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Sample records for capocaccia manuela merli

  1. MER SPICE Interface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sayfi, Elias

    2004-01-01

    MER SPICE Interface is a software module for use in conjunction with the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and the SPICE software system of the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (SPICE is used to acquire, record, and disseminate engineering, navigational, and other ancillary data describing circumstances under which data were acquired by spaceborne scientific instruments.) Given a Spacecraft Clock value, MER SPICE Interface extracts MER-specific data from SPICE kernels (essentially, raw data files) and calculates values for Planet Day Number, Local Solar Longitude, Local Solar Elevation, Local Solar Azimuth, and Local Solar Time (UTC). MER SPICE Interface was adapted from a subroutine, denoted m98SpiceIF written by Payam Zamani, that was intended to calculate SPICE values for the Mars Polar Lander. The main difference between MER SPICE Interface and m98SpiceIf is that MER SPICE Interface does not explicitly call CHRONOS, a time-conversion program that is part of a library of utility subprograms within SPICE. Instead, MER SPICE Interface mimics some portions of the CHRONOS code, the advantage being that it executes much faster and can efficiently be called from a pipeline of events in a parallel processing environment.

  2. Learning Cultures in Travel and Tourism: A Critique of Manuela du Bois-Reymond's Trendsetter Learner Thesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    This article aims to contribute to the discussion surrounding Manuela du Bois-Reymond's important "trendsetter learner" thesis and, in so doing, to join the wider debate about post-compulsory learning cultures. The article outlines the trendsetter learner thesis and then considers recent criticisms that it has attracted. While the author…

  3. Learning Cultures in Travel and Tourism: A Critique of Manuela du Bois-Reymond's Trendsetter Learner Thesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    This article aims to contribute to the discussion surrounding Manuela du Bois-Reymond's important "trendsetter learner" thesis and, in so doing, to join the wider debate about post-compulsory learning cultures. The article outlines the trendsetter learner thesis and then considers recent criticisms that it has attracted. While the author…

  4. Alone You Are Nobody, Together We Float: The Manuela Ramos Movement. Quality/Calidad/Qualite Number 10.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogow, Debbie

    The Manuela Ramos Movement began in the 1970s when seven women in Lima, Peru, started meeting each Tuesday to reconsider their assumptions about everyday life. By 1980, the group formed a nongovernmental organization whose strategy was to train women community leaders in Lima's barrios through workshops focusing on the following themes: identity…

  5. MER Telemetry Processor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Hyun H.

    2012-01-01

    MERTELEMPROC processes telemetered data in data product format and generates Experiment Data Records (EDRs) for many instruments (HAZCAM, NAVCAM, PANCAM, microscopic imager, Moessbauer spectrometer, APXS, RAT, and EDLCAM) on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). If the data is compressed, then MERTELEMPROC decompresses the data with an appropriate decompression algorithm. There are two compression algorithms (ICER and LOCO) used in MER. This program fulfills a MER specific need to generate Level 1 products within a 60-second time requirement. EDRs generated by this program are used by merinverter, marscahv, marsrad, and marsjplstereo to generate higher-level products for the mission operations. MERTELEPROC was the first GDS program to process the data product. Metadata of the data product is in XML format. The software allows user-configurable input parameters, per-product processing (not streambased processing), and fail-over is allowed if the leading image header is corrupted. It is used within the MER automated pipeline. MERTELEMPROC is part of the OPGS (Operational Product Generation Subsystem) automated pipeline, which analyzes images returned by in situ spacecraft and creates level 1 products to assist in operations, science, and outreach.

  6. MER ARA pyroshock test results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Kurng Y.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the shock test results achieved in the MER ARA/brush motor pyroshock qualification. The results of MER flight system pyrofiring tests in comparison with the ARA shock test requirements are discussed herein. Alternate test methods were developed in an effort to qualify the critical MER equipment for adequate performance in the actual flight pyroshock condition.

  7. MER ARA pyroshock test results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Kurng Y.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the shock test results achieved in the MER ARA/brush motor pyroshock qualification. The results of MER flight system pyrofiring tests in comparison with the ARA shock test requirements are discussed herein. Alternate test methods were developed in an effort to qualify the critical MER equipment for adequate performance in the actual flight pyroshock condition.

  8. MER-B

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-13

    An overhead crane lowers the cylindrical payload canister toward Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-B). Once secure inside the canister, the rover will be transported to Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for mating with the Delta rocket. The second of twin rovers being sent to Mars, it is equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow it to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-B is scheduled to launch from Pad 17-B June 26 at one of two available times, 12:27:31 a.m. EDT or 1:08:45 a.m. EDT.

  9. Analyzing MER Uplink Reports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savin, Stephen C.

    2005-01-01

    The MER project includes two rovers working simultaneously on opposite sides of Mars each receiving commands only once a day. Creating this uplink is critical, since a failed uplink means a lost day and a waste of money. Examining the process of creating this uplink, I tracked the use of the system developed for requesting observations as well as the development, from stage to stage, in forming an activity plan. I found the system for requesting observations was commonly misused, if used at all. There are half a dozen reports to document the creation of the uplink plan and often there are discrepancies among them. Despite this, the uplink process worked very well and MER has been one of the most successful missions for NASA in recent memory. Still it is clear there is room for improvement.

  10. Analyzing MER Uplink Reports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savin, Stephen C.

    2005-01-01

    The MER project includes two rovers working simultaneously on opposite sides of Mars each receiving commands only once a day. Creating this uplink is critical, since a failed uplink means a lost day and a waste of money. Examining the process of creating this uplink, I tracked the use of the system developed for requesting observations as well as the development, from stage to stage, in forming an activity plan. I found the system for requesting observations was commonly misused, if used at all. There are half a dozen reports to document the creation of the uplink plan and often there are discrepancies among them. Despite this, the uplink process worked very well and MER has been one of the most successful missions for NASA in recent memory. Still it is clear there is room for improvement.

  11. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

    MedlinePlus

    ... also been found in camels and in one bat. While it is believed to come from animals, ... Prevention. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS): Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Updated December 2, 2015. www.cdc. ...

  12. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

    MedlinePlus

    ... United Kingdom (UK), and United States of America (USA). CDC Commentary: Be on the Lookout for MERS- ... OIG 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta , GA 30329-4027 USA 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) , TTY: 888- ...

  13. Role of MerC, MerE, MerF, MerT, and/or MerP in resistance to mercurials and the transport of mercurials in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Sone, Yuka; Nakamura, Ryosuke; Pan-Hou, Hidemitsu; Itoh, Tomoo; Kiyono, Masako

    2013-01-01

    The characteristics of bacteria take up mercury into cells via membrane potential-dependent sequence-divergent members of the mercuric ion (Mer) superfamily, i.e., a periplasmic mercuric ion scavenging protein (MerP) and one or more inner membrane-spanning proteins (MerC, MerE, MerF, and MerT), which transport mercuric ions into the cytoplasm, have been applied in engineering of bioreactor used for mercurial bioremediation. We engineered bacteria to express MerC, MerE, MerF, or MerT with or without MerP to clarify their individual role and potential in transport of mercurial. By immunoblot analysis using specific polyclonal antibody, the proteins encoded by merC, merE, merF, merT or merP, were certainly expressed and identified in the membrane fraction. Bacteria expressing MerC, MerE, MerF or MerT in the absence of MerP transported significantly more C6H5Hg(I) and Hg(II) across bacterial membrane than their isogenic strain. In vivo expression of MerP in the presence of all the transporters did not cause apparent difference to the C6H5Hg(I) transport, but gives an apparently higher Hg(II) transport than that did by MerE, MerF or MerT but not by MerC. Among the four transporters studied, MerC showed more potential to transport Hg(II) across bacterial membrane than MerE, MerF and MerT. Together these findings, we demonstrated for the first time that in addition to MerE and MerT, MerF and MerC are broad-spectrum mercury transporters that mediate both Hg(II) and phenylmercury transport into cells. Our results suggested that MerC is the most efficient tool for designing mercurial bioremediation systems, because MerC is sufficient for mercurial transport into cells.

  14. First record of Loricifera from the Iberian Peninsula, with the description of Rugiloricus manuelae sp. nov., (Loricifera, Pliciloricidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pardos, Fernando; Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg

    2013-12-01

    Sediment samples were taken along the Cantabric platform (Northern Spain) from 200 to 600 meters depth in October 1990. Forty specimens of loriciferans were sorted out of the samples, of which 38 specimens belong to a new species of Rugiloricus. The new species, R. manuelae sp. nov., was investigated with both light (DIC) and electron microscopy (SEM). Complete descriptions of both adult and larval stages are provided, including mapping of the introvert scalids for both stages. Information from a molting stage with an adult male inside confirms conspecificity of larvae and adults. The presence of a highly reduced postlarval stage leaded to the suggestion of a new modified life cycle for the family Pliciloricidae.

  15. Robust k-mer frequency estimation using gapped k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Ghandi, Mahmoud; Mohammad-Noori, Morteza

    2013-01-01

    Oligomers of fixed length, k, commonly known as k-mers, are often used as fundamental elements in the description of DNA sequence features of diverse biological function, or as intermediate elements in the constuction of more complex descriptors of sequence features such as position weight matrices. k-mers are very useful as general sequence features because they constitute a complete and unbiased feature set, and do not require parameterization based on incomplete knowledge of biological mechanisms. However, a fundamental limitation in the use of k-mers as sequence features is that as k is increased, larger spatial correlations in DNA sequence elements can be described, but the frequency of observing any specific k-mer becomes very small, and rapidly approaches a sparse matrix of binary counts. Thus any statistical learning approach using k-mers will be susceptible to noisy estimation of k-mer frequencies once k becomes large. Because all molecular DNA interactions have limited spatial extent, gapped k-mers often carry the relevant biological signal. Here we use gapped k-mer counts to more robustly estimate the ungapped k-mer frequencies, by deriving an equation for the minimum norm estimate of k-mer frequencies given an observed set of gapped k-mer frequencies. We demonstrate that this approach provides a more accurate estimate of the k-mer frequencies in real biological sequences using a sample of CTCF binding sites in the human genome. PMID:23861010

  16. MER EDL: Overview and Reconstruction Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Lee, Wayne J.

    2005-01-01

    An overview and reconstruction of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) is shown. The topics include: 1) Background; 2) MER Candidate Landing Sites; 3) MER Entry Heritage w/Viking & Mars Pathfinder; 4) MER EDL Animation; 5) MER Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Sequence; 6) Pre-Entry Spirit Entry Atmosphere Models; 7) Spirit Landing Ellipse at Final OD, & Updated Estimate Differenced 1-way Doppler; 8) Spirit Landing Ellipse at Final OD and Final Location Estimates; 9) Monte Carlo Results for Spirit ; 10) Reconstructed and refined Spirit Entry Density Profile; 11) Mars Pathfinder Attitude Reconstruction; 12) Spirit Attitude Reconstruction; 13) Spirit Entry Ground Track; 14) Reconstructed Spirit Terminal Descent Dynamics (Side View); 15) Opportunity Landing Ellipse at Final OD, & Updated Estimate Differenced 1-way Doppler; 16) Spirit Landing Ellipse at Final OD and Final Location Estimates; 17) Monte Carlo Results for Opportunity; 18) Reconstructed Opportunity Entry Density Profile; and 19) Opportunity Attitude Reconstruction.

  17. MERS-CoV spike nanoparticles protect mice from MERS-CoV infection.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Christopher M; Venkataraman, Thiagarajan; Liu, Ye V; Glenn, Gregory M; Smith, Gale E; Flyer, David C; Frieman, Matthew B

    2017-03-14

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first discovered in late 2012 and has gone on to cause over 1800 infections and 650 deaths. There are currently no approved therapeutics or vaccinations for MERS-CoV. The MERS-CoV spike (S) protein is responsible for receptor binding and virion entry to cells, is immunodominant and induces neutralizing antibodies in vivo, all of which, make the S protein an ideal target for anti-MERS-CoV vaccines. In this study, we demonstrate protection induced by vaccination with a recombinant MERS-CoV S nanoparticle vaccine and Matrix-M1 adjuvant combination in mice. The MERS-CoV S nanoparticle vaccine produced high titer anti-S neutralizing antibody and protected mice from MERS-CoV infection in vivo.

  18. Delta II MER-A Spirit Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    A trail of smoke is all that identifies the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload as it hurtles into space. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  19. Delta II MER-A Spirit Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    The Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload leaps from the smoke and steam below into space. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  20. Delta II MER-A Spirit Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-11

    Amid billows of smoke and steam, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) payload lifts off the pad on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A, known as "Spirit," is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  1. Structural basis for the neutralization of MERS-CoV by a human monoclonal antibody MERS-27

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Senyan; Jiang, Liwei; Cui, Ye; Li, Dongxia; Wang, Dongli; Wang, Nianshuang; Fu, Lili; Shi, Xuanlin; Li, Ziqiang; Zhang, Linqi; Wang, Xinquan

    2015-01-01

    The recently reported Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe respiratory illness in humans with an approximately 30% mortality rate. The envelope spike glycoprotein on the surface of MERS-CoV mediates receptor binding, membrane fusion, and viral entry. We previously reported two human monoclonal antibodies that target the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike and exhibit strong neutralization activity against live and pesudotyped MERS-CoV infection. Here we determined the crystal structure of MERS-CoV RBD bound to the Fab fragment of MERS-27 antibody at 3.20 Å resolution. The MERS-27 epitope in the RBD overlaps with the binding site of the MERS-CoV receptor DPP4. Further biochemical, viral entry, and neutralization analyses identified two critical residues in the RBD for both MERS-27 recognition and DPP4 binding. One of the residues, Trp535, was found to function as an anchor residue at the binding interface with MERS-27. Upon receptor binding, Trp535 interacts with the N-linked carbohydrate moiety of DPP4. Thus, MERS-27 inhibits MERS-CoV infection by directly blocking both protein-protein and protein-carbohydrate interactions between MERS-CoV RBD and DPP4. These results shed light on the molecular basis of MERS-27 neutralization and will assist in the optimization of MERS-27 as a tool to combat MERS-CoV infection. PMID:26281793

  2. Delta II MER-A Spirit Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    Blue sky and sun are the backdrop for a flawless launch of MER-A, known as“Spirit,” the first of two Mars Exploration Rovers to be sent to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  3. Delta II MER-A Spirit Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    Blue sky and sun are the backdrop for a flawless launch of MER-A, known as “Spirit,” the first of two Mars Exploration Rovers to be sent to Mars. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. When the two rovers arrive at Mars in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  4. Delta II MER-A Spirit Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-10

    As if perched on top of a candle, the Mars Exploration Rover known as “Spirit” is hurled into space on a Delta II rocket. Liftoff occurred on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-A is the first of two rovers being launched to Mars. When the two rovers arrive at the red planet in 2004, they will bounce to airbag-cushioned landings at sites offering a balance of favorable conditions for safe landings and interesting science. The rovers see sharper images, can explore farther and examine rocks better than anything that has ever landed on Mars. The designated site for the MER-A mission is Gusev Crater, which appears to have been a crater lake. The second rover, MER-B, is scheduled to launch June 25.

  5. MER Caching Rover for 2018 Exploration of Ancient Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Manning, R. M.; Rivellini, T. P.; Backes, P. G.; Ganino, A. J.; Shiraishi, L. R.; Klein, K. J.; Allen, W. C.; Kahn, C. L.; Ziemer, J. K.; Sherwood, B.; Eisen, H. J.

    2012-06-01

    A modern, minimally updated MER rover can begin sample return in 2018. We demonstrate MER accommodates a caching system and robust science payload. A guided entry airbag landing system enables exploration and sample collection at high priority sites.

  6. Design and Synthesis of Novel Macrocyclic Mer Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaodong; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Weihe; Stashko, Michael A; Nichols, James; Miley, Michael J; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Chen, Zhilong; Machius, Mischa; DeRyckere, Deborah; Wood, Edgar; Graham, Douglas K; Earp, H Shelton; Kireev, Dmitri; Frye, Stephen V

    2016-12-08

    Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) is aberrantly elevated in various tumor cells and has a normal anti-inflammatory role in the innate immune system. Inhibition of MerTK may provide dual effects against these MerTK-expressing tumors through reducing cancer cell survival and redirecting the innate immune response. Recently, we have designed novel and potent macrocyclic pyrrolopyrimidines as MerTK inhibitors using a structure-based approach. The most active macrocycles had an EC50 below 40 nM in a cell-based MerTK phosphor-protein ELISA assay. The X-ray structure of macrocyclic analogue 3 complexed with MerTK was also resolved and demonstrated macrocycles binding in the ATP binding pocket of the MerTK protein as anticipated. In addition, the lead compound 16 (UNC3133) had a 1.6 h half-life and 16% oral bioavailability in a mouse PK study.

  7. The MER/CIP Portal for Ground Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Louise; Desai, Sanjay; DOrtenzio, Matthew; Filman, Robtert E.; Heher, Dennis M.; Hubbard, Kim; Johan, Sandra; Keely, Leslie; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2003-01-01

    We developed the Mars Exploration Rover/Collaborative Information Portal (MER/CIP) to facilitate MER operations. MER/CIP provides a centralized, one-stop delivery platform integrating science and engineering data from several distributed heterogeneous data sources. Key issues for MER/CIP include: 1) Scheduling and schedule reminders; 2) Tracking the status of daily predicted outputs; 3) Finding and analyzing data products; 4) Collaboration; 5) Announcements; 6) Personalization.

  8. The MER/CIP Portal for Ground Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Louise; Desai, Sanjay; DOrtenzio, Matthew; Filman, Robtert E.; Heher, Dennis M.; Hubbard, Kim; Johan, Sandra; Keely, Leslie; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2003-01-01

    We developed the Mars Exploration Rover/Collaborative Information Portal (MER/CIP) to facilitate MER operations. MER/CIP provides a centralized, one-stop delivery platform integrating science and engineering data from several distributed heterogeneous data sources. Key issues for MER/CIP include: 1) Scheduling and schedule reminders; 2) Tracking the status of daily predicted outputs; 3) Finding and analyzing data products; 4) Collaboration; 5) Announcements; 6) Personalization.

  9. Human Centered Design and Development for NASA's MerBoard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trimble, Jay

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of the design and development process for NASA's MerBoard. These devices are large interactive display screens which can be shown on the user's computer, which will allow scientists in many locations to interpret and evaluate mission data in real-time. These tools are scheduled to be used during the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) expeditions. Topics covered include: mission overview, Mer Human Centered Computers, FIDO 2001 observations and MerBoard prototypes.

  10. Human Centered Design and Development for NASA's MerBoard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trimble, Jay

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of the design and development process for NASA's MerBoard. These devices are large interactive display screens which can be shown on the user's computer, which will allow scientists in many locations to interpret and evaluate mission data in real-time. These tools are scheduled to be used during the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) expeditions. Topics covered include: mission overview, Mer Human Centered Computers, FIDO 2001 observations and MerBoard prototypes.

  11. PDS Analyst's Notebook for MSL and MER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, T. C.; Arvidson, R. E.; Zhou, F.

    2017-06-01

    The PDS Analyst’s Notebook (http://an.rsl.wustl.edu) for MSL and MER provides access to science information from several of NASA’s landed missions. Peer-reviewed data, documentation, and support files, updated coincident with PDS data releases.

  12. Potential MER Landing Site in Melas Chasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, C. M.; Parker, Timothy J.; Anderson, F. Scott

    2001-01-01

    We have selected one area in Valles Marineris as a potential landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. After 30 years of analyses, the formation of the Valles Marineris system of troughs and its associated deposits still remains an enigma. Understanding all aspects of the Valles Marineris would significantly contribute to deciphering the internal and external history of Mars. A landing site within Melas Chasma could provide insight into both the formation of Valles Marineris and the composition and origin of the interior layered deposits (ILDs). The ILDs have been proposed as: (1) sedimentary deposits formed in lakes mass wasted material from the walls; (3) remnants of the wall rock; (4) carbonate deposits; (5) aeolian deposits; and (6) volcanic. More recently, Malin and Edgett suggest that the fine-scale, rhythmic layering seen in the interior deposits, as well as other layered deposits in craters, supports a sedimentary origin. Because an understanding of the formation of Valles Marineris and its interior deposits is so important to deciphering the history of Mars, we have proposed a landing site for the MER mission on an exposure of interior deposits in western Melas Chasma. Either MER-A and MER-B could land at this same location.

  13. Deciphering MERS-CoV Evolution in Dromedary Camels.

    PubMed

    Du, Lin; Han, Guan-Zhu

    2016-02-01

    The emergence of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) poses a potential threat to global public health. Many aspects of the evolution and transmission of MERS-CoV in its animal reservoir remain unclear. A recent study provides new insights into the evolution and transmission of MERS-CoV in dromedary camels.

  14. Generation of a tamoxifen inducible Tnnt2MerCreMer knock-in mouse model for cardiac studies.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jianyun; Sultana, Nishat; Zhang, Lu; Park, David S; Shekhar, Akshay; Hu, Jun; Bu, Lei; Cai, Chen-Leng

    2015-06-01

    Tnnt2, encoding thin-filament sarcomeric protein cardiac troponin T, plays critical roles in heart development and function in mammals. To develop an inducible genetic deletion strategy in myocardial cells, we generated a new Tnnt2:MerCreMer (Tnnt2(MerCreMer/+)) knock-in mouse. Rosa26 reporter lines were used to examine the specificity and efficiency of the inducible Cre recombinase. We found that Cre was specifically and robustly expressed in the cardiomyocytes at embryonic and adult stages following tamoxifen induction. The knock-in allele on Tnnt2 locus does not impact cardiac function. These results suggest that this new Tnnt2(MerCreMer/+) mouse could be applied towards the temporal genetic deletion of genes of interests in cardiomyocytes with Cre-LoxP technology. The Tnnt2(MerCreMer/+) mouse model also provides a useful tool to trace myocardial lineage during development and repair after cardiac injury.

  15. Growth and Quantification of MERS-CoV Infection

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Christopher M.; Frieman, Matthew B.

    2015-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging highly pathogenic respiratory virus. Although MERS-CoV only emerged in 2012, we and others have developed assays to grow and quantify infectious MERS-CoV and RNA products of replication in vitro. MERS-CoV is able to infect a range of cell types, but replicates to high titers in Vero E6 cells. Protocols for the propagation and quantification of MERS-CoV are presented. PMID:26344219

  16. Effective inhibition of MERS-CoV infection by resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Lin, Shih-Chao; Ho, Chi-Tang; Chuo, Wen-Ho; Li, Shiming; Wang, Tony T; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2017-02-13

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging viral pathogen that causes severe morbidity and mortality. Up to date, there is no approved or licensed vaccine or antiviral medicines can be used to treat MERS-CoV-infected patients. Here, we analyzed the antiviral activities of resveratrol, a natural compound found in grape seeds and skin and in red wine, against MERS-CoV infection. We performed MTT and neutral red uptake assays to assess the survival rates of MERS-infected Vero E6 cells. In addition, quantitative PCR, western blotting, and immunofluorescent assays determined the intracellular viral RNA and protein expression. For viral productivity, we utilized plaque assays to confirm the antiviral properties of resveratrol against MERS-CoV. Resveratrol significantly inhibited MERS-CoV infection and prolonged cellular survival after virus infection. We also found that the expression of nucleocapsid (N) protein essential for MERS-CoV replication was decreased after resveratrol treatment. Furthermore, resveratrol down-regulated the apoptosis induced by MERS-CoV in vitro. By consecutive administration of resveratrol, we were able to reduce the concentration of resveratrol while achieving inhibitory effectiveness against MERS-CoV. In this study, we first demonstrated that resveratrol is a potent anti-MERS agent in vitro. We perceive that resveratrol can be a potential antiviral agent against MERS-CoV infection in the near future.

  17. Animal models for SARS and MERS coronaviruses.

    PubMed

    Gretebeck, Lisa M; Subbarao, Kanta

    2015-08-01

    The emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), two strains of animal coronaviruses that crossed the species barrier to infect and cause severe respiratory infections in humans within the last 12 years, have taught us that coronaviruses represent a global threat that does not recognize international borders. We can expect to see other novel coronaviruses emerge in the future. An ideal animal model should reflect the clinical signs, viral replication and pathology seen in humans. In this review, we present factors to consider in establishing an animal model for the study of novel coronaviruses and compare the different animal models that have been employed to study SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

  18. Animal models for SARS and MERS coronaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Gretebeck, Lisa M; Subbarao, Kanta

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), two strains of animal coronaviruses that crossed the species barrier to infect and cause severe respiratory infections in humans within the last 12 years, have taught us that coronaviruses represent a global threat that does not recognize international borders. We can expect to see other novel coronaviruses emerge in the future. An ideal animal model should reflect the clinical signs, viral replication and pathology seen in humans. In this review, we present factors to consider in establishing an animal model for the study of novel coronaviruses and compare the different animal models that have been employed to study SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. PMID:26184451

  19. Two Years Onboard the MER Opportunity Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Burl, Michael; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Daniel; Judd, Michele; Thompson, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) system provides automated data collection for planetary rovers. AEGIS is currently being used onboard the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission's Opportunity to provide autonomous targeting of the MER Panoramic camera. Prior to AEGIS, targeted data was collected in a manual fashion where targets were manually identified in images transmitted to Earth and the rover had to remain in the same location for one to several communication cycles. AEGIS enables targeted data to be rapidly acquired with no delays for ground communication. Targets are selected by AEGIS through the use of onboard data analysis techniques that are guided by scientist-specified objectives. This paper provides an overview of the how AEGIS has been used on the Opportunity rover, focusing on usage that occurred during a 21 kilometer historic trek to the Mars Endeavour crater.

  20. Barrier properties of k-mer packings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebovka, N.; Khrapatiy, S.; Vygornitskyi; Pivovarova, N.

    2014-08-01

    This work discusses numerical studies of the barrier properties of k-mer packings by the Monte Carlo method. The studied variants of regular and non-regular arrangements on a square lattice included models of random sequential adsorption (RSA) and random deposition (RD). The discrete problem of diffusion through the bonds of a square lattice was considered. The k-mers were perfectly oriented perpendicular to the diffusion direction and blocked certain fraction of bonds fb against diffusion. The barrier efficiency was estimated by calculation of the ratio D/Do where D is diffusion coefficient in direction perpendicular to the orientation of k-mers and Do is the same value for diffusion on the square lattice without blocked bonds, i.e., at fb=0. The value of k varied from 1 to 512 and different lattice sizes up to L=8192 lattice units were used. For dense packings (p=1), the obtained D/Do versus fb dependences deviated from the theoretical prediction of effective medium (EM) theory and deviation was the most obvious for the regular non-staggered arrangement. For loose RSA and RD packings, the percolation like-behavior of D/Do with threshold at fb=p∞ was observed and the data evidenced that their barrier properties at large values of k may be more effective than those of some dense packings. Such anomalous behavior can reflect the details of k-mer spatial organization (aggregation) and structure of pores in RD and RSA packings. The contradictions between simulation data and predictions of EM theory were also discussed.

  1. Automated Targeting for the MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Gaines, Daniel; de Granville, Charles; Thompson, David; Burl, Michael; Chien, Steve; Judd, Michele

    2009-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science System (AEGIS) will soon provide automated targeting for remote sensing instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, which currently which currently has two rovers exploring the surface of Mars. Currently, targets for rover remote-sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission ChemCam Spectrometer), must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. AEGIS enables the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. In this paper, we first provide some background information on the larger autonomous science framework in which AEGIS was developed. We then describe how AEGIS was specifically developed and tested on the JPL FIDO rover. Finally we discuss how AEGIS will be uploaded and used on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission in early 2009.

  2. Implementation of hierarchical clustering using k-mer sparse matrix to analyze MERS-CoV genetic relationship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bustamam, A.; Ulul, E. D.; Hura, H. F. A.; Siswantining, T.

    2017-07-01

    Hierarchical clustering is one of effective methods in creating a phylogenetic tree based on the distance matrix between DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequences. One of the well-known methods to calculate the distance matrix is k-mer method. Generally, k-mer is more efficient than some distance matrix calculation techniques. The steps of k-mer method are started from creating k-mer sparse matrix, and followed by creating k-mer singular value vectors. The last step is computing the distance amongst vectors. In this paper, we analyze the sequences of MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus) DNA by implementing hierarchical clustering using k-mer sparse matrix in order to perform the phylogenetic analysis. Our results show that the ancestor of our MERS-CoV is coming from Egypt. Moreover, we found that the MERS-CoV infection that occurs in one country may not necessarily come from the same country of origin. This suggests that the process of MERS-CoV mutation might not only be influenced by geographical factor.

  3. Cleavage of Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) from the cell surface contributes to the regulation of retinal phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Law, Ah-Lai; Parinot, Célia; Chatagnon, Jonathan; Gravez, Basile; Sahel, José-Alain; Bhattacharya, Shomi S; Nandrot, Emeline F

    2015-02-20

    Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages and spent photoreceptor outer segments (POS) by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells requires several proteins, including MerTK receptors and associated Gas6 and protein S ligands. In the retina, POS phagocytosis is rhythmic, and MerTK is activated promptly after light onset via the αvβ5 integrin receptor and its ligand MFG-E8, thus generating a phagocytic peak. The phagocytic burst is limited in time, suggesting a down-regulation mechanism that limits its duration. Our previous data showed that MerTK helps control POS binding of integrin receptors at the RPE cell surface as a negative feedback loop. Our present results show that a soluble form of MerTK (sMerTK) is released in the conditioned media of RPE-J cells during phagocytosis and in the interphotoreceptor matrix of the mouse retina during the morning phagocytic peak. In contrast to macrophages, the two cognate MerTK ligands have an opposite effect on phagocytosis and sMerTK release, whereas the integrin ligand MFG-E8 markedly increases both phagocytosis and sMerTK levels. sMerTK acts as a decoy receptor blocking the effect of both MerTK ligands. Interestingly, stimulation of sMerTK release decreases POS binding. Conversely, blocking MerTK cleavage increased mostly POS binding by RPE cells. Therefore, our data suggest that MerTK cleavage contributes to the acute regulation of RPE phagocytosis by limiting POS binding to the cell surface. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. UNC1062, a new and potent Mer inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Zhang, Weihe; Stashko, Michael A; Deryckere, Deborah; Cummings, Christopher T; Hunter, Debra; Yang, Chao; Jayakody, Chatura N; Cheng, Nancy; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Kireev, Dmitri; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-07-01

    Abnormal activation of Mer kinase has been implicated in the oncogenesis of many human cancers including acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, and glioblastoma. We have discovered a new family of small molecule Mer inhibitors, pyrazolopyrimidine sulfonamides, that potently inhibit the kinase activity of Mer. Importantly, these compounds do not demonstrate significant hERG activity in the PatchXpress assay. Through structure-activity relationship studies, 35 (UNC1062) was identified as a potent (IC50 = 1.1 nM) and selective Mer inhibitor. When applied to live tumor cells, UNC1062 inhibited Mer phosphorylation and colony formation in soft agar. Given the potential of Mer as a therapeutic target, UNC1062 is a promising candidate for further drug development.

  5. UNC1062, a new and potent Mer inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jing; Zhang, Weihe; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Cummings, Christopher T.; Hunter, Debra; Yang, Chao; Jayakody, Chatura N.; Cheng, Nancy; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Kireev, Dmitri; Janzen, William P.; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.; Frye, Stephen V.; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal activation of Mer kinase has been implicated in the oncogenesis of many human cancers including acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, and glioblastoma. We have discovered a new family of small molecule Mer inhibitors, pyrazolopyrimidine sulfonamides, that potently inhibit the kinase activity of Mer. Importantly, these compounds do not demonstrate significant hERG activity in the PatchXpress assay. Through structure-activity relationship studies, 35 (UNC1062) was identified as a potent (IC50 = 1.1 nM) and selective Mer inhibitor. When applied to live tumor cells, UNC1062 inhibited Mer phosphorylation and colony formation in soft agar. Given the potential of Mer as a therapeutic target, UNC1062 is a promising candidate for further drug development. PMID:23693152

  6. Isolation of MERS Coronavirus from a Dromedary Camel, Qatar, 2014

    PubMed Central

    Raj, V. Stalin; Farag, Elmoubasher A.B.A.; Reusken, Chantal B.E.M.; Lamers, Mart M.; Pas, Suzan D.; Voermans, Jolanda; Smits, Saskia L.; Osterhaus, Albert D.M.E.; Al-Mawlawi, Naema; Al-Romaihi, Hamad E.; El-Sayed, Ahmed M.; Mohran, Khaled A.; Ghobashy, Hazem; Alhajri, Farhoud; Al-Thani, Mohamed; Al-Marri, Salih A.; El-Maghraby, Mamdouh M.; Koopmans, Marion P.G.

    2014-01-01

    We obtained the full genome of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from a camel in Qatar. This virus is highly similar to the human England/Qatar 1 virus isolated in 2012. The MERS-CoV from the camel efficiently replicated in human cells, providing further evidence for the zoonotic potential of MERS-CoV from camels. PMID:25075761

  7. Managing PV Power on Mars - MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Chin, Keith; Wood, Eric; Herman, Jennifer; Ewell, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The MER Rovers have recently completed over 5 years of operation! This is a remarkable demonstration of the capabilities of PV power on the Martian surface. The extended mission required the development of an efficient process to predict the power available to the rovers on a day-to-day basis. The performance of the MER solar arrays is quite unlike that of any other Space array and perhaps more akin to Terrestrial PV operation, although even severe by that comparison. The impact of unpredictable factors, such as atmospheric conditions and dust accumulation (and removal) on the panels limits the accurate prediction of array power to short time spans. Based on the above, it is clear that long term power predictions are not sufficiently accurate to allow for detailed long term planning. Instead, the power assessment is essentially a daily activity, effectively resetting the boundary points for the overall predictive power model. A typical analysis begins with the importing of the telemetry from each rover's previous day's power subsystem activities. This includes the array power generated, battery state-of-charge, rover power loads, and rover orientation, all as functions of time. The predicted performance for that day is compared to the actual performance to identify the extent of any differences. The model is then corrected for these changes. Details of JPL's MER power analysis procedure are presented, including the description of steps needed to provide the final prediction for the mission planners. A dust cleaning event of the solar array is also highlighted to illustrate the impact of Martian weather on solar array performance

  8. MerTK regulates thymic selection of autoreactive T cells.

    PubMed

    Wallet, Mark A; Flores, Rafael R; Wang, Yaming; Yi, Zuoan; Kroger, Charles J; Mathews, Clayton E; Earp, H Shelton; Matsushima, Glenn; Wang, Bo; Tisch, Roland

    2009-03-24

    T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D) are believed to be the result in part of inefficient negative selection of self-specific thymocytes. However, the events regulating thymic negative selection are not fully understood. In the current study, we demonstrate that nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice lacking expression of the Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) have reduced inflammation of the pancreatic islets and fail to develop diabetes. Furthermore, NOD mice deficient in MerTK expression (Mer(-/-)) exhibit a reduced frequency of beta cell-specific T cells independent of immunoregulatory effectors. The establishment of bone marrow chimeric mice demonstrated that the block in beta cell autoimmunity required hematopoietic-derived cells lacking MerTK expression. Notably, fetal thymic organ cultures and self-peptide administration showed increased thymic negative selection in Mer(-/-) mice. Finally, thymic dendritic cells (DC) prepared from Mer(-/-) mice exhibited an increased capacity to induce thymocyte apoptosis in a peptide-specific manner in vitro. These findings provide evidence for a unique mechanism involving MerTK-mediated regulation of thymocyte negative selection and thymic DC, and suggest a role for MerTK in contributing to beta cell autoimmunity.

  9. Identification of the merR gene of R100 by using mer-lac gene and operon fusions.

    PubMed Central

    Foster, T J; Brown, N L

    1985-01-01

    Transcriptional (operon) and translational (gene) fusions between the R100 merR gene and lacZ were constructed in vitro in a pBR322 plasmid carrying the mer genes derived from plasmid R100. The translational fusions were oriented in the opposite direction to and divergently from the merTCAD genes. This shows that the reading frame previously thought to be merR was incorrect. Expression of the gene fusion was repressed in trans by a compatible plasmid carrying the R100 merR+ gene, as was a similarly oriented transcriptional fusion. In contrast, expression of beta-galactosidase by the lac fragment located at the same site but in the opposite orientation was at a lower level and was not repressed by merR+. Images PMID:2993235

  10. Science Activity Planner for the MER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norris, Jeffrey S.; Crockett, Thomas M.; Fox, Jason M.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Powell, Mark W.; Shams, Khawaja S.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Wallick, Michael N.; Mittman, David S.

    2008-01-01

    The Maestro Science Activity Planner is a computer program that assists human users in planning operations of the Mars Explorer Rover (MER) mission and visualizing scientific data returned from the MER rovers. Relative to its predecessors, this program is more powerful and easier to use. This program is built on the Java Eclipse open-source platform around a Web-browser-based user-interface paradigm to provide an intuitive user interface to Mars rovers and landers. This program affords a combination of advanced display and simulation capabilities. For example, a map view of terrain can be generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Explorer instrument aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and overlaid with images from a navigation camera (more precisely, a stereoscopic pair of cameras) aboard a rover, and an interactive, annotated rover traverse path can be incorporated into the overlay. It is also possible to construct an overhead perspective mosaic image of terrain from navigation-camera images. This program can be adapted to similar use on other outer-space missions and is potentially adaptable to numerous terrestrial applications involving analysis of data, operations of robots, and planning of such operations for acquisition of scientific data.

  11. Geology of the MER 2003 "Elysium" Candidate Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Carr, M. H.; Gilmore, M. S.; Hare, T. M.

    2003-03-01

    Although chosen mainly for its safety characteristics, new Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey data suggest that the MER 2003 "Elysium" candidate landing site in southeastern Utopia Planitia also meets basic science requirements for the MER mission involving the geologic activity of water.

  12. Environmental Contamination and Viral Shedding in MERS Patients During MERS-CoV Outbreak in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Bin, Seo Yu; Heo, Jung Yeon; Song, Min-Suk; Lee, Jacob; Kim, Eun-Ha; Park, Su-Jin; Kwon, Hyeok-Il; Kim, Se Mi; Kim, Young-Il; Si, Young-Jae; Lee, In-Won; Baek, Yun Hee; Choi, Won-Suk; Min, Jinsoo; Jeong, Hye Won; Choi, Young Ki

    2016-03-15

    Although Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is characterized by a risk of nosocomial transmission, the detailed mode of transmission and period of virus shedding from infected patients are poorly understood. The aims of this study were to investigate the potential role of environmental contamination by MERS-CoV in healthcare settings and to define the period of viable virus shedding from MERS patients. We investigated environmental contamination from 4 patients in MERS-CoV units of 2 hospitals. MERS-CoV was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and viable virus was isolated by cultures. Many environmental surfaces of MERS patient rooms, including points frequently touched by patients or healthcare workers, were contaminated by MERS-CoV. Viral RNA was detected up to five days from environmental surfaces following the last positive PCR from patients' respiratory specimens. MERS-CoV RNA was detected in samples from anterooms, medical devices, and air-ventilating equipment. In addition, MERS-CoV was isolated from environmental objects such as bed sheets, bedrails, IV fluid hangers, and X-ray devices. During the late clinical phase of MERS, viable virus could be isolated in 3 of the 4 enrolled patients on day 18 to day 25 after symptom onset. Most of touchable surfaces in MERS units were contaminated by patients and health care workers and the viable virus could shed through respiratory secretion from clinically fully recovered patients. These results emphasize the need for strict environmental surface hygiene practices, and sufficient isolation period based on laboratory results rather than solely on clinical symptoms. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Dust Accumulation on MER Solar Panels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinness, E. A.; Arvidson, R. E.; McEwen, A. S.; Cull, S.

    2011-12-01

    HiRISE acquired in March 2011 a color image of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover from orbit that shows an exceptionally bright reflection from the rover solar panels. HiRISE data combined with laboratory measurements of MER solar cell reflectance provide a method for constraining the thickness of dust on the solar panels. Spirit is the brightest object in the HiRISE scene with a reflectance that is about 3 times higher at 500 nm and about 1.5 times higher at 700 and 850 nm than bright outcrop and soil near the rover. The rover is also less red than these nearby materials and less red than a typical Mars dust spectrum modeled with the same geometry and seen through similar atmospheric conditions as the HiRISE image. Lighting and viewing angles for the HiRISE image of Spirit are close to a specular reflection geometry when factoring in the rover orientation, the sun position, and the location of HiRISE during image acquisition. Laboratory photometric measurements of clean and dust-coated MER solar cells show a strong specular reflection for dust coating thicknesses up to at least 45 micrometers. The specular reflection was not present in the laboratory data when the solar cell was covered with about a 135 micrometer thick layer. The dust used in the experiments consisted of less than 10 micrometer sized particles derived from a palagonitic tephra from Mauna Kea that is spectrally similar to Mars dust. A survey of MER Pancam color images acquired by Spirit and Opportunity also shows several examples of specular reflections from the solar panels. These examples correspond to times when the solar cells were moderately clean to dusty as inferred from the amount of power generated by the cells. Specular reflections in Pancam images have been observed when the solar cell output was only 45% that of a dust-free cell. Spirit HiRISE data indicate that the rover was not covered by an optical thick layer of dust because some of the reflected light must have come from the

  14. Engineering MerR for Sequestration and MerA for Reduction of Toxic Metals and Radionuclides

    SciTech Connect

    Anne O. Summers

    2008-12-15

    The objectives of this project were (1) to alter a metalloregulatory protein (MerR) so that it would bind other toxic metals or radionuclides with similar affinity so that the engineered protein itself and/or bacteria expressing it could be deployed in the environment to specifically sequester such metals and (2) to alter the mercuric reductase, MerA, to reduce radionuclides and render them less mobile. Both projects had a basic science component. In the first case, such information about MerR illuminates how proteins discriminate very similar metals/elements. In the second case, information about MerA reveals the criteria for transmission of reducing equivalents from NADPH to redox-active metals. The work involved genetic engineering of all or parts of both proteins and examination of their resultant properties both in vivo and in vitro, the latter with biochemical and biophysical tools including equilibrium and non-equilibrium dialysis, XAFS, NMR, x-ray crystallography, and titration calorimetry. We defined the basis for metal specificity in MerR, devised a bacterial strain that sequesters Hg while growing, characterized gold reduction by MerA and the role of the metallochaperone domain of MerA, and determined the 3-D structure of MerB, the organomercurial lyase.

  15. Delta II Heavy MER-B Prelaunch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission is poised for launch after rollback of the Mobile Service Tower. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  16. The Ames MER microscopic imager toolkit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargent, R.; Deans, Matthew; Kunz, C.; Sims, M.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2005-01-01

    12The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have spent several successful months on Mars, returning gigabytes of images and spectral data to scientists on Earth. One of the instruments on the MER rovers, the Athena Microscopic Imager (MI), is a fixed focus, megapixel camera providing a ??3mm depth of field and a 31??31mm field of view at a working distance of 63 mm from the lens to the object being imaged. In order to maximize the science return from this instrument, we developed the Ames MI Toolkit and supported its use during the primary mission. The MI Toolkit is a set of programs that operate on collections of MI images, with the goal of making the data more understandable to the scientists on the ground. Because of the limited depth of field of the camera, and the often highly variable topography of the terrain being imaged, MI images of a given rock are often taken as a stack, with the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) moving along a computed normal vector, pausing every few millimeters for the MI to acquire an image. The MI Toolkit provides image registration and focal section merging, which combine these images to form a single, maximally in-focus image, while compensating for changes in lighting as well as parallax due to the motion of the camera. The MI Toolkit also provides a 3-D reconstruction of the surface being imaged using stereo and can embed 2-D MI images as texture maps into 3-D meshes produced by other imagers on board the rover to provide context. The 2-D images and 3-D meshes output from the Toolkit are easily viewed by scientists using other mission tools, such as Viz or the MI Browser.This paper describes the MI Toolkit in detail, as well as our experience using it with scientists at JPL during the primary MER mission. ?? 2005 IEEE.

  17. The Ames MER Microscopic Imager Toolkit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sargent, Randy; Deans, Matthew; Kunz, Clayton; Sims, Michael; Herkenhoff, Ken

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have spent several successful months on Mars, returning gigabytes of images and spectral data to scientists on Earth. One of the instruments on the MER rovers, the Athena Microscopic Imager (MI), is a fixed focus, megapixel camera providing a plus or minus mm depth of field and a 3lx31mm field of view at a working distance of 63 mm from the lens to the object being imaged. In order to maximize the science return from this instrument, we developed the Ames MI Toolkit and supported its use during the primary mission. The MI Toolkit is a set of programs that operate on collections of MI images, with the goal of making the data more understandable to the scientists on the ground. Because of the limited depth of field of the camera, and the often highly variable topography of the terrain being imaged, MI images of a given rock are often taken as a stack, with the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) moving along a computed normal vector, pausing every few millimeters for the MI to acquire an image. The MI Toolkit provides image registration and focal section merging, which combine these images to form a single, maximally in-focus image, while compensating for changes in lighting as well as parallax due to the motion of the camera. The MI Toolkit also provides a 3-D reconstruction of the surface being imaged using stereo and can embed 2-D MI images as texture maps into 3-D meshes produced by other imagers on board the rover to provide context. The 2-D images and 3-D meshes output from the Toolkit are easily viewed by scientists using other mission tools, such as Viz or the MI Browser. This paper describes the MI Toolkit in detail, as well as our experience using it with scientists at JPL during the primary MER mission.

  18. mer [Römer, Roemer], Ole [Olaf] Christensen (1644-1710)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Born in Aarhus, Denmark, studied at the University of Copenhagen under Thomas and Erasmus Bartholin, who gave him TYCHO BRAHE's manuscripts to edit and his own daughter to wed. Rømer accompanied Bartholin and JEAN PICARD to Hven to measure the position of Tycho's observatory, the better to reduce Tycho's observations. He went on to the Paris Observatory where he made and used instruments for the ...

  19. Recombination spot identification Based on gapped k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rong; Xu, Yong; Liu, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Recombination is crucial for biological evolution, which provides many new combinations of genetic diversity. Accurate identification of recombination spots is useful for DNA function study. To improve the prediction accuracy, researchers have proposed several computational methods for recombination spot identification. The k-mer feature is one of the most useful features for modeling the properties and function of DNA sequences. However, it suffers from the inherent limitation. If the value of word length k is large, the occurrences of k-mers are closed to a binary variable, with a few k-mers present once and most k-mers are absent. This usually causes the sparse problem and reduces the classification accuracy. To solve this problem, we add gaps into k-mer and introduce a new feature called gapped k-mer (GKM) for identification of recombination spots. By using this feature, we present a new predictor called SVM-GKM, which combines the gapped k-mers and Support Vector Machine (SVM) for recombination spot identification. Experimental results on a widely used benchmark dataset show that SVM-GKM outperforms other highly related predictors. Therefore, SVM-GKM would be a powerful predictor for computational genomics. PMID:27030570

  20. Monoclonal Antibody Shows Promise as Potential Therapeutic for MERS | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    A monoclonal antibody has proven effective in preventing Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in lab animals, suggesting further development as a potential intervention for the deadly disease in humans, according to new research. MERS is a newly emerged coronavirus first detected in humans in 2012. Most cases have occurred in the Middle East, but the disease has appeared elsewhere. In all, MERS has infected more than 1,700 individuals and killed more than 600, according to the World Health Organization. No vaccines or antiviral therapies currently exist. Several candidate vaccines are being developed, and some have been tested in animal models, a prerequisite to human clinical trials.

  1. Monoclonal Antibody Shows Promise as Potential Therapeutic for MERS | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    A monoclonal antibody has proven effective in preventing Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in lab animals, suggesting further development as a potential intervention for the deadly disease in humans, according to new research. MERS is a newly emerged coronavirus first detected in humans in 2012. Most cases have occurred in the Middle East, but the disease has appeared elsewhere. In all, MERS has infected more than 1,700 individuals and killed more than 600, according to the World Health Organization. No vaccines or antiviral therapies currently exist. Several candidate vaccines are being developed, and some have been tested in animal models, a prerequisite to human clinical trials.

  2. MGS and Odyssey - relay satellites for the MER mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esposito, Pasquale B.; Bhat, R.; Demeak, S.; Ardalan, S.; Breeden, J.; Helfrich, C.; Jefferson, D.; Stauch, J.

    2004-01-01

    Both Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Odyssey are currently in low altitude, nearly circular and highly inclined orbits about Mars. Thus, they are available adn compartible to serve as relay satellites for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission. Consequently, the MER project developed requirements for MGS to be overhead for MER-A (Spirit) at Gusev crater, at maximum elevation, mudway between lander separation and initial touchdown; in time, this was specified as 01/04/04. 04:24:55 UTC/SCET with a 30 sec tolerance.

  3. Translating MAPGEN to ASPEN for MER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rabideau, Gregg R.; Knight, Russell L.; Lenda, Matthew; Maldague, Pierre F.

    2013-01-01

    This software translates MAPGEN (Europa and APGEN) domains to ASPEN, and the resulting domain can be used to perform planning for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). In other words, this is a conversion of two distinct planning languages (both declarative and procedural) to a third (declarative) planning language in order to solve the problem of faithful translation from mixed-domain representations into the ASPEN Modeling Language. The MAPGEN planning system is an example of a hybrid procedural/declarative system where the advantages of each are leveraged to produce an effective planner/scheduler for MER tactical planning. The adaptation of the planning system (ASPEN) was investigated, and, with some translation, much of the procedural knowledge encoding is amenable to declarative knowledge encoding. The approach was to compose translators from the core languages used for adapting MAGPEN, which consists of Europa and APGEN. Europa is a constraint- based planner/scheduler where domains are encoded using a declarative model. APGEN is also constraint-based, in that it tracks constraints on resources and states and other variables. Domains are encoded in both constraints and code snippets that execute according to a forward sweep through the plan. Europa and APGEN communicate to each other using proxy activities in APGEN that represent constraints and/or tokens in Europa. The composition of a translator from Europa to ASPEN was fairly straightforward, as ASPEN is also a declarative planning system, and the specific uses of Europa for the MER domain matched ASPEN s native encoding fairly closely. On the other hand, translating from APGEN to ASPEN was considerably more involved. On the surface, the types of activities and resources one encodes in APGEN appear to match oneto- one to the activities, state variables, and resources in ASPEN. But, when looking into the definitions of how resources are profiled and activities are expanded, one sees code snippets that access

  4. Characterization of Martian Rock Shape for MER Airbag Drop Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimaggio, E. N.; Schroeder, R. D.; Golombek, M. P.; Haldemann, A.; Castle, N.

    2003-03-01

    To aid in defining the rock distributions for MER airbag tests, images from the Viking Landers 1 and 2 and MPF were used to identify rocks that are >20 cm high and characterize them by their shape and burial.

  5. Mars Atmosphere Argon Density Measurement on MER Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Economou, T. E.

    2008-11-01

    Using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on board Spirit and Opportunity rovers on MER mission, we were able to measure the argon density variation in the martian atmosphere as a function of seasonal changes.

  6. SARS and MERS: recent insights into emerging coronaviruses.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Emmie; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Falzarano, Darryl; Munster, Vincent J

    2016-08-01

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012 marked the second introduction of a highly pathogenic coronavirus into the human population in the twenty-first century. The continuing introductions of MERS-CoV from dromedary camels, the subsequent travel-related viral spread, the unprecedented nosocomial outbreaks and the high case-fatality rates highlight the need for prophylactic and therapeutic measures. Scientific advancements since the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) pandemic allowed for rapid progress in our understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of MERS-CoV and the development of therapeutics. In this Review, we detail our present understanding of the transmission and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and discuss the current state of development of measures to combat emerging coronaviruses.

  7. PDS Analyst's Notebook for MSL and MER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, T.; Arvidson, R. E.; Zhou, F.

    2016-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and Mars Exploration Rover (MER).PDS Analyst's Notebooks (AN) (http://an.rsl.wustl.edu) provide integrated access to peer-reviewed, released data provided by the instrument teams, supported by documentation describing data format, content, and calibration and providing insight into why and how particular observations were made. Observation planning and targeting information is extracted from mission science plans, including instrument settings and observation parameters. Source commands are linked with resulting data products, albeit with limits due to the absence of round trip data tracking. Data, documents, planned observations, and mosaics are grouped in the AN for easy scanning and are displayed in order of acquisition. Sequences and individual products may be viewed in detail and downloaded. Context mosaics, which are not calibrated science products, are created for sequences of MSL Navcam, Mastcam and MAHLI single frame images that do not have a formal mosaic product in the mission archive. Rover traverses are plotted on a HiRISE basemap using drive telemetry provided by the projects. Clicking on a traverse location brings up corresponding data. Data products may be searched by time, location, instrument, command sequence, and other criteria. Sol document search is also supported. New measurement functions provide location information for points in images, as well as distance and elevation profile between points. The tool also can find a point on an image given site frame coordinates. New drawing functions support user-defined annotations such as text, lines, and arrows.

  8. WATER ON MARS: EVIDENCE FROM MER MISSION RESULTS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers on Mars, equipped with a highly-capable suite of science instruments. The Spirit rover landed on the inside Gusev Crater on January 5, 2004, and the Opportunity rover three weeks later on Meridiani Planum. This paper summarizes some of the findings from the MER rovers related to the NASA science strategy of investigating past and present water on Mars.

  9. Receptor-binding domain-based subunit vaccines against MERS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Naru; Tang, Jian; Lu, Lu; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying

    2015-04-16

    Development of effective vaccines, in particular, subunit-based vaccines, against emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) caused by the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) will provide the safest means of preventing the continuous spread of MERS in humans and camels. This review briefly describes the structure of the MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), discusses the current status of MERS vaccine development and illustrates the strategies used to develop RBD-based subunit vaccines against MERS. It also summarizes currently available animal models for MERS-CoV and proposes a future direction for MERS vaccines. Taken together, this review will assist researchers working to develop effective and safe subunit vaccines against MERS-CoV and any other emerging coronaviruses that might cause future pandemics.

  10. Discovery of Macrocyclic Pyrimidines as MerTK-Specific Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    McIver, Andrew L; Zhang, Weihe; Liu, Qingyang; Jiang, Xinpeng; Stashko, Michael A; Nichols, James; Miley, Michael J; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Machius, Mischa; DeRyckere, Deborah; Wood, Edgar; Graham, Douglas K; Earp, H Shelton; Kireev, Dmitri; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2017-02-03

    Macrocycles have attracted significant attention in drug discovery recently. In fact, a few de novo designed macrocyclic kinase inhibitors are currently in clinical trials with good potency and selectivity for their intended target. In this study, we successfully engaged a structure-based drug design approach to discover macrocyclic pyrimidines as potent Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK)-specific inhibitors. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 384-well format was employed to evaluate the inhibitory activity of macrocycles in a cell-based assay assessing tyrosine phosphorylation of MerTK. Through structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies, analogue 11 [UNC2541; (S)-7-amino-N-(4-fluorobenzyl)-8-oxo-2,9,16-triaza-1(2,4)-pyrimidinacyclohexadecaphane-1-carboxamide] was identified as a potent and MerTK-specific inhibitor that exhibits sub-micromolar inhibitory activity in the cell-based ELISA. In addition, an X-ray structure of MerTK protein in complex with 11 was resolved to show that these macrocycles bind in the MerTK ATP pocket.

  11. Predicting the Mars Atmosphere for MER EDL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kass, D.

    2005-05-01

    As the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) approached Mars, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) detected a regional dust storm. The storm developed as a local storm descending the Chryse storm track but instead of dying out near the equator, it crossed over the Meridiani landing site into the southern hemisphere and started growing. It eventually became a planet encircling storm, with a global impact on atmospheric temperatures. The storm peaked (in terms of dust loading) around December 18th. While the storm was already decaying, it was still expected to change the atmosphere from baseline "clear" atmosphere used for planning Entry Descent and Landing (EDL). To help insure the successful landing, an attempt was made to model and then predict the atmosphere as the dust from the storm (and associated warming) cleared. Two types of data analyses were performed. The first was to rapidly look at MGS-TES daily global maps and MOC weekly reports. This gave a good qualitative assessment of the activity and help give a global view of the activity. The daily global atmospheric temperature maps from TES were particularly useful in showing where there were atmospheric changes but little measurable dust. The second analysis was to use vertical temperature profiles retrieved from the TES data. An effort was made to minimize the turnaround on the analysis and a 3 day latency was achieved. The retrieved profiles from the orbit nearest to the landing site were averaged over a ~ 10 degree latitude bin. They were then incorporated into an engineering model based on the one described in Golombek et al. [2003]. This is an interpolation scheme/Monte-Carlo distribution generator and not an actual dynamical model. It basically uses the TES data as a mean and applies a variability. For Spirit, there was no attempt to make predictions (the storm was too close to landing), so the most recent profiles were just used as a best guess. This turned out to be adequate, resulting in the final model being

  12. Role of MerH in mercury resistance in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus

    PubMed Central

    Schelert, James; Rudrappa, Deepak; Johnson, Tyler

    2013-01-01

    Crenarchaeota include extremely thermoacidophilic organisms that thrive in geothermal environments dominated by sulfidic ores and heavy metals such as mercury. Mercuric ion, Hg(II), inactivates transcription in the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus and simultaneously derepresses transcription of a resistance operon, merHAI, through interaction with the MerR transcription factor. While mercuric reductase (MerA) is required for metal resistance, the role of MerH, an adjacent small and predicted product of an ORF, has not been explored. Inactivation of MerH either by nonsense mutation or by in-frame deletion diminished Hg(II) resistance of mutant cells. Promoter mapping studies indicated that Hg(II) sensitivity of the merH nonsense mutant arose through transcriptional polarity, and its metal resistance was restored partially by single copy merH complementation. Since MerH was not required in vitro for MerA-catalysed Hg(II) reduction, MerH may play an alternative role in metal resistance. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis of the MerH deletion strain following metal challenge indicated that there was prolonged retention of intracellular Hg(II). Finally, a reduced rate of mer operon induction in the merH deletion mutant suggested that the requirement for MerH could result from metal trafficking to the MerR transcription factor. PMID:23619003

  13. Potential Noachian-Aged Sites for MER-B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Tanaka, K. L.

    2001-01-01

    Two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are slated for launch in 2003 and will land in the equatorial region of Mars. These rovers are More formidable in both size and instrument complement than the Sojourner rover, potentially allowing greater range. For landing, they will be housed in an airbag system nearly identical to Pathfinder allowing them to land in an area with elevation below 1.3 km, Root Mean Square (RMS) slopes less than 6 degrees, rock abundance less than 20%, and fine component thermal inertia greater than 3-4 cgs units. MER-A may land between 15 S to 5 N and MER-B between 10 S and 10 N. Numerous sites have been identified by the JPL team as meeting the above engineering requirements for the landing of the rovers. Here we focus on a subset of these that lie in Noachian-aged terrain, as defined by Viking-era geologic mapping. This subset is further reduced by the first author's support of the selection (if possible) of a site in the Valles Marineris which can only be reached by MER-A, this study therefore focuses on those Noachian-aged sites that can be reached by MER-B.

  14. Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV

    DOE PAGES

    Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Joyce, M. Gordon; ...

    2015-07-28

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) as a cause of severe respiratory disease highlights the need for effective approaches to CoV vaccine development. Efforts focused solely on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral Spike (S) glycoprotein may not optimize neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Here we show that immunogens based on full-length S DNA and S1 subunit protein elicit robust serum-neutralizing activity against several MERS-CoV strains in mice and non-human primates. Serological analysis and isolation of murine monoclonal antibodies revealed that immunization elicits NAbs to RBD and, non-RBD portions of S1 and S2 subunit. Multiple neutralization mechanismsmore » were demonstrated by solving the atomic structure of a NAb-RBD complex, through sequencing of neutralization escape viruses and by constructing MERS-CoV S variants for serological assays. Immunization of rhesus macaques confers protection against MERS-CoV-induced radiographic pneumonia, as assessed using computerized tomography, supporting this strategy as a promising approach for MERS-CoV vaccine development.« less

  15. Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Joyce, M. Gordon; Modjarrad, Kayvon; Zhang, Yi; Leung, Kwanyee; Lees, Christopher R.; Zhou, Tongqing; Yassine, Hadi M.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; Yang, Zhi-yong; Chen, Xuejun; Becker, Michelle M.; Freeman, Megan; Vogel, Leatrice; Johnson, Joshua C.; Olinger, Gene; Todd, John P.; Bagci, Ulas; Solomon, Jeffrey; Mollura, Daniel J.; Hensley, Lisa; Jahrling, Peter; Denison, Mark R.; Rao, Srinivas S.; Subbarao, Kanta; Kwong, Peter D.; Mascola, John R.; Kong, Wing-Pui; Graham, Barney S.

    2015-07-28

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) as a cause of severe respiratory disease highlights the need for effective approaches to CoV vaccine development. Efforts focused solely on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral Spike (S) glycoprotein may not optimize neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Here we show that immunogens based on full-length S DNA and S1 subunit protein elicit robust serum-neutralizing activity against several MERS-CoV strains in mice and non-human primates. Serological analysis and isolation of murine monoclonal antibodies revealed that immunization elicits NAbs to RBD and, non-RBD portions of S1 and S2 subunit. Multiple neutralization mechanisms were demonstrated by solving the atomic structure of a NAb-RBD complex, through sequencing of neutralization escape viruses and by constructing MERS-CoV S variants for serological assays. Immunization of rhesus macaques confers protection against MERS-CoV-induced radiographic pneumonia, as assessed using computerized tomography, supporting this strategy as a promising approach for MERS-CoV vaccine development.

  16. Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project Environmental Assurance Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Man, Kin F.; Farguson, Christine T.; Hoffman, Alan R.

    2004-08-01

    A comprehensive prelaunch environmental assurance program was planned and implemented on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. This project consisted of two rovers/spacecraft launched on two separate launch vehicles. The environmental assurance program included assembly/subsystem and system-level testing in the areas of dynamics, thermal, and electromagnetic (EMC), as well as venting/pressure, dust, radiation, and micrometeoroid analyses. Due to the Martian diurnal cycles, the susceptible hardware also underwent thermal cycling qualification of their packaging designs and manufacturing processes. This paper presents a comprehensive summary of the environmental assurance program for the MER project. A series of test and analysis metrics are generated. Selections of the numerous lessons that have been learned from implementation of the MER environmental assurance program are documented in this paper. They include both technical and programmatic lessons that would be helpful in improving implementation of the environmental program for future projects.

  17. Model for the distributions of k -mers in DNA sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yaw-Hwang; Nyeo, Su-Long; Yeh, Chiung-Yuh

    2005-07-01

    The evolutionary features based on the distributions of k -mers in the DNA sequences of various organisms are studied. The organisms are classified into three groups based on their evolutionary periods: (a) E. coli and T. pallidum (b) yeast, zebrafish, A. thaliana, and fruit fly, (c) mouse, chicken, and human. The distributions of 6-mers of these three groups are shown to be, respectively, (a) unimodal, (b) unimodal with peaks generally shifted to smaller frequencies of occurrence, (c) bimodal. To describe the bimodal feature of the k -mer distributions of group (c), a model based on the cytosine-guanine “ CG ” content of the DNA sequences is introduced and shown to provide reasonably good agreements.

  18. A stable mercury-containing complex of the organomercurial lyase MerB: catalysis, product release, and direct transfer to MerA.

    PubMed

    Benison, Gregory C; Di Lello, Paola; Shokes, Jacob E; Cosper, Nathaniel J; Scott, Robert A; Legault, Pascale; Omichinski, James G

    2004-07-06

    Bacteria isolated from organic mercury-contaminated sites have developed a system of two enzymes that allows them to efficiently convert both ionic and organic mercury compounds to the less toxic elemental mercury. Both enzymes are encoded on the mer operon and require sulfhydryl-bound substrates. The first enzyme is an organomercurial lyase (MerB), and the second enzyme is a mercuric ion reductase (MerA). MerB catalyzes the protonolysis of the carbon-mercury bond, resulting in the formation of a reduced carbon compound and inorganic ionic mercury. Of several mercury-containing MerB complexes that we attempted to prepare, the most stable was a complex consisting of the organomercurial lyase (MerB), a mercuric ion, and a molecule of the MerB inhibitor dithiothreitol (DTT). Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy of the MerB/Hg/DTT complex have shown that the ligands to the mercuric ion in the complex consist of both sulfurs from the DTT molecule and one cysteine ligand, C96, from the protein. The stability of the MerB/Hg/DTT complex, even in the presence of a large excess of competing cysteine, has been demonstrated by NMR and dialysis. We used an enzyme buffering test to determine that the MerB/Hg/DTT complex acts as a substrate for the mercuric reductase MerA. The observed MerA activity is higher than the expected activity assuming free diffusion of the mercuric ion from MerB to MerA. This suggests that the mercuric ion can be transferred between the two enzymes by a direct transfer mechanism.

  19. Cassini, Rømer, and the velocity of light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobis, Laurence; Lequeux, James

    2008-07-01

    The discovery of the finite nature of the velocity of light is usually attributed to Rømer. However, a text at the Paris Observatory confirms the minority opinion according to which Cassini was first to propose the ‘successive motion’ of light, while giving a rather correct order of magnitude for the duration of its propagation from the Sun to the Earth. We examine this question, and discuss why, in spite of the criticisms of Halley, Cassini abandoned this hypothesis while leaving Rømer free to publish it.

  20. The Ballerina Experiment on the Rømer Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Soren

    The Rømer mission has recently been approved as the next mission within the Danish Small Satellite Program. The scientific payload will consist of two separate experiments, the MONS and the Ballerina payloads. The primary objective of Ballerina is to provide accurate, real-time positions relayed to ground for ~ 70 Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) per year, and to study the temporal and spectral evolution of the early GRB X-ray afterglow. As an additional goal, Ballerina will detect and study bright X-ray transients, in particular X-ray novae and micro-quasar systems. R{\\o}mer is currently scheduled for launch in late 2003.

  1. Real time metagenomics: using k-mers to annotate metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Robert A; Olson, Robert; Disz, Terry; Pusch, Gordon D; Vonstein, Veronika; Stevens, Rick; Overbeek, Ross

    2012-12-15

    Annotation of metagenomes involves comparing the individual sequence reads with a database of known sequences and assigning a unique function to each read. This is a time-consuming task that is computationally intensive (though not computationally complex). Here we present a novel approach to annotate metagenomes using unique k-mer oligopeptide sequences from 7 to 12 amino acids long. We demonstrate that k-mer-based annotations are faster and approach the sensitivity and precision of blastx-based annotations without loosing accuracy. A last-common ancestor approach was also developed to describe the members of the community.

  2. Current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS-CoV vaccines.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Naru; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying

    2014-06-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus, MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a new member in the lineage C of β-coronavirus (β-CoV). The increased human cases and high mortality rate of MERS-CoV infection make it essential to develop safe and effective vaccines. In this review, the current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS vaccines, particularly subunit vaccines based on MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), are discussed. How to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines through novel adjuvant formulations and routes of administration as well as currently available animal models for evaluating the in vivo efficacy of MERS-CoV vaccines are also addressed. Overall, these strategies may have important implications for the development of effective and safe vaccines for MERS-CoV in the future.

  3. Current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS-CoV vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Naru; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying

    2014-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus, MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a new member in the lineage C of β-coronavirus (β-CoV). The increased human cases and high mortality rate of MERS-CoV infection make it essential to develop safe and effective vaccines. In this review, the current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS vaccines, particularly subunit vaccines based on MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), are discussed. How to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines through novel adjuvant formulations and routes of administration as well as currently available animal models for evaluating the in vivo efficacy of MERS-CoV vaccines are also addressed. Overall, these strategies may have important implications for the development of effective and safe vaccines for MERS-CoV in the future. PMID:24766432

  4. Calling for rapid development of a safe and effective MERS vaccine.

    PubMed

    Hotez, Peter J; Bottazzi, Maria Elena; Tseng, Chien-Te K; Zhan, Bin; Lustigman, Sara; Du, Lanying; Jiang, Shibo

    2014-07-01

    The geographic spread and rapid increase in the cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the past two months have raised concern about its pandemic potential. Here we call for the rapid development of an effective and safe MERS vaccine to control the spread of MERS-CoV. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  5. Planning Mars Memory: Learning from the MER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charlotte, Linde

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation discusses ways in which the lessons learned from a mission can be systematically remembered, retained, and applied by individuals and by an organization as a whole. The presentation cites lessons learned from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission as examples.

  6. Antenna Designs for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spacecraft, Lander, and Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vacchione, Joseph; Thelen, Michael; Brown, Paula; Huang, John; Kelly, Ken; Krishnan, Satish

    2001-01-01

    This presentation focuses on the design of antennas for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Specific topics covered include: MER spacecraft architecture, the evolution of an antenna system, MER cruise stage antennas, antenna stacks, the heat-shield/back shell antenna, and lander and rover antennas. Additionally, the mission's science objectives are reviewed.

  7. Cohesions and Friction Angles of Martian Regolith from MER Wheel Trenches and Wheel Scuffs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, R.; Anderson, R.; Biesiadecki, J.; Bond, T.; Stewart, H.

    2010-03-01

    We analyzed all MER wheel trenches and wheel scuffs along both MER traverses to derive cohesions and friction angles for martian regolith. Friction angles at both MER sites are 30-37 degrees; cohesions generally are 10 kPa or less.

  8. MERS-CoV Antibodies in Humans, Africa, 2013–2014

    PubMed Central

    Liljander, Anne; Meyer, Benjamin; Jores, Joerg; Müller, Marcel A.; Lattwein, Erik; Njeru, Ian; Bett, Bernard; Corman, Victor Max

    2016-01-01

    Dromedaries in Africa and elsewhere carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To search for evidence of autochthonous MERS-CoV infection in humans, we tested archived serum from livestock handlers in Kenya for MERS-CoV antibodies. Serologic evidence of infection was confirmed for 2 persons sampled in 2013 and 2014. PMID:27071076

  9. Unraveling the drivers of MERS-CoV transmission

    PubMed Central

    Cauchemez, Simon; Nouvellet, Pierre; Cori, Anne; Jombart, Thibaut; Clapham, Hannah; Moore, Sean; Mills, Harriet Linden; Salje, Henrik; Collins, Caitlin; Rodriquez-Barraquer, Isabel; Riley, Steven; Truelove, Shaun; Algarni, Homoud; Alhakeem, Rafat; AlHarbi, Khalid; Turkistani, Abdulhafiz; Aguas, Ricardo J.; Cummings, Derek A. T.; Van Kerkhove, Maria D.; Donnelly, Christl A.; Lessler, Justin; Fraser, Christophe; Al-Barrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M.

    2016-01-01

    With more than 1,700 laboratory-confirmed infections, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains a significant threat for public health. However, the lack of detailed data on modes of transmission from the animal reservoir and between humans means that the drivers of MERS-CoV epidemics remain poorly characterized. Here, we develop a statistical framework to provide a comprehensive analysis of the transmission patterns underlying the 681 MERS-CoV cases detected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between January 2013 and July 2014. We assess how infections from the animal reservoir, the different levels of mixing, and heterogeneities in transmission have contributed to the buildup of MERS-CoV epidemics in KSA. We estimate that 12% [95% credible interval (CI): 9%, 15%] of cases were infected from the reservoir, the rest via human-to-human transmission in clusters (60%; CI: 57%, 63%), within (23%; CI: 20%, 27%), or between (5%; CI: 2%, 8%) regions. The reproduction number at the start of a cluster was 0.45 (CI: 0.33, 0.58) on average, but with large SD (0.53; CI: 0.35, 0.78). It was >1 in 12% (CI: 6%, 18%) of clusters but fell by approximately one-half (47% CI: 34%, 63%) its original value after 10 cases on average. The ongoing exposure of humans to MERS-CoV from the reservoir is of major concern, given the continued risk of substantial outbreaks in health care systems. The approach we present allows the study of infectious disease transmission when data linking cases to each other remain limited and uncertain. PMID:27457935

  10. Unraveling the drivers of MERS-CoV transmission.

    PubMed

    Cauchemez, Simon; Nouvellet, Pierre; Cori, Anne; Jombart, Thibaut; Garske, Tini; Clapham, Hannah; Moore, Sean; Mills, Harriet Linden; Salje, Henrik; Collins, Caitlin; Rodriquez-Barraquer, Isabel; Riley, Steven; Truelove, Shaun; Algarni, Homoud; Alhakeem, Rafat; AlHarbi, Khalid; Turkistani, Abdulhafiz; Aguas, Ricardo J; Cummings, Derek A T; Van Kerkhove, Maria D; Donnelly, Christl A; Lessler, Justin; Fraser, Christophe; Al-Barrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M

    2016-08-09

    With more than 1,700 laboratory-confirmed infections, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains a significant threat for public health. However, the lack of detailed data on modes of transmission from the animal reservoir and between humans means that the drivers of MERS-CoV epidemics remain poorly characterized. Here, we develop a statistical framework to provide a comprehensive analysis of the transmission patterns underlying the 681 MERS-CoV cases detected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between January 2013 and July 2014. We assess how infections from the animal reservoir, the different levels of mixing, and heterogeneities in transmission have contributed to the buildup of MERS-CoV epidemics in KSA. We estimate that 12% [95% credible interval (CI): 9%, 15%] of cases were infected from the reservoir, the rest via human-to-human transmission in clusters (60%; CI: 57%, 63%), within (23%; CI: 20%, 27%), or between (5%; CI: 2%, 8%) regions. The reproduction number at the start of a cluster was 0.45 (CI: 0.33, 0.58) on average, but with large SD (0.53; CI: 0.35, 0.78). It was >1 in 12% (CI: 6%, 18%) of clusters but fell by approximately one-half (47% CI: 34%, 63%) its original value after 10 cases on average. The ongoing exposure of humans to MERS-CoV from the reservoir is of major concern, given the continued risk of substantial outbreaks in health care systems. The approach we present allows the study of infectious disease transmission when data linking cases to each other remain limited and uncertain.

  11. MGS and Odyssey - Relay Satellites for the MER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esposito, Pasquale B.; Bhat, R.; Demcak, S.; Ardakab, S.; Breeden, J.; Helfrich, C.; Jefferson, D.; Stauch, J.

    2004-01-01

    Both Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Odyssey are currently in low altitude, nearly circular and highly inclined orbits about Mars. Thus, they are available and compatible to serve as relay satellites for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Consequently, the MER project developed requirements for MGS to be overhead, at a specific time with a 30 second tolerance, during the atmospheric entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase of both MER vehicles. The result, after execution of a single orbit synchronization maneuver (OSM) on 10/03/03, 92.4 days or 1130 orbits before Spirit's EDL, was that MGS was over Spirit 8 seconds past the required time. This maneuver, with a delta-velocity of 0.534 m/s, caused the orbital period to change by 3.34 s and resulted in a time-phasing change of 62 min 19 s in order to achieve the EDL overflight. Based on the navigation and execution of an OSM on 01/04/04, MGS was overhead for the Opportunity EDL on 01/25/04,3.5 seconds after the required epoch. Requirements also existed for the Odyssey over-flight of the MER rovers after landing and various equipment deployments had been completed. Thus, these requirements were that Odyssey should rise no earlier than specified times with respect to each of the landing sites. The Odyssey over-flights of both Spirit and Opportunity on sol 1 were equally successful. This paper will present the navigation plan, trajectory propagation accuracy and maneuver execution for the successful MGS and Odyssey over-flights of both the MER rovers.

  12. Molecular interaction study of commercial cyclic peptides and MERS-COV papain-like protease as novel drug candidate for MERS-COV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasution, M. A. F.; Azzuhdi, M. G.; Tambunan, U. S. F.

    2017-07-01

    Middle-east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has become the current outbreak, MERS-CoV infection results in illness at the respiratory system, digestive, and even lead to death with an average mortality caused by MERS-CoV infection reaches 50 %. Until now, there is not any effective vaccine or drug to ward off MERS-CoV infection. Papain-like protease (PLpro) is responsible for cleavage of a nonstructural protein that is essential for viral maturation. Inhibition of PLpro with a ligand will block the cleavage process of nonstructural protein, thus reduce the infection of MERS-CoV. Through of bioinformatics study with molecular docking and binding interaction analysis of commercial cyclic peptides, aldosterone secretion inhibiting factor (1-35) (bovine) was obtained as an inhibitor for PLpro. Thus, aldosterone secretion inhibiting factor (1-35) (bovine) has a potential as a novel candidate drug for treating MERS-CoV.

  13. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus seroprevalence in domestic livestock in Saudi Arabia, 2010 to 2013.

    PubMed

    Hemida, M G; Perera, R A; Wang, P; Alhammadi, M A; Siu, L Y; Li, M; Poon, L L; Saif, L; Alnaeem, A; Peiris, M

    2013-12-12

    In Saudi Arabia, including regions of Riyadh and Al Ahsa, pseudoparticle neutralisation (ppNT) and microneutralisation (MNT) tests detected no antibodies to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in sheep (n= 100), goats (n= 45), cattle (n= 50) and chickens (n= 240). Dromedary camels however, had a high prevalence of MERS-CoV antibodies. Bovine coronavirus (BCoV) infected sera from cattle had no cross-reactivity in MERS-CoV ppNT or MNT, while many dromedary camels’ sera reacted to both BCoV and MERS-CoV. Some nevertheless displayed specific serologic reaction profiles to MERS-CoV.

  14. Preventing cleavage of Mer promotes efferocytosis and suppresses acute lung injury in bleomycin treated mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ye-Ji; Lee, Seung-Hae; Youn, Young-So; Choi, Ji-Yeon; Song, Keung-Sub; Cho, Min-Sun; Kang, Jihee Lee

    2012-08-15

    Mer receptor tyrosine kinase (Mer) regulates macrophage activation and promotes apoptotic cell clearance. Mer activation is regulated through proteolytic cleavage of the extracellular domain. To determine if membrane-bound Mer is cleaved during bleomycin-induced lung injury, and, if so, how preventing the cleavage of Mer enhances apoptotic cell uptake and down-regulates pulmonary immune responses. During bleomycin-induced acute lung injury in mice, membrane-bound Mer expression decreased, but production of soluble Mer and activity as well as expression of disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) were enhanced . Treatment with the ADAM inhibitor TAPI-0 restored Mer expression and diminished soluble Mer production. Furthermore, TAPI-0 increased Mer activation in alveolar macrophages and lung tissue resulting in enhanced apoptotic cell clearance in vivo and ex vivo by alveolar macrophages. Suppression of bleomycin-induced pro-inflammatory mediators, but enhancement of hepatocyte growth factor induction were seen after TAPI-0 treatment. Additional bleomycin-induced inflammatory responses reduced by TAPI-0 treatment included inflammatory cell recruitment into the lungs, levels of total protein and lactate dehydrogenase activity in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, as well as caspase-3 and caspase-9 activity and alveolar epithelial cell apoptosis in lung tissue. Importantly, the effects of TAPI-0 on bleomycin-induced inflammation and apoptosis were reversed by coadministration of specific Mer-neutralizing antibodies. These findings suggest that restored membrane-bound Mer expression by TAPI-0 treatment may help resolve lung inflammation and apoptosis after bleomycin treatment. -- Highlights: ►Mer expression is restored by TAPI-0 treatment in bleomycin-stimulated lung. ►Mer signaling is enhanced by TAPI-0 treatment in bleomycin-stimulated lung. ►TAPI-0 enhances efferocytosis and promotes resolution of lung injury.

  15. Constitutive synthesis of a transport function encoded by the Thiobacillus ferrooxidans merC gene cloned in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Kusano, Tomonobu Akita Prefectural College of Agriculture ); Ji, Guangyong; Silver, S. ); Inoue, Chihiro )

    1990-05-01

    Mercuric reductase activity determined by the Thiobacillus ferrooxidans merA gene (cloned and expressed constitutively in Escherichia coli) was measured by volatilization of {sup 203}Hg{sup 2+}. (The absence of a merR regulatory gene in the cloned Thiobacillus mer determinant provides a basis for the constitutive synthesis of this system.) In the absence of the Thiobacillus merC transport gene, the mercury volatilization activity was cryptic and was not seen with whole cells but only with sonication-disrupted cells. The Thiobacillus merC transport function was compared with transport via the merT-merP system of plasmid pDU1358. Both systems, cloned and expressed in E. coli, governed enhanced uptake of {sup 203}Hg{sup 2+} in a temperature- and concentration-dependent fashion. Uptake via MerT-MerP was greater and conferred greater hypersensitivity to Hg{sup 2+} than did uptake with MerC. Mercury uptake was inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide but not by EDTA. Ag{sup +} salts inhibited mercury uptake by the MerT-MerP system but did not inhibit uptake via MerC. Radioactive mercury accumulated by the MerT-MerP and by the MerC systems was exchangeable with nonradioactive Hg{sup 2+}.

  16. Quality control of microbiota metagenomics by k-mer analysis.

    PubMed

    Plaza Onate, Florian; Batto, Jean-Michel; Juste, Catherine; Fadlallah, Jehane; Fougeroux, Cyrielle; Gouas, Doriane; Pons, Nicolas; Kennedy, Sean; Levenez, Florence; Dore, Joel; Ehrlich, S Dusko; Gorochov, Guy; Larsen, Martin

    2015-03-14

    The biological and clinical consequences of the tight interactions between host and microbiota are rapidly being unraveled by next generation sequencing technologies and sophisticated bioinformatics, also referred to as microbiota metagenomics. The recent success of metagenomics has created a demand to rapidly apply the technology to large case-control cohort studies and to studies of microbiota from various habitats, including habitats relatively poor in microbes. It is therefore of foremost importance to enable a robust and rapid quality assessment of metagenomic data from samples that challenge present technological limits (sample numbers and size). Here we demonstrate that the distribution of overlapping k-mers of metagenome sequence data predicts sequence quality as defined by gene distribution and efficiency of sequence mapping to a reference gene catalogue. We used serial dilutions of gut microbiota metagenomic datasets to generate well-defined high to low quality metagenomes. We also analyzed a collection of 52 microbiota-derived metagenomes. We demonstrate that k-mer distributions of metagenomic sequence data identify sequence contaminations, such as sequences derived from "empty" ligation products. Of note, k-mer distributions were also able to predict the frequency of sequences mapping to a reference gene catalogue not only for the well-defined serial dilution datasets, but also for 52 human gut microbiota derived metagenomic datasets. We propose that k-mer analysis of raw metagenome sequence reads should be implemented as a first quality assessment prior to more extensive bioinformatics analysis, such as sequence filtering and gene mapping. With the rising demand for metagenomic analysis of microbiota it is crucial to provide tools for rapid and efficient decision making. This will eventually lead to a faster turn-around time, improved analytical quality including sample quality metrics and a significant cost reduction. Finally, improved quality

  17. Phenetic Comparison of Prokaryotic Genomes Using k-mers.

    PubMed

    Déraspe, Maxime; Raymond, Frédéric; Boisvert, Sébastien; Culley, Alexander; Roy, Paul H; Laviolette, François; Corbeil, Jacques

    2017-10-01

    Bacterial genomics studies are getting more extensive and complex, requiring new ways to envision analyses. Using the Ray Surveyor software, we demonstrate that comparison of genomes based on their k-mer content allows reconstruction of phenetic trees without the need of prior data curation, such as core genome alignment of a species. We validated the methodology using simulated genomes and previously published phylogenomic studies of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also investigated the relationship of specific genetic determinants with bacterial population structures. By comparing clusters from the complete genomic content of a genome population with clusters from specific functional categories of genes, we can determine how the population structures are correlated. Indeed, the strain clustering based on a subset of k-mers allows determination of its similarity with the whole genome clusters. We also applied this methodology on 42 species of bacteria to determine the correlational significance of five important bacterial genomic characteristics. For example, intrinsic resistance is more important in P. aeruginosa than in S. pneumoniae, and the former has increased correlation of its population structure with antibiotic resistance genes. The global view of the pangenome of bacteria also demonstrated the taxa-dependent interaction of population structure with antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage, plasmid, and mobile element k-mer data sets. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  18. Real Time Metagenomics: Using k-mers to annotate metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Robert A.; Olson, Robert; Disz, Terry; Pusch, Gordon D.; Vonstein, Veronika; Stevens, Rick; Overbeek, Ross

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Annotation of metagenomes involves comparing the individual sequence reads with a database of known sequences and assigning a unique function to each read. This is a time-consuming task that is computationally intensive (though not computationally complex). Here we present a novel approach to annotate metagenomes using unique k-mer oligopeptide sequences from 7 to 12 amino acids long. We demonstrate that k-mer-based annotations are faster and approach the sensitivity and precision of blastx-based annotations without loosing accuracy. A last-common ancestor approach was also developed to describe the members of the community. Availability and implementation: This open-source application was implemented in Perl and can be accessed via a user-friendly website at http://edwards.sdsu.edu/rtmg. In addition, code to access the annotation servers is available for download from http://www.theseed.org/. FIGfams and k-mers are available for download from ftp://ftp.theseed.org/FIGfams/. Contact: redwards@mail.sdsu.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23047562

  19. Computational Performance Assessment of k-mer Counting Algorithms.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Nelson; Gutierrez, Miguel; Vera, Nelson

    2016-04-01

    This article is about the assessment of several tools for k-mer counting, with the purpose to create a reference framework for bioinformatics researchers to identify computational requirements, parallelizing, advantages, disadvantages, and bottlenecks of each of the algorithms proposed in the tools. The k-mer counters evaluated in this article were BFCounter, DSK, Jellyfish, KAnalyze, KHMer, KMC2, MSPKmerCounter, Tallymer, and Turtle. Measured parameters were the following: RAM occupied space, processing time, parallelization, and read and write disk access. A dataset consisting of 36,504,800 reads was used corresponding to the 14th human chromosome. The assessment was performed for two k-mer lengths: 31 and 55. Obtained results were the following: pure Bloom filter-based tools and disk-partitioning techniques showed a lesser RAM use. The tools that took less execution time were the ones that used disk-partitioning techniques. The techniques that made the major parallelization were the ones that used disk partitioning, hash tables with lock-free approach, or multiple hash tables.

  20. Characterization of anti-MERS-CoV antibodies against various recombinant structural antigens of MERS-CoV in an imported case in China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenling; Wang, Huijuan; Deng, Yao; Song, Tie; Lan, Jiaming; Wu, Guizhen; Ke, Changwen; Tan, Wenjie

    2016-01-01

    The first imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in China recently occurred, allowing for the characterization of antibody titers in a series of the patient's sera using the following methods based on recombinant viral structural antigens: inactivated MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), recombinant MERS-CoV spike (S, or fragments of S) ELISA, nucleoprotein (NP) ELISA and MERS S pseudovirus particle-based neutralization test (ppNT). A longitudinal profile of the infection showed that seroconversion detected by ELISAs based on the recombinant extracellular domain, S, S1 and receptor-binding domain (RBD) antigens occurred as early as neutralizing antibodies were detected by the ppNT and earlier than antibodies were detected by the inactivated MERS-CoV and N-terminal domain (NTD) ELISAs. Antibodies detected by the NP ELISA occurred last. Strong correlations were found between the S1, RBD and NP ELISAs and the inactivated MERS-CoV ELISA. The S and RBD ELISAs were highly correlated with the commercial S1 ELISA. The S ELISA strongly correlated with the ppNT, although the MERS-CoV, S1, NTD and RBD ELISAs were also significantly correlated with the ppNT (P<0.001). PMID:27826140

  1. Characterization of anti-MERS-CoV antibodies against various recombinant structural antigens of MERS-CoV in an imported case in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenling; Wang, Huijuan; Deng, Yao; Song, Tie; Lan, Jiaming; Wu, Guizhen; Ke, Changwen; Tan, Wenjie

    2016-11-09

    The first imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in China recently occurred, allowing for the characterization of antibody titers in a series of the patient's sera using the following methods based on recombinant viral structural antigens: inactivated MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), recombinant MERS-CoV spike (S, or fragments of S) ELISA, nucleoprotein (NP) ELISA and MERS S pseudovirus particle-based neutralization test (ppNT). A longitudinal profile of the infection showed that seroconversion detected by ELISAs based on the recombinant extracellular domain, S, S1 and receptor-binding domain (RBD) antigens occurred as early as neutralizing antibodies were detected by the ppNT and earlier than antibodies were detected by the inactivated MERS-CoV and N-terminal domain (NTD) ELISAs. Antibodies detected by the NP ELISA occurred last. Strong correlations were found between the S1, RBD and NP ELISAs and the inactivated MERS-CoV ELISA. The S and RBD ELISAs were highly correlated with the commercial S1 ELISA. The S ELISA strongly correlated with the ppNT, although the MERS-CoV, S1, NTD and RBD ELISAs were also significantly correlated with the ppNT (P<0.001).

  2. Segmented K-mer and its application on similarity analysis of mitochondrial genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hong-Jie

    2013-04-15

    K-mer-based approach has been widely used in similarity analyses so as to discover similarity/dissimilarity among different biological sequences. In this study, we have improved the traditional K-mer method, and introduce a segmented K-mer approach (s-K-mer). After each primary sequence is divided into several segments, we simultaneously transform all these segments into corresponding K-mer-based vectors. In this approach, it is vital how to determine the optimal combination of distance metric with the number of K and the number of segments, i.e., (K(⁎), s(⁎), and d(⁎)). Based on the cascaded feature vectors transformed from s(⁎) segmented sequences, we analyze 34 mammalian genome sequences using the proposed s-K-mer approach. Meanwhile, we compare the results of s-K-mer with those of traditional K-mer. The contrastive analysis results demonstrate that s-K-mer approach outperforms the traditionally K-mer method on similarity analysis among different species.

  3. Replication and shedding of MERS-CoV in Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis)

    PubMed Central

    Munster, Vincent J.; Adney, Danielle R.; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Brown, Vienna R.; Miazgowicz, Kerri L.; Milne-Price, Shauna; Bushmaker, Trenton; Rosenke, Rebecca; Scott, Dana; Hawkinson, Ann; de Wit, Emmie; Schountz, Tony; Bowen, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) highlights the zoonotic potential of Betacoronaviruses. Investigations into the origin of MERS-CoV have focused on two potential reservoirs: bats and camels. Here, we investigated the role of bats as a potential reservoir for MERS-CoV. In vitro, the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein interacted with Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) receptor and MERS-CoV replicated efficiently in Jamaican fruit bat cells, suggesting there is no restriction at the receptor or cellular level for MERS-CoV. To shed light on the intrinsic host-virus relationship, we inoculated 10 Jamaican fruit bats with MERS-CoV. Although all bats showed evidence of infection, none of the bats showed clinical signs of disease. Virus shedding was detected in the respiratory and intestinal tract for up to 9 days. MERS-CoV replicated transiently in the respiratory and, to a lesser extent, the intestinal tracts and internal organs; with limited histopathological changes observed only in the lungs. Analysis of the innate gene expression in the lungs showed a moderate, transient induction of expression. Our results indicate that MERS-CoV maintains the ability to replicate in bats without clinical signs of disease, supporting the general hypothesis of bats as ancestral reservoirs for MERS-CoV. PMID:26899616

  4. Replication and shedding of MERS-CoV in Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis).

    PubMed

    Munster, Vincent J; Adney, Danielle R; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Brown, Vienna R; Miazgowicz, Kerri L; Milne-Price, Shauna; Bushmaker, Trenton; Rosenke, Rebecca; Scott, Dana; Hawkinson, Ann; de Wit, Emmie; Schountz, Tony; Bowen, Richard A

    2016-02-22

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) highlights the zoonotic potential of Betacoronaviruses. Investigations into the origin of MERS-CoV have focused on two potential reservoirs: bats and camels. Here, we investigated the role of bats as a potential reservoir for MERS-CoV. In vitro, the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein interacted with Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) receptor and MERS-CoV replicated efficiently in Jamaican fruit bat cells, suggesting there is no restriction at the receptor or cellular level for MERS-CoV. To shed light on the intrinsic host-virus relationship, we inoculated 10 Jamaican fruit bats with MERS-CoV. Although all bats showed evidence of infection, none of the bats showed clinical signs of disease. Virus shedding was detected in the respiratory and intestinal tract for up to 9 days. MERS-CoV replicated transiently in the respiratory and, to a lesser extent, the intestinal tracts and internal organs; with limited histopathological changes observed only in the lungs. Analysis of the innate gene expression in the lungs showed a moderate, transient induction of expression. Our results indicate that MERS-CoV maintains the ability to replicate in bats without clinical signs of disease, supporting the general hypothesis of bats as ancestral reservoirs for MERS-CoV.

  5. Reliable typing of MERS-CoV variants with a small genome fragment.

    PubMed

    Smits, Saskia L; Raj, V Stalin; Pas, Suzan D; Reusken, Chantal B E M; Mohran, Khaled; Farag, Elmoubasher A B A; Al-Romaihi, Hamad E; AlHajri, Mohd M; Haagmans, Bart L; Koopmans, Marion P

    2015-03-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging pathogen that causes lower respiratory tract infection in humans. Camels are the likely animal source for zoonotic infection, although exact transmission modes remain to be determined. Human-to-human transmission occurs sporadically. The wide geographic distribution of MERS-CoV among dromedary camels and ongoing transmissions to humans provides concern for the evolution of a MERS-CoV variant with efficient human-to-human transmission capabilities. Phylogenetic analysis of MERS-CoV has occurred by analysis of full-length genomes or multiple concatenated genome fragments, which is time-consuming, costly and limited to high viral load samples. To develop a simple, reliable MERS-CoV variant typing assay to facilitate monitoring of MERS-CoV diversity in animals and humans. Phylogenetic analysis of presently known full-length MERS-CoV genomes was performed to identify genomic regions with sufficient phylogenetic content to allow reliable MERS-CoV variant typing. RT-PCR assays targeting these regions were designed and optimized. A reverse-transcription PCR assay for MERS-CoV targeting a 615 bp spike fragment provides a phylogenetic clustering of MERS-CoV variants comparable to that of full-length genomes. The detection limit corresponds to a cycle treshold value of ∼ 35 with standard upE real time PCR assays on RNA isolated from MERS-CoV EMC. Nasal swabs from RT-PCR positive camels (Ct values 12.9-32.2) yielded reliable sequence information in 14 samples. We developed a simple, reliable MERS-CoV variant typing assay which is crucial in monitoring MERS-CoV circulation in real time with relatively little investment on location. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Evaluation of MerCAP for Power Plant Mercury Control

    SciTech Connect

    Carl Richardson

    2008-09-30

    This report is submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) as part of Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-03NT41993, 'Evaluation of EPRI's MerCAP{trademark} Technology for Power Plant Mercury Control'. This project has investigated the mercury removal performance of EPRI's Mercury Capture by Amalgamation Process (MerCAP{trademark}) technology. Test programs were conducted to evaluate gold-based MerCAP{trademark} at Great River Energy's Stanton Station Unit 10 (Site 1), which fired both North Dakota lignite (NDL) and Power River Basin (PRB) coal during the testing period, and at Georgia Power's Plant Yates Unit 1 (Site 2) [Georgia Power is a subsidiary of The Southern Company] which fires a low sulfur Eastern bituminous coal. Additional tests were carried out at Alabama Power's Plant Miller, which fires Powder River Basin Coal, to evaluate a carbon-based MerCAP{trademark} process for removing mercury from flue gas downstream of an electrostatic precipitator [Alabama Power is a subsidiary of The Southern Company]. A full-scale gold-based sorbent array was installed in the clean-air plenum of a single baghouse compartment at GRE's Stanton Station Unit 10, thereby treating 1/10th of the unit's exhaust gas flow. The substrates that were installed were electroplated gold screens oriented parallel to the flue gas flow. The sorbent array was initially installed in late August of 2004, operating continuously until its removal in July 2006, after nearly 23 months. The initial 4 months of operation were conducted while the host unit was burning North Dakota lignite (NDL). In November 2004, the host unit switched fuel to burn Powder River Basin (PRB) subbituminous coal and continued to burn the PRB fuel for the final 19 months of this program. Tests were conducted at Site 1 to evaluate the impacts of flue gas flow rate, sorbent plate spacing, sorbent pre-cleaning and regeneration, and spray dryer operation on Mer

  7. Predictors of MERS-CoV infection: A large case control study of patients presenting with ILI at a MERS-CoV referral hospital in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Mohd, Hamzah A; Memish, Ziad A; Alfaraj, Sarah H; McClish, Donna; Altuwaijri, Talal; Alanazi, Marzouqah S; Aloqiel, Saleh A; Alenzi, Ahmed M; Bafaqeeh, Fahad; Mohamed, Amal M; Aldosari, Kamel; Ghazal, Sameeh

    A case control study to better characterize the clinical features, laboratory, and radiological abnormalities associated with MERS-CoV infection in order to help with early identification of this syndrome from other respiratory infections. Eighty patients admitted to a hospital in Riyadh, diagnosed with MERS-CoV infection based on RT-PCR were matched on age, sex, and the presence of a co-morbid condition on a basis of 1:2 to other patients admitted with respiratory symptoms and tested negative for MERS-CoV on RT-PCR. None of the reported MERS-CoV presenting symptoms was significantly associated with being infected with MERS-CoV. On the other hand, WBC count was significantly lower in patients with confirmed MERS-CoV infection (median 5.7 vs 9.3, P: 0.0004). Neutrophil count was as well significantly lower in MERS-CoV patients (median 3.7 vs 6.7, P: 0.0001). Both AST, and ALT values were significantly higher in MERS-CoV infected group (AST median 42 vs 36, P: 0.03, and ALT median 33 vs 28, P: 0.003). Overall our MERS-CoV mortality rate was (10%) below the national figure of (40%). None of the presenting symptoms are specific for MERS-CoV infection. And out of all the investigations WBC, neutrophil counts, AST and ALT values have some predictive utility. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. [Infections with the MERS coronavirus--for the present no threat to Europe].

    PubMed

    Stock, Ingo

    2015-12-01

    In Saudi Arabia, a novel coronavirus named Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was isolated in 2012 from patients with severe respiratory symptoms. Up to now, more than 1600 MERS cases have been registered mainly in the Arabian Peninsula. MERS is usually accompanied with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In many cases, pneumonia is observed. However, clinical features of MERS range from mild disease to acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiorgan failure resulting in death, especially in individuals with underlying comorbidities. To date, about one in three people died as a result of MERS. In Europe, MERS cases have only been registered in isolated travelers entering from the Middle East.

  9. K-mer natural vector and its application to the phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Jia; Chan, Raymond H.; Yau, Shek-Chung; He, Rong L.; Yau, Stephen S. T.

    2014-01-01

    Based on the well-known k-mer model, we propose a k-mer natural vector model for representing a genetic sequence based on the numbers and distributions of k-mers in the sequence. We show that there exists a one-to-one correspondence between a genetic sequence and its associated k-mer natural vector. The k-mer natural vector method can be easily and quickly used to perform phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences without requiring evolutionary models or human intervention. Whole or partial genomes can be handled more effective with our proposed method. It is applied to the phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences, and the obtaining results fully demonstrate that the k-mer natural vector method is a very powerful tool for analysing and annotating genetic sequences and determining evolutionary relationships both in terms of accuracy and efficiency. PMID:24858075

  10. Characterization of Martian Rock Shape for MER Airbag Drop Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimaggio, E. N.; Schroeder, R.; Castle, N.; Golombek, M.

    2002-12-01

    Rock distributions for the final platforms used in airbag drop tests are currently being designed for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) scheduled to launch in 2003. Like Mars Pathfinder (MPF), launched in 1996, MER will use a series of airbags to cushion its landing on the surface of Mars. Previous MER airbag drop tests have shown that sharp, angular (triangular) rocks >20 cm high may be hazardous. To aid in defining the rock distributions for the final airbag tests, images from the Viking Landers 1 and 2 and MPF were used to identify rocks that are >20 cm high, and characterize them as triangular, square or round. Approximately 33% of all rocks analyzed are triangular. Of the rocks analyzed that are ~20-60 cm high, ~14% are triangular. Most of these triangular rocks are small, ~20-30 cm high. Rock distributions of previous airbag platforms were similarly classified and show a greater percentage of triangular and square rocks that are ~20-60 cm high than at the landing sites. The burial of a rock (perched, partially buried or buried) was also considered because perched rocks may pose less of a threat to the airbags than those buried because perched rocks can be dislodged and roll during impact. Approximately 19% of all rocks analyzed, and ~19% of rocks that are ~20-60 cm high, are triangular and partially buried or buried. These data suggest that the platform rock distributions appropriately represented the risks to the airbags associated with triangular rocks. A similar percentage of >20 cm high triangular rocks will be added to the drop test platforms to represent landing site rock distributions.

  11. Debate on MERS-CoV respiratory precautions: surgical mask or N95 respirators?

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Jasmine Shimin; Ling, Moi Lin; Seto, Wing Hong; Ang, Brenda Sze Peng; Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah

    2014-01-01

    Since the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in mid-2012, there has been controversy over the respiratory precaution recommendations in different guidelines from various international bodies. Our understanding of MERS-CoV is still evolving. Current recommendations on infection control practices are heavily influenced by the lessons learnt from severe acute respiratory syndrome. A debate on respiratory precautions for MERS-CoV was organised by Infection Control Association (Singapore) and the Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore). We herein discuss and present the evidence for surgical masks for the protection of healthcare workers from MERS-CoV. PMID:25017402

  12. A mouse model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cockrell, Adam S; Yount, Boyd L; Scobey, Trevor; Jensen, Kara; Douglas, Madeline; Beall, Anne; Tang, Xian-Chun; Marasco, Wayne A; Heise, Mark T; Baric, Ralph S

    2016-11-28

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel virus that emerged in 2012, causing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe pneumonia-like symptoms and multi-organ failure, with a case fatality rate of ∼36%. Limited clinical studies indicate that humans infected with MERS-CoV exhibit pathology consistent with the late stages of ARDS, which is reminiscent of the disease observed in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Models of MERS-CoV-induced severe respiratory disease have been difficult to achieve, and small-animal models traditionally used to investigate viral pathogenesis (mouse, hamster, guinea-pig and ferret) are naturally resistant to MERS-CoV. Therefore, we used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to modify the mouse genome to encode two amino acids (positions 288 and 330) that match the human sequence in the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 receptor, making mice susceptible to MERS-CoV infection and replication. Serial MERS-CoV passage in these engineered mice was then used to generate a mouse-adapted virus that replicated efficiently within the lungs and evoked symptoms indicative of severe ARDS, including decreased survival, extreme weight loss, decreased pulmonary function, pulmonary haemorrhage and pathological signs indicative of end-stage lung disease. Importantly, therapeutic countermeasures comprising MERS-CoV neutralizing antibody treatment or a MERS-CoV spike protein vaccine protected the engineered mice against MERS-CoV-induced ARDS.

  13. Improving Bloom Filter Performance on Sequence Data Using k-mer Bloom Filters.

    PubMed

    Pellow, David; Filippova, Darya; Kingsford, Carl

    2016-11-09

    Using a sequence's k-mer content rather than the full sequence directly has enabled significant performance improvements in several sequencing applications, such as metagenomic species identification, estimation of transcript abundances, and alignment-free comparison of sequencing data. As k-mer sets often reach hundreds of millions of elements, traditional data structures are often impractical for k-mer set storage, and Bloom filters (BFs) and their variants are used instead. BFs reduce the memory footprint required to store millions of k-mers while allowing for fast set containment queries, at the cost of a low false positive rate (FPR). We show that, because k-mers are derived from sequencing reads, the information about k-mer overlap in the original sequence can be used to reduce the FPR up to 30 × with little or no additional memory and with set containment queries that are only 1.3 - 1.6 times slower. Alternatively, we can leverage k-mer overlap information to store k-mer sets in about half the space while maintaining the original FPR. We consider several variants of such k-mer Bloom filters (kBFs), derive theoretical upper bounds for their FPR, and discuss their range of applications and limitations.

  14. Indexing Arbitrary-Length k-Mers in Sequencing Reads.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Tomasz; Grabowski, Szymon; Deorowicz, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    We propose a lightweight data structure for indexing and querying collections of NGS reads data in main memory. The data structure supports the interface proposed in the pioneering work by Philippe et al. for counting and locating k-mers in sequencing reads. Our solution, PgSA (pseudogenome suffix array), based on finding overlapping reads, is competitive to the existing algorithms in the space use, query times, or both. The main applications of our index include variant calling, error correction and analysis of reads from RNA-seq experiments.

  15. Indexing Arbitrary-Length k-Mers in Sequencing Reads

    PubMed Central

    Kowalski, Tomasz; Grabowski, Szymon; Deorowicz, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    We propose a lightweight data structure for indexing and querying collections of NGS reads data in main memory. The data structure supports the interface proposed in the pioneering work by Philippe et al. for counting and locating k-mers in sequencing reads. Our solution, PgSA (pseudogenome suffix array), based on finding overlapping reads, is competitive to the existing algorithms in the space use, query times, or both. The main applications of our index include variant calling, error correction and analysis of reads from RNA-seq experiments. PMID:26182400

  16. Mercuric reductase genes (merA) and mercury resistance plasmids in High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine.

    PubMed

    Møller, Annette K; Barkay, Tamar; Hansen, Martin A; Norman, Anders; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Boyd, Eric S; Kroer, Niels

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial reduction in Hg(2+) to Hg(0) , mediated by the mercuric reductase (MerA), is important in the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in temperate environments. Little is known about the occurrence and diversity of merA in the Arctic. Seven merA determinants were identified among bacterial isolates from High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine. Three determinants in Bacteriodetes, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria showed < 92% (amino acid) sequence similarity to known merA, while one merA homologue in Alphaproteobacteria and 3 homologues from Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were > 99% similar to known merA's. Phylogenetic analysis showed the Bacteroidetes merA to be part of an early lineage in the mer phylogeny, whereas the Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria merA appeared to have evolved recently. Several isolates, in which merA was not detected, were able to reduce Hg(2+) , suggesting presence of unidentified merA genes. About 25% of the isolates contained plasmids, two of which encoded mer operons. One plasmid was a broad host-range IncP-α plasmid. No known incompatibility group could be assigned to the others. The presence of conjugative plasmids, and an incongruent distribution of merA within the taxonomic groups, suggests horizontal transfer of merA as a likely mechanism for High Arctic microbial communities to adapt to changing mercury concentration.

  17. mer and fac isomerism in tris chelate diimine metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Dabb, Serin L; Fletcher, Nicholas C

    2015-03-14

    In this perspective, we highlight the issue of meridional (mer) and facial (fac) orientation of asymmetrical diimines in tris-chelate transition metal complexes. Diimine ligands have long been the workhorse of coordination chemistry, and whilst there are now good strategies to isolate materials where the inherent metal centered chirality is under almost complete control, and systematic methodologies to isolate heteroleptic complexes, the conceptually simple geometrical isomerism has not been widely investigated. In systems where the two donor atoms are significantly different in terms of the σ-donor and π-accepting ability, the fac isomer is likely to be the thermodynamic product. For the diimine complexes with two trigonal planar nitrogen atoms there is much more subtlety to the system, and external factors such as the solvent, lattice packing and the various steric considerations play a delicate role in determining the observed and isolable product. In this article we discuss the possibilities to control the isomeric ratio in labile systems, consider the opportunities to separate inert complexes and discuss the observed differences in their spectroscopic properties. Finally we report on the ligand orientation in supramolecular systems where facial coordination leads to simple regular structures such as helicates and tetrahedra, but the ability of the ligand system to adopt a mer orientation enables self-assembled structures of considerable beauty and complexity.

  18. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): animal to human interaction

    PubMed Central

    Omrani, Ali S.; Al-Tawfiq, Jaffar A.

    2015-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel enzootic betacoronavirus that was first described in September 2012. The clinical spectrum of MERS-CoV infection in humans ranges from an asymptomatic or mild respiratory illness to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure; overall mortality is around 35.7%. Bats harbour several betacoronaviruses that are closely related to MERS-CoV but more research is needed to establish the relationship between bats and MERS-CoV. The seroprevalence of MERS-CoV antibodies is very high in dromedary camels in Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. MERS-CoV RNA and viable virus have been isolated from dromedary camels, including some with respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, near-identical strains of MERS-CoV have been isolated from epidemiologically linked humans and camels, confirming inter-transmission, most probably from camels to humans. Though inter-human spread within health care settings is responsible for the majority of reported MERS-CoV cases, the virus is incapable at present of causing sustained human-to-human transmission. Clusters can be readily controlled with implementation of appropriate infection control procedures. Phylogenetic and sequencing data strongly suggest that MERS-CoV originated from bat ancestors after undergoing a recombination event in the spike protein, possibly in dromedary camels in Africa, before its exportation to the Arabian Peninsula along the camel trading routes. MERS-CoV serosurveys are needed to investigate possible unrecognized human infections in Africa. Amongst the important measures to control MERS-CoV spread are strict regulation of camel movement, regular herd screening and isolation of infected camels, use of personal protective equipment by camel handlers and enforcing rules banning all consumption of unpasteurized camel milk and urine. PMID:26924345

  19. Structural basis of the mercury(II)-mediated conformational switching of the dual-function transcriptional regulator MerR

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chih-Chiang; Lin, Li-Ying; Zou, Xiao-Wei; Huang, Chieh-Chen; Chan, Nei-Li

    2015-01-01

    The mer operon confers bacterial resistance to inorganic mercury (Hg2+) and organomercurials by encoding proteins involved in sensing, transport and detoxification of these cytotoxic agents. Expression of the mer operon is under tight control by the dual-function transcriptional regulator MerR. The metal-free, apo MerR binds to the mer operator/promoter region as a repressor to block transcription initiation, but is converted into an activator upon Hg2+-binding. To understand how MerR interacts with Hg2+ and how Hg2+-binding modulates MerR function, we report here the crystal structures of apo and Hg2+-bound MerR from Bacillus megaterium, corresponding respectively to the repressor and activator conformation of MerR. To our knowledge, the apo-MerR structure represents the first visualization of a MerR family member in its intact and inducer-free form. And the Hg2+-MerR structure offers the first view of a triligated Hg2+-thiolate center in a metalloprotein, confirming that MerR binds Hg2+ via trigonal planar coordination geometry. Structural comparison revealed the conformational transition of MerR is coupled to the assembly/disassembly of a buried Hg2+ binding site, thereby providing a structural basis for the Hg2+-mediated functional switching of MerR. The pronounced Hg2+-induced repositioning of the MerR DNA-binding domains suggests a plausible mechanism for the transcriptional regulation of the mer operon. PMID:26150423

  20. Time Course of MERS-CoV Infection and Immunity in Dromedary Camels

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Benjamin; Juhasz, Judit; Barua, Rajib; Das Gupta, Aungshuman; Hakimuddin, Fatima; Corman, Victor M.; Müller, Marcel A.; Wernery, Ulrich; Nagy, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge about immunity to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels is essential for infection control and vaccination. A longitudinal study of 11 dam–calf pairs showed that calves lose maternal MERS-CoV antibodies 5–6 months postparturition and are left susceptible to infection, indicating a short window of opportunity for vaccination. PMID:27224315

  1. Exportations of Symptomatic Cases of MERS-CoV Infection to Countries outside the Middle East.

    PubMed

    Carias, Cristina; O'Hagan, Justin J; Jewett, Amy; Gambhir, Manoj; Cohen, Nicole J; Haber, Yoni; Pesik, Nicki; Swerdlow, David L

    2016-04-01

    In 2012, an outbreak of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was detected in the Arabian Peninsula. Modeling can produce estimates of the expected annual number of symptomatic cases of MERS-CoV infection exported and the likelihood of exportation from source countries in the Middle East to countries outside the region.

  2. Nordic Winter and Cold: Their Correspondence with Tomas Tranströmer's Poetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hosian, Mohammad Akbar

    2015-01-01

    The Nobel Prize winning poet Tomas Tranströmer was born and bred in Sweden, a remarkably Scandinavian country. Topographically, Scandinavian countries are locations of extreme cold and snowing. This distinguishing climatic condition has had a dominant influence and impact on almost all Scandinavian art and literature, including Tomas Tranströmer's…

  3. Taking aim at Mer and Axl receptor tyrosine kinases as novel therapeutic targets in solid tumors

    PubMed Central

    Linger, Rachel M.A.; Keating, Amy K.; Earp, H. Shelton

    2010-01-01

    Importance of the field Axl and/or Mer expression correlates with poor prognosis in several cancers. Until recently, the specific role of these receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) in the development and progression of cancer remained unexplained. Studies demonstrating that Axl and Mer contribute to mechanisms of cell survival, migration, invasion, metastasis, and chemosensitivity justify further investigation of Axl and Mer as novel therapeutic targets in cancer. Areas covered in this review Axl and Mer signaling pathways in cancer cells are summarized and evidence validating these RTKs as therapeutic targets in glioblastoma multiforme, non-small cell lung cancer, and breast cancer is examined. A comprehensive discussion of Axl and/or Mer inhibitors in development is also provided. What the reader will gain Potential toxicities associated with Axl or Mer inhibition are addressed. We hypothesize that the probable action of Mer and Axl inhibitors on cells within the tumor microenvironment will provide a unique therapeutic opportunity to target both tumor cells and the stromal components which facilitate disease progression. Take home message Axl and Mer mediate multiple oncogenic phenotypes and activation of these RTKs constitutes a mechanism of chemoresistance in a variety of solid tumors. Targeted inhibition of these RTKs may be effective as anti-tumor and/or anti-metastatic therapy, particularly if combined with standard cytotoxic therapies. PMID:20809868

  4. Knowledge and Apprehension of Dental Patients about MERS-A Questionnaire Survey

    PubMed Central

    Ashok, Nipun; Rodrigues, Jean Clare; Azouni, Khalid; Darwish, Shorouk; Abuderman, Abdulwahab; Alkaabba, Abdul Aziz Fahad

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a disease caused by beta corona virus. From April 11th to 9th June 2014, World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 402 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS from KSA, out of which 132 cases were reported from Riyadh alone. Aim The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and apprehension of patients about MERS visiting Al Farabi College of Dentistry, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire based survey was conducted which consisted of 10 self-prepared questions. A total of 404 patients participated in this study. Results Three hundred and forty patients had heard about MERS. Nearly a quarter of the patients (25.74%) were apprehensive about undergoing dental treatment because of MERS. A little more than half of the patients (50.99%) knew that camel was a source of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona virus. Most of the patients (80.72%) were aware of the infection control measures to be followed by dentist and 138 patients claimed they took some precaution when present inside the dental college. Conclusion Majority of the patients had heard about MERS and was aware of the infection control measures. However, some patients were apprehensive about undergoing dental treatment because of MERS. Further steps need to be taken to educate the patient’s about transmission of MERS and infection control measures in a dental hospital. PMID:27437361

  5. Exportations of Symptomatic Cases of MERS-CoV Infection to Countries outside the Middle East

    PubMed Central

    O’Hagan, Justin J.; Jewett, Amy; Gambhir, Manoj; Cohen, Nicole J.; Haber, Yoni; Pesik, Nicki; Swerdlow, David L.

    2016-01-01

    In 2012, an outbreak of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was detected in the Arabian Peninsula. Modeling can produce estimates of the expected annual number of symptomatic cases of MERS-CoV infection exported and the likelihood of exportation from source countries in the Middle East to countries outside the region. PMID:27358972

  6. Evolutionary Dynamics of MERS-CoV: Potential Recombination, Positive Selection and Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhao; Shen, Libing; Gu, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) belongs to beta group of coronavirus and was first discovered in 2012. MERS-CoV can infect multiple host species and cause severe diseases in human. We conducted a series of phylogenetic and bioinformatic analyses to study the evolution dynamics of MERS-CoV among different host species with genomic data. Our analyses show: 1) 28 potential recombinant sequences were detected and they can be classified into seven potential recombinant types; 2) The spike (S) protein of MERS-CoV was under strong positive selection when MERS-CoV transmitted from their natural host to human; 3) Six out of nine positive selection sites detected in spike (S) protein are located in its receptor-binding domain which is in direct contact with host cells; 4) MERS-CoV frequently transmitted back and forth between human and camel after it had acquired the human-camel infection capability. Together, these results suggest that potential recombination events might have happened frequently during MERS-CoV’s evolutionary history and the positive selection sites in MERS-CoV’s S protein might enable it to infect human. PMID:27142087

  7. Serologic Evidence for MERS-CoV Infection in Dromedary Camels, Punjab, Pakistan, 2012–2015

    PubMed Central

    Saqib, Muhammad; Sieberg, Andrea; Hussain, Muhammad Hammad; Mansoor, Muhammad Khalid; Zohaib, Ali; Lattwein, Erik; Müller, Marcel Alexander; Corman, Victor Max

    2017-01-01

    Dromedary camels from Africa and Arabia are an established source for zoonotic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection among humans. In Pakistan, we found specific neutralizing antibodies in samples from 39.5% of 565 dromedaries, documenting significant expansion of the enzootic range of MERS-CoV to Asia. PMID:28221127

  8. Discovery of Small Molecule Mer Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Ectopic Mer expression promotes pro-survival signaling and contributes to leukemogenesis and chemoresistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Consequently, Mer kinase inhibitors may promote leukemic cell death and further act as chemosensitizers increasing efficacy and reducing toxicities of current ALL regimens. We have applied a structure-based design approach to discover novel small molecule Mer kinase inhibitors. Several pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives effectively inhibit Mer kinase activity at subnanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, the lead compound shows a promising selectivity profile against a panel of 72 kinases and has excellent pharmacokinetic properties. We also describe the crystal structure of the complex between the lead compound and Mer, opening new opportunities for further optimization and new template design. PMID:22662287

  9. Discovery of Novel Small Molecule Mer Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Simpson, Catherine; Deryckere, Deborah; Van Deusen, Amy; Miley, Michael J; Kireev, Dmitri; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra; Korboukh, Victoria K; Patel, Hari S; Janzen, William P; Machius, Mischa; Johnson, Gary L; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2012-02-09

    Ectopic Mer expression promotes pro-survival signaling and contributes to leukemogenesis and chemoresistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Consequently, Mer kinase inhibitors may promote leukemic cell death and further act as chemosensitizers increasing efficacy and reducing toxicities of current ALL regimens. We have applied a structure-based design approach to discover novel small molecule Mer kinase inhibitors. Several pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives effectively inhibit Mer kinase activity at sub-nanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, the lead compound shows a promising selectivity profile against a panel of 72 kinases and has excellent pharmacokinetic properties. We also describe the crystal structure of the complex between the lead compound and Mer, opening new opportunities for further optimization and new template design.

  10. MERS-CoV spike protein: Targets for vaccines and therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qihui; Wong, Gary; Lu, Guangwen; Yan, Jinghua; Gao, George F

    2016-09-01

    The disease outbreak caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is still ongoing in the Middle East. Over 1700 people have been infected since it was first reported in September 2012. Despite great efforts, licensed vaccines or therapeutics against MERS-CoV remain unavailable. The MERS-CoV spike (S) protein is an important viral antigen known to mediate host-receptor binding and virus entry, as well as induce robust humoral and cell-mediated responses in humans during infection. In this review, we highlight the importance of the S protein in the MERS-CoV life cycle, summarize recent advances in the development of vaccines and therapeutics based on the S protein, and discuss strategies that can be explored to develop new medical countermeasures against MERS-CoV.

  11. MerTK inhibition in tumor leukocytes decreases tumor growth and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Rebecca S.; Jacobsen, Kristen M.; Wofford, Anne M.; DeRyckere, Deborah; Stanford, Jamie; Prieto, Anne L.; Redente, Elizabeth; Sandahl, Melissa; Hunter, Debra M.; Strunk, Karen E.; Graham, Douglas K.; Earp, H. Shelton

    2013-01-01

    MerTK, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) of the TYRO3/AXL/MerTK family, is expressed in myeloid lineage cells in which it acts to suppress proinflammatory cytokines following ingestion of apoptotic material. Using syngeneic mouse models of breast cancer, melanoma, and colon cancer, we found that tumors grew slowly and were poorly metastatic in MerTK–/– mice. Transplantation of MerTK–/– bone marrow, but not wild-type bone marrow, into lethally irradiated MMTV-PyVmT mice (a model of metastatic breast cancer) decreased tumor growth and altered cytokine production by tumor CD11b+ cells. Although MerTK expression was not required for tumor infiltration by leukocytes, MerTK–/– leukocytes exhibited lower tumor cell–induced expression of wound healing cytokines, e.g., IL-10 and growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6), and enhanced expression of acute inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-12 and IL-6. Intratumoral CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers were higher and lymphocyte proliferation was increased in tumor-bearing MerTK–/– mice compared with tumor-bearing wild-type mice. Antibody-mediated CD8+ T lymphocyte depletion restored tumor growth in MerTK–/– mice. These data demonstrate that MerTK signaling in tumor-associated CD11b+ leukocytes promotes tumor growth by dampening acute inflammatory cytokines while inducing wound healing cytokines. These results suggest that inhibition of MerTK in the tumor microenvironment may have clinical benefit, stimulating antitumor immune responses or enhancing immunotherapeutic strategies. PMID:23867499

  12. MerTK inhibition in tumor leukocytes decreases tumor growth and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Cook, Rebecca S; Jacobsen, Kristen M; Wofford, Anne M; DeRyckere, Deborah; Stanford, Jamie; Prieto, Anne L; Redente, Elizabeth; Sandahl, Melissa; Hunter, Debra M; Strunk, Karen E; Graham, Douglas K; Earp, H Shelton

    2013-08-01

    MerTK, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) of the TYRO3/AXL/MerTK family, is expressed in myeloid lineage cells in which it acts to suppress proinflammatory cytokines following ingestion of apoptotic material. Using syngeneic mouse models of breast cancer, melanoma, and colon cancer, we found that tumors grew slowly and were poorly metastatic in MerTK-/- mice. Transplantation of MerTK-/- bone marrow, but not wild-type bone marrow, into lethally irradiated MMTV-PyVmT mice (a model of metastatic breast cancer) decreased tumor growth and altered cytokine production by tumor CD11b+ cells. Although MerTK expression was not required for tumor infiltration by leukocytes, MerTK-/- leukocytes exhibited lower tumor cell-induced expression of wound healing cytokines, e.g., IL-10 and growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6), and enhanced expression of acute inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-12 and IL-6. Intratumoral CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers were higher and lymphocyte proliferation was increased in tumor-bearing MerTK-/- mice compared with tumor-bearing wild-type mice. Antibody-mediated CD8+ T lymphocyte depletion restored tumor growth in MerTK-/- mice. These data demonstrate that MerTK signaling in tumor-associated CD11b+ leukocytes promotes tumor growth by dampening acute inflammatory cytokines while inducing wound healing cytokines. These results suggest that inhibition of MerTK in the tumor microenvironment may have clinical benefit, stimulating antitumor immune responses or enhancing immunotherapeutic strategies.

  13. MER-DIMES : a planetary landing application of computer vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, Yang; Johnson, Andrew; Matthies, Larry

    2005-01-01

    During the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landings, the Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) was used for horizontal velocity estimation. The DIMES algorithm combines measurements from a descent camera, a radar altimeter and an inertial measurement unit. To deal with large changes in scale and orientation between descent images, the algorithm uses altitude and attitude measurements to rectify image data to level ground plane. Feature selection and tracking is employed in the rectified data to compute the horizontal motion between images. Differences of motion estimates are then compared to inertial measurements to verify correct feature tracking. DIMES combines sensor data from multiple sources in a novel way to create a low-cost, robust and computationally efficient velocity estimation solution, and DIMES is the first use of computer vision to control a spacecraft during planetary landing. In this paper, the detailed implementation of the DIMES algorithm and the results from the two landings on Mars are presented.

  14. Dust Accumulation and Cleaning of the MER Opportunity Solar Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, J.

    2015-12-01

    The solar array of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity was expected to accumulate a sufficient quantity of dust after ninety Martian days (sols) such that it could no longer provide enough energy to guarantee continued surface operations. Instead, due in part to low dust accumulation rates and numerous dust cleaning events, Opportunity continues to operate on the Martian surface for over 4000 sols (over six Mars years). During this time period, the rover experienced six Martian winters and several dust storms. Because the sources of solar energy loss are known, the solar array energy output offers a method to scientifically estimate the loading and aeolian removal of dust from the solar array each sol. We will discuss the accumulation of dust on the solar panels as a proxy for dust movement at Meridiani Planum over the course of the entire mission to date.

  15. Dust Accumulation and Cleaning of the MER Spirit Solar Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, J. A.; Lemmon, M. T.; Johnson, J. R.; Cantor, B. A.; Stella, P. M.; Chin, K. B.; Wood, E. G.

    2012-12-01

    The solar array of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit was expected to accumulate so much dust after ninety Martian days (sols) that it could no longer provide enough energy to guarantee continued surface operations. Instead, due in part to low dust accumulation rates and numerous dust cleaning events, Spirit carried out surface operations for over 2200 sols (over three Mars years). During this time period, the rover experienced four Martian winters and several dust storms. Because the sources of solar energy loss are known, the solar array energy output offers a tool to quantitatively estimate the loading and aeolian removal of dust from the solar array each sol. We will discuss the accumulation of dust on the solar panels as a proxy for dust movement at Gusev Crater over the course of the entire mission.

  16. Molecular identification of Lodoicea maldivica (coco de mer) seeds

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The edible endosperm of Lodoicea maldivica with the common name of coco de mer is used in Chinese medicine for treating cough. Native to Seychelles, Lodoicea maldivica seeds have commanded high prices for centuries due to its scarcity. This study aims to develop a molecular identification method for the authentication of Lodoicea maldivica seeds. Methods DNA was extracted from the sample. Two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems were developed to amplify a region of the chloroplast DNA and the nuclear phosphoribulokinase (PRK) region specific to Lodoicea maldivica respectively. DNA sequence of a sample was determined and compared with that of the Lodoicea maldivica reference material. Results The PRK gene of Lodoicea maldivica was successfully amplified and sequenced for identification. Conclusion A new molecular method for the identification of Lodoicea maldivica seeds in fresh, frozen or dried forms was developed. PMID:21961930

  17. AIDS, Avian flu, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika… what next?

    PubMed

    Reperant, Leslie A; Osterhaus, Albert D M E

    2017-08-16

    Emerging infections have threatened humanity since times immemorial. The dramatic anthropogenic, behavioral and social changes that have affected humanity and the environment in the past century have accelerated the intrusion of novel pathogens into the global human population, sometimes with devastating consequences. The AIDS and influenza pandemics have claimed and will continue to claim millions of lives. The recent SARS and Ebola epidemics have threatened populations across borders. The emergence of MERS may well be warning signals of a nascent pandemic threat, while the potential for geographical spread of vector-borne diseases, such as Zika, but also Dengue and Chikungunya is unprecedented. Novel technologies and innovative approaches have multiplied to address and improve response preparedness towards the increasing yet unpredictable threat posed by emerging pathogens. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Delta II Heavy launch of "Opportunity" MER-B Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  19. Delta II Heavy MER-B - MST Rollback

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    The Mobile Service Tower is ready to be rolled back at Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, to launch the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" on the second Mars Exploration Rover mission. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  20. MER-DIMES : a planetary landing application of computer vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, Yang; Johnson, Andrew; Matthies, Larry

    2005-01-01

    During the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landings, the Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) was used for horizontal velocity estimation. The DIMES algorithm combines measurements from a descent camera, a radar altimeter and an inertial measurement unit. To deal with large changes in scale and orientation between descent images, the algorithm uses altitude and attitude measurements to rectify image data to level ground plane. Feature selection and tracking is employed in the rectified data to compute the horizontal motion between images. Differences of motion estimates are then compared to inertial measurements to verify correct feature tracking. DIMES combines sensor data from multiple sources in a novel way to create a low-cost, robust and computationally efficient velocity estimation solution, and DIMES is the first use of computer vision to control a spacecraft during planetary landing. In this paper, the detailed implementation of the DIMES algorithm and the results from the two landings on Mars are presented.

  1. Recapitulating phylogenies using k-mers: from trees to networks

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Guillaume; Ragan, Mark A.; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2016-01-01

    Ernst Haeckel based his landmark Tree of Life on the supposed ontogenic recapitulation of phylogeny, i.e. that successive embryonic stages during the development of an organism re-trace the morphological forms of its ancestors over the course of evolution. Much of this idea has since been discredited. Today, phylogenies are often based on families of molecular sequences. The standard approach starts with a multiple sequence alignment, in which the sequences are arranged relative to each other in a way that maximises a measure of similarity position-by-position along their entire length. A tree (or sometimes a network) is then inferred. Rigorous multiple sequence alignment is computationally demanding, and evolutionary processes that shape the genomes of many microbes (bacteria, archaea and some morphologically simple eukaryotes) can add further complications. In particular, recombination, genome rearrangement and lateral genetic transfer undermine the assumptions that underlie multiple sequence alignment, and imply that a tree-like structure may be too simplistic. Here, using genome sequences of 143 bacterial and archaeal genomes, we construct a network of phylogenetic relatedness based on the number of shared k-mers (subsequences at fixed length k). Our findings suggest that the network captures not only key aspects of microbial genome evolution as inferred from a tree, but also features that are not treelike. The method is highly scalable, allowing for investigation of genome evolution across a large number of genomes. Instead of using specific regions or sequences from genome sequences, or indeed Haeckel’s idea of ontogeny, we argue that genome phylogenies can be inferred using k-mers from whole-genome sequences. Representing these networks dynamically allows biological questions of interest to be formulated and addressed quickly and in a visually intuitive manner. PMID:28105314

  2. Recapitulating phylogenies using k-mers: from trees to networks.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Guillaume; Ragan, Mark A; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2016-01-01

    Ernst Haeckel based his landmark Tree of Life on the supposed ontogenic recapitulation of phylogeny, i.e. that successive embryonic stages during the development of an organism re-trace the morphological forms of its ancestors over the course of evolution. Much of this idea has since been discredited. Today, phylogenies are often based on families of molecular sequences. The standard approach starts with a multiple sequence alignment, in which the sequences are arranged relative to each other in a way that maximises a measure of similarity position-by-position along their entire length. A tree (or sometimes a network) is then inferred. Rigorous multiple sequence alignment is computationally demanding, and evolutionary processes that shape the genomes of many microbes (bacteria, archaea and some morphologically simple eukaryotes) can add further complications. In particular, recombination, genome rearrangement and lateral genetic transfer undermine the assumptions that underlie multiple sequence alignment, and imply that a tree-like structure may be too simplistic. Here, using genome sequences of 143 bacterial and archaeal genomes, we construct a network of phylogenetic relatedness based on the number of shared k-mers (subsequences at fixed length k). Our findings suggest that the network captures not only key aspects of microbial genome evolution as inferred from a tree, but also features that are not treelike. The method is highly scalable, allowing for investigation of genome evolution across a large number of genomes. Instead of using specific regions or sequences from genome sequences, or indeed Haeckel's idea of ontogeny, we argue that genome phylogenies can be inferred using k-mers from whole-genome sequences. Representing these networks dynamically allows biological questions of interest to be formulated and addressed quickly and in a visually intuitive manner.

  3. Successful recovery of MERS CoV pneumonia in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: a case report.

    PubMed

    Shalhoub, Sarah; AlZahrani, Abdulwahab; Simhairi, Raed; Mushtaq, Adnan

    2015-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) may cause severe pneumonia with significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in patients with multiple comorbid condition. MERS CoV pneumonia has not been previously reported in patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Herein, we report a case of MERS CoV pneumonia with a successful outcome in a patient recently diagnosed with HIV.

  4. MERS and the dromedary camel trade between Africa and the Middle East.

    PubMed

    Younan, M; Bornstein, S; Gluecks, I V

    2016-08-01

    Dromedary camels are the most likely source for the coronavirus that sporadically causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in humans. Serological results from archived camel sera provide evidence for circulation of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) among dromedary camels in the Greater Horn of Africa as far back as 1983 and in Saudi Arabia as far back as 1992. High seroprevalences of MERS-CoV antibodies and the high virus prevalence in Saudi Arabian dromedary camels indicate an endemicity of the virus in the Arabian Peninsula, which predates the 2012 human MERS index case. Saudi Arabian dromedary camels show significantly higher MERS-CoV carrier rates than dromedary camels imported from Africa. Two MERS-CoV lineages identified in Nigerian camels were found to be genetically distinct from those found in camels and humans in the Middle East. This supports the hypothesis that camel imports from Africa are not of significance for circulation of the virus in camel populations of the Arabian Peninsula.

  5. NMR assignments of the macro domain from Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    PubMed

    Huang, Yi-Ping; Cho, Chao-Cheng; Chang, Chi-Fon; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2016-10-01

    The newly emerging human pathogen, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), contains a macro domain in the highly conserved N-terminal region of non-structural protein 3. Intense research has shown that macro domains bind ADP-ribose and other derivatives, but it still remains intangible about their exact function. In this study we report the preliminary structural analysis through solution NMR spectroscopy of the MERS-CoV macro domain. The near complete NMR assignments of MERS-CoV macro domain provide the basis for subsequent structural and biochemical investigation in the context of protein function.

  6. Improvement in Engine Generator Characteristics by Using a Series Compensator Named MERS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiwagi, Kouhei; Isobe, Takanori; Shimada, Ryuichi

    Terminal voltage of a synchronous generator drops with an increase in the generator current because of the large inductance in the generator, called synchronous reactance. This paper proposes the use of an active series compensation device named magnetic energy recovery switch (MERS) for improving engine generator performance. The MERS can compensate for the voltage drop caused by the synchronous reactance and it can control the load voltage more quickly than the auto voltage regulator can control the excitation current. Thus, the MERS can improve the generator efficiency and transient over power characteristics.

  7. Transmission characteristics of MERS and SARS in the healthcare setting: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Chowell, Gerardo; Abdirizak, Fatima; Lee, Sunmi; Lee, Jonggul; Jung, Eunok; Nishiura, Hiroshi; Viboud, Cécile

    2015-09-03

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus has caused recurrent outbreaks in the Arabian Peninsula since 2012. Although MERS has low overall human-to-human transmission potential, there is occasional amplification in the healthcare setting, a pattern reminiscent of the dynamics of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreaks in 2003. Here we provide a head-to-head comparison of exposure patterns and transmission dynamics of large hospital clusters of MERS and SARS, including the most recent South Korean outbreak of MERS in 2015. To assess the unexpected nature of the recent South Korean nosocomial outbreak of MERS and estimate the probability of future large hospital clusters, we compared exposure and transmission patterns for previously reported hospital clusters of MERS and SARS, based on individual-level data and transmission tree information. We carried out simulations of nosocomial outbreaks of MERS and SARS using branching process models rooted in transmission tree data, and inferred the probability and characteristics of large outbreaks. A significant fraction of MERS cases were linked to the healthcare setting, ranging from 43.5 % for the nosocomial outbreak in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2014 to 100 % for both the outbreak in Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia, in 2013 and the outbreak in South Korea in 2015. Both MERS and SARS nosocomial outbreaks are characterized by early nosocomial super-spreading events, with the reproduction number dropping below 1 within three to five disease generations. There was a systematic difference in the exposure patterns of MERS and SARS: a majority of MERS cases occurred among patients who sought care in the same facilities as the index case, whereas there was a greater concentration of SARS cases among healthcare workers throughout the outbreak. Exposure patterns differed slightly by disease generation, however, especially for SARS. Moreover, the distributions of secondary cases per single primary case varied

  8. UNC2025, a Potent and Orally Bioavailable MER/FLT3 Dual Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We previously reported a potent small molecule Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitor UNC1062. However, its poor PK properties prevented further assessment in vivo. We report here the sequential modification of UNC1062 to address DMPK properties and yield a new potent and highly orally bioavailable Mer inhibitor, 11, capable of inhibiting Mer phosphorylation in vivo, following oral dosing as demonstrated by pharmaco-dynamic (PD) studies examining phospho-Mer in leukemic blasts from mouse bone marrow. Kinome profiling versus more than 300 kinases in vitro and cellular selectivity assessments demonstrate that 11 has similar subnanomolar activity against Flt3, an additional important target in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), with pharmacologically useful selectivity versus other kinases examined. PMID:25068800

  9. UNC2025, a potent and orally bioavailable MER/FLT3 dual inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weihe; DeRyckere, Deborah; Hunter, Debra; Liu, Jing; Stashko, Michael A; Minson, Katherine A; Cummings, Christopher T; Lee, Minjung; Glaros, Trevor G; Newton, Dianne L; Sather, Susan; Zhang, Dehui; Kireev, Dmitri; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2014-08-28

    We previously reported a potent small molecule Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitor UNC1062. However, its poor PK properties prevented further assessment in vivo. We report here the sequential modification of UNC1062 to address DMPK properties and yield a new potent and highly orally bioavailable Mer inhibitor, 11, capable of inhibiting Mer phosphorylation in vivo, following oral dosing as demonstrated by pharmaco-dynamic (PD) studies examining phospho-Mer in leukemic blasts from mouse bone marrow. Kinome profiling versus more than 300 kinases in vitro and cellular selectivity assessments demonstrate that 11 has similar subnanomolar activity against Flt3, an additional important target in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), with pharmacologically useful selectivity versus other kinases examined.

  10. Metagenome Fragment Classification Using N-Mer Frequency Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Gail; Garbarine, Elaine; Caseiro, Diamantino; Polikar, Robi; Sokhansanj, Bahrad

    2008-01-01

    A vast amount of microbial sequencing data is being generated through large-scale projects in ecology, agriculture, and human health. Efficient high-throughput methods are needed to analyze the mass amounts of metagenomic data, all DNA present in an environmental sample. A major obstacle in metagenomics is the inability to obtain accuracy using technology that yields short reads. We construct the unique N-mer frequency profiles of 635 microbial genomes publicly available as of February 2008. These profiles are used to train a naive Bayes classifier (NBC) that can be used to identify the genome of any fragment. We show that our method is comparable to BLAST for small 25 bp fragments but does not have the ambiguity of BLAST's tied top scores. We demonstrate that this approach is scalable to identify any fragment from hundreds of genomes. It also performs quite well at the strain, species, and genera levels and achieves strain resolution despite classifying ubiquitous genomic fragments (gene and nongene regions). Cross-validation analysis demonstrates that species-accuracy achieves 90% for highly-represented species containing an average of 8 strains. We demonstrate that such a tool can be used on the Sargasso Sea dataset, and our analysis shows that NBC can be further enhanced. PMID:19956701

  11. Metagenome fragment classification using N-mer frequency profiles.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Gail; Garbarine, Elaine; Caseiro, Diamantino; Polikar, Robi; Sokhansanj, Bahrad

    2008-01-01

    A vast amount of microbial sequencing data is being generated through large-scale projects in ecology, agriculture, and human health. Efficient high-throughput methods are needed to analyze the mass amounts of metagenomic data, all DNA present in an environmental sample. A major obstacle in metagenomics is the inability to obtain accuracy using technology that yields short reads. We construct the unique N-mer frequency profiles of 635 microbial genomes publicly available as of February 2008. These profiles are used to train a naive Bayes classifier (NBC) that can be used to identify the genome of any fragment. We show that our method is comparable to BLAST for small 25 bp fragments but does not have the ambiguity of BLAST's tied top scores. We demonstrate that this approach is scalable to identify any fragment from hundreds of genomes. It also performs quite well at the strain, species, and genera levels and achieves strain resolution despite classifying ubiquitous genomic fragments (gene and nongene regions). Cross-validation analysis demonstrates that species-accuracy achieves 90% for highly-represented species containing an average of 8 strains. We demonstrate that such a tool can be used on the Sargasso Sea dataset, and our analysis shows that NBC can be further enhanced.

  12. Planning Mars Memory: Learning from the Mer Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2004-01-01

    Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort at recognizing, preserving and transmitting learning. Each mission should be built on the learning, of both successes and failures, derived from previous missions. Knowledge management begins with learning, and the recognition that this learning has produced knowledge. The Mars Exploration Rover mission provides us with an opportunity to track how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and whether the representations of this learning will be optimally useful for subsequent missions. This paper focuses on the MER science and engineering teams during Rover operations. A NASA team conducted an observational study of the ongoing work and learning of the these teams. Learning occurred in a wide variety of areas: how to run two teams on Mars time for three months; how to use the instruments within the constraints of the martian environment, the deep space network and the mission requirements; how to plan science strategy; how best to use the available software tools. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in peoples memories, to be carried on to the next mission. It is also encoded in stones, in programming sequences, in published reports, and in lessons learned activities, Studying learning and knowledge development as it happens allows us to suggest proactive ways of capturing and using it across multiple missions and generations.

  13. Nutrient availability at Mer Bleue bog measured by PRSTM probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, M.; Moore, T. R.; Talbot, J.

    2015-12-01

    Bogs, covering ~0.7 million km2 in Canada, store a large amount of C and N. As nutrient deficient ecosystems, it's critical to examine the nutrient availabilities and seasonal dynamics. We used Plant Root Simulators (PRSTM) at Mer Bleue bog to provide some baseline data on nutrient availability and its variability. In particular, we focused on ammonium, nitrate, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and potassium, iron, sulphate and aluminum. We placed PRS probes at a depth of 5 - 15 cm in pristine plots and plots with long term N, P and K fertilization for 4 weeks and determined the availability of these nutrients, from spring through to fall. Probes were also placed beneath the water table in hummock and hollow microtopography and along a transect including part of the bog which had been drained through the creation of a ditch 80 years ago. The result showed that there was limited available ammonium, nitrate and phosphate in the bog, the seasonal variation of nutrient availabilities probably due to mineralization, an increase in the availability of some nutrients between different water table depths or as a result of drainage, and the relative availability of nutrients compared to the input from fertilization. We suggest that PRS probes could be a useful tool to examine nutrient availability and dynamics in wetlands, with careful consideration of installing condition, for example, proper exposure period, depth relative to water table etc.

  14. Water on Mars: Evidence from MER Mission Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer, or "duricrust". Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content and chlorine content consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. The soil is highly enriched in the salt-forming elements compared with rock. Analysis of the soil cementation indicates some features which may be evidence of liquid water. At both MER sites, duricrust textures revealed by the Microscopic Imager show features including the presence of fine sand-sized grains, some of which may be aggregates of fine silt and clay, surrounded by a pervasive light colored material that is associated with microtubular structures and networks of microfractures. Stereo views of undisturbed duricrust surfaces reveal rugged microrelief between 2-3 mm and minimal loose material. Comparisons of microscopic images of duricrust soils obtain before and after placement of the Mossbauer spectrometer indicate differing degrees of compaction and cementation. Two models of a transient water hypothesis are offered, a "top down" hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a "bottom up" alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water. The viability of both of these models ultimately hinges on the availability of seasonally transient liquid water for brief periods.

  15. Autonomous Navigation Results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark; Johnson, Andrew; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg; Matthies, Larry H.

    2004-01-01

    In January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. Several autonomous navigation capabilities were employed in space for the first time in this mission. ]n the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase, both landers used a vision system called the, Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) to estimate horizontal velocity during the last 2000 meters (m) of descent, by tracking features on the ground with a downlooking camera, in order to control retro-rocket firing to reduce horizontal velocity before impact. During surface operations, the rovers navigate autonomously using stereo vision for local terrain mapping and a local, reactive planning algorithm called Grid-based Estimation of Surface Traversability Applied to Local Terrain (GESTALT) for obstacle avoidance. ]n areas of high slip, stereo vision-based visual odometry has been used to estimate rover motion, As of mid-June, Spirit had traversed 3405 m, of which 1253 m were done autonomously; Opportunity had traversed 1264 m, of which 224 m were autonomous. These results have contributed substantially to the success of the mission and paved the way for increased levels of autonomy in future missions.

  16. Autonomous Navigation Results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark; Johnson, Andrew; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg; Matthies, Larry H.

    2004-01-01

    In January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. Several autonomous navigation capabilities were employed in space for the first time in this mission. ]n the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase, both landers used a vision system called the, Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) to estimate horizontal velocity during the last 2000 meters (m) of descent, by tracking features on the ground with a downlooking camera, in order to control retro-rocket firing to reduce horizontal velocity before impact. During surface operations, the rovers navigate autonomously using stereo vision for local terrain mapping and a local, reactive planning algorithm called Grid-based Estimation of Surface Traversability Applied to Local Terrain (GESTALT) for obstacle avoidance. ]n areas of high slip, stereo vision-based visual odometry has been used to estimate rover motion, As of mid-June, Spirit had traversed 3405 m, of which 1253 m were done autonomously; Opportunity had traversed 1264 m, of which 224 m were autonomous. These results have contributed substantially to the success of the mission and paved the way for increased levels of autonomy in future missions.

  17. Redefining Tactical Operations for MER Using Cloud Computing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joswig, Joseph C.; Shams, Khawaja S.

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) includes the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which have been performing geological research and surface exploration since early 2004. The rovers' durability well beyond their original prime mission (90 sols or Martian days) has allowed them to be a valuable platform for scientific research for well over 2000 sols, but as a by-product it has produced new challenges in providing efficient and cost-effective tactical operational planning. An early stage process adaptation was the move to distributed operations as mission scientists returned to their places of work in the summer of 2004, but they would still came together via teleconference and connected software to plan rover activities a few times a week. This distributed model has worked well since, but it requires the purchase, operation, and maintenance of a dedicated infrastructure at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This server infrastructure is costly to operate and the periodic nature of its usage (typically heavy usage for 8 hours every 2 days) has made moving to a cloud based tactical infrastructure an extremely tempting proposition. In this paper we will review both past and current implementations of the tactical planning application focusing on remote plan saving and discuss the unique challenges present with long-latency, distributed operations. We then detail the motivations behind our move to cloud based computing services and as well as our system design and implementation. We will discuss security and reliability concerns and how they were addressed

  18. Water on Mars: Evidence from MER Mission Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer, or "duricrust". Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content and chlorine content consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. The soil is highly enriched in the salt-forming elements compared with rock. Analysis of the soil cementation indicates some features which may be evidence of liquid water. At both MER sites, duricrust textures revealed by the Microscopic Imager show features including the presence of fine sand-sized grains, some of which may be aggregates of fine silt and clay, surrounded by a pervasive light colored material that is associated with microtubular structures and networks of microfractures. Stereo views of undisturbed duricrust surfaces reveal rugged microrelief between 2-3 mm and minimal loose material. Comparisons of microscopic images of duricrust soils obtain before and after placement of the Mossbauer spectrometer indicate differing degrees of compaction and cementation. Two models of a transient water hypothesis are offered, a "top down" hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a "bottom up" alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water. The viability of both of these models ultimately hinges on the availability of seasonally transient liquid water for brief periods.

  19. Redefining Tactical Operations for MER Using Cloud Computing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joswig, Joseph C.; Shams, Khawaja S.

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) includes the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which have been performing geological research and surface exploration since early 2004. The rovers' durability well beyond their original prime mission (90 sols or Martian days) has allowed them to be a valuable platform for scientific research for well over 2000 sols, but as a by-product it has produced new challenges in providing efficient and cost-effective tactical operational planning. An early stage process adaptation was the move to distributed operations as mission scientists returned to their places of work in the summer of 2004, but they would still came together via teleconference and connected software to plan rover activities a few times a week. This distributed model has worked well since, but it requires the purchase, operation, and maintenance of a dedicated infrastructure at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This server infrastructure is costly to operate and the periodic nature of its usage (typically heavy usage for 8 hours every 2 days) has made moving to a cloud based tactical infrastructure an extremely tempting proposition. In this paper we will review both past and current implementations of the tactical planning application focusing on remote plan saving and discuss the unique challenges present with long-latency, distributed operations. We then detail the motivations behind our move to cloud based computing services and as well as our system design and implementation. We will discuss security and reliability concerns and how they were addressed

  20. Planning Mars Memory: Learning from the Mer Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2004-01-01

    Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort at recognizing, preserving and transmitting learning. Each mission should be built on the learning, of both successes and failures, derived from previous missions. Knowledge management begins with learning, and the recognition that this learning has produced knowledge. The Mars Exploration Rover mission provides us with an opportunity to track how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and whether the representations of this learning will be optimally useful for subsequent missions. This paper focuses on the MER science and engineering teams during Rover operations. A NASA team conducted an observational study of the ongoing work and learning of the these teams. Learning occurred in a wide variety of areas: how to run two teams on Mars time for three months; how to use the instruments within the constraints of the martian environment, the deep space network and the mission requirements; how to plan science strategy; how best to use the available software tools. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in peoples memories, to be carried on to the next mission. It is also encoded in stones, in programming sequences, in published reports, and in lessons learned activities, Studying learning and knowledge development as it happens allows us to suggest proactive ways of capturing and using it across multiple missions and generations.

  1. Determining geographical spread pattern of MERS-CoV by distance method using Kimura model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amiroch, Siti; Rohmatullah, Arif

    2017-03-01

    MERS-CoV or generally called as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, a respiratory disease syndrome caused by a corona virus that attacks the respiratory tract ranging from mild to severe acute indication of fever, cough and shortness of breath. The cases happened relate to the countries in the Arabian Peninsula (Middle East) and there were 356 deaths have been reported due to the spread of the epidemic MERS. The data used in the case of MERS are the data DNA sequences taken from Genbank, the online database of the United States that stores the results of molecular biological experiments from all over the world (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). In this case, bioinformatics plays an important role of reading sequences of DNA and genetic information by using the main device in the form of software that is supported by the availability of the Internet, while the analysis there in made and proven with mathematical methods. In similar research conducted by molecular biologists and physicians, the process of DNA sequencing is done with software that is already available like BLAST. In order to determine the MERS geographical distribution patterns in the Arabian Peninsula is done with program Clustal W, Bayesian, Phylip, etc. In this study, the writer use the Matlab simulation for all processes starting sequence alignment, counting the number of transitions and transversion substitutions for each sequence and its location up to the process of forming a phylogenetic tree that figures out the pattern of spread of the epidemic MERS. Mathematical analysis performed on a decline in the formula is to find Kimura evolutionary models and the process of forming a phylogenetic tree (the pattern of the epidemic MERS distribution) with neighbor joining algorithm. Finally it was obtained the pattern of geographical spread with 6 groups epidemic of MERS which ultimately turns out that all the MERS viruses that were spread in the Arabian Peninsula everything are almost the same as

  2. Unanswered questions about the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) represents a current threat to the Arabian Peninsula, and potential pandemic disease. As of June 3, 2014, MERS CoV has reportedly infected 688 people and killed 282. We briefly summarize the state of the outbreak, and highlight unanswered questions and various explanations for the observed epidemiology. Findings The continuing but infrequent cases of MERS-CoV reported over the past two years have been puzzling and difficult to explain. The epidemiology of MERS-CoV, with many sporadic cases and a few hospital outbreaks, yet no sustained epidemic, suggests a low reproductive number. Furthermore, a clear source of infection to humans remains unknown. Also puzzling is the fact that MERS-CoV has been present in Saudi Arabia over several mass gatherings, including the 2012 and 2013 Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which predispose to epidemics, without an epidemic arising. Conclusions The observed epidemiology of MERS-CoV is quite distinct and does not clearly fit either a sporadic or epidemic pattern. Possible explanations of the unusual features of the epidemiology of MERS-CoV include sporadic ongoing infections from a non-human source; human to human transmission with a large proportion of undetected cases; or a combination of both. The virus has been identified in camels; however the mode of transmission of the virus to humans remains unknown, and many cases have no history of animal contact. In order to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology of MERS CoV, further investigation is warranted. PMID:24920393

  3. MERS coronavirus neutralizing antibodies in camels, Eastern Africa, 1983-1997.

    PubMed

    Müller, Marcel A; Corman, Victor Max; Jores, Joerg; Meyer, Benjamin; Younan, Mario; Liljander, Anne; Bosch, Berend-Jan; Lattwein, Erik; Hilali, Mosaad; Musa, Bakri E; Bornstein, Set; Drosten, Christian

    2014-12-01

    To analyze the distribution of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-seropositive dromedary camels in eastern Africa, we tested 189 archived serum samples accumulated during the past 30 years. We identified MERS-CoV neutralizing antibodies in 81.0% of samples from the main camel-exporting countries, Sudan and Somalia, suggesting long-term virus circulation in these animals.

  4. MERS Coronavirus Neutralizing Antibodies in Camels, Eastern Africa, 1983–1997

    PubMed Central

    Corman, Victor Max; Jores, Joerg; Meyer, Benjamin; Younan, Mario; Liljander, Anne; Bosch, Berend-Jan; Lattwein, Erik; Hilali, Mosaad; Musa, Bakri E.; Bornstein, Set; Drosten, Christian

    2014-01-01

    To analyze the distribution of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)–seropositive dromedary camels in eastern Africa, we tested 189 archived serum samples accumulated during the past 30 years. We identified MERS-CoV neutralizing antibodies in 81.0% of samples from the main camel-exporting countries, Sudan and Somalia, suggesting long-term virus circulation in these animals. PMID:25425139

  5. Genetic analysis of transcriptional activation and repression in the Tn21 mer operon. [Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, W.; Park, S.J.; Summers, A.O. )

    1989-07-01

    Transcription of the Tn21 mercury resistance operon (mer) is controlled by the toxic metal cation Hg(II). This control is mediated by the product of the merR gene, a 144-amino-acid protein which represses transcription of the structural genes (merTPCAD) in the absence of Hg(II) and activates transcription in the presence of Hg(II). We have used a mer-lac transcriptional fusion to obtain regulatory mutants in this metal-responsive system. Some mutants were defective in Hg(II)-induced activation while retaining repression function, others were defective in repression but not activation, and some had lost both functions. Mutations in three of the four cysteine residues of merR resulted in complete loss of Hg(II)-inducible activation but retention of the repressor function. Other lesions adjacent to or very near these cysteines exhibited severely reduced activation and also retained repressor function. There were two putative helix-turn-helix (HTH) domains in merR, and mutants in each had very different phenotypes. A partially dominant mutation in the more amino-terminal region of the two putative HTH regions resulted in loss of both activation and repression, consistent with a role for this region in DNA binding. Mutations in the more centrally located HTH region resulted only in loss of Hg(II)-induced activation. Lesions in the central and in the carboxy-terminal regions of merR exhibited both Hg(II)-independent and Hg(II)-dependent transcriptional activation. The sole cis-acting mutant obtained with this operon fusion strategy, a down-promoter mutation, lies in a highly conserved base in the -35 region of the merTPCAD promoter.

  6. A truncated receptor-binding domain of MERS-CoV spike protein potently inhibits MERS-CoV infection and induces strong neutralizing antibody responses: implication for developing therapeutics and vaccines.

    PubMed

    Du, Lanying; Kou, Zhihua; Ma, Cuiqing; Tao, Xinrong; Wang, Lili; Zhao, Guangyu; Chen, Yaoqing; Yu, Fei; Tseng, Chien-Te K; Zhou, Yusen; Jiang, Shibo

    2013-01-01

    An emerging respiratory infectious disease with high mortality, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), is caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and has now spread to eight countries. Development of effective therapeutics and vaccines is crucial to save lives and halt the spread of MERS-CoV. Here, we show that a recombinant protein containing a 212-amino acid fragment (residues 377-588) in the truncated receptor-binding domain (RBD: residues 367-606) of MERS-CoV spike (S) protein fused with human IgG Fc fragment (S377-588-Fc) is highly expressed in the culture supernatant of transfected 293T cells. The purified S377-588-Fc protein efficiently binds to dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), the receptor of MERS-CoV, and potently inhibited MERS-CoV infection, suggesting its potential to be further developed as a therapeutic modality for treating MERS-CoV infection and saving the patients' lives. The recombinant S377-588-Fc is able to induce in the vaccinated mice strong MERS-CoV S-specific antibodies, which blocks the binding of RBD to DPP4 receptor and effectively neutralizes MERS-CoV infection. These findings indicate that this truncated RBD protein shows promise for further development as an effective and safe vaccine for the prevention of MERS-CoV infection.

  7. Mice lacking Axl and Mer tyrosine kinase receptors are susceptible to experimental autoimmune orchitis induction.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Liu, Zhenghui; Zhang, Yue; Chen, Qiaoyuan; Liu, Peng; Cheng, C Yan; Lee, Will M; Chen, Yongmei; Han, Daishu

    2015-03-01

    The mammalian testis is an immunoprivileged organ where male germ cell autoantigens are immunologically ignored. Both systemic immune tolerance to autoantigens and local immunosuppressive milieu contribute to the testicular immune privilege. Testicular immunosuppression has been intensively studied, but information on systemic immune tolerance to autoantigens is lacking. In the present study, we aimed to determine the role of Axl and Mer receptor tyrosine kinases in maintaining the systemic tolerance to male germ cell antigens using the experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO) model. Axl and Mer double-knockout (Axl(-/-)Mer(-/-)) mice developed evident EAO after a single immunization with germ cell homogenates emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant. EAO was characterized by the accumulation of macrophages and T lymphocytes in the testis. Damage to the seminiferous epithelium was also observed. EAO induction was associated with pro-inflammatory cytokine upregulation in the testes, impaired permeability of the blood-testis barrier and generation of autoantibodies against germ cell antigens in Axl(-/-)Mer(-/-) mice. Immunization also induced mild EAO in Axl or Mer single-gene-knockout mice. By contrast, a single immunization failed to induce EAO in wild-type mice. The results indicate that Axl and Mer receptors cooperatively regulate the systemic immune tolerance to male germ cell antigens.

  8. Structural and functional characterization of MERS coronavirus papain-like protease.

    PubMed

    Lin, Min-Han; Chuang, Shang-Ju; Chen, Chiao-Che; Cheng, Shu-Chun; Cheng, Kai-Wen; Lin, Chao-Hsiung; Sun, Chiao-Yin; Chou, Chi-Yuan

    2014-06-04

    A new highly pathogenic human coronavirus (CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has emerged in Jeddah and Saudi Arabia and quickly spread to some European countries since September 2012. Until 15 May 2014, it has infected at least 572 people with a fatality rate of about 30% globally. Studies to understand the virus and to develop antiviral drugs or therapy are necessary and urgent. In the present study, MERS-CoV papain-like protease (PLpro) is expressed, and its structural and functional consequences are elucidated. Circular dichroism and Tyr/Trp fluorescence analyses indicated that the secondary and tertiary structure of MERS-CoV PLpro is well organized and folded. Analytical ultracentrifugation analyses demonstrated that MERS-CoV PLpro is a monomer in solution. The steady-state kinetic and deubiquitination activity assays indicated that MERS-CoV PLpro exhibits potent deubiquitination activity but lower proteolytic activity, compared with SARS-CoV PLpro. A natural mutation, Leu105, is the major reason for this difference. Overall, MERS-CoV PLpro bound by an endogenous metal ion shows a folded structure and potent proteolytic and deubiquitination activity. These findings provide important insights into the structural and functional properties of coronaviral PLpro family, which is applicable to develop strategies inhibiting PLpro against highly pathogenic coronaviruses.

  9. Phy-Mer: a novel alignment-free and reference-independent mitochondrial haplogroup classifier.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Gomez, Daniel; Leipzig, Jeremy; Shen, Lishuang; Lott, Marie; Stassen, Alphons P M; Wallace, Douglas C; Wiggs, Janey L; Falk, Marni J; van Oven, Mannis; Gai, Xiaowu

    2015-04-15

    All current mitochondrial haplogroup classification tools require variants to be detected from an alignment with the reference sequence and to be properly named according to the canonical nomenclature standards for describing mitochondrial variants, before they can be compared with the haplogroup determining polymorphisms. With the emergence of high-throughput sequencing technologies and hence greater availability of mitochondrial genome sequences, there is a strong need for an automated haplogroup classification tool that is alignment-free and agnostic to reference sequence. We have developed a novel mitochondrial genome haplogroup-defining algorithm using a k-mer approach namely Phy-Mer. Phy-Mer performs equally well as the leading haplogroup classifier, HaploGrep, while avoiding the errors that may occur when preparing variants to required formats and notations. We have further expanded Phy-Mer functionality such that next-generation sequencing data can be used directly as input. Phy-Mer is publicly available under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 on GitHub (https://github.com/danielnavarrogomez/phy-mer). Xiaowu_Gai@meei.harvard.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Antibodies against MERS coronavirus in dromedary camels, United Arab Emirates, 2003 and 2013.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Benjamin; Müller, Marcel A; Corman, Victor M; Reusken, Chantal B E M; Ritz, Daniel; Godeke, Gert-Jan; Lattwein, Erik; Kallies, Stephan; Siemens, Artem; van Beek, Janko; Drexler, Jan F; Muth, Doreen; Bosch, Berend-Jan; Wernery, Ulrich; Koopmans, Marion P G; Wernery, Renate; Drosten, Christian

    2014-04-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused an ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory tract infection in humans in the Arabian Peninsula since 2012. Dromedary camels have been implicated as possible viral reservoirs. We used serologic assays to analyze 651 dromedary camel serum samples from the United Arab Emirates; 151 of 651 samples were obtained in 2003, well before onset of the current epidemic, and 500 serum samples were obtained in 2013. Recombinant spike protein-specific immunofluorescence and virus neutralization tests enabled clear discrimination between MERS-CoV and bovine CoV infections. Most (632/651, 97.1%) camels had antibodies against MERS-CoV. This result included all 151 serum samples obtained in 2003. Most (389/651, 59.8%) serum samples had MERS-CoV-neutralizing antibody titers >1,280. Dromedary camels from the United Arab Emirates were infected at high rates with MERS-CoV or a closely related, probably conspecific, virus long before the first human MERS cases.

  11. Challenges presented by MERS corona virus, and SARS corona virus to global health.

    PubMed

    Al-Hazmi, Ali

    2016-07-01

    Numerous viral infections have arisen and affected global healthcare facilities. Millions of people are at severe risk of acquiring several evolving viral infections through several factors. In the present article we have described about risk factors, chance of infection, and prevention methods of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), human coronaviruses (CoVs) frequently cause a normal cold which is mild and self-restricting. Zoonotic transmission of CoVs such as the newly discovered MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, may be associated with severe lower respiratory tract infection. The present review provides the recent clinical and pathological information on MERS and SARS. The task is to transform these discoveries about MERS and SARS pathogenesis and to develop intervention methods that will eventually allow the effective control of these recently arising severe viral infections. Global health sector has learnt many lessons through the recent outbreak of MERS and SARS, but the need for identifying new antiviral treatment was not learned. In the present article we have reviewed the literature on the several facets like transmission, precautions and effectiveness of treatments used in patients with MERS-CoV and SARS infections.

  12. Development of animal models against emerging coronaviruses: From SARS to MERS coronavirus.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Troy C; Subbarao, Kanta

    2015-05-01

    Two novel coronaviruses have emerged to cause severe disease in humans. While bats may be the primary reservoir for both viruses, SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) likely crossed into humans from civets in China, and MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been transmitted from camels in the Middle East. Unlike SARS-CoV that resolved within a year, continued introductions of MERS-CoV present an on-going public health threat. Animal models are needed to evaluate countermeasures against emerging viruses. With SARS-CoV, several animal species were permissive to infection. In contrast, most laboratory animals are refractory or only semi-permissive to infection with MERS-CoV. This host-range restriction is largely determined by sequence heterogeneity in the MERS-CoV receptor. We describe animal models developed to study coronaviruses, with a focus on host-range restriction at the level of the viral receptor and discuss approaches to consider in developing a model to evaluate countermeasures against MERS-CoV. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. MERS-CoV recombination: implications about the reservoir and potential for adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Dudas, Gytis; Rambaut, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Recombination is a process that unlinks neighboring loci allowing for independent evolutionary trajectories within genomes of many organisms. If not properly accounted for, recombination can compromise many evolutionary analyses. In addition, when dealing with organisms that are not obligately sexually reproducing, recombination gives insight into the rate at which distinct genetic lineages come into contact. Since June 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused 1,106 laboratory-confirmed infections, with 421 MERS-CoV-associated deaths as of 16 April 2015. Although bats are considered as the likely ultimate source of zoonotic betacoronaviruses, dromedary camels have been consistently implicated as the source of current human infections in the Middle East. In this article, we use phylogenetic methods and simulations to show that MERS-CoV genome has likely undergone numerous recombinations recently. Recombination in MERS-CoV implies frequent co-infection with distinct lineages of MERS-CoV, probably in camels given the current understanding of MERS-CoV epidemiology. PMID:27774293

  14. Discovery of Mer specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment and prevention of thrombosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weihe; McIver, Andrew L; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Branchford, Brian R; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M; Lee, Minjung; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Di Paola, Jorge A; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-12-12

    The role of Mer kinase in regulating the second phase of platelet activation generates an opportunity to use Mer inhibitors for preventing thrombosis with diminished likelihood for bleeding as compared to current therapies. Toward this end, we have discovered a novel, Mer kinase specific substituted-pyrimidine scaffold using a structure-based drug design and a pseudo ring replacement strategy. The cocrystal structure of Mer with two compounds (7 and 22) possessing distinct activity have been determined. Subsequent SAR studies identified compound 23 (UNC2881) as a lead compound for in vivo evaluation. When applied to live cells, 23 inhibits steady-state Mer kinase phosphorylation with an IC50 value of 22 nM. Treatment with 23 is also sufficient to block EGF-mediated stimulation of a chimeric receptor containing the intracellular domain of Mer fused to the extracellular domain of EGFR. In addition, 23 potently inhibits collagen-induced platelet aggregation, suggesting that this class of inhibitors may have utility for prevention and/or treatment of pathologic thrombosis.

  15. Discovery of Mer Specific Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment and Prevention of Thrombosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weihe; McIver, Andrew L.; Stashko, Michael A.; DeRyckere, Deborah; Branchford, Brian R.; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J.; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M.; Lee, Minjung; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Di Paola, Jorge A.; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P.; Earp, H. Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.; Frye, Stephen V.; Wang, Xiaodong

    2014-01-01

    The role of Mer kinase in regulating the second phase of platelet activation generates an opportunity to use Mer inhibitors for preventing thrombosis with diminished likelihood for bleeding as compared to current therapies. Toward this end, we have discovered a novel, Mer kinase specific substituted-pyrimidine scaffold using a structure-based drug design and a pseudo-ring replacement strategy. The co-crystal structure of Mer with two compounds (7 & 22) possessing distinct activity have been determined. Subsequent SAR studies identified compound 23 (UNC2881) as a lead compound for in vivo evaluation. When applied to live cells, 23 inhibits steady-state Mer kinase phosphorylation with an IC50 value of 22 nM. Treatment with 23 is also sufficient to block EGF-mediated stimulation of a chimeric receptor containing the intracellular domain of Mer fused to the extracellular domain of EGFR. In addition, 23 potently inhibits collagen-induced platelet aggregation, suggesting that this class of inhibitors may have utility for prevention and/or treatment of pathologic thrombosis. PMID:24219778

  16. Histopathology of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronovirus (MERS-CoV) infection - clinicopathological and ultrastructural study.

    PubMed

    Alsaad, Khaled O; Hajeer, Ali H; Al Balwi, Mohammed; Al Moaiqel, Mohammed; Al Oudah, Nourah; Al Ajlan, Abdulaziz; AlJohani, Sameera; Alsolamy, Sami; Gmati, Giamal E; Balkhy, Hanan; Al-Jahdali, Hamdan H; Baharoon, Salim A; Arabi, Yaseen M

    2017-08-31

    The pathogenesis, viral localization and histopathological features of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in human are not sufficiently described. The aims of this study were to explore and define the spectrum of histological and ultrastructural pathological changes affecting various organs in a patient with MERS-CoV infection and represent a base of MERS-CoV histopathology. We analyzed the postmortem histopathological findings and investigated viral particles localization in the pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tissue by transmission electron microscopic examination in a 33-year-old male patient of T-cell lymphoma, who acquired MERS-CoV infection. Tissue needle biopsies were obtained from brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney and skeletal muscle. All samples were collected within 45 minutes from death to reduce tissue decomposition and artefact. Histopathological examination showed necrotizing pneumonia, pulmonary diffuse alveolar damage, acute kidney injury, portal and lobular hepatitis and myositis with muscle atrophic changes. The brain and heart were histologically unremarkable. Ultrastructurally, viral particles were localized in the pneumocytes, pulmonary macrophages, renal proximal tubular epithelial cells and macrophages infiltrating the skeletal muscles. The results highlight the pulmonary and extra-pulmonary pathological changes of MERS-CoV infection and provide the first evidence of the viral presence in human renal tissue, which suggests tissue tropism for MERS-CoV in kidney. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. Antibodies against MERS Coronavirus in Dromedary Camels, United Arab Emirates, 2003 and 2013

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Benjamin; Müller, Marcel A.; Corman, Victor M.; Reusken, Chantal B.E.M.; Ritz, Daniel; Godeke, Gert-Jan; Lattwein, Erik; Kallies, Stephan; Siemens, Artem; van Beek, Janko; Drexler, Jan F.; Muth, Doreen; Bosch, Berend-Jan; Wernery, Ulrich; Koopmans, Marion P.G.; Wernery, Renate

    2014-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused an ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory tract infection in humans in the Arabian Peninsula since 2012. Dromedary camels have been implicated as possible viral reservoirs. We used serologic assays to analyze 651 dromedary camel serum samples from the United Arab Emirates; 151 of 651 samples were obtained in 2003, well before onset of the current epidemic, and 500 serum samples were obtained in 2013. Recombinant spike protein–specific immunofluorescence and virus neutralization tests enabled clear discrimination between MERS-CoV and bovine CoV infections. Most (632/651, 97.1%) camels had antibodies against MERS-CoV. This result included all 151 serum samples obtained in 2003. Most (389/651, 59.8%) serum samples had MERS-CoV–neutralizing antibody titers >1,280. Dromedary camels from the United Arab Emirates were infected at high rates with MERS-CoV or a closely related, probably conspecific, virus long before the first human MERS cases. PMID:24655412

  18. Gerbil: a fast and memory-efficient k-mer counter with GPU-support.

    PubMed

    Erbert, Marius; Rechner, Steffen; Müller-Hannemann, Matthias

    2017-01-01

    A basic task in bioinformatics is the counting of k-mers in genome sequences. Existing k-mer counting tools are most often optimized for small k < 32 and suffer from excessive memory resource consumption or degrading performance for large k. However, given the technology trend towards long reads of next-generation sequencers, support for large k becomes increasingly important. We present the open source k-mer counting software Gerbil that has been designed for the efficient counting of k-mers for k ≥ 32. Our software is the result of an intensive process of algorithm engineering. It implements a two-step approach. In the first step, genome reads are loaded from disk and redistributed to temporary files. In a second step, the k-mers of each temporary file are counted via a hash table approach. In addition to its basic functionality, Gerbil can optionally use GPUs to accelerate the counting step. In a set of experiments with real-world genome data sets, we show that Gerbil is able to efficiently support both small and large k. While Gerbil's performance is comparable to existing state-of-the-art open source k-mer counting tools for small k < 32, it vastly outperforms its competitors for large k, thereby enabling new applications which require large values of k.

  19. DNA sequence analysis by hybridization with oligonucleotide microchips : MALDI mass spectrometry identification of 5mers contiguously stacked to microchip oligonucleotides.

    SciTech Connect

    Stomakhin, A. A.; Vasiliskov, V. A.; Timofeev, E.; Schulga, D.; Cotter, R. J.; Mirzabekov, A. D.; Biochip Technology Center; Engelhardt Inst. of Molecular Biology; Moscow Inst. of Physics and Technology; Middle Atlantic Mass Spectrometry Lab.; Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine

    2000-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) has been applied to increase the informational output from DNA sequence analysis. It has been used to analyze DNA by hybridization with microarrays of gel-immobilized oligonucleotides extended with stacked 5mers. In model experiments, a 28 nt long DNA fragment was hybridized with 10 immobilized, overlapping 8mers. Then, in a second round of hybridization DNA-8mer duplexes were hybridized with a mixture of 10 5mers. The stability of the 5mer complex with DNA was increased to raise the melting temperature of the duplex by 10-15{sup o}C as a result of stacking interaction with 8mers. Contiguous 13 bp duplexes containing an internal break were formed. MALDI MS identified one or, in some cases, two 5mers contiguously stacked to each DNA-8mer duplex formed on the microchip. Incorporating a mass label into 5mers optimized MALDI MS monitoring. This procedure enabled us to reconstitute the sequence of a model DNA fragment and identify polymorphic nucleotides. The application of MALDI MS identification of contiguously stacked 5mers to increase the length of DNA for sequence analysis is discussed.

  20. DNA sequence analysis by hybridization with oligonucleotide microchips: MALDI mass spectrometry identification of 5mers contiguously stacked to microchip oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Stomakhin, Andrey A.; Vasiliskov, Vadim A.; Timofeev, Edward; Schulga, Dennis; Cotter, Richard J.; Mirzabekov, Andrei D.

    2000-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) has been applied to increase the informational output from DNA sequence analysis. It has been used to analyze DNA by hybridization with microarrays of gel-immobilized oligonucleotides extended with stacked 5mers. In model experiments, a 28 nt long DNA fragment was hybridized with 10 immobilized, overlapping 8mers. Then, in a second round of hybridization DNA–8mer duplexes were hybridized with a mixture of 10 5mers. The stability of the 5mer complex with DNA was increased to raise the melting temperature of the duplex by 10–15°C as a result of stacking interaction with 8mers. Contiguous 13 bp duplexes containing an internal break were formed. MALDI MS identified one or, in some cases, two 5mers contiguously stacked to each DNA–8mer duplex formed on the microchip. Incorporating a mass label into 5mers optimized MALDI MS monitoring. This procedure enabled us to reconstitute the sequence of a model DNA fragment and identify polymorphic nucleotides. The application of MALDI MS identification of contiguously stacked 5mers to increase the length of DNA for sequence analysis is discussed. PMID:10666462

  1. Analysis of common k-mers for whole genome sequences using SSB-tree.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Cho, Hwan-Gue

    2002-01-01

    As sequenced genomes become larger and sequencing process becomes faster, there is a need to develop a tool to analyze sequences in the whole genomic scale. However, on-memory algorithms such as suffix tree and suffix array are not applicable to the analysis of whole genome sequence set, since the size of individual whole genome ranges from several million base pairs to hundreds billion base pairs. In order to effectively manipulate the huge sequence data, it is necessary to use the indexed data structure for external memory. In this paper, we introduce a workbench called SequeX for the analysis and visualization of whole genome sequences using SSB-tree (Static SB-tree). It consists of two parts: the analysis query subsystem and the visualization subsystem. The query subsystem supports various transactions such as pattern matching, k-occurrence, and k-mer analysis. The visualization subsystem helps biologists to easily understand whole genome structure and feature by sequence viewer, annotation viewer, CGR (Chaos Game Representation) viewer, and k-mer viewer. The system also supports a user-friendly programming interface based on Java script for batch processing and the extension for a specific purpose of a user. SequeX can be used to identify conserved genes or sequences by the analysis of the common k-mers and annotation. We analyze the common k-mer for 72 microbial genomes announced by Entrez, and find an interesting biological fact that the longest common k-mer for 72 sequences is 11-mer, and only 11 such sequences exist. Finally we note that many common k-mers occur in conserved region such as CDS, rRNA, and tRNA.

  2. Worry experienced during the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) pandemic in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Ro, Jun-Soo; Lee, Jin-Seok; Kang, Sung-Chan; Jung, Hye-Min

    2017-01-01

    Background Korea failed in its risk communication during the early stage of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak; consequently, it faced difficulties in managing MERS, while disease-related worry increased. Disease-related worry can help disease prevention and management, but can also have a detrimental effect. This study measured the overall level of disease-related worry during the MERS outbreak period in Korea and the influencing factors and levels of disease-related worry during key outbreak periods. Methods The cross-sectional survey included 1,000 adults who resided in Korea. An ordinal logistic regression was performed for the overall level of MERS-related worry, and influencing factors of worry were analyzed. A reliability test was performed on the levels of MERS-related worry during key outbreak periods. Results The overall level of MERS-related worry was 2.44. Multivariate analysis revealed that women and respondents w very poor subjective health status had higher levels of worry. Respondents with very high stress in daily life had higher levels of worry than those who reported having little stress. The reliability test results on MERS-related worry scores during key outbreak periods showed consistent scores during each period. Conclusion Level of worry increased in cases having higher perceived susceptibility and greater trust in informal information, while initial stage of outbreak was closely associated with that at later stages. These findings suggest the importance of managing the level of worry by providing timely and accurate disease-related information during the initial stage of disease outbreak. PMID:28273131

  3. Membrane topology of a 14-mer model amphipathic peptide: a solid-state NMR spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Ouellet, Marise; Doucet, Jean-Daniel; Voyer, Normand; Auger, Michèle

    2007-06-05

    We have investigated the interaction between a synthetic amphipathic 14-mer peptide and model membranes by solid-state NMR. The 14-mer peptide is composed of leucines and phenylalanines modified by the addition of crown ethers and forms a helical amphipathic structure in solution and bound to lipid membranes. To shed light on its membrane topology, 31P, 2H, 15N solid-state NMR experiments have been performed on the 14-mer peptide in interaction with mechanically oriented bilayers of dilauroylphosphatidylcholine (DLPC), dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC). The 31P, 2H, and 15N NMR results indicate that the 14-mer peptide remains at the surface of the DLPC, DMPC, and DPPC bilayers stacked between glass plates and perturbs the lipid orientation relative to the magnetic field direction. Its membrane topology is similar in DLPC and DMPC bilayers, whereas the peptide seems to be more deeply inserted in DPPC bilayers, as revealed by the greater orientational and motional disorder of the DPPC lipid headgroup and acyl chains. 15N{31P} rotational echo double resonance experiments have also been used to measure the intermolecular dipole-dipole interaction between the 14-mer peptide and the phospholipid headgroup of DMPC multilamellar vesicles, and the results indicate that the 14-mer peptide is in contact with the polar region of the DMPC lipids. On the basis of these studies, the mechanism of membrane perturbation of the 14-mer peptide is associated to the induction of a positive curvature strain induced by the peptide lying on the bilayer surface and seems to be independent of the bilayer hydrophobic thickness.

  4. Biomolecular Mechanisms of Mercury Transfers and Transformations by Proteins of the Mer Operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, S. M.; Hong, B.; Nauss, R.; Momany, C.; Summers, A. O.; Feng, X.; Harwood, I.; Stroud, R.

    2008-12-01

    Aerobic bacteria exhibiting resistance to the toxic effects of Hg(II) and organomercurials [RHg(I), e.g. MeHg(I)] and are widely found in both pristine and mercury contaminated environments. Resistance, afforded by a plasmid- or transposon-associated mer operon, involves an unusual pathway where Hg(II) and organomercurials [RHg(I)] undergo facilitated entry into the bacterial cytoplasm via an integral membrane transport protein (MerT) and are then "detoxified" by the concerted effort of two enzymes, organomercurial lyase (MerB), which catalyzes dealkylation (i.e., demethylation) of RHg(I) to Hg(II) and a hydrocarbon, and mercuric ion reductase (MerA), which catalyzes reduction of Hg(II) to Hg(0) as the ultimate detoxification for the organism. With a widespread distribution, these bacterial transformations play a significant role in the fate of mercury in the environment. Our focus is on elucidation of the molecular mechanisms for the transport and catalytic transformations of RHg(I) and Hg(II) by these proteins and the factors that influence the overall efficiency of the process. Current efforts are focused primarily on elucidating details of RHg(I) binding and dealkylation by MerB as well as the mechanism for transfer of the Hg(II) product to MerA. Key findings include the demonstration of a non-cysteine residue as essential for the catalytic activity and demonstration that direct transfer of Hg(II) to MerA proceeds more rapidly and more completely than transfer to small MW thiols such as cysteines or glutathione. Reuslts of these studies as well as an overview of our current understanding of the whole system will be presented.

  5. Characterizing the empirical distribution of prokaryotic genome n-mers in the presence of nullomers.

    PubMed

    Tabb, Loni Philip; Zhao, Wei; Huang, Jingyu; Rosen, Gail L

    2014-10-01

    Characterizing the empirical distribution of the frequency of n-mers is a vital step in understanding the entire genome. This will allow for researchers to examine how complex the genome really is, and move beyond simple, traditional modeling frameworks that are often biased in the presence of abundant and/or extremely rare words. We hypothesize that models based on the negative binomial distribution and its zero-inflated counterpart will characterize the n-mer distributions of genomes better than the Poisson. Our study examined the empirical distribution of the frequency of n-mers (6 ≤ n ≤ 11) in 2,199 genomes. We considered four distributions: Poisson, negative binomial, zero-inflated Poisson, and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB). The number of genomes that have nullomers in 6-, 7-, and 8-mers was 150, 602 and 2,012, respectively, whereas all of the genomes for the 9-, 10-, and 11-mers had nullomers. In each n-mer considered, the negative binomial model performed the best for at least 93% of the 2,199 genomes; however, a small percentage (i.e., <7%) of the genomes did prefer the ZINB. The negative binomial and zero-inflation distributions extend the traditional Poisson setting and are more flexible in handling overdispersion that can be caused by an increase in nullomers. In an effort to characterize the distribution of the frequency of n-mers, researchers should also consider other discrete distributions that are more flexible and adjust for possible overdispersion.

  6. A subset of Mer1p-dependent introns requires Bud13p for splicing activation and nuclear retention

    PubMed Central

    Scherrer, Frederick W.; Spingola, Marc

    2006-01-01

    In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Mer1p is expressed only during meiosis, and its expression is linked to the splicing of at least three mRNAs: MER2, MER3, and AMA1. Previous evidence suggests that Mer1p activates splicing by directly recruiting snRNPs or stabilizing intermediate splicing complexes formed on pre-mRNA that contains an intronic Mer1p enhancer element. However, some splicing factors, especially accessory/non-snRNP factors, have critical roles in retaining unspliced pre-mRNAs in the nucleus. We tested if Mer1p may indirectly regulate splicing by preventing the export of pre-mRNAs to the cytoplasm and also demonstrated that a second subunit of the Retention and Splicing (RES) complex, Bud13p, has transcript-specific effects on Mer1p-activated splicing. The results indicated that Mer1p can retain unspliced pre-mRNA in the nucleus; however, nuclear retention could not be uncoupled from splicing activation. In the absence of Mer1p, the AMA1 pre-mRNA is exported to the cytoplasm, translated, but not subjected to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) despite a premature stop codon in the intron. These data imply that Mer1p can retain pre-mRNAs in the nucleus only by facilitating their interaction with the spliceosome and that two subunits of the RES complex modulate Mer1p function on two of the three Mer1p-dependent introns. The results also support models for cytoplasmic degradation of unspliced pre-mRNAs that fail to assemble into spliceosomes in yeast. PMID:16738408

  7. Rare k-mer DNA: Identification of sequence motifs and prediction of CpG island and promoter.

    PubMed

    Mohamed Hashim, Ezzeddin Kamil; Abdullah, Rosni

    2015-12-21

    Empirical analysis on k-mer DNA has been proven as an effective tool in finding unique patterns in DNA sequences which can lead to the discovery of potential sequence motifs. In an extensive study of empirical k-mer DNA on hundreds of organisms, the researchers found unique multi-modal k-mer spectra occur in the genomes of organisms from the tetrapod clade only which includes all mammals. The multi-modality is caused by the formation of the two lowest modes where k-mers under them are referred as the rare k-mers. The suppression of the two lowest modes (or the rare k-mers) can be attributed to the CG dinucleotide inclusions in them. Apart from that, the rare k-mers are selectively distributed in certain genomic features of CpG Island (CGI), promoter, 5' UTR, and exon. We correlated the rare k-mers with hundreds of annotated features using several bioinformatic tools, performed further intrinsic rare k-mer analyses within the correlated features, and modeled the elucidated rare k-mer clustering feature into a classifier to predict the correlated CGI and promoter features. Our correlation results show that rare k-mers are highly associated with several annotated features of CGI, promoter, 5' UTR, and open chromatin regions. Our intrinsic results show that rare k-mers have several unique topological, compositional, and clustering properties in CGI and promoter features. Finally, the performances of our RWC (rare-word clustering) method in predicting the CGI and promoter features are ranked among the top three, in eight of the CGI and promoter evaluations, among eight of the benchmarked datasets. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Serological Evidence of MERS-CoV Antibodies in Dromedary Camels (Camelus dromedaries) in Laikipia County, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Deem, Sharon L; Fèvre, Eric M; Kinnaird, Margaret; Browne, A Springer; Muloi, Dishon; Godeke, Gert-Jan; Koopmans, Marion; Reusken, Chantal B

    2015-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently identified virus causing severe viral respiratory illness in people. Little is known about the reservoir in the Horn of Africa. In Kenya, where no human MERS cases have been reported, our survey of 335 dromedary camels, representing nine herds in Laikipia County, showed a high seroprevalence (46.9%) to MERS-CoV antibodies. Between herd differences were present (14.3%- 82.9%), but was not related to management type or herd isolation. Further research should focus on identifying similarity between MERS-CoV viral isolates in Kenya and clinical isolates from the Middle East and elsewhere.

  9. Comparison of De Novo Transcriptome Assemblers and k-mer Strategies Using the Killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus

    PubMed Central

    Rana, Satshil B.; Zadlock, Frank J.; Zhang, Ziping; Murphy, Wyatt R.; Bentivegna, Carolyn S.

    2016-01-01

    Background De novo assembly of non-model organism’s transcriptomes has recently been on the rise in concert with the number of de novo transcriptome assembly software programs. There is a knowledge gap as to what assembler software or k-mer strategy is best for construction of an optimal de novo assembly. Additionally, there is a lack of consensus on which evaluation metrics should be used to assess the quality of de novo transcriptome assemblies. Result Six different assembly strategies were evaluated from four different assemblers. The Trinity assembly was used in its default 25 single k-mer value while Bridger, Oases, and SOAPdenovo-Trans were performed with multiple k-mer strategies. Bridger, Oases, and SOAPdenovo-Trans used a small multiple k-mer (SMK) strategy consisting of the k-mer lengths of 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, and 33. Additionally, Oases and SOAPdenovo-Trans were performed using a large multiple k-mer (LMK) strategy consisting of k-mer lengths of 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, and 85. Eleven metrics were used to evaluate each assembly strategy including three genome related evaluation metrics (contig number, N50 length, Contigs >1 kb, reads) and eight transcriptome evaluation metrics (mapped back to transcripts (RMBT), number of full length transcripts, number of open reading frames, Detonate RSEM-EVAL score, and percent alignment to the southern platyfish, Amazon molly, BUSCO and CEGMA databases). The assembly strategy that performed the best, that is it was within the top three of each evaluation metric, was the Bridger assembly (10 of 11) followed by the Oases SMK assembly (8 of 11), the Oases LMK assembly (6 of 11), the Trinity assembly (4 of 11), the SOAP LMK assembly (4 of 11), and the SOAP SMK assembly (3 of 11). Conclusion This study provides an in-depth multi k-mer strategy investigation concluding that the assembler itself had a greater impact than k-mer size regardless of the strategy employed. Additionally, the comprehensive performance

  10. Comparison of De Novo Transcriptome Assemblers and k-mer Strategies Using the Killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus.

    PubMed

    Rana, Satshil B; Zadlock, Frank J; Zhang, Ziping; Murphy, Wyatt R; Bentivegna, Carolyn S

    2016-01-01

    De novo assembly of non-model organism's transcriptomes has recently been on the rise in concert with the number of de novo transcriptome assembly software programs. There is a knowledge gap as to what assembler software or k-mer strategy is best for construction of an optimal de novo assembly. Additionally, there is a lack of consensus on which evaluation metrics should be used to assess the quality of de novo transcriptome assemblies. Six different assembly strategies were evaluated from four different assemblers. The Trinity assembly was used in its default 25 single k-mer value while Bridger, Oases, and SOAPdenovo-Trans were performed with multiple k-mer strategies. Bridger, Oases, and SOAPdenovo-Trans used a small multiple k-mer (SMK) strategy consisting of the k-mer lengths of 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, and 33. Additionally, Oases and SOAPdenovo-Trans were performed using a large multiple k-mer (LMK) strategy consisting of k-mer lengths of 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, and 85. Eleven metrics were used to evaluate each assembly strategy including three genome related evaluation metrics (contig number, N50 length, Contigs >1 kb, reads) and eight transcriptome evaluation metrics (mapped back to transcripts (RMBT), number of full length transcripts, number of open reading frames, Detonate RSEM-EVAL score, and percent alignment to the southern platyfish, Amazon molly, BUSCO and CEGMA databases). The assembly strategy that performed the best, that is it was within the top three of each evaluation metric, was the Bridger assembly (10 of 11) followed by the Oases SMK assembly (8 of 11), the Oases LMK assembly (6 of 11), the Trinity assembly (4 of 11), the SOAP LMK assembly (4 of 11), and the SOAP SMK assembly (3 of 11). This study provides an in-depth multi k-mer strategy investigation concluding that the assembler itself had a greater impact than k-mer size regardless of the strategy employed. Additionally, the comprehensive performance transcriptome evaluation metrics utilized

  11. MER Atmospheric Results: Pancam and Mini-TES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, M. J.

    2004-12-01

    Although at first glance, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) payload may be perceived as primarily suited to geological investigation, it is in fact quite well-suited to carry out a robust and dynamic program of atmospheric monitoring and characterization with a particular emphasis on the planetary boundary layer. More to the point, it has been doing so at both the Gusev and Meridiani locations for more than 200 days. Ongoing atmospheric observations include (1) periodic thermal infrared spectra of the Martian sky by the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES). The actual sequences consist of both standard 200-second integrations and long ``stares'' of up to (almost) an hour. These data are highly diagnostic of vertical thermal structure (from 10 meters to 3-5 kilometers), aerosol optical depth along with particle size, and under the right conditions, the water column. (2) direct solar imaging using the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and 440/880 nm + neutral density (ND5) filters, providing accurate measurement visible optical depths. (3) near-sun and ``sky-arc'' sequences using the full suite of geological filters, intended to capture the forward-diffraction peak and the phase function characteristics of the aerosol particles. (4) carbon dioxide (15 micrometer band) profiling of the Mini-TES surface observations, providing an average near-surface (1 m) air temperature. The above activities have been (and will continue to be) used to characterize diurnal and secular temporal trends and to examine the spatial variability of such trends. In addition, serendipity has provided the unique opportunities of watching the decay of a moderate dust storm from two widely-separated sites as well as of multiple simultaneous orbiter-rover observing ``campaigns.'' The latter includes thus far the Mars Express and Mars Global Surveyor over-flights. During our presentation, we will summarize the atmospheric results obtained and analyzed through the end of the first 200 days of

  12. Reconciling Radar Remote-Sensing with MER Ground Truth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haldemann, A. F. C.; Larsen, K. W.; Jurgens, R. F.; Golombek, M. P.

    2004-11-01

    The Goldstone Solar System Radar (GSSR) carried out Earth-based delay-Doppler radar observations of Mars with four receiving stations during the oppositions in 2001 and 2003, supporting Mars Exploration Rover landing site selection. This interferometric technique demonstrated radar mapping of Mars with a 5 km to 10 km spatial resolution. The data for both Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum indicated smooth terrains, consistent with, but somewhat different from, previous lower spatial resolution Earth-based radar data. Now, with quantitative ground-truth roughness measurements by Spirit and Opportunity, along with THEMIS visible camera images, we can begin to reconcile these differing remote-sensing observations. For Gusev crater, older λ =3.5 cm wavelength data did not directly sample the crater but were of nearby terrain of the same map unit as Gusev's floor. The reported Hagfors scattering model parameters were θ rms=4.7±1.6 degrees, and ρ 0=0.04±0.02. These quasi-specular parameters refer to roughness in the range 10 λ to 100 λ . The higher resolution data from 2003, averaged over the whole MER Gusev ellipse were θ rms=1.3+1.0-0.5 degrees and ρ 0=0.02±0.01. The ρ 0 for the 5 km pixel where Spirit landed was like the average, but θ rms=1.6+1.0-0.5. The roughness derived from stereo images from Spirits first 30 sols, available on the PDS, implies near-nadir scattering from 3 m scales is dominant. We examine the spatial coverage of the older data, as well as other radar data to reconcile the differing observations. For Meridiani, GSSR made direct observations at 3.5 cm at both 5 km resolution and at 10×150 km resolution in 2001. We will carry out our comparative analyses once rover navigation data beyond Eagle crater, obtained after Sol 58, are released to the PDS, and expect to have them for presentation at the meeting.

  13. Infection with MERS-CoV causes lethal pneumonia in the common marmoset.

    PubMed

    Falzarano, Darryl; de Wit, Emmie; Feldmann, Friederike; Rasmussen, Angela L; Okumura, Atsushi; Peng, Xinxia; Thomas, Matthew J; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Haddock, Elaine; Nagy, Lee; LaCasse, Rachel; Liu, Tingting; Zhu, Jiang; McLellan, Jason S; Scott, Dana P; Katze, Michael G; Feldmann, Heinz; Munster, Vincent J

    2014-08-01

    The availability of a robust disease model is essential for the development of countermeasures for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). While a rhesus macaque model of MERS-CoV has been established, the lack of uniform, severe disease in this model complicates the analysis of countermeasure studies. Modeling of the interaction between the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein and its receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 predicted comparable interaction energies in common marmosets and humans. The suitability of the marmoset as a MERS-CoV model was tested by inoculation via combined intratracheal, intranasal, oral and ocular routes. Most of the marmosets developed a progressive severe pneumonia leading to euthanasia of some animals. Extensive lesions were evident in the lungs of all animals necropsied at different time points post inoculation. Some animals were also viremic; high viral loads were detected in the lungs of all infected animals, and total RNAseq demonstrated the induction of immune and inflammatory pathways. This is the first description of a severe, partially lethal, disease model of MERS-CoV, and as such will have a major impact on the ability to assess the efficacy of vaccines and treatment strategies as well as allowing more detailed pathogenesis studies.

  14. A fast, lock-free approach for efficient parallel counting of occurrences of k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Marçais, Guillaume; Kingsford, Carl

    2011-01-01

    Motivation: Counting the number of occurrences of every k-mer (substring of length k) in a long string is a central subproblem in many applications, including genome assembly, error correction of sequencing reads, fast multiple sequence alignment and repeat detection. Recently, the deep sequence coverage generated by next-generation sequencing technologies has caused the amount of sequence to be processed during a genome project to grow rapidly, and has rendered current k-mer counting tools too slow and memory intensive. At the same time, large multicore computers have become commonplace in research facilities allowing for a new parallel computational paradigm. Results: We propose a new k-mer counting algorithm and associated implementation, called Jellyfish, which is fast and memory efficient. It is based on a multithreaded, lock-free hash table optimized for counting k-mers up to 31 bases in length. Due to their flexibility, suffix arrays have been the data structure of choice for solving many string problems. For the task of k-mer counting, important in many biological applications, Jellyfish offers a much faster and more memory-efficient solution. Availability: The Jellyfish software is written in C++ and is GPL licensed. It is available for download at http://www.cbcb.umd.edu/software/jellyfish. Contact: gmarcais@umd.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:21217122

  15. Tomas Tranströmer's stroke of genius: language but no words.

    PubMed

    Iniesta, Iván

    2013-01-01

    In 1990, the widely acclaimed Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer lost his speech and the ability to use his right hand as a result of a stroke. As if anticipating his own fate, in 1974, he referred in his longest poem Baltics the story of the Russian composer Vissarion Shebalin who suffered the same symptoms as Tranströmer following a brain bleed: "Then, cerebral hemorrhage: paralysis on the right side with aphasia." An amateur pianist himself, Tranströmer carried on playing left-handed piano pieces after the stroke. In spite of a severe nonfluent dysphasia with dysgraphia, Tranströmer kept producing a poetic language of the highest caliber in accordance with his 1979 no less prophetic verse "language but no words." And through music and poetry, overcame the great communication barriers imposed by a large dominant hemispheric stroke. A nonprolific writer before the stroke, after it Tranströmer became disproportionately brief compared to his prestroke production, confining most of his poetry to the agrammatical and telegraphic haiku style.

  16. Evolutionary mechanism and biological functions of 8-mers containing CG dinucleotide in yeast.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yan; Li, Hong; Wang, Yue; Meng, Hu; Zhang, Qiang; Zhao, Xiaoqing

    2017-02-09

    The rules of k-mer non-random usage and the biological functions are worthy of special attention. Firstly, the article studied human 8-mer spectra and found that only the spectra of cytosine-guanine (CG) dinucleotide classification formed independent unimodal distributions when the 8-mers were classified into three subsets under 16 dinucleotide classifications. Secondly, the distribution rules were reproduced by other seven species including yeast, which showed that the evolution phenomenon had species universality. It followed that we proposed two theoretical conjectures: (1) CG1 motifs (8-mers including 1 CG) are the nucleosome-binding motifs. (2) CG2 motifs (8-mers including two or more than two CG) are the modular units of CpG islands. Our conjectures were confirmed in yeast by the following results: a maximum of average area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) resulted from CG1 information during nucleosome core sequences, and linker sequences were distinguished by three CG subsets; there was a one-to-one relationship between abundant CG1 signal regions and histone positions; the sequence changing of squeezed nucleosomes was relevant with the strength of CG1 signals; and the AUC value of 0.986 was based on CG2 information when CpG islands and non-CpG islands were distinguished by the three CG subsets.

  17. KMC 2: fast and resource-frugal k-mer counting.

    PubMed

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Kokot, Marek; Grabowski, Szymon; Debudaj-Grabysz, Agnieszka

    2015-05-15

    Building the histogram of occurrences of every k-symbol long substring of nucleotide data is a standard step in many bioinformatics applications, known under the name of k-mer counting. Its applications include developing de Bruijn graph genome assemblers, fast multiple sequence alignment and repeat detection. The tremendous amounts of NGS data require fast algorithms for k-mer counting, preferably using moderate amounts of memory. We present a novel method for k-mer counting, on large datasets about twice faster than the strongest competitors (Jellyfish 2, KMC 1), using about 12 GB (or less) of RAM. Our disk-based method bears some resemblance to MSPKmerCounter, yet replacing the original minimizers with signatures (a carefully selected subset of all minimizers) and using (k, x)-mers allows to significantly reduce the I/O and a highly parallel overall architecture allows to achieve unprecedented processing speeds. For example, KMC 2 counts the 28-mers of a human reads collection with 44-fold coverage (106 GB of compressed size) in about 20 min, on a 6-core Intel i7 PC with an solid-state disk. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Recombinant Receptor-Binding Domains of Multiple Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronaviruses (MERS-CoVs) Induce Cross-Neutralizing Antibodies against Divergent Human and Camel MERS-CoVs and Antibody Escape Mutants.

    PubMed

    Tai, Wanbo; Wang, Yufei; Fett, Craig A; Zhao, Guangyu; Li, Fang; Perlman, Stanley; Jiang, Shibo; Zhou, Yusen; Du, Lanying

    2017-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) binds to cellular receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) via the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). The RBD contains critical neutralizing epitopes and serves as an important vaccine target. Since RBD mutations occur in different MERS-CoV isolates and antibody escape mutants, cross-neutralization of divergent MERS-CoV strains by RBD-induced antibodies remains unknown. Here, we constructed four recombinant RBD (rRBD) proteins with single or multiple mutations detected in representative human MERS-CoV strains from the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 outbreaks, respectively, and one rRBD protein with multiple changes derived from camel MERS-CoV strains. Like the RBD of prototype EMC2012 (EMC-RBD), all five RBDs maintained good antigenicity and functionality, the ability to bind RBD-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and the DPP4 receptor, and high immunogenicity, able to elicit S-specific antibodies. They induced potent neutralizing antibodies cross-neutralizing 17 MERS pseudoviruses expressing S proteins of representative human and camel MERS-CoV strains identified during the 2012-2015 outbreaks, 5 MAb escape MERS-CoV mutants, and 2 live human MERS-CoV strains. We then constructed two RBDs mutated in multiple key residues in the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of RBD and demonstrated their strong cross-reactivity with anti-EMC-RBD antibodies. These RBD mutants with diminished DPP4 binding also led to virus attenuation, suggesting that immunoevasion after RBD immunization is accompanied by loss of viral fitness. Therefore, this study demonstrates that MERS-CoV RBD is an important vaccine target able to induce highly potent and broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies against infection by divergent circulating human and camel MERS-CoV strains.

  19. Design and Performance of the MER (Mars Exploration Rovers) Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Ewell, Richard C.; Hoskin, Julie J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) program posed a significant engineering and technology challenge. Now that the Rovers have operated beyond their original design life of three months by nearly a factor of four it is clear that the challenge was met and far exceeded. A key to the success of MER has been the enhanced power provided by the cruise and Rover solar arrays. Benefiting from a nearly 50% improvement in cell efficiency compared to the single junction GaAs cells used on Pathfinder, the MER designs were subject to many constraints both in design and in operation. These constraints included limited available panel area, changing illumination levels and temperatures, and variable shadowing, atmospheric conditions and dust accumulation for the rovers. This paper will discuss those constraints and their impact on the design. In addition, flight data will be provided to assess the performance achieved during the mission.

  20. Dynamical transmission model of MERS-CoV in two areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yong, Benny; Owen, Livia

    2016-02-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a disease first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and it can be transmitted from human to human. This disease has spread to several other countries, most confirmed cases have displayed symptoms of severe acute respiratory illness and many of these patients have died. This research is aimed to construct a mathematical model for the transmission of MERS-CoV in two areas by separating the human population into two groups; susceptible and infectious groups. The dynamics of the disease is studied by a compartmental model involving ordinary differrential equations. The basic reproductive number of this disease is discussed to control the outbreak of this disease. Sensitivity analysis of this model is performed to determine the relative importance of the model parameters to the MERS-CoV transmission.

  1. Simrank: Rapid and sensitive general-purpose k-mer search tool

    SciTech Connect

    DeSantis, T.Z.; Keller, K.; Karaoz, U.; Alekseyenko, A.V; Singh, N.N.S.; Brodie, E.L; Pei, Z.; Andersen, G.L; Larsen, N.

    2011-04-01

    Terabyte-scale collections of string-encoded data are expected from consortia efforts such as the Human Microbiome Project (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/hmp). Intra- and inter-project data similarity searches are enabled by rapid k-mer matching strategies. Software applications for sequence database partitioning, guide tree estimation, molecular classification and alignment acceleration have benefited from embedded k-mer searches as sub-routines. However, a rapid, general-purpose, open-source, flexible, stand-alone k-mer tool has not been available. Here we present a stand-alone utility, Simrank, which allows users to rapidly identify database strings the most similar to query strings. Performance testing of Simrank and related tools against DNA, RNA, protein and human-languages found Simrank 10X to 928X faster depending on the dataset. Simrank provides molecular ecologists with a high-throughput, open source choice for comparing large sequence sets to find similarity.

  2. Identifying Monoclonal Antibodies that Potently Inhibit MERS-CoV | Center for Cancer Research

    Cancer.gov

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), first isolated in September 2012, infects cells lining the human airway, causing severe flu-like symptoms that, in some cases, lead to death. As of July 2, 2014, 824 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection, including at least 286 related deaths, have been reported to the World Health Organization. While there are currently no effective therapies against the virus, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) may be a promising candidate. Having previously developed MAbs against other viruses, including the related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus or SARS-CoV, Dimiter Dimitrov, Ph.D., of CCR’s Laboratory of Experimental Immunology (LEI), and his colleagues decided to pan a library of antigen binding fragments (Fab) for activity against MERS-CoV.

  3. Value, market preferences and trade of Beche-de-mer from Pacific Island sea cucumbers.

    PubMed

    Purcell, Steven W

    2014-01-01

    Market preferences of natural resources contribute to shape their exploitation and production. Beche-de-mer, the product after gutting, cooking, salting and drying sea cucumbers, is exported worldwide to Asian dried seafood markets. A better understanding of the trade, value and market preferences of Pacific island beche-de-mer could identify critical postharvest processing techniques and management strategies for fisheries and aquaculture. Data were collected on export prices and trade of beche-de-mer from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia, and the selling prices, respective sizes and organoleptic properties of the products in stores in China. Export prices varied considerably within and among the four countries and low-value species were the most exported by volume. Most of the beche-de-mer from the four Pacific islands is exported to Hong Kong, where quality products are sold and others are distributed to mainland China. Prices of the beche-de-mer in Chinese stores varied up to ten-fold and were mostly influenced by species, body size and, to a lesser extent, physical damage to the products. Market prices across species (averaging US$15-385 kg-1) appear to have mostly increased six- to twelve-fold over the past decade. The data allude that fisheries for Holothuria scabra, H. lessoni, H. fuscogilva, H. whitmaei and Thelenota ananas should be most carefully managed because they were the highest-value species and under greatest demand. The relationships between size of beche-de-mer and sale price were species specific and highly varied. This study also highlights the need for better regulations and/or enforcement of minimum size limits in sea cucumber fisheries, which can help to maximise economic benefits of wild stocks.

  4. Healthcare Workers Emotions, Perceived Stressors and Coping Strategies During a MERS-CoV Outbreak

    PubMed Central

    Khalid, Imran; Khalid, Tabindeh J.; Qabajah, Mohammed R.; Barnard, Aletta G.; Qushmaq, Ismael A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of contracting Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during an epidemic. We explored the emotions, perceived stressors, and coping strategies of healthcare workers who worked during a MERS-CoV outbreak in our hospital. Design A cross-sectional descriptive survey design. Setting A tertiary care hospital. Participants HCWs (150) who worked in high risk areas during the April–May 2014 MERS-CoV outbreak that occurred in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Methods We developed and administered a “MERS-CoV staff questionnaire” to study participants. The questionnaire consisted of 5 sections with 72 questions. The sections evaluated hospital staffs emotions, perceived stressors, factors that reduced their stress, coping strategies, and motivators to work during future outbreaks. Responses were scored on a scale from 0–3. The varying levels of stress or effectiveness of measures were reported as mean and standard deviation, as appropriate. Results Completed questionnaires were returned by 117 (78%) of the participants. The results had many unique elements. HCWs ethical obligation to their profession pushed them to continue with their jobs. The main sentiments centered upon fear of personal safety and well-being of colleagues and family. Positive attitudes in the workplace, clinical improvement of infected colleagues, and stoppage of disease transmission among HCWs after adopting strict protective measures alleviated their fear and drove them through the epidemic. They appreciated recognition of their efforts by hospital management and expected similar acknowledgment, infection control guidance, and equipment would entice them to work during future epidemics. Conclusion The MERS-CoV outbreak was a distressing time for our staff. Hospitals can enhance HCWs experiences during any future MERS-CoV outbreak by focusing on the above mentioned aspects. PMID:26847480

  5. MerTK cleavage limits proresolving mediator biosynthesis and exacerbates tissue inflammation.

    PubMed

    Cai, Bishuang; Thorp, Edward B; Doran, Amanda C; Subramanian, Manikandan; Sansbury, Brian E; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Spite, Matthew; Fredman, Gabrielle; Tabas, Ira

    2016-06-07

    The acute inflammatory response requires a coordinated resolution program to prevent excessive inflammation, repair collateral damage, and restore tissue homeostasis, and failure of this response contributes to the pathology of numerous chronic inflammatory diseases. Resolution is mediated in part by long-chain fatty acid-derived lipid mediators called specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs). However, how SPMs are regulated during the inflammatory response, and how this process goes awry in inflammatory diseases, are poorly understood. We now show that signaling through the Mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MerTK) receptor in cultured macrophages and in sterile inflammation in vivo promotes SPM biosynthesis by a mechanism involving an increase in the cytoplasmic:nuclear ratio of a key SPM biosynthetic enzyme, 5-lipoxygenase. This action of MerTK is linked to the resolution of sterile peritonitis and, after ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, to increased circulating SPMs and decreased remote organ inflammation. MerTK is susceptible to ADAM metallopeptidase domain 17 (ADAM17)-mediated cell-surface cleavage under inflammatory conditions, but the functional significance is not known. We show here that SPM biosynthesis is increased and inflammation resolution is improved in a new mouse model in which endogenous MerTK was replaced with a genetically engineered variant that is cleavage-resistant (Mertk(CR)). Mertk(CR) mice also have increased circulating levels of SPMs and less lung injury after I/R. Thus, MerTK cleavage during inflammation limits SPM biosynthesis and the resolution response. These findings contribute to our understanding of how SPM synthesis is regulated during the inflammatory response and suggest new therapeutic avenues to boost resolution in settings where defective resolution promotes disease progression.

  6. Value, Market Preferences and Trade of Beche-De-Mer from Pacific Island Sea Cucumbers

    PubMed Central

    Purcell, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Market preferences of natural resources contribute to shape their exploitation and production. Beche-de-mer, the product after gutting, cooking, salting and drying sea cucumbers, is exported worldwide to Asian dried seafood markets. A better understanding of the trade, value and market preferences of Pacific island beche-de-mer could identify critical postharvest processing techniques and management strategies for fisheries and aquaculture. Data were collected on export prices and trade of beche-de-mer from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia, and the selling prices, respective sizes and organoleptic properties of the products in stores in China. Export prices varied considerably within and among the four countries and low-value species were the most exported by volume. Most of the beche-de-mer from the four Pacific islands is exported to Hong Kong, where quality products are sold and others are distributed to mainland China. Prices of the beche-de-mer in Chinese stores varied up to ten-fold and were mostly influenced by species, body size and, to a lesser extent, physical damage to the products. Market prices across species (averaging US$15–385 kg−1) appear to have mostly increased six- to twelve-fold over the past decade. The data allude that fisheries for Holothuria scabra, H. lessoni, H. fuscogilva, H. whitmaei and Thelenota ananas should be most carefully managed because they were the highest-value species and under greatest demand. The relationships between size of beche-de-mer and sale price were species specific and highly varied. This study also highlights the need for better regulations and/or enforcement of minimum size limits in sea cucumber fisheries, which can help to maximise economic benefits of wild stocks. PMID:24736374

  7. Compact representation of k-mer de Bruijn graphs for genome read assembly

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Processing of reads from high throughput sequencing is often done in terms of edges in the de Bruijn graph representing all k-mers from the reads. The memory requirements for storing all k-mers in a lookup table can be demanding, even after removal of read errors, but can be alleviated by using a memory efficient data structure. Results The FM-index, which is based on the Burrows–Wheeler transform, provides an efficient data structure providing a searchable index of all substrings from a set of strings, and is used to compactly represent full genomes for use in mapping reads to a genome: the memory required to store this is in the same order of magnitude as the strings themselves. However, reads from high throughput sequences mostly have high coverage and so contain the same substrings multiple times from different reads. I here present a modification of the FM-index, which I call the kFM-index, for indexing the set of k-mers from the reads. For DNA sequences, this requires 5 bit of information for each vertex of the corresponding de Bruijn subgraph, i.e. for each different k−1-mer, plus some additional overhead, typically 0.5 to 1 bit per vertex, for storing the equivalent of the FM-index for walking the underlying de Bruijn graph and reproducing the actual k-mers efficiently. Conclusions The kFM-index could replace more memory demanding data structures for storing the de Bruijn k-mer graph representation of sequence reads. A Java implementation with additional technical documentation is provided which demonstrates the applicability of the data structure (http://folk.uio.no/einarro/Projects/KFM-index/). PMID:24152242

  8. Epigenomic k-mer dictionaries: shedding light on how sequence composition influences in vivo nucleosome positioning.

    PubMed

    Giancarlo, Raffaele; Rombo, Simona E; Utro, Filippo

    2015-09-15

    Information-theoretic and compositional analysis of biological sequences, in terms of k-mer dictionaries, has a well established role in genomic and proteomic studies. Much less so in epigenomics, although the role of k-mers in chromatin organization and nucleosome positioning is particularly relevant. Fundamental questions concerning the informational content and compositional structure of nucleosome favouring and disfavoring sequences with respect to their basic building blocks still remain open. We present the first analysis on the role of k-mers in the composition of nucleosome enriched and depleted genomic regions (NER and NDR for short) that is: (i) exhaustive and within the bounds dictated by the information-theoretic content of the sample sets we use and (ii) informative for comparative epigenomics. We analize four different organisms and we propose a paradigmatic formalization of k-mer dictionaries, providing two different and complementary views of the k-mers involved in NER and NDR. The first extends well known studies in this area, its comparative nature being its major merit. The second, very novel, brings to light the rich variety of k-mers involved in influencing nucleosome positioning, for which an initial classification in terms of clusters is also provided. Although such a classification offers many insights, the following deserves to be singled-out: short poly(dA:dT) tracts are reported in the literature as fundamental for nucleosome depletion, however a global quantitative look reveals that their role is much less prominent than one would expect based on previous studies. Dictionaries, clusters and Supplementary Material are available online at http://math.unipa.it/rombo/epigenomics/. simona.rombo@unipa.it Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. MERS-CoV Accessory ORFs Play Key Role for Infection and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Menachery, Vineet D; Mitchell, Hugh D; Cockrell, Adam S; Gralinski, Lisa E; Yount, Boyd L; Graham, Rachel L; McAnarney, Eileen T; Douglas, Madeline G; Scobey, Trevor; Beall, Anne; Dinnon, Kenneth; Kocher, Jacob F; Hale, Andrew E; Stratton, Kelly G; Waters, Katrina M; Baric, Ralph S

    2017-08-22

    While dispensable for viral replication, coronavirus (CoV) accessory open reading frame (ORF) proteins often play critical roles during infection and pathogenesis. Utilizing a previously generated mutant, we demonstrate that the absence of all four Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) accessory ORFs (deletion of ORF3, -4a, -4b, and -5 [dORF3-5]) has major implications for viral replication and pathogenesis. Importantly, attenuation of the dORF3-5 mutant is primarily driven by dysregulated host responses, including disrupted cell processes, augmented interferon (IFN) pathway activation, and robust inflammation. In vitro replication attenuation also extends to in vivo models, allowing use of dORF3-5 as a live attenuated vaccine platform. Finally, examination of ORF5 implicates a partial role in modulation of NF-κB-mediated inflammation. Together, the results demonstrate the importance of MERS-CoV accessory ORFs for pathogenesis and highlight them as potential targets for surveillance and therapeutic treatments moving forward.IMPORTANCE The initial emergence and periodic outbreaks of MERS-CoV highlight a continuing threat posed by zoonotic pathogens to global public health. In these studies, mutant virus generation demonstrates the necessity of accessory ORFs in regard to MERS-CoV infection and pathogenesis. With this in mind, accessory ORF functions can be targeted for both therapeutic and vaccine treatments in response to MERS-CoV and related group 2C coronaviruses. In addition, disruption of accessory ORFs in parallel may offer a rapid response platform to attenuation of future emergent strains based on both SARS- and MERS-CoV accessory ORF mutants. Copyright © 2017 Menachery et al.

  10. MerTK cleavage limits proresolving mediator biosynthesis and exacerbates tissue inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Bishuang; Thorp, Edward B.; Doran, Amanda C.; Subramanian, Manikandan; Sansbury, Brian E.; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Spite, Matthew; Fredman, Gabrielle; Tabas, Ira

    2016-01-01

    The acute inflammatory response requires a coordinated resolution program to prevent excessive inflammation, repair collateral damage, and restore tissue homeostasis, and failure of this response contributes to the pathology of numerous chronic inflammatory diseases. Resolution is mediated in part by long-chain fatty acid-derived lipid mediators called specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs). However, how SPMs are regulated during the inflammatory response, and how this process goes awry in inflammatory diseases, are poorly understood. We now show that signaling through the Mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MerTK) receptor in cultured macrophages and in sterile inflammation in vivo promotes SPM biosynthesis by a mechanism involving an increase in the cytoplasmic:nuclear ratio of a key SPM biosynthetic enzyme, 5-lipoxygenase. This action of MerTK is linked to the resolution of sterile peritonitis and, after ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) injury, to increased circulating SPMs and decreased remote organ inflammation. MerTK is susceptible to ADAM metallopeptidase domain 17 (ADAM17)-mediated cell-surface cleavage under inflammatory conditions, but the functional significance is not known. We show here that SPM biosynthesis is increased and inflammation resolution is improved in a new mouse model in which endogenous MerTK was replaced with a genetically engineered variant that is cleavage-resistant (MertkCR). MertkCR mice also have increased circulating levels of SPMs and less lung injury after I/R. Thus, MerTK cleavage during inflammation limits SPM biosynthesis and the resolution response. These findings contribute to our understanding of how SPM synthesis is regulated during the inflammatory response and suggest new therapeutic avenues to boost resolution in settings where defective resolution promotes disease progression. PMID:27199481

  11. Healthcare Workers Emotions, Perceived Stressors and Coping Strategies During a MERS-CoV Outbreak.

    PubMed

    Khalid, Imran; Khalid, Tabindeh J; Qabajah, Mohammed R; Barnard, Aletta G; Qushmaq, Ismael A

    2016-03-01

    Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of contracting Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during an epidemic. We explored the emotions, perceived stressors, and coping strategies of healthcare workers who worked during a MERS-CoV outbreak in our hospital. A cross-sectional descriptive survey design. A tertiary care hospital. HCWs (150) who worked in high risk areas during the April-May 2014 MERS-CoV outbreak that occurred in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We developed and administered a "MERS-CoV staff questionnaire" to study participants. The questionnaire consisted of 5 sections with 72 questions. The sections evaluated hospital staffs emotions, perceived stressors, factors that reduced their stress, coping strategies, and motivators to work during future outbreaks. Responses were scored on a scale from 0-3. The varying levels of stress or effectiveness of measures were reported as mean and standard deviation, as appropriate. Completed questionnaires were returned by 117 (78%) of the participants. The results had many unique elements. HCWs ethical obligation to their profession pushed them to continue with their jobs. The main sentiments centered upon fear of personal safety and well-being of colleagues and family. Positive attitudes in the workplace, clinical improvement of infected colleagues, and stoppage of disease transmission among HCWs after adopting strict protective measures alleviated their fear and drove them through the epidemic. They appreciated recognition of their efforts by hospital management and expected similar acknowledgment, infection control guidance, and equipment would entice them to work during future epidemics. The MERS-CoV outbreak was a distressing time for our staff. Hospitals can enhance HCWs experiences during any future MERS-CoV outbreak by focusing on the above mentioned aspects. © 2016 Marshfield Clinic.

  12. Intratracheal exposure of common marmosets to MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 or MERS-CoV EMC/2012 isolates does not result in lethal disease

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Reed F.; Via, Laura E.; Kumar, Mia R.; Cornish, Joseph P.; Yellayi, Srikanth; Huzella, Louis; Postnikova, Elena; Oberlander, Nicholas; Bartos, Christopher; Ork, Britini L.; Mazur, Steven; Allan, Cindy; Holbrook, Michael R.; Solomon, Jeffrey; Johnson, Joshua C.; Pickel, James; Hensley, Lisa E.; Jahrling, Peter B.

    2015-11-15

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to be a threat to human health in the Middle East. Development of countermeasures is ongoing; however, an animal model that faithfully recapitulates human disease has yet to be defined. A recent study indicated that inoculation of common marmosets resulted in inconsistent lethality. Based on these data we sought to compare two isolates of MERS-CoV. We followed disease progression in common marmosets after intratracheal exposure with: MERS-CoV-EMC/2012, MERS-CoV-Jordan-n3/2012, media, or inactivated virus. Our data suggest that common marmosets developed a mild to moderate non-lethal respiratory disease, which was quantifiable by computed tomography (CT), with limited other clinical signs. Based on CT data, clinical data, and virological data, MERS-CoV inoculation of common marmosets results in mild to moderate clinical signs of disease that are likely due to manipulations of the marmoset rather than as a result of robust viral replication. - Highlights: • Common marmosets infected with MERS-EMC and MERS-JOR did not develop lethal disease. • Infected subjects developed transient signs of clinical disease. • CT indicated few differences between the infected and control groups. • Marmosets do not faithfully replicate human MERS pathogenesis.

  13. 3B11-N, a monoclonal antibody against MERS-CoV, reduces lung pathology in rhesus monkeys following intratracheal inoculation of MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Reed F.; Bagci, Ulas; Keith, Lauren; Tang, Xianchun; Mollura, Daniel J.; Zeitlin, Larry; Qin, Jing; Huzella, Louis; Bartos, Christopher J.; Bohorova, Natasha; Bohorov, Ognian; Goodman, Charles; Kim, Do H.; Paulty, Michael H.; Velasco, Jesus; Whaley, Kevin J.; Johnson, Joshua C.; Pettitt, James; Ork, Britini L.; Solomon, Jeffrey [Clinical Research Directorate and others

    2016-03-15

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 as the causative agent of a severe, lethal respiratory disease occurring across several countries in the Middle East. To date there have been over 1600 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV in 26 countries with a case fatality rate of 36%. Given the endemic region, it is possible that MERS-CoV could spread during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, necessitating countermeasure development. In this report, we describe the clinical and radiographic changes of rhesus monkeys following infection with 5×10{sup 6} PFU MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012. Two groups of NHPs were treated with either a human anti-MERS monoclonal antibody 3B11-N or E410-N, an anti-HIV antibody. MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 infection resulted in quantifiable changes by computed tomography, but limited other clinical signs of disease. 3B11-N treated subjects developed significantly reduced lung pathology when compared to infected, untreated subjects, indicating that this antibody may be a suitable MERS-CoV treatment. - Highlights: • MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 challenge of rhesus monkeys results in a mild disease. • CT can be used to monitor disease progression to aid models of human disease. • Treatment with the human monoclonal antibody 3B11-N resulted in decreased disease.

  14. The MER Mossbauer Spectrometers: 40 Months of Operation on the Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleischer, Iris; Rodionov, D.; Schroeder, C.; Morris, R.; Yen, A.; Ming, D.; McCoy, T.; Mittlefehldt, D.; Gellert, R.; Cohen, B.; Schmidt, M.; Klingelhoefer, Goestar

    2007-01-01

    The primary MER objectives have been successfully completed. The total integration time of all MB measurements exceeds the duration of the primary 90-sols-mission for Spirit's MB spectrometer, and approaches this value for Opportunity's MB spectrometer. Both MB spectrometers continue to accumulate valuable scientific data after three years of operation (data is available for download [13]) The identification of aqueous minerals such as goethite in Gusev crater and jarosite at Meridiani Planum by the MER Mossbauer spectrometers is strong evidence for past water activity at the two landing sites.

  15. Nitrogen and 15N in the Mer Bleue peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Tim

    2017-04-01

    Although much of our attention in peatlands has focussed on carbon, as CO2, CH4 and DOC processing and fluxes, N plays an important role in the functioning of these ecosystems. Here, I present information on the distribution of N and 15N in plant and peat tissues and relate them to the cycling of N. N concentration in foliar tissues, ranged from 0.67 to 1.3% in evergreen shrubs and trees and mosses with little seasonal variation, and with a strong seasonal variation from 0.5 to 3.5% in the deciduous forbs, shrubs and trees, with a strong overall relationship to [chlorophyll]. Although the proportion of shrubs and mosses varied with microtopography the spatial foliar mass of N varied little with water table position, resulting in minor spatial variations in photosynthetic potential. Decomposition of plant tissues through litter to peat resulted in a decrease in the C:N ratio from about 50:1 to about 30:1 at the base of the profile, representing peat about 8000 yr old. This marginally larger loss of N through decomposition (mainly as TDN, 0.4 g N m-2 yr-1) compared to C produced a long-term N accumulation rate of 0.9 g N m-2 yr-1, being smaller in the bog phase, 0.6 N m-2 yr-1, and over past 150 yr, 0.8 g N m-2 yr-1. Although N is 'hard won' through N2 fixation, northern peatlands are significant global sinks of N and have limited N availability. del15N in foliar tissues ranged from -4 to -9 ‰ in evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees, from -4 to -5 ‰ in mosses and from -1 to +1 ‰ in sedges and forbs. This appears to be a function of the mycorhizzal infection of the shrubs and trees, compared to sedges and forbs and the values for mosses may partially reflect the signature of atmospheric N deposition. There was no strong correlation between foliar [N] and del15N. In peat profiles from bog and fen sections of Mer Bleue, del15N values in peat fell from -5 to -2 ‰ in the top 10 cm to values of -1 to +1 ‰ at a depth of 40 cm and remained close to 0 ‰ below

  16. Moderate and high amounts of tamoxifen in αMHC-MerCreMer mice induce a DNA damage response, leading to heart failure and death

    PubMed Central

    Bersell, Kevin; Choudhury, Sangita; Mollova, Mariya; Polizzotti, Brian D.; Ganapathy, Balakrishnan; Walsh, Stuart; Wadugu, Brian; Arab, Shima; Kühn, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Numerous mouse models have utilized Cre-loxP technology to modify gene expression. Adverse effects of Cre recombinase activity have been reported, including in the heart. However, the mechanisms associated with cardiac Cre toxicity are largely unknown. Here, we show that expression of Cre in cardiomyocytes induces a DNA damage response, resulting in cardiomyocyte apoptosis, cardiac fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction. In an effort to increase the recombination efficiency of a widely used tamoxifen-sensitive Cre transgene under control of the α-myosin-heavy-chain promoter (αMHC-MerCreMer), we observed myocardial dysfunction and decreased survival, which were dependent on the dose of tamoxifen injected. After excluding a Cre-independent contribution by tamoxifen, we found that Cre induced myocardial fibrosis, activation of pro-fibrotic genes and cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Examination of the molecular mechanisms showed activation of DNA damage response signaling and p53 stabilization in the absence of loxP sites, suggesting that Cre induced illegitimate DNA breaks. Cardiomyocyte apoptosis was also induced by expressing Cre using adenoviral transduction, indicating that the effect was not dependent on genomic integration of the transgene. Cre-mediated homologous recombination at loxP sites was dose-dependent and had a ceiling effect at ∼80% of cardiomyocytes showing recombination. By titrating the amount of tamoxifen to maximize recombination while minimizing animal lethality, we determined that 30 μg tamoxifen/g body weight/day injected on three consecutive days is the optimal condition for the αMHC-MerCreMer system to induce recombination in the Rosa26-lacZ strain. Our results further highlight the importance of experimental design, including the use of appropriate genetic controls for Cre expression. PMID:23929941

  17. Mer1p is a modular splicing factor whose function depends on the conserved U2 snRNP protein Snu17p

    PubMed Central

    Spingola, Marc; Armisen, Javier; Ares, Manuel

    2004-01-01

    Mer1p activates the splicing of at least three pre-mRNAs (AMA1, MER2, MER3) during meiosis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We demonstrate that enhancer recognition by Mer1p is separable from Mer1p splicing activation. The C-terminal KH-type RNA-binding domain of Mer1p recognizes introns that contain the Mer1p splicing enhancer, while the N-terminal domain interacts with the spliceosome and activates splicing. Prior studies have implicated the U1 snRNP and recognition of the 5′ splice site as key elements in Mer1p-activated splicing. We provide new evidence that Mer1p may also function at later steps of spliceosome assembly. First, Mer1p can activate splicing of introns that have mutated branch point sequences. Secondly, Mer1p fails to activate splicing in the absence of the non-essential U2 snRNP protein Snu17p. Thirdly, Mer1p interacts with the branch point binding proteins Mud2p and Bbp1p and the U2 snRNP protein Prp11p by two-hybrid assays. We conclude that Mer1p is a modular splicing regulator that can activate splicing at several early steps of spliceosome assembly and depends on the activities of both U1 and U2 snRNP proteins to activate splicing. PMID:14973223

  18. Mercuric ion reduction and resistance in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing a modified bacterial merA gene.

    PubMed Central

    Rugh, C L; Wilde, H D; Stack, N M; Thompson, D M; Summers, A O; Meagher, R B

    1996-01-01

    With global heavy metal contamination increasing, plants that can process heavy metals might provide efficient and ecologically sound approaches to sequestration and removal. Mercuric ion reductase, MerA, converts toxic Hg2+ to the less toxic, relatively inert metallic mercury (Hg0) The bacterial merA sequence is rich in CpG dinucleotides and has a highly skewed codon usage, both of which are particularly unfavorable to efficient expression in plants. We constructed a mutagenized merA sequence, merApe9, modifying the flanking region and 9% of the coding region and placing this sequence under control of plant regulatory elements. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana seeds expressing merApe9 germinated, and these seedlings grew, flowered, and set seed on medium containing HgCl2 concentrations of 25-100 microM (5-20 ppm), levels toxic to several controls. Transgenic merApe9 seedlings evolved considerable amounts of Hg0 relative to control plants. The rate of mercury evolution and the level of resistance were proportional to the steady-state mRNA level, confirming that resistance was due to expression of the MerApe9 enzyme. Plants and bacteria expressing merApe9 were also resistant to toxic levels of Au3+. These and other data suggest that there are potentially viable molecular genetic approaches to the phytoremediation of metal ion pollution. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8622910

  19. Efficacy of a Mer and Flt3 tyrosine kinase small molecule inhibitor, UNC1666, in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Lee-Sherick, Alisa B.; Zhang, Weihe; Menachof, Kelly K.; Hill, Amanda A.; Rinella, Sean; Kirkpatrick, Gregory; Page, Lauren S.; Stashko, Michael A.; Jordan, Craig T.; Wei, Qi; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Dehui; DeRyckere, Deborah; Wang, Xiaodong; Frye, Stephen; Earp, H. Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.

    2015-01-01

    Mer and Flt3 receptor tyrosine kinases have been implicated as therapeutic targets in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this manuscript we describe UNC1666, a novel ATP-competitive small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which potently diminishes Mer and Flt3 phosphorylation in AML. Treatment with UNC1666 mediated biochemical and functional effects in AML cell lines expressing Mer or Flt3 internal tandem duplication (ITD), including decreased phosphorylation of Mer, Flt3 and downstream effectors Stat, Akt and Erk, induction of apoptosis in up to 98% of cells, and reduction of colony formation by greater than 90%, compared to treatment with vehicle. These effects were dose-dependent, with inhibition of downstream signaling and functional effects correlating with the degree of Mer or Flt3 kinase inhibition. Treatment of primary AML patient samples expressing Mer and/or Flt3-ITD with UNC1666 also inhibited Mer and Flt3 intracellular signaling, induced apoptosis, and inhibited colony formation. In summary, UNC1666 is a novel potent small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that decreases oncogenic signaling and myeloblast survival, thereby validating dual Mer/Flt3 inhibition as an attractive treatment strategy for AML. PMID:25762638

  20. 77 FR 49059 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel CHAT DE MER; Invitation for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel CHAT DE MER... of the vessel CHAT DE MER is: Intended Commercial Use of Vessel: Primarily carrying passengers...

  1. GenomeTester4: a toolkit for performing basic set operations - union, intersection and complement on k-mer lists.

    PubMed

    Kaplinski, Lauris; Lepamets, Maarja; Remm, Maido

    2015-01-01

    K-mer-based methods of genome analysis have attracted great interest because they do not require genome assembly and can be performed directly on sequencing reads. Many analysis tasks require one to compare k-mer lists from different sequences to find words that are either unique to a specific sequence or common to many sequences. However, no stand-alone k-mer analysis tool currently allows one to perform these algebraic set operations. We have developed the GenomeTester4 toolkit, which contains a novel tool GListCompare for performing union, intersection and complement (difference) set operations on k-mer lists. We provide examples of how these general operations can be combined to solve a variety of biological analysis tasks. GenomeTester4 can be used to simplify k-mer list manipulation for many biological analysis tasks.

  2. DNA distortion accompanies transcriptional activation by the metal-responsive gene-regulatory protein MerR

    SciTech Connect

    Frantz, B.; O'Halloran, T.V. )

    1990-05-22

    Transcriptional regulation of the bacterial mercuric ion resistance operon (mer) in response to nanomolar concentrations of mercuric ion is achieved by the allosterically modulated transcriptional activator protein MerR. The authors now show that mercuric ion modification of MerR activates transcription, facilitating the conversion of an RNA polymerase complex with the mer promoter from the closed conformation to the strand-separated, transcriptionally competent open complex. An Hg-MerR-induced structural alteration at the center of the promoter has been detected in the presence or absence of RNA polymerase by use of chemical nucleases sensitive to variations in DNA secondary structure. This hypersensitivity correlates directly with transcriptional activation, lending further support to a previous proposal that a protein-induced distortion in local DNA structure can be the key step in an allosterically modulated transcription activation mechanism.

  3. The receptor tyrosine kinase MerTK activates phospholipase C γ2 during recognition of apoptotic thymocytes by murine macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Todt, Jill C.; Hu, Bin; Curtis, Jeffrey L.

    2008-01-01

    Apoptotic leukocytes must be cleared efficiently by macrophages (Mø). Apoptotic cell phagocytosis by Mø requires the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) MerTK (also known as c-Mer and Tyro12), the phosphatidylserine receptor (PS-R), and the classical protein kinase C (PKC) isoform βII, which translocates to Mø membrane and cytoskeletal fractions in a PS-R-dependent fashion. How these molecules cooperate to induce phagocytosis is unknown. Because the phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase (PI-PLC) PLC γ2 is downstream of RTKs in some cell types and can activate classical PKCs, we hypothesized that MerTK signals via PLC γ2. To test this hypothesis, we examined the interaction of MerTK and PLC γ2 in resident murine PMø and in the murine Mø cell line J774A.1 (J774) following exposure to apoptotic thymocytes. We found that, as with PMø, J774 phagocytosis of apoptotic thymocytes was inhibited by antibody against MerTK. Western blotting and immunoprecipitation showed that exposure to apoptotic cells produced three time-dependent changes in PMø and J774: (1) tyrosine phosphorylation of MerTK; (2) association of PLC γ2 with MerTK; and (3) tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC γ2. Phosphorylation of PLC γ2 and its association with MerTK was also induced by cross-linking MerTK using antibody. A PI-PLC appears to be required for phagocytosis of apoptotic cells because the PI-PLC inhibitor Et-18-OCH3 and the PLC inhibitor U73122, but not the inactive control U73343, blocked phagocytosis without impairing adhesion. On apoptotic cell adhesion to Mø, MerTK signals at least in part via PLC γ2. PMID:14704368

  4. Introduction of neutralizing immunogenicity index to the rational design of MERS coronavirus subunit vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Du, Lanying; Tai, Wanbo; Yang, Yang; Zhao, Guangyu; Zhu, Qing; Sun, Shihui; Liu, Chang; Tao, Xinrong; Tseng, Chien-Te K.; Perlman, Stanley; Jiang, Shibo; Zhou, Yusen; Li, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Viral subunit vaccines often contain immunodominant non-neutralizing epitopes that divert host immune responses. These epitopes should be eliminated in vaccine design, but there is no reliable method for evaluating an epitope's capacity to elicit neutralizing immune responses. Here we introduce a new concept ‘neutralizing immunogenicity index' (NII) to evaluate an epitope's neutralizing immunogenicity. To determine the NII, we mask the epitope with a glycan probe and then assess the epitope's contribution to the vaccine's overall neutralizing immunogenicity. As proof-of-concept, we measure the NII for different epitopes on an immunogen comprised of the receptor-binding domain from MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Further, we design a variant form of this vaccine by masking an epitope that has a negative NII score. This engineered vaccine demonstrates significantly enhanced efficacy in protecting transgenic mice from lethal MERS-CoV challenge. Our study may guide the rational design of highly effective subunit vaccines to combat MERS-CoV and other life-threatening viruses. PMID:27874853

  5. Dynamics of scientific publications on the MERS-CoV outbreaks in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Rabaan, Ali A; Al-Ahmed, Shamsah H; Bazzi, Ali M; Al-Tawfiq, Jaffar A

    2017-06-24

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging disease with a relatively high case fatality rate. Most cases have been reported from Saudi Arabia, and the disease epidemic potential is considered to be limited. However, human-human transmission has occurred, usually in the context of healthcare facility-associated outbreaks. The scientific and medical community depends on timely publication of epidemiological information on emerging diseases during outbreaks to appropriately target public health responses. In this review, we considered the academic response to four MERS CoV outbreaks that occurred in Al-Hasa in 2013, Jeddah in 2014 and Riyadh in 2014 and 2015. We analysed 68 relevant epidemiology articles. For articles for which submission dates were available, six articles were submitted during the course of an outbreak. One article was published within a month of the Al-Hasa outbreak, and one each was accepted during the Jeddah and Riyadh outbreaks. MERS-CoV epidemiology articles were cited more frequently than articles on other subjects in the same journal issues. Thus, most epidemiology articles on MERS-CoV were published with no preferential advantage over other articles. Collaboration of the research community and the scientific publishing industry is needed to facilitate timely publication of emerging infectious diseases. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Geology of a Proposed MER Landing Site in Western Melas Chasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, C. M.; Parker, T. J.; Anderson, F. S.; Grant, J. A.

    2002-01-01

    A proposed landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) has been identified in western Melas Chasma. The landing ellipse contains a blocky, bright deposit which we propose formed as a landslide, perhaps beneath a former lake. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Geology of a Proposed MER Landing Site in Western Melas Chasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, C. M.; Parker, T. J.; Anderson, F. S.; Grant, J. A.

    2002-01-01

    A proposed landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) has been identified in western Melas Chasma. The landing ellipse contains a blocky, bright deposit which we propose formed as a landslide, perhaps beneath a former lake. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Discovery of Mer kinase inhibitors by Virtual Screening using Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Da, C.; Stashko, M.; Jayakody, C.; Wang, X.; Janzen, W.; Frye, S.; Kireev, D.

    2015-01-01

    Mer is a receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common malignancy in children. The currently available data provide a rationale for development of Mer kinase inhibitors as cancer therapeutics that can target both cell autologous and immune-modulatory anti-tumor effects. We have previously reported several series of potent Mer inhibitors and the objective of the current report is to identify a chemically dissimilar back-up series that might circumvent potential, but currently unknown, flaws inherent to the lead series. To this end, we virtually screened a database of ∼3.8 million commercially available compounds using high-throughput docking followed by a filter involving Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints (SPLIF). SPLIF permits a quantitative assessment of whether a docking pose interacts with the protein target similarly to an endogenous or known synthetic ligand, and therefore helps to improve both sensitivity and specificity with respect to the docking score alone. Of the total of 62 experimentally tested compounds, 15 demonstrated reliable dose-dependent responses in the Mer in vitro kinase activity assay with inhibitory potencies ranging from 0.46 μM to 9.9 μM. PMID:25638502

  10. Discovery of Mer kinase inhibitors by virtual screening using Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints.

    PubMed

    Da, C; Stashko, M; Jayakody, C; Wang, X; Janzen, W; Frye, S; Kireev, D

    2015-03-01

    Mer is a receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common malignancy in children. The currently available data provide a rationale for development of Mer kinase inhibitors as cancer therapeutics that can target both cell autologous and immune-modulatory anti-tumor effects. We have previously reported several series of potent Mer inhibitors and the objective of the current report is to identify a chemically dissimilar back-up series that might circumvent potential, but currently unknown, flaws inherent to the lead series. To this end, we virtually screened a database of ∼3.8million commercially available compounds using high-throughput docking followed by a filter involving Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints (SPLIF). SPLIF permits a quantitative assessment of whether a docking pose interacts with the protein target similarly to an endogenous or known synthetic ligand, and therefore helps to improve both sensitivity and specificity with respect to the docking score alone. Of the total of 62 experimentally tested compounds, 15 demonstrated reliable dose-dependent responses in the Mer in vitro kinase activity assay with inhibitory potencies ranging from 0.46μM to 9.9μM.

  11. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon.

    PubMed

    Kane, Aunica L; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E; Heinsch, Stephen C; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G; Sarkar, Casim A; Nater, Edward A; Gralnick, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation.

  12. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Aunica L.; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V.; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E.; Heinsch, Stephen C.; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G.; Sarkar, Casim A.; Nater, Edward A.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation. PMID:26761437

  13. Enhanced MERS coronavirus surveillance of travelers from the Middle East to England.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Helen Lucy; Zhao, Hongxin; Green, Helen K; Boddington, Nicola L; Carvalho, Carlos F A; Osman, Husam K; Sadler, Carol; Zambon, Maria; Bermingham, Alison; Pebody, Richard G

    2014-09-01

    During the first year of enhanced MERS coronavirus surveillance in England, 77 persons traveling from the Middle East had acute respiratory illness and were tested for the virus. Infection was confirmed in 2 travelers with acute respiratory distress syndrome and 2 of their contacts. Patients with less severe manifestations tested negative.

  14. MER Surface Phase; Blurring the Line Between Fault Protection and What is Supposed to Happen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reeves, Glenn E.

    2008-01-01

    An assessment on the limitations of communication with MER rovers and how such constraints drove the system design, flight software and fault protection architecture, blurring the line between traditional fault protection and expected nominal behavior, and requiring the most novel autonomous and semi-autonomous elements of the vehicle software including communication, surface mobility, attitude knowledge acquisition, fault protection, and the activity arbitration service.

  15. Estimating Potential Incidence of MERS-CoV Associated with Hajj Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, 2014

    PubMed Central

    Lessler, Justin; Rodriguez-Barraquer, Isabel; Cummings, Derek A.T.; Garske, Tini; Van Kerkhove, Maria; Mills, Harriet; Truelove, Shaun; Hakeem, Rafat; Albarrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M.; Aguas, Ricardo; Algarni, Homud; AlHarbi, Khalid; Cauchemez, Simon; Clapham, Hannah; Collins, Caitlin; Cori, Anne; Donnelly, Christl; Fraser, Christophe; Jombart, Thibaut; Moore, Sean M.; Nouvellet, Pierre; Riley, Steven; Salje, Henrik; Turkistani, Abdulhafiz

    2014-01-01

    Between March and June 2014 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) had a large outbreak of MERS-CoV, renewing fears of a major outbreak during the Hajj this October. Using KSA Ministry of Health data, the MERS-CoV Scenario and Modeling Working Group forecast incidence under three scenarios. In the expected incidence scenario, we estimate 6.2 (95% Prediction Interval [PI]: 1–17) pilgrims will develop MERS-CoV symptoms during the Hajj, and 4.0 (95% PI: 0–12) foreign pilgrims will be infected but return home before developing symptoms. In the most pessimistic scenario, 47.6 (95% PI: 32–66) cases will develop symptoms during the Hajj, and 29.0 (95% PI: 17–43) will be infected but return home asymptomatic. Large numbers of MERS-CoV cases are unlikely to occur during the 2014 Hajj even under pessimistic assumptions, but careful monitoring is still needed to detect possible mass infection events and minimize introductions into other countries.   PMID:25685624

  16. Estimating Potential Incidence of MERS-CoV Associated with Hajj Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, 2014.

    PubMed

    Lessler, Justin; Rodriguez-Barraquer, Isabel; Cummings, Derek A T; Garske, Tini; Van Kerkhove, Maria; Mills, Harriet; Truelove, Shaun; Hakeem, Rafat; Albarrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M

    2014-11-24

    Between March and June 2014 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) had a large outbreak of MERS-CoV, renewing fears of a major outbreak during the Hajj this October. Using KSA Ministry of Health data, the MERS-CoV Scenario and Modeling Working Group forecast incidence under three scenarios. In the expected incidence scenario, we estimate 6.2 (95% Prediction Interval [PI]: 1-17) pilgrims will develop MERS-CoV symptoms during the Hajj, and 4.0 (95% PI: 0-12) foreign pilgrims will be infected but return home before developing symptoms. In the most pessimistic scenario, 47.6 (95% PI: 32-66) cases will develop symptoms during the Hajj, and 29.0 (95% PI: 17-43) will be infected but return home asymptomatic. Large numbers of MERS-CoV cases are unlikely to occur during the 2014 Hajj even under pessimistic assumptions, but careful monitoring is still needed to detect possible mass infection events and minimize introductions into other countries.

  17. Immunogenicity and structures of a rationally designed prefusion MERS-CoV spike antigen.

    PubMed

    Pallesen, Jesper; Wang, Nianshuang; Corbett, Kizzmekia S; Wrapp, Daniel; Kirchdoerfer, Robert N; Turner, Hannah L; Cottrell, Christopher A; Becker, Michelle M; Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Kong, Wing-Pui; Andres, Erica L; Kettenbach, Arminja N; Denison, Mark R; Chappell, James D; Graham, Barney S; Ward, Andrew B; McLellan, Jason S

    2017-08-29

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a lineage C betacoronavirus that since its emergence in 2012 has caused outbreaks in human populations with case-fatality rates of ∼36%. As in other coronaviruses, the spike (S) glycoprotein of MERS-CoV mediates receptor recognition and membrane fusion and is the primary target of the humoral immune response during infection. Here we use structure-based design to develop a generalizable strategy for retaining coronavirus S proteins in the antigenically optimal prefusion conformation and demonstrate that our engineered immunogen is able to elicit high neutralizing antibody titers against MERS-CoV. We also determined high-resolution structures of the trimeric MERS-CoV S ectodomain in complex with G4, a stem-directed neutralizing antibody. The structures reveal that G4 recognizes a glycosylated loop that is variable among coronaviruses and they define four conformational states of the trimer wherein each receptor-binding domain is either tightly packed at the membrane-distal apex or rotated into a receptor-accessible conformation. Our studies suggest a potential mechanism for fusion initiation through sequential receptor-binding events and provide a foundation for the structure-based design of coronavirus vaccines.

  18. Immunogenicity and structures of a rationally designed prefusion MERS-CoV spike antigen

    PubMed Central

    Pallesen, Jesper; Wang, Nianshuang; Corbett, Kizzmekia S.; Wrapp, Daniel; Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Turner, Hannah L.; Cottrell, Christopher A.; Becker, Michelle M.; Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Kong, Wing-Pui; Andres, Erica L.; Kettenbach, Arminja N.; Denison, Mark R.; Chappell, James D.; Graham, Barney S.; Ward, Andrew B.

    2017-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a lineage C betacoronavirus that since its emergence in 2012 has caused outbreaks in human populations with case-fatality rates of ∼36%. As in other coronaviruses, the spike (S) glycoprotein of MERS-CoV mediates receptor recognition and membrane fusion and is the primary target of the humoral immune response during infection. Here we use structure-based design to develop a generalizable strategy for retaining coronavirus S proteins in the antigenically optimal prefusion conformation and demonstrate that our engineered immunogen is able to elicit high neutralizing antibody titers against MERS-CoV. We also determined high-resolution structures of the trimeric MERS-CoV S ectodomain in complex with G4, a stem-directed neutralizing antibody. The structures reveal that G4 recognizes a glycosylated loop that is variable among coronaviruses and they define four conformational states of the trimer wherein each receptor-binding domain is either tightly packed at the membrane-distal apex or rotated into a receptor-accessible conformation. Our studies suggest a potential mechanism for fusion initiation through sequential receptor-binding events and provide a foundation for the structure-based design of coronavirus vaccines. PMID:28807998

  19. Endogenous GAS6 and Mer receptor signaling regulate prostate cancer stem cells in bone marrow

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Younghun; Decker, Ann M.; Wang, Jingcheng; Lee, Eunsohl; Kana, Lulia A.; Yumoto, Kenji; Cackowski, Frank C.; Rhee, James; Carmeliet, Peter; Buttitta, Laura; Morgan, Todd M.; Taichman, Russell S.

    2016-01-01

    GAS6 and its receptors (Tryo 3, Axl, Mer or “TAM”) are known to play a role in regulating tumor progression in a number of settings. Previously we have demonstrated that GAS6 signaling regulates invasion, proliferation, chemotherapy-induced apoptosis of prostate cancer (PCa) cells. We have also demonstrated that GAS6 secreted from osteoblasts in the bone marrow environment plays a critical role in establishing prostate tumor cell dormancy. Here we investigated the role that endogenous GAS6 and Mer receptor signaling plays in establishing prostate cancer stem cells in the bone marrow microenvironment. We first observed that high levels of endogenous GAS6 are expressed by disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in the bone marrow, whereas relatively low levels of endogenous GAS6 are expressed in PCa tumors grown in a s.c. setting. Interestingly, elevated levels of endogenous GAS6 were identified in putative cancer stem cells (CSCs, CD133+/CD44+) compared to non-CSCs (CD133–/CD44–) isolated from PCa/osteoblast cocultures in vitro and in DTCs isolated from the bone marrow 24 hours after intracardiac injection. Moreover, we found that endogenous GAS6 expression is associated with Mer receptor expression in growth arrested (G1) PCa cells, which correlates with the increase of the CSC populations. Importantly, we found that overexpression of GAS6 activates phosphorylation of Mer receptor signaling and subsequent induction of the CSC phenotype in vitro and in vivo. Together these data suggest that endogenous GAS6 and Mer receptor signaling contribute to the establishment of PCa CSCs in the bone marrow microenvironment, which may have important implications for targeting metastatic disease. PMID:27028863

  20. Expression and Purification of Transmembrane Protein MerE from Mercury Resistant Bacillus cereus.

    PubMed

    Amin, Aatif; Latif, Zakia; Opella, Stanley J

    2017-08-08

    Mercury resistant (Hg(R)) bacteria were isolated from heavy metal polluted wastewater and soil collected near to tanneries of district Kasur, Pakistan. Bacterial isolates AZ-1, AZ-2 and AZ-3 showed resistance up to 40 μg/mL against mercuric chloride (HgCl2). 16S rDNA ribotyping and phylogenetic analysis were performed for the characterization of selected isolates as Bacillus sp. AZ-1 (KT270477), Bacillus cereus AZ-2 (KT270478) and Bacillus cereus AZ-3 (KT270479). Phylogenetic relationship on the basis of merA nucleotide sequence confirmed 51-100% homology with the corresponding region of the merA gene of already reported mercury resistant Gram positive bacteria. The merE gene involved in the transportation of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) via cell membrane was first time cloned into pHLV vector and transformed in overexpressed C43(DE3) E.coli cells. The recombinant plasmid (pHLMerE) was expressed and the native MerE protein was obtained after thrombin cleavage by size exclusion chromatography (SEC). The purification of fusion/recombinant and native protein MerE by Ni-NTA column, dialysis and fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC/SEC) involved unfolding/refolding techniques. A small scale reservoir of wastewater containing 150 μg/mL of HgCl2 was designed to check the detoxification ability of selected strains. It resulted 83% detoxification of mercury by B. cereus AZ-2 and B. cereus AZ-3, and 76% detoxification by Bacillus sp. AZ-1 respectively (p<0.05).

  1. Human polyclonal immunoglobulin G from transchromosomic bovines inhibits MERS-CoV in vivo.

    PubMed

    Luke, Thomas; Wu, Hua; Zhao, Jincun; Channappanavar, Rudragouda; Coleman, Christopher M; Jiao, Jin-An; Matsushita, Hiroaki; Liu, Ye; Postnikova, Elena N; Ork, Britini L; Glenn, Gregory; Flyer, David; Defang, Gabriel; Raviprakash, Kanakatte; Kochel, Tadeusz; Wang, Jonathan; Nie, Wensheng; Smith, Gale; Hensley, Lisa E; Olinger, Gene G; Kuhn, Jens H; Holbrook, Michael R; Johnson, Reed F; Perlman, Stanley; Sullivan, Eddie; Frieman, Matthew B

    2016-02-17

    As of 13 November 2015, 1618 laboratory-confirmed human cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 579 deaths, had been reported to the World Health Organization. No specific preventive or therapeutic agent of proven value against MERS-CoV is currently available. Public Health England and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium identified passive immunotherapy with neutralizing antibodies as a treatment approach that warrants priority study. Two experimental MERS-CoV vaccines were used to vaccinate two groups of transchromosomic (Tc) bovines that were genetically modified to produce large quantities of fully human polyclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. Vaccination with a clade A γ-irradiated whole killed virion vaccine (Jordan strain) or a clade B spike protein nanoparticle vaccine (Al-Hasa strain) resulted in Tc bovine sera with high enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and neutralizing antibody titers in vitro. Two purified Tc bovine human IgG immunoglobulins (Tc hIgG), SAB-300 (produced after Jordan strain vaccination) and SAB-301 (produced after Al-Hasa strain vaccination), also had high ELISA and neutralizing antibody titers without antibody-dependent enhancement in vitro. SAB-301 was selected for in vivo and preclinical studies. Administration of single doses of SAB-301 12 hours before or 24 and 48 hours after MERS-CoV infection (Erasmus Medical Center 2012 strain) of Ad5-hDPP4 receptor-transduced mice rapidly resulted in viral lung titers near or below the limit of detection. Tc bovines, combined with the ability to quickly produce Tc hIgG and develop in vitro assays and animal model(s), potentially offer a platform to rapidly produce a therapeutic to prevent and/or treat MERS-CoV infection and/or other emerging infectious diseases. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  2. Intranasal vaccination with recombinant receptor-binding domain of MERS-CoV spike protein induces much stronger local mucosal immune responses than subcutaneous immunization: Implication for designing novel mucosal MERS vaccines.

    PubMed

    Ma, Cuiqing; Li, Ye; Wang, Lili; Zhao, Guangyu; Tao, Xinrong; Tseng, Chien-Te K; Zhou, Yusen; Du, Lanying; Jiang, Shibo

    2014-04-11

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was originally identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It has caused MERS outbreaks with high mortality in the Middle East and Europe, raising a serious concern about its pandemic potential. Therefore, development of effective vaccines is crucial for preventing its further spread and future pandemic. Our previous study has shown that subcutaneous (s.c.) vaccination of a recombinant protein containing receptor-binding domain (RBD) of MERS-CoV S fused with Fc of human IgG (RBD-Fc) induced strong systemic neutralizing antibody responses in vaccinated mice. Here, we compared local and systemic immune responses induced by RBD-Fc via intranasal (i.n.) and s.c. immunization pathways. We found that i.n. vaccination of MERS-CoV RBD-Fc induced systemic humoral immune responses comparable to those induced by s.c. vaccination, including neutralizing antibodies, but more robust systemic cellular immune responses and significantly higher local mucosal immune responses in mouse lungs. This study suggests the potential of developing MERS-CoV RBD protein into an effective and safe mucosal candidate vaccine for prevention of respiratory tract infections caused by MERS-CoV.

  3. Quantitation of the immunodominant 33-mer peptide from α-gliadin in wheat flours by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Schalk, Kathrin; Lang, Christina; Wieser, Herbert; Koehler, Peter; Scherf, Katharina Anne

    2017-03-22

    Coeliac disease (CD) is triggered by the ingestion of gluten proteins from wheat, rye, and barley. The 33-mer peptide from α2-gliadin has frequently been described as the most important CD-immunogenic sequence within gluten. However, from more than 890 published amino acid sequences of α-gliadins, only 19 sequences contain the 33-mer. In order to make a precise assessment of the importance of the 33-mer, it is necessary to elucidate which wheat species and cultivars contain the peptide and at which concentrations. This paper presents the development of a stable isotope dilution assay followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to quantitate the 33-mer in flours of 23 hexaploid modern and 15 old common (bread) wheat as well as two spelt cultivars. All flours contained the 33-mer peptide at levels ranging from 91-603 μg/g flour. In contrast, the 33-mer was absent (mer in all common wheat and spelt flours analysed here, the special focus in the literature on this most immunodominant peptide seems to be justified.

  4. Quantitation of the immunodominant 33-mer peptide from α-gliadin in wheat flours by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Schalk, Kathrin; Lang, Christina; Wieser, Herbert; Koehler, Peter; Scherf, Katharina Anne

    2017-01-01

    Coeliac disease (CD) is triggered by the ingestion of gluten proteins from wheat, rye, and barley. The 33-mer peptide from α2-gliadin has frequently been described as the most important CD-immunogenic sequence within gluten. However, from more than 890 published amino acid sequences of α-gliadins, only 19 sequences contain the 33-mer. In order to make a precise assessment of the importance of the 33-mer, it is necessary to elucidate which wheat species and cultivars contain the peptide and at which concentrations. This paper presents the development of a stable isotope dilution assay followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to quantitate the 33-mer in flours of 23 hexaploid modern and 15 old common (bread) wheat as well as two spelt cultivars. All flours contained the 33-mer peptide at levels ranging from 91–603 μg/g flour. In contrast, the 33-mer was absent (mer in all common wheat and spelt flours analysed here, the special focus in the literature on this most immunodominant peptide seems to be justified. PMID:28327674

  5. Probabilistic differential diagnosis of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) using the time from immigration to illness onset among imported cases.

    PubMed

    Ejima, Keisuke; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Nishiura, Hiroshi

    2014-04-07

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has spread worldwide since 2012. As the clinical symptoms of MERS tend to be non-specific, the incubation period has been shown to complement differential diagnosis, especially to rule out influenza. However, because an infection event is seldom directly observable, the present study aims to construct a diagnostic model that predicts the probability of MERS diagnosis given the time from immigration to illness onset among imported cases which are suspected of MERS. Addressing censoring by considering the transmission dynamics in an exporting country, we demonstrate that the illness onset within 2 days from immigration is suggestive of influenza. Two exceptions to suspect MERS even for those with illness onset within 2 days since immigration are (i) when we observe substantial community transmissions of MERS and (ii) when the cases are at high risk of MERS (e.g. cases with close contact in hospital or household). It is vital to collect the information of the incubation period upon emergence of a novel infectious disease, and moreover, in our model, the fundamental transmission dynamics including the initial growth rate has to be explored to differentiate the disease diagnoses with non-specific symptoms.

  6. A Comparative Study of Clinical Presentation and Risk Factors for Adverse Outcome in Patients Hospitalised with Acute Respiratory Disease Due to MERS Coronavirus or Other Causes

    PubMed Central

    Garbati, Musa A.; Fagbo, Shamsudeen F.; Fang, Vicky J.; Skakni, Leila; Joseph, Mercy; Wani, Tariq A.; Cowling, Benjamin J.; Peiris, Malik; Hakawi, Ahmed

    2016-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory syndrome (MERS) first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and remains a global health concern. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical features and risk factors for adverse outcome in patients with RT-PCR confirmed MERS and in those with acute respiratory disease who were MERS-CoV negative, presenting to the King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh between October 2012 and May 2014. The demographics, clinical and laboratory characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients with RT-PCR confirmed MERS-CoV infection was compared with those testing negative MERS-CoV PCR. Health care workers (HCW) with MERS were compared with MERS patients who were not health care workers. One hundred and fifty nine patients were eligible for inclusion. Forty eight tested positive for MERS CoV, 44 (92%) being hospital acquired infections and 23 were HCW. There were 111 MERS-CoV negative patients with acute respiratory illnesses included in this study as “negative controls”. Patient with confirmed MERS-CoV infection were not clinically distinguishable from those with negative MERS-CoV RT-PCR results although diarrhoea was commoner in MERS patients. A high level of suspicion in initiating laboratory tests for MERS-CoV is therefore indicated. Variables associated with adverse outcome were older age and diabetes as a co-morbid illness. Interestingly, co-morbid illnesses other than diabetes were not significantly associated with poor outcome. Health care workers with MERS had a markedly better clinical outcome compared to non HCW MERS patients. PMID:27812197

  7. UNC569, a novel small molecule Mer inhibitor with efficacy against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Christoph, Sandra; DeRyckere, Deborah; Schlegel, Jennifer; Frazer, J. Kimble; Batchelor, Lance A.; Trakhimets, Alesia Y.; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra M.; Cummings, Christopher; Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Kireev, Dmitri; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Hull-Ryde, Emily A.; Janzen, William P.; Johnson, Gary L.; Wang, Xiaodong; Frye, Stephen V.; Earp, H. Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.

    2013-01-01

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Although survival rates have improved, patients with certain biological subtypes still have suboptimal outcomes. Current chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with short- and long-term toxicities and novel, less toxic therapeutic strategies are needed. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is ectopically expressed in ALL patient samples and cell lines. Inhibition of Mer expression reduces pro-survival signaling, increases chemosensitivity, and delays development of leukaemia in vivo suggesting that Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitors are excellent candidates for targeted therapies. Brain and spinal tumors are the second most common malignancies in childhood. Multiple chemotherapy approaches and radiation have been attempted, yet overall survival remains dismal. Mer is also abnormally expressed in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT), providing a rationale for targeting Mer as a therapeutic strategy. We have previously described UNC569, the first small molecule Mer inhibitor. This manuscript describes the biochemical and biological effects of UNC569 in ALL and ATRT. UNC569 inhibited Mer activation and downstream signaling through ERK1/2 and AKT, determined by western blot analysis. Treatment with UNC569 reduced proliferation/survival in liquid culture, decreased colony formation in methylcellulose/soft agar, and increased sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapies. MYC transgenic zebrafish with T-ALL were treated with UNC569 (4 µM for 2 weeks). Fluorescence was quantified as indicator of the distribution of lymphoblasts, which express Mer and enhanced green fluorescent protein. UNC569 induced >50% reduction in tumor burden compared to vehicle- and mock-treated fish. These data support further development of Mer inhibitors as effective therapies in ALL and ATRT. PMID:23997116

  8. UNC569, a novel small-molecule mer inhibitor with efficacy against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Christoph, Sandra; Deryckere, Deborah; Schlegel, Jennifer; Frazer, J Kimble; Batchelor, Lance A; Trakhimets, Alesia Y; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra M; Cummings, Christopher T; Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Kireev, Dmitri; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Hull-Ryde, Emily A; Janzen, William P; Johnson, Gary L; Wang, Xiaodong; Frye, Stephen V; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K

    2013-11-01

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Although survival rates have improved, patients with certain biologic subtypes still have suboptimal outcomes. Current chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with short- and long-term toxicities and novel, less toxic therapeutic strategies are needed. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is ectopically expressed in ALL patient samples and cell lines. Inhibition of Mer expression reduces prosurvival signaling, increases chemosensitivity, and delays development of leukemia in vivo, suggesting that Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitors are excellent candidates for targeted therapies. Brain and spinal tumors are the second most common malignancies in childhood. Multiple chemotherapy approaches and radiotherapies have been attempted, yet overall survival remains dismal. Mer is also abnormally expressed in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), providing a rationale for targeting Mer as a therapeutic strategy. We have previously described UNC569, the first small-molecule Mer inhibitor. This article describes the biochemical and biologic effects of UNC569 in ALL and AT/RT. UNC569 inhibited Mer activation and downstream signaling through ERK1/2 and AKT, determined by Western blot analysis. Treatment with UNC569 reduced proliferation/survival in liquid culture, decreased colony formation in methylcellulose/soft agar, and increased sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapies. MYC transgenic zebrafish with T-ALL were treated with UNC569 (4 μmol/L for two weeks). Fluorescence was quantified as indicator of the distribution of lymphoblasts, which express Mer and enhanced GFP. UNC569 induced more than 50% reduction in tumor burden compared with vehicle- and mock-treated fish. These data support further development of Mer inhibitors as effective therapies in ALL and AT/RT.

  9. A humanized neutralizing antibody against MERS-CoV targeting the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Wan, Yuhua; Liu, Peipei; Zhao, Jincun; Lu, Guangwen; Qi, Jianxun; Wang, Qihui; Lu, Xuancheng; Wu, Ying; Liu, Wenjun; Zhang, Buchang; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Perlman, Stanley; Gao, George F; Yan, Jinghua

    2015-11-01

    The newly-emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) can cause severe and fatal acute respiratory disease in humans. Despite global efforts, the potential for an associated pandemic in the future cannot be excluded. The development of effective counter-measures is urgent. MERS-CoV-specific anti-viral drugs or vaccines are not yet available. Using the spike receptor-binding domain of MERS-CoV (MERS-RBD) to immunize mice, we identified two neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) 4C2 and 2E6. Both mAbs potently bind to MERS-RBD and block virus entry in vitro with high efficacy. We further investigated their mechanisms of neutralization by crystallizing the complex between the Fab fragments and the RBD, and solved the structure of the 4C2 Fab/MERS-RBD complex. The structure showed that 4C2 recognizes an epitope that partially overlaps the receptor-binding footprint in MERS-RBD, thereby interfering with the virus/receptor interactions by both steric hindrance and interface-residue competition. 2E6 also blocks receptor binding, and competes with 4C2 for binding to MERS-RBD. Based on the structure, we further humanized 4C2 by preserving only the paratope residues and substituting the remaining amino acids with the counterparts from human immunoglobulins. The humanized 4C2 (4C2h) antibody sustained similar neutralizing activity and biochemical characteristics to the parental mouse antibody. Finally, we showed that 4C2h can significantly abate the virus titers in lungs of Ad5-hCD26-transduced mice infected with MERS-CoV, therefore representing a promising agent for prophylaxis and therapy in clinical settings.

  10. NCI Researchers Discover Exceptionally Potent Antibodies with Potential for Prophylaxis and Therapy of MERS-Coronavirus Infections | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    By Andrea Frydl, Contributing Writer In a recent article published in the Journal of Virology, Tianlei Ying, Ph.D., Dimiter Dimitrov, Ph.D., and their colleagues in the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology (LEI), Cancer and Inflammation Program, NCI Center for Cancer Research, reported the identification of three human monoclonal antibodies (m336, m337, and m338) that target the part of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that is responsible for binding to its receptor. These antibodies are exceptionally potent inhibitors of MERS-CoV infection and also provide a basis for creating a future MERS-CoV vaccine.

  11. Efficient clearance of early apoptotic cells by human macrophages requires M2c polarization and MerTK induction.

    PubMed

    Zizzo, Gaetano; Hilliard, Brendan A; Monestier, Marc; Cohen, Philip L

    2012-10-01

    Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) is a major macrophage apoptotic cell (AC) receptor. Its functional impairment promotes autoimmunity and atherosclerosis, whereas overexpression correlates with poor prognosis in cancer. However, little is known about mechanisms regulating MerTK expression in humans. We found that MerTK expression is heterogenous among macrophage subsets, being mostly restricted to anti-inflammatory M2c (CD14(+)CD16(+)CD163(+)CD204(+)CD206(+)CD209(-)) cells, differentiated by M-CSF or glucocorticoids. Small numbers of MerTK(+) "M2c-like" cells are also detectable among circulating CD14(bright)CD16(+) monocytes. MerTK expression levels adapt to changing immunologic environment, being suppressed in M1 and M2a macrophages and in dendritic cells. Remarkably, although glucocorticoid-induced differentiation is IL-10 independent, M-CSF-driven M2c polarization and related MerTK upregulation require IL-10. However, neither IL-10 alone nor TGF-β are sufficient to fully differentiate M2c (CD16(+)CD163(+)MerTK(+)) macrophages. M-CSF and IL-10, both released by T lymphocytes, may thus be required together to promote regulatory T cell-mediated induction of anti-inflammatory monocytes-macrophages. MerTK enables M2c macrophages to clear early ACs more efficiently than other macrophage subsets, and it mediates AC clearance by CD14(bright)CD16(+) monocytes. Moreover, M2c cells release Gas6, which in turn amplifies IL-10 secretion via MerTK. IL-10-dependent induction of the Gas6/MerTK pathway may, therefore, constitute a positive loop for M2c macrophage homeostasis and a critical checkpoint for maintenance of anti-inflammatory conditions. Our findings give new insight into human macrophage polarization and favor a central role for MerTK in regulation of macrophage functions. Eliciting M2c polarization can have therapeutic utility for diseases such as lupus, in which a defective AC clearance contributes to initiate and perpetuate the pathological process.

  12. The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) does not replicate in Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Emmie; Prescott, Joseph; Baseler, Laura; Bushmaker, Trenton; Thomas, Tina; Lackemeyer, Matthew G; Martellaro, Cynthia; Milne-Price, Shauna; Haddock, Elaine; Haagmans, Bart L; Feldmann, Heinz; Munster, Vincent J

    2013-01-01

    In 2012 a novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV, associated with severe respiratory disease emerged in the Arabian Peninsula. To date, 55 human cases have been reported, including 31 fatal cases. Several of the cases were likely a result of human-to-human transmission. The emergence of this novel coronavirus prompts the need for a small animal model to study the pathogenesis of this virus and to test the efficacy of potential intervention strategies. In this study we explored the use of Syrian hamsters as a small animal disease model, using intratracheal inoculation and inoculation via aerosol. Clinical signs of disease, virus replication, histological lesions, cytokine upregulation nor seroconversion were observed in any of the inoculated animals, indicating that MERS-CoV does not replicate in Syrian hamsters.

  13. Vaccines for Emerging Infectious Diseases: lessons from MERS coronavirus and Zika virus.

    PubMed

    Maslow, Joel N

    2017-08-28

    The past decade and a half has been characterized by numerous emerging infectious diseases. With each new threat, there has been a call for rapid vaccine development. Pathogens such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the Zika virus represent either new viral entities or viruses emergent in new geographic locales and characterized bywith novel complications. Both serve as paradigms for the global spread that can accompany new pathogens. In this paper, we review the epidemiology and pathogenesis of MERS-CoV and Zika virus with respect to vaccine development. The challenges in vaccine development and the approach to clinical trial design to test vaccine candidates for disease entities with a changing epidemiology are discussed.

  14. Application of State Analysis and Goal-Based Operations to a MER Mission Scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, J. Richard; Ingham, Michel D.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Rasmussen, Robert D.; Starbird, Thomas W.

    2006-01-01

    State Analysis is a model-based systems engineering methodology employing a rigorous discovery process which articulates operations concepts and operability needs as an integrated part of system design. The process produces requirements on system and software design in the form of explicit models which describe the behavior of states and the relationships among them. By applying State Analysis to an actual MER flight mission scenario, this study addresses the specific real world challenges of complex space operations and explores technologies that can be brought to bear on future missions. The paper describes the tools currently used on a daily basis for MER operations planning and provides an in-depth description of the planning process, in the context of a Martian day's worth of rover engineering activities, resource modeling, flight rules, science observations, and more. It then describes how State Analysis allows for the specification of a corresponding goal-based sequence that accomplishes the same objectives, with several important additional benefits.

  15. Interaction of SARS and MERS Coronaviruses with the Antiviral Interferon Response.

    PubMed

    Kindler, E; Thiel, V; Weber, F

    2016-01-01

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are the most severe coronavirus (CoV)-associated diseases in humans. The causative agents, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, are of zoonotic origin but may be transmitted to humans, causing severe and often fatal respiratory disease in their new host. The two coronaviruses are thought to encode an unusually large number of factors that allow them to thrive and replicate in the presence of efficient host defense mechanisms, especially the antiviral interferon system. Here, we review the recent progress in our understanding of the strategies that highly pathogenic coronaviruses employ to escape, dampen, or block the antiviral interferon response in human cells. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Application of State Analysis and Goal-Based Operations to a MER Mission Scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, J. Richard; Ingham, Michel D.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Rasmussen, Robert D.; Starbird, Thomas W.

    2006-01-01

    State Analysis is a model-based systems engineering methodology employing a rigorous discovery process which articulates operations concepts and operability needs as an integrated part of system design. The process produces requirements on system and software design in the form of explicit models which describe the behavior of states and the relationships among them. By applying State Analysis to an actual MER flight mission scenario, this study addresses the specific real world challenges of complex space operations and explores technologies that can be brought to bear on future missions. The paper describes the tools currently used on a daily basis for MER operations planning and provides an in-depth description of the planning process, in the context of a Martian day's worth of rover engineering activities, resource modeling, flight rules, science observations, and more. It then describes how State Analysis allows for the specification of a corresponding goal-based sequence that accomplishes the same objectives, with several important additional benefits.

  17. Will it fold? Structural and statistical analysis of a 10mer of Fdu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melvin, Ryan; Salsbury, Freddie

    2014-03-01

    Small strands of RNA are often drawn as extended structures in both journal articles and textbooks. However, a microsecond all-atom GPU-based simulation of a 10mer therapeutic, Fdu, shows folding into stable hairpin-like structures. After a 300ns equilibration phase, this 10mer has a 90 percent probability of existing in 1 of 5 folded states. A Markov analysis shows that despite the existence of a kinetically trapped state, the dynamics among the folded state converges on the nanosecond scale and is ergodic. Knowledge of these structures and probability of their occurrence will allow for estimates of free energies for binding proteins to potentially improve the delivery and design of this therapeutic.

  18. Sensitivity of SARS/MERS CoV to interferons and other drugs based on achievable serum concentrations in humans.

    PubMed

    Strayer, David R; Dickey, Robert; Carter, William A

    2014-01-01

    A novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV) related to SARS-CoV recently emerged in the Middle East causing more than 400 deaths with a mortality rate of about 30%, much higher than SARS-CoV. Both viruses target epithelial cells in the respiratory tract, although utilizing different cellular receptors. Because of the sporadic nature of the MERS outbreak and difficulty in collecting randomized, controlled clinical data, the objective of this review was to focus on published in vitro and in vivo drug sensitivity data using both cell lines and available animal models of SARS/MERS CoV infection. Determination of drug activity was based on achievable serum levels in humans relative to in vitro IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) or EC50 (50% effective concentration) drug concentrations. The most active drugs against SARS/MERS CoV at clinically achievable serum levels were type I interferons and a TLR3 agonist, interferon inducer/activator.

  19. The Merli-Missiroli-Pozzi Two-Slit Electron-Interference Experiment.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rodolfo

    In 2002 readers of Physics World voted Young's double-slit experiment with single electrons as "the most beautiful experiment in physics" of all time. Pier Giorgio Merli, Gian Franco Missiroli, and Giulio Pozzi carried out this experiment in a collaboration between the Italian Research Council and the University of Bologna almost three decades earlier. I examine their experiment, place it in historical context, and discuss its philosophical implications.

  20. The Merli-Missiroli-Pozzi Two-Slit Electron-Interference Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosa, Rodolfo

    2012-06-01

    In 2002 readers of Physics World voted Young's double-slit experiment with single electrons as "the most beautiful experiment in physics" of all time. Pier Giorgio Merli, Gian Franco Missiroli, and Giulio Pozzi carried out this experiment in a collaboration between the Italian Research Council and the University of Bologna almost three decades earlier. I examine their experiment, place it in historical context, and discuss its philosophical implications.

  1. NCI Scientists Solve Structure of Protein that Enables MERS Virus to Spread | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    Scientists at the Frederick National Lab have produced three crystal structures that reveal a specific part of a protein that can be targeted to fight the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes an emerging viral respiratory illness. Senior Investigator David Waugh, Ph.D., Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory, has solved the structure of an enzyme known as the 3C-like protease (3CLpro), which, if blocked, can prevent the virus from replicating...

  2. NCI Scientists Solve Structure of Protein that Enables MERS Virus to Spread | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    Scientists at the Frederick National Lab have produced three crystal structures that reveal a specific part of a protein that can be targeted to fight the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes an emerging viral respiratory illness. Senior Investigator David Waugh, Ph.D., Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory, has solved the structure of an enzyme known as the 3C-like protease (3CLpro), which, if blocked, can prevent the virus from replicating...

  3. TAM receptors Tyro3 and Mer as novel targets in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Robin; Valls, Aida Freire; Yerbes, Rosario; von Richter, Sophie; Kahlert, Christoph; Loges, Sonja; Weitz, Jürgen; Schneider, Martin; de Almodovar, Carmen Ruiz; Ulrich, Alexis; Schmidt, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Purpose CRC remains the third most common cancer worldwide with a high 5-year mortality rate in advanced cases. Combined with chemotherapy, targeted therapy is an additional treatment option. However as CRC still escapes targeted therapy the vigorous search for new targets is warranted to increase patients' overall survival. Results In this study we describe a new role for Gas6/protein S-TAM receptor interaction in CRC. Gas6, expressed by tumor-infiltrating M2-like macrophages, enhances malignant properties of tumor cells including proliferation, invasion and colony formation. Upon chemotherapy macrophages increase Gas6 synthesis, which significantly attenuates the cytotoxic effect of 5-FU chemotherapy on tumor cells. The anti-coagulant protein S has similar effects as Gas6. In CRC patient samples Tyro3 was overexpressed within the tumor. In-vitro inhibition of Tyro3 and Mer reduces tumor cell proliferation and sensitizes tumor cells to chemotherapy. Moreover high expression of Tyro3 and Mer in tumor tissue significantly shortens CRC patients' survival. Experimental design Various in vitro models were used to investigate the role of Gas6 and its TAM receptors in human CRC cells, by stimulation (rhGas6) and knockdown (siRNA) of Axl, Tyro3 and Mer. In terms of a translational research, we additionally performed an expression analysis in human CRC tissue and analyzed the medical record of these patients. Conclusions Tyro3 and Mer represent novel therapeutic targets in CRC and warrant further preclinical and clinical investigation in the future. PMID:27486820

  4. Public response to MERS-CoV in the Middle East: iPhone survey in six countries.

    PubMed

    Alqahtani, Amani S; Rashid, Harunor; Basyouni, Mada H; Alhawassi, Tariq M; BinDhim, Nasser F

    2017-02-06

    Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries bear the heaviest brunt of MERS-CoV. This study aims to compare public awareness and practice around MERS-CoV across GCC countries. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using the Gulf Indicators (GI) smartphone app among people in the six GCC countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. A total of 1812 participants recruited. All were aware of MERS-CoV, yet the perception and practice around MERS-CoV varied widely between countries. Over two thirds were either "not concerned" or "slightly concerned" about contracting MERS-CoV; believing that they were under Allah's (God's) protection (40%) was the most cited reason. While 79% were aware that the disease can transmit through droplet from infected person, only 12% stated that MERS-CoV transmits via camels; people in Saudi Arabia were better aware of the transmission. Nevertheless, only 22% of respondents believed that camels are the zoonotic reservoir of MERS-CoV. Those who were concerned about contracting MERS-CoV (aOR: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.1, p<0.01) and those who thought MERS-CoV to be a severe disease only for those with high-risk conditions (aOR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.1, p<0.01) were more likely to believe that camels are the zoonotic source. However, residents of KSA (aOR: 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01-0.07, p<0.01), UAE (aOR: 0.01, 95% CI: 0.004-0.02, p<0.01) and Kuwait (aOR: 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01-0.07, p<0.01) were less likely to believe that camels are the main zoonotic source compared to respondents from the other countries. Hygienic measures were more commonly adopted than avoidance of camels or their raw products, yet there was a discrepancy between the countries. This study highlights that despite being aware of the ongoing MERS-CoV epidemic; many people lack accurate understanding about MERS-CoV transmission, prevention, and are not fully compliant with preventive measures.

  5. Geology of the MER 2003 "Elysium" candidate landing site in southeastern Utopia Planitia, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tanaka, K.L.; Carr, M.H.; Skinner, J.A.; Gilmore, M.S.; Hare, T.M.

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project has been considering a landing-site ellipse designated EP78B2 in southeastern Utopia Planitia, southwest of Elysium Mons. The site appears to be relatively safe for a MER landing site because of its predicted low wind velocities in mesoscale atmospheric circulation models and its low surface roughness at various scales as indicated by topographic and imaging data sets. Previously, the site's surface rocks have been interpreted to be marine sediments or lava flows. In addition, we suggest that Late Noachian to Early Hesperian collapse and mass wasting of Noachian highland rocks contributed to the deposition of detritus in the area of the ellipse. Furthermore, we document partial Late Hesperian to Early Amazonian resurfacing of the ellipse by flows and vents that may be of mud or silicate volcanic origin. A rover investigation of the Utopia landing site using the MER Athena instrument package might address some fundamental aspects of Martian geologic evolution, such as climate change, hydrologic evolution, and magmatic and tectonic history. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  6. Thermophysical properties of the MER and Beagle II landing site regions on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Hynek, Brian M.; Pelkey, Shannon M.; Mellon, Michael T.; Martínez-Alonso, Sara; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Murphy, Nate; Christensen, Philip R.

    2006-08-01

    We analyzed remote-sensing observations of the Isidis Basin, Gusev Crater, and Meridiani Planum landing sites for Beagle II, MER-A Spirit, and MER-B Opportunity spacecraft, respectively. We emphasized the thermophysical properties using daytime and nighttime radiance measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and thermal inertias derived from nighttime data sets. THEMIS visible images, MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow-angle images, and MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data are incorporated as well. Additionally, the remote-sensing data were compared with ground-truth at the MER sites. The Isidis Basin surface layer has been shaped by aeolian processes and erosion by slope winds coming off of the southern highlands and funneling through notches between massifs. In the Gusev region, surface materials of contrasting thermophysical properties have been interpreted as rocks or bedrock, duricrust, and dust deposits; these are consistent with a complex geological history dominated by volcanic and aeolian processes. At Meridiani Planum the many layers having different thermophysical and erosional properties suggest periodic deposition of differing sedimentological facies possibly related to clast size, grain orientation and packing, or mineralogy.

  7. From Prime to Extended Mission: Evolution of the MER Tactical Uplink Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michkin, Andrew H.; Laubach, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    To support a 90-day surface mission for two robotic rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover mission designed and implemented an intensive tactical operations process, enabling daily commanding of each rover. Using a combination of new processes, custom software tools, a Mars-time staffing schedule, and seven-day-a-week operations, the MER team was able to compress the traditional weeks-long command-turnaround for a deep space robotic mission to about 18 hours. However, there was never an intention of maintaining the pace of this process indefinitely. Even before the end of the three-month prime mission, MER operations began evolving towards greater sustainability. A combination of continued software tool development, increasing team experience, and availability of reusable sequences first reduced the mean process duration to approximately 11 hours. The number of workshifts required to perform the process dropped, and the team returned to a modified 'Earth-time' schedule. Additional process and tool adaptation eventually provided the option of planning multiple Martian days of activity within a single workshift, making 5- day-a-week operations possible. The vast majority of the science team returned to their home institutions, continuing to participate fully in the tactical operations process remotely. MER has continued to operate for over two Earth-years as many of its key personnel have moved on to other projects, the operations team and budget have shrunk, and the rovers have begun to exhibit symptoms of aging.

  8. Cooperative transition in the conformation of 24-mer tarantula hemocyanin upon oxygen binding.

    PubMed

    Erker, Wolfgang; Beister, Ute; Decker, Heinz

    2005-04-01

    Hemocyanins are large respiratory proteins of arthropods and mollusks, which bind oxygen with very high cooperativity. Here, we investigated the relationship between oxygen binding and structural changes of the 24-mer tarantula hemocyanin. Oxygen binding of the hemocyanin was detected following the fluorescence intensity of the intrinsic tryptophans. Under the same conditions, structural changes were monitored by the non-covalently bound fluorescence probe Prodan (6-propionyl-2-(dimethylamino)-naphthalene), which is very sensitive to its surroundings. Upon oxygen binding of the hemocyanin a red shift of 5 nm in the emission maximum of the label was observed. A comparison of oxygen binding curves recorded with tryptophan and Prodan emission revealed that structural changes in tarantula hemocyanin lag behind oxygen binding at the beginning of oxygenation. Analyses based on the nested two-state model, which describes cooperative oxygen binding of hemocyanins, indicated that the transition monitored by Prodan emission is closely related to one of the four conformations (rR) predicted for the allosteric unit. Earlier, the allosteric unit of tarantula hemocyanin was found to be the 12-mer half-molecule. Here, fluorescence titration revealed that the number of Prodan binding sites/24-mer tarantula hemocyanin is approximately 2, matching the number of allosteric units/hemocyanin. Based on the agreement between oxygen binding curves and fluorescence titration we concluded that Prodan monitors a conformational transition of the allosteric unit.

  9. Meter-scale slopes of candidate MER landing sites from point photoclinometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, R.A.; McEwen, A.S.; Kirk, R.L.

    2003-01-01

    Photoclinometry was used to analyze the small-scale roughness of areas that fall within the proposed Mars Exploration Rover (MER) 2003 landing ellipses. The landing ellipses presented in this study were those in Athabasca Valles, Elysium Planitia, Eos Chasma, Gusev Crater, Isidis Planitia, Melas Chasma, and Meridiani Planum. We were able to constrain surface slopes on length scales comparable to the image resolution (1.5 to 12 m/pixel). The MER 2003 mission has various engineering constraints that each candidate landing ellipse must satisfy. These constraints indicate that the statistical slope values at 5 m baselines are an important criterion. We used our technique to constrain maximum surface slopes across large swaths of each image, and built up slope statistics for the images in each landing ellipse. We are confident that all MER 2003 landing site ellipses in this study, with the exception of the Melas Chasma ellipse, are within the small-scale roughness constraints. Our results have provided input into the landing hazard assessment process. In addition to evaluating the safety of the landing sites, our mapping of small-scale roughnesses can also be used to better define and map morphologic units. The morphology of a surface is characterized by the slope distribution and magnitude of slopes. In looking at how slopes are distributed, we can better define landforms and determine the boundaries of morphologic units. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  10. Risk factors for MERS coronavirus infection in dromedary camels in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Morocco, 2015.

    PubMed

    Miguel, Eve; Chevalier, Véronique; Ayelet, Gelagay; Ben Bencheikh, Med Nadir; Boussini, Hiver; Chu, Daniel Kw; El Berbri, Ikhlass; Fassi-Fihri, Ouaffa; Faye, Bernard; Fekadu, Getnet; Grosbois, Vladimir; Ng, Bryan Cy; Perera, Ranawaka Apm; So, T Y; Traore, Amadou; Roger, François; Peiris, Malik

    2017-03-30

    Understanding Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmission in dromedary camels is important, as they consitute a source of zoonotic infection to humans. To identify risk factors for MERS-CoV infection in camels bred in diverse conditions in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Morocco, blood samples and nasal swabs were sampled in February-March 2015. A relatively high MERS-CoV RNA rate was detected in Ethiopia (up to 15.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 8.2-28.0), followed by Burkina Faso (up to 12.2%; 95% CI: 7-20.4) and Morocco (up to 7.6%; 95% CI: 1.9-26.1). The RNA detection rate was higher in camels bred for milk or meat than in camels for transport (p = 0.01) as well as in younger camels (p = 0.06). High seropositivity rates (up to 100%; 95% CI: 100-100 and 99.4%; 95% CI: 95.4-99.9) were found in Morocco and Ethiopia, followed by Burkina Faso (up to 84.6%; 95% CI: 77.2-89.9). Seropositivity rates were higher in large/medium herds (≥51 camels) than small herds (p = 0.061), in camels raised for meat or milk than for transport (p = 0.01), and in nomadic or sedentary herds than in herds with a mix of these lifestyles (p < 0.005). This article is copyright of The Authors, 2017.

  11. Towards high accuracy classification of MER signals for target localization in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Pinzon-Morales, Ruben-Dario; Orozco-Gutierrez, Alvaro-Angel; Carmona-Villada, Hans; Castellanos, Cesar-German

    2010-01-01

    In recent years Microelectrode recording (MER) analysis has proved to be a powerful localization tool of basal ganglia for Parkinson disease's treatment, especially the Subthalamic Nucleus (STN). In this paper, a signal-dependent method is presented for identification of the STN and other brain zones in Parkinsonian patients. The proposed method, refereed as optimal wavelet feature extraction method (OWFE), is constructed by lifting schemes (LS), which are a flexible and fast implementation of the wavelet transform (WT). The operators in the LS are optimized by means of Genetic Algorithms and Lagrange multipliers considering information contained in MER signals. Then a basic Bayesian classifier (LDC) is used to identify STN and other types of basal ganglia nuclei. The proposed method introduced several advantages from similar works reported in literature. First, the method is signal-dependent and non a priori information is required to decompose the MER signal. Second, the classification accuracy is mostly depended on the feature selection stage because it is not enhanced by elaborated classifiers such as support vector machines or hidden Markov models. Finally, the generalization property of the OWFE has been validated with two databases and different types of classifiers such as k-NN classifier and quadratic Bayesian classifier (QDC). Results have shown that proposed method is able to identify the STN with average accuracy superior than 97%.

  12. From Prime to Extended Mission: Evolution of the MER Tactical Uplink Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mishkin, Andrew H.; Laubach, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    To support a 90-day surface mission for two robotic rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover mission designed and implemented an intensive tactical operations process, enabling daily commanding of each rover. Using a combination of new processes, custom software tools, a Mars-time staffing schedule, and seven-day-a-week operations, the MER team was able to compress the traditional weeks-long command-turnaround for a deep space robotic mission to about 18 hours. However, the pace of this process was never intended to be continued indefinitely. Even before the end of the three-month prime mission, MER operations began evolving towards greater sustainability. A combination of continued software tool development, increasing team experience, and availability of reusable sequences first reduced the mean process duration to approximately 11 hours. The number of workshifts required to perform the process dropped, and the team returned to a modified 'Earth-time' schedule. Additional process and tool adaptation eventually provided the option of planning multiple Martian days of activity within a single workshift, making 5-day-a-week operations possible. The vast majority of the science team returned to their home institutions, continuing to participate fully in the tactical operations process remotely. MER has continued to operate for over two Earth-years as many of its key personnel have moved on to other projects, the operations team and budget have shrunk, and the rovers have begun to exhibit symptoms of aging.

  13. From Prime to Extended Mission: Evolution of the MER Tactical Uplink Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michkin, Andrew H.; Laubach, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    To support a 90-day surface mission for two robotic rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover mission designed and implemented an intensive tactical operations process, enabling daily commanding of each rover. Using a combination of new processes, custom software tools, a Mars-time staffing schedule, and seven-day-a-week operations, the MER team was able to compress the traditional weeks-long command-turnaround for a deep space robotic mission to about 18 hours. However, there was never an intention of maintaining the pace of this process indefinitely. Even before the end of the three-month prime mission, MER operations began evolving towards greater sustainability. A combination of continued software tool development, increasing team experience, and availability of reusable sequences first reduced the mean process duration to approximately 11 hours. The number of workshifts required to perform the process dropped, and the team returned to a modified 'Earth-time' schedule. Additional process and tool adaptation eventually provided the option of planning multiple Martian days of activity within a single workshift, making 5- day-a-week operations possible. The vast majority of the science team returned to their home institutions, continuing to participate fully in the tactical operations process remotely. MER has continued to operate for over two Earth-years as many of its key personnel have moved on to other projects, the operations team and budget have shrunk, and the rovers have begun to exhibit symptoms of aging.

  14. Immunogenicity of Candidate MERS-CoV DNA Vaccines Based on the Spike Protein

    PubMed Central

    Al-amri, Sawsan S.; Abbas, Ayman T.; Siddiq, Loai A.; Alghamdi, Abrar; Sanki, Mohammad A.; Al-Muhanna, Muhanna K.; Alhabbab, Rowa Y.; Azhar, Esam I.; Li, Xuguang; Hashem, Anwar M.

    2017-01-01

    MERS-coronavirus is a novel zoonotic pathogen which spread rapidly to >25 countries since 2012. Its apparent endemicity and the wide spread of its reservoir host (dromedary camels) in the Arabian Peninsula highlight the ongoing public health threat of this virus. Therefore, development of effective prophylactic vaccine needs to be urgently explored given that there are no approved prophylactics or therapeutics for humans or animals to date. Different vaccine candidates have been investigated but serious safety concerns remain over protein or full-length spike (S) protein-based vaccines. Here, we investigated the immunogenicity of naked DNA vaccines expressing different fragments of MERS-CoV S protein in mice. We found that plasmids expressing full-length (pS) or S1-subunit (pS1) could induce significant levels of S1-specific antibodies (Abs) but with distinct IgG isotype patterns. Specifically, pS1 immunization elicited a balanced Th1/Th2 response and generally higher levels of all IgG isotypes compared to pS vaccination. Interestingly, only mice immunized with pS1 demonstrated significant S1-specific cellular immune response. Importantly, both constructs induced cross-neutralizing Abs against multiple strains of human and camel origins. These results indicate that vaccines expressing S1-subunit of the MERS-CoV S protein could represent a potential vaccine candidate without the possible safety concerns associated with full-length protein-based vaccines. PMID:28332568

  15. Relationship between the persistence of mer operon sequences in Escherichia coli and their resistance to mercury.

    PubMed

    Murtaza, Imtiyaz; Dutt, Amit; Ali, Arif

    2002-03-01

    Studies related to geographic distribution of E. coli carrying mer operon sequences were carried out on the Indian subcontinent. Out of the 80 E. coli isolates, collected from five geographically distinct regions of India, 68 were found to be resistant to one or the other heavy metal used in the study. Among these isolates, 36 were found to be resistant to the inorganic form (HgCl2) and only 5 to resist both the inorganic and organic forms of mercury. Colony hybridization studies revealed 35 isolates out of 68 to hybridize with the probe. Interestingly, some of the mercury-sensitive isolates (Hgs), especially from the Dal Lake, were found positive in hybridization studies. These findings, supported by mercury volatilization studies, indicate the presence of nonfunctional/vestigial mer sequences in the isolates collected from different environments. On the other hand, few of the mercury-resistant isolates (Hgr) from the Yamuna River did not show any sign of hybridization. Further, volatilization studies also indicated an alternate mode of resistance mechanism operating in them. The studies demonstrate that the mer operon sequences share very high homology among the E. coli isolates collected from different geographical locations, and this metal resistance may be a genetic character that arose from a common ancestral background.

  16. From Prime to Extended Mission: Evolution of the MER Tactical Uplink Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mishkin, Andrew H.; Laubach, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    To support a 90-day surface mission for two robotic rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover mission designed and implemented an intensive tactical operations process, enabling daily commanding of each rover. Using a combination of new processes, custom software tools, a Mars-time staffing schedule, and seven-day-a-week operations, the MER team was able to compress the traditional weeks-long command-turnaround for a deep space robotic mission to about 18 hours. However, the pace of this process was never intended to be continued indefinitely. Even before the end of the three-month prime mission, MER operations began evolving towards greater sustainability. A combination of continued software tool development, increasing team experience, and availability of reusable sequences first reduced the mean process duration to approximately 11 hours. The number of workshifts required to perform the process dropped, and the team returned to a modified 'Earth-time' schedule. Additional process and tool adaptation eventually provided the option of planning multiple Martian days of activity within a single workshift, making 5-day-a-week operations possible. The vast majority of the science team returned to their home institutions, continuing to participate fully in the tactical operations process remotely. MER has continued to operate for over two Earth-years as many of its key personnel have moved on to other projects, the operations team and budget have shrunk, and the rovers have begun to exhibit symptoms of aging.

  17. [Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): bats or dromedary, which of them is responsible?].

    PubMed

    Chastel, C

    2014-05-01

    In 2012 a new viral emergent human disease appeared in the Middle East. This entity was named MERS for' Middle East respiratory syndrome'. By January 9, 2014, the disease had already struck 178 persons of whom 75 died from respiratory failure and diarrhoea. As the new disease was very similar to the deadly SARS (2002-2003) and since it was provoked by a Betacoronavirus, chiroptera were first suspected to be at the origin of this infection. Morever, recent studies performed in Saudi Arabia showed that one individual of the bat Taphozous perforatus harbored a short nucleotide segment identical to the homologous segment present in the viral strain isolated from the index-case of the epidemic. In addition, many strains of Betacoronavirus more or less related to those responsible for the MERS disease in man have been isolated from bats in Africa, Asia and Europe. However, another hypothesis was simultaneously proposed incriminating dromedary (Camelus dromedarius L.) as a likely actor in the transmission to human beings of the disease.We then reviewed data relative to other viral zoonosis in which dromedary was possibly implicated. This led to the provisional conclusion that this large mammal might play a role in the dissemination of the MERS-COV, the etiologic agent of the disease. This is based on epidemiological data and results of several serological surveys in animals.

  18. Avoiding student infection during a Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak: a single medical school experience

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: In outbreaks of infectious disease, medical students are easily overlooked in the management of healthcare personnel protection although they serve in clinical clerkships in hospitals. In the early summer of 2015, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) struck South Korea, and students of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (SKKUSOM) were at risk of contracting the disease. The purpose of this report is to share SKKUSOM’s experience against the MERS outbreak and provide suggestions for medical schools to consider in the face of similar challenges. Methods: Through a process of reflection-on-action, we examined SKKUSOM’s efforts to avoid student infection during the MERS outbreak and derived a few practical guidelines that medical schools can adopt to ensure student safety in outbreaks of infectious disease. Results: The school leadership conducted ongoing risk assessment and developed contingency plans to balance student safety and continuity in medical education. They rearranged the clerkships to another hospital and offered distant lectures and tutorials. Five suggestions are extracted for medical schools to consider in infection outbreaks: instant cessation of clinical clerkships; rational decision making on a school closure; use of information technology; constant communication with hospitals; and open communication with faculty, staff, and students. Conclusion: Medical schools need to take the initiative and actively seek countermeasures against student infection. It is essential that medical schools keep constant communication with their index hospitals and the involved personnel. In order to assure student learning, medical schools may consider offering distant education with online technology. PMID:27240893

  19. MerTK-mediated engulfment of pyrenocytes by central macrophages in erythroblastic islands.

    PubMed

    Toda, Satoshi; Segawa, Katsumori; Nagata, Shigekazu

    2014-06-19

    Definitive erythropoiesis takes place at erythroblastic islands, where erythroblasts proliferate and differentiate in association with central macrophages. At the final stage of erythropoiesis, pyrenocytes (nuclei surrounded by plasma membranes) are excluded from erythroblasts, expose phosphatidylserine (PtdSer), and are engulfed by the macrophages in a PtdSer-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanism(s) involved in the engulfment of pyrenocytes are incompletely understood. Here, we constructed an in vitro assay system for the enucleation and engulfment of pyrenocytes using a methylcellulose-based culture. As reported previously, erythroblasts were bound to macrophages via interactions between integrin-α4β1 on erythroblasts and Vcam1 on macrophages. After enucleation, the resulting pyrenocytes exhibited a reduced affinity for Vcam1 that correlated with the presence of inactive integrin-α4β1 complexes. The pyrenocytes were then engulfed by the macrophages via a MerTK-protein S-dependent mechanism. Protein S appeared to function as a bridge between the pyrenocytes and macrophages by binding to PtdSer on the pyrenocytes and MerTK on the macrophages. Normally, NIH3T3 cells do not engulf pyrenocytes, but when they were transformed with MerTK, they efficiently engulfed pyrenocytes in the presence of protein S. These results suggest that macrophages use similar mechanisms to engulf both pyrenocytes and apoptotic cells. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.

  20. Understanding M-ligand bonding and mer-/fac-isomerism in tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes.

    PubMed

    Lima, Carlos F R A C; Taveira, Ricardo J S; Costa, José C S; Fernandes, Ana M; Melo, André; Silva, Artur M S; Santos, Luís M N B F

    2016-06-28

    Tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes, Mq3, are one of the most important classes of organic semiconductor materials. Herein, the nature of the chemical bond in Mq3 complexes and its implications on their molecular properties were investigated by a combined experimental and computational approach. Various Mq3 complexes, resulting from the alteration of the metal and substitution of the 8-hydroxyquinoline ligand in different positions, were prepared. The mer-/fac-isomerism in Mq3 was explored by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy, evidencing that, irrespective of the substituent, mer- and fac-are the most stable molecular configurations of Al(iii) and In(iii) complexes, respectively. The relative M-ligand bond dissociation energies were evaluated experimentally by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS-MS), showing a non-monotonous variation along the group (Al > In > Ga). The results reveal a strong covalent character in M-ligand bonding, which allows for through-ligand electron delocalization, and explain the preferred molecular structures of Mq3 complexes as resulting from the interplay between bonding and steric factors. The mer-isomer reduces intraligand repulsions, being preferred for smaller metals, while the fac-isomer is favoured for larger metals where stronger covalent M-ligand bonds can be formed due to more extensive through-ligand conjugation mediated by metal "d" orbitals.

  1. kmerPyramid: an interactive visualization tool for nucleobase and k-mer frequencies.

    PubMed

    Kruppa, Jochen; van der Vries, Erhard; Jo, Wendy K; Postel, Alexander; Becher, Paul; Osterhaus, Albert; Jung, Klaus

    2017-10-01

    Bioinformatics methods often incorporate the frequency distribution of nulecobases or k-mers in DNA or RNA sequences, for example as part of metagenomic or phylogenetic analysis. Because the frequency matrix with sequences in the rows and nucleobases in the columns is multi-dimensional it is hard to visualize. We present the R-package 'kmerPyramid' that allows to display each sequence, based on its nucleobase or k-mer distribution projected to the space of principal components, as a point within a 3-dimensional, interactive pyramid. Using the computer mouse, the user can turn the pyramid's axes, zoom in and out and identify individual points. Additionally, the package provides the k-mer frequency matrices of about 2000 bacteria and 5000 virus reference sequences calculated from the NCBI RefSeq genbank. The 'kmerPyramid' can particularly be used for visualization of intra- and inter species differences. The R-package 'kmerPyramid' is available from the GitHub website at https://github.com/jkruppa/kmerPyramid. klaus.jung@tiho-hannover.de. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  2. Overexpression of a bacterial mercury transporter MerT in Arabidopsis enhances mercury tolerance.

    PubMed

    Xu, Sheng; Sun, Bin; Wang, Rong; He, Jia; Xia, Bing; Xue, Yong; Wang, Ren

    2017-08-19

    The phytoremediation by using of green plants in the removal of environmental pollutant is an environment friendly, green technology that is cost effective and energetically inexpensive. By using Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants ectopically expressing mercuric transport protein gene (merT) from Pseudomonas alcaligenes. Compared with wild-type (WT) plants, overexpressing PamerT in Arabidopsis enhanced the tolerance to HgCl2. Further results showed that the enhanced total activities or corresponding transcripts of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and guaiacol peroxidase (POD) were observed in transgenic Arabidopsis under HgCl2 stress. These results were confirmed by the alleviation of oxidative damage, as indicated by the decrease of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) contents and reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. In addition, localization analysis of PaMerT in Arabidopsis protoplast showed that it is likely to be associated with vacuole. In all, PamerT increased mercury (Hg) tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis, and decreased production of Hg-induced ROS, thereby protecting plants from oxidative damage. The present study has provided further evidence that bacterial MerT plays an important role in the plant tolerance to HgCl2 and in reducing the production of ROS induced by HgCl2. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. External Store Airloads Prediction Technique. Volume 2. Detailed Data. Book 3. MER Carriage Side Force and Yawing Moment Predictions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-07-01

    STORE.AIRLOADS- PREDICTION TE-CHNIQUE 0: VOLUMEE DETAILED DATA. BOOK 3. MER CARRIAGE SIDE FORCE AND YAWING MOMENT PREDICTIONS, VOUGHT SYSTEMS DIVISION...OF CONTENTS Section Title Page No. IV MER Carriage Airload Prediction ..................... 385 4.1 Side Force...obtain an initial prediction for the side force, yawing moment, normal force, and pitching moment components for the two rack centerline stations (MIR

  4. Identification of human neutralizing antibodies against MERS-CoV and their role in virus adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xian-Chun; Agnihothram, Sudhakar S.; Jiao, Yongjun; Stanhope, Jeremy; Graham, Rachel L.; Peterson, Eric C.; Avnir, Yuval; Tallarico, Aimee St. Clair; Sheehan, Jared; Zhu, Quan; Baric, Ralph S.; Marasco, Wayne A.

    2014-01-01

    The newly emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-like disease with ∼43% mortality. Given the recent detection of virus in dromedary camels, zoonotic transfer of MERS-CoV to humans is suspected. In addition, little is known about the role of human neutralizing Ab (nAb) pressure as a driving force in MERS-CoV adaptive evolution. Here, we used a well-characterized nonimmune human Ab-phage library and a panning strategy with proteoliposomes and cells to identify seven human nAbs against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the MERS-CoV Spike protein. These nAbs bind to three different epitopes in the RBD and human dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (hDPP4) interface with subnanomolar/nanomolar binding affinities and block the binding of MERS-CoV Spike protein with its hDPP4 receptor. Escape mutant assays identified five amino acid residues that are critical for neutralization escape. Despite the close proximity of the three epitopes on the RBD interface, escape from one epitope did not have a major impact on neutralization with Abs directed to a different epitope. Importantly, the majority of escape mutations had negative impacts on hDPP4 receptor binding and viral fitness. To our knowledge, these results provide the first report on human nAbs against MERS-CoV that may contribute to MERS-CoV clearance and evolution. Moreover, in the absence of a licensed vaccine or antiviral for MERS, this panel of nAbs offers the possibility of developing human mAb-based immunotherapy, especially for health-care workers. PMID:24778221

  5. Molecular cloning of MER-2, a human chromosome-11-encoded red blood cell antigen, using linkage of cotransfected markers.

    PubMed

    Bill, J; Palmer, E; Jones, C

    1987-09-01

    We report the molecular cloning of a human gene MER-2 located on chromosome 11 that encodes a cell surface antigen which is polymorphic on red blood cells. An essential element of the cloning strategy was cotransfection-induced linkage of pSV2-neo, which encodes resistance to the antibiotic G418, to the human MER-2 gene. An important feature of the pSV2-neo construct is that the same gene (the transposon, Tn5) that encodes G418 resistance in eukaryotic cells confers neomycin resistance in bacteria. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were cotransfected with pSV2-neo and genomic DNA from a CHO X human cell hybrid containing a single human chromosome (chromosome 11). Transfectants expressing both the human MER-2 gene and G418 resistance were isolated by selection in the antibiotic G418, followed by indirect immunofluorescence using the monoclonal antibody 1D12, which recognizes the MER-2 antigen, manual enrichment, and single-cell cloning. Genomic DNA from a primary transfectant positive for MER-2 expression and G418 resistance was used to construct a cosmid library and cosmid clones able to grow in neomycin were isolated. Of 150,000 cosmid clones screened, 90 were resistant to neomycin and of these, 11 contained human repetitive sequences. Five neomycin-resistant cosmid clones containing human repetitive DNA were able to transfect CHO cells for G418 resistance and MER-2 expression.

  6. Bat origins of MERS-CoV supported by bat coronavirus HKU4 usage of human receptor CD26.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qihui; Qi, Jianxun; Yuan, Yuan; Xuan, Yifang; Han, Pengcheng; Wan, Yuhua; Ji, Wei; Li, Yan; Wu, Ying; Wang, Jianwei; Iwamoto, Aikichi; Woo, Patrick C Y; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Yan, Jinghua; Lu, Guangwen; Gao, George F

    2014-09-10

    The recently reported Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is phylogenetically closely related to the bat coronaviruses (BatCoVs) HKU4 and HKU5. However, the evolutionary pathway of MERS-CoV is still unclear. A receptor binding domain (RBD) in the MERS-CoV envelope-embedded spike protein specifically engages human CD26 (hCD26) to initiate viral entry. The high sequence identity in the viral spike protein prompted us to investigate if HKU4 and HKU5 can recognize hCD26 for cell entry. We found that HKU4-RBD, but not HKU5-RBD, binds to hCD26, and pseudotyped viruses embedding HKU4 spike can infect cells via hCD26 recognition. The structure of the HKU4-RBD/hCD26 complex revealed a hCD26-binding mode similar overall to that observed for MERS-RBD. HKU4-RBD, however, is less adapted to hCD26 than MERS-RBD, explaining its lower affinity for receptor binding. Our findings support a bat origin for MERS-CoV and indicate the need for surveillance of HKU4-related viruses in bats.

  7. Structural Analysis of the Hg(II)-Regulatory Protein Tn501 MerR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dan; Huang, Shanqing; Liu, Pingying; Liu, Xichun; He, Yafeng; Chen, Weizhong; Hu, Qingyuan; Wei, Tianbiao; Gan, Jianhua; Ma, Jing; Chen, Hao

    2016-09-01

    The metalloprotein MerR is a mercury(II)-dependent transcriptional repressor-activator that responds to mercury(II) with extraordinary sensitivity and selectivity. It’s widely distributed in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria but with barely detectable sequence identities between the two sources. To provide structural basis for the considerable biochemical and biophysical experiments previously performed on Tn501 and Tn21 MerR from Gram-negative bacteria, we analyzed the crystal structure of mercury(II)-bound Tn501 MerR. The structure in the metal-binding domain provides Tn501 MerR with a high affinity for mercury(II) and the ability to distinguish mercury(II) from other metals with its unique planar trigonal coordination geometry, which is adopted by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The mercury(II) coordination state in the C-terminal metal-binding domain is transmitted through the allosteric network across the dimer interface to the N-terminal DNA-binding domain. Together with the previous mutagenesis analyses, the present data indicate that the residues in the allosteric pathway have a central role in maintaining the functions of Tn501 MerR. In addition, the complex structure exhibits significant differences in tertiary and quaternary structural arrangements compared to those of Bacillus MerR from Gram-positive bacteria, which probably enable them to function with specific promoter DNA with different spacers between -35 and -10 elements.

  8. 3D-QSAR modeling and molecular docking study on Mer kinase inhibitors of pyridine-substituted pyrimidines.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhuang; Li, Xianchao; Ge, Cuizhu; Si, Hongzong; Cui, Lianhua; Gao, Hua; Duan, Yunbo; Zhai, Honglin

    2015-02-01

    Mer kinase is a novel therapeutic target for many cancers, and overexpression of Mer receptor tyrosine kinase has been observed in several kinds of tumors. To deeply understand the structure-activity correlation of a series of pyridine/pyrimidine analogs as potent Mer inhibitors, a combined molecular docking and three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling was carried out. A comparative molecular similarity indices analysis model was developed based on the maximum common substructure alignment. The optimum model exhibited statistically significant results: the cross-validated correlation coefficient q2 was 0.599, and non-cross-validated r2 value was 0.984. Furthermore, the results of internal validation such as bootstrapping, Y-randomization as well as external validation (the external predictive correlation coefficient r2 ext = 0.728) confirmed the rationality and good predictive ability of the model. Using the crystal structure of Mer kinase, the selected pyridine/pyrimidine compounds were docked into the enzyme active site. Some key amino acid residues were determined, and hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions between Mer kinase and inhibitors were identified. The satisfactory results from this study may aid in the research and development of novel potent Mer kinase inhibitors.

  9. Macro Domain from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Is an Efficient ADP-ribose Binding Module

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Chao-Cheng; Lin, Meng-Hsuan; Chuang, Chien-Ying; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2016-01-01

    The newly emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) encodes the conserved macro domain within non-structural protein 3. However, the precise biochemical function and structure of the macro domain is unclear. Using differential scanning fluorimetry and isothermal titration calorimetry, we characterized the MERS-CoV macro domain as a more efficient adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribose binding module than macro domains from other CoVs. Furthermore, the crystal structure of the MERS-CoV macro domain was determined at 1.43-Å resolution in complex with ADP-ribose. Comparison of macro domains from MERS-CoV and other human CoVs revealed structural differences in the α1 helix alters how the conserved Asp-20 interacts with ADP-ribose and may explain the efficient binding of the MERS-CoV macro domain to ADP-ribose. This study provides structural and biophysical bases to further evaluate the role of the MERS-CoV macro domain in the host response via ADP-ribose binding but also as a potential target for drug design. PMID:26740631

  10. Conserved antigenic sites between MERS-CoV and Bat-coronavirus are revealed through sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Sharmin, Refat; Islam, Abul B M M K

    2016-01-01

    MERS-CoV is a newly emerged human coronavirus reported closely related with HKU4 and HKU5 Bat coronaviruses. Bat and MERS corona-viruses are structurally related. Therefore, it is of interest to estimate the degree of conserved antigenic sites among them. It is of importance to elucidate the shared antigenic-sites and extent of conservation between them to understand the evolutionary dynamics of MERS-CoV. Multiple sequence alignment of the spike (S), membrane (M), enveloped (E) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins was employed to identify the sequence conservation among MERS and Bat (HKU4, HKU5) coronaviruses. We used various in silico tools to predict the conserved antigenic sites. We found that MERS-CoV shared 30 % of its S protein antigenic sites with HKU4 and 70 % with HKU5 bat-CoV. Whereas 100 % of its E, M and N protein's antigenic sites are found to be conserved with those in HKU4 and HKU5. This sharing suggests that in case of pathogenicity MERS-CoV is more closely related to HKU5 bat-CoV than HKU4 bat-CoV. The conserved epitopes indicates their evolutionary relationship and ancestry of pathogenicity.

  11. An orthopoxvirus-based vaccine reduces virus excretion after MERS-CoV infection in dromedary camels.

    PubMed

    Haagmans, Bart L; van den Brand, Judith M A; Raj, V Stalin; Volz, Asisa; Wohlsein, Peter; Smits, Saskia L; Schipper, Debby; Bestebroer, Theo M; Okba, Nisreen; Fux, Robert; Bensaid, Albert; Solanes Foz, David; Kuiken, Thijs; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Segalés, Joaquim; Sutter, Gerd; Osterhaus, Albert D M E

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections have led to an ongoing outbreak in humans, which was fueled by multiple zoonotic MERS-CoV introductions from dromedary camels. In addition to the implementation of hygiene measures to limit further camel-to-human and human-to-human transmissions, vaccine-mediated reduction of MERS-CoV spread from the animal reservoir may be envisaged. Here we show that a modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine expressing the MERS-CoV spike protein confers mucosal immunity in dromedary camels. Compared with results for control animals, we observed a significant reduction of excreted infectious virus and viral RNA transcripts in vaccinated animals upon MERS-CoV challenge. Protection correlated with the presence of serum neutralizing antibodies to MERS-CoV. Induction of MVA-specific antibodies that cross-neutralize camelpox virus would also provide protection against camelpox. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Predictive factors for pneumonia development and progression to respiratory failure in MERS-CoV infected patients.

    PubMed

    Ko, Jae-Hoon; Park, Ga Eun; Lee, Ji Yeon; Lee, Ji Yong; Cho, Sun Young; Ha, Young Eun; Kang, Cheol-In; Kang, Ji-Man; Kim, Yae-Jean; Huh, Hee Jae; Ki, Chang-Seok; Jeong, Byeong-Ho; Park, Jinkyeong; Chung, Chi Ryang; Chung, Doo Ryeon; Song, Jae-Hoon; Peck, Kyong Ran

    2016-11-01

    After the 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak in Korea, prediction of pneumonia development and progression to respiratory failure was emphasized in control of MERS outbreak. MERS-CoV infected patients who were managed in a tertiary care center during the 2015 Korean MERS outbreak were reviewed. To analyze predictive factors for pneumonia development and progression to respiratory failure, we evaluated clinical variables measured within three days from symptom onset. A total of 45 patients were included in the study: 13 patients (28.9%) did not develop pneumonia, 19 developed pneumonia without respiratory failure (42.2%), and 13 progressed to respiratory failures (28.9%). The identified predictive factors for pneumonia development included age ≥45 years, fever ≥37.5 °C, thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, CRP ≥ 2 mg/dL, and a threshold cycle value of PCR less than 28.5. For respiratory failure, the indicators included male, hypertension, low albumin concentration, thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, and CRP ≥ 4 mg/dL (all P < 0.05). With ≥ two predictive factors for pneumonia development, 100% of patients developed pneumonia. Patients lacking the predictive factors did not progress to respiratory failure. For successful control of MERS outbreak, MERS-CoV infected patients with ≥ two predictive factors should be intensively managed from the initial presentation. Copyright © 2016 The British Infection Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The predictors of 3- and 30-day mortality in 660 MERS-CoV patients.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Anwar E

    2017-09-11

    The mortality rate of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) patients is a major challenge in all healthcare systems worldwide. Because the MERS-CoV risk-standardized mortality rates are currently unavailable in the literature, the author concentrated on developing a method to estimate the risk-standardized mortality rates using MERS-CoV 3- and 30-day mortality measures. MERS-CoV data in Saudi Arabia is publicly reported and made available through the Saudi Ministry of Health (SMOH) website. The author studied 660 MERS-CoV patients who were reported by the SMOH between December 2, 2014 and November 12, 2016. The data gathered contained basic demographic information (age, gender, and nationality), healthcare worker, source of infection, pre-existing illness, symptomatic, severity of illness, and regions in Saudi Arabia. The status and date of mortality were also reported. Cox-proportional hazard (CPH) models were applied to estimate the hazard ratios for the predictors of 3- and 30-day mortality. 3-day, 30-day, and overall mortality were found to be 13.8%, 28.3%, and 29.8%, respectively. According to CPH, multivariate predictors of 3-day mortality were elderly, non-healthcare workers, illness severity, and hospital-acquired infections (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) =1.7; 8.8; 6.5; and 2.8, respectively). Multivariate predictors of 30-day mortality were elderly, non-healthcare workers, pre-existing illness, severity of illness, and hospital-acquired infections (aHR =1.7; 19.2; 2.1; 3.7; and 2.9, respectively). Several factors were identified that could influence mortality outcomes at 3 days and 30 days, including age (elderly), non-healthcare workers, severity of illness, and hospital-acquired infections. The findings can serve as a guide for healthcare practitioners by appropriately identifying and managing potential patients at high risk of death.

  14. Functional efficiency of MerA protein among diverse mercury resistant bacteria for efficient use in bioremediation of inorganic mercury.

    PubMed

    Dash, Hirak R; Sahu, Mousumi; Mallick, Bibekanand; Das, Surajit

    2017-09-28

    MerA protein of mer operon in mercury resistant bacteria influences transformation of Hg(2+) to Hg(0). Both in-silico and in-vivo studies have been carried out and MerA sequences, conserved motifs for mercury binding and NADPH (GCVPSK and LSCCA) varied widely in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. As MerA-NADPH-FAD complex plays an important role in mercury volatilization, molecular interaction studies between MerA, NADPH, FAD and Hg(2+) was carried out to study the efficiency of transformation of Hg(2+) to Hg(0) in mercury resistant bacteria. After the prediction of suitable models and molecular interaction analysis, the potential energies in the selected bacteria were as follows: Bacillus thuringiensis (NADPH: -5.15 kcal/mol and FAD: -9.63 kcal/mol), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (NADPH: -3.8 kcal/mol and FAD: -8.56 kcal/mol), Exiguobacterium sp. (NADPH: -3.37 kcal/mol and FAD: -8.42 kcal/mol), Vibrio sp. (NADPH: -3.3 kcal/mol and FAD: -6.7 kcal/mol) and Escherichia coli (NADPH: -3.28 kcal/mol and FAD: -5.69 kcal/mol). Additionally, the binding scores between MerA and Hg(2+) followed the similar trend and found higher in B. thuringiensis (3.79) followed by P. aeruginosa (3.57), Exiguobacterium sp. (2.37), Vibrio sp. (1.47) and E. coli (1.07). ANOVA (2-way) result showed the significant (P < 0.05) variation among the energy values obtained after interaction studies. In-vivo analysis of expression of merA gene and Hg(2+) removal efficiency also followed the same pattern with a highly significant correlation (P < 0.001) between the binding energy, binding score and expression pattern of merA gene as well as Hg(2+) volatilization. Thus, the mercury removal efficiency of bacteria is genera specific which is correlated with the binding efficiency between MerA-NADPH complex and Hg(2+) in mer operon mediated mercury resistant bacteria. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Intratracheal exposure of common marmosets to MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 or MERS-CoV EMC/2012 isolates does not result in lethal disease

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed F.; Via, Laura E.; Kumar, Mia R.; Cornish, Joseph P.; Yellayi, Srikanth; Huzella, Louis; Postnikova, Elena; Oberlander, Nicholas; Bartos, Christopher; Ork, Britini L.; Mazur, Steven; Allan, Cindy; Holbrook, Michael R.; Solomon, Jeffrey; Johnson, Joshua C.; Pickel, James; Hensley, Lisa E.; Jahrling, Peter B.

    2016-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to be a threat to human health in the Middle East. Development of countermeasures is ongoing; however, an animal model that faithfully recapitulates human disease has yet to be defined. A recent study indicated that inoculation of common marmosets resulted in inconsistent lethality. Based on these data we sought to compare two isolates of MERS-CoV. We followed disease progression in common marmosets after intratracheal exposure with: MERS-CoV-EMC/2012, MERS-CoV-Jordan-n3/2012, media, or inactivated virus. Our data suggest that common marmosets developed a mild to moderate non-lethal respiratory disease, which was quantifiable by computed tomography (CT), with limited other clinical signs. Based on CT data, clinical data, and virological data, MERS-CoV inoculation of common marmosets results in mild to moderate clinical signs of disease that are likely due to manipulations of the marmoset rather than as a result of robust viral replication. PMID:26342468

  16. Efficient Design of Compact Unstructured RNA Libraries Covering All k-mers.

    PubMed

    Orenstein, Yaron; Berger, Bonnie

    2015-12-29

    Current microarray technologies to determine RNA structure or measure protein-RNA interactions rely on single-stranded, unstructured RNA probes on a chip covering together all k-mers. Since space on the array is limited, the problem is to efficiently design a compact library of unstructured ℓ-long RNA probes, where each k-mer is covered at least p times. Ray et al. designed such a library for specific values of k, ℓ, and p using ad-hoc rules. To our knowledge, there is no general method to date to solve this problem. Here, we address the problem of finding a minimum-size covering of all k-mers by ℓ-long sequences with the desired properties for any value of k, ℓ, and p. As we prove that the problem is NP-hard, we give two solutions: the first is a greedy algorithm with a logarithmic approximation ratio; the second, a heuristic greedy approach based on random walks in de Bruijn graphs. The heuristic algorithm works well in practice and produces a library of unstructured RNA probes that is only ∼1.1-times greater in size compared to the theoretical lower bound. We present results for typical values of k and probe lengths ℓ and show that our algorithm generates a library that is significantly smaller than the library of Ray et al.; moreover, we show that our algorithm outperforms naive methods. Our approach can be generalized and extended to generate RNA or DNA oligo libraries with other desired properties. The software is freely available online.

  17. Efficient Design of Compact Unstructured RNA Libraries Covering All k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Orenstein, Yaron

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Current microarray technologies to determine RNA structure or measure protein–RNA interactions rely on single-stranded, unstructured RNA probes on a chip covering together all k-mers. Since space on the array is limited, the problem is to efficiently design a compact library of unstructured ℓ-long RNA probes, where each k-mer is covered at least p times. Ray et al. designed such a library for specific values of k, ℓ, and p using ad-hoc rules. To our knowledge, there is no general method to date to solve this problem. Here, we address the problem of finding a minimum-size covering of all k-mers by ℓ-long sequences with the desired properties for any value of k, ℓ, and p. As we prove that the problem is NP-hard, we give two solutions: the first is a greedy algorithm with a logarithmic approximation ratio; the second, a heuristic greedy approach based on random walks in de Bruijn graphs. The heuristic algorithm works well in practice and produces a library of unstructured RNA probes that is only ∼1.1-times greater in size compared to the theoretical lower bound. We present results for typical values of k and probe lengths ℓ and show that our algorithm generates a library that is significantly smaller than the library of Ray et al.; moreover, we show that our algorithm outperforms naive methods. Our approach can be generalized and extended to generate RNA or DNA oligo libraries with other desired properties. The software is freely available online. PMID:26713687

  18. Comparing K-mer based methods for improved classification of 16S sequences.

    PubMed

    Vinje, Hilde; Liland, Kristian Hovde; Almøy, Trygve; Snipen, Lars

    2015-07-01

    The need for precise and stable taxonomic classification is highly relevant in modern microbiology. Parallel to the explosion in the amount of sequence data accessible, there has also been a shift in focus for classification methods. Previously, alignment-based methods were the most applicable tools. Now, methods based on counting K-mers by sliding windows are the most interesting classification approach with respect to both speed and accuracy. Here, we present a systematic comparison on five different K-mer based classification methods for the 16S rRNA gene. The methods differ from each other both in data usage and modelling strategies. We have based our study on the commonly known and well-used naïve Bayes classifier from the RDP project, and four other methods were implemented and tested on two different data sets, on full-length sequences as well as fragments of typical read-length. The difference in classification error obtained by the methods seemed to be small, but they were stable and for both data sets tested. The Preprocessed nearest-neighbour (PLSNN) method performed best for full-length 16S rRNA sequences, significantly better than the naïve Bayes RDP method. On fragmented sequences the naïve Bayes Multinomial method performed best, significantly better than all other methods. For both data sets explored, and on both full-length and fragmented sequences, all the five methods reached an error-plateau. We conclude that no K-mer based method is universally best for classifying both full-length sequences and fragments (reads). All methods approach an error plateau indicating improved training data is needed to improve classification from here. Classification errors occur most frequent for genera with few sequences present. For improving the taxonomy and testing new classification methods, the need for a better and more universal and robust training data set is crucial.

  19. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) arrives at Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) arrives at Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be installed around the payload for protection during launch. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  20. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane lifts the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle from its stand to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane lifts the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle from its stand to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  1. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane is in place to lift the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane is in place to lift the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle to move it to a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  2. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - With help from workers, the overhead crane lowers the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - With help from workers, the overhead crane lowers the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  3. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The overhead crane settles the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The overhead crane settles the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle onto a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  4. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane moves the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle across the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane moves the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle across the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  5. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility help guide the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility help guide the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) entry vehicle toward a spin table for a dry-spin test. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch for MER-2 (MER-A) is scheduled for June 5.

  6. 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) nosocomial outbreak in South Korea: insights from modeling.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ying-Hen

    2015-01-01

    Background. Since the emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, more than 1,300 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections have been reported in Asia, North Africa, and Europe by July 2015. The recent MERS-CoV nosocomial outbreak in South Korea quickly became the second largest such outbreak with 186 total cases and 36 deaths in a little more than one month, second only to Saudi Arabia in country-specific number of reported cases. Methods. We use a simple mathematical model, the Richards model, to trace the temporal course of the South Korea MERS-CoV outbreak. We pinpoint its outbreak turning point and its transmissibility via basic reproduction number R 0 in order to ascertain the occurrence of this nosocomial outbreak and how it was quickly brought under control. Results. The estimated outbreak turning point of ti = 23.3 days (95% CI [22.6-24.0]), or 23-24 days after the onset date of the index case on May 11, pinpoints June 3-4 as the time of the turning point or the peak incidence for this outbreak by onset date. R 0 is estimated to range between 7.0 and 19.3. Discussion and Conclusion. The turning point of the South Korea MERS-CoV outbreak occurred around May 27-29, when control measures were quickly implemented after laboratory confirmation of the first cluster of nosocomial infections by the index patient. Furthermore, transmissibility of MERS-CoV in the South Korea outbreak was significantly higher than those reported from past MERS-CoV outbreaks in the Middle East, which is attributable to the nosocomial nature of this outbreak. Our estimate of R 0 for the South Korea MERS-CoV nosocomial outbreak further highlights the importance and the risk involved in cluster infections and superspreading events in crowded settings such as hospitals. Similar to the 2003 SARS epidemic, outbreaks of infectious diseases with low community transmissibility like MERS-CoV could still occur initially with large clusters of nosocomial

  7. Electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by random sequential adsorption of linear k-mers onto a square lattice.

    PubMed

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu; Goltseva, Valeria A; Laptev, Valeri V; Lebovka, Nikolai I

    2016-10-01

    The electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by the random sequential adsorption (RSA) of linear k-mers (particles occupying k adjacent adsorption sites) onto a square lattice was studied by means of computer simulation. Overlapping with predeposited k-mers and detachment from the surface were forbidden. The RSA process continued until the saturation jamming limit, p_{j}. The isotropic (equiprobable orientations of k-mers along x and y axes) and anisotropic (all k-mers aligned along the y axis) depositions for two different models-of an insulating substrate and conducting k-mers (C model) and of a conducting substrate and insulating k-mers (I model)-were examined. The Frank-Lobb algorithm was applied to calculate the electrical conductivity in both the x and y directions for different lengths (k=1 - 128) and concentrations (p=0 - p_{j}) of the k-mers. The "intrinsic electrical conductivity" and concentration dependence of the relative electrical conductivity Σ(p) (Σ=σ/σ_{m} for the C model and Σ=σ_{m}/σ for the I model, where σ_{m} is the electrical conductivity of substrate) in different directions were analyzed. At large values of k the Σ(p) curves became very similar and they almost coincided at k=128. Moreover, for both models the greater the length of the k-mers the smoother the functions Σ_{xy}(p),Σ_{x}(p) and Σ_{y}(p). For the more practically important C model, the other interesting findings are (i) for large values of k (k=64,128), the values of Σ_{xy} and Σ_{y} increase rapidly with the initial increase of p from 0 to 0.1; (ii) for k≥16, all the Σ_{xy}(p) and Σ_{x}(p) curves intersect with each other at the same isoconductivity points; (iii) for anisotropic deposition, the percolation concentrations are the same in the x and y directions, whereas, at the percolation point the greater the length of the k-mers the larger the anisotropy of the electrical conductivity, i.e., the ratio σ_{y}/σ_{x} (>1).

  8. Electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by random sequential adsorption of linear k -mers onto a square lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu.; Goltseva, Valeria A.; Laptev, Valeri V.; Lebovka, Nikolai I.

    2016-10-01

    The electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by the random sequential adsorption (RSA) of linear k -mers (particles occupying k adjacent adsorption sites) onto a square lattice was studied by means of computer simulation. Overlapping with predeposited k -mers and detachment from the surface were forbidden. The RSA process continued until the saturation jamming limit, pj. The isotropic (equiprobable orientations of k -mers along x and y axes) and anisotropic (all k -mers aligned along the y axis) depositions for two different models—of an insulating substrate and conducting k -mers (C model) and of a conducting substrate and insulating k -mers (I model)—were examined. The Frank-Lobb algorithm was applied to calculate the electrical conductivity in both the x and y directions for different lengths (k =1 - 128) and concentrations (p =0 - pj) of the k -mers. The "intrinsic electrical conductivity" and concentration dependence of the relative electrical conductivity Σ (p ) (Σ =σ /σm for the C model and Σ =σm/σ for the I model, where σm is the electrical conductivity of substrate) in different directions were analyzed. At large values of k the Σ (p ) curves became very similar and they almost coincided at k =128 . Moreover, for both models the greater the length of the k -mers the smoother the functions Σx y(p ) ,Σx(p ) and Σy(p ) . For the more practically important C model, the other interesting findings are (i) for large values of k (k =64 ,128 ), the values of Σx y and Σy increase rapidly with the initial increase of p from 0 to 0.1; (ii) for k ≥16 , all the Σx y(p ) and Σx(p ) curves intersect with each other at the same isoconductivity points; (iii) for anisotropic deposition, the percolation concentrations are the same in the x and y directions, whereas, at the percolation point the greater the length of the k -mers the larger the anisotropy of the electrical conductivity, i.e., the ratio σy/σx (>1 ).

  9. A new method to compute K-mer frequencies and its application to annotate large repetitive plant genomes

    PubMed Central

    Kurtz, Stefan; Narechania, Apurva; Stein, Joshua C; Ware, Doreen

    2008-01-01

    Background The challenges of accurate gene prediction and enumeration are further aggravated in large genomes that contain highly repetitive transposable elements (TEs). Yet TEs play a substantial role in genome evolution and are themselves an important subject of study. Repeat annotation, based on counting occurrences of k-mers, has been previously used to distinguish TEs from low-copy genic regions; but currently available software solutions are impractical due to high memory requirements or specialization for specific user-tasks. Results Here we introduce the Tallymer software, a flexible and memory-efficient collection of programs for k-mer counting and indexing of large sequence sets. Unlike previous methods, Tallymer is based on enhanced suffix arrays. This gives a much larger flexibility concerning the choice of the k-mer size. Tallymer can process large data sizes of several billion bases. We used it in a variety of applications to study the genomes of maize and other plant species. In particular, Tallymer was used to index a set of whole genome shotgun sequences from maize (B73) (total size 109 bp.). We analyzed k-mer frequencies for a wide range of k. At this low genome coverage (≈ 0.45×) highly repetitive 20-mers constituted 44% of the genome but represented only 1% of all possible k-mers. Similar low-complexity was seen in the repeat fractions of sorghum and rice. When applying our method to other maize data sets, High-C0t derived sequences showed the greatest enrichment for low-copy sequences. Among annotated TEs, the most highly repetitive were of the Ty3/gypsy class of retrotransposons, followed by the Ty1/copia class, and DNA transposons. Among expressed sequence tags (EST), a notable fraction contained high-copy k-mers, suggesting that transposons are still active in maize. Retrotransposons in Mo17 and McC cultivars were readily detected using the B73 20-mer frequency index, indicating their conservation despite extensive rearrangement across

  10. The Amorphous Component in Martian Basaltic Soil in Global Perspective from MSL and MER Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Downs, R. T.; Gellert, R.; Treiman, A. H.; Yen, A. S.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The mineralogy instrument CheMin onboard the MSL rover Curiosity analyzed by transmission XRD [1] the <150 microns size fraction of putative global basaltic martian soil from scoops 4 and 5 of the Rocknest aeolian bedform (sol 81-120). Here, we combine chemical (APXS) and mineralogical (Mossbauer; MB) results from the MER rovers with chemical (APXS) and mineralogical (CheMin) results from Curiosity to constrain the relative proportions of amorphous and crystalline components, the bulk chemical composition of those components, and the

  11. Gene copy number effects in the mer operon of plasmid NR1.

    PubMed Central

    Nakahara, H; Kinscherf, T G; Silver, S; Miki, T; Easton, A M; Rownd, R H

    1979-01-01

    The level of resistance to Hg2+ determined by the inducible mer operon of plasmid NR1 was essentially the same for three gene copy number variants in Escherichia coli, less in Proteus mirabilis, and intermediate in P. mirabilis "transitioned" to a high r-determinant gene copy number. Cell-free volatilization rates of radioactive mercury indicated increasing levels of intracellular mercuric reductase enzyme from low- to high-gene copy number forms in P. mirabilis and from low- to high-copy number forms in E. coli, but the additional enzyme in E. coli was effectively cryptic. PMID:374374

  12. Identification and evaluation of potent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 3CL(Pro) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vathan; Shin, Jin Soo; Shie, Jiun-Jie; Ku, Keun Bon; Kim, Chonsaeng; Go, Yun Young; Huang, Kai-Fa; Kim, Meehyein; Liang, Po-Huang

    2017-02-17

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Up to date, it has resulted in 1826 human infections, including 649 deaths. Analogous to picornavirus 3C protease (3C(pro)), 3C-like protease (3CL(pro)) is critical for initiation of the MERS-CoV replication cycle and is thus regarded as a validated drug target. As presented here, our peptidomimetic inhibitors of enterovirus 3C(pro) (6b, 6c and 6d) inhibited 3CL(pro) of MERS-CoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) with IC50 values ranging from 1.7 to 4.7 μM and from 0.2 to 0.7 μM, respectively. In MERS-CoV-infected cells, the inhibitors showed antiviral activity with EC50 values ranging from 0.6 to 1.4 μM, by downregulating the viral protein production in cells as well as reducing secretion of infectious viral particles into culture supernatants. They also suppressed other α- and β-CoVs from human and feline origin. These compounds exhibited good selectivity index (over 70 against MERS-CoV) and could lead to the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs against emerging CoVs and picornaviruses.

  13. Transport of localized and extended excitations in chains embedded with randomly distributed linear and nonlinear n -mers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-González, Dany; Molina, Mario I.

    2016-03-01

    We examine the transport of extended and localized excitations in one-dimensional linear chains populated by linear and nonlinear symmetric identical n -mers (with n =3 , 4, 5, and 6), randomly distributed. First, we examine the transmission of plane waves across a single linear n -mer, paying attention to its resonances, and looking for parameters that allow resonances to merge. Within this parameter regime we examine the transmission of plane waves through a disordered and nonlinear segment composed by n -mers randomly placed inside a linear chain. It is observed that nonlinearity tends to inhibit the transmission, which decays as a power law at long segment lengths. This behavior still holds when the n -mer parameters do not obey the resonance condition. On the other hand, the mean square displacement exponent of an initially localized excitation does not depend on nonlinearity at long propagation distances z , and shows a superdiffusive behavior ˜z1.8 for all n -mers, when parameters obey the resonance merging condition; otherwise the exponent reverts back to the random dimer model value ˜z1.5 .

  14. Pseudo Cyclization through Intramolecular Hydrogen Bond Enables Discovery of Pyridine Substituted Pyrimidines as New Mer Kinase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weihe; Zhang, Dehui; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J; Cummings, Christopher; Lee, Minjung; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M.; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Kirkpatrick, Gregory; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P.; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.; Frye, Stephen V.; Wang, Xiaodong

    2014-01-01

    Abnormal activation or overexpression of Mer receptor tyrosine kinase has been implicated in survival signaling and chemoresistance in many human cancers. Consequently, Mer is a promising novel cancer therapeutic target. A structure-based drug design approach using a pseudo-ring replacement strategy was developed and validated to discover a new family of pyridinepyrimidine analogs as potent Mer inhibitors. Through SAR studies, 10 (UNC2250) was identified as the lead compound for further investigation based on high selectivity against other kinases and good pharmacokinetic properties. When applied to live cells, 10 inhibited steady-state phosphorylation of endogenous Mer with an IC50 of 9.8 nM and blocked ligand-stimulated activation of a chimeric EGFR-Mer protein. Treatment with 10 also resulted in decreased colony-forming potential in rhabdoid and NSCLC tumor cells, thereby demonstrating functional anti-tumor activity. The results provide a rationale for further investigation of this compound for therapeutic application in patients with cancer. PMID:24195762

  15. Pseudo-cyclization through intramolecular hydrogen bond enables discovery of pyridine substituted pyrimidines as new Mer kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weihe; Zhang, Dehui; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J; Cummings, Christopher; Lee, Minjung; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Kirkpatrick, Gregory; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-12-12

    Abnormal activation or overexpression of Mer receptor tyrosine kinase has been implicated in survival signaling and chemoresistance in many human cancers. Consequently, Mer is a promising novel cancer therapeutic target. A structure-based drug design approach using a pseudo-ring replacement strategy was developed and validated to discover a new family of pyridinepyrimidine analogues as potent Mer inhibitors. Through SAR studies, 10 (UNC2250) was identified as the lead compound for further investigation based on high selectivity against other kinases and good pharmacokinetic properties. When applied to live cells, 10 inhibited steady-state phosphorylation of endogenous Mer with an IC50 of 9.8 nM and blocked ligand-stimulated activation of a chimeric EGFR-Mer protein. Treatment with 10 also resulted in decreased colony-forming potential in rhabdoid and NSCLC tumor cells, thereby demonstrating functional antitumor activity. The results provide a rationale for further investigation of this compound for therapeutic application in patients with cancer.

  16. The heptad repeat region is a major selection target in MERS-CoV and related coronaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Forni, Diego; Filippi, Giulia; Cagliani, Rachele; De Gioia, Luca; Pozzoli, Uberto; Al-Daghri, Nasser; Clerici, Mario; Sironi, Manuela

    2015-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) originated in bats and spread to humans via zoonotic transmission from camels. We analyzed the evolution of the spike (S) gene in betacoronaviruses (betaCoVs) isolated from different mammals, in bat coronavirus populations, as well as in MERS-CoV strains from the current outbreak. Results indicated several positively selected sites located in the region comprising the two heptad repeats (HR1 and HR2) and their linker. Two sites (R652 and V1060) were positively selected in the betaCoVs phylogeny and correspond to mutations associated with expanded host range in other coronaviruses. During the most recent evolution of MERS-CoV, adaptive mutations in the HR1 (Q/R/H1020) arose in camels or in a previous host and spread to humans. We determined that different residues at position 1020 establish distinct inter- and intra-helical interactions and affect the stability of the six-helix bundle formed by the HRs. A similar effect on stability was observed for a nearby mutation (T1015N) that increases MERS-CoV infection efficiency in vitro. Data herein indicate that the heptad repeat region was a major target of adaptive evolution in MERS-CoV-related viruses; these results are relevant for the design of fusion inhibitor peptides with antiviral function. PMID:26404138

  17. The Effects of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Work Schedule Regime on Locomotor Activity Circadian Rhythms, Sleep and Fatigue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeRoshia, Charles W.; Colletti, Laura C.; Mallis, Melissa M.

    2008-01-01

    This study assessed human adaptation to a Mars sol by evaluating sleep metrics obtained by actigraphy and subjective responses in 22 participants, and circadian rhythmicity in locomotor activity in 9 participants assigned to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) operational work schedules (24.65 hour days) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2004. During MER operations, increased work shift durations and reduced sleep durations and time in bed were associated with the appearance of pronounced 12-hr (circasemidian) rhythms with reduced activity levels. Sleep duration, workload, and circadian rhythm stability have important implications for adaptability and maintenance of operational performance not only of MER operations personnel but also in space crews exposed to a Mars sol of 24.65 hours during future Mars missions.

  18. External Store Airloads Prediction Technique. Volume 2. Detailed Data. Book 4. MER Carriage Normal Force and Pitching Moment Predictions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-07-01

    MS1,2,3,5): = EAC4 + ACN ]K 5 p KA MS1,2,3,5 MS1,2,3,5 IN’TF MS1,2,3,5 where: AC Incremental C at M=MI nresented as a function ofN NK LOALA2 d eg MEE ...A LEA function of Mach number, MER STA 1 - Figure 604 1E STA 3 - Figure 6o), MEE STA 5 - Figure 604 K - Defined in Section 1V SCALEN F MER STATIONS...50 AA C ... T- .. a) MR STA 1 ~ . ... . . .7 7. :2 7 LC C I~. ... . ... ’ ’b) MER STA 3 .... LEi -- AI I... .. .. ..... . L’H ST’ ZLE 0 4- -f: *T~t

  19. MERS-CoV in Upper Respiratory Tract and Lungs of Dromedary Camels, Saudi Arabia, 2013-2014.

    PubMed

    Khalafalla, Abdelmalik I; Lu, Xiaoyan; Al-Mubarak, Abdullah I A; Dalab, Abdul Hafeed S; Al-Busadah, Khalid A S; Erdman, Dean D

    2015-07-01

    To assess the temporal dynamics of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in dromedary camels, specimens were collected at 1-2 month intervals from 2 independent groups of animals during April 2013-May 2014 in Al-Ahsa Province, Saudi Arabia, and tested for MERS-CoV RNA by reverse transcription PCR. Of 96 live camels, 28 (29.2%) nasal swab samples were positive; of 91 camel carcasses, 56 (61.5%) lung tissue samples were positive. Positive samples were more commonly found among young animals (<4 years of age) than adults (>4 years of age). The proportions of positive samples varied by month for both groups; detection peaked during November 2013 and January 2014 and declined in March and May 2014. These findings further our understanding of MERS-CoV infection in dromedary camels and may help inform intervention strategies to reduce zoonotic infections.

  20. A lesson learned from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al Shehri, Ali M

    2015-04-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) caused by novel Corona virus hit Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and resulted in hundreds of mortality and morbidity, fears and psychosocial stress among population, economic loss and major political change at Ministry of Health (MoH). Although MERS discovered two years ago, confusion still exists about its origin, nature, and consequences. In 2003, similar virus (SARS) hit Canada and resulted in a reform of Canada's public health system and creation of a Canadian Agency for Public Health, similar to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The idea of Saudi CDC is attractive and even "sexy" but it is not the best option. Experience and literature indicate that the best option for KSA is to revitalize national public health systems on the basis of comprehensive, continuing, and integrated primary health care (PHC) and public health (PH). This article proposes three initial, but essential, steps for such revitalization to take place: political will and support, integration of PHC and PH, and on-job professional programs for the workforce. In addition, current academic and training programs for PHC and PH should be revisited in the light of national vision and strategy that aim for high quality products that protect and promote healthy nation. Scientific associations, medical education research chair, and relevant academic bodies should be involved in the revitalization to ensure quality of process and outcomes.

  1. Experience with the medical event reporting system for transfusion medicine (MERS-TM) at three hospitals.

    PubMed

    Callum, Jeannie L; Merkley, Lisa L; Coovadia, Ahmed S; Lima, Ana P; Kaplan, Harold S

    2004-10-01

    The MERS-TM assists hospital transfusion services to identify, analyze, and correct system events relating to the delivery of blood to patients. The MERS-TM system was used from February of 1999 to December 2002. All reported near-miss and actual events were recorded and analyzed. During these 47 months, 4670 events were reported by the transfusion service. Of these events, 94% were classified as a near-miss event and 93% were detected before the blood product was administered. No ABO-incompatible transfusions were detected despite transfusion of 50,137 units of red blood cells. High severity events with the potential for patient harm accounted for 241 (5%) of the 4670 events. Nursing related events accounted for 188 (78%) of the high severity events. In one out of 4430 (0.023%) samples tested, a high severity sample-testing event was detected. In one out of 1550 (0.06%) samples collected, a high severity sample-collection event was detected. An event reporting system is essential if one is to determine where and how often events are occurring within the transfusion process.

  2. The emergence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

    PubMed Central

    Milne-Price, Shauna; Miazgowicz, Kerri L.; Munster, Vincent J.

    2014-01-01

    On September 20, 2012, a Saudi Arabian physician reported the isolation of a novel coronavirus from a patient with pneumonia on ProMED-mail. Within a few days the same virus was detected in a Qatari patient receiving intensive care in a London hospital, a situation reminiscent of the role air travel played in the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002. SARS-CoV originated in China’s Guangdong Province and affected more than 8000 patients in 26 countries before it was contained six months later. Over a year after the emergence of this novel coronavirus—Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)—it has caused 178 laboratory confirmed cases and 76 deaths The emergence of a second highly pathogenic coronavirus within a decade highlights the importance of a coordinated global response incorporating reservoir surveillance, high-containment capacity with fundamental and applied research programs, and dependable communication pathways to ensure outbreak containment. Here we review the current state of knowledge on the epidemiology, ecology, molecular biology, clinical features and intervention strategies of the novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV. PMID:24585737

  3. Acute viral respiratory infections among children in MERS-endemic Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2012-2013.

    PubMed

    Fagbo, Shamsudeen F; Garbati, Musa A; Hasan, Rami; AlShahrani, Dayel; Al-Shehri, Mohamed; AlFawaz, Tariq; Hakawi, Ahmed; Wani, Tariq Ahmad; Skakni, Leila

    2017-02-01

    The emergence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia has intensified focus on Acute Respiratory Infections [ARIs]. This study sought to identify respiratory viruses (RVs) associated with ARIs in children presenting at a tertiary hospital. Children (aged ≤13) presenting with ARI between January 2012 and December 2013 tested for 15 RVs using the Seeplex(R) RV15 kit were retrospectively included. Epidemiological data was retrieved from patient records. Of the 2235 children tested, 61.5% were ≤1 year with a male: female ratio of 3:2. Viruses were detected in 1364 (61.02%) children, 233 (10.4%) having dual infections: these viruses include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (24%), human rhinovirus (hRV) (19.7%), adenovirus (5.7%), influenza virus (5.3%), and parainfluenzavirus-3 (4.6%). Children, aged 9-11 months, were most infected (60.9%). Lower respiratory tract infections (55.4%) were significantly more than upper respiratory tract infection (45.3%) (P < 0.001). Seasonal variation of RV was directly and inversely proportional to relative humidity and temperature, respectively, for non MERS coronaviruses (NL63, 229E, and OC43). The study confirms community-acquired RV associated with ARI in children and suggests modulating roles for abiotic factors in RV epidemiology. However, community-based studies are needed to elucidate how these factors locally influence RV epidemiology. J. Med. Virol. 89:195-201, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Application of State Analysis and Goal-based Operations to a MER Mission Scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, John Richard; Ingham, Michel D.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Rasmussen, Robert D.; Starbird, Thomas W.

    2006-01-01

    State Analysis is a model-based systems engineering methodology employing a rigorous discovery process which articulates operations concepts and operability needs as an integrated part of system design. The process produces requirements on system and software design in the form of explicit models which describe the system behavior in terms of state variables and the relationships among them. By applying State Analysis to an actual MER flight mission scenario, this study addresses the specific real world challenges of complex space operations and explores technologies that can be brought to bear on future missions. The paper first describes the tools currently used on a daily basis for MER operations planning and provides an in-depth description of the planning process, in the context of a Martian day's worth of rover engineering activities, resource modeling, flight rules, science observations, and more. It then describes how State Analysis allows for the specification of a corresponding goal-based sequence that accomplishes the same objectives, with several important additional benefits.

  5. First-order phase transitions in repulsive rigid k-mers on two-dimensional lattices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasinetti, P. M.; Romá, F.; Ramirez-Pastor, A. J.

    2012-02-01

    In a previous paper [F. Romá, A. J. Ramirez-Pastor, and J. L. Riccardo, Phys. Rev. B 72, 035444 (2005)], the critical behavior of repulsive rigid rods of length k (k-mers) on a square lattice at half coverage has been studied by using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. The obtained results indicated that (1) the phase transition occurring in the system is a second-order phase transition for all adsorbate sizes k; and (2) the universality class of the transition changes from 2D Ising-type for monomers (k = 1) to an unknown universality class for k ≥ 2. In the present work, we revisit our previous results together with further numerical evidences, resulting from new extensive MC simulations based on an efficient exchange algorithm and using high-performance computational capabilities. In contrast to our previous conclusions (1) and (2), the new numerical calculations clearly support the occurrence of a first-order phase transition for k ≥ 2. In addition, a similar scenario was found for k-mers adsorbed on the triangular lattice at coverage k/(2k+1).

  6. A 17-mer Membrane-Active MSI-78 Derivative with Improved Selectivity toward Bacterial Cells.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Claudia; Pinheiro, Marina; Fernandes, Mariana; Maia, Sílvia; Seabra, Catarina L; Ferreira-da-Silva, Frederico; Reis, Salette; Gomes, Paula; Martins, M Cristina L

    2015-08-03

    Antimicrobial peptides are widely recognized as an excellent alternative to conventional antibiotics. MSI-78, a highly effective and broad spectrum AMP, is one of the most promising AMPs for clinical application. In this study, we have designed shorter derivatives of MSI-78 with the aim of improving selectivity while maintaining antimicrobial activity. Shorter 17-mer derivatives were created by truncating MSI-78 at the N- and/or C-termini, while spanning MSI-78 sequence. Despite the truncations made, we found a 17-mer peptide, MSI-78(4-20) (KFLKKAKKFGKAFVKIL), which was demonstrated to be as effective as MSI-78 against the Gram-positive Staphylococcus strains tested and the Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This shorter derivative is more selective toward bacterial cells as it was less toxic to erythrocytes than MSI-78, representing an improved version of the lead peptide. Biophysical studies support a mechanism of action for MSI-78(4-20) based on the disruption of the bacterial membrane permeability barrier, which in turn leads to loss of membrane integrity and ultimately to cell death. These features point to a mechanism of action similar to the one described for the lead peptide MSI-78.

  7. Quadruple 9-mer-based protein binding microarray with DsRed fusion protein

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min-Jeong; Lee, Tae-Ho; Pahk, Yoon-Mok; Kim, Yul-Ho; Park, Hyang-Mi; Choi, Yang Do; Nahm, Baek Hie; Kim, Yeon-Ki

    2009-01-01

    Background The interaction between a transcription factor and DNA motif (cis-acting element) is an important regulatory step in gene regulation. Comprehensive genome-wide methods have been developed to characterize protein-DNA interactions. Recently, the universal protein binding microarray (PBM) was introduced to determine if a DNA motif interacts with proteins in a genome-wide manner. Results We facilitated the PBM technology using a DsRed fluorescent protein and a concatenated sequence of oligonucleotides. The PBM was designed in such a way that target probes were synthesized as quadruples of all possible 9-mer combinations, permitting unequivocal interpretation of the cis-acting elements. The complimentary DNA strands of the features were synthesized with a primer and DNA polymerase on microarray slides. Proteins were labeled via N-terminal fusion with DsRed fluorescent protein, which circumvents the need for a multi-step incubation. The PBM presented herein confirmed the well-known DNA binding sequences of Cbf1 and CBF1/DREB1B, and it was also applied to elucidate the unidentified cis-acting element of the OsNAC6 rice transcription factor. Conclusion Our method demonstrated PBM can be conveniently performed by adopting: (1) quadruple 9-mers may increase protein-DNA binding interactions in the microarray, and (2) a one-step incubation shortens the wash and hybridization steps. This technology will facilitate greater understanding of genome-wide interactions between proteins and DNA. PMID:19761621

  8. Seasonal Variation of Aerosol Particle Size Using MER/Pancam Sky Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M. D.; Wolff, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Imaging of the sky taken by the Pancam cameras on-board the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) provide a useful tool for determining the optical depth and physcial properties of aerosols above the rover. Specifically, the brightness of the sky as a function of angle away from the Sun provides a powerful constraint on the size distribution and shape of dust and water ice aerosols. More than 100 Pancam "sky surveys" were taken by each of the two MER rovers covering a time span of several Mars years and a wide range of dust loading conditions including the planet-encirclind dust storm during Mars Year 28 (Earth year 2007). These sky surveys enable the time evolution of aerosol particle size to be determined including its relation to dust loading. Radiative transfer modeling is used to model the observations. Synthetic Pancam sky brightness is computed using a discrete-ordinates radiative transfer code that accounts for multiple scattering from aerosols and spherical geometry by integrating the source functions along curved paths in that coordinate system. We find that Mie scattering from spheres is not a good approximation for describing the angular variation of sky brightness far from the Sun (at scattering angles greater than 45 degrees). Significant seasonal variations are seen in the retrieved effective radius of the aerosols with higher optical depth strongly correlated with larger particle size.

  9. Application of State Analysis and Goal-based Operations to a MER Mission Scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, John Richard; Ingham, Michel D.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Rasmussen, Robert D.; Starbird, Thomas W.

    2006-01-01

    State Analysis is a model-based systems engineering methodology employing a rigorous discovery process which articulates operations concepts and operability needs as an integrated part of system design. The process produces requirements on system and software design in the form of explicit models which describe the system behavior in terms of state variables and the relationships among them. By applying State Analysis to an actual MER flight mission scenario, this study addresses the specific real world challenges of complex space operations and explores technologies that can be brought to bear on future missions. The paper first describes the tools currently used on a daily basis for MER operations planning and provides an in-depth description of the planning process, in the context of a Martian day's worth of rover engineering activities, resource modeling, flight rules, science observations, and more. It then describes how State Analysis allows for the specification of a corresponding goal-based sequence that accomplishes the same objectives, with several important additional benefits.

  10. Molecular phylogenetics before sequences: oligonucleotide catalogs as k-mer spectra.

    PubMed

    Ragan, Mark A; Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2014-01-01

    From 1971 to 1985, Carl Woese and colleagues generated oligonucleotide catalogs of 16S/18S rRNAs from more than 400 organisms. Using these incomplete and imperfect data, Carl and his colleagues developed unprecedented insights into the structure, function, and evolution of the large RNA components of the translational apparatus. They recognized a third domain of life, revealed the phylogenetic backbone of bacteria (and its limitations), delineated taxa, and explored the tempo and mode of microbial evolution. For these discoveries to have stood the test of time, oligonucleotide catalogs must carry significant phylogenetic signal; they thus bear re-examination in view of the current interest in alignment-free phylogenetics based on k-mers. Here we consider the aims, successes, and limitations of this early phase of molecular phylogenetics. We computationally generate oligonucleotide sets (e-catalogs) from 16S/18S rRNA sequences, calculate pairwise distances between them based on D 2 statistics, compute distance trees, and compare their performance against alignment-based and k-mer trees. Although the catalogs themselves were superseded by full-length sequences, this stage in the development of computational molecular biology remains instructive for us today.

  11. Genome Sizes of Nine Insect Species Determined by Flow Cytometry and k-mer Analysis

    PubMed Central

    He, Kang; Lin, Kejian; Wang, Guirong; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The flow cytometry method was used to estimate the genome sizes of nine agriculturally important insects, including two coleopterans, five Hemipterans, and two hymenopterans. Among which, the coleopteran Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus (Kuschel) had the largest genome of 981 Mb. The average genome size was 504 Mb, suggesting that insects have a moderate-size genome. Compared with the insects in other orders, hymenopterans had small genomes, which were averagely about ~200 Mb. We found that the genome sizes of four insect species were different between male and female, showing the organismal complexity of insects. The largest difference occurred in the coconut leaf beetle Brontispa longissima (Gestro). The male coconut leaf beetle had a 111 Mb larger genome than females, which might be due to the chromosome number difference between the sexes. The results indicated that insect invasiveness was not related to genome size. We also determined the genome sizes of the small brown planthopper Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén) and the parasitic wasp Macrocentrus cingulum (Brischke) using k-mer analysis with Illunima Solexa sequencing data. There were slight differences in the results from the two methods. k-mer analysis indicated that the genome size of L. striatellus was 500–700 Mb and that of M. cingulum was ~150 Mb. In all, the genome sizes information presented here should be helpful for designing the genome sequencing strategy when necessary. PMID:27932995

  12. Exploring the GalMer database: bar properties and non-circular motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randriamampandry, T. H.; Deg, N.; Carignan, C.; Combes, F.; Spekkens, K.

    2016-10-01

    Context. We use Tree-SPH simulations from the GalMer database to characterize and quantify the non-circular motions induced by the presence of bar-like structures on the observed rotation curve of barred galaxies derived from empirical models of their line-of-sight velocity maps. The GalMer database consists of SPH simulations of galaxies spanning a wide range of morphological types and sizes. Aims: The aim is to compare the intrinsic velocities and bar properties from the simulations with those derived from pseudo-observations. This allows us to estimate the amount of non-circularity and to test the various methods used to derive the bar properties and rotation curves. Methods: The intrinsic velocities in the simulations are calculated from the gravitational forces whereas the observed rotation velocities are derived by applying the ROTCUR and DiskFit algorithms to well-resolved observations of intermediate-inclination, strongly barred galaxies. Results: Our results confirm that the tilted ring method implemented in ROTCUR systematically underestimates or overestimates the rotational velocities by up to 40 percent in the inner part of the galaxy when the bar is aligned with one of the symmetry axes for all the models. For the DiskFit analysis, we find that it produces unrealistic values for all the models used in this work when the bar is within approximately ten degrees of the major or minor axis.

  13. Mineralogy at Meridiani Planum, Mars, from the MER Opportunity Mössbauer Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klingelhöfer, G.; Morris, R. V.; Rodionov, D.; Schröder, C.; Yen, A.; Ming, D. W.; Fleischer, I.

    The Mars Exploration Rover MER Opportunity landed in Eagle crater Meridiani Planum on 24 January 2004 1 This landing site was chosen on an engineering basis because the region seemed to be flat and smooth favoring a save landing and because hematite alpha -Fe 2 O 3 was detected from orbit by the MGO Thermal Emission Spectrometer TES in significant quantities Hematite can form in different ways including aqueous processes After landing Opportunity with its M o ssbauer MB spectrometer investigated soils and outcrop material present in Eagle crater before exploring the plains and several other craters In contrast to the Spirit landing site at Gusev crater the surface within Eagle crater and the surrounding plains are not heavily covered with large rock fragments The surface is very flat and smooth with some wind ripples on the top and with several craters of different sizes up to sim 200 m diameter where exposed outcrop material similar to Eagle crater is found The scientific objective of the MB spectrometer MIMOS II on MER 3 is to identify the Fe-bearing minerals and phases provide quantitative information about the amount of these minerals and phases present in soils and rocks and the oxidation state and coordination state of Fe In Meridiani Planum MB could identify four main mineralogical components 1 2 i a ferric sulfate called jarosite present in significant amounts in the hematite- and sulfate-rich outcrop rock unit covering the surface and craters of Meridiani Planum along Opportunity s traverse

  14. Cdc7-dependent phosphorylation of Mer2 facilitates initiation of yeast meiotic recombination.

    PubMed

    Sasanuma, Hiroyuki; Hirota, Kouji; Fukuda, Tomoyuki; Kakusho, Naoko; Kugou, Kazuto; Kawasaki, Yasuo; Shibata, Takehiko; Masai, Hisao; Ohta, Kunihiro

    2008-02-01

    Meiosis ensures genetic diversification of gametes and sexual reproduction. For successful meiosis, multiple events such as DNA replication, recombination, and chromosome segregation must occur coordinately in a strict regulated order. We investigated the meiotic roles of Cdc7 kinase in the initiation of meiotic recombination, namely, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) mediated by Spo11 and other coactivating proteins. Genetic analysis using bob1-1 cdc7Delta reveals that Cdc7 is essential for meiotic DSBs and meiosis I progression. We also demonstrate that the N-terminal region of Mer2, a Spo11 ancillary protein required for DSB formation and phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK), contains two types of Cdc7-dependent phosphorylation sites near the CDK site (Ser30): One (Ser29) is essential for meiotic DSB formation, and the others exhibit a cumulative effect to facilitate DSB formation. Importantly, mutations on these sites confer severe defects in DSB formation even when the CDK phosphorylation is present at Ser30. Diploids of cdc7Delta display defects in the chromatin binding of not only Spo11 but also Rec114 and Mei4, other meiotic coactivators that may assist Spo11 binding to DSB hot spots. We thus propose that Cdc7, in concert with CDK, regulates Spo11 loading to DSB sites via Mer2 phosphorylation.

  15. Mer or Axl receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition promotes apoptosis, blocks growth and enhances chemosensitivity of human non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Linger, R M A; Cohen, R A; Cummings, C T; Sather, S; Migdall-Wilson, J; Middleton, D H G; Lu, X; Barón, A E; Franklin, W A; Merrick, D T; Jedlicka, P; DeRyckere, D; Heasley, L E; Graham, D K

    2013-07-18

    Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a prevalent and devastating disease that claims more lives than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. Current research suggests that standard chemotherapy regimens have been optimized to maximal efficiency. Promising new treatment strategies involve novel agents targeting molecular aberrations present in subsets of NSCLC. We evaluated 88 human NSCLC tumors of diverse histology and identified Mer and Axl as receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) overexpressed in 69% and 93%, respectively, of tumors relative to surrounding normal lung tissue. Mer and Axl were also frequently overexpressed and activated in NSCLC cell lines. Ligand-dependent Mer or Axl activation stimulated MAPK, AKT and FAK signaling pathways indicating roles for these RTKs in multiple oncogenic processes. In addition, we identified a novel pro-survival pathway-involving AKT, CREB, Bcl-xL, survivin, and Bcl-2-downstream of Mer, which is differentially modulated by Axl signaling. We demonstrated that short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown of Mer or Axl significantly reduced NSCLC colony formation and growth of subcutaneous xenografts in nude mice. Mer or Axl knockdown also improved in vitro NSCLC sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents by promoting apoptosis. When comparing the effects of Mer and Axl knockdown, Mer inhibition exhibited more complete blockade of tumor growth while Axl knockdown more robustly improved chemosensitivity. These results indicate that Mer and Axl have complementary and overlapping roles in NSCLC and suggest that treatment strategies targeting both RTKs may be more effective than singly-targeted agents. Our findings validate Mer and Axl as potential therapeutic targets in NSCLC and provide justification for development of novel therapeutic compounds that selectively inhibit Mer and/or Axl.

  16. Mer or Axl Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition Promotes Apoptosis, Blocks Growth, and Enhances Chemosensitivity of Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Linger, Rachel M.A.; Cohen, Rebecca A.; Cummings, Christopher T.; Sather, Susan; Migdall-Wilson, Justine; Middleton, Deryck H.G.; Lu, Xian; Barón, Anna E.; Franklin, Wilbur A.; Merrick, Daniel T.; Jedlicka, Paul; DeRyckere, Deborah; Heasley, Lynn E.; Graham, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a prevalent and devastating disease that claims more lives than breast, prostate, colon, and pancreatic cancers combined. Current research suggests that standard chemotherapy regimens have been optimized to maximal efficiency. Promising new treatment strategies involve novel agents targeting molecular aberrations present in subsets of NSCLC. We evaluated 88 human NSCLC tumors of diverse histology and identified Mer and Axl as receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) overexpressed in 69% and 93%, respectively, of tumors relative to surrounding normal lung tissue. Mer and Axl were also frequently overexpressed and activated in NSCLC cell lines. Ligand-dependent Mer or Axl activation stimulated MAPK, AKT, and FAK signaling pathways indicating roles for these RTKs in multiple oncogenic processes. In addition, we identified a novel pro-survival pathway—involving AKT, CREB, Bcl-xL, survivin, and Bcl-2—downstream of Mer, which is differentially modulated by Axl signaling. We demonstrated that shRNA knockdown of Mer or Axl significantly reduced NSCLC colony formation and growth of subcutaneous xenografts in nude mice. Mer or Axl knockdown also improved in vitro NSCLC sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents by promoting apoptosis. When comparing the effects of Mer and Axl knockdown, Mer inhibition exhibited more complete blockade of tumor growth while Axl knockdown more robustly improved chemosensitivity. These results indicate that Mer and Axl play complementary and overlapping roles in NSCLC and suggest that treatment strategies targeting both RTKs may be more effective than singly-targeted agents. Our findings validate Mer and Axl as potential therapeutic targets in NSCLC and provide justification for development of novel therapeutic compounds that selectively inhibit Mer and/or Axl. PMID:22890323

  17. Identification of residues on human receptor DPP4 critical for MERS-CoV binding and entry

    SciTech Connect

    Song, Wenfei; Wang, Ying; Wang, Nianshuang; Wang, Dongli; Guo, Jianying; Fu, Lili; Shi, Xuanling

    2014-12-15

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infects host cells through binding the receptor binding domain (RBD) on its spike glycoprotein to human receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (hDPP4). Here, we report identification of critical residues on hDPP4 for RBD binding and virus entry through analysis of a panel of hDPP4 mutants. Based on the RBD–hDPP4 crystal structure we reported, the mutated residues were located at the interface between RBD and hDPP4, which potentially changed the polarity, hydrophobic or hydrophilic properties of hDPP4, thereby interfering or disrupting their interaction with RBD. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) binding analysis and pseudovirus infection assay, we showed that several residues in hDPP4–RBD binding interface were important on hDPP4–RBD binding and viral entry. These results provide atomic insights into the features of interactions between hDPP4 and MERS-CoV RBD, and also provide potential explanation for cellular and species tropism of MERS-CoV infection. - Highlights: • It has been demonstrated that MERS-CoV infects host cells through binding its envelope spike (S) glycoprotein to the host cellular receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4). • To identify the critical residues on hDPP4 for RBD binding and virus entry, we constructed a panel of hDPP4 mutants based on structure-guided mutagenesis. • Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) binding analysis and pseudovirus infection assay, we showed that several residues on hDPP4 had significant impacts on virus/receptor interactions and viral entry. • Our study has provided new insights into the features of interactions between hDPP4 and MERS-CoV RBD, and provides potential explanation for cellular and species tropism of MERS-CoV infection.

  18. Enhanced inflammation in New Zealand white rabbits when MERS-CoV reinfection occurs in the absence of neutralizing antibody.

    PubMed

    Houser, Katherine V; Broadbent, Andrew J; Gretebeck, Lisa; Vogel, Leatrice; Lamirande, Elaine W; Sutton, Troy; Bock, Kevin W; Minai, Mahnaz; Orandle, Marlene; Moore, Ian N; Subbarao, Kanta

    2017-08-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a zoonotic betacoronavirus that was first detected in humans in 2012 as a cause of severe acute respiratory disease. As of July 28, 2017, there have been 2,040 confirmed cases with 712 reported deaths. While many infections have been fatal, there have also been a large number of mild or asymptomatic cases discovered through monitoring and contact tracing. New Zealand white rabbits are a possible model for asymptomatic infection with MERS-CoV. In order to discover more about non-lethal infections and to learn whether a single infection with MERS-CoV would protect against reinfection, we inoculated rabbits with MERS-CoV and monitored the antibody and inflammatory response. Following intranasal infection, rabbits developed a transient dose-dependent pulmonary infection with moderately high levels of viral RNA, viral antigen, and perivascular inflammation in multiple lung lobes that was not associated with clinical signs. The rabbits developed antibodies against viral proteins that lacked neutralizing activity and the animals were not protected from reinfection. In fact, reinfection resulted in enhanced pulmonary inflammation, without an associated increase in viral RNA titers. Interestingly, passive transfer of serum from previously infected rabbits to naïve rabbits was associated with enhanced inflammation upon infection. We further found this inflammation was accompanied by increased recruitment of complement proteins compared to primary infection. However, reinfection elicited neutralizing antibodies that protected rabbits from subsequent viral challenge. Our data from the rabbit model suggests that people exposed to MERS-CoV who fail to develop a neutralizing antibody response, or persons whose neutralizing antibody titers have waned, may be at risk for severe lung disease on re-exposure to MERS-CoV.

  19. Enhanced inflammation in New Zealand white rabbits when MERS-CoV reinfection occurs in the absence of neutralizing antibody

    PubMed Central

    Houser, Katherine V.; Gretebeck, Lisa; Vogel, Leatrice; Sutton, Troy; Orandle, Marlene; Moore, Ian N.

    2017-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a zoonotic betacoronavirus that was first detected in humans in 2012 as a cause of severe acute respiratory disease. As of July 28, 2017, there have been 2,040 confirmed cases with 712 reported deaths. While many infections have been fatal, there have also been a large number of mild or asymptomatic cases discovered through monitoring and contact tracing. New Zealand white rabbits are a possible model for asymptomatic infection with MERS-CoV. In order to discover more about non-lethal infections and to learn whether a single infection with MERS-CoV would protect against reinfection, we inoculated rabbits with MERS-CoV and monitored the antibody and inflammatory response. Following intranasal infection, rabbits developed a transient dose-dependent pulmonary infection with moderately high levels of viral RNA, viral antigen, and perivascular inflammation in multiple lung lobes that was not associated with clinical signs. The rabbits developed antibodies against viral proteins that lacked neutralizing activity and the animals were not protected from reinfection. In fact, reinfection resulted in enhanced pulmonary inflammation, without an associated increase in viral RNA titers. Interestingly, passive transfer of serum from previously infected rabbits to naïve rabbits was associated with enhanced inflammation upon infection. We further found this inflammation was accompanied by increased recruitment of complement proteins compared to primary infection. However, reinfection elicited neutralizing antibodies that protected rabbits from subsequent viral challenge. Our data from the rabbit model suggests that people exposed to MERS-CoV who fail to develop a neutralizing antibody response, or persons whose neutralizing antibody titers have waned, may be at risk for severe lung disease on re-exposure to MERS-CoV. PMID:28817732

  20. Structural Analysis of the Hg(II)-Regulatory Protein Tn501 MerR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dan; Huang, Shanqing; Liu, Pingying; Liu, Xichun; He, Yafeng; Chen, Weizhong; Hu, Qingyuan; Wei, Tianbiao; Gan, Jianhua; Ma, Jing; Chen, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The metalloprotein MerR is a mercury(II)-dependent transcriptional repressor-activator that responds to mercury(II) with extraordinary sensitivity and selectivity. It’s widely distributed in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria but with barely detectable sequence identities between the two sources. To provide structural basis for the considerable biochemical and biophysical experiments previously performed on Tn501 and Tn21 MerR from Gram-negative bacteria, we analyzed the crystal structure of mercury(II)-bound Tn501 MerR. The structure in the metal-binding domain provides Tn501 MerR with a high affinity for mercury(II) and the ability to distinguish mercury(II) from other metals with its unique planar trigonal coordination geometry, which is adopted by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The mercury(II) coordination state in the C-terminal metal-binding domain is transmitted through the allosteric network across the dimer interface to the N-terminal DNA-binding domain. Together with the previous mutagenesis analyses, the present data indicate that the residues in the allosteric pathway have a central role in maintaining the functions of Tn501 MerR. In addition, the complex structure exhibits significant differences in tertiary and quaternary structural arrangements compared to those of Bacillus MerR from Gram-positive bacteria, which probably enable them to function with specific promoter DNA with different spacers between −35 and −10 elements. PMID:27641146

  1. Allosteric underwinding of DNA is a critical step in positive control of transcription by Hg-MerR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Aseem Z.; Chael, Mark L.; O'Halloran, Thomas V.

    1992-01-01

    POSITIVE control of transcription often involves stimulatory protein-protein interactions between regulatory factors and RNA polymerase1. Critical steps in the activation process itself are seldom ascribed to protein-DNA distortions. Activator-induced DNA bending is typically assigned a role in binding-site recognition2, alterations in DNA loop structures3 or optimal positioning of the activator for interaction with polymerase4. Here we present a transcriptional activation mechanism that does not require a signal-induced DNA bend but rather a receptor-induced untwisting of duplex DNA. The allosterically modulated transcription factor MerR is a represser and an Hg(II)-responsive activator of bacterial mercury-resistance genes5-7.Escherichia coliRNA polymerase binds to the MerR-promoter complex but cannot proceed to a transcriptionally active open complex until Hg(II) binds to MerR (ref. 6). Chemical nuclease studies show that the activator form, but not the represser, induces a unique alteration of the helical structure localized at the centre of the DNA-binding site6. Data presented here indicate that this Hg-MerR-induced DNA distortion corresponds to a local underwinding of the spacer region of the promoter by about 33° relative to the MerR-operator complex. The magnitude and the direction of the Hg-MerR-induced change in twist angle are consistent with a positive control mechanism involving reorientation of conserved, but suboptimally phased, promoter elements and are consistent with a role for torsional stress in formation of an open complex.

  2. Critical Assessment of the Important Residues Involved in the Dimerization and Catalysis of MERS Coronavirus Main Protease

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Bo-Lin; Cheng, Shu-Chun; Shi, Lin; Wang, Ting-Yun; Ho, Kuan-I; Chou, Chi-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Background A highly pathogenic human coronavirus (CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has emerged in Jeddah and other places in Saudi Arabia, and has quickly spread to European and Asian countries since September 2012. Up to the 1st October 2015 it has infected at least 1593 people with a global fatality rate of about 35%. Studies to understand the virus are necessary and urgent. In the present study, MERS-CoV main protease (Mpro) is expressed; the dimerization of the protein and its relationship to catalysis are investigated. Methods and Results The crystal structure of MERS-CoV Mpro indicates that it shares a similar scaffold to that of other coronaviral Mpro and consists of chymotrypsin-like domains I and II and a helical domain III of five helices. Analytical ultracentrifugation analysis demonstrated that MERS-CoV Mpro undergoes a monomer to dimer conversion in the presence of a peptide substrate. Glu169 is a key residue and plays a dual role in both dimerization and catalysis. The mutagenesis of other residues found on the dimerization interface indicate that dimerization of MERS-CoV Mpro is required for its catalytic activity. One mutation, M298R, resulted in a stable dimer with a higher level of proteolytic activity than the wild-type enzyme. Conclusions MERS-CoV Mpro shows substrate-induced dimerization and potent proteolytic activity. A critical assessment of the residues important to these processes provides insights into the correlation between dimerization and catalysis within the coronaviral Mpro family. PMID:26658006

  3. MERS-CoV at the Animal-Human Interface: Inputs on Exposure Pathways from an Expert-Opinion Elicitation.

    PubMed

    Funk, Anna L; Goutard, Flavie Luce; Miguel, Eve; Bourgarel, Mathieu; Chevalier, Veronique; Faye, Bernard; Peiris, J S Malik; Van Kerkhove, Maria D; Roger, Francois Louis

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 4 years after the first report of the emergence of Middle-East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and nearly 1800 human cases later, the ecology of MERS-CoV, its epidemiology, and more than risk factors of MERS-CoV transmission between camels are poorly understood. Knowledge about the pathways and mechanisms of transmission from animals to humans is limited; as of yet, transmission risks have not been quantified. Moreover the divergent sanitary situations and exposures to animals among populations in the Arabian Peninsula, where human primary cases appear to dominate, vs. other regions in the Middle East and Africa, with no reported human clinical cases and where the virus has been detected only in dromedaries, represents huge scientific and health challenges. Here, we have used expert-opinion elicitation in order to obtain ideas on relative importance of MERS-CoV risk factors and estimates of transmission risks from various types of contact between humans and dromedaries. Fourteen experts with diverse and extensive experience in MERS-CoV relevant fields were enrolled and completed an online questionnaire that examined pathways based on several scenarios, e.g., camels-camels, camels-human, bats/other species to camels/humans, and the role of diverse biological substances (milk, urine, etc.) and potential fomites. Experts believed that dromedary camels play the largest role in MERS-CoV infection of other dromedaries; however, they also indicated a significant influence of the season (i.e. calving or weaning periods) on transmission risk. All experts thought that MERS-CoV-infected dromedaries and asymptomatic humans play the most important role in infection of humans, with bats and other species presenting a possible, but yet undefined, risk. Direct and indirect contact of humans with dromedary camels were identified as the most risky types of contact, when compared to consumption of various camel products, with estimated "most likely" incidence

  4. Public Health Network Structure and Collaboration Effectiveness during the 2015 MERS Outbreak in South Korea: An Institutional Collective Action Framework.

    PubMed

    Kim, KyungWoo; Andrew, Simon A; Jung, Kyujin

    2017-09-15

    Following the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea, this research aims to examine the structural effect of public health network explaining collaboration effectiveness, which is defined as joint efforts to improve quality of service provision, cost savings, and coordination. We tested the bonding and bridging effects on collaboration effectiveness during the MERS outbreak response by utilizing an institutional collective action framework. The analysis results of 114 organizations responding during the crisis show a significant association between the bonding effect and the effectiveness of collaboration, as well as a positive association between risk communication in disseminating public health information and the effectiveness of collaboration.

  5. Assessing the risk of observing multiple generations of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) cases given an imported case.

    PubMed

    Nishiura, H; Miyamatsu, Y; Chowell, G; Saitoh, M

    2015-07-09

    To guide risk assessment, expected numbers of cases and generations were estimated, assuming a case importation of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Our analysis of 36 importation events yielded the risk of observing secondary transmission events at 22.7% (95% confidence interval: 19.3–25.1). The risks of observing generations 2, 3 and 4 were estimated at 10.5%, 6.1% and 3.9%, respectively. Countries at risk should be ready for highly variable outcomes following an importation of MERS.

  6. Public Health Network Structure and Collaboration Effectiveness during the 2015 MERS Outbreak in South Korea: An Institutional Collective Action Framework

    PubMed Central

    Andrew, Simon A.

    2017-01-01

    Following the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea, this research aims to examine the structural effect of public health network explaining collaboration effectiveness, which is defined as joint efforts to improve quality of service provision, cost savings, and coordination. We tested the bonding and bridging effects on collaboration effectiveness during the MERS outbreak response by utilizing an institutional collective action framework. The analysis results of 114 organizations responding during the crisis show a significant association between the bonding effect and the effectiveness of collaboration, as well as a positive association between risk communication in disseminating public health information and the effectiveness of collaboration. PMID:28914780

  7. Risk of global spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) via the air transport network.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Lauren M; Chughtai, Abrar A; MacIntyre, C Raina

    2016-06-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in 2012 and has since spread to 26 countries. All cases reported so far have either been in the Middle East or linked to the region through passenger air travel, with the largest outbreak outside KSA occurring in South Korea. Further international spread is likely due to the high travel volumes of global travel, as well as the occurrence of large annual mass gathering such as the Haj and Umrah pilgrimages that take place in the region. In this study, a transport network modelling framework was used to quantify the risk of MERS-CoV spreading internationally via air travellers. All regions connected to MERS-CoV affected countries via air travel are considered, and the countries at highest risk of travel-related importations of MERS-CoV were identified, ranked and compared with actual spread of MERS cases. The model identifies all countries that have previously reported a travel acquired case to be in the top 50 at-risk countries. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the highest risk countries which have yet to report a case, and should be prepared for the possibility of (pilgrims and general) travellers returning infected with MERS-CoV. In addition, the UK, Egypt, Turkey and the USA are at risk of more cases. We have demonstrated a risk-analysis approach, using travel patterns, to prioritize countries at highest risk for MERS-CoV importations. In order to prevent global outbreaks such as the one seen in South Korea, it is critical for high-risk countries to be prepared and have appropriate screening and triage protocols in place to identify travel-related cases of MERS-CoV. The results from the model can be used by countries to prioritize their airport and hospital screening and triage protocols. © International Society of Travel Medicine, 2016. All rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. MERS-CoV at the Animal–Human Interface: Inputs on Exposure Pathways from an Expert-Opinion Elicitation

    PubMed Central

    Funk, Anna L.; Goutard, Flavie Luce; Miguel, Eve; Bourgarel, Mathieu; Chevalier, Veronique; Faye, Bernard; Peiris, J. S. Malik; Van Kerkhove, Maria D.; Roger, Francois Louis

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 4 years after the first report of the emergence of Middle-East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and nearly 1800 human cases later, the ecology of MERS-CoV, its epidemiology, and more than risk factors of MERS-CoV transmission between camels are poorly understood. Knowledge about the pathways and mechanisms of transmission from animals to humans is limited; as of yet, transmission risks have not been quantified. Moreover the divergent sanitary situations and exposures to animals among populations in the Arabian Peninsula, where human primary cases appear to dominate, vs. other regions in the Middle East and Africa, with no reported human clinical cases and where the virus has been detected only in dromedaries, represents huge scientific and health challenges. Here, we have used expert-opinion elicitation in order to obtain ideas on relative importance of MERS-CoV risk factors and estimates of transmission risks from various types of contact between humans and dromedaries. Fourteen experts with diverse and extensive experience in MERS-CoV relevant fields were enrolled and completed an online questionnaire that examined pathways based on several scenarios, e.g., camels–camels, camels–human, bats/other species to camels/humans, and the role of diverse biological substances (milk, urine, etc.) and potential fomites. Experts believed that dromedary camels play the largest role in MERS-CoV infection of other dromedaries; however, they also indicated a significant influence of the season (i.e. calving or weaning periods) on transmission risk. All experts thought that MERS-CoV-infected dromedaries and asymptomatic humans play the most important role in infection of humans, with bats and other species presenting a possible, but yet undefined, risk. Direct and indirect contact of humans with dromedary camels were identified as the most risky types of contact, when compared to consumption of various camel products, with estimated “most likely

  9. Up-Regulation of Soluble Axl and Mer Receptor Tyrosine Kinases Negatively Correlates with Gas6 in Established Multiple Sclerosis Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Weinger, Jason G.; Omari, Kakuri M.; Marsden, Kurt; Raine, Cedric S.; Shafit-Zagardo, Bridget

    2009-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage; it ultimately forms gliotic scars and lesions that severely compromise the function of the central nervous system. Evidence has shown previously that altered growth factor receptor signaling contributes to lesion formation, impedes recovery, and plays a role in disease progression. Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6), the ligand for the TAM receptor tyrosine kinase family, consisting of Tyro3, Axl, and Mer, is important for cell growth, survival, and clearance of debris. In this study, we show that levels of membrane-bound Mer (205 kd), soluble Mer (∼150 kd), and soluble Axl (80 kd) were all significantly elevated in homogenates from established multiple sclerosis lesions comprised of both chronic active and chronic silent lesions. Whereas in normal tissue Gas6 positively correlated with soluble Axl and Mer, there was a negative correlation between Gas6 and soluble Axl and Mer in established multiple sclerosis lesions. In addition, increased levels of soluble Axl and Mer were associated with increased levels of mature ADAM17, mature ADAM10, and Furin, proteins that are associated with Axl and Mer solubilization. Soluble Axl and Mer are both known to act as decoy receptors and block Gas6 binding to membrane-bound receptors. These data suggest that in multiple sclerosis lesions, dysregulation of protective Gas6 receptor signaling may prolong lesion activity. PMID:19541935

  10. mer-Tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)iridium(III): preparation and comparison with other mer-tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Brown, Loren C; DuChane, Christine M; Merola, Joseph S

    2016-09-01

    The title complex, [IrCl3(C4H8S)3], was prepared according to a literature method. A suitable crystal was obtained by diffusion of pentane into a di-chloro-methane solution and analyzed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction at 100 K. The title complex is isotypic with mer-tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)rhodium(III). However, the orientation of the tetra-hydro-thio-phene rings is different from an earlier report of mer-tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)iridium(III) deposited in the Cambridge Structural Database. The IrS3Cl3 core shows a nearly octa-hedral structure with various bond angles within 1-2° of the perfect 90 or 180° expected for an octa-hedron. The structure of the title compound is compared with the previous iridium complex as well as the rhodium and other octa-hedral metal tris-tetra-hydro-thio-phene compounds previously structurally characterized. DFT calculations were performed, which indicate the mer isomer is significantly lower in energy than the fac isomer by 50.1 kJ mol(-1), thereby accounting for all compounds in the CSD being of the mer geometry. Powder X-ray diffraction of the bulk material showed that the preparation method yielded only the isomorph reported in this communication.

  11. Genes encoding mercuric reductases from selected gram-negative aquatic bacteria have a low degree of homology with merA of transposon Tn501.

    PubMed Central

    Barkay, T; Gillman, M; Liebert, C

    1990-01-01

    An investigation of the Hg2+ resistance mechanism of four freshwater and four coastal marine bacteria that did not hybridize with a mer operonic probe was conducted (T. Barkay, C. Liebert, and M. Gillman, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 55:1196-1202, 1989). Hybridization with a merA probe, the gene encoding the mercuric reductase polypeptide, at a stringency of hybridization permitting hybrid formation between evolutionarily distant merA genes (as exists between gram-positive and -negative bacteria), detected merA sequences in the genomes of all tested strains. Inducible Hg2+ volatilization was demonstrated for all eight organisms, and NADPH-dependent mercuric reductase activities were detected in crude cell extracts of six of the strains. Because these strains represented random selections of bacteria from three aquatic environments, it is concluded that merA encodes a common molecular mechanism for Hg2+ resistance and volatilization in aerobic heterotrophic aquatic communities. Images PMID:2166470

  12. Reproducible Synthesis and High Porosity of mer-Zn(Im)2 (ZIF-10): Exploitation of an Apparent Double-Eight Ring Template.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Joseph R; Yang, Haiyang; Kane, Christopher M; Ley, Amanda N; Holman, K Travis

    2016-09-21

    Reproducible synthesis of the elusive merlinoite (mer) topology of zinc imidazolate (mer-Zn(Im)2, or ZIF-10) has been achieved by employing a simple macrocyclic solute-MeMeCH2-as a kinetic template. The corresponding phase-pure material, mer-MeMeCH2@Zn16(Im)32, is confirmed to be porous and exhibits one of the highest experimental surface areas (1893 m(2)/g, BET) yet reported for any ZIF. The X-ray single crystal structure of mer-MeMeCH2@Zn16(Im)32·xsolvent reveals the role of the macrocyle as an 8-fold hydrogen bond acceptor in templating the requisite double-eight rings (d8r) of the mer framework.

  13. Prevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels in Abu Dhabi Emirate, United Arab Emirates.

    PubMed

    Yusof, Mohammed F; Eltahir, Yassir M; Serhan, Wissam S; Hashem, Farouk M; Elsayed, Elsaeid A; Marzoug, Bahaaeldin A; Abdelazim, Assem Si; Bensalah, Oum Keltoum A; Al Muhairi, Salama S

    2015-06-01

    High seroprevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels has been previously reported in United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the molecular detection of the virus has never been reported before in UAE. Of the 7,803 nasal swabs tested in the epidemiological survey, MERS-CoV nucleic acid was detected by real-time PCR in a total of 126 (1.6 %) camels. Positive camels were detected at the borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman and in camels' slaughter houses. MERS-CoV partial sequences obtained from UAE camels were clustering with human- and camel-derived MERS-CoV sequences in the same geographic area. Results provide further evidence of MERS-CoV zoonosis.

  14. MER Field Geologic Traverse in Gusev Crater, Mars: Initial Results From the Perspective of Spirit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumpler, L.; Cabrol, N.; desMarais, D.; Farmer, J.; Golmbek, M.; Grant, J.; Greely, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Haskin, L.; Arvidson, R.

    2004-01-01

    This report casts the initial results of the traverse and science investigations by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit at Gusev crater [1] in terms of data sets commonly used in field geologic investigations: Local mapping of geologic features, analyses of selected samples, and their location within the local map, and the regional context of the field traverse in terms of the larger geologic and physiographic region. These elements of the field method are represented in the MER characterization of the Gusev traverse by perspective-based geologic/morphologic maps, the placement of the results from Mossbauer, APXS, Microscopic Imager, Mini-TES and Pancam multispectral studies in context within this geologic/ morphologic map, and the placement of the overall traverse in the context of narrow-angle MOC (Mars Orbiter Camera) and descent images. A major campaign over a significance fraction of the mission will be the first robotic traverse of the ejecta from a Martian impact crater along an approximate radial from the crater center. The Mars Exploration Rovers have been conceptually described as 'robotic field geologists', that is, a suite of instruments with mobility that enables far-field traverses to multiple sites located within a regional map/image base at which in situ analyses may be done. Initial results from MER, where the field geologic method has been used throughout the initial course of the investigation, confirm that this field geologic model is applicable for remote planetary surface exploration. The field geologic method makes use of near-field geologic characteristics ('outcrops') to develop an understanding of the larger geologic context through continuous loop of rational steps focused on real-time hypothesis identification and testing. This poster equates 'outcrops' with the locations of in situ investigations and 'regional context' with the geology over distance of several kilometers. Using this fundamental field geologic method, we have

  15. Environmental Conditions Constrain the Distribution and Diversity of Archaeal merA in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, Y.; Boyd, E.; Crane, S.; Lu-Irving, P.; Krabbenhoft, D.; King, S.; Dighton, J.; Geesey, G.; Barkay, T.

    2011-01-01

    The distribution and phylogeny of extant protein-encoding genes recovered from geochemically diverse environments can provide insight into the physical and chemical parameters that led to the origin and which constrained the evolution of a functional process. Mercuric reductase (MerA) plays an integral role in mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry by catalyzing the transformation of Hg(II) to Hg(0). Putative merA sequences were amplified from DNA extracts of microbial communities associated with mats and sulfur precipitates from physicochemically diverse Hg-containing springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, using four PCR primer sets that were designed to capture the known diversity of merA. The recovery of novel and deeply rooted MerA lineages from these habitats supports previous evidence that indicates merA originated in a thermophilic environment. Generalized linear models indicate that the distribution of putative archaeal merA lineages was constrained by a combination of pH, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved total mercury and sulfide. The models failed to identify statistically well supported trends for the distribution of putative bacterial merA lineages as a function of these or other measured environmental variables, suggesting that these lineages were either influenced by environmental parameters not considered in the present study, or the bacterial primer sets were designed to target too broad of a class of genes which may have responded differently to environmental stimuli. The widespread occurrence of merA in the geothermal environments implies a prominent role for Hg detoxification in these environments. Moreover, the differences in the distribution of the merA genes amplified with the four merA primer sets suggests that the organisms putatively engaged in this activity have evolved to occupy different ecological niches within the geothermal gradient. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  16. Environmental conditions constrain the distribution and diversity of archaeal merA in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanping; Boyd, Eric; Crane, Sharron; Lu-Irving, Patricia; Krabbenhoft, David; King, Susan; Dighton, John; Geesey, Gill; Barkay, Tamar

    2011-11-01

    The distribution and phylogeny of extant protein-encoding genes recovered from geochemically diverse environments can provide insight into the physical and chemical parameters that led to the origin and which constrained the evolution of a functional process. Mercuric reductase (MerA) plays an integral role in mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry by catalyzing the transformation of Hg(II) to Hg(0). Putative merA sequences were amplified from DNA extracts of microbial communities associated with mats and sulfur precipitates from physicochemically diverse Hg-containing springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, using four PCR primer sets that were designed to capture the known diversity of merA. The recovery of novel and deeply rooted MerA lineages from these habitats supports previous evidence that indicates merA originated in a thermophilic environment. Generalized linear models indicate that the distribution of putative archaeal merA lineages was constrained by a combination of pH, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved total mercury and sulfide. The models failed to identify statistically well supported trends for the distribution of putative bacterial merA lineages as a function of these or other measured environmental variables, suggesting that these lineages were either influenced by environmental parameters not considered in the present study, or the bacterial primer sets were designed to target too broad of a class of genes which may have responded differently to environmental stimuli. The widespread occurrence of merA in the geothermal environments implies a prominent role for Hg detoxification in these environments. Moreover, the differences in the distribution of the merA genes amplified with the four merA primer sets suggests that the organisms putatively engaged in this activity have evolved to occupy different ecological niches within the geothermal gradient.

  17. A camel-derived MERS-CoV with a variant spike protein cleavage site and distinct fusion activation properties

    PubMed Central

    Millet, Jean Kaoru; Goldstein, Monty E; Labitt, Rachael N; Hsu, Hung-Lun; Daniel, Susan; Whittaker, Gary R

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to circulate in both humans and camels, and the origin and evolution of the virus remain unclear. Here we characterize the spike protein of a camel-derived MERS-CoV (NRCE-HKU205) identified in 2013, early in the MERS outbreak. NRCE-HKU205 spike protein has a variant cleavage motif with regard to the S2′ fusion activation site—notably, a novel substitution of isoleucine for the otherwise invariant serine at the critical P1′ cleavage site position. The substitutions resulted in a loss of furin-mediated cleavage, as shown by fluorogenic peptide cleavage and western blot assays. Cell–cell fusion and pseudotyped virus infectivity assays demonstrated that the S2′ substitutions decreased spike-mediated fusion and viral entry. However, cathepsin and trypsin-like protease activation were retained, albeit with much reduced efficiency compared with the prototypical EMC/2012 human strain. We show that NRCE-HKU205 has more limited fusion activation properties possibly resulting in more restricted viral tropism and may represent an intermediate in the complex pattern of MERS-CoV ecology and evolution. PMID:27999426

  18. Concerted action of the MutLβ heterodimer and Mer3 helicase regulates the global extent of meiotic gene conversion.

    PubMed

    Duroc, Yann; Kumar, Rajeev; Ranjha, Lepakshi; Adam, Céline; Guérois, Raphaël; Md Muntaz, Khan; Marsolier-Kergoat, Marie-Claude; Dingli, Florent; Laureau, Raphaëlle; Loew, Damarys; Llorente, Bertrand; Charbonnier, Jean-Baptiste; Cejka, Petr; Borde, Valérie

    2017-01-04

    Gene conversions resulting from meiotic recombination are critical in shaping genome diversification and evolution. How the extent of gene conversions is regulated is unknown. Here we show that the budding yeast mismatch repair related MutLβ complex, Mlh1-Mlh2, specifically interacts with the conserved meiotic Mer3 helicase, which recruits it to recombination hotspots, independently of mismatch recognition. This recruitment is essential to limit gene conversion tract lengths genome-wide, without affecting crossover formation. Contrary to expectations, Mer3 helicase activity, proposed to extend the displacement loop (D-loop) recombination intermediate, does not influence the length of gene conversion events, revealing non-catalytical roles of Mer3. In addition, both purified Mer3 and MutLβ preferentially recognize D-loops, providing a mechanism for limiting gene conversion in vivo. These findings show that MutLβ is an integral part of a new regulatory step of meiotic recombination, which has implications to prevent rapid allele fixation and hotspot erosion in populations.

  19. Searching for animal models and potential target species for emerging pathogens: Experience gained from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Alert, Júlia; Vidal, Enric; Bensaid, Albert; Segalés, Joaquim

    2017-06-01

    Emerging and re-emerging pathogens represent a substantial threat to public health, as demonstrated with numerous outbreaks over the past years, including the 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus in western Africa. Coronaviruses are also a threat for humans, as evidenced in 2002/2003 with infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which caused more than 8000 human infections with 10% fatality rate in 37 countries. Ten years later, a novel human coronavirus (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, MERS-CoV), associated with severe pneumonia, arose in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Until December 2016, MERS has accounted for more than 1800 cases and 35% fatality rate. Finding an animal model of disease is key to develop vaccines or antivirals against such emerging pathogens and to understand its pathogenesis. Knowledge of the potential role of domestic livestock and other animal species in the transmission of pathogens is of importance to understand the epidemiology of the disease. Little is known about MERS-CoV animal host range. In this paper, experimental data on potential hosts for MERS-CoV is reviewed. Advantages and limitations of different animal models are evaluated in relation to viral pathogenesis and transmission studies. Finally, the relevance of potential new target species is discussed.

  20. T-cell immunity of SARS-CoV: Implications for vaccine development against MERS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Liu, William J; Zhao, Min; Liu, Kefang; Xu, Kun; Wong, Gary; Tan, Wenjie; Gao, George F

    2017-01-01

    Over 12 years have elapsed since severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) triggered the first global alert for coronavirus infections. Virus transmission in humans was quickly halted by public health measures and human infections of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) have not been observed since. However, other coronaviruses still pose a continuous threat to human health, as exemplified by the recent emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in humans. The work on SARS-CoV widens our knowledge on the epidemiology, pathophysiology and immunology of coronaviruses and may shed light on MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It has been confirmed that T-cell immunity plays an important role in recovery from SARS-CoV infection. Herein, we summarize T-cell immunological studies of SARS-CoV and discuss the potential cross-reactivity of the SARS-CoV-specific immunity against MERS-CoV, which may provide useful recommendations for the development of broad-spectrum vaccines against coronavirus infections. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Concerted action of the MutLβ heterodimer and Mer3 helicase regulates the global extent of meiotic gene conversion

    PubMed Central

    Duroc, Yann; Kumar, Rajeev; Ranjha, Lepakshi; Adam, Céline; Guérois, Raphaël; Md Muntaz, Khan; Marsolier-Kergoat, Marie-Claude; Dingli, Florent; Laureau, Raphaëlle; Loew, Damarys; Llorente, Bertrand; Charbonnier, Jean-Baptiste; Cejka, Petr; Borde, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Gene conversions resulting from meiotic recombination are critical in shaping genome diversification and evolution. How the extent of gene conversions is regulated is unknown. Here we show that the budding yeast mismatch repair related MutLβ complex, Mlh1-Mlh2, specifically interacts with the conserved meiotic Mer3 helicase, which recruits it to recombination hotspots, independently of mismatch recognition. This recruitment is essential to limit gene conversion tract lengths genome-wide, without affecting crossover formation. Contrary to expectations, Mer3 helicase activity, proposed to extend the displacement loop (D-loop) recombination intermediate, does not influence the length of gene conversion events, revealing non-catalytical roles of Mer3. In addition, both purified Mer3 and MutLβ preferentially recognize D-loops, providing a mechanism for limiting gene conversion in vivo. These findings show that MutLβ is an integral part of a new regulatory step of meiotic recombination, which has implications to prevent rapid allele fixation and hotspot erosion in populations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21900.001 PMID:28051769

  2. Tuning in and catching on? Examining the relationship between pandemic communication and awareness and knowledge of MERS in the USA.

    PubMed

    Lin, Leesa; McCloud, Rachel F; Bigman, Cabral A; Viswanath, Kasisomayajula

    2017-06-01

    Large-scale influenza outbreaks over the last decade, such as SARS and H1N1, have brought to global attention the importance of emergency risk communication and prompted the international community to develop communication responses. Since pandemic outbreaks are relatively infrequent, there is a dearth of evidence addressing the following questions: (i) Have the resources invested in strategic and routine communication for past pandemic outbreaks yielded public health preparedness benefits? (ii) Have past efforts sensitized people to pay attention to new pandemic threats? The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that was followed closely by major media outlets in the USA provides an opportunity to examine the relationship between exposure to public communication about epidemics and public awareness and knowledge about new risks. In December, 2013, we surveyed a nationally representative sample of 627 American adults and examined the associations between people's awareness to prior pandemics and their awareness of and knowledge about MERS. Awareness of prior pandemics was significantly associated with awareness and knowledge of MERS. The most common sources from which people first heard about MERS were also identified. Communication inequalities were observed between racial/ethnic and socioeconomic positions, suggesting a need for more effective pandemic communication.

  3. Contributions from Particles in Europe (PiE) 2010, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France: an introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikkelsen, Ole A.; Chami, Malik; Doxaran, David

    2012-04-01

    This special issue of Geo-Marine Letters presents selected contributions from the international conference Particles in Europe (PiE) 2010 organized by Sequoia Scientific, Inc., and the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV) on 15-17 November 2010 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, and guest-edited by Ole Mikkelsen, Malik Chami and David Doxaran. PiE was initiated in 2008, in order to promote and further our understanding of the importance of suspended particulate matter (SPM) for a very wide range of processes in the aquatic environment—from optics and acoustics, over sediment transport, to the global carbon balance. The papers in this special issue are in particular concerned with the interaction between SPM and water optical properties, as well as how to use optical proxy measurements to understand SPM processes. The next PiE conference is scheduled for 17-19 October 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

  4. A View from the Cheap Seats: MER and its Implications for Future Mars Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leshin, L. A.; Minitti, M.; Cosarinsky, M.; McAdam, A.; Niles, P.

    2004-12-01

    The spectacular success of the Mars Exploration Rover mission is reflected by the exciting scientific discoveries that Spirit and Opportunity have made concerning habitability potential and geologic history of two sites on Mars. The apparent discovery of strong evidence for the presence of liquid water at the Opportunity site is of historic importance (although at the time of this writing we must note that there is not yet any peer-reviewed publication of this result). But perhaps even more importantly, the success of MER provides key validation of a strategy and approach to Mars exploration. Here, we highlight some of the strategic successes, as well as lessons learned for refining our approach to Mars exploration, and for future exploration endeavors across the solar system and beyond. Almost more than imaginable, MER has validated both the "follow the water" strategy and the "seek-in situ-sample" approach of the Mars Exploration Program developed by a broad, inclusive group of Mars explorers. Seeking interesting, water-relevant sites with remote observations from orbit resulted in one clear success at Meridiani, and in perhaps what is most optimistically termed "delayed success" at Gusev. Three lessons from this are clear. First, it's always better to fly two spacecraft! Second, significant mobility enables greatly enhanced science return. Third, mineralogical evidence appears more reliable than geomorphic evidence if the goal is to seek preserved evidence of aqueous processes (Pathfinder results also support this observation), although the combination of mineralogical information with high-resolution imagery is almost certainly the best way to optimize for success. The 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's spectral mapping and imaging capability will thus be critical to future landing site selection. And yet, it is important to note that in spite of mineralogical evidence pointing to Meridiani as a site of "aqueous interest", and the detailed regional geological

  5. From SARS to MERS: 10 years of research on highly pathogenic human coronaviruses.

    PubMed

    Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Peiris, Malik

    2013-10-01

    This article introduces a series of invited papers in Antiviral Research marking the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged in southern China in late 2002. Until that time, coronaviruses had not been recognized as agents causing severe disease in humans, hence, the emergence of the SARS-CoV came as a complete surprise. Research during the past ten years has revealed the existence of a diverse pool of coronaviruses circulating among various bat species and other animals, suggesting that further introductions of highly pathogenic coronaviruses into the human population are not merely probable, but inevitable. The recent emergence of another coronavirus causing severe disease, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), in humans, has made it clear that coronaviruses pose a major threat to human health, and that more research is urgently needed to elucidate their replication mechanisms, identify potential drug targets, and develop effective countermeasures. In this series, experts in many different aspects of coronavirus replication and disease will provide authoritative, up-to-date reviews of the following topics: - clinical management and infection control of SARS; - reservoir hosts of coronaviruses; - receptor recognition and cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV; - SARS-CoV evasion of innate immune responses; - structures and functions of individual coronaviral proteins; - anti-coronavirus drug discovery and development; and - the public health legacy of the SARS outbreak. Each article will be identified in the last line of its abstract as belonging to the series "From SARS to MERS: 10years of research on highly pathogenic human coronaviruses." Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  7. The Miniaturized Moessbauer Spectrometers MIMOS II on MER: Four Years of Operation - A Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleischer, I.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Morris, R. V.; Rodionov, D.; Blumers, M.; Bernhardt, B.; Schroeder, C.; Ming, D. W.; Yen, A. S.; Cohen, B. A.; McCoy, T. J.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Schmidt, M. E.; Girones Lopez, J.; Studlek, G.; Brueckner, J.; Gellert, R.; d'Uston, C.

    2008-01-01

    The two Miniaturized Moessbauer Spectrometers (MIMOS II) on board the two Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity have now been collecting important scientific data for more than four years. The spectrometers provide information about Fe-bearing mineral phases and determine Fe oxidation states. The total amount of targets analized exceeds 600, the total integration time exceeds 260 days for both rovers. Since landing, more than five half-lives of the Co-57 MB sources have past (intensity at the time of landing approx. 150 mCi). Current integration times are about 50 hours in order to achieve reasonable statistics as opposed to 8 hours at the beginning of the mission. In total, 13 different mineral phases were detected: Olivine, pyroxene, hematite, magnetite and nanophase ferric oxide were detected at both landing sites. At Gusev, ilmenite, goethite, a ferric sulfate phase and a yet unassigned phase (in the rock Fuzzy Smith) were detected. At Meridiani, jarosite, metallic iron in meteoritic samples (kamacite), troilite, and an unassigned ferric phase were detected. Jarosite and goethite are of special interest, as these minerals are indicators for water activity. In this abstract, an overview of Moessbauer results will be given, with a focus on data obtained since the last martian winter. The MER mission has proven that Moessbauer spectroscopy is a valuable tool for the in situ exploration of extraterrestrial bodies and for the study of Febearing samples. The experience gained through the MER mission makes MIMOS II a obvious choice for future missions to Mars and other targets. Currently, MIMOS II is on the scientific payload of two approved future missions: Phobos Grunt (Russian Space Agency; 2009) and ExoMars (European Space Agency; 2013).

  8. Identification and regulation of receptor tyrosine kinases Rse and Mer and their ligand Gas6 in testicular somatic cells.

    PubMed

    Chan, M C; Mather, J P; McCray, G; Lee, W M

    2000-01-01

    Receptor tyrosine kinases act to convey extracellular signals to intracellular signaling pathways and ultimately control cell proliferation and differentiation. Rse, Axl, and Mer belong to a newly identified family of cell adhesion molecule-related receptor tyrosine kinase. They bind the vitamin K-dependent protein growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6), which is also structurally related to the anticoagulation factor Protein S. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible role of Rse/Axl/Mer tyrosine kinase receptors and their ligand in regulating testicular functions. Gene expression of Rse, Axl, Mer, and Gas6 in the testis was studied by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot analysis. The results indicated that receptors Rse and Mer and the ligand Gas6 were expressed in the rat endothelial cell line (TR1), mouse Leydig cell line (TM3), rat peritubular myoid cell line (TRM), mouse Sertoli cell line (TM4), and primary rat Sertoli cells. Axl was not expressed in the testicular somatic cells by RT-PCR or Northern blot analysis. The highest level of expression of Gas6 messenger RNA (mRNA) was observed in the Sertoli cells, and its expression was responsive to the addition of forskolin in vitro. The effects of serum, insulin, and transferrin on Gas6 expression by TM4 cells were examined. It was shown that they all exhibited an up-regulating effect on Gas6 expression. The forskolin-stimulated Gas6 expression was accompanied by an increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of the Rse receptor in vitro, suggesting that Gas6 may exhibit an autocrine effect in the Sertoli cells through multiple tyrosine kinase receptors. Our studies so far have demonstrated that tyrosine kinase receptors Rse and Mer and their ligand Gas6 are widely expressed in the testicular somatic cell lines and may play a marked role in promoting testicular cell survival.

  9. Diminishing return for increased Mappability with longer sequencing reads: implications of the k-mer distributions in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The amount of non-unique sequence (non-singletons) in a genome directly affects the difficulty of read alignment to a reference assembly for high throughput-sequencing data. Although a longer read is more likely to be uniquely mapped to the reference genome, a quantitative analysis of the influence of read lengths on mappability has been lacking. To address this question, we evaluate the k-mer distribution of the human reference genome. The k-mer frequency is determined for k ranging from 20 bp to 1000 bp. Results We observe that the proportion of non-singletons k-mers decreases slowly with increasing k, and can be fitted by piecewise power-law functions with different exponents at different ranges of k. A slower decay at greater values for k indicates more limited gains in mappability for read lengths between 200 bp and 1000 bp. The frequency distributions of k-mers exhibit long tails with a power-law-like trend, and rank frequency plots exhibit a concave Zipf’s curve. The most frequent 1000-mers comprise 172 regions, which include four large stretches on chromosomes 1 and X, containing genes of biomedical relevance. Comparison with other databases indicates that the 172 regions can be broadly classified into two types: those containing LINE transposable elements and those containing segmental duplications. Conclusion Read mappability as measured by the proportion of singletons increases steadily up to the length scale around 200 bp. When read length increases above 200 bp, smaller gains in mappability are expected. Moreover, the proportion of non-singletons decreases with read lengths much slower than linear. Even a read length of 1000 bp would not allow the unique alignment of reads for many coding regions of human genes. A mix of techniques will be needed for efficiently producing high-quality data that cover the complete human genome. PMID:24386976

  10. The clinical and virological features of the first imported case causing MERS-CoV outbreak in South Korea, 2015.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ji Yeon; Kim, You-Jin; Chung, Eun Hee; Kim, Dae-Won; Jeong, Ina; Kim, Yeonjae; Yun, Mi-Ran; Kim, Sung Soon; Kim, Gayeon; Joh, Joon-Sung

    2017-07-14

    In 2015, the largest outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection outside the Middle East occurred in South Korea. We summarized the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory findings of the first Korean case of MERS-CoV and analyzed whole-genome sequences of MERS-CoV derived from the patient. A 68-year-old man developed fever and myalgia 7 days after returning to Korea, following a 10-day trip to the Middle East. Before diagnosis, he visited 4 hospitals, potentially resulting in secondary transmission to 28 patients. On admission to the National Medical Center (day 9, post-onset of clinical illness), he presented with drowsiness, hypoxia, and multiple patchy infiltrations on the chest radiograph. He was intubated (day 12) because of progressive acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and INF-α2a and ribavirin treatment was commenced. The treatment course was prolonged by superimposed ventilator associated pneumonia. MERS-CoV PCR results converted to negative from day 47 and the patient was discharged (day 137), following rehabilitation therapy. The complete genome sequence obtained from a sputum sample (taken on day 11) showed the highest sequence similarity (99.59%) with the virus from an outbreak in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in February 2015. The first case of MERS-CoV infection had high transmissibility and was associated with a severe clinical course. The patient made a successful recovery after early treatment with antiviral agents and adequate supportive care. This first case in South Korea became a super-spreader because of improper infection control measures, rather than variations of the virus.

  11. MetaPalette: a k-mer Painting Approach for Metagenomic Taxonomic Profiling and Quantification of Novel Strain Variation

    PubMed Central

    Falush, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Metagenomic profiling is challenging in part because of the highly uneven sampling of the tree of life by genome sequencing projects and the limitations imposed by performing phylogenetic inference at fixed taxonomic ranks. We present the algorithm MetaPalette, which uses long k-mer sizes (k = 30, 50) to fit a k-mer “palette” of a given sample to the k-mer palette of reference organisms. By modeling the k-mer palettes of unknown organisms, the method also gives an indication of the presence, abundance, and evolutionary relatedness of novel organisms present in the sample. The method returns a traditional, fixed-rank taxonomic profile which is shown on independently simulated data to be one of the most accurate to date. Tree figures are also returned that quantify the relatedness of novel organisms to reference sequences, and the accuracy of such figures is demonstrated on simulated spike-ins and a metagenomic soil sample. The software implementing MetaPalette is available at: https://github.com/dkoslicki/MetaPalette. Pretrained databases are included for Archaea, Bacteria, Eukaryota, and viruses. IMPORTANCE Taxonomic profiling is a challenging first step when analyzing a metagenomic sample. This work presents a method that facilitates fine-scale characterization of the presence, abundance, and evolutionary relatedness of organisms present in a given sample but absent from the training database. We calculate a “k-mer palette” which summarizes the information from all reads, not just those in conserved genes or containing taxon-specific markers. The compositions of palettes are easy to model, allowing rapid inference of community composition. In addition to providing strain-level information where applicable, our approach provides taxonomic profiles that are more accurate than those of competing methods. Author Video: An author video summary of this article is available. PMID:27822531

  12. Inactivation of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in plasma products using a riboflavin-based and ultraviolet light-based photochemical treatment.

    PubMed

    Keil, Shawn D; Bowen, Richard; Marschner, Susanne

    2016-12-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been identified as a potential threat to the safety of blood products. The Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology System uses riboflavin and ultraviolet (UV) light to render blood-borne pathogens noninfectious while maintaining blood product quality. Here, we report on the efficacy of riboflavin and UV light against MERS-CoV when tested in human plasma. MERS-CoV (EMC strain) was used to inoculate plasma units that then underwent treatment with riboflavin and UV light. The infectious titers of MERS-CoV in the samples before and after treatment were determined by plaque assay on Vero cells. The treatments were initially performed in triplicate using pooled plasma (n = 3) and then repeated using individual plasma units (n = 6). In both studies, riboflavin and UV light reduced the infectious titer of MERS-CoV below the limit of detection. The mean log reductions in the viral titers were ≥4.07 and ≥4.42 for the pooled and individual donor plasma, respectively. Riboflavin and UV light effectively reduced the titer of MERS-CoV in human plasma products to below the limit of detection, suggesting that the treatment process may reduce the risk of transfusion transmission of MERS-CoV. © 2016 AABB.

  13. PEDF and 34-mer inhibit angiogenesis in the heart by inducing tip cells apoptosis via up-regulating PPAR-γ to increase surface FasL.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hao; Wei, Tengteng; Jiang, Xia; Li, Zhimin; Cui, Huazhu; Pan, Jiajun; Zhuang, Wei; Sun, Teng; Liu, Zhiwei; Zhang, Zhongming; Dong, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    Pigment epithelial-derived factor (PEDF) is a potent anti-angiogenic factor whose effects are partially mediated through the induction of endothelial cell apoptosis. However, the underlying mechanism for PEDF and the functional PEDF peptides 34-mer and 44-mer to inhibit angiogenesis in the heart has not been fully established. In the present study, by constructing adult Sprague-Dawley rat models of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and in vitro myocardial angiogenesis, we showed that PEDF and 34-mer markedly inhibits angiogenesis by selectively inducing tip cells apoptosis rather than quiescent cells. Peptide 44-mer on the other hand exhibits no such effects. Next, we identified Fas death pathway as essential downstream regulators of PEDF and 34-mer activities in inhibiting angiogenesis. By using peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) siRNA and PPAR-γ inhibitor, GW9662, we found the effects of PEDF and 34-mer were extensively blocked. These data suggest that PEDF and 34-mer inhibit angiogenesis via inducing tip cells apoptosis at least by means of up-regulating PPAR-γ to increase surface FasL in the ischemic heart, which might be a novel mechanism to understanding cardiac angiogenesis after AMI.

  14. The Synechocystis PCC6803 MerA-Like Enzyme Operates in the Reduction of Both Mercury and Uranium under the Control of the Glutaredoxin 1 Enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Marteyn, Benoit; Sakr, Samer; Farci, Sandrine; Bedhomme, Mariette; Chardonnet, Solenne; Decottignies, Paulette; Lemaire, Stéphane D.; Cassier-Chauvat, Corinne

    2013-01-01

    In a continuing effort to analyze the selectivity/redundancy of the three glutaredoxin (Grx) enzymes of the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803, we have characterized an enzyme system that plays a crucial role in protection against two toxic metal pollutants, mercury and uranium. The present data show that Grx1 (Slr1562 in CyanoBase) selectively interacts with the presumptive mercuric reductase protein (Slr1849). This MerA enzyme plays a crucial role in cell defense against both mercuric and uranyl ions, in catalyzing their NADPH-driven reduction. Like MerA, Grx1 operates in cell protection against both mercury and uranium. The Grx1-MerA interaction requires cysteine 86 (C86) of Grx1 and C78 of MerA, which is critical for its reductase activity. MerA can be inhibited by glutathionylation and subsequently reactivated by Grx1, likely through deglutathionylation. The two Grx1 residues C31, which belongs to the redox active site (CX2C), and C86, which operates in MerA interactions, are both required for reactivation of MerA. These novel findings emphasize the role of glutaredoxins in tolerance to metal stress as well as the evolutionary conservation of the glutathionylation process, so far described mostly for eukaryotes. PMID:23852862

  15. Receptor usage and cell entry of bat coronavirus HKU4 provide insight into bat-to-human transmission of MERS coronavirus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Du, Lanying; Liu, Chang; Wang, Lili; Ma, Cuiqing; Tang, Jian; Baric, Ralph S; Jiang, Shibo; Li, Fang

    2014-08-26

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) currently spreads in humans and causes ∼ 36% fatality in infected patients. Believed to have originated from bats, MERS-CoV is genetically related to bat coronaviruses HKU4 and HKU5. To understand how bat coronaviruses transmit to humans, we investigated the receptor usage and cell entry activity of the virus-surface spike proteins of HKU4 and HKU5. We found that dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), the receptor for MERS-CoV, is also the receptor for HKU4, but not HKU5. Despite sharing a common receptor, MERS-CoV and HKU4 spikes demonstrated functional differences. First, whereas MERS-CoV prefers human DPP4 over bat DPP4 as its receptor, HKU4 shows the opposite trend. Second, in the absence of exogenous proteases, both MERS-CoV and HKU4 spikes mediate pseudovirus entry into bat cells, whereas only MERS-CoV spike, but not HKU4 spike, mediates pseudovirus entry into human cells. Thus, MERS-CoV, but not HKU4, has adapted to use human DPP4 and human cellular proteases for efficient human cell entry, contributing to the enhanced pathogenesis of MERS-CoV in humans. These results establish DPP4 as a functional receptor for HKU4 and host cellular proteases as a host range determinant for HKU4. They also suggest that DPP4-recognizing bat coronaviruses threaten human health because of their spikes' capability to adapt to human cells for cross-species transmissions.

  16. Cloning, Expression, Isotope Labeling, and Purification of Transmembrane Protein MerF from Mercury Resistant Enterobacter sp. AZ-15 for NMR Studies.

    PubMed

    Amin, Aatif; Latif, Zakia

    2017-01-01

    Mercury resistant (Hg(R)) Enterobacter sp. AZ-15 was isolated from heavy metal polluted industrial wastewater samples near to districts Kasur and Sheikhupura, Pakistan. 16S rDNA ribotyping and phylogentic analysis showed 98% homology with already reported Enterobacter species. The merF gene encoding transmembrane protein-MerF was amplified from genomic DNA and ligated into pET31b+ vector using restriction endonucleases, SphI and XhoI. The genetic codons of merF gene encoding cysteine residues were mutated into codons, translating into serine residues by site-directed mutagenesis. Ketosteroid isomerase (KSI), a fusion tag which is present in pET31b+ vector, was used in the expression of merFm gene. KSI was used to drive the target peptide (MerFm) into inclusion bodies so that the peptide yield and purity were increased. The stable plasmid pET31b+:merFm was transformed into C43(DE3) E.coli cells. The high expression of uniformly (15)N isotopically labeled-MerFm protein was induced with 1 mM IPTG. The purification of (15)N-MerFm recombinant protein by Ni-NTA and size exclusion chromatography involved an unfolding/refolding procedure. The two-dimensional HSQC NMR spectra of MerFm protein showed the purity and correct number of resonances for each amide. (1)H-(15)N HSQC NMR experiment also confirmed that no modification of the tryptophan residue occurred during cyanogen bromide cleavage. A small scale reservoir of Luria Bertani (LB) medium supplemented with 20 μg/ml of HgCl2 showed 90% detoxification of Hg by Enterobacter sp. AZ-15. The accumulation of Hg on the cell surface of this strain was visualized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) which confirmed its potential use in Hg-bioremediation.

  17. Cloning, Expression, Isotope Labeling, and Purification of Transmembrane Protein MerF from Mercury Resistant Enterobacter sp. AZ-15 for NMR Studies

    PubMed Central

    Amin, Aatif; Latif, Zakia

    2017-01-01

    Mercury resistant (HgR) Enterobacter sp. AZ-15 was isolated from heavy metal polluted industrial wastewater samples near to districts Kasur and Sheikhupura, Pakistan. 16S rDNA ribotyping and phylogentic analysis showed 98% homology with already reported Enterobacter species. The merF gene encoding transmembrane protein-MerF was amplified from genomic DNA and ligated into pET31b+ vector using restriction endonucleases, SphI and XhoI. The genetic codons of merF gene encoding cysteine residues were mutated into codons, translating into serine residues by site-directed mutagenesis. Ketosteroid isomerase (KSI), a fusion tag which is present in pET31b+ vector, was used in the expression of merFm gene. KSI was used to drive the target peptide (MerFm) into inclusion bodies so that the peptide yield and purity were increased. The stable plasmid pET31b+:merFm was transformed into C43(DE3) E.coli cells. The high expression of uniformly 15N isotopically labeled-MerFm protein was induced with 1 mM IPTG. The purification of 15N-MerFm recombinant protein by Ni-NTA and size exclusion chromatography involved an unfolding/refolding procedure. The two-dimensional HSQC NMR spectra of MerFm protein showed the purity and correct number of resonances for each amide. 1H–15N HSQC NMR experiment also confirmed that no modification of the tryptophan residue occurred during cyanogen bromide cleavage. A small scale reservoir of Luria Bertani (LB) medium supplemented with 20 μg/ml of HgCl2 showed 90% detoxification of Hg by Enterobacter sp. AZ-15. The accumulation of Hg on the cell surface of this strain was visualized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) which confirmed its potential use in Hg-bioremediation. PMID:28736549

  18. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) RNA and neutralising antibodies in milk collected according to local customs from dromedary camels, Qatar, April 2014.

    PubMed

    Reusken, C B; Farag, E A; Jonges, M; Godeke, G J; El-Sayed, A M; Pas, S D; Raj, V S; Mohran, K A; Moussa, H A; Ghobashy, H; Alhajri, F; Ibrahim, A K; Bosch, B J; Pasha, S K; Al-Romaihi, H E; Al-Thani, M; Al-Marri, S A; AlHajri, M M; Haagmans, B L; Koopmans, M P

    2014-06-12

    Antibodies to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) were detected in serum and milk collected according to local customs from 33 camels in Qatar, April 2014. At one location, evidence for active virus shedding in nasal secretions and/or faeces was observed for 7/12 camels; viral RNA was detected in milk of five of these seven camels. The presence of MERS-CoV RNA in milk of camels actively shedding the virus warrants measures to prevent putative food-borne transmission of MERS-CoV.

  19. MIMOS II on MER One Year of Mossbauer Spectroscopy on the Surface of Mars: From Jarosite at Meridiani Planum to Goethite at Gusev Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klingelhoefer, G.; Rodionov, D. S.; Morris, R. V.; Schroeder, C.; deSouza, P. A.; Ming, D. W.; Yen, A. S.; Bernhardt, B.; Renz, F.; Fleischer, I.

    2005-01-01

    The miniaturized Mossbauer (MB) spectrometer MIMOS II [1] is part of the Athena payload of NASA s twin Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" (MER-A) and "Opportunity" (MER-B). It determines the Fe-bearing mineralogy of Martian soils and rocks at the Rovers respective landing sites, Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. Both spectrometers performed successfully during first year of operation. Total integration time is about 49 days for MERA (79 samples) and 34 days for MER-B (85 samples). For curiosity it might be interesting to mention that the total odometry of the oscillating part of the MB drive exceeds 35 km for both rovers.

  20. Analysis of mer Gene Subclasses within Bacterial Communities in Soils and Sediments Resolved by Fluorescent-PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, K. D.

    1997-01-01

    Bacterial mer (mercury resistance) gene subclasses in mercury-polluted and pristine natural environments have been profiled by Fluorescent-PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (FluRFLP). For FluRFLP, PCR products were amplified from individual mer operons in mercury-resistant bacteria and from DNA isolated directly from bacteria in soil and sediment samples. The primers used to amplify DNA were designed from consensus sequences of the major subclasses of archetypal gram-negative mer operons within Tn501, Tn21, pDU1358, and pKLH2. Two independent PCRs were used to amplify two regions of different lengths (merRT(Delta)P [ca. 1 kb] and merR [ca. 0.4 kb]) starting at the same position in merR. The oligonucleotide primer common to both reactions (FluRX) was labelled at the 5(prm1) end with green (TET) fluorescent dye. Analysis of the mer sequences within databases indicated that the major subclasses could be differentiated on the basis of the length from FluRX to the first FokI restriction endonuclease site. The amplified PCR products were digested with FokI restriction endonuclease, with the restriction digest fragments resolved on an automated DNA sequencing machine which detected only those bands labelled with the fluorescent dye. For each of the individual mer operon sources examined, this single peak (in bases) position was observed in separate digests of either amplified region. These peak positions were as predicted on the basis of DNA sequence. mer PCR products amplified from DNA extracted directly from soil and sediment bacteria were studied in order to determine the profiles of the major mer subclasses present in each natural environment. In addition to peaks of the expected sizes, extra peaks were observed which were not predicted on the basis of DNA sequence. Those appearing in the restriction endonuclease digests of both study regions were presumed to be novel mer types. Genetic heterogeneity within and between mercury-polluted and pristine sites

  1. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

  2. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

  3. Pol II promoter prediction using characteristic 4-mer motifs: a machine learning approach.

    PubMed

    Anwar, Firoz; Baker, Syed Murtuza; Jabid, Taskeed; Mehedi Hasan, Md; Shoyaib, Mohammad; Khan, Haseena; Walshe, Ray

    2008-10-04

    Eukaryotic promoter prediction using computational analysis techniques is one of the most difficult jobs in computational genomics that is essential for constructing and understanding genetic regulatory networks. The increased availability of sequence data for various eukaryotic organisms in recent years has necessitated for better tools and techniques for the prediction and analysis of promoters in eukaryotic sequences. Many promoter prediction methods and tools have been developed to date but they have yet to provide acceptable predictive performance. One obvious criteria to improve on current methods is to devise a better system for selecting appropriate features of promoters that distinguish them from non-promoters. Secondly improved performance can be achieved by enhancing the predictive ability of the machine learning algorithms used. In this paper, a novel approach is presented in which 128 4-mer motifs in conjunction with a non-linear machine-learning algorithm utilising a Support Vector Machine (SVM) are used to distinguish between promoter and non-promoter DNA sequences. By applying this approach to plant, Drosophila, human, mouse and rat sequences, the classification model has showed 7-fold cross-validation percentage accuracies of 83.81%, 94.82%, 91.25%, 90.77% and 82.35% respectively. The high sensitivity and specificity value of 0.86 and 0.90 for plant; 0.96 and 0.92 for Drosophila; 0.88 and 0.92 for human; 0.78 and 0.84 for mouse and 0.82 and 0.80 for rat demonstrate that this technique is less prone to false positive results and exhibits better performance than many other tools. Moreover, this model successfully identifies location of promoter using TATA weight matrix. The high sensitivity and specificity indicate that 4-mer frequencies in conjunction with supervised machine-learning methods can be beneficial in the identification of RNA pol II promoters comparative to other methods. This approach can be extended to identify promoters in sequences

  4. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of a Copper-Binding Mutant of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB: Insight into the Key Role of the Active Site Aspartic Acid in Hg-Carbon Bond Cleavage and Metal Binding Specificity.

    PubMed

    Wahba, Haytham M; Lecoq, Lauriane; Stevenson, Michael; Mansour, Ahmed; Cappadocia, Laurent; Lafrance-Vanasse, Julien; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Sygusch, Jurgen; Wilcox, Dean E; Omichinski, James G

    2016-02-23

    In bacterial resistance to mercury, the organomercurial lyase (MerB) plays a key role in the detoxification pathway through its ability to cleave Hg-carbon bonds. Two cysteines (C96 and C159; Escherichia coli MerB numbering) and an aspartic acid (D99) have been identified as the key catalytic residues, and these three residues are conserved in all but four known MerB variants, where the aspartic acid is replaced with a serine. To understand the role of the active site serine, we characterized the structure and metal binding properties of an E. coli MerB mutant with a serine substituted for D99 (MerB D99S) as well as one of the native MerB variants containing a serine residue in the active site (Bacillus megaterium MerB2). Surprisingly, the MerB D99S protein copurified with a bound metal that was determined to be Cu(II) from UV-vis absorption, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and electron paramagnetic resonance studies. X-ray structural studies revealed that the Cu(II) is bound to the active site cysteine residues of MerB D99S, but that it is displaced following the addition of either an organomercurial substrate or an ionic mercury product. In contrast, the B. megaterium MerB2 protein does not copurify with copper, but the structure of the B. megaterium MerB2-Hg complex is highly similar to the structure of the MerB D99S-Hg complexes. These results demonstrate that the active site aspartic acid is crucial for both the enzymatic activity and metal binding specificity of MerB proteins and suggest a possible functional relationship between MerB and its only known structural homologue, the copper-binding protein NosL.

  5. Extraintestinal manifestations of celiac disease: 33-mer gliadin binding to glutamate receptor GRINA as a new explanation.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Quintanilla, Albert; Miranzo-Navarro, Domingo

    2016-05-01

    We propose a biochemical mechanism for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity that may rationalize many of the extradigestive disorders not explained by the current immunogenetic model. Our hypothesis is based on the homology between the 33-mer gliadin peptide and a component of the NMDA glutamate receptor ion channel - the human GRINA protein - using BLASTP software. Based on this homology the 33-mer may act as a natural antagonist interfering with the normal interactions of GRINA and its partners. The theory is supported by numerous independent data from the literature, and provides a mechanistic link with otherwise unrelated disorders, such as cleft lip and palate, thyroid dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, depression, ataxia, hearing loss, fibromyalgia, dermatitis herpetiformis, schizophrenia, toxoplasmosis, anemia, osteopenia, Fabry disease, Barret's adenocarcinoma, neuroblastoma, urinary incontinence, recurrent miscarriage, cardiac anomalies, reduced risk of breast cancer, stiff person syndrome, etc. The hypothesis also anticipates better animal models, and has the potential to open new avenues of research.

  6. Inoculation of Goats, Sheep, and Horses with MERS-CoV Does Not Result in Productive Viral Shedding

    PubMed Central

    Adney, Danielle R.; Brown, Vienna R.; Porter, Stephanie M.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle; Hartwig, Airn E.; Bowen, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first recognized in 2012 and can cause severe disease in infected humans. Dromedary camels are the reservoir for the virus, although, other than nasal discharge, these animals do not display any overt clinical disease. Data from in vitro experiments suggest that other livestock such as sheep, goats, and horses might also contribute to viral transmission, although field data has not identified any seropositive animals. In order to understand if these animals could be infected, we challenged young goats and horses and adult sheep with MERS-CoV by intranasal inoculation. Minimal or no virus shedding was detected in all of the animals. During the four weeks following inoculation, neutralizing antibodies were detected in the young goats, but not in sheep or horses. PMID:27548203

  7. Expression and single-step purification of mercury transporter (merT) from Cupriavidus metallidurans in E. coli.

    PubMed

    Senthil, K; Gautam, P

    2010-11-01

    The mercury transporter, merT, from Cupriavidus metallidurans was cloned into pRSET-C and expressed in various E. coli hosts. Expression of merT gene failed in common expression hosts like E. coli BL21(DE3), E. coli BL21(DE3)pLysS and E. coli GJ1158 due to expression induced toxicity. The protein was successfully expressed in E. coli C43(DE3) as inclusion bodies. The inclusion bodies were solubilized with Triton X-100 detergent. The detergent solubilized protein with N-terminal His-tag was purified in a single-step by immobilized metal affinity chromatography with a yield of 8 mg l(-1).

  8. Solfataric Alteration in Hawaii as a Mechanism for Formation of the Sulfates Observed on Mars by OMEGA and the MER Instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Schiffman, P.; Lane, M. D.; Dyar, M. D.

    2005-03-01

    Solfataric alteration in the Kilauea caldera, HI, forms sulfates and hydrated phases from volcanic ash. Spectral analyses are presented for detection of these minerals/phases on Mars by OMEGA and for groundtruthing the OMEGA spectra with MER data.

  9. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in South Korea, 2015: epidemiology, characteristics and public health implications.

    PubMed

    Kim, K H; Tandi, T E; Choi, J W; Moon, J M; Kim, M S

    2017-02-01

    Since the first case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea was reported on 20(th) May 2015, there have been 186 confirmed cases, 38 deaths and 16,752 suspected cases. Previously published research on South Korea's MERS outbreak was limited to the early stages, when few data were available. Now that the outbreak has ended, albeit unofficially, a more comprehensive review is appropriate. Data were obtained through the MERS portal by the Ministry for Health and Welfare (MOHW) and Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, press releases by MOHW, and reports by the MERS Policy Committee of the Korean Medical Association. Cases were analysed for general characteristics, exposure source, timeline and infection generation. Sex, age and underlying diseases were analysed for the 38 deaths. Beginning with the index case that infected 28 others, an in-depth analysis was conducted. The average age was 55 years, which was a little higher than the global average of 50 years. As in most other countries, more men than women were affected. The case fatality rate was 19.9%, which was lower than the global rate of 38.7% and the rate in Saudi Arabia (36.5%). In total, 184 patients were infected nosocomially and there were no community-acquired infections. The main underlying diseases were respiratory diseases, cancer and hypertension. The main contributors to the outbreak were late diagnosis, quarantine failure of 'super spreaders', familial care-giving and visiting, non-disclosure by patients, poor communication by the South Korean Government, inadequate hospital infection management, and 'doctor shopping'. The outbreak was entirely nosocomial, and was largely attributable to infection management and policy failures, rather than biomedical factors. Copyright © 2016 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Cultivation of hard-to-culture subsurface mercury-resistant bacteria and discovery of new merA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, L D; Zawadsky, C; Binnerup, S J; Oregaard, G; Sørensen, S J; Kroer, N

    2008-06-01

    Mercury-resistant bacteria may be important players in mercury biogeochemistry. To assess the potential for mercury reduction by two subsurface microbial communities, resistant subpopulations and their merA genes were characterized by a combined molecular and cultivation-dependent approach. The cultivation method simulated natural conditions by using polycarbonate membranes as a growth support and a nonsterile soil slurry as a culture medium. Resistant bacteria were pregrown to microcolony-forming units (mCFU) before being plated on standard medium. Compared to direct plating, culturability was increased up to 2,800 times and numbers of mCFU were similar to the total number of mercury-resistant bacteria in the soils. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of DNA extracted from membranes suggested stimulation of growth of hard-to-culture bacteria during the preincubation. A total of 25 different 16S rRNA gene sequences were observed, including Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria; Actinobacteria; Firmicutes; and Bacteroidetes. The diversity of isolates obtained by direct plating included eight different 16S rRNA gene sequences (Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria). Partial sequencing of merA of selected isolates led to the discovery of new merA sequences. With phylum-specific merA primers, PCR products were obtained for Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria but not for Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. The similarity to known sequences ranged between 89 and 95%. One of the sequences did not result in a match in the BLAST search. The results illustrate the power of integrating advanced cultivation methodology with molecular techniques for the characterization of the diversity of mercury-resistant populations and assessing the potential for mercury reduction in contaminated environments.

  11. Possible Evidence for Iron Sulfates, Iron Sulfides, and Elemental Sulfur at Gusev Crater, Mars, from Mer, Crism, and Analog Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Yen, A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Gruener, J.; Humm, D.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Murchie, S.; Schroeder, C.; Seelos, F., IV; Squyres, S.; Wiseman, S.; Wolff, M.

    2007-01-01

    The Mossbauer (MB) spectrometers on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit (Gusev crater) and Opportunity (Meridiani Planum) have detected 14 Fe-bearing phases, and mineralogical assignments have been made for all except 3. Identified Fe2+-bearing phases are olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, and troilite. Magnetite and chromite are present as mixed Fe(2+) and Fe(3+) phases. Identified Fe(3+) phase are jarosite, hematite, goethite, and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx). Fe(sup 0) (iron metal) is present as kamacite. Nanophase ferric oxide (npOx) is a generic name for octahedrally coordinated Fe(3+) alteration products that cannot be otherwise mineralogically assigned on the basis of MER data. On the Earth, npOx would include ferrihydrite, iddingsite, schwertmannite, akaganeite, and superparamagnetic hematite and goethite. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument, a visible, near-IR hyperspectral imager (approximately 0.35 to 4 micron) enables mineralogical examination of Mars with a tool that is sensitive to H2O and to M-OH (M = Al, Si, Fe, Mg, etc.) at spatial resolution of about 20 m/pixel. We examined a CRISM image of the MER region of Gusev crater (Columbia Hills and plains to the west), looking for spectral evidence of the aqueous process apparent from the MER analyses. We also searched for spectral constraints for the mineralogical composition of our unidentified Fe-bearing phases and the forms of npOx present on Mars. We also consider evidence from analogue samples that the precursor for the goethite detected by MB in Clovis Class rocks is an iron sulfide. We suggest that there is some indirect evidence that elemental sulfur might be present to different extents in Clovis Class rocks, the Fe3Sulfate-rich soils, and perhaps even typical (Laguna Class) surface soils.

  12. Improved Method for Recovery of mRNA from Aquatic Samples and Its Application to Detection of mer Expression

    PubMed Central

    Jeffrey, Wade H.; Nazaret, Sylvie; Von Haven, Robin

    1994-01-01

    Previously described methods for extraction of mRNA from environmental samples may preclude detecting transcripts from genes that were present in low abundance in aquatic bacterial communities. By combining a boiling sodium dodecyl sulfate-diethylpyrocarbonate lysis step with acid-guanidinium extraction, we improved recovery of target mRNA from both pure cultures and environmental samples. The most significant advantage of the new protocol is that it is easily adapted to yield high recovery of mRNA from 142-mm-diameter flat filters and high-capacity cartridge filters. The lysis and extraction procedures are more rapid than previously described methods, and many samples can be handled at once. RNA extracts have been shown to be free of contaminating DNA. The lysis procedure does not damage target mRNA sequences, and mRNA can be detected from fewer than 106 bacterial cells. We used the new method to examine transcripts of genes responsible for detoxification of mercurial compounds. Induction of merA (specifying mercuric reductase) transcripts in stationary-phase Pseudomonas aeruginosa containing Tn501 occurred within 60 s of HgCl2 addition and was proportional to the amount of Hg(II) added. The new technique also allowed the detection of merA transcripts from the microbial community of a mercury-contaminated pond (Reality Lake, Oak Ridge, Tenn.). Significant differences in merA transcript abundance were observed between different locations associated with the lake. The results indicate that the new method is simple and rapid and can be applied to the study of mer gene expression of aquatic communities in their natural habitats. PMID:16349274

  13. Competition of zinc(II) with cadmium(II) or mercury(II) in binding to a 12-mer peptide.

    PubMed

    Jancsó, Attila; Gyurcsik, Béla; Mesterházy, Edit; Berkecz, Róbert

    2013-09-01

    Speciation of the complexes of zinc(II) with a dodecapeptide (Ac-SCPGDQGSDCSI-NH2), inspired by the metal binding domain of MerR metalloregulatory proteins, have been studied by pH-potentiometric titrations, UV, SRCD (synchrotron radiation circular dichroism) and (1)H NMR experiments. (MerR is a family of transcriptional regulators the archetype of which is the Hg(2+)-responsive transcriptional repressor-activator MerR protein.) The aim of the ligand-design was to retain the advantageous metal binding features of MerR proteins in a model peptide for the efficient capture of toxic metal ions. The peptide binds zinc(II) via two deprotonated Cys-thiol groups and one of the Asp-carboxylates in the ZnL parent complex, possessing a remarkably high stability (logK=9.93). In spite of the relatively long peptide loop, bis-complexes are also formed with the metal ion under basic conditions. In a competition with cadmium(II) or mercury(II), zinc(II) cannot prevent the binding of toxic metal ions by the thiolate donor groups of the ligand. Around neutral pH one equivalent of mercury(II) was shown to fully replace zinc(II) from the ZnL species. Partial replacement of zinc(II) from the peptide by one equivalent of cadmium(II), relative to zinc(II) and the ligand, is also presumable, nevertheless, spectroscopic data may suggest the formation of mixed metal ion complexes, as well. Based on the obtained results the investigated dodecapeptide can be a promising candidate for capturing toxic metal ions in practical applications. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Predicting the binding preference of transcription factors to individual DNA k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Alleyne, Trevis M.; Peña-Castillo, Lourdes; Badis, Gwenael; Talukder, Shaheynoor; Berger, Michael F.; Gehrke, Andrew R.; Philippakis, Anthony A.; Bulyk, Martha L.; Morris, Quaid D.; Hughes, Timothy R.

    2009-01-01

    Motivation: Recognition of specific DNA sequences is a central mechanism by which transcription factors (TFs) control gene expression. Many TF-binding preferences, however, are unknown or poorly characterized, in part due to the difficulty associated with determining their specificity experimentally, and an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms governing sequence specificity. New techniques that estimate the affinity of TFs to all possible k-mers provide a new opportunity to study DNA–protein interaction mechanisms, and may facilitate inference of binding preferences for members of a given TF family when such information is available for other family members. Results: We employed a new dataset consisting of the relative preferences of mouse homeodomains for all eight-base DNA sequences in order to ask how well we can predict the binding profiles of homeodomains when only their protein sequences are given. We evaluated a panel of standard statistical inference techniques, as well as variations of the protein features considered. Nearest neighbour among functionally important residues emerged among the most effective methods. Our results underscore the complexity of TF–DNA recognition, and suggest a rational approach for future analyses of TF families. Contact: t.hughes@utorotno.ca Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:19088121

  15. Leveraging Cloud Computing to Improve Storage Durability, Availability, and Cost for MER Maestro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, George W.; Powell, Mark W.; Callas, John L.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Shams, Khawaja S.

    2012-01-01

    The Maestro for MER (Mars Exploration Rover) software is the premiere operation and activity planning software for the Mars rovers, and it is required to deliver all of the processed image products to scientists on demand. These data span multiple storage arrays sized at 2 TB, and a backup scheme ensures data is not lost. In a catastrophe, these data would currently recover at 20 GB/hour, taking several days for a restoration. A seamless solution provides access to highly durable, highly available, scalable, and cost-effective storage capabilities. This approach also employs a novel technique that enables storage of the majority of data on the cloud and some data locally. This feature is used to store the most recent data locally in order to guarantee utmost reliability in case of an outage or disconnect from the Internet. This also obviates any changes to the software that generates the most recent data set as it still has the same interface to the file system as it did before updates

  16. A FASTQ compressor based on integer-mapped k-mer indexing for biologist.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yeting; Patel, Khyati; Endrawis, Tony; Bowers, Autumn; Sun, Yazhou

    2016-03-15

    Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have gained considerable popularity among biologists. For example, RNA-seq, which provides both genomic and functional information, has been widely used by recent functional and evolutionary studies, especially in non-model organisms. However, storing and transmitting these large data sets (primarily in FASTQ format) have become genuine challenges, especially for biologists with little informatics experience. Data compression is thus a necessity. KIC, a FASTQ compressor based on a new integer-mapped k-mer indexing method, was developed (available at http://www.ysunlab.org/kic.jsp). It offers high compression ratio on sequence data, outstanding user-friendliness with graphic user interfaces, and proven reliability. Evaluated on multiple large RNA-seq data sets from both human and plants, it was found that the compression ratio of KIC had exceeded all major generic compressors, and was comparable to those of the latest dedicated compressors. KIC enables researchers with minimal informatics training to take advantage of the latest sequence compression technologies, easily manage large FASTQ data sets, and reduce storage and transmission cost. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Improving protein secondary structure prediction using a simple k-mer model

    PubMed Central

    Madera, Martin; Calmus, Ryan; Thiltgen, Grant; Karplus, Kevin; Gough, Julian

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: Some first order methods for protein sequence analysis inherently treat each position as independent. We develop a general framework for introducing longer range interactions. We then demonstrate the power of our approach by applying it to secondary structure prediction; under the independence assumption, sequences produced by existing methods can produce features that are not protein like, an extreme example being a helix of length 1. Our goal was to make the predictions from state of the art methods more realistic, without loss of performance by other measures. Results: Our framework for longer range interactions is described as a k-mer order model. We succeeded in applying our model to the specific problem of secondary structure prediction, to be used as an additional layer on top of existing methods. We achieved our goal of making the predictions more realistic and protein like, and remarkably this also improved the overall performance. We improve the Segment OVerlap (SOV) score by 1.8%, but more importantly we radically improve the probability of the real sequence given a prediction from an average of 0.271 per residue to 0.385. Crucially, this improvement is obtained using no additional information. Availability: http://supfam.cs.bris.ac.uk/kmer Contact: gough@cs.bris.ac.uk PMID:20130034

  18. Improving protein secondary structure prediction using a simple k-mer model.

    PubMed

    Madera, Martin; Calmus, Ryan; Thiltgen, Grant; Karplus, Kevin; Gough, Julian

    2010-03-01

    Some first order methods for protein sequence analysis inherently treat each position as independent. We develop a general framework for introducing longer range interactions. We then demonstrate the power of our approach by applying it to secondary structure prediction; under the independence assumption, sequences produced by existing methods can produce features that are not protein like, an extreme example being a helix of length 1. Our goal was to make the predictions from state of the art methods more realistic, without loss of performance by other measures. Our framework for longer range interactions is described as a k-mer order model. We succeeded in applying our model to the specific problem of secondary structure prediction, to be used as an additional layer on top of existing methods. We achieved our goal of making the predictions more realistic and protein like, and remarkably this also improved the overall performance. We improve the Segment OVerlap (SOV) score by 1.8%, but more importantly we radically improve the probability of the real sequence given a prediction from an average of 0.271 per residue to 0.385. Crucially, this improvement is obtained using no additional information. http://supfam.cs.bris.ac.uk/kmer

  19. Critical Spacecraft-to-Earth Communications for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent and landing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurd, William J.; Estabrook, Polly; Racho, Caroline S.; Satorius, Edgar H.

    2002-01-01

    For planetary lander missions, the most challenging phase of the spacecraft to ground communications is during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL). As each 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) enters the Martian atmosphere, it slows dramatically. The extreme acceleration and jerk cause extreme Doppler dynamics on the X-band signal received on Earth. When the vehicle slows sufficiently, the parachute is deployed, causing almost a step in deceleration. After parachute deployment, the lander is lowered beneath the parachute on a bridle. The swinging motion of the lander imparts high Doppler dynamics on the signal and causes the received signal strength to vary widely, due to changing antenna pointing angles. All this time, the vehicle transmits important health and status information that is especially critical if the landing is not successful. Even using the largest Deep Space Network antennas, the weak signal and high dynamics render it impossible to conduct reliable phase coherent communications. Therefore, a specialized form of frequency-shift-keying will be used. This paper describes the EDL scenario, the signal conditions, the methods used to detect and frequency-track the carrier and to detect the data modulation, and the resulting performance estimates.

  20. Thermal stability and energetics of 15-mer DNA duplex interstrand crosslinked by trans-diamminedichloroplatinum(II).

    PubMed

    Hofr, Ctirad; Brabec, Viktor

    2005-03-01

    The effect of the location of the interstrand cross-link formed by trans-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (transplatin) on the thermal stability and energetics of 15-mer DNA duplex has been investigated. The duplex containing single, site-specific cross-link, thermodynamically equivalent model structures (hairpins) and nonmodified duplexes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry, temperature-dependent uv absorption, and circular dichroism. The results demonstrate that the formation of the interstrand cross-link of transplatin does not affect pronouncedly thermodynamic stability of DNA: the cross-link induces no marked changes not only in enthalpy, but also in "reduced" (concentration independent) monomolecular transition entropy. These results are consistent with the previous observations that interstrand cross-links of transplatin structurally perturb DNA only to a relatively small extent. On the other hand, constraining the duplex with the interstrand cross-link of transplatin results in a significant increase in thermal stability that is primarily due to entropic effects: the cross-link reduces the molecularity of the oligomer system from bimolecular to monomolecular. Importantly, the position of the interstrand cross-link within the duplex modulates cooperativity of the melting transition of the duplex and consequently its thermal stability.

  1. Protein Signatures That Promote Operator Selectivity among Paralog MerR Monovalent Metal Ion Regulators*

    PubMed Central

    Humbert, María V.; Rasia, Rodolfo M.; Checa, Susana K.; Soncini, Fernando C.

    2013-01-01

    Two paralog transcriptional regulators of the MerR family, CueR and GolS, are responsible for monovalent metal ion sensing and resistance in Salmonella enterica. Although similar in sequence and also in their target binding sites, these proteins differ in signal detection and in the set of target genes they control. Recently, we demonstrated that selective promoter recognition depends on the presence of specific bases located at positions 3′ and 3 within the operators they interact with. Here, we identify the amino acid residues within the N-terminal DNA-binding domain of these sensor proteins that are directly involved in operator discrimination. We demonstrate that a methionine residue at position 16 of GolS, absolutely conserved among GolS-like proteins but absent in all CueR-like xenologs, is the key to selectively recognize operators that harbor the distinctive GolS-operator signature, whereas the residue at position 19 finely tunes the regulator/operator interaction. Furthermore, swapping these residues switches the set of genes recognized by these transcription factors. These results indicate that co-evolution of a regulator and its cognate operators within the bacterial cell provides the conditions to avoid cross-recognition and guarantees the proper response to metal injury. PMID:23733186

  2. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Delta II rocket on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is having solid rocket boosters (SRBs) installed that will help launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) on June 5. In the center are three more solid rocket boosters that will be added to the Delta, which will carry nine in all. NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-15

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The Delta II rocket on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is having solid rocket boosters (SRBs) installed that will help launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) on June 5. In the center are three more solid rocket boosters that will be added to the Delta, which will carry nine in all. NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

  3. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, an overhead crane lowers the canister that will complete encapsulation of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2), at right. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, an overhead crane lowers the canister that will complete encapsulation of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2), at right. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

  4. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At right is the Delta II rocket on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, that will launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) on June 5. In the center are three more solid rocket boosters that will be added to the Delta, which will carry nine in all. NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-15

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At right is the Delta II rocket on Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, that will launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) on June 5. In the center are three more solid rocket boosters that will be added to the Delta, which will carry nine in all. NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

  5. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, an overhead crane moves the canister that will complete encapsulation of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2), at right. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, an overhead crane moves the canister that will complete encapsulation of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2), at right. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

  6. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, an overhead crane (background) begins to lift the canister that will complete encapsulation of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) in the foreground. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, an overhead crane (background) begins to lift the canister that will complete encapsulation of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) in the foreground. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

  7. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers on the launch tower of Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, stand by while a solid rocket booster (SRB) is lifted to vertical. It is one of nine that will help launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch June 5 as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-15

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers on the launch tower of Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, stand by while a solid rocket booster (SRB) is lifted to vertical. It is one of nine that will help launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch June 5 as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

  8. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) is installed around the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A, with two launch opportunities each day during the launch period that closes on June 19.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-31

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) is installed around the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A, with two launch opportunities each day during the launch period that closes on June 19.

  9. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the foreground, three solid rocket boosters (SRBs) suspended in the launch tower flank the Delta II rocket (in the background) that will launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch June 5 as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-15

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the foreground, three solid rocket boosters (SRBs) suspended in the launch tower flank the Delta II rocket (in the background) that will launch Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch June 5 as MER-A. MER-1 (MER-B) will launch June 25.

  10. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2), inside the transport canister, is moved toward the platform in the launch tower. MER-2 will be mated to the Delta II rocket for launch. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-27

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2), inside the transport canister, is moved toward the platform in the launch tower. MER-2 will be mated to the Delta II rocket for launch. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A.

  11. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility secure the lower sections of the transport canister around the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). The upper portion waits at left. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility secure the lower sections of the transport canister around the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). The upper portion waits at left. After encapsulation, MER-2 will be transferred to Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MER-2 is one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go. MER-2 is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 8 as MER-A aboard a Delta II rocket.

  12. Presence of antibodies but no evidence for circulation of MERS-CoV in dromedaries on the Canary Islands, 2015.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Carlos; Tejedor-Junco, María Teresa; González, Margarita; Lattwein, Erik; Renneker, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    In 2012, a new betacoronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was identified in humans. Several studies confirmed dromedary camels to be a potential reservoir and a source for human infection. Camels located on the Canary Islands were included in those studies and ca 10% of them were positive for MERS-CoV-specific antibodies. However, these findings could not be correctly interpreted because epidemiological information was not provided. Thus, further investigations were necessary to clarify these results. A total of 170 camels were investigated in this survey, of which seven (4.1%) were seropositive by ELISA. Epidemiological information revealed that all seropositive camels had been imported from Africa 20 or more years prior. We conclude that seropositive camels had contact with MERS-CoV in Africa and that there is no shedding of the virus among camels or people around the farms on the Canary Islands. However, the presence of antibodies in the camel herds should be monitored.

  13. Unbiased K-mer Analysis Reveals Changes in Copy Number of Highly Repetitive Sequences During Maize Domestication and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sanzhen; Zheng, Jun; Migeon, Pierre; Ren, Jie; Hu, Ying; He, Cheng; Liu, Hongjun; Fu, Junjie; White, Frank F.; Toomajian, Christopher; Wang, Guoying

    2017-01-01

    The major component of complex genomes is repetitive elements, which remain recalcitrant to characterization. Using maize as a model system, we analyzed whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequences for the two maize inbred lines B73 and Mo17 using k-mer analysis to quantify the differences between the two genomes. Significant differences were identified in highly repetitive sequences, including centromere, 45S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), knob, and telomere repeats. Genotype specific 45S rDNA sequences were discovered. The B73 and Mo17 polymorphic k-mers were used to examine allele-specific expression of 45S rDNA in the hybrids. Although Mo17 contains higher copy number than B73, equivalent levels of overall 45S rDNA expression indicates that transcriptional or post-transcriptional regulation mechanisms operate for the 45S rDNA in the hybrids. Using WGS sequences of B73xMo17 doubled haploids, genomic locations showing differential repetitive contents were genetically mapped, which displayed different organization of highly repetitive sequences in the two genomes. In an analysis of WGS sequences of HapMap2 lines, including maize wild progenitor, landraces, and improved lines, decreases and increases in abundance of additional sets of k-mers associated with centromere, 45S rDNA, knob, and retrotransposons were found among groups, revealing global evolutionary trends of genomic repeats during maize domestication and improvement. PMID:28186206

  14. Imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection from Oman to Thailand, June 2015

    PubMed Central

    Plipat, Tanarak; Buathong, Rome; Wacharapluesadee, Supaporn; Siriarayapon, Potjaman; Pittayawonganon, Chakrarat; Sangsajja, Chariya; Kaewpom, Thongchai; Petcharat, Sininat; Ponpinit, Teerada; Jumpasri, Jaruphan; Joyjinda, Yutthana; Rodpan, Apaporn; Ghai, Siriporn; Jittmittraphap, Akanitt; Khongwichit, Sarawut; Smith, Duncan R; Corman, Victor M; Drosten, Christian; Hemachudha, Thiravat

    2017-01-01

    Thailand reported the first Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) case on 18 June 2015 (day 4) in an Omani patient with heart condition who was diagnosed with pneumonia on hospital admission on 15 June 2015 (day 1). Two false negative RT-PCR on upper respiratory tract samples on days 2 and 3 led to a 48-hour diagnosis delay and a decision to transfer the patient out of the negative pressure unit (NPU). Subsequent examination of sputum later on day 3 confirmed MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. The patient was immediately moved back into the NPU and then transferred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. Over 170 contacts were traced; 48 were quarantined and 122 self-monitored for symptoms. High-risk close contacts exhibiting no symptoms, and whose laboratory testing on the 12th day after exposure was negative, were released on the 14th day. The Omani Ministry of Health (MOH) was immediately notified using the International Health Regulation (IHR) mechanism. Outbreak investigation was conducted in Oman, and was both published on the World Health Organization (WHO) intranet and shared with Thailand’s IHR focal point. The key to successful infection control, with no secondary transmission, were the collaborative efforts among hospitals, laboratories and MOHs of both countries. PMID:28840828

  15. STN area detection using K-NN classifiers for MER recordings in Parkinson patients during neurostimulator implant surgery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiaffino, L.; Rosado Muñoz, A.; Guerrero Martínez, J.; Francés Villora, J.; Gutiérrez, A.; Martínez Torres, I.; Kohan, y. D. R.

    2016-04-01

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) applies electric pulses into the subthalamic nucleus (STN) improving tremor and other symptoms associated to Parkinson’s disease. Accurate STN detection for proper location and implant of the stimulating electrodes is a complex task and surgeons are not always certain about final location. Signals from the STN acquired during DBS surgery are obtained with microelectrodes, having specific characteristics differing from other brain areas. Using supervised learning, a trained model based on previous microelectrode recordings (MER) can be obtained, being able to successfully classify the STN area for new MER signals. The K Nearest Neighbours (K-NN) algorithm has been successfully applied to STN detection. However, the use of the fuzzy form of the K-NN algorithm (KNN-F) has not been reported. This work compares the STN detection algorithm of K-NN and KNN-F. Real MER recordings from eight patients where previously classified by neurophysiologists, defining 15 features. Sensitivity and specificity for the classifiers are obtained, Wilcoxon signed rank non-parametric test is used as statistical hypothesis validation. We conclude that the performance of KNN-F classifier is higher than K-NN with p<0.01 in STN specificity.

  16. Flow cytometry and K-mer analysis estimates of the genome sizes of Bemisia tabaci B and Q (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Li T.; Wang, Shao L.; Wu, Qing J.; Zhou, Xu G.; Xie, Wen; Zhang, You J.

    2015-01-01

    The genome sizes of the B- and Q-types of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennnadius) were estimated using flow cytometry (Drosophila melanogaster as the DNA reference standard and propidium iodide (PI) as the fluorochrome) and k-mer analysis. For flow cytometry, the mean nuclear DNA content was 0.686 pg for B-type males, 1.392 pg for B-type females, 0.680 pg for Q-type males, and 1.306 pg for Q-type females. Based on the relationship between DNA content and genome size (1 pg DNA = 980 Mbp), the haploid genome size of B. tabaci ranged from 640 to 682 Mbp. For k-mer analysis, genome size of B-type by two methods were consistent highly, but the k-mer depth distribution graph of Q-type was not enough perfect and the genome size was estimated about 60 M larger than its flow cytometry result. These results corroborate previous reports of genome size based on karyotype analysis and chromosome counting. However, these estimates differ from previous flow cytometry estimates, probably because of differences in the DNA reference standard and dyeing time, which were superior in the current study. For Q-type genome size difference by two method, some discussion were also stated, and all these results represent a useful foundation for B. tabaci genomics research. PMID:26042041

  17. Synthesis of high-quality libraries of long (150mer) oligonucleotides by a novel depurination controlled process

    PubMed Central

    LeProust, Emily M.; Peck, Bill J.; Spirin, Konstantin; McCuen, Heather Brummel; Moore, Bridget; Namsaraev, Eugeni; Caruthers, Marvin H.

    2010-01-01

    We have achieved the ability to synthesize thousands of unique, long oligonucleotides (150mers) in fmol amounts using parallel synthesis of DNA on microarrays. The sequence accuracy of the oligonucleotides in such large-scale syntheses has been limited by the yields and side reactions of the DNA synthesis process used. While there has been significant demand for libraries of long oligos (150mer and more), the yields in conventional DNA synthesis and the associated side reactions have previously limited the availability of oligonucleotide pools to lengths <100 nt. Using novel array based depurination assays, we show that the depurination side reaction is the limiting factor for the synthesis of libraries of long oligonucleotides on Agilent Technologies’ SurePrint® DNA microarray platform. We also demonstrate how depurination can be controlled and reduced by a novel detritylation process to enable the synthesis of high quality, long (150mer) oligonucleotide libraries and we report the characterization of synthesis efficiency for such libraries. Oligonucleotide libraries prepared with this method have changed the economics and availability of several existing applications (e.g. targeted resequencing, preparation of shRNA libraries, site-directed mutagenesis), and have the potential to enable even more novel applications (e.g. high-complexity synthetic biology). PMID:20308161

  18. The catalytic core of an archaeal 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase multienzyme complex is a 42-mer protein assembly.

    PubMed

    Marrott, Nia L; Marshall, Jacqueline J T; Svergun, Dmitri I; Crennell, Susan J; Hough, David W; Danson, Michael J; van den Elsen, Jean M H

    2012-03-01

    The dihydrolipoyl acyl-transferase (E2) enzyme forms the structural and catalytic core of the tripartite 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase multienzyme complexes of the central metabolic pathways. Although this family of multienzyme complexes shares a common architecture, their E2 cores form homo-trimers that, depending on the source, further associate into either octahedral (24-mer) or icosahedral (60-mer) assemblies, as predicted by the principles of quasi-equivalence. In the crystal structure of the E2 core from Thermoplasma acidophilum, a thermophilic archaeon, the homo-trimers assemble into a unique 42-mer oblate spheroid. Analytical equilibrium centrifugation and small-angle X-ray scattering analyses confirm that this catalytically active 1.08 MDa assembly exists as a single species in solution, forming a hollow spheroid with a maximum diameter of 220 Å. In this paper we show that a monodisperse macromolecular assembly, built from identical subunits in non-identical environments, forms an irregular protein shell via non-equivalent interactions. This unusually irregular protein shell, combining cubic and dodecahedral geometrical elements, expands on the concept of quasi-equivalence as a basis for understanding macromolecular assemblies by showing that cubic point group symmetry is not a physical requirement in multienzyme assembly. These results extend our basic knowledge of protein assembly and greatly expand the number of possibilities to manipulate self-assembling biological complexes to be utilized in innovative nanotechnology applications.

  19. Comparison of incubation period distribution of human infections with MERS-CoV in South Korea and Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Virlogeux, Victor; Fang, Vicky J.; Park, Minah; Wu, Joseph T.; Cowling, Benjamin J.

    2016-01-01

    The incubation period is an important epidemiologic distribution, it is often incorporated in case definitions, used to determine appropriate quarantine periods, and is an input to mathematical modeling studies. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) is an emerging infectious disease in the Arabian Peninsula. There was a large outbreak of MERS in South Korea in 2015. We examined the incubation period distribution of MERS coronavirus infection for cases in South Korea and in Saudi Arabia. Using parametric and nonparametric methods, we estimated a mean incubation period of 6.9 days (95% credibility interval: 6.3–7.5) for cases in South Korea and 5.0 days (95% credibility interval: 4.0–6.6) among cases in Saudi Arabia. In a log-linear regression model, the mean incubation period was 1.42 times longer (95% credibility interval: 1.18–1.71) among cases in South Korea compared to Saudi Arabia. The variation that we identified in the incubation period distribution between locations could be associated with differences in ascertainment or reporting of exposure dates and illness onset dates, differences in the source or mode of infection, or environmental differences. PMID:27775012

  20. Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours of Healthcare Workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to MERS Coronavirus and Other Emerging Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Alsahafi, Abdullah J.; Cheng, Allen C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has experienced a prolonged outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus since 2012. Healthcare workers (HCWs) form a significant risk group for infection. Objectives: The aim of this survey was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, infection control practices and educational needs of HCWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to MERS coronavirus and other emerging infectious diseases. Methods: 1500 of HCWs from Saudi Ministry of Health were invited to fill a questionnaire developed to cover the survey objectives from 9 September 2015 to 8 November 2015. The response rate was about 81%. Descriptive statistics was used to summarise the responses. Results: 1216 HCWs were included in this survey. A total of 56.5% were nurses and 22% were physicians. The most common sources of MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) information were the Ministry of Health (MOH) memo (74.3%). Only (47.6%) of the physicians, (30.4%) of the nurses and (29.9%) of the other HCWs were aware that asymptomatic MERS-CoV was described. Around half of respondents who having been investigated for MERS-CoV reported that their work performance decreased while they have suspicion of having MERS-CoV and almost two thirds reported having psychological problems during this period. Almost two thirds of the HCWs (61.2%) reported anxiety about contracting MERS-CoV from patients. Conclusions: The knowledge about emerging infectious diseases was poor and there is need for further education and training programs particularly in the use of personal protective equipment, isolation and infection control measures. The self-reported infection control practices were sub-optimal and seem to be overestimated. PMID:27929452

  1. Mild encephalitis/encephalopathy with reversible splenial and cerebellar lesions (MERS type II) in a patient with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

    PubMed

    Gawlitza, Matthias; Hoffmann, Karl-Titus; Lobsien, Donald

    2015-01-01

    The typical form of mild encephalitis/encephalopathy with a reversible splenial lesion— called MERS type I—is characterized by a singular, reversible lesion in the midline of the splenium. Very rarely, additional lesions with similar signal characteristics can occur in other brain areas, which is then referred to as MERS type II. We present the case of a patient with a reversible splenial lesion and concomitant reversible cerebellar lesions within the scope of an atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

  2. Macro Domain from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Is an Efficient ADP-ribose Binding Module: CRYSTAL STRUCTURE AND BIOCHEMICAL STUDIES.

    PubMed

    Cho, Chao-Cheng; Lin, Meng-Hsuan; Chuang, Chien-Ying; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2016-03-04

    The newly emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) encodes the conserved macro domain within non-structural protein 3. However, the precise biochemical function and structure of the macro domain is unclear. Using differential scanning fluorimetry and isothermal titration calorimetry, we characterized the MERS-CoV macro domain as a more efficient adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribose binding module than macro domains from other CoVs. Furthermore, the crystal structure of the MERS-CoV macro domain was determined at 1.43-Å resolution in complex with ADP-ribose. Comparison of macro domains from MERS-CoV and other human CoVs revealed structural differences in the α1 helix alters how the conserved Asp-20 interacts with ADP-ribose and may explain the efficient binding of the MERS-CoV macro domain to ADP-ribose. This study provides structural and biophysical bases to further evaluate the role of the MERS-CoV macro domain in the host response via ADP-ribose binding but also as a potential target for drug design.

  3. Novel chimeric virus-like particles vaccine displaying MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain induce specific humoral and cellular immune response in mice.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chong; Zheng, Xuexing; Gai, Weiwei; Wong, Gary; Wang, Hualei; Jin, Hongli; Feng, Na; Zhao, Yongkun; Zhang, Weijiao; Li, Nan; Zhao, Guoxing; Li, Junfu; Yan, Jinghua; Gao, Yuwei; Hu, Guixue; Yang, Songtao; Xia, Xianzhu

    2017-04-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has continued spreading since its emergence in 2012 with a mortality rate of 35.6%, and is a potential pandemic threat. Prophylactics and therapies are urgently needed to address this public health problem. We report here the efficacy of a vaccine consisting of chimeric virus-like particles (VLP) expressing the receptor binding domain (RBD) of MERS-CoV. In this study, a fusion of the canine parvovirus (CPV) VP2 structural protein gene with the RBD of MERS-CoV can self-assemble into chimeric, spherical VLP (sVLP). sVLP retained certain parvovirus characteristics, such as the ability to agglutinate pig erythrocytes, and structural morphology similar to CPV virions. Immunization with sVLP induced RBD-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. sVLP-specific antisera from these animals were able to prevent pseudotyped MERS-CoV entry into susceptible cells, with neutralizing antibody titers reaching 1: 320. IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-2 secreting cells induced by the RBD were detected in the splenocytes of vaccinated mice by ELISpot. Furthermore, mice inoculated with sVLP or an adjuvanted sVLP vaccine elicited T-helper 1 (Th1) and T-helper 2 (Th2) cell-mediated immunity. Our study demonstrates that sVLP displaying the RBD of MERS-CoV are promising prophylactic candidates against MERS-CoV in a potential outbreak situation.

  4. Using Mars and the Mer Mission to Teach Science: A Curriculum Designed for Teachers and Their Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubele, J. C.; Stanley, J.; Grochowski, A.; Jones, K.; Aragon, J.

    2006-12-01

    Learning opportunities can be exceptionally successful when linked to national, newsworthy events. Planetary missions are particularly exciting in engaging teachers, and their students, because they combine the human "stories" of scientists and engineers with cutting-edge technology and new science. Planetary suface missions, such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, return beautiful and human-scale images that can virtually transport the viewer to another world. The MER mission allows children and adults to participate in the exploration of one of our nearest neighbors in space. New discoveries in the natural history of Mars have been used as the basis of a new integrated curriculum created by Museum and class-room educators designed to serve informal (family learning) and formal (classroom) audiences. The curriculum uses Mars and the MER mission as a "hook" to teach a wide range of topics that relate to all of the sciences, mathematics, social studies (history and exploration), science and society, career readiness, language and literacy, and visual arts. The curriculum, entitled "Making Tracks on Mars: Teacher Resource and Activity Guide," includes the following key features that have contributed to its success and usefulness: (1) basic information about Mars, Mars missions, and the MER mission providing teachers with the knowledge they may lack; (2) activities that follow a standardized format and include necessary information, pre-lesson preparation and post-lesson closure and extensions, and all information and/or images needed; (3) activities that cross the curriculum and can be used to address many different standards; (4) relevant state and national standards listed for each activity; (5) annotated MER image file and PowerPoint presentation for easy classroom use; (6) lists of additional Mars-related resources; (7) emphasis on local connections to the mission to enable teachers and students to feel personally connected; (8) elementary through high

  5. Risk of MERS importation and onward transmission: a systematic review and analysis of cases reported to WHO.

    PubMed

    Poletto, Chiara; Boëlle, Pierre-Yves; Colizza, Vittoria

    2016-08-25

    The continuing circulation of MERS in the Middle East makes the international dissemination of the disease a permanent threat. To inform risk assessment, we investigated the spatiotemporal pattern of MERS global dissemination and looked for factors explaining the heterogeneity observed in transmission events following importation. We reviewed imported MERS cases worldwide up to July 2015. We modelled importations in time based on air travel combined with incidence in Middle East. We used the detailed history of MERS case management after importation (time to hospitalization and isolation, number of hospitals visited,…) in logistic regression to identify risk factors for secondary transmission. We assessed changes in time to hospitalization and isolation in relation to collective and public health attention to the epidemic, measured by three indicators (Google Trends, ProMED-mail, Disease Outbreak News). Modelled importation events were found to reproduce both the temporal and geographical structure of those observed - the Pearson correlation coefficient between predicted and observed monthly time series was large (r = 0.78, p < 10(-4)). The risk of secondary transmission following importation increased with the time to case isolation or death (OR = 1.7 p = 0.04) and more precisely with the duration of hospitalization (OR = 1.7, p = 0.02). The average daily number of secondary cases was 0.02 [0.0,0.12] in the community and 0.20 [0.03,9.0] in the hospital. Time from hospitalisation to isolation decreased in periods of high public health attention (2.33 ± 0.34 vs. 6.44 ± 0.97 days during baseline attention). Countries at risk of importation should focus their resources on strict infection control measures for the management of potential cases in healthcare settings and on prompt MERS cases identification. Individual and collective awareness are key to substantially improve such preparedness.

  6. Effect of the antiestrogen ethamoxytriphetol (MER-25) on placental low density lipoprotein uptake and degradation in baboons

    SciTech Connect

    Henson, M.C.; Babischkin, J.S.; Pepe, G.J.; Albrecht, E.D.

    1988-05-01

    The present study determined if the decline in placental progesterone (P4) production that results from administration of the antiestrogen ethamoxytriphetol (MER-25) to pregnant baboons results from a change in placental low density lipoprotein (LDL) uptake and/or degradation. Pregnant baboons (Papio anubis) were untreated (n = 10) or received MER-25 (25 mg/kg BW, orally; n = 10) daily on days 140-170 of gestation (term, 184 days). Placentas were removed by cesarean section on day 170 of gestation, and villous tissue was dispersed with 0.1% collagenase at 37 C for 40 min. Placental cells (10(6)) were incubated in medium 199 (pH 7.2) for 12 h at 37 C with increasing amounts (5-100 micrograms) of (125I)LDL, with or without a 100-fold excess of unlabeled baboon LDL. Mean (+/- SE) peripheral serum P4 concentrations on days 140-170 of gestation were 51% lower (P less than 0.01) in MER-25-treated (5.7 +/- 0.3 ng/ml) than in untreated (11.6 +/- 0.5 ng/ml) baboons. The uptake of LDL was 56% lower (P less than 0.01) in placental cells from antiestrogen-treated (6.3 +/- 1.6 ng/micrograms cell protein) than in those from untreated (14.4 +/- 1.9 ng/micrograms cell protein) baboons. The dissociation constants for placental LDL uptake, as assessed by Scatchard analysis, however, were similar in untreated (0.80 microgram/ml) and MER-25-treated (0.76 microgram/ml) animals. The amount of (125I)LDL concomitantly degraded by cells from baboons that received MER-25 was 54% of that degraded by cells from untreated controls. The relative decline in LDL degradation by cells of antiestrogen-treated baboons was proportionate to the decline in overall LDL uptake. The results indicate, therefore, that antiestrogen treatment decreased the amount of placental LDL uptake, but did not change the affinity for the lipoprotein.

  7. A predictive wheel-soil interaction model for planetary rovers validated in testbeds and against MER Mars rover performance data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.; Ellery, A.; Gao, Y.; Michaud, S.; Schmitz, N.; Weiss, S.

    Successful designs of vehicles intended for operations on planetary objects outside the Earth demand, just as for terrestrial off-the-road vehicles, a careful assessment of the terrain relevant for the vehicle mission and predictions of the mobility performance to allow rational trade-off's to be made for the choice of the locomotion concept and sizing. Principal issues driving the chassis design for rovers are the stress-strain properties of the planetary surface soil, the distribution of rocks in the terrain representing potential obstacles to movement, and the gravity level on the celestial object in question. Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully designed and operated for missions to the Earth's moon and to the planet Mars, including NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER's) `Spirit' and `Opportunity' being in operation on Mars since their landings in January 2004. Here we report on the development of a wheel-soil interaction model with application to wheel sizes and wheel loads relevant to current and near-term robotic planetary rovers, i.e. wheel diameters being between about 200 and 500 mm and vertical quasistatic wheel loads in operation of roughly 100 to 200 N. Such a model clearly is indispensable for sizings of future rovers to analyse the aspect of rover mobility concerned with motion across soils. This work is presently funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the `Rover Chassis Evaluation Tools' (RCET) effort which has developed a set of S/W-implemented models for predictive mobility analysis of rovers in terms of movement on soils and across obstacles, coupled with dedicated testbeds to validate the wheel-soil models. In this paper, we outline the details of the wheel-soil modelling performed within the RCET work and present comparisons of predictions of wheel performance (motion resistance, torque vs. slip and drawbar pull vs. slip) for specific test cases with the corresponding measurements performed in the RCET single wheel

  8. Amphiphilicity Is a Key Determinant in the Membrane Interactions of Synthetic 14-mer Cationic Peptide Analogues.

    PubMed

    Fillion, Matthieu; Goudreault, Maxime; Voyer, Normand; Bechinger, Burkhard; Auger, Michèle

    2016-12-13

    Cationic antimicrobial peptides are a component of the innate immune system of several organisms and represent an interesting alternative to fight multiresistant bacteria. In this context, we have elaborated a synthetic peptide scaffold allowing the study of the impact of different molecular determinants on the membrane interactions. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the mechanism of action of two cationic peptides that derive from a neutral 14-mer template peptide and where the hydrophilic portion is composed of a crown ether. The R5R10 peptide is active in the presence of both negatively charged and zwitterionic membranes (nonselective) and adopts an α-helical conformation, whereas the R4R11 peptide is more active in the presence of negatively charged membranes (selective) and forms intermolecular β-sheet structures. Both the membrane topology and the location of the peptides have been assessed using solid-state NMR and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. In addition, fluorescence experiments have been performed on different membrane mixtures to evaluate the ability of the peptides to induce a positive curvature to the membrane. Overall, for both the R5R10 and R4R11 peptides, the results are consistent with a mechanism of action similar to the sinking-raft model in which the peptides are mainly lying flat on the membrane surface and impose a bending stress to the membrane, thus leading to the formation of pores. Furthermore, the difference of membrane selectivity between R5R10 and R4R11 peptides is due to their differing amphipathic properties which modulate the membrane activity on zwitterionic model membranes.

  9. Chemical Diversity Along the Traverse of the Mer Rover Opportunity at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gellert, R.; Arvidson, R. E.; Clark, B. C.; Squyres, S.; Yen, A. S.

    2012-12-01

    The APXS on board the MER rover Opportunity measured the chemical composition of some 200 samples over the 8 year mission and 34.6 km from Eagle Crater to the Rim of Endeavour Crater. Till reaching the rim of Endeavour the bedrock was found to be sulphate rich, very homogeneous with up to ~ 40 % sulphates by weight. Decreasing Mg-S trends were found downhill within all craters accompanied by up to 3 fold enrichment in Cl. At Cape York, a rim segment of the Noachian Crater, Endeavour, significant lower sulphate levels were found so far in the bedrock. Ejecta from secondary craters show significant signs of possible hydrothermal activity with drastically enriched Zn and Ni levels, accompanied by elevated P and Br values and changes in major chemistry. Many one inch wide bright veins with elevated Ca and S levels in good molar match for Calcium-sulphate were found and interpreted as Gypsum based on multi-spectral analysis of Pancam data. The soils consist of at least two end members, basaltic soil similar to the previous landing sites investigated with APXS or XRF and a Fe and Ni rich population of spherules and angular fragments, known to be rich in hematite from Moessbauer measurements. Comparisons with the first soil measurements in Gale Crater with the MSL APXS will be presented. Many erratics, Fe-Ni meteorites with chemical signs of surface alteration, basaltic ejecta, some identified stemming from Mars were measured by Opportunity, in addition to rocks identified as stony meteorites.. The diversity of the chemical composition is discussed under the aspect of changes in the alteration history and the environmental conditions of their formation. The comparison with mineralogical findings from orbital instruments will be discussed.

  10. Automated Recognition of Geologically Significant Shapes in MER PANCAM and MI Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Robert; Shipman, Mark; Roush, Ted L.

    2004-01-01

    Autonomous recognition of scientifically important information provides the capability of: 1) Prioritizing data return; 2) Intelligent data compression; 3) Reactive behavior onboard robotic vehicles. Such capabilities are desirable as mission scenarios include longer durations with decreasing interaction from mission control. To address such issues, we have implemented several computer algorithms, intended to autonomously recognize morphological shapes of scientific interest within a software architecture envisioned for future rover missions. Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) instrument payloads include a Panoramic Camera (PANCAM) and Microscopic Imager (MI). These provide a unique opportunity to evaluate our algorithms when applied to data obtained from the surface of Mars. Early in the mission we applied our algorithms to images available at the mission web site (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/images.html), even though these are not at full resolution. Some algorithms would normally use ancillary information, e.g. camera pointing and position of the sun, but these data were not readily available. The initial results of applying our algorithms to the PANCAM and MI images are encouraging. The horizon is recognized in all images containing it; such information could be used to eliminate unwanted areas from the image prior to data transmission to Earth. Additionally, several rocks were identified that represent targets for the mini-thermal emission spectrometer. Our algorithms also recognize the layers, identified by mission scientists. Such information could be used to prioritize data return or in a decision-making process regarding future rover activities. The spherules seen in MI images were also autonomously recognized. Our results indicate that reliable recognition of scientifically relevant morphologies in images is feasible.

  11. Modeling seasonal to annual carbon balance of Mer Bleue Bog, Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frolking, Steve; Roulet, Nigel T.; Moore, Tim R.; Lafleur, Peter M.; Bubier, Jill L.; Crill, Patrick M.

    2002-07-01

    Northern peatlands contain enormous quantities of organic carbon within a few meters of the atmosphere and play a significant role in the planetary carbon balance. We have developed a new, process-oriented model of the contemporary carbon balance of northern peatlands, the Peatland Carbon Simulator (PCARS). Components of PCARS are (1) vascular and nonvascular plant photosynthesis and respiration, net aboveground and belowground production, and litterfall; (2) aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of peat; (3) production, oxidation, and emission of methane; and (4) dissolved organic carbon loss with drainage water. PCARS has an hourly time step and requires air and soil temperatures, incoming radiation, water table depth, and horizontal drainage as drivers. Simulations predict a complete peatland C balance for one season to several years. A 3-year simulation was conducted for Mer Bleue Bog, near Ottawa, Ontario, and results were compared with multiyear eddy covariance tower CO2 flux and ancillary measurements from the site. Seasonal patterns and the general magnitude of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 were similar for PCARS and the tower data, though PCARS was generally biased toward net ecosystem respiration (i.e., carbon loss). Gross photosynthesis rates (calculated directly in PCARS, empirically inferred from tower data) were in good accord, so the discrepancy between model and measurement was likely related to autotrophic and/or heterotrophic respiration. Modeled and measured methane emission rates were quite low. PCARS has been designed to link with the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) land surface model and a global climate model (GCM) to examine climate-peatland carbon feedbacks at regional scales in future analyses.

  12. Automated Recognition of Geologically Significant Shapes in MER PANCAM and MI Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Robert; Shipman, Mark; Roush, Ted L.

    2004-01-01

    Autonomous recognition of scientifically important information provides the capability of: 1) Prioritizing data return; 2) Intelligent data compression; 3) Reactive behavior onboard robotic vehicles. Such capabilities are desirable as mission scenarios include longer durations with decreasing interaction from mission control. To address such issues, we have implemented several computer algorithms, intended to autonomously recognize morphological shapes of scientific interest within a software architecture envisioned for future rover missions. Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) instrument payloads include a Panoramic Camera (PANCAM) and Microscopic Imager (MI). These provide a unique opportunity to evaluate our algorithms when applied to data obtained from the surface of Mars. Early in the mission we applied our algorithms to images available at the mission web site (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/images.html), even though these are not at full resolution. Some algorithms would normally use ancillary information, e.g. camera pointing and position of the sun, but these data were not readily available. The initial results of applying our algorithms to the PANCAM and MI images are encouraging. The horizon is recognized in all images containing it; such information could be used to eliminate unwanted areas from the image prior to data transmission to Earth. Additionally, several rocks were identified that represent targets for the mini-thermal emission spectrometer. Our algorithms also recognize the layers, identified by mission scientists. Such information could be used to prioritize data return or in a decision-making process regarding future rover activities. The spherules seen in MI images were also autonomously recognized. Our results indicate that reliable recognition of scientifically relevant morphologies in images is feasible.

  13. Therapeutic efficacy of Tyro3, Axl, and Mer tyrosine kinase agonists in collagen-induced arthritis.

    PubMed

    van den Brand, B T; Abdollahi-Roodsaz, S; Vermeij, E A; Bennink, M B; Arntz, O J; Rothlin, C V; van den Berg, W B; van de Loo, F A J

    2013-03-01

    Hyperactivation of innate immunity by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) can contribute to the development of autoinflammatory or autoimmune diseases. This study evaluated the activation of Tyro3, Axl, Mer (TAM) receptors, physiologic negative regulators of TLRs, by their agonists, growth arrest-specific protein 6 (GAS-6) and protein S, in the prevention of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Adenoviruses overexpressing GAS-6 and protein S were injected intravenously or intraarticularly into mice during CIA. Splenic T helper cell subsets from intravenously injected mice were studied by flow cytometry, and the knee joints of mice injected intravenously and intraarticularly were assessed histologically. Synovium from mice injected intraarticularly was evaluated for cytokine and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) expression. Protein S significantly reduced ankle joint swelling when overexpressed systemically. Further analysis of knee joints revealed a moderate reduction in pathologic changes in the joint and a significant reduction in the number of splenic Th1 cells when protein S was overexpressed systemically. Local overexpression of GAS-6 decreased joint inflammation and joint pathology. Protein S treatment showed a similar trend of protection. Consistently, GAS-6 and protein S reduced cytokine production in the synovium. Moreover, levels of messenger RNA for interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-23 were reduced by GAS-6 and protein S treatment, with a corresponding decrease in the production of interferon-γ and IL-17. TAM ligand overexpression was associated with an increase in SOCS-3 levels, which likely contributed to the amelioration of arthritis. This study provides the first evidence that TAM receptor stimulation by GAS-6 and protein S can be used to ameliorate arthritis when applied systemically or locally. TAM receptor stimulation limits proinflammatory signaling and adaptive immunity. This pathway provides a novel strategy by which to combat rheumatoid arthritis

  14. Fast genotyping of known SNPs through approximate k-mer matching.

    PubMed

    Shajii, Ariya; Yorukoglu, Deniz; William Yu, Yun; Berger, Bonnie

    2016-09-01

    As the volume of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data increases, faster algorithms become necessary. Although speeding up individual components of a sequence analysis pipeline (e.g. read mapping) can reduce the computational cost of analysis, such approaches do not take full advantage of the particulars of a given problem. One problem of great interest, genotyping a known set of variants (e.g. dbSNP or Affymetrix SNPs), is important for characterization of known genetic traits and causative disease variants within an individual, as well as the initial stage of many ancestral and population genomic pipelines (e.g. GWAS). We introduce lightweight assignment of variant alleles (LAVA), an NGS-based genotyping algorithm for a given set of SNP loci, which takes advantage of the fact that approximate matching of mid-size k-mers (with k = 32) can typically uniquely identify loci in the human genome without full read alignment. LAVA accurately calls the vast majority of SNPs in dbSNP and Affymetrix's Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 up to about an order of magnitude faster than standard NGS genotyping pipelines. For Affymetrix SNPs, LAVA has significantly higher SNP calling accuracy than existing pipelines while using as low as ∼5 GB of RAM. As such, LAVA represents a scalable computational method for population-level genotyping studies as well as a flexible NGS-based replacement for SNP arrays. LAVA software is available at http://lava.csail.mit.edu bab@mit.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Inhibitor recognition specificity of MERS-CoV papain-like protease may differ from that of SARS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyun; Lei, Hao; Santarsiero, Bernard D; Gatuz, Joseph L; Cao, Shuyi; Rice, Amy J; Patel, Kavankumar; Szypulinski, Michael Z; Ojeda, Isabel; Ghosh, Arun K; Johnson, Michael E

    2015-06-19

    The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) papain-like protease (PLpro) blocking loop 2 (BL2) structure differs significantly from that of SARS-CoV PLpro, where it has been proven to play a crucial role in SARS-CoV PLpro inhibitor binding. Four SARS-CoV PLpro lead inhibitors were tested against MERS-CoV PLpro, none of which were effective against MERS-CoV PLpro. Structure and sequence alignments revealed that two residues, Y269 and Q270, responsible for inhibitor binding to SARS-CoV PLpro, were replaced by T274 and A275 in MERS-CoV PLpro, making critical binding interactions difficult to form for similar types of inhibitors. High-throughput screening (HTS) of 25 000 compounds against both PLpro enzymes identified a small fragment-like noncovalent dual inhibitor. Mode of inhibition studies by enzyme kinetics and competition surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analyses suggested that this compound acts as a competitive inhibitor with an IC50 of 6 μM against MERS-CoV PLpro, indicating that it binds to the active site, whereas it acts as an allosteric inhibitor against SARS-CoV PLpro with an IC50 of 11 μM. These results raised the possibility that inhibitor recognition specificity of MERS-CoV PLpro may differ from that of SARS-CoV PLpro. In addition, inhibitory activity of this compound was selective for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV PLpro enzymes over two human homologues, the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolases 1 and 3 (hUCH-L1 and hUCH-L3).

  16. Detection of Specific IgA Antibodies against a Novel Deamidated 8-Mer Gliadin Peptide in Blood Plasma Samples from Celiac Patients

    PubMed Central

    Vallejo-Diez, Sara; Bernardo, David; Moreno, María de Lourdes; Muñoz-Suano, Alba; Fernández-Salazar, Luis; Calvo, Carmen; Sousa, Carolina; Garrote, José A.; Cebolla, Ángel; Arranz, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    We studied whether celiac disease (CD) patients produce antibodies against a novel gliadin peptide specifically generated in the duodenum of CD patients by a previously described pattern of CD-specific duodenal proteases. Fingerprinting and ion-trap mass spectrometry of CD-specific duodenal gliadin-degrading protease pattern revealed a new 8-mer gliadin-derived peptide. An ELISA against synthetic deamidated 8-mer peptides (DGP 8-mer) was used to study the presence of IgA anti-DGP 8-mer antibodies in plasma samples from 81 children (31 active CD patients (aCD), 17 CD patients on a gluten-free diet (GFD), 10 healthy controls (C) and 23 patients with other gastrointestinal pathology (GP)) and 101 adults (16 aCD, 12 GFD, 27 C and 46 GP-patients). Deamidation of the 8-mer peptide significantly increased the reactivity of the IgA antibodies from CD patients against the peptide. Significant IgA anti-DGP 8-mer antibodies levels were detected in 93.5% of aCD-, 11.8% of GFD- and 4.3% of GP-patients in children. In adults, antibodies were detected in 81.3% of aCD-patients and 8.3% of GFD-patients while were absent in 100% of C- and GP-patients. Duodenal CD-specific gliadin degrading proteases release an 8-mer gliadin peptide that once deamidated is an antigen for specific IgA antibodies in CD patients which may provide a new accurate diagnostic tool in CD. PMID:24278359

  17. Influence of defects on the effective electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by random sequential adsorption of linear k-mers onto a square lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu.; Laptev, Valeri V.; Goltseva, Valeria A.; Lebovka, Nikolai I.

    2017-07-01

    The effect of defects on the behaviour of electrical conductivity, σ, in a monolayer produced by the random sequential adsorption of linear k-mers (particles occupying k adjacent sites) onto a square lattice is studied by means of a Monte Carlo simulation. The k-mers are deposited on the substrate until a jamming state is reached. The presence of defects in the lattice (impurities) and of defects in the k-mers with concentrations of dl and dk, respectively, is assumed. The defects in the lattice are distributed randomly before deposition and these lattice sites are forbidden for the deposition of k-mers. The defects of the k-mers are distributed randomly on the deposited k-mers. The sites filled with k-mers have high electrical conductivity, σk, whereas the empty sites, and the sites filled by either types of defect have a low electrical conductivity, σl, i.e., a high-contrast, σk /σl ≫ 1, is assumed. We examined isotropic (both the possible x and y orientations of a particle are equiprobable) and anisotropic (all particles are aligned along one given direction, y) deposition. To calculate the effective electrical conductivity, the monolayer was presented as a random resistor network and the Frank-Lobb algorithm was used. The effects of the concentrations of defects dl and dk on the electrical conductivity for the values of k =2n, where n = 1 , 2 , … , 5, were studied. Increase of both the dl and dk parameters values resulted in decreases in the value of σ and the suppression of percolation. Moreover, for anisotropic deposition the electrical conductivity along the y direction was noticeably larger than in the perpendicular direction, x. Phase diagrams in the (dl ,dk)-plane for different values of k were obtained.

  18. Pigment epithelium-derived factor 34-mer peptide prevents liver fibrosis and hepatic stellate cell activation through down-regulation of the PDGF receptor.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Tung-Han; Shih, Shou-Chuan; Ho, Tsung-Chuan; Ma, Hsin-I; Liu, Ming-Ying; Chen, Show-Li; Tsao, Yeou-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) has been shown previously to prevent liver fibrosis and hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation. By investigating the functional domains in PEDF, we identified a 34-mer peptide (residues Asp44-Asn77) that harbors the same function as the full-length PEDF protein. Not only did the 34-mer suppress the development of fibrosis in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-treated mouse liver but it also upregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) expression in HSCs in vivo. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) plays a crucial role on the process of HSC activation in response to liver damage. The 34-mer suppressed PDGF-induced cell proliferation and expression of myofibroblastic marker proteins in primary rat HSC culture, increased the levels of PPARγ mRNA and protein in a dose-dependent manner and markedly reduced the level of active β-catenin protein, an HSC activating factor, in HSC-T6 cells. Similarly, IWR-1, an inhibitor of the Wnt response, displayed the same effect as the 34-mer in preventing HSC-T6 activation. The Wnt signaling-mediated PPARγ suppression was abolished by both the IWR-1 inhibitor and a small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting β-catenin and the Wnt coreceptor, LRP6. Both PEDF and the 34-mer down-regulated PDGF receptor-α/β expression and blocked the PDGF-induced phosphorylation of Akt and ERK. Moreover, the inhibitory effect on PDGF receptor expression was abolished by PPARγ antagonists and PPARγ siRNA. Our observations indicate that the PEDF-derived 34-mer peptide can mimic PEDF in attenuating HSC activation. Investigation of this 34-mer peptide led to the identification of a signaling mechanism involving PPARγ induction, suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and down-regulation of the PDGF receptor-α/β.

  19. Influenza not MERS CoV among returning Hajj and Umrah pilgrims with respiratory illness, Kashmir, north India, 2014-15.

    PubMed

    Koul, Parvaiz A; Mir, Hyder; Saha, Siddhartha; Chadha, Mandeep S; Potdar, Varsha; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; Lal, Renu B; Krishnan, Anand

    The increasing reports of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) caused by MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from many countries emphasize its importance for international travel. Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah involve mass gatherings of international travellers. We set out to assess the presence of influenza and MERS-CoV in Hajj/Umrah returnees with acute respiratory infection. . Disembarking passengers (n = 8753) from Saudi Arabia (October 2014 to April 2015) were interviewed for the presence of respiratory symptoms; 977 (11%) reported symptoms and 300 (age 26-90, median 60 years; 140 male) consented to participate in the study. After recording clinical and demographic data, twin swabs (nasopharyngeal and throat) were collected from each participant, pooled in viral transport media and tested by real-time RT PCR for MERS-CoV and influenza A and B viruses and their subtypes. The participants had symptoms of 1-15 days (median 5d); cough (90%) and nasal discharge (86%) being the commonest. None of the 300 participants tested positive for MERS-CoV; however, 33 (11%) tested positive for influenza viruses (A/H3N2 = 13, A/H1N1pdm09 = 9 and B/Yamagata = 11). Eighteen patients received oseltamivir. No hospitalizations were needed and all had uneventful recovery. Despite a high prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms, MERS coV was not seen in returning pilgrims from Hajj and Umrah. However detection of flu emphasises preventive strategies like vaccination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination.

    PubMed

    Otter, J A; Donskey, C; Yezli, S; Douthwaite, S; Goldenberg, S D; Weber, D J

    2016-03-01

    Viruses with pandemic potential including H1N1, H5N1, and H5N7 influenza viruses, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)/Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses (CoV) have emerged in recent years. SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and influenza virus can survive on surfaces for extended periods, sometimes up to months. Factors influencing the survival of these viruses on surfaces include: strain variation, titre, surface type, suspending medium, mode of deposition, temperature and relative humidity, and the method used to determine the viability of the virus. Environmental sampling has identified contamination in field-settings with SARS-CoV and influenza virus, although the frequent use of molecular detection methods may not necessarily represent the presence of viable virus. The importance of indirect contact transmission (involving contamination of inanimate surfaces) is uncertain compared with other transmission routes, principally direct contact transmission (independent of surface contamination), droplet, and airborne routes. However, influenza virus and SARS-CoV may be shed into the environment and be transferred from environmental surfaces to hands of patients and healthcare providers. Emerging data suggest that MERS-CoV also shares these properties. Once contaminated from the environment, hands can then initiate self-inoculation of mucous membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth. Mathematical and animal models, and intervention studies suggest that contact transmission is the most important route in some scenarios. Infection prevention and control implications include the need for hand hygiene and personal protective equipment to minimize self-contamination and to protect against inoculation of mucosal surfaces and the respiratory tract, and enhanced surface cleaning and disinfection in healthcare settings.

  1. IFITM Proteins Inhibit Entry Driven by the MERS-Coronavirus Spike Protein: Evidence for Cholesterol-Independent Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Wrensch, Florian; Winkler, Michael; Pöhlmann, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    The interferon-inducible transmembrane (IFITM) proteins 1, 2 and 3 inhibit the host cell entry of several enveloped viruses, potentially by promoting the accumulation of cholesterol in endosomal compartments. IFITM3 is essential for control of influenza virus infection in mice and humans. In contrast, the role of IFITM proteins in coronavirus infection is less well defined. Employing a retroviral vector system for analysis of coronavirus entry, we investigated the susceptibility of human-adapted and emerging coronaviruses to inhibition by IFITM proteins. We found that entry of the recently emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is sensitive to inhibition by IFITM proteins. In 293T cells, IFITM-mediated inhibition of cellular entry of the emerging MERS- and SARS-CoV was less efficient than blockade of entry of the globally circulating human coronaviruses 229E and NL63. Similar differences were not observed in A549 cells, suggesting that cellular context and/or IFITM expression levels can impact inhibition efficiency. The differential IFITM-sensitivity of coronaviruses observed in 293T cells afforded the opportunity to investigate whether efficiency of entry inhibition by IFITMs and endosomal cholesterol accumulation correlate. No such correlation was observed. Furthermore, entry mediated by the influenza virus hemagglutinin was robustly inhibited by IFITM3 but was insensitive to accumulation of endosomal cholesterol, indicating that modulation of cholesterol synthesis/transport did not account for the antiviral activity of IFITM3. Collectively, these results show that the emerging MERS-CoV is a target of the antiviral activity of IFITM proteins and demonstrate that mechanisms other than accumulation of endosomal cholesterol can contribute to viral entry inhibition by IFITMs. PMID:25256397

  2. Mercury-199 NMR of the Metal Receptor Site in MerR and Its Protein-DNA Complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Utschig, Lisa M.; Bryson, James W.; O'Halloran, Thomas V.

    1995-04-01

    Structural insights have been provided by mercury-199 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) into the metal receptor site of the MerR metalloregulatory protein alone and in a complex with the regulatory target, DNA. The one- and two-dimensional NMR data are consistent with a trigonal planar Hg-thiolate coordination environment consisting only of Cys side chains and resolve structural aspects of both metal ion recognition and the allosteric mechanism. These studies establish 199Hg NMR techniques as useful probes of the metal coordination environment of regulatory proteins, copper enzymes, and zinc transcription factor complexes as large as 50 kilodaltons.

  3. mer, fac, and Bidentate Coordination of an Alkyl-POP Ligand in the Chemistry of Nonclassical Osmium Hydrides.

    PubMed

    Esteruelas, Miguel A; García-Yebra, Cristina; Martín, Jaime; Oñate, Enrique

    2017-01-03

    Nonclassical and classical osmium polyhydrides containing the diphosphine 9,9-dimethyl-4,5-bis(diisopropylphosphino)xanthene (xant(P(i)Pr2)2), coordinated in κ(3)-mer, κ(3)-fac, and κ(2)-P,P fashions, have been isolated during the cyclic formation of H2 by means of the sequential addition of H(+) and H(-) or H(-) and H(+) to the classical trihydride OsH3Cl{xant(P(i)Pr2)2} (1). This complex adds H(+) to form the compressed dihydride dihydrogen complex [OsCl(H···H)(η(2)-H2){xant(P(i)Pr2)2}](+) (2). Under argon, cation 2 loses H2 and the resulting unsaturated fragment dimerizes to give [(Os(H···H){xant(P(i)Pr2)2})2(μ-Cl)2](2+) (3). During the transformation the phosphine changes its coordination mode from mer to fac. The benzofuran counterpart of 1, OsH3Cl{dbf(P(i)Pr2)2} (4; dbf(P(i)Pr2)2 = 4,6-bis(diisopropylphosphino)dibenzofuran), also adds H(+) to afford the benzofuran counterpart of 2, [OsCl(H···H)(η(2)-H2){xant(P(i)Pr2)2}](+) (5), which in contrast to the latter is stable and does not dimerize. Acetonitrile breaks the chloride bridge of 3 to form the dihydrogen [OsCl(η(2)-H2)(CH3CN){xant(P(i)Pr2)2}](+) (6), regenerating the mer coordination of the diphosphine. The hydride ion also breaks the chloride bridge of 3. The addition of KH to 3 leads to 1, closing a cycle for the formation of H2. Complex 1 reacts with a second hydride ion to give OsH4{xant(P(i)Pr2)2} (7) as consequence of the displacement of the chloride. Similarly to the latter, the oxygen atom of the mer-coordinated diphosphine of 7 has a tendency to be displaced by the hydride ion. Thus, the addition of KH to 7 yields [OsH5{xant(P(i)Pr2)2}](-) (8), containing a κ(2)-P,P-diphosphine. Complex 8 is easily protonated to afford OsH6{xant(P(i)Pr2)2} (9), which releases H2 to regenerate 7, closing a second cycle for the formation of molecular hydrogen.

  4. Proglacial sediment supply and channel evolution of the Arveyron of the Mer de Glace since the early 20th c.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthet, Johan; Astrade, Laurent; Ravanel, Ludovic; Ployon, Estelle

    2015-04-01

    The Arveyron of the Mer de Glace is the emissary of the most famous and largest French glacier. The latter has dramatically shrunk since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA), such as every alpine glacier: the front has registered a retreat of 2.7 km since 1820 and a recent modelling showed a likely decrease of an extra km by 2040. The Arveyron and its surroundings are deeply impacted by the retreat. Then, dynamics of proglacial streams and of lateral moraines have been studied at different time and space scales through various methods: airborne and terrestrial Lidar DEM comparisons, mapping from orthophotos, 2D and 3D monoplotting to quantify past events from old terrestrial pictures, etc. By coupling studies on moraines and on stream morphology we wanted to better understand the influence of glacier retreat on sediment supply and transport downstream. Results show the evolution of the stream sediment sources linked to the glacier retreat. Before the middle of the 20th century, till was the main sediment source and was released by major flood events such as GLOFs. Now, geomorphic activity is especially important on the right lateral moraine into the recently deglaciated hanging valley of the Mer de Glace but also in the moraine flanks of the current glacier tongue (many landslides occurred during the Summer 2014). The recent glacier retreat has also formed sediments sinks such as two proglacial lakes which are progressively filling. These lakes work as big sediment traps until they will disappear (around 2017). Fluvial dynamics of the Arveyron depends on the connectivity with potential sediments sources. This is why we crossed upstream studies with the channel evolution on its fan. Arveyron channel has got narrower and incised for at least a century. Such evolution should mean a decreasing sediment yield, but anthropic factors play also an important role on stream morphology. The main anthorpic impact is the complex subglacial harnessing of the Mer de Glace. The

  5. An In-Situ Rb-Sr Dating & Organics Characterization Instrument For A MER+ Sized Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, F.; Whitaker, T.; Nowicki, K.; Zacny, K.; Pierce, J.

    2012-12-01

    We posit that a Mars in-situ geochronology mission that will triage and validate samples for Mars Sample Return (MSR) is technically feasible in the 2018-2022 time frame and addresses the competing scientific, political, and fiscal requirements for flight in this decade.The mission must be responsive to the astrobiological and chronological science goals of the MEPAG, Decadal Survey (DS), and E2E-iSAG, and avoid the MSR appearance of long term political commitment and cost. These requirements can best be accomplished by a rover with a coring drill. JPL has reassessed the MER landing system performance, and determined that the system is capable of significantly higher landed mass (~40-60 kg plus reserve), allowing more sophisticated instruments to be carried. The instrument package is comprised of a time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometer combined with a laser desorption resonance ionization source to sensitively measure isobar free Rb-Sr isotopes for geochronology and organics characterization. The desorption laser is also used with a μRaman/LIBS for mineral characterization, which in combination with the TOF, will additionally provide measurements of K-Ar isotopes for a second form of radiometric dating. The laser desorption resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LDRIMS) technique avoids the interference and mass resolution issues associated with geochronology measurements, and has miniaturization potential. A sample is placed in the TOF mass spectrometer and surface atoms, molecules, and ions are desorbed with a 213 nm laser. Ions are suppressed by an electric field and the plume of expanding particles is present for many μs, during which it is first illuminated with laser light tuned to ionize only Sr, and then 1-3 μs later, for Rb. We have partially miniaturized the instrument, including Sr lasers, ablation laser, and mass spectrometer, and will soon to start using the instrument for field measurements. Our current prototype can measure the isotope ratio of

  6. Rock and Soil Physical Properties at the MER Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum Landing Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J.; Cabrol, N.; Gorevan, S.; Greeley, R.; Herkenhoff, K.; Ming, D.; Sullivan, R.; Mer Athena Science Team

    Following the successful landings of both Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, respectively, their Athena suite of instruments is being used to study the geologic history of these two very different landing sites on Mars that had been selected on the basis of showing different types of evidence for aqueous processes in the planet's past. Utilizing the on-board instruments as well as the rovers' mobility system, a wide range of physical properties investigations is carried out as well -- the subject of this abstract - that provide additional information on the geology and processes at the sites. Results of the mission in general as well as of the physical properties studies thus far greatly exceed expectations in that observations and measurements by both vehicles show a rich variety in materials and processes: the Gusev site in the vicinity of the lander is remarkably flat and generally devoid of large rocks along traverses up to the time of this writing (˜ Sol 50) and suggestive of a deflated surface with generally only thin veneers of bright dust while exhibiting evidence of a widespread occurrence of a crust from cemented fines that has been observed to fail in the form of blocky clods when disturbed by vehicle rolling action; numerous small and shallow depressions -- presumably created by impacts - are observed at the site which are infilled with bright, fine-grained material that likewise appears indurated and which was studied by a trenching experiment; small ripple bedforms are scattered across the site and were characterized in terms of particle size distributions. At the Meridiani site, studies so far -- up to ˜ Sol 33 -- have focussed on soils and the rock outcrop encountered within the ˜ 20 m diameter crater that the spacecraft came to rest in: from a physical properties point of view, a mantle of dark, well-sorted, apparently basaltic sand with small to moderate cohesion has been of interest -- and has been

  7. Geology and MER target site characteristics along the southern rim of Isidis Planitia, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crumpler, L. S.; Tanaka, K. L.

    2003-12-01

    crustal materials, in the form of rocks within the debris fans, and the weathered condition of the rocky material are potential sources for mineralogical evidence of climatic conditions in earliest Martian geologic history. The absence of alteration within rocks would, on the other hand, support the hypothesis that fluvial runoff during the earliest history of Mars was geologically brief rather than long-term and that long-term saturated groundwater flow was not present. Determination of the presence or absence of alteration would have corresponding implications for hypotheses requiring the long-term presence of aqueous solutions (i.e., complex organic compounds and life). A proposed MER site along the margin addresses realistic field science objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover mission and the current goals of the Mars Exploration Program. In situ measurements may be important in deriving estimates of the longevity and intensity of past wetter climates.

  8. ROCK AND SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AT THE MER GUSEV CRATER AND MERIDIANI PLANUM LANDING SITES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Richter, L.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J.; Cabrol, N.; Gorevan, S.; Greeley, R.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2006-01-01

    Following the successful landings of both Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, respectively, their Athena suite of instruments is being used to study the geologic history of these two very different landing sites on Mars that had been selected on the basis of showing different types of evidence for aqueous processes in the planet s past. Utilizing the on-board instruments as well as the rovers mobility system, a wide range of physical properties investigations is carried out as well - the subject of this abstract - that provide additional information on the geology and processes at the sites. Results of the mission in general as well as of the physical properties studies thus far greatly exceed expectations in that observations and measurements by both vehicles show a rich variety in materials and processes: the Gusev site in the vicinity of the lander is remarkably flat and generally devoid of large rocks along traverses up to the time of this writing (approx.Sol 50) and suggestive of a deflated surface with generally only thin veneers of bright dust while exhibiting evidence of a widespread occurrence of a crust from cemented fines that has been observed to fail in the form of blocky clods when disturbed by vehicle rolling action; numerous small and shallow depressions - presumably created by impacts - are observed at the site which are infilled with bright, fine-grained material that likewise appears indurated and which was studied by a trenching experiment; small ripple bedforms are scattered across the site and were characterized in terms of particle size distributions. At the Meridiani site, studies so far - up to approx.Sol 33 - have focussed on soils and the rock outcrop encountered within the approx.20 m diameter crater that the spacecraft came to rest in: from a physical properties point of view, a mantle of dark, well-sorted, apparently basaltic sand with small to moderate cohesion has been of interest - and has

  9. Modelling impacts of offshore wind farms on trophic web: the Courseulles-sur-Mer case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raoux, Aurore; Pezy, Jean-Philippe; Dauvin, Jean-Claude; Tecchio, samuele; Degraer, Steven; Wilhelmsson, Dan; Niquil, Nathalie

    2016-04-01

    The French government is planning the construction of three offshore wind farms in Normandy. These offshore wind farms will integrate into an ecosystem already subject to a growing number of anthropogenic disturbances such as transportation, fishing, sediment deposit, and sediment extraction. The possible effects of this cumulative stressors on ecosystem functioning are still unknown, but they could impact their resilience, making them susceptible to changes from one stable state to another. Understanding the behaviour of these marine coastal complex systems is essential in order to anticipate potential state changes, and to implement conservation actions in a sustainable manner. Currently, there are no global and integrated studies on the effects of construction and exploitation of offshore wind farms. Moreover, approaches are generally focused on the conservation of some species or groups of species. Here, we develop a holistic and integrated view of ecosystem impacts through the use of trophic webs modelling tools. Trophic models describe the interaction between biological compartments at different trophic levels and are based on the quantification of flow of energy and matter in ecosystems. They allow the application of numerical methods for the characterization of emergent properties of the ecosystem, also called Ecological Network Analysis (ENA). These indices have been proposed as ecosystem health indicators as they have been demonstrated to be sensitive to different impacts on marine ecosystems. We present here in detail the strategy for analysing the potential environmental impacts of the construction of the Courseulles-sur-Mer offshore wind farm (Bay of Seine) such as the reef effect through the use of the Ecopath with Ecosim software. Similar Ecopath simulations will be made in the future on the Le Tréport offshore wind farm site. Results will contribute to a better knowledge of the impacts of the offshore wind farms on ecosystems. They also allow to

  10. ROCK AND SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AT THE MER GUSEV CRATER AND MERIDIANI PLANUM LANDING SITES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Richter, L.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J.; Cabrol, N.; Gorevan, S.; Greeley, R.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2006-01-01

    Following the successful landings of both Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, respectively, their Athena suite of instruments is being used to study the geologic history of these two very different landing sites on Mars that had been selected on the basis of showing different types of evidence for aqueous processes in the planet s past. Utilizing the on-board instruments as well as the rovers mobility system, a wide range of physical properties investigations is carried out as well - the subject of this abstract - that provide additional information on the geology and processes at the sites. Results of the mission in general as well as of the physical properties studies thus far greatly exceed expectations in that observations and measurements by both vehicles show a rich variety in materials and processes: the Gusev site in the vicinity of the lander is remarkably flat and generally devoid of large rocks along traverses up to the time of this writing (approx.Sol 50) and suggestive of a deflated surface with generally only thin veneers of bright dust while exhibiting evidence of a widespread occurrence of a crust from cemented fines that has been observed to fail in the form of blocky clods when disturbed by vehicle rolling action; numerous small and shallow depressions - presumably created by impacts - are observed at the site which are infilled with bright, fine-grained material that likewise appears indurated and which was studied by a trenching experiment; small ripple bedforms are scattered across the site and were characterized in terms of particle size distributions. At the Meridiani site, studies so far - up to approx.Sol 33 - have focussed on soils and the rock outcrop encountered within the approx.20 m diameter crater that the spacecraft came to rest in: from a physical properties point of view, a mantle of dark, well-sorted, apparently basaltic sand with small to moderate cohesion has been of interest - and has

  11. Infectious diseases epidemic threats and mass gatherings: refocusing global attention on the continuing spread of the Middle East Respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    PubMed

    Zumla, Alimuddin; Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Cotten, Matthew; Azhar, Esam I

    2016-09-07

    Media and World Health Organization (WHO) attention on Zika virus transmission at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2015 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa diverted the attention of global public health authorities from other lethal infectious diseases with epidemic potential. Mass gatherings such as the annual Hajj pilgrimage hosted by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attract huge crowds from all continents, creating high-risk conditions for the rapid global spread of infectious diseases. The highly lethal Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains in the WHO list of top emerging diseases likely to cause major epidemics. The 2015 MERS-CoV outbreak in South Korea, in which 184 MERS cases including 33 deaths occurred in 2 months, that was imported from the Middle East by a South Korean businessman was a wake-up call for the global community to refocus attention on MERS-CoV and other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases with epidemic potential. The international donor community and Middle Eastern countries should make available resources for, and make a serious commitment to, taking forward a "One Health" global network for proactive surveillance, rapid detection, and prevention of MERS-CoV and other epidemic infectious diseases threats.

  12. Finding a human telomere DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex formed by human telomeric 6-mer RNA and 16-mer DNA using click chemistry: a protective structure for telomere end.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Suzuki, Yuta; Ishizuka, Takumi; Xiao, Chao-Da; Liu, Xiao; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Komiyama, Makoto

    2014-08-15

    Telomeric repeat-containing RNA is a non-coding RNA molecule newly found in mammalian cells. The telomere RNA has been found to localize to the telomere DNA, but how the newly discovered RNA molecule interacts with telomere DNA is less known. In this study, using the click chemistry we successfully found that a 6-mer human telomere RNA and 16-mer human telomere DNA sequence can form a DNA-RNA hybrid type G-quadruplex structure. Detection of the click-reaction products directly probes DNA-RNA G-quadruplex structures in a complicated solution, whereas traditional methods such as NMR and crystallography may not be suitable. Importantly, we found that formation of DNA-RNA G-quadruplex induced an exonuclease resistance for telomere DNA, indicating that such structures might be important for protecting telomeric DNA from enzyme digestion to avoid telomere DNA shortening. These results provide the direct evidence for formation of DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex structure by human telomere DNA and RNA sequence, suggesting DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex structure associated between telomere DNA and RNA may respond to chromosome end protection and/or present a valuable target for drug design.

  13. Evolution of hut access facing glacier shrinkage in the Mer de Glace basin (Mont Blanc massif, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mourey, Jacques; Ravanel, Ludovic

    2016-04-01

    Given the evolution of high mountain environment due to global warming, mountaineering routes and huts accesses are more and more strongly affected by glacial shrinkage and concomitant gravity processes, but almost no studies have been conducted on this relationship. The aim of this research is to describe and explain the evolution over the last century of the access to the five alpine huts around the Mer de Glace glacier (Mont Blanc massif), the larger French glacier (length = 11.5 km, area = 30 km²), a major place for Alpine tourism since 1741 and the birthplace of mountaineering, by using several methods (comparing photographs, surveying, collecting historical documents). While most of the 20th century shows no marked changes, loss of ice thickness and associated erosion of lateral moraines generate numerous and significant changes since the 1990s. Boulder falls, rockfalls and landslides are the main geomorphological processes that affect the access, while the glacier surface lowering makes access much longer and more unstable. The danger is then greatly increased and the access must be relocated and/or equipped more and more frequently (e.g. a total of 520 m of ladders has been added). This questions the future accessibility to the huts, jeopardizing an important part of mountaineering and its linked economy in the Mer de Glace area.

  14. kWIP: The k-mer weighted inner product, a de novo estimator of genetic similarity.

    PubMed

    Murray, Kevin D; Webers, Christfried; Ong, Cheng Soon; Borevitz, Justin; Warthmann, Norman

    2017-09-01

    Modern genomics techniques generate overwhelming quantities of data. Extracting population genetic variation demands computationally efficient methods to determine genetic relatedness between individuals (or "samples") in an unbiased manner, preferably de novo. Rapid estimation of genetic relatedness directly from sequencing data has the potential to overcome reference genome bias, and to verify that individuals belong to the correct genetic lineage before conclusions are drawn using mislabelled, or misidentified samples. We present the k-mer Weighted Inner Product (kWIP), an assembly-, and alignment-free estimator of genetic similarity. kWIP combines a probabilistic data structure with a novel metric, the weighted inner product (WIP), to efficiently calculate pairwise similarity between sequencing runs from their k-mer counts. It produces a distance matrix, which can then be further analysed and visualised. Our method does not require prior knowledge of the underlying genomes and applications include establishing sample identity and detecting mix-up, non-obvious genomic variation, and population structure. We show that kWIP can reconstruct the true relatedness between samples from simulated populations. By re-analysing several published datasets we show that our results are consistent with marker-based analyses. kWIP is written in C++, licensed under the GNU GPL, and is available from https://github.com/kdmurray91/kwip.

  15. Chinese social media reaction to the MERS-CoV and avian influenza A(H7N9) outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background As internet and social media use have skyrocketed, epidemiologists have begun to use online data such as Google query data and Twitter trends to track the activity levels of influenza and other infectious diseases. In China, Weibo is an extremely popular microblogging site that is equivalent to Twitter. Capitalizing on the wealth of public opinion data contained in posts on Weibo, this study used Weibo as a measure of the Chinese people’s reactions to two different outbreaks: the 2012 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak, and the 2013 outbreak of human infection of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China. Methods Keyword searches were performed in Weibo data collected by The University of Hong Kong’s Weiboscope project. Baseline values were determined for each keyword and reaction values per million posts in the days after outbreak information was released to the public. Results The results show that the Chinese people reacted significantly to both outbreaks online, where their social media reaction was two orders of magnitude stronger to the H7N9 influenza outbreak that happened in China than the MERS-CoV outbreak that was far away from China. Conclusions These results demonstrate that social media could be a useful measure of public awareness and reaction to disease outbreak information released by health authorities. PMID:24359669

  16. The effects of sampling on the efficiency and accuracy of k-mer indexes: Theoretical and empirical comparisons using the human genome.

    PubMed

    Almutairy, Meznah; Torng, Eric

    2017-01-01

    One of the most common ways to search a sequence database for sequences that are similar to a query sequence is to use a k-mer index such as BLAST. A big problem with k-mer indexes is the space required to store the lists of all occurrences of all k-mers in the database. One method for reducing the space needed, and also query time, is sampling where only some k-mer occurrences are stored. Most previous work uses hard sampling, in which enough k-mer occurrences are retained so that all similar sequences are guaranteed to be found. In contrast, we study soft sampling, which further reduces the number of stored k-mer occurrences at a cost of decreasing query accuracy. We focus on finding highly similar local alignments (HSLA) over nucleotide sequences, an operation that is fundamental to biological applications such as cDNA sequence mapping. For our comparison, we use the NCBI BLAST tool with the human genome and human ESTs. When identifying HSLAs, we find that soft sampling significantly reduces both index size and query time with relatively small losses in query accuracy. For the human genome and HSLAs of length at least 100 bp, soft sampling reduces index size 4-10 times more than hard sampling and processes queries 2.3-6.8 times faster, while still achieving retention rates of at least 96.6%. When we apply soft sampling to the problem of mapping ESTs against the genome, we map more than 98% of ESTs perfectly while reducing the index size by a factor of 4 and query time by 23.3%. These results demonstrate that soft sampling is a simple but effective strategy for performing efficient searches for HSLAs. We also provide a new model for sampling with BLAST that predicts empirical retention rates with reasonable accuracy by modeling two key problem factors.

  17. Cross-sectional surveillance of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels and other mammals in Egypt, August 2015 to January 2016

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Mohamed; El-Shesheny, Rabeh; Kandeil, Ahmed; Shehata, Mahmoud; Elsokary, Basma; Gomaa, Mokhtar; Hassan, Naglaa; El Sayed, Ahmed; El-Taweel, Ahmed; Sobhy, Heba; Oludayo, Fasina Folorunso; Dauphin, Gwenaelle; El Masry, Ihab; Wolde, Abebe Wossene; Daszak, Peter; Miller, Maureen; VonDobschuetz, Sophie; Gardner, Emma; Morzaria, Subhash; Lubroth, Juan; Makonnen, Yilma Jobre

    2017-01-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted in Egypt to determine the prevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in imported and resident camels and bats, as well as to assess possible transmission of the virus to domestic ruminants and equines. A total of 1,031 sera, 1,078 nasal swabs, 13 rectal swabs, and 38 milk samples were collected from 1,078 camels in different types of sites. In addition, 145 domestic animals and 109 bats were sampled. Overall, of 1,031 serologically-tested camels, 871 (84.5%) had MERS-CoV neutralising antibodies. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in imported (614/692; 88.7%) than resident camels (257/339; 5.8%) (p < 0.05). Camels from Sudan (543/594; 91.4%) had a higher seroprevalence than those from East Africa (71/98; 72.4%) (p < 0.05). Sampling site and age were also associated with MERS-CoV seroprevalence (p < 0.05). All tested samples from domestic animals and bats were negative for MERS-CoV antibodies except one sheep sample which showed a 1:640 titre. Of 1,078 camels, 41 (3.8%) were positive for MERS-CoV genetic material. Sequences obtained were not found to cluster with clade A or B MERS-CoV sequences and were genetically diverse. The presence of neutralising antibodies in one sheep apparently in contact with seropositive camels calls for further studies on domestic animals in contact with camels. PMID:28333616

  18. Regulation of placental low-density lipoprotein uptake in baboons by estrogen: Dose-dependent effects of the anti-estrogen ethamoxytriphetol (MER-25)

    SciTech Connect

    Henson, M.C.; Pepe, G.J.; Albrecht, E.D. )

    1991-07-01

    In the present study, increasing amounts of the anti-estrogen 1-(p-2-diethylaminoethoxyphenyl)-1-phenyl-2-p-methoxyphenoletha nol (MER-25) were administered to pregnant baboons (Papio anubis) to block the action of endogenous estrogen and to determine effect on placental low-density lipoprotein (LDL) uptake. Pregnant baboons were untreated (n = 8) or received MER-25 orally at a dosage of 25 (n = 10), 50 (n = 8), or 75 (n = 4) mg/kg BW daily on Days 140-170 of gestation (term = 184 days). Placentas were removed on Day 170 of gestation and villous tissue was dispersed with 0.1% collagenase. Placental cells were incubated in Medium 199 for 12 h at 37{degrees} C with increasing amounts of 125I-LDL, with or without a 100-fold excess of unlabeled baboon LDL. Mean ({plus minus} SEM) placental uptake (ng/micrograms cell protein) of 125I-LDL was 55% (6.4 {plus minus} 1.0), 75% (3.6 {plus minus} 0.7), and 81% (2.7 {plus minus} 0.2) lower (p less than 0.001) in baboons that received MER-25 in doses of 25, 50, and 75 mg/kg BW, respectively, than in untreated baboons (14.2 {plus minus} 1.3 ng/micrograms cell protein). Maximal effect occurred with 50 mg MER-25, because LDL uptake was not further decreased with greater levels of MER-25. Dissociation constants for placental LDL uptake, as determined by Scatchard analysis, were unaltered by anti-estrogen treatment. The amount of 125I-LDL degradation by placental cells of untreated and MER-25-treated baboons was proportional to LDL uptake.

  19. Cross-sectional surveillance of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels and other mammals in Egypt, August 2015 to January 2016.

    PubMed

    Ali, Mohamed; El-Shesheny, Rabeh; Kandeil, Ahmed; Shehata, Mahmoud; Elsokary, Basma; Gomaa, Mokhtar; Hassan, Naglaa; El Sayed, Ahmed; El-Taweel, Ahmed; Sobhy, Heba; Fasina, Folorunso Oludayo; Dauphin, Gwenaelle; El Masry, Ihab; Wolde, Abebe Wossene; Daszak, Peter; Miller, Maureen; VonDobschuetz, Sophie; Gardner, Emma; Morzaria, Subhash; Lubroth, Juan; Makonnen, Yilma Jobre

    2017-03-16

    A cross-sectional study was conducted in Egypt to determine the prevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in imported and resident camels and bats, as well as to assess possible transmission of the virus to domestic ruminants and equines. A total of 1,031 sera, 1,078 nasal swabs, 13 rectal swabs, and 38 milk samples were collected from 1,078 camels in different types of sites. In addition, 145 domestic animals and 109 bats were sampled. Overall, of 1,031 serologically-tested camels, 871 (84.5%) had MERS-CoV neutralising antibodies. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in imported (614/692; 88.7%) than resident camels (257/339; 5.8%) (p < 0.05). Camels from Sudan (543/594; 91.4%) had a higher seroprevalence than those from East Africa (71/98; 72.4%) (p < 0.05). Sampling site and age were also associated with MERS-CoV seroprevalence (p < 0.05). All tested samples from domestic animals and bats were negative for MERS-CoV antibodies except one sheep sample which showed a 1:640 titre. Of 1,078 camels, 41 (3.8%) were positive for MERS-CoV genetic material. Sequences obtained were not found to cluster with clade A or B MERS-CoV sequences and were genetically diverse. The presence of neutralising antibodies in one sheep apparently in contact with seropositive camels calls for further studies on domestic animals in contact with camels.

  20. Laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Malaysia: preparedness and response, April 2014.

    PubMed

    Premila Devi, J; Noraini, W; Norhayati, R; Chee Kheong, C; Badrul, A S; Zainah, S; Fadzilah, K; Hirman, I; Lokman Hakim, S; Noor Hisham, A

    2014-05-08

    On 14 April 2014, the first laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection was reported in Malaysia in a man in his mid-fifties, who developed pneumonia with respiratory distress, after returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The case succumbed to his illness three days after admission at a local hospital. The follow-up of 199 close contacts identified through contact tracing and vigilant surveillance did not result in detecting any other confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection.

  1. Estimation of basic reproduction number of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the outbreak in South Korea, 2015.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hyuk-Jun

    2017-06-13

    In South Korea, an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) occurred in 2015. It was the second largest MERS outbreak. As a result of the outbreak in South Korea, 186 infections were reported, and 36 patients died. At least 16,693 people were isolated with suspicious symptoms. This paper estimates the basic reproduction number of the MERS coronavirus (CoV), using data on the spread of MERS in South Korea. The basic reproduction number of an epidemic is defined as the average number of secondary cases that an infected subject produces over its infectious period in a susceptible and uninfected population. To estimate the basic reproduction number of the MERS-CoV, we employ data from the 2015 South Korea MERS outbreak and the susceptible-infected-removed (SIR) model, a mathematical model that uses a set of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). We fit the model to the epidemic data of the South Korea outbreak minimizing the sum of the squared errors to identify model parameters. Also we derive the basic reproductive number as the terms of the parameters of the SIR model. Then we determine the basic reproduction number of the MERS-CoV in South Korea in 2015 as 8.0977. It is worth comparing with the basic reproductive number of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa including Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, which had values of 1.5-2.5. There was no intervention to control the infection in the early phase of the outbreak, thus the data used here provide the best conditions to evaluate the epidemic characteristics of MERS, such as the basic reproduction number. An evaluation of basic reproduction number using epidemic data could be problematic if there are stochastic fluctuations in the early phase of the outbreak, or if the report is not accurate and there is bias in the data. Such problems are not relevant to this study because the data used here were precisely reported and verified by Korea Hospital Association.

  2. Near infra-red emission from a mer-Ru(II) complex: consequences of strong σ-donation from a neutral, flexible ligand with dual binding modes.

    PubMed

    Pal, Amlan K; Zaccheroni, Nelsi; Campagna, Sebastiano; Hanan, Garry S

    2014-07-04

    A rare example of dual coordination modes by a novel tridentate ligand gives rise to unique fac-and mer-Ru((II/III)) complexes. The mer-Ru(II)-complex displays the farthest red-shift of a triplet metal-to-ligand charge transfer ((3)MLCT) emission with a tridentate ligand for a mononuclear complex. This observation is a consequence of large bite angle and strong σ-donation by the ligand, the combined effect of which helps to separate the energy of the (3)MLCT and (3)MC states.

  3. Comparing the Chemistry for the Pathfinder, MER and MSL Martian Landing Sites with APXS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gellert, R.; Arvidson, R. E.; Clark, B. C.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Squyres, S. W.; Yen, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    The Alpha-Particle-X-ray Spectrometer is part of the science payload of all recent NASA Mars rover missions. It allows detailed comparison of the chemical composition and overall findings from rocks and soils at 4 landing sites. It can be even extended to the soil measurements performed with XRF on the two Viking landers. Typical soils at all 6 landing sites are very similar in chemical composition as well as mineralogy from instruments like Moessbauer on MER and CHEMIN on MSL. Beside a dominant basaltic composition the soil contains a significant altered and volatile rich component that is characterized by a constant S/Cl ratio in the APXS data. The overall similarity of the soils as well as the finding that soils around the 30 wt % SO3 rich bedrocks at Meridiani are not elevated in S, indicates the presence of a global distributed or at least large scale homogenized component in the Martian soil. This allows extending the SAM and CHEMIN findings in the altered and volatile components in the Gale Rocknest soils to other landing sites. However, in Gusev Crater anomalous subsurface soils were found - silica and hydrated ferric sulfate rich - that could indicate local fumarole and leaching activities. The sulfate rich Meridiani bedrock, called Burns formations, was documented to be remarkably homogeneous over the ~ 15 miles from the landing site at Eagle Crater to the base of the rim at Endurance Crater. Here for the first time a rover entered an area where evidence for clays is given by orbital CRISM data. With Opportunity's mineralogy instruments out of commission, the APXS was used to document the chemistry of the encountered outcrops. Having a composition close to the average Mars, one main characteristic feature of rocks at the rim is the low sulfur content compared to the younger Meridiani bedrock. The outcrops show post depositional cracks and veins filled with Calciumsulfate and Chlorine rich surface alteration rinds. A smaller outcrop called Esperance has

  4. Iron Mineralogy and Aqueous Alteration on Mars from the MER Moessbauer Spectrometers. Chapter 15

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Richard V.; Klingelhoefer, Goestar

    2007-01-01

    .05), is relatively uncommon, and occurs as subsurface deposits in the Columbia Hills. Berry Class soil is also heavily altered (SO3 = 5 +/- 1 wt.% and Fe(3+)/Fe(sub T) = 0.60 +/- 0.13) and occurs at Meridiani Planum as lag deposits, at the crests of aeolian bedforms, and as isolated pockets on outcrop surfaces. Magnetite is identified as the strongly magnetic component in martian soil. Jarosite (in the Burns outcrop at Meridiani Planum) and goethite (in Clovis Class rocks at Gusev crater) are mineralogical markers for aqueous processes because they contain the hydroxide anion (OH(-)) as an essential part of their structure. Each yields approx.10 wt.% H2O upon dehydroxylation. The presence of Fe sulfates on opposite sides of Mars is evidence that aqueous processes under acid sulfate conditions are or were common. Except for Independence Class rocks in the Columbia Hills, the overall Fe mineralogical compositions and similar basaltic bulk chemical compositions (calculated with respect to S = Cl = 0) of the population of altered rocks analyzed by MER imply isochemical alteration of basaltic precursors at low water-to-rock ratios.

  5. Successful Mars remote sensors, MO THEMIS and MER Mini-TES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Steven; Christensen, Phil

    2003-11-01

    Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), covering the spectral range 5-29 μm at 10 cm-1 spectral resolution. Launched in June 2003, one Mini-TES instrument will fly to Mars aboard each of the two missions of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project (MER), named Spirit and Opportunity. The first Mini-TES unit was required to meet a two-year development schedule with proven, flight-tested instrumentation. Therefore, SBRS designed Mini-TES based on proven heritage from the successful MGS TES. THEMIS is based on "bolt-together" pushbroom optics and uncooled silicon microbolometer focal plane array (FPA) technology. Sometimes dubbed "Mars Landsat," THEMIS was launched in 2001 on Mars Odyssey, and provides guidance for future lander missions now in preparation for launch. Advanced materials and optical machining allow THEMIS low-scatter, reflective, wide field-of-view (WFOV) pushbroom optics for relatively long dwell-time compared to narrow FOV optics requiring cross-track scanning for equivalent spatial resolution. This allows uncooled silicon microbolometer FPAs, with less signal sensitivity than cryogenically cooled photo-diode FPAs, to meet the THEMIS sensitivity requirements. Instrument design, performance, integration, as well as details of the calibration are discussed. Full instrument and calibration details are available in the Journal of Geophysical Research Mini-TES and THEMIS papers by Christensen, et al.

  6. Seasonal variation of Argon in the martian atmosphere as measured by Spirit and Opportunity MER rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Economou, Thanasis

    Although there were no meteorological devices on any of the 2 rovers of the MER mission, by using the excellent ability of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) to detect even a small amount of the Ar gas in a predominantly CO2 martian atmosphere, we were able to obtain detailed information on the variability of the atmospheric Ar as a function of seasonal changes. The technique is simple and straightforward. In order to increase the accuracy of the technique by eliminating any interference from target elements and minimizing the background from the backscattered Pu-L X-ray lines, dedicated APXS atmospheric Ar measurements were performed over a period of almost 4 martian years. In that mode the only visible peak in the x-ray spectra is the Ar Kα x-ray line at energy Eα=2.96 keV. Polar condensation of CO2 during winter periods, when the temperature falls below the freezing point of CO2, causes massive movement of air masses from the equatorial regions towards the poles. As the CO2 freezes, the remaining air there is enriched in argon (and nitrogen). The GRS experiment on the Odyssey orbiter around Mars has observed a six-fold in the Ar/CO2 mixing ratio in the southern polar region during the winter period. During the summer season, the opposite occurs: sublimating CO2 increases the atmospheric pressure and creates an atmospheric high that pushes the air mass with an enriched Ar fraction towards the equatorial regions where when arrives it is detected by the APXS on the Opportunity and Spirit landing sites. Our results indicate that the variation of the Ar in the martian atmosphere at both landing sites follows generally the variation of the atmospheric pressure, but it is not in phase with it: there is a phase shift of almost one martian season. The measurement of the Ar mixing ratio at the Spirit and Opportunity landing sites is thus a direct probe of the global circulation between the polar CO2 resource/sink and the equatorial regions. This information is

  7. Geology and MER target site characteristics along the southern rim of Isidis Planitia, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crumpler, L.S.; Tanaka, K.L.

    2003-01-01

    crustal materials, in the form of rocks within the debris fans, and the weathered condition of the rocky material are potential sources for mineralogical evidence of climatic conditions in earliest Martian geologic history. The absence of alteration within rocks would, on the other hand, support the hypothesis that fluvial runoff during the earliest history of Mars was geologically brief rather than long-term and that long-term saturated groundwater flow was not present. Determination of the presence or absence of alteration would have corresponding implications for hypotheses requiring the long-term presence of aqueous solutions (i.e., complex organic compounds and life). A proposed MER site along the margin addresses realistic field science objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover mission and the current goals of the Mars Exploration Program. In situ measurements may be important in deriving estimates of the longevity and intensity of past wetter climates. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. Paleomagnetic Evidence for the Tectono-Stratigraphic Evolution of the Mt.Galili Area / MER / Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popp, F.; Scholger, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Mt.Galili area (N 9,77°, E 040,55°) is the focus of current anthropological studies on early hominid evolution *[4]. The Mount Galili Formation (MGF)*[5] is subdivided into seven Members, each representing a sedimentary cycle, sustaining temporally interruptions by volcanic activity. Our paleomagnetic investigation concentrates on ascertaining primary magnetisation vectors (PMV) of volcanic layers embodied within the MGF, applying alternating field and thermal magnetic cleaning methods. Magnetite and ti-magnetite are the main carriers of the NRM (basalt, ignimbrite). Hematite shares in amounts up to 20%, Goethite occasionally participates up to 30% in magnitude of the NRM components. Two events of magnetic polarity reversals terminate a magnetic inverse period designating the lot of the MGF unit. The amount of the PMV's rotation in respect to an expected paleodirection*[1] of 183°/-13° are in the range of 1°-52° . The resulting mean PMV data provide implications on (A) rift-related block rotation / tilting in relation to the stable African crust since the Pliocene and they also support (B) stratigraphic age determinations of the MGF: A: Rotational movements cluster in 4 sectors: (a) The SE sector demonstrates almost unchanged orientation of the PMVs whereas (b) it's continuation to the NW sector suffered clockwise rotational tilting (up to 12° rot / 19° tilt). (c) The SW sector (Mt.Galili area s.str.) in contrast embrace a unique counterclockwise rotation component of 7°-17°, but the modulus of vector inclination, concerning individual rift blocks, is variable in either direction. (d) The NE sector (Satkawini) sustained the major counterclockwise rotation (41°°-52° rot / 3°- 17° tilt) We consider the Mt.Galili area being the place where trans-tensional tectonics were active during the late Miocene to create the lateral off-set of magmatic segments marking the centre of the MER. This tectonics are considered to belong to a arcuate accommodation

  9. CD26/DPP4 Cell-Surface Expression in Bat Cells Correlates with Bat Cell Susceptibility to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection and Evolution of Persistent Infection

    PubMed Central

    Caì, Yíngyún; Yú, Shuǐqìng; Postnikova, Elena N.; Mazur, Steven; Bernbaum, John G.; Burk, Robin; Zhāng, Téngfēi; Radoshitzky, Sheli R.; Müller, Marcel A.; Jordan, Ingo; Bollinger, Laura; Hensley, Lisa E.; Jahrling, Peter B.; Kuhn, Jens H.

    2014-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently isolated betacoronavirus identified as the etiologic agent of a frequently fatal disease in Western Asia, Middle East respiratory syndrome. Attempts to identify the natural reservoirs of MERS-CoV have focused in part on dromedaries. Bats are also suspected to be reservoirs based on frequent detection of other betacoronaviruses in these mammals. For this study, ten distinct cell lines derived from bats of divergent species were exposed to MERS-CoV. Plaque assays, immunofluorescence assays, and transmission electron microscopy confirmed that six bat cell lines can be productively infected. We found that the susceptibility or resistance of these bat cell lines directly correlates with the presence or absence of cell surface-expressed CD26/DPP4, the functional human receptor for MERS-CoV. Human anti-CD26/DPP4 antibodies inhibited infection of susceptible bat cells in a dose-dependent manner. Overexpression of human CD26/DPP4 receptor conferred MERS-CoV susceptibility to resistant bat cell lines. Finally, sequential passage of MERS-CoV in permissive bat cells established persistent infection with concomitant downregulation of CD26/DPP4 surface expression. Together, these results imply that bats indeed could be among the MERS-CoV host spectrum, and that cellular restriction of MERS-CoV is determined by CD26/DPP4 expression rather than by downstream restriction factors. PMID:25409519

  10. Toward Developing a Preventive MERS-CoV Vaccine—Report from a Workshop Organized by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health and the International Vaccine Institute, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 14–15, 2015

    PubMed Central

    Delvecchio, Christopher J.; Wiley, Ryan E.; Williams, Marni; Yoon, In-Kyu; Modjarrad, Kayvon; Boujelal, Mohamed; Moorthy, Vasee S.; Hersi, Ahmad Salah; Kim, Jerome H.

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) remains a serious international public health threat. With the goal of accelerating the development of countermeasures against MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), funding agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and researchers across the world assembled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 14–15, 2015, to discuss vaccine development challenges. The meeting was spearheaded by the Saudi Ministry of Health and co-organized by the International Vaccine Institute, South Korea. Accelerating the development of a preventive vaccine requires a better understanding of MERS epidemiology, transmission, and pathogenesis in humans and animals. A combination of rodent and nonhuman primate models should be considered in evaluating and developing preventive and therapeutic vaccine candidates. Dromedary camels should be considered for the development of veterinary vaccines. Several vaccine technology platforms targeting the MERS-CoV spike protein were discussed. Mechanisms to maximize investment, provide robust data, and affect public health are urgently needed. PMID:27439020

  11. A single serine residue determines selectivity to monovalent metal ions in metalloregulators of the MerR family.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, María M; Checa, Susana K; Soncini, Fernando C

    2015-05-01

    MerR metalloregulators alleviate toxicity caused by an excess of metal ions, such as copper, zinc, mercury, lead, cadmium, silver, or gold, by triggering the expression of specific efflux or detoxification systems upon metal detection. The sensor protein binds the inducer metal ion by using two conserved cysteine residues at the C-terminal metal-binding loop (MBL). Divalent metal ion sensors, such as MerR and ZntR, require a third cysteine residue, located at the beginning of the dimerization (α5) helix, for metal coordination, while monovalent metal ion sensors, such as CueR and GolS, have a serine residue at this position. This serine residue was proposed to provide hydrophobic and steric restrictions to privilege the binding of monovalent metal ions. Here we show that the presence of alanine at this position does not modify the activation pattern of monovalent metal sensors. In contrast, GolS or CueR mutant sensors with a substitution of cysteine for the serine residue respond to monovalent metal ions or Hg(II) with high sensitivities. Furthermore, in a mutant deleted of the Zn(II) exporter ZntA, they also trigger the expression of their target genes in response to either Zn(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), or Co(II). Specificity in a stressor's recognition is essential for mounting an appropriate response. MerR metalloregulators trigger the expression of specific resistance systems upon detection of heavy metal ions. Two groups of these metalloregulators can be distinguished, recognizing either +1 or +2 metal ions, depending on the presence of a conserved serine in the former or a cysteine in the latter. Here we demonstrate that the serine residue in monovalent metal ion sensors excludes divalent metal ion detection, as its replacement by cysteine renders a pan-metal ion sensor. Our results indicate that the spectrum of signals detected by these sensors is determined not only by the metal-binding ligand availability but also by the metal-binding cavity flexibility

  12. A Single Serine Residue Determines Selectivity to Monovalent Metal Ions in Metalloregulators of the MerR Family

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez, María M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT MerR metalloregulators alleviate toxicity caused by an excess of metal ions, such as copper, zinc, mercury, lead, cadmium, silver, or gold, by triggering the expression of specific efflux or detoxification systems upon metal detection. The sensor protein binds the inducer metal ion by using two conserved cysteine residues at the C-terminal metal-binding loop (MBL). Divalent metal ion sensors, such as MerR and ZntR, require a third cysteine residue, located at the beginning of the dimerization (α5) helix, for metal coordination, while monovalent metal ion sensors, such as CueR and GolS, have a serine residue at this position. This serine residue was proposed to provide hydrophobic and steric restrictions to privilege the binding of monovalent metal ions. Here we show that the presence of alanine at this position does not modify the activation pattern of monovalent metal sensors. In contrast, GolS or CueR mutant sensors with a substitution of cysteine for the serine residue respond to monovalent metal ions or Hg(II) with high sensitivities. Furthermore, in a mutant deleted of the Zn(II) exporter ZntA, they also trigger the expression of their target genes in response to either Zn(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), or Co(II). IMPORTANCE Specificity in a stressor's recognition is essential for mounting an appropriate response. MerR metalloregulators trigger the expression of specific resistance systems upon detection of heavy metal ions. Two groups of these metalloregulators can be distinguished, recognizing either +1 or +2 metal ions, depending on the presence of a conserved serine in the former or a cysteine in the latter. Here we demonstrate that the serine residue in monovalent metal ion sensors excludes divalent metal ion detection, as its replacement by cysteine renders a pan-metal ion sensor. Our results indicate that the spectrum of signals detected by these sensors is determined not only by the metal-binding ligand availability but also by the metal-binding cavity

  13. Real-Time Sequence-Validated Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assays for Detection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

    PubMed Central

    Bhadra, Sanchita; Jiang, Yu Sherry; Kumar, Mia R.; Johnson, Reed F.; Hensley, Lisa E.; Ellington, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), an emerging human coronavirus, causes severe acute respiratory illness with a 35% mortality rate. In light of the recent surge in reported infections we have developed asymmetric five-primer reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assays for detection of MERS-CoV. Isothermal amplification assays will facilitate the development of portable point-of-care diagnostics that are crucial for management of emerging infections. The RT-LAMP assays are designed to amplify MERS-CoV genomic loci located within the open reading frame (ORF)1a and ORF1b genes and upstream of the E gene. Additionally we applied one-step strand displacement probes (OSD) for real-time sequence-specific verification of LAMP amplicons. Asymmetric amplification effected by incorporating a single loop primer in each assay accelerated the time-to-result of the OSD-RT-LAMP assays. The resulting assays could detect 0.02 to 0.2 plaque forming units (PFU) (5 to 50 PFU/ml) of MERS-CoV in infected cell culture supernatants within 30 to 50 min and did not cross-react with common human respiratory pathogens. PMID:25856093

  14. PEDF and PEDF-derived peptide 44mer protect cardiomyocytes against hypoxia-induced apoptosis and necroptosis via anti-oxidative effect.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiao; Zhang, Hao; Zhuang, Wei; Yuan, Guangda; Sun, Teng; Jiang, Xia; Zhou, Zhongxin; Yuan, Honghua; Zhang, Zhongming; Dong, Hongyan

    2014-07-11

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) has many biological activities. But it's not known whether PEDF and its functional peptides could protect against hypoxia-induced cell death and the mechanisms are still unclear. We used cultured H9c2 cells and primary cardiomyocytes to show that apoptosis and necroptosis were significantly increased after hypoxia. Both PEDF and its fuctional peptides 44mer reduced apoptos