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Sample records for define utility functions

  1. Utility of quantitative micro-computed tomographic analysis in zebrafish to define gene function during skeletogenesis.

    PubMed

    Charles, Julia F; Sury, Meera; Tsang, Kelly; Urso, Katia; Henke, Katrin; Huang, Yue; Russell, Ruby; Duryea, Jeffrey; Harris, Matthew P

    2017-08-01

    The zebrafish is a powerful experimental model to investigate the genetic and morphologic basis of vertebrate development. Analysis of skeletogenesis in this fish is challenging as a result of the small size of the developing and adult zebrafish. Many of the bones of small fishes such as the zebrafish and medaka are quite thin, precluding many standard assays of bone quality and morphometrics commonly used on bones of larger animals. Microcomputed tomography (microCT) is a common imaging technique used for detailed analysis of the skeleton of the zebrafish and determination of mutant phenotypes. However, the utility of this modality for analysis of the zebrafish skeleton, and the effect of inherent variation among individual zebrafish, including variables such as sex, age and strain, is not well understood. Given the increased use and accessibility of microCT, we set out to define the sensitivity of microCT methods in developing and adult zebrafish. We assessed skeletal shape and density measures in the developing vertebrae and parasphenoid of the skull base. We found most skeletal variables are tightly correlated to standard length, but that at later growth stages (>3months) there are age dependent effects on some skeletal measures. Further we find modest strain but not sex differences in skeletal measures. These data suggest that the appropriate control for assessing mutant phenotypes should be age and strain matched, ideally a wild-type sibling. By analyzing two mutants exhibiting skeletal dysplasia, we show that microCT imaging can be a sensitive method to quantify distinct skeletal parameters of adults. Finally, as developing zebrafish skeletons remain difficult to resolve by radiographic means, we define a contrast agent specific for bone that enhances resolution at early stages, permitting detailed morphometric analysis of the forming skeleton. This increased capability for detection extends the use of this imaging modality to leverage the zebrafish model to

  2. Defining functional dyspepsia.

    PubMed

    Mearin, Fermín; Calleja, José Luis

    2011-12-01

    Dyspepsia and functional dyspepsia represent a highly significant public health issue. A good definition of dyspepsia is key for helping us to better approach symptoms, decision making, and therapy indications.During the last few years many attempts were made at establishing a definition of dyspepsia. Results were little successful on most occasions, and clear discrepancies arose on whether symptoms should be associated with digestion, which types of symptoms were to be included, which anatomic location should symptoms have, etc.The Rome III Committee defined dyspepsia as "a symptom or set of symptoms that most physicians consider to originate from the gastroduodenal area", including the following: postprandial heaviness, early satiety, and epigastric pain or burning. Two new entities were defined: a) food-induced dyspeptic symptoms (postprandial distress syndrome); and b) epigastric pain (epigastric pain syndrome). These and other definitions have shown both strengths and weaknesses. At times they have been much too complex, at times much too simple; furthermore, they have commonly erred on the side of being inaccurate and impractical. On the other hand, some (the most recent ones) are difficult to translate into the Spanish language. In a meeting of gastroenterologists with a special interest in digestive functional disorders, the various aspects of dyspepsia definition were discussed and put to the vote, and the following conclusions were arrived at: dyspepsia is defined as a set of symptoms, either related or unrelated to food ingestion, localized on the upper half of the abdomen. They include: a) epigastric discomfort (as a category of severity) or pain; b) postprandial heaviness; and c) early satiety. Associated complaints include: nausea, belching, bloating, and epigastric burn (heartburn). All these must be scored according to severity and frequency. Furthermore, psychological factors may be involved in the origin of functional dyspepsia. On the other hand

  3. Defining functional distances over Gene Ontology

    PubMed Central

    del Pozo, Angela; Pazos, Florencio; Valencia, Alfonso

    2008-01-01

    Background A fundamental problem when trying to define the functional relationships between proteins is the difficulty in quantifying functional similarities, even when well-structured ontologies exist regarding the activity of proteins (i.e. 'gene ontology' -GO-). However, functional metrics can overcome the problems in the comparing and evaluating functional assignments and predictions. As a reference of proximity, previous approaches to compare GO terms considered linkage in terms of ontology weighted by a probability distribution that balances the non-uniform 'richness' of different parts of the Direct Acyclic Graph. Here, we have followed a different approach to quantify functional similarities between GO terms. Results We propose a new method to derive 'functional distances' between GO terms that is based on the simultaneous occurrence of terms in the same set of Interpro entries, instead of relying on the structure of the GO. The coincidence of GO terms reveals natural biological links between the GO functions and defines a distance model Df which fulfils the properties of a Metric Space. The distances obtained in this way can be represented as a hierarchical 'Functional Tree'. Conclusion The method proposed provides a new definition of distance that enables the similarity between GO terms to be quantified. Additionally, the 'Functional Tree' defines groups with biological meaning enhancing its utility for protein function comparison and prediction. Finally, this approach could be for function-based protein searches in databases, and for analysing the gene clusters produced by DNA array experiments. PMID:18221506

  4. Model-based Utility Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibbard, Bill

    2012-05-01

    Orseau and Ring, as well as Dewey, have recently described problems, including self-delusion, with the behavior of agents using various definitions of utility functions. An agent's utility function is defined in terms of the agent's history of interactions with its environment. This paper argues, via two examples, that the behavior problems can be avoided by formulating the utility function in two steps: 1) inferring a model of the environment from interactions, and 2) computing utility as a function of the environment model. Basing a utility function on a model that the agent must learn implies that the utility function must initially be expressed in terms of specifications to be matched to structures in the learned model. These specifications constitute prior assumptions about the environment so this approach will not work with arbitrary environments. But the approach should work for agents designed by humans to act in the physical world. The paper also addresses the issue of self-modifying agents and shows that if provided with the possibility to modify their utility functions agents will not choose to do so, under some usual assumptions.

  5. Time Functions as Utilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minguzzi, E.

    2010-09-01

    Every time function on spacetime gives a (continuous) total preordering of the spacetime events which respects the notion of causal precedence. The problem of the existence of a (semi-)time function on spacetime and the problem of recovering the causal structure starting from the set of time functions are studied. It is pointed out that these problems have an analog in the field of microeconomics known as utility theory. In a chronological spacetime the semi-time functions correspond to the utilities for the chronological relation, while in a K-causal (stably causal) spacetime the time functions correspond to the utilities for the K + relation (Seifert’s relation). By exploiting this analogy, we are able to import some mathematical results, most notably Peleg’s and Levin’s theorems, to the spacetime framework. As a consequence, we prove that a K-causal (i.e. stably causal) spacetime admits a time function and that the time or temporal functions can be used to recover the K + (or Seifert) relation which indeed turns out to be the intersection of the time or temporal orderings. This result tells us in which circumstances it is possible to recover the chronological or causal relation starting from the set of time or temporal functions allowed by the spacetime. Moreover, it is proved that a chronological spacetime in which the closure of the causal relation is transitive (for instance a reflective spacetime) admits a semi-time function. Along the way a new proof avoiding smoothing techniques is given that the existence of a time function implies stable causality, and a new short proof of the equivalence between K-causality and stable causality is given which takes advantage of Levin’s theorem and smoothing techniques.

  6. Multiphoton microscopy in defining liver function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorling, Camilla A.; Crawford, Darrell; Burczynski, Frank J.; Liu, Xin; Liau, Ian; Roberts, Michael S.

    2014-09-01

    Multiphoton microscopy is the preferred method when in vivo deep-tissue imaging is required. This review presents the application of multiphoton microscopy in defining liver function. In particular, multiphoton microscopy is useful in imaging intracellular events, such as mitochondrial depolarization and cellular metabolism in terms of NAD(P)H changes with fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy. The morphology of hepatocytes can be visualized without exogenously administered fluorescent dyes by utilizing their autofluorescence and second harmonic generation signal of collagen, which is useful in diagnosing liver disease. More specific imaging, such as studying drug transport in normal and diseased livers are achievable, but require exogenously administered fluorescent dyes. If these techniques can be translated into clinical use to assess liver function, it would greatly improve early diagnosis of organ viability, fibrosis, and cancer.

  7. Defining Function in the Functional Medicine Model.

    PubMed

    Bland, Jeffrey

    2017-02-01

    In the functional medicine model, the word function is aligned with the evolving understanding that disease is an endpoint and function is a process. Function can move both forward and backward. The vector of change in function through time is, in part, determined by the unique interaction of an individual's genome with their environment, diet, and lifestyle. The functional medicine model for health care is concerned less with what we call the dysfunction or disease, and more about the dynamic processes that resulted in the person's dysfunction. The previous concept of functional somatic syndromes as psychosomatic in origin has now been replaced with a new concept of function that is rooted in the emerging 21st-century understanding of systems network-enabled biology.

  8. Defining personal utility in genomics: A Delphi study.

    PubMed

    Kohler, J; Turbitt, E; Lewis, K L; Wilfond, B S; Jamal, L; Peay, H L; Biesecker, L G; Biesecker, B B

    2017-02-20

    Individual genome sequencing results are valued by patients in ways distinct from clinical utility. Such outcomes have been described as components of "personal utility," a concept that broadly encompasses patient-endorsed benefits, that is operationally defined as non-clinical outcomes. No empirical delineation of these outcomes has been reported. To address this gap, we administered a Delphi survey to adult participants in a NIH clinical exome study to extract the most highly endorsed outcomes constituting personal utility. Forty research participants responded to a Delphi survey to rate 35 items identified by a systematic literature review of personal utility. Two rounds of ranking resulted in 24 items that represented 14 distinct elements of personal utility. Elements most highly endorsed by participants were: increased self-knowledge, knowledge of "the condition," altruism, and anticipated coping. Our findings represent the first systematic effort to delineate elements of personal utility that may be used to anticipate participant expectation and inform genetic counseling prior to sequencing. The 24 items reported need to be studied further in additional clinical genome sequencing studies to assess generalizability in other populations. Further research will help to understand motivations and to predict the meaning and use of results.

  9. Software Defined Radios - Architectures, Systems and Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, William H.

    2017-01-01

    Software Defined Radio is an industry term describing a method of utilizing a minimum amount of Radio Frequency (RF)/analog electronics before digitization takes place. Upon digitization all other functions are performed in software/firmware. There are as many different types of SDRs as there are data systems. Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology has been proven in the commercial sector since the early 90's. Today's rapid advancement in mobile telephone reliability and power management capabilities exemplifies the effectiveness of the SDR technology for the modern communications market. In contrast the foundations of transponder technology presently qualified for satellite applications were developed during the early space program of the 1960's. SDR technology offers potential to revolutionize satellite transponder technology by increasing science data through-put capability by at least an order of magnitude. While the SDR is adaptive in nature and is "One-size-fits-all" by design, conventional transponders are built to a specific platform and must be redesigned for every new bus. The SDR uses a minimum amount of analog/Radio Frequency components to up/down-convert the RF signal to/from a digital format. Once analog data is digitized, all processing is performed using hardware logic. Typical SDR processes include; filtering, modulation, up/down converting and demodulation. This presentation will show how the emerging SDR market has leveraged the existing commercial sector to provide a path to a radiation tolerant SDR transponder. These innovations will reduce the cost of transceivers, a decrease in power requirements and a commensurate reduction in volume. A second pay-off is the increased flexibility of the SDR by allowing the same hardware to implement multiple transponder types by altering hardware logic - no change of analog hardware is required - all of which can be ultimately accomplished in orbit. This in turn would provide high capability and low cost

  10. Software Defined Radios - Architectures, Systems and Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, Herb

    2017-01-01

    Software Defined Radio is an industry term describing a method of utilizing a minimum amount of Radio Frequency (RF)/analog electronics before digitization takes place. Upon digitization all other functions are performed in software/firmware. There are as many different types of SDRs as there are data systems. Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology has been proven in the commercial sector since the early 90's. Today's rapid advancement in mobile telephone reliability and power management capabilities exemplifies the effectiveness of the SDR technology for the modern communications market. In contrast the foundations of transponder technology presently qualified for satellite applications were developed during the early space program of the 1960's. SDR technology offers potential to revolutionize satellite transponder technology by increasing science data through-put capability by at least an order of magnitude. While the SDR is adaptive in nature and is "One-size-fits-all" by design, conventional transponders are built to a specific platform and must be redesigned for every new bus. The SDR uses a minimum amount of analog/Radio Frequency components to up/down-convert the RF signal to/from a digital format. Once analog data is digitized, all processing is performed using hardware logic. Typical SDR processes include; filtering, modulation, up/down converting and demodulation. This presentation will show how the emerging SDR market has leveraged the existing commercial sector to provide a path to a radiation tolerant SDR transponder. These innovations will reduce the cost of transceivers, a decrease in power requirements and a commensurate reduction in volume. A second pay-off is the increased flexibility of the SDR by allowing the same hardware to implement multiple transponder types by altering hardware logic - no change of analog hardware is required - all of which can be ultimately accomplished in orbit. This in turn would provide high capability and low cost

  11. Spaces defined by the Paley function

    SciTech Connect

    Astashkin, S V; Semenov, E M

    2013-07-31

    The paper is concerned with Haar and Rademacher series in symmetric spaces, and also with the properties of spaces defined by the Paley function. In particular, the symmetric hull of the space of functions with uniformly bounded Paley function is found. Bibliography: 27 titles.

  12. Speciation without Pre-Defined Fitness Functions.

    PubMed

    Gras, Robin; Golestani, Abbas; Hendry, Andrew P; Cristescu, Melania E

    2015-01-01

    The forces promoting and constraining speciation are often studied in theoretical models because the process is hard to observe, replicate, and manipulate in real organisms. Most models analyzed to date include pre-defined functions influencing fitness, leaving open the question of how speciation might proceed without these built-in determinants. To consider the process of speciation without pre-defined functions, we employ the individual-based ecosystem simulation platform EcoSim. The environment is initially uniform across space, and an evolving behavioural model then determines how prey consume resources and how predators consume prey. Simulations including natural selection (i.e., an evolving behavioural model that influences survival and reproduction) frequently led to strong and distinct phenotypic/genotypic clusters between which hybridization was low. This speciation was the result of divergence between spatially-localized clusters in the behavioural model, an emergent property of evolving ecological interactions. By contrast, simulations without natural selection (i.e., behavioural model turned off) but with spatial isolation (i.e., limited dispersal) produced weaker and overlapping clusters. Simulations without natural selection or spatial isolation (i.e., behaviour model turned off and high dispersal) did not generate clusters. These results confirm the role of natural selection in speciation by showing its importance even in the absence of pre-defined fitness functions.

  13. Considerations and Challenges in Defining Optimal Iron Utilization in Hemodialysis

    PubMed Central

    Pai, Amy Barton; Chan, Christopher T.; Coyne, Daniel W.; Hung, Adriana M.; Kovesdy, Csaba P.; Fishbane, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Trials raising concerns about erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, revisions to their labeling, and changes to practice guidelines and dialysis payment systems have provided strong stimuli to decrease erythropoiesis-stimulating agent use and increase intravenous iron administration in recent years. These factors have been associated with a rise in iron utilization, particularly among hemodialysis patients, and an unprecedented increase in serum ferritin concentrations. The mean serum ferritin concentration among United States dialysis patients in 2013 exceeded 800 ng/ml, with 18% of patients exceeding 1200 ng/ml. Although these changes are broad based, the wisdom of these practices is uncertain. Herein, we examine influences on and trends in intravenous iron utilization and assess the clinical trial, epidemiologic, and experimental evidence relevant to its safety and efficacy in the setting of maintenance dialysis. These data suggest a potential for harm from increasing use of parenteral iron in dialysis-dependent patients. In the absence of well powered, randomized clinical trials, available evidence will remain inadequate for making reliable conclusions about the effect of a ubiquitous therapy on mortality or other outcomes of importance to dialysis patients. Nephrology stakeholders have an urgent obligation to initiate well designed investigations of intravenous iron in order to ensure the safety of the dialysis population. PMID:25542967

  14. Considerations and challenges in defining optimal iron utilization in hemodialysis.

    PubMed

    Charytan, David M; Pai, Amy Barton; Chan, Christopher T; Coyne, Daniel W; Hung, Adriana M; Kovesdy, Csaba P; Fishbane, Steven

    2015-06-01

    Trials raising concerns about erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, revisions to their labeling, and changes to practice guidelines and dialysis payment systems have provided strong stimuli to decrease erythropoiesis-stimulating agent use and increase intravenous iron administration in recent years. These factors have been associated with a rise in iron utilization, particularly among hemodialysis patients, and an unprecedented increase in serum ferritin concentrations. The mean serum ferritin concentration among United States dialysis patients in 2013 exceeded 800 ng/ml, with 18% of patients exceeding 1200 ng/ml. Although these changes are broad based, the wisdom of these practices is uncertain. Herein, we examine influences on and trends in intravenous iron utilization and assess the clinical trial, epidemiologic, and experimental evidence relevant to its safety and efficacy in the setting of maintenance dialysis. These data suggest a potential for harm from increasing use of parenteral iron in dialysis-dependent patients. In the absence of well powered, randomized clinical trials, available evidence will remain inadequate for making reliable conclusions about the effect of a ubiquitous therapy on mortality or other outcomes of importance to dialysis patients. Nephrology stakeholders have an urgent obligation to initiate well designed investigations of intravenous iron in order to ensure the safety of the dialysis population.

  15. Defining the orphan functions of lysine acetyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, David C; Sorum, Alexander W; Meier, Jordan L

    2015-01-16

    Long known for their role in histone acetylation, recent studies have demonstrated that lysine acetyltransferases also carry out distinct "orphan" functions. These activities impact a wide range of biological phenomena including metabolism, RNA modification, nuclear morphology, and mitochondrial function. Here, we review the discovery and characterization of orphan lysine acetyltransferase functions. In addition to highlighting the evidence and biological role for these functions in human disease, we discuss the part emerging chemical tools may play in investigating this versatile enzyme superfamily.

  16. Defining the functions of public health governance.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Valeria; Chilton, Marita J; Corso, Liza C; Beitsch, Leslie M

    2015-04-01

    We conducted a literature review in 2011 to determine if accepted governance functions continue to reflect the role of public health governing entities. Reviewing literature and other source documents, as well as consulting with practitioners, resulted in an iterative process that identified 6 functions of public health governance and established definitions for each of these: policy development; resource stewardship; continuous improvement; partner engagement; legal authority; and oversight of a health department. These functions provided context for the role of governing entities in public health practice and aligned well with existing public health accreditation standards. Public health systems research can build from this work in future explorations of the contributions of governance to health department performance.

  17. Defining the Functions of Public Health Governance

    PubMed Central

    Chilton, Marita J.; Corso, Liza C.; Beitsch, Leslie M.

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a literature review in 2011 to determine if accepted governance functions continue to reflect the role of public health governing entities. Reviewing literature and other source documents, as well as consulting with practitioners, resulted in an iterative process that identified 6 functions of public health governance and established definitions for each of these: policy development; resource stewardship; continuous improvement; partner engagement; legal authority; and oversight of a health department. These functions provided context for the role of governing entities in public health practice and aligned well with existing public health accreditation standards. Public health systems research can build from this work in future explorations of the contributions of governance to health department performance. PMID:25689187

  18. Software Defined Radios - Architectures, Systems and Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, Herb

    2017-01-01

    Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology has been proven in the commercial sector since the early 90's. Today's rapid advancement in mobile telephone reliability and power management capabilities exemplifies the effectiveness of the SDR technology for the modern communications market. SDR technology offers potential to revolutionize satellite transponder technology by increasing science data through-put capability by at least an order of magnitude. While the SDR is adaptive in nature and is "One-size-fits-all" by design, conventional transponders are built to a specific platform and must be redesigned for every new bus. The SDR uses a minimum amount of analog/Radio Frequency (RF) components to up/down-convert the RF signal to/from a digital format. Once analog data is digitized, all processing is performed using hardware logic. Typical SDR processes include; filtering, modulation, up/down converting and demodulation. These innovations have reduced the cost of transceivers, a decrease in power requirements and a commensurate reduction in volume. An additional pay-off is the increased flexibility of the SDR: allowing the same hardware to implement multiple transponder types by altering hardware logic -no change of analog hardware is required -all of which can be ultimately accomplished in orbit.

  19. Approximations of Two-Attribute Utility Functions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-09-01

    von Neumann and Morgenstern (1947) or an equivalent system ( Herstein and Milnor, 1953; Fishburn, 1970) so that there exists u: T + Re such that P - Q...utility functions, Journal of Mathematical Psycheloga 11 (1974) 294-327. 49 Herstein , I. N. and J. Milnor, An axiomatic approach to measurable utility

  20. Defining Predictive Probability Functions for Species Sampling Models.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaeyong; Quintana, Fernando A; Müller, Peter; Trippa, Lorenzo

    2013-01-01

    We review the class of species sampling models (SSM). In particular, we investigate the relation between the exchangeable partition probability function (EPPF) and the predictive probability function (PPF). It is straightforward to define a PPF from an EPPF, but the converse is not necessarily true. In this paper we introduce the notion of putative PPFs and show novel conditions for a putative PPF to define an EPPF. We show that all possible PPFs in a certain class have to define (unnormalized) probabilities for cluster membership that are linear in cluster size. We give a new necessary and sufficient condition for arbitrary putative PPFs to define an EPPF. Finally, we show posterior inference for a large class of SSMs with a PPF that is not linear in cluster size and discuss a numerical method to derive its PPF.

  1. Defining mental disorder. Exploring the 'natural function' approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Due to several socio-political factors, to many psychiatrists only a strictly objective definition of mental disorder, free of value components, seems really acceptable. In this paper, I will explore a variant of such an objectivist approach to defining metal disorder, natural function objectivism. Proponents of this approach make recourse to the notion of natural function in order to reach a value-free definition of mental disorder. The exploration of Christopher Boorse's 'biostatistical' account of natural function (1) will be followed an investigation of the 'hybrid naturalism' approach to natural functions by Jerome Wakefield (2). In the third part, I will explore two proposals that call into question the whole attempt to define mental disorder (3). I will conclude that while 'natural function objectivism' accounts fail to provide the backdrop for a reliable definition of mental disorder, there is no compelling reason to conclude that a definition cannot be achieved. PMID:21255405

  2. Defining mental disorder. Exploring the 'natural function' approach.

    PubMed

    Varga, Somogy

    2011-01-21

    Due to several socio-political factors, to many psychiatrists only a strictly objective definition of mental disorder, free of value components, seems really acceptable. In this paper, I will explore a variant of such an objectivist approach to defining metal disorder, natural function objectivism. Proponents of this approach make recourse to the notion of natural function in order to reach a value-free definition of mental disorder. The exploration of Christopher Boorse's 'biostatistical' account of natural function (1) will be followed an investigation of the 'hybrid naturalism' approach to natural functions by Jerome Wakefield (2). In the third part, I will explore two proposals that call into question the whole attempt to define mental disorder (3). I will conclude that while 'natural function objectivism' accounts fail to provide the backdrop for a reliable definition of mental disorder, there is no compelling reason to conclude that a definition cannot be achieved.

  3. Defining Integrals Over Connections in the Discretized Gravitational Functional Integrals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatsymovsky, V. M.

    Integration over connection type variables in the path integral for the discrete form of the first-order formulation of general relativity theory is studied. The result (a generalized function of the rest of variables of the type of tetrad or elementary areas) can be defined through its moments, i.e. integrals of it with the area tensor monomials. In our previous paper these moments have been defined by deforming integration contours in the complex plane as if we had passed to a Euclidean-like region. In this paper we define and evaluate the moments in the genuine Minkowski region. The distribution of interest resulting from these moments in this non-positively defined region contains the divergences. We prove that the latter contribute only to the singular (δ-function like) part of this distribution with support in the non-physical region of the complex plane of area tensors while in the physical region this distribution (usual function) confirms that defined in our previous paper which decays exponentially at large areas. Besides that, we evaluate the basic integrals over which the integral over connections in the general path integral can be expanded.

  4. Defining and applying a functionality approach to intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Luckasson, R; Schalock, R L

    2013-07-01

    The current functional models of disability do not adequately incorporate significant changes of the last three decades in our understanding of human functioning, and how the human functioning construct can be applied to clinical functions, professional practices and outcomes evaluation. The authors synthesise current literature on human functioning dimensions, systems of supports and approaches to outcomes evaluation for persons with intellectual disability (ID), and propose a functionality approach that encompasses a systems perspective towards understanding human functioning in ID. The approach includes human functioning dimensions, interactive systems of supports and human functioning outcomes. Based on this functionality approach the authors: (1) describe how such an approach can be applied to clinical functions related to defining ID, assessment, classification, supports planning and outcomes evaluation; and (2) discuss the impact of a functionality approach on professional practices in the field of ID. A functionality approach can increase focus on the integrative nature of human functioning, provide unified language, align clinical functions and encourage evidence-based practices. The approach incorporates a holistic view of human beings and their lives, and can positively affect supports provision and evaluation. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, MENCAP & IASSID.

  5. Defining and Assessing Public Health Functions: A Global Analysis.

    PubMed

    Martin-Moreno, Jose M; Harris, Meggan; Jakubowski, Elke; Kluge, Hans

    2016-01-01

    Given the broad scope and intersectoral nature of public health structures and practices, there are inherent difficulties in defining which services fall under the public health remit and in assessing their capacity and performance. The aim of this study is to analyze how public health functions and practice have been defined and operationalized in different countries and regions around the world, with a specific focus on assessment tools that have been developed to evaluate the performance of essential public health functions, services, and operations. Our review has identified nearly 100 countries that have carried out assessments, using diverse analytical and methodological approaches. The assessment processes have evolved quite differently according to administrative arrangements and resource availability, but some key contextual factors emerge that seem to favor policy-oriented follow-up. These include local ownership of the assessment process, policymakers' commitment to reform, and expert technical advice for implementation.

  6. Defining Functional Areas in Individual Human Brains using Resting Functional Connectivity MRI

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Alexander L.; Fair, Damien A.; Dosenbach, Nico U.F.; Miezin, Francis M.; Dierker, Donna; Van Essen, David C.; Schlaggar, Bradley L.; Petersen, Steven E.

    2009-01-01

    The cerebral cortex is anatomically organized at many physical scales starting at the level of single neurons and extending up to functional systems. Current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies often focus at the level of areas, networks, and systems. Except in restricted domains, (e.g. topographically-organized sensory regions), it is difficult to determine area boundaries in the human brain using fMRI. The ability to delineate functional areas non-invasively would enhance the quality of many experimental analyses allowing more accurate across-subject comparisons of independently identified functional areas. Correlations in spontaneous BOLD activity, often referred to as resting state functional connectivity (rs-fcMRI), are especially promising as a way to accurately localize differences in patterns of correlated activity across large expanses of cortex. In the current report, we applied a novel set of image analysis tools to explore the utility of rs-fcMRI for defining wide-ranging functional area boundaries. We find that rs-fcMRI patterns show sharp transitions in correlation patterns and that these putative areal boundaries can be reliably detected in individual subjects as well as in group data. Additionally, combining surface-based analysis techniques with image processing algorithms allows automated mapping of putative areal boundaries across large expanses of cortex without the need for prior information about a region’s function or topography. Our approach reliably produces maps of bounded regions appropriate in size and number for putative functional areas. These findings will hopefully stimulate further methodological refinements and validations. PMID:18367410

  7. Multi-attribute preference functions. Health Utilities Index.

    PubMed

    Torrance, G W; Furlong, W; Feeny, D; Boyle, M

    1995-06-01

    Multi-attribute utility theory, an extension of conventional utility theory, can be applied to model preference scores for health states defined by multi-attribute health status classification systems. The type of preference independence among the attributes determines the type of preference function required: additive, multiplicative or multilinear. In addition, the type of measurement instrument used determines the type of preference score obtained: value or utility. Multi-attribute utility theory has been applied to 2 recently developed multi-attribute health status classification systems, the Health Utilities Index (HUI) Mark II and Mark III systems. Results are presented for the Mark II system, and ongoing research is described for the Mark III system. The theory is also discussed in the context of other well known multi-attribute systems. The HUI system is an efficient method of determining a general public-based utility score for a specified health outcome or for the health status of an individual. In clinical populations, the scores can be used to provide a single summary measure of health-related quality of life. In cost-utility analyses, the scores can be used as quality weights for calculating quality-adjusted life years. In general populations, the measure can be used as quality weights for determining population health expectancy.

  8. Functional heterogeneity of genetically defined subclones in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Klco, Jeffery M.; Spencer, David H.; Miller, Christopher A.; Griffith, Malachi; Lamprecht, Tamara L.; O’Laughlin, Michelle; Fronick, Catrina; Magrini, Vincent; Demeter, Ryan T.; Fulton, Robert S.; Eades, William C.; Link, Daniel C.; Graubert, Timothy A.; Walter, Matthew J.; Mardis, Elaine R.; Dipersio, John F.; Wilson, Richard K.; Ley, Timothy J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The relationships between clonal architecture and functional heterogeneity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples are not yet clear. We used targeted sequencing to track AML subclones identified by whole genome sequencing using a variety of experimental approaches. We found that virtually all AML subclones trafficked from the marrow to the peripheral blood, but some were enriched in specific cell populations. Subclones showed variable engraftment potential in immunodeficient mice. Xenografts were predominantly comprised of a single genetically-defined subclone, but there was no predictable relationship between the engrafting subclone and the evolutionary hierarchy of the leukemia. These data demonstrate the importance of integrating genetic and functional data in studies of primary cancer samples, both in xenograft models and in patients. PMID:24613412

  9. Defining functional DNA elements in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Kellis, Manolis; Wold, Barbara; Snyder, Michael P; Bernstein, Bradley E; Kundaje, Anshul; Marinov, Georgi K; Ward, Lucas D; Birney, Ewan; Crawford, Gregory E; Dekker, Job; Dunham, Ian; Elnitski, Laura L; Farnham, Peggy J; Feingold, Elise A; Gerstein, Mark; Giddings, Morgan C; Gilbert, David M; Gingeras, Thomas R; Green, Eric D; Guigo, Roderic; Hubbard, Tim; Kent, Jim; Lieb, Jason D; Myers, Richard M; Pazin, Michael J; Ren, Bing; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A; Weng, Zhiping; White, Kevin P; Hardison, Ross C

    2014-04-29

    With the completion of the human genome sequence, attention turned to identifying and annotating its functional DNA elements. As a complement to genetic and comparative genomics approaches, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project was launched to contribute maps of RNA transcripts, transcriptional regulator binding sites, and chromatin states in many cell types. The resulting genome-wide data reveal sites of biochemical activity with high positional resolution and cell type specificity that facilitate studies of gene regulation and interpretation of noncoding variants associated with human disease. However, the biochemically active regions cover a much larger fraction of the genome than do evolutionarily conserved regions, raising the question of whether nonconserved but biochemically active regions are truly functional. Here, we review the strengths and limitations of biochemical, evolutionary, and genetic approaches for defining functional DNA segments, potential sources for the observed differences in estimated genomic coverage, and the biological implications of these discrepancies. We also analyze the relationship between signal intensity, genomic coverage, and evolutionary conservation. Our results reinforce the principle that each approach provides complementary information and that we need to use combinations of all three to elucidate genome function in human biology and disease.

  10. Defining functional DNA elements in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Kellis, Manolis; Wold, Barbara; Snyder, Michael P.; Bernstein, Bradley E.; Kundaje, Anshul; Marinov, Georgi K.; Ward, Lucas D.; Birney, Ewan; Crawford, Gregory E.; Dekker, Job; Dunham, Ian; Elnitski, Laura L.; Farnham, Peggy J.; Feingold, Elise A.; Gerstein, Mark; Giddings, Morgan C.; Gilbert, David M.; Gingeras, Thomas R.; Green, Eric D.; Guigo, Roderic; Hubbard, Tim; Kent, Jim; Lieb, Jason D.; Myers, Richard M.; Pazin, Michael J.; Ren, Bing; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A.; Weng, Zhiping; White, Kevin P.; Hardison, Ross C.

    2014-01-01

    With the completion of the human genome sequence, attention turned to identifying and annotating its functional DNA elements. As a complement to genetic and comparative genomics approaches, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project was launched to contribute maps of RNA transcripts, transcriptional regulator binding sites, and chromatin states in many cell types. The resulting genome-wide data reveal sites of biochemical activity with high positional resolution and cell type specificity that facilitate studies of gene regulation and interpretation of noncoding variants associated with human disease. However, the biochemically active regions cover a much larger fraction of the genome than do evolutionarily conserved regions, raising the question of whether nonconserved but biochemically active regions are truly functional. Here, we review the strengths and limitations of biochemical, evolutionary, and genetic approaches for defining functional DNA segments, potential sources for the observed differences in estimated genomic coverage, and the biological implications of these discrepancies. We also analyze the relationship between signal intensity, genomic coverage, and evolutionary conservation. Our results reinforce the principle that each approach provides complementary information and that we need to use combinations of all three to elucidate genome function in human biology and disease. PMID:24753594

  11. Incidence of utilization- and symptom-defined COPD exacerbations in hospital- and population-recruited patients

    PubMed Central

    Erdal, Marta; Johannessen, Ane; Eagan, Tomas Mikal; Bakke, Per; Gulsvik, Amund; Grønseth, Rune

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The objectives of this study were to estimate the impact of recruitment source and outcome definition on the incidence of acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) and explore possible predictors of AECOPD. Patients and methods During a 1-year follow-up, we performed a baseline visit and four telephone interviews of 81 COPD patients and 132 controls recruited from a population-based survey and 205 hospital-recruited COPD patients. Both a definition based on health care utilization and a symptom-based definition of AECOPD were applied. For multivariate analyses, we chose a negative binomial regression model. Results COPD patients from the population- and hospital-based samples experienced on average 0.4 utilization-defined and 2.9 symptom-defined versus 1.0 and 5.9 annual exacerbations, respectively. The incidence rate ratios for utilization-defined AECOPD were 2.45 (95% CI 1.22–4.95), 3.43 (95% CI 1.59–7.38), and 5.67 (95% CI 2.58–12.48) with Global Initiative on Obstructive Lung Disease spirometric stages II, III, and IV, respectively. The corresponding incidence rate ratios for the symptom-based definition were 3.08 (95% CI 1.96–4.84), 3.45 (95% CI 1.92–6.18), and 4.00 (95% CI 2.09–7.66). Maintenance therapy (regular long-acting muscarinic antagonists, long-acting beta-2 agonists, inhaled corticosteroids, or theophylline) also increased the risk of AECOPD with both exacerbation definitions (incidence rate ratios 1.65 and 1.73, respectively). The risk of AECOPD was 59%–78% higher in the hospital sample than in the population sample. Conclusion If externally valid conclusions are to be made regarding incidence and predictors of AECOPD, studies should be based on general population samples or adjustments should be made on account of a likely higher incidence in other samples. Likewise, the effect of different AECOPD definitions should be taken into consideration. PMID:27621614

  12. Proliferation status defines functional properties of endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Lipps, Christoph; Badar, Muhammad; Butueva, Milada; Dubich, Tatyana; Singh, Vivek Vikram; Rau, Sophie; Weber, Axel; Kracht, Michael; Köster, Mario; May, Tobias; Schulz, Thomas F; Hauser, Hansjörg; Wirth, Dagmar

    2017-04-01

    Homeostasis of solid tissue is characterized by a low proliferative activity of differentiated cells while special conditions like tissue damage induce regeneration and proliferation. For some cell types it has been shown that various tissue-specific functions are missing in the proliferating state, raising the possibility that their proliferation is not compatible with a fully differentiated state. While endothelial cells are important players in regenerating tissue as well as in the vascularization of tumors, the impact of proliferation on their features remains elusive. To examine cell features in dependence of proliferation, we established human endothelial cell lines in which proliferation is tightly controlled by a doxycycline-dependent, synthetic regulatory unit. We observed that uptake of macromolecules and establishment of cell-cell contacts was more pronounced in the growth-arrested state. Tube-like structures were formed in vitro in both proliferating and non-proliferating conditions. However, functional vessel formation upon transplantation into immune-compromised mice was restricted to the proliferative state. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) infection resulted in reduced expression of endothelial markers. Upon transplantation of infected cells, drastic differences were observed: proliferation arrested cells acquired a high migratory activity while the proliferating counterparts established a tumor-like phenotype, similar to Kaposi Sarcoma lesions. The study gives evidence that proliferation governs endothelial functions. This suggests that several endothelial functions are differentially expressed during angiogenesis. Moreover, since proliferation defines the functional properties of cells upon infection with KSHV, this process crucially affects the fate of virus-infected cells.

  13. Utility of cheiloscopy, rugoscopy, and dactyloscopy for human identification in a defined cohort.

    PubMed

    Mutalik, Vimi S; Menon, Aparna; Jayalakshmi, N; Kamath, Asha; Raghu, A R

    2013-01-01

    Identification is of paramount importance in any forensic investigation. Positive identification of living or deceased using distinctive traits is a cornerstone of forensic science. The uniqueness of these patterns and subtle distinction between traits has offered worthy supplemental tools in establishing the true nature of facts. The first aim of our study was to determine the most common pattern of lip prints, palatal rugae, and finger prints in the study subjects. Secondly, to determine if any specific pattern of lip print, palatal rugae, or the finger print concurs in individuals, and thereby establish a database of these prototypes for human identification from a defined cohort. The sample size comprised 100 female students of a dental college staying together in the hostel. Lip prints were recorded on a white bond sheet using lipstick, palatal rugae on dental casts, and finger prints using printer's blue ink. Our observation suggested that the reticular pattern of lip print, the wavy pattern of palatal rugae, and the loop pattern of finger prints were the predominant patterns. Correlation of the three parameters did not reveal significant differences. This approach of human identification utilizing conventional techniques and relevant parameters is pertinent in defined groups. However, larger representative sample with robust analytical tools may provide a necessary blueprint of human identification.

  14. Utility of cheiloscopy, rugoscopy, and dactyloscopy for human identification in a defined cohort

    PubMed Central

    Mutalik, Vimi S.; Menon, Aparna; Jayalakshmi, N.; Kamath, Asha; Raghu, A. R.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Identification is of paramount importance in any forensic investigation. Positive identification of living or deceased using distinctive traits is a cornerstone of forensic science. The uniqueness of these patterns and subtle distinction between traits has offered worthy supplemental tools in establishing the true nature of facts. Aim: The first aim of our study was to determine the most common pattern of lip prints, palatal rugae, and finger prints in the study subjects. Secondly, to determine if any specific pattern of lip print, palatal rugae, or the finger print concurs in individuals, and thereby establish a database of these prototypes for human identification from a defined cohort. Materials and Methods: The sample size comprised 100 female students of a dental college staying together in the hostel. Lip prints were recorded on a white bond sheet using lipstick, palatal rugae on dental casts, and finger prints using printer's blue ink. Results: Our observation suggested that the reticular pattern of lip print, the wavy pattern of palatal rugae, and the loop pattern of finger prints were the predominant patterns. Correlation of the three parameters did not reveal significant differences. Conclusions: This approach of human identification utilizing conventional techniques and relevant parameters is pertinent in defined groups. However, larger representative sample with robust analytical tools may provide a necessary blueprint of human identification. PMID:23960407

  15. Reconciling resource utilization and resource selection functions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooten, Mevin B.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Johnson, Devin S.; Alldredge, Mat W.

    2013-01-01

    Summary: 1. Analyses based on utilization distributions (UDs) have been ubiquitous in animal space use studies, largely because they are computationally straightforward and relatively easy to employ. Conventional applications of resource utilization functions (RUFs) suggest that estimates of UDs can be used as response variables in a regression involving spatial covariates of interest. 2. It has been claimed that contemporary implementations of RUFs can yield inference about resource selection, although to our knowledge, an explicit connection has not been described. 3. We explore the relationships between RUFs and resource selection functions from a hueristic and simulation perspective. We investigate several sources of potential bias in the estimation of resource selection coefficients using RUFs (e.g. the spatial covariance modelling that is often used in RUF analyses). 4. Our findings illustrate that RUFs can, in fact, serve as approximations to RSFs and are capable of providing inference about resource selection, but only with some modification and under specific circumstances. 5. Using real telemetry data as an example, we provide guidance on which methods for estimating resource selection may be more appropriate and in which situations. In general, if telemetry data are assumed to arise as a point process, then RSF methods may be preferable to RUFs; however, modified RUFs may provide less biased parameter estimates when the data are subject to location error.

  16. Flexible associations between Pocillopora corals and Symbiodinium limit utility of symbiosis ecology in defining species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunning, R.; Glynn, P. W.; Baker, A. C.

    2013-09-01

    Corals in the genus Pocillopora are the primary framework builders of eastern tropical Pacific (ETP) reefs. These corals typically associate with algal symbionts (genus Symbiodinium) in clade C and/or D, with clade D associations having greater thermal tolerance and resistance to bleaching. Recently, cryptic "species" delineations within both Pocillopora and Symbiodinium have been suggested, with host-symbiont specificity used as a supporting taxonomic character in both genera. In particular, it has been suggested that three lineages of Pocillopora (types 1-3) exist in the ETP, of which type 1 is the exclusive host of heat-tolerant Symbiodinium D1. This host specificity has been used to support the species name " Symbiodinium glynni" for this symbiont. To validate these host-symbiont relationships and their taxonomic utility, we identified Pocillopora types and their associated Symbiodinium at three sites in the ETP. We found greater flexibility in host-symbiont combinations than previously reported, with both Pocillopora types 1 and 3 able to host and be dominated by Symbiodinium in clade C or D. The prevalence of certain combinations did vary among sites, showing that a gradient of specificity exists which may be mediated by evolutionary relationships and environmental disturbance history. However, these results limit the utility of apparent host-symbiont specificity (which may have been a result of undersampling) in defining species boundaries in either corals or Symbiodinium. They also suggest that a greater diversity of corals may benefit from the thermal tolerance of clade D symbionts, affirming the need to conserve Pocillopora across its entire geographic and environmental range.

  17. Utilization of defined microbial communities enables effective evaluation of meta-genomic assemblies.

    PubMed

    Greenwald, William W; Klitgord, Niels; Seguritan, Victor; Yooseph, Shibu; Venter, J Craig; Garner, Chad; Nelson, Karen E; Li, Weizhong

    2017-04-13

    Metagenomics is the study of the microbial genomes isolated from communities found on our bodies or in our environment. By correctly determining the relation between human health and the human associated microbial communities, novel mechanisms of health and disease can be found, thus enabling the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Due to the diversity of the microbial communities, strategies developed for aligning human genomes cannot be utilized, and genomes of the microbial species in the community must be assembled de novo. However, in order to obtain the best metagenomic assemblies, it is important to choose the proper assembler. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of metagenomics, new assemblers are constantly created, and the field has not yet agreed on a standardized process. Furthermore, the truth sets used to compare these methods are either too simple (computationally derived diverse communities) or complex (microbial communities of unknown composition), yielding results that are hard to interpret. In this analysis, we interrogate the strengths and weaknesses of five popular assemblers through the use of defined biological samples of known genomic composition and abundance. We assessed the performance of each assembler on their ability to reassemble genomes, call taxonomic abundances, and recreate open reading frames (ORFs). We tested five metagenomic assemblers: Omega, metaSPAdes, IDBA-UD, metaVelvet and MEGAHIT on known and synthetic metagenomic data sets. MetaSPAdes excelled in diverse sets, IDBA-UD performed well all around, metaVelvet had high accuracy in high abundance organisms, and MEGAHIT was able to accurately differentiate similar organisms within a community. At the ORF level, metaSPAdes and MEGAHIT had the least number of missing ORFs within diverse and similar communities respectively. Depending on the metagenomics question asked, the correct assembler for the task at hand will differ. It is important to choose the appropriate

  18. Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Functional Cardiomyocytes by Defined Factors

    PubMed Central

    Ieda, Masaki; Fu, Ji-Dong; Delgado-Olguin, Paul; Vedantham, Vasanth; Hayashi, Yohei; Bruneau, Benoit G.; Srivastava, Deepak

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY The reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells raises the possibility that a somatic cell could be reprogrammed to an alternative differentiated fate without first becoming a stem/progenitor cell. A large pool of fibroblasts exists in the post-natal heart, yet no single “master regulator” of direct cardiac reprogramming has been identified. Here, we report that a combination of three developmental transcription factors (i.e., Gata4, Mef2c and Tbx5) rapidly and efficiently reprogrammed post-natal cardiac or dermal fibroblasts directly into differentiated cardiomyocyte-like cells. Induced cardiomyocytes expressed cardiac-specific markers, had a global gene expression profile similar to cardiomyocytes, and contracted spontaneously. Fibroblasts transplanted into mouse hearts one day after transduction of the three factors also differentiated into cardiomyocyte-like cells. These findings demonstrate that functional cardiomyocytes can be directly reprogrammed from differentiated somatic cells by defined factors. Reprogramming of endogenous or explanted fibroblasts might provide a source of cardiomyocytes for regenerative approaches. PMID:20691899

  19. Local interneurons define functionally distinct regions within lobster olfactory glomeruli

    PubMed

    Wachowiak; Diebel; Ache

    1997-01-01

    Whole-cell recording coupled with biocytin injection revealed four types of interneurons intrinsic to the olfactory lobe (OL) of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus. Each type of neuron had a distinct pattern of arborization within the three anatomically defined regions of OL glomeruli (cap, subcap and base). Type I interneurons innervated all three regions, while types II, III and IV branched only in the cap, subcap and base, respectively. Type I interneurons responded to electrical stimulation of the antennular (olfactory) nerve with a burst of 1­20 action potentials and a 1­10 s depolarization. Type II (cap) interneurons responded to the same input with a burst of 1­3 action potentials followed by a shorter hyperpolarization. Type III (subcap) interneurons responded with a burst of 1­6 action potentials followed by a delayed, 0.5­4 s depolarization. Type IV (base) interneurons responded with a brief depolarization or a burst of 1­3 action potentials followed by a 1 s hyperpolarization. The regionalized arborization and the different response properties of the type II, III and IV interneurons strongly imply that lobster olfactory glomeruli contain functionally distinct regions, a feature that should be useful in understanding the multiple synaptic pathways involved in processing olfactory input.

  20. Role of motor unit structure in defining function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monti, R. J.; Roy, R. R.; Edgerton, V. R.

    2001-01-01

    Motor units, defined as a motoneuron and all of its associated muscle fibers, are the basic functional units of skeletal muscle. Their activity represents the final output of the central nervous system, and their role in motor control has been widely studied. However, there has been relatively little work focused on the mechanical significance of recruiting variable numbers of motor units during different motor tasks. This review focuses on factors ranging from molecular to macroanatomical components that influence the mechanical output of a motor unit in the context of the whole muscle. These factors range from the mechanical properties of different muscle fiber types to the unique morphology of the muscle fibers constituting a motor unit of a given type and to the arrangement of those motor unit fibers in three dimensions within the muscle. We suggest that as a result of the integration of multiple levels of structural and physiological levels of organization, unique mechanical properties of motor units are likely to emerge. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  1. Defining health catchment areas in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia: an example demonstrating the utility of geographical information systems.

    PubMed

    Murad, Abdulkader A

    2008-05-01

    A tool, based on a geographical information system (GIS) approach, has been developed for the location and organization of public health care centers in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia. The potential of GIS for visualizing and modeling available information on health-care has been utilized to produce a "best-fit application". This paper identifies and deals with the manner in which GIS can successfully be used for evaluating the demand and supply of health care facilities as well as be applied for defining health catchment areas. The study uses the essential achievements gained to analyze the advantages of GIS for health care planning and the location of health care centers. Some specific GIS tools, as well as single and multiple spatial search functions, are presented.

  2. Functional Relationships Between Risky and Riskless Multiattribute Utility Functions.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-12-01

    Riskless Multiattribute Utility Functions 1ER/ ORIN 12 R/17NUMBER 79 - 3 7. AUTHORYS)& A. CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER(S)Det of von Winterfeldt N00014-79-C-0038...4C.-2 Attention: Dr. Edgar M. Jchnson Aashingtcn, DC 20330 5 0 02. E7 s e rn *c -w e z !v e n u e S c e - f R S a C. ex a n C:ri’a, VA 22333 kir

  3. Distress syndromes, illness behavior, access to care and medical utilization in a defined population.

    PubMed

    Mechanic, D; Cleary, P D; Greenley, J R

    1982-04-01

    This article examines the use of general medical services in a representative sample from a defined geographic area and in a sample of persons seeking psychiatric care from the same area. Psychiatric patients made 100 per cent more general medical care visits in the retrospective period and 83 per cent more in the prospective period than persons who did not seek mental health care. The analysis focuses on the determinants in general medical care use between those who sought mental health care and those who did not. The first hypothesis is that physical symptoms and dysfunction concomitant with psychologic disorder explain the difference. The second argues that the association is a product of help-seeking orientations and illness behavior. The third focuses on variations due to differences in access. The first two types of factors are the most important. Using sex, physical symptoms and illness behavior measures, we explain 50 per cent of the differences in retrospective utilization and 40 per cent of the differences in prospective data.

  4. Defining and Applying a Functionality Approach to Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luckasson, R.; Schalock, R. L.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The current functional models of disability do not adequately incorporate significant changes of the last three decades in our understanding of human functioning, and how the human functioning construct can be applied to clinical functions, professional practices and outcomes evaluation. Methods: The authors synthesise current…

  5. Defining and Applying a Functionality Approach to Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luckasson, R.; Schalock, R. L.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The current functional models of disability do not adequately incorporate significant changes of the last three decades in our understanding of human functioning, and how the human functioning construct can be applied to clinical functions, professional practices and outcomes evaluation. Methods: The authors synthesise current…

  6. Global measures: utility in defining and measuring treatment response in dementia.

    PubMed

    Reisberg, Barry

    2007-06-01

    Global measures used in treatment trials in dementia encompass two distinct categories: (1) clinician's interview-based global severity scales, and (2) clinician's interview-based global change scales. The global severity scales that have been used include: the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and the related CDR-sum of boxes (CDR-SB), the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), and the Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) procedure. The global severity scales are clearly useful in subject categorization in treatment trials, in part because they are relatively free of many of the sociocultural biases inherent in mental status and psychometric descriptors. Global severity scales can also be used to demonstrate therapeutic efficacy in terms of the general progression of the dementia process. These measures have also proven to be useful in sensitively assessing pharmacotherapeutic effects in Alzheimer's disease (AD) treatment trials. For example, in pivotal trials: (1) in Mild to Moderate AD, the GDS has shown significant change in response to medication, whereas the results on the Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE) were not significant, and (2) in Moderate to Severe AD, the FAST has shown significant pharmacotherapeutic efficacy, whereas the results using the MMSE were not significant. The global change scales employed in dementia trials differ widely in assessment methodology. Clinical Global Impressions of Change (CGIC) scales do not have defined methodologies, whereas Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change Plus Caregiver Input (CIBIC-Plus) scales are much more elaborate. The CIBIC-Plus procedures require an independent clinician assessment and can provide independent, comprehensive evidence of therapeutic efficacy. The CIBIC-Plus procedure may also be useful in sensitively assessing efficacy in future prevention trials, for example in subjects with Subjective Cognitive Impairment. For Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), global severity scales already appear to be

  7. Integral Representation for Functionals Defined on SBDp in Dimension Two

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, Sergio; Focardi, Matteo; Iurlano, Flaviana

    2017-03-01

    We prove an integral representation result for functionals with growth conditions which give coercivity on the space {SBD^p(Ω)}, for {Ωsubset R2}, which is a bounded open Lipschitz set, and {pin(1,∞)}. The space SBD p of functions whose distributional strain is the sum of an L p part and a bounded measure supported on a set of finite H1}-dimensional measure appears naturally in the study of fracture and damage models. Our result is based on the construction of a local approximation by W 1, p functions. We also obtain a generalization of Korn's inequality in the SBD p setting.

  8. Collimator Magnet with Functionally Defined Profile for Ion Implantation

    SciTech Connect

    Nicolaescu, Dan; Gotoh, Yasuhito; Sakai, Shigeki; Ishikawa, Junzo

    2011-01-07

    Advanced implantation systems used for semiconductor processing should have high precision of ion beam collimation (+/-0.1 deg and better) and wide beam aperture (400 mm and more). Typical arrangements of ion implantation systems include beam scanning (BSM) and collimator magnets (CM). Standard collimator magnets have limited precision of beam collimation due to magnetic poles that have piecewise circular profile. This study proposes a novel ''constant sum angle collimator magnet''(CSACM) with non-circular magnetic pole profile. Angles of incidence {alpha}{sub i} and exit {alpha}{sub e} are defined as angles between ion trajectory and local normal to CM input/output magnetic pole edge. Profile of the CSACM is defined as having constant algebraic sum {alpha}{sub i}+{alpha}{sub e} = const for every ion trajectory of the scanned beam, in addition to ''usual'' beam collimation. An iterative procedure allows improve CSACM taking into account magnetic fringe field effects. Simulation results prove that CSACM assures precise beam collimation in two orthogonal planes. Circular approximations for CSACM magnetic poles are proposed. The model may be further developed for global design of the ion beam line (BSM+CM) and for taking into account space-charge effects.

  9. Defining the functional traits that drive bacterial decomposer community productivity

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Rachael; Alessi, Anna M.; Bird, Susannah; McQueen-Mason, Simon J.; Bruce, Neil C.; Brockhurst, Michael A.

    2017-01-01

    Microbial communities are essential to a wide range of ecologically and industrially important processes. To control or predict how these communities function, we require a better understanding of the factors which influence microbial community productivity. Here, we combine functional resource use assays with a biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiment to determine whether the functional traits of constituent species can be used to predict community productivity. We quantified the abilities of 12 bacterial species to metabolise components of lignocellulose and then assembled these species into communities of varying diversity and composition to measure their productivity growing on lignocellulose, a complex natural substrate. A positive relationship between diversity and community productivity was caused by a selection effect whereby more diverse communities were more likely to contain two species that significantly improved community productivity. Analysis of functional traits revealed that the observed selection effect was primarily driven by the abilities of these species to degrade β-glucan. Our results indicate that by identifying the key functional traits underlying microbial community productivity we could improve industrial bioprocessing of complex natural substrates. PMID:28323280

  10. Defining the functional traits that drive bacterial decomposer community productivity.

    PubMed

    Evans, Rachael; Alessi, Anna M; Bird, Susannah; McQueen-Mason, Simon J; Bruce, Neil C; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2017-03-21

    Microbial communities are essential to a wide range of ecologically and industrially important processes. To control or predict how these communities function, we require a better understanding of the factors which influence microbial community productivity. Here, we combine functional resource use assays with a biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiment to determine whether the functional traits of constituent species can be used to predict community productivity. We quantified the abilities of 12 bacterial species to metabolise components of lignocellulose and then assembled these species into communities of varying diversity and composition to measure their productivity growing on lignocellulose, a complex natural substrate. A positive relationship between diversity and community productivity was caused by a selection effect whereby more diverse communities were more likely to contain two species that significantly improved community productivity. Analysis of functional traits revealed that the observed selection effect was primarily driven by the abilities of these species to degrade β-glucan. Our results indicate that by identifying the key functional traits underlying microbial community productivity we could improve industrial bioprocessing of complex natural substrates.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 21 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.22.

  11. Vascular smooth muscle function: defining the diabetic vascular phenotype.

    PubMed

    Bruno, Rosa Maria; Ghiadoni, Lorenzo

    2013-10-01

    In this issue of Diabetologia, a meta-analysis performed by Montero and co-authors (Diabetologia doi 10.1007/s00125-013-2974-1 ) demonstrates a significant impairment of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) function in type 2 diabetic patients. Endothelial function and VSM function between type 2 diabetic and healthy individuals were associated, especially in the microcirculation, confirming the hypothesis that unresponsiveness of VSM cells to NO may amplify the consequences of reduced NO availability. This study suggests a novel interpretation for endothelial dysfunction in diabetic patients, indicating VSM cells as key players. Causative mechanisms of VSM dysfunction, which seems to be a feature of the vascular phenotype of type 2 diabetes mellitus, are largely unexplored in humans. Future studies should also address the crucial issue of the prognostic significance of VSM dysfunction in diabetic patients, and possibly in other conditions characterised by high cardiovascular risk.

  12. δ-Tonoplast intrinsic protein defines unique plant vacuole functions

    PubMed Central

    Jauh, Guang-Yuh; Fischer, Andreas M.; Grimes, Howard D.; Ryan, Clarence A.; Rogers, John C.

    1998-01-01

    Plant cell vacuoles may have either storage or degradative functions. Vegetative storage proteins (VSPs) are synthesized in response to wounding and to developmental switches that affect carbon and nitrogen sinks. Here we show that VSPs are stored in a unique type of vacuole that is derived from degradative central vacuoles coincident with insertion of a new tonoplast intrinsic protein (TIP), δ-TIP, into their membranes. This finding demonstrates a tight coupling between the presence of δ-TIP and acquisition of a specialized storage function and indicates that TIP isoforms may determine vacuole identity. PMID:9789029

  13. Defining inhibitory neurone function in respiratory circuits: opportunities with optogenetics?

    PubMed Central

    Abdala, Ana Paula; Paton, Julian F R; Smith, Jeffrey C

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological and mathematical modelling studies support the view that synaptic inhibition in mammalian brainstem respiratory circuits is essential for generating normal and stable breathing movements. GABAergic and glycinergic neurones are known components of these circuits but their precise functional roles have not been established, especially within key microcircuits of the respiratory pre-Bötzinger (pre-BötC) and Bötzinger (BötC) complexes involved in phasic control of respiratory pump and airway muscles. Here, we review briefly current concepts of relevant complexities of inhibitory synapses and the importance of synaptic inhibition in the operation of these microcircuits. We highlight results and limitations of classical pharmacological studies that have suggested critical functions of synaptic inhibition. We then explore the potential opportunities for optogenetic strategies that represent a promising new approach for interrogating function of inhibitory circuits, including a hypothetical wish list for optogenetic approaches to allow expedient application of this technology. We conclude that recent technical advances in optogenetics should provide a means to understand the role of functionally select and regionally confined subsets of inhibitory neurones in key respiratory circuits such as those in the pre-BötC and BötC. PMID:25384785

  14. Defining inhibitory neurone function in respiratory circuits: opportunities with optogenetics?

    PubMed

    Abdala, Ana Paula; Paton, Julian F R; Smith, Jeffrey C

    2015-07-15

    Pharmacological and mathematical modelling studies support the view that synaptic inhibition in mammalian brainstem respiratory circuits is essential for generating normal and stable breathing movements. GABAergic and glycinergic neurones are known components of these circuits but their precise functional roles have not been established, especially within key microcircuits of the respiratory pre-Bötzinger (pre-BötC) and Bötzinger (BötC) complexes involved in phasic control of respiratory pump and airway muscles. Here, we review briefly current concepts of relevant complexities of inhibitory synapses and the importance of synaptic inhibition in the operation of these microcircuits. We highlight results and limitations of classical pharmacological studies that have suggested critical functions of synaptic inhibition. We then explore the potential opportunities for optogenetic strategies that represent a promising new approach for interrogating function of inhibitory circuits, including a hypothetical wish list for optogenetic approaches to allow expedient application of this technology. We conclude that recent technical advances in optogenetics should provide a means to understand the role of functionally select and regionally confined subsets of inhibitory neurones in key respiratory circuits such as those in the pre-BötC and BötC.

  15. Defining an olfactory receptor function in airway smooth muscle cells

    PubMed Central

    Aisenberg, William H.; Huang, Jessie; Zhu, Wanqu; Rajkumar, Premraj; Cruz, Randy; Santhanam, Lakshmi; Natarajan, Niranjana; Yong, Hwan Mee; De Santiago, Breann; Oh, Jung Jin; Yoon, A-Rum; Panettieri, Reynold A.; Homann, Oliver; Sullivan, John K.; Liggett, Stephen B.; Pluznick, Jennifer L.; An, Steven S.

    2016-01-01

    Pathways that control, or can be exploited to alter, the increase in airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass and cellular remodeling that occur in asthma are not well defined. Here we report the expression of odorant receptors (ORs) belonging to the superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), as well as the canonical olfaction machinery (Golf and AC3) in the smooth muscle of human bronchi. In primary cultures of isolated human ASM, we identified mRNA expression for multiple ORs. Strikingly, OR51E2 was the most highly enriched OR transcript mapped to the human olfactome in lung-resident cells. In a heterologous expression system, OR51E2 trafficked readily to the cell surface and showed ligand selectivity and sensitivity to the short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate and propionate. These endogenous metabolic byproducts of the gut microbiota slowed the rate of cytoskeletal remodeling, as well as the proliferation of human ASM cells. These cellular responses in vitro were found in ASM from non-asthmatics and asthmatics, and were absent in OR51E2-deleted primary human ASM. These results demonstrate a novel chemo-mechanical signaling network in the ASM and serve as a proof-of-concept that a specific receptor of the gut-lung axis can be targeted to treat airflow obstruction in asthma. PMID:27905542

  16. Defining an olfactory receptor function in airway smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Aisenberg, William H; Huang, Jessie; Zhu, Wanqu; Rajkumar, Premraj; Cruz, Randy; Santhanam, Lakshmi; Natarajan, Niranjana; Yong, Hwan Mee; De Santiago, Breann; Oh, Jung Jin; Yoon, A-Rum; Panettieri, Reynold A; Homann, Oliver; Sullivan, John K; Liggett, Stephen B; Pluznick, Jennifer L; An, Steven S

    2016-12-01

    Pathways that control, or can be exploited to alter, the increase in airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass and cellular remodeling that occur in asthma are not well defined. Here we report the expression of odorant receptors (ORs) belonging to the superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), as well as the canonical olfaction machinery (Golf and AC3) in the smooth muscle of human bronchi. In primary cultures of isolated human ASM, we identified mRNA expression for multiple ORs. Strikingly, OR51E2 was the most highly enriched OR transcript mapped to the human olfactome in lung-resident cells. In a heterologous expression system, OR51E2 trafficked readily to the cell surface and showed ligand selectivity and sensitivity to the short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate and propionate. These endogenous metabolic byproducts of the gut microbiota slowed the rate of cytoskeletal remodeling, as well as the proliferation of human ASM cells. These cellular responses in vitro were found in ASM from non-asthmatics and asthmatics, and were absent in OR51E2-deleted primary human ASM. These results demonstrate a novel chemo-mechanical signaling network in the ASM and serve as a proof-of-concept that a specific receptor of the gut-lung axis can be targeted to treat airflow obstruction in asthma.

  17. Validation and Error in Multiplicative Utility Functions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-12-01

    main effect plans for asynnetrlcal factorial experiments. Technometrtcs, 1962, 4^, 21-46. Anderson, N. H. Information integration theory : a brief...an environment in which graduate students may receive training in research theory , design and methodology through active participation with senior...multlattribute utility model. The methods are a Keeney-Raiffa (1976) procedure, SMART (Edwards, 1977), a social judgment theory (SJT) based regression

  18. Mutations defining functional regions of the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is both a superantigen and toxin. As a superantigen, SEB can bind to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules to form a ligand for alpha/beta T cell receptors bearing particular V beta elements. As a toxin, SEB causes rapid weight loss in mice sometimes leading to death. We show here that both of these functions map to the NH2-terminal portion of the toxin. Three regions were identified: one important in MHC class II binding, one in T cell recognition, and one in both functions. These results support the conclusion that the toxicity of SEB is related to massive T cell stimulation and release of cytokine mediators and show that the residues interacting with MHC and the T cell receptor are intertwined. PMID:1370682

  19. Defining functional interactions during biogenesis of epithelial junctions

    PubMed Central

    Erasmus, J. C.; Bruche, S.; Pizarro, L.; Maimari, N.; Pogglioli, T.; Tomlinson, C.; Lees, J.; Zalivina, I.; Wheeler, A.; Alberts, A.; Russo, A.; Braga, V. M. M.

    2016-01-01

    In spite of extensive recent progress, a comprehensive understanding of how actin cytoskeleton remodelling supports stable junctions remains to be established. Here we design a platform that integrates actin functions with optimized phenotypic clustering and identify new cytoskeletal proteins, their functional hierarchy and pathways that modulate E-cadherin adhesion. Depletion of EEF1A, an actin bundling protein, increases E-cadherin levels at junctions without a corresponding reinforcement of cell–cell contacts. This unexpected result reflects a more dynamic and mobile junctional actin in EEF1A-depleted cells. A partner for EEF1A in cadherin contact maintenance is the formin DIAPH2, which interacts with EEF1A. In contrast, depletion of either the endocytic regulator TRIP10 or the Rho GTPase activator VAV2 reduces E-cadherin levels at junctions. TRIP10 binds to and requires VAV2 function for its junctional localization. Overall, we present new conceptual insights on junction stabilization, which integrate known and novel pathways with impact for epithelial morphogenesis, homeostasis and diseases. PMID:27922008

  20. Intestinal anastomotic injury alters spatially defined microbiome composition and function

    SciTech Connect

    Shogan, Benjamin D.; Smith, Daniel P.; Christley, Scott; Gilbert, Jack A.; Zaborina, Olga; Alverdy, John C.

    2014-09-15

    When diseased intestine (i.e., from colon cancer, diverticulitis) requires resection, its reconnection (termed anastomosis) can be complicated by non-healing of the newly joined intestine resulting in spillage of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity (termed anastomotic leakage). Furthermore, while it is suspected that the intestinal microbiota have the capacity to both accelerate and complicate anastomotic healing, the associated genotypes and functions have not been characterized. As a result, using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of samples collected on the day of surgery (postoperative day 0 (POD0)) and the 6th day following surgery (postoperative day 0 (POD6)), we analyzed the changes in luminal versus tissue-associated microbiota at anastomotic sites created in the colon of rats. Results indicated that anastomotic injury induced significant changes in the anastomotic tissue-associated microbiota with minimal differences in the luminal microbiota. The most striking difference was a 500-fold and 200-fold increase in the relative abundance of Enterococcus and Escherichia/Shigella, respectively. Functional profiling predicted the predominance of bacterial virulence-associated pathways in post-anastomotic tissues, including production of hemolysin, cytolethal toxins, fimbriae, invasins, cytotoxic necrotizing factors, and coccolysin. Taken together, our results suggest that compositional and functional changes accompany anastomotic tissues and may potentially accelerate or complicate anastomotic healing.

  1. Defining functional interactions during biogenesis of epithelial junctions.

    PubMed

    Erasmus, J C; Bruche, S; Pizarro, L; Maimari, N; Pogglioli, T; Tomlinson, C; Lees, J; Zalivina, I; Wheeler, A; Alberts, A; Russo, A; Braga, V M M

    2016-12-06

    In spite of extensive recent progress, a comprehensive understanding of how actin cytoskeleton remodelling supports stable junctions remains to be established. Here we design a platform that integrates actin functions with optimized phenotypic clustering and identify new cytoskeletal proteins, their functional hierarchy and pathways that modulate E-cadherin adhesion. Depletion of EEF1A, an actin bundling protein, increases E-cadherin levels at junctions without a corresponding reinforcement of cell-cell contacts. This unexpected result reflects a more dynamic and mobile junctional actin in EEF1A-depleted cells. A partner for EEF1A in cadherin contact maintenance is the formin DIAPH2, which interacts with EEF1A. In contrast, depletion of either the endocytic regulator TRIP10 or the Rho GTPase activator VAV2 reduces E-cadherin levels at junctions. TRIP10 binds to and requires VAV2 function for its junctional localization. Overall, we present new conceptual insights on junction stabilization, which integrate known and novel pathways with impact for epithelial morphogenesis, homeostasis and diseases.

  2. Intestinal anastomotic injury alters spatially defined microbiome composition and function

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background When diseased intestine (i.e., from colon cancer, diverticulitis) requires resection, its reconnection (termed anastomosis) can be complicated by non-healing of the newly joined intestine resulting in spillage of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity (termed anastomotic leakage). While it is suspected that the intestinal microbiota have the capacity to both accelerate and complicate anastomotic healing, the associated genotypes and functions have not been characterized. Results Using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of samples collected on the day of surgery (postoperative day 0 (POD0)) and the 6th day following surgery (postoperative day 0 (POD6)), we analyzed the changes in luminal versus tissue-associated microbiota at anastomotic sites created in the colon of rats. Results indicated that anastomotic injury induced significant changes in the anastomotic tissue-associated microbiota with minimal differences in the luminal microbiota. The most striking difference was a 500-fold and 200-fold increase in the relative abundance of Enterococcus and Escherichia/Shigella, respectively. Functional profiling predicted the predominance of bacterial virulence-associated pathways in post-anastomotic tissues, including production of hemolysin, cytolethal toxins, fimbriae, invasins, cytotoxic necrotizing factors, and coccolysin. Conclusion Taken together, our results suggest that compositional and functional changes accompany anastomotic tissues and may potentially accelerate or complicate anastomotic healing. PMID:25250176

  3. Intestinal anastomotic injury alters spatially defined microbiome composition and function

    DOE PAGES

    Shogan, Benjamin D.; Smith, Daniel P.; Christley, Scott; ...

    2014-09-15

    When diseased intestine (i.e., from colon cancer, diverticulitis) requires resection, its reconnection (termed anastomosis) can be complicated by non-healing of the newly joined intestine resulting in spillage of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity (termed anastomotic leakage). Furthermore, while it is suspected that the intestinal microbiota have the capacity to both accelerate and complicate anastomotic healing, the associated genotypes and functions have not been characterized. As a result, using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of samples collected on the day of surgery (postoperative day 0 (POD0)) and the 6th day following surgery (postoperative day 0 (POD6)), we analyzed the changes inmore » luminal versus tissue-associated microbiota at anastomotic sites created in the colon of rats. Results indicated that anastomotic injury induced significant changes in the anastomotic tissue-associated microbiota with minimal differences in the luminal microbiota. The most striking difference was a 500-fold and 200-fold increase in the relative abundance of Enterococcus and Escherichia/Shigella, respectively. Functional profiling predicted the predominance of bacterial virulence-associated pathways in post-anastomotic tissues, including production of hemolysin, cytolethal toxins, fimbriae, invasins, cytotoxic necrotizing factors, and coccolysin. Taken together, our results suggest that compositional and functional changes accompany anastomotic tissues and may potentially accelerate or complicate anastomotic healing.« less

  4. Lacunary strongly (A, φ)I-convergent sequences defined by a modulus function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gumus, Hafize; Savas, Ekrem

    2013-10-01

    In this paper we introduce and study some new sequences of lacunary strongly (A, φ)I-convergent sequences defined by a modulus function. They are defined using by a φ-function, a A = (ank) real matrix and an ideal I of positive integers. We define Nθ(A,φ,f)I and Sθ(A,φ)I spaces and study their relation.

  5. Defining the boundaries: structure and function of LOB domain proteins.

    PubMed

    Majer, Christine; Hochholdinger, Frank

    2011-01-01

    The plant-specific LBD (Lateral Organ Boundaries Domain) gene family is essential in the regulation of plant lateral organ development and is involved in the regulation of anthocyanin and nitrogen metabolism. LBD proteins contain a characteristic LOB domain composed of a C-motif required for DNA-binding, a conserved glycine residue, and a leucine-zipper-like sequence required for protein-protein interactions. Recently, several LBD genes associated with mutant phenotypes related to almost all aspects of plant development, including embryo, root, leaf, and inflorescence development have been functionally characterized. These novel insights contribute to a better understanding of the molecular definition of boundaries between organs or boundaries between organs and meristems and the regulation of these processes by environmental cues and phytohormones.

  6. An Empirical Assessment of the Form of Utility Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirby, Kris N.

    2011-01-01

    Utility functions, which relate subjective value to physical attributes of experience, are fundamental to most decision theories. Seven experiments were conducted to test predictions of the most widely assumed mathematical forms of utility (power, log, and negative exponential), and a function proposed by Rachlin (1992). For pairs of gambles for…

  7. An Empirical Assessment of the Form of Utility Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirby, Kris N.

    2011-01-01

    Utility functions, which relate subjective value to physical attributes of experience, are fundamental to most decision theories. Seven experiments were conducted to test predictions of the most widely assumed mathematical forms of utility (power, log, and negative exponential), and a function proposed by Rachlin (1992). For pairs of gambles for…

  8. Defining functional biomes and monitoring their change globally.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Steven I; Buitenwerf, Robert; Moncrieff, Glenn R

    2016-11-01

    Biomes are important constructs for organizing understanding of how the worlds' major terrestrial ecosystems differ from one another and for monitoring change in these ecosystems. Yet existing biome classification schemes have been criticized for being overly subjective and for explicitly or implicitly invoking climate. We propose a new biome map and classification scheme that uses information on (i) an index of vegetation productivity, (ii) whether the minimum of vegetation activity is in the driest or coldest part of the year, and (iii) vegetation height. Although biomes produced on the basis of this classification show a strong spatial coherence, they show little congruence with existing biome classification schemes. Our biome map provides an alternative classification scheme for comparing the biogeochemical rates of terrestrial ecosystems. We use this new biome classification scheme to analyse the patterns of biome change observed over recent decades. Overall, 13% to 14% of analysed pixels shifted in biome state over the 30-year study period. A wide range of biome transitions were observed. For example, biomes with tall vegetation and minimum vegetation activity in the cold season shifted to higher productivity biome states. Biomes with short vegetation and low seasonality shifted to seasonally moisture-limited biome states. Our findings and method provide a new source of data for rigorously monitoring global vegetation change, analysing drivers of vegetation change and for benchmarking models of terrestrial ecosystem function. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Formation of Well-Defined, Functional Nanotubes via Osmotically Induced Shape Transformation of Biodegradable Polymersomes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Polymersomes are robust, versatile nanostructures that can be tailored by varying the chemical structure of copolymeric building blocks, giving control over their size, shape, surface chemistry, and membrane permeability. In particular, the generation of nonspherical nanostructures has attracted much attention recently, as it has been demonstrated that shape affects function in a biomedical context. Until now, nonspherical polymersomes have only been constructed from nondegradable building blocks, hampering a detailed investigation of shape effects in nanomedicine for this category of nanostructures. Herein, we demonstrate the spontaneous elongation of spherical polymersomes comprising the biodegradable copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactide) into well-defined nanotubes. The size of these tubes is osmotically controlled using dialysis, which makes them very easy to prepare. To confirm their utility for biomedical applications, we have demonstrated that, alongside drug loading, functional proteins can be tethered to the surface utilizing bio-orthogonal “click” chemistry. In this way the present findings establish a novel platform for the creation of biocompatible, high-aspect ratio nanoparticles for biomedical research. PMID:27374777

  10. The utility of essential functions in clinical laboratory science programs.

    PubMed

    Delost, Maria E; Nadder, Teresa S

    2011-01-01

    Essential functions (EF) define the nonacademic criteria used to determine an individual's qualifications for admission and capabilities of performing in the classroom and laboratory with or without reasonable accommodations. Directors of NAACLS approved and accredited programs were surveyed to investigate their knowledge and perceptions of EF and associations with disabilities and student behaviors. This was a non-experimental survey consisting of questions related to the use of essential functions (EF) and student behaviors in NAACLS laboratory programs. SurveyMonkey was used to electronically provide the survey of 33 questions to 564 NAACLS programs. Descriptive statistics were reported as aggregate data with a response rate of 267 (47.3%). EF are utilized in 95.5% of the programs; however, only 38.6% of the participants responded that EF are required by both the ADA and NAACLS. A student had never been dismissed based on EF in 80.0% of the programs. Many programs have been successful in mentoring students with disabilities to successful completion. Hearing impairment was the most reported disability (30.0%). Participants felt most comfortable referring students for academic coaching (96.2%) when compared to medical concerns (86.5%), and psychological concerns (82.7%). While most programs utilized EF, many program directors were not aware that EF are required by both NAACLS and the ADA. Programs have successfully instructed and graduated students with a variety of disabilities and generally feel comfortable in referring students for assistance. Concerns with inappropriate behaviors present unique, generational challenges to faculty.

  11. Stability Analysis and Stabilization of Nonlinear Systems via Locally Defined Density Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masubuchi, Izumi

    This paper considers local stability analysis of nonlinear systems with deriving a positively invariant set based on the Rantzer's stability theory by using density functions. We define a notion of locally defined density functions around an equilibrium that give monotonously increasing positive measures near the equilibrium of a nonlinear system. Under certain assumptions, it is shown that some level set of a locally defined density function is a positively invariant set where almost all of the system trajectories converge to the equilibrium. We also mention an SOS (sum-of-squares) formulation for synthesis of a nonlinear gain via locally defined density functions.

  12. Fabrication of a normally-closed microvalve utilizing lithographically defined silicone micro O-rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemke, T.; Kloeker, J.; Biancuzzi, G.; Huesgen, T.; Goldschmidtboeing, F.; Woias, P.

    2011-02-01

    The focus of this work is on the development of a simple and variable process chain for the integration of flexible silicone material into silicon-based microfluidic devices. A normally-closed microvalve is chosen as a demonstrator device, as it combines features that are not easily obtained from silicon devices alone, especially, a high leak tightness of up to 1 bar pressure difference in the closed state and a high forward flow of several mL min^{-1} in the open state. For this purpose, a photopatternable silicone is used as a deformable circular valve lip between a piezoelectrically actuated membrane and a valve seat, similar to a micro O-ring with a width of 50 µm. The microvalve is piezo actuated by monolayer piezo actuators with a peak-to-peak driving voltage of V_{p{--p}} = 200 V. The micro O-ring is pre-deformed by 2.8 µm during the valve fabrication process to yield the normally-closed behavior. A dry film resist lamination technology is developed for this critical process step to mate the two silicon wafers with the actuation membrane, the valve seat and the silicone O-ring in between at a well-defined distance. The dry film resist is used in a multifunctional way, not only to pre-deform the valve lip, but also to define the geometry of the valve chamber and to ensure a leak-tight connection of both wafers. Altogether, a peak value for the on- to off-ratio of the normally-closed microvalve higher than 30 000 is measured. This opens a wide range of potential applications, e.g. in micro-dosing, drug delivery, μ-TAS and microfluidics for biological or chemical applications in general.

  13. Functional bioassays utilizing zooplankton: A comparison

    SciTech Connect

    McNaught, D.C.

    1989-01-01

    Functional zooplankton bioassays based on ingestion, reproduction and respiration are described, with methods for a new ingestion bioassay included. All bioassays are compared using three indices, including the variability of controls, the range of experimental responses, and a listing of contaminants causing inhibition/stimulation of response. The ingestion bioassay showed the greatest range of response, and was sensitive to pesticides, PCBs and heavy metals. It was also commonly characterized by a hormesis response. The reproduction bioassay showed the lowest variability, illustrated a reduced range of response, and was sensitive to nutrients and heavy metals. In one study, the respiration bioassay was sensitive only to PCBs.

  14. Dishonest Academic Conduct: From the Perspective of the Utility Function.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ying; Tian, Rui

    Dishonest academic conduct has aroused extensive attention in academic circles. To explore how scholars make decisions according to the principle of maximal utility, the author has constructed the general utility function based on the expected utility theory. The concrete utility functions of different types of scholars were deduced. They are as follows: risk neutral, risk averse, and risk preference. Following this, the assignment method was adopted to analyze and compare the scholars' utilities of academic conduct. It was concluded that changing the values of risk costs, internal condemnation costs, academic benefits, and the subjective estimation of penalties following dishonest academic conduct can lead to changes in the utility of academic dishonesty. The results of the current study suggest that within scientific research, measures to prevent and govern dishonest academic conduct should be formulated according to the various effects of the above four variables.

  15. Defining core issues in utilizing information technology to improve access: evaluation and research agenda.

    PubMed

    Jackson, George L; Krein, Sarah L; Alverson, Dale C; Darkins, Adam W; Gunnar, William; Harada, Nancy D; Helfrich, Christian D; Houston, Thomas K; Klobucar, Thomas F; Nazi, Kim M; Poropatich, Ronald K; Ralston, James D; Bosworth, Hayden B

    2011-11-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been at the vanguard of information technology (IT) and use of comprehensive electronic health records. Despite the widespread use of health IT in the VA, there are still a variety of key questions that need to be answered in order to maximize the utility of IT to improve patient access to quality services. This paper summarizes the potential of IT to enhance healthcare access, key gaps in current evidence linking IT and access, and methodologic challenges for related research. We also highlight four key issues to be addressed when implementing and evaluating the impact of IT interventions on improving access to quality care: 1) Understanding broader needs/perceptions of the Veteran population and their caregivers regarding use of IT to access healthcare services and related information. 2) Understanding individual provider/clinician needs/perceptions regarding use of IT for patient access to healthcare. 3) System/Organizational issues within the VA and other organizations related to the use of IT to improve access. 4) IT integration and information flow with non-VA entities. While the VA is used as an example, the issues are salient for healthcare systems that are beginning to take advantage of IT solutions.

  16. Functions of Conflict: Perceived Utility in the Emergent Professions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henkin, Alan B.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Describes perceptions of conflict as a utility (functional conflict) among 1,953 department executives in programs of social work, education, and nursing (the emergent professions); and analyzes perceptual data in terms of organizational conflict climate and demographics. Variations in terms of perceived operational utility of organizational…

  17. Defining a Model for Mitochondrial Function in mESC Differentiation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Defining a Model for Mitochondrial Function in mESC DifferentiationDefining a Model for Mitochondrial Function in mESC Differentiation Differentiating embryonic stem cells (ESCs) undergo mitochondrial maturation leading to a switch from a system dependent upon glycolysis to a re...

  18. Defining a Model for Mitochondrial Function in mESC Differentiation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Defining a Model for Mitochondrial Function in mESC DifferentiationDefining a Model for Mitochondrial Function in mESC Differentiation Differentiating embryonic stem cells (ESCs) undergo mitochondrial maturation leading to a switch from a system dependent upon glycolysis to a re...

  19. Resource utilization after gastrostomy tube placement: defining areas of improvement for future quality improvement projects.

    PubMed

    Correa, Jesus A; Fallon, Sara C; Murphy, Kathleen M; Victorian, Veronica A; Bisset, George S; Vasudevan, Sanjeev A; Lopez, Monica E; Brandt, Mary L; Cass, Darrell L; Rodriguez, J Ruben; Wesson, David E; Lee, Timothy C

    2014-11-01

    Gastrostomy tube (GT) placement is a frequent procedure at a tertiary care children's hospital. Because of underlying patient illness and the nature of the device, patients often require multiple visits to the emergency room for GT-related concerns. We hypothesized that the majority of our patient visits to the ER related to gastrostomy tube concerns were not medically urgent. The purpose of this study was to characterize the incidence and indications for GT-related emergency room visits and readmission rates in order to develop family educational material that might allow for these nonurgent concerns to be addressed on an outpatient basis. We reviewed the medical records of all patients with GT placement in the operating room from January 2011 to September 2012. We evaluated our primary outcome of ER visits at less than 30 days after discharge and 30-365 days after discharge. The purpose of the ER visit was categorized as either mechanical (dislodgement, leaking) or wound-related (infection, granulation tissue). Additional outcomes assessed included readmission rates, reoperation rates, and the use of gastrostomy contrast studies. During the study period, 247 patients had gastrostomy tubes placed at our institution at a median age of 15.3 months (range 0.03 months-22 years). Of the total patient population, 219 were discharged less than 30 days after their operation (89%). Of these, 42 (20%) returned to the emergency room a total of 44 times within 30 days of discharge for concerns related to their GT. Avoidable visits related to leaking, mild clogs, and granulation tissue were seen in 17/44 (39%). An additional 40 patients among the entire cohort of 247 (16%) presented to the ER a total of 71 times 31-365 days post-discharge; 59 (83%) of these visits were potentially avoidable. The readmission rate related to the GT was low (4%). Few studies have attempted to quantify the amount of postoperative resources utilized post-GT placement in children. Our findings

  20. Exploring utility function in utility management: an evaluating method of library preservation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Bin; Shi, Feng; Yu, Rui-Qiang

    2013-12-01

    In order to seek a new method of book evaluation and realize book resources sharing among the regional university libraries, we think that library should collect books of the high utility value in the case of limited funds. We proposed a changing Bellman equation as a utility function and used the explicit functions of the book usage factor and the book usage half-life derived from the utility function as an evaluating method of the collecting books. The results from empirical data given some conclusions such as the varieties diversity, the collected risk, the tendencies of reading varieties, species continuity and so on and a librarian can use the utility management to supplement the collections management.

  1. How robust is the Health Utilities Index Mark 2 utility function?

    PubMed

    Wang, Qinan; Furlong, William; Feeny, David; Torrance, George; Barr, Ronald

    2002-01-01

    The utility function for the Health Utilities Index Mark 2 (HUI2) system is based on preference measurements from a random sample of parents with exclusion of inconsistent respondents. Would results without exclusions or from a different group of parents have differed? Scores were obtained from parents of patients (n = 59) undergoing treatment for cancer. Mean scores from the 2 sets of parents were compared:parents of patients and parents from the general population. Three multiattribute utility functions were estimated. Mean scores for HUI2 states using the functions were compared. Most differences in mean scores between different groups were not statistically significant (P < 0.05). Differences in parameter estimates among the 3 utility functions were 0.05 or less. The exponent on the power function for the parent-of-patient group was 2.16, within 6% of that for random sample parents. The intraclass correlation between scores for 144 health states derived from the random-sample-parents and parents-of-patients functions was 0.99; the mean difference per state in scores was 0.018. The HUI2 scoring function generalizes well in that different groups of parents give similar results. The HUI2 scoring function is robust in that the functions without and with exclusions generate scores that are very close in value.

  2. Optimal Wonderful Life Utility Functions in Multi-Agent Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolpert, David H.; Tumer, Kagan; Swanson, Keith (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The mathematics of Collective Intelligence (COINs) is concerned with the design of multi-agent systems so as to optimize an overall global utility function when those systems lack centralized communication and control. Typically in COINs each agent runs a distinct Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm, so that much of the design problem reduces to how best to initialize/update each agent's private utility function, as far as the ensuing value of the global utility is concerned. Traditional team game solutions to this problem assign to each agent the global utility as its private utility function. In previous work we used the COIN framework to derive the alternative Wonderful Life Utility (WLU), and experimentally established that having the agents use it induces global utility performance up to orders of magnitude superior to that induced by use of the team game utility. The WLU has a free parameter (the clamping parameter) which we simply set to zero in that previous work. Here we derive the optimal value of the clamping parameter, and demonstrate experimentally that using that optimal value can result in significantly improved performance over that of clamping to zero, over and above the improvement beyond traditional approaches.

  3. A generalized diffusion frame for parsimonious representation of functions on data defined manifolds.

    PubMed

    Mhaskar, H N

    2011-05-01

    One of the now standard techniques in semi-supervised learning is to think of a high dimensional data as a subset of a low dimensional manifold embedded in a high dimensional ambient space, and to use projections of the data on eigenspaces of a diffusion map. This paper is motivated by a recent work of Coifman and Maggioni on diffusion wavelets to accomplish such projections approximately using iterates of the heat kernel. In greater generality, we consider a quasi-metric measure space X (in place of the manifold), and a very general operator T defined on the class of integrable functions on X (in place of the diffusion map). We develop a representation of functions on X in terms of linear combinations of iterates of T. Our construction obviates the need to compute the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the operator. In addition, the local smoothness of a function f is characterized by the local norm behavior of the terms in our representation of f. This property is similar to that of the classical wavelet representations. Although the operator T utilizes the values of the target function on the entire space, this ability results in automatic "feature detection", leading to a parsimonious representation of the target function. In the case when X is a smooth compact manifold (without boundary), our theory allows T to be any operator that commutes with the heat operator, subject to certain conditions on its eigenvalues. In particular, T can be chosen to be the heat operator itself, or a Green's operator corresponding to a suitable pseudo-differential operator. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The evolution of utility functions and psychological altruism.

    PubMed

    Clavien, Christine; Chapuisat, Michel

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies show that humans tend to be more cooperative than expected given the assumption that they are rational maximizers of personal gain. As a result, theoreticians have proposed elaborated formal representations of human decision-making, in which utility functions including "altruistic" or "moral" preferences replace the purely self-oriented "Homo economicus" function. Here we review mathematical approaches that provide insights into the mathematical stability of alternative utility functions. Candidate utility functions may be evaluated with help of game theory, classical modeling of social evolution that focuses on behavioral strategies, and modeling of social evolution that focuses directly on utility functions. We present the advantages of the latter form of investigation and discuss one surprisingly precise result: "Homo economicus" as well as "altruistic" utility functions are less stable than a function containing a preference for the common welfare that is only expressed in social contexts composed of individuals with similar preferences. We discuss the contribution of mathematical models to our understanding of human other-oriented behavior, with a focus on the classical debate over psychological altruism. We conclude that human can be psychologically altruistic, but that psychological altruism evolved because it was generally expressed towards individuals that contributed to the actor's fitness, such as own children, romantic partners and long term reciprocators.

  5. Differential Item Functioning Detection across Two Methods of Defining Group Comparisons: Pairwise and Composite Group Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sari, Halil Ibrahim; Huggins, Anne Corinne

    2015-01-01

    This study compares two methods of defining groups for the detection of differential item functioning (DIF): (a) pairwise comparisons and (b) composite group comparisons. We aim to emphasize and empirically support the notion that the choice of pairwise versus composite group definitions in DIF is a reflection of how one defines fairness in DIF…

  6. Differential Item Functioning Detection across Two Methods of Defining Group Comparisons: Pairwise and Composite Group Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sari, Halil Ibrahim; Huggins, Anne Corinne

    2015-01-01

    This study compares two methods of defining groups for the detection of differential item functioning (DIF): (a) pairwise comparisons and (b) composite group comparisons. We aim to emphasize and empirically support the notion that the choice of pairwise versus composite group definitions in DIF is a reflection of how one defines fairness in DIF…

  7. A Conjugate Class of Utility Functions for Sequential Decision Problems.

    PubMed

    Houlding, Brett; Coolen, Frank P A; Bolger, Donnacha

    2015-09-01

    The use of the conjugacy property for members of the exponential family of distributions is commonplace within Bayesian statistical analysis, allowing for tractable and simple solutions to problems of inference. However, despite a shared motivation, there has been little previous development of a similar property for using utility functions within a Bayesian decision analysis. As such, this article explores a class of utility functions that appear to be reasonable for modeling the preferences of a decisionmaker in many real-life situations, but that also permit a tractable and simple analysis within sequential decision problems. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

  8. A Review of Functional Motifs Utilized by Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Sobhy, Haitham

    2016-01-01

    Short linear motifs (SLiM) are short peptides that facilitate protein function and protein-protein interactions. Viruses utilize these motifs to enter into the host, interact with cellular proteins, or egress from host cells. Studying functional motifs may help to predict protein characteristics, interactions, or the putative cellular role of a protein. In virology, it may reveal aspects of the virus tropism and help find antiviral therapeutics. This review highlights the recent understanding of functional motifs utilized by viruses. Special attention was paid to the function of proteins harboring these motifs, and viruses encoding these proteins. The review highlights motifs involved in (i) immune response and post-translational modifications (e.g., ubiquitylation, SUMOylation or ISGylation); (ii) virus-host cell interactions, including virus attachment, entry, fusion, egress and nuclear trafficking; (iii) virulence and antiviral activities; (iv) virion structure; and (v) low-complexity regions (LCRs) or motifs enriched with residues (Xaa-rich motifs). PMID:28248213

  9. Illustrating Consumer Theory with the CES Utility Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tohamy, Soumaya M.; Mixon, J. Wilson, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    The authors use Microsoft Excel to derive compensated and uncompensated demand curves. They use a constant elasticity of substitution (CES) utility function to show how changes in a good's price or income affect the quantities demanded of that good and of the other composite good, using Excel's Solver. They provide three contributions. First, they…

  10. Assessing the Utility of a Demand Assessment for Functional Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roscoe, Eileen M.; Rooker, Griffin W.; Pence, Sacha T.; Longworth, Lynlea J.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the utility of an assessment for identifying tasks for the functional analysis demand condition with 4 individuals who had been diagnosed with autism. During the demand assessment, a therapist presented a variety of tasks, and observers measured problem behavior and compliance to identify demands associated with low levels of…

  11. Illustrating Consumer Theory with the CES Utility Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tohamy, Soumaya M.; Mixon, J. Wilson, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    The authors use Microsoft Excel to derive compensated and uncompensated demand curves. They use a constant elasticity of substitution (CES) utility function to show how changes in a good's price or income affect the quantities demanded of that good and of the other composite good, using Excel's Solver. They provide three contributions. First, they…

  12. Controlled Covalent Functionalization of Thermally Reduced Graphene Oxide To Generate Defined Bifunctional 2D Nanomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Faghani, Abbas; Donskyi, Ievgen S.; Fardin Gholami, Mohammad; Ziem, Benjamin; Lippitz, Andreas; Unger, Wolfgang E. S.; Böttcher, Christoph; Rabe, Jürgen P.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract A controlled, reproducible, gram‐scale method is reported for the covalent functionalization of graphene sheets by a one‐pot nitrene [2+1] cycloaddition reaction under mild conditions. The reaction between commercially available 2,4,6‐trichloro‐1,3,5‐triazine and sodium azide with thermally reduced graphene oxide (TRGO) results in defined dichlorotriazine‐functionalized sheets. The different reactivities of the chlorine substituents on the functionalized graphene allow stepwise post‐modification by manipulating the temperature. This new method provides unique access to defined bifunctional 2D nanomaterials, as exemplified by chiral surfaces and multifunctional hybrid architectures. PMID:28165179

  13. Defining the effective temperature of a quantum driven system from current-current correlation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caso, A.; Arrachea, L.; Lozano, G. S.

    2012-08-01

    We calculate current-current correlation functions and find an expression for the zero-frequency noise of multiterminal systems driven by harmonically time-dependent voltages within the Keldysh non-equilibrium Green's functions formalism. We also propose a fluctuation-dissipation relation for current-current correlation functions to define an effective temperature. We discuss the behavior of this temperature and compare it with the local temperature determined by a thermometer and with the effective temperature defined from a single-particle fluctuation-dissipation relation. We show that for low frequencies all the definitions of the temperature coincide.

  14. A novel utility function for energy-efficient power control game in cognitive radio networks.

    PubMed

    Al-Gumaei, Yousef Ali; Noordin, Kamarul Ariffin; Reza, Ahmed Wasif; Dimyati, Kaharudin

    2015-01-01

    Spectrum scarcity is a major challenge in wireless communications systems requiring efficient usage and utilization. Cognitive radio network (CRN) is found as a promising technique to solve this problem of spectrum scarcity. It allows licensed and unlicensed users to share the same licensed spectrum band. Interference resulting from cognitive radios (CRs) has undesirable effects on quality of service (QoS) of both licensed and unlicensed systems where it causes degradation in received signal-to-noise ratio (SIR) of users. Power control is one of the most important techniques that can be used to mitigate interference and guarantee QoS in both systems. In this paper, we develop a new approach of a distributed power control for CRN based on utility and pricing. QoS of CR user is presented as a utility function via pricing and a distributed power control as a non-cooperative game in which users maximize their net utility (utility-price). We define the price as a real function of transmit power to increase pricing charge of the farthest CR users. We prove that the power control game proposed in this study has Nash Equilibrium as well as it is unique. The obtained results show that the proposed power control algorithm based on a new utility function has a significant reduction in transmit power consumption and high improvement in speed of convergence.

  15. A Novel Utility Function for Energy-Efficient Power Control Game in Cognitive Radio Networks

    PubMed Central

    Al-Gumaei, Yousef Ali; Noordin, Kamarul Ariffin; Reza, Ahmed Wasif; Dimyati, Kaharudin

    2015-01-01

    Spectrum scarcity is a major challenge in wireless communications systems requiring efficient usage and utilization. Cognitive radio network (CRN) is found as a promising technique to solve this problem of spectrum scarcity. It allows licensed and unlicensed users to share the same licensed spectrum band. Interference resulting from cognitive radios (CRs) has undesirable effects on quality of service (QoS) of both licensed and unlicensed systems where it causes degradation in received signal-to-noise ratio (SIR) of users. Power control is one of the most important techniques that can be used to mitigate interference and guarantee QoS in both systems. In this paper, we develop a new approach of a distributed power control for CRN based on utility and pricing. QoS of CR user is presented as a utility function via pricing and a distributed power control as a non-cooperative game in which users maximize their net utility (utility-price). We define the price as a real function of transmit power to increase pricing charge of the farthest CR users. We prove that the power control game proposed in this study has Nash Equilibrium as well as it is unique. The obtained results show that the proposed power control algorithm based on a new utility function has a significant reduction in transmit power consumption and high improvement in speed of convergence. PMID:26258522

  16. Utility function under decision theory: A construction arbitration application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alozn, Ahmad E.; Galadari, Abdulla

    2017-08-01

    While a wide range of dispute resolution mechanisms exist, practitioners favor legally binding ones such as litigation and arbitration. Since initiating a litigation or arbitration case against a business partner may dissolve the business relationship between them, predicting the arbitrator's decision becomes valuable to the arbitrating parties. This paper proposes a construction-specific utility framework for the arbitrating party through decision theory, and based on expected utility theory. The proposed framework preserves the industry practicality and most importantly, considers direct short-term factors and indirect long-term factors as well. It is suggested that the arbitrating parties' utility functions could be then used to identify equilibrium points among them when interact via game theory principles, which would serve the purpose of predicting the arbitration outcome.

  17. Utilization of alkyne bioconjugations to modulate protein function.

    PubMed

    Maza, Johnathan C; Howard, Christina A; Vipani, Megha A; Travis, Christopher R; Young, Douglas D

    2017-01-01

    The ability to introduce or modify protein function has widespread application to multiple scientific disciplines. The introduction of unique unnatural amino acids represents an excellent mechanism to incorporate new functionality; however, this approach is limited by ability of the translational machinery to recognize and incorporate the chemical moiety. To overcome this potential limitation, we aimed to exploit the functionality of existing unnatural amino acids to perform bioorthogonal reactions to introduce the desired protein modification, altering its function. Specifically, via the introduction of a terminal alkyne containing unnatural amino acid, we demonstrated chemically programmable protein modification through the Glaser-Hay coupling to other terminal alkynes, altering the function of a protein. In a proof-of-concept experiment, this approach has been utilized to modify the fluorescence spectrum of green fluorescent protein.

  18. Deriving a Utility Function For the U.S. Economy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-04-01

    the urn. 1 The authors wish to thank Kenneth Arrow, Gerard Debreu , Robert Dorfman, Dale Jorgenson , and Lawrence J. Lau for their helpful comments...conditions 1121 4 that must be satisfied at the point which maximizes ’ie utility function, are quite analogous to the Arrow- Debreu conditions [1,5...formulation of the multi-period model is along the classical lines of an Arrow- Debreu (1,51 or Scarf [171 equilibrium model, with no surprises except perhaps

  19. Coding and decoding libraries of sequence-defined functional copolymers synthesized via photoligation.

    PubMed

    Zydziak, Nicolas; Konrad, Waldemar; Feist, Florian; Afonin, Sergii; Weidner, Steffen; Barner-Kowollik, Christopher

    2016-11-30

    Designing artificial macromolecules with absolute sequence order represents a considerable challenge. Here we report an advanced light-induced avenue to monodisperse sequence-defined functional linear macromolecules up to decamers via a unique photochemical approach. The versatility of the synthetic strategy-combining sequential and modular concepts-enables the synthesis of perfect macromolecules varying in chemical constitution and topology. Specific functions are placed at arbitrary positions along the chain via the successive addition of monomer units and blocks, leading to a library of functional homopolymers, alternating copolymers and block copolymers. The in-depth characterization of each sequence-defined chain confirms the precision nature of the macromolecules. Decoding of the functional information contained in the molecular structure is achieved via tandem mass spectrometry without recourse to their synthetic history, showing that the sequence information can be read. We submit that the presented photochemical strategy is a viable and advanced concept for coding individual monomer units along a macromolecular chain.

  20. Mechanisms by Which Different Functional States of Mitochondria Define Yeast Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Beach, Adam; Leonov, Anna; Arlia-Ciommo, Anthony; Svistkova, Veronika; Lutchman, Vicky; Titorenko, Vladimir I.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial functionality is vital to organismal physiology. A body of evidence supports the notion that an age-related progressive decline in mitochondrial function is a hallmark of cellular and organismal aging in evolutionarily distant eukaryotes. Studies of the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a unicellular eukaryote, have led to discoveries of genes, signaling pathways and chemical compounds that modulate longevity-defining cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms across phyla. These studies have provided deep insights into mechanistic links that exist between different traits of mitochondrial functionality and cellular aging. The molecular mechanisms underlying the essential role of mitochondria as signaling organelles in yeast aging have begun to emerge. In this review, we discuss recent progress in understanding mechanisms by which different functional states of mitochondria define yeast longevity, outline the most important unanswered questions and suggest directions for future research. PMID:25768339

  1. Coding and decoding libraries of sequence-defined functional copolymers synthesized via photoligation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zydziak, Nicolas; Konrad, Waldemar; Feist, Florian; Afonin, Sergii; Weidner, Steffen; Barner-Kowollik, Christopher

    2016-11-01

    Designing artificial macromolecules with absolute sequence order represents a considerable challenge. Here we report an advanced light-induced avenue to monodisperse sequence-defined functional linear macromolecules up to decamers via a unique photochemical approach. The versatility of the synthetic strategy--combining sequential and modular concepts--enables the synthesis of perfect macromolecules varying in chemical constitution and topology. Specific functions are placed at arbitrary positions along the chain via the successive addition of monomer units and blocks, leading to a library of functional homopolymers, alternating copolymers and block copolymers. The in-depth characterization of each sequence-defined chain confirms the precision nature of the macromolecules. Decoding of the functional information contained in the molecular structure is achieved via tandem mass spectrometry without recourse to their synthetic history, showing that the sequence information can be read. We submit that the presented photochemical strategy is a viable and advanced concept for coding individual monomer units along a macromolecular chain.

  2. ASSESSING THE UTILITY OF A DEMAND ASSESSMENT FOR FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS

    PubMed Central

    Roscoe, Eileen M; Rooker, Griffin W; Pence, Sacha T; Longworth, Lynlea J

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the utility of an assessment for identifying tasks for the functional analysis demand condition with 4 individuals who had been diagnosed with autism. During the demand assessment, a therapist presented a variety of tasks, and observers measured problem behavior and compliance to identify demands associated with low levels of compliance or high levels of problem behavior (low-probability demands) and demands associated with high levels of compliance or low levels of problem behavior (high-probability demands). Results showed that clearer functional analysis outcomes were obtained for 3 of the 4 participants when low-probability rather than high-probability demands were used. PMID:20514188

  3. Assessing the utility of a demand assessment for functional analysis.

    PubMed

    Roscoe, Eileen M; Rooker, Griffin W; Pence, Sacha T; Longworth, Lynlea J

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the utility of an assessment for identifying tasks for the functional analysis demand condition with 4 individuals who had been diagnosed with autism. During the demand assessment, a therapist presented a variety of tasks, and observers measured problem behavior and compliance to identify demands associated with low levels of compliance or high levels of problem behavior (low-probability demands) and demands associated with high levels of compliance or low levels of problem behavior (high-probability demands). Results showed that clearer functional analysis outcomes were obtained for 3 of the 4 participants when low-probability rather than high-probability demands were used.

  4. Subordination properties for certain subclasses of analytic functions defined by a general differential operator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deniz, Erhan; Özkan, Yücel

    2016-04-01

    Recently, Deniz and Özkan [2] introduced two new subclasses T Sm*(α,λ) and TCm (α, λ) of analytic functions which are defined by means of a new general differantial operatör. In this paper, subordinate results related these subclasses are obtained.

  5. Functional neuroimaging of traumatic brain injury: advances and clinical utility

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Van Horn, John Darrell

    2015-01-01

    Functional deficits due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have significant and enduring consequences upon patients’ life quality and expectancy. Although functional neuroimaging is essential for understanding TBI pathophysiology, an insufficient amount of effort has been dedicated to the task of translating functional neuroimaging findings into information with clinical utility. The purpose of this review is to summarize the use of functional neuroimaging techniques – especially functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and electroencephalography – for advancing current knowledge of TBI-related brain dysfunction and for improving the rehabilitation of TBI patients. We focus on seven core areas of functional deficits, namely consciousness, motor function, attention, memory, higher cognition, personality, and affect, and, for each of these, we summarize recent findings from neuroimaging studies which have provided substantial insight into brain function changes due to TBI. Recommendations are also provided to aid in setting the direction of future neuroimaging research and for understanding brain function changes after TBI. PMID:26396520

  6. MRI-defined versus clinically-defined vascular depression; comparison of prediction of functional disability in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ki Jung; Hong, Chang Hyung; Kim, Si Heon; Lee, Kang Soo; Roh, Hyun Woong; Kang, Dae Ryong; Choi, Seong Hye; Kim, Seong Yoon; Na, Duk L; Seo, Sang Won; Kim, Do-Kwan; Lee, Yunhwan; Chung, Young Ki; Lim, Ki Young; Noh, Jai Sung; Son, Sang Joon

    2016-01-01

    We compared the validity of models of subcortical ischemic depression (SID) and depression-executive dysfunction syndrome (DED) in predicting functional disability in the elderly. We obtained data from elderly Korean subjects (n=1356) aged 60 years or older at baseline from the CREDOS study from November 2005 to July 2014. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) model was constructed to measure functional disability using instrumental activity of daily living as a primary outcome. A risk factor of interest was SID and DED evaluated by a visual rating scale of deep white matter hyperintensity in MRI, Stroop test and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) score. Receiver-operating-characteristic plots and area under the curve (AUC) test were applied to examine the difference of the two definitions of vascular depression with predicted values of functional disability outcome. The mean (SD) follow-up duration of the participants was 1.7 (0.9) years. The GEE model showed that presence of SID at baseline predicted functional disability compared to non-depressed subjects (GDS score: Odds ratio [OR] 1.76; 95% CI 1.23, 2.53; p=0.002). The association was also statistically significant among the DED group (OR 1.48; 95% CI 1.15, 1.92; p=0.003). There were no significant differences in predicting functional disability (95% CI: -0.003 to 0.009, p=0.366) according to AUC differences between SID and DED. The results will be useful in evaluating the cardinal features of the vascular depression hypothesis in predicting functional disability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. DNA Sequence Constraints Define Functionally Active Steroid Nuclear Receptor Binding Sites in Chromatin.

    PubMed

    Coons, Laurel A; Hewitt, Sylvia C; Burkholder, Adam B; McDonnell, Donald P; Korach, Kenneth S

    2017-10-01

    Gene regulatory programs are encoded in the sequence of the DNA. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, millions of gene regulatory elements have been identified in the human genome. Understanding how each of those sites functionally contributes to gene regulation, however, remains a challenge for nearly every field of biology. Transcription factors influence cell function by interpreting information contained within cis-regulatory elements in chromatin. Whereas chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing has been used to identify and map transcription factor-DNA interactions, it has been difficult to assign functionality to the binding sites identified. Thus, in this study, we probed the transcriptional activity, DNA-binding competence, and functional activity of select nuclear receptor mutants in cellular and animal model systems and used this information to define the sequence constraints of functional steroid nuclear receptor cis-regulatory elements. Analysis of the architecture within sNR chromatin interacting sites revealed that only a small fraction of all sNR chromatin-interacting events is associated with transcriptional output and that this functionality is restricted to elements that vary from the consensus palindromic elements by one or two nucleotides. These findings define the transcriptional grammar necessary to predict functionality from regulatory sequences, with a multitude of future implications. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  8. Defining Optimal Health Range for Thyroid Function Based on the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

    PubMed

    Chaker, Layal; Korevaar, Tim I M; Rizopoulos, Dimitris; Collet, Tinh-Hai; Völzke, Henry; Hofman, Albert; Rodondi, Nicolas; Cappola, Anne R; Peeters, Robin P; Franco, Oscar H

    2017-08-01

    Reference ranges of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) are defined by their distribution in apparently healthy populations (2.5th and 97.5th percentiles), irrespective of disease risk, and are used as cutoffs for defining and clinically managing thyroid dysfunction. To provide proof of concept in defining optimal health ranges of thyroid function based on cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk. In all, 9233 participants from the Rotterdam Study (mean age, 65.0 years) were followed up (median, 8.8 years) from baseline to date of death or end of follow-up period (2012), whichever came first (689 cases of CVD mortality). We calculated 10-year absolute risks of CVD mortality (defined according to the SCORE project) using a Fine and Gray competing risk model per percentiles of TSH and FT4, modeled nonlinearly and with sex and age adjustments. Overall, FT4 level >90th percentile was associated with a predicted 10-year CVD mortality risk >7.5% (P = 0.005). In men, FT4 level >97th percentile was associated with a risk of 10.8% (P < 0.001). In participants aged ≥65 years, absolute risk estimates were <10.0% below the 30th percentile (∼14.5 pmol/L or 1.10 ng/dL) and ≥15.0% above the 97th percentile of FT4 (∼22 pmol/L or 1.70 ng/dL). We describe absolute 10-year CVD mortality risks according to thyroid function (TSH and FT4) and suggest that optimal health ranges for thyroid function can be defined according to disease risk and are possibly sex and age dependent. These results need to be replicated with sufficient samples and representative populations.

  9. Green fluorescent protein nanopolygons as monodisperse supramolecular assemblies of functional proteins with defined valency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young Eun; Kim, Yu-Na; Kim, Jung A.; Kim, Ho Min; Jung, Yongwon

    2015-05-01

    Supramolecular protein assemblies offer novel nanoscale architectures with molecular precision and unparalleled functional diversity. A key challenge, however, is to create precise nano-assemblies of functional proteins with both defined structures and a controlled number of protein-building blocks. Here we report a series of supramolecular green fluorescent protein oligomers that are assembled in precise polygonal geometries and prepared in a monodisperse population. Green fluorescent protein is engineered to be self-assembled in cells into oligomeric assemblies that are natively separated in a single-protein resolution by surface charge manipulation, affording monodisperse protein (nano)polygons from dimer to decamer. Several functional proteins are multivalently displayed on the oligomers with controlled orientations. Spatial arrangements of protein oligomers and displayed functional proteins are directly visualized by a transmission electron microscope. By employing our functional protein assemblies, we provide experimental insight into multivalent protein-protein interactions and tools to manipulate receptor clustering on live cell surfaces.

  10. National Survey of Geriatricians to Define Functional Decline in Elderly People with Minor Trauma.

    PubMed

    Abdulaziz, Kasim; Perry, Jeffrey J; Taljaard, Monica; Émond, Marcel; Lee, Jacques S; Wilding, Laura; Sirois, Marie-Josée; Brehaut, Jamie

    2016-03-01

    This study was designed to determine a clinically significant point drop in function to define functional decline and the required sensitivity for a clinical decision tool to identify elderly patients at high risk of functional decline following a minor injury. After a rigorous development process, a survey questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 178 geriatricians selected from those registered in a national medical directory. The surveys were distributed using a modified Dillman technique. We obtained a satisfactory response rate of 70.5%. Ninety percent of the geriatricians required a sensitivity of 90% or less for a clinical decision tool to identify injured seniors at high risk of functional decline 6 months post injury. Our results indicate that 90% of the respondents considered a drop in function of at least 2 points in activities of daily living (ADL) as clinically significant when considering all 14 ADL items. Considering only the 7 basic ADL items, 90% of physicians considered a 1 point drop as clinically significant. A tool with a sensitivity of 90% to detect patients at risk of functional decline at 6 months post minor injury would meet or exceed the sensitivity required by 90% of geriatric specialists. These findings clearly define what is a clinically significant decline following a "minor injury."

  11. National Survey of Geriatricians to Define Functional Decline in Elderly People with Minor Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Abdulaziz, Kasim; Perry, Jeffrey J.; Taljaard, Monica; Émond, Marcel; Lee, Jacques S.; Wilding, Laura; Sirois, Marie-Josée; Brehaut, Jamie

    2016-01-01

    Background This study was designed to determine a clinically significant point drop in function to define functional decline and the required sensitivity for a clinical decision tool to identify elderly patients at high risk of functional decline following a minor injury. Methods After a rigorous development process, a survey questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 178 geriatricians selected from those registered in a national medical directory. The surveys were distributed using a modified Dillman technique. Results We obtained a satisfactory response rate of 70.5%. Ninety percent of the geriatricians required a sensitivity of 90% or less for a clinical decision tool to identify injured seniors at high risk of functional decline 6 months post injury. Our results indicate that 90% of the respondents considered a drop in function of at least 2 points in activities of daily living (ADL) as clinically significant when considering all 14 ADL items. Considering only the 7 basic ADL items, 90% of physicians considered a 1 point drop as clinically significant. Conclusions A tool with a sensitivity of 90% to detect patients at risk of functional decline at 6 months post minor injury would meet or exceed the sensitivity required by 90% of geriatric specialists. These findings clearly define what is a clinically significant decline following a “minor injury.” PMID:27076859

  12. Definability of semifields of continuous positive functions by the lattices of their subalgebras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidorov, V. V.

    2016-09-01

    We consider the lattice {A}(U(X)) of subalgebras of a semifield U(X) of continuous positive functions on an arbitrary topological space X and its sublattice {A}_1(U(X)) of subalgebras with unity. The main result of the paper is the proof of the definability of any semifield U(X) both by the lattice {A}(U(X)) and by its sublattice {A}_1(U(X)). Bibliography: 12 titles.

  13. Efficient Generation of Functional Dopaminergic Neurons from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Under Defined Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Swistowski, Andrzej; Peng, Jun; Liu, Qiuyue; Mali, Prashant; Rao, Mahendra S; Cheng, Linzhao; Zeng, Xianmin

    2010-01-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) reprogrammed from somatic cells represent a promising unlimited cell source for generating patient-specific cells for biomedical research and personalized medicine. As a first step, critical to clinical applications, we attempted to develop defined culture conditions to expand and differentiate human iPSCs into functional progeny such as dopaminergic neurons for treating or modeling Parkinson's disease (PD). We used a completely defined (xeno-free) system that we previously developed for efficient generation of authentic dopaminergic neurons from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and applied it to iPSCs. First, we adapted two human iPSC lines derived from different somatic cell types for the defined expansion medium and showed that the iPSCs grew similarly as hESCs in the same medium regarding pluripotency and genomic stability. Second, by using these two independent adapted iPSC lines, we showed that the process of differentiation into committed neural stem cells (NSCs) and subsequently into dopaminergic neurons was also similar to hESCs. Importantly, iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons were functional as they survived and improved behavioral deficits in 6-hydroxydopamine-leasioned rats after transplantation. In addition, iPSC-derived NSCs and neurons could be efficiently transduced by a baculoviral vector delivering episomal DNA for future gene function study and disease modeling using iPSCs. We also performed genome-wide microarray comparisons between iPSCs and hESCs, and we derived NSC and dopaminergic neurons. Our data revealed overall similarity and visible differences at a molecular level. Efficient generation of functional dopaminergic neurons under defined conditions will facilitate research and applications using PD patient-specific iPSCs. Stem Cells 2010;28:1893–1904 PMID:20715183

  14. Wetting properties of model interphases coated with defined organic functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woche, Susanne K.; Goebel, Marc-O.; Guggenberger, Georg; Tunega, Daniel; Bachmann, Joerg

    2013-04-01

    Surface properties of soil particles are of particular interest regarding transport of water and sorption of solutes, especially hazardous xenobiotic species. Wetting properties (e.g. determined by contact angle, CA), governed by the functional groups exposed, are crucial to understand sorption processes in water repellent soils as well as for the geometry of water films sustaining microbial processes on the pore scale. Natural soil particle surfaces are characterized by a wide variety of mineralogical and chemical compounds. Their composition is almost impossible to identify in full. Hence, in order to get a better understanding about surface properties, an option is the usage of defined model surfaces, whereas the created surface should be comparable to natural soil interphases. We exposed smooth glass surfaces to different silane compounds, resulting in a coating covalently bound to the surface and exhibiting defined organic functional groups towards the pore space. The wetting properties as evaluated by CA and the surface free energy (SFE), calculated according to the Acid-Base Theory, were found to be a function of the specific functional group. Specifically, the treated surfaces showed a large variation of CA and SFE as function of chain length and polarity of the organic functional group. The study of wetting properties was accompanied by XPS analysis for selective detection of chemical compounds of the interphase. As the reaction mechanism of the coating process is known, the resulting interphase structure can be modeled based on energetic considerations. A next step is to use same coatings for the defined modification of the pore surfaces of porous media to study transport and sorption processes in complex three phase systems.

  15. Loss-of-function analyses defines vital and redundant functions of the Plasmodium rhomboid protease family.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jing-Wen; Meireles, Patrícia; Prudêncio, Miguel; Engelmann, Sabine; Annoura, Takeshi; Sajid, Mohammed; Chevalley-Maurel, Séverine; Ramesar, Jai; Nahar, Carolin; Avramut, Cristina M C; Koster, Abraham J; Matuschewski, Kai; Waters, Andrew P; Janse, Chris J; Mair, Gunnar R; Khan, Shahid M

    2013-04-01

    Rhomboid-like proteases cleave membrane-anchored proteins within their transmembrane domains. In apicomplexan parasites substrates include molecules that function in parasite motility and host cell invasion. While two Plasmodium rhomboids, ROM1 and ROM4, have been examined, the roles of the remaining six rhomboids during the malaria parasite's life cycle are unknown. We present systematic gene deletion analyses of all eight Plasmodium rhomboid-like proteins as a means to discover stage-specific phenotypes and potential functions in the rodent malaria model, P. berghei. Four rhomboids (ROM4, 6, 7 and 8) are refractory to gene deletion, suggesting an essential role during asexual blood stage development. In contrast ROM1, 3, 9 and 10 were dispensable for blood stage development and exhibited no, subtle or severe defects in mosquito or liver development. Parasites lacking ROM9 and ROM10 showed no major phenotypic defects. Parasites lacking ROM1 presented a delay in blood stage patency following liver infection, but in contrast to a previous study blood stage parasites had similar growth and virulence characteristics as wild type parasites. Parasites lacking ROM3 in mosquitoes readily established oocysts but failed to produce sporozoites. ROM3 is the first apicomplexan rhomboid identified to play a vital role in sporogony.

  16. Well-Defined Polymers Bearing Pendent Alkene Functionalities via Selective RAFT Polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jun; Cheng, Chong; Sun, Guorong; Wooley, Karen L.

    2009-01-01

    A facile synthetic approach for the preparation of well-defined (co)polymers bearing pendent alkene functionalities was established by selective reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) (co)polymerization. A divinyl monomer 4-(3′-buten-1′-oxy)-2,3,5,6-tetrafluorostyrene (1) with a styrenyl group and a pendent alkene group was synthesized. Due to a very high reactivity of the styrenyl group relative to the alkene group in 1, functional fluoro(co)polymers with both well-defined structures and pendent alkene groups were prepared by RAFT polymerizations of 1 and copolymerization of 1 with pentafluorostyrene (PFS). Alkene-functionalized diblock copolymers were also prepared by RAFT copolymerization of 1 with PFS or styrene, extending from a poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) macro-chain transfer agent. Hydrolysis and ammonolysis of these copolymers resulted in amphiphilic diblock fluorocopolymers with alkene-functionalized hydrophobic segments, which were shown to form internally-functionalized micelles in THF-water. PMID:20640195

  17. National survey of family physicians to define functional decline in elderly patients with minor trauma.

    PubMed

    Abdulaziz, Kasim E; Brehaut, Jamie; Taljaard, Monica; Émond, Marcel; Sirois, Marie-Josée; Lee, Jacques S; Wilding, Laura; Perry, Jeffrey J

    2016-08-22

    Failing to assess elderly patients for functional decline at the time around a minor injury may result in adverse health outcomes. This study was conducted to define what constitutes clinically significant functional decline and the sensitivity required for a clinical decision instrument to identify such functional decline after an injury in previously independent elderly patients. After a thorough development process, a survey questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 178 family physicians. The surveys were distributed using a modified Dillman technique. From 143 eligible surveys, we received 67 completed surveys (response rate, 46.9 %). Respondents indicated that a drop of at least 3 points on the 28-point Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) ADL Scale was considered clinically significant by 90 % of physicians. Ninety percent (90 %) of physicians would be satisfied with a sensitivity of 90 % or more for a clinical decision instrument to detect patients at risk of functional decline at 6 months following an injury. The majority of family physicians do not routinely assess the majority of the tasks on the OARS scale for injured elderly patients. A high proportion of physicians (90 %) would consider a drop of 3 points on the OARS ADL Scale as significant to define functional decline and would be satisfied with a sensitivity of 90 % for a clinical decision instrument to detect such a decline. Any instrument to identify patients at elevated risk for subsequent decline should consider these outcome measures to be clinically useful.

  18. Utility of transplantation in studying adipocyte biogenesis and function

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yiying

    2009-01-01

    Adipose tissue plays important roles in the regulation of energy homeostasis and metabolism. Two features distinguish adipose tissue from other organs - the ability to greatly expand its mass, via increases in cell size and/or number, and the wide anatomical distribution. While adipose tissue function is greatly affected by adipocyte size and anatomic location, regulations of adipocyte size, number, and body fat distribution are poorly understood. Transplantation of either mature adipose tissue or adipocyte progenitor cells has been used in studying adipocyte function and biogenesis. In this review, we will attempt to summarize methodological considerations for transplantation, including selections of donor material, transplantation site and the length of transplantation study, as well as effects of these factors and vascularization and innervation on the function of transplants. Specific studies are also reviewed to illustrate the utility of adipose tissue transplants in studying adipose tissue function and biogenesis. The focus is on studies in three areas: 1) use of transplants in demonstrating adipose tissue function, such as effects of adipose tissue transplants on metabolism and energy homeostasis of the recipient animals and depot-specific differences in adipose tissue function; 2) use of transplantation to dissect direct or cell-autonomous from indirect or non cell-autonomous effects of leptin signaling and sex on adipocyte size; 3) use of transplantation in the identification of adipocyte progenitor cells and lineage analysis. Finally, future applications of transplantation in studying depot-specific adipocyte biogenesis, and genetic and hormonal effects of sex and age on adipocyte biogenesis and function are discussed. PMID:19733623

  19. Coding and decoding libraries of sequence-defined functional copolymers synthesized via photoligation

    PubMed Central

    Zydziak, Nicolas; Konrad, Waldemar; Feist, Florian; Afonin, Sergii; Weidner, Steffen; Barner-Kowollik, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Designing artificial macromolecules with absolute sequence order represents a considerable challenge. Here we report an advanced light-induced avenue to monodisperse sequence-defined functional linear macromolecules up to decamers via a unique photochemical approach. The versatility of the synthetic strategy—combining sequential and modular concepts—enables the synthesis of perfect macromolecules varying in chemical constitution and topology. Specific functions are placed at arbitrary positions along the chain via the successive addition of monomer units and blocks, leading to a library of functional homopolymers, alternating copolymers and block copolymers. The in-depth characterization of each sequence-defined chain confirms the precision nature of the macromolecules. Decoding of the functional information contained in the molecular structure is achieved via tandem mass spectrometry without recourse to their synthetic history, showing that the sequence information can be read. We submit that the presented photochemical strategy is a viable and advanced concept for coding individual monomer units along a macromolecular chain. PMID:27901024

  20. Toward a systematic strategy for defining power counting in the construction of the energy density functional

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, C.-J.; Grasso, M.; Lacroix, D.

    2017-09-01

    We propose a new scheme for constructing an effective-field-theory-based interaction to be used in the energy-density-functional (EDF) theory with specific assumptions for defining a power counting. This procedure is developed through the evaluation of the equation of state (EOS) of symmetric and pure neutron matter going beyond the mean-field scheme and using a functional defined up to next-to-leading order (NLO), which we call the NLO EDF. A Skyrme-like interaction is constructed based on the condition of renormalizibility and on power counting on kF/Λh i , where kF is the Fermi momentum and Λh i is the breakdown scale of our expansion. To absorb the divergences present in beyond mean-field diagrams, counter interactions are introduced for the NLO EDF and determined through renormalization conditions. In particular, three scenarios are explored and all of them lead to satisfactory results. These counter interactions contain also parameters that do not contribute to the EOS of matter and may eventually be determined through future adjustments to properties of some selected finite nuclei. Our work serves as a simple starting point for constructing a well-defined power counting within the EDF framework.

  1. Utilization of Skills in the Care of the Patient with Common, Well-Defined Health Deviations I (NS 217): Competency-Based Course Syllabus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Elizabeth G.; Yates, Laura H.

    "Utilization of Skills in the Care of the Patient with Common, Well-Defined Health Deviations I" (NS 217) is an associate degree nursing course offered at Chattanooga State Technical Community College to help students develop new competencies necessary for the care of patients with deviations of the cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, and…

  2. Utilization of Skills in the Care of the Patient with Common, Well-Defined Health Deviations I (NS 217): Competency-Based Course Syllabus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Elizabeth G.; Yates, Laura H.

    "Utilization of Skills in the Care of the Patient with Common, Well-Defined Health Deviations I" (NS 217) is an associate degree nursing course offered at Chattanooga State Technical Community College to help students develop new competencies necessary for the care of patients with deviations of the cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, and…

  3. The theta-syllable: a unit of speech information defined by cortical function.

    PubMed

    Ghitza, Oded

    2013-01-01

    A RECENT COMMENTARY (OSCILLATORS AND SYLLABLES: a cautionary note. Cummins, 2012) questions the validity of a class of speech perception models inspired by the possible role of neuronal oscillations in decoding speech (e.g., Ghitza, 2011; Giraud and Poeppel, 2012). In arguing against the approach, Cummins raises a cautionary flag "from a phonetician's point of view." Here we respond to his arguments from an auditory processing viewpoint, referring to a phenomenological model of Ghitza (2011) taken as a representative of the criticized approach. We shall conclude by proposing the theta-syllable as an information unit defined by cortical function-an alternative to the conventional, ambiguously defined syllable. In the large context, the resulting discussion debate should be viewed as a subtext of acoustic and auditory phonetics vs. articulatory and motor theories of speech reception.

  4. Defining modulatory inputs into CNS neuronal subclasses by functional pharmacological profiling

    PubMed Central

    Raghuraman, Shrinivasan; Garcia, Alfredo J.; Anderson, Tatiana M.; Twede, Vernon D.; Curtice, Kigen J.; Chase, Kevin; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Teichert, Russell W.

    2014-01-01

    Previously we defined neuronal subclasses within the mouse peripheral nervous system using an experimental strategy called “constellation pharmacology.” Here we demonstrate the broad applicability of constellation pharmacology by extending it to the CNS and specifically to the ventral respiratory column (VRC) of mouse brainstem, a region containing the neuronal network controlling respiratory rhythm. Analysis of dissociated cells from this locus revealed three major cell classes, each encompassing multiple subclasses. We broadly analyzed the combinations (constellations) of receptors and ion channels expressed within VRC cell classes and subclasses. These were strikingly different from the constellations of receptors and ion channels found in subclasses of peripheral neurons from mouse dorsal root ganglia. Within the VRC cell population, a subset of dissociated neurons responded to substance P, putatively corresponding to inspiratory pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC) neurons. Using constellation pharmacology, we found that these substance P-responsive neurons also responded to histamine, and about half responded to bradykinin. Electrophysiological studies conducted in brainstem slices confirmed that preBötC neurons responsive to substance P exhibited similar responsiveness to bradykinin and histamine. The results demonstrate the predictive utility of constellation pharmacology for defining modulatory inputs into specific neuronal subclasses within central neuronal networks. PMID:24733934

  5. Software defined radio based multi-carrier multi-function waveform for cognitive radio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ruolin; Li, Xue; Chakravarthy, Vasu; Wu, Zhiqiang

    2010-04-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate an adaptive multicarrier multi-function waveform generator for cognitive radio via software defined radio. Using a USRP (universal software radio peripheral) software defined radio boards and GNU radio software, we implement a multi-carrier waveform generator which can generate multi-function waveforms such as OFDM, NC-OFDM, MC-CDMA, NC-MC-CDMA, CI/MC-CDMA, NCCI/ MC-CDMA, TDCS for cognitive radio. Additionally, we demonstrate a portable overlay cognitive radio using this multicarrier multi-function waveform generator. This cognitive radio is capable of detecting primary users in real time and adaptively adjusting its transmission parameters to avoid interference to primary users. More importantly, this cognitive radio can take advantage of multiple spectrum holes by employing non-contiguous multi-carrier transmission technologies. Additionally, we demonstrate that when the primary user transmission changes, the cognitive radio dynamically adjusts its transmission accordingly. We also demonstrate seamless real time video transmission between two cognitive radio nodes, while avoiding interference from primary users and interference to primary users operating in the same spectrum.

  6. Experimental Approaches for Defining Functional Roles of Microbes in the Human Gut

    PubMed Central

    Dantas, Gautam; Sommer, Morten O.A.; Degnan, Patrick H.; Goodman, Andrew L.

    2016-01-01

    The complex and intimate relationship between humans and their gut microbial communities is becoming less obscure, due in part to large-scale gut microbial genome-sequencing projects and culture-independent surveys of the composition and gene content of these communities. These studies build upon, and are complemented by, experimental efforts to define underlying mechanisms of host-microbe interactions in simplified model systems. This review highlights the intersection of these approaches. Experimental studies now leverage the advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing that have driven the explosion of microbial genome and community profiling projects, and the loss-of-function and gain-of-function strategies long employed in model organisms are now being extended to microbial genes, species, and communities from the human gut. These developments promise to deepen our understanding of human gut host–microbiota relationships and are readily applicable to other host-associated and free-living microbial communities. PMID:24024637

  7. Neurocognitive Function in HIV-Infected Patients: Comparison of Two Methods to Define Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Arenas-Pinto, Alejandro; Winston, Alan; Stöhr, Wolfgang; Day, John; Wiggins, Rebecca; Quah, Say Pheng; Ainsworth, Jonathan; Fleck, Sue; Dunn, David; Accoroni, Alex; Paton, Nicholas I.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To compare two definitions of neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in a large clinical trial of effectively-treated HIV-infected adults at baseline. Methods Hopkins Verbal Learning test-Revised (HVLT-R), Colour Trail (CTT) and Grooved Pegboard (GPT) tests were applied exploring five cognitive domains. Raw scores were transformed into Z-scores and NCI defined as summary NPZ-5 score one standard deviation below the mean of the normative dataset (i.e. <−1SD) or Z-scores <−1SD in at least two individual domains (categorical scale). Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to explore the contribution of individual tests to the total variance. Results Mean NPZ-5 score was −0.72 (SD 0.98) and 178/548 (32%) participants had NPZ-5 scores <−1SD. When impairment was defined as <−1SD in at least two individual tests, 283 (52%) patients were impaired. Strong correlations between the two components of the HVLT-R test (learning/recall) (r = 0.73), and the CTT and (attention/executive functioning) (r = 0.66) were observed. PCA showed a clustering with three components accounting for 88% of the total variance. When patients who scored <−1SD only in two correlated tests were considered as not impaired, prevalence of NCI was 43%. When correlated test scores were averaged, 36% of participants had NPZ-3 scores <−1SD and 32% underperformed in at least two individual tests. Conclusion Controlling for differential contribution of individual test-scores on the overall performance and the level of correlation between components of the test battery used appear to be important when testing cognitive function. These two factors are likely to affect both summary scores and categorical scales in defining cognitive impairment. Trial registration EUDRACT: 2007-006448-23 and ISRCTN04857074. PMID:25078406

  8. An algorithmic method for functionally defining regions of interest in the ventral visual pathway.

    PubMed

    Julian, J B; Fedorenko, Evelina; Webster, Jason; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2012-05-01

    In a widely used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data analysis method, functional regions of interest (fROIs) are handpicked in each participant using macroanatomic landmarks as guides, and the response of these regions to new conditions is then measured. A key limitation of this standard handpicked fROI method is the subjectivity of decisions about which clusters of activated voxels should be treated as the particular fROI in question in each subject. Here we apply the Group-Constrained Subject-Specific (GSS) method for defining fROIs, recently developed for identifying language fROIs (Fedorenko et al., 2010), to algorithmically identify fourteen well-studied category-selective regions of the ventral visual pathway (Kanwisher, 2010). We show that this method retains the benefit of defining fROIs in individual subjects without the subjectivity inherent in the traditional handpicked fROI approach. The tools necessary for using this method are available on our website (http://web.mit.edu/bcs/nklab/GSS.shtml). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. FunTree: a resource for exploring the functional evolution of structurally defined enzyme superfamilies.

    PubMed

    Furnham, Nicholas; Sillitoe, Ian; Holliday, Gemma L; Cuff, Alison L; Rahman, Syed A; Laskowski, Roman A; Orengo, Christine A; Thornton, Janet M

    2012-01-01

    FunTree is a new resource that brings together sequence, structure, phylogenetic, chemical and mechanistic information for structurally defined enzyme superfamilies. Gathering together this range of data into a single resource allows the investigation of how novel enzyme functions have evolved within a structurally defined superfamily as well as providing a means to analyse trends across many superfamilies. This is done not only within the context of an enzyme's sequence and structure but also the relationships of their reactions. Developed in tandem with the CATH database, it currently comprises 276 superfamilies covering ~1800 (70%) of sequence assigned enzyme reactions. Central to the resource are phylogenetic trees generated from structurally informed multiple sequence alignments using both domain structural alignments supplemented with domain sequences and whole sequence alignments based on commonality of multi-domain architectures. These trees are decorated with functional annotations such as metabolite similarity as well as annotations from manually curated resources such the catalytic site atlas and MACiE for enzyme mechanisms. The resource is freely available through a web interface: www.ebi.ac.uk/thorton-srv/databases/FunTree.

  10. Changes in everyday function among individuals with psychometrically defined Mild Cognitive Impairment in the ACTIVE Study

    PubMed Central

    Wadley, Virginia G.; Crowe, Michael; Marsiske, Michael; Cook, Sarah E.; Unverzagt, Frederick W.; Rosenberg, Adrienne L.; Rexroth, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    Objectives. Because many individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) will progress to a dementia diagnosis, this population is at high risk for losing functional independence. We examine trajectories of change in everyday function for individuals with cognitive deficits suggestive of MCI. Design. We utilized data from the longitudinal, multi-site Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study, which allowed for post-hoc classification of MCI status at baseline using psycho metric definitions for amnestic MCI, non-amnestic MCI, multi-domain MCI, and no MCI. Setting. Six U.S. cities. Participants. 2832 volunteers (mean age 74 years; 26% African American) living independently, recruited from senior housing, community centers, and hospitals and clinics. Measurements. Mixed effect models examined changes in self-reported instrumental and basic activities of daily living (IADLs and ADLs) from the MDS Home Care Interview in 2,358 participants over a three-year period. Results. In models for IADL performance, IADL difficulty, and a Daily Functioning Composite, there was a significant time by MCI classification interaction for each MCI subtype, indicating that all MCI groups showed faster rates of decline in everyday function relative to cognitively normal participants with no MCI. Conclusion. Results demonstrate the importance of MCI as a clinical entity that not only predicts progression to dementia but also predicts functional declines in activities that are key to autonomy and quality of life. MCI classification guidelines should allow for functional changes in MCI, and clinicians should monitor for such changes. Preservation of function may serve as a meaningful outcome for intervention efforts. PMID:17661957

  11. Performance verification of network function virtualization in software defined optical transport networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yongli; Hu, Liyazhou; Wang, Wei; Li, Yajie; Zhang, Jie

    2017-01-01

    With the continuous opening of resource acquisition and application, there are a large variety of network hardware appliances deployed as the communication infrastructure. To lunch a new network application always implies to replace the obsolete devices and needs the related space and power to accommodate it, which will increase the energy and capital investment. Network function virtualization1 (NFV) aims to address these problems by consolidating many network equipment onto industry standard elements such as servers, switches and storage. Many types of IT resources have been deployed to run Virtual Network Functions (vNFs), such as virtual switches and routers. Then how to deploy NFV in optical transport networks is a of great importance problem. This paper focuses on this problem, and gives an implementation architecture of NFV-enabled optical transport networks based on Software Defined Optical Networking (SDON) with the procedure of vNFs call and return. Especially, an implementation solution of NFV-enabled optical transport node is designed, and a parallel processing method for NFV-enabled OTN nodes is proposed. To verify the performance of NFV-enabled SDON, the protocol interaction procedures of control function virtualization and node function virtualization are demonstrated on SDON testbed. Finally, the benefits and challenges of the parallel processing method for NFV-enabled OTN nodes are simulated and analyzed.

  12. Applying Utility Functions to Adaptation Planning for Home Automation Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bratskas, Pyrros; Paspallis, Nearchos; Kakousis, Konstantinos; Papadopoulos, George A.

    A pervasive computing environment typically comprises multiple embedded devices that may interact together and with mobile users. These users are part of the environment, and they experience it through a variety of devices embedded in the environment. This perception involves technologies which may be heterogeneous, pervasive, and dynamic. Due to the highly dynamic properties of such environments, the software systems running on them have to face problems such as user mobility, service failures, or resource and goal changes which may happen in an unpredictable manner. To cope with these problems, such systems must be autonomous and self-managed. In this chapter we deal with a special kind of a ubiquitous environment, a smart home environment, and introduce a user-preference-based model for adaptation planning. The model, which dynamically forms a set of configuration plans for resources, reasons automatically and autonomously, based on utility functions, on which plan is likely to best achieve the user's goals with respect to resource availability and user needs.

  13. Self-defining future projections: exploring the identity function of thinking about the future.

    PubMed

    D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Lardi, Claudia; Van der Linden, Martial

    2012-01-01

    The act of projecting oneself into meaningful future events may significantly contribute to a person's sense of self and identity. Yet if the role of memories, in particular self-defining memories (SDMs), in grounding the self is now well established, the identity function of anticipated future events has received comparatively little attention. This article introduces the construct of self-defining future projection (SDFP) to address this issue. Two studies show that people can readily identify significant future events that they frequently think about and that convey core information about who they are as individuals. Furthermore, a person's particular style of constructing SDMs is similarly manifested in SDFPs, suggesting that both types of events can be used to ground the self. Notably, people who display a stronger tendency to extract meaning from their past experiences also reflect more about the potential implications of imagined future events. The results further demonstrate that SDMs and SDFPs both give rise to a strong sense of personal continuity over time and are meaningfully related to self-esteem. Together these findings lend support to the idea that a person's sense of self and identity is in part nourished by the anticipation of significant future events.

  14. The actin cytoskeleton in myofibroblast differentiation: Ultrastructure defining form and driving function

    PubMed Central

    Sandbo, Nathan; Dulin, Nickolai

    2011-01-01

    Myofibroblasts are modified fibroblasts, characterized by the presence of a well-developed contractile apparatus, and the formation of robust actin stress fibers. These mechanically active cells are thought to orchestrate extracellular matrix remodeling during normal wound healing in response to tissue injury, and in aberrant tissue remodeling found in fibrosing disorders. This review surveys the understanding of the role of actin stress fibers in myofibroblast biology. From its original description as a defining ultrastructural and morphologic feature, to well-accepted observations demonstrating its participation in contraction, focal adhesion maturation, and extracellular matrix reorganization, and finally to more recent observations demonstrating its role in transducing mechanical force into biochemical signals, transcriptional control of genes involved in locomotion, contraction, and matrix reorganization, and the localized regulation of mRNA translation. This breadth of functionality of the actin stress fiber serves to reinforce and amplify its mechanical function, via induced expression of proteins that themselves augment contraction, focal adhesion formation, and matrix remodeling. In composite, the functions of the actin cytoskeleton are most often aligned, allowing for the integration and amplification of signals promoting both myofibroblast differentiation and matrix remodeling during fibrogenesis. PMID:21925115

  15. Defining the players in higher-order networks: predictive modeling for reverse engineering functional influence networks.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Jason E; Archuleta, Michelle; Stevens, Susan L; Stenzel-Poore, Mary P; Sanfilippo, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Determining biological network dependencies that can help predict the behavior of a system given prior observations from high-throughput data is a very valuable but difficult task, especially in the light of the ever-increasing volume of experimental data. Such an endeavor can be greatly enhanced by considering regulatory influences on co-expressed groups of genes representing functional modules, thus constraining the number of parameters in the system. This allows development of network models that are predictive of system dynamics. We first develop a predictive network model of the transcriptomics of whole blood from a mouse model of neuroprotection in ischemic stroke, and show that it can accurately predict system behavior under novel conditions. We then use a network topology approach to expand the set of regulators considered and show that addition of topological bottlenecks improves the performance of the predictive model. Finally, we explore how improvements in definition of functional modules may be achieved through an integration of inferred network relationships and functional relationships defined using Gene Ontology similarity. We show that appropriate integration of these two types of relationships can result in models with improved performance.

  16. Isolated polycystic liver disease genes define effectors of polycystin-1 function.

    PubMed

    Besse, Whitney; Dong, Ke; Choi, Jungmin; Punia, Sohan; Fedeles, Sorin V; Choi, Murim; Gallagher, Anna-Rachel; Huang, Emily B; Gulati, Ashima; Knight, James; Mane, Shrikant; Tahvanainen, Esa; Tahvanainen, Pia; Sanna-Cherchi, Simone; Lifton, Richard P; Watnick, Terry; Pei, York P; Torres, Vicente E; Somlo, Stefan

    2017-05-01

    Dominantly inherited isolated polycystic liver disease (PCLD) consists of liver cysts that are radiologically and pathologically identical to those seen in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, but without clinically relevant kidney cysts. The causative genes are known for fewer than 40% of PCLD index cases. Here, we have used whole exome sequencing in a discovery cohort of 102 unrelated patients who were excluded for mutations in the 2 most common PCLD genes, PRKCSH and SEC63, to identify heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in 3 additional genes, ALG8, GANAB, and SEC61B. Similarly to PRKCSH and SEC63, these genes encode proteins that are integral to the protein biogenesis pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum. We inactivated these candidate genes in cell line models to show that loss of function of each results in defective maturation and trafficking of polycystin-1, the central determinant of cyst pathogenesis. Despite acting in a common pathway, each PCLD gene product demonstrated distinct effects on polycystin-1 biogenesis. We also found enrichment on a genome-wide basis of heterozygous mutations in the autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease gene PKHD1, indicating that adult PKHD1 carriers can present with clinical PCLD. These findings define genetic and biochemical modulators of polycystin-1 function and provide a more complete definition of the spectrum of dominant human polycystic diseases.

  17. Correlation of Theory and Function in Well-Defined Bimetallic Electrocatalysts - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Crooks, Richard M.

    2014-06-05

    The objective of this research proposal was to correlate the structure of nanoparticles that are comprised of ~100-200 atoms to their electrocatalytic function. This objective was based on the growing body of evidence suggesting that catalytic properties can be tailored through controlled synthesis of nanoparticles. What has been missing from many of these studies, and what we are contributing, is a model catalyst that is sufficiently small, structurally well-defined, and well-characterized that its function can be directly predicted by theory. Specifically, our work seeks to develop a fundamental and detailed understanding of the relationship between the structure of nanoscopic oxygen-reduction catalysts and their function. We assembled a team with expertise in theory, synthesis, and advanced characterization methods to address the primary objective of this project. We anticipated the outcomes of the study to be: (1) a better theoretical understanding of how nanoparticle structure affects catalytic properties; (2) the development of advanced, in-situ and ex-situ, atomic-scale characterization methods that are appropriate for particles containing about 100 atoms; and (3) improved synthetic methods that produce unique nanoparticle structures that can be used to test theoretical predictions. During the project period, we have made excellent progress on all three fronts.

  18. Actin cytoskeleton in myofibroblast differentiation: ultrastructure defining form and driving function.

    PubMed

    Sandbo, Nathan; Dulin, Nickolai

    2011-10-01

    Myofibroblasts are modified fibroblasts characterized by the presence of a well-developed contractile apparatus and the formation of robust actin stress fibers. These mechanically active cells are thought to orchestrate extracellular matrix remodeling during normal wound healing in response to tissue injury; these cells are found also in aberrant tissue remodeling in fibrosing disorders. This review surveys the understanding of the role of actin stress fibers in myofibroblast biology. Actin stress fibers are discussed as a defining ultrastructural and morphologic feature and well-accepted observations demonstrating its participation in contraction, focal adhesion maturation, and extracellular matrix reorganization are presented. Finally, more recent observations are reviewed, demonstrating its role in transducing mechanical force into biochemical signals, transcriptional control of genes involved in locomotion, contraction, and matrix reorganization, as well as the localized regulation of messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. This breadth of functionality of the actin stress fiber serves to reinforce and amplify its mechanical function, via induced expression of proteins that themselves augment contraction, focal adhesion formation, and matrix remodeling. In composite, the functions of the actin cytoskeleton are most often aligned, allowing for the integration and amplification of signals promoting both myofibroblast differentiation and matrix remodeling during fibrogenesis. Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The C. elegans Connectome Consists of Homogenous Circuits with Defined Functional Roles

    PubMed Central

    Azulay, Aharon; Zaslaver, Alon

    2016-01-01

    A major goal of systems neuroscience is to decipher the structure-function relationship in neural networks. Here we study network functionality in light of the common-neighbor-rule (CNR) in which a pair of neurons is more likely to be connected the more common neighbors it shares. Focusing on the fully-mapped neural network of C. elegans worms, we establish that the CNR is an emerging property in this connectome. Moreover, sets of common neighbors form homogenous structures that appear in defined layers of the network. Simulations of signal propagation reveal their potential functional roles: signal amplification and short-term memory at the sensory/inter-neuron layer, and synchronized activity at the motoneuron layer supporting coordinated movement. A coarse-grained view of the neural network based on homogenous connected sets alone reveals a simple modular network architecture that is intuitive to understand. These findings provide a novel framework for analyzing larger, more complex, connectomes once these become available. PMID:27606684

  20. Defining functioning categories in axial Spondyloarthritis: the role of the ASAS Health Index.

    PubMed

    Di Carlo, Marco; Lato, Valentina; Di Matteo, Andrea; Carotti, Marina; Salaffi, Fausto

    2017-01-06

    The Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society Health Index (ASAS HI) is an inclusive questionnaire, able to describe the total impairments and restrictions due to axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). Considering the relationship between ASAS HI and the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS)-CRP, the aim of this study is to establish the ASAS HI cut-off values for functioning categories employing the ASDAS-CRP disease activity states in axSpA patients. ASAS HI and ASDAS-CPR were obtained from 140 consecutive axSpA patients, divided in the four ASDAS-CRP disease activity categories. High and very high disease activity were considered together. The ASAS HI cut-offs were obtained from the arithmetic mean, rounded off to the closest whole number, of the 75th percentile mean value of a lower rank and the 25th percentile mean value of the adjacent higher rank. This approach was applied in the transition from inactive disease and moderate disease activity, and in the transition from moderate disease activity and high/very high disease activity. Twenty-three patients were classified as having inactive disease, 36 were classified as having moderate disease activity, and 81 were in a high/very high disease activity state. Using the approach of the 75th-25th percentile mean values of adjacent disease activity states, the ASAS HI cut-offs resulted: ≤4 to dinstinguish a normal functioning, >4 and ≤8 to distinguish a moderate impairment of functioning, and >8 to distinguish a severe impairment of functioning. ASAS HI seems a reliable tool to define functioning categories in patients with axSpA.

  1. A Constrained Genetic Algorithm with Adaptively Defined Fitness Function in MRS Quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papakostas, G. A.; Karras, D. A.; Mertzios, B. G.; Graveron-Demilly, D.; van Ormondt, D.

    MRS Signal quantification is a rather involved procedure and has attracted the interest of the medical engineering community, regarding the development of computationally efficient methodologies. Significant contributions based on Computational Intelligence tools, such as Neural Networks (NNs), demonstrated a good performance but not without drawbacks already discussed by the authors. On the other hand preliminary application of Genetic Algorithms (GA) has already been reported in the literature by the authors regarding the peak detection problem encountered in MRS quantification using the Voigt line shape model. This paper investigates a novel constrained genetic algorithm involving a generic and adaptively defined fitness function which extends the simple genetic algorithm methodology in case of noisy signals. The applicability of this new algorithm is scrutinized through experimentation in artificial MRS signals interleaved with noise, regarding its signal fitting capabilities. Although extensive experiments with real world MRS signals are necessary, the herein shown performance illustrates the method's potential to be established as a generic MRS metabolites quantification procedure.

  2. Neisseria gonorrhoeae O-linked pilin glycosylation: functional analyses define both the biosynthetic pathway and glycan structure

    PubMed Central

    Aas, Finn Erik; Vik, Åshild; Vedde, John; Koomey, Michael; Egge-Jacobsen, Wolfgang

    2007-01-01

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae expresses an O-linked protein glycosylation pathway that targets PilE, the major pilin subunit protein of the Type IV pilus colonization factor. Efforts to define glycan structure and thus the functions of pilin glycosylation (Pgl) components at the molecular level have been hindered by the lack of sensitive methodologies. Here, we utilized a ‘top-down’ mass spectrometric approach to characterize glycan status using intact pilin protein from isogenic mutants. These structural data enabled us to directly infer the function of six components required for pilin glycosylation and to define the glycan repertoire of strain N400. Additionally, we found that the N. gonorrhoeae pilin glycan is O-acetylated, and identified an enzyme essential for this unique modification. We also identified the N. gonorrhoeae pilin oligosaccharyltransferase using bioinformatics and confirmed its role in pilin glycosylation by directed mutagenesis. Finally, we examined the effects of expressing the PglA glycosyltransferase from the Campylobacter jejuni N-linked glycosylation system that adds N-acetylgalactosamine onto undecaprenylpyrophosphate-linked bacillosamine. The results indicate that the C. jejuni and N. gonorrhoeae pathways can interact in the synthesis of O-linked di- and trisaccharides, and therefore provide the first experimental evidence that biosynthesis of the N. gonorrhoeae pilin glycan involves a lipid-linked oligosaccharide precursor. Together, these findings underpin more detailed studies of pilin glycosylation biology in both N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis, and demonstrate how components of bacterial O- and N-linked pathways can be combined in novel glycoengineering strategies. PMID:17608667

  3. Personal and social functioning in schizophrenia: defining a clinically meaningful measure of maintenance in relapse prevention.

    PubMed

    Nicholl, Deborah; Nasrallah, Henry; Nuamah, Isaac; Akhras, Kasem; Gagnon, Dennis D; Gopal, Srihari

    2010-06-01

    Relapse prevention and maintenance of social functioning are important treatment objectives in the long-term management of schizophrenia. However, relatively little is known about measuring maintenance of social functioning to assess treatment benefit in relapse prevention clinical trials or as a tool to predict relapse in clinical practice. This study aims (1) to define a clinically meaningful decrease in the Personal and Social Performance scale (PSP) to assess antipsychotic treatment benefit in terms of maintenance of functioning and (2) to explore the threshold value of PSP decline as a useful tool to predict relapse in clinical practice. This post hoc analysis of two similar placebo-controlled relapse prevention clinical trials consisted of an exploration of change in PSP that would represent a clinically important decrement to measure treatment benefit in terms of time to PSP decrement (ITT analysis set; Study 1: n = 205) and an assessment of predictive value of PSP decrement and relapse status (ITT analysis set; Study 2: n = 408). A 10-point decrement in PSP score was the threshold value for a clinically meaningful decline in personal and social functioning in a relapse prevention trial (Study 1). A strong association was found with relapse status: 61% of subjects with at least a 10-point decrease in PSP experienced the decrement prior to (between start of double-blind phase and before day of relapse) or on the day of relapse (Study 2). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis of time to at least a 10-point decrement in PSP showed that the proportion of subjects who did not experience at least a 10-point PSP decrease was statistically significantly greater in the paliperidone palmitate group than in the placebo group (p = 0.0014) (Study 2). Findings suggest a 10-point PSP decrement is a clinically relevant measure of maintenance of functioning in patients stabilized with antipsychotic therapy. Paliperidone palmitate demonstrated a statistically significant treatment

  4. Pph13 and orthodenticle define a dual regulatory pathway for photoreceptor cell morphogenesis and function.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Monalisa; Oke, Ashwini; Lebel, Cindy; McDonald, Elizabeth C; Plummer, Zachary; Cook, Tiffany A; Zelhof, Andrew C

    2010-09-01

    The function and integrity of photoreceptor cells are dependent upon the creation and maintenance of specialized apical structures: membrane discs/outer segments in vertebrates and rhabdomeres in insects. We performed a molecular and morphological comparison of Drosophila Pph13 and orthodenticle (otd) mutants to investigate the transcriptional network controlling the late stages of rhabdomeric photoreceptor cell development and function. Although Otd and Pph13 have been implicated in rhabdomere morphogenesis, we demonstrate that it is necessary to remove both factors to completely eliminate rhabdomere formation. Rhabdomere absence is not the result of degeneration or a failure of initiation, but rather the inability of the apical membrane to transform and elaborate into a rhabdomere. Transcriptional profiling revealed that Pph13 plays an integral role in promoting rhabdomeric photoreceptor cell function. Pph13 regulates Rh2 and Rh6, and other phototransduction genes, demonstrating that Pph13 and Otd control a distinct subset of Rhodopsin-encoding genes in adult visual systems. Bioinformatic, DNA binding and transcriptional reporter assays showed that Pph13 can bind and activate transcription via a perfect Pax6 homeodomain palindromic binding site and the Rhodopsin core sequence I (RCSI) found upstream of Drosophila Rhodopsin genes. In vivo studies indicate that Pph13 is necessary and sufficient to mediate the expression of a multimerized RCSI reporter, a marker of photoreceptor cell specificity previously suggested to be regulated by Pax6. Our studies define a key transcriptional regulatory pathway that is necessary for late Drosophila photoreceptor development and will serve as a basis for better understanding rhabdomeric photoreceptor cell development and function.

  5. Empirically Defined Patterns of Executive Function Deficits in Schizophrenia and Their Relation to Everyday Functioning: A Person-Centered Approach

    PubMed Central

    Iampietro, Mary; Giovannetti, Tania; Drabick, Deborah A. G.; Kessler, Rachel K.

    2013-01-01

    Executive function (EF) deficits in schizophrenia (SZ) are well documented, although much less is known about patterns of EF deficits and their association to differential impairments in everyday functioning. The present study empirically defined SZ groups based on measures of various EF abilities and then compared these EF groups on everyday action errors. Participants (n=45) completed various subtests from the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and the Naturalistic Action Test (NAT), a performance-based measure of everyday action that yields scores reflecting total errors and a range of different error types (e.g., omission, perseveration). Results of a latent class analysis revealed three distinct EF groups, characterized by (a) multiple EF deficits, (b) relatively spared EF, and (c) perseverative responding. Follow-up analyses revealed that the classes differed significantly on NAT total errors, total commission errors, and total perseveration errors; the two classes with EF impairment performed comparably on the NAT but performed worse than the class with relatively spared EF. In sum, people with SZ demonstrate variable patterns of EF deficits, and distinct aspects of these EF deficit patterns (i.e., poor mental control abilities) may be associated with everyday functioning capabilities. PMID:23035705

  6. Effects function analysis of ELF magnetic field exposure in the electric utility work environment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Nair, I; Sahl, J

    1997-01-01

    The incomplete understanding of the relation between power-frequency fields and biological responses raises problems in defining an appropriate metric for exposure assessment and epidemiological studies. Based on evidence from biological experiments, one can define alternative metrics or effects functions that embody the relationship between field exposure patterns and hypothetical health effects. In this paper, we explore the application of the "effects function" approach to occupational exposure data. Our analysis provides examples of exposure assessments based on a range of plausible effects functions. An EMDEX time series data set of ELF frequency (40-800 Hz) magnetic field exposure measurements for electric utility workers was analyzed with several statistical measures and effects functions: average field strength, combination of threshold and exposure duration, and field strength changes. Results were compared for eight job categories: electrician, substation operator, machinist, welder, plant operator, lineman/splicer, meter reader, and clerical. Average field strength yields a different ranking for these job categories than the ranks obtained using other biologically plausible effects functions. Whereas the group of electricians has the highest exposure by average field strength, the group of substation operators has the highest ranking for most of the other effects functions. Plant operators rank highest in the total number of field strength changes greater than 1 microT per hour. The clerical group remains at the lowest end for all of these effects functions. Our analysis suggests that, although average field strength could be used as a surrogate of field exposure for simply classifying exposure into "low" and "high," this summary measure may be misleading in the relative ranking of job categories in which workers are in "high" fields. These results indicate the relevance of metrics other than average field strength in occupational exposure assessment and

  7. In vitro Differentiation of Functional Human Skeletal Myotubes in a Defined System

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiufang; Greene, Keshel; Akanda, Nesar; Smith, Alec; Stancescu, Maria; Lambert, Stephen; Vandenburgh, Herman; Hickman, James

    2013-01-01

    In vitro human skeletal muscle systems are valuable tools for the study of human muscular development, disease and treatment. However, published in vitro human muscle systems have so far only demonstrated limited differentiation capacities. Advanced differentiation features such as cross-striations and contractility have only been observed in co-cultures with motoneurons. Furthermore, it is commonly regarded that cultured human myotubes do not spontaneously contract, and any contraction has been considered to originate from innervation. This study developed a serum-free culture system in which human skeletal myotubes demonstrated advanced differentiation. Characterization by immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology and analysis of contractile function revealed these major features: A) well defined sarcomeric development, as demonstrated by the presence of cross-striations. B) finely developed excitation-contraction coupling apparatus characterized by the close apposition of dihydropyridine receptors on T-tubules and Ryanodine receptors on sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. C) spontaneous and electrically controlled contractility. This report not only demonstrates an improved level of differentiation of cultured human skeletal myotubes, but also provides the first published evidence that such myotubes are capable of spontaneous contraction. Use of this functional in vitro human skeletal muscle system would advance studies concerning human skeletal muscle development and physiology, as well as muscle-related disease and therapy. PMID:24516722

  8. In vitro Differentiation of Functional Human Skeletal Myotubes in a Defined System.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiufang; Greene, Keshel; Akanda, Nesar; Smith, Alec; Stancescu, Maria; Lambert, Stephen; Vandenburgh, Herman; Hickman, James

    2014-01-01

    In vitro human skeletal muscle systems are valuable tools for the study of human muscular development, disease and treatment. However, published in vitro human muscle systems have so far only demonstrated limited differentiation capacities. Advanced differentiation features such as cross-striations and contractility have only been observed in co-cultures with motoneurons. Furthermore, it is commonly regarded that cultured human myotubes do not spontaneously contract, and any contraction has been considered to originate from innervation. This study developed a serum-free culture system in which human skeletal myotubes demonstrated advanced differentiation. Characterization by immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology and analysis of contractile function revealed these major features: A) well defined sarcomeric development, as demonstrated by the presence of cross-striations. B) finely developed excitation-contraction coupling apparatus characterized by the close apposition of dihydropyridine receptors on T-tubules and Ryanodine receptors on sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. C) spontaneous and electrically controlled contractility. This report not only demonstrates an improved level of differentiation of cultured human skeletal myotubes, but also provides the first published evidence that such myotubes are capable of spontaneous contraction. Use of this functional in vitro human skeletal muscle system would advance studies concerning human skeletal muscle development and physiology, as well as muscle-related disease and therapy.

  9. Regulating Biocompatibility of Carbon Spheres via Defined Nanoscale Chemistry and a Careful Selection of Surface Functionalities

    PubMed Central

    Misra, Santosh K.; Chang, Huei-Huei; Mukherjee, Prabuddha; Tiwari, Saumya; Ohoka, Ayako; Pan, Dipanjan

    2015-01-01

    A plethora of nanoarchitectures have been evaluated preclincially for applications in early detection and treatment of diseases at molecular and cellular levels resulted in limited success of their clinical translation. It is important to identify the factors that directly or indirectly affect their use in human. We bring a fundamental understanding of how to adjust the biocompatibility of carbon based spherical nanoparticles (CNPs) through defined chemistry and a vigilant choice of surface functionalities. CNPs of various size are designed by tweaking size (2–250 nm), surface chemistries (positive, or negatively charged), molecular chemistries (linear, dendritic, hyperbranched) and the molecular weight of the coating agents (MW 400–20 kDa). A combination of in vitro assays as tools were performed to determine the critical parameters that may trigger toxicity. Results indicated that hydrodynamic sizes are potentially not a risk factor for triggering cellular and systemic toxicity, whereas the presence of a highly positive surface charge and increasing molecular weight enhance the chance of inducing complement activation. Bare and carboxyl-terminated CNPs did present some toxicity at the cellular level which, however, is not comparable to those caused by positively charged CNPs. Similarly, negatively charged CNPs with hydroxyl and carboxylic functionalities did not cause any hemolysis. PMID:26462751

  10. Exploring the cost-utility of stratified primary care management for low back pain compared with current best practice within risk-defined subgroups.

    PubMed

    Whitehurst, David G T; Bryan, Stirling; Lewis, Martyn; Hill, Jonathan; Hay, Elaine M

    2012-11-01

    Stratified management for low back pain according to patients' prognosis and matched care pathways has been shown to be an effective treatment approach in primary care. The aim of this within-trial study was to determine the economic implications of providing such an intervention, compared with non-stratified current best practice, within specific risk-defined subgroups (low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk). Within a cost-utility framework, the base-case analysis estimated the incremental healthcare cost per additional quality-adjusted life year (QALY), using the EQ-5D to generate QALYs, for each risk-defined subgroup. Uncertainty was explored with cost-utility planes and acceptability curves. Sensitivity analyses were performed to consider alternative costing methodologies, including the assessment of societal loss relating to work absence and the incorporation of generic (ie, non-back pain) healthcare utilisation. The stratified management approach was a cost-effective treatment strategy compared with current best practice within each risk-defined subgroup, exhibiting dominance (greater benefit and lower costs) for medium-risk patients and acceptable incremental cost to utility ratios for low-risk and high-risk patients. The likelihood that stratified care provides a cost-effective use of resources exceeds 90% at willingness-to-pay thresholds of £4000 (≈ 4500; $6500) per additional QALY for the medium-risk and high-risk groups. Patients receiving stratified care also reported fewer back pain-related days off work in all three subgroups. Compared with current best practice, stratified primary care management for low back pain provides a highly cost-effective use of resources across all risk-defined subgroups.

  11. Exploring the cost–utility of stratified primary care management for low back pain compared with current best practice within risk-defined subgroups

    PubMed Central

    Whitehurst, David G T; Bryan, Stirling; Lewis, Martyn; Hill, Jonathan; Hay, Elaine M

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Stratified management for low back pain according to patients' prognosis and matched care pathways has been shown to be an effective treatment approach in primary care. The aim of this within-trial study was to determine the economic implications of providing such an intervention, compared with non-stratified current best practice, within specific risk-defined subgroups (low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk). Methods Within a cost–utility framework, the base-case analysis estimated the incremental healthcare cost per additional quality-adjusted life year (QALY), using the EQ-5D to generate QALYs, for each risk-defined subgroup. Uncertainty was explored with cost–utility planes and acceptability curves. Sensitivity analyses were performed to consider alternative costing methodologies, including the assessment of societal loss relating to work absence and the incorporation of generic (ie, non-back pain) healthcare utilisation. Results The stratified management approach was a cost-effective treatment strategy compared with current best practice within each risk-defined subgroup, exhibiting dominance (greater benefit and lower costs) for medium-risk patients and acceptable incremental cost to utility ratios for low-risk and high-risk patients. The likelihood that stratified care provides a cost-effective use of resources exceeds 90% at willingness-to-pay thresholds of £4000 (≈ 4500; $6500) per additional QALY for the medium-risk and high-risk groups. Patients receiving stratified care also reported fewer back pain-related days off work in all three subgroups. Conclusions Compared with current best practice, stratified primary care management for low back pain provides a highly cost-effective use of resources across all risk-defined subgroups. PMID:22492783

  12. Requirements for Defining Utility Drive Cycles: An Exploratory Analysis of Grid Frequency Regulation Data for Establishing Battery Performance Testing Standards

    SciTech Connect

    Hafen, Ryan P.; Vishwanathan, Vilanyur V.; Subbarao, Krishnappa; Kintner-Meyer, Michael CW

    2011-10-19

    Battery testing procedures are important for understanding battery performance, including degradation over the life of the battery. Standards are important to provide clear rules and uniformity to an industry. The work described in this report addresses the need for standard battery testing procedures that reflect real-world applications of energy storage systems to provide regulation services to grid operators. This work was motivated by the need to develop Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) testing procedures, or V2G drive cycles. Likewise, the stationary energy storage community is equally interested in standardized testing protocols that reflect real-world grid applications for providing regulation services. As the first of several steps toward standardizing battery testing cycles, this work focused on a statistical analysis of frequency regulation signals from the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnect with the goal to identify patterns in the regulation signal that would be representative of the entire signal as a typical regulation data set. Results from an extensive time-series analysis are discussed, and the results are explained from both the statistical and the battery-testing perspectives. The results then are interpreted in the context of defining a small set of V2G drive cycles for standardization, offering some recommendations for the next steps toward standardizing testing protocols.

  13. Empirically defining rapid response to intensive treatment to maximize prognostic utility for bulimia nervosa and purging disorder.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Danielle E; Trottier, Kathryn; McFarlane, Traci; Olmsted, Marion P

    2015-05-01

    Rapid response (RR) to eating disorder treatment has been reliably identified as a predictor of post-treatment and sustained remission, but its definition has varied widely. Although signal detection methods have been used to empirically define RR thresholds in outpatient settings, RR to intensive treatment has not been investigated. This study investigated the optimal definition of RR to day hospital treatment for bulimia nervosa and purging disorder. Participants were 158 patients who completed ≥6 weeks of day hospital treatment. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to create four definitions of RR that could differentiate between remission and nonremission at the end of treatment. Definitions were based on binge/vomit episode frequency or percent reduction from pre-treatment, during either the first four or first two weeks of treatment. All definitions were associated with higher remission rates in rapid compared to nonrapid responders. Only one definition (i.e., ≤3 episodes in the first four weeks of treatment) predicted sustained remission (versus relapse) at 6- and 12-month follow-up. These findings provide an empirically derived definition of RR to intensive eating disorder treatment, and provide further evidence that early change is an important prognostic indicator.

  14. Dynamic functional imaging of brain glucose utilization using fPET-FDG

    DOE PAGES

    Villien, Marjorie; Wey, Hsiao-Ying; Mandeville, Joseph B.; ...

    2014-06-14

    We report that glucose is the principal source of energy for the brain and yet the dynamic response of glucose utilization to changes in brain activity is still not fully understood. Positron emission tomography (PET) allows quantitative measurement of glucose metabolism using 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, FDG PET in its current form provides an integral (or average) of glucose consumption over tens of minutes and lacks the temporal information to capture physiological alterations associated with changes in brain activity induced by tasks or drug challenges. Traditionally, changes in glucose utilization are inferred by comparing two separate scans, which significantly limits themore » utility of the method. We report a novel method to track changes in FDG metabolism dynamically, with higher temporal resolution than exists to date and within a single session. Using a constant infusion of FDG, we demonstrate that our technique (termed fPET-FDG) can be used in an analysis pipeline similar to fMRI to define within-session differential metabolic responses. We use visual stimulation to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. Ultimately, this new method has a great potential to be used in research protocols and clinical settings since fPET-FDG imaging can be performed with most PET scanners and data acquisition and analysis are straightforward. fPET-FDG is a highly complementary technique to MRI and provides a rich new way to observe functional changes in brain metabolism.« less

  15. Dynamic Functional Imaging of Brain Glucose Utilization using fPET-FDG

    PubMed Central

    Villien, Marjorie; Wey, Hsiao-Ying; Mandeville, Joseph B.; Catana, Ciprian; Polimeni, Jonathan R.; Sander, Christin Y.; Zürcher, Nicole R.; Chonde, Daniel B.; Fowler, Joanna S.; Rosen, Bruce R.; Hooker, Jacob M.

    2014-01-01

    Glucose is the principal source of energy for the brain and yet the dynamic response of glucose utilization to changes in brain activity is still not fully understood. Positron emission tomography (PET) allows quantitative measurement of glucose metabolism using 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, FDG PET in its current form provides an integral (or average) of glucose consumption over tens of minutes and lacks the temporal information to capture physiological alterations associated with changes in brain activity induced by tasks or drug challenges. Traditionally, changes in glucose utilization are inferred by comparing two separate scans, which significantly limits the utility of the method. We report a novel method to track changes in FDG metabolism dynamically, with higher temporal resolution than exists to date and within a single session. Using a constant infusion of FDG, we demonstrate that our technique (termed fPET-FDG) can be used in an analysis pipeline similar to fMRI to define within-session differential metabolic responses. We use visual stimulation to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. This new method has a great potential to be used in research protocols and clinical settings since fPET-FDG imaging can be performed with most PET scanners and data acquisition and analysis is straightforward. fPET-FDG is a highly complementary technique to MRI and provides a rich new way to observe functional changes in brain metabolism. PMID:24936683

  16. Dynamic functional imaging of brain glucose utilization using fPET-FDG.

    PubMed

    Villien, Marjorie; Wey, Hsiao-Ying; Mandeville, Joseph B; Catana, Ciprian; Polimeni, Jonathan R; Sander, Christin Y; Zürcher, Nicole R; Chonde, Daniel B; Fowler, Joanna S; Rosen, Bruce R; Hooker, Jacob M

    2014-10-15

    Glucose is the principal source of energy for the brain and yet the dynamic response of glucose utilization to changes in brain activity is still not fully understood. Positron emission tomography (PET) allows quantitative measurement of glucose metabolism using 2-[(18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, FDG PET in its current form provides an integral (or average) of glucose consumption over tens of minutes and lacks the temporal information to capture physiological alterations associated with changes in brain activity induced by tasks or drug challenges. Traditionally, changes in glucose utilization are inferred by comparing two separate scans, which significantly limits the utility of the method. We report a novel method to track changes in FDG metabolism dynamically, with higher temporal resolution than exists to date and within a single session. Using a constant infusion of FDG, we demonstrate that our technique (termed fPET-FDG) can be used in an analysis pipeline similar to fMRI to define within-session differential metabolic responses. We use visual stimulation to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. This new method has a great potential to be used in research protocols and clinical settings since fPET-FDG imaging can be performed with most PET scanners and data acquisition and analysis are straightforward. fPET-FDG is a highly complementary technique to MRI and provides a rich new way to observe functional changes in brain metabolism.

  17. Dynamic functional imaging of brain glucose utilization using fPET-FDG

    SciTech Connect

    Villien, Marjorie; Wey, Hsiao-Ying; Mandeville, Joseph B.; Catana, Ciprian; Polimeni, Jonathan R.; Sander, Christin Y.; Zürcher, Nicole R.; Chonde, Daniel B.; Fowler, Joanna S.; Rosen, Bruce R.; Hooker, Jacob M.

    2014-06-14

    We report that glucose is the principal source of energy for the brain and yet the dynamic response of glucose utilization to changes in brain activity is still not fully understood. Positron emission tomography (PET) allows quantitative measurement of glucose metabolism using 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, FDG PET in its current form provides an integral (or average) of glucose consumption over tens of minutes and lacks the temporal information to capture physiological alterations associated with changes in brain activity induced by tasks or drug challenges. Traditionally, changes in glucose utilization are inferred by comparing two separate scans, which significantly limits the utility of the method. We report a novel method to track changes in FDG metabolism dynamically, with higher temporal resolution than exists to date and within a single session. Using a constant infusion of FDG, we demonstrate that our technique (termed fPET-FDG) can be used in an analysis pipeline similar to fMRI to define within-session differential metabolic responses. We use visual stimulation to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. Ultimately, this new method has a great potential to be used in research protocols and clinical settings since fPET-FDG imaging can be performed with most PET scanners and data acquisition and analysis are straightforward. fPET-FDG is a highly complementary technique to MRI and provides a rich new way to observe functional changes in brain metabolism.

  18. Utilizing Combined Methodologies to Define the Role of Plasma Membrane Delivery During Axon Branching and Neuronal Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Winkle, Cortney C; Hanlin, Christopher C; Gupton, Stephanie L

    2016-03-16

    During neural development, growing axons extend to multiple synaptic partners by elaborating axonal branches. Axon branching is promoted by extracellular guidance cues like netrin-1 and results in dramatic increases to the surface area of the axonal plasma membrane. Netrin-1-dependent axon branching likely involves temporal and spatial control of plasma membrane expansion, the components of which are supplied through exocytic vesicle fusion. These fusion events are preceded by formation of SNARE complexes, comprising a v-SNARE, such as VAMP2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 2), and plasma membrane t-SNAREs, syntaxin-1 and SNAP25 (synaptosomal-associated protein 25). Detailed herein isa multi-pronged approach used to examine the role of SNARE mediated exocytosis in axon branching. The strength of the combined approach is data acquisition at a range of spatial and temporal resolutions, spanning from the dynamics of single vesicle fusion events in individual neurons to SNARE complex formation and axon branching in populations of cultured neurons. This protocol takes advantage of established biochemical approaches to assay levels of endogenous SNARE complexes and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy of cortical neurons expressing VAMP2 tagged with a pH-sensitive GFP (VAMP2-pHlourin) to identify netrin-1 dependent changes in exocytic activity in individual neurons. To elucidate the timing of netrin-1-dependent branching, time-lapse differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy of single neurons over the order of hours is utilized. Fixed cell immunofluorescence paired with botulinum neurotoxins that cleave SNARE machinery and block exocytosis demonstrates that netrin-1 dependent axon branching requires SNARE-mediated exocytic activity.

  19. Utilizing Combined Methodologies to Define the Role of Plasma Membrane Delivery During Axon Branching and Neuronal Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Winkle, Cortney C.; Hanlin, Christopher C.; Gupton, Stephanie L.

    2016-01-01

    During neural development, growing axons extend to multiple synaptic partners by elaborating axonal branches. Axon branching is promoted by extracellular guidance cues like netrin-1 and results in dramatic increases to the surface area of the axonal plasma membrane. Netrin-1-dependent axon branching likely involves temporal and spatial control of plasma membrane expansion, the components of which are supplied through exocytic vesicle fusion. These fusion events are preceded by formation of SNARE complexes, comprising a v-SNARE, such as VAMP2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 2), and plasma membrane t-SNAREs, syntaxin-1 and SNAP25 (synaptosomal-associated protein 25). Detailed herein is a multi-pronged approach used to examine the role of SNARE mediated exocytosis in axon branching. The strength of the combined approach is data acquisition at a range of spatial and temporal resolutions, spanning from the dynamics of single vesicle fusion events in individual neurons to SNARE complex formation and axon branching in populations of cultured neurons. This protocol takes advantage of established biochemical approaches to assay levels of endogenous SNARE complexes and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy of cortical neurons expressing VAMP2 tagged with a pH-sensitive GFP (VAMP2-pHlourin) to identify netrin-1 dependent changes in exocytic activity in individual neurons. To elucidate the timing of netrin-1-dependent branching, time-lapse differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy of single neurons over the order of hours is utilized. Fixed cell immunofluorescence paired with botulinum neurotoxins that cleave SNARE machinery and block exocytosis demonstrates that netrin-1 dependent axon branching requires SNARE-mediated exocytic activity. PMID:27023471

  20. MeV gamma-ray observation with a well-defined point spread function based on electron tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takada, A.; Tanimori, T.; Kubo, H.; Mizumoto, T.; Mizumura, Y.; Komura, S.; Kishimoto, T.; Takemura, T.; Yoshikawa, K.; Nakamasu, Y.; Matsuoka, Y.; Oda, M.; Miyamoto, S.; Sonoda, S.; Tomono, D.; Miuchi, K.; Kurosawa, S.; Sawano, T.

    2016-07-01

    The field of MeV gamma-ray astronomy has not opened up until recently owing to imaging difficulties. Compton telescopes and coded-aperture imaging cameras are used as conventional MeV gamma-ray telescopes; however their observations are obstructed by huge background, leading to uncertainty of the point spread function (PSF). Conventional MeV gamma-ray telescopes imaging utilize optimizing algorithms such as the ML-EM method, making it difficult to define the correct PSF, which is the uncertainty of a gamma-ray image on the celestial sphere. Recently, we have defined and evaluated the PSF of an electron-tracking Compton camera (ETCC) and a conventional Compton telescope, and thereby obtained an important result: The PSF strongly depends on the precision of the recoil direction of electron (scatter plane deviation, SPD) and is not equal to the angular resolution measure (ARM). Now, we are constructing a 30 cm-cubic ETCC for a second balloon experiment, Sub-MeV gamma ray Imaging Loaded-on-balloon Experiment: SMILE-II. The current ETCC has an effective area of 1 cm2 at 300 keV, a PSF of 10° at FWHM for 662 keV, and a large field of view of 3 sr. We will upgrade this ETCC to have an effective area of several cm2 and a PSF of 5° using a CF4-based gas. Using the upgraded ETCC, our observation plan for SMILE-II is to map of the electron-positron annihilation line and the 1.8 MeV line from 26Al. In this paper, we will report on the current performance of the ETCC and on our observation plan.

  1. VgrG and PAAR Proteins Define Distinct Versions of a Functional Type VI Secretion System

    PubMed Central

    Cianfanelli, Francesca R.; Alcoforado Diniz, Juliana; Guo, Manman; De Cesare, Virginia; Trost, Matthias; Coulthurst, Sarah J.

    2016-01-01

    The Type VI secretion system (T6SS) is widespread among bacterial pathogens and acts as an effective weapon against competitor bacteria and eukaryotic hosts by delivering toxic effector proteins directly into target cells. The T6SS utilises a bacteriophage-like contractile machinery to expel a puncturing device based on a tube of Hcp topped with a VgrG spike, which can be extended by a final tip from a PAAR domain-containing protein. Effector proteins are believed to be delivered by specifically associating with particular Hcp, VgrG or PAAR proteins, either covalently (‘specialised’) or non-covalently (‘cargo’ effectors). Here we used the T6SS of the opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescens, together with integratecd genetic, proteomic and biochemical approaches, to elucidate the role of specific VgrG and PAAR homologues in T6SS function and effector specificity, revealing new aspects and unexpected subtleties in effector delivery by the T6SS. We identified effectors, both cargo and specialised, absolutely dependent on a particular VgrG for delivery to target cells, and discovered that other cargo effectors can show a preference for a particular VgrG. The presence of at least one PAAR protein was found to be essential for T6SS function, consistent with designation as a ‘core’ T6SS component. We showed that specific VgrG-PAAR combinations are required to assemble a functional T6SS and that the three distinct VgrG-PAAR assemblies in S. marcescens exhibit distinct effector specificity and efficiency. Unexpectedly, we discovered that two different PAAR-containing Rhs proteins can functionally pair with the same VgrG protein. Showing that accessory EagR proteins are involved in these interactions, native VgrG-Rhs-EagR complexes were isolated and specific interactions between EagR and cognate Rhs proteins identified. This study defines an essential yet flexible role for PAAR proteins in the T6SS and highlights the existence of distinct versions of the

  2. Urodynamic Investigation: A Valid Tool to Define Normal Lower Urinary Tract Function?

    PubMed

    Leitner, Lorenz; Walter, Matthias; Sammer, Ulla; Knüpfer, Stephanie C; Mehnert, Ulrich; Kessler, Thomas M

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate whether urodynamic investigation (UDI), the gold standard to assess refractory lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), is appropriate to select healthy volunteers with apparent normal lower urinary tract function as control subjects for comparative studies. 42 healthy subjects (22 women, mean age 32±10 years; 20 men, mean age 37±12 years) without LUTS were included into this prospective single-centre cohort study. All subjects recorded a 3-day bladder diary, completed validated questionnaires regarding LUTS, and underwent neuro-urological assessment as well as free uroflowmetry. Same session repeat UDI was performed according to "Good Urodynamic Practice" recommended by the International Continence Society, but using an air-charged instead of a water-filled catheter, and evaluated by a blinded investigator. All 3-day bladder diaries, LUTS questionnaires, neuro-urological assessments and free uroflowmetries were within normal limits. Overall (either during the first or second UDI), same session repeat UDI revealed pathological findings in 71% (30/42): Detrusor overactivity was detected in 14% (3/22) and 30% (6/20), post void residual >100mL in 14% (3/22) and 25% (5/20), bladder outlet obstruction in 9% (2/22) and 20% (4/20) and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia in 77% (17/22) and 65% (13/20) of our women and men, respectively. Repeatability of detrusor overactivity (κ = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.54-1.02) and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia (κ = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.55-0.98) showed substantial agreement between both UDIs. All other assessed urodynamic parameters had wide 95% limits of agreement for differences in the parameters indicating poor repeatability. More than 70% of our healthy subjects showed pathological urodynamic findings. Although UDI is the gold standard to assess refractory LUTS, it seems not to be applicable in healthy subjects to define normal lower urinary tract function. Therefore, we do not recommend using UDI to select healthy control subjects.

  3. Direct conversion of human fibroblasts into functional osteoblasts by defined factors.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Kenta; Kishida, Tsunao; Sato, Yoshiki; Nishioka, Keisuke; Ejima, Akika; Fujiwara, Hiroyoshi; Kubo, Toshikazu; Yamamoto, Toshiro; Kanamura, Narisato; Mazda, Osam

    2015-05-12

    Osteoblasts produce calcified bone matrix and contribute to bone formation and remodeling. In this study, we established a procedure to directly convert human fibroblasts into osteoblasts by transducing some defined factors and culturing in osteogenic medium. Osteoblast-specific transcription factors, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), and Osterix, in combination with Octamer-binding transcription factor 3/4 (Oct4) and L-Myc (RXOL) transduction, converted ∼ 80% of the fibroblasts into osteocalcin-producing cells. The directly converted osteoblasts (dOBs) induced by RXOL displayed a similar gene expression profile as normal human osteoblasts and contributed to bone repair after transplantation into immunodeficient mice at artificial bone defect lesions. The dOBs expressed endogenous Runx2 and Osterix, and did not require continuous expression of the exogenous genes to maintain their phenotype. Another combination, Oct4 plus L-Myc (OL), also induced fibroblasts to produce bone matrix, but the OL-transduced cells did not express Osterix and exhibited a more distant gene expression profile to osteoblasts compared with RXOL-transduced cells. These findings strongly suggest successful direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into functional osteoblasts by RXOL, a technology that may provide bone regeneration therapy against bone disorders.

  4. Spatially invariant coding of numerical information in functionally defined subregions of human parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Eger, E; Pinel, P; Dehaene, S; Kleinschmidt, A

    2015-05-01

    Macaque electrophysiology has revealed neurons responsive to number in lateral (LIP) and ventral (VIP) intraparietal areas. Recently, fMRI pattern recognition revealed information discriminative of individual numbers in human parietal cortex but without precisely localizing the relevant sites or testing for subregions with different response profiles. Here, we defined the human functional equivalents of LIP (feLIP) and VIP (feVIP) using neurophysiologically motivated localizers. We applied multivariate pattern recognition to investigate whether both regions represent numerical information and whether number codes are position specific or invariant. In a delayed number comparison paradigm with laterally presented numerosities, parietal cortex discriminated between numerosities better than early visual cortex, and discrimination generalized across hemifields in parietal, but not early visual cortex. Activation patterns in the 2 parietal regions of interest did not differ in the coding of position-specific or position-independent number information, but in the expression of a numerical distance effect which was more pronounced in feLIP. Thus, the representation of number in parietal cortex is at least partially position invariant. Both feLIP and feVIP contain information about individual numerosities in humans, but feLIP hosts a coarser representation of numerosity than feVIP, compatible with either broader tuning or a summation code. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Contrast sensitivity functions to stimuli defined in Cartesian, polar and hyperbolic coordinates.

    PubMed

    Zana, Y; Cavalcanti, A C G T

    2005-01-01

    Recent electrophysiological studies indicate that cells in the LGN, V1, V2, and V4 areas in monkeys are specifically sensitive to Cartesian, polar and hyperbolic stimuli. We have characterized the contrast sensitivity functions (CSF) to stimuli defined in these coordinates with the two-alternatives forced-choice paradigm. CSFs to Cartesian, concentric, and hyperbolic stimuli have had similar shapes, with peak sensitivity at approximately 3 c/deg. However, the Cartesian CSF peak sensitivity has been at least 0.1 log units higher than that to stimuli in any other coordinate system. The concentric-Bessel CSF has a low-pass shape, peaking at 1.5 c/deg or below. The radial CSF has a bell shape with maximum sensitivity at 8 c/360 degrees. Only the concentric-Bessel CSF could be explained in terms of the components of maximum amplitude of the Fourier transform. Neural models, which in previous studies predicted the responses to Cartesian and polar Glass patterns, failed to account for the full CSFs data.

  6. Structure-function relationship of anticoagulant and antithrombotic well-defined sulfated polysaccharides from marine invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H

    2012-01-01

    Marine sulfated polysaccharides (MSPs), such as sulfated fucans (SFs), sulfated galactans (SGs), and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) isolated from invertebrate animals, are highly anionic polysaccharides capable of interacting with certain cationic proteins, such as (co)-factors of the coagulation cascade during clotting-inhibition process. Primarily, these molecular complexes between MSPs and coagulation-related proteins seem to be driven mostly by electrostatic interactions. However, through a systematic comparison using several novel well-defined sulfated polysaccharides composed of repetitive oligosaccharides with clear sulfation patterns, it was proved that those molecular interactions are essentially regulated by the stereochemistry of the glycans (which depends on a conjunction of anomeric configurations, sugar types, conformational preferences, glycosylation, and sulfation sites), rather than just a mere consequence of the electronegative density charges (mainly from number of sulfate groups). Here, we present an overview about the structure-function relationship of the invertebrate MSPs with regular structures as potential anticoagulant and antithrombotic agents, as pathologies related to the cardiovascular system are one of the major causes of mortality in the world. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Defining a local arterial input function for perfusion MRI using independent component analysis.

    PubMed

    Calamante, Fernando; Mørup, Morten; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2004-10-01

    Quantification of cerebral blood flow (CBF) using dynamic-susceptibility contrast MRI relies on the deconvolution of the arterial input function (AIF), which is commonly estimated from the signal changes in a major artery. However, it has been shown that the presence of bolus delay/dispersion between the artery and the tissue of interest can be a significant source of error. These effects could be minimized if a local AIF were used, although the measurement of a local AIF can be problematic. This work describes a new methodology to define a local AIF using independent component analysis (ICA). The methodology was tested on data from patients with various cerebrovascular abnormalities and compared to the conventional approach of using a global AIF. The new methodology produced higher CBF and shorter mean transit time values (compared to the global AIF case) in areas with distorted AIFs, suggesting that the effects of delay/dispersion are minimized. The minimization of these effects using the calculated local AIF should lead to a more accurate quantification of CBF, which can have important implications for diagnosis and management of patients with cerebral ischemia.

  8. Role of Utility and Inference in the Evolution of Functional Information

    PubMed Central

    Sharov, Alexei A.

    2009-01-01

    Functional information means an encoded network of functions in living organisms from molecular signaling pathways to an organism’s behavior. It is represented by two components: code and an interpretation system, which together form a self-sustaining semantic closure. Semantic closure allows some freedom between components because small variations of the code are still interpretable. The interpretation system consists of inference rules that control the correspondence between the code and the function (phenotype) and determines the shape of the fitness landscape. The utility factor operates at multiple time scales: short-term selection drives evolution towards higher survival and reproduction rate within a given fitness landscape, and long-term selection favors those fitness landscapes that support adaptability and lead to evolutionary expansion of certain lineages. Inference rules make short-term selection possible by shaping the fitness landscape and defining possible directions of evolution, but they are under control of the long-term selection of lineages. Communication normally occurs within a set of agents with compatible interpretation systems, which I call communication system. Functional information cannot be directly transferred between communication systems with incompatible inference rules. Each biological species is a genetic communication system that carries unique functional information together with inference rules that determine evolutionary directions and constraints. This view of the relation between utility and inference can resolve the conflict between realism/positivism and pragmatism. Realism overemphasizes the role of inference in evolution of human knowledge because it assumes that logic is embedded in reality. Pragmatism substitutes usefulness for truth and therefore ignores the advantage of inference. The proposed concept of evolutionary pragmatism rejects the idea that logic is embedded in reality; instead, inference rules are

  9. A Prospective Cohort Study Defining Utilities Using Time Trade-Offs and the Euroqol-5D to Assess the Impact of Cancer-Related Lymphedema

    PubMed Central

    Cheville, Andrea L.; Almoza, Mously; Courmier, Janice N.; Basford, Jeffrey R.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND The devastating impact of lymphedema on cancer survivors’ quality of life has prompted consideration of several changes in medical and surgical care. Unfortunately, our understanding of the benefits gained from these approaches relative to their cost remains limited. This study was designed to estimate utilities for lymphedema and characterize how utilities differ between subgroups defined by lymphedema etiology and distribution. METHODS A consecutive sample of 236 subjects with lymphedema seen at a lymphedema clinic completed both a time trade-off (TTO) exercise and the Euroqol 5D. Responses were adjusted in multivariate regression models for demographic factors, comorbidities, and lymphedema severity/location. RESULTS Most participants (167 of 236, 71%) had lymphedema as a consequence of cancer treatment; 123 with breast cancer and upper extremity involvement. Mean TTO utility estimates were consistently higher than Euroqol 5D estimates. Unadjusted TTO (0.85; standard deviation [SD], 0.21) and Euroqol 5D (0.76; SD, 0.18) scores diminished with increasing lymphedema stage and patient body mass index (BMI). Adjusted utility scores were lowest in patients with cancer-related lower extremity lymphedema (TTO=0.82; SD, 0.04 and Euroqol 5D=0.80; SD, 0.03). Breast cancer patients also had lower adjusted Euroqol 5D scores (0.80; SD, 0.02). CONCLUSIONS Lymphedema-associated utilities are in the range of 0.80. Lower utilities are observed for patients with higher lymphedema stages, elevated BMI, and cancer-related lymphedema. Greater expenditures for the prevention and treatment of cancer-related lymphedema are warranted. PMID:20564063

  10. Simulating recurrent event data with hazard functions defined on a total time scale.

    PubMed

    Jahn-Eimermacher, Antje; Ingel, Katharina; Ozga, Ann-Kathrin; Preussler, Stella; Binder, Harald

    2015-03-08

    In medical studies with recurrent event data a total time scale perspective is often needed to adequately reflect disease mechanisms. This means that the hazard process is defined on the time since some starting point, e.g. the beginning of some disease, in contrast to a gap time scale where the hazard process restarts after each event. While techniques such as the Andersen-Gill model have been developed for analyzing data from a total time perspective, techniques for the simulation of such data, e.g. for sample size planning, have not been investigated so far. We have derived a simulation algorithm covering the Andersen-Gill model that can be used for sample size planning in clinical trials as well as the investigation of modeling techniques. Specifically, we allow for fixed and/or random covariates and an arbitrary hazard function defined on a total time scale. Furthermore we take into account that individuals may be temporarily insusceptible to a recurrent incidence of the event. The methods are based on conditional distributions of the inter-event times conditional on the total time of the preceeding event or study start. Closed form solutions are provided for common distributions. The derived methods have been implemented in a readily accessible R script. The proposed techniques are illustrated by planning the sample size for a clinical trial with complex recurrent event data. The required sample size is shown to be affected not only by censoring and intra-patient correlation, but also by the presence of risk-free intervals. This demonstrates the need for a simulation algorithm that particularly allows for complex study designs where no analytical sample size formulas might exist. The derived simulation algorithm is seen to be useful for the simulation of recurrent event data that follow an Andersen-Gill model. Next to the use of a total time scale, it allows for intra-patient correlation and risk-free intervals as are often observed in clinical trial data

  11. Utility of shallow-water ATRIS images in defining biogeologic processes and self-similarity in skeletal scleractinia, Florida reefs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lidz, B.H.; Brock, J.C.; Nagle, D.B.

    2008-01-01

    A recently developed remote-sensing instrument acquires high-quality digital photographs in shallow-marine settings within water depths of 15 m. The technology, known as the Along-Track Reef-Imaging System, provides remarkably clear, georeferenced imagery that allows visual interpretation of benthic class (substrates, organisms) for mapping coral reef habitats, as intended. Unforeseen, however, are functions new to the initial technologic purpose: interpr??table evidence for real-time biogeologic processes and for perception of scaled-up skeletal self-similarity of scleractinian microstructure. Florida reef sea trials lacked the grid structure required to map contiguous habitat and submarine topography. Thus, only general observations could be made relative to times and sites of imagery. Degradation of corals was nearly universal; absence of reef fish was profound. However, ???1% of more than 23,600 sea-trial images examined provided visual evidence for local environs and processes. Clarity in many images was so exceptional that small tracks left by organisms traversing fine-grained carbonate sand were visible. Other images revealed a compelling sense, not yet fully understood, of the microscopic wall structure characteristic of scleractinian corals. Conclusions drawn from classifiable images are that demersal marine animals, where imaged, are oblivious to the equipment and that the technology has strong capabilities beyond mapping habitat. Imagery acquired along predetermined transects that cross a variety of geomorphic features within depth limits will ( 1) facilitate construction of accurate contour maps of habitat and bathymetry without need for ground-truthing, (2) contain a strong geologic component of interpreted real-time processes as they relate to imaged topography and regional geomorphology, and (3) allow cost-effective monitoring of regional- and local-scale changes in an ecosystem by use of existing-image global-positioning system coordinates to re

  12. Utilization of Peanut Skin Extracts as Functional Food Ingredients

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Peanut skins are a by-product of the blanching industry that have not been utilized to their full potential. They have been found to contain significant quantities of compounds containing phenolic moieties such as catechins, procyanidins, and other polyphenols that have positive associations with h...

  13. New Actuator Utilizing Phase Change of Functional Fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Chigusa; Mai, Jianqiang; Nakagawa, Masamichi; Oshima, Shuzo; Yamane, Ryuichiro; Park, Myeng-Kwan

    This paper proposes a new actuator utilizing the phase change of the ER fluid. The dielectric coolant was used for the solvent and silica gel particles for the dispersion particle. The dynamic characteristics of the actuator was determined for the several patterns of the working conditions.

  14. Impaired hepato-renal function defined by the MELD XI score as prognosticator in acute heart failure.

    PubMed

    Biegus, Jan; Zymliński, Robert; Sokolski, Mateusz; Siwołowski, Paweł; Gajewski, Piotr; Nawrocka-Millward, Sylwia; Poniewierka, Elżbieta; Jankowska, Ewa A; Banasiak, Waldemar; Ponikowski, Piotr

    2016-12-01

    Multi-organ dysfunction often complicates the natural course of acute heart failure (AHF) and identifies patients with poor prognosis. The MELD score (Model of End-Stage Liver Dysfunction) combines data reflecting liver and kidney function, which makes it a potentially useful tool for the assessment of patients with AHF. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic utility of the MELD score in patients with AHF. The MELD score was calculated on admission and during hospital stay (days 2-3) using a formula that does not take into account the international normalized ratio (MELD XI). The study population consisted of 203 AHF patients (mean age 65 ± 12 years, 76% male). The mean MELD XI score was -14.8 ± 4.5 points on admission and 13.9 ± 4.3 points during hospitalization. Contributors of elevated MELD XI score at baseline and during hospital stay were isolated increase in creatinine in 22-25%, isolated increase in bilirubin in 17-19%, and abnormal values of both in 40-46% of patients. During 1-year follow-up, 67 (33%) patients died. After adjustment for well-established prognosticators, MELD XI score at baseline and during hospital stay were significant predictors of poor outcome [hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.11 (1.05-1.2) and 1.14 (1.09-1.2), respectively, P < 0.001]. An increase in the MELD XI score during hospital stay occurred in 31% of patients and was related to increased risk of death at 1 year [1.97 (1.2-3.2), P < 0.005]. Impairment of hepato-renal function defined by the MELD XI score is common and carries unfavourable prognosis in AHF patients. © 2016 The Authors. European Journal of Heart Failure © 2016 European Society of Cardiology.

  15. Defining Normal Adrenal Function Testing in the Intensive Care Unit Setting

    PubMed Central

    Sweeney, Daniel A.; Natanson, Charles; Banks, Steven M.; Solomon, Steven B.; Behrend, Ellen N.

    2013-01-01

    Objective It is routine in intensive care medicine (ICM) to measure hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function, commonly utilizing the ACTH stimulation test to diagnose absolute or relative adrenal insufficiency (RAI). It is therefore important to determine whether ICM therapies and testing themselves influence HPA test results. Design Prospective, 96 h animal study. Setting Research laboratory. Subjects 24 healthy canines. Interventions Animals were randomized into two groups—awake and unrestrained or treated with intensive care medicine therapies including sedation, intubation and mechanical ventilation (SIM). Animals were further randomized to receive dexamethasone (or placebo) or undergo either a total of 4 or 7 ACTH stimulation tests over 96 h. Measurements and Main Results SIM transiently increased both basal and post-ACTH total and free cortisol concentrations greater than two-fold as compared to baseline for the first 24 h (p ≤ 0.05 for both). Performance of 7 stimulation tests increased both basal and post-ACTH total and free cortisol concentrations from baseline by greater than 1.5 fold for the duration of the 96 h study (p ≤ 0.05). Neither SIM nor the performance of more stimulation tests affected delta cortisol measurements (total or free cortisol, p=NS). In contrast, dexamethasone suppressed basal total cortisol concentrations by greater than two-fold (p ≤ 0.005) at all time points and transiently increased delta total cortisol by approximately 35% during the first 24 h of the study (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusions total and free cortisol measurements—whether pre- or post-ACTH or as a calculated delta—were altered by intensive care therapies or frequent ACTH stimulation testing with one exception. Delta free cortisol was the only HPA measurement unaffected by SIM, completion of more ACTH stimulation tests or dexamethasone therapy. These findings support the need to determine normal ranges for HPA testing in subjects receiving ICM before

  16. Defining function of lipopolysaccharide O-antigen ligase WaaL using chemoenzymatically synthesized substrates.

    PubMed

    Han, Weiqing; Wu, Baolin; Li, Lei; Zhao, Guohui; Woodward, Robert; Pettit, Nicholas; Cai, Li; Thon, Vireak; Wang, Peng G

    2012-02-17

    The WaaL-mediated ligation of O-antigen onto the core region of the lipid A-core block is an important step in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthetic pathway. Although the LPS biosynthesis has been largely characterized, only a limited amount of in vitro biochemical evidence has been established for the ligation reaction. Such limitations have primarily resulted from the barriers in purifying WaaL homologues and obtaining chemically defined substrates. Accordingly, we describe herein a chemical biology approach that enabled the reconstitution of this ligation reaction. The O-antigen repeating unit (O-unit) of Escherichia coli O86 was first enzymatically assembled via sequential enzymatic glycosylation of a chemically synthesized GalNAc-pyrophosphate-undecaprenyl precursor. Subsequent expression of WaaL through use of a chaperone co-expression system then enabled the demonstration of the in vitro ligation between the synthesized donor (O-unit-pyrophosphate-undecaprenyl) and the isolated lipid A-core acceptor. The previously reported ATP and divalent metal cation dependence were not observed using this system. Further analyses of other donor substrates revealed that WaaL possesses a highly relaxed specificity toward both the lipid moiety and the glycan moiety of the donor. Lastly, three conserved amino acid residues identified by sequence alignment were found essential for the WaaL activity. Taken together, the present work represents an in vitro systematic investigation of the WaaL function using a chemical biology approach, providing a system that could facilitate the elucidation of the mechanism of WaaL-catalyzed ligation reaction.

  17. Urodynamic Investigation: A Valid Tool to Define Normal Lower Urinary Tract Function?

    PubMed Central

    Sammer, Ulla; Knüpfer, Stephanie C.; Mehnert, Ulrich; Kessler, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To evaluate whether urodynamic investigation (UDI), the gold standard to assess refractory lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), is appropriate to select healthy volunteers with apparent normal lower urinary tract function as control subjects for comparative studies. Subjects and Methods 42 healthy subjects (22 women, mean age 32±10 years; 20 men, mean age 37±12 years) without LUTS were included into this prospective single-centre cohort study. All subjects recorded a 3-day bladder diary, completed validated questionnaires regarding LUTS, and underwent neuro-urological assessment as well as free uroflowmetry. Same session repeat UDI was performed according to “Good Urodynamic Practice” recommended by the International Continence Society, but using an air-charged instead of a water-filled catheter, and evaluated by a blinded investigator. Results All 3-day bladder diaries, LUTS questionnaires, neuro-urological assessments and free uroflowmetries were within normal limits. Overall (either during the first or second UDI), same session repeat UDI revealed pathological findings in 71% (30/42): Detrusor overactivity was detected in 14% (3/22) and 30% (6/20), post void residual >100mL in 14% (3/22) and 25% (5/20), bladder outlet obstruction in 9% (2/22) and 20% (4/20) and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia in 77% (17/22) and 65% (13/20) of our women and men, respectively. Repeatability of detrusor overactivity (κ = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.54–1.02) and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia (κ = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.55–0.98) showed substantial agreement between both UDIs. All other assessed urodynamic parameters had wide 95% limits of agreement for differences in the parameters indicating poor repeatability. Conclusions More than 70% of our healthy subjects showed pathological urodynamic findings. Although UDI is the gold standard to assess refractory LUTS, it seems not to be applicable in healthy subjects to define normal lower urinary tract function. Therefore, we do not

  18. Functional characterization of the galactan utilization system of Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

    PubMed

    Tabachnikov, Orly; Shoham, Yuval

    2013-02-01

    Type I galactan is a pectic polysaccharide composed of β-1,4 linked units of d-galactose and is part of the main plant cell wall polysaccharides, which are the most abundant sources of renewable carbon in the biosphere. The thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus stearothermophilus T-6 possesses an extensive system for the utilization of plant cell wall polysaccharides, including a 9.4-kb gene cluster, ganREFGBA, which encodes galactan-utilization elements. Based on enzyme activity assays, the ganEFGBA genes, which probably constitute an operon, are induced by short galactosaccharides but not by galactose. GanA is a glycoside hydrolase family 53 β-1,4-galactanase, active on high molecular weight galactan, producing galactotetraose as the main product. Homology modelling of the active site residues suggests that the enzyme can accommodate at least eight galactose molecules (at subsites -4 to +4) in the active site. GanB is a glycoside hydrolase family 42 β-galactosidase capable of hydrolyzing short β-1,4 galactosaccharides into galactose. Applying both GanA and GanB on galactan resulted in the full degradation of the polymer into galactose. The ganEFG genes encode an ATP-binding cassette sugar transport system whose sugar-binding lipoprotein, GanE, was shown to bind galacto-oligosaccharides. The utilization of galactan by G. stearothermophilus involves the extracellular galactanase GanA cleaving galactan into galacto-oligosaccharides that enter the cell via a specific transport system GanEFG. The galacto-oligosaccharides are further degraded by the intracellular β-galactosidase GanB into galactose, which is then metabolized into UDP-glucose via the Leloir pathway by the galKET gene products. Nucleotide sequence data have been deposited in the GenBank database under the accession number JF327803. © 2012 The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 FEBS.

  19. Synthetic Utility of Epoxides for Chiral Functionalization of Isoxazoles.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Jared K; Burns, Christopher T; Smith, Miles P; Twamley, Brendan; Natale, N R

    2008-05-05

    The lithio-anion of isoxazole 2 was found to ring open propylene oxide in good yields with complete regioselectivity. Vinylic and benzylic epoxides were utilized as key examples of electrophiles and found to produce a mixture of regioisomeric adducts. Additionally, the use of chiral epoxides was explored, and absolute configuration was determined by X-ray crystallography to prove that nucleophilic attack at the benzylic carbon of (R)-styrene oxide proceeds with 100% inversion at the benzylic carbon to afford the (S)-alcohol (4b).

  20. Synthetic Utility of Epoxides for Chiral Functionalization of Isoxazoles

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Jared K.; Burns, Christopher T.; Smith, Miles P.; Twamley, Brendan; Natale, N. R.

    2010-01-01

    The lithio-anion of isoxazole 2 was found to ring open propylene oxide in good yields with complete regioselectivity. Vinylic and benzylic epoxides were utilized as key examples of electrophiles and found to produce a mixture of regioisomeric adducts. Additionally, the use of chiral epoxides was explored, and absolute configuration was determined by X-ray crystallography to prove that nucleophilic attack at the benzylic carbon of (R)-styrene oxide proceeds with 100% inversion at the benzylic carbon to afford the (S)-alcohol (4b). PMID:21103024

  1. Learning and Recovering Additive and Multiplicative Value Functions: A Criterion Validation of Multiattribute Utility Techniques

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-12-01

    multiattribute value functions. Operations Research, 1979, 27, 810-822. Fishburn, P. Utility theory for decision making. New York: Wiley, 1970...Psychology, 1980, 21, 66-82. v. Winterfeldt, D. and Fischer, G.W. Multiattribute utility theory : models and assessment procedres. In D. Wendt and...plicative value functions: A criterion _____________ validation of multiattribute utility 6. 7EPPORMING ONG. RgPeR? NUgMBER techn iclues 82-1 AijWOR*JS

  2. The derivation of scenic utility functions and surfaces and their role in landscape management

    Treesearch

    John W. Hamilton; Gregory J. Buhyoff; J. Douglas Wellman

    1979-01-01

    This paper outlines a methodological approach for determining relevant physical landscape features which people use in formulating judgments about scenic utility. This information, coupled with either empirically derived or rationally stipulated regression techniques, may be used to produce scenic utility functions and surfaces. These functions can provide a means for...

  3. Recent advances in tomato functional genomics: utilization of VIGS.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Pranav Pankaj; Puranik, Swati; Khan, Moinuddin; Prasad, Manoj

    2012-10-01

    Tomato unquestionably occupies a significant position in world vegetable production owing to its world-wide consumption. The tomato genome sequencing efforts being recently concluded, it becomes more imperative to recognize important functional genes from this treasure of generated information for improving tomato yield. While much progress has been made in conventional tomato breeding, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) offers an alternative approach for advancement of tomato functional genomics. In particular, virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is increasingly being used as rapid, reliable, and lucrative screening strategy to elucidate gene function. In this review, we focus on the recent advancement made through exploiting the potential of this technique for manipulating different agronomically important traits in tomato by discussing several case studies.

  4. Defining a dryland grain sorghum production function for the Central Great Plains

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) is a drought tolerant C4 species capable of making use of limited available water supplies and is suitable for dryland crop rotations in the central Great Plains. In order for farmers to assess the production risk encountered when utilizing sorghum in rotati...

  5. Development of functional electrical stimulators utilizing cochlear implant technology.

    PubMed

    Davis, R; Patrick, J; Barriskill, A

    2001-01-01

    In 1983, R. Davis proposed the development of a functional electrical stimulator, based on multi-channel cochlear implant technology, for the restoration of function in spinal cord injured paraplegic subjects. In 1984, the US Veteran Administration funded the initial investigations including animal experiments and purchase of a FES stimulator based on the Nucleus 22 cochlear implant. In 1987, the US Food and Drug Administration approved an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE# G870142) for this FES project. In 1991, the first stimulator was implanted in a 21-year old male paraplegic subject (complete thoracic spinal cord lesion at level #10), who was subsequently able to stand and to perform one-handed tasks for up to 1h. In 1996-1997 development started on a new multi-function FES system. In 1998, a stimulator was implanted in a 35-year-old male paraplegic subject (complete thoracic spinal cord lesion at level #10). After 8 months of use providing multiple functions including bladder voiding, the implant's internal antenna wire broke. A modified implant (FES 24-B) is due to be implanted in July 2001.

  6. Estimating Moho depth utilizing S-wave receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceylan, S.; Rychert, C.; Harmon, N.

    2014-12-01

    H-k stacking method [Zhu and Kanamori, 2000] is a widely used grid search technique for estimating the Moho depth (H) and Vp/Vs (k) beneath a given station. The H-k surface reaches a maximum when the optimum H and k values are used, which is assumed to be the average crustal structure beneath the seismic station. In general, the method is employed in conjunction with P-wave receiver functions. Here, we investigate the usability of H-k stacking method with S-to-P (Sp) conversions and S-wave reverberations within the crust, employing an extended multi-taper deconvolution. We apply the method to southern California, using data recorded between 1990-2011. We compare results with those of prior studies that used P-to-S (Ps) conversions [Zhu and Kanamori, 2000; Yan and Clayton, 2007], applying a smoothing length of 0.5 degrees to reflect lateral Sp sensitivity. P-waves have better potential to resolve lateral variations in Moho depth owing to the higher frequency content and the geometry of Ps ray path. Our results from Sp conversions are in broad agreement with those from Ps, affirming that S-wave receiver functions can be used in conjunction with the H-k stacking method. Consistent with the P-wave receiver function results, crust is thinner beneath the central Transverse Range (30 km) with respect to eastern Transverse Range (33 km) and Peninsular Region (35 km). Our Moho depth observations (35 km) are more compatible with those of Yan and Clayton [2007] (~35 km) than Zhu and Kanamori [2000] (~30 km) beneath Sierra Nevada, most probably due to a larger data set this study and Yan and Clayton [2007] use. Also, results from this study are deeper than those from Ps for the Salton Trough (30-35 km vs. 25 km). In this case, broad receiver function waveform characteristics suggest a more gradual impedance change across the Moho discontinuity and/or a multi-layered crust. We suggest that a combination of P- and S-wave receiver functions can yield more robust crustal thickness

  7. The theta-syllable: a unit of speech information defined by cortical function

    PubMed Central

    Ghitza, Oded

    2013-01-01

    A recent commentary (Oscillators and syllables: a cautionary note. Cummins, 2012) questions the validity of a class of speech perception models inspired by the possible role of neuronal oscillations in decoding speech (e.g., Ghitza, 2011; Giraud and Poeppel, 2012). In arguing against the approach, Cummins raises a cautionary flag “from a phonetician's point of view.” Here we respond to his arguments from an auditory processing viewpoint, referring to a phenomenological model of Ghitza (2011) taken as a representative of the criticized approach. We shall conclude by proposing the theta-syllable as an information unit defined by cortical function—an alternative to the conventional, ambiguously defined syllable. In the large context, the resulting discussion debate should be viewed as a subtext of acoustic and auditory phonetics vs. articulatory and motor theories of speech reception. PMID:23519170

  8. Performance evaluation of multi-stratum resources integration based on network function virtualization in software defined elastic data center optical interconnect.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hui; Zhang, Jie; Ji, Yuefeng; Tian, Rui; Han, Jianrui; Lee, Young

    2015-11-30

    Data center interconnect with elastic optical network is a promising scenario to meet the high burstiness and high-bandwidth requirements of data center services. In our previous work, we implemented multi-stratum resilience between IP and elastic optical networks that allows to accommodate data center services. In view of this, this study extends to consider the resource integration by breaking the limit of network device, which can enhance the resource utilization. We propose a novel multi-stratum resources integration (MSRI) architecture based on network function virtualization in software defined elastic data center optical interconnect. A resource integrated mapping (RIM) scheme for MSRI is introduced in the proposed architecture. The MSRI can accommodate the data center services with resources integration when the single function or resource is relatively scarce to provision the services, and enhance globally integrated optimization of optical network and application resources. The overall feasibility and efficiency of the proposed architecture are experimentally verified on the control plane of OpenFlow-based enhanced software defined networking (eSDN) testbed. The performance of RIM scheme under heavy traffic load scenario is also quantitatively evaluated based on MSRI architecture in terms of path blocking probability, provisioning latency and resource utilization, compared with other provisioning schemes.

  9. Functionally reciprocal mutations of the prolactin signalling pathway define hairy and slick cattle

    PubMed Central

    Littlejohn, Mathew D.; Henty, Kristen M.; Tiplady, Kathryn; Johnson, Thomas; Harland, Chad; Lopdell, Thomas; Sherlock, Richard G.; Li, Wanbo; Lukefahr, Steven D.; Shanks, Bruce C.; Garrick, Dorian J.; Snell, Russell G.; Spelman, Richard J.; Davis, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    Lactation, hair development and homeothermy are characteristic evolutionary features that define mammals from other vertebrate species. Here we describe the discovery of two autosomal dominant mutations with antagonistic, pleiotropic effects on all three of these biological processes, mediated through the prolactin signalling pathway. Most conspicuously, mutations in prolactin (PRL) and its receptor (PRLR) have an impact on thermoregulation and hair morphology phenotypes, giving prominence to this pathway outside of its classical roles in lactation. PMID:25519203

  10. Functionally reciprocal mutations of the prolactin signalling pathway define hairy and slick cattle.

    PubMed

    Littlejohn, Mathew D; Henty, Kristen M; Tiplady, Kathryn; Johnson, Thomas; Harland, Chad; Lopdell, Thomas; Sherlock, Richard G; Li, Wanbo; Lukefahr, Steven D; Shanks, Bruce C; Garrick, Dorian J; Snell, Russell G; Spelman, Richard J; Davis, Stephen R

    2014-12-18

    Lactation, hair development and homeothermy are characteristic evolutionary features that define mammals from other vertebrate species. Here we describe the discovery of two autosomal dominant mutations with antagonistic, pleiotropic effects on all three of these biological processes, mediated through the prolactin signalling pathway. Most conspicuously, mutations in prolactin (PRL) and its receptor (PRLR) have an impact on thermoregulation and hair morphology phenotypes, giving prominence to this pathway outside of its classical roles in lactation.

  11. Why PMO? Towards functionality and utility of periodic mesoporous organosilicas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendong; Lofgreen, Jennifer E; Ozin, Geoffrey A

    2010-12-06

    Creative synthetic chemistry has endowed the class of periodic mesoporous organosilica materials, dubbed PMO, with a variety of new and exciting compositions, properties, and functions since its inception a decade ago. Using a handful of recent trendsetting case histories, the multidisciplinary applications of PMO materials in chemistry and physics, materials science and engineering, biology, and medicine are demonstrated in a most powerful way. In doing so, this Review aims to inspire more collaborative and ambitious endeavors in the second decade of PMO research. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Defining the Physiological Factors that Contribute to Postflight Changes in Functional Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Arzeno, N.; Buxton, R.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I.; Lawrence, E.; Lee, S. M. C.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Platts, S. H.; Ploutz-Snyder, L.; Reschke, M. F.; Ryder, J.; Spiering, B. A.; Stenger, M. B.; Wood, S.

    2009-01-01

    Astronauts experience alterations in multiple physiological systems due to exposure to the microgravity conditions of space flight. These physiological changes include sensorimotor disturbances, cardiovascular deconditioning and loss of muscle mass and strength. These changes might affect the ability of crewmembers to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on lunar and Martian surfaces. To date, changes in functional performance have not been systematically studied or correlated with physiological changes. To understand how changes in physiological function impact functional performance an interdisciplinary pre/postflight testing regimen (Functional Task Test, FTT) has been developed that systematically evaluates both astronaut postflight functional performance and related physiological changes. The overall objective of the FTT is to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to performance of functional tests that are representative of critical mission tasks. This study will identify which physiological systems contribute the most to impaired performance on each functional test. This will allow us to identify the physiological systems that play the largest role in decrement in functional performance. Using this information we can then design and implement countermeasures that specifically target the physiological systems most responsible for the altered functional performance associated with space flight. The functional test battery was designed to address high priority tasks identified by the Constellation program as critical for mission success. The set of functional tests making up the FTT include the: 1) Seat Egress and Walk Test, 2) Ladder Climb Test, 3) Recovery from Fall/Stand Test, 4) Rock Translation Test, 5) Jump Down Test, 6) Torque Generation Test, and 7) Construction Activity Board Test. Corresponding physiological measures include assessments of postural and gait control, dynamic visual acuity, fine motor

  13. Ecological function as a target for ecosystem-based management: Defining when change matters in decision making

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) accounts for both direct and indirect drivers of ecological change for decision making. Just as with direct management of a resource, EBM requires a definition of management thresholds that define when change in function is sufficient to merit ma...

  14. Ecological function as a target for ecosystem-based management: Defining when change matters in decision making

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) accounts for both direct and indirect drivers of ecological change for decision making. Just as with direct management of a resource, EBM requires a definition of management thresholds that define when change in function is sufficient to merit ma...

  15. The Functional Quality of Soluble Recombinant Polypeptides Produced in Escherichia coli Is Defined by a Wide Conformational Spectrum▿

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Alonso, Mónica; González-Montalbán, Nuria; García-Fruitós, Elena; Villaverde, Antonio

    2008-01-01

    We have observed that a soluble recombinant green fluorescent protein produced in Escherichia coli occurs in a wide conformational spectrum. This results in differently fluorescent protein fractions in which morphologically diverse soluble aggregates abound. Therefore, the functional quality of soluble versions of aggregation-prone recombinant proteins is defined statistically rather than by the prevalence of a canonical native structure. PMID:18836021

  16. New method for fMRI investigations of language: defining ROIs functionally in individual subjects.

    PubMed

    Fedorenko, Evelina; Hsieh, Po-Jang; Nieto-Castañón, Alfonso; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2010-08-01

    Previous neuroimaging research has identified a number of brain regions sensitive to different aspects of linguistic processing, but precise functional characterization of these regions has proven challenging. We hypothesize that clearer functional specificity may emerge if candidate language-sensitive regions are identified functionally within each subject individually, a method that has revealed striking functional specificity in visual cortex but that has rarely been applied to neuroimaging studies of language. This method enables pooling of data from corresponding functional regions across subjects rather than from corresponding locations in stereotaxic space (which may differ functionally because of the anatomical variability across subjects). However, it is far from obvious a priori that this method will work as it requires that multiple stringent conditions be met. Specifically, candidate language-sensitive brain regions must be identifiable functionally within individual subjects in a short scan, must be replicable within subjects and have clear correspondence across subjects, and must manifest key signatures of language processing (e.g., a higher response to sentences than nonword strings, whether visual or auditory). We show here that this method does indeed work: we identify 13 candidate language-sensitive regions that meet these criteria, each present in >or=80% of subjects individually. The selectivity of these regions is stronger using our method than when standard group analyses are conducted on the same data, suggesting that the future application of this method may reveal clearer functional specificity than has been evident in prior neuroimaging research on language.

  17. Defining the multivalent functions of CTCF from chromatin state and three-dimensional chromatin interactions.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yiming; Shan, Guangyu; Xue, Jiguo; Chen, Changsheng; Zhang, Chenggang

    2016-07-27

    CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is a multi-functional protein that is assigned various, even contradictory roles in the genome. High-throughput sequencing-based technologies such as ChIP-seq and Hi-C provided us the opportunity to assess the multivalent functions of CTCF in the human genome. The location of CTCF-binding sites with respect to genomic features provides insights into the possible roles of this protein. Here we present the first genome-wide survey and characterization of three important functions of CTCF: enhancer insulator, chromatin barrier and enhancer linker. We developed a novel computational framework to discover the multivalent functions of CTCF based on chromatin state and three-dimensional chromatin architecture. We applied our method to five human cell lines and identified ∼46 000 non-redundant CTCF sites related to the three functions. Disparate effects of these functions on gene expression were found and distinct genomic features of these CTCF sites were characterized in GM12878 cells. Finally, we investigated the cell-type specificities of CTCF sites related to these functions across five cell types. Our study provides new insights into the multivalent functions of CTCF in the human genome.

  18. Highly reflective polymeric substrates functionalized utilizing atomic layer deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Zuzuarregui, Ana Gregorczyk, Keith E.; Coto, Borja; Ruiz de Gopegui, Unai; Barriga, Javier; Rodríguez, Jorge; Knez, Mato

    2015-08-10

    Reflective surfaces are one of the key elements of solar plants to concentrate energy in the receivers of solar thermal electricity plants. Polymeric substrates are being considered as an alternative to the widely used glass mirrors due to their intrinsic and processing advantages, but optimizing both the reflectance and the physical stability of polymeric mirrors still poses technological difficulties. In this work, polymeric surfaces have been functionalized with ceramic thin-films by atomic layer deposition. The characterization and optimization of the parameters involved in the process resulted in surfaces with a reflection index of 97%, turning polymers into a real alternative to glass substrates. The solution we present here can be easily applied in further technological areas where seemingly incompatible combinations of polymeric substrates and ceramic coatings occur.

  19. Utilizing natural diversity to evolve protein function: applications towards thermostability.

    PubMed

    Cole, Megan F; Gaucher, Eric A

    2011-06-01

    Protein evolution relies on designing a library of sequences that capture meaningful functional diversity in a limited number of protein variants. Several approaches take advantage of the sequence space already explored through natural selection by incorporating sequence diversity available from modern genomes (and their ancestors) when designing these libraries. The success of these approaches is, partly, owing to the fact that modern sequence diversity has already been subjected to evolutionary selective forces and thus the diversity has already been deemed 'fit to survive'. Five of these approaches will be discussed in this review to highlight how protein engineers can use evolutionary sequence history/diversity of homologous proteins in unique ways to design protein libraries. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Highly reflective polymeric substrates functionalized utilizing atomic layer deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuzuarregui, Ana; Coto, Borja; Rodríguez, Jorge; Gregorczyk, Keith E.; Ruiz de Gopegui, Unai; Barriga, Javier; Knez, Mato

    2015-08-01

    Reflective surfaces are one of the key elements of solar plants to concentrate energy in the receivers of solar thermal electricity plants. Polymeric substrates are being considered as an alternative to the widely used glass mirrors due to their intrinsic and processing advantages, but optimizing both the reflectance and the physical stability of polymeric mirrors still poses technological difficulties. In this work, polymeric surfaces have been functionalized with ceramic thin-films by atomic layer deposition. The characterization and optimization of the parameters involved in the process resulted in surfaces with a reflection index of 97%, turning polymers into a real alternative to glass substrates. The solution we present here can be easily applied in further technological areas where seemingly incompatible combinations of polymeric substrates and ceramic coatings occur.

  1. Scaling of Topologically Similar Functional Modules Defines Mouse Primary Auditory and Somatosensory Microcircuitry

    PubMed Central

    Sadovsky, Alexander J.

    2013-01-01

    Mapping the flow of activity through neocortical microcircuits provides key insights into the underlying circuit architecture. Using a comparative analysis we determined the extent to which the dynamics of microcircuits in mouse primary somatosensory barrel field (S1BF) and auditory (A1) neocortex generalize. We imaged the simultaneous dynamics of up to 1126 neurons spanning multiple columns and layers using high-speed multiphoton imaging. The temporal progression and reliability of reactivation of circuit events in both regions suggested common underlying cortical design features. We used circuit activity flow to generate functional connectivity maps, or graphs, to test the microcircuit hypothesis within a functional framework. S1BF and A1 present a useful test of the postulate as both regions map sensory input anatomically, but each area appears organized according to different design principles. We projected the functional topologies into anatomical space and found benchmarks of organization that had been previously described using physiology and anatomical methods, consistent with a close mapping between anatomy and functional dynamics. By comparing graphs representing activity flow we found that each region is similarly organized as highlighted by hallmarks of small world, scale free, and hierarchical modular topologies. Models of prototypical functional circuits from each area of cortex were sufficient to recapitulate experimentally observed circuit activity. Convergence to common behavior by these models was accomplished using preferential attachment to scale from an auditory up to a somatosensory circuit. These functional data imply that the microcircuit hypothesis be framed as scalable principles of neocortical circuit design. PMID:23986241

  2. Curcumin-functionalized silk biomaterials for anti-aging utility.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lei; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Qian, Cheng; Wu, Jianbing; Liu, Yawen; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Liu, Meng; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-02-02

    Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that is isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) and exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity, thus functional for anti-aging. However, poor stability and low solubility of curcumin in aqueous conditions limit its biomedical applications. Previous studies have shown that the anti-oxidation activity of curcumin embedded in silk fibroin films could be well preserved, resulting in the promoted adipogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on the surface of the films. In the present study, curcumin was encapsulated in both silk fibroin films (silk/cur films) and nanoparticles (silk/cur NPs), and their anti-aging effects were compared with free curcumin in solution, with an aim to elucidate the mechanism of anti-aging of silk-associated curcumin and to better serve biomedical applications in the future. The morphology and structure of silk/cur film and silk/cur NP were characterized using SEM, FTIR and DSC, indicating characteristic stable beta-sheet structure formation in the materials. Strong binding of curcumin molecules to the beta-sheet domains of silk fibroin resulted in the slow release of curcumin with well-preserved activity from the materials. For cell aging studies, rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were cultured in the presence of free curcumin (FC), silk/cur film and silk/cur NP, and cell proliferation and markers of aging (P53, P16, HSP70 gene expression and β-Galactosidase activity) were examined. The results indicated that cell aging was retarded in all FC, silk/cur NP and silk/cur film samples, with the silk-associated curcumin superior to the FC.

  3. Fronto-striatal organization: Defining functional and microstructural substrates of behavioural flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Laurel S.; Kundu, Prantik; Dowell, Nicholas; Mechelmans, Daisy J.; Favre, Pauline; Irvine, Michael A.; Robbins, Trevor W.; Daw, Nathaniel; Bullmore, Edward T.; Harrison, Neil A.; Voon, Valerie

    2016-01-01

    Discrete yet overlapping frontal-striatal circuits mediate broadly dissociable cognitive and behavioural processes. Using a recently developed multi-echo resting-state functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) sequence with greatly enhanced signal compared to noise ratios, we map frontal cortical functional projections to the striatum and striatal projections through the direct and indirect basal ganglia circuit. We demonstrate distinct limbic (ventromedial prefrontal regions, ventral striatum – VS, ventral tegmental area – VTA), motor (supplementary motor areas – SMAs, putamen, substantia nigra) and cognitive (lateral prefrontal and caudate) functional connectivity. We confirm the functional nature of the cortico-striatal connections, demonstrating correlates of well-established goal-directed behaviour (involving medial orbitofrontal cortex – mOFC and VS), probabilistic reversal learning (lateral orbitofrontal cortex – lOFC and VS) and attentional shifting (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – dlPFC and VS) while assessing habitual model-free (SMA and putamen) behaviours on an exploratory basis. We further use neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) to show that more goal-directed model-based learning (MBc) is also associated with higher mOFC neurite density and habitual model-free learning (MFc) implicates neurite complexity in the putamen. This data highlights similarities between a computational account of MFc and conventional measures of habit learning. We highlight the intrinsic functional and structural architecture of parallel systems of behavioural control. PMID:26673945

  4. A defined synthetic substrate for serum-free culture of human stem cell derived cardiomyocytes with improved functional maturity identified using combinatorial materials microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Asha K.; Celiz, Adam D.; Rajamohan, Divya; Anderson, Daniel G.; Langer, Robert; Davies, Martyn C.

    2016-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes from human stem cells have applications in regenerative medicine and can provide models for heart disease and toxicity screening. Soluble components of the culture system such as growth factors within serum and insoluble components such as the substrate on which cells adhere to are important variables controlling the biological activity of cells. Using a combinatorial materials approach we develop a synthetic, chemically defined cellular niche for the support of functional cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-CMs) in a serum-free fully defined culture system. Almost 700 polymers were synthesized and evaluated for their utility as growth substrates. From this group, 20 polymers were identified that supported cardiomyocyte adhesion and spreading. The most promising 3 polymers were scaled up for extended culture of hESC-CMs for 15 days and were characterized using patch clamp electrophysiology and myofibril analysis to find that functional and structural phenotype was maintained on these synthetic substrates without the need for coating with extracellular matrix protein. In addition, we found that hESC-CMs cultured on a co-polymer of isobornyl methacrylate and tert-butylamino-ethyl methacrylate exhibited significantly longer sarcomeres relative to gelatin control. The potential utility of increased structural integrity was demonstrated in an in vitro toxicity assay that found an increase in detection sensitivity of myofibril disruption by the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin at a concentration of 0.05 µM in cardiomyocytes cultured on the co-polymer compared to 0.5 µM on gelatin. The chemical moieties identified in this large-scale screen provide chemically defined conditions for the culture and manipulation of hESC-CMs, as well as a framework for the rational design of superior biomaterials. PMID:26005764

  5. A defined synthetic substrate for serum-free culture of human stem cell derived cardiomyocytes with improved functional maturity identified using combinatorial materials microarrays.

    PubMed

    Patel, Asha K; Celiz, Adam D; Rajamohan, Divya; Anderson, Daniel G; Langer, Robert; Davies, Martyn C; Alexander, Morgan R; Denning, Chris

    2015-08-01

    Cardiomyocytes from human stem cells have applications in regenerative medicine and can provide models for heart disease and toxicity screening. Soluble components of the culture system such as growth factors within serum and insoluble components such as the substrate on which cells adhere to are important variables controlling the biological activity of cells. Using a combinatorial materials approach we develop a synthetic, chemically defined cellular niche for the support of functional cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-CMs) in a serum-free fully defined culture system. Almost 700 polymers were synthesized and evaluated for their utility as growth substrates. From this group, 20 polymers were identified that supported cardiomyocyte adhesion and spreading. The most promising 3 polymers were scaled up for extended culture of hESC-CMs for 15 days and were characterized using patch clamp electrophysiology and myofibril analysis to find that functional and structural phenotype was maintained on these synthetic substrates without the need for coating with extracellular matrix protein. In addition, we found that hESC-CMs cultured on a co-polymer of isobornyl methacrylate and tert-butylamino-ethyl methacrylate exhibited significantly longer sarcomeres relative to gelatin control. The potential utility of increased structural integrity was demonstrated in an in vitro toxicity assay that found an increase in detection sensitivity of myofibril disruption by the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin at a concentration of 0.05 μM in cardiomyocytes cultured on the co-polymer compared to 0.5 μM on gelatin. The chemical moieties identified in this large-scale screen provide chemically defined conditions for the culture and manipulation of hESC-CMs, as well as a framework for the rational design of superior biomaterials. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Emergence of functional sensory subtypes as defined by transient receptor potential channel expression.

    PubMed

    Hjerling-Leffler, Jens; Alqatari, Mona; Ernfors, Patrik; Koltzenburg, Martin

    2007-03-07

    The existence of heterogeneous populations of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons conveying different somatosensory information is the basis for the perception of touch, temperature, and pain. A differential expression of transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels contributes to this functional heterogeneity. However, little is known about the development of functionally diverse neuronal subpopulations. Here, we use calcium imaging of acutely dissociated mouse sensory neurons and quantitative reverse transcription PCR to show that TRP cation channels emerge in waves, with the diversification of functional groups starting at embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and extending well into the postnatal life. Functional responses of voltage-gated calcium channels were present in DRG neurons at E11.5 and reached adult levels by E14.5. Responses to capsaicin, menthol, and cinnamaldehyde were first seen at E12.5, E16.5, and postnatal day 0 (P0), when the mRNA for TRP cation channel, subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1), TRP cation channel, subfamily M, member 8 (TRPM8), and TRP cation channel, subfamily A, member 1 (TRPA1), respectively, was first detected. Cold-sensitive neurons were present before the expression or functional responses of TRPM8 or TRPA1. Our data support a lineage relationship in which TRPM8- and TRPA1-expressing sensory neurons derive from the population of TRPV1-expressing neurons. The TRPA1 subpopulation of neurons emerges independently in two distinct classes of nociceptors: around birth in the peptidergic population and after P14 in the nonpeptidergic class. This indicates that neurons with similar receptive properties can be generated in different sublineages at different developmental stages. This study describes for the first time the emergence of functional subtypes of sensory neurons, providing new insight into the development of nociception and thermoreception.

  7. TU-F-12A-04: Differential Radiation Avoidance of Functional Liver Regions Defined by 99mTc-Sulfur Colloid SPECT/CT with Proton Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Bowen, S; Miyaoka, R; Kinahan, P; Sandison, G; Vesselle, H; Nyflot, M; Apisarnthanarax, S; Saini, J; Wong, T

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: Radiotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma patients is conventionally planned without consideration of spatial heterogeneity in hepatic function, which may increase risk of radiation-induced liver disease. Pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton radiotherapy (pRT) plans were generated to differentially decrease dose to functional liver volumes (FLV) defined on [{sup 99m}Tc]sulfur colloid (SC) SPECT/CT images (functional avoidance plans) and compared against conventional pRT plans. Methods: Three HCC patients underwent SC SPECT/CT scans for pRT planning acquired 15 min post injection over 24 min. Images were reconstructed with OSEM following scatter, collimator, and exhale CT attenuation correction. Functional liver volumes (FLV) were defined by liver:spleen uptake ratio thresholds (43% to 90% maximum). Planning objectives to FLV were based on mean SC SPECT uptake ratio relative to GTV-subtracted liver and inversely scaled to mean liver dose of 20 Gy. PTV target coverage (V{sub 95}) was matched between conventional and functional avoidance plans. PBS pRT plans were optimized in RayStation for single field uniform dose (SFUD) and systematically perturbed to verify robustness to uncertainty in range, setup, and motion. Relative differences in FLV DVH and target dose heterogeneity (D{sub 2}-D{sub 98})/D50 were assessed. Results: For similar liver dose between functional avoidance and conventional PBS pRT plans (D{sub mean}≤5% difference, V{sub 18Gy}≤1% difference), dose to functional liver volumes were lower in avoidance plans but varied in magnitude across patients (FLV{sub 70%max} D{sub mean}≤26% difference, V{sub 18Gy}≤8% difference). Higher PTV dose heterogeneity in avoidance plans was associated with lower functional liver dose, particularly for the largest lesion [(D{sub 2}-D{sub 98})/D{sub 50}=13%, FLV{sub 90%max}=50% difference]. Conclusion: Differential avoidance of functional liver regions defined on sulfur colloid SPECT/CT is feasible with proton

  8. Functional Significance May Underlie the Taxonomic Utility of Single Amino Acid Substitutions in Conserved Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Gerd K.; Wu, Qiong; Huber, Katharina T.

    2010-01-01

    We hypothesized that some amino acid substitutions in conserved proteins that are strongly fixed by critical functional roles would show lineage-specific distributions. As an example of an archetypal conserved eukaryotic protein we considered the active site of β-tubulin. Our analysis identified one amino acid substitution—β-tubulin F224—which was highly lineage specific. Investigation of β-tubulin for other phylogenetically restricted amino acids identified several with apparent specificity for well-defined phylogenetic groups. Intriguingly, none showed specificity for “supergroups” other than the unikonts. To understand why, we analysed the β-tubulin Neighbor-Net and demonstrated a fundamental division between core β-tubulins (plant-like) and divergent β-tubulins (animal and fungal). F224 was almost completely restricted to the core β-tubulins, while divergent β-tubulins possessed Y224. Thus, our specific example offers insight into the restrictions associated with the co-evolution of β-tubulin during the radiation of eukaryotes, underlining a fundamental dichotomy between F-type, core β-tubulins and Y-type, divergent β-tubulins. More broadly our study provides proof of principle for the taxonomic utility of critical amino acids in the active sites of conserved proteins. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00239-010-9338-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20386893

  9. Defining functional changes in the brain caused by targeted stereotaxic radiosurgery.

    PubMed

    Parihar, Vipan K; Acharya, Munjal M; Roa, Dante E; Bosch, Omar; Christie, Lori-Ann; Limoli, Charles L

    2014-04-01

    Brain tumor patients routinely undergo cranial radiotherapy, and while beneficial, this treatment often results in debilitating cognitive dysfunction. This serious and unresolved problem has at present, no clinical recourse, and has driven our efforts to more clearly define the consequences of different brain irradiation paradigms on specific indices of cognitive performance and on the underlying cellular mechanisms believed to affect these processes. To accomplish this we have developed the capability to deliver highly focused X-ray beams to small and precisely defined volumes of the athymic rat brain, thereby providing more realistic simulations of clinical irradiation scenarios. Using this technique, termed stereotaxic radiosurgery, we evaluated the cognitive consequences of irradiation targeted to the hippocampus in one or both hemispheres of the brain, and compared that to whole brain irradiation. While whole brain irradiation was found to elicit significant deficits in novel place recognition and fear conditioning, standard platforms for quantifying hippocampal and non-hippocampal decrements, irradiation targeted to both hippocampi was only found to elicit deficits in fear conditioning. Cognitive decrements were more difficult to demonstrate in animals subjected to unilateral hippocampal ablation. Immunohistochemical staining for newly born immature (doublecortin positive) and mature (NeuN positive) neurons confirmed our capability to target irradiation to the neurogenic regions of the hippocampus. Stereotaxic radiosurgery (SRS) of the ipsilateral hemisphere reduced significantly the number of doublecortin and NeuN positive neurons by 80% and 27% respectively. Interestingly, neurogenesis on the contralateral side was upregulated in response to stereotaxic radiosurgery, where the number of doublecortin and NeuN positive neurons increased by 22% and 36% respectively. Neuroinflammation measured by immunostaining for activated microglia (ED1 positive cells) was

  10. GrDHP: a general utility function representation for dual heuristic dynamic programming.

    PubMed

    Ni, Zhen; He, Haibo; Zhao, Dongbin; Xu, Xin; Prokhorov, Danil V

    2015-03-01

    A general utility function representation is proposed to provide the required derivable and adjustable utility function for the dual heuristic dynamic programming (DHP) design. Goal representation DHP (GrDHP) is presented with a goal network being on top of the traditional DHP design. This goal network provides a general mapping between the system states and the derivatives of the utility function. With this proposed architecture, we can obtain the required derivatives of the utility function directly from the goal network. In addition, instead of a fixed predefined utility function in literature, we conduct an online learning process for the goal network so that the derivatives of the utility function can be adaptively tuned over time. We provide the control performance of both the proposed GrDHP and the traditional DHP approaches under the same environment and parameter settings. The statistical simulation results and the snapshot of the system variables are presented to demonstrate the improved learning and controlling performance. We also apply both approaches to a power system example to further demonstrate the control capabilities of the GrDHP approach.

  11. Using siRNA to define functional interactions between melanopsin and multiple G Protein partners.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Steven; Jagannath, Aarti; Hickey, Doron; Gatti, Silvia; Wood, Matthew; Peirson, Stuart N; Foster, Russell G; Hankins, Mark W

    2015-01-01

    Melanopsin expressing photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs) represent a third class of ocular photoreceptors and mediate a range of non-image forming responses to light. Melanopsin is a G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and existing data suggest that it employs a membrane bound signalling cascade involving Gnaq/11 type G proteins. However, to date the precise identity of the Gα subunits involved in melanopsin phototransduction remains poorly defined. Here we show that Gnaq, Gna11 and Gna14 are highly co-expressed in pRGCs of the mouse retina. Furthermore, using RNAi based gene silencing we show that melanopsin can signal via Gnaq, Gna11 or Gna14 in vitro, and demonstrate that multiple members of the Gnaq/11 subfamily, including Gna14 and at least Gnaq or Gna11, can participate in melanopsin phototransduction in vivo and contribute to the pupillary light responses of mice lacking rod and cone photoreceptors. This diversity of G protein interactions suggests additional complexity in the melanopsin phototransduction cascade and may provide a basis for generating the diversity of light responses observed from pRGC subtypes.

  12. Defining BMP functions in the hair follicle by conditional ablation of BMP receptor IA.

    PubMed

    Kobielak, Krzysztof; Pasolli, H Amalia; Alonso, Laura; Polak, Lisa; Fuchs, Elaine

    2003-11-10

    Using conditional gene targeting in mice, we show that BMP receptor IA is essential for the differentiation of progenitor cells of the inner root sheath and hair shaft. Without BMPRIA activation, GATA-3 is down-regulated and its regulated control of IRS differentiation is compromised. In contrast, Lef1 is up-regulated, but its regulated control of hair differentiation is still blocked, and BMPRIA-null follicles fail to activate Lef1/beta-catenin-regulated genes, including keratin genes. Wnt-mediated transcriptional activation can be restored by transfecting BMPRIA-null keratinocytes with a constitutively activated beta-catenin. This places the block downstream from Lef1 expression but upstream from beta-catenin stabilization. Because mice lacking the BMP inhibitor Noggin fail to express Lef1, our findings support a model, whereby a sequential inhibition and then activation of BMPRIA is necessary to define a band of hair progenitor cells, which possess enough Lef1 and stabilized beta-catenin to activate the hair specific keratin genes and generate the hair shaft.

  13. Conservation defines functional motifs in the squint/nodal-related 1 RNA dorsal localization element

    PubMed Central

    Gilligan, Patrick C.; Kumari, Pooja; Lim, Shimin; Cheong, Albert; Chang, Alex; Sampath, Karuna

    2011-01-01

    RNA localization is emerging as a general principle of sub-cellular protein localization and cellular organization. However, the sequence and structural requirements in many RNA localization elements remain poorly understood. Whereas transcription factor-binding sites in DNA can be recognized as short degenerate motifs, and consensus binding sites readily inferred, protein-binding sites in RNA often contain structural features, and can be difficult to infer. We previously showed that zebrafish squint/nodal-related 1 (sqt/ndr1) RNA localizes to the future dorsal side of the embryo. Interestingly, mammalian nodal RNA can also localize to dorsal when injected into zebrafish embryos, suggesting that the sequence motif(s) may be conserved, even though the fish and mammal UTRs cannot be aligned. To define potential sequence and structural features, we obtained ndr1 3′-UTR sequences from approximately 50 fishes that are closely, or distantly, related to zebrafish, for high-resolution phylogenetic footprinting. We identify conserved sequence and structural motifs within the zebrafish/carp family and catfish. We find that two novel motifs, a single-stranded AGCAC motif and a small stem-loop, are required for efficient sqt RNA localization. These findings show that comparative sequencing in the zebrafish/carp family is an efficient approach for identifying weak consensus binding sites for RNA regulatory proteins. PMID:21149265

  14. Utility of the modified ATP III defined metabolic syndrome and severe obesity as predictors of insulin resistance in overweight children and adolescents: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Dhuper, Sarita; Cohen, Hillel W; Daniel, Josephine; Gumidyala, Padmasree; Agarwalla, Vipin; St Victor, Rosemarie; Dhuper, Sunil

    2007-01-01

    Background The rising prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) has received increased attention since both place individuals at risk for Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance (IR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and MetS in both children and adults and is a known independent cardiovascular risk factor. However measures of IR are not routinely performed in children while MetS or severe obesity when present, are considered as clinical markers for IR. Objective The study was undertaken to assess the utility of ATPIII defined metabolic syndrome (MetS) and severe obesity as predictors of insulin resistance (IR) in a group of 576 overweight children and adolescents attending a pediatric obesity clinic in Brooklyn. Methods Inclusion criteria were children ages 3–19, and body mass index > 95th percentile for age. MetS was defined using ATP III criteria, modified for age. IR was defined as upper tertile of homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) within 3 age groups (3–8, n = 122; 9–11, n = 164; 12–19, n = 290). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values and odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated within age groups for predicting IR using MetS and severe obesity respectively. Results MetS was present in 45%, 48% and 42% of the respective age groups and significantly predicted IR only in the oldest group (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.2, 3.4; p = .006). Sensitivities were <55%; specificities <63% and positive predictive values ≤ 42% in all groups. Severe obesity was significantly associated with IR in both the 9–11 (p = .002) and 12–18 (p = .01) groups but positive predictive values were nonetheless ≤ 51% for all groups. Conclusion The expression of IR in overweight children and adolescents is heterogeneous and MetS or severe obesity may not be sufficiently sensitive and specific indicators of insulin resistance. In addition to screening for MetS in overweight children markers for

  15. Structural Waters Define a Functional Channel Mediating Activation of the GPCR, rhodopsin

    SciTech Connect

    Angel, T.; Gupta, S; Jastrzebska, B; Palczewski, K; Chance, M

    2009-01-01

    Structural water molecules may act as prosthetic groups indispensable for proper protein function. In the case of allosteric activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), water likely imparts structural plasticity required for agonist-induced signal transmission. Inspection of structures of GPCR superfamily members reveals the presence of conserved embedded water molecules likely important to GPCR function. Coupling radiolytic hydroxyl radical labeling with rapid H2O18 solvent mixing, we observed no exchange of these structural waters with bulk solvent in either ground state or for the Meta II or opsin states. However, the radiolysis approach permitted labeling of selected side chain residues within the transmembrane helices and revealed activation-induced changes in local structural constraints likely mediated by dynamics of both water and protein. These results suggest both a possible general mechanism for water-dependent communication in family A GPCRs based on structural conservation, and a strategy for probing membrane protein structure.

  16. Defining ATM-Independent Functions of the Mre11 Complex with a Novel Mouse Model.

    PubMed

    Balestrini, Alessia; Nicolas, Laura; Yang-Lott, Katherine; Guryanova, Olga A; Levine, Ross L; Bassing, Craig H; Chaudhuri, Jayanta; Petrini, John H J

    2016-02-01

    The Mre11 complex (Mre11, Rad50, and Nbs1) occupies a central node of the DNA damage response (DDR) network and is required for ATM activation in response to DNA damage. Hypomorphic alleles of MRE11 and NBS1 confer embryonic lethality in ATM-deficient mice, indicating that the complex exerts ATM-independent functions that are essential when ATM is absent. To delineate those functions, a conditional ATM allele (ATM(flox)) was crossed to hypomorphic NBS1 mutants (Nbs1(ΔB/ΔB) mice). Nbs1(ΔB/ΔB) Atm(-/-) hematopoietic cells derived by crossing to vav(cre) were viable in vivo. Nbs1(ΔB/ΔB) Atm(-/-) (VAV) mice exhibited a pronounced defect in double-strand break repair and completely penetrant early onset lymphomagenesis. In addition to repair defects observed, fragile site instability was noted, indicating that the Mre11 complex promotes genome stability upon replication stress in vivo. The data suggest combined influences of the Mre11 complex on DNA repair, as well as the responses to DNA damage and DNA replication stress. A novel mouse model was developed, by combining a vav(cre)-inducible ATM knockout mouse with an NBS1 hypomorphic mutation, to analyze ATM-independent functions of the Mre11 complex in vivo. These data show that the DNA repair, rather than DDR signaling functions of the complex, is acutely required in the context of ATM deficiency to suppress genome instability and lymphomagenesis. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  17. Rapid assembly of structurally defined and highly functionalized conjugated dienes via tethered enyne metathesis.

    PubMed

    Yao, Q

    2001-06-28

    [reaction: see text] Conjugated dienes are versatile building blocks in organic synthesis, and the development of new methods for their synthesis remains an important topic in modern synthetic organic chemistry. We describe here an expedient synthesis of highly functionalized conjugated dienes through sequential silicon-tethered ring-closing enyne metathesis mediated by Grubbs' Ru carbene catalysts and Tamao oxidation. Notable attributes of this methodology include short synthetic manipulations and the structural complexity it confers on the resulting diene moiety.

  18. Defining the Roles, Responsibilities, and Functions for Data Science Within the Defense Intelligence Agency

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-01-01

    Responsibilities, and Functions for Data Science Within DIA Data science has been used not only to recruit new employees , but also to manage them...develop concepts for build- ing a corps of data scientists in DIA and to study workforce recruitment , retention, and training to develop and retain a...data science. In Chapter Five, we explore ways to recruit and retain government civilian data scientists. We provide notional position descriptions

  19. Efficient generation of functional Schwann cells from adipose-derived stem cells in defined conditions.

    PubMed

    Xie, Songtao; Lu, Fan; Han, Juntao; Tao, Ke; Wang, Hongtao; Simental, Alfred; Hu, Dahai; Yang, Hao

    2017-03-15

    Schwann cells (SCs) are hitherto regarded as the most promising candidates for viable cell-based therapy to peripheral nervous system (PNS) injuries or degenerative diseases. However, the extreme drawbacks of transplanting autologous SCs for clinical applications still represent a significant bottleneck in neural regenerative medicine, mainly owing to the need of sacrificing a functional nerve to generate autologous SCs and the nature of slow expansion of the SCs. Thus, it is of great importance to establish an alternative cell system for the generation of sufficient SCs. Here, we demonstrated that adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) of rat robustly give rise to morphological, phenotypic and functional SCs using an optimized protocol. After undergoing a 3-week in vitro differentiation, almost all of treated ADSCs exhibited spindle shaped morphology similar to genuine SCs and expressed SC markers GFAP and S100. Most importantly, apart from acquisition of SC antigenic and biochemical features, the ADSC-derived SCs were functionally identical to native SCs as they possess a potential ability to form myelin, and secret nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). The current study may provide an ideal strategy for harvesting sufficient SCs for cell-based treatment of various peripheral nerve injuries or disorders.

  20. Determination of human DNA polymerase utilization for the repair of a model ionizing radiation-induced DNA strand break lesion in a defined vector substrate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winters, T. A.; Russell, P. S.; Kohli, M.; Dar, M. E.; Neumann, R. D.; Jorgensen, T. J.

    1999-01-01

    Human DNA polymerase and DNA ligase utilization for the repair of a major class of ionizing radiation-induced DNA lesion [DNA single-strand breaks containing 3'-phosphoglycolate (3'-PG)] was examined using a novel, chemically defined vector substrate containing a single, site-specific 3'-PG single-strand break lesion. In addition, the major human AP endonuclease, HAP1 (also known as APE1, APEX, Ref-1), was tested to determine if it was involved in initiating repair of 3'-PG-containing single-strand break lesions. DNA polymerase beta was found to be the primary polymerase responsible for nucleotide incorporation at the lesion site following excision of the 3'-PG blocking group. However, DNA polymerase delta/straightepsilon was also capable of nucleotide incorporation at the lesion site following 3'-PG excision. In addition, repair reactions catalyzed by DNA polymerase beta were found to be most effective in the presence of DNA ligase III, while those catalyzed by DNA polymerase delta/straightepsilon appeared to be more effective in the presence of DNA ligase I. Also, it was demonstrated that the repair initiating 3'-PG excision reaction was not dependent upon HAP1 activity, as judged by inhibition of HAP1 with neutralizing HAP1-specific polyclonal antibody.

  1. Determination of human DNA polymerase utilization for the repair of a model ionizing radiation-induced DNA strand break lesion in a defined vector substrate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winters, T. A.; Russell, P. S.; Kohli, M.; Dar, M. E.; Neumann, R. D.; Jorgensen, T. J.

    1999-01-01

    Human DNA polymerase and DNA ligase utilization for the repair of a major class of ionizing radiation-induced DNA lesion [DNA single-strand breaks containing 3'-phosphoglycolate (3'-PG)] was examined using a novel, chemically defined vector substrate containing a single, site-specific 3'-PG single-strand break lesion. In addition, the major human AP endonuclease, HAP1 (also known as APE1, APEX, Ref-1), was tested to determine if it was involved in initiating repair of 3'-PG-containing single-strand break lesions. DNA polymerase beta was found to be the primary polymerase responsible for nucleotide incorporation at the lesion site following excision of the 3'-PG blocking group. However, DNA polymerase delta/straightepsilon was also capable of nucleotide incorporation at the lesion site following 3'-PG excision. In addition, repair reactions catalyzed by DNA polymerase beta were found to be most effective in the presence of DNA ligase III, while those catalyzed by DNA polymerase delta/straightepsilon appeared to be more effective in the presence of DNA ligase I. Also, it was demonstrated that the repair initiating 3'-PG excision reaction was not dependent upon HAP1 activity, as judged by inhibition of HAP1 with neutralizing HAP1-specific polyclonal antibody.

  2. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strecker, A.L.; Olden, J.D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, C.P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential tradeoffs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity;contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species);and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities;however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates multiple

  3. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strecker, Angela; Olden, Julian D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential trade-offs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity; contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species); and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities; however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates

  4. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes

    PubMed Central

    van Overbeek, Leonard S.; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. PMID:26136581

  5. Probing the nucleoporin FG repeat network defines structural and functional features of the nuclear pore complex

    PubMed Central

    Stelter, Philipp; Kunze, Ruth; Fischer, Jessica

    2011-01-01

    Unraveling the organization of the FG repeat meshwork that forms the active transport channel of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) is key to understanding the mechanism of nucleocytoplasmic transport. In this paper, we develop a tool to probe the FG repeat network in living cells by modifying FG nucleoporins (Nups) with a binding motif (engineered dynein light chain–interacting domain) that can drag several copies of an interfering protein, Dyn2, into the FG network to plug the pore and stop nucleocytoplasmic transport. Our method allows us to specifically probe FG Nups in vivo, which provides insight into the organization and function of the NPC transport channel. PMID:21987633

  6. Sensitive human thyroglobulin RIA to define clearly the presence or absence of functioning thyroid tissue

    SciTech Connect

    Lemish, I.; Bennett, F.; Martin, C.; Warwick, A.; Quinlan, M.

    1984-01-01

    The paper describes a practical procedure to establish a sensitive radioimmunoassay for the measurement of human thyroglobuln (HTg) in serum. The assay enables a clear distinction to be made between levels of HTg indicating the presence or absence of functioning thyroid tissue. It compares the use of HTg serum levels with the conventional I-131 scintigram as a marker for recurrent thyroid concer. In addition, a simple and sensitive radioimmunologic assay is described for the determination of serum antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, the presence of which may give falsely elevated HTg levels.

  7. Probing the nucleoporin FG repeat network defines structural and functional features of the nuclear pore complex.

    PubMed

    Stelter, Philipp; Kunze, Ruth; Fischer, Jessica; Hurt, Ed

    2011-10-17

    Unraveling the organization of the FG repeat meshwork that forms the active transport channel of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) is key to understanding the mechanism of nucleocytoplasmic transport. In this paper, we develop a tool to probe the FG repeat network in living cells by modifying FG nucleoporins (Nups) with a binding motif (engineered dynein light chain-interacting domain) that can drag several copies of an interfering protein, Dyn2, into the FG network to plug the pore and stop nucleocytoplasmic transport. Our method allows us to specifically probe FG Nups in vivo, which provides insight into the organization and function of the NPC transport channel.

  8. Well- and Ill-Defined Measures of Everyday Cognition: Relationship to Older Adults’ Intellectual Ability and Functional Status

    PubMed Central

    Allaire, Jason C.; Marsiske, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined 2 approaches to the measurement of everyday cognition in older adults. Measures differing in the degree of structure offered for solving problems in the domains of medication use, financial management, and food preparation and nutrition were administered to a sample of 130 community-dwelling older adults ranging in age from 60 to 90 (M = 73 years, SD = 7.02 years). Well-defined and ill-defined everyday problem-solving measures, which varied in the amount of means–end-related information provided to participants, were used. The study found that (a) well- and ill-defined measures were moderately interrelated, (b) the 2 approaches were differentially related to basic cognitive abilities, and (c) together the 2 approaches explained over half of the variance in older adults’ everyday instrumental functioning and were in fact better predictors of everyday functioning than traditional psychometric cognitive measures. Discussion focuses on the differential importance of both methods for assessing older adults’ everyday cognitive functioning. PMID:11931279

  9. Defining keratin protein function in skin epithelia: Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex and its aftermath

    PubMed Central

    Coulombe1, Pierre A.; Lee, Chang-Hun

    2011-01-01

    Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) is a rare genetic condition typified by superficial bullous lesions following incident frictional trauma to the skin. Most cases of EBS are due to dominantly-acting mutations in keratin 14 (K14) or K5, the type I and II intermediate filament (IF) proteins that co-polymerize to form a pan-cytoplasmic network of 10nm filaments in basal keratinocytes of epidermis and related epithelia. Defects in K5–K14 filament network architecture cause basal keratinocytes to become fragile, and account for their rupture upon exposure to mechanical trauma. The discovery of the etiology and pathophysiology of EBS was intimately linked to the quest for an understanding of the properties and function of keratin filaments in skin epithelia. Since then, continued cross-fertilization between basic science efforts and clinical endeavors has highlighted several additional functional roles for keratin proteins in the skin, suggested new avenues for effective therapies for keratin-based diseases, and expanded our understanding of the remarkable properties of skin as an organ system. PMID:22277943

  10. Induction of functional tissue-engineered skeletal muscle constructs by defined electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Ito, Akira; Yamamoto, Yasunori; Sato, Masanori; Ikeda, Kazushi; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Fujita, Hideaki; Nagamori, Eiji; Kawabe, Yoshinori; Kamihira, Masamichi

    2014-04-24

    Electrical impulses are necessary for proper in vivo skeletal muscle development. To fabricate functional skeletal muscle tissues in vitro, recapitulation of the in vivo niche, including physical stimuli, is crucial. Here, we report a technique to engineer skeletal muscle tissues in vitro by electrical pulse stimulation (EPS). Electrically excitable tissue-engineered skeletal muscle constructs were stimulated with continuous electrical pulses of 0.3 V/mm amplitude, 4 ms width, and 1 Hz frequency, resulting in a 4.5-fold increase in force at day 14. In myogenic differentiation culture, the percentage of peak twitch force (%Pt) was determined as the load on the tissue constructs during the artificial exercise induced by continuous EPS. We optimized the stimulation protocol, wherein the tissues were first subjected to 24.5%Pt, which was increased to 50-60%Pt as the tissues developed. This technique may be a useful approach to fabricate tissue-engineered functional skeletal muscle constructs.

  11. Defining ATM-independent Functions of the Mre11 Complex with a Novel Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Balestrini, Alessia; Nicolas, Laura; Yang-lott, Katherine; Guryanova, Olga A.; Levine, Ross L.; Bassing, Craig H.; Chaudhuri, Jayanta; Petrini, John H.J.

    2015-01-01

    The Mre11 complex (Mre11, Rad50 and Nbs1) occupies a central node of the DNA damage response (DDR) network, and is required for ATM activation in response to DNA damage. Hypomorphic alleles of MRE11 and NBS1 confer embryonic lethality in ATM deficient mice, indicating that the complex exerts ATM independent functions that are essential when ATM is absent. To delineate those functions, a conditional ATM allele (ATMflox) was crossed to hypomorphic NBS1 mutants (Nbs1ΔB/ΔB mice). Nbs1ΔB/ΔB Atm−/− hematopoietic cells derived by crossing to vavcre were viable in vivo. Nbs1ΔB/ΔB Atm−/− VAV mice exhibited a pronounced defect in double strand break (DSB) repair, and completely penetrant early onset lymphomagenesis. In addition to repair defects observed, fragile site instability was noted, indicating that the Mre11 complex promotes genome stability upon replication stress in vivo. The data suggest combined influences of the Mre11 complex on DNA repair, as well as the responses to DNA damage and DNA replication stress. PMID:26538284

  12. Overlapping and Specific Functions of the Hsp104 N Domain Define Its Role in Protein Disaggregation

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Jungsoon; Sung, Nuri; Mercado, Jonathan M.; ...

    2017-09-11

    Hsp104 is a ring-forming protein disaggregase that rescues stress-damaged proteins from an aggregated state. To facilitate protein disaggregation, Hsp104 cooperates with Hsp70 and Hsp40 chaperones (Hsp70/40) to form a bi-chaperone system. How Hsp104 recognizes its substrates, particularly the importance of the N domain, remains poorly understood and multiple, seemingly conficting mechanisms have been proposed. Although the N domain is dispensable for protein disaggregation, it is sensitive to point mutations that abolish the function of the bacterial Hsp104 homolog in vitro, and is essential for curing yeast prions by Hsp104 overexpression in vivo. Here, we present the crystal structure of anmore » N-terminal fragment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hsp104 with the N domain of one molecule bound to the C-terminal helix of the neighboring D1 domain. Consistent with mimicking substrate interaction, mutating the putative substrate-binding site in a constitutively active Hsp104 variant impairs the recovery of functional protein from aggregates. We fnd that the observed substrate-binding defect can be rescued by Hsp70/40 chaperones, providing a molecular explanation as to why the N domain is dispensable for protein disaggregation when Hsp70/40 is present, yet essential for the dissolution of Hsp104-specifc substrates, such as yeast prions, which likely depends on a direct N domain interaction.« less

  13. CNTF variants with increased biological potency and receptor selectivity define a functional site of receptor interaction.

    PubMed Central

    Saggio, I; Gloaguen, I; Poiana, G; Laufer, R

    1995-01-01

    Human CNTF is a neurocytokine that elicits potent neurotrophic effects by activating a receptor complex composed of the ligand-specific alpha-receptor subunit (CNTFR alpha) and two signal transducing proteins, which together constitute a receptor for leukemia inhibitory factor (LIFR). At high concentrations, CNTF can also activate the LIFR and possibly other cross-reactive cytokine receptors in the absence of CNTFR alpha. To gain a better understanding of its structure-function relationships and to develop analogs with increased receptor specificity, the cytokine was submitted to affinity maturation using phage display technology. Variants with greatly increased CNTFR alpha affinity were selected from a phage-displayed library of CNTF variants carrying random amino acid substitutions in the putative D helix. Selected variants contained substitutions of the wild-type Gln167 residue, either alone or in combination with neighboring mutations. These results provide evidence for an important functional role of the mutagenized region in CNTFR alpha binding. Affinity enhancing mutations conferred to CNTF increased potency to trigger biological effects mediated by CNTFR alpha and enhanced neurotrophic activity on chicken ciliary neurons. In contrast, the same mutations did not potentiate the CNTFR alpha-independent receptor actions of CNTF. These CNTF analogs thus represent receptor-specific superagonists, which should help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the pleiotropic actions of the neurocytokine. PMID:7621819

  14. Synthesis of fused imidazoles, pyrroles, and indoles with a defined stereocenter α to nitrogen utilizing Mitsunobu alkylation followed by palladium-catalyzed cyclization.

    PubMed

    Laha, Joydev K; Cuny, Gregory D

    2011-10-21

    Nitrogen-containing fused heterocycles comprise many compounds that demonstrate interesting biological activities. A new synthetic approach involving Mitsunobu alkylation of imidazoles, pyrroles, and indoles followed by palladium-catalyzed cyclization has been developed providing access to fused heterocycles with a defined stereochemistry α to nitrogen. While ethyl imidazole or indole carboxylates are good substrates for Mitsunobu alkylation with optically pure secondary benzylic alcohols, the corresponding pyrroles are poor substrates presumably due to the increased pK(a) of the NH. The presence of a synthetically versatile trichloroacetyl functional group on the pyrroles significantly reduces the pK(a) and thereby facilitates Mitsunobu alkylation. Subsequent cyclization of the alkylated products mediated by palladium in the presence or absence of a ligand gave fused heterocycles in good to excellent yields.

  15. Defining the structure and function of acyl-homoserine lactone autoinducers

    PubMed Central

    Churchill, Mair E.A.; Sibhatu, Hiruy M.; Uhlson, Charis L.

    2012-01-01

    Quorum sensing plays a central role in regulating many community derived symbiotic and pathogenic relationships of bacteria, and as such has attracted much attention in recent years. Acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) are important signaling molecules in the quorum sensing gene regulatory processes found in numerous gram-negative species of bacteria that interact with eukaryotic organisms. AHLs are produced by acyl-homoserine lactone synthases. Bacteria can have multiple genes for AHL synthase enzymes, and such species are likely to produce several different types of AHLs. Determination of the types and the relative amounts of AHLs produced by AHL synthases in bacteria under varied conditions provides important insights into the mechanism of AHL synthase function and the regulation of transcriptional cascades initiated by quorum sensing signaling. This chapter describes a mass spectrometry method for determining the types and relative amounts of AHLs present in a sample. PMID:21031311

  16. Defining the structure and function of acyl-homoserine lactone autoinducers.

    PubMed

    Churchill, Mair E A; Sibhatu, Hiruy M; Uhlson, Charis L

    2011-01-01

    Quorum sensing plays a central role in regulating many community-derived symbiotic and pathogenic relationships of bacteria, and as such has attracted much attention in recent years. Acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) are important signaling molecules in the quorum sensing gene-regulatory processes found in numerous gram-negative species of bacteria that interact with eukaryotic organisms. AHLs are produced by acyl-homoserine lactone synthases. Bacteria can have multiple genes for AHL synthase enzymes, and such species are likely to produce several different types of AHLs. Determination of the types and the relative amounts of AHLs produced by AHL synthases in bacteria under varied conditions provides important insights into the mechanism of AHL synthase function and the regulation of transcriptional cascades initiated by quorum sensing signaling. This chapter describes a mass spectrometry method for determining the types and relative amounts of AHLs present in a sample.

  17. Pressure sores in intensive care: defining their incidence and associated factors and assessing the utility of two pressure sore risk assessment tools.

    PubMed

    Boyle, M; Green, M

    2001-02-01

    Patients in intensive care units (ICU) are at high risk of developing pressure sores and the use of pressure sore risk tools has been advocated as a means of identifying patients at risk. A prospective multi-site observational study was conducted to define the incidence of pressure sores, assess two pressure sore risk scales and to define risk factors relevant to intensive care. Patients (n = 534) were assessed for the presence of pressure sores. The Waterlow and Jackson/Cubbin risk scales were completed each day for 314 and 188 of these patients respectively. A total of 75 pressure sores were recorded. Of these, 34 were present on admission. Of the remaining 41, 16 were classified as Grade 1 and 24 as Grade 2 sores. The pressure sore (PS) incidence was 5.2 per cent. Expressed as PS/1000 patient days there were 18.48 pressure sores per 1000 patient days. The ability of the risk scores to predict pressure sores was tested using a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis. The association of risk score with pressure sores was analysed using a survival function (Kaplan Meier) and variables compared using a logrank test (Mantel-Cox). Factors associated with pressure sore occurrence were developed and tested using a survival regression model. Both risk scales were poor predictors of pressure sores (ROC curve area approximately 70 per cent for both). The factors, coma/unresponsiveness/paralysed & sedated and cardiovascular instability were significantly associated with pressure sores with relative risks of 4.2 and 2.5 respectively. Risk increased as a function of time such that the cumulative risk was 50 per cent at 20 days.

  18. DEFINING THE PLAYERS IN HIGHER-ORDER NETWORKS: PREDICTIVE MODELING FOR REVERSE ENGINEERING FUNCTIONAL INFLUENCE NETWORKS

    SciTech Connect

    McDermott, Jason E.; Costa, Michelle N.; Stevens, S.L.; Stenzel-Poore, Mary; Sanfilippo, Antonio P.

    2011-01-20

    A difficult problem that is currently growing rapidly due to the sharp increase in the amount of high-throughput data available for many systems is that of determining useful and informative causative influence networks. These networks can be used to predict behavior given observation of a small number of components, predict behavior at a future time point, or identify components that are critical to the functioning of the system under particular conditions. In these endeavors incorporating observations of systems from a wide variety of viewpoints can be particularly beneficial, but has often been undertaken with the objective of inferring networks that are generally applicable. The focus of the current work is to integrate both general observations and measurements taken for a particular pathology, that of ischemic stroke, to provide improved ability to produce useful predictions of systems behavior. A number of hybrid approaches have recently been proposed for network generation in which the Gene Ontology is used to filter or enrich network links inferred from gene expression data through reverse engineering methods. These approaches have been shown to improve the biological plausibility of the inferred relationships determined, but still treat knowledge-based and machine-learning inferences as incommensurable inputs. In this paper, we explore how further improvements may be achieved through a full integration of network inference insights achieved through application of the Gene Ontology and reverse engineering methods with specific reference to the construction of dynamic models of transcriptional regulatory networks. We show that integrating two approaches to network construction, one based on reverse-engineering from conditional transcriptional data, one based on reverse-engineering from in situ hybridization data, and another based on functional associations derived from Gene Ontology, using probabilities can improve results of clustering as evaluated by a

  19. Functional Analysis Helps to Define KCNC3 Mutational Spectrum in Dutch Ataxia Cases

    PubMed Central

    Fokkens, Michiel R.; Meijer, Michel; Boerrigter, Melissa; Verschuuren-Bemelmans, Corien C.; Kremer, Berry P. H.; van de Warrenburg, Bart P.; Dooijes, Dennis; Boddeke, Erik; Sinke, Richard J.; Verbeek, Dineke S.

    2015-01-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 13 (SCA13) is an autosomal dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder of the cerebellum caused by mutations in the voltage gated potassium channel KCNC3. To identify novel pathogenic SCA13 mutations in KCNC3 and to gain insights into the disease prevalence in the Netherlands, we sequenced the entire coding region of KCNC3 in 848 Dutch cerebellar ataxia patients with familial or sporadic origin. We evaluated the pathogenicity of the identified variants by co-segregation analysis and in silico prediction followed by biochemical and electrophysiological studies. We identified 19 variants in KCNC3 including 2 non-coding, 11 missense and 6 synonymous variants. Two missense variants did not co-segregate with the disease and were excluded as potentially disease-causing mutations. We also identified the previously reported p.R420H and p.R423H mutations in our cohort. Of the remaining 7 missense variants, functional analysis revealed that 2 missense variants shifted Kv3.3 channel activation to more negative voltages. These variations were associated with early disease onset and mild intellectual disability. Additionally, one other missense variant shifted channel activation to more positive voltages and was associated with spastic ataxic gait. Whereas, the remaining missense variants did not change any of the channel characteristics. Of these three functional variants, only one variant was in silico predicted to be damaging and segregated with disease. The other two variants were in silico predicted to be benign and co-segregation analysis was not optimal or could only be partially confirmed. Therefore, we conclude that we have identified at least one novel pathogenic mutation in KCNC3 that cause SCA13 and two additionally potential SCA13 mutations. This leads to an estimate of SCA13 prevalence in the Netherlands to be between 0.6% and 1.3%. PMID:25756792

  20. Defining the Accuracy of Secretin Pancreatic Function Testing in Patients With Suspected Early Chronic Pancreatitis

    PubMed Central

    Ketwaroo, Gyanprakash; Brown, Alphonso; Young, Benjamin; Kheraj, Rakhi; Sawhney, Mandeep; Mortele, Koenraad J.; Najarian, Robert; Tewani, Sumeet; Dasilva, Deborah; Freedman, Steven; Sheth, Sunil

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVES The diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis in patients with characteristic symptoms but normal pancreatic imaging is challenging. Assessment of pancreatic function through secretin pancreatic function testing (SPFT) has been advocated in this setting, but its diagnostic accuracy is not fully known. METHODS This was a retrospective review of patients who received SPFT at our tertiary care institution between January 1995 and December 2008 for suspected chronic pancreatitis. For all patients, medical records were reviewed for evidence of subsequent development of chronic pancreatitis by imaging and/or pathology. Patients were then categorized as “true positive” or “true negative” for chronic pancreatitis based on follow-up imaging or histologic evidence. RESULTS In all, 116 patients underwent SPFT. Of the 27 patients who tested positive, 7 were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 20 SPFT-positive patients, 9 (45 %) developed radiologic or histologic evidence of chronic pancreatitis after a median of 4 years (1–11 years). Of the 89 patients who had negative SPFT testing, 19 were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 70 patients, 2 were eventually diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis based on subsequent imaging/histology after a median follow-up period of 7 years (3–11 years). The sensitivity of the SPFT in diagnosing chronic pancreatitis was 82 % with a specificity of 86 %. The positive predictive value (PPV) of chronic pancreatitis was 45 % with a negative predictive value (NPV) of 97 %. CONCLUSIONS In patients with suspected early chronic pancreatitis and normal pancreatic imaging, SPFT is highly accurate at ruling out early chronic pancreatitis with a NPV of 97 %. PMID:23711627

  1. zif-1 translational repression defines a second, mutually exclusive OMA function in germline transcriptional repression.

    PubMed

    Guven-Ozkan, Tugba; Robertson, Scott M; Nishi, Yuichi; Lin, Rueyling

    2010-10-01

    Specification of primordial germ cells requires global repression of transcription. In C. elegans, primordial germ cells are generated through four rounds of asymmetric divisions, starting from the zygote P0, each producing a transcriptionally repressed germline blastomere (P1-P4). Repression in P2-P4 requires PIE-1, which is provided maternally in oocytes and segregated to all germline blastomeres. We have shown previously that OMA-1 and OMA-2 repress global transcription in P0 and P1 by sequestering TAF-4, an essential component of TFIID. Soon after the first mitotic cycle, OMA proteins undergo developmentally regulated degradation. Here, we show that OMA proteins also repress transcription in P2-P4 indirectly, through a completely different mechanism that operates in oocytes. OMA proteins bind to both the 3' UTR of the zif-1 transcript and the eIF4E-binding protein, SPN-2, repressing translation of zif-1 mRNA in oocytes. zif-1 encodes the substrate-binding subunit of the E3 ligase for PIE-1 degradation. Inhibition of zif-1 translation in oocytes ensures high PIE-1 levels in oocytes and germline blastomeres. The two OMA protein functions are strictly regulated in both space and time by MBK-2, a kinase activated following fertilization. Phosphorylation by MBK-2 facilitates the binding of OMA proteins to TAF-4 and simultaneously inactivates their function in repressing zif-1 translation. Phosphorylation of OMA proteins displaces SPN-2 from the zif-1 3' UTR, releasing translational repression. We propose that MBK-2 phosphorylation serves as a developmental switch, converting OMA proteins from specific translational repressors in oocytes to global transcriptional repressors in embryos, together effectively repressing transcription in all germline blastomeres.

  2. Perforin and IL-2 Upregulation Define Qualitative Differences among Highly Functional Virus-Specific Human CD8+ T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Makedonas, George; Hutnick, Natalie; Haney, Danielle; Amick, Alexandra C.; Gardner, Jay; Cosma, Gabriela; Hersperger, Adam R.; Dolfi, Douglas; Wherry, E. John; Ferrari, Guido; Betts, Michael R.

    2010-01-01

    The prevailing paradigm of T lymphocyte control of viral replication is that the protective capacity of virus-specific CD8+ T cells is directly proportional to the number of functions they can perform, with IL-2 production capacity considered critical. Having recently defined rapid perforin upregulation as a novel effector function of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, here we sought to determine whether new perforin production is a component of polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses that contributes to the control of several human viral infections: cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), influenza (flu), and adenovirus (Ad). We stimulated normal human donor PBMC with synthetic peptides whose amino acid sequences correspond to defined CTL epitopes in the aforementioned viruses, and then used polychromatic flow cytometry to measure the functional capacity and the phenotype of the responding CD8+ T cells. While EBV and flu-specific CD8+ T cells rarely upregulate perforin, CMV-specific cells often do and Ad stimulates an exceptionally strong perforin response. The differential propensity of CD8+ T cells to produce either IL-2 or perforin is in part related to levels of CD28 and the transcription factor T-bet, as CD8+ T cells that rapidly upregulate perforin harbor high levels of T-bet and those producing IL-2 express high amounts of CD28. Thus, “polyfunctional” profiling of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells must not be limited to simply the number of functions the cell can perform, or one particular memory phenotype, but should actually define which combinations of memory markers and functions are relevant in each pathogenic context. PMID:20221423

  3. Defining the functional boundaries of the murine α1,3-fucosyltransferase Fut7 reveals a remarkably compact locus.

    PubMed

    Ebel, Mark E; Kansas, Geoffrey S

    2014-03-07

    Fut7 encodes an α1,3-fucosyltransferase critical for biosynthesis of glycan ligands for all three selectins. Consistent with this function, Fut7 expression is limited to hematopoietic cells and high endothelial cells which express selectin ligands. Mechanisms that govern Fut7 expression are poorly defined. To begin to understand the molecular genetic basis for transcriptional regulation of Fut7, a transgenic, gain-of-function, genetic complementation approach in mice was used to define the "functional boundaries" of the murine Fut7 locus, defined here as any uninterupted stretch of genomic DNA that contains all cis-acting genetic elements essential for accurate physiologic expression. A 12.7-kb contiguous genomic interval, which lies completely between the highly conserved flanking Npdc1 and Abca2 loci on chromosome 2 and which contains the complete transcriptional unit plus ∼7.4 kb upstream of the transcriptional start site and ∼2 kb downstream of the transcriptional termination and polyadenylation sites, was used as a transgene (Tg) on a Fut7 null background. Tg+ mice exhibited restoration of Fut7 gene expression and physiologic levels of selectin ligand expression and function on neutrophils, activated T cells, and high endothelial cells and corrected the functional defects in these cells found in Fut7 null mice without leading to detectable expression of Fut7 in normally non-expressing tissues. These results demonstrate that all genetic information essential for appropriate and selective expression of Fut7 in diverse cell types and in response to distinct developmental signals is contained within this comparatively small genetic region.

  4. The ECOMAN project: A novel approach to defining sustainable ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Galloway, Tamara S; Brown, Rebecca J; Browne, Mark A; Dissanayake, Awantha; Lowe, David; Depledge, Michael H; Jones, Malcolm B

    2006-01-01

    The ECOMAN was initiated in 2001 by the University of Plymouth, UK, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to address the need for more pragmatic assessment techniques linking environmental degradation with its causes. The primary aim of the project was to develop an evidence-based approach in which suites of easy-to-use, cost-effective and environmentally valid biological responses (biomarkers) could be used together to assess the health of coastal systems through the general condition of individuals. A range of sub-lethal endpoints, chosen to reflect successive levels of biological organisation (molecular, cellular, physiological), was evaluated in common coastal organisms showing different feeding types (filter feeding, grazing, predation) and habitat requirements (estuary, rocky shore). Initially, the suite of biomarkers was used in laboratory studies to determine the relative sensitivities of key species within different functional groups to common contaminants. These results were then validated in field studies performed in a range of ecosystems exhibiting different degrees/signatures of contamination. Here, an example is provided of a field study in the Humber Estuary, UK, which illustrates how multivariate statistical analysis can be used to identify patterns of response to discriminate between contaminated and clean sites. The use of a holistic, integrated approach of this kind is advocated as a practical means of assessing the impact of chemical contamination on organismal health and of ranking the status of marine ecosystems.

  5. CD161 defines a transcriptional and functional phenotype across distinct human T cell lineages.

    PubMed

    Fergusson, Joannah R; Smith, Kira E; Fleming, Vicki M; Rajoriya, Neil; Newell, Evan W; Simmons, Ruth; Marchi, Emanuele; Björkander, Sophia; Kang, Yu-Hoi; Swadling, Leo; Kurioka, Ayako; Sahgal, Natasha; Lockstone, Helen; Baban, Dilair; Freeman, Gordon J; Sverremark-Ekström, Eva; Davis, Mark M; Davenport, Miles P; Venturi, Vanessa; Ussher, James E; Willberg, Christian B; Klenerman, Paul

    2014-11-06

    The C-type lectin CD161 is expressed by a large proportion of human T lymphocytes of all lineages, including a population known as mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. To understand whether different T cell subsets expressing CD161 have similar properties, we examined these populations in parallel using mass cytometry and mRNA microarray approaches. The analysis identified a conserved CD161++/MAIT cell transcriptional signature enriched in CD161+CD8+ T cells, which can be extended to CD161+ CD4+ and CD161+TCRγδ+ T cells. Furthermore, this led to the identification of a shared innate-like, TCR-independent response to interleukin (IL)-12 plus IL-18 by different CD161-expressing T cell populations. This response was independent of regulation by CD161, which acted as a costimulatory molecule in the context of T cell receptor stimulation. Expression of CD161 hence identifies a transcriptional and functional phenotype, shared across human T lymphocytes and independent of both T cell receptor (TCR) expression and cell lineage. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. ApoE: the role of conserved residues in defining function.

    PubMed

    Frieden, Carl

    2015-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of apolipoprotein E (apoE) from 63 different mammalian species have been downloaded from the protein database. The sequences were compared to human apoE4 to determine conserved and non-conserved sequences of amino acids. ApoE4 is the major risk factor for the development of late onset Alzheimer's disease while apoE3, which differs from apoE4 by a single amino acid change at position 112, poses little or no risk for the development of this disease. Thus, the two proteins appear to be structurally and functionally different. Seven highly conserved regions, representing approximately 47 amino acids (of 299) have been found. These regions are distributed throughout the protein and reflect ligand binding sites as well as regions proposed to be involved in the propagation of the cysteine-arginine change at position 112 to distant regions of the protein in the N- and C-terminal domains. Highly non-conserved regions are at the N- and C-terminal ends of the apoE protein. © 2014 The Protein Society.

  7. Magnetic nanoparticles with functional silanes: evolution of well-defined shells from anhydride containing silane†

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xinlei; Schmucker, Abrin; Dyke, Jason; Hall, Sara M.; Retrum, John; Stein, Barry; Remmes, Nicholas; Baxter, David V.; Dragnea, Bogdan; Bronstein, Lyudmila M.

    2009-01-01

    Modification of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) synthesized by high temperature solvothermal routes is carried out using two silanes: (i) N-(6-aminohexyl)-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (AHAPS) where only one end of the molecule reacts with the surface Fe-OH groups and (ii) 3-(triethoxysilyl)propylsuccinic anhydride (SSA) where both ends are reactive with Fe-OH. Depending on the NP synthesis protocol, the amount of surface OH groups on the NPs may differ, however, for all the cases presented here, the comparatively low OH group density prevents a high density of AHAPS coverage, yielding NP aggregates instead of single particles in aqueous solutions. Alternatively, use of SSA containing two terminal functionalities, anhydride and siloxy, which are both reactive towards the NP surface, results in the formation of discrete dense polymeric shells, providing stability of individual NPs in water. The mechanism of the SSA shell formation is discussed. The evolution of the chemical transformations leads to shells of different thickness and density, yet this evolution can be halted by hydrolysis, after which the NPs are water soluble, negatively charged and exhibit excellent stability in aqueous media. PMID:19763240

  8. Comprehensive functional characterization of cancer-testis antigens defines obligate participation in multiple hallmarks of cancer.

    PubMed

    Maxfield, Kimberly E; Taus, Patrick J; Corcoran, Kathleen; Wooten, Joshua; Macion, Jennifer; Zhou, Yunyun; Borromeo, Mark; Kollipara, Rahul K; Yan, Jingsheng; Xie, Yang; Xie, Xian-Jin; Whitehurst, Angelique W

    2015-11-16

    Tumours frequently activate genes whose expression is otherwise biased to the testis, collectively known as cancer-testis antigens (CTAs). The extent to which CTA expression represents epiphenomena or confers tumorigenic traits is unknown. In this study, to address this, we implemented a multidimensional functional genomics approach that incorporates 7 different phenotypic assays in 11 distinct disease settings. We identify 26 CTAs that are essential for tumor cell viability and/or are pathological drivers of HIF, WNT or TGFβ signalling. In particular, we discover that Foetal and Adult Testis Expressed 1 (FATE1) is a key survival factor in multiple oncogenic backgrounds. FATE1 prevents the accumulation of the stress-sensing BH3-only protein, BCL-2-Interacting Killer (BIK), thereby permitting viability in the presence of toxic stimuli. Furthermore, ZNF165 promotes TGFβ signalling by directly suppressing the expression of negative feedback regulatory pathways. This action is essential for the survival of triple negative breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Thus, CTAs make significant direct contributions to tumour biology.

  9. Plant functional types define magnitude of drought response in peatland CO2 exchange.

    PubMed

    Kuiper, Jan J; Mooij, Wolf M; Bragazza, Luca; Robroek, Bjorn J M

    2014-01-01

    Peatlands are important sinks for atmospheric carbon (C), yet the role of plant functional types (PFTs) for C sequestration under climatic perturbations is still unclear. A plant-removal experiment was used to study the importance of vascular PFTs for the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) during (i.e., resistance) and after (i.e., recovery) an experimental drought. The removal of PFTs caused a decrease of NEE, but the rate differed between microhabitats (i.e., hummocks and lawns) and the type of PFTs. Ericoid removal had a large effect on NEE in hummocks, while the graminoids played a major role in the lawns. The removal of PFTs did not affect the resistance or the recovery after the experimental drought. We argue that the response of Sphagnum mosses (the only PFT present in all treatments) to drought is dominant over that of coexisting PFTs. However, we observed that the moment in time when the system switched from C sink to C source during the drought was controlled by the vascular PFTs. In the light of climate change, the shifts in species composition or even the loss of certain PFTs are expected to strongly affect the future C dynamics in response to environmental stress.

  10. Comprehensive functional characterization of cancer–testis antigens defines obligate participation in multiple hallmarks of cancer

    PubMed Central

    Maxfield, Kimberly E.; Taus, Patrick J.; Corcoran, Kathleen; Wooten, Joshua; Macion, Jennifer; Zhou, Yunyun; Borromeo, Mark; Kollipara, Rahul K.; Yan, Jingsheng; Xie, Yang; Xie, Xian-Jin; Whitehurst, Angelique W.

    2015-01-01

    Tumours frequently activate genes whose expression is otherwise biased to the testis, collectively known as cancer–testis antigens (CTAs). The extent to which CTA expression represents epiphenomena or confers tumorigenic traits is unknown. In this study, to address this, we implemented a multidimensional functional genomics approach that incorporates 7 different phenotypic assays in 11 distinct disease settings. We identify 26 CTAs that are essential for tumor cell viability and/or are pathological drivers of HIF, WNT or TGFβ signalling. In particular, we discover that Foetal and Adult Testis Expressed 1 (FATE1) is a key survival factor in multiple oncogenic backgrounds. FATE1 prevents the accumulation of the stress-sensing BH3-only protein, BCL-2-Interacting Killer (BIK), thereby permitting viability in the presence of toxic stimuli. Furthermore, ZNF165 promotes TGFβ signalling by directly suppressing the expression of negative feedback regulatory pathways. This action is essential for the survival of triple negative breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Thus, CTAs make significant direct contributions to tumour biology. PMID:26567849

  11. Genotypic and functional diversity of phenotypically defined primitive hematopoietic cells in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Sloma, Ivan; Beer, Philip A; Saw, Kyi Min; Chan, Matthew; Leung, Donna; Raghuram, Kamini; Brimacombe, Cedric; Johnston, Bobby; Lambie, Karen; Forrest, Donna; Jiang, Xiaoyan; Eaves, Connie J

    2013-10-01

    Much progress has been made in the management of chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML), but there is a continuing imperative to develop curative treatments, predict patient responses to specific modalities, and anticipate disease relapse or progression. These needs underlie continuing interest in methods to detect and quantify the relevant leukemic cells in clinical samples with improved reliability and specificity. We report the results of comparing three methods to enumerate primitive CP-CML cells in the same samples: genotyping CD34(+)38(-) cells directly by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and measuring BCR-ABL1 transcript-genotyped colony-forming cell outputs in either 5-week long-term cultures (LTCs) containing non-engineered mouse fibroblasts or in 6-week LTCs containing mouse fibroblasts engineered to produce human Steel factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and IL-3. The results demonstrate that the first two methods significantly overestimate the prevalence of primitive CP-CML cells by comparison to the third. In additional studies, we found that CML-CD34(+) cells can repopulate the marrow and spleen of serially transplanted adult NOD/SCID-IL-2Rγ chain-null mice for more than 1 year with an almost exclusive myeloid differentiation in primary and secondary recipients and without evidence of disease progression. These findings underscore the importance of long-term functional in vitro and in vivo endpoints to identify and characterize CP-CML stem cells. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Immunogenetics of systemic sclerosis: Defining heritability, functional variants and shared-autoimmunity pathways.

    PubMed

    Bossini-Castillo, Lara; López-Isac, Elena; Martín, Javier

    2015-11-01

    Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a clinically heterogeneous connective tissue disorder of complex etiology. The development of large-scale genetic studies, such as genome-wide association studies (GWASs) or the Immunochip platform, has achieved remarkable progress in the knowledge of the genetic background of SSc. Herein, we provide an updated picture SSc genetic factors, offering an insight into their role in pathogenic mechanisms that characterize the disease. We review the most recent findings in the HLA region and the well-established non-HLA loci. Up to 18 non-HLA risk factors fulfilled the selected criteria and they were classified according to their role in the innate or adaptive immune response, in apoptosis, autophagy or fibrosis. Additionally, SSc heritability has remained as a controversial question since twin studies provided low SSc heritability estimates. However, we have recalculated the lower bond of narrow sense SSc heritability using GWAS data. Remarkably, our results suggest a greater influence of genetics on SSc than previously reported. Furthermore, we also offer a functional classification of SSc-associated SNPs and their proxies, based on annotated data, to provide clues for the identification of causal variants in these loci. Finally, we explore the genetic overlap between SSc and other autoimmune diseases (ADs). The vast majority of SSc risk loci are shared with at least one additional AD, being the overlap between SSc and systemic lupus erythematous the largest. Nevertheless, we found that an important portion of SSc risk factors are also common to rheumatoid arthritis or primary biliary cirrhosis. Considering all these evidences, we are confident that future research will be successful in understanding the relevant altered pathways in SSc and in identifying new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Overlapping effector interfaces define the multiple functions of the HIV-1 Nef polyproline helix

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background HIV-1 Nef is a multifunctional protein required for full pathogenicity of the virus. As Nef has no known enzymatic activity, it necessarily functions through protein-protein interaction interfaces. A critical Nef protein interaction interface is centered on its polyproline segment (P69VRPQVPLRP78) which contains the helical SH3 domain binding protein motif, PXXPXR. We hypothesized that any Nef-SH3 domain interactions would be lost upon mutation of the prolines or arginine of PXXPXR. Further, mutation of the non-motif “X” residues, (Q73, V74, and L75) would give altered patterns of inhibition for different Nef/SH3 domain protein interactions. Results We found that mutations of either of the prolines or the arginine of PXXPXR are defective for Nef-Hck binding, Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and enhancement of virion infectivity (EVI). Mutation of the non-motif “X” residues (Q, V and L) gave similar patterns of inhibition for Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and EVI which were distinct from the pattern for Hck binding. These results implicate an SH3 domain containing protein other than Hck for Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and EVI. We have also mutated Nef residues at the N-and C-terminal ends of the polyproline segment to explore interactions outside of PXXPXR. We discovered a new locus GFP/F (G67, F68, P69 and F90) that is required for Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and EVI. MHC Class I (MHCI) downregulation was only partially inhibited by mutating the PXXPXR motif residues, but was fully inhibited by mutating the C-terminal P78. Further, we observed that MHCI downregulation strictly requires G67 and F68. Our mutational analysis confirms the recently reported structure of the complex between Nef, AP-1 μ1 and the cytoplasmic tail of MHCI, but does not support involvement of an SH3 domain protein in MHCI downregulation. Conclusion Nef has evolved to be dependent on interactions with multiple SH3 domain proteins. To the N- and

  14. Overlapping effector interfaces define the multiple functions of the HIV-1 Nef polyproline helix.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Lillian S; Baugh, Laura L; Denial, Sarah J; Watkins, Richard L; Liu, Mingjie; Garcia, J Victor; Foster, John L

    2012-05-31

    HIV-1 Nef is a multifunctional protein required for full pathogenicity of the virus. As Nef has no known enzymatic activity, it necessarily functions through protein-protein interaction interfaces. A critical Nef protein interaction interface is centered on its polyproline segment (P69VRPQVPLRP78) which contains the helical SH3 domain binding protein motif, PXXPXR. We hypothesized that any Nef-SH3 domain interactions would be lost upon mutation of the prolines or arginine of PXXPXR. Further, mutation of the non-motif "X" residues, (Q73, V74, and L75) would give altered patterns of inhibition for different Nef/SH3 domain protein interactions. We found that mutations of either of the prolines or the arginine of PXXPXR are defective for Nef-Hck binding, Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and enhancement of virion infectivity (EVI). Mutation of the non-motif "X" residues (Q, V and L) gave similar patterns of inhibition for Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and EVI which were distinct from the pattern for Hck binding. These results implicate an SH3 domain containing protein other than Hck for Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and EVI. We have also mutated Nef residues at the N-and C-terminal ends of the polyproline segment to explore interactions outside of PXXPXR. We discovered a new locus GFP/F (G67, F68, P69 and F90) that is required for Nef/activated PAK2 complex formation and EVI.MHC Class I (MHCI) downregulation was only partially inhibited by mutating the PXXPXR motif residues, but was fully inhibited by mutating the C-terminal P78. Further, we observed that MHCI downregulation strictly requires G67 and F68. Our mutational analysis confirms the recently reported structure of the complex between Nef, AP-1 μ1 and the cytoplasmic tail of MHCI, but does not support involvement of an SH3 domain protein in MHCI downregulation. Nef has evolved to be dependent on interactions with multiple SH3 domain proteins. To the N- and C- terminal sides of the polyproline

  15. Defining the Incremental Utility of Prostate Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Standard and Specialized Read in Predicting Extracapsular Extension of Prostate Cancer.

    PubMed

    Tay, Kae Jack; Gupta, Rajan T; Brown, Alison F; Silverman, Rachel K; Polascik, Thomas J

    2016-08-01

    Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) is increasingly used in staging early prostate cancer (PCa) but remains heavily reader-dependent. We aim to define the incremental utility of mpMRI over clinical parameters in determining the pathologic extracapsular extension (pECE) of PCa interpreted in a standard radiologic setting and when further over-read by a specialized reader. We retrospectively reviewed 120 men with clinically localized PCa undergoing mpMRI and radical prostatectomy. We obtained radiologic prediction of pECE from standard radiologic reports (standard read) and by a specialized reader blinded to clinical and pathologic findings (specialized read). We determined the incremental benefit of standard read and specialized read by sequential addition to a baseline clinical parameters-only logistic regression model predicting pECE. The sensitivity and specificity of standard read were 77% and 44%, respectively, whereas those of specialized read were 86% and 81%. The positive likelihood ratio was 1.7 at baseline, 1.7 adding standard read, and 6.5 adding specialized read. The negative likelihood ratio was 0.6 at baseline, 0.5 adding standard read, and 0.1 adding specialized read. Standard read modestly improved prediction of pECE, whereas specialized read improved it moderately. The incremental benefit of mpMRI over clinical information is small but increases to moderate with a specialized second opinion. This second opinion may be useful when considering active surveillance, nerve-sparing surgery, or focal therapy. Copyright © 2015 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Changes in citric acid cycle flux and anaplerosis antedate the functional decline in isolated rat hearts utilizing acetoacetate.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, R R; Taegtmeyer, H

    1991-01-01

    To determine the temporal relationship between changes in contractile performance and flux through the citric acid cycle in hearts oxidizing acetoacetate, we perfused isolated working rat hearts with either glucose or acetoacetate (both 5 mM) and freeze-clamped the tissue at defined times. After 60 min of perfusion, hearts utilizing acetoacetate exhibited lower systolic and diastolic pressures and lower cardiac outputs. The oxidation of acetoacetate increased the tissue content of 2-oxoglutarate and glutamate and decreased the content of succinyl-CoA suggesting inhibition of citric acid cycle flux through 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase. Whereas hearts perfused with either acetoacetate or glucose were similar with respect to their function for the first 20 min, changes in tissue metabolites were already observed within 5 min of perfusion at near-physiological workloads. The addition of lactate or propionate, but not acetate, to hearts oxidizing acetoacetate improved contractile performance, although inhibition of 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase was probably not diminished. If lactate or propionate were added, malate and citrate accumulated indicating utilization of anaplerotic pathways for the citric acid cycle. We conclude that a decreased rate of flux through 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase in hearts oxidizing acetoacetate precedes, and may be responsible for, contractile failure and is not the result of decreased cardiac work. Further, anaplerosis play an important role in the maintenance of contractile function in hearts utilizing acetoacetate. Images PMID:1671390

  17. Maintenance of Hepatic Functions in Primary Human Hepatocytes Cultured on Xeno-Free and Chemical Defined Human Recombinant Laminins.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masaaki; Zemack, Helen; Johansson, Helene; Hagbard, Louise; Jorns, Carl; Li, Meng; Ellis, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Refined methods for maintaining specific functions of isolated hepatocytes under xeno-free and chemical defined conditions is of great importance for the development of hepatocyte research and regenerative therapy. Laminins, a large family of heterotrimeric basement membrane adhesion proteins, are highly cell and tissue type specific components of the extracellular matrix and strongly influence the behavior and function of associated cells and/or tissues. However, detailed biological functions of many laminin isoforms are still to be evaluated. In this study, we determined the distribution of laminin isoforms in human liver tissue and isolated primary human hepatocytes by western blot analysis, and investigated the efficacy of different human recombinant laminin isoforms on hepatic functions during culture. Protein expressions of laminin-chain α2, α3, α4, β1, β3, γ1, and γ2 were detected in both isolated human hepatocytes and liver tissue. No α1 and α5 expression could be detected in liver tissue or hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated from five different individual livers, and cultured on human recombinant laminin isoforms -111, -211, -221, -332, -411, -421, -511, and -521 (Biolamina AB), matrigel (extracted from Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm sarcoma), or collagen type IV (Collagen). Hepatocytes cultured on laminin showed characteristic hexagonal shape in a flat cell monolayer. Viability, double stranded DNA concentration, and Ki67 expression for hepatocytes cultured for six days on laminin were comparable to those cultured on EHS and Collagen. Hepatocytes cultured on laminin also displayed production of human albumin, alpha-1-antitrypsin, bile acids, and gene expression of liver-enriched factors, such as hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha, glucose-6-phosphate, cytochrome P450 3A4, and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2. We conclude that all forms of human recombinant laminin tested maintain cell viability and liver-specific functions of primary human

  18. Utility of Urinary Biomarkers in Predicting Loss of Residual Renal Function: The balANZ Trial

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yeoungjee; Johnson, David W.; Vesey, David A.; Hawley, Carmel M.; Clarke, Margaret; Topley, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    ♦ Background: The ability of urinary biomarkers to predict residual renal function (RRF) decline in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients has not been defined. The present study aimed to explore the utility of established biomarkers from kidney injury models for predicting loss of RRF in incident PD patients, and to evaluate the impact on RRF of using neutral-pH PD solution low in glucose degradation products. ♦ Methods: The study included 50 randomly selected participants from the balANZ trial who had completed 24 months of follow-up. A change in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was used as the primary clinical outcome measure. In a mixed-effects general linear model, baseline measurements of 18 novel urinary biomarkers and albumin were used to predict GFR change. The model was further used to evaluate the impact of biocompatible PD solution on RRF, adjusted for each biomarker. ♦ Results: Baseline albuminuria was not a useful predictor of change in RRF in PD patients (p = 0.84). Only clusterin was a significant predictor of GFR decline in the whole population (p = 0.04, adjusted for baseline GFR and albuminuria). However, the relationship was no longer apparent when albuminuria was removed from the model (p = 0.31). When the effect of the administered PD solutions was examined using a model adjusted for PD solution type, baseline albuminuria, and GFR, higher baseline urinary concentrations of trefoil factor 3 (TFF3, p = 0.02), kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1, p = 0.04), and interferon γ-induced protein 10 (IP-10, p = 0.03) were associated with more rapid decline of RRF in patients receiving conventional PD solution compared with biocompatible PD solution. ♦ Conclusions: Higher urinary levels of kidney injury biomarkers (TFF3, KIM-1, IP-10) at baseline predicted significantly slower RRF decline in patients receiving biocompatible PD solutions. Findings from the present investigation should help to guide future studies to validate the utility of urinary

  19. Medicare home health utilization as a function of nursing home market factors.

    PubMed

    Swan, J H; Benjamin, A E

    1990-08-01

    Rapid increases in the size and costs of the home health market, unknown impacts of Medicare's DRG hospital reimbursement on the posthospital market, and general lack of knowledge about factors that explain interstate variation in home health utilization all suggest the importance of developing and testing models of Medicare home health use. This article proposes and tests a model of state home health utilization as a function of the nursing home market. This model proposes that home health utilization is a function of nursing home bed capacity, of the utilization of nursing home beds by Medicaid patients, of other demand factors, and of supply factors. This model is supported by the data. Specifically, Medicare home health use in the 1978-1984 period was found to be negatively related to nursing home bed stock, positively related to Medicaid nursing home utilization, and related to several other supply and demand factors, as hypothesized by the model. The further model assumption that home health utilization does not affect the nursing home market could not be tested in this analysis, but will be addressed in future research by the authors.

  20. Natural Products as Tools for Defining How Cellular Metabolism Influences Cellular Immune and Inflammatory Function during Chronic Infection

    PubMed Central

    Lovelace, Erica S.; Polyak, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic viral infections like those caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cause disease that establishes an ongoing state of chronic inflammation. While there have been tremendous improvements towards curing HCV with directly acting antiviral agents (DAA) and keeping HIV viral loads below detection with antiretroviral therapy (ART), there is still a need to control inflammation in these diseases. Recent studies indicate that many natural products like curcumin, resveratrol and silymarin alter cellular metabolism and signal transduction pathways via enzymes such as adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and these pathways directly influence cellular inflammatory status (such as NF-κB) and immune function. Natural products represent a vast toolkit to dissect and define how cellular metabolism controls cellular immune and inflammatory function. PMID:26633463

  1. Natural Products as Tools for Defining How Cellular Metabolism Influences Cellular Immune and Inflammatory Function during Chronic Infection.

    PubMed

    Lovelace, Erica S; Polyak, Stephen J

    2015-11-30

    Chronic viral infections like those caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cause disease that establishes an ongoing state of chronic inflammation. While there have been tremendous improvements towards curing HCV with directly acting antiviral agents (DAA) and keeping HIV viral loads below detection with antiretroviral therapy (ART), there is still a need to control inflammation in these diseases. Recent studies indicate that many natural products like curcumin, resveratrol and silymarin alter cellular metabolism and signal transduction pathways via enzymes such as adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and these pathways directly influence cellular inflammatory status (such as NF-κB) and immune function. Natural products represent a vast toolkit to dissect and define how cellular metabolism controls cellular immune and inflammatory function.

  2. Association of tissue lineage and gene expression: conservatively and differentially expressed genes define common and special functions of tissues

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Embryogenesis is the process by which the embryo is formed, develops, and establishes developmental hierarchies of tissues. The recent advance in microarray technology made it possible to investigate the tissue specific patterns of gene expression and their relationship with tissue lineages. This study is focused on how tissue specific functions, tissue lineage, and cell differentiation are correlated, which is essential to understand embryonic development and organism complexity. Results We performed individual gene and gene set based analysis on multiple tissue expression data, in association with the classic topology of mammalian fate maps of embryogenesis. For each sub-group of tissues on the fate map, conservatively, differentially and correlatively expressed genes or gene sets were identified. Tissue distance was found to correlate with gene expression divergence. Tissues of the ectoderm or mesoderm origins from the same segments on the fate map shared more similar expression pattern than those from different origins. Conservatively expressed genes or gene sets define common functions in a tissue group and are related to tissue specific diseases, which is supported by results from Gene Ontology and KEGG pathway analysis. Gene expression divergence is larger in certain human tissues than in the mouse homologous tissues. Conclusion The results from tissue lineage and gene expression analysis indicate that common function features of neighbor tissue groups were defined by the conservatively expressed genes and were related to tissue specific diseases, and differentially expressed genes contribute to the functional divergence of tissues. The difference of gene expression divergence in human and mouse homologous tissues reflected the organism complexity, i.e. distinct neural development levels and different body sizes. PMID:21172044

  3. From patenting genes to proteins: the search for utility via function.

    PubMed

    Ilag, Lawrence L; Ilag, Leodegario M; Ilag, Leodevico L

    2002-05-01

    The debate regarding the patenting of genes has extended into the post-genome era. With only approximately 35000 genes deduced from the draft sequence of the human genome, there are fears that a few companies have already gained monopoly on the potential benefits from this knowledge. Nevertheless, it is accepted that proteins determine gene function and function is not readily predicted from gene sequence. Furthermore, genes can encode multiple proteins and a single protein can have multiple functions. Here, we argue that unraveling the intrinsic complexity of proteins and their functions is the key towards determining the utility requirement for patenting protein inventions and consider the possible socioeconomic impact.

  4. Defining an Abrasion Index for Lunar Surface Systems as a Function of Dust Interaction Modes and Variable Concentration Zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kobrick, Ryan L.; Klaus, David M.; Street, Kenneth W., Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Unexpected issues were encountered during the Apollo era of lunar exploration due to detrimental abrasion of materials upon exposure to the fine-grained, irregular shaped dust on the surface of the Moon. For critical design features involving contact with the lunar surface and for astronaut safety concerns, operational concepts and dust tolerance must be considered in the early phases of mission planning. To systematically define material selection criteria, dust interaction can be characterized by two-body or three-body abrasion testing, and subcategorically by physical interactions of compression, rolling, sliding and bending representing specific applications within the system. Two-body abrasion occurs when a single particle or asperity slides across a given surface removing or displacing material. Three-body abrasion occurs when multiple particles interact with a solid surface, or in between two surfaces, allowing the abrasives to freely rotate and interact with the material(s), leading to removal or displacement of mass. Different modes of interaction are described in this paper along with corresponding types of tests that can be utilized to evaluate each configuration. In addition to differential modes of abrasion, variable concentrations of dust in different zones can also be considered for a given system design and operational protocol. These zones include: (1) outside the habitat where extensive dust exposure occurs, (2) in a transitional zone such as an airlock or suitport, and (3) inside the habitat or spacesuit with a low particle count. These zones can be used to help define dust interaction frequencies, and corresponding risks to the systems and/or crew can be addressed by appropriate mitigation strategies. An abrasion index is introduced that includes the level of risk, R, the hardness of the mineralogy, H, the severity of the abrasion mode, S, and the frequency of particle interactions, F.

  5. Utility of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) for Educational Psychologists' Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aljunied, Mariam; Frederickson, Norah

    2014-01-01

    Despite embracing a bio-psycho-social perspective, the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) assessment framework has had limited application to date with children who have special educational needs (SEN). This study examines its utility for educational psychologists' work with…

  6. High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder: Utility and Meaning for Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz Calzada, Luisa; Pistrang, Nancy; Mandy, William P. L.

    2012-01-01

    We used framework analysis to investigate the utility of pervasive developmental disorder diagnoses, interviewing young people (aged 9-16 years) with high-functioning autistic disorder (AD) and Asperger's disorder (AsD), and their parents. Twenty two participants from ten families described both gains and costs resulting from diagnosis. Perceived…

  7. Utility of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) for Educational Psychologists' Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aljunied, Mariam; Frederickson, Norah

    2014-01-01

    Despite embracing a bio-psycho-social perspective, the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) assessment framework has had limited application to date with children who have special educational needs (SEN). This study examines its utility for educational psychologists' work with…

  8. High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder: Utility and Meaning for Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz Calzada, Luisa; Pistrang, Nancy; Mandy, William P. L.

    2012-01-01

    We used framework analysis to investigate the utility of pervasive developmental disorder diagnoses, interviewing young people (aged 9-16 years) with high-functioning autistic disorder (AD) and Asperger's disorder (AsD), and their parents. Twenty two participants from ten families described both gains and costs resulting from diagnosis. Perceived…

  9. Temporo-spatial analyses define epileptogenic and functional zones in a case of Dyke-Davidoff-Masson syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hsin, Y L; Chuang, M F; Shen, T W; Harnod, T

    2011-11-01

    Dyke-Davidoff-Masson syndrome (DDMS) is a rare epilepsy syndrome that is characterized by cerebral hemiatrophy, homolateral skull hyperplasia, hyperpneumatization of the paranasal sinuses, seizures with or without mental retardation, and contralateral hemiparesis. We describe a case of DDMS in a 40-year-old female who had complex partial seizures with occasional secondary generalization since the age of 4 years. Her seizure frequency was 10-20 seizures/month even though she took four antiepileptic drugs. We applied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), functional MRI, and invasive electroencephalography (EEG) to define her epileptogenic and functional zones. Brain MRI showed prominent atrophy in the left frontal dorsal and lateral regions and mild atrophy of the left superior temporal gyrus and left parietal gyri. Interictal PET revealed decreased glucose metabolism in the atrophic regions. Functional MRI demonstrated that the inferior frontal and inferior parieto-occipital regions of the right hemisphere were activated by language testing. Invasive EEG revealed that the left lateral temporal lobe was the sole source of her seizures. Our results imply that the "metabolic border zone" rather than the atrophic region plays an important role in seizure activity, and that reorganization of functional zones occur after cerebral damage early in life. Copyright © 2011 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Three functional variants of IFN regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) define risk and protective haplotypes for human lupus

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Robert R.; Kyogoku, Chieko; Sigurdsson, Snaevar; Vlasova, Irina A.; Davies, Leela R. L.; Baechler, Emily C.; Plenge, Robert M.; Koeuth, Thearith; Ortmann, Ward A.; Hom, Geoffrey; Bauer, Jason W.; Gillett, Clarence; Burtt, Noel; Cunninghame Graham, Deborah S.; Onofrio, Robert; Petri, Michelle; Gunnarsson, Iva; Svenungsson, Elisabet; Rönnblom, Lars; Nordmark, Gunnel; Gregersen, Peter K.; Moser, Kathy; Gaffney, Patrick M.; Criswell, Lindsey A.; Vyse, Timothy J.; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Bohjanen, Paul R.; Daly, Mark J.; Behrens, Timothy W.; Altshuler, David

    2007-01-01

    Systematic genome-wide studies to map genomic regions associated with human diseases are becoming more practical. Increasingly, efforts will be focused on the identification of the specific functional variants responsible for the disease. The challenges of identifying causal variants include the need for complete ascertainment of genetic variants and the need to consider the possibility of multiple causal alleles. We recently reported that risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is strongly associated with a common SNP in IFN regulatory factor 5 (IRF5), and that this variant altered spicing in a way that might provide a functional explanation for the reproducible association to SLE risk. Here, by resequencing and genotyping in patients with SLE, we find evidence for three functional alleles of IRF5: the previously described exon 1B splice site variant, a 30-bp in-frame insertion/deletion variant of exon 6 that alters a proline-, glutamic acid-, serine- and threonine-rich domain region, and a variant in a conserved polyA+ signal sequence that alters the length of the 3′ UTR and stability of IRF5 mRNAs. Haplotypes of these three variants define at least three distinct levels of risk to SLE. Understanding how combinations of variants influence IRF5 function may offer etiological and therapeutic insights in SLE; more generally, IRF5 and SLE illustrates how multiple common variants of the same gene can together influence risk of common disease. PMID:17412832

  11. Functions and requirements for the INEL light duty utility arm gripper end effector

    SciTech Connect

    Pace, D.P.; Barnes, G.E.

    1995-02-01

    This gripper end effector system functions and requirements document defines the system functions that the end effector must perform as well as the requirements the design must meet. Safety, quality assurance, operations, environmental conditions, and regulatory requirements have been considered. The main purpose of this document is to provide a basis for the end effector engineering, design, and fabrication activities. The document shall be the living reference document to initiate the development activities and will be updated as system technologies are finalized.

  12. Utility functions and resource management in an oversubscribed heterogeneous computing environment

    SciTech Connect

    Khemka, Bhavesh; Friese, Ryan; Briceno, Luis Diego; Siegel, Howard Jay; Maciejewski, Anthony A.; Koenig, Gregory A.; Groer, Christopher S.; Hilton, Marcia M.; Poole, Stephen W.; Okonski, G.; Rambharos, R.

    2014-09-26

    We model an oversubscribed heterogeneous computing system where tasks arrive dynamically and a scheduler maps the tasks to machines for execution. The environment and workloads are based on those being investigated by the Extreme Scale Systems Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Utility functions that are designed based on specifications from the system owner and users are used to create a metric for the performance of resource allocation heuristics. Each task has a time-varying utility (importance) that the enterprise will earn based on when the task successfully completes execution. We design multiple heuristics, which include a technique to drop low utility-earning tasks, to maximize the total utility that can be earned by completing tasks. The heuristics are evaluated using simulation experiments with two levels of oversubscription. The results show the benefit of having fast heuristics that account for the importance of a task and the heterogeneity of the environment when making allocation decisions in an oversubscribed environment. Furthermore, the ability to drop low utility-earning tasks allow the heuristics to tolerate the high oversubscription as well as earn significant utility.

  13. Utility functions and resource management in an oversubscribed heterogeneous computing environment

    DOE PAGES

    Khemka, Bhavesh; Friese, Ryan; Briceno, Luis Diego; ...

    2014-09-26

    We model an oversubscribed heterogeneous computing system where tasks arrive dynamically and a scheduler maps the tasks to machines for execution. The environment and workloads are based on those being investigated by the Extreme Scale Systems Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Utility functions that are designed based on specifications from the system owner and users are used to create a metric for the performance of resource allocation heuristics. Each task has a time-varying utility (importance) that the enterprise will earn based on when the task successfully completes execution. We design multiple heuristics, which include a technique to drop lowmore » utility-earning tasks, to maximize the total utility that can be earned by completing tasks. The heuristics are evaluated using simulation experiments with two levels of oversubscription. The results show the benefit of having fast heuristics that account for the importance of a task and the heterogeneity of the environment when making allocation decisions in an oversubscribed environment. Furthermore, the ability to drop low utility-earning tasks allow the heuristics to tolerate the high oversubscription as well as earn significant utility.« less

  14. Cross-study analysis of genomic data defines the ciliate multigenic epiplasmin family: strategies for functional analysis in Paramecium tetraurelia

    PubMed Central

    Damaj, Raghida; Pomel, Sébastien; Bricheux, Geneviève; Coffe, Gérard; Viguès, Bernard; Ravet, Viviane; Bouchard, Philippe

    2009-01-01

    Background The sub-membranous skeleton of the ciliate Paramecium, the epiplasm, is composed of hundreds of epiplasmic scales centered on basal bodies, and presents a complex set of proteins, epiplasmins, which belong to a multigenic family. The repeated duplications observed in the P. tetraurelia genome present an interesting model of the organization and evolution of a multigenic family within a single cell. Results To study this multigenic family, we used phylogenetic, structural, and analytical transcriptional approaches. The phylogenetic method defines 5 groups of epiplasmins in the multigenic family. A refined analysis by Hydrophobic Cluster Analysis (HCA) identifies structural characteristics of 51 epiplasmins, defining five separate groups, and three classes. Depending on the sequential arrangement of their structural domains, the epiplasmins are defined as symmetric, asymmetric or atypical. The EST data aid in this classification, in the identification of putative regulating sequences such as TATA or CAAT boxes. When specific RNAi experiments were conducted using sequences from either symmetric or asymmetric classes, phenotypes were drastic. Local effects show either disrupted or ill-shaped epiplasmic scales. In either case, this results in aborted cell division. Using structural features, we show that 4 epiplasmins are also present in another ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. Their affiliation with the distinctive structural groups of Paramecium epiplasmins demonstrates an interspecific multigenic family. Conclusion The epiplasmin multigenic family illustrates the history of genomic duplication in Paramecium. This study provides a framework which can guide functional analysis of epiplasmins, the major components of the membrane skeleton in ciliates. We show that this set of proteins handles an important developmental information in Paramecium since maintenance of epiplasm organization is crucial for cell morphogenesis. PMID:19493334

  15. Cross-study analysis of genomic data defines the ciliate multigenic epiplasmin family: strategies for functional analysis in Paramecium tetraurelia.

    PubMed

    Damaj, Raghida; Pomel, Sébastien; Bricheux, Geneviève; Coffe, Gérard; Viguès, Bernard; Ravet, Viviane; Bouchard, Philippe

    2009-06-03

    The sub-membranous skeleton of the ciliate Paramecium, the epiplasm, is composed of hundreds of epiplasmic scales centered on basal bodies, and presents a complex set of proteins, epiplasmins, which belong to a multigenic family. The repeated duplications observed in the P. tetraurelia genome present an interesting model of the organization and evolution of a multigenic family within a single cell. To study this multigenic family, we used phylogenetic, structural, and analytical transcriptional approaches. The phylogenetic method defines 5 groups of epiplasmins in the multigenic family. A refined analysis by Hydrophobic Cluster Analysis (HCA) identifies structural characteristics of 51 epiplasmins, defining five separate groups, and three classes. Depending on the sequential arrangement of their structural domains, the epiplasmins are defined as symmetric, asymmetric or atypical. The EST data aid in this classification, in the identification of putative regulating sequences such as TATA or CAAT boxes. When specific RNAi experiments were conducted using sequences from either symmetric or asymmetric classes, phenotypes were drastic. Local effects show either disrupted or ill-shaped epiplasmic scales. In either case, this results in aborted cell division. Using structural features, we show that 4 epiplasmins are also present in another ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. Their affiliation with the distinctive structural groups of Paramecium epiplasmins demonstrates an interspecific multigenic family. The epiplasmin multigenic family illustrates the history of genomic duplication in Paramecium. This study provides a framework which can guide functional analysis of epiplasmins, the major components of the membrane skeleton in ciliates. We show that this set of proteins handles an important developmental information in Paramecium since maintenance of epiplasm organization is crucial for cell morphogenesis.

  16. Surface-Directed Assembly of Sequence-Defined Synthetic Polymers into Networks of Hexagonally Patterned Nanoribbons with Controlled Functionalities.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Long; Zuckermann, Ronald N; DeYoreo, James J

    2016-05-24

    The exquisite self-assembly of proteins and peptides in nature into highly ordered functional materials has inspired innovative approaches to the design and synthesis of biomimetic materials. While sequence-defined polymers hold great promise to mimic proteins and peptides for functions, controlled assembly of them on surfaces still remains underdeveloped. Here, we report the assembly of 12-mer peptoids containing alternating acidic and aromatic monomers into networks of hexagonally patterned nanoribbons on mica surfaces. Ca(2+)-carboxylate coordination creates peptoid-peptoid and peptoid-mica interactions that control self-assembly. In situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows that peptoids first assemble into discrete nanoparticles; these particles then transform into hexagonally patterned nanoribbons on mica surfaces. AFM-based dynamic force spectroscopy studies show that peptoid-mica interactions are much stronger than peptoid-peptoid interactions, illuminating the driving forces for mica-directed peptoid assembly. We further demonstrate the display of functional domains at the N-terminus of assembling peptoids to produce extended networks with similar hierarchical structures. This research demonstrates that surface-directed peptoid assembly can be used as a robust platform to develop biomimetic coating materials for applications.

  17. Recovering functions defined on the unit sphere by integration on a special family of sub-spheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salman, Yehonatan

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this article is to derive a reconstruction formula for the recovery of C1 functions, defined on the unit sphere {{{S}}}^{n - 1} , given their integrals on a special family of n - 2 dimensional sub-spheres. For a fixed point overline{a} strictly inside {{{S}}}^{n - 1} , each sub-sphere in this special family is obtained by intersection of {{{S}}}^{n - 1} with a hyperplane passing through overline{a} . The case overline{a} = 0 results in an inversion formula for the special case of integration on great spheres (i.e., Funk transform). The limiting case where pin {{{S}}}^{n - 1} and overline{a}→ p results in an inversion formula for the special case of integration on spheres passing through a common point in {{{S}}}^{n - 1}.

  18. Genetic analysis of the Salmonella enterica type III secretion-associated ATPase InvC defines discrete functional domains.

    PubMed

    Akeda, Yukihiro; Galán, Jorge E

    2004-04-01

    An essential component of all type III secretion systems is a highly conserved ATPase that shares significant amino acid sequence similarity to the beta subunit of the F(0)F(1) ATPases and is thought to provide the energy for the secretion process. We have performed a genetic and functional analysis of InvC, the ATPase associated with the Salmonella enterica type III secretion system encoded within its pathogenicity island 1. Through a mutagenesis analysis, we have identified amino acid residues that are essential for specific activities of InvC, such as nucleotide hydrolysis and membrane binding. This has allowed us to define discrete domains of InvC that are specifically associated with different essential activities of this protein.

  19. High-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder: utility and meaning for families.

    PubMed

    Ruiz Calzada, Luisa; Pistrang, Nancy; Mandy, William P L

    2012-02-01

    We used framework analysis to investigate the utility of pervasive developmental disorder diagnoses, interviewing young people (aged 9-16 years) with high-functioning autistic disorder (AD) and Asperger's disorder (AsD), and their parents. Twenty two participants from ten families described both gains and costs resulting from diagnosis. Perceived advantages of AD and AsD diagnosis were increased understanding and practical support, and parental empowerment. Disadvantages included the effects of stigma and concerns about validity. Participants tended to consider AsD and AD as interchangeable terms. Findings suggest that the utility of AD and AsD depends upon both their validity and how these diagnoses are received in their cultural, economic and legislative context. Improvement of post-diagnostic services will improve the utility of AD and AsD.

  20. Surface-Directed Assembly of Sequence-Defined Synthetic Polymers into Networks of Hexagonally Patterned Nanoribbons with Controlled Functionalities

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Chun-Long; Zuckermann, Ronald N.; DeYoreo, James J.

    2016-05-24

    The exquisite self-assembly of proteins and peptides in nature into highly ordered functional materials has inspired innovative approaches to biomimetic materials design and synthesis. Here we report the assembly of peptoids—a class of highly stable sequence-defined synthetic polymers—into biomimetic materials on mica surfaces. The assembling 12-mer peptoid contains alternating acidic and aromatic residues, and the presence of Ca2+ cations creates peptoid-peptoid and peptoid-mica interactions that drive assembly. In situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows that peptoids first assemble into discrete nanoparticles, these particles then transform into hexagonally-patterned nanoribbons on mica surfaces. AFM-based dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) studies show that peptoid-mica interactions are much stronger than peptoidpeptoid interactions in the presence of Ca2+, illuminating the physical parameters that drive peptoid assembly. We further demonstrate the display of functional groups at the N-terminus of assembling peptoid sequence to produce biomimetic materials with similar hierarchical structures. This research demonstrates that surface-directed peptoid assembly can be used as a robust platform to develop biomimetic coating materials for applications.

  1. Identifying functionally important cis-peptide containing segments in proteins and their utility in molecular function annotation.

    PubMed

    Das, Sreetama; Ramakumar, Suryanarayanarao; Pal, Debnath

    2014-12-01

    Cis-peptide embedded segments are rare in proteins but often highlight their important role in molecular function when they do occur. The high evolutionary conservation of these segments illustrates this observation almost universally, although no attempt has been made to systematically use this information for the purpose of function annotation. In the present study, we demonstrate how geometric clustering and level-specific Gene Ontology molecular-function terms (also known as annotations) can be used in a statistically significant manner to identify cis-embedded segments in a protein linked to its molecular function. The present study identifies novel cis-peptide fragments, which are subsequently used for fragment-based function annotation. Annotation recall benchmarks interpreted using the receiver-operator characteristic plot returned an area-under-curve > 0.9, corroborating the utility of the annotation method. In addition, we identified cis-peptide fragments occurring in conjunction with functionally important trans-peptide fragments, providing additional insights into molecular function. We further illustrate the applicability of our method in function annotation where homology-based annotation transfer is not possible. The findings of the present study add to the repertoire of function annotation approaches and also facilitate engineering, design and allied studies around the cis-peptide neighborhood of proteins.

  2. Functional physiology of the human terminal antrum defined by high-resolution electrical mapping and computational modeling.

    PubMed

    Berry, Rachel; Miyagawa, Taimei; Paskaranandavadivel, Niranchan; Du, Peng; Angeli, Timothy R; Trew, Mark L; Windsor, John A; Imai, Yohsuke; O'Grady, Gregory; Cheng, Leo K

    2016-11-01

    High-resolution (HR) mapping has been used to study gastric slow-wave activation; however, the specific characteristics of antral electrophysiology remain poorly defined. This study applied HR mapping and computational modeling to define functional human antral physiology. HR mapping was performed in 10 subjects using flexible electrode arrays (128-192 electrodes; 16-24 cm(2)) arranged from the pylorus to mid-corpus. Anatomical registration was by photographs and anatomical landmarks. Slow-wave parameters were computed, and resultant data were incorporated into a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of gastric flow to calculate impact on gastric mixing. In all subjects, extracellular mapping demonstrated normal aboral slow-wave propagation and a region of increased amplitude and velocity in the prepyloric antrum. On average, the high-velocity region commenced 28 mm proximal to the pylorus, and activation ceased 6 mm from the pylorus. Within this region, velocity increased 0.2 mm/s per mm of tissue, from the mean 3.3 ± 0.1 mm/s to 7.5 ± 0.6 mm/s (P < 0.001), and extracellular amplitude increased from 1.5 ± 0.1 mV to 2.5 ± 0.1 mV (P < 0.001). CFD modeling using representative parameters quantified a marked increase in antral recirculation, resulting in an enhanced gastric mixing, due to the accelerating terminal antral contraction. The extent of gastric mixing increased almost linearly with the maximal velocity of the contraction. In conclusion, the human terminal antral contraction is controlled by a short region of rapid high-amplitude slow-wave activity. Distal antral wave acceleration plays a major role in antral flow and mixing, increasing particle strain and trituration. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Pathways of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Utilization: Implications for Brain Function in Neuropsychiatric Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Joanne J.; Green, Pnina; Mann, J. John; Rapoport, Stanley I.; Sublette, M. Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have profound effects on brain development and function. Abnormalities of PUFA status have been implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pathophysiologic mechanisms could involve not only suboptimal PUFA intake, but also metabolic and genetic abnormalities, defective hepatic metabolism, and problems with diffusion and transport. This article provides an overview of physiologic factors regulating PUFA utilization, highlighting their relevance to neuropsychiatric disease. PMID:25498862

  4. The Utility of Forms and Functions of Aggression in Emerging Adulthood: Association with Personality Disorder Symptomatology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ostrov, Jamie M.; Houston, Rebecca J.

    2008-01-01

    A sample of 679 (341 women) emerging adults (M = 18.90 years; SD = 1.11; range = 18.00-22.92) participated in a study on the utility of forms (i.e., physical and relational) and functions (i.e., proactive and reactive) of aggression. We examined the link between these four subtypes of aggression and personality pathology (i.e., psychopathic…

  5. The Utility of Forms and Functions of Aggression in Emerging Adulthood: Association with Personality Disorder Symptomatology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ostrov, Jamie M.; Houston, Rebecca J.

    2008-01-01

    A sample of 679 (341 women) emerging adults (M = 18.90 years; SD = 1.11; range = 18.00-22.92) participated in a study on the utility of forms (i.e., physical and relational) and functions (i.e., proactive and reactive) of aggression. We examined the link between these four subtypes of aggression and personality pathology (i.e., psychopathic…

  6. Numbers of presynaptic Ca(2+) channel clusters match those of functionally defined vesicular docking sites in single central synapses.

    PubMed

    Miki, Takafumi; Kaufmann, Walter A; Malagon, Gerardo; Gomez, Laura; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Watanabe, Masahiko; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Marty, Alain

    2017-06-27

    Many central synapses contain a single presynaptic active zone and a single postsynaptic density. Vesicular release statistics at such "simple synapses" indicate that they contain a small complement of docking sites where vesicles repetitively dock and fuse. In this work, we investigate functional and morphological aspects of docking sites at simple synapses made between cerebellar parallel fibers and molecular layer interneurons. Using immunogold labeling of SDS-treated freeze-fracture replicas, we find that Cav2.1 channels form several clusters per active zone with about nine channels per cluster. The mean value and range of intersynaptic variation are similar for Cav2.1 cluster numbers and for functional estimates of docking-site numbers obtained from the maximum numbers of released vesicles per action potential. Both numbers grow in relation with synaptic size and decrease by a similar extent with age between 2 wk and 4 wk postnatal. Thus, the mean docking-site numbers were 3.15 at 2 wk (range: 1-10) and 2.03 at 4 wk (range: 1-4), whereas the mean numbers of Cav2.1 clusters were 2.84 at 2 wk (range: 1-8) and 2.37 at 4 wk (range: 1-5). These changes were accompanied by decreases of miniature current amplitude (from 93 pA to 56 pA), active-zone surface area (from 0.0427 μm(2) to 0.0234 μm(2)), and initial success rate (from 0.609 to 0.353), indicating a tightening of synaptic transmission with development. Altogether, these results suggest a close correspondence between the number of functionally defined vesicular docking sites and that of clusters of voltage-gated calcium channels.

  7. Lack of concordance in defining worsening renal function by rise in creatinine vs rise in cystatin C.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Matthias; Shrestha, Kevin; Singh, Dhssraj; Finucan, Michael; Tang, W H Wilson

    2013-01-01

    Worsening renal function (WRF) during treatment of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is generally associated with adverse outcomes. An increase ≥0.3 mg/dL in creatinine level is widely used as the definition of WRF. The authors sought to determine the level of agreement between WRF based on changes in creatinine and changes in cystatin C (CysC) by analyzing data from 121 ADHF patients with available admission and day 3 creatinine and CysC levels. Admission creatinine and CysC levels were 1.39 (0.98-2.11) mg/dL and 1.95 (1.42-2.69) mg/L, respectively, and correlated well (r=0.81). On average, creatinine (-0.04±0.40 mg/dL) and CysC (0.001±0.34 mg/L) changed minimally from admission to day 3. Although the correlation between both markers on day 3 was still good (r=0.79), the correlation between changes therein was only modest (r=0.43). From the 14 and 15 patients who had WRF based on a ≥0.3 mg/dL increase in creatinine and ≥0.3 mg/L increase in CysC, respectively, only four (about 30%) met both definitions. These observations, together with recent insights in the inconsistencies of creatinine-defined concept of worsening renal function and outcomes, raises the need to research more reliable measures of renal function during treatment of ADHF. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Comparative evaluation of mathematical functions to describe growth and efficiency of phosphorus utilization in growing pigs.

    PubMed

    Kebreab, E; Schulin-Zeuthen, M; Lopez, S; Soler, J; Dias, R S; de Lange, C F M; France, J

    2007-10-01

    Success of pig production depends on maximizing return over feed costs and addressing potential nutrient pollution to the environment. Mathematical modeling has been used to describe many important aspects of inputs and outputs of pork production. This study was undertaken to compare 4 mathematical functions for the best fit in terms of describing specific data sets on pig growth and, in a separate experiment, to compare these 4 functions for describing of P utilization for growth. Two data sets with growth data were used to conduct growth analysis and another data set was used for P efficiency analysis. All data sets were constructed from independent trials that measured BW, age, and intake. Four growth functions representing diminishing returns (monomolecular), sigmoidal with a fixed point of inflection (Gompertz), and sigmoidal with a variable point of inflection (Richards and von Bertalanffy) were used. Meta-analysis of the data was conducted to identify the most appropriate functions for growth and P utilization. Based on Bayesian information criteria, the Richards equation described the BW vs. age data best. The additional parameter of the Richards equation was necessary because the data required a lower point of inflection (138 d) than the Gompertz, with a fixed point of inflexion at 1/e times the final BW (189 d), could accommodate. Lack of flexibility in the Gompertz equation was a limitation to accurate prediction. The monomolecular equation was best at determining efficiencies of P utilization for BW gain compared with the sigmoidal functions. The parameter estimate for the rate constant in all functions decreased as available P intake increased. Average efficiencies during different stages of growth were calculated and offer insight into targeting stages where high feed (nutrient) input is required and when adjustments are needed to accommodate the loss of efficiency and the reduction of potential pollution problems. It is recommended that the Richards

  9. Utilization of Functional Exercises to Build Regional Emergency Preparedness among Rural Health Organizations in the US.

    PubMed

    Obaid, Jannah M; Bailey, Ginger; Wheeler, Heidi; Meyers, Laura; Medcalf, Sharon J; Hansen, Keith F; Sanger, Kristine K; Lowe, John J

    2017-01-30

    Rural communities face barriers to disaster preparedness and considerable risk of disasters. Emergency preparedness among rural communities has improved with funding from federal programs and implementation of a National Incident Management System. The objective of this project was to design and implement disaster exercises to test decision making by rural response partners to improve regional planning, collaboration, and readiness. Six functional exercises were developed and conducted among three rural Nebraska (USA) regions by the Center for Preparedness Education (CPE) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, Nebraska USA). A total of 83 command centers participated. Six functional exercises were designed to test regional response and command-level decision making, and each 3-hour exercise was followed by a 3-hour regional after action conference. Participant feedback, single agency debriefing feedback, and regional After Action Reports were analyzed. Functional exercises were able to test command-level decision making and operations at multiple agencies simultaneously with limited funding. Observations included emergency management jurisdiction barriers to utilization of unified command and establishment of joint information centers, limited utilization of documentation necessary for reimbursement, and the need to develop coordinated public messaging. Functional exercises are a key tool for testing command-level decision making and response at a higher level than what is typically achieved in tabletop or short, full-scale exercises. Functional exercises enable evaluation of command staff, identification of areas for improvement, and advancing regional collaboration among diverse response partners. Obaid JM , Bailey G , Wheeler H , Meyers L , Medcalf SJ , Hansen KF , Sanger KK , Lowe JJ . Utilization of functional exercises to build regional emergency preparedness among rural health organizations in the US. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(2):1-7.

  10. Metatranscriptomic and functional metagenomic analysis of methylphosphonate utilization by marine bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Asunción; Ventouras, Laure-Anne; Wilson, Samuel T.; Karl, David M.; DeLong, Edward F.

    2013-01-01

    Aerobic degradation of methylphosphonate (MPn) by marine bacterioplankton has been hypothesized to contribute significantly to the ocean's methane supersaturation, yet little is known about MPn utilization by marine microbes. To identify the microbial taxa and metabolic functions associated with MPn-driven methane production we performed parallel metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, and functional screening of microcosm perturbation experiments using surface water collected in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. In nutrient amended microcosms containing MPn, a substrate-driven microbial succession occurred. Initially, the addition of glucose and nitrate resulted in a bloom of Vibrionales and a transcriptional profile dominated by glucose-specific PTS transport and polyhydroxyalkanoate biosynthesis. Transcripts associated with phosphorus (P) acquisition were also overrepresented and suggested that the addition of glucose and nitrate had driven the community to P depletion. At this point, a second community shift occurred characterized by the increase in C-P lyase containing microbes of the Vibrionales and Rhodobacterales orders. Transcripts associated with C-P lyase components were among the most highly expressed at the community level, and only C-P lyase clusters were recovered in a functional screen for MPn utilization, consistent with this pathway being responsible for the majority, if not all, of the methane accumulation we observed. Our results identify specific bacterioplankton taxa that can utilize MPn aerobically under conditions of P limitation using the C-P lyase pathway, and thereby elicit a significant increase in the dissolved methane concentration. PMID:24324460

  11. Optimum allocation of monitoring wells around a solid-waste landfill site using precursor indicators and fuzzy utility functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morisawa, Shinsuke; Inoue, Yoriteru

    1991-06-01

    An optimum monitoring well network (number of wells and their locations) is proposed which enables rapid, redundant and economical detection of contaminants in groundwater around a solid-waste landfill site. The procedure also guarantees detection of the contaminants given data on the probability of detection at different points in the saturated zone. The well selection is accomplished using a two-step procedure: (1) A Monte Carlo simulation of contaminant transport in the unconsolidated shallow saturated zone is conducted. In this zone hydrogeological parameters are variable but their stochastic distributions are known. Three governing equations are solved numerically using the finite-difference method to obtain the travel time distribution of each contaminant: the two-dimensional steady-state groundwater flow equation; the two-dimensional transient convective-dispersion equation for sorptive contaminants; and the sorptive-desorptive isotherm equation. (2) The procedure utilizes "fuzzy" theory, comprising of a set of newly developed mathematical techniques to deal with uncertainty in a wide range of man-machine interface issues, to assist in the design of a monitoring well network. The procedure requires a mathematical description of a four-attribute design problem using fuzzy utility functions and fuzzy weights. An optimum monitoring well network is then defined as the network having maximum total utility, which is evaluated as a fuzzy expectation of weighted arithmetic sums of the four utilities. One result of the simulation is the definition of relationships between the contaminant of interest and precursor materials. The precursor material can then serve as an "indicator" for faster detection of contaminant leaked from solid-waste landfill site. The procedures are applied to a hypothetical solid-waste landfill site under appropriate conditions to obtain the optimum monitoring well network for detection of precursor indicators. Sensitivity analysis of the

  12. Utility of Functional Hemodynamics and Echocardiography to Aid Diagnosis and Management of Shock.

    PubMed

    McGee, William T; Raghunathan, Karthik; Adler, Adam C

    2015-12-01

    The utility of functional hemodynamics and bedside ultrasonography is increasingly recognized as advantageous for both improved diagnosis and management of shock states. In contrast to conventional "static" measures, "dynamic" hemodynamic measures and bedside imaging modalities enhance pathophysiology-based comprehensive understanding of shock states and the response to therapy. The current editions of major textbooks in the primary specialties--in which clinicians routinely encounter patients in shock--including surgery, anesthesia, emergency medicine, and internal medicine continue to incorporate traditional (conventional) descriptions of shock that use well-described (but potentially misleading) intravascular pressures to classify shock states. Reliance on such intravascular pressure measurements is not as helpful as newer "dynamic" functional measures including ultrasonography to both better assess volume responsiveness and biventricular cardiac function. This review thus emphasizes the application of current functional hemodynamics and ultrasonography to the diagnosis and management of shock as a contrast to conventional "static" pressure-based measures.

  13. An analysis of the utilization of e-mail by physicians and patients: defining benefits, addressing concerns and forecasting implications on the doctor-patient relationship.

    PubMed

    Lang, Kirk T; Kiel, Joan M

    2008-01-01

    Though e-mail is ubiquitous in everyday life, it has not been the preferred mode of communication between physicians and patients. Several factors, including privacy and security, reimbursement and legal concerns, have been seen as barriers toward increased utilization. This article examines effect of e-mail on the doctor-patient relationship. It also addresses concerns expressed by providers and patients, and explores technology- and policy-based solutions to many of these issues.

  14. When mothering goes awry: Challenges and opportunities for utilizing evidence across rodent, nonhuman primate and human studies to better define the biological consequences of negative early caregiving☆

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Mar M.; Gonzalez, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Across mammalian species, mothers shape socio-emotional development and serve as essential external regulators of infant physiology, brain development, behavior patterns, and emotional regulation. Caregiving quality, consistency and predictability shape the infant's underlying neurobiological processes. Although the requirements for “optimal” caregiving differ across species, the negative long-term consequences of the absence of needed caregiving (e.g. neglect) or the presence of harmful/aversive caregiving (e.g. physical abuse), are translatable across species. Recognizing the significant potential of cross species comparisons in terms of defining underlying mechanisms, effective translation requires consideration of the evolutionary, ecological, and fundamental biological and developmental differences between and among species. This review provides both an overview of several success stories of cross-species translations in relation to negative caregiving and a template for future studies seeking to most effectively define the underlying biological processes and advance research dedicated to mitigating the lasting negative health consequences of child maltreatment. PMID:26506032

  15. A serum-free, chemically-defined medium for function and growth of primary neonatal rat heart cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, S N; Holmes, R; Hartzell, C R

    1983-06-01

    A serum-free, chemically defined medium for supporting rhythmic contraction, maximum survival, and moderate growth of cardiac cells was achieved by using a combination of hormones and growth supplements in a mixture of equal volumes of Ham's F12 and Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium. The hormones and growth supplements included insulin, transferrin, selenium, fetuin, bovine serum albumin, hydrocortisone (HC), L-thyroxine (T4), and epidermal growth factor (EGF). Cardiac cells were grown on fibronectin-precoated plates using the above serum-free medium. Cells grown in this medium exhibited a higher beating rate and were maintained for a longer time compared to those cells grown in serum. The effects of T4, EGF, and HC on beating rate and survival time of both cultures of mixed cell population and enriched myoblast cell population were studied. In the enriched myoblast cell cultures grown in serum-supplemented medium, the beating rate ranged from 40 to 200 beats/min, and these cultures survived for 30 d. When these enriched cell cultures were grown in serum-free hormone-supplemented medium, the beating rate ranged from 190 to 240 beats/min, and these cultures survived for more than 90 d. These results show that some hormones affect growth, whereas others affect function.

  16. The clinical utility of functional capacity evaluations: the opinion of health professionals working within occupational rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    James, Carole; MacKenzie, Lynette

    2009-01-01

    Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE's) are used within the occupational rehabilitation arena with the aim of assessing an individual's functional abilities in relation to work tasks. Therapists use a variety of different FCE's, both standardized and non standardized. This study aimed to investigate therapists' views on the clinical utility of FCE's in general and to identify if these differed between professional groups. A cross sectional study design was used. Health professionals who conduct FCE's and who worked for WorkCover accredited rehabilitation providers in NSW were surveyed. Surveys were returned from 79 participants working for 65 different rehabilitation providers. Of those who replied, 82\\% (n=63) were occupational therapists, 13% (n=10) physiotherapists and 5% (n=5) exercise physiologists. The mean years of professional experience was 10.9 years and the mean years of FCE experience was 5.3 years. Data were analyzed using STATA [v8.0] and the clinical utility of FCE's was considered relating to: usefulness & relevance; adaptability and flexibility; therapist perceived requirements and issues in practice. No differences were found related to the clinical utility of FCE's between professional groups or years of professional experience. The results suggest consistency and similarities in how FCE's are currently used in practice across NSW (Australia). Limitations of this study and areas for further research are suggested.

  17. SAM-GRID: A system utilizing grid middleware and SAM to enable full function grid computing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranovski, Andrew; Garzoglio, Gabriele; Lueking, Lee; Terekhov, Dane Skow Igor; Walker, Rodney

    2003-06-01

    We present a grid system, which is in development, employing an architecture comprising the primary functional components of job handling, data handling, and monitoring and information services. Each component is built using existing Grid middleware. The Job handling utilizes Condor Match Making Services to broker job submissions, Condor-G to schedule, and GRAM to submit and execute jobs on remote compute resources. The information services provide strategic information of the system including a file replica catalogue, compute availability, and network data-throughput rate predictions, which are made available to the other components. Data handling services are provided by SAM, the data management system built for the Dzero experiment at Fermilab, to optimize data delivery, and cache and replicate data as needed at the processing nodes. The SAM-Grid system is being built to provide experiments in progress at Fermilab the ability to utilize worldwide computing resources to process enormous quantities of data for complex physics analyses.

  18. Utility of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) for educational psychologists’ work

    PubMed Central

    Aljunied, Mariam; Frederickson, Norah

    2014-01-01

    Despite embracing a bio-psycho-social perspective, the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) assessment framework has had limited application to date with children who have special educational needs (SEN). This study examines its utility for educational psychologists’ work with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Mothers of 40 children with ASD aged eight to 12 years were interviewed using a structured protocol based on the ICF framework. The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorder (DISCO) was completed with a subset of 19 mothers. Internal consistency and inter-rater reliability of the interview assessments were found to be acceptable and there was evidence for concurrent and discriminant validity. Despite some limitations, initial support for the utility of the ICF model suggests its potential value across educational, health and care fields. Further consideration of its relevance to educational psychologists in new areas of multi-agency working is warranted. PMID:26157197

  19. Utility and Limitations of Using Gene Expression Data to Identify Functional Associations

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Cheng; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2016-01-01

    Gene co-expression has been widely used to hypothesize gene function through guilt-by association. However, it is not clear to what degree co-expression is informative, whether it can be applied to genes involved in different biological processes, and how the type of dataset impacts inferences about gene functions. Here our goal is to assess the utility and limitations of using co-expression as a criterion to recover functional associations between genes. By determining the percentage of gene pairs in a metabolic pathway with significant expression correlation, we found that many genes in the same pathway do not have similar transcript profiles and the choice of dataset, annotation quality, gene function, expression similarity measure, and clustering approach significantly impacts the ability to recover functional associations between genes using Arabidopsis thaliana as an example. Some datasets are more informative in capturing coordinated expression profiles and larger data sets are not always better. In addition, to recover the maximum number of known pathways and identify candidate genes with similar functions, it is important to explore rather exhaustively multiple dataset combinations, similarity measures, clustering algorithms and parameters. Finally, we validated the biological relevance of co-expression cluster memberships with an independent phenomics dataset and found that genes that consistently cluster with leucine degradation genes tend to have similar leucine levels in mutants. This study provides a framework for obtaining gene functional associations by maximizing the information that can be obtained from gene expression datasets. PMID:27935950

  20. Microbial resource utilization traits and trade-offs: implications for community structure, functioning, and biogeochemical impacts at present and in the future

    PubMed Central

    Litchman, Elena; Edwards, Kyle F.; Klausmeier, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    Trait-based approaches provide a mechanistic framework to understand and predict the structure and functioning of microbial communities. Resource utilization traits and trade-offs are among key microbial traits that describe population dynamics and competition among microbes. Several important trade-offs have been identified for prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial taxa that define contrasting ecological strategies and contribute to species coexistence and diversity. The shape, dimensionality, and hierarchy of trade-offs may determine coexistence patterns and need to be better characterized. Laboratory measured resource utilization traits can be used to explain temporal and spatial structure and dynamics of natural microbial communities and predict biogeochemical impacts. Global environmental change can alter microbial community composition through altering resource utilization by different microbes and, consequently, may modify biogeochemical impacts of microbes. PMID:25904900

  1. When mothering goes awry: Challenges and opportunities for utilizing evidence across rodent, nonhuman primate and human studies to better define the biological consequences of negative early caregiving.

    PubMed

    Drury, Stacy S; Sánchez, Mar M; Gonzalez, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care".Across mammalian species, mothers shape socio-emotional development and serve as essential external regulators of infant physiology, brain development, behavior patterns, and emotional regulation. Caregiving quality, consistency and predictability shape the infant's underlying neurobiological processes. Although the requirements for "optimal" caregiving differ across species, the negative long-term consequences of the absence of needed caregiving (e.g. neglect) or the presence of harmful/aversive caregiving (e.g. physical abuse), are translatable across species. Recognizing the significant potential of cross species comparisons in terms of defining underlying mechanisms, effective translation requires consideration of the evolutionary, ecological, and fundamental biological and developmental differences between and among species. This review provides both an overview of several success stories of cross-species translations in relation to negative caregiving and a template for future studies seeking to most effectively define the underlying biological processes and advance research dedicated to mitigating the lasting negative health consequences of child maltreatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Abbreviated quality of life scales for schizophrenia: comparison and utility of two brief community functioning measures.

    PubMed

    Fervaha, Gagan; Foussias, George; Siddiqui, Ishraq; Agid, Ofer; Remington, Gary

    2014-04-01

    The Heinrichs-Carpenter Quality of Life Scale (QLS) is the most extensively used real-world community functioning scale in schizophrenia research. However, the extensive time required to administer it and the inclusion of items that overlap conceptually with negative symptoms limit its use across studies. The present study examined the validity and utility of two abbreviated QLS measures against the full QLS excluding negative symptom items. The sample included 1427 patients with schizophrenia who completed the baseline visit in the CATIE study. The validity of two abbreviated QLS measures (7-item and 4-item) were examined with the full QLS, excluding the intrapsychic foundations subscale, using correlation analysis. The utility of the abbreviated measures was explored by examining associations between the functioning scales and clinical variables and longitudinal change. Both abbreviated QLS measures were highly predictive of the full QLS (both r=0.91, p<0.001), with no difference in predictive value between the abridged measures. Functional status was significantly associated with symptoms and cognition. Importantly, the strength of these associations was similar between the abbreviated and full QLS. Finally, multiple regression models examining the explanatory power of amotivation/apathy in predicting functioning scores after other symptoms and neurocognition had been accounted for were essentially identical irrespective of the QLS instrument used as the dependent measure. Longitudinal change was also similar across the three scales. The 7-item abbreviated QLS is recommended as a brief measure of community functioning for individuals with schizophrenia, especially when assessment of functional outcome is not the focus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Functionalization of plasmonic metamaterials utilizing metal-organic framework thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakšić, Zoran; Popović, Zora; Djerdj, Igor; Jaćimović, Željko K.; Radulović, Katarina

    2012-05-01

    We considered theoretically and experimentally a strategy to functionalize plasmonic metamaterials utilizing either a metal-organic framework (MOF) or inorganic-organic hybrids for application in adsorption-based gas sensing. MOFs are one-dimensional (1D), 2D or 3D crystalline compounds that simultaneously contain metal ions or ion clusters and organic moieties, forming thus porous networks ensuring an increased effective surface for adsorption. Metamaterials can enhance plasmonic sensor performance through metal-dielectric nanocompositing that simultaneously tailors the electromagnetic response and boosts adsorption of the targeted analyte through the use of nanopores. To perform functionalization, it is necessary to integrate one or several layers of MOF nanocrystals with the metamaterial scaffold. The simplest approach is to use dip or drop coating or the layer-by-layer technique. The scaffolds that we considered included freestanding, ultrathin membranes and sandwich structures with nanoaperture arrays. For this investigation, we used a non-aqueous sol-gel route to synthesize vanadium oxyanthracene carboxylate, a novel material with 1D crystal structure. Our results suggest that preferential concentration of analyte within the MOF pores may ensure improved adsorption and thus sensor sensitivity enhancement. Also, one may increase selectivity by introducing nanoparticle fillers or by utilizing other functionalizing materials such as catalysts or ligands.

  4. Utility of transcranial Doppler ultrasound for the integrative assessment of cerebrovascular function.

    PubMed

    Willie, C K; Colino, F L; Bailey, D M; Tzeng, Y C; Binsted, G; Jones, L W; Haykowsky, M J; Bellapart, J; Ogoh, S; Smith, K J; Smirl, J D; Day, T A; Lucas, S J; Eller, L K; Ainslie, P N

    2011-03-30

    There is considerable utility in the use of transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) to assess cerebrovascular function. The brain is unique in its high energy and oxygen demand but limited capacity for energy storage that necessitates an effective means of regional blood delivery. The relative low cost, ease-of-use, non-invasiveness, and excellent temporal resolution of TCD make it an ideal tool for the examination of cerebrovascular function in both research and clinical settings. TCD is an efficient tool to access blood velocities within the cerebral vessels, cerebral autoregulation, cerebrovascular reactivity to CO(2), and neurovascular coupling, in both physiological states and in pathological conditions such as stroke and head trauma. In this review, we provide: (1) an overview of TCD methodology with respect to other techniques; (2) a methodological synopsis of the cerebrovascular exam using TCD; (3) an overview of the physiological mechanisms involved in regulation of the cerebral blood flow; (4) the utility of TCD for assessment of cerebrovascular pathology; and (5) recommendations for the assessment of four critical and complimentary aspects of cerebrovascular function: intra-cranial blood flow velocity, cerebral autoregulation, cerebral reactivity, and neurovascular coupling. The integration of these regulatory mechanisms from an integrated systems perspective is discussed, and future research directions are explored.

  5. Seasonal variation in nutrient utilization shapes gut microbiome structure and function in wild giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qi; Wang, Xiao; Ding, Yun; Hu, Yibo; Nie, Yonggang; Wei, Wei; Ma, Shuai; Yan, Li; Zhu, Lifeng; Wei, Fuwen

    2017-09-13

    Wild giant pandas use different parts of bamboo (shoots, leaves and stems) and different bamboo species at different times of the year. Their usage of bamboo can be classified temporally into a distinct leaf stage, shoot stage and transition stage. An association between this usage pattern and variation in the giant panda gut microbiome remains unknown. Here, we found associations using a gut metagenomic approach and nutritional analyses whereby diversity of the gut microbial community in the leaf and shoot stages was significantly different. Functional metagenomic analysis showed that in the leaf stage, bacteria species over-represented genes involved in raw fibre utilization and cell cycle control. Thus, raw fibre utilization by the gut microbiome was guaranteed during the nutrient-deficient leaf stage by reinforcing gut microbiome robustness. During the protein-abundant shoot stage, the functional capacity of the gut microbiome expanded to include prokaryotic secretion and signal transduction activity, suggesting active interactions between the gut microbiome and host. These results illustrate that seasonal nutrient variation in wild giant pandas substantially influences gut microbiome composition and function. Nutritional interactions between gut microbiomes and hosts appear to be complex and further work is needed. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Analytical study of the effects of soft tissue artefacts on functional techniques to define axes of rotation.

    PubMed

    De Rosario, Helios; Page, Álvaro; Besa, Antonio

    2017-09-06

    The accurate location of the main axes of rotation (AoR) is a crucial step in many applications of human movement analysis. There are different formal methods to determine the direction and position of the AoR, whose performance varies across studies, depending on the pose and the source of errors. Most methods are based on minimizing squared differences between observed and modelled marker positions or rigid motion parameters, implicitly assuming independent and uncorrelated errors, but the largest error usually results from soft tissue artefacts (STA), which do not have such statistical properties and are not effectively cancelled out by such methods. However, with adequate methods it is possible to assume that STA only account for a small fraction of the observed motion and to obtain explicit formulas through differential analysis that relate STA components to the resulting errors in AoR parameters. In this paper such formulas are derived for three different functional calibration techniques (Geometric Fitting, mean Finite Helical Axis, and SARA), to explain why each technique behaves differently from the others, and to propose strategies to compensate for those errors. These techniques were tested with published data from a sit-to-stand activity, where the true axis was defined using bi-planar fluoroscopy. All the methods were able to estimate the direction of the AoR with an error of less than 5°, whereas there were errors in the location of the axis of 30-40mm. Such location errors could be reduced to less than 17mm by the methods based on equations that use rigid motion parameters (mean Finite Helical Axis, SARA) when the translation component was calculated using the three markers nearest to the axis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Comprehensive alanine-scanning mutagenesis of Escherichia coli CsrA defines two subdomains of critical functional importance.

    PubMed

    Mercante, Jeffrey; Suzuki, Kazushi; Cheng, Xiaodong; Babitzke, Paul; Romeo, Tony

    2006-10-20

    The RNA-binding protein CsrA (carbon storage regulator) of Escherichia coli is a global regulator of gene expression and is representative of the CsrA/RsmA family of bacterial proteins. These proteins act by regulating mRNA translation and stability and are antagonized by binding to small noncoding RNAs. Although the RNA target sequence and structure for CsrA binding have been well defined, little information exists concerning the protein requirements for RNA recognition. The three-dimensional structures of three CsrA/RsmA proteins were recently solved, revealing a novel protein fold consisting of two interdigitated monomers. Here, we performed comprehensive alanine-scanning mutagenesis on csrA of E. coli and tested the 58 resulting mutants for regulation of glycogen accumulation, motility, and biofilm formation. Quantitative effects of these mutations on expression of glgCA'-'lacZ, flhDC'-'lacZ, and pgaA'-'lacZ translational fusions were also examined, and eight of the mutant proteins were purified and tested for RNA binding. These studies identified two regions of the amino acid sequence that were critical for regulation and RNA binding, located within the first (beta1, residues 2-7) and containing the last (beta5, residues 40-47) beta-strands of CsrA. The beta1 and beta5 strands of opposite monomers lie adjacent and parallel to each other in the three-dimensional structure of this protein. Given the symmetry of the CsrA dimer, these findings imply that two distinct RNA binding surfaces or functional subdomains lie on opposite sides of the protein.

  8. Using multiple trait associations to define hydraulic functional types in plant communities of south-western Australia.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Patrick J; Veneklaas, Erik J; Lambers, Hans; Burgess, Stephen S O

    2008-12-01

    Assessing the hydrological imbalance and associated land degradation issues facing much of southern Australia and other parts of the world requires a better understanding of the defining features of ecosystem water use and the design of sustainable agroecosystems. Thus, by grouping species with similar water-use strategies into 'hydraulic functional types' (HFTs), we investigated the characteristics of water use in species-rich plant communities of south-western Australia. HFTs were determined using multiple-trait associations between morphological and physiological traits relating to water transport, water-use efficiency and response to water deficit. Sixteen traits were assessed from a subset of 21 species from three plant communities located along a topographically determined soil- and water-availability gradient. Multivariate analyses showed that trait variation was least at sites with shallower soils and putatively lower water availability, suggesting a convergence of water-use strategies at sites where plants are exposed to large seasonal water deficits. Stem hydraulic parameters, including stem-specific hydraulic conductivity, conduit diameter and maximum percentage embolism, were positively correlated, indicating the generality that larger conduit diameter permits greater hydraulic efficiency and is associated with greater seasonal reductions in hydraulic conductivity in this ecosystem. Wood density was not correlated with these traits, but closely associated with species' ability to withstand more negative water potentials during summer. Long-term integrated water-use efficiency was lower in shallow-rooted species that exhibited more negative summer water potentials. Specific leaf area and minimum leaf water potential were correlated with a number of separate traits, and appear to represent key axes of trait variation that describe the water-use strategies of different HFTs along the topographic gradient. Five HFTs were classified using a resemblance

  9. Optimization of the dressing parameters in cylindrical grinding based on a generalized utility function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleksandrova, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The existing studies, concerning the dressing process, focus on the major influence of the dressing conditions on the grinding response variables. However, the choice of the dressing conditions is often made, based on the experience of the qualified staff or using data from reference books. The optimal dressing parameters, which are only valid for the particular methods and dressing and grinding conditions, are also used. The paper presents a methodology for optimization of the dressing parameters in cylindrical grinding. The generalized utility function has been chosen as an optimization parameter. It is a complex indicator determining the economic, dynamic and manufacturing characteristics of the grinding process. The developed methodology is implemented for the dressing of aluminium oxide grinding wheels by using experimental diamond roller dressers with different grit sizes made of medium- and high-strength synthetic diamonds type ??32 and ??80. To solve the optimization problem, a model of the generalized utility function is created which reflects the complex impact of dressing parameters. The model is built based on the results from the conducted complex study and modeling of the grinding wheel lifetime, cutting ability, production rate and cutting forces during grinding. They are closely related to the dressing conditions (dressing speed ratio, radial in-feed of the diamond roller dresser and dress-out time), the diamond roller dresser grit size/grinding wheel grit size ratio, the type of synthetic diamonds and the direction of dressing. Some dressing parameters are determined for which the generalized utility function has a maximum and which guarantee an optimum combination of the following: the lifetime and cutting ability of the abrasive wheels, the tangential cutting force magnitude and the production rate of the grinding process. The results obtained prove the possibility of control and optimization of grinding by selecting particular dressing

  10. Organization of Artificial Superlattices Utilizing Nanosheets as a Building Block and Exploration of Their Advanced Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Renzhi; Sasaki, Takayoshi

    2015-07-01

    This review covers some of the latest developments in the organization of artificial superlattice assemblies utilizing colloidal oxide or hydroxide nanosheets bearing a negative or positive charge, respectively. Various solution-based procedures, e.g., flocculation, electrostatic sequential adsorption, and Langmuir-Blodgett deposition, have been introduced for the self-assembly of 2D nanosheets. Superlattice composites or films integrated with different nanosheets may yield concerted or synergistic modulation, e.g., soft coupling or new electronic states at interfaces. This behavior offers an unprecedented opportunity for the exploration of high-performance devices, as well as advanced or novel functions that cannot be achieved with a single-component material.

  11. Estimation of a valuation function for a diabetes mellitus-specific preference-based measure of health: the Diabetes Utility Index.

    PubMed

    Sundaram, Murali; Smith, Michael J; Revicki, Dennis A; Miller, Lesley-Ann; Madhavan, Suresh; Hobbs, Gerry

    2010-01-01

    Preference-based measures of health (PBMH) provide 'preference' or 'utility' weights that enable the calculation of QALYs for the economic evaluations of interventions. The Diabetes Utility Index (DUI) was developed as a brief, self-administered, diabetes mellitus-specific PBMH that can efficiently estimate patient-derived health state utilities. To describe the development of the valuation function for the DUI, and to report the validation results of the valuation function. Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) was used as the framework to develop a valuation function for the DUI. Twenty of 768 possible health states of the DUI classified as anchor states, single-attribute level states including corner states, and marker states were selected and described for preference elicitation interviews. Visual analogue scale and standard gamble (SG) exercises were used to measure preferences from individuals with diabetes recruited from primary care and community settings in and around Morgantown, WV, USA for the 20 health states defined by combinations of DUI attributes and severity levels. Data collected in the interviews were used to develop a valuation function that calculates utilities for the DUI health states and calculates attribute-level utilities. A validation survey of the valuation function was conducted in collaboration with the West Virginia University (WVU) Diabetes Institute. A total of 100 individuals with diabetes were interviewed and their preferences for various DUI health states measured. From data generated in the interviews, a DUI valuation function was developed on a scale where 1.00 = perfect health (PH) and 0.00 = the all worse 'pits' state, and adjusted to yield utilities on the conventional scale 1.00 = PH and 0.00 = dead. A total of 396 patients with diabetes who received care at WVU clinics completed a DUI mail validation survey (response rate = 33%). Clinical data consisting of International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, diagnosis

  12. Functional characterization of polysaccharide utilization loci in the marine Bacteroidetes ‘Gramella forsetii' KT0803

    PubMed Central

    Kabisch, Antje; Otto, Andreas; König, Sten; Becher, Dörte; Albrecht, Dirk; Schüler, Margarete; Teeling, Hanno; Amann, Rudolf I; Schweder, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Members of the phylum Bacteroidetes are abundant in many marine ecosystems and are known to have a pivotal role in the mineralization of complex organic substrates such as polysaccharides and proteins. We studied the decomposition of the algal glycans laminarin and alginate by ‘Gramella forsetii' KT0803, a bacteroidetal isolate from North Sea surface waters. A combined application of isotope labeling, subcellular protein fractionation and quantitative proteomics revealed two large polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) that were specifically induced, one by alginate and the other by laminarin. These regulons comprised genes of surface-exposed proteins such as oligomer transporters, substrate-binding proteins, carbohydrate-active enzymes and hypothetical proteins. Besides, several glycan-specific TonB-dependent receptors and SusD-like substrate-binding proteins were expressed also in the absence of polysaccharide substrates, suggesting an anticipatory sensing function. Genes for the utilization of the beta-1,3-glucan laminarin were found to be co-regulated with genes for glucose and alpha-1,4-glucan utilization, which was not the case for the non-glucan alginate. Strong syntenies of the PULs of ‘G. forsetii' with similar loci in other Bacteroidetes indicate that the specific response mechanisms of ‘G. forsetii' to changes in polysaccharide availability likely apply to other Bacteroidetes. Our results can thus contribute to an improved understanding of the ecological niches of marine Bacteroidetes and their roles in the polysaccharide decomposition part of carbon cycling in marine ecosystems. PMID:24522261

  13. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Cif defines a distinct class of α/β epoxide hydrolases utilizing a His/Tyr ring-opening pair

    PubMed Central

    Bahl, Christopher D.; Madden, Dean R.

    2012-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that secretes a multitude of virulence factors during the course of infection. Among these is Cif, an epoxide hydrolase (EH) that reduces the functional localization of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in epithelial cells. In addition to being the first reported EH virulence factor, Cif possesses unique sequence deviations from canonical EH motifs. Foremost among these is the substitution of a histidine for the second epoxide ring-opening tyrosine in the active site. To test the functional equivalence of the Tyr and His side chains at this position, we have generated the mutant Cif-H177Y. Structural analysis confirms that both the WT His and mutant Tyr side chains can be accommodated without large-scale conformational changes. However, the Tyr mutation is functionally inactive. Based on a detailed analysis of the structure of the Tyr mutant, it appears that Cif's main-chain conformation imposes a functional requirement for a His at this position. Comparison with canonical EH structures reveals additional conformational differences, which are coupled to divergent sequence characteristics. When used to probe the genomes of other opportunistic pathogens, these sequence-structure criteria uncover candidate sequences that appear to form a distinct subfamily of Cif-like epoxide hydrolases characterized by a conserved His/Tyr ring-opening pair. PMID:21933119

  14. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Cif defines a distinct class of α/β epoxide hydrolases utilizing a His/Tyr ring-opening pair.

    PubMed

    Bahl, Christopher D; Madden, Dean R

    2012-02-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that secretes a multitude of virulence factors during the course of infection. Among these is Cif, an epoxide hydrolase (EH) that reduces the functional localization of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in epithelial cells. In addition to being the first reported EH virulence factor, Cif possesses unique sequence deviations from canonical EH motifs. Foremost among these is the substitution of a histidine for the first epoxide ring-opening tyrosine in the active site. To test the functional equivalence of Tyr and His side chains at this position, we have generated the mutant Cif-H177Y. Structural analysis confirms that both the WT His and mutant Tyr side chains can be accommodated without large-scale conformational changes. However, the Tyr mutant is functionally inactive. Based on a detailed analysis of the structure of the Tyr mutant, it appears that Cif's main-chain conformation imposes a functional requirement for a His at this position. Comparison with canonical EH structures reveals additional conformational differences, which are coupled to divergent sequence characteristics. When used to probe the genomes of other opportunistic pathogens, these sequence-structure criteria uncover candidate sequences that appear to form a distinct subfamily of Cif-like epoxide hydrolases characterized by a conserved His/Tyr ring-opening pair.

  15. Hydrocephalus Defined

    MedlinePlus

    ... narrow pathways. CSF is in constant production and absorption; it has a defined pathway from the lateral ... there is an imbalance of production and/or absorption. With most types of hydrocephalus, the fluid gets ...

  16. Utilization of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halim, A. A. A.; Laili, M. H.; Aziz, N. A.; Laili, A. R.; Salikin, M. S.; Rusop, M.

    2016-07-01

    The goal of this brief review is to report the techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation in human study. The development of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technologies has advanced quantification signal using multiple wavelength and detector to solve the propagation of light inside the tissues including the absorption, scattering coefficient and to define the light penetration into tissues multilayers. There are a lot of studies that demonstrate signal from fNIRS which can be used to evaluate the changes of oxygenation level and measure the limitation of muscle performance in human brain and muscle tissues. Comprehensive reviews of diffuse reflectance based on beer lambert law theory were presented in this paper. The principle and development of fNIRS instrumentation is reported in detail.

  17. Effects of mindfulness meditation on occupational functioning and health care utilization in individuals with anxiety.

    PubMed

    Hoge, Elizabeth A; Guidos, Brittany M; Mete, Mihriye; Bui, Eric; Pollack, Mark H; Simon, Naomi M; Dutton, Mary Ann

    2017-04-01

    To examine the effect of mindfulness meditation on occupational functioning in individuals with Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Fifty-seven individuals with GAD (mean (SD) age=39 (13); 56% women) participated in an 8-week clinical trial in which they were randomized to mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class. In this secondary analysis, absenteeism, entire workdays missed, partial workdays missed, and healthcare utilization patterns were assessed before and after treatment. Compared to the attention control class, participation in MBSR was associated with a significantly greater decrease in partial work days missed for adults with GAD (t=2.734, df=51, p=0.009). Interestingly, a dose effect was observed during the 24-week post-treatment follow-up period: among MBSR participants, greater home mindfulness meditation practice was associated with less work loss and with fewer mental health professional visits. Mindfulness meditation training may improve occupational functioning and decrease healthcare utilization in adults with GAD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Prolonged grief symptoms related to loss of physical functioning: examining unique associations with medical service utilization.

    PubMed

    Holland, Jason M; Graves, Stacy; Klingspon, Kara L; Rozalski, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged grief, a severe and chronic form of grieving most commonly studied in the context of bereavement, may have relevance to losses associated with chronic illness (e.g. grief related to loss of functioning or loss of a planned future). The purpose of the present study is to examine the unique associations between prolonged grief symptoms and service utilization patterns. An online self-report assessment battery was administered among a sample of 275 older adults with at least one chronic illness that caused significant physical impairment. Even after statistically controlling for relevant physical health (e.g. severity of physical limitations, somatic symptoms, number of chronic illnesses) and psychosocial variables (e.g. social support, depression/anxiety), more severe prolonged grief symptoms were associated with a greater number of emergency room visits, overnight stays in the hospital and total nights in the hospital. These findings highlight the importance of screening for prolonged grief symptomatology with older individuals with a debilitating chronic illness. Recent evidence suggests that prolonged grief may have relevance for losses associated with physical illness. The present study shows that prolonged grief reactions related to physical illness (e.g. grieving the loss of functioning) are uniquely associated with increased hospital-based service utilization. Given the relevance of prolonged grief reactions in this population, practitioners may wish to assess for these symptoms. Future clinical research should focus on developing interventions to target prolonged grief symptoms associated with these losses.

  19. Structure, function, and regulation of the aldouronate utilization gene cluster from Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR-2.

    PubMed

    Chow, Virginia; Nong, Guang; Preston, James F

    2007-12-01

    Direct bacterial conversion of the hemicellulose fraction of hardwoods and crop residues to biobased products depends upon extracellular depolymerization of methylglucuronoxylan (MeGAX(n)), followed by assimilation and intracellular conversion of aldouronates and xylooligosaccharides to fermentable xylose. Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR-2, an aggressively xylanolytic bacterium, secretes a multimodular cell-associated GH10 endoxylanase (XynA1) that catalyzes depolymerization of MeGAX(n) and rapidly assimilates the principal products, beta-1,4-xylobiose, beta-1,4-xylotriose, and MeGAX(3), the aldotetrauronate 4-O-methylglucuronosyl-alpha-1,2-xylotriose. Genomic libraries derived from this bacterium have now allowed cloning and sequencing of a unique aldouronate utilization gene cluster comprised of genes encoding signal transduction regulatory proteins, ABC transporter proteins, and the enzymes AguA (GH67 alpha-glucuronidase), XynA2 (GH10 endoxylanase), and XynB (GH43 beta-xylosidase/alpha-arabinofuranosidase). Expression of these genes, as well as xynA1 encoding the secreted GH10 endoxylanase, is induced by growth on MeGAX(n) and repressed by glucose. Sequences in the yesN, lplA, and xynA2 genes within the cluster and in the distal xynA1 gene show significant similarity to catabolite responsive element (cre) defined in Bacillus subtilis for recognition of the catabolite control protein (CcpA) and consequential repression of catabolic regulons. The aldouronate utilization gene cluster in Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR-2 operates as a regulon, coregulated with the expression of xynA1, conferring the ability for efficient assimilation and catabolism of the aldouronate product generated by a multimodular cell surface-anchored GH10 endoxylanase. This cluster offers a desirable metabolic potential for bacterial conversion of hemicellulose fractions of hardwood and crop residues to biobased products.

  20. Toad heart utilizes exclusively slow skeletal muscle troponin T: an evolutionary adaptation with potential functional benefits.

    PubMed

    Feng, Han-Zhong; Chen, Xuequn; Hossain, M Moazzem; Jin, Jian-Ping

    2012-08-24

    The three isoforms of vertebrate troponin T (TnT) are normally expressed in a muscle type-specific manner. Here we report an exception that the cardiac muscle of toad (Bufo) expresses exclusively slow skeletal muscle TnT (ssTnT) together with cardiac forms of troponin I and myosin as determined using immunoblotting, cDNA cloning, and/or LC-MS/MS. Using RT-PCR and 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends on toad cardiac mRNA, we cloned full-length cDNAs encoding two alternatively spliced variants of ssTnT. Expression of the cloned cDNAs in Escherichia coli confirmed that the toad cardiac muscle expresses solely ssTnT, predominantly the low molecular weight variant with the exon 5-encoded NH(2)-terminal segment spliced out. Functional studies were performed in ex vivo working toad hearts and compared with the frog (Rana) hearts. The results showed that toad hearts had higher contractile and relaxation velocities and were able to work against a significantly higher afterload than that of frog hearts. Therefore, the unique evolutionary adaptation of utilizing exclusively ssTnT in toad cardiac muscle corresponded to a fitness value from improving systolic function of the heart. The data demonstrated a physiological importance of the functional diversity of TnT isoforms. The structure-function relationship of TnT may be explored for the development of new treatment of heart failure.

  1. Utility of wireless motility capsule and lactulose breath testing in the evaluation of patients with chronic functional bloating

    PubMed Central

    Triadafilopoulos, George

    2016-01-01

    Background The precise aetiology of chronic bloating remains poorly understood and underlying gastroparesis, small bowel bacterial overgrowth and colonic inertia may, individually or collectively, play a role. Aims In this retrospective cohort analysis of symptomatic patients with chronic persistent bloating, we determined the clinical utility of wireless motility capsule and lactulose breath test in further defining the underlying aetiology for functional bloating. Methods Consecutive patients with chronic bloating underwent clinical assessment, wireless motility capsule testing and lactulose breath testing using standard protocols. Results 52 patients qualified for inclusion in this analysis, fulfilling Rome III criteria for functional bloating. Most patients (54%) had an abnormal wireless motility capsule study; of those, 11.5% had evidence of gastroparesis, 7.7% had small bowel transit delay, 15.8% had colonic inertia, 3.8% had delayed gastric and small bowel transit, 5.6% had combined gastric and colonic transit delay, 3.8% had delayed small bowel and colonic transit, and 5.6% had delayed gastric, small bowel and colon transit times. Using clinical questionnaires the median scores for bloating, constipation and eructation were not significantly different. Neither constipation nor eructation was specific to gastroparesis or colonic inertia but bloating was numerically more prevalent and severe in patients with delayed small bowel transit. 40% of patients had positive lactulose breath test but had no distinguishing clinical characteristics. Conclusions Chronic functional bloating may reflect underlying gastroparesis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or colonic inertia. Wireless motility capsule and lactulose breath test are useful in the assessment of patients with bloating and should be considered during evaluation. PMID:27648298

  2. Utility communications architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-01

    Integrating communications helps utilities realize the full potential of communications facilities for providing diversified new business opportunities, increasing operational efficiency, improving productivity, and enhance customer service. This volume, the last of six volumes, summarizes results from EPRI's Utility Communications Architecture (UCA) project, reproducing representative sections of each volume. The UCA Specification Version 1.0 focuses on specific communications requirements of the electric utility industry. The first phase of the project identified information requirements within an electric utility. Two host utilities, Houston Lighting Power Company and Pacific Gas Electric Company, participated in the project, providing an industry perspective. Teams of industry experts in each of six defined utility functional areas reviewed host utility communications requirements and broadened these to reflect an industrywide perspective. Subsequent UCA phases assessed communications standards in light utility requirements and selected standards for inclusion in the specification. Many of the deliverables were examined during a UCA workshop in June 1990. Vendors and system integrators then reviewed a draft of the UCA specification. Finally, overall project findings were presented to utilities and vendors. This report is written for the utility executive, telecommunications manager, or functional manager who would like a synopsis of EPRI's UCA project and is not sure about which volumes would be most helpful. This summary reference enables users to determine which of the detailed UCA reports would be most useful for their particular needs.

  3. Restoration and analysis of standing-up in complete paraplegia utilizing functional electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Kagaya, H; Shimada, Y; Ebata, K; Sato, M; Sato, K; Yukawa, T; Obinata, G

    1995-09-01

    Restoration of stand-up motion in patients with complete paraplegia utilizing multichannel functional electrical stimulation, and analysis of the restored motion. Nonrandomized control trial. General community, a referral center, institutional practice, and ambulatory care: Twelve volunteer samples were used for the collection of normal data. Two complete paraplegics received treatment for the restoration of stand-up motion. The electromyogram, joint angle, and floor reaction force were investigated during standing-up with arms crossed in front of the chest, and hands-assisted standing-up using parallel bars. The maximum knee joint torque during standing-up without hands-assists was calculated using a three-segment link model. Standing-up motion in complete paraplegics was restored, and then analyzed using the three-dimensional floor reaction force and the hip, knee, and ankle angles. Main muscles used to stand up were the quadriceps, tibialis anterior, and paraspinal muscles. Hands-assists reduced the muscle activity and the vertical floor reaction force. Peak muscle activity was less during hands-assisted standing-up, except for the rectus femoris and the iliopsoas muscle. The maximum knee joint torque during standing-up was 1.6Nm/kg for both knees. Two complete paraplegics were able to stand up smoothly from a wheelchair based on stimulation data obtained from normal subjects. The characteristic pattern during standing-up was knee flexion preceding extension. Stand-up motion was restored utilizing electromyogram data and knee joint torque data from normal subjects.

  4. ZBED evolution: repeated utilization of DNA transposons as regulators of diverse host functions.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Alexander; Ghazal, Awaisa; Andersson, Göran; Andersson, Leif; Jern, Patric

    2013-01-01

    ZBED genes originate from domesticated hAT DNA transposons and encode regulatory proteins of diverse function in vertebrates. Here we reveal the evolutionary relationship between ZBED genes and demonstrate that they are derived from at least two independent domestication events in jawed vertebrate ancestors. We show that ZBEDs form two monophyletic clades, one of which has expanded through several independent duplications in host lineages. Subsequent diversification of ZBED genes has facilitated regulation of multiple diverse fundamental functions. In contrast to known examples of transposable element exaptation, our results demonstrate a novel unprecedented capacity for the repeated utilization of a family of transposable element-derived protein domains sequestered as regulators during the evolution of diverse host gene functions in vertebrates. Specifically, ZBEDs have contributed to vertebrate regulatory innovation through the donation of modular DNA and protein interacting domains. We identify that C7ORF29, ZBED2, 3, 4, and ZBEDX form a monophyletic group together with ZBED6, that is distinct from ZBED1 genes. Furthermore, we show that ZBED5 is related to Buster DNA transposons and is phylogenetically separate from other ZBEDs. Our results offer new insights into the evolution of regulatory pathways, and suggest that DNA transposons have contributed to regulatory complexity during genome evolution in vertebrates.

  5. Mean-variance portfolio optimization by using time series approaches based on logarithmic utility function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soeryana, E.; Fadhlina, N.; Sukono; Rusyaman, E.; Supian, S.

    2017-01-01

    Investments in stocks investors are also faced with the issue of risk, due to daily price of stock also fluctuate. For minimize the level of risk, investors usually forming an investment portfolio. Establishment of a portfolio consisting of several stocks are intended to get the optimal composition of the investment portfolio. This paper discussed about optimizing investment portfolio of Mean-Variance to stocks by using mean and volatility is not constant based on logarithmic utility function. Non constant mean analysed using models Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA), while non constant volatility models are analysed using the Generalized Autoregressive Conditional heteroscedastic (GARCH). Optimization process is performed by using the Lagrangian multiplier technique. As a numerical illustration, the method is used to analyse some Islamic stocks in Indonesia. The expected result is to get the proportion of investment in each Islamic stock analysed.

  6. Utilizing the Dyn2 dimerization-zipper as a tool to probe NPC structure and function.

    PubMed

    Flemming, Dirk; Stelter, Philipp; Hurt, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of dynein light chain 2 (Dyn2) as a member of the nucleoporins in yeast led to a series of applications to study NPC structure and function. Its intriguing ability to act as a hub for the parallel dimerization of two short amino acid sequence motifs (DID) prompted us to utilize it as a tool for probing nucleocytoplasmic transport in vivo. Further, the distinct structure of the Dyn2-DID rod, which is easily visible in the electron microscope, allowed us to develop a precise structural label on proteins or protein complexes. This label was used to identify the position of subunits in NPC subcomplexes or to derive at pseudo-atomic models of single large Nups. The versatility for various applications of the DID-Dyn2 system makes it an attractive molecular tool beyond the nuclear pore and transport field. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Bayesian analysis versus discriminant function analysis: their relative utility in the diagnosis of coronary disease.

    PubMed

    Detrano, R; Leatherman, J; Salcedo, E E; Yiannikas, J; Williams, G

    1986-05-01

    Both Bayesian analysis assuming independence and discriminant function analysis have been used to estimate probabilities of coronary disease. To compare their relative accuracy, we submitted 303 subjects referred for coronary angiography to stress electrocardiography, thallium scintigraphy, and cine fluoroscopy. Severe angiographic disease was defined as at least one greater than 50% occlusion of a major vessel. Four calculations were done: (1) Bayesian analysis using literature estimates of pretest probabilities, sensitivities, and specificities was applied to the clinical and test data of a randomly selected subgroup (group I, 151 patients) to calculate posttest probabilities. (2) Bayesian analysis using literature estimates of pretest probabilities (but with sensitivities and specificities derived from the remaining 152 subjects [group II]) was applied to group I data to estimate posttest probabilities. (3) A discriminant function with logistic regression coefficients derived from the clinical and test variables of group II was used to calculate posttest probabilities of group I. (4) A discriminant function derived with the use of test results from group II and pretest probabilities from the literature was used to calculate posttest probabilities of group I. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that all four calculations could equivalently rank the disease probabilities for our patients. A goodness-of-fit analysis suggested the following relationship between the accuracies of the four calculations: (1) less than (2) approximately equal to (4) less than (3). Our results suggest that data-based discriminant functions are more accurate than literature-based Bayesian analysis assuming independence in predicting severe coronary disease based on clinical and noninvasive test results.

  8. Parametrically defined differential equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polyanin, A. D.; Zhurov, A. I.

    2017-01-01

    The paper deals with nonlinear ordinary differential equations defined parametrically by two relations. It proposes techniques to reduce such equations, of the first or second order, to standard systems of ordinary differential equations. It obtains the general solution to some classes of nonlinear parametrically defined ODEs dependent on arbitrary functions. It outlines procedures for the numerical solution of the Cauchy problem for parametrically defined differential equations.

  9. DSM-IV-Defined Asperger Syndrome: Cognitive, Behavioral and Early History Differentiation from High-Functioning Autism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozonoff, Sally; South, Mikle; Miller, Judith N.

    2000-01-01

    This study compared 23 children with high-functioning autism with 12 children with Asperger syndrome using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Findings indicated few group differences in current functioning but many early history differences. The Asperger syndrome group generally demonstrated less severe early symptoms, a milder developmental course, and…

  10. Utilizing Functional Genomics Screening to Identify Potentially Novel Drug Targets in Cancer Cell Spheroid Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Eamonn; Wai, Patty; Leonidou, Andri; Bland, Philip; Khalique, Saira; Farnie, Gillian; Daley, Frances; Peck, Barrie; Natrajan, Rachael

    2016-01-01

    The identification of functional driver events in cancer is central to furthering our understanding of cancer biology and indispensable for the discovery of the next generation of novel drug targets. It is becoming apparent that more complex models of cancer are required to fully appreciate the contributing factors that drive tumorigenesis in vivo and increase the efficacy of novel therapies that make the transition from pre-clinical models to clinical trials. Here we present a methodology for generating uniform and reproducible tumor spheroids that can be subjected to siRNA functional screening. These spheroids display many characteristics that are found in solid tumors that are not present in traditional two-dimension culture. We show that several commonly used breast cancer cell lines are amenable to this protocol. Furthermore, we provide proof-of-principle data utilizing the breast cancer cell line BT474, confirming their dependency on amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor HER2 and mutation of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate 3-kinase (PIK3CA) when grown as tumor spheroids. Finally, we are able to further investigate and confirm the spatial impact of these dependencies using immunohistochemistry. PMID:28060271

  11. Increasing the utility of the Functional Assessment for Burns Score: Not just for major burns.

    PubMed

    Smailes, Sarah T; Engelsman, Kayleen; Rodgers, Louise; Upson, Clara

    2016-02-01

    The Functional Assessment for Burns (FAB) score is established as an objective measure of physical function that predicts discharge outcome in adult patients with major burn. However, its validity in patients with minor and moderate burn is unknown. This is a multi-centre evaluation of the predictive validity of the FAB score for discharge outcome in adult inpatients with minor and moderate burns. FAB assessments were undertaken within 48 h of admission to (FAB 1), and within 48 h of discharge (FAB 2) from burn wards in 115 patients. Median age was 45 years and median burn size 4%. There were significant improvements in the patients' FAB scores (p<0.0001), 98 patients were discharged home (no social care) and 17 patients discharged to further inpatient rehabilitation or home with social care. FAB 1 score (≤ 14) is strongly associated with discharge to inpatient rehabilitation or home with social care (p=0.0001) and as such can be used to facilitate early discharge planning. FAB 2 (≤ 30) independently predicts discharge outcome to inpatient rehabilitation or home with social care (p<0.0001), increasing its utility to patients with minor and moderate burns. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.

  12. Temperature-responsive smart packing materials utilizing multi-functional polymers.

    PubMed

    Ayano, Eri; Kanazawa, Hideko

    2014-01-01

    Polymers that respond to small changes in environmental stimuli with large, sometimes discontinuous changes in their physical state or properties, are often called "smart" polymers. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAAm, is one of the most representative smart polymer that exhibits a thermally reversible soluble-insoluble change in the vicinity of its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) at 32°C in aqueous solution. Temperature-responsive chromatography for the separation of biomolecules utilizing the poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)-modified stationary phase is performed with an aqueous mobile phase without using an organic solvent. The surface properties and function of the stationary phase are controlled by external temperature changes without changing the mobile-phase composition. The separation of the biomolecules, such as nucleotides, was achieved by a dual temperature- and pH-responsive chromatography system. The electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions could be modulated simultaneously with the temperature in an aqueous mobile phase. Additionally, we also prepared functional copolymers composed of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) and amino acid derivative or naphthyl alanine derivative, which have temperature-responsiveness and molecular recognition. These separation systems would have potential applications in the separation of biomolecules.

  13. Relations between Brain Structure and Attentional Function in Spina Bifida: Utilization of Robust Statistical Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Kulesz, Paulina A.; Tian, Siva; Juranek, Jenifer; Fletcher, Jack M.; Francis, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Weak structure-function relations for brain and behavior may stem from problems in estimating these relations in small clinical samples with frequently occurring outliers. In the current project, we focused on the utility of using alternative statistics to estimate these relations. Method Fifty-four children with spina bifida meningomyelocele performed attention tasks and received MRI of the brain. Using a bootstrap sampling process, the Pearson product moment correlation was compared with four robust correlations: the percentage bend correlation, the Winsorized correlation, the skipped correlation using the Donoho-Gasko median, and the skipped correlation using the minimum volume ellipsoid estimator Results All methods yielded similar estimates of the relations between measures of brain volume and attention performance. The similarity of estimates across correlation methods suggested that the weak structure-function relations previously found in many studies are not readily attributable to the presence of outlying observations and other factors that violate the assumptions behind the Pearson correlation. Conclusions Given the difficulty of assembling large samples for brain-behavior studies, estimating correlations using multiple, robust methods may enhance the statistical conclusion validity of studies yielding small, but often clinically significant, correlations. PMID:25495830

  14. The antioxidative function, preventive action on disease and utilization of proanthocyanidins.

    PubMed

    Ariga, Toshiaki

    2004-01-01

    Proanthocyanidins, which belong to a class of polyphenols, are widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. Most people ingest trace amounts of proanthocyanidins through foods such as red wine and cranberry juice. However, the functional properties of proanthocyanidins have been little understood. Since 1983, we have studied the antioxidative functions, preventive actions on diseases and utilization of proanthocyanidins. The antioxidative activities of proanthocyanidins were found to be much stronger than vitamin C or vitamin E in aqueous systems. The mechanisms for their antioxidative actions were shown to involve radical scavenging, quenching, and enzyme-inhibiting actions. The preventive actions of proanthcyanidins on diseases relating to reactive oxygen species was examined using animal tests. Proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract was showed to have preventive actions on diseases such as atherosclerosis, gastric ulcer, large bowel cancer, cataracts and diabetes. In human intervention trials, grape seed extract was shown to have preventive effects on the increase in lipid peroxides in human plasma after exercise and on muscle fatigue after training. The uses and manufacturing techniques of proanthocyanidin products were subsequently developed. The products were launched as antioxidants in food additives, ingredients in nutritional supplements, and cosmetics.

  15. Evaluation of a black-footed ferret resource utilization function model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Jachowski, D.S.; Livieri, T.M.

    2011-01-01

    Resource utilization function (RUF) models permit evaluation of potential habitat for endangered species; ideally such models should be evaluated before use in management decision-making. We evaluated the predictive capabilities of a previously developed black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) RUF. Using the population-level RUF, generated from ferret observations at an adjacent yet distinct colony, we predicted the distribution of ferrets within a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony in the Conata Basin, South Dakota, USA. We evaluated model performance, using data collected during post-breeding spotlight surveys (2007-2008) by assessing model agreement via weighted compositional analysis and count-metrics. Compositional analysis of home range use and colony-level availability, and core area use and home range availability, demonstrated ferret selection of the predicted Very high and High occurrence categories in 2007 and 2008. Simple count-metrics corroborated these findings and suggested selection of the Very high category in 2007 and the Very high and High categories in 2008. Collectively, these results suggested that the RUF was useful in predicting occurrence and intensity of space use of ferrets at our study site, the 2 objectives of the RUF. Application of this validated RUF would increase the resolution of habitat evaluations, permitting prediction of the distribution of ferrets within distinct colonies. Additional model evaluation at other sites, on other black-tailed prairie dog colonies of varying resource configuration and size, would increase understanding of influences upon model performance and the general utility of the RUF. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  16. Impact of lung function on exacerbations, health care utilization, and costs among patients with COPD

    PubMed Central

    Ke, Xuehua; Marvel, Jessica; Yu, Tzy-Chyi; Wertz, Debra; Geremakis, Caroline; Wang, Liya; Stephenson, Judith J; Mannino, David M

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the impact of lung function, measured as forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) % predicted, on health care resource utilization and costs among patients with COPD in a real-world US managed-care population. Methods This observational retrospective cohort study utilized administrative claim data augmented with medical record data. The study population consisted of patients with one or more medical claims for pre- and postbronchodilator spirometry during the intake period (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013). The index date was the date of the earliest medical claim for pre- and postbronchodilator spirometry. Spirometry results were abstracted from patients’ medical records. Patients were divided into two groups (low FEV1% predicted [,50%] and high FEV1% predicted [≥50%]) based on the 2014 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease report. Health care resource utilization and costs were based on the prevalence and number of discrete encounters during the 12-month postindex follow-up period. Costs were adjusted to 2014 US dollars. Results A total of 754 patients were included (n=297 low FEV1% predicted group, n=457 high FEV1% predicted group). COPD exacerbations were more prevalent in the low FEV1% predicted group compared with the high group during the 12-month pre- (52.5% vs 39.6%) and postindex periods (49.8% vs 36.8%). Mean (standard deviation) follow-up all-cause and COPD-related costs were $27,380 ($38,199) and $15,873 ($29,609) for patients in the low FEV1% predicted group, and $22,075 ($28,108) and $10,174 ($18,521) for patients in the high group. In the multivariable analyses, patients in the low FEV1% predicted group were more likely to have COPD exacerbations and tended to have higher COPD-related costs when compared with patients in the high group. Conclusion Real-world data demonstrate that patients with COPD who have low FEV1% predicted levels use more COPD medications, have more COPD exacerbations, and incur higher

  17. Synthesis and optical characteristics of organic light-emitting dot based on well-defined octa-functionalized silsesquioxane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Yang; Lu, Xuehong; Zhang, Xinhai; He, Chaobin

    2010-10-01

    This article reports the synthesis and characterization of a quantum-confined luminescent dot with size 2-3 nm using well-defined m-octa(bromophenyl) silsesquioxane ( m-OBPS) as core. The highly regioselective bromination of octaphenylsilsesquioxane (OPS), which is an electron-deficient nanometer-sized molecule, has been synthesized using combined catalyst of iodine and zinc chloride at room temperature in dichloromethane solvent. Based on m-OBPS, a hybrid luminescent dot with well-defined structure was synthesized. UV absorption and PL spectra of this light-emitting dot remain same in dilute solution, condensed state, and solid solution. Furthermore, time-resolved PL study indicates that the exciton decay time of the light-emitting dot remains similar regardless in dilute solution, condensed state, or blended with other polymers, suggesting that the charge carriers are well confined within the individual light-emitting dot due to the unique star-like structure and shielding alkyl chain layer. The light-emitting nano-particles can be considered as isolated chromophores as both inter- and intra- molecular aggregation are prohibited.

  18. A national critical loads framework for atmospheric deposition effects assessment: II. Defining assessment end points, indicators, and functional subregions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunsaker, Carolyn; Graham, Robin; Turner, Robert S.; Ringold, Paul L.; Holdren, George R.; Strickland, Timothy C.

    1993-05-01

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the US Department of Energy and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, has been evaluating the feasibility of an effects-based (critical loads) approach to atmospheric pollutant regulation and abatement. The rationale used to develop three of the six steps in a flexible assessment framework (Strickland and others, 1992) is presented along with a discussion of a variety of implementation approaches and their ramifications. The rationale proposes that it is necessary to provide an explicit statement of the condition of the resource that is considered valuable (assessment end point) because: (1) individual ecosystem components may be more or less sensitive to deposition, (2) it is necessary to select indicators of ecosystem condition that can be objectively measured and that reflect changes in the quality of the assessment end point, and (3) acceptable status (i.e., value of indicator and quality of assessment end point at critical load) must be defined. The rationale also stresses the importance of defining the assessment regions and subregions to improve the analysis and understanding of the indicator response to deposition. Subregional definition can be based on a variety of criteria, including informed judgment or quantitative procedures. It also depends on the geographic scale at which exposure and effects models are accurate and on data availability, resolution, and quality.

  19. Functional VEGFA knockdown with artificial 3′-tailed mirtrons defined by 5′ splice site and branch point

    PubMed Central

    Kock, Kian Hong; Kong, Kiat Whye; Hoon, Shawn; Seow, Yiqi

    2015-01-01

    Mirtrons are introns that form pre-miRNA hairpins after splicing to produce RNA interference (RNAi) effectors distinct from Drosha-dependent intronic miRNAs, and will be especially useful for co-delivery of coding genes and RNAi. A specific family of mirtrons – 3′-tailed mirtrons – has hairpins precisely defined on the 5′ end by the 5′ splice site and 3′ end by the branch point. Here, we present design principles for artificial 3′-tailed mirtrons and demonstrate, for the first time, efficient gene knockdown with tailed mirtrons within eGFP coding region. These artificial tailed mirtrons, unlike canonical mirtrons, have very few sequence design restrictions. Tailed mirtrons targeted against VEGFA mRNA, the misregulation of which is causative of several disorders including cancer, achieved significant levels of gene knockdown. Tailed mirtron-mediated knockdown was further shown to be splicing-dependent, and at least as effective as equivalent artificial intronic miRNAs, with the added advantage of very defined cleavage sites for generation of mature miRNA guide strands. Further development and exploitation of this unique mirtron biogenesis pathway for therapeutic RNAi coupled into protein-expressing genes can potentially enable the development of precisely controlled combinatorial gene therapy. PMID:26089392

  20. Assessment of Global Functioning in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Utility of the Developmental Disability-Child Global Assessment Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Susan W.; Smith, Laura A.; Schry, Amie R.

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of global functioning is an important consideration in treatment outcome research; yet, there is little guidance on its evidence-based assessment for children with autism spectrum disorders. This study investigated the utility and validity of clinician-rated global functioning using the Developmental Disability-Child Global Assessment…

  1. Extraction of physical Schottky parameters using the Lambert function in Ni/AlGaN/GaN HEMT devices with defined conduction phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latry, O.; Divay, A.; Fadil, D.; Dherbécourt, P.

    2017-01-01

    Electrical characterization analyses are proposed in this work using the Lambert function on Schottky junctions in GaN wide band gap semiconductor devices for extraction of physical parameters. The Lambert function is used to give an explicit expression of the current in the Schottky junction. This function is applied with defined conduction phenomena, whereas other work presented arbitrary (or undefined) conduction mechanisms in such parameters’ extractions. Based upon AlGaN/GaN HEMT structures, extractions of parameters are undergone in order to provide physical characteristics. This work highlights a new expression of current with defined conduction phenomena in order to quantify the physical properties of Schottky contacts in AlGaN/GaN HEMT transistors. Project supported by the French Department of Defense (DGA).

  2. Review: Dietary fiber utilization and its effects on physiological functions and gut health of swine.

    PubMed

    Jha, R; Berrocoso, J D

    2015-09-01

    Although dietary fiber (DF) negatively affects energy and nutrient digestibility, there is growing interest for the inclusion of its fermentable fraction in pig diets due to their functional properties and potential health benefits beyond supplying energy to the animals. This paper reviews some of the relevant information available on the role of different types of DF on digestion of nutrients in different sections of the gut, the fermentation process and its influence on gut environment, especially production and utilization of metabolites, microbial community and gut health of swine. Focus has been given on DF from feed ingredients (grains and coproducts) commonly used in pig diets. Some information on the role DF in purified form in comparison with DF in whole matrix of feed ingredients is also presented. First, composition and fractions of DF in different feed ingredients are briefly reviewed. Then, roles of different fractions of DF on digestion characteristics and physiological functions in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) are presented. Specific roles of different fractions of DF on fermentation characteristics and their effects on production and utilization of metabolites in the GIT have been discussed. In addition, roles of DF fermentation on metabolic activity and microbial community in the intestine and their effects on intestinal health are reviewed and discussed. Evidence presented in this review indicates that there is wide variation in the composition and content of DF among feed ingredients, thereby their physico-chemical properties in the GIT of swine. These variations, in turn, affect the digestion and fermentation characteristics in the GIT of swine. Digestibility of DF from different feed ingredients is more variable and lower than that of other nutrients like starch, sugars, fat and CP. Soluble fractions of DF are fermented faster, produce higher amounts of volatile fatty acid than insoluble fractions, and favors growth of beneficial microbiota

  3. Defining chaos

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, Brian R.; Ott, Edward

    2015-09-15

    In this paper, we propose, discuss, and illustrate a computationally feasible definition of chaos which can be applied very generally to situations that are commonly encountered, including attractors, repellers, and non-periodically forced systems. This definition is based on an entropy-like quantity, which we call “expansion entropy,” and we define chaos as occurring when this quantity is positive. We relate and compare expansion entropy to the well-known concept of topological entropy to which it is equivalent under appropriate conditions. We also present example illustrations, discuss computational implementations, and point out issues arising from attempts at giving definitions of chaos that are not entropy-based.

  4. An in vivo analysis of the vestigial gene in Drosophila melanogaster defines the domains required for Vg function.

    PubMed

    MacKay, Julie O; Soanes, Kelly H; Srivastava, Ajay; Simmonds, Andrew; Brook, William J; Bell, John B

    2003-04-01

    Considerable evidence indicates an obligate partnership of the Drosophila melanogaster Vestigial (VG) and Scalloped (SD) proteins within the context of wing development. These two proteins interact physically and a 56-amino-acid motif within VG is necessary and sufficient for this binding. While the importance of this SD-binding domain has been clearly demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo, the remaining portions of VG have not been examined for in vivo function. Herein, additional regions within VG were tested for possible in vivo functions. The results identify two additional domains that must be present for optimal VG function as measured by the loss of ability to rescue vg mutants, to induce ectopic sd expression, and to perform other normal VG functions when they are deleted. An in vivo study such as this one is fundamentally important because it identifies domains of VG that are necessary in the cellular context in which wing development actually occurs. The results also indicate that an additional large portion of VG, outside of these two domains and the SD-binding domain, is dispensable in the execution of these normal VG functions.

  5. Towards spatially smart abatement of human pharmaceuticals in surface waters: Defining impact of sewage treatment plants on susceptible functions.

    PubMed

    Coppens, Lieke J C; van Gils, Jos A G; Ter Laak, Thomas L; Raterman, Bernard W; van Wezel, Annemarie P

    2015-09-15

    For human pharmaceuticals, sewage treatment plants (STPs) are a major point of entry to surface waters. The receiving waters provide vital functions. Modeling the impact of STPs on susceptible functions of the surface water system allows for a spatially smart implementation of abatement options at, or in the service area of, STPs. This study was performed on a nation-wide scale for the Netherlands. Point source emissions included were 345 Dutch STPs and nine rivers from neighboring countries. The Dutch surface waters were represented by 2511 surface water units. Modeling was performed for two extreme discharge conditions. Monitoring data of 7 locations along the rivers Rhine and Meuse fall mostly within the range of modeled concentrations. Half of the abstracted volumes of raw water for drinking water production, and a quarter of the Natura 2000 areas (European Union nature protection areas) hosted by the surface waters, are influenced by STPs at low discharge. The vast majority of the total impact of all Dutch STPs during both discharge conditions can be attributed to only 19% of the STPs with regard to the drinking water function, and to 39% of the STPs with regard to the Natura 2000 function. Attributing water treatment technologies to STPs as one of the possible measures to improve water quality and protect susceptible functions can be done in a spatially smart and cost-effective way, using consumption-based detailed hydrological and water quality modeling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Functionally defined white matter reveals segregated pathways in human ventral temporal cortex associated with category-specific processing

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Jesse; Pestilli, Franco; Witthoft, Nathan; Golarai, Golijeh; Liberman, Alina; Poltoratski, Sonia; Yoon, Jennifer; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2014-01-01

    Summary It is unknown if the white matter properties associated with specific visual networks selectively affect category-specific processing. In a novel protocol we combined measurements of white matter structure, functional selectivity, and behavior in the same subjects. We find two parallel white matter pathways along the ventral temporal lobe connecting to either face-selective or place-selective regions. Diffusion properties of portions of these tracts adjacent to face- and place-selective regions of ventral temporal cortex correlate with behavioral performance for face or place processing, respectively. Strikingly, adults with developmental prosopagnosia (face blindness) express an atypical structure-behavior relationship near face-selective cortex, suggesting that white matter atypicalities in this region may have behavioral consequences. These data suggest that examining the interplay between cortical function, anatomical connectivity, and visual behavior is integral to understanding functional networks and their role in producing visual abilities and deficits. PMID:25569351

  7. Using expert knowledge and modeling to define mangrove composition, functioning, and threats and estimate time frame for recovery.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Nibedita; Sutherland, William J; Khan, Md Nabiul I; Berger, Uta; Schmitz, Nele; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Koedam, Nico

    2014-06-01

    Mangroves are threatened worldwide, and their loss or degradation could impact functioning of the ecosystem. Our aim was to investigate three aspects of mangroves at a global scale: (1) their constituents (2) their indispensable ecological functions, and (3) the maintenance of their constituents and functions in degraded mangroves. We focused on answering two questions: "What is a mangrove ecosystem" and "How vulnerable are mangrove ecosystems to different impacts"? We invited 106 mangrove experts globally to participate in a survey based on the Delphi technique and provide inputs on the three aspects. The outputs from the Delphi technique for the third aspect, i.e. maintenance of constituents and functions were incorporated in a modeling approach to simulate the time frame for recovery. Presented here for the first time are the consensus definition of the mangrove ecosystem and the list of mangrove plant species. In this study, experts considered even monospecific (tree) stands to be a mangrove ecosystem as long as there was adequate tidal exchange, propagule dispersal, and faunal interactions. We provide a ranking of the important ecological functions, faunal groups, and impacts on mangroves. Degradation due to development was identified as having the largest impact on mangroves globally in terms of spatial scale, intensity, and time needed for restoration. The results indicate that mangroves are ecologically unique even though they may be species poor (from the vegetation perspective). The consensus list of mangrove species and the ranking of the mangrove ecological functions could be a useful tool for restoration and management of mangroves. While there is ample literature on the destruction of mangroves due to aquaculture in the past decade, this study clearly shows that more attention must go to avoiding and mitigating mangrove loss due to coastal development (such as building of roads, ports, or harbors).

  8. Using expert knowledge and modeling to define mangrove composition, functioning, and threats and estimate time frame for recovery

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Nibedita; Sutherland, William J; Khan, Md Nabiul I; Berger, Uta; Schmitz, Nele; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Koedam, Nico

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are threatened worldwide, and their loss or degradation could impact functioning of the ecosystem. Our aim was to investigate three aspects of mangroves at a global scale: (1) their constituents (2) their indispensable ecological functions, and (3) the maintenance of their constituents and functions in degraded mangroves. We focused on answering two questions: “What is a mangrove ecosystem” and “How vulnerable are mangrove ecosystems to different impacts”? We invited 106 mangrove experts globally to participate in a survey based on the Delphi technique and provide inputs on the three aspects. The outputs from the Delphi technique for the third aspect, i.e. maintenance of constituents and functions were incorporated in a modeling approach to simulate the time frame for recovery. Presented here for the first time are the consensus definition of the mangrove ecosystem and the list of mangrove plant species. In this study, experts considered even monospecific (tree) stands to be a mangrove ecosystem as long as there was adequate tidal exchange, propagule dispersal, and faunal interactions. We provide a ranking of the important ecological functions, faunal groups, and impacts on mangroves. Degradation due to development was identified as having the largest impact on mangroves globally in terms of spatial scale, intensity, and time needed for restoration. The results indicate that mangroves are ecologically unique even though they may be species poor (from the vegetation perspective). The consensus list of mangrove species and the ranking of the mangrove ecological functions could be a useful tool for restoration and management of mangroves. While there is ample literature on the destruction of mangroves due to aquaculture in the past decade, this study clearly shows that more attention must go to avoiding and mitigating mangrove loss due to coastal development (such as building of roads, ports, or harbors). PMID:25360265

  9. INTERP3: A computer routine for linear interpolation of trivariate functions defined by nondistinct unequally spaced variables

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, D. C.; Morris, S. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    A report on the computer routine INTERP3 is presented. The routine is designed to linearly interpolate a variable which is a function of three independent variables. The variables within the parameter arrays do not have to be distinct, or equally spaced, and the array variables can be in increasing or decreasing order.

  10. Structural and Function Correlation of Cone Packing Utilizing Adaptive Optics and Microperimetry

    PubMed Central

    Supriya, Dabir; Shwetha, Mangalesh; Kiran Anupama, Kumar; Kummelil Mathew, Kurian; Berendschot, Tos T. J. M.; Schouten, Jan S. A. G.; Bharamshetter, Roopa; Naresh, Yadav K.; Rohit, Shetty; Hegde, Bharath

    2015-01-01

    Aim. To assess the functional aspects of cone mosaic and correlate cone packing with retinal sensitivity utilizing microperimetry in emmetropes at different eccentricities. Methods. Twenty-four healthy volunteers underwent microperimetry (MAIA Centervue, Italy) and assessment of photoreceptors using adaptive optics retinal camera, rtx1 (Imagine Eyes, Orsay, France), at 2 and 3 degrees from the foveal centre in 4 quadrants: superior, inferior, temporal, and nasal. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17 (IBM). Spearman's correlation tests were used to establish correlation between mean cone packing density and retinal sensitivity at different quadrants. Results. Thirteen females and 11 males (age range 20–40 years) were included. The cone density was found to be significantly different among all quadrants (temporal = 25786.68/mm2 ± 4367.07/mm2, superior = 23009.35/mm2 ± 5415.81/mm2, nasal = 22838.09/mm2 ± 4166.22/mm2, and inferior = 21097.53/mm2 ± 4235.84/mm2). A statistical significance (P < 0.008) was found between orthogonal meridians, that is, temporal, nasal (48624.77/mm2)> superior, inferior (44106.88/mm2). A drop in retinal sensitivity was observed as the eccentricity increased (P < 0.05). It was also found that as cone packing density decreased retinal sensitivity also decreased (P < 0.05) in all quadrants. This was observed at both 2 and 3 degrees. Conclusion. It is of crucial importance to establish normative variations in cone structure-function correlation. This may help in detection of subtle pathology and its early intervention. PMID:26167509

  11. Clinical utility and functional analysis of variants in atrial fibrillation-associated locus 4q25.

    PubMed

    Ebana, Yusuke; Ozaki, Kouichi; Liu, Lian; Hachiya, Hitoshi; Hirao, Kenzo; Isobe, Mitsuaki; Kubo, Michiaki; Tanaka, Toshihiro; Furukawa, Tetsushi

    2017-10-01

    Chromosome 4q25 has been repeatedly identified as atrial fibrillation (AF)-sensitive locus in multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and is considered to hold some clues to AF pathogenesis. We aimed to investigate the clinical utilities in Japanese and to unveil the function of the 4q25 locus in affecting transcription of adjacent genes. We conducted AF GWAS in Japanese population (1382 AF cases and 1478 controls) and the replication panel (1666 AF cases and 1229 controls) with detailed clinical information which showed the acceleration of AF onset. Stepwise investigations with linkage disequilibrium analysis, histone code patterns, and reporter assay in the 4q25 locus were performed. The AF GWAS confirmed a significant association of rs4611994 and rs1906617 in chromosome 4q25 with AF. In the clinical analysis, AF onset of the individuals with risk allele accelerated 2.5 years compared with those with protective allele (p=0.00012). Next, in the functional analysis, three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the variant group selected by linkage disequilibrium analysis were identified as candidates for the cis-regulatory element toward adjacent genes in chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Among them, rs4611994 and rs72900144 regions showed higher effects on the transcriptional activity of luciferase gene in the risk alleles than those in the protective alleles (p<0.0001, p<0.005, respectively). AF GWAS in Japanese confirmed the association with 4q25 locus and indicated that its SNP affected the acceleration of AF onset. The candidate regions of the causative SNPs, rs4611994 and rs72900144, could alter the adjacent gene expression level. Copyright © 2016 Japanese College of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The Utilization of Amide Groups To Expand and Functionalize Metal-Organic Frameworks Simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhiyong; Bai, Junfeng; Hang, Cheng; Meng, Fei; Liu, Wenlong; Pan, Yi; You, Xiaozeng

    2016-04-25

    A new stepwise ligand-elongation strategy by amide spacers is utilized to prepare isoreticularly high-porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), namely, quasi-mesoporous [Cu2 (PDBAD)(H2 O)]n (H4 PDBAD=5,5'-((4,4'-((pyridine-3,5-dicarbonyl)bis(azanediyl))bis(benzoyl))bis(azanediyl))diisophthalic acid; NJU-Bai22: NJU-Bai for Nanjing University Bai's group), and mesoporous [Cu2 (PABAD)(H2 O)]n (H4 PABAD=5,5'-((4,4'-((4,4'-((pyridine-3,5-dicarbonyl)bis(azanediyl))bis(benzoyl))bis (azanediyl))bis(benzoyl))bis(azanediyl))diisophthalic acid; NJU-Bai23). Compared with the prototypical MOF of [Cu2 (PDAD)(H2 O)]n (H4 PDAD=5,5'-(pyridine-3,5-dicarbonyl)bis(azanediyl)diisophthalic acid; NJU-Bai21, also termed as PCN-124), both MOFs exhibit almost the same CO2 adsorption enthalpy and CO2 selectivity values, and better capacity for CO2 storage under high pressure; these results make them promising candidate materials for CO2 capture and sequestration. Interestingly, this new method, in comparison with traditional strategies of using phenyl or triple-bond spacers, is easier and cheaper, resulting in a better ability to retain high CO2 affinity and selectivity in MOFs with large pores and high CO2 storage capacity. Additionally, it may lead to the high thermal stability of the MOFs and also their tolerance to water, which is related to the balance between the density of functional groups and pore sizes. Therefore, this strategy could provide new opportunities to explore more functionalized mesoporous MOFs with high performance. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. High Performance Nonvolatile Transistor Memories Utilizing Functional Polyimide-Based Supramolecular Electrets.

    PubMed

    Tung, Wei-Yao; Li, Meng-Hsien; Wu, Hung-Chin; Liu, Hsin-Yu; Hsieh, Yun-Ting; Chen, Wen-Chang

    2016-05-20

    We report pentacene-based organic field-effect transistor memory devices utilizing supramolecular electrets, consisting of a polyimide, PI(6FOH-ODPA), containing hydroxyl groups for hydrogen bonding with amine functionalized aromatic rings (AM) of 1-aniline (AM1), 2-naphthylamine (AM2), 2-aminoanthracene (AM3), and 1-aminopyrene (AM4). The effect of the phenyl ring size and composition of AM1-AM4 on the hole-trapping capability of the fabricated devices was investigated systematically. Under an operating voltage under ±40 V, the prepared devices using the electrets of 100 % AM1-AM4/PI ratios exhibited a memory window of 0, 8.59, 25.97, and 29.95 V, respectively, suggesting that the hole-trapping capability increased with enhancing phenyl ring size. The memory window was enhanced as the amount of AM in PI increased. Furthermore, the devices showed a long charge-retention time of 10(4)  s with an ON/OFF current ratio of around 10(3) -10(4) and multiple switching stability over 100 cycles. This study demonstrated that the electrical characteristics of the OFET memory devices could be manipulated through the chemical compositions of the supramolecular electrets. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy for prediction of cognitive workload in noisy work environments.

    PubMed

    Gabbard, Ryan; Fendley, Mary; Dar, Irfaan A; Warren, Rik; Kashou, Nasser H

    2017-10-01

    Occupational noise frequently occurs in the work environment in military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. This impacts cognitive performance by acting as a stressor, potentially interfering with the analysts' decision-making process. We investigated the effects of different noise stimuli on analysts' performance and workload in anomaly detection by simulating a noisy work environment. We utilized functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to quantify oxy-hemoglobin (HbO) and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as behavioral measures, which include eye tracking, reaction time, and accuracy rate. We hypothesized that noisy environments would have a negative effect on the participant in terms of anomaly detection performance due to the increase in workload, which would be reflected by an increase in PFC activity. We found that HbO for some of the channels analyzed were significantly different across noise types ([Formula: see text]). Our results also indicated that HbO activation for short-intermittent noise stimuli was greater in the PFC compared to long-intermittent noises. These approaches using fNIRS in conjunction with an understanding of the impact on human analysts in anomaly detection could potentially lead to better performance by optimizing work environments.

  15. Investigating the Function of an Arabinan Utilization Locus Isolated from a Termite Gut Community

    PubMed Central

    Arnal, Grégory; Bastien, Géraldine; Monties, Nelly; Abot, Anne; Anton Leberre, Véronique; Bozonnet, Sophie; O'Donohue, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Biocatalysts are essential for the development of bioprocesses efficient for plant biomass degradation. Previously, a metagenomic clone containing DNA from termite gut microbiota was pinpointed in a functional screening that revealed the presence of arabinofuranosidase activity. Subsequent genetic and bioinformatic analysis revealed that the DNA fragment belonged to a member of the genus Bacteroides and encoded 19 open reading frames (ORFs), and annotation suggested the presence of hypothetical transporter and regulator proteins and others involved in the catabolism of pentose sugar. In this respect and considering the phenotype of the metagenomic clone, it was noted that among the ORFs, there are four putative arabinose-specific glycoside hydrolases, two from family GH43 and two from GH51. In this study, a thorough bioinformatics analysis of the metagenomic clone gene cluster has been performed and the four aforementioned glycoside hydrolases have been characterized. Together, the results provide evidence that the gene cluster is a polysaccharide utilization locus dedicated to the breakdown of the arabinan component in pectin and related substrates. Characterization of the two GH43 and the two GH51 glycoside hydrolases has revealed that each of these enzymes displays specific catalytic capabilities and that when these are combined the enzymes act synergistically, increasing the efficiency of arabinan degradation. PMID:25304507

  16. Quality traits of Indian peanut cultivars and their utility as nutritional and functional food.

    PubMed

    Bishi, S K; Lokesh, Kumar; Mahatma, M K; Khatediya, N; Chauhan, S M; Misra, J B

    2015-01-15

    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is considered as a highly nutritious foodstuff. Of late, the importance of peanut as a functional food has been growing. Kernels of forty-one Indian peanut cultivars were analyzed for their oil, fatty acid profiles, sucrose, raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs); phenolics, and free amino acids contents along with antioxidant capacity. The range and the mean value (given in parenthesis) for each of the traits analysed were, oil: 44.1-53.8% (50.1%), O/L ratio: 0.9-2.8 (1.4), sucrose: 2.61-6.5% (4.63%), RFOs: 0.12-0.76% (0.47%), phenolics: 0.14-0.39% (0.23%), free amino acids: 0.052-0.19% (0.12%) and antioxidant capacity: 1.05-6.97 (3.40) μmol TEg(-1). The significant correlation between phenol content and antioxidant capacity suggests phenol content as an easy marker for rapid screening of genotypes for their antioxidant capacity. A few cultivars with desirable traits and their prospective utility were identified which would be useful for future breeding programme to develop nutritional superior peanuts.

  17. Utility of the functional activities questionnaire for distinguishing mild cognitive impairment from very mild Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Teng, Edmond; Becker, Brian W; Woo, Ellen; Knopman, David S; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Lu, Po H

    2010-01-01

    Current criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) require "essentially intact" performance of activities of daily living (ADLs), which has proven difficult to operationalize. We sought to determine how well the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ), a standardized assessment of instrumental ADLs, delineates the clinical distinction between MCI and very mild Alzheimer disease (AD). We identified 1801 individuals in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set with MCI (n=1108) or very mild AD (n=693) assessed with the FAQ and randomized them to the development or test sets. Receiver-operator curve (ROC) analysis of the development set identified optimal cut-points that maximized the sensitivity and specificity of FAQ measures for differentiating AD from MCI and were validated with the test set. ROC analysis of total FAQ scores in the development set produced an area under the curve of 0.903 and an optimal cut-point of 5/6, which yielded 80.3% sensitivity, 87.0% specificity, and 84.7% classification accuracy in the test set. Bill paying, tracking current events, and transportation (P's<0.005) were the FAQ items of greatest diagnostic utility. These data suggest that the FAQ exhibits adequate sensitivity and specificity when used as a standardized assessment of instrumental ADLs in the diagnosis of AD versus MCI.

  18. Use of the rVV10 Nonlocal Correlation Functional in the B97M-V Density Functional: Defining B97M-rV and Related Functionals [On the Use of the rVV10 Nonlocal Correlation Functional in the B97M-V Density Functional: Defining B97M-rV and Related Functionals

    SciTech Connect

    Mardirossian, Narbe; Ruiz Pestana, Luis; Womack, James C.; Skylaris, Chris -Kriton; Head-Gordon, Teresa; Head-Gordon, Martin

    2016-12-06

    The VV10 and rVV10 nonlocal correlation functionals are consistently implemented and assessed, with the goal of determining if the rVV10 nonlocal correlation functional can replace the VV10 nonlocal correlation functional in the recently developed B97M-V density functional, to give the B97M-rV density functional. Along the way, four density functionals are simultaneously tested: VV10, rVV10, B97M-V, and B97M-rV. An initial assessment is carried out across the S22 data set, and the short-range damping variable, b, is varied for all four density functionals in order to determine the sensitivity of the functionals to the empirical parameter. The results of this test indicate that a value of b = 6 (fortuitously the same as that in B97M-V) is suitable for B97M-rV. The functionals are then compared across an extensive database of interaction energies, and it is demonstrated that B97M-rV either matches or outperforms B97M-V for all of the tests considered. Finally, the optimization of b across the S22 data set is extended to two range-separated hybrid density functionals, ωB97X-V and ωB97M-V, and a value of b = 6.2 is recommended for both ωB97X-rV and ωB97M-rV.

  19. Use of the rVV10 Nonlocal Correlation Functional in the B97M-V Density Functional: Defining B97M-rV and Related Functionals [On the Use of the rVV10 Nonlocal Correlation Functional in the B97M-V Density Functional: Defining B97M-rV and Related Functionals

    DOE PAGES

    Mardirossian, Narbe; Ruiz Pestana, Luis; Womack, James C.; ...

    2016-12-06

    The VV10 and rVV10 nonlocal correlation functionals are consistently implemented and assessed, with the goal of determining if the rVV10 nonlocal correlation functional can replace the VV10 nonlocal correlation functional in the recently developed B97M-V density functional, to give the B97M-rV density functional. Along the way, four density functionals are simultaneously tested: VV10, rVV10, B97M-V, and B97M-rV. An initial assessment is carried out across the S22 data set, and the short-range damping variable, b, is varied for all four density functionals in order to determine the sensitivity of the functionals to the empirical parameter. The results of this test indicatemore » that a value of b = 6 (fortuitously the same as that in B97M-V) is suitable for B97M-rV. The functionals are then compared across an extensive database of interaction energies, and it is demonstrated that B97M-rV either matches or outperforms B97M-V for all of the tests considered. Finally, the optimization of b across the S22 data set is extended to two range-separated hybrid density functionals, ωB97X-V and ωB97M-V, and a value of b = 6.2 is recommended for both ωB97X-rV and ωB97M-rV.« less

  20. Well-defined, size-tunable, multi-functional micelles for efficient paclitaxel delivery for cancer treatment

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Juntao; Xiao, Kai; Li, Yuanpei; Lee, Joyce S.; Shi, Lifang; Tan, Yih-Horng; Xing, Li; Cheng, R. Holland; Liu, Gang-Yu; Lam, Kit S.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed a well-defined and biocompatible amphiphilic telodendrimer system (PEG-b-dendritic oligo-cholic acid) which can self-assemble into multifunctional micelles in aqueous solution for efficient delivery of hydrophobic drugs such as paclitaxel. In this telodendrimer system, cholic acid is essential for the formation of stable micelles with high drug loading capacity, owing to its facial amphiphilicity. A series of telodendrimers with variable length of PEG chain and number of cholic acid in the dendritic blocks were synthesized. The structure and molecular weight of each of these telodendrimers were characterized, and their critical micellization concentration (CMC), drug-loading properties, particle sizes and cytotoxicity were examined and evaluated for further optimization for anticancer drug delivery. The sizes of the micelles, with and without paclitaxel loading, could be tuned from 11.5 to 21 nm and from 15 to 141 nm, respectively. Optical imaging studies in xenograft models demonstrated preferential uptakes of the smaller paclitaxel-loaded micelles (17–60 nm) by the tumor, and the larger micelles (150 nm) by the liver and lung. The toxicity and anti-tumor efficacy profiles of these paclitaxel-loaded micelles in xenograft models were found to be superior to those of Taxol® and Abraxane®. PMID:20536174

  1. Human Tissue-Resident Memory T Cells Are Defined by Core Transcriptional and Functional Signatures in Lymphoid and Mucosal Sites.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Brahma V; Ma, Wenji; Miron, Michelle; Granot, Tomer; Guyer, Rebecca S; Carpenter, Dustin J; Senda, Takashi; Sun, Xiaoyun; Ho, Siu-Hong; Lerner, Harvey; Friedman, Amy L; Shen, Yufeng; Farber, Donna L

    2017-09-19

    Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRMs) in mice mediate optimal protective immunity to infection and vaccination, while in humans, the existence and properties of TRMs remain unclear. Here, we use a unique human tissue resource to determine whether human tissue memory T cells constitute a distinct subset in diverse mucosal and lymphoid tissues. We identify a core transcriptional profile within the CD69(+) subset of memory CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in lung and spleen that is distinct from that of CD69(-) TEM cells in tissues and circulation and defines human TRMs based on homology to the transcriptional profile of mouse CD8(+) TRMs. Human TRMs in diverse sites exhibit increased expression of adhesion and inhibitory molecules, produce both pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines, and have reduced turnover compared with circulating TEM, suggesting unique adaptations for in situ immunity. Together, our results provide a unifying signature for human TRM and a blueprint for designing tissue-targeted immunotherapies. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Defining excellence.

    PubMed

    Mehl, B

    1993-05-01

    Excellence in the pharmacy profession, particularly pharmacy management, is defined. Several factors have a significant effect on the ability to reach a given level of excellence. The first is the economic and political climate in which pharmacists practice. Stricter controls, reduced resources, and the velocity of change all necessitate nurturing of values and a work ethic to maintain excellence. Excellence must be measured by the services provided with regard to the resources available; thus, the ability to achieve excellence is a true test of leadership and innovation. Excellence is also time dependent, and today's innovation becomes tomorrow's standard. Programs that raise the level of patient care, not those that aggrandize the profession, are the most important. In addition, basic services must be practiced at a level of excellence. Quality assessment is a way to improve care and bring medical treatment to a higher plane of excellence. For such assessment to be effective and not punitive, the philosophy of the program must be known, and the goal must be clear. Excellence in practice is dependent on factors such as political and social norms, standards of practice, available resources; perceptions, time, the motivation to progress to a higher level, and the continuous innovation required to reshape the profession to meet the needs of society.

  3. Combinatorial expression of TRPV channel proteins defines their sensory functions and subcellular localization in C. elegans neurons.

    PubMed

    Tobin, David M; Madsen, David M; Kahn-Kirby, Amanda; Peckol, Erin L; Moulder, Gary; Barstead, Robert; Maricq, Andres V; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2002-07-18

    C. elegans OSM-9 is a TRPV channel protein involved in sensory transduction and adaptation. Here, we show that distinct sensory functions arise from different combinations of OSM-9 and related OCR TRPV proteins. Both OSM-9 and OCR-2 are essential for several forms of sensory transduction, including olfaction, osmosensation, mechanosensation, and chemosensation. In neurons that express both OSM-9 and OCR-2, tagged OCR-2 and OSM-9 proteins reside in sensory cilia and promote each other's localization to cilia. In neurons that express only OSM-9, tagged OSM-9 protein resides in the cell body and acts in sensory adaptation rather than sensory transduction. Thus, alternative combinations of TRPV proteins may direct different functions in distinct subcellular locations. Animals expressing the mammalian TRPV1 (VR1) channel in ASH nociceptor neurons avoid the TRPV1 ligand capsaicin, allowing selective, drug-inducible activation of a specific behavior.

  4. Defining The Neighborhoods That Escort The Oocyte Through Its Early Life Events And Into A Functional Follicle

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Joan S.

    2014-01-01

    The ovary functions to chaperone the most precious cargo for female individuals, the oocyte, to allow the passage of genetic material to subsequent generations. Within the ovary, single oocytes are surrounded by a legion of granulosa cells inside each follicle. These two cell types depend upon one another to support follicle formation and oocyte survival. The infrastructure and events that work together to ultimately form these functional follicles within the ovary are unprecedented, given that the oocyte is fated like all other neighboring cells within the embryo prior to gastrulation. This review discusses the journey of the germ cell in the context of the developing female mouse embryo, with a focus on specific signaling events and cell-cell interactions that escort the primordial germ cell as it is specified into the germ-cell fate, migrates through the hindgut into the gonad, differentiates into an oocyte, and culminates upon formation of the primordial and then primary follicle. PMID:24105719

  5. Labview utilities

    SciTech Connect

    Persaud, Arun

    2011-09-30

    The software package provides several utilities written in LabView. These utilities don't form independent programs, but rather can be used as a library or controls in other labview programs. The utilities include several new controls (xcontrols), VIs for input and output routines, as well as other 'helper'-functions not provided in the standard LabView environment.

  6. Health and functional status and utilization of health care services among holocaust survivors and their counterparts in Israel.

    PubMed

    Iecovich, Esther; Carmel, Sara

    2010-01-01

    To examine differences in health and functional status and in utilization of health services between holocaust survivors and their counterparts; and (b) to investigate if holocaust survivor status is a significant predictor of health status, functional status, and utilization of health services. The study included 1255 respondents of whom 272 were holocaust survivors. Interviews were conducted face-to-face at the respondents' homes. Participants were asked about their health (self-rated health and comorbidity) and functional (ADL and IADL) status, utilization of inpatient and outpatient health care services, age, gender, education, marital status, length of residence in Israel, and if they were holocaust survivors. Holocaust survivors, who were frailer and more chronically ill compared to their counterparts, visited their family physician and the nurse at the health care clinic more often than their counterparts did, and received more homecare services. Yet, there were no differences between them in the utilization of other health care services such as visits to specialists, emergency department, and hospitalizations. Holocaust survivors are more homebound due to more morbidity and functional limitations and therefore receive more health home care services that offset the utilization of other health services.

  7. The IMMUTANS variegation locus of Arabidopsis defines a mitochondrial alternative oxidase homolog that functions during early chloroplast biogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Wu, D; Wright, D A; Wetzel, C; Voytas, D F; Rodermel, S

    1999-01-01

    Nuclear gene-induced variegation mutants provide a powerful system to dissect interactions between the genetic systems of the nucleus-cytoplasm, the chloroplast, and the mitochondrion. The immutans (im) variegation mutation of Arabidopsis is nuclear and recessive and results in the production of green- and white-sectored leaves. The green sectors contain cells with normal chloroplasts, whereas the white sectors are heteroplastidic and contain cells with abnormal, pigment-deficient plastids as well as some normal chloroplasts. White sector formation can be promoted by enhanced light intensities, but sectoring becomes irreversible early in leaf development. The white sectors accumulate the carotenoid precursor phytoene. We have positionally cloned IM and found that the gene encodes a 40.5-kD protein with sequence motifs characteristic of alternative oxidase, a mitochondrial protein that functions as a terminal oxidase in the respiratory chains of all plants. However, phylogenetic analyses revealed that the IM protein is only distantly related to these other alternative oxidases, suggesting that IM is a novel member of this protein class. We sequenced three alleles of im, and all are predicted to be null. Our data suggest a model of variegation in which the IM protein functions early in chloroplast biogenesis as a component of a redox chain responsible for phytoene desaturation but that a redundant electron transfer function is capable of compensating for IM activity in some plastids and cells. PMID:9878631

  8. Defining arthritis and measuring functional status in elders: methodological issues in the study of disease and physical disability.

    PubMed Central

    Guccione, A A; Felson, D T; Anderson, J J

    1990-01-01

    This study explores the degree to which the association of knee osteoarthritis with physical disability changes with different definitions of osteoarthritis in 1,416 Framingham Study elders. When all categories of radiographic osteoarthritis were aggregated into a single "arthritis" variable and dependence upon human assistance in one or more functional activities combined into a single variable, elders with osteoarthritis had only moderately increased odds for dependence after controlling for age or sex (OR = 1.25). A definition of osteoarthritis based only upon symptoms produced larger odds for dependency (OR = 1.85). Elders with mild osteoarthritis and infrequent knee pain had no significantly elevated risk for dependence in any of the seven functional activities. Elders with infrequently symptomatic, moderate to marked radiographic osteoarthritis were at increased risk for dependence in stair climbing, walking a mile, housekeeping, and carrying bundles. Elder with radiographic osteoarthritis accompanied by frequent pain had an increased odds of dependence in stair climbing, walking a mile, and housekeeping. Using a generic definition of "arthritis" and aggregating functional activities may underestimate the impact of osteoarthritis on physical disability in the elderly and obscure the task-specific nature of that relationship. PMID:2368855

  9. The Utility of the Cognitive Function Instrument (CFI) to Detect Cognitive Decline in Non-Demented Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Li, Clara; Neugroschl, Judith; Luo, Xiaodong; Zhu, Carolyn; Aisen, Paul; Ferris, Steven; Sano, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Subjective cognitive complaint is a sensitive marker of decline. This study aimed to (1) examine reliability of subjective cognitive complaint using the Cognitive Function Instrument (CFI), and (2) assess the utility of the CFI to detect cognitive decline in non-demented elders. Data from a four-year longitudinal study at multiple Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) sites were extracted (n = 644). Of these, 497 had Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) global scores of 0 and 147 had a CDR of 0.5. Mean age and education were 79.5±3.6 and 15.0±3.1 years, respectively. All participants and their study partners completed the subject and study partner CFI yearly. Modified Mini-Mental State Exam (mMMSE) and Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) were administered. Scores below the predetermined cut-off scores on either measure at annual visit were triggers for a full diagnostic evaluation. Cognitive decline was defined by the absence/presence of the trigger. Three-month test retest reliability showed that inter-class coefficients for subject and study partner CFI were 0.76 and 0.78, respectively. Generalized estimating equation method revealed that both subject and study partner CFI change scores and scores from previous year were sensitive to cognitive decline in the CDR 0 group (p < 0.05). In the CDR 0.5 group, only the study partner CFI change score predicted cognitive decline (p < 0.05). Cognitive decline was predicted differentially by CDR level with subject CFI scores providing the best prediction for those with CDR 0 while study partner CFI predicted best for those at CDR 0.5.

  10. Utility of preoperative in vitro platelet function tests for predicting bleeding risk in patients undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery

    PubMed Central

    Lee, A-Jin; Kim, Sang-Gyung

    2016-01-01

    Background It is necessary to predict the bleeding risk in patients undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). To evaluate the adequacy of primary hemostasis, preoperative hemostatic screening tests are used. In the present study, we determined whether there is a positive correlation between prolonged closure time (CT) with collagen/epinephrine (CT-epi), prothrombin time (PT), international normalized ratio (INR), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and bleeding during FESS. Patients and methods We reviewed the medical records of 90 patients without bleeding histories who had undergone FESS from March 2013 to June 2014. More than 200 mL of blood loss was defined as moderate bleeding during surgery. With respect to bleeding during surgery, we determined the sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV) and positive predictive value (PPV) of CT-epi, PT, INR and aPTT. Results Of the 90 patients, 17 (18.9%) patients had preoperative prolonged CT values and three (17.6%) patients had bleeding. In comparison, five (6.8%) of the 73 (81.1%) patients who had undergone FESS with preoperative normal PFA values experienced bleeding (P=0.171). On the other hand, patients with prolonged PT values (2, 2.2%), prolonged INR values (3, 3.3%) or prolonged PTT values (1, 1.1%) had no bleeding episode. Preoperative CT had low sensitivity (44.4%) and PPV (23.5%). Conclusion During preoperative period, the hemostatic screening may not be helpful to detect the bleeding tendency in adult patients undergoing FESS. Routine measurement of CT-epi, PT, INR and aPTT for preoperative screening may not be recommended for FESS patients. PMID:27799837

  11. Defining the functional binding sites of interleukin 12 receptor β1 and interleukin 23 receptor to Janus kinases

    PubMed Central

    Floss, Doreen M.; Klöcker, Tobias; Schröder, Jutta; Lamertz, Larissa; Mrotzek, Simone; Strobl, Birgit; Hermanns, Heike; Scheller, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    The interleukin (IL)-12–type cytokines IL-12 and IL-23 are involved in T-helper (Th) 1 and Th17 immunity, respectively. They share the IL-12 receptor β1 (IL-12Rβ1) as one component of their receptor signaling complexes, with IL-12Rβ2 as second receptor for IL-12 and IL-23R for IL-23 signal transduction. Stimulation with IL-12 and IL-23 results in activation of receptor-associated Janus kinases (Jak) and phosphorylation of STAT proteins in target cells. The Janus kinase tyrosine kinase (Tyk) 2 associates with IL-12Rβ1, whereas Jak2 binds to IL-23R and also to IL-12Rβ2. Receptor association of Jak2 is mediated by Box1 and Box2 motifs located within the intracellular domain of the receptor chains. Here we define the Box1 and Box2 motifs in IL-12Rβ1 and an unusual Jak2-binding site in IL-23R by the use of deletion and site-directed mutagenesis. Our data show that nonfunctional box motifs abolish IL-12– and IL-23–induced STAT3 phosphorylation and cytokine-dependent proliferation of Ba/F3 cells. Coimmunoprecipitation of Tyk2 by IL-12Rβ1 and Jak2 by IL‑23R supported these findings. In addition, our data demonstrate that association of Jak2 with IL-23R is mandatory for IL-12 and/or IL-23 signaling, whereas Tyk2 seems to be dispensable. PMID:27193299

  12. Defining the functional binding sites of interleukin 12 receptor β1 and interleukin 23 receptor to Janus kinases.

    PubMed

    Floss, Doreen M; Klöcker, Tobias; Schröder, Jutta; Lamertz, Larissa; Mrotzek, Simone; Strobl, Birgit; Hermanns, Heike; Scheller, Jürgen

    2016-07-15

    The interleukin (IL)-12-type cytokines IL-12 and IL-23 are involved in T-helper (Th) 1 and Th17 immunity, respectively. They share the IL-12 receptor β1 (IL-12Rβ1) as one component of their receptor signaling complexes, with IL-12Rβ2 as second receptor for IL-12 and IL-23R for IL-23 signal transduction. Stimulation with IL-12 and IL-23 results in activation of receptor-associated Janus kinases (Jak) and phosphorylation of STAT proteins in target cells. The Janus kinase tyrosine kinase (Tyk) 2 associates with IL-12Rβ1, whereas Jak2 binds to IL-23R and also to IL-12Rβ2. Receptor association of Jak2 is mediated by Box1 and Box2 motifs located within the intracellular domain of the receptor chains. Here we define the Box1 and Box2 motifs in IL-12Rβ1 and an unusual Jak2-binding site in IL-23R by the use of deletion and site-directed mutagenesis. Our data show that nonfunctional box motifs abolish IL-12- and IL-23-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and cytokine-dependent proliferation of Ba/F3 cells. Coimmunoprecipitation of Tyk2 by IL-12Rβ1 and Jak2 by IL‑23R supported these findings. In addition, our data demonstrate that association of Jak2 with IL-23R is mandatory for IL-12 and/or IL-23 signaling, whereas Tyk2 seems to be dispensable. © 2016 Floss, Klöcker, et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  13. Social Service Utilization, Sense of Community, Family Functioning and the Mental Health of New Immigrant Women in Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qiaobing; Chow, Julian Chun-Chung

    2013-01-01

    Drawing upon a sample of 296 new immigrant women in Hong Kong, this study investigated how social service utilization, family functioning, and sense of community influenced the depressive symptoms of new immigrant women. Results of the structural equation modeling suggested that family functioning and sense of community were both significantly and negatively associated with the depression of new immigrant women. Utilization of community services also influenced the depression of immigrant women indirectly through the mediating effect of sense of community. Implications of the research findings for mental health intervention were discussed. PMID:23629592

  14. Fetal glucose uptake and utilization as functions of maternal glucose concentration.

    PubMed

    Hay, W W; Sparks, J W; Wilkening, R B; Battaglia, F C; Meschia, G

    1984-03-01

    Seventeen studies were performed in 12 pregnant sheep to examine the relationship among simultaneously measured glucose uptake via the umbilical circulation, fetal glucose utilization (mg X min-1 X kg-1), and maternal arterial glucose (Gm, mg/dl). Fetal glucose utilization was measured by means of tracer glucose infused into the fetus or both mother and fetus. By fasting the ewe, Gm was varied in the 62-22 range. A decrease in Gm was accompanied by a significant (P less than 0.001) decrease in umbilical uptake (uptake = 0.09 Gm - 0.96, r = 0.82) and in fetal utilization, measured either by [U-14C]glucose (utilization = 0.062 Gm + 0.91, r = 0.90) or [6-3H]glucose (utilization = 0.065 Gm + 0.51, r = 0.91). At uptake greater than 3 mg X min-1 X kg-1, utilization and uptake were not significantly different. At lower uptakes, utilization did not decline as much as uptake. The results demonstrate that maternal fasting decreases both the umbilical uptake and the fetal utilization of glucose and suggest that fetal glucogenesis increases when the availability of exogenous glucose is markedly reduced.

  15. The Structure of the Human RNase H2 Complex Defines Key Interaction Interfaces Relevant to Enzyme Function and Human Disease*

    PubMed Central

    Reijns, Martin A. M.; Bubeck, Doryen; Gibson, Lucien C. D.; Graham, Stephen C.; Baillie, George S.; Jones, E. Yvonne; Jackson, Andrew P.

    2011-01-01

    Ribonuclease H2 (RNase H2) is the major nuclear enzyme involved in the degradation of RNA/DNA hybrids and removal of ribonucleotides misincorporated in genomic DNA. Mutations in each of the three RNase H2 subunits have been implicated in a human auto-inflammatory disorder, Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome (AGS). To understand how mutations impact on RNase H2 function we determined the crystal structure of the human heterotrimer. In doing so, we correct several key regions of the previously reported murine RNase H2 atomic model and provide biochemical validation for our structural model. Our results provide new insights into how the subunits are arranged to form an enzymatically active complex. In particular, we establish that the RNASEH2A C terminus is a eukaryotic adaptation for binding the two accessory subunits, with residues within it required for enzymatic activity. This C-terminal extension interacts with the RNASEH2C C terminus and both are necessary to form a stable, enzymatically active heterotrimer. Disease mutations cluster at this interface between all three subunits, destabilizing the complex and/or impairing enzyme activity. Altogether, we locate 25 out of 29 residues mutated in AGS patients, establishing a firm basis for future investigations into disease pathogenesis and function of the RNase H2 enzyme. PMID:21177854

  16. Numerical information processing under the global rule expressed by the Euler-Riemann ζ function defined in the complex plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatelin, Françoise

    2010-09-01

    When nonzero, the ζ function is intimately connected with numerical information processing. Two other functions play a key role, namely, η(s )=∑n ≥1(-1)n +1/ns and λ(s )=∑n ≥01/(2n+1)s. The paper opens on a survey of some of the seminal work of Euler [Mémoires Acad. Sci., Berlin 1768, 83 (1749)] and of the amazing theorem by Voronin [Math. USSR, Izv. 9, 443 (1975)] Then, as a follow-up of Chatelin [Qualitative Computing. A Computational Journey into Nonlinearity (World Scientific, Singapore, in press)], we present a fresh look at the triple (η ,ζ,λ) which suggests an elementary analysis based on the distances of the three complex numbers z, z /2, and 2/z to 0 and 1. This metric approach is used to contextualize any nonlinear computation when it is observed at a point describing a complex plane. The results applied to ζ, η, and λ shed a new epistemological light about the critical line. The suggested interpretation related to ζ carries computational significance.

  17. Truncation Analysis of TatA and TatB Defines the Minimal Functional Units Required for Protein Translocation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Philip A.; Buchanan, Grant; Stanley, Nicola R.; Berks, Ben C.; Palmer, Tracy

    2002-01-01

    The TatA and TatB proteins are essential components of the twin arginine protein translocation pathway in Escherichia coli. C-terminal truncation analysis of the TatA protein revealed that a plasmid-expressed TatA protein shortened by 40 amino acids is still fully competent to support protein translocation. Similar truncation analysis of TatB indicated that the final 30 residues of TatB are dispensable for function. Further deletion experiments with TatB indicated that removal of even 70 residues from its C terminus still allowed significant transport. These results imply that the transmembrane and amphipathic helical regions of TatA and TatB are critical for their function but that the C-terminal domains are not essential for Tat transport activity. A chimeric protein comprising the N-terminal region of TatA fused to the amphipathic and C-terminal domains of TatB supports a low level of Tat activity in a strain in which the wild-type copy of either tatA or tatB (but not both) is deleted. PMID:12374820

  18. Truncation analysis of TatA and TatB defines the minimal functional units required for protein translocation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Philip A; Buchanan, Grant; Stanley, Nicola R; Berks, Ben C; Palmer, Tracy

    2002-11-01

    The TatA and TatB proteins are essential components of the twin arginine protein translocation pathway in Escherichia coli. C-terminal truncation analysis of the TatA protein revealed that a plasmid-expressed TatA protein shortened by 40 amino acids is still fully competent to support protein translocation. Similar truncation analysis of TatB indicated that the final 30 residues of TatB are dispensable for function. Further deletion experiments with TatB indicated that removal of even 70 residues from its C terminus still allowed significant transport. These results imply that the transmembrane and amphipathic helical regions of TatA and TatB are critical for their function but that the C-terminal domains are not essential for Tat transport activity. A chimeric protein comprising the N-terminal region of TatA fused to the amphipathic and C-terminal domains of TatB supports a low level of Tat activity in a strain in which the wild-type copy of either tatA or tatB (but not both) is deleted.

  19. Synthesis of end-functionalized polyacetylenes that contain polar groups by employing well-defined palladium catalysts.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez Castanon, Jesus; Kuwata, Keiko; Shiotsuki, Masashi; Sanda, Fumio

    2012-10-29

    A series of [(dppf)PdBr(R)]-type complexes (dppf=1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene; R=p-cyanophenyl (1 a), o-hydroxymethylphenyl (1 b), and triphenylvinyl (1 c)), in combination with silver trifluoromethanesulfonate (AgOTf), were demonstrated to be active for the polymerization of monosubstituted polar acetylene monomers HC≡CCONHC(4)H(9) (2), HC≡CCO(2)C(8)H(17) (3), HC≡CCH(2)OCONHC(6)H(13) (4), HC≡CCH(2)OCO(2)C(6)H(13) (5), and HC≡CCH(CH(3))OH (6). The yields and molecular weights of the polymers depended on the combination of the Pd catalyst and monomer that was employed. Matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometric analysis indicated the formation of polymers that contained the "R" and "H" groups at the chain ends. IR spectroscopic analysis supported the R-end-functionalization of the polymers. NMR spectroscopy and MS identified the presence of species that were formed by single, double, and triple insertion of the monomers into the Pd-C(6)H(4)-p-CN bond, thereby giving solid evidence for an insertion mechanism for the present system. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggested the preference for 1,2-insertion of the monomer compared to 2,1-insertion.

  20. Epigenetics and Preeclampsia: Defining Functional Epimutations in the Preeclamptic Placenta Related to the TGF-β Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Elizabeth; Ray, Paul D.; Smeester, Lisa; Grace, Matthew R.; Boggess, Kim; Fry, Rebecca C.

    2015-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a potentially fatal pregnancy disorder affecting millions of women around the globe. Dysregulation in gene and protein expression within key biological pathways controlling angiogenesis has been implicated in the development of preeclampsia. Altered CpG methylation, a type of epimutation, may underlie this pathway dysregulation. In the present study, placental tissue from preeclamptic cases and normotensive controls was analyzed for genome-wide differential CpG methylation and concomitant changes in gene expression. A set of 123 genes, representing 19.9% of all genes with altered CpG methylation, was associated with functional changes in transcript levels. Underscoring the complex relationships between CpG methylation and gene expression, here hypermethylation was never associated with gene silencing, nor was hypomethylation always associated with gene activation. Moreover, the genomic region of the CpG mark was important in predicting the relationship between CpG methylation and gene expression. The 123 genes were enriched for their involvement in the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway, a known regulator of placental trophoblast invasion and migration. This is the first study to identify CpG hypomethylation as an activator of TGF-β-associated gene expression in the preeclamptic placenta. The results suggest functional epimutations are associated with preeclampsia disease status and the identified genes may represent novel biomarkers of disease. PMID:26510177

  1. Parameterization of rainfall-runoff models by using utility functions for the reproduction of low and average flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baratti, Emanuele; Montanari, Alberto; Toth, Elena

    2014-05-01

    In the majority of rainfall-runoff modelling applications, the objective function to be minimised in the parameterisation procedure is the mean square error or another quadratic function (such as the Nash-Sutcliff efficiency). Since the use of squares forces an arbitrarily greater influence of large errors, generally corresponding to large streamflow values, such choice may prevent the identification of an adequate input-output relationship for the reproduction of low and average flows. This contribution presents the results of a series of calibration/validation experiments with a conceptual rainfall-runoff model, applied over several case-study catchments, where the performance function is based on the expected utility of the rainfall-runoff model. The method is based on the evidence that the performances of a hydrological model closely depend on the purpose of the application. For instance, in a flood forecasting system, the model could be used to estimate peak flow conditions (e.g. peak time and peak flow rate), whereas in a water resources management system, it could be particularly appreciated the capability of the model to reproduce the discharges for the entire year, or, in particular, those of water scarcity periods. In the proposed method, at each time step, the comparison between simulated and observed data is carried out by using an 'ad-hoc' utility function. The calibration is performed by maximizing the overall estimated utility of the simulated data. Different utility functions are tested and the results are compared, over validation data, against those obtained with traditional squared functions. The results reveal that an adequate utility function allows an improvement of the model performances in the reproduction of low and average flows, with a moderate deterioration of the simulation of high flows. It is also pointed out as the traditional calibration procedures may be considered as a particular case of the presented approach.

  2. FURTHER DEFINING SPECTRAL TYPE 'Y' AND EXPLORING THE LOW-MASS END OF THE FIELD BROWN DWARF MASS FUNCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Davy Kirkpatrick, J.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Griffith, Roger L.; Marsh, Kenneth A.; Cushing, Michael C.; Mace, Gregory N.; Wright, Edward L.; McLean, Ian S.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Eisenhardt, Peter R.; Mainzer, Amanda K.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Tinney, C. G.; Parker, Stephen; Salter, Graeme

    2012-07-10

    We present the discovery of another seven Y dwarfs from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Using these objects, as well as the first six WISE Y dwarf discoveries from Cushing et al., we further explore the transition between spectral types T and Y. We find that the T/Y boundary roughly coincides with the spot where the J - H colors of brown dwarfs, as predicted by models, turn back to the red. Moreover, we use preliminary trigonometric parallax measurements to show that the T/Y boundary may also correspond to the point at which the absolute H (1.6 {mu}m) and W2 (4.6 {mu}m) magnitudes plummet. We use these discoveries and their preliminary distances to place them in the larger context of the solar neighborhood. We present a table that updates the entire stellar and substellar constituency within 8 pc of the Sun, and we show that the current census has hydrogen-burning stars outnumbering brown dwarfs by roughly a factor of six. This factor will decrease with time as more brown dwarfs are identified within this volume, but unless there is a vast reservoir of cold brown dwarfs invisible to WISE, the final space density of brown dwarfs is still expected to fall well below that of stars. We also use these new Y dwarf discoveries, along with newly discovered T dwarfs from WISE, to investigate the field substellar mass function. We find that the overall space density of late-T and early-Y dwarfs matches that from simulations describing the mass function as a power law with slope -0.5 < {alpha} < 0.0; however, a power law may provide a poor fit to the observed object counts as a function of spectral type because there are tantalizing hints that the number of brown dwarfs continues to rise from late-T to early-Y. More detailed monitoring and characterization of these Y dwarfs, along with dedicated searches aimed at identifying more examples, are certainly required.

  3. The utility of pulmonary function testing in predicting outcomes following liver transplantation.

    PubMed

    Kia, Leila; Cuttica, Michael J; Yang, Amy; Donnan, Erica N; Whitsett, Maureen; Singhvi, Ajay; Lemmer, Alexander; Levitsky, Josh

    2016-06-01

    Although pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are routinely performed in patients during the evaluation period before liver transplantation (LT), their utility in predicting post-LT mortality and morbidity outcomes is not known. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of obstructive and/or restrictive lung disease on post-LT outcomes. We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients who had pre-LT PFTs and underwent a subsequent LT (2007-2013). We used statistical analyses to determine independent associations between PFT parameters and outcomes (graft/patient survival, time on ventilator, and hospital/intensive care unit [ICU] length of stay [LOS]). A total of 415 LT recipients with available PFT data were included: 65% of patients had normal PFTs; 8% had obstructive lung disease; and 27% had restrictive lung disease. There was no difference in patient and graft survival between patients with normal, obstructive, and restrictive lung disease. However, restrictive lung disease was associated with longer post-LT time on ventilator and both ICU and hospital LOS (P < 0.05). More specific PFT parameters (diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide, total lung capacity, and residual volume) were all significant predictors of ventilator time and both ICU and hospital LOS (P < 0.05). Although pre-LT PFT parameters may not predict post-LT mortality, restrictive abnormalities correlate with prolonged post-LT ventilation and LOS. Efforts to identify and minimize the impact of restrictive abnormalities on PFTs might improve such outcomes. Liver Transplantation 22 805-811 2016 AASLD.

  4. Cost-utility of a specific collaborative group intervention for patients with functional somatic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Konnopka, Alexander; König, Hans-Helmut; Kaufmann, Claudia; Egger, Nina; Wild, Beate; Szecsenyi, Joachim; Herzog, Wolfgang; Schellberg, Dieter; Schaefert, Rainer

    2016-11-01

    Collaborative group intervention (CGI) in patients with functional somatic syndromes (FSS) has been shown to improve mental quality of life. To analyse incremental cost-utility of CGI compared to enhanced medical care in patients with FSS. An economic evaluation alongside a cluster-randomised controlled trial was performed. 35 general practitioners (GPs) recruited 300 FSS patients. Patients in the CGI arm were offered 10 group sessions within 3months and 2 booster sessions 6 and 12months after baseline. Costs were assessed via questionnaire. Quality adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated using the SF-6D index, derived from the 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36). We calculated patients' net-monetary-benefit (NMB), estimated the treatment effect via regression, and generated cost-effectiveness acceptability curves. Using intention-to-treat analysis, total costs during the 12-month study period were 5777EUR in the intervention, and 6858EUR in the control group. Controlling for possible confounders, we found a small, but significant positive intervention effect on QALYs (+0.017; p=0.019) and an insignificant cost saving resulting from a cost-increase in the control group (-10.5%; p=0.278). NMB regression showed that the probability of CGI to be cost-effective was 69% for a willingness to pay (WTP) of 0EUR/QALY, increased to 92% for a WTP of 50,000EUR/QALY and reached the level of 95% at a WTP of 70,375EUR/QALY. Subgroup analyses yielded that CGI was only cost-effective in severe somatic symptom severity (PHQ-15≥15). CGI has a high probability to be a cost-effective treatment for FSS, in particular for patients with severe somatic symptom severity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Defined amino acids in the gag proteins of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 are functionally active during virus assembly.

    PubMed

    Kattenbeck, B; Rohrhofer, A; Niedrig, M; Wolf, H; Modrow, S

    1996-01-01

    A structurally highly ordered arrangement of the polyprotein precursor, Pr55gag is a necessary prerequisite for assembly, budding and maturation of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). In particular, distinct regions of the matrix protein (p17) and the capsid protein (p24) contained within Pr55gag are functionally active during these processes. In order to determine such regions we exchanged amino acid triplets within p17 (amino acids 46-61) and p24 (amino acids 341-352) for alanine residues and deleted the whole regions. Synthetic peptides derived from these regions had been shown previously to inhibit the production of infectious virus. The effect of the mutations on the release of viral particles was investigated by using recombinant baculoviruses for the expression of mutated Pr55gag as virus-like particles and by use of the respective HI proviruses for monitoring the production of infectious particles.

  6. Postthymic expansion in human CD4 naive T cells defined by expression of functional high-affinity IL-2 receptors.

    PubMed

    Pekalski, Marcin L; Ferreira, Ricardo C; Coulson, Richard M R; Cutler, Antony J; Guo, Hui; Smyth, Deborah J; Downes, Kate; Dendrou, Calliope A; Castro Dopico, Xaquin; Esposito, Laura; Coleman, Gillian; Stevens, Helen E; Nutland, Sarah; Walker, Neil M; Guy, Catherine; Dunger, David B; Wallace, Chris; Tree, Timothy I M; Todd, John A; Wicker, Linda S

    2013-03-15

    As the thymus involutes with age, the maintenance of peripheral naive T cells in humans becomes strongly dependent on peripheral cell division. However, mechanisms that orchestrate homeostatic division remain unclear. In this study we present evidence that the frequency of naive CD4 T cells that express CD25 (IL-2 receptor α-chain) increases with age on subsets of both CD31(+) and CD31(-) naive CD4 T cells. Analyses of TCR excision circles from sorted subsets indicate that CD25(+) naive CD4 T cells have undergone more rounds of homeostatic proliferation than their CD25(-) counterparts in both the CD31(+) and CD31(-) subsets, indicating that CD25 is a marker of naive CD4 T cells that have preferentially responded to survival signals from self-Ags or cytokines. CD25 expression on CD25(-) naive CD4 T cells can be induced by IL-7 in vitro in the absence of TCR activation. Although CD25(+) naive T cells respond to lower concentrations of IL-2 as compared with their CD25(-) counterparts, IL-2 responsiveness is further increased in CD31(-) naive T cells by their expression of the signaling IL-2 receptor β-chain CD122, forming with common γ-chain functional high-affinity IL-2 receptors. CD25 plays a role during activation: CD25(+) naive T cells stimulated in an APC-dependent manner were shown to produce increased levels of IL-2 as compared with their CD25(-) counterparts. This study establishes CD25(+) naive CD4 T cells, which are further delineated by CD31 expression, as a major functionally distinct immune cell subset in humans that warrants further characterization in health and disease.

  7. Hierarchical decomposition of burn body diagram based on cutaneous functional units and its utility.

    PubMed

    Richard, Reg; Jones, John A; Parshley, Philip

    2015-01-01

    A burn body diagram (BBD) is a common feature used in the delivery of burn care for estimating the TBSA burn as well as calculating fluid resuscitation and nutritional requirements, wound healing, and rehabilitation intervention. However, little change has occurred for over seven decades in the configuration of the BBD. The purpose of this project was to develop a computerized model using hierarchical decomposition (HD) to more precisely determine the percentage burn within a BBD based on cutaneous functional units (CFUs). HD is a process by which a system is degraded into smaller parts that are more precise in their use. CFUs were previously identified fields of the skin involved in the range of motion. A standard Lund/Browder (LB) BBD template was used as the starting point to apply the CFU segments. LB body divisions were parceled down into smaller body area divisions through a HD process based on the CFU concept. A numerical pattern schema was used to label the various segments in a cephalo/caudal, anterior/posterior, medial/lateral manner. Hand/fingers were divided based on anatomical landmarks and known cutaneokinematic function. The face was considered using aesthetic units. Computer code was written to apply the numeric hierarchical schema to CFUs and applied within the context of the surface area graphic evaluation BBD program. Each segmented CFU was coded to express 100% of itself. The CFU/HD method refined the standard LB diagram from 13 body segments and 33 subdivisions into 182 isolated CFUs. Associated CFUs were reconstituted into 219 various surface area combinations totaling 401 possible surface segments. The CFU/HD schema of the body surface mapping is applicable to measuring and calculating percent wound healing in a more precise manner. It eliminates subjective assessment of the percentage wound healing and the need for additional devices such as planimetry. The development of CFU/HD body mapping schema has rendered a technologically advanced

  8. Extensive Ex Vivo Expansion of Functional Human Erythroid Precursors Established From Umbilical Cord Blood Cells by Defined Factors

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiaosong; Shah, Siddharth; Wang, Jing; Ye, Zhaohui; Dowey, Sarah N; Tsang, Kit Man; Mendelsohn, Laurel G; Kato, Gregory J; Kickler, Thomas S; Cheng, Linzhao

    2014-01-01

    There is a constant shortage of red blood cells (RBCs) from sufficiently matched donors for patients who need chronic transfusion. Ex vivo expansion and maturation of human erythroid precursors (erythroblasts) from the patients or optimally matched donors could represent a potential solution. Proliferating erythroblasts can be expanded from umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (CB MNCs) ex vivo for 106–107-fold (in ~50 days) before proliferation arrest and reaching sufficient number for broad application. Here, we report that ectopic expression of three genetic factors (Sox2, c-Myc, and an shRNA against TP53 gene) associated with iPSC derivation enables CB-derived erythroblasts to undergo extended expansion (~1068-fold in ~12 months) in a serum-free culture condition without change of cell identity or function. These expanding erythroblasts maintain immature erythroblast phenotypes and morphology, a normal diploid karyotype and dependence on a specific combination of growth factors for proliferation throughout expansion period. When being switched to a terminal differentiation condition, these immortalized erythroblasts gradually exit cell cycle, decrease cell size, accumulate hemoglobin, condense nuclei and eventually give rise to enucleated hemoglobin-containing erythrocytes that can bind and release oxygen. Our result may ultimately lead to an alternative approach to generate unlimited numbers of RBCs for personalized transfusion medicine. PMID:24002691

  9. How do you (estimate you will) like them apples? Integration as a defining trait of orbitofrontal function.

    PubMed

    Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Esber, Guillem R

    2010-04-01

    The past 15 years have seen a rapid increase in our understanding of orbitofrontal function. Today this region is the focus of an enormous amount of research, including work on such complex phenomena as regret, ambiguity, and willingness to pay. The orbitofrontal cortex is also credited as a major player in a host of neuropsychiatric diseases. This transformation arguably began with the application of concepts derived from animal learning theory. We will review data from studies emphasizing these approaches to argue that the orbitofrontal cortex forms a crucial part of a network of structures that signals information about expected outcomes. Further we will suggest that, within this network, the orbitofrontal cortex provides the critical ability to integrate information in real-time to make what amounts to actionable predictions or estimates about future outcomes. As we will show, the influence of these estimates can be demonstrated experimentally in appropriate behavioral settings, and their operation can also readily explain the role of orbitofrontal cortex in much more complex phenomena such as those cited above.

  10. CD49a Expression Defines Tissue-Resident CD8(+) T Cells Poised for Cytotoxic Function in Human Skin.

    PubMed

    Cheuk, Stanley; Schlums, Heinrich; Gallais Sérézal, Irène; Martini, Elisa; Chiang, Samuel C; Marquardt, Nicole; Gibbs, Anna; Detlofsson, Ebba; Introini, Andrea; Forkel, Marianne; Höög, Charlotte; Tjernlund, Annelie; Michaëlsson, Jakob; Folkersen, Lasse; Mjösberg, Jenny; Blomqvist, Lennart; Ehrström, Marcus; Ståhle, Mona; Bryceson, Yenan T; Eidsmo, Liv

    2017-02-21

    Tissue-resident memory T (Trm) cells form a heterogeneous population that provides localized protection against pathogens. Here, we identify CD49a as a marker that differentiates CD8(+) Trm cells on a compartmental and functional basis. In human skin epithelia, CD8(+)CD49a(+) Trm cells produced interferon-γ, whereas CD8(+)CD49a(-) Trm cells produced interleukin-17 (IL-17). In addition, CD8(+)CD49a(+) Trm cells from healthy skin rapidly induced the expression of the effector molecules perforin and granzyme B when stimulated with IL-15, thereby promoting a strong cytotoxic response. In skin from patients with vitiligo, where melanocytes are eradicated locally, CD8(+)CD49a(+) Trm cells that constitutively expressed perforin and granzyme B accumulated both in the epidermis and dermis. Conversely, CD8(+)CD49a(-) Trm cells from psoriasis lesions predominantly generated IL-17 responses that promote local inflammation in this skin disease. Overall, CD49a expression delineates CD8(+) Trm cell specialization in human epithelial barriers and correlates with the effector cell balance found in distinct inflammatory skin diseases.

  11. Co-ordinated functions of Mms proteins define the surface structure of cubo-octahedral magnetite crystals in magnetotactic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Arakaki, Atsushi; Yamagishi, Ayana; Fukuyo, Ayumi; Tanaka, Masayoshi; Matsunaga, Tadashi

    2014-08-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria synthesize magnetosomes comprised of membrane-enveloped single crystalline magnetite (Fe3 O4 ). The size and morphology of the nano-sized magnetite crystals (< 100 nm) are highly regulated and bacterial species dependent. However, the control mechanisms of magnetite crystal morphology remain largely unknown. The group of proteins, called Mms (Mms5, Mms6, Mms7, and Mms13), was previously isolated from the surface of cubo-octahedral magnetite crystals in Magnetospirillum magneticum strain AMB-1. Analysis of an mms6 gene deletion mutant suggested that the Mms6 protein plays a major role in the regulation of magnetite crystal size and morphology. In this study, we constructed various mms gene deletion mutants and characterized the magnetite crystals formed by the mutant strains. Comparative analysis showed that all mms genes were involved in the promotion of crystal growth in different manners. The phenotypic characterization of magnetites also suggested that these proteins are involved in controlling the geometries of the crystal surface structures. Thus, the co-ordinated functions of Mms proteins regulate the morphology of the cubo-octahedral magnetite crystals in magnetotactic bacteria. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Isolation and proteomic characterization of the Arabidopsis Golgi defines functional and novel components involved in plant cell wall biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Harriet T; Christiansen, Katy; Knierim, Bernhard; Carroll, Andrew; Ito, Jun; Batth, Tanveer S; Smith-Moritz, Andreia M; Morrison, Stephanie; McInerney, Peter; Hadi, Masood Z; Auer, Manfred; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Petzold, Christopher J; Scheller, Henrik V; Loqué, Dominique; Heazlewood, Joshua L

    2012-05-01

    The plant Golgi plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of cell wall matrix polysaccharides, protein glycosylation, and vesicle trafficking. Golgi-localized proteins have become prospective targets for reengineering cell wall biosynthetic pathways for the efficient production of biofuels from plant cell walls. However, proteomic characterization of the Golgi has so far been limited, owing to the technical challenges inherent in Golgi purification. In this study, a combination of density centrifugation and surface charge separation techniques have allowed the reproducible isolation of Golgi membranes from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) at sufficiently high purity levels for in-depth proteomic analysis. Quantitative proteomic analysis, immunoblotting, enzyme activity assays, and electron microscopy all confirm high purity levels. A composition analysis indicated that approximately 19% of proteins were likely derived from contaminating compartments and ribosomes. The localization of 13 newly assigned proteins to the Golgi using transient fluorescent markers further validated the proteome. A collection of 371 proteins consistently identified in all replicates has been proposed to represent the Golgi proteome, marking an appreciable advancement in numbers of Golgi-localized proteins. A significant proportion of proteins likely involved in matrix polysaccharide biosynthesis were identified. The potential within this proteome for advances in understanding Golgi processes has been demonstrated by the identification and functional characterization of the first plant Golgi-resident nucleoside diphosphatase, using a yeast complementation assay. Overall, these data show key proteins involved in primary cell wall synthesis and include a mixture of well-characterized and unknown proteins whose biological roles and importance as targets for future research can now be realized.

  13. Regulatory function of a malleable protein matrix as a novel fermented whey product on features defining the metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Beaulieu, J; Millette, E; Trottier, E; Précourt, L-P; Dupont, C; Lemieux, P

    2010-06-01

    Previously, we reported that a malleable protein matrix (MPM), composed of whey fermented by a proprietary Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens strain, has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. MPM consumption leads to a considerable reduction in the cytokine and chemokine production (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta, and interleukin-6), thus lowering chronic inflammation or metaflammation. Inhibition of metaflammation should provide positive impact, particularly in the context of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension. In this study, we investigated whether short-term MPM supplementation ameliorates those features of metabolic syndrome (MetS). The ability of MPM to potentially regulate triglyceride level, cholesterol level, blood glucose level, and hypertension was evaluated in different animal models. MPM lowers triglyceride level by 37% (P < .05) in a poloxamer 407 dyslipidemia-induced rat model. It also reduces total cholesterol by 18% (P < .05) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level by 32% (P < .05) and raises high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level by 17% (P < .01) in Syrian Golden hamsters fed a high fat/high cholesterol diet for 2 weeks. MPM reestablishes the fasting glucose insulin ratio index to normal levels (P = .07) in this latter model and lowers the plasma glucose level area under the curve (-10%, P = .09) in fructose-fed rats after 2 weeks of treatment. In spontaneously hypertensive rats, MPM-treated animals showed a reduction of SBP by at least 13% (P < .05) for 4 weeks. Results from this study suggest that MPM is a functional ingredient with beneficial effects on lipid metabolism, blood glucose control, and hypertension that might contribute to the management of MetS and thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  14. Graded functional diffusion map-defined characteristics of apparent diffusion coefficients predict overall survival in recurrent glioblastoma treated with bevacizumab.

    PubMed

    Ellingson, Benjamin M; Cloughesy, Timothy F; Lai, Albert; Mischel, Paul S; Nghiemphu, Phioanh L; Lalezari, Shadi; Schmainda, Kathleen M; Pope, Whitney B

    2011-10-01

    Diffusion imaging has shown promise as a predictive and prognostic biomarker in glioma. We assessed the ability of graded functional diffusion maps (fDMs) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) characteristics to predict overall survival (OS) in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients treated with bevacizumab. Seventy-seven patients with recurrent GBMs were retrospectively examined. MRI scans were obtained before and approximately 6 weeks after treatment with bevacizumab. Graded fDMs were created by registering datasets to each patient's pretreatment scan and then performing voxel-wise subtraction between post- and pretreatment ADC maps. Voxels were categorized according to the degree of change in ADC within pretreatment fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and contrast-enhancing regions of interest (ROIs). We found that the volume of tissue showing decreased ADC within both FLAIR and contrast-enhancing regions stratified OS (log-rank, P < .05). fDMs applied to contrast-enhancing ROIs more accurately predicted OS compared with fDMs applied to FLAIR ROIs. Graded fDMs (showing voxels with decreased ADC between 0.25 and 0.4 µm(2)/ms) were more predictive of OS than traditional (single threshold) fDMs, and the predictive ability of graded fDMs could be enhanced even further by adding the ADC characteristics from the fDM-classified voxels to the analysis (log-rank, P < .001). These results demonstrate that spatially resolved diffusion-based tumor metrics are a powerful imaging biomarker of survival in patients with recurrent GBM treated with bevacizumab.

  15. Graded functional diffusion map–defined characteristics of apparent diffusion coefficients predict overall survival in recurrent glioblastoma treated with bevacizumab

    PubMed Central

    Ellingson, Benjamin M.; Cloughesy, Timothy F.; Lai, Albert; Mischel, Paul S.; Nghiemphu, Phioanh L.; Lalezari, Shadi; Schmainda, Kathleen M.; Pope, Whitney B.

    2011-01-01

    Diffusion imaging has shown promise as a predictive and prognostic biomarker in glioma. We assessed the ability of graded functional diffusion maps (fDMs) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) characteristics to predict overall survival (OS) in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients treated with bevacizumab. Seventy-seven patients with recurrent GBMs were retrospectively examined. MRI scans were obtained before and approximately 6 weeks after treatment with bevacizumab. Graded fDMs were created by registering datasets to each patient's pretreatment scan and then performing voxel-wise subtraction between post- and pretreatment ADC maps. Voxels were categorized according to the degree of change in ADC within pretreatment fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and contrast-enhancing regions of interest (ROIs). We found that the volume of tissue showing decreased ADC within both FLAIR and contrast-enhancing regions stratified OS (log-rank, P < .05). fDMs applied to contrast-enhancing ROIs more accurately predicted OS compared with fDMs applied to FLAIR ROIs. Graded fDMs (showing voxels with decreased ADC between 0.25 and 0.4 µm2/ms) were more predictive of OS than traditional (single threshold) fDMs, and the predictive ability of graded fDMs could be enhanced even further by adding the ADC characteristics from the fDM-classified voxels to the analysis (log-rank, P < .001). These results demonstrate that spatially resolved diffusion-based tumor metrics are a powerful imaging biomarker of survival in patients with recurrent GBM treated with bevacizumab. PMID:21856685

  16. The Utility of the MMPI-2 Malingering Discriminant Function Index in the Detection of Malingering: A Study of Criminal Defendants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toomey, Joseph A.; Kucharski, L. Thomas; Duncan, Scott

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the utility of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2's (MMPI-2) malingering discriminant function index (M-DFI), recently developed by Bacchiochi and Bagby, in the detection of malingering in a forensic sample. Criminal defendants were divided into "malingering" and "not malingering" groups using…

  17. The Utility of the MMPI-2 Malingering Discriminant Function Index in the Detection of Malingering: A Study of Criminal Defendants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toomey, Joseph A.; Kucharski, L. Thomas; Duncan, Scott

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the utility of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2's (MMPI-2) malingering discriminant function index (M-DFI), recently developed by Bacchiochi and Bagby, in the detection of malingering in a forensic sample. Criminal defendants were divided into "malingering" and "not malingering" groups using…

  18. The impact of living with a functional and aesthetic nasal deformity after primary rhinoplasty: a utility outcomes score assessment.

    PubMed

    Sinno, Hani; Izadpanah, Ali; Thibaudeau, Stephanie; Christodoulou, Georges; Tahiri, Youssef; Slavin, Sumner A; Lin, Samuel J

    2012-10-01

    Revision rhinoplasty for functional deformities can be both an aesthetic and reconstructive surgical challenge. We set out to quantify the health state utility assessment of living with the physical appearance of nasal asymmetry along with having nasal obstruction. The use of utility scores has helped to establish the health burden of living with various medical conditions. We sought to quantify living with a health state of nasal asymmetry with nasal obstruction after primary rhinoplasty using utility outcome scores. We used previously validated utility outcome measures to quantify the health burden of this clinical scenario in 128 prospective subjects. These subjects were from a sample of the population and medical students recruited to complete a survey to determine the utility outcome score of revision rhinoplasty using visual analog scale (VAS), time trade-off (TTO), and standard gamble (SG) tests to obtain utility scores for revision rhinoplasty. Linear regression and Student t test were used for statistical analysis. All measures (VAS, TTO, and SG) for functional nasal deformity (0.80±0.13, 0.90±0.12, and 0.91±0.13, respectively) of the 128 prospective subjects participating in this online study were significantly different (P<0.005) from the corresponding scores for monocular blindness (0.63±0.15, 0.85±0.16, and 0.85±0.19, respectively) and binocular blindness (0.38±0.18, 0.66±0.25, and 0.69±0.24, respectively). Being white was inversely related to the VAS utility scores for rhinoplasty (P<0.05). Additionally, female sex was positively correlated to the TTO score. Age, income, and education were not predictors of utility scores. In a sample of the population and medical students, VAS, TTO, and SG utility scores for revision rhinoplasty were determined and can be compared objectively with other health states and diseases with known utility scores. In a preoperative setting, women were objectively willing to potentially "trade" more years of life to

  19. Utility of functioning in predicting costs of care for patients with mood and anxiety disorders: a prospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Twomey, Conal; Cieza, Alarcos; Baldwin, David S

    2017-07-01

    Development of payment systems for mental health services has been hindered by limited evidence for the utility of diagnosis or symptoms in predicting costs of care. We investigated the utility of functioning information in predicting costs for patients with mood and anxiety disorders. This was a prospective cohort study involving 102 adult patients attending a tertiary referral specialist clinic for mood and anxiety disorders. The main outcome was total costs, calculated by applying unit costs to healthcare use data. After adjusting for covariates, a significant total costs association was yielded for functioning (e=1.02; 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.03), but not depressive symptom severity or anxiety symptom severity. When we accounted for the correlations between the main independent variables by constructing an abridged functioning metric, a significant total costs association was again yielded for functioning (e=1.04; 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.09), but not symptom severity. The utility of functioning in predicting costs for patients with mood and anxiety disorders was supported. Functioning information could be useful within mental health payment systems.

  20. Utility of functioning in predicting costs of care for patients with mood and anxiety disorders: a prospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Cieza, Alarcos; Baldwin, David S.

    2017-01-01

    Development of payment systems for mental health services has been hindered by limited evidence for the utility of diagnosis or symptoms in predicting costs of care. We investigated the utility of functioning information in predicting costs for patients with mood and anxiety disorders. This was a prospective cohort study involving 102 adult patients attending a tertiary referral specialist clinic for mood and anxiety disorders. The main outcome was total costs, calculated by applying unit costs to healthcare use data. After adjusting for covariates, a significant total costs association was yielded for functioning (eβ=1.02; 95% confidence interval: 1.01–1.03), but not depressive symptom severity or anxiety symptom severity. When we accounted for the correlations between the main independent variables by constructing an abridged functioning metric, a significant total costs association was again yielded for functioning (eβ=1.04; 95% confidence interval: 1.01–1.09), but not symptom severity. The utility of functioning in predicting costs for patients with mood and anxiety disorders was supported. Functioning information could be useful within mental health payment systems. PMID:28383309

  1. Defining the functional domain of programmed cell death 10 through its interactions with phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate.

    PubMed

    Dibble, Christopher F; Horst, Jeremy A; Malone, Michael H; Park, Kun; Temple, Brenda; Cheeseman, Holly; Barbaro, Justin R; Johnson, Gary L; Bencharit, Sompop

    2010-07-23

    Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular abnormalities of the central nervous system predisposing blood vessels to leakage, leading to hemorrhagic stroke. Three genes, Krit1 (CCM1), OSM (CCM2), and PDCD10 (CCM3) are involved in CCM development. PDCD10 binds specifically to PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 and OSM. Using threading analysis and multi-template modeling, we constructed a three-dimensional model of PDCD10. PDCD10 appears to be a six-helical-bundle protein formed by two heptad-repeat-hairpin structures (alpha1-3 and alpha4-6) sharing the closest 3D homology with the bacterial phosphate transporter, PhoU. We identified a stretch of five lysines forming an amphipathic helix, a potential PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 binding site, in the alpha5 helix. We generated a recombinant wild-type (WT) and three PDCD10 mutants that have two (Delta2KA), three (Delta3KA), and five (Delta5KA) K to A mutations. Delta2KA and Delta3KA mutants hypothetically lack binding residues to PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 at the beginning and the end of predicted helix, while Delta5KA completely lacks all predicted binding residues. The WT, Delta2KA, and Delta3KA mutants maintain their binding to PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. Only the Delta5KA abolishes binding to PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. Both Delta5KA and WT show similar secondary and tertiary structures; however, Delta5KA does not bind to OSM. When WT and Delta5KA are co-expressed with membrane-bound constitutively-active PI3 kinase (p110-CAAX), the majority of the WT is co-localized with p110-CAAX at the plasma membrane where PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 is presumably abundant. In contrast, the Delta5KA remains in the cytoplasm and is not present in the plasma membrane. Combining computational modeling and biological data, we propose that the CCM protein complex functions in the PI3K signaling pathway through the interaction between PDCD10 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3.

  2. Assessment of Postflight Locomotor Performance Utilizing a Test of Functional Mobility: Strategic and Adaptive Responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, L. E.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Cohen, H. S.; Richards, J. T.; Miller, C. A.; Brady, R.; Ruttley, T. M.; Bloomberg, J. J.

    2006-01-01

    /16 crewmembers exhibited significant strategic motor learning patterns in their micro curves, as defined by m > 1 in the equation of the line y=m*LN(x) +b. These data indicate that postflight recovery in locomotor function involves both strategic and adaptive mechanisms. Future countermeasures will be designed to enhance both recovery processes.

  3. Assessment of Postflight Locomotor Performance Utilizing a Test of Functional Mobility: Strategic and Adaptive Responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, L. E.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Cohen, H. S.; Richards, J. T.; Miller, C. A.; Brady, R.; Ruttley, T. M.; Bloomberg, J. J.

    2006-01-01

    /16 crewmembers exhibited significant strategic motor learning patterns in their micro curves, as defined by m > 1 in the equation of the line y=m*LN(x) +b. These data indicate that postflight recovery in locomotor function involves both strategic and adaptive mechanisms. Future countermeasures will be designed to enhance both recovery processes.

  4. Generation of Functional Human Retinal Ganglion Cells with Target Specificity from Pluripotent Stem Cells by Chemically Defined Recapitulation of Developmental Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Teotia, Pooja; Chopra, Divyan A; Dravid, Shashank Manohar; Van Hook, Matthew J; Qiu, Fang; Morrison, John; Rizzino, Angie; Ahmad, Iqbal

    2017-03-01

    Glaucoma is a complex group of diseases wherein a selective degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) lead to irreversible loss of vision. A comprehensive approach to glaucomatous RGC degeneration may include stem cells to functionally replace dead neurons through transplantation and understand RGCs vulnerability using a disease in a dish stem cell model. Both approaches require the directed generation of stable, functional, and target-specific RGCs from renewable sources of cells, that is, the embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Here, we demonstrate a rapid and safe, stage-specific, chemically defined protocol that selectively generates RGCs across species, including human, by recapitulating the developmental mechanism. The de novo generated RGCs from pluripotent cells are similar to native RGCs at the molecular, biochemical, functional levels. They also express axon guidance molecules, and discriminate between specific and nonspecific targets, and are nontumorigenic. Stem Cells 2017;35:572-585. © 2016 AlphaMed Press.

  5. Mapping the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) to EQ-5D utility scores.

    PubMed

    Kay, Stephen; Ferreira, Alberto

    2014-04-01

    To develop a mapping algorithm for the estimation of EQ-5D-based utility scores from observed 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) scores, a disease-specific, patient-reported outcome measure used in several retinal disorders to evaluate vision-specific functioning. The dataset comprised 951 paired EQ-5D/NEI VFQ-25 observations from 344 patients in RESTORE, a 12-month, randomized, double-blind trial in individuals with visual impairment due to diabetic macular edema. EQ-5D index scores (utilities) were calculated based on the UK tariff. We evaluated 11 models using predictor sets based on the NEI VFQ-25 subscales to estimate utility as a function of NEI VFQ-25 score, based on four modeling techniques. Model performance was assessed by 10-fold cross-validation comparing root mean squared error (RMSE), mean absolute error (MAE) and correlation with EQ-5D score (Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients). Mapping results were similar across all techniques and predictor sets. The reverse two-part generalized estimating equation model used fewest predictors and had the best predictive performance (RMSE 0.200, MAE 0.140). Predicted and original EQ-5D values were not strongly correlated (squared Spearman correlation coefficient, 0.34). Although mapping disease-specific instruments to EQ-5D utilities is a preferred method by some reimbursement bodies, finding an appropriate mapping equation is not straightforward. In this study, mapping NEI VFQ-25 scores to EQ-5D utilities provided low predictive power, independent of the modeling methodology applied, suggesting an inability of the EQ-5D to discriminate vision-related activities, and highlighting that mapping exercises may lead to inaccurate utility values that do not represent patients' preferences.

  6. Evaluation of the Utility of a Discrete-Trial Functional Analysis in Early Intervention Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kodak, Tiffany; Fisher, Wayne W.; Paden, Amber; Dickes, Nitasha

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated a discrete-trial functional analysis implemented by regular classroom staff in a classroom setting. The results suggest that the discrete-trial functional analysis identified a social function for each participant and may require fewer staff than standard functional analysis procedures.

  7. Evaluation of the Utility of a Discrete-Trial Functional Analysis in Early Intervention Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kodak, Tiffany; Fisher, Wayne W.; Paden, Amber; Dickes, Nitasha

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated a discrete-trial functional analysis implemented by regular classroom staff in a classroom setting. The results suggest that the discrete-trial functional analysis identified a social function for each participant and may require fewer staff than standard functional analysis procedures.

  8. Evaluation of the utility of a discrete-trial functional analysis in early intervention classrooms.

    PubMed

    Kodak, Tiffany; Fisher, Wayne W; Paden, Amber; Dickes, Nitasha

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated a discrete-trial functional analysis implemented by regular classroom staff in a classroom setting. The results suggest that the discrete-trial functional analysis identified a social function for each participant and may require fewer staff than standard functional analysis procedures.

  9. Functional analysis of arabinofuranosidases and a xylanase of Corynebacterium alkanolyticum for arabinoxylan utilization in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

    PubMed

    Kuge, Takayuki; Watanabe, Akira; Hasegawa, Satoshi; Teramoto, Haruhiko; Inui, Masayuki

    2017-06-01

    Xylooligosaccharides (XOSs) and arabinoxylooligosaccharides (AXOSs) are major oligosaccharides derived from arabinoxylan. In our previous report, Corynebacterium glutamicum was engineered to utilize XOSs by introducing Corynebacterium alkanolyticum xyloside transporter and β-xylosidase. However, this strain was unable to consume AXOSs due to the absence of α-L-arabinofuranosidase activity. In this study, to confer AXOS utilization ability on C. glutamicum, two putative arabinofuranosidase genes (abf51A and abf51B) were isolated from C. alkanolyticum by the combination of degenerate PCR and genome walking methods. Recombinant Abf51A and Abf51B heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli showed arabinofuranosidase activities toward 4-nitrophenyl-α-L-arabinofuranoside with k cat values of 150 and 63, respectively, with optimum at pH 6.0 to 6.5. However, Abf51A showed only a slight activity toward AXOSs and was more susceptible to product inhibition by arabinose and xylose than Abf51B. Introduction of abf51B gene into the C. glutamicum XOS-utilizing strain enabled it to utilize AXOSs as well as XOSs. The xylI gene encoding a putative xylanase was found upstream of the C. alkanolyticum xyloside transporter genes. A signal peptide was predicted at the N-terminus of the xylI-encoding polypeptide, which indicated XylI was a secreted protein. Recombinant mature XylI protein heterologously expressed in E. coli showed a xylanase activity toward xylans from various plant sources with optimum at pH 6.5, and C. glutamicum recombinant strain expressing native XylI released xylose, xylobiose, xylotriose, and arabino-xylobiose from arabinoxylan. Finally, introduction of the xylI gene into the C. glutamicum AXOS-utilizing strain enabled it to directly utilize arabinoxylan.

  10. Structure-Function Analysis of 2-Keto-3-Deoxy-D-Glycero-D-Galacto-Nononate-9-Phosphate Phosphatase Defines Specificity Elements in Type C0 had Family Members

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Z.; Wang, L; Dunaway-Mariano, D; Allen, K

    2009-01-01

    The phosphotransferases of the haloalkanoate dehalogenase superfamily (HADSF) act upon a wide range of metabolites in all eukaryotes and prokaryotes and thus constitute a significant force in cell function. The challenge posed for biochemical function assignment of HADSF members is the identification of the structural determinants that target a specific metabolite. The '8KDOP' subfamily of the HADSF is defined by the known structure and catalytic activity of 2-keto-3-deoxy-8-phospho-d-manno-octulosonic acid (KDO-8-P) phosphatase. Homologues of this enzyme have been uniformly annotated as KDO-8-P phosphatase. One such gene, BT1713, from the Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron genome was recently found to encode the enzyme 2-keto-3-deoxy-d-glycero-d-galacto-9-phosphonononic acid (KDN-9-P) phosphatase in the biosynthetic pathway of the 9-carbon ?-keto acid, 2-keto-3-deoxy-d-glycero-d-galactonononic acid (KDN). To find the structural elements that provide substrate-specific interactions and to allow identification of genomic sequence markers, the x-ray crystal structures of BT1713 liganded to the cofactor Mg2+and complexed with tungstate or Formula/Neu5Ac were determined to 1.1, 1.85, and 1.63 A resolution, respectively. The structures define the active site to be at the subunit interface and, as confirmed by steady-state kinetics and site-directed mutagenesis, reveal Arg-64*, Lys-67*, and Glu-56 to be the key residues involved in sugar binding that are essential for BT1713 catalytic function. Bioinformatic analyses of the differentially conserved residues between BT1713 and KDO-8-P phosphatase homologues guided by the knowledge of the structure-based specificity determinants define Glu-56 and Lys-67* to be the key residues that can be used in future annotations.

  11. Structure-function analysis of 2-keto-3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galactonononate-9-phosphate phosphatase defines specificity elements in type C0 haloalkanoate dehalogenase family members.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhibing; Wang, Liangbing; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra; Allen, Karen N

    2009-01-09

    The phosphotransferases of the haloalkanoate dehalogenase superfamily (HADSF) act upon a wide range of metabolites in all eukaryotes and prokaryotes and thus constitute a significant force in cell function. The challenge posed for biochemical function assignment of HADSF members is the identification of the structural determinants that target a specific metabolite. The "8KDOP" subfamily of the HADSF is defined by the known structure and catalytic activity of 2-keto-3-deoxy-8-phospho-d-manno-octulosonic acid (KDO-8-P) phosphatase. Homologues of this enzyme have been uniformly annotated as KDO-8-P phosphatase. One such gene, BT1713, from the Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron genome was recently found to encode the enzyme 2-keto-3-deoxy-d-glycero-d-galacto-9-phosphonononic acid (KDN-9-P) phosphatase in the biosynthetic pathway of the 9-carbon alpha-keto acid, 2-keto-3-deoxy-d-glycero-d-galactonononic acid (KDN). To find the structural elements that provide substrate-specific interactions and to allow identification of genomic sequence markers, the x-ray crystal structures of BT1713 liganded to the cofactor Mg(2+)and complexed with tungstate or VO(3)(-)/Neu5Ac were determined to 1.1, 1.85, and 1.63 A resolution, respectively. The structures define the active site to be at the subunit interface and, as confirmed by steady-state kinetics and site-directed mutagenesis, reveal Arg-64(*), Lys-67(*), and Glu-56 to be the key residues involved in sugar binding that are essential for BT1713 catalytic function. Bioinformatic analyses of the differentially conserved residues between BT1713 and KDO-8-P phosphatase homologues guided by the knowledge of the structure-based specificity determinants define Glu-56 and Lys-67(*) to be the key residues that can be used in future annotations.

  12. The physiological basis of Glottal electromagnetic micropower sensors (GEMS) and their use in defining an excitation function for the human vocal tract

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnett, Gregory Clell

    1999-10-01

    The definition, use, and physiological basis of Glottal Electromagnetic Micropower Sensors (GEMS) is presented. These sensors are a new type of low power (<20 milliwatts radiated) microwave regime (900 MHz to 2.5 GHz) multi-purpose motion sensor developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The GEMS are sensitive to movement in an adjustable field of view (FOV) surrounding the antennae. In this thesis, the GEMS has been utilized for speech research, targeted to receive motion signals from the subglottal region of the trachea. The GEMS signal is analyzed to determine the physiological source of the signal, and this information is used to calculate the subglottal pressure, effectively an excitation function for the human vocal tract. For the first time, an excitation function may be calculated in near real time using a noninvasive procedure. Several experiments and models are presented to demonstrate that the GEMS signal is representative of the motion of the subglottal posterior wall of the trachea as it vibrates in response to the pressure changes caused by the folds as they modulate the airflow supplied by the lungs. The vibrational properties of the tracheal wall are modeled using a lumped-element circuit model. Taking the output of the vocal tract to be the audio pressure captured by a microphone and the input to be the subglottal pressure, the transfer function of the vocal tract (including the nasal cavities) can be approximated every 10-30 milliseconds using an autoregressive moving-average model. Unlike the currently utilized method of transfer function approximation, this new method only involves noninvasive GEMS measurements and digital signal processing and does not demand the difficult task of obtaining precise physical measurements of the tract and subsequent estimation of the transfer function using its cross-sectional area. The ability to measure the physical motion of the trachea enables a significant number of potential applications

  13. Defining Platelet Function During Polytrauma

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-01

    Dosage of any hemostatic agents administered including activated Factor VII.  Dosage of any anticoagulants including subcutaneous heparin for deep...Intentional self-inflicted injury  Recent (within 2 weeks) use of anticoagulants including heparins, aspirin, clopidogrel, prasugrel, or...admission use of aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, warfarin, heparins, or specific antiplatelet drugs.  Major injuries as identified by

  14. Defining Platelet Function During Polytrauma

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

    Intentional self-inflicted injury  Recent (within 2 weeks) use of anticoagulants including heparins, aspirin , clopidogrel, prasugrel, or warfarin as...Pre-admission use of aspirin , non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, warfarin, heparins, or specific antiplatelet drugs.  Major injuries as...OxycodoneorepinephriVancomycinhenylephrinOndasetronGabapentin Aspirin Gabapentin cetaminoph OxycodoneorepinephriVancomycinEnoxaparinOndasetronCaGluconate Aspirin Morphine cetaminoph

  15. Function and Aesthetics: Defining Craftsmanship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacEachren, Zabe

    2004-01-01

    Many experiential education programs are developed on pillars promoting craftsmanship. Changing cultural situations have altered both our definition of, and the experiences offered to, participants that influence their concept of craftsmanship. By using Kurt Hahn's educational ideas, various experiences are explored and critiqued to determine what…

  16. Effects of Cognition, Function, and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms on Medicare Expenditures and Health Care Utilization for Persons With Dementia.

    PubMed

    Jutkowitz, Eric; Kane, Robert L; Dowd, Bryan; Gaugler, Joseph E; MacLehose, Richard F; Kuntz, Karen M

    2017-06-01

    Clinical features of dementia (cognition, function, and behavioral/psychological symptoms [BPSD]) may differentially affect Medicare expenditures/health care utilization. We linked cross-sectional data from the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study to Medicare data to evaluate the association between dementia clinical features among those with dementia and Medicare expenditures/health care utilization (n = 234). Cognition was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Function was evaluated as the number of functional limitations (0-10). BPSD was evaluated as the number of symptoms (0-12). Expenditures were estimated with a generalized linear model (log-link and gamma distribution). Number of hospitalizations, institutional outpatient visits, and physician visits were estimated with a negative binomial regression. Medicare covered skilled nursing days were estimated with a zero-inflated negative binomial model. Cognition and BPSD were not associated with expenditures. Among individuals with less than seven functional limitations, one additional limitation was associated with $123 (95% confidence interval: $19-$227) additional monthly Medicare spending. Better cognition and poorer function were associated with more hospitalizations among those with an MMSE less than three and less than six functional limitations, respectively. BPSD had no effect on hospitalizations. Poorer function and fewer BPSD were associated with more skilled nursing among individuals with one to seven functional limitations and more than four symptoms, respectively. Cognition had no effect on skilled nursing care. No clinical feature was associated with institutional outpatient care. Of individuals with an MMSE less than 15, poorer cognition was associated with fewer physician visits. Among those with more than six functional limitations, poorer function was associated with fewer physician visits. Poorer function, not cognition or BPSD, was associated with higher Medicare

  17. Apoptosis-mediated endothelial toxicity but not direct calcification or functional changes in anti-calcification proteins defines pathogenic effects of calcium phosphate bions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutikhin, Anton G.; Velikanova, Elena A.; Mukhamadiyarov, Rinat A.; Glushkova, Tatiana V.; Borisov, Vadim V.; Matveeva, Vera G.; Antonova, Larisa V.; Filip'Ev, Dmitriy E.; Golovkin, Alexey S.; Shishkova, Daria K.; Burago, Andrey Yu.; Frolov, Alexey V.; Dolgov, Viktor Yu.; Efimova, Olga S.; Popova, Anna N.; Malysheva, Valentina Yu.; Vladimirov, Alexandr A.; Sozinov, Sergey A.; Ismagilov, Zinfer R.; Russakov, Dmitriy M.; Lomzov, Alexander A.; Pyshnyi, Dmitriy V.; Gutakovsky, Anton K.; Zhivodkov, Yuriy A.; Demidov, Evgeniy A.; Peltek, Sergey E.; Dolganyuk, Viatcheslav F.; Babich, Olga O.; Grigoriev, Evgeniy V.; Brusina, Elena B.; Barbarash, Olga L.; Yuzhalin, Arseniy E.

    2016-06-01

    Calcium phosphate bions (CPB) are biomimetic mineralo-organic nanoparticles which represent a physiological mechanism regulating the function, transport and disposal of calcium and phosphorus in the human body. We hypothesised that CPB may be pathogenic entities and even a cause of cardiovascular calcification. Here we revealed that CPB isolated from calcified atherosclerotic plaques and artificially synthesised CPB are morphologically and chemically indistinguishable entities. Their formation is accelerated along with the increase in calcium salts-phosphates/serum concentration ratio. Experiments in vitro and in vivo showed that pathogenic effects of CPB are defined by apoptosis-mediated endothelial toxicity but not by direct tissue calcification or functional changes in anti-calcification proteins. Since the factors underlying the formation of CPB and their pathogenic mechanism closely resemble those responsible for atherosclerosis development, further research in this direction may help us to uncover triggers of this disease.

  18. Apoptosis-mediated endothelial toxicity but not direct calcification or functional changes in anti-calcification proteins defines pathogenic effects of calcium phosphate bions

    PubMed Central

    Kutikhin, Anton G.; Velikanova, Elena A.; Mukhamadiyarov, Rinat A.; Glushkova, Tatiana V.; Borisov, Vadim V.; Matveeva, Vera G.; Antonova, Larisa V.; Filip’ev, Dmitriy E.; Golovkin, Alexey S.; Shishkova, Daria K.; Burago, Andrey Yu.; Frolov, Alexey V.; Dolgov, Viktor Yu.; Efimova, Olga S.; Popova, Anna N.; Malysheva, Valentina Yu.; Vladimirov, Alexandr A.; Sozinov, Sergey A.; Ismagilov, Zinfer R.; Russakov, Dmitriy M.; Lomzov, Alexander A.; Pyshnyi, Dmitriy V.; Gutakovsky, Anton K.; Zhivodkov, Yuriy A.; Demidov, Evgeniy A.; Peltek, Sergey E.; Dolganyuk, Viatcheslav F.; Babich, Olga O.; Grigoriev, Evgeniy V.; Brusina, Elena B.; Barbarash, Olga L.; Yuzhalin, Arseniy E.

    2016-01-01

    Calcium phosphate bions (CPB) are biomimetic mineralo-organic nanoparticles which represent a physiological mechanism regulating the function, transport and disposal of calcium and phosphorus in the human body. We hypothesised that CPB may be pathogenic entities and even a cause of cardiovascular calcification. Here we revealed that CPB isolated from calcified atherosclerotic plaques and artificially synthesised CPB are morphologically and chemically indistinguishable entities. Their formation is accelerated along with the increase in calcium salts-phosphates/serum concentration ratio. Experiments in vitro and in vivo showed that pathogenic effects of CPB are defined by apoptosis-mediated endothelial toxicity but not by direct tissue calcification or functional changes in anti-calcification proteins. Since the factors underlying the formation of CPB and their pathogenic mechanism closely resemble those responsible for atherosclerosis development, further research in this direction may help us to uncover triggers of this disease. PMID:27251104

  19. [An oral function improvement program utilizing health behavior theories ameliorates oral functions and oral hygienic conditions of pre-frail elderly persons].

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Hideo

    2014-06-01

    Oral function improvement programs utilizing health behavior theories are considered to be effective in preventing the need for long-term social care. In the present study, an oral function improvement program based upon health behavior theories was designed, and its utility was assessed in 102 pre-frail elderly persons (33 males, 69 females, mean age: 76.9 +/- 5.7) considered to be in potential need of long-term social care and attending a long-term care prevention class in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. The degree of improvement in oral functions (7 items) and oral hygienic conditions (3 items) was assessed by comparing oral health before and after participation in the program. The results showed statistically significant improvements in the following oral functions: (1) lip functions (oral diadochokinesis, measured by the regularity of the repetition of the syllable "Pa"), (2) tongue functions, (3) tongue root motor skills (oral diadochokinesis, measured by the regularity of the repetition of the syllables "Ta" and "Ka"), (4) tongue extension/retraction, (5) side-to-side tongue movement functions, (6) cheek motor skills, and (7) repetitive saliva swallowing test (RSST). The following measures of oral hygiene also showed a statistically significant improvement: (1) debris on dentures or teeth, (2) coated tongue, and (3) frequency of oral cleaning. These findings demonstrated that an improvement program informed by health behavior theories is useful in improving oral functions and oral hygiene conditions.

  20. Benchmarking the performance of density functional theory based Green's function formalism utilizing different self-energy models in calculating electronic transmission through molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Prociuk, Alexander; Van Kuiken, Ben; Dunietz, Barry D

    2006-11-28

    Electronic transmission through a metal-molecule-metal system is calculated by employing a Green's function formalism in the scattering based scheme. Self-energy models representing the bulk and the potential bias are used to describe electron transport through the molecular system. Different self-energies can be defined by varying the partition between device and bulk regions of the metal-molecule-metal model system. In addition, the self-energies are calculated with different representations of the bulk through its Green's function. In this work, the dependence of the calculated transmission on varying the self-energy subspaces is benchmarked. The calculated transmission is monitored with respect to the different choices defining the self-energy model. In this report, we focus on one-dimensional model systems with electronic structures calculated at the density functional level of theory.

  1. The phylogenetic utility and functional constraint of microRNA flanking sequences

    PubMed Central

    Kenny, Nathan J.; Sin, Yung Wa; Hayward, Alexander; Paps, Jordi; Chu, Ka Hou; Hui, Jerome H. L.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently risen to prominence as novel factors responsible for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNA genes have been posited as highly conserved in the clades in which they exist. Consequently, miRNAs have been used as rare genome change characters to estimate phylogeny by tracking their gain and loss. However, their short length (21–23 bp) has limited their perceived utility in sequenced-based phylogenetic inference. Here, using reference taxa with established phylogenetic relationships, we demonstrate that miRNA sequences are of high utility in quantitative, rather than in qualitative, phylogenetic analysis. The clear orthology among miRNA genes from different species makes it straightforward to identify and align these sequences from even fragmentary datasets. We also identify significant sequence conservation in the regions directly flanking miRNA genes, and show that this too is of utility in phylogenetic analysis, as well as highlighting conserved regions that will be of interest to other fields. Employing miRNA sequences from 12 sequenced drosophilid genomes, together with a Tribolium castaneum outgroup, we demonstrate that this approach is robust using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood methods. The utility of these characters is further demonstrated in the rhabditid nematodes and primates. As next-generation sequencing makes it more cost-effective to sequence genomes and small RNA libraries, this methodology provides an alternative data source for phylogenetic analysis. The approach allows rapid resolution of relationships between both closely related and rapidly evolving species, and provides an additional tool for investigation of relationships within the tree of life. PMID:25694624

  2. Determining firms׳ utility functions and competitive roles from data on market shares using Lotka-Volterra models.

    PubMed

    Marasco, A; Picucci, A; Romano, A

    2016-06-01

    In this article, we include data on historical and estimated market shares of two markets. In particular, we include annual data on the market shares of the Japanese beer market (1963-2000) and biannual data on the market shares of the mobile phones market in Greece (1998-2007). In addition, we estimate monthly data on market shares for both markets. We show how this data can be used to derive firms' utility functions and their competitive roles.

  3. Functional Heterogeneity of Breast Fibroblasts Is Defined by a Prostaglandin Secretory Phenotype that Promotes Expansion of Cancer-Stem Like Cells

    PubMed Central

    Rudnick, Jenny A.; Arendt, Lisa M.; Klebba, Ina; Hinds, John W.; Iyer, Vandana; Gupta, Piyush B.; Naber, Stephen P.; Kuperwasser, Charlotte

    2011-01-01

    Fibroblasts are important in orchestrating various functions necessary for maintaining normal tissue homeostasis as well as promoting malignant tumor growth. Significant evidence indicates that fibroblasts are functionally heterogeneous with respect to their ability to promote tumor growth, but markers that can be used to distinguish growth promoting from growth suppressing fibroblasts remain ill-defined. Here we show that human breast fibroblasts are functionally heterogeneous with respect to tumor-promoting activity regardless of whether they were isolated from normal or cancerous breast tissues. Rather than significant differences in fibroblast marker expression, we show that fibroblasts secreting abundant levels of prostaglandin (PGE2), when isolated from either reduction mammoplasty or carcinoma tissues, were both capable of enhancing tumor growth in vivo and could increase the number of cancer stem-like cells. PGE2 further enhanced the tumor promoting properties of fibroblasts by increasing secretion of IL-6, which was necessary, but not sufficient, for expansion of breast cancer stem-like cells. These findings identify a population of fibroblasts which both produce and respond to PGE2, and that are functionally distinct from other fibroblasts. Identifying markers of these cells could allow for the targeted ablation of tumor-promoting and inflammatory fibroblasts in human breast cancers. PMID:21957456

  4. Gigantic enhancement in response and reset time of ZnO UV nanosensor by utilizing Schottky contact and surface functionalization

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jun; Gu, Yudong; Hu, Youfan; Mai, Wenjie; Yeh, Ping-Hung; Bao, Gang; Sood, Ashok K.; Polla, Dennis L.; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2009-01-01

    UV response of ZnO nanowire nanosensor has been studied under ambient condition. By utilizing Schottky contact instead of Ohmic contact in device fabrication, the UV sensitivity of the nanosensor has been improved by four orders of magnitude, and the reset time has been drastically reduced from ∼417 to ∼0.8 s. By further surface functionalization with function polymers, the reset time has been reduced to ∼20 ms even without correcting the electronic response of the measurement system. These results demonstrate an effective approach for building high response and fast reset UV detectors. PMID:19654881

  5. [Efficient construction of nitrogen-containing heterocycles utilizing CN functional groups and its application to the synthesis of natural products].

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Yusuke

    2011-01-01

    Viridicatin derivatives were synthesized from cyanoacetanilides utilizing the CN groups as electron-withdrawing groups and leaving groups. Also, the key scaffolds of glycocitlones were constructed via the intramolecular Houben-Hoesch-type reactions of cyanoacetanilides where the CN groups functioned as electrophiles. It was found that Houben-Hoesch-type reactions of cyanoacetanilides were promoted by α-functionalization such as perfluoroacylation and N,N-dimethylaminomethylenation and that introduction of such substituents at α-position with respect to the CN groups greatly influenced the physical properties and chemical reactivity of the CN groups.

  6. The importance of chemistry in creating well-defined nanoscopic embedded therapeutics: devices capable of the dual functions of imaging and therapy.

    PubMed

    Nyström, Andreas M; Wooley, Karen L

    2011-10-18

    Nanomedicine is a rapidly evolving field, for which polymer building blocks are proving useful for the construction of sophisticated devices that provide enhanced diagnostic imaging and treatment of disease, known as theranostics. These well-defined nanoscopic objects have high loading capacities, can protect embedded therapeutic cargo, and offer control over the conditions and rates of release. Theranostics also offer external surface area for the conjugation of ligands to impart stealth characteristics and/or direct their interactions with biological receptors and provide a framework for conjugation of imaging agents to track delivery to diseased site(s). The nanoscopic dimensions allow for extensive biological circulation. The incorporation of such multiple functions is complicated, requiring exquisite chemical control during production and rigorous characterization studies to confirm the compositions, structures, properties, and performance. We are particularly interested in the study of nanoscopic objects designed for treatment of lung infections and acute lung injury, urinary tract infections, and cancer. This Account highlights our work over several years to tune the assembly of unique nanostructures. We provide examples of how the composition, structure, dimensions, and morphology of theranostic devices can tune their performance as drug delivery agents for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. The evolution of nanostructured materials from relatively simple overall shapes and internal morphologies to those of increasing complexity is driving the development of synthetic methodologies for the preparation of increasingly complex nanomedicine devices. Our nanomedicine devices are derived from macromolecules that have well-defined compositions, structures, and topologies, which provide a framework for their programmed assembly into nanostructures with controlled sizes, shapes, and morphologies. The inclusion of functional units within selective

  7. A statewide survey assessing practitioners' use and perceived utility of functional assessment.

    PubMed

    Roscoe, Eileen M; Phillips, Katurri M; Kelly, Maureen A; Farber, Rachel; Dube, William V

    2015-12-01

    The field of applied behavior analysis emphasizes the importance of conducting functional assessment before treatment development for problem behavior. There is, however, little information regarding the extent to which practitioners are using functional assessment in applied settings for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). The purpose of the current study was to conduct a survey to assess the degree to which various types of functional assessment are implemented in agencies that serve individuals with DD in Massachusetts. Practitioners were asked to indicate their perception about and use of the various categories of functional assessment (e.g., indirect assessment, descriptive assessment, and functional analysis). From the 205 respondents who completed the survey, the most frequently used functional assessment was descriptive assessment. Results indicated that although the majority (67.8%) of practitioners believe functional analysis to be the most informative assessment tool for selecting behavioral treatment, only 34.6% of respondents indicated that they typically use functional analysis to inform the development of a behavior plan. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  8. Estimating FIA plot characteristics using NAIP imagery, function modeling, and the RMRS raster utility coding library

    Treesearch

    John S. Hogland; Nathaniel M. Anderson

    2015-01-01

    Raster modeling is an integral component of spatial analysis. However, conventional raster modeling techniques can require a substantial amount of processing time and storage space, often limiting the types of analyses that can be performed. To address this issue, we have developed Function Modeling. Function Modeling is a new modeling framework that streamlines the...

  9. Estimating FIA plot characteristics using NAIP imagery, function modeling, and the RMRS Raster Utility coding library

    Treesearch

    John S. Hogland; Nathaniel M. Anderson

    2015-01-01

    Raster modeling is an integral component of spatial analysis. However, conventional raster modeling techniques can require a substantial amount of processing time and storage space, often limiting the types of analyses that can be performed. To address this issue, we have developed Function Modeling. Function Modeling is a new modeling framework that...

  10. Treatment Utility of Functional versus Empiric Assessment within Consultation for Reading Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beavers, Karen F.; Kratochwill, Thomas R.; Braden, Jeffery P.

    2004-01-01

    In this study, 18 teachers and 32 of their students who had reading difficulties were randomly assigned to one of two assessment conditions. In the functional assessment condition, consultants identified functional relationships among environmental events and targeted reading behaviors to develop an intervention plan. In the empiric condition,…

  11. The Utility of CDOM for Improving the Resolution of Riverine DOM Fluxes and Biogeochemical Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, R. G.; Aiken, G.; Mann, P. J.; Holmes, R. M.; Niggemann, J.; Dittmar, T.; Hernes, P.; Stubbins, A.

    2014-12-01

    A major historical limitation to geochemical studies assessing fluvial fluxes of dissolved organic matter (DOM) has been the issue of both temporal and spatial scaling. Examples will be presented from watersheds around the world highlighting how chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) measurements can be utilized as proxies for more intensive and expensive analytical analyses (e.g. molecular-level organic biomarkers). Utilizing these refined CDOM loads for terrigenous biomarkers results in improved temporal resolution and a significant change in flux estimates. Examining CDOM and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux data from an assortment of terrestrial biomes we establish a robust relationship between CDOM and DOC loads. The application of this relationship allows future studies to derive DOC loads from CDOM utilizing emerging in-situ or remote sensing technologies and thus refine river-to-ocean DOC fluxes, as well as exploit historic imagery to examine how fluxes may have changed. Calculated CDOM yields from a range of rivers are correlated to watershed percent wetland and highlight the importance of certain regions with respect to CDOM flux to the coastal ocean. This approach indicates that future studies might predict CDOM and DOC yields for different watershed types that could then be readily converted to loads providing for the estimation of CDOM and DOC export from ungauged watersheds. Examination of CDOM yields also highlights important geographical regions for future study with respect to the role of terrigenous CDOM in ocean color budgets and CDOM's role in biogeochemical processes. Finally, examples will be presented linking CDOM parameters to DOM composition and biogeochemical properties with the aim of providing measurements to improve the spatial and especially temporal resolution of the role DOM plays in fluvial networks.

  12. The Utility of the HSAB Principle via the Fukui Function in Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Faver, John; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2010-01-01

    The hard/soft acid-base principle has long been known to be an excellent predictor of chemical reactivity. The Fukui function, a reactivity descriptor from conceptual density functional theory, has been shown to be related to the local softness of a system. The usefulness of the Fukui function is explored and demonstrated herein for three common biological problems: ligand docking, active site detection, and protein folding. In each type of study, a scoring function is developed based on the local HSAB principle using atomic Fukui indices. Even with necessary approximations for its use in large systems, the Fukui function remains a useful descriptor for predicting chemical reactivity and understanding chemical systems. PMID:20369029

  13. Method for utilizing properties of the sinc(x) function for phase retrieval on nyquist-under-sampled data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Bruce H. (Inventor); Smith, Jeffrey Scott (Inventor); Aronstein, David L. (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    Disclosed herein are systems, methods, and non-transitory computer-readable storage media for simulating propagation of an electromagnetic field, performing phase retrieval, or sampling a band-limited function. A system practicing the method generates transformed data using a discrete Fourier transform which samples a band-limited function f(x) without interpolating or modifying received data associated with the function f(x), wherein an interval between repeated copies in a periodic extension of the function f(x) obtained from the discrete Fourier transform is associated with a sampling ratio Q, defined as a ratio of a sampling frequency to a band-limited frequency, and wherein Q is assigned a value between 1 and 2 such that substantially no aliasing occurs in the transformed data, and retrieves a phase in the received data based on the transformed data, wherein the phase is used as feedback to an optical system.

  14. Clinical utility and validity of the Functional Disability Inventory (FDI) among a multicenter sample of youth with chronic pain

    PubMed Central

    Kashikar-Zuck, Susmita; Flowers, Stacy R.; Claar, Robyn Lewis; Guite, Jessica W.; Logan, Deirdre E.; Lynch-Jordan, Anne M; Palermo, Tonya M.; Wilson, Anna C.

    2011-01-01

    The Functional Disability Inventory (FDI) is a well-established and commonly used measure of physical functioning and disability in youth with chronic pain. Further validation of the measure has been called for, in particular, examination of the clinical utility and factor structure of the measure. To address this need, we utilized a large multicenter dataset of pediatric patients with chronic pain who had completed the FDI and other measures assessing pain and emotional functioning. Clinical reference points to allow for interpretation of raw scores were developed to enhance clinical utility of the measure and exploratory factor analysis was performed to examine its factor structure. Participants included 1300 youth ages 8 to 18 years (M=14.2 years; 76% female) with chronic pain. Examination of the distribution of FDI scores and validation with measures of depressive symptoms and pain intensity yielded three distinct categories of disability: No/Minimal Disability, Moderate Disability and Severe Disability. Factor analysis of FDI scores revealed a two-factor solution representing vigorous Physical Activities and non-physically strenuous Daily Activities. The three-level classification system and factor structure were further explored via comparison across the four most commonly encountered pain conditions in clinical settings (head, back, abdominal and widespread pain). Our findings provide important new information regarding the clinical utility and validity of the FDI. This will greatly enhance the interpretability of scores for research and clinical use in a wide range of pediatric pain conditions. In particular these findings will facilitate use of the FDI as an outcome measure in future clinical trials. PMID:21458162

  15. Identification and functional analysis of the gene cluster for fructan utilization in Prevotella intermedia.

    PubMed

    Fuse, Haruka; Fukamachi, Haruka; Inoue, Mitsuko; Igarashi, Takeshi

    2013-02-25

    Fructanase enzymes hydrolyze the β-2,6 and β-2,1 linkages of levan and inulin fructans, respectively. We analyzed the influence of fructan on the growth of Prevotella intermedia. The growth of P. intermedia was enhanced by addition of inulin, implying that P. intermedia could also use inulin. Based on this finding, we identified and analyzed the genes encoding a putative fructanase (FruA), sugar transporter (FruB), and fructokinase (FruK) in the genome of strain ATCC25611. Transcript analysis by RT-PCR showed that the fruABK genes were co-transcribed as a single mRNA and semi-quantitative analysis confirmed that the fruA gene was induced in response to fructose and inulin. Recombinant FruA and FruK were purified and characterized biochemically. FruA strongly hydrolyzed inulin, with slight degradation of levan via an exo-type mechanism, revealing that FruA is an exo-β-d-fructanase. FruK converted fructose to fructose-6-phosphate in the presence of ATP, confirming that FruK is an ATP-dependent fructokinase. These results suggest that P. intermedia can utilize fructan as a carbon source for growth, and that the fructanase, sugar transporter, and fructokinase proteins we identified are involved in this fructan utilization.

  16. Morphological and functional characterization of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons (iCell Neurons) in defined culture systems.

    PubMed

    Berry, Bonnie J; Akanda, Nesar; Smith, Alec S T; Long, Christopher J; Schnepper, Mark T; Guo, Xiufang; Hickman, James J

    2015-01-01

    Pre-clinical testing of drug candidates in animal models is expensive, time-consuming, and often fails to predict drug effects in humans. Industry and academia alike are working to build human-based in vitro test beds and advanced high throughput screening systems to improve the translation of preclinical results to human drug trials. Human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stems cells (hiPSCs) are readily available for use within these test-beds and high throughput screens, but there remains a need to robustly evaluate cellular behavior prior to their incorporation in such systems. This study reports on the characterization of one source of commercially available hiPSC-derived neurons, iCell(®) Neurons, for their long-term viability and functional performance to assess their suitability for integration within advanced in vitro platforms. The purity, morphology, survival, identity, and functional maturation of the cells utilizing different culture substrates and medium combinations were evaluated over 28 days in vitro (DIV). Patch-clamp electrophysiological data demonstrated increased capacity for repetitive firing of action potentials across all culture conditions. Significant differences in cellular maturity, morphology, and functional performance were observed in the different conditions, highlighting the importance of evaluating different surface types and growth medium compositions for application in specific in vitro protocols.

  17. Functional genomics screening utilizing mutant mouse embryonic stem cells identifies novel radiation-response genes.

    PubMed

    Loesch, Kimberly; Galaviz, Stacy; Hamoui, Zaher; Clanton, Ryan; Akabani, Gamal; Deveau, Michael; DeJesus, Michael; Ioerger, Thomas; Sacchettini, James C; Wallis, Deeann

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the genetic determinants of radiation response is crucial to optimizing and individualizing radiotherapy for cancer patients. In order to identify genes that are involved in enhanced sensitivity or resistance to radiation, a library of stable mutant murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), each with a defined mutation, was screened for cell viability and gene expression in response to radiation exposure. We focused on a cancer-relevant subset of over 500 mutant ESC lines. We identified 13 genes; 7 genes that have been previously implicated in radiation response and 6 other genes that have never been implicated in radiation response. After screening, proteomic analysis showed enrichment for genes involved in cellular component disassembly (e.g. Dstn and Pex14) and regulation of growth (e.g. Adnp2, Epc1, and Ing4). Overall, the best targets with the highest potential for sensitizing cancer cells to radiation were Dstn and Map2k6, and the best targets for enhancing resistance to radiation were Iqgap and Vcan. Hence, we provide compelling evidence that screening mutant ESCs is a powerful approach to identify genes that alter radiation response. Ultimately, this knowledge can be used to define genetic variants or therapeutic targets that will enhance clinical therapy.

  18. Defining a procedure for predicting the duration of the approximately isothermal segments within the proposed drying regime as a function of the drying air parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasić, M.; Radojević, Z.

    2017-08-01

    One of the main disadvantages of the recently reported method, for setting up the drying regime based on the theory of moisture migration during drying, lies in a fact that it is based on a large number of isothermal experiments. In addition each isothermal experiment requires the use of different drying air parameters. The main goal of this paper was to find a way how to reduce the number of isothermal experiments without affecting the quality of the previously proposed calculation method. The first task was to define the lower and upper inputs as well as the output of the “black box” which will be used in the Box-Wilkinson’s orthogonal multi-factorial experimental design. Three inputs (drying air temperature, humidity and velocity) were used within the experimental design. The output parameter of the model represents the time interval between any two chosen characteristic points presented on the Deff - t. The second task was to calculate the output parameter for each planed experiments. The final output of the model is the equation which can predict the time interval between any two chosen characteristic points as a function of the drying air parameters. This equation is valid for any value of the drying air parameters which are within the defined area designated with lower and upper limiting values.

  19. Survival functions for defining a clinical management Lost To Follow-Up (LTFU) cut-off in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) program in Zomba, Malawi.

    PubMed

    Rachlis, Beth; Cole, Donald C; van Lettow, Monique; Escobar, Michael

    2016-05-05

    While, lost to follow-up (LTFU) from antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be considered a catch-all category for patients who miss scheduled visits or medication pick-ups, operational definitions and methods for defining LTFU vary making comparisons across programs challenging. Using weekly cut-offs, we sought to determine the probability that an individual would return to clinic given that they had not yet returned in order to identify the LTFU cut-off that could be used to inform clinical management and tracing procedures. Individuals who initiated ART with Dignitas International supported sites (n = 22) in Zomba, Malawi between January 1 2007-June 30 2010 and were ≥ 1 week late for a follow-up visit were included. Lateness was categorized using weekly cut-offs from ≥1 to ≥26 weeks late. At each weekly cut-off, the proportion of patients who returned for a subsequent follow-up visit were identified. Cumulative Distribution Functions (CDFs) were plotted to determine the probability of returning as a function of lateness. Hazard functions were plotted to demonstrate the proportion of patients who returned each weekly interval relative to those who had yet to return. In total, n = 4484 patients with n = 7316 follow-up visits were included. The number of included follow-up visits per patient ranged from 1-10 (median: 1). Both the CDF and hazard function demonstrated that after being ≥9 weeks late, the proportion of new patients who returned relative to those who had yet to return decreased substantially. We identified a LTFU definition useful for clinical management. The simple functions plotted here did not require advanced statistical expertise and were created using Microsoft Excel, making it a particularly practical method for HIV programs in resource-constrained settings.

  20. Kidney function assessment and its role in drug development, review and utilization.

    PubMed

    Tortorici, Michael A; Nolin, Thomas D

    2014-07-01

    A key regulatory requirement pertaining to drug development is characterization of the role of kidney function in drug disposition and response, along with provision of corresponding renal dose adjustment recommendations. Traditionally, this information has been derived from Phase I pharmacokinetic studies in which regulatory guidance exists for pharmaceutical manufacturers on the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of data. Categorization and stratification of subjects into kidney function groups and dosing recommendations have historically been based on creatinine clearance estimates using the Cockcroft-Gault equation. As new estimating equations have emerged, the choice of equation for assessment of kidney function has become an area of debate. This review highlights these equations and provides recent examples of the use of quantitative models, incorporating efficacy and safety to make rational dose recommendations in subjects with impaired kidney function.

  1. Hybrid diversity method utilizing adaptive diversity function for recovering unknown aberrations in an optical system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Bruce H. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    A method of recovering unknown aberrations in an optical system includes collecting intensity data produced by the optical system, generating an initial estimate of a phase of the optical system, iteratively performing a phase retrieval on the intensity data to generate a phase estimate using an initial diversity function corresponding to the intensity data, generating a phase map from the phase retrieval phase estimate, decomposing the phase map to generate a decomposition vector, generating an updated diversity function by combining the initial diversity function with the decomposition vector, generating an updated estimate of the phase of the optical system by removing the initial diversity function from the phase map. The method may further include repeating the process beginning with iteratively performing a phase retrieval on the intensity data using the updated estimate of the phase of the optical system in place of the initial estimate of the phase of the optical system, and using the updated diversity function in place of the initial diversity function, until a predetermined convergence is achieved.

  2. Functional diversity of the microbial community in healthy subjects and periodontitis patients based on sole carbon source utilization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifei; Zheng, Yunfei; Hu, Jianwei; Du, Ning; Chen, Feng

    2014-01-01

    Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of biofilm-induced diseases. Most of the recent studies were focus on the dental plaque microbial diversity and microbiomes. However, analyzing bacterial diversity at the taxonomic level alone limits deeper comprehension of the ecological relevance of the community. In this study, we compared the metabolic functional diversity of the microbial community in healthy subjects and periodontitis patients in a creative way--to assess the sole carbon source utilization using Biolog assay, which was first applied on oral micro-ecology assessment. Pattern analyses of 95-sole carbon sources catabolism provide a community-level phenotypic profile of the microbial community from different habitats. We found that the microbial community in the periodontitis group had greater metabolic activity compared to the microbial community in the healthy group. Differences in the metabolism of specific carbohydrates (e.g. β-methyl-D-glucoside, stachyose, maltose, D-mannose, β-methyl-D-glucoside and pyruvic acid) were observed between the healthy and periodontitis groups. Subjects from the healthy and periodontitis groups could be well distinguished by cluster and principle component analyses according to the utilization of discriminate carbon sources. Our results indicate significant difference in microbial functional diversity between healthy subjects and periodontitis patients. We also found Biolog technology is effective to further our understanding of community structure as a composite of functional abilities, and it enables the identification of ecologically relevant functional differences among oral microbial communities.

  3. Impairment in Occupational Functioning and Adult ADHD: The Predictive Utility of Executive Function (EF) Ratings Versus EF Tests

    PubMed Central

    Barkley, Russell A.; Murphy, Kevin R.

    2010-01-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with deficits in executive functioning (EF). ADHD in adults is also associated with impairments in major life activities, particularly occupational functioning. We investigated the extent to which EF deficits assessed by both tests and self-ratings contributed to the degree of impairment in 11 measures involving self-reported occupational problems, employer reported workplace adjustment, and clinician rated occupational adjustment. Three groups of adults were recruited as a function of their severity of ADHD: ADHD diagnosis (n = 146), clinical controls self-referring for ADHD but not diagnosed with it (n = 97), and community controls (n = 109). Groups were combined and regression analyses revealed that self-ratings of EF were significantly predictive of impairments in all 11 measures of occupational adjustment. Although several tests of EF also did so, they contributed substantially less than did the EF ratings, particularly when analyzed jointly with the ratings. We conclude that EF deficits contribute to the impairments in occupational functioning that occur in conjunction with adult ADHD. Ratings of EF in daily life contribute more to such impairments than do EF tests, perhaps because, as we hypothesize, each assesses a different level in the hierarchical organization of EF as a meta-construct. PMID:20197297

  4. Identification of novel components of NAD-utilizing metabolic pathways and prediction of their biochemical functions.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Robson Francisco; Aravind, L

    2012-06-01

    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a ubiquitous cofactor participating in numerous redox reactions. It is also a substrate for regulatory modifications of proteins and nucleic acids via the addition of ADP-ribose moieties or removal of acyl groups by transfer to ADP-ribose. In this study, we use in-depth sequence, structure and genomic context analysis to uncover new enzymes and substrate-binding proteins in NAD-utilizing metabolic and macromolecular modification systems. We predict that Escherichia coli YbiA and related families of domains from diverse bacteria, eukaryotes, large DNA viruses and single strand RNA viruses are previously unrecognized components of NAD-utilizing pathways that probably operate on ADP-ribose derivatives. Using contextual analysis we show that some of these proteins potentially act in RNA repair, where NAD is used to remove 2'-3' cyclic phosphodiester linkages. Likewise, we predict that another family of YbiA-related enzymes is likely to comprise a novel NAD-dependent ADP-ribosylation system for proteins, in conjunction with a previously unrecognized ADP-ribosyltransferase. A similar ADP-ribosyltransferase is also coupled with MACRO or ADP-ribosylglycohydrolase domain proteins in other related systems, suggesting that all these novel systems are likely to comprise pairs of ADP-ribosylation and ribosylglycohydrolase enzymes analogous to the DraG-DraT system, and a novel group of bacterial polymorphic toxins. We present evidence that some of these coupled ADP-ribosyltransferases/ribosylglycohydrolases are likely to regulate certain restriction modification enzymes in bacteria. The ADP-ribosyltransferases found in these, the bacterial polymorphic toxin and host-directed toxin systems of bacteria such as Waddlia also throw light on the evolution of this fold and the origin of eukaryotic polyADP-ribosyltransferases and NEURL4-like ARTs, which might be involved in centrosomal assembly. We also infer a novel biosynthetic pathway that

  5. THE CLINICAL UTILITY OF FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE TESTS WITHIN ONE-YEAR POST-ACL RECONSTRUCTION: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

    PubMed Central

    Narducci, Elizabeth; Waltz, Amanda; Gorski, Katheryn; Leppla, Lucas

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) represents a significant injury for an athlete that requires substantial time away from sport, and significant rehabilitation after reconstruction. The physical therapist is responsible to determine when a patient is capable of tolerating the physical demands of daily activities and to attempt to prevent re-injury. Physical or functional performance tests (FPTs) are one mechanism used to evaluate the athlete's physical skills and capabilities prior to returning to sports participation. The purpose of this systematic review is to critically examine the clinical utility of functional performance tests used with patients less than or equal to one year post ACL reconstruction. Methods: A systematic review of the relevant literature was performed using PRISMA guidelines. A total of twelve studies were included for analysis. Results: Two independent blinded reviewers then analyzed and rated the final included articles (n=12) utilizing the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). Percent overall agreement between raters for the NOS was 88% with a fixed-marginal kappa (κ) of 0.80. Of the 12 included articles, the FPTs were utilized as an outcome measure within the study design (41.7%) or studied as a measure of function (58.3%). Among those studies that used FPTs as a “measure of function” 71.4% studied a battery of FPTs, while 28.6% studied a single test. None of the studies utilized FPTs as a measure to determine readiness to return to sport. Discussion: FPTs are being utilized with patients, less than or equal to one year post ACL reconstruction, either as an assessment of functional performance or as an outcome measure. No studies identified a FPT or test battery that has construct or predictive validity for “return to sport” in athletic population one-year post-ACL reconstruction. The identification of the critical elements within the return to sport construct may allow lower extremity performance tests to be

  6. Utilization of Microscale Silicon Cantilevers to Assess Cellular Contractile Function In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alec S.T.; Long, Christopher J.; McAleer, Christopher; Bobbitt, Nathaniel; Srinivasan, Balaji; Hickman, James J.

    2014-01-01

    The development of more predictive and biologically relevant in vitro assays is predicated on the advancement of versatile cell culture systems which facilitate the functional assessment of the seeded cells. To that end, microscale cantilever technology offers a platform with which to measure the contractile functionality of a range of cell types, including skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle cells, through assessment of contraction induced substrate bending. Application of multiplexed cantilever arrays provides the means to develop moderate to high-throughput protocols for assessing drug efficacy and toxicity, disease phenotype and progression, as well as neuromuscular and other cell-cell interactions. This manuscript provides the details for fabricating reliable cantilever arrays for this purpose, and the methods required to successfully culture cells on these surfaces. Further description is provided on the steps necessary to perform functional analysis of contractile cell types maintained on such arrays using a novel laser and photo-detector system. The representative data provided highlights the precision and reproducible nature of the analysis of contractile function possible using this system, as well as the wide range of studies to which such technology can be applied. Successful widespread adoption of this system could provide investigators with the means to perform rapid, low cost functional studies in vitro, leading to more accurate predictions of tissue performance, disease development and response to novel therapeutic treatment. PMID:25350792

  7. Flexible optical clock recovery utilizing a multi-function semiconductor fiber laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, H.; Zhao, W.; Xie, X. P.; Qian, F. C.; Wang, W.; Huang, X.; Hu, H.

    2013-08-01

    We demonstrate a multi-function fiber laser based on cross-gain modulation in a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). Depending on the input signals, the fiber cavity can emit a continuous wave (CW) laser, mode-locked pulses, or act as a clock recovery device. With an extra CW light overcoming the pattern effect in the clock recovery process, a 10-GHz synchronous clock sequence with <0.1 power fluctuation and <120-fs timing jitter is extracted from the transmission return-to-zero data stream. We further analyze the recovered clock properties as a function of the input signal, and find that the clock recovery system presents good stability over a large range of input signal characteristics. The multi-function fiber laser exhibits the advantages of compact configuration and low cost, which is very convenient and attractive for optical communications and signal processing.

  8. Pre- and postoperative evaluation of renal function in patients with staghorn calculi utilizing quantitative renal scanning.

    PubMed

    Stage, K H; Lewis, S

    1981-01-01

    Differential quantitative renal scans using 99-technetium diethylene triaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) or 131I Hippuran were obtained properatively on 12 patients with unilateral or bilateral staghorn calculi. Of the 14 renal units studied, 12 kidneys underwent anatrophic nephrolithotomy, pyelolithotomy, or a combination of both techniques; 2 patients underwent nephrectomy based on poor function of the affected side preoperatively. Postoperative follow-up scans were obtained on the 12 kidneys undergoing stone cleanout. Seven of 12 kidneys (58 per cent) studied pre- and postoperatively showed moderate to significant improvement in per cent contribution to total renal function. Seven of 10 kidneys (70 per cent) studied pre- and postoperatively showed improvement in glomerular filtration rate or effective renal plasma flow. The scans revelaed no dramatic difference in postoperative functional loss between pyelolithotomy and anatrophic nephrolithotomy. The computerizewd quantitative renal scan helps in selection of surgical technique and objective postoperative assessment of surgical results.

  9. Boundary value problem of Pontryagin's maximum principle in a two-sector economy model with an integral utility function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiselev, Yu. N.; Orlov, M. V.; Orlov, S. M.

    2015-11-01

    An infinite-horizon two-sector economy model with a Cobb-Douglas production function and a utility function that is an integral functional with discounting and a logarithmic integrand is investigated. The application of Pontryagin's maximum principle yields a boundary value problem with special conditions at infinity. The search for the solution of the maximum-principle boundary value problem is complicated by singular modes in its optimal solution. In the construction of the solution to the problem, they are described in analytical form. Additionally, a special version of the sweep method in continuous form is proposed, which is of interest from theoretical and computational points of view. An important result is the proof of the optimality of the extremal solution obtained by applying the maximum-principle boundary value problem.

  10. Normalization of cardiac substrate utilization and left ventricular hypertrophy precede functional recovery in heart failure regression.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Nikole J; Levasseur, Jody; Sung, Miranda M; Masson, Grant; Boisvenue, Jamie; Young, Martin E; Dyck, Jason R B

    2016-05-15

    Impaired cardiac substrate metabolism plays an important role in heart failure (HF) pathogenesis. Since many of these metabolic changes occur at the transcriptional level of metabolic enzymes, it is possible that this loss of metabolic flexibility is permanent and thus contributes to worsening cardiac function and/or prevents the full regression of HF upon treatment. However, despite the importance of cardiac energetics in HF, it remains unclear whether these metabolic changes can be normalized. In the current study, we investigated whether a reversal of an elevated aortic afterload in mice with severe HF would result in the recovery of cardiac function, substrate metabolism, and transcriptional reprogramming as well as determined the temporal relationship of these changes. Male C57Bl/6 mice were subjected to either Sham or transverse aortic constriction (TAC) surgery to induce HF. After HF development, mice with severe HF (% ejection fraction < 30) underwent a second surgery to remove the aortic constriction (debanding, DB). Three weeks following DB, there was a near complete recovery of systolic and diastolic function, and gene expression of several markers for hypertrophy/HF were returned to values observed in healthy controls. Interestingly, pressure-overload-induced left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and cardiac substrate metabolism were restored at 1-week post-DB, which preceded functional recovery. The regression of severe HF is associated with early and dramatic improvements in cardiac energy metabolism and LVH normalization that precede restored cardiac function, suggesting that metabolic and structural improvements may be critical determinants for functional recovery. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2016. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Delineating potential epileptogenic areas utilizing resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in epilepsy patients.

    PubMed

    Pizarro, Ricardo; Nair, Veena; Meier, Timothy; Holdsworth, Ryan; Tunnell, Evelyn; Rutecki, Paul; Sillay, Karl; Meyerand, Mary E; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2016-08-01

    Seizure localization includes neuroimaging like electroencephalogram, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with limited ability to characterize the epileptogenic network. Temporal clustering analysis (TCA) characterizes epileptogenic network congruent with interictal epileptiform discharges by clustering together voxels with transient signals. We generated epileptogenic areas for 12 of 13 epilepsy patients with TCA, congruent with different areas of seizure onset. Resting functional MRI (fMRI) scans are noninvasive, and can be acquired quickly, in patients with different levels of severity and function. Analyzing resting fMRI data using TCA is quick and can complement clinical methods to characterize the epileptogenic network.

  12. Tumor functional and molecular imaging utilizing ultrasound and ultrasound-mediated optical techniques.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Baohong; Rychak, Joshua

    2013-02-01

    Tumor functional and molecular imaging has significantly contributed to cancer preclinical research and clinical applications. Among typical imaging modalities, ultrasonic and optical techniques are two commonly used methods; both share several common features such as cost efficiency, absence of ionizing radiation, relatively inexpensive contrast agents, and comparable maximum-imaging depth. Ultrasonic and optical techniques are also complementary in imaging resolution, molecular sensitivity, and imaging space (vascular and extravascular). The marriage between ultrasonic and optical techniques takes advantages of both techniques. This review introduces tumor functional and molecular imaging using microbubble-based ultrasound and ultrasound-mediated optical imaging techniques.

  13. Utility communications architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-01

    Integrating communications helps utilities realize the full potential of communications facilities for providing deversified new business opportunities, increasing operational efficiency, improving productivity, and enhancing customer service. This volume, the forth of six volumes, serves as the standard reference for the development and acquisition of communications systems and services that are intended to be compliant with EPRI's Utility Communications Architecture (UCA). The project team identified electric utility information requirements and conducted a series of interviews with 14 diverse US utilities. The work was reviewed and modified based on an EPRI workshop. Two host utilities, Houston Lighting Power Company and Pacific Gas Electric Company, confirmed information requirements and provided associated communications requirements. Teams of industry experts in each of six defined utility functional areas reviewed the communications requirements and broadened them to reflect an industrywide perspective. In subsequent project phases, the team assessed open communication standards in light of the communications requirements and selected standards for inclusion in this specification. They also incorporated feedback from briefings and several workshops. This specification provides a standard reference for the development and acquisition of UCA-compliant communication systems, equipment, and services. It specifies international communications standards that meet the industry's communications requirements. It assumes a high degree of familiarity with standards documentation.

  14. Athletes and Sedentary Individuals: An Intergroup Comparison Utilizing a Pulmonary Function Ratio Obtained During Submaximal Exercise.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maud, Peter J.

    A pulmonary function ratio describing oxygen extraction from alveolar ventilation was used for an intergroup comparison between three groups of athletes (rugby, basketball, and football players) and one group of sedentary subjects during steady-state submaximal exercise. The ratio and its component parts are determined from only three gas…

  15. Prekindergarten Children's Executive Functioning Skills and Achievement Gains: The Utility of Direct Assessments and Teacher Ratings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Farran, Dale Clark; Nesbitt, Kimberly Turner

    2015-01-01

    An accumulating body of evidence suggests that young children who exhibit greater executive functioning (EF) skills in early childhood also achieve more academically. The goal of the present study was to examine the unique contributions of direct assessments and teacher ratings of children's EF skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-k) to…

  16. Utility of the Functional Assessment Inventory in a Post-Stroke Sample.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heinemann, Allen W.; Crown, Deborah; McMahon, Rita

    2000-01-01

    Examines the validity of using the Functional Assessment Inventory (FAI) in a group of vocational service clients who had suffered from strokes. Findings revealed that with only minor modifications, the FAI was useful for describing participants' vocational potential. The FAI's ability to successfully distinguish stroke subtypes showed that it had…

  17. A Study on the Utility of Functional Assessment for Teachers of Children with Mental Retardation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Narayan, J.; Myreddi, V.

    1996-01-01

    This study of 42 Indian teachers of students with mental retardation investigated the effectiveness of using a functional assessment checklist for programming in teaching independent living skills. The teachers found the checklist reduced problems in maintaining individualized education programs, was suitable for all levels, and was easy to use.…

  18. The Utilization of Social Policy Research: An Empirical Analysis of Its Structure and Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van de Vall, Mark; Bolas, Cheryl

    Results of a study to determine the impact of social policy research upon organizational decisions are reported. Studies of 120 projects in the Netherlands were drawn from three areas of social policy making: industrial and labor relations, regional and urban planning, and social welfare and public health. Three functions of social policy research…

  19. Assessment of mitochondrial function in vivo with a breath test utilizing alpha-ketoisocaproic acid

    SciTech Connect

    Michaletz, P.A.; Cap, L.; Alpert, E.; Lauterburg, B.H. )

    1989-11-01

    A breath test to assess hepatic mitochondrial function in vivo was evaluated in rats. Following the i.p. administration of (1-{sup 14}C)-alpha-ketoisocaproic acid, {sup 14}CO{sub 2} exhalation reached a peak within 10 to 20 min and then declined exponentially, with a half-life of 14.3 min. Control animals exhaled 38.6% of the administered radioactivity within 1 hr. In functionally anhepatic animals, {sup 14}CO{sub 2} in breath amounted to 23% of that in control animals, indicating that alpha-ketoisocaproic acid decarboxylation reflects mainly hepatic mitochondrial function in vivo. Ethanol (3 gm per kg) significantly decreased alpha-ketoisocaproic acid decarboxylation (21.8% of the dose appearing in breath in 1 hr), probably due to the ethanol-induced shift in the NAD+:NADH ratio. In contrast, an uncoupler of mitochondrial respiration, sodium salicylate (375 mg per kg), increased the decarboxylation of alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (56.3% of the dose recovered as {sup 14}CO{sub 2} in 1 hr). Mitochondrial damage induced by 4-pentenoic acid decreased the decarboxylation of alpha-ketoisocaproic acid but did not affect the microsomal metabolism of antipyrine. The present data indicate that the alpha-ketoisocaproic acid breath test provides a noninvasive estimate of hepatic mitochondrial function in vivo which, when applied to man, might yield clinically useful information.

  20. (Mal)Adaptive Psychological Functioning of Students Utilizing University Counseling Services.

    PubMed

    Biasi, Valeria; Cerutti, Rita; Mallia, Luca; Menozzi, Francesca; Patrizi, Nazarena; Violani, Cristiano

    2017-01-01

    Background: University students confront psychological difficulties that can negatively influence their academic performance. The present study aimed to assess several areas of adaptive and maladaptive psychological functioning among university students who request counseling services. Method: One hundred eighty-four young female students seeking professional psychological help (Counseling seekers) and 185 young female students who have never asked for psychological help (Non-counseling seekers) were asked to complete the Adult Self-Report (ASR) to evaluate both their internalizing and externalizing problems through DSM-oriented scales as well as their adaptive functioning. Results: ANOVA results indicated worse psychological functioning for the students who sought counseling. They reported lower score in ASR Adaptive Functioning Scales (i.e., friends, jobs, family, education), and higher scores in DSM-oriented scales (i.e., Depressive, Anxiety, Somatic, Avoidant Personality, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity symptoms) than the students who never asked psychological help. Furthermore, discriminant analysis successfully discriminated between the two groups of students on the basis of the ASR's adaptive and DSM-oriented scales. Conclusion: The study findings could be useful to guide university counseling services in their screening activities as well as useful for clinical practice.

  1. The Utility of the Lambert Function W[a exp(a - bt)] in Chemical Kinetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Brian Wesley

    2010-01-01

    The mathematical Lambert function W[a exp(a - bt)] is used to find integrated rate laws for several examples, including simple enzyme and Lindemann-Christiansen-Hinshelwood (LCH) unimolecular decay kinetics. The results derived here for the well-known LCH mechanism as well as for a dimer-monomer reaction mechanism appear to be novel. A nonlinear…

  2. The Utility of the Lambert Function W[a exp(a - bt)] in Chemical Kinetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Brian Wesley

    2010-01-01

    The mathematical Lambert function W[a exp(a - bt)] is used to find integrated rate laws for several examples, including simple enzyme and Lindemann-Christiansen-Hinshelwood (LCH) unimolecular decay kinetics. The results derived here for the well-known LCH mechanism as well as for a dimer-monomer reaction mechanism appear to be novel. A nonlinear…

  3. Prekindergarten Children's Executive Functioning Skills and Achievement Gains: The Utility of Direct Assessments and Teacher Ratings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Farran, Dale Clark; Nesbitt, Kimberly Turner

    2015-01-01

    An accumulating body of evidence suggests that young children who exhibit greater executive functioning (EF) skills in early childhood also achieve more academically. The goal of the present study was to examine the unique contributions of direct assessments and teacher ratings of children's EF skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-k) to…

  4. The Utilization of Social Policy Research: An Empirical Analysis of Its Structure and Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van de Vall, Mark; Bolas, Cheryl

    Results of a study to determine the impact of social policy research upon organizational decisions are reported. Studies of 120 projects in the Netherlands were drawn from three areas of social policy making: industrial and labor relations, regional and urban planning, and social welfare and public health. Three functions of social policy research…

  5. (Mal)Adaptive Psychological Functioning of Students Utilizing University Counseling Services

    PubMed Central

    Biasi, Valeria; Cerutti, Rita; Mallia, Luca; Menozzi, Francesca; Patrizi, Nazarena; Violani, Cristiano

    2017-01-01

    Background: University students confront psychological difficulties that can negatively influence their academic performance. The present study aimed to assess several areas of adaptive and maladaptive psychological functioning among university students who request counseling services. Method: One hundred eighty-four young female students seeking professional psychological help (Counseling seekers) and 185 young female students who have never asked for psychological help (Non-counseling seekers) were asked to complete the Adult Self-Report (ASR) to evaluate both their internalizing and externalizing problems through DSM-oriented scales as well as their adaptive functioning. Results: ANOVA results indicated worse psychological functioning for the students who sought counseling. They reported lower score in ASR Adaptive Functioning Scales (i.e., friends, jobs, family, education), and higher scores in DSM-oriented scales (i.e., Depressive, Anxiety, Somatic, Avoidant Personality, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity symptoms) than the students who never asked psychological help. Furthermore, discriminant analysis successfully discriminated between the two groups of students on the basis of the ASR’s adaptive and DSM-oriented scales. Conclusion: The study findings could be useful to guide university counseling services in their screening activities as well as useful for clinical practice. PMID:28360880

  6. Effects of Achieving Target Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis on Functional Status, Quality of Life, and Resource Utilization: Analysis of Clinical Practice Data.

    PubMed

    Alemao, Evo; Joo, Seongjung; Kawabata, Hugh; Al, Maiwenn J; Allison, Paul D; Rutten-van Mölken, Maureen P M H; Frits, Michelle L; Iannaccone, Christine K; Shadick, Nancy A; Weinblatt, Michael E

    2016-03-01

    To evaluate associations between achieving guideline-recommended targets of disease activity, defined by the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using C-reactive protein level (DAS28-CRP) <2.6, the Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) ≤3.3, or the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) ≤2.8, and other health outcomes in a longitudinal observational study. Other defined thresholds included low disease activity (LDA), moderate (MDA), or severe disease activity (SDA). To control for intraclass correlation and estimate effects of independent variables on outcomes of the modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (M-HAQ), the EuroQol 5-domain (EQ-5D; a quality-of-life measure), hospitalization, and durable medical equipment (DME) use, we employed mixed models for continuous outcomes and generalized estimating equations for binary outcomes. Among 1,297 subjects, achievement (versus nonachievement) of recommended disease targets was associated with enhanced physical functioning and lower health resource utilization. After controlling for baseline covariates, achievement of disease targets (versus LDA) was associated with significantly enhanced physical functioning based on SDAI ≤3.3 (ΔM-HAQ -0.047; P = 0.0100) and CDAI ≤2.8 (-0.073; P = 0.0003) but not DAS28-CRP <2.6 (-0.022; P = 0.1735). Target attainment was associated with significantly improved EQ-5D (0.022-0.096; P < 0.0030 versus LDA, MDA, or SDA). Patients achieving guideline-recommended disease targets were 36-45% less likely to be hospitalized (P < 0.0500) and 23-45% less likely to utilize DME (P < 0.0100). Attaining recommended target disease-activity measures was associated with enhanced physical functioning and health-related quality of life. Some health outcomes were similar in subjects attaining guideline targets versus LDA. Achieving LDA is a worthy clinical objective in some patients. © 2016 The Authors. Arthritis Care & Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the

  7. Effects of Achieving Target Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis on Functional Status, Quality of Life, and Resource Utilization: Analysis of Clinical Practice Data

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Seongjung; Kawabata, Hugh; Al, Maiwenn J.; Allison, Paul D.; Rutten‐van Mölken, Maureen P. M. H.; Frits, Michelle L.; Iannaccone, Christine K.; Shadick, Nancy A.; Weinblatt, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate associations between achieving guideline‐recommended targets of disease activity, defined by the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using C‐reactive protein level (DAS28‐CRP) <2.6, the Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) ≤3.3, or the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) ≤2.8, and other health outcomes in a longitudinal observational study. Methods Other defined thresholds included low disease activity (LDA), moderate (MDA), or severe disease activity (SDA). To control for intraclass correlation and estimate effects of independent variables on outcomes of the modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (M‐HAQ), the EuroQol 5‐domain (EQ‐5D; a quality‐of‐life measure), hospitalization, and durable medical equipment (DME) use, we employed mixed models for continuous outcomes and generalized estimating equations for binary outcomes. Results Among 1,297 subjects, achievement (versus nonachievement) of recommended disease targets was associated with enhanced physical functioning and lower health resource utilization. After controlling for baseline covariates, achievement of disease targets (versus LDA) was associated with significantly enhanced physical functioning based on SDAI ≤3.3 (ΔM‐HAQ −0.047; P = 0.0100) and CDAI ≤2.8 (−0.073; P = 0.0003) but not DAS28‐CRP <2.6 (−0.022; P = 0.1735). Target attainment was associated with significantly improved EQ‐5D (0.022–0.096; P < 0.0030 versus LDA, MDA, or SDA). Patients achieving guideline‐recommended disease targets were 36–45% less likely to be hospitalized (P < 0.0500) and 23–45% less likely to utilize DME (P < 0.0100). Conclusion Attaining recommended target disease‐activity measures was associated with enhanced physical functioning and health‐related quality of life. Some health outcomes were similar in subjects attaining guideline targets versus LDA. Achieving LDA is a worthy clinical objective in some patients. PMID:26238974

  8. Modeling earthquake ground motion with an earthquake simulation program (EMPSYN) that utilizes empirical Green's functions

    SciTech Connect

    Hutchings, L.

    1992-01-01

    This report outlines a method of using empirical Green's functions in an earthquake simulation program EMPSYN that provides realistic seismograms from potential earthquakes. The theory for using empirical Green's functions is developed, implementation of the theory in EMPSYN is outlined, and an example is presented where EMPSYN is used to synthesize observed records from the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. To provide useful synthetic ground motion data from potential earthquakes, synthetic seismograms should model frequencies from 0.5 to 15.0 Hz, the full wave-train energy distribution, and absolute amplitudes. However, high-frequency arrivals are stochastically dependent upon the inhomogeneous geologic structure and irregular fault rupture. The fault rupture can be modeled, but the stochastic nature of faulting is largely an unknown factor in the earthquake process. The effect of inhomogeneous geology can readily be incorporated into synthetic seismograms by using small earthquakes to obtain empirical Green's functions. Small earthquakes with source corner frequencies higher than the site recording limit f{sub max}, or much higher than the frequency of interest, effectively have impulsive point-fault dislocation sources, and their recordings are used as empirical Green's functions. Since empirical Green's functions are actual recordings at a site, they include the effects on seismic waves from all geologic inhomogeneities and include all recordable frequencies, absolute amplitudes, and all phases. They scale only in amplitude with differences in seismic moment. They can provide nearly the exact integrand to the representation relation. Furthermore, since their source events have spatial extent, they can be summed to simulate fault rupture without loss of information, thereby potentially computing the exact representation relation for an extended source earthquake.

  9. Utility of Walk Tests in Evaluating Functional Status Among Participants in an Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

    PubMed

    Harris, Kristie M; Anderson, Derek R; Landers, Jacob D; Emery, Charles F

    2017-09-01

    Although walk tests are frequently used in cardiac rehabilitation (CR), no prior study has evaluated the capacity of these measures to predict peak oxygen uptake during exercise testing ((Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak). This study evaluated the interrelationship of objective measures of exercise performance (walk and exercise testing) among patients entering CR as well as a novel measure of functional status assessment for use in CR. Forty-nine patients (33 males) referred to an outpatient CR program were evaluated with objective measures of ambulatory functional status (peak oxygen uptake [(Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak], 6-minute walk test [6MWT], and 60-ft walk test [60ftWT]). All measures of functional status were moderately to highly intercorrelated (r values from 0.50 to 0.88; P values < .05). The relationship among measures differed by sex, but not by age or diagnosis. Among men, results were generally consistent with the full sample. Among women, the magnitude of correlations was generally lower and there was no relationship between (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak and other measures. Measures of functional status, including (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak, 6MWT, and 60ftWT, were highly correlated among CR patients, suggesting the plausibility of using them interchangeably to fit the needs of the patient and testing environment. Among women, walk tests may not be appropriate substitutes for (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak. Because of the brevity of the 60ftWT, it may be particularly useful for measuring functional status in patients with greater symptoms and those with comorbidities limiting walking.

  10. The effect of education on regional brain metabolism and its functional connectivity in an aged population utilizing positron emission tomography.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jaeik; Chey, Jeanyung; Kim, Sang-Eun; Kim, Hoyoung

    2015-05-01

    Education involves learning new information and acquiring cognitive skills. These require various cognitive processes including learning, memory, and language. Since cognitive processes activate associated brain areas, we proposed that the brains of elderly people with longer education periods would show traces of repeated activation as increased synaptic connectivity and capillary in brain areas involved in learning, memory, and language. Utilizing positron emission topography (PET), this study examined the effect of education in the human brain utilizing the regional cerebral glucose metabolism rates (rCMRglcs). 26 elderly women with high-level education (HEG) and 26 with low-level education (LEG) were compared with regard to their regional brain activation and association between the regions. Further, graphical theoretical analysis using rCMRglcs was applied to examine differences in the functional network properties of the brain. The results showed that the HEG had higher rCMRglc in the ventral cerebral regions that are mainly involved in memory, language, and neurogenesis, while the LEG had higher rCMRglc in apical areas of the cerebrum mainly involved in motor and somatosensory functions. Functional connectivity investigated with graph theoretical analysis illustrated that the brain of the HEG compared to those of the LEG were overall more efficient, more resilient, and characterized by small-worldness. This may be one of the brain's mechanisms mediating the reserve effects found in people with higher education.

  11. On the Interpretation of Response Time vs Onset Asynchrony Functions: Application to Dual-Task and Precue-Utilization Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Wolfgang; Ischebeck, Anja

    2001-06-01

    The central bottleneck model of dual-task performance (H. Pashler and J. C. Johnston, 1998, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 46A, 51-82) and the serial processing model of precue utilization (R. Gottsdanker, 1992, Acta Psychologica, 79, 21-43) are based on a common formal structure: They both represent response time as RT(tau)=max(X-tau, Y)+Z, where X, Y, Z denote the duration of certain processing stages specified by the models and tau denotes the onset asynchrony (SOA) between two stimuli. We consider this model within a stochastic framework in which the stage durations are random variables following an arbitrary joint distribution and derive properties of the function relating E[RT(tau)] to SOA. We present a distribution-free result which relates the slope of this function to the distribution of the random durations of the assumed processing stages. Our results allow for a direct, model-based interpretation of data from related experiments; specifically, they show how the slope of the SOA-function depends on experimental factors which selectively influence individual processing stages. We explain the implications of our results for models of dual-task performance and precue utilization and illustrate their application to data obtained by M. C. Smith (1969, Acta Psychologica, 30, 220-231) and R. Gottsdanker (1992, loc. cit.) Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  12. Risk and utility in portfolio optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Morrel H.; Natoli, Vincent D.

    2003-06-01

    Modern portfolio theory (MPT) addresses the problem of determining the optimum allocation of investment resources among a set of candidate assets. In the original mean-variance approach of Markowitz, volatility is taken as a proxy for risk, conflating uncertainty with risk. There have been many subsequent attempts to alleviate that weakness which, typically, combine utility and risk. We present here a modification of MPT based on the inclusion of separate risk and utility criteria. We define risk as the probability of failure to meet a pre-established investment goal. We define utility as the expectation of a utility function with positive and decreasing marginal value as a function of yield. The emphasis throughout is on long investment horizons for which risk-free assets do not exist. Analytic results are presented for a Gaussian probability distribution. Risk-utility relations are explored via empirical stock-price data, and an illustrative portfolio is optimized using the empirical data.

  13. Supraspliceosomes at defined functional states portray the pre-assembled nature of the pre-mRNA processing machine in the cell nucleus.

    PubMed

    Kotzer-Nevo, Hani; de Lima Alves, Flavia; Rappsilber, Juri; Sperling, Joseph; Sperling, Ruth

    2014-06-30

    When isolated from mammalian cell nuclei, all nuclear pre-mRNAs are packaged in multi-subunit large ribonucleoprotein complexes-supraspliceosomes-composed of four native spliceosomes interconnected by the pre-mRNA. Supraspliceosomes contain all five spliceosomal U snRNPs, together with other splicing factors, and are functional in splicing. Supraspliceosomes studied thus far represent the steady-state population of nuclear pre-mRNAs that were isolated at different stages of the splicing reaction. To analyze specific splicing complexes, here, we affinity purified Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage 7 (PP7)-tagged splicing complexes assembled in vivo on Adenovirus Major Late (AdML) transcripts at specific functional stages, and characterized them using molecular techniques including mass spectrometry. First, we show that these affinity purified splicing complexes assembled on PP7-tagged AdML mRNA or on PP7-tagged AdML pre-mRNA are assembled in supraspliceosomes. Second, similar to the general population of supraspliceosomes, these defined supraspliceosomes populations are assembled with all five U snRNPs at all splicing stages. This study shows that dynamic changes in base-pairing interactions of U snRNA:U snRNA and U snRNA:pre-mRNA that occur in vivo during the splicing reaction do not require changes in U snRNP composition of the supraspliceosome. Furthermore, there is no need to reassemble a native spliceosome for the splicing of each intron, and rearrangements of the interactions will suffice.

  14. Development of a conditional Mesd (mesoderm development) allele for functional analysis of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related family in defined tissues.

    PubMed

    Taibi, Andrew V; Lighthouse, Janet K; Grady, Richard C; Shroyer, Kenneth R; Holdener, Bernadette C

    2013-01-01

    The Low-density lipoprotein receptor-Related Protein (LRP) family members are essential for diverse processes ranging from the regulation of gastrulation to the modulation of lipid homeostasis. Receptors in this family bind and internalize a diverse array of ligands in the extracellular matrix (ECM). As a consequence, LRPs regulate a wide variety of cellular functions including, but not limited to lipid metabolism, membrane composition, cell motility, and cell signaling. Not surprisingly, mutations in single human LRPs are associated with defects in cholesterol metabolism and development of atherosclerosis, abnormalities in bone density, or aberrant eye vasculature, and may be a contributing factor in development of Alzheimer's disease. Often, members of this diverse family of receptors perform overlapping roles in the same tissues, complicating the analysis of their function through conventional targeted mutagenesis. Here, we describe development of a mouse Mesd (Mesoderm Development) conditional knockout allele, and demonstrate that ubiquitous deletion of Mesd using Cre-recombinase blocks gastrulation, as observed in the traditional knockout and albino-deletion phenotypes. This conditional allele will serve as an excellent tool for future characterization of the cumulative contribution of LRP members in defined tissues.

  15. [Potential utility of a renal function adjusted D-dimer cut-off value for improving the exclusion of pulmonary embolism].

    PubMed

    Xi, Xin; Yang, Jinghua; Wang, Zengzhi; Zhu, Chenxi; Li, Jie; Liu, Shuang

    2015-08-11

    To evaluate the potential utility of a renal function adjusted D-dimer cut-off value for improving the exclusion of pulmonary embolism. Retrospective analyses were performed for 1 784 inpatients and outpatients with low and moderate probability of pulmonary embolism at Anzhen Hospital from January 2011 to June 2013. The Well's score was used. The diagnoses of pulmonary embolism were confirmed by computed tomography pulmonary angiogram and ventilation-perfusion scan. Based upon estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), they were divided into three subgroups of normal renal function, mild renal impairment and moderate renal impairment. Negative D-dimer was defined as a level of age-standardized D-dimer value<500 µg/L. The proportions of patients with negative D-dimer and the utility of D-dimer for ruling out pulmonary embolism were compared between three subgroups. A new D-dimer cut-off point in patients with renal impairment was developed by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves and the effect of diagnostic efficiency of ruling out pulmonary embolism with renal function adjusted D-dimer cut-off was assessed. The medians of D-dimer of three subgroups with normal renal function, mild renal impairment and moderate renal impairment were 291.5, 995.5 and 1 901.5 µg/L (P<0.001) respectively. The sensitivity of negative D-dimer for ruling out pulmonary embolism was 99%-100% and the specificity 70%, 42% and 23% in three subgroups. The number of patients needed to test (NNT) for one negative test of D-dimer in three subgroups of different renal function was 3.32, 3.58 and 3.95 respectively. The new D-dimer cut-off value increased to 1.2 and 1.75 times of old one in patients with mild and moderate renal impairments and the proportion of patients with a negative D-dimer level rose from 48.7% to 53.0% as compared with old D-dimer cut-off value. The sensitivity and specificity of negative D-dimer for ruling out pulmonary embolism was 98% and 62% with the new cut

  16. Reaching unanimous agreements within agent-based negotiation teams with linear and monotonic utility functions.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Anguix, Victor; Julian, Vicente; Botti, Vicente; García-Fornes, Ana

    2012-06-01

    In this article, an agent-based negotiation model for negotiation teams that negotiate a deal with an opponent is presented. Agent-based negotiation teams are groups of agents that join together as a single negotiation party because they share an interest that is related to the negotiation process. The model relies on a trusted mediator that coordinates and helps team members in the decisions that they have to take during the negotiation process: which offer is sent to the opponent, and whether the offers received from the opponent are accepted. The main strength of the proposed negotiation model is the fact that it guarantees unanimity within team decisions since decisions report a utility to team members that is greater than or equal to their aspiration levels at each negotiation round. This work analyzes how unanimous decisions are taken within the team and the robustness of the model against different types of manipulations. An empirical evaluation is also performed to study the impact of the different parameters of the model.

  17. Functional Analysis of the Fructooligosaccharide Utilization Operon in Lactobacillus paracasei 1195▿

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Yong Jun; Lee, Jong-Hwa; Hutkins, Robert W.

    2007-01-01

    The fosABCDXE operon encodes components of a putative fructose/mannose phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system and a β-fructosidase precursor (FosE) that are involved in the fructooligosaccharide (FOS) utilization pathway of Lactobacillus paracasei 1195. The presence of an N-terminal signal peptide sequence and an LPQAG cell wall anchor motif in the C-terminal region of the deduced FosE precursor amino acid sequence predicted that the enzyme is cell wall associated, indicating that FOS may be hydrolyzed extracellularly. In this study, cell fractionation experiments demonstrated that the FOS hydrolysis activity was present exclusively in the cell wall extract of L. paracasei previously grown on FOS. In contrast, no measurable FOS hydrolysis activity was detected in the cell wall extract from the isogenic fosE mutant. Induction of β-fructosidase activity was observed when cells were grown on FOS, inulin, sucrose, or fructose but not when cells were grown on glucose. A diauxic growth pattern was observed when cells were grown on FOS in the presence of limiting glucose (0.1%). Analysis of the culture supernatant revealed that glucose was consumed first, followed by the longer-chain FOS species. Transcription analysis further showed that the fos operon was expressed only after glucose was depleted in the medium. Expression of fosE in a non-FOS-fermenting strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, enabled the recombinant strain to metabolize FOS, inulin, sucrose, and levan. PMID:17644636

  18. Functional and comparative genomic analyses of an operon involved in fructooligosaccharide utilization by Lactobacillus acidophilus