystals

    DOE PAGES

    Uervirojnangkoorn, Monarin; Zeldin, Oliver B.; Lyubimov, Artem Y.; Hattne, Johan; Brewster, Aaron S.; Sauter, Nicholas K.; Brunger, Axel T.; Weis, William I.

    2015-03-17

    There is considerable potential for X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) to enable determination of macromolecular crystal structures that are difficult to solve using current synchrotron sources. Prior XFEL studies often involved the collection of thousands to millions of diffraction images, in part due to limitations of data processing methods. We implemented a data processing system based on classical post-refinement techniques, adapted to specific properties of XFEL diffraction data. When applied to XFEL data from three different proteins collected using various sample delivery systems and XFEL beam parameters, our method improved the quality of the diffraction data as well as themore » resulting refined atomic models and electron density maps. Moreover, the number of observations for a reflection necessary to assemble an accurate data set could be reduced to a few observations. In conclusion, these developments will help expand the applicability of XFEL crystallography to challenging biological systems, including cases where sample is limited.« less

  11. Enabling X-ray free electron laser crystallography for challenging biological systems from a limited number of crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Uervirojnangkoorn, Monarin; Zeldin, Oliver B.; Lyubimov, Artem Y.; Hattne, Johan; Brewster, Aaron S.; Sauter, Nicholas K.; Brunger, Axel T.; Weis, William I.

    2015-03-17

    There is considerable potential for X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) to enable determination of macromolecular crystal structures that are difficult to solve using current synchrotron sources. Prior XFEL studies often involved the collection of thousands to millions of diffraction images, in part due to limitations of data processing methods. We implemented a data processing system based on classical post-refinement techniques, adapted to specific properties of XFEL diffraction data. When applied to XFEL data from three different proteins collected using various sample delivery systems and XFEL beam parameters, our method improved the quality of the diffraction data as well as the resulting refined atomic models and electron density maps. Moreover, the number of observations for a reflection necessary to assemble an accurate data set could be reduced to a few observations. In conclusion, these developments will help expand the applicability of XFEL crystallography to challenging biological systems, including cases where sample is limited.

  12. A Comprehensive Assessment of Biologicals Contained Within Commercial Airliner Cabin Air

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaDuc, Myron T.; Osman, Shariff; Dekas, Anne; Stuecker, Tara; Newcombe, Dave; Piceno, Yvette; Fuhrman, J.; Andersen, Gary; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Bearman, Greg

    2006-01-01

    Both culture-based and culture-independent, biomarker-targeted microbial enumeration and identification technologies were employed to estimate total microbial and viral burden and diversity within the cabin air of commercial airliners. Samples from each of twenty flights spanning three commercial carriers were collected via air-impingement. When the total viable microbial population was estimated by assaying relative concentrations of the universal energy carrier ATP, values ranged from below detection limits (BDL) to 4.1 x 106 cells/cubic m of air. The total viable microbial population was extremely low in both of Airline A (approximately 10% samples) and C (approximately 18% samples) compared to the samples collected aboard flights on Airline A and B (approximately 70% samples). When samples were collected as a function of time over the course of flights, a gradual accumulation of microbes was observed from the time of passenger boarding through mid-flight, followed by a sharp decline in microbial abundance and viability from the initiation of descent through landing. It is concluded in this study that only 10% of the viable microbes of the cabin air were cultivable and suggested a need to employ state-of-the art molecular assay that measures both cultivable and viable-but-non-cultivable microbes. Among the cultivable bacteria, colonies of Acinetobacter sp. were by far the most profuse in Phase I, and Gram-positive bacteria of the genera Staphylococcus and Bacillus were the most abundant during Phase II. The isolation of the human pathogens Acinetobacter johnsonii, A. calcoaceticus, Janibacter melonis, Microbacterium trichotecenolyticum, Massilia timonae, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Corynebacterium lipophiloflavum is concerning, as these bacteria can cause meningitis, septicemia, and a handful of sometimes fatal diseases and infections. Molecular microbial community analyses exhibited presence of the alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta- proteobacteria, as well as

  13. Abiotic and biological mechanisms of nitric oxide removal from waste air in biotrickling filters.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian-Meng; Ma, Jian-Feng

    2006-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) may participate in the ozone layer depletion and forming of nitric acid. Abiotic and biological mechanisms of NO removal from waste gases were studied in a biotrickling filter. The abiotic NO removal rate in the biotrickling filter was estimated by a review of the literature. The abiotic and biological removals were also verified in the biotrickling filter. The result has shown that chemical oxidation and bionitrification were both involved in the NO removal. It was found that the NO removal in high concentration (approximately 1000 ppm or higher) was in large measure the result of abiotic removal in both gas-phase and liquid-phase reactions. When NO concentration is low (less than approximately 100 ppm), bionitrification was the main process in the NO removal process in the biotrickling filter.

  14. Engineering challenges of BioNEMS: the integration of microfluidics, micro- and nanodevices, models and external control for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Wikswo, J P; Prokop, A; Baudenbacher, F; Cliffel, D; Csukas, B; Velkovsky, M

    2006-08-01

    Systems biology, i.e. quantitative, postgenomic, postproteomic, dynamic, multiscale physiology, addresses in an integrative, quantitative manner the shockwave of genetic and proteomic information using computer models that may eventually have 10(6) dynamic variables with non-linear interactions. Historically, single biological measurements are made over minutes, suggesting the challenge of specifying 10(6) model parameters. Except for fluorescence and micro-electrode recordings, most cellular measurements have inadequate bandwidth to discern the time course of critical intracellular biochemical events. Micro-array expression profiles of thousands of genes cannot determine quantitative dynamic cellular signalling and metabolic variables. Major gaps must be bridged between the computational vision and experimental reality. The analysis of cellular signalling dynamics and control requires, first, micro- and nano-instruments that measure simultaneously multiple extracellular and intracellular variables with sufficient bandwidth; secondly, the ability to open existing internal control and signalling loops; thirdly, external BioMEMS micro-actuators that provide high bandwidth feedback and externally addressable intracellular nano-actuators; and, fourthly, real-time, closed-loop, single-cell control algorithms. The unravelling of the nested and coupled nature of cellular control loops requires simultaneous recording of multiple single-cell signatures. Externally controlled nano-actuators, needed to effect changes in the biochemical, mechanical and electrical environment both outside and inside the cell, will provide a major impetus for nanoscience.

  15. Detection of biological particles in ambient air using Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    McJimpsey, E L; Steele, P T; Coffee, K R; Fergenson, D P; Riot, V J; Woods, B W; Gard, E E; Frank, M; Tobias, H J; Lebrilla, C

    2006-03-16

    The Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS) system is an instrument used for the real time detection and identification of biological aerosols. Particles are drawn from the atmosphere directly into vacuum and tracked as they scatter light from several continuous wave lasers. After tracking, the fluorescence of individual particles is excited by a pulsed 266nm or 355nm laser. Molecules from those particles with appropriate fluorescence properties are subsequently desorbed and ionized using a pulsed 266nm laser. Resulting ions are analyzed in a dual polarity mass spectrometer. During two field deployments at the San Francisco International Airport, millions of ambient particles were analyzed and a small but significant fraction were found to have fluorescent properties similar to Bacillus spores and vegetative cells. Further separation of non-biological background particles from potential biological particles was accomplished using laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. This has been shown to enable some level of species differentiation in specific cases, but the creation and observation of higher mass ions is needed to enable a higher level of specificity across more species. A soft ionization technique, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is being investigated for this purpose. MALDI is particularly well suited for mass analysis of biomolecules since it allows for the generation of molecular ions from large mass compounds that would fragment under normal irradiation. Some of the initial results from a modified BAMS system utilizing this technique are described.

  16. Investigating biological traces of traumatic stress in changing societies: challenges and directions from the ESTSS Task Force on Neurobiology

    PubMed Central

    Thomaes, Kathleen; de Kloet, Carien; Wilker, Sarah; El-Hage, Wissam; Schäfer, Ingo; Kleim, Birgit; Schmahl, Christian; van Zuiden, Mirjam

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic stress can have severe consequences for both mental and physical health. Furthermore, both psychological and biological traces of trauma increase as a function of accumulating traumatic experiences. Neurobiological research may aid in limiting the impact of traumatic stress, by leading to advances in preventive and treatment interventions. To promote the possibility for clinical implementation of novel research findings, this brief review describes timely conceptual and methodological challenges and directions in neurobiological trauma research on behalf of the Task Force “Neurobiology of Traumatic Stress” of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS). The most important conceptual challenges are the heterogeneity of disorders and existence of subtypes across diagnostic categories: differential latent profiles and trajectories regarding symptom expression and neural correlates are being unraveled; however, similar latent classes’ approaches for treatment response and neurobiological data remain scarce thus far. The key to improving the efficacy of currently available preventive interventions and treatments for trauma-related disorders lies in a better understanding and characterization of individual differences in response to trauma and interventions. This could lead to personalized treatment strategies for trauma-related disorders, based on objective information indicating whether individuals are expected to benefit from them. The most important methodological challenge identified here is the need for large consortia and meta-analyses or, rather, mega-analyses on existent data as a first step. In addition, large multicenter studies, combining novel methods for repeated sampling with more advanced statistical modeling techniques, such as machine learning, should aim to translate identified disease mechanisms into molecular blood-based biomarker combinations to predict disorder vulnerability and treatment responses. PMID:26996535

  17. Methods to determine the biological composition of particulate matter collected from outdoor air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Womiloju, Taiwo O.; Miller, J. David; Mayer, Paul M.; Brook, Jeffrey R.

    Associations between increased morbidity and exposure to ambient air particulates have been the subject of intense study. Few data exist on the presence of cells or cell materials of fungi, bacteria and pollen in fine particle samples (< 2.5 μm). Because it is not possible to recognize such fragments by conventional means, one approach is to determine the presence of signature biochemicals. This paper reports the development of a method for the analysis of intact glycerophospholipids present in extracts of fungi and pollen common in outdoor air by normal-phase liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Using cluster analysis of the phospholipids found, both mycelia and spores of fungi and pollen common in outdoor air could be separated. Little variation was detected between single spore isolates of individual strains of such fungi isolated across North America. White Birch and ragweed pollen contained similar phospholipid patterns but different from the fungi. From literature data, both were different than Gram negative bacteria. Semi-hivolume fine particle samples were collected on glass fibre filters in three locations in and near Toronto, extracted and analyzed. The concentrations of phospholipids measured suggested that fungal cells and pollen were responsible for 12-22% of the organic carbon fraction or 4-11% of the total mass depending upon location. The qualitative and quantitative estimates obtained compared favourably to data from concurrent rotorod samples. This suggests that, with improved sensitivity, the analysis of a larger number of samples would provide useful data for epidemiological studies and on the nature of organic carbon in fine particulate samples.

  18. Air and biological monitoring of toluene diisocyanate in a flexible foam plant.

    PubMed

    Tinnerberg, H; Dalene, M; Skarping, G

    1997-03-01

    Comparative air measurements of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) were performed in a 5.6 m3 standard atmosphere and at a TDI flexible foam plant. Air samples were collected in midget impinger flasks containing 9-(N-methyl-amino-methyl)-anthracene (MAMA) in toluene and on 13-mm glass-fiber filters impregnated with MAMA and glycerol analyzed by LC-UV and with filter-tape instruments. In the laboratory study the average amounts of the TDI-MAMA derivatives determined were higher for filters compared to impingers when tested at concentrations between 16 and 150 micrograms/m3 (n = 29). At the TDI foaming plant the amount of TDI-MAMA collected on the filters compared with impingers showed higher TDI values at low concentrations and lower values at higher concentrations. The same was seen for the filter-tape measurements, but for two samples at very low concentrations the response was much lower. The average air concentration was 29.8 micrograms/m3 (12.5-79.9; n = 12). The highest exposure peak measured was approximately 3 mg TDI/m3. 2,4- and 2,6-toluene diamine (TDA) in urine (U-TDA) and in plasma (P-TDA) from four exposed workers and one volunteer were determined after strong acid hydrolysis as their pentafluoro-propionic anhydride derivatives using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The ions monitored were the M-20 ions (M = molecular weight) of the TDA and trideuterium labeled TDA as the internal standard. The P-TDA among the workers varied between 1-38 micrograms/L and between 7-24 micrograms/L for 2,4- and 2,6-TDA, respectively. The individual plasma levels among the workers over the 3-day periods varied between 7-73%. For the volunteer, P-TDA reached a maximum about 24 hours after the last exposure. The half-time of P-TDA for the volunteer was about 10 days. The urine levels (U-TDA) varied greatly with time and exposure. High peaks were found during or shortly after the exposure. No clear correlation between air levels of TDI measured with the filter-tape instruments

  19. Monitoring global rates of biodiversity change: challenges that arise in meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 2010 goals

    PubMed Central

    Dobson, Andy

    2005-01-01

    By agreeing to strive for ‘a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity’ by the year 2010, political leaders at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (held in Johannesburg, South Africa) presented conservation scientists with a great opportunity, but also one of their most significant challenges. This is an extremely exciting and laudable development, but this reporting process could be made yet more powerful if it incorporates, from the outset, independent scientific assessment of the measures, how they are analysed, and practical ways of plugging key gaps. This input is crucial if the measures are to be widely owned, credible and robust to the vigorous external scrutiny to which they will doubtless be exposed. Assessing how rates of biodiversity loss have changed from current levels by 2010 will require that a given attribute has been measured at least three times; however, most habitats, species, populations and ecosystem services have not been assessed even once. Furthermore, the best data on which to base estimates of biodiversity loss are biased towards the charismatic vertebrate species; unfortunately, these supply minimal services to the human economy. We have to find ways to redress this taxonomic imbalance and expand our analyses to consider the vast diversity of invertebrate, fungal and microbial species that play a role in determining human health and economic welfare. In the first part of this paper I will use examples from local and regional monitoring of biological diversity to examine the desired properties of ‘ideal indicators’. I will then change focus and examine an initial framework that asks how we might monitor changes in the economic goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. I will use this exercise to examine how the set of possible indicators given by the Convention on Biological Diversity might be modified in ways that provide a more critical assay of the economic value of

  20. Particulate air pollution and increased mortality: Biological plausibility for causal relationship

    SciTech Connect

    Henderson, R.F.

    1995-02-01

    Recently, a number of epidemiological studies have concluded that ambient particulate exposure is associated with increased mortality and morbidity at PM concentrations well below those previously thought to affect human health. These studies have been conducted in several different geographical locations and have involved a range of populations. While the consistency of the findings and the presence of an apparent concentration response relationship provide a strong argument for causality, epidemiological studies can only conclude this based upon inference from statistical associations. The biological plausibility of a causal relationship between low concentrations of PM and daily mortality and morbidity rates is neither intuitively obvious nor expected based on past experimental studies on the toxicity of inhaled particles. Chronic toxicity from inhaled, poorly soluble particles has been observed based on the slow accumulation of large lung burdens of particles, not on small daily fluctuations in PM levels. Acute toxicity from inhaled particles is associated mainly with acidic particles and is observed at much higher concentrations than those observed in the epidemiology studies reporting an association between PM concentrations and morbidity/mortality. To approach the difficult problem of determining if the association between PM concentrations and daily morbidity and mortality is biologically plausible and causal, one must consider (1) the chemical and physical characteristics of the particles in the inhaled atmospheres, (2) the characteristics of the morbidity/mortality observed and the people who are affected, and (3) potential mechanisms that might link the two.

  1. Integrated Bio-Search: challenges and trends for the integration, search and comprehensive processing of biological information

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Many efforts exist to design and implement approaches and tools for data capture, integration and analysis in the life sciences. Challenges are not only the heterogeneity, size and distribution of information sources, but also the danger of producing too many solutions for the same problem. Methodological, technological, infrastructural and social aspects appear to be essential for the development of a new generation of best practices and tools. In this paper, we analyse and discuss these aspects from different perspectives, by extending some of the ideas that arose during the NETTAB 2012 Workshop, making reference especially to the European context. First, relevance of using data and software models for the management and analysis of biological data is stressed. Second, some of the most relevant community achievements of the recent years, which should be taken as a starting point for future efforts in this research domain, are presented. Third, some of the main outstanding issues, challenges and trends are analysed. The challenges related to the tendency to fund and create large scale international research infrastructures and public-private partnerships in order to address the complex challenges of data intensive science are especially discussed. The needs and opportunities of Genomic Computing (the integration, search and display of genomic information at a very specific level, e.g. at the level of a single DNA region) are then considered. In the current data and network-driven era, social aspects can become crucial bottlenecks. How these may best be tackled to unleash the technical abilities for effective data integration and validation efforts is then discussed. Especially the apparent lack of incentives for already overwhelmed researchers appears to be a limitation for sharing information and knowledge with other scientists. We point out as well how the bioinformatics market is growing at an unprecedented speed due to the impact that new powerful in silico

  2. Integrated Bio-Search: challenges and trends for the integration, search and comprehensive processing of biological information.

    PubMed

    Masseroli, Marco; Mons, Barend; Bongcam-Rudloff, Erik; Ceri, Stefano; Kel, Alexander; Rechenmann, François; Lisacek, Frederique; Romano, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Many efforts exist to design and implement approaches and tools for data capture, integration and analysis in the life sciences. Challenges are not only the heterogeneity, size and distribution of information sources, but also the danger of producing too many solutions for the same problem. Methodological, technological, infrastructural and social aspects appear to be essential for the development of a new generation of best practices and tools. In this paper, we analyse and discuss these aspects from different perspectives, by extending some of the ideas that arose during the NETTAB 2012 Workshop, making reference especially to the European context. First, relevance of using data and software models for the management and analysis of biological data is stressed. Second, some of the most relevant community achievements of the recent years, which should be taken as a starting point for future efforts in this research domain, are presented. Third, some of the main outstanding issues, challenges and trends are analysed. The challenges related to the tendency to fund and create large scale international research infrastructures and public-private partnerships in order to address the complex challenges of data intensive science are especially discussed. The needs and opportunities of Genomic Computing (the integration, search and display of genomic information at a very specific level, e.g. at the level of a single DNA region) are then considered. In the current data and network-driven era, social aspects can become crucial bottlenecks. How these may best be tackled to unleash the technical abilities for effective data integration and validation efforts is then discussed. Especially the apparent lack of incentives for already overwhelmed researchers appears to be a limitation for sharing information and knowledge with other scientists. We point out as well how the bioinformatics market is growing at an unprecedented speed due to the impact that new powerful in silico

  3. Integrated Bio-Search: challenges and trends for the integration, search and comprehensive processing of biological information.

    PubMed

    Masseroli, Marco; Mons, Barend; Bongcam-Rudloff, Erik; Ceri, Stefano; Kel, Alexander; Rechenmann, François; Lisacek, Frederique; Romano, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Many efforts exist to design and implement approaches and tools for data capture, integration and analysis in the life sciences. Challenges are not only the heterogeneity, size and distribution of information sources, but also the danger of producing too many solutions for the same problem. Methodological, technological, infrastructural and social aspects appear to be essential for the development of a new generation of best practices and tools. In this paper, we analyse and discuss these aspects from different perspectives, by extending some of the ideas that arose during the NETTAB 2012 Workshop, making reference especially to the European context. First, relevance of using data and software models for the management and analysis of biological data is stressed. Second, some of the most relevant community achievements of the recent years, which should be taken as a starting point for future efforts in this research domain, are presented. Third, some of the main outstanding issues, challenges and trends are analysed. The challenges related to the tendency to fund and create large scale international research infrastructures and public-private partnerships in order to address the complex challenges of data intensive science are especially discussed. The needs and opportunities of Genomic Computing (the integration, search and display of genomic information at a very specific level, e.g. at the level of a single DNA region) are then considered. In the current data and network-driven era, social aspects can become crucial bottlenecks. How these may best be tackled to unleash the technical abilities for effective data integration and validation efforts is then discussed. Especially the apparent lack of incentives for already overwhelmed researchers appears to be a limitation for sharing information and knowledge with other scientists. We point out as well how the bioinformatics market is growing at an unprecedented speed due to the impact that new powerful in silico

  4. Biological Chitin-MOF Composites with Hierarchical Pore Systems for Air-Filtration Applications.

    PubMed

    Wisser, Dorothea; Wisser, Florian M; Raschke, Silvia; Klein, Nicole; Leistner, Matthias; Grothe, Julia; Brunner, Eike; Kaskel, Stefan

    2015-10-19

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising materials for gas-separation and air-filtration applications. However, for these applications, MOF crystallites need to be incorporated in robust and manageable support materials. We used chitin-based networks from a marine sponge as a non-toxic, biodegradable, and low-weight support material for MOF deposition. The structural properties of the material favor predominant nucleation of the MOF crystallites at the inside of the hollow fibers. This composite has a hierarchical pore system with surface areas up to 800 m(2)  g(-1) and pore volumes of 3.6 cm(3)  g(-1) , allowing good transport kinetics and a very high loading of the active material. Ammonia break-through experiments highlight the accessibility of the MOF crystallites and the adsorption potential of the composite indicating their high potential for filtration applications for toxic industrial gases.

  5. Heat-tolerant versus heat-sensitive Bos taurus cattle: Influence of air temperature and breed on the acute phase response to a provocative immune challenge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The difference in the response of a heat-tolerant and a heat-sensitive Bos taurus breed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge when housed at different air temperatures (Ta) was studied. Angus (ANG; heat-sensitive; n = 11; 306 ± 26 kilograms body weight) and Romosinuano (RO; heat-tolerant; n = 10; 31...

  6. Investigating the extensive air shower properties: Tackling the challenges of the next generation cosmic ray observatory with the CODALEMA experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Lilian

    2014-04-01

    Our knowledge on ultra-high energy cosmic rays and their underlying sources and acceleration mechanisms is steadily improving thanks to the large observatories nowadays in operation. However the need for a next generation instrument is emerging from their experimental limitations and the scientific questions currently out of reach within a reasonable time line. Within this scope, the main features of the radio detection of extensive air showers are investigated and confronted to these challenging requirements. CODALEMA is the last experiment currently running in Europe dedicated to the cosmic ray detection using the observation of its induced radio electric field. The latest experimental upgrade and the synthesis of its operation features and the upcoming technical developments are presented. The main results of CODALEMA will be presented with special emphasis put on some of the new aspects of the data analysis offered by the CODALEMA3 autonomous station array. Finally, the opportunities provided by the Nançay observatory for efficient R&D activities and especially the upcoming technical developments are listed.

  7. Indoor air pollution evaluation with emphasize on HDI and biological assessment of HDA in the polyurethane factories.

    PubMed

    Mirmohammadi, Mirtaghi; Hakimi Ibrahim, M; Ahmad, Anees; Kadir, Mohd Omar Abdul; Mohammadyan, M; Mirashrafi, S B

    2010-06-01

    Today, many raw materials used in factories may have a dangerous effect on the physiological system of workers. One of them which is widely used in the polyurethane factories is diisocyanates. These compounds are widely used in surface coatings, polyurethane foams, adhesives, resins, elastomers, binders, and sealants. Exposure to diisocyanates causes irritation to the skin, mucous membranes, eyes, and respiratory tract. Hexamethylene diamine (HDA) is metabolite of hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI). It is an excretory material by worker's urine who is exposed to HDI. Around 100 air samples were collected from five defined factories by midget impinger which contained dimethyl sulfoxide absorbent as a solvent and tryptamine as reagent. Samples were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with EC\\UV detector using NIOSH 5522 method of sampling. Also, 50 urine samples collected from workers were also analyzed using William's biological analysis method. The concentration of HDI into all air samples were more than 88 microg/m(3), and they have shown high concentration of pollutant in the workplaces in comparison with NIOSH standard, and all of the workers' urine were contaminated by HDA. The correlation and regression test were used to obtain statistical model for HDI and HDA, which is useful for the prediction of diisocyanates pollution situation in the polyurethane factories.

  8. Design and characterization of a small chamber for chemical and biological evaluation of sources of indoor air contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, M.A.; Roache, N.F.; Guo, Z.; Costa, D.

    1996-12-31

    The potential for emissions from materials used indoors to cause sensory irritation has prompted several researchers to adapt the mouse bioassay, ASTM E 981, for evaluation of irritancy potential of product emissions.Standardized test procedures that produce comparable results are needed if bioassays, such as ASTM E 981, are to be used to rank and compare products based upon the irritation potential of product emissions. The authors designed, constructed, and determined performance characteristics for a 34-L source emissions chamber, which mates directly to the 2.3-L mouse exposure chamber specified by ASTM E 981 and found the glass chamber to be without significant air leaks and background emissions. Reversible adsorption of decane and p-dichlorobenzene was noted. They found it necessary to add a circulation fan inside the chamber to create air velocities that are representative of those found in indoor environments. The well controlled thermal environment and straightforward connection of the chamber to the mouse exposure chamber used in ASTM E 981 are features that may make this chamber useful in development and evaluation of protocols for biological characterization of product emissions.

  9. Multivariate analysis of respiratory problems and their connection with meteorological parameters and the main biological and chemical air pollutants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matyasovszky, István; Makra, László; Bálint, Beatrix; Guba, Zoltán; Sümeghy, Zoltán

    2011-08-01

    The aim of the study is to analyse the joint effect of biological (pollen) and chemical air pollutants, as well as meteorological variables, on the hospital admissions of respiratory problems for the Szeged region in Southern Hungary. The data set used covers a nine-year period (1999-2007) and is unique in the sense that it includes—besides the daily number of respiratory hospital admissions—not just the hourly mean concentrations of CO, PM 10, NO, NO 2, O 3 and SO 2 with meteorological variables (temperature, global solar flux, relative humidity, air pressure and wind speed), but two pollen variables ( Ambrosia and total pollen excluding Ambrosia) as well. The analysis was performed using three age categories for the pollen season of Ambrosia and the pollen-free season. Meteorological elements and air pollutants are clustered in order to define optimum environmental conditions of high patient numbers. ANOVA was then used to determine whether cluster-related mean patient numbers differ significantly. Furthermore, two novel procedures are applied here: factor analysis including a special transformation and a time-varying multivariate linear regression that makes it possible to determine the rank of importance of the influencing variables in respiratory hospital admissions, and also compute the relative importance of the parameters affecting respiratory disorders. Both techniques revealed that Ambrosia pollen is an important variable that influences hospital admissions (an increase of 10 pollen grains m -3 can imply an increase of around 24% in patient numbers). The role of chemical and meteorological parameters is also significant, but their weights vary according to the seasons and the methods. Clearer results are obtained for the pollination season of Ambrosia. Here, a 10 μg m -3 increase in O 3 implies a patient number response from -17% to +11%. Wind speed is a surprisingly important variable, where a 1 m s -1 rise may result in a hospital admission

  10. A review of air quality, biological indicators and health effects of second-hand waterpipe smoke exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sumit R; Davies, Shelby; Weitzman, Michael; Sherman, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Objective There has been a rapid increase in the use of waterpipe tobacco and non-tobacco based shisha in many countries. Understanding the impact and effects of second-hand smoke (SHS) from cigarette was a crucial factor in reducing cigarette use, leading to clean indoor air laws and smoking bans. This article reviews what is known about the effects of SHS exposure from waterpipes. Data sources We used PubMed and EMBASE to review the literature. Articles were grouped into quantitative measures of air quality and biological markers, health effects, exposure across different settings, different types of shisha and use in different countries. Study selection Criteria for study selection were based on the key words related to SHS: waterpipe, hookah, shisha and third-hand smoke. Data extraction Independent extraction with two reviewers was performed with inclusion criteria applied to articles on SHS and waterpipe/hookah/shisha. We excluded articles related to pregnancy or prenatal exposure to SHS, animal studies, and non-specific source of exposure as well as articles not written in English. Data synthesis A primary literature search yielded 54 articles, of which only 11 were included based on relevance to SHS from a waterpipe/hookah/shisha. Conclusions The negative health consequences of second-hand waterpipe exposure have major implications for clean indoor air laws and for occupational safety. There exists an urgent need for public health campaigns about the effects on children and household members from smoking waterpipe at home, and for further development and implementation of regulations to protect the health of the public from this rapidly emerging threat. PMID:25480544

  11. Targeting the PD1/PD-L1 axis in melanoma: biological rationale, clinical challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Merelli, Barbara; Massi, Daniela; Cattaneo, Laura; Mandalà, Mario

    2014-01-01

    A dynamic interplay exists between host and tumor, and the ability of the tumor to evade immune recognition often determines the clinical course of the disease. Significant enthusiasm currently exists for a new immunotherapeutic strategy: the use of immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies that directly enhance the function of components of the anti-tumor immune response such as T cells, or block immunologic checkpoints that would otherwise restrain effective anti-tumor immunity. This strategy is based on the evidence that development of cancer is facilitated by the dis-regulation and exploitation of otherwise physiological pathways that, under normal circumstances, down-regulate immune activation and maintain tolerance to self. Among these pathways an important role is covered by the Programmed death-1 (PD-1)/PD-Ligand (L) 1 axis. An emerging concept in cancer immunology is that inhibitory ligands such as PD-L1 are induced in response to immune attack, a mechanism termed "adaptive resistance". This potential mechanism of immune resistance by tumors suggests that therapy directed at blocking the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 might synergize with other treatments that enhance endogenous antitumor immunity. The anti-PD-1 strategy can be effective in several solid tumors such as renal cell carcinoma (RCC) or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), however in this review we summarize the biological role of PD-1/PD-L1 on cancer by focusing our attention in the biological rationale, clinical challenges and opportunities to target the PD-1/PD-L1 axis in melanoma.

  12. Biologic surveys for the Sandia National Laboratories, Coyote Canyon Test Complex, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.M.; Knight, P.J.

    1994-05-25

    This report provides results of a comprehensive biologic survey performed in Coyote Canyon Test Complex (CCTC), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Bernalillo County, New Mexico, which was conducted during the spring and summer of 1992 and 1993. CCTC is sited on land owned by the Department of Energy (DOE) and Kirtland Air Force Base and managed by SNL. The survey covered 3,760 acres of land, most of which is rarely disturbed by CCTC operations. Absence of grazing by livestock and possibly native ungulates, and relative to the general condition of private range lands throughout New Mexico, and relative to other grazing lands in central New Mexico. Widely dispersed, low intensity use by SNL as well as prohibition of grazing has probably contributed to abundance of special status species such as grama grass cactus within the CCTC area. This report evaluates threatened and endangered species found in the area, as well as comprehensive assessment of biologic habitats. Included are analyses of potential impacts and mitigative measures designed to reduce or eliminate potential impacts. Included is a summary of CCTC program and testing activities.

  13. Monitoring biological impacts of space shuttle launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base: Establishment of baseline conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmaizer, Paul A.; Hinkle, C. Ross

    1987-01-01

    Space shuttle launches produce environmental impacts resulting from the formation of an exhaust cloud containing hydrogen chloride aerosols and aluminum oxide particulates. Studies have shown that most impacts occur near-field (within 1.5 km) of the launch site while deposition from launches occurs far-field (as distant as 22 km). In order to establish baseline conditions of vegetation and soils in the areas likely to be impacted by shuttle launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), vegetation and soils in the vicinity of Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6) were sampled and a vegetation map prepared. The areas likely to be impacted by launches were determined considering the structure of the launch complex, the prevailing winds, the terrain, and predictions of the Rocket Exhaust Effluent Diffusion Model (REEDM). Fifty vegetation transects were established and sampled in March 1986 and resampled in September 1986. A vegetation map was prepared for six Master Planning maps surrounding SLC-6 using LANDSAT Thematic Mapper imagery as well as color and color infrared aerial photography. Soil samples were collected form the 0 to 7.5 cm layer at all transects in the wet season and at a subsample of the transects in the dry season and analyzed for pH, organic matter, conductivity, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable Ca, Mg, Na, K, and Al, available NH3-N, PO4-P, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, and TKN.

  14. Personal air sampling and biological monitoring of occupational exposure to the soil fumigant cis-1,3-dichloropropene

    PubMed Central

    Brouwer, E; Verplanke, A; Boogaard, P; Bloemen, L; Van Sittert, N J; Christian, F; Stokkentreeff, M; Dijksterhuis, A; Mulder, A; De Wolff, F A

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVES—To assess exposure of commercial application workers to the nematocide cis-1,3-dichloropropene (cis-DCP).
METHODS—The study was conducted during the annual application season, August to 15 November, in the starch potato growing region in The Netherlands. 14 Application workers collected end of shift urine samples on each fumigation day (n=119). The mercapturic acid metabolite N-acetyl-S-(cis-3-chloro-2-propenyl)-L-cysteine (cis-DCP-MA) in urine was used for biological monitoring of the cis-DCP uptake. Inhalatory exposure was assessed by personal air sampling during a representative sample (n=37) of the fumigation days. Extensive information was collected on factors of possible relevance to the exposure and the application workers were observed for compliance with the statutory directions for use. The inhalatory exposure during all fumigation days was estimated from the relation between the personal air sampling data and the biological monitoring data. Exposure levels were correlated with the general work practice. The fumigation equipment and procedures were in accordance with the statutory directions of use, with the exception of the antidrip systems. Two antidrip systems were used: antidrip nozzles or a compressed air system.
RESULTS—The geometric mean exposure of the application workers was 2.7 mg/m3 (8 hour time weighted average); range 0.1-9.5 mg/m3. On 25 days (21%) the exposure exceeded the Dutch occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 5 mg/m3. This could mainly be explained by prolonged working days of more than 8 hours. The general work practice of the application workers was rated by the observers as good or poor. No difference in exposure to cis-DCP was found in the use of none, one, or two antidrip systems. Malfunctioning of the antidrip systems and lack of experience with the compressed air system were identified as possible causes for the lack of effectiveness of these antidrip systems. The use of personal protection was not

  15. Risk-based objectives for the allocation of chemical, biological, and radiological air emissions sensors.

    PubMed

    Lambert, James H; Farrington, Mark W

    2006-12-01

    This article addresses the problem of allocating devices for localized hazard protection across a region. Each identical device provides only local protection, and the devices serve localities that are exposed to nonidentical intensities of hazard. A method for seeking the optimal allocation Policy Decisions is described, highlighting the potentially competing objectives of maximizing local risk reductions and coverage risk reductions. The metric for local risk reductions is the sum of the local economic risks avoided. The metric for coverage risk reductions is adapted from the p-median problem and equal to the sum of squares of the distances from all unserved localities to their closest associated served locality. Three graphical techniques for interpreting the Policy Decisions are presented. The three linked graphical techniques are applied serially. The first technique identifies Policy Decisions that are nearly Pareto optimal. The second identifies locations where sensor placements are most justified, based on a risk-cost-benefit analysis under uncertainty. The third displays the decision space for any particular policy decision. The method is illustrated in an application to chemical, biological, and/or radiological weapon sensor placement, but has implications for disaster preparedness, transportation safety, and other arenas of public safety.

  16. Enabling X-ray free electron laser crystallography for challenging biological systems from a limited number of crystals

    PubMed Central

    Uervirojnangkoorn, Monarin; Zeldin, Oliver B; Lyubimov, Artem Y; Hattne, Johan; Brewster, Aaron S; Sauter, Nicholas K; Brunger, Axel T; Weis, William I

    2015-01-01

    There is considerable potential for X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) to enable determination of macromolecular crystal structures that are difficult to solve using current synchrotron sources. Prior XFEL studies often involved the collection of thousands to millions of diffraction images, in part due to limitations of data processing methods. We implemented a data processing system based on classical post-refinement techniques, adapted to specific properties of XFEL diffraction data. When applied to XFEL data from three different proteins collected using various sample delivery systems and XFEL beam parameters, our method improved the quality of the diffraction data as well as the resulting refined atomic models and electron density maps. Moreover, the number of observations for a reflection necessary to assemble an accurate data set could be reduced to a few observations. These developments will help expand the applicability of XFEL crystallography to challenging biological systems, including cases where sample is limited. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05421.001 PMID:25781634

  17. Single Cell and Metagenomic Assemblies: Biology Drives Technical Choices and Goals (Metagenomics Informatics Challenges Workshop: 10K Genomes at a Time)

    ScienceCinema

    Stepanauskas, Ramunas [Bigelow Laboratory

    2016-07-12

    DOE JGI's Tanja Woyke, chair of the Single Cells and Metagenomes session, delivers an introduction, followed by Bigelow Laboratory's Ramunas Stepanauskas on "Single Cell and Metagenomic Assemblies: Biology Drives Technical Choices and Goals" at the Metagenomics Informatics Challenges Workshop held at the DOE JGI on October 12-13, 2011.

  18. Single Cell and Metagenomic Assemblies: Biology Drives Technical Choices and Goals (Metagenomics Informatics Challenges Workshop: 10K Genomes at a Time)

    SciTech Connect

    Stepanauskas, Ramunas

    2011-10-13

    DOE JGI's Tanja Woyke, chair of the Single Cells and Metagenomes session, delivers an introduction, followed by Bigelow Laboratory's Ramunas Stepanauskas on "Single Cell and Metagenomic Assemblies: Biology Drives Technical Choices and Goals" at the Metagenomics Informatics Challenges Workshop held at the DOE JGI on October 12-13, 2011.

  19. Challenges of molecular nutrition research 6: the nutritional phenotype database to store, share and evaluate nutritional systems biology studies.

    PubMed

    van Ommen, Ben; Bouwman, Jildau; Dragsted, Lars O; Drevon, Christian A; Elliott, Ruan; de Groot, Philip; Kaput, Jim; Mathers, John C; Müller, Michael; Pepping, Fre; Saito, Jahn; Scalbert, Augustin; Radonjic, Marijana; Rocca-Serra, Philippe; Travis, Anthony; Wopereis, Suzan; Evelo, Chris T

    2010-09-01

    The challenge of modern nutrition and health research is to identify food-based strategies promoting life-long optimal health and well-being. This research is complex because it exploits a multitude of bioactive compounds acting on an extensive network of interacting processes. Whereas nutrition research can profit enormously from the revolution in 'omics' technologies, it has discipline-specific requirements for analytical and bioinformatic procedures. In addition to measurements of the parameters of interest (measures of health), extensive description of the subjects of study and foods or diets consumed is central for describing the nutritional phenotype. We propose and pursue an infrastructural activity of constructing the "Nutritional Phenotype database" (dbNP). When fully developed, dbNP will be a research and collaboration tool and a publicly available data and knowledge repository. Creation and implementation of the dbNP will maximize benefits to the research community by enabling integration and interrogation of data from multiple studies, from different research groups, different countries and different-omics levels. The dbNP is designed to facilitate storage of biologically relevant, pre-processed-omics data, as well as study descriptive and study participant phenotype data. It is also important to enable the combination of this information at different levels (e.g. to facilitate linkage of data describing participant phenotype, genotype and food intake with information on study design and-omics measurements, and to combine all of this with existing knowledge). The biological information stored in the database (i.e. genetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, biomarkers, metabolomics, functional assays, food intake and food composition) is tailored to nutrition research and embedded in an environment of standard procedures and protocols, annotations, modular data-basing, networking and integrated bioinformatics. The dbNP is an evolving enterprise, which is

  20. Building America Case Study: Challenges of Achieving 2012 IECC Air Sealing Requirements in Multifamily Dwellings, Upstate New York (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2014-11-01

    While previous versions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have included provisions to improve the air tightness of dwellings, for the first time, the 2012 IECC mandates compliance verification through blower door testing. Simply completing the Air Barrier and Insulation Installation checklist through visual inspection is no longer sufficient by itself. In addition, the 2012 IECC mandates a significantly stricter air sealing requirement. In Climate Zones 3 through 8, air leakage may not exceed 3 ACH50, which is a significant reduction from the 2009 IECC requirement of 7 ACH50. This requirement is for all residential buildings, which includes low-rise multifamily dwellings. While this air leakage rate requirement is an important component to achieving an efficient building thermal envelope, currently, the code language doesn't explicitly address differences between single family and multifamily applications. In addition, the 2012 IECC does not provide an option to sample dwellings for larger multifamily buildings, so compliance would have to be verified on every unit. With compliance with the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements on the horizon, several of CARB's multifamily builder partners are evaluating how best to comply with this requirement. Builders are not sure whether it is more practical or beneficial to simply pay for guarded testing or to revise their air sealing strategies to improve compartmentalization to comply with code requirements based on unguarded blower door testing. This report summarizes CARB's research that was conducted to assess the feasibility of meeting the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements in 3 multifamily buildings.

  1. Benefits and technological challenges in the implementation of TiO2-based ultraviolet photocatalytic oxidation (UVPCO) air cleaners

    SciTech Connect

    Hodgson, Al; Destaillats, Hugo; Hotchi, Toshifumi; Fisk, William J.

    2008-10-01

    Heating, ventilating, and cooling classrooms in California consume substantial electrical energy. Indoor air quality (IAQ) in classrooms affects student health and performance. In addition to airborne pollutants that are emitted directly by indoor sources and those generated outdoors, secondary pollutants can be formed indoors by chemical reaction of ozone with other chemicals and materials. Filters are used in nearly all classroom heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to maintain energy-efficient HVAC performance and improve indoor air quality; however, recent evidence indicates that ozone reactions with filters may, in fact, be a source of secondary pollutants. This project quantitatively evaluated ozone deposition in HVAC filters and byproduct formation, and provided a preliminary assessment of the extent to which filter systems are degrading indoor air quality. The preliminary information obtained will contribute to the design of subsequent research efforts and the identification of energy efficient solutions that improve indoor air quality in classrooms and the health and performance of students.

  2. A Function for Representing the Biological Challenge to Respiration Posed by Ocean Acidification and the Geochemical Consequences Inferred

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peltzer, E. T.; Brewer, P. G.

    2008-12-01

    Increasing levels of dissolved total CO2 in the ocean from the invasion of fossil fuel CO2 via the atmosphere are widely believed to pose challenges to marine life on several fronts. This is most often expressed as a concern from the resulting lower pH, and the impact of this on calcification in marine organisms (coral reefs, calcareous phytoplankton etc.). These concerns are real, but calcification is by no means the only process affected, nor is the fossil fuel CO2 signal the only geochemical driver of the rapidly emerging deep-sea biological stress. Physical climate change is reducing deep-sea ventilation rates, and thereby leading to increasing oxygen deficits and concomitant increased respiratory CO2. We seek to understand the combined effects of the downward penetration of the fossil fuel signal, and the emergence of the depleted O2/increased respiratory CO2 signal at depth. As a first step, we seek to provide a simple function to capture the changing oceanic state. The most basic thermodynamic equation for the functioning of marine animals can be written as Corg + O2 → CO2 , and this results in the simple Gibbs free energy equation: ΔG° = - RT * ln [fCO2]/[Corg]*[fO2], in which the ratio of pO2 to pCO2 emerges as the dominant factor. From this we construct a simple Respiration Index: RI = log10 (pO2/pCO2), which is linear in energy and map this function for key oceanic regions illustrating the expansion of oceanic dead zones. The formal thermodynamic limit for aerobic life is RI = 0; in practice field data shows that at RI ~ 0.7 microbes turn to electron acceptors other than O2, and denitrification begins to occur. This likely represents the lowest limit for the long-term functioning of higher animals, and the zone RI = 0.7 to 1 appears to present challenges to basic functioning of many marine species. In addition, there are large regions of the ocean where denitrification already occurs, and these zones will expand greatly in size as the combined

  3. Aconitine Challenge Test Reveals a Single Exposure to Air Pollution Causes Increased Cardiac Arrhythmia Risk in Hypertensive Rats - Abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

    Epidemiological studies demonstrate a significant association between arrhythmias and air pollution exposure. Sensitivity to aconitine-induced arrhythmia has been used repeatedly to examine the factors that increase the risk of such cardiac electrical dysfunction. In this study, ...

  4. Extending the Applicability of the Community Multiscale Air Quality Model to Hemispheric Scales: Motivation, Challenges, and Progress

    EPA Science Inventory

    The adaptation of the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system to simulate O3, particulate matter, and related precursor distributions over the northern hemisphere is presented. Hemispheric simulations with CMAQ and the Weather Research and Forecasting (...

  5. Coming out in Class: Challenges and Benefits of Active Learning in a Biology Classroom for LGBTQIA Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Katelyn M.; Brownell, Sara E.

    2016-01-01

    As we transition our undergraduate biology classrooms from traditional lectures to active learning, the dynamics among students become more important. These dynamics can be influenced by student social identities. One social identity that has been unexamined in the context of undergraduate biology is the spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual,…

  6. Influence of Using Challenging Tasks in Biology Classrooms on Students' Cognitive Knowledge Structure: An Empirical Video Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nawani, Jigna; Rixius, Julia; Neuhaus, Birgit J.

    2016-01-01

    Empirical analysis of secondary biology classrooms revealed that, on average, 68% of teaching time in Germany revolved around processing tasks. Quality of instruction can thus be assessed by analyzing the quality of tasks used in classroom discourse. This quasi-experimental study analyzed how teachers used tasks in 38 videotaped biology lessons…

  7. Air pollution and detrimental effects on children's brain. The need for a multidisciplinary approach to the issue complexity and challenges.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Kulesza, Randy J; Park, Su-Bin; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2014-01-01

    Millions of children in polluted cities are showing brain detrimental effects. Urban children exhibit brain structural and volumetric abnormalities, systemic inflammation, olfactory, auditory, vestibular and cognitive deficits v low-pollution controls. Neuroinflammation and blood-brain-barrier (BBB) breakdown target the olfactory bulb, prefrontal cortex and brainstem, but are diffusely present throughout the brain. Urban adolescent Apolipoprotein E4 carriers significantly accelerate Alzheimer pathology. Neurocognitive effects of air pollution are substantial, apparent across all populations, and potentially clinically relevant as early evidence of evolving neurodegenerative changes. The diffuse nature of the neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration forces to employ a weight of evidence approach incorporating current clinical, cognitive, neurophysiological, radiological and epidemiological research. Pediatric air pollution research requires extensive multidisciplinary collaborations to accomplish a critical goal: to protect exposed children through multidimensional interventions having both broad impact and reach. Protecting children and teens from neural effects of air pollution should be of pressing importance for public health. PMID:25161617

  8. LASER BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE: Application of tunable diode lasers for a highly sensitive analysis of gaseous biomarkers in exhaled air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stepanov, E. V.; Milyaev, Varerii A.

    2002-11-01

    The application of tunable diode lasers for a highly sensitive analysis of gaseous biomarkers in exhaled air in biomedical diagnostics is discussed. The principle of operation and the design of a laser analyser for studying the composition of exhaled air are described. The results of detection of gaseous biomarkers in exhaled air, including clinical studies, which demonstrate the diagnostic possibilities of the method, are presented.

  9. Assessment of Interpersonal Risk (AIR) in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour--Piloting a New Risk Assessment Tool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Martin; McCue, Michael

    2013-01-01

    A new risk assessment tool, "Assessment of Interpersonal Risk" (AIR), was piloted and evaluated to measure risk factors and compatibility between individuals living in an assessment and treatment unit in one NHS area. The adults with learning disabilities in this unit had severe and enduring mental health problems and/or behaviour that is severely…

  10. Challenges and Opportunities in Nde, Ishm and Material State Awareness for Aircraft Structures: us Air Force Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buynak, C. F.; Blackshire, J.; Lindgren, E. A.; Jata, K. V.

    2008-02-01

    As one of the primary data and information sources in the maintenance of USAF Aging Military Fleet, NDE plays a major role in the definition and operation of maintenance processes on these aircraft. To focus new NDE developmental efforts, the AFRL NDE R&D group has the charter to research, develop and transition new capabilities to the field and depot users. This multi-faceted task is achieved through a balanced NDE and on-board sensor development program with the ultimate goal to transition technology to the Air Force user Commands. Technology requirements for NDE and Material State Awareness emerge from Air Force Initiatives to realize Condition Based Maintenance and to develop the "Depot of the Future". This evening session will present an overview of Air Force Initiatives, emerging R&D issues for Structural Health Monitoring and NDE methodologies as well as basic research initiatives within the Air Force Research Laboratory. It is intended that the session provide an open forum to pursue paths for new technology development and application.

  11. Influence of using challenging tasks in biology classrooms on students' cognitive knowledge structure: an empirical video study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nawani, Jigna; Rixius, Julia; Neuhaus, Birgit J.

    2016-08-01

    Empirical analysis of secondary biology classrooms revealed that, on average, 68% of teaching time in Germany revolved around processing tasks. Quality of instruction can thus be assessed by analyzing the quality of tasks used in classroom discourse. This quasi-experimental study analyzed how teachers used tasks in 38 videotaped biology lessons pertaining to the topic 'blood and circulatory system'. Two fundamental characteristics used to analyze tasks include: (1) required cognitive level of processing (e.g. low level information processing: repetiition, summary, define, classify and high level information processing: interpret-analyze data, formulate hypothesis, etc.) and (2) complexity of task content (e.g. if tasks require use of factual, linking or concept level content). Additionally, students' cognitive knowledge structure about the topic 'blood and circulatory system' was measured using student-drawn concept maps (N = 970 students). Finally, linear multilevel models were created with high-level cognitive processing tasks and higher content complexity tasks as class-level predictors and students' prior knowledge, students' interest in biology, and students' interest in biology activities as control covariates. Results showed a positive influence of high-level cognitive processing tasks (β = 0.07; p < .01) on students' cognitive knowledge structure. However, there was no observed effect of higher content complexity tasks on students' cognitive knowledge structure. Presented findings encourage the use of high-level cognitive processing tasks in biology instruction.

  12. An overview of the challenges in designing, integrating, and delivering BARD: a public chemical biology resource and query portal across multiple organizations, locations, and disciplines

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Andrea; Bittker, Joshua; Lahr, David; Brudz, Steve; Chatwin, Simon; Oprea, Tudor I.; Waller, Anna; Yang, Jeremy; Southall, Noel; Guha, Rajarshi; Schurer, Stephan; Vempati, Uma; Southern, Mark R.; Dawson, Eric S.; Clemons, Paul A.; Chung, Thomas D.Y.

    2015-01-01

    Recent industry-academic partnerships involve collaboration across disciplines, locations, and organizations using publicly funded “open-access” and proprietary commercial data sources. These require effective integration of chemical and biological information from diverse data sources, presenting key informatics, personnel, and organizational challenges. BARD (BioAssay Research Database) was conceived to address these challenges and to serve as a community-wide resource and intuitive web portal for public-sector chemical biology data. Its initial focus is to enable scientists to more effectively use the NIH Roadmap Molecular Libraries Program (MLP) data generated from 3-year pilot and 6-year production phases of the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network (MLPCN), currently in its final year. BARD evolves the current data standards through structured assay and result annotations that leverage the BioAssay Ontology (BAO) and other industry-standard ontologies, and a core hierarchy of assay definition terms and data standards defined specifically for small-molecule assay data. We have initially focused on migrating the highest-value MLP data into BARD and bringing it up to this new standard. We review the technical and organizational challenges overcome by the inter-disciplinary BARD team, veterans of public and private sector data-integration projects, collaborating to describe (functional specifications), design (technical specifications), and implement this next-generation software solution. PMID:24441647

  13. Pochonia chlamydosporia: Advances and Challenges to Improve Its Performance as a Biological Control Agent of Sedentary Endo-parasitic Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Manzanilla-López, Rosa H.; Esteves, Ivania; Finetti-Sialer, Mariella M.; Hirsch, Penny R.; Ward, Elaine; Devonshire, Jean; Hidalgo-Díaz, Leopoldo

    2013-01-01

    The nematophagous fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia var. chlamydosporia is one of the most studied biological control agents against plant (semi-) endo-parasitic nematodes of the genera Globodera, Heterodera, Meloidogyne, Nacobbus and, more recently, Rotylenchulus. In this paper we present highlights from more than three decades of worldwide research on this biological control agent. We cover different aspects and key components of the complex plant-fungus-nematode tri-trophic interaction, an interaction that needs to be addressed to ensure the efficient use of P. chlamydosporia as a biopesticide as part of an integrated pest management approach. PMID:23589653

  14. Addressing Health Literacy Challenges with a Cutting-Edge Infectious Disease Curriculum for the High School Biology Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacque, Berri; Koch-Weser, Susan; Faux, Russell; Meiri, Karina

    2016-01-01

    This study reports the secondary analysis of evaluation data from an innovative high school biology curriculum focused on infectious disease (ID) to examine the health literacy implications of teaching claims evaluation, data interpretation, and risk assessment skills in the context of 21st-Century health science. The curriculum was implemented…

  15. Fundamental challenges of contemporary "personality" research. Comment on "Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective" by Y. Neuman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uher, Jana

    2014-12-01

    The growing interest in "personality" from scientists of ever more diverse fields demands conceptual integrations-and reveals fundamental challenges. For what is "personality" given that "it" is explored in humans and nonhuman species, that people encode "it" in their everyday language, scientists seek "it" in the brain and study "it" primarily with rating scales?

  16. Biology and air-sea gas exchange controls on the distribution of carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) in the ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmittner, A.; Gruber, N.; Mix, A. C.; Key, R. M.; Tagliabue, A.; Westberry, T. K.

    2013-09-01

    Analysis of observations and sensitivity experiments with a new three-dimensional global model of stable carbon isotope cycling elucidate processes that control the distribution of δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the contemporary and preindustrial ocean. Biological fractionation and the sinking of isotopically light δ13C organic matter from the surface into the interior ocean leads to low δ13CDIC values at depths and in high latitude surface waters and high values in the upper ocean at low latitudes with maxima in the subtropics. Air-sea gas exchange has two effects. First, it acts to reduce the spatial gradients created by biology. Second, the associated temperature-dependent fractionation tends to increase (decrease) δ13CDIC values of colder (warmer) water, which generates gradients that oppose those arising from biology. Our model results suggest that both effects are similarly important in influencing surface and interior δ13CDIC distributions. However, since air-sea gas exchange is slow in the modern ocean, the biological effect dominates spatial δ13CDIC gradients both in the interior and at the surface, in contrast to conclusions from some previous studies. Calcium carbonate cycling, pH dependency of fractionation during air-sea gas exchange, and kinetic fractionation have minor effects on δ13CDIC. Accumulation of isotopically light carbon from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning has decreased the spatial variability of surface and deep δ13CDIC since the industrial revolution in our model simulations. Analysis of a new synthesis of δ13CDIC measurements from years 1990 to 2005 is used to quantify preformed and remineralized contributions as well as the effects of biology and air-sea gas exchange. The model reproduces major features of the observed large-scale distribution of δ13CDIC as well as the individual contributions and effects. Residual misfits are documented and analyzed. Simulated surface and subsurface δ13CDIC are influenced by

  17. Challenges and Rewards on the Road to Translational Systems Biology in Acute Illness: Four Case Reports from Interdisciplinary Teams

    PubMed Central

    An, Gary; Hunt, C. Anthony; Clermont, Gilles; Neugebauer, Edmund; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2007-01-01

    Introduction Translational systems biology approaches can be distinguished from mainstream systems biology in that their goal is to drive novel therapies and streamline clinical trials in critical illness. One systems biology approach, dynamic mathematical modeling (DMM), is increasingly used in dealing with the complexity of the inflammatory response and organ dysfunction. The use of DMM often requires a broadening of research methods and a multidisciplinary team approach that includes bioscientists, mathematicians, engineers, and computer scientists. However, the development of these groups must overcome domain-specific barriers to communication and understanding. Methods We present four case studies of successful translational, interdisciplinary systems biology efforts, which differ by organizational level from an individual to an entire research community. Results Case 1 is a single investigator involved in DMM of the acute inflammatory response at Cook County Hospital, in which extensive translational progress was made using agent-based models of inflammation and organ damage. Case 2 is a community-level effort from the University of Witten-Herdecke in Cologne, whose efforts have led to the formation of the Society for Complexity in Acute Illness. Case 3 is an institution-based group, the Biosystems Group at the University of California, San Francisco, whose work has included a focus on a common lexicon for DMM. Case 4 is an institution-based, trans-disciplinary research group (the Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling at the University of Pittsburgh, whose modeling work has led to internal education efforts, grant support, and commercialization. Conclusion A transdisciplinary approach, which involves team interaction in an iterative fashion to address ambiguity and is supported by educational initiatives, is likely to be necessary for DMM in acute illness. Community-wide organizations such as the Society of Complexity in Acute Illness (SCAI) must

  18. Addressing Health Literacy Challenges With a Cutting-Edge Infectious Disease Curriculum for the High School Biology Classroom

    PubMed Central

    Jacque, Berri; Koch-Weser, Susan; Faux, Russell; Meiri, Karina

    2016-01-01

    This study reports the secondary analysis of evaluation data from an innovative high school biology curriculum focused on infectious disease (ID) to examine the health literacy implications of teaching claims evaluation, data interpretation, and risk assessment skills in the context of 21st-Century health science. The curriculum was implemented between 2010 and 2013 in Biology II classes held in four public high schools (three in Massachusetts and one in Ohio), plus a private school in Virginia. A quasi-experimental design was used in which student participants (n = 273) were compared to an age-matched, nonparticipant, peer group (N = 125). Participants in each school setting demonstrated increases in conceptual content knowledge (Cohen’s d > 1.89) as well as in understanding how to apply scientific principles to health claims evaluation and risk assessment (Cohen’s d > 1.76) and in self-efficacy toward learning about ID (Cohen’s d > 2.27). Participants also displayed enhanced communication about ID within their social networks relative to the comparison group (p < .05). The data show that integrating the claims evaluation, data interpretation, and risk assessment skills critical for 21st-century health literacy health into high school biology classrooms is effective at fostering both the skills and self-efficacy pertinent to health literacy learning in diverse populations. PMID:26194205

  19. Addressing Health Literacy Challenges With a Cutting-Edge Infectious Disease Curriculum for the High School Biology Classroom.

    PubMed

    Jacque, Berri; Koch-Weser, Susan; Faux, Russell; Meiri, Karina

    2016-02-01

    This study reports the secondary analysis of evaluation data from an innovative high school biology curriculum focused on infectious disease (ID) to examine the health literacy implications of teaching claims evaluation, data interpretation, and risk assessment skills in the context of 21st-Century health science. The curriculum was implemented between 2010 and 2013 in Biology II classes held in four public high schools (three in Massachusetts and one in Ohio), plus a private school in Virginia. A quasi-experimental design was used in which student participants (n = 273) were compared to an age-matched, nonparticipant, peer group (N = 125). Participants in each school setting demonstrated increases in conceptual content knowledge (Cohen's d > 1.89) as well as in understanding how to apply scientific principles to health claims evaluation and risk assessment (Cohen's d > 1.76) and in self-efficacy toward learning about ID (Cohen's d > 2.27). Participants also displayed enhanced communication about ID within their social networks relative to the comparison group (p < .05). The data show that integrating the claims evaluation, data interpretation, and risk assessment skills critical for 21st-century health literacy health into high school biology classrooms is effective at fostering both the skills and self-efficacy pertinent to health literacy learning in diverse populations.

  20. The tip of the iceberg: challenges of accessing hospital electronic health record data for biological data mining.

    PubMed

    Denaxas, Spiros C; Asselbergs, Folkert W; Moore, Jason H

    2016-01-01

    Modern cohort studies include self-reported measures on disease, behavior and lifestyle, sensor-based observations from mobile phones and wearables, and rich -omics data. Follow-up is often achieved through electronic health record (EHR) linkages across primary and secondary healthcare providers. Historically however, researchers typically only get to see the tip of the iceberg: coded administrative data relating to healthcare claims which mainly record billable diagnoses and procedures. The rich data generated during the clinical pathway remain submerged and inaccessible. While some institutions and initiatives have made good progress in unlocking such deep phenotypic data within their institutional realms, access at scale still remains challenging. Here we outline and discuss the main technical and social challenges associated with accessing these data for data mining and hauling the entire iceberg. PMID:27688810

  1. The tip of the iceberg: challenges of accessing hospital electronic health record data for biological data mining.

    PubMed

    Denaxas, Spiros C; Asselbergs, Folkert W; Moore, Jason H

    2016-01-01

    Modern cohort studies include self-reported measures on disease, behavior and lifestyle, sensor-based observations from mobile phones and wearables, and rich -omics data. Follow-up is often achieved through electronic health record (EHR) linkages across primary and secondary healthcare providers. Historically however, researchers typically only get to see the tip of the iceberg: coded administrative data relating to healthcare claims which mainly record billable diagnoses and procedures. The rich data generated during the clinical pathway remain submerged and inaccessible. While some institutions and initiatives have made good progress in unlocking such deep phenotypic data within their institutional realms, access at scale still remains challenging. Here we outline and discuss the main technical and social challenges associated with accessing these data for data mining and hauling the entire iceberg.

  2. Sustainable soil, water and air quality mankind`s ultimate challenge and opportunity in the 21st Century

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholson, J.P.

    1996-12-31

    The House Agricultural Appropriations Sub-Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Joe Skeen and Minority Leader Marcy Kaptur, has appropriated $600,000 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide demonstration funds to the Rodale Institute, the Compost Council, and N-Viro International Corporation. The demonstration project is showing the ability of compost and N-Viro Soil{trademark} technologies to utilize manure and bio-solids in such a manner as to provide both sustainable soil fertility and reduced non-point source water pollution. The two processes, i.e. compost and N-Viro Soil{trademark}, stabilize and immobilize nutrients and organics so that they are only available through the {open_quotes}slow release{close_quotes} mechanism of mineralization. Moreover, they help reduce the leaching of chemical fertilizers, thus increasing their efficiency and they reduce the need for chemical pesticides. Compost is an established biological technology. N-Viro Soil{trademark} is a new process with an established reference base and significant public recognition, that combines biological, chemical, and physical processes to pasturize organic wastes, and convert to a stable, storable product that is capable of providing {open_quotes}slow release{close_quotes} soil fertility through immobilization and mineralization. A sustainable national program of technology transfer is absolutely vital if such technologies are going to be understood, accepted, and utilized.

  3. The electrolyte challenge for a direct methanol-air polymer electrolyte fuel cell operating at temperatures up to 200 C

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savinell, Robert; Yeager, Ernest; Tryk, Donald; Landau, Uziel; Wainright, Jesse; Gervasio, Dominic; Cahan, Boris; Litt, Morton; Rogers, Charles; Scherson, Daniel

    1993-01-01

    Novel polymer electrolytes are being evaluated for use in a direct methanol-air fuel cell operating at temperatures in excess of 100 C. The evaluation includes tests of thermal stability, ionic conductivity, and vapor transport characteristics. The preliminary results obtained to date indicate that a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell is feasible. For example, Nafion 117 when equilibrated with phosphoric acid has a conductivity of at least 0.4 Omega(exp -1)cm(exp -1) at temperatures up to 200 C in the presence of 400 torr of water vapor and methanol vapor cross over equivalent to 1 mA/cm(exp 2) under a one atmosphere methanol pressure differential at 135 C. Novel polymers are also showing similar encouraging results. The flexibility to modify and optimize the properties by custom synthesis of these novel polymers presents an exciting opportunity to develop an efficient and compact methanol fuel cell.

  4. Biology and air-sea gas exchange controls on the distribution of carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) in the ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmittner, A.; Gruber, N.; Mix, A. C.; Key, R. M.; Tagliabue, A.; Westberry, T. K.

    2013-05-01

    Analysis of observations and sensitivity experiments with a new three-dimensional global model of stable carbon isotope cycling elucidate the processes that control the distribution of δ13C in the contemporary and preindustrial ocean. Biological fractionation dominates the distribution of δ13CDIC of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) due to the sinking of isotopically light δ13C organic matter from the surface into the interior ocean. This process leads to low δ13CDIC values at dephs and in high latitude surface waters and high values in the upper ocean at low latitudes with maxima in the subtropics. Air-sea gas exchange provides an important secondary influence due to two effects. First, it acts to reduce the spatial gradients created by biology. Second, the associated temperature dependent fractionation tends to increase (decrease) δ13CDIC values of colder (warmer) water, which generates gradients that oppose those arising from biology. Our model results suggest that both effects are similarly important in influencing surface and interior δ13CDIC distributions. However, air-sea gas exchange is slow, so biological effect dominate spatial δ13CDIC gradients both in the interior and at the surface, in constrast to conclusions from some previous studies. Analysis of a new synthesis of δ13CDIC measurements from years 1990 to 2005 is used to quantify preformed (δ13Cpre) and remineralized (δ13Crem) contributions as well as the effects of biology (Δδ13Cbio) and air-sea gas exchange (δ13C*). The model reproduces major features of the observed large-scale distribution of δ13CDIC, δ13Cpre, δ13Crem, δ13C*, and Δδ13Cbio. Residual misfits are documented and analyzed. Simulated surface and subsurface δ13CDIC are influenced by details of the ecosystem model formulation. For example, inclusion of a simple parameterization of iron limitation of phytoplankton growth rates and temperature-dependent zooplankton grazing rates improves the agreement with δ13CDIC

  5. Concise Review: Progress and Challenges in Using Human Stem Cells for Biological and Therapeutics Discovery: Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

    PubMed

    Panchision, David M

    2016-03-01

    In facing the daunting challenge of using human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to study complex neural circuit disorders such as schizophrenia, mood and anxiety disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, a 2012 National Institute of Mental Health workshop produced a set of recommendations to advance basic research and engage industry in cell-based studies of neuropsychiatric disorders. This review describes progress in meeting these recommendations, including the development of novel tools, strides in recapitulating relevant cell and tissue types, insights into the genetic basis of these disorders that permit integration of risk-associated gene regulatory networks with cell/circuit phenotypes, and promising findings of patient-control differences using cell-based assays. However, numerous challenges are still being addressed, requiring further technological development, approaches to resolve disease heterogeneity, and collaborative structures for investigators of different disciplines. Additionally, since data obtained so far is on small sample sizes, replication in larger sample sets is needed. A number of individual success stories point to a path forward in developing assays to translate discovery science to therapeutics development.

  6. Drug-Like Protein–Protein Interaction Modulators: Challenges and Opportunities for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology

    PubMed Central

    Villoutreix, Bruno O; Kuenemann, Melaine A; Poyet, Jean-Luc; Bruzzoni-Giovanelli, Heriberto; Labbé, Céline; Lagorce, David; Sperandio, Olivier; Miteva, Maria A

    2014-01-01

    Fundamental processes in living cells are largely controlled by macromolecular interactions and among them, protein–protein interactions (PPIs) have a critical role while their dysregulations can contribute to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Although PPIs were considered as attractive pharmaceutical targets already some years ago, they have been thus far largely unexploited for therapeutic interventions with low molecular weight compounds. Several limiting factors, from technological hurdles to conceptual barriers, are known, which, taken together, explain why research in this area has been relatively slow. However, this last decade, the scientific community has challenged the dogma and became more enthusiastic about the modulation of PPIs with small drug-like molecules. In fact, several success stories were reported both, at the preclinical and clinical stages. In this review article, written for the 2014 International Summer School in Chemoinformatics (Strasbourg, France), we discuss in silico tools (essentially post 2012) and databases that can assist the design of low molecular weight PPI modulators (these tools can be found at www.vls3d.com). We first introduce the field of protein–protein interaction research, discuss key challenges and comment recently reported in silico packages, protocols and databases dedicated to PPIs. Then, we illustrate how in silico methods can be used and combined with experimental work to identify PPI modulators. PMID:25254076

  7. Moving from capstones toward cornerstones: successes and challenges in applying systems biology to identify mechanisms of autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Nathan; Climer, Sharlee; Dougherty, Joseph D.

    2015-01-01

    The substantial progress in the last few years toward uncovering genetic causes and risk factors for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has opened new experimental avenues for identifying the underlying neurobiological mechanism of the condition. The bounty of genetic findings has led to a variety of data-driven exploratory analyses aimed at deriving new insights about the shared features of these genes. These approaches leverage data from a variety of different sources such as co-expression in transcriptomic studies, protein–protein interaction networks, gene ontologies (GOs) annotations, or multi-level combinations of all of these. Here, we review the recurrent themes emerging from these analyses and highlight some of the challenges going forward. Themes include findings that ASD associated genes discovered by a variety of methods have been shown to contain disproportionate amounts of neurite outgrowth/cytoskeletal, synaptic, and more recently Wnt-related and chromatin modifying genes. Expression studies have highlighted a disproportionate expression of ASD gene sets during mid fetal cortical development, particularly for rare variants, with multiple analyses highlighting the striatum and cortical projection and interneurons as well. While these explorations have highlighted potentially interesting relationships among these ASD-related genes, there are challenges in how to best transition these insights into empirically testable hypotheses. Nonetheless, defining shared molecular or cellular pathology downstream of the diverse genes associated with ASDs could provide the cornerstones needed to build toward broadly applicable therapeutic approaches. PMID:26500678

  8. Success matters: Recasting the relationship among geophysical, biological, and behavioral scientists to support decision making on major environmental challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knopman, Debra S.

    2006-03-01

    Coping with global change, providing clean water for growing populations, and disposing of nuclear waste are some of the most difficult public policy challenges of our time. Unknowns in the physical sciences are one source of the difficulty. Real difficulties in meeting these challenges also arise in the behavioral sciences. A potentially rich vein of transdisciplinary research is to integrate the psychology of decision making, known as "judgment and decision making," or JDM, with the development of technical information and decision support tools for complex, long-term environmental problems. Practitioners of JDM conduct research on how individuals and groups respond to uncertainty and ambiguity, hedge against risks, anchor decisions to the status quo, compare relative risks and rewards of alternative strategies, and cope with other classes of decisions. Practitioners use a variety of stimuli, chance devices, hypothetical and real choices involving small stakes, scenarios, and questionnaires to measure (directly and indirectly) preferences under varying conditions. These kinds of experiments can help guide choices about the level of complexity required for different types of decision-making processes, the value of new data collection efforts, and the ways in which uncertainty in model outcomes can be cast to minimize decision-making paralysis. They can also provide a scientific basis for interacting with decision makers throughout the model development process, designing better ways of eliciting and combining opinions and of communicating information relevant to public policy issues with the goal of improving the value of the scientific contribution to the social decision.

  9. Drug-Like Protein-Protein Interaction Modulators: Challenges and Opportunities for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology.

    PubMed

    Villoutreix, Bruno O; Kuenemann, Melaine A; Poyet, Jean-Luc; Bruzzoni-Giovanelli, Heriberto; Labbé, Céline; Lagorce, David; Sperandio, Olivier; Miteva, Maria A

    2014-06-01

    [Formula: see text] Fundamental processes in living cells are largely controlled by macromolecular interactions and among them, protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have a critical role while their dysregulations can contribute to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Although PPIs were considered as attractive pharmaceutical targets already some years ago, they have been thus far largely unexploited for therapeutic interventions with low molecular weight compounds. Several limiting factors, from technological hurdles to conceptual barriers, are known, which, taken together, explain why research in this area has been relatively slow. However, this last decade, the scientific community has challenged the dogma and became more enthusiastic about the modulation of PPIs with small drug-like molecules. In fact, several success stories were reported both, at the preclinical and clinical stages. In this review article, written for the 2014 International Summer School in Chemoinformatics (Strasbourg, France), we discuss in silico tools (essentially post 2012) and databases that can assist the design of low molecular weight PPI modulators (these tools can be found at www.vls3d.com). We first introduce the field of protein-protein interaction research, discuss key challenges and comment recently reported in silico packages, protocols and databases dedicated to PPIs. Then, we illustrate how in silico methods can be used and combined with experimental work to identify PPI modulators.

  10. The challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution through energy sources: evidence from a panel of developed countries.

    PubMed

    Akhmat, Ghulam; Zaman, Khalid; Shukui, Tan; Sajjad, Faiza; Khan, Muhammad Azhar; Khan, Muhammad Zahir

    2014-06-01

    The objective of the study is to investigate the long-run relationship between climatic factors (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural methane emissions, and industrial nitrous oxide emission), air pollution (i.e., carbon dioxide emissions), and energy sources (i.e., nuclear energy; oil, gas, and coal energy; and fossil fuel energy) in the panel of 35 developed countries (including EU-15, new EU member states, G-7, and other countries) over a period of 1975-2012. In order to achieve this objective, the present study uses sophisticated panel econometric techniques including panel cointegration, panel fully modified OLS (FMOLS), and dynamic OLS (DOLS). The results show that there is a long-run relationship between the variables. Nuclear energy reduces greenhouse gases and carbon emissions; however, the other emissions, i.e., agricultural methane emissions and industrial nitrous oxide, are still to increase during the study period. Electricity production from oil, gas, and coal sources increases the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions; however, the intensity to increase emissions is far less than the intensity to increase emissions through fossil fuel. Policies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases can simultaneously alter emissions of conventional pollutants that have deleterious effects on human health and the environment.

  11. The challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution through energy sources: evidence from a panel of developed countries.

    PubMed

    Akhmat, Ghulam; Zaman, Khalid; Shukui, Tan; Sajjad, Faiza; Khan, Muhammad Azhar; Khan, Muhammad Zahir

    2014-06-01

    The objective of the study is to investigate the long-run relationship between climatic factors (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural methane emissions, and industrial nitrous oxide emission), air pollution (i.e., carbon dioxide emissions), and energy sources (i.e., nuclear energy; oil, gas, and coal energy; and fossil fuel energy) in the panel of 35 developed countries (including EU-15, new EU member states, G-7, and other countries) over a period of 1975-2012. In order to achieve this objective, the present study uses sophisticated panel econometric techniques including panel cointegration, panel fully modified OLS (FMOLS), and dynamic OLS (DOLS). The results show that there is a long-run relationship between the variables. Nuclear energy reduces greenhouse gases and carbon emissions; however, the other emissions, i.e., agricultural methane emissions and industrial nitrous oxide, are still to increase during the study period. Electricity production from oil, gas, and coal sources increases the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions; however, the intensity to increase emissions is far less than the intensity to increase emissions through fossil fuel. Policies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases can simultaneously alter emissions of conventional pollutants that have deleterious effects on human health and the environment. PMID:24584642

  12. Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy of Soft, Biological, or Rough Objects in Aqueous Environment: Challenges and some Remedies to Circumvent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vikram, C. S.; Witherow, W. K.

    1999-01-01

    Near-field scanning optical microscopy is an established technique for sub-wavelength spatial resolution in imaging, spectroscopy, material science, surface chemistry, polarimetry, etc. A significant amount of confidence has been established for thin hard specimens in air. However when soft, biological, rough, in aqueous environment object, or a combination is involved, the progress has been slow. The tip-sample mechanical interaction, heat effects to sample, drag effects to the probe, difficulty in controlling tip-sample separation in case of rough objects, light scattering from sample thickness, etc. create problems. Although these problems are not even fully understood, there have been attempts to study them with the aim of performing reliable operations. In this review we describe these attempts. Starting with general problems encountered, various effects like polarization, thermal, and media are covered. The roles of independent tip-sample distance control tools in the relevant situations are then described. Finally progress in fluid cell aspect has been summarized.

  13. X-ray nanoprobes and diffraction-limited storage rings: opportunities and challenges of fluorescence tomography of biological specimens

    PubMed Central

    de Jonge, Martin D.; Ryan, Christopher G.; Jacobsen, Chris J.

    2014-01-01

    X-ray nanoprobes require coherent illumination to achieve optic-limited resolution, and so will benefit directly from diffraction-limited storage rings. Here, the example of high-resolution X-ray fluorescence tomography is focused on as one of the most voracious demanders of coherent photons, since the detected signal is only a small fraction of the incident flux. Alternative schemes are considered for beam delivery, sample scanning and detectors. One must consider as well the steps before and after the X-ray experiment: sample preparation and examination conditions, and analysis complexity due to minimum dose requirements and self-absorption. By understanding the requirements and opportunities for nanoscale fluorescence tomography, one gains insight into the R&D challenges in optics and instrumentation needed to fully exploit the source advances that diffraction-limited storage rings offer. PMID:25177992

  14. An examination of the relation between traumatic event exposure and panic-relevant biological challenge responding among adolescents.

    PubMed

    Hawks, Erin; Blumenthal, Heidemarie; Feldner, Matthew T; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W; Jones, Rachel

    2011-09-01

    The current study uniquely extended research that has linked traumatic event exposure to panic-spectrum problems among adolescents. It was hypothesized that among 127 adolescents (age range: 10 to 17 years; M = 14.63, SD = 2.24), those who endorsed a history of traumatic event exposure would evidence significantly greater anxious and fearful reactivity to a well-established 3-min voluntary hyperventilation procedure compared to nonexposed individuals. Results were consistent with hypotheses, suggesting traumatic event exposure is associated with anxious and fearful reactivity to abrupt increases in bodily arousal among adolescents. Moreover, consistent with hypotheses, anxiety sensitivity significantly mediated the relations between traumatic event exposure and both self-reported panic symptoms and panic symptoms elicited by the challenge. Future prospective research is now needed to better understand temporal relations between traumatic event exposure and indices of panic and related vulnerability.

  15. North Atlantic demersal deep-water fish distribution and biology: present knowledge and challenges for the future.

    PubMed

    Bergstad, O A

    2013-12-01

    This paper summarizes knowledge and knowledge gaps on benthic and benthopelagic deep-water fishes of the North Atlantic Ocean, i.e. species inhabiting deep continental shelf areas, continental and island slopes, seamounts and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. While several studies demonstrate that distribution patterns are species specific, several also show that assemblages of species can be defined and such assemblages are associated with circulatory features and water mass distributions. In many subareas, sampling has, however, been scattered, restricted to shallow areas or soft substrata, and results from different studies tend to be difficult to compare quantitatively because of sampler differences. Particularly, few studies have been conducted on isolated deep oceanic seamounts and in Arctic deep-water areas. Time series of data are very few and most series are short. Recent studies of population structure of widely distributed demersal species show less than expected present connectivity and considerable spatial genetic heterogeneity and complexity for some species. In other species, genetic homogeneity across wide ranges was discovered. Mechanisms underlying the observed patterns have been proposed, but to test emerging hypotheses more species should be investigated across their entire distribution ranges. Studies of population biology reveal greater diversity in life-history strategies than often assumed, even between co-occurring species of the same family. Some slope and ridge-associated species are rather short-lived, others very long-lived, and growth patterns also show considerable variation. Recent comparative studies suggest variation in life-history strategies along a continuum correlated with depth, ranging from shelf waters to the deep sea where comparatively more species have extended lifetimes, and slow rates of growth and reproduction. Reproductive biology remains too poorly known for most deep-water species, and temporal variation in recruitment has

  16. North Atlantic demersal deep-water fish distribution and biology: present knowledge and challenges for the future.

    PubMed

    Bergstad, O A

    2013-12-01

    This paper summarizes knowledge and knowledge gaps on benthic and benthopelagic deep-water fishes of the North Atlantic Ocean, i.e. species inhabiting deep continental shelf areas, continental and island slopes, seamounts and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. While several studies demonstrate that distribution patterns are species specific, several also show that assemblages of species can be defined and such assemblages are associated with circulatory features and water mass distributions. In many subareas, sampling has, however, been scattered, restricted to shallow areas or soft substrata, and results from different studies tend to be difficult to compare quantitatively because of sampler differences. Particularly, few studies have been conducted on isolated deep oceanic seamounts and in Arctic deep-water areas. Time series of data are very few and most series are short. Recent studies of population structure of widely distributed demersal species show less than expected present connectivity and considerable spatial genetic heterogeneity and complexity for some species. In other species, genetic homogeneity across wide ranges was discovered. Mechanisms underlying the observed patterns have been proposed, but to test emerging hypotheses more species should be investigated across their entire distribution ranges. Studies of population biology reveal greater diversity in life-history strategies than often assumed, even between co-occurring species of the same family. Some slope and ridge-associated species are rather short-lived, others very long-lived, and growth patterns also show considerable variation. Recent comparative studies suggest variation in life-history strategies along a continuum correlated with depth, ranging from shelf waters to the deep sea where comparatively more species have extended lifetimes, and slow rates of growth and reproduction. Reproductive biology remains too poorly known for most deep-water species, and temporal variation in recruitment has

  17. A biological method to monitor early effects of the air pollution caused by the industrial exploitation of geothermal energy.

    PubMed

    Paoli, Luca; Loppi, Stefano

    2008-09-01

    The suitability of a set of ecophysiological parameters, to be used as early warning indicator to detect signs of a worsening environment around geothermal power plants, was tested by comparison with the diversity of epiphytic lichens, a well-established indicator of geothermal air pollution. Samples of the lichen Evernia prunastri were transplanted around a geothermal power plant at Larderello (Tuscany, Italy) and at a control site, and integrity of cell membranes, concentration of chlorophyll a, b and carotenoids, chlorophyll integrity and variations in pH of thalli were measured. The results showed that cell membrane damage, expressed by changes in electrical conductivity, could be used to detect early (exposure periods as short as 1 month) deleterious effects of geothermal air pollution.

  18. LASER BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE: Laser analysis of the 13C/12C isotope ratio in CO2 in exhaled air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stepanov, E. V.

    2002-11-01

    Tunable diode lasers (TDLs) are applied to the diagnostics of gastroenterological diseases using respiratory tests and preparations enriched with the stable 13C isotope. This method of the analysis of the 13C/12C isotope ratio in CO2 in exhaled air is based on the selective measurement of the resonance absorption at the vibrational — rotational structure of 12CO2 and 13CO2. The CO2 transmission spectra in the region of 4.35 μm were measured with a PbEuSe double-heterostructure TDL. The accuracy of carbon isotope ratio measurements in CO2 of exhaled air performed with the TDL was ~0.5%. The data of clinical tests of the developed laser-based analyser are presented.

  19. Study of the accumulation of air pollution by the biological indicators, using 14 MeV neutron activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senhou, A.; Khoukhi, T. El; Chouak, A.; Cherkaoui, R. El Moursili; Yahiaoui, A. El; Lferde, M.

    2001-06-01

    14 MeV neutron activation analysis was used to determine air polluting elements in samples of mosses, lichens and tree barks, collected from different regions in Morocco. The analysis of spectra shows clearly that the elements Mg, Al, Si, Cl, J, Ca, Ti and Fe can easily be determined by 14 NAA with good precision, while results for Zn, Rb, Sr, Ba and La are less precise. Curves showing correlation between Al and Mg concentrations are given for different sites.

  20. Diarrhoeal disease: current concepts and future challenges. Molecular biological approaches to the epidemiology of diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Taylor, D N; Echeverria, P

    1993-12-01

    Diarrhoea in developing countries is caused by an increasingly long list of bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens with rotavirus, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Salmonella heading the list. Using methods to detect most of the known enteropathogens, one or more enteropathogen(s) is isolated in two-thirds of diarrhoeal illnesses in the developing world. Many of these enteropathogens are also frequently isolated from children without diarrhoea. An aetiologic agent is more frequently isolated from cases of invasive diarrhoea than from those with secretory diarrhoea. Deoxyribonucleic acid probes have proved very useful in detecting pathogens such as enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enteroinvasive (EIEC), and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), but have not yet proved to be particularly rapid or less expensive. Molecular biology has proved useful in epidemiological studies as a means of strain identification. Plasmids were initially used as convenient markers and proved useful in identifying epidemic strains of bacteria. Other molecular markers, such as ribotyping, are accurate enough to be used as taxonomic tools.

  1. Challenges of climate change: omics-based biology of saffron plants and organic agricultural biotechnology for sustainable saffron production.

    PubMed

    Husaini, Amjad M

    2014-01-01

    Kashmir Valley is a major saffron (Crocus sativus Kashmirianus) growing area of the world, second only to Iran in terms of production. In Kashmir, saffron is grown on uplands (termed in the local language as "Karewas"), which are lacustrine deposits located at an altitude of 1585 to 1677 m above mean sea level (amsl), under temperate climatic conditions. Kashmir, despite being one of the oldest historical saffron-producing areas, faces a rapid decline of saffron industry. Among many other factors responsible for decline of saffron industry the preponderance of erratic rainfalls and drought-like situation have become major challenges imposed by climate change. Saffron has a limited coverage area as it is grown as a 'niche crop' and is a recognized "geographical indication," growing under a narrow microclimatic condition. As such it has become a victim of climate change effects, which has the potential of jeopardizing the livelihood of thousands of farmers and traders associated with it. The paper discusses the potential and actual impact of climate change process on saffron cultivation in Kashmir; and the biotechnological measures to address these issues.

  2. [Deployment of a mobile RT-PCR laboratory molecular biology to deal with the A(H1N1) challenge in Kaboul].

    PubMed

    Maslin, J; Ducher, P; Fourel, D; Causse Le Dorze, P

    2010-11-01

    Since October 2009, the fear of swine flu spread in Afghanistan and severe cases were observed among NATO soldiers. Two patients were hospitalized in an Intensive Care Unit. To face this new challenge, the French Health Service decided the deployment of a mobile RT-PCR laboratory molecular biology in the Kabul International Military Hospital. We describe the implementation of the mobile RT-PCR laboratory for the diagnosis of A(H1N1). The analysis of the first nasopharyngeal samples confirmed the presence of this virus in Afghanistan. The peak of positive cases was observed in mid-November 2009, and some cluster cases were observed among units deployed on the field.

  3. An Air-Stripping Packed Bed Combined with a Biofilm-Type Biological Process for Treating BTEX and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groudwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, U.; Park, S.; Lim, J.; Lee, W.; Kwon, S.; Kim, Y.

    2009-12-01

    In this study, we examined the removal efficiency of a volatile compound (e.g. toluene) and a less volatile compound [e.g. total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH)] using an air stripping packed bed combined with a biofilm-type biological process. We hypothesized that this system might be effective and economical to simultaneously remove both volatile and less volatile compounds. The gas-tight reactor has 5.9-inch-diameter and 48.8-inch-height. A spray nozzle was installed at the top cover to distribute the liquid evenly through reactor. The reactor was filled with polypropylene packing media for the increase of volatilization surface area and the growth of TPH degrading facultative aerobic bacteria on the surface of the packing media. In air stripping experiments, 45.6%, 71.7%, 72.0%, and 75.4% of toluene was removed at air injection rates of 0 L/min, 2.5 L/min, 4 L/min, and 6 L/min, respectively. Through the result, we confirmed that toluene removal efficiency increased by injecting higher amounts of air. TPH removal by stripping was minimal. To remove a less volatile TPH by commercial TPH degrading culture (BIO-ZYME B-52), 15-times diluted culture was circulated through the reactor for 2-3 days to build up a biofilm on the surface of packing media with 1 mg-soluble nitrogen source /L-water per 1 ppm of TPH. Experiments evaluating the degree of TPH biodegradation in this system are carrying out.

  4. Long-term biological effects of air ions and D.C. electric fields on Namru mice: First year report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellogg, E. W.; Yost, M. G.; Reed, E. J.; Krueger, A. P.

    1985-09-01

    This report describes for the first time the effects of long-term continuous exposures of animals to small air ions and D.C. electric fields. In this study we exposed 200 female NAMRU mice (25/cage) to the following conditions: ± high ions (2×105/cm3), ± low ions (2×103/cm3), ± field only and ground (ion depleted, no field). Specially designed cages provided a defined D.C. field of about 2 kV/meter in ionized environments, with somewhat lower values in the field only cages. Detailed mapping of ion flux originating from a tritium foil generating system (multiple sources in an overhead plate) indicated a well defined, but heterogenous pattern with eight peak areas. Using a 100 cm2 probe, ion flux values ranged from 10-12 10-14 A/cm2, with an average flux of 8.7±6.8×10-13 A/cm2 in high negative ion cages, with good reproducibility between cages. Measurements of serum glucose, cholesterol, and urea nitrogen (samples taken every three months) showed a number of small but consistent and statistically significant differences between animals maintained in different environments during the first year of exposure. Serum globulin and whole blood serotonin, however, did not show any significant environmental effects. Interestingly, pairwise comparisons between high negative and low negative ion conditions, or between high positive and low positive ion conditions, or between the two ground conditions, revealed no significant differences between cages. This argues for a similarity of environmental responses for the mice maintained in each of the compared conditions. The results of a multiple classification analysis for the entire first year showed a preponderence of effects for the ionized cages, although other conditions also had highly significant differences as compared to the grand mean value. While this study has shown effects of only small magnitude (compared to normal physiological variations) in the female NAMRU mice studied here, the significance of these results

  5. Analysis of biological factors for determination of air pollution tolerance index of selected plants in Yamuna Nagar, India.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Manju; Panwar, Neeraj; Arora, Pooja; Luhach, Jyoti; Chaudhry, Smita

    2013-05-01

    Air pollution tolerance index (APTI) calculated for various plant species growing in vicinity of three different industrial areas (Paper mill, Sugar mill, Thermal Power Plant) and Yamuna River belt of Yamuna Nagar. Studies were carried out to determine the physiological response of ten plant species. The leaf samples collected from these plant species were used to determine their plant APTI by calculating the ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll, pH, and relative water content for all selected sites. Highest pH, relative water content, ascorbic acid and total chlorophyll was observed in Castor (9.86), Parthenium (96.99%), Ficus benghalensis (14.90 mg g(-1)) and Amaranthus (7.08 mg g(-1)) at Yamuna river, Thermal power plant, Yamuna river and paper mill respectively. It was concluded that out of ten species studied only one species (Ficus benghalensis) showed moderately tolerant response in all selected sites, while other species showed sensitive response. According to observed APTI values, Ficus benghalensis showed the highest value (21.65) at sugar mill followed by thermal power plant (19.38), Paper mill (17.65) and Yamuna River (17.61). The lowest APTI values were reported in Oxalis corniculata (6.42) at Yamuna River belt followed by Malvestrum at sugar mill (7.71). PMID:24617135

  6. Analysis of biological factors for determination of air pollution tolerance index of selected plants in Yamuna Nagar, India.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Manju; Panwar, Neeraj; Arora, Pooja; Luhach, Jyoti; Chaudhry, Smita

    2013-05-01

    Air pollution tolerance index (APTI) calculated for various plant species growing in vicinity of three different industrial areas (Paper mill, Sugar mill, Thermal Power Plant) and Yamuna River belt of Yamuna Nagar. Studies were carried out to determine the physiological response of ten plant species. The leaf samples collected from these plant species were used to determine their plant APTI by calculating the ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll, pH, and relative water content for all selected sites. Highest pH, relative water content, ascorbic acid and total chlorophyll was observed in Castor (9.86), Parthenium (96.99%), Ficus benghalensis (14.90 mg g(-1)) and Amaranthus (7.08 mg g(-1)) at Yamuna river, Thermal power plant, Yamuna river and paper mill respectively. It was concluded that out of ten species studied only one species (Ficus benghalensis) showed moderately tolerant response in all selected sites, while other species showed sensitive response. According to observed APTI values, Ficus benghalensis showed the highest value (21.65) at sugar mill followed by thermal power plant (19.38), Paper mill (17.65) and Yamuna River (17.61). The lowest APTI values were reported in Oxalis corniculata (6.42) at Yamuna River belt followed by Malvestrum at sugar mill (7.71).

  7. Microbial monitoring and performance evaluation for H2S biological air emissions control at a wastewater lift station in South Texas, USA.

    PubMed

    Jones, Kim D; Yadavalli, Naga; Karre, Anand K; Paca, Jan

    2012-01-01

    A pilot-scale biological sequential treatment system consisting of a biotrickling filter and two biofilters was installed at Waste Water Lift Station # 64 in Brownsville, Texas, USA to evaluate the performance of the system being loaded with variable concentrations of wastewater hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) emissions. In this study, the effectiveness of sulfur oxidizing bacteria along with the distribution of various sulfur species and their correlation with the performance of the biofilters was evaluated. The biofilters were packed with engineered media consisting of plastic cylinders with compacted organic material which was supplied by Met-Pro Environmental Air Solutions (formerly Bio·Reaction Industries). The overall performance of the pilot-scale biological sequential treatment system with an Empty Bed Residence Time (EBRT) of 60s and the overall performance of the biofilter unit with an EBRT of 35s developed a removal efficiency of > 99% at H(2)S levels up to 500 ppm. A decrease in performance over time was observed in the first and second sections of the first biofilter unit with the third section of the biofilter unit ultimately becoming the most robust unit removing most of the pollutant. The second biofilter unit was not needed and subsequently removed from the system. The number of CFUs in sulfur oxidizing T.thioparus selective media grew significantly in all four sections of the biofilter over the two months of pilot operation of the biological unit. The sulfur oxidizer growth rates appeared to be highest at low total sulfur content and at slightly acidic pH levels. This study has implications for improving the understanding of the distribution of sulfur oxidizing bacteria throughout the length of the biofilter columns, which can be used to further optimize performance and estimate breakthrough at these very high H(2)S input loadings.

  8. Microbial monitoring and performance evaluation for H2S biological air emissions control at a wastewater lift station in South Texas, USA.

    PubMed

    Jones, Kim D; Yadavalli, Naga; Karre, Anand K; Paca, Jan

    2012-01-01

    A pilot-scale biological sequential treatment system consisting of a biotrickling filter and two biofilters was installed at Waste Water Lift Station # 64 in Brownsville, Texas, USA to evaluate the performance of the system being loaded with variable concentrations of wastewater hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) emissions. In this study, the effectiveness of sulfur oxidizing bacteria along with the distribution of various sulfur species and their correlation with the performance of the biofilters was evaluated. The biofilters were packed with engineered media consisting of plastic cylinders with compacted organic material which was supplied by Met-Pro Environmental Air Solutions (formerly Bio·Reaction Industries). The overall performance of the pilot-scale biological sequential treatment system with an Empty Bed Residence Time (EBRT) of 60s and the overall performance of the biofilter unit with an EBRT of 35s developed a removal efficiency of > 99% at H(2)S levels up to 500 ppm. A decrease in performance over time was observed in the first and second sections of the first biofilter unit with the third section of the biofilter unit ultimately becoming the most robust unit removing most of the pollutant. The second biofilter unit was not needed and subsequently removed from the system. The number of CFUs in sulfur oxidizing T.thioparus selective media grew significantly in all four sections of the biofilter over the two months of pilot operation of the biological unit. The sulfur oxidizer growth rates appeared to be highest at low total sulfur content and at slightly acidic pH levels. This study has implications for improving the understanding of the distribution of sulfur oxidizing bacteria throughout the length of the biofilter columns, which can be used to further optimize performance and estimate breakthrough at these very high H(2)S input loadings. PMID:22486664

  9. Long-term biological effects of air ions and D.C. electric fields on Namru mice: Second year report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellogg, E. W.; Yost, M. G.; Reed, E. J.; Madin, S. H.

    1985-09-01

    This report describes the second year of long-term continuous exposures of female NAMRU mice to small air ions and D.C. electric fields in the following conditions: ± high ions ((2×105/cm3), ± low ions (2×103/cm3), ± field (2 kV/m) only and ground (ion depleted, no field). Using an isolated anesthesized mouse, whole body ion flux values averaged 1.04±0.63×10-10 A in high ion cages for different positions on the cage floor, with about a hundred-fold reduction for low ion cages. During the second year (sample periods 5 8) of exposure serum chemistry variability increased, due to increased pathology and decreased numbers of animals as our experimental population died off. The fifth sample period yielded results consistent with those seen earlier, but later sample periods had many fewer significant differences between cages than did those of the first year. Nevertheless, MCA statistics for serum glucose for the second year found a pattern remarkably similar to the first, with the low ion cages (LN and LP) having the lowest levels. MCA statistics for both years emphasized this possible “window” effect of low level ionized conditions. Also, a comparison between the combined values for ionized (HN, LN, HP and LP) and ion depleted cages (NF, PF, G1 and G2) showed a highly significant difference (p<10-6) for serum glucose for both years of exposure, with lower glucose values seen for animals in the ionized cages overall. Animals of all conditions also showed a highly significant decrease in serum glucose with age. Comparison of mice in ionized cages vs. the non-ionized cages also resulted in a significant difference (p<.013) for survival characteristics between groups, with ion exposed animals having a shorter lifespan. These statistics argue strongly for significant effects of long-term exposure of NAMRU mice to the ionized environment.

  10. Relation between sources of particulate air pollution and biological effect parameters in samples from four European cities: An exploratory study

    SciTech Connect

    Steerenberg, P.A.; van Amelsvoort, L.; Lovik, M.; Hetland, R.B.; Alberg, T.; Halatek, T.; Bloemen, H.J.T.; Rydzynski, K.; Swaen, G.; Schwarze, P.; Dybing, E.; Cassee, F.R.

    2006-05-15

    Given that there are widely different prevalence rates of respiratory allergies and asthma between the countries of Europe and that exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) is substantial in urban environments throughout Europe, an EU project entitled 'Respiratory Allergy and Inflammation Due to Ambient Particles' (RAIAP) was set up. The project focused on the role of physical and chemical composition of PM on release of cytokines of cells in vitro, on respiratory inflammation in vivo, and on adjuvant potency in allergy animal models. Coarse (2.5 - 10 {mu}m) and fine (0.15 - 2.5 {mu}m) particles were collected during the spring, summer and winter in Rome ( I), Oslo (N), Lodz (PL), and Amsterdam (NL). Markers within the same model were often well correlated. Markers of inflammation in the in vitro and in vivo models also showed a high degree of correlation. In contrast, correlation between parameters in the different allergy models and between allergy and inflammation markers was generally poor. This suggests that various bioassays are needed to assess the potential hazard of PM. The present study also showed that by clustering chemical constituents of PM based on the overall response pattern in the bioassays, five distinct groups could be identified. The clusters of traffic, industrial combustion and/or incinerators, and combustion of black and brown coal/wood smoke were associated primarily with adjuvant activity for respiratory allergy, whereas clusters of crustal of material and sea spray are predominantly associated with measures for inflammation and acute toxicity. The present study has shown that biological effect of PM can be linked to one or more PM emission sources and that this linkage requires a wide range of bioassays.

  11. Implementation of an education-focused PhD program in anatomy and cell biology at Indiana University: lessons learned and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Brokaw, James J; O'Loughlin, Valerie D

    2015-01-01

    In 2008, the Indiana University School of Medicine, in collaboration with the School of Education, admitted its first student to a newly approved PhD program in Anatomy and Cell Biology focusing on educational research rather than biomedical research. The goal of the program is twofold: (1) to provide students with extensive training in all of the anatomical disciplines coupled with sufficient teaching experience to assume major educational responsibilities upon graduation and (2) to train students to conduct rigorous medical education research and other scholarly work necessary for promotion and tenure. The 90 credit hour curriculum consists of biomedical courses taught within the School of Medicine and education courses taught within the School of Education, including courses in health sciences pedagogy, curriculum development, learning theory, quantitative, and qualitative research methods, statistics, and electives. To date, 16 students have entered the program, seven have passed their qualifying examinations, and five have earned their PhD degrees. Four students have received national recognition for their educational research and four graduates have obtained faculty appointments. Going forward, we must adapt the program's biomedical course requirements to incorporate the new integrated curriculum of the medical school, and we must secure additional funding to support more students. Overcoming these challenges will enable us to continue producing a small but stable supply of doctoral-level anatomy educators for a growing academic market.

  12. Heat-tolerant versus heat-sensitive Bos taurus cattle: influence of air temperature and breed on the acute phase response to a provocative immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J A; Burdick Sanchez, N C; Chaffin, R; Chase, C C; Coleman, S W; Spiers, D E

    2013-10-01

    The difference in the acute phase response of a heat-tolerant and a heat-sensitive Bos taurus breed to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge when housed at different air temperatures (Ta) was studied. Angus (ANG; heat-sensitive; n = 11; 306 ± 26 kg BW) and Romosinuano (RO; heat-tolerant; n = 10; 313 ± 32 kg BW) heifers were transported from the USDA Agricultural Research Service SubTropical Agricultural Research Station in Florida to the Brody Environmental Chambers at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Heifers were housed in stanchions in 4 temperature-controlled environmental chambers. Initially, Ta in the 4 chambers was cycling at thermoneutrality (TN; 18.5°C-23.5°C) for a 1-wk adjustment period, followed by an increase in 2 of the 4 chambers to cycling heat stress (HS; 24°C-38°C) for 2 wk. On day 19, heifers were fitted with jugular catheters and rectal temperature (RT) recording devices. On day 20, heifers were challenged with LPS (0.5 μg/kg BW; 0 h), sickness behavior scores (SBSs) were recorded, and blood samples were collected at 0.5-h intervals from -2 to 8 h and again at 24 h relative to LPS challenge at 0 h. Serum was isolated and stored at -80°C until analyzed for cortisol and cytokine concentrations. A breed by Ta interaction (P < 0.001) was observed for RT such that the post-LPS average RT in RO heifers housed at TN was lower than the RT of all other treatment groups (P < 0.001), whereas ANG heifers housed at HS had greater post-LPS average RT than all other treatment groups (P < 0.001). In response to LPS, HS increased SBS after LPS in RO heifers compared to RO heifers housed at TN (P < 0.001), whereas HS decreased SBS after LPS in ANG heifers compared to ANG heifers housed at TN (P = 0.014). The cortisol response to LPS was greater in TN than in HS heifers (P < 0.01) and was also greater in RO than in ANG heifers (P = 0.03). A breed by Ta interaction (P < 0.01) was observed for tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) concentration such that HS

  13. Radiological/biological/aerosol removal system

    DOEpatents

    Haslam, Jeffery J

    2015-03-17

    An air filter replacement system for existing buildings, vehicles, arenas, and other enclosed airspaces includes a replacement air filter for replacing a standard air filter. The replacement air filter has dimensions and air flow specifications that allow it to replace the standard air filter. The replacement air filter includes a filter material that removes radiological or biological or aerosol particles.

  14. An early work [1910-1913] in Biological Psychology by pioneer psychiatrist, criminologist and philosopher José Ingenieros, M.D. (1877-1925) of Buenos Aires.

    PubMed

    Triarhou, Lazaros C; del Cerro, Manuel

    2006-04-01

    One of the earliest recorded works in Biological Psychology was published in 1910 by Argentine psychiatrist José Ingenieros (1877-1925), Professor of Experimental Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Buenos Aires. Ingenieros, a multifaceted personality and prolific author and educator famous for his lapidary aphorisms, has been considered a 'luminary' for generations. Trained as a physician, he was the first scientist to establish a comprehensive psychological system in Latin America. His long list of publications includes more than 300 titles generally divided in two periods: studies in mental pathology and criminology (1897-1908) and studies in philosophy, psychology and sociology (1908-1925). His works were never made particularly available to English-speaking audiences, despite the fact that certain of his books are still best-sellers in the Spanish-speaking world. We present an overview of Ingenieros' life and work, and a detailed account of his profoundly interesting work Principios de Psicología Biológica, in which he analyzes the development, evolution and social context of mental functions. We also provide an English translation of the Introduction contributed by Nobel laureate Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932) to the 1922 German edition of the work, pertinent to the energetic principles Ingenieros used and the study of Psychology as a natural science. It is a hope, 80 years after Ingenieros' parting, to bibliographically resurrect this champion of reason, who, until now, has not been given his due placement in the international psychological and biomedical literature.

  15. New Whole-House Solutions Case Study: Challenges of Achieving 2012 IECC Air Sealing Requirements in Multifamily Dwellings, Upstate New York

    SciTech Connect

    2014-11-01

    While previous versions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have included provisions to improve the air tightness of dwellings, for the first time, the 2012 IECC mandates compliance verification through blower door testing. Simply completing the Air Barrier and Insulation Installation checklist through visual inspection is no longer sufficient; the 2012 IECC mandates a significantly stricter air sealing requirement. In Climate Zones 3 through 8, air leakage may not exceed 3 ACH50, which is a significant reduction from the 2009 IECC requirement of 7 ACH50. This requirement is for all residential buildings, which includes low-rise multifamily dwellings. While this air leakage rate requirement is an important component to achieving an efficient building thermal envelope, currently, the code language doesn't explicitly address differences between single family and multifamily applications. In addition, the 2012 IECC does not provide an option to sample dwellings for larger multifamily buildings, so compliance would have to be verified on every unit. With compliance with the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements on the horizon, several of Building America team Consortium for Advanced Residential Building's (CARB) multifamily builder partners are evaluating how best to comply with this requirement. Builders are not sure whether it is more practical or beneficial to simply pay for guarded testing or to revise their air sealing strategies to improve compartmentalization to comply with code requirements based on unguarded blower door testing. This report summarizes CARB's research that was conducted to assess the feasibility of meeting the 2012 IECC air leakage requirements in three multifamily buildings.

  16. Air pollution and detrimental effects on children’s brain. The need for a multidisciplinary approach to the issue complexity and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Kulesza, Randy J.; Park, Su-Bin; D’Angiulli, Amedeo

    2014-01-01

    Millions of children in polluted cities are showing brain detrimental effects. Urban children exhibit brain structural and volumetric abnormalities, systemic inflammation, olfactory, auditory, vestibular and cognitive deficits v low-pollution controls. Neuroinflammation and blood-brain-barrier (BBB) breakdown target the olfactory bulb, prefrontal cortex and brainstem, but are diffusely present throughout the brain. Urban adolescent Apolipoprotein E4 carriers significantly accelerate Alzheimer pathology. Neurocognitive effects of air pollution are substantial, apparent across all populations, and potentially clinically relevant as early evidence of evolving neurodegenerative changes. The diffuse nature of the neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration forces to employ a weight of evidence approach incorporating current clinical, cognitive, neurophysiological, radiological and epidemiological research. Pediatric air pollution research requires extensive multidisciplinary collaborations to accomplish a critical goal: to protect exposed children through multidimensional interventions having both broad impact and reach. Protecting children and teens from neural effects of air pollution should be of pressing importance for public health. PMID:25161617

  17. Heat-tolerant versus heat-sensitive Bos taurus cattle: influence of air temperature and breed on the metabolic response to a provocative immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Burdick Sanchez, N C; Chaffin, R; Carroll, J A; Chase, C C; Coleman, S W; Spiers, D E

    2013-11-01

    The response of the immune and stress systems have been assessed in response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge, yet the role of metabolism in mediating energy requirements during the acute phase response has not been sufficiently studied. This study tested heat-tolerant (Romosinuano [RO]) and heat-sensitive (Angus [ANG]) Bos taurus breeds at different ambient temperatures (Ta) to determine differential metabolic responses to LPS challenge. Twenty-one heifers (ANG: n = 11, 306 ± 26 kg BW; RO: n = 10, 313 ± 32 kg BW) were housed in stanchions in 4 temperature-controlled chambers. Initially, Ta in all 4 chambers was cycling at thermoneutrality (TN; 18.5°C-23.5°C) for a 1-wk adjustment period, followed by an increase in 2 chambers to cycling heat stress (HS; 24°C-38°C) for 2 wk. Five ANG and 5 RO heifers were housed at TN, whereas 6 ANG and 5 RO heifers were housed at HS. On day 19, heifers were fitted with jugular catheters. On day 20, heifers were challenged with LPS (0.5 μg/kg BW; 0 h), and blood samples were collected from -2 to 8 h and at 24 h relative to LPS challenge. Serum was analyzed for glucose, insulin, and NEFA concentrations. In addition, feed intake was measured 3 d before and on the day of the challenge. Feed intake decreased over time (P < 0.001) and was decreased in heifers housed at HS compared with heifers housed at TN (P = 0.013). Glucose concentrations before LPS challenge were greater in RO (P = 0.01) than in ANG heifers and greater in TN-housed heifers (P = 0.02) than in HS heifers. Glucose after LPS challenge initially increased before decreasing below baseline concentrations (P < 0.01) in all heifers. In addition, there was a breed by Ta interaction (P < 0.004), such that HS decreased glucose concentrations in ANG heifers compared with ANG heifers housed at TN (P < 0.001), whereas HS did not affect glucose concentrations after LPS challenge in RO heifers (P = 0.941). Nonesterified fatty acid concentrations before LPS challenge

  18. Biological monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, S.

    1984-06-01

    Recent research is reviewed from books, international committees and symposia which describes the usefulness of biological monitoring for exposure to such compounds as organometallic chemicals, carbon monoxide and cyanide. The types of analyses include the following measurements: the concentration of the chemical in various biological media such as blood, urine, and expired air; the concentration of metabolites of the individual chemical in the same media; and determination of nonadverse biological changes resulting from the reaction of the organism to exposure. A main goal of such monitoring is to ensure that the current or past levels of worker exposure are safe, so that such exposure does not involve an unacceptable health risk. It considers routes other than absorption by the lungs and is a good method for evaluating individual exposures.

  19. Motivational Interviewing among HIV Health Care Providers: Challenges and Opportunities to Enhance Engagement and Retention in Care in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Bofill, Lina; Weiss, Stephen M; Lucas, Mar; Bordato, Alejandra; Dorigo, Analia; Fernandez-Cabanillas, Graciela; Aristegui, Ines; Lopez, Maria; Waldrop-Valverde, Drenna; Jones, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    In Argentina, providers' response to motivational interviewing (MI) to improve engagement and retention in care among challenging patients with HIV was evaluated. Twelve HIV care physicians participated, and their video recordings pre- and post-MI training were also obtained. One week post-training, 11 of the 12 participants were committed to using MI strategies during consult session. Of the 12 participants, 9 demonstrated appropriate utilization of MI techniques and change in HIV education provided during consultation (Z = -2.375, P = .018). Motivational interviewing appears to be a viable strategy to enhance engagement and retention in challenging HIV-positive patients.

  20. Motivational Interviewing among HIV Health Care Providers: Challenges and opportunities to enhance engagement and retention in care in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Bofill, Lina; Weiss, Stephen M; Lucas, Mar; Bordato, Alejandra; Dorigo, Analia; Fernandez-Cabanillas, Graciela; Aristegui, Ines; Lopez, Maria; Waldrop-Valverde, Drenna; Jones, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Providers’ response to Motivational Interviewing (MI) to improve engagement and retention in care among challenging patients with HIV in Argentina were evaluated. 12 HIV care physicians participated and video recordings pre- and post-MI training were obtained. One week post-training 11/12 participants were committed to using MI strategies during consult session. 9/12 participants demonstrated appropriate utilization of MI techniques and increased adherence focused discussion and care (t = 3.59, p = .006). MI appears to be a viable strategy to enhance engagement and retention in challenging HIV patients. PMID:26056148

  1. Current challenges in modelling far-range air pollution induced by the 2014-2015 Bárðarbunga fissure eruption (Iceland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boichu, Marie; Chiapello, Isabelle; Brogniez, Colette; Péré, Jean-Christophe; Thieuleux, Francois; Torres, Benjamin; Blarel, Luc; Mortier, Augustin; Podvin, Thierry; Goloub, Philippe; Söhne, Nathalie; Clarisse, Lieven; Bauduin, Sophie; Hendrick, François; Theys, Nicolas; Van Roozendael, Michel; Tanré, Didier

    2016-08-01

    The 2014-2015 Holuhraun lava-flood eruption of Bárðarbunga volcano (Iceland) emitted prodigious amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. This eruption caused a large-scale episode of air pollution throughout Western Europe in September 2014, the first event of this magnitude recorded in the modern era. We gathered chemistry-transport simulations and a wealth of complementary observations from satellite sensors (OMI, IASI), ground-based remote sensing (lidar, sunphotometry, differential optical absorption spectroscopy) and ground-level air quality monitoring networks to characterize both the spatial-temporal distributions of volcanic SO2 and sulfate aerosols as well as the dynamics of the planetary boundary layer. Time variations of dynamical and microphysical properties of sulfate aerosols in the aged low-tropospheric volcanic cloud, including loading, vertical distribution, size distribution and single scattering albedo, are provided. Retrospective chemistry-transport simulations at low horizontal resolution (25 km × 25 km) capture the correct temporal dynamics of this far-range air pollution event but fail to reproduce the correct magnitude of SO2 concentration at ground-level. Simulations at higher spatial resolution, relying on two nested domains with finest resolution of 7.3 km × 7.3 km, improve substantially the far-range vertical distribution of the volcanic cloud and subsequently the description of ground-level SO2 concentrations. However, remaining discrepancies between model and observations are shown to result from an inaccurate representation of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) dynamics. Comparison with lidar observations points out a systematic under-estimation of the PBL height by the model, whichever the PBL parameterization scheme. Such a shortcoming impedes the capture of the overlying Bárðarbunga cloud into the PBL at the right time and in sufficient quantities. This study therefore demonstrates the key role played by the PBL

  2. Challenges associated with the sampling and analysis of organosulfur compounds in air using real-time PTR-ToF-MS and offline GC-FID

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perraud, Véronique; Meinardi, Simone; Blake, Donald R.; Finlayson-Pitts, Barbara J.

    2016-03-01

    Organosulfur compounds (OSCs) are naturally emitted via various processes involving phytoplankton and algae in marine regions, from animal metabolism, and from biomass decomposition inland. These compounds are malodorant and reactive. Their oxidation to methanesulfonic and sulfuric acids leads to the formation and growth of atmospheric particles, which are known to influence clouds and climate, atmospheric chemical processes. In addition, particles in air have been linked to negative impacts on visibility and human health. Accurate measurements of the OSC precursors are thus essential to reduce uncertainties in their sources and contributions to particle formation in air. Two different approaches, proton-transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) and canister sampling coupled to gas chromatography with flame ionization detector (GC-FID), are compared for both laboratory standards (dimethyl sulfide, DMS; dimethyl disulfide, DMDS; dimethyl trisulfide, DMTS; and methanethiol, MTO) and for a complex sample. Results show that both techniques produce accurate quantification of DMS. While PTR-ToF-MS provides real-time measurements of all four OSCs individually, significant fragmentation of DMDS and DMTS occurs, which can complicate their identification in complex mixtures. Canister sampling coupled with GC-FID provides excellent sensitivity for DMS, DMDS, and DMTS. However, MTO was observed to react on metal surfaces to produce DMDS and, in the presence of hydrogen sulfide, even DMTS. Avoiding metal in sampling systems seems to be necessary for measuring all but dimethyl sulfide in air.

  3. ADVANCES AND CHALLENGES IN SUGARCANE BIOTECHNOLOY AND PLANT PATHOLOGY: A REVIEW OF THE IX PLANT PATHOLOGY WORKSHOP AND VI MOLECULAR BIOLOGY WORKSHOP

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The IX Pathology Workshop and VI Molecular Biology Workshop of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT) were organised jointly and hosted by the Colombian Sugarcane Research Centre (CENICAÑA) from 23-27 June 2008 at the Radisson Royal Hotel in Cali, Colombia. The Workshop was we...

  4. Implementation of an Education-Focused PhD Program in Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University: Lessons Learned and Future Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brokaw, James J.; O'Loughlin, Valerie D.

    2015-01-01

    In 2008, the Indiana University School of Medicine, in collaboration with the School of Education, admitted its first student to a newly approved PhD program in Anatomy and Cell Biology focusing on educational research rather than biomedical research. The goal of the program is twofold: (1) to provide students with extensive training in all of the…

  5. The challenge of regional accents for aviation English language proficiency standards: a study of difficulties in understanding in air traffic control-pilot communications.

    PubMed

    Tiewtrakul, T; Fletcher, S R

    2010-02-01

    Although English has been the international aviation language since 1951, formal language proficiency testing for key aviation personnel has only recently been implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It aims to ensure minimum acceptable levels of English pronunciation and comprehension universally, but does not attend to particular regional dialect difficulties. However, evidence suggests that voice transmissions between air traffic controllers and pilots are a particular problem in international airspace and that pilots may not understand messages due to the influence of different accents when using English. This study explores the potential impact of 'non-native English' in pilot-air traffic control transmissions using a 'conversation analysis' technique to examine approach phase recordings from Bangkok International Airport. Results support that communication errors, defined by incidents of pilots not understanding, occur significantly more often when speakers are both non-native English, messages are more complex and when numerical information is involved. These results and their possible implications are discussed with reference to the development of ICAO's new language proficiency standards. Statement of Relevance: This study builds on previous work and literature, providing further evidence to show that the risks caused by language and linguistics in aviation must be explored more deeply. Findings are particularly contemporary and relevant today, indicating that recently implemented international standards would benefit from further exploratory research and development.

  6. Laboratory host range testing of Lilioceris sp. near impressa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) – a potential biological control agent of air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera (Dioscoreaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera, is an invasive, herbaceous, climbing vine, which dominates invaded native vegetation in Florida. The fortuitous discovery of Lilioceris sp. near impressa defoliating D. bulbifera vines and feeding on the bulbils (aerial tubers) in the Katmandu Valley of Nepal initiat...

  7. PRESENTED AT TRIANGLE CONSORTIUM OF REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY, CHAPEL HILL, NC: GST M1 GENOTYPE INFLUENCES SPERM DNA DAMAGE ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure to episodic air pollution in the Czech Republic has been associated with abnormal semen quality and sperm DNA damage (EHP 108:887;2000). A subsequentlongitudinal study evaluated semenfrom 36 men sampled up to 7 times over a period of two years to capture exposures durin...

  8. When mothering goes awry: Challenges and opportunities for utilizing evidence across rodent, nonhuman primate and human studies to better define the biological consequences of negative early caregiving.

    PubMed

    Drury, Stacy S; Sánchez, Mar M; Gonzalez, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care".Across mammalian species, mothers shape socio-emotional development and serve as essential external regulators of infant physiology, brain development, behavior patterns, and emotional regulation. Caregiving quality, consistency and predictability shape the infant's underlying neurobiological processes. Although the requirements for "optimal" caregiving differ across species, the negative long-term consequences of the absence of needed caregiving (e.g. neglect) or the presence of harmful/aversive caregiving (e.g. physical abuse), are translatable across species. Recognizing the significant potential of cross species comparisons in terms of defining underlying mechanisms, effective translation requires consideration of the evolutionary, ecological, and fundamental biological and developmental differences between and among species. This review provides both an overview of several success stories of cross-species translations in relation to negative caregiving and a template for future studies seeking to most effectively define the underlying biological processes and advance research dedicated to mitigating the lasting negative health consequences of child maltreatment. PMID:26506032

  9. Multidisciplinary investigation of the fate, transport, and remediation of chlorinated solvents in fractured rocks at the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC): Scientific and management challenges, and strategies for a successful research program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiedeman, C. R.; Goode, D. J.; Shapiro, A. M.; Lacombe, P. J.; Chapelle, F. H.; Bradley, P. M.; Imbrigiotta, T. E.; Williams, J. H.; Curtis, G. P.; Hsieh, P. A.

    2008-12-01

    At the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in West Trenton NJ, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy and under support from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), is investigating the fate, transport, and remediation of trichloroethylene (TCE) and its daughter products in dipping, fractured mudstones underlying the site. TCE concentrations in ground water are as high as ~100 mg/L. Objectives of multidisciplinary research at the NAWC include (1) understanding the physical, chemical, and microbiological processes and properties affecting the fate, transport, and removal of chlorinated solvents in fractured rocks, (2) assessing the efficiency of different remediation methods (pump and treat, natural and enhanced biodegradation), and (3) transferring the results to help remediate other contaminated fractured rock aquifers. There are numerous scientific and technical challenges to meeting these goals, including the extreme spatial variability of flow and transport properties at the NAWC and the complex distribution of contaminants, geochemical constituents, and microorganisms in fractures and the rock matrix. In addition, there are management challenges that are equally important to address in order to achieve a successful research program. These include balancing the requirements of the many parties involved at the site, including researchers, the site owner, and regulatory agencies; and ensuring that limited research funds are directed towards work that addresses the most important scientific questions as well as stakeholder concerns. Strategies for the scientific challenges at NAWC include developing a carefully planned program to characterize spatial variability in rock properties and groundwater constituents so that the data obtained are applicable to solving research questions focused on remediation. Strategies for the management challenges include fostering open lines of communication among all parties and

  10. A Breath of Fresh Air: Addressing Indoor Air Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palliser, Janna

    2011-01-01

    Indoor air pollution refers to "chemical, biological, and physical contamination of indoor air," which may result in adverse health effects (OECD 2003). The causes, sources, and types of indoor air pollutants will be addressed in this article, as well as health effects and how to reduce exposure. Learning more about potential pollutants in home…

  11. Challenges associated with the sampling and analysis of organosulfur compounds in air using real-time PTR-ToF-MS and off-line GC-FID

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perraud, V.; Meinardi, S.; Blake, D. R.; Finlayson-Pitts, B. J.

    2015-12-01

    Organosulfur compounds (OSC) are naturally emitted via various processes involving phytoplankton and algae in marine regions, from animal metabolism and from biomass decomposition inland. These compounds are malodorant and reactive. Their oxidation to methanesulfonic and sulfuric acids leads to the formation and growth of atmospheric particles, which are known to have negative effects on visibility, climate and human health. In order to predict particle formation events, accurate measurements of the OSC precursors are essential. Here, two different approaches, proton-transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) and canister sampling coupled with GC-FID are compared for both laboratory standards [dimethyl sulfide (DMS), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), dimethyl trisulfide (DMTS) and methanethiol (MTO)] and for a complex sample. Results show that both techniques produce accurate quantification of DMS. While PTR-ToF-MS provides real-time measurements of all four OSCs individually, significant fragmentation of DMDS and DMTS occurs, which can complicate their identification in complex mixtures. Canister sampling coupled with GC-FID provides excellent sensitivity for DMS, DMDS and DMTS. However, MTO was observed to react on metal surfaces to produce DMDS and, in the presence of hydrogen sulfide, even DMTS. Avoiding metal in sampling systems seems to be necessary for measuring all but dimethyl sulfide in air.

  12. Species biology and potential for controlling four exotic plants (Ammophila arenaria, Carpobrotus edulis, Cortaderia jubata and Gasoul crystallinum) on Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmalzer, Paul A.; Hinkle, C. Ross

    1987-01-01

    Invasive exotic plants can displace native flora and modify community and ecosystem structure and function. Ammophila arenaria, Corpobrotus edulis, Cortaderia jubata, and Gasoul crystallinum are invasive plants present on Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, designated for study by the Environmental Task Force because of the perceived threat they represent to the native flora. Each plant's native habitat, how they came to be at Vandenberg, their propagation, and how they can be controlled is discussed.

  13. AIRE-Linux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jianfeng; Xu, Benda; Peng, Chuan; Yang, Yang; Huo, Zhuoxi

    2015-08-01

    AIRE-Linux is a dedicated Linux system for astronomers. Modern astronomy faces two big challenges: massive observed raw data which covers the whole electromagnetic spectrum, and overmuch professional data processing skill which exceeds personal or even a small team's abilities. AIRE-Linux, which is a specially designed Linux and will be distributed to users by Virtual Machine (VM) images in Open Virtualization Format (OVF), is to help astronomers confront the challenges. Most astronomical software packages, such as IRAF, MIDAS, CASA, Heasoft etc., will be integrated into AIRE-Linux. It is easy for astronomers to configure and customize the system and use what they just need. When incorporated into cloud computing platforms, AIRE-Linux will be able to handle data intensive and computing consuming tasks for astronomers. Currently, a Beta version of AIRE-Linux is ready for download and testing.

  14. Indoor air quality and health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.

    During the last two decades there has been increasing concern within the scientific community over the effects of indoor air quality on health. Changes in building design devised to improve energy efficiency have meant that modern homes and offices are frequently more airtight than older structures. Furthermore, advances in construction technology have caused a much greater use of synthetic building materials. Whilst these improvements have led to more comfortable buildings with lower running costs, they also provide indoor environments in which contaminants are readily produced and may build up to much higher concentrations than are found outside. This article reviews our current understanding of the relationship between indoor air pollution and health. Indoor pollutants can emanate from a range of sources. The health impacts from indoor exposure to combustion products from heating, cooking, and the smoking of tobacco are examined. Also discussed are the symptoms associated with pollutants emitted from building materials. Of particular importance might be substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which arise from sources including paints, varnishes, solvents, and preservatives. Furthermore, if the structure of a building begins to deteriorate, exposure to asbestos may be an important risk factor for the chronic respiratory disease mesothelioma. The health effects of inhaled biological particles can be significant, as a large variety of biological materials are present in indoor environments. Their role in inducing illness through immune mechanisms, infectious processes, and direct toxicity is considered. Outdoor sources can be the main contributors to indoor concentrations of some contaminants. Of particular significance is Radon, the radioactive gas that arises from outside, yet only presents a serious health risk when found inside buildings. Radon and its decay products are now recognised as important indoor pollutants, and their effects are

  15. Very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) represent a real challenge in stem cell biology: recent pros and cons in the midst of a lively debate

    PubMed Central

    Ratajczak, M Z; Zuba-Surma, E; Wojakowski, W; Suszynska, M; Mierzejewska, K; Liu, R; Ratajczak, J; Shin, D M; Kucia, M

    2014-01-01

    The concept that adult tissue, including bone marrow (BM), contains early-development cells with broader differentiation potential has again been recently challenged. In response, we would like to review the accumulated evidence from several independent laboratories that adult tissues, including BM, harbor a population of very rare stem cells that may cross germ layers in their differentiation potential. Thus, the BM stem cell compartment hierarchy needs to be revisited. These dormant, early-development cells that our group described as very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) most likely overlap with similar populations of stem cells that have been identified in adult tissues by other investigators as the result of various experimental strategies and have been given various names. As reported, murine VSELs have some pluripotent stem cell characteristics. Moreover, they display several epiblast/germline markers that suggest their embryonic origin and developmental deposition in adult BM. Moreover, at the molecular level, changes in expression of parentally imprinted genes (for example, Igf2–H19) and resistance to insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) regulates their quiescent state in adult tissues. In several emergency situations related to organ damage, VSELs can be activated and mobilized into peripheral blood, and in appropriate animal models they contribute to tissue organ/regeneration. Interestingly, their number correlates with lifespan in mice, and they may also be involved in some malignancies. VSELs have been successfully isolated in several laboratories; however, some investigators experience problems with their isolation. PMID:24018851

  16. Very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) represent a real challenge in stem cell biology: recent pros and cons in the midst of a lively debate.

    PubMed

    Ratajczak, M Z; Zuba-Surma, E; Wojakowski, W; Suszynska, M; Mierzejewska, K; Liu, R; Ratajczak, J; Shin, D M; Kucia, M

    2014-03-01

    The concept that adult tissue, including bone marrow (BM), contains early-development cells with broader differentiation potential has again been recently challenged. In response, we would like to review the accumulated evidence from several independent laboratories that adult tissues, including BM, harbor a population of very rare stem cells that may cross germ layers in their differentiation potential. Thus, the BM stem cell compartment hierarchy needs to be revisited. These dormant, early-development cells that our group described as very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) most likely overlap with similar populations of stem cells that have been identified in adult tissues by other investigators as the result of various experimental strategies and have been given various names. As reported, murine VSELs have some pluripotent stem cell characteristics. Moreover, they display several epiblast/germline markers that suggest their embryonic origin and developmental deposition in adult BM. Moreover, at the molecular level, changes in expression of parentally imprinted genes (for example, Igf2-H19) and resistance to insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) regulates their quiescent state in adult tissues. In several emergency situations related to organ damage, VSELs can be activated and mobilized into peripheral blood, and in appropriate animal models they contribute to tissue organ/regeneration. Interestingly, their number correlates with lifespan in mice, and they may also be involved in some malignancies. VSELs have been successfully isolated in several laboratories; however, some investigators experience problems with their isolation.

  17. Air Pollution

    MedlinePlus

    Air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, ... Ozone, a gas, is a major part of air pollution in cities. When ozone forms air pollution, it's ...

  18. Benzo[a]pyrene-specific online high-performance liquid chromatography fractionation of air particulate extracts - a tool for evaluating biological interactions.

    PubMed

    Lim, Hwanmi; Bergvall, Christoffer; Jarvis, Ian; Mattsson, Åse; Dreij, Kristian; Stenius, Ulla; Westerholm, Roger

    2014-08-15

    Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) is a known human carcinogen and is commonly used as a surrogate for assessing the carcinogenic risk posed by complex mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in air particulate matter (PM). However, studies have shown that using B[a]P as a surrogate may underestimate the carcinogenic potential of PAH mixtures, as the risk assessment approach does not consider interaction effects. Thus, toxicological studies using B[a]P to assess its carcinogenic potential in environmentally derived complex mixtures, as opposed to single compound experiments, could improve risk assessment. The intention of the present study was to develop an online HPLC fractionation system for the selective removal of B[a]P from air PM extracts. Two serial pyrenylethyl (PYE) columns enabled selective separation of B[a]P from its isomers and other PAHs as well as a short fractionation cycle of 30min. One run consisted of three collection steps: the first fraction contained PAHs eluting earlier than B[a]P, the second contained B[a]P and the last contained later-eluting PAHs. The selectivity and recovery of the system was investigated using extracts of Stockholm air PM samples. The overall recovery for all PAHs was approximately 80%, and the system proved to be selective, as it removed 94% of B[a]P and less than 3% of benzo[b]fluoranthene from the complex PAH mixture. Exposing human cells to blanks generated by the fractionation system did not induce cytotoxicity or DNA damage signalling. In conclusion, the online HPLC system was selective for B[a]P fractionation whilst minimising run-to-run variation and allowing repeated fractionations for larger samples due to its relatively short run time. PMID:24947883

  19. Analysis of air ions in biological exposure systems, near HV dc electric power transmission lines, in rooms containing ion generators, and near exposed humans and animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaune, William T.; Gillis, Murlin F.; Weigel, Richard J.

    1983-11-01

    A number of systems containing space charge are analyzed using the transit-time technique developed in an earlier paper. (1) An inequality is derived for a room containing an air-ion generator which relates the ion source current to the minimum space-charge density. (2) Published wind-tunnel data are treated, and the characteristics of space-charge plumes produced downstream from localized corona and radioactive sources are explained. (3) Space-charge data published by other researchers can be evaluated; three examples are given, and in two of them published space-charge densities substantially exceed calculated upper-bound values. (4) Formulae are derived for the extrapolation of ground-level space-charge-density, electric field, and ion-current-density data to points above ground level; these formulae are useful for characterizing the three-dimensional environments in systems where only ground-level measurements are available. (5) A simple upper bound is derived for ground-level space-charge densities produced by high-voltage direct-current (HV dc) transmission lines, and it is shown that actual lines do produce densities closely approaching this upper-bound value. (6) The perturbed space-charge density at the surface of the body of an animal or human exposed to air ions and electric fields is estimated, and it is shown that perturbed and unperturbed space-charge densities are approximately equal for exposure conditions simulating those at ground level near HV dc transmission lines.

  20. Air pollution toxicology--a brief review of the role of the science in shaping the current understanding of air pollution health risks.

    PubMed

    Stanek, Lindsay Wichers; Brown, James S; Stanek, John; Gift, Jeff; Costa, Daniel L

    2011-03-01

    Human and animal toxicology has had a profound impact on our historical and current understanding of air pollution health effects. Early animal toxicological studies of air pollution had distinctively military or workplace themes. With the discovery that ambient air pollution episodes led to excess illness and death, there became an emergence of toxicological studies that focused on industrial air pollution encountered by the general public. Not only did the pollutants investigated evolve from ambient mixtures to individual pollutants but also the endpoints and outcomes evaluated became more sophisticated, resulting in our present state of the science. Currently, a large toxicological database exists for the effects of particulate matter and ozone, and we provide a focused review of some of the major contributions to the biological understanding for these two "criteria" air pollutants. A limited discussion of the toxicological advancements in the scientific knowledge of two hazardous air pollutants, formaldehyde and phosgene, is also included. Moving forward, the future challenge of air pollution toxicology lies in the health assessment of complex mixtures and their interactions, given the projected impacts of climate change and altered emissions on ambient conditions. In the coming years, the toxicologist will need to be flexible and forward thinking in order to dissect the complexity of the biological system itself, as well as that of air pollution in all its varied forms.

  1. Laminar flow: Challenge and potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirchner, Mark E.

    1987-01-01

    Commercial air transportation has experienced revolutionary technology advances since WWII. These technology advances have resulted in an explosive growth in passenger traffic. Today, however, many technologies have matured, and maintaining a similar growth rate will be a challenge. A brief history of laminar flow technology and its application to subsonic and supersonic air transportation is presented.

  2. Teaching about Evolution: Old Controversy, New Challenges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bybee, Rodger W.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses the place of the topic of evolution in high school biology curricula in history, new challenges and misconceptions about science, and the need for biology education. (Contains 20 references.) (YDS)

  3. Adsorption properties of biologically active derivatives of quaternary ammonium surfactants and their mixtures at aqueous/air interface II. Dynamics of adsorption, micelles dissociation and cytotoxicity of QDLS.

    PubMed

    Rojewska, Monika; Prochaska, Krystyna; Olejnik, Anna; Rychlik, Joanna

    2014-07-01

    The main aim of our study was analysis of adsorption dynamics of mixtures containing quaternary derivatives of lysosomotropic substance (QDLS). Two types of equimolar mixtures were considered: the ones containing two derivatives of lysosomotropic substances (DMALM-12 and DMGM-12) as well as the catanionic mixtures i.e. the systems containing QDLS and DBSNa. Dynamic surface tension measurements of surfactant mixtures were made. The results suggested that the diffusivity of the mixed system could be treated as the average value of rates of diffusion of individual components, micelles and ion pairs, which are present in the mixtures studied. Moreover, an attempt was made to explain the influence of the presence of micelles in the mixtures on their adsorption dynamics. The compounds examined show interesting biological properties which can be useful, especially for drug delivery in medical treatment. In vitro cytotoxic activities of the mixtures studied towards human cancer cells were evaluated. Most of the mixtures showed a high antiproliferative potential, especially the ones containing DMALM-12. Each cancer cell line used demonstrated different sensitivity to the same dose of the mixtures tested.

  4. Air Abrasion

    MedlinePlus

    ... delivered directly to your desktop! more... What Is Air Abrasion? Article Chapters What Is Air Abrasion? What Happens? The Pros and Cons Will I Feel Anything? Is Air Abrasion for Everyone? print full article print this ...

  5. Biological Threats

    MedlinePlus

    ... Thunderstorms & Lightning Tornadoes Tsunamis Volcanoes Wildfires Main Content Biological Threats Biological agents are organisms or toxins that ... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Before a Biological Threat Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may ...

  6. Phospholipids at the Interface: Current Trends and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Pichot, Roman; Watson, Richard L.; Norton, Ian T.

    2013-01-01

    Phospholipids are one of the major structural elements of biological membranes. Due to their amphiphilic character, they can adopt various molecular assemblies when dispersed in water, such as bilayer vesicles or micelles, which give them unique interfacial properties and render them very attractive in terms of foam or emulsion stabilization. This article aims at reviewing the properties of phospholipids at the air/water and oil/water interfaces, as well as the recent advances in using these natural components as stabilizers, alone or in combination with other compounds such as proteins. A discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities offered by phospholipids-stabilized structure concludes the review. PMID:23736688

  7. Pathogenesis of dengue: challenges to molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Halstead, S B

    1988-01-29

    Dengue viruses occur as four antigenically related but distinct serotypes transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These viruses generally cause a benign syndrome, dengue fever, in the American and African tropics, and a severe syndrome, dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS), in Southeast Asian children. This severe syndrome, which recently has also been identified in children infected with the virus in Puerto Rico, is characterized by increased vascular permeability and abnormal hemostasis. It occurs in infants less than 1 year of age born to dengue-immune mothers and in children 1 year and older who are immune to one serotype of dengue virus and are experiencing infection with a second serotype. Dengue viruses replicate in cells of mononuclear phagocyte lineage, and subneutralizing concentrations of dengue antibody enhance dengue virus infection in these cells. This antibody-dependent enhancement of infection regulates dengue disease in human beings, although disease severity may also be controlled genetically, possibly by permitting and restricting the growth of virus in monocytes. Monoclonal antibodies show heterogeneous distribution of antigenic epitopes on dengue viruses. These epitopes serve to regulate disease: when antibodies to shared antigens partially neutralize heterotypic virus, infection and disease are dampened; enhancing antibodies alone result in heightened disease response. Further knowledge of the structure of dengue genomes should permit rapid advances in understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms of dengue.

  8. Bioanalytical challenges of biosimilars.

    PubMed

    Islam, Rafiq

    2014-02-01

    Biologics such as monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins represent a significant portion of the pharmaceutical market. With many of the first generation biologics' patents expiring, an increasing number of biosimilars will be submitted for approval in the near future. The successful development of a biosimilar requires the demonstration of biosimilarity in terms of efficacy, safety and purity to an innovator-approved product. While regulatory frameworks have been established for the approval of biosimilars in several countries, there is not an established guidance for bioanalytical testing of biosimilars. Although there are regulatory guidances and White Papers on testing requirements for biologics in general, there is a need to address the bioanalytical challenges and solutions that apply specifically to the analysis of biosimilars in biological samples. This paper will focus on components of the PK and immunogenicity assays that are critical to biosimilar drug development.

  9. Challenging High-Ability Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scager, Karin; Akkerman, Sanne F.; Pilot, Albert; Wubbels, Theo

    2014-01-01

    The existing literature on indicators of an optimal learning environment for high-ability students frequently discusses the concept of challenge. It is, however, not clear what, precisely, constitutes appropriate challenge for these students. In this study, the authors examined an undergraduate honours course, Advanced Cell Biology, which has…

  10. Effects of air emissions on wildlife resources. Air pollution and acid rain report No. 1

    SciTech Connect

    Newman, J.R.

    1980-05-01

    This publication describes in general the pathways of contamination, direct and indirect effects of air emissions on wildlife resources, and the potential use of wildlife as biological indicators of air quality degradation. Also included in the report are summaries of air pollution incidents involving wildlife, responses of wildlife to air pollution, major target systems of selected air pollutants, and information on the capacity of some air pollutants to accumulate in body tissues.

  11. Engineering scalable biological systems

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Synthetic biology is focused on engineering biological organisms to study natural systems and to provide new solutions for pressing medical, industrial and environmental problems. At the core of engineered organisms are synthetic biological circuits that execute the tasks of sensing inputs, processing logic and performing output functions. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in developing basic designs for a wide range of biological circuits in bacteria, yeast and mammalian systems. However, significant challenges in the construction, probing, modulation and debugging of synthetic biological systems must be addressed in order to achieve scalable higher-complexity biological circuits. Furthermore, concomitant efforts to evaluate the safety and biocontainment of engineered organisms and address public and regulatory concerns will be necessary to ensure that technological advances are translated into real-world solutions. PMID:21468204

  12. Challenges in obesity research.

    PubMed

    Palou, Andreu; Bonet, M Luisa

    2013-09-01

    Obesity is the main nutritional problem and one of the most important health problems in developed societies. Central to the challenge of obesity prevention and management is a thoroughly understanding of its determinants. Multiple socio-cultural, socio-economic, behavioural and biological factors--often interrelated and many of them still unknown or poorly understood--can contribute to the establishment and perpetuation of obese phenotypes. Here, we address current research challenges regarding basic aspects of obesity and emerging science for its control, including brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and browning of white fat as possible therapeutic targets for obesity, the influence of the microbioma, and genetics, epigenetics, nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics of obesity. We also highlight hot topics in relation to food and lifestyle as determinants of obesity, including the brain mechanisms underlying environmental motivation to eat, the biological control of spontaneous physical activity, the possible role of concrete foods and food components, and the importance of early life nutrition and environment. Challenges regarding the connections of obesity with other alterations and pathologies are also briefly addressed, as well as social and economical challenges in relation to healthy food production and lifestyle for the prevention of obesity, and technological challenges in obesity research and management. The objective is to give a panoramic of advances accomplished and still ahead relevant to the different stakeholders engaged in understanding and combating obesity.

  13. Clinical challenge.

    PubMed

    2016-09-01

    Questions for this month's clinical challenge are based on articles in this issue. The clinical challenge is endorsed by the RACGP Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) program and has been allocated four Category 2 points (Activity ID:59922). Answers to this clinical challenge are available immediately following successful completion online at http://gplearning.racgp.org.au. Clinical challenge quizzes may be completed at any time throughout the 2014-16 triennium; therefore, the previous months' answers are not published. Each of the questions or incomplete statements below is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the most appropriate statement as your answer. PMID:27606376

  14. Biological aerosol background characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blatny, Janet; Fountain, Augustus W., III

    2011-05-01

    To provide useful information during military operations, or as part of other security situations, a biological aerosol detector has to respond within seconds or minutes to an attack by virulent biological agents, and with low false alarms. Within this time frame, measuring virulence of a known microorganism is extremely difficult, especially if the microorganism is of unknown antigenic or nucleic acid properties. Measuring "live" characteristics of an organism directly is not generally an option, yet only viable organisms are potentially infectious. Fluorescence based instruments have been designed to optically determine if aerosol particles have viability characteristics. Still, such commercially available biological aerosol detection equipment needs to be improved for their use in military and civil applications. Air has an endogenous population of microorganisms that may interfere with alarm software technologies. To design robust algorithms, a comprehensive knowledge of the airborne biological background content is essential. For this reason, there is a need to study ambient live bacterial populations in as many locations as possible. Doing so will permit collection of data to define diverse biological characteristics that in turn can be used to fine tune alarm algorithms. To avoid false alarms, improving software technologies for biological detectors is a crucial feature requiring considerations of various parameters that can be applied to suppress alarm triggers. This NATO Task Group will aim for developing reference methods for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to improve alarm algorithms for biological detection. Additionally, they will focus on developing reference standard methodology for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to reduce false alarm rates.

  15. Natural Air Purifier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    NASA environmental research has led to a plant-based air filtering system. Dr. B.C. Wolverton, a former NASA engineer who developed a biological filtering system for space life support, served as a consultant to Terra Firma Environmental. The company is marketing the BioFilter, a natural air purifier that combines activated carbon and other filter media with living plants and microorganisms. The filter material traps and holds indoor pollutants; plant roots and microorganisms then convert the pollutants into food for the plant. Most non-flowering house plants will work. After pollutants have been removed, the cleansed air is returned to the room through slits in the planter. Terra Firma is currently developing a filter that will also disinfect the air.

  16. Synthetic biology: an emerging engineering discipline.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Allen A; Lu, Timothy K

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, synthetic biology has emerged as an engineering discipline for biological systems. Compared with other substrates, biology poses a unique set of engineering challenges resulting from an incomplete understanding of natural biological systems and tools for manipulating them. To address these challenges, synthetic biology is advancing from developing proof-of-concept designs to focusing on core platforms for rational and high-throughput biological engineering. These platforms span the entire biological design cycle, including DNA construction, parts libraries, computational design tools, and interfaces for manipulating and probing synthetic circuits. The development of these enabling technologies requires an engineering mindset to be applied to biology, with an emphasis on generalizable techniques in addition to application-specific designs. This review aims to discuss the progress and challenges in synthetic biology and to illustrate areas where synthetic biology may impact biomedical engineering and human health.

  17. Featherweight Challenge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Love, Tyler S.; Ryan, Larry

    2012-01-01

    As science, technology education, and engineering programs suffer budget cuts, educators continue to seek cost-effective activities that engage students and reinforce standards. The featherweight challenge is a hands-on activity that challenges students to continually refine their design while not breaking the budget. This activity uses one of the…

  18. Air resources

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-01

    This section describes the ambient (surrounding) air quality of the TVA region, discusses TVA emission contributions to ambient air quality, and identifies air quality impacts to human health and welfare. Volume 2 Technical Document 2, Environmental Consequences, describes how changes in TVA emissions could affect regional air quality, human health, environmental resources, and materials. The primary region of the affected environment is broadly defined as the state of Tennessee, as well as southern Kentucky, western Virginia, southern West Virginia, western North Carolina, and northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. This area represents the watershed of the Tennessee River and the 201 counties of the greater TVA service area. Emissions from outside the Tennessee Valley region contribute to air quality in the Valley. Also, TVA emissions are transported outside the Valley and have some impact on air quality beyond the primary study area. Although the study area experiences a number of air quality problems, overall air quality is good.

  19. Air Pollution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilpin, Alan

    A summary of one of our most pressing environmental problems, air pollution, is offered in this book by the Director of Air Pollution Control for the Queensland (Australia) State Government. Discussion of the subject is not restricted to Queensland or Australian problems and policies, however, but includes analysis of air pollution the world over.…

  20. Students' Ideas and Attitudes about Air Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skamp, Keith; Boyes, Eddie; Stanisstreet, Martin

    2004-01-01

    The results of a large scale (N=1001) cross-sectional (Years 6, 8 and 10) study of students' ideas about the composition of unpolluted air, the nature of air pollution, the biological consequences of air pollution, and about acid rain and the Greenhouse Effect are reported. A range of persistent alternative conceptions were identified, in some…

  1. Biological Technicians

    MedlinePlus

    ... Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important ... Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important ...

  2. Building biological foundries for next-generation synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Chao, Ran; Yuan, YongBo; Zhao, HuiMin

    2015-07-01

    Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary field that takes top-down approaches to understand and engineer biological systems through design-build-test cycles. A number of advances in this relatively young field have greatly accelerated such engineering cycles. Specifically, various innovative tools were developed for in silico biosystems design, DNA de novo synthesis and assembly, construct verification, as well as metabolite analysis, which have laid a solid foundation for building biological foundries for rapid prototyping of improved or novel biosystems. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art technologies for synthetic biology and discusses the challenges to establish such biological foundries. PMID:25985756

  3. Recent developments in biologically inspired seeker technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarley, Paul L.; Massie, Mark A.

    2001-06-01

    As electro-optic sensors increase in size and frame rate, the data transfer and digital processing resource requirements also increase. In many missions, the spatial area of interest is but a small fraction of the available field of view. Choosing the right region of interest, however, is a challenge and still requires an enormous amount of downstream digital processing resources. In order to filter this ever-increasing amount of data, we look at how nature solves the problem. The Advanced Guidance Division of the Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/MNG) at Eglin AFB, Florida, has been pursuing research in the area of advanced sensor and image processing concepts based on biologically inspired sensory information processing. A summary of some vertebrate and invertebrate inspired 'neuromorphic' processing efforts will be presented along with a seeker system concept utilizing this innovative technology. Concepts and requirements for future such efforts will also be discussed.

  4. Air pollution and public health: emerging hazards and improved understanding of risk.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Frank J; Fussell, Julia C

    2015-08-01

    Despite past improvements in air quality, very large parts of the population in urban areas breathe air that does not meet European standards let alone the health-based World Health Organisation Air Quality Guidelines. Over the last 10 years, there has been a substantial increase in findings that particulate matter (PM) air pollution is not only exerting a greater impact on established health endpoints, but is also associated with a broader number of disease outcomes. Data strongly suggest that effects have no threshold within the studied range of ambient concentrations, can occur at levels close to PM2.5 background concentrations and that they follow a mostly linear concentration-response function. Having firmly established this significant public health problem, there has been an enormous effort to identify what it is in ambient PM that affects health and to understand the underlying biological basis of toxicity by identifying mechanistic pathways-information that in turn will inform policy makers how best to legislate for cleaner air. Another intervention in moving towards a healthier environment depends upon the achieving the right public attitude and behaviour by the use of optimal air pollution monitoring, forecasting and reporting that exploits increasingly sophisticated information systems. Improving air quality is a considerable but not an intractable challenge. Translating the correct scientific evidence into bold, realistic and effective policies undisputedly has the potential to reduce air pollution so that it no longer poses a damaging and costly toll on public health.

  5. Making Plant Biology Curricula Relevant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershey, David R.

    1992-01-01

    Reviews rationale, purposes, challenges, and relevance of hands-on, plant biology curricula that have been developed in response to the limited use of plants in biology education. Discusses methods to maintain both instructional rigor and student interest in the following topics: cut flowers, container-growing media, fertilizers, hydroponics,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  7. Cleavable linkers in chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Leriche, Geoffray; Chisholm, Louise; Wagner, Alain

    2012-01-15

    Interest in cleavable linkers is growing due to the rapid development and expansion of chemical biology. The chemical constrains imposed by the biological conditions cause significant challenges for organic chemists. In this review we will present an overview of the cleavable linkers used in chemical biology classified according to their cleavage conditions by enzymes, nucleophilic/basic reagents, reducing agents, photo-irradiation, electrophilic/acidic reagents, organometallic and metal reagents, oxidizing reagents.

  8. How uniquely irreducible is consciousness? Defining the limits of biological reductionism. A commentary on Neuroontology, neurobiological naturalism, and consciousness: A challenge to scientific reduction and a solution, by Todd E. Feinberg, MD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edelman, David B.

    2012-03-01

    Emergent properties of biological systems are hard to classify as ‘weak’ or ‘strong.’ Irreducibility of consciousness may not be distinct from that of the rest of biology. Individual development and organismal evolution are similarly irreducible systems. The critical role of historical interactions is not considered in the target review. Consciousness can be characterized in terms of existing physical properties.

  9. The challenges of big data.

    PubMed

    Mardis, Elaine R

    2016-05-01

    The largely untapped potential of big data analytics is a feeding frenzy that has been fueled by the production of many next-generation-sequencing-based data sets that are seeking to answer long-held questions about the biology of human diseases. Although these approaches are likely to be a powerful means of revealing new biological insights, there are a number of substantial challenges that currently hamper efforts to harness the power of big data. This Editorial outlines several such challenges as a means of illustrating that the path to big data revelations is paved with perils that the scientific community must overcome to pursue this important quest.

  10. The challenges of big data

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The largely untapped potential of big data analytics is a feeding frenzy that has been fueled by the production of many next-generation-sequencing-based data sets that are seeking to answer long-held questions about the biology of human diseases. Although these approaches are likely to be a powerful means of revealing new biological insights, there are a number of substantial challenges that currently hamper efforts to harness the power of big data. This Editorial outlines several such challenges as a means of illustrating that the path to big data revelations is paved with perils that the scientific community must overcome to pursue this important quest. PMID:27147249

  11. Biological Filters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klemetson, S. L.

    1978-01-01

    Presents the 1978 literature review of wastewater treatment. The review is concerned with biological filters, and it covers: (1) trickling filters; (2) rotating biological contractors; and (3) miscellaneous reactors. A list of 14 references is also presented. (HM)

  12. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Z Index Contact Us FAQs What's New Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... and Health Topics A-Z Index What's New Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms and ...

  13. Challenges of Physiome Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomura, Taishin

    The integration of knowledge from many disciplines and vast amount of biological data in the post-genome era together with mathematical and information sciences is moving the world towards a new generation of life science where physiological and pathological information from the living human body can be quantitatively described in silico across multiple scales of time and size and through diverse hierarchies of organization. The Physiome Project represents such emerging sciences. The challenge is to understand and quantitatively integrate not only structure and function of biological entities such as ion channel proteins and enzymes on a single spatio-temporal scale, but also functional relationships between entities across multiple scales. This integrative approach is in stark contrast to the linear approach of reductionist life science, and it will allow us to understand the mechanisms underlying biological functions that will emerge through the dynamics of each element and large aggregations of the elements. This article discusses several points of the challenge that are expected to be resolved through the Physiome Project.

  14. Air Force seal activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayhew, Ellen R.

    1994-07-01

    Seal technology development is an important part of the Air Force's participation in the Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) initiative, the joint DOD, NASA, ARPA, and industry endeavor to double turbine engine capabilities by the turn of the century. Significant performance and efficiency improvements can be obtained through reducing internal flow system leakage, but seal environment requirements continue to become more extreme as the engine thermodynamic cycles advance towards these IHPTET goals. Brush seal technology continues to be pursued by the Air Force to reduce leakage at the required conditions. Likewise, challenges in engine mainshaft air/oil seals are also being addressed. Counter-rotating intershaft applications within the IHPTET initiative involve very high rubbing velocities. This viewgraph presentation briefly describes past and current seal research and development programs and gives a summary of seal applications in demonstrator and developmental engine testing.

  15. Air entrainment in hairy surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasto, Alice; Regli, Marianne; Brun, P.-T.; Alvarado, José; Clanet, Christophe; Hosoi, A. E.

    2016-07-01

    Motivated by diving semiaquatic mammals, we investigate the mechanism of dynamic air entrainment in hairy surfaces submerged in liquid. Hairy surfaces are cast out of polydimethylsiloxane elastomer and plunged into a fluid bath at different velocities. Experimentally, we find that the amount of air entrained is greater than what is expected for smooth surfaces. Theoretically, we show that the hairy surface can be considered as a porous medium and we describe the air entrainment via a competition between the hydrostatic forcing and the viscous resistance in the pores. A phase diagram that includes data from our experiments and biological data from diving semiaquatic mammals is included to place the model system in a biological context and predict the regime for which the animal is protected by a plastron of air.

  16. Air Pollution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Donald L.

    1989-01-01

    Materials related to air pollution are reviewed for the period January 1987, to October 1988. The topics are pollution monitoring, air pollution, and environmental chemistry. The organization consists of two major analytical divisions: (1) gaseous methods; and (2) aerosol and particulate methods. (MVL)

  17. Air Pollution.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Air quality is affected by many types of pollutants that are emitted from various sources, including stationary and mobile. These sources release both criteria and hazardous air pollutants, which cause health effects, ecological harm, and material damage. They are generally categ...

  18. Noise in biological circuits

    SciTech Connect

    Simpson, Michael L; Allen, Michael S.; Cox, Chris D.; Dar, Roy D.; Karig, David K; McCollum, James M.; Cooke, John F

    2009-01-01

    Noise biology focuses on the sources, processing, and biological consequences of the inherent stochastic fluctuations in molecular transitions or interactions that control cellular behavior. These fluctuations are especially pronounced in small systems where the magnitudes of the fluctuations approach or exceed the mean value of the molecular population. Noise biology is an essential component of nanomedicine where the communication of information is across a boundary that separates small synthetic and biological systems that are bound by their size to reside in environments of large fluctuations. Here we review the fundamentals of the computational, analytical, and experimental approaches to noise biology. We review results that show that the competition between the benefits of low noise and those of low population has resulted in the evolution of genetic system architectures that produce an uneven distribution of stochasticity across the molecular components of cells and, in some cases, use noise to drive biological function. We review the exact and approximate approaches to gene circuit noise analysis and simulation, and reviewmany of the key experimental results obtained using flow cytometry and time-lapse fluorescent microscopy. In addition, we consider the probative value of noise with a discussion of using measured noise properties to elucidate the structure and function of the underlying gene circuit. We conclude with a discussion of the frontiers of and significant future challenges for noise biology.

  19. [Biological weapons].

    PubMed

    Kerwat, K; Becker, S; Wulf, H; Densow, D

    2010-08-01

    Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction that use pathogens (bacteria, viruses) or the toxins produced by them to target living organisms or to contaminate non-living substances. In the past, biological warfare has been repeatedly used. Anthrax, plague and smallpox are regarded as the most dangerous biological weapons by various institutions. Nowadays it seems quite unlikely that biological warfare will be employed in any military campaigns. However, the possibility remains that biological weapons may be used in acts of bioterrorism. In addition all diseases caused by biological weapons may also occur naturally or as a result of a laboratory accident. Risk assessment with regard to biological danger often proves to be difficult. In this context, an early identification of a potentially dangerous situation through experts is essential to limit the degree of damage.

  20. Reactive Air Aluminization

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Jung-Pyung; Chou, Y. S.; Stevenson, Jeffry W.

    2011-10-28

    Ferritic stainless steels and other alloys are of great interest to SOFC developers for applications such as interconnects, cell frames, and balance of plant components. While these alloys offer significant advantages (e.g., low material and manufacturing cost, high thermal conductivity, and high temperature oxidation resistance), there are challenges which can hinder their utilization in SOFC systems; these challenges include Cr volatility and reactivity with glass seals. To overcome these challenges, protective coatings and surface treatments for the alloys are under development. In particular, aluminization of alloy surfaces offers the potential for mitigating both evaporation of Cr from the alloy surface and reaction of alloy constituents with glass seals. Commercial aluminization processes are available to SOFC developers, but they tend to be costly due to their use of exotic raw materials and/or processing conditions. As an alternative, PNNL has developed Reactive Air Aluminization (RAA), which offers a low-cost, simpler alternative to conventional aluminization methods.

  1. Nanotechnology: Opportunities and Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyyappan, Meyya

    2003-01-01

    Nanotechnology seeks to exploit novel physical, chemical, biological, mechanical, electrical, and other properties, which arise primarily due to the nanoscale nature of certain materials. A key example is carbon nanotubes (CNTs) which exhibit unique electrical and extraordinary mechanical properties and offer remarkable potential for revolutionary applications in electronics devices, computing, and data storage technology, sensors, composites, nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), and as tip in scanning probe microscopy (SPM) for imaging and nanolithography. Thus the CNT synthesis, characterization, and applications touch upon all disciplines of science and engineering. This presentation will provide an overview and progress report on this and other major research candidates in Nanotechnology and address opportunities and challenges ahead.

  2. Microgravity Fluids for Biology, Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, DeVon; Kohl, Fred; Massa, Gioia D.; Motil, Brian; Parsons-Wingerter, Patricia; Quincy, Charles; Sato, Kevin; Singh, Bhim; Smith, Jeffrey D.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2013-01-01

    Microgravity Fluids for Biology represents an intersection of biology and fluid physics that present exciting research challenges to the Space Life and Physical Sciences Division. Solving and managing the transport processes and fluid mechanics in physiological and biological systems and processes are essential for future space exploration and colonization of space by humans. Adequate understanding of the underlying fluid physics and transport mechanisms will provide new, necessary insights and technologies for analyzing and designing biological systems critical to NASAs mission. To enable this mission, the fluid physics discipline needs to work to enhance the understanding of the influence of gravity on the scales and types of fluids (i.e., non-Newtonian) important to biology and life sciences. In turn, biomimetic, bio-inspired and synthetic biology applications based on physiology and biology can enrich the fluid mechanics and transport phenomena capabilities of the microgravity fluid physics community.

  3. Engineering life through Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Chopra, Paras; Kamma, Akhil

    2006-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is a field involving synthesis of novel biological systems which are not generally found in nature. It has brought a new paradigm in science as it has enabled scientists to create life from the scratch, hence helping better understand the principles of biology. The viability of living organisms that use unnatural molecules is also being explored. Unconventional projects such as DNA playing tic-tac-toe, bacterial photographic film, etc. are taking biology to its extremes. The field holds a promise for mass production of cheap drugs and programming bacteria to seek-and-destroy tumors in the body. However, the complexity of biological systems make the field a challenging one. In addition to this, there are other major technical and ethical challenges which need to be addressed before the field realizes its true potential.

  4. ADDRESSING HUMAN EXPOSURES TO AIR POLLUTANTS AROUND BUILDINGS IN URBAN AREAS WITH COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper discusses the status and application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models to address challenges for modeling human exposures to air pollutants around urban building microenvironments. There are challenges for more detailed understanding of air pollutant sour...

  5. Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Wiley, H S.

    2006-06-01

    The biology revolution over the last 50 years has been driven by the ascendancy of molecular biology. This was enthusiastically embraced by most biologists because it took us into increasingly familiar territory. It took mysterious processes, such as the replication of genetic material and assigned them parts that could be readily understood by the human mind. When we think of ''molecular machines'' as being the underlying basis of life, we are using a paradigm derived from everyday experience. However, the price that we paid was a relentless drive towards reductionism and the attendant balkanization of biology. Now along comes ''systems biology'' that promises us a solution to the problem of ''knowing more and more about less and less''. Unlike molecular biology, systems biology appears to be taking us into unfamiliar intellectual territory, such as statistics, mathematics and computer modeling. Not surprisingly, systems biology has met with widespread skepticism and resistance. Why do we need systems biology anyway and how does this new area of research promise to change the face of biology in the next couple of decades?

  6. Biological Imaging Software Tools

    PubMed Central

    Eliceiri, Kevin W.; Berthold, Michael R.; Goldberg, Ilya G.; Ibáñez, Luis; Manjunath, B.S.; Martone, Maryann E.; Murphy, Robert F.; Peng, Hanchuan; Plant, Anne L.; Roysam, Badrinath; Stuurman, Nico; Swedlow, Jason R.; Tomancak, Pavel; Carpenter, Anne E.

    2013-01-01

    Few technologies are more widespread in modern biological laboratories than imaging. Recent advances in optical technologies and instrumentation are providing hitherto unimagined capabilities. Almost all these advances have required the development of software to enable the acquisition, management, analysis, and visualization of the imaging data. We review each computational step that biologists encounter when dealing with digital images, the challenges in that domain, and the overall status of available software for bioimage informatics, focusing on open source options. PMID:22743775

  7. Air Pollution

    MedlinePlus

    ... tobacco smoke. How is air pollution linked to climate change? While climate change is a global process, it ... ozone levels are also a concern. Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A ...

  8. Air Apparent.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harbster, David A.

    1988-01-01

    Explains the principle upon which a barometer operates. Describes how to construct two barometric devices for use in the classroom that show air's changing pressure. Cites some conditions for predicting weather. (RT)

  9. Urban air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    Air pollution and the risk of potential health effects are not sufficiently convincing reasons for people to stop driving their cars, according to a study by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) released on November 18.While sufficient levels of suspended particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and lead can present health concerns, the study found that many people surveyed for the study were not convinced of the clear linkage between air pollution and health.

  10. Air Quality Modeling in Support of the Near-Road Exposures and Effects of Urban Air Pollutants Study (NEXUS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A major challenge in traffic-related air pollution exposure studies is the lack of information regarding pollutant exposure characterization. Air quality modeling can provide spatially and temporally varying exposure estimates for examining relationships between traffic-related a...

  11. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    PubMed

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  12. Biological Soft Robotics.

    PubMed

    Feinberg, Adam W

    2015-01-01

    In nature, nanometer-scale molecular motors are used to generate force within cells for diverse processes from transcription and transport to muscle contraction. This adaptability and scalability across wide temporal, spatial, and force regimes have spurred the development of biological soft robotic systems that seek to mimic and extend these capabilities. This review describes how molecular motors are hierarchically organized into larger-scale structures in order to provide a basic understanding of how these systems work in nature and the complexity and functionality we hope to replicate in biological soft robotics. These span the subcellular scale to macroscale, and this article focuses on the integration of biological components with synthetic materials, coupled with bioinspired robotic design. Key examples include nanoscale molecular motor-powered actuators, microscale bacteria-controlled devices, and macroscale muscle-powered robots that grasp, walk, and swim. Finally, the current challenges and future opportunities in the field are addressed. PMID:26643022

  13. The biology of personality.

    PubMed

    Mulder, R

    1992-09-01

    Historically, models of personality have generally postulated, or assumed, a link with biology. This century has witnessed a major revision of these ideas with both behavioural and psychoanalytic theorists emphasising life experiences as being largely responsible for behaviour as adults. Challenges to this assumption of the overwhelming importance of life experiences are reviewed. An extensive body of data now exists suggesting that biology contributes significantly to individual variability. This biological contribution occurs at a relatively low level in the central nervous system, best defined as temperament. Further research has suffered from the lack of a cohesive psychobiological model. Cloninger's tridimensional theory of personality is presented as a model which attempts to bridge the gap between theoretical temperamental traits, neurotransmitter function and clinical psychiatry. It is to be hoped that new theoretical models will be formulated which will focus on the importance of temperamental variables in psychiatric disorders.

  14. Biological Soft Robotics.

    PubMed

    Feinberg, Adam W

    2015-01-01

    In nature, nanometer-scale molecular motors are used to generate force within cells for diverse processes from transcription and transport to muscle contraction. This adaptability and scalability across wide temporal, spatial, and force regimes have spurred the development of biological soft robotic systems that seek to mimic and extend these capabilities. This review describes how molecular motors are hierarchically organized into larger-scale structures in order to provide a basic understanding of how these systems work in nature and the complexity and functionality we hope to replicate in biological soft robotics. These span the subcellular scale to macroscale, and this article focuses on the integration of biological components with synthetic materials, coupled with bioinspired robotic design. Key examples include nanoscale molecular motor-powered actuators, microscale bacteria-controlled devices, and macroscale muscle-powered robots that grasp, walk, and swim. Finally, the current challenges and future opportunities in the field are addressed.

  15. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1982

    1982-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including use of dwarf cichlids (fishes) in secondary school biology, teaching edge effects on stomatal diffusion, computer program on effects of selection on gene frequencies, biological oxidation/reduction reactions, short cuts with Drosophila, computer program…

  16. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1978

    1978-01-01

    Presents experiments, demonstrations, activities and ideas relating to various fields of biology to be used in biology courses in secondary schools. Among those experiments presented are demonstrating the early stages of ferns and mosses and simple culture methods for fern prothalli. (HM)

  17. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1982

    1982-01-01

    Presents procedures, exercises, demonstrations, and information on a variety of biology topics including labeling systems, biological indicators of stream pollution, growth of lichens, reproductive capacity of bulbous buttercups, a straw balance to measure transpiration, interaction of fungi, osmosis, and nitrogen fixation and crop production. (DC)

  18. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including chi-square tests on a microcomputer, an integrated biology game, microscope slides of leaf stomata, culturing soil nematodes, technique for watering locust egg-laying tubes, hazards of biological chemicals (such as benzene, benzidene, calchicine,…

  19. Regenerative life support technology challenges for the Space Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilardo, Vincent J., Jr.; Theis, Ronald L. A.

    1992-01-01

    Regenerative life support systems have been identified as one of the critical enabling technologies for future human exploration of space. This discipline encompasses processes and subsystems which regenerate the air, water, solid waste, and food streams typical of human habitation so as to minimize the mass and volume of stored consumables which must accompany the humans on a mission. A number of key technology challenges within this broad discipline are described, ranging from the development of new physical, chemical, and biological processes for regenerating the air, water, solid waste, and food streams to the development of improved techniques for monitoring and controlling microbial and trace constituent contamination. A continuing challenge overarching the development of these new technologies is the need to minimize the mass, volume, and electrical power consumption of the flight hardware. More important for long duration exploration missions, however, is the development of highly reliable, long-lived, self- sufficient systems which absolutely minimize the logistics resupply and operational maintenance requirements of the life support system and which ensure human safety through their robust, reliable operating characteristics.

  20. Molecular communication and networking: opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Tadashi; Moore, Michael J; Wei, Fang; Vasilakos, Athanasios V; Shuai, Jianwei

    2012-06-01

    The ability of engineered biological nanomachines to communicate with biological systems at the molecular level is anticipated to enable future applications such as monitoring the condition of a human body, regenerating biological tissues and organs, and interfacing artificial devices with neural systems. From the viewpoint of communication theory and engineering, molecular communication is proposed as a new paradigm for engineered biological nanomachines to communicate with the natural biological nanomachines which form a biological system. Distinct from the current telecommunication paradigm, molecular communication uses molecules as the carriers of information; sender biological nanomachines encode information on molecules and release the molecules in the environment, the molecules then propagate in the environment to receiver biological nanomachines, and the receiver biological nanomachines biochemically react with the molecules to decode information. Current molecular communication research is limited to small-scale networks of several biological nanomachines. Key challenges to bridge the gap between current research and practical applications include developing robust and scalable techniques to create a functional network from a large number of biological nanomachines. Developing networking mechanisms and communication protocols is anticipated to introduce new avenues into integrating engineered and natural biological nanomachines into a single networked system. In this paper, we present the state-of-the-art in the area of molecular communication by discussing its architecture, features, applications, design, engineering, and physical modeling. We then discuss challenges and opportunities in developing networking mechanisms and communication protocols to create a network from a large number of bio-nanomachines for future applications.

  1. The soil N cycle: new insights and key challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Groenigen, J. W.; Huygens, D.; Boeckx, P.; Kuyper, Th. W.; Lubbers, I. M.; Rütting, T.; Groffman, P. M.

    2015-03-01

    The study of soil N cycling processes has been, is, and will be at the centre of attention in soil science research. The importance of N as a nutrient for all biota; the ever-increasing rates of its anthropogenic input in terrestrial (agro)ecosystems; its resultant losses to the environment; and the complexity of the biological, physical, and chemical factors that regulate N cycling processes all contribute to the necessity of further understanding, measuring, and altering the soil N cycle. Here, we review important insights with respect to the soil N cycle that have been made over the last decade, and present a personal view on the key challenges of future research. We identify three key challenges with respect to basic N cycling processes producing gaseous emissions: 1. quantifying the importance of nitrifier denitrification and its main controlling factors; 2. characterizing the greenhouse gas mitigation potential and microbiological basis for N2O consumption; 3. characterizing hotspots and hot moments of denitrification Furthermore, we identified a key challenge with respect to modelling: 1. disentangling gross N transformation rates using advanced 15N / 18O tracing models Finally, we propose four key challenges related to how ecological interactions control N cycling processes: 1. linking functional diversity of soil fauna to N cycling processes beyond mineralization; 2. determining the functional relationship between root traits and soil N cycling; 3. characterizing the control that different types of mycorrhizal symbioses exert on N cycling; 4. quantifying the contribution of non-symbiotic pathways to total N fixation fluxes in natural systems We postulate that addressing these challenges will constitute a comprehensive research agenda with respect to the N cycle for the next decade. Such an agenda would help us to meet future challenges on food and energy security, biodiversity conservation, water and air quality, and climate stability.

  2. Students' Ideas and Attitudes about Air Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skamp, Keith; Boyes, Eddie; Stanisstreet, Martin

    2004-06-01

    The results of a large scale (N=1001) cross-sectional (Years 6, 8 and 10) study of students' ideas about the composition of unpolluted air, the nature of air pollution, the biological consequences of air pollution, and about acid rain and the Greenhouse Effect are reported. A range of persistent alternative conceptions were identified, in some instances with increasing frequency across grades. Students' attitudes towards education, obligation, legislation or taxation as a way of reducing air pollution were determined; the first two were the most favoured. Increased attention to particular gas and air pollution concepts is recommended; other pedagogical implications are discussed.

  3. Evolutionary Design in Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, Kay C.

    computational intelligence (CI). While biological systems have helped to develop many of the computational paradigms in CI, CI is now returning the favor to help solve some of the most challenging biological mysteries itself. In many cases these probabilistic methods can produce biologically relevant results where exact deterministic methods fail. For an extensive overview of successful applications of CI algorithms to problems in bioinformatics please refer to [1].

  4. Air pollution injury to plants

    SciTech Connect

    Seibert, R.J.

    1986-01-01

    The injuries to plants by oxidant air pollution can be used as biological indicators of pollution episodes. Bel W3 tobacco is often used as an indicator organism. Dogwood is another potential indicator organism. Specific growing procedures used for indicator organisms are described, as are diagnostic criteria for the type and extent of injuries.

  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. Taking the Hot Air Out of Balloons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinks, Virgil L.; Brinks, Robyn L.

    1994-01-01

    Describes how a teacher can give their students the challenge of designing and building model balloons or blimps. The project helps students learn the basics of balloon flight and what it really means to be "lighter than air." (PR)

  7. Strategy Guideline. Compact Air Distribution Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Burdick, Arlan

    2013-06-01

    This guideline discusses the benefits and challenges of using a compact air distribution system to handle the reduced loads and reduced air volume needed to condition the space within an energy efficient home. The decision criteria for a compact air distribution system must be determined early in the whole-house design process, considering both supply and return air design. However, careful installation of a compact air distribution system can result in lower material costs from smaller equipment, shorter duct runs, and fewer outlets; increased installation efficiencies, including ease of fitting the system into conditioned space; lower loads on a better balanced HVAC system, and overall improved energy efficiency of the home.

  8. Biological Oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

    The ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. As a testament to this diversity and its importance, the discipline of biological oceanography spans studies of all levels of biological organization, from that of single genes, to organisms, to their population dynamics. Biological oceanography also includes studies on how organisms interact with, and contribute to, essential global processes. Students of biological oceanography are often as comfortable looking at satellite images as they are electron micrographs. This diversity of perspective begins the textbook Biological Oceanography, with cover graphics including a Coastal Zone Color Scanner image representing chlorophyll concentration, an electron micrograph of a dinoflagellate, and a photograph of a copepod. These images instantly capture the reader's attention and illustrate some of the different scales on which budding oceanographers are required to think. Having taught a core graduate course in biological oceanography for many years, Charlie Miller has used his lecture notes as the genesis for this book. The text covers the subject of biological oceanography in a manner that is targeted to introductory graduate students, but it would also be appropriate for advanced undergraduates.

  9. Air surveillance

    SciTech Connect

    Patton, G.W.

    1995-06-01

    This section of the 1994 Hanford Site Environmental Report summarizes the air surveillance and monitoring programs currently in operation at that Hanford Site. Atmospheric releases of pollutants from Hanford to the surrounding region are a potential source of human exposure. For that reason, both radioactive and nonradioactive materials in air are monitored at a number of locations. The influence of Hanford emissions on local radionuclide concentrations was evaluated by comparing concentrations measured at distant locations within the region to concentrations measured at the Site perimeter. This section discusses sample collection, analytical methods, and the results of the Hanford air surveillance program. A complete listing of all analytical results summarized in this section is reported separately by Bisping (1995).

  10. Toxicology of the air in closed spaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wands, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Sources and identification of contaminants in artificial gas atmospheres are discussed. They include biological sources (microflora and man), materials, processes, aerosols, and malfunctions. Acute or chronic toxicity may result from spacecraft air contamination. Air quality standards are presented in tabular form.

  11. BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

    PubMed Central

    Beeston, John

    1953-01-01

    The use of biological agents as controlled weapons of war is practical although uncertain. Three types of agents are feasible, including pathogenic organisms and biological pests, toxins, and synthetic hormones regulating plant growth. These agents may be chosen for selective effects varying from prolonged incipient illness to death of plants, man and domestic animals. For specific preventive and control measures required to combat these situations, there must be careful and detailed planning. The nucleus of such a program is available within the existing framework of public health activities. Additional research and expansion of established activities in time of attack are necessary parts of biological warfare defense. PMID:13059641

  12. Biological post

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, B. Suresh; Kumar, Senthil; Mohan Kumar, N. S.; Karunakaran, J. V.

    2015-01-01

    Anterior tooth fracture as a result of traumatic injuries, is frequently encountered in endodontic practice. Proper reconstruction of extensively damaged teeth can be achieved through the fragment reattachment procedure known as “biological restoration.” This case report refers to the esthetics and functional recovery of extensively damaged maxillary central incisor through the preparation and adhesive cementation of “biological post” in a young patient. Biological post obtained through extracted teeth from another individual–represent a low-cost option and alternative technique for the morphofunctional recovery of extensively damaged anterior teeth. PMID:26538952

  13. Indoor air pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Gold, D.R. )

    1992-06-01

    This article summarizes the health effects of indoor air pollutants and the modalities available to control them. The pollutants discussed include active and passive exposure to tobacco smoke; combustion products of carbon monoxide; nitrogen dioxide; products of biofuels, including wood and coal; biologic agents leading to immune responses, such as house dust mites, cockroaches, fungi, animal dander, and urine; biologic agents associated with infection such as Legionella and tuberculosis; formaldehyde; and volatile organic compounds. An approach to assessing building-related illness and tight building' syndrome is presented. Finally, the article reviews recent data on hospital-related asthma and exposures to potential respiratory hazards such as antineoplastic agents, anesthetic gases, and ethylene oxide.88 references.

  14. Restorative biological processes and health

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Theodore F.; Carroll, Judith E.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. [Indoor air quality in schools].

    PubMed

    Cartieaux, E; Rzepka, M-A; Cuny, D

    2011-07-01

    Indoor air quality in schools has received particular attention over the past several years. Children are considered as one of the most sensitive groups to atmospheric pollution because their bodies are actively growing and they breathe higher volumes of air relative to their body weights than adults do. They also spend more time in school or group structures (preschools, day nurseries) than in any indoor environments other than the home. The analysis of children's exposure to air pollution at school requires the identification of the main pollutant sources present in these educational institutions. Both a strong contribution of outdoor pollution and a very specific pollution bound to school activities such as the use of paints, markers, glues, and manufactured ink eraser pens, exist. The ventilation in school buildings also plays an important role in air quality. A higher air exchange may improve thermal comfort and air quality. The cause of indoor air pollution is a combinatory effect of physical, chemical, and biological factors, and the adequacy of ventilation in the environment. Several pollutants have been reported to exist in classrooms such as bacteria, molds, volatile organic compounds, persistent organic pollutants and microparticles. There is a correlation between the concentrations of the pollutants and onset of health problems in schoolchildren. We observe predominantly respiratory symptoms as well as a prevalence of respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies. This study shows that poor indoor air quality affects children's health. PMID:21621987

  16. [Indoor air quality in schools].

    PubMed

    Cartieaux, E; Rzepka, M-A; Cuny, D

    2011-07-01

    Indoor air quality in schools has received particular attention over the past several years. Children are considered as one of the most sensitive groups to atmospheric pollution because their bodies are actively growing and they breathe higher volumes of air relative to their body weights than adults do. They also spend more time in school or group structures (preschools, day nurseries) than in any indoor environments other than the home. The analysis of children's exposure to air pollution at school requires the identification of the main pollutant sources present in these educational institutions. Both a strong contribution of outdoor pollution and a very specific pollution bound to school activities such as the use of paints, markers, glues, and manufactured ink eraser pens, exist. The ventilation in school buildings also plays an important role in air quality. A higher air exchange may improve thermal comfort and air quality. The cause of indoor air pollution is a combinatory effect of physical, chemical, and biological factors, and the adequacy of ventilation in the environment. Several pollutants have been reported to exist in classrooms such as bacteria, molds, volatile organic compounds, persistent organic pollutants and microparticles. There is a correlation between the concentrations of the pollutants and onset of health problems in schoolchildren. We observe predominantly respiratory symptoms as well as a prevalence of respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies. This study shows that poor indoor air quality affects children's health.

  17. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1972

    1972-01-01

    Twelve new experiments in biology are described by teachers for use in classrooms. Broad areas covered include enzyme action, growth regulation, microscopy, respiration, germination, plant succession, leaf structure and blood structure. Explanations are detailed. (PS)

  18. Bottle Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CSTA Journal, 1995

    1995-01-01

    Provides hands-on biology activities using plastic bottles that allow students to become engaged in asking questions, creating experiments, testing hypotheses, and generating answers. Activities explore terrestrial and aquatic systems. (MKR)

  19. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1973

    1973-01-01

    Some helpful ideas are proposed for use by biology teachers. Topics included are Food Webs,'' Key to Identification of Families,'' Viruses,'' Sieve Tube,'' Woodlice,'' Ecology of Oak Leaf Roller Moth,'' and Model Making.'' (PS)

  20. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1972

    1972-01-01

    Ten ideas that have been tried out by the authors in schools are presented for biology teachers. The areas covered include genetics, dispersal of seeds, habituation in earthworms, respiration, sensory neurons, fats and oils. A reading list is provided. (PS)

  1. Air Pollution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scorer, Richard S.

    The purpose of this book is to describe the basic mechanisms whereby pollution is transported and diffused in the atmosphere. It is designed to give practitioners an understanding of basic mechanics and physics so they may have a correct basis on which to formulate their decisions related to practical air pollution control problems. Since many…

  2. Air Pollution

    PubMed Central

    Clifton, Marjorie

    1964-01-01

    Dr Marjorie Clifton describes the classification of gaseous and nongaseous constituents of air pollution and then outlines the methods of measuring these. The National Survey embraced 150 towns of all sizes throughout England and Wales and provided data on smoke and sulphur dioxide in relation to climate, topography, industrialization, population density, fuel utilization and urban development. Dr W C Turner discusses the relationship between air pollution and mortality from respiratory conditions, and particularly the incidence of chronic bronchitis. He postulates a theory that such respiratory conditions arise as an allergy to the spores of certain moulds, spore formation being encouraged by the air humidity in Greatv Britain and overcrowded and damp living conditions. He describes the results of a twenty-week study undertaken in 1962-3, showing associations between respiratory disease and levels of air pollution. Dr Stuart Carne undertook a survey in general practice to plot the patterns of respiratory illness in London during the winter of 1962-3. There were two peaks of respiratory illnesses coinciding with the fog at the beginning of December and the freeze-up from the end of December until the beginning of March. PMID:14178955

  3. Photonic structures in biology.

    PubMed

    Vukusic, Pete; Sambles, J Roy

    2003-08-14

    Millions of years before we began to manipulate the flow of light using synthetic structures, biological systems were using nanometre-scale architectures to produce striking optical effects. An astonishing variety of natural photonic structures exists: a species of Brittlestar uses photonic elements composed of calcite to collect light, Morpho butterflies use multiple layers of cuticle and air to produce their striking blue colour and some insects use arrays of elements, known as nipple arrays, to reduce reflectivity in their compound eyes. Natural photonic structures are providing inspiration for technological applications.

  4. Bustling argon: biological effect.

    PubMed

    Ye, Zhouheng; Zhang, Rongjia; Sun, Xuejun

    2013-10-03

    Argon is a noble gas in group 18 of the periodic table. Certificated to exist in air atmosphere merely one century ago, discovery of argon shows interesting stories of researching and exploring. It was assumed to have no chemical activity. However, argon indeed present its biological effect on mammals. Narcotic effect of argon in diving operation and neur-protective function of argon in cerebral injury demonstrate that argon has crucial effect and be concentrated on is necessary. Furthermore, consider to be harmless to human, argon clinical application in therapy would be another option.

  5. Bustling argon: biological effect

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Argon is a noble gas in group 18 of the periodic table. Certificated to exist in air atmosphere merely one century ago, discovery of argon shows interesting stories of researching and exploring. It was assumed to have no chemical activity. However, argon indeed present its biological effect on mammals. Narcotic effect of argon in diving operation and neur-protective function of argon in cerebral injury demonstrate that argon has crucial effect and be concentrated on is necessary. Furthermore, consider to be harmless to human, argon clinical application in therapy would be another option. PMID:24088583

  6. Biological Databases for Human Research

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Dong; Ma, Lina; Yu, Jun; Zhang, Zhang

    2015-01-01

    The completion of the Human Genome Project lays a foundation for systematically studying the human genome from evolutionary history to precision medicine against diseases. With the explosive growth of biological data, there is an increasing number of biological databases that have been developed in aid of human-related research. Here we present a collection of human-related biological databases and provide a mini-review by classifying them into different categories according to their data types. As human-related databases continue to grow not only in count but also in volume, challenges are ahead in big data storage, processing, exchange and curation. PMID:25712261

  7. Biological databases for human research.

    PubMed

    Zou, Dong; Ma, Lina; Yu, Jun; Zhang, Zhang

    2015-02-01

    The completion of the Human Genome Project lays a foundation for systematically studying the human genome from evolutionary history to precision medicine against diseases. With the explosive growth of biological data, there is an increasing number of biological databases that have been developed in aid of human-related research. Here we present a collection of human-related biological databases and provide a mini-review by classifying them into different categories according to their data types. As human-related databases continue to grow not only in count but also in volume, challenges are ahead in big data storage, processing, exchange and curation. PMID:25712261

  8. Polyhydroxyalkanoates, challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Yin, Jin; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    2014-12-01

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) have been developed as biodegradable plastics for the past many years. However, PHA still have only a very limited market. Because of the availability of large amount of shale gas, petroleum will not raise dramatically in price, this situation makes PHA less competitive compared with low cost petroleum based plastics. Therefore, two strategies have been adopted to meet this challenge: first, the development of a super PHA production strain combined with advanced fermentation processes to produce PHA at a low cost; second, the construction of functional PHA production strains with technology to control the precise structures of PHA molecules, this will allow the resulting PHA with high value added applications. The recent systems and synthetic biology approaches allow the above two strategies to be implemented. In the not so distant future, the new technology will allow PHA to be produced with a competitive price compared with petroleum-based plastics.

  9. Polyhydroxyalkanoates, challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Yin, Jin; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    2014-12-01

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) have been developed as biodegradable plastics for the past many years. However, PHA still have only a very limited market. Because of the availability of large amount of shale gas, petroleum will not raise dramatically in price, this situation makes PHA less competitive compared with low cost petroleum based plastics. Therefore, two strategies have been adopted to meet this challenge: first, the development of a super PHA production strain combined with advanced fermentation processes to produce PHA at a low cost; second, the construction of functional PHA production strains with technology to control the precise structures of PHA molecules, this will allow the resulting PHA with high value added applications. The recent systems and synthetic biology approaches allow the above two strategies to be implemented. In the not so distant future, the new technology will allow PHA to be produced with a competitive price compared with petroleum-based plastics. PMID:24976377

  10. Ecological Compatibility of GM Crops and Biological Control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops pervade many modern cropping systems, and present challenges and opportunities for developing biologically-based pest management programs. Interactions between biological control agents (insect predators, parasitoids, and pathog...

  11. [Biological agents turning into weapons].

    PubMed

    Rotman, Eran; Cohen, Amir; Hourvitz, Ariel

    2002-05-01

    The use of biological agents as weapons is a well-known and established fact in the modern world. Biological warfare can be used both in terrorist events and in war and they pose a real threat and a formidable challenge to the defender. Biological weapons, in their various forms such as germs, viruses or toxins, can harm both living creatures and their surroundings. The relative simplicity of their production and use, compared to other non-conventional weapons, renders them to be a highly accessible system that can cause numerous casualties. Therefore, it is extremely important to study the threat and learn its characteristics, so as to be appropriately prepared in order to minimize potential damage. This review summarizes the characteristics of biological weapons (physical and biological), the means of use in bioterrorism and war, the advantages and disadvantages, comparisons to other non-conventional weapons and both tactical and strategical uses. PMID:12170547

  12. Biological Oceanography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Within the framework of global biogeochemical cycles and ocean productivity, there are two areas that will be of particular interest to biological oceanography in the 1990s. The first is the mapping in space time of the biomass and productivity of phytoplankton in the world ocean. The second area is the coupling of biological and physical processes as it affects the distribution and growth rate of phytoplankton biomass. Certainly other areas will be of interest to biological oceanographers, but these two areas are amenable to observations from satellites. Temporal and spatial variability is a regular feature of marine ecosystems. The temporal and spatial variability of phytoplankton biomass and productivity which is ubiquitous at all time and space scales in the ocean must be characterized. Remote sensing from satellites addresses these problems with global observations of mesocale (2 to 20 days, 10 to 200 km) features over a long period of time.

  13. Biological preconcentrator

    DOEpatents

    Manginell, Ronald P.; Bunker, Bruce C.; Huber, Dale L.

    2008-09-09

    A biological preconcentrator comprises a stimulus-responsive active film on a stimulus-producing microfabricated platform. The active film can comprise a thermally switchable polymer film that can be used to selectively absorb and desorb proteins from a protein mixture. The biological microfabricated platform can comprise a thin membrane suspended on a substrate with an integral resistive heater and/or thermoelectric cooler for thermal switching of the active polymer film disposed on the membrane. The active polymer film can comprise hydrogel-like polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide) or poly(n-isopropylacrylamide), that are tethered to the membrane. The biological preconcentrator can be fabricated with semiconductor materials and technologies.

  14. Biological rhythms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halberg, F.

    1975-01-01

    An overview is given of basic features of biological rhythms. The classification of periodic behavior of physical and psychological characteristics as circadian, circannual, diurnal, and ultradian is discussed, and the notion of relativistic time as it applies in biology is examined. Special attention is given to circadian rhythms which are dependent on the adrenocortical cycle. The need for adequate understanding of circadian variations in the basic physiological indicators of an individual (heart rate, body temperature, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, etc.) to ensure the effectiveness of prophylactic and therapeutic measures is stressed.

  15. The Best and the Worst of Times for Evolutionary Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Avise, John C.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses opportunities and challenges for the field of evolutionary biology, particularly in areas related to molecular genetic technologies, the environment, biodiversity, and public education. (Author/KHR)

  16. Challenge of biomechanics.

    PubMed

    Volokh, K Y

    2013-06-01

    The application of mechanics to biology--biomechanics--bears great challenges due to the intricacy of living things. Their dynamism, along with the complexity of their mechanical response (which in itself involves complex chemical, electrical, and thermal phenomena) makes it very difficult to correlate empirical data with theoretical models. This difficulty elevates the importance of useful biomechanical theories compared to other fields of engineering. Despite inherent imperfections of all theories, a well formulated theory is crucial in any field of science because it is the basis for interpreting observations. This is all-the-more vital, for instance, when diagnosing symptoms, or planning treatment to a disease. The notion of interpreting empirical data without theory is unscientific and unsound. This paper attempts to fortify the importance of biomechanics and invigorate research efforts for those engineers and mechanicians who are not yet involved in the field. It is not aimed here, however, to give an overview of biomechanics. Instead, three unsolved problems are formulated to challenge the readers. At the micro-scale, the problem of the structural organization and integrity of the living cell is presented. At the meso-scale, the enigma of fingerprint formation is discussed. At the macro-scale, the problem of predicting aneurysm ruptures is reviewed. It is aimed here to attract the attention of engineers and mechanicians to problems in biomechanics which, in the author's opinion, will dominate the development of engineering and mechanics in forthcoming years. PMID:24015479

  17. Challenge of biomechanics.

    PubMed

    Volokh, K Y

    2013-06-01

    The application of mechanics to biology--biomechanics--bears great challenges due to the intricacy of living things. Their dynamism, along with the complexity of their mechanical response (which in itself involves complex chemical, electrical, and thermal phenomena) makes it very difficult to correlate empirical data with theoretical models. This difficulty elevates the importance of useful biomechanical theories compared to other fields of engineering. Despite inherent imperfections of all theories, a well formulated theory is crucial in any field of science because it is the basis for interpreting observations. This is all-the-more vital, for instance, when diagnosing symptoms, or planning treatment to a disease. The notion of interpreting empirical data without theory is unscientific and unsound. This paper attempts to fortify the importance of biomechanics and invigorate research efforts for those engineers and mechanicians who are not yet involved in the field. It is not aimed here, however, to give an overview of biomechanics. Instead, three unsolved problems are formulated to challenge the readers. At the micro-scale, the problem of the structural organization and integrity of the living cell is presented. At the meso-scale, the enigma of fingerprint formation is discussed. At the macro-scale, the problem of predicting aneurysm ruptures is reviewed. It is aimed here to attract the attention of engineers and mechanicians to problems in biomechanics which, in the author's opinion, will dominate the development of engineering and mechanics in forthcoming years.

  18. Watching Grass Grow: Biology Explorations Online.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Puttick, Gillian

    2002-01-01

    Describes an online biology course for science teachers in a master's degree program that focuses on the adaptation and natural selection of grass under environmental challenges. Provides experience with how biologists use questioning and investigation in their research. (YDS)

  19. Building a path in cell biology.

    PubMed

    Voeltz, Gia; Cheeseman, Iain

    2012-11-01

    Setting up a new lab is an exciting but challenging prospect. We discuss our experiences in finding a path to tackle some of the key current questions in cell biology and the hurdles that we have encountered along the way.

  20. 32 CFR 644.516 - Clearance of Air Force lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Clearance of Air Force lands. 644.516 Section... Excess Land and Improvements § 644.516 Clearance of Air Force lands. The Chief of Engineers has no responsibility for inspecting or clearing excess Air Force land of explosives or chemical/biological...

  1. 32 CFR 644.516 - Clearance of Air Force lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2014-07-01 2013-07-01 true Clearance of Air Force lands. 644.516 Section 644... Excess Land and Improvements § 644.516 Clearance of Air Force lands. The Chief of Engineers has no responsibility for inspecting or clearing excess Air Force land of explosives or chemical/biological...

  2. 32 CFR 644.516 - Clearance of Air Force lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Clearance of Air Force lands. 644.516 Section 644... Excess Land and Improvements § 644.516 Clearance of Air Force lands. The Chief of Engineers has no responsibility for inspecting or clearing excess Air Force land of explosives or chemical/biological...

  3. 32 CFR 644.516 - Clearance of Air Force lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Clearance of Air Force lands. 644.516 Section... Excess Land and Improvements § 644.516 Clearance of Air Force lands. The Chief of Engineers has no responsibility for inspecting or clearing excess Air Force land of explosives or chemical/biological...

  4. Bayes in biological anthropology.

    PubMed

    Konigsberg, Lyle W; Frankenberg, Susan R

    2013-12-01

    In this article, we both contend and illustrate that biological anthropologists, particularly in the Americas, often think like Bayesians but act like frequentists when it comes to analyzing a wide variety of data. In other words, while our research goals and perspectives are rooted in probabilistic thinking and rest on prior knowledge, we often proceed to use statistical hypothesis tests and confidence interval methods unrelated (or tenuously related) to the research questions of interest. We advocate for applying Bayesian analyses to a number of different bioanthropological questions, especially since many of the programming and computational challenges to doing so have been overcome in the past two decades. To facilitate such applications, this article explains Bayesian principles and concepts, and provides concrete examples of Bayesian computer simulations and statistics that address questions relevant to biological anthropology, focusing particularly on bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. It also simultaneously reviews the use of Bayesian methods and inference within the discipline to date. This article is intended to act as primer to Bayesian methods and inference in biological anthropology, explaining the relationships of various methods to likelihoods or probabilities and to classical statistical models. Our contention is not that traditional frequentist statistics should be rejected outright, but that there are many situations where biological anthropology is better served by taking a Bayesian approach. To this end it is hoped that the examples provided in this article will assist researchers in choosing from among the broad array of statistical methods currently available.

  5. Biologically inspired intelligent robots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Breazeal, Cynthia

    2003-07-01

    Humans throughout history have always sought to mimic the appearance, mobility, functionality, intelligent operation, and thinking process of biological creatures. This field of biologically inspired technology, having the moniker biomimetics, has evolved from making static copies of human and animals in the form of statues to the emergence of robots that operate with realistic behavior. Imagine a person walking towards you where suddenly you notice something weird about him--he is not real but rather he is a robot. Your reaction would probably be "I can't believe it but this robot looks very real" just as you would react to an artificial flower that is a good imitation. You may even proceed and touch the robot to check if your assessment is correct but, as oppose to the flower case, the robot may be programmed to respond physical and verbally. This science fiction scenario could become a reality as the current trend continues in developing biologically inspired technologies. Technology evolution led to such fields as artificial muscles, artificial intelligence, and artificial vision as well as biomimetic capabilities in materials science, mechanics, electronics, computing science, information technology and many others. This paper will review the state of the art and challenges to biologically-inspired technologies and the role that EAP is expected to play as the technology evolves.

  6. Biophysics and systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Denis

    2010-01-01

    Biophysics at the systems level, as distinct from molecular biophysics, acquired its most famous paradigm in the work of Hodgkin and Huxley, who integrated their equations for the nerve impulse in 1952. Their approach has since been extended to other organs of the body, notably including the heart. The modern field of computational biology has expanded rapidly during the first decade of the twenty-first century and, through its contribution to what is now called systems biology, it is set to revise many of the fundamental principles of biology, including the relations between genotypes and phenotypes. Evolutionary theory, in particular, will require re-assessment. To succeed in this, computational and systems biology will need to develop the theoretical framework required to deal with multilevel interactions. While computational power is necessary, and is forthcoming, it is not sufficient. We will also require mathematical insight, perhaps of a nature we have not yet identified. This article is therefore also a challenge to mathematicians to develop such insights. PMID:20123750

  7. Teaching the Ethics of Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johansen, Carol K.; Harris, David E.

    2000-01-01

    Points out the challenges of educating students about bioethics and the limited training of many biologists on ethics. Discusses the basic principles of ethics and ethical decision making as applied to biology. Explains the models of ethical decision making that are often difficult for students to determine where to begin analyzing. (Contains 28…

  8. Large scale air monitoring: lichen vs. air particulate matter analysis.

    PubMed

    Rossbach, M; Jayasekera, R; Kniewald, G; Thang, N H

    1999-07-15

    Biological indicator organisms have been widely used for monitoring and banking purposes for many years. Although the complexity of the interactions between organisms and their environment is generally not easily comprehensible, environmental quality assessment using the bioindicator approach offers some convincing advantages compared to direct analysis of soil, water, or air. Measurement of air particulates is restricted to experienced laboratories with access to expensive sampling equipment. Additionally, the amount of material collected generally is just enough for one determination per sampling and no multidimensional characterization might be possible. Further, fluctuations in air masses have a pronounced effect on the results from air filter sampling. Combining the integrating property of bioindicators with the world wide availability and particular matrix characteristics of air particulate matter as a prerequisite for global monitoring of air pollution is discussed. A new approach for sampling urban dust using large volume filtering devices installed in air conditioners of large hotel buildings is assessed. A first experiment was initiated to collect air particulates (300-500 g each) from a number of hotels during a period of 3-4 months by successive vacuum cleaning of used inlet filters from high volume air conditioning installations reflecting average concentrations per 3 months in different large cities. This approach is expected to be upgraded and applied for global monitoring. Highly positive correlated elements were found in lichens such as K/S, Zn/P, the rare earth elements (REE) and a significant negative correlation between Hg and Cu was observed in these samples. The ratio of concentrations of elements in dust and Usnea spp. is highest for Cz, Zn and Fe (400-200) and lowest for elements such as Ca, Rb, and Sr (20-10).

  9. Computational biology for ageing.

    PubMed

    Wieser, Daniela; Papatheodorou, Irene; Ziehm, Matthias; Thornton, Janet M

    2011-01-12

    High-throughput genomic and proteomic technologies have generated a wealth of publicly available data on ageing. Easy access to these data, and their computational analysis, is of great importance in order to pinpoint the causes and effects of ageing. Here, we provide a description of the existing databases and computational tools on ageing that are available for researchers. We also describe the computational approaches to data interpretation in the field of ageing including gene expression, comparative and pathway analyses, and highlight the challenges for future developments. We review recent biological insights gained from applying bioinformatics methods to analyse and interpret ageing data in different organisms, tissues and conditions.

  10. Computational biology for ageing

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Daniela; Papatheodorou, Irene; Ziehm, Matthias; Thornton, Janet M.

    2011-01-01

    High-throughput genomic and proteomic technologies have generated a wealth of publicly available data on ageing. Easy access to these data, and their computational analysis, is of great importance in order to pinpoint the causes and effects of ageing. Here, we provide a description of the existing databases and computational tools on ageing that are available for researchers. We also describe the computational approaches to data interpretation in the field of ageing including gene expression, comparative and pathway analyses, and highlight the challenges for future developments. We review recent biological insights gained from applying bioinformatics methods to analyse and interpret ageing data in different organisms, tissues and conditions. PMID:21115530

  11. Evolutionary biology of language.

    PubMed Central

    Nowak, M A

    2000-01-01

    Language is the most important evolutionary invention of the last few million years. It was an adaptation that helped our species to exchange information, make plans, express new ideas and totally change the appearance of the planet. How human language evolved from animal communication is one of the most challenging questions for evolutionary biology The aim of this paper is to outline the major principles that guided language evolution in terms of mathematical models of evolutionary dynamics and game theory. I will discuss how natural selection can lead to the emergence of arbitrary signs, the formation of words and syntactic communication. PMID:11127907

  12. Scaffolded biology.

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology. PMID:27287514

  13. Bottle Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jager, Peter

    1993-01-01

    Describes activities which utilize plastic drink bottles and are designed to foster the development of a wide range of biological and ecological concepts. Includes instructions for making a model compost column and presents a model that illustrates open versus closed ecosystems. (DDR)

  14. Biologic Vaccines

    PubMed Central

    ADAMS, KATHERINE T.

    2009-01-01

    The threat of new disease pandemics has spurred the development of biologic vaccines, which promise tremendous improvements in global and local health. Several lend themselves to the prevention or treatment of chronic diseases. But the uncertainties of whom to vaccinate raise the question of whether the health care system can make these promising products viable. PMID:22478749

  15. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Organized by topic is a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Described are experiments for measuring rate of water uptake in a shoot; questions to aid students in designing experiments; rise of overhead projection to demonstrate osmosis and blood cell counting; and microbial manufacture of vinegar. (CS)

  16. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1980

    1980-01-01

    Describes equipment, activities, and experiments useful in biology and environmental education instruction, including, among others, sampling in ecology using an overhead projector, the slide finder as an aid to microscopy, teaching kidney function, and teaching wildlife conservation-sand dune systems. (SK)

  17. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1976

    1976-01-01

    Describes nine biology experiments, including osmosis, genetics; oxygen content of blood, enzymes in bean seedlings, preparation of bird skins, vascularization in bean seedlings, a game called "sequences" (applied to review situations), crossword puzzle for human respiration, and physiology of the woodlouse. (CS)

  18. Scaffolded biology.

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  19. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including water relation exercise on auxin-treated artichoke tuber tissue; aerobic respiration in yeast; an improved potometer; use of mobiles in biological classification, and experiments on powdery mildews and banana polyphenol oxidase. Includes reading lists…

  20. (Biological dosimetry)

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-12-17

    The traveler attended the 1st International Conference on Biological Dosimetry in Madrid, Spain. This conference was organized to provide information to a general audience of biologists, physicists, radiotherapists, industrial hygiene personnel and individuals from related fields on the current ability of cytogenetic analysis to provide estimates of radiation dose in cases of occupational or environmental exposure. There is a growing interest in Spain in biological dosimetry because of the increased use of radiation sources for medical and occupational uses, and with this the anticipated and actual increase in numbers of overexposure. The traveler delivered the introductory lecture on Biological Dosimetry: Mechanistic Concepts'' that was intended to provide a framework by which the more applied lectures could be interpreted in a mechanistic way. A second component of the trip was to provide advice with regard to several recent cases of overexposure that had been or were being assessed by the Radiopathology and Radiotherapy Department of the Hospital General Gregorio Maranon'' in Madrid. The traveler had provided information on several of these, and had analyzed cells from some exposed or purportedly exposed individuals. The members of the biological dosimetry group were referred to individuals at REACTS at Oak Ridge Associated Universities for advice on follow-up treatment.

  1. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Outlines a variety of laboratory procedures, techniques, and materials including construction of a survey frame for field biology, a simple tidal system, isolation and applications of plant protoplasts, tropisms, teaching lung structure, and a key to statistical methods for biologists. (DS)

  2. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Presents content information and/or laboratory procedures and experiments on different biology topics including small-scale cultivation of watercress and its use in water-culture experiments, microbiology of the phylloplane, use of mouthbrooders in science class, and the gene. (DC)

  3. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on the teaching of nutrition (including new information relating to many current O-level syllabi) and part 16 of a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Also includes a note on using earthworms as a source of material for teaching meiosis. (JN)

  4. Sverdrup's Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGowan, J.

    2002-12-01

    Sverdrup's contribution to Biological Oceanography were more than merely substantial, they were of fundamental importance. His plan for the training of graduate students at Scripps did not recognize the traditional division of the basic disciplines into separate categories of physics, chemistry, biology and geology. He insisted that Oceanography was a multi-disciplinary subject and that all entering students should study all four subjects. Today this is not very unusual but it was in the early 50s when I took those courses. We biologists carried away from those courses an appreciation of the importance of both spatial and temporal scale. It was of clear relevance to problems of oceanic population and community biology. But there was still more to his biology. He is responsible for a very simple, but very elegant model of the regulation of oceanic primary productivity. The elements of this model are found today in the ten or so highly derivative models. He also published a map predicting global ocean productivity based on the ideas in the model plus some wonderfully intuitive thinking. This map does not differ strongly from those glorious false color ones being published today.

  5. Marine Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  6. Cancer Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dominiecki, Mary E.

    2004-01-01

    University of Colorado's Virtual Student Fellowship available at and developed by Bakemeier, Richard F. This website is designed to give students applying for a fellowship an overview of basic topics in biology and how they are used by cancer researchers to develop new treatments.

  7. Protocol for a human in vivo model of acute cigarette smoke inhalation challenge in smokers with COPD: monitoring the nasal and systemic immune response using a network biology approach

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Clare L; Galloway-Phillipps, Neil; Armstrong, Paul C; Mitchell, Jane A; Warner, Timothy D; Brearley, Christopher; Ito, Mari; Tunstall, Tanushree; Elkin, Sarah; Kon, Onn Min; Hansel, Trevor T; Paul-Clark, Mark J

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Cigarette smoke contributes to a diverse range of diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disorders and many cancers. There currently is a need for human challenge models, to assess the acute effects of a controlled cigarette smoke stimulus, followed by serial sampling of blood and respiratory tissue for advanced molecular profiling. We employ precision sampling of nasal mucosal lining fluid by absorption to permit soluble mediators measurement in eluates. Serial nasal curettage was used for transcriptomic analysis of mucosal tissue. Methods and analysis Three groups of strictly defined patients will be studied: 12 smokers with COPD (GOLD Stage 2) with emphysema, 12 matched smokers with normal lung function and no evidence of emphysema, and 12 matched never smokers with normal spirometry. Patients in the smoking groups are current smokers, and will be given full support to stop smoking immediately after this study. In giving a controlled cigarette smoke stimulus, all patients will have abstained from smoking for 12 h, and will smoke two cigarettes with expiration through the nose in a ventilated chamber. Before and after inhalation of cigarette smoke, a series of samples will be taken from the blood, nasal mucosal lining fluid and nasal tissue by curettage. Analysis of plasma nicotine and metabolites in relation to levels of soluble inflammatory mediators in nasal lining fluid and blood, as well as assessing nasal transcriptomics, ex vivo blood platelet aggregation and leucocyte responses to toll-like receptor agonists will be undertaken. Implications Development of acute cigarette smoke challenge models has promise for the study of molecular effects of smoking in a range of pathological processes. Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the West London National Research Ethics Committee (12/LO/1101). The study findings will be presented at conferences and will be reported in peer-reviewed journals

  8. Strategy Guideline: Compact Air Distribution Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Burdick, A.

    2013-06-01

    This Strategy Guideline discusses the benefits and challenges of using a compact air distribution system to handle the reduced loads and reduced air volume needed to condition the space within an energy efficient home. Traditional systems sized by 'rule of thumb' (i.e., 1 ton of cooling per 400 ft2 of floor space) that 'wash' the exterior walls with conditioned air from floor registers cannot provide appropriate air mixing and moisture removal in low-load homes. A compact air distribution system locates the HVAC equipment centrally with shorter ducts run to interior walls, and ceiling supply outlets throw the air toward the exterior walls along the ceiling plane; alternatively, high sidewall supply outlets throw the air toward the exterior walls. Potential drawbacks include resistance from installing contractors or code officials who are unfamiliar with compact air distribution systems, as well as a lack of availability of low-cost high sidewall or ceiling supply outlets to meet the low air volumes with good throw characteristics. The decision criteria for a compact air distribution system must be determined early in the whole-house design process, considering both supply and return air design. However, careful installation of a compact air distribution system can result in lower material costs from smaller equipment, shorter duct runs, and fewer outlets; increased installation efficiencies, including ease of fitting the system into conditioned space; lower loads on a better balanced HVAC system, and overall improved energy efficiency of the home.

  9. The biology of cultural conflict

    PubMed Central

    Berns, Gregory S.; Atran, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Although culture is usually thought of as the collection of knowledge and traditions that are transmitted outside of biology, evidence continues to accumulate showing how biology and culture are inseparably intertwined. Cultural conflict will occur only when the beliefs and traditions of one cultural group represent a challenge to individuals of another. Such a challenge will elicit brain processes involved in cognitive decision-making, emotional activation and physiological arousal associated with the outbreak, conduct and resolution of conflict. Key targets to understand bio-cultural differences include primitive drives—how the brain responds to likes and dislikes, how it discounts the future, and how this relates to reproductive behaviour—but also higher level functions, such as how the mind represents and values the surrounding physical and social environment. Future cultural wars, while they may bear familiar labels of religion and politics, will ultimately be fought over control of our biology and our environment. PMID:22271779

  10. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: research challenges concerning the impact of airborne micro-organisms on the atmosphere and climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, C. E.; Sands, D. C.; Bardin, M.; Jaenicke, R.; Vogel, B.; Leyronas, C.; Ariya, P. A.; Psenner, R.

    2011-01-01

    For the past 200 years, the field of aerobiology has explored the abundance, diversity, survival and transport of micro-organisms in the atmosphere. Micro-organisms have been explored as passive and severely stressed riders of atmospheric transport systems. Recently, an interest in the active roles of these micro-organisms has emerged along with proposals that the atmosphere is a global biome for microbial metabolic activity and perhaps even multiplication. As part of a series of papers on the sources, distribution and roles in atmospheric processes of biological particles in the atmosphere, here we describe the pertinence of questions relating to the potential roles that air-borne micro-organisms might play in meteorological phenomena. For the upcoming era of research on the role of air-borne micro-organisms in meteorological phenomena, one important challenge is to go beyond descriptions of abundance of micro-organisms in the atmosphere toward an understanding of their dynamics in terms of both biological and physico-chemical properties and of the relevant transport processes at different scales. Another challenge is to develop this understanding under contexts pertinent to their potential role in processes related to atmospheric chemistry, the formation of clouds, precipitation and radiative forcing. This will require truly interdisciplinary approaches involving collaborators from the biological and physical sciences, from disciplines as disparate as agronomy, microbial genetics and atmosphere physics, for example.

  11. Biological safety cabinetry.

    PubMed Central

    Kruse, R H; Puckett, W H; Richardson, J H

    1991-01-01

    The biological safety cabinet is the one piece of laboratory and pharmacy equipment that provides protection for personnel, the product, and the environment. Through the history of laboratory-acquired infections from the earliest published case to the emergence of hepatitis B and AIDS, the need for health care worker protection is described. A brief description with design, construction, function, and production capabilities is provided for class I and class III safety cabinets. The development of the high-efficiency particulate air filter provided the impetus for clean room technology, from which evolved the class II laminar flow biological safety cabinet. The clean room concept was advanced when the horizontal airflow clean bench was manufactured; it became popular in pharmacies for preparing intravenous solutions because the product was protected. However, as with infectious microorganisms and laboratory workers, individual sensitization to antibiotics and the advent of hazardous antineoplastic agents changed the thinking of pharmacists and nurses, and they began to use the class II safety cabinet to prevent adverse personnel reactions to the drugs. How the class II safety cabinet became the mainstay in laboratories and pharmacies is described, and insight is provided into the formulation of National Sanitation Foundation standard number 49 and its revisions. The working operations of a class II cabinet are described, as are the variations of the four types with regard to design, function, air velocity profiles, and the use of toxins. The main certification procedures are explained, with examples of improper or incorrect certifications. The required levels of containment for microorganisms are given. Instructions for decontaminating the class II biological safety cabinet of infectious agents are provided; unfortunately, there is no method for decontaminating the cabinet of antineoplastic agents. Images PMID:2070345

  12. Air cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamura, Okiyoshi; Wakasa, Masayuki; Tamanoi, Yoshihito

    1991-04-01

    The present invention relates to an air cell. This air cell provides a compact light-weight power source for model aircraft permitting them to fly for an extended period so that they may be used for such practical purposes as crop dusting, surveying, and photographing. The cell is comprised of a current collector so disposed between a magnesium, zinc, or aluminum alloy cathode and a petroleum graphite anode that it is in contact with the anode. The anode is formed by adding polytetrafluoroethylene dispersion liquid in a mixture of active carbon and graphite powder, pouring the mixture into a mold and heating it to form the anode. It is fabricated by a plurality of anode sections and is formed with at least one hole so that it can provide a cell which is compact in size and light in weight yet is capable of generating a high output. The anode, the cathode, and a separator are wetted by an electrolytic liquid. The electrolyte is continuously supplied through the life of the cell.

  13. IKK Biology

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Fei; Xia, Yifeng; Parker, Aaron S.; Verma, Inder M.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The inhibitor of nuclear factor-κB (IκB) kinase (IKK) complex is the master regulator of the NF-κB signaling pathway. The activation of the IKK complex is a tightly regulated, highly stimulus-specific, and target-specific event that is essential for the plethora of functions attributed to NF-κB. More recently, NF-κB independent roles of IKK members have brought increased complexity to its biological function. This review highlights some of the major advances in the studies of the process of IKK activation and the biological roles of IKK family members, with a focus on NF-κB independent functions. Understanding these complex processes is essential for targeting IKK for therapeutics. PMID:22435559

  14. Ecological Challenges for Closed Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, William; Allen, John P.

    2012-07-01

    Closed ecological systems are desirable for a number of purposes. In space life support systems, material closure allows precious life-supporting resources to be kept inside and recycled. Closure in small biospheric systems facilitates detailed measurement of global ecological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Closed testbeds facilitate research topics which require isolation from the outside (e.g. genetically modified organisms; radioisotopes) so their ecological interactions and fluxes can be studied separate from interactions with the outside environment. But to achieve and maintain closure entails solving complex ecological challenges. These challenges include being able to handle faster cycling rates and accentuated daily and seasonal fluxes of critical life elements such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, macro- and mico-nutrients. The problems of achieving sustainability in closed systems for life support include how to handle atmospheric dynamics including trace gases, producing a complete human diet and recycling nutrients and maintaining soil fertility, the sustaining of healthy air and water and preventing the loss of crucial elements from active circulation. In biospheric facilities the challenge is also to produce analogues to natural biomes and ecosystems, studying processes of self-organization and adaptation in systems that allow specification or determination of state variables and cycles which may be followed through all interactions from atmosphere to soils. Other challenges include the dynamics and genetics of small populations, the psychological challenges for small isolated human groups and measures and options which may be necessary to ensure long-term operation of closed ecological systems.

  15. Crusts: biological

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  16. Trehalose glycolipids--synthesis and biological activities.

    PubMed

    Khan, Ashna A; Stocker, Bridget L; Timmer, Mattie S M

    2012-07-15

    A variety of trehalose glycolipids have been isolated from natural sources, and several of these glycolipids exhibit important biological properties. These molecules also represent challenging synthetic targets due to their highly amphiphilic character, their large number of functional groups and additional chiral centres. This review highlights some of the recent advances made in the synthesis of trehalose glycolipids, and their associated biological activities.

  17. Biological Life Support Technologies: Commercial Opportunities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Mark (Editor); Soffen, Gerald (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The papers from the workshop on Biological Life Support Technologies: Commercial Opportunities are presented. The meeting attracted researchers in environmental and bioregenerative systems. The role of biological support technologies was evaluated in the context of the global environmental challenge on Earth and the space exploration initiative, with its goal of a permanent space station, lunar base, and Mars exploration.

  18. BIOLOGY I, NEW APPROACHES AND OBJECTIVES.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    COKER, ROBERT; AND OTHERS

    THE PRINCIPLES OF MODERN BIOLOGY SHOULD BE PRESENTED IN A DYNAMIC AND CHALLENGING WAY TO CAPABLE STUDENTS TO DEVELOP LASTING INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT AND TO PLACE EMPHASIS UPON THE ROLE OF THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES IN BIOLOGY IN ACCORD WITH NATIONWIDE TENDENCY. THE COURSE IS COMPLETE IN ITSELF BUT PROVIDES A BASIS FOR STUDENTS WHO ELECT ADVANCED WORK.…

  19. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized in recent years by an explosion in the availability of data. Transforming this new wealth of data into meaningful biological insights and clinical breakthroughs requires a complete overhaul both in the questions being asked and the methodologies used to answer them. A major challenge in organizing and understanding…

  20. Marine biology

    SciTech Connect

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index.