Science.gov

Sample records for biological agent simulants

  1. A decontamination study of simulated chemical and biological agents

    SciTech Connect

    Uhm, Han S.; Lee, Han Y.; Hong, Yong C.; Shin, Dong H.; Park, Yun H.; Hong, Yi F.; Lee, Chong K.

    2007-07-01

    A comprehensive decontamination scheme of the chemical and biological agents, including airborne agents and surface contaminating agents, is presented. When a chemical and biological attack occurs, it is critical to decontaminate facilities or equipments to an acceptable level in a very short time. The plasma flame presented here may provide a rapid and effective elimination of toxic substances in the interior air in isolated spaces. As an example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22 cm diameter and 30 cm length, purifies air with an airflow rate of 5000 l/min contaminated with toluene, the simulated chemical agent, and soot from a diesel engine, the simulated aerosol for biological agents. Although the airborne agents in an isolated space are eliminated to an acceptable level by the plasma flame, the decontamination of the chemical and biological agents cannot be completed without cleaning surfaces of the facilities. A simulated sterilization study of micro-organisms was carried out using the electrolyzed ozone water. The electrolyzed ozone water very effectively kills endospores of Bacillus atrophaeus (ATCC 9372) within 3 min. The electrolyzed ozone water also kills the vegetative micro-organisms, fungi, and virus. The electrolyzed ozone water, after the decontamination process, disintegrates into ordinary water and oxygen without any trace of harmful materials to the environment.

  2. A decontamination study of simulated chemical and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhm, Han S.; Lee, Han Y.; Hong, Yong C.; Shin, Dong H.; Park, Yun H.; Hong, Yi F.; Lee, Chong K.

    2007-07-01

    A comprehensive decontamination scheme of the chemical and biological agents, including airborne agents and surface contaminating agents, is presented. When a chemical and biological attack occurs, it is critical to decontaminate facilities or equipments to an acceptable level in a very short time. The plasma flame presented here may provide a rapid and effective elimination of toxic substances in the interior air in isolated spaces. As an example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22cm diameter and 30cm length, purifies air with an airflow rate of 5000l/min contaminated with toluene, the simulated chemical agent, and soot from a diesel engine, the simulated aerosol for biological agents. Although the airborne agents in an isolated space are eliminated to an acceptable level by the plasma flame, the decontamination of the chemical and biological agents cannot be completed without cleaning surfaces of the facilities. A simulated sterilization study of micro-organisms was carried out using the electrolyzed ozone water. The electrolyzed ozone water very effectively kills endospores of Bacillus atrophaeus (ATCC 9372) within 3min. The electrolyzed ozone water also kills the vegetative micro-organisms, fungi, and virus. The electrolyzed ozone water, after the decontamination process, disintegrates into ordinary water and oxygen without any trace of harmful materials to the environment.

  3. Fluorescence cross section measurements of biological agent simulants

    SciTech Connect

    Stephens, J.R.

    1996-11-01

    Fluorescence is a powerful technique that has potential uses in detection and characterization of biological aerosols both in the battlefield and in civilian environments. Fluorescence techniques can be used with ultraviolet (UV) light detection and ranging (LIDAR) equipment to detect biological aerosol clouds at a distance, to provide early warning of a biological attack, and to track an potentially noxious cloud. Fluorescence can also be used for detection in a point sensor to monitor biological materials and to distinguish agents from benign aerosols. This work is part of a continuing program by the Army`s Chemical and Biological Defense Command to characterized the optical properties of biological agents. Reported here are ultraviolet fluorescence measurements of Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus Globigii aerosols suspended in an electrodynamic particle trap. Fluorescence spectra of a common atmospheric aerosol, pine pollen, are also presented.

  4. Tests of Level A Suits - Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Executive Summary

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-06-01

    Tests of Level A Suits – Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Executive Summary Richard B. Belmonte...AND SUBTITLE Test Results of Level A Suits – Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Executive Summary 5. FUNDING...words) Twelve Level A protective suits were tested for GB and HD permeation swatch testing using modified procedures of TOP

  5. Tests of Level B Suits - Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Executive Summary

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-04-01

    Tests of Level B Suits – Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Executive Summary Robert S. Lindsay April...Final; Jan 98 – Jun 98 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Tests of Level B Suits – Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants...Occupational Safety and Health Level B∗ suit designs were tested to assess their capability to protect in a chemical warfare agent

  6. Terahertz signatures of biological-warfare-agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Globus, Tatiana; Woolard, Dwight L.; Khromova, Tatyana; Partasarathy, Ramakrishnan; Majewski, Alexander; Abreu, Rene; Hesler, Jeffrey L.; Pan, Shing-Kuo; Ediss, Geoff

    2004-09-01

    This work presents spectroscopic characterization results for biological simulant materials measured in the terahertz gap. Signature data have been collected between 3 cm-1 and 10 cm-1 for toxin Ovalbumin, bacteria Erwinia herbicola, Bacillus Subtilis lyophilized cells and RNA MS2 phage, BioGene. Measurements were conducted on a modified Bruker FTIR spectrometer equipped with the noise source developed in the NRAL. The noise source provides two orders of magnitude higher power in comparison with a conventional mercury lamp. Photometric characterization of the instrument performance demonstrates that the expected error for sample characterization inside the interval from 3 to 9.5 cm-1 is less then 1%.

  7. Automated multi-objective calibration of biological agent-based simulations.

    PubMed

    Read, Mark N; Alden, Kieran; Rose, Louis M; Timmis, Jon

    2016-09-01

    Computational agent-based simulation (ABS) is increasingly used to complement laboratory techniques in advancing our understanding of biological systems. Calibration, the identification of parameter values that align simulation with biological behaviours, becomes challenging as increasingly complex biological domains are simulated. Complex domains cannot be characterized by single metrics alone, rendering simulation calibration a fundamentally multi-metric optimization problem that typical calibration techniques cannot handle. Yet calibration is an essential activity in simulation-based science; the baseline calibration forms a control for subsequent experimentation and hence is fundamental in the interpretation of results. Here, we develop and showcase a method, built around multi-objective optimization, for calibrating ABSs against complex target behaviours requiring several metrics (termed objectives) to characterize. Multi-objective calibration (MOC) delivers those sets of parameter values representing optimal trade-offs in simulation performance against each metric, in the form of a Pareto front. We use MOC to calibrate a well-understood immunological simulation against both established a priori and previously unestablished target behaviours. Furthermore, we show that simulation-borne conclusions are broadly, but not entirely, robust to adopting baseline parameter values from different extremes of the Pareto front, highlighting the importance of MOC's identification of numerous calibration solutions. We devise a method for detecting overfitting in a multi-objective context, not previously possible, used to save computational effort by terminating MOC when no improved solutions will be found. MOC can significantly impact biological simulation, adding rigour to and speeding up an otherwise time-consuming calibration process and highlighting inappropriate biological capture by simulations that cannot be well calibrated. As such, it produces more accurate

  8. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil

    2010-01-01

    Biological warfare agents are a group of pathogens and toxins of biological origin that can be potentially misused for military or criminal purposes. The present review attempts to summarize necessary knowledge about biological warfare agents. The historical aspects, examples of applications of these agents such as anthrax letters, biological weapons impact, a summary of biological warfare agents and epidemiology of infections are described. The last section tries to estimate future trends in research on biological warfare agents.

  9. Test Results of Level A Suits to Challenge by Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Summary Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-06-01

    Agent Permeation of GB and HD Through 25-Mil Chemical Protective Glove 30 3.3 System Test (Aerosol Simulant) 3.3.1 System Test (Aerosol Simulant... Chemical Protective Glove GB Permeation 176 Appendix Q: Commander Brigade F91 Table Q - 3: Commander Brigade F91: System Test (Vapor Simulant) Results No...capability to protect in a chemical agent or biological agent environment. Each

  10. Standoff lidar simulation for biological warfare agent detection, tracking, and classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jönsson, Erika; Steinvall, Ove; Gustafsson, Ove; Kullander, Fredrik; Jonsson, Per

    2010-04-01

    Lidar has been identified as a promising sensor for remote detection of biological warfare agents (BWA). Elastic IR lidar can be used for cloud detection at long ranges and UV laser induced fluorescence can be used for discrimination of BWA against naturally occurring aerosols. This paper will describe a simulation tool which enables the simulation of lidar for detection, tracking and classification of aerosol clouds. The cloud model was available from another project and has been integrated into the model. It takes into account the type of aerosol, type of release (plume or puff), amounts of BWA, winds, height above the ground and terrain roughness. The model input includes laser and receiver parameters for both the IR and UV channels as well as the optical parameters of the background, cloud and atmosphere. The wind and cloud conditions and terrain roughness are specified for the cloud simulation. The search area including the angular sampling resolution together with the IR laser pulse repetition frequency defines the search conditions. After cloud detection in the elastic mode, the cloud can be tracked using appropriate algorithms. In the tracking mode the classification using fluorescence spectral emission is simulated and tested using correlation against known spectra. Other methods for classification based on elastic backscatter are also discussed as well as the determination of particle concentration. The simulation estimates and displays the lidar response, cloud concentration as well as the goodness of fit for the classification using fluorescence.

  11. Detecting biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun; Walt, David R

    2005-10-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array.

  12. Detecting Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun

    2005-01-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array. PMID:16318712

  13. Pathogenicity of biological control agents for livestock ectoparasites: a simulation analysis.

    PubMed

    Rose, H; Wall, R

    2009-12-01

    The management of arthropod ectoparasites of livestock currently relies largely on the use of neurotoxic chemicals. However, concerns over the development of resistance, as well as operator and environmental contamination, have stimulated research into alternative approaches to their control, including the use of biological pathogens. The search for suitable pathogens often focuses on identifying the most highly virulent agents for application. However, practical issues such as the ability of a pathogen to penetrate to the skin through hair or wool, tolerance of high skin surface temperatures and high residual activity may mean that the most virulent pathogens are not necessarily the most appropriate for commercial application. Here, a simulation model is constructed and used to highlight a range of key features which characterize suitable pathogens for such application. Sensitivity analysis shows that even a relatively low probability of infection following contact between infectious and susceptible individuals may give acceptable control, providing it is counterbalanced by higher survival of both infected and infectious parasite hosts in order to allow the rate of transmission to exceed the threshold required to suppress parasite population growth. The model highlights the need for studies attempting to identify sustainable biocontrol agents to explore the use of pathogens which have a range of the characteristics that contribute to overall pathogenicity, but which are also most compatible with practical application systems.

  14. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-07-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  15. Effects of lactoferrin derived peptides on simulants of biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Sijbrandij, Tjitske; Ligtenberg, Antoon J; Nazmi, Kamran; Veerman, Enno C I; Bolscher, Jan G M; Bikker, Floris J

    2017-01-01

    Lactoferrin (LF) is an important immune protein in neutrophils and secretory fluids of mammals. Bovine LF (bLF) harbours two antimicrobial stretches, lactoferricin and lactoferampin, situated in close proximity in the N1 domain. To mimic these antimicrobial domain parts a chimeric peptide (LFchimera) has been constructed comprising parts of both stretches (LFcin17-30 and LFampin265-284). To investigate the potency of this construct to combat a set of Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria which are regarded as simulants for biological warfare agents, the effect on bacterial killing, membrane permeability and membrane polarity were determined in comparison to the constituent peptides and the native bLF. Furthermore we aimed to increase the antimicrobial potency of the bLF derived peptides by cationic amino acid substitutions. Overall, the bactericidal activity of the peptides could be related to membrane disturbing effects, i.e. membrane permeabilization and depolarization. Those effects were most prominent for the LFchimera. Arginine residues were found to be crucial for displaying antimicrobial activity, as lysine to arginine substitutions resulted in an increased antimicrobial activity, affecting mostly LFampin265-284 whereas arginine to lysine substitutions resulted in a decreased bactericidal activity, predominantly in case of LFcin17-30.

  16. Biophysically realistic filament bending dynamics in agent-based biological simulation.

    PubMed

    Alberts, Jonathan B

    2009-01-01

    An appealing tool for study of the complex biological behaviors that can emerge from networks of simple molecular interactions is an agent-based, computational simulation that explicitly tracks small-scale local interactions--following thousands to millions of states through time. For many critical cell processes (e.g. cytokinetic furrow specification, nuclear centration, cytokinesis), the flexible nature of cytoskeletal filaments is likely to be critical. Any computer model that hopes to explain the complex emergent behaviors in these processes therefore needs to encode filament flexibility in a realistic manner. Here I present a numerically convenient and biophysically realistic method for modeling cytoskeletal filament flexibility in silico. Each cytoskeletal filament is represented by a series of rigid segments linked end-to-end in series with a variable attachment point for the translational elastic element. This connection scheme allows an empirically tuning, for a wide range of segment sizes, viscosities, and time-steps, that endows any filament species with the experimentally observed (or theoretically expected) static force deflection, relaxation time-constant, and thermal writhing motions. I additionally employ a unique pair of elastic elements--one representing the axial and the other the bending rigidity- that formulate the restoring force in terms of single time-step constraint resolution. This method is highly local -adjacent rigid segments of a filament only interact with one another through constraint forces-and is thus well-suited to simulations in which arbitrary additional forces (e.g. those representing interactions of a filament with other bodies or cross-links / entanglements between filaments) may be present. Implementation in code is straightforward; Java source code is available at www.celldynamics.org.

  17. Classification of chemical and biological warfare agent simulants by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and multivariate statistical techniques.

    PubMed

    Pearman, William F; Fountain, Augustus W

    2006-04-01

    Initial results demonstrating the ability to classify surface-enhanced Raman (SERS) spectra of chemical and biological warfare agent simulants are presented. The spectra of two endospores (B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus), two chemical agent simulants (dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) and diethyl methylphosphonate (DEMP)), and two toxin simulants (ovalbumin and horseradish peroxidase) were studied on multiple substrates fabricated from colloidal gold adsorbed onto a silanized quartz surface. The use of principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering were used to evaluate the efficacy of identifying potential threat agents from their spectra collected on a single substrate. The use of partial least squares-discriminate analysis (PLS-DA) and soft independent modeling of class analogies (SIMCA) on a compilation of data from separate substrates, fabricated under identical conditions, demonstrates both the feasibility and the limitations of this technique for the identification of known but previously unclassified spectra.

  18. Evaluation of "shotgun" proteomics for identification of biological threat agents in complex environmental matrixes: experimental simulations.

    PubMed

    Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hervey, W Judson; Shah, Manesh; Land, Miriam; Hauser, Loren; Larimer, Frank W; Van Berkel, Gary J; Goeringer, Douglas E

    2005-02-01

    There is currently a great need for rapid detection and positive identification of biological threat agents, as well as microbial species in general, directly from complex environmental samples. This need is most urgent in the area of homeland security, but also extends into medical, environmental, and agricultural sciences. Mass-spectrometry-based analysis is one of the leading technologies in the field with a diversity of different methodologies for biothreat detection. Over the past few years, "shotgun"proteomics has become one method of choice for the rapid analysis of complex protein mixtures by mass spectrometry. Recently, it was demonstrated that this methodology is capable of distinguishing a target species against a large database of background species from a single-component sample or dual-component mixtures with relatively the same concentration. Here, we examine the potential of shotgun proteomics to analyze a target species in a background of four contaminant species. We tested the capability of a common commercial mass-spectrometry-based shotgun proteomics platform for the detection of the target species (Escherichia coli) at four different concentrations and four different time points of analysis. We also tested the effect of database size on positive identification of the four microbes used in this study by testing a small (13-species) database and a large (261-species) database. The results clearly indicated that this technology could easily identify the target species at 20% in the background mixture at a 60, 120, 180, or 240 min analysis time with the small database. The results also indicated that the target species could easily be identified at 20% or 6% but could not be identified at 0.6% or 0.06% in either a 240 min analysis or a 30 h analysis with the small database. The effects of the large database were severe on the target species where detection above the background at any concentration used in this study was impossible, though the three

  19. Transport behavior of surrogate biological warfare agents in a simulated landfill: effect of leachate recirculation and water infiltration.

    PubMed

    Saikaly, Pascal E; Hicks, Kristin; Barlaz, Morton A; de Los Reyes, Francis L

    2010-11-15

    An understanding of the transport behavior of biological warfare (BW) agents in landfills is required to evaluate the suitability of landfills for the disposal of building decontamination residue (BDR) following a bioterrorist attack on a building. Surrogate BW agents, Bacillus atrophaeus spores and Serratia marcescens, were spiked into simulated landfill reactors that were filled with synthetic building debris (SBD) and operated for 4 months with leachate recirculation or water infiltration. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) was used to monitor surrogate transport. In the leachate recirculation reactors, <10% of spiked surrogates were eluted in leachate over 4 months. In contrast, 45% and 31% of spiked S. marcescens and B. atrophaeus spores were eluted in leachate in the water infiltration reactors. At the termination of the experiment, the number of retained cells and spores in SBD was measured over the depth of the reactor. Less than 3% of the total spiked S. marcescens cells and no B. atrophaeus spores were detected in SBD. These results suggest that significant fractions of the spiked surrogates were strongly attached to SBD.

  20. Detection of chemical warfare agent simulants and hydrolysis products in biological samples by paper spray mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    McKenna, Josiah; Dhummakupt, Elizabeth S; Connell, Theresa; Demond, Paul S; Miller, Dennis B; Michael Nilles, J; Manicke, Nicholas E; Glaros, Trevor

    2017-03-24

    Paper spray ionization coupled to a high resolution tandem mass spectrometer (a quadrupole orbitrap) was used to identify and quantitate chemical warfare agent (CWA) simulants and their hydrolysis products in blood and urine. Three CWA simulants, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), trimethyl phosphate (TMP), and diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), and their isotopically labeled standards were analyzed in human whole blood and urine. Calibration curves were generated and tested with continuing calibration verification standards. Limits of detection for these three compounds were in the low ng mL(-1) range for the direct analysis of both blood and urine samples. Five CWA hydrolysis products, ethyl methylphosphonic acid (EMPA), isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA), isobutyl methylphosphonic acid (iBuMPA), cyclohexyl methylphosphonic acid (CHMPA), and pinacolyl methylphosphonic acid (PinMPA), were also analyzed. Calibration curves were generated in both positive and negative ion modes. Limits of detection in the negative ion mode ranged from 0.36 ng mL(-1) to 1.25 ng mL(-1) in both blood and urine for the hydrolysis products. These levels were well below those found in victims of the Tokyo subway attack of 2 to 135 ng mL(-1). Improved stability and robustness of the paper spray technique in the negative ion mode was achieved by the addition of chlorinated solvents. These applications demonstrate that paper spray mass spectrometry (PS-MS) can be used for rapid, sample preparation-free detection of chemical warfare agents and their hydrolysis products at physiologically relevant concentrations in biological samples.

  1. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Biological systems exhibit complex behaviours that emerge at many different levels of organization. These span the regulation of gene expression within single cells to the use of quorum sensing to co-ordinate the action of entire bacterial colonies. Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology easier, offering an opportunity to control natural systems and develop new synthetic systems with useful prescribed behaviours. However, in many cases, it is not understood how individual cells should be programmed to ensure the emergence of a required collective behaviour. Agent-based modelling aims to tackle this problem, offering a framework in which to simulate such systems and explore cellular design rules. In this article, I review the use of agent-based models in synthetic biology, outline the available computational tools, and provide details on recently engineered biological systems that are amenable to this approach. I further highlight the challenges facing this methodology and some of the potential future directions. PMID:27903820

  2. Real-Time Agent-Based Modeling Simulation with in-situ Visualization of Complex Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Seekhao, Nuttiiya; Shung, Caroline; JaJa, Joseph; Mongeau, Luc; Li-Jessen, Nicole Y. K.

    2016-01-01

    We present an efficient and scalable scheme for implementing agent-based modeling (ABM) simulation with In Situ visualization of large complex systems on heterogeneous computing platforms. The scheme is designed to make optimal use of the resources available on a heterogeneous platform consisting of a multicore CPU and a GPU, resulting in minimal to no resource idle time. Furthermore, the scheme was implemented under a client-server paradigm that enables remote users to visualize and analyze simulation data as it is being generated at each time step of the model. Performance of a simulation case study of vocal fold inflammation and wound healing with 3.8 million agents shows 35× and 7× speedup in execution time over single-core and multi-core CPU respectively. Each iteration of the model took less than 200 ms to simulate, visualize and send the results to the client. This enables users to monitor the simulation in real-time and modify its course as needed. PMID:27547508

  3. Babybot: a biologically inspired developing robotic agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metta, Giorgio; Panerai, Francesco M.; Sandini, Giulio

    2000-10-01

    The study of development, either artificial or biological, can highlight the mechanisms underlying learning and adaptive behavior. We shall argue whether developmental studies might provide a different and potentially interesting perspective either on how to build an artificial adaptive agent, or on understanding how the brain solves sensory, motor, and cognitive tasks. It is our opinion that the acquisition of the proper behavior might indeed be facilitated because within an ecological context, the agent, its adaptive structure and the environment dynamically interact thus constraining the otherwise difficult learning problem. In very general terms we shall describe the proposed approach and supporting biological related facts. In order to further analyze these aspects from the modeling point of view, we shall demonstrate how a twelve degrees of freedom baby humanoid robot acquires orienting and reaching behaviors, and what advantages the proposed framework might offer. In particular, the experimental setup consists of five degrees-of-freedom (dof) robot head, and an off-the-shelf six dof robot manipulator, both mounted on a rotating base: i.e. the torso. From the sensory point of view, the robot is equipped with two space-variant cameras, an inertial sensor simulating the vestibular system, and proprioceptive information through motor encoders. The biological parallel is exploited at many implementation levels. It is worth mentioning, for example, the space- variant eyes, exploiting foveal and peripheral vision in a single arrangement, the inertial sensor providing efficient image stabilization (vestibulo-ocular reflex).

  4. Test Results of Air-Permeable Charcoal Impregnated Suits to Challenge by Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants. Executive Summary and Summary Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-05-01

    proteCt in a "CW ( chemical warfare ) and BW (biological warfare )" agents environment. Swatches of material from each suit design were tested for...factors were determined for each suit. 14. SUBJECT TERMS 15. NUMBER OF PAGES HD Swatch testing Permeation testing 63 GB Chemical protective suits... Testing Procedures This testing was conducted to measure the permeation of chemical agents GB

  5. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain processes biological and non-biological movements in distinct neural circuits. Biological motion, in contrast to non-biological motion, refers to active movements of living beings. Aim of our experiment was to investigate the mechanisms underlying mental simulation of these two movement types. Subjects had to…

  6. History of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Szinicz, L

    2005-10-30

    Chemical and biological warfare agents constitute a low-probability, but high-impact risk both to the military and to the civilian population. The use of hazardous materials of chemical or biological origin as weapons and for homicide has been documented since ancient times. The first use of chemicals in terms of weapons of mass destruction goes back to World War I, when on April 22, 1915 large amounts of chlorine were released by German military forces at Ypres, Belgium. Until around the 1970s of the 20th century, the awareness of the threat by chemical and biological agents had been mainly confined to the military sector. In the following time, the development of increasing range delivery systems by chemical and biological agents possessors sensitised public attention to the threat emanating from these agents. Their proliferation to the terrorists field during the 1990s with the expanding scale and globalisation of terrorist attacks suggested that these agents are becoming an increasing threat to the whole world community. The following article gives a condensed overview on the history of use and development of the more prominent chemical and biological warfare agents.

  7. Method For Detecting Biological Agents

    DOEpatents

    Chen, Liaohai; McBranch, Duncan W.; Wang, Hsing-Lin; Whitten, David G.

    2005-12-27

    A sensor is provided including a polymer capable of having an alterable measurable property from the group of luminescence and electrical conductivity, the polymer having an intermediate combination of a recognition element, a tethering element and a property-altering element bound thereto and capable of altering the measurable property, the intermediate combination adapted for subsequent separation from the polymer upon exposure to an agent having an affinity for binding to the recognition element whereupon the separation of the intermediate combination from the polymer results in a detectable change in the alterable measurable property, and, detecting said detectable change in the alterable measurable property.

  8. Biological Warfare Agents, Toxins, Vectors and Pests as Biological Terrorism Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-01

    virus Omsk fever virus Human pathogens ( bacteria , rickettsiae , protozoa and fungi) as biological terrorism agents: Bacteria / Rickettsia 1...Bacillus anthracis 2. Yersinia pestis 3. Francisella tularensis 4. Rickettsia prowazekii 5. Rickettsia rickettsii 6. Bulkholderia (Pseudomonas) mallei...assessment according to criteria for selecting pathogens as biological terrorism agents. Table 1b. Human pathogens ( bacteria , rickettsiae , protozoa

  9. Biologic Agents in Inflammatory Eye Disease

    PubMed Central

    Posarelli, Chiara; Arapi, Ilir; Figus, Michele; Neri, Piergiorgio

    2011-01-01

    Non-infectious uveitis is a potentially sight threatening disease. Along the years, several therapeutic strategies have been proposed as a means to its treatment, including local and systemic steroids, immunosuppressives and more recently, biologic agents. The introduction of biologics can be defined as a new era: biologic therapies provide new options for patients with refractory and sight threatening inflammatory disorders. The availability of such novel treatment modalities has markedly improved the therapy of uveitis and considerably increased the possibility of long-term remissions. This article provides a review of current literature on biologic agents, such as tumor necrosis factor blockers, anti-interleukins and other related biologics, such as interferon alpha, for the treatment of uveitis. Several reports describe the efficacy of biologics in controlling a large number of refractory uveitides, suggesting a central role in managing ocular inflammatory diseases. However, there is still lack of randomized controlled trials to validate most of their applications. Biologics are promising drugs for the treatment of uveitis, showing a favorable safety and efficacy profile. On the other hand, lack of evidence from randomized controlled studies limits our understanding as to when commence treatment, which agent to choose, and how long to continue therapy. In addition, high cost and the potential for serious and unpredictable complications have very often limited their use in uveitis refractory to traditional immunosuppressive therapy. PMID:22454752

  10. Biologic agents in inflammatory eye disease.

    PubMed

    Posarelli, Chiara; Arapi, Ilir; Figus, Michele; Neri, Piergiorgio

    2011-10-01

    Non-infectious uveitis is a potentially sight threatening disease. Along the years, several therapeutic strategies have been proposed as a means to its treatment, including local and systemic steroids, immunosuppressives and more recently, biologic agents. The introduction of biologics can be defined as a new era: biologic therapies provide new options for patients with refractory and sight threatening inflammatory disorders. The availability of such novel treatment modalities has markedly improved the therapy of uveitis and considerably increased the possibility of long-term remissions. This article provides a review of current literature on biologic agents, such as tumor necrosis factor blockers, anti-interleukins and other related biologics, such as interferon alpha, for the treatment of uveitis. Several reports describe the efficacy of biologics in controlling a large number of refractory uveitides, suggesting a central role in managing ocular inflammatory diseases. However, there is still lack of randomized controlled trials to validate most of their applications. Biologics are promising drugs for the treatment of uveitis, showing a favorable safety and efficacy profile. On the other hand, lack of evidence from randomized controlled studies limits our understanding as to when commence treatment, which agent to choose, and how long to continue therapy. In addition, high cost and the potential for serious and unpredictable complications have very often limited their use in uveitis refractory to traditional immunosuppressive therapy.

  11. 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.

  12. Pathogenetic validation of the use of biological protective agents and early treatment in cases of radiation injury simulating radiation effects under space flight conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogozkin, V. D.; Varteres, V.; Sabo, L.; Groza, N.; Nikolov, I.

    1974-01-01

    In considering a radiation safety system for space flights, the various measures to protect man against radiation include drug prophylaxis. At the present time a great deal of experimental material has been accumulated on the prevention and treatment of radiation injuries. Antiradiation effectiveness has been established for sulfur- and nitrogen-containing substances, auxins, cyanides, polynucleotides, mucopolysaccharides, lipopolysaccharides, aminosaccharides, synthetic polymers, vitamins, hormones, amino acids and other compounds which can be divided into two basic groups - biological and chemical protective agents.

  13. [Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents].

    PubMed

    Seto, Yasuo

    2009-01-01

    Chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA's) are diverse in nature; volatile acute low-molecular-weight toxic compounds, chemical warfare agents (CWA's, gaseous choking and blood agents, volatile nerve gases and blister agents, nonvolatile vomit agents and lacrymators), biological toxins (nonvolatile low-molecular-weight toxins, proteinous toxins) and microbes (bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae). In the consequence management against chemical and biological terrorism, speedy decontamination of victims, facilities and equipment is required for the minimization of the damage. In the present situation, washing victims and contaminated materials with large volumes of water is the basic way, and additionally hypochlorite salt solution is used for decomposition of CWA's. However, it still remains unsolved how to dispose large volumes of waste water, and the decontamination reagents have serious limitation of high toxicity, despoiling nature against the environments, long finishing time and non-durability in effective decontamination. Namely, the existing decontamination system is not effective, nonspecifically affecting the surrounding non-target materials. Therefore, it is the urgent matter to build up the usable decontamination system surpassing the present technologies. The symposiast presents the on-going joint project of research and development of the novel decontamination system against CBWA's, in the purpose of realizing nontoxic, fast, specific, effective and economical terrorism on-site decontamination. The projects consists of (1) establishment of the decontamination evaluation methods and verification of the existing technologies and adaptation of bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase, (2) development of adsorptive elimination technologies using molecular recognition tools, and (4) development of deactivation technologies using photocatalysis.

  14. Decontamination of biological warfare agents by a microwave plasma torch

    SciTech Connect

    Lai, Wilson; Lai, Henry; Kuo, Spencer P.; Tarasenko, Olga; Levon, Kalle

    2005-02-01

    A portable arc-seeded microwave plasma torch running stably with airflow is described and applied for the decontamination of biological warfare agents. Emission spectroscopy of the plasma torch indicated that this torch produced an abundance of reactive atomic oxygen that could effectively oxidize biological agents. Bacillus cereus was chosen as a simulant of Bacillus anthracis spores for biological agent in the decontamination experiments. Decontamination was performed with the airflow rate of 0.393 l/s, corresponding to a maximum concentration of atomic oxygen produced by the torch. The experimental results showed that all spores were killed in less than 8 s at 3 cm distance, 12 s at 4 cm distance, and 16 s at 5 cm distance away from the nozzle of the torch.

  15. Decontamination of biological warfare agents by a microwave plasma torch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Wilson; Lai, Henry; Kuo, Spencer P.; Tarasenko, Olga; Levon, Kalle

    2005-02-01

    A portable arc-seeded microwave plasma torch running stably with airflow is described and applied for the decontamination of biological warfare agents. Emission spectroscopy of the plasma torch indicated that this torch produced an abundance of reactive atomic oxygen that could effectively oxidize biological agents. Bacillus cereus was chosen as a simulant of Bacillus anthracis spores for biological agent in the decontamination experiments. Decontamination was performed with the airflow rate of 0.393l/s, corresponding to a maximum concentration of atomic oxygen produced by the torch. The experimental results showed that all spores were killed in less than 8 s at 3 cm distance, 12 s at 4 cm distance, and 16 s at 5 cm distance away from the nozzle of the torch.

  16. Biological agents: weapons of warfare and bioterrorism.

    PubMed

    Broussard, L A

    2001-12-01

    The use of microorganisms as agents of biological warfare is considered inevitable for several reasons, including ease of production and dispersion, delayed onset, ability to cause high rates of morbidity and mortality, and difficulty in diagnosis. Biological agents that have been identified as posing the greatest threat are variola major (smallpox), Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Yersinia pestis (plague), Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism), Francisella tularensis (tularaemia), filoviruses (Ebola hemorrrhagic fever and Marburg hemorrhagic fever), and arenaviruses Lassa (Lassa fever) and Junin (Argentine hemorrhagic fever). The pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of these agents are discussed. Rapid identification and diagnosis using molecular diagnostic techniques such as PCR is an essential element in the establishment of coordinated laboratory response systems and is the focus of current research and development. Molecular techniques for detection and identification of these organisms are reviewed.

  17. A Computational Model and Multi-Agent Simulation for Information Assurance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-06-01

    simulation is presented that introduces several innovations in multi - agent systems including iconnectors, a biologically inspired visual language and...198 14. SUBJECT TERMS information assurance, information security, computer security, security model, modeling, agents, multi - agent system , multi...adaptive behavior in an IA environment. A multi-agent simulation is presented that introduces several innovations in multi - agent systems including

  18. Agent-based models in translational systems biology

    PubMed Central

    An, Gary; Mi, Qi; Dutta-Moscato, Joyeeta; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2013-01-01

    Effective translational methodologies for knowledge representation are needed in order to make strides against the constellation of diseases that affect the world today. These diseases are defined by their mechanistic complexity, redundancy, and nonlinearity. Translational systems biology aims to harness the power of computational simulation to streamline drug/device design, simulate clinical trials, and eventually to predict the effects of drugs on individuals. The ability of agent-based modeling to encompass multiple scales of biological process as well as spatial considerations, coupled with an intuitive modeling paradigm, suggests that this modeling framework is well suited for translational systems biology. This review describes agent-based modeling and gives examples of its translational applications in the context of acute inflammation and wound healing. PMID:20835989

  19. Real-Time Agent-Based Modeling Simulation with in-situ Visualization of Complex Biological Systems: A Case Study on Vocal Fold Inflammation and Healing.

    PubMed

    Seekhao, Nuttiiya; Shung, Caroline; JaJa, Joseph; Mongeau, Luc; Li-Jessen, Nicole Y K

    2016-05-01

    We present an efficient and scalable scheme for implementing agent-based modeling (ABM) simulation with In Situ visualization of large complex systems on heterogeneous computing platforms. The scheme is designed to make optimal use of the resources available on a heterogeneous platform consisting of a multicore CPU and a GPU, resulting in minimal to no resource idle time. Furthermore, the scheme was implemented under a client-server paradigm that enables remote users to visualize and analyze simulation data as it is being generated at each time step of the model. Performance of a simulation case study of vocal fold inflammation and wound healing with 3.8 million agents shows 35× and 7× speedup in execution time over single-core and multi-core CPU respectively. Each iteration of the model took less than 200 ms to simulate, visualize and send the results to the client. This enables users to monitor the simulation in real-time and modify its course as needed.

  20. Biological agents targeting beyond TNF-alpha

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rashmi; Sharma, Chaman Lal; Mahajan, Annil

    2008-01-01

    Biological agents represent an important addition to the therapies for immuno-inflammatory conditions and have a great impact on the disease course and quality of life of these patients. However, recent reports of serious infections like tuberculosis, demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases, pancytopenia, cardiovascular diseases, etc. after anti-TNF therapy raised questions on their safety. Hence, focus is shifted towards drugs targeting cytokine checkpoints in the inflammatory cascades beyond TNF-α. Existing therapeutic targets include the biological agents acting as antagonists of various inflammatory cytokines (Anakinra, Tocilizumab, Atlizumab) and modulators of CD80 or CD86-CD28 co-stimulatory signal (Abatacept), CD2 receptors on T-cells (Alefacept), CD11a, subunit of leukocyte function-associated antigen 1 (Efalizumab), vitronectin receptor and CD20 antigen on pre-B, immature and mature B cells (Rituximab). With the introduction of these novel molecules the future for immunomodulatory intervention in rheumatology, asthma, crohn's disease, septic shock etc. looks very promising. These novel therapeutic agents could truly give a new hope to the clinician to modify the disease and achieve tangible improvements in the lives of the patients. PMID:19742267

  1. Agent Frameworks for Discrete Event Social Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    of a general modeling approach to social simulation that embeds a multi - agent system within a DES framework, and propose several reusable agent... agent system to simulate changes in the beliefs, values, and interests (BVIs) of large social groups (Alt, Jackson, Hudak, & Steven Lieberman, 2010...to events from A. 2.3 Cultural Geography Model The Cultural Geography (CG) Model is an implementation of a DESS that uses an embedded multi

  2. Vaccines against biologic agents: uses and developments.

    PubMed

    Ales, Noel C; Katial, Rohit K

    2004-03-01

    Although the Geneva protocol that prohibits the use of chemical and biologic weapons was ratified in 1925, many countries failed to accept this protocol: others stipulated retaliation, and some, like the United States, did not ratify the protocol for decades. This delay allowed the continued development of chemical and biologic agents. Members of the health care community are responsible for determining the best way to protect society from the potentially devastating effects of these biologic agents. Ideally,these diseases would be prevented from ever developing into systemic illnesses. In the past, vaccination has been a successful means of eradicating disease. Vaccines remain a hopeful therapy for the future, but time is short,and there are many obstacles.Information regarding bioterrorism agents and their treatments comes mainly from dated data or from in vitro or animal studies that may not apply to human treatment and disease. Additionally, the current threat of bioterrorism does not allow enough time for accurate, well-designed,controlled studies in humans before the release of investigational vaccines. Furthermore, some human studies would not be safe or ethical. Finally,many members of society suffer from illnesses that would put them at high risk to receive prophylactic vaccination. It is therefore naive to believe that vaccines would be the ultimate protection from these agents. In addition to vaccine development, there must be concurrent investigations into disease management and treatment. Even in instances in which vaccination is known to be an effective means of disease protection. biologic agents may be presented in a manner that renders vaccines ineffective. Virulent strains of organisms may be used, more than one organism may be used in tandem to increase virulence, and strains may be selected for antibiotic and vaccine resistance. Genetically engineered strains may use virulence factors other than those targeted in vaccines, and high

  3. Laser-induced fluorescence-cued, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy biological-agent detection

    SciTech Connect

    Hybl, John D.; Tysk, Shane M.; Berry, Shaun R.; Jordan, Michael P

    2006-12-01

    Methods for accurately characterizing aerosols are required for detecting biological warfare agents. Currently, fluorescence-based biological agent sensors provide adequate detection sensitivity but suffer from high false-alarm rates. Combining single-particle fluorescence analysis with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) provides additional discrimination and potentially reduces false-alarm rates. A transportable UV laser-induced fluorescence-cued LIBS test bed has been developed and used to evaluate the utility of LIBS for biological-agent detection. Analysis of these data indicates that LIBS adds discrimination capability to fluorescence-based biological-agent detectors.However, the data also show that LIBS signatures of biological agent simulants are affected by washing. This may limit the specificity of LIBS and narrow the scope of its applicability in biological-agent detection.

  4. Optimization of Graphene Sensors to Detect Biological Warfare Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-03-27

    OPTIMIZATION OF GRAPHENE BIOSENSORS TO DETECT BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS THESIS MARCH 2014 Matthew J. Quinton, Major, USAF AFIT...M-42 OPTIMIZATION OF GRAPHENE BIOSENSORS TO DETECT BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS THESIS Presented to the Faculty Department of Engineering...WARFARE AGENTS Matthew J. Quinton, BS, MS Major, USAF Approved: //Signed//___________________________ 3/14/2014

  5. Fate of Nerve Agent Simulants on Concrete

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    2.0 µL range was detected. INTRODUCTION The rate of decomposition of chemical warfare agents on substrates commonly present in a...Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) ABSTRACT The nerve agent VX (O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl]methylphosphonothiolate) has...from Aldrich Chemical Company and used as received. 31P NMR of the starting materials indicated that it was the correct compound. Concrete samples

  6. Agent Based Simulation Output Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    over long periods of time) not to have a steady state, but apparently does. These simulation models are available free from sigmawiki.com 2.1...are used in computer animations and movies (for example, in the movie Jurassic Park) as well as to look for emergent social behavior in groups

  7. Biomaterials for mediation of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Russell, Alan J; Berberich, Jason A; Drevon, Geraldine F; Koepsel, Richard R

    2003-01-01

    Recent events have emphasized the threat from chemical and biological warfare agents. Within the efforts to counter this threat, the biocatalytic destruction and sensing of chemical and biological weapons has become an important area of focus. The specificity and high catalytic rates of biological catalysts make them appropriate for decommissioning nerve agent stockpiles, counteracting nerve agent attacks, and remediation of organophosphate spills. A number of materials have been prepared containing enzymes for the destruction of and protection against organophosphate nerve agents and biological warfare agents. This review discusses the major chemical and biological warfare agents, decontamination methods, and biomaterials that have potential for the preparation of decontamination wipes, gas filters, column packings, protective wear, and self-decontaminating paints and coatings.

  8. Design and Engineering of a Multi-Target (Multiplex) DNA Simulant to Evaluate Nulceic Acid Based Assays for Detection of Biological Threat Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    Using the actual bio-threat agents for testing is impractical since producing a number of different threat bacteria and viruses, isolating and...Brucella species are recognized as potential agricultural, civilian, and military bioterrorism agents. Rickettsia are classified into two groups; the...spotted fever group (SFG), which includes R. conorii, R. sibirica, and R. rickettsii , and the typhus group (TG), which includes R. prowazekii and R

  9. Detection of biological warfare agents using ultra violet-laser induced fluorescence LIDAR.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Deepti; Kumar, Deepak; Maini, Anil K; Sharma, Ramesh C

    2013-08-01

    This review has been written to highlight the threat of biological warfare agents, their types and detection. Bacterial biological agent Bacillus anthracis (bacteria causing the disease anthrax) which is most likely to be employed in biological warfare is being discussed in detail. Standoff detection of biological warfare agents in aerosol form using Ultra violet-Laser Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectroscopy method has been studied. Range-resolved detection and identification of biological aerosols by both nano-second and non-linear femto-second LIDAR is also discussed. Calculated received fluorescence signal for a cloud of typical biological agent Bacillus globigii (Simulants of B. anthracis) at a location of ~5.0 km at different concentrations in presence of solar background radiation has been described. Overview of current research efforts in internationally available working UV-LIF LIDAR systems are also mentioned briefly.

  10. Detection of biological warfare agents using ultra violet-laser induced fluorescence LIDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, Deepti; Kumar, Deepak; Maini, Anil K.; Sharma, Ramesh C.

    This review has been written to highlight the threat of biological warfare agents, their types and detection. Bacterial biological agent Bacillus anthracis (bacteria causing the disease anthrax) which is most likely to be employed in biological warfare is being discussed in detail. Standoff detection of biological warfare agents in aerosol form using Ultra violet-Laser Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectroscopy method has been studied. Range-resolved detection and identification of biological aerosols by both nano-second and non-linear femto-second LIDAR is also discussed. Calculated received fluorescence signal for a cloud of typical biological agent Bacillus globigii (Simulants of B. anthracis) at a location of ˜5.0 km at different concentrations in presence of solar background radiation has been described. Overview of current research efforts in internationally available working UV-LIF LIDAR systems are also mentioned briefly.

  11. Stochastic simulation in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Natural systems are, almost by definition, heterogeneous: this can be either a boon or an obstacle to be overcome, depending on the situation. Traditionally, when constructing mathematical models of these systems, heterogeneity has typically been ignored, despite its critical role. However, in recent years, stochastic computational methods have become commonplace in science. They are able to appropriately account for heterogeneity; indeed, they are based around the premise that systems inherently contain at least one source of heterogeneity (namely, intrinsic heterogeneity). In this mini-review, we give a brief introduction to theoretical modelling and simulation in systems biology and discuss the three different sources of heterogeneity in natural systems. Our main topic is an overview of stochastic simulation methods in systems biology. There are many different types of stochastic methods. We focus on one group that has become especially popular in systems biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. These discrete-state stochastic methods do not follow individuals over time; rather they track only total populations. They also assume that the volume of interest is spatially homogeneous. We give an overview of these methods, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggest when each is more appropriate to use. We also include references to software implementations of them, so that beginners can quickly start using stochastic methods for practical problems of interest. PMID:25505503

  12. Stochastic simulation in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-11-01

    Natural systems are, almost by definition, heterogeneous: this can be either a boon or an obstacle to be overcome, depending on the situation. Traditionally, when constructing mathematical models of these systems, heterogeneity has typically been ignored, despite its critical role. However, in recent years, stochastic computational methods have become commonplace in science. They are able to appropriately account for heterogeneity; indeed, they are based around the premise that systems inherently contain at least one source of heterogeneity (namely, intrinsic heterogeneity). In this mini-review, we give a brief introduction to theoretical modelling and simulation in systems biology and discuss the three different sources of heterogeneity in natural systems. Our main topic is an overview of stochastic simulation methods in systems biology. There are many different types of stochastic methods. We focus on one group that has become especially popular in systems biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. These discrete-state stochastic methods do not follow individuals over time; rather they track only total populations. They also assume that the volume of interest is spatially homogeneous. We give an overview of these methods, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggest when each is more appropriate to use. We also include references to software implementations of them, so that beginners can quickly start using stochastic methods for practical problems of interest.

  13. Use of Biologic Agents in Ocular Manifestations of Rheumatic Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kraus, Courtney L.; Culican, Susan M.

    2012-01-01

    Biologic agents have dramatically shifted the treatment paradigm for rheumatic disease. Use of these agents can decrease disease burden, allow the patient to be weaned from corticosteroids, and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Eye disease associated with rheumatic conditions may present with a wide range of signs and symptoms. This coexisting pathology should not be overlooked and should be considered a reason for initiation or continuation of biologic therapy. Additionally, many of the ocular manifestations of rheumatic disease respond preferentially to specific targeting molecules. This paper summarizes the available studies on the use, efficacy, and safety of biologic agents in the treatment of ocular manifestations of rheumatic disease. PMID:22229035

  14. Intelligent Agent Supported Training in Virtual Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-01

    Security, and Safety P.O. Box 23, 3769 ZG Soesterberg, the Netherlands 8 . PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER 9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY...THIS PAGE unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8 -98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 Intelligent Agent Supported Training in Virtual Simulations...of plans. A plan is a recipe for achieving a goal, given particular preconditions. The plan library may contain multiple plans for the achievement

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-09-01

    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 22cm diameter and 30cm length, purifies an airflow rate of 5000lpm 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.

  17. Biological control agents elevate hantavirus by subsidizing deer mouse populations.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Callaway, Ragan M

    2006-04-01

    Biological control of exotic invasive plants using exotic insects is practiced under the assumption that biological control agents are safe if they do not directly attack non-target species. We tested this assumption by evaluating the potential for two host-specific biological control agents (Urophora spp.), widely established in North America for spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) control, to indirectly elevate Sin Nombre hantavirus by providing food subsidies to populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), the primary reservoir for the virus. We show that seropositive deer mice (mice testing positive for hantavirus) were over three times more abundant in the presence of the biocontrol food subsidy. Elevating densities of seropositive mice may increase risk of hantavirus infection in humans and significantly alter hantavirus ecology. Host specificity alone does not ensure safe biological control. To minimize indirect risks to non-target species, biological control agents must suppress pest populations enough to reduce their own numbers.

  18. Potential Military Chemical/Biological Agents and Compounds

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    toxins, bioregulators, or prions. (1) Pathogens. Pathogens are disease-producing microorganisms,6 such as bacteria , rickettsiae , or viruses...disability. Potential biological antipersonnel agents include toxins, bacteria , rickettsiae , viruses, and toxins. (2) Antianimal. Biological...microorganisms such as pathogens (which include disease-causing bacteria , rickettsiae , and viruses) and toxins. NOTES: 1. See Table IV-1 (page IV-2) for the

  19. Solid-water detoxifying reagents for chemical and biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Hoffman, Dennis M.; Chiu, Ing Lap

    2006-04-18

    Formation of solid-water detoxifying reagents for chemical and biological agents. Solutions of detoxifying reagent for chemical and biological agents are coated using small quantities of hydrophobic nanoparticles by vigorous agitation or by aerosolization of the solution in the presence of the hydrophobic nanoparticles to form a solid powder. For example, when hydrophobic fumed silica particles are shaken in the presence of IN oxone solution in approximately a 95:5-weight ratio, a dry powder results. The hydrophobic silica forms a porous coating of insoluble fine particles around the solution. Since the chemical or biological agent tends to be hydrophobic on contact with the weakly encapsulated detoxifying solution, the porous coating breaks down and the detoxifying reagent is delivered directly to the chemical or biological agent for maximum concentration at the point of need. The solid-water (coated) detoxifying solutions can be blown into contaminated ventilation ducting or other difficult to reach sites for detoxification of pools of chemical or biological agent. Once the agent has been detoxified, it can be removed by flushing the area with air or other techniques.

  20. Computational Spectrum of Agent Model Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Perumalla, Kalyan S

    2010-01-01

    The study of human social behavioral systems is finding renewed interest in military, homeland security and other applications. Simulation is the most generally applied approach to studying complex scenarios in such systems. Here, we outline some of the important considerations that underlie the computational aspects of simulation-based study of human social systems. The fundamental imprecision underlying questions and answers in social science makes it necessary to carefully distinguish among different simulation problem classes and to identify the most pertinent set of computational dimensions associated with those classes. We identify a few such classes and present their computational implications. The focus is then shifted to the most challenging combinations in the computational spectrum, namely, large-scale entity counts at moderate to high levels of fidelity. Recent developments in furthering the state-of-the-art in these challenging cases are outlined. A case study of large-scale agent simulation is provided in simulating large numbers (millions) of social entities at real-time speeds on inexpensive hardware. Recent computational results are identified that highlight the potential of modern high-end computing platforms to push the envelope with respect to speed, scale and fidelity of social system simulations. Finally, the problem of shielding the modeler or domain expert from the complex computational aspects is discussed and a few potential solution approaches are identified.

  1. Chemistry and Biology of Macrolide Antiparasitic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Younjoo; Choi, Jun Yong; Fu, Hong; Harvey, Colin; Ravindran, Sandeep; Roush, William R.; Boothroyd, John C.; Khosla, Chaitan

    2011-01-01

    Macrolide antibacterial agents inhibit parasite proliferation by targeting the apicoplast ribosome. Motivated by the long-term goal of identifying antiparasitic macrolides that lack antibacterial activity, we have systematically analyzed the structure-activity relationships among erythromycin analogues and have also investigated the mechanism of action of selected compounds. Two lead compounds, N-benzyl-azithromycin (11) and N-phenylpropyl-azithromycin (30), were identified with significantly higher antiparasitic activity and lower antibacterial activity than erythromycin or azithromycin. Molecular modeling based on the co-crystal structure of azithromycin bound to the bacterial ribosome suggested that a substituent at the N-9 position of desmethyl-azithromycin could improve selectivity due to species-specific interactions with the ribosomal L22 protein. Like other macrolides, these lead compounds display a strong “delayed death phenotype”; however, their early effects on T. gondii replication are more pronounced. PMID:21428405

  2. Sensitive and Rapid Identification of Biological Threat Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-12-01

    suitcase, complete with reagents and HIGGINS et al.: RAPID IDENTIFICATION OF BIOLOGICAL THREAT AGENTS 135 1 U z X o Q UJ O O Q OQ U m < u...BIOLOGICAL THREAT AGENTS 137 MW MW 1 ABCDEFGHIPCNC2 WB *~ 1 PL SRM Z FIGURE 3. Comparison of IsoCode® paper for preparing vegetative cells...FRIEDLANDER, D.J. MCCLAIN, D.L. HOOVER, W.R. BRYNE , J.A. PAVLIN, G.W. CHRISTOPHER & E.M. EITZEN, JR. 1997. Clinical recogni- tion and management of

  3. Oxidizer gels for detoxification of chemical and biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Hoffman, Dennis M.; McGuire, Raymond R.

    2002-01-01

    A gel composition containing oxidizing agents and thickening or gelling agents is used to detoxify chemical and biological agents by application directly to a contaminated area. The gelling agent is a colloidal material, such as silica, alumina, or alumino-silicate clays, which forms a viscous gel that does not flow when applied to tilted or contoured surfaces. Aqueous or organic solutions of oxidizing agents can be readily gelled with less than about 30% colloidal material. Gel preparation is simple and suitable for field implementation, as the gels can be prepared at the site of decontamination and applied quickly and uniformly over an area by a sprayer. After decontamination, the residue can be washed away or vacuumed up for disposal.

  4. Biologic response of local hemostatic agents used in endodontic microsurgery

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Youngjune; Kim, Hyeon; Roh, Byoung-Duck

    2014-01-01

    Appropriate use of local hemostatic agent is one of the important factors on the prognosis of endodontic microsurgery. However, most investigations to date focus on the hemostatic efficacy of the agents, whereas their biologic characteristics have not received enough attention. The purpose of this paper was to review the biologic response of local hemostatic agents, and to provide clinical guidelines on their use during endodontic microsurgery. Electronic database (PUBMED) was screened to search related studies from 1980 to 2013, and 8 clinical studies and 18 animal studies were identified. Among the materials used in these studies, most widely-investigated and used materials, epinephrine, ferric sulfate (FS) and calcium sulfate (CS), were thoroughly discussed. Influence of these materials on local tissue and systemic condition, such as inflammatory and foreign body reaction, local ischemia, dyspigmentation, delayed or enhanced bone and soft tissue healing, and potential cardiovascular complications were assessed. Additionally, biological property of their carrier materials, cotton pellet and absorbable collagen, were also discussed. Clinicians should be aware of the biologic properties of local hemostatic agents and their carrier materials, and should pay attention to the potential complications when using them in endodontic microsurgery. PMID:24790919

  5. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection for chemical and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Fei; Stokes, David L.; Wabuyele, Musundi B.; Griffin, Guy D.; Vass, Arpad A.; Vo-Dinh, Tuan

    2004-07-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra of chemical agent simulants such as dimethyl methylphonate (DMMP), pinacolyl methylphosphonate (PMP), diethyl phosphoramidate (DEPA), and 2-chloroethyl ethylsulfide (CEES), and biological agent simulants such as bacillus globigii (BG), erwinia herbicola (EH), and bacillus thuringiensis (BT) were obtained from silver oxide film-deposited substrates. Thin AgO films ranging in thickness from 50 nm to 250 nm were produced by chemical bath deposition onto glass slides. Further Raman intensity enhancements were noticed in UV irradiated surfaces due to photo-induced Ag nanocluster formation, which may provide a possible route to producing highly useful plasmonic sensors for the detection of chemical and biological agents upon visible light illumination.

  6. Simulating cancer growth with multiscale agent-based modeling.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhihui; Butner, Joseph D; Kerketta, Romica; Cristini, Vittorio; Deisboeck, Thomas S

    2015-02-01

    There have been many techniques developed in recent years to in silico model a variety of cancer behaviors. Agent-based modeling is a specific discrete-based hybrid modeling approach that allows simulating the role of diversity in cell populations as well as within each individual cell; it has therefore become a powerful modeling method widely used by computational cancer researchers. Many aspects of tumor morphology including phenotype-changing mutations, the adaptation to microenvironment, the process of angiogenesis, the influence of extracellular matrix, reactions to chemotherapy or surgical intervention, the effects of oxygen and nutrient availability, and metastasis and invasion of healthy tissues have been incorporated and investigated in agent-based models. In this review, we introduce some of the most recent agent-based models that have provided insight into the understanding of cancer growth and invasion, spanning multiple biological scales in time and space, and we further describe several experimentally testable hypotheses generated by those models. We also discuss some of the current challenges of multiscale agent-based cancer models.

  7. Disinfection of biological agents in the field using a mobile ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report The Army’s Net Zero Initiative is an energy-conservation program that focuses on energy as well as water and waste usage procedures. All Net Zero projects are geared toward helping the military installation or community become more sustainable and resilient, with an emphasis on taking a systems approach. Net Zero projects must advance the state of the science and are focused on three general topic areas: water, energy, and waste, and the nexuses among them. This project examined the inactivation and/or removal of biological contaminants in dirty wash water using a portable ozone-UV AOP process. The strain of E. coli used in these experiments is not a biological warfare agent, but acts as a surrogate for certain of the vegetative biological agents such as the enterohemorrhagic strain designated E. coli 0157:H7.

  8. Functional Agents to Biologically Control Deoxynivalenol Contamination in Cereal Grains

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Ye; Tan, Yanglan; Liu, Na; Liao, Yucai; Sun, Changpo; Wang, Shuangxia; Wu, Aibo

    2016-01-01

    Mycotoxins, as microbial secondary metabolites, frequently contaminate cereal grains and pose a serious threat to human and animal health around the globe. Deoxynivalenol (DON), a commonly detected Fusarium mycotoxin, has drawn utmost attention due to high exposure levels and contamination frequency in the food chain. Biological control is emerging as a promising technology for the management of DON contamination. Functional biological control agents (BCAs), which include antagonistic microbes, natural fungicides derived from plants and detoxification enzymes, can be used to control DON contamination at different stages of grain production. In this review, studies regarding different biological agents for DON control in recent years are summarized for the first time. Furthermore, this article highlights the significance of BCAs for controlling DON contamination, as well as the need for more practical and efficient BCAs concerning food safety. PMID:27064760

  9. Biological warfare agents as threats to potable water.

    PubMed Central

    Burrows, W D; Renner, S E

    1999-01-01

    Nearly all known biological warfare agents are intended for aerosol application. Although less effective as potable water threats, many are potentially capable of inflicting heavy casualties when ingested. Significant loss of mission capability can be anticipated even when complete recovery is possible. Properly maintained field army water purification equipment can counter this threat, but personnel responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment may be most at risk of exposure. Municipal water treatment facilities would be measurably less effective. Some replicating (infectious) agents and a few biotoxins are inactivated by chlorine disinfection; for others chlorine is ineffective or of unknown efficacy. This report assesses the state of our knowledge of agents as potable water threats and contemplates the consequences of intentional or collateral contamination of potable water supplies by 18 replicating agents and 9 biotoxins known or likely to be weaponized or otherwise used as threats. PMID:10585901

  10. Spatial Aspects in Biological System Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Resat, Haluk; Costa, Michelle N.; Shankaran, Harish

    2012-01-01

    Mathematical models of the dynamical properties of biological systems aim to improve our understanding of the studied system with the ultimate goal of being able to predict system responses in the absence of experimentation. Despite the enormous advances that have been made in biological modeling and simulation, the inherently multiscale character of biological systems and the stochasticity of biological processes continue to present significant computational and conceptual challenges. Biological systems often consist of well-organized structural hierarchies, which inevitably lead to multiscale problems. This chapter introduces and discusses the advantages and shortcomings of several simulation methods that are being used by the scientific community to investigate the spatiotemporal properties of model biological systems. We first describe the foundations of the methods and then describe their relevance and possible application areas with illustrative examples from our own research. Possible ways to address the encountered computational difficulties are also discussed. PMID:21187236

  11. Towards quantum simulations of biological information flow.

    PubMed

    Dorner, Ross; Goold, John; Vedral, Vlatko

    2012-08-06

    Recent advances in the spectroscopy of biomolecules have highlighted the possibility of quantum coherence playing an active role in biological energy transport. The revelation that quantum coherence can survive in the hot and wet environment of biology has generated a lively debate across both the physics and biology communities. In particular, it remains unclear to what extent non-trivial quantum effects are used in biology and what advantage, if any, they afford. We propose an analogue quantum simulator, based on currently available techniques in ultra-cold atom physics, to study a model of energy and electron transport based on the Holstein Hamiltonian. By simulating the salient aspects of a biological system in a tunable laboratory set-up, we hope to gain insight into the validity of several theoretical models of biological quantum transport in a variety of relevant parameter regimes.

  12. Autoantibodies in biological agent naive patients with psoriatic arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, S; Schentag, C; Gladman, D

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the prevalence of autoantibodies in biological agent naive patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Methods: 94 consecutive, prospectively collected, biological agent naive patients with PsA at the University of Toronto PsA clinic underwent clinical and laboratory assessment. Disease activity was assessed by the number of actively inflamed joints, and the Psoriasis Activity and Severity Index (PASI) score. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF), double stranded DNA (dsDNA), Ro, La, Smith, and RNP were tested. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests were used to analyse the data. Results: 44/94 (47%) patients with PsA were ANA positive (⩾1/40); 13/94 (14%) had a clinically significant titre of ⩾1/80. Three per cent had dsDNA antibodies, 2% had RF and anti-Ro antibodies, 1% had anti-RNP antibodies, and none had anti-La or anti-Smith antibodies. Conclusions: The background prevalence of ANA ⩾1/80 in patients with PsA was 14%, with very few patients having specific lupus antibodies. This should serve as a baseline figure for the frequency of autoantibodies in biological agent naive patients with PsA for studies of the use of anti-TNFα agents. PMID:15834057

  13. Simulation of Pedestrian Agent Crowds, with Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyell, M.; Flo, R.; Mejia-Tellez, M.

    Multiple application areas have an interest in pedestrian dynamics. These range from urban design of public areas to evacuation dynamics to effective product placement within a store. In Hoogendoorn et al [Hoogendoorn 2002] multiple abstractions utilized in simulations or calculations involving pedestrian agents include (1) cost models for selected route choice, (2) macroscopic pedestrian operations, and (3) microscopic behavior. A variety of mathematical and computational techniques have been used in studying aspects of pedestrian behavior, including regression models, queuing models that describe pedestrian movement from one node to another, macroscopic models that make use of Boltzmann-like equations, and microscopic approaches. Microscopic approaches include social force models and cellular automata models. The `social force' models can involve ad hoc analogies to physical forces. For example, a floor may be viewed as having a `repulsive' or `attractive' force, depending on the amount of previous pedestrian traffic. Cellular automata models are based on pedestrian walking rules that have been gleaned from observations, such as those developed from Blue and [2000].

  14. Simulation of Pedestrian Agent Crowds, with Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyell, M.; Flo, R.; Mejia-Tellez, M.

    Multiple application areas have an interest in pedestrian dynamics. These range from urban design of public areas to evacuation dynamics to effective product placement within a store. In Hoogendoorn et al [Hoogendoorn 2002] multiple abstractions utilized in simulations or calculations involving pedestrian agents include (1) cost models for selected route choice, (2) macroscopic pedestrian operations, and (3) microscopic behavior. A variety of mathematical and computational techniques have been used in studying aspects of pedestrian behavior, including regression models, queuing models that describe pedestrian movement from one node to another, macroscopic models that make use of Boltzmann-like equations, and microscopic approaches. Microscopic approaches include social force models and cellular automata models. The 'social force' models can involve ad hoc analogies to physical forces. For example, a floor may be viewed as having a 'repulsive' or 'attractive' force, depending on the amount of previous pedestrian traffic. Cellular automata models are based on pedestrian walking rules that have been gleaned from observations, such as those developed from Blue and [2000].

  15. Clinical laboratories, the select agent program, and biological surety (biosurety).

    PubMed

    Pastel, Ross H; Demmin, Gretchen; Severson, Grant; Torres-Cruz, Rafael; Trevino, Jorge; Kelly, John; Arrison, Jay; Christman, Joy

    2006-06-01

    The threat of bioterrorism has led to increased concerns over the availability of biological select agents and toxins (BSAT). Congress has implemented several public laws that have led to the development of federal regulations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Agriculture. The CDC regulation 42 CFR 73 has a direct impact on all clinical laboratories that may at some time identify BSAT in a clinical specimen. The Department of Defense has imposed a more stringent layer of regulation called biological surety (biosurety) on top of the requirements of 42 CFR 73 for military laboratories that possess BSAT. However,42 CFR 73 falls into the framework of biosurety. Both sets of regulations have four pillars (safety, physical security, agent account-ability, and personnel reliability) that are built on a foundation of training and covered by a roof of management (operations and plans).

  16. Biologic Agents for Periodontal Regeneration and Implant Site Development

    PubMed Central

    Suárez-López del Amo, Fernando; Monje, Alberto; Padial-Molina, Miguel; Tang, ZhiHui; Wang, Hom-Lay

    2015-01-01

    The advancement of molecular mediators or biologic agents has increased tremendously during the last decade in periodontology and dental implantology. Implant site development and reconstruction of the lost periodontium represent main fields in which these molecular mediators have been employed and investigated. Different growth factors trigger different reactions in the tissues of the periodontium at various cellular levels. Proliferation, migration, and differentiation constitute the main target areas of these molecular mediators. It was the purpose of this comprehensive review to describe the origin and rationale, evidence, and the most current understanding of the following biologic agents: Recombinant Human Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB), Enamel Matrix Derivate (EMD), Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF), Recombinant Human Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (rhFGF-2), Bone Morphogenic Proteins (BMPs, BMP-2 and BMP-7), Teriparatide PTH, and Growth Differential Factor-5 (GDF-5). PMID:26509173

  17. 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.

  18. Validation techniques of agent based modelling for geospatial simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darvishi, M.; Ahmadi, G.

    2014-10-01

    One of the most interesting aspects of modelling and simulation study is to describe the real world phenomena that have specific properties; especially those that are in large scales and have dynamic and complex behaviours. Studying these phenomena in the laboratory is costly and in most cases it is impossible. Therefore, Miniaturization of world phenomena in the framework of a model in order to simulate the real phenomena is a reasonable and scientific approach to understand the world. Agent-based modelling and simulation (ABMS) is a new modelling method comprising of multiple interacting agent. They have been used in the different areas; for instance, geographic information system (GIS), biology, economics, social science and computer science. The emergence of ABM toolkits in GIS software libraries (e.g. ESRI's ArcGIS, OpenMap, GeoTools, etc) for geospatial modelling is an indication of the growing interest of users to use of special capabilities of ABMS. Since ABMS is inherently similar to human cognition, therefore it could be built easily and applicable to wide range applications than a traditional simulation. But a key challenge about ABMS is difficulty in their validation and verification. Because of frequent emergence patterns, strong dynamics in the system and the complex nature of ABMS, it is hard to validate and verify ABMS by conventional validation methods. Therefore, attempt to find appropriate validation techniques for ABM seems to be necessary. In this paper, after reviewing on Principles and Concepts of ABM for and its applications, the validation techniques and challenges of ABM validation are discussed.

  19. Hybrid vigor in the biological control agent, Longitarsus jacobaeae.

    PubMed

    Szűcs, Marianna; Eigenbrode, Sanford D; Schwarzländer, Mark; Schaffner, Urs

    2012-07-01

    Hybridization is an important evolutionary mechanism that can increase the fitness and adaptive potential of populations. A growing body of evidence supports its importance as a key factor contributing to rapid evolution in invasive species, but the effects of hybridization have rarely been assessed in intentionally introduced biological control agents. We investigated hybrids between a Swiss and an Italian population of the beetle, Longitarsus jacobaeae, a biological control agent of Jacobaea vulgaris, by reciprocally crossing individuals in the laboratory. Phenological traits of F1 and F2 hybrid lineages showed intermediate values relative to their parental populations, with some maternal influence. Fitness of the F2 generation, measured as lifetime fecundity, was higher than that of the Italian parent in one of the lineages and higher than that of either parent in the other hybrid lineage. The increased fecundity of hybrids may benefit tansy ragwort biological control by increasing the establishment success and facilitating a more rapid population buildup in the early generations. Even though the long-term consequences of hybridization in this and other systems are hard to predict, intentional hybridization may be a useful tool in biological control strategies as it would promote similar microevolutionary processes operating in numerous targeted invasive species.

  20. Hybrid vigor in the biological control agent, Longitarsus jacobaeae

    PubMed Central

    Szűcs, Marianna; Eigenbrode, Sanford D; Schwarzländer, Mark; Schaffner, Urs

    2012-01-01

    Hybridization is an important evolutionary mechanism that can increase the fitness and adaptive potential of populations. A growing body of evidence supports its importance as a key factor contributing to rapid evolution in invasive species, but the effects of hybridization have rarely been assessed in intentionally introduced biological control agents. We investigated hybrids between a Swiss and an Italian population of the beetle, Longitarsus jacobaeae, a biological control agent of Jacobaea vulgaris, by reciprocally crossing individuals in the laboratory. Phenological traits of F1 and F2 hybrid lineages showed intermediate values relative to their parental populations, with some maternal influence. Fitness of the F2 generation, measured as lifetime fecundity, was higher than that of the Italian parent in one of the lineages and higher than that of either parent in the other hybrid lineage. The increased fecundity of hybrids may benefit tansy ragwort biological control by increasing the establishment success and facilitating a more rapid population buildup in the early generations. Even though the long-term consequences of hybridization in this and other systems are hard to predict, intentional hybridization may be a useful tool in biological control strategies as it would promote similar microevolutionary processes operating in numerous targeted invasive species. PMID:22949924

  1. Virtual agents in a simulated virtual training environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Achorn, Brett; Badler, Norman L.

    1993-01-01

    A drawback to live-action training simulations is the need to gather a large group of participants in order to train a few individuals. One solution to this difficulty is the use of computer-controlled agents in a virtual training environment. This allows a human participant to be replaced by a virtual, or simulated, agent when only limited responses are needed. Each agent possesses a specified set of behaviors and is capable of limited autonomous action in response to its environment or the direction of a human trainee. The paper describes these agents in the context of a simulated hostage rescue training session, involving two human rescuers assisted by three virtual (computer-controlled) agents and opposed by three other virtual agents.

  2. Biocellion: accelerating computer simulation of multicellular biological system models

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Seunghwa; Kahan, Simon; McDermott, Jason; Flann, Nicholas; Shmulevich, Ilya

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Biological system behaviors are often the outcome of complex interactions among a large number of cells and their biotic and abiotic environment. Computational biologists attempt to understand, predict and manipulate biological system behavior through mathematical modeling and computer simulation. Discrete agent-based modeling (in combination with high-resolution grids to model the extracellular environment) is a popular approach for building biological system models. However, the computational complexity of this approach forces computational biologists to resort to coarser resolution approaches to simulate large biological systems. High-performance parallel computers have the potential to address the computing challenge, but writing efficient software for parallel computers is difficult and time-consuming. Results: We have developed Biocellion, a high-performance software framework, to solve this computing challenge using parallel computers. To support a wide range of multicellular biological system models, Biocellion asks users to provide their model specifics by filling the function body of pre-defined model routines. Using Biocellion, modelers without parallel computing expertise can efficiently exploit parallel computers with less effort than writing sequential programs from scratch. We simulate cell sorting, microbial patterning and a bacterial system in soil aggregate as case studies. Availability and implementation: Biocellion runs on x86 compatible systems with the 64 bit Linux operating system and is freely available for academic use. Visit http://biocellion.com for additional information. Contact: seunghwa.kang@pnnl.gov PMID:25064572

  3. Rapid biological agent identification by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Smith, Wayne W.; Elliott, Susan; Sperry, Jay F.

    1999-11-01

    The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, and use of warfare agents (chemical and biological), and requires their destruction. Yet their use persists and has been included in the terrorist's arsenal. Currently, a number of analytical methods are being developed to perform rapid measurements of trace agents to ensure treaty compliance, as well as safe environments for military personal and the public at large. We have been investigating the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to detect bacterial nucleic acid-base pairs with sufficient sensitivity and selectivity to eliminate the need for enumeration used in polymerase chain reactions and culture growth, required by other measurement techniques. The design of a small volume, fiber optic coupled, electrolytic sample cell is presented along with analysis of DNA and RNA separated from non-toxic bacteria.

  4. 75 FR 39437 - Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-08

    ... Executive Order 13546--Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States... July 2, 2010 Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States By the... and productive scientific enterprise that utilizes biological select agents and toxins (BSAT)...

  5. Biologic agents for anterior cruciate ligament healing: A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Di Matteo, Berardo; Loibl, Markus; Andriolo, Luca; Filardo, Giuseppe; Zellner, Johannes; Koch, Matthias; Angele, Peter

    2016-01-01

    AIM To systematically review the currently available literature concerning the application of biologic agents such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells to promote anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) healing. METHODS A systematic review of the literature was performed on the use of biologic agents (i.e., PRP or stem cells) to favor ACL healing during reconstruction or repair. The following inclusion criteria for relevant articles were used: Clinical reports of any level of evidence, written in English language, on the use of PRP or stem cells during ACL reconstruction/repair. Exclusion criteria were articles written in other languages, reviews, or studies analyzing other applications of PRP/stem cells in knee surgery not related to promoting ACL healing. RESULTS The database search identified 394 records that were screened. A total of 23 studies were included in the final analysis: In one paper stem cells were applied for ACL healing, in one paper there was a concomitant application of PRP and stem cells, whereas in the remaining 21 papers PRP was used. Based on the ACL injury pattern, two papers investigated biologic agents in ACL partial tears whereas 21 papers in ACL reconstruction. Looking at the quality of the available literature, 17 out of 21 studies dealing with ACL reconstruction were randomized controlled trials. Both studies on ACL repair were case series. CONCLUSION There is a paucity of clinical trials investigating the role of stem cells in promoting ACL healing both in case of partial and complete tears. The role of PRP is still controversial and the only advantage emerging from the literature is related to a better graft maturation over time, without documenting beneficial effects in terms of clinical outcome, bone-graft integration and prevention of bony tunnel enlargement. PMID:27672573

  6. Towards the implementation of a spectral database for the detection of biological warfare agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carestia, M.; Pizzoferrato, R.; Gelfusa, M.; Cenciarelli, O.; D'Amico, F.; Malizia, A.; Scarpellini, D.; Murari, A.; Vega, J.; Gaudio, P.

    2014-10-01

    The deliberate use of biological warfare agents (BWA) and other pathogens can jeopardize the safety of population, fauna and flora, and represents a concrete concern from the military and civil perspective. At present, the only commercially available tools for fast warning of a biological attack can perform point detection and require active or passive sampling collection. The development of a stand-off detection system would be extremely valuable to minimize the risk and the possible consequences of the release of biological aerosols in the atmosphere. Biological samples can be analyzed by means of several optical techniques, covering a broad region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Strong evidence proved that the informative content of fluorescence spectra could provide good preliminary discrimination among those agents and it can also be obtained through stand-off measurements. Such a system necessitates a database and a mathematical method for the discrimination of the spectral signatures. In this work, we collected fluorescence emission spectra of the main BWA simulants, to implement a spectral signature database and apply the Universal Multi Event Locator (UMEL) statistical method. Our preliminary analysis, conducted in laboratory conditions with a standard UV lamp source, considers the main experimental setups influencing the fluorescence signature of some of the most commonly used BWA simulants. Our work represents a first step towards the implementation of a spectral database and a laser-based biological stand-off detection and identification technique.

  7. Multispectral analysis of biological agents to implement a quick tool for stand-off biological detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carestia, M.; Pizzoferrato, R.; Lungaroni, M.; Gabriele, J.; Ludovici, G. M.; Cenciarelli, O.; Gelfusa, M.; Murari, A.; Malizia, A.; Gaudio, P.

    2015-10-01

    With the aim of identifying an approach to exploit the differences in the fluorescence signatures of biological agents BAs, we have investigated the response of some BAs simulants to a set of different excitation wavelengths in the UV spectral range (i.e. 266, 273, 280, 300, 340, 355 nm). Our preliminary results on bacterial spores and vegetative forms, dispersed in water, showed that the differences in the fluorescence spectra can be enhanced, and more easily revealed, by using different excitation wavelengths. Specifically, the photo luminescence (PL) spectra coming from different species of Bacillus, in the form of spores (used as simulants of Bacillus anthracis), show significant differences under excitation at all the wavelengths, with slightly larger differences at 300, 340, 355 nm. On the other hand, the vegetative forms of two Bacillus species, did not show any appreciable difference, i.e. the PL spectra are virtually identical, for the excitation wavelengths of 266, 273, 280 nm. Conversely, small yet appreciable difference appear at 300, 340, 355 nm. Finally, large difference appear between the spore and the vegetative form of each species at all the wavelengths, with slightly larger variations at 300, 340, 355 nm. Together, these preliminary results support the hypothesis that a multi-wavelength approach could be used to improve the sensitivity and specificity of UV-LIF based BAs detection systems. The second step of this work concerns the application of a Support Vector Regression (SVR) method, as evaluated in our previous work to define a methodology for the setup of a multispectral database for the stand-off detection of BAs.

  8. Surfactant-Based Chemical and Biological Agent Decontaminating Solution Development

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-11-19

    10^8 4 PAA in uEm 10^8 8 (1) C10 Amine oxide (2) di-C10 Amine oxide ! Peracetic Acid (PAA) Found to Be an Effective Disinfectant Decon Conf 11-03...Utilize as Environmentally Green Reactant for Both Chemical and Biological Agents – Some Peracids Available in Neat Form ( Peracetic acid ) and In-Situ...Formulation Components – Peroxygen Compounds and Catalysts Oxidation of Calmagite Dye by Peracetic Acid TAML FeMB Catalyst 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 0 2 4 6

  9. Development of a persistent chemical agent simulation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A Persistent Chemical Agent Simulation System was developed (PCASS) to simulate, for force-on-force training exercises, the field environment produced by the presence of persistent chemical agents. Such a simulant system must satisfy several requirements to be of value as a training aid. Specifically, it must provide for realistic training which will generate competency in at least the following areas: (1) detection of the persistent agent presence; (2) proper use of protective equipment and procedures; (3) determination of the extent of contamination; and (4) decontamination of equipment and personnel.

  10. Micro-radiography of biological samples with medical contrast agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dammer, J.; Weyda, F.; Benes, J.; Sopko, V.; Gelbic, I.

    2013-12-01

    Micro-radiography is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to study the internal structures of objects. This fast and easy imaging tool is based on differential X-ray attenuation by various tissues and structures within biological samples. The experimental setup described is based on the semiconductor pixel X-ray detector Medipix2 and X-ray micro-focus tube. Our micro-radiographic system has been recently used not only for the examination of internal structures of various arthropods and other biological objects but also for tracing some processes in selected model species (we used living larvae of mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus). Low concentrations of iodine, lanthanum or gold particles were used as a tracer (contrast agent). Such contrast agents increase the absorption of X-rays and allow a better visibility of internal structures of model organisms (especially the various cavities, pores, etc.). In addition, the movement of tracers in selected timing experiments demonstrates some physiological functions of digestive and excretory system.

  11. Engineering simulations for cancer systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bown, James; Andrews, Paul S; Deeni, Yusuf; Goltsov, Alexey; Idowu, Michael; Polack, Fiona A C; Sampson, Adam T; Shovman, Mark; Stepney, Susan

    2012-11-01

    Computer simulation can be used to inform in vivo and in vitro experimentation, enabling rapid, low-cost hypothesis generation and directing experimental design in order to test those hypotheses. In this way, in silico models become a scientific instrument for investigation, and so should be developed to high standards, be carefully calibrated and their findings presented in such that they may be reproduced. Here, we outline a framework that supports developing simulations as scientific instruments, and we select cancer systems biology as an exemplar domain, with a particular focus on cellular signalling models. We consider the challenges of lack of data, incomplete knowledge and modelling in the context of a rapidly changing knowledge base. Our framework comprises a process to clearly separate scientific and engineering concerns in model and simulation development, and an argumentation approach to documenting models for rigorous way of recording assumptions and knowledge gaps. We propose interactive, dynamic visualisation tools to enable the biological community to interact with cellular signalling models directly for experimental design. There is a mismatch in scale between these cellular models and tissue structures that are affected by tumours, and bridging this gap requires substantial computational resource. We present concurrent programming as a technology to link scales without losing important details through model simplification. We discuss the value of combining this technology, interactive visualisation, argumentation and model separation to support development of multi-scale models that represent biologically plausible cells arranged in biologically plausible structures that model cell behaviour, interactions and response to therapeutic interventions.

  12. Evolution of cooperative behavior in simulation agents

    SciTech Connect

    Stroud, P.D.

    1998-04-01

    A simulated automobile factory paint shop is used as a testbed for exploring the emulation of human decision making behavior. A discrete events simulation of the paint shop as a collection of interacting Java actors is described. An evolutionary cognitive architecture is under development for building software actors to emulate humans in simulations of human dominated complex systems. In this paper, the cognitive architecture is extended by implementing a persistent population of trial behaviors with an incremental fitness valuation update strategy, and by allowing a group of cognitive actors to share information. A proof of principle demonstration is presented.

  13. Evolution of cooperative behavior in simulation agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroud, Phillip D.

    1998-03-01

    A simulated automobile factory paint shop is used as a testbed for exploring the emulation of human decision-making behavior. A discrete-events simulation of the paint shop as a collection of interacting Java actors is described. An evolutionary cognitive architecture is under development for building software actors to emulate humans in simulations of human- dominated complex systems. In this paper, the cognitive architecture is extended by implementing a persistent population of trial behaviors with an incremental fitness valuation update strategy, and by allowing a group of cognitive actors to share information. A proof-of-principle demonstration is presented.

  14. The use of contrast agent for imaging biological samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dammer, J.; Weyda, F.; Sopko, V.; Jakubek, J.

    2011-01-01

    The technique of X-ray transmission imaging has been available for over a century and is still among the fastest and easiest approaches to the studies of internal structure of biological samples. Recent advances in semiconductor technology have led to the development of new types of X-ray detectors with direct conversion of interacting X-ray photon to an electric signal. Semiconductor pixel detectors seem to be specially promising; compared to the film technique, they provide single-quantum and real-time digital information about the objects being studied. We describe the recently developed radiographic apparatus, equipped with Medipix2 semiconductor pixel detector. The detector is used as an imager that counts individual photons of ionizing radiation, emitted by an X-ray tube (micro- or nano-focus FeinFocus). Thanks to the wide dynamic range of the Medipix2 detector and its high spatial resolution better than 1μm, the setup is particularly suitable for radiographic imaging of small biological samples, including in-vivo observations with contrast agent (Optiray). Along with the description of the apparatus we provide examples of the use iodine contrast agent as a tracer in various insects as model organisms. The motivation of our work is to develop our imaging techniques as non-destructive and non-invasive. Microradiographic imaging helps detect organisms living in a not visible environment, visualize the internal biological processes and also to resolve the details of their body (morphology). Tiny live insects are an ideal object for our studies.

  15. Inactivation of biological agents using neutral oxone-chloride solutions.

    PubMed

    Delcomyn, Carrie A; Bushway, Karen E; Henley, Michael V

    2006-04-15

    Bleach solutions containing the active ingredient hypochlorite (OCl-) serve as powerful biological disinfectants but are highly caustic and present a significant compatibility issue when applied to contaminated equipment or terrain. A neutral, bicarbonate-buffered aqueous solution of Oxone (2K2HSO5.KHSO4.K2SO4) and sodium chloride that rapidly generates hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in situ was evaluated as a new alternative to bleach for the inactivation of biological agents. The solution produced a free chlorine (HOCl + OCl-) concentration of 3.3 g/L and achieved > or =5.8-log inactivation of spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Aspergillus niger, and Escherichia coli vegetative cells in 1 min at 22 degrees C. Seawaterwas an effective substitute for solid sodium chloride and inactivated 5 to 8 logs of each organism in 10 min over temperatures ranging from -5 degrees C to 55 degrees C. Sporicidal effectiveness increased as free chlorine concentrations shifted from OCl- to HOCl. Neutrally buffered Oxone-chloride and Oxone-seawater solutions are mitigation alternatives for biologically contaminated equipment and environments that would otherwise be decontaminated using caustic bleach solutions.

  16. Population pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling of biological agents: when modeling meets reality.

    PubMed

    Mould, Diane R; Frame, Bill

    2010-09-01

    The pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of many biological agents (biologics) have inherent complexities requiring specialized approaches to develop reliable, unbiased models. Three cases are covered: preponderance of zero values, nonresponder subpopulations, and adaptive dosing. Engineered biologics exhibit high affinity for target receptors. Biologics can saturate receptors, abolishing free receptor levels for protracted periods. Consequently, the distribution of observations can be heavy at, and near, the boundary. A 2-part model (ie, a truncated δ log-normal distribution) may be appropriate. Mixture models identify subpopulations based on bimodal or multimodal distributions of η values. With biologics, PD may be compromised because of lack of receptors, or the PD may be affected because of other events resulting in erratic excursions. Nonresponders exhibit a random walk-around placebo trajectory, resulting in high residual variability. The distributions of etas are often badly skewed or polymodal. An indescribable mixture model separates subjects who are nonresponders, providing diagnostic pharmacologic information on the drug. Many biologics use PD-based adaptive dosing. During model development, data used for model development include adaptive dosing. For simulation, adaptive dosing must be implemented. Failure to account for dose adjustments results in biased or inflated prediction intervals because subjects in the simulated data undergo inappropriate dose adjustments.

  17. Detection of nerve agents and biological molecules using embedded piezoresistive microcantilever sensors.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Timothy; Vail, Tim; Wooley, Amanda

    2008-03-01

    Embedded piezoresistive microcantilever (EPM) sensors have been used in the detection of a variety of analyte species. EPM sensors utilize a tiny piezoresistive microcantilever partially embedded into a sensing material to produce a sensing element that is compact, simple, resistant to movement and shock, and suitable for remote sensing applications. In the current project, we have used sensing materials comprised of an immobilizing polymer functionalized with either target enzymes or antibodies to detect two biological agents, bacillus globigi (BG) and Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP). DFP is an organophosphate used as a simulant for organophosphate nerve agents, while BG is a large bacterial spore used as a simulant for other bacterial spores such as bacillus anthracis. Sensing results are presented for both types of EPM sensors.

  18. Evaluating the STORE Reputation System in Multi-Agent Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrulis, Jonas; Haller, Jochen; Weinhardt, Christof; Karabulut, Yuecel

    In recent global business environments, collaborations among organisations raise an increased demand for swift establishment. Such collaborations are formed between organisations entering Virtual Organizations (VOs), crossing geographic borders and frequently without prior experience of the other partner’s previous performance. In VOs, every participant risks engaging with partners who may exhibit unexpected fraudulent or otherwise untrusted behaviour. In order to cope with this risk, the STochastic REputation system (STORE) was designed to provide swift, automated decision support for selecting partner organisations in the early stages of the VO’s formation. The contribution of this paper first consists of a multi-agent simulation framework design and implementation to evaluate the STORE reputation system. This framework is able to simulate dynamic agent behaviour, agents hereby representing organisations, and to capture the business context of different VO application scenarios. A configuration of agent classes is a powerful tool to obtain not only well or badly performing agents for simulation scenarios, but also agents which are specialized in particular VO application domains or even malicious agents, attacking the VO community. The second contribution comprises of STORE’s evaluation in two simulation scenarios, set in the VO application domains of Collaborative Engineering and Ad-hoc Service provisioning. Besides the ability to clearly distinguish between agents of different classes according to their reputation, the results prove STORE’s ability to take an agent’s dynamic behaviour into account. The simulation results show, that STORE solves the difficult task of selecting the most trustworthy partner for a particular VO application domain from a set of honest agents that are specialized in a wide spread of VO application domains.

  19. Calculated infrared spectra of nerve agents and simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mott, Adam J.; Rez, Peter

    2012-06-01

    Since organophosphorus nerve agents are among the most toxic known chemical warfare agents, it is desirable to have a way to distinguish between one and another. Infrared spectroscopy is a common tool for identifying molecules. Given the difficulty in handling these chemicals, calculated IR spectra can be useful. Calculated IR spectra are presented for G agents, V agents, and simulants. Quantum chemistry calculations were performed using the Gaussian 03 package at the B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p) level of theory. The most prominent IR lines are due to vibrations of Psbnd Osbnd C and Pdbnd O groups within the molecules. It should be possible to distinguish between the G-series and V-series agents using IR spectroscopy, but unique identification of individual chemical agents is unlikely.

  20. Engineered plant biomass particles coated with biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Dooley, James H.; Lanning, David N.

    2014-06-24

    Plant biomass particles coated with a biological agent such as a bacterium or seed, characterized by a length dimension (L) aligned substantially parallel to a grain direction and defining a substantially uniform distance along the grain, a width dimension (W) normal to L and aligned cross grain, and a height dimension (H) normal to W and L. In particular, the L.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel side surfaces characterized by substantially intact longitudinally arrayed fibers, the W.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel end surfaces characterized by crosscut fibers and end checking between fibers, and the L.times.W dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel top and bottom surfaces.

  1. 1,3,4-oxadiazole derivatives as potential biological agents.

    PubMed

    Sun, Juan; Makawana, Jigar A; Zhu, Hai-Liang

    2013-10-01

    The synthesis of novel compound libraries along with screening is a rapid and effective approach for the discovery of potential chemical agents, and it becomes an important method in pharmaceutical chemistry research. 1,3,4- oxadiazole derivatives as the typical heterocyclic compounds, exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities and vital leading compounds for the development of chemical drugs. Herein, we focus on the synthesis and screening of novel 1,3,4-oxadiazoles derivatives with antimicrobial, antitumor or antiviral activities during the past decade. In this review, we discussed the synthetic development of 1,3,4-oxadiazoles derivatives, and also the relevant bioactivity and their prospects as the potential chemical drugs.

  2. Identification of biological agents using surface enhanced Raman scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paxon, Tracy L.; Duthie, R. Scott; Renko, Casey; Burns, Andrew A.; Lesaicherre, Marie L.; Mondello, Frank J.

    2011-05-01

    GE Global Research Center, in collaboration with Morpho Detection, Inc. has developed an assay scheme for the identification of biological agents using Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS). Specifically, unique spectroscopic signatures are generated using SERS tags consisting of individual glass-encapsulated gold nanoparticles and surfacebound reporter molecules. These SERS tags are modified with a capture moiety specific to the antigen of interest, and serve as a spectroscopic label in a bead-based sandwich assay. Assays are being developed for a variety of pathogens and this paper will focus on aspects of assay development, optimization, stabilization and validation. Results on the development of an assay to detect Ricin toxin will be presented, and preliminary feasibility studies for the detection of additional pathogens will be discussed.

  3. Technological advancements for the detection of and protection against biological and chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Eubanks, Lisa M; Dickerson, Tobin J; Janda, Kim D

    2007-03-01

    There is a growing need for technological advancements to combat agents of chemical and biological warfare, particularly in the context of the deliberate use of a chemical and/or biological warfare agent by a terrorist organization. In this tutorial review, we describe methods that have been developed both for the specific detection of biological and chemical warfare agents in a field setting, as well as potential therapeutic approaches for treating exposure to these toxic species. In particular, nerve agents are described as a typical chemical warfare agent, and the two potent biothreat agents, anthrax and botulinum neurotoxin, are used as illustrative examples of potent weapons for which countermeasures are urgently needed.

  4. System integration and development for biological warfare agent surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mark, Jacob A.; Green, Lance D.; Deshpande, Alina; White, P. Scott

    2007-04-01

    A wide variety of technical needs exist for surveillance, monitoring, identifying, or detecting pathogens with potential use as biological terrorism or warfare agents. Because the needs vary greatly among diverse applications, tailored systems are needed that meet performance, information, and cost requirements. A systems perspective allows developers to identify chokepoints for each application, and focus R&D investments on the limiting factors. Surveillance and detection systems are comprised of three primary components: information (markers), chemistries (assays), and instrumentation for "readout". Careful consideration of these components within the context of each application will allow for increases in efficiency and performance not generally realized when researchers focus on a single component in isolation. In fact, many application requirements can be met with simple novel combinations of existing technologies, without the need for huge investments in basic research. Here we discuss some of the key parameters for surveillance, detection, and identification of biothreat agents, and provide examples of focused development that addresses key bottlenecks, and greatly improve system performance.

  5. The systems biology simulation core algorithm

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background With the increasing availability of high dimensional time course data for metabolites, genes, and fluxes, the mathematical description of dynamical systems has become an essential aspect of research in systems biology. Models are often encoded in formats such as SBML, whose structure is very complex and difficult to evaluate due to many special cases. Results This article describes an efficient algorithm to solve SBML models that are interpreted in terms of ordinary differential equations. We begin our consideration with a formal representation of the mathematical form of the models and explain all parts of the algorithm in detail, including several preprocessing steps. We provide a flexible reference implementation as part of the Systems Biology Simulation Core Library, a community-driven project providing a large collection of numerical solvers and a sophisticated interface hierarchy for the definition of custom differential equation systems. To demonstrate the capabilities of the new algorithm, it has been tested with the entire SBML Test Suite and all models of BioModels Database. Conclusions The formal description of the mathematics behind the SBML format facilitates the implementation of the algorithm within specifically tailored programs. The reference implementation can be used as a simulation backend for Java™-based programs. Source code, binaries, and documentation can be freely obtained under the terms of the LGPL version 3 from http://simulation-core.sourceforge.net. Feature requests, bug reports, contributions, or any further discussion can be directed to the mailing list simulation-core-development@lists.sourceforge.net. PMID:23826941

  6. Image simulation for biological microscopy: microlith

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Shalin B.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf

    2014-01-01

    Image simulation remains under-exploited for the most widely used biological phase microscopy methods, because of difficulties in simulating partially coherent illumination. We describe an open-source toolbox, microlith (https://code.google.com/p/microlith), which accurately predicts three-dimensional images of a thin specimen observed with any partially coherent imaging system, as well as images of coherently illuminated and self-luminous incoherent specimens. Its accuracy is demonstrated by comparing simulated and experimental bright-field and dark-field images of well-characterized amplitude and phase targets, respectively. The comparison provides new insights about the sensitivity of the dark-field microscope to mass distributions in isolated or periodic specimens at the length-scale of 10nm. Based on predictions using microlith, we propose a novel approach for detecting nanoscale structural changes in a beating axoneme using a dark-field microscope. PMID:24940543

  7. Cognitive Modeling for Agent-Based Simulation of Child Maltreatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiaolin; Puddy, Richard

    This paper extends previous work to develop cognitive modeling for agent-based simulation of child maltreatment (CM). The developed model is inspired from parental efficacy, parenting stress, and the theory of planned behavior. It provides an explanatory, process-oriented model of CM and incorporates causality relationship and feedback loops from different factors in the social ecology in order for simulating the dynamics of CM. We describe the model and present simulation results to demonstrate the features of this model.

  8. Chemiluminescence assay for the detection of biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Langry, K; Horn, J

    1999-11-05

    A chemiluminescent homogeneous immunoassay and a hand-size multiassay reader are described that could be used for detecting biological materials. The special feature of the assay is that it employs two different antibodies that each bind to a unique epitope on the same antigen. Each group of epitope-specific antibodies has linked to it an enzyme of a proximal-enzyme pair. One enzyme of the pair utilizes a substrate in high concentration to produce a second substrate required by the second enzyme. This new substrate enables the second enzyme to function. The reaction of the second enzyme is configured to produce light. This chemiluminescence is detected with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. The proximal pair enzymes must be in close proximity to one another to allow the second enzyme to react with the product of the first enzyme. This only occurs when the enzyme-linked antibodies are attached to the antigen, whether antigen is a single protein with multiple epitopes or the surface of a cell with a variety of different antigens. As a result of their juxtaposition, the enzymes produce light only in the presence of the biological material. A brief description is given as to how this assay could be utilized in a personal bio-agent detector system.

  9. Nomuraea rileyi as biological control agents of Rhipicephalus microplus tick.

    PubMed

    Perinotto, W M S; Terra, A L M; Angelo, I C; Fernandes, É K K; Golo, P S; Camargo, M G; Bittencourt, V R E P

    2012-10-01

    Nomuraea rileyi, a fungus pathogenic to insects, has been widely used for biological control of agricultural pests in Brazil. This study investigates the effects of N. rileyi, isolates Nr 138, Nr 151, and Nr 177, to eggs, larvae, and engorged females of Rhipicephalus microplus tick. Specimens were immersed in 1 ml of conidial suspension for 3 min, whereas the control group was immersed in 0.01% Tween 80 water solution. The isolate Nr 138 controlled 67.37% of ticks when the highest conidial concentration was used, 10(8) conidia ml(-1). The isolate Nr 177 significantly reduced the percentage of hatch of larvae from eggs treated with 10(8) conidia ml(-1). Conversely, the isolate Nr 151 was not virulent to eggs, larvae, or adults. Variability in virulence was observed among the N. rileyi isolates investigated in the current study-Nr 138 was more virulent to engorged females, while Nr 177 was more virulent to unfed larvae. Although N. rileyi proved to be virulent to several stages of R. microplus, the results obtained in this study indicate that N. rileyi does not appear to be a remarkable biological control agent for R. microplus.

  10. Agent-Based Simulations for Project Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, J. Chris; Sholtes, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, the most common approach used in project planning tools is the Critical Path Method (CPM). While this method was a great improvement over the basic Gantt chart technique being used at the time, it now suffers from three primary flaws: (1) task duration is an input, (2) productivity impacts are not considered , and (3) management corrective actions are not included. Today, computers have exceptional computational power to handle complex simulations of task e)(eculion and project management activities (e.g ., dynamically changing the number of resources assigned to a task when it is behind schedule). Through research under a Department of Defense contract, the author and the ViaSim team have developed a project simulation tool that enables more realistic cost and schedule estimates by using a resource-based model that literally turns the current duration-based CPM approach "on its head." The approach represents a fundamental paradigm shift in estimating projects, managing schedules, and reducing risk through innovative predictive techniques.

  11. High-throughput assay for optimising microbial biological control agent production and delivery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lack of technologies to produce and deliver effective biological control agents (BCAs) is a major barrier to their commercialization. A myriad of variables associated with BCA cultivation, formulation, drying, storage, and reconstitution processes complicates agent quality maximization. An efficie...

  12. Love-wave sensors combined with microfluidics for fast detection of biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Matatagui, Daniel; Fontecha, José Luis; Fernández, María Jesús; Gràcia, Isabel; Cané, Carles; Santos, José Pedro; Horrillo, María Carmen

    2014-07-15

    The following paper examines a time-efficient method for detecting biological warfare agents (BWAs). The method is based on a system of a Love-wave immunosensor combined with a microfluidic chip which detects BWA samples in a dynamic mode. In this way a continuous flow-through of the sample is created, promoting the reaction between antigen and antibody and allowing a fast detection of the BWAs. In order to prove this method, static and dynamic modes have been simulated and different concentrations of BWA simulants have been tested with two immunoreactions: phage M13 has been detected using the mouse monoclonal antibody anti-M13 (AM13), and the rabbit immunoglobulin (Rabbit IgG) has been detected using the polyclonal antibody goat anti-rabbit (GAR). Finally, different concentrations of each BWA simulants have been detected with a fast response time and a desirable level of discrimination among them has been achieved.

  13. Love-Wave Sensors Combined with Microfluidics for Fast Detection of Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Matatagui, Daniel; Fontecha, José Luis; Fernández, María Jesús; Gràcia, Isabel; Cané, Carles; Santos, José Pedro; Horrillo, María Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The following paper examines a time-efficient method for detecting biological warfare agents (BWAs). The method is based on a system of a Love-wave immunosensor combined with a microfluidic chip which detects BWA samples in a dynamic mode. In this way a continuous flow-through of the sample is created, promoting the reaction between antigen and antibody and allowing a fast detection of the BWAs. In order to prove this method, static and dynamic modes have been simulated and different concentrations of BWA simulants have been tested with two immunoreactions: phage M13 has been detected using the mouse monoclonal antibody anti-M13 (AM13), and the rabbit immunoglobulin (Rabbit IgG) has been detected using the polyclonal antibody goat anti-rabbit (GAR). Finally, different concentrations of each BWA simulants have been detected with a fast response time and a desirable level of discrimination among them has been achieved. PMID:25029282

  14. Teaching Basic Biological Simulation Techniques With the Programmable Calculator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, J. D.

    1972-01-01

    The programable calculator has great potential for the development of simulations which provide new dimensions to instruction in the biological sciences. Basic principles of both biology and simulation itself can be presented. An introductory course on digital computer simulation in biology is now taught at Michigan Technological University; the…

  15. [Biology of non-conventional transmissible agents or prions].

    PubMed

    Dormont, D

    1998-02-01

    Transmissible subacute spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are a group of human and animal diseases which includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Straüssler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), Kuru, fatal familial insomnia (FFI), scrapie in sheep and goat, mink and feline transmissible encephalopathy, chronic wasting disease, and bovine spongiforme encephalopathy (BSE). TSE are transmissible among individuals of the same species and some of different species. These diseases stem from a specific category of agents that have biological and physiochemical characteristics unlike other micro-organisms; they are known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agent (TSA), prions, or virinos. So far, despite considerable progress made in the molecular biology toward the understanding of neurological injury, the nature of the TSA/prions remains unknown. TSE are characterised by the pathognomic accumulation, within the central nervous system of the infected individual, of a normal protein from the host organism, the PrP (prion protein). Differences between the PrP isolated from normal individuals (PrP-c) and PrP isolated from infected individuals (PrP-res) have been investigated. There are no differences in the sequence in amino acids, and the secondary structure seems identical, but since normal PrP is totally degraded by proteinase K pathological PrP resists to enzymatic digestion. One can therefore describe two PrP isoforms: a normal isoform, the PrP-c (c for cellular), sensitive to proteinase K and present in the normal individual and in the infected patients or animals: and a pathological isoform, the PrP-res, resistant to proteinase K and present in amount proportional to the infectivity in the brains of infected individuals. The presence of TSA/prions is detectable in the spleens of infected animals early after inoculation; it is then present in the CNS following a period not exceeding a half of the total length of the experimental disease. In the CNS, PrP-res is the

  16. Applications of agent-based simulation for human socio-cultural behavior modeling.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hong; Karwowski, Waldemar; Ahram, Tareq Z

    2012-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) has gained wide attention over the past few years. ABMS is a powerful simulation modeling technique that has a number of applications, including applications to real-world business problems [1]. This modeling technique has been used by scientists to analyze complex system-level behavior by simulating the system from the bottom up. The major application of ABMS includes social, political, biology, and economic sciences. This paper provides an overview of ABMS applications with the emphasis on modeling human socio-cultural behavior (HSCB).

  17. Incorporating fault tolerance in distributed agent based systems by simulating bio-computing model of stress pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Arvind K.

    2006-05-01

    Bio-computing model of 'Distributed Multiple Intelligent Agents Systems' (BDMIAS) models agents as genes, a cooperating group of agents as operons - commonly regulated groups of genes, and the complex task as a set of interacting pathways such that the pathways involve multiple cooperating operons. The agents (or groups of agents) interact with each other using message passing and pattern based bindings that may reconfigure agent's function temporarily. In this paper, a technique has been described for incorporating fault tolerance in BDMIAS. The scheme is based upon simulating BDMIAS, exploiting the modeling of biological stress pathways, integration of fault avoidance, and distributed fault recovery of the crashed agents. Stress pathways are latent pathways in biological system that gets triggered very quickly, regulate the complex biological system by temporarily regulating or inactivating the undesirable pathways, and are essential to avoid catastrophic failures. Pattern based interaction between messages and agents allow multiple agents to react concurrently in response to single condition change represented by a message broadcast. The fault avoidance exploits the integration of the intelligent processing rate control using message based loop feedback and temporary reconfiguration that alters the data flow between functional modules within an agent, and may alter. The fault recovery exploits the concept of semi passive shadow agents - one on the local machine and other on the remote machine, dynamic polling of machines, logically time stamped messages to avoid message losses, and distributed archiving of volatile part of agent state on distributed machines. Various algorithms have been described.

  18. Automated 10-channel capillary chip immunodetector for biological agents detection.

    PubMed

    Yacoub-George, Erwin; Hell, Waltraud; Meixner, Leonhard; Wenninger, Franz; Bock, Karlheinz; Lindner, Petra; Wolf, Hans; Kloth, Tanja; Feller, Klaus A

    2007-02-15

    The automated 10-channel capillary chip immunodetector (10K-IDWG) is a prototype, which has been developed for automatically operated biological agents (BA) point detection. The current technology uses a chemiluminescence capillary immunoassay (EIA) technique in combination with integrated microfluidics and allows the highly sensitive and rapid detection and preliminary identification of multiple BA in aqueous solutions in the laboratory. The chemiluminescence capillary EIA are performed within a disposable capillary chip containing 10 fused-silica capillaries arranged in parallel coated with selected capture antibodies. A multianode-photomultiplier array is used to detect chemiluminescence intensity in each capillary. Reservoirs for reagents and buffers and a waste disposal reservoir are integrated. This paper describes the technology of the 10K-IDWG and its evaluation with three different BA, the toxin staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), the bacterial analyte Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 as a model for bacterial pathogens, and the bacteriophage M13 as a model for virus pathogens. The 10K-IDWG is able to detect the above mentioned three BA in an aqueous sample within 29 min (single analyte-detection and multiplexing). Limits of detection (LOD) are 0.1 ng/ml for SEB, 10(4)cfu/ml for E. coli O157:H7, and 5x10(5) pfu/ml for M13. Cross reactivities between the three assays were not observed.

  19. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil.

    PubMed

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  1. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    PubMed Central

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  2. Bioforensics: Characterization of biological weapons agents by NanoSIMS

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P K; Ghosal, S; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E; Hutcheon, I D

    2007-02-26

    The anthrax attacks of Fall 2001 highlight the need to develop forensic methods based on multiple identifiers to determine the origin of biological weapons agents. Genetic typing methods (i.e., DNA and RNA-based) provide one attribution technology, but genetic information alone is not usually sufficient to determine the provenance of the material. Non-genetic identifiers, including elemental and isotopic signatures, provide complementary information that can be used to identify the means, geographic location and date of production. Under LDRD funding, we have successfully developed the techniques necessary to perform bioforensic characterization with the NanoSIMS at the individual spore level. We have developed methods for elemental and isotopic characterization at the single spore scale. We have developed methods for analyzing spore sections to map elemental abundance within spores. We have developed rapid focused ion beam (FIB) sectioning techniques for spores to preserve elemental and structural integrity. And we have developed a high-resolution depth profiling method to characterize the elemental distribution in individual spores without sectioning. We used these newly developed methods to study the controls on elemental abundances in spores, characterize the elemental distribution of in spores, and to study elemental uptake by spores. Our work under this LDRD project attracted FBI and DHS funding for applied purposes.

  3. Modeling and simulating human teamwork behaviors using intelligent agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Xiaocong; Yen, John

    2004-12-01

    Among researchers in multi-agent systems there has been growing interest in using intelligent agents to model and simulate human teamwork behaviors. Teamwork modeling is important for training humans in gaining collaborative skills, for supporting humans in making critical decisions by proactively gathering, fusing, and sharing information, and for building coherent teams with both humans and agents working effectively on intelligence-intensive problems. Teamwork modeling is also challenging because the research has spanned diverse disciplines from business management to cognitive science, human discourse, and distributed artificial intelligence. This article presents an extensive, but not exhaustive, list of work in the field, where the taxonomy is organized along two main dimensions: team social structure and social behaviors. Along the dimension of social structure, we consider agent-only teams and mixed human-agent teams. Along the dimension of social behaviors, we consider collaborative behaviors, communicative behaviors, helping behaviors, and the underpinning of effective teamwork-shared mental models. The contribution of this article is that it presents an organizational framework for analyzing a variety of teamwork simulation systems and for further studying simulated teamwork behaviors.

  4. Agent 2003 Conference on Challenges in Social Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Margaret Clemmons, ed.

    2003-01-01

    Welcome to the Proceedings of the fourth in a series of agent simulation conferences cosponsored by Argonne National Laboratory and The University of Chicago. Agent 2003 is the second conference in which three Special Interest Groups from the North American Association for Computational Social and Organizational Science (NAACSOS) have been involved in planning the program--Computational Social Theory; Simulation Applications; and Methods, Toolkits and Techniques. The theme of Agent 2003, Challenges in Social Simulation, is especially relevant, as there seems to be no shortage of such challenges. Agent simulation has been applied with increasing frequency to social domains for several decades, and its promise is clear and increasingly visible. Like any nascent scientific methodology, however, it faces a number of problems or issues that must be addressed in order to progress. These challenges include: (1) Validating models relative to the social settings they are designed to represent; (2) Developing agents and interactions simple enough to understand but sufficiently complex to do justice to the social processes of interest; (3) Bridging the gap between empirically spare artificial societies and naturally occurring social phenomena; (4) Building multi-level models that span processes across domains; (5) Promoting a dialog among theoretical, qualitative, and empirical social scientists and area experts, on the one hand, and mathematical and computational modelers and engineers, on the other; (6) Using that dialog to facilitate substantive progress in the social sciences; and (7) Fulfilling the aspirations of users in business, government, and other application areas, while recognizing and addressing the preceding challenges. Although this list hardly exhausts the challenges the field faces, it does identify topics addressed throughout the presentations of Agent 2003. Agent 2003 is part of a much larger process in which new methods and techniques are applied to

  5. A mathematical framework for agent based models of complex biological networks.

    PubMed

    Hinkelmann, Franziska; Murrugarra, David; Jarrah, Abdul Salam; Laubenbacher, Reinhard

    2011-07-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation is a useful method to study biological phenomena in a wide range of fields, from molecular biology to ecology. Since there is currently no agreed-upon standard way to specify such models, it is not always easy to use published models. Also, since model descriptions are not usually given in mathematical terms, it is difficult to bring mathematical analysis tools to bear, so that models are typically studied through simulation. In order to address this issue, Grimm et al. proposed a protocol for model specification, the so-called ODD protocol, which provides a standard way to describe models. This paper proposes an addition to the ODD protocol which allows the description of an agent-based model as a dynamical system, which provides access to computational and theoretical tools for its analysis. The mathematical framework is that of algebraic models, that is, time-discrete dynamical systems with algebraic structure. It is shown by way of several examples how this mathematical specification can help with model analysis. This mathematical framework can also accommodate other model types such as Boolean networks and the more general logical models, as well as Petri nets.

  6. Solution of partial differential equations by agent-based simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szilagyi, Miklos N.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this short note is to demonstrate that partial differential equations can be quickly solved by agent-based simulation with high accuracy. There is no need for the solution of large systems of algebraic equations. This method is especially useful for quick determination of potential distributions and demonstration purposes in teaching electromagnetism.

  7. Agent-based simulation of a financial market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raberto, Marco; Cincotti, Silvano; Focardi, Sergio M.; Marchesi, Michele

    2001-10-01

    This paper introduces an agent-based artificial financial market in which heterogeneous agents trade one single asset through a realistic trading mechanism for price formation. Agents are initially endowed with a finite amount of cash and a given finite portfolio of assets. There is no money-creation process; the total available cash is conserved in time. In each period, agents make random buy and sell decisions that are constrained by available resources, subject to clustering, and dependent on the volatility of previous periods. The model proposed herein is able to reproduce the leptokurtic shape of the probability density of log price returns and the clustering of volatility. Implemented using extreme programming and object-oriented technology, the simulator is a flexible computational experimental facility that can find applications in both academic and industrial research projects.

  8. Evaluation of Persistence of Biological Agents in Landfill ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report This study was performed using surrogate test agents similar to BW agents, following the well-established hypothesis that, though the diversity of viral contaminants may be quite large, a limited list of viral surrogates can be chosen that qualitatively represent the likely BW threat agents of interest.

  9. Multi-agent-based bio-network for systems biology: protein-protein interaction network as an example.

    PubMed

    Ren, Li-Hong; Ding, Yong-Sheng; Shen, Yi-Zhen; Zhang, Xiang-Feng

    2008-10-01

    Recently, a collective effort from multiple research areas has been made to understand biological systems at the system level. This research requires the ability to simulate particular biological systems as cells, organs, organisms, and communities. In this paper, a novel bio-network simulation platform is proposed for system biology studies by combining agent approaches. We consider a biological system as a set of active computational components interacting with each other and with an external environment. Then, we propose a bio-network platform for simulating the behaviors of biological systems and modelling them in terms of bio-entities and society-entities. As a demonstration, we discuss how a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network can be seen as a society of autonomous interactive components. From interactions among small PPI networks, a large PPI network can emerge that has a remarkable ability to accomplish a complex function or task. We also simulate the evolution of the PPI networks by using the bio-operators of the bio-entities. Based on the proposed approach, various simulators with different functions can be embedded in the simulation platform, and further research can be done from design to development, including complexity validation of the biological system.

  10. Modeling Dispersion of Chemical-Biological Agents in Three Dimensional Living Space

    SciTech Connect

    William S. Winters

    2002-02-01

    This report documents a series of calculations designed to demonstrate Sandia's capability in modeling the dispersal of chemical and biological agents in complex three-dimensional spaces. The transport of particles representing biological agents is modeled in a single room and in several connected rooms. The influence of particle size, particle weight and injection method are studied.

  11. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: Back to the future.

    PubMed

    Lacey, L A; Grzywacz, D; Shapiro-Ilan, D I; Frutos, R; Brownbridge, M; Goettel, M S

    2015-11-01

    The development and use of entomopathogens as classical, conservation and augmentative biological control agents have included a number of successes and some setbacks in the past 1years. In this forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of integrated pest management strategies for control of arthropod pests of crops, forests, urban habitats, and insects of medical and veterinary importance. Insect pathogenic viruses are a fruitful source of microbial control agents (MCAs), particularly for the control of lepidopteran pests. Most research is focused on the baculoviruses, important pathogens of some globally important pests for which control has become difficult due to either pesticide resistance or pressure to reduce pesticide residues. Baculoviruses are accepted as safe, readily mass produced, highly pathogenic and easily formulated and applied control agents. New baculovirus products are appearing in many countries and gaining an increased market share. However, the absence of a practical in vitro mass production system, generally higher production costs, limited post application persistence, slow rate of kill and high host specificity currently contribute to restricted use in pest control. Overcoming these limitations are key research areas for which progress could open up use of insect viruses to much larger markets. A small number of entomopathogenic bacteria have been commercially developed for control of insect pests. These include several Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species, Lysinibacillus (Bacillus) sphaericus, Paenibacillus spp. and Serratia entomophila. B. thuringiensis sub-species kurstaki is the most widely used for control of pest insects of crops and forests, and B. thuringiensis sub-species israelensis and L. sphaericus are the primary pathogens used for control of medically important pests including dipteran vectors. These pathogens

  12. Deciphering endophyte behaviour: the link between endophyte biology and efficacious biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Card, Stuart; Johnson, Linda; Teasdale, Suliana; Caradus, John

    2016-08-01

    Endophytes associate with the majority of plant species found in natural and managed ecosystems. They are regarded as extremely important plant partners that provide improved stress tolerance to the host compared with plants that lack this symbiosis. Fossil records of endophytes date back more than 400 million years, implicating these microorganisms in host plant adaptation to habitat transitions. However, it is only recently that endophytes, and their bioactive products, have received meaningful attention from the scientific community. The benefits some endophytes can confer on their hosts include plant growth promotion and survival through the inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms and invertebrate pests, the removal of soil contaminants, improved tolerance of low fertility soils, and increased tolerance of extreme temperatures and low water availability. Endophytes are extremely diverse and can exhibit many different biological behaviours. Not all endophyte technologies have been successfully commercialised. Of interest in the development of the next generation of plant protection products is how much of this is due to the biology of the particular endophytic microorganism. In this review, we highlight selected case studies of endophytes and discuss their lifestyles and behavioural traits, and discuss how these factors contribute towards their effectiveness as biological control agents.

  13. Diabetes insipidus as a complication of Wegener's granulomatosis and its treatment with biologic agents.

    PubMed

    Cunnington, Joanna Rosalind; Jois, Ramesh; Zammit, Ivan; Scott, David; Isaacs, John

    2009-01-01

    Wegener's granulomatosis of the pituitary gland resulting in diabetes insipidus is a rare complication of the disease. Standard treatment for Wegener's granulomatosis involves a combination of prednisolone and cylophosphamide, however biologic agents are now being used in refractory cases. We report three cases of patients with diabetes insipidus as a complication of Wegener's granulomatosis who were treated with biologic agents. All three cases showed clinical response to treatment with biologic agents including rituximab and alemtuzumab and two cases demonstrated improvement in pituitary gland abnormalities by MRI. Clinicians should be aware that diabetes insipidus can present as a complication of Wegener's granulomatosis and that biologic therapies may be effective in refractory cases.

  14. Simulation of economic agents interaction in a trade chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimanova, I. A.; Dulesov, A. S.; Litvin, N. V.

    2017-01-01

    The mathematical model of economic agents interaction is offered in the work. It allowsconsidering the change of price and sales volumesin dynamics according to the process of purchase and sale in the single-product market of the trade and intermediary network. The description of data-flow processes is based on the use of the continuous dynamic market model. The application of ordinary differential equations during the simulation allows one to define areas of coefficients - characteristics of agents - and to investigate their interaction in a chain on stability.

  15. Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks Using Chemical and Biological Agents: An Assessment Framework and Preliminary Comparisons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-05-20

    Warfare Agents, op. cit.; and the Health Canada Material Safety Data Sheet - Infectious Substances for Rickettsia rickettsii , found online at [http...cns.miis.edu/research/cbw/possess.htm]. Biological Agent Comparison Potential biological agents include the many bacteria and viruses that induce...barriers to their acquisition, regardless of the legality of such a transfer. In contrast, salmonella bacteria would be easy to obtain from natural

  16. Detection of Chemical/Biological Agents and Stimulants using Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Harmon, S.H.; Hart, K.J.; Vass, A.A.; Wise, M.B.; Wolf, D.A.

    1999-06-14

    Detection of Chemical/Biological Agents and Simulants A new detector for chemical and biological agents is being developed for the U. S. Army under the Chemical and Biological Mass Spectrometer Block II program. The CBMS Block II is designed to optimize detection of both chemical and biological agents through the use of direct sampling inlets [I], a multi- ported sampling valve and a turbo- based vacuum system to support chemical ionization. Unit mass resolution using air as the buffer gas [2] has been obtained using this design. Software to control the instrument and to analyze the data generated from the instrument has also been newly developed. Detection of chemical agents can be accomplished. using the CBMS Block II design via one of two inlets - a l/ I 6'' stainless steel sample line -Chemical Warfare Air (CW Air) or a ground probe with enclosed capillary currently in use by the US Army - CW Ground. The Block II design is capable of both electron ionization and chemical ionization. Ethanol is being used as the Cl reagent based on a study indicating best performance for the Biological Warfare (BW) detection task (31). Data showing good signal to noise for 500 pg of methyl salicylate injected into the CW Air inlet, 50 ng of dimethylmethylphosphonate exposed to the CW Ground probe and 5 ng of methyl stearate analyzed using the pyrolyzer inlet were presented. Biological agents are sampled using a ''bio-concentrator'' unit that is designed to concentrate particles in the low micron range. Particles are collected in the bottom of a quartz pyrolyzer tube. An automated injector is being developed to deliver approximately 2 pL of a methylating reagent, tetramethylamonium- hydroxide to 'the collected particles. Pyrolysis occurs by rapid heating to ca. 55OOC. Biological agents are then characterized by their fatty acid methyl ester profiles and by other biomarkers. A library of ETOH- Cl/ pyrolysis MS data of microorganisms used for a recently published study [3] has been

  17. Multi-Agent Flight Simulation with Robust Situation Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Eric N.; Hansman, R. John, Jr.

    1994-01-01

    A robust situation generation architecture has been developed that generates multi-agent situations for human subjects. An implementation of this architecture was developed to support flight simulation tests of air transport cockpit systems. This system maneuvers pseudo-aircraft relative to the human subject's aircraft, generating specific situations for the subject to respond to. These pseudo-aircraft maneuver within reasonable performance constraints, interact in a realistic manner, and make pre-recorded voice radio communications. Use of this system minimizes the need for human experimenters to control the pseudo-agents and provides consistent interactions between the subject and the pseudo-agents. The achieved robustness of this system to typical variations in the subject's flight path was explored. It was found to successfully generate specific situations within the performance limitations of the subject-aircraft, pseudo-aircraft, and the script used.

  18. Biological soil crusts: a fundamental organizing agent in global drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem function is profoundly affected by plant community composition, which is ultimately determined by factors that govern seed retention. Dryland ecosystems constitute ~35% of terrestrial surfaces, with most soils in these regions covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), a community whose autotrophs are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Studies at 550 sites revealed that plant community composition was controlled by the interaction among biocrust type, disturbance regime, and external morphology of seeds. In bare soils (due to disturbance), all seed types were present in the seedbank and plant community. As biocrusts became better developed (i.e., the cover of lichens and mosses increased), they more strongly filtered out seeds with appendages. Thus, soils under late successional biocrusts contained seedbanks dominated by smooth seeds and vascular plants growing in late successional biocrusts were dominated by those with smooth seeds. Therefore, the tension between the removal of biocrusts by soil surface disturbance and their recovery creates a shifting mosaic of plant patch types in both space and time. Because changes in vascular plant communities reverberate throughout both below ground and above ground food webs and thus affect multiple trophic levels, we propose that biocrusts are a fundamental organizing agent in drylands worldwide. Future increased demand for resources will intensify land use both temporally and spatially, resulting in an increased rate of biocrust loss across larger areas. As a result, we can expect shifts in the composition and distribution of plant communities, accompanied by concomitant changes in many aspects of dryland ecosystems. Conceptual model of shifting dryland plant mosaics through space and time. Within the large circles, soil surface type changes with time in the same space, going from bare uncrusted soil (B) to cyanobacterial biocrust (C) to lichen/moss (L/M) biocrust. Disturbance (D) drives the

  19. [Main direction of harmonization of Russian and international requirements on providing of biological safety when handling pathogenic biological agents].

    PubMed

    Dobrokhotskiĭ, O N; Diatlov, A I

    2013-01-01

    The actuality of harmonization of Russian and international requirements when handling with pathogenic biological agents (PBA) is caused by the need to ensure biological security on the basis of control of biorisks. One of the basic conditions for harmonization is development and implementation of the Russian standard for biorisk management based on international standard CWA 15793:2008.

  20. Fiber-optic microsphere-based arrays for multiplexed biological warfare agent detection.

    PubMed

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun; Walt, David R

    2006-02-15

    We report a multiplexed high-density DNA array capable of rapid, sensitive, and reliable identification of potential biological warfare agents. An optical fiber bundle containing 6000 individual 3.1-mum-diameter fibers was chemically etched to yield microwells and used as the substrate for the array. Eighteen different 50-mer single-stranded DNA probes were covalently attached to 3.1-mum microspheres. Probe sequences were designed for Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, Brucella melitensis, Clostridium botulinum, Vaccinia virus, and one biological warfare agent (BWA) simulant, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki. The microspheres were distributed into the microwells to form a randomized multiplexed high-density DNA array. A detection limit of 10 fM in a 50-microL sample volume was achieved within 30 min of hybridization for B. anthracis, Y. pestis, Vaccinia virus, and B. thuringiensis kurstaki. We used both specific responses of probes upon hybridization to complementary targets as well as response patterns of the multiplexed array to identify BWAs with high accuracy. We demonstrated the application of this multiplexed high-density DNA array for parallel identification of target BWAs in spiked sewage samples after PCR amplification. The array's miniaturized feature size, fabrication flexibility, reusability, and high reproducibility may enable this array platform to be integrated into a highly sensitive, specific, and reliable portable instrument for in situ BWA detection.

  1. Remote chemical biological and explosive agent detection using a robot-based Raman detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Charles W.; Wentworth, Rachel; Treado, Patrick J.; Batavia, Parag; Gilbert, Gary

    2008-04-01

    Current practice for the detection of chemical, biological and explosive (CBE) agent contamination on environmental surfaces requires a human to don protective gear, manually take a sample and then package it for subsequent laboratory analysis. Ground robotics now provides an operator-safe way to make these critical measurements. We describe the development of a robot-deployed surface detection system for CBE agents that does not require the use of antibodies or DNA primers. The detector is based on Raman spectroscopy, a reagentless technique that has the ability to simultaneously identify multiple chemical and biological hazards. Preliminary testing showed the ability to identify CBE simulants in 10 minutes or less. In an operator-blind study, this detector was able to correctly identify the presence of trace explosive on weathered automobile body panels. This detector was successfully integrated on a highly agile robot platform capable of both high speed and rough terrain operation. The detector is mounted to the end of five-axis arm that allows precise interrogation of the environmental surfaces. The robot, arm and Raman detector are JAUS compliant, and are controlled via a radio link from a single operator control unit. Results from the integration testing and from limited field trials are presented.

  2. Comparison and Analysis of Biological Agent Category Lists Based On Biosafety and Biodefense

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Deqiao; Zheng, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Biological agents pose a serious threat to human health, economic development, social stability and even national security. The classification of biological agents is a basic requirement for both biosafety and biodefense. We compared and analyzed the Biological Agent Laboratory Biosafety Category list and the defining criteria according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the European Union (EU) and China. We also compared and analyzed the Biological Agent Biodefense Category list and the defining criteria according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, the EU and Russia. The results show some inconsistencies among or between the two types of category lists and criteria. We suggest that the classification of biological agents based on laboratory biosafety should reduce the number of inconsistencies and contradictions. Developing countries should also produce lists of biological agents to direct their development of biodefense capabilities.To develop a suitable biological agent list should also strengthen international collaboration and cooperation. PMID:24979754

  3. Use of biologic agents in combination with other therapies for the treatment of psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Cather, Jennifer C; Crowley, Jeffrey J

    2014-12-01

    Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder, which is associated with a significant negative impact on a patient's quality of life. Traditional therapies for psoriasis are often not able to meet desired treatment goals, and high-dose and/or long-term use is associated with toxicities that can result in end-organ damage. An improved understanding of the involvement of cytokines in the etiology of psoriasis has led to the development of biologic agents targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukins (ILs)-12/23. While biologic agents have improved treatment outcomes, they are not effective in all individuals with psoriasis. The combination of biologic agents with traditional therapies may provide improved therapeutic options for patients who inadequately respond to a single drug or when efficacy may be increased with supplementation of another treatment. In addition, combination therapy may reduce safety concerns and cumulative toxicity, as lower doses of individual agents may be efficacious when used together. This article reviews the current evidence available on the efficacy and safety of combining biologic agents with systemic therapies (methotrexate, cyclosporine, or retinoids) or with phototherapy, and the combination of biologic agents themselves. Guidance is provided to help physicians identify situations and the characteristics of patients who would benefit from combination therapy with a biologic agent. Finally, the potential clinical impact of biologic therapies in development (e.g., those targeting IL-17A, IL-17RA, or IL-23 alone) is analyzed.

  4. COST ESTIMATES FOR PROVIDING BIOLOGICAL AGENT PROTECTION TO FALLOUT SHELTERS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    CIVIL DEFENSE , SHELTERS , BIOLOGICAL WARFARE, DECONTAMINATION, COOLING AND VENTILATING EQUIPMENT, AIR FILTERS, BUILDINGS, UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES, CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERES, PRESSURE, CONSTRUCTION, FEASIBILITY STUDIES.

  5. At the Biological Modeling and Simulation Frontier

    PubMed Central

    Ropella, Glen E. P.; Lam, Tai Ning; Tang, Jonathan; Kim, Sean H. J.; Engelberg, Jesse A.; Sheikh-Bahaei, Shahab

    2009-01-01

    We provide a rationale for and describe examples of synthetic modeling and simulation (M&S) of biological systems. We explain how synthetic methods are distinct from familiar inductive methods. Synthetic M&S is a means to better understand the mechanisms that generate normal and disease-related phenomena observed in research, and how compounds of interest interact with them to alter phenomena. An objective is to build better, working hypotheses of plausible mechanisms. A synthetic model is an extant hypothesis: execution produces an observable mechanism and phenomena. Mobile objects representing compounds carry information enabling components to distinguish between them and react accordingly when different compounds are studied simultaneously. We argue that the familiar inductive approaches contribute to the general inefficiencies being experienced by pharmaceutical R&D, and that use of synthetic approaches accelerates and improves R&D decision-making and thus the drug development process. A reason is that synthetic models encourage and facilitate abductive scientific reasoning, a primary means of knowledge creation and creative cognition. When synthetic models are executed, we observe different aspects of knowledge in action from different perspectives. These models can be tuned to reflect differences in experimental conditions and individuals, making translational research more concrete while moving us closer to personalized medicine. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11095-009-9958-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:19756975

  6. Agent-based model of angiogenesis simulates capillary sprout initiation in multicellular networks.

    PubMed

    Walpole, J; Chappell, J C; Cluceru, J G; Mac Gabhann, F; Bautch, V L; Peirce, S M

    2015-09-01

    Many biological processes are controlled by both deterministic and stochastic influences. However, efforts to model these systems often rely on either purely stochastic or purely rule-based methods. To better understand the balance between stochasticity and determinism in biological processes a computational approach that incorporates both influences may afford additional insight into underlying biological mechanisms that give rise to emergent system properties. We apply a combined approach to the simulation and study of angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from existing networks. This complex multicellular process begins with selection of an initiating endothelial cell, or tip cell, which sprouts from the parent vessels in response to stimulation by exogenous cues. We have constructed an agent-based model of sprouting angiogenesis to evaluate endothelial cell sprout initiation frequency and location, and we have experimentally validated it using high-resolution time-lapse confocal microscopy. ABM simulations were then compared to a Monte Carlo model, revealing that purely stochastic simulations could not generate sprout locations as accurately as the rule-informed agent-based model. These findings support the use of rule-based approaches for modeling the complex mechanisms underlying sprouting angiogenesis over purely stochastic methods.

  7. Development of a Persistent Chemical Agent Simulator System (PCASS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcginness, W. G.

    1983-01-01

    The development of a persistent chemical agent simulation system (PCASS) is described. This PCASS is to be used for the military training of troops to simulate actual chemical warfare. The purpose of this system is to facilitate in the determination of chemical contamination and effectiveness of decontamination for training purposes. The fluorescent tracer employed has no daylight activation, but yet is easily removed with a decontaminate solution or water and surfactants. Also employed is a time delayed color developing system. When an individual is subjected to the PCASS and does not decontaminate adequately, red blotches or red coloration will develop as a function of time and temperature. The intent of this is to simulate the delayed chemical reaction of mustard contaminates.

  8. Radiation-Neutralization of Stored Biological Warfare Agents with Low-Yield Nuclear Warheads

    SciTech Connect

    Kruger, H.

    2000-08-21

    MCNP Monte Carlo radiation transport computations were performed exploring the capability of low-yield nuclear fusion and fission warheads to neutralize biological warfare agents with the radiation dose deposited in the agent by the prompt neutron output. The calculations were done for various typical storage configurations on the ground in the open air or in a warehouse building. This application of nuclear weapons is motivated by the observation that, for some military scenarios, the nuclear collateral effects area is much smaller than the area covered with unacceptable concentrations of biological agent dispersed by the use of conventional high explosive warheads. These calculations show that biological agents can be radiation-neutralized by low-yield nuclear warheads over areas that are sufficiently large to be useful for military strikes. This report provides the calculated doses within the stored agent for various ground ranges and heights-of-burst.

  9. Beyond efficacy: Challenges in the selection of safe bacterial biological control agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The search for new biological control agents often begins with screening in vitro for activity against target pathogens, followed by greenhouse or field assays. Physiological, biochemical, and phylogenetic analyses frequently are not undertaken until much later, after considerable investment already...

  10. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: back to the future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the past 15 years a number of successes and setbacks have taken place regarding development and use of microbial control agents. In this Forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of entomopathogenic virus, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of i...

  11. Flexible carbon nanotube sensors for nerve agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cattanach, Kyle; Kulkarni, Rashmi D.; Kozlov, Mikhail; Manohar, Sanjeev K.

    2006-08-01

    Chemiresistor-based vapour sensors made from network films of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) bundles on flexible plastic substrates (polyethylene terephthalate, PET) can be used to detect chemical warfare agent simulants for the nerve agents Sarin (diisopropyl methylphosphonate, DIMP) and Soman (dimethyl methylphosphonate, DMMP). Large, reproducible resistance changes (75-150%), are observed upon exposure to DIMP or DMMP vapours, and concentrations as low as 25 ppm can be detected. Robust sensor response to simulant vapours is observed even in the presence of large equilibrium concentrations of interferent vapours commonly found in battle-space environments, such as hexane, xylene and water (10 000 ppm each), suggesting that both DIMP and DMMP vapours are capable of selectively displacing other vapours from the walls of the SWNTs. Response to these interferent vapours can be effectively filtered out by using a 2 µm thick barrier film of the chemoselective polymer polyisobutylene (PIB) on the SWNT surface. These network films are composed of a 1-2 µm thick non-woven mesh of SWNT bundles (15-30 nm diameter), whose sensor response is qualitatively and quantitatively different from previous studies on individual SWNTs, or a network of individual SWNTs, suggesting that vapour sorption at interbundle sites could be playing an important role. This study also shows that the line patterning method used in device fabrication to obtain any desired pattern of films of SWNTs on flexible substrates can be used to rapidly screen simulants at high concentrations before developing more complicated sensor systems.

  12. Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks Using Chemical and Biological Agents: An Assessment Framework and Preliminary Comparisons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-06-23

    Rickettsia rickettsii , found online at [http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/msds-ftss/msds129e.html]. w Information on Escherichia coli O157:H7 is...research/cbw/possess.htm]. Biological Agent Comparison Potential biological agents include the many bacteria and viruses that induce disease in human...their acquisition, regardless of the legality of such a transfer. In contrast, salmonella bacteria would be easy to obtain from natural sources and

  13. Biology and preliminary host range assessment of two potential kudzu biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Frye, Matthew J; Hough-Goldstein, Judith; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2007-12-01

    Two insect species from China, Gonioctena tredecimmaculata (Jacoby) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Ornatalcides (Mesalcidodes) trifidus (Pascoe) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), were studied in quarantine in the United States as potential biological control agents for kudzu, Pueraria montana variety lobata (Willd.) Maesen and S. Almeida. Adults of G. tredecimmaculata were ovoviviparous and reproduced throughout the summer, producing offspring that had an obligate adult diapause. In no-choice tests, adult and larval G. tredecimmaculata rejected most of the plant species tested, but consumed foliage and completed their life cycle on soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) and on a native woodland plant, hog-peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata L. Fernald), which are in the same subtribe as kudzu (Glycininae). Insects showed similar responses to field- and greenhouse-grown soybean and kudzu foliage, despite measurable differences in leaf traits: field-grown foliage of both plants had greater leaf toughness, higher total carbon content, higher trichome density, and lower water content than greenhouse foliage. O. trifidus adults also rejected most of the plants tested but fed on and severely damaged potted soybean and hog-peanut plants in addition to kudzu. Further tests in China are needed to determine whether these species will accept nontarget host plants under open-field conditions.

  14. Impact of release rates on the effectiveness of augmentative biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W

    2007-01-01

    To access the effect of augmentative biological control agents, 31 articles were reviewed that investigated the impact of release rates of 35 augmentative biological control agents on the control of 42 arthropod pests. In 64% of the cases, the release rate of the biological control agent did not significantly affect the density or mortality of the pest insect. Results where similar when parasitoids or predators were utilized as the natural enemy. Within any order of natural enemy, there were more cases where release rates did not affect augmentative biological control than cases where release rates were significant. There were more cases in which release rates did not affect augmentative biological control when pests were from the orders Hemiptera, Acari, or Diptera, but not with pests from the order Lepidoptera. In most cases, there was an optimal release rate that produced effective control of a pest species. This was especially true when predators were used as a biological control agent. Increasing the release rate above the optimal rate did not improve control of the pest and thus would be economically detrimental. Lower release rates were of ten optimal when biological control was used in conjunction with insecticides. In many cases, the timing and method of biological control applications were more significant factors impacting the effectiveness of biological control than the release rate. Additional factors that may limit the relative impact of release rates include natural enemy fecundity, establishment rates, prey availability, dispersal, and cannibalism.

  15. Impact of Release Rates on the Effectiveness of Augmentative Biological Control Agents

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, David W.

    2007-01-01

    To access the effect of augmentative biological control agents, 31 articles were reviewed that investigated the impact of release rates of 35 augmentative biological control agents on the control of 42 arthropod pests. In 64% of the cases, the release rate of the biological control agent did not significantly affect the density or mortality of the pest insect. Results where similar when parasitoidsor predators were utilized as the natural enemy. Within any order of natural enemy, there were more cases where release rates did not affect augmentative biological control than cases where release rates were significant. There were more cases in which release rates did not affect augmentative biological control when pests were from the orders Hemiptera, Acari, or Diptera, but not with pests from the order Lepidoptera. In most cases, there was an optimal release rate that produced effective control of a pest species. This was especially true when predators were used as a biological control agent. Increasing the release rate above the optimal rate did not improve control of the pest and thus would be economically detrimental. Lower release rates were of ten optimal when biological control was used in conjunction with insecticides. In many cases, the timing and method of biological control applications were more significant factors impacting the effectiveness of biological control than the release rate. Additional factors that may limit the relative impact of release rates include natural enemy fecundity, establishment rates, prey availability, dispersal, and cannibalism. PMID:20307240

  16. Portable Raman instrument for rapid biological agent detection and identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesaicherre, Marie L.; Paxon, Tracy L.; Mondello, Frank J.; Burrell, Michael C.; Linsebigler, Amy

    2009-05-01

    The rapid and sensitive identification of biological species is a critical need for the 1st responder and military communities. Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for substance identification that has gained popularity with the respective communities due to the increasing availability of portable Raman spectrometers. Attempts to use Raman spectroscopy for the direct identification of biological pathogens has been hindered by the complexity of the generated Raman spectrum. We report here the use of a sandwich immunoassay containing antibody modified magnetic beads to capture and concentrate target analytes in solution and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) tags conjugated with these same antibodies for specific detection. Using this approach, the biological complexity of a microorganism can be translated into chemical simplicity and Raman can be used for the identification of biological pathogens. The developed assay has a low limit of detection due to the SERS effect, robust to commonly found white powders interferants, and stable at room temperature over extended period of time. This assay is being implemented into a user-friendly interface to be used in conjunction with the GE Homeland Protection StreetLab MobileTM Raman instrument for rapid, field deployable chemical and biological identification.

  17. Use of Multi-Criteria Decision Making for Selecting Chemical Agent Simulants for Testing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-06-01

    Protection Specific Test Application -Swatch, Chamber, and Field Testing -Swatch Permeation Agents of Interest, and form of dissemination...Use of Multi-Criteria Decision Making for Selecting Chemical Agent Simulants for Testing Presentation to the 76th MORS Symposium Working Group 2...could be potential simulants • Information Sources used: – Chemical Databases ( Agent /Simulant Knowledgebase [ASK], Beilstein) – Previous test

  18. Biological agents with potential for misuse: a historical perspective and defensive measures.

    PubMed

    Bhalla, Deepak K; Warheit, David B

    2004-08-15

    Biological and chemical agents capable of producing serious illness or mortality have been used in biowarfare from ancient times. Use of these agents has progressed from crude forms in early and middle ages, when snakes and infected cadavers were used as weapons in battles, to sophisticated preparations for use during and after the second World War. Cults and terrorist organizations have attempted the use of biological agents with an aim to immobilize populations or cause serious harm. The reasons for interest in these agents by individuals and organizations include relative ease of acquisition, potential for causing mass casualty or panic, modest financing requirement, availability of technology, and relative ease of delivery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Critical Biological Agents into three major categories. This classification was based on several criteria, which include severity of impact on human health, potential for delivery in a weapon, capacity to cause panic and special needs for development, and stockpiling of medication. Agents that could cause the greatest harm following deliberate use were placed in category A. Category B included agents capable of producing serious harm and significant mortality but of lower magnitude than category A agents. Category C included emerging pathogens that could be developed for mass dispersion in future and their potential as a major health threat. A brief description of the category A bioagents is included and the pathophysiology of two particularly prominent agents, namely anthrax and smallpox, is discussed in detail. The potential danger from biological agents and their ever increasing threat to human populations have created a need for developing technologies for their early detection, for developing treatment strategies, and for refinement of procedures to ensure survival of affected individuals so as to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating the threat from intentional use of

  19. Anti-tick biological control agents: assessment and future perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Samish, M.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Glazer, I.; Bowman, Alan. S.; Nuttall, Patricia A.

    2008-01-01

    Widespread and increasing resistance to most available acaracides threatens both global livestock industries and public health. This necessitates better understanding of ticks and the diseases they transmit in the development of new control strategies. Ticks: Biology, Disease and Control is written by an international collection of experts and covers in-depth information on aspects of the biology of the ticks themselves, various veterinary and medical tick-borne pathogens, and aspects of traditional and potential new control methods. A valuable resource for graduate students, academic researchers and professionals, the book covers the whole gamut of ticks and tick-borne diseases from microsatellites to satellite imagery and from exploiting tick saliva for therapeutic drugs to developing drugs to control tick populations. It encompasses the variety of interconnected fields impinging on the economically important and biologically fascinating phenomenon of ticks, the diseases they transmit and methods of their control.

  20. Fluctuation-Enhanced Sensing for Biological Agent Detection and Identification

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    introduced for gas sensing [1-3,5-7], the principle allows virtually the sensing of any chemical or physical agent. In the case of gas sensing, the...Dept. of Experimental Physics , Dom ter 9, Szeged, H-6720, Hungary (email: gingl@physx.u-szeged.hu). C.G. Granqvist is with Uppsala University, Angstrom...corresponding classical sensing scheme cannot be used. ii) Rule of thumb: The usual sensor signal, which is the average value of a physical quantity, has

  1. Autonomous Agent-Based Simulation of a Model Simulating the Human Air-Threat Assessment Process

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-01

    multi - agent system (MAS) technology and is implemented in Java programming language. This research is a portion of Red Intent Project whose goal is to ultimately implement a model to predict the intent of any given track in the environment. For any air track in the simulation, two sets of agents are created, one for controlling track actions and one for predicting its identity and intent based on information received from track, the geopolitical situation and intelligence. The simulation is also capable of identifying coordinated actions between air tracks. We

  2. Multi-Agent simulation of generation capacity expansion decisions.

    SciTech Connect

    Botterud, A.; Mahalik, M.; Conzelmann, G.; Silva, R.; Vilela, S.; Pereira, R.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we use a multi-agent simulation model, EMCAS, to analyze generation expansion in the Iberian electricity market. The expansion model simulates generation investment decisions of decentralized generating companies (GenCos) interacting in a complex, multidimensional environment. A probabilistic dispatch algorithm calculates prices and profits for new candidate units in different future states of the system. Uncertainties in future load, hydropower conditions, and competitorspsila actions are represented in a scenario tree, and decision analysis is used to identify the optimal expansion decision for each individual GenCo. We run the model using detailed data for the Iberian market. In a scenario analysis, we look at the impact of market design variables, such as the energy price cap and carbon emission prices. We also analyze how market concentration and GenCospsila risk preferences influence the timing and choice of new generating capacity.

  3. Biological Activities of Fusarochromanone: a Potent Anti-cancer Agent

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-03

    anti-angiogenic properties of FC101, we used the MS1 mouse microvascular endo- thelial cell line, which was selected for its high VEGFR2 expression...and Physics , LSU Shreveport, One University Place, Shreveport, LA 71115, USA. 2Department of Biological Science, LSU Shreveport, Shreveport, USA

  4. Combination therapy of biologics with traditional agents in psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Guenther, Lyn C

    2011-06-01

    Although biologics are very efficacious as monotherapy in patients with psoriasis, combination treatment with traditional systemic and topical therapies may increase the speed of onset and enhance efficacy without significant additional toxicity. In contrast, in psoriatic arthritis, the addition of methotrexate to anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha therapy does not enhance efficacy in either the skin or joints.

  5. Integrating the Agents of Bioterrorism into the General Biology Curriculum: II. Mode of Action of the Biological Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pommerville, Jeffrey C.

    2003-01-01

    Integrates bioterrorism into the science curriculum and explains actions against serious agents such as anthrax, plague, smallpox, botulinum toxin, and ricin toxin. Uses the learning cycle as the instructional tool which is student-centered and has three phases that include exploring, explaining, and extending. (Contains 24 references.) (YDS)

  6. Water-driven micromotors for rapid photocatalytic degradation of biological and chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Jinxing; Singh, Virendra V; Sattayasamitsathit, Sirilak; Orozco, Jahir; Kaufmann, Kevin; Dong, Renfeng; Gao, Wei; Jurado-Sanchez, Beatriz; Fedorak, Yuri; Wang, Joseph

    2014-11-25

    Threats of chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA) represent a serious global concern and require rapid and efficient neutralization methods. We present a highly effective micromotor strategy for photocatalytic degradation of CBWA based on light-activated TiO2/Au/Mg microspheres that propel autonomously in natural water and obviate the need for external fuel, decontaminating reagent, or mechanical agitation. The activated TiO2/Au/Mg micromotors generate highly reactive oxygen species responsible for the efficient destruction of the cell membranes of the anthrax simulant Bacillus globigii spore, as well as rapid and complete in situ mineralization of the highly persistent organophosphate nerve agents into nonharmful products. The water-driven propulsion of the TiO2/Au/Mg micromotors facilitates efficient fluid transport and dispersion of the photogenerated reactive oxidative species and their interaction with the CBWA. Coupling of the photocatalytic surface of the micromotors and their autonomous water-driven propulsion thus leads to a reagent-free operation which holds a considerable promise for diverse "green" defense and environmental applications.

  7. PERMANENCE OF BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS IN MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILL LEACHATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this work is to permit EPA/ORD's National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center to collaborate together to test the permanence of biological and chemical warfare agents in municipal solid waste landfills. Research into ...

  8. Indirect ecological effects in invaded landscapes: Spillover and spillback from biological control agents to native analogues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control remains an effective option for managing large-scale weed problems in natural areas. The predation or parasitism of biological control agents by other species present in the introduced range (biotic resistance) is well studied and is often cited as the cause for a lack of establis...

  9. Plant-mediated interactions: considerations for agent selection in weed biological control programs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-mediated indirect interactions among herbivores (arthropods and pathogens) are common and extensively reported in the ecological literature. However, they are not well-documented with respect to weed biological control. Such interactions between biological control agents can have net positive...

  10. Current levels of suppression of waterhyacinth in Florida by classical biological control agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Waterhyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, has been a global target for classical biological control efforts for decades. In Florida, herbicides are the primary tactic employed, usually without regard for the activities of the three biological control agents introduced intentionally during the 1970's, na...

  11. Biologically Hazardous Agents at Work and Efforts to Protect Workers' Health: A Review of Recent Reports

    PubMed Central

    Rim, Kyung-Taek; Lim, Cheol-Hong

    2014-01-01

    Because information on biological agents in the workplace is lacking, biological hazard analyses at the workplace to securely recognize the harmful factors with biological basis are desperately needed. This review concentrates on literatures published after 2010 that attempted to detect biological hazards to humans, especially workers, and the efforts to protect them against these factors. It is important to improve the current understanding of the health hazards caused by biological factors at the workplace. In addition, this review briefly describes these factors and provides some examples of their adverse health effects. It also reviews risk assessments, protection with personal protective equipment, prevention with training of workers, regulations, as well as vaccinations. PMID:25180133

  12. Effect of Atmospheric Background Aerosols on Biological Agent Detectors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA Chemical and Biological Sensor Standards Study. 32 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Laboratory, JBPDS...the Research Program on BW Detection, Space General, AD480357, 1966. (U) The goal of this project was to examine the effects of background...that relied on detection of chemiluminescence resulting from a chemical reaction UNCLASSIFIED 8 UNCLASSIFIED with luminal and porphyrin4. During

  13. [A short history of anti-rheumatic therapy--VII. Biological agents].

    PubMed

    Pasero, G; Marson, P; Gatto, B

    2011-11-09

    The introduction of biological agents has been a major turning-point in the treatment of rheumatic diseases, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis. This review describes the principle milestones that have led, through the knowledge of the structure and functions of nucleic acids, to the development of production techniques of the three major families of biological agents: proteins, monoclonal antibodies and fusion proteins. A brief history has also been traced of the cytokines most involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IL-1 and TNF) and the steps which have led to the use of the main biological drugs in rheumatology: anakinra, infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept and rituximab.

  14. Molecular modeling studies on nucleoside hydrolase from the biological warfare agent Brucella suis.

    PubMed

    Mancini, Daiana T; Matos, Karina S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; Assis, Tamiris M; Guimarães, Ana P; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2012-01-01

    Brucella suis is a dangerous biological warfare agent already used for military purposes. This bacteria cause brucellosis, a zoonosis highly infective and difficult to fight. An important selective target for chemotherapy against this disease is nucleoside hydrolase (NH), an enzyme still not found in mammals. We present here the first three-dimensional structure of B. suis NH (BsNH) and propose this enzyme as a molecular target to the drug design in the fight against brucellosis. In addition, we performed molecular docking studies, aiming to analyze the three-dimensional positioning of nine known inhibitors of Chritidia fasciculata NH (CfNH) in the active sites of BsNH and CfNH. We also analyzed the main interactions of some of these compounds inside the active site of BsNH and the relevant factors to biological activity. These results, together with further molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, pointed out to the most promising compound as lead for the design of potential inhibitors of BsNH. Most of the docking and MD results corroborated to each other and the docking results also suggested a good correlation with experimental data.

  15. BSim: an agent-based tool for modeling bacterial populations in systems and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Gorochowski, Thomas E; Matyjaszkiewicz, Antoni; Todd, Thomas; Oak, Neeraj; Kowalska, Kira; Reid, Stephen; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira T; Savery, Nigel J; Grierson, Claire S; di Bernardo, Mario

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale collective behaviors such as synchronization and coordination spontaneously arise in many bacterial populations. With systems biology attempting to understand these phenomena, and synthetic biology opening up the possibility of engineering them for our own benefit, there is growing interest in how bacterial populations are best modeled. Here we introduce BSim, a highly flexible agent-based computational tool for analyzing the relationships between single-cell dynamics and population level features. BSim includes reference implementations of many bacterial traits to enable the quick development of new models partially built from existing ones. Unlike existing modeling tools, BSim fully considers spatial aspects of a model allowing for the description of intricate micro-scale structures, enabling the modeling of bacterial behavior in more realistic three-dimensional, complex environments. The new opportunities that BSim opens are illustrated through several diverse examples covering: spatial multicellular computing, modeling complex environments, population dynamics of the lac operon, and the synchronization of genetic oscillators. BSim is open source software that is freely available from http://bsim-bccs.sf.net and distributed under the Open Source Initiative (OSI) recognized MIT license. Developer documentation and a wide range of example simulations are also available from the website. BSim requires Java version 1.6 or higher.

  16. Comparing stochastic differential equations and agent-based modelling and simulation for early-stage cancer.

    PubMed

    Figueredo, Grazziela P; Siebers, Peer-Olaf; Owen, Markus R; Reps, Jenna; Aickelin, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    There is great potential to be explored regarding the use of agent-based modelling and simulation as an alternative paradigm to investigate early-stage cancer interactions with the immune system. It does not suffer from some limitations of ordinary differential equation models, such as the lack of stochasticity, representation of individual behaviours rather than aggregates and individual memory. In this paper we investigate the potential contribution of agent-based modelling and simulation when contrasted with stochastic versions of ODE models using early-stage cancer examples. We seek answers to the following questions: (1) Does this new stochastic formulation produce similar results to the agent-based version? (2) Can these methods be used interchangeably? (3) Do agent-based models outcomes reveal any benefit when compared to the Gillespie results? To answer these research questions we investigate three well-established mathematical models describing interactions between tumour cells and immune elements. These case studies were re-conceptualised under an agent-based perspective and also converted to the Gillespie algorithm formulation. Our interest in this work, therefore, is to establish a methodological discussion regarding the usability of different simulation approaches, rather than provide further biological insights into the investigated case studies. Our results show that it is possible to obtain equivalent models that implement the same mechanisms; however, the incapacity of the Gillespie algorithm to retain individual memory of past events affects the similarity of some results. Furthermore, the emergent behaviour of ABMS produces extra patters of behaviour in the system, which was not obtained by the Gillespie algorithm.

  17. The biology of the combretastatins as tumour vascular targeting agents

    PubMed Central

    TOZER, GILLIAN M; KANTHOU, CHRYSO; PARKINS, CHARLES S; HILL, SALLY A

    2002-01-01

    The tumour vasculature is an attractive target for therapy. Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) and A-1 (CA-1) are tubulin binding agents, structurally related to colchicine, which induce vascular-mediated tumour necrosis in animal models. CA-1 and CA-4 were isolated from the African bush willow, Combretum caffrum, and several synthetic analogues are also now available, such as the Aventis Pharma compound, AVE8062. More soluble, phosphated, forms of CA-4 (CA-4-P) and CA-1 (CA-1-P) are commonly used for in vitro and in vivo studies. These are cleaved to the natural forms by endogenous phosphatases and are taken up into cells. The lead compound, CA-4-P, is currently in clinical trial as a tumour vascular targeting agent. In animal models, CA-4-P causes a prolonged and extensive shut-down of blood flow in established tumour blood vessels, with much less effect in normal tissues. This paper reviews the current understanding of the mechanism of action of the combretastatins and their therapeutic potential. PMID:12059907

  18. A medicoeconomic review of early intervention with biologic agents in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases

    PubMed Central

    Odes, Shmuel; Greenberg, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease with standard therapy fails to control the disease in many patients. Biologic therapy has an increasing role in altering the natural history of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and is improving patient prognosis. However, indications for treatment and issues with drug costs and value for money remain unclear. Also, when to perform early intervention with biologic agents is at present unclear. We performed an extensive literature search and review to address these issues. The biologics provide better care for many patients. The choice of biologic agent, the indications for its use, the switch between agents, and the considerations of cost are outlined, with a view to guiding the treating physician in managing these cases. Outstanding issues and anticipated future developments are defined. PMID:25336980

  19. Simulation Exercises for Environmental Biology Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomlinson, Ralph

    1976-01-01

    Three examples of simulation exercises which require no special apparatus or materials are described. All are intended to be used with senior classes in secondary education but can be adapted for use with other groups. A list of requirements for setting up each simulation is appended. (Author/EB)

  20. A unified biological modeling and simulation system for analyzing biological reaction networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Seok Jong; Tung, Thai Quang; Park, Junho; Lim, Jongtae; Yoo, Jaesoo

    2013-12-01

    In order to understand the biological response in a cell, a researcher has to create a biological network and design an experiment to prove it. Although biological knowledge has been accumulated, we still don't have enough biological models to explain complex biological phenomena. If a new biological network is to be created, integrated modeling software supporting various biological models is required. In this research, we design and implement a unified biological modeling and simulation system, called ezBioNet, for analyzing biological reaction networks. ezBioNet designs kinetic and Boolean network models and simulates the biological networks using a server-side simulation system with Object Oriented Parallel Accelerator Library framework. The main advantage of ezBioNet is that a user can create a biological network by using unified modeling canvas of kinetic and Boolean models and perform massive simulations, including Ordinary Differential Equation analyses, sensitivity analyses, parameter estimates and Boolean network analysis. ezBioNet integrates useful biological databases, including the BioModels database, by connecting European Bioinformatics Institute servers through Web services Application Programming Interfaces. In addition, we employ Eclipse Rich Client Platform, which is a powerful modularity framework to allow various functional expansions. ezBioNet is intended to be an easy-to-use modeling tool and a simulation system for understanding the control mechanism by monitoring the change of each component in a biological network. The simulation result can be managed and visualized on ezBioNet, which is available free of charge at http://ezbionet.sourceforge.net or http://ezbionet.cbnu.ac.kr.

  1. Synthesis, biological evaluation of chrysin derivatives as potential immunosuppressive agents.

    PubMed

    Lv, Peng-Cheng; Cai, Tian-Tian; Qian, Yong; Sun, Juan; Zhu, Hai-Liang

    2011-01-01

    A series of novel chrysin derivatives was firstly synthesized and evaluated on their immunosuppressive activity in the search for potential immunosuppressive agents. Among them, compounds 5c displayed the most potent immunosuppressive inhibitory activity with IC(50) of 0.78 μM, which was comparable to that of cyclosporin A (IC(50) = 0.06 μM). The preliminary mechanism of compound 5c inhibition effects was also detected by flow cytometry (FCM), and the compound exerted immunosuppressive activity via inducing the apoptosis of activated lymph node cells in a dose dependent manner. Furthermore, the estimated LD(50) (in mg/kg) in vivo of compound 5c is 738.2, which indicated that compound 5c was low toxic.

  2. Biological Activity of Coumarin Derivatives as Anti-Leishmanial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Mandlik, Vineetha; Patil, Sohan; Bopanna, Ramanamurthy; Basu, Sudipta; Singh, Shailza

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis affects nearly 0.7 to 1.3 million people annually. Treatment of this disease is difficult due to lack of appropriate medication and the growing problem of drug resistance. Natural compounds such as coumarins serve as complementary therapeutic agents in addition to the current treatment modalities. In this study, we have performed an in-silico screening of the coumarin derivatives and their anti-leishmanial properties has been explored both in-vitro and in-vivo. One of the compounds (compound 2) exhibited leishmanicidal activity and to further study its properties, nanoliposomal formulation of the compound was developed. Treatment of cutaneous lesions in BALB/c mice with compound 2 showed significantly reduced lesion size as compared to the untreated mice (p<0.05) suggesting that compound 2 may possess anti-leishmanial properties. PMID:27768694

  3. The biology and chemistry of antifungal agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Kathiravan, Muthu K; Salake, Amol B; Chothe, Aparna S; Dudhe, Prashik B; Watode, Rahul P; Mukta, Maheshwar S; Gadhwe, Sandeep

    2012-10-01

    In recent years their has been an increased use of antifungal agents and has resulted in the development of resistance to drugs. Currently, use of standard antifungal therapies can be limited because of toxicity, low efficacy rates. Different types of mechanisms contribute to the development of resistance to antifungals. This has given raise to search for a new heterocycle with distinct action or multitargeted combination therapy. This review addresses the areas such as the underlying mechanisms, eight different targets such as ergosterol synthesis, chitin synthesis, ergosterol disruptors, glucan synthesis, squalene epoxidase, nucleic acid synthesis, protein synthesis, microtubules synthesis. The clinically employed drugs along with the current research work going on worldwide on different heterocycles are discussed. In recent advances various heterocycles including imidazole, benzimidazole etc., twenty three scaffolds and their lead identification are discussed.

  4. The Fractal Simulation Of Biological Shapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickover, Clifford A.

    1989-04-01

    This paper provides a light introduction to simple graphics techniques for visualizing a large class of biological shapes generated from recursive algorithms. In order to capture some of the structural richness inherent in organisms, the algorithms produce not only extreme variability but also a high level of organization. The material primarily comes from previous published works of the author. For a general background on fractal methods in mathematics and science, see Mandelbrot's famous book. For research on the fractal characterization of other biological structures, such as the lung's bronchial tree and the surfaces of protein molecules.

  5. Agent-based modeling to simulate the dengue spread

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Chengbin; Tao, Haiyan; Ye, Zhiwei

    2008-10-01

    In this paper, we introduce a novel method ABM in simulating the unique process for the dengue spread. Dengue is an acute infectious disease with a long history of over 200 years. Unlike the diseases that can be transmitted directly from person to person, dengue spreads through a must vector of mosquitoes. There is still no any special effective medicine and vaccine for dengue up till now. The best way to prevent dengue spread is to take precautions beforehand. Thus, it is crucial to detect and study the dynamic process of dengue spread that closely relates to human-environment interactions where Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) effectively works. The model attempts to simulate the dengue spread in a more realistic way in the bottom-up way, and to overcome the limitation of ABM, namely overlooking the influence of geographic and environmental factors. Considering the influence of environment, Aedes aegypti ecology and other epidemiological characteristics of dengue spread, ABM can be regarded as a useful way to simulate the whole process so as to disclose the essence of the evolution of dengue spread.

  6. Oxidative decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents using L-Gel.

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen; McGuire, Raymond

    2002-08-05

    A decontamination method has been developed using a single reagent that is effective both against chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents. The new reagent, "L-Gel", consists of an aqueous solution of a mild commercial oxidizer, Oxone, together with a commercial fumed silica gelling agent, Cab-O-Sil EH-5. L-Gel is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, relatively non-corrosive, maximizes contact time because of its thixotropic nature, clings to walls and ceilings, and does not harm carpets or painted surfaces. The new reagent also addresses the most demanding requirements for decontamination in the civilian sector, including availability, low maintenance, ease of application and deployment by a variety of dispersal mechanisms, minimal training and acceptable expense. Experiments to test the effectiveness of L-Gel were conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and independently at four other locations. L-Gel was tested against all classes of chemical warfare agents and against various biological warfare agent surrogates, including spore-forming bacteria and non-virulent strains of real biological agents. Testing showed that L-Gel is as effective against chemical agents and biological materials, including spores, as the best military decontaminants.

  7. Mass spectrometry in identification of ecotoxicants including chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Lebedev, Albert T

    2005-09-01

    Mass spectrometry is a unique tool to detect and identify trace levels of organic and bioorganic compounds as well as microorganisms in the environment. The range of potential chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents is very broad. An important advantage of mass spectrometry over other techniques involves potential for full spectrum detection of chemical and biological agents including mid-spectrum materials (i.e. bioactive peptides, toxins, etc.) for which biological approaches are inadequate. Being very fast (seconds and minutes), extremely sensitive (zeptomoles 10(-21)), and informative (detailed qualitative and quantitative composition of mixtures containing hundreds of chemicals), mass spectrometry is a principal analytical tool at the sites of destruction of CW. Due to its unique features, mass spectrometry is applied not only for the detection of CW agents, but for the analysis of products of metabolism and degradation of these agents in organisms or environment as well. The present paper deals with some examples of successful application of mass spectrometry for the analyses of ecotoxicants, chemical warfare agents, explosives, and microorganisms including biology warfare agents.

  8. Mass spectrometry in identification of ecotoxicants including chemical and biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Lebedev, Albert T. . E-mail: lebedev@org.chem.msu.ru

    2005-09-01

    Mass spectrometry is a unique tool to detect and identify trace levels of organic and bioorganic compounds as well as microorganisms in the environment. The range of potential chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents is very broad. An important advantage of mass spectrometry over other techniques involves potential for full spectrum detection of chemical and biological agents including mid-spectrum materials (i.e. bioactive peptides, toxins, etc.) for which biological approaches are inadequate. Being very fast (seconds and minutes), extremely sensitive (zeptomoles 10{sup -21}), and informative (detailed qualitative and quantitative composition of mixtures containing hundreds of chemicals), mass spectrometry is a principal analytical tool at the sites of destruction of CW. Due to its unique features, mass spectrometry is applied not only for the detection of CW agents, but for the analysis of products of metabolism and degradation of these agents in organisms or environment as well. The present paper deals with some examples of successful application of mass spectrometry for the analyses of ecotoxicants, chemical warfare agents, explosives, and microorganisms including biology warfare agents.

  9. Airborne exposure limits for chemical and biological warfare agents: is everything set and clear?

    PubMed

    Sabelnikov, Alex; Zhukov, Vladimir; Kempf, C Ruth

    2006-08-01

    Emergency response strategies (guidelines) for biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological terrorist events should be based on scientifically established exposure limits for all the agents or materials involved. In the case of a radiological terrorist event, emergency response guidelines (ERG) have been worked out. In the case of a terrorist event with the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents the situation is not that clear, though the new guidelines and clean-up values are being generated based on re-evaluation of toxicological and risk data. For biological warfare (BW) agents, such guidelines do not yet exist. In this paper the current status of airborne exposure limits (AELs) for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents are reviewed. Particular emphasis is put on BW agents that lack such data. An efficient, temporary solution to bridge the gap in experimental infectious data and to set provisional AELs for BW agents is suggested. It is based on mathematically generated risks of infection for BW agents grouped by their alleged ID50 values in three categories: with low, intermediate and high ID50 values.

  10. Principles for modeling and functional simulation of biological microstructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kriete, Andres

    1997-04-01

    This paper discusses some aspects of computer based modeling of biological microstructures. The workflow tom model and simulate a biological structure is described as a feedback- loop. Beside the system definition by structural and dynamical properties, the simulation is discussed as a mathematical representation coupled with a computer visualization. As an example, the investigation of the functional behavior of lung structures is described with special emphasis to the modeling of respiratory units.

  11. Agent-based modeling: Methods and techniques for simulating human systems

    PubMed Central

    Bonabeau, Eric

    2002-01-01

    Agent-based modeling is a powerful simulation modeling technique that has seen a number of applications in the last few years, including applications to real-world business problems. After the basic principles of agent-based simulation are briefly introduced, its four areas of application are discussed by using real-world applications: flow simulation, organizational simulation, market simulation, and diffusion simulation. For each category, one or several business applications are described and analyzed. PMID:12011407

  12. Using Agent Based Modeling (ABM) to Develop Cultural Interaction Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drucker, Nick; Jones, Phillip N.

    2012-01-01

    Today, most cultural training is based on or built around "cultural engagements" or discrete interactions between the individual learner and one or more cultural "others". Often, success in the engagement is the end or the objective. In reality, these interactions usually involve secondary and tertiary effects with potentially wide ranging consequences. The concern is that learning culture within a strict engagement context might lead to "checklist" cultural thinking that will not empower learners to understand the full consequence of their actions. We propose the use of agent based modeling (ABM) to collect, store, and, simulating the effects of social networks, promulgate engagement effects over time, distance, and consequence. The ABM development allows for rapid modification to re-create any number of population types, extending the applicability of the model to any requirement for social modeling.

  13. Multi-agent simulation of generation expansion in electricity markets.

    SciTech Connect

    Botterud, A; Mahalik, M. R.; Veselka, T. D.; Ryu, H.-S.; Sohn, K.-W.; Decision and Information Sciences; Korea Power Exchange

    2007-06-01

    We present a new multi-agent model of generation expansion in electricity markets. The model simulates generation investment decisions of decentralized generating companies (GenCos) interacting in a complex, multidimensional environment. A probabilistic dispatch algorithm calculates prices and profits for new candidate units in different future states of the system. Uncertainties in future load, hydropower conditions, and competitors actions are represented in a scenario tree, and decision analysis is used to identify the optimal expansion decision for each individual GenCo. We test the model using real data for the Korea power system under different assumptions about market design, market concentration, and GenCo's assumed expectations about their competitors investment decisions.

  14. Synthesis and biological evaluation of acridine derivatives as antimalarial agents.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiao-Min; Ramiandrasoa, Florence; Guetzoyan, Lucie; Pradines, Bruno; Quintino, Edgar; Gadelle, Daniele; Forterre, Patrick; Cresteil, Thierry; Mahy, Jean-Pierre; Pethe, Stéphanie

    2012-04-01

    New N-alkylaminoacridine derivatives attached to nitrogen heterocycles were synthesized, and their antimalarial potency was examined. They were tested in vitro against the growth of Plasmodium falciparum, including chloroquine (CQ)-susceptible and CQ-resistant strains. This biological evaluation has shown that the presence of a heterocyclic ring significantly increases the activity against P. falciparum. The best compound shows a nanomolar IC(50) value toward parasite proliferation on both CQ-susceptible and CQ-resistant strains. The antimalarial activity of these new acridine derivatives can be explained by the two mechanisms studied in this work. First, we showed the capacity of these compounds to inhibit heme biocrystallization, a detoxification process specific to the parasite and essential for its survival. Second, in our search for alternative targets, we evaluated the in vitro inhibitory activity of these compounds toward Sulfolobus shibatae topoisomerase VI-mediated DNA relaxation. The preliminary results obtained reveal that all tested compounds are potent DNA intercalators, and significantly inhibit the activity of S. shibatae topoisomerase VI at concentrations ranging between 2.0 and 2.5 μM.

  15. Method and apparatus for the gas phase decontamination of chemical and biological agents

    DOEpatents

    O'Neill, Hugh J.; Brubaker, Kenneth L.

    2003-10-07

    An apparatus and method for decontaminating chemical and biological agents using the reactive properties of both the single atomic oxygen and the hydroxyl radical for the decontamination of chemical and biological agents. The apparatus is self contained and portable and allows for the application of gas reactants directly at the required decontamination point. The system provides for the use of ultraviolet light of a specific spectral range to photolytically break down ozone into molecular oxygen and hydroxyl radicals where some of the molecular oxygen is in the first excited state. The excited molecular oxygen will combine with water vapor to produce two hydroxyl radicals.

  16. Biology of the galling wasp, Tetramesa romana, a biological control agent of giant reed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biology of the gall-forming wasp, Tetramesa romana Walker (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), from southern France and Spain was studied for biological control of giant reed (Arundo donax L.), an exotic and invasive riparian weed in the U.S. Females developed eggs parthenogenetically and deposited them...

  17. When Do We Simulate Non-Human Agents? Dissociating Communicative and Non-Communicative Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liepelt, Roman; Prinz, Wolfgang; Brass, Marcel

    2010-01-01

    There is strong evidence that we automatically simulate observed behavior in our motor system. Previous research suggests that this simulation process depends on whether we observe a human or a non-human agent. Measuring a motor priming effect, this study investigated the question of whether agent-sensitivity of motor simulation depends on the…

  18. Unit testing, model validation, and biological simulation

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Mark D.; Ghayoomie, S. Vahid; Larson, Stephen D.; Gerkin, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    The growth of the software industry has gone hand in hand with the development of tools and cultural practices for ensuring the reliability of complex pieces of software. These tools and practices are now acknowledged to be essential to the management of modern software. As computational models and methods have become increasingly common in the biological sciences, it is important to examine how these practices can accelerate biological software development and improve research quality. In this article, we give a focused case study of our experience with the practices of unit testing and test-driven development in OpenWorm, an open-science project aimed at modeling Caenorhabditis elegans. We identify and discuss the challenges of incorporating test-driven development into a heterogeneous, data-driven project, as well as the role of model validation tests, a category of tests unique to software which expresses scientific models. PMID:27635225

  19. Is there potential for therapeutic drug monitoring of biologic agents in rheumatoid arthritis?

    PubMed

    Bastida, Carla; Ruíz, Virginia; Pascal, Mariona; Yagüe, Jordi; Sanmartí, Raimon; Soy, Dolors

    2016-12-19

    The use of biologics has significantly changed the management of rheumatoid arthritis over the last decade, becoming the cornerstone treatment for many patients. The current therapeutic arsenal consists of just under 10 biologic agents, with four different mechanisms of action. Several studies have demonstrated a large interindividual pharmacokinetic variability, which translates to unpredictability in clinical response among individuals. The present review focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of biologic agents approved for rheumatoid arthritis. The literature relating to their concentration-effect relationship and the use of pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling to optimize drug regimens is analysed. Due to the scarcity and complexity of these studies, the current dosing strategy is based on clinical indexes/aspects. In general, dose individualization for biologics should be implemented increasingly in clinical practice as there is a direct benefit for treated rheumatoid arthritis patients. Moreover, there is an indirect benefit in terms of cost-effectiveness.

  20. Mortality follow-up of veterans who participated in military chemical and biological warfare agent testing between 1962 and 1972.

    PubMed

    Kang, Han K; Bullman, Tim

    2009-01-01

    Between 1962 and 1972, several thousand U.S. Navy personnel participated in Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense). These tests potentially exposed participants to either active chemical or biological warfare agents or their simulants. This study examined mortality risk associated with participating in SHAD tests by comparing the cause-specific mortality of 4927 SHAD veterans to that of 10,927 other Navy veterans. Compared to other Navy veterans, SHAD veterans had an increased risk of overall mortality, which was due primarily to heart disease deaths.

  1. Agent-Based Crowd Simulation Considering Emotion Contagion for Emergency Evacuation Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faroqi, H.; Mesgari, M.-S.

    2015-12-01

    During emergencies, emotions greatly affect human behaviour. For more realistic multi-agent systems in simulations of emergency evacuations, it is important to incorporate emotions and their effects on the agents. In few words, emotional contagion is a process in which a person or group influences the emotions or behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotion states and behavioral attitudes. In this study, we simulate an emergency situation in an open square area with three exits considering Adults and Children agents with different behavior. Also, Security agents are considered in order to guide Adults and Children for finding the exits and be calm. Six levels of emotion levels are considered for each agent in different scenarios and situations. The agent-based simulated model initialize with the random scattering of agent populations and then when an alarm occurs, each agent react to the situation based on its and neighbors current circumstances. The main goal of each agent is firstly to find the exit, and then help other agents to find their ways. Numbers of exited agents along with their emotion levels and damaged agents are compared in different scenarios with different initialization in order to evaluate the achieved results of the simulated model. NetLogo 5.2 is used as the multi-agent simulation framework with R language as the developing language.

  2. Adherence to guidelines in the use of biological agents to treat psoriasis in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Silveira, Miriam Sanches do Nascimento; de Camargo, Iara Alves; Osorio-de-Castro, Claudia Garcia Serpa; Barberato-Filho, Silvio; Del Fiol, Fernando de Sá; Guyatt, Gordon; de Camargo, Mayara Costa; Lopes, Luciane Cruz

    2014-01-01

    Objective In São Paolo, Brazil, patients can appeal to the courts, registering law suits against the government claiming the need for biological agents for treatment of psoriasis. If the lawsuits are successful, which is usually the case, the government then pays for the biologic agent. The extent to which the management of such patients, after gaining access to government payment for their biologic agents, adheres to authoritative guidelines, is uncertain. Methods We identified patients through records of the State Health Secretariat of São Paulo from 2004 to 2011. We consulted guidelines from five countries and chose as standards only those recommendations that the guidelines uniformly endorsed. Pharmacy records provided data regarding biological use. Guidelines not only recommended biological agents only in patients with severe psoriasis who had failed to respond to topical and systemic therapies (eg, ciclosporin and methotrexate) but also yearly monitoring of blood counts and liver function. Results Of 218 patients identified in the database, 3 did not meet eligibility criteria and 12 declined participation. Of the 203 patients interviewed, 91 were still using biological medicine; we established adherence to laboratory monitoring in these patients. In the total sample, management failed to meet standards of prior use of topical and systemic medication in 169 (83.2%) patients. Of the 91 patients using biological medicine at the time of the survey, 23 (25.2%) did not undergo appropriate laboratory tests. Conclusions Important discrepancies exist between clinical practice and the recommendations of guidelines in the management of plaintiffs using biological drugs to treat psoriasis. PMID:24598304

  3. Field Studies and Laboratory Bearing of Arzama densa Walker, A Biological Control Agent against Waterhyacinth.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-12-01

    WLK.. A BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENT AGAINST WATERHYACINTH PART I: INTRODUCTION 1. Waterhyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, is a perennial... crassipes Solms) in the Nile System, Egypt," Aquatic Bot. 1:243-252. Bock, J. H. 1966. "An Ecological Study of Eichhornia crassipes with Special...biological organisms combined with other types of control methods. 2 141 REFERENCES Batanouny, K. H. and El-Fiky, A. M. 1975. "The Waterhyacinth ( Eichhornia

  4. The origin of digital species: The evolution of autonomous agents and lineages in a simulated ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earon, Ernest J. P.

    As mobile robotics technology continues to advance, the manual development of algorithms and controllers for these systems will become less feasible, if possible at all. As such, it will become increasingly necessary to turn to techniques that allow the automatic design of such systems, both in software and indeed in hardware. Evolutionary methods can provide powerful tools for automatic design as is evidenced by the abundance of diverse natural systems from the simple to the massively sophisticated and coupled. One of the fundamental features, and one of the lesser understood phenomena, in biology is that of speciation. In order to better understand the development and creation of species, and their role in evolution, a method for tracking speciation in simulation is presented. While there is much dispute in the field of biology as to the precise definition of the term species, there is little debate that the natural world is full of distinct subpopulations. Each of these populations has developed unique features for, and solutions to, the problem of surviving in an incredibly complex world. The power of investigating species over individual agents arises from improved robustness of a grouping of like individuals as opposed to single entities more sensitive to very local conditions and interactions. In essence, a species is a more complete view of the fitness and survivability of a genome than a single agent. A simulation engine is presented which allows the study of evolution from a species point of view. Results from simulations offer insight into the role of genetic neutrality in evolution as well as the effect of this neutrality on mechanisms such as mutation pressure. Several results are presented which provide insight into these features which can serve as analogs for similar biological effects as well as features such as genetic cross drift (or convergent evolution of species). Some insight into the such as solution bloating are also detailed. The

  5. Chamber LIDAR measurements of aerosolized biological simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, David M.; Thrush, Evan P.; Thomas, Michael E.; Siegrist, Karen M.; Baldwin, Kevin; Quizon, Jason; Carter, Christopher C.

    2009-05-01

    A chamber aerosol LIDAR is being developed to perform well-controlled tests of optical scattering characteristics of biological aerosols, including Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) and Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), for validation of optical scattering models. The 1.064 μm, sub-nanosecond pulse LIDAR allows sub-meter measurement resolution of particle depolarization ratio or backscattering cross-section at a 1 kHz repetition rate. Automated data acquisition provides the capability for real-time analysis or recording. Tests administered within the refereed 1 cubic meter chamber can provide high quality near-field backscatter measurements devoid of interference from entrance and exit window reflections. Initial chamber measurements of BG depolarization ratio are presented.

  6. Detection of biological warfare agents with fiber-optic microsphere-based DNA arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Linan; Walt, David R.

    2005-11-01

    Biological warfare agents (BWAs) pose significant threats to both military forces and civilian populations. The increased concern about bioterrorism has promoted the development of rapid, sensitive, and reliable detection systems to provide an early warning for detecting the release of BWAs. We have developed a high-density DNA array to detect BWAs in real environmental samples with fast response times and high sensitivity. An optical fiber bundle containing approximately 50,000 individual 3.1 μm diameter fibers was chemically etched to yield an array of microwells and used as the substrate for the array. 50-mer single-stranded DNA probes designed to be specific for target BWAs were covalently attached to 3.1-μm microspheres, and the microspheres were distributed into the microwells to form a randomized high-density DNA array. We demonstrated the applicability of this DNA array for the identification of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, a BWA simulant, in real samples. PCR was used to amplify the sequences, introduce fluorescent labels into the target molecules, and provide a second level of specificity. After hybridization of test solutions to the array, analysis was performed by evaluating the specific responses of individual probes on the array.

  7. Simulations in Medicine and Biology: Insights and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spyrou, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Modern medicine and biology have been transformed into quantitative sciences of high complexity, with challenging objectives. The aims of medicine are related to early diagnosis, effective therapy, accurate intervention, real time monitoring, procedures/systems/instruments optimization, error reduction, and knowledge extraction. Concurrently, following the explosive production of biological data concerning DNA, RNA, and protein biomolecules, a plethora of questions has been raised in relation to their structure and function, the interactions between them, their relationships and dependencies, their regulation and expression, their location, and their thermodynamic characteristics. Furthermore, the interplay between medicine and biology gives rise to fields like molecular medicine and systems biology which are further interconnected with physics, mathematics, informatics, and engineering. Modelling and simulation is a powerful tool in the fields of Medicine and Biology. Simulating the phenomena hidden inside a diagnostic or therapeutic medical procedure, we are able to obtain control on the whole system and perform multilevel optimization. Furthermore, modelling and simulation gives insights in the various scales of biological representation, facilitating the understanding of the huge amounts of derived data and the related mechanisms behind them. Several examples, as well as the insights and the perspectives of simulations in biomedicine will be presented.

  8. Agent-Based Spatiotemporal Simulation of Biomolecular Systems within the Open Source MASON Framework

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Gael; Pérez-Pérez, Martín; Glez-Peña, Daniel; Azevedo, Nuno F.; Lourenço, Anália

    2015-01-01

    Agent-based modelling is being used to represent biological systems with increasing frequency and success. This paper presents the implementation of a new tool for biomolecular reaction modelling in the open source Multiagent Simulator of Neighborhoods framework. The rationale behind this new tool is the necessity to describe interactions at the molecular level to be able to grasp emergent and meaningful biological behaviour. We are particularly interested in characterising and quantifying the various effects that facilitate biocatalysis. Enzymes may display high specificity for their substrates and this information is crucial to the engineering and optimisation of bioprocesses. Simulation results demonstrate that molecule distributions, reaction rate parameters, and structural parameters can be adjusted separately in the simulation allowing a comprehensive study of individual effects in the context of realistic cell environments. While higher percentage of collisions with occurrence of reaction increases the affinity of the enzyme to the substrate, a faster reaction (i.e., turnover number) leads to a smaller number of time steps. Slower diffusion rates and molecular crowding (physical hurdles) decrease the collision rate of reactants, hence reducing the reaction rate, as expected. Also, the random distribution of molecules affects the results significantly. PMID:25874228

  9. CRITTERS! A Realistic Simulation for Teaching Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Luke G., II; Scully, Erik P.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary processes can be studied in nature and in the laboratory, but time and financial constraints result in few opportunities for undergraduate and high school students to explore the agents of genetic change in populations. One alternative to time consuming and expensive teaching laboratories is the use of computer simulations. We…

  10. Enhancement of biological control agents for use against forest insect pests and diseases through biotechnology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavicek, James M.

    1991-01-01

    Research and development efforts in our research group are focused on the generation of more efficacious biological control agents through the techniques of biotechnology for use against forest insect pests and diseases. Effective biological controls for the gypsy moth and for tree fungal wilt pathogens are under development. The successful use of Gypchek, a formulation of the Lymantria dispar nuclear polyhedrosis virus (LdNPV), in gypsy moth control programs has generated considerable interest in that agent. As a consequence of its specificity, LdPNV has negligible adverse ecological impacts compared to most gypsy moth control agents. However, LdNPV is not competitive with other control agents in terms of cost and efficacy. We are investigating several parameters of LdNPV replication and polyhedra production in order to enhance viral potency and efficacy thus mitigating the current disadvantages of LdNPV for gypsy moth control, and have identified LdNPV variants that will facilitate these efforts. Tree endophytic bacteria that synthesize antifungal compounds were identified and an antibiotic compound from one of these bacteria was characterized. The feasibility of developing tree endophytes as biological control agents for tree vascular fungal pathogens is being investigated.

  11. A support vector machine approach to the automatic identification of fluorescence spectra emitted by biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfusa, M.; Murari, A.; Lungaroni, M.; Malizia, A.; Parracino, S.; Peluso, E.; Cenciarelli, O.; Carestia, M.; Pizzoferrato, R.; Vega, J.; Gaudio, P.

    2016-10-01

    Two of the major new concerns of modern societies are biosecurity and biosafety. Several biological agents (BAs) such as toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are able to cause damage to living systems either humans, animals or plants. Optical techniques, in particular LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR), based on the transmission of laser pulses and analysis of the return signals, can be successfully applied to monitoring the release of biological agents into the atmosphere. It is well known that most of biological agents tend to emit specific fluorescence spectra, which in principle allow their detection and identification, if excited by light of the appropriate wavelength. For these reasons, the detection of the UVLight Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) emitted by BAs is particularly promising. On the other hand, the stand-off detection of BAs poses a series of challenging issues; one of the most severe is the automatic discrimination between various agents which emit very similar fluorescence spectra. In this paper, a new data analysis method, based on a combination of advanced filtering techniques and Support Vector Machines, is described. The proposed approach covers all the aspects of the data analysis process, from filtering and denoising to automatic recognition of the agents. A systematic series of numerical tests has been performed to assess the potential and limits of the proposed methodology. The first investigations of experimental data have already given very encouraging results.

  12. From Here to Autonomicity: Self-Managing Agents and the Biological Metaphors that Inspire Them

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterritt, Roy; Hinchey, Mike

    2005-01-01

    We seek inspiration for self-managing systems from (obviously, pre-existing) biological mechanisms. Autonomic Computing (AC), a self-managing systems initiative based on the biological metaphor of the autonomic nervous system, is increasingly gaining momentum as the way forward for integrating and designing reliable systems, while agent technologies have been identified as a key enabler for engineering autonomicity in systems. This paper looks at other biological metaphors such as reflex and healing, heart- beat monitors, pulse monitors and apoptosis for assisting in the realization of autonomicity.

  13. Host range of the inadvertent biological control agent Caloptilia triadicae: an invasive herbivore of Chinese tallowtree

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An inadvertent biological control agent of the invasive weed Chinese tallowtree (Triadica sebifera) first appeared in North America in 2004. Identified as a Caloptilia triadicae, this leaf miner was found damaging T. sebifera saplings. In Gainesville, FL we exposed naturalized populations of C. tria...

  14. Trichogramma spp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) as biological control agents in the Philippines: history and current practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trichogramma parasitoids have long been recognized as important and viable biological control agents against lepidopteran pests of rice, corn and sugarcane in the Philippines. We describe the history of research and use of Trichogramma spp. in the Philippines in three main areas: 1) field surveys – ...

  15. Performance of Traditional and Molecular Methods for Detecting Biological Agents in Drinking Water

    EPA Science Inventory

    USGS Report - To reduce the impact from a possible bioterrorist attack on drinking-water supplies, analytical methods are needed to rapidly detect the presence of biological agents in water. To this end, 13 drinking-water samples were collected at 9 water-treatment plants in Ohio...

  16. Evaluation of Serangium parcesetosum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) as a biological control agent of the silverleaf whitefly

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The coccinellid predator from India, Serangium parcesetosum Sicard, was studied as a potential biological control agent of the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring [also known as the sweetpotato whitefly, B. tahaci (Gennadius) Biotype B]. Studies were performed on prey prefere...

  17. Microarray Analysis and Mutagenesis of the Biological Control Agent Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biological control agent Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 suppresses seedling emergence diseases caused by soilborne fungi and Oomycetes. Pf-5 produces at least ten secondary metabolites. These include hydrogen cyanide, pyrrolnitrin, pyoluteorin and 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, which have known funct...

  18. Use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents of filth flies on equine facilities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    House flies, Musca domestica L., and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), (Diptera: Muscidae), are common pests on horse farms. The use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents for filth flies is becoming more popular on equine facilities; however, there is a lack of information on the e...

  19. [Perception of risk of biological agents among a group of health workers].

    PubMed

    Cardoni, F; Ceccarelli, L; Simonazzi, S

    2012-01-01

    In the context of "direct" or "indirect" patient care, residual risk of biological agents exposure constitute a hazard for health and safety, that cross and affects all health care workers. For the development and implementation of effective "prevention and control" actions, even against nosocomial infections, it is nevertheless most important to acquire objective information on the level of risk perception demonstrated by relevant staff for assistance. The aim of this contribution was therefore to study the attitudes and behaviours of health sector workers in relation to the specific "biological agents risk". The survey was carried out in a italian hospital, and 25 in the study adhered responsible for the safety and 219 nurses, identified as exposed to biological agents (244 subjects), who were given a specially designed questionnaire. The results of the study, which will be described in detail, has helped to identify critical issues related to the management of "biological agents risk", and at the same time to set up a program for improvement of prevention and protection, aimed at a substantial reduction of the same risk factor.

  20. Establishment of the armored scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis, a biological control agent of Arundo donax

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The armored scale biological control agent, Rhizaspidiotus donacis (Leonardi) (Hemiptera; Diaspididae) has established populations on the invasive weed, Arundo donax L. (Poaceae; Arundinoideae) in Del Rio (Val Verde, Co.) and in field plots at the USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Moore Airbase, Edinburg (Hidalgo Co.)...

  1. Mapping an expanding territory: computer simulations in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Huneman, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The pervasive use of computer simulations in the sciences brings novel epistemological issues discussed in the philosophy of science literature since about a decade. Evolutionary biology strongly relies on such simulations, and in relation to it there exists a research program (Artificial Life) that mainly studies simulations themselves. This paper addresses the specificity of computer simulations in evolutionary biology, in the context (described in Sect. 1) of a set of questions about their scope as explanations, the nature of validation processes and the relation between simulations and true experiments or mathematical models. After making distinctions, especially between a weak use where simulations test hypotheses about the world, and a strong use where they allow one to explore sets of evolutionary dynamics not necessarily extant in our world, I argue in Sect. 2 that (weak) simulations are likely to represent in virtue of the fact that they instantiate specific features of causal processes that may be isomorphic to features of some causal processes in the world, though the latter are always intertwined with a myriad of different processes and hence unlikely to be directly manipulated and studied. I therefore argue that these simulations are merely able to provide candidate explanations for real patterns. Section 3 ends up by placing strong and weak simulations in Levins' triangle, that conceives of simulations as devices trying to fulfil one or two among three incompatible epistemic values (precision, realism, genericity).

  2. Agent-Based Knowledge Discovery for Modeling and Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Haack, Jereme N.; Cowell, Andrew J.; Marshall, Eric J.; Fligg, Alan K.; Gregory, Michelle L.; McGrath, Liam R.

    2009-09-15

    This paper describes an approach to using agent technology to extend the automated discovery mechanism of the Knowledge Encapsulation Framework (KEF). KEF is a suite of tools to enable the linking of knowledge inputs (relevant, domain-specific evidence) to modeling and simulation projects, as well as other domains that require an effective collaborative workspace for knowledge-based tasks. This framework can be used to capture evidence (e.g., trusted material such as journal articles and government reports), discover new evidence (covering both trusted and social media), enable discussions surrounding domain-specific topics and provide automatically generated semantic annotations for improved corpus investigation. The current KEF implementation is presented within a semantic wiki environment, providing a simple but powerful collaborative space for team members to review, annotate, discuss and align evidence with their modeling frameworks. The novelty in this approach lies in the combination of automatically tagged and user-vetted resources, which increases user trust in the environment, leading to ease of adoption for the collaborative environment.

  3. Novel fluorescence-based integrated sensor for chemical and biological agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frye-Mason, Greg; Leuschen, Martin; Wald, Lara; Paul, Kateri; Hancock, Lawrence F.; Fagan, Steve; Krouse, Justin; Hutchinson, Kira D.

    2004-12-01

    There is a renewed interest in the development of chemical and biological agent sensors due to the increased threat of weapons deployment by terrorist organizations and rogue states. Optically based sensors address the needs of military and homeland security forces in that they are reliable, rapidly deployed, and can provide continuous monitoring with little to no operator involvement. Nomadics has developed optically based chemical weapons sensors that utilize reactive fluorescent chromophores initially developed by Professor Tim Swager at MIT. The chromophores provide unprecedented sensitivity and selectivity toward toxic industrial chemicals and certain chemical weapon agents. The selectivity is based upon the reactivity of the G-class nerve agents (phosphorylation of acetylcholinesterase enzyme) that makes them toxic. Because the sensor recognizes the reactivity of strong electrophiles and not molecular weight, chemical affinity or ionizability, our system detects a specific class of reactive agents and will be able to detect newly developed or modified agents that are not currently known. We have recently extended this work to pursue a combined chemical/biological agent sensor system incorporating technologies based upon novel deep ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diodes (LEDs) developed out of the DARPA Semiconductor UV Optical Sources (SUVOS) program.

  4. Coarse-grained models for biological simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhe; Cui, Qiang; Yethiraj, Arun

    2011-03-01

    The large timescales and length-scales of interest in biophysics preclude atomistic study of many systems and processes. One appealing approach is to use coarse-grained (CG) models where several atoms are grouped into a single CG site. In this work we describe a new CG force field for lipids, surfactants, and amino acids. The topology of CG sites is the same as in the MARTINI force field, but the new model is compatible with a recently developed CG electrostatic water (Big Multiple Water, BMW) model. The model not only gives correct structural, elastic properties and phase behavior for lipid and surfactants, but also reproduces electrostatic properties at water-membrane interface that agree with experiment and atomistic simulations, including the potential of mean force for charged amino acid residuals at membrane. Consequently, the model predicts stable attachment of cationic peptides (i.e., poly-Arg) on lipid bilayer surface, which is not shown in previous models with non-electrostatic water.

  5. Implications of Rheumatic Disease and Biological Response-Modifying Agents in Plastic Surgery.

    PubMed

    Tsai, David M; Borah, Gregory L

    2015-12-01

    The preoperative evaluation for any reconstructive or aesthetic procedure requires a detailed history of existing medical conditions and current home medications. The prevalence of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriasis is high, but the impact of these chronic illnesses on surgical outcome and the side effects of the powerful medications used for treatment are often underappreciated. In this review, the authors highlight key perioperative considerations specific to rheumatologic diseases and their associated pharmacologic therapies. In particular, the authors discuss the perioperative management of biological response-modifying agents, which have largely become the new standard of therapy for many rheumatic diseases. The literature reveals three key perioperative concerns with biological therapy for rheumatic disease: infection, wound healing delays, and disease flare. However, data on specific perioperative complications are lacking, and it remains controversial whether withholding biological therapy before surgery is of benefit. The risk of these adverse events is influenced by several factors: age, sex, class of biological agent, duration of exposure, dosage, onset and severity of disease, and type of surgical procedure. Overall, it remains best to develop an individualized plan. In younger patients with recent onset of biological therapy, it is reasonable to withhold therapy based on 3 to 5 half-lives of the specific agent. In older patients with a substantial history of rheumatic disease, the decision to discontinue therapy must be weighed and decided carefully in conjunction with the rheumatologist.

  6. Update on the use of systemic biologic agents in the treatment of noninfectious uveitis

    PubMed Central

    Pasadhika, Sirichai; Rosenbaum, James T

    2014-01-01

    Uveitis is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Noninfectious uveitis may be associated with other systemic conditions, such as human leukocyte antigen B27-related spondyloarthropathies, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Behçet’s disease, and sarcoidosis. Conventional therapy with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents (such as methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and cyclosporine) may not be sufficient to control ocular inflammation or prevent non-ophthalmic complications in refractory patients. Off-label use of biologic response modifiers has been studied as primary and secondary therapeutic agents. They are very useful when conventional immunosuppressive therapy has failed or has been poorly tolerated, or to treat concomitant ophthalmic and systemic inflammation that might benefit from these medications. Biologic therapy, primarily infliximab, and adalimumab, have been shown to be rapidly effective for the treatment of various subtypes of refractory uveitis and retinal vasculitis, especially Behçet’s disease-related eye conditions and the uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Other agents such as golimumab, abatacept, canakinumab, gevokizumab, tocilizumab, and alemtuzumab may have great future promise for the treatment of uveitis. It has been shown that with proper monitoring, biologic therapy can significantly improve quality of life in patients with uveitis, particularly those with concurrent systemic symptoms. However, given high cost as well as the limited long-term safety data, we do not routinely recommend biologics as first-line therapy for noninfectious uveitis in most patients. These agents should be used with caution by experienced clinicians. The present work aims to provide a broad and updated review of the current and in-development systemic biologic agents for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis. PMID:24600203

  7. 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.

  8. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... they are found in water, soil, plants, and animals. Because many microbes reproduce rapidly and require minimal resources for survival, they are a potential danger in a wide variety of occupational settings. This ...

  9. Biological Agents

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These chemicals or organisms increase the rate at which microorganisms break down complex compounds into simpler products (biodegredation). Two bioremediation technologies currently being used for oil spill cleanups are fertilization and seeding.

  10. Serious games experiment toward agent-based simulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wein, Anne; Labiosa, William

    2013-01-01

    We evaluate the potential for serious games to be used as a scientifically based decision-support product that supports the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) mission--to provide integrated, unbiased scientific information that can make a substantial contribution to societal well-being for a wide variety of complex environmental challenges. Serious or pedagogical games are an engaging way to educate decisionmakers and stakeholders about environmental challenges that are usefully informed by natural and social scientific information and knowledge and can be designed to promote interactive learning and exploration in the face of large uncertainties, divergent values, and complex situations. We developed two serious games that use challenging environmental-planning issues to demonstrate and investigate the potential contributions of serious games to inform regional-planning decisions. Delta Skelta is a game emulating long-term integrated environmental planning in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, that incorporates natural hazards (flooding and earthquakes) and consequences for California water supplies amidst conflicting water interests. Age of Ecology is a game that simulates interactions between economic and ecologic processes, as well as natural hazards while implementing agent-based modeling. The content of these games spans the USGS science mission areas related to water, ecosystems, natural hazards, land use, and climate change. We describe the games, reflect on design and informational aspects, and comment on their potential usefulness. During the process of developing these games, we identified various design trade-offs involving factual information, strategic thinking, game-winning criteria, elements of fun, number and type of players, time horizon, and uncertainty. We evaluate the two games in terms of accomplishments and limitations. Overall, we demonstrated the potential for these games to usefully represent scientific information

  11. A Systematic Review of Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation Applications in the Higher Education Domain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gu, X.; Blackmore, K. L.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a systematic review of agent-based modelling and simulation (ABMS) applications in the higher education (HE) domain. Agent-based modelling is a "bottom-up" modelling paradigm in which system-level behaviour (macro) is modelled through the behaviour of individual local-level agent interactions (micro).…

  12. Biologically-inspired hexapod robot design and simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espenschied, Kenneth S.; Quinn, Roger D.

    1994-01-01

    The design and construction of a biologically-inspired hexapod robot is presented. A previously developed simulation is modified to include models of the DC drive motors, the motor driver circuits and their transmissions. The application of this simulation to the design and development of the robot is discussed. The mechanisms thought to be responsible for the leg coordination of the walking stick insect were previously applied to control the straight-line locomotion of a robot. We generalized these rules for a robot walking on a plane. This biologically-inspired control strategy is used to control the robot in simulation. Numerical results show that the general body motion and performance of the simulated robot is similar to that of the robot based on our preliminary experimental results.

  13. Interfacial Stacks of Polymeric Nanofilms on Soft Biological Surfaces that Release Multiple Agents.

    PubMed

    Herron, Maggie; Schurr, Michael J; Murphy, Christopher J; McAnulty, Jonathan F; Czuprynski, Charles J; Abbott, Nicholas L

    2016-10-03

    We report a general and facile method that permits the transfer (stacking) of multiple independently fabricated and nanoscopically thin polymeric films, each containing a distinct bioactive agent, onto soft biomedically relevant surfaces (e.g., collagen-based wound dressings). By using polyelectrolyte multilayer films (PEMs) formed from poly(allyl amine hydrochloride) and poly(acrylic acid) as representative polymeric nanofilms and micrometer-thick water-soluble poly(vinyl alcohol) sacrificial films to stack the PEMs, we demonstrate that it is possible to create stacked polymeric constructs containing multiple bioactive agents (e.g., antimicrobial and antibiofilm agents) on soft and chemically complex surfaces onto which PEMs cannot be routinely transferred by stamping. We illustrate the characteristics and merits of the approach by fabricating stacks of Ga(3+) (antibiofilm agent)- and Ag(+) (antimicrobial agent)-loaded PEMs as prototypical examples of agent-containing PEMs and demonstrate that the stacked PEMs incorporate precise loadings of the agents and provide flexibility in terms of tuning release rates. Specifically, we show that simultaneous release of Ga(3+) and Ag(+) from the stacked PEMs on collagen-based wound dressings can lead to synergistic effects on bacteria, killing and dispersing biofilms formed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (two strains: ATCC 27853 and MPAO1) at sufficiently low loadings of agents such that cytotoxic effects on mammalian cells are avoided. The approach is general (a wide range of bioactive agents other than Ga(3+) and Ag(+) can be incorporated into PEMs), and the modular nature of the approach potentially allows end-user functionalization of soft biological surfaces for programmed release of multiple bioactive agents.

  14. Automated numerical simulation of biological pattern formation based on visual feedback simulation framework

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Mingzhu; Xu, Hui; Zeng, Xingjuan; Zhao, Xin

    2017-01-01

    There are various fantastic biological phenomena in biological pattern formation. Mathematical modeling using reaction-diffusion partial differential equation systems is employed to study the mechanism of pattern formation. However, model parameter selection is both difficult and time consuming. In this paper, a visual feedback simulation framework is proposed to calculate the parameters of a mathematical model automatically based on the basic principle of feedback control. In the simulation framework, the simulation results are visualized, and the image features are extracted as the system feedback. Then, the unknown model parameters are obtained by comparing the image features of the simulation image and the target biological pattern. Considering two typical applications, the visual feedback simulation framework is applied to fulfill pattern formation simulations for vascular mesenchymal cells and lung development. In the simulation framework, the spot, stripe, labyrinthine patterns of vascular mesenchymal cells, the normal branching pattern and the branching pattern lacking side branching for lung branching are obtained in a finite number of iterations. The simulation results indicate that it is easy to achieve the simulation targets, especially when the simulation patterns are sensitive to the model parameters. Moreover, this simulation framework can expand to other types of biological pattern formation. PMID:28225811

  15. Simulation of the Viking biology experiments: an overview.

    PubMed

    Klein, H P

    1979-12-01

    Several ground-based investigations have been carried out since the Viking biology results were received from Mars. Many of these have resulted in reasonable simulations of the Martian data, using as analogues of Mars either strong oxidants, UV-treated materials, iron-containing clays, or iron salts. The ambiguity between the GCMS experiment, in which no organic compounds were found on Mars, and the Labeled Release experiment, in which added organics were decomposed, may well be accounted for by these simulations.

  16. Nucleic acid approaches for detection and identification of biological warfare and infectious disease agents.

    PubMed

    Ivnitski, Dmitri; O'Neil, Daniel J; Gattuso, Anthony; Schlicht, Roger; Calidonna, Michael; Fisher, Rodney

    2003-10-01

    Biological warfare agents are the most problematic of the weapons of mass destruction and terror. Both civilian and military sources predict that over the next decade the threat from proliferation of these agents will increase significantly. In this review we summarize the state of the art in detection and identification of biological threat agents based on PCR technology with emphasis on the new technology of microarrays. The advantages and limitations of real-time PCR technology and a review of the literature as it applies to pathogen and virus detection are presented. The paper covers a number of issues related to the challenges facing biological threat agent detection technologies and identifies critical components that must be overcome for the emergence of reliable PCR-based DNA technologies as bioterrorism countermeasures and for environmental applications. The review evaluates various system components developed for an integrated DNA microchip and the potential applications of the next generation of fully automated DNA analyzers with integrated sample preparation and biosensing elements. The article also reviews promising devices and technologies that are near to being, or have been, commercialized.

  17. Insect-gene-activity detection system for chemical and biological warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackie, Ryan S.; Schilling, Amanda S.; Lopez, Arturo M.; Rayms-Keller, Alfredo

    2002-02-01

    Detection of multiple chemical and biological weapons (CBW) agents and/or complex mixtures of toxic industrial chemicals (TIC) is imperative for both the commercial and military sectors. In a military scenario, a multi-CBW attack would create confusion, thereby delaying decontamination and therapeutic efforts. In the commercial sector, polluted sites invariably contain a mixture of TIC. Novel detection systems capable of detecting CBW and TIC are sorely needed. While it may be impossible to build a detector capable of discriminating all the possible combinations of CBW, a detection system capable of statistically predicting the most likely composition of a given mixture is within the reach of current emerging technologies. Aquatic insect-gene activity may prove to be a sensitive, discriminating, and elegant paradigm for the detection of CBW and TIC. We propose to systematically establish the expression patterns of selected protein markers in insects exposed to specific mixtures of chemical and biological warfare agents to generate a library of biosignatures of exposure. The predicting capabilities of an operational library of biosignatures of exposures will allow the detection of emerging novel or genetically engineered agents, as well as complex mixtures of chemical and biological weapons agents. CBW and TIC are discussed in the context of war, terrorism, and pollution.

  18. Novel reversible and selective nerve agent simulant detection in conjunction with superoxide "turn-on" probing.

    PubMed

    Jang, Yoon Jeong; Murale, Dhiraj P; Churchill, David G

    2014-04-07

    Herein, we present fluorescein as a reversible fluorescent sensor for nerve agent simulants diethylchlorophosphate (DCP), diethyl methylphosphonate (DEMP), and diethyl cyanophosphonate (DECP). The superoxide allows for an "off-on" mechanism to regenerate fluorescein. The order of decrease in fluorescence intensity for nerve agent simulants is DCP > DEMP ≫ DECP.

  19. Identifying Evacuees' Demand of Tsunami Shelters using Agent Based Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mas, E.; Adriano, B.; Koshimura, S.; Imamura, F.; Kuroiwa, J.; Yamazaki, F.; Zavala, C.; Estrada, M.

    2012-12-01

    Amongst the lessons learned in tsunami events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Great Tohoku Japan earthquake is that sometimes nature exceeds structural countermeasures like seawalls, breakwaters or tsunami gates. In such situations it is a challenging task for people in plain areas to find sheltering places. The vertical evacuation to multistory buildings is one alternative to provide areas for sheltering in a complex environment of evacuation. However, if the spatial distribution and the available capacity of these structures are not well displayed, conditions of evacuee over-demand or under-demand might be observed in several structures. In this study, we present the integration of the tsunami numerical modeling and the agent based simulation of evacuation as the method to estimate the sheltering demand of evacuees in an emergent behavior approach. The case study is set in La Punta district in Peru. Here, we used in the tsunami simulation a seismic source of slip distribution model (Pulido et.al. ,2011; Chlieh et.al, 2011) for a possible future tsunami scenario in the central Andes. We modeled three alternatives of evacuation. First, the horizontal evacuation scenario was analyzed to support the necessity of the sheltering-in-place option for the district. Second, the vertical evacuation scenario and third, the combination of vertical and horizontal evacuation scenarios of pedestrians and vehicles were conducted. In the last two alternatives, the demand of evacuees were measured at each official tsunami evacuation building and compared to the sheltering capacity of the structure. Results showed that out of twenty tsunami evacuation buildings, thirteen resulted with over-demands and seven were still with available space. Also it is confirmed that in this case the horizontal evacuation might lead to a high number of casualties due to the traffic congestion at the neck of the district. Finally the vertical evacuation would be a suitable solution for this area

  20. Population regulation of a classical biological control agent: larval density dependence in Neochetina eichhorniae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a biological control agent of water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J R U; Rees, M; Ajuonu, O

    2006-04-01

    The release of classical biological control agents has reduced the economic, environmental and social problems caused by water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes; however, additional control measures are needed in some locations. Water hyacinth plants were treated with different densities of eggs of the weevil Neochetina eichhorniae Warner, one of the main control agents, under different nutrient regimes in a controlled experiment. Plants were destructively sampled and the development of N. eichhorniae was assessed. The survival of first and second instars declined as larval density increased. Plant nutrient status did not directly affect the mortality rate of larvae, but at higher nutrient concentrations larvae developed faster and were larger at a given developmental stage. It is argued that the density dependence operating in N. eichhorniae occurs through an interaction between young larvae and leaf longevity. Consequently, events which disrupt water hyacinth leaf dynamics, e.g. frost or foliar herbicides, will have a disproportionately large effect on the control agents and may reduce the level of control of the host.

  1. [Biological agents for controlling the density of blood-sucking black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) in the north of Armenia].

    PubMed

    Kaplich, V M; Voĭtka, D V; Markosian, L S; Ganushkina, L A; Arutiunova, M V; Vardanian, N S

    2013-01-01

    Biological agents were found to have high larvicidal activity against Simuliidae of two Bacillus thuringiensis spp. israelensis strains. To reduce the number of the pre-imago stages of black flies, the biological agent BLP-2477 should be used as most effective from an environmental point of view.

  2. Pre-release efficacy test of the prospective biological control agent Arytinnis hakani on the invasive weed Genista monspessulana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In weed biological control, conducting a pre-release efficacy test can help ascertain if prospective biological control agents will be capable of controlling the target plant. Currently, the phloem-feeding psyllid, Arytinnis hakani, is being evaluated as a prospective agent for the exotic invasive w...

  3. DNA capture elements for rapid detection and identification of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Parker, Jill E.; Holwitt, Eric A.; Vivekananda, Jeeva

    2004-08-01

    DNA capture elements (DCEs; aptamers) are artificial DNA sequences, from a random pool of sequences, selected for their specific binding to potential biological warfare agents. These sequences were selected by an affinity method using filters to which the target agent was attached and the DNA isolated and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an iterative, increasingly stringent, process. Reporter molecules were attached to the finished sequences. To date, we have made DCEs to Bacillus anthracis spores, Shiga toxin, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, and Francisella tularensis. These DCEs have demonstrated specificity and sensitivity equal to or better than antibody.

  4. The Introduction of Biological Mensuration Techniques Through Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.

    New simulations for teaching quantitative biological techniques are now used at Michigan Technological University. Traditionally, such techniques work within a particular system and have the student assume certain initial conditions and employ appropriate constants. The computer generates time dependent data which are plotted. The student then…

  5. Biology Students Building Computer Simulations Using StarLogo TNG

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, V. Anne; Duncan, Ishbel

    2011-01-01

    Confidence is an important issue for biology students in handling computational concepts. This paper describes a practical in which honours-level bioscience students simulate complex animal behaviour using StarLogo TNG, a freely-available graphical programming environment. The practical consists of two sessions, the first of which guides students…

  6. Reactively and Anticipatory Behaving Agents for Artificial Life Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohout, Karel; Nahodil, Pavel

    2010-11-01

    Reactive behavior is still considered and the exact opposite for the anticipatory one. Despite the advances on the field of anticipation there are little thoughts on relation with the reactive behavior, the similarities and where the boundary is. In this article we will present our viewpoint and we will try to show that reactive and anticipatory behavior can be combined. This is the basic ground of our unified theory for anticipatory behavior architecture. We still miss such compact theory, which would integrate multiple aspects of anticipation. My multi-level anticipatory behavior approach is based on the current understanding of anticipation from both the artificial intelligence and biology point of view. As part of the explanation we will also elaborate on the topic of weak and strong artificial life. Anticipation is not matter of a single mechanism in a living organism. It was noted already that it happens on many different levels even in the very simple creatures. What we consider to be important for our work and what is our original though is that it happens even without voluntary control. We believe that this is novelty though for the anticipation theory. Naturally research of anticipation was in the beginning of this decade focused on the anticipatory principles bringing advances on the field itself. This allowed us to build on those, look at them from higher perspective, and use not one but multiple levels of anticipation in a creature design. This presents second original though and that is composition of the agent architecture that has anticipation built in almost every function. In this article we will focus only on first two levels within the 8-factor anticipation framework. We will introduce them as defined categories of anticipation and describe them from theory and implementation algorithm point of view. We will also present an experiment conducted, however this experiment serves more as explanatory example. These first two levels may seem trivial

  7. Chemical warfare agent and biological toxin-induced pulmonary toxicity: could stem cells provide potential therapies?

    PubMed

    Angelini, Daniel J; Dorsey, Russell M; Willis, Kristen L; Hong, Charles; Moyer, Robert A; Oyler, Jonathan; Jensen, Neil S; Salem, Harry

    2013-01-01

    Chemical warfare agents (CWAs) as well as biological toxins present a significant inhalation injury risk to both deployed warfighters and civilian targets of terrorist attacks. Inhalation of many CWAs and biological toxins can induce severe pulmonary toxicity leading to the development of acute lung injury (ALI) as well as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The therapeutic options currently used to treat these conditions are very limited and mortality rates remain high. Recent evidence suggests that human stem cells may provide significant therapeutic options for ALI and ARDS in the near future. The threat posed by CWAs and biological toxins for both civilian populations and military personnel is growing, thus understanding the mechanisms of toxicity and potential therapies is critical. This review will outline the pulmonary toxic effects of some of the most common CWAs and biological toxins as well as the potential role of stem cells in treating these types of toxic lung injuries.

  8. The clearance of viruses and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agents from biologicals.

    PubMed

    Farshid, Mahmood; Taffs, Rolf E; Scott, Dorothy; Asher, David M; Brorson, Kurt

    2005-10-01

    The viral and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) safety of therapeutics of biological origin (biologicals) is greatly influenced by the nature and degree of variability of the source material and by the mode of purification. Plasma-derived and recombinant DNA products currently have good viral safety records, but challenges remain. In general, large enveloped viruses are easier to remove from biologicals than small 'naked' viruses. Monoclonal antibodies and recombinant DNA biopharmaceuticals are derived from relatively homogeneous source materials and purified by multistep schemes that are robust and amenable to scientific analysis and engineering improvement. Viral clearance is more challenging for blood and cell products, as they are complex and labile. Source selection (e.g. country of origin, deferral for CJD risk factors) currently occupies the front line for ensuring that biologicals are free of TSE agents, but robust methods for their clearance from products are under development.

  9. Portuguese guidelines for the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - March 2010 update.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, João Eurico; Canhão, Helena; Reis, Paulo; Santos, Maria José; Branco, Jaime; Quintal, Alberto; Malcata, Armando; Araújo, Domingos; Ventura, Francisco; Figueiredo, Guilherme; da Silva, José Canas; Patto, José Vaz; de Queiroz, Mário Viana; Santos, Rui André; Neto, Adriano José; de Matos, Alves de; Rodrigues, Ana; Mourão, Ana Filipa; Ribeiro, Ana Sofia; Cravo, Ana Rita; Barcelos, Anabela; Cardoso, Anabela; Vilar, António; Braña, Arecili; Faustino, Augusto; Silva, Candida; Godinho, Fátima; Cunha, Inês; Costa, José António; Gomes, José António Melo; Pinto, José António Araújo; da Silva, J A Pereira; Miranda, Luís Cunha; Inês, Luís; Santos, Luís Maurício; Cruz, Margarida; Salvador, Maria João; Ferreira, Maria Júlia; Rial, Maria; Bernardes, Miguel; Bogas, Mónica; Araújo, Paula; Machado, Pedro; Pinto, Patrícia; de Melo, Rui Gomes; Cortes, Sara; Alcino, Sérgio; Capela, Susana

    2010-01-01

    The authors present the revised version of the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology (SPR) guidelines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with biological therapies. In these guidelines the criteria for introduction and maintenance of biological agents are discussed as well as the contraindications and procedures in the case of non-responders. Biological treatment should be considered in RA patients with a disease activity score 28 (DAS 28) superior to 3.2 despite treatment with 20mg/week of methotrexate (MTX) for at least 3 months or, if such treatment is not possible, after 6 months of other conventional disease modifying drug or combination therapy. A DAS 28 score between 2.6 and 3.2 with a significant functional or radiological deterioration under treatment with conventional regimens could also constitute an indication for biological treatment. The treatment goal should be remission or, if that is not achievable, at least a low disease activity, characterized by a DAS28 lower than 3.2, without significative functional or radiological worsening. The response criteria, at the end of the first 3 months of treatment, are a decrease of 0.6 in the DAS28 score. After 6 months of treatment response criteria is defined as a decrease of more than 1.2 in the DAS28 score. Non-responders, in accordance to the Rheumatologist's clinical opinion, should try a switch to another biological agent (tumour necrosis factor antagonist, abatacept, rituximab or tocilizumab).

  10. Persistence with biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Mahlich, Jörg; Sruamsiri, Rosarin

    2016-01-01

    Background To assess persistence rates of biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan. Methods Based on Japanese claims data of 16,214 patients between 2012 and 2014, 6-, 12-, and 18-month persistence rates of different biologic agents were calculated. Determinants of persistence were assessed by means of a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model controlling for age, sex, and comorbidities. A sensitivity analysis was performed with different definitions of persistence and parametric survival analysis. Results Overall persistence rates in Japan are high and reach 86% after 1 year in the entire sample. The persistence rate for the biologic-naïve subpopulation is above 95%. Persistence is higher for older patients (hazard ratio 0.60 [95% confidence interval 0.40–0.91] for >75 years compared to ≤60 years) and lower for patients with a high comorbidity score (hazard ratio 1.33; 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.70 for Charlson Comorbidity Index score 3–5 compared to ≤2). We found a high variation of persistence between different drugs. Conclusion Japanese rheumatoid arthritis patients have a high persistence rate of biologic treatments. However, multiple factors affect the persistence rate of Japanese patients, including age, comorbidities, and patient type. Naïve patients tend to have a higher persistence rate than continuing biologic patients. PMID:27540283

  11. Manipulating biological agents and cells in micro-scale volumes for applications in medicine

    PubMed Central

    Tasoglu, Savas; Gurkan, Umut Atakan; Wang, ShuQi

    2013-01-01

    Recent technological advances provide new tools to manipulate cells and biological agents in micro/nano-liter volumes. With precise control over small volumes, the cell microenvironment and other biological agents can be bioengineered; interactions between cells and external stimuli can be monitored; and the fundamental mechanisms such as cancer metastasis and stem cell differentiation can be elucidated. Technological advances based on the principles of electrical, magnetic, chemical, optical, acoustic, and mechanical forces lead to novel applications in point-of-care diagnostics, regenerative medicine, in vitro drug testing, cryopreservation, and cell isolation/purification. In this review, we first focus on the underlying mechanisms of emerging examples for cell manipulation in small volumes targeting applications such as tissue engineering. Then, we illustrate how these mechanisms impact the aforementioned biomedical applications, discuss the associated challenges, and provide perspectives for further development. PMID:23575660

  12. Strategies for efficient numerical implementation of hybrid multi-scale agent-based models to describe biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Cilfone, Nicholas A.; Kirschner, Denise E.; Linderman, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    Biologically related processes operate across multiple spatiotemporal scales. For computational modeling methodologies to mimic this biological complexity, individual scale models must be linked in ways that allow for dynamic exchange of information across scales. A powerful methodology is to combine a discrete modeling approach, agent-based models (ABMs), with continuum models to form hybrid models. Hybrid multi-scale ABMs have been used to simulate emergent responses of biological systems. Here, we review two aspects of hybrid multi-scale ABMs: linking individual scale models and efficiently solving the resulting model. We discuss the computational choices associated with aspects of linking individual scale models while simultaneously maintaining model tractability. We demonstrate implementations of existing numerical methods in the context of hybrid multi-scale ABMs. Using an example model describing Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, we show relative computational speeds of various combinations of numerical methods. Efficient linking and solution of hybrid multi-scale ABMs is key to model portability, modularity, and their use in understanding biological phenomena at a systems level. PMID:26366228

  13. Molecular modeling toward selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Giacoppo, Juliana O S; Mancini, Daiana T; Guimarães, Ana P; Gonçalves, Arlan S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2015-02-16

    In the present work, we applied docking and molecular dynamics techniques to study 11 compounds inside the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HssDHFR). Six of these compounds were selected for a study with the mutant BaF96IDHFR. Our results corroborated with experimental data and allowed the proposition of a new molecule with potential activity and better selectivity for BaDHFR.

  14. Dermoscopic hemorrhagic dots: an early predictor of response of psoriasis to biologic agents

    PubMed Central

    Lallas, Aimilios; Argenziano, Giuseppe; Zalaudek, Iris; Apalla, Zoe; Ardigo, Marco; Chellini, Patricia; Cordeiro, Natalia; Guimaraes, Mariana; Kyrgidis, Athanassios; Lazaridou, Elizabeth; Longo, Caterina; Moscarella, Elvira; Papadimitriou, Ilias; Pellacani, Giovanni; Sotiriou, Elena; Vakirlis, Efstratios; Ioannides, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Background Biologic agents are routinely used in the treatment of severe psoriasis. The evaluation of treatment response is mainly based on the physician’s global clinical assessment. Objective To investigate whether dermoscopy might enhance the assessment of response of psoriasis to treatment with biologic agents. Methods Patients with severe psoriasis scheduled to receive a biologic agent were enrolled in the study. A target lesion from each patient was clinically and dermoscopically documented at baseline and after one, two and six months. The clinical response was evaluated by the recruiting clinicians at all visits, while dermoscopic images were evaluated by two independent investigators, blinded to the clinical information. Chi Square test was used for cross-tabulation comparisons, while odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals and p values were calculated using univariate logistic regression. Results Overall, there was a significant correlation between clinical response and vessel distribution at all time points: a regular vessel distribution correlated with no response, a clustered distribution with partial response, and the dermoscopic absence of vessels with complete response. The presence of dermoscopic hemorrhagic dots was a potent predictor of favorable clinical response at the subsequent visit at all time points. Among lesions initially clinically responding and later recurring, 87.5% displayed dermoscopic dotted vessels despite the macroscopic remission. Conclusion Dermoscopy might be a useful additional tool for evaluating the response of psoriatic patients to biologic agents. Hemorrhagic dots represent an early predictor of clinical response, while the persistence or reappearance of dotted vessels might predict clinical persistence or recurrence, respectively. PMID:27867739

  15. Plasmodium Genus Assay Transition to the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-12

    Support of the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnosis System (JBAIDS): Malaria (Plasmodium/JBAIDS)." Follow-on RDT&E efforts...candidates for transfer to microarray-based analytic systems. A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) with Idaho Technology , Inc. for transfer to microarray...protecting the health of soldiers. Malaria is ranked first among the top 40 diseases in the DoD global risk-severity index and recognized as a military

  16. Molecular Rotors for the Detection of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae-Il; Maity, Shubhra Bikash; Bouffard, Jean; Kim, Youngmi

    2016-09-20

    The fluorogenic probe o-OH is able to detect and quantify organophosphorus nerve agent mimics in solution and in the vapor phase following immobilization on a solid substrate, making the system a suitable candidate for the field detection of chemical warfare agents. Detection is achieved by the suppression of internal rotation upon phosphorylation of a reactive phenolate, resulting in a large fluorescence "turn-on" response.

  17. An overview of biological markers of exposure to chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Black, Robin M

    2008-01-01

    An overview is given of biological markers of exposure to chemical warfare agents. Metabolites, protein, and/or DNA adducts have been identified for most nerve agents and vesicants and validated in experimental animals or in a small number of human exposures. For several agents, metabolites derived from hydrolysis are unsatisfactory biomarkers of exposure because of background levels in the human population. These are assumed to result from environmental exposure to commercial products that contain these hydrolysis products or chemicals that are metabolized to them. In these cases, metabolites derived from glutathione pathways, or covalent adducts with proteins or DNA, provide more definitive biomarkers. Biomarkers for cyanide and phosgene are unsatisfactory as indicators of chemical warfare exposure because of other sources of these chemicals or their metabolites.

  18. Canada thistle biological control agents on two South Dakota wildlife refuges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, C.C.; Larson, D.L.; Larson, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We monitored populations of Canada thistle biocontrol agents Cassida rubiginosa, Ceutorhynchus litura, Larinus (= Hadroplantus) planus, Urophora cardui, Orellia (= Terellia) ruficauda, and Rhinocyllus conicus on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) at two national wildlife refuges in South Dakota from 1999 through 2003. C. litura, U. cardui, O. ruficauda, and R. conicus were present on both refuges. Agent populations were low except for C. litura, which was present in up to 90% of stems in some plots. C. litura infestation did not reduce thistle flowering, stem length, or over-winter survival. There was no change in thistle stem numbers over the study period and no difference in stem numbers in areas of high C. litura populations compared to areas of low C. litura populations. Our results suggest that insect biological control agents are inadequate for reduction of Canada thistle in southern South Dakota.

  19. Chromatographic immunoassays: strategies and recent developments in the analysis of drugs and biological agents

    PubMed Central

    Matsuda, Ryan; Rodriguez, Elliott; Suresh, Doddavenkatanna; Hage, David S

    2015-01-01

    A chromatographic immunoassay is a technique in which an antibody or antibody-related agent is used as part of a chromatographic system for the isolation or measurement of a specific target. Various binding agents, detection methods, supports and assay formats have been developed for this group of methods, and applications have been reported that range from drugs, hormones and herbicides to peptides, proteins and bacteria. This review discusses the general principles and applications of chromatographic immunoassays, with an emphasis being given to methods and formats that have been developed for the analysis of drugs and biological agents. The relative advantages or limitations of each format are discussed. Recent developments and research in this field, as well as possible future directions, are also considered. PMID:26571109

  20. An agent based model for simulating the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, Grant; Friesen, Marcia R; McLeod, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    This work uses agent-based modelling (ABM) to simulate sexually transmitted infection (STIs) spread within a population of 1000 agents over a 10-year period, as a preliminary investigation of the suitability of ABM methodology to simulate STI spread. The work contrasts compartmentalized mathematical models that fail to account for individual agents, and ABMs commonly applied to simulate the spread of respiratory infections. The model was developed in C++ using the Boost 1.47.0 libraries for the normal distribution and OpenGL for visualization. Sixteen agent parameters interact individually and in combination to govern agent profiles and behaviours relative to infection probabilities. The simulation results provide qualitative comparisons of STI mitigation strategies, including the impact of condom use, promiscuity, the form of the friend network, and mandatory STI testing. Individual and population-wide impacts were explored, with individual risk being impacted much more dramatically by population-level behaviour changes as compared to individual behaviour changes.

  1. Development of an integrated system for rapid detection of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terazono, Hideyuki; Takei, Hiroyuki; Hayashi, Masahito; Hattori, Akihiro; Yasuda, Kenji

    2010-04-01

    Weaponized biological agents are as great a threat as nuclear or chemical weapons. They must be detected at the earliest stage to prevent diffusion because once these agents are dispersed into the air, the rapidly decreasing concentration makes detection more of a challenge. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a common method to create copies of a specific target region of a DNA sequence and to produce large quantities of DNA molecules. A few DNA molecules are rapidly amplified by PCR into billions of copies. While PCR is a powerful technique and is capable of countering new threats relatively easily, it is plagued by the number of processes necessary. Therefore, we have developed an integrated PCR system for rapid detection of biological agents captured from the air. Each processing function is performed by a dedicated module, and reduction in the process time has been made the top priority, without loss in the signal/noise ratio of the total system. Agents can be identified within 15 min from capture. A fully automated operation protects operators from exposure to potentially highly lethal samples.

  2. A Perspective on Vascular Disrupting Agents that Interact with Tubulin: Preclinical Tumor Imaging and Biological Assessment#

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Ralph P.; Zhao, Dawen; Liu, Li; Trawick, Mary Lynn; Pinney, Kevin G.

    2011-01-01

    The tumor microenvironment provides a rich source of potential targets for selective therapeutic intervention with properly designed anticancer agents. Significant physiological differences exist between the microvessels that nourish tumors and those that supply healthy tissue. Selective drug-mediated damage of these tortuous and chaotic microvessels starves a tumor of necessary nutrients and oxygen and eventually leads to massive tumor necrosis. Vascular targeting strategies in oncology are divided into two separate groups: angiogenesis inhibiting agents (AIAs) and vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). The mechanisms of action between these two classes of compounds are profoundly distinct. The AIAs inhibit the actual formation of new vessels, while the VDAs damage and/or destroy existing tumor vasculature. One subset of small-molecule VDAs functions by inhibiting the assembly of tubulin into microtubules, thus causing morphology changes to the endothelial cells lining the tumor vasculature, triggered by a cascade of cell signaling events. Ultimately this results in catastrophic damage to the vessels feeding the tumor. The rapid emergence and subsequent development of the VDA field over the past decade has led to the establishment of a synergistic combination of preclinical state-of-the-art tumor imaging and biological evaluation strategies that are often indicative of future clinical efficacy for a given VDA. This review focuses on an integration of the appropriate biochemical and biological tools necessary to assess (preclinically) new small-molecule, tubulin active VDAs for their potential to be clinically effective anticancer agents. PMID:21321746

  3. Enhanced Sampling Techniques in Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, Rafael C.; Melo, Marcelo C. R.; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Background Molecular Dynamics has emerged as an important research methodology covering systems to the level of millions of atoms. However, insufficient sampling often limits its application. The limitation is due to rough energy landscapes, with many local minima separated by high-energy barriers, which govern the biomolecular motion. Scope of review In the past few decades methods have been developed that address the sampling problem, such as replica-exchange molecular dynamics, metadynamics and simulated annealing. Here we present an overview over theses sampling methods in an attempt to shed light on which should be selected depending on the type of system property studied. Major Conclusions Enhanced sampling methods have been employed for a broad range of biological systems and the choice of a suitable method is connected to biological and physical characteristics of the system, in particular system size. While metadynamics and replica-exchange molecular dynamics are the most adopted sampling methods to study biomolecular dynamics, simulated annealing is well suited to characterize very flexible systems. The use of annealing methods for a long time was restricted to simulation of small proteins; however, a variant of the method, generalized simulated annealing, can be employed at a relatively low computational cost to large macromolecular complexes. General Significance Molecular dynamics trajectories frequently do not reach all relevant conformational substates, for example those connected with biological function, a problem that can be addressed by employing enhanced sampling algorithms. PMID:25450171

  4. Modeling the transport of chemical warfare agents and simulants in polymeric substrates for reactive decontamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearl, Thomas; Mantooth, Brent; Varady, Mark; Willis, Matthew

    2014-03-01

    Chemical warfare agent simulants are often used for environmental testing in place of highly toxic agents. This work sets the foundation for modeling decontamination of absorbing polymeric materials with the focus on determining relationships between agents and simulants. The correlations of agents to simulants must consider the three way interactions in the chemical-material-decontaminant system where transport and reaction occur in polymer materials. To this end, diffusion modeling of the subsurface transport of simulants and live chemical warfare agents was conducted for various polymer systems (e.g., paint coatings) with and without reaction pathways with applied decontamination. The models utilized 1D and 2D finite difference diffusion and reaction models to simulate absorption and reaction in the polymers, and subsequent flux of the chemicals out of the polymers. Experimental data including vapor flux measurements and dynamic contact angle measurements were used to determine model input parameters. Through modeling, an understanding of the relationship of simulant to live chemical warfare agent was established, focusing on vapor emission of agents and simulants from materials.

  5. An agent-based simulation of extirpation of Ceratitis capitata applied to invasions in California.

    PubMed

    Manoukis, Nicholas C; Hoffman, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    We present an agent-based simulation (ABS) of Ceratitis capitata ("Medfly") developed for estimating the time to extirpation of this pest in areas where quarantines and eradication treatments were immediately imposed. We use the ABS, implemented in the program MED-FOES, to study seven different outbreaks that occurred in Southern California from 2008 to 2010. Results are compared with the length of intervention and quarantine imposed by the State, based on a linear developmental model (thermal unit accumulation, or "degree-day"). MED-FOES is a useful tool for invasive species managers as it incorporates more information from the known biology of the Medfly, and includes the important feature of being demographically explicit, providing significant improvements over simple degree-day calculations. While there was general agreement between the length of quarantine by degree-day and the time to extirpation indicated by MED-FOES, the ABS suggests that the margin of safety varies among cases and that in two cases the quarantine may have been excessively long. We also examined changes in the number of individuals over time in MED-FOES and conducted a sensitivity analysis for one of the outbreaks to explore the role of various input parameters on simulation outcomes. While our implementation of the ABS in this work is motivated by C. capitata and takes extirpation as a postulate, the simulation is very flexible and can be used to study a variety of questions on the invasion biology of pest insects and methods proposed to manage or eradicate such species.

  6. Environmental distribution and population biology of Candidatus Accumulibacter, a primary agent of Biological Phosphorus Removal

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, S. Brook; Warnecke, Falk; Madejska, Julita; McMahon, Katherine D.; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2008-01-01

    Summary Members of the uncultured bacterial genus Candidatus Accumulibacter are capable of intracellular accumulation of inorganic phosphate (Pi) in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) performing enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR), but were also recently shown to inhabit freshwater and estuarine sediments. Additionally, metagenomic sequencing of two bioreactor cultures enriched in Candidatus Accumulibacter, but housed on separate continents, revealed the potential for global dispersal of particular Candidatus Accumulibacter strains, that we hypothesize is facilitated by the ability of Candidatus Accumulibacter to persist in environmental habitats. In the current study, we used sequencing of a phylogenetic marker, the ppk1 gene, to characterize Candidatus Accumulibacter populations in diverse environments, at varying distances from WWTPs. We discovered several new lineages of Candidatus Accumulibacter which had not previously been detected in WWTPs, and also uncovered new diversity and structure within previously detected lineages. Habitat characteristics were found to be a key determinant of Candidatus Accumulibacter lineage distribution, while, as predicted, geographic distance played little role in limiting dispersal on a regional scale. However, on a local scale, enrichment of particular Candidatus Accumulibacter lineages in WWTP appeared to impact local environmental populations. These results provide evidence of ecological differences among Candidatus Accumulibacter lineages. PMID:18643843

  7. Fingerprinting malathion vapor: a simulant for VX nerve agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Renbo; Ding, Yujie J.; Zotova, Ioulia B.

    2008-04-01

    Being motivated by the possibility of fingerprinting and detecting VX nerve agent, we have investigated its stimulant, i.e. malathion vapor, which is less toxic and commercially available, in the far-infrared/THz transition region and THz frequency range. Such a spectroscopic study was carried out by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Our intention is to obtain a specific spectroscopic signature of VX nerve agent as a chemical warfare agent. Following our experimental result, we have successfully observed eleven new absorption peaks from malathion vapor in the spectral ranges from 15 cm -1 to 68 cm -1 and from 75 cm -1 to 640 cm -1. Specifically, in the far-infrared/THz transition region, we have observed eight peaks and whereas in the THz region we have identified three relatively weak transition peaks. In addition, we have investigated the dependence of the absorption spectra on temperature in the range from room temperature to 60°C. In both of the frequency ranges, we have found that absorption coefficients significantly increase with increasing temperature. By comparing the transition peaks in the two frequency ranges, we have concluded that the frequency range of 400-640cm -1 is an optimal range for fingerprinting this chemical specie. We have designated two peaks for effectively and accurately identifying the VX nerve agents and one peak for differentiating between malathion and VX nerve agent.

  8. A Participatory Agent-Based Simulation for Indoor Evacuation Supported by Google Glass

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Jesús M.; Carrera, Álvaro; Iglesias, Carlos Á.; Serrano, Emilio

    2016-01-01

    Indoor evacuation systems are needed for rescue and safety management. One of the challenges is to provide users with personalized evacuation routes in real time. To this end, this project aims at exploring the possibilities of Google Glass technology for participatory multiagent indoor evacuation simulations. Participatory multiagent simulation combines scenario-guided agents and humans equipped with Google Glass that coexist in a shared virtual space and jointly perform simulations. The paper proposes an architecture for participatory multiagent simulation in order to combine devices (Google Glass and/or smartphones) with an agent-based social simulator and indoor tracking services. PMID:27563911

  9. A Participatory Agent-Based Simulation for Indoor Evacuation Supported by Google Glass.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Jesús M; Carrera, Álvaro; Iglesias, Carlos Á; Serrano, Emilio

    2016-08-24

    Indoor evacuation systems are needed for rescue and safety management. One of the challenges is to provide users with personalized evacuation routes in real time. To this end, this project aims at exploring the possibilities of Google Glass technology for participatory multiagent indoor evacuation simulations. Participatory multiagent simulation combines scenario-guided agents and humans equipped with Google Glass that coexist in a shared virtual space and jointly perform simulations. The paper proposes an architecture for participatory multiagent simulation in order to combine devices (Google Glass and/or smartphones) with an agent-based social simulator and indoor tracking services.

  10. Assessing the safety of biologic agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Rubbert-Roth, Andrea

    2012-07-01

    Biologic treatments--including five TNF-α inhibitors, the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra, the IL-6 receptor inhibitor tocilizumab, the selective inhibitor of T-cell co-stimulation abatacept and the B-cell-directed mAb rituximab--have provided effective therapeutic options for patients with RA with inadequate response to conventional DMARDs. However, the fact that these agents are immune modulators has raised safety concerns, prompting careful evaluation in clinical trials and intensive post-marketing surveillance. Serious infections may arise, and diagnosis may be delayed by an atypical spectrum of signs and symptoms. Patients may experience reactivation of latent tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C or opportunistic infections. RA is a risk factor for cancer, and biologic therapy may modestly increase the risk of lymphoma and some solid tumours beyond background. During biologic therapy, demyelinating disorders of the CNS have been noted, and pre-existing disease manifestations may be aggravated. Hepatic transaminase levels may increase, although these elevations are usually mild to moderate, transient and without clinical consequence. Hyperlipidaemia, which is responsive to lipid-lowering therapy, may develop, and patients with congestive heart failure may experience symptom exacerbation. Safe use of biologic agents requires thorough risk assessment of potential candidates for treatment and careful monitoring during and after therapy.

  11. Simulation of Interval Censored Data in Medical and Biological Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiani, Kaveh; Arasan, Jayanthi

    This research looks at the simulation of interval censored data when the survivor function of the survival time is known and attendance probability of the subjects for follow-ups can take any number between 0 to 1. Interval censored data often arise in the medical and biological follow-up studies where the event of interest occurs somewhere between two known times. Regardless of the methods used to analyze these types of data, simulation of interval censored data is an important and challenging step toward model building and prediction of survival time. The simulation itself is rather tedious and very computer intensive due to the interval monitoring of subjects at prescheduled times and subject's incomplete attendance to follow-ups. In this paper the simulated data by the proposed method were assessed using the bias, standard error and root mean square error (RMSE) of the parameter estimates where the survival time T is assumed to follow the Gompertz distribution function.

  12. Biology, host specificity tests, and risk assessment of the sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi, a potential biological control agent of Schinus terebinthifolius in Hawaii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Abstract. Heteroperreyia hubrichi Malaise (Hymenoptera: Pergidae), a foliage feeding sawfly of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), was studied to assess its suitability as a classical biological control agent of this invasive weed in Hawaii. Nochoice host-specificity tests we...

  13. Advanced Algorithms for Rapidly Reconstructing Clandestine Releases of Biological Agents in Urban Areas

    SciTech Connect

    Shinn, J.H.; Hall, C.H.; Neher, L.A.; Wilder, F.J.; Gouveia, D.W.; Layton, D.W.; Daniels, J.I.

    2000-02-25

    As the United States plays a greater role in the 21st Century as global peacekeeper and international defender of human rights and democratic principles, there is an increasing likelihood that it will become the focus of acts of terrorism. Such acts of terrorism--sometimes described as ''asymmetric''--could involve the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), particularly those considered unconventional, which include ones designed to release chemical or biological agents. In fact, biological agents are of great concern because, as noted by D.A. Henderson of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, ''... with shortages of hospital space, vaccines, antibiotics, there would be chaos.'' (Williams, 2000). Unfortunately, potential aggressor nations, terrorist groups, and even individuals, can, for a modest cost and effort, develop covert capabilities for manufacturing, transporting, and offensively using biological weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, there is evidence to indicate that terrorist increasingly are targeting civilian populations--in order to inflict indiscriminate casualties--as well as other more traditional targets such as symbolic buildings or organizations (see Tucker, 1999), which suggest that introducing rapid treatment after a biological event may be more practical than concentrating on prevention (see Siegrist, 1999), especially because sensors are unlikely to be placed in all major urban areas to detect even an atmospheric biological release. For these reasons, and because symptoms for the majority of those effected may not occur or be directly identified for several days, early identification of a covert undetected biological event (CUBE) will contribute to timely medical intervention, which can save many lives.

  14. Physics-based agent to simulant correlations for vapor phase mass transport.

    PubMed

    Willis, Matthew P; Varady, Mark J; Pearl, Thomas P; Fouse, Janet C; Riley, Patrick C; Mantooth, Brent A; Lalain, Teri A

    2013-12-15

    Chemical warfare agent simulants are often used as an agent surrogate to perform environmental testing, mitigating exposure hazards. This work specifically addresses the assessment of downwind agent vapor concentration resulting from an evaporating simulant droplet. A previously developed methodology was used to estimate the mass diffusivities of the chemical warfare agent simulants methyl salicylate, 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide, di-ethyl malonate, and chloroethyl phenyl sulfide. Along with the diffusivity of the chemical warfare agent bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide, the simulant diffusivities were used in an advection-diffusion model to predict the vapor concentrations downwind from an evaporating droplet of each chemical at various wind velocities and temperatures. The results demonstrate that the simulant-to-agent concentration ratio and the corresponding vapor pressure ratio are equivalent under certain conditions. Specifically, the relationship is valid within ranges of measurement locations relative to the evaporating droplet and observation times. The valid ranges depend on the relative transport properties of the agent and simulant, and whether vapor transport is diffusion or advection dominant.

  15. Applying GIS and high performance agent-based simulation for managing an Old World Screwworm fly invasion of Australia.

    PubMed

    Welch, M C; Kwan, P W; Sajeev, A S M

    2014-10-01

    Agent-based modelling has proven to be a promising approach for developing rich simulations for complex phenomena that provide decision support functions across a broad range of areas including biological, social and agricultural sciences. This paper demonstrates how high performance computing technologies, namely General-Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU), and commercial Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be applied to develop a national scale, agent-based simulation of an incursion of Old World Screwworm fly (OWS fly) into the Australian mainland. The development of this simulation model leverages the combination of massively data-parallel processing capabilities supported by NVidia's Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) and the advanced spatial visualisation capabilities of GIS. These technologies have enabled the implementation of an individual-based, stochastic lifecycle and dispersal algorithm for the OWS fly invasion. The simulation model draws upon a wide range of biological data as input to stochastically determine the reproduction and survival of the OWS fly through the different stages of its lifecycle and dispersal of gravid females. Through this model, a highly efficient computational platform has been developed for studying the effectiveness of control and mitigation strategies and their associated economic impact on livestock industries can be materialised.

  16. Agent Based Simulation Design for Aggregation and Disaggregation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    Development of a Generic Data-Driven Simulation.‖ In Proceed- ings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference, edited by B. Johansson, S. Jain, J. Montoya ...DARPA, Santa Monica, CA. Davis, P. and R. Hillestad. 1993. ―Families of Models that Cross Levels of Resolution: Issues for Design, Calibration and...Issues, and Prin- ciples.‖ RAND N-3400-DARPA, Santa Monica, CA. Department of Defense. 1995. ―Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Master

  17. Agent-based Approaches to Dynamic Team Simulation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-09-01

    behavior. The second section reviews agent-based models of teamwork describing work involving both teamwork approaches to design of multiagent systems...there is less direct evidence for teams. Hough (1992), for example, found that ratings on conscientiousness, emotional stability, and agreeableness...Peeters, Rutte, Tuijl, and Reymen (2006) who found agreeableness and emotional stability positively related to satisfaction with the team make

  18. Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of WC-9 Analogues as Antiparasitic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Elicio, Pablo D.; Chao, María N.; Galizzi, Melina; Li, Catherine; Szajnman, Sergio H.; Docampo, Roberto; Moreno, Silvia N. J.; Rodriguez, Juan B.

    2013-01-01

    As a part of our project pointed at the search of new safe chemotherapeutic and chemoprophylactic agents against parasitic diseases, several compounds structurally related to 4-phenoxyphenoxyethyl thiocyanate (WC-9), which were modified at the terminal aromatic ring, were designed, synthesized and evaluated as antiproliferative agents against Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible of American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and Toxoplasma gondii, the etiological agent of toxoplasmosis. Most of the synthetic analogues exhibited similar antiparasitic activity being slightly more potent than the reference compound WC-9. For example, the nitro derivative 13 showed an ED50 value of 5.2 μM. Interestingly, the regioisomer of WC-9, compound 36 showed similar inhibitory action than WC-9 indicating that para-phenyl substitution pattern is not necessarily required for biological activity. The biological evaluation against T. gondii was also very promising. The ED50 values corresponding for 13, 36 and 37 were at the very low micromolar level against tachyzoites of T. gondii. PMID:24090919

  19. Assessment of disinfectants in explosive destruction system for biological agent destruction : LDRD final report FY04.

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Blake Alexander; Didlake, John E. Jr.; Bradshaw, Robert W.; Crooker, Paul J.; Buffleben, George M.

    2005-01-01

    Treatment systems that can neutralize biological agents are needed to mitigate risks from novel and legacy biohazards. Tests with Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus steurothemophilus spores were performed in a 190-liter, 1-112 lb TNT equivalent rated Explosive Destruction System (EDS) system to evaluate its capability to treat and destroy biological agents. Five tests were conducted using three different agents to kill the spores. The EDS was operated in steam autoclave, gas fumigation and liquid decontamination modes. The first three tests used EDS as an autoclave, which uses pressurized steam to kill the spores. Autoclaving was performed at 130-140 deg C for up to 2-hours. Tests with chlorine dioxide at 750 ppm concentration for 1 hour and 10% (vol) aqueous chlorine bleach solution for 1 hour were also performed. All tests resulted in complete neutralization of the bacterial spores based on no bacterial growth in post-treatment incubations. Explosively opening a glass container to expose the bacterial spores for treatment with steam was demonstrated and could easily be done for chlorine dioxide gas or liquid bleach.

  20. Chromogenic and fluorogenic detection of a nerve agent simulant with a rhodamine-deoxylactam based sensor.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xuanjun; Wu, Zhisheng; Han, Shoufa

    2011-11-07

    A chromogenic and fluorogenic detection of a nerve agent simulant was developed based on diethyl chlorophosphate triggered tandem phosphorylation and intramolecular cyclization of N-(rhodamine B)-deoxylactam-2-aminoethanol.

  1. Simulations of (An)Isotropic Diffusion on Curved Biological Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Sbalzarini, Ivo F.; Hayer, Arnold; Helenius, Ari; Koumoutsakos, Petros

    2006-01-01

    We present a computational particle method for the simulation of isotropic and anisotropic diffusion on curved biological surfaces that have been reconstructed from image data. The method is capable of handling surfaces of high curvature and complex shape, which are often encountered in biology. The method is validated on simple benchmark problems and is shown to be second-order accurate in space and time and of high parallel efficiency. It is applied to simulations of diffusion on the membrane of endoplasmic reticula (ER) in live cells. Diffusion simulations are conducted on geometries reconstructed from real ER samples and are compared to fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments in the same ER samples using the transmembrane protein tsO45-VSV-G, C-terminally tagged with green fluorescent protein. Such comparisons allow derivation of geometry-corrected molecular diffusion constants for membrane components from fluorescence recovery after photobleaching data. The results of the simulations indicate that the diffusion behavior of molecules in the ER membrane differs significantly from the volumetric diffusion of soluble molecules in the lumen of the same ER. The apparent speed of recovery differs by a factor of ∼4, even when the molecular diffusion constants of the two molecules are identical. In addition, the specific shape of the membrane affects the recovery half-time, which is found to vary by a factor of ∼2 in different ER samples. PMID:16284262

  2. Simulations of (an)isotropic diffusion on curved biological surfaces.

    PubMed

    Sbalzarini, Ivo F; Hayer, Arnold; Helenius, Ari; Koumoutsakos, Petros

    2006-02-01

    We present a computational particle method for the simulation of isotropic and anisotropic diffusion on curved biological surfaces that have been reconstructed from image data. The method is capable of handling surfaces of high curvature and complex shape, which are often encountered in biology. The method is validated on simple benchmark problems and is shown to be second-order accurate in space and time and of high parallel efficiency. It is applied to simulations of diffusion on the membrane of endoplasmic reticula (ER) in live cells. Diffusion simulations are conducted on geometries reconstructed from real ER samples and are compared to fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments in the same ER samples using the transmembrane protein tsO45-VSV-G, C-terminally tagged with green fluorescent protein. Such comparisons allow derivation of geometry-corrected molecular diffusion constants for membrane components from fluorescence recovery after photobleaching data. The results of the simulations indicate that the diffusion behavior of molecules in the ER membrane differs significantly from the volumetric diffusion of soluble molecules in the lumen of the same ER. The apparent speed of recovery differs by a factor of approximately 4, even when the molecular diffusion constants of the two molecules are identical. In addition, the specific shape of the membrane affects the recovery half-time, which is found to vary by a factor of approximately 2 in different ER samples.

  3. Portuguese guidelines for the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - October 2011 update.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, João Eurico; Bernardes, Miguel; Canhão, Helena; Santos, Maria José; Quintal, Alberto; Malcata, Armando; Neto, Adriano; Cordeiro, Ana; Rodrigues, Ana; Mourão, Ana Filipa; Ribeiro, Ana Sofia; Cravo, Ana Rita; Barcelos, Anabela; Cardoso, Anabela; Vilar, António; Braña, Arecili; Faustino, Augusto; Silva, Candida; Duarte, Cátia; Araújo, Domingos; Nour, Dolores; Sousa, Elsa; Simões, Eugénia; Godinho, Fátima; Brandão, Filipe; Ventura, Francisco; Sequeira, Graça; Figueiredo, Guilherme; Cunha, Inês; Matos, J Alves; Branco, Jaime; Ramos, João; Costa, José António; Gomes, José António; Pinto, José; Silva, José Canas; Silva, J A; Patto, José Vaz; Costa, Lúcia; Miranda, Luís Cunha; Inês, Luís; Santos, Luís Maurício; Cruz, Margarida; Salvador, Maria João; Ferreira, Maria Júlia; Rial, Maria; Queiroz, Mário Viana; Bogas, Mónica; Araújo, Paula; Reis, Paulo; Abreu, Pedro; Machado, Pedro; Pinto, Patrícia; André, Rui; Melo, Rui; Garcês, Sandra; Cortes, Sara; Alcino, Sérgio; Ramiro, Sofia; Capela, Susana

    2011-01-01

    The authors present the revised version of the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology (SPR) guidelines for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with biological therapies. In these guidelines the criteria for introduction and maintenance of biological agents are discussed as well as the contraindications and procedures in the case of nonresponders. Biological treatment (with a tumour necrosis factor antagonist, abatacept or tocilizumab) should be considered in RA patients with a disease activity score 28 (DAS 28) equal to or greater than 3.2 despite treatment with at least 20mg-weekly-dose of methotrexate (MTX) for at least 3 months or, if such treatment is not possible, after 3 months of other conventional disease modifying drug or combination therapy. A DAS 28 score between 2.6 and 3.2 with a significant functional or radiological deterioration under treatment with conventional regimens could also constitute an indication for biological treatment. The treatment goal should be remission or, if that is not achievable, at least a low disease activity, defined by a DAS28 lower than 3.2, without significative functional or radiological worsening. The response criteria, at the end of the first 3 months of treatment, are a decrease of at least 0.6 in the DAS28 score. After 6 months of treatment res­ponse criteria is defined as a decrease greater than 1.2 in the DAS28 score. Non-responders, in accordance to the Rheumatologist’s clinical opinion, should try a switch to another biological agent (tumour necrosis factor antagonist, abatacept, rituximab or tocilizumab).

  4. Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 and its evolutionary future as a biological control agent for carp in Australia.

    PubMed

    McColl, Kenneth A; Sunarto, Agus; Holmes, Edward C

    2016-12-08

    Biological invasions are a major threat to global biodiversity. Australia has experienced many invasive species, with the common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) a prominent example. Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) has been proposed as a biological control (biocontrol) agent for invasive carp in Australia. Safety and efficacy are critical factors in assessing the suitability of biocontrol agents, and extensive host-specificity testing suggests that CyHV-3 is safe. Efficacy depends on the relationship between virus transmissibility and virulence. Based on observations from natural outbreaks, as well as the biology of virus-host interactions, we hypothesize that (i) close contact between carp provides the most efficient transmission of virus, (ii) transmission occurs at regular aggregations of carp that favour recrudescence of latent virus, and (iii) the initially high virulence of CyHV-3 will decline following its release in Australia. We also suggest that the evolution of carp resistance to CyHV-3 will likely necessitate the future release of progressively more virulent strains of CyHV-3, and/or an additional broad-scale measure(s) to complement the effect of the virus. If the release of CyHV-3 does go ahead, longitudinal studies are required to track the evolution of a virus-host relationship from its inception, and particularly the complex interplay between transmission, virulence and host resistance.

  5. Decontamination of biological agents from drinking water infrastructure: a literature review and summary.

    PubMed

    Szabo, Jeff; Minamyer, Scott

    2014-11-01

    This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of biological agents on drinking water infrastructure (such as pipes) along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some biological agents, but data gaps remain. Data on bacterial spore persistence on common water infrastructure materials such as iron and cement-mortar lined iron show that spores can be persistent for weeks after contamination. Decontamination data show that common disinfectants such as free chlorine have limited effectiveness. Decontamination results with germinant and alternate disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide are more promising. Persistence and decontamination data were collected on vegetative bacteria, such as coliforms, Legionella and Salmonella. Vegetative bacteria are less persistent than spores and more susceptible to disinfection, but the surfaces and water quality conditions in many studies were only marginally related to drinking water systems. However, results of real-world case studies on accidental contamination of water systems with E. coli and Salmonella contamination show that flushing and chlorination can help return a water system to service. Some viral persistence data were found, but decontamination data were lacking. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available biological persistence data to other common infrastructure materials. Further exploration of non-traditional drinking water disinfectants is recommended for future studies.

  6. Prospects for the use of biological control agents against Anoplophora in Europe.

    PubMed

    Brabbs, Thomas; Collins, Debbie; Hérard, Franck; Maspero, Matteo; Eyre, Dominic

    2015-01-01

    This review summarises the literature on the biological control of Anoplophora spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and discusses its potential for use in Europe. Entomopathogenic fungi: Beauveria brongniartii Petch (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) has already been developed into a commercial product in Japan, and fungal infection results in high mortality rates. Parasitic nematodes: Steinernema feltiae Filipjev (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) and Steinernema carpocapsae Weiser have potential for use as biopesticides as an alternative to chemical treatments. Parasitoids: a parasitoid of Anoplophora chinensis Forster, Aprostocetus anoplophorae Delvare (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), was discovered in Italy in 2002 and has been shown to be capable of parasitising up to 72% of A. chinensis eggs; some native European parasitoid species (e.g. Spathius erythrocephalus) also have potential to be used as biological control agents. Predators: two woodpecker (Piciformis: Picidae) species that are native to Europe, Dendrocopos major Beicki and Picus canus Gmelin, have been shown to be effective at controlling Anoplophora glabripennis Motschulsky in Chinese forests. The removal and destruction of infested and potentially infested trees is the main eradication strategy for Anoplophora spp. in Europe, but biological control agents could be used in the future to complement other management strategies, especially in locations where eradication is no longer possible.

  7. Functionality of a Bacillus cereus biological agent in response to physiological variables encountered in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Lalloo, Rajesh; Maharajh, Dheepak; Görgens, Johann; Gardiner, Neil

    2008-05-01

    The potential of a Bacillus cereus isolate (NRRL 100132) as a biological agent for aquaculture has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. The functionality of this isolate across a range of physiological conditions, including salinity, pH and temperature, based on rearing of high-value ornamental Cyprinus carpio, was investigated. Temperature had a significant influence on germination, specific growth rate and increase in cell number of B. cereus in shake-flask cultures, whilst salinity and pH did not have a measurable effect on growth. Controlled studies in bioreactors and modelling of the data to the Arrhenius function indicated the existence of high and low growth temperature domains. The rates of pathogenic Aeromonas hydrophila suppression and decrease in waste ion concentrations (ammonium, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate) were translated into a linear predictive indicator of efficacy of the B. cereus isolate at different temperatures. The present study confirmed the robustness of the B. cereus isolate (NRRL 100132) as a putative biological agent for aquaculture and further demonstrated a novel method for the assessment of in vitro biological efficacy as a function of temperature.

  8. Hypopigmenting agents: an updated review on biological, chemical and clinical aspects.

    PubMed

    Solano, Francisco; Briganti, Stefania; Picardo, Mauro; Ghanem, Ghanem

    2006-12-01

    An overview of agents causing hypopigmentation in human skin is presented. The review is organized to put forward groups of biological and chemical agents. Their mechanisms of action cover (i) tyrosinase inhibition, maturation and enhancement of its degradation; (ii) Mitf inhibition; (iii) downregulation of MC1R activity; (iv) interference with melanosome maturation and transfer; (v) melanocyte loss, desquamation and chemical peeling. Tyrosinase inhibition is the most common approach to achieve skin hypopigmentation as this enzyme catalyses the rate-limiting step of pigmentation. Despite the large number of tyrosinase inhibitors in vitro, only a few are able to induce effects in clinical trials. The gap between in-vitro and in-vivo studies suggests that innovative strategies are needed for validating their efficacy and safety. Successful treatments need the combination of two or more agents acting on different mechanisms to achieve a synergistic effect. In addition to tyrosinase inhibition, other parameters related to cytotoxicity, solubility, cutaneous absorption, penetration and stability of the agents should be considered. The screening test system is also very important as keratinocytes play an active role in modulating melanogenesis within melanocytes. Mammalian skin or at least keratinocytes/melanocytes co-cultures should be preferred rather than pure melanocyte cultures or soluble tyrosinase.

  9. Modelling Agent-Environment Interaction in Multi-Agent Simulations with Affordances

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-01

    behaviours. In related work, Doyle and Hayes- Roth [39, 38] present the concept of agents in annotated virtual worlds. The idea is based on the concept of...knowledge in the world”. Doyle and Hayes- Roth argue that if a virtual environment can be annotated with appropriate labels and annotations that explain...Italy, 2002. 213 DSTO–RR–0349 38. Patrick Doyle and Barbara Hayes- Roth . Guided exploration of virtual worlds. Tech- nical Report KSL 97-04, Knowledge

  10. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of anti-EV71 agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Peng; Yang, Bailing; Hao, Fei; Wang, Ping; He, Haiying; Huang, Lei; Zhang, Xuan; Zhang, Shengbin; Peng, Xuanjia; Yin, Ke; Hu, Jiao; Chen, Xinsheng; Gu, Zhengxian; Wang, Li; Shen, Liang; Hu, Guoping; Li, Ning; Li, Jian; Chen, Shuhui; Xiao, Wei; Wang, Zhenzhong; Guo, Qingming; Chang, Xiujuan; Zhang, Lanjun; Cai, Qixu; Lin, Tianwei

    2016-07-15

    Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major causative agent of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), which can spread its infections to the central nervous and other systems with severe consequences. In this article, design, chemical synthesis, and biological evaluation of various anti-EV71 agents which incorporate Michael acceptors are described. Further SAR study demonstrated that lactone type of Michael acceptor provided a new lead of anti-EV71 drug candidates with high anti-EV71 activity in cell-based assay and enhanced mouse plasma stability. One of the most potent compounds (2K, cell-based anti-EV71 EC50=0.028μM), showed acceptable stability profile towards mouse plasma, which resulted into promising pharmacokinetics in mouse via IP administration.

  11. Host plant oviposition preference of Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera:Apionidae), a potential biological control agent of yellow starthistle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera: Apionidae) is a weevil native to Europe and western Asia that is being evaluated as a prospective classical biological control agent of Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) in the United States. Choice oviposition experiments were conducted under laboratory ...

  12. Opportunities for improving risk communication during the permitting process for entomophagous biological control agents: A review of current systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concerns about potentially irreversible non-target impacts from the importation and release of entomophagous biological control agents (BCAs) have resulted in increasingly stringent import requirements by National Plant Protection Organizations. Despite numerous scientific publications on the poten...

  13. LANL organic analysis detection capabilities for chemical and biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Ansell, G.B.; Cournoyer, M.E.; Hollis, K.W.; Monagle, M.

    1996-12-31

    Organic analysis is the analytical arm for several Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) research programs and nuclear materials processes, including characterization and certification of nuclear and nonnuclear materials used in weapons, radioactive waste treatment and waste certification programs. Organic Analysis has an extensive repertoire of analytical technique within the group including headspace gas, PCBs/pesticides, volatile organics and semivolatile organic analysis. In addition organic analysis has mobile labs with analytic capabilities that include volatile organics, total petroleum hydrocarbon, PCBs, pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and high explosive screening. A natural extension of these capabilities can be applied to the detection of chemical and biological agents,

  14. Biological agents: investigation into leprosy and other infectious diseases before indication*

    PubMed Central

    Antônio, João Roberto; Soubhia, Rosa Maria Cordeiro; Paschoal, Vania Del Arco; Amarante, Carolina Forte; Travolo, Ana Regina Franchi

    2013-01-01

    Biological agents are widely used for various immune-mediated diseases, with remarkable effectiveness in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and Crohn's disease. However, attention needs to be drawn to the adverse effects of these therapies and the risk of reactivating underlying granulomatous infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, leishmaniasis, among others. The objective of this paper is to describe a case of leprosy in a patient with RA using anti-TNF alfa, demonstrating the need for systematic investigation of skin lesions suggestive of leprosy in patients who require rheumatoid arthritis therapeutic treatment, especially in endemic regions like Brazil. PMID:24346871

  15. Immunoassays for Identification of Biological Agents in Sample Unknowns: NATO SlBCA Exercise VI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

    I• * Dufr+ D Rý sarch aid Rpecherche e1 developpement Svlýlrrnl CaIanada pour la deeonse Canada DEFENCE DEFENSE Immunoassays for Identification of...Biological Agents in Sample Unknowns: NATO SIBCA Exercise VI H.G. Thompson and R.E. Fulton DRDC Suffield D ,,T-iUT O!M STA7’! !r;1T A AiyrVw for P 7 s c...in Sample Unknowns: NATO SIBCA Exercise VI H.G. Thompson and R.E. Fulton Defence R& D Canada - Suffield Defence R& D Canada - Suffield Technical

  16. Lepidopterans as Potential Agents for the Biological Control of the Invasive Plant, Miconia calvescens

    PubMed Central

    Morais, Elisangela G.F.; Picanço, Marcelo C.; Semeão, Altair A.; Barreto, Robert W.; Rosado, Jander F.; Martins, Julio C.

    2012-01-01

    This work investigated eight species of Lepidoptera associated with Miconia calvescens DC. (Myrtales: Melastomataceae) in Brazil, including six defoliators, Salbia lotanalis Druce (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Druentia inscita Schaus (Mimallonidae), Antiblemma leucocyma Hampson (Noctuidae), three Limacodidae species, a fruit borer Carposina cardinata Meyrick (Carposinidae), and a damager of flowers Pleuroprucha rudimentaria Guenée (Geometridae). Based on host specificity and the damage caused to plants, S. lotanalis and D. inscita are the most promising species for biological control of M. calvescens. Furthermore, if C. cardinata and P. rudimentaria have host specificity in future tests, these caterpillars could also be considered as appropriate biocontrol agents. PMID:22938203

  17. Biological agent detection since Desert Storm--from theory to practice. Research report

    SciTech Connect

    Shockley, L.J.

    1997-04-16

    Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially biological warfare (BW) weapons, continues apace in today`s world, both by nation states and terrorist groups. This paper details the progress made in BW agent detection in the six years since the Gulf War. With two new systems, we have the technology to provide the combatant commander with a credible bio-detection array. What we have failed to do in the near term is to supply the requisite force structure in the Active Component to make the technology work for the commander.

  18. Synthesis and biological evaluation of α,β-unsaturated lactones as potent immunosuppressive agents.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sun-Mi; Lee, Won-Gil; Kim, Young-Chul; Kim, Yong-Chul; Ko, Hyojin

    2011-10-01

    Compounds having α,β-unsaturated lactones display a variety of biological activities. Many research groups have tested both natural and unnatural α,β-unsaturated lactones for as-yet undiscovered biological properties. We synthesized α,β-unsaturated lactones with various substituents at the δ-position and studied their immunosuppressive effects, that is, the inhibition of Interleukin-2 (IL-2) production. Among the compounds synthesized, the benzofuran-substituted α,β-unsaturated lactone 4h showed the best inhibitory activity toward IL-2 production in Jurkat e6-1 T lymphocytes (IC(50)=66.9 nM) without cytotoxicity at 10 μM. The results indicated that 4h may be useful as a potent immunosuppressive agent, as well as in IL-2-related studies.

  19. Autonomous Detection of Aerosolized Biological Agents by Multiplexed Immunoassay with PCR Confirmation

    SciTech Connect

    Hindson, B J; McBride, M T; Makarewicz, A J; Henderer, B D; Setlur, U S; Smith, S M; Gutierrez, D M; Metz, T R; Nasarabadi, S L; Venkateswaran, K S; Farrow, S W; Colston, Jr., B W; Dzenitis, J M

    2004-05-27

    The autonomous pathogen detection system (APDS) is an automated, podium-sized instrument that continuously monitors the air for biological threat agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins). The system has been developed to warn of a biological attack in critical or high-traffic facilities and at special events. The APDS performs continuous aerosol collection, sample preparation, and detection using multiplexed immunoassay followed by confirmatory PCR using real-time TaqMan assays. We have integrated completely reusable flow-through devices that perform DNA extraction and PCR amplification. The fully integrated system was challenged with aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus globigii and botulinum toxoid. By coupling highly selective antibody and DNA based assays, the probability of an APDS reporting a false positive is extremely low.

  20. Ecological host-range of Lilioceris cheni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biological control agent of Dioscorea bulbifera L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Open-field host-specificity testing assesses the host-range of a biological control agent in a setting that permits the agent to use its full complement of host-seeking behaviors. This form of testing, particularly when it includes a no-choice phase in which the target weed is killed, may provide th...

  1. Large-scale multi-agent transportation simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cetin, Nurhan; Nagel, Kai; Raney, Bryan; Voellmy, Andreas

    2002-08-01

    It is now possible to microsimulate the traffic of whole metropolitan areas with 10 million travelers or more, "micro" meaning that each traveler is resolved individually as a particle. In contrast to physics or chemistry, these particles have internal intelligence; for example, they know where they are going. This means that a transportation simulation project will have, besides the traffic microsimulation, modules which model this intelligent behavior. The most important modules are for route generation and for demand generation. Demand is generated by each individual in the simulation making a plan of activities such as sleeping, eating, working, shopping, etc. If activities are planned at different locations, they obviously generate demand for transportation. This however is not enough since those plans are influenced by congestion which initially is not known. This is solved via a relaxation method, which means iterating back and forth between the activities/routes generation and the traffic simulation.

  2. CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder toward realistic biological membrane simulations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Emilia L; Cheng, Xi; Jo, Sunhwan; Rui, Huan; Song, Kevin C; Dávila-Contreras, Eder M; Qi, Yifei; Lee, Jumin; Monje-Galvan, Viviana; Venable, Richard M; Klauda, Jeffery B; Im, Wonpil

    2014-10-15

    CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder, http://www.charmm-gui.org/input/membrane, is a web-based user interface designed to interactively build all-atom protein/membrane or membrane-only systems for molecular dynamics simulations through an automated optimized process. In this work, we describe the new features and major improvements in Membrane Builder that allow users to robustly build realistic biological membrane systems, including (1) addition of new lipid types, such as phosphoinositides, cardiolipin (CL), sphingolipids, bacterial lipids, and ergosterol, yielding more than 180 lipid types, (2) enhanced building procedure for lipid packing around protein, (3) reliable algorithm to detect lipid tail penetration to ring structures and protein surface, (4) distance-based algorithm for faster initial ion displacement, (5) CHARMM inputs for P21 image transformation, and (6) NAMD equilibration and production inputs. The robustness of these new features is illustrated by building and simulating a membrane model of the polar and septal regions of E. coli membrane, which contains five lipid types: CL lipids with two types of acyl chains and phosphatidylethanolamine lipids with three types of acyl chains. It is our hope that CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder becomes a useful tool for simulation studies to better understand the structure and dynamics of proteins and lipids in realistic biological membrane environments.

  3. A methodology for simulating biological systems using Microsoft Excel.

    PubMed

    Brown, A M

    1999-02-01

    The objective of this present study was to develop a simple, easily understood methodology for solving biologically based models using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The method involves the use of in-cell formulas in which Rows and Columns of new data are generated from data typed into the spreadsheet, but does not require any programming skills or use of the macro language. The approach involves entering the key parameter values into the spreadsheet and conducting the simulation by solving a set of equations based on these parameter values. The examples used in this paper are firstly, a simple voltage clamp simulation in which initial parameter values are used to calculate a system in steady state. The second example is a current clamp simulation where steady state is not reached and the solution of the equations for each time increment is used as the input for the next time increment in the simulation. The calculations are based on the Hodgkin Huxley mathematical equations that describe the voltage dependence of ion channel behavior. The problems and flexibility of the method are briefly discussed. The methodology developed in this present study should help novice modelers to create simple simulations without the need to learn a programming language or purchase expensive software.

  4. Research on monocentric model of urbanization by agent-based simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Ling; Yang, Kaizhong

    2008-10-01

    Over the past years, GIS have been widely used for modeling urbanization from a variety of perspectives such as digital terrain representation and overlay analysis using cell-based data platform. Similarly, simulation of urban dynamics has been achieved with the use of Cellular Automata. In contrast to these approaches, agent-based simulation provides a much more powerful set of tools. This allows researchers to set up a counterpart for real environmental and urban systems in computer for experimentation and scenario analysis. This Paper basically reviews the research on the economic mechanism of urbanization and an agent-based monocentric model is setup for further understanding the urbanization process and mechanism in China. We build an endogenous growth model with dynamic interactions between spatial agglomeration and urban development by using agent-based simulation. It simulates the migration decisions of two main types of agents, namely rural and urban households between rural and urban area. The model contains multiple economic interactions that are crucial in understanding urbanization and industrial process in China. These adaptive agents can adjust their supply and demand according to the market situation by a learning algorithm. The simulation result shows this agent-based urban model is able to perform the regeneration and to produce likely-to-occur projections of reality.

  5. Protocol for determination of chemical warfare agent simulant movement through porous media

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, R.A.; Buchanan, M.V.; Merriweather, R.; Ilgner, R.H.; Gayle, T.M.; Moneyhun, J.H.; Watson, A.P.

    1992-07-01

    In the event of an unplanned release of chemical warfare agent during any phase of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), a (small) potential exists for contamination of buildings and materials used in their construction. Guidelines for unrestricted access to potentially agent-contaminated private and public property are presently undefined due to uncertainties regarding the adequacy of decontaminating porous surfaces such as wood, masonry and gypsum wall board. Persistent agents such as VX or mustard are particularly problematic. The report which follows documents a measurement protocol developed in a scoping investigation characterizing the permeation of chemical warfare agent simulants [diisopropylmethyl phosphonate (DIMP) for warfare agent GB, dimethylmethyl phosphonate (DMMP) for warfare agent VX and chlorethylethyl sulfide (CEES) for warfare agent sulfur mustard] through several, common porous, construction materials. The ``porous media`` selected for examination were wood, brick, cinder block, and gypsum wall board. Simulants were tested rather than actual warfare agents because of their low toxicity, commercial availability, and the lack of surety capability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The present work is considered a protocol for confirmation testing with ``live`` agents.

  6. Protocol for determination of chemical warfare agent simulant movement through porous media

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, R.A.; Buchanan, M.V.; Merriweather, R.; Ilgner, R.H.; Gayle, T.M.; Moneyhun, J.H.; Watson, A.P.

    1992-07-01

    In the event of an unplanned release of chemical warfare agent during any phase of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), a (small) potential exists for contamination of buildings and materials used in their construction. Guidelines for unrestricted access to potentially agent-contaminated private and public property are presently undefined due to uncertainties regarding the adequacy of decontaminating porous surfaces such as wood, masonry and gypsum wall board. Persistent agents such as VX or mustard are particularly problematic. The report which follows documents a measurement protocol developed in a scoping investigation characterizing the permeation of chemical warfare agent simulants (diisopropylmethyl phosphonate (DIMP) for warfare agent GB, dimethylmethyl phosphonate (DMMP) for warfare agent VX and chlorethylethyl sulfide (CEES) for warfare agent sulfur mustard) through several, common porous, construction materials. The porous media'' selected for examination were wood, brick, cinder block, and gypsum wall board. Simulants were tested rather than actual warfare agents because of their low toxicity, commercial availability, and the lack of surety capability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The present work is considered a protocol for confirmation testing with live'' agents.

  7. Modeling and Simulation of Agents in Resource Strategy Games

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    of reusable factions for simulations involving the MidEast. The course was taught under the ‘Coop- Coop’ pedagogy in which the students were...brutality. • Moderate Y Followers - Lack of cultural freedom, schools, etc. Mostly rural family members who want own land and autonomy . • Radical Y

  8. Simulated Environments with Animated Agents: Effects on Visual Attention, Emotion, Performance, and Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romero-Hall, E.; Watson, G. S.; Adcock, A.; Bliss, J.; Adams Tufts, K.

    2016-01-01

    This research assessed how emotive animated agents in a simulation-based training affect the performance outcomes and perceptions of the individuals interacting in real time with the training application. A total of 56 participants consented to complete the study. The material for this investigation included a nursing simulation in which…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Jinlong

    2009-07-01

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

  10. Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, Tyler; Rumel, John D.

    1987-01-01

    Design decisions to aid the development of future space-based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. Here the biochemical stoichiometry is developed for: (1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; (2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and (3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady-state system with wheat as the sole food source.

  11. New treatment strategy including biological agents in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

    PubMed

    Leszczyński, Piotr; Pawlak-Buś, Katarzyna

    2013-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a heterogeneous disease, in which B lymphocyte activation and chronic inflammation play the key role. Both the disease itself and its treatment cause damage to multiple organs and systems. So far, despite intensive treatment, disease remission has been achieved in few patients, and the ratio of organ complications has increased significantly. This is caused by a long‑term glucocorticoid therapy with a relatively rare use of immunosuppressive drugs. With a new treatment strategy and modern immunotherapy, it is possible to reduce the mortality rate, limit multiple‑organ damage, thereby significantly improving the quality of life and prognosis of patients with SLE. The "treat‑to‑target" strategy enables targeted treatment resulting in a long‑term symptom remission. It is based on an intensive immunosuppressive treatment with simultaneous reduction of glucocorticoid doses, and limiting their use solely to exacerbations in disease activity. The current idea for treatment is also the conscious use of the beneficial potential of background SLE treatment including antimalarial agents and standard immunosuppressive therapy. With the first biological agent approved for SLE treatment, the new age of therapy has dawned. Biologics offer new prospects and possibilities to induce clinical and immunological remission of SLE.

  12. Axinellamines as Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Agents: Scalable Synthesis and Biology

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria present an ongoing challenge to both chemists and biologists as they seek novel compounds and modes of action to out-maneuver continually evolving resistance pathways, especially against Gram-negative strains. The dimeric pyrrole–imidazole alkaloids represent a unique marine natural product class with diverse primary biological activity and chemical architecture. This full account traces the strategy used to develop a second-generation route to key spirocycle 9, culminating in a practical synthesis of the axinellamines and enabling their discovery as broad-spectrum antibacterial agents, with promising activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. While their detailed mode of antibacterial action remains unclear, the axinellamines appear to cause secondary membrane destabilization and impart an aberrant cellular morphology consistent with the inhibition of normal septum formation. This study serves as a rare example of a natural product initially reported to be devoid of biological activity surfacing as an active antibacterial agent with an intriguing mode of action. PMID:25328977

  13. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Releasing Agents: Chemistry and Biological Applications

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yu; Biggs, Tyler D.

    2014-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a newly recognized signaling molecule with very potent cytoprotective actions. The fields of H2S physiology and pharmacology have been rapidly growing in recent years, but a number of fundamental issues must be addressed to advance our understanding of the biology and clinical potential of H2S in the future. Hydrogen sulfide releasing agents (also known as H2S donors) have been widely used in the field. These compounds are not only useful research tools, but also potential therapeutic agents. It is therefore important to study the chemistry and pharmacology of exogenous H2S and to be aware of the limitations associated with the choice of donors used to generate H2S in vitro and in vivo. In this review we summarized the developments and limitations of current available donors including H2S gas, sulfide salts, garlic-derived sulfur compounds, Lawesson’s reagent/analogs, 1,2-dithiole-3-thiones, thiol-activated donors, photo-caged donors, and thioamino acids. Some biological applications of these donors were also discussed. PMID:25019301

  14. Axinellamines as broad-spectrum antibacterial agents: scalable synthesis and biology.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Rodrigo A; Barrios Steed, Danielle; Kawamata, Yu; Su, Shun; Smith, Peter A; Steed, Tyler C; Romesberg, Floyd E; Baran, Phil S

    2014-10-29

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria present an ongoing challenge to both chemists and biologists as they seek novel compounds and modes of action to out-maneuver continually evolving resistance pathways, especially against Gram-negative strains. The dimeric pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids represent a unique marine natural product class with diverse primary biological activity and chemical architecture. This full account traces the strategy used to develop a second-generation route to key spirocycle 9, culminating in a practical synthesis of the axinellamines and enabling their discovery as broad-spectrum antibacterial agents, with promising activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. While their detailed mode of antibacterial action remains unclear, the axinellamines appear to cause secondary membrane destabilization and impart an aberrant cellular morphology consistent with the inhibition of normal septum formation. This study serves as a rare example of a natural product initially reported to be devoid of biological activity surfacing as an active antibacterial agent with an intriguing mode of action.

  15. Multiple year effects of a biological control agent (Diorhabda carinulata) on Tamarix (saltcedar) ecosystem exchanges of carbon dioxide and water

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control of Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) with Diorhabda carinulata (the northern tamarisk beetle) is currently underway in several western states U.S.A. through historical releases and the natural migration of this insect. Given the widespread dispersal of this biological control agent and its...

  16. iCrowd: agent-based behavior modeling and crowd simulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kountouriotis, Vassilios I.; Paterakis, Manolis; Thomopoulos, Stelios C. A.

    2016-05-01

    Initially designed in the context of the TASS (Total Airport Security System) FP-7 project, the Crowd Simulation platform developed by the Integrated Systems Lab of the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications at N.C.S.R. Demokritos, has evolved into a complete domain-independent agent-based behavior simulator with an emphasis on crowd behavior and building evacuation simulation. Under continuous development, it reflects an effort to implement a modern, multithreaded, data-oriented simulation engine employing latest state-of-the-art programming technologies and paradigms. It is based on an extensible architecture that separates core services from the individual layers of agent behavior, offering a concrete simulation kernel designed for high-performance and stability. Its primary goal is to deliver an abstract platform to facilitate implementation of several Agent-Based Simulation solutions with applicability in several domains of knowledge, such as: (i) Crowd behavior simulation during [in/out] door evacuation. (ii) Non-Player Character AI for Game-oriented applications and Gamification activities. (iii) Vessel traffic modeling and simulation for Maritime Security and Surveillance applications. (iv) Urban and Highway Traffic and Transportation Simulations. (v) Social Behavior Simulation and Modeling.

  17. Degradation of biological weapons agents in the environment: implications for terrorism response.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Amy L; Wilkening, Dean A

    2005-04-15

    We investigate the impact on effective terrorism response of the viability degradation of biological weapons agents in the environment. We briefly review the scientific understanding and modeling of agent environmental viability degradation. In general, agent susceptibility to viability loss is greatest for vegetative bacteria, intermediate for viruses, and least for bacterial spores. Survival is greatest in soil and progressively decreases in the following environments: textiles, water, hard surfaces, and air. There is little detailed understanding of loss mechanisms. We analyze the time behavior and sensitivity of four mathematical models that are used to represent environmental viability degradation (the exponential, probability, and first- and second-order catastrophic decay models). The models behave similarly at short times (<30 min for our example case) but diverge to significantly different values at intermediate to long times. Hence, for a release event in which the majority of atmospheric exposure or deposition occurs oververy short times, the current response models likely provide a good representation of the hazard. For longer time phenomena, including decontamination, the current model capabilities are likely insufficient. Finally, we implement each model in a simple numerical integration of anthrax dispersion, viability degradation, and dose response. Decay models spanning the current knowledge of airborne degradation result in vastly different predicted hazard areas. This confounds attempts to determine necessary medical and decontamination measures. Hence,the current level of understanding and representation of environmental viability degradation in response models is inadequate to inform appropriate emergency response measures.

  18. Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents with a single multi-functional material.

    PubMed

    Amitai, Gabi; Murata, Hironobu; Andersen, Jill D; Koepsel, Richard R; Russell, Alan J

    2010-05-01

    We report the synthesis of new polymers based on a dimethylacrylamide-methacrylate (DMAA-MA) co-polymer backbone that support both chemical and biological agent decontamination. Polyurethanes containing the redox enzymes glucose oxidase and horseradish peroxidase can convert halide ions into active halogens and exert striking bactericidal activity against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. New materials combining those biopolymers with a family of N-alkyl 4-pyridinium aldoxime (4-PAM) halide-acrylate co-polymers offer both nucleophilic activity for the detoxification of organophosphorus nerve agents and internal sources of halide ions for generation of biocidal activity. Generation of free bromine and iodine was observed in the combined material resulting in bactericidal activity of the enzymatically formed free halogens that caused complete kill of E. coli (>6 log units reduction) within 1 h at 37 degrees C. Detoxification of diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) by the polyDMAA MA-4-PAM iodide component was dose-dependent reaching 85% within 30 min. A subset of 4-PAM-halide co-polymers was designed to serve as a controlled release reservoir for N-hydroxyethyl 4-PAM (HE 4-PAM) molecules that reactivate nerve agent-inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Release rates for HE 4-PAM were consistent with hydrolysis of the HE 4-PAM from the polymer backbone. The HE 4-PAM that was released from the polymer reactivated DFP-inhibited AChE at a similar rate to the oxime antidote 4-PAM.

  19. Biological and environmental hazards associated with exposure to chemical warfare agents: arsenicals.

    PubMed

    Li, Changzhao; Srivastava, Ritesh K; Athar, Mohammad

    2016-08-01

    Arsenicals are highly reactive inorganic and organic derivatives of arsenic. These chemicals are very toxic and produce both acute and chronic tissue damage. On the basis of these observations, and considering the low cost and simple methods of their bulk syntheses, these agents were thought to be appropriate for chemical warfare. Among these, the best-known agent that was synthesized and weaponized during World War I (WWI) is Lewisite. Exposure to Lewisite causes painful inflammatory and blistering responses in the skin, lung, and eye. These chemicals also manifest systemic tissue injury following their cutaneous exposure. Although largely discontinued after WWI, stockpiles are still known to exist in the former Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Asia. Thus, access by terrorists or accidental exposure could be highly dangerous for humans and the environment. This review summarizes studies that describe the biological, pathophysiological, toxicological, and environmental effects of exposure to arsenicals, with a major focus on cutaneous injury. Studies related to the development of novel molecular pathobiology-based antidotes against these agents are also described.

  20. The Unified Behavior Framework for the Simulation of Autonomous Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

    architectures. Brooks built more complex behaviors on top of the lower-level “instincts,” so that the robot could explore by wandering throughout its...time has passed. With this in mind , every entity in the simulation has a method that re-calculates the state of that entity, and is called every time...making, a much more accurate representation of the pilots mind could be obtained with the UBF tree. In addition to the mental model fidelity, complexity

  1. Interactive simulation of local interactions in dense crowds using elliptical agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narang, Sahil; Best, Andrew; Manocha, Dinesh

    2017-03-01

    We present a practical approach for interactive crowd simulation based on elliptical agents. Our formulation uses a biomechanically accurate pedestrian representation to simulate different local interactions, including backpedaling, side-stepping, and shoulder-twisting. We present an efficient algorithm for local navigation and collision avoidance among multiple elliptical agents using velocity obstacles. Furthermore, we describe techniques to link the orientation of each elliptical agent to its velocity to automatically generate turning and lateral movements. In practice, our approach can simulate dense crowds of hundreds of pedestrians at interactive rates on a single CPU core. We highlight the performance in complex scenarios and validate our simulation results by comparing with real-world crowd videos and experiments.

  2. Application of protein arraytubes to bacteria, toxin, and biological warfare agent detection.

    PubMed

    Ehricht, Ralf; Adelhelm, Karin; Monecke, Stefan; Huelseweh, Birgit

    2009-01-01

    Microarray technology enables the fast and parallel analysis of a multitude of biologically relevant parameters. Not only nucleic acid-based tests, but also peptide, antigen, and antibody assays using different formats of microarrays evolved within the last decade. They offer the possibility to measure interactions in a miniaturised, economic, automated, and qualitative or quantitative way providing insights into the cellular machinery of diverse organisms. Examples of applications in research and diagnostics are, e.g., O-typing of pathogenic Escherichia coli, detection of bacterial toxins and other biological warfare agents (BW agents) from a variety of different samples, screening of complex antibody libraries, and epitope mapping. Conventional O- and H-serotyping methods can now be substituted by procedures applying DNA oligonucleotide and antibody-based microarrays. For simultaneous and sensitive detection of BW agents microarray-based tests are available, which include not only relevant viruses and bacteria, but also toxins. This application is not only restricted to the security and military sector but it can also be used in the fields of medical diagnostics or public health to detect, e.g., staphylococcal enterotoxins in food or clinical samples. Furthermore, the same technology could be used to detect antibodies against enterotoxins in human sera using a competitive assay. Protein and peptide microarrays can also be used for characterisation of antibodies. On one hand, peptide microarrays allow detailed epitope mapping. On the other hand, a set of different antibodies recognising the same antigen can be spotted as a microarray and labelled as detection antibodies. This approach makes it possible to test every combination, allowing to find the optimal pair of detection/capture antibody.

  3. Detection of aerosolized biological agents by immunoassay followed by autonomous PCR confirmation

    SciTech Connect

    Dzenitis, J M; Hindson, B J; McBride, M T; Makarewicz, A J; Henderer, B D; Sathyam, U S; Smith, S M; Gutierrez, D M; Metz, T R; Venkateswaran, K S; Colston, B W; Farrow, S W

    2003-12-15

    An Autonomous Pathogen Detection System (APDS) unit is an automated, podium-sized system that monitors the air for all three biological threat agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins). The system has been developed under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to protect people in critical or high-traffic facilities and at special events. The system performs continuous aerosol collection, sample preparation, and multiplexed biological tests using advanced immunoassays as the primary screen. Over ten agents are assayed at once, and results are reported hourly. R&D work this year focused on incorporating polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) techniques for detecting DNA as confirmation of immunoassay positives. The primary objective of the Dugway testing was to demonstrate the APDS with immunoassay identification and PCR confirmation of bacteria. A secondary objective was to demonstrate immunoassay identification of a protein toxoid (denatured toxin) aerosol release. A total of 12 agent trials were conducted over 14 days of testing, for a total of four work weeks at Dugway. Both testing objectives were achieved with multiple releases and clear identifications. The APDS was shown to be effective for identifying aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus globigii, and botulinum toxoid. The two areas for improvement were operational as opposed to hardware-related. The first was slowing the PCR thermal cycling to achieve stronger signals, which was demonstrated during the later phases of testing. The second area is to improve the parameters for autonomous PCR triggering; this is one of the focuses of the upcoming year's work.

  4. Backscatter and depolarization measurements of aerosolized biological simulants using a chamber lidar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, David M.; Thrush, Evan P.; Thomas, Michael E.; Santarpia, Josh; Quizon, Jason; Carter, Christopher C.

    2010-04-01

    To ensure agent optical cross sections are well understood from the UV to the LWIR, volume integrated measurements of aerosolized agent material at a few key wavelengths is required to validate existing simulations. Ultimately these simulations will be used to assess the detection performance of various classes of lidar technology spanning the entire range of the optical spectrum. The present work demonstrates an optical measurement architecture based on lidar allowing the measurement of backscatter and depolarization ratio from biological aerosols released in a refereed, 1-m cubic chamber. During 2009, various upgrades have been made to the chamber LIDAR system, which operates at 1.064 μm with sub nanosecond pulses at a 120 Hz repetition rate. The first build of the system demonstrated a sensitivity of aerosolized Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) on the order of 5×105 ppl with 1 GHz InGaAs detectors. To increase the sensitivity and reduce noise, the InGaAs detectors were replaced with larger-area silicon avalanche photodiodes for the second build of the system. In addition, computer controlled step variable neutral density filters are now incorporated to facilitate calibrating the system for absolute back-scatter measurements. Calibrated hard target measurements will be combined with data from the ground truth instruments for cross-section determination of the material aerosolized in the chamber. Measured results are compared to theoretical simulations of cross-sections.

  5. A multi-phasic approach reveals that apple replant disease is caused by multiple biological agents, with some agents acting synergistically

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apple replant disease (ARD) has been reported from all major fruit-growing regions of the world, and is often caused by a consortium of biological agents. The aim of this study was to investigate the etiology of ARD in South Africa in six orchard soils, using a multiphasic approach under glasshouse ...

  6. The acquisition of dangerous biological materials: Technical facts sheets to assist risk assessments of 46 potential BW agents

    SciTech Connect

    Aceto, Donato Gonzalo; Astuto-Gribble, Lisa M.; Gaudioso, Jennifer M.

    2007-11-01

    Numerous terrorist organizations have openly expressed interest in producing and deploying biological weapons. However, a limiting factor for many terrorists has been the acquisition of dangerous biological agents, as evidenced by the very few successful instances of biological weapons use compared to the number of documented hoaxes. Biological agents vary greatly in their ability to cause loss of life and economic damage. Some agents, if released properly, can kill many people and cause an extensive number of secondary infections; other agents will sicken only a small number of people for a short period of time. Consequently, several biological agents can potentially be used to perpetrate a bioterrorism attack but few are likely capable of causing a high consequence event. It is crucial, from a US national security perspective, to more deeply understand the likelihood that terrorist organizations can acquire the range of these agents. Few studies have attempted to comprehensively compile the technical information directly relevant to the acquisition of dangerous bacteria, viruses and toxins. In this report, technical fact sheets were assembled for 46 potentially dangerous biological agents. Much of the information was taken from various research sources which could ultimately and significantly expedite and improve bioterrorism threat assessments. By systematically examining a number of specific agent characteristics included in these fact sheets, it may be possible to detect, target, and implement measures to thwart future terrorist acquisition attempts. In addition, the information in these fact sheets may be used as a tool to help laboratories gain a rudimentary understanding of how attractive a method laboratory theft is relative to other potential acquisition modes.

  7. Effects of chemical and biological warfare remediation agents on the materials of museum objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solazzo, C.; Erhardt, D.; Marte, F.; von Endt, D.; Tumosa, C.

    In the fall of 2001, anthrax-contaminated letters were sent to public figures in the United States. Chemical and radiation treatments were employed to decontaminate exposed buildings, objects, and materials. These treatments are effective, but potentially damaging to exposed objects and materials. The recommended surface chemical treatments include solutions, gels, and foams of oxidizing agents such as peroxides or chlorine bleaching agents. Such oxidizing agents are effective against a wide range of hazardous chemical and biological agents. Knowing how these reagents affect various substrates would help to anticipate and to minimize any potential damage. We are examining the effects on typical museum materials of reagents likely to be used, including hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and potassium peroxymonosulfate. Results so far show significant changes in a number of materials. Surface corrosion was observed on metals such as copper, silver, iron, and brass. Color changes occurred with at least one reagent in about one-fourth of the dyed fabric swatches tested, and about half of the inks. Samples of aged yellowed paper are bleached. Effects varied with both the substrate and the tested reagent. The observed changes were generally less drastic than might have been expected. Enough materials were affected, though, to preclude the use of these reagents on museum objects unless no less drastic alternative is available. It appears that many objects of lesser intrinsic value can be treated without severe loss of properties or usefulness. For example, most documents should remain legible if the appropriate reagent is used. This work will provide a basis for determining which treatment is most appropriate for a specific situation and what consequences are to be expected from other treatments.

  8. Modeling and Simulation Tools: From Systems Biology to Systems Medicine.

    PubMed

    Olivier, Brett G; Swat, Maciej J; Moné, Martijn J

    2016-01-01

    Modeling is an integral component of modern biology. In this chapter we look into the role of the model, as it pertains to Systems Medicine, and the software that is required to instantiate and run it. We do this by comparing the development, implementation, and characteristics of tools that have been developed to work with two divergent methodologies: Systems Biology and Pharmacometrics. From the Systems Biology perspective we consider the concept of "Software as a Medical Device" and what this may imply for the migration of research-oriented, simulation software into the domain of human health.In our second perspective, we see how in practice hundreds of computational tools already accompany drug discovery and development at every stage of the process. Standardized exchange formats are required to streamline the model exchange between tools, which would minimize translation errors and reduce the required time. With the emergence, almost 15 years ago, of the SBML standard, a large part of the domain of interest is already covered and models can be shared and passed from software to software without recoding them. Until recently the last stage of the process, the pharmacometric analysis used in clinical studies carried out on subject populations, lacked such an exchange medium. We describe a new emerging exchange format in Pharmacometrics which covers the non-linear mixed effects models, the standard statistical model type used in this area. By interfacing these two formats the entire domain can be covered by complementary standards and subsequently the according tools.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Effect of capping agents: Structural, optical and biological properties of ZnO nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javed, Rabia; Usman, Muhammad; Tabassum, Saira; Zia, Muhammad

    2016-11-01

    Different biological activities of capped and uncapped ZnO nanoparticles were investigated, and the effects of potential capping agents on these biological activities were studied. ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized and capped by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) using a simple chemical method of co-precipitation. Characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and UV-vis spectroscopy confirmed the crystallinity, size, functional group, and band gap of synthesized nanoparticles. Reduction in size occurred from 34 nm to 26 nm due to surfactant. Results of all biological activities indicated significantly higher values in capped as compared to uncapped nanoparticles. Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538), Bacillus subtilis (ATCC 6633), Escherichia coli (ATCC15224), and Acetobacter was obtained. This activity was more prominent against Gram-positive bacteria, and ZnO-PVP nanoparticles elucidated highest antibacterial activity (zone of inhibition 17 mm) against Gram-positive, Bacillus subtilis species. Antioxidant activities including total flavonoid content, total phenolic content, total antioxidant capacity, total reducing power and %age inhibition of DPPH, and antidiabetic activity against α-amylase enzyme found to be exhibited highest by ZnO-PEG nanoparticles.

  11. Adaptive evolution of a generalist parasitoid: implications for the effectiveness of biological control agents

    PubMed Central

    Zepeda-Paulo, Francisca A; Ortiz-Martínez, Sebastián A; Figueroa, Christian C; Lavandero, Blas

    2013-01-01

    The use of alternative hosts imposes divergent selection pressures on parasitoid populations. In response to selective pressures, these populations may follow different evolutionary trajectories. Divergent natural selection could promote local host adaptation in populations, translating into direct benefits for biological control, thereby increasing their effectiveness on the target host. Alternatively, adaptive phenotypic plasticity could be favored over local adaptation in temporal and spatially heterogeneous environments. We investigated the existence of local host adaptation in Aphidius ervi, an important biological control agent, by examining different traits related to infectivity (preference) and virulence (a proxy of parasitoid fitness) on different aphid-host species. The results showed significant differences in parasitoid infectivity on their natal host compared with the non-natal hosts. However, parasitoids showed a similar high fitness on both natal and non-natal hosts, thus supporting a lack of host adaptation in these introduced parasitoid populations. Our results highlight the role of phenotypic plasticity in fitness-related traits of parasitoids, enabling them to maximize fitness on alternative hosts. This could be used to increase the effectiveness of biological control. In addition, A. ervi females showed significant differences in infectivity and virulence across the tested host range, thus suggesting a possible host phylogeny effect for those traits. PMID:24062806

  12. Adaptive evolution of a generalist parasitoid: implications for the effectiveness of biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Zepeda-Paulo, Francisca A; Ortiz-Martínez, Sebastián A; Figueroa, Christian C; Lavandero, Blas

    2013-09-01

    The use of alternative hosts imposes divergent selection pressures on parasitoid populations. In response to selective pressures, these populations may follow different evolutionary trajectories. Divergent natural selection could promote local host adaptation in populations, translating into direct benefits for biological control, thereby increasing their effectiveness on the target host. Alternatively, adaptive phenotypic plasticity could be favored over local adaptation in temporal and spatially heterogeneous environments. We investigated the existence of local host adaptation in Aphidius ervi, an important biological control agent, by examining different traits related to infectivity (preference) and virulence (a proxy of parasitoid fitness) on different aphid-host species. The results showed significant differences in parasitoid infectivity on their natal host compared with the non-natal hosts. However, parasitoids showed a similar high fitness on both natal and non-natal hosts, thus supporting a lack of host adaptation in these introduced parasitoid populations. Our results highlight the role of phenotypic plasticity in fitness-related traits of parasitoids, enabling them to maximize fitness on alternative hosts. This could be used to increase the effectiveness of biological control. In addition, A. ervi females showed significant differences in infectivity and virulence across the tested host range, thus suggesting a possible host phylogeny effect for those traits.

  13. Post-introduction evolution in the biological control agent Longitarsus jacobaeae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

    PubMed Central

    Szűcs, Marianna; Schaffner, Urs; Price, William J; Schwarzländer, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Rapid evolution has rarely been assessed in biological control systems despite the similarity with biological invasions, which are widely used as model systems. We assessed post-introduction climatic adaptation in a population of Longitarsus jacobaeae, a biological control agent of Jacobaea vulgaris, which originated from a low-elevation site in Italy and was introduced in the USA to a high-elevation site (Mt. Hood, Oregon) in the early 1980s. Life-history characteristics of beetle populations from Mt. Hood, from two low-elevation sites in Oregon (Italian origin) and from a high-elevation site from Switzerland were compared in common gardens. The performance of low- and high-elevation populations at a low- and a high-elevation site was evaluated using reciprocal transplants. The results revealed significant changes in aestival diapause and shifts in phenology in the Mt. Hood population, compared with the low-elevation populations. We found increased performance of the Mt. Hood population in its home environment compared with the low-elevation populations that it originated from. The results indicate that the beetles at Mt. Hood have adapted to the cooler conditions by life-history changes that conform to predictions based on theory and the phenology of the cold-adapted Swiss beetles. PMID:23346230

  14. Performance of Traditional and Molecular Methods for Detecting Biological Agents in Drinking Water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Francy, Donna S.; Bushon, Rebecca N.; Brady, Amie M.G.; Bertke, Erin E.; Kephart, Christopher M.; Likirdopulos, Christina A.; Mailot, Brian E.; Schaefer, Frank W.; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    To reduce the impact from a possible bioterrorist attack on drinking-water supplies, analytical methods are needed to rapidly detect the presence of biological agents in water. To this end, 13 drinking-water samples were collected at 9 water-treatment plants in Ohio to assess the performance of a molecular method in comparison to traditional analytical methods that take longer to perform. Two 100-liter samples were collected at each site during each sampling event; one was seeded in the laboratory with six biological agents - Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), Burkholderia cepacia (as a surrogate for Bu. pseudomallei), Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis), Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi), Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae), and Cryptospordium parvum (C. parvum). The seeded and unseeded samples were processed by ultrafiltration and analyzed by use of quantiative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), a molecular method, and culture methods for bacterial agents or the immunomagnetic separation/fluorescent antibody (IMS/FA) method for C. parvum as traditional methods. Six replicate seeded samples were also processed and analyzed. For traditional methods, recoveries were highly variable between samples and even between some replicate samples, ranging from below detection to greater than 100 percent. Recoveries were significantly related to water pH, specific conductance, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for all bacteria combined by culture methods, but none of the water-quality characteristics tested were related to recoveries of C. parvum by IMS/FA. Recoveries were not determined by qPCR because of problems in quantifying organisms by qPCR in the composite seed. Instead, qPCR results were reported as detected, not detected (no qPCR signal), or +/- detected (Cycle Threshold or 'Ct' values were greater than 40). Several sample results by qPCR were omitted from the dataset because of possible problems with qPCR reagents, primers, and probes. For the remaining 14 qPCR results

  15. A multi-agent system simulating human splice site recognition.

    PubMed

    Vignal, L; Lisacek, F; Quinqueton, J; d'Aubenton-Carafa, Y; Thermes, C

    1999-06-15

    The present paper describes a method detecting splice sites automatically on the basis of sequence data and models of site/signal recognition supported by experimental evidences. The method is designed to simulate splicing and while doing so, track prediction failures, missing information and possibly test correcting hypotheses. Correlations between nucleotides in the splice site regions and the various elements of the acceptor region are evaluated and combined to assess compensating interactions between elements of the splicing machinery. A scanning model of the acceptor region and a model of interaction between the splicing complexes (exon definition model) are also incorporated in the detection process. Subsets of sites presenting deficiencies of several splice site elements could be identified. Further examination of these sites helps to determine lacking elements and refine models.

  16. Wireless Hazard Badges to Detect Nerve-Agent Simulants.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Rong; Azzarelli, Joseph M; Swager, Timothy M

    2016-08-08

    Human exposure to hazardous chemicals can have adverse short- and long-term health effects. In this Communication, we have developed a single-use wearable hazard badge that dosimetrically detects diethylchlorophosphate (DCP), a model organophosphorous cholinesterase inhibitor simulant. Improved chemically actuated resonant devices (CARDs) are fabricated in a single step and unambiguously relate changes in chemiresistance to a wireless readout. To provide selective and readily manufacturable sensor elements for this platform, we developed an ionic-liquid-mediated single walled carbon nanotube based chemidosimetric scheme with DCP limits of detection of 28 ppb. As a practical demonstration, an 8 h workday time weighted average equivalent exposure of 10 ppb DCP effects an irreversible change in smartphone readout.

  17. Selection of an averaging technique by simulation study of a DIAL system for toxic agents monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudeja, Jai Paul; Jindal, Mukesh Kumar; Veerabuthiran, S.

    2007-10-01

    Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) is a very effective technique for standoff detection of various toxic agents in the atmosphere. The Lidar backscattered signal received usually has poor signal to noise (SNR) ratio. In order to improve the SNR, statistical averaging over a number of laser pulses is employed. The aim of the present work is to select a particular statistical averaging technique, which is most suitable in removing the noise in Lidar return signals. The DIAL system considered here uses laser transmitters based on OPO based (2-5 μm) and TEA CO2 (9-11μm) lasers. Eight commonly used chemical warfare agents including five nerve agents and three blister agents have been considered here as examples of toxic agents. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) software has been developed in LabVIEW to simulate return signals mixed with the expected noise levels. A toxic agent cloud with a given thickness and concentration has been assumed to be detected in the ambient atmospheric conditions at various ranges up to 5 Km. Data for 200 pulses per agent was stored in the computer memory. Various known statistical averaging techniques were used and number concentrations of particular agent have been computed and compared with ideal Lidar return signal values. This exercise was repeated for all the eight agents and based on the results obtained; the most suitable averaging technique has been selected.

  18. Agent Based Modeling and Simulation Framework for Supply Chain Risk Management

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-01

    timed Petri net based simulation (Tuncel and Alpan 2010), and Monte Carlo (White 1995, Wu and Olson 2008, and Schmitt and Singh 2009). More detail...benefit costs. (Li and Li 2008) 26 Chen, Zhou, and Hu propose an agent-oriented Petri net model for an inventory- scheduling model, with focus on the...problems of analysis and modeling of multi-agent systems. Petri net aims at researching the organization structure and dynamic behavior of a system

  19. Method for distributed agent-based non-expert simulation of manufacturing process behavior

    DOEpatents

    Ivezic, Nenad; Potok, Thomas E.

    2004-11-30

    A method for distributed agent based non-expert simulation of manufacturing process behavior on a single-processor computer comprises the steps of: object modeling a manufacturing technique having a plurality of processes; associating a distributed agent with each the process; and, programming each the agent to respond to discrete events corresponding to the manufacturing technique, wherein each discrete event triggers a programmed response. The method can further comprise the step of transmitting the discrete events to each agent in a message loop. In addition, the programming step comprises the step of conditioning each agent to respond to a discrete event selected from the group consisting of a clock tick message, a resources received message, and a request for output production message.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Robeck, M.; Ricken, T.

    2011-04-15

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

  1. Triage, monitoring, and treatment of mass casualty events involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents

    PubMed Central

    Ramesh, Aruna C.; Kumar, S.

    2010-01-01

    In a mass casualty situation due to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) event, triage is absolutely required for categorizing the casualties in accordance with medical care priorities. Dealing with a CBRN event always starts at the local level. Even before the detection and analysis of agents can be undertaken, zoning, triage, decontamination, and treatment should be initiated promptly. While applying the triage system, the available medical resources and maximal utilization of medical assets should be taken into consideration by experienced triage officers who are most familiar with the natural course of the injury presented and have detailed information on medical assets. There are several triage systems that can be applied to CBRN casualties. With no one standardized system globally or nationally available, it is important for deploying a triage and decontamination system which is easy to follow and flexible to the available medical resources, casualty number, and severity of injury. PMID:21829319

  2. Biological agent identification by nucleic acid base-pair analysis using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Smith, Wayne W.; Elliott, Susan; Sperry, Jay F.

    1999-01-01

    Recently, a number of analytical methods have been successfully developed which use nucleic acid sequencing to identify biological warfare agents. However, the effectiveness of these methods, towards the safety and protection of US Armed Forces and their allies are limited by the period required to enumerate the nucleic acid through polymerase chain reactions or culture growth to produce sufficient quantities for analysis. To overcome this limitation, we have been investigating the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to detect nucleic acids with sufficient sensitivity and selectivity to eliminate the need for enumeration. The design of a small volume electrolytic sample cell will be presented along with analysis of the nucleic acid bases and preliminary analysis of model bacteria.

  3. Role of biological agents in the oxidation of glucose on black platinum electrodes

    SciTech Connect

    Disalvo, E.A.; Videla, H.A.

    1981-05-01

    The purpose of this paper is to bring more evidence of real participation by the microorganisms in the oxygen-glucose interaction at the black platinum electrodes. From the information obtained it can be concluded that the active participation of the biological agent is achieved by changing the environment near the bioelectrode. The respiratory activity and its incidence on the electrode response were verified when cells were suspended in the bioanode without substrate. In this case no oxygen consumption was observed and no current increase was achieved. Although the catalytic activity of the black platinum electrodes is evident, the active participation of the microorganisms by means of a suitable modification of the environment (i.e., oxygen depletion) increases the electrode response. 13 refs.

  4. 3D modeling of environments contaminated with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jasiobedzki, Piotr; Ng, Ho-Kong; Bondy, Michel; McDiarmid, Carl H.

    2008-04-01

    CBRN Crime Scene Modeler (C2SM) is a prototype 3D modeling system for first responders investigating environments contaminated with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear agents. The prototype operates on board a small robotic platform or a hand-held device. The sensor suite includes stereo and high resolution cameras, a long wave infra red camera, chemical detector, and two gamma detectors (directional and non-directional). C2SM has been recently tested in field trials where it was teleoperated within an indoor environment with gamma radiation sources present. The system has successfully created multi-modal 3D models (geometry, colour, IR and gamma radiation), correctly identified location of radiation sources and provided high resolution images of these sources.

  5. Spillover of a biological control agent (Chrysolina quadrigemina) onto native St. Johnswort (Hypericum punctatum)

    PubMed Central

    Cook-Patton, Susan C.; Agrawal, Anurag A.

    2016-01-01

    Biological control agents may have unintended effects on native biota, particularly species that are closely related to the target invader. Here, we explored how Chrysolina quadrigemina, a beetle introduced to control the invasive weed Hypericum perforatum, impacts native H. punctatum in Tompkins County, New York, USA. Using a suite of complementary field surveys and experimental manipulations, we examined beetle preference for native and exotic Hypericum species and whether beetle herbivory influences the spatial distribution of H. punctatum. We found that the introduced beetle readily consumes native H. punctatum in addition to its intended target, and that H. punctatum at our field sites generally occurs along forest edges despite higher performance of experimental plants in more open habitats. However, we found no evidence that the beetle limits H. punctatum to forest edge habitats. PMID:27069816

  6. A Systematic Screen of FDA-Approved Drugs for Inhibitors of Biological Threat Agents

    PubMed Central

    Madrid, Peter B.; Chopra, Sidharth; Manger, Ian D.; Gilfillan, Lynne; Keepers, Tiffany R.; Shurtleff, Amy C.; Green, Carol E.; Iyer, Lalitha V.; Dilks, Holli Hutcheson; Davey, Robert A.; Kolokoltsov, Andrey A.; Carrion, Ricardo; Patterson, Jean L.; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.; Warren, Travis K.; Wells, Jay B.; Moos, Walter H.; Burke, RaeLyn L.; Tanga, Mary J.

    2013-01-01

    Background The rapid development of effective medical countermeasures against potential biological threat agents is vital. Repurposing existing drugs that may have unanticipated activities as potential countermeasures is one way to meet this important goal, since currently approved drugs already have well-established safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in patients, as well as manufacturing and distribution networks. Therefore, approved drugs could rapidly be made available for a new indication in an emergency. Methodology/Principal Findings A large systematic effort to determine whether existing drugs can be used against high containment bacterial and viral pathogens is described. We assembled and screened 1012 FDA-approved drugs for off-label broad-spectrum efficacy against Bacillus anthracis; Francisella tularensis; Coxiella burnetii; and Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses using in vitro cell culture assays. We found a variety of hits against two or more of these biological threat pathogens, which were validated in secondary assays. As expected, antibiotic compounds were highly active against bacterial agents, but we did not identify any non-antibiotic compounds with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in vivo protecting mice against Bacillus anthracis challenge. While multiple virus-specific inhibitors were identified, the most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine, which disrupted entry and replication of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebola virus challenge in vivo. Conclusions/Significance The feasibility of repurposing existing drugs to face novel threats is demonstrated and this represents the first effort to apply this approach to high containment bacteria and viruses. PMID:23577127

  7. An intensive search for promising fungal biological control agents of ticks, particularly Rhipicephalus microplus.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Everton K K; Angelo, Isabele C; Rangel, Drauzio E N; Bahiense, Thiago C; Moraes, Aurea M L; Roberts, Donald W; Bittencourt, Vânia R E P

    2011-12-15

    Entomopathogenic fungi have been investigated worldwide as promising biological control agents of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus. The current study evaluates the virulence of several fungal isolates to R. microplus larva in the laboratory as part of an effort to identify isolates with promise for effective biocontrol of R. microplus in the field. Sixty fungal isolates, encompassing 5 Beauveria spp. and 1 Engyodontium albus (=Beauveria alba), were included in this study. In addition to bioassays, the isolates were characterized morphologically and investigated as to their potential for conidial mass production. These findings were correlated with previous reports on the same fungal isolates of their natural UV-B tolerance (Fernandes et al., 2007), thermotolerance and cold activity (Fernandes et al., 2008), and genotypes (Fernandes et al., 2009). R. microplus larvae obtained from artificially infested calves were less susceptible to Beauveria bassiana infection than ticks acquired from naturally infested cattle from a different location. Isolates CG 464, CG 500 and CG 206 were among the most virulent Beauveria isolates tested in this study. All fungal isolates presented morphological features consistent with their species descriptions. Of the 53 B. bassiana isolates, five (CG 481, CG 484, CG 206, CG 235 and CG 487) had characteristics that qualified them as promising candidates for biological control agents of R. microplus, viz., mean LC(50) between 10(7) and 10(8)conidiaml(-1); produced 5000 conidia or more on 60mm(2) surface area of PDAY medium; and, in comparison to untreated (control) conidia, had the best conidial tolerances to UV-B (7.04 kJ m(-2)) and heat (45°C, 2h) of 50% or higher, and conidial cold (5°C, 15d) activity (mycelial growth) higher than 60%. The current study of 60 Beauveria spp. isolates, therefore, singles out a few (five) with high potential for controlling ticks under field conditions.

  8. Chicken cathelicidin-2-derived peptides with enhanced immunomodulatory and antibacterial activities against biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Molhoek, E Margo; van Dijk, Albert; Veldhuizen, Edwin J A; Dijk-Knijnenburg, Helma; Mars-Groenendijk, Roos H; Boele, Linda C L; Kaman-van Zanten, Wendy E; Haagsman, Henk P; Bikker, Floris J

    2010-09-01

    Host defence peptides (HDPs) are considered to be excellent candidates for the development of novel therapeutic agents. Recently, it was demonstrated that the peptide C1-15, an N-terminal segment of chicken HDP cathelicidin-2, exhibits potent antibacterial activity while lacking cytotoxicity towards eukaryotic cells. In the present study, we report that C1-15 is active against bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis that may potentially be used by bioterrorists. Substitution of single and multiple phenylalanine (Phe) residues to tryptophan (Trp) in C1-15 resulted in variants with improved antibacterial activity against B. anthracis and Y. pestis as well as decreased salt sensitivity. In addition, these peptides exhibited enhanced neutralisation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The antibacterial and LPS-neutralising activities of these C1-15-derived peptides are exerted at concentrations far below the concentrations that are toxic to human PBMCs. Taken together, we show that Phe-->Trp substitutions in C1-15 variants enhances the antibacterial and LPS-neutralising activities against pathogenic bacteria, including those that may potentially be used as biological warfare agents.

  9. Investigating Biological Control Agents for Controlling Invasive Populations of the Mealybug Pseudococcus comstocki in France

    PubMed Central

    Malausa, Thibaut; Delaunay, Mathilde; Fleisch, Alexandre; Groussier-Bout, Géraldine; Warot, Sylvie; Crochard, Didier; Guerrieri, Emilio; Delvare, Gérard; Pellizzari, Giuseppina; Kaydan, M. Bora; Al-Khateeb, Nadia; Germain, Jean-François; Brancaccio, Lisa; Le Goff, Isabelle; Bessac, Melissa; Ris, Nicolas; Kreiter, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Pseudococcus comstocki (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a mealybug species native to Eastern Asia and present as an invasive pest in northern Italy and southern France since the start of the century. It infests apple and pear trees, grapevines and some ornamental trees. Biocontrol programmes against this pest proved successful in central Asia and North America in the second half of the 20th century. In this study, we investigated possible biocontrol agents against P. comstocki, with the aim of developing a biocontrol programme in France. We carried out systematic DNA-barcoding at each step in the search for a specialist parasitoid. First we characterised the French target populations of P. comstocki. We then identified the parasitoids attacking P. comstocki in France. Finally, we searched for foreign mealybug populations identified a priori as P. comstocki and surveyed their hymenopteran parasitoids. Three mealybug species (P. comstocki, P. viburni and P. cryptus) were identified during the survey, together with at least 16 different parasitoid taxa. We selected candidate biological control agent populations for use against P. comstocki in France, from the species Allotropa burrelli (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Acerophagus malinus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The coupling of molecular and morphological characterisation for both pests and natural enemies facilitated the programme development and the rejection of unsuitable or generalist parasitoids. PMID:27362639

  10. Investigating Biological Control Agents for Controlling Invasive Populations of the Mealybug Pseudococcus comstocki in France.

    PubMed

    Malausa, Thibaut; Delaunay, Mathilde; Fleisch, Alexandre; Groussier-Bout, Géraldine; Warot, Sylvie; Crochard, Didier; Guerrieri, Emilio; Delvare, Gérard; Pellizzari, Giuseppina; Kaydan, M Bora; Al-Khateeb, Nadia; Germain, Jean-François; Brancaccio, Lisa; Le Goff, Isabelle; Bessac, Melissa; Ris, Nicolas; Kreiter, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Pseudococcus comstocki (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a mealybug species native to Eastern Asia and present as an invasive pest in northern Italy and southern France since the start of the century. It infests apple and pear trees, grapevines and some ornamental trees. Biocontrol programmes against this pest proved successful in central Asia and North America in the second half of the 20th century. In this study, we investigated possible biocontrol agents against P. comstocki, with the aim of developing a biocontrol programme in France. We carried out systematic DNA-barcoding at each step in the search for a specialist parasitoid. First we characterised the French target populations of P. comstocki. We then identified the parasitoids attacking P. comstocki in France. Finally, we searched for foreign mealybug populations identified a priori as P. comstocki and surveyed their hymenopteran parasitoids. Three mealybug species (P. comstocki, P. viburni and P. cryptus) were identified during the survey, together with at least 16 different parasitoid taxa. We selected candidate biological control agent populations for use against P. comstocki in France, from the species Allotropa burrelli (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Acerophagus malinus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The coupling of molecular and morphological characterisation for both pests and natural enemies facilitated the programme development and the rejection of unsuitable or generalist parasitoids.

  11. Bioluminescent bioreporter assays for targeted detection of chemical and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ripp, Steven; Jegier, Pat; Johnson, Courtney; Moser, Scott; Islam, Syed; Sayler, Gary

    2008-04-01

    Bioluminescent bioreporters carrying the bacterial lux gene cassette have been well established for the sensing and monitoring of select chemical agents. Their ability to generate target specific visible light signals with no requirement for extraneous additions of substrate or other hands-on manipulations affords a real-time, repetitive assaying technique that is remarkable in its simplicity and accuracy. Although the predominant application of lux-based bioluminescent bioreporters has been towards chemical compound detection, novel genetic engineering schemes are yielding a variety of new bioreporter systems that extend the lux sensing mechanism beyond mere analyte discrimination. For example, the unique specificity of bacteriophage (bacterial viruses) has been exploited in lux bioluminescent assays for specific identification of foodborne bacterial pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7. With the concurrent ability to interface bioluminescent bioreporter assays onto integrated circuit microluminometers (BBICs; bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuits), the potential exists for the development of sentinel microchips that can function as environmental monitors for multiplexed recognition of chemical and biological agents in air, food, and water. The size and portability of BBIC biosensors may ultimately provide a deployable, interactive network sensing technology adaptable towards chem/bio defense.

  12. Nanoparticle-labeled DNA capture elements for detection and identification of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Holwitt, Eric A.; Parker, Jill E.; Vivekananda, Jeevalatha; Franz, Veronica

    2004-12-01

    Aptamers, synthetic DNA capture elements (DCEs), can be made chemically or in genetically engineered bacteria. DNA capture elements are artificial DNA sequences, from a random pool of sequences, selected for their specific binding to potential biological warfare or terrorism agents. These sequences were selected by an affinity method using filters to which the target agent was attached and the DNA isolated and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an iterative, increasingly stringent, process. The probes can then be conjugated to Quantum Dots and super paramagnetic nanoparticles. The former provide intense, bleach-resistant fluorescent detection of bioagent and the latter provide a means to collect the bioagents with a magnet. The fluorescence can be detected in a flow cytometer, in a fluorescence plate reader, or with a fluorescence microscope. To date, we have made DCEs to Bacillus anthracis spores, Shiga toxin, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, and Francisella tularensis. DCEs can easily distinguish Bacillus anthracis from its nearest relatives, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. Development of a high through-put process is currently being investigated.

  13. Isolation, characterization, and identification of biological control agent for potato soft rot in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rahman, M M; Ali, M E; Khan, A A; Akanda, A M; Uddin, Md Kamal; Hashim, U; Abd Hamid, S B

    2012-01-01

    A total of 91 isolates of probable antagonistic bacteria of potato soft rot bacterium Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora (Ecc) were extracted from rhizospheres and endophytes of various crop plants, different soil varieties, and atmospheres in the potato farming areas of Bangladesh. Antibacterial activity of the isolated probable antagonistic bacteria was tested in vitro against the previously identified most common and most virulent soft rot causing bacterial strain Ecc P-138. Only two isolates E-45 and E-65 significantly inhibited the in vitro growth of Ecc P-138. Physiological, biochemical, and carbon source utilization tests identified isolate E-65 as a member of the genus Bacillus and the isolate E-45 as Lactobacillus sp. The stronger antagonistic activity against Ecc P-138 was found in E-65 in vitro screening and storage potatoes. E-65 reduced the soft rot infection to 22-week storage potatoes of different varieties by 32.5-62.5% in model experiment, demonstrating its strong potential to be used as an effective biological control agent for the major pectolytic bacteria Ecc. The highest (62.5%) antagonistic effect of E-65 was observed in the Granola and the lowest (32.7%) of that was found in the Cardinal varieties of the Bangladeshi potatoes. The findings suggest that isolate E-65 could be exploited as a biocontrol agent for potato tubers.

  14. Autonomous Agent-Based Simulation of an AEGIS Cruiser Combat Information Center Performing Battle Group Air Defense Commander Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-01

    objects from O. • Operations with the task of representing the application of these operations and the reaction of the world to this attempt at... clickable ) (4) Simulation Interface: Tactical Display Contact Icons. • Contact Attributes (specific to the contact) 52 (5...Icon (6) Simulation Interface: CIC Agent Display • CIC Agent Icons ( clickable ) • CIC Equipment Icons ( clickable ) (7) Simulation Interface

  15. Spectroscopic investigations of surface deposited biological warfare simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrington, Stephen J.; Bird, Hilary; Hurst, Daniel; McIntosh, Alastair J. S.; Spencer, Phillippa; Pelfrey, Suzanne H.; Baker, Matthew J.

    2012-06-01

    This paper reports a proof-of-principle study aimed at discriminating biological warfare (BW) simulants from common environmental bacteria in order to differentiate pathogenic endospores in situ, to aid any required response for hazard management. We used FTIR spectroscopy combined with multivariate analysis; FTIR is a versatile technique for the non-destructive analysis of a range of materials. We also report an evaluation of multiple pre-processing techniques and subsequent differences in cross-validation accuracy of two pattern recognition models (Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Principal Component - Linear Discriminant Analysis (PC-LDA)) for two classifications: a two class classification (Gram + ve spores vs. Gram -ve vegetative cells) and a six class classification (bacterial classification). Six bacterial strains Bacillus atrophaeus, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, Bacillus thuringiensis, Escherichia coli, Pantaeoa agglomerans and Pseudomonas fluorescens were analysed.

  16. Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, Tyler; Rummel, John D.

    1987-01-01

    Design decisions to aid the development of future space based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. The biochemistry stoichiometry was developed for: (1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; (2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and (3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady state system with wheat as the sole food source. The large scale dynamics of a materially closed (BLSS) computer model is described in a companion paper. An extension of this methodology can explore multifood systems and more complex biochemical dynamics while maintaining whole system closure as a focus.

  17. Adventitious agents and live viral vectored vaccines: Considerations for archiving samples of biological materials for retrospective analysis.

    PubMed

    Klug, Bettina; Robertson, James S; Condit, Richard C; Seligman, Stephen J; Laderoute, Marian P; Sheets, Rebecca; Williamson, Anna-Lise; Gurwith, Marc; Kochhar, Sonali; Chapman, Louisa; Carbery, Baevin; Mac, Lisa M; Chen, Robert T

    2016-12-12

    Vaccines are one of the most effective public health medicinal products with an excellent safety record. As vaccines are produced using biological materials, there is a need to safeguard against potential contamination with adventitious agents. Adventitious agents could be inadvertently introduced into a vaccine through starting materials used for production. Therefore, extensive testing has been recommended at specific stages of vaccine manufacture to demonstrate the absence of adventitious agents. Additionally, the incorporation of viral clearance steps in the manufacturing process can aid in reducing the risk of adventitious agent contamination. However, for live viral vaccines, aside from possible purification of the virus or vector, extensive adventitious agent clearance may not be feasible. In the event that an adventitious agent is detected in a vaccine, it is important to determine its origin, evaluate its potential for human infection and pathology, and discern which batches of vaccine may have been affected in order to take risk mitigation action. To achieve this, it is necessary to have archived samples of the vaccine and ancillary components, ideally from developmental through to current batches, as well as samples of the biological materials used in the manufacture of the vaccine, since these are the most likely sources of an adventitious agent. The need for formal guidance on such vaccine sample archiving has been recognized but not fulfilled. We summarize in this paper several prior major cases of vaccine contamination with adventitious agents and provide points for consideration on sample archiving of live recombinant viral vector vaccines for use in humans.

  18. [Workers' exposure to selected biological agents in libraries of Upper Silesia].

    PubMed

    Wlazło, Agnieszka; Górny, Rafał L; Złotkowska, Renata; Lawniczek, Anna; Ludzeń-Izbińska, Beata; Harkawy, Aleksander S; Anczyk, Edmund

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the exposure of library workers to biological agents based on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of airborne and settled dust microflora supplemented with the analysis of dust mite allergens. The bioaerosol sampling was carried out using a 6-stage Andersen impactor. The settled dust samples were collected from book covers using cotton swabs and vacuum cleaner. Isolated microbial colonies were identified to the genus and/or species level. Moreover, the concentration of guanine as a predictor of dust mite allergen content was determined with the semi-quantitative Acarex test. The bioaerosol concentrations were low and they did not exceed the proposed Polish reference limits. The presence of air-conditioning or ventilating system resulted in the decreased biological contamination in libraries. The identification ofmicroorganisms in bioaerosol and settled dust samples revealed the presence of strains classified into group 2 according to their risk of infection. The level of dust mite allergens was elevated. Inhalation exposure to molds and dust mite allergens may result in the occurrence of allergic reactions and SBS symptoms.

  19. Can we forecast the effects of climate change on entomophagous biological control agents?

    PubMed

    Aguilar-Fenollosa, Ernestina; Jacas, Josep A

    2014-06-01

    The worldwide climate has been changing rapidly over the past decades. Air temperatures have been increasing in most regions and will probably continue to rise for most of the present century, regardless of any mitigation policy put in place. Although increased herbivory from enhanced biomass production and changes in plant quality are generally accepted as a consequence of global warming, the eventual status of any pest species will mostly depend on the relative effects of climate change on its own versus its natural enemies' complex. Because a bottom-up amplification effect often occurs in trophic webs subjected to any kind of disturbance, natural enemies are expected to suffer the effects of climate change to a greater extent than their phytophagous hosts/preys. A deeper understanding of the genotypic diversity of the populations of natural enemies and their target pests will allow an informed reaction to climate change. New strategies for the selection of exotic natural enemies and their release and establishment will have to be adopted. Conservation biological control will probably become the keystone for the successful management of these biological control agents.

  20. Efficacy of Chaetomium Species as Biological Control Agents against Phytophthora nicotianae Root Rot in Citrus.

    PubMed

    Hung, Phung Manh; Wattanachai, Pongnak; Kasem, Soytong; Poeaim, Supattra

    2015-09-01

    Thailand is one of the largest citrus producers in Southeast Asia. Pathogenic infection by Phytophthora, however, has become one of major impediments to production. This study identified a pathogenic oomycete isolated from rotted roots of pomelo (Citrus maxima) in Thailand as Phytophthora nicotianae by the internal transcribed spacer ribosomal DNA sequence analysis. Then, we examined the in vitro and in vivo effects of Chaetomium globosum, Chaetomium lucknowense, Chaetomium cupreum and their crude extracts as biological control agents in controlling this P. nicotianae strain. Represent as antagonists in biculture test, the tested Chaetomium species inhibited mycelial growth by 50~56% and parasitized the hyphae, resulting in degradation of P. nicotianae mycelia after 30 days. The crude extracts of these Chaetomium species exhibited antifungal activities against mycelial growth of P. nicotianae, with effective doses of 2.6~101.4 µg/mL. Under greenhouse conditions, application of spores and methanol extracts of these Chaetomium species to pomelo seedlings inoculated with P. nicotianae reduced root rot by 66~71% and increased plant weight by 72~85% compared to that in the control. The method of application of antagonistic spores to control the disease was simple and economical, and it may thus be applicable for large-scale, highly effective biological control of this pathogen.

  1. A review of recent patents on macroorganisms as biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Sáenz-de-Cabezón, Francisco Javier; Zalom, Frank G; López-Olguín, Jesús Francisco

    2010-01-01

    The indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides has brought undesired problems to human health, agriculture, and the environment. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Biological Control (BC) programs, which are based on minimum use of pesticides, are seen as alternative, more ecological solutions to the unintended problems associated with pesticide use. These programs combine the introduction, augmentation, and/or conservation of pest natural enemies, with other protection tools. Although patents and the process of commercialization of microorganisms has been the subject of various reviews, macroorganisms used for pest and disease control have stimulated less comprehensive analyses. From our review of patents, there has been an enormous increase in the number of macroorganism-related patents registered in the last two decades. Private companies own 65% of all these patents. Rearing methods and crop protection strategies are the main intellectual property patented, with parasitoid wasps and predatory mites being the primary Biological Control Agent (BCA) focus of patents. Among countries, Japan was the first country with these types of patents, followed by the United States, Canada and China. Increasing concern for pesticide risks by governments and the public is seen as the main impetus for change in "traditional" crop protection practices and for investment in other more ecological products like BCAs.

  2. The role of bacillus-based biological control agents in integrated pest management systems: plant diseases.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, B J; Zidack, N K; Larson, B J

    2004-11-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus-based biological control agents (BCAs) have great potential in integrated pest management (IPM) systems; however, relatively little work has been published on integration with other IPM management tools. Unfortunately, most research has focused on BCAs as alternatives to synthetic chemical fungicides or bactericides and not as part of an integrated management system. IPM has had many definitions and this review will use the national coalition for IPM definition: "A sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks." This review will examine the integrated use of Bacillus-based BCAs with disease management tools, including resistant cultivars, fungicides or bactericides, or other BCAs. This integration is important because the consistency and degree of disease control by Bacillus-based BCAs is rarely equal to the control afforded by the best fungicides or bactericides. In theory, integration of several tools brings stability to disease management programs. Integration of BCAs with other disease management tools often provides broader crop adaptation and both more efficacious and consistent levels of disease control. This review will also discuss the use of Bacillus-based BCAs in fungicide resistance management. Work with Bacillus thuringiensis and insect pest management is the exception to the relative paucity of reports but will not be the focus of this review.

  3. A framework for service enterprise workflow simulation with multi-agents cooperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Wenan; Xu, Wei; Yang, Fujun; Xu, Lida; Jiang, Chuanqun

    2013-11-01

    Process dynamic modelling for service business is the key technique for Service-Oriented information systems and service business management, and the workflow model of business processes is the core part of service systems. Service business workflow simulation is the prevalent approach to be used for analysis of service business process dynamically. Generic method for service business workflow simulation is based on the discrete event queuing theory, which is lack of flexibility and scalability. In this paper, we propose a service workflow-oriented framework for the process simulation of service businesses using multi-agent cooperation to address the above issues. Social rationality of agent is introduced into the proposed framework. Adopting rationality as one social factor for decision-making strategies, a flexible scheduling for activity instances has been implemented. A system prototype has been developed to validate the proposed simulation framework through a business case study.

  4. Experimental examination of ultraviolet Raman cross sections of chemical warfare agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kullander, F.; Landström, L.; Lundén, H.; Wästerby, Pär.

    2015-05-01

    Laser induced Raman scattering from the commonly used chemical warfare agent simulants dimethyl sulfoxide, tributyl phosphate, triethyl phosphonoacetate was measured at excitation wavelengths ranging from 210 to 410 nm using a pulsed laser based spectrometer system with a probing distance of 1.4 m and with a field of view on the target of less than 1mm. For the purpose of comparison with well explored reference liquids the Raman scattering from simulants was measured in the form of an extended liquid surface layer on top of a silicon wafer. This way of measuring enabled direct comparison to the Raman scattering strength from cyclohexane. The reference Raman spectra were used to validate the signal strength of the simulants and the calibration of the experimental set up. Measured UV absorbance functions were used to calculate Raman cross sections. Established Raman cross sections of the simulants make it possible to use them as reference samples when measuring on chemical warfare agents in droplet form.

  5. Comparing Effects of Biologic Agents in Treating Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Multiple Treatment Comparison Regression Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tvete, Ingunn Fride; Natvig, Bent; Gåsemyr, Jørund; Meland, Nils; Røine, Marianne; Klemp, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis patients have been treated with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and the newer biologic drugs. We sought to compare and rank the biologics with respect to efficacy. We performed a literature search identifying 54 publications encompassing 9 biologics. We conducted a multiple treatment comparison regression analysis letting the number experiencing a 50% improvement on the ACR score be dependent upon dose level and disease duration for assessing the comparable relative effect between biologics and placebo or DMARD. The analysis embraced all treatment and comparator arms over all publications. Hence, all measured effects of any biologic agent contributed to the comparison of all biologic agents relative to each other either given alone or combined with DMARD. We found the drug effect to be dependent on dose level, but not on disease duration, and the impact of a high versus low dose level was the same for all drugs (higher doses indicated a higher frequency of ACR50 scores). The ranking of the drugs when given without DMARD was certolizumab (ranked highest), etanercept, tocilizumab/ abatacept and adalimumab. The ranking of the drugs when given with DMARD was certolizumab (ranked highest), tocilizumab, anakinra, rituximab, golimumab/ infliximab/ abatacept, adalimumab/ etanercept. Still, all drugs were effective. All biologic agents were effective compared to placebo, with certolizumab the most effective and adalimumab (without DMARD treatment) and adalimumab/ etanercept (combined with DMARD treatment) the least effective. The drugs were in general more effective, except for etanercept, when given together with DMARDs. PMID:26356639

  6. Cryphonectria parasitica, the causal agent of chestnut blight: Invasion history, population biology and disease control.

    PubMed

    Rigling, Daniel; Prospero, Simone

    2017-01-31

    Chestnut blight, caused by Cryphonectria parasitica, is a devastating disease infecting American and European chestnut trees. The pathogen is native to East Asia and was spread to other continents via infected chestnut plants. This review summarizes the current state of research on this pathogen with a special emphasis on its interaction with a hyperparasitic mycovirus that acts as a biological control agent of chestnut blight. Taxonomy: Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr. is a Sordariomycete (ascomycete) fungus in the family Cryphonetriaceae (Order Diaporthales). Closely related species that can also be found on chestnut include Cryphonectria radicalis, Cryphonectria naterciae, and Cryphonectria japonica. Host range: Major hosts are species in the genus Castanea (Fam. Fagaceae), particularly the American chestnut (C. dentata), the European chestnut (C. sativa), the Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima), and the Japanese chestnut (C. crenata). Minor, incidental hosts include oaks (Quercus spp.), maples (Acer spp.), European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.), and American chinkapin (Castanea pumila). Disease symptoms: C. parasitica causes perennial necrotic lesions (so-called cankers) on the bark of stems and branches of susceptible host trees, eventually leading to wilting of the plant part distal to the infection. Chestnut blight cankers are characterized by the presence of mycelial fans and fruiting bodies of the pathogen. Below the canker the tree may react by producing epicormic shoots. Non-lethal, superficial or callusing cankers on susceptible host trees are usually associated with mycovirus-induced hypovirulence. Disease control: After the introduction of C. parasitica into a new area, eradication efforts by cutting and burning the infected plants/trees have mostly failed. In Europe, the mycovirus Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 (CHV-1) acts as a successful biological control agent of chestnut blight by causing so-called hypovirulence. CHV-1 infects C. parasitica and

  7. The Neurally Controlled Animat: Biological Brains Acting with Simulated Bodies.

    PubMed

    Demarse, Thomas B; Wagenaar, Daniel A; Blau, Axel W; Potter, Steve M

    2001-01-01

    The brain is perhaps the most advanced and robust computation system known. We are creating a method to study how information is processed and encoded in living cultured neuronal networks by interfacing them to a computer-generated animal, the Neurally-Controlled Animat, within a virtual world. Cortical neurons from rats are dissociated and cultured on a surface containing a grid of electrodes (multi-electrode arrays, or MEAs) capable of both recording and stimulating neural activity. Distributed patterns of neural activity are used to control the behavior of the Animat in a simulated environment. The computer acts as its sensory system providing electrical feedback to the network about the Animat's movement within its environment. Changes in the Animat's behavior due to interaction with its surroundings are studied in concert with the biological processes (e.g., neural plasticity) that produced those changes, to understand how information is processed and encoded within a living neural network. Thus, we have created a hybrid real-time processing engine and control system that consists of living, electronic, and simulated components. Eventually this approach may be applied to controlling robotic devices, or lead to better real-time silicon-based information processing and control algorithms that are fault tolerant and can repair themselves.

  8. [Research on multi-agent based modeling and simulation of hospital system].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Junping; Yang, Hongqiao; Guo, Huayuan; Li, Yi; Zhang, Zhenjiang; Li, Shuzhang

    2010-12-01

    In this paper, the theory of complex adaptive system (CAS) and its modeling method are introduced. The complex characters of the hospital system is analyzed. The agile manufacturing and cell reconstruction technologies are used to reconstruct the hospital system. Then we set forth a research for simulation of hospital system based on the methodology of Multi-Agent technology and high level architecture (HLA). Finally, a simulation framework based on HLA for hospital system is presented.

  9. The Effects of 3D Computer Simulation on Biology Students' Achievement and Memory Retention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elangovan, Tavasuria; Ismail, Zurida

    2014-01-01

    A quasi experimental study was conducted for six weeks to determine the effectiveness of two different 3D computer simulation based teaching methods, that is, realistic simulation and non-realistic simulation on Form Four Biology students' achievement and memory retention in Perak, Malaysia. A sample of 136 Form Four Biology students in Perak,…

  10. 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

  11. [Designing of laboratories is crucial for the management of biorisks in the work with pathogenic biological agents].

    PubMed

    Dobrokhotskiĭ, O N; Mushchak, I P; Kirpichenkov, A B; Diatlov, I A; Zar'kov, K A

    2014-01-01

    Currently in the Russian Federation there is planned the reconstruction and construction of new facilities tailored for the work with pathogenic biological agents of I-II pathogenicity groups, with bearing in mind the modern level of the development of equipment and technologies technological. However, in Russia there is no specialized institutions for the designing of such facilities. There were developed "Guidelines for the designing of objects of the Medical Sanitary Unit No164, tailored for the work with pathogenic biological agents of I-II pathogenicity groups", in which there were taken into account the requirements of modern Russian regulations in the field of biosafety air purification, fire safety.

  12. Design and Simulation of Material-Integrated Distributed Sensor Processing with a Code-Based Agent Platform and Mobile Multi-Agent Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bosse, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Multi-agent systems (MAS) can be used for decentralized and self-organizing data processing in a distributed system, like a resource-constrained sensor network, enabling distributed information extraction, for example, based on pattern recognition and self-organization, by decomposing complex tasks in simpler cooperative agents. Reliable MAS-based data processing approaches can aid the material-integration of structural-monitoring applications, with agent processing platforms scaled to the microchip level. The agent behavior, based on a dynamic activity-transition graph (ATG) model, is implemented with program code storing the control and the data state of an agent, which is novel. The program code can be modified by the agent itself using code morphing techniques and is capable of migrating in the network between nodes. The program code is a self-contained unit (a container) and embeds the agent data, the initialization instructions and the ATG behavior implementation. The microchip agent processing platform used for the execution of the agent code is a standalone multi-core stack machine with a zero-operand instruction format, leading to a small-sized agent program code, low system complexity and high system performance. The agent processing is token-queue-based, similar to Petri-nets. The agent platform can be implemented in software, too, offering compatibility at the operational and code level, supporting agent processing in strong heterogeneous networks. In this work, the agent platform embedded in a large-scale distributed sensor network is simulated at the architectural level by using agent-based simulation techniques. PMID:25690550

  13. Design and simulation of material-integrated distributed sensor processing with a code-based agent platform and mobile multi-agent systems.

    PubMed

    Bosse, Stefan

    2015-02-16

    Multi-agent systems (MAS) can be used for decentralized and self-organizing data processing in a distributed system, like a resource-constrained sensor network, enabling distributed information extraction, for example, based on pattern recognition and self-organization, by decomposing complex tasks in simpler cooperative agents. Reliable MAS-based data processing approaches can aid the material-integration of structural-monitoring applications, with agent processing platforms scaled to the microchip level. The agent behavior, based on a dynamic activity-transition graph (ATG) model, is implemented with program code storing the control and the data state of an agent, which is novel. The program code can be modified by the agent itself using code morphing techniques and is capable of migrating in the network between nodes. The program code is a self-contained unit (a container) and embeds the agent data, the initialization instructions and the ATG behavior implementation. The microchip agent processing platform used for the execution of the agent code is a standalone multi-core stack machine with a zero-operand instruction format, leading to a small-sized agent program code, low system complexity and high system performance. The agent processing is token-queue-based, similar to Petri-nets. The agent platform can be implemented in software, too, offering compatibility at the operational and code level, supporting agent processing in strong heterogeneous networks. In this work, the agent platform embedded in a large-scale distributed sensor network is simulated at the architectural level by using agent-based simulation techniques.

  14. Agent-based evacuation simulation for spatial allocation assessment of urban shelters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Jia; Wen, Jiahong; Jiang, Yong

    2015-12-01

    The construction of urban shelters is one of the most important work in urban planning and disaster prevention. The spatial allocation assessment is a fundamental pre-step for spatial location-allocation of urban shelters. This paper introduces a new method which makes use of agent-based technology to implement evacuation simulation so as to conduct dynamic spatial allocation assessment of urban shelters. The method can not only accomplish traditional geospatial evaluation for urban shelters, but also simulate the evacuation process of the residents to shelters. The advantage of utilizing this method lies into three aspects: (1) the evacuation time of each citizen from a residential building to the shelter can be estimated more reasonably; (2) the total evacuation time of all the residents in a region is able to be obtained; (3) the road congestions in evacuation in sheltering can be detected so as to take precautionary measures to prevent potential risks. In this study, three types of agents are designed: shelter agents, government agents and resident agents. Shelter agents select specified land uses as shelter candidates for different disasters. Government agents delimitate the service area of each shelter, in other words, regulate which shelter a person should take, in accordance with the administrative boundaries and road distance between the person's position and the location of the shelter. Resident agents have a series of attributes, such as ages, positions, walking speeds, and so on. They also have several behaviors, such as reducing speed when walking in the crowd, helping old people and children, and so on. Integrating these three types of agents which are correlated with each other, evacuation procedures can be simulated and dynamic allocation assessment of shelters will be achieved. A case study in Jing'an District, Shanghai, China, was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of the method. A scenario of earthquake disaster which occurs in nighttime

  15. Synthesis and biological evaluation of pyrazole derivatives containing thiourea skeleton as anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Lv, Peng-Cheng; Li, Huan-Qiu; Sun, Juan; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Hai-Liang

    2010-07-01

    Two series of pyrazole derivatives designing for potential EGFR kinase inhibitors have been discovered. Some of them exhibited significant EGFR inhibitory activity. Compound 3-(3,4-dimethylphenyl)-5-(4-methoxyphenyl)-4,5-dihydro-1H-pyrazole-1-carbothioamide (C5) displayed the most potent EGFR inhibitory activity with IC₅₀ of 0.07 μM, which was comparable to the positive control erlotinib. Docking simulation was performed to position compound C5 into the EGFR active site to determine the probable binding model. Antiproliferative assay results indicating that some of the pyrazole derivatives own high antiproliferative activity against MCF-7. Compound C5 showed significant antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 with IC₅₀ of 0.08 μM. Therefore, compound C5 with potent inhibitory activity in tumor growth inhibition would be a potential anticancer agent.

  16. Decontamination of Chemical/Biological Warfare (CBW) Agents Using an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet (APPJ)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrmann, Hans W.

    1998-11-01

    The atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) is a non-thermal, high pressure, uniform glow discharge that produces a high velocity effluent stream of highly reactive chemical species. The discharge operates on a feedstock gas (e.g. He/O_2/H_2O) which flows between an outer, grounded, cylindrical electrode and an inner, coaxial electrode powered at 13.56 MHz RF. While passing through the plasma, the feedgas becomes excited, dissociated or ionized by electron impact. Once the gas exits the discharge volume, ions and electrons are rapidly lost by recombination, but the fast-flowing effluent still contains metastables (e.g. O2*, He*) and radicals (e.g. O, OH). These reactive species have been shown to be effective neutralizers of surrogates for anthrax spores, mustard blister agent and VX nerve gas. Unlike conventional, wet decontamination methods, the plasma effluent does not cause corrosion of most surfaces and does not damage wiring, electronics, nor most plastics. This makes it highly suitable for decontamination of high value sensitive equipment such as is found in vehicle interiors (i.e. tanks, planes...) for which there is currently no good decontamination technique. Furthermore, the reactive species rapidly degrade into harmless products leaving no lingering residue or harmful byproducts. Physics of the APPJ will be discussed and results of surface decontamination experiments using simulant and actual CBW agents will be presented.

  17. Applications of docking and molecular dynamic studies on the search for new drugs against the biological warfare agents Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    França, Tanos Celmar Costa; Guimarães, Ana Paula; Cortopassi, Wilian Augusto; Oliveira, Aline Alves; Ramalho, Teodorico Castro

    2013-12-01

    The fear of biological warfare agents (BWA) use by terrorists is the major concern of the security agencies and health authorities worldwide today. The non-existence of vaccines or drugs against most BWA and the possibility of genetic modified strains has turned the search for new drugs to a state of urgency. Fast in silico techniques are, therefore, perfect tools for this task once they can quickly provide structures of several new lead compounds for further experimental work. Here we try to present a mini-review on docking and molecular dynamics simulations studies applied to the drug design against the BWA Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

  18. Fluorogenic and chromogenic probe for rapid detection of a nerve agent simulant DCP.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei-hui; Dong, Jun-jun; Wang, Xin; Li, Jian; Sui, Shao-hui; Chen, Gao-yun; Liu, Ji-wei; Zhang, Ming

    2012-07-21

    A fluorogenic and visual probe was devised to detect diethyl chlorophosphate (DCP), a nerve agent simulant. The probe, N-(rhodamine B)-lactam-2-aminoethanol (RB-AE), undergoes oxazoline formation following phosphorylation in the presence of DCP, which gives rapid and clear fluorescence and color change in the assay solutions.

  19. An agent-based simulation of extirpation of Ceratitis capitata applied to invasions in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We describe and validate an Agent-Based Simulation(ABS) of invasive insects and use it to investigate the time to extirpation of Ceratitis capitata using data from seven outbreaks that occurred in California from 2008-2010. Results are compared with the length of intervention and quarantine imposed ...

  20. Design of a Mobile Agent-Based Adaptive Communication Middleware for Federations of Critical Infrastructure Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görbil, Gökçe; Gelenbe, Erol

    The simulation of critical infrastructures (CI) can involve the use of diverse domain specific simulators that run on geographically distant sites. These diverse simulators must then be coordinated to run concurrently in order to evaluate the performance of critical infrastructures which influence each other, especially in emergency or resource-critical situations. We therefore describe the design of an adaptive communication middleware that provides reliable and real-time one-to-one and group communications for federations of CI simulators over a wide-area network (WAN). The proposed middleware is composed of mobile agent-based peer-to-peer (P2P) overlays, called virtual networks (VNets), to enable resilient, adaptive and real-time communications over unreliable and dynamic physical networks (PNets). The autonomous software agents comprising the communication middleware monitor their performance and the underlying PNet, and dynamically adapt the P2P overlay and migrate over the PNet in order to optimize communications according to the requirements of the federation and the current conditions of the PNet. Reliable communications is provided via redundancy within the communication middleware and intelligent migration of agents over the PNet. The proposed middleware integrates security methods in order to protect the communication infrastructure against attacks and provide privacy and anonymity to the participants of the federation. Experiments with an initial version of the communication middleware over a real-life networking testbed show that promising improvements can be obtained for unicast and group communications via the agent migration capability of our middleware.

  1. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for degradation of nerve agent simulant parathion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parathion, a simulant of nerve agent VX, has been studied for degradation on Fe3+, Fe2+ and zerovalent iron supported on chitosan. Chitosan, a naturally occurring biopolymer derivative of chitin, is a very good adsorbent for many chemicals including metals. Chitosan is used as supporting biopolymer ...

  2. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for degrdation of nerve agent simulant parathion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parathion, a simulant of nerve agent VX, has been studied for degradation on Fe3+, Fe2+ and zerovalent iron supported on chitosan. Chitosan, a naturally occurring biopolymer derivative of chitin, is a very good adsorbent for many chemicals including metals. Chitosan is used as supporting biopolymer ...

  3. Agents.

    PubMed

    Chambers, David W

    2002-01-01

    Although health care is inherently an economic activity, it is inadequately described as a market process. An alternative, grounded in organizational economic theory, is to view professionals and many others as agents, contracted to advance the best interests of their principals (patients). This view untangles some of the ethical conflicts in dentistry. It also helps identify major controllable costs in dentistry and suggests that dentists can act as a group to increase or decrease agency costs, primarily by controlling the bad actors who damage the value of all dentists.

  4. Paradoxical reactions under TNF-α blocking agents and other biological agents given for chronic immune-mediated diseases: an analytical and comprehensive overview

    PubMed Central

    Toussirot, Éric; Aubin, François

    2016-01-01

    Paradoxical adverse events (PAEs) have been reported during biological treatment for chronic immune-mediated diseases. PAEs are defined as the occurrence during biological agent therapy of a pathological condition that usually responds to this class of drug. A wide range of PAEs have been reported including dermatological, intestinal and ophthalmic conditions, mainly with antitumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) agents. True PAEs include psoriasis, Crohn's disease and hidradenitis suppurativa. Other PAEs may be qualified as borderline and include uveitis, scleritis, sarcoidosis and other granulomatous diseases (granuloma annulare, interstitial granulomatous dermatitis), vasculitis, vitiligo and alopecia areata. Proposed hypotheses to explain these PAEs include an imbalance in cytokine production, the differential immunological properties between the monoclonal antibodies and TNF-α soluble receptor, an unopposed type I interferon production and a shift towards a Th1/Th2 profile. Data from registries suggest that the risk for paradoxical psoriasis is low and non-significant. We discuss management of these PAEs, which depends on the type and severity of the adverse events, pre-existing treated conditions and the possibility of alternative therapeutic options for the underlying disease. Paradoxical adverse events are not restricted to anti-TNF-α agents and close surveillance of new available biological drugs (anti-interleukin-17/23, anti-integrin) is warranted in order to detect the occurrence of new or as yet undescribed events. PMID:27493788

  5. Spectroscopic characterization of biological agents using FTIR, normal Raman and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luna-Pineda, Tatiana; Soto-Feliciano, Kristina; De La Cruz-Montoya, Edwin; Pacheco Londoño, Leonardo C.; Ríos-Velázquez, Carlos; Hernández-Rivera, Samuel P.

    2007-04-01

    FTIR, Raman spectroscopy and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) requires a minimum of sample allows fast identification of microorganisms. The use of this technique for characterizing the spectroscopic signatures of these agents and their stimulants has recently gained considerable attention due to the fact that these techniques can be easily adapted for standoff detection from considerable distances. The techniques also show high sensitivity and selectivity and offer near real time detection duty cycles. This research focuses in laying the grounds for the spectroscopic differentiation of Staphylococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus spp., Salmonella spp., Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and E. coli, together with identification of their subspecies. In order to achieve the proponed objective, protocols to handle, cultivate and analyze the strains have been developed. Spectroscopic similarities and marked differences have been found for Spontaneous or Normal Raman spectra and for SERS using silver nanoparticles have been found. The use of principal component analysis (PCA), discriminate factor analysis (DFA) and a cluster analysis were used to evaluate the efficacy of identifying potential threat bacterial from their spectra collected on single bacteria. The DFA from the bacteria Raman spectra show a little discrimination between the diverse bacterial species however the results obtained from the SERS demonstrate to be high discrimination technique. The spectroscopic study will be extended to examine the spores produced by selected strains since these are more prone to be used as Biological Warfare Agents due to their increased mobility and possibility of airborne transport. Micro infrared spectroscopy as well as fiber coupled FTIR will also be used as possible sensors of target compounds.

  6. Biologically-compatible gadolinium(at)(carbon nanostructures) as advanced contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitharaman, Balaji

    2005-11-01

    Paramagnetic gadolinium-based carbon nanostructures are introduced as a new paradigm in high-performance magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent (CA) design. Two Gd C60-based nanomaterials, Gd C60 [C(COOH)2]10 and Gd C60(OH)x are shown to have MRI efficacies (relaxivities) 5 to 20 times larger than any current Gd3+-based CA in clinical use. The first detailed and systematic physicochemical characterization was performed on these materials using the same experimental techniques usually applied to traditional Gd 3+-based CAs. Water-proton relaxivities were measured for the first time on these materials, as a function of magnetic field (5 x 10-4--9.4 T) to elucidate the different interaction mechanisms and dynamic processes influencing the relaxation behavior. These studies attribute the observed enhanced relaxivities completely to the "outer sphere" proton relaxation mechanism. These "outer sphere" relaxation effects are the largest reported for any Gd3+-based agent without inner-sphere water molecules. The proton relaxivities displayed a remarkable pH-dependency, increasing dramatically with decreasing pH (pH: 3--12). The increase in relaxivity resulted mainly from aggregation and subsequent three-order-of-magnitude increase in tauR, the rotational correlation time. Water-soluble fullerene materials (such as the neuroprotective fullerene drug, C3) readily cross cell membranes, suggesting an application for these gadofullerenes as the first intracellular, as well as pH-responsive MRI CAs. Studies performed at 60 MHz in the presence of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS, mice serum pH: 7.4) to mimic physiological conditions demonstrated that the aggregates can be disrupted by addition of salts, leading to a decrease in relaxivity. Biological fluids present a high salt concentration and should strongly modify the behavior of any fullerenes/metallofullerene-based drug in vivo. Gd C60[C(COOH)2]10 also showed enhanced relaxivity (23% increase) in the presence of the

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  8. Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies and their value for predicting responses to biologic agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Martin-Mola, Emilio; Balsa, Alejandro; García-Vicuna, Rosario; Gómez-Reino, Juan; González-Gay, Miguel Angel; Sanmartí, Raimon; Loza, Estíbaliz

    2016-08-01

    Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPAs) play an important pathogenic role both at the onset and during the disease course. These antibodies precede the clinical appearance of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and are associated with a less favorable prognosis, both clinically and radiologically. The objective of this work was to conduct a comprehensive review of studies published through September 2015 of ACPAs' role as a predictor of the therapeutic response to the biological agents in RA patients. The review also includes summary of the biology and detection of ACPAs as well as ACPAs in relation to joint disease and CV disease and the possible role of seroconversion. The reviews of studies examining TNF inhibitors and tocilizumab yielded negative results. In the case of rituximab, the data indicated a greater probability of clinical benefit in ACPA(+) patients versus ACPA(-) patients, as has been previously described for rheumatoid factor. Nonetheless, the effect is discreet and heterogeneous. Another drug that may have greater effectiveness in ACPA(+) patients is abatacept. Some studies have suggested that the drug is more efficient in ACPA(+) patients and that those patients show greater drug retention. In a subanalysis of the AMPLE trial, patients with very high ACPA titers who were treated with abatacept had a statistically significant response compared to patients with lower titers. In summary, the available studies suggest that the presence of or high titers of ACPA may predict a better response to rituximab and/or abatacept. Evidence regarding TNFi and tocilizumab is lacking. However, there is a lack of studies with appropriate designs to demonstrate that some drugs are superior to others for ACPA(+) patients.

  9. Purpureocillium lilacinum, potential agent for biological control of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundii.

    PubMed

    Goffré, D; Folgarait, P J

    2015-09-01

    Many leaf-cutter ant species are well known pests in Latin America, including species of the genera Acromyrmex and Atta. An environmentally friendly strategy to reduce the number of leafcutter ants and avoid indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides is biological control. In this work we evaluated the effectiveness of a strain of the entomopathogen Purpureocillium lilacinum, against worker ants from six Acromyrmex lundii field colonies, after immersions in pure suspensions at a concentration of 1×10(6)conidiaml(-1). Survival of ants treated with P. lilacinum was significantly lower than that recorded in controls, and median lethal time (LT50) was 6-7days. P. lilacinum was responsible for 85.6% (80.6-89.7) of the mortality in inoculated ants, in which we found that the percentage of other entomopathogens that naturally infected ants decreased also, suggesting a good competitive capability of the fungus. Horizontal transmission to non-inoculated ants was also evidenced, given that 58.5% (41.9-64.2) of them died because of P. lilacinum. Moreover, we tested pathogenicity for three concentrations of this strain (1.0×10(4), 10(6) and 10(8)conidiaml(-1)) and found a significantly faster mortality of ants and greater median percentage of infection at 10(8)conidiaml(-1) of P. lilacinum. CL50 value was 2.8×10(5)conidiaml(-1). We thus propose the use of P. lilacinum as a biological control agent of leafcutter ants in crops and plantations.

  10. Efficient Allocation of Resources for Defense of Spatially Distributed Networks Using Agent-Based Simulation.

    PubMed

    Kroshl, William M; Sarkani, Shahram; Mazzuchi, Thomas A

    2015-09-01

    This article presents ongoing research that focuses on efficient allocation of defense resources to minimize the damage inflicted on a spatially distributed physical network such as a pipeline, water system, or power distribution system from an attack by an active adversary, recognizing the fundamental difference between preparing for natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or even accidental systems failures and the problem of allocating resources to defend against an opponent who is aware of, and anticipating, the defender's efforts to mitigate the threat. Our approach is to utilize a combination of integer programming and agent-based modeling to allocate the defensive resources. We conceptualize the problem as a Stackelberg "leader follower" game where the defender first places his assets to defend key areas of the network, and the attacker then seeks to inflict the maximum damage possible within the constraints of resources and network structure. The criticality of arcs in the network is estimated by a deterministic network interdiction formulation, which then informs an evolutionary agent-based simulation. The evolutionary agent-based simulation is used to determine the allocation of resources for attackers and defenders that results in evolutionary stable strategies, where actions by either side alone cannot increase its share of victories. We demonstrate these techniques on an example network, comparing the evolutionary agent-based results to a more traditional, probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) approach. Our results show that the agent-based approach results in a greater percentage of defender victories than does the PRA-based approach.

  11. A Conceptual Framework for Representing Human Behavior Characteristics in a System of Systems Agent-Based Survivability Simulation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-11-22

    distribution is unlimited. A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR REPRESENTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS AGENT-BASED SURVIVABILITY...27411 -0001 ABSTRACT A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR REPRESENTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS AGENT-BASED SURVIVABILITY SIMULATION...TITLE AND SUBTITLE A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR REPRESENTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS AGENT-BASED SURVIVABILITY

  12. HIGHLY SELECTIVE SENSORS FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS, INSECTICIDES AND VOCS BASED ON A MOLECULAR SURFACE IMPRINTING TECHNIQUE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract was given as an oral platform presentation at the Pittsburgh Conference, Orlando FL (March 5-9, 2006). Research described is the development of sensors based on molecular surface imprinting. Applications include the monitoring of chemical and biological agents and inse...

  13. Comparison of traditional and molecular analytical methods for detecting biological agents in raw and drinking water following ultrafiltration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Francy, D.S.; Bushon, R.N.; Brady, A.M.G.; Bertke, E.E.; Kephart, C.M.; Likirdopulos, C.A.; Mailot, B.E.; Schaefer, F. W.; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    Aims: To compare the performance of traditional methods to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for detecting five biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples concentrated by ultrafiltration (UF). Methods and Results: Drinking-water samples (100 l) were seeded with Bacillus anthracis, Cryptospordium parvum, Francisella tularensis, Salmonella Typhi, and Vibrio cholerae and concentrated by UF. Recoveries by traditional methods were variable between samples and between some replicates; recoveries were not determined by qPCR. Francisella tularensis and V. cholerae were detected in all 14 samples after UF, B. anthracis was detected in 13, and C. parvum was detected in 9 out of 14 samples. Numbers found by qPCR after UF were significantly or nearly related to those found by traditional methods for all organisms except for C. parvum. A qPCR assay for S. Typhi was not available. Conclusions: qPCR can be used to rapidly detect biological agents after UF as well as traditional methods, but additional work is needed to improve qPCR assays for several biological agents, determine recoveries by qPCR, and expand the study to other areas. Significance and Impact of the Study: To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the use of traditional and qPCR methods to detect biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples. ?? 2009 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  14. REPORT ON THE HOMELAND SECURITY WORKSHOP ON TRANSPORT AND DISPOSAL OF WASTES FROM FACILITIES CONTAMINATED WITH CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report summarizes discussions from the "Homeland Security Workshop on Transport and Disposal of Wastes From Facilities Contaminated With Chemical or Biological Agents." The workshop was held on May 28-30, 2003, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its objectives were to:

    .Documen...

  15. Impact of the Spatial Heterogeneity of the Spermosphere and Rhizosphere on Performance of Bacterial Biological Control Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The spermosphere and rhizosphere environments are the critical interfaces where many plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions occurs that lead to plant disease and the suppression of plant disease by bacterial and other biological control agents. We discuss the spatial heterogeneity of the ph...

  16. Life history and host range of Oxydia vesulia transpeneus, an unsuitable biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The suitability of Oxydia vesulia (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) was assessed as a potential biological control agent of the invasive weed Brazilian Peppertree Schinus terebinthifolia. Larvae were collected in Brazil feeding on the plant in its native range and colonized in quarantine where lif...

  17. [Spanish evidence-based guidelines on the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis with biologic agents].

    PubMed

    Puig, L; Carrascosa, J M; Daudén, E; Sánchez-Carazo, J L; Ferrándiz, C; Sánchez-Regaña, M; García-Bustinduy, M; Bordas, X; Moreno, J C; Hernanz, J M; Laguarda, S; García-Patos, V

    2009-06-01

    Psoriasis vulgaris is an inflammatory skin disease that is generally chronic and that affects between 1 % and 2 % of the population in industrialized Western countries. It is associated with a marked decline in quality of life. A wide range of treatments are currently available, although surveys conducted before the advent of biologic agents reflected a strong degree of dissatisfaction with the treatments then available. Extensive scientific evidence has been gathered on the safety of biologic agents, and this has led to a review of the role of systemic treatment in general and has allowed new therapeutic goals and strategies to be contemplated in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. In this new situation, there is a need for Spanish guidelines on the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis with biologic agents, drafted by consensus among specialists and ratified by the Spanish Psoriasis Group of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV). These guidelines should be evidence-based with regard to the pharmacologic characteristics, mechanism of action, administration route and regimen, efficacy, contraindications, adverse effects, and cost estimates of biologic agents approved for the treatment of moderate-to severe psoriasis in Spain.

  18. Development of an inundative, aerial release technique for the Arundo wasp, biological control agent of the invasive Arundo donax L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A box aerial release system (BARS) has been developed for the mass release of Tetramesa romana Walker, a biological control agent of Arundo donax, an invasive weed of waterways and riparian areas in the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Since A. donax infests lengthy stretches of remote areas inaccessi...

  19. Phenology and temperature-dependent development of Ceutorhynchus assimilis, a potential biological control agent for Lepidium draba

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Heart-podded hoary cress (Lepidium draba) is an alien weed that has invaded rangeland in the northwestern USA. A host race (i;e; host-specific biotype) of the weevil, Ceutorhynchus assimilis, is being evaluated as a prospective biological control agent. This biotype is only known from southern Eur...

  20. Potential biological control agents for management of cogongrass [Imperata cylindrica 15 (Cyperales: Poaceae)] in the southeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.) Palisot de Beauvois (Cyperales: Poaceae), is a noxious invasive weed in the southeastern USA. Surveys for potential biological control agents of cogongrass were conducted in Asia and East Africa from 2013 to 2016. Several insect herbivores were found that may hav...

  1. 3 CFR 13546 - Executive Order 13546 of July 2, 2010. Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture and the Attorney General to implement the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and the Agricultural Bioterrorism... Toxins” means biological agents and toxins with the potential to pose a severe threat to public...

  2. Are three colonies of Neostromboceros albicomus, a candidate biological control agent for Lygodium microphyllum, the same host biotype?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three colonies of Neostromboceros albicomus, a candidate biological control agent of Lygodium microphyllum, were barcoded using the D2 expansion domain, to determine which of two biotypes they represented. The first colony, collected in 2005 & 2007, was used for the initial host range testing. Colon...

  3. Whole-Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas graminis Strain UASWS1507, a Potential Biological Control Agent and Biofertilizer Isolated in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Crovadore, Julien; Calmin, Gautier; Chablais, Romain; Cochard, Bastien; Schulz, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    We report here the whole-genome shotgun sequence of the strain UASWS1507 of the species Pseudomonas graminis, isolated in Switzerland from an apple tree. This is the first genome registered for this species, which is considered as a potential and valuable resource of biological control agents and biofertilizers for agriculture. PMID:27795260

  4. Reevaluating establishment and potential hybridization of different biotypes of the biological control agent Longitarsus jacobaeae using molecular tools

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evaluation of past and current biological control programs using molecular tools can clarify establishment success of agent biotypes, and can contribute to our understanding of best practice for natural enemy importations. The flea beetle, Longitarsus jacobaeae has been quite successful at controlli...

  5. Status of Waterhyacinth/Hydrilla Infestations and Associated Biological Control Agents in Lower Rio Grande Valley Cooperating Irrigation Districts

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-09-01

    During September 1999, surveys to quantify plant infestations and insect biological control agents of both Eichhornia crassipes and Hydrilla...from site to site and ranged from 3 kg/cu m to about 21 kg/cu m. Both Neochetina eichhorniae and N. bruchi were commonly collected from all

  6. Rates of, and risk factors for, severe infections in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases receiving biological agents off-label

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction The purpose of this observational study was to analyze the rates, characteristics and associated risk factors of severe infections in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (SAD) who were treated off-label with biological agents in daily practice. Methods The BIOGEAS registry is an ongoing Spanish prospective cohort study investigating the long-term safety and efficacy of the off-label use of biological agents in adult patients with severe, refractory SAD. Severe infections were defined according to previous studies as those that required intravenous treatment or that led to hospitalization or death. Patients contributed person-years of follow-up for the period in which they were treated with biological agents. Results A total of 344 patients with SAD treated with biological agents off-label were included in the Registry until July 2010. The first biological therapies included rituximab in 264 (77%) patients, infliximab in 37 (11%), etanercept in 21 (6%), adalimumab in 19 (5%), and 'other' agents in 3 (1%). Forty-five severe infections occurred in 37 patients after a mean follow-up of 26.76 months. These infections resulted in four deaths. The crude rate of severe infections was 90.9 events/1000 person-years (112.5 for rituximab, 76.9 for infliximab, 66.9 for adalimumab and 30.5 for etanercept respectively). In patients treated with more than two courses of rituximab, the crude rate of severe infection was 226.4 events/1000 person-years. A pathogen was identified in 24 (53%) severe infections. The most common sites of severe infection were the lower respiratory tract (39%), bacteremia/sepsis (20%) and the urinary tract (16%). There were no significant differences relating to gender, SAD, agent, other previous therapies, number of previous immunosuppressive agents received or other therapies administered concomitantly. Cox regression analysis showed that age (P = 0.015) was independently associated with an increased risk of severe infection

  7. Effects of simulated rare earth recycling wastewaters on biological nitrification

    DOE PAGES

    Fujita, Yoshiko; Barnes, Joni; Eslamimanesh, Ali; ...

    2015-07-16

    Current efforts to increase domestic availability of rare-earth element (REE) supplies by recycling and expanded ore processing efforts will result in increased generation of associated wastewaters. In some cases disposal to a sewage treatment plant may be favored but plant performance must be maintained. To assess the potential effects of such wastewaters on biological wastewater treatment, model nitrifying organisms Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were exposed to simulated wastewaters containing varying levels of yttrium or europium (10, 50 and 100 ppm), and the REE extractant tributyl phosphate (TBP, at 0.1 g/L). Y and Eu additions above 10 ppm inhibited N.more » europaea activity, even when initially virtually all of the REE was insoluble. The provision of TBP together with Eu increased inhibition of nitrite production by the N. europaea, although TBP alone did not substantially alter nitrifying activity N. winogradskyi was more sensitive to the stimulated wastewaters, with even 10 ppm Eu or Y inducing significant inhibition, and a complete shutdown of nitrifying activity occurred in the presence of the TBP. To analyze the availability of REEs in aqueous solutions, REE solubility has been calculated using the previously developed MSE (Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte) thermodynamic model. The model calculations reveal a strong pH dependence of solubility, which is typically controlled by the precipitation of REE hydroxides but may also be influenced by the formation of a phosphate phase.« less

  8. Effects of simulated rare earth recycling wastewaters on biological nitrification

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, Yoshiko; Barnes, Joni; Eslamimanesh, Ali; Lencka, Malgorzata M.; Anderko, Andrzej; Riman, Richard E.; Navrotsky, Alexandra

    2015-07-16

    Current efforts to increase domestic availability of rare-earth element (REE) supplies by recycling and expanded ore processing efforts will result in increased generation of associated wastewaters. In some cases disposal to a sewage treatment plant may be favored but plant performance must be maintained. To assess the potential effects of such wastewaters on biological wastewater treatment, model nitrifying organisms Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were exposed to simulated wastewaters containing varying levels of yttrium or europium (10, 50 and 100 ppm), and the REE extractant tributyl phosphate (TBP, at 0.1 g/L). Y and Eu additions above 10 ppm inhibited N. europaea activity, even when initially virtually all of the REE was insoluble. The provision of TBP together with Eu increased inhibition of nitrite production by the N. europaea, although TBP alone did not substantially alter nitrifying activity N. winogradskyi was more sensitive to the stimulated wastewaters, with even 10 ppm Eu or Y inducing significant inhibition, and a complete shutdown of nitrifying activity occurred in the presence of the TBP. To analyze the availability of REEs in aqueous solutions, REE solubility has been calculated using the previously developed MSE (Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte) thermodynamic model. The model calculations reveal a strong pH dependence of solubility, which is typically controlled by the precipitation of REE hydroxides but may also be influenced by the formation of a phosphate phase.

  9. Effects of Simulated Rare Earth Recycling Wastewaters on Biological Nitrification.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Yoshiko; Barnes, Joni; Eslamimanesh, Ali; Lencka, Malgorzata M; Anderko, Andrzej; Riman, Richard E; Navrotsky, Alexandra

    2015-08-18

    Increasing rare earth element (REE) supplies by recycling and expanded ore processing will result in generation of new wastewaters. In some cases, disposal to a sewage treatment plant may be favored, but plant performance must be maintained. To assess the potential effects of such wastewaters on biological treatment, model nitrifying organisms Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were exposed to simulated wastewaters containing varying levels of yttrium or europium (10, 50, and 100 ppm), and the extractant tributyl phosphate (TBP, at 0.1 g/L). Y and Eu additions at 50 and 100 ppm inhibited N. europaea, even when virtually all of the REE was insoluble. Provision of TBP with Eu increased N. europaea inhibition, although TBP alone did not substantially alter activity. For N. winogradskyi cultures, Eu or Y additions at all tested levels induced significant inhibition, and nitrification shut down completely with TBP addition. REE solubility was calculated using the previously developed MSE (Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte) thermodynamic model. The model calculations reveal a strong pH dependence of solubility, typically controlled by the precipitation of REE hydroxides but also likely affected by the formation of unknown phosphate phases, which determined aqueous concentrations experienced by the microorganisms.

  10. UAV Swarm Tactics: An Agent-Based Simulation and Markov Process Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-01

    NPS NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA THESIS UAV SWARM TACTICS: AN AGENT-BASED SIM ULATION AND MARKOV PROCESS ANALYSIS Thesis...inina; tho d ... _ . aod oompiotinl and ~_i .. tho roIloction of .. form. tion. Sond oommonu fQPrdina; thi!; burdon Mlim. m 0< a ny <>tho< ...,oct...TACTICS : AN AGENT-BASED SIMULATION AND MARKOV PROCESS ANALYSIS 1 So. " NUMBER ’. AU 1 Sd. PROJECT Uwe Gaertner 1 s.. TASK NUMBER 1 sr. WORK UNIT

  11. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K K

    2012-02-17

    There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad range of threat agents, including radioactive substances, explosive compounds, chemical warfare agents, biotoxins, and biothreat pathogens through any of the four sensory means mentioned previously.

  12. Development of Anti-Infectives Using Phage Display: Biological Agents against Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Johnny X.; Bishop-Hurley, Sharon L.

    2012-01-01

    The vast majority of anti-infective therapeutics on the market or in development are small molecules; however, there is now a nascent pipeline of biological agents in development. Until recently, phage display technologies were used mainly to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) targeted against cancer or inflammatory disease targets. Patent disputes impeded broad use of these methods and contributed to the dearth of candidates in the clinic during the 1990s. Today, however, phage display is recognized as a powerful tool for selecting novel peptides and antibodies that can bind to a wide range of antigens, ranging from whole cells to proteins and lipid targets. In this review, we highlight research that exploits phage display technology as a means of discovering novel therapeutics against infectious diseases, with a focus on antimicrobial peptides and antibodies in clinical or preclinical development. We discuss the different strategies and methods used to derive, select, and develop anti-infectives from phage display libraries and then highlight case studies of drug candidates in the process of development and commercialization. Advances in screening, manufacturing, and humanization technologies now mean that phage display can make a significant contribution in the fight against clinically important pathogens. PMID:22664969

  13. Modified clay minerals efficiency against chemical and biological warfare agents for civil human protection.

    PubMed

    Plachá, Daniela; Rosenbergová, Kateřina; Slabotínský, Jiří; Kutláková, Kateřina Mamulová; Studentová, Soňa; Martynková, Gražyna Simha

    2014-04-30

    Sorption efficiencies of modified montmorillonite and vermiculite of their mono ionic Na and organic HDTMA and HDP forms were studied against chemical and biological warfare agents such as yperite and selected bacterial strains. Yperite interactions with modified clay minerals were observed through its capture in low-density polyethylene foil-modified clay composites by measuring yperite gas permeation with using chemical indication and gas chromatography methods. The antibacterial activities of synthetized organoclays were tested against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species in minimum inhibitory concentration tests. The obtained results showed a positive influence of modified clay minerals on the significant yperite breakthrough-time increase. The most effective material was the polyethylene-Na form montmorillonite, while the polyethylene-Na form vermiculite showed the lowest efficiency. With increasing organic cations loading in the interlayer space the montmorillonite efficiency decreased, and in the case of vermiculite an opposite effect was observed. Generally the modified montmorillonites were more effective than modified vermiculites. The HDP cations seem to be more effective compare to the HDTMA. The antibacterial activity tests confirmed efficiency of all organically modified clay minerals against Gram-positive bacteria. The confirmation of antibacterial activity against Y. pestis, plague bacteria, is the most interesting result of this part of the study.

  14. Synthesis and biological evaluation of pyrazolylthiazole carboxylic acids as potent anti-inflammatory-antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Khloya, Poonam; Kumar, Satish; Kaushik, Pawan; Surain, Parveen; Kaushik, Dhirender; Sharma, Pawan K

    2015-03-15

    Current Letter presents design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a novel series of pyrazolylthiazole carboxylates 1a-1p and corresponding acid derivatives 2a-2p. All 32 novel compounds were tested for their in vivo anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan-induced rat paw edema method as well as for in vitro antimicrobial activity. All the tested compounds exhibited excellent AI activity profile. Three compounds 1p (R=Cl, R(1)=Cl), 2c (R=H, R(1)=F) and 2n (R=Cl, R(1)=OCH3) were identified as potent anti-inflammatory agents exhibiting edema inhibition of 93.06-89.59% which is comparable to the reference drug indomethacin (91.32%) after 3h of carrageenan injection while most of the other compounds displayed inhibition ⩾80%. In addition, pyrazolylthiazole carboxylic acids (2a-2p) also showed good antimicrobial profile. Compound 2h (R=OCH3, R(1)=Cl) showed excellent antimicrobial activity (MIC 6.25μg/mL) against both Gram positive bacteria comparable with the reference drug ciprofloxacin (MIC 6.25μg/mL).

  15. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel quinazolinyl-diaryl urea derivatives as potential anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jia-Nian; Wang, Xian-Fu; Li, Ting; Wu, De-Wen; Fu, Xiao-Bo; Zhang, Guang-Ji; Shen, Xing-Can; Wang, Heng-Shan

    2016-01-01

    Through a structure-based molecular hybridization approach, a series of novel quinazolinyl-diaryl urea derivatives were designed, synthesized, and screened for their in vitro antiproliferative activities against three cancer cell lines (HepG2, MGC-803, and A549). Six compounds (7 g, 7 m, 7 o, 8 e, 8 g, and 8 m) showed stronger activity against a certain cell line compared with the positive reference drugs sorafenib and gefitinib. Among the six compounds, 8 g exhibited the strongest activity. In particular, compound 8 g induced A549 apoptosis, arrested cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase, elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species level, and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. This compound can also effectively regulate the expression of apoptosis- and cell cycle-related proteins, and influence the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway. Molecular docking and structure-activity relationship analyses revealed that it can bind well to the active site of the receptor c-Raf, which was consistent with the biological data. Therefore, compound 8 g may be a potent antitumor agent, representing a promising lead for further optimization.

  16. Fitness and field performance of a mass-reared biological control agent, Rhinoncomimus latipes (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

    PubMed

    Hough-Goldstein, J; Stout, A R; Schoenstein, J A

    2014-08-01

    Rhinoncomimus latipes Korotyaev (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a biological control agent of mile-a-minute weed, Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross, has been mass reared with no infusion of new genetic material for 8-9 yr (at least 24-36 generations), while insects from the same genetic stock have been subject to field conditions in North America for that same period of time. Our main objective was to compare the laboratory population with the field population (and in 1 yr with a Chinese field population) to determine whether genetic changes had occurred, especially ones that may reduce the effectiveness of the laboratory population when released in the field. The laboratory insects laid more eggs and had reduced survival compared with field weevils in several comparisons, and had reduced responsiveness to cues that induce reproductive diapause. Exposure to older plants had the greatest effect on induction of reproductive diapause in both laboratory and field weevils, with effects of daylength and temperature less pronounced. At least a portion of the laboratory weevil population overwintered successfully. Results suggest that it is not necessary to add wild-type genetic material to the rearing colony at this time.

  17. Metarhizium anisopliae as a biological control agent against Hyalomma anatolicum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Suleiman, Elham A; Shigidi, M T; Hassan, S M

    2013-12-15

    In the Sudan, ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (TBDs) with subsequent costs of control and treatment are causing substantial economic loss. Control of ticks is mainly by chemical insecticides. The rising environmental hazards and problem of resistance has motivated research on biological agents as alternative methods of control. The present study aims at controlling livestock ticks using fungi for their unique mode of action besides their ability to adhere to the cuticle, to germinate and penetrate enzymatically. The study was conducted to evaluate the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae for tick control as an alternative mean to chemical acaricides. Pathogenicity of the fungus was tested on different developmental stages of the tick Hyalomma anatolicum. The fungus induced high mortality to flat immature stages. It, also, affected reproductive potential of the females. Egg laid, hatching percent, fertility and moulting percent of immature stages were significantly (p < or = 0.05) reduced. It was, also, shown that the fungus had ability to adhere to the cuticle and penetrate the integument of the tick. Conidia of the fungus were isolated from their internal tissues. This phenomenon is important in considering fungi as bioinsecticides. Infection of eggs laid by treated engorged female ticks, with the fungus might demonstrate suggesting transovarian transmission. The use of M. anisopliae to control ticks is discussed.

  18. Studies on potential biological control agents of immature mosquitoes in sewage wastewater in southern California.

    PubMed

    Mian, L S; Mulla, M S; Wilson, B A

    1986-09-01

    Three biological control agents, a copepod, Mesocyclops leuckarti pilosa, and two fish, Cyprinodon macularius and Poecilia reticulata, were evaluated for their survival in secondary sewage effluent (SSE) and predation potential on mosquito larvae. Results showed that the survival of M. l. pilosa was not significantly affected in SSE or SSE diluted (50%) with water. In predation tests, the copepod consumed from 50 to 90% of the 1st-instar larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus in 24 to 72 hr and P. reticulata fed on almost all stages (egg to pupa) of the test mosquitoes. Survivorship of P. reticulata and C. macularius in SSE was not significantly affected by SSE under both greenhouse and sewage aquaculture conditions. Poecilia reticulata was distributed towards the influent end and C. macularius towards the effluent end of the aquaculture ponds, indicating the former species can tolerate higher levels of pollution which exists at the influent end of the pond. However, low water temperature and dissolved oxygen may be detrimental to these fish species in sewage aquacultural systems.

  19. Clonorchis sinensis, an oriental liver fluke, as a human biological agent of cholangiocarcinoma: a brief review

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tong-Soo; Pak, Jhang Ho; Kim, Jong-Bo; Bahk, Young Yil

    2016-01-01

    Parasitic diseases remain an unarguable public health problem worldwide. Liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis is a high risk pathogenic parasitic helminth which is endemic predominantly in Asian countries, including Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the far eastern parts of Russia, and is still actively transmitted. According to the earlier 8th National Survey on the Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections in 2012, C. sinensis was revealed as the parasite with highest prevalence of 1.86% in general population among all parasite species surveyed in Korea. This fluke is now classified under one of the definite Group 1 human biological agents (carcinogens) by International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC) along with two other parasites, Opisthorchis viverrini and Schistosoma haematobium. C. sinensis infestation is mainly linked to liver and biliary disorders, especially cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). For the purposes of this mini-review, we will only focus on C. sinensis and review pathogenesis and carcinogenesis of clonorchiasis, disease condition by C. sinensis infestation, and association between C. sinensis infestation and CCA. In this presentation, we briefly consider the current scientific status for progression of CCA by heavy C. sinensis infestation from the food-borne trematode and development of CCA. PMID:27418285

  20. Diamondback moth in Ukraine: current status and potential for use biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Likar, Y; Stefanovska, T

    2009-01-01

    The Diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xillostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) is the insect pest damaging cabbage in Ukraine, especially in the Southern region. Biology, damage, population dynamics of diamondback moth and effect of natural enemies on the level of infestation of this pest by parasitoids and pathogens were studied in 2004-2007 in the laboratory and field conditions. Obtained results show that in general the pest has 2-3 generations, although up to 5-6 can evolve in the South. Fecundity and life longevity of Diamondback were studied on white cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and two basic weeds: shepherd's purse and wild mustard. The host plant affects fecundity and life span of the diamondback moth. Fecundity differs significantly and is highest with white cabbage. Fauna of Diamondback moth parasitoids is quite rich. All stages are affected by numerous parasitoids and predators. Around 22 parasitoid species were recorded during the study. Overall parasitism ranged from 18% to 60% varying essentially between the areas. Apanteles (Cotesia) sp., Diadegma sp., Trichogramma sp. were most common in all areas. Steinernema sp., entomopathogenic nematodes are found to be natural enemies of diamondback moth. The range of natural enemies contributes significantly to the control of Diamondback moth. Conservation and augmentation of natural enemies should be used in IPM systems in order to control diamondback moth on cabbage. Entomopathogenic nematodes are prominent biocontrol agents.

  1. Design, modeling, synthesis and biological activity evaluation of camptothecin-linked platinum anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Cincinelli, Raffaella; Musso, Loana; Dallavalle, Sabrina; Artali, Roberto; Tinelli, Stella; Colangelo, Donato; Zunino, Franco; De Cesare, Michelandrea; Beretta, Giovanni Luca; Zaffaroni, Nadia

    2013-05-01

    The design, modeling, synthesis and biological activity evaluation of two hybrid agents formed by 7-oxyiminomethylcamptothecin derivatives and diaminedichloro-platinum (II) complex are reported. The compounds showed growth inhibitory activity against a panel of human tumor cell lines, including sublines resistant to topotecan and platinum compounds. The derivatives were active in all the tested cell lines, and compound 1b, the most active one, was able to overcome cisplatin resistance in the osteosarcoma U2OS/Pt cell line. Platinum-containing camptothecins produced platinum-DNA adducts and topoisomerase I-mediated DNA damage with cleavage pattern and persistence similar to SN38, the active principle of irinotecan. Compound 1b exhibited an appreciable antitumor activity in vivo against human H460 tumor xenograft, comparable to that of irinotecan at lower well-tolerated dose levels and superior to cisplatin. The results support the interpretation that the diaminedichloro-platinum (II) complex conjugated via an oxyiminomethyl linker at the 7-position of the camptothecin resulted in a new class of effective antitumor compounds.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. Organogold(III) compounds as experimental anticancer agents: chemical and biological profiles.

    PubMed

    Massai, Lara; Cirri, Damiano; Michelucci, Elena; Bartoli, Gianluca; Guerri, Annalisa; Cinellu, Maria A; Cocco, Fabio; Gabbiani, Chiara; Messori, Luigi

    2016-10-01

    In the last few years gold(III) complexes have attracted growing attention in the medicinal chemistry community as candidate anticancer agents. In particular some organogold(III) compounds manifested quite attractive pharmacological behaviors in preclinical studies. Here we compare the chemical and biological properties of the novel organogold(III) complex [Au(bipy(dmb)-H)(NH(CO)CH3)][PF6] (Aubipy(aa)) with those of its parent compounds [Au(bipy(dmb)-H)(OH)][PF6] (Aubipy(c)) and [Au2(bipy(dmb)-H)2)(μ-O)][PF6]2 (Au2bipy(c)), previously synthesized and characterized. The three study compounds were comparatively assessed for their antiproliferative actions against HCT-116 cancer cells, revealing moderate cytotoxic effects. Proapoptotic and cell cycle effects were also monitored. Afterward, to gain additional mechanistic insight, the three gold compounds were challenged against the model proteins HEWL, RNase A and cytochrome c and reactions investigated through UV-Vis and ESI-MS analysis. A peculiar and roughly invariant protein metalation profile emerges in the three cases consisting of protein binding of {Au(bipy(dmb)-H)} moieties. The implications of these results are discussed in the frame of current knowledge on anticancer gold compounds.

  4. A water market simulator considering pair-wise trades between agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huskova, I.; Erfani, T.; Harou, J. J.

    2012-04-01

    In many basins in England no further water abstraction licences are available. Trading water between water rights holders has been recognized as a potentially effective and economically efficient strategy to mitigate increasing scarcity. A screening tool that could assess the potential for trade through realistic simulation of individual water rights holders would help assess the solution's potential contribution to local water management. We propose an optimisation-driven water market simulator that predicts pair-wise trade in a catchment and represents its interaction with natural hydrology and engineered infrastructure. A model is used to emulate licence-holders' willingness to engage in short-term trade transactions. In their simplest form agents are represented using an economic benefit function. The working hypothesis is that trading behaviour can be partially predicted based on differences in marginal values of water over space and time and estimates of transaction costs on pair-wise trades. We discuss the further possibility of embedding rules, norms and preferences of the different water user sectors to more realistically represent the behaviours, motives and constraints of individual licence holders. The potential benefits and limitations of such a social simulation (agent-based) approach is contrasted with our simulator where agents are driven by economic optimization. A case study based on the Dove River Basin (UK) demonstrates model inputs and outputs. The ability of the model to suggest impacts of water rights policy reforms on trading is discussed.

  5. ACE inhibitors hypothesis generation for selective design, synthesis and biological evaluation of 3-mercapto-2-methyl-propanoyl-pyrrolidine-3-imine derivatives as antihypertensive agents.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Mohamed A H; Nabil Aboul-Enein, M; Abouzid, Khaled A M; Abou El Ella, Dalal A; Ismail, Nasser S M

    2009-05-15

    A series of new 3-mercapto-2-methyl-propanoyl-pyrrolidine derivatives (V, VIa-e) were designed. A new validated ACE inhibitors pharmacophore model (hypothesis) was generated for the first time in this research from the biologically active (frozen) conformation of Lisinopril-Human ACE complex that was downloaded from PDB, using stepwise technique of CATALYST modules. The molecular modeling compare-fit study of the designed molecules (V, VIa-e), with such ACE inhibitors hypothesis was fulfilled, and several compounds showed significant high simulation fit values. The compounds with high fit values were synthesized and biologically evaluated in vivo as hypotensive agents. It appears that the in vivo hypotensive activity of compounds V, VIa, VIb, and VIe was consistent with their molecular modeling results, and compound VIe showed the highest activity in comparison to Captopril.

  6. Biology and host range of Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis; a potential biological control agent for Chinese tallow Triadica sebifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera, is an invasive weed that infests natural and agricultural areas of the southeastern USA. A candidate for biological control of Chinese tallow has been studied under quarantine conditions. The biology and host range of a primitive leaf feeding beetle, Heterapoderops...

  7. Agent-Based Models and Optimal Control in Biology: A Discrete Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    for example, we may choose to aggregate a herd of antelope into one agent: the location of this agent would thus represent the average location of each...individual in the herd. We can even represent certain antelope dying off and others being born by altering the size of the agent (e.g., as the... antelope herd interacts with an aggregated prey agent such as cheetahs or lions, the size of each may expand or contract accordingly). Of course, such

  8. An Agent-Based Model of New Venture Creation: Conceptual Design for Simulating Entrepreneurship

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Provance, Mike; Collins, Andrew; Carayannis, Elias

    2012-01-01

    There is a growing debate over the means by which regions can foster the growth of entrepreneurial activity in order to stimulate recovery and growth of their economies. On one side, agglomeration theory suggests the regions grow because of strong clusters that foster knowledge spillover locally; on the other side, the entrepreneurial action camp argues that innovative business models are generated by entrepreneurs with unique market perspectives who draw on knowledge from more distant domains. We will show you the design for a novel agent-based model of new venture creation that will demonstrate the relationship between agglomeration and action. The primary focus of this model is information exchange as the medium for these agent interactions. Our modeling and simulation study proposes to reveal interesting relationships in these perspectives, offer a foundation on which these disparate theories from economics and sociology can find common ground, and expand the use of agent-based modeling into entrepreneurship research.

  9. Measurement of drug facilitated sexual assault agents in simulated sweat by ion mobility spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Demoranville, Leonard T; Verkouteren, Jennifer R

    2013-03-15

    Ion mobility spectrometry has found widespread use for the detection of explosives and illicit drugs. The technique offers rapid results with high sensitivity and little sample preparation. As such, it is well suited for field deployed screening settings. Here the response of ion mobility spectrometers for three drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) agents - flunitrazepam, ketamine, and MDMA - and related metabolites has been studied in the presence of a simulated sweat. While all three DFSA agents present certain challenges for qualitative identification, IMS can provide useful information to guide the early treatment and investigation of sexual assault cases. Used as a presumptive test, the identification of DFSA agents would later require confirmatory analysis by other techniques.

  10. Optimization and Control of Agent-Based Models in Biology: A Perspective.

    PubMed

    An, G; Fitzpatrick, B G; Christley, S; Federico, P; Kanarek, A; Neilan, R Miller; Oremland, M; Salinas, R; Laubenbacher, R; Lenhart, S

    2017-01-01

    Agent-based models (ABMs) have become an increasingly important mode of inquiry for the life sciences. They are particularly valuable for systems that are not understood well enough to build an equation-based model. These advantages, however, are counterbalanced by the difficulty of analyzing and using ABMs, due to the lack of the type of mathematical tools available for more traditional models, which leaves simulation as the primary approach. As models become large, simulation becomes challenging. This paper proposes a novel approach to two mathematical aspects of ABMs, optimization and control, and it presents a few first steps outlining how one might carry out this approach. Rather than viewing the ABM as a model, it is to be viewed as a surrogate for the actual system. For a given optimization or control problem (which may change over time), the surrogate system is modeled instead, using data from the ABM and a modeling framework for which ready-made mathematical tools exist, such as differential equations, or for which control strategies can explored more easily. Once the optimization problem is solved for the model of the surrogate, it is then lifted to the surrogate and tested. The final step is to lift the optimization solution from the surrogate system to the actual system. This program is illustrated with published work, using two relatively simple ABMs as a demonstration, Sugarscape and a consumer-resource ABM. Specific techniques discussed include dimension reduction and approximation of an ABM by difference equations as well systems of PDEs, related to certain specific control objectives. This demonstration illustrates the very challenging mathematical problems that need to be solved before this approach can be realistically applied to complex and large ABMs, current and future. The paper outlines a research program to address them.

  11. Simulations of curved assemblies in soft matter and biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, Cong

    Viruses are small infectious agents that replicate only inside living cells of other organisms. In the viral life cycle, the self-assembly of the outer protein shell (capsid) is an essential step. We study this process in the hope of shedding light on development of antiviral drugs, gene therapy and other virus-related technologies that can benefit the humankind. More fundamentally, learning about the process of viral capsid assembly can elucidate the assembly mechanisms of a wide range of complex structures. In this work, we use molecular dynamics simulations and coarse-grained computational models to study viral capsid assembly in several situations where geometric constraints play a role in dictating assembly outcomes. We first focus on icosahedral viruses with single-stranded RNA genomes, in which case the capsid usually assembles around the genomic RNA. It is consistently observed in experiments that such viral particles are ''overcharged'', meaning the net negative charge on the viral genome is greater than the net positive charge on the viral capsid. We computationally investigate the mechanisms that lead to ``overcharging'', and more broadly, how the encapsidated genome length is influenced by the capsid. We perform both dynamical simulations of the assembly process and equilibrium calculations to determine the optimal genome length (meaning that which maximizes the assembly yield and/or minimizes the free energy of the assembled virus). We find that the optimal genome length is determined by the interplay between capsid size, net capsid charge, distribution of capsid charge and nucleic acid structures. Our simulations demonstrate that overcharging results from a combination of electrostatic screening and the geometric constraints associated with encapsulating a nucleic acid inside of a spherical virus. We then study the assembly of the immature HIV. In contrast to icosahedral viruses, the immature HIV forms an asymmetric particle, consisting of continuous

  12. Single-particle aerosol mass spectrometry for the detection and identification of chemical warfare agent simulants.

    PubMed

    Martin, Audrey N; Farquar, George R; Frank, Matthias; Gard, Eric E; Fergenson, David P

    2007-08-15

    Single-particle aerosol mass spectrometry (SPAMS) was used for the real-time detection of liquid nerve agent simulants. A total of 1000 dual-polarity time-of-flight mass spectra were obtained for micrometer-sized single particles each of dimethyl methyl phosphonate, diethyl ethyl phosphonate, diethyl phosphoramidate, and diethyl phthalate using laser fluences between 0.58 and 7.83 nJ/microm2, and mass spectral variation with laser fluence was studied. The mass spectra obtained allowed identification of single particles of the chemical warfare agent (CWA) simulants at each laser fluence used although lower laser fluences allowed more facile identification. SPAMS is presented as a promising real-time detection system for the presence of CWAs.

  13. Multi-agent system for the short and long-term power market simulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, J.; Botterud, A.; Conzelmann, G.; Koritarov, V.

    2009-04-01

    In this paper we give an overview of the Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) model. EMCAS uses the agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) technique to model the market participants in electricity markets as different agents with different strategies, risk preferences, and objectives. The complex operations of an electricity market can be simulated across several time horizons from day-ahead scheduling to long-term expansion planning. The methodology used in the model is discussed and a central European case is utilized to illustrate how EMCAS can be used to analyze a power system's operation under various assumptions. The results show the effectiveness of the model, and how the ABMS approach allows the testing of different market conditions.

  14. Multi-agent system for short and long-term power market simulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, J.; Botterud, A.; Conzelmann, G.; Koritarov, V.

    2009-04-01

    In this paper we give an overview of the Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) model. EMCAS uses the agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) technique to model the market participants in electricity markets as different agents with different strategies, risk preferences, and objectives. The complex operations of an electricity market can be simulated across several time horizons from day-ahead scheduling to long-term expansion planning. The methodology used in the model is discussed and a central European case is utilized to illustrate how EMCAS can be used to analyze a power system's operation under various assumptions. The results show the effectiveness of the model, and how the ABMS approach allows the testing of different market conditions.

  15. Multi-agent simulation of the von Thunen model formation mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Haiyan; Li, Xia; Chen, Xiaoxiang; Deng, Chengbin

    2008-10-01

    This research tries to explain the internal driving forces of circular structure formation in urban geography via the simulation of interaction between individual behavior and market. On the premise of single city center, unchanged scale merit and complete competition, enterprise migration theory as well, an R-D algorithm, that has agents searched the best behavior rules in some given locations, is introduced with agent-based modeling technique. The experiment conducts a simulation on Swarm platform, whose result reflects and replays the formation process of Von Thünen circular structure. Introducing and considering some heterogeneous factors, such as traffic roads, the research verifies several landuse models and discusses the self-adjustment function of price mechanism.

  16. Suppressive composts from organic wastes as agents of biological control of fusariosis in Tatartan Republic (Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gumerova, Raushaniya; Galitskaya, Polina; Beru, Franchesca; Selivanovskaya, Svetlana

    2015-04-01

    pepton agar, the composts and their water extracts were checked towards their ability to inhibit growth of F. oxysporum. It was shown that three composts - CD, FPM and RD - possessed suppressiveness towards the model phytopathogen. From these three wastes, 28 bacterial and fungal strains were isolated and, in their turn, checked towards their ability to inhibit F. oxysporum. It was demonstrated that five of the isolated strains are highly suppressive to model test-object (the growth area of F. oxysporum did not exceed 30%), six of the stains were moderate suppressive (the growth area of F. oxysporum ranged from 35% to 60%), and other strains did not cause negative effects for the model phytopathogen. Further, we will check the composts and the isolated strains using the model system "soil - tomato plant - phytopathogen". As a result, effective composts and strains will be recommended as agents for biological control of fungal diseases in the region. Besides, the structure of bacterial and fungal community of the composts with suppressive properties will be assessed using 454-pyrosequencing.

  17. Evolutionary Agent-Based Simulation of the Introduction of New Technologies in Air Traffic Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yliniemi, Logan; Agogino, Adrian K.; Tumer, Kagan

    2014-01-01

    Accurate simulation of the effects of integrating new technologies into a complex system is critical to the modernization of our antiquated air traffic system, where there exist many layers of interacting procedures, controls, and automation all designed to cooperate with human operators. Additions of even simple new technologies may result in unexpected emergent behavior due to complex human/ machine interactions. One approach is to create high-fidelity human models coming from the field of human factors that can simulate a rich set of behaviors. However, such models are difficult to produce, especially to show unexpected emergent behavior coming from many human operators interacting simultaneously within a complex system. Instead of engineering complex human models, we directly model the emergent behavior by evolving goal directed agents, representing human users. Using evolution we can predict how the agent representing the human user reacts given his/her goals. In this paradigm, each autonomous agent in a system pursues individual goals, and the behavior of the system emerges from the interactions, foreseen or unforeseen, between the agents/actors. We show that this method reflects the integration of new technologies in a historical case, and apply the same methodology for a possible future technology.

  18. ActivitySim: large-scale agent based activity generation for infrastructure simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Gali, Emmanuel; Eidenbenz, Stephan; Mniszewski, Sue; Cuellar, Leticia; Teuscher, Christof

    2008-01-01

    The United States' Department of Homeland Security aims to model, simulate, and analyze critical infrastructure and their interdependencies across multiple sectors such as electric power, telecommunications, water distribution, transportation, etc. We introduce ActivitySim, an activity simulator for a population of millions of individual agents each characterized by a set of demographic attributes that is based on US census data. ActivitySim generates daily schedules for each agent that consists of a sequence of activities, such as sleeping, shopping, working etc., each being scheduled at a geographic location, such as businesses or private residences that is appropriate for the activity type and for the personal situation of the agent. ActivitySim has been developed as part of a larger effort to understand the interdependencies among national infrastructure networks and their demand profiles that emerge from the different activities of individuals in baseline scenarios as well as emergency scenarios, such as hurricane evacuations. We present the scalable software engineering principles underlying ActivitySim, the socia-technical modeling paradigms that drive the activity generation, and proof-of-principle results for a scenario in the Twin Cities, MN area of 2.6 M agents.

  19. Survey: Destruction of chemical agent simulants in supercritical water oxidation. Master's thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Blank, M.R.

    1992-07-01

    The supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) process exhibits distinct advantages for destruction of toxic wastes. Examples of these wastes are two chemical agent simulants, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) and thiodiglycol (2,2'-thiodiethanol). DMMP is similar to the nerve agent GB Sarin in structure, and thiodiglycol is a hydrolysis product of the blister agent HD Sulfur Mustard. Both simulants are miscible in water and relatively non-toxic in comparison to the actual chemical agents. Using a Laboratory-scale, batch three temperatures were investigated: 425 deg C, 450 deg C, and 500 deg C with an initial concentration of one percent by volume, 11,450 mg/L for DMMP and 12,220 mg/L for thiodiglycol. Residence times investigated were: 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 minutes. Reactor beat-up (H.U.) was determined to be one minute. Both pyrolysis and oxidation tests were conducted. Oxygen levels were uniformly set at 200% of stoichiometric requirements for the parent compounds.

  20. First steps in computational systems biology: A practical session in metabolic modeling and simulation.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Palomares, Armando; Sánchez-Jiménez, Francisca; Medina, Miguel Ángel

    2009-05-01

    A comprehensive understanding of biological functions requires new systemic perspectives, such as those provided by systems biology. Systems biology approaches are hypothesis-driven and involve iterative rounds of model building, prediction, experimentation, model refinement, and development. Developments in computer science are allowing for ever faster numerical simulations of mathematical models. Mathematical modeling plays an essential role in new systems biology approaches. As a complex, integrated system, metabolism is a suitable topic of study for systems biology approaches. However, up until recently, this topic has not been properly covered in biochemistry courses. This communication reports the development and implementation of a practical lesson plan on metabolic modeling and simulation.

  1. GridLAB-D: An Agent-Based Simulation Framework for Smart Grids

    DOE PAGES

    Chassin, David P.; Fuller, Jason C.; Djilali, Ned

    2014-01-01

    Simulation of smart grid technologies requires a fundamentally new approach to integrated modeling of power systems, energy markets, building technologies, and the plethora of other resources and assets that are becoming part of modern electricity production, delivery, and consumption systems. As a result, the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity commissioned the development of a new type of power system simulation tool called GridLAB-D that uses an agent-based approach to simulating smart grids. This paper presents the numerical methods and approach to time-series simulation used by GridLAB-D and reviews applications in power system studies, market design, building control systemmore » design, and integration of wind power in a smart grid.« less

  2. GridLAB-D: An Agent-Based Simulation Framework for Smart Grids

    SciTech Connect

    Chassin, David P.; Fuller, Jason C.; Djilali, Ned

    2014-06-23

    Simulation of smart grid technologies requires a fundamentally new approach to integrated modeling of power systems, energy markets, building technologies, and the plethora of other resources and assets that are becoming part of modern electricity production, delivery, and consumption systems. As a result, the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity commissioned the development of a new type of power system simulation tool called GridLAB-D that uses an agent-based approach to simulating smart grids. This paper presents the numerical methods and approach to time-series simulation used by GridLAB-D and reviews applications in power system studies, market design, building control system design, and integration of wind power in a smart grid.

  3. Selective Real-time Detection of Gaseous Nerve Agent Simulants Using Multiwavelength Photoacoustics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-08-15

    Selective real-time detection of gaseous nerve agent simulants using multiwavelength photoacoustics Kristan P. Gurton,* Melvin Felton, and Richard...concentrations. The technique is based on a modified version of conventional laser photoacoustic (PA) spectroscopy, in which optical absorption is typically...spec- troscopic approach [1–4]. One of the more direct methods to implement in prac- tice (without sacrificing sensitivity) is laser photoacoustic

  4. A rhodamine-deoxylactam based sensor for chromo-fluorogenic detection of nerve agent simulant.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhisheng; Wu, Xuanjun; Yang, Yuhui; Wen, Ting-bin; Han, Shoufa

    2012-10-15

    N-(rhodamine B)-deoxylactam-5-amino-1-pentanol (dRB-APOH) was designed and prepared as the chromo-fluorogenic sensor for detection of a nerve agent simulant via analyte triggered tandem phosphorylation and opening of the intramolecular deoxylactam. The successful detection of diethyl chlorophosphate suggests the utility of rhodamine-deoxylactams as the chromo-fluorogenic signal reporting platform for design of sensors targeting reactive chemical species via various chemistries.

  5. An estimate of the cost of administering intravenous biological agents in Spanish day hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Nolla, Joan Miquel; Martín, Esperanza; Llamas, Pilar; Manero, Javier; Rodríguez de la Serna, Arturo; Fernández-Miera, Manuel Francisco; Rodríguez, Mercedes; López, José Manuel; Ivanova, Alexandra; Aragón, Belén

    2017-01-01

    Objective To estimate the unit costs of administering intravenous (IV) biological agents in day hospitals (DHs) in the Spanish National Health System. Patients and methods Data were obtained from 188 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, collected from nine DHs, receiving one of the following IV therapies: infliximab (n=48), rituximab (n=38), abatacept (n=41), or tocilizumab (n=61). The fieldwork was carried out between March 2013 and March 2014. The following three groups of costs were considered: 1) structural costs, 2) material costs, and 3) staff costs. Staff costs were considered a fixed cost and were estimated according to the DH theoretical level of activity, which includes, as well as personal care of each patient, the DH general activities (complete imputation method, CIM). In addition, an alternative calculation was performed, in which the staff costs were considered a variable cost imputed according to the time spent on direct care (partial imputation method, PIM). All costs were expressed in euros for the reference year 2014. Results The average total cost was €146.12 per infusion (standard deviation [SD] ±87.11; CIM) and €29.70 per infusion (SD ±11.42; PIM). The structure-related costs per infusion varied between €2.23 and €62.35 per patient and DH; the cost of consumables oscillated between €3.48 and €20.34 per patient and DH. In terms of the care process, the average difference between the shortest and the longest time taken by different hospitals to administer an IV biological therapy was 113 minutes. Conclusion The average total cost of infusion was less than that normally used in models of economic evaluation coming from secondary sources. This cost is even less when the staff costs are imputed according to the PIM. A high degree of variability was observed between different DHs in the cost of the consumables, in the structure-related costs, and in those of the care process. PMID:28356746

  6. Reducing Mortality from Terrorist Releases of Chemical and Biological Agents: I. Filtration for Ventilation Systems in Commercial Building

    SciTech Connect

    Thatcher, Tracy L.; Daisey, Joan M.

    1999-09-01

    There is growing concern about potential terrorist attacks involving releases of chemical and/or biological (CB) agents, such as sarin or anthrax, in and around buildings. For an external release, the CB agent can enter the building through the air intakes of a building's mechanical ventilation system and by infiltration through the building envelope. For an interior release in a single room, the mechanical ventilation system, which often recirculates some fraction of the air within a building, may distribute the released CB agent throughout the building. For both cases, installing building systems that remove chemical and biological agents may be the most effective way to protect building occupants. Filtration systems installed in the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems of buildings can significantly reduce exposures of building occupants in the event of a release, whether the release is outdoors or indoors. Reduced exposures can reduce the number of deaths from a terrorist attack. The purpose of this report is to provide information and examples of the design of filtration systems to help building engineers retrofit HVAC systems. The report also provides background information on the physical nature of CB agents and brief overviews of the basic principles of particle and vapor filtration.

  7. How clean is clean enough? Recent developments in response to threats posed by chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen; Carlsen, Tina; Folks, Karen; Kirvel, Robert; Daniels, Jeffrey; Bogen, Kenneth

    2004-02-01

    Recent terrorist events underscore the urgent need to develop a comprehensive set of health-protective cleanup standards and effective decontamination technologies for use in the restoration of civilian facilities. Accurate scientific information remains limited in the area of biological warfare agents. However, new guidelines and calculated cleanup values are emerging for initial re-entry and long-term reoccupation following use of chemical warfare agents. This article addresses airborne, soil, and surface exposures following release of G-type chemical warfare agents and VX. Cleanup goals should be tailored to the type of population that may be exposed, potential exposure times, and other scenario-specific considerations. Three different airborne concentrations are proposed for cleanup of public sector facilities. One value is recommended for initial re-entry; a more conservative value is recommended for long-term monitoring and increased public confidence; and a third, even more conservative concentration represents essentially a no-effect level for round-the-clock airborne exposure. Health-based cleanup levels are provided for contaminated residential and industrial soil. Results are presented on the outcome of a preliminary risk assessment to determine safe surface levels (e.g., walls, floors, and handrails) for cleanup after exposure to the G agents and VX. Because specific cleanup criteria for most biological warfare agents remain problematic, recommendations are made for filling the knowledge gaps.

  8. Predicting the host range of Nystalea ebalea: secondary plant chemistry and host selection by a surrogate biological control agent of Schinus terebinthifolia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The safety of weed biological control depends upon the selection and utilization of the target weed by the agent while causing minimal harm to non-target species. Selection of weed species by biological control agents is determined by the presence of behavioral cues, generally host secondary plant c...

  9. Predicting spillover risk to non-target plants pre-release: Bikasha collaris a potential biological control agent of Chinese tallowtree (Triadica sebifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quarantine host range tests accurately predict direct risk of biological control agents to non-target species. However, a well-known indirect effect of biological control of weeds releases is spillover damage to non-target species. Spillover damage may occur when the population of agents achieves ou...

  10. The noncontact detection of nerve agent simulants on U.S. military CARC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petryk, Michael W. P.

    2009-05-01

    The non-contact detection of chemical warfare agent simulants is achieved in the condensed phase using polarization modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PMIRRAS). The G-series nerve agent simulants, trimethyl phosphate (TMP) and triethyl phosphate (TEP), are detected on US military chemical agent resistant coating (CARC) using PMIRRAS. Optimal detector angles for PMIRRAS are determined, as are absorption features which can be used to distinguish between the spectral contributions of the substrate (CARC) and the analyte (TMP or TEP). Ab initio calculations carried out at the B3LYP / 6-31G(d,p) level of theory and basis set are used to predict the most stable simulant conformations, and their harmonic (unscaled) vibrational frequencies. Ab initio vibrational frequency data is used to explain the existence of both upward-oriented and downward-oriented PMIRRAS absorption features in terms of molecular orientation at a surface and the orientation of the dipole derivative vector of a given vibrational mode.

  11. An investigation of the evolutionary origin of reciprocal communication using simulated autonomous agents.

    PubMed

    Tuci, Elio

    2009-09-01

    How does communication originates in a population of originally non-communicating individuals? Providing an answer to this question from a neo-Darwinian epistemological perspective is not a trivial task. The reason is that, for non-communicating agents, the capabilities of emitting signals and responding to them are both adaptively neutral traits if they are not simultaneously present. Research studies based on rather general and theoretically oriented evolutionary simulation models have, so far, demonstrated that at least two different processes can account for the origin of communication. On the one hand, communicative behaviour may first evolve in a non-communicative context and only subsequently acquire its adaptive function.On the other hand, communication may originate thanks to cognitive constraints; that is, communication may originate thanks to the existence of neural substrates that are common to the signalling and categorising capabilities. This article provides a proof-of-concept demonstration of the origin of communication in a novel-simulated scenario in which groups of two homogeneous (i.e. genetically identical) agents exploit reciprocal communication to develop common perceptual categories nd to perform a collective task. In particular, in circumstances in which communication is evolutionarily advantageous, simulated agents evolve from scratch social behaviour through acoustic interactions.We look into the phylogeny of successful communication protocol, and we describe the evolutionary phenomena that, in early evolutionary stages, paved the way for the subsequent development of reciprocal communication, categorisation capabilities and successful cooperative strategies.

  12. Molecularly imprinted nanopatterns for the recognition of biological warfare agent ricin.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Santwana; Boopathi, M; Kumar, Om; Baghel, Anuradha; Pandey, Pratibha; Mahato, T H; Singh, Beer; Vijayaraghavan, R

    2009-11-15

    Molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for biological warfare agent (BWA) ricin was synthesized using silanes in order to avoid harsh environments during the synthesis of MIP. The synthesized MIP was utilized for the recognition of ricin. The complete removal of ricin from polymer was confirmed by fluorescence spectrometer and SEM-EDAX. SEM and EDAX studies confirmed the attachment of silane polymer on the surface of silica gel matrix. SEM image of Ricin-MIP exhibited nanopatterns and it was found to be entirely different from the SEM image of non-imprinted polymer (NIP). BET surface area analysis revealed more surface area (227 m(2)/g) for Ricin-MIP than that of NIP (143 m(2)/g). In addition, surface area study also showed more pore volume (0.5010 cm(3)/g) for Ricin-MIP than that of NIP (0.2828 cm(3)/g) at 12 nm pore diameter confirming the presence of imprinted sites for ricin as the reported diameter of ricin is 12 nm. The recognition and rebinding ability of the Ricin-MIP was tested in aqueous solution. Ricin-MIP rebound more ricin when compared to the NIP. Chromatogram obtained with Ricin-MIP exhibited two peaks due to imprinting, however, chromatogram of NIP exhibited only one peak for free ricin. SDS-PAGE result confirmed the second peak observed in chromatogram of Ricin-MIP as ricin peak. Ricin-MIP exhibited an imprinting efficiency of 1.76 and it also showed 10% interference from the structurally similar protein abrin.

  13. Escherichia coli biosensors for environmental, food industry and biological warfare agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allil, R. C. S. B.; Werneck, M. M.; da Silva-Neto, J. L.; Miguel, M. A. L.; Rodrigues, D. M. C.; Wandermur, G. L.; Rambauske, D. C.

    2013-06-01

    This work has the objective to research and develop a plastic optical fiber biosensor based taper and mPOF LPG techniques to detect Escherichia coli by measurements of index of refraction. Generally, cell detection is crucial in microbiological analysis of clinical, food, water or environmental samples. However, methods current employed are time consuming, taking at least 72 hours in order to produce reliable responses as they depend on sample collection and cell culture in controlled conditions. The delay in obtaining the results of the analysis can result in contamination of a great number of consumers. Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) biosensors consist in a viable alternative for rapid and inexpensive scheme for cells detection. A study the sensitivity of these sensors for microbiological detection, fiber Tapers and Long Period Grating (LPG) both in poly-methyl-methacrylate (PMMA) were realized as possible candidates to take part of a biosensor system to detect Escherichia coli in water samples. In this work we adopted the immunocapture technique, which consists of quantifying bacteria in a liquid sample, attract-ing and fixing the bacteria on the surface of the polymer optical fiber, by the antigen-antibody reaction. The results were obtained by optical setup that consists in a side of the fiber a LED coupled to a photodetector through a POF with the taper in the middle of it. On the other side of the POF a photodetector receives this light producting a photocurrent. The output voltage is fed into the microcontroller A/D input port and its output data is sent via USB to a LabView software running in a microcomputer. The results showed the possibility of the POF in biosensor application capable to detect E. coli for environmental and food industry and for detecting and identifying biological-warfare agents using a very rapid response sensor, applicable to field detection prototypes.

  14. Preliminary assessment of the interaction of introduced biological agents with biofilms in water distribution systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Sinclair, Michael B.; Caldwell, Sara; Jones, Howland D. T.; Altman, Susan Jeanne; Souza, Caroline Ann; McGrath, Lucas K.

    2005-12-01

    Basic research is needed to better understand the potential risk of dangerous biological agents that are unintentionally or intentionally introduced into a water distribution system. We report on our capabilities to conduct such studies and our preliminary investigations. In 2004, the Biofilms Laboratory was initiated for the purpose of conducting applied research related to biofilms with a focus on application, application testing and system-scale research. Capabilities within the laboratory are the ability to grow biofilms formed from known bacteria or biofilms from drinking water. Biofilms can be grown quickly in drip-flow reactors or under conditions more analogous to drinking-water distribution systems in annular reactors. Biofilms can be assessed through standard microbiological techniques (i .e, aerobic plate counts) or with various visualization techniques including epifluorescent and confocal laser scanning microscopy and confocal fluorescence hyperspectral imaging with multivariate analysis. We have demonstrated the ability to grow reproducible Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms in the annular reactor with plate counts on the order of 10{sup 5} and 10{sup 6} CFU/cm{sup 2}. Stationary phase growth is typically reached 5 to 10 days after inoculation. We have also conducted a series of pathogen-introduction experiments, where we have observed that both polystyrene microspheres and Bacillus cereus (as a surrogate for B. anthracis) stay incorporated in the biofilms for the duration of our experiments, which lasted as long as 36 days. These results indicated that biofilms may act as a safe harbor for bio-pathogens in drinking water systems, making it difficult to decontaminate the systems.

  15. Detection and Tracking of a Novel Genetically Tagged Biological Simulant in the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Emanuel, Peter A.; Buckley, Patricia E.; Sutton, Tiffany A.; Edmonds, Jason M.; Bailey, Andrew M.; Rivers, Bryan A.; Kim, Michael H.; Ginley, William J.; Keiser, Christopher C.; Doherty, Robert W.; Kragl, F. Joseph; Narayanan, Fiona E.; Katoski, Sarah E.; Paikoff, Sari; Leppert, Samuel P.; Strawbridge, John B.; VanReenen, Daniel R.; Biberos, Sally S.; Moore, Douglas; Phillips, Douglas W.; Mingioni, Lisa R.; Melles, Ogba; Ondercin, Daniel G.; Hirsh, Beth; Bieschke, Kendall M.; Harris, Crystal L.; Omberg, Kristin M.; Rastogi, Vipin K.; Van Cuyk, Sheila

    2012-01-01

    A variant of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki containing a single, stable copy of a uniquely amplifiable DNA oligomer integrated into the genome for tracking the fate of biological agents in the environment was developed. The use of genetically tagged spores overcomes the ambiguity of discerning the test material from pre-existing environmental microflora or from previously released background material. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of the genetically “barcoded” simulant in a controlled indoor setting and in an outdoor release. In an ambient breeze tunnel test, spores deposited on tiles were reaerosolized and detected by real-time PCR at distances of 30 m from the point of deposition. Real-time PCR signals were inversely correlated with distance from the seeded tiles. An outdoor release of powdered spore simulant at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood, MD, was monitored from a distance by a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) laser. Over a 2-week period, an array of air sampling units collected samples were analyzed for the presence of viable spores and using barcode-specific real-time PCR assays. Barcoded B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki spores were unambiguously identified on the day of the release, and viable material was recovered in a pattern consistent with the cloud track predicted by prevailing winds and by data tracks provided by the LIDAR system. Finally, the real-time PCR assays successfully differentiated barcoded B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki spores from wild-type spores under field conditions. PMID:23001670

  16. The importance of molecular tools in classical biological control of weeds: Two case studies with yellow starthistle candidate biological agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular analyses may play a primary role in the process of host-specificity evaluation at species and population levels; here are reported two examples of their application with new candidate biocontrol agents for yellow starthistle (YST). Ceratapion basicorne is a root-crown boring weevil that sh...

  17. A framework for the use of agent based modeling to simulate ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Simulation of human behavior in exposure modeling is a complex task. Traditionally, inter-individual variation in human activity has been modeled by drawing from a pool of single day time-activity diaries such as the US EPA Consolidated Human Activity Database (CHAD). Here, an agent-based model (ABM) is used to simulate population distributions of longitudinal patterns of four macro activities (sleeping, eating, working, and commuting) in populations of adults over a period of one year. In this ABM, an individual is modeled as an agent whose movement through time and space is determined by a set of decision rules. The rules are based on the agent having time-varying “needs” that are satisfied by performing actions. Needs are modeled as increasing over time, and taking an action reduces the need. Need-satisfying actions include sleeping (meeting the need for rest), eating (meeting the need for food), and commuting/working (meeting the need for income). Every time an action is completed, the model determines the next action the agent will take based on the magnitude of each of the agent’s needs at that point in time. Different activities advertise their ability to satisfy various needs of the agent (such as food to eat or sleeping in a bed or on a couch). The model then chooses the activity that satisfies the greatest of the agent’s needs. When multiple actions could address a need, the model will choose the most effective of the actions (bed over the couc

  18. Chemical agent simulants for testing transparent materials. Contractor report, September 1987-January 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, R.E.; Liebman, S.A.; Isaacson, L.; Grasso, P.S.; Sarver, E.W.

    1988-05-01

    Transparent polymeric materials undergo physical changes when exposed to chemical warfare agents. The object of this task was to: 1) select candidate liquids to simulate GB, VX and HD effects (three each) and 2) perform three point bend tests to determine critical strain values for cracking/crazing for simulant/transparent-polymer materials combinations. The critical-strain tests were accomplished using ASTM method D790-80 for stress crazing. The method was modified and enhanced to detect stress crazing via changes in reflection/diffraction patterns produced with a helium-neon (He-Ne) laser. Four transparent-polymer materials were tested; namely, as cast polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), biaxially stretched PMMA, polycarbonate and polyurethane GAC-590. The critical-strain values obtained for the simulant/polymer combinations are presented as a four-by-nine map that allows easy comparisons as a function of material or simulant. Comparison with actual agent data is possible using this four-by-nine map.

  19. A program code generator for multiphysics biological simulation using markup languages.

    PubMed

    Amano, Akira; Kawabata, Masanari; Yamashita, Yoshiharu; Rusty Punzalan, Florencio; Shimayoshi, Takao; Kuwabara, Hiroaki; Kunieda, Yoshitoshi

    2012-01-01

    To cope with the complexity of the biological function simulation models, model representation with description language is becoming popular. However, simulation software itself becomes complex in these environment, thus, it is difficult to modify the simulation conditions, target computation resources or calculation methods. In the complex biological function simulation software, there are 1) model equations, 2) boundary conditions and 3) calculation schemes. Use of description model file is useful for first point and partly second point, however, third point is difficult to handle for various calculation schemes which is required for simulation models constructed from two or more elementary models. We introduce a simulation software generation system which use description language based description of coupling calculation scheme together with cell model description file. By using this software, we can easily generate biological simulation code with variety of coupling calculation schemes. To show the efficiency of our system, example of coupling calculation scheme with three elementary models are shown.

  20. Principles of antidote pharmacology: an update on prophylaxis, post-exposure treatment recommendations and research initiatives for biological agents

    PubMed Central

    Ramasamy, S; Liu, CQ; Tran, H; Gubala, A; Gauci, P; McAllister, J; Vo, T

    2010-01-01

    The use of biological agents has generally been confined to military-led conflicts. However, there has been an increase in non-state-based terrorism, including the use of asymmetric warfare, such as biological agents in the past few decades. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to consider strategies for preventing and preparing for attacks by insurgents, such as the development of pre- and post-exposure medical countermeasures. There are a wide range of prophylactics and treatments being investigated to combat the effects of biological agents. These include antibiotics (for both conventional and unconventional use), antibodies, anti-virals, immunomodulators, nucleic acids (analogues, antisense, ribozymes and DNAzymes), bacteriophage therapy and micro-encapsulation. While vaccines are commercially available for the prevention of anthrax, cholera, plague, Q fever and smallpox, there are no licensed vaccines available for use in the case of botulinum toxins, viral encephalitis, melioidosis or ricin. Antibiotics are still recommended as the mainstay treatment following exposure to anthrax, plague, Q fever and melioidosis. Anti-toxin therapy and anti-virals may be used in the case of botulinum toxins or smallpox respectively. However, supportive care is the only, or mainstay, post-exposure treatment for cholera, viral encephalitis and ricin – a recommendation that has not changed in decades. Indeed, with the difficulty that antibiotic resistance poses, the development and further evaluation of techniques and atypical pharmaceuticals are fundamental to the development of prophylaxis and post-exposure treatment options. The aim of this review is to present an update on prophylaxis and post-exposure treatment recommendations and research initiatives for biological agents in the open literature from 2007 to 2009. PMID:20860656

  1. An Agent-Based Labor Market Simulation with Endogenous Skill-Demand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gemkow, S.

    This paper considers an agent-based labor market simulation to examine the influence of skills on wages and unemployment rates. Therefore less and highly skilled workers as well as less and highly productive vacancies are implemented. The skill distribution is exogenous whereas the distribution of the less and highly productive vacancies is endogenous. The different opportunities of the skill groups on the labor market are established by skill requirements. This means that a highly productive vacancy can only be filled by a highly skilled unemployed. Different skill distributions, which can also be interpreted as skill-biased technological change, are simulated by incrementing the skill level of highly skilled persons exogenously. This simulation also provides a microeconomic foundation of the matching function often used in theoretical approaches.

  2. A Multi-agent Simulation Tool for Micro-scale Contagion Spread Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, Daniel B

    2016-01-01

    Within the disaster preparedness and emergency response community, there is interest in how contagions spread person-to-person at large gatherings and if mitigation strategies can be employed to reduce new infections. A contagion spread simulation module was developed for the Incident Management Preparedness and Coordination Toolkit that allows a user to see how a geographically accurate layout of the gathering space helps or hinders the spread of a contagion. The results can inform mitigation strategies based on changing the physical layout of an event space. A case study was conducted for a particular event to calibrate the underlying simulation model. This paper presents implementation details of the simulation code that incorporates agent movement and disease propagation. Elements of the case study are presented to show how the tool can be used.

  3. Security Analysis of Selected AMI Failure Scenarios Using Agent Based Game Theoretic Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Abercrombie, Robert K; Schlicher, Bob G; Sheldon, Frederick T

    2014-01-01

    Information security analysis can be performed using game theory implemented in dynamic Agent Based Game Theoretic (ABGT) simulations. Such simulations can be verified with the results from game theory analysis and further used to explore larger scale, real world scenarios involving multiple attackers, defenders, and information assets. We concentrated our analysis on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) functional domain which the National Electric Sector Cyber security Organization Resource (NESCOR) working group has currently documented 29 failure scenarios. The strategy for the game was developed by analyzing five electric sector representative failure scenarios contained in the AMI functional domain. From these five selected scenarios, we characterize them into three specific threat categories affecting confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA). The analysis using our ABGT simulation demonstrates how to model the AMI functional domain using a set of rationalized game theoretic rules decomposed from the failure scenarios in terms of how those scenarios might impact the AMI network with respect to CIA.

  4. PERSISTENCE AND DESTRUCTION OF BIOLOGICAL AGENTS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILL LEACHATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research into the permanence of final disposal of the inactivated or active agents of terrorism must be examined by looking at the fate of various agents in the most likely medium of escape. Fate is determined by looking at the transport and the activation status. The likely esca...

  5. Characterization of an Optically Integrated Mach-Zehnder Interferometer for the Detection of Biological Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-04-01

    general. Le systeme integre de detection d’agents biologiques ( CIBADS) et le vehicule de reconnaissance a blindage Ieger (LAV RECCE) sont deux pro jets...pour !’integration de systemes autonomes et efficaces de surveillance d’agents biologiques. Un dispositif possedant cer- taines caracteristiques

  6. Feces, dead horses, and fleas. Evolution of the hostile use of biological agents.

    PubMed Central

    Lesho, M E; Dorsey, M D; Bunner, D

    1998-01-01

    Selected events in the history of biological weapons are highlighted to increase physicians' awareness of the threat of biological weapons. The hostile use of biological substances originated in antiquity and pervades the history of human conflict. Although difficult to verify at times, the use of such weaponry has not been limited to national militaries. Disgruntled civilians and even physicians have used biological weapons to promote their interests. Their potency, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to manufacture and deploy them with little sophistication, or under the semblance of legitimate commercial endeavors, will ensure that biological weapons remain a constant threat to public health. PMID:9655992

  7. Molecular dynamics simulations on the interaction between polymers and hydroxyapatite with and without coupling agents.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-ping; Lu, Xiong; Leng, Yang; Fang, Liming; Qu, Shuxin; Feng, Bo; Weng, Jie; Wang, Jianxin

    2009-05-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were employed to study hydroxyapatite/biopolymer interface interactions in composites for biomedical applications. The study analyzed the binding energies between hydroxyapatite (HA) and three polymers: polyethylene (PE), polyamide (PA) and polylactic acid (PLA). The interactions of polymers on HA crystallographic planes (001), (100) and (110) were simulated. The effects of the silane coupling agent (A174) on interfacial binding energies were also examined. The results show that HA (110) has the highest binding energy with these polymers because of its higher planar atom density than that of HA (001) and (100). The binding energies of PA/HA and PLA/HA are much higher than that of PE/HA, which might be attributed to large number of polar groups in PA and PLA chains. The silane coupling agent A174 increases the binding energy between PE and HA, but not for the PA/HA and PLA/HA systems. The MD results can be used to guide the design of polymer/HA composites and to select proper coupling agents.

  8. A Multi-Agent Approach to the Simulation of Robotized Manufacturing Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foit, K.; Gwiazda, A.; Banaś, W.

    2016-08-01

    The recent years of eventful industry development, brought many competing products, addressed to the same market segment. The shortening of a development cycle became a necessity if the company would like to be competitive. Because of switching to the Intelligent Manufacturing model the industry search for new scheduling algorithms, while the traditional ones do not meet the current requirements. The agent-based approach has been considered by many researchers as an important way of evolution of modern manufacturing systems. Due to the properties of the multi-agent systems, this methodology is very helpful during creation of the model of production system, allowing depicting both processing and informational part. The complexity of such approach makes the analysis impossible without the computer assistance. Computer simulation still uses a mathematical model to recreate a real situation, but nowadays the 2D or 3D virtual environments or even virtual reality have been used for realistic illustration of the considered systems. This paper will focus on robotized manufacturing system and will present the one of possible approaches to the simulation of such systems. The selection of multi-agent approach is motivated by the flexibility of this solution that offers the modularity, robustness and autonomy.

  9. Micro-Radiography of Living Biological Organisms with MEDIPIX2 Detector and Application of Various Contrast Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dammer, Jiri; Sopko, Vit; Jakubek, Jan; Weyda, Frantisek; Benes, Jiri; Zahorovsky, Julian

    2012-08-01

    We describe a newly developed radiographic system equipped with Medipix2 semiconductor pixel detector and a micro-focus FeinFocus X-ray tube tabletop. The detector is used as an imager that counts individual photons of ionizing radiation, emitted by the X-ray tube. The digital pixel detectors of the Medipix family represent a highly efficient type of imaging devices with high spatial resolution better than 1μm, and unlimited dynamic range allowing single particle of radiation and to determine their energies. The setup is particularly suitable for radiographic imaging of small biological samples, including in vivo observations with various contrast agents (iodine and lanthanum nitrate). Along with the description of the apparatus we provide examples of application of iodine and lanthanum nitrate contrast agents as tracers in various insects as model organisms. The iodine contrast agent increases the absorption of X-rays and this leads to better resolution of internal structures of biological organisms, and especially the various cavities, pores, etc. Micro-radiographic imaging helps to detect organisms living in a not visible environment, visualize internal biological processes and also to resolve the details of their body (morphology). Tiny live insects are an ideal object for our studies.

  10. Decontamination by Persteril 36 may affect the reliability of DNA-based detection of biological warfare agents-short communication.

    PubMed

    Josefiova, Jirina; Pospisek, Martin; Vanek, Daniel

    2016-09-01

    Persteril 36 is a disinfectant with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Because of its bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and sporicidal effectiveness, it is used as a disinfectant against biological warfare agents in the emergency and army services. In case of an attack with potentially harmful biological agents, a person's gear or afflicted skin is sprayed with a diluted solution of Persteril 36 as a precaution. Subsequently, the remains of the biological agents are analyzed. However, the question remains concerning whether DNA can be successfully analyzed from Persteril 36-treated dead bacterial cells. Spore-forming Bacillus subtilis and Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Xanthomonas campestris were splattered on a camouflage suit and treated with 2 or 0.2 % Persteril 36. After the disinfectant vaporized, the bacterial DNA was extracted and quantified by real-time PCR. A sufficient amount of DNA was recovered for downstream analysis only in the case of spore-forming B. subtilis treated with a 0.2 % solution of Persteril 36. The bacterial DNA was almost completely destroyed in Gram-negative bacteria or after treatment with the more concentrated solution in B. subtilis. This phenomenon can lead to false-negative results during the identification of harmful microorganisms.

  11. Serum anticyclic citrullinated protein antibody titers are correlated with the response to biological agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Ryo; Isojima, Sakiko; Umemura, Masayu; Miura, Yoko; Oguro, Nao; Ishii, Syo; Seki, Shinya; Tokunaga, Takahiro; Tsukamoto, Hiroyuki; Furuya, Hidekazu; Yanai, Ryo; Kasama, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

    Anticyclic citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) is known as an important indicator for diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our aim was to examine the relationship between the serum ACPA titer at baseline and responsiveness to biological agents (antagonists of either tumor necrosis factor or interleukin 6) in patients with RA. ACPA was measured using second-generation chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. Disease activity was assessed using disease activity scores 28. Fifty-seven RA patients with biological agents were enrolled, and the median ACPA titer at baseline was 110.0 U/mL. The median ACPA titer was 23.3 U/mL and 183.0 U/mL in the good and moderate response groups, respectively, which were significantly lower than in the no response group (404.0 U/mL). In addition, 69.2% and 26.9% of patients with low (<100 U/mL) and moderate (100–499 U/mL) basal ACPA titers showed a moderate to good response. Of the patients with higher (≥500 U/mL) basal ACPA titers, only 14.0% and 42.5% showed a good or moderate response, respectively. The remission rate was 77.8% in the ACPA-negative, which was significantly higher than the rate of 25% in the ACPA-positive patients. The results suggest that the ACPA titers are correlated with the efficacy of the biological agents used in patients with RA. PMID:27790035

  12. Efficacy of biological agents administered as monotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis: a Bayesian mixed-treatment comparison analysis

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, Alberto; Bizzi, Emanuele; Egan, Colin Gerard; Bernardi, Mauro; Petrella, Lea

    2015-01-01

    Background Biological agents provide an important therapeutic alternative for rheumatoid arthritis patients refractory to conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Few head-to-head comparative trials are available. Purpose The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the relative efficacy of different biologic agents indicated for use as monotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Methods A systemic literature search was performed on electronic databases to identify articles reporting double-blind randomized controlled trials investigating the efficacy of biologic agents indicated for monotherapy. Efficacy was assessed using American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20, 50, and 70 criteria at 16–24 weeks. Relative efficacy was estimated using Bayesian mixed-treatment comparison models. Outcome measures were expressed as odds ratio and 95% credible intervals. Results Ten randomized controlled trials were selected for data extraction and analysis. Mixed-treatment comparison analysis revealed that tocilizumab offered 100% probability of being the best treatment for inducing an ACR20 response versus placebo, methotrexate, adalimumab, or etanercept. Likewise, for ACR50 and ACR70 outcome responses, tocilizumab had a 99.8% or 98.7% probability of being the best treatment, respectively, compared to other treatments or placebo. Tocilizumab increased the relative probability of being the best treatment (vs methotrexate) by 3.2-fold (odds ratio: 2.1–3.89) for all ACR outcomes. Conclusion Tocilizumab offered the greatest possibility of obtaining an ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 outcome vs other monotherapies or placebo. PMID:26366085

  13. Model reduction for agent-based social simulation: coarse-graining a civil violence model.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yu; Fonoberov, Vladimir A; Fonoberova, Maria; Mezic, Igor; Kevrekidis, Ioannis G

    2012-06-01

    Agent-based modeling (ABM) constitutes a powerful computational tool for the exploration of phenomena involving emergent dynamic behavior in the social sciences. This paper demonstrates a computer-assisted approach that bridges the significant gap between the single-agent microscopic level and the macroscopic (coarse-grained population) level, where fundamental questions must be rationally answered and policies guiding the emergent dynamics devised. Our approach will be illustrated through an agent-based model of civil violence. This spatiotemporally varying ABM incorporates interactions between a heterogeneous population of citizens [active (insurgent), inactive, or jailed] and a population of police officers. Detailed simulations exhibit an equilibrium punctuated by periods of social upheavals. We show how to effectively reduce the agent-based dynamics to a stochastic model with only two coarse-grained degrees of freedom: the number of jailed citizens and the number of active ones. The coarse-grained model captures the ABM dynamics while drastically reducing the computation time (by a factor of approximately 20).

  14. Model reduction for agent-based social simulation: Coarse-graining a civil violence model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Yu; Fonoberov, Vladimir A.; Fonoberova, Maria; Mezic, Igor; Kevrekidis, Ioannis G.

    2012-06-01

    Agent-based modeling (ABM) constitutes a powerful computational tool for the exploration of phenomena involving emergent dynamic behavior in the social sciences. This paper demonstrates a computer-assisted approach that bridges the significant gap between the single-agent microscopic level and the macroscopic (coarse-grained population) level, where fundamental questions must be rationally answered and policies guiding the emergent dynamics devised. Our approach will be illustrated through an agent-based model of civil violence. This spatiotemporally varying ABM incorporates interactions between a heterogeneous population of citizens [active (insurgent), inactive, or jailed] and a population of police officers. Detailed simulations exhibit an equilibrium punctuated by periods of social upheavals. We show how to effectively reduce the agent-based dynamics to a stochastic model with only two coarse-grained degrees of freedom: the number of jailed citizens and the number of active ones. The coarse-grained model captures the ABM dynamics while drastically reducing the computation time (by a factor of approximately 20).

  15. Are Entomopathogenic Nematodes Effective Biological Control Agents Against the Carob Moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae?

    PubMed

    Memari, Zahra; Karimi, Javad; Kamali, Shokoofeh; Goldansaz, Seyed Hossein; Hosseini, Mojtaba

    2016-12-01

    The carob moth (Ectomyelois ceratoniae) is the key pest of pomegranate, which causes a significant percentage of losses in pomegranate orchards and warehouses of Iran annually. The pest larvae are characterized by displaying a cryptic behavior within the fruit, which avoids most routine control techniques, especially chemical method. The low efficiency of traditional measurements and also the rich species diversity of natural enemies within the infested fruits highlight the necessity of exploring effective control methods, especially environmental friendly approaches. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are a group of biological control agents that actively search for the host, including those in a cryptic habitat like the carob moth larvae within infested fruits. Here, we assumed that treatment of the infested and dropped fruits with EPNs may provide new insight into the management of the carob moth. Three species of EPNs, Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora were selected and used in a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments. In preliminary assays, the EPNs species were used with different concentrations of infective juveniles (IJs) (0, 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 IJ/larvae) in 2-cm diam. plates. The mortality rates of the laboratory tests were 79.75% and 76.5% for S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae, corresponded to LC50 value of 2.02 IJ/larva for S. feltiae and 2.05 IJ/larva for S. carpocapsae. On the contrary, H. bacteriophora demonstrated low virulence on the pest larvae in petri tests with a LC50 = 426.92 IJ/larva. Hence, both Steinernema species were selected for subsequent experiments. The penetration rate for S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae into the hemocoel of the pest was 43% and 31%, respectively, and the corresponding reproduction rate was 15,452 IJ/larva for S. feltiae and 18,456 IJ/larva for S. carpocapsae. The gathered data from those in vitro tests were used for a field assay. Different concentrations (5, 10, 50, 100, and 160

  16. Culturable leaf-associated bacteria on tomato plants and their potential as biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Enya, Junichiro; Shinohara, Hirosuke; Yoshida, Shigenobu; Tsukiboshi, Takao; Negishi, Hiromitsu; Suyama, Kazuo; Tsushima, Seiya

    2007-05-01

    Culturable leaf-associated bacteria inhabiting a plant have been considered as promising biological control agent (BCA) candidates because they can survive on the plant. We investigated the relationship between bacterial groups of culturable leaf-associated bacteria on greenhouse- and field-grown tomato leaves and their antifungal activities against tomato diseases in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the isolated bacteria were analyzed for N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, which have been reported to associate with bacterial colonization, and resistance to a tomato alkaloid (alpha-tomatine). Leaf washings and subsequent leaf macerates were used to estimate the population size of epiphytic and more internal bacteria. Bacterial population sizes on leaves at the same position increased as the leaves aged under both greenhouse and field conditions. Field-grown tomatoes had significantly larger population sizes than greenhouse-grown tomatoes. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequencing using 887 culturable leaf-associated bacteria revealed a predominance of the Bacillus and Pseudomonas culturable leaf-associated bacterial groups on greenhouse- and field-grown tomatoes, respectively. Curtobacterium and Sphingomonas were frequently recovered from both locations. From the 2138 bacterial strains tested, we selected several strains having in vitro antifungal activity against three fungal pathogens of tomato: Botrytis cinerea, Fulvia fulva, and Alternaria solani. Among bacterial strains with strong in vitro antifungal activities, Bacillus and Pantoea tended to show strong antifungal activities, whereas Curtobacterium and Sphingomonas were not effective. The results indicated the differences in antifungal activity among predominant bacterial groups. Analysis of alpha-tomatine resistance revealed that most bacterial strains in the dominant groups exhibited moderate or high resistance to alpha-tomatine in growth medium. Furthermore, some

  17. Two in one: cryptic species discovered in biological control agent populations using molecular data and crossbreeding experiments.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Iain D; Mangan, Rosie; Downie, Douglas A; Coetzee, Julie A; Hill, Martin P; Burke, Ashley M; Downey, Paul O; Henry, Thomas J; Compton, Stephe G

    2016-09-01

    There are many examples of cryptic species that have been identified through DNA-barcoding or other genetic techniques. There are, however, very few confirmations of cryptic species being reproductively isolated. This study presents one of the few cases of cryptic species that has been confirmed to be reproductively isolated and therefore true species according to the biological species concept. The cryptic species are of special interest because they were discovered within biological control agent populations. Two geographically isolated populations of Eccritotarsus catarinensis (Carvalho) [Hemiptera: Miridae], a biological control agent for the invasive aquatic macrophyte, water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms [Pontederiaceae], in South Africa, were sampled from the native range of the species in South America. Morphological characteristics indicated that both populations were the same species according to the current taxonomy, but subsequent DNA analysis and breeding experiments revealed that the two populations are reproductively isolated. Crossbreeding experiments resulted in very few hybrid offspring when individuals were forced to interbreed with individuals of the other population, and no hybrid offspring were recorded when a choice of mate from either population was offered. The data indicate that the two populations are cryptic species that are reproductively incompatible. Subtle but reliable diagnostic characteristics were then identified to distinguish between the two species which would have been considered intraspecific variation without the data from the genetics and interbreeding experiments. These findings suggest that all consignments of biological control agents from allopatric populations should be screened for cryptic species using genetic techniques and that the importation of multiple consignments of the same species for biological control should be conducted with caution.

  18. A versatile simulation software for performance analysis of DIAL system for the detection of toxic agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jindal, Mukesh K.; Veerabuthiran, S.; Dudeja, Jai Paul; Dubey, Deepak K.

    2006-12-01

    Simulation studies have been carried out to analyze the performance of a Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) system for the remote detection of a large variety of toxic agents in the 2-5 μm and 9-11 μm spectral bands. Stand-alone Graphical User Interface (GUI) software has been developed in the MATLAB platform to perform the simulation operations. It takes various system inputs from the user and computes the required laser energy to be transmitted, backscattered signal strengths, signal-to-noise ratio and minimum detectable concentrations for various agents from different ranges for the given system parameters. It has the flexibility of varying any of the system parameters for computation in order to provide inputs for the required design of proposed DIAL system. This software has the advantage of optimizing system parameters in the design of Lidar system. As a case study, the DIAL system with specified pulse energy of OPO based laser transmitter (2-5 μm) and a TEA CO II laser transmitter (9-11μm) has been considered. The proposed system further consists of a 500-mm diameter Newtonian telescope, 0.5-mm diameter detector and 10-MHz digitizer. A toxic agent cloud with given thickness and concentration has been assumed to be detected in the ambient atmospheric conditions at various ranges between 0.2 and 5 km. For a given set of system parameters, the required energy of laser transmitter, power levels of the return signals, signal-to-noise ratio and minimum detectable concentrations from different ranges have been calculated for each of these toxic agents.

  19. Graceful Failure and Societal Resilience Analysis Via Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schopf, P. S.; Cioffi-Revilla, C.; Rogers, J. D.; Bassett, J.; Hailegiorgis, A. B.

    2014-12-01

    Agent-based social modeling is opening up new methodologies for the study of societal response to weather and climate hazards, and providing measures of resiliency that can be studied in many contexts, particularly in coupled human and natural-technological systems (CHANTS). Since CHANTS are complex adaptive systems, societal resiliency may or may not occur, depending on dynamics that lack closed form solutions. Agent-based modeling has been shown to provide a viable theoretical and methodological approach for analyzing and understanding disasters and societal resiliency in CHANTS. Our approach advances the science of societal resilience through computational modeling and simulation methods that complement earlier statistical and mathematical approaches. We present three case studies of social dynamics modeling that demonstrate the use of these agent based models. In Central Asia, we exmaine mutltiple ensemble simulations with varying climate statistics to see how droughts and zuds affect populations, transmission of wealth across generations, and the overall structure of the social system. In Eastern Africa, we explore how successive episodes of drought events affect the adaptive capacity of rural households. Human displacement, mainly, rural to urban migration, and livelihood transition particularly from pastoral to farming are observed as rural households interacting dynamically with the biophysical environment and continually adjust their behavior to accommodate changes in climate. In the far north case we demonstrate one of the first successful attempts to model the complete climate-permafrost-infrastructure-societal interaction network as a complex adaptive system/CHANTS implemented as a ``federated'' agent-based model using evolutionary computation. Analysis of population changes resulting from extreme weather across these and other cases provides evidence for the emergence of new steady states and shifting patterns of resilience.

  20. An Agent-Based Epidemic Simulation of Social Behaviors Affecting HIV Transmission among Taiwanese Homosexuals

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Computational simulations are currently used to identify epidemic dynamics, to test potential prevention and intervention strategies, and to study the effects of social behaviors on HIV transmission. The author describes an agent-based epidemic simulation model of a network of individuals who participate in high-risk sexual practices, using number of partners, condom usage, and relationship length to distinguish between high- and low-risk populations. Two new concepts—free links and fixed links—are used to indicate tendencies among individuals who either have large numbers of short-term partners or stay in long-term monogamous relationships. An attempt was made to reproduce epidemic curves of reported HIV cases among male homosexuals in Taiwan prior to using the agent-based model to determine the effects of various policies on epidemic dynamics. Results suggest that when suitable adjustments are made based on available social survey statistics, the model accurately simulates real-world behaviors on a large scale. PMID:25815047

  1. A Scaffolding Framework to Support Learning of Emergent Phenomena Using Multi-Agent-Based Simulation Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Satabdi; Sengupta, Pratim; Biswas, Gautam

    2015-04-01

    Students from middle school to college have difficulties in interpreting and understanding complex systems such as ecological phenomena. Researchers have suggested that students experience difficulties in reconciling the relationships between individuals, populations, and species, as well as the interactions between organisms and their environment in the ecosystem. Multi-agent-based computational models (MABMs) can explicitly capture agents and their interactions by representing individual actors as computational objects with assigned rules. As a result, the collective aggregate-level behavior of the population dynamically emerges from simulations that generate the aggregation of these interactions. Past studies have used a variety of scaffolds to help students learn ecological phenomena. Yet, there is no theoretical framework that supports the systematic design of scaffolds to aid students' learning in MABMs. Our paper addresses this issue by proposing a comprehensive framework for the design, analysis, and evaluation of scaffolding to support students' learning of ecology in a MABM. We present a study in which middle school students used a MABM to investigate and learn about a desert ecosystem. We identify the different types of scaffolds needed to support inquiry learning activities in this simulation environment and use our theoretical framework to demonstrate the effectiveness of our scaffolds in helping students develop a deep understanding of the complex ecological behaviors represented in the simulation..

  2. Using argument notation to engineer biological simulations with increased confidence.

    PubMed

    Alden, Kieran; Andrews, Paul S; Polack, Fiona A C; Veiga-Fernandes, Henrique; Coles, Mark C; Timmis, Jon

    2015-03-06

    The application of computational and mathematical modelling to explore the mechanics of biological systems is becoming prevalent. To significantly impact biological research, notably in developing novel therapeutics, it is critical that the model adequately represents the captured system. Confidence in adopting in silico approaches can be improved by applying a structured argumentation approach, alongside model development and results analysis. We propose an approach based on argumentation from safety-critical systems engineering, where a system is subjected to a stringent analysis of compliance against identified criteria. We show its use in examining the biological information upon which a model is based, identifying model strengths, highlighting areas requiring additional biological experimentation and providing documentation to support model publication. We demonstrate our use of structured argumentation in the development of a model of lymphoid tissue formation, specifically Peyer's Patches. The argumentation structure is captured using Artoo (www.york.ac.uk/ycil/software/artoo), our Web-based tool for constructing fitness-for-purpose arguments, using a notation based on the safety-critical goal structuring notation. We show how argumentation helps in making the design and structured analysis of a model transparent, capturing the reasoning behind the inclusion or exclusion of each biological feature and recording assumptions, as well as pointing to evidence supporting model-derived conclusions.

  3. Using argument notation to engineer biological simulations with increased confidence

    PubMed Central

    Alden, Kieran; Andrews, Paul S.; Polack, Fiona A. C.; Veiga-Fernandes, Henrique; Coles, Mark C.; Timmis, Jon

    2015-01-01

    The application of computational and mathematical modelling to explore the mechanics of biological systems is becoming prevalent. To significantly impact biological research, notably in developing novel therapeutics, it is critical that the model adequately represents the captured system. Confidence in adopting in silico approaches can be improved by applying a structured argumentation approach, alongside model development and results analysis. We propose an approach based on argumentation from safety-critical systems engineering, where a system is subjected to a stringent analysis of compliance against identified criteria. We show its use in examining the biological information upon which a model is based, identifying model strengths, highlighting areas requiring additional biological experimentation and providing documentation to support model publication. We demonstrate our use of structured argumentation in the development of a model of lymphoid tissue formation, specifically Peyer's Patches. The argumentation structure is captured using Artoo (www.york.ac.uk/ycil/software/artoo), our Web-based tool for constructing fitness-for-purpose arguments, using a notation based on the safety-critical goal structuring notation. We show how argumentation helps in making the design and structured analysis of a model transparent, capturing the reasoning behind the inclusion or exclusion of each biological feature and recording assumptions, as well as pointing to evidence supporting model-derived conclusions. PMID:25589574

  4. Spatial Simulations in Systems Biology: From Molecules to Cells

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Michael; Koeppl, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Cells are highly organized objects containing millions of molecules. Each biomolecule has a specific shape in order to interact with others in the complex machinery. Spatial dynamics emerge in this system on length and time scales which can not yet be modeled with full atomic detail. This review gives an overview of methods which can be used to simulate the complete cell at least with molecular detail, especially Brownian dynamics simulations. Such simulations require correct implementation of the diffusion-controlled reaction scheme occurring on this level. Implementations and applications of spatial simulations are presented, and finally it is discussed how the atomic level can be included for instance in multi-scale simulation methods. PMID:22837728

  5. Visual and fluorogenic detection of a nerve agent simulant via a Lossen rearrangement of rhodamine-hydroxamate.

    PubMed

    Han, Shoufa; Xue, Zhongwei; Wang, Zhen; Wen, Ting Bin

    2010-11-28

    A visual and fluorogenic detection method for a nerve agent simulant was developed based on a Lossen rearrangement of rhodamine-hydroxamate, in the presence of diethyl chlorophosphate, under alkaline conditions.

  6. Selective opening of nanoscopic capped mesoporous inorganic materials with nerve agent simulants; an application to design chromo-fluorogenic probes.

    PubMed

    Candel, Inmaculada; Bernardos, Andrea; Climent, Estela; Marcos, M Dolores; Martínez-Máñez, Ramón; Sancenón, Félix; Soto, Juan; Costero, Ana; Gil, Salvador; Parra, Margarita

    2011-08-07

    A hybrid nanoscopic capped mesoporous material, that is selectively opened in the presence of nerve agent simulants, has been prepared and used as a probe for the chromo-fluorogenic detection of these chemicals.

  7. Threshold(trade mark) Immunoassays for Identification of Biological Agents: NATO SIBCA Exercise III

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-12-01

    le sous-groupe VII de NATO tchanti11onnage et identification des agents biologiques et chimiques (SIBCA) a conduit le troisi~me exercice de...biotest Threshold~m, un biotest avec capteur potentiom~trique adressable de lumi~re (LAPS). Le biotest Threshold~m d’antig~ne de capture 6tait...identification des agents biologiques et chimiques (SIBCA) a organis6 plusieurs exercices internationaux de formation durant lesquels chaque nation participante

  8. Physics-Based Modeling of Permeation: Simulation of Low-Volatility Agent Permeation and Aerosol Vapor Liquid Assessment Group Experiments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-06-01

    PHYSICS-BASED MODELING OF PERMEATION: SIMULATION OF LOW-VOLATILITY AGENT PERMEATION AND AEROSOL VAPOR LIQUID...REPORT TYPE Final 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) Jan 2014 – Sep 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Physics-Based Modeling of Permeation: Simulation of Low...Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT: Physics-based models were developed to predict agent

  9. Multi-Agent Simulations of the Immune Response to Hiv during the Acute Stage of Infection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walshe, R.; Ruskin, H. J.; Callaghan, A.

    Results of multi-agent based simulations of the immune response to HIV during the acute phase of infection are presented here. The model successfully recreates the viral dynamics associated with the acute phase of infection, i.e., a rapid rise in viral load followed by a sharp decline to what is often referred to as a "set point", a result of T-cell response and emergence of HIV neutralizing antibodies. The results indicate that sufficient T Killer cell response is the key factor in controlling viral growth during this phase with antibody levels of critical importance only in the absence of a sufficient T Killer response.

  10. ModelforAnalyzing Human Communication Network Based onAgent-Based Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuyama, Shinako; Terano, Takao

    This paper discusses dynamic properties of human communications networks, which appears as a result of informationexchanges among people. We propose agent-based simulation (ABS) to examine implicit mechanisms behind the dynamics. The ABS enables us to reveal the characteristics and the differences of the networks regarding the specific communicationgroups. We perform experiments on the ABS with activity data from questionnaires survey and with virtual data which isdifferent from the activity data. We compare the difference between them and show the effectiveness of the ABS through theexperiments.

  11. Effects of Biologic Agents in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Amyloidosis Treated with Hemodialysis

    PubMed Central

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Tanabe, Naohito; Nozawa, Yukiko; Sato, Hiroe; Nakatsue, Takeshi; Kobayashi, Daisuke; Wada, Yoko; Saeki, Takako; Nakano, Masaaki; Narita, Ichiei

    2016-01-01

    Objective Our objective was to examine the safety and effects of therapy with biologics on the prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with reactive amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis on hemodialysis (HD). Methods Twenty-eight patients with an established diagnosis of reactive AA amyloidosis participated in the study. The survival was calculated from the date of HD initiation until the time of death, or up to end of June 2015 for the patients who were still alive. HD initiation was according to the program of HD initiation for systemic amyloidosis patients associated with RA. Results Ten patients had been treated with biologics before HD initiation for a mean of 28.2 months (biologic group), while 18 had not (non-biologic group). HD was initiated in patients with similar characteristics except for the tender joint count, swollen joint count, and disease activity score (DAS)28-C-reactive protein (CRP). History of biologics showed that etanercept was frequently used for 8 patients as the first biologic. There was no significant difference in the mortality rate according to a Kaplan-Meier analysis (p=0.939) and or associated risk of death in an age-adjusted Cox proportional hazards model (p=0.758) between both groups. Infections were significantly more frequent causes of death in the biologic group than in the non-biologic group (p=0.021). However, treatment with biologics improved the DAS28-CRP score (p=0.004). Conclusion Under the limited conditions of AA amyloidosis treated with HD, the use of biologics might affect infection and thus may not improve the prognosis. Strict infection control is necessary for the use of biologics with HD to improve the prognosis. PMID:27725536

  12. Demonstrating Biological Classification Using a Simulation of Natural Taxa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vogt, Kenneth D.

    1995-01-01

    A review of introductory college level and high school biology texts reveals that concepts and theories behind classification are usually poorly discussed. Suggests ways in which card games can be used to teach differences between the phenetic and phylogenetic approaches. (LZ)

  13. AN AGENT-BASED SIMULATION STUDY OF A COMPLEX ADAPTIVE COLLABORATION NETWORK

    SciTech Connect

    Ozmen, Ozgur; Smith, Jeffrey; Yilmaz, Levent

    2013-01-01

    One of the most significant problems in organizational scholarship is to discern how social collectives govern, organize, and coordinate the actions of individuals to achieve collective outcomes. The collectives are usually interpreted as complex adaptive systems (CAS). The understanding of CAS is more likely to arise with the help of computer-based simulations. In this tutorial, using agent-based modeling approach, a complex adaptive social communication network model is introduced. The objective is to present the underlying dynamics of the system in a form of computer simulation that enables analyzing the impacts of various mechanisms on network topologies and emergent behaviors. The ultimate goal is to further our understanding of the dynamics in the system and facilitate developing informed policies for decision-makers.

  14. Promoting Conceptual Change for Complex Systems Understanding: Outcomes of an Agent-Based Participatory Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rates, Christopher A.; Mulvey, Bridget K.; Feldon, David F.

    2016-08-01

    Components of complex systems apply across multiple subject areas, and teaching these components may help students build unifying conceptual links. Students, however, often have difficulty learning these components, and limited research exists to understand what types of interventions may best help improve understanding. We investigated 32 high school students' understandings of complex systems components and whether an agent-based simulation could improve their understandings. Pretest and posttest essays were coded for changes in six components to determine whether students showed more expert thinking about the complex system of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Results showed significant improvement for the components Emergence ( r = .26, p = .03), Order ( r = .37, p = .002), and Tradeoffs ( r = .44, p = .001). Implications include that the experiential nature of the simulation has the potential to support conceptual change for some complex systems components, presenting a promising option for complex systems instruction.

  15. Multi-Agent-Based Simulation of a Complex Ecosystem of Mental Health Care.

    PubMed

    Kalton, Alan; Falconer, Erin; Docherty, John; Alevras, Dimitris; Brann, David; Johnson, Kyle

    2016-02-01

    This paper discusses the creation of an Agent-Based Simulation that modeled the introduction of care coordination capabilities into a complex system of care for patients with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness. The model describes the engagement between patients and the medical, social and criminal justice services they interact with in a complex ecosystem of care. We outline the challenges involved in developing the model, including process mapping and the collection and synthesis of data to support parametric estimates, and describe the controls built into the model to support analysis of potential changes to the system. We also describe the approach taken to calibrate the model to an observable level of system performance. Preliminary results from application of the simulation are provided to demonstrate how it can provide insights into potential improvements deriving from introduction of care coordination technology.

  16. Multi-agent simulations of the electricity market in central Europe.

    SciTech Connect

    Botterud, A.; Koritarov, V.; Thimmapuram, P. R.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2006-01-01

    Researchers use agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) and applications in electricity markets in Central Europe. They look at production cost, impact of CO{sub 2} emission allowances, strategic bidding in Germany and demand response. Advantages of using ABMS for market power analysis are more realistic market behavior than equilibrium models and detailed representation of physical system and market rules. Some challenges with ABMS are complex process to analyze results which makes it often necessary to run a high number of simulations and it is difficult to draw general conclusions. The case study looked at CO{sub 2} scheme that increases price and GenCo profits and reduces CO{sub 2} emissions. Price responsive demand an important countermeasure to market power.

  17. Polymers as directing agents for motions of chemical and biological species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanyeri, Nihan Yonet

    This thesis involves descriptions of solid surface modifications with various polymeric materials which were used as a guiding agent for motion of chemical and biological species. Quasi-two dimensional poly(oligoethylene glycol) acrylate polymer brush based molecular conduits have been designed with the goal of regulating and controlling the diffusive transport of molecular, e.g. organic dyes, and ionic species, e.g. AuCl4-, and Cu2+ ions, along predefined 2-D pathways. The transport of these chemical species has been examined by both fluorescence and dark field microscopy. The polymer brushes were formed through microcontact printing of an initiator, followed by surface-initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (SI-ATRP). SI-ATRP enables both 2-D patterning with a resolution of about 1 micrometer, and control over the resultant polymer brush thickness (which was varied from 10-100 nm). A hydrophilic poly(oligoethylene glycol) acrylate brushe was selected because of its potential to dissolve a wide range of hydrophilic species. The transport of fluorescent species can be directly followed. A non-lithographic fabrication method was developed for mufluidic devices used in the diffusion studies. Singular channel mufluidic device was utilized to study the directed organic dye diffusion. The AuCl4-, and Cu 2+ ion transport was studied by designing molecular devices with two mufluidic channels. We have demonstrated that the various species of interest diffuse much more rapidly along the predefined pathway than along the bare (polymer brush free) regions of the substrate, demonstrating that diffusive conduits for molecular transport can indeed be formed. The protein resistance of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) brushes grafted from silicon wafers was investigated as a function of the chain molecular weight, grafting density, and temperature. Above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32°C, the collapse of the water swollen chains, determined by

  18. Are Entomopathogenic Nematodes Effective Biological Control Agents Against the Carob Moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae?

    PubMed Central

    Memari, Zahra; Karimi, Javad; Kamali, Shokoofeh; Goldansaz, Seyed Hossein; Hosseini, Mojtaba

    2016-01-01

    The carob moth (Ectomyelois ceratoniae) is the key pest of pomegranate, which causes a significant percentage of losses in pomegranate orchards and warehouses of Iran annually. The pest larvae are characterized by displaying a cryptic behavior within the fruit, which avoids most routine control techniques, especially chemical method. The low efficiency of traditional measurements and also the rich species diversity of natural enemies within the infested fruits highlight the necessity of exploring effective control methods, especially environmental friendly approaches. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are a group of biological control agents that actively search for the host, including those in a cryptic habitat like the carob moth larvae within infested fruits. Here, we assumed that treatment of the infested and dropped fruits with EPNs may provide new insight into the management of the carob moth. Three species of EPNs, Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora were selected and used in a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments. In preliminary assays, the EPNs species were used with different concentrations of infective juveniles (IJs) (0, 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 IJ/larvae) in 2-cm diam. plates. The mortality rates of the laboratory tests were 79.75% and 76.5% for S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae, corresponded to LC50 value of 2.02 IJ/larva for S. feltiae and 2.05 IJ/larva for S. carpocapsae. On the contrary, H. bacteriophora demonstrated low virulence on the pest larvae in petri tests with a LC50 = 426.92 IJ/larva. Hence, both Steinernema species were selected for subsequent experiments. The penetration rate for S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae into the hemocoel of the pest was 43% and 31%, respectively, and the corresponding reproduction rate was 15,452 IJ/larva for S. feltiae and 18,456 IJ/larva for S. carpocapsae. The gathered data from those in vitro tests were used for a field assay. Different concentrations (5, 10, 50, 100, and 160

  19. Decontamination Strategy for Large Area and/or Equipment Contaminated with Chemical and Biological Agents using a High Energy Arc Lamp (HEAL)

    SciTech Connect

    Schoske, Richard; Kennedy, Patrick; Duty, Chad E; Smith, Rob R; Huxford, Theodore J; Bonavita, Angelo M; Engleman, Greg; Vass, Arpad Alexander; Griest, Wayne H; Ilgner, Ralph H; Brown, Gilbert M

    2009-04-01

    A strategy for the decontamination of large areas and or equipment contaminated with Biological Warfare Agents (BWAs) and Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) was demonstrated using a High Energy Arc Lamp (HEAL) photolysis system. This strategy offers an alternative that is potentially quicker, less hazardous, generates far less waste, and is easier to deploy than those currently fielded by the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, for large frame aircraft the United States Air Force still relies on the combination of weathering (stand alone in environment), air washing (fly aircraft) and finally washing the aircraft with Hot Soapy Water (HSW) in an attempt to remove any remaining contamination. This method is laborious, time consuming (upwards of 12+ hours not including decontamination site preparation), and requires large amounts of water (e.g., 1,600+ gallons for a single large frame aircraft), and generates large amounts of hazardous waste requiring disposal. The efficacy of the HEAL system was demonstrated using diisopropyl methyl phosphonate (DIMP) a G series CWA simulant, and Bacillus globigii (BG) a simulant of Bacillus anthracis. Experiments were designed to simulate the energy flux of a field deployable lamp system that could stand-off 17 meters from a 12m2 target area and uniformly expose a surface at 1360 W/m2. The HEAL system in the absence of a catalyst reduced the amount of B. globigii by five orders of magnitude at a starting concentration of 1.63 x 107 spores. In the case of CWA simulants, the HEAL system in the presence of the catalyst TiO2 effectively degraded DIMP sprayed onto a 100mm diameter Petri dish in 5 minutes.

  20. DFT calculation of four new potential agents muscarinic of bispyridinium type: structure, synthesis, biological activity, hydration, and relations with the potents W84 and DUO-3O

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcolea Palafox, M.; Posada-Moreno, P.; Villarino-Marín, A. L.; Martinez-Rincon, C.; Ortuño-Soriano, I.; Zaragoza-García, I.

    2011-02-01

    Four new potential agents muscarinic (allosteric modulators) were synthesized and studied by using the B3LYP density functional method. The optimum conformation and geometry structure of these compounds were determined and analyzed. Solvent effects were considered including a variable number (1-15) of explicit water molecules surrounding the compound in order to simulate the first hydration shell, as well as using the Tomasi's polarized continuum model (PCM). A similar simultaneous analysis of the potents W84 and DUO-3O allosteric modulator of muscarinic receptors was also carried out. The effect of the hydration on the total atomic charges and several intermolecular distances of interest were also discussed. The biological activity against acetylcholine of our four synthesized bispyridinium salts was determined. Relationships/tendencies structure-activity were established. Several general conclusions were underlined.