Science.gov

Sample records for biological agent simulants

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Z Index Contact Us FAQs What's New Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... and Health Topics A-Z Index What's New Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms and ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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%.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. Multivariate statistical classification of surface enhanced Raman spectra of chemical and biological warfare agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, Augustus W., III; Pearman, William F.

    2005-11-01

    Initial results which demonstrate the ability to classify surface enhanced Raman (SERS) spectra of chemical and biological warfare agent simulants are presented. The spectra of 2 endospores (B. subtilis, B. atrophaeus); 2 chemical agent simulants (Dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), Diethyl methylphosphonate (DEMP)); and 2 toxin simulants (Ovalbumin, Horseradish peroxidase) were collected on multiple substrates fabricated from colloidal gold adsorbed onto a silanized quartz surface. The use of principle component analysis (PCA) and Hierarchical Clustering was used as a method of determining the reproducibility of the individual spectra collected from a single substrate. Additionally, 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 the feasibility of this technique for the identification of known but previously unclassified spectra.

  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. 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.

  13. Biological warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:21829313

  14. 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.

  15. Biological agents and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Ekblad, U

    1995-08-01

    Pregnant women are exposed to many biological, eg microbial, agents, which are potentially harmful to the fetus. The reported rates of vertical transmission of hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus vary between 3 to 90% and 0 to 65%, respectively. The susceptibility to hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency infection is increased in pregnant physicians, midwives, and nurses because of the bloodborne nature of these viruses. Also, TORCH (toxoplasmosis-rubella-cytomegalovirus-herpes) infections, acquired during pregnancy, may result in congenital infection, and serious sequelae in the neonatal period or years after birth. Schoolteachers and daycare personnel have an increased risk of perinatal varicella, "fifth disease," and mumps. Perinatal listeriosis affects one in 20,000 births and may result in fetal wastage. Because of the risk of the possibility of vertical transmission, immunization during pregnancy with live virus vaccines is not recommended. PMID:8520961

  16. 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.

  17. [Biological agents turning into weapons].

    PubMed

    Rotman, Eran; Cohen, Amir; Hourvitz, Ariel

    2002-05-01

    The use of biological agents as weapons is a well-known and established fact in the modern world. Biological warfare can be used both in terrorist events and in war and they pose a real threat and a formidable challenge to the defender. Biological weapons, in their various forms such as germs, viruses or toxins, can harm both living creatures and their surroundings. The relative simplicity of their production and use, compared to other non-conventional weapons, renders them to be a highly accessible system that can cause numerous casualties. Therefore, it is extremely important to study the threat and learn its characteristics, so as to be appropriately prepared in order to minimize potential damage. This review summarizes the characteristics of biological weapons (physical and biological), the means of use in bioterrorism and war, the advantages and disadvantages, comparisons to other non-conventional weapons and both tactical and strategical uses. PMID:12170547

  18. 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

  19. Hypersensitivity reactions to biologic agents.

    PubMed

    Vultaggio, Alessandra; Castells, Mariana C

    2014-08-01

    Biologic agents (BAs) are important therapeutic tools; their use has rapidly expanded and they are used in oncology, immunology, and inflammatory diseases. Their use may be limited, however, by adverse drug reactions. This article reviews the current literature on clinical presentation and pathogenic mechanisms of both acute and delayed reactions. In addition, procedures for management of BA-induced reactions, including preventive and diagnostic work-up, are provided. Lastly, this article summarizes the current knowledge of desensitization to several widely used monoclonal antibodies.

  20. 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).

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:16111798

  5. 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.

  6. [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. PMID:19122437

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections of aerosolized biological live agents and simulants using five excitation wavelengths in a BSL-3 laboratory.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C; Santarpia, Joshua L; Brinkley, Kelly; Sickler, Todd; Coleman, Mark; Williamson, Chatt; Gurton, Kris; Felton, Melvin; Pinnick, Ronald G; Baker, Neal; Eshbaugh, Jonathan; Hahn, Jerry; Smith, Emily; Alvarez, Ben; Prugh, Amber; Gardner, Warren

    2014-04-01

    A system for measuring spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections of single bioaerosol particles has been developed and employed in a biological safety level 3 (BSL-3) facility at Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC). It is used to aerosolize the slurry or solution of live agents and surrogates into dried micron-size particles, and to measure the fluorescence spectra and sizes of the particles one at a time. Spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections were measured for (1) bacterial spores: Bacillus anthracis Ames (BaA), B. atrophaeus var. globigii (BG) (formerly known as Bacillus globigii), B. thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), B. thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk), B. anthracis Sterne (BaS); (2) vegetative bacteria: Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pantoea agglomerans (Eh) (formerly known as Erwinia herbicola), Yersinia rohdei (Yr), Yersinia pestis CO92 (Yp); and (3) virus preparations: Venezuelan equine encephalitis TC83 (VEE) and the bacteriophage MS2. The excitation wavelengths were 266 nm, 273 nm, 280 nm, 365 nm and 405 nm.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:23719340

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Biologic agents-a panacea for inflammatory arthritis or not?

    PubMed

    Ninan, J; Smith, Malcolm D; Dugar, M; O'Brien, Karen; Ahern, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Aim. To describe the retention rates for biological therapies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in a clinical setting. Methods. All patients managed in a dedicated biological therapy clinic in a teaching hospital in Australia were assessed for continuation on biological treatments and reasons for switching to an alternative biological agent or cessation of treatment. Results. There was a lower retention rate for RA patients on biological therapies compared to PsA and AS patients and the retention rate for RA patients was lower than that reported in RCTs. Conclusions. The retention rate on biological therapies for RA patients was lower in the clinic setting than what is reported in RCTs. The reasons for the lower retention rate in the clinical setting are discussed but no clear determinants for nonresponse to biological agents were identifiable. These agents have very limited steroid sparing effects. PMID:20130798

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:16623730

  3. When Pinocchio acts like a human, a wooden hand becomes embodied. Action co-representation for non-biological agents.

    PubMed

    Müller, Barbara C N; Brass, Marcel; Kühn, Simone; Tsai, Chia-Chin; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Dijksterhuis, Ap; van Baaren, Rick B

    2011-04-01

    Action observation automatically activates corresponding motor representations in the observer, which is essential in coordinating actions with others. It is assumed that this co-representation system is activated by biological agents only. However, we often identify with biological agents, whereas this is not the case for non-biological agents. The present study investigated whether action co-representation depends on the perceived animacy of the non-biological interaction partner. Before performing a joint Simon task with either an animated image of a human or a wooden hand, participants either watched a video fragment of a biological agent, or of a non-biological agent, Pinocchio, to increase perceived animacy of this agent. Whereas participants who watched the 'biological' agent showed a Simon effect only when co-acting with a biological agent, participants who watched 'non-biological' agent (i.e. Pinocchio) showed a Simon effect only when co-acting with a non-biological agent. The present findings provide evidence for the assumption that motor simulation strongly depends on higher order processes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Simulating Cancer Growth with Multiscale Agent-Based Modeling

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24793698

  8. Pyrazine-derived disulfide-reducing agent for chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Lukesh, John C; Wallin, Kelly K; Raines, Ronald T

    2014-08-28

    For fifty years, dithiothreitol (DTT) has been the preferred reagent for the reduction of disulfide bonds in proteins and other biomolecules. Herein we report on the synthesis and characterization of 2,3-bis(mercaptomethyl)pyrazine (BMMP), a readily accessible disulfide-reducing agent with reactivity under biological conditions that is markedly superior to DTT and other known reagents.

  9. 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.

  10. A Bayesian Dose-finding Design for Oncology Clinical Trials of Combinational Biological Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Chunyan; Yuan, Ying; Ji, Yuan

    2013-01-01

    Treating patients with novel biological agents is becoming a leading trend in oncology. Unlike cytotoxic agents, for which efficacy and toxicity monotonically increase with dose, biological agents may exhibit non-monotonic patterns in their dose-response relationships. Using a trial with two biological agents as an example, we propose a dose-finding design to identify the biologically optimal dose combination (BODC), which is defined as the dose combination of the two agents with the highest efficacy and tolerable toxicity. A change-point model is used to reflect the fact that the dose-toxicity surface of the combinational agents may plateau at higher dose levels, and a flexible logistic model is proposed to accommodate the possible non-monotonic pattern for the dose-efficacy relationship. During the trial, we continuously update the posterior estimates of toxicity and efficacy and assign patients to the most appropriate dose combination. We propose a novel dose-finding algorithm to encourage sufficient exploration of untried dose combinations in the two-dimensional space. Extensive simulation studies show that the proposed design has desirable operating characteristics in identifying the BODC under various patterns of dose-toxicity and dose-efficacy relationships. PMID:24511160

  11. A Bayesian Dose-finding Design for Oncology Clinical Trials of Combinational Biological Agents.

    PubMed

    Cai, Chunyan; Yuan, Ying; Ji, Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Treating patients with novel biological agents is becoming a leading trend in oncology. Unlike cytotoxic agents, for which efficacy and toxicity monotonically increase with dose, biological agents may exhibit non-monotonic patterns in their dose-response relationships. Using a trial with two biological agents as an example, we propose a dose-finding design to identify the biologically optimal dose combination (BODC), which is defined as the dose combination of the two agents with the highest efficacy and tolerable toxicity. A change-point model is used to reflect the fact that the dose-toxicity surface of the combinational agents may plateau at higher dose levels, and a flexible logistic model is proposed to accommodate the possible non-monotonic pattern for the dose-efficacy relationship. During the trial, we continuously update the posterior estimates of toxicity and efficacy and assign patients to the most appropriate dose combination. We propose a novel dose-finding algorithm to encourage sufficient exploration of untried dose combinations in the two-dimensional space. Extensive simulation studies show that the proposed design has desirable operating characteristics in identifying the BODC under various patterns of dose-toxicity and dose-efficacy relationships. PMID:24511160

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Use of Biologic Agents in Athletes with Knee Injuries.

    PubMed

    Kopka, Michaela; Bradley, James P

    2016-07-01

    Biologic agents are gaining popularity in the management of bony and soft tissue conditions about the knee. They are becoming the mainstay of nonoperative therapy in the high-demand athletic population. The most well-studied agents include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells-both of which have shown promise in the treatment of various conditions. Animal and clinical studies have demonstrated improved outcomes following PRP treatment in early osteoarthritis of the knee, as well as in chronic patellar tendinopathy. Early clinical evidence also lends support for PRP in the augmentation of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Research investigating the role of biologic agents in collateral ligament and meniscal injuries is ongoing. Studies assessing the utility of stem cells have shown encouraging results in the setting of osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, strict regulations by the FDA continue to restrict their application in clinical practice. A major limitation in the interpretation of current data is the significant variability in the harvesting and preparation of both PRP and stem cells. As the volume and quality of evidence continue to grow, biologic agents are poised to become an integral component of comprehensive patient care throughout all orthopedic specialties. PMID:27206071

  15. Biologic Agents for Periodontal Regeneration and Implant Site Development.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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).

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Multiplexed detection of biological agents using optical microchip sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatta, D.; McDonnell, M. B.; Perkins, E.

    2010-10-01

    A multi-channel optical microchip sensor system suitable for real-time, label-free detection of a wide range of biological agents is presented. SpectroSensTM chips containing multiple high-precision planar Bragg gratings are exploited as lowcost, robust refractive index sensors. Sensitivity to biological agents is conferred by functionalising individual sensing regions with different antibodies selected against numerous targets of interest. Antigen binding to the surfaceimmobilised antibodies results in localised changes in refractive index; upon laser-induced interrogation of the sensing region via optical fibres, these antibody-antigen interactions manifest as increases in wavelength of light reflected from the sensor chip. Real-time detection of multiple biological agents including bacterial cells/spores, viruses and toxins has been demonstrated. Further improvements to sensor performance including physical and chemical methods are also investigated. This multi-analyte capability highlights the potential use of this sensing technology in applications ranging from bio-hazard detection for defence purposes to point-of-care clinical diagnostics.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Biological in situ characterization of polymeric microbubble contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Wan, Sha; Egri, Gabriella; Oddo, Letizia; Cerroni, Barbara; Dähne, Lars; Paradossi, Gaio; Salvati, Anna; Lynch, Iseult; Dawson, Kenneth A; Monopoli, Marco P

    2016-06-01

    Polymeric microbubbles (MBs) are gas filled particles composed of a thin stabilized polymer shell that have been recently developed as valid contrast agents for the combined use of ultrasonography (US), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) imaging. Due to their buoyancy, the commonly available approaches to study their behaviour in complex media are not easily applicable and their use in modern medicine requires such behaviour to be fully elucidated. Here we have used for the first time flow cytometry as a new high throughput approach that allows characterisation of the MB dispersion, prior to and after exposure in different biological media and we have additionally developed a method that allows characterisation of the strongly bound proteins adsorbed on the MBs, to fully predict their biological behaviour in biological milieu. PMID:26993210

  4. 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.

  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.

  6. 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

  7. HISTOCHEMICAL EFFECTS OF SOME BIOLOGICAL AGENTS ON CULEX PIPIENS LARVAE.

    PubMed

    El Sobky, Mona M; Ismail, Howaida I H; Assar, Abada A

    2016-04-01

    The histochemical effects of the lethal concentration that kills 50% of larvae (LC50) of three biological agents, abamectin, Bacillus thuringiensis and spinosad on the carbohydrates (polysaccharides), proteins, nucleic acids and lipids content of the midgut and fat bodies of Culex pipiens 2nd instar larvae were studied. The results showed that the three tested compounds reduced the carbohydrates (polysaccharides), proteins, RNA synthesis and lipids content after 72 hours of treatment where abamectin was the most effective followed by Bacillus thuringiensis then spinosad. PMID:27363043

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. EAACI IG Biologicals task force paper on the use of biologic agents in allergic disorders.

    PubMed

    Boyman, O; Kaegi, C; Akdis, M; Bavbek, S; Bossios, A; Chatzipetrou, A; Eiwegger, T; Firinu, D; Harr, T; Knol, E; Matucci, A; Palomares, O; Schmidt-Weber, C; Simon, H-U; Steiner, U C; Vultaggio, A; Akdis, C A; Spertini, F

    2015-07-01

    Biologic agents (also termed biologicals or biologics) are therapeutics that are synthesized by living organisms and directed against a specific determinant, for example, a cytokine or receptor. In inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, biologicals have revolutionized the treatment of several immune-mediated disorders. Biologicals have also been tested in allergic disorders. These include agents targeting IgE; T helper 2 (Th2)-type and Th2-promoting cytokines, including interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-9, IL-13, IL-31, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP); pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-12, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-23, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF); chemokine receptor CCR4; and lymphocyte surface and adhesion molecules, including CD2, CD11a, CD20, CD25, CD52, and OX40 ligand. In this task force paper of the Interest Group on Biologicals of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, we review biologicals that are currently available or tested for the use in various allergic and urticarial pathologies, by providing an overview on their state of development, area of use, adverse events, and future research directions.

  12. EAACI IG Biologicals task force paper on the use of biologic agents in allergic disorders.

    PubMed

    Boyman, O; Kaegi, C; Akdis, M; Bavbek, S; Bossios, A; Chatzipetrou, A; Eiwegger, T; Firinu, D; Harr, T; Knol, E; Matucci, A; Palomares, O; Schmidt-Weber, C; Simon, H-U; Steiner, U C; Vultaggio, A; Akdis, C A; Spertini, F

    2015-07-01

    Biologic agents (also termed biologicals or biologics) are therapeutics that are synthesized by living organisms and directed against a specific determinant, for example, a cytokine or receptor. In inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, biologicals have revolutionized the treatment of several immune-mediated disorders. Biologicals have also been tested in allergic disorders. These include agents targeting IgE; T helper 2 (Th2)-type and Th2-promoting cytokines, including interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-9, IL-13, IL-31, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP); pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-12, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-23, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF); chemokine receptor CCR4; and lymphocyte surface and adhesion molecules, including CD2, CD11a, CD20, CD25, CD52, and OX40 ligand. In this task force paper of the Interest Group on Biologicals of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, we review biologicals that are currently available or tested for the use in various allergic and urticarial pathologies, by providing an overview on their state of development, area of use, adverse events, and future research directions. PMID:25819018

  13. A simulation-based tutor that reasons about multiple agents

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes Eliot, C. III; Park Woolf, B.

    1996-12-31

    This paper examines the problem of modeling multiple agents within an intelligent simulation-based tutor. Multiple agent and planning technology were used to enable the system to critique a human agent`s reasoning about multiple agents. This perspective arises naturally whenever a student must learn to lead and coordinate a team of people. The system dynamically selected teaching goals, instantiated plans and modeled the student and the domain as it monitored the student`s progress. The tutor provides one of the first complete integrations of a real-time simulation with knowledge-based reasoning. Other novel techniques of the system are reported, such as common-sense reasoning about plans, reasoning about protocol mechanisms, and using a real-time simulation for training.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [Development of anti-HIV agents based on chemical biology].

    PubMed

    Tamamura, Hirokazu

    2012-01-01

    Recently, highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), which involves a combinational use of reverse transcriptase inhibitors and HIV protease inhibitors, has brought us a great success in the clinical treatment of AIDS patients. However, HAART has several serious clinical problems. These drawbacks encouraged us to find novel drugs and increase repertoires of anti-HIV agents with various action mechanisms. The recent disclosing of the dynamic supramolecular mechanism in HIV-entry has provided potentials to find a new type of drugs. To date, we have synthesized HIV-entry inhibitors, especially coreceptor CXCR4 antagonists. In addition, CD4 mimics in consideration of synergic effects with other entry inhibitors or neutralizing antibodies have been developed. The development of the above anti-HIV agents is based on the concept of reverse chemical genomics, in which target molecules are fixed. On the other hand, based on the concept of forward chemical genomics, in which active compounds are searched according to the screening of random libraries, effective peptide leads such as integrase inhibitors derived from fragment peptides of HIV-1 Vpr have been discovered. As such, from a point of view on chemical biology, anti-HIV leads have been found utilizing reverse and forward chemical genomics. Furthermore, antibody-based therapy or AIDS vaccine is still thought to be a promising treatment. Thus, peptidic antigen molecules based on artificial remodeling of the dynamic structures of a surface protein gp41 in HIV fusion have been developed. The present chemical biology approaches would be essential for discovery of anti-HIV agents in consideration of cocktail therapy of AIDS.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:16683620

  20. Brahms An Agent-Oriented Language for Work Practice Simulation and Multi-Agent Systems Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sierhuis, Maarten; Clancey, William J.; van Hoof, Ron J. J.

    Brahms is a multi-agent modeling language for simulating human work practice that emerges from work processes in organizations. The same Brahms language can be used to implement and execute distributed multi-agent systems, based on models of work practice that were first simulated. Brahms demonstrates how a multi-agent belief-desire-intention language, symbolic cognitive modeling, traditional business process modeling, activity-and situated cognition theories are brought together in a coherent approach for analysis and design of organizations and human-centered systems.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:22974398

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Biological activities of phosphocitrate: a potential meniscal protective agent.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yubo; Roberts, Andrea; Mauerhan, David R; Sun, Andrew R; Norton, H James; Hanley, Edward N

    2013-01-01

    Phosphocitrate (PC) inhibited meniscal calcification and the development of calcium crystal-associated osteoarthritis (OA) in Hartley guinea pigs. However, the mechanisms remain elusive. This study sought to examine the biological activities of PC in the absence of calcium crystals and test the hypothesis that PC is potentially a meniscal protective agent. We found that PC downregulated the expression of many genes classified in cell proliferation, ossification, prostaglandin metabolic process, and wound healing, including bloom syndrome RecQ helicase-like, cell division cycle 7 homolog, cell division cycle 25 homolog C, ankylosis progressive homolog, prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthases-1/cyclooxygenase-1, and plasminogen activator urokinase receptor. In contrast, PC stimulated the expression of many genes classified in fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling pathway, collagen fibril organization, and extracellular structure organization, including fibroblast growth factor 7, collagen type I, alpha 1, and collagen type XI, alpha 1. Consistent with its effect on the expression of genes classified in cell proliferation, collagen fibril organization, and ossification, PC inhibited the proliferation of OA meniscal cells and meniscal cell-mediated calcification while stimulating the production of collagens. These findings indicate that PC is potentially a meniscal-protective agent and a disease-modifying drug for arthritis associated with severe meniscal degeneration. PMID:23936839

  6. 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.

  7. Evanescent planar waveguide detection of biological warfare simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipe, David M.; Schoonmaker, Kenneth P.; Herron, James N.; Mostert, Michael J.

    2000-04-01

    An evanescent planar waveguide Mark 1.5 instrument was used to detect simulants of biological warfare agents; ovalbumin (OV), MS2 bacteriophage, BG, and Erwinia herbicola (EH). Polyclonal tracer antibodies were labeled with the fluorescent dye, Cy5. Discrete bands of polyclonal capture antibodies were immobilized to a polystyrene planar waveguide with molded integral lenses. An ST-6 CCD camera was used for detection. OV. MS2 and BG were detected in a simultaneous 3 by 3 array; with a total of nine measurements within 6 minutes. EH was analyzed in a separate array. Results were evaluate dat the US Army Joint Field Trials V, at the Dugway Proving Grounds. Over a 10 day period, 32 unknown samples were analyzed daily for each simulant. Detection limits: OV 10 ng/ml, MS2 107 pfu/ml, BG 105 cfu/ml. EH was detectable at 5 X 105 cfu/ml. Overall false positives were 3.0 percent. Therefore, the Mark 1.5 instrument, with a parallel array of detectors, evanescent flourescent excitation, and CCD imaging provides for rapid, sensitive, and specific detection of biological warfare agent simulants.

  8. 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.

  9. Comparative sporicidal effects of disinfectants after release of a biological agent.

    PubMed

    Kenar, Levent; Ortatatli, Mesut; Yaren, Hakan; Karayilanoglu, Turan; Aydogan, Hakan

    2007-06-01

    Because of spore formation, Bacillus anthracis is considered the most resistant biological warfare agent known. The present study aimed to assess and compare well-known decontamination routes to inactivate the spores on daily-use environmental tools contaminated previously. To simulate the agent, Bacillus atrophaeus was used. Various environmental samples (such as tile, fabric clothing, wood, protective suit, glass, paper, soil, water, plastic, and metal) that may be contaminated after a biological incident were used as test carriers and inoculated with B. atrophaeus. Sodium hypochlorite, free chlorine, autoclaving, ethylene oxide, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet irradiation, and boiling decontaminated the samples. Glutaraldehyde (2%) and free chlorine solution (10,000 mg/L) were also found to be effective in decontaminating the samples and are recommended as alternatives to the use of sodium hypochlorite solution. Soil, tile, paper, and metal were determined to be the most difficult materials to decontaminate. It was concluded that 5% hypochlorite adjusted with acetic acid might also be used for decontamination. Decontamination strategies to reduce contamination of the environment by biological warfare agents need to be applied to mitigate the number of victims, in terms of prominent characteristics like cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness.

  10. Advanced nanoelectronic architectures for THz-based biological agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolard, Dwight L.; Jensen, James O.

    2009-02-01

    The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) and the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) jointly lead and support novel research programs that are advancing the state-of-the-art in nanoelectronic engineering in application areas that have relevance to national defense and security. One fundamental research area that is presently being emphasized by ARO and ECBC is the exploratory investigation of new bio-molecular architectural concepts that can be used to achieve rapid, reagent-less detection and discrimination of biological warfare (BW) agents, through the control of multi-photon and multi-wavelength processes at the nanoscale. This paper will overview an ARO/ECBC led multidisciplinary research program presently under the support of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) that seeks to develop new devices and nanoelectronic architectures that are effective for extracting THz signatures from target bio-molecules. Here, emphasis will be placed on the new nanosensor concepts and THz/Optical measurement methodologies for spectral-based sequencing/identification of genetic molecules.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 75 FR 28232 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-20

    ... a biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly adelgid infestations. We are... continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly... releasing an insect, L. osakensis, into the continental United States for use as a biological control...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation on Emergency Evacuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Chuanjun; Yang, Chenghui; Jin, Shiyao

    Crowd stampedes and evacuation induced by panic caused by emergences often lead to fatalities as people are crushed, injured, trampled or even dead. Such phenomena may be triggered in life-threatening situations such as fires, explosions in crowded buildings. Emergency evacuation simulation has recently attracted the interest of a rapidly increasing number of scientists. This paper presents an Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation using Repast software to construct crowd evacuations for emergency response from an area under a fire. Various types of agents and different attributes of agents are designed in contrast to traditional modeling. The attributes that govern the characteristics of the people are studied and tested by iterative simulations. Simulations are also conducted to demonstrate the effect of various parameters of agents. Some interesting results were observed such as "faster is slower" and the ignorance of available exits. At last, simulation results suggest practical ways of minimizing the harmful consequences of such events and the existence of an optimal escape strategy.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:27293964

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    ..., 2010. [FR Doc. 2010-16864 Filed 7-7-10; 11:15 am] Billing code 3195-W0-P ... 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...

  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. 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

  13. Agent-based modeling and simulation Part 3 : desktop ABMS.

    SciTech Connect

    Macal, C. M.; North, M. J.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2007-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) is a new approach to modeling systems comprised of autonomous, interacting agents. ABMS promises to have far-reaching effects on the way that businesses use computers to support decision-making and researchers use electronic laboratories to support their research. Some have gone so far as to contend that ABMS 'is a third way of doing science,' in addition to traditional deductive and inductive reasoning (Axelrod 1997b). Computational advances have made possible a growing number of agent-based models across a variety of application domains. Applications range from modeling agent behavior in the stock market, supply chains, and consumer markets, to predicting the spread of epidemics, the threat of bio-warfare, and the factors responsible for the fall of ancient civilizations. This tutorial describes the theoretical and practical foundations of ABMS, identifies toolkits and methods for developing agent models, and illustrates the development of a simple agent-based model of shopper behavior using spreadsheets.

  14. 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.

  15. Simulation model for contrast agent dynamics in brain perfusion scans.

    PubMed

    Bredno, Jörg; Olszewski, Mark E; Wintermark, Max

    2010-07-01

    Standardization efforts are currently under way to reduce the heterogeneity of quantitative brain perfusion methods. A brain perfusion simulation model is proposed to generate test data for an unbiased comparison of these methods. This model provides realistic simulated patient data and is independent of and different from any computational method. The flow of contrast agent solute and blood through cerebral vasculature with disease-specific configurations is simulated. Blood and contrast agent dynamics are modeled as a combination of convection and diffusion in tubular networks. A combination of a cerebral arterial model and a microvascular model provides arterial-input and time-concentration curves for a wide range of flow and perfusion statuses. The model is configured to represent an embolic stroke in one middle cerebral artery territory and provides physiologically plausible vascular dispersion operators for major arteries and tissue contrast agent retention functions. These curves are fit to simpler template curves to allow the use of the simulation results in multiple validation studies. A gamma-variate function with fit parameters is proposed as the vascular dispersion operator, and a combination of a boxcar and exponential decay function is proposed as the retention function. Such physiologically plausible operators should be used to create test data that better assess the strengths and the weaknesses of various analysis methods.

  16. Use of agent-based simulations to design and interpret HIV clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Cuadros, Diego F; Abu-Raddad, Laith J; Awad, Susanne F; García-Ramos, Gisela

    2014-07-01

    In this study, we illustrate the utility of an agent-based simulation to inform a trial design and how this supports outcome interpretation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We developed agent-based Monte Carlo models to simulate existing landmark HIV RCTs, such as the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study. We simulated a variation of this study using valacyclovir therapy as the intervention, and we used a male circumcision RCT based on the Rakai Male Circumcision Trial. Our results indicate that a small fraction (20%) of the simulated Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study realizations rejected the null hypothesis, which was no effect from the intervention. Our results also suggest that an RCT designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a more potent drug regimen for HSV-2 suppression (valacyclovir therapy) is more likely to identify the efficacy of the intervention. For the male circumcision RCT simulation, the greater biological effect of the male circumcision yielded a major fraction (81%) of RCT realizations' that rejects the null hypothesis, which was no effect from the intervention. Our study highlights how agent-based simulations synthesize individual variation in the epidemiological context of the RCT. This methodology will be particularly useful for designing RCTs aimed at evaluating combination prevention interventions in community-based RCTs, wherein an intervention׳s effectiveness is challenging to predict. PMID:24792492

  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. 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

  19. Development of a rapid method for the automatic classification of biological agents' fluorescence spectral signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carestia, Mariachiara; Pizzoferrato, Roberto; Gelfusa, Michela; Cenciarelli, Orlando; Ludovici, Gian Marco; Gabriele, Jessica; Malizia, Andrea; Murari, Andrea; Vega, Jesus; Gaudio, Pasquale

    2015-11-01

    Biosecurity and biosafety are key concerns of modern society. Although nanomaterials are improving the capacities of point detectors, standoff detection still appears to be an open issue. Laser-induced fluorescence of biological agents (BAs) has proved to be one of the most promising optical techniques to achieve early standoff detection, but its strengths and weaknesses are still to be fully investigated. In particular, different BAs tend to have similar fluorescence spectra due to the ubiquity of biological endogenous fluorophores producing a signal in the UV range, making data analysis extremely challenging. The Universal Multi Event Locator (UMEL), a general method based on support vector regression, is commonly used to identify characteristic structures in arrays of data. In the first part of this work, we investigate fluorescence emission spectra of different simulants of BAs and apply UMEL for their automatic classification. In the second part of this work, we elaborate a strategy for the application of UMEL to the discrimination of different BAs' simulants spectra. Through this strategy, it has been possible to discriminate between these BAs' simulants despite the high similarity of their fluorescence spectra. These preliminary results support the use of SVR methods to classify BAs' spectral signatures.

  20. 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

  1. Multi-Agent Simulation for Choice under Risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishizaki, Ichiro; Hayashida, Tomohiro

    In this paper, we develop a simulation system with artificial autonomous adaptive agents selecting one out of a given pair of binary lotteries which are represented by probability distributions over two outcomes. Agent’s decisions are made by a learning classifier system, and after classifying information of a given pair of binary lotteries, an agent chooses one out of them. The condition part of a classifier consists of conditions identifying probabilities and payoffs of a pair of binary lotteries and conditions identifying characteristics of the lotteries known by several models describing behavioral regularities of choices under risk. We compare the result of the simulation with that of the experiment by Selten et al. (1999), and demonstrating the similarity between them, we consider a mechanism of human choices under risk. Finally, we examine the possibility of controlling a subject’s preference with respect to risky events by the lottery ticket procedure.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Emerging natural threats and the deliberate use of biological agents.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Michael I; Marty, Aileen M

    2006-06-01

    Over the past several years there has been an increasing awareness and interest by the medical community, the media, and government at all levels regarding the need to plan for and defend against biological weapons. This article offers an overview of various new and emerging natural biological threats.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Synthesis and Biological Activities of Organotin(IV) Complexes as Antitumoral and Antimicrobial Agents. A Review.

    PubMed

    Shah, Syed Shoaib Ahmad; Ashfaq, Muhammad; Waseem, Amir; Ahmed, M Mehboob; Najam, Tayyaba; Shaheen, Salma; Rivera, Gildardo

    2015-01-01

    Advances in the use of organotin(IV) compounds have gained relevant interest in both the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Tin(IV) form stable complexes with a unique structure and physicochemical properties that are used in organic synthesis as heat stabilizers and catalysts, in drug development as biologically active agents, and in other areas. This review focuses on recent progress in the classical and convenient synthesis procedure, on their mechanism of action, and biological activities as antitumoral and antimicrobial agents.

  11. 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

  12. Supercritical fluid extraction of chemical warfare agent simulants from soil.

    PubMed

    Griest, W H; Ramsey, R S; Ho, C H; Caldwell, W M

    1992-05-29

    Chemical warfare agent simulants are efficiently recovered from 2-ppm spikes in 1 g of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Standard Soil using methanol-carbon dioxide (5:95) at 300 atm for 2 min at 60 degrees C. Recoveries (n = 3) were 79 +/- 23% for dimethylmethylphosphonate, 93 +/- 14% for 2-chloroethylethyl sulfide, 92 +/- 13% for diisopropylfluorophosphate and 95 +/- 17% for diisopropylmethylphosphonate. Recoveries are higher than, but less precise than those achieved from a 5-min ultrasonic micro-scale extraction using methanol. Much less laboratory waste is generated than the current standard organic solvent extraction method (33 g of soil shaken with 100 ml of chloroform). PMID:1400849

  13. 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.

  14. Biological agents and biosimilars: Essential information for the internist.

    PubMed

    Pasina, Luca; Casadei, Gianluigi; Nobili, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Biologics embrace a wide range of substances synthesized by cells or living organisms by means of different biological processes, including recombinant DNA technology, controlled gene expression, or antibody technologies. A biosimilar establishes similarity to the reference medicinal product in terms of quality characteristics, biological activity, safety, and efficacy based on a comprehensive comparability exercise. Minimizing development costs and accelerating their market access create a convergence of interests between health services, worried about sustainability, and generic manufacturers. While the demonstration of bioequivalence is sufficient for small synthetic molecules, this approach is not scientifically applicable to a copy of biological drug constituted by large and complex molecules, which are similar but not identical to the originator and are also subject to different post-translational processes. Internists should be confident that the development process of biosimilars ensures a comparable risk-to-benefit balance with the originators. On the basis of available evidence and pharmacovigilance network, there are no grounds to believe that the use of a biosimilar carries more risks for the patient than the use of an originator. Since the first biosimilar was authorized in Europe in 2006, no clinical alerts have raised red flags about the established EMA biosimilar pathway. In this article, we discuss some of the most frequent concerns raised by clinicians about biosimilars and try to explains the scientific principles underlying the biosimilar concept established in the EU in order to license biosimilar drugs. PMID:27342030

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. Fusion of chemical, biological, and meteorological observations for agent source term estimation and hazard refinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieringer, Paul E.; Rodriguez, Luna M.; Sykes, Ian; Hurst, Jonathan; Vandenberghe, Francois; Weil, Jeffrey; Bieberbach, George, Jr.; Parker, Steve; Cabell, Ryan

    2011-05-01

    Chemical and biological (CB) agent detection and effective use of these observations in hazard assessment models are key elements of our nation's CB defense program that seeks to ensure that Department of Defense (DoD) operations are minimally affected by a CB attack. Accurate hazard assessments rely heavily on the source term parameters necessary to characterize the release in the transport and dispersion (T&D) simulation. Unfortunately, these source parameters are often not known and based on rudimentary assumptions. In this presentation we describe an algorithm that utilizes variational data assimilation techniques to fuse CB and meteorological observations to characterize agent release source parameters and provide a refined hazard assessment. The underlying algorithm consists of a combination of modeling systems, including the Second order Closure Integrated PUFF model (SCIPUFF), its corresponding Source Term Estimation (STE) model, a hybrid Lagrangian-Eulerian Plume Model (LEPM), its formal adjoint, and the software infrastructure necessary to link them. SCIPUFF and its STE model are used to calculate a "first guess" source estimate. The LEPM and corresponding adjoint are then used to iteratively refine this release source estimate using variational data assimilation techniques. This algorithm has undergone preliminary testing using virtual "single realization" plume release data sets from the Virtual THreat Response Emulation and Analysis Testbed (VTHREAT) and data from the FUSION Field Trials 2007 (FFT07). The end-to-end prototype of this system that has been developed to illustrate its use within the United States (US) Joint Effects Model (JEM) will be demonstrated.

  18. 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. PMID:25289459

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

  3. Use of hyperspectral remote sensing for detection and monitoring of chemical and biological agents: a survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Richard B.; Dasgupta, Swarvanu

    2004-12-01

    This paper surveys the potential use of hyperspectral imaging technology for standoff detection of chemical and biological agents in terrorism defense applications. In particular it focuses on the uses of hyperspectral imaging technology to detect and monitor chemical and biological attacks. In so doing it examines current technologies, their advantages and disadvantages, and investigates the possible role of hyperspectral imaging for homeland security applications. The study also addresses and provides applicable solutions for several of the potential challenges that currently create barriers to the full use of hyperspectral technology in the standoff detection of likely available chemical and biological agents.

  4. [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.

  5. Synthesis and biological evaluation of hydrazone derivatives as antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Bruna B; Muniz, Mauro N; de Oliveira, Thayse; de Oliveira, Luís Flavio; Machado, Michel M; Fuentefria, Alexandre M; Gosmann, Grace; Gnoatto, Simone C B

    2015-05-20

    Emerging yeasts are among the most prevalent causes of systemic infections with high mortality rates and there is an urgent need to develop specific, effective and non-toxic antifungal agents to respond to this issue. In this study 35 aldehydes, hydrazones and hydrazines were obtained and their antifungal activity was evaluated against Candida species (C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. albicans, C. glabrata and C. lusitaneae) and Trichosporon asahii, in an in vitro screening. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the active compounds in the screening was determined against 10 clinical isolates of C. parapsilosis and 10 of T. asahii. The compounds 4-pyridin-2-ylbenzaldehyde] (13a) and tert-butyl-(2Z)-2-(3,4,5-trihydroxybenzylidine)hydrazine carboxylate (7b) showed the most promising MIC values in the range of 16-32 μg/mL and 8-16 μg/mL, respectively. The compounds' action on the stability of the cell membrane and cell wall was evaluated, which suggested the action of the compounds on the fungal cell membrane. Cell viability of leukocytes and an alkaline comet assay were performed to evaluate the cytotoxicity. Compound 13a was not cytotoxic at the active concentrations. These results support the discovery of promising candidates for the development of new antifungal agents.

  6. A convenient first aid kit for chemical and biological agents and for radiation exposure.

    PubMed

    Vijayaraghavan, R; Bhaskar, A S B; Gautam, Anshoo; Gopalan, N; Singh, A K; Singh, Beer; Flora, S J S

    2012-05-01

    The chemical and biological warfare agents are extremely toxic in nature. They act rapidly even in very small quantities and death may occur in minutes. Hence, physical and medical protection must be provided immediately to save life or avoid serious injury. A first aid kit has thus been developed for providing immediate relief from chemical and biological warfare agents (FAKCBW) with the objective of easy detection, personal decontamination, antidote for chemical warfare agents (like nerve agents, sulphur mustard, phosgene, cyanide, radiation exposure and bacterial agents), along with basic medication aid for pain, fever and inflammation. The kit box also includes a user friendly handbook with a simple standard operating procedure. In addition, the kit is rugged to withstand normal jerks, vibration and is water-proof. PMID:23029921

  7. 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.

  8. BSim: An Agent-Based Tool for Modeling Bacterial Populations in Systems and Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    Gorochowski, Thomas E.; Matyjaszkiewicz, Antoni; Todd, Thomas; Oak, Neeraj; Kowalska, Kira; Reid, Stephen; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira T.

    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. PMID:22936991

  9. 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. PMID:22936991

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen; McGuire, Raymond

    2002-08-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Non-infectious plasmid engineered to simulate multiple viral threat agents.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Monica; Sagripanti, Jose-Luis

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this study was to design and construct a non-virulent simulant to replace several pathogenic viruses in the development of detection and identification methods in biodefense. A non-infectious simulant was designed and engineered to include the nucleic acid signature of VEEV (Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus), Influenza virus, Rift Valley Fever virus, Machupo virus, Lassa virus, Yellow Fever virus, Ebola virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, Junin virus, Marburg virus, Dengue virus, and Crimean-Congo virus, all in a single construct. The nucleic acid sequences of all isolates available for each virus species were aligned using ClustalW software in order to obtain conserved regions of the viral genomes. Specific primers were designed to permit the identification and differentiation between viral threat agents. A chimera of 3143 base pairs was engineered to produce 13 PCR amplicons of different sizes. PCR amplification of the simulant with virus-specific primers revealed products of the predicted length, in bands of similar intensity, and without detectable unspecific products by electrophoresis analysis. The simulant described could reduce the need to use infectious viruses in the development of detection and diagnostic methods, and could also be useful as a non-virulent positive control in nucleic acid-based tests against biological threat agents.

  17. 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.

  18. Probiotic Bacteria as Biological Control Agents in Aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Verschuere, Laurent; Rombaut, Geert; Sorgeloos, Patrick; Verstraete, Willy

    2000-01-01

    There is an urgent need in aquaculture to develop microbial control strategies, since disease outbreaks are recognized as important constraints to aquaculture production and trade and since the development of antibiotic resistance has become a matter of growing concern. One of the alternatives to antimicrobials in disease control could be the use of probiotic bacteria as microbial control agents. This review describes the state of the art of probiotic research in the culture of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and live food, with an evaluation of the results obtained so far. A new definition of probiotics, also applicable to aquatic environments, is proposed, and a detailed description is given of their possible modes of action, i.e., production of compounds that are inhibitory toward pathogens, competition with harmful microorganisms for nutrients and energy, competition with deleterious species for adhesion sites, enhancement of the immune response of the animal, improvement of water quality, and interaction with phytoplankton. A rationale is proposed for the multistep and multidisciplinary process required for the development of effective and safe probiotics for commercial application in aquaculture. Finally, directions for further research are discussed. PMID:11104813

  19. 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

  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. 42 CFR 71.54 - Import regulations for infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and vectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... threat to public health and safety as listed in 42 CFR 73.3 and 73.4. Vector. Any animals (vertebrate or... issued under this part is not required for an item if: (1) It is a biological agent listed in 42 CFR Part 73 as a select agent and its importation has been authorized in accordance with 42 CFR 73.16 or 9...

  2. 42 CFR 71.54 - Import regulations for infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and vectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... threat to public health and safety as listed in 42 CFR 73.3 and 73.4. Vector. Any animals (vertebrate or... issued under this part is not required for an item if: (1) It is a biological agent listed in 42 CFR Part 73 as a select agent and its importation has been authorized in accordance with 42 CFR 73.16 or 9...

  3. Patient-centered appointment scheduling using agent-based simulation.

    PubMed

    Turkcan, Ayten; Toscos, Tammy; Doebbeling, Brad N

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced access and continuity are key components of patient-centered care. Existing studies show that several interventions such as providing same day appointments, walk-in services, after-hours care, and group appointments, have been used to redesign the healthcare systems for improved access to primary care. However, an intervention focusing on a single component of care delivery (i.e. improving access to acute care) might have a negative impact other components of the system (i.e. reduced continuity of care for chronic patients). Therefore, primary care clinics should consider implementing multiple interventions tailored for their patient population needs. We collected rapid ethnography and observations to better understand clinic workflow and key constraints. We then developed an agent-based simulation model that includes all access modalities (appointments, walk-ins, and after-hours access), incorporate resources and key constraints and determine the best appointment scheduling method that improves access and continuity of care. This paper demonstrates the value of simulation models to test a variety of alternative strategies to improve access to care through scheduling. PMID:25954423

  4. Current, new and future biological agents on the horizon for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases

    PubMed Central

    Peyrin-Biroulet, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Biological agents for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF) have changed the way to treat IBD refractory to standard medications and allowed us to reach new therapeutic goals such as mucosal healing and deep remission. A better understanding of the components of the pathological processes that are a hallmark of IBD has led to the development of a new family of biological agents in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Biosimilars, which are copy versions of currently licensed biological agents, will be soon available. The biosimilar of infliximab is as effective and as safe as its originator in rheumatologic conditions, while a new anti-TNF agent, namely golimumab, has been recently approved for refractory ulcerative colitis. Beyond TNF blockers, anti-adhesion molecules appear to be a potent drug class for IBD. Vedolizumab was recently approved for both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Numerous other compounds are in the pipeline. Ustekinumab looks very promising for Crohn’s disease. Smad7 antisense oligonucleotide might enrich our armamentarium if preliminary data are confirmed in upcoming clinical trials. Herein, we review the efficacy and safety of new and emerging biological agents that are currently investigated in IBD clinical trials. PMID:25729432

  5. Detection of biological warfare agents using the polymerase chain reaction. Final report, June-August 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, B.J.

    1992-09-01

    The detection of biological warfare agents is an important mission for the U.S. Army. This report explores the feasibility of using the polymerase chain reaction as a means of rapid detection of biological warfare agents. Two levels of detection are proposed. The first level is group specific detection, using primers derived from 16S rDNA sequences, to detect various groups of pathogenic bacteria. The second level is species-specific detection using primers derived from DNA sequences, unique to each pathogenic organism targeted for detection. Specific examples of Vibrio cholerae, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus anthracis are described.

  6. 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.

  7. Biological agents for whitefly control in Sardinian greenhouse tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Nannini, M; Foddi, F; Manca, L; Pisci, R; Sanna, F

    2009-01-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of alternative options for biocontrol of whiteflies in greenhouse tomatoes, an experiment was carried out during the cropping season 2005-2006 in one of Sardinia's major horticultural districts (S. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari, Italy). Twelve long-cycle and 17 short-cycle tomato crops (8 autumn and 9 spring crops) were surveyed. All of them were treated for insect pest control at the beginning of the growing season, but in 19 out of 29 cases whitefly natural enemies were also released (BCA greenhouses), at least four weeks after the last treatment. The following release programmes were tested: on autumn crops, 1 Macrolophus caliginosus and 12 Eretmocerus mundus/m2; on long-cycle crops, 1 M. caliginosus (released in autumn or spring) and 24 Encarsia formosa/m2 or 48 E. formosa/m2; on spring crops, 1 M. caliginosus and 24 E. formosa/m2 or 48 E. formosa/m2. The cost of each option was fixed at approximately 0.25 Euros/m2. The remaining greenhouses were maintained as controls (no BCA greenhouses). While whitefly and mirid populations were monitored monthly, whitefly species composition and mortality of immature stages were estimated at least twice during the growing season. On short-cycle autumn crops, the release of M. caliginosus and E. mundus produced negligible results in terms of Bemisia tabaci control. On long-cycle and spring crops, even though in June mortality rates in BCA greenhouses were found to be 2- to 3-fold higher than in no-BCA greenhouses, Trialeurodes vaporariorum population growth was not significantly affected by natural enemies. Among the beneficials tested, E. formosa proved to be the most effective; E. mundus and M. caliginosus did not establish well, probably owing to the persistence of insecticide residues, scarce prey availability and intense plant de-leafing. The presence of indigenous natural enemies of whiteflies was observed in most sites, but in general they contributed little to biological control. The

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Simulated biological materials for electromagnetic radiation absorption studies

    SciTech Connect

    Hartsgrove, G.; Kraszewski, A.; Surowiec, A.

    1987-01-01

    For the study of electromagnetic dosimetry and hyperthermia, it is necessary to simulate human biological materials. This can be done by chemical mixtures that are described in this paper. Formulas are presented for simulating bone, lung, brain, and muscle tissue in the frequency range of 100 MHz to 1 GHz. By using these preparations a realistic equivalent to the human body can be constructed.

  14. ACACIA: an agent-based program for simulating behavior to reach long-term goals.

    PubMed

    Beltran, Francesc S; Quera, Vicenç; Zibetti, Elisabetta; Tijus, Charles; Miñano, Meritxell

    2009-05-01

    We present ACACIA, an agent-based program implemented in Java StarLogo 2.0 that simulates a two-dimensional microworld populated by agents, obstacles and goals. Our program simulates how agents can reach long-term goals by following sensorial-motor couplings (SMCs) that control how the agents interact with their environment and other agents through a process of local categorization. Thus, while acting in accordance with this set of SMCs, the agents reach their goals through the emergence of global behaviors. This agent-based simulation program would allow us to understand some psychological processes such as planning behavior from the point of view that the complexity of these processes is the result of agent-environment interaction.

  15. 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

  16. Modeling and simulation of biological systems from image data

    PubMed Central

    Sbalzarini, Ivo F

    2013-01-01

    This essay provides an introduction to the terminology, concepts, methods, and challenges of image-based modeling in biology. Image-based modeling and simulation aims at using systematic, quantitative image data to build predictive models of biological systems that can be simulated with a computer. This allows one to disentangle molecular mechanisms from effects of shape and geometry. Questions like “what is the functional role of shape” or “how are biological shapes generated and regulated” can be addressed in the framework of image-based systems biology. The combination of image quantification, model building, and computer simulation is illustrated here using the example of diffusion in the endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:23533152

  17. Unit testing, model validation, and biological simulation.

    PubMed

    Sarma, Gopal P; Jacobs, Travis W; 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 – ...

  2. 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...

  3. 77 FR 46373 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-03

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Standoff detection of biological agents using laser induced fluorescence-a comparison of 294 nm and 355 nm excitation wavelengths.

    PubMed

    Farsund, Oystein; Rustad, Gunnar; Skogan, Gunnar

    2012-11-01

    Standoff detection measuring the fluorescence spectra of seven different biological agents excited by 294 nm as well as 355 nm wavelength laser pulses has been undertaken. The biological warfare agent simulants were released in a semi-closed aerosol chamber at 210 m standoff distance and excited by light at either of the two wavelengths using the same instrument. Significant differences in several of the agents' fluorescence response were seen at the two wavelengths. The anthrax simulants' fluorescence responses were almost an order of magnitude stronger at the shorter wavelength excitation. However, most importantly, the fluorescence spectra were significantly more dissimilar at 294 nm than at 355 nm excitation with ~7 nm spectral resolution. This indicates that classification of the substances should be possible with a lower error rate for standoff detection using 294 nm rather than 355 nm excitation wavelength, or even better, utilizing both. PMID:23162732

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26595025

  12. Towards Modelling and Simulation of Crowded Environments in Cell Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bittig, Arne T.; Jeschke, Matthias; Uhrmacher, Adelinde M.

    2010-09-01

    In modelling and simulation of cell biological processes, spatial homogeneity in the distribution of components is a common but not always valid assumption. Spatial simulation methods differ in computational effort and accuracy, and usually rely on tool-specific input formats for model specification. A clear separation between modelling and simulation allows a declarative model specification thereby facilitating reuse of models and exploiting different simulators. We outline a modelling formalism covering both stochastic spatial simulation at the population level and simulation of individual entities moving in continuous space as well as the combination thereof. A multi-level spatial simulator is presented that combines populations of small particles simulated according to the Next Subvolume Method with individually represented large particles following Brownian motion. This approach entails several challenges that need to be overcome, but nicely balances between calculation effort and required levels of detail.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kumar, Harish; Rani, Renu

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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).…

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:14579752

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    ... the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States 13546 Order 13546 Presidential Documents Executive Orders Executive Order 13546 of July 2, 2010 EO 13546 Optimizing the Security... enterprise that utilizes biological select agents and toxins (BSAT) is essential to national security;...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tasoglu, Savas; Gurkan, Umut Atakan; Wang, Shuqi; Demirci, Utkan

    2013-07-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:27536955

  14. A revised timeline for biological agents: revisiting the early years of the germ theory of disease.

    PubMed

    Rutecki, Gregory W

    2007-01-01

    An agreed upon timeline for the initial, scientifically-informed use of biological agents typically begins with the Japanese Army in Manchuria and China prior to the generalized outbreak of World War II (1932 until 1945). The process included human experimentation with multiple biological agents followed by their release in combat (e.g. the plague bacillus) targeting military personnel and civilians. Two postulates are used support these dates. First, allegations of earlier bacteriological weapon experimentation and/or use represented the accidental, small scale, and sporadic dispersion of infectious agents preceding the Germ Theory of Disease. Therefore, attempts prior to the Twentieth Century were uninformed scientifically and are not considered representative. Later, as the Germ Theory was maturing, the hypothetical timeline was derived, in part retrospectively, from reputable historical sources (the Trillat Report and The League of Nations) published immediately upon the conclusion of World War I. These documents explicitly testified to the total absence of bacteriological weapons in any form (experimentation or battlefield application) directed at human subjects-in stark contrast to the utilization of chemical agents-during the course of that war. Therefore the Japanese Army in Manchuria became time zero. Recently, evidence previously hidden from outside study has surfaced demonstrating that a small group of Turkish physicians injected typhus-contaminated serum into Armenian civilians during WWI. Although controversy persists regarding primary intent-immunization, experimentation on human subjects, or the introduction of a crude biological weapon-the discovery might suggest a revision to the accepted timeline. The primitive efforts with contaminated serum that occurred during the First World War may seem trivial, especially when compared to overall fatalities during that conflict, but they did include the informed and fatal application of microbial agents

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. The Next Wave of Biological Agents for the Treatment of IBD: Evidence from Cochrane Reviews.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Reena; Chande, Nilesh; Vermeire, Séverine; Sandborn, William J; Parker, Claire E; Feagan, Brian G

    2016-07-01

    Multiple new biological treatments for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are becoming available. Specifically, vedolizumab and ustekinumab are monoclonal antibodies that target molecular pathways relevant to disease pathogenesis. What can Cochrane reviews tell us about the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of these new agents? A Cochrane inflammatory bowel disease group symposium held at the 2015 Digestive Diseases Week annual meeting addressed these questions. This article reviews the data presented at that session. PMID:27306074

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. [Exposure of ventilation system cleaning workers to harmful biological and chemical agents].

    PubMed

    Gołofit-Szymczak, Małgorzata; Jezewska, Anna; Ławniczek-Wałczyk, Anna; Górny, Rafał L

    2012-01-01

    Regular checking on the cleanliness of the ventilation systems, as well as their periodic cleaning and, if necessary, disinfection are for the proper maintenance of each system. During maintenance operations (repairs, cleaning, filter replacement), workers are at risks associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals and harmful biological agents. In ventilation systems there are usually favorable conditions for the development of microorganisms, mainly bacteria and fungi, due to surfaces contaminated with dust particles or increased humidity caused by ventilation ducts, air filters, thermal insulation, noise dampers, air coolers, etc. Workers who perform cleaning and disinfection operations on ventilation systems are exposed to chemical agents through contacts with contaminants released from sealing materials, adhesives, fireproof lining and insulating materials, volatile organic compounds present in air filters, noise dampers and insulating materials, as well as with cleaning agents and disinfectants. Exposure to harmful chemical and biological agents may induce adverse health effects ranging from allergic reactions and irritation through infections to toxic reactions and other non-specific symptoms. Due to lack of studies on the exposure of this group of workers, employers face great difficulties in identifying hazards, which prevent them from performing an occupational risk assessment.

  5. Cardiocladius oliffi (Diptera: Chironomidae) as a potential biological control agent against Simulium squamosum (Diptera: Simuliidae)

    PubMed Central

    Boakye, Daniel A; Fokam, Eric; Ghansah, Anita; Amakye, Josef; Wilson, Michael D; Brown, Charles A

    2009-01-01

    Background The control of onchocerciasis in the African region is currently based mainly on the mass drug administration of ivermectin. Whilst this has been found to limit morbidity, it does not stop transmission. In the absence of a macrofilaricide, there is a need for an integrated approach for disease management, which includes vector control. Vector control using chemical insecticides is expensive to apply, and therefore the use of other measures such as biological control agents is needed. Immature stages of Simulium squamosum, reared in the laboratory from egg masses collected from the field at Boti Falls and Huhunya (River Pawnpawn) in Ghana, were observed to be attacked and fed upon by larvae of the chironomid Cardiocladius oliffi Freeman, 1956 (Diptera: Chironomidae). Methods Cardiocladius oliffi was successfully reared in the rearing system developed for S. damnosum s.l. and evaluated for its importance as a biological control agent in the laboratory. Results Even at a ratio of one C. oliffi to five S. squamosum, they caused a significant decrease in the number of adult S. squamosum emerging from the systems (treatments). Predation was confirmed by the amplification of Simulium DNA from C. oliffi observed to have fed on S. squamosum pupae. The study also established that the chironomid flies could successfully complete their development on a fish food diet only. Conclusion Cardiocladius oliffi has been demonstrated as potential biological control agent against S. squamosum. PMID:19393069

  6. 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.

  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

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. Environmental distribution and population biology of Candidatus Accumulibacter, a primary agent of biological phosphorus removal.

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

    Members of the uncultured bacterial genus Candidatus Accumulibacter are capable of intracellular accumulation of inorganic phosphate in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) performing enhanced biological phosphorus removal, 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, which 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

  12. A review of the use of biological agents for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

    PubMed

    Stübgen, Joerg-Patrick

    2013-03-15

    Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a group of idiopathic, acquired, immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the peripheral nervous system. A majority of patients with CIDP respond to "first-line" treatment with IVIG, plasmapheresis and/or corticosteroids. There exists insufficient evidence to ascertain the benefit of treatment with "conventional" immunosuppressive drugs. The inconsistent efficacy, long-term financial burden and health risks of non-specific immune altering therapy have drawn recurrent attention to the possible usefulness of a variety of biological agents that target key aspects in the CIDP immunopathogenic pathways. This review aims to give an updated account of the scientific rationale and potential use of biological therapeutics in patients with CIDP. No specific treatment recommendations are given. The discovery, development and application of biological markers by modern molecular diagnostic techniques may help identify drug-naïve or treatment-resistant CIDP patients most likely to respond to targeted immunotherapy.

  13. Cloning and Characterization of Aerobactin Biosynthesis Genes of the Biological Control Agent Enterobacter cloacae

    PubMed Central

    Loper, Joyce E.; Ishimaru, Carol A.; Carnegie, Susan R.; Vanavichit, Apichart

    1993-01-01

    Five strains of Enterobacter cloacae that are biological control agents of Pythium damping-off diseases produced the hydroxamate siderophore aerobactin under iron-limiting conditions. Genes determining aerobactin biosynthesis of the biocontrol strain E. cloacae EcCT-501 were localized to a 12.3-kb region, which conferred aerobactin production to Escherichia coli DH5α. The aerobactin biosynthesis genes of E. cloacae hybridized to those of the pColV-K30 plasmid of E. coli, but restriction patterns of the aerobactin regions of pColV-K30 and E. cloacae differed. A derivative strain with a deletion in the aerobactin biosynthesis locus was as effective as strain EcCT-501 in biological control of Pythium damping-off of cucumber. Thus, aerobactin production did not contribute significantly to the biological control activity of EcCT-501 under the conditions of this study. PMID:16349118

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:24705073

  17. 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.

  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. Current status and new developments in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis with biological agents

    PubMed Central

    Weger, Wolfgang

    2010-01-01

    Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting 1–3% of the general population. Among psoriatic patients, 5–40% are affected by psoriatic arthritis. Due to the chronic nature of the disease, patients suffer from substantial psychological and financial burdens, thus adding to a significantly impaired quality of life. Traditional systemic therapies for psoriasis, such as methotrexate, cyclosporin A, retinoids or PUVA therapy, have a potential for long-term toxicity and may not always provide sufficient improvement of the disease. The development of novel therapies targeting key steps in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis now provide new and efficient treatment options. Biological therapies for the treatment of psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis are defined by their mode of action and can be classified into three categories: the T-cell modulating agents (alefacept and efalizumab), the inhibitors of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα blockers, e.g. adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab and infliximab) and the inhibitors of interleukin (IL) 12 and IL-23 (e.g. ustekinumab and briakinumab). This article provides a brief overview of the currently approved biological agents in the European Union and of some newer agents, such as briakinumab, certolizumab and golimumab. PMID:20590580

  20. 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.

  1. Differential detection of a surrogate biological threat agent (Bacillus globigii) with a portable surface plasmon resonance biosensor.

    PubMed

    Adducci, Benjamin A; Gruszewski, Hope A; Khatibi, Piyum A; Schmale, David G

    2016-04-15

    New methods and technology are needed to quickly and accurately detect potential biological warfare agents, such as Bacillus anthracis, causal agent of anthrax in humans and animals. Here, we report the detection of a simulant of B. anthracis (B. globigii) alone and in a mixture with a different species of Bacillus to test non-specific interference using a portable surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor (SPIRIT 4.0, Seattle Sensor Systems). Both direct capture and antibody amplification were used to determine the limit of detection for spores of B. globigii, and to detect spores of B. globigii in a mixed sample containing another Bacillus spp. Spores of B. globigii were detected by anti-B. globigii (anti-Bg) coated sensors by direct capture at a concentration of 10(7)spores/mL, and with a secondary antibody amplification at a concentration of 10(5)spores/mL. Spores of B. globigii were differentially detected in a 1:1 mixture with B. pumilus spores from equal concentrations (10(7)spores/mL) with a secondary antibody amplification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the differential detection of B. globigii with SPR in a mixed sample containing at least one additional Bacillus spp., highlighting the potential for SPR to detect any target bacterium in a mixed sample of closely related species. With the availability of portable instrumentation to accurately detect biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis, emergency responders can implement protocols in a timely fashion, limiting the amount of exposed individuals. PMID:26606307

  2. Differential detection of a surrogate biological threat agent (Bacillus globigii) with a portable surface plasmon resonance biosensor.

    PubMed

    Adducci, Benjamin A; Gruszewski, Hope A; Khatibi, Piyum A; Schmale, David G

    2016-04-15

    New methods and technology are needed to quickly and accurately detect potential biological warfare agents, such as Bacillus anthracis, causal agent of anthrax in humans and animals. Here, we report the detection of a simulant of B. anthracis (B. globigii) alone and in a mixture with a different species of Bacillus to test non-specific interference using a portable surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor (SPIRIT 4.0, Seattle Sensor Systems). Both direct capture and antibody amplification were used to determine the limit of detection for spores of B. globigii, and to detect spores of B. globigii in a mixed sample containing another Bacillus spp. Spores of B. globigii were detected by anti-B. globigii (anti-Bg) coated sensors by direct capture at a concentration of 10(7)spores/mL, and with a secondary antibody amplification at a concentration of 10(5)spores/mL. Spores of B. globigii were differentially detected in a 1:1 mixture with B. pumilus spores from equal concentrations (10(7)spores/mL) with a secondary antibody amplification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the differential detection of B. globigii with SPR in a mixed sample containing at least one additional Bacillus spp., highlighting the potential for SPR to detect any target bacterium in a mixed sample of closely related species. With the availability of portable instrumentation to accurately detect biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis, emergency responders can implement protocols in a timely fashion, limiting the amount of exposed individuals.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:25216358

  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. Spacer/Linker Based Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Mutual Prodrugs as Antiinflammatory Agents

    PubMed Central

    Velingkar, V. S.; Jain, D. R.; Ahire, D. C.

    2010-01-01

    Mutual prodrugs of some antiinflammatory agents were synthesized with the aim of improving the therapeutic index through prevention of gastrointestinal complications and to check the efficiency of release of the parent drug in presence of spacer. These mutual prodrugs were synthesized by direct condensation method using dicyclohexyl carbodiimide as a coupling agent and glycine as a spacer. The title compounds were characterized by spectral techniques and the release of the parent drug from mutual prodrug was studied in two different non-enzymatic buffer solutions at pH 1.2, pH 7.4 and in 80% human plasma. All mutual prodrugs exhibited encouraging hydrolysis profile in 80% human plasma. Biological activity of title compounds was studied by carrageenan-induced paw edema method. From the results obtained, it was concluded that these compounds retain the antiinflammatory action. PMID:21694998

  7. 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. PMID:27234148

  8. 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.

  9. Responses of fish chromatophore-based cytosensor to a broad range of biological agents.

    PubMed

    Dierksen, Karen P; Mojovic, Ljiljana; Caldwell, Bruce A; Preston, R Ryan; Upson, Rosalyn; Lawrence, Jeannine; McFadden, Philip N; Trempy, Janine E

    2004-01-01

    A cytosensor based on living chromatophores from Betta splendens Siamese fighting fish was used to test several classes of biologically active agents. Tested agents include neurotransmitters, adenyl cyclase activators, cytoskeleton effectors, cell membrane effectors and protein synthesis inhibitors. Characteristic cell responses were analyzed, and potential cytosensor applications were considered. Streptococcus pyogenes toxins streptolysin S and streptolysin O, Clostridium tetani tetanolysin, Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin and Vibrio parahemolyticus hemolysin, all bacterial toxins that act on cell membranes, elicited a strong response from chromatophores. A comparison of purified toxin to actual bacterial culture from Vibrio parahemolyticus demonstrated a nearly identical chromatophore cell response pattern. This suggests that the cytosensor response is reflective of bacterial toxin production. PMID:15478182

  10. Simulation of biological evolution and the NFL theorems.

    PubMed

    Meester, Ronald

    2009-09-01

    William Dembski (No free lunch: why specified complexity cannot be purchased without intelligence, 2002) claimed that the NFL theorems from optimization theory render darwinian biological evolution impossible. Häggström (Biology and Philosophy 22:217-230, 2007) argued that the NFL theorems are not relevant for biological evolution at all, since the assumptions of the NFL theorems are not met. Although I agree with Häggström (Biology and Philosophy 22:217-230, 2007), in this article I argue that the NFL theorems should be interpreted as dealing with an extreme case within a much broader context. This broader context is in fact relevant for scientific research of certain evolutionary processes; not in the sense that the theorems can be used to draw conclusions about any intelligent design inference, but in the sense that it helps us to interpret computer simulations of evolutionary processes. As a result of this discussion, I will argue that from simulations, we do not learn much about how complexity arises in the universe. This position is in contrast with certain claims in the literature that I will discuss.

  11. 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...

  12. 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,

  13. Synthesis, analysis and biological evaluation of novel indolquinonecryptolepine analogues as potential anti-tumour agents.

    PubMed

    Le Gresley, A; Gudivaka, V; Carrington, S; Sinclair, A; Brown, J E

    2016-03-21

    A small library of cryptolepine analogues were synthesised incorporating halogens and/or nitrogen containing side chains to optimise their interaction with the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA to give improved binding, interfering with topoisomerase II hence enhancing cytotoxicity. Cell viability, DNA binding and Topoisomerase II inhibition is discussed for these compounds. Fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate the uptake of the synthesised cryptolepines into the nucleus. We report the synthesis and anti-cancer biological evaluation of nine novel cryptolepine analogues, which have greater cytotoxicity than the parent compound and are important lead compounds in the development of novel potent and selective indoloquinone anti-neoplastic agents. PMID:26893255

  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. Lepidopterans as potential agents for the biological control of the invasive plant, Miconia calvescens.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  18. [The role of Marisa cornuarietis as a biological control agent and its economic and epidemiological implications].

    PubMed

    Ferrer López, J R; Moné, H; Perera de Puga, G; Yong Cong, M

    1991-01-01

    It was determined that M. cornuarietis, a mollusk which has been used as agent for the biological control of the schistosomiasis hosts, may be a plague for rice fields. Each mollusk can consume 0.3 g of this plant in 24 hours, accounting for the destruction of 0.015 m2 of a rice field. On the other hand, it was observed that B. glabrata shows preference for the consumption of M. cornuarietis faeces. This fact favors the vector's growth and reproduction rate and at the same time decreases its mortality.

  19. Lepidopterans as potential agents for the biological control of the invasive plant, Miconia calvescens.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Autonomous detection of aerosolized biological agents by multiplexed immunoassay with polymerase chain reaction confirmation.

    PubMed

    Hindson, Benjamin J; McBride, Mary T; Makarewicz, Anthony J; Henderer, Bruce D; Setlur, Ujwal S; Smith, Sally M; Gutierrez, Dora M; Metz, Thomas R; Nasarabadi, Shanavaz L; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S; Farrow, Stephen W; Colston, Bill W; Dzenitis, John M

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:15623307

  2. 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...

  3. 75 FR 28233 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Asian Citrus Psyllid

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-20

    ... Control Agent for Asian Citrus Psyllid AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION... Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The environmental assessment considers the effects of... for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of Asian citrus psyllid infestations....

  4. 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.

  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. Controlling seepage in discrete particle simulations of biological systems.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Bruce S; Joldes, Grand R; Wong, Kelvin K L; Tan, Chin Wee; Smith, David W

    2016-01-01

    It is now commonplace to represent materials in a simulation using assemblies of discrete particles. Sometimes, one wishes to maintain the integrity of boundaries between particle types, for example, when modelling multiple tissue layers. However, as the particle assembly evolves during a simulation, particles may pass across interfaces. This behaviour is referred to as 'seepage'. The aims of this study were (i) to examine the conditions for seepage through a confining particle membrane and (ii) to define some simple rules that can be employed to control seepage. Based on the force-deformation response of spheres with various sizes and stiffness, we develop analytic expressions for the force required to move a 'probe particle' between confining 'membrane particles'. We analyse the influence that particle's size and stiffness have on the maximum force that can act on the probe particle before the onset of seepage. The theoretical results are applied in the simulation of a biological cell under unconfined compression. PMID:26629728

  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. Response of an invasive liana to simulated herbivory: implications for its biological control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghu, S.; Dhileepan, K.; Treviño, M.

    2006-05-01

    Pre-release evaluation of the efficacy of biological control agents is often not possible in the case of many invasive species targeted for biocontrol. In such circumstances simulating herbivory could yield significant insights into plant response to damage, thereby improving the efficiency of agent prioritisation, increasing the chances of regulating the performance of invasive plants through herbivory and minimising potential risks posed by release of multiple herbivores. We adopted this approach to understand the weaknesses herbivores could exploit, to manage the invasive liana, Macfadyena unguis-cati. We simulated herbivory by damaging the leaves, stem, root and tuber of the plant, in isolation and in combination. We also applied these treatments at multiple frequencies. Plant response in terms of biomass allocation showed that at least two severe defoliation treatments were required to diminish this liana's climbing habit and reduce its allocation to belowground tuber reserves. Belowground damage appears to have negligible effect on the plant's biomass production and tuber damage appears to trigger a compensatory response. Plant response to combinations of different types of damage did not differ significantly to that from leaf damage. This suggests that specialist herbivores in the leaf-feeding guild capable of removing over 50% of the leaf tissue may be desirable in the biological control of this invasive species.

  10. Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A novel and efficient biological control agent for Colletotrichum acutatum during pre-harvest.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Marcos Roberto; Klein, Mariana Nadjara; Ferraz, Luriany Pompeo; da Silva, Aline Caroline; Kupper, Katia Cristina

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we evaluated the efficiency of six isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in controlling Colletotrichum acutatum, the causal agent of postbloom fruit drop that occur in pre-harvest citrus. We analyzed the mechanisms of action involved in biological control such as: production of antifungal compounds, nutrient competition, detection of killer activity, and production of hydrolytic enzymes of the isolates of S. cerevisiae on C. acutatum and their efficiency in controlling postbloom fruit drop on detached citrus flowers. Our results showed that all six S. cerevisiae isolates produced antifungal compounds, competed for nutrients, inhibited pathogen germination, and produced killer activity and hydrolytic enzymes when in contact with the fungus wall. The isolates were able to control the disease when detached flowers were artificially inoculated, both preventively and curatively. In this work we identified a novel potential biological control agent for C. acutatum during pre-harvest. This is the first report of yeast efficiency for the biocontrol of postbloom fruit drop, which represents an important contribution to the field of biocontrol of diseases affecting citrus populations worldwide.

  11. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) releasing agents: chemistry and biological applications.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yu; Biggs, Tyler D; Xian, Ming

    2014-10-14

    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 these fields. 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 currently 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Host specificity of Argopistes tsekooni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of Chinese privet.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Hanula, James L; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2008-08-01

    Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour., is a perennial semi-evergreen shrub that is a serious invasive weed in the United States. Classical biological control offers the best hope for controlling it in an economic, effective, and persistent way. Host specificity of one of the most promising biological control agents of Chinese privet, a flea beetle, Argopistes tsekooni Chen (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), was evaluated in China by using laboratory no-choice and choice tests on 13 species of Oleaceae and eight species in other families that have important economic value. In adult no-choice survival and oviposition tests, the flea beetle fed and survived for 30 d on Syringa oblata Lindl., Jasminum nudiflorum Lindl., and three species in the genus Ligustrum. Females also oviposited on these species, but only larvae from eggs laid on S. oblata and Ligustrum spp. developed successfully. In addition, the beetles did not feed or oviposit on the species of economic importance. In choice tests, adults preferred L. sinense for feeding and oviposition. These results show that A. tsekooni is relatively host specific and warrants further testing as a biocontrol agent of Chinese privet in the United States. PMID:18767722

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Standoff detection of biological agents using laser induced fluorescence—a comparison of 294 nm and 355 nm excitation wavelengths

    PubMed Central

    Farsund, Øystein; Rustad, Gunnar; Skogan, Gunnar

    2012-01-01

    Standoff detection measuring the fluorescence spectra of seven different biological agents excited by 294 nm as well as 355 nm wavelength laser pulses has been undertaken. The biological warfare agent simulants were released in a semi-closed aerosol chamber at 210 m standoff distance and excited by light at either of the two wavelengths using the same instrument. Significant differences in several of the agents’ fluorescence response were seen at the two wavelengths. The anthrax simulants’ fluorescence responses were almost an order of magnitude stronger at the shorter wavelength excitation. However, most importantly, the fluorescence spectra were significantly more dissimilar at 294 nm than at 355 nm excitation with ~7 nm spectral resolution. This indicates that classification of the substances should be possible with a lower error rate for standoff detection using 294 nm rather than 355 nm excitation wavelength, or even better, utilizing both. PMID:23162732

  1. CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder Toward Realistic Biological Membrane Simulations

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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 simulation through an automated optimized process. In this work, we describe the new features and major improvements in Membrane Builderthat allow users to robustly build realistic biological membrane systems, including (1) addition of new lipid types such as phosphoinositides, cardiolipin, 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: cardiolipin 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. PMID:25130509

  2. [Numerical simulation and operation optimization of biological filter].

    PubMed

    Zou, Zong-Sen; Shi, Han-Chang; Chen, Xiang-Qiang; Xie, Xiao-Qing

    2014-12-01

    BioWin software and two sensitivity analysis methods were used to simulate the Denitrification Biological Filter (DNBF) + Biological Aerated Filter (BAF) process in Yuandang Wastewater Treatment Plant. Based on the BioWin model of DNBF + BAF process, the operation data of September 2013 were used for sensitivity analysis and model calibration, and the operation data of October 2013 were used for model validation. The results indicated that the calibrated model could accurately simulate practical DNBF + BAF processes, and the most sensitive parameters were the parameters related to biofilm, OHOs and aeration. After the validation and calibration of model, it was used for process optimization with simulating operation results under different conditions. The results showed that, the best operation condition for discharge standard B was: reflux ratio = 50%, ceasing methanol addition, influent C/N = 4.43; while the best operation condition for discharge standard A was: reflux ratio = 50%, influent COD = 155 mg x L(-1) after methanol addition, influent C/N = 5.10.

  3. Use of microgravity simulators for plant biological studies.

    PubMed

    Herranz, Raúl; Valbuena, Miguel A; Manzano, Aránzazu; Kamal, Khaled Y; Medina, F Javier

    2015-01-01

    Simulated microgravity and partial gravity research on Earth is highly convenient for every space biology researcher due to limitations of access to spaceflight. However, the use of ground-based facilities for microgravity simulation is far from simple. Microgravity simulation usually results in the need to consider additional environmental parameters which appear as secondary effects in the generation of altered gravity. These secondary effects may interfere with gravity alteration in the changes observed in the biological processes under study. Furthermore, ground-based facilities are also capable of generating hypergravity or fractional gravity conditions, which are worth being tested and compared with the results of microgravity exposure. Multiple technologies (2D clinorotation, random positioning machines, magnetic levitators or centrifuges), experimental hardware (proper use of containers and substrates for the seedlings or cell cultures), and experimental requirements (some life support/environmental parameters are more difficult to provide in certain facilities) should be collectively considered in defining the optimal experimental design that will allow us to anticipate, modify, or redefine the findings provided by the scarce spaceflight opportunities that have been (and will be) available. PMID:25981780

  4. [Numerical simulation and operation optimization of biological filter].

    PubMed

    Zou, Zong-Sen; Shi, Han-Chang; Chen, Xiang-Qiang; Xie, Xiao-Qing

    2014-12-01

    BioWin software and two sensitivity analysis methods were used to simulate the Denitrification Biological Filter (DNBF) + Biological Aerated Filter (BAF) process in Yuandang Wastewater Treatment Plant. Based on the BioWin model of DNBF + BAF process, the operation data of September 2013 were used for sensitivity analysis and model calibration, and the operation data of October 2013 were used for model validation. The results indicated that the calibrated model could accurately simulate practical DNBF + BAF processes, and the most sensitive parameters were the parameters related to biofilm, OHOs and aeration. After the validation and calibration of model, it was used for process optimization with simulating operation results under different conditions. The results showed that, the best operation condition for discharge standard B was: reflux ratio = 50%, ceasing methanol addition, influent C/N = 4.43; while the best operation condition for discharge standard A was: reflux ratio = 50%, influent COD = 155 mg x L(-1) after methanol addition, influent C/N = 5.10. PMID:25826934

  5. The influence of the workplace-related biological agents on the immune systems of emergency medical personnel

    PubMed Central

    Brewczyńska, Aleksandra; Depczyńska, Daria; Winnicka, Izabela; Kubiak, Leszek; Skopińska-Różewska, Ewa; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Kocik, Janusz

    2015-01-01

    Emergency medical services workers’ (EMSWs) acute exposures to many biological agents are frequent and well recognised in their workplaces, as well as occupational diseases resulting from some of these exposures. At the same time, there is only scant information on the adverse effects of chronic exposure to biological hazard factors on the immune systems of EMSWs. In the Polish legislation system, the Ordinance of the Minister of Health about harmful biological agents in the workplace and ways of protecting workers from exposure to those agents is an implement of Directive 2000/54/EC, which deals thoroughly with those issues in European Union Countries. Emergency medical services workers play an essential role as primary providers of pre-hospital emergency medical care, and they are part of the integral components of disaster response. Traumatic experiences can affect emergency medical staff immune systems negatively, by functioning as a chronic stressor. Conscious use of biological agents in workplaces such as microbial laboratories can be easily controlled and monitored. However, risk assessment is more difficult for workers when they are exposed unintentionally to biological agents. Exposure to bio-aerosols is considered especially harmful. This review summarises available information about biological risk factors for emergency medical services workers, and some information about the influence of these factors on their immune systems. PMID:26557040

  6. The influence of the workplace-related biological agents on the immune systems of emergency medical personnel.

    PubMed

    Brewczyńska, Aleksandra; Depczyńska, Daria; Borecka, Anna; Winnicka, Izabela; Kubiak, Leszek; Skopińska-Różewska, Ewa; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Kocik, Janusz

    2015-01-01

    Emergency medical services workers' (EMSWs) acute exposures to many biological agents are frequent and well recognised in their workplaces, as well as occupational diseases resulting from some of these exposures. At the same time, there is only scant information on the adverse effects of chronic exposure to biological hazard factors on the immune systems of EMSWs. In the Polish legislation system, the Ordinance of the Minister of Health about harmful biological agents in the workplace and ways of protecting workers from exposure to those agents is an implement of Directive 2000/54/EC, which deals thoroughly with those issues in European Union Countries. Emergency medical services workers play an essential role as primary providers of pre-hospital emergency medical care, and they are part of the integral components of disaster response. Traumatic experiences can affect emergency medical staff immune systems negatively, by functioning as a chronic stressor. Conscious use of biological agents in workplaces such as microbial laboratories can be easily controlled and monitored. However, risk assessment is more difficult for workers when they are exposed unintentionally to biological agents. Exposure to bio-aerosols is considered especially harmful. This review summarises available information about biological risk factors for emergency medical services workers, and some information about the influence of these factors on their immune systems. PMID:26557040

  7. The influence of the workplace-related biological agents on the immune systems of emergency medical personnel.

    PubMed

    Brewczyńska, Aleksandra; Depczyńska, Daria; Borecka, Anna; Winnicka, Izabela; Kubiak, Leszek; Skopińska-Różewska, Ewa; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Kocik, Janusz

    2015-01-01

    Emergency medical services workers' (EMSWs) acute exposures to many biological agents are frequent and well recognised in their workplaces, as well as occupational diseases resulting from some of these exposures. At the same time, there is only scant information on the adverse effects of chronic exposure to biological hazard factors on the immune systems of EMSWs. In the Polish legislation system, the Ordinance of the Minister of Health about harmful biological agents in the workplace and ways of protecting workers from exposure to those agents is an implement of Directive 2000/54/EC, which deals thoroughly with those issues in European Union Countries. Emergency medical services workers play an essential role as primary providers of pre-hospital emergency medical care, and they are part of the integral components of disaster response. Traumatic experiences can affect emergency medical staff immune systems negatively, by functioning as a chronic stressor. Conscious use of biological agents in workplaces such as microbial laboratories can be easily controlled and monitored. However, risk assessment is more difficult for workers when they are exposed unintentionally to biological agents. Exposure to bio-aerosols is considered especially harmful. This review summarises available information about biological risk factors for emergency medical services workers, and some information about the influence of these factors on their immune systems.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27384415

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Tingle, Jessica L; 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ramesh, Aruna C; Kumar, S

    2010-07-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Garlic-derived anticancer agents: structure and biological activity of ajoene.

    PubMed

    Kaschula, Catherine H; Hunter, Roger; Parker, M Iqbal

    2010-01-01

    Garlic has been used throughout the centuries to treat infections, heart disease, and cancer. Ajoene is one of the main compounds formed from heating crushed garlic as a mixture of E- and Z-isomers (E- and Z-4,5,9-trithiadodeca-1,6,11-triene 9-oxide). Ajoene possesses a broad spectrum of biological activities that include anticancer activity. It's cytotoxicity towards cancer cells is postulated to occur via an apoptotic mechanism involving activation of the mitochondrial-dependent caspase cascade. Structure-activity studies on ajoene and ajoene analogues have revealed that the Z-isomer is moderately more active than the E-isomer at inhibiting in vitro tumor cell growth, suggesting that specific protein interactions may be important. Substitution of the terminal end allyl groups in ajoene for alkyl, aromatic, or heteroaromatic groups produces some analogs with superior in vitro anticancer activity to ajoene, opening up the way to developing ajoene-based anticancer agents.

  4. STSE: Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment Dedicated to Biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Recently, the availability of high-resolution microscopy together with the advancements in the development of biomarkers as reporters of biomolecular interactions increased the importance of imaging methods in molecular cell biology. These techniques enable the investigation of cellular characteristics like volume, size and geometry as well as volume and geometry of intracellular compartments, and the amount of existing proteins in a spatially resolved manner. Such detailed investigations opened up many new areas of research in the study of spatial, complex and dynamic cellular systems. One of the crucial challenges for the study of such systems is the design of a well stuctured and optimized workflow to provide a systematic and efficient hypothesis verification. Computer Science can efficiently address this task by providing software that facilitates handling, analysis, and evaluation of biological data to the benefit of experimenters and modelers. Results The Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment (STSE) is a set of open-source tools provided to conduct spatio-temporal simulations in discrete structures based on microscopy images. The framework contains modules to digitize, represent, analyze, and mathematically model spatial distributions of biochemical species. Graphical user interface (GUI) tools provided with the software enable meshing of the simulation space based on the Voronoi concept. In addition, it supports to automatically acquire spatial information to the mesh from the images based on pixel luminosity (e.g. corresponding to molecular levels from microscopy images). STSE is freely available either as a stand-alone version or included in the linux live distribution Systems Biology Operational Software (SB.OS) and can be downloaded from http://www.stse-software.org/. The Python source code as well as a comprehensive user manual and video tutorials are also offered to the research community. We discuss main concepts of the STSE design and

  5. Synthesis, Radiolabeling, and Biological Evaluation of Peptide LIKKPF Functionalized with HYNIC as Apoptosis Imaging Agent.

    PubMed

    Khoshbakht, Sepideh; Beiki, Davood; Geramifar, Parham; Kobarfard, Farzad; Sabzevari, Omid; Amini, Mohsen; Mehrnejad, Faramarz; Shahhosseini, Soraya

    2016-01-01

    A noninvasive method of detecting exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the external surface of the plasma membrane such as nuclear imaging could assist the diagnosis and therapy of apoptosis related pathologies. The most studied imaging agent for apoptosis is Annexin V so far. Because of limitations of Annexin V other agents have been introduced such as small peptides and molecules. Radiopeptides that have affinity and bind to PS are good candidates for noninvasive imaging of apoptosis. The LIKKPF, introduced by Burtea et al, with nanomolar affinity for PS, was used as templete. The biological properties of LIKKPF radiolabeled with Tc-99 m was assessed in-vitro using apoptotic Jurkat cells and in-vivo using mouse model of liver apoptosis. The radiolabeled LIKKPF with (99m)Tc was stable in human serum at 37˚C for at least 2 h. Results showed that the radiolabeled LIKKPF has less affinity to PS compare to original phage peptide, but high enough for specific binding to apoptotic cells in-vitro and in-vivo. It is concluded that the less affinity of radiolabeled LIKKPF might be attributed to hydrophobicity of peptide. The future peptides should be more hydrophobic compare to LIKKPF. PMID:27642312

  6. Novel agents in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma: Biological basis and clinical results.

    PubMed

    Younes, Anas; Ansell, Stephen M

    2016-07-01

    Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) is a lymphoproliferative disorder of B cells that commonly has a favorable prognosis when treated with either combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy, or chemotherapy alone. However, the prognosis for patients who relapse, or have evidence for refractory disease, is poor and new treatments are needed for patients with progressive disease. HL has a unique tumor microenvironment consisting of a predominance of inflammatory cells and a minority of malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells. This unique biology provides an opportunity for novel therapy approaches that either specifically target the malignant HRS cell or target the inflammatory tumor microenvironment. New therapies including antibody drug conjugates targeting CD30, small molecule inhibitors that inhibit critical cell signaling pathways, monoclonal antibodies that block immune checkpoints, or agents that modulate the immune microenvironment have all recently been tested in HL with significant clinical activity. Multiple clinical trials are currently ongoing testing these agents in the relapsed and refractory setting but also in earlier phases of therapy often in combination with more standard treatment. PMID:27496310

  7. 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. PMID:27362639

  8. 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.

  9. Gluconic acid: an antifungal agent produced by Pseudomonas species in biological control of take-all.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Rajvinder; Macleod, John; Foley, William; Nayudu, Murali

    2006-03-01

    Pseudomonas strain AN5 (Ps. str. AN5), a non-fluorescent Australian bacterial isolate, is an effective biological control (biocontrol) agent of the take-all disease of wheat caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (Ggt). Ps. str. AN5 controls Ggt by producing an antifungal compound which was purified by thin layer and column chromatography, and identified by NMR and mass spectroscopic analysis to be d-gluconic acid. Commercially bought pure gluconic acid strongly inhibited Ggt. Two different transposon mutants of Ps. str. AN5 which had lost take-all biocontrol did not produce d-gluconic acid. Gluconic acid production was restored, along with take-all biocontrol, when one of these transposon mutants was complemented with the corresponding open reading frame from wild-type genomic DNA. Gluconic acid was detected in the rhizosphere of wheat roots treated with the wild-type Ps. str. AN5, but not in untreated wheat or wheat treated with a transposon mutant strain which had lost biocontrol. The antifungal compounds phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, produced by other Pseudomonads and previously shown to be effective in suppressing the take-all disease, were not detected in Ps. str. AN5 extracts. These results suggest that d-gluconic acid is the most significant antifungal agent produced by Ps. str. AN5 in biocontrol of take-all on wheat roots.

  10. Gold nanorods as contrast agents for biological imaging: optical properties, surface conjugation, and photothermal effects†

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Ling; Wei, Qingshan; Wei, Alexander; Cheng, Ji-Xin

    2009-01-01

    Gold nanorods (NRs) have plasmon-resonant absorption and scattering in the near-infrared (NIR) region, making them attractive probes for in vitro and in vivo imaging. In the cellular environment, NRs can provide scattering contrast for darkfield microscopy, or emit a strong two-photon luminescence (TPL) due to plasmon-enhanced two-photon absorption. NRs have also been employed in biomedical imaging modalities such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) or photoacoustic tomography (PAT). Careful control over surface chemistry enhances the capacity of NRs as biological imaging agents by enabling cell-specific targeting, and by increasing their dispersion stability and circulation lifetimes. NRs can also efficiently convert optical energy into heat, and inflict localized damage to tumor cells. Laser-induced heating of NRs can disrupt cell membrane integrity and homeostasis, resulting in Ca2+ influx and the depolymerization of the intracellular actin network. The combination of plasmon-resonant optical properties, intense local photothermal effects, and robust surface chemistry render gold NRs as promising theragnostic agents. PMID:19161395

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Synthesis, Radiolabeling, and Biological Evaluation of Peptide LIKKPF Functionalized with HYNIC as Apoptosis Imaging Agent

    PubMed Central

    Khoshbakht, Sepideh; Beiki, Davood; Geramifar, Parham; Kobarfard, Farzad; Sabzevari, Omid; Amini, Mohsen; Mehrnejad, Faramarz; Shahhosseini, Soraya

    2016-01-01

    A noninvasive method of detecting exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the external surface of the plasma membrane such as nuclear imaging could assist the diagnosis and therapy of apoptosis related pathologies. The most studied imaging agent for apoptosis is Annexin V so far. Because of limitations of Annexin V other agents have been introduced such as small peptides and molecules. Radiopeptides that have affinity and bind to PS are good candidates for noninvasive imaging of apoptosis. The LIKKPF, introduced by Burtea et al, with nanomolar affinity for PS, was used as templete. The biological properties of LIKKPF radiolabeled with Tc-99 m was assessed in-vitro using apoptotic Jurkat cells and in-vivo using mouse model of liver apoptosis. The radiolabeled LIKKPF with 99mTc was stable in human serum at 37˚C for at least 2 h. Results showed that the radiolabeled LIKKPF has less affinity to PS compare to original phage peptide, but high enough for specific binding to apoptotic cells in-vitro and in-vivo. It is concluded that the less affinity of radiolabeled LIKKPF might be attributed to hydrophobicity of peptide. The future peptides should be more hydrophobic compare to LIKKPF. PMID:27642312

  15. Chemical Computer Man: Chemical Agent Response Simulation (CARS). Technical report, January 1983-September 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, E.G.; Mioduszewski, R.J.

    1988-03-01

    The Chemical Computer Man: Chemical Agent Response Simulation (CARS) is a computer model and simulation program for estimating the dynamic changes in human physiological dysfunction resulting from exposures to chemical-threat nerve agents. The newly developed CARS methodology simulates agent exposure effects on the following five indices of human physiological function: mental, vision, cardio-respiratory, visceral, and limbs. Mathematical models and the application of basic pharmacokinetic principles were incorporated into the simulation so that for each chemical exposure, the relationship between exposure dosage, absorbed dosage (agent blood plasma concentration), and level of physiological response are computed as a function of time. CARS, as a simulation tool, is designed for the users with little or no computer-related experience. The model combines maximum flexibility with a comprehensive user-friendly interactive menu-driven system. Users define an exposure problem and obtain immediate results displayed in tabular, graphical, and image formats. CARS has broad scientific and engineering applications, not only in technology for the soldier in the area of Chemical Defense, but also in minimizing animal testing in biomedical and toxicological research and the development of a modeling system for human exposure to hazardous-waste chemicals.

  16. Agent-based simulation of building evacuation using a grid graph-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, L.; Lin, H.; Hu, M.; Che, W.

    2014-02-01

    Shifting from macroscope models to microscope models, the agent-based approach has been widely used to model crowd evacuation as more attentions are paid on individualized behaviour. Since indoor evacuation behaviour is closely related to spatial features of the building, effective representation of indoor space is essential for the simulation of building evacuation. The traditional cell-based representation has limitations in reflecting spatial structure and is not suitable for topology analysis. Aiming at incorporating powerful topology analysis functions of GIS to facilitate agent-based simulation of building evacuation, we used a grid graph-based model in this study to represent the indoor space. Such model allows us to establish an evacuation network at a micro level. Potential escape routes from each node thus could be analysed through GIS functions of network analysis considering both the spatial structure and route capacity. This would better support agent-based modelling of evacuees' behaviour including route choice and local movements. As a case study, we conducted a simulation of emergency evacuation from the second floor of an official building using Agent Analyst as the simulation platform. The results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method, as well as the potential of GIS in visualizing and analysing simulation results.

  17. 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.

  18. Membrane characteristics for biological blast overpressure testing using blast simulators.

    PubMed

    Alphonse, Vanessa D; Siva Sai Sujith Sajja, Venkata; Kemper, Andrew R; Rizel, Dave V; Duma, Stefan M; VandeVord, Pamela J

    2014-01-01

    Blast simulators often use passive-rupture membranes to generate shock waves similar to free-field blasts. The purpose of this study was to compare rupture patterns and pressure traces of three distinct membrane materials for biological and biomechanical blast studies. An Advanced Blast Simulator (ABS) located at the Center for Injury Biomechanics at Virginia Tech was used to test membrane characteristics. Acetate, Mylar, and aluminum sheets with different thicknesses were used to obtain pressures between 70–210 kPa. Static pressure was measured inside the tube at the test section using piezoelectric pressure sensors. Peak overpressure, positive duration, and positive impulse were calculated for each test. Rupture patterns and characteristic pressure traces were unique to each membrane type and thickness. Shock wave speed ranged between 1.2-1.8 Mach for static overpressures of 70–210 kPa. Acetate membranes fragmented sending pieces down the tube, but produced ideal (Friedlander) pressure traces. Mylar membranes bulged without fragmenting, but produced less-than-ideal pressure traces. Aluminum membranes did not fragment and produced ideal pressure traces. However, the cost of manufacturing and characterizing aluminum membranes should be considered during membrane selection. This study illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of using Mylar, acetate, and aluminum for passive rupture membranes for blast simulators. PMID:25405432

  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 Central

    Wattanachai, Pongnak; Kasem, Soytong; Poeaim, Supattra

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26539045

  1. 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. PMID:24254389

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Design and simulation of material-integrated distributed sensor processing with a code-based agent platform and mobile multi-agent systems.

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Towards Microsecond Biological Molecular Dynamics Simulations on Hybrid Processors

    SciTech Connect

    Hampton, Scott S; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-01-01

    Biomolecular simulations continue to become an increasingly important component of molecular biochemistry and biophysics investigations. Performance improvements in the simulations based on molecular dynamics (MD) codes are widely desired. This is particularly driven by the rapid growth of biological data due to improvements in experimental techniques. Unfortunately, the factors, which allowed past performance improvements of MD simulations, particularly the increase in microprocessor clock frequencies, are no longer improving. Hence, novel software and hardware solutions are being explored for accelerating the performance of popular MD codes. In this paper, we describe our efforts to port and optimize LAMMPS, a popular MD framework, on hybrid processors: graphical processing units (GPUs) accelerated multi-core processors. Our implementation is based on porting the computationally expensive, non-bonded interaction terms on the GPUs, and overlapping the computation on the CPU and GPUs. This functionality is built on top of message passing interface (MPI) that allows multi-level parallelism to be extracted even at the workstation level with the multi-core CPUs as well as extend the implementation on GPU clusters. The results from a number of typically sized biomolecular systems are provided and analysis is performed on 3 generations of GPUs from NVIDIA. Our implementation allows up to 30-40 ns/day throughput on a single workstation as well as significant speedup over Cray XT5, a high-end supercomputing platform. Moreover, detailed analysis of the implementation indicates that further code optimization and improvements in GPUs will allow {approx}100 ns/day throughput on workstations and inexpensive GPU clusters, putting the widely-desired microsecond simulation time-scale within reach to a large user community.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Paradoxical reactions under TNF-α blocking agents and other biological agents given for chronic immune-mediated diseases: an analytical and comprehensive overview.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  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. The dynamic response of a viscoelastic biological tissue simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, Christopher; Appleby-Thomas, Gareth; Hazell, Paul; Allsop, Derek

    2009-06-01

    The development and optimisation of new projectiles requires comparative techniques to assess ballistic performance. Porcine gelatin has found a substantial niche in the ballistics community as a tissue mimic. Primarily due to its elasticity, gelatin has been shown to deform in a similar manner to biological tissues. Bullet impacts typically occur in the 350-850 m/s range and consequently, knowledge of the high strain rate dynamic properties of both the projectile constituents and target materials is desirable if simulations are to allow the optimisation of projectile design. A large body of knowledge exists on the dynamic properties of projectiles, however relatively little data exists in the literature on the dynamic response of flesh simulants. The Hugoniot for a 20 wt% porcine gelatin, which exhibits a ballistic response similar to that of human tissues at room temperature, is determined in this paper using the plate impact technique. Up-Us and Up-P relationships are determined for impact velocities in the range of 200-900 m/s. Good agreement with the limited available data from the literature for similar concentrations is found and the dynamic response established at impact stresses up to 3 times higher than that observed elsewhere. Additionally, high frequency elastic properties are investigated using ultrasound and compared to those observed elsewhere.

  19. 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.

  20. 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,…

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:25683347

  3. 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. PMID:27271502

  4. Agent-based modeling of malaria vectors: the importance of spatial simulation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The modeling of malaria vector mosquito populations yields great insight into drivers of malaria transmission at the village scale. Simulation of individual mosquitoes as “agents” in a distributed, dynamic model domain may be greatly beneficial for simulation of spatial relationships of vectors and hosts. Methods In this study, an agent-based model is used to simulate the life cycle and movement of individual malaria vector mosquitoes in a Niger Sahel village, with individual simulated mosquitoes interacting with their physical environment as well as humans. Various processes that are known to be epidemiologically important, such as the dependence of parity on flight distance between developmental habitat and blood meal hosts and therefore spatial relationships of pools and houses, are readily simulated using this modeling paradigm. Impacts of perturbations can be evaluated on the basis of vectorial capacity, because the interactions between individuals that make up the population- scale metric vectorial capacity can be easily tracked for simulated mosquitoes and human blood meal hosts, without the need to estimate vectorial capacity parameters. Results As expected, model results show pronounced impacts of pool source reduction from larvicide application and draining, but with varying degrees of impact depending on the spatial relationship between pools and human habitation. Results highlight the importance of spatially-explicit simulation that can model individuals such as in an agent-based model. Conclusions The impacts of perturbations on village scale malaria transmission depend on spatial locations of individual mosquitoes, as well as the tracking of relevant life cycle events and characteristics of individual mosquitoes. This study demonstrates advantages of using an agent-based approach for village-scale mosquito simulation to address questions in which spatial relationships are known to be important. PMID:24992942

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. [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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Efficiacy of bumble bee disseminated biological control agents for control of Botrytis Blossom blight of Rabbiteye Blueberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botrytis blossom blight caused by Botrytis cinerea may cause severe crop loss in rabbiteye blueberry, necessitating applications of expensive fungicides. Commercial bumble bees, Bombus impatiens, were tested as vectors of the fungicidal biological control agents (BCAs), Prestop® Gliocladium catenula...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Supercritical fluid extraction and organic solvent microextraction of chemical agent simulants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Griest, W.H.; Ramsey, R.S.; Ho, C.h.; Caldwell, W.M.

    1991-12-31

    Experiments with chemical warfare agent simulants suggest that supercritical fluid extraction can achieve good extraction recoveries of agents in soil and produce less laboratory waste than current organic solvent extraction methods. Two-ppm spikes in 1 g of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Standard Soil were extracted using 5% methanol in carbon dioxide at 300 atm for 2 min at 60{degrees}C. Recoveries (n=3) were 79{plus_minus}23% for dimethylmethylphosphonate, 93{plus_minus}14% for 2-chlorethylethylsulfide, 92{plus_minus}13% for diisopropylfluorophosphate, and 95{plus_minus}17% for diisopropylmethylphosphonate. A 5 min ultrasonic micro-scale extraction using methanol is more reproducible but less efficient.

  16. Supercritical fluid extraction and organic solvent microextraction of chemical agent simulants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Griest, W.H.; Ramsey, R.S.; Ho, C.h.; Caldwell, W.M.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments with chemical warfare agent simulants suggest that supercritical fluid extraction can achieve good extraction recoveries of agents in soil and produce less laboratory waste than current organic solvent extraction methods. Two-ppm spikes in 1 g of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Standard Soil were extracted using 5% methanol in carbon dioxide at 300 atm for 2 min at 60{degrees}C. Recoveries (n=3) were 79{plus minus}23% for dimethylmethylphosphonate, 93{plus minus}14% for 2-chlorethylethylsulfide, 92{plus minus}13% for diisopropylfluorophosphate, and 95{plus minus}17% for diisopropylmethylphosphonate. A 5 min ultrasonic micro-scale extraction using methanol is more reproducible but less efficient.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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).

  2. New adaptive methods for sensing of chemical components and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatsenko, Vitaliy A.; Chiarini, Bruno H.; Pardalos, Panos M.

    2004-02-01

    It is known that leaf reflectance spectra can be used to estimate the contents of chemical components in vegetation. Recent novel applications include the detection of harmful biological agents that can originate from agricultural bioterrorism attacks. Such attacks have been identified as a major threat to the United States" agriculture. Nevertheless, the usefulness of such approach is currently limited by distorting factors, in particular soil reflectance. The quantitative analysis of the spectral curves from the reflection of plant leaves may be the basis for the development of new methods for interpreting the data obtained by the remote measurement of plants. We consider the problem of characterizing the chemical composition from noisy spectral data using an experimental optical method. Using our experience in signal processing and optimization of complex systems we propose a new mathematical model for sensing of chemical components in vegetation. Estimates are defined as minimizers of penalized cost functionals with sequential quadratic programming (SQR) methods. A deviation measure used in risk analysis is also considered. This framework is demonstrated for different agricultural plants using adaptive filtration, principal components analysis, and optimization techniques for classification of spectral curves of chemical components. Various estimation problems will be considered to illustrate the computational aspects of the proposed method.

  3. Biological evaluation of Phellinus linteus-fermented broths as anti-inflammatory agents.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chun-Jung; Lien, Hsiu-Man; Chang, Hsiao-Yun; Huang, Chao-Lu; Liu, Jau-Jin; Chang, Yun-Chieh; Chen, Chia-Chang; Lai, Chih-Ho

    2014-07-01

    Phellinus linteus and its constituent hispolon induce potent anti-inflammatory activity in macrophages. Efficient production of the effective constituent and the biological function of P. linteus in the regulation of innate sensing have rarely been investigated. The aim of this study was to efficiently manufacture P. linteus-fermented broth containing the effective constituent, hispolon, and evaluate its immunoregulatory functions in macrophages. Four distinct fermented broths (PL1-4) and the medium dialyzate (MD) were prepared to screen suitable culture conditions for the mycelial growth of P. linteus. The P. linteus-fermented broth exhibited a dose-responsive inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production by murine macrophages. In addition, the P. linteus-fermented broths suppressed macrophage LPS-mediated nuclear factor (NF)-κB activity and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Among the tested samples from P. linteus, PL4 contained vast amounts of hispolon and showed the greatest anti-inflammatory activity in both the RAW264.7 cells and murine primary peritoneal exudate macrophages (PEMs). This study demonstrates that the purification of the effective constituent from P. linteus-fermented broth may enable the production of a potent therapeutic agent for anti-inflammation in macrophages. PMID:24503424

  4. Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of arylcinnamide hybrid derivatives as novel anticancer agents

    PubMed Central

    Romagnoli, Romeo; Baraldi, Pier Giovanni; Salvador, Maria Kimatrai; Chayah, Mariem; Camacho, M. Encarnacion; Prencipe, Filippo; Hamel, Ernest; Consolaro, Francesca; Basso, Giuseppe; Viola, Giampietro

    2014-01-01

    The combination of two pharmacophores into a single molecule represents one of the methods that can be adopted for the synthesis of new anticancer molecules. A series of novel antiproliferative agents designed by a pharmacophore hybridization approach, combining the arylcinnamide skeleton and an α-bromoacryloyl moiety, was synthesized and evaluated for its antiproliferative activity against a panel of seven human cancer cell lines. In addition, the new derivatives were also active on multidrug-resistant cell lines over-expressing P-glycoprotein. The biological effects of various substituents on the N-phenyl ring of the benzamide portion were also described. In order to study the possible mechanism of action, we observed that 4p slightly increased the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production in HeLa cells, but, more importantly, a remarkable decrease of intracellular reduced glutathione content was detected in treated cells compared with controls. These results were confirmed by the observation that only thiol-containing antioxidants were able to significantly protect the cells from induced cell death. Altogether our results indicate that the new derivatives are endowed with good anticancer activity in vitro, and their properties may result in the development of new cancer therapeutic strategies. PMID:24858544

  5. 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

  6. Numerical simulations of odorant detection by biologically inspired sensor arrays.

    PubMed

    Schuech, R; Stacey, M T; Barad, M F; Koehl, M A R

    2012-03-01

    The antennules of many marine crustaceans enable them to rapidly locate sources of odorant in turbulent environmental flows and may provide biological inspiration for engineered plume sampling systems. A substantial gap in knowledge concerns how the physical interaction between a sensing device and the chemical filaments forming a turbulent plume affects odorant detection and filters the information content of the plume. We modeled biological arrays of chemosensory hairs as infinite arrays of odorant flux-detecting cylinders and simulated the fluid flow around and odorant flux into the hair-like sensors as they intercepted a single odorant filament. As array geometry and sampling kinematics were varied, we quantified distortion of the flux time series relative to the spatial shape of the original odorant filament as well as flux metrics that may be important to both organisms and engineered systems attempting to measure plume structure and/or identify chemical composition. The most important predictor of signal distortion is the ratio of sensor diameter to odorant filament width. Achieving high peak properties (e.g. sharpness) of the flux time series and maximizing the total number of odorant molecules detected appear to be mutually exclusive design goals. Sensor arrays inspired specifically by the spiny lobster Panulirus argus and mantis shrimp Gonodactylaceus falcatus introduce little signal distortion but these species' neural systems may not be able to resolve plume structure at the level of individual filaments via temporal properties of the odorant flux. Current chemical sensors are similarly constrained. Our results suggest either that the spatial distribution of flux across the aesthetasc array is utilized by P. argus and G. falcatus, or that such high spatiotemporal resolution is unnecessary for effective plume tracking. PMID:22155966

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Monitoring drug and antidrug levels: a rational approach in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with biologic agents who experience inadequate response while being on a stable biologic treatment.

    PubMed

    Mazilu, Diana; Opriş, Daniela; Gainaru, Cecilia; Iliuta, Mihaela; Apetrei, Natalia; Luca, Giorgiana; Borangiu, Andreea; Gudu, Tania; Peltea, Alexandra; Groseanu, Laura; Constantinescu, Cosmin; Saulescu, Ioana; Bojinca, Violeta; Balanescu, Andra; Predeteanu, Denisa; Ionescu, Ruxandra

    2014-01-01

    Clinical response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with biologic agents can be influenced by their pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity. The present study evaluated the concordance between serum drug and antidrug levels as well as the clinical response in RA patients treated with biological agents who experience their first disease exacerbation while being on a stable biologic treatment. 154 RA patients treated with rituximab (RTX), infliximab (IFX), adalimumab (ADL), or etanercept (ETN) were included. DAS28, SDAI, and EULAR response were assessed at baseline and reevaluated at precise time intervals. At the time of their first sign of inadequate response, patients were tested for both serum drug level and antidrug antibodies level. At the next reevaluation, patients retreated with RTX that had detectable drug level had a better EULAR response (P = 0.038) with lower DAS28 and SDAI scores (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03). The same tendency was observed in patients treated with IFX and ETN regarding EULAR response (P = 0.002 and P = 0.023), DAS28 score (P = 0.002 and P = 0.003), and SDAI score (P = 0.001 and P = 0.026). Detectable biologic drug levels correlated with a better clinical response in patients experiencing their first RA inadequate response while being on a stable biologic treatment with RTX, IFX, and ETN.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26132866

  12. Effects of simulated rare earth recycling wastewaters on biological nitrification

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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.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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:17630721

  15. IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS EFFICIENCY USING A MULTI-AGENT SIMULATION FOR HIGHWAY PATROL ON URBAN EXPRESSWAY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Taro; Taniguchi, Eiichi; Yamada, Tadashi

    In Japan, the network of urban expressway has been expanding with the development of urban areas. However, the patrol systems in the urban expressway has not been operated on the basis of scientific evidence, but of conformity and experience. It is therefore crucial to efficiently operate such systems, not only to facilitate the rapid recovery of decreased expressway functionality, but also to acquire the income that supports the operation of privatized expressway companies. Therefore, we develop a multiagent simulation model consisting of the decision-making of four agents, including expressway company, highway patol company, road network users and road authority. These agents determines their schemes depending on their profit obtained. Results of the simulation identyfies the schemes that could offer the profits to the expressway companies in terms of the convenience of the users and the improvement of their operation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Laboratory evaluation of two native fishes from tropical North Queensland as biological control agents of subterranean Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Russell, B M; Wang, J; Williams, Y; Hearnden, M N; Kay, B H

    2001-06-01

    The ability of 2 freshwater fishes, eastern rainbow fish Melanotaenia splendida splendida and fly-specked hardyhead Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum stercusmuscarum, native to North Queensland to prey on immature Aedes aegypti was evaluated under laboratory conditions. The predation efficiency of the 2 species was compared to the exotic guppy, Poecilia reticulata, which is commonly used as a biological control agent of mosquito larvae. Of the 3 fish species tested, M. s. splendida was shown to be the most promising agent for the biological control of Ae. aegypti that breed in wells. Melanotaenia s. splendida consumed significantly greater numbers of immature Ae. aegypti than P. reticulata, irrespective of developmental stage or light conditions. Unlike C s. stercusmuscarum, M. s. splendida could be handled, transported, and kept in captivity for extended periods with negligible mortality. However, M. s. splendida was also an efficient predator of Litoria caerulea tadpoles, a species of native frog found in wells during the dry season. This result may limit the usefulness of M. s. splendida as a biological control agent of well-breeding Ae. aegypti and suggests that predacious copepods, Mesocyclops spp., are more suitable. However, the use of M. s. splendida as a mosquito control agent in containers that are unlikely to support frog populations (e.g., aquaculture tanks and drinking troughs) should be given serious consideration. PMID:11480819

  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. Quantitative agent-based firm dynamics simulation with parameters estimated by financial and transaction data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, Yuichi; Souma, Wataru; Aoyama, Hideaki; Iyetomi, Hiroshi; Fujiwara, Yoshi; Kaizoji, Taisei

    2007-03-01

    Firm dynamics on a transaction network is considered from the standpoint of econophysics, agent-based simulations, and game theory. In this model, interacting firms rationally invest in a production facility to maximize net present value. We estimate parameters used in the model through empirical analysis of financial and transaction data. We propose two different methods ( analytical method and regression method) to obtain an interaction matrix of firms. On a subset of a real transaction network, we simulate firm's revenue, cost, and fixed asset, which is the accumulated investment for the production facility. The simulation reproduces the quantitative behavior of past revenues and costs within a standard error when we use the interaction matrix estimated by the regression method, in which only transaction pairs are taken into account. Furthermore, the simulation qualitatively reproduces past data of fixed assets.

  4. GridLAB-D: An Agent-Based Simulation Framework for Smart Grids

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Multi-timescale event-scheduling in multi-agent immune simulation models.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zaiyi; Tay, Joc Cing

    2008-01-01

    Multi-agent (or MA) -based design approaches have received much research attention lately for modeling immunological systems due to their efficacy in representing non-heterogeneous behaviors in the population under dynamic environmental and topological conditions. The update scheme of a MA model refers to the frequency of agent state updates and how these are related in temporal order. In contrast to verifiable agent behavioral rules at the individual level, the update scheme is a design decision made by the model developer at the systems level that is subject to realism and computational efficiency issues that directly affect the credibility and the usefulness of the simulation results. Previous works have mainly focused on the issue of realism with respect to synchrony of updates but have often overlooked the necessary heterogeneity in update frequencies due to multi-timescales in immunological phenomena. To incorporate such multi-timescales for realism, the efficiency of the update scheme arises as a nontrivial issue. An event-scheduling based asynchronous update scheme has the advantage of allowing arbitrary smaller timescales for realism and avoiding unnecessary execution and delays to achieve efficiency. In this paper we present the application of the event-scheduling update scheme to realistically model the B cell life cycle, and empirically compare its simulation performance with the widely adopted uniform time-step update scheme. The simulation results show a significantly reduced execution time (40 times faster) and also reveal the conditions where the event-scheduling update scheme is superior.

  8. 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.

  9. Multiple functional UV devices based on III-Nitride quantum wells for biological warfare agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qin; Savage, Susan; Persson, Sirpa; Noharet, Bertrand; Junique, Stéphane; Andersson, Jan Y.; Liuolia, Vytautas; Marcinkevicius, Saulius

    2009-02-01

    We have demonstrated surface normal detecting/filtering/emitting multiple functional ultraviolet (UV) optoelectronic devices based on InGaN/GaN, InGaN/AlGaN and AlxGa1-xN/AlyGa1-yN multiple quantum well (MQW) structures with operation wavelengths ranging from 270 nm to 450 nm. Utilizing MQW structure as device active layer offers a flexibility to tune its long cut-off wavelength in a wide UV range from solar-blind to visible by adjusting the well width, well composition and barrier height. Similarly, its short cut-off wavelength can be adjusted by using a GaN or AlGaN block layer on a sapphire substrate when the device is illuminated from its backside, which further provides an optical filtering effect. When a current injects into the device under forward bias the device acts as an UV light emitter, whereas the device performs as a typical photodetector under reverse biases. With applying an alternating external bias the device might be used as electroabsorption modulator due to quantum confined Stark effect. In present work fabricated devices have been characterized by transmission/absorption spectra, photoresponsivity, electroluminescence, and photoluminescence measurements under various forward and reverse biases. The piezoelectric effect, alloy broadening and Stokes shift between the emission and absorption spectra in different InGaN- and AlGaN-based QW structures have been investigated and compared. Possibilities of monolithic or hybrid integration using such multiple functional devices for biological warfare agents sensing application have also be discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Monte Carlo simulations of dose enhancement around gold nanoparticles used as X-ray imaging contrast agents and radiosensitizers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, W. B.; Müllner, M.; Greiter, M. B.; Bissardon, C.; Xie, W. Z.; Schlatll, H.; Oeh, U.; Li, J. L.; Hoeschen, C.

    2014-03-01

    Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were demonstrated as X-ray imaging contrast agents and radiosensitizers in mice. However, the translational medical applications of GNPs in to the clinical practice need further detailed information on the biological effects related to the enhanced doses in malignant and healthy cells. The idea of improving radiotherapy with high atomic number materials, especially gold foils, was initiated in our research unit in the 1980s. Recently, experimental and theoretical efforts were made to investigate the potential improvement of imaging and radiotherapy with GNPs. Initially, the present work attempts to validate the dose enhancement effects of GNPs to cancer cells; secondly, it intends to examine the possible side effects on healthy cells when using GNPs as X-ray contrast agent. In this study, three Monte Carlo simulation programs, namely PENELOPE-2011, GEANT4 and EGSnrc were used to simulate the local energy deposition and the resulting dose enhancement of GNPs. Diameters of the GNPs were assumed to be 2 nm, 15 nm, 50 nm, 100 nm and 200 nm. The X-ray energy spectra for irradiation were 60 kVp, 80 kVp, 100 kVp, 150 kVp with a filtering of 2.7 mm Al for projectional radiography, and 8 mm Al for 100 kVp and 150 kVp for computed tomography. Additional peak energy of 200 kVp was simulated for radiotherapy purpose. The information of energy deposition and dose enhancement can help understanding the physical processes of medical imaging and the implication of nanoparticles in radiotherapy.

  13. Biological UV dosimeters in simulated space irradiation conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rontó, G.; Bérces, A.; Fekete, A.; Kovács, G.; Lammer, H.

    For the measurement of the harmful biological effect of solar UV radiation bacteriophage T7 and polycrystalline uracil dosimeters were used. For terrestrial dosimetric purposes bacteriophage T7 has been applied in solution, while uracil in the form of thin layers. For space irradiation dosimetry the uracil, phage T7-DNA and bacteriophage T7 thin layer samples were prepared in vacuum tightly closed sandwich forms covered either by calciumfluoride or quartz windows. The experimental conditions tested correspond to the conditions planned in the EXPOSE facility: the samples were surrounded by nitrogen atmosphere at various humidities, their vacuum stability was tested in the vacuum chamber of the Institute of Space Research,, Graz. All kinds of the thin film samples have been stored in an atmosphere containing Nitrogen and Hidrogen, in quality control no change in the structure of them has been found. To attenuate the high extraterrestrial irradiance neutral filters of 0.5 and 1.0 optical densities have been tested. Irradiation of the samples has been performed with various UV sources: solar simulator, low pressure Mercury lamp, Deuterium lamp. Dose-effect functions have been determined using for the evaluation spectrophotometry in the characteristic UV range, HPLC of photoproducts, PCR of two different primer sequences of phage T7-DNA. Photoproduct formation kinetics was followed by the saturation level of uracil thin layer. Attenuation ability of the neutral filters was controlled with low pressure Mercury lamp by the exposure necessary for saturation of uracil dosimeters. A three and tenfold increase in the exposure was found respectively, while the influence of spectral composition of the irradiation source was tested using Deuterium lamp supplied with Ca F2 and quartz filters respectively. A doubling of the irradiance was necessary for the saturation of uracil with quartz filter.

  14. Detection and tracking of a novel genetically tagged biological simulant in the environment.

    PubMed

    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; Gibbons, Henry S

    2012-12-01

    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

  15. Detection and tracking of a novel genetically tagged biological simulant in the environment.

    PubMed

    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; Gibbons, Henry S

    2012-12-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Simulation and Implementation of Ultrasonic Remote Sensing Agents for Reconfigurable Nde Scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobie, G.; Spencer, A.; Pierce, S. G.; Galbraith, W.; Worden, K.; Hayward, G.

    2009-03-01

    Remote Sensing Agents (RSAs), in the form of miniature robotic platforms, offer unique possibilities for structural inspection. Autonomous groups of RSAs can quickly cover large areas, access hazardous and inaccessible environments and work together intelligently to detect, localize and identify defects. This paper describes such a concept, using wireless RSAs that incorporate air-coupled Lamb wave ultrasonic sensors, combined with magnetic traction. The work focuses on reconfigurable array scanning in plates, where the ability to reconfigure the scanner intelligently requires an understanding of the ultrasonic wave generation, its propagation and the mechanics, positioning and control of the RSAs. To this end, a simulation of the complete system has been created. Ultrasonic generation has been modeled by the Linear Systems 1D Model; the resulting wave propagation is modeled in 3D using the Local Interaction Simulation Approach and a dynamic simulation of the RSA was used to model the transducer positions. The complete model is used to evaluate and optimize inspection strategies.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Parallel Agent-Based Simulations on Clusters of GPUs and Multi-Core Processors

    SciTech Connect

    Aaby, Brandon G; Perumalla, Kalyan S; Seal, Sudip K

    2010-01-01

    An effective latency-hiding mechanism is presented in the parallelization of agent-based model simulations (ABMS) with millions of agents. The mechanism is designed to accommodate the hierarchical organization as well as heterogeneity of current state-of-the-art parallel computing platforms. We use it to explore the computation vs. communication trade-off continuum available with the deep computational and memory hierarchies of extant platforms and present a novel analytical model of the tradeoff. We describe our implementation and report preliminary performance results on two distinct parallel platforms suitable for ABMS: CUDA threads on multiple, networked graphical processing units (GPUs), and pthreads on multi-core processors. Message Passing Interface (MPI) is used for inter-GPU as well as inter-socket communication on a cluster of multiple GPUs and multi-core processors. Results indicate the benefits of our latency-hiding scheme, delivering as much as over 100-fold improvement in runtime for certain benchmark ABMS application scenarios with several million agents. This speed improvement is obtained on our system that is already two to three orders of magnitude faster on one GPU than an equivalent CPU-based execution in a popular simulator in Java. Thus, the overall execution of our current work is over four orders of magnitude faster when executed on multiple GPUs.

  5. 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).

  6. Early indicators of exposure to biological threat agents using host gene profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells

    PubMed Central

    Das, Rina; Hammamieh, Rasha; Neill, Roger; Ludwig, George V; Eker, Steven; Lincoln, Patrick; Ramamoorthy, Preveen; Dhokalia, Apsara; Mani, Sachin; Mendis, Chanaka; Cummings, Christiano; Kearney, Brian; Royaee, Atabak; Huang, Xiao-Zhe; Paranavitana, Chrysanthi; Smith, Leonard; Peel, Sheila; Kanesa-Thasan, Niranjan; Hoover, David; Lindler, Luther E; Yang, David; Henchal, Erik; Jett, Marti

    2008-01-01

    Background Effective prophylaxis and treatment for infections caused by biological threat agents (BTA) rely upon early diagnosis and rapid initiation of therapy. Most methods for identifying pathogens in body fluids and tissues require that the pathogen proliferate to detectable and dangerous levels, thereby delaying diagnosis and treatment, especially during the prelatent stages when symptoms for most BTA are indistinguishable flu-like signs. Methods To detect exposures to the various pathogens more rapidly, especially during these early stages, we evaluated a suite of host responses to biological threat agents using global gene expression profiling on complementary DNA arrays. Results We found that certain gene expression patterns were unique to each pathogen and that other gene changes occurred in response to multiple agents, perhaps relating to the eventual course of illness. Nonhuman primates were exposed to some pathogens and the in vitro and in vivo findings were compared. We found major gene expression changes at the earliest times tested post exposure to aerosolized B. anthracis spores and 30 min post exposure to a bacterial toxin. Conclusion Host gene expression patterns have the potential to serve as diagnostic markers or predict the course of impending illness and may lead to new stage-appropriate therapeutic strategies to ameliorate the devastating effects of exposure to biothreat agents. PMID:18667072

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. PMID:26910525

  11. 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

  12. Attaching Biological Probes to Silica Optical Biosensors Using Silane Coupling Agents

    PubMed Central

    Soteropulos, Carol E.; Hunt, Heather K.

    2012-01-01

    pair, e.g. antibodies / antigens) through surface modification.2 Although WGM optical resonators can be fabricated in several geometries from a variety of material systems, the silica microsphere is the most common. These microspheres are generally fabricated on the end of an optical fiber, which provides a "stem" by which the microspheres can be handled during functionalization and detection experiments. Silica surface chemistries may be applied to attach probe molecules to their surfaces; however, traditional techniques generated for planar substrates are often not adequate for these three-dimensional structures, as any changes to the surface of the microspheres (dust, contamination, surface defects, and uneven coatings) can have severe, negative consequences on their detection capabilities. Here, we demonstrate a facile approach for the surface functionalization of silica microsphere WGM optical resonators using silane coupling agents to bridge the inorganic surface and the biological environment, by attaching biotin to the silica surface.8,16 Although we use silica microsphere WGM resonators as the sensor system in this report, the protocols are general and can be used to functionalize the surface of any silica device with biotin. PMID:22588224

  13. 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. PMID:27648231

  14. Process Simulation of Complex Biological Pathways in Physical Reactive Space and Reformulated for Massively Parallel Computing Platforms.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, Narayan; Li, Jie; Sharma, Vishakha; Jiang, Hanyu; Compagnoni, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Biological systems encompass complexity that far surpasses many artificial systems. Modeling and simulation of large and complex biochemical pathways is a computationally intensive challenge. Traditional tools, such as ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, stochastic master equations, and Gillespie type methods, are all limited either by their modeling fidelity or computational efficiency or both. In this work, we present a scalable computational framework based on modeling biochemical reactions in explicit 3D space, that is suitable for studying the behavior of large and complex biological pathways. The framework is designed to exploit parallelism and scalability offered by commodity massively parallel processors such as the graphics processing units (GPUs) and other parallel computing platforms. The reaction modeling in 3D space is aimed at enhancing the realism of the model compared to traditional modeling tools and framework. We introduce the Parallel Select algorithm that is key to breaking the sequential bottleneck limiting the performance of most other tools designed to study biochemical interactions. The algorithm is designed to be computationally tractable, handle hundreds of interacting chemical species and millions of independent agents by considering all-particle interactions within the system. We also present an implementation of the framework on the popular graphics processing units and apply it to the simulation study of JAK-STAT Signal Transduction Pathway. The computational framework will offer a deeper insight into various biological processes within the cell and help us observe key events as they unfold in space and time. This will advance the current state-of-the-art in simulation study of large scale biological systems and also enable the realistic simulation study of macro-biological cultures, where inter-cellular interactions are prevalent.

  15. Simulation-based examination of the limits of performance for decentralized multi-agent surveillance and tracking of undersea targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Cameron K.; Newman, Andrew J.; Spall, James C.

    2014-06-01

    This paper examines the limits of performance for an ensemble of cooperating, mobile sensing agents executing an undersea surveillance mission. The objective of the multi-agent ensemble is to minimize uncertainty concerning the presence and location of targets as the multi-target system evolves over time. Each agent is capable of sensing, communicating with other agents, processing data to infer states of interest (fusion), and deciding on and executing motion commands. Each agent continually executes a perception-action cycle in which it fuses information to determine its best estimate of the multi-target system state and decides on its next (and possibly future) motion action(s) to optimize a criterion related to its entropic state (quantification of information gain or loss). Each agent's perception of the states of interest is derived from measurements captured by its own sensor(s) and information communicated by other agents. Each agent's decisions are based on its estimates of the multi­ target system state, its entropic state, and its predictions of peer agent actions. The multi-agent cooperative decision making can be modeled as a cyclic optimization whereby the joint decision vector is optimized by sequentially optimizing each individual agent's decision vector while holding the others fixed. Moreover, the problem is a cyclic stochastic optimization (CSO) whereby only noisy measurements of the objective function are available to each agent. Preliminary theoretical results have recently emerged regarding convergence conditions and sub-optimality for CSO. This paper examines the implications and applicability of CSO convergence and sub-optimality via simulation- based experiments in the context of a cooperating multi-agent ensemble of undersea sensing agents searching a region for new targets and maintaining track on all discovered targets. Simulation results indicate that the theoretical results provide useful guidance on predicting the empirically

  16. 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.

  17. An agent-based epidemic simulation of social behaviors affecting HIV transmission among Taiwanese homosexuals.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chung-Yuan

    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.

  18. 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..

  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. 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

    2011-08-01

    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. PMID:21691625

  1. 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.

  2. Investigation of Simulated Trading — A multi agent based trading system for optimization purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Johannes J.

    2010-07-01

    Some years ago, Bachem, Hochstättler, and Malich proposed a heuristic algorithm called Simulated Trading for the optimization of vehicle routing problems. Computational agents place buy-orders and sell-orders for customers to be handled at a virtual financial market, the prices of the orders depending on the costs of inserting the customer in the tour or for his removal. According to a proposed rule set, the financial market creates a buy-and-sell graph for the various orders in the order book, intending to optimize the overall system. Here I present a thorough investigation for the application of this algorithm to the traveling salesman problem.

  3. Combination of biobarcode assay with on-chip capillary electrophoresis for ultrasensitive and multiplex biological agent detection.

    PubMed

    Cho, Minkyung; Chung, Soyi; Jung, Jae Hwan; Rhie, Gi-eun; Jeon, Jun Ho; Seo, Tae Seok

    2014-11-15

    Early diagnosis of biological agents is of paramount importance to prevent the casualties and fatal disease in human during bioterrorism or biological warfare. In this study, we reported an efficient and sensitive multiplex biological agent detection method based on the DNA biobarcode assay and the micro-capillary electrophoresis (μCE) technology. Monoplex as well as multiplex pathogen identification was performed using five targets including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Vaccinia virus and Botulinum toxin A. Through the DNA biobarcode assay process, the magnetic microparticle-pathogen-polystyrene microbead complexes were formed, and the FAM labeled single stranded barcode DNA could be released from the complexes upon denaturation. Different lengths of a barcode DNA were designed to designate each pathogen, so that the specific peak elution time in the capillary electrophoresis on a chip allows us to distinguish the target with high accuracy within 3 min. We improved the assignment accuracy of the peak in the electropherogram by adding two bracket ladders. Owing to the abundant amount of barcode DNAs, the presence of B. anthracis, F. tularensis, Y. pestis, Vaccinia virus was confirmed with a limit of detection of 50CFU/mL, while Botulinum toxin A was analyzed even at a concentration of 12.5 ag/mL. Multiple pathogen detection was also successfully conducted in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) as well as a serum medium with background of other pathogens. Thus, our analytical platform based on the biobarcode assay and on-chip CE analysis provides rapid, sensitive, multiplex, and accurate biological agent identification.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26590977

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Detection of simulants and degradation products of chemical warfare agents by vibrational spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Pesante, Orlando; Pacheco-Londoño, Leonardo C.; Primera-Pedrozo, Oliva M.; Ortiz, William; Soto-Feliciano, Yadira M.; Nieves, Deborah E.; Ramirez, Michael L.; Hernández-Rivera, Samuel P.

    2007-04-01

    This work was focused in the measurement of spectroscopic signatures of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants (CWAS) and degradation products of chemical agents using vibrational spectroscopy for the generation of spectroscopic libraries. The chemicals studied were: DMMP, DIMP, 2-CEES, 2-BAET, 1,4-thioxane, thiodiglycol sulfoxide, dihexylamine, cyclohexylamine, among others. Raman microscopy experiments were performed at different excitation wavelengths that spanned from NIR at 1064 and 785 nm to the VIS at 532, 514.5 and 488 nm and even the deep ultraviolet region at 244 nm. For the compounds studied the optimum excitation lines were 488 nm and 532 nm with a laser power of 25 mW. Among the most prominent bands were at these incident wavelengths were located ca. 652 and 1444 cm-1. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in liquid and gas phase and Fiber Optics Coupled-Grazing Angle Probe-FTIR (FOCGAP- FTIR) were used to characterize the spectroscopic signature of target threat agents. The surface experiments were performed at detection levels of about 1 μg/cm2 suggest that limits of detection (LOD) achievable could be as low as nanograms/cm2. Remote sensing experiments were performed using a telescope coupled with a Raman spectrophotometer as a function of power and acquisition time. Characterization of compounds by vibrational spectroscopy and the early stages of the transition from the lab based experiments to remote detection experiments will be presented.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Spatial simulations in systems biology: from molecules to cells.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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.

  13. Modeling the Information Age Combat Model: An Agent-Based Simulation of Network Centric Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deller, Sean; Rabadi, Ghaith A.; Bell, Michael I.; Bowling, Shannon R.; Tolk, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    The Information Age Combat Model (IACM) was introduced by Cares in 2005 to contribute to the development of an understanding of the influence of connectivity on force effectiveness that can eventually lead to quantitative prediction and guidelines for design and employment. The structure of the IACM makes it clear that the Perron-Frobenius Eigenvalue is a quantifiable metric with which to measure the organization of a networked force. The results of recent experiments presented in Deller, et aI., (2009) indicate that the value of the Perron-Frobenius Eigenvalue is a significant measurement of the performance of an Information Age combat force. This was accomplished through the innovative use of an agent-based simulation to model the IACM and represents an initial contribution towards a new generation of combat models that are net-centric instead of using the current platform-centric approach. This paper describes the intent, challenges, design, and initial results of this agent-based simulation model.

  14. A Multi Agent-Based Framework for Simulating Household PHEV Distribution and Electric Distribution Network Impact

    SciTech Connect

    Cui, Xiaohui; Liu, Cheng; Kim, Hoe Kyoung; Kao, Shih-Chieh; Tuttle, Mark A; Bhaduri, Budhendra L

    2011-01-01

    The variation of household attributes such as income, travel distance, age, household member, and education for different residential areas may generate different market penetration rates for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Residential areas with higher PHEV ownership could increase peak electric demand locally and require utilities to upgrade the electric distribution infrastructure even though the capacity of the regional power grid is under-utilized. Estimating the future PHEV ownership distribution at the residential household level can help us understand the impact of PHEV fleet on power line congestion, transformer overload and other unforeseen problems at the local residential distribution network level. It can also help utilities manage the timing of recharging demand to maximize load factors and utilization of existing distribution resources. This paper presents a multi agent-based simulation framework for 1) modeling spatial distribution of PHEV ownership at local residential household level, 2) discovering PHEV hot zones where PHEV ownership may quickly increase in the near future, and 3) estimating the impacts of the increasing PHEV ownership on the local electric distribution network with different charging strategies. In this paper, we use Knox County, TN as a case study to show the simulation results of the agent-based model (ABM) framework. However, the framework can be easily applied to other local areas in the US.

  15. An Agent-based Simulation Model for C. difficile Infection Control

    PubMed Central

    Codella, James; Safdar, Nasia; Heffernan, Rick; Alagoz, Oguzhan

    2014-01-01

    Background. Control of C. difficile infection (CDI) is an increasingly difficult problem for healthcare institutions. There are commonly recommended strategies to combat CDI transmission such as oral vancomycin for CDI treatment, increased hand hygiene with soap and water for healthcare workers, daily environmental disinfection of infected patient rooms, and contact isolation of diseased patients. However, the efficacy of these strategies, particularly for endemic CDI, has not been well studied. The objective of this research is to develop a valid agent-based simulation model (ABM) to study C. difficile transmission and control in a mid-sized hospital. Methods. We develop an ABM of a mid-sized hospital with agents such as patients, healthcare workers, and visitors. We model the natural progression of CDI in a patient using a Markov chain and the transmission of CDI through agent and environmental interactions. We derive input parameters from aggregate patient data from the 2007-2010 Wisconsin Hospital Association and published medical literature. We define a calibration process, which we use to estimate transition probabilities of the Markov model by comparing simulation results to benchmark values found in published literature. Results. Comparing CDI control strategies implemented individually, routine bleach disinfection of CDI+ patient rooms provides the largest reduction in nosocomial asymptomatic colonizations (21.8%) and nosocomial CDIs (42.8%). Additionally, vancomycin treatment provides the largest reduction in relapse CDIs (41.9%), CDI-related mortalities (68.5%), and total patient LOS (21.6%). Conclusion. We develop a generalized ABM for CDI control that can be customized and further expanded to specific institutions and/or scenarios. Additionally, we estimate transition probabilities for a Markov model of natural CDI progression in a patient through calibration. PMID:25112595

  16. Practical guidance on immunogenicity to biologic agents used in the treatment of psoriasis: What can be learnt from other diseases?

    PubMed

    Lambert, Jo; Nast, Alexander; Nestle, Frank O; Prinz, Jörg C

    2015-01-01

    The clinical efficacy of biologic agents for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis is well proven in clinical studies, but patients may lose response over time. Loss of response may be due to immunogenicity and the formation of anti-drug antibodies (ADA). Although data on the immunogenicity of drugs used to treat psoriasis are now emerging, more information on the impact of factors, such as dosing regimens and concomitant immunosuppressive therapy is needed. Exploring research from other disease areas where immunogenicity has long been recognised as a significant clinical issue may help in developing future strategies for using drug level and ADA measurements to help tailor biologic therapy to meet individual needs. To this end, we analyse what is known about biologics and immunogenicity in psoriasis. In order to learn from other indications, we then address the issue of immunogenicity for three different types of biologic treatments. First, factor VIII-substitution in haemophilia, where the immune system is newly exposed to a physiologic but formerly absent protein. Second, the use of biologics in inflammatory bowel disease, where similar treatment challenges apply as observed in psoriasis. Third, immunogenicity in multiple sclerosis caused by therapeutic antibodies or interferons. Immunogenicity strategies used in other disease areas will need to be tested in psoriasis before they can be widely adopted in routine clinical practice.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Selection of reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis in a predatory biological control agent, Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chunxiao; Pan, Huipeng; Noland, Jeffrey Edward; Zhang, Deyong; Zhang, Zhanhong; Liu, Yong; Zhou, Xuguo

    2015-01-01

    Reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a reliable technique for quantifying gene expression across various biological processes, of which requires a set of suited reference genes to normalize the expression data. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is one of the most extensively used biological control agents in the field to manage arthropod pest species. In this study, expression profiles of 16 housekeeping genes selected from C. maculata were cloned and investigated. The performance of these candidates as endogenous controls under specific experimental conditions was evaluated by dedicated algorithms, including geNorm, Normfinder, BestKeeper, and ΔCt method. In addition, RefFinder, a comprehensive platform integrating all the above-mentioned algorithms, ranked the overall stability of these candidate genes. As a result, various sets of suitable reference genes were recommended specifically for experiments involving different tissues, developmental stages, sex, and C. maculate larvae treated with dietary double stranded RNA. This study represents the critical first step to establish a standardized RT-qPCR protocol for the functional genomics research in a ladybeetle C. maculate. Furthermore, it lays the foundation for conducting ecological risk assessment of RNAi-based gene silencing biotechnologies on non-target organisms; in this case, a key predatory biological control agent. PMID:26656102

  20. Combining Semantic Web technologies with Multi-Agent Systems for integrated access to biological resources.

    PubMed

    García-Sánchez, Francisco; Fernández-Breis, Jesualdo Tomás; Valencia-García, Rafael; Gómez, Juan Miguel; Martínez-Béjar, Rodrigo

    2008-10-01

    The increasing volume and diversity of information in biomedical research is demanding new approaches for data integration in this domain. Semantic Web technologies and applications can leverage the potential of biomedical information integration and discovery, facing the problem of semantic heterogeneity of biomedical information sources. In such an environment, agent technology can assist users in discovering and invoking the services available on the Internet. In this paper we present SEMMAS, an ontology-based, domain-independent framework for seamlessly integrating Intelligent Agents and Semantic Web Services. Our approach is backed with a proof-of-concept implementation where the breakthrough and efficiency of integrating disparate biomedical information sources have been tested.

  1. Real-time PCR assay for detection of a new simulant for poxvirus biothreat agents.

    PubMed

    Garnier, Laurence; Gaudin, Jean-Christophe; Bensadoun, Paul; Rebillat, Isabelle; Morel, Yannick

    2009-03-01

    Research and financial efforts spent on biodefense technologies highlight the current concern for biothreat event preparedness. Nonhazardous but relevant "simulant" microorganisms are typically used to simplify technological developments, testing, and staff training. The bacteriophage MS2, a small RNA virus, is classically used as the reference simulant for biothreat viruses within the biodefense community. However, variola virus, considered a major threat, displays very different features (size, envelope, and double-stranded DNA genome). The size parameter is critical for aerosol sampling, detection, and protection/filtration technologies. Therefore, a panel of relevant simulants should be used to cover the diversity of biothreat agents. Thus, we investigated a new virus model, the Cydia pomonella granulovirus (baculovirus), which is currently used as a biopesticide. It displays a size similar to that of poxviruses, is enveloped, and contains double-stranded DNA. To provide a molecular tool to detect and quantify this model virus, we developed an assay based on real-time PCR, with a limit of detection ranging from roughly 10 to a few tens of target copies per microl according to the sample matrix. The specificity of the assay against a large panel of potential cross-reactive microorganisms was checked, and the suitability of the assay for environmental samples, especially aerosol studies, was determined. In conclusion, we suggest that our PCR assay allows Cydia pomonella granulovirus to be used as a simulant for poxviruses. This assay may also be useful for environmental or crop treatment studies. PMID:19168659

  2. An artificial intelligence approach for modeling molecular self-assembly: agent-based simulations of rigid molecules.

    PubMed

    Fortuna, Sara; Troisi, Alessandro

    2009-07-23

    Agent-based simulations are rule-based models traditionally used for the simulations of complex systems. In this paper, an algorithm based on the concept of agent-based simulations is developed to predict the lowest energy packing of a set of identical rigid molecules. The agents are identified with rigid portions of the system under investigation, and they evolve following a set of rules designed to drive the system toward the lowest energy minimum. The algorithm is compared with a conventional Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm, and it is applied on a large set of representative models of molecules. For all the systems studied, the agent-based method consistently finds a significantly lower energy minima than the Monte Carlo algorithm because the system evolution includes elements of adaptation (new configurations induce new types of moves) and learning (past successful choices are repeated).

  3. 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)

  4. Future Directions in Biological Systems Simulation - A Role for ICASA?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications (ICASA) advances systems research in agriculture and natural resource management by promoting the development and application of systems analysis tools and methodologies. This goal emphasizes, but is not limited to, simulation models...

  5. [Practical guide for the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - December 2011 update].

    PubMed

    Mourão, Ana Filipa; Fonseca, João Eurico; Canhão, Helena; Santos, Maria José; Bernardo, Alexandra; Cordeiro, Ana; Cravo, Ana Rita; Ribeiro, Ana; Teixeira, Ana; Barcelos, Anabela; Malcata, Armando; Faustino, Augusto; Duarte, Cátia; Ribeiro, Célia; Nour, Dolores; Araújo, Domingos; Sousa, Elsa; Mariz, Eva; Ramos, Filipa; Vinagre, Filipe; Ventura, Francisco Simões; Sequeira, Graça; Santos, Helena; Branco, Jaime Cunha; Gomes, J A; Silva, J A; Ramos, João; Santo, Jorge Espírito; Costa, José António; Silva, J A; Ribeiro, José Saraiva; Inês, Luís; Miranda, Luís; Sampaio, Luzia; Costa, Maria Lúcia; Rodrigues, Mário; Afonso, Maria Carmo; Cunha, Maria Inês; Saavedra, Maria João; Queiroz, Mário Viana; Couto, Maura; Bernardes, Miguel; Bogas, Mónica; Pinto, Patrícia; Valente, Paula; Coelho, Paulo; Abreu, Pedro; Cortes, Sara; Pimenta, Sofia; Ramiro, Sofia; Figueira, Ricardo; Nóvoa, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    The authors review the practical aspects of biological therapy use for rheumatoid arthritis patients, commenting safety issues before and after treatment initiation and the best treatment strategies to optimize efficacy.

  6. Integrating the Agents of Bioterrorism into the General Biology Curriculum: 1. A Primer on Bioterrorism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pommerville, Jeffrey

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the history of and describes what biology educators should know about the topic of bioterrorism. Suggests materials that can be used to communicate more effectively with students and the community and prepare a classroom discussion on bioterrorism. (KHR)

  7. Utilization of an introduced weed biological control agent by a native parasitoid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A native parasitoid, Kalopolynema ema (Schauff and Grissell) (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae), that usually parasitizes the eggs of Megamelus davisi VanDuzee (Hemiptera, Delphacidae), has begun utilizing a new host, Megamelus scutellaris (Berg) (Hemiptera, Delphacidae), the introduced biological control age...

  8. [Practical guide for the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - December 2011 update].

    PubMed

    Mourão, Ana Filipa; Fonseca, João Eurico; Canhão, Helena; Santos, Maria José; Bernardo, Alexandra; Cordeiro, Ana; Cravo, Ana Rita; Ribeiro, Ana; Teixeira, Ana; Barcelos, Anabela; Malcata, Armando; Faustino, Augusto; Duarte, Cátia; Ribeiro, Célia; Nour, Dolores; Araújo, Domingos; Sousa, Elsa; Mariz, Eva; Ramos, Filipa; Vinagre, Filipe; Ventura, Francisco Simões; Sequeira, Graça; Santos, Helena; Branco, Jaime Cunha; Gomes, J A; Silva, J A; Ramos, João; Santo, Jorge Espírito; Costa, José António; Silva, J A; Ribeiro, José Saraiva; Inês, Luís; Miranda, Luís; Sampaio, Luzia; Costa, Maria Lúcia; Rodrigues, Mário; Afonso, Maria Carmo; Cunha, Maria Inês; Saavedra, Maria João; Queiroz, Mário Viana; Couto, Maura; Bernardes, Miguel; Bogas, Mónica; Pinto, Patrícia; Valente, Paula; Coelho, Paulo; Abreu, Pedro; Cortes, Sara; Pimenta, Sofia; Ramiro, Sofia; Figueira, Ricardo; Nóvoa, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    The authors review the practical aspects of biological therapy use for rheumatoid arthritis patients, commenting safety issues before and after treatment initiation and the best treatment strategies to optimize efficacy. PMID:22472930

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 Ja...

  10. First report of an egg parasitoid reared from Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) a biological control agent of Lygodium microphyllum (Schizaeales: Lygodiaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) was first released in Florida as a biological control agent of Lygodium microphyllum (Polypodiales: Lygodiaceae), Old World climbing fern, in 2008. The first egg parasitoid, a Trichogramma sp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), was reared from N. co...

  11. 76 FR 3076 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Air Potato

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-19

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

  12. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel gigantol derivatives as potential agents in prevention of diabetic cataract

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a continuation of our efforts directed towards the development of natural anti-diabetic cataract agents, gigantol was isolated from Herba dendrobii and was found to inhibit both aldose reductase (AR) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, which play a significant role in the develop...

  13. Heuristic Identification of Biological Architectures for Simulating Complex Hierarchical Genetic Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jason H; Amos, Ryan; Kiralis, Jeff; Andrews, Peter C

    2015-01-01

    Simulation plays an essential role in the development of new computational and statistical methods for the genetic analysis of complex traits. Most simulations start with a statistical model using methods such as linear or logistic regression that specify the relationship between genotype and phenotype. This is appealing due to its simplicity and because these statistical methods are commonly used in genetic analysis. It is our working hypothesis that simulations need to move beyond simple statistical models to more realistically represent the biological complexity of genetic architecture. The goal of the present study was to develop a prototype genotype–phenotype simulation method and software that are capable of simulating complex genetic effects within the context of a hierarchical biology-based framework. Specifically, our goal is to simulate multilocus epistasis or gene–gene interaction where the genetic variants are organized within the framework of one or more genes, their regulatory regions and other regulatory loci. We introduce here the Heuristic Identification of Biological Architectures for simulating Complex Hierarchical Interactions (HIBACHI) method and prototype software for simulating data in this manner. This approach combines a biological hierarchy, a flexible mathematical framework, a liability threshold model for defining disease endpoints, and a heuristic search strategy for identifying high-order epistatic models of disease susceptibility. We provide several simulation examples using genetic models exhibiting independent main effects and three-way epistatic effects. PMID:25395175

  14. Effects of pollutant accumulation by the invasive weed saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) on the biological control agent Diorhabda elongata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    PubMed

    Sorensen, Mary A; Parker, David R; Trumble, John T

    2009-02-01

    Hydroponic greenhouse studies were used to investigate the effect of four anthropogenic pollutants (perchlorate (ClO4(-)), selenium (Se), manganese (Mn), and hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI))) on the biological control agent Diorhabda elongata Brullé. Contaminant concentrations were quantified for experimental Tamarix ramosissima Ledab. plants and D. elongata beetles. Growth of larvae was significantly reduced by Se contamination, but was not affected by the presence of perchlorate, Mn, or Cr (VI). All of the contaminants were transferred from plants to D. elongata beetles. Only Cr (VI) was accumulated at greater levels in beetles than in their food. Because T. ramosissima grows in disturbed areas, acquires salts readily, and utilizes groundwater, this plant is likely to accumulate anthropogenic pollutants in contaminated areas. This study is one of the first to investigate the potential of an anthropogenic pollutant to influence a weed biological control system.

  15. Differences in seasonal variation between two biotypes of Megamelus scutellaris (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), a biological control agent for Eichhornia crassipes in Florida.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate matching between the native and adventive ranges of insects used for biological control is a generally accepted strategy for both increasing the likelihood of establishing an agent, as well as improving its overall performance, thereby maximizing the potential utility of an agent across the...

  16. Detailed Simulations of Cell Biology with Smoldyn 2.1

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Steven S.; Addy, Nathan J.; Brent, Roger; Arkin, Adam P.

    2010-01-01

    Most cellular processes depend on intracellular locations and random collisions of individual protein molecules. To model these processes, we developed algorithms to simulate the diffusion, membrane interactions, and reactions of individual molecules, and implemented these in the Smoldyn program. Compared to the popular MCell and ChemCell simulators, we found that Smoldyn was in many cases more accurate, more computationally efficient, and easier to use. Using Smoldyn, we modeled pheromone response system signaling among yeast cells of opposite mating type. This model showed that secreted Bar1 protease might help a cell identify the fittest mating partner by sharpening the pheromone concentration gradient. This model involved about 200,000 protein molecules, about 7000 cubic microns of volume, and about 75 minutes of simulated time; it took about 10 hours to run. Over the next several years, as faster computers become available, Smoldyn will allow researchers to model and explore systems the size of entire bacterial and smaller eukaryotic cells. PMID:20300644

  17. Feasibility Study of Using Short Wave Infrared Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (SWIR-CRDS) for Biological Agent Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Aker, Pam M.; Johnson, Timothy J.; Williams, Richard M.; Valentine, Nancy B.

    2007-10-01

    This project focused on determining the feasibility of using short wave infrared (SWIR) cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) as a means for real-time detection of biological aerosols. The first part of the project involved identifying biological agent signatures that could be detected with SWIR CRDS. After an exhaustive search of the open literature it was determined that whole biological spores and/or cells would not be good candidates for direct SWIR CRDS probing because they have no unique SWIR signatures. It was postulated that while whole cells or spores are not good candidates for SWIR CRDS detection, their pyrolysis break-down products might be. A literature search was then conducted to find biological pyrolysis products with low molecular weights and high symmetry since these species most likely would have overtone and combination vibrational bands that can be detected in the SWIR. It was determined that pyrrole, pyridine and picolinamide were good candidates for evaluation. These molecules are formed when proteins and porphyrins, proteins and dipicolinic acid, and dipicolinic acid are pyrolyzed, respectively. The second part of the project involved measuring quantitative SWIR spectra of pyrrole, pyridine and picolinamide in PNNL’s FTIR Spectroscopy Laboratory. Spectral information about these molecules, in the vapor phase is sparse – there were only a few prior studies that measured line positions and no information on absorption cross sections. Absorption cross sections are needed in order to estimate the SWIR CRDS detection sensitivity, and line position determines what type of laser will be needed for the sensor. The results of the spectroscopy studies allowed us to estimate the SWIR CRDS detection sensitivity for pyrrole to be 3 x 1012 molec cm-3 or 0.1 ppmv, and for pyridine it was 1.5 x 1015 molec cm-3 or 0.6 ppmv. These detection sensitivity limits are close what we have measured for ammonia. Given these detection limits we then estimated the

  18. Evaluation of wholesale electric power market rules and financial risk management by agent-based simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Nanpeng

    As U.S. regional electricity markets continue to refine their market structures, designs and rules of operation in various ways, two critical issues are emerging. First, although much experience has been gained and costly and valuable lessons have been learned, there is still a lack of a systematic platform for evaluation of the impact of a new market design from both engineering and economic points of view. Second, the transition from a monopoly paradigm characterized by a guaranteed rate of return to a competitive market created various unfamiliar financial risks for various market participants, especially for the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs). This dissertation uses agent-based simulation methods to tackle the market rules evaluation and financial risk management problems. The California energy crisis in 2000-01 showed what could happen to an electricity market if it did not go through a comprehensive and rigorous testing before its implementation. Due to the complexity of the market structure, strategic interaction between the participants, and the underlying physics, it is difficult to fully evaluate the implications of potential changes to market rules. This dissertation presents a flexible and integrative method to assess market designs through agent-based simulations. Realistic simulation scenarios on a 225-bus system are constructed for evaluation of the proposed PJM-like market power mitigation rules of the California electricity market. Simulation results show that in the absence of market power mitigation, generation company (GenCo) agents facilitated by Q-learning are able to exploit the market flaws and make significantly higher profits relative to the competitive benchmark. The incorporation of PJM-like local market power mitigation rules is shown to be effective in suppressing the exercise of market power. The importance of financial risk management is exemplified by the recent financial crisis. In this

  19. Fire fighting trainers' exposure to carcinogenic agents in smoke diving simulators.

    PubMed

    Laitinen, Juha; Mäkelä, Mauri; Mikkola, Jouni; Huttu, Ismo

    2010-01-15

    It is well known that fire fighters are potentially exposed to various carcinogenic agents at a fire scene. An almost unheeded issue, however, is fire fighters' exposure to carcinogenic agents in smoke diving simulators. Biomonitoring (urinary muconic acid, 1-naphthol and 1-pyrenol), dermal (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and occupational hygiene measurements (cyanides, hydrogen cyanide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde) were used to determine how the burning material, the type of simulator and protective clothing used affect fire fighting trainers' exposure. The highest excretion of 1-pyrenol (sampled 6h after end of exposure, in average 4.3-9.2nmol/L) and emissions of benzene (1.0-2.5mg/m(3)) and hydrogen cyanide (0.2-0.9mg/m(3)) were measured during the burning of conifer plywood and chipboard, and the lowest when pure pine and spruce wood (1.5nmol/L, 0.6mg/m(3), and 0.05mg/m(3)) was burned. However the safest burning material seemed to be propane (1.0nmol/L, 0.2mg/m(3), and not measured). The type of simulator used affected trainers' exposure very clearly. The highest dermal whole body exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were measured in the fire house simulator (in average 1200ng/cm(2)). Clearly lower exposure levels were measured in container training sessions (760ng/cm(2)), where the average dermal exposure level was 35% lower than in the fire house. The exposure levels (30ng/cm(2)) in the gas simulator in turn, were only 4% of the levels in container training sessions. The amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons decreased by 80% on trainers' hands when they used under gloves (in average 8.7ng/cm(2)) compared to those (48.4ng/cm(2)) who did not. There was not difference in protection efficiency against polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons between tested fire suits (Brage and Bristol). PMID:19576276

  20. The ``caterpillar'' simulation model for a biological filament

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Aimee; Lowe, Christopher; Sutton, Adrian

    2009-03-01

    We present a simulation model for an elastic filament in a viscous fluid, relevant for systems ranging from suspensions of paper pulp to micro-organism motility. It incorporates the Stokeslet treatment of the hydrodynamic force. We show that a non-arbitrary choice of the hydrodynamic radius is necessary to recover known dynamic behavior of a fiber with a finite cross-section. Our simulations explore configurations inaccessible by theory. We illustrate the utility of the model by considering the simple scenario of a charged filament in an electric field. Results suggest a circularly polarized electric field is a viable means for aligning microtubules in solution.

  1. Juxtaposition of System Dynamics and Agent-Based Simulation for a Case Study in Immunosenescence

    PubMed Central

    Figueredo, Grazziela P.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in healthcare and in the quality of life significantly increase human life expectancy. With the aging of populations, new un-faced challenges are brought to science. The human body is naturally selected to be well-functioning until the age of reproduction to keep the species alive. However, as the lifespan extends, unseen problems due to the body deterioration emerge. There are several age-related diseases with no appropriate treatment; therefore, the complex aging phenomena needs further understanding. It is known that immunosenescence is highly correlated to the negative effects of aging. In this work we advocate the use of simulation as a tool to assist the understanding of immune aging phenomena. In particular, we are comparing system dynamics modelling and simulation (SDMS) and agent-based modelling and simulation (ABMS) for the case of age-related depletion of naive T cells in the organism. We address the following research questions: Which simulation approach is more suitable for this problem? Can these approaches be employed interchangeably? Is there any benefit of using one approach compared to the other? Results show that both simulation outcomes closely fit the observed data and existing mathematical model; and the likely contribution of each of the naive T cell repertoire maintenance method can therefore be estimated. The differences observed in the outcomes of both approaches are due to the probabilistic character of ABMS contrasted to SDMS. However, they do not interfere in the overall expected dynamics of the populations. In this case, therefore, they can be employed interchangeably, with SDMS being simpler to implement and taking less computational resources. PMID:25807273

  2. DNA-damaging agents in cancer chemotherapy: serendipity and chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Cheung-Ong, Kahlin; Giaever, Guri; Nislow, Corey

    2013-05-23

    DNA-damaging agents have a long history of use in cancer chemotherapy. The full extent of their cellular mechanisms, which is essential to balance efficacy and toxicity, is often unclear. In addition, the use of many anticancer drugs is limited by dose-limiting toxicities as well as the development of drug resistance. Novel anticancer compounds are continually being developed in the hopes of addressing these limitations; however, it is essential to be able to evaluate these compounds for their mechanisms of action. This review covers the current DNA-damaging agents used in the clinic, discusses their limitations, and describes the use of chemical genomics to uncover new information about the DNA damage response network and to evaluate novel DNA-damaging compounds. PMID:23706631

  3. Effectiveness and Toxicity of Several DTPA Broadening Agents for Biological ESR Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaplatin, A. N.; Baker, Kent A.; Kleinhans, F. W.

    1996-03-01

    The effectiveness of a standard ESR broadening agent, potassium trioxalatochromiate (CrOx), for use with the spin-label tempone, was compared to that of diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) containing an ion (Gd, Cr, Mn, Fe) with a large magnetic moment. Signal attenuation, line broadening, toxicity, and cell membrane permeability were compared. As a broadening agent, CrOx was most effective, followed by Fe-DTPA. CrOx proved mildly toxic while Gd-DTPA and Fe-DTPA were virtually nontoxic. The human red blood cell membrane was tested for permeability to Fe- and Gd-DTPA and found to be impermeable to both. In situations where toxicity to cells is critical, the DTPA chelates, particularly Fe-DTPA, may prove an acceptable substitute for CrOx.

  4. Multi-Agent Modeling and Simulation Approach for Design and Analysis of MER Mission Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seah, Chin; Sierhuis, Maarten; Clancey, William J.

    2005-01-01

    A space mission operations system is a complex network of human organizations, information and deep-space network systems and spacecraft hardware. As in other organizations, one of the problems in mission operations is managing the relationship of the mission information systems related to how people actually work (practices). Brahms, a multi-agent modeling and simulation tool, was used to model and simulate NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission work practice. The objective was to investigate the value of work practice modeling for mission operations design. From spring 2002 until winter 2003, a Brahms modeler participated in mission systems design sessions and operations testing for the MER mission held at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He observed how designers interacted with the Brahms tool. This paper discussed mission system designers' reactions to the simulation output during model validation and the presentation of generated work procedures. This project spurred JPL's interest in the Brahms model, but it was never included as part of the formal mission design process. We discuss why this occurred. Subsequently, we used the MER model to develop a future mission operations concept. Team members were reluctant to use the MER model, even though it appeared to be highly relevant to their effort. We describe some of the tool issues we encountered.

  5. Impact of road environment on drivers' behaviors in dilemma zone: Application of agent-based simulation.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sojung; Son, Young-Jun; Chiu, Yi-Chang; Jeffers, Mary Anne B; Yang, C Y David

    2016-11-01

    At a signalized intersection, there exists an area where drivers become indecisive as to either stop their car or proceed through when the traffic signal turns yellow. This point, called a dilemma zone, has remained a safety concern for drivers due to the great possibility of a rear-end or right-angle crash occurring. In order to reduce the risk of car crashes at the dilemma zone, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) recommended a dilemma zone model. The model, however, fails to provide precise calculations on the decision of drivers because it disregards the supplemental roadway information, such as whether a red light camera is present. Hence, the goal of this study was to incorporate such roadway environmental factors into a more realistic driver decision-making model for the dilemma zone. A driving simulator was used to determine the influence of roadway conditions on decision-making of real drivers. Following data collection, each driver's decision outcomes were implemented in an Agent-Based Simulation (ABS) so as to analyze behaviors under realistic road environments. The experimental results revealed that the proposed dilemma zone model was able to accurately predict the decisions of drivers. Specifically, the model confirmed the findings from the driving simulator study that the changes in the roadway environment reduced the number of red light violations at an intersection.

  6. Comparative antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles synthesised by biological and chemical routes with pluronic F68 as a stabilising agent.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carolina Alves Dos; Seckler, Marcelo Martins; Ingle, Avinash P; Rai, Mahendra

    2016-08-01

    The authors report the comparative antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles synthesised by biological (using Fusarium oxysporum) and chemical routes in the presence and absence of pluronic F68 as a stabilising agent. The production of silver nanoparticles was evidenced by UV-visible spectra, with absorbance at about 420 nm in the case of both biological and chemical synthesis. X-ray diffraction pattern confirmed the presence of face-centred cubic structure (FCC plane). The nanoparticles characterised by transmission and scanning electron microscopy showed spherical silver nanoparticles with size range of 5-40 and 10-70 nm in the case of biologically and chemically synthesised nanoparticles, respectively. Addition of pluronic F68 showed the stabilisation of silver nanoparticles. Antibacterial efficacy of silver nanoparticles demonstrated different inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Overall, biologically synthesised silver nanoparticles showed higher activity as compared with chemically synthesised nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles synthesised in the presence of pluronic F68 by the chemical route exhibited synergism in antibacterial activity as compared with those synthesised without pluronic F68. On the contrary, biogenic silver nanoparticles without pluronic F68 showed higher antibacterial potential. PMID:27463790

  7. Reproductive Requirements and Life Cycle of Iberorhyzobius rondensis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Potential Biological Control Agent of Matsucoccus feytaudi (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae).

    PubMed

    Tavares, C; Jactel, H; van Halder, I; Branco, M

    2015-06-01

    Several pine bast scales (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae) are important pests of pine trees in the Northern Hemisphere. Some species are invasive and cause significant economic and environmental impacts. Such is the case with Matsucoccus feytaudi Ducasse, an invasive pest of maritime pine forests in Southeastern France, Italy, and Corsica. The ladybird Iberorhyzobius rondensis (Eizaguirre) is a recently described species that is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is a potential candidate for the biological control of M. feytaudi. However, little is known of the biology of I. rondensis. As part of the risk assessment study for a classical biological control program, the phenology and reproductive mechanisms of the beetle were analyzed. I. rondensis is univoltine and is seasonally synchronized with the phenology of the prey M. feytaudi, which is also univoltine. An obligatory reproductive diapause of 5-6 mo and the need to feed on the eggs of the prey to begin oviposition emerged as the two primary mechanisms that assure life cycle synchronization of the ladybird with its prey. Female fecundity was also higher when the ladybirds were fed M. feytaudi eggs. Life cycle synchronization with M. feytaudi and reproduction triggered by consumption of prey eggs indicate that I. rondensis is a promising biological control agent of the pine bast scale. PMID:26313991

  8. Reproductive Requirements and Life Cycle of Iberorhyzobius rondensis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Potential Biological Control Agent of Matsucoccus feytaudi (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae).

    PubMed

    Tavares, C; Jactel, H; van Halder, I; Branco, M

    2015-06-01

    Several pine bast scales (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae) are important pests of pine trees in the Northern Hemisphere. Some species are invasive and cause significant economic and environmental impacts. Such is the case with Matsucoccus feytaudi Ducasse, an invasive pest of maritime pine forests in Southeastern France, Italy, and Corsica. The ladybird Iberorhyzobius rondensis (Eizaguirre) is a recently described species that is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is a potential candidate for the biological control of M. feytaudi. However, little is known of the biology of I. rondensis. As part of the risk assessment study for a classical biological control program, the phenology and reproductive mechanisms of the beetle were analyzed. I. rondensis is univoltine and is seasonally synchronized with the phenology of the prey M. feytaudi, which is also univoltine. An obligatory reproductive diapause of 5-6 mo and the need to feed on the eggs of the prey to begin oviposition emerged as the two primary mechanisms that assure life cycle synchronization of the ladybird with its prey. Female fecundity was also higher when the ladybirds were fed M. feytaudi eggs. Life cycle synchronization with M. feytaudi and reproduction triggered by consumption of prey eggs indicate that I. rondensis is a promising biological control agent of the pine bast scale.

  9. Design, synthesis, molecular modeling, and biological evaluation of sulfanilamide-imines derivatives as potential anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Sofian S; Tamer, Abdalkarem R; Bensaber, Salah M; Jaeda, Mousa I; Ermeli, Nouri B; Allafi, Aemen Ali; Mrema, Ibrahim A; Erhuma, Mabrouk; Hermann, Anton; Gbaj, Abdul M

    2013-09-01

    A series of sulfanilamide Schiff base derivatives (1 to 15) have been designed as potential antitubulin agents depending on the chemical structures of combretastatine A-4 and isoquinoline sulfamate (antimitotic agents under investigation). The designed compounds were synthesized by microwave chemical synthesis, their purity was confirmed by melting point and HPLC and chemical structures were determined by FT-IR, UV, and 1H and 13C-NMR spectroscopic techniques. The synthesized compounds have been docked in the colchicine binding site of β-tubulin using molecular modeling programs and the antitumor activities were screened on human breast and lung cancer cells by cell counting assay. Some tested compounds showed potent and selective activity against breast cancer (MCF-7) with IC50 range of 90 to 166 μM. With regarding broad-spectrum activity, compounds 4, 8, and 13 have shown potent antitumor activity against human breast and human lung cells with IC50 range of 96 to 140 μM. The obtained results suggest that the sulfanilamide Schiff base derivatives might potentially constitute an interesting novel class of anticancer agents, which deserve further studies. PMID:23708566

  10. Cooperative biological effects between ionizing radiation and other physical and chemical agents.

    PubMed

    Manti, Lorenzo; D'Arco, Annalisa

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiation (IR), at environmentally and therapeutically relevant doses or as a result of diagnostics or accidents, causes cyto- and genotoxic damage. However, exposure to IR alone is a rare event as it occurs in spatial and temporal combination with several physico-chemical agents. Some of these are of known noxiousness, as is the case with chemical compounds at high dose, hence additive/synergistic effects can be expected or have been demonstrated. Conversely, the cellular toxicity of other agents, such as non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs), is only presumed and their short- and long-term cooperation on IR-induced damage remains undetermined. In this review, we shall examine evidence in support of the interplay between spatially and/or temporally related environmentally relevant stressors. In vitro or animal-based studies as well as epidemiological surveys have generally examined the combined action of no more than a couple of known or potentially DNA-damaging agents. Moreover, most existing research mainly focused on short-term effects of combined exposures. Hence, it is important that quantitative research addresses the issue of the possible cooperation between chronic exposure to environmental trace contaminants and exposure to EMFs, examining not only the modulation of damage acutely induced by IR but also long-term genome stability.

  11. In situ infrared aerosol spectroscopy for a variety of nerve agent simulants using flow-through photoacoustics.

    PubMed

    Gurton, Kristan P; Felton, Melvin; Dahmani, Rachid; Ligon, David

    2007-09-01

    We present newly measured results of an ongoing experimental program established to measure optical cross sections in the mid- and long-wave infrared for a variety of chemically and biologically based aerosols. For this study we consider only chemically derived aerosols, and in particular, a group of chemical compounds often used as simulants for the detection of extremely toxic organophosphorus nerve agents. These materials include: diethyl methylphosphonate (DEMP), dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP). As reported in a prior study [Appl. Opt. 44, 4001 (2005)], we combine two optical techniques well suited for aerosol spectroscopy [i.e., flow-through photoacoustics and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) emission spectroscopy], to measure in situ the absolute extinction and absorption cross sections over a variety of wavelengths spanning the IR spectral region from 3 to 13 mum. Aerosol size distribution(s), particle number density, and dosimetric measurements are recorded simultaneously in order to present optical cross sections that are aerosol mass normalized, i.e., m(2)/gram. Photoacoustic results, conducted at a series of CO(2) laser lines, compare well with measured broadband FTIR spectral extinction. Both FTIR and photoacoustic data also compare well with Mie theory calculations based on measured size distributions and previously published complex indices of refraction. PMID:17805369

  12. In situ infrared aerosol spectroscopy for a variety of nerve agent simulants using flow-through photoacoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurton, Kristan P.; Felton, Melvin; Dahmani, Rachid; Ligon, David

    2007-09-01

    We present newly measured results of an ongoing experimental program established to measure optical cross sections in the mid- and long-wave infrared for a variety of chemically and biologically based aerosols. For this study we consider only chemically derived aerosols, and in particular, a group of chemical compounds often used as simulants for the detection of extremely toxic organophosphorus nerve agents. These materials include: diethyl methylphosphonate (DEMP), dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP). As reported in a prior study [Appl. Opt. 44, 4001 (2005)], we combine two optical techniques well suited for aerosol spectroscopy [i.e., flow-through photoacoustics and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) emission spectroscopy], to measure in situ the absolute extinction and absorption cross sections over a variety of wavelengths spanning the IR spectral region from 3 to 13 μm. Aerosol size distribution(s), particle number density, and dosimetric measurements are recorded simultaneously in order to present optical cross sections that are aerosol mass normalized, i.e., m2/gram. Photoacoustic results, conducted at a series of CO2 laser lines, compare well with measured broadband FTIR spectral extinction. Both FTIR and photoacoustic data also compare well with Mie theory calculations based on measured size distributions and previously published complex indices of refraction.

  13. An agent-based model to simulate tsetse fly distribution and control techniques: a case study in Nguruman, Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shengpan; DeVisser, Mark H.; Messina, Joseph P.

    2015-01-01

    Background African trypanosomiasis, also known as “sleeping sickness” in humans and “nagana” in livestock is an important vector-borne disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. Control of trypanosomiasis has focused on eliminating the vector, the tsetse fly (Glossina, spp.). Effective tsetse fly control planning requires models to predict tsetse population and distribution changes over time and space. Traditional planning models have used statistical tools to predict tsetse distributions and have been hindered by limited field survey data. Methodology/Results We developed an Agent-Based Model (ABM) to provide timing and location information for tsetse fly control without presence/absence training data. The model is driven by daily remotely-sensed environment data. The model provides a flexible tool linking environmental changes with individual biology to analyze tsetse control methods such as aerial insecticide spraying, wild animal control, releasing irradiated sterile tsetse males, and land use and cover modification. Significance This is a bottom-up process-based model with freely available data as inputs that can be easily transferred to a new area. The tsetse population simulation more closely approximates real conditions than those using traditional statistical models making it a useful tool in tsetse fly control planning. PMID:26309347

  14. Biological Simulations in Distance Learning. CAL Research Group Technical Report No. 12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, P. J.

    When two biological simulations on evolution and genetics (one originally developed for a conventional university undergraduate course) were introduced into Open University distance education classes, the difficulties encountered required a reappraisal of the concept of using computer simulation for distance learning and decisions on which…

  15. Diapause in Abrostola asclepiadis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) may make for an ineffective weed biological control agent

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pale and black swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum and V. nigrum; Apocynaceae, subfamily Asclepiadoideae) are perennial vines from Europe that are invasive in various terrestrial habitats in the northeastern USA and southeastern Canada. A classical weed biological control program has been in develop...

  16. Does phylogeny explain the host choice behaviour of potential biological control agents for Brassicaceae weeds?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four invasive Brassicaceae are currently being studied for biological control at the CABI Centre in Switzerland. A phylogenetic approach to host testing has so far been hampered by the fact that the evolutionary relationships of taxa within the Brassicaceae were unclear. Recently, a new phylogeny of...

  17. Life cycle of Puccinia crupinae, a candidate fungal biological control agent for Crupina vulgaris

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crupina vulgaris (Common crupina, Asteraceae) is an introduced weed pest in the western United States. An isolate of the rust fungus Puccinia crupinae from the Greece is currently under evaluation as a candidate for biological control of C. crupina in a Biosafety Level 3 (BL-3) containment greenhou...

  18. Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis (Coleoptera: Attelabidae): A Potential Biological Control Agent for Triadeca sebifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native to China, Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera (L.) Small (Euphorbiaceae), is an invasive plant in the southeastern United States of America. The leaf-rolling weevil, Apoderus bicallosicollis Voss is a common herbivore attacking the plant in China. To evaluate its potential as a biological contr...

  19. Nucler Polyhedrosis Virus as a Biological Control Agent for Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In addition to damaging trees, the eastern tent caterpillar, (Malacosoma americanum (F.)) is implicated in early fetal loss and late-term abortion in horses. In a field study, we evaluated the potential biological control of eastern tent caterpillar using eastern tent caterpillar nuclear polyhedros...

  20. Changing crops in response to climate: virtual Nang Rong, Thailand in an agent based simulation

    PubMed Central

    Malanson, George P.; Verdery, Ashton M.; Walsh, Stephen J.; Sawangdee, Yothin; Heumann, Benjamin W.; McDaniel, Philip M.; Frizzelle, Brian G.; Williams, Nathalie E.; Yao, Xiaozheng; Entwisle, Barbara; Rindfuss, Ronald R.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of extended climatic variability on agricultural land use were explored for the type of system found in villages of northeastern Thailand. An agent based model developed for the Nang Rong district was used to simulate land allotted to jasmine rice, heavy rice, cassava, and sugar cane. The land use choices in the model depended on likely economic outcomes, but included elements of bounded rationality in dependence on household demography. The socioeconomic dynamics are endogenous in the system, and climate changes were added as exogenous drivers. Villages changed their agricultural effort in many different ways. Most villages reduced the amount of land under cultivation, primarily with reduction in jasmine rice, but others did not. The variation in responses to climate change indicates potential sensitivity to initial conditions and path dependence for this type of system. The differences between our virtual villages and the real villages of the region indicate effects of bounded rationality and limits on model applications. PMID:25061240

  1. Destruction of chemical agent simulants in a supercritical water oxidation bench-scale reactor.

    PubMed

    Veriansyah, Bambang; Kim, Jae-Duck; Lee, Jong-Chol

    2007-08-17

    A new design of supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) bench-scale reactor has been developed to handle high-risk wastes resulting from munitions demilitarization. The reactor consists of a concentric vertical double wall in which SCWO reaction takes place inside an inner tube (titanium grade 2, non-porous) whereas pressure resistance is ensured by a Hastelloy C-276 external vessel. The performances of this reactor were investigated with two different kinds of chemical warfare agent simulants: OPA (a mixture of isopropyl amine and isopropyl alcohol) as the binary precursor for nerve agent of sarin and thiodiglycol [TDG, (HOC(2)H(4))2S] as the model organic sulfur heteroatom. High destruction rates based on total organic carbon (TOC) were achieved (>99.99%) without production of chars or undesired gases such as carbon monoxide and methane. The carbon-containing product was carbon dioxide whereas the nitrogen-containing products were nitrogen and nitrous oxide. Sulfur was totally recovered in the aqueous effluent as sulfuric acid. No corrosion was noticed in the reactor after a cumulative operation time of more than 250 h. The titanium tube shielded successfully the pressure vessel from corrosion.

  2. The role of adalimumab in rheumatic and autoimmune disorders: comparison with other biologic agents

    PubMed Central

    Reimold, Andreas M

    2012-01-01

    Adalimumab (ADA) is a biologic medication that dampens inflammatory pathways by binding to the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved ADA as a medication for use in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This year marks 10 years of clinical experience with ADA. Long-term extension studies of some of the initial clinical trials, as well as data from large patient registries, are demonstrating ongoing benefit for responders. Potential side effects such as increased risk of infection, lymphoma, congestive heart failure, and demyelination continue to be examined, as the available data are not unanimous in showing an increase in incidence. In balancing both the advantages and the disadvantages of using ADA, the drug’s overall effectiveness and its availability for use in patients with hepatic or renal comorbidities are weighed against the high cost. ADA is expected to have a leading role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions for years to come. Future studies will need to address the optimal sequence of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics to use, combinations of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics, and head-to-head comparisons of biologics in clinical trials. For those who go into clinical remission on an anti-tumor necrosis factor medication, unanswered questions remain about identifying the patients who can maintain the remission off all drugs, or at least off injected medication. Given the cost of biologic drugs, even studies that increase the interval between drug doses in well-controlled patients could provide financial benefits.

  3. Translational systems biology using an agent-based approach for dynamic knowledge representation: An evolutionary paradigm for biomedical research.

    PubMed

    An, Gary C

    2010-01-01

    The greatest challenge facing the biomedical research community is the effective translation of basic mechanistic knowledge into clinically effective therapeutics. This challenge is most evident in attempts to understand and modulate "systems" processes/disorders, such as sepsis, cancer, and wound healing. Formulating an investigatory strategy for these issues requires the recognition that these are dynamic processes. Representation of the dynamic behavior of biological systems can aid in the investigation of complex pathophysiological processes by augmenting existing discovery procedures by integrating disparate information sources and knowledge. This approach is termed Translational Systems Biology. Focusing on the development of computational models capturing the behavior of mechanistic hypotheses provides a tool that bridges gaps in the understanding of a disease process by visualizing "thought experiments" to fill those gaps. Agent-based modeling is a computational method particularly well suited to the translation of mechanistic knowledge into a computational framework. Utilizing agent-based models as a means of dynamic hypothesis representation will be a vital means of describing, communicating, and integrating community-wide knowledge. The transparent representation of hypotheses in this dynamic fashion can form the basis of "knowledge ecologies," where selection between competing hypotheses will apply an evolutionary paradigm to the development of community knowledge.

  4. Prediction Markets and Beliefs about Climate: Results from Agent-Based Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilligan, J. M.; John, N. J.; van der Linden, M.

    2015-12-01

    Climate scientists have long been frustrated by persistent doubts a large portion of the public expresses toward the scientific consensus about anthropogenic global warming. The political and ideological polarization of this doubt led Vandenbergh, Raimi, and Gilligan [1] to propose that prediction markets for climate change might influence the opinions of those who mistrust the scientific community but do trust the power of markets.We have developed an agent-based simulation of a climate prediction market in which traders buy and sell future contracts that will pay off at some future year with a value that depends on the global average temperature at that time. The traders form a heterogeneous population with different ideological positions, different beliefs about anthropogenic global warming, and different degrees of risk aversion. We also vary characteristics of the market, including the topology of social networks among the traders, the number of traders, and the completeness of the market. Traders adjust their beliefs about climate according to the gains and losses they and other traders in their social network experience. This model predicts that if global temperature is predominantly driven by greenhouse gas concentrations, prediction markets will cause traders' beliefs to converge toward correctly accepting anthropogenic warming as real. This convergence is largely independent of the structure of the market and the characteristics of the population of traders. However, it may take considerable time for beliefs to converge. Conversely, if temperature does not depend on greenhouse gases, the model predicts that traders' beliefs will not converge. We will discuss the policy-relevance of these results and more generally, the use of agent-based market simulations for policy analysis regarding climate change, seasonal agricultural weather forecasts, and other applications.[1] MP Vandenbergh, KT Raimi, & JM Gilligan. UCLA Law Rev. 61, 1962 (2014).

  5. Fluid models and simulations of biological cell phenomena

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenspan, H. P.

    1982-01-01

    The dynamics of coated droplets are examined within the context of biofluids. Of specific interest is the manner in which the shape of a droplet, the motion within it as well as that of aggregates of droplets can be controlled by the modulation of surface properties and the extent to which such fluid phenomena are an intrinsic part of cellular processes. From the standpoint of biology, an objective is to elucidate some of the general dynamical features that affect the disposition of an entire cell, cell colonies and tissues. Conventionally averaged field variables of continuum mechanics are used to describe the overall global effects which result from the myriad of small scale molecular interactions. An attempt is made to establish cause and effect relationships from correct dynamical laws of motion rather than by what may have been unnecessary invocation of metabolic or life processes. Several topics are discussed where there are strong analogies droplets and cells including: encapsulated droplets/cell membranes; droplet shape/cell shape; adhesion and spread of a droplet/cell motility and adhesion; and oams and multiphase flows/cell aggregates and tissues. Evidence is presented to show that certain concepts of continuum theory such as suface tension, surface free energy, contact angle, bending moments, etc. are relevant and applicable to the study of cell biology.

  6. A process-based model of soil structure to assess the impact of biological agents, climate and reduced tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Couteulx, Alexis; Pérès, Guénola; Wolf, Cédric; Hallaire, Vincent

    2014-05-01

    Soil structure can be defined as the spatial arrangement of voids and solids in soil. It is a dynamic soil property due to agents' activity such as (i) mechanical action of soil tillage (ii) earthworms through their burrowing activity and faeces production and (iii) climate impact due to rain or temperature. Soil structure is often studied because of its impacts on soil functional properties, e.g. water percolation, soil water conductivity. In a context of farming practices shift towards non-ploughing techniques, it is needed to evaluate impacts on soil structure and consequently on its functional properties. Existing models have adopted two strategies to simulate soil structure: (i) to use of measured parameters to adjust a theoretical model or (ii) to build a soil structure by simulating processes that are its base. The first strategy does not deal with the difficulty to access soil structure by itself because input measured parameters are needed. The second one starts from either a virgin structure or a structure coming from strategy (i). This starting structure is then altered according to one structuring agent. At present, there is a need for such dynamic models of soil structure. They must be explicit (3D) and common for a large set of structuring agents too. They must also deal with several issues: e.g. to memorize the many voids and solids building up the soil structure or the need to be fast enough to simulate soil structure dynamics for a month, a year, etc. A first proposal, based on the strong assumption that soil is fractal, was made by Marilleau et al. (2008). In our model three structuring agents were chosen: tillage, earthworm's activity and solid particles settlement due to climate. It first focuses on the building of a computerized soil structure which is a common base to simulate the agents. It aims at being as generic as possible by using an object-oriented structure. The concept of voxel is used to split the soil into elementary units and each

  7. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Gigantol Derivatives as Potential Agents in Prevention of Diabetic Cataract.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jie; Lu, Chuanjun; Li, Xue; Fang, Hua; Wan, Wencheng; Yang, Qiaohong; Sun, Xiaosheng; Wang, Meiling; Hu, Xiaohong; Chen, C-Y Oliver; Wei, Xiaoyong

    2015-01-01

    As a continuation of our efforts directed towards the development of natural anti-diabetic cataract agents, gigantol was isolated from Herba dendrobii and was found to inhibit both aldose reductase (AR) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, which play a significant role in the development and progression of diabetic cataracts. To improve its bioefficacy and facilitate use as a therapeutic agent, gigantol (compound 14f) and a series of novel analogs were designed and synthesized. Analogs were formulated to have different substituents on the phenyl ring (compounds 4, 5, 8, 14a-e), substitute the phenyl ring with a larger steric hindrance ring (compounds 10, 17c) or modify the carbon chain (compounds 17a, 17b, 21, 23, 25). All of the analogs were tested for their effect on AR and iNOS activities and on D-galactose-induced apoptosis in cultured human lens epithelial cells. Compounds 5, 10, 14a, 14b, 14d, 14e, 14f, 17b, 17c, 23, and 25 inhibited AR activity, with IC50 values ranging from 5.02 to 288.8 μM. Compounds 5, 10, 14b, and 14f inhibited iNOS activity with IC50 ranging from 432.6 to 1188.7 μM. Compounds 5, 8, 10, 14b, 14f, and 17c protected the cells from D-galactose induced apoptosis with viability ranging from 55.2 to 76.26%. Of gigantol and its analogs, compound 10 showed the greatest bioefficacy and is warranted to be developed as a therapeutic agent for diabetic cataracts. PMID:26517726

  8. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Gigantol Derivatives as Potential Agents in Prevention of Diabetic Cataract

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xue; Fang, Hua; Wan, Wencheng; Yang, Qiaohong; Sun, Xiaosheng; Wang, Meiling; Hu, Xiaohong; Chen, C.-Y. Oliver; Wei, Xiaoyong

    2015-01-01

    As a continuation of our efforts directed towards the development of natural anti-diabetic cataract agents, gigantol was isolated from Herba dendrobii and was found to inhibit both aldose reductase (AR) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, which play a significant role in the development and progression of diabetic cataracts. To improve its bioefficacy and facilitate use as a therapeutic agent, gigantol (compound 14f) and a series of novel analogs were designed and synthesized. Analogs were formulated to have different substituents on the phenyl ring (compounds 4, 5, 8, 14a-e), substitute the phenyl ring with a larger steric hindrance ring (compounds 10, 17c) or modify the carbon chain (compounds 17a, 17b, 21, 23, 25). All of the analogs were tested for their effect on AR and iNOS activities and on D-galactose-induced apoptosis in cultured human lens epithelial cells. Compounds 5, 10, 14a, 14b, 14d, 14e, 14f, 17b, 17c, 23, and 25 inhibited AR activity, with IC50 values ranging from 5.02 to 288.8 μM. Compounds 5, 10, 14b, and 14f inhibited iNOS activity with IC50 ranging from 432.6 to 1188.7 μM. Compounds 5, 8, 10, 14b, 14f, and 17c protected the cells from D-galactose induced apoptosis with viability ranging from 55.2 to 76.26%. Of gigantol and its analogs, compound 10 showed the greatest bioefficacy and is warranted to be developed as a therapeutic agent for diabetic cataracts. PMID:26517726

  9. Characterizing biological variability in livestock blood cholinesterase activity for biomonitoring organophosphate nerve agent exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Halbrook, R.S.; Shugart, L.R.; Watson, A.P.; Munro, N.B.; Linnabary, R.D. )

    1992-09-01

    A biomonitoring protocol, using blood cholinesterase (ChE) activity in livestock as a monitor of potential organophosphate nerve agent exposure during the planned destruction of US unitary chemical warfare agent stockpiles, is described. The experimental design included analysis of blood ChE activity in individual healthy sheep, horses, and dairy and beef cattle during a 10- to 12-month period. Castrated and sexually intact males, pregnant and lactating females, and adult and immature animals were examined through at least one reproductive cycle. The same animals were used throughout the period of observation and were not exposed to ChE-inhibiting organophosphate or carbamate compounds. A framework for an effective biomonitoring protocol within a monitoring area includes establishing individual baseline blood ChE activity for a sentinel group of 6 animals on the bases of blood samples collected over a 6-month period, monthly collection of blood samples for ChE-activity determination during monitoring, and selection of adult animals as sentinels. Exposure to ChE-inhibiting compounds would be suspected when all blood ChE activity of all animals within the sentinel group are decreased greater than 20% from their own baseline value. Sentinel species selection is primarily a logistical and operational concern; however, sheep appear to be the species of choice because within-individual baseline ChE activity and among age and gender group ChE activity in sheep had the least variability, compared with data from other species. This protocol provides an effective and efficient means for detecting abnormal depressions in blood ChE activity in livestock and can serve as a valuable indicator of the extent of actual plume movement and/or deposition in the event of organophosphate nerve agent release.

  10. Synthesis and biological evaluation of pseudolaric acid B derivatives as potential immunosuppressive agents.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shou-Qiang; Wang, Jie; Zhao, Chuan; Sun, Qiang-Wen; Wang, Yi-Teng; Ai, Ting; Li, Tan; Gao, Ying; Wang, Huo; Chen, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Pseudolaric acid B (PB) derivatives with immunosuppressive activity were found by our group. In order to find potential immunosuppressive agents with high efficacy and low toxicity, a series of novel PB derivatives were synthesized and evaluated on their immunosuppressive activities. Most of the synthesized compounds were tested in vitro on murine T and B proliferation. In particular, compound 11 exhibited excellent inhibitory activity toward murine T cells (up to 19-fold enhancement compared to that of mycophenolatemofetil) and little cytotoxicity toward normal murine spleen cells. These experimental data demonstrated that some of these PB derivatives have great potential for future immunosuppressive studies.

  11. Synthesis and biological activity of trans-tiliroside derivatives as potent anti-diabetic agents.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yujin; Zhang, Yanjun; Liu, Yi; Chu, Hongwan; Duan, Hongquan

    2010-12-10

    A set of novel trans-tiliroside derivatives were synthesized. The structures of the derivatives were identified by their IR, 1H-NMR, and MS spectra analysis. Their anti-diabetic activities were evaluated on the insulin resistant (IR) HepG2 cell model. As a result, compounds 7a, 7c, 7h, and trans-tiliroside exhibited significant glucose consumption-enhancing effects in IR-HepG2 cells compared with the positive control (metformin). This research provides useful clues for further design and discovery of anti-diabetic agents.

  12. Molecular Sleds and More: Novel Antiviral Agents via Single-Molecule Biology (441st Brookhaven Lecture)

    SciTech Connect

    Mangel, Wally

    2008-10-15

    Vaccines are effective against viruses such as polio and measles, but vaccines against other important viruses, such as HIV and flu viruses, may be impossible to obtain. These viruses change their genetic makeup each time they replicate so that the immune system cannot recognize all their variations. Hence it is important to develop new antiviral agents that inhibit virus replication. During this lecture, Dr. Mangel will discuss his group's work with a model system, the human adenovirus, which causes, among other ailments, pink eye, blindness and obesity. Mangel's team has developed a promising drug candidate that works by inihibiting adenovirus proteinase, an enzyme necessary for viral replication.

  13. Synthesis of structurally diverse benzosuberene analogues and their biological evaluation as anti-cancer agents.

    PubMed

    Tanpure, Rajendra P; George, Clinton S; Strecker, Tracy E; Devkota, Laxman; Tidmore, Justin K; Lin, Chen-Ming; Herdman, Christine A; Macdonough, Matthew T; Sriram, Madhavi; Chaplin, David J; Trawick, Mary Lynn; Pinney, Kevin G

    2013-12-15

    Diversely functionalized, fused aryl-alkyl ring systems hold a prominent position as well-established molecular frameworks for a variety of anti-cancer agents. The benzosuberene (6,7 fused, also referred to as dihydro-5H-benzo[7]annulene and benzocycloheptene) ring system has emerged as a valuable molecular core component for the development of inhibitors of tubulin assembly, which function as antiproliferative anti-cancer agents and, in certain cases, as vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). Both a phenolic-based analogue (known as KGP18, compound 39) and its corresponding amine-based congener (referred to as KGP156, compound 45), which demonstrate strong inhibition of tubulin assembly (low micromolar range) and potent cytotoxicity (picomolar range for KGP18 and nanomolar range for KGP156) are noteworthy examples of such benzosuberene-based compounds. In order to extend the structure-activity relationship (SAR) knowledge base related to benzosuberene anti-cancer agents, a series of eleven analogues (including KGP18) were prepared in which the methoxylation pattern on the pendant aryl ring as well as functional group incorporation on the fused aryl ring were varied. The synthetic approach to these compounds featured a sequential Wittig olefination, reduction, Eaton's reagent-mediated cyclization strategy to achieve the core benzosuberone intermediate, and represented a higher-yielding synthesis of KGP18 (which we prepared previously through a ring-expansion strategy). Incorporation of a fluorine or chlorine atom at the 1-position of the fused aryl ring or replacement of one of the methoxy groups with hydrogen (on the pendant aryl ring of KGP18) led to benzosuberene analogues that were both strongly inhibitory against tubulin assembly (IC50 approximately 1.0 μM) and strongly cytotoxic against selected human cancer cell lines (for example, GI50=5.47 nM against NCI-H460 cells with fluoro-benzosuberene analogue 37). A water-soluble phosphate prodrug salt of KGP18

  14. Recent Advances in Agent-Based Tsunami Evacuation Simulations: Case Studies in Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mas, Erick; Koshimura, Shunichi; Imamura, Fumihiko; Suppasri, Anawat; Muhari, Abdul; Adriano, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    As confirmed by the extreme tsunami events over the last decade (the 2004 Indian Ocean, 2010 Chile and 2011 Japan tsunami events), mitigation measures and effective evacuation planning are needed to reduce disaster risks. Modeling tsunami evacuations is an alternative means to analyze evacuation plans and possible scenarios of evacuees' behaviors. In this paper, practical applications of an agent-based tsunami evacuation model are presented to demonstrate the contributions that agent-based modeling has added to tsunami evacuation simulations and tsunami mitigation efforts. A brief review of previous agent-based evacuation models in the literature is given to highlight recent progress in agent-based methods. Finally, challenges are noted for bridging gaps between geoscience and social science within the agent-based approach for modeling tsunami evacuations.

  15. [Brazilian legislation and the international recommendations related to the occupational exposure to biologic agents].

    PubMed

    Galon, Tanyse; Marziale, Maria Helena Palucci; de Souza, Wecksley Leonardo

    2011-01-01

    Bibliographic review with the objective to identify the Brazilian legislation related to occupational exposure of health workers to biological material and compare it with the main recommendations of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The information was searched by access to the websites of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor and Employment, ILO and CDC. The data collected were categorized into five themes for better understanding and analysis. We find that the Brazilian legislation covers most of the international recommendations, but the obligation of providing safety devices was later included in the legislation. It is concluded that workers need information about their rights and duties before the exposure to biological hazards. PMID:21468504

  16. Synthesis, molecular modeling and biological evaluation of dithiocarbamates as novel antitubulin agents.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yong; Ma, Gao-Yuan; Yang, Ying; Cheng, Kui; Zheng, Qing-Zhong; Mao, Wen-Jun; Shi, Lei; Zhao, Jing; Zhu, Hai-Liang

    2010-06-15

    A series of novel dithiocarbamate compounds with the chalcone scaffold have been designed and synthesized, and their biological activities were also evaluated as potential antiproliferation and antitubulin polymerization inhibitors. Compound 2n showed the most potent biological activity in vitro, which inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells with IC(50) of 0.04+/-0.01 microM and the polymerization of tubulin with IC(50) of 6.8+/-0.6 microM. To understand the tubulin-inhibitor interaction and the selectivity of the most active compound towards tubulin, molecular modeling studies were performed to dock compound 2n into the colchicine binding site, which suggested probable inhibition mechanism. PMID:20493717

  17. Climate warming increases biological control agent impact on a non-target species.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Climate change may shift interactions of invasive plants, herbivorous insects and native plants, potentially affecting biological control efficacy and non-target effects on native species. Here, we show how climate warming affects impacts of a multivoltine introduced biocontrol beetle on the non-target native plant Alternanthera sessilis in China. In field surveys across a latitudinal gradient covering their full distributions, we found beetle damage on A. sessilis increased with rising temperature and plant life history changed from perennial to annual. Experiments showed that elevated temperature changed plant life history and increased insect overwintering, damage and impacts on seedling recruitment. These results suggest that warming can shift phenologies, increase non-target effect magnitude and increase non-target effect occurrence by beetle range expansion to additional areas where A. sessilis occurs. This study highlights the importance of understanding how climate change affects species interactions for future biological control of invasive species and conservation of native species.

  18. Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines-Based Care, Omalizumab, and Other Potential Biologic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Huffaker, Michelle Fox; Phipatanakul, Wanda; Huffaker, M.F.; Phipatanakul, W.

    2014-01-01

    Synopsis Over the past several decades, the evidence supporting rational pediatric asthma management has grown exponentially. As more is learned about the various phenotypes of asthma, the complexity of management will continue to grow. This review focuses on the evidence supporting the current guidelines-based pediatric asthma management and explores the future of asthma management with respect to phenotypic heterogeneity and biologics. PMID:25459581

  19. Ongoing ecological speciation in Cotesia sesamiae, a biological control agent of cereal stem borers

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Laure; Le Ru, Bruno Pierre; Kaoula, Ferial; Paillusson, Corentin; Capdevielle-Dulac, Claire; Obonyo, Julius Ochieng; Herniou, Elisabeth A; Jancek, Severine; Branca, Antoine; Calatayud, Paul-André; Silvain, Jean-François; Dupas, Stephane

    2015-01-01

    To develop efficient and safe biological control, we need to reliably identify natural enemy species, determine their host range, and understand the mechanisms that drive host range evolution. We investigated these points in Cotesia sesamiae, an African parasitic wasp of cereal stem borers. Phylogenetic analyses of 74 individual wasps, based on six mitochondrial and nuclear genes, revealed three lineages. We then investigated the ecological status (host plant and host insect ranges in the field, and host insect suitability tests) and the biological status (cross-mating tests) of the three lineages. We found that one highly supported lineage showed all the hallmarks of a cryptic species. It is associated with one host insect, Sesamia nonagrioides, and is reproductively isolated from the other two lineages by pre- and postmating barriers. The other two lineages had a more variable phylogenetic support, depending on the set of genes; they exhibited an overlapping and diversified range of host species and are not reproductively isolated from one another. We discuss the ecological conditions and mechanisms that likely generated this ongoing speciation and the relevance of this new specialist taxon in the genus Cotesia for biological control. PMID:26366198

  20. An Agent-Based Simulation for Investigating the Impact of Stereotypes on Task-Oriented Group Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maghami, Mahsa; Sukthankar, Gita

    In this paper, we introduce an agent-based simulation for investigating the impact of social factors on the formation and evolution of task-oriented groups. Task-oriented groups are created explicitly to perform a task, and all members derive benefits from task completion. However, even in cases when all group members act in a way that is locally optimal for task completion, social forces that have mild effects on choice of associates can have a measurable impact on task completion performance. In this paper, we show how our simulation can be used to model the impact of stereotypes on group formation. In our simulation, stereotypes are based on observable features, learned from prior experience, and only affect an agent's link formation preferences. Even without assuming stereotypes affect the agents' willingness or ability to complete tasks, the long-term modifications that stereotypes have on the agents' social network impair the agents' ability to form groups with sufficient diversity of skills, as compared to agents who form links randomly. An interesting finding is that this effect holds even in cases where stereotype preference and skill existence are completely uncorrelated.