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Sample records for biological agent simulants

  1. A decontamination study of simulated chemical and biological agents

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-01

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

  2. A decontamination study of simulated chemical and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-07-01

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

  3. Fluorescence cross section measurements of biological agent simulants

    SciTech Connect

    Stephens, J.R.

    1996-11-01

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

  4. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... is required. Biological Agents Menu Overview In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. Murphy/CDC OSHA's Ebola webpage provides ... OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page. In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. Murphy/CDC OSHA's Ebola webpage provides ...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-06-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-04-01

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

  7. 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%.

  8. Experimental Simulations for Elimination of Biological and/or Chemical Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Yong C.; Kim, Jeong H.; Uhm, Han S.

    2003-10-01

    The threat of biological and/or chemical agents in a domestic terrorist attack and in military conflict is increasing worldwide. The 2oo1 anthrax terror throughout the USA, 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway, and the like are evident for this threat. Elimination and decontamination of biological and/or chemical agents are needed for such an attack. Experimental simulation for elimination of biological and/or chemical agents using an atmospheric-pressure microwave plasma torch is carried out. The elimination of biological and/or chemical agents through the vitrification or burnout of sewage sludge powders and the decomposition of toluene gas as a chemical agent stimulant is presented. A detailed characterization for the elimination of the simulant chemicals using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) and Gas Chromatography (GC) is also presented.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Monte Carlo simulation for the optical transmittance in biological tissues during the action of osmotic agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, L.; Lage, Armindo

    2005-06-01

    Computational methods have been used with great application to biomedical optics. The events created by the interaction of radiation with biological materials can easily be translated to computer languages with the objective of producing simulation techniques to be used prior to physical intervention. The addition of biocompatible and hyper osmotic agents to several types of biological tissues has proven the enhancement of transparency to radiation flux by reduction of material's optical properties. The evolutionary behavior of the agent's action in the tissue samples before saturation has been observed by numerous researchers but has never been described mathematically. In the present work we will describe the application of Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the evolutionary states of optical transparency of biological tissues when immersed in an osmotic solution. We begin our study with typical values for the optical properties of rabbit muscle and proceed by reducing the absorption and scattering coefficients independently and simultaneously. The results show the number of transmitted, absorbed, scattered and reflected photons in different stages of the action of a generic osmotic agent over a small and well defined tissue sample.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Detecting Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rose, H; Wall, R

    2009-12-01

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

  17. Simulations of population dynamics of hemlock woolly adelgid and potential impact of biological control agents

    Treesearch

    Joseph S. Elkinton; Robert T. Trotter; Ann F. Paradis

    2011-01-01

    The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is a small invasive Hemipteran herbivore that threatens the continued presence and abundance of hemlock in eastern North America. Efforts to control the adelgid have focused on the introduction of classical biological control agents. These biological controls include six different species of predatory...

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Biophysically Realistic Filament Bending Dynamics in Agent-Based Biological Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, Jonathan B.

    2009-01-01

    An appealing tool for study of the complex biological behaviors that can emerge from networks of simple molecular interactions is an agent-based, computational simulation that explicitly tracks small-scale local interactions – following thousands to millions of states through time. For many critical cell processes (e.g. cytokinetic furrow specification, nuclear centration, cytokinesis), the flexible nature of cytoskeletal filaments is likely to be critical. Any computer model that hopes to explain the complex emergent behaviors in these processes therefore needs to encode filament flexibility in a realistic manner. Here I present a numerically convenient and biophysically realistic method for modeling cytoskeletal filament flexibility in silico. Each cytoskeletal filament is represented by a series of rigid segments linked end-to-end in series with a variable attachment point for the translational elastic element. This connection scheme allows an empirically tuning, for a wide range of segment sizes, viscosities, and time-steps, that endows any filament species with the experimentally observed (or theoretically expected) static force deflection, relaxation time-constant, and thermal writhing motions. I additionally employ a unique pair of elastic elements – one representing the axial and the other the bending rigidity– that formulate the restoring force in terms of single time-step constraint resolution. This method is highly local –adjacent rigid segments of a filament only interact with one another through constraint forces—and is thus well-suited to simulations in which arbitrary additional forces (e.g. those representing interactions of a filament with other bodies or cross-links / entanglements between filaments) may be present. Implementation in code is straightforward; Java source code is available at www.celldynamics.org. PMID:19283085

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

    PubMed

    Alberts, Jonathan B

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Use of Magnetic Bead Resin and Automated Liquid Handler Extraction Methods to Robotically Isolate Nucleic Acids of Biological Agent Simulates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-09-01

    allows the ABATS to use a CORE system to link the Applied Biosystems ABI Prism® 7900HT thermocycler and the ORIGEN ® M8 Analyzer (IGEN, Gaithersburg, MD) to...measures pertaining to nucleic acid extraction of two accepted biological agent simulants in an effort to reduce labor and speed analysis of unknown...sites. As part of the labor reduction effort, we have developed a hybrid protocol for extraction of nucleic acids from environmental samples that can

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-02

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

  8. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Gorochowski, Thomas E

    2016-11-30

    Biological systems exhibit complex behaviours that emerge at many different levels of organization. These span the regulation of gene expression within single cells to the use of quorum sensing to co-ordinate the action of entire bacterial colonies. Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology easier, offering an opportunity to control natural systems and develop new synthetic systems with useful prescribed behaviours. However, in many cases, it is not understood how individual cells should be programmed to ensure the emergence of a required collective behaviour. Agent-based modelling aims to tackle this problem, offering a framework in which to simulate such systems and explore cellular design rules. In this article, I review the use of agent-based models in synthetic biology, outline the available computational tools, and provide details on recently engineered biological systems that are amenable to this approach. I further highlight the challenges facing this methodology and some of the potential future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Biologic agents in systemic vasculitis

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Charles F; Seo, Philip

    2012-01-01

    The treatment of systemic necrotizing vasculitis has made great strides in both efficacy and outcomes. Standard therapies, however, are associated with numerous side effects, and not all patients will respond to conventional immunosuppression. These realities have prompted the search for safer and more efficacious treatments, most notably among biologic agents. For example, the role of TNF-α in the pathophysiology of several vasculitides has led to the investigation of targeted inhibitors of this cytokine, albeit with mixed results. There have been some disappointing results in the area of giant cell arteritis and Wegener’s granulomatosis (granulomatosis with polygiitis), but anti-TNF therapy has shown promise in the treatment of Takayasu’s arteritis, although additional trials to demonstrate its efficacy are required. Anti-B-cell therapy seems to be the most promising advance in the management of these diseases. Complete and partial responses have been seen in both primary and secondary mixed cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. Recent trials have demonstrated that rituximab is effective for the treatment of Wegener’s granulomatosis and microscopic polyangiitis. These trials have, however, raised concerns regarding the long-term safety of these agents. The future holds promise for additional targeted therapies with improved patient response and fewer side effects. PMID:23785387

  13. 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).

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-05-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-01

    cholera virus) 5. Classical swine fever virus (Hog cholera virus) 6. Newcastle disease virus 7. Rinderpest virus 8. Pest des petits ruminants virus...BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS, TOXINS, VECTORS AND PESTS AS BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM AGENTS Slavko Bokan MOD of the Republic of Croatia... pests that include the invertebrates such as insects and arthropods with potential terrorism and military use are presented. INTRODUCTION Many

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-06-01

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

  4. [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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Biological agents: weapons of warfare and bioterrorism.

    PubMed

    Broussard, L A

    2001-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Trichoderma saturnisporum, a new biological control agent.

    PubMed

    Diánez Martínez, Fernando; Santos, Mila; Carretero, Francisco; Marín, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Biocontrol agents (BCAs) could be a viable alternative to chemicals in the management of fungal crop diseases. Screening for potential biocontrol and plant growth promoter isolates from a soil in Cádiz (Spain) was conducted. Several isolates showed antagonism in in vitro tests to several plant pathogens. Two isolates of Trichoderma saturnisporum (Ascomycetes, Hypocreales) were identified by sequencing of the rDNA region. One isolate was selected for further in vivo plant growth promotion and biological control assays. Results indicate that substrate application of T. saturnisporum improved plant quality and showed biological control activity against Phytophthora capsici and Phytophthora parasitica (Peronosporales, Peronosporaceae). There are a few references to T. saturnisporum isolated from different media but not its ability to promote plant growth or biocontrol. This is the first report of T. saturnisporum as a seedling growth promoter and as biological control agent. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Investigation of statistics strategies for improving the discriminating power of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for chemical and biological warfare agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munson, Chase A.; De Lucia, Frank C.; Piehler, Thuvan; McNesby, Kevin L.; Miziolek, Andrzej W.

    2005-08-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy spectra of bacterial spores, molds, pollens and nerve agent simulants have been acquired. The performance of several statistical methodologies-linear correlation, principal components analysis, and soft independent model of class analogy-has been evaluated for their ability to differentiate between the various samples. The effect of data selection (total spectra, peak intensities, and intensity ratios) and pre-treatments (e.g., averaging) on the statistical models have also been studied. Results indicate the use of spectral averaging and weighting schemes may be used to significantly improve sample differentiation.

  12. 2015 Chemical-Agent Simulants Workshop Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-08-01

    Very limited data exists in the conditions of interest (high temperatures, high heating rates ) for simulating weapon defeat of targets containing...warfare agents (CWAs) under extreme temperature and heating rate conditions within a postblast fireball. The expectations were to identify three to five...simulants per chemical agent of interest , so as to focus basic research investigations.

  13. Biological agents targeting beyond TNF-alpha

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Agent Frameworks for Discrete Event Social Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. New biologic agents and immunologic strategies.

    PubMed

    Elstrom, Rebecca L; Martin, Peter; Leonard, John P

    2008-10-01

    The treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma has traditionally consisted of cytotoxic chemotherapy, which can frequently induce remissions but less reliably delivers long-term disease-free survival. The last two decades have heralded an era of increasing exploration of therapies derived from improved biologic understanding of tumors and tumor-host interactions, including the development of therapeutic tactics that take advantage of immune mechanisms to target and kill tumors. Foremost among these has been the development of monoclonal antibodies. Currently, an array of novel therapeutics in development may improve outcomes further, including novel monoclonals and other agents that take advantage of or optimize immune system function in the treatment of lymphoma or that provide other mechanisms of antitumor activity.

  18. Indirect effects of host-specific biological control agents

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway

    2003-01-01

    Biological control is a crucial tool in the battle against biological invasions, but biocontrol agents can have a deleterious impact on native species. Recognition of risks associated with host shifting has increased the emphasis on host specificity of biocontrol agents for invasive weeds. However, recent studies indicate host-specific biocontrol agents can...

  19. Agent Based Simulation Output Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway

    2006-01-01

    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...

  1. Fate of Nerve Agent Simulants on Concrete

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Exposure to biological agents used in Polish enterprises: analysis of data derived from the National Register of Biological Agent].

    PubMed

    Kozajda, Anna; Szadkowska-Stańczyk, Irena

    2011-01-01

    The National Register of Biological Agents at Work and the National Information Centre for Biological Agents Present at Workplaces were established in the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine in 2005. The National Information Centre carries out consultation and education activities concerning occupational exposure and risk assessment, development and implementation of preventive programs and accurate registration of reliable information about the use of biological agents. Educational materials on biological exposure are published on the website. The National Register of Biological Agents (database) collects and periodically analyzes the information obtained from employers about the use of biological agents for research, diagnostic or industrial purposes. As of 10 December 2010 there were 240 notifications from companies, which use biological agents for the following purposes: research--69, industrial--30 and diagnostic--321. Near 75% of all notifications were obtained from different diagnostic laboratories (public and private). In total, 3226 workers, including 2967 (92%) women and 256 (8%) men were exposed to biological agents. In general, occupational exposure to 209 biological agents (186 of risk group 2 and 23 of risk group 3, of which 16 are additionally marked by 3**) were registered in the data base.

  7. Stochastic simulation in systems biology.

    PubMed

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-11-01

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

  8. Stochastic simulation in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Performance analysis for standoff biological warfare agent detection lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinvall, Ove; Jonsson, Per; Kullander, Fredrik

    2007-10-01

    Lidar has been identified as a promising sensor for remote detection of biological warfare agents. Elastic lidar can be used for cloud detection at long ranges and UV laser induced fluorescence can be used for discrimination of bioaerosols against naturally occurring aerosols. This paper analyzes the performance of elastic lidar such as sensitivity, range and angular coverage rate vs. atmospheric visibility, laser and receiver parameters. The analysis of the UV fluorescence lidar is concentrated on estimating the signal strength as a function of range, concentration and optical background level. The performance analysis supports the goal for a practical lidar system to detect 1000 particles/liter at 2-3 km using elastic backscatter and to verify the bioaerosol using fluorescence characterization at 1 km. Some examples of test results with an elastic lidar and a range gated imaging system both at 1.5 μm wavelength are presented together with fluorescence spectra of biological warfare agent simulants measured at an excitation wavelength of 355 nm.

  10. Indirect nontarget effects of host-specific biological control agents: Implications for biological control

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway

    2005-01-01

    Classical biological control of weeds currently operates under the assumption that biological control agents are safe (i.e., low risk) if they do not directly attack nontarget species. However, recent studies indicate that even highly host-specific biological control agents can impact nontarget species through indirect effects. This finding has profound...

  11. 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

  12. Intelligent Agent Supported Training in Virtual Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  15. Emergency department response to the deliberate release of biological agents.

    PubMed

    Ollerton, J E

    2004-01-01

    Bioterrorism is the use of biological agents outside the arena of war. Its purpose is to disrupt civilian life. This article investigates the role of the emergency department in the event of an act of bioterrorism.

  16. 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.

  17. Biological agents and respiratory infections: Causative mechanisms and practice management.

    PubMed

    Takayanagi, Noboru

    2015-09-01

    Biological agents are increasingly being used to treat patients with immune-mediated inflammatory disease. In Japan, currently approved biological agents for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) include tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, interleukin-6 receptor-blocking monoclonal antibody, and T-cell costimulation inhibitor. Rheumatologists have recognized that safety issues are critical aspects of treatment decisions in RA. Therefore, a wealth of safety data has been gathered from a number of sources, including randomized clinical trials and postmarketing data from large national registries. These data revealed that the most serious adverse events from these drugs are respiratory infections, especially pneumonia, tuberculosis, nontuberculous mycobacteriosis, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, and that the most common risk factors associated with these respiratory infections are older age, concomitant corticosteroid use, and underlying respiratory comorbidities. Because of this background, in 2014, the Japanese Respiratory Society published their consensus statement of biological agents and respiratory disorders. This review summarizes this statement and adds recent evidence, especially concerning respiratory infections in RA patients, biological agents and respiratory infections, and practice management of respiratory infections in patients treated with biological agents. To decrease the incidence of infections and reduce mortality, we should know the epidemiology, risk factors, management, and methods of prevention of respiratory infections in patients receiving biological agents. Copyright © 2015 The Japanese Respiratory Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Halogenated Explosives to Defeat Biological Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-01

    difluoramines, such as HNFX, studied as an agent defeat ingredient in a prior DTRA-funded project, a compound containing fluorine based on C–F bond...selection: tris(trifluoromethyl)RDX or “TFM- RDX” (C6H3F9N6O6 = 40.13% fluorine ); and 1,3,5-trinitro-2,4,6-tris(trifluoromethyl)benzene (C9F9N3O6 = 40.99... fluorine ). The latter target was an unknown compound, and several unsuc- cessful attempts to newly prepare it—as well as consideration of the

  20. 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.

  1. Inactivation of Aerosolized Biological Agents using Filled Nanocomposite Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-01

    Determination of Biological Contaminants in Environmental Samples. AIHA - American Industrial Hygiene Association. 2nd Edn. (Eds.) AIHA, Fairfax...DTRA-TR-12-72 Inactivation of Aerosolized Biological Agents using Filled Nanocomposite Materials Approved for public release, distribution is...Standard Form 298 (Re . 8-98) v Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 00-02-2013 Technical 01/28/2008 - 08/07/2011 Inactivation of Aerosolized Biological

  2. Neurotoxicity of Biologically Targeted Agents in Pediatric Cancer Trials

    PubMed Central

    Wells, Elizabeth M.; Rao, Amulya A. Nageswara; Scafidi, Joseph; Packer, Roger J.

    2013-01-01

    Biologically targeted agents offer the promise of delivering specific anticancer effects while limiting damage to healthy tissue, including the central and peripheral nervous systems. During the past 5-10 years, these agents were examined in preclinical and adult clinical trials, and are used with increasing frequency in children with cancer. This review evaluates current knowledge about neurotoxicity from biologically targeted anticancer agents, particularly those in pediatric clinical trials. For each drug, neurotoxicity data are reviewed in adult (particularly studies of brain tumors) and pediatric studies when available. Overall, these agents are well tolerated, with few serious neurotoxic effects. Data from younger patients are limited, and more neurotoxicity may occur in the pediatric population because these agents target pathways that control not only tumorigenesis but also neural maturation. Further investigation is needed into long-term neurologic effects, particularly in children. PMID:22490765

  3. Chemistry and Biology of Macrolide Antiparasitic Agents

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Sensitive and Rapid Identification of Biological Threat Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-12-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of Atmospheric Background Aerosols on Biological Agent Detectors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    aerosol concentrations in near real time in order to identify a passing aerosol cloud. Detection algorithms are designed to monitor the ambient...characterize specific background properties. The aerosol concentration fluctuations over time are important to the biological agent detection ...A key assumption used in many detection systems is that the concentration change over time from a passing artificially generated aerosol cloud is

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  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. Simulations of stochastic biological phenomena.

    PubMed

    Hayot, Fernand

    2011-09-20

    This Teaching Resource provides lecture notes, slides, and a student assignment for a two-part lecture that introduces stochastic modeling of biological systems. The first lecture uses biological examples to present the concept of cell-to-cell variability and makes the connection between the variability of single-cell measurements and concepts from statistical mechanics and probability theory. This section makes the point that for low copy number of a species, the usual differential equation formalism is no longer applicable and needs to be replaced by a probabilistic approach based on the so-called Master Equation. As an example, a simple model of gene transcription is discussed in detail, the different contributions to the relevant Master Equation are highlighted, and the equation itself is derived. The second lecture describes how, for more complex and biologically interesting applications, direct solution of the Master Equation becomes difficult. Gillespie's algorithm, which is used in most cases of biological interest, is then introduced as a practical alternative. The lecture delves into the crux of Gillespie's algorithm, which entails the drawing of two random numbers at each time step. It establishes the corresponding formalism, details the connection between chemical rate constants and Gillespie rates, and culminates in a description and explanation of a core MATLAB program for the transcriptional model considered in the first lecture. This core program, written for a single cell, is expanded by the students in the homework assignment to consider both transcription and translation.

  14. 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

  15. Spatial Aspects in Biological System Simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-30

    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 spatio-temporal 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.

  16. 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

  17. Towards quantum simulations of biological information flow.

    PubMed

    Dorner, Ross; Goold, John; Vedral, Vlatko

    2012-08-06

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

  18. Towards quantum simulations of biological information flow

    PubMed Central

    Dorner, Ross; Goold, John; Vedral, Vlatko

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in the spectroscopy of biomolecules have highlighted the possibility of quantum coherence playing an active role in biological energy transport. The revelation that quantum coherence can survive in the hot and wet environment of biology has generated a lively debate across both the physics and biology communities. In particular, it remains unclear to what extent non-trivial quantum effects are used in biology and what advantage, if any, they afford. We propose an analogue quantum simulator, based on currently available techniques in ultra-cold atom physics, to study a model of energy and electron transport based on the Holstein Hamiltonian. By simulating the salient aspects of a biological system in a tunable laboratory set-up, we hope to gain insight into the validity of several theoretical models of biological quantum transport in a variety of relevant parameter regimes. PMID:23919131

  19. Biology of Leptoypha hospita (Hemiptera: Tingidae), a Potential Biological Control Agent of Chinese Privet

    Treesearch

    Yanzhuo Zhang; James L. Hanula; Scott Horn; Kristine Braman; Jianghua Sun

    2011-01-01

    The biology of Leptoypha hospita Drake et Poor (Hemiptera: Tingidae), a potential biological control agent from China for Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour., was studied in quarantine in the United States. Both nymphs and adults feed on Chinese privet mesophyll cells that lead to a bleached appearance of leaves and dieback of branch tips. L. hospita has five...

  20. Autoantibodies in biological agent naive patients with psoriatic arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, S; Schentag, C; Gladman, D

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Simulation of Pedestrian Agent Crowds, with Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. Simulation of Pedestrian Agent Crowds, with Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  3. Agent Based Simulation Seas Evaluation of DoDAF Architecture

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-01

    04-05 Abstract With Department of Defense (DoD) weapon systems being deeply rooted in the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence ...Communication, Computers, Intelligence , Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR). Operational studies have shown agent based simulation utilizing this...traffic, people in crowds, artificial characters in computer games, agents in financial markets, and humans and machines on battlefields [28]. Agent

  4. Control of Dermatomycoses by Physical, Chemical and Biological Agents.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-02-28

    r A.-A0% 5586 STRITCH SCHOOL OF M4EDICINE MAYWOOD ILL DEPT OF MICRO-ETC F/G 6/5 CONTROL OF DERMATOMYCOSES BY PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL...Final reports ~tW/ Yj S. ca Is -- I - - O E E ~~ ( Control of Dermatomycoses by Physical, Chemical Fina re,.tK. and Biological Agents Ciratepid123 . S...to the radical cure of dermatomycoses and the control of ringworm infections in comiunal life is to develop effective methods that kill dermatophytic

  5. Biologic Agents for Periodontal Regeneration and Implant Site Development

    PubMed Central

    Suárez-López del Amo, Fernando; 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

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-11-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Treesearch

    Matthew J. Fyre; Judith Hough-Goldstein; Jiang-Hua Sun

    2007-01-01

    Two insect species from China, Gonioctena tredecimmaclliata (Jacoby) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Ornatalcides (Mesalcidodes) trifidus (Pascoe) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), were studied in quarantine in the United States as potential biological control agents for kudzu, Pueraria nwntana variety Zobata (Willd.) Maesen and S. Almeida...

  1. 75 FR 39437 - Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-08

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

  2. Non-target effects of an introduced biological control agent on deer mouse ecology

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson; Kevin S. McKelvey; Leonard F. Ruggiero

    2000-01-01

    Release of exotic insects as biological control agents is a common approach to controlling exotic plants. Though controversy has ensued regarding the deleterious direct effects of biological control agents to non-target species, few have examined the indirect effects of a "well-behaved" biological control agent on native fauna. We studied a grassland in west-...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-11-19

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Simulating autonomous agents wtih augmented reality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelenbe, Erol; Hussain, Khaled F.; Kaptan, Varol

    2002-07-01

    In many critical applications such as airport operations (for capacity planning), military simulations (for tactical training and planning), and medical simulations (for the planning of medical treatment and surgical operations), it is very useful to conduct simulations within physically accurate and visually realistic settings that are represented by real video imaging sequences. Furthermore, it is important that the simulated entities conduct autonomous actions which are realistic and which follow plans of action or intelligent behavior in reaction to current situations. We describe the research we have conducted to incorporate synthetic objects in a visually realistic manner in video sequences representing a real scene. We also discuss how the synthetic objects can be designed to conduct intelligent behavior within an augmented reality setting. The paper discusses both the computer vision aspects that we have addressed and solved, and the issues related to the insertion of intelligent autonomous objects within an augmented reality simulation.

  7. 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.

  8. Evolution of cooperative behavior in simulation agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroud, Phillip D.

    1998-03-01

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

  9. Tutorial on Agent-based Modeling and Simulation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    World of Science. New York: Wiley Crichton , Michael , 2002, Prey, HarperCollins. Epstein JM, Axtell R. 1996. Growing Artificial Societies...other author(s): Michael J. North and Charles M. Macal Principal Author’s Organization and address: Argonne National Laboratory 9700 S. Cass Avenue...on Agent-based Modeling and Simulation Michael J. North and Charles M. Macal Center for Complex Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation (CAS2) Decision

  10. 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.

  11. An agent-based method for simulating porous fluid-saturated structures with indistinguishable components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashani, Jamal; Pettet, Graeme John; Gu, YuanTong; Zhang, Lihai; Oloyede, Adekunle

    2017-10-01

    Single-phase porous materials contain multiple components that intermingle up to the ultramicroscopic level. Although the structures of the porous materials have been simulated with agent-based methods, the results of the available methods continue to provide patterns of distinguishable solid and fluid agents which do not represent materials with indistinguishable phases. This paper introduces a new agent (hybrid agent) and category of rules (intra-agent rule) that can be used to create emergent structures that would more accurately represent single-phase structures and materials. The novel hybrid agent carries the characteristics of system's elements and it is capable of changing within itself, while also responding to its neighbours as they also change. As an example, the hybrid agent under one-dimensional cellular automata formalism in a two-dimensional domain is used to generate patterns that demonstrate the striking morphological and characteristic similarities with the porous saturated single-phase structures where each agent of the ;structure; carries semi-permeability property and consists of both fluid and solid in space and at all times. We conclude that the ability of the hybrid agent to change locally provides an enhanced protocol to simulate complex porous structures such as biological tissues which could facilitate models for agent-based techniques and numerical methods.

  12. 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.

  13. The use of contrast agent for imaging biological samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Timothy; Vail, Tim; Wooley, Amanda

    2008-03-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mould, Diane R; Frame, Bill

    2010-09-01

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

  18. Calculated infrared spectra of nerve agents and simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mott, Adam J.; Rez, Peter

    2012-06-01

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

  19. 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

  20. The systems biology simulation core algorithm.

    PubMed

    Keller, Roland; Dörr, Alexander; Tabira, Akito; Funahashi, Akira; Ziller, Michael J; Adams, Richard; Rodriguez, Nicolas; Le Novère, Nicolas; Hiroi, Noriko; Planatscher, Hannes; Zell, Andreas; Dräger, Andreas

    2013-07-05

    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. 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. 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.

  1. Image simulation for biological microscopy: microlith

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Shalin B.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Identification of biological agents using surface enhanced Raman scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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... of Symnus coniferarum into the eastern United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce... as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae...

  12. 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

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological... 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...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, J. D.

    1972-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dormont, D

    1998-02-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szilagyi, Miklos N.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Agent-based simulation of a financial market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-10-01

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

  8. Tutorial on agent-based modeling and simulation.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-01

    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 besides deductive and inductive reasoning. Computational advances have made possible a growing number of agent-based applications in a variety of fields. Applications range from modeling agent behavior in the stock market and supply chains, to predicting the spread of epidemics and the threat of bio-warfare, from modeling consumer behavior to understanding the fall of ancient civilizations, to name a few. This tutorial describes the theoretical and practical foundations of ABMS, identifies toolkits and methods for developing ABMS models, and provides some thoughts on the relationship between ABMS and traditional modeling techniques.

  9. Tutorial on agent-based modeling and simulation. Part 2 : how to model with agents.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) is a new approach to modeling systems comprised of interacting autonomous 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 do research. Some have gone so far as to contend that ABMS is a new way of doing science. Computational advances make possible a growing number of agent-based applications across many fields. Applications range from modeling agent behavior in the stock market and supply chains, to predicting the spread of epidemics and the threat of bio-warfare, from modeling the growth and decline of ancient civilizations to modeling the complexities of the human immune system, and many more. This tutorial describes the foundations of ABMS, identifies ABMS toolkits and development methods illustrated through a supply chain example, and provides thoughts on the appropriate contexts for ABMS versus conventional modeling techniques.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  13. Simulation of economic agents interaction in a trade chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Pythium species and isolate diversity influence inhibition by the biological control agent Streptomyces lydicus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Disease control of soilborne pathogens by biological control agents has often been inconsistent under field conditions. One factor that may contribute to this inconsistency is the variability in response among pathogen populations and/or communities to the selected biological control agent. One hund...

  18. 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. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Use of Methyl Salicylates As a Trialing Chemical Agent Simulant

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-05-01

    flavor/odor ( oil of wintergreen) additive, and as a topical counterirritant, analgesic and/or anti-inflammatory agent. It was given generally...Collective Protection - Exit/entry procedures and air purification design impacts for shelters and vehicles. d. Decontamination - Simulation of the physical...salicylate was measured In plasma 15 minutes (39%) and 90 minutes (21%) after ingestion of 0.42 ml methyl salicylate in ginger ale. Total plasma

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dobrokhotskiĭ, O N; Diatlov, A I

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Biology and life history of Argopistes tsekooni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in China, a promising biological control agent of Chinese privet.

    Treesearch

    Y-Z Zhang; J. Sun; J.L. Hanula

    2009-01-01

    The biology and life history of Argopistes tsekooni Chen (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour., was studied under laboratory and outdoor conditions in Huangshan City of Anhui Province, China, in 2006. A. tsekooni larvae are leafminers that...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cather, Jennifer C; Crowley, Jeffrey J

    2014-12-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Flexible carbon nanotube sensors for nerve agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  16. A Review of Biological Agent Sampling Methods and ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report This study was conducted to evaluate current sampling and analytical capabilities, from a time and resource perspective, for a large-scale biological contamination incident. The analysis will be useful for strategically directing future research investment.

  17. A Coupled Simulation Architecture for Agent-Based/Geohydrological Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaxa-Rozen, M.

    2016-12-01

    The quantitative modelling of social-ecological systems can provide useful insights into the interplay between social and environmental processes, and their impact on emergent system dynamics. However, such models should acknowledge the complexity and uncertainty of both of the underlying subsystems. For instance, the agent-based models which are increasingly popular for groundwater management studies can be made more useful by directly accounting for the hydrological processes which drive environmental outcomes. Conversely, conventional environmental models can benefit from an agent-based depiction of the feedbacks and heuristics which influence the decisions of groundwater users. From this perspective, this work describes a Python-based software architecture which couples the popular NetLogo agent-based platform with the MODFLOW/SEAWAT geohydrological modelling environment. This approach enables users to implement agent-based models in NetLogo's user-friendly platform, while benefiting from the full capabilities of MODFLOW/SEAWAT packages or reusing existing geohydrological models. The software architecture is based on the pyNetLogo connector, which provides an interface between the NetLogo agent-based modelling software and the Python programming language. This functionality is then extended and combined with Python's object-oriented features, to design a simulation architecture which couples NetLogo with MODFLOW/SEAWAT through the FloPy library (Bakker et al., 2016). The Python programming language also provides access to a range of external packages which can be used for testing and analysing the coupled models, which is illustrated for an application of Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES).

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-06-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  5. Effects of immunosuppressive and biological agents on refractory Takayasu arteritis patients unresponsive to glucocorticoid treatment.

    PubMed

    Ohigashi, Hirokazu; Tamura, Natsuko; Ebana, Yusuke; Harigai, Masayoshi; Maejima, Yasuhiro; Ashikaga, Takashi; Isobe, Mitsuaki

    2017-05-01

    We aimed to investigate the effects of immunosuppressive and biological agents on refractory Takayasu arteritis (TA) patients resistant to or dependent on glucocorticoids. Forty-four consecutive TA patients were enrolled, and the clinical characteristics and effectiveness of the immunosuppressive and biological agents in achieving and maintaining remission among glucocorticoid-resistant or glucocorticoid-dependent patients were investigated. Fifteen patients showed favorable response to the initial glucocorticoid treatment, and 29 patients exhibited resistance to initial glucocorticoid treatment or relapsed with tapering glucocorticoid. Of the 29 patients, 5 responded to additional glucocorticoid treatment, and 22 of the remaining 24 glucocorticoid-resistant or glucocorticoid-dependent patients were prescribed immunosuppressive agents. Methotrexate was the most commonly used in these patients as the first-line treatment. In total, 10 patients maintained remission using immunosuppressive agents, with the effectiveness of each agent about 20%. The only significant difference between patients who were and were not able to achieve and maintain remission with immunosuppressive agents was the presence of the HLA-B52 allele (p<0.0001). Biological agents were administered to 6 patients refractory to immunosuppressive agents. All patients were administered tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors as the first-line treatment, and 3 patients maintained remission. Anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody was administered to 2 patients who were resistant to the TNF inhibitors, and 1 patient achieved and maintained remission. In our cohort, 64% of the glucocorticoid-resistant or glucocorticoid-dependent patients maintained remission through a combined treatment with glucocorticoid, immunosuppressive agents, and/or biological agents. The combined use of immunosuppressive and biological agents appears to be a promising treatment option for achieving and maintaining remission in

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, David W.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Chemical agent simulant release from clothing following vapor exposure.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Robert J

    2010-02-01

    Most ambulatory victims of a terrorist chemical attack will have exposure to vapor only. The study objective was to measure the duration of chemical vapor release from various types of clothing. A chemical agent was simulated using methyl salicylate (MeS), which has similar physical properties to sulfur mustard and was the agent used in the U.S. Army's Man-In-Simulant Test (MIST). Vapor concentration was measured with a Smiths Detection Advanced Portable Detector (APD)-2000 unit. The clothing items were exposed to vapor for 1 hour in a sealed cabinet; vapor concentration was measured at the start and end of each exposure. Clothing was then removed and assessed every 5 minutes with the APD-2000, using a uniform sweep pattern, until readings remained 0. Concentration and duration of vapor release from clothing varied with clothing composition and construction. Lightweight cotton shirts and jeans had the least trapped vapor; down outerwear, the most. Vapor concentration near the clothing often increased for several minutes after the clothing was removed from the contaminated environment. Compression of thick outerwear released additional vapor. Mean times to reach 0 ranged from 7 minutes for jeans to 42 minutes for down jackets. This simulation model of chemical vapor release demonstrates persistent presence of simulant vapor over time. This implies that chemical vapor may be released from the victims' clothing after they are evacuated from the site of exposure, resulting in additional exposure of victims and emergency responders. Insulated outerwear can release additional vapor when handled. If a patient has just moved to a vapor screening point, immediate assessment before additional vapor can be released from the clothing can lead to a false-negative assessment of contamination.

  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. Fluctuation-Enhanced Sensing for Biological Agent Detection and Identification

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Guenther, Lyn C

    2011-06-01

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

  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. Copyright © 2016 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. 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)

  17. Stochastic Simulations of Cellular Biological Processes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    model kinetics of a system of chemical reactions is to use a stochastic 2. Stochastic Simulation Algorithm approach in terms of the Chemical Master...number of processors and running time) for interactive disk spae ad, herfor, my ceat meory simulations. Therefore, in addition to running in an...management problems for simulations involving a large inteative mode, foNScan as o run in ’n number of long runs or for large reaction networks. interactive

  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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  2. 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 ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Simulation Exercises for Environmental Biology Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomlinson, Ralph

    1976-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  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.

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Fractal Simulation Of Biological Shapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickover, Clifford A.

    1989-04-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Odes, Shmuel; Greenberg, Dan

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    A series of novel chrysin derivatives was firstly synthesized and evaluated on their immunosuppressive activity in the search for potential immunosuppressive agents. Among them, compounds 5c displayed the most potent immunosuppressive inhibitory activity with IC(50) of 0.78 μM, which was comparable to that of cyclosporin A (IC(50) = 0.06 μM). The preliminary mechanism of compound 5c inhibition effects was also detected by flow cytometry (FCM), and the compound exerted immunosuppressive activity via inducing the apoptosis of activated lymph node cells in a dose dependent manner. Furthermore, the estimated LD(50) (in mg/kg) in vivo of compound 5c is 738.2, which indicated that compound 5c was low toxic. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Principles for modeling and functional simulation of biological microstructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kriete, Andres

    1997-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-06-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen; McGuire, Raymond

    2002-08-05

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Patient-Centered Appointment Scheduling Using Agent-Based Simulation

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Polyoxometalate oxidation of chemical warfare agent simulants in fluorinated media.

    PubMed

    Johnson, R P; Hill, C L

    1999-12-01

    The aim of this research is to determine if appropriate polyoxometalates (POMs) could be added to perfluoropolyether topical skin protectants (TSPs) currently available or under development to give these TSPs the additional capability of detecting and in some cases catalytically decontaminating sulfur mustard (HD) and perhaps other chemical warfare agents (CWAs) at ambient temperatures. Detection would be based on significant color changes in the POM upon reduction by the CWA whereas catalytic decontamination would be based on the ability of some families of POMs to catalyze O(2)-based oxidations by more than one mechanism. Five POMs (10-25% by weight) were each suspended in ca. 5 g of the perfluoropolyether (PFPE, CF(3)O[-CF(CF(3))CF(2)O-](x)(-CF(2)O-)(y)CF(3)) 'barrier' cream. A stoichiometric amount of HD sulfide simulant was layered on top of each POM-cream mixture. The short reaction times were recorded for each system. Mechanistic studies were conducted using an PFPE oil analog of the barrier cream in a microemulsion with the sulfide simulant, POM, PFPE surfactant and 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol co-surfactant. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Advances in the use of biologic agents for the treatment of systemic vasculitis

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Sharon A.; Seo, Philip

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review Due to the well-known toxicities of cyclophosphamide, substantial interest exists in finding other therapies to treat primary systemic vasculitis. Biologic agents have been proposed as an alternative to cyclophosphamide for these disorders because of their recent success in treating other rheumatic diseases. This article reviews the current state-of-the-art with regards to the use of biologic agents as a treatment for systemic vasculitis. Recent findings The greatest amount of experience with these agents for the treatment of systemic vasculitis is with anti-tumor necrosis factor agents, pooled intravenous immunoglobulin, and anti-B cell therapies such as rituximab. Intravenous immunoglobulin is already a standard therapy for Kawasaki's disease, but should also be considered for the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis when standard therapies are either ineffective or contraindicated. Early experience with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors indicates that they may be effective for the treatment of Takayasu's arteritis, but their role in the treatment of other forms of vasculitis remains controversial. Early experience with rituximab for the treatment of several forms of vasculitis has been quite promising, but must be confirmed by ongoing randomized clinical trials. Summary Biologic agents represent the next evolution in treatment for the primary systemic vasculitides. Greater understanding of these diseases has allowed use to move further away from non-specific, highly toxic therapies towards a more directed approach. As our experience with these agents increases, they will likely form the keystone of treatment in the near future. PMID:19077713

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earon, Ernest J. P.

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-19

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

  4. A Proposed Computed Tomography Contrast Agent Using Carboxybetaine Zwitterionic Tantalum Oxide Nanoparticles: Imaging, Biological, and Physicochemical Performance.

    PubMed

    FitzGerald, Paul F; Butts, Matthew D; Roberts, Jeannette C; Colborn, Robert E; Torres, Andrew S; Lee, Brian D; Yeh, Benjamin M; Bonitatibus, Peter J

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to produce and evaluate a proposed computed tomography (CT) contrast agent based on carboxybetaine zwitterionic (CZ)-coated soluble tantalum oxide (TaO) nanoparticles (NPs). We chose tantalum to provide superior imaging performance compared with current iodine-based clinical CT contrast agents. We developed the CZ coating to provide biological and physical performance similar to that of current iodinated contrast agents. In addition, the aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging, biological, and physicochemical performance of this proposed contrast agent compared with clinically used iodinated agents. We evaluated CT imaging performance of our CZ-TaO NPs compared with that of an iodinated agent in live rats, imaged centrally located within a tissue-equivalent plastic phantom that simulated a large patient. To evaluate vascular contrast enhancement, we scanned the rats' great vessels at high temporal resolution during and after contrast agent injection. We performed several in vivo CZ-TaO NP studies in healthy rats to evaluate tolerability. These studies included injecting the agent at the anticipated clinical dose (ACD) and at 3 times and 6 times the ACD, followed by longitudinal hematology to assess impact to blood cells and organ function (from 4 hours to 1 week). Kidney histological analysis was performed 48 hours after injection at 3 times the ACD. We measured the elimination half-life of CZ-TaO NPs from blood, and we monitored acute kidney injury biomarkers with a kidney injury assay using urine collected from 4 hours to 1 week. We measured tantalum retention in individual organs and in the whole carcass 48 hours after injection at ACD. Carboxybetaine zwitterionic TaO NPs were synthesized and analyzed in detail. We used multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance to determine surface functionality of the NPs. We measured NP size and solution properties (osmolality and viscosity) of the agent over a range of tantalum concentrations

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Huneman, Philippe

    2014-08-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Simulation of transmission electron microscope images of biological specimens.

    PubMed

    Rullgård, H; Ofverstedt, L-G; Masich, S; Daneholt, B; Oktem, O

    2011-09-01

    We present a new approach to simulate electron cryo-microscope images of biological specimens. The framework for simulation consists of two parts; the first is a phantom generator that generates a model of a specimen suitable for simulation, the second is a transmission electron microscope simulator. The phantom generator calculates the scattering potential of an atomic structure in aqueous buffer and allows the user to define the distribution of molecules in the simulated image. The simulator includes a well defined electron-specimen interaction model based on the scalar Schrödinger equation, the contrast transfer function for optics, and a noise model that includes shot noise as well as detector noise including detector blurring. To enable optimal performance, the simulation framework also includes a calibration protocol for setting simulation parameters. To test the accuracy of the new framework for simulation, we compare simulated images to experimental images recorded of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) in vitreous ice. The simulated and experimental images show good agreement with respect to contrast variations depending on dose and defocus. Furthermore, random fluctuations present in experimental and simulated images exhibit similar statistical properties. The simulator has been designed to provide a platform for development of new instrumentation and image processing procedures in single particle electron microscopy, two-dimensional crystallography and electron tomography with well documented protocols and an open source code into which new improvements and extensions are easily incorporated. © 2011 The Authors Journal of Microscopy © 2011 Royal Microscopical Society.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Effects of biological control agents and exotic plant invasion on deer mouse populations

    Treesearch

    Yvette K. Ortega; Dean E. Pearson; Kevin S. McKelvey

    2004-01-01

    Exotic insects are commonly introduced as biological control agents to reduce densities of invasive exotic plants. Although current biocontrol programs for weeds take precautions to minimize ecological risks, little attention is paid to the potential nontarget effects of introduced food subsidies on native consumers. Previous research demonstrated that two gall flies (...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Cardoni, F; Ceccarelli, L; Simonazzi, S

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  3. Potential biological control agents for management of cogongrass (Cyperales: Poaceae) in the southeastern USA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  6. External rostral characters for differentiation of sexes in the biological control agent Mecinus janthinus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

    Treesearch

    Marjolein Schat; Sharlene E. Sing; Robert K. D. Peterson

    2007-01-01

    The stem-boring weevil, Mecinus janthinus (Germar), is a promising, well established classical biological control agent for the exotic invasive weed Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill.) (Scrophulariaceae). In this paper we present readily apparent rostral characters that can be used for sex differentiation of live stem-boring weevils at low magnification....

  7. Risk assessment and stakeholder perceptions in novel biological control agent release: YST as a case study

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objectives of risk assessment are to learn about whether a candidate agent would be safe to use in the environment where release is planned, and to present such information in a clear, understandable format to regulators, stakeholders, and the public. Plant pathogens evaluated for biological co...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 – ...

  9. Cost savings from dose rounding of biologic anticancer agents in adults.

    PubMed

    Winger, Brenda J; Clements, Elizabeth A; DeYoung, Jaculin L; O'Rourke, Timothy J; Claypool, Deborah L; Vachon, Steve; VanDyke, Thomas H; Zimmer-Young, Jennifer; Kintzel, Polly E

    2011-09-01

    The purpose of this project was to determine the cost savings related to a dose-rounding process for adult biologic anticancer agents. Biologic anticancer agents prepared by the inpatient pharmacy were identified retrospectively through completed chemotherapy preparation checklists and medication orders on file in the pharmacy or by the clinical pharmacist for adult oncology from the medical records of patients in her practice. The specific products screened for evaluation were aldesleukin, bevacizumab, cetuximab, denileukin diftitox, gemtuzumab, rituximab, and trastuzumab. Data collected included drug name, ordered dose, rounded dose, and product vials not wasted. Specific drug costs were provided by the department's purchasing office. The project was reviewed and approved by the institutional review board to allow retrospective data collection from patient records. Cost savings were evaluated retrospectively for the time period of January 1, 2005 through March 31, 2005. One hundred and twenty-six orders for biologic anticancer agents were processed by the pharmacy department during the 3-month time period of data collection. Dose rounding could reduce drug wastage for 42% of these orders. Potential cost savings from dose rounding was $24,434 for the 3-month interval evaluated. However, nonadherence to dose rounding for 29 rituximab orders decreased the actual cost savings to $15,922. Individual staff education was reinforced to address nonadherence. Routine dose rounding of biologic anticancer agents to an amount within 10% of the ordered dose achieved cost savings through reduction of drug wastage at our institution.

  10. 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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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...

  13. Leveraging culture collections for the discovery and development of microbial biological control agents

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The incorporation of living microbial biological control agents into integrated pest management programs is highly desirable because it reduces the use of chemical insecticides harmful to livestock, humans and the environment. In addition, it provides an alternative means to combat resistance to che...

  14. [Biosafety provision on handling pathogenic biological agents on the concept of biorisk assessment and management].

    PubMed

    Dobrokhotskiĭ, O N; Kolombet, L V

    2010-01-01

    The paper shows it urgent to realize the concept of biological risk assessment and management on handling pathogenic biological agents (PBA). It gives a number of objective reasons that impede development of a methodology to assess laboratory biological risks. A concept of continuous improvement (a process approach) is proposed for use as a biorisk management tool for biosafety assurance when handling PBA. It is demonstrated that development of international cooperation urgently requires that national concepts and standards be harmonized with international regulatory documents on biosafety assurance on handling PBA.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Disasters and mass casualties: II. explosive, biologic, chemical, and nuclear agents.

    PubMed

    Born, Christopher T; Briggs, Susan M; Ciraulo, David L; Frykberg, Eric R; Hammond, Jeffrey S; Hirshberg, Asher; Lhowe, David W; O'Neill, Patricia A; Mead, Joann

    2007-08-01

    Terrorists' use of explosive, biologic, chemical, and nuclear agents constitutes the potential for catastrophic events. Understanding the unique aspects of these agents can help in preparing for such disasters with the intent of mitigating injury and loss of life. Explosive agents continue to be the most common weapons of terrorists and the most prevalent cause of injuries and fatalities. Knowledge of blast pathomechanics and patterns of injury allows for improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. A practical understanding of potential biologic, chemical, and nuclear agents, their attendant clinical symptoms, and recommended management strategies is an important prerequisite for optimal preparation and response to these less frequently used agents of mass casualty. Orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the principles of management of catastrophic events. Stress is less an issue when one is adequately prepared. Decontamination is essential both to manage victims and prevent further spread of toxic agents to first responders and medical personnel. It is important to assess the risk of potential threats, thereby allowing disaster planning and preparation to be proportional and aligned with the actual casualty event.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  20. 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).…

  1. 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).…

  2. 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.

  3. Biological Agents

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pasadhika, Sirichai; Rosenbaum, James T

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kumar, Harish; Rani, Renu

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Episodic positive selection at mitochondrial genome in an introduced biological control agent.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao-Sen; Liang, Xin-Yu; Zou, Shang-Jun; Liu, Yang; De Clercq, Patrick; Ślipiński, Adam; Pang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Artificial introduction in classical biological control provides a unique opportunity to understand mitochondrial evolution driving adaptation to novel environments. We studied mitochondrial genomes of a world-wide introduced agent, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. We detected positive selection in complex I genes (ND5 and ND4) against a background of widespread negative selection. We further detected significant signals in neutrality tests within 11 populations at ND5 gene, indicating a recent selective sweep/positive selection. Our results imply that these candidate mutations may contribute local adaptation of exotic biological control agents and these provide new insights into the improvement of classical biological control programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Klein, H P

    1979-12-01

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

  10. Agent-based re-engineering of ErbB signaling: a modeling pipeline for integrative systems biology.

    PubMed

    Das, Arya A; Ajayakumar Darsana, T; Jacob, Elizabeth

    2017-03-01

    Experiments in systems biology are generally supported by a computational model which quantitatively estimates the parameters of the system by finding the best fit to the experiment. Mathematical models have proved to be successful in reverse engineering the system. The data generated is interpreted to understand the dynamics of the underlying phenomena. The question we have sought to answer is that - is it possible to use an agent-based approach to re-engineer a biological process, making use of the available knowledge from experimental and modelling efforts? Can the bottom-up approach benefit from the top-down exercise so as to create an integrated modelling formalism for systems biology? We propose a modelling pipeline that learns from the data given by reverse engineering, and uses it for re-engineering the system, to carry out in-silico experiments. A mathematical model that quantitatively predicts co-expression of EGFR-HER2 receptors in activation and trafficking has been taken for this study. The pipeline architecture takes cues from the population model that gives the rates of biochemical reactions, to formulate knowledge-based rules for the particle model. Agent-based simulations using these rules, support the existing facts on EGFR-HER2 dynamics. We conclude that, re-engineering models, built using the results of reverse engineering, opens up the possibility of harnessing the power pack of data which now lies scattered in literature. Virtual experiments could then become more realistic when empowered with the findings of empirical cell biology and modelling studies. Implemented on the Agent Modelling Framework developed in-house. C ++ code templates available in Supplementary material . liz.csir@gmail.com. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-03

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-02-01

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

  18. Detecting agency from the biological motion of veridical vs animated agents

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, William M.; Heatherton, Todd F.; Macrae, C. Neil

    2007-01-01

    The ability to detect agency is fundamental for understanding the social world. Underlying this capacity are neural circuits that respond to patterns of intentional biological motion in the superior temporal sulcus and temporoparietal junction. Here we show that the brain's blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response to such motion is modulated by the representation of the actor. Dynamic social interactions were portrayed by either live-action agents or computer-animated agents, enacting the exact same patterns of biological motion. Using an event-related design, we found that the BOLD response associated with the perception and interpretation of agency was greater when identical physical movements were performed by real rather than animated agents. This finding has important implications for previous work on biological motion that has relied upon computer-animated stimuli and demonstrates that the neural substrates of social perception are finely tuned toward real-world agents. In addition, the response in lateral temporal areas was observed in the absence of instructions to make mental inferences, thus demonstrating the spontaneous implementation of the intentional stance. PMID:18985141

  19. nab-Paclitaxel in combination with biologically targeted agents for early and metastatic breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Megerdichian, Christine; Olimpiadi, Yuliya; Hurvitz, Sara A

    2014-06-01

    Taxanes are highly active chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of early-stage and metastatic breast cancer. Novel formulations have been developed to improve efficacy and decrease toxicity associated with these cytotoxic agents. nab-Paclitaxel is a biologically interactive, solvent-free, 130-nm-sized albumin-bound paclitaxel, developed to avoid the Cremophor vehicle used in solvent-based paclitaxel. Based on a pivotal phase 3 study, nab-paclitaxel was shown to be safely infused at a significantly higher dose of paclitaxel than the doses used with standard paclitaxel therapy, and had a shorter infusion time, no premedication, and higher response rates. It is now approved in the United States for treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant therapy, and has demonstrated promising efficacy and favorable tolerability. Recently, several phase 2 and 3 studies have suggested a role for nab-paclitaxel in combination with biologically targeted agents for the treatment of early- and late-stage breast cancer. This review will discuss the findings of clinical trials evaluating nab-paclitaxel in combination with biologically targeted therapeutic agents for breast cancer in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and metastatic settings. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

  2. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Mahlich, Jörg; Sruamsiri, Rosarin

    2016-01-01

    To assess persistence rates of biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan. 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. 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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. New-onset vitiligo and progression of pre-existing vitiligo during treatment with biological agents in chronic inflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Méry-Bossard, L; Bagny, K; Chaby, G; Khemis, A; Maccari, F; Marotte, H; Perrot, J L; Reguiai, Z; Sigal, M L; Avenel-Audran, M; Boyé, T; Grasland, A; Gillard, J; Jullien, D; Toussirot, E

    2017-01-01

    The development of vitiligo during treatment with biological agents is an unusual event and only a few isolated cases have been reported. To describe the clinical characteristics and evolution of patients developing new-onset vitiligo following initiation of a biological agent for chronic inflammatory disease; and also to report the clinical course of pre-existing vitiligo under biological therapy. This nationwide multicentre, retrospective study, carried out between July 2013 and January 2015, describes the characteristics of a large series of 18 patients (psoriasis N = 8, inflammatory rheumatic diseases N = 8, ulcerative colitis N = 1, uveitis N = 1) who developed new-onset vitiligo while receiving a biological agent. TNFα inhibitors were the most common biological agent involved (13/18) while anti-IL-12/23 and anti-IL-17 agents or abatacept were less common (4/18 and 1/18 respectively). Mean duration of biological agent exposure before vitiligo onset was 13.9 ± 16.5 months. Outcome was favourable for most patients (15/17) while maintaining the biological agent. Data were also collected for 18 patients (psoriasis N = 5, inflammatory rheumatic diseases N = 10, inflammatory bowel diseases N = 2, SAPHO N = 1) who had pre-existing vitiligo when treatment with a biological agent started (TNFα inhibitors N = 15, ustekinumab N = 1, rituximab N = 1, tocilizumab N = 1). Vitiligo progressed in seven patients and was stable or improved in eight cases. Vitiligo may thus emerge and/or progress during treatment with various biological agents, mainly TNFα inhibitors and could be a new paradoxical skin reaction. De novo vitiligo displays a favourable outcome when maintaining the biological agent, whereas the prognosis seems worse in cases of pre-existing vitiligo. © 2016 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Enhanced sampling techniques in molecular dynamics simulations of biological systems.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Molecular dynamics has emerged as an important research methodology covering systems to the level of millions of atoms. However, insufficient sampling often limits its application. The limitation is due to rough energy landscapes, with many local minima separated by high-energy barriers, which govern the biomolecular motion. In the past few decades methods have been developed that address the sampling problem, such as replica-exchange molecular dynamics, metadynamics and simulated annealing. Here we present an overview over theses sampling methods in an attempt to shed light on which should be selected depending on the type of system property studied. Enhanced sampling methods have been employed for a broad range of biological systems and the choice of a suitable method is connected to biological and physical characteristics of the system, in particular system size. While metadynamics and replica-exchange molecular dynamics are the most adopted sampling methods to study biomolecular dynamics, simulated annealing is well suited to characterize very flexible systems. The use of annealing methods for a long time was restricted to simulation of small proteins; however, a variant of the method, generalized simulated annealing, can be employed at a relatively low computational cost to large macromolecular complexes. Molecular dynamics trajectories frequently do not reach all relevant conformational substates, for example those connected with biological function, a problem that can be addressed by employing enhanced sampling algorithms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Recent developments of molecular dynamics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-12

    Support of the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnosis System (JBAIDS): Malaria ( Plasmodium /JBAIDS)." Follow-on RDT&E efforts...conducted by Army collaborators exceeded assay development objectives proposed under this study. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax TaqMan...casualties. Over 25% of marines deployed to Liberia in 2003 were infected with the potentially fatal falciparum malaria . Between 2003 and 2005

  2. Chemistry and biology of chromatin remodeling agents: state of art and future perspectives of HDAC inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Rodriquez, Manuela; Aquino, Maurizio; Bruno, Ines; De Martino, Giovanni; Taddei, Maurizio; Gomez-Paloma, Luigi

    2006-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling is a fundamental phenomenon in the life of eukaryotic cells, bearing implications to numerous physiological and pathological phenomena. This review outlines the chemistry of natural and synthetic agents endowed with the ability to interfere with such biological function, with a particular emphasis on histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Other aspects covered in this article comprise structure activity relationships (SAR) and modes of action at molecular level, including the description of crystal structures of enzyme-inhibitor complexes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Manoukis, Nicholas C; Hoffman, Kevin

    2014-01-01

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

  11. [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.

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Adherence, compliance and persistence to oral antineoplastic therapy: a review focused on chemotherapeutic and biologic agents.

    PubMed

    Gebbia, Vittorio; Bellavia, Giuseppe; Ferraù, Francesco; Valerio, Maria Rosaria

    2012-05-01

    To date, orally administered chemotherapy and biologic agents represent a significant percentage of all antineoplastic treatments in several types of cancer, which are most likely to increase in the near future. In this scenario, the issue of adherence and persistence to oral therapy is a key issue since poor compliance to oral antineoplastic treatments may negatively influence patients' clinical outcomes and, in turn, cause an increase in costs, number of hospitalizations and time spent in the hospital. The issue of adherence to new oral chemotherapeutic and/or biologic agents has not been deeply evaluated and data published in medical literature are quite scarce. Adherence is a multidimensional phenomenon, which may be influenced by patient- and health-care provider-related factors, anticancer therapy itself, education and socioeconomic aspects. Patients' selection plays, therefore, a key role in maximizing adherence and persistence to oral therapies. Treating health-care practitioners should first evaluate patient reliability to avoid prescribing oral treatments to patients with socioeconomic and medical conditions, which may predict poor adherence. Adherence and persistence to new oral biologic agents, which are linked to several side effects and whose use is constantly widening, should represent a main endpoint of clinical research in the nearest future.

  16. Detoxification of nerve agents by a substituted beta-cyclodextrin: application of a modified biological assay.

    PubMed

    Wille, T; Tenberken, O; Reiter, G; Müller, S; Le Provost, R; Lafont, O; Estour, F; Thiermann, H; Worek, F

    2009-11-30

    Chemical warfare agents (nerve agents) are still available and present a real threat to the population. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies showed that various nerve agents, e.g. tabun and cyclosarin, are resistant towards standard therapy with atropine and oxime. Based on these facts we applied a modified biological assay for the easy, semi-quantitative testing of the detoxifying properties of the beta-cyclodextrin derivative CD-IBA. Cyclosarin, sarin, tabun and VX were incubated with CD-IBA for 1-50 min at 37 degrees C, then an aliquot was added to erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the percentage of AChE inhibition was determined. The validity of the assay was confirmed by concomitant quantification of tabun by GC-MS. Different concentrations of cyclosarin were detoxified by CD-IBA in a concentration-dependent velocity. The ability to detoxify various nerve agents decreased in the order cyclosarin>sarin>tabun>VX. Hereby, no detoxification of VX could be detected. Sarin was detoxified in a biphasic reaction with a fast reduction of inhibitory potential in the first phase and a slower detoxification in the second phase. CD-IBA detoxified tabun in a one phase decay and, compared to cyclosarin and sarin, a longer half-life was determined with tabun. The modified biological assay is appropriate for the initial semi-quantitative screening of candidate compounds for the detoxification of nerve agents. The beta-cyclodextrin derivative CD-IBA demonstrated its ability to detoxify different nerve agents.

  17. 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.

  18. A theranostic dental pulp capping agent with improved MRI and CT contrast and biological properties.

    PubMed

    Mastrogiacomo, S; Güvener, N; Dou, W; Alghamdi, H S; Camargo, W A; Cremers, J G O; Borm, P J A; Heerschap, A; Oosterwijk, E; Jansen, J A; Walboomers, X F

    2017-08-24

    Different materials have been used for vital dental pulp treatment. Preferably a pulp capping agent should show appropriate biological performance, excellent handling properties, and a good imaging contrast. These features can be delivered into a single material through the combination of therapeutic and diagnostic agents (i.e. theranostic). Calcium phosphate based composites (CPCs) are potentially ideal candidate for pulp treatment, although poor imaging contrast and poor dentino-inductive properties are limiting their clinical use. In this study, a theranostic dental pulp capping agent was developed. First, imaging properties of the CPC were improved by using a core-shell structured dual contrast agent (csDCA) consisting of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) and colloidal gold, as MRI and CT contrast agent respectively. Second, biological properties were implemented by using a dentinogenic factor (i.e. bone morphogenetic protein 2, BMP-2). The obtained CPC/csDCA/BMP-2 composite was tested in vivo, as direct pulp capping agent, in a male Habsi goat incisor model. Our outcomes showed no relevant alteration of the handling and mechanical properties (e.g. setting time, injectability, and compressive strength) by the incorporation of csDCA particles. In vivo results proved MRI contrast enhancement up to 7weeks. Incisors treated with BMP-2 showed improved tertiary dentin deposition as well as faster cement degradation as measured by µCT assessment. In conclusion, the presented theranostic agent matches the imaging and regenerative requirements for pulp capping applications. In this study, we combined diagnostic and therapeutic agents in order to developed a theranostic pulp capping agent with enhanced MRI and CT contrast and improved dentin regeneration ability. In our study we cover all the steps from material preparation, mechanical and in vitro characterization, to in vivo study in a goat dental model. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Agent Based Simulation Design for Aggregation and Disaggregation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rubbert-Roth, Andrea

    2012-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Agent-based Approaches to Dynamic Team Simulation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Establish an Agent-Simulant Technology Relationship (ASTR)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2017-04-14

    TEP) was used as a simulant for sarin (GB). Acetic acid (AA) was used as a simulant for distilled mustard (HD). The ASTR established the CL value of...Reduction Agency ECU environmental control unit EDP event design plan GB sarin HD distilled mustard HPLC high-performance liquid chromatography

  7. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Xuanjun; Wu, Zhisheng; Han, Shoufa

    2011-11-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  12. INSTAR: simulating the biological cycle of a forest pest in Mediterranean pine stands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suárez-Muñoz, María; Bonet García, Francisco J.; Hódar, José A.

    2017-04-01

    The pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) is a typically Mediterranean forest pest feeding on pine needles during its larval stages. The outbreaks of this pest cause important landscape impacts and public health problems (i.e. larvae are very urticant). Larvae feed during winter months and cold temperature is the main limiting factor in their development. Therefore, rising temperatures are thought to benefit this species. Indeed, observations suggest that outbreaks are becoming more frequent and populations are shifting uphill. The objective of this work is to simulate the biological cycle of T. pityocampa to make predictions about where and when outbreaks will occur. Thus, we have created a model called INSTAR that will help to identify hotspots and foresee massive defoliation episodes. This will enhance the information available for the control of this pest. INSTAR is an Agent-Based Model, which allows the inclusion of important characteristics of the system: emergence, feedback (i.e. interaction between agents and their environment), adaptation (i.e. decision based on the mentioned interactions) and path dependence (i.e. possibilities at one time point are determined by past conditions). These characteristics arise from a set of functions simulating pine growth, processionary development, mortality and movement. These functions are easily extrapolable to other similar biological processes and therefore INSTAR aims at serving of example for other forest pest models. INSTAR is the first comprehensive approach to simulate the biological cycle of T pityocampa. It simulates the pest development in a given area, from which elevation and pine trees are considered. Moreover, it is also a good example of integrating environmental information into a population dynamic model: meteorological variables and soil moisture are obtained from a hydrological model (WiMMed, Herrero et al. 2009) executed for the area of interest. These variables are the inputs of the

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-05-20

    and Human Services to create the Select Agent list and regulate these agents’ transfer within the United States . This part of this act closed the...in the United States , but some effective vaccines are available in Europe. There is no specific treatments for Russian spring- summer encephalitis...Terrorism, held a senior-level exercise in June, 2001 entitled “Dark Winter” that simulated a covert smallpox attack on the United States . A review of

  14. A finite element simulation scheme for biological muscular hydrostats.

    PubMed

    Liang, Y; McMeeking, R M; Evans, A G

    2006-09-07

    An explicit finite element scheme is developed for biological muscular hydrostats such as squid tentacles, octopus arms and elephant trunks. The scheme is implemented by embedding muscle fibers in finite elements. In any given element, the fiber orientation can be assigned arbitrarily and multiple muscle directions can be simulated. The mechanical stress in each muscle fiber is the sum of active and passive parts. The active stress is taken to be a function of activation state, muscle fiber shortening velocity and fiber strain; while the passive stress depends only on the strain. This scheme is tested by simulating extension of a squid tentacle during prey capture; our numerical predictions are in close correspondence with existing experimental results. It is shown that the present finite element scheme can successfully simulate more complex behaviors such as torsion of a squid tentacle and the bending behavior of octopus arms or elephant trunks.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

    control framework, known as the Unified Behavior Framework, has proven to be an effective method for autonomous robot agents. By implementing this...architecture, the Unified Behavior Framework (UBF), implements a variation of the three-layer architecture with a reactive controller to rapidly make...2.2: A depiction of two of Braitenberg’s “Vehicles” which inspired the behavioral perspective of autonomous robot control [3]. The vehicle on the left

  16. Agent-Based Framework for Discrete Entity Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    environment. This approach avoids many of the serious philosophical problems of anthropocentric descriptions, while being broadly inclusive of...in the real world, it was retained in the geometry since it slows the water velocity and generally promotes the growth of submerged aquatic...optimum nutrient levels, reproduction age range, maximum and minimum agent density for reproduction, maximum and minimum water speed---in short

  17. Distributed state simulation of endogenous processes in biological wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Schuler, Andrew J; Jassby, David

    2007-08-01

    Distributed state-type simulations (based on modeling of individual bacteria as they move through a reactor system) predicted a greater sensitivity of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) performance to endogenous degradation than did conventional, "lumped"-type simulations (based on average biomass compositions). Recent research has indicated that the variable hydraulic residence times experienced by individual microbial storage product accumulating bacteria in systems with completely mixed reactors tend to produce populations with diverse microbial storage product contents (distributed states). Endogenous degradation in EBPR systems is of particular interest because the polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) responsible for EBPR rely on the accumulation of three different storage products that may be endogenously degraded. Simulations indicated that as endogenous degradation rates of microbial storage products were increased, EBPR performance decreased more rapidly according to the distributed approach than according to the lumped approach. State profile analysis demonstrated that as these rates increased, the population fraction with depleted storage products also increased, and this tended to increase the error in calculated biokinetic rates by the lumped approach. Simulations based on recently reported endogenous rate coefficients also suggested large differences between distributed and lumped predictions of EBPR performance. These results demonstrated that endogenous decay processes may play a more important role in EBPR than predicted by the lumped approach. This suggests a need for further research to determine endogenous process rates, and for incorporation of this information to distributed-type simulators, as this should lead to improved accuracy of EBPR simulations. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Thyroid Autoimmunity and Function after Treatment with Biological Antirheumatic Agents in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Bliddal, Sofie; Borresen, Stina Willemoes; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla

    2017-01-01

    With the increased pro-inflammatory response in both rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid autoimmune diseases, treatment with biological antirheumatic agents (BAAs) of the former may affect the course of the latter. In hepatitis C and cancer patients, treatment with biological agents substantially increases the risk of developing thyroid autoimmunity. As the use of BAAs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is increasing, this review aimed to investigate if such use affected thyroid status in rheumatoid arthritis patients. We conducted a systematic literature search and included six studies with a total of 311 patients as well as three case reports. The patients were treated with tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors (infliximab, etanercept, or adalimumab) or the monoclonal CD20-antibody rituximab. There was a non-significant trend of slight improvement of both thyroid function and autoantibody status: a reduction of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibody concentrations, and a reduction of thyrotropin levels in hypothyroid patients. Despite the small number of studies, they presented compliant data. The BAAs used in rheumatoid arthritis thus did not seem to negatively affect thyroid status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and can be considered safe with regard to thyroid autoimmunity. However, the well-established association between rheumatic diseases and thyroid autoimmunity necessitates continued monitoring of thyroid function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Each new BAA should be scrutinized for its effect on thyroid as well as other autoimmune diseases in order to establish concise recommendations for patient follow-up for each agent and each disease.

  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. 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

  1. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-01

    Fishermans Bend, Victoria 3207, Australia Telephone: (03) 9626 7000 Facsimile: (03) 9626 7999 c© Commonwealth of Australia 2010 April, 2010 APPROVED FOR...behaviours. In related work, Doyle and Hayes- Roth [39, 38] present the concept of agents in annotated virtual worlds. The idea is based on the concept of...knowledge in the world”. Doyle and Hayes- Roth argue that if a virtual environment can be annotated with appropriate labels and annotations that explain

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-08

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

  8. Managing toxicities associated with antiangiogenic biologic agents in combination with chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Grenon, Nina N

    2013-08-01

    Toxicities commonly associated with antiangiogenic agents include hypertension, proteinuria, wound-healing complications, bleeding or hemorrhage, thromboembolic events, hypersensitivity reactions, and gastrointestinal perforation; however, toxicities most often attributed to chemotherapy include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, neuropathy, mucositis, hand-foot syndrome, hypersensitivity reactions, and myelosuppression. Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who receive an antiangiogenic agent in combination with chemotherapy may experience toxicities related to both chemotherapy and the antiangiogenic agent. If possible, evidence-based interventions should be used for the management of toxicities. Patient education about expected toxicities and optimal toxicity management can promote the optimal use of therapy to improve survival and quality of life. Oncology nurses are well positioned to educate patients and their families on anticipated treatment and management of side effects. This article summarizes the incidence of toxicities associated with the antiangiogenic biologic agents aflibercept and bevacizumab, in combination with chemotherapy for patients with mCRC, and provides strategies for managing these toxicities based on clinical practice guidelines.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Development of standard method performance requirements for biological threat agent detection methods.

    PubMed

    Coates, Scott G; Brunelle, Sharon L; Davenport, Matthew G

    2011-01-01

    Standards and third-party testing are necessary to demonstrate the performance and limitations of biological threat agent (biothreat) detection technologies to allow appropriate response actions by end-users and responders. In order to address this need, the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate has funded AOAC INTERNATIONAL to develop standards and perform conformity assessment. AOAC formed the Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays to develop consensus performance criteria (standard method performance requirements; SMPRs) for methods that detect biothreats. This paper documents the development of the first five biothreat SMPRs, including the voluntary consensus process, the components of an SMPR, the use of SMPRs in developing validation protocols, and a description of the development efforts and considerations for each of the current SMPRs.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Biology, behavior, and larval morphology of Salbia lotanalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a potential biological control agent of Miconia calvescens (Myrtales: Melastomataceae) from Costa Rica

    Treesearch

    Alexander Castillo; M. Tracy Johnson; Francisco R. Badenes-Pérez

    2014-01-01

    The leaf roller Salbia lotanalis Druce (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a potential biological control agent of Miconia calvescens de Candolle (Melastomataceae), was studied in Costa Rica. Larvae were collected from a field site near San Jose and the insect was reared in the laboratory to study its biology and behavior. Chaetotaxy and...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Brown, A M

    1999-02-01

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

  19. Ocular surface findings in patients with rheumatoid arthritis under methotrexate or biological agent therapy.

    PubMed

    Sevimli, Neslihan; Karadag, Remzi; Madenci, Ercan; Bayramlar, Huseyin; Arslan, Pinar; Ocal, Ayse; Dag, Yasar

    2017-03-01

    To evaluate the ocular findings in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate (MTX) or MTX with biological agents. One hundred and twelve eyes of 56 patients with RA and treated with MTX or MTX with biological agents were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups using DMARDs only (group 1) and patients using DMARDs and biologic agents together (group 2). In both groups; Schirmer's II test, tear film break-up time (tBUT), central corneal thickness (CCT), corneal volume (CV), intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement, and anterior segment and fundus examinations of the eye with slit lamp were carried out. Ocular surface disease index (OSDI) score questionnaire were performed. Thirty-eight patients with a mean age of 53.00 ± 8.19 years were in group 1 and 18 patients with a mean age of 51.00 ± 9.54 years were in group 2. The mean duration of RA was 6.89 ± 7.96 years in group 1 and 5.70 ± 9.00 years in group 2. There was a statistically significant difference between two groups with tBUT, CCT, CV, IOP (p < 0.05) and there was no significant difference with age, sex, disease duration, disease activity, and Schirmer's II test (p > 0.05). The disease duration showed a significant moderate negative correlation with CCT and CV in group 2 (p < 0.05). Although tBUT values were significantly higher in the combination treatment group, CCT and CV values were significantly lower. Due to the decrease in corneal thickness, IOP was determined to be significantly lower.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-15

    CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder, http://www.charmm-gui.org/input/membrane, is a web-based user interface designed to interactively build all-atom protein/membrane or membrane-only systems for molecular dynamics simulations through an automated optimized process. In this work, we describe the new features and major improvements in Membrane Builder that allow users to robustly build realistic biological membrane systems, including (1) addition of new lipid types, such as phosphoinositides, cardiolipin (CL), sphingolipids, bacterial lipids, and ergosterol, yielding more than 180 lipid types, (2) enhanced building procedure for lipid packing around protein, (3) reliable algorithm to detect lipid tail penetration to ring structures and protein surface, (4) distance-based algorithm for faster initial ion displacement, (5) CHARMM inputs for P21 image transformation, and (6) NAMD equilibration and production inputs. The robustness of these new features is illustrated by building and simulating a membrane model of the polar and septal regions of E. coli membrane, which contains five lipid types: CL lipids with two types of acyl chains and phosphatidylethanolamine lipids with three types of acyl chains. It is our hope that CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder becomes a useful tool for simulation studies to better understand the structure and dynamics of proteins and lipids in realistic biological membrane environments. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Ling; Yang, Kaizhong

    2008-10-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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,

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shockley, L.J.

    1997-04-16

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

  7. Modeling and Simulation of Agents in Resource Strategy Games

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Monte Carlo simulation of proton track structure in biological matter

    DOE PAGES

    Quinto, Michele A.; Monti, Juan M.; Weck, Philippe F.; ...

    2017-05-25

    Here, understanding the radiation-induced effects at the cellular and subcellular levels remains crucial for predicting the evolution of irradiated biological matter. In this context, Monte Carlo track-structure simulations have rapidly emerged among the most suitable and powerful tools. However, most existing Monte Carlo track-structure codes rely heavily on the use of semi-empirical cross sections as well as water as a surrogate for biological matter. In the current work, we report on the up-to-date version of our homemade Monte Carlo code TILDA-V – devoted to the modeling of the slowing-down of 10 keV–100 MeV protons in both water and DNA –more » where the main collisional processes are described by means of an extensive set of ab initio differential and total cross sections.« less

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    Compounds having α,β-unsaturated lactones display a variety of biological activities. Many research groups have tested both natural and unnatural α,β-unsaturated lactones for as-yet undiscovered biological properties. We synthesized α,β-unsaturated lactones with various substituents at the δ-position and studied their immunosuppressive effects, that is, the inhibition of Interleukin-2 (IL-2) production. Among the compounds synthesized, the benzofuran-substituted α,β-unsaturated lactone 4h showed the best inhibitory activity toward IL-2 production in Jurkat e6-1 T lymphocytes (IC(50)=66.9 nM) without cytotoxicity at 10 μM. The results indicated that 4h may be useful as a potent immunosuppressive agent, as well as in IL-2-related studies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Jinlong

    2009-07-01

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

  18. Dynamic load balancing for simulations of biological aging

    SciTech Connect

    Meisgen, F.

    1997-06-01

    The efficient usage of parallel computers and workstation clusters for biologically motivated simulations depends first of all on a dynamic redistribution of the workload. For the development of a parallel algorithm for the Perma model of aging we have used a dynamic load balancing library, called PLB. It turns out that PLB manages a nearly balanced load situation during runtime taking only a low communication overhead. We compare different architectures like parallel computers and nondedicated heterogeneous networks, and give some results for large populations.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Autoimmune diseases induced by biological agents. A review of 12,731 cases (BIOGEAS Registry).

    PubMed

    Pérez-De-Lis, Marta; Retamozo, Soledad; Flores-Chávez, Alejandra; Kostov, Belchin; Perez-Alvarez, Roberto; Brito-Zerón, Pilar; Ramos-Casals, Manuel

    2017-09-07

    Biological drugs are therapies designed to target a specific molecule of the immune system that have been linked with the development of autoimmune diseases. Areas covered: The BIOGEAS Registry currently collects information about nearly 13,000 reported cases of autoimmune diseases developed in patients exposed to biologics, including more than 50 different systemic and organ-specific autoimmune disorders, of which psoriasis (n=6375), inflammatory bowel disease (n=845), demyelinating CNS disease (n=803), interstitial lung disease (n=519) and lupus (n=369) were the most frequently reported. The main biologics involved were anti-TNF agents in 9133 cases (adalimumab in 4154, infliximab in 3078 and etanercept in 1681), immune checkpoint inhibitors in 913 (ipilimumab in 524 and nivolumab in 225), B-cell targeted therapies in 741 (rituximab in 678), and growth factor inhibitors in 549 cases (bevacizumab in 544). Even though targeting a particular immune molecule may be associated with an excellent clinical response in most patients, an unexpected autoimmune disease may arise in around 8 out of 10,000 exposed patients. Expert opinion: Following the increased use of biologics, the number and diversity of induced autoimmune diseases is increasing exponentially. Management of these disorders will be an increasing clinical challenge in the daily practice in the next years.

  2. Modeling, Simulation, and Characterization of Distributed Multi-Agent Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    Framework and Architecture for Multirobot Coordination”, Experimental Robotics VII, 2001, pp. 303-322. [15] J. Kim , D. Shim, S. Rashid, and S. Sastry ...Continuation Sheet) Continuation for Block 13 ARO Report Number Modeling, simulation, and characterization of dis Block 13: Supplementary Note © 2012 ...Published in Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Vol. Ed. 0 10, (2) ( 2012 ), (, (2). DoD Components reserve a royalty-free

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narang, Sahil; Best, Andrew; Manocha, Dinesh

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mixotrophic cyanobacteria and microalgae as distinctive biological agents for organic pollutant degradation.

    PubMed

    Subashchandrabose, Suresh R; Ramakrishnan, Balasubramanian; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Venkateswarlu, Kadiyala; Naidu, Ravi

    2013-01-01

    Millions of natural and synthetic organic chemical substances are present in both soil and aquatic environments. Toxicity and/or persistence determine the polluting principle of these substances. The biological responses to these pollutants include accumulation and degradation. The responses of environments with organic pollutants are perceptible from the dwindling degradative abilities of microorganisms. Among different biological members, cyanobacteria and microalgae are highly adaptive through many eons, and can grow autotrophically, heterotrophically or mixotrophically. Mixotrophy in cyanobacteria and microalgae can provide many competitive advantages over bacteria and fungi in degrading organic pollutants. Laboratory culturing of strict phototrophic algae has limited the realization of their potential as bioremediation agents. In the natural assemblages, mixotrophic algae can contribute to sequestration of carbon, which is otherwise emitted as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere under heterotrophic conditions by other organisms. Molecular methods and metabolic and genomic information will help not only in identification and selection of mixotrophic species of cyanobacteria and microalgae with capabilities to degrade organic pollutants but also in monitoring the efficiency of remediation efforts under the field conditions. These organisms are relatively easier for genetic engineering with desirable traits. This review presents a new premise from the literature that mixotrophic algae and cyanobacteria are distinctive bioremediation agents with capabilities to sequester carbon in the environment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Decontamination issues for chemical and biological warfare agents: how clean is clean enough?

    PubMed

    Raber, E; Jin, A; Noonan, K; McGuire, R; Kirvel, R D

    2001-06-01

    The objective of this assessment is to determine what level of cleanup will be required to meet regulatory and stakeholder needs in the case of a chemical and/or biological incident at a civilian facility. A literature review for selected, potential chemical and biological warfare agents shows that dose information is often lacking or controversial. Environmental regulatory limits or other industrial health guidelines that could be used to help establish cleanup concentration levels for such agents are generally unavailable or not applicable for a public setting. Although dose information, cleanup criteria, and decontamination protocols all present challenges to effective planning, several decontamination approaches are available. Such approaches should be combined with risk-informed decision making to establish reasonable cleanup goals for protecting health, property, and resources. Key issues during a risk assessment are to determine exactly what constitutes a safety hazard and whether decontamination is necessary or not for a particular scenario. An important conclusion is that cleanup criteria are site dependent and stakeholder specific. The results of a modeling exercise for two outdoor scenarios are presented to reinforce this conclusion. Public perception of risk to health, public acceptance of recommendations based on scientific criteria, political support, time constraints, and economic concerns must all be addressed in the context of a specific scenario to yield effective and acceptable decontamination.

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

    PubMed

    Leszczyński, Piotr; Pawlak-Buś, Katarzyna

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Control of downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) of greenhouse grown cucumbers with alternative biological agents.

    PubMed

    Scherf, A; Schuster, C; Marx, P; Gärber, U; Konstantinidou-Doltsinis, S; Schmitt, A

    2010-01-01

    In organic cucumber production infection with downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) is a major problem. Plant extracts from Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (licorice), a plant belonging to the family Fabaceae, and Salvia officinalis (sage) as well as cultures of the bacterium Aneurinibacillus migulanus were investigated for efficacy of disease control under commercial growing conditions. Contrary to bioassays, where sage extract and the microorganism showed highest activity, in the trials of 2008 G. glabra extract was more effective than sage extract or A. migulanus against P. cubensis. Parameters such as concentrations of the preparations or application intervals could have been the reason for this. In the following year's trial (2009) the concentration of these agents was therefore increased somewhat and plants were either treated in seven day application intervals or in ten day application intervals. In the semi-commercial trials of 2009 all alternative biological agents showed good efficacies up to around 80% against infection with downy mildew. The application interval seemed to have a marginal effect only. Again, the licorice extract tended to be the best agent.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Arsenicals are highly reactive inorganic and organic derivatives of arsenic. These chemicals are very toxic and produce both acute and chronic tissue damage. Based on these observations, and considering the low cost and simple methods of their bulk syntheses, these agents were thought to be appropriate for chemical warfare. Among these, the most known agent synthesized and weaponized during World War I (WWI) is Lewisite. Exposure to Lewisite causes painful inflammatory and blistering responses in the skin, lung, and eye. These chemicals also manifest systemic tissue injury following their cutaneous exposure. Although largely discontinued after WWI, their stockpiles are still known to exist in the former Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Asia. Thus, their access by terrorists or accidental exposure could be highly dangerous for humans and the environment. This review summarizes studies which describe the biological, pathophysiological, toxicological, and environmental effects of exposure to arsenicals, with a major focus on cutaneous injury. Studies related to the development of novel molecular pathobiology–based antidotes against these agents are also described. PMID:27636894

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  17. 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

  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. Automating fault tolerance in high-performance computational biological jobs using multi-agent approaches.

    PubMed

    Varghese, Blesson; McKee, Gerard; Alexandrov, Vassil

    2014-05-01

    Large-scale biological jobs on high-performance computing systems require manual intervention if one or more computing cores on which they execute fail. This places not only a cost on the maintenance of the job, but also a cost on the time taken for reinstating the job and the risk of losing data and execution accomplished by the job before it failed. Approaches which can proactively detect computing core failures and take action to relocate the computing core׳s job onto reliable cores can make a significant step towards automating fault tolerance. This paper describes an experimental investigation into the use of multi-agent approaches for fault tolerance. Two approaches are studied, the first at the job level and the second at the core level. The approaches are investigated for single core failure scenarios that can occur in the execution of parallel reduction algorithms on computer clusters. A third approach is proposed that incorporates multi-agent technology both at the job and core level. Experiments are pursued in the context of genome searching, a popular computational biology application. The key conclusion is that the approaches proposed are feasible for automating fault tolerance in high-performance computing systems with minimal human intervention. In a typical experiment in which the fault tolerance is studied, centralised and decentralised checkpointing approaches on an average add 90% to the actual time for executing the job. On the other hand, in the same experiment the multi-agent approaches add only 10% to the overall execution time. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Stoma, Szymon; Fröhlich, Martina; Gerber, Susanne; Klipp, Edda

    2011-04-28

    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. 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 workflow. We

  3. Personal protection during resuscitation of casualties contaminated with chemical or biological warfare agents--a survey of medical first responders.

    PubMed

    Brinker, Andrea; Prior, Kate; Schumacher, Jan

    2009-01-01

    The threat of mass casualties caused by an unconventional terrorist attack is a challenge for the public health system, with special implications for emergency medicine, anesthesia, and intensive care. Advanced life support of patients injured by chemical or biological warfare agents requires an adequate level of personal protection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the personal protection knowledge of emergency physicians and anesthetists who would be at the frontline of the initial health response to a chemical/biological warfare agent incident. After institutional review board approval, knowledge of personal protection measures among emergency medicine (n = 28) and anesthetics (n = 47) specialty registrars in the South Thames Region of the United Kingdom was surveyed using a standardized questionnaire. Participants were asked for the recommended level of personal protection if a chemical/biological warfare agent(s) casualty required advanced life support in the designated hospital resuscitation area. The best awareness within both groups was regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome, and fair knowledge was found regarding anthrax, plague, Ebola, and smallpox. In both groups, knowledge about personal protection requirements against chemical warfare agents was limited. Knowledge about personal protection measures for biological agents was acceptable, but was limited for chemical warfare agents. The results highlight the need to improve training and education regarding personal protection measures for medical first receivers.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-08

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

  7. Mercury transformations in chemical agent simulant as characterized by X-ray absorption fine spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Skubal, Laura R; Biedron, Sandra G; Newville, Matthew; Schneider, John F; Milton, Stephen V; Pianetta, Piero; O'Neill, H Jack

    2005-10-15

    Chemical analyses of U.S. stockpiled mustard chemical warfare agent show some agent destined for destruction contains mercury [L. Ember, Chem. Eng. News 82 (2004) 8]. Because of its toxicity, mercury must be removed from agent prior to incineration or be scrubbed from incineration exhaust to prevent release into the atmosphere. Understanding mercury/agent interactions is critical if either atmospheric or aqueous treatment processes are used. We investigate and compare the state of mercury in water to that in thiodiglycol, a mustard simulant, as co-contaminants are introduced. The effects of sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide, common neutralization chemicals, on mercury in water and simulant with and without co-contaminants present are examined using X-ray absorption fine spectroscopy (XAFS).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-11-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Therapy with immunosuppressive drugs and biological agents and use of contraception in patients with rheumatic disease.

    PubMed

    Østensen, Monika; von Esebeck, Mathias; Villiger, Peter M

    2007-06-01

    To investigate the attitude of patients towards immunosuppressive and biological drugs in relation to reproduction and the outcome of pregnancies exposed to these drugs. We performed 2 postal surveys in regard to immunosuppressive drugs and reproduction, one in patients with rheumatic disease, the second in Swiss rheumatologists. Among the 237 female patients and the 189 male patients contacted for the survey, 72% of women and 40% of men returned the questionnaire. Ninety-four women and 47 men had received one or several immunosuppressive or biological agents during the years 2000-2005. Correct advice in regard to drugs and necessary birth control had been given to 84% of women. Advice to men was more inconsistent. One-third of women and 50% of men treated with potentially teratogenic drugs methotrexate (MTX) or leflunomide had not practiced birth control. The surveys of rheumatologists and patients disclosed 66 pregnancies under therapy with immunosuppressive and biological drugs with successful outcomes in 73%. However, 20% of pregnancies in women occurred under treatment with MTX and leflunomide. Issues regarding drugs and reproduction are not always sufficiently discussed with female and male patients. The increasing use of combination therapies containing MTX necessitates ensuring that advice regarding birth control is followed in order to avoid pregnancies exposed to potentially fetotoxic drugs.

  17. 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.

  18. Analysis of waste management issues arising from a field study evaluating decontamination of a biological agent from a building.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, P; Wood, J; Drake, J; Minamyer, S; Silvestri, E; Yund, C; Nichols, T; Ierardi, M; Amidan, B

    2016-01-01

    The Bio-response Operational Testing and Evaluation (BOTE) Project was a cross-government effort designed to operationally test and evaluate a response to a biological incident (release of Bacillus anthracis [Ba] spores, the causative agent for anthrax) from initial public health and law enforcement response through environmental remediation. The BOTE Project was designed to address site remediation after the release of a Ba simulant, Bacillus atrophaeus spp. globigii (Bg), within a facility, drawing upon recent advances in the biological sampling and decontamination areas. A key component of response to a biological contamination incident is the proper management of wastes and residues, which is woven throughout all response activities. Waste is generated throughout the response and includes items like sampling media packaging materials, discarded personal protective equipment, items removed from the facility either prior to or following decontamination, aqueous waste streams, and materials generated through the application of decontamination technologies. The amount of residual contaminating agent will impact the available disposal pathways and waste management costs. Waste management is an integral part of the decontamination process and should be included through "Pre-Incident" response planning. Overall, the pH-adjusted bleach decontamination process generated the most waste from the decontamination efforts, and fumigation with chlorine dioxide generated the least waste. A majority of the solid waste generated during pH-adjusted bleach decontamination was the nonporous surfaces that were removed, bagged, decontaminated ex situ, and treated as waste. The waste during the two fumigation rounds of the BOTE Project was associated mainly with sampling activities. Waste management activities may represent a significant contribution to the overall cost of the response/recovery operation. This paper addresses the waste management activities for the BOTE field test

  19. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Robeck, M.; Ricken, T.

    2011-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Robeck, M; Ricken, T; Widmann, R

    2011-04-01

    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 100years 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Identification chemical agent simulants by remote infrared spectra with improved artificial neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Xiao-qiang; Guo, Teng-xiao; Yan, Yu-Ting; Wang, Ji; Zhang, Xu; Li, Jun-ming

    2016-03-01

    Remote infrared sensing is a good approach to detect Chemical agents which can prevent operator being poisoned. The pattern recognition algorithms such as artificial neural network are the core of the chemical agent spectra identification subsystem. This paper presents a modified artificial neural network that can effectively train and identify chemical agent remote sensing spectra. The C++ language was used to program the identification software. Then many remote sensing spectra DMMP as chemical agent simulants were used to train the artificial neural network. The results show that the adaptive momentum and adaptive learning rate accelerate the artificial neural network convergence, cross-examination avoids neural network over-fitting, and the modified artificial neural network can be used to identify chemical agents remote sensing spectra perfectly.

  5. Chemical warfare agent simulants for human volunteer trials of emergency decontamination: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    James, Thomas; Wyke, Stacey; Marczylo, Tim; Collins, Samuel; Gaulton, Tom; Foxall, Kerry; Amlôt, Richard; Duarte-Davidson, Raquel

    2017-10-09

    Incidents involving the release of chemical agents can pose significant risks to public health. In such an event, emergency decontamination of affected casualties may need to be undertaken to reduce injury and possible loss of life. To ensure these methods are effective, human volunteer trials (HVTs) of decontamination protocols, using simulant contaminants, have been conducted. Simulants must be used to mimic the physicochemical properties of more harmful chemicals, while remaining non-toxic at the dose applied. This review focuses on studies that employed chemical warfare agent simulants in decontamination contexts, to identify those simulants most suitable for use in HVTs of emergency decontamination. Twenty-two simulants were identified, of which 17 were determined unsuitable for use in HVTs. The remaining simulants (n = 5) were further scrutinized for potential suitability according to toxicity, physicochemical properties and similarities to their equivalent toxic counterparts. Three suitable simulants, for use in HVTs were identified; methyl salicylate (simulant for sulphur mustard), diethyl malonate (simulant for soman) and malathion (simulant for VX or toxic industrial chemicals). All have been safely used in previous HVTs, and have a range of physicochemical properties that would allow useful inference to more toxic chemicals when employed in future studies of emergency decontamination systems. © 2017 Crown Copyright. Journal of Applied Toxicology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-01

    objects from O. • Operations with the task of representing the application of these operations and the reaction of the world to this attempt at... clickable ) (4) Simulation Interface: Tactical Display Contact Icons. • Contact Attributes (specific to the contact) 52 (5...Icon (6) Simulation Interface: CIC Agent Display • CIC Agent Icons ( clickable ) • CIC Equipment Icons ( clickable ) (7) Simulation Interface

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [New horizons in the use of biological agents during pregnancy in patients with rheumatic disease].

    PubMed

    Shesternya, P A; Petrova, M M; Vasilyeva, A O

    Pregnancy in the presence of rheumatic diseases (RD) and adequate therapy before planned conception, during gestation, and after delivery during lactation is challenging. Advances in the treatment of RD are largely due to the clinical introduction of a new class of biological agents (BAs). There are less than two decades of experience in using BAs in rheumatology and to date there are no unified standards and accepted rules governing their use during pregnancy. According to the current requirements, information on a medicine should be given in three sections: 1) pregnancy; 2) lactation, and 3) use in men and women who are planning concept (the latter section has appeared for the first time). The present article summarizes data on the possible use of BAs in patients with RD during pregnancy planning, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-05-01

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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  15. Monte Carlo simulation of proton track structure in biological matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinto, Michele A.; Monti, Juan M.; Weck, Philippe F.; Fojón, Omar A.; Hanssen, Jocelyn; Rivarola, Roberto D.; Senot, Philippe; Champion, Christophe

    2017-05-01

    Understanding the radiation-induced effects at the cellular and subcellular levels remains crucial for predicting the evolution of irradiated biological matter. In this context, Monte Carlo track-structure simulations have rapidly emerged among the most suitable and powerful tools. However, most existing Monte Carlo track-structure codes rely heavily on the use of semi-empirical cross sections as well as water as a surrogate for biological matter. In the current work, we report on the up-to-date version of our homemade Monte Carlo code TILDA-V - devoted to the modeling of the slowing-down of 10 keV-100 MeV protons in both water and DNA - where the main collisional processes are described by means of an extensive set of ab initio differential and total cross sections. Contribution to the Topical Issue "Many Particle Spectroscopy of Atoms, Molecules, Clusters and Surfaces", edited by A.N. Grum-Grzhimailo, E.V. Gryzlova, Yu V. Popov, and A.V. Solov'yov.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-15

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

  18. Population genetic structure of the biological control agent Macrolophus pygmaeus in Mediterranean agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Streito, Jean-Claude; Clouet, Cécile; Hamdi, Faten; Gauthier, Nathalie

    2017-10-01

    Biological control of agricultural pests relies on knowledge of agroecosystem functionality, particularly when affected by the use of mass-produced biological agents. Incorporating pre- and/or post-release information such as genetic diversity and structure on these agents using molecular-based approaches could advance our knowledge of how they perform in agroecosystems. We evaluated the population genetics of Macrolophus pygmaeus, the most widely used predatory mirid against many arthropod pests of greenhouse crops in the Mediterranean region, using the mitochondrial Cytb sequence and microsatellite data, and population genetics and phylogeny approaches. We investigated commercially mass-produced insects (i.e., commercial insects either mass-reared in the laboratory for many generations, or purchased by farmers and released in the greenhouses) and "wild" insects (i.e., that occur naturally outside or are collected in nature for release in the greenhouses). The mirids were mainly collected in agroecosystems in which solanaceous plants are grown in northern Spain, southern France and Greece. Both molecular markers and approaches distinguished 2 genetically differentiated populations. The less genetically diverse population, hereafter named the "commercial" strain included all individuals from laboratory mass-rearings and most releases of commercially bred individuals. The most genetically diverse population mainly comprised individuals originating from noncultivated environments, or from releases of "wild" individuals. Rare examples of hybridization between M. pygmaeus from the 2 populations were observed and asymmetric gene flow was revealed. These findings provide new insights into what happens to M. pygmaeus released in the agroecosystems we studied, and show that it is possible to monitor some commercial strains. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Using an Agent-Supported Simulation Environment for Intelligent Manufacturing Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Nancy; Giret, Adriana; Botti, Vicente

    The manufacturing field is an area where the application of simulation is an essential tool for validating methods and architectures before applying them on the factory floor. Multiagent System technology has demonstrated its utility in manufacturing system modeling and implementation. Agenthood features such as proactivity, reactivity, and sociability may also be useful for associating them with the specific simulation needs of the new manufacturing requirements. In this paper, we present an Agent-supported Simulation Tool (tool uses both events and discrete time to control agent tasks) for Intelligent Manufacturing Systems applied to a real manufacturing enterprise case study. The main goal is to provide a flexible simulation tool that can be adapted to solve the new manufacturing requirements that appear in a real environment allowing the experts of manufacturing domains to optimize the resource usage and to have enough data to make decisions.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Walking activity of flightless Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) as a biological control agent.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Satoshi; Seko, Tomokazu; Takatsuki, Jun-Ichi; Miura, Kazuki; Miyatake, Takahisa

    2010-10-01

    The use of flightless strains of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), established via artificial selection, can be highly effective as a biological control agent for aphids. However, flightless H. axyridis must depend on walking for dispersion. Therefore, data on the walking activity levels in flightless strains are important for the development of effective methods when releasing these agents in the field. Results of measurement of walking activity levels using an infrared actograph showed that walking activity levels during the daytime (but not nighttime) in both sexes of pure flightless strains tended to be lower than those of control strains. We also found that walking activity levels during the daytime for the F1 generation of hybrid strains, produced by reciprocal crossing between two pure flightless strains, were approximately equal to those of pure strains; the reduction in walking activity levels was not recovered by hybrid vigor. Our results indicate that the reduction in walking activity levels in the pure flightless strains was not caused merely by inbreeding depression stemming from the artificial selection process. Instead, potentially flight ability and walking activity levels in this species may be controlled by the pleiotropic effect of a gene.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. [Research on multi-agent based modeling and simulation of hospital system].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Junping; Yang, Hongqiao; Guo, Huayuan; Li, Yi; Zhang, Zhenjiang; Li, Shuzhang

    2010-12-01

    In this paper, the theory of complex adaptive system (CAS) and its modeling method are introduced. The complex characters of the hospital system is analyzed. The agile manufacturing and cell reconstruction technologies are used to reconstruct the hospital system. Then we set forth a research for simulation of hospital system based on the methodology of Multi-Agent technology and high level architecture (HLA). Finally, a simulation framework based on HLA for hospital system is presented.

  10. 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.

  11. The Neurally Controlled Animat: Biological Brains Acting with Simulated Bodies.

    PubMed

    Demarse, Thomas B; Wagenaar, Daniel A; Blau, Axel W; Potter, Steve M

    2001-01-01

    The brain is perhaps the most advanced and robust computation system known. We are creating a method to study how information is processed and encoded in living cultured neuronal networks by interfacing them to a computer-generated animal, the Neurally-Controlled Animat, within a virtual world. Cortical neurons from rats are dissociated and cultured on a surface containing a grid of electrodes (multi-electrode arrays, or MEAs) capable of both recording and stimulating neural activity. Distributed patterns of neural activity are used to control the behavior of the Animat in a simulated environment. The computer acts as its sensory system providing electrical feedback to the network about the Animat's movement within its environment. Changes in the Animat's behavior due to interaction with its surroundings are studied in concert with the biological processes (e.g., neural plasticity) that produced those changes, to understand how information is processed and encoded within a living neural network. Thus, we have created a hybrid real-time processing engine and control system that consists of living, electronic, and simulated components. Eventually this approach may be applied to controlling robotic devices, or lead to better real-time silicon-based information processing and control algorithms that are fault tolerant and can repair themselves.

  12. Adventitious agents and live viral vectored vaccines: Considerations for archiving samples of biological materials for retrospective analysis.

    PubMed

    Klug, Bettina; Robertson, James S; Condit, Richard C; Seligman, Stephen J; Laderoute, Marian P; Sheets, Rebecca; Williamson, Anna-Lise; Gurwith, Marc; Kochhar, Sonali; Chapman, Louisa; Carbery, Baevin; Mac, Lisa M; Chen, Robert T

    2016-12-12

    Vaccines are one of the most effective public health medicinal products with an excellent safety record. As vaccines are produced using biological materials, there is a need to safeguard against potential contamination with adventitious agents. Adventitious agents could be inadvertently introduced into a vaccine through starting materials used for production. Therefore, extensive testing has been recommended at specific stages of vaccine manufacture to demonstrate the absence of adventitious agents. Additionally, the incorporation of viral clearance steps in the manufacturing process can aid in reducing the risk of adventitious agent contamination. However, for live viral vaccines, aside from possible purification of the virus or vector, extensive adventitious agent clearance may not be feasible. In the event that an adventitious agent is detected in a vaccine, it is important to determine its origin, evaluate its potential for human infection and pathology, and discern which batches of vaccine may have been affected in order to take risk mitigation action. To achieve this, it is necessary to have archived samples of the vaccine and ancillary components, ideally from developmental through to current batches, as well as samples of the biological materials used in the manufacture of the vaccine, since these are the most likely sources of an adventitious agent. The need for formal guidance on such vaccine sample archiving has been recognized but not fulfilled. We summarize in this paper several prior major cases of vaccine contamination with adventitious agents and provide points for consideration on sample archiving of live recombinant viral vector vaccines for use in humans.

  13. 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,…

  14. 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,…

  15. 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. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. 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

  17. Efficacy of Chaetomium Species as Biological Control Agents against Phytophthora nicotianae Root Rot in Citrus.

    PubMed

    Hung, Phung Manh; Wattanachai, Pongnak; Kasem, Soytong; Poeaim, Supattra

    2015-09-01

    Thailand is one of the largest citrus producers in Southeast Asia. Pathogenic infection by Phytophthora, however, has become one of major impediments to production. This study identified a pathogenic oomycete isolated from rotted roots of pomelo (Citrus maxima) in Thailand as Phytophthora nicotianae by the internal transcribed spacer ribosomal DNA sequence analysis. Then, we examined the in vitro and in vivo effects of Chaetomium globosum, Chaetomium lucknowense, Chaetomium cupreum and their crude extracts as biological control agents in controlling this P. nicotianae strain. Represent as antagonists in biculture test, the tested Chaetomium species inhibited mycelial growth by 50~56% and parasitized the hyphae, resulting in degradation of P. nicotianae mycelia after 30 days. The crude extracts of these Chaetomium species exhibited antifungal activities against mycelial growth of P. nicotianae, with effective doses of 2.6~101.4 µg/mL. Under greenhouse conditions, application of spores and methanol extracts of these Chaetomium species to pomelo seedlings inoculated with P. nicotianae reduced root rot by 66~71% and increased plant weight by 72~85% compared to that in the control. The method of application of antagonistic spores to control the disease was simple and economical, and it may thus be applicable for large-scale, highly effective biological control of this pathogen.

  18. The role of bacillus-based biological control agents in integrated pest management systems: plant diseases.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, B J; Zidack, N K; Larson, B J

    2004-11-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus-based biological control agents (BCAs) have great potential in integrated pest management (IPM) systems; however, relatively little work has been published on integration with other IPM management tools. Unfortunately, most research has focused on BCAs as alternatives to synthetic chemical fungicides or bactericides and not as part of an integrated management system. IPM has had many definitions and this review will use the national coalition for IPM definition: "A sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks." This review will examine the integrated use of Bacillus-based BCAs with disease management tools, including resistant cultivars, fungicides or bactericides, or other BCAs. This integration is important because the consistency and degree of disease control by Bacillus-based BCAs is rarely equal to the control afforded by the best fungicides or bactericides. In theory, integration of several tools brings stability to disease management programs. Integration of BCAs with other disease management tools often provides broader crop adaptation and both more efficacious and consistent levels of disease control. This review will also discuss the use of Bacillus-based BCAs in fungicide resistance management. Work with Bacillus thuringiensis and insect pest management is the exception to the relative paucity of reports but will not be the focus of this review.

  19. [Workers' exposure to selected biological agents in libraries of Upper Silesia].

    PubMed

    Wlazło, Agnieszka; Górny, Rafał L; Złotkowska, Renata; Lawniczek, Anna; Ludzeń-Izbińska, Beata; Harkawy, Aleksander S; Anczyk, Edmund

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the exposure of library workers to biological agents based on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of airborne and settled dust microflora supplemented with the analysis of dust mite allergens. The bioaerosol sampling was carried out using a 6-stage Andersen impactor. The settled dust samples were collected from book covers using cotton swabs and vacuum cleaner. Isolated microbial colonies were identified to the genus and/or species level. Moreover, the concentration of guanine as a predictor of dust mite allergen content was determined with the semi-quantitative Acarex test. The bioaerosol concentrations were low and they did not exceed the proposed Polish reference limits. The presence of air-conditioning or ventilating system resulted in the decreased biological contamination in libraries. The identification ofmicroorganisms in bioaerosol and settled dust samples revealed the presence of strains classified into group 2 according to their risk of infection. The level of dust mite allergens was elevated. Inhalation exposure to molds and dust mite allergens may result in the occurrence of allergic reactions and SBS symptoms.

  20. A review of recent patents on macroorganisms as biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Sáenz-de-Cabezón, Francisco Javier; Zalom, Frank G; López-Olguín, Jesús Francisco

    2010-01-01

    The indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides has brought undesired problems to human health, agriculture, and the environment. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Biological Control (BC) programs, which are based on minimum use of pesticides, are seen as alternative, more ecological solutions to the unintended problems associated with pesticide use. These programs combine the introduction, augmentation, and/or conservation of pest natural enemies, with other protection tools. Although patents and the process of commercialization of microorganisms has been the subject of various reviews, macroorganisms used for pest and disease control have stimulated less comprehensive analyses. From our review of patents, there has been an enormous increase in the number of macroorganism-related patents registered in the last two decades. Private companies own 65% of all these patents. Rearing methods and crop protection strategies are the main intellectual property patented, with parasitoid wasps and predatory mites being the primary Biological Control Agent (BCA) focus of patents. Among countries, Japan was the first country with these types of patents, followed by the United States, Canada and China. Increasing concern for pesticide risks by governments and the public is seen as the main impetus for change in "traditional" crop protection practices and for investment in other more ecological products like BCAs.